Follow TV Tropes


Musical Number Annoyance

Go To

"SHUT UP!!! I can't STAND it anymore!
All the time, singing!
Why won't it STOP?!?!?!?"

Not everyone enjoys musicals. That even applies to the characters in musicals.

This is a form of Medium Awareness where one character (usually the more idealistic one) sings a musical number, and another character (usually the more cynical one) shows some sort of negative response to the character singing. This can vary from simply expressing annoyance (especially if the other character has done this before), to trying to stop the other character's song before they can finish it.


When it comes to Musical World Hypotheses, this usually happens in Alternate Universe and Diegetic cases. It may also be a way to make it more tolerable for audiences who dislike musicals via using an Audience Surrogate to hang a lampshade.

May be due to the other character being a Dreadful Musician or Hollywood Tone-Deaf, though this is not required. Related tropes include Musicalis Interruptus, That Reminds Me of a Song, Incessant Music Madness and No Reprise, Please.


    open/close all folders 
    Audio Plays 
  • The Part 2 cliffhanger in Big Finish Doctor Who's Doctor Who And The Pirates is not any sort of danger, it's Six doing vocal warm-ups and Evelyn trying, and failing, to stop him from breaking into song. Part 3 ends up being a Musical Episode.
    Films — Animation 
  • Animal Crackers: At one point in Horatio's Villain Song, his henchmen suddenly appear out of nowhere and repeat one of Horatio's lines in the style of a barbershop quartet.note  Horatio sputters angrily before telling them to leave.
    Horatio: Would you sh— No harmonization, thank you.
  • In Bambi, Friend Owl is driven nuts by the birds surrounding him singing "Let's Sing a Gay Little Spring Song" while he's trying to sleep.
  • A Car's Life: Sparky's Big Adventure: Fender stops Sparky from singing, with an interjection of "This isn't a musical!".
  • Charlotte's Web: As soon as Wilbur realizes he can talk, he sings a song about it, which the other animals on the farm are annoyed by upon being woken up by it. The song ends with the ram telling Wilbur to keep it down.
  • In The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, both Wyldstyle and Batman have annoyed reactions when they hear the first few bars of Queen Watevra Wa-Nabi's musical numbers.
    Wyldstyle: Oh, no, are we in a musical?
    Batman: Yup, get ready.
    Batman: Oh, great, more singing, right on time.
  • In Moana, when the titular character comments to herself that the ocean chose her for a reason, Maui responds with "If you start singing, I'm gonna throw up."
  • The Nut Job 2: Nutty by Nature: When Andi starts, Surly reacts in confusion and annoyance. The other park animals seem to agree with him, calling it weird.
  • Shrek: When they first meet, Donkey offers Shrek his friendship by singing "(You Gotta Have) Friends", which quickly bugs Shrek.
    Shrek: STOP! SINGING! Well, it's no wonder you don't have any friends!
    Donkey: Wow, only a true friend would be that truly honest.
  • Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs: Most of the other dwarfs are enchanted by Snow White singing "Someday My Prince Will Come", save for Grumpy, who responds by calling it mush.
  • Played for drama in Steven Universe: The Movie: Spinel is not generally averse to musical numbers, but when Steven sings "Change" to convince her she can change for the better, she tries to verbally and physically Shut Up, Kirk!.
    Spinel: Just can it, won't ya?! You can't just make everything better by singing SOME STUPID SONG!
  • Tangled: Flynn shows an unamused look of disbelief throughout the "I've Got a Dream" number, and only joins in after the tough men in the pub threaten him with weapons into doing so.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Enchanted, Robert is very annoyed by the "That's How You Know" number and initially tries to get Giselle to stop singing, then when others join in, he wonders how they know the song and, while still annoyed, reluctantly allows them to sing but doesn't join in because he, in his own words, "doesn't dance and really doesn't sing".
  • In Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the swamp king has arranged a marriage between his son Herbert and a nearby princess with "large tracts of land." Prince Herbert, something of a mopey young fellow, doesn't want the marriage and constantly threatens to break out in song over his feelings. The king not only shuts him up but the pre-recorded orchestra as well.
  • Road to Bali: Just as Bing Crosby is about to do a musical number, Bob Hope quips to the audience "He's going to sing folks. Now's the time to get your popcorn."

    Live-Action Television 

    Puppet Shows 
  • Lamb Chop's Play-Along ends every episode with "The Song That Doesn't End", which the kids and puppet sing, causing Shari to be annoyed. When she thinks it has stopped, Charlie Horse comes in and tries to begin the song again, but she tells him to be quiet and go away.
  • Sesame Street:
    • Bert is often annoyed when Ernie bursts into song:
      • In "Feeling Good, Feeling Bad", Bert is in a funk and Ernie tries singing to cheer him up. Bert does join in, but at the end, he snaps, "And I don't care!", which offends Ernie and the situation reverses, however, Ernie sort of more whines the "I don't care" line, which means that no one gets offended and both are happy again.
      • In one skit, Ernie sings about sleep in the middle of the night. This initially annoys Bert who wonders how he's going to get any sleep, but then he joins in.
      • Ernie once sings about how because they're friends, they don't mind each other's annoying habits. Bert, however, does mind the singing because it's at night and goes downstairs to sleep in the kitchen instead.
    • In one sketch, some hairdressers are annoyed by Guy Smiley and his friends singing about air every time someone says a word that rhymes with it, such as "hair", "chair", and "rare".
    • The show is very musical, much to the chagrin of Oscar the Grouch, although he does have his own songs like "I Love Trash". In the Massive Multiplayer Crossover "We Are Family", he hates the titular song and thinks it Tastes Like Diabetes.

  • In Avenue Q, during the "If You Were Gay" number, Rod frequently expresses annoyance at Nicky's singing. This is A.) Because he is indeed gay but is too shy to come out, B.) Because he is trying to read, and C.) Because he is a parody of Bert from Sesame Street, who is frequently annoyed by Ernie's singing.
  • In The Guy Who Didn't Like Musicals, Paul gets annoyed at everyone in Hatchetfield singing "La Di Da Da Day," which eventually progresses to outright fear as they get progressively more pushy for him to join them. He's quite justified to be unnerved, as it's later revealed all the singing is the result of an alien infection.
  • Lampshaded, Parodied, Discussed and Conversed in Something Rotten, when protagonist Nick Bottom visits the soothsayer Thomas Nostradamus to find out what will make his failing theatrical productions a smash hit. Nostradamus peers into the future and discovers musical theater, which kicks off a song-and-dance number during which an incredulous Nick describes exactly why he thinks actors breaking into song-and-dance numbers during a show is the stupidest thing he's ever heard of:
    Nick: Wait, wait, wait, so an actor is saying his lines and then out of nowhere he just starts singing?
    Nostradamus: Yes.
    Nick: Well that is the...
    [singing] Stupidest thing that I have ever heard
    You're doing a play, got something to say
    So you sing it? It's absurd
    Who on Earth is going to sit there
    While an actor breaks into song?
    What possible thought could the audience think
    Other than "this is horribly wrong?"

    Web Animation 
  • Beauty and the Beast (Dingo Pictures): At one point, Wabuu's cronies attempt to sing "Gaston" from Disney's Beauty and the Beast, but with Wabuu's name. It doesn't work out because they're all terrible singers. Wabuu is annoyed, but it's implied that this is mostly because they didn't do a good job at praising him. Later, Wuschel tries to start up the song again, but Wabuu tells Wuschel that he's run out of patience for their terrible singing and shoots Wuschel to death.
    Wabuu: It's too late to suck up through song now, Wuschel!
  • In the pilot of Hazbin Hotel, as Charlie prepares for her television interview, she considers singing a song, only for her girlfriend Vaggie to tell her "Life isn't a musical, hun". Despite Vaggie's insistence not to sing, Charlie does so anyway on live TV, much to Vaggie's frustration.

    Web Videos 
  • Suburban Knights: Linkara keeps trying to turn the adventure into a musical. Every time he starts singing, everyone else around him groans, and at one point he's attacked to keep him from continuing the song.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Batman: The Brave and the Bold Musical Episode "Mayhem of the Music Meister!", Batman gets increasingly fed up with the titular villain's singing until he clocks the guy straight in the face at the end of the last song.
  • Bob's Burgers: In "Fluoise", Louise has a fever dream featuring her toys, and she gets increasingly annoyed with the musical numbers within the dream.
    Louise: No songs about why you hate the fortress!
  • Futurama: In "Hell is Other Robots", Bender reacts this way to the opening of the Robot Devil's Villain Song.
    Bender: Aw crap, singing. Mind if I smoke?
  • In the two-part premiere of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, when the Mane Six are trapped in a dark forest filled with terrifying faces in the trees, Pinkie Pie begins to sing an upbeat song about laughing at your fears. Her friends are (initially) not pleased.
    Twilight Sparkle: Tell me she's not...
    Rarity: She is.
    • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Forgotten Friendship has Trixie and Sunset witness a recording of events that played out a few minutes ago to regain the memories they lost, which includes Wallflower Blush's musical number. It isn't long before Trixie opts to skip it, even remarking how long it is as it's fast-forwarded to the important bits.
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • In the episode "Wizard of Odd", which mostly takes place in Candace's Wizard of Oz-inspired dream, she agrees to the request of Baljeet, in this episode serving as the counterpart to the scarecrow, to come with her to see the wizard as long as he stops singing, later expressing hope that there won't be a lot of singing in the dream. She also expresses relief that, though Buford does sing in her dream, his song is very short.
    • The episode "One Good Turn" has Buford doing this.
      Ferb: I'm filled with remorse, That we haven't, of course, Even thought of building an obstacle course.
      Phineas: Then let's build one and make it our new tour de force!
      Ferb: That is a plan I can clearly endorse.
      Phineas: Of course!
      Baljeet: Of course!
      Phineas: Of course!
      Buford: Of course! I'm puttin' an end to this before it breaks into song! Where's Perry?
  • In the Rocko's Modern Life Musical Episode "Zanzibar", Rocko (who never sings in the entire episode despite being the series' titular protagonist) leads a mob of singers to Conglom-O. A security guard asks him how they know the words.
    Rocko: I don't know the words.
    Mob: [singing] He doesn't know the words!
    Rocko: SHUT UP!
  • The Simpsons: In the musical Clip Show "All Singing, All Dancing", Snake becomes so annoyed by the family's constant singing that he tries to shoot them several times.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: In "A Flea in Her Dome", SpongeBob begins singing a song to greet Sandy on her return from Texas, but her bus driver will have none of it:
    SpongeBob: [singing] Welcome home Sandy, you know that we missed ya—
    Bus driver: NO! No one wants to hear you sing!
    Sandy: Sorry, SpongeBob. He's got a fierce "no singing" policy.
  • In the Steven Universe episode "Coach Steven", after the song "Strong in the Real Way" Sadie asks Steven if he'll work out too after Lars, Sadie, and his dad collapse in exhaustion, confusing Steven. Lars then states that Steven has been singing the entire time, not working.
    Lars: We've been working out, you've just been singing some dumb song!
  • During the musical season of Total Drama World Tour, Chris declares that every episode must have the contestants sing or face elimination. Duncan and Gwen are not happy about it and both have to be effectively threatened into singing in the first episode. Duncan even quits just so he doesn't have to sing.
  • VeggieTales
    • In "Dave and the Giant Pickle", King Saul (played by Archibald) reacts with "You're not going to sing, are you?" right before Dave (played by Junior Asparagus) sings "Big Things Too".
    • Bob often becomes annoyed by the "What Have We Learned" song QWERTY the computer plays at the end Once per Episode. Subverted in later episodes, when Bob finds himself warming up to the song and often showing frustration at it being interrupted.


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: