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Musical Pastiche

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Using the style, instrumentation, and sound of one piece of music on a different melody, notably a show's theme tune, for mood effect. Also handy if you wish to parody a famous piece of music, but can't afford to license the melody. Parodying a public-domain song is, of course, problem-free.

When it's done to the same song several times within the same work, it's a Theme-and-Variations Soundtrack.

If the song in question is written from scratch, it's Suspiciously Similar Song.

Not to be confused with the group that sang Sonic Boom.

Super-Trope to Ennio Morricone Pastiche.


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  • Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi, parodying Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and quite a few others.
  • Lucky Star, during the race scene, had a suspiciously Initial D sounding song. One time in episode 2 there was a Gun Buster parody, with a knockoff of the opening song, "Active Heart", seriously, and in episode 17 there was a parody of Cat's Eye using a knockoff of the ending theme, but with Kagami as an extra.
  • Joe Hisaishi pretty much plays around with one or two melodies for the entire soundtrack of Howl's Moving Castle.
    • There is also a section of 'Ashitaka and San' (Princess Mononoke) that sounds very similar to part of 'Ano Natsu E/Inochi no Namae' (Spirited Away).
  • The Cowboy Bebop episode "Pierrot le Fou" includes a brilliant pastiche by Yoko Kanno of Pink Floyd's "On the Run". (This is actually a legitimate cover; it's even listed on the soundtrack as "On the Run" with the original writers credited.)
  • Occurs early in the first episode of Gundam 0083 when Kou, Burning, Kieth and Alan are having a staged Mobile Suit battle to test a new attachment for the GM. The show's first theme is played with a different tempo for effect.
  • The main theme of the Read or Die OVA is a particularly dramatic James Bond-style piece, which is remixed to provide basically all of the music in both it and the later TV series.
  • The soundtracks for Humongous Mecha series Dangaioh and Godannar both boast their own version of Space Sheriff Gavan's Laser Blade theme. The former's use of the track is quite infamous as the 'Psychic Slash' attack's theme.
  • Full Metal Panic!; one of the pieces of background music is a knockoff of the theme song for The A-Team.
    • There are several other tracks that are quite similar to themes from 80s shows. For example, Shissou, from The Second Raid, is highly reminiscent of the title theme from Airwolf.
  • The Japanese version of Digimon Adventure reused a musical score from Sailor Moon, and strangely enough the music composer for both shows was none other than the late Takanori Arisawa. Compare the two - at 2:35 for the Sailor Moon version and click here for the Digimon version, and tell me that they don't sound almost exactly the same.
  • The Japanese version of Yu-Gi-Oh! reused a musical score from Cyber Team in Akihabara, and both series share the same composer, Shinkichi Mitsumune. And for comparisons sake The Cyberteam version and the Yu-Gi-Oh! version.
  • The 2011 adaptation of Hunter × Hunter includes a few, but most especially Rhapsody on the Theme of Holst, which directly takes from Holst's Jupiter for an uncommonly apropos moment.
  • The main theme used throughout the entire run of the Case Closed anime is a rearrangement of the main theme from the 1972 detective drama, Taiyou ni Hoero!. Katsuo Ohno is the BGM composer for both series and the reason for the similarity is because one of Conan's producers specifically asked Ohno to compose a theme similar to the one from Taiyo ni Hoero!.
  • A good chunk of songs on Kaguya-sama: Love Is War's soundtrack are written as pastiches of other songs like "Holding Out for a Hero", "You Spin Me Round (Like a Record)", or the theme from The Godfather.

    Comic Strips 
  • The Musical Episode of Nodwick consists of parody lyrics reflecting the goings-on, sung to the tunes of famous pop and rock songs (as explained by the author's foot notes). The author even has the villain's number break the fourth wall to explain that this is Fair Use and he's safe from lawsuits.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Batman has a snippet of "Scandalous" by Prince worked into the otherwise somber Danny Elfman score. Not that the song isn't fairly somber in its own way, especially when used in the film.
  • Star Wars:
    • The music originally composed for the Sarlacc Pit battle in Return of the Jedi (Sail Barge Assault Alternate, released as a bonus track) is quite different from the music heard in the film, but the film music is kind of a pastiche of the original (the middle part and the ending are almost identical).
    • And of course, several musics in the hexalogy were pastiches of parts of Holst's "Planets" suite. Examples: the music during the capture of the Blockade Runner and the destruction of the Death Star are based on the middle and end, respectively, of "Mars, The Bringer of War". Leia's theme is based on "Venus, The Bringer of Peace", and the music during the Rebels' approach to the Death Star resembles the "Jupiter" movement. The music when Luke is dragging Vader/Anakin to the shuttle is quoted from the first measures of the "Uranus" movement.
    • The "Victory Celebration" music from the special edition of Return of the Jedi sounds rather similar to the Superman love theme, of course also written by John Williams.
  • The sequel to The Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe has the movie's theme arranged James Bond-style.
  • The theme from True Romance (You're so Cool by Hans Zimmer) is near identical to Gassenhauer by Carl Orff.
  • In The Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy is running home at the beginning, the music is a much-accelerated orchestral version of the ''Robert Schumann piano piece "The Happy Farmer," a standard 'first classical piece' for young piano students. If Dorothy is taking piano, that may be one of her pieces—also, at the moment she is a rather UN-happy farmer; then, her first song in Oz, "The Wind Began to Twitch", is based on the same theme.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Good Eats does this a lot. Its simple, ten-note Surf Rock theme tune has been morphed into everything from the theme to The X-Files, the Jeopardy! Thinking Music, and a sea chanty, to "Theme from A Summer Place" and a heavy rock riff for guitar and Hammond.
  • When a comedy character is being sneaky, adapting his theme music into a parody of the themes from the James Bond films, Mission: Impossible, or The Saint is almost a requirement. (These three actually have a lot in common musically, so it's possible to hit all three in one parody).
  • One that almost happened on TV: Square One TV was originally going to be called "That's Mathematics", and Tom Lehrer wrote a theme song for it, to the tune of "That's Entertainment". But in the end, the name of the show was changed so the song wasn't used. Then, Lehrer brought the song back for a celebration of Andrew Wiles' proof of Fermat's Last Theorem, but due to copyright, had to write his own tune to it (which keeps basically the same rhythm and style).
  • The Avengers (1960s) pastiched Batman's Theme Tune in the climax battle of the episode "The Winged Avenger", complete with The Hit Flash, which took the form of huge comic book panels reading "POW!", "SPLAT!" and "BAM!" being smashed into the bad guy's face.
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy:
    • Every episode ended with a parody of an existing song where the new lyrics related to the episode's topic (for example, "Born to be Wild" becomes "Bones in my Body" for the episode on the skeletal system).
    • It had several pastiches of popular songs during the show, including Wipeout, La Bamba, 2 Unlimited's No Limit and Tribal Dance, and the James Bond theme (some of these, of course, are public domain).
  • The Cosby Show changed its theme song's stylistic every year. It was a regular pop song the first year. Then it was a Caribbean tune and an orchestrated tune, and a salsa number, before being a parody of "Shotgun" for its last season.
  • Spitting Image did this a lot. The best remembered is "The Chicken Song", which sounds very similar to "Agadoo" by Black Lace.
  • The X-Files had a just-different-enough version of "Sing, Sing, Sing" for the big scene in episode "Triangle".
  • Sesame Street did this for most of its parody songs, using the same rhythm with a different tune, eg "Rebel L", a pastiche of Billy Idol's "Rebel Yell". Of course because PBS doesn't have the funding for licensing fees.
  • The Goodies episode "Saturday Night Grease", as a parody of Saturday Night Fever and Grease has a song about fixing the trandem called "Greased Cyclin'".
  • MacGyver (1985) used a pastiche of the James Bond theme when Mac donned a tuxedo and went into the villain's private casino in "The Heist".
  • Musical skits were a regular feature of Not the Nine O'Clock News, and they were almost always of the pastiche variety (except for the Kate Bush send-up "England, My Leotard" for which they got her permission to use the tune of "Them Heavy People", and gave her a credit on the soundtrack album).

  • There have been several spoof rock bands which parody specific songs or styles of music, but not all of these can be called pastiches. There are at least two bands that blur the line between pastiche and parody.
  • The Hee Bee Gee Bees parodied numerous bands of the 70s and 80s, often very closely pastiching the original melodies.
  • The Rutles, originally seen in a TV Mockumentary, on Rutland Weekend Television, pastiched The Beatles. (Music by Neil Innes and scripts by Eric Idle.) In some cases the pastiche was almost too close for comfort, as in the case of "Get Up and Go", which was almost banned from the soundtrack CD because of its resemblance to "Get Back". Fortunately Paul McCartney saw the joke, to the extent of performing the song himself.
    • Similarly to The Rutles, Utopia's album Deface the Music is comprised entirely of affectionate Beatles parodies. As with the Rutles' music, many of these songs are parodies of specific Beatles songs, and for people who have listened to the Beatles' music enough times, it's easy to pick out which song each of these parodies.
  • Richard Cheese has made a career off of the discovery that profanity-filled metal and rap songs become intrinsically hilarious when played as extremely white-bread Lounge Music.
  • While the world thinks of him as strictly a parody artist, "Weird Al" Yankovic's songs are actually split about half and half between parody works and pastiches. "Dare to Be Stupid" may be his best known of these; a pastiche of the works of Devo that was part of the soundtrack for The Transformers: The Movie. Notable for drawing the comment from a critic that he had out-Devoed Devo, and of Mark Mothersbaugh himself congratulating Weird Al for writing the perfect Devo song.
  • Variation 22 from Beethoven's 33 variations on a theme by Diabelli is a pastiche of the aria "Notte e giorno faticar" from Mozart's Don Giovanni.
  • The trance track "Lovestruck" by DJ Janis uses the instrumentation of Kay Cee's "Escape" and the melodic riff of George Michael's "Careless Whisper".
  • Taco's "Got to Be Your Lover" seems to be a pastiche of Rick Astley, particularly "Together Forever". In fact, it's more or less a Suspiciously Similar Song to that song.
  • hide's "Rocket Dive" was written as a tribute to his hero, Ace Frehley, and lifts Frehley's guitar intro to "Rocket Ride".
  • 2Girlz's "Fallen Angel" is a heavily autotuned pastiche of Cascada, particularly "Everytime We Touch" and "Bad Boy". The verse lyrics also have shoutouts to the former. It was co-produced by Axel Konrad of Groove Coverage, whom Cascada themselves ripped off frequently, so it may be a Take That!.
  • Cyndi Lauper's "Hey Now (Girls Just Want to Have Fun)" is a pastiche of her original "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and Redbone's "Come and Get Your Love".
  • A capella group Straight No Chaser recorded a mashup of Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours" and Israel Kamakawiwoʻole's version of "Somewhere, Over The Rainbow".
  • Mylo's "Dr. Pressure" combines the instrumentation from his own "Drop the Pressure" with the lyrics of Miami Sound Machine's "Dr. Beat".
  • Delta Brony's "Let The Rainbow Remind You(Rainbow Road Mix)" sets the vocals of "Let The Rainbow Remind You" from the My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic Season 4 finale to the instrumentation of Mario Kart: Double Dash!!'s Rainbow Road theme. In fact, the Super Ponybeat: Ultimate Cross album consists almost entirely of crossovers between MLP songs and video game soundtracks.
  • Bjorn "Dr. Awesome" Lynne's 2000 remake of his MOD song "12th Warrior" is stylistically reminiscent of Europe's "The Final Countdown", especially the guitar solo at the end.
  • Supermode's "Tell Me Why" is a mashup of two of Bronski Beat's signature songs; "Smalltown Boy" and "Why".
  • "Stuck in the Middle with You" by Stealers Wheel is a pastiche of Bob Dylan; Gerry Raferty even mimics Dylan’s vocal style with his lead vocal.
  • Paul Anka has performed "Smells Like Teen Spirit" with predictable results.
  • Tears for Fears: "The Prisoner" was designed as an intentional riff on Peter Gabriel's "Intruder".
  • Jean-Michel Jarre's "Oxygène Part 7" from Oxygène 7-13 is a pastiche of "Oxygène Part 2" from the first Oxygène album with a melody similar to Vangelis's end credits theme from Blade Runner. In turn, it receives a more upbeat arrangement in "Oxygène Part 12".
  • "We Love To Party" by Caramella Girls, formerly known as Caramell, sounds like the lovechild of "Caramelldansen" and PSY's "Gangnam Style". Two memes for the price of one.
  • Run–D.M.C.'s "It's Tricky" combines the guitar riff and rhythm of The Knack's "My Sharona"(which lead to them suing Run-DMC for plagiarism) with the cheerleading chant of Toni Basil's "Hey Mickey".
  • Mike Mareen's hi-NRG cover of Simon & Garfunkel's "Cecilia" uses the same instrumentation and bassline as his own "Midnight Runners" (no relation to Dexys Midnight Runners) from the same album, Dance Control.
  • King Crimson: "The Devil's Triangle" is the band's own take on "Mars, Bringer of War" by Gustav Holst.

  • Wicked:
    • A bit of the melody from "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" is used in the recurring "Unlimited" leitmotif, which is basically Elphaba's theme. On the length of the snippet of melody: it's just enough to avoid copyright problems—the first seven notes (somewhere, over the rainbow!).
    • It uses the chords of "No One Mourns the Wicked" and its overture as a recurring theme, and intersperses it with "For Good", which itself incorporates the chord theme, in the finale ultimo.
  • The 1971 version of No, No, Nanette does this with reprises of "I Want To Be Happy," which three characters sing it like "I Wanna Be Loved By You," gut-bucket Bessie Smith blues and "It's Delightful To Be Married."
  • In The Music Man, the melodies of "Goodnight, My Someone" and "Seventy Six Trombones" are pastiches of each other. This is made obvious by a reprise which switches between the two songs with every other line.
  • Similarly, in Leonard Bernstein's Mass, the a capella chorale "Almighty Father" is based on a slower version of the "In nomine Patris" which precedes it.
  • The first half of Amaluna's finale combines the vocal melody and rhythm of "Elma Om Mi Lize" with the instrumentation and backing melody of "Run", the preceding song.

    Video Games 
  • The Banjo-Kazooie games have a dynamic soundtrack that morphs between styles depending on where you are in a given area. In Banjo-Tooie, they even incorporated tempo shifts.
  • Cool Spot:
  • Dragon Quest:
    • The Dragon Quest II castle theme, "Chateau," is a pastiche of Bach's "Orchestral Suite No. 3 in D major" and August Wilhelmj's arrangement "Air on the G String". The sailing theme, "Beyond the Waves," is a pastiche of the opening of Johann Strauss Jr.'s "On the Beautiful Blue Danube".
    • The Dragon Quest III castle theme, "Rondo," is a pastiche of Telemann's Viola Concerto in G and Henryk Wieniawski's Légende. The Jipang theme is a pastiche of "March of the Siamese Children."
  • Kinect Star Wars contains pastiches of La Roux's "Bulletproof," Jamiroquai's "Canned Heat," Gwen Stefani's "Hollaback Girl," Bruno Mars's "Just the Way You Are," Jason Derulo's "Ridin' Solo", Yolanda Be Cool's "We No Speak Americano", and Village People's "Y.M.C.A."
  • Many songs in the Silent Hill series, eg "Promise", "Not Tomorrow", "Killing Time", "Theme of Laura", "I Want Love", "Waiting for You", are pastiches of the first game's opening theme, and a few other themes have pastiches as well. Not necessarily recurring riffs.
  • The Snake Rattle 'n' Roll title screen music is a pastiche of "Shake, Rattle and Roll."
  • Sonic The Hedgehog:
    • Sonic the Hedgehog 3 and Sonic & Knuckles had a different music composer than the first two games, hence the absence of the original title theme, but the main boss theme is a pastiche of both the miniboss theme(the second part) and the Sonic 1 boss theme(the first part, somewhat more resembles the Final Boss version). Additionally, thanks to the involvement of Michael Jackson and his producers with the soundtrack, Carnival Night Zone, Launch Base Zone, and the non-locked-on ending theme are pastiches of MJ's "Jam"(with the melody of Julius Fucik's "Entry of the Gladiators"), "Speed Demon"(with hints of "Bad"), and "Stranger in Moscow", respectively, while Ice Cap Zone is based on the then-unreleased "Hard Times" by The Jetzons, Brad Buxer's former band.
    • Sonic Adventure 2's various level themes often echo "Live and Learn," the game's theme song.
    • In Sonic Unleashed, the first few seconds of the opening cutscene music sound remarkably like something from Star Wars.
  • Super Spy Hunter, originally called Battle Formula, is not a true sequel to the arcade Spy Hunter, but the music in Stage 2-1 is a pastiche of the Peter Gunn/original Spy Hunter theme.
  • The two most common background musics in the NES version of Bionic Commando use pretty much the same chord progression and rhythm, and have some melodic similarities.
  • Halo does this with many of its music pieces, using the same instrumentation, rhythm, sometimes chords, on different melodies:
    • Halo 2:
      • The Delta Halo leitmotif is a pastiche of the series' main theme,
      • "Leonidas" is a pastiche of Halo: Combat Evolved's "On a Pale Horse".
      • "Impend" is a pastiche of CE's "The Gun Pointed at the Head of the Universe" and "Brothers In Arms"
      • "Peril" mixes together the rhythm of CE's "Perilous Journey" and the melodies of "The Last Spartan", "High Charity", and the Delta Halo theme.
      • The first part of "Heretic, Hero" combines the melodies of the CE's "Truth and Reconciliation Suite" intro and "TGPatHOftU". In turn, the Delta Halo theme is used on top of the "Heretic" beat in the beginning of the 'Delta Halo Suit''.
      • "High Charity: Pursuit of Truth" is a pastiche of the song "Leela" from the original Marathon and CE's "TGPatHofU", and it pays homage to Kraftwerk's The Man-Machine album as well, possibly sampling them (eg the beat and the characteristic "twang" sound effect).
      • "Respite" (and the second half of Halo 3's "Tribute") is "High Charity" done in the style of the Arbiter's leitmotif.
      • "Librarian's Gift" from the Halo 2: Anniversary soundtrack is a pastiche of CE's "Library Suite" using Halo 2's ambience tracks.
    • Halo 3: "Farthest Outpost" is a pastiche of the Ark theme and Halo 2's "In Amber Clad" (which in turn is loosely based on Halo: Combat Evolved's "Under Cover of Night"). Halo 2 themes "The Last Spartan" are "Unyielding" combined into "Finish The Fight", with the intro also containing a pastiche of 2's "High Charity". CE themes "Under Cover of Night" and "Perchance to Dream" become "Dream Again". During the credits, "Farthest Outpost", "Under Cover", and the guitar riff of "In Amber Clad" are all mixed together.
    • Halo: Reach: "Unreconciled" is a combination of "Lone Wolf" and the original Halo theme. "Hymn for Reach" and "The Fall" sound similar to Halo 2/3's "Respite/Tribute" and CE/3's "Enough/No More Dead Heroes", respectively. "The Battle Begins" is a pastiche of the main theme and the rhythm of 2's "Ghosts of Reach". 2's "In Amber Clad" beat also returns, in "Sword Control" and "We Remember". The main theme itself sounds like a tweaked version of "Farthest Outpost" from Halo 3. A warped version of the classic Gregorian chant is also used several times.
  • In Final Fantasy VII, the theme that plays when you fight Jenova*SYNTHESIS, "Jenova Complete/Absolute", is a Musical Pastiche of "Those Who Fight" which uses the synthesiser line from J-E-N-O-V-A.
  • Time Crisis 3 doesn't directly use the series' main theme, but instead a pastiche of it, ie mostly the same rhythm and structure, but a completely different melody. This theme in turn got tweaked for the fourth game.
    • Several other musics in the series, including "Rumbling of the Earth" and Wild Dog's Leitmotif, are also pastiches of the series' Recurring Riff.
  • From No More Heroes, the song "Staff Wars" is the ranking song "Righteous, Triumphant, Etcetera", arranged a la John Williams.
  • A pretty good chunk of Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers' story music is based on Dialga's theme.
  • In The Oregon Trail II, the starting town themes and trail themes are mostly variations of the title theme.
  • The Fort Schmerzen theme in Medal of Honor: Allied Assault is a combination of the original Fort Schmerzen theme, the V2 rocket plant theme, and the MOHAA title theme. In general, the Medal of Honor soundtracks are pastiches / homages to John Williams' scores to Indiana Jones, Star Wars, and Saving Private Ryan.
  • Remixer AmIEviL did a mashup of Stage 5's theme from Blaster Master and Bomb Man's theme from Mega Man.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
  • The music for Quest for Yrolg is a minor-key and more metal-y rendition of the Quest for Glory march.
  • Also typical of Frank Zappa.
  • The BGM for "Laughing Joke Numbnuts", the final stage of The Angry Video Game Nerd Adventures sounds like an 8-bit style parody of DragonForce, particularly "Through the Fire and the Flames". Likewise, the "Beat It and Eat It" BGM is a pastiche of the Nerd's theme and Culture Beat's 1990's dance hit "Mr. Vain", and "Assholevania" is this to the Castlevania soundtracks.
  • Double Dragon Neon's soundtrack does this alot, especially with tunes from the original series:
  • Mega Pony's soundtrack, appropriately, is mainly pastiches of songs from Mega Man 2 and My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic:
    • Title Theme: MM 2 title theme + MLP: FIM opening theme
    • Stage Select: Mega Man Stage Select + Winter Wrap-Up
    • Loyal Mare: Air Man + At the Gala (Rainbow Dash's part)
    • Magic Mare: Heat Man + The Failure/Success Song
    • Kind Mare: Flash Man + So Many Wonders
    • Generous Mare: Bubble Man + The Art of the Dress
    • Laughing Mare: Crash Man + Giggle at the Ghostie
    • Honest Mare: Metal Man + Raise This Barn
    • Discord Fortress Part 1: Wily Fortress Part 1 + This Day Aria
    • Discord Fortress Part 2: Wily Fortress Part 2 + The CMC Go Crusading (BGM)
  • Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon, being a pastiche of 80s cyberpunk and sci-fi films, also pastiches their soundtracks, especially those of The Terminator, Blade Runner, and Escape from New York.
  • The first third of "The Sacrifice" from Ori and the Blind Forest sounds like a pastiche of "Ashes" from Halo: Reach and Ori's title theme.
  • In Tiny Toon Adventures: Buster Busts Loose!, the background music for the Locomotive Level is essentially the Tiny Toon Adventures theme in the style of the Bonanza theme.
  • Chozo Ruins Depths from Metroid Prime sounds like the first game's Tourian theme rearranged in the style of Temple of Time from The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time. Said Tourian theme is also interpolated in part of Meta-Ridley's theme, itself a remix of one of the boss themes from Super Metroid. A pastiche of the first game's title theme can be heard in the Chozo Artifact Temple theme.
  • In the Monkey Island series, Stan's theme is a pastiche of Chopin's "Funeral March", "Go Tell Aunt Rhody" from Rousseau's The Village Soothsayer, and Wagner's "Bridal Chorus."
  • Doki Doki Literature Club! has this in the track Okay Everyone, which plays during the poem-reading segments. While the base version of the song uses the typical instruments in the "casual" soundtrack, it changes for each member depending on whose poem you're reading.
    • Sayori's has a ukelele and other "happy" instruments, fitting with her theme of being the "fun" character.
    • Natsuki's has a xylophone, recorder, and other "simple" instruments, fitting with her theme of being the "childish" character.
    • Yuri's essentially has a small orchestra, fitting her theme of being the "sophisticated" character.
    • Monika's has a piano solo. While, yes, it does fit with her occasional reminders that she is learning piano (you can hear occasional "beginner's errors" in this piece, matching up), it also serves as foreshadowing towards her intent on being your sole desire, without anyone else in the way—it's a "solo".
  • The Skullgirls main theme combines melodic elements of Stevie Wonder's "Part Time Lover" and the Wonderboy III The Dragons Trap dungeon theme.
  • The starting theme in Defender II for the NES is a mashup of the Punch-Out!! "Begin Match" fanfare with the Star Wars theme.
  • The Stage 1 BGM of City Connection uses the intro, rhythm, and bassline of Chuck Berry's "Johnny B. Goode, but the melody of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's "Piano Concerto No.1: Allegro non troppo e molto maestoso". The other stage themes likewise superimpose the Tchaikovsky tune on the harmonies of various classic rock songs, such as Deep Purple's "Highway Star", Paul Anka's "Diana", and The Surfaris' "Wipeout".
  • Some Touhou Project Eurobeat arrangements do this with Super Eurobeat songs, e.g. Rute's "The Fantasy Won't Stop Ringing" sets the melody of "The Legend of KAGE" from Highly Responsive to Prayers to the instrumentation of Go2's "Hot Hot Racing Car", and aki's "Cosmic Rainbow", originally "Emotional Skyscraper~Cosmic Mind" from Undefined Fantastic Object, interpolates April's "The Magic I Feel".
  • In Twisted Metal 3, the North Pole BGM is a pastiche of the tune of "Jingle Bells" with the instrumentation, chords, and guitar riff of White Zombie's "More Human than Human".
  • Ori and the Will of the Wisps:
    • The "Restoring The Light, Facing The Dark" motif from Ori and the Blind Forest is pastiched many times, notably with the Kwolok's Hollow theme for the boss fights with the Hornbug and later Kwolok himself, the Wellspring and Baur's Reach themes for their respective Escape Sequences, and the Mouldwood Depths theme for the battle with Mora the Spider.
    • Ku's leitmotif most prominently gets this treatment in Inkwater Marsh, where it uses the aesthetic of the first game's Sunken Glades theme. The Spirit Cavern's theme, itself a variation of Ori's theme, is also interpolated at one point.
    • "Amelioration" uses Ku's theme as a main melody and the Wisps' theme as a counter-melody over the harmony of the Wellspring theme.
    • "Ash and Bone" combines Ku's, Shriek's, and Ori's leitmotifs in counterpoint with the instrumentation of the aforementioned "The Sacrifice" from the first game.
    • The Final Boss theme is an arrangement of Shriek's leitmotif in the style of "Fleeing Kuro", as well as also incorporating "Restoring The Light" in the battle's later phases.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, the fourth and fifth Howling Stone songs are counter-melodies to the title themes from A Link to the Past and The Wind Waker, respectively, while the last one combines the melody of the Light Spirit theme with the harmony of the Hyrule Field theme.
  • Mother 3: The opening of Mr. Batty Twist closely resembles the "na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na BATMAN!" opening from Batman (1966).
  • Yakuza: Like a Dragon has the song "Our Winter Sonata" that plays most prominently during a particular summon that parodies Winter Sonata. It's blatantly parodying the show's opening theme.
  • A lot of tunes from the Ys games, especially IV and VI, are based on a recurring bassline/chord progression, especially those of Adol's Theme and Selceta Forest. Lesser pastiches include "Armored Bane"("Battle Ground" + "Battle 58") the intro of Ernst(remixed from Final Battle, whilst the main melody is a Suspiciously Similar Song to "Moon Over the Castle" from Gran Turismo), Overwater Drive (heavily based on Beat of the Terror), Mountain Zone (pastiche of both Palace of Solomon and Forest of Selceta) Lava Zone(resembles Termination, the Final Boss music from Ys II: Ancient Ys Vanished – The Final Chapter), Defend and Escape (includes the Ark/Napishtim's theme, Celceta Forest, and even part of Niena from Ys V), The Depth Napishtim(in addition to using the Ark leitmotif, it also draws from Termination), and Spread Blue View(uses parts of Reconciled People, the Port Rimorge theme). In Ys: The Oath in Felghana, Chester's second Battle Theme Music is a composite of his leitmotif and "Chop!!", originally the midboss theme from the Sharp X68000 port of Ys III: Wanderers from Ys, where "Theme of Chester" also originated.
  • The main BGM of the Sachen Unlicensed Game Pyramid begins with "The Streets of Cairo" AKA the Arabian Riff, then adds a variation of Hermann Necke's "Csikos Post" as a counter-melody.

    Web Comics 

    Web Videos 
  • Max Landis used gibberish versions of Five For Fighting's "Superman" and John Cena's "The Time is Now" in some of his YouTube videos.

    Western Animation 
  • Inspector Gadget is fond of it, turning its short theme song into jungle drums, French provincial folk music, rock and roll, and a few other styles. Other pastiches include the "clockwork" version (heard in "Cuckoo Clock Caper" and a couple other episodes), "Hail to the Chief", part of the song "New York, New York" mixed with the IG theme, and the "chase theme", which obviously pastiches the Knight Rider theme song. And the theme itself is a pastiche of Edward Grieg's "In the Halls of the Mountain King" and Irving Berlin's "Puttin' on the Ritz".
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks:
    • Like the "Cafeteria Song" from the previous movie, the opening theme "Rainbow Rocks" begins with a drum intro similar to Queen's "We Will Rock You".
    • Trixie's "Tricks Up My Sleeve" is sung in a style resembling early Britney Spears.
    • The "Hey! Hey!" refrain in "Awesome as I Wanna Be" seems to be paying homage both to the Ramones' "Blitzkrieg Bop" and Avril Lavigne's "Girlfriend".
    • "Shake Your Tail!" borrows the phrase "ignite the light" from Katy Perry's "Firework". Similarly, "the light that ignites" appears in "Shine Like Rainbows", and Sunset's part of "Welcome to the Show" references "Part of Me".
    • Most of the Dazzlings' and the Rainbooms' songs are pastiches of middle-of-the-road Girl Group songs, with the Dazzlings leaning more towards Trance and the Rainbooms favoring Power Pop.
  • The Simpsons has often done this with its main theme during the closing credits of an episode. For instance, in a police-themed episode the song was turned into an homage to the Hill Street Blues theme music, and in the Australia-themed episode the song was accompanied by a didgeridoo.
    • There was even one episode where the credits theme was done a capella, complete with video.
  • Batman: The Animated Series tends to work the villains' theme motifs into the episodes where they appear or are causing trouble from behind the scenes.
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius is famous for making songs that sound not quite exactly like the pop or old folk songs the viewers would know.
    • "Ladies of Spain" from Jaws, for example.
    • "Hey La" for another.
  • The Fairly Oddparents also does it a lot.
    • "Real and Scary" song from one of their Halloween specials has a riff [and a visual gag] that is reminiscent of Michael Jackson's "Thriller".
    • There are several of the aforementioned Mission: Impossible riffs.
    • There's a riff on Popeye using beets rather than spinach.
  • There was a part in the original X-Men: The Animated Series cartoon where the mutants crash into a TV Studio where a very Power Rangers-type show is filming - when they exit, a suited-up actor looks at them curiously while the notes corresponding to the words "Go go Power Rangers!" start to play and then putter out.
  • The theme from Totally Spies! uses the exact same tune as Moonbaby's "Here We Go", just with different lyrics. Later episodes only used the instrumental of the song, maybe due to legal reasons.
  • WALL•E does this a lot with "Put on Your Sunday Clothes" from Hello, Dolly! At one point, a robot moves some of his parts to "sing" the first few notes of the refrain as something of Theme Music Power-Up for WALL•E.
  • The Animated Adaptation of Soul Music naturally does this. The Band With Rocks In's repertoire include songs that are recognisably "the Elvis song", "the Jerry Lee Lewis song", "the Beatles song", "the Blues Brothers song" etc. although not identifiable as any particular song. In a particularly cheeky example, the Beatles song ("She Won't Change Her Mind") opens with the chord from "A Hard Day's Night", and then segues into the opening of "Last Train From Clarksville"!


Video Example(s):


Love Me Forever

Rob reaffirms his hatred for Gumball to a Whitney Houston pastiche.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (10 votes)

Example of:

Main / MusicalPastiche

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