For added atmosphere, play the music from this video while reading on.
Somewhere over the past few centuries, Latin became the "ominous" language. Maybe it's the fact that it's the language of a once-mighty civilization that collapsed over a thousand years ago. Maybe it's because it's also the traditional language of the Roman Catholic Church, and thus associated with divine power, spirituality, mystery, death, and Dark Age Europe. And from there it's only a hop, skip, and a jump to the idea of magic. And then there's the music with which Latin is often associated — for example, the unique sounds of the Gregorian chant — which can sound decidedly sombre, even spooky to a modern ear. Latin choirs also have those distinctive "ooh", "aah", "ooo" and "-us" sounds, ascending theatrically and descending dramatically.
So whenever you hear a choir singing powerfully in Latin, especially with Orchestral Bombing, it means that this is epic even when it's not. This trope is extremely common in movie trailers and the climax of devastating final battles; Hollywood will tell you that nothing can dictate "watch this movie" or "Grand Finale and the End of the World" more than potent choir chants in a language most viewers don't know, and that this is the way to give a scene that extra bit of ominous importance.
The actual meaning of the words is unimportant. They could be singing Latin nursery rhymes or reading from a Roman phone book for all we know, or even Dog Latin or complete gibberish; it's the sound that matters, but there are bonus points if the chanting is reminiscent of, or outright stolen from Carl Orff's Carmina Burana, especially "O Fortuna," which is a lament about how You Can't Fight Fate. Another famous one is "Dies Irae," whose lyrics are genuinely ominous. (If for any reason, such as parodying the trope, 4shared has an mp3 download link for O Fortuna.)
If the creators are particularly clever, the chanting will include a Bilingual Bonus.
Latin is probably the most familiar dead language due to its being the ancestor of modern Romance languages (even though English is a Germanic language, it still has a major proportion of Latin influence, primarily through French and science), and its prominence and impact on modern culture make it easy to fact-check. Nevertheless, Ancient Greek, Sanskrit, Hebrew, Arabic, and others are sometimes used to similar effect. If a work is set in Russia or the Soviet Union, expect Ominous Slavic Chanting.note Eastern-style chanting is also having a surge in popularity, possibly due to the increase in stories featuring conflicts between Eastern and Western worlds. Creators that went to the trouble of inventing their own language for a work will likely find a way to feature it in this manner too. There's also a chance that the music only reminds one of ominous Latin chanting, opting to use "ooh", "aah", "ooo", and the like. Indeed, the lyrics don't need to mean anything; for the majority of the audience, Ominous Latin-Sounding Gibberish works just as well. If a work is set in the Middle East, particularly set within the ruins of an ancient civilization, then expect Islamic or Hebrew chanting.
Compare Cherubic Choir and the One-Woman Wail. Often a part of Orchestral Bombing and Religious Horror. May involve Ominous Pipe Organ. See also Black Speech for the ear shattering version; and Creepy Children Singing, where creepy songs and nursery rhymes are played in the background to add tension and fear to a scene. Often lends itself quite well to Mondegreen Gag. Contrast with Victorious Chorus, which has the opposite effect of this trope; and Cantanta, the actual Classic Music term of chorales with instrumental accompaniment. When the Latin changing explicitly causes supernatural events In-Universe, then is also Latin Is Magic.
For information on the real-life history of Latin chanting, see Medieval Music. Plenty of the examples that follow have earned places on the Awesome Music page in case you feel like listening to them.
- The overuse of "O Fortuna" — particularly for huge, sprawling period epic war footage — was splendidly mocked in this advertisement for the Australian beer Carlton Draught.
- In Britain, "O Fortuna" was used for an advert for Old Spice aftershave... and a parody of that advert many years later for Carling Black Label lager...
- "O Fortuna" is also used by Dominoes for a commercial in which they ditch the "Pizza" part of their former name.
- It also appears in a commercial for Rickard's Red beer, albeit with English lyrics praising the beer. Nevertheless, it's sung by an ominous red-robed choir that appears out of nowhere whenever someone orders the brand. A similar Rickard's commercial uses the above-mentioned "O Fortuna" from Carmina Burana.
- This National Guard ad starts off with Ominous Latin Chanting, but then switches to Ominous English Chanting. Let's just say that it doesn't have quite the same effect as Ominous Latin Chanting.
- Used a lot in trailers. There are companies whose main occupation is to supply trailer music for certain previews. Immediate Music's Fury Unleashed, With an Iron Fist and Confronting the Dark Lord are particularly guilty of this trope. The more epic chorus and chanting, the better.
- A disappeared channel in Latin America, Locomotion (the local precursor of Animax), used to feature epic commercials for its series, animation for grownups. An example was the one made for Evangelion. See here.
- In 1997, a TV spot for Internet Explorer 4.0 used "Confutatis" from Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem as background music. The ad, which featured Microsoft's slogan, "Where do you want to go today?", was quickly pulled as word quickly spread of the lyrics' meaning: "When the damned are cast away and consigned to the searing flames."
- Prisoners of the Sun has a chorus of Incan women chanting in Quechuan as Tintin, Calculus and Haddock are about to be burned at the stake as Human Sacrifice.
- Kingdom Hearts fanfic Those Lacking Spines played this trope for laughs when the sinister Jeffiroth made his appearance to thwart our heroes, accompanied by an orchestra and choir that had appeared from nowhere and a helicopter airdropping Nobuo Uematsu to direct them both in a parody of "One-Winged Angel".
- "O Fortuna" is the title theme to AMV Hell 1.
- Invoked by name in this fan compilation.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series
It's The — Bakura Show — He Is — Evil — He's So Evil — He Once Killed — A Puppy — It Was Cute
- The series has its own lyrics for "Ave Satani" as the Bakura Show theme song:
- The eight episode also played it for Bakura's first major appearance, with each statement followed by chanting to emphasize how Obviously Evil he was.
- "O Fortuna" was used to foretell the coming of Yu-Gi-Oh 5D's.
- In episode 45 just before the epic duel between Bakura and Melvin, we get some Ominous Brooklyn Chanting, followed by some actual chanting during the credits
- Used to great effect by the doujin circle WAVE.
- Another Touhou Project remix combines "One Winged Angel" with "Cirno's Perfect Math Class"... so the chorus of seemingly-ominous Japanese chanting is actually just "Baka! Baka!" (Stupid! Stupid!)
- Braxton Burk's Pokémon Reorchestrated series features Ominous Latin Chanting in their cover of the Lance/Red Champion theme.
- Juno Songs' lyrical cover of King Olly's first battle theme from Paper Mario: The Origami King has Latin chanting for the chorus, representing the Vellumental transformations.
Terra, aqua, ignis, glacies.note
Invoco te in stultum complicare.note
Terra, aqua, ignis, glacies.
Terra, aqua, ignis, glacies.
- The soundtrack to the film AKIRA contains a great deal of ominous chanting, but most of it is in barely-intelligible Japanese. Nemure, AKIRA, nemure... At the end, though, in that track they actually do use Latin as well.
- You know what goes well with chanting? Conlang! So Atlantis: The Lost Empire naturally had some ominous chanting in Atlantean.
- The opening credits of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm are accompanied by Ominous Chanting to the tune of Shirley Walker's memorable B:TAS theme. The chorus, once again, is actually chanting the last names of production team members backwards.
- Brother Bear has the equally ominous, joyful (yes, you can be ominous and joyful at the same time) and awesome "Transformation." Not Latin — accurate Inuktitut! Sang by the Bulgarian's Women's Choir, no less.
- Darla Dimple's Battle Butler Max gets an ominous chanting to accompany his wall-smashing entrance in Cats Don't Dance — as though the red-tint, and the screaming reactions from the crew wasn't enough to show that Max is one scary dude. If you listen closely, it sounds like the chorus may be ominously repeating what was just said. "How does the kitty-cat go?" And Darla herself gets some as background in "Big and Loud".
- The 2009 animated Fantastic Mr. Fox featured a chorus in the final action scenes, chanting a limerick about the villains:
Chorus: Boggis, Bunce, and Bean / One fat, one short, one lean / These horrible crooks / So different in looks / Were nonetheless equally mean.
- The Tank Gang in Finding Nemo attempt to do this with fake Hawaiian for Nemo's initiation, but it mostly comes off as hilarious.
Tank Gang: SHARK BAIT, OOH-HA-HA!
- The Ghost in the Shell (1995) films make heavy use of Ominous Japanese Chanting — an antiquated form of Japanese, no less.
- The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Disney): Considering the setting, it's unsurprising that a lot of the background score is based on Old-World church music, but the Latin vocals only make an appearance when someone's about to find themselves in serious trouble. Some awesome Bilingual Bonus within:
Frollo: It's not my fault!
- Non confundar in aeternum note — during Esmeralda's execution as a witch.
- Libera me Domine de morte aeterna note / In die illa tremenda note / Quando caeli movendi sunt note / Caeli et terra note / Dum veneris judicare note / Saeculum per ignem note — during Quasimodo's breaking free of the chains.
- Sit sempiterna gloria note / Gloria, gloria semper note / Sanctus, sanctus in excelsis note — when Quasimodo climbs the cathedral and claims sanctuary for Esmeralda.
- Quem patronum rogaturus note / Cum vix justus sit securus? note — when Phoebus leads the charge toward the cathedral. These lines (and the lines in the entry below) come from the well-known 13th century Gregorian chant "Dies Irae" (Day of Wrath).
- Confutatis maledictis note / Flammis acribus addictis note — when Frollo is about to fall off of Notre Dame; Frollo actually quotes this line in English just before falling, too, albeit not in those exact words.
- More examples can be found in the lyrics to "The Bells of Notre Dame" (Latin chanting during Frollo's chase describes the "day of trembling" when "the Judge is come,") and Frollo's Villain Song, "Hellfire."
- Very cleverly used in "Hellfire". The interlude between Quasimodo's "Heaven's Light" and Frollo's "Hellfire" is an excerpt from Confiteor, a Latin prayer for confessions of sin. The Confiteor continues into "Hellfire", offering some intentional irony in the first few lines of the song. Most notably, when Frollo tries to claim innocence for his lustful thoughts:
Choir: Mea culpa note
Frollo: I'm not to blame!
Choir: Mea culpa note
Frollo: It was that gypsy girl, that witch who sent this flame!
Choir: Mea maxima culpa note
Frollo: It's not my fault
Choir: Mea culpa
Frollo: If in God's plan
Choir: Mea culpa
Frollo: He made the devil so much stronger than a man!
Choir: Mea maxima culpa!
- One of the primary "dark/ominous" motifs in the film uses the phrase Kyrie eleison note — technically Ominous Greek Chanting, but the effect is the same. The movie practically makes this phrase into Frollo's leitmotif.
- The Dies Irae itself gets play during one of the most terrifying sequences, when Frollo is tearing the city apart and burning people's houses down to try to get to Esmeralda, culminating in burning Paris down.
- Quantus tremor est futurus quando iudex est venturus cuncta stricte discussurus note — when Quasimodo's mother is running to get away from Frollo.
- And, appropriately to the movie, most of these lines come from the Requiem Mass. "Libera Me" comes from the poem of the same name; the latter two come from "Dies Irae", which is not so much ominous as outright terrifying. "Sit sempiterna gloria," however, is a line from Thomas Aquinus' "O Salutaris," which is a Eucharistic Adoration hymn.
- The Pixar short film "Jack-Jack Attack" on The Incredibles DVD makes use of "Dies Irae".
- Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole has a few "aah's" that are heard during scenes with the Pure Ones and sometimes with Soren. Chanting can be heard when Metalbeak tries to kill Soren.
- The LEGO Movie satirizes this trope while playing it straight. Listen closely in the underwater sequence to find that the choir are simply chanting, "under the sea" or even "Lego." Even operatic "yo ho." In addition, during Lord Business's fight with Vitruvius at the start of the film, you can hear them sing, "See all the Lego."
- The LEGO Batman Movie uses a similar satirical approach to its predecessor. When the Joker is sent to the Phantom Zone, you can actually hear the choir literally saying "The Phantom Zone".
- And in The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part, the choir starts singing "Ourmamageddon" when the eponymous event occurs.
- The first half of "Armageddon" in The Gate to the Mind's Eye features a sinister-sounding man singing in Latin. In translation, featured in the CD booklet, he's singing about the horrors of Armageddon. Some segments of the song also feature the more traditional background chanting.
- It is also included within Hans Zimmer's score for the wildebeest stampede and Mufasa's death scene in The Lion King. For bonus points, this same score (titled "To Die For...") also includes excerpts of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's Requiem when Simba finds his father's body. The only thing The Lion King lacks is actual Ominous Latin Chanting — there's plenty of Zulu chanting but it's hardly ominous (except perhaps the Zulu which is set to the "Dies Irae").
- The Ralph Bakshi cartoon version of The Lord of the Rings strangely uses ominous gibberish with the words "Isengard" and "Mordor" peppered in, rather than actually use any Tolkien language.
- In Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, animals chant in Swahili/distorted English as they try to coax Melman into killing himself to appease the gods.
- The Prince of Egypt
Chorus: "I send the swarm/I send the horde!"/Thus saith the Lord!
- The chanting's in English, not Latin, but that doesn't stop the chorus in "Plagues" and their description of what God's gonna do to the Egyptians from being scary. When they say that the pestilence won't stop "until you break/until you yield," you believe it.
- The number "Playing With the Big Boys Now", starts with Ramses' priests Hotep and Hoi(Steve Martin and Martin Short)(?) chanting the names of various Egyptian deities. The chanting can be heard later in the background.
- Princess Mononoke has Ominous Japanese Chanting in the tune "The World of the Dead", which plays when the Forest Spirit's death goop is covering everything.
- In the trailer of the South Park movie, "O Fortuna" plays as the boys see Cartman's mom on the cover of "Crack Whore Magazine."
- An even more intense version of Mozart's "Mass in C Minor — Kyrie" plays during the impressive storm at sea scene in The Triplets of Belleville.
- In Turning Red, the red moon ritual features Ominous Cantonese Chanting by Mei's relatives and the shaman conducting the ritual.
- Averted in The Divine Comedy where Latin chanting is (usually) a good sign and a contrast to the wailing screams of agony heard in hell.
- In Andrzej Sapkowski's Hussite Wars series, utter polyglot nonsense was chanted by impostors-masquerading-as-exorcists, surprisingly, to quite the opposite effect. It summoned something unidentified. Which then immediately possessed the village idiot.
- The Left Behind book series has Ominous Hebrew and Greek Chanting, as the demon locust swarm that emerges during one of God's Trumpet Judgments chants "Abaddon" and "Apollyon" in their respective languages.
- The Night Mayor is set in a virtual reality realm based on old thriller movies. At one point, the protagonists are captured by an evil cult that chants ominously in Latin... but the audible part of the chant is just a string of everyday Latin phrases like "cave canem" and "reductio ad absurdum".
- In Victoria the “heroes” choose at one point to massacre hundreds of liberal intellectuals for the crime of "Cultural Marxism". To make sure the message isn't lost, they do so wielding short swords and wearing Crusader surplices. To make extra sure, they bring in a live choir to chant "Dies Irae" while they work, and the somewhat less ominous "Non Nobis" as they leave.
- Parodied in "Nefarious Times We Live In", a short story by Woody Allen, where the protagonist is captured by an insane cult and witneses "a black mass in which hooded adolescent acolytes chanted the words, "Oh wow," in Latin".
- In a trailer for The Magnus Archives a mysterious voice chants vigilo, audio, opperior.* The tape recorder picks it up when the archivist leaves it running as he momentarily leaves the room.
- The Undertaker has often gotten in on the act, as many of his Pay-Per-View entrances see him preceded by torch-bearing, black-robed druids chanting in Latin. Extra points to his Wrestlemania XIV entrance, where the druids actually entered to "O Fortuna" before Undertaker made his entrance to his usual music, a particularly-chilling rendition of Chopin's "Funeral March".
- Raven's entrance theme from his short WWE tenure prominently features Ominous Arabic Chanting. Raven mentioned on his website that Jim Johnston (WWE's music director, and writer/composer of about 90% of the songs used by WWE) used it to make the song sound "creepy and alien". It works beautifully.
- Ominous Arabic chanting was featured even more prominently in Muhammad Hassan's theme, but this time, it was post 9/11, and the music was deliberately chosen to, along with the entrance video that interspersed shots of Hassan and his manager, Daivari, with slow pans of various American landmarks, leave the viewer with a vaguely uncomfortable feeling. All of this played directly into Hassan's character, which was an Arab-American who was sick and tired of being stereotyped as a terrorist, and lashed out at everybody, including the audience, for doing so.
- WWE has even integrated ominous Latin into The Merch — a Triple H T-shirt features, among the skull-and-bones motif, the single word "Eversoris"note .
- Místico's theme song, performed by the band Era, consists of Ominous Latin Chanting, violins and a scorching guitar solo or two.
- His WWE-issue music for his entrance as Sin Cara has some chanting as well, but it's of a somewhat-more uplifting nature. The Dark Reprise used by Costume Copycat Sin Cara Negra, however, fits the bill for "Ominous".
- On two of the occasions when he broke out the Demon Bodypaint for the NXT live specials, Finn Balor's entrance was preceded by a distorted recording of a low demonic voice speaking in tongues that sounds like ominous Latin.
- The "trailer" for Boricuas Most Wanted, You Know Me!!!. It was actually used to stir up Latin pride.
- Christian's theme from the early 2000s, "At Last," had lyrics entirely in Latin except for the intro.
- Baron Corbin's theme "I Bring the Darkness (End of Days)" opens with vocalizing that sounds like Latin chanting, as did the previous version, "New Rules."
- The Master (a disguised Kevin Sullivan, though he threw off the robe after throwing a fireball) had Gregorian chants as his entrance music for his match with Brian Lee at SMW's November 8th, 1992 show.
- Ominous chanting can be heard in Dino Attack RPG music tracks "Divine Intervention", "Eye to Eye", "Redemption", "Internal Confrontation", and "The End of All Things", courtesy of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Conker: Live & Reloaded, The Dark Knight Rises, Ninjago, Imaginaerum, The Lord of the Rings, The Legend of Zelda, Unearthed, Evangelion 2.0, Pokémon, Star Wars, The LEGO Movie, and more.
- "O Fortuna" was used during the reveal of one of the three Super Bowl championship banners for the New England Patriots during the pre-game ceremony for the subsequent season-opener.
- Warhammer has human magic users slowly become more and more influenced by their chosen magic discipline. In the case of White Magic users, this may make them able to sing in a chorus by themselves.
- Warhammer 40,000 uses this one, too, but in dramatically different circumstances. The Imperium of Man is a theocratic fascist state, whose official language is High Gothic, usually rendered as Latin in the books. Anytime an Imperial choir strikes up, whether it be members of the Ministorum trying to bolster the morale of the Imperial Guardsmen defending against an enemy onslaught, or the Adepta Sororitas singing their battle-hymn the Fede Imperialis, this trope is in effect.
- The Book of Mormon: "Rectus! Dominus! Spookytus! Deus! Creepyus!"
- A Shout-Out to themselves when they did it on South Park. See below.
- Cirque du Soleil's TOTEM has "Cum Sancto Spiritu" and "Omé Yo Kanoubé"; for that matter, much of Cirque's KŔ has chanting too, albeit in "Cirquish".
- The song "All That's Known" from Spring Awakening has an interesting variation on this. The chanting is in Latin—but it's the start of The Aeneid, recited by students. As the singer is rebelling against this type of education, it's quite fitting.
- In Shrek 4D at Universal Studios, this type of music plays as guests enter the main auditorium.
- The music played when your boat enters the bow of the Flying Dutchman at Efteling.
- Lands of Fire extensively uses a soundtrack of indigenous Australian languages, with public domain tracks in Yolngu being used for suspenseful sequences.
- Subverted and parodied in The Lazer Collection 5. The leitmotif of Doctor Octogonapus's Humongous Mecha sounds like this but is actually just "Oh shit! Holy shit!"
- Mario Brothers has this sort of music as much of the score, especially in battle scenes.
- Red vs. Blue:
- It has Agent Carolina's theme, which features Ominous Italian Chanting:
Morte ai nostri nemici (death to our enemies)
Morte ai nostri nemici (death to our enemies)
La tua guerra e persa (your war is lost)
Non puoi distruggere (you can not destroy us)
- Several of the Meta's combat themes contain the phrase "Plagam Extremam Infligere!", which is Latin for "Inflicting Extreme Wounds", or more loosely, "Bloody Murder".
- It has Agent Carolina's theme, which features Ominous Italian Chanting:
- RWBY has ''Do You Believe in Destiny'' for Pyrrha's fight with Cinder, and the unnamed remix of Such Arrogance used at the beginning of the Volume 3 Finale for the battle between a newly-Maiden-ized Cinder and Ozpin. Available here.
- Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series uses "O Fortuna" to underscore a poster of Yu-Gi-Oh! 5Ds after Tristan predicts that "in the future, card games will be played on motorbikes."
- This strip of 8-Bit Theater combines this trope with Unsound Effect with hilarious results.
- Similarly, Adventurers! has the villain transforming into his One-Winged Angel form, and the first thing he says is, "Cue the choir."
- Digger: Sounds of distant ethereal chanting! And somewhat more disgruntled ethereal chanting!
- With its wide variety of music, was bound to get into this territory one of these days. Warning, minor spoilers in that link.
- This seems to be Ominous Latin Chanting... until you listen more closely. They're just repeating Warhammer Of Zillyhoo. For the curious, the actual Latin would be malleum zilīhūs.
- Parodied in Not Quite Daily Comic: when Malène attacks with Ominous English Chanting (Handel's Hallelujah), Amaranthe strikes back with more devastating chanting (Händel's Dixit Dominus). The Ominous Greek that settles the fight has the impact of a small nuke.
- As with many other tropes, The Order of the Stick hung a lampshade on this one when Vaarsuvius makes a Deal with the Fiends. In this case, an actual choir is seen singing "Bunkus! Nonsuch! Gibberos! Gobbleygoos!" just to the side of the main action. According to one of the fiends, the choir consists of dead paedophiles who are "[snipped] fresh every morning so they keep that high pitch." Because it "just isn't the same without someone chanting faux Latin in the background".
- Also toyed with in the now-defunct RPG World. As the heroes infiltrate the Big Bad's headquarters for the final battle, they ride an elevator that plays "creepy chanting Latin chorus" music. The lyrics are a modified version of One-Winged Angel.
- Schlock Mercenary sees Ennesby program thousands of repairbots to sing "O Fortuna" in unison. Lampshaded by Kevyn, who urges him to pick a less-frightening song. Ennesby then chooses The Macarena (or the Future Imperfect version thereof). Which nets him an even BIGGER talking to....
- The "You Are Mighty" website, currently at FillInTheBlank.You.Are.Mighty.Aninote.com (put whosever name you want to flatter in place of FillInTheBlank, uses looped ominous Latin chanting in the background. Very loud ominous Latin chanting.
- Auto-Tune the News: "PREEKOTOS! FRITOS! SCHMEEKOBIEBTOS! PREEKOTOS! FRITOS! OMNIPITOS!"
- In "Final Debate Songified" (2012): "PREEKOTOS! OMNIPITOS! ROMNEYTOS! SCHIEFFERTOS! FREETOS! OBAMATOS!"
- In "Bad Hombres, Nasty Women" (2016): "PREEKOTOS! CHEETOS! OMNIPITOS! SCHMEEGOROS! TRUMPTOS! EECLINTONPROS!"
- In Doom House, this trope accompanies the evil doll wherever it goes or wherever it dispenses forth its horrific evil. Given that the soundtrack of Doom House, and its sequel Mood House, is lifted directly from The Omen, this makes sense.
- The opening music for Scott The Woz's "It's Awesome Baby!" episode is accompanied by chants of "Scott the Woz", as revealed in the official upload of the track by composer Nick Karr.
- The Amazing World of Gumball:
- Bacteria! It all began with one!
Bacteria! Two is what we then become!
Bacteria! Each of us becomes two more!
Bacteria! We become stronger than before!
Bacteria! We keep growing at this rate!
Bacteria! No longer shall we wait!
Bacteria! As our plan unfolds!
Bacteria! We will take over the world! (Rocky sprays the toilet bowl with disinfectant)
- "The Job" featured ominous pizza topping chanting (because Richard got a job delivering pizza which was destroying the universe).
- American Dad!: "O Fortuna" plays during a suspenseful scene in which Francine nearly walks in on Stan masturbating. Doubles as Awesome Music.
- Argai: The Prophecy: Both the opening and ending credits.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- The Lion Turtle's appearance is heralded by ominous Chinese chanting of the Pure Land Buddhist prayer mantra "Nianfo". He's not a bad guy though. Just old, wise, mysterious, a bit scary, and very big.
- The same chant appeared on two other occasions: once when Roku came back on the Winter Solstice to kick some Fire Nation ass, and another time when Aang fused with the Ocean Spirit to form a spectacular One-Winged Angel and kick some more Fire Nation ass.
- Batman Beyond. During the episode "Babel", Terry experiences a flashback to the death of his father. Throughout the flashback, Gregorian chant (the Pange Lingua) is interspersed with the show's usual rock background music.
- In the Courage the Cowardly Dog episode "Mega Muriel the Magnificent", Ode to Joy plays whenever Muriel, possessed by Courage's Deadpan Snarker computer, attempts a death-defying stunt in front of a crowd of spectators. Could also be an example of Soundtrack Dissonance, considering Ode to Joy's melody is, for lack of better wording, joyous. On the other hand, since Muriel pulls off some pretty awesome stuff, it does fit a bit.
- The Invader Zim episode "Gaz, Taster of Pork" featured cues of a chorus singing "Pork! Pork! Pork!" and later, "Piggy-piggy-piggy-piggy...". Spoofed additionally with "Meats of Evil".
- Let's Go Luna!: In "Glocken Around the Clock", Leo tells the others that baby Matilda does a "terrible thing" whenever she doesn't have a glockenspiel to play with. All mentions of this "terrible thing" are accompanied by creepy Latin chanting in the background.
- Megas XLR features an episode centred on the REGIS Mk V, a planet-destroying Grey Goo machine voiced by Michael Dorn that is accompanied by something reminiscent of O Fortuna whenever it's on screen. Combined with its endless stream of Badass Boasting, and the fact that Coop couldn't defeat it simply by smashing it, this type of music is very appropriate.
- Onyx Equinox uses lyrics in Yucatec Maya and Nahuatl, sometimes to ominous effect.
- Over the Garden Wall provides an interesting example with "Potatus et Molassus," a Dark Reprise of "Potatoes and Molasses" that plays in the background as Greg is dying.
- Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain has a humorous take on this with an accompanying Ominous Pipe Organ music when an episode has a secret conspiracy Christopher Walken look-alike. His appearance was preceded by chanting of an incongruous group of words, always ending in "Lactose!" I.E. "Rialto, Ontario, Gluteus Maximus, LACTOSE!".
- In the Regular Show episode “Over the Top”, Dies Irae plays when Skips beats Rigby in arm wrestling and kills him.
- A Robot Chicken parody of Final Fantasy VII set at a fast food restaurant featured Sephiroth make his entrance with the background music being a parody of One Winged Angel but with the chorus chanting "HAMBURGER! HAMBURGER!".
- The title theme music to the animated Silver Surfer series had Latin-sounding singing interspersed at ominous points against the instrumental background.
- Spoofed in The Simpsons when Marge recalls that she accidentally had a single drop of wine while pregnant with Bart. As the foetus acquires spiky hair and a devilish expression, the Background Music plays an Ominous Chant of "Ay Caramba!"
- South Park
- Parodied in "Damien", the son of Satan's arrival in town is accompanied by a choir of voices chanting "Rectus Dominus Cheesy Poofs" — which is obviously supposed to be Canis Latinicus for "Ass Master, Cheesy Poofs" can actually be translated as "Straight master, Cheesy Poofs".
- "Fantastic Easter Special", which spoofs both The Da Vinci Code and the Easter holiday, featured a pseudo-Latin version of "Here Comes Peter Cottontail" that memorably includes the phrase "Hippitus, Hoppitus".
- "Britney's New Look" had the characters chanting ominous Latin.
- The Spectacular Spider-Man. Mysterio's spells are all Latin, however they are nonsense phrases when translated. They sure sound ominous though.
- The Inquisitor from Star Wars Rebels has music with this.
- Tangled: The Series:
- In "Before Ever After" as Rapunzel is running and experiencing a Rapid Hair Growth, this plays in the background.
- This is also heard in "Cassandra's Revenge" as Cassandra is reciting the Black Rock incantation.
- In the 2003 version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, the Shredder has his own self-titled (as shown on the TMNT 2003 cartoon website) music that plays whenever he appears as his fully-armored alias. It uses wordless chanting of this type at both the beginning and at the end whenever it's played, unless it's shortened for some occasions. There are also other different variations of this ominous tune, and on some occasions, this tune and some of its variations also use the Japanese samurai-inspired "yoo" sound.
- Total Drama:
- In "No Pain, No Game", Eva makes a surprise return to the show. Strong as ever and incredibly angry about getting voted off in the first place, her return is accentuated by an Infernal Background and ominous latin chanting.
- As Wawanakwa Island sinks due to fracking in "The Final Wreck-ening", water bursts out from every weak spot on the island, animals and humans alike run for safety, and ominous latin chanting sets the mood.
- Transformers: Prime — the chanting is usually saved for the more epic moments. The most recurring occurence is in "Prime Finale", notably used during Optimus Prime and Megatron's first battle, and Starscream using the Energon Harvester on a hapless Vehicon. Another, very dramatic use of chanting occurs as the Nemesis prepares to fire on the Autobot base as Optimus moves to destroy the Groundbridge inside. This is also used in a book end as the same piece of chanting is used as a reformatted Optimus prepares to destroy Darkmount's fusion cannons a few episodes later.
- The opening of Trese has a rather darker tune of Balluha'd Bayyauhen (an Ifugao folk song) that sets its noir themes.
- As reported by a Tumblr user that teaches Latin:
My students kept forgetting how to conjugate esse, so I turned it into a rhythmic chant that I had them say over and over. The problem is that when you chant ANYTHING in Latin it sounds like you're summoning a demon, which they decided was awesome, so uh. Now I'll just be randomly walking through the hallway and hear voices chanting, "sum es est! sumus estis sunt!"
I'm 99% sure my colleagues think I've started a cult.