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Pep-Talk Song

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♫ "Go on and get it, 'cause you're a real catch.
Hold your head high, you can earn a new patch!" ♫
"You can do anything that you set your mind to
No matter if it seems so hard
Friends are near, here to go through it, too
You won't have to look too far."
The LPS Pets to Blythe Baxter, Littlest Pet Shop (2012)
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A song that contains encouragement, advice, and maybe a little tough love, generally meant to lift the listener's spirits or to help them when they don't know what to do.

Related to You Are Not Alone, The Future Will Be Better, Self Empowerment Anthem, and Female Empowerment Song. Contrast Fear Song. Compare and Contrast "Gaining Confidence" Song, which involves a character boosting their own confidence through a song.


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Examples:

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    Advertising 
  • Doctor Rabbit sings about how to properly brush one's teeth in Doctor Rabbit's World Tour.

    Films — Animation 
  • "Never Say Never" from An American Tail is the upbeat song an optimistic French pigeon named Henri sings to little Fievel Mousekewitz when he washes ashore on Ellis Island in New York, and wonders if he will never find his family again. The song convinces Fievel to begin his search.
    • "The Girl You Left Behind" from Fievel Goes West warns the listener that leaving their lovers behind will "cause their heart to wander".
    • "Anywhere in Your Dreams" from the 3rd movie, The Treasure of Manhattan Island is a song that Cholena sings with Fievel in order to lift him out of his bad mood and encourage him to value his dreams.
    • "Get the Facts" is a song about learning all of the facts about something before being afraid of it, and "Who Will" is a song about helping others, because if you don’t care, who will? Both are from the 4th movie, Mystery of the Night Monster.
  • "Learn to Do It" from Anastasia: "If I can learn to do it, you can learn to do it."
  • Erika sings "The Cat's Meow" to her Animal Companion Wolfie to show that his doggish traits make him special and is what she loves about him in Barbie in the Princess and the Pauper.
  • Anna's verses of "For the First Time in Forever (reprise)" from Frozen as she tries to encourage Elsa to control her ice powers and bring back summer.
  • "One Last Hope" in Hercules has aspects of this as well as Training Montage, with lines like "It takes more than sinew, comes down to what's in you!"
  • "A Guy Like You" from The Hunchback of Notre Dame, featuring the gargoyles trying to convince Quasi that his... unique appearance makes him irresistible and thus someone like Esmeralda can love him.
  • "The Bare Necessities" from Disney's The Jungle Book (1967) combines this with Hakuna Matata, stimulating Mowgli to follow Baloo's easygoing lifestyle.
  • In My Little Pony: The Movie (1986), Megan sings "There's Always Another Rainbow" after they lose the Rainbow of Light fighting the Smooze.
    • "We Got This Together" from My Little Pony: The Movie (2017), where Twilight’s friends encourage her she can make the Friendship Festival perfect and they’ve got her back.
      • "Time To Be Awesome" from the same film where Rainbow Dash encourages Captain Celaeno and her pirate crew to come out of retirement.
  • "Marry the Mole" from Thumbelina is a strange twist on this. While Miss Field Mouse thinks she's giving Thumbelina good advice and encouragement, she's also telling her to marry someone for their money and that love is over-rated.
  • Stan Bush's unapologetically idealistic and inspirational "The Touch" from Transformers: The Movie, which serves as the theme song for the noble and heroic Optimus Prime ("You got the touch! You got the power!"). Relatedly, there's "Dare," which seems to serve the same role for the young and impetuous Hot Rod.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In New Girl, one of Jess's quirks is her tendency to give herself songs meant to boost her own confidence.
    Jess: She's goin' out to find a rebound... Who's that girl? It's Jess!
    Nick: Wait, did you make up a theme song for yourself?"
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend:
    • "Face Your Fears" is a complete parody of this. It starts out normal and then just goes off the rails:
      If a bear runs at you in the woods,
      Don't run away.
      Look it deep in the eyes,
      Put your hand on its chest, and say
      "Bear, I'm not afraid!"
    • The Pep Talk Song Parody is a speciality of this show. "Women Gotta Stick Together" is full of general statements about how women need to be there for each other, as well as nasty insults to every woman the singer runs into during the song. "Put Yourself First" is about putting yourself first, so that guys will find you sexy, which will make you feel empowered:
      Put yourself first, girl,
      Worry about yourself.
      Make yourself sexy
      Just for yourself
      So when dudes see you put yourself first,
      They'll be like, "Damn, you're hot, wanna make out?"
    • Season 3 brings along "Miracle of Birth", in which Paula tries to reassure a very-pregnant Heather that giving birth will be a wonderful experience — by telling her about all of the horrific aspects of it, set to a pleasant folk melody.
      Burn, burn, burn goes your vagina,
      And you'll curse and scream until you hear a cry!
      And oops, there it went-a,
      That was your placenta,
      Which you must expel, or you will surely die.
  • In The Mighty Boosh episode "The Power of the Crimp", Vince is down in the dumps about having his look copied, so Howard sings a cheesy, jazzy ditty to pep him up. Once Vince's problem spread to Howard, Naboo and Bollo come in with a reprise of the same song.
    Bollo: It's not the peel it's the 'nana
  • Two songs from the Raven's Home Musical Episode "Raven's Home: Remix":
    • Legendary", as Nia convinces Spitz to let Tess audition for the lead role. Said song's popularity led it to be extended and rewritten as an anthem for women's rights.
    • "Eye to Eye" as Nia and Raven encourage Tess and Booker to make the decisions they want and they're proud of them.
  • The Boys (2019) has a very unusual case in that while The Deep is hallucinating after drinking spiked tea, his gills sing "You Are So Beautiful" to convince him that he's not a freak.
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    Music 
  • "Acid Theater" by The Kovenant encourages the listener to “never believe the things they tell you”, “never be who they want you to be”, and “never do what they want you to do”.
  • "Beautiful" by Christina Aguilera, a call to arms to those who consider themselves ugly or inferior.
  • "Ben" by Michael Jackson. Which, considering the movie it was written for, is a boy cheering up the eponymous homicidal rat!
  • "Le Bon Dieu" by Jacques Brel
    Toi, tu es beaucoup plus mieux: tu es un homme! ("You, you are far more beautiful: you are a man/human!")
  • Frank Sinatra's "My Way" contains these uplifting lyrics:
    For what is a man, what has he got?
    If not himself, then he has naught
    To say the things he truly feels and not the words of one who kneels
    The record shows I took the blows and did it my way!
  • "Everybody's Free To Wear Sunscreen" by Baz Luhrmann takes an essay written as a hypothetical commencement speech and turns it into one of these.
  • "Fight Like A Brave" by Red Hot Chili Peppers, where following his struggles to keep himself sober, Anthony Kiedis tries to push the listener towards proactivity, because "no one can tell you you've got to be afraid".
  • "Find Your Own Voice" by Stratovarius encourages the listener not to follow their beliefs blindly but to discover the truth for themselves and think critically.
  • "Free Bird Fly" by Omnia tells the listener to smile if they’re upset, that “if they beat you down, you get up again”, and to “take that broken world and make it right”.
  • "Happy New Year" by ABBA is a subversion. The anthemic chorus appears to to be suggesting that the future will be better than the present, but the verses are about how such optimism always turns to disappointment in the end.
  • "Hey Jude" by The Beatles, where Paul McCartney tries to cheer Julian Lennon up, rather than see him sad that his parents were divorcing.
  • "I Want To Break Free" by Queen, about trying to get rid of a downer relationship (the lyrics seem like a love, but the song became an anthem for the oppressed).
  • "I Will Survive" by Gloria Gaynor is a Break-Up Song version of this, calling out against a former lover while the singer proclaims she is becoming stronger by the day ever since.
  • "Instant Karma" by John Lennon.
    And we all shine on, like the moon and the stars and the sun
    And we all shine on, on and on, on and on and on
  • "Mr. Misunderstood" by Eric Church uses examples from his own real life about how his tastes in music and people left him as an outcast,
    Hey there, weird kid in your high-top shoes
    Sitting in the back of the class; I was just like you
    Always left out, never fit in
    Owning that path you're walking in
    Mr. Misunderstood, Mr. Misunderstood
  • "No Woman, No Cry" by Bob Marley from Natty Dread, which along with the title also has a repeated claim of "Everything is gonna be alright!" to ensure things remain positive.
  • "Plea from a Cat Named Virtute" by the Weakerthans, in which a cat tries to talk her owner out of moping so much.
  • "Sing" by Sesame Street and covered by the Carpenters
    Sing a song, sing it loud, sing it strong
    Sing of good things, not bad
    Sing of happy, not sad
    Sing a song, make it simple to last your whole life long
    Don't worry that it's not good enough for anyone else to hear
    Sing a song
  • There's also another "Sing", by Travis.
    Colder, crying on your shoulder
    Hold her, and tell her everythings gonna be fine
    Surely, you've been going to early
    Hurry, 'cause no one's gonna be stopped
  • "Smile, Darn Ya Smile" by Charles O'Flynn, which has been performed by many since, famous for appearing in an episode of Looney Tunes and in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. It encourages the listener to “make life worthwhile” and smile in the face of adversity, adding that “things are not as black as they are painted”, meaning that things aren’t as grim as they seem.
  • "Supersonic" ("You need to be yourself, you can't be no one else.") by Oasis.
  • "True Colors" by Cyndi Lauper (and everyone who's done a cover of it since).
    You with the sad eyes
    Don't be discouraged...
  • "War" by Bob Marley, which sings how war will always exist if racism, poverty and oppression exist, but he has faith that the nature of love will eventually succomb over hate.
    And we know we shall win/ as we are confident/ in the victory/ of good over evil.
    • Subverted by Sinéad O'Connor's cover on Saturday Night Live, which was sung as a Protest Song that was critical of the Catholic Church, and especially Pope John Paul II.note 
  • "We Will Rock You" by Queen from News of the World. Aside from the last verse, where the character is now an old man who now needs "Somebody better put you back into your place".
  • "Welcome Back" by Lost Horizon.
    Now is really the time to wake up, you old jade
    Such as Phoenix spreads his fire wings
    I will help you remember by KICKING YOUR ASS!

    And the will shall return
    And again hearts shall burn
    All the horns now will sing
    Leading you back to the metal wind!
  • "You Can't Always Get What You Want" by The Rolling Stones from Let It Bleed appears to be the opposite, but it does tell the listener: "You can't always get what you want/ but sometimes you'll find/ you'll get what you need."
  • "Spread Your Wings" by Queen, which tells the story of a young man named Sammy stuck in a dead-end job, dreaming about leaving and pursuing his dreams. The chorus urges him to go for it, with the titular advice.

    Theatre 
  • "You're the Top" from Anything Goes is Reno encouraging Billy to go after Hope (despite the fact that she'd rather have him herself).
  • The last big production number of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, "A Little Me", is this directed at Charlie Bucket, who doesn't think he has what it takes to be Willy Wonka's successor, since he has no experience in being a chocolatier (much less a business owner). It's Wonka himself who explains that the boy's inexperience means he can not only learn but become a unique, open-minded talent in the process. He goes on to explain that Charlie is better than he thinks he is, being a bright, kind, unspoiled, creative child — an opinion backed up by the Oompa-Loompas and Charlie's own family, who join in on the song.
  • The Little Mermaid has Scuttle and his seagull friends sing "Positoovity" as Ariel struggles to stand and walk on her newly acquired human legs.
  • The Lightning Thief, the musical adaptation of the first book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series, has "Strong", sung by Percy's mom to cheer Percy up from getting expelled again. The first part of "Their Sign" could count, too, as it's Chiron telling Percy to have faith in the gods that things will be all right after his mom has vanished/died.
  • In the tryouts of My Fair Lady, Professor Higgins had "Come to the Ball," where he attempts to psych Eliza up before she tries to pass herself off as a high-society lady at the Embassy Ball. The song was cut due to the show being over-long, though a portion of it is quoted in another number in what was originally supposed to be a dark reprise.
  • "Ya Got Me" from On the Town, sung by Claire, Hily, Chip and Ozzie to cheer the still-dateless Gabey up.
  • "On The Right Track" from Pippin, which the Leading Player steps in to sing when Pippin is starting to sense that he can't win at anything he tries. The finale (well, the first part) also counts as this, in a cruelly twisted way, with the Players encouraging Pippin to find total fulfillment in Self-Immolation.
  • In Seussical, as the Whos are falling, the action pauses for the Cat to reassure the audience with "How Lucky You Are." This is not to say it reassures the Whos at all, especially when the Cat sneezes on them in the middle of the song.
  • The SpongeBob Musical: "Chop to the Top" is sung by Sandy and Spongebob as they scale Mt. Humongous to deploy the Eruptor Interrupter, and mostly involves Sandy talking Spongebob through facing his fears.
    You've gotta chop to the top if you want it
    Just go ahead and give it a try
    I know you're scared, just be brave, you can do it
    You've gotta give it all you got inside
  • "I'm the Greatest Individual" from Sweet Charity. Charity sings this to Oscar when they get stuck in an elevator to help him manage his acute claustrophobia.

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    Western Animation 
  • "Wonderful Ways to Say No" from the anti-drug PSA Cartoon Allstars To The Rescue educates the listener on how to say no when offered marijuana.
  • In Central Park:
    • Season 1, "Rival Busker", Paige and Molly sing "Show Up" to cheer up and encourage Runaway Bride Anya to go through with her wedding.
    • Season 1, "Hot Oven", the Tillermans sing "Imperfectly Perfect" to help Molly see that her relationship with Brendan doesn't have to be perfect to be good (using pizza metaphors).
  • Hercules: The Animated Series, "Hercules and the Yearbook": When her husband tells her he didn't want her to see his less-than-stellar past for fear that it would eclipse everything he's accomplished, Meg sings "The Man That I Love", which tells Herc she still respects him and says that he should look at his high school years as a growing period.
  • "Power of the Roar" from The Lion Guard episode "Triumph of the Roar" as Askari encourages Kion to embrace his Roar.
  • In Littlest Pet Shop (2012)'s season 2 finale, after Blythe and the pets get to the International Pet Fashion Expo, the pets break out into song, encouraging Blythe to take chances, have fun, and remember that they are always there for her. See page quote.
  • The first My Little Pony TV special, "Rescue at Midnight Castle," has "Dancing on Air," in which Firefly insists (over Megan's protests) that the other little ponies will be overjoyed that Megan is coming to help them against Tirac.
  • Pinkie Pie's "Giggle At the Ghostly" song from the second episode of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
    • She also tries to sing to Fluttershy to encourage her to make a jump in "Dragonshy" ("You can make it if you try/with a hop, skip, and jump!")
  • "A True, True Friend" from "Magical Mystery Cure" is an interesting variant. Since Twilight figures out that the only way for her friends to regain their original cutie marks is by encouraging each pony to help the friend who got their talent, the song has Twilight and Fluttershy encourage Rainbow Dash, who encourages Rarity, who encourages Applejack, who encourages Pinkie, who cheers up the town.
  • "You'll Play Your Part" in part 1 of the season 4 finale, sung by Celestia, Luna and Cadance, encouraging Twilight after she laments that she doesn't seem to have a real purpose as a princess.

  • Phineas and Ferb has a few.
    • The page image is "Jump Right To It" from "Night of the Living Pharmacists" as the Fireside Girls encourage Isabella to finally confess her feelings to Phineas.
    • "I Believe We Can" from "Summer Belongs To You!", as Clay Aiken and Chaka Khan express determination at traveling the world.
  • Steven's section of "Strong in the Real Way" in the episode "Coach Steven" from Steven Universe is sung to motivate his dad, Sadie, and Lars while they workout.
  • Some of the Winx Club transformation songs talk about "Believing In Yourself". Examples include the Charmix, Believix and Dreamix themes.

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Time To Be Awesome

Rainbow Dash encourages Captain Celaeno and her crew to rekindle their adventurous spirits and help them save Equestria from the Storm King by singing the song "Time To Be Awesome".

How well does it match the trope?

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