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Sanity Slippage Song

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"See what's going on inside my mind."
Disturbed, "Perfect Insanity"

Some songs are about being in love. Some songs are about angst. Some songs are about being insane. They may be incoherent, psychedelic messes or intricate folk songs, but they're about going insane. Common themes are what drove the singer crazy and what it feels like in the depths of madness.

The music may rise and fall erratically or use other tricks to indicate the singer's fractured mental state, but just as often the tune sounds perfectly normal.


Note that if the singer is mentally ill but the song is about something else, it doesn't count.

When these songs aren't part of a musical, listeners may ask What Do You Mean, It Wasn't Made on Drugs?

A Sub-Trope of Sanity Slippage.

Compare BSoD Song and Disney Acid Sequence. If the slippage results from being driven mad by envy or sorrow, this could overlap with Revenge Ballad. If it illustrates a Villainous Breakdown, then it doubles as a Villain Song. Might be paired with a Deranged Dance.



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  • In Neon Genesis Evangelion, "Komm, Süßer Tod" note  manages to perfectly show the final nails being hammered into Shinji's breakdown. As well as Asuka's, Misato's, and everyone else on Earth. Any song where the lyrics are: " with sadness in my heart, it seems the best thing I can do is end it all and leave forever. What's done is done it feels so bad, what once was happy now is sad. I'll never love again, my world is ending." Counts merely from the lyrics, and that's before the triple whammy of Lyrical Dissonance, Soundtrack Dissonance and Mood Dissonance.
  • A lot of the character songs from Higurashi: When They Cry deal with this, as to be expected given the nature of the series, but Satoshi Hojo's song YellowsicKING in particular stands out in this regard.
  • The Umineko: When They Cry ending theme, "La Divina Tragedia" is something like this, maybe mixed with an Obsession Song as well.
  • "Duvet" from Serial Experiments Lain is this, especially the last verse.
  • "Velveteen" from Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex seems to be this, though the fact that the lyrics switch languages several times make it hard to be certain.
  • The lyrics to The World from .hack//SIGN might qualify given the nature of the series. They start out in 3rd person talking about loneliness and insanity, and end in a 1st person reluctant acceptance.
    You are here alone again | In your sweet insanity
    All too calm you hide yourself from reality
    Do you call it solitude? | Do you call it liberty?
    When all the world turns away | Leaves you lonely
    I am here alone again | In my sweet serenity
    Hoping you will ever find me in any place
    I will call it solitude | When all my songs fade in vane
    Fly away | On my own | To eternity

    Fan Works 
  • "The Moon Rises", from Princess Luna's perspective in days of yore. It starts out as a calm nocturne, then her envy and resentment come more to the fore until the last verse is a Motive Rant, as she turns into Nightmare Moon.
    So say goodnight to this,
    The final setting of the sun,
    Tomorrow dawns in darkness;
    The nighttime has begun!
  • There are some fan remakes of Monika's song "My Reality" from Doki Doki Literature Club! which is itself a borderline example since it alludes to her existential suffering and going Yandere from the point of view of other characters undergoing sanity slippage.
    • "Sayori's Reality" by Emirichu is about deepening depression, being a Steford Smiler, anguished love, and suicidal thoughts.
    • "Yuri's Reality" also by Emirichu: A disturbingly sexy but very creepy — even more so when you've played the story — song about Yuri's obsession with the Player Character, and with blood and cutting, when she starts totally losing it later in the game. Ends with her going Laughing Mad and, well, that's again even more disturbing if you know what happens in the game at that point.

    Films — Animation 
  • "Hellfire" in Disney's The Hunchback of Notre Dame, which is when even Frollo realizes he's crossing a line. He realizes he's lusting for Esmeralda, and he plays the Never My Fault card and says he's willing to burn down Paris to find Esmeralda. The fact he tries to embrace a ghost of her doesn't help.
  • The Lorax:
    • "How Bad Can I Be?" in begins with The Once-ler innocently asking how growing his business is a bad thing...and ends with him shouting the lyric with a deranged grin as a challenge as he obliterates the forest.
    • There's also the Cut Song titled "The Once-ler's Traveling Madness," which is Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
    • Another cut song, "Biggering" has the Once-ler pondering his simple beginnings and escalates to him responding to the Lorax's final words of warning with a reprise of the lyrics from "How Bad Can I Be", fully acknowledging that he's killing the environment and doesn't care in a frenzied act of spite to try and distance himself.
  • Paris is a Lonely Town from Gay Purr-ee, as Mewsette contemplates suicide.
  • The "Que sera, Que sera" sequence from Mary and Max.
  • Spinel's introduction in Steven Universe: The Movie is a mixture of this and Villain Song. The electric swing is an especially nice touch and really lends it that cartoonish feel, considering many early cartoons employed jazz music in their scores.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Anna and the Apocalypse: "Nothing's Gonna Stop Me Now" sung by the villain Mr. Savage, he goes crazy prancing around the kitchen. At one point, the song seemingly ends, only for him to abruptly sing again.
  • "Let The Monster Rise," "Legal Assassin," "Night Surgeon," and "Thankless Job" from Repo! The Genetic Opera. (So almost everything Nathan Wallace or Repo Man sings.)
  • The famous "Memo From Turner" from Performance is, in context, a Sanity Slippage Song from an Imagine Spot in which Turner finds his persona and identity blurring with Chas's.
  • Bryan Ferry's "Help Me", the song that is playing at the bar in The Fly (1986), was originally commissioned to underscore the film's end credits but contrasted too much with Howard Shore's lush orchestral score to be an effective playout. The lyrics, reflecting the tragic dissolution of the protagonist's body and mind to Body Horror, have the singer pleading for his lover to hopefully lead him back to himself via The Power of Love. For bonus points, Ferry's body language in the music video produced for it suggests he's trapped and writhing in a straitjacket.
    I'm a victim of the night
    Sold my soul, is it ever gonna pay?
    I beg you now, save me from myself
    Time is closing in
    There's no one I can turn to
    There's a power in love
    There's a danger in love
    But I need love to help me find a way.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show;
    • "Rose Tint My World" is the characters admitting that Frank has broken them and they're now just living for sexual pleasure.
    • "I'm Going Home", Richard O'Brien says in the commentary that Frank hallucinates the audience that fades in.

    Live-Action TV 
  • With the lead being in the midst of a perpetual nervous breakdown, and a running theme among all the characters being unhealthy coping mechanisms (and unlearning them), it's no shock that Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has many songs that fit this trope. A particularly notable one is "After Everything I've Done For You (That You Didn't Ask For)", an homage to another famous Sanity Slippage Song, "Rose's Turn".
    Rebecca: Seriously, Patrick, was I sick the day in school they taught you how to be a normal person? It just feels like there's something fundamental I'm missing out on. Like, is there an instruction manual? You get what I'm saying, Patrick? It just - it just feels like everyone is in this cabal of normal people, and they're all laughing at me, like I'm the jester in my own Truman Show. Patrick, tell me what the secret is. Just tell me what the secret is. Is there a manual? Do you have the manual? I know you have the manual, Patrick. I KNOW IT'S IN YOUR TRUCK, PATRICK!
  • Kurt singing "Rose's Turn" on Glee also counts
  • In one episode of The Muppet Show a monster (with windmill legs) invites us into his mind, where he is running and running, singing "Windmills of Your Mind"... Ten times faster than it should ever be sung...
    Monster: And on the outside... I'm very calm... (Beat) AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • Bombshell, the central Show Within a Show of Smash, features a song-and-dance called "Let's Be Bad" that shows a drug-addled Marilyn Monroe barely making it through a movie's musical number and not knowing whether the crew's effusive praise is real or not.
  • An episode of Today's Special has a sketch featuring three people singing "I Am Slowly Going Crazy," mentioned below.

  • Almost all of the songs on Misery Loves Me's debut album Amnesia, but "Endless Night" is a notable example for being the song which literally showcases the process of the main character slowly falling into insanity, and even fetures a different voice for her dark thoughts. Also, there's a lot of screaming:
  • Quite a few Cannibal Corpse songs, the one most well known being "Hammer Smashed Face."
    Something's inside me, it's coming out
    I feel like killing you
    Let loose of the anger, held back too long, my blood runs cold
    Through my anatomy dwells another being
    Rooted in my cortex, a servant to its bidding.
  • "I'm Only Joking" by KONGOS sounds like one also. At best, it's about someone talking insane without realizing it.
  • Very common in denpa song. Totemotomotachi by Millirobo.beta is one such example.
  • "Mama's Broken Heart" by Miranda Lambert may primarily be a breakup song, but it's made quite clear that the singer has descended into insanity, and it's strongly implied that she now wishes to murder her ex.
  • The Ramones do this a lot. For example, "Gimme Gimme Shock Treatment" and "I Wanna Be Sedated," among others.
  • "Something to Live For" by Shannon Wright and Yann Tiersen. What kind of relationship does this woman actually have?! Arguably Yann Tiersen's "A Secret Place" as well.
  • Fireaxe's four hour Rock Opera Food for the Gods has several: "Hatred Revenge and Death," "Tapestry of Pain," and "River of Madness" come to mind.
  • "Bodies" by Drowning Pool — as the name suggests. Either this or a Murder Ballad depending on how you interpret the lyrics. Not to mention "Tear Away".
  • "The Green Manalishi (With The Two-Prong Crown)" by Fleetwood Mac, written by Peter Green about his Real Life Sanity Slippage. He left the band not long afterwards. Later covered by Judas Priest.
  • Pick a Foetus song. Any Foetus song.
  • the Mountain Goats' "Wild Sage."
    • 'Lovecraft in Brooklyn' is a good example as well.
  • "Psycho Killer" from Talking Heads
    • Arguably "Cities" as well. The music is very frantic, a lot of the lyrics don't make much sense, and at one point the singer actually says "But it all works out — you know, I'm a little freaked out!"
    • "Memories Can't Wait" as well. Creepy music with weird droning and electronic wailing sounds in the background, and the lyrics are like this:
      There's a party in my mind and I hope it never stops / There's a party up there all the time / They'll party 'til they drop / Other people can go home / Other people they can split / I'm stuck here all the time / I can never quit...
    • Y'know, we could probably just classify Fear of Music as a Sanity Slippage Album. The other songs are about things like how air can hurt you, distrust of animals, complete nonsense, and drugs.
  • "Don't Let Me Down" by The Chainsmokers feat. Daya tells of the singer slowly losing her grip and desperately reaching out to the one person she feels (or at least hopes) she can count on.
    So, don't let me, don't let me, don't let me down.
    I think I'm losing my mind now.
    It's in my head. Darling, I hope
    That you'll be here when I need you the most.
  • "They're Coming to Take Me Away Ha-Haaa!" by Napoleon XIV. Apparently, his mind broke when his dog ran away. We get her side of the story in another song.
  • A number of of Montreal songs.
  • "Something Is Squeezing My Skull" by Morrissey
  • Queen:
    • "Stone Cold Crazy" from Sheer Heart Attack is narrated by a guy who believes he's Al Capone, acting out his delusions on the street.
    • "I'm Going Slightly Mad" off of the band's penultimate album, Innuendo, acts as a reflection on frontman Freddie Mercury's own struggle with AIDS-related dementia. This being Queen, the song takes a darkly comedic look at the issue by portraying it in a number of witty and cartoonish ways, up to and including the line "I think I'm a banana tree."
  • "Flagpole Sitta" by Harvey Danger is a tongue-in-cheek example riffing on angsty songs that were popular among the youth of The '90s.
  • "Unwell" by Matchbox Twenty. It denies being one of these ("I'm not crazy, I'm just a little unwell"), but it's increasingly obvious that the narrator is lying to himself. Unusually, the overall intention seems to be to humanize mental illness and make the listener feel that the narrator is just a normal person who happens to be going through a horrible thing.
    • "Disease" is also a confused admirer's/Obsession Song with some very depressive lyrics..
      "I can't live without you, tell me what I'm supposed to do about it"
      "Keep your distance from me, don't pay no attention to me, I got a disease"
  • "Art of Life," "Week End," and "Drain" by X Japan. "Art of Life" is an aversion here, since it's a song that starts out as a Sanity Slippage Song, but is actually the story of recovery from a mental and physical breakdown....
    • "Doubt," "Hurry Go Round," "Genkai Haretsu," "Breeding" (oh god yes "Breeding"), "Lemoned I Scream," "Drink or Die," and "Sold Some Attitude" by hide are ''all' Sanity Slippage Songs.
  • Pink Floyd:
    • "Brain Damage".
    • The Wall is a Sanity Slippage Concept Album.
    • "One of My Turns".
    • "Jugband Blues" by Floyd's original front man Syd Barrett. Who actually did have mental issues, likely brought on or at least exacerbated by drug use.
      • Much of Barrett's output provides examples of this trope, both from his tenure in Pink Floyd and as a solo artist. Some of his examples with Floyd, such as "Vegetable Man" and "Scream Thy Last Scream (Old Woman with a Casket)", weren't officially released until 2016 as his bandmates felt they were too voyeuristic, though they were available on bootlegs for quite some time.
  • "Angry Chair" by Alice in Chains.
  • "The Garden" by Guns N' Roses.
  • "Am I Going Insane (Radio)" by Black Sabbath. And while we're on the subject, how can we possibly forget "Paranoid"? There is also the less well-known "Megalomania" which could be viewed as a continuation piece.
    • Heck, most of Ozzy Osbourne's stuff in general might qualify. "Crazy Train" is the best example.
  • "All So Nice in the Nuthouse" by Chad Morgan
  • "Inmate's Lullaby" - Gentle Giant
  • They Might Be Giants
    • "Absolutely Bill's Mood":
      My room is comfortably small
      With rubber lining the walls
      And there's someone always calling my name
      He calls when I'm alone
      And he calls when I'm not home
      And he calls when I'm stuck out in the rain
      I'm insane, I'm insane!
      I'm insane, I'm insane!
    • "Subliminal" is about a man who starts seeing subliminal messages everywhere he goes after a car accident.
      As I got hit by a car, there was a message for me
      As I went through the windshield, I noticed something
      Subliminal, in an unnoticeable way
      Important and hard to see
    • "Apophenia" has a narrator who's not only a bit crazy, but is projecting his delusional paranoia onto his partner, who might not even exist.
      Picture of a hunched old lady holding a dog and
      Telling you what to do
      Seemingly random arrangement of turbid material
      Telling you what to do
      It’s only tea leaves
      Stop being dramatic
      Next thing you’ll be saying that I’ve been
      Hallucinating you all along
    • "Unpronounceable", which is rumored to be based on a now famous Reddit post, where the poster describes living about ten years of life while unconscious for only a few minutes.
      Time stopped, when you said hello
      When you left, the clock began to breathe again
      Now all I do is think about the puzzle that remains
      Your name it is unpronounceable
      Distorted and illegible
      I never figured out what that was
      If I couldn't then I doubt I ever will
      Rewind the tape, review the blur
      Never the same, but still obscure
      Turn up the sound and hear the white noise
      Zoom and enhance if that were even a real thing, which it isn't
      Stare at the static long enough you'll be hypnotized be hypnotized
  • "Mr. Psycho" and "Drop Dead" - Space
  • Oingo Boingo was built on this trope.
    • "Insanity". If the lyrics aren't any indication, go watch the music video.
    • "What You See" seems to be about a record company executive who growing more and more insane over the course of the song.
  • In hip-hop, Eminem's "Stan" and "Kim".
  • Most of the back catalogue of Roky Erikson, often fairly explicitly, but also expressed through mildly or entirely raving lyrics about aliens, demons, zombies, mutants, and his time spent working in the Kremlin with a two-headed dog.
  • Also used to great effect in Peter Maxwell Davies' Eight Songs for a Mad King, a contemporary musical setting of some of King George the Third's ravings.
  • "A Real Indication" by Angelo Badalamenti & The Thought Gang on the Twin Peaks:Fire walk with me Soundtrack. Oh, so very much...
  • Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me". See the video.
  • Disturbed's "Down with the Sickness" tells of child abuse as a metaphor for society punishing the "freaks," but the main point is that the narrator has just snapped...
    • "Voices".
    • "Perfect Insanity"
  • David Bowie's "All the Madmen" is about somebody who's afraid to leave the asylum and go back to drab normality. According to Bowie the world outside the asylum is the one that's insane.
    • Another example is "Breaking Glass," in which the protagonist tells a girl "you're such a wonderful person/but you've got problems"...while psychotically trashing her entire bedroom.
    • There's also "Janine" and "Unwashed And Somewhat Slightly Dazed." And possibly "Space Oddity" (if you interpret the lyrics to mean Space Madness).
    • Also 'Candidate', where the unnamed protagonist propositions a prostitute for what starts out as a drink at a bar, and ends with joint suicide.
  • "Le Café" by Oldelaf, Played for Laughs. The protagonist starts out polite and calm, and gradually gets more insane through the song because of a caffeine high. He notably jumps up and down through Paris, kills his secretary for worrying about his whereabouts, a little old old lady for asking him what hour it is, and yells at his son who was just telling him he was first in class.
  • Tom Lehrer's "I Hold Your Hand In Mine", from Songs by Tom Lehrer: starts out sounding romantic, quickly goes quite wrong. And more so with each succeeding verse....
  • "Girl Anachronism" by the Dresden Dolls. Please excuse her for the day, it's just the way the medication makes her...
    "Me, well I'm well, well I mean I'm in hell, well I still have my health, at least that's what they tell me, if wellness is this what in hell's name is sickness?
  • Alice Cooper's From the Inside is a whole album of insanity songs. We're all crazy... Also "Ballad of Dwight Fry" from Love It to Death. Heck, let's just say 80% of Cooper's output...
    • "Steven" seems to be about someone whose episodes are triggered by a baby's crying.
    You've only lived a minute
    of your life
    I must be dreaming
    please stop screaming
    Is someone calling me
    I hear my name!
    STEVEN! (X3)
  • "The Doctor's Wife" by The Clockwork Quartet. A Steampunk song about a doctor, trying and failing to cure his wife's deadly illness, over the course of several months. The ending is amazing.
  • "Basket Case" by Green Day. This one notably suggests that the singer's turn to madness is completely unjustified; a therapist only tells him You Need to Get Laid and a prostitute then tells him to Quit Your Whining. The singer himself admits he is "melodramatic" and that he has "nothing" to whine about.
  • "I Think I Lost My Headache", by Queens of the Stone Age, is about (possibly drug-induced) paranoia and derails into sing-song trumpet noodling at the end.
    It's all my head, I know, or so they tell me so...
  • "Welcome Home (Sanitarium)" by Metallica, about the trials and tribulations of a crazyhouse inmate.
    • "Harvester of Sorrow" is about a man snapping out and possibly killing his family.
    • Also, The Frayed Ends of Sanity
    • Metallica ain't the only one with a sanity slippage song called "Welcome Home"- there's also Coheed and Cambria. "Please make up your mind girl, before I hope you die..."
  • Throwing Muses' Mania. Who left me alone?! What do you mean, you're alone...
    • Or "Vicky's Box", from the Muses' first LP:
    He won't ride in cars anymore/It reminds him of blowjobs/That he's a queer
    And his hair stuck to the roof/Like a pigeon on a tire
    ...Home is where the heart lies/The heart lies/The hard lies/Welcome home
    ...I only love pieces of things that I hate
    ...You may be dreaming/You may be bleeding/You may be in this box
    A kitchen is a place where you prePARE...and clean up.
  • Roughly half the songs on Eels' 1998 masterpiece Electro-Shock Blues, such as "My Descent Into Madness", the title track, and "The Medication Is Wearing Off". The rest of the songs are mostly about death and grief. E's sanity really was slipping, but yours would too if you'd just gone through your schizophrenic sister committing suicide, your mother dying of cancer and your father dying of a heart attack in the space of two years.
    • Several of the tracks are from the perspective of E's sister. Also notable on that front is the title track, which is taken from the diary she kept in the hospital.
  • Anberlin's "Reclusion"
    • "Hello Alone" doesn't paint a great picture of mental health, either.
  • From First to Last's "Note to Self"
  • Mötley Crüe has several, notably "Just another Psycho" and the unreleased track "Mood Ring".
  • "Rose's Turn" from Gypsy is Rose's climactic nervous breakdown on stage.
    • "Everything's Coming Up Roses" is another one for Rose. She's obviously not a very emotionally healthy person.
  • Emilie Autumn's "Opheliac".
    • "God Help Me" with that Madness Mantra too.
    • Pretty much everything from the Opheliac CD. Which makes sense, given certain circumstances.
    • Unlaced is a sanity slippage instrumental album (Clearly about her time in a psych ward.)
  • Iron Maiden's "The Clairvoyant".
    I wonder why, I wonder how
    That it seems that my power's getting stronger every day
    I feel a strength, an inner fire
    But I'm scared I won't be able to control it anymore...
    • Said lack of control power ends up causing a catastrophe in the album's storyline and "Only the Good Die Young" detailing how he's lost his sanity completely... sung by Lucifer himself.
  • Becoming Insane by Infected Mushroom.
    Wake me up before I change again
    Remind me the story that I won't get insane
    Tell me why it's always the same
    Explain me the reason why I'm so much in pain
  • Half the songs on the Otep album House of Secrets, where Otep adds to the distressing lyrics by alternating between Metal Scream and the voice of a terrified little girl.
  • Nox Arcana's Blackthorn Asylum is essentially a 21-track trope codifier. As the album's focus is on an insane asylum, loss of sanity and outright insanity are the big focus here. Bonus points for Nox Arcana being almost purely instrumental (there's a touch of narration), and still pulling it off.
    • Also, the thirteenth track is titled Sanity Slipping. No joke.
  • Arguably, "Echoplex" by Nine Inch Nails.
    In the back, off the side and far away
    Is a place where I hide, where I stay
    Tried to say, tried to ask, I needed to
    All alone, by myself, where were you?
    How could I ever think it funny how
    Everything they swore it wouldn't change, is different now
    Just like you would always say, we'll make it through
    Then my head fell apart, and where were you?
    How could I ever think it funny how
    Everything you swore would never change, is different now
    Like you said, you and me, make it through
    Didn't quite, fell apart, WHERE THE FUCK WERE YOU?
  • Sugar by System of a Down, especially at the end.
  • "Binge And Purge" by Clutch
  • "I Am Slowly Going Crazy," a children's song of uncertain origin.
  • Several of Happy Rhodes' songs; it's a theme throughout her very diverse musical omnibus.
  • "The Painter" by Chris de Burgh, which is sung from the perspective of an unhinged and insanely jealous man murdering his wife for what appears to be an imaginary fling with the titular painter, and for plus points is also sung in a manner similar to "Psycho" Strings.
  • "Climbing Up the Walls" by Radiohead. "Do not cry out or hit the alarm, we are friends til we die."
    • That track sounds scary. "No Surprises" however is so pretty and inoffensive, it could be played in supermarkets. long as no one pays attention to what Thom's singing:
    A heart that's full up like a landfill
    A job that slowly kills you
    Bruises that won't heal
    ...A handshake of carbon monoxide
    • Not to mention that over the crescendo, the chorus is imperceptibly singing "get me out of here" over and over again.
    • "Paranoid Android" too, at least in part.
      • Climbing up the Walls is possibly a Most Triumphant Example, even without understanding the lyrics.
    • "Everything in its Right Place" and "How to Disappear Completely" are this, bordering on BSoD Song. The lyrics of both consist almost entirely of Madness Mantra.
  • "Madhouse" by Anthrax.
  • Many songs of ''Agatha Christie'', a russian gothic rock group.
  • In Ruddigore, Despard and Margaret sing a song ("I once was a very abandoned person") all about how crazy and evil they used to be, before they got better. But as soon as the song's over, Margaret goes right back to being mad. So it's sort of a Sanity Immediately-Pre-Slippage Song.
  • Garbage's "Bleed Like Me". The song alone might qualify, but the music video is about a nurse tending to the mentally ill and swiftly slipping into insanity as she does so.
    • "Medication".
    • "I Think I'm Paranoid" is not really an example, but could be mistaken for one, given the title and refrain. For the most part, it's a love song, although perhaps a love song from the perspective of someone who's mentally ill given lines like "prop me up with with another pill".
  • Avenged Sevenfold's "Almost Easy". It even has the lyrics "I'm not insane" repeated several times.
  • A large amount of tool songs can be interpreted this way. "Prison Sex" is perhaps the most overt (and by a large margin the squickiest) example.
    • "Rosetta Stoned" is another notable example, if you're able to actually distinguish what the lyrics are in the first place.
  • "Dieter Meyers Inst." and "På ditt skift" by Kaizers Orchestra. Both involve mental institutions— the first is the character losing his mind in one, the second is about the character killing the director of the institution.
  • "Headfirst for Halos" by My Chemical Romance is a perky one.
  • Several songs by The Used qualify— "Lunacy Fringe", "Take It Away", "The Bird and the Worm", "Come Undone", "Paralyzed", etc, etc...
  • "The Mind Electric" by Joe Hawley. See how the brain plays around...
  • Another "whole album" case: Quadrophenia, by The Who. Features such songs as "Is It In My Head?" and "Doctor Jimmy."
    • Not an obvious choice but a good one. The first track with vocals, "The Real Me", sets the tone: "I'm crazy Ma, help me/'I know how it feels, son/'Cause it runs in the family.'" "Helpless Dancer" extends the implication of insanity to include not only the narrator, but the entire world.
      • The Who did this long before Quadrophenia with the John-Entwistle-penned "Whiskey Man." It's all about a guy who has an imaginary friend and ends up locked in a mental hospital for it.
  • Rihanna's "Disturbia" probably qualifies.
  • Megadeth's "Sweating Bullets".
  • "Where's Gerrold?", which is the final song from Orgy's Concept Album Vapor Transmission. "Cover my eyes / I'm feeling sick / I'm getting paranoid."
  • Juliet by Sonata Arctica. The mood and sound of the song changes every thirty-ish seconds as well as there being all sorts of strange noises and utter mindfuckery going on in the background. It's subtle but it's possible to hear stuff like high pitched screeches, lalala's, weird twinkly noises and possibly a train whistle. It's not exactly a song about going insane, since it's part of a series of four songs and the character went insane in the first and pretty much went more insane in the other three. This is the last song, and fittingly the most insane. The other three songs are Caleb), The End of This Chapter and Don't Say A Word.
  • Quite a bit of Korn's early production was about this, with the breaking point usually identifiable by the point where Jonathan Davis switches to a sing-song voice, and switches back to his normal when it's time to go Ax-Crazy. One of the interlude tracks is even named "Am I Going Crazy".
    • The most epic example of this is "Daddy," off their self-titled album, where Jonathan Davis get through the song, starts getting really emotional, and then breaks down and sobs for ten minutes while the rest of the band self-consciously improvises music around him, ending only when someone walks out of the studio and slams the door.
  • "Flowers on the Wall", by the Statler Brothers.
  • "Lighten Up McGraw" by Crack The Sky seems to be this trope, but it's a little hard to tell whether some of the weirder lyrics are meant to represent insanity or if they're just regular old Word Salad Lyrics. But considering that it has lines like "Well, I eat what I am and I'm not overdressed / I just can't understand why I'm sometimes depressed" and "I haven't giggled in thirty-five months", it probably counts anyways.
  • "Leica" by Havalina could be interpreted as this in light of the final lines:
    And nothing ever seems strange
    when you're finally insane.
    I could sure use a little help.
  • "Insane in the Brain" by Cypress Hill is definitely this trope; the only question is whether it's being Played for Laughs or played straight. Its refrain is "Insane in the membrane / Insane in the brain!"
  • "Isolated" by Chiasm
    The monsters make me hide
    Perhaps i'll eat myself alive
    Internally there's nothing left for me to be
    • For that matter, pretty much anything by Chiasm.
  • "Undone (The Sweater Song)" by Weezer.
  • Oddly enough, Elvis had one in the rather trippy "Edge of Reality" from Live a Little, Love a Little.
    I can hear strange voices echo
    Laughing with mockery
    The border line of doom I'm facing
    The edge of reality
  • Pet Shop Boys' "I Want To Wake Up". The verses cover the narrator simply having bad dreams about his unrequited love, then progress to him suddenly crying whenever "Tainted Love" comes on the radio, declaring single-minded obsession for the love interest, and finally the ominous line "Play with fire, play with guns/It's easy to impress someone"note . At the end, a breakdown is implied as he desperately shouts, "I want to wake up, wake up, wake up with you!" All this to some creepy Lyrical Dissonance.
  • "I'm So Sick" by Flyleaf. This is the chorus:
    I'm so sick, in-fected-with
    Where I live, let me live without this
    Empty bliss, selfishness
    I'm so sick
  • "Mad World" by Tears for Fears. Opening to the chorus:
    I find it kind of funny and I find it kind of sad
    The dreams in which I'm dying are the best I've ever had
    • Only the Tears For Fears version though. The Gary Jules version is more of a Spiral Into Depression song.
  • Surprisingly enough, Slipknot has quite a few. "Eyeless" comes to mind: the first word sang (er, screamed) in the song is "INSANE!"
  • "See You All In Hell", by Jonathan Coulton begins with a list of things needed to film a scene for a movie, and ends with "And now my left arm is not working. I fear nothing anymore. See you all in hell." The weird part is that this is apparently made from a text message a friend of Coulton's actually received.
  • Frou Frou's "Psychobabble". It's about a hostage situation that may or may not exist only in the mind of one, and by the end it's hard to tell who's who, or even if there were two to begin with.
  • Tourniquet, Haunted, The Other Side, Lose Control, Even In Death- Evanescence
  • The song "Mathilde" by Jacques Brel shows the singer slowly losing his grip until he's willing to accept back a woman he knows will make him miserable.
  • "Don't arrange to have me sent to no asylum. I'm just as sane as anyone. It's just a game I play for fun..."
  • Midnight Syndicate's "Gates Of Delirium" tells the story of an asylum. Wanna guess how many of the songs fit this trope?
  • Waffle King by "Weird Al" Yankovic tells the story of a man that makes an usually good waffle recipe, then becomes convinced that he has become a celebrity, before going A God Am I.
  • "Seasons In The Abyss" by Slayer.
  • The Pogues love to do this, often combining it with Lyrical Dissonance.
  • Most Doors songs can be interpreted as Sanity Slippage Songs. It's quite explicit in "Celebration Of The Lizard King":
    Once I had a little game
    I liked to crawl back in my brain
    I think you know the game I mean
    I mean the game called "go insane"
  • The Crystalline Effect's songs "Blue Sea" and (possibly) "Hypothermia".
  • Showbread's "I Think I'm Going to See You". Also overlaps with Love Makes You Crazy.
    There's a hole in the fabric of my sanity
    and it's getting big enough to see through
    and on the other side of losing my mind
    I think I'm going to see you.
  • Linkin Park's songs "One Step Closer", "Papercut", and "Crawling".
  • Three Days Grace's "Animal I Have Become".
  • Bob Dylan's "Talkin' John Birch Paranoid Blues", a satire of someone buying too much into the Red Scare and going paranoid bonkers as a result. Played for Laughs all the way.
  • Foster the People's "Pumped Up Kicks". Once you realise the lyrics are about a boy getting ready to go on a shooting...
    All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
    You'd better run, better run, outrun my gun
    All the other kids with the pumped up kicks
    You'd better run, better run, faster than my bullet
  • The Lonely Island's "Like A Boss" sounds like a Sanity Slippage Song Played for Laughs. A day in the life of The Boss seems normal enough at first ("Talk to Corporate LIKE A BOSS! Approve memos LIKE A BOSS! Lead a workshop LIKE A BOSS! Remember birthdays LIKE A BOSS!") but then The Boss gets rejected by Deborah, and things go downhill fast.
  • "Pull Me Under" and "Panic Attack" by Dream Theater both seem to be about this. "A Mind Beside Itself", "Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence", and parts of "Octavarium" also concern various mental disorders.
  • The Veronicas have done this many many times, Hook Me Up, When It All Falls Apart, Heavily Broken, Hollywood, Insomnia and How Long, Thus far.
  • Delta Goodrem, Nobody Listened:
    Like a train, off the rails, to you
  • I Fight Dragons has a song called cRaZie$, although the lyrics may also be interpreted as a sort of "visionaries are seen as crazy" song, depending on how you look at it.
    "Woah-oh-oh, there's a body on the floor, and the crazies, the crazies are coming to life. Woah-oh-oh, I can't take it any more, 'cuz they're crazy, they're crazy, but maybe they're right!"
  • "Personal Demons" by Rufus Rex, a side project of Creature Feature, is chock full of crazy, complete with an allusion to Radiohead's "Climbing Up the Walls" ("It's just a matter of time / Till I lose my mind / And start crawling up the walls"). Heck, the opening verse goes:
    Psychosis must be setting in,
    Clouding my perception,
    Social interaction null and void.
    Contact with reality
    Is something I no longer need.
    Now I have insanity on my side!
  • Unexpect's songs from the album "In A Flesh Aquarium" and "Fables Of The Sleepless Empire" are ALL about madness and hallucinations and illusions and wonders incomprehensible. Just read any of these song's lyrics.
  • "He Used To Cut The Grass" from Frank Zappa's Joe's Garage
    Wait! I've got it!
    I'll be sullen and withdrawn
    I'll dwindle off into the twilight realm of my own secret thoughts
    I'll walk through the parking lot in a semi-catatonic state
    And dream of Guitar notes to go with the loading-zone announcements...
  • "Disturbance" and "Cherry Blossom Clinic" by The Move. The former more or less describing an individual's growing psychosis as he grows older; the latter having another person describing various hallucinations he sees as he goes mad in the mental hospital.
  • "Institutionalized" by Suicidal Tendencies subverts this trope, because while other characters in the song think the protagonist is going insane, the protagonist doesn't.
  • Many, many songs by Van der Graaf Generator and its frontman Peter Hammill qualify as this, but the finest example is the twenty-three minute epic "A Plague of Lighthouse Keepers." It seems to be about a lighthouse keeper who inadvertently allows a ship to crash, then slowly drives himself mad with guilt, grief, and loneliness. Whether he is Driven to Suicide in the end is deliberately left ambiguous.
  • Sweating Bullets by Megadeth. The video further proves the fact.
  • Vanessa Amorosi: "I Thought We'd Stay Together" discusses her Heroic RRoD and shutting down creativity after a long term boyfriend left her, because of differing opinions, she then proceeds to mention how much she wants to burn her house down because he used to love her there...and how it makes her very very angry.
  • "As Madness Took Me" and "Calling My Name" by Dragonland, the latter of which contains audio clips from Charles Manson.
  • "Last Resort" by Papa Roach is a song about someone slowly giving into depression.
  • "Spies" by Coldplay is about a paranoid schizophrenic who believes spies are everywhere. It's creepy for a Coldplay song once you know that.
  • Assemblage 23's Collapse:
    I'm on the verge of collapse
    I'm on the brink of disaster
    And I'm far more lost than I would like to admit
    I'm at the end of my rope
    I'm on the edge of a breakdown
    And no matter how tightly I hold on, I still slip
  • "Complicated Machine" by Future Perfect. "You gave a gift to me, a fragment of insanity... I want to thank you for the neurosis that plagues me".
  • "Veteran of the Psychic Wars" by Blue Öyster Cult.
    • Similarly, "Veins" is about a man who has blackouts and thinks that he kills people.
  • The entire album "A Shipwreck in the Sand" by Silverstein, with a little bit of unreliable narration in the first song. In the second, once the protagonist of the album finds out his wife has been cheating on him, he begins to slip. At first he merely hides that he knows, and tries to keep going with it... then he finds out it was his best friend who she was cheating on him with. Throw in a song that tells its own story about betrayal, and by the 9th song "I Am the Arsonist", he decides to burn down his house with his wife and daughter in it. He regrets it, goes into save them, his wife (rightly) accuses him of setting the house on fire and they go to court. He's let off because of a lack of evidence, but loses his daughter, and decides to leave the town, driving to a motel where he decides to kill himself. The final song is him reminiscing and realizing that he never could have truly loved her in the first place.
  • "Madman Across the Water" by Elton John.
    It's quite peculiar in a funny sort of way
    They think it's very funny everything I say
    Get a load of him, he's so insane
  • "Metal Health" by Quiet Riot (you may know it as "Bang Your Head") is an inversion. It's about curing your insanity with The Power of Rock.
  • Mental Warp by Insane Clown Posse. It is a very disturbing and surreal song which seems to be told from the point of view of a person who has slipped into a deep psychosis and just descends further and further into incoherence.
    Violent J: "Staring at the ceiling/The roof has a face/It's telling me I don't belong with the human race/He's asking me to join him in eternal sleep/I give him my soul/My body I can keep."
  • Axe Murder Boyz' "God Only Knows", about a man who murders a woman, keeps her corpse in his home, has sex with her corpse and consumes her heart.
  • Men At Work's "Who Can It Be Now?" could be interpreted as this.
    • There are elements of this in "Overkill" as well.
  • Kasabian's Butcher Blues.
  • Marina Diamandis' "The Family Jewels" album contains a lot of these.
    • "Mowgli's Road" is perhaps the most notorious, along with "Oh No!" and "Guilty".
  • The very track "Electra Heart" itself is an entire Sanity Slippage song, which makes sense when you consider how it's the song that leads up to the moment when Electra breaks down and proceeds to commit suicide.
  • Sodom's "Persecution Mania", which is about a Vietnam vet suffering from PTSD.
  • "Terminal Eyes" by Al Stewart.
  • mothy gives us "And Then the Girl Went Mad" from the Evillious Chronicles, describing how the speaker slowly lost all emotions but wrath while abandoned in a hut in the woods, beginning to hear voices and feel smothered by the darkness. "Evil Food Eater Conchita" similarly has an opsomaniac eat more and more disgusting foods until finally, after eating everyone else in her mansion she eats herself.
  • "Meltdown!" by The Aquabats!.
  • "Hey There, Cthulhu" by Eben Brooks interweaves descriptions the apparent singer's sanity slippage with the praise for the eponymous Great Old One.
  • Ratt's "I'm Insane."
  • Anna Russell traces the "gradual mental breakdown of the popular singer" through elated, depressive and schizophrenic stages, until sanity ultimately bottoms out in a song called "Mad."
  • Gunpowder Tim vs the Moon Kaiser by The Mechanisms contains a song entitled "Tim Goes Crazy," in which Tim goes Ax-Crazy after his best friend Bertie is killed during the war against the Moon Kaiser.
  • In Crazy Man Michael by Fairport Convention, the protagonist's sanity slips from bad to barely functional.
  • Lifelover had a lot of these, although the biggest contender has to be Mentral central dialog, which consist of nothing of the repeated phrase which translates to:
    I find no answers,
    - Are there any answers?
    I find no answers,
    - Are there any answers?
    I find no answers,
    - There is no answer!
    • For the benefit of doubt, all of Konkurs is this.
  • Skillet's "Monster" is about a person struggling to control their inner demons.
  • Melanie Martinez has two songs with this theme in her Concept Album Cry Baby. "Pity Party" involves the titular Cry Baby breaking down because no one came to her birthday party and is set when she's starting to crack. "Mad Hatter" is about Cry Baby embracing her mental instability and slipping much further.
  • The Neighbourhood has "Afraid" and "Female Robbery". The former is about being paranoid that everyone you know is lying about liking you and that you're replacable, while the latter is about a friend who has become increasingly mentally unstable.
  • The 2016 album by Panic! at the Disco, titled Death Of A Bachelor, has this in "Emperor's New Clothes". It is the point at which the heart-broken bachelor returns to his life of partying and quickly spirals into an unstable mental state. The music video gives a visual representation, showing the singer transforming from a handsome young man into a demonic creature throughout the song.
  • Starset has "My Demons", which is about a man dealing with his inner problems.
  • Both "Control" and "Gasoline" by Halsey. The former is about someone who is hearing voices and who feels she's losing control, while latter is about someone who is spiraling downwards and who has several unhealthy habits.
  • Covered in the album Pac Man Fever with both "Pac-Man Fever" and "Goin' Berzerk".
    I think I'm goin' berzerk. I think I'm losing my mind.
    I'm getting lost in the shuffle. It happens every time.
  • The favorite topic of Suffocation, to the point that it's easier to list their songs that don't involve the protagonist mentally disintegrating than it is the ones that do. Given their genre, said meltdowns frequently end in violence.
  • Soul Inside by Soft Cell:
    And the beat of my heart
    Marks the passing of time
    And I just wanna scream to the sky
    There are times when my mind is an explosion of feelings
    I'm trying to hold on to the soul inside
  • Eric Bogle starts to wonder if he is going insane in "Them Old Song Writin' Blues":
    I think my mind's beginnin' to go
    I just found myself wishin' I was Barry Manilow
  • Blind Guardian has a few, mostly based on specific source material, but "Another Stranger Me" (notable for the Tomato in the Mirror music video) and "The Black Chamber" both stand out.
  • P!nk has more the one of these, but the most obvious example is Don't Let Me Get Me. P!nk actually didn't perform this song for several years, saying she has come to hate it as it saddens her to revisit the way she used to feel while singing this song.
  • The Silent by Tragic Tantrum As the song plays you hear the singer getting ever more frantic as those silent little demons and their silent little ways eat her inside out. She even outright tells us:
    It's time my body go to bed
    But who to tend to my dear head?
    The night will soothe it's deadly ways
    Into the realm of the insane
  • "I'll Sleep When I'm Dead" by Set It Off is The Insomniac / Sanity Slippage Song.
    As the sun begins to rise
    I can barely shut my eyes
    This crazed, delirious mess
    Laughing at everything I see
    My sanity is spent
  • Destiny Potato (now known as Sordid Pink), a prog metal band from Serbia, has a song appropriately titled "Lunatic" on their debut album Lun.
  • Gorillaz:
    • A prime example of this is Phase 3's song "Stylo," which mostly consists of Meaningless Meaningful Words and the band's singer 2-D chanting the words "Overload, overload, overload, coming up to the overload" over and over again. Considering that this is the song that takes place in the direct aftermath of his kidnapping by the band's bassist Murdoc, his forced exposure to both him and the cybernetic replica of his seemingly-dead bandmate/surrogate little sister, and that within the song itself he's just had to witness both said cybernetic replica shooting a cop off the freeway, and Murdoc managing to land the both of them in a car chase with Bruce Willis, having a bit of a breakdown is a rather understandable reaction.
    • Also qualifying is Phase 6's song "PAC-MAN," whose music video consists of 2-D having a minor breakdown while playing the Pac-Man game that Murdoc bought for him, imagining that he is the Pac-Man and that his friends are the ghosts, consuming them all with horrifying glee. It only ends when Noodle gets sick of it and pulls the plug on the machine, forcing 2-D to stop. The video is also rather trippy, with Noodle shifting through several different animation styles in the blink of an eye at one point and 2-D gaining rainbow pupils shaped like Pac-Man partway through.
    You can call me cracked
    You can call me mad and stifled
    You can hold my hand
    Sail me into bathing light
    Everybody knows
    When I was sad, I fell for you
    Everywhere I go
  • Apollo 440's "High On Your Own Supply" is a Second-Person Narration version of this, which uses drug metaphors.
  • Many of the later albums from The Caretaker, particularly the Everywhere At The End of Time series, take this to its most haunting form; Various 20's - 30's ballroom pieces are sampled with repetition, droning sounds, distortion, and ungodly noise to represent the cognitive decline of dementia, becoming an auditory representation of someone literally losing their mind.
  • R.I.P.'s "Pyrite Girl" starts off as a sad, if somewhat eerie, song about an abuse victim. Then the singer gets it into her head that she can fix herself with gold...widening the cracks in her mind in the process. By the end, she's completely off her rocker.
    I've broken my mind
    One million times
    Now not one mark on me is out of line
    And I am made of GOLD!

    Pro Wrestling 

    Puppet Shows 

  • "The Ballad of Sara Berry" from 35mm: A Musical Exhibition is about the titular character trying to become the prom queen, growing more and more obsessed with it until she ends up killing all the other candidates to win by default.
  • In classical music this is a stock convention of Bel Canto opera — the heroine is so overcome with grief at the tragic circumstances that she finds herself in that she goes temporarily or permanently insane, and has a "mad scene." Basically just an excuse for the composer to write amazing vocal pyrotechnics. One of the most famous and possibly the Trope Codifier for opera is the mad scene from Donizetti's Lucia di Lammermoor. Outside of bel canto, probably the most notable one (and definitely the most famous male mad scene in opera) is the titular character's final aria in Peter Grimes.
  • "Lot's Wife" in Caroline, Or Change, in which a broken Caroline screams at God, losing (then regaining) her sanity as she comes to terms with the fact that she'll never escape her circumstances. Also qualifies as The Eleven O'Clock Number and, to a lesser extent, a Grief Song.
  • "The Destruction" in both versions of Carrie the Musical, which depicts the title character's mental breakdown after being humiliated at the prom.
  • Though best remembered for being one of musical theatre's most amazing pieces, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going," from Dreamgirls, is one of these. Effie, who's singing it, has just been kicked out of the Dreams and abandoned by Curtis, the group's manager and her former lover (and the father of her unborn child). As he starts to leave, she begins to sing the song to him. Though it starts out openly defiant, Effie gradually loses her confidence—and mind—as she has a total mental breakdown from the grief and strain; a (frequently-cut) verse has her outright throwing herself at Curtis and begging him not to go. By the time she gets to the bridge of the song, Curtis isn't even on the stage any more, but Effie is still singing—and even screaming—as if he was in front of her as she goes into denial and rage. This is most apparent when the song is placed in the context of the show; most cover versions play it up as stronger and more confident by removing the heavily painful overtones.
  • "A Man Could Go Quite Mad" and "Both Sides of the Coin" from Drood.
  • Bruce has "Edges of the World" in Fun Home just before he kills himself.
  • Hamilton:
    • A downplayed version: Alexander briefly freaks out during "The World Was Wide Enough" (to be fair, dying will do that to you), repeating "rise up, rise up" over and over, but gets it back together for his final lines.
    • It's played straight in the same song for Aaron Burr, who becomes more and more irrational with each line, until he eventually breaks down and shoots Hamilton in a rage.
      I had only one thought before the slaughter:
      This man will not make an orphan of my daughter!
  • JD in Heathers has "Meant To Be Yours". We know before this that he's not entirely sane, but there was always a little bit of hope holding out, in songs like "Seventeen". This song, with its violent outbursts, terrifying lyrics, and crazy time signature changes makes sure it's painfully obvious just how far gone JD is.
  • "Down With Love" from Hooray For What! is sometimes this. Barbra Streisand and Audra McDonald have both done it this way, and it's awesome.
  • Frollo's song in the stage show for The Hunchback of Notre Dame. Unlike the Disney version where he declares that he will have Esmeralda for himself or kill her so that no one else will, the stage Frollo goes into how deep his obsession runs. He knows as a man of God that it's forbidden for him to form a relationship with a woman. However, he feels something for Esmeralda that he never felt before and it's driving him insane. Like the title suggests ("Tu Vas Me Detruire"/"Your Love Will Kill Me"), he's worried that his feelings towards Esmeralda will be the death of him.
  • "The World Has Gone Insane" from Jekyll & Hyde.
  • Judas' final song in Jesus Christ Superstar.
  • "The Madness of King Scar" from the stage version of The Lion King. If you thought Scar was a Large Ham in the movie...
  • In The Medium by Gian-Carlo Menotti, Baba has a long lugubrious soliloquy late in the second act, wondering what is causing her to be so afraid. She tries to laugh it off, but it doesn't help her out of her despair.
  • Les Misérables features Inspector Javert's stunning closer:
    And must I now begin to doubt,
    Who never doubted all these years?
    My heart is stone and still it trembles
    The world I have known is lost in shadow.
  • "Can't Keep Out The Night" from Moby-Dick! The Musical. Also known as Ahab's sleep-deprived rock-solo freakout.
  • "The Private and Intimate Life of the House" from Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812, functions as one for Prince Bolkonsky as we see him have a meltdown when confronted with the effects of aging and mortality while searching for his glasses (which were on his head the whole time). A more subdued one for Princess Mary as well, who is suffering severely from being her father's punching bag and the social isolation that comes with having to be her father's primary caregiver.
    • In "Sonya & Natasha", Natasha has lost any semblance of rational thought, blinded so much by her infatuation with Anatole and excitement over their supposed elopement that she willingly risks becoming a fallen woman and shuts out Sonya, her "closest friend" according to the opening number.
    • In "Letters", Pierre rants about how Napoleon is The Anti-Christ and he knows he is destined to kill the French general and save his country.
      • Arguably "The Duel" could count as well, where Pierre gets so furious at Dolokhov's obvious sexual relations with his wife that he challenges the man to a duel he knows he won't win (Dolokhov's identifier in the opening number is even that he's a "crazy good shot").
  • Arguably half the songs in Next to Normal, although for a few of them this only becomes apparent later on.
  • "Tu vas me détruire" note  in the French musical Notre-Dame de Paris.
  • "Calm" from Ordinary Days shows how the stress of grad school life in New York is driving Deb insane. Written as a patter song, the frenetic pace highlights the constant anxiety Deb is experiencing.
  • "Running the Whole Machine"note  from Portal 2: The (Unauthorized) Musical is the song Wheatley sings after taking control of Aperture. He's already Drunk with Power from the start of the song, but when he reveals he wants to keep Chell inside to perform tests for him, he goes off the deep end fast. And when GLaDOS insults him one final time at the end of the song, his last shred of sanity disappears as well.
    GLaDOS You're a moron!
    Wheatley: OH REALLY?!
    Choir: A moron, a moron, a moron you say?
    Wheatley We'll see if that's true. / 'Cause who's getting punched through the floor? / It isn't me...
    Choir: So it must be YOU!
  • While it’s not a completely straight example (he’s still sane by the end), “Betrayed” from The Producers definitely has shades of this due to it effectively being a Villian Protagonist Breakdown for Max.
  • Ragtime: "Coalhouse's Soliloquy" is this for the title character. "Coalhouse Demands" shows exactly how far his sanity has slipped.
    Say goodbye to music.
    Say goodbye to light.
    Anything I care for,
    Take it from my sight.
    Let me see no future
    Let me hear no sound
    Only darkness and pain
    The anger and pain
    The blood and the pain
    They buried my heart in the ground....
    In the ground...
    When they buried you in the ground.
    • Notably, the above verse is musically identical to Sarah's earlier Sanity Slippage Song, "Your Daddy's Son," which she sings to her and Coalhouse's child (though Coalhouse doesn't know the baby exists, as he abandoned her before he was born). As she remembers the pain and anguish that ultimately led her to try to kill the baby by interring it alive ("When I buried you in the ground"), she has a complete breakdown that leads to a My God, What Have I Done? moment.
  • "Ez a kez utoler" ("This Is The Hand That Will Strike") from the Hungarian version of Roméo et Juliette, de la Haine à l'Amour. While its French counterpart, "C'est le jour", appeared in Act II and served mainly to exposit on Tybalt's obsession with Juliet, the Hungarian version puts it midway through Act I, right after Tybalt has had a major epileptic fit, and the song becomes the frightening yet pity-inducing rant of a clearly unwell man. The way the actor on the DVD performance drops into just screaming is seriously terrifying.
  • Moritz in Spring Awakening starts to sound rather crazy in "Don't Do Sadness" as he is driven to suicide, and accuses the world around him to be a cold, uncaring one. It seems like a combination of this and a normal BSoD Song.
    Awful sweet to be a little butterfly
    Just wingin' over things, and nothin' deep inside.
    Nothing going, going wild in you, you know.
    You're slowing by the riverside, or floatin' high and blue!
  • Stephen Sondheim really seems to like these:
    • "Rose's Turn" from Gypsy.
    • "Getting Married Today" from Company.
    • The entire "Loveland" sequence from Follies.
    • Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street: The title character's awesome Villain Song "Epiphany" is about him completely losing it after his first attempt at revenge goes wrong, and declaring a vendetta upon the entire human race.
    • Franklin Shepard Inc from Merrily We Roll Along.
    • "Boom Crunch", the Witch's erratic showstopper that was cut from Into the Woods, fits this trope to a T. Its replacement, "Last Midnight", is tamer. In either version, the Witch lectures the protagonists and then goes crazy and curses herself to disappear.
  • "Mr. Andrews' Vision" from Titanic: The Musical, where the ship's builder, Mr. Andrews, suffers a nervous breakdown as he realizes that the compromises he made in his design to accommodate the first class are the reason the 'Titanic' is doomed. As the ship sinks, he frantically redesigns his blueprints until he breaks off, visualizing the final moments of those who are left aboard the ship. As the song ends, he is crushed to death by a piece of heavy furniture.
  • The extremely aptly named "The Breakdown" from WeAreTheTigers is about as textbook with this trope as it gets. It also overlaps heavily with a textbook Villain Song.
  • "No Good Deed" from Wicked is a song about Elphaba rocketing through the 7 stages of grief before her sanity shatters like glass around 3/4 of the way through, ending with her succumbing to the title and guise of "Wicked Witch of the West".

    Video Games 
  • A rather interesting variation from Kingdom Hearts 0.2 Birth by Sleep - A Fragmentary Passage involves Aqua's Leitmotif. The main version of her theme is gentle and melancholic, but her fight with her mirror image comes with a chilling remix that perfectly represents the toll the Realm of Darkness has taken on her mind.
  • The game Portal ends with the creepy song "Still Alive" sung by the crazy antagonist master computer GLaDOS. The song is about how the computer might have survived the ending which killed it, how it's glad it lost (not really), sung with a light-hearted catchy tune.
  • Tadpole Treble has two. The secret pause menu song eventually descends into this, and the final boss's song has elements as well.
    Hey, Baton, we could just keep rockin' girl
    And we'll rock 'till we die or go INSANE!

    Web Animation 
  • "Off to the Henhouse" from Episode Three of Of Weasels And Chickens. In this song, Prima, a psychotic weasel, sings about the wonders of killing chickens.
    We’re off to the henhouse, Marcus! That’s where we’ll get our food.
    It’s a long process, fun, regardless – and the killing feels so good!
    Screams filling all my senses, chickens helpless, defenseless,
    Why, it really sends a thrill when innocent blood I spill!

    Web Comics 
  • Homestuck: There are three Flashes concerning Sanity Slippage: "[S] John: Mental Breakdown" accompanied by Hardlyquin, "[S] Karkat: Mental Breakdown" with Frustracean, and finally "[S] MSPA Reader: Mental Breakdown" accompanied by Hello Zepp from [[Film:Saw the Saw movies]]. The first two are fairly comedic, while the last... isn't.

    Web Original 
  • "Slipping"(!) from Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. "My Eyes" conveys an increasingly depressed, cynical mindset, but "Slipping" is flat-out out mad. Also possible are "Brand New Day" and "Everything You Ever", But in theory the entire musical can be considered a downward spiral.
    • Also in Commentary! The Musical, Dr. Horrible's musical commentary, "All About the Art" and to an even greater extent, "Neil's Song" are perfect examples of this trope.
      "What was his name?
      What should I say?
      The choices are endless...
      And here I am, at last alone, and friendless...
      No I'm not friendless.
      I've got some friends!
      They'll be here when this ends...
      If this ends...
  • The Nostalgia Chick plays the Barber Of Seville overture whenever she's driven to madness by Fridge Logic.
  • Linkara resorts to "Combine Harvesters" by The Wurzels during his freak-outs.
  • The Nostalgia Critic has either the chorus of "Flagpole Sitta" by Harvey Danger or the "William Tell Storm" by Gioachino Rossini play whenever he loses his mind.
  • Twisted Translations, naturally plays this for laughs with "Google Translate Sings Try Everything", which turns "Try Everything" into one of these for Gazelle.

    Western Animation 
  • John Weldon's 1996 short film "Scant Sanity" is essentially a multi-part, animated Sanity Slippage Song.
  • Played with in the Futurama episode "The Sting" in that Leela does not sing, but she's imagining the others singing (and participating in a Disney Acid Sequence).
    Leela: I'm cracking up. In my dreams I'm happy because Fry is alive. But when I'm awake, my mind plays tricks on me.
    Hermes: Oh, take it easy, Leela.
    Amy: In every life we have some trouble.
    Bender: But when you worry, you make it double.
    Amy: And (suddenly starts singing) don't worry, be happy!
    (The song goes on until it concludes and the scene returns to normal.)
    Leela: Uh, were you just singing?
    Bender: No, I was telling you not to worry. I'm not allowed to sing. Court order.
  • The Ice King gets one in the episode "I Remember You" of Adventure Time, with bonus Tear Jerker points as it's addressed to and sung by Marceline, who is reading the notes that her old friend Simon scribbled down trying to explain why he was slipping away just when she, a little girl, needed him most. Yikes.

  • According to one of her routines, Maria Bamford, on advice from her therapist, has come up with an "anxiety song" that she sings to reassure herself and fight off all her various neuroses.
    If I keep the kitchen floor clean, no one will die
    As long as I clench my fists at odd intervals, then the darkness within me won't force me to do anything inappropriately viiii-lent or sexual at dinner parties...
    As long as I keep humming the tune, I won't "turn gay"
    It can't getcha if you're singin' a song! Yeah!


Video Example(s):


"I'm Going Slightly Mad"

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

Main / SanitySlippageSong

Media sources:

Main / SanitySlippageSong