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Silly Song

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Ho-hum, the tune is dumb, the words don't mean a thing!
Isn't this a silly song for anyone to sing?
— "The Silly Song", Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

What occurs when characters who are normally at least somewhat straight-laced decide to shake things up and get down with their bad selves to, well, a Silly Song.

The characters don't even have to be singing the song themselves. Someone unseen or offscreen could be singing it, or it could obviously be playing on a radio or stereo or over a P.A. Whatever the case, the characters will (sometimes literally) drop whatever they're doing and break into a boisterous (and, uh, totally spontaneous) dance sequence (or maybe some rollicking slapstick or acrobatics) that never fails to get the audience right into the mood along with them. It is often accompanied with crazy visuals that are different from the rest of the work. When the song is over, the characters will almost always simply resume their previous activities as if they'd never stopped performing them.

Pretty much obligatory in any musical (and not just in the Western world, either). If the entire show is silly, this is the number that is by far the silliest. It can overlap with Villain Song if sung by a Laughably Evil character.


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  • In The Gay Divorcee (1934), the guests at the seaside hotel, including fussy lawyer Egbert Fitzgerald, do a random silly dance and song called "Let's K-nock K-nees."
  • Definitely the "Surfing Bird" sequence in Back To The Beach. It is relevant to the plot (such as it is), but also features dancers wearing outrageous wigs and an unexpected solo by Pee-Wee Herman, who arrives without warning and then leaves just as quickly.
  • "Blunt the Knives" in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey. When Bilbo complains about the dwarves' table manners, they burst into a song where they mock him. The film is otherwise not a musical, and features only one other, much more serious song (not counting a few lines sung by Gollum and the Great Goblin). The scene and the song were also in the book, but it features much more songs and poems, so this particular one stands out a lot less.
  • The Muppets (2011) features Tex Richman's impromptu rap, doubling as a Big-Lipped Alligator Moment and a Villain Song. Keep in mind that Tex Richman is, for the remainder of the movie, a very serious and brooding character. The ridiculousness of what just happened is quickly lampshaded.
    Tex: The answer is no.
    Kermit: You could've just said that.
  • In the film version of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, "By the Sea" is this, mainly due to the bright and beautiful imagery, which dramatically clashes with the rest of the film's grime and darkness, and the fact that it's a cannibal singing about how she'd like to settle down and live by the beach. The hilarity is compounded by Sweeney thoroughly not getting into the musical number.

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Video Example(s):



Within Jesse's mind, Jesse finds an In-Universe music video featuring the (still live-action) Darling and Trench rocking it out to a slightly reworked version of "Dyna-mite" by the UK glam rock band Mud, even featuring a title caption and supposedly being produced by "Federal Bureau of Control Records." It's so outrageously silly and complimenting of Jesse that she has to comment on how weird it is... then remembers that this is taking place inside her own mind, so really she's the weirdo who came up with it.

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