Follow TV Tropes


Singing Voice Dissonance

Go To

Often there's a big difference between a person's singing voice and their speaking voice, sometimes so dramatic that listeners have a hard time believing it's the same individual. When it crops up in fiction it becomes a case of Reality Is Unrealistic: viewers often complain that a character sounds nothing like themselves while singing, even though this is perfectly plausible in real life. It's common, if not expected, for people's tone and inflection to change drastically when they sing, and professional singers are taught to stifle their accents from early on.

When a character has two different voice actors; one for music and one for speech, that's a Non-Singing Voice. Also see Vocal Dissonance, with which it sometimes overlaps. For the non-musical Sister Trope, see Professional Voice Dissonance, where the voice a person uses for their job sounds very different to how they talk normally.


    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • Aggretsuko: Whenever Retsuko sings death metal, her voice is a lot harsher and more guttural than her regular speaking voice. Both English and Japanese have a professional, male heavy metal singer provide it.
  • Full Moon has myco voice Mitsuki with a rather high-pitched voice, but sings in her natural, much deeper voice.
  • In the English dub of Jack and the Beanstalk (1974) Jack's singing voice is much higher pitched than his lower speaking voice, his speaking voice was done by Billie Lou Watt while his singing voice was done by Corrine Orr.
  • The third Sound Stage of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha features Yuuno's Image Song, which may take listeners by surprise. After all, while Kaori Mizuhashi gives Yuuno a fairly deep male speaking voice, her Yuuno singing voice is very female-sounding.
  • An in-universe example appears in Monthly Girls' Nozaki-kun. Seo's singing on the intercom is beautiful enough to make boys fall for Lorelei and differs so dramatically from her normal rough pattern of speech that people not in the know can't tell that it's her.
  • The song "Misty's Song" from the English Pokémon album "2BA Master" (Retitled "He Drives Me Crazy" on the Totally Pokémon album) is supposedly Misty singing about her affections for Ash. However the voice doesn't sound remotely like Misty.
  • Mizore Shirayuki in Rosario + Vampire has a much higher pitched voice in her Image Songs for apparently no reason. Not that Rie Kugimiya cannot sing with a lower voice, as she did it for Nemu Kurotsuchi's Image Song who has a similar voice, but with no dissonance. Interestingly, in the middle of Snowstorm, Mizore's voice slips and sounds deeper for three seconds, but it sounds near to her normal voice.
  • Yutaka from Shonen Note: Boy Soprano is a boy soprano so this is obligatory. Vladimir is also a famous boy soprano. It's a manga so we don't hear their voices, though boy sopranos have very high pitched, usually feminine sounding singing voices.
  • The Tamagotchi television show's Yume Kira Dream story arc was localized worldwide as a webtoon called Tamagotchi Friends. In this adaptation's English dub, the child characters Yumemitchi and Kiraritchi have normal high-pitched, feminine voices as one would expect when they speak. However, there's a scene in episode 7 where they perform a song and their singing voices sound much more like adult females.

    Asian Animation 
  • Flower Angel: Season 6 episode 12 ends with Berry singing at a concert. The vocalist singing the song is obviously very different from the one who normally voices Berry, as the singing voice sounds far older than a 14-year-old girl.

    Fan Works 
  • In the EarthBound Beginnings fanfic I'm Your Friend, Till The End, Ninten normally speaks with a distinct southern twang, but switches to a high soprano when singing "All That I Needed Was You".
    It was jarring to hear the voice of a choirboy coming out of Ninten's mouth. The way he formed every sound was so different than his usual accent. The vowels stayed steady instead of warping by the end, and he didn't skip a single consonant. It was like he'd perfected every sound in the English language, but only when he sang.

  • Chris Rock has a loud, abrasive, raspy voice when he's doing stand up but when he speaks in a regular conversation he's very soft spoken.
  • Melissa Villasenor's adorkable nasal tone belies her fantastic singing voice.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Cats Don't Dance Sawyer's singing voice is much deeper than her speaking voice.
    • In the French dub, Darla Dimple's dubber, Aline Pinsonneault, has a very childish voice while speaking. But when she sings, she just sounds like an adult.
  • Héctor from Coco speaks in a somewhat odd, goofy sort of voice which becomes deeper and more serious when he sings. Of course there's a reason why this is the case, since he was once a professional singer and guitarist alongside his former friend.
  • In the original French version of The Magic Roundabout film, Dougal and the Blue Cat, Buxton's singing voice is deeper than his speaking voice.
  • Averted in Disney's Mulan. Li Shang is voiced by Broadway veteran B.D. Wong, but his singing voice is provided by Donny Osmond. Osmond's singing voice was considered a better match for Wong's speaking voice. (In other words, Donny Osmond's singing sounds more like BD Wong than he does.)
  • Oliver & Company deliberately averted Non-Singing Voice by hiring actual singers Billy Joel and Bette Midler to play Dodger and Georgette... and Dodger ends up sounding like a completely different character when he switches from speaking to singing.
    • However, during "Streets of Gold", Tito, Francis, and Einstein sing with the voices of the all-female background chorus. (They do sing with their regular voices, though, in the closing reprise of "Why Should I Worry".)
  • In the Japanese dub of Pinocchio, Jiminy Cricket has a radically different singing voice to that of his speaking voice.
  • In Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1998) Rudolph is voiced by Kathleen Barr using a similar voice to Billie May Richards, his voice actress from the original Rankin/Bass special, however his singing voice is done by a grown man sounding absolutely nothing like his speaking voice.
  • For the Swedish dub of The Smurfs and the Magic Flute, Papa Smurf's singing voice becomes higher-pitched during the "Personality" musical number.
  • In Snoopy, Come Home, during the reprise of "The Best of Buddies" when Snoopy returns home, the overjoyed kids sing along to the tune, with their voices lip-synching to the chorus. This occurrence is also used for most foreign dubs of the film, except for the Brazilian DVD version in which the kids sing along with the chorus in their regular voices.
  • In Toy Story 2, Wheezy gets a new squeaker that allows him to sing like Robert Goulet.
  • In the Thai and Turkish dubs of Vivo, Gabi's voice when speaking sounds very natural for her age, but when singing, she sounds more like an adult. Meanwhile, in the Hungarian dub, she sounds VERY young, when singing and speaking.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Was a gag in Coming to America with the song "She's Your Queen To Be".
  • In The Dark Crystal, Kira's singing voice is noticeably more adult-sounding than her usual childish tone.
  • Gershon, John C. Reilly's character in The Extra Man "sounds almost human when he sings".
  • In Love Actually, Prime Minister David is shocked to hear his driver's beautiful, operatic rendition of "Good King Wenceslaus."
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show: Riff Raff speaks in a Creepy Monotone, but sings with a highly emotive rock-and-roll voice. It’s especially noticeable in "Time Warp", where he switches back and forth between the two.
  • In Spaceballs, Princess Vespa is a bass.
  • Averted by Hilary Duff, of all people - in War, Inc. her character not only speaks with a Central Asian accent but sings with one as well.
  • A sort of example in Muppet Treasure Island; Kevin Bishop performs Jim's singing voice, but this was recorded before his voice broke, so it sounds very different from Jim's speaking voice. They couldn't rerecord the songs to avoid the dissonance because Bishop could no longer reach all the notes.

    Live-Action TV 
  • James Marsters slips into more of an American accent during his "Once More With Feeling" solo in Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
  • On an episode of Cheers, Lilith takes singing lessons. The gang at the bar are surprised when she sings a sweet lullabye to Frederick.
  • Played for Laughs and lampshaded in Chuck when John Casey reveals that he was a choir boy.
  • In early episodes of Donkey Hodie, Purple Panda speaks in an Ernie-esque voice when talking, but has a deeper voice when singing. This changed in later episodes, where his singing voice sounds similar to the speaking one.
  • Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. had a high-pitched kooky Southern-accented speaking voice, but his singing voice was a lovely baritone.
  • Barbara Eden, of I Dream of Jeannie fame, once performed "Spinning Wheel." In one of the deepest, richest, most powerful contraltos ever recorded.
  • In the Musical Episode of Once Upon a Time almost everyone sounds generally the same when they sing as when they speak, except for Granny (who practically reaches operatic territory in her short verse) and Jennifer Morrison, who sounds almost ethereally British during her two songs.
  • In the Star Trek: Strange New Worlds Musical Episode "Subspace Rhapsody", General Garkog has a gruff voice that's typical of Klingons. However, when he and his bridge crew turn into a K-Pop boy band, his voice goes up to tenor.

  • Milli Vanilli is a subversion of sorts. Many people at the time noted that while frontmen Rob Pilatus and Fab Morvan appeared to sing and rap in perfect American English, they actually barely knew English at all, and their speaking voices were VERY heavily accented (French for Fab, German for Rob). Infamously, it turned out "their" singing voices were literally completely different — they were lipsynching to the voices of American-born musicians.
  • Gorillaz singer 2D is voiced by two different people, and the group is often met with complaints that his speaking voice is too different from his vocals for him to be able to sing in the albums.
  • Claudio Sanchez's high-pitched, almost feminine singing voice contrasts with his softer, deeper speech.
  • Simon LeBon of Duran Duran sings mostly with a nasal-tinged tenor that has nary a trace of a British accent, while his speaking voice is lower-pitched and reflects his Brummie roots.
  • Adele is known for her powerful singing voice, but speaks with a sort of shrill, slurring North London accent.
  • Rihanna's singing voice contrasts with her heavily Barbados-accented speech. Her speaking voice is not ugly by any means, but it is hard to understand for people not used to the accent.
    • Some of her early hits also showed the accent, so this one can probably be explained by voice training.
  • Van Morrison's singing voice is a smooth mid-Atlantic that's hard to place, but his speaking voice (occasionally heard on albums, such as the spoken-word piece "Coney Island") is a strong and unmistakeable Belfast accent.
  • Shrieking metal singers also have this, but it's usually their speaking voice which is more pleasant than their singing voice. Examples include Alice Cooper, Rob Halford, Dani Filth and King Diamond.
    • The more extreme subgenres of metal, such as death metal and black metal, are pretty much this by default, since the "singing" is more along the lines of growling and screaming, and naturally the people doing the vocals have way different sounding speaking voices than when they are singing.
  • Jim Nabors was famous for this. As Gomer Pyle, he spoke with a typical southern drawl*, but sang with a beautiful operatic baritone.
  • Country singer Mel Tillis had a pronounced stutter when he spoke (to say the least) but he sang clearly with no hitches or hesitation. This came in handy during one tour when one of his roommates who’d gotten locked out decided to climb in through the open window and was mistaken by Mel for a burglar. Unable to speak, Mel began *singing* to his other roommate “Wayne, somebody’s coming through our window!”
  • Olivia Newton-John and Keith Urban are both Australiansnote  who sing with an American accent.
  • Prince had a speaking voice that was considerably and quite noticeably deeper than what we usually hear him singing with. "Diamonds and Pearls" was one of the very few songs in which he sang in his natural range
  • When the late Michael Jackson sang, his voice sounded high-pitched, but masculine and powerful. His speaking voice, meanwhile, sounded even much more willowy and feminine. However, according to those closest to him, the aforementioned voice was actually a put onnote , with his natural speaking voice sounding closer to his singing voice. He would speak with his natural voice more frequently in public during the last decade of his life.
  • Céline Dion's singing voice, whether she's singing in French or English, contrasts heavily with her thick Québecois accent.
    • In fact, this (almost) always apply to any Québécois singer. More noticeable between English and Québécois French though, as some French-singing Québécois retain shades of accent while singing (Isabelle Boulay), or just don't bother to "correct" it (Linda Lemay).
  • Self-Insert employs intense vocal modification effects borrowed from the hyperpop genre that completely disconnect their appearance from the tone of their voices.
  • Singer Akhenaton from French rap group IAM has a Southern French accent you could cut with an axe when speaking, but not in his songs. Which are, naturally, mostly spoken. Go figure.
  • Country Music artist Blaine Larsen has a high, nasal speaking voice, but a rather deep, rich singing voice.
  • Mariah Carey has a deep speaking voice but her singing voice is high pitched.
  • Lead singer Bert McCracken of The Used has a harsh speaking voice (possibly due to years of smoking) but his singing voice is relatively high and clean.
  • Julee Cruise has a soft, airy singing voice, while her speaking voice is significantly lower and raspier. This is most evident in her song "You're Staring At Me", which starts out with a short spoken word monologue.
  • Billie Joe Armstrong speaks with a Californian accent and sings with an English-sounding one — not surprising considering some of his biggest influences are British punk bands.
  • Chad Kroeger is almost never seen singing without his signature scratchy voice. His talking voice is much more smooth and clean.
  • Christina Aguilera initially startled people with this — her speaking voice is generally on the higher-pitched, softer, girly side. Her singing voice tends toward "deep bellow".
  • Compare James Blunt and his depressing singing tone with the enthusiastic voice he speaks with.
  • Queen:
    • Freddie Mercury had a rather baritone speaking voice and a very wide vocal range, but typically defaulted to a high angelic tenor when singing.
    • Roger Taylor, the drummer and occasional vocalist of Queen, even more so. His speaking voice is rather high and soft and yet he could either sound extremely masculine, extremely feminine or rather normal when he was singing. Roger, without a doubt, had the most versatile voice and the widest vocal range in the group.
    • As far as the accent omission goes Queen has a habit of zig-zagging, though it's mostly either for the sake of maintaining musicality/beat (Singing "cabinet" like ca-bin-ette (more RP) instead of cab-net (more American) in "Killer Queen") or small slips that no one happened to catch, though the latter can be a little weird in the context of an otherwise American-sounding accent.
  • Listen to Nelly Furtado speak, and then listen to her sing. It's hard to believe it's the same woman sometimes. Both in English (her speaking voice is unremarkable, compared to how her singing is sharp, nasal, a bit shrill) and Portuguese (she sings like a Canadian, yet speaks with the Lisbon accent of her parents).
  • When Kelly Clarkson speaks she sounds like a perky white girl from Texas. But then she sings like this. Before being on American Idol she was trying to make it in LA, sending demo tapes to record companies who were surprised to see that she was white when they met her.
  • Jackie Evancho sounds like a normal girl when she talks but when she sings, she sounds like an opera singer.
    • Ditto for Katie Stelmanis, who was in fact classically trained.
  • Christian Alvestam has a deep voice and a heavy Swedish accent when he speaks, but when he sings, his voice is not only much, much higher, but there is also no accent at all.
  • Namgar speaks in a soft, squeaky voice, but sings in a much deeper voice, as is the custom with Buryat-Mongolian folk music.
  • Ozzy Osbourne is practically unintelligible when speaking, partially because of hardcore drug abuse, but also his distinctively thick Brummie accent. This has become downplayed as of the 2010s, due to him putting an effort into sobering up and made his speaking voice much clearer.
  • Joy Division's Ian Curtis sang in a deep baritone (except in the band's earliest recordings), and without much of an accent (such that he was frequently compared to Jim Morrison), but in the few recordings of his speaking voice he sounds quite high pitched and has an even stronger Mancunian/Macclesfield accent than the other three members of the band.
  • Chino Moreno has a boyish, soothing tenor singing voice, but his speaking voice is so much deeper it's hard to believe it's the same guy.
  • Former American Idol contestant Colton Dixon speaks with a light Southern accent, but his singing voice sounds rather Australian.
    • Another American Idol example is Lazaro Arbos, whose speaking voice is exactly what you'd expect from someone who lived in Cuba until age 10 and speaks English as a second language; furthermore he has a prominent stutter. His singing voice, on the other hand, has no stutter and, except for the occasional flubbed lyric, little indication that he was an immigrant from a Spanish-speaking country.
  • Florence Welch, while not a change in tone or accent, has a powerful singing voice that is in stark contrast to her typically soft, timid speaking voice. It's frequently been said that she talks like a mouse but sings like a lion.
  • Axl Rose sings in a yowling, screeching high tenor, but his speaking voice — especially at times when he's been relaxed — is almost a bass. The auditory whiplash can be a little jarring.
  • Shirley Manson retains her Scottish accent speaking, but not singing (except a word every now and then, such as the Title Drops of "Stupid Girl" and "Run Baby Run"). Butch Vig even admitted that in her first audition, "there was a little bit of a language barrier" as he and the other two guys couldn't understand her accent.
  • Jimmy Somerville of Bronski Beat and The Communards sings in an angelic countertenor (not necessarily falsetto) voice, but sounds like an average Scotsman when speaking. During his tenure with The Communards, Sommerville was often paired with singing partner Sarah Jane Morris, whose deep contralto was a stark contrast to his voice, as well as her own speaking voice.
  • Little Boots has a chirpy pop princess singing voice, but speaks with a deeper Lancashire accent.
  • R&B singer Michel'le has a squeaky, high-pitched speaking voice (similar to that of comedienne Felicia Michaels), in stark contrast to her powerful singing voice.
  • Art Garfunkel's singing voice is a sweet, high tenor. His speaking voice sounds like Dustin Hoffman.
  • While Cheryl Cole and Nadine Coyle of Girls Aloud have lovely voices when they sing, Cheryl's Geordie accent and Nadine's Northern Irish accent are thick enough to warrant subtitles when they speak.
  • Gary LeVox of Rascal Flatts has a fairly normal speaking voice (as heard in this radio interview), but a very high, whiny, and nasal singing voice.
  • Tony Harnell, the former vocalist of TNT, has a very deep and smooth-sounding speaking voice, but he can reach an upper B flat 5 with ease. The best part? He's 50 years old and he still does it just as easily.
  • Mnemic's lead vocalist Guillaume Bideau. Compare his speaking (skip to his part to hear him) to his singing.
  • Till Lindemann of Rammstein has a positively mellow speaking voice to contrast his furious growling in-song.
  • Much like the above-mentioned Till Lindemann, Marilyn Manson also is a much, much calmer sounding person when he's not singing. Although, the drugs likely were partially responsible for that one.
  • Robin Finck of Nine Inch Nails has a rather soft speaking voice, stark contrast to his onstage screaming.
  • Joakim Brodén, singer of Sabaton, has a speaking voice which is the posterchild for "Swedish male, mid-thirties, working class background", with a slight Dalecarlian accent. Interview in English Interview in Swedish. His singing voice, on the other hand...
    • Joakim gets this in two ways. First, his singing voice is much deeper and more assertive than his speaking voice. Second, his speaking voice has a very obvious Swedish accent, but his singing voice's accent sounds... Kinda Scottish? Vaguely German?
  • Colin Hay of Men at Work is a Scottish immigrant to Australia, with natural Scottish singing and speaking accents. It can be, as a result, hard to tell he sings in a new wave band that comes from the Land Down Under if judging from his vocals alone.
  • Blur's lead singer Damon Albarn sings in a regular tenor in most of the early and middle Blur songs, but his speaking voice is significantly deeper.
  • Shakira deserves some mention here. Hearing her speak, you wouldn't expect the passionate, throaty, thick growl she sings with.
  • Toni Braxton does have a low, somewhat-deep speaking voice. It's quite soft, too. But it's vastly different from the thick, smokey, alto purr she's famous for.
  • Petri Lindroos of Ensiferum is a very, very effeminate-looking guy, so you'd think he'd have a high, soft voice, right? Wrong.
    • Then again, this trope can be applied to a lot of metal singers/screamers. Alexi Laiho is another good example.
  • '80s R&B/pop singer Billy Ocean has a noticeable Trinidadian accent, but sings with an American accent.
  • Katy Steele, the lead singer of Australian band Little Birdy, has a high-pitched girly singing voice (with little accent), but her speaking voice, whilst still fairly high-pitched, is less girly, and she has a lot more of an Australian accent.
  • Joss Stone sings with a contralto American accent, so it's surprising to hear a high-pitched girly British accent come out of her when she speaks.
  • Grizzly Bear's Ed Droste has a rich, smooth singing voice quite different from the soft, lispy tone he talks with.
  • R&B singer Ashanti speaks with a heavy, soft New York accent, in a lower tone. Her singing voice is far on the high-pitched, girly side, is slightly nasal, and she favors belting.
  • Sarah McLachlan's speaking voice is pleasant, if not ordinary, a bit low-pitched. She's best-known for her beautiful, ethereal singing voice, which sits a fair deal higher.
  • Jon Anderson of Yes has a very high, ethereal tenor singing voice but has a very rural and Northern English accent in his speaking voice.
  • Geddy Lee of Rush became known in the 1970s for his extremely high-pitched, feminine, and powerful voice with a faux-British accent, while his speaking voice has stayed consistently low and soft.
  • Elvis Costello is famous for his nasal, almost American-sounding singing voice; when he speaks, though, he sounds like an average Englishman.
  • When you listen to Seether's Shaun Morgan in an interview, it's quite jarring to hear his relatively calm, South African-accented speaking voice contrast with his harsh, Kurt Cobain-esque singing voice.
  • The Tiger Lillies are probably one of the only groups to ever cause this trope multiple different ways. Martyn Jaques, the main singer, is known for using an operatic soprano for his songs, but of course he doesn't sound like that when he talks. But he also uses other voices to sing with, such as a guttural growl (Miracle Cure) and a slightly more nasal tone (Angry), sometimes flip-flopping between vocal styles in the middle of a song.
  • Something For Kate's Paul Dempsey speaks with a smooth tenor Australian accent, but when he sings, it's more of a gritty baritone akin to Gavin Rossdale.
  • Neil Young is known for his very high, reedy, strident tenor voice; his speaking voice is far deeper.
  • Ian McCulloch of Echo & the Bunnymen. After his singing voice changed due to heavy smoking, it can be hard to understand what he says when speaking normally.
  • Throughout his career, Jimmy Reed has always had a fairly deep but pleasant voice with a distinctive Southern accent. His singing voice tended to fluctuate from song to song, with his fairly deep voice being evident in both his earlier tracks and his latter tracks. There was about a period of time, from about 1955 to 1961, where it was common for him to sing in a soft mush-mouthed manner — a vocal style that he was no longer able to pull off as of 1962 or so.
  • Chester Arthur Burnett, a.k.a Howlin' Wolf, is pretty notable is being the one blues artist whose singing voice actually does match his speaking voice. Fellow bluesman, Buddy Guy, was one of those to make note of that.
  • Texan guitar virtuoso Eric Johnson (of "Cliffs of Dover" fame) sings with a breathy tenor similar to Green Gartside. In interviews, he sounds eerily similar to Jeff Goldblum.
  • Croatian singer Jacques Houdek has two different singing voices, one that's a more high-pitched pop sound that's close to his speaking voice, the other a low tenor opera style. It's hard to not think it's two different people singing when hearing his music for the first time.
  • Tendon Levey, best known for his high tenor vocals and goat-like warble, speaks with a deep, throaty baritone not even remotely resembling his singing voice.
  • Bernadette Peters has a rather raspy speaking voice. But when she sings...!
  • British Boy Band Five had each member with a different English Accent, but when they sing, they don't sound British at all. Not even during the raps!
  • Laura Jane Grace of the band Against Me! has a medium-pitched, almost nasally speaking voice, but a loud, rugged, powerful singing voice.
  • Elle King's sharp and raspy vocals stand in sharp contrast to her beautifully soft speaking tone.
  • Tarja Turunen, former frontwoman of Nightwish, has a fairly harsh and deep-pitched speaking voice with a pretty thick Finnish accent. Onstage, however, she's a classically trained lyric soprano reputed as one of the finest rock and metal (and classical) vocalists in the world, and these days her accent nearly disappears when she sings (it was much thicker earlier in her career, leading to a number of Something Something Leonard Bernstein moments).
  • Sting is white and English, and sounds like it when speaking. His singing voice, however, sounds Puerto Rican (or, according to Elvis Costello, Jamaican; the title of The Police's second album wasn't pseudo-French for "white reggae" for nothing). It's notoriously unintelligible in any case.
  • R&B singer Ella Mai sounds African-American when she sings, but has an English accent when she speaks, in addition to having a deeper speaking voice.
  • Rick Astley's singing voice is so deep and it makes such a contrast with his red hair and pale skin, that he was believed to be the front man for a black singer. In fact, this happened when he sent his first tapes to music executives — he had to sing on-stage to convince Stock Aitken Waterman that yes, he was the one singing.
  • Played straight with the late Scott Weiland on Stone Temple Pilots' first two albums, as his yarling baritone delivery contrasted with his higher-pitched speaking voice. Mostly averted from STP's Tiny Music onward and with his other projects, including his solo albums and Velvet Revolver.
  • Michael Stipe of R.E.M. is known for his high-pitched, reedy singing voice that only seemed to get higher with age, especially after he stopped burying his vocals from Lifes Rich Pageant-onwards. His normal speaking voice, however, is much more deep and gravely (as heard on "Belong" and "Blue").
  • Tomi Fujiyama is a Japanese country singer. She was taught to sing country with an American accent, but she speaks English with a Japanese accent.
  • Throughout his bubblegum pop career, Jason Donovan had a baritone-sounding singing voice, while his speaking voice was a bit higher-pitched and youthful than his singing voice. As time went on, while he still has his baritone-sounding singing voice, it began to sound more like his normal speaking voice.
  • Tiny Tim was this tall, somewhat stalky guy with a deep, baritone voice, which was why it was so strange to hear him sing in his signature lilt-like falsetto. It just added to his various oddities.
    • He sings in his natural baritone voice as well as falsetto on his album "God Bless Tiny Tim". His baritone singing is quite pleasant, especially in the standard "This Is All I Ask".
  • Juan Luis Guerra, famous Dominican Bachata and Merengue singer, has a quite deep and gruff talking voice, but he sings in the nasal, almost high-pitched register typical of the genres he commonly performs.
  • Bonnie Tyler sings in a vaguely American-sounding voice, of the kind that fits Jim Steinman songs. Her speaking voice is extremely Welsh.
  • Sia is known for her deep, powerful raspy vocals (sometimes also slurred and cursive), but her speaking voice is much higher and, especially in the 2000s, she at times almost speaks at a childlike pitch (plus her then-strong Australian accent).
  • Amy Winehouse had a North London/Cockney accent when talking, and the voice of an African-American soul singer when singing.

  • Alice Glass has a strong Canadian accent when she speaks that isn't present at all when she sings.

  • Inverted in the live recording of Newsies: Ben Fankhauser, who plays Davey, puts on a stronger New York accent in group numbers so that his voice better blends with the other Newsies'.

    Video Games 
  • The Demon of Song in Dark Souls II invokes this by having a singing voice identical to the Milfanito that sing to comfort the undead, despite looking like a huge corpse hidden inside a frog-like body. According to the Milfanito, it copies their song in order to lure in prey.
  • Idol Singer Quna in Phantasy Star Online 2 has this problem. She is voiced by Eri Kitamura, who is somewhat known for being incapable of singing in anything other than her natural voice. Quna typically has a cute, high-pitched speaking voice or a deep, soft-spoken voice when she transforms into Zelsius Quna, but when she sings, her pitch appears to drop several octaves. More recent concerts have made a point of averting this by having Kitamura sing in a higher pitch that sounds like Quna's speaking voice, but it's still noticeable.
  • In the English dub of Yakuza: Like a Dragon, Koichi has a markedly gruff voice. When he sings "Machinegun Kiss" in the karaoke minigame, however, his voice loses its gruffness and goes up an octave.
  • Raving Rabbids has the covers from the first two games sound close to the Rabbids true voices, maybe sounding a bit like Gummibär, but this trope gets played straight in "Rayman Raving Rabbids TV Party" Where the Rabbids who sang the covers sound surprisingly baritone or like Freddie Mercury in "Ladies Night", Born To Be Wild" and "Another One Bites the Dust", but special mention goes to their cover of You Know I'm No Good". While Amy Winehouse had the voice of an African-American soul singer when singing, the Rabbids singing of that song sound as if a child was singing it, or maybe a bit like Miku.


    Web Original 
  • Atop the Fourth Wall: Lewis Lovhaug. His in-character voice is rather high and nasal, but when he does a video out-of-character, his more natural voice is deeper. He also has a rather strong, not-nasal singing voice when he sings in-character (tenor) or as Harvey Finevoice (baritone).
  • Doug Walker has a rather high-pitched speaking voice (which goes even higher-pitched when The Nostalgia Critic goes especially crazy), but when he sings (as seen in the TGWTG Year One Brawl, and the Moulin Rouge! review), it is a beautiful operatic tenor. Though subverted at the time, as he can sing with his normal voice, which is more Musical theater tenor as opposed to his opera singing voice.
  • Filthy Frank: A similar case with the above two is with George Miller. His voice as the titular character is a gruff smoker rasp, and his voice as "Pink Guy" is very whiny and nasal. Neither of these match up with his singing voice, a smooth, pleasant baritone.
  • The virtual idol group hololive has Subaru Oozora, who's themed after a duck and has a speaking voice to match, and her attempts at speaking quietly for an ASMR video have been compared to "Donald Duck with throat cancer". Her singing voice, on the other hand, is extremely silky and smooth, to the point that fans have nicknamed it her "Swan mode".
  • Jon Jafari has a speaking voice that could be compared to Curly, and he can be very shrill when he wants to be. Not to mention his notorious "ECH ECH" Verbal Tic/what part of his throat does he even make that vocalization in, which some of his fans even find to be annoying. However, he studied musical theater, and when he wants to sing, he doesn't just do it well — he does it operatically.
  • In RWBY, Weiss Schnee's speaking voice is notably higher and more nasal than her singing voice. The reason for this is that her singing voice is provided by Casey Lee Williams, who sings almost every song in the show.
  • VShojo has Ironmouse, who was receiving professional operatic training before health concerns forced her to stop. She will still break out the "opera voice" on occasion for her fans, which is quite a bit deeper and more powerful than her usual high-pitched speaking voice.

    Western Animation 
  • Finn from Adventure Time has the ability to sing in an Auto Tuned version of his voice actor's voice, given that he once swallowed a computer, though he only does it sparingly during the show's later seasons.
  • The title character of Bluey has broken into song on multiple occasions since the second season; she has often sung entire lines of dialogue in a voice that sounds like that of a significantly older operatic soprano.
  • Zig-zagged in The Brilliant World of Tom Gates. Tom has three different singing voices, two of which are obviously adults, making it incredibly clear to tell when Tom is singing or not.
  • Centaurworld: Glendale's voice is normally croaky and raspy, but those qualities almost completely disappear when she's singing. A flashback to her childhood shows she can speak normally, but her voice becomes raspy when she's stressed out.
  • In Max Fleischer's Color Classic The Kids in the Shoe, said kids sound like regular kids — that is, until they refuse to go to sleep as ordered and instead start playing guitar and piano for a wild swing tune, "Mama Don't Allow No Music", for which they all sound like adult males when they sing, with at least one kid sounding so guttural and raspy as to sound like Popeye.
  • Dead End: Paranormal Park: In the episode "The Phantom of the Theme Park," when Pugsley casts a spell to make everything a musical, Courtney's normally raspy and scratchy voice transitions to a much smoother one when singing.
  • In Happy Monster Band, the eponymous band's members are all kids and have normal kid voices when speaking normally, but when they actually perform songs their voices become noticeably deeper and sound very much like adults. This is because their singing voices are provided by, of all people, Tally Hall. This is averted in the British English dub, where the monsters' voice actors do both their speaking and singing voices.
  • Hazbin Hotel: Vaggie has quite a deep speaking voice but her singing voice is much higher.
  • An episode of Hey Arnold! reveals that Mr. Hyunh, whose speaking voice has a very heavy Vietnamese accent, sounds just like Randy Travis when he sings.
  • Jem:
    • One episode featured Kimber singing a duet with Stormer of The Misfits. Both have high pitched and squeaky voices but in their duet sing in low-pitched deep voices. Despite popular belief, Kimber and Stormer actually used different voice actresses in "I'm Okay". Stormer's singing voice being deep isn't even a one-off thing. Her singing voice is consistently deeper than her talking voice. In the series' last song, "Farewell", her one line is sung in a low voice (though not the same one). It's also deep in several Misfits songs, with a few exceptions.
    • Roxy has a somewhat low, gravely voice however in her one solo song they used Pizzazz's singing voice. Pizzazz's voice is more high pitched and sounds nothing like Roxy.
    • Minx has a noticeable German accent when she speaks however when she sings she has a deep voice with an American accent. This is most noticeable in "Destiny".
  • Kaeloo: Eugly the rabbit speaks in whispers, but what can be heard sounds deep and masculine. Her singing voice, on the other hand, is beautiful and feminine.
  • King of the Hill: Jeff Boomhauer, who talks so fast he's unintelligible has a very pleasant, normal singing voice (provided by Vince Gill).
  • Phineas and Ferb:
    • Candace experiences this in the episode "Jerk de Soleil", when, due to an allergic reaction, she sings in a deep, raspy male voice.
    • Not to mention Ferb, who rarely speaks, but whose singing voice is played by different voice actors.
  • The Proud Family: Louder and Prouder: While Penny had a pleasant, girly singing voice in the original show, "Snackland" shows that puberty has changed her singing voice to the raspy, masculine voice of Tone Lōc. According to Trudy It Runs in the Family, as her singing voice changed to sounding like Barry White.
  • In the Ready Jet Go! episode "Holidays in Boxwood Terrace", Mitchell's singing voice is very high-pitched compared to his regular voice, as that Mitchell has a separate VA for his singing voice.
  • Mikey from Recess had an absurdly deep, baritone singing voice for a child in Grade 4, also provided by Robert Goulet. It's used as a plot point in one episode, where Mikey reveals that he can also disguise his voice by speaking with his singing voice.
  • The Simpsons:
    • In "Homer of Seville", when Homer is lying on his back, his singing voice is majestic and beautiful, though his speaking voice (and his singing voice while upright) is the same old Homer.
    • In another episode, "Homer's Barbershop Quartet", it's revealed that Barney is a ridiculously good tenor.
    • From "Bart's Girlfriend":
      [Bart hears a lovely female singing voice]
      Bart: Jessica!
      Lisa: Bart, be strong! You don't need that little hellcat.
      Bart: Oh, Lis, she's already drawing me to her with her beautiful siren song.
      [Bart opens the church's door and sees that the voice is coming from none other than Ned Flanders; Bart shudders]
      Bart: That's very disturbing.
    • Played for Laughs in "New Kids On The Blecch", when the Party Posse is singing with the voice enhancers. They're pre-pubescent boys singing in deep male teenage/young adult voices. It's especially funny how Ralph Wiggum's voice is the deepest out of all the four.
  • In the Animated Adaptation of Soul Music, Buddy doesn't have his Llamadosian accent while singing, although he's still voiced by Andy Hockley (who doesn't have that accent in Real Life). (In the book, it's implied the accent disappeared altogether the moment the guitar chose him, which doesn't happen in the series.)
  • Cornwallis Hanky from South Park has a tenor voice while singing. Also, Sexual Harassment Panda's singing voice is muffled by the suit, yet when he speaks, he's completely intelligible.
  • Zorak from Space Ghost and its various [adult swim] spin-offs had this sometimes, depending on the adaptation. He sounds like his normal self in this duet with Brak. But here, he has a heavenly singing voice.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: SpongeBob has sang a few songs where his childish happy-go-lucky voice gets entirely replaced.
  • Varian from Tangled: The Series has a rather raspy teenage voice that becomes deeper and more adultlike without the rasp when singing.
  • In the extended theme song to Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go, Thomas has a different-sounding singing voice, so did Percy, Nia, Kana, Diesel, Carly, and Sandy. Their singing voices are also different in the album version of the musical numbers.


Video Example(s):



This is what happens when you have separate voices for speaking and singing, and one actor hits puberty way before the other.

How well does it match the trope?

4.67 (18 votes)

Example of:

Main / SingingVoiceDissonance

Media sources: