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That Syncing Feeling

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I wanted to die. It stopped; "Girl, you know it's-Girl, you know it's-Gir-" 80,000 people. "Girl, you know it's-Girl, you-" You know, I couldn't repeat it fifteen times! "Girl, you-" So I stopped, I panicked, I ran off stage. Julie Brown, who used to work for MTV, ran after me. I didn't wanna go back to the stage; I'd had enough. 80,000 people waiting. I said, "I've had enough. I quit."
Rob Pilatus, on the disastrous concert that led to Milli Vanilli's exposure as a fraud.

The performers are singing along in concert, wowing the crowd with their harmonies and lyrics. But then lyrics and music start repeating in a way that only happens on records or CDs! The truth is out: the music and singing was all pre-recorded and the performers were merely lip-syncing — and now they're sunk. Basically, this is when someone is pretending to sing (or otherwise perform), but something (usually a mishap) reveals their deception. Very often an Oh, Crap! moment.

While the fact that lipsyncing is all but expected in several places (live performances involving lots of uptempo dancing or very demanding material, TV appearances where the practice has been commonplace for decades and often not necessarily through the performer's choice) has lessened the general sting associated with it, the general unwritten rule is still considered "don't get caught".

A subtrope of Professional Voice Dissonance and Singing Voice Dissonance. Compare Hong Kong Dub for the movie equivalent. See also Wrong Song Gag.


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  • In The '90s, there was a commercial for blank audio tapes for recording (possibly Memorex). It shows a band onstage performing while occasionally cutting to a tape playing. The announcer for the commercial says "If music is important to you, be sure to put it on the right length tape." The band's lip syncing is discovered when the tape runs out. Then the band follows suit, followed by an angry mob.
  • The Milli Vanilli incident is parodied in a Carefree gum commercial, where the duo sing opera until the record starts skipping. The announcer even mockingly responds with "Until these guys sing for themselves." when bringing up the gum's long lasting flavor.
  • A soft drinks commercial starring Robbie Williams spoofed this trope by having him field an interview question about lip-synching at concerts and make a pious little speech condeming the practice... which carried on uniterrupted while he took a swig from a bottle of the aforementioned soft drink.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Ouran High School Host Club, Haruhi gets kidnapped by the Lobelia's Zuka Club and is made to sing in their play. Despite being poor at music, she sings nearly perfectly at rehearsal, which surprises her dad and Host Club members (who are spying on her). Then a girl accidentally unplugs the CD player and it's shown that it's all lipsync. Points for Haruhi continuing to lipsync and not even notice that the music's stopped.

    Comic Books 
  • Done in Archie Comics, when Veronica wants to join the carolers, but is a terrible singer. So she cooks up a scheme where Veronica gets a friend to hide while singing into a microphone, and Veronica will wear a speaker disguised as a pendant. At rehearsals, all goes well. When they go out actually caroling (which is, of course, in the dead of winter), her friend can't take the cold and starts coughing. Veronica tries to play along, but her friends quickly get suspicious. Those suspicions are confirmed when her friend apologizes to Veronica and says she's going home, which is overheard by one and all, exposing Veronica's scheme.

    Comic Strips 
  • In one Garfield Sunday strip, Garfield apparently sings a song to Jon, but starts repeating two words over and over. The cat then applies Percussive Maintenance to the record player that was actually playing the song.

  • There's an Urban Legend that for Elvis Presley's last tour(s) one of his "backup" singers was an Elvis Impersonator who was actually singing the lead melody; if Elvis got tired or forgot the lyrics the control room would switch so that the impersonator's mic was the one being sent out over the speakers.

    Films — Animation 
  • A magically induced example in My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks. The Dazzlings, being Sirens, uses their jewels to be amplify their singing and induce a Hate Plague which they feed off of. However when Twilight, Sunset and Humane Five manage to beat them in their musical battle, the jewels are destroyed and the girls' attempt at singing afterward are flat and toneless. Resulting in the crowd they were mesmerizing earlier to boo them off the stage, complete with Produce Pelting.
  • One scene of Happy Heroes 2: The Battle of Planet Qiyuan has Happy S., Zelia, and Big M. pretending to be the band Aprilday (a parody of the real-life Taiwanese band Mayday). Big M. does quite an impressive singing voice when they perform at their concert, and the fans can barely tell the difference. And then Big M.'s phone battery goes dead, the audience realizes he was lip-syncing the lyrics, and they're certainly not happy about it.
  • On the "Gaucho Goofy" segment of Saludos Amigos, Goofy is singing a traditional Gaucho folk song when the words start repeating, revealing that he was actually lip-synching to a record.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • In Singin' in the Rain, Lina is forcing Kathy to dub all her performances from now on. When she's asked to sing a song at the movie premiere, she has Kathy behind the curtain singing for her. Don then pulls open the curtain, revealing Kathy to the audience, but Lina is not made aware until Cosmo starts filling in for Kathy. For added irony, Kathy's actress Debbie Reynolds was dubbed, and in some songs by Jean Hagen...who played Lina!
  • In the night club scene in Mulholland Dr., a singer performs a Tear Jerker song during which she suddenly collapses while we continue to hear her singing. That's when the lead couple and the audience realize that the singer had been lipsyncing all along.
  • Airheads features a variation of this as the climax: the band The Lone Rangers has managed to sign a contract with an (unknown to them) corrupt records executive that contractually forces them to lip-sync their songs when performing live. None of the Rangers accept this (seeing their love of being able to perform as more important) and thus expose the scam on their very first live performance outside the radio station they're holding hostage, by not playing their instruments as the tape plays their song's opening riff and then finally inciting a riot.
  • Get Ready to Be Boyzvoiced: Things start to go downhill for Boyzvoice when the CD that they were lip-syncing to starts skipping during a charity concert.
  • The Marx Brothers' classic Monkey Business has a scene where each of the brothers tries to get off the cruise ship they've all stowed away on by imitating Maurice Chevalier (whose passport they've somehow gotten a hold of). When it's Harpo's turn, he starts "singing" "You Brought A New Kind Of Love To Me" in Chevalier's own voice... only to reveal that he's got a portable wind-up phonograph strapped to his back, which starts winding down.
  • In BoyTown, the band are forced to resort to this due to illness in their last concert of the tour, using a recording of their previous concert. It backfires due to the recording being damaged.
  • The Rocker: The main character's former band, Vesuvius, is performing a concert to celebrate their induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame when the lead singer does a trick with the microphone stand, and the microphone goes flying away... only for him to be able to continue singing uninterrupted. Everyone starts to look confused as the stage crew rushes to give him a new mic. Then the Repetitive Audio Glitch starts up and the jig is up. Vesuvius gets booed off stage and the protagonist's new band, A.D.D., is called in to perform an encore in their stead.
  • This drives the plot of The Lizzie McGuire Movie. Lizzie is Rome, where she finds she has an Identical Stranger who's a pop star, Isabella. Isabella's partner, Paolo, explains that Isabel relied on lip syncing and has recently quit; he wants Lizzie to take her place at a concert, while lip syncing, to preserve Isabella's reputation. It turns out his real plan is to cut the backing track during Lizzie's performance, invoking this to ruin Isabella. Moreover, he's the one who can't sing, and Isabella had quit because she didn't want to deal with his antics anymore. At the concert, Isabella comes in to provide Lizzie's vocals, sparing them both from humiliation, while Gordo cuts Paolo's, revealing him as a fraud. Then Isabella comes on stage and does a duet with Lizzie.

  • In Fairest, this is done through ventriloquism. The new queen is awful at singing and hates it as well, but singing is deeply embedded in the culture of Ayortha. So when she discovers the heroine Aza performing ventriloquism to amuse herself, she hatches a scheme for Aza to be her singing voice. Unfortunately, they're exposed when a courtier spills water on the queen. The queen berates them without thinking, while Aza doesn't realise and carries on singing.
  • In Star Island, two years before the story begins, Cherry Pye, performing at Boston Garden under the influence of crystal meth, fails to lip-synch through three of her songs before breaking down completely. This incident leads to the cancellation of her Down and Dirty tour, but her career as a fake singer goes on.
  • In Maskerade, Agnes Nitt is not conventionally attractive, but is a supernaturally talented singer. Christine, on the other hand, is a Brainless Beauty who sings in a screech. The Opera House management therefore explain to Agnes that they would like her to sing the lead, but not, as it were, play the lead. Christine herself is totally ignorant of this, as she is of most things, and at one point complains to Agnes that she's singing too loudly for a member of the chorus. When Agnes realises the male lead has been replaced by the Opera Ghost, Christine opens her mouth to sing, but what everyone hears is Agnes shouting "Stop right there!"

    Live-Action TV 
  • In an episode of The Andy Griffith Show, Barney joins a chorale group. His singing is terrible, but he's so happy to be there that nobody has the heart to kick him out. So they hatch a scheme with Andy's help. They tell Barney he's going to sing a solo, but that his microphone is super sensitive, so he has to sing almost silently. Meanwhile, the professional tenor they hired to sing the solo is backstage, singing into a live mic while Barney mouths along. Barney never catches on, but he leaves the group at the end of the episode, so it winds up not mattering.
  • In an episode of Fantasy Island Scott Baio plays the oldest of a group of siblings who want to make it big in music. Mr. Rourke gets them an audition for a record producer, but Rourke makes them lip synch instead of performing live. Baio's character ultimately confesses rather than getting success based on a lie.
  • Friends: Phoebe lands a recording contract for "Smelly Cat," but after they shoot the music video the gang, and eventually she, discover that the record company has replaced her vocals with another singer's. In typical Cloud Cuckoolander fashion, Phoebe's initial response is "Oh my God! I sound amazing!"
  • In the last episode of Are You Being Served? Mr. Spooner gets discovered and is off to become a famous singer. In his first TV appearance he sings the song which got him discovered, "Chanson D'Amour." He makes a demo reel-to-reel recording to send to the talent scout. He is booked on a TV show but his voice is getting tired. During the TV performance his voice gives out so they switch to the recording - but the cheap recorder they used and the studio use different speeds, so it comes out sped up to double time.
  • In one episode of 'Allo 'Allo!, Rene persuades Edith to mime to a record rather than inflict her own singing voice on the customers. Then he gets the records mixed up and she ends up having to mime as the very deep bass voice of Paul Robeson sings "Ol' Man River". The audience still find it an improvement on her usual performances.
  • Played for laughs in a sketch in A Bit of Fry and Laurie where Hugh Laurie accuses "Michael Jackson" (played by Stephen Fry) of miming in a performance. He denies it, but it turns out even his lines denying miming are mimed.
  • In the Perfect Strangers episode "Out of Sync", Balki is discovered by a record producer who tries to promote him as "Fresh Young Balki B". When his first music video airs on television, he discovers his vocals have been completely replaced, leading him and his cousin Larry to then reveal the deception during a press conference.
  • Parodied by Britney Spears the first time she hosted Saturday Night Live, when she starts lip syncing her monologue while denying that she lip syncs.
  • An episode of That's So Raven has Cory's band decide to hire a singer. Cory is so in awe of the girl's beauty that he imagines her as a better singer than she actually is. Upon listening to a recording and realising how Hollywood Tone-Deaf she is, they're faced with the dilemma of either firing her and hurting her feelings or letting her perform and embarrassing herself. Luckily the girl ends up getting cold feet, so they decide to have Cory's mother Tonya sing behind the stage while the girl mouths to her.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • WWE: During an episode of Raw guest-hosted by Dusty Rhodes they recreate the "Shockmaster" incident, where a debuting new wrestler breaks through a wall, falls down, and makes a fool of himself. In the original the Shockmaster's voice was provided by Ole Anderson offscreen. In the recreation, Arn Anderson is revealed reading the Shockmaster's lines. He looks up, makes a Loud Gulp, and runs away.
  • WWE: Jeff Jarrett's gimmick is as a country singer who is using wrestling as a springboard to success in the music industry and his entrance theme song is his "big hit." After Jarrett left, it was revealed that his assistant Roadie (aka Road Dogg Jesse James) was really the one singing on the song.
  • Kandi Kisses "sang" on the Wrestlicious stage, where she was jeered for doing a poor job disguising she wasn't the one singing and continuously mocked by Jimmy Hart for it. Lizzy Valentine, who portrayed the character, confirmed that a different woman recorded the song too.

    Video Games 
  • In BanG Dream! Girls Band Party!, the side story for the band Pastel*Palettes has its members performing for a concert, with their staff having them just sync their movements and lips to the pre-recorded music; the band members are rather conflicted about the concept but are willing to go along with it if it means they can get their big break in music. Unfortunately, an equipment malfunction in the middle of the concert causes the music to go dead, revealing the true nature of the band to the audience.
  • At the disastrous Coolfest '99 festival in Hypnospace Outlaw, people are already suspecting the Coolpunk movement of selling out, which is not helped when the pioneering Coolpunk artist FRE3ZER is caught lipsyncing at his concert. His few fans claim he just had to sync along with a bit that had pre-recorded effects, but videos of the failure get swapped around online. Ultimately, this scandal, along with everything else that went wrong at the same event, was an in-universe Genre-Killer for Coolpunk. Afterward, the Coolpunk Paradise hub page began shifting over to a more general 'music creators' hub.

    Web Animation 
  • A Subverted example took place during hololive's "Link Your Wish" festival in March 2022 when Calliope Mori performed "on-stage" (given that she's a VTuber, the term needs to be amended a bit here). It was clear as her performance progressed that her lips were out of synch with the lyrics, but Calli was actually performing live — what happened was that she was rapping so fast the face-tracking sensors that were supposed to convey her facial movements in real time could not keep up and essentially ended up lagging.

  • In one Kevin & Kell strip, Fenton can tell a singer is lip-syncing thanks to his echolocation: he can tell the sound is coming from the amps and not her beak.

    Western Animation 
  • An episode of Clue Club has an instance where lip syncing is justified. A rock star is one of the suspects in the theft of a priceless crown, based on an audio cassette Larry found. But he wasn't the perp. The rock star lip syncs from the cassette so as not to strain his voice.
  • The Ashlee Simpson incident on SNL is parodied in a Cutaway Gag from the Family Guy episode "Brian Goes Back to College", when "Ol' Man River" from Show Boat starts playing when she opens her mouth.
  • Narrowly averted on The Flintstones, when Fred takes over the role of a popular rock singer who came to Bedrock but wound up unable to perform. The record he used for lipsyncing starts jumping, and he somehow has it fixed before anyone notices.
  • On Heathcliff & the Catillac Cats, Heathcliff is annoyed that Sonya is interested in snobbish feline opera star the Great Pussini. Heathcliff goes backstage at one of Pussini's shows and uses the various controls to mess with him. He reveals that Pussini wears a toupee and a girdle, but impressively Pussini continues to sing through all the chaos - except Heathcliff's final prank opens the curtain to reveal that Pussini was lip-syncing, and his bookish manager was doing all the singing. Heathcliff successfully exposes Pussini as a fraud, but unfortunately for him, Sonya runs off with the manager.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • In "Daffy's Inn Trouble", Daffy Duck dresses as a can-can girl to attract customers to his hotel, but is exposed when the record he's lip-synching to gets stuck. Just like Ashlee Simpson, he tries to cover it up with a little softshoe, only to receive a Produce Pelting.
    • "Pigs in a Polka" has The Big Bad Wolf sneak into The Three Little Pigs' house by disguising himself as a beggar woman playing a violin. One peeks under his dress and discovers a record playing violin music. He switches the record to the other side, which plays an upbeat polka. The wolf immediately starts dancing and sheds his disguise in the process.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic: In "Filli Vanilli", Fluttershy is a great singer, but she won't perform in public because of her crippling stage fright. When Big Mac loses his voice right before an important performance, Fluttershy's friends convince her to hide behind a curtain and provide Mac's singing voice. The ruse works for several shows, but Fluttershy gets so into performing that she starts ad-libbing, and Big Mac has trouble keeping up. At the planned final show, Fluttershy accidentally knocks the curtain down, exposing the ruse. The audience applauds her, but she has a nervous breakdown and flees.
  • Subverted in the Phineas and Ferb episode "A Hard Day's Knight". When Perry the Platypus was impersonating a human evil scientist so he could infiltrate an evil convention, he bumps into his nemesis Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz, who completely falls for Perry disguised as one of his evil heroes. Doofenshmirtz wants "Dr. Lloyd Wexler" to read an excerpt of his autobiography to him, which Perry manages to do by lip-syncing to a CD player loaded with the audiobook of the autobiography. Then the CD started skipping, but despite that error, Doofenshmirtz still falls for the trick. It's at this point Perry decides to end the charade and reveal himself.
  • Subverted in a Pluto the Pup cartoon, "Pluto's Blue Note". Pluto discovers that he can act as a gramophone by putting his tail on the spinning record and opening his mouth. He uses this to lip-synch to a Frank Sinatra song, much to the delight of a crowd of girl dogs. Pluto's tail skips during the final chorus of the song, and he briefly panics, but he's able to correct it before any of his adoring fans notice.
  • The Regular Show episode "Mordecai and the Rigbys" played straight and then defied this trope. When Mordecai and Rigby meet their future selves who are already popular musicians, they teach their present selves how to properly play guitar and sing. But when they go on stage at the Open Mic to impress Margaret, Mordecai trips mid-song, and realizes that he's not the one singing. He looks over to see all the equipment unplugged, and that the music is actually coming from a boom box. Mordecai stops it, and chews out their future selves who reveal that they made their career through lip-syncing, which is what they tricked their present selves into doing. Then and there, Mordecai and Rigby break up their "band", stopping those future selves from existing.
  • In the Rocket Power episode "Beach Boys & A Girl", the kids form a band but later find out they sound awful. Sam remixes their recorded audio to make them sound better, and they become a hit. They're later asked to preform live, but since their music isn't genuine, they resort to lip-syncing. Their cover is blown, they get laughed off stage, and they decide to end the band.
  • Sabrina: The Animated Series episode "Witchy Grrrls" opens with a local talent contest. Rich Bitch Gem Stone is seemingly the only one performing well...until Sabrina sees her sip a glass of water during the performance and realises she's lip synching.
  • An episode of Sally Bollywood starts with a famed singer named Melody M being found out that she uses an auto-tuner to mask her singing when it malfunctions during a performance. Sally and Doowee are prompted to look into the matter and see who sabotaged it. While it doesn't damage Melody's career too much, a fan shows dissatisfaction with her for using it and, at the end, Melody promises to learn to sing better on her own.
  • In the Scotland episode of The Scooby-Doo Show, Scooby appears to be playing the bagpipes when part of his tune repeats. It's revealed that he has a skipping phonograph under his costume.
  • Disney Channel's Shorty McShorts' Shorts' multi-part episode "Boyz on Da Run" involves the titular band on the run from angry fans after their singing talents (or lack thereof) is exposed a la Milli Vanilli.
  • In The Simpsons episode "New Kids on the Blecch", a Navy lieutenant disguised as a talent scout persuades Bart and several classmates to form a Boy Band as part of a Subliminal Advertising campaign to gather recruits. The boys are all terrible singers, so the lieutenant uses real-time Auto-Tune to fix their singing at their live shows. When the lieutenant is told that the band is no longer marketable thanks to a scathing article by MAD Magazine, his commander ends the band in the bluntest way possible: turning off the auto-tune in the middle of a song. Upon hearing their uncorrected singing, the crowd immediately leaves.
  • Sofia the First: In "The Silent Knight", Sofia requests Sir Maxwell to lend his deep voice to Sir Bartleby, who's embarrassed about his high-pitched voice, by hiding behind a bush to sing the latter's love song to Aunt Tilly while Bartleby lip-syncs to him. It almost goes well until Bartleby falls backwards into the bush and exposes Maxwell in front of Tilly.
  • Tom and Jerry:
    • In the short "Texas Tom", Tom tries to impress a girl cat by singing to a recording. Jerry has some fun by changing the speed on the record player, forcing Tom to lip-sync faster and then slower.
    • The later Gene Deitch-era short "Carmen Get It" has Tom posing as a concert violinist to get into an opera house where Carmen is being performed, so he can get Jerry in there. He has a violin with a reel-to-reel tape recorder inside, which he plays during the actual performance, and mimes playing the violin to the tape. Jerry gets into the violin and changes the speed setting of the tape to fast, upsetting the conductor, who proceeds to break the violin/tape recorder over Tom's head.

    Real Life 
  • Milli Vanilli is the Trope Codifier for this and Repetitive Audio Glitch, to the point that their name has become synonymous with this trope. From 1988 to 1990, the duo was one of the most successful pop acts in Europe and the US. However, when they performed live onstage on MTV at the Lake Compounce theme park in Bristol, Connecticut in mid-1989, the recording of the song "Girl You Know It's True" played and began to skip, repeating "Girl, you know it's..." over and over on the speakers. They continued to lipsynch onstage for a few moments before running offstage when they realized what was happening. Downtown Julie Brown rushed after Rob Pilatus and had to convince him, who was in such a state that he told her "I've had enough. I quit," to return to the stage and finish the concert. While this didn't keep them from winning a Grammy for Best New Artist the next year, people became suspicious - especially after one of the actual singers announced that it was a scam before retracting his statements at the duo's request. Eventually, their producer finally confessed to the scam, causing their Grammy to be revoked and twenty-seven lawsuits to be filed against them for fraud. Their debut album was pulled from shelves and the masters were deleted, while their second album was hastily re-credited to the actual singers, branded "The Real Milli Vanilli" (or "Try 'N' B"), and only released in Brazil, Europe, Asia, and New Zealand.
  • During Michael Jackson's last few TV concerts, he was pretty obviously lip-syncing, including him covering up his mouth so people wouldn't catch on to the fact that he was mouthing along with the music.
  • During her 2004 performance on Saturday Night Live, Ashlee Simpson was revealed to be lip-syncing when her voice started singing even though she wasn't. She gave some awkward dance moves (which she described as a "hoe-down") before sheepishly walking offstage. The incident proved to be the beginning of the end for her music career; as when she performed at the Orange Bowl halftime show, her attempt at singing live completely flopped, which resulted in her mostly shying away from the mainstream music industry.
  • British singer Betty Boo (no relation) was famously booed off stage when the audience realized she was lip-syncing her songs to a backing tape.
  • A number of early commercials for the Xbox Kinect didn't actually feature live gameplay; the screen displayed prerecorded video, which played while the "player" tried to awkwardly synchronize his movements with the action. A number of viewers were able to pick up on this, and it became painfully noticeable when it was found that the first Kinect games weren't even close to being as responsive as the hype led them to believe.
    • The same happened to a lesser extent with the Wii's motion controls, which were hidden mostly by not showing gameplay and the person playing the game in the same shot (for instance, the Red Steel trailer had one scene with the "player", contemplating whether to finish off an enemy after a sword duel, making a motion that would have most definitely registered in the actual game as "swing sword and execute them" before he reconsiders).
  • A lot of 60's music shows like Top of the Pops, Beat Club and American Bandstand routinely forced acts to lip-sync their songs, and several acts invoked this trope as a protest against being forced to do so. In the most extreme cases, band members would not even pretend to play their instruments, and would just stand there while the song kept playing in the background. Other acts tended to have fun with this, though. The Bonzo Dog Band, for example, once mimed to "I'm The Urban Spaceman" with one member "playing" a recorder with his nose, while another wore a fake arm and a bass with a comically long neck.
  • According to a StarCraft developer, the game started out as a complete clone of Warcraft II, including nausea-inducing graphics and clumsy controls. Then, at a game show, the booth next to them showed an at-the-time revolutionary RTS game that led them to make StarCraft as we know it. Only later did he find out the demo was prerecorded with the demonstrators pretending to play.
  • Invoked in this The Rock-afire Explosion skit for Showbiz Pizza in the 80s involved Rolfe Dewolfe claiming he would be singing a tribute to Frank Sinatra, to the dismay of his sentient ventriloquist puppet Earl. But Rolfe simply lip-syncs to a record of Sinatra's song "Witchcraft," and Earl notices something screwy when the record glitches...
  • In the very beginnings of U.S. network television (1946-47), the American Federation of Musicians forbade its members from performing on television until an agreement was reached with the networks and its president, James Petrillo, was dragging his feet on reaching said agreement because he wanted to see where this whole television thing was going first. As a result, singers who performed on television had to prerecord their performance, then lip-sync to that recording on the air. This article from the May 20, 1946 edition of LIFE Magazine shows Evelyn Knight miming along to a phonograph record that was very likely shown on camera as much to avoid deceiving the home audience as to show Petrillo they were not flouting his interdiction. This strange rule particularly affected NBC's Hour Glass, the very first regularly scheduled variety show on U.S. network television.
  • The British rock band The Outfield did this a lot during their prime (the mid to late '80s) for some reason, to the point that actual live performances of their Signature Song "Your Love" are rare. The most commonly uploaded video of them lip-syncing is their "performance" in Montreaux, Switzerland to the original Play Deep album recording of the song, which is also what they lip-synched to in other footage. They did release an actual live album of their performance in Tyler, Texas, and more recent performances from the band (at least until they broke up after guitarist and main songwriter John Spinks's death) are also genuine live performances, as well as Tony Lewis's (the lead singer) own solo live performances.
  • Lipsyncing caused a bit of a scandal in K-Pop during the early 2000s once it became public that many music acts weren't singing live.note  Rather than causing an end to the practice, though, music-performance shows started clearly labeling if an act was live or lipsyncing.
    • Notably, Sechs Kies (one of the most important Korean boy groups during the late 90s) was one of the most frequent targets of lipsyncing allegations - that is until they had enough of the allegiations and decided to prove they're not the case in the most impactful way known to mankind:
    Jiwon: [ad-libbing] Aww yeah! Haha, listen to my words! THE FUCKING DICK IS IN YOUR PUSSY!note 
  • Every Super Bowl halftime show has the performing musicians pre-record their audio, as the Super Bowl is the most watched program in the United States every year and any major mistakes in the music would generate a whirlwind of bad publicity both for the NFL and the performers. The only known band to successfully fight to perform live was The Rolling Stones in 2006. When the Red Hot Chili Peppers performed in 2014, they deliberately left their instruments unplugged as they "thought it better to not pretend."
    • This often extends to even the National Anthem performance. Most famously, Whitney Houston's cover of The Star Spangled Banner in the 1991 game was her lip-syncing to her pre-recorded voice, and despite being hailed as one of the best renditions ever performed, she still garnered some flak for not singing it live. She eventually responded to the criticism by performing a live rendition during that year's "Welcome Home Heroes" HBO special.
  • Lindsay Lohan was caught lip-synching on an episode of Good Morning America, where the music itself was performed live with an on-stage band but she noticeably was too late coming in with one line and could be seen wincing (and the broadcast then cut to two children who had noticed exchanging a look).
  • In 1999, the satirical Italian band Elio e le Storie Tese (Elio and the Tense Stories) once had a performance on the Italian music program 'Festivalbar'. The band was told to lip-synch their performance, and that their instruments would not be plugged in. Though this was common practice, this didn't sit well for a band known for playing its music live. So what did the band do? Half-way through their song 'Discomusic', the entire band froze in place, all while their song continued playing with vocals to a confused crowd. And they stayed like this for the rest of the entire performance, even as they were carried off at the end like mannequins. It has to be seen to be believed.
  • There have been cases where musicians were wrongly believed to be playing to backing tracks because of audio delay— for instance, if you're in a large enough venue, you may see the drummer bang their sticks down before the sound waves get to you. Similarly, a mismatch in video and audio processing on a simulcast screen may create the appearance of a delay between the sound and the picture. There are technical solutions to this problem, such as the SMPTE ST-2064 standard, but they are generally very expensive and not widely adopted.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Milli Vanilli Moment


Fre3zer exposed

While performing at Coolfest '99, Fre3zer is exposed as a lipsyncer, being one of the reasons for the downfall of the Coolpunk genre

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Example of:

Main / ThatSyncingFeeling

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