Follow TV Tropes


Vocal Evolution

Go To

Space Ghost: Man, Zorak, what was with your voice back then?
Zorak: Yeah, well, what's up with your voice?
Space Ghost Coast to Coast (revisiting their first meeting)note 

Actors are only human, which includes voice actors. Voice actors don't have to worry about makeup or costumes, so it can be easy to assume that their job is much easier than that of actors visible on the screen. It may or may not be, but the unique challenge they face is breathing life into an animated character with their voice alone and no other props. And like with new artists, it can take novice voice actors some time to grow into their character and create distinctive voices for them. Even if the overall sound is the same the inflection, tone and overall performance can grow as the character is better developed and the work itself identifies what it wants from its characters.

On the flip side, lending one's voice to a show over multiple months or years can cause a voice actor to get lazy and begin slacking off on the nuances of their character's voice, or even age to the point where they find it impossible to sustain the original voice and have to make compromises. This decline in quality can also manifest itself in shows with large casts when all characters' voices begin to sound the same or monotonous. This doesn't tend to lead to lost jobs, because a decline in timbre quality is often less noticeable than a decline in acting or art quality. With child voice actors, whether a fan will like it or not, this is going to happen when they hit puberty, although some shows switch into The Other Darrin at that point.

This trope can also apply to any other medium requiring the voice for varied reasons: live-action actors may change a character's voice or just downgrade to their original voice as they grow more comfortable (or complacent) with the character, singers may change their singing styles to achieve a different artistic style, and so on. Other factors in this trope may include age (whether prepubescent actors dealing with the voice changes inherent in puberty, or more mature actors changing with increasing age) and health (vocal cord injury/strain, smoking, etc.).

In cases involving Acting for Two, this can sometimes lead to characters sounding more or less like each other.

Contrast with The Other Darrin, in which the entire actor is replaced (or, in the case of voiceover work, the voice change is because an actor was replaced, not because the actor changed the voice).


    open/close all folders 

  • Chuck E. Cheese:
    • Chuck E. himself first started out with a low, snarky, stereotypical voice with a cockney "New Jersey" accent, which got slightly higher-pitched and more friendly as the years went. By the end of the 90s, the accent became slightly minimal sounding as he gained a more goofy voice akin to Barney's. Then since the 2012 relaunch, his voice dropped the accent completely and became husky and teen-like.
    • In the final years of the "Avenger" era, Duncan Brannan's voice for Chuck E. became deeper and more nasally.
    • When the "Rockstar" era launched, Jaret Reddick's voice for Chuck E. was relaxed and quiet, compared to the Large Ham rocker voice he evolves into later on.
    • Annagrey Labasse's voice for Helen Henny became slightly older and softer in the later years of voicing her due to her age.
    • Mr. Munch, who had a gruff voice in the early years, later got a smooth showman voice in the 90s. After the early Rockstar years, his voice once again became gruff with a more Hulk-like voice.

    Asian Animation 
  • Practically all the main characters in Pleasant Goat and Big Big Wolf have gone through this. Weslie's voice went from a reasonably low-pitched voice to a higher, more effeminate one. Wolffy's went from ranging between deep and higher-pitched nasally to settling on the lighter one. In short, their voices are getting progressively higher.
  • Early episodes of Lamput, mainly the early 15 second ones, gave the Docs deeper voices. They would eventually be shifted to a much higher register, which remained for them.

    Fan Works 
  • LittleKuriboh, the sole cast member of Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series, has got much better at coming up with distinct voices for his characters (and at speaking distinctly while doing those voices) between the first episode and the time the series hit double digits. He has also gotten over his cases of Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping. Compare this to This.
  • Amy's voice on Sailor Moon Abridged started as a hoarse whisper. It gradually became more of a high-pitched warble, which you can begin to hear around episode 12.
  • Jaleel White, who played the role of Sonic in three animated shows, reprises his role in the Sonic fanfilm, with his voice sounding somewhat more like the modern incarnations.
  • RWBY ABRG: Ruby's voice was high-pitched early on, especially in the first episode, before lowering later.
  • Similar to Jaleel White above, after 16 years, Ryan Drummond reprises his role as Sonic in the fan-made audio drama Sonic and Tails R. His performance is noticeably older, seasoned, and more relaxed than how he used to sound during his original tenure.

    Film - Animation 
  • Sunset Shimmer from My Little Pony: Equestria Girls has a softer and lighter voice in My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks, presumably to indicate her more heroic character. Her singing voice gets deeper in My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Friendship Games to differentiate from Twilight's singing voice which is done by the same voice actress.
  • Brother Bear: Koda, voiced by Jeremy Suarez. Suarez was 13 when the first film was released. In the sequel, his voice sounds like it's clearly breaking.
  • It happened with Fievel's voice between the first two movies and the television show of the An American Tail series. Fievel's voice actor was getting older.
  • When Miss Bianca's voice actress Eva Gabor reprised her role in The Rescuers Down Under in 1990, her voice for the character sounded quieter and not as energetic as the previous film, likely due to her being much older than she was back when The Rescuers was released (1977).
  • Batman: Year One sees Jeff Bennett reprise his role on Young Justice as Alfred, but whereas YJ has Alfred sound like an older British version of Owen Burnett from Gargoyles, in Year One, Alfred sounds a bit gruffer.
  • In the Shrek films, Pinocchio's voice is lower and less screechy compared to the sequels.
  • Toy Story 4 sees the return of Bo Peep after her absence in the previous film, with Annie Potts reprising her role from the first two films, but her voice is noticeably lower in pitch, likely due to age.
  • The Lion King (2019): 25 years in real life have passed since James Earl Jones first voiced Mufasa from the 1994 original. As a result, Mufasa’s voice sounds noticeably hoarse and monotone due to Jones’s aging. Jon Favreau explained that the change in Jones’s voice helps illustrate the feeling that Mufasa has been a successful king for a very long time.
  • In Straight Outta Nowhere: Scooby-Doo! meets Courage the Cowardly Dog, Marty Grabstein and Thea White reprised their roles of Courage and Muriel Bagge, but both of them sound noticeably more aged. White was 81 when she recorded her dialogue for the film and would pass away a month before release.

  • In Journey to the River Sea, child actor Clovis is going through puberty as he's playing the title character in the play Little Lord Fauntleroy. During the performance, his voice breaks at the absolute worst possible moment, right as he's saying "I'll always be your little boy." The audience bursts into laughter, and this puts an end to his career.

    Film — Live Action 
  • Al Pacino had a youthful, almost nasal, voice from The Godfather to Dog Day Afternoon to Scarface (1983). Eventually tobacco started to take its toll. By the time Donnie Brasco rolled around, wow. This was one of the reasons he didn't return for The Godfather video game. He also tried voicing Tony Montana again in Scarface: The World Is Yours, but just found it impossible to sustain the same voice twenty years later.
    • Same goes for Mickey Rourke, although it's been overshadowed by the change in his physical appearance.
  • Brad Pitt, as a young adult playing teenage roles, affected a higher-pitched voice to make him sound closer to the teen characters he was playing. He would switch to the natural baritone he's known for these days when he started playing adult roles in films such as Thelma & Louise.
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Over the course of the first three films, Greg's voice gradually deepens. Justified as his actor was going through puberty when the first three film's were being filmed.
  • Eva Green naturally started out with a very thick French accent but years of working outside French cinema has left her sounding slightly British. Her voice in Kingdom of Heaven is in-between - where her voice just sounds ambiguously exotic.
  • The Godfather: Marlon Brando's voice as Vito Corleone becomes raspier in the later scenes when Vito is older and more frail.
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly: Happened to the extended cut, which was Re-Cut some thirty years after it was originally released. Since sync-sound was not recorded during filming (the various actors hailed from different countries and they all spoke in their native languages), the extra scenes (previously only in the Italian-langiage release) were never dubbed in English during the original cut's post production process. The original actors, Clint Eastwood and Eli Wallach, were brought back to dub the new lines. Lee van Cleef had died so a voice actor was brought in to dub his line. Problem was that the two originals were forty years older the second time around. Eli Wallach was pushing 90 when he dubbed his lines, and therefore his voice was even raspier than it was some forty years ago and it shows. Ironically, the Lee van Cleef impersonator's was deemed by audiences to be the most convincing.
  • Harry Potter:
    • Helena Bonham Carter started off playing Bellatrix Lestrange with a posh accent, which gradually evolved to become more Cockney-sounding. Carter's explanation is that Bellatrix is just so weird that she transcends accents.
    • Daniel Radcliffe and Rupert Grint's voices cracked between the first and second movies. In fact, pretty much every male child actor aside from Harry Melling (Dudley), Matthew Lewis (Neville Longbottom) and Alfie Enoch (Dean Thomas) underwent a voice change in between the first and second films note .
      Steve Kloves: Well, the first thing that you notice when you see the movie [Chamber of Secrets] is that Harry and Ron's voice dropped a good two octaves. That's just really... bizarre.
    • Richard Harris (Dumbledore) sounded a lot weaker and raspier in Chamber of Secrets than he did in Philosopher's Stone, due to his failing health. He would die the same year that Chamber of Secrets came out, with Michael Gambon replacing him in the remaining films.
  • Jeanne Moreau's voice got increasingly smoky and gravelly due to chronic laryngitis, which was related to her smoking habit.
  • The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: In addition to growing six inches, Skandar Keynes' (Edmund) voice broke towards the end of production. In Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, the change is clearly noticeable in comparison.
  • Sean Connery's deep voice became more hoarse and his lisp and Scottish accent got thicker over the years after he did his last official James Bond movie in 1971.
  • Secondhand Lions: Haley Joel Osment was going thru puberty during filming so they shot his scenes in sequence to make the occasional squeak and the gradual deeping of his voice work in-universe.
  • Shakespeare in Love: Forms a plot point when the boy player in Lord Chamberlain's Men suffers an ill-timed attack of puberty just before curtain in Will Shakespeare's new play, leaving no one to play the female lead in Romeo and Ethel, The Pirate's Daughter. Cue Viola and a fabulous round of Recursive Crossdressing...
  • In the first Starship Troopers, Casper Van Dien's Jonny Rico sounds relatively young and fresh-faced. By the events of Starship Troopers 3: Marauder (and Van Dien's return to the role of Rico as a voice actor in Starship Troopers: Traitor of Mars), Rico has risen through the ranks and proven his mettle in the war against the Bugs, and his voice lowers and settles into Authority Sounds Deep territory.
  • Star Wars:
    • An interesting case with Yoda. When he first appears to Luke Skywalker in The Empire Strikes Back, he seems to be a funny, unconventional creature with a higher pitched voice similar to Grover, one of puppeteer Frank Oz's other characters. Later when he reveals himself to be the powerful Jedi master Luke was searching for, he drops the goofy act and also an octave. He then speaks in a deeper, voice for the rest of the movie. When he next appears in Return of the Jedi he goes back to the higher voice from when we first met him playing an oddball. It's as if Oz and the filmmakers only remembered his voice from his memorable first appearance. Yoda would continue to speak in the higher voice in The Phantom Menace before returning to the deep voice in the next two films, going really deep in Revenge of the Sith.
    • Carrie Fisher's voice is noticeably huskier in Return of the Jedi than it is in the previous two movies.
    • Also from Return of the Jedi: Luke's manner of speaking is far more formal and refined compared to the previous two films, tying nicely into his Character Development and his taking a level in badass.
    • James Earl Jones' voice for Darth Vader in A New Hope was a bit higher-pitched and more emotive, before becoming deeper and monotonous in The Empire Strikes Back. His Vader voice in Return Of The Jedi seemed to be a mix of the two. Rogue One has an unavoidable case, as Jones' voice had changed with age and Vader sounds a bit deeper and speaks a bit more slowly. In Obi-Wan Kenobi, Vader is back to sounding like he did in Empire and Jedi due to the use of the Respeecher software to recreate Jones' classic Vader voice (the same method was used to recreate young Luke Skywalker's voice in The Mandalorian and The Book of Boba Fett).
    • Like his fictional son, Hayden Christensen's Anakin Skywalker spoke in a lower, more mature tone in Revenge Of The Sith. Until he gets angry, at least. In his voice cameo near the end of The Rise of Skywalker, he's even lower, reminiscent of Matt Lanter (Anakin's voice actor in Star Wars: The Clone Wars).
    • Anthony Daniels' voice for C-3PO got a bit higher pitched following A New Hope. It is worth noting he spoke his lines in A New Hope believing he would later be dubbed over by another actor.
    • Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford's voices all became deeper and more hoarse in the sequel trilogy due to old age. (Though Ford still sounds somewhat like his younger self when he yells).
    • The B1 Battle Droids spoke in robotic monotone voices in The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones. From Revenge of the Sith onward, they spoke with high-pitched goofy voices in order to reflect their shift into Ineffectual Comic Relief characters.
    • The B2 Super Battle Droids spoke with the same goofy high-pitched voices as the B1 Battle Droids in Revenge of the Sith. In The Clone Wars, their voices were deeper.
    • General Grievous' voice in Revenge of the Sith was slightly different to how he would sound in The Clone Wars and subsequent projects, being more heavily modulated and sporting a thick Eastern-European accent, both of which were toned down in The Clone Wars.
  • The Three Stooges: It was noticeable on Curly. At the start of the trio's run, his voice was much like his regular voice, then eight shorts later, his voice sounded like the iconic one we know today; reaching the 1943 era, his voice was hoarser and continued until his last short with Moe and Larry.
  • X-Men: Halle Berry gave Storm an African accent. In every other film, Storm speaks with an American accent.
    • Also in the film, Mystique (who only has a couple of lines anyway) has a modulated voice, which is dropped in favor of a normal voice in the sequels.

    Professional Wrestling 
  • Ten years and a nose condition turned Stephanie McMahon's voice from young and innocent during her debut and bratty in her first heel turn, to raspier during the Invasion and divorce angles (with the occasional high-pitch scream), to deeper, richer and more authoritative from her GM days on. Despite the vocal changes over the years, she's still widely remembered for that screechy, raspy, Harpy-like voice. During the confrontation against Daniel Bryan, she yelled for the first time is years showing that screech was now a full on growl.
  • Compare snooty-accented Hunter Hearst Helmsley and the nasal Degenerate to the guttural Game, Triple H.
  • Paul E. Dangerously's smooth tones at age 21 are a far cry from the high-pitched Paul Heyman of today.
  • Vince McMahon's has also evolved similarly going from cheerful and bold as an announcer to menacing as the evil chairman to increasingly cartoony to mellow post-haircut. Of course, when the time comes to let his infamous delivery of "YOOOOOOOOOUUU'RE FIIIIIIIIIIIIIRED!" rip, he really digs in and that menacing circa-2000 snarl comes right back.
  • In an inversion of Heyman, Good Ol' J.R. went from higher pitched to much lower over the years, due to a combination of aging and Bell's Palsy.
  • Kofi Kingston ditched the fake-Jamaican accent before his brief feud with Randy Orton in 2009.
  • During his heel turn in 2008, Chris Jericho became increasingly monotone week by week. Currently post-"End Of the World", it's lower but more emotive.
  • Bret Hart's voice has taken a noticeably raspy, hoarse sound compared to his youth.
  • Dwayne Johnson started out smooth and slow, became increasingly hammier during his Nation and Corporation stints, became more high pitch during the "Hollywood" Rock era and switching back and forth after his 2011 return.
  • Randy Orton has gone from suave and smooth to a sinister monotone after forming Legacy during his true main event rise.
  • Like his rival Bret Hart, Shawn Michaels' voice has gotten gruffer with age.
  • X-Pac's voice has become lower and more raspy over the years.
  • Shane McMahon's voice has deepened during his seven year hiatus from WWE.
  • Ric Flair's lisp has gotten worse as he's aged.
  • Tammy Lynn Sytch's voice has deepened considerably as she's aged, and she's not even that old. Drug use may also have factored into it.
  • "Stone Cold" Steve Austin's voice became deeper and gruffer in the late 90s compared to his Stunning Steve Austin days, and even his early Stone Cold days.
  • Kurt Angle's voice when he debuted in the WWF was kinda weedy and whiny, which was always lampshaded by his opponents. Now? He sounds deeper.
  • Carmella spoke in an obviously fake New York accent when she debuted in WWE NXT. This was slowly phased out and by the time she made it to the main WWE roster, she now spoke in her natural accent.
  • Nailz represents a forced example of this trope. While cutting promos in the territories/indies, he spoke in his natural, high-pitched voice that didn't sound too intimidating for a near-300-pounder. Upon joining the then-WWF, his voice was artificially altered to a guttural Death Metal growl.
    • The character was different in the teaser promos too, although using the same voice modulator. He did not sound as unhinged as he would be when seen on-screen. The Nailz of these promos was colder, and more calculating.
  • The Undertaker's voice has gone from a quiet rasp to to a deep boom as he went from Mortician to Lord of Darkness. After the revelation of Kane, more of his native Texas Drawl seeped in and stayed through the American Badass and Big Evil eras until the return of the Deadman. Then the 1998 Hell in a Cell anniversary vid and even more so, Broken Skull Sessions revealed Mark Calaway's real voice had a far higher register that he had inflected all these years.
  • Scott Hall originally used the pseudo-Cuban accent he used as Razor Ramon when first debuting as an "Outsider" on WCW. He eventually phased it out altogether (due to having little choice since WWF still owned rights to Razor Ramon).
  • Bray Wyatt in his original character had more of a southern accent. The Firefly Funhouse version, not so much, plus he talks higher when in this persona. When he starts talking about The Fiend, however, his voice goes back to a lower, raspy pitch.
  • In the switch to "Timeless", Toni Storm's accent went from Australian to Mid-Atlantic.

    Puppet Shows 
  • The Muppets:
    • Not counting Muppets who have gotten different puppeteers, Gonzo is probably the most notable. His voice has gradually gotten deeper and less scratchy over the years. Just watch the first episode of The Muppet Show and then one of the post-Henson films. By Muppets Haunted Mansion, possibly due to his puppeteer, Dave Goelz's age, Gonzo's voice has gotten a bit softer and more breathy.
    • When Kermit the Frog was in the first 14 years of his career (1955-1968), his voice sounded deeper, softer, quieter and somewhat stuffy and dull. Beginning in 1969, his voice became louder, more rubbery and less stuffy. By the time the '80s rolled around, Kermit's voice gradually became pretty much an extension of Jim Henson's own voice.
    • Once Kermit got taken over by Steve Whitmire (Rizzo, Wembley Fraggle), his voice went through some changes. At first, Kermit sounded almost exactly like he did when Jim Henson performed him, but by the time The Muppets (2011) came out, Kermit started sounding more like Steve Whitmire's Ernie voice, mixed with Jim Henson's Kermit voice.
  • Sesame Street:
    • Kevin Clash's performance of Elmo changed a couple of times throughout the years, first it was very nasally like Baby Sinclair from Dinosaurs, later it was higher and scratchier, then his voice became a few octaves higher and softer. Around 2003, the voice started to gradually get a bit deeper, probably due to the performer aging.
    • Frank Oz's take on Bert started out higher-pitched and nasal, before later becoming lower-pitched and less nasal, sounding almost exactly like his Fozzie Bear.
    • Big Bird is this in more ways than one:
      • Caroll Spinney initially gave him a deep, hick-like voice due to him being rather dumb. Once the character was retooled to be more innocent and naïve, he gave him a much higher voice, which gradually deepened over time. During the later years of his life, when he was in his '80s, he became slower and more nasally.
      • Matt Vogel, his understudy and eventual successor, also falls under this. At first, he sounded much like Caroll Spinney when he finally made him more innocent and naïve. When he took over the role full time in 2015, while still sounding like a child, made him sound a lot older.
  • CBBC puppet Hacker T. Dog originally had a very gruff, indecipherable voice, and usually barked instead of speaking. As time went on, Hacker's voice evolved to sound more like his puppeteer, Phil Fletcher, and can now talk perfectly fine. The same thing also happened with various other CBBC puppets, such as Dodge T. Dog.

  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (1978). In the liner notes for the Tertiary-Quintessential scriptbook, Simon Jones (the voice of Arthur Dent) notes that everybody sounded the same, even if they looked a bit different. However, he adds, "Dirk [the producer] says he applied some arcane electronic test that proves my voice has dropped a semitone in the intervening twenty-five years; funny, I always thought men's voices became higher as they grew older."
  • This kind of change is also obvious in Elwood's voice in the House of Blues Radio Hour. He does sound maybe a bit higher-pitched than he did in the movies.
  • Tony Hancock started out quite plummy before dropping into the lugubrious tones he's better known for. The change started before Hancock's Half Hour, but there's still a very noticeable shift over the course of the series.
  • Surprisingly averted with Paul Harvey. Even though he was doing the show up until shortly before his death at age 90, the only time he sounded any different than in the sixties was during a spell of pneumonia which resulted in him sounding very rough.
  • American Top 40: Compare the Casey Kasem of 1970 (the show's earliest days) to his retirement from radio in 2009. His delivery was much different during the early shows (1970-early 1972), before changing into the form that fans know him best for (c. 1973-the late 1990s). By the early 2000s, age began taking its toll, and although he was definitely still Casey, his voice had grown much weaker. Despite the changes in his voice, Casey was still sharp as ever and — approaching his late 70s by the time of his retirement, was still able to show enthusiasm and sell the music that listeners more than 50 (and sometimes 60) years his junior were avidly listening to.
  • Most of the voices in The Goon Show are pretty consistent, but there were a few changes over the years. Peter Sellers originally played Henry Crun with a higher-pitched voice; the change was probably intended to make Crun distinguishable from Spike Milligan's Minnie Bannister. In some of the later episodes, after being temporarily sidelined with laryngitis, Sellers plays Bluebottle with far less falsetto. The most dramatic change involves Milligan's Count Moriarty. He goes from being a competent schemer in series 5 (1954) to a cringing dustbin-dweller in series 9 (1959), accompanied by an astonishing vocal evolution from a deep baritone to a snivelling whine. When the Goons were persuaded to remake some earlier episodes for transcription purposes, the new Moriarty voice didn't fit the old character.
  • Big Finish Doctor Who:
    • All the Doctors have rather different voices now, due to age:
      • Tom Baker used his older-sounding normal voice for the Fourth Doctor Adventures BBC box set, and then experimented a bit over his first season of Big Finish Fourth Doctor Adventures while attempting to reach the Fourth Doctor's smoother and more resonant vocal tone, leading to a handful of early stories where he neither sounds like his normal out-of-character voice nor like the Doctor. By his third season he nailed it and sounds virtually no different to his younger self.
      • Peter Davison has picked up quite a bit of gravel in his voice, but claims he feels more comfortable playing the character sounding like that than how he felt playing him the first time around. A lot of fans say the older-sounding voice fits Five's character better.
      • Colin Baker's voice got gravellier, as well as softer and breathier, which goes quite nicely with how much warmer and kinder a character he is in the Big Finish stories than in the show.
      • Sylvester McCoy barely sounds different at all apart from being more confident with the character.
      • Paul McGann sounds quite a lot deeper and more sensual in the audios than he sounded in the TV Movie. Part of this is due to the scripts bringing out darker and subtler notes in the character and his performance evolving to fit, and part of this is due to the bizarre region coding mixup that led to the movie being sped up slightly (slightly raising the pitch of his voice).
    • Nicola Bryant's Peri is a bit older-sounding, but has a more convincing American accent than on television.
    • Bonnie Langford's Mel is lower-pitched, softer and much less squeaky due to the actress ageing. Since part of the reason Mel was The Scrappy was because a lot of fans found her bright vocal tone painful to listen to, this is part of what helped get her Rescued from the Scrappy Heap.
  • Bob Kingsley (American Country Countdown from 1978-2005, Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40 from 2005-2019) got gradually deeper over the years prior to his 2019 death. The change was particularly noticeable in markets where Country Top 40 aired with ACC Rewind, a playback of an American Country Countdown show from The '90s.

  • Mixed Martial Arts
    • Lenne Hardt earned quite a following as the English announcer for Pride events with her wild, screeching pronunciations of each fighter's name, usually coupled with long trilled Rs. This style developed over time, with her first few appearances being completely sedate and unremarkable.
    • Bruce Buffer's early appearances as the ringside announcer for UFC events were much more sedate and conversational, with none of the animated shouting and spinning in place that he displays nowadays.
    • Longtime UFC commentator Mike Goldberg's voice sounded a lot different in his early days. After a few years on the job, his voice became deeper and more blustery.

    Stand-Up Comedy 
  • Comedian Larry the Cable Guy is known for the exaggerated Southern accent in which he speaks while in-character (he's actually from Nebraska). Over time, smoking has given him a lower, raspier voice.
  • Bill Engvall was a major Motor Mouth on his first two albums before slowing down the delivery. Strangely, the slower delivery has coincided with him becoming more of a Large Ham.
  • George Carlin's voice changing is also pretty obvious.
  • Paul Reubens' Pee-wee Herman character originally had a higher, more nasal voice when he debuted in the late 1970's up until the end of the second season of Pee-wee's Playhouse. After Playhouse moved to Los Angeles, Pee-wee's voice dropped slightly, and Paul Reubens' characterization became a lot more abrasive.

  • In Vanities, in addition to the characters' voices maturing, Kathy and Mary progressively lose their Deep South accents.

    Visual Novels 
  • Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony
    • Due to the length of time between Danganronpa 2: Goodbye Despair and V3, it's evident from the moment he shows up in the latter that Brian Beacock had gotten out of practice voicing Monokuma.note  The result is that Monokuma sounds less like himself and more like Mickey Mouse for the first couple of chapters or so before Beacock manages to find the old voice again.
    • Johnny Yong Bosch's performance as Hajime Hinata sounds significantly higher-pitched in V3's demo, Ultimate Talent Development Plan voice clips (which, unlike most of the returning cast, are not recycled) and Tsumugi's cosplay in Chapter 6 compared to Goodbye Despair or Danganronpa 3, possibly to differentiate his voice from Rantaro Amami, who he also plays in V3.

  • The announcer for Disney Channel, Cam "Buzz" Brainard, started out with a simple male voice. Starting in 2009 for the promotion of Dadnapped, he started adopting a higher-pitched, more "cartoonish" sounding tone, which sounds nothing like his regular speaking voice. The last time he used his normal voice was in 2014, with the latter tone of voice being used since 2017. However, he still uses his normal voice as host of Sirius XM's country music format The Highway.
  • Jeff Sweeney, the Treehouse TV male announcer, has also went through a vocal evolution: His voice first started out high-pitched and youthful, but as years went on, his voice became slightly deeper and more masculine due to him aging.

    Web Animation 
  • Among Us Logic
    • Player and Captain's voices have gotten increasingly higher-pitched as time goes on. To a lesser extent, so has Veteran's voice, though his voice is till pretty deep and gruff.
    • Mr. Cheese's voice has gotten much clearer over time, coinciding with him Taking a Level in Badass.
    • The Gentleman's voice has become much deeper and more gravelly, as well as sounding slightly garbled.
  • The voice of the characters in ASD Fmovie have gotten even deeper, and sound nothing like before.
  • In Battle for Dream Island Many of the characters' voices have gotten significantly deeper since the start of the show, due to the creators hitting puberty.
    • Bubble's voice started out high pitched and pronouncing many vowels with an "oi" sound. This aspect remained, but it got deeper as early as episode 2. However, starting with "Don't Lose Your Marbles", her voice got higher and more nasal, almost sounding she has a cold. It got even higher in Season 2.
    • Firey's voice got lower over time, as Coiny's also got lower, but less raspy.
    • Match's voice also got higher again in Season 2.
    • In her first appearance in "Reveal Novum", Ruby had a very high, raspy voice. However, it got much clearer in Season 2.
    • Rocky's voice was fairly high in its first appearance, but when he talked again in "Rescission", his voice somehow got even higher.
    • By the time IDFB was released, Needle became impossible to voice because of her high pitch. Cary had to ask for another voice actor in one of his other videos.
  • ENA: ENA’s masculine voice was first provided by Marc Rafanan having a high and soft voice, but after some allegations, he was recasted by Gabe Velez, who gave ENA a slightly deeper voice. After Gabe was accused of rape, he was recasted with Griffin Puatu, who made her voice have a pitch higher the Gabe's, but lower than Marc's.
  • Nearly all of the voices for the various characters on Homestar Runner have evolved over the years. To name just two examples, Homestar's voice became lower-pitched and less childish and in the earliest toons had a pseudo-Japanese accent, while Strong Bad lost his Mexican accent in favour of a more gruff American one.. The latter was lampshaded in the bonus email "accent" on the "strongbad_email.exe" DVD, where Strong Bad started to worry about the softening of his accent, and tried to get his old voice back.
    • In fact, in one Strong Bad Email, they parody the very first Homestar toon they made by reverting to the old style, having a hatless Homestar, overusing the expression, "Holy crap!", and using Strong Bad's Mexican voice.
    • Bubs originally had a low, gruff voice. Starting from 2004, his voice became a bit more high pitched. Whereas he used to sound somewhat like Louis Armstrong, it was noted that he now sounds like Larry from Limozeen (the Fake Band in the same series; both characters are voiced by Matt Chapman) without the falsetto.
    • Strong Sad is especially notable, as his voice went from nasal to a soft falsetto. He also typically sounds much more upbeat today, possibly because his character has expanded beyond just being The Eeyore. It was gradual, but a modern Strong Sad sounds absolutely nothing like the Strong Sad heard in In Search of the Yellow Dello. This, too, is lampshaded in "2022 Costume Pack Now Available", a remake of "Homestarloween Party" with mock DLC added. When it gets to Strong Sad's scene, he initially uses the same voice clip as the original cartoon, only for "Strong Sad's Less Pathetic Voice Sound Pack" to be downloaded, and he speaks with his modern voice for the rest of the cartoon (aside from one Easter Egg.)
  • The Most Popular Girls in School: Everyone's voices gradually grew higher in pitch, and their dialogue became much more fluent.
  • In the beginning of Red vs. Blue Caboose sounds completely different than how he does now. At first he sounds normal, but due to Flanderization he has gotten more idiotic sounding, with his speech pattern now halting and slow along with being more prone to random fits of Suddenly Shouting. It has happened to nearly every character to a minor extent, but Caboose is so different, it's almost disorienting when rewatching the earlier seasons.note 
    • The combination of Vocal Evolution and Flanderization was so pronounced in Caboose that one of the alternate endings to Episode 100 had every episode since Episode 9 revealed to be All Just a Dream, with Caboose being returned to his original voice and characterization and him almost coming across as an entirely different character.
    • Also, the original Sarge voice was based off of R. Lee Ermey. Sarge's voice actor, Matt Hullum, decided that the voice was too hard to keep reproducing, and came up with the current style (which is closer to a Texan accent). During the Season 4 DVD commentary he manages to find the old voice and then repeats the "Simmons is in charge of confetti" line from the very beginning of Season 1 and then does the same line in the current voice. The difference is night and day.
    • On a more subtle note, the voices of Church, Tucker, Donut, and Grif have all gotten noticeably higher pitched as time has gone on, and Sister's voice isn't as breathy in the later seasons as it was in Season 5. Lopez has also had his Machine Monotone maintained, but the later seasons also let him emote more than he used to.
  • The voices of the characters of A Day With Bowser Jr who were voiced by its author, Dannywaving, underwent an evolution as Dannywaving himself matured over the years. The most notable example of this is Bowser Jr, whose voice starts from almost unbearably raspy and high-pitched in the first videos to more mature in the latest ones.
  • RWBY goes through this a lot due to the fact that most of the cast are not professional voice artists and are learning the craft as they go:
    • Ruby's voice has never been as low as Lindsay Jones's own voice, but is still much lower in early episodes compared to later when they settled on a higher, more nasally register for the character. Ruby's voice became higher each volume, until it began lowering again in volume 5. Volume 8, with its much bleaker tone, has seen Ruby's voice lowering to be pretty close to how it was in the very first episode.
    • Blake started off sounding very timid and unsure, which seems to be the result of her VA, Arryn Zech, not being fully prepared for the role initially. She started sounding a lot more confident and snarky as the show got rolling. As of volume 3, her voice is now sometimes losing a little of its deep, husky quality and slipping more towards Arryn's natural speaking voice (you can hear this best when she gets upset that Weiss might not be able to buy her lunch in "Round One").
      • Arryn's voice as Blake has changed even more in Grimm Eclipse and RWBY Chibi. It's entirely possible this could be related to the studio being used, as she now lives in L.A. and does her voice work outside of RT's studios. Either way, it's worth noting.
    • Weiss's voice is a little higher-pitched and youthful in Volume 3 than it was before, best heard when she gets mad at Neptune for flirting with all four members of Team NDGO. It's possible that this is being done to create more contrast between her and her older sister Winter.
    • Katie Newville's performance as Emerald sounds a little older and harsher than it did in Volume 3 than in Volume 2. Many fans were surprised to find that Emerald's voice actor didn't change.
    • As of Volume 3, Miles Luna is sticking more to his natural voice for Jaune, no longer laying on the squeaks and vocal cracks like before.
    • In general, the quality of the voice acting for nearly every major character has been steadily improving throughout the series so far, even if their voices themselves haven't changed.
  • DSBT InsaniT: Compare some of the character voices (such as Lisa's and Andy's) from 'The Party' to future episodes...
    • A few characters get "new" voices in episode 7, such as Autmn getting a lisp and Duck's voice becoming less raspy.
  • In Robotbox and Cactus, Cactus's voice becomes more and more high-pitched as the series goes on.

    Web Original 
  • Ever since he started doing short videos about video games and talking really fast in them, Yahtzee has refined his British yelling voice a fair bit. In fact, going back to some of the very first videos he ever made will near-inevitably make his former self come across as extremely mumbly in comparison to later videos.
  • Hamzah Saleh's voice in the earlier vlogs of Adam Saleh have him with a voice sounding almost like his sister, Haila. But after he turned 14, his voice started sounding more baritone and having a similar vocal tone to Adam Saleh's other nephew Yousif Saleh.
    • He also speaks much more slowly and calmly in his earlier videos when compared to his more later ones. Try watching his two separate Tomb Raider videos he made two years apart; he sounds very different.
  • YouTube video maker PyramidHead87 has changed his "Pyramid Head" voice from a whiny rasp to a deep growl over time (in part caused by his change in recording equipment). This received a Lampshade Hanging at the beginning of his review of the RoboCop NES game, when he opens with the original voice and then clears his throat before going into the new voice.
  • YouTube Let's Play maker Sir Ron Lionheart can attribute some of his popularity to his dramatic change in voice and speech patterns. Compare his first video to basically any video after his Super Mario 64 Let's Play, and you won't believe it's the same person. If you watch his Super Mario 64 Let's Play from the beginning, you can more or less pinpoint exactly where he was driven insane.
  • On early episodes of Atop the Fourth Wall, Lewis Lovhaug's voice for his hosting persona Linkara was much softer and calmer. Similarly, his secondary character 90's Kid (also played by Lovhaug) had a much deeper and less hammy voice early on.
  • Doug Walker's voice for The Nostalgia Critic was originally his regular voice, instead of the more dynamic and broader tone he uses in-character. He also never used to scream like a little girl, instead seeming like he was genuinely angry.
  • Ditto with The Cinema Snob, who had a snobbish monotone in earlier episodes. In a later one, he reminisced about a previous review and briefly adopted an impression of his contemporaneous voice (and vocabulary, for that matter):
    Snob: I guess it wasn't "Kafka" enough for me.
  • Mathew Buck (aka Film Brain) was originally somewhat monotone on early episodes of Bad Movie Beatdown, but in 2013, he started using a much higher-pitched, more energetic delivery. The high pitch later slid back down to his normal range while keeping the newfound energy. According to his Twitter, this was because he wanted to counter criticism of his monotone delivery, but he reined it in a little because he felt he was overcompensating.
  • Dax Flame's voice was a lot calmer in his earlier videos.
  • forrestfire101, most commonly known for his "LEGO Batman" series, has, along with the quality of his videos, dramatically changed his voice over three years. In his first video, and several afterward, every character sounded exactly the same. However, watching this video, you can notice, aside from the slew of other "famous" YouTube voice actors, that his Batman and Robin voices are severely different from each other, let alone themselves in his earlier works. The scary part is, if you watch all of his LEGO Batman videos in order of release date, you'll barely notice the changes between videos.
  • raocow started off with a much mellower voice and thicker French Canadian accent. As he developed his Talkative Loon personality for his Let's Play videos, he began using a higher-pitched, crazier tone of voice to match. He also became more fluent in English, to the point that it's hard to tell he's French Canadian. Even when he does a video out-of-character, his voice sounds nothing like it did on his early Let's Plays.
  • Back when Chuggaaconroy started doing Let's Plays in 2008, he sounded very sedate and somewhat low-pitched, making him seem on the vapid side. Come The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, he gradually starts to pick up in energy (and vocal pitch) with each succeeding playthrough, eventually becoming the hamtastic Keet we know him as today sometime during/around his Ōkami playthrough.
  • The Nostalgia Chick originally had Lindsay's own Tennessee-tinged, typically feminine, quite lilty voice. Now she has a much lower sound, growlier and fitting her "ladette alcoholic who stopped caring" personality.
  • Phelous has gotten a bit more energy and sped up a bit more compared to his first couple of outings where he was more monotone and slowpaced.
  • Critical Role has a unique example with Liam O'Brien's Vax'ildan, whose voice was consistent throughout the entirety of the Vox Machina campaign. For the "Dalen's Closet" special, which aired around two years after the Vox Machina campaign concluded, Liam reprised his role as Vax who is brought back to life for long enough to say a few words at his sister Vex's wedding. Having not portrayed Vax in a long time, his voice was markedly different. This could be Justified by the fact that, as the Raven Queen's champion in the afterlife, his manner of speech would logically change.
  • In Glove and Boots' early videos, Mario had a higher voice and an almost Canadian-sounding accent - later on his voice got lower and the accent got more ambiguous - compare this early video to a more recent one.
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd's actual voice has stayed pretty consistent throughout most of the series' run, but you can definitely hear a gradual improvement in his public speaking skills over the years. Strangely, in 2011, he spoke in a much lower and mellower tone than usual, which made him sound more irritated than angry (Word of God suggests that this is because his heart was not really into making AVGN videos at the time, because he wanted to begin work on the AVGN movie). Fortunately, in 2012, he returned to his normal pitch/aggression and now sounds pretty much the same as he did before (except more relaxed and confident). However, nearing 2015, he started to sound softer and more relaxed again as he neared his forties.
  • Cecil, Character Narrator of Welcome to Night Vale, is always NPR smooth and sonorous, but as his character develops throughout the series he becomes more emotionally dynamic. This is especially obvious in the first anniversary episode "One Year Later", which begins with an Ironic Echo of the intro from the pilot. The words are almost identical but the reading has changed drastically.
  • Arin and Ross have both discussed this on Game Grumps and Steam Train respectively, the two not realizing how much their voices have changed over the years until they looked at their older works, with Arin's voice deepening and Ross's voice becoming significantly higher and losing his Australian accent. Arin attributes it to a combination of age and straining his voice due to how much he has to record, while Ross attributes it to living in America.
  • Dragon Ball Z Abridged has quite a few examples:
    • Vegeta and Piccolo Jr's voices were much lower and growlier in the first series. By the third, they become less like Christopher Sabat's portrayals and more distinctly Nick Landis.
    • Krillin's voice got higher and goofier as the series went on.
    • Goku's voice at first sounded nothing more than Lawrence Simpson impersonating an American high school student. As time went on however, he got considerably higher pitched, nasally, and ditzy, with Simpson clarifying during a TFS podcast that he started to base the voice more and more around Peter Kelamis's portrayal of Goku.
    • Dende's voice becomes noticeably deeper come his reappearances in The Return of Cooler Abridged and the Cell Saga. Given the amount of time that had passed in canon since his last appearance, this could be Dende going through puberty.
  • Video game reviewer Caddicarus has taken a deeper, more mature delivery as of the 2014 episodes, likely because he started the show in his late teens.
  • Let's Play creator Markiplier has gone through a bit of a vocal evolution. While he's currently known for having a baritone voice, compare to his slightly higher-pitched voice in his very first Let's Play video of Amnesia: The Dark Descent.
  • Likewise, Jacksepticeye used to be a lot less energetic-sounding. Watching one of his early videos might remind a Homestar Runner fan of when Coach Z was told to speak "in a more toned-down voice" in a commercial for his sports instructional videos.
  • Truncated Power Rangers has Lord Zedd start off as a Robert Axelrod impression in the pilot, but with a more Jewish-accented voice when he became a regular. Justified in-universe, as he had a cold that day. This was a case of Real Life Writes the Plot, since Mike Manos has admitted he couldn't keep the original voice up.
  • Given what a Long Runner it is, this has happened a lot in Monster Island Buddies.
    • Godzilla initially spoke with a thick Japanese accent, which was dropped before the end of the first season. His voice has also become higher-pitched over time.
    • Rodan's voice has become less hoarse and breathy over time, as well as getting higher-pitched.
    • Jet Jaguar and Gigan's voices have gotten subtly higher pitched over time.
    • Space Godzilla initially spoke with a deep voice with a vague accent, before gaining the nasally, high-pitched "showman"-style voice he has now.
  • Virtual YouTuber Snuffy originally spoke with a high-pitched "cutesy UWU" voice. After a year of streaming, she promised to show her real voice, eventually doing it after much demand. She reveals that she really speaks with a deep, sexy voice that drove the whole chat crazy. On top of that, her popularity exploded after revealing her real voice.

Alternative Title(s): Vocal Decay


Mario's old voice

Mario's old voice was much nasalier and slightly deeper.

How well does it match the trope?

4.27 (30 votes)

Example of:

Main / VocalEvolution

Media sources: