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Voice and Vocal Tropes

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When a person speaks, what they actually say comprises only about half of what's being communicated. The tone of their voice, or even the sound of the voice itself, can deliver as much or more of a message than the actual words being spoken.

These tropes explore the various ways in which different voices, vocal effects, and vocal deliveries affect how we perceive characters, and how they can drastically change the message a quote conveys.

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Tropes:

  • Alto Villainess: Villainesses sound better with an alto voice.
  • Aroused by Their Voice: A character thinks another character's voice is hot.
  • Badass Baritone: Manly badass men speak in baritones.
  • Basso Profundo: A voice so deep it'll quiver your liver.
  • Beautiful Singing Voice: A character is acknowledged in-universe as having a great singing voice.
  • Broken Echo: Instead of repeating a voice, an echo either refuses to repeat or actually replies.
  • Compelling Voice: A voice with a supernatural compulsion to follow its commands.
  • Computer Voice: Computers in fiction often tend to speak with a feminine voice.
  • Contralto of Danger: Ladies with deeper voices tend to be more Badass or dangerous than those with higher voices.
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  • Creepy High-Pitched Voice: A character is made creepier with an intense high-pitched voice.
  • Creepy Monotone: When speaking in a flat, unchanging voice becomes really creepy and off-putting, if not outright terrifying.
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: A small or cute character has a shockingly loud voice.
  • Do I Really Sound Like That?: Somebody is surprised by what a recording of their own voice sounds like.
  • Electronic Speech Impediment: Computers that are malfunctioning in some way stutter or develop other speech impediments while speaking.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: Evil characters generally speak with much deeper voices than heroes do.
  • Evil Sounds Raspy: Villains tend to have much harsher, rougher voices than heroes do.
  • Guttural Growler: A character with a deep, harsh, raspy growl for a voice.
  • Hearing Voices: A character hears disembodied voices due to insanity or supernatural forces.
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  • Heavy Voice: Characters tend to get deeper, thicker voices upon gaining a large amount of weight.
  • Helium Speech: A high-pitched voice effect acquired through either inhaling helium before speaking, or by pitch-shifting a voice recording.
  • Instant Soprano: Groin Attacks cause the victim to speak or scream at a higher pitch.
  • Larynx Dissonance: The fairly uncommon ability to convincingly sound like a person of the opposite gender.
  • Machine Monotone: Machines tend to speak in monotone as a reflection of their lack of ability to feel emotion.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: A character can shout so hard, their voice serves as a weapon.
  • Nerdy Nasalness: A nerdy character that has a nasally voice.
  • No Indoor Voice: A character cannot or will not speak quietly, and shouts or near-shouts everything they say.
  • Perishing Alt-Rock Voice: A vocal style common in indie rock, characterized by weak, exhausted voice and flattened emotional register.
  • Power Echoes: Obtaining supreme magical powers adds several layers of reverb and echo to your voice.
  • Power Makes Your Voice Deep: Obtaining incredible supernatural powers makes your voice drop a few octaves for some reason.
  • Radio Voice: Voices become distorted in some way whenever characters speak over a communication device.
  • Simpleton Voice: A halting, quavering, low-pitched voice that signals stupidity in characters.
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: A character's singing voice sounds completely different from their normal speaking voice.
  • Sssssnake Talk: Ekssssagerating your esssesss ssso that you sssound like a hisssssing ssssnake.
  • Soft-Spoken Sadist: A villain with a gentle voice/mannerism, creating an unsettling dissonance.
  • Talk Like a Pirate: Arrr, this is when ye talk like ye been sailin' the seven seas in search of plunder!
  • Trrrilling Rrrs: Therrre is a heavy emphasis on this parrrticularrr letterrr...
  • Vocal Dissonance: A character speaks in a voice you would not expect coming from someone like them.
  • Vocal Range Exceeded: A person tries to sing outside of their natural range, and their voice cracks.
  • Voice Changeling: A character can perfectly imitate other voices without changing their physical appearance..
  • Voice of the Legion: A character speaks in a reverb-soaked voice full of off-kilter echoes, as though multiple entities are speaking through them at once.
  • Voices Are Mental: Characters who swap bodies do swap voices as well.
  • Voices Are Not Mental: Characters who swap bodies do not swap voices as well.
  • Voice Types: A primer on the different types of vocal ranges, and types of voices used in opera and musical theatre.


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