Follow TV Tropes


Warning Song

Go To

You can lie to yourself and your minions!
You can claim that you haven't a qualm!
But you never can run from
nor hide what you've done from the eyes!
The very eyes of Notre-Dame!

The protagonists meets a character, or even a entire group, inside of or near the entrance of a place that already looks omnious, or about to meet a person with a scary reputation. Said character/group decides to warn the heroes about how the area they're about to enter will be their end, or how said dreaded person could put a end to them... but warn in a musical way.

Can invoke some Lyrical Dissonance, if the instrumental is not creepy or at least sad. Compare "The Villain Sucks" Song, which is about how awful a villain is, and Fear Song, a song about a character's own fears. In some cases, especially if it is done in an Edutainment Show, it could also count as an Educational Song.


    open/close all folders 

  • "Don't Put It In Your Mouth" is a Canadian public service announcement from the 1990's where a Muppet-esque brother and sister sing about asking your mom or dad before you put something in your mouth even if it looks tasty, otherwise you may get sick.
  • The 1970's public service announcement "Mr. Yuk" warns of a monster whose sticker appears on objects that kids should not touch.
  • "We're Not Candy" was a public service announcement aired on New York City area television stations in the 1980's featuring puppet pills that warned kids that although pills may look like candy, they're only meant to be given to people with a doctor's permission.

  • One of the songs on the Cinnamoroll Direct-to-DVD special Everyone's Friends with Cinnamon note , "Roads Are Dangerous!" note  by Sanrio, teaches children when they should cross a road and what not to do around cars or in the street.

    Fan Works 
  • A fan-created song for My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic called "Don't Go to the Forest" is about Zecora warning ponies not to go into the Everfree Forest or they might be killed by the various creatures that live there.

    Film — Animation 
  • The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad: In The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Brom Bones sings "Headless Horseman", an ominous yet swingy number about the titular Headless Horseman, although the song is less out of a genuine desire to warn the people than it is to frighten the superstitious Ichabod.
  • Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas: The succinctly titled song "Don't Fall in Love," in which Maestro Forte sings to Beast about how he shouldn't fall in love with Belle, or anyone else, listing a number of reasons why it will ruin his life. Played with in that Forte is a False Friend, and his warnings are (probably) not genuine, he only wants to keep the Beast from breaking the curse on him and the whole castle because it forces the Beast to give Forte the attention he craves.
  • Disney Animated Canon
    • The Fox and the Hound: Big Mama has "Lack of Education" as she warns Tod that despite his friendship with Copper, they are not supposed to be friends and when they grow up, they will become mortal enemies. Tod is against this, but he soon finds out she's right.
    • The Hunchback of Notre Dame:
      • Clopin begins the film putting on a little theater for a group of children, all the while singing "The Bells of Notre Dame" to tell them the story of how the titular hunchback, Quasimodo, came to be the bellringer of Notre-Dame, and under the care of Judge Claude Frollo. Ostensibly, the song is to warn the children the dangers of corruption that power brings, and that no one is above the judgement of God. The latter of which, within the song itself, is sung to Frollo by the Archdeacon as a warning in and of itself. The Archdeacon gave Frollo that warning after Frollo claimed a clear conscience for murdering Quasimodo's mother on the very steps of the church; the Archdeacon himself was too late to stop him, but arrived in time to save the infant Quasimodo's life.
      Archdeacon: You can lie to yourself and your minions! You can claim that you haven't a qualm! But you never can run from nor hide what you've done from the eyes! The very eyes of Notre-Dame!
      • The first part of "Out There" has Frollo warn Quasimodo to stay in the bell tower for all eternity for the people of the outside world will hate him for his deformed appearance and call him a monster. This turns out to be a case of irony, as he killed Quasi's mother when he was a baby and he is the monster himself.
    • From Tangled:
      • "Mother Knows Best" sung by Gothel is a Villain Song that depends on instilling enough fear in Rapunzel that she won't dare leave her tower by listing the dangers of the outside world, because she is secretly using Rapunzel for the healing abilities of her hair and needs her to stay young forever.
      • The reprise of "Mother Knows Best", when Rapunzel refuses to come back to Gothel, Gothel sings that the only reason Flynn is sticking around Rapunzel is to get back the crown he stole.
      Gothel: Don't let him deceive you, give it to him watch you'll see. Trust me my dear, that's how fast he'll leave you, I won't say I told you so... If he's lying, don't come crying!
    • Frozen (2013) has "Frozen Heart", which serves as both a warning and as Foreshadowing.
      • In Frozen II Elsa and Anna's mother sings them a lullaby, "All Is Found", about a mystical river full of memories. However, if you get too close you'll drown.
    • In Encanto, Mirabel's family and the villagers tell Mirabel "We Don't Talk About Bruno" because his predictions tend to cause misfortune.
  • In Face Like a Frog, when Max tries to go into the Haunted House's basement (because the door says there's a phone down there, and he wants to call someone), a lizard man comes out of nowhere and sings the number "Don't Go Into the Basement", which is all about the lizard ordering Max to stay out of the basement for vague reasons. At the end, we learn that the basement contains a train to Hell.
  • The Bearer of the Ring, The Wearer of the Ring from The Return of the King is a warning against the One Ring's seductive power, and that its "simple" power (actually its useful side-effect of invisibility) grows stronger and more malicious with every step it's taken closer to Barad-Dûr, and thus its true master, Sauron (Frodo and Sam are going to the nearby volcano, Mt. Doom).
  • Thumbelina (1994): Ms. Fieldmouse warns Thumbelina that she'd be better off to "Marry the Mole" then pursue her true love Prince Cornelius, even invoking the doomed romance of Romeo and Juliet.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005): Dolphin's warning the audience the world is coming to an end but alas due to human ears they couldn't understand them, so instead they sing the song "So long and thanks for all the fish" before they disappear off the earth.
  • The main theme for Little Shop of Horrors is about the monster plant Audrey II and has the lyric, "You better, everyone had better, tell your mama something's gonna get her. She better, everybody better beware!".
  • Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory has the Oompa-Loompas singing songs warning people against eating too much, excessive gum chewing, spoiling children, and watching too much television.

  • Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator has the song "Attention, Please!" by the Oompa-Loompas, warning against taking medicine in a foolish way.
  • Redwall: Loamhedge has the Affably Evil stoat Flinky sing a song called "Heads Down" (the audiobook version can be heard here) in which he warns his cohorts to hide during a battle instead of fighting, arguing that fighting is foolish and will certainly get them killed.
    When the clouds of arrows fly, keep your heads down
    Let the brave ones charge on by, keep your heads down
    When the hero's blood runs red, and you're scared to raise your head
    Just be glad that you ain't dead, and keep your heads down.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Crazy Ex-Girlfriend has "Don't Be a Lawyer", which warns about how incredibly difficult and soul-sucking the job is.
  • The Go Show has a song called "Never Cross the Road on Your Own" which talks about how to safely cross the road and repeatedly warns against crossing the road on your own.

  • The song "My Boyfriend's Back" by The Angels. A Stalker with a Crush had asked a girl for a date, and after she said no he had spread malicious rumors about her. Now that her boyfriend has returned to town she gleefully informs the stalker that her boyfriend is going to beat him up.
  • The Charlie Daniels Band recorded The Legend Of Wooley Swamp in 1980, warning of the hazards of this marshland full of creepy-crawlies and quicksand. Oh, and the ghost of Lucius Clay, too.
  • "The Depths Below" by The Cog Is Dead warns of a semi-mechanical Sea Monster roaming the seas, grabbing ships with its tentacles and pulling them into the titular depths.
  • "The House of Myth" by Creature Feature warns the listener about the grim fate awaiting anyone who enters the eponymous house.
    They're gonna have to scrape you off of the walls
    That's even if they find your body at all
  • The Eagles released Hotel California in 1977, wherein a lone driver, drowsy from the road, stops at the lonely Hotel California. While the welcome is pleasant enough, the rest is unsettling. As the hostess puts it: "We are all just prisoners here / of our own device." The clincher is the night man's "You can check out any time you like / but you can never leave." While fans have come up with many ideas of what the song is actually referring to (drugs, atheism, the state of California itself), Word of God is that it's about the predatory practices of the music industry in the 70s.
  • "Bad Moon Rising" by Creedence Clearwater Revival. John Fogerty reportedly wrote the song after watching The Devil and Daniel Webster. Inspired by a scene in the film involving a hurricane, Fogerty claims the song is about "the apocalypse that was going to be visited upon us".
    Don't go 'round tonight
    It's bound to take your life
    There's a bad moon on the rise.
  • "Dead Man's Curve" by Jan and Dean tells of a street race to the titular Dead Man's Curve and the warnings of the locals that the curve dangerous. The singer doesn't heed the warning and apparently gets into a wreck (as implied by the fact that the last verse is told to a doctor).
  • Bobby Bare wrote and recorded Marie La Veau in 1974, about a swamp witch in Louisiana with a tendency to shriek at trespassers and hucksters, which somehow makes them disappear. Handsome Jack tried to bamboozle her, but once he showed his true colors, Marie fired off her trademark shriek, and "another man done gone." There was a real Marie La Veau, (two actually, mother and daughter), that lived in New Orleans proper, who practiced voodoo for healing and midwifery, known for benevolence and altruism rather than malice and murder.
  • Bobby Parker's "Watch Your Step", where he warns an ex who has jilted him to, well, watch their step, because he'll be keeping an eye on everything they do.
  • Voltaire:
    • "Beast of Pirate's Bay" involves the singer warning people at a tavern not to go into Pirate's Bay because of the beast that lives there, who scared Blackbeard's beard white and ate Captain Hook's remaining hand. Ultimately subverted, because the beast was actually a beached whale the singer was trying to protect by keeping people away.
    • "Don't Go By the River" plays with this trope. The song is largely about the singer warning the listener to stay away from the riverside, because there are deadly monsters there. However, the singer also drops a hint that he's one of the monsters, implying that he's a Card-Carrying Villain who is actually trying to scare the listener rather than show concern for their safety.
  • "Weird Al" Yankovic's song "Virus Alert" is a warning about what will happen if you get a certain computer virus.
    • "Don't Download This Song" warns and pleads with listeners to not download the song they're listening to, lest they go to jail and become an infamous criminal who will burn in hell for it.

    Puppet Shows 
  • Bumble has an episode where Fishy says, "It might rain or it might not." Bumble wasn't listening properly and didn't hear the "might not", so he tells someone else that it's going to rain and that they'd better take the clothes in off the line in case there's a storm. Boo just hears something about storms and so sings a song to Peek, warning him that he'd better not be outside "when the wind begins to roar".
  • Fraggle Rock: In one episode, Wembley accidentally discovers the Terrible Tunnel, which according to legend, is basically a pair of stone jaws that open when someone gets too close, then trap the victim inside. When Wembley narrowly escapes being caught by it, then tells his friends, everyone except Boober insists that it didn't happen and that the Terrible Tunnel is only a legend. Wembley decides to take his friends there to prove that he found it. Boober, refusing to go, sings "Bad News" to try to warn Wembley how dangerous the Terrible Tunnel is.
    Boober: [singing] If a raven should appear, you're bound to shed a tear.
    Always keep a-runnin' from the Terrible Tunnel or you'll fall in up to here!
  • The Noddy Shop has two of these:
    • "The Day The Goblins Got Away" is sung by the toys and Johnny Crawfish in "The Magic Key" to warn Kate and Truman of the troubles that the goblins will cause in the shop.
    • The song "Another Nice Mess" from "The Big Mess" starts off with Johnny Crawfish warning everyone in the shop to run away from the vaccum cleaner that has gone awry in the shop before it escalates to the other toys singing about the trouble that it is causing.
  • Sesame Street:
    • The song "Danger's No Stranger" is sung to a man warning his girlfriend not to put herself in danger by avoiding falling objects and taking heed of danger signs.
    • "Get Out, Stay Out, Don't You Go Back In" is a take on The Three Little Pigs about fire safety in which The Big Bad Wolf and the titular pigs warn about not going into a house that's on fire to retrieve lost items.
    • "Every Day Can't Be Christmas" from Elmo Saves Christmas is Santa Claus' warning to Elmo about how Christmas wouldn't be special if it was every single day.
  • Yo Gabba Gabba! has a song called "Dangerous", which warns against the dangers of playing on the road.


    Theme Parks 
  • The Efteling roller coaster "Baron 1898" has the "Witte Wieven" warning guests of disastrous consequences through song at two points: in a preshow and just before the car ascends the lifthill.
  • In the now defunct Six Flags Over Georgia dark ride attraction "Tales of the Okie Pinokie", which itself is an adaptation of the Uncle Remus stories, a chorus of birds and singing carrots sing a song of warning to B'rer Rabbit that B'rer Fox and B'rer Bear's plot to kill him.

    Web Animation 

    Western Animation 
  • More than a few places in The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin get one of these. The most memorable one was for the Land of Ying.
    Teddy and Grubby: The Land...
    Of Ying...
    Is not...
    The kind of place to go...
    on a vacation.
    Teddy: My mother told me never to go to the Land of Ying,
    She said it is the place where evil sleeps.
  • In the Betty Boop cartoon The Old Man of the Mountain, the song that the short is named after is sung by an owl in the village to Betty, warning her that the Old Man of the Mountain is evil and will kill or eat anyone who crosses his path. Notably, the lyrics are changed from the original version of the song to give the Old Man Adaptational Villainy.
  • Being that the whole show revolves around safety, Danger Rangers does many of these types of songs, usually warning kids of how dangerous the topic of the day is. For instance, "Places Not To Play" talks about places that are unsafe to play in and "Don't Touch Them Pills" is about pills not being safe unless a doctor prescribes them.
  • The Futurama episode "Fry and The Slurm Factory" had the Grunka Lunkas (Expies of Oompa Loompas) warning Fry and his tour group about enquiring too closely into the inner workings of Slurm production:
    Grunka Lunka dunkety doo
    We've got a friendly warning for you
    Grunka Lunka dunkety dasis
    The secret of Slurm's on a need-to-know basis
    Asking questions in school is a great way to learn
    If you try that stuff here you might get your legs broke
    We once found a dead guy face down in the Slurm
    It could easily happen again to you, folks
    So keep your head down and keep your mouth shut
    Grunka Lunka Lunka dunkety dutt!
    Grunka Lunka dunkety din-gredient
    You should not ask about the secret ingredient!
  • I ♡ Arlo: "Ruff and Stucky" from the Season 1 finale "The Uncondemning", sung by Arlo's former hunter rivals from the Pilot Movie as they tell about the villainous Bog Lady of the swamp and warn of her danger and dark magic, and it's Arlo whom she's especially after.
  • The Loud House: In "Tricked!", Luna writes a song warning against some dangerous creatures who "aren't herbivores" and probably "haven't been fed in a long time".
  • Over the Garden Wall: Songs of the Dark Lantern has "The Beast Is Out There", an eerie little number sung by a tavernkeeper warning Wirt and Greg about the Beast, an Eldritch Abomination who lurks in the woods outside.
    Ooh, ooh, you better beware
    ooh, ooh, the Beast is out there!
    Ooh, ooh, you better be wise
    And don't believe his lies!
  • Phineas and Ferb: "He's Bigfoot", from "Get That Bigfoot Outta My Face", is a song sung by Grandpa Clyde warning the kids about, well, Bigfoot.
    He's Bigfoot, he's Bigfoot
    He bathes in the water that you drink!
    He's Bigfoot, he's Bigfoot
    So watch out, 'cuz he's closer than you think!


Video Example(s):


The Old Man of the Mountain

While visiting a mountainside town, Betty Boop watches all it's citizens flee due to The Old Man of the Mountain. An owl sings a warning to her about why the Old Man should be avoided at all costs, a warning that she ignores.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (5 votes)

Example of:

Main / WarningSong

Media sources: