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Waxing Lyrical

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President Haney: Please God, don't let him quote lyrics.
Vice-President Matthews: [eulogizing] Muskrat Susie, Muskrat Sam. Do the jitterbug out in Muskrat Land. And they shimmy, [voice cracks] and Sammy's so skinny...

Bob and Alice are talking, and you the viewer can't help but notice that there is something weird with Bob's dialogue. When he finishes speaking it turns out that Bob was using the lyrics to a well known song to make his point. Alternatively, Bob could have been singing, but the fact that the song was mainstream was hidden due to the fact that the song could have been reworked or sounded more appropriate to the character's situation than it actually was. Either way, the writers have made a joke by subtly slipping a popular song into the events of a show and then revealing it. Writers, like all people, just love to play with words.

This is a favorite trick of time-travelers or ambassadors to alien civilizations, who will break out song lyrics whenever they need to say something vaguely intellectual-sounding. This often seems to manifest as a game of dueling aphorisms with a local philosopher, who will always end up being impressed with such an obviously learned man. See I'm Mr. Future Pop Culture Reference. This is also a common trait of the Pop-Cultured Badass and the Cloud Cuckoo Lander.

Obviously, if the viewer knows the song well, they'll see the joke coming, but the joke is intended for a larger audience who are aware of the song but wouldn't know the lyrics by heart. If it appears in a children's show, it likely doubles as a Parental Bonus.

When used in Fan Fiction, this is Song Fic. Not to be confused with That Reminds Me of a Song, "One Song To The Tune Of Another" or "singing the wrong lyrics". Also has no relationship to a certain Magical Girl.


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  • This commercial by Nortel features a CEO giving a rather bizarre inspirational speech to his company, which turns out to be The Beatles' "Come Together".
  • One advert for Virgin Media has the narrator reciting the lyrics to "Our House" by Madness.
  • A State Farm ad has a customer and a rep unconsciously quoting "Any Way You Want It," until the customer notices. "We just had ourselves a little Journey moment there."
  • This Fiat Punto advert has a man apparently in the middle of an argument with his partner, quoting "Don't You Want Me?" by The Human League. The cash register at the petrol station even adds the synth noises in the appropriate place.
  • This Workday Inc. spot has pro golfers Brandt Snedeker, Davis Love III, and Matt Kuchar swapping lines from Billy Joel's "Honesty". Another ad for the same company features lyrics from Matthew Wilder's "Break My Stride".

    Anime & Manga 
  • In the Genesis of Aquarion OVA, Gen Fudou speaks the opening lines to the shows first theme song. note  Soon thereafter, Reika, Silvia, and Apollo begin singing the song.
  • The episode titles of Black★Rock Shooter are lines from the song "Black★Rock Shooter" by ryo(supercell) feat. Hatsune Miku, which is also the opening (and the song the anime was based on). Characters in the series also often quote lines from the same song.
  • In Angel Beats!, TK does this a few times. Lampshaded once when he quips "Knockin' on heaven's door!" as a Pre-Mortem One-Liner, and another character remarks "That's a Bob Dylan song." The other characters then decide that it fits anyway.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • My Immortal:
    He suddenly looked at them with an evil look in his eye and muttered Well If you wanted Honesty that’s all you haD TO SAY! .
    "That's not a spell that's an MCR song." I corrected him wisely.
  • A few mangled lines from songs are snuck into the dialogue in Decks Fall Everyone Dies.
  • In Drunkard's Walk II, during a discussion about Doug's Pinball Gag combat (it's magic), one character asks "How do you think he does it?" and a second responds "I don't know." A third continues "What makes him so good?... Well, it's obvious that he's a pinball wizard. And that there has to be a twist." Neither of the other two gets it.
  • This quote from Gibbet (Willow) of My Mëtäl, a My Immortal Heavy Metal Parody by Monica Gilbey Bieber, as an added explanation of how Gibbet would show up one chapter after Ignacïo confesses to Rainblood that he killed Gibbet. This is in reference to the scene in My Immortal where Willow is brought back to life without explanation.
    I dunno what's gotten into Ignacïo, but he sent me to get tortured, killed, tortured again, and fucked by Snape ...In That Order after Ignacïo must have stabbed me fifty fucking times! Good thing I barely survived and escaped that necropedophile before he attempted to rip my heart out right before my eyes and completely butcher me until I end up looking like a model for a Cannibal Corpse album cover!
    • Hilariously, Avenged Sevenfold is considered a poser (My Metal's equivalent of a prep) band in this fanfic.
    • Also, Rainblood/Chäntal mentions that he's not a vampire, but he feels like one when Tom asked him/her how s/he drank all the blood of a lady in the movie theater. Just like Avenged Sevenfold, Falling in Reverse is also, hilariously, a poser band in this fanfic.
  • In Another Day in the Life of Voldemort quotes Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust" shortly before entering the Potter home at Godric's Hollow.
  • In Disney High, Aladdin mistakenly believes that Jasmine will only date someone who knows all the lyrics to an album by Miley Cyrus by heart. When they are talking at a party and he tries to convince her he's really an Arabian prince who's only moved to the US recently, he desperately comes up with this:
    Aladdin: I just got here... hopped off the plane at L.A.X... with my dream and um... my cardigan. I mean... it's the land of fame excess... I was kinda worried I wasn't going to fit in.
    Jasmine: Are you... are those the lyrics to Miley Cyrus's 'Party in the USA'?
    Aladdin: ... maybe.
  • In The Fairy Godmother Harry's mother comments on how much she and his father loved him at the end of a recorded will.
    Lily Potter: Never be sad, because our sacrifice was for you. You are my little sunshine and you make me happy when my skies are grey.
  • In The Ties That Bind, Phoenix Wright segues into quoting John Denver ("leaving on a jet plane...") while giving Edgeworth romantic advice. It should be noted that this is not at all out of character for him.
  • Several examples in The Keys Stand Alone: The Soft World, notably when the priest of Meddar convinces the four to rescue Malla's baby by quoting a couple of lines from “Help!” while channeling the god.
  • There's Nothing Sweeter:
    Gwen: Now that you know me, your life would suck without me. Coz we belong together, yeah, forever united here somehow, yeah.
    Travis: Oh Gods, shut up. You're not even singing it and that song still sounds awful.
  • In Something Wicked This Way Comes Luna mentions her relationship with Hermione.
    Luna: If it makes you think less of me, I can understand. Love sometimes works in strange ways, and people don't like strange things.
    Cho: No, no, it's just... unusual.
    Luna: It's not unusual to be loved by someone.
  • In Leaving Home Harry decides to transfer to Salem Academy. Hermione's parents ask her why she intends to do the same and she quotes Peggy March's "I Will Follow Him".
  • In Secrets Draco is nervous about the impending Final Battle.
    Harry: Take my hand and we'll make it, I swear.
    Draco: Livin' on a fucking prayer.
    Harry: We've got to hold on, ready or not. You live for the fight when it's all that you've got.
  • In Potter's Protector Xander receives a valentine which quotes "Hungry Like the Wolf".
    Xander: I'm fairly certain Duran Duran are, as we speak, building a lawsuit.

    Films — Animation 
  • Shrek:
    Gingerbread Man: Do you know the Muffin Man?
    Farquaad: The Muffin Man?
    Gingerbread Man: The Muffin Man.
    Farquaad: Yes... I know the Muffin Man. Who lives on Drury Lane?
    Gingerbread Man: Well... she's married to the Muffin Man.
    Farquaad: The Muffin Man?
    Gingerbread Man: The Muffin Man!
    Farquaad: She's married to the Muffin Man...
    • Also, there's this:
    Donkey: You love this woman, don't ya?
    Shrek: Yes.
    Donkey: You wanna hold her?
    Shrek: Yes.
    Donkey: Please her?
    Shrek: Yes!
    Donkey: Then ya gotta, gotta try a little tenderness!
  • In Rio 2, Nigel accidentally attends a Carnival audition. He then proceeds to do a dramatic performance of "I Will Survive", turning that into a Villain Song (not that it isn't adequate).
  • In one of the wraparopunds from Friz Freleng's Looney Looney Looney Bugs Bunny Movie, Daffy challenges Bugs to a talent contest to see who's the best.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • In the Arthur C. Clarke/Stephen Baxter book The Light Of Other Days, about a society where privacy is becoming obsolete, a girl is seen wearing a T-shirt with the words 'Santa Claus Is Coming To Town'. The protagonist doesn't know what it means, but she explains it to him later in case the reader didn't catch it: "He sees you when you're sleeping..."
  • The Discworld novel Hogfather has some fun with the lyrics of "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town": Quoth the Raven tells Susan "You'd better watch out"; Death, in his role as Hogfather, is able to ensure some kids see him, because I know when they are peeping, and he asks if checking the list twice is sufficient. In the same book, the magical and dizzyingly fast sleigh ride prompts Albert to mutter sarcastically "Oh, what fun."
    • Soul Music is absolutely loaded with musical references, such as Cut-Me-Own-Throat Dibbler telling some would-be musicians "So you want to be a Music With Rocks In It Star? Then listen now to what I say..."
    • In Thud!, Fred Colon comments on the trouble in Koom Valley with the immortal question "War, Nobby, huh. What is it good for"? Nobby Nobbs proceeds to try and come up with an answer.
    • In Lords and Ladies, Ridcully claims he's not fit to jump off Lancre Bridge like he was in his youth, saying "I was young and foolish then". Granny Weatherwax retorts "Well? You're old and foolish now."
  • Doctor Who – Expanded Universe
    • In the Past Doctor Adventures novel The Eleventh Tiger, the Doctor and his companions are staying at a 19th century gongfu school. (Note that Ian and Barbara are from ten years before the song came out, but the Doctor clearly recognizes the accidental reference):
      [Ian:] "One minute those kids are just running around chaotically, but the next minute they're all focused, and everyone's kung-fu fighting."
      "Those kids are as fast as lightning," Barbara added.
      The Doctor raised an eyebrow. "Are they indeed? And was it, perchance, dear boy, a little bit frightening? Hmm?"
    • In the Fifth/Seventh team-up Cold Fusion, Chris Cwej is posing as an Australian, and describes living in a close-knit community in a sunny suburb, where everyone pops in and out of each others' houses, before concluding "With a little understanding, you can find the perfect blend and that's when good neighbours become good friends". Real Australian Tegan doesn't get the reference, having come from a time before Neighbours began, but does spot he's talking nonsense.
    • And in the Eighth Doctor Adventures novel Camera Obscura, the Doctor quotes "All Along the Watchtower" while trying to escape a creepy Eldritch Location with a man who literally stole his heart:
      ‘“There must be some way out of here,’ said the joker to the thief”.’
    • Sabbath (the aforementioned thief) has his own moment of doing this, for no particular reason at all: he's usually The Stoic, and he's from the 18th century. But he gets into an alarmingly perky and cheerful mood and starts quoting from The Wizard of Oz.
      "‘Because,’ said Sabbath. ‘Because because because because because. Because of the wonderful things I does.’"
    • The New Series Adventures novel Silhouette has a brief Call-Back to the The Lion King moment in "The Christmas Invasion" (below). The Twelfth Doctor is trying to convince a Human Weapon Emotion Bomb to amplify the positive emotions surrounding him, rather than the negative ones, and asks "Can you feel the love tonight?" He breaks off for a moment, then decides that wherever it came from, it works.
  • Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency has a scene involving a horse in a bathroom.
    "A horse?" he said again.
    "Yes, it is," said the Professor. "Wait—" he motioned to Richard, who was about to go out again and investigate— "let it be. It won't be long."
    Richard stared in disbelief. "You say there's a horse in your bathroom, and all you can do is stand there naming Beatles songs?"
  • In The Book Of Awesome, the final two paragraphs of "Taking your shoes off on a long car ride" match the lyrics of Buddy Holly's Rollercoaster.
  • The Dresden Files:
    • In Ghost Story, Dresden tries to console Molly by saying "for everything there is a season", but Molly cuts him off by telling him to stop quoting the Bible at her. Harry counters he was actually quoting the song Turn! Turn! Turn! (admittedly the latter is based on the former).
    • In another book he makes Toot-Toot a Major General in order to psych him up. The little faerie can't believe it and asks for confirmations. Harry replies, "Yes, yes, a Major General."
  • Near the start of Whispers Underground, during a murder investigation, DI Stephanopoulos comments "Well, our victim had a thirst for knowledge. He was a student at St Martin's College."

    Live Action TV 
  • In the Selfie episode "With a Little Yelp From My Friends", Henry encourages Eliza to make friends with co-worker Joan, telling her to do her research. He unknowingly (probably, given his age) quotes a Biggie song, which Eliza enthusiastically finishes for him.
    Henry: Do your research. If you want to connect with Joan, find out what her interests are.
    Eliza: Who she be with?!
    • In "Imperfect Harmony", Freddy and Henry are talking about Eliza's attitude about relationships at a karaoke party and a freshly-dumped Freddy says "Its like the second she knows you care about, watch out boy. She'll chew you up. She's a maneater. *Beat* I think I might do 'Maneater'"
  • One of the many "Sorkinisms" Aaron Sorkin uses as Running Gag, involves a character going on a tangent about themselves and their credentials—inevitably topping the mini-monologue off with "And I'm never-never sick at sea!"
    • Margaret once lapses into this when she's excited about musical guest James Taylor coming to the White House.
    Margaret: I've always loved "Jelly Man Kelly". He's the man who likes jelly the most. He likes it on toast. Then there's Jenny Mulhenny...
  • In the episode "To Kill a Chupacabraj", of Workaholics Ders addresses the people waiting in small-claims court, initially mistaking them for the jury.
    Ders: I have but one word: justice. Just-us. Its just us on this planet, Earth. We're alone, so we need to trust each other. Trust us. Rhymes, so you know that its real. Which brings me to the question, are we human, or are we dancers?"
  • An ad for the TV show Bridezillas had the brides and their families getting ready for a fight and the family starts singing the song "We're Not Gonna Take It" by Twisted Sister.
  • From Absolutely Fabulous:
    Eddy: Life is a mystery, we all must stand alone. I hear him call my name and it feels like home.
    Saffy: That's lovely, who wrote it?
    Eddy: Madonna, darling.
  • Doctor Who:
    Tommy: It's too late.
    The Doctor: It's never too late, as a wise person once said. (to himself) Kylie, I think...
  • Scrubs:
    JD: Just tell her about it. Tell her everything you feel.
    Dr Cox: ...Should I give her every reason to accept that I'm for real?
    JD: First of all, no-one understands relationships like Billy Joel, okay? Uptown Girl got me through high school.
    • In another episode Turk starts quoting the "Safety Dance" when Carla asks how he would react if their child were to take up dance classes and be mocked by his friends for it. When she tells Elliot, Elliot chastises her for forgetting the time she told Turk the Commissar was in town.
    • Another classic Turk Moment:
      Dr Cox: Name a test, any test that you would use to check for Lupus.
      Turk: Lupus? ...Does she live on the second floor? Does she live upstairs from you? I think you have seen her before.
    • Later, JD consoled a woman whose husband was dying with the theme from Facts of Life.
    • In another example of a song being disguised as a different type of song; at the Janitor's wedding in the final season, Ted sings a beautiful acoustic love song which turns out to be "Hey Ya".
  • 3rd Rock from the Sun:
    • In one episode where Dick got called up for jury duty and was eager to go, Nina and Mary told him not to bother. Dick made a point about how he has a sense of duty and can be relied upon:
      Dick: Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall, all you've got to do is call, and I'll be there.
      Nina: (dismissively) Yeah, yeah, yeah...
      Dick: Yes I will.
    • Another episode had someone asking Dick what he wanted, to which he very hammily shot back, in dead seriousness: "Fame! I want to live forever — light up the sky like a flame!"
    • Another time, after a failed bank robbery which had Sally dressed like a biker, Tommy dressed like a sailor, and Harry dressed like a Native American, they greeted Don (in uniform) and Dick (dressed like a construction worker, since he had just gotten back from a gay bar). Everybody keeps saying "Hey!" back and forth to the tune of "Macho Man".
  • Either Del or Rodney on Only Fools and Horses, trying to be inspiring: "You've got to have a dream. If you don't have a dream... how're you going to have a dream come true?" (The other one just gives him a look.)
  • NewsRadio: Every year when the annual bonuses are delivered, Matthew gets no bonus, known around the station as "The Shaft". Naturally, the guys tease him by reciting lyrics from "Theme from Shaft".
    • Similarly, from the complaint box episode:
      Dave (reading card from the box): Uh, "Who's the black private dick, a sex machine to all the chicks"?
      Everyone: Shaft!
      Bill: I thought we'd get a kick out of that.
  • On Not Only... But Also a spoof of A Man for All Seasons had a scene with Henry VIII and Catherine of Aragon delivering dialogue consisting entirely of lyrics from popular songs of the day.
  • An occasional joke on Not Going Out.
    Barbara: Listen. When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother, what will I be? Will I be pretty? Will I be rich? Here's what she said to me.
    Lee: I'm guessing it was a no.
  • House frequently quotes "You Can't Always Get What You Want". Most notably in the first episode:
    House: As the great philosopher Jagger said; You can't always get what you want.
    Cuddy: By the way, I checked out that philosopher you mentioned and it turns out that you can't always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you'll get what you need.
    • It should be noted that "You Can't Always Get What You Want" eventually became the theme song for House's vicodin addiction.
  • Weird Science had an episode where Lisa the genie fell in love with one of the guys and became a Clingy Jealous Girl. He tells her "When you love someone, set them free", which causes Lisa to start deleting herself. Instantly his friend interrupts, saying "Don't listen to him! He's an idiot spouting bad song lyrics!"
  • The season 3 finale of Battlestar Galactica has a number of characters who turn out to be Cylons start mumbling the same bits of nonsensical poetry as a sign of their mental breakdown. Towards the end of the finale, the lines come together and are revealed to be All Along the Watchtower. The effect of Season Three's finale's reveal was weakened by the fact that the song is relatively well known, since the original was by Bob Dylan, achieved huge popularity as a cover by Jimi Hendrix, and was popular again in the early Noughties following another cover by Dave Matthews Band (as well as covers by Neil Young, Ben Harper, Lenny Kravitz, and many, many others). "There must be some way out of here" and "I can't get no relief" may be relatively unnoticeable, but dialogue that includes "Said the Joker to the Thief," even out of context, raises a few eyebrows.
    • All Along the Watchtower became a kind of significant Leitmotif for the Final Five Cylons at the end of Season Three and throughout Season Four. The song actually becomes vitally important to the series overall: Hera draws a series of dots which are revealed to be the notes to the song when Kara remembers it as a song her father used to play when she was a child. Kara also uses the line "there must be some kind of way out of here" in the series finale, using the notes of the song as coordinates.
    • According to the commentary, in the finale, when Adama asks Kara where the coordinates have taken them, her reply was to have been "Somewhere... all along the watchtower. Luckily, Katee Sackhoff recognized the narminess of the line and refused.
  • Lampshaded on 30 Rock:
    Jack: [in total seriousness] I have an opportunity here, Lemon. A chance to go back to the past to put things right that once went wrong.
    Liz: That's the Quantum Leap intro.
  • In the third season of the Australian Thank God You're Here, Shaun Micallef, responding to the question "Have you ever been to London?" replies "I've been to London, I've been to Birmingham, I've been to paradise, but I've never been to me."
  • The 2009 series of BBC documentary Springwatch was home to a bizarre series of these. Chris Packham had taken out a bet with a friend that he could slip the name of a Smiths song into every episode. The last episode featured Kate Humble reporting that Bill Oddie had called to congratulate him on this feat, to which Chris deadpans to camera, "William, it was really nothing."
  • Shows up on Mystery Science Theater 3000:
    Old Sage-Type Guy: My daughter, you will find that you can't always have what you want.
    Servo: But if you try sometimes, you just might find you get what you need.
    • Also this Beatles shout out:
      Military officer (on phone; suddenly cut off) Hello? Hello?
      Joel: I don't know why you say goodbye, I say hello!
    • In one invention exchange, Joel demonstrated "Instant Karma". Dr. Forrester then taunted Joel and the 'bots by announcing that their experiment this week was the first of the Steve Reeves' Hercules (1958) movies.
      Dr. Forrester: We all shine on.
  • In The Stand, Randall Flagg introduces himself, "Pleased to meet you, Lloyd. Hope you guess my name," to indicate that he is more or less the devil.
  • Friends:
    • An episode has Ross taking a phone message for Rachel from a guy named Casey. While on the phone, he asks if Casey is spelled "like '-at the bat' or '-and the Sunshine Band'?" After he hangs up:
      Ross: Who's this Casey?
      Phoebe: Some guy she met at the movies.
      Ross: What does he want with her?
      Chandler: I'm guessing he wants to do a little dance...make a little love...and, basically, get down tonight.
    • There's another time when Joey tries to stall answering the question "Why?"
      Joey: Because... because... because... because... because...
      Chandler: Because of the wonderful things he does?
    • And yet another Chandler case, once Phoebe mistakenly cuts Monica's hair similar to Dudley Moore:
  • Used by Mock the Week when Diana Ross was given custody of Michael Jackson's children:
    Hugh: Do you think if they're naughty, she can just tell them "Stop! In the name of love!"
  • A round on Whose Line Is It Anyway? involves the participants holding a conversation purely in song titles.
    Ryan: Oklahoma.
    Colin: Theme From Titanic.
  • In the 3D episode of Chuck, in trying to think fast, Chuck calls himself a drummer and then says: "I'm the little drummer boy... Come they told me... ba... rumpa... bombom..."
  • One episode of The Goodies started off by quoting the White Rabbit's song from Disney's version of Alice in Wonderland. Bill and Graeme are sitting around the office:
    Graeme: He's late.
    Tim: (walking in) I'm late.
    Bill: For a very important date.
    Graeme: No time to say hello.
    Tim: (leaving) Goodbye.
    Graeme and Bill: (together) He's late, he's late, he's late, eeh eeh!
  • In The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air:
    • Will recites a few lines of the show's theme song in formal-sounding prose to a judge. "Your honour, in West Philadelphia born 'n' raised, on the playground was where I spent most of my days".
    • Also when Will announces his marriage to Lisa; his Uncle Phil, Aunt Vivian and his mother ask how he manages to make a living.
    Will: We're survive on love.
    Vy: What's love gotta do with it?
    Geoffrey: (walking past them) Gotta do, gotta do with it.
    • In an early episode Will and his uncle get in an argument and end up quoting lyrics from Smith's early hit "Parents Just Don't Understand."
      Will: You'll ruin my rep!
      Uncle Phil: You're only sixteen, you don't have a "rep" yet!
  • This was a favorite technique of the writers of The Bob Newhart Show. In one episode, the guys get drunk and Emily offers to make them coffee. One says, "I love coffee." A second adds, "I love tea." Then Mr. Carlin says, "I love the Java Jive, and it loves me." From another episode, Bob denies being afraid of death, saying, "I am strong, I am invincible …" at which point another character cuts him off with, "You are woman. Let's hear you roar."
    • In a later episode, when Jerry, who was adopted, decides to seek out his birth mother, he comments, "Why I could be a duke, or an earl!" Bob adds, "You could be the Duke of Earl."
  • In a first season episode of Veronica Mars, "Lord of the Bling", Veronica explains her connection to a missing teenager with the words "We used to be friends...a long time ago." Immediately afterwards, the theme song starts playing - the opening line? "A long time ago, we used to be friends…" Also, in the second season episode "The Rapes of Graff", Veronica claims she once shot a man in Reno just to watch him die.
    • In iZombie, when Peyton returns, Liv introduces her with the same "We used to be friends" line. note 
  • In the short-lived Pepper Dennis, Pepper tries to advise a would-be Runaway Bride with the lyrics to D.H.T's "Listen To Your Heart".
  • In an episode of Heroes where Hiro Nakamura was put on trial by his own mind, he tried to defend his meddling with history by saying he had been 'setting right what once went wrong'
    Mental image of Takezo Kensei: Objection, Your Honour: He's reciting the opening to Quantum Leap!
  • Used in Men Behaving Badly when Tony is persuading Gary he should get back together with Dorothy.
  • An episode of Home Improvement had Wilson dishing out some famous quotes about love. Tim responded with: "'Everybody... loves somebody sometimes.' Martin, comma, Dean."
    • Another episode had Wilson musing, on the subject of Tim compromising with his wife, "You have to give a little, take a little..." Tim responds, sardonically, "Yeah, and let your poor heart break a little." Then, he realizes what the next line in the song is, and they figure it's not so bad an idea after all, as they sing together, "That's the story of, that's the story of love..."
  • One episode of WKRP in Cincinnati has Herb recruiting staffers to sing a jingle for a funeral home client.
    Herb: Bailey...sing something.
    Bailey: Oh, I can't sing.
    Herb: Everyone can sing.
    Venus: Go on Bailey, sing. Sing a song.
    Les: Sing out loud, sing out strong.
    Herb: Sing of good things, not---
    Venus: (Cutting him off) Herb!
  • Spaced:
    • In the famous Paintball Episode.
      Duane:: You can't help who you fall in love with. Cause when you get that feeling...
      Mike:: It's like sexual healing.
    • Also, when Daisy and Tim begin having an argument through cliches about the wisdom of Tim getting back with his girlfriend:
      Tim: I can read her like a book.
      Daisy: Never judge a book by its cover.
      Tim: He who dares, wins.
      Daisy: Look before you leap.
      Tim: Do you believe in life after love?
      Daisy: [dismissive] That's a song.
      Tim: Shit.
  • The DVD Commentary for Lost, "A Tale of Two Cities" (which is basically a producer and an actress cracking jokes - they even call it "our Mystery Science Theater 3000"):
    Elizabeth Mitchell: Well, maybe, maybe the glass just started it. It was his impressive glass acting. It's kind of like a microwave in there, heating up... [laughs]
    Damon Lindelof: ...behind the glass. Juliet might, might as well walk over and just push the popcorn button, 'cause it's getting hot up in there.
    Elizabeth Mitchell:[laughing] So take off all your clothes. [Lindelof chuckles]
  • Kirsty Wark's signature gag on Dead Ringers; for example: "My milkshake brings all the boys to the yard, and they're like, 'It's better than yours'. Damn right it's better than yours. More on that story later."
  • Supernatural:
    • In the episode "Jus in Bello", Henriksen realizes he's been possessed and comments "I shot the sheriff." Dean, smiling, says back "But you didn't shoot the deputy."
    • In "No Rest for the Wicked," Ruby says "Hit me with your best shot, baby."
    • And when Dean's being-Death-for-a-day, everyone he collects says something like 'But what does it all mean?' At first he angsts about it, but after a while he gives up.
      Heart Attack Guy: But what does it all mean?
      Dean: ...Everything is dust in the wind.
      Heart Attack Guy: That's it? That's all you got? A Kansas song?
  • The Adventures of Pete & Pete. "Apocalypse Pete". A particularly hammish crossing guard orders a speeding remote-control car to "Stop in the name of love". It Makes Sense in Context.
  • One episode of Skins has Freddie meeting with a guidance counselor who reveres Michael Jackson and gives lyrics from his songs as advice. Freddie catches on quickly enough; when asked what would Michael say about him, he suggests that he's "Bad" and should "Beat It". (Michael would actually tell him that he's "Gotta Be Startin' Somethin'" - not quite a Michael Jackson song (that was "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'"), but close enough.) And set up for a Crowning Moment of Funny later when Freddie visits him again; he turns, stares at the Thriller cover for inspiration… and gets nothing. The guidance counselor is played by Will Young, who sung one of the greatest Michael Jackson songs ever that wasn't actually a Michael Jackson song ("Your Game").
  • The Middle Man:
  • In Being Human, when George finds out that his dad has died, Annie tries to give a eulogy and ends up with the lyrics to Fight For This Love by Cheryl Cole.
  • A running gag in Miranda involves her inability to restrain herself from doing this, and she almost always ends up lapsing into singing the rest of the song in places like a job interview, psychiatrist's office and a funeral.
  • This old MTV promo, with Steve Buscemi. All the way.
  • On Boy Meets World, Mr. Feeny does this with a KC And The Sunshine Band song. Oddly, the joke is not the reference, but Mr. Feeny's deadpan delivery.
    Mr. Feeny: Mr. Matthews I have no idea what you're talking about, and that's the way, uh-huh uh-huh, I like it.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • Quark, talking about the Dominion War, says, "War? What is it good for? You ask me, absolutely nothing."
    • In the episode "In the Cards", Jake and Nog had been collecting several things, including Dr. Bashir's teddy bear, for the senior staff in exchange for items they were giving to a man named Dr. Geiger. At one point Jake suspects that Kai Winn is up to something and plans to confront her about it, introducing Nog to the expression "beard the lion in its den." This leads to the following exchange:
    Nog: Lions and Geigers and bears...
    Jake: Oh, my.
  • On an episode of Yes, Dear, Jimmy and Christine are trying to write poems for each other. After several minutes of struggling, Jimmy starts reading his poem, only to find out that he accidentally wrote down lyrics to Bon Jovi's "Living on a Prayer". As it turns out, Christine wrote the exact same thing.
  • Happens occasionally on Spicks and Specks. In one memorable example, Darlene Love started telling a story about the time she almost had sex with Tom Jones. Reginald D. Hunter chimed in "From what I hear, that's not unusual."
  • In the Pretty Little Liars episode "Over My Dead Body," a nearly carbon monoxide-poisoned Emily has a dream (or does she?) that she's having a conversation with the late Alison; when Emily asks who "A" is, Alison - taking a line from the show's signature tune, The Pierces' "Secrets" - tells her that "Two can keep a secret if one of them is dead."
  • In The Carol Burnett Show's parody of Gone with the Wind, Rat recites the lyrics to "Dixie" to express his desires to go back to a peaceful time before the Civil War. Sissy tells Rat that his speech sounds catchy, and that he should set it to music. Three more examples from the same sketch: early on, when Starlet meets an old suitor, she announces, "Why if it isn't Billy Joe McCalister! I thought you jumped off the Tallahatchee Bridge!" Later, when Starlet learns that a Yankee soldier is approaching Terra, she exclaims, "What the heck did you do, Melody? Tie a yellow ribbon 'round the old oak tree?!" Brashley mentions that Rat had "stopped off at the Camptown races, and as you know, that track's five miles long. He's out there betting on a bob-tailed nag, and I put two bucks on the bay myself. Of course it only paid two-sixty to show, so, doo da, doo da..."
  • Mork & Mindy, when Mork impersonated a priest, he offered this advice to a lady in church.
    Mork: You can't hurry love. You just have to wait. It don't come easy, it's a game of give and take.
    Woman: That's beautiful, Father. Psalms?
    Mork: Supremes.
  • Castle, at the end of the episode "Last Call", Castle insists on sharing a bottle of expensive whiskey with Beckett, Captain Montgomery, Ryan and Esposito. When Beckett insists that she still has some paperwork to file, Castle says, "C'mon, Beckett, It's nine o'clock on a Saturday...well, nine-fifteen." Castle, Ryan and Esposito start singing "Piano Man", and Beckett caves in and joins them on the second stanza ("He says 'Son can you play me a memory?'...").
  • At the end of an episode of Gilligan's Island, the Skipper, following yet another failed escape plan, laments in despair, "I get the feeling we're gonna be here for a long, long time," quoting part of the closing theme tune lyrics.
  • Frequently happens on The Muppet Show. Examples include:
    Waldorf: Wonderful!
    Statler: Marvelous!
    Waldorf: That you should care for me.
    • In an episode of Veterinarian's Hospital, the crew works without a roof on a weatherman, who constantly takes their cues to sing songs.
      Nurse Piggy: Dr. Bob, it's getting worse; it's beginning to hail!
      Dr. Bob: Hail?
      Weatherman: The gang's all here!
  • Storage Wars has Barry quote The Who at one point when describing a locker. This is pretty in-character for him, so no one else comments on it.
  • On Homicide: Life on the Street, Gee, trying to heal a rift between partners Pembleton and Bayliss, says, "All we are is dust in the wind." Pembleton replies, "Never figured you for a Kansas fan."
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus: In the sketch "The Mouse Problem" the "growing social problem of people wanting to be mice" is discussed. At a certain point the following conversation takes place which will go over the heads of most non-English speakers who've probably never heard of the nursery songs "Hickory Dickory Dock" and "Three Blind Mice":
    Mr A's Voice: "Well, er, then you steal some cheese, Brie or Camembert, or Cheddar or Gouda, if you're on the harder stuff. You might go and see one of the blue cheese films... there's a big clock in the middle of the room, and about 12:50 you climb up it and then ...eventually, it strikes one... and you all run down."
    Cut to a large matron with apron and carving knife.
    Linkman's Voice: "And what's that?"
    Mr A's Voice: "That's the farmer's wife."
  • 'Allo 'Allo!:
    • In the episode "Nouvion Oars" René receives a secret message in code: "The cow is ready to jump over the moon and Jack and Jill are standing in a bucket". (For our non-English speakers: these are references to the children's nursery rhymes "Hey Diddle Diddle" and "Jack and Jill (Went Up The Hill)").
    • In another episode, Rene asks what happened to the town's elderly, grey-haired mayor. Edith replies "The old grey mayor is dead!"
  • In the Angel episode "I Fall to Pieces", Cordelia glumly asks Doyle what the point of falling in love is. His response gradually morphs into Barbra Streisand's "People". She's unimpressed.
  • Qi: In the Season L episode "Levity", they discuss lightning. Sue Perkins comments, "Well, we do know that thunderbolt and lightning are very very frightening."
  • In the penultimate episode of The Colbert Report, Stephen decides to auction off setpieces. But when former R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe, often shown sitting on a shelf throughout the series, objects, Stephen says "Hey, that's you in the corner, that's me in the spotlight! It's in the contract!", paraphrasing the R.E.M. song "Losing My Religion".
  • In The Nanny episode "Ode to Barbra Joan", Fran Fine gets invited to a Barbra Streisand concert by C.C. Babcock's father (being one of its backers). But when she realizes how hurt C.C. is by apparently being ignored, Fran urges him to take C.C. instead, saying "People, people who need people are... Ah, you'll see the concert.", quoting the Funny Girl song "People".
    • During the closing credits of "The Gym Teacher", Fran and her old high school gym teacher Miss Stone (nee Wickavich) are looking through a yearbook at a picture of Fran's old boyfriend, Miss Wickavich tells Fran "A boy like that, who'd kill your brother. Forget that boy and find another. One of your own kind, stick to your own kind!", which are lyrics from West Side Story''. Rita Moreno who played Miss Wickavich, sang those very lines as Anita in the film adaptation.
  • In Blackadder Back and Forth Bishop Melchett says "After all, if history teaches us anything, it is that, in the words of Saint Burt, 'What the world needs now is love, sweet love'."
  • The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon:
  • A Charmed episode guest starring Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo featured a leprechaun called Shamus who gave out luck to people.
    Neil: Say, how've you been, Shamus? Long time.
    Shamus: Don't even try it, Neil. I already hit you with me best shot. That's all ye get.
  • Practically every episode of Dharma & Greg that guest stars a singer as either himself or a caricature of himself will have some spoken lyrics. As with the Charmed example above, Greg has taunted Pat Benatar with "Hit Me With Your Best Shot", but other examples have included k.d.lang, Lyle Lovett, and Kenny Loggins.
  • In the Psych slasher-film pastiche episode Tuesday the 17th, Shawn walks into a room and sees the Victim of the Week Annie (who is, at the time, only considered "missing") silently sitting on the floor, facing away from him (in a pretty obvious set-up for the dead body variant of Chair Reveal, sans chair). The tension implied by the recognizable horror trope is enough that it's pretty easy to miss the fact that Shawn is reciting the first part of the bridge from Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal".
    "Annie? Are you okay? ... Are you okay?... Are you okay, Annie?"
  • In the 2016 UK series of MasterChef, judge John Torode walks into this one while judging Liz's dish:
    John Torode: I think it's really, really, very very good [...] but you can push it, just a little bit more salt, a little bit more pepper, because besides that, in my opinion it's faultless.
    Gregg Wallace: I could be wrong, but I think John Torode just told you to Push It with Salt 'n' Pepa...
    Liz: Push it real good!
  • On Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, when seeing that Brazil built a stadium for The World Cup that now was mostly used as a bus yard, John notes how "they paved paradise and put up a parking lot."
    • John says that a successful Kickstarter on a Lionel Richie giant inflatable head should get its creators locked up "all night long. All night. All night."
  • Appears in The Vicar of Dibley when Owen reveals to Geraldine that he's never been kissed.
    Owen: [utterly straight-faced] The sun is up, the sky is blue, there's not a cloud to spoil the view but it's raining, raining in my heart.
  • The second episode of The Ministry of Time sees Julián countering Lope de Vega's Rhymes on a Dime with a quote from the song "Maneras de vivir" by Spanish 1980's rock band Leño:
    No sé si estoy en lo cierto,
    lo cierto es que estoy aquí.
    Otros por menos han muerto.
    Maneras de vivir.Translation 
  • Happens in one episode of The Smoking Room, after Annie storms out upset then returns later for a smoke:
    Sally: Annie, are you okay?
    Lillian: Are you okay?
    Robin: Are you okay, Annie?
    Lillian: Annie, are you okay?
    Sally: You okay?
    Len: You okay, Annie?
  • In The Sarah Jane Adventures episode "Eye of the Gorgon", when Maria's been captured by evil nuns, they warn her that if she causes any trouble, she'll learn how they solve a problem like Maria.

  • Note: For this category we only list sketches or spoken word interludes on musical albums to be counted as an example of Waxing Lyrical.
  • Frank Zappa:
    • During the song "Punky's Whips" Terry Bozzio is voicing his obsession for Punky Meadows and at one point says (not sings): "Oh, Punky, isn't it romantic?" While he says that a small musical snippet from the 1930s song "Isn't It Romantic?" can be heard in the background.
    • Joe's Garage: During "Sy Borg" Joe is having sex with a robot, but gets too excited, causing the robot to malfunction and shout: "You're plooking too hard! Plooking too hard on me!" This is a reference to the 1966 song "Pushin' Too Hard" by The Seeds.

    Newspaper Comics 

  • Gottlieb's Mayfair, based on My Fair Lady, is peppered with references to the play's various songs, including:
    • A street sign for Your Street ("The Street Where You Live")
    • A dancing couple asking "dance all night?" ("I Could Have Danced All Night")
    • Eliza's father has a card in his hatband reading "Reminder: Get Me To The Church On Time"

  • This is a favourite pastime across many Cool Kids Table games.
    • In the Harry Potter-themed game Hogwarts: The New Class:
      • Episode three gets its title from Jake singing "Let's get it sorted!" to the tune of "Let's Get It Started" by The Black Eyed Peas.
      • Episode four has several Wu-Tang Clan lyrics dropped casually by the kids.
    • In The Fallen Gods when Tuatha succeeds her constitution saving throw in episode 10, Solvin asks her if she woke up feeling like P. Diddy.
    • Sequinox:
      • While debating what constitutes a magic attack in episode 4, Alan states "I've got the magic in me", and Jake follows up with "Everything he touch that track it turns into gold".
      • Jake accidentally says lyrics from "Enter Sandman" while describing a scene at Chell's home, and Josh tries to keep it going.
      • They do it to the theme from Wild Wild West during the previously on segment for episode 11. Jake tries to stop it before they get sued.
  • When the Jemjammer party lands at Port Meridian and tries to figure out what to do on a space station, Cacophony declares that the proper action is to find a girl named Brandy and tell her she might be a fine girl, but your life, your lover, your space sea.

  • A very common gag in Milton Jones's shows; particular highlights include "Is this a photo of you with R.E.M.?" "Yes, that's me in the corner" and this gem:
    I had a Siamese twin, you see, but we were separated a couple of months before I went onto the comedy circuit. In fact he earned a little money from doing this really bad impressions of me, but then he became an astronaut. I saw him again recently. He asked me how I'd been. I said, well, at first I was afraid, I was petrified, thought that I could never live without you... by my side. But I spent so many nights, thinking how you did me wrong, and I grew strong... So now you're back. From outer space.
    • Another joke by him combines this with Hypocritical Humor: "I'd like to see a world without plagiarism. You may say I'm a dreamer... but I'm not the only one."
  • Absolute Power:
    • In the first episode Sandy is accused of taking the petty cash, and stormed out. When they find out it was really stolen by the chairman of the Conservative Party and she returns, Charles greets her with "Ah, Sandy. You came and you gave without taking, but we sent you away."
    • In episode 2 of season 3, Charles declares He's Back after being lovesick with "I'm reviewing the situation, I'm a bad 'un, and a bad 'un I shall stay."
  • When Pip Bin, Mr. Gently Benevolent, and Harry Biscuit are in space in Bleak Expectations, Harry keeps quoting "Space Oddity". When he thinks Pippa is leaving him for Mr. Benevolent (again), he does the first few lines of "I Will Survive".
    • Also, His Majesty King George the Fourth's armada, including H.M.S. War, H.M.S. Huh, H.M.S. What Is It Good For?, and H.M.S. Absolutely Nothing.
  • Happens occasionally on The Now Show; one particular example came when the audience question was "Who would you give an honour too?" and someone wrote "I would give a KBE to Shalamar, to make him a knight to remember." (Hugh: "I think I was far away enough from the actual tune there that we don't have to pay royalties.")
    • In the first episode of the 2010 election special series, The Vote Now Show, they looked at the various government inspectors the Conservatives would abolish, including one who checks premises for illegal performing animals. The conversation between the inspector and a suspect quickly becomes "Simon Smith and the Amazing Dancing Bear".
      • The second-to-last episode of The Vote Now Show, in what became a mini-Running Gag:
    Jon Holmes: I believe that the children are our future. Treat them well and let them lead the way, show them all the beauty they possess inside...
    Steve Punt: Jon, has someone bet you that you can't get the lyrics to a Whitney Houston song into tonight's show?
    Jon Holmes: Yes. Mitch Benn has, and he now owes me five pounds.
  • I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue:
    • There's a round based on this. For instance, the following dialogue between Graeme Garden (as a doctor) and Barry Cryer (as his patient):
      Barry: I hope you won't want to give me a jab, because I'm terrified of needles.
      Graeme: (contemptuous) Baby. Take off your coat. Real slow.
      Barry: But it hurts when I move my arms.
      Graeme: Baby. Take off your shoes.
      Barry: I can't bend over, it hurts...
      Graeme: (irritated) I'll help you take off your shoes. Baby. Take off your dress.
      Barry: Now, I can explain about the dress...
      Graeme: (dismissively) Yes, yes, yes.
      Barry : Doctor, do you want me to undress completely?
      Graeme: You Can Leave Your Hat On.
    • If one of the teams is putting on an Italian accent for 86 Chicken Cross Lane (a game in which they construct a letter from a historic personage word by word), it will inevitably morph into "Shaddap You Face".
  • The original radio version of Dead Ringers uses the same gag as the TV version, only with Radio 4 newsreader Charlotte Greene: "I'm Charlotte Greene. Say it loud and there's music playing, say it soft and it's almost like praying. More on that story later."
  • In Old Harry's Game Olympic Special, Thomas finds himself trying to comfort Marilyn Monroe.
  • The title character of Lenin of the Rovers, Russian footballer Ricky Lenin, does this quite often.
    Ricky: Look, Ray, I don't care too much for money. Because, you know, money can't buy me love.
    Ricky: Terry! Don't be a hero! Don't be a fool with your life!
    • Eventually, the rest of the cast starts joining in.
      Ricky: Hey, that's neat. That's neat. That's neat, that's neat, that's neat, that's neat.
      Terry Trotsky and Stevie Stalin: I really love your tiger feet.
  • Big Finish Doctor Who:
  • In the Radio 4 serial I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major-General, George Grossmith, having been given a dressing down by W. S. Gilbert for overacting in his role as Sir Joseph in H.M.S. Pinafore tells Arthur Sullivan it's to make up for his singing. Sullivan assures him neither of them have ever had any criticism of his singing. Grossmith asks "What, never?" and Sullivan, of course, replies "Hardly ever." It's later established that the line has already become a Memetic Mutation.

    Tabletop Games 

  • In Finian's Rainbow, Og the leprechaun is trying to explain that he now knows What Is This Thing You Call "Love"?, and Finian plays along with the quotation of Silly Love Songs:
    Og: Does an optical illusion feel an, oh, such a hungry yearning burning inside of him, under the hide of him? Does an optical illusion feel the beat-beat-beat of the tom-tom in the roaring traffic's boom, in his lonely room?
    Finian (His scholarly interest is enlisted): Hmmm. Do you also feel like the promised kiss of springtime that trembles on the brink of a lovely song?
    Og: Yes, and what's worse, smoke keeps coming out of me eyes.
    Finian: You go round and round like an elevator lost in the tide?
  • In The Complete History of America (abridged), Jefferson and Madison are brainstorming the beginning of the Bill of Rights. After throwing out each other's first ideas as "too liberal" or "too conservative" suggestions, Jefferson suggests, "Whether you're a brother or whether you're a mother, you're staying alive, staying alive," to which Madison says, "No, that's too seventies."
  • In an indirect example, the stars of the Broadway musical Rock of Ages are this; a small town girl, trying to escape her lonely world, and a city boy born and raised in south Detroit.
  • A running gag in The Case of the Tale Told by an Idiot, a Macbeth/Film Noir mash-up by Bruce Kane. The Femme Fatale, Nola, is described in the words of "Whatever Lola Wants" and "Copacabana". Her accomplice's confession at the end keeps lapsing into "You Made Me Love You". Macbeth's soliloquies (in addition to the ones Shakespeare gave him) are "I'm Forever Chasing Rainbows", "Night and Day", and "Three O'Clock in the Morning".

    TV Tropes 

    Video Games 
  • Many units in Warcraft III will spout song lyrics as their Stop Poking Me! lines.
  • In Sam and Max: Ice Station Santa, Sam and Max confront a giant Maimtron robot that randomly drops appropriate pop-song lyrics into its dialogue. Sam can distract it by asking it questions like "Why do fools fall in love?" and "Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near?"
    • The Maimtron is reactivated in What's New Beelzebub with the words, "Did you think I'd crumble? Did you think I'd lay down and die? Oh no. Not I. I will survive. I will survive."
    • Later in Sam & Max: What's New, Beelzebub?, they meet Satan who quotes the two lines everyone knows from Sympathy for the Devil.
    • They also find a radio at one point in Moai Better Blues, where if you return to a particular channel several times you get these lines: "Hello, hello, hello?" "Is there anybody out there?" "Just respond if you can hear me." "Is there anyone at home?"
    • In The Devil's Playhouse, the Maimtron army march to war against Maxthulthu while chanting, "If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it, if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it..."
  • Hotel Mario has Mario telling one of the Koopalings: "Hey you! Get off of my cloud!"
  • Jolee Bindo spent twenty years on Kashyyyk. Why?
    Jolee: I did it all for the Wookiees.
    PC: The Wookiees?
    Jolee: The Wookiees!
  • In the handheld versions of The Urbz: Sims in the City, after you best the Red Man at a fiddling contest:
    Player Character: I told you once, you son of a gun, I'm the best there's ever been!
  • In Metal Gear Solid 3, if the player starts the game by saying "I like MGS2!" in the opening screen, Snake will be wearing a mask in the opening cutscene and greet the Major by saying "Can you hear me, Major Tom?"
  • Kingdom of Loathing does this all the time. For example, pretty much every cake-based food item in the game references lyrics from a song by CAKE.
  • In The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, there is a guy running around in Hyrule Castle Town. If you talk to him, he says: "I'm late! For a very important date!".
  • Some of the clothing\instrument descriptions in Rock Band, unsurprisingly.
  • In Monster Hunter 3U, talking to one of the Moga Village fishing boat captains when you have both Shakalaka party members with you results in him reciting a short (and hilarious) homage to a famous Mary Poppins song.
  • Strong Bad's Cool Game for Attractive People: In "Dangeresque 3: The Criminal Projective", Strong Bad's character, Dangeresque, begins rattling off pop song lyrics when his father, "Dadgeresque," is killed.
    Dangeresque: Don't do this dad, you have to hang on! Did you ever know that you're my hero? We've only just begun! You're the wind beneath my wings! Umm... She Bop?
  • Super Robot Wars UX:
    • In Scenario 12, Soushi uses quotes from the opening and ending song lyrics of Fafner in the Azure: Dead Aggressor note . Later in Scenario 25, Tsubaki will use another quote from another Fafner ending song "Separation" note . Lyrics from Fafner In The Azure: Heaven and Earth are quoted by Shou in Scenario 29 note , while Ryuubi Gundam or Chousen Qubeley quotes the main song lyrics in Scenario 47 note .
    • In Scenario 34, Doctor West will quote the lyrics of the 1979 anime Cyborg 009 note .
    • During Scenario 43 of the Union Route, Fei-Yen HD, Sheryl Nome and Ranka Lee will sing the lyrics of the opening song "Tori no Uta" from Dancougar Nova together note .
    • At one point in UX, Aira uses the lyrics from "Proud", an in-anime song from Linebarrels of Iron note .
    • Shou uses the lyrics to "Fly Dunbine", the opening song to Aura Battler Dunbine, in Scenario 46 note .
    • Shinn Asuka will quote lyrics from the ending song "Life Goes On" from Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny. note 
  • In Super Robot Wars Original Generation, Irm will sometimes quote the Ultraman Taro opening theme when he attacks.
  • Animaniacs for the Sega Genesis:
    Yakko: We need to cooperate here. Wakko, you take the high road. Dot, you take the low road. As for me, I'll be in Scotland before ye. Whatever that means.
  • In The Sims Medieval if you get the "Ghost Ship" chance event one of the choices is described with "I ain't afraid of no ghost!"

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 
  • The Angry Video Game Nerd:
  • A frequent gag including Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series. Including:
    Marik: Let's see how you like my Cage of Doom!
    Yami: Despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in a cage.

    Vic Mignogna: Let's dance!
    Yami: I don't feel like dancing. No sir. No dancing today.

    Téa: We didn't start the fire! It was always burning since the world's been turning!

    Yugi: Hey, Joey, how'd it come to this? I mean, after all we've been through? Two of a pair, now on opposite sides.
    Joey: Yeah, from the very start with honor we've dueled 'n stuff. Watched each other’s backs and, you know, battled with pride.
    Yugi: We’re closer than brothers. And now we have to fight each other.
    Yugi and Joey, singing: And we trust our fate to the heart of the cards!
    Tristan: No matter what!
    Yugi and Joey, singing: Let the game begin.
    Tristan: No matter what!
    Yugi and Joey, singing: May the best man win.
  • Any time Rickrolling comes up in an Internet discussion, there's a good chance that someone will mention how Rick Astley's never gonna give you up and never gonna let you down. You wouldn't get it from any other guy. It's now possible to recite lines that are simply a similar form of exaggeratedly romantic promises, and get your audience to Rick Roll themselves.
  • The Descendants loves this. To date, it's used "Hurt" by Trent Reznor, "Once in a Lifetime" by Talking Heads and "Sympathy for the Devil" by The Rolling Stones.
    • The "Sympathy for the Devil" one is arguable, because the characters were quoting the Show Within a Show.
  • In If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device, when describing the Astral Knights, the Emperor says that they were "...the best around. Nothing was ever gonna keep them down.", quoting the "You're the best" song from The Karate Kid.
  • Unskippable's Grandia III episode:
    • As far as I know, there's only been one.
    • Singular sensation.
  • An episode of ENN has the newsreaders reciting the theme song to The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
  • This News Biscuit article, "Mild alarm caused by kung fu fighting outbreak" ("it was a little bit frightening" said one witness)
  • Homestar Runner:
    • In a really old version of the character page, Marzipan's description stated that "She loves horses and her boyfriend, too."
    • "3 Times Halloween Funjob" has Strong Sad dressing up like David Byrne, and sure enough, there's an Easter Egg with the inevitable reference to the lyrics of "Once In A Lifetime".
      Coach Z: Well, Strong Sad, this is a beautiful house you got here.
      Strong Sad: This is not my beautiful house!
      Coach Z: Oh, and I haven't been introduced to your beautiful wife yet, neither.
      Strong Sad: This is not my beautiful wife!
    • In Teen Girl Squad Issue #14, Quarterman quotes some lines from "What I've Been Looking For" when he tells The Ugly One, "All this time I was looking around, and you weren't right there in front of me. But I realized... when I was looking around... that you were right there in front of me... all this time...".
      The Ugly One: (excited) That makes so much sense!
    • In "A Decemberween Mackerel", Homestar is so turned off at the thought of helping Senor Cardgage, that he leaves for Marzipan's house. As he does this, he references "Winter Wonderland" by telling Marzipan "Later on, we'll conspire."
    • The last update to the site (until April Fools' Day of 2014, at least) was a "Decemberween costume special" that had The King of Town dressed up as Heat Miser from The Year Without a Santa Claus. When Homestar confused it for a "Devil Don King", he was corrected, followed by the KOT saying "I'm Mister Heat Blister, I'm Mister Hundred and One!"
  • Whenever someone on a message board or any sort of site says something that also happens to be the lyrics to a song, the next few posts are usually continuations of the lyrics.....
  • Linkara tends to do this quite a lot, most often when a comic's dialogue gives him a decent opening. This is usually an excuse to play the song, no matter how otherwise irrelevant, over the opening title card or closing credits. He will also occasionally play a clip from the song immediately after reciting the verse if he thinks viewers might not get the reference. He seems to know an awful lot of songs.
  • After a chapter of Dive Quest that's been particularly harrowing for both of them on a personal level, Tislomer and Babrakus start reciting lines from the Dropkick Murphys' "Forever".
  • In Suburban Knights, some of The Nostalgia Chick 's elven montages feature lyrics to 'One Week' by Barenaked Ladies and Bad Romance by Lady Gaga.
  • Things Mr. Welch Is No Longer Allowed to Do in an RPG:
    390. My character's background must be more in-depth than a montage of Queen lyrics.
  • In the DVD-R Hell review of Bibleman, archvillain Doctor Insano delivers a "We Will Meet Again" speech from behind bars.
  • Mr. Mendo does this a lot, usually as a Couch Gag. At various times, he's introduced himself as:
  • TV Trash's The Rowdy Reviewer does this when reviewing The Groovenians. After a character says "Tomorrow is another day", he follows it up with "And I'm thirsty anyway, so bring on the rain."
  • In Death Note: The Abridged Series (kpts4tv) Da Chief declares "I won't let you down... or give you up... but I might run and round and desert you."
  • The Nostalgia Critic concludes his review of Jingle All the Way with this, as a threat to Santa:
    Critic: You better watch out. You better not cry. You better not pout. I'm telling you why. THE NOSTALGIA CRITIC IS COMING TO YOUR HOUSE!
  • Happens occasionally in Todd in the Shadows' videos, usually using lyrics from the song he's reviewing.
    (Top 10 Best Songs of 2012) Todd: (on Gotye) We can let him have another hit! He's so talented! ...You didn't have to cut him off!
    (Top 10 Best Songs of 2013) Kyle: Get out there and be the best... hooded silhouetto of a man that you can be!
    (Top 10 Best Songs of 2015) Todd: (on "Wildest Dreams") She goes on too many dates, and she can't make 'em stay. At least, that's what people say. (shrugs)
  • In Hellsing Ultimate Abridged, Penwood and his men get reports that London Bridge is falling down.
    British Intelligence Agent: London Bridge is falling down!
    Penwood: Falling down?!
    British Intelligence Agent: Falling down!
    Penwood: London Bridge is falling down... My fair lady, what should we do!?
  • The Doctor Who analysis blog TARDIS Eruditorium occasionally does this with its jokey picture captions, for instance, suggesting that in "Planet of Fire", the Master is saying to Peri "See Kamelion, lying there in the sun..."
  • The Ben Heck Show: In the 2015 Halloween episode, Ben quotes word-for-word the ending rap/speech of Michael Jackson's Thriller.
  • Rotten Tomatoes had a consensus that read "The Shareef don't like Rock The Kasbah, and neither will viewers...".
  • Phil Sandifer of TARDIS Eruditorum, also did this with his previous blog The Nintendo Project, quoting One-Hit Wonder the Vapors with a shift in punctuation, when his discussion of baseball games says "Video games have always been turning Japanese, I think. So?"
  • Parodied Up to Eleven in the Smosh video "REJECTED TWILIGHT ZONE EPISODES!" where one of the rejected episodes featured a woman who could only say lyrics from Lady Gaga songs.
  • In Sword Art Online Abridged, Yui admits that she latched onto Kirito and Asuna to try to figure out how two incredibly dysfunctional people managed to form a stable relationship. Or as she puts it:
    Yui: I wanted to know what love is. I wanted you to show me.
    Asuna: (tearing up) Goddamn Foreigner...
    Kirito: Y-you mean the band, right?

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • There is a time and a place for this sort of wordplay; at an inquest asking you why you shot a man dead is not it.
  • A dark (and likely unintentional) example appears in Wonderful Tonight, the autobiography of Pattie Boyd (ex-wife and muse of both George Harrison and Eric Clapton). Ringo Starr refused to believe that his wife, Maureen, was having an affair with George until George announced that he was in love with Maureen in front of an entire dinner party—including their spouses. According to Boyd, Ringo worked himself into a state and went around for the rest of the night muttering, "Nothing is real, nothing is real."
  • While not exactly trying to pass them off as "regular conversation", ESPN's Chris Fowler reveals in an interview with Sports Illustrated magazine that he had one of his groomsmen incorporate song lyrics into his speech at Fowler's wedding. The groomsman introduced it as "a reading from the great American poet James Hetfield". (The song in question was "Nothing Else Matters".)
  • Happens on Not Always Right a few times.
  • After the 2014 Oscar ceremony, when his song "Happy" from Despicable Me 2 lost the Best Original Song category to "Let It Go" from Frozen, Pharrell Williams expressed his feelings:
    "When they read the results, my face was … frozen. But then I thought about it and I just decided just to … let it go."
  • Herman Cain used a quote in one of his speeches, which he attributed to a ‘poet’, and in a later speech he claimed it was from ‘the closing song to the 2000 Olympics’, unaware that it was taken from The Power of One, used in the ending of the American dub of Pokémon 2000. The Internet did. Later, when he dropped out of the Republican Party’s primary elections for the 2012 presidential elections, he used the same quote in his concession speech, saying, ‘I believe these words come from the Pokémon movie,’ trying to pass it off as an indication of him being a family man.
    Cain: Life can be a challenge. Life can seem impossible. It’s never easy when there’s so much on the line. but you can make a difference: with courage, you can set things right. The gift to dream, and make dreams real, is yours and mine.
  • An anecdote from the New York Times "Metropolitan Diary" of September 28, 1998:
    They didn't need the coming revival of On the Town to inspire them—Sidney Sandler gave his prescription information to the order taker for the AARP Pharmacy Service in Pennsylvania. He followed this with his address and ended with "New York, New York." The following exchange ensued, short but a delight to both participants.
    Order taker: "It's a hell of a town."
    Mr. Sandler: "The Bronx is up."
    Order taker: "And the Battery is down."