Are pretty much the fucking same
I'm not a fairy, but I need
More than this life, so I became
This creature representing more to you
Than just another girl
And if I had a chance to change my mind
I wouldn't for the world.
Emilie Autumn Liddell (born September 22 1979) is a Gothic poet, singer / songwriter, violinist, harpsichordist, performance artist, feminist, and author. She's self described as that she sounds "like the best cup of English Breakfast spiked with cyanide and smashed on your antique wallpaper."
Of Emilie's life, very little is known at the moment. What we do know is that she started playing violin at the age of four, a talent that she has continued to this day, and that she voluntarily stayed away from most of the mainstream music communities (both classical and commercial) due to bad experiences and clashes within them: In fact, most of her albums were self published by her own company. Her first album was On a Day... a classical album released in 2000, when she was 20 or 21. The following year she put out the Chambermaid and By the Sword EPs. In 2003 her first full vocal album was released: Enchant, an album filled with a number of songs inspired by fairy tales. Also contained in this CD was the Enchant Puzzle, which no one has ever solved. This was the Enchant era, when Emilie was a faerie.
After going through an extremely awful period in her life that resulted in a suicide attempt and hospitalisation, she was inspired to move in a different artistic direction. This began with the Opheliac EP, followed by the full album Opheliac. This album was far Darker and Edgier than Enchant, and a reflection of Emilie's mental state, as this album was released as an agreement with herself that she'd make the album instead of killing herself. The songs are mostly about madness and suicide, particularly in water. Much of the album is influenced by William Shakespeare, as is made obvious by the title. Many of the songs are not written from the perspective of Emilie, but from Ophelia herself, the Lady of Shalott, and others. Later in 2007, she re-released Enchant along with A Bit o' This & That, which was a collection of previously unheard songs, re-mixes, and tracks from older EPs. Also released that year was Laced / Unlaced. Laced was a re-release of On a Day... while Unlaced was an all-new collection of instrumental songs done in her newer style. In 2009 she was able to release her autobiography, The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls. She has also released The Opheliac Companion, which provides information and background about the songs on Opheliac.
The Opheliac era is what Emilie is most well known for. And from gaining more muffins (fans), she was able to make more and more theatrical tours which gained more and more theatrics tour by tour. Joining her on stage in the Asylum are her Bloody Crumpets, a group of lovely mad girls.
In 2012 she released another album, Fight Like a Girl, which had been lingering in Development Hell for several years. Despite her initial promises that it was going to be "more metal" than Opheliac was, it ended up being a theatrical concept album based around the fictionalised Victorian story that appeared in The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls. According to Emilie, she intends to use the album as part of the soundtrack to the play she's currently writing about the book. The album has created a Broken Base in the fandom because of its differences from the highly popular Opheliac and because the violin plays a much less significant role it in than it had in her previous music. Her current look and shows are generally referred to as the FLAG era by fans.
She played the Painted Doll in The Devil's Carnival and its sequel Alleluia! The Devil's Carnival, musical films by the creators of Repo! The Genetic Opera, alongside two of her Crumpets, Captain Maggots and Contessa.
- On a Day... (1997, re-released in Laced / Unlaced in 2007)
- Enchant (2003, re-released 2007)
- Your Sugar Sits Untouched (2005, CD and poetry book)
- Opheliac (2006, re-released 2009)
- Laced / Unlaced (2007)
- A Bit o' This & That (2007)
- Fight Like a Girl (2012)
- The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls: Behind the Musical (2018)
Extended Plays and Official Singles:
- Chambermaid (2001)
- By the Sword (2001)
- Opheliac EP (2006, preview EP)
- Liar / Dead is the New Alive (2006)
- 4 O'Clock (2008)
- Girls Just Wanna Have Fun / Bohemian Rhapsody (2008)
- Fight Like a Girl / Time for Tea (2012)
- Across the Sky & Other Poems (2000)
- Your Sugar Sits Untouched (2005)
- The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls (2009)
I Trope Like a Girl:
- Aesop: Her one true message over her entire career has been one of Anti repression and taking control of your own life. (In a meta and in most of her songs sense.)
- Album Filler: A common take away fans have from Fight Like a Girl is that it has many songs which are worth listening too and are very good, but at least 5 or 6 songs her fans could've lived not hearing.
- All Just a Dream: The "Fight Like a Girl" music video, except for the very beginning and the very end. The inmates being liberated and taking over the Ophelia Gallery turns out to be a fantasy of Emily's — but there is a sliver of hope at the end. Which, considering how the book ends, may just make it even sadder.
- All There in the Manual:
- The meanings of the songs off Opheliac are explained in the Opheliac Companion.
- Meanings for various phrases and the finale of Fight Like a Girl is in The Asylum For Way Ward Victorian Girls.
- Anachronism Stew: The harpsichord, a Baroque instrument, is not the most conventional choice to complement a Victorian theme. In The Opheliac Companion, Emilie acknowledges and handwaves this by explaining that, just as present-day Emilie is "150 years retro," so too is her Victorian alter-ego, who would thus draw her inspiration from the early 1700's.
- …And That Little Girl Was Me:
- "Opheliac":She can forget that she's me
- The first verse of "Time For Tea" says: "There was a little girl, who had a little curl / Right in the middle of her forehead", the third says: "I am that little girl, I have that little curl / Right in the middle of my forehead."
- Animate Body Parts: Emilie's pasties have their own Facebook page.
- Arc Words: The phrases "tide coming in" and "water is rising" appears frequently in her songs, mostly in reference to suicide by drowning.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: "And, by the way, your poetry sucks" from "I Know Where You Sleep."
- Award-Bait Song: "What Will I Remember," given a reprise as "Start Another Story." "What If" off Enchant, and "Shallot" off Opheliac.
- Ax-Crazy: "Time for Tea," "Fight Like a Girl," "I Know Where You Sleep," "Scavenger," and "We Want Them Young."
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Said verbatim in "I Know Where You Sleep."You wanted someone to understand you
Well be careful what you wish for because I do
- Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: The whole premise of "Gentlemen Aren't Nice."
- Bittersweet Ending: "One Foot in Front of the Other" as the final track to Fight Like A Girl. The war is won, but the liberated inmates reflect on their lack of ability to function in the wider world. It's also implied from The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls that the girls are, in fact, liberated in death.
- Blessed with Suck: "Thank God I'm Pretty." It’s not pretty to be pretty.I'm blessed
With the ability to rend a grown man tongue-tied
Which only means that when it's dark outside
I have to run and hide can't look behind me
- Book Ends: Enchant begins and ends with the same music box tune.
- Bowdlerisation: For a televised performance of "Misery Loves Company," Emilie needed a more family-friendly word to replace "fuckers." After fans gave their suggestions, the word "muffins" was decided upon, and thus was born a Fan Community Nickname.
- Boy Meets Ghoul: "Ghost" is about a woman romancing a ghost.
- Break Up Song:
- "Chambermaid".Won't you turn around before I have to see this face I once adored
- "I Know Where You Sleep" seems to be "The Reason You Suck" Speech directed at a former lover: "I know the gluttonous guilt that buried me in your bed."
- Brits Love Tea: "Medicate with Tea," "Tea Will Rock You," and uses to be a significant part of her Victorian style dinner theatre shows with her drinking it often.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Despite flouncing around on stage dressed as an inmate in a Victorian Asylum, or in years gone by a faerie, there is little denying that Emilie is a skilled violinist.
- Call-Back: She's gone out of her way to make sure Opheliac and Fight Like a Girl are two related concept albums.
- The middle eight of "Fight Like a Girl" is the same melody as the middle eight of "Misery Loves Company," albeit with different lyrics.
- "Goodnight, Sweet Ladies" samples "4 O'Clock," "The Art of Suicide," and "If I Burn."
- "Gaslight" calls back "Art Of Suicide" in its opening notes.
- "I Don't Understand" refers to the "Opheliac" theme of the prior album.
- "If I Burn" has a chant at the end which is the same style as "Let the Record Show" chant on "Opheliac."
- "4 O'Clock Reprise" refers explicitly to a song which came out before Fight Like a Girl.
- The various call backs within Fight Like a Girl. ("What Will I Remember?", "Start Another Story", "Gaslight", and "Gaslight Reprise".)
- Careful with That Axe:
TAKE IT!! TAKE IT!! TAKE IT!! TAKE IT!! TAKE IT!! TAKE IT!! TAKE IT!! TAKE IT!! SWALLOW!!! SWALLOW!!! SWALLOW!!! SWALLOW!!!" SWALLOW!!! SWALLOW!!! SWALLOW!!! SWALLOW!!!
- Several songs feature this on Opheliac. Examples include "I Want My Innocence Back," "Opheliac," "Misery Loves Company," and "I Know Where You Sleep." The last two featuring harsh yelling towards the end and "Liar" is practically made of this trope.
- Fight Like a Girl also has a few songs that continue the trend. The end of "Take the Pill" warrants special mention.
- And the acoustic version of "Mad Girl."
- Cassandra Truth: A theme of her Fight Like a Girl / The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls projects.
- Central Theme: Even in her "Enchant" days she had this message that you are stronger then you think you are and you are not alone.
- Clock Punk: Probably not intentionally, but her neo-Victorian style and persona from Unlaced and Opheliac came at the same time the Steampunk style is becoming very popular in goth circles and among cosplayers. She's often listed as a steampunk music artist as a result. Her current style also includes a lot of clockwork motifs, especially live.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Some of her songs reference this concept, for example, "How Strange".I'm not living in an ordinary world
- Concept Album:
- Opheliac Disk 1: Scorned Women, Ophelia, Anti Suicide, Escapism, and Sexism/Anti Misogyny
- Opheliac Disk 2: Sexism/Anti Misogyny, Escapism, Suicide, and Insanity.
- Fight Like a Girl: The horrors of the asylum, variously from the points of view of the inmates, their family members and the doctors.
- Conversational Troping: Tropes in general are discussed in the Opheliac companion; specifically, the way Shakespeare and Tennyson didn't create any of the archetypes they popularised, but instead compiled these archetypes into a (figurative) book.
- Cover Version: She's done a fair share of covers. The covers that she has done are "I Don't Care Much" from Cabert, "I Know It's Over" and "Asleep" originally by The Smiths, "All My Loving" by The Beatles, a harpsichord cover of "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life", "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" which she sings on tour, "Gloomy Sunday" (without the second ending [which she refers to in "The Art of Suicide"]) originally by Laszlo Javor and Rezso Seress, and "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots" by Flaming Lips.
- Dark and Troubled Past: From just not fitting in anywhere in the musical stratosphere for years to various situations which lead to the song "Gothic Lolita"...
- Deadly Euphemism: "Time for Tea" refers not to tea, but to a bloody revolution. Don't, however, let this stop you from singing it when it actually is time for tea.
- Deadpan Snarker: "Girls! Girls! Girls!" is a sarcastic Misogyny Song. "I Know Where You Sleep" is three minutes of vitriol, as well as "Thank God I'm Pretty". "Misery Loves Company", "Chambermaid", "If You Feel Better", "What If" are also peppered with snark.
- Defiled Forever: "Gothic Lolita".The kind of murder where nobody dies
- Distinct Double Album: Laced/Unlaced. First album filled with her favourite classical violin works and the second half being electronic violin works.
- Double Entendre; From Marry Me: "And when dining on peacock, I know I won't swallow."
- Driven to Suicide: Suicide is a major theme of Opheliac (in case the name didn't clue you in), and Fight Like a Girl continues in the same vein.
- Drama Queen: This bit of Self-Deprecation in "Shalott":And she cried out, "So the story fits but then, I could have guessed it all along and now some drama queen is gonna write a song for me."
- Ethereal Choir: A Bit o' This & That makes great use of this, with "Hollow Like My Soul," "Find Me a Man," and "O Mistress Mine" each having an elaborate vocal harmony. Emilie's "girls", as she calls her multiple vocal tracks, also appear numerously on "Goodnight, Sweet Ladies."
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "Naked Feminist Poetry" is 25 minutes of... well, guess.
- Fading into the Next Song: "We Want Them Young" fades into "If I Burn." The lyrics are even connected. ("We Want Them Young" ends with the line: "When will they fall, when will they BURN?"
- Ghost Song: Fight Like A Girl has "Goodnight, Sweet Ladies", which is sung by Emily and an Ethereal Choir of dead Asylum girls. "The Key", too, though you wouldn't know until you read the lyrics booklet.
- Gratuitous Panning:
- "Shalott" has the harpsichord on the left and the vocals on the right.
- Present in her cover of "Bohemian Rhapsody", faithfully to the original.
- Pretty much all of her songs, really. She seems to love using it.
- Her Own Worst Enemy: "God Help Me" says, "all the world is a judge / But that doesn't compare to what I do to myself / When you're not there."
- Hope Spot:
- "Hell is Empty" on Fight Like A Girl.
- "Misery Loves Company" on Opheliac.
- Hypocritical Humor: "Gentlemen Aren't Nice," in which the singer complains about her lover's displeasure "just because I won't agree to take his arm / And I occasionally forget his name."
- I Call It "Vera": All of EA's violins have names: The Dove, her baroque violin; Merlin her modern Victorian violin; and Elgar, her electric violin.
- If I Had a Nickel...: "God Help Me:"If I had a dollar for every time / I repented the sin but commit the same crime
I'd be sitting on top of the world today.
- I Love the Dead: "Scavenger." The squick is very intentional.
- I'm a Man; I Can't Help It: She does not approve of this excuse at all ("Gothic Lolita," "Let the Record Show," "Scavenger," "Girls! Girls! Girls!")
- I'm Your Worst Nightmare: Used in "Gothic Lolita".I am your sugar, I am your cream, I am your anti-American dream
I am your sugar, I am your cream, I am your worst nightmare, now scream
- Insane Equals Violent: In "I Don't Understand," Thomson is surprised that soft-spoken, borderline subservient Emily is considered "insane" and has to be chained down in a Bedlam House.
- Insecure Love Interest: "Save You." The narrator believes she has to push her lover away because she can only make them miserable.
- The Insomniac: "4 O'Clock" discusses her issues with insomnia.
- Instrumentals: Both discs of Laced/Unlaced, as well as "Dominant," "Ancient Grounds," "Gaslight Reprise," "4 O'Clock Reprise," and various others.
- Ironic Echo: "Liar" is Emilie repeating back an ex-lover's words in a much more vindictive light.
- Ironic Nursery Tune: "Miss Lucy Had Some Leeches" and "4 O'Clock."
- Lampshaded Double Entendre; The asylum host in "Girls! Girls! Girls!":For a little extra on the side we can arrange for a slightly more "intimate" encounter... Wink, wink...
- Lampshade Hanging: "Swallow" and "One Foot in Front of the Other" both lampshade how theatrical she is and how all her songs are about "pain and suffering."
- Last-Second Word Swap: A Running Gag in the Opheliac companion album involves her sound guy Inkydust having his tea with a bit of "gin... ger."
- Lyrical Dissonance: Lots and lots.
- "Marry Me," "The Art of Suicide," "Shalott," "Miss Lucy Had Some Leeches," and "My Fairweather Friend" are a few examples.
- "Save You" is such a sweet-sounding Tear Jerker.
- "Don't Blame Me" and HOW!
- "Gaslight," "If I Burn," and "What Will I Remember" in a similar way to "The Art of Suicide / Shalott."
- "4 O'Clock" a song about how insomnia is slowly killing her to the tune of a lullaby.
- "Girls! Girls! Girls!" is an upbeat, Broadway-esque number about the horrific and dehumanising treatment of the girls in question.
- Lyrical Tic: She likes rolling her Rs. She also has her voice break intentionally a lot (like in "Liar" and "If I Burn,") usually when transitioning from normal singing to Careful With That Axe. (The voice break is a sign that she's going to scream at some point.)
- Madness Mantra:
- "God Help Me" 48 times in the end of a song counts.
- "Are You Suffering?" except sung as an Ironic Echo of what an ex lover used to say to her.
- "I Want My Innocence Back" is also repeated an extreme amount of times.
- "I Want It" in the Angelspit remix of "Liar" is pretty significant as it changes the focus of the song all the way around.
- "4'Clock" definitely.
- "One Foot in Front of the Other" in many ways.
- Madonna-Whore Complex: Lampshaded in "Opheliac:"
- She knows she either is
A devil or an angel with no in between
- Male Gaze: Used on her in her first "Devils Carnival" promo video.
- Mal Mariée: Mal Mariée is a young woman unhappily married to an old jealous guy. In "Marry Me", the girl was 'sold' by her father and she is stuck in a horrifically unhappy marriage to an old man whom she finds repulsive (he has rotten teeth and bad breath). She tries to fight against her lot in life: she spends money on dresses and hair, she drinks wine, she parties and she has affairs. She feels victorious that she'll never bear her husband's children — they'll be her lover's instead. She's still a very unhappy woman because she's not free. It's implied her husband is king because she thinks she'll be beheaded for her infidelity.
- Meaningful Name: The last part of her stage name, "Liddell" is apparently taken from her maternal grandmother's maiden name. It seems oddly, and somewhat sadly, too, appropriate, considering the common characterisation of the world's most famous Liddell. She lampshades this fact in The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls.Emilie Autumn Liddell. Yes, THAT Liddell. You can see now why I don't use that name.
- Metal Scream: The Type 1 and Type 4 varieties.
- Minsky Pickup: "Girls! Girls! Girls!" ends with the variant of this, true to the 19th century show tunes on which it is based.
- Misandry Song: "Fight Like a Girl" and "Time for Tea" refer to a war against 49% of the world's population, although Emilie is careful never to explicitly exclude males. She even adds, "Even if you're only a boy, you can fight like a girl."
- Misogyny Song: "Girls! Girls! Girls!" is this — sarcastically, of course.
- Mood Whiplash:
- The first minute or so "Opheliac" is nice classical-esque instrumental work. Then she starts singing, lyrics are a bit off but it's still more or less pleasant. Then the chorus kicks in and she starts screaming.
- The violent, industrial/goth "Time for Tea" is followed by the ethereal Dream Pop-esque instrumental "4 O'clock Reprise". Then comes the showtunes-inspired "What Will I Remember?" — which is then followed by the harsh, gothic, feminist, anti-ableist Protest Song "Take the Pill."
- Motor Mouth: In her music, "Chambermaid", "I Know Where You Sleep," "The Key," and "Opheliac" are noteworthy for how fast she sings in them.
- New Sound Album: Enchant, Opheliac, and Fight Like a Girl are each very different in style to the other two.
- Nightmare Fetishist: As any depressive worth their salt would be, Emilie too preys on the stuff of nightmares and makes them into lovely harpsichord — and violin-backed songs.
- Noodle Implements: An interview in Fiend magazine has the answers to an undisclosed question posed to Emilie: "Crumpets, Angela Lansbury and a very large broom."
- Nostalgic Musicbox:
- The sound of one is the beginning of her song "Gothic Lolita." The music-box starts to skip as the backing track gets more eerie.
- "4 O'Clock" plays with this.
- Non-Appearing Title:
- Her instrumentals, as well as songs such as "Rapunzel," "Juliet," and "Shalott."
- Her debut vocal album doesn't feature the word "Enchant."
- The Ophelia: Master trope of Opheliac, and mentioned in "I Don't Understand" as a call back. In the Opheliac Companion, Autumn defines an "Opheliac" as someone who is pre-disposed towards self-destruction.
- Obsession Song: "Be Silent Be Still," "Opheliac," and "Liar" has these undertones.
- Ode to Intoxication: "Take the Pill" is an inversion.
- Once Done, Never Forgotten: Happens in "I Know Where You Sleep":Oh my god, Oh my god
I touched you
I can never live it down
- One-Woman Wail: Touched on in a few of her songs, like "Rose Red" and the Blackbird remix of "What If." In EA's case it's literally one woman, as she performs all of the main and backing vocals for her songs.
- Perky Goth: Because goths have more fun, after all.
- Piss-Take Rap: The rapping section on "Opheliac", while not as bad as other examples, is still quite odd.
- Point-and-Laugh Show: Heavily mocked in "Girls! Girls! Girls!" The twist? The "show" is an asylum.
- Posthumous Narration: "Let the Record Show." The Asylum ghosts also sing in several songs on "Fight Like a Girl."
- Precision F-Strike: Used frequently and artfully.
- "Misery Loves Company":Pray for me if you want to
Pray for me you fucker if you fucking dare
- "God Help Me":Don't make me choose, I've got too much to lose
Don't make me choose, I've got to much to fucking lose
- "Time For Tea":And when I am good, I am very, very good
But when I am bad, I am fucking gorgeous!
- "Take The Pill":Take the pill that wipes your memory
Take the pill that's fucking with your mind
Well he's a Doctor and you are just a crazy fucking bitch
- "Misery Loves Company":
- Protest Song: "Fight Like a Girl" and "Time for Tea" come to mind.
- "Psycho" Strings: Deranged, creepy violin notes show up in her work frequently, especially on Opheliac and Unlaced.
- The Revolution Will Not Be Civilized:
- "Fight Like A Girl":A hostile takeover,
An absolute rebellion to the end
- "Time For Tea":One day that little girl may find a filthy metal spike
And drive it right in the middle of your forehead
For she and her friends, this is very, very good
But for you the game is over – this is revolution!
- "Fight Like A Girl":
- Retraux: "Photographic Memory" is distinctly '80s in its production.
- Retcon: In her updated 2014 web page she writes that Opheliac was the start of her career.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Her war against 49% of the world's population in "Fight Like A Girl" and "Time For Tea".All the best that we can hope for is revenge
A hostile takeover,
An absolute rebellion to the end
What is the body count?
I’ve lost track
- Rock Opera: Fight Like a Girl is her retelling of The Asylum for Wayward Victorian Girls through a Concept Album.
- Sanity Slippage Song:
- All of Opheliac, Unlaced, and selections of Enchant.
- "What Will I Remember?," "Gaslight," "Hell is Empty," "Take the Pill," and various moments in Fight Like a Girl.
- Scary Musician, Harmless Music: She used to wear dreads, gothic clothing and puts out lots of songs related to bad things like death, rape and suicide. However, she has just as many happy classical violin solos and some genuinely light and happy love songs, in amongst the darkness. Emilie's stage persona is that of a violent, insane girl locked in a Victorian madhouse.
- Scunthorpe Problem: The word filter on her forum changed 'fans' to 'muffins'. This would be okay, except for when talking of, say, burlesque fans or anything similar.She swung her burlesque muffins high...
- Self-Backing Vocalist: Any voice heard on any of her songs is Emilie, with the exception of "Best Safety Lies in Fear," obviously. Then again, that's not so much a song as a remix of quotes from Hamlet.
- The titles of "Syringe" and "Face the Wall" are likely a shout-out to the scene in Terminator 2: Judgment Day in which Sarah Connor escapes from the mental institution. She holds the doctor hostage with a syringe in his neck, and orders a guard to face the wall.
- The Word Salad Lyrics in "Swallow" ("Low tide and high tea, oyster's waiting for me...") refer to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
- Everything from her Britney Spears mike to her "Hells is Others" on Misery Loves Company, helped by her thoroughly studying everything she wants to do.
- "Shalott" is based on the poem "The Lady of Shalott".
- "Gothic Lolita", a girl who's "not even legal" in a relationship with an older man.
- Shout-Out to Shakespeare:
- "Juliet", obviously.
- Opheliac is based on Ophelia from Hamlet, and the song of the same name directly quotes the play: "Doubt thou the stars are fire / Doubt thou the sun doth move..."
- "Best Safety Lies in Fear" is a quote spoken by Laertes in Hamlet, as are all the other lines in that song.
- "Goodnight Sweet Ladies" also takes its name from one of Ophelia's lines; the use of rosemary for remembrance is also another reference to the same scene.
- "O Mistress Mine" is based on a song from Twelfth Night.
- Twelfth Night contains the line "Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them." Replace "great" with "mad", and you've got a line from "Girls! Girls! Girls!"
- See You in Hell: "If I Burn, SO WILL YOU."
- Self-Empowerment Anthem: "Heard It All" and "What If," both from Enchant.
- Sleight of Tongue: At the very end of the "Fight Like A Girl" video, an asylum worker slips Emilie a key through a Forceful Kiss
- So Beautiful, It's a Curse: "Thank God I'm Pretty."
- Sonnet: "Your Sugar Sits Untouched" contains several, although they are ten lines long instead of the more usual fourteen.
- So What Do We Do Now?: "One Foot in Front of the Other" is a really, really bittersweet example. The Asylum characters literally have no idea what to do — not because they liked fighting, but because they have no lives outside of captivity, and are too unstable and broken to ever be able to function in normal society. "We've been committed — now to what do we all commit?" They change the Asylum into a place where they can live in sanctuary from the outside world until the building collapses leading to the death of all of them.
- Studio Chatter: "Let the Record Show" starts with a three-second conversation: "How was that?" "Good."
- Subdued Section:
- "Remember," everything except for the drum machine cuts out in the third verse.
- "Fight Like a Girl."
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion:
- "Miss Lucy Had Some Leeches," as an adaptation of "Miss Susie Had a Steamboat."
- "What Will I Remember" has a (non-risqué) double-subverted rhyme.Is my story over
If I fall asleep
Would anybody find me?
—ould anybody weep?
- Suicide Is Painless: "The art of suicide" is about feeling that life is tiring and meaningless, hence suicide is relieving and aesthetic:The art of suicide, pretty and clean
Conveys a theatrical scene
"Alas, I'm gone!" she cried
- Surprisingly Gentle Song:
- "Shalott" and "The Art of Suicide" on Opheliac. Still full of Lyrical Dissonance, though, considering that both are about death.
- "What Will I Remember," "I Don't Understand," and "Gaslight" on Fight Like a Girl.
- "If I Burn" actually zig-zags wildly between being gentle ("But the softer I become, the harder your machines close over me.") and being outright violent ("When you sleep, you'll feel my icy fingers crawling down your back."), culminating in the "But it's never over!" part.
- Survival Mantra: "One foot in front of the other foot in front of the one foot in front of the other..."
- Suspiciously Specific Denial: "Girls! Girls! Girls!"We've something here for everyone's enjoyment / I do this as a gift, not for employment / A portrait of insanity, approach with your humanity
- Take That Me:
- The lyrics of "Shalott:" "And she cried out, 'So the story fits / but then, I could have guessed it all along / and now some drama queen is gonna write a song for me.'"
- The lyrics of "Swallow": "I'll tell the truth / all of my songs / are pretty much / the fucking same."
- During some of her videos she does lampshade how insane her stage shows, outfits and otherwise are.
- Taking You with Me: Implied in "If I Burn," "Time for Tea," "Fight Like a Girl," and "Let The Record Show."
- There Are No Therapists: Well, actually, there are, but they're terrible at their jobs. In Emilie's case, she was sexually abused during her institutionalization, but no-one would believe her because: "you're the crazy girl and he's the doctor with the million dollar education."
- Title Drop: The title of "Your Sugar Sits Untouched" comes from her poem "Ghost:"if one day your sugar sits untouched
will you have gone forever
- Title Track: Fight Like A Girl and Opheliac have one.
- Title by Number: "306."
- Title-Only Chorus: "Liar" and "I Want My Innocence Back".
- Third-Person Person: "Opheliac:"She speaks in third person so that she can forget she's me
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: Used in "Thank God I'm Pretty."
- Villain Song:
- "Scavenger." The implications of the song include: murder, human trafficing, necrophilia, pedophilia and cutting up a corpse for its organs to sell on the black market.There's always one street that you know you shouldn't walk
And I will be waiting
Your loved ones may sit upon your stone to prevent me
But I will be waiting
- "Girls! Girls! Girls!", most of "Take The Pill" and "We Want Them Young" are sung by the Bedlam House staff.
- "Scavenger." The implications of the song include: murder, human trafficing, necrophilia, pedophilia and cutting up a corpse for its organs to sell on the black market.
- Woman Scorned: A major theme of Opheliac and Fight Like a Girl.
- Word Salad Lyrics: From "Swallow:" "Low tide and high tea, the oysters waiting for me, if I'm not there on time, I'll send my emissary." Might be a Shout-Out to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, though.
- You Are Not Alone: Covered in her anti bullying video, and a greater message of her music and her stage shows and herself, and her relationship with her fans.
Her concerts contain examples of:
- Audience Participation Song: "Shalott" and "Misery Loves Company" have both become this.
- *Cough* Snark *Cough*: Emilie has a dislike of a certain church, which she coughs to be the Christian one, leading to...
- Church of Happyology: Contessa's religion, Contessology to pray for whatever's left of Veronica's virtue.
- Cluster F-Bomb: "Not. Fucking. Funny. You do it, you fucking die! You see somebody do it, you fucking murder them!"
- Everything's Better with Sparkles: The costumes and Emilie's violin have gotten increasingly more sparkly with every tour.
- Marshmallow Hell: Emilie's "safe place" is Veronica's cleavage.
- Ms. Fanservice: All of the crumpets to an extent, though special mention must be made for The Naughty Miss Veronica Varlow.
- Pirates: Captain Vecona was the first captain and seamstress to the asylum, and now there's Captain Maggots, her drunken replacement in late 2008.
- Precision F-Strike:
- "The show will not go on unless someone fucking fixes the screen!"
- 'Please, allow me to indulge in just one brief moment of rock star excess and ask you "ARE YOU FUCKING READY?"
- Of Corsets Sexy: Everyone wears a (very sparkly) corset for most of the show, and Emilie gets three.
- Only Sane Man: Contessa likes to see herself as this. The others don't seem to agree.
- Contessa: But I am not, I am not, I repeat, I repeat, I repeat, I am not insane!
(The Crumpets laugh hysterically)
Emilie: [after a well timed pause] She eats people.
- Spell My Name with an S: The present captain's name alternates between "Captain Maggot" and "Captain Maggots" depending on who you ask and when you ask them.
- Sweet Polly Oliver: In the Fight Like a Girl tour, Emilie spends several songs dressed up as a boy. Not very convincingly, but there you are.
- Take That, Audience!: Emilie and the Crumpets, shocked at finding no fewer than 300 erotic fanfics of themselves online, hilariously act out one of the more poorly written ones. Veronica gets revenge with a story of her own.
- This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: "You're in MY house now, bitch!"
- I want your beautiful suffering, I want to see your 'PAIN!!!'