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Will Smith don't gotta cuss in his raps to sell records.
Well, I do. So fuck him and fuck you, too!
"The Real Slim Shady"

Marshall Bruce Mathers III (born October 17, 1972), known professionally as Eminem, is a popular rapper, songwriter and producer from Detroit who is regularly considered one of hip-hop's greatest and most influential artists.

Mathers had a troubled childhood, raised on welfare in abject poverty solely by his mother, as his father walked out on the family when he was a baby. His mother regularly emotionally and physically abused him, often kicking him out of their own house for nights, and the family switched homes every two months before they settled down. He was severely bullied for being white in an all-black ghetto; once, he was even put in a coma and had to re-learn all his basic functions when he woke up. He failed ninth grade three times, could never get a decent-paying job, was the victim of numerous house robberies, and apparently tried to commit suicide a few times.

During this period around his teenage years, Mathers discovered a love of rap and would practice it as often as he could, his iconic stage name a copyright-friendly evolution of the first name he rapped under (M&M). His early raps were heavily influenced by the popular Gangsta Rap of the day, and being white, he was often mocked for even trying, not to mention physically assaulted and shot at. His first studio album, Infinite, was released in 1996 and underperformed critically and commercially; underground rappers and critics alike felt it was a bad imitation of the likes of Nas or AZ.

Angry, poor, in a rocky relationship with his wife and with a new baby daughter to feed, Em followed up with another release in 1997 — The Slim Shady EP. The EP was remarkably different from his previous work and a novel concept to rap in general, as it focused not on the character of the rapper himself but instead a separate alter ego: "Slim Shady". The lyrics were dark and gruesome, covering subjects such as rape, murder, the occult, drugs, and suicide, but took a twistedly funny approach to them. The EP gained Em significant attention in the world of underground hip-hop, and eventually got him signed to Dr. Dre's record label.

Between 1999 and 2002, Em would release three albums — The Slim Shady LP, The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show — that would elevate him from a small-scale sensation to a household name, breaking barriers for the acceptance of white rappers on a mainstream level along the way. While his Rags to Riches story and crass persona made him an icon of the American underclass and counterculture, his status as a second-nature provocateur also made him one of the most consistently controversial artists of his day. The routine accusations of things such as misogyny and homophobia surrounding his lyrics generated a wave of moral panic among parents and Media Watchdogs alike, which only increased their impact on pop culture and made for a good excuse for him to continue writing such songs.

The three albums generated some of the most popular rap songs of their time, as well as some of the biggest commercial success the genre has ever seen (MMLP is still ranked as the fastest-selling rap album of all time to this day). As far as content goes, SSLP presented a mix of Slim Shady madness and glimpses into Em's dark upbringing, and MMLP doubled down on the combination, while The Eminem Show was a more mature rumination from Em on the world of isolation he had built for himself in his rise to fame.

Around the time of recording The Eminem Show, Em starred in 8 Mile, a semi-autobiographical account of the struggles he faced while forging his rap career, also producing its soundtrack. While he hasn't done much acting since, he won an Academy Award for the song "Lose Yourself", the first time the award has ever gone to a rap song. (He didn't go to the ceremony, preferring to sleep instead.)

It's after this period, widely considered to be Em's "golden age", that things began to change. He was no less prone to commercial success, but opinions around his new releases shifted undeniably.

His fourth studio album, 2004's Encore, was taken by critics and fans alike for Seasonal Rot, considered to be lyrically and musically below par for him.note  After its release, he took a break from music (aside from Curtain Call: The Hits, which had a couple of new songs on it, and The Re-Up, a mixtape-style album that attempted to showcase the artists on Shady Records) to deal with his own personal drug problems and the shooting death of his best friend Proof.

In the summer of 2009, his fifth album Relapse was released, sending him back into Slim Shady territory, detailing his descent into drug addiction during his hiatus. This time, audiences were divided over how outright weird the album was, with the constant use of his Triumph-The-Insult-Comic-Dog-Voice and the continuation of his dissing towards certain artists being common areas of criticism. However, its financial success secured him as the best-selling rapper of all time, and praise for this album has retrospectively increased, to the extent of Cult Classic status among his fanbase.

The 2010s saw somewhat of a redemption for Em's critical favor, starting with Recovery, a return to his sincere and somber tone that was originally slated to be a direct sequel to Relapse. While some listeners felt that it was just more of the same, reception was for the most part positive, with many hailing it as a improvement over both Encore and Relapse. A sequel did come next; however, it was to The Marshall Mathers LP, simply titled The Marshall Mathers LP 2 and released in fall 2013. Laced with callbacks and references to the original, the album showcased Em at his most mature yet (for the most part, anyway) with a greater focus on raw rapping and introspective stories, even serving as something of a genuine apology to everyone he's offended, especially his mother. Complaints over lack of consistency aside, many found his technicality on the album to be at an all-time high.

Shortly before Black Friday 2014, he released Shady XVnote , a 2-disc compilation/greatest hits album created in honor of the creation of Shady Records. The first disc has the label's greatest hits, while the second disc features new material from the artists on the label.

In late October 2017, after two freestyles ("Campaign Speech" and "The Storm"), an ad campaign for a fake drug called "Revival" began being spread by affiliates of Interscope Records. Considering a number of clues, including the fact that its logo contained Em's trademark reversed E, many speculated this to be the name of his upcoming album. Eventually, after a single release and a widely speculated but ultimately false release date, Dr. Dre posted a video on his Instagram that officially announced that "Revival" was indeed the name of Em's new album, released on December 15 to...mixed reactions.

His tenth album Kamikaze, in large part a direct response to audience division over Revival, was released on August 31, 2018 without prior announcement, which he teased a day prior with a snippet of a new song he wrote for Venom (2018). On January 17, 2020, he released his eleventh album Music to Be Murdered By — again, without prior announcement. Eleven months and a day later, Em released a deluxe edition of the album, updating the original with 16 new tracks — once again, with no prior announcement. On May 26, 2022, he released an expanded edition of The Eminem Show for the album's 20th anniversary.

  • Infinite (1996)
    • "Infinite"
  • The Slim Shady EP (1997)
    • "Just Don't Give A F**k"
  • The Slim Shady LP (1999)
    • "My Name Is"
    • "Role Model"
    • "Guilty Conscience" (feat. Dr. Dre)
  • The Marshall Mathers LP (2000)
    • "The Real Slim Shady"
    • "The Way I Am"
    • "Stan" (feat. Dido)
    • "I'm Back"
    • "Bitch Please II" (feat. Dr. Dre, Xzibit, Snoop Dogg & Nate Dogg)
  • The Eminem Show (2002)
    • "Without Me"
    • "Cleanin' Out My Closet"
    • "Superman"
    • "Sing for the Moment"
    • "Business"
  • 8 Mile soundtrack (2002)
    • "Lose Yourself"
    • "Rabbit Run"
  • Encore (2004)
    • "Just Lose It"
    • "Mosh"
    • "Encore" (feat. Dr. Dre & 50 Cent)
    • "Like Toy Soldiers"
    • "Mockingbird"
    • "Ass Like That"
  • Curtain Call: The Hits (2005)
    • "When I'm Gone"
    • "Shake That" (feat. Nate Dogg)
  • Eminem Presents: The Re-Up (2006) (Shady Records compilation album)
    • "You Don't Know" (feat. 50 Cent, Lloyd Banks and Ca$his)
    • "Jimmy Crack Corn (Ca$his vocal mix)" (feat. Ca$his)
  • Relapse (2009)
    • "Crack a Bottle" (feat. Dr. Dre & 50 Cent)
    • "We Made You"
    • "3 a.m."
    • "Beautiful"
  • Relapse: Refill (2009)
    • "Forever" (with Drake, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne)
    • "Elevator"
    • "Music Box"
    • "Taking My Ball" (released with DJ Hero: Renegade Edition)
    • "My Darling" (website exclusive)
  • Recovery (2010)
    • "Not Afraid"
    • "Love The Way You Lie" (feat. Rihanna)
    • "No Love" (feat. Lil Wayne)
    • "Space Bound"
  • The Marshall Mathers LP 2 (2013)
    • "Berzerk"
    • "Survival" (feat. Liz Rodrigues)
    • "Rap God"
    • "The Monster" (feat. Rihanna)
    • "Headlights" (feat. Nate Ruess)
    • "Don't Front" (released with Call of Duty: Ghosts)
  • SHADYXV (2014) (Shady Records compilation album)
    • "Guts Over Fear" (feat. Sia)
    • "Detroit vs. Everybody" (feat. Trick-Trick, Dej Loaf, Big Sean, Royce Da 5'9", and Danny Brown)
  • Southpaw: Official Soundtrack (2015)
  • Revival (2017)
  • Kamikaze (2018)
    • "Fall"
    • "Lucky You" (feat. Joyner Lucas)
    • "Venom"
  • Music to Be Murdered By (2020)
    • "Darkness"
    • "Godzilla"
  • Music to Be Murdered By: Side B (2020)
    • "Gnat"
    • "Higher"
    • "Tone Deaf" (video)
  • Curtain Call 2 (2022)

  • Non-album singles
    • "The Anthem" (1999) - with Sway & King Tech, Pharoahe Monch, Xzibit, RZA, Tech N9ne, Kool G Rap, Chino XL, KRS-One, Jayo Felony & DJ Revolution
    • as part of Bad Meets Evil "Nuttin' To Do / Scary Movies" (1999)
    • "The Warning" (2009) note 
    • "Calm Down" (with Busta Rhymes) (2014)
    • "Infinite" (F.B.T. Remix) (2016)
    • "Campaign Speech" (2016)
    • "Chloraseptic" (Remix) (feat. 2Chainz and Phresher) (2018)
    • "Killshot" (2018) note 
    • "The Adventures of Moon Man and Slim Shady" (with Kid Cudi) (2020)
    • "Killer" (Remix) (feat. Jack Harlow and Cordae)

As a lot of Eminem's work involves interplay between imaginary alter egos, there is a Character Sheet.

"Won't the real Slim Shady's Tropes please stand up?"

    # to C 
  • 555: The phone number written on Dominic Monaghan's hand in the "Love the Way You Lie" video starts with 555.
  • Abortion Fallout Drama: "River" feat. Ed Sheeran is about this.
  • Abusive Parents: Claims his mother was one, and reference this a lot in his songs, mostly suffering from Munchausen by Proxy where she would intentionally make him sick to gain sympathy. She filed a lawsuit against him. Em references this in "Cleanin' Out my Closet."
  • Accidental Public Confession:
  • Acronym and Abbreviation Overload:
    • In "Hell Breaks Loose":
      Shady's come to fill you up, if you a D or a C-cup
      You can even be a B, it's just me and D-R-E
      You'll be in the ER, we are strapped with so much TNT we may blow
      No, not even CPR from the EMT can help you resuscitate
    • In "Alfred's Theme":
      So until the E-N-D, since EPMD
      Been givin' y'all the business (Yeah), D-R-E and me (Yup)
      From the MMLP to MTBMB (Bitch)
      Bitch, it’s 2020, you still ain't seein' me
    • Forms the basis of the outrageous Rhyming List in "Yah Yah":
      Now here's to LL, Big L and Del
      K-Solo, Treach, and G Rap
      DJ Polo, Tony D, ODB, Moe Dee, Run-DMC
      Ed O.G. , and EPMD, D.O.C., Ice-T, Evil Dee
      King Tee, UTFO, and Schoolly D, PE, and BDP
      YZ and Chi-Ali, Rakim and Eric B., they were like my therapy
      From B.I.G. and Paris, Three Times Dope, and some we'll never see, and PRT
      N.W.A and Eazy-E, and D-R-E was like my GPS
      Without him, I don't know where I'd be
  • Album Title Drop:
    • "My name is (chkka-chkka) Slim Shady!"
    • The Marshall Mathers LP was named after the parody Boy Band chorus in the song "Marshall Mathers":
      I'm just Marshall Mathers
      I'm just a regular guy, I don't know why all the fuss about me...
    • On "Cleanin' Out My Closet":
      "It's my life. I'd like to welcome y'all to The Eminem Show".
    • There's also "Infinite" from, well, Infinite.
    • On "Déjà Vu":
      "Now here I am three months later, full-blown relapse"
    • Music to Be Murdered By is name-dropped multiple times throughout the album.
    • Oddly, "Encore" is not an example of this - though the ending of the album does present a literal encore.
  • Alliterative Name: His "Slim Shady" alter ego, as well as his real name Marshall Mathers. It's where the stage name Eminem comes from.
    • The character Ken Kaniff.
  • All Abusers Are Male: Averted in "Love the Way You Lie". The relationship is "mutually destructive".
  • All Just a Dream:
    • "When I'm Gone", namely the part where Eminem loses his family for good and shoots himself in the head.
    • At least the "Dr. West" skit at the beginning of Relapse is this, implying this about most of the album.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: How he was treated (booed offstage before even getting a chance to rap, shot at, robbed, physically assaulted) for being white. He still gets it even to this day, with so many people refusing to acknowledge his talent because they feel he "stole black music". As he points out in "Without Me", so did Elvis Presley.
  • Alone with the Psycho: Several of his songs, examples include: "Same Song and Dance", "3 A.M.", "Stan", "Kim" and "Bad Guy". Notably, except for "Stan" and "Bad Guy", Eminem is usually the psycho.
  • Alter-Ego Acting: Marshall Mathers, the loving father with a checkered past; Eminem, the insanely skilled and insightful emcee; and Slim Shady, the Ax-Crazy, immature, and fucking hilarious fiend.
  • Anti-Love Song: Nearly all songs centered on his ex-wife Kim. The largest counter-example would be "Searchin" featured in the album Infinite. But heck, even in "Kim" he says he loves her. Right as he's driving her out to the woods to slit her throat. It's an angry love.
    • And while not a song specifically about her, in "Going Through Changes", he wrote "Hailie, this one is for you, Whitney and Alaina, too. I still love your mother. That'll never change."
    • He tries to take her perspective on their relationship in "Stronger Than I Was".
  • Anti-Role Model: Slim, mostly obviously in "Role Model."
    I've got genital warts and it burns when I pee/Don't you want to grow up to be just like me?!
  • Anything That Moves: Mentioned in "Just Don't Give A Fuck".
    I spit when I talk, I'll fuck anything that walks
  • Apologetic Attacker: In "Cleanin' Out My Closet" — kind of. With how venomous he gets towards his mother in the song, its chorus does consist of the following:
    I'm sorry, Mama.
    I never meant to hurt you.
    I never meant to make you cry,
    but tonight, I'm cleaning out my closet.
  • April Fools' Day: The day after April 1, 2015, Em decided to drop by Rap Genius. And you know what the funniest part of the joke is? It wasn't a joke at all.
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: From "Just Don't Give a Fuck":
    Extortion, snortin', supportin' abortion
  • Ass Shove:
    • To a revolting degree in "FACK".
    • One of the Steve Berman skits has this line:
      "Tower Records told me to shove this record up my ass. Do you know what it feels like to be told to have a record shoved up your ass?"
    • Eminem starts "Do Rae Me (Hailie's Revenge)" by teaming up with Hailie to shove his Oscar up Ja Rule's ass.
    • In "Girls", Eminem complains about Fred Durst stealing his style, and announces, "I'm peggin' him with the bottle of dye he bleached his head with".
  • Audience Participation Song:
    • "Kill You" is probably his best example.
    • The audience supplies the chants of "Marshall!" in "Business."
    • Subverted during live performances of "3 a.m.", where the beat stops so Eminem can enjoy hearing the crowd choke on their tongues attempting "swallowin' the Klonopin while I'm noddin' in an' out on the ottoman at the Ramada Inn, holdin' onto the pill bottle, then..." before starting the beat back up and showing the crowd how it's done.
  • Author Tract: Used in his verses on Dr. Dre's "I Need a Doctor", in which Em repeatedly tells Dre to finish his Detox album—which ended up getting cancelled.
  • Ax-Crazy: Slim Shady is this from time to time. Stan has shades of this as well, going so far as to inspire a nickname for fanatics everywhere.
  • Backmasking: At the end of "Stimulate".
  • Badass Boast: Common in his work, but particularly this bit from "The Real Slim Shady":
    I'm like a head trip to listen to
    'Cause I'm only giving you things you joke about with your friends inside your living room
    The only difference is I got the balls to say it in front of y'all
    And I don't gotta be false or sugarcoat it at all
    I just get on the mike and spit it
    And whether you like to admit it, I just shit it
    Better than 90% of you rappers out can
    Then you wonder "How can kids eat up these albums like Valiums?"
  • The Bad Guy Wins: "Guilty Conscience", from The Slim Shady LP.
    • Zigzagged, really: The first part had good win, as Eddie choose to not rob the liquor store. The second part is more vague on whether Stan raped the girl, or just left her at home after drugging her. Part three plays this straight, however, with Grady choosing to shoot both his wife and the man she's cheating with at the urging of both angels.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • "Bad Guy", yeah, you'd expect Marshall Mathers LP 2 to feature some throwbacks, so another song about murdering Kim is probably to be expected. Actually, it's from the perspective of another throwback, Stan's brother, who is now grown up and ready to come to murder Marshall.
    • He does this often in his lyrics: he will start a common phrase only to end it in an unexpected way.
      So haters can make like bees
      With no stingers
      And drop dead
      "Not Afraid"
  • Battle Rapping: Started as a battle rapper, and is arguably the world's most successful and famous battle rapper by a wide margin. The Slim Shady LP would be drenched in the influence of battle rap; particually the tracks "My Name Is" and "Guilty Conscince", though this would be gradually muted over time on later albums. However, his numerous diss tracks towards his rivals proved he hasn't lost his touch on the battling side. In fact, Em gained a reputation for absolutely torching the careers of any rival who tried to diss him on record; most notably killing Ja Rule's commercial appeal, getting Benzino ousted from The Source magazine, and more or less forcing Machine Gun Kelly to switch from rap to rock music.
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Relapse: Refill includes a bonus track called "Careful What You Wish For."
  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: invoked In-universe: In "Stan", the title character mislabels Phil Collins' song "In the Air Tonight" as "In the Air of the Night".
  • Beer Goggles: In "Just Lose It", he starts flirting with a woman in a bar, who turns out to be Dr. Dre. The video shows that he initially thinks Dr Dre is Paris Hilton.
  • Bestiality Is Depraved: The main character in "FACK" is described as doing some unspeakably horrible things to a gerbil (the specific act is mentioned in the song itself, but will not be repeated here.)
  • Be Yourself: In "Beautiful", it's even outright said.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": In the intro to Curtain Call.
  • Black Comedy: Marshall's main schtick.
  • Blasphemous Boast:
    • "Rap God", both in the title and the final line: "Don't be a retard. Be a king? Think not. Why be a king, when you can be a god?"
    • Em once responded to someone else's Blasphemous Boast with one of his own: when an interviewer asked Eminem how he feels about the sentiment that God sent Lil Wayne to Earth to teach people how to rap, Eminem simply responded that he doesn't remember sending anybody.
  • Blood Bath: Is seen bathing in a tub of blood in his Music Video for "3 A.M."
  • Boastful Rap: "Rap God" shows signs of this, especially during the supersonic speed lyrics part.
    • Kamikaze is an entire album devoted to the sentiment that Eminem can destroy anyone he doesn't like within one lyric.
  • Book Ends: The music video for "Cleanin' Out My Closet" begins with an opening door and ends with a closing door.
    • The "3 a.m." video begins and ends with Em sleeping (apparently) against a tree and waking up.
  • Boomerang Bigot: Despite the discrimination he experienced as a white rapper, Em occasionally enjoys using his privilege as a white rapper to wind up other white rappers with rhetoric that would be inflammatory coming from a black rapper.
    • Eminem's black audiences didn't always enjoy Eminem's Self-Deprecation in this manner. In the famous incident where he was booed offstage in 1992, it was in response to him attempting to lead a call-and-response chant of "kill that honkey!" (Contrary to popular belief, black audiences also had his back when his opponents would make racist comments about him during his Battle Rapping - one of his opponents at the '97 Rap Olympics made a string of insults about Eminem's whiteness and got booed so hard he couldn't continue his verse.)
    • In Eminem's "Em-TV" TRL takeover skit, an irritating preppy college student called Scott (played by Eminem) performs horrible karaoke. After this, the camera cuts back to Slim Shady in the studio, who swears a couple of times in horror before remarking that he hates white people.
    • Eminem's beef with Everlast took a decidedly racial turn. In his first Diss Track against Erik, "I Remember (Dedication to Whitey Ford)", Em makes the throwaway comment, "I liked you! Thought you was alright for a white dude.") After Everlast wound up Eminem by bringing up his daughter in his Answer Song "Whitey's Revenge", Eminem went fully for it in "Quitter" - "white, lethargic-ass dickhead... White devil! Washed-up honkey, mixed-up cracker who crossed over to country..." He even declares that his nature is to destroy white rappers, describing himself as a "paleface-killer whale".
    • Several of Em's diss tracks against his nemesis Benzino make racial comments about him being white. Benzino is mixed black/white, and it was to make the satirical point that, despite Benzino's rhetoric about protecting black music from white appropriators, he was arguably a white appropriator himself. This is reinforced by the line at the end of "Nail In The Coffin", in which he points out that, in addition to him also being as much a white rapper as Eminem is, Benzino's magazine is owned by white people, too. On a freestyle to promote Encore, Eminem described Benzino as "two midget arms, with creamy white filling in the middle" - contrasting Benzino to Eminem's own rap name (the inside of an M&M is chocolate).
    • In "SHADYXV", Slim Shady threatens to 'launch some cracker taunts at Action Bronson, Macklemore, Mac Miller and Asher Roth'.
      • Slim had, in fact, previously made racist taunts to Asher Roth, calling him a "honkey" in the song "Asshole" - rather inappropriately, as it was in response to a remark in which Roth praised Eminem and described him as his hero. Of course, the song is about Eminem being an asshole, and it was on The Marshall Mathers LP 2 - so some Disproportionate Retribution against an undeserving celebrity is to be expected on a sequel to The Marshall Mathers LP.
    • Em also likes humorously expressing prejudice against other groups he belongs to - most frequently, a run of songs in the mid-2010s in which he expressed his undying hatred for blondes (despite being the most famous blonde in 2000s hip-hop, and having hit the peroxide bottle again).
  • Bowdlerise: Let's just say plenty of Eminem's songs got censored, as well as the music videos for songs like, for example, "My Name Is" and "Guilty Conscience" (the latter had explicit mentions of rape and murder edited out, even turning the argument between Slim and Dr. Dre in the "Grady" scene into an argument that goes unresolved at the end).
    • The most censored song that got the most attention is "Stan", and not only that, but there are TWO versions of the music videos for the song, with the most recent Fuse "version" of the song more censored than the last two. While MTV's short version of "Stan" is heavily censored (also removing scenes of a murder/suicide), the long version, however, isn't much better: Though Dido (singer of "Thank You" who played Stan's pregnant girlfriend in the music video) admitted in the interview that she was the one who was Bound and Gagged and struggling in the trunk of the car to get the gag out and to scream while trying to breathe in the third verse, only fewer versions of the video's long version showing some scenes with her tied up and struggling, as well as a scene with Stan (played by actor Devon Sawa) drinking while driving, are shown. The rest of the versions show only one brief clip of her at the trunk while removing a scene of Stan drinking and censoring the words "drank", "vodka", "downers", "Shut up, bitch", "screaming in the trunk", "slit", "tied her up", "suffocates" and "die". In the last verse, the censors remove all mentions of the girlfriend in the trunk, as well as the lyric, "And what's this shit about us meant to be together?"
    • One of the best examples was by Eminem himself, in his Grammy Award performance of "Stan" with Elton John, when he changed "You're like his fucking idol" to "You're like his favorite idol."
    • He even references radio censorship in "The Way I Am".
      Radio won't even play my jam
    • One rather infamous example is the censoring of a certain line from "I'm Back" in the Marshall Mathers LP, where Eminem raps; "I Take seven kids from Columbine stand 'em all in line, add an AK-47 a revolver, a nine, a Mac-11 and that oughta solve this problem of mine, and that's a whole school of bullies shot up all at one time". An uncensored version is completely unavailable, "Kids" and "Columbine" are edited out even in the explicit version. However, 13 years later he repeats the line on "Rap God" from the MMLP2, and gets away with it this time.
      • A similar thing happened with "Marshall Mathers", off the same album. One line in particular was censored because, in the event you are being sued by your mother, insulting their lawyer is not a particularly clever idea.
        So which is it, bitch, Mrs. Briggs or Mrs. Mathers?
        It doesn't matter, [your attorney, Fred Gibson's a] faggot!
        Talking about how I fabricated my past.
        He's just aggravated I won't ejaculate in his ass.
      • In the music video for "Fall". The word "faggot" is complacently removed from the line "Tyler create nothing I see why you call yourself a faggot." Even in the original song, the word is distorted.
    • His group D12 had to heavily alter "Purple Pills" in order to allow the song radio and TV play, the resulting alternate version being titled "Purple Hills".
  • Bravado Song: The song "Not Afraid" is all about how Eminem will not back down from doing what's right despite stressful circumstances that may try to hold him back and he sings that everyone should do the same.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick:
    • '97 Bonnie and Clyde is about a father taking his daughter to the beach. It's nighttime? No problem! Why is her mother in the trunk with red on her shirt? She's taking a nap and spilled ketchup on herself!
    • In "Marshall Mathers":
      Yo, you might see me jogging. You might see me walking. You might see me walking a dead rottweiler dog with it's head chopped off in the park with a spiked collar, hollering at him 'cause the son-of-a-bitch won't stop barking.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Combined with a Lampshade Hanging in "Hell Breaks Loose", "This would be the part of the song where they drop the meter in and Hell Breaks Loose".
  • Break Them by Talking: Despite name dropping Hannibal Lecter, the lecture in "Underground" is not a Hannibal Lecture because the singer is the one in the position of power:
    Gave Hannibal Lecter a fuckin' nectarine
    And sat him in a fuckin' fruit and vegetable section
    And gave him a lecture
  • Breathless Non Sequitur: In "Music Box," the Serial Killer Villain Protagonist describes ghostly voices beckoning him to his attic, and just mirthfully remarks "I love my house" right after.
  • Brick Joke: On The Marshall Mathers LP, he announces during "Remember Me" that he won't say the word "fucking" for six minutes. Though he uses "fuck" and other constructions like "fuckers", he doesn't use "fucking" until two songs later, during "Marshall Mathers", for a total time of 7:25 without the word.
    • In "Bad Meets Evil", his song with then-friend Royce da 5'9, the end of the chorus goes "See you in Hell for the sequel." Afterwards, they had a lengthy falling out. Once their mutual friend Proof died, they patched up their issues. Cue their joint albumHell: The Sequel releasing on June 13, 2011. Given how long it took Em and Royce to get around to making it, one can say we saw the sequel in development hell. This joke gets even more elaborate when one remembers that in "Cold Wind Blows" from Recovery, which was released just a year before this album, there's a few lines where God tells Slim Shady that He will send him to Hell if he does not change his ways. Apparently, he didn't.
  • Brutal Honesty: "The Real Slim Shady", in spades. Apart from the page quote, we have this exchange:
    I'm only giving you
    Things you joke about with your friends inside your living room
    The only difference is I got the balls to say it in front of y'all
    And I don't gotta be false or sugarcoat it at all
  • Calculator Spelling: The pinball-inspired cover of the Greatest Hits Album Curtain Call 2 features the four scores 558,008 (BOOBSS — boobs), 771,534 (HESILL — he's ill), 451,734 (HELISH — hellish) and 104,558 (after the upper line of the 8 burned out: ASSHOL — asshole).
  • Call-and-Response Song: Several examples among the songs that he's done with Dr. Dre. "Guilty Conscience" has Slim and Dre as the different sides of someone's conscience (bad angel and good angel, if you will), bickering back and forth over what the person should do.
    • Em's verse on "What's the Difference" is a more direct conversation with Dre.
    • And of course, "Kim" is a call-and-response between Marshall and his own impersonation of Kim.
  • Call-Back:
    • A line from "Stan," the chorus to "Rain Man", the title and theme of "My Mom", and the chorus to "Marsh" all directly reference "My Name Is", as does this line from Em's autobiography Angry Blonde.
      Hi kids. Do you like lyrics? Do you like reading weird shit that'll make your eyes bulge out their sockets? If so, this little piece of sh— Oops, I mean literature! —was made with you in mind.
    • " Just Lose It" from Encore references the opening of "Without Me".
    • The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is full of them, be they entire tracks, lines from tracks, or even excerpts from the beats to earlier tracks.
    • "I Need A Doctor" is thematically very similar to "Forgot About Dre", though much more serious in tone; essentially, both songs are composed of Em affirming his close friendship with Dre and Dre calling out his fair-weather friends.
    • In the MGK diss track "Killshot", he references "Stan", "Go to Sleep" and "Nail in the Coffin". The latter two were tracks that are widely considered to have ended the careers of Ja Rule and Benzino - two other artists that made the mistake of using "Hailie in vain". The former is in reference to MGK himself - originally a self proclaimed fan of Eminem, that grew to hate him - mostly due to perceived slights, and feeling ignored. Even in MGK's response to Eminem's "Not Alike", to which "Killshot" was a response to, MGK still couldn't avoid complimenting Eminem in between his insults.
    • "Just Don't Give A Fuck", Eminem's first single under a major label, and "Not Afraid", his first single announcing a sound and image reboot after getting clean of his drug addiction, have the same title... just expressed at different levels of crudity. In the first one, he's fearless because he's high on drugs - and in the second one, because he's not.
    • Note also the similarity in title between "Not Afraid" and "Not Alike" — a track on Kamikaze, the album in which Eminem insults the rest of hip-hop and becomes basically the opposite of his "Not Afraid" persona, even warning listeners to forget that version of him.
  • Calling the Old Woman Out: A popular topic, but "Cleanin' Out My Closet" in particular.
  • Canon Discontinuity: Or Seasonal Rot, on the subject of Encore and sometimes The Re-Up. "Like Toy Soldiers" seems to be the only song that's still acknowledged from that era.
    • In one of the songs on Recovery, Eminem says that Encore and Relapse don't count - on Encore he was on drugs, and on Relapse he was flushing them out. As such, on his Recovery tour, the only songs from those albums performed were "Like Toy Soldiers" and "3:00 AM." He added "Evil Deeds" for his Marshall Mathers LP 2 tour.
  • Careful with That Axe: "Kim," in which Em gets progressively louder and louder as the track progresses—by the final verses, his delivery's easily on par with William Bennett.
  • Cerebus Syndrome: "Cold Wind Blows" is one of the few appearances of Shady on Recovery, the rest being done in the Eminem/Marshall Mathers persona. It sounds a lot darker and epic, reflecting more inner turmoil than the earlier Shady songs such as "My Name Is" and "Guilty Conscience".
  • Cluster F-Bomb: As lampshaded by the opening quote (inspired by Will Smith's own criticism on Em' language). In fact, the only songs that don't use the word "fuck" are "Just Lose It", "We Made You", and "'97 Bonnie & Clyde", as well as most of Infinite.
  • Compliment Fishing: Does this (and lampshades it) twice on Kamikaze.
    • In "Normal":
      Maybe I'm just too ugly to compete with him—
      —You weren't supposed to agree, you fucking bitch!
    • In "Nice Guy":
      I'm an emotional wreck, weak, everything over-affects me
      When you joke it upsets me, you say I'm no good at sex and you think I'm gross and unsexy
      I need Scope 'cause my breath stinks, you hope I choke on a Pepsi...
      ...Bitch, you was supposed to correct me!
  • Continuity Porn: While Eminem is no stranger to self-referential lyrics, The Marshall Mathers LP 2 is absurdly dense with callbacks and references to his previous albums.
    • The most notable example of this from the album is The Monster music video, which is partly a Clip Show of Eminem's old songs, videos, and even live performances, such as "My Name Is", "The Way I Am", "Lose Yourself", "3 AM", and his performance of "Stan" with Elton John.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: He displays this on the songs "Public Enemy #1", and "We As Americans". Not going into tinfoil hat levels, though.
  • Content Warning: The first line "Low Down, Dirty", the opening track of ''Slim Shady EP", is "Warning, this shit's gonna be rated R - Restricted".
  • Country Matters: In "Same Song and Dance", the Serial Killer Villain Protagonist calls one of his victims a cunt... and then apologizes immediately afterward. Yeah, torture, rape, and murder are all fine and dandy, but using the C-word is crossing a line! note 
  • Cute, but Cacophonic: Take a look at his pinup photos from the Turn of the Millennium, with his pouty lips and long eyelashes, and you might assume he'd sing Boy Band-ish R&B. Instead he sounds (variously) like a evil cartoon nerd with a peg on his nose, a screaming 70s stadium-rocker punk or somehow a Guttural Growler and nasal/obnoxious at the same time. His singing voice can be fairly pleasant (so long as he's not using his highest register, which is a punishing shriek) but his pitching is often flat. And all this is before you get into the content of his lyrics, which are usually nauseating and offensive.

    D to K 
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Eminem referenced his past countless times in his songs, namely his Disappeared Dad, his mother who didn't care enough for him, people who bullied him for being white in a black neighborhood.
  • Deal with the Devil: In "Say Goodbye Hollywood" and "Rain Man". But ESPECIALLY in "My Darling". That song played it frighteningly straight enough to double as What the Hell, Hero?.
  • Deconstruction: The Marshall Mathers LP 2, of the rest of his career. It discusses how fame has affected his life; how he feels about some of his older lyrics, and extends an olive branch to his mother.
    • Earlier in his career; possibly "Kill You", of his signature "let's try to offend people with really unnerving lyrics" songs.
      "And I'ma be another rapper dead, for poppin' off at the mouth with shit I shouldn't have said"
  • Demonic Possession: The music video for "Venom" involves a parasitic black CD (an obvious Expy of the symbiote) as it Body Surfs through various people. Those possessed rap along with the song and attack other people around them.
  • Department of Redundancy Department:
    • From "Not Afraid": "I'mma be what I set out to be, without a doubt undoubtedly!"
    • "It's 3 A.M. in the morning..."
    • From "Square Dance": "Inside a package wrapped in Saran Wrap wrapping..."
    • "Talkin' 2 Myself": "Are you stupid? You gon start dissing people for no reason?/Especially when you can't even write a decent punchline even?"
    • From "Cleanin’ Out My Closet": "What I did was stupid, no doubt it was dumb..."
  • Depraved Homosexual: Ken Kaniff.
  • Desecrating the Dead: Eminem proposes digging up and spitting on the corpse of his Disappeared Dad during the outro of "Leaving Heaven."
  • Destructive Romance:
    • His relationship with ex-wife Kim, as he acknowledges on "Stronger Than I Was".
    • The entire point of "Love the Way You Lie".
  • Determinator: Has been a staple of his persona from Till I Collapse off The Eminem Show and Lose Yourself from the 8 Mile soundtrack all the way through Legacy off The Marshall Mathers LP 2
  • Didn't Think This Through/Oh, Crap!: The title character in "Stan" has both when he realises that he won't be able to send Eminem the tape he's making before he drowns himself and his pregnant girlfriend, precisely because he's about to... well, yeah.
  • Disappeared Dad: Discussed in the song, "Cleaning Out My Closet":
    I was a baby; maybe I was just a couple of months.
    My faggot father must'a had his panties up in a bunch 'cause he split.
    Wonder if he even kissed me goodbye?
    No, I don't. On second thought, I just fuckin' wish he would die!
    • His dad gets a fair few Take Thats thrown his way on The Marshall Mathers 2.
    • Also discussed in "When I'm Gone". Thankfully it's All Just a Dream.
    • Perhaps the rawest discussion of this comes on "Leaving Heaven," where Em attacks his recently deceased father, says he regrets that he'll never get to say "I hate you" to his father's face, suggests digging up the corpse just to spit on it, and asks for a pass to hell so he can kick his dad's ass.
  • Discontinuity Nod: To Encore on "Talkin' 2 Myself" and Relapse on "Not Afraid" and "Cinderella Man", all from Recovery.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Why is Kim murdered and her body tossed into a lake? Because she divorced the narrator, remarried, and got custody of their daughter. The Tori Amos cover plays this up by singing from the dead wife's perspective.
  • Diss Track: His diss tracks are legendary, mostly because they are fearless. Or as he puts it in "The Warning" to Mariah Carey:
  • Downer Ending:
    • "My Fault": Eminem gets a girl at a party high on mushrooms (he didn't mean for her to eat the whole bag) and she overdoses on them before anyone can save her, with Eminem in tears begging her to wake up - though whether he's crying over her or what might happen to him is up for debate.
    • "Stan": The obsessed fan of the song's title kills himself and his pregnant girlfriend because Shady didn't answer his letters in time.
    • "Kim": Ends with Marshall slitting Kim's throat in the woods, then the same sound effects from the beginning of "'97 Bonnie & Clyde" - namely, him dragging her corpse to a car and tossing it in the trunk.
    • "Bad Guy": As if the ending of "Stan" wasn't bleak enough, this song reveals that Stan's little brother Matthew was driven insane with grief and rage after losing his big brother, and is out to kill Eminem. And he succeeds, killing both Eminem and himself in the exact same way that Stan and his girlfriend died.
    • "Guilty Conscience", sort of. Dre wins in the first instance, but Slim convinces Stan to borderline rape an underage girl at a party and then, in the third vignette, brings Grady AND Dre around to the side of evil, culminating with Dre telling Grady to kill both his girlfriend and her lover.
  • Dramatic Thunder: Prominent throughout "Stan"; the sound of rain and thunder is heard in the background throughout the song, and at the very end after Eminem realizes that Stan was the one who killed himself in the news report he heard, a huge clap of thunder is heard.
  • Driven to Suicide: In the song "Stan", the title character parodies this trope by driving a car with his pregnant girlfriend over the bridge while he is drunk and on drugs sending an audio message to Eminem, who he thinks rejected him; and we hear a crash, making it a murder-suicide.
    • In "Bad Guy", the same thing happens to Stan's brother Matthew, who has kidnapped Eminem for revenge. He was planning on burying Em alive, but as the cops start chasing him, he decides to just drive off a bridge and kill himself and Em, just like Stan killed himself and his girlfriend.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Started out as a heavy aversion of this, leaned more and more to it as he got off his addictions.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Eminem's first album "Infinite" had more of a low-key feel and sounded more like the other hip-hop artists of the time that inspired him, and even contained less profanity. It wasn't until "The Slim Shady EP" and "The Slim Shady LP" that Eminem established his more "unique" style and his titular psychotic alter-ego, as well as more story elements in his tracks.
    • Even The Slim Shady LP itself is this to an extent. Throughout most of the songs on the album, he uses a very nasal, youthful-sounding voice that he hasn't really done since. He has revisited it a couple of times, though, such as on the first verse of "Berzerk", most of "Groundhog Day", and a few sections on Relapse.
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: Played to chilling effect in "97 Bonnie and Clyde".
  • Ephebophile: Amongst the pop stars that Eminem lusts after in "Ass Like That" are Hilary Duff and JoJo, both of whom were underage teenage girls at the time. The former was lampshaded by Em:
    Hilary Duff is not quite old enough so I ain't ever seen a... butt like that.
    Maybe next time I'll say "ass", and she'll make my pee-pee/slinky go...
    Do-doingg, doingg, doingg!
    • Also in Relapse, he repeatedly makes perverted sexual references towards Hannah Montana (played by a then-16-year-old Miley Cyrus).
    • Stan from "Guilty Conscience", whom Dr. Dre tries and fails to talk him out of raping a 15-year-old girl. Em also makes sexual remarks about said girl in the verse.
  • Establishing Character Moment:
    • The first line of the opener of Slim Shady LP, "My Name Is" ("Hi kids, do you like violence?"), does a pretty good job at letting us know what we're in for with his major-league debut.
      Rap Genius annotation: By opening up his major label debut with a statement as straight-forward and controversial as “hi kids, do you like violence”, Eminem makes it clear that he isn’t going to sugar coat his opinions so he doesn’t step on anyone’s toes. By coming out and asking this, he is poking fun at how parents will allow their kids to watch cartoons like Tom and Jerry that desensitizes violence without thinking twice, but then place blame on controversial artists like him when their kids start acting out. Eminem knows that kids are already attracted to violence by all of the aggression that surrounds them in the media, and wants to bring attention to the fact that it isn’t just rap music that is ruining everyone’s perfect little boys and girls.
    • The first line of the MMLP opening track, "Kill You" ("They said I can't rap about being broke no more / They ain't say I can't rap about coke no more"), reintroduces us to the new fresh-off-of-fame Slim.
      Rap Genius annotation: Most of The Slim Shady LP dealt heavily with Em’s struggles with poverty, but SSLP went quadruple platinum and made Em an overnight millionaire. On this album he speaks on his newly found fame and success. If he were to continue rapping about poverty he’d make himself appear as a one trick pony, so he addresses the critics right of [sic] the bat. Instead, he’s going to rap about his second favorite topic; drugs. Ain’t nobody saying shit about that.
  • Ethereal Choir: "97' Bonnie and Clyde" has a choir-like instrumental playing repetitively throughout, adding to the song's haunting tone.
  • Even the Guys Want Him: In-universe, among them Stan, Ken Kaniff, and the Insane Clown Posse, who even think of him while having sex.
  • Evil Matriarch: Debbie Mathers, as described routinely by Em early on. While his invocations of her were usually comical, "Cleanin' Out My Closet" is a completely serious song detailing his anger towards her.
    See, what hurts me the most is, you won't admit you was wrong,
    Bitch, do your song, keep tellin' yourself that you was a mom!
    But how dare you try to take what you didn't help me to get?
    You selfish bitch, I hope you fuckin' burn in hell for this shit!
    • However, he would ultimately end up subverting this with "Headlights", which is his formal apology to his mother for how he treated her and portrayed her.
  • Expecting Someone Taller: He's only 5'8, but it's not noticeable unless he's standing next to someone taller than him.
  • Executive Meddling: Parodied in-universe with the recurring "Steve Berman" skits, in which Berman, a foul-mouthed studio executive, constantly berates and insults Eminem for making music that is impossible to market and will never be popular. Eventually, Eminem gets so annoyed by Berman's verbal abuse that he shoots him in the chest just as he's about to shower The Emimem Show with praise. He survives.
    • The reason for the existence of both "The Way I Am" and "The Real Slim Shady". Basically, when making The Marshall Mathers LP, Eminem was being pressured to make another Black Sheep Hit in the mould of "My Name Is"; something which Em didn't think he could do. So he wrote "The Way I Am" to vent his frustrations; and wrote "The Real Slim Shady" to bow down to the record company. Both were released as singles.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: The final lines of "Stan" display a case of in-universe Fridge Horror for Eminem.
    I seen this one shit on the news a couple weeks ago that made me sick.
    Some dude was drunk and drove his car over a bridge,
    and had his girlfriend in the trunk, and she was pregnant with his kid,
    and in the car they found a tape, but they didn't say who it was to.
    Come to think about it, his name was... it was you.
  • Face on a Milk Carton: The music video to "The Real Slim Shady" shows Eminem's Mentor Dr. Dre on a milk carton (with a very beleaguered expression) just as the lyrics go And Dr. Dre said.../Nothing you idiots! Dr. Dre's dead/He's locked in my basement!
  • First-Name Basis: On numerous songs, Eminem refers to "Denaun" (Kon Artis, birth name Denaun Porter) and "Von" (Kuniva, birth name Von Carlisle), two fellow members of D-12. He rarely if ever refers to the other members of the group (Rufus "Bizarre" Johnson, DeShaun "Proof" Holton, and Ondre "Swift" Moore) by their given names, and it's rare in hip-hop to hear one artist refer to another by his birth name more than his rap name.
  • Flat "What": In "Just Lose It", a male chorus's response to telling them to grab their left nuts.
  • Flipping the Bird: In most of the music videos. Also, in "The Way I Am", Eminem lampshades this:
    And it seems like the media immediately
    Points a finger at me
    (finger at me)
    So I point one back at them, but not the index or the pinkie
    Or the ring or my thumb, it's the one you put up
    When you don't give a fuck
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In "Stan", the titular character mentions how his little brother Matthew is even more of a fan of Em than himself. After we see the events that unfold in the song, we are left with the question of how much larger is Matthew's love for Em over Stan's. We find out the answer in "Bad Guy", where Matthew kidnaps Em, planning to bury him alive, but winds up committing a murder-suicide in the exact same manner as his big brother.
    • In "River", if you've read Spider-man extensively, you can guess before the reveal that the girl would get pregnant. Case in point: Eminem references the iconic Death of Gwen Stacy when he compares Suzanne to Gwen, her husband to Spider-man, and by process of elimination: himself to the Green Goblin. Who was once revealed to have knocked up Gwen before throwing her off the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • Fountain of Expies:
    • In "The Real Slim Shady" he brags about his, providing the Page Quote.
    • In "Greatest" he mocks the 'honkeys sounding like me' who dress like him and will never be as good as him.
  • Freudian Trio: His alter-egos:
  • Fridge Horror: In-universe example occurs in "Stan": "...come to think about it, his name was... it was you...Damn!".
  • Frothy Mugs of Water: Most notably the radio edit and music video versions of "My Name Is", when the word "vodka" is replaced with "Kool-Aid" in the lyric, "I just drank a fifth of Kool-Aid, dare me to drive?"
    • The bowdlerised version of "Stan", when the censors removed a scene of the title character drinking while driving and the words "drank" and "vodka".
  • Full-Frontal Assault: The Serial Killer from "3 A.M." describes being naked while he commits his murders... or when he's just lounging around watching TV.
  • Gainax Ending: "Brain Damage". It ends with Em's mom beating him so bad that his entire brain falls out of his skull. His mom tries apologizing, but he angrily calls her a cunt before sewing his head together and putting bolts into his neck. Yeah.
  • A God Am I: "Rap God".
    • Grimly averted in "Walk on Water", a song all about Em's insecurities, in which he outright states that he's only human and does not deserve to be treated or hailed as more than that.
  • Good Angel, Bad Angel: "Guilty Conscience", with Dr. Dre as the good and Eminem as the bad.
  • Green-Eyed Monster: He revealed that he was jealous towards Lil Wayne and Kanye West during his hiatus, as he realized they were kicking ass and he was not doing much of anything.
  • Groin Attack:
    • In "My Name Is," Slim Shady staples his English teacher's nuts to a stack of papers as revenge for a failing grade (or for trying to have sex with him, depending on the version).
    • In "The Ringer," Eminem goes into explicit detail describing this trope, noting how much he Would Rather Suffer the listen to modern Trap Music:
      Jam a Crest Whitestrip in the tip of my dick with an ice pick
      Stick it in a vice grip, hang it on a spike fence
      Bang it with a pipe wrench
      While I take my ballsack and flick it like a light switch
      Like vice-president Mike Pence
  • Grossout Song: Several. "FACK" is a notable example, as is "Insane" - when speaking of the latter, Eminem said he wanted to make a song that made people want to puke.
  • Hard Work Fallacy: "Lose Yourself".
  • Harsher in Hindsight: In the video for "Like Toy Soldiers", a drive-by shooting is depicted with the victim being played by Eminem's best friend Proof. Just over a year later, Proof was in real life shot and killed.
  • Held Back in School: If these lines from "My Name Is" are any indication, Slim Shady wasn't the best student.
    Slim Shady: My English teacher wanted to flunk me in junior high
    Thanks a lot! Next semester, I'll be 35!
  • He Who Fights Monsters: Comes up near the end of "Bad Guy".
    I'm the bullies you hate
    That you became
  • He Who Must Not Be Seen: In the video for "Cleanin' Out My Closet", Em's parents never show their faces to the camera.
    • Also in the "Headlights" video, which is through the perspective of Em's mom.
  • Hilariously Abusive Childhood: Every authority figure in Slim Shady's youth either molested him, assaulted him, fed him drugs, or allowed any of the above to happen.
  • Hockey Mask and Chainsaw: He dressed up like a Jason-esque slasher while brandishing a chainsaw for a concert in 2001 — which is appropriate considering Eminem's fondness for horror aesthetics and the Slim Shady character being maybe quasi-undead. The look proved popular enough to warrant a licensed action figure, cementing it as Shady's "official" appearance. The cover art for ShadyXV continued the theme, with two chainsaws forming the "X" above a hockey mask with a "V" painted on it.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: A mild example. On "The Real Slim Shady" off The Marshall Mathers LP, he remarked about how there's a Slim Shady lurking in all of us, and that he could be the guy at the burger joint, spitting on your onion rings. On "So Far..." off The Marshall Mathers LP 2, he remarks about the last time he went to Burger King (with the beat from "The Real Slim Shady" playing over the line):
    They spit on my onion rings. I think my karma's catching up with me.
  • Horrorcore:
    • Many of his violently themed songs, particularly on the albums The Slim Shady LP and Relapse.
    • "3 a.m.", the first track on Relapse, even begins with the line, "You're walking down a horror corridor..."
  • Hurricane of Puns: The entire Recovery album is littered with corny punchlines.
    • "Em Calls Paul" from Encore. When Paul tells Eminem that Michael Jackson is pissed off that the "Just Lose It" video made fun of him, Eminem lets loose.
    • The Revival album is also filled to the brim with juvenile puns, even more so than Recovery.
    • He slipped one into Rihanna's "Love the Way you Lie"
      You don't get another chance, life is no Nintendo game
      But you lied again
      Now you get to watch her leave out the window
      Guess that's why they call it window pane
  • "I Am" Song: A few, including "I'm Shady", "My Name Is", and the darker "The Way I Am", the latter of which is also I Am What I Am.
  • I Am the Band: Parodied in the song "My Band".
  • Iconic Outfit: Though he stopped wearing it, his jeans, white t-shirt and bleached blond hair was quite recognizable.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: Averted. Em's third album was originally going to be called The Eminem LP, but he decided he was sick of the "LP" and replaced it with "Show" - see "Theme Naming" below.
  • If I Wanted You Dead...: In "Same Song & Dance," the Serial Killer assures his victim that, if he wanted to kill her, she would already be dead by now. This convinces her that he's trustworthy... then the second she enters his car, he strangles her with an extension cord.
  • Ignorant Of His Own Ignorance: Averted in "Berzerk":
    "At least I know that I don't know
    Question is, are you bozos smart enough to feel stupid?
    Hope so"
  • I'm Your Biggest Fan: Stan. The name, used as both a noun and a verb, is part of the hip hop lexicon as a derogatory term for an obsessed fan, and in the wider world a more neutral one for the same.
  • Image Song: A case could be made for "Lose Yourself," considering it's the theme song to 8 Mile.
  • Innocent Blue Eyes: Exploited: In his famous 'angry blonde' image, he played up his blue eyes (his eyes are officially hazel, but appear blue under certain lighting conditions). Lampshaded excellently in "White America":
    Look at these eyes, baby blue, baby, just like yourself. If they were brown, Shady'd lose, Shady sits on the shelf.
  • Instantly Proven Wrong: In the "When I'm Gone" video, he tells his daughter "I gotta write this song, the song ain't gonna write itself", only for words to appear on the paper without his help. In retrospect, that should have been his first clue.
  • Insult Comic: Em is largely a hip-hop version of this, with a huge part of his appeal being his vicious, mean insults towards pop culture figures and undeserving beef opponents. He's cited the famous insult comedian Lisa Lampanelli as an inspiration on his rapping style, particularly the way she blends her vicious comments with moments of mature reflection and Self-Deprecation.
    • Eminem was beefing with Triumph the Insult Comic Dog for a while after drunkenly assaulting him at the 2002 MTV VMAs. After they squashed the beef, Triumph appeared with Slim in the music video for his Encore single "Ass Like That", which apologetically points out that they're both insult comedians who use Alter-Ego Acting to get away with it:
      Britney Spears has shoulders like a man, and I can say that and you laugh 'cause there's a puppet on my hand!
    • Used for a bittersweet Antagonist in Mourning moment on The Marshall Mathers LP 2 when a middle-aged Slim realises he's out of boybands to attack. He entertains the idea of going after Lady Gaga and Justin Bieber, but loses interest. (However, one track on the album contains some undeserved insults directed at Asher Roth, just for old times' sake.)
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: "Love the Way You Lie".
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: "Crazy In Love" has shades of this.
  • Jump Scare: One at the very end of the "3 a.m." video (not surprising), where there's a sudden cut to Em screaming before the video ends.
  • "Just Joking" Justification: Heavily Invoked by both Eminem and his fans. Whether or not this is a legitimate defense is very controversial.
  • Kaleidoscope Eyes: His eyes are a particular light, reflective shade of hazel that causes them to appear drastically different colours depending on lighting and whatever colour Eminem's hair and clothing is at the time, ranging from icy blue, deep blue, green, brown, grey and even black and violet. Numerous artists (such as Canibus, Az Izz and Aristotle) have written diss tracks against him mocking him for his creepy, colour-changing eyes, often to imply he's an entertainment industry phony or make insinuations about his race or possible Satanic possession.
  • Kneel Before Zod: Eminem commands us to do this in "Rap God," even calling himself General Zod.

    L to R 
  • Last Note Nightmare: Encore (both the album and its Title Track) ends with a skit where Eminem thanks his cheering crowd before leaving the stage, only to return onstage and begin shooting at the audience, causing the cheering to quickly turn into screaming. The horrific scenario ends with Em shooting himself, at which point a robotic voice says, "See you in hell, fuckers."
  • Large Ham: Usually on his more angry songs like "Kim" and "So Much Better".
  • Late to the Realization: Two examples occur in "Stan":
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: The beginning of "Rap God" features some vocal chops stating that Slim Shady has one chance for six minutes, which is length of the track.
    Look, I was gonna go easy on you not to hurt your feelings
    But I'm only going to get this one chance
    (six minutes, six minutes)
    Something's wrong, I can feel it
    (six minutes, six minutes, Slim Shady, you're on)
  • Least Rhymable Word:
    • Eminem has found so many rhymes for 'orange' that it's almost a signature of his style. The following list is just some of the rhymes he's found for it.
      • "Business":
        Set to blow college dorm room doors off their hinges,
        peach, pears, plums, syringes
        (vrinn vrinn!) Yeah, here I come. I'm inches away from you.
      • "Brain Damage" has one of his most famous prestige passages:
        Then I got up and ran to the janitor's storage booth
        Kicked the door hinge loose and ripped out the four-inch screws
        Grabbed some sharp objects, brooms and foreign tools
        This is for every time you took my orange juice
      • "Role Model":
        I'm dumb enough to walk in a store and steal
        So I'm dumb enough to ask for a date with Lauryn Hill
        Some people only see that I'm white, ignorin' skill
        'Cause I stand out like a green hat with a orange bill
      • In "Brainless" he lists all the stuff he keeps in his skull other than a brain:
        Still, in my skull’s a vacant empty void
        been usin' it more as a bin for storage
        In this gourd
        there's: a Ford engine,
        door hinge,
        an orange,
        an extension cord,
        and a ninja sword
      • In "3 6 5":
        You know you're spaced the fuck out like George Lucas
        when your puke is
        turning to yellowish-orange mucus
    • In 2018, he tops this on his Kick Off freestyle: he rhymes with the sound of him spitting.
      Battle me and win? That's a fuckin fallacy too.
      You name one motherfucker in this galaxy, ptoo
  • Leitmotif: "Guess who's back. Back again. Shady's back. Tell a friend."
  • Let the Past Burn: "Beautiful Pain".
  • Letting the Air out of the Band: "I'm On Everything" peters out this way.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • Encore features more comedic themes and lyrics than his previous three albums, aside from the final track, in which he kills everybody and himself.
    • The Marshall Mathers LP 2, which is probably the most lighthearted album he's ever put out. It has the humor of his first two albums, but rarely the dark, twisted nature of them. ("Bad Guy" aside.)
    • Swear words aside, Eminem fans believe that Tone Deaf is watered down compared to most of Eminem's diss tracks because Eminem needs his "targets" (most of them are from young generation and unfamiliar with hip hop) to understand everything said in this song. Eminem even put the lyrics on the official animated video of the song to make a point.
  • Lightmare Fuel: Expect a lot of it when you listen to his music. The Marshall Mathers LP, for instance, opens with a song about raping and killing his own mother that's played completely for laughs.
  • Loony Fan: "Stan", who doesn't understand that the Slim Shady persona is just that.
  • Lousy Lovers Are Losers: Being that he's the most worthless person in the world, Eminem's Villain Protagonist Slim Shady is noted in numerous songs to be terrible at sex — a nerd into depraved, irresponsible kinks who degrades, bullies, attempts to control and/or batters any woman unlucky enough to sleep with him. Reflecting Eminem's Creator Recovery, a few songs in Eminem's middle-to-late career (e.g. "So Bad", "2015 Sway and Tech Freestyle", "Campaign Speech") present Slim as a slightly better lover where he's having equally gross sex but both he and the woman are into it.
  • Lower-Class Lout: A central part of his early image and lyrical themes, and very much a case of Write What You Know; as someone who had a white trash upbringing (and was very willing to admit it), his "trailer park/Section 8 housing gothic" approach came as natural as breathing to him.
  • Lyrical Cold Open: "Kill You", "Who Knew?", "I'm Back", "Not Afraid", "Asshole", "The Monster", "Desperation", and "Wicked Ways".
  • Lyrical Dissonance:
    • That angry voice he can make... look at such songs as "Lose Yourself" or "Mosh" (which doubles as anvilicious, but some anvils needed to be dropped.)
    • Conversely, he will sing about incredibly dark topics (like child molestation) in an incredibly silly voice. "Just Lose It" comes to mind.
    • If you're the sort uncomfortable with Black Comedy, the faux-Indian accent Em puts on for some songs. For the rest of us, it's bleeding hilarious.
    • "My Fault" has an R&B/dance-like beat you'd hear in a club, but it's about a girl taking too many of the mushrooms Eminem gave her and later dying.
    • "'97 Bonnie and Clyde" is one of Eminem's more musically subdued songs, and doesn't contain any swear words. The subject matter is also some of his most disturbing, as it finds him taking his young daughter along as he disposes of her mother's body.
  • Lyrical Tic: Some songs on MMLP2 see Em letting out a small chuckle after a certain line. It's downplayed though, as it doesn't happen as often as lyrical tics usually do.
  • Mad Libs Catch Phrase. "I'm just playing, (X). You know I love you."
  • Man of a Thousand Voices: His voice varies in pitch and tone depending on the song.
  • Manly Tears: From "I Need A Doctor": "Nobody wanted to fuck with the white boy, Dre, I'm cryin' in this booth!"
  • Masochism Tango : The history of his relationship with Kim is practically the definition of this trope, as "Love the Way You Lie" explains in detail.
  • Meaningful Echo: Eminem's first single as a major label artist was called "Just Don't Give A Fuck". His first single announcing his status as a Recovered Addict and statement of intent to reboot his career was called "Not Afraid". Both of these titles mean the same thing, with one being crude and the other one being... clean.
  • Media Scaremongering: The entire "Slim Shady" persona was tailor-made to prey on the fears of American parents from the 1990s — namely fears about corruption of the youth. It's in these songs that Eminem described the worst nightmares of the sorts of people who predicted the worst of America's youth on the evening news, namely that children would grow upon to be everything their parents hated.
  • Melodic Rap: Eminem's "Bully", one of his many Diss Tracks regarding Benzino, is mostly sung with a nursery-rhyme style melody.
  • Mentors:
    • His is Dr. Dre, who gave him a chance in the music industry.
    • And Elton John, yes, really, Eminem asked him for advice on how to deal with his drug issues and Elton helped him.
    • Em himself is the mentor to several rap acts such as 50 Cent, D12, Obie Trice, and Yelawolf.
  • Metaphorgotten: From "Roman's Revenge":
    I swear to God life is a dumb blonde white broad/With fake tits and a bad dye job
    Just spit in my fucking face and called me a fucking tightwad/ So finally I broke down and bought her a iPod
    And caught her stealing my music/So I tied her arms and legs to the bed
    Set up the camera, pissed twice on her, look, two peas and a tripod!
  • Mid-Vid Skit:
    • "Forgot About Dre" replaces a rather violent portion of Eminem's verse with it getting acted out - Slim drunkenly crashes his car into his next door neighbour's house, followed by a screaming match with her and her dog, and a fake news report in which Slim is interviewed as an innocent bystander to the arson, denying he had any role in it.
    • "Phenomenal" has several - a scene with John Malkovich as a mysterious crime boss, Eminem stealing the car of a random bystander, and an amusing bit where he kicks him out after he turns out to be taking selfies with him.
    • "Lucky You" has a skit where Joyner Lucas explains to Eminem that the zombielike creatures are copying their motions exactly, leading Eminem to amuse himself by making them dab.
  • Mock Headroom: In the music video for "Rap God", Eminem dresses as Max Headroom in front of a moving lines background and is shown inside televisions.
  • Money Song: Usually used as a Take That! at other artists who like to brag about their wealth.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • In "Stan", the title character randomly segues from talking about how he idolizes Slim to his habit of slitting his wrists.
    • On "Kim":
      [talking to Hailie] Yesterday I changed your diaper
      Wiped you and powdered you.
      How did you get so big?
      I can't believe it, now you're two
      Baby, you're so precious
      Daddy's so proud of you

    • And then, on The Marshall Mathers LP, the song right after this one opens with Eminem comedically slurring gibberish.
    • "Mockingbird" finishes with this:
      And if you ask me to daddy's gonna buy you a mockingbird. I'mma give you the world. I'mma buy a diamond ring for you, I'mma sing for you, I'll do anything for you to see you smile. And if that mockingbird don't sing and that ring don't shine, I'mma break that birdie's neck. I'd go back to the jeweler who sold it to you and make him eat every karat, don't fuck with dad!
    • The silly "Must Be the Ganja" on Relapse is immediately followed by the skit "Mr. Mathers", which is a re-enactment of Eminem's 2007 drug overdose when found by paramedics, seguing into the very somber "Déjà Vu".
  • Motor Mouth: Capable of this, especially despite his age.
    • "Rap God" from The Marshall Mathers LP 2 was one of the best examples. The most famous part of the song has him rapping at maximum speed for 9 full bars; it currently holds the record for the most words in a popular song thanks to its six-minute runtime. In general, however, he generally doesn't engage in this; he does have a fast, sharply enunciated flow with few pauses that is commonplace among Midwestern artists, but he generally avoids the rapid-fire "chopper" flow that was popular in the Midwest when he was getting famous.
    • Eminem then tops that song with "Godzilla", his collab with the late rapper Juice WRLD from Music to be Murdered By, where he caps off the last 30 seconds of the song with his fastest rap ever, breaking “Rap God”’s words-per-minute record.
  • Mr. Fanservice: His good looks attracted whole new demographics to rap, and shot him to the the stardom he enjoys today. He even lampshaded it on "White America" (quoted below).
    "Shady's cute, Shady knew Shady's dimples would help/Make ladies swoon, baby (ooh baby!)/Look at my sales!"
    • As he's gotten older, his drug addiction physically took a toll on him, but many believe that with everything he's gone through, he looks quite healthy for a man his age and people still find him handsome, which he lampshades in "Godzilla":
      "These chicks are spazzin' out/I only get more handsome and flyer"
  • Murder Ballad: "Kim", "3 AM", "Bad Guy".
  • Murder-Suicide:
    • The last track from the album Encore ends with him thanking the crowd, before shooting them and killing himself. A robotic voice of Em ends the album saying, "See you in hell, fuckers."
    • In Stan, the eponymous Loony Fan ends up killing his pregnant girlfriend and himself due to his perceive rejection from Eminem.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Would you trust a guy named Slim Shady?
  • Nerdy Nasalness:
    • While still figuring out his style, his rather high-pitched and nasal voice led to him having trouble getting taken seriously. As sort of a fuck-you to his critics, on The Slim Shady LP, he deliberately altered his voice to sound even more nasal and whiny, playing up the idea of Slim as a banal white geek who also happens to be the most spectacularly depraved human being (?) alive.
    • Often he'll imitate his critics, like Moral Guardians, authority figures and so on, by pinching his nose.
    • He even lampshades it in "ShadyXV":
      Yo, why does it always sound like I'm grabbing my nostrils?
  • New Sound Album:
    • Production style switched to a more cinematic high end sound beginning with The Eminem Show.
    • Eminem had always had pop inflections, but following Recovery, Eminem changed to a radio-friendly, stadium Pop Rap sound that earned him massive success... and subsequent backlash.
  • Non-Actor Vehicle: "8 Mile".
  • Not So Stoic: During Royce's freestyle in the SHXVDY Cypher, Ryan dropped a line about punching someone in the face, and Slim couldn't help but chuckle.
  • N-Word Privileges: Apart from one instance where Proof (his best friend in the world) approved the use of "nig" on a song from 1995, Eminem doesn't get them.
    • In "Yellow Brick Road", he apologises for using the word in a freestyle from 1993 that had been found by the press and spread.
    • He does occasionally have fun using common substitutions for the N-Word in wordplay.
      • In his guest verse on "Roman's Revenge" he makes a pun where a woman he's having sex with calls him 'ninja', leaving him with no choice but to get out his samurai sword.
      • In "Untouchable", he rhymes "Die Antwoort" with "Die, N-Word!"
      • In "Who Knew", he mentions going to see a "Schwarzenegger movie", but rhymes it with "sorts of these motherfuckers with an Uzi" to draw attention to the lack of the slur.
      • In "Criminal":
        I drank more liquor to fuck you up quicker
        Than you'd wanna fuck me up for sayin' the word "[...]"
      • Turns out the ban on the N-word extends even to Snoopified versions of it. On "Till I Collapse", he jokingly imitates Snoop Dogg's Lyrical Tic for a couple of lines, but says "Fa' shizzle, my wizzle, this is the plot, listen up..." This implies wigger, a word which he had previously used in a non-Snoopized form in "The Way I Am".
  • Obsession Song: "Stan", where a Loony Fan goes a little far in his adoration of Eminem.
  • Oddball in the Series: "Spend Some Time" and "Mockingbird" from Encore. On these songs, Em raps with a low-pitched, monotonic delivery which he has never revisited since, noteworthy since he alters the tone and pitch of his delivery very frequently depending on the song.
  • Ode to Sobriety: "Not Afraid", which is about him finally kicking his addictions.
  • Oh, Crap!: Stan has one of these a split second before he drives his car off a bridge, realizing that he won't be able to mail his angry tape to Eminem if he commits suicide while recording it.
    "Gotta go, I'm almost at the bridge now/Oh shit, I forgot, how am I supposed to send this shit out?!?!"
  • Older Than He Looks: Zig-zagged. He was in his mid-to-late 20s when he first became famous, and pretty much looked his actual age then, or at least close, but aged very little by the Re-Up era circa 2006, when he still appeared to be in his 20s at age 33-34. Then, he made a disappearance from the public eye for over three years, during which his drug addiction and stress spiraled out of control, and upon his return in late 2009, he looked much older, having lost a significant amount of weight and appearing much more hardened and gaunt due to his drug use. By the MMLP2 era, his age began to catch up with him more, but began to regress again circa Revival. Today, he's pushing 50 but looks to be around his early 40s.
  • Ominous Latin Chanting: "Hex The Haters" has this.
  • One-Man Song: "Stan", "Ken Kaniff", "Paul", "Steve Berman", "Marshall Matters".
  • One-Steve Limit: "Guilty Conscience" and "Stan" tell stories about different characters named Stan. When asked about this in an interview, Eminem said that didn't even occur to him at the time of writing, and while he didn't intend to suggest that the two songs share any connection, it's not impossible that the two Stans are one and the same.
  • One-Woman Song: Kim and Hailie are both songs with women's names in the titles. That said, their lyrical content is, because this IS Eminem, different from the typical examples of this trope.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Averted. He is referred to as Eminem, Slim Shady, and his real name, Marshall Mathers.
  • Papa Wolf:
    • Very, very protective of his beloved daughter Hailie. And although his Berserk Button has yet to be publicly pressed on the matter, he's very clear about the strong devotion he feels towards his three legally adopted children (niece Alaina, stepdaughter Stevie, and little brother Nathan) as well.
    • Quite simply, questioning or doubting Eminem's protective tendencies toward any of his children would be very unwise or downright stupid. Which Ja Rule learned the hard way...
    • And now, we have Machine Gun Kelly learning this lesson after he decided that drifting on Hailie was a good idea, and while she was underage no less. Congratulations, Kelly, you are now part of the cause for his Kamikaze album and Eminem is officially locked onto you. After Em released "Killshot", Kelly switched genres entirely from rap. Make of that what you will.
  • Parallel Porn Titles: In "Insane," Slim mentions watching an X-rated A Nightmare on Elm Street parody titled Pubic Hair on Chelsey.
  • The Parody: Eminem takes sheer delight in parodying other celebrities, often in a mean-spirited way: Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, Moby, Christina Aguilera, Dick Cheney, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Shaggy, Osama bin Laden, ... Ironically he once vetoed a request of "Weird Al" Yankovic to spoof one of his own videos (but he still allowed Al to parody the song itself.)
  • Perpetual Frowner: Even when he wins awards, or is otherwise honored in some way or another, he never loses that permanent tough guy look he always wears.
  • Persecution Flip: He was bullied growing up because he was the only white kid growing up in an all-black neighborhood.
  • Pet the Dog: In the final verses of "Stan", Marshall shows a caring and compassionate side almost completely absent in most of his work.
    • Overall, Eminem is known for his brutal, unflinching attacks on those he dislikes. "The Ringer" alone has attacks against Donald Trump, Mike Pence, professional music critics, and most modern rappers whom Eminem accuses of just copying Lil Wayne. When he gets to Lil Yachty, however, Em is surprisingly chill, and his words here can be summed up as "His music's not really my thing, but I get why people like him" and he leaves it at that.
  • Please Wake Up: How "My Fault" ends.
  • Precision F-Strike: The last line of "Mockingbird" ("don't fuck with Dad"); it's especially poignant since the song was completely devoid of swearing up to that point, and many people think that that one F-strike completely ruined the song.
  • Pretty Boy: During the peak of his career he looked as good as the Boy Bands that he played heel to on TRL, attracting him a significant female and gay Peripheral Demographic. He gently mocks how consumable his looks are on several of his songs, teasing himself for shaving his armpits and wearing a tank top to look like a 'bad boy' in "I'm Shady", calling himself "Pretty Marshall" on "Ballin' Uncontrollably", and gloating about how many hugs he gets on TRL because of his cuteness in "White America".
  • Professional Wrestling:
    • "Marshall Mathers" includes the line "I'm not a wrestler guy." (As part of a diss on Insane Clown Posse, who are pro wrestlers.)
    • "Without Me" includes the line "The best thing since wrestling."
    • The video for "Berzerk" includes a clip of Mad Man Pondo using the Stop Sign Smash on an opponent.
  • Protest Song:
    • "Mosh", aimed at then-U.S President George W. Bush.
    • "White America" has aspects of this, too.
    • "Square Dance" attempts to convince his young fans to refuse the draft, if one was made.
    • Eminem's BET cypher, "The Storm", is definitely a protest against the Trump presidency.
  • Pun: Probably his favorite trope. It's in every single song.
    • From "Not Afraid":
      Like a "fuck you" for Christmas
      His gift is a curse
    • From "Fall":
      I call it "Walk on Water"-gate.
    • "No Love" has two in rapid succession:
      I'm standing on my Monopoly board
      That means I'm on top of my game
      And it don't stop 'til' my hip don't hop anymore
  • Psychopathic Manchild:
    • One could make a case for Slim Shady, with his Ax-Crazy behavior and juvenile sense of humor.
    • Stan with his idol worship and how he handles perceived rejection (putting his pregnant girlfriend in the trunk and driving off a bridge).
    • Matthew Mitchell, as a result of the events of "Stan"; as "Bad Guy" proves.
  • Rap Rock: A handful of songs fit this genre. The Eminem Show incorporates a heavier use of it than his previous albums.
  • Ray Gun: In "Rap God":
    And I just bought a new ray gun from the future just to come and shoot ya!
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: A large chunk of his songs are all about himself and personal problems with his family.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: Eminem is the vulgar, psychopathic, Red Oni also known as Evil who raps about smacking women, serial killings, drug use and rape. Royce is the crude, but somewhat smooth (when compared to Em anyways), Blue Oni also known as Bad who raps about gunplay, his rap skills, and taking your girl. It also helps that Em is usually casually dressed while Royce is in Gucci and other nice clothes.

    S to Z 
  • Sad Clown: Calls himself one in "Beautiful".
  • Sanity Slippage: "Stan", in which the first three verses consist of increasingly deranged letters from the Loony Fan of the song's title.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: Whenever it fits in the verse. Recurring instances include "blaow" (gunshot) and "vin-vin" (chainsaw motor)
  • The Scottish Trope: Discussed and invoked on "Like Toy Soldiers".
    I went through my whole career without ever mentioning Sugenote 
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • Off of "We Made You":
      If you think that's bad, you should see the rest of this album. Never has there been such finesse and nostalgia.
    • Whenever he pairs himself with Dr. Dre, he makes comparisons to Batman and Robin. And he's Robin. The Golden Age era Robin.
    • In "Cleanin' Out My Closet", Eminem recalls an incident where he Pistol Whipped Guererra for kissing his wife. Eminem claims to have hit him with his fist, though. Of the incident, Eminem says "What I did was stupid, no doubt, it was dumb; but the smartest shit I did was take the bullets out of that gun". If the gun had been loaded, he would have faced jail time. But because it wasn't, he got probation.
    • He makes fun of his age physically catching up with him in "So Far...", when he says, in reference to a hypothetical scenario involving a fan: "Told me to sign this poster, then insults me/"Wow! Up close didn't know you had crow's feet!"
  • Self-Titled Album: His third (The Marshall Mathers LP) and fourth (The Eminem Show) albums, which would put him in Weezer territory... and his 2013 album The Marshall Mathers LP 2.
  • Shirtless Scene: In many of his music videos.
  • Shock Rock: Em has described his style as "shock-rap" — hip-hop inspired by shock-rock in attitude and occasionally sound. He's collaborated with Marilyn Manson and cited Alice Cooper as an inspiration. A handful of songs can be described as shock-rock specifically — "White America", "Stay Wide Awake", "Vegas", the Travis Barker remix of "3 a.m.", and "My Name Is" (which was not intended to be rock, but sounded enough like it that it was a smash hit on rock radio).
  • Shout-Out:
    • He is a comic book nerd. In the "Without Me" music video and others, Eminem dresses up in a Robin-esque costume and becomes "Rap-Boy" to save the day, preventing underage kids from listening to his controversial songs alone without parental advisory! There's a lot of shots on Eminem's crotch, by the way. his "Backwards E" logo is used as the Robin symbol, and he uses the recurring depiction to show himself as the sidekick to Dr. Dre's Batman-esque hero. (The lyric in "Without Me" says, "Well, I'm back! [Batman (1966) theme song]") A similar shoutout pops up on The Eminem Show in the track "Business", where Dr. Dre and Eminem play an Adam West-style intro ("To the Rapmobile!"). He does the same schtick with 50 Cent on another album, playing "Robbin" to his "Gatman".
    • From "As The World Turns" (Slim Shady LP): "Just trying to buy me some time, then I remembered this magic trick / Den Den Den Den DEN DEN, Go Go Gadget Dick!"
    • "Stay Wide Awake" opens with him saying "Welcome to the dark side of the force"
    • "Berzerk" is partially an homage to the Beastie Boys' style of rap, even using samples from them. The rest is a Genre Throwback to all sorts of 90s-style rap, ranging from NWA to Public Enemy.
    • The cover of Kamikaze imitates the one for Licensed to Ill.
    • "Rhyme or Reason" includes a number of Star Wars references; including him rapping as Yoda.
    • The video to "Rap God" has Eminem appearing as Max Headroom and Pinhead, as well as an homage to Portal.
    • The fast section of "Rap God" is a nod to "Supersonic" by 1980's female rap trio J.J. Fad (whom he mentions by name), even quoting the phrase "summa lumma dooma looma" from the ending of "Supersonic".
    • Let's not forget "Cold Wind Blows" and its references:
      Fuck it I'm a loose cannon, Bruce Banner's back in the booth
      Ya'll are sitting ducks, I'm the only goose standing
      Oh bitches don't like that, homie I'll be nicer to women
      When the Aquaman drowns and the Human Torch starts swimming.
    • "So Much Better" references Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
    • "Love Game" which directly references Wee-Bay from The Wire, Eminem's favorite television show.
    • "KILLSHOT", his Machine Gun Kelly's diss track has some references to Crypt's CinemaSins-esque "Everything Wrong With Machine Gun Kelly's Rap Devil" video:
      Are you eating cereal, or oatmeal?
      Yo Slim, your last four albums sucked
      Go back to Recovery, oh shoot, that was three albums ago
    • The album Music to Be Murdered By is an homage to Alfred Hitchcock's music album of the same name. Throughout the course of Em’s project he references Hitchcock numerous times, including on the secondary cover art, "Alfred (Interlude)," "Little Engine" and "Alfred (Outro)." The deluxe edition of the album is inspired by Hitchcock’s film The Birds.
    • "The Real Slim Shady" references the chorus of Bloodhound Gang's song "The Bad Touch".
      They've got the Discovery Channel, don't they?
      We ain't nothin' but mammals, well, some of us, cannibals
  • Sick and Wrong: Paul Rosenberg (Em's manager)'s track on Relapse has him blasting Em for his Christopher Reeve impression on the track "Medicine Ball" ("You know the guy's dead, right?") and expressing disgust at the content of "Insane" ("And the whole gay stepfather incest rape thing? I don't have your back on this one. I can't even fuckin' handle it. I'm done.").
  • Silliness Switch: "Without Me", "Just Lose It", "Ass Like That", and "We Made You" are all songs with overly silly videos and lyrics. Eminem has said that he always tries to made at least one funny song per album to avoid taking himself too seriously.
    • Especially the video to "Without Me", where he's dressed in Adam West-era Robin-esque outfit. (made even funnier as Dr. Dre is only in black and shades, because he *refused* to get dressed as Batman...)
  • Singer Namedrop: Though he usually namedrops "Shady\Slim Shady" or "Marshall" instead of Eminem.
  • Sitcom Arch-Nemesis: Made a habit of indulging in satirical beefs with undeserving targets.
    • The other Teen Pop stars of his rise to fame, particularly *NSYNC and Britney Spears. (Both were fans of him, claimed he was lovely to them outside of kayfabe, and found it Actually Pretty Funny.) Also Christina Aguilera, who was genuinely hurt by his insults of her.
    • Moby. Harsher in Hindsight after stories of Moby's behaviour towards young women have come out.
    • "Christopher Reeves", which continued after Reeve's death, often with cameos from Reeve's furious ghost threatening to kill Eminem.
    • Triumph the Insult Comic Dog, who Eminem assaulted at the 2002 VMAs (thinking it was something Moby had done to make him look stupid). They eventually squashed the beef enough to appear in the video for "Ass Like That" together.
    • Machine Gun Kelly, while more serious than most of these, is more famous now for getting torpedoed by Eminem in "Killshot", the most commercially successful Diss Track of all time, than for anything in his own career.
  • Soundtrack Dissonance: "'97 Bonnie & Clyde". Which manages at the same time to be unbelievably sweet and unbelievably scary at the same time.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: See Ensemble Dark Horseinvoked in the YMMV tab.
  • Stalker with a Crush:
    • "Stan" is a rare male/male version. Not only is there "My girlfriend's jealous 'cos I talk about you 24/7", but Stan also says that he and Eminem should be together. The video actually shows Stan taking a photo of himself and his girlfriend and covering her up with a picture of Eminem cut out of a magazine.
  • Stop and Go:
    • "Kill You"
      You don't... wanna fuck with Shady
      Cause Shady... will fucking kill you
    • "Don't Front" does this after the line, "Let insults fly every 60 seconds that go by so you know I MEANT IT!"
  • Stuffy Old Songs About the Buttocks: "Ass Like That" and "Shake That".
  • Super Bowl Special: For Chrysler in 2011.
  • Take That!: To just about everyone, including himself.
    • Take That, Audience!: The "public service announcement" at the beginning of The Marshall Mathers LP proudly informs listeners that "by purchasing this album, you have just kissed [Eminem's] ass."
      • Occasionally he'll refer to the people that grew up listening to his music as retards, most recently censored out of Venom.
      • Eminem's new song in late 2020 "Tone Deaf" is dedicated to his detractors who aim to ruin him, most are from young generation and not familiar with hip hop culture.
        "Bitch, I can make an orange rhyme with banana, oranana
        Eating pork rinds, sword fightin' in pajamas
        At the crib, playin' Fortnite with your grandma
        But I'm more like I'm 4'5" with the grammar
        Bitch, 'bout to show you why your five favorite rappers, can't touch this
        But before I get the hammer, I should warn you I'm Thor-like in this manner
        But the day I lose sleep over you critiquin' me or
        I ever let you cocksuckers eat at me
        I'd need to be a motherfuckin' pizzeria, but you ain't gettin' no cheese from me"
  • Teeny Weenie: In "The Kids":
    My penis is the size of a peanut, have you seen it?
    Fuck, no! You ain't seen it! It's the size of a peanut
  • That Came Out Wrong: Lampshaded on "Evil Deeds":
    ''What do I look like, a comedian to you/Do you think that I'm kidding/What do I look like, some kind of idi—/Wait a minute, shit, don't answer that."
  • That Man Is Dead: In "Soldier:"
    Listen to the sound of me spewing my heart through this pen
    motherfuckers know I'll never be Marshall again!
  • Theme Naming: His six major-label albums have been released with paired or trilogic titles. The two LPs dealing with Slim Shady and Marshall Mathers, The Eminem Show note , its Encore and its Curtain Call, and the Distinct Double Album of Relapse and Recovery (originally Relapse 2). And now that Em's recovered, he's ready to begin anew, with a second LP dealing with Marshall Mathers.
    • The Re-Up may also fit in with the latter, as it was released before Relapse.
    • This appears to be averted after the release of Revival, which followed the Relapse and Recovery pattern, since both Kamikaze and Music To Be Murdered By don't follow a particular naming pattern.
  • This Is a Song: From "Not Afraid":
    I shouldn't have to rhyme these words in a rhythm for you to know it's a RAP!
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!:
    • "Go to sleep, bitch!"note 
    • "Berzerk" does it thrice:
      Let's bring it back to that vintage Slim, BITCH!
      The art of emceeing mixed with da Vinci and MC Ren
      And I don't mean Stimpy's friend, BITCH!
      Been public enemy since you thought PE was gym, BITCH!
    • "Kim" features quite a few of these.
    • Fall from Kamikaze uses this to cap off the song.
  • Toilet Humor: Frequently.
    • Encore features a lot of this, as Eminem didn't want to target gay people and women any more but still wanted to piss people off.
    • His wordplay in "Not Afraid" provides three examples of this trope: Quit playing with the scissors and shit, and cut the crap.....Shits his bowels out of him....Fuck the world feed it beans, it's gassed up.
  • Trapped in a Sinking Car: In "Stan", Stan purposely drives his car off a bridge into a body of water, drowning himself and his pregnant girlfriend (who he has locked in the trunk).
  • Undiscriminating Addict: One of the core traits of the Slim Shady character is that he is rampantly addicted to any substance you can name - from heavy-hitters like crack and smack to trashy drugs like glue, Vicodin and ephedrine supplements. One radio edit even has him getting high off Kool-Aid.
  • Unreliable Narrator: Eminem often twists fact and fantasy in his songs, explaining why so many real-life people felt the need to sue him for slander. He lampshades this himself in the song "Criminal" from The Marshall Mathers LP.
    A lot of people ask me.. stupid fucking questions
    A lot of people think that.. what I say on records
    or what I talk about on a record, that I actually do in real life
    or that I believe in it
    Or if I say that, I wanna kill somebody, that...
    I'm actually gonna do it
    or that I believe in it
    Well, shit... if you believe that

    then I'll kill you''
  • The Unreveal: The "Walk On Water" video has a big statue standing in the middle of a frozen lake, but just as Eminem is about to uncover it, it cuts away.
  • Updated Re-release: A non-video game version, for Relapse: Refill.
  • Urban Legends: Discussed in "Stan" when the title character talks about the misinterpretation of the lyric of Phil Collins' song "In the Air Tonight".
  • Verbal Tic: "Y'know what I'm sayin'?"
  • Villain Protagonist: "3AM" and the whole Slim Shady persona in general.
  • Villain Song: Often combined with "The Villain Sucks" Song. Sorta.
  • Villains Out Shopping: The Serial Killer Villain Protagonist from "3 A.M." takes a break from his drug-fueled murder spree to watch TV and jack off in the second verse.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: The video for "Forgot About Dre" shows Slim puking after he drunk-drives his car into a wall. The video for "Just Lose It" has Eminem vomiting on Michael Jackson in a public bathroom, and Bobby Lee vomits twice (once as Sulu) in the video for "We Made You."
  • Wasted Beauty: Slim Shady whose cute appearance means screaming girls (and gay men) fawn over him at his shows, but he's also a Stupid Evil Ax-Crazy Serial Killer with unspecified mental issues. As a result, he's continually rejected by women or get beaten up when he hits on them, and can usually only get sex by paying, using force or finding a woman as desperate as he is.
  • Wham Line:
    • The end of "25 To Life" reveals that he was talking about hip hop, not Kim.
      But when you spoke to people who meant the most to you
      You left me off your list
      Fuck you hip-hop
      I'm leaving you, my life sentence is served bitch
    • And roughly halfway through "Bad Guy," when it's revealed that it's not about Marshall Mathers coming to kill Kim for the umpteenth time, but Stan's brother Matthew coming to kill Marshall Mathers. And it's the first track on the album.
      And the way you played him, same shit you did to me, go!
      Have you any idea that shit I've gone through
      Feelings I harbor, all this pent up resentment I hold on to
      Not once you called to ask me how I'm doing
      Letters, you don't respond to 'em
      Fuck it, I'm coming to see you
      And gee who better to talk to than you
      • It's slightly foreshadowed throughout (the autographed Starter cap, the "dragged to the back of a trunk" line, "I hope you hear it", etc.) before more direct hints are given, and then it's revealed as a whole.
    • From "Kill You": "Just bend over and take it like a slut, OKAY MA?"
    • Em's realization at the end of "Stan".
      I seen this one shit on the news a couple weeks ago that made me sick.
      Some dude was drunk and drove his car over a bridge,
      and had his girlfriend in the trunk, and she was pregnant with his kid,
      and in the car they found a tape, but they didn't say who it was to.
      Come to think about, his name was... it was you.
    • From the Steve Berman skit on Eminem Show; for context, this is after Berman has trashed not only the Marshall Mathers LP but D12's Devil's Night album to Em's face.
      Steve: I got [The Eminem Show]...
      Em: And?
      Steve: ...And this is by far the most (BANG)...incredible thing...I've ever heard.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: While wholesome is arguable, he does dress as a woman in his music videos.
  • Workout Fanservice: In the music video for "Higher", which ain't bad going for a man of nearly 50.
  • Would Hurt a Child: The story told in "'97 Bonnie and Clyde" and its prequel "Kim" has Eminem not only killing Kim and her new husband... but their four-year-old son as well. The line "There's a four-year-old boy laying dead with a slit throat, in your living room!" in "Kim" was censored on the official release.
  • Wretched Hive: "Amityville".
  • Yandere:
    • A rare male example in "Kim." Although Eminem repeatedly states his extreme hatred for his ex-wife in the song, it is also pretty clearly implied that he remains obsessed with her and that at least part of his anger is out of jealousy that she left him for another man:
    • "Love the Way You Lie" may also qualify, this time involving a mutual Yandere relationship.
  • You Should Have Died Instead: In the ending of the final verse of "Cleanin' Out My Closet", Em states that after the death of his uncle Ronnie, his mom ended up telling him that she wished he had died instead. The memoir she later released in 2007 confirmed this, and shed more light on the context surrounding it.note 

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Video Example(s):


My Band

Slim Shady explains his resentment for his "bandmates" for trying to steal the limelight from him, while actually hogging the attention himself.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / StuckInTheirShadow

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