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Music / Lady Gaga

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She's on the edge of glory.

"When I look back on my life, it's not that I don't want to see things exactly as they happened; it's just that I prefer to remember them in an artistic way. And, truthfully, the lie of it all is much more honest because I invented it."
— "Marry the Night: The Prelude Pathétique"

Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (born March 28, 1986), better known as Lady Gaga, is an American singer, songwriter, and actress who burst onto the music scene in 2008 and since then has become known for her catchy songs, suggestive lyrics, outrageous outfits, and insane vocal ability.

Gaga showed musical promise from a young age, picking up the piano at age four and eventually starting to perform as a teenager. She began setting out on a music career in the mid-2000s, deriving her iconic stage name from the Queen song "Radio Ga Ga", and spent years trying to make it big, in the meantime getting signed to Def Jam for only three months and becoming a songwriter for other artists such as Fergie, The Pussycat Dolls and New Kids on the Block and Britney Spears. She eventually signed a joint deal in 2007 with Interscope Records and KonLive Distribution, a record label founded by Akon, who she had impressed with her singing abilities. She had her mainstream breakthrough the following year with her debut album, The Fame.

Okay, that doesn't cover half of it.

Lady Gaga is, quite simply, the poster girl for over-the-top eccentricity. Between her outrageous outfits, her role-play crossdressing, her stylistic versatility, her incredibly trippy music videos and performances, and her camp sensibilities, Lady Gaga is easily one of the most... interesting pop stars working today, as this page will show you very clearly. Her critics like to point out that the entire point of Lady Gaga is her odd behavior and strange mode of dress, noting that without these elements of her stage persona, she never would have become as popular as she is today.

The music video for her song "Bad Romance" became the first video to reach 200 million views on YouTube, and also became the most viewed video on the site for a brief period; it currently stands at 1.7 billion views. In 2011, her song "Born This Way" became the 1000th song to be identified as the #1 single in America by Billboard magazine since the establishment of the Hot 100 chart.

Gaga has also become known as a force to be reckoned with in the acting field. She won acclaim for her lead roles as Countess Elizabeth (inspired by Elizabeth Báthory) in American Horror Story: Hotel and Ally in the 2018 remake of A Star is Born. For the latter film, she earned a nomination for the Academy Award for Best Actress and won for Best Original Song with the worldwide hit "Shallow" (a duet with her co-star Bradley Cooper); among other award wins for the film, she became the first woman to win an Oscar, BAFTA, Golden Globe, and Grammy in one year. Her performance in House of Gucci was also widely praised, with many saying she was snubbed of another Oscar nomination; however, she would later land another nomination for Best Original Song in 2023, having provided the Love Theme "Hold My Hand" to Top Gun: Maverick. She additionally appeared as herself on the season 23 finale of The Simpsons ("Lisa Goes Gaga"), in which she helps Lisa Simpson (and the rest of Springfield) with their low self-esteem.

Following the 2014 release Cheek to Cheek, a jazz album made in collaboration with singer Tony Bennett, Gaga committed to making her public image Lighter and Softer. Her aforementioned breakthrough in cinema through A Star is Born was probably her most successful effort regarding this change in her image. As a result, the public has pretty much universally learned that Beneath the Mask, Lady Gaga is perhaps — gasp — a normal person (relatively speaking), just like any of us.

Gaga is also known for her activism and philanthropy for causes including relief efforts for various natural disasters and COVID-19 as well as HIV/AIDS, sexual assault, Black Lives Matter, and global LGBT+ rights. She is particularly prominent as an advocate for the lattermost cause, being a bisexual woman herself; she has been celebrated as an icon to the gay community, and has credited this community with much of her early mainstream success. She further launched the Born This Way Foundation, a non-profit organization focusing on youth empowerment, in 2012. She additionally appears as "Zomby Gaga" in Monster High in a partnership with the franchise for the Born This Way Foundation.

Gaga's most well-known songs include "Bad Romance", "Just Dance", "Poker Face", "Telephone", "Alejandro", "Born This Way", "Applause", and "Shallow".

Selected discography:

  • Red and Blue (as the Stefani Germanotta Band; 2005)
  • The Fame (2008)
  • Born This Way (2011)
  • ARTPOP (2013)
  • Cheek to Cheek (with Tony Bennett; 2014)
  • Joanne (2016)
  • Chromatica (2020)
  • Love for Sale (with Tony Bennett; 2021)
  • Top Gun: Maverick (co-composer with Hans Zimmer, Harold Faltermeyer and Lorne Balfe; also wrote and performed single "Hold My Hand")

Selected filmography:

Let's play a trope game:

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Her Songs & Style as a Creator:

    Songs & Style 
  • Affectionate Parody: Hilly Hindi of The Hillywood Show is one of the better-known Gaga impersonators, even earning a nod from the genuine article.
  • Affectionate Nickname: Gaga calls her fans, "my little monsters," and she herself is colloquially known as the "Mother Monster".
  • Album Closure: The last song on Born This Way is "The Edge of Glory," about being close to finally breaking through to some higher plane. Or maybe it's about sex.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: Luc Carl is... uh... implied to be this by her obsession with bad boys on the Born This Way album and bikers.
  • Analogy Backfire: The song that she took her name from, Queen's "Radio Gaga", is a Take That! to MTV and their music videos eclipsing the importance of radio as a medium for experiencing music. This is highly ironic given her reliance on visual imagery to push her... um... image.
  • Appeal to Familial Wisdom: All of "Born This Way" is framed as the singer paraphrasing what "My mama told me when I was young".
    "'There's nothing wrong with loving who you are,'
    She said, ''Cause He made you perfect, babe
    So hold your head up girl and you'll go far,
    Listen to me when I say' ..."
  • Artistic License – Geography: Lady Gaga, at T in the Park (Scotland's biggest music festival) greeted the crowd with "Hello, London"... Twice. Considering how many Scots, um, dislike being mistaken for the English, this was met poorly.
  • Ascended Fangirl: Gaga admits to "falling to the floor crying and laughing" when she heard Brian May would be playing Guitar on "Yoü and I".
    • Her Collaboration with Britney Spears for her Circus album is also this. She has called Britney the queen of pop and mentioned how she used to show up at her TRL performances in New York when she was a teenager, basically saying she stalked her when she was kid. (The songs are "Telephone" and "Quicksand").
    • She has had the good fortune to become the God-Mother of Elton John's child and perform with Bruce Springsteen.
  • Attention Whore: And damn proud of it too! As she puts it; "fame hooker prostitute wench."
    "I live for the applause, applause, applause!"
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Behold, Jo Calderone!
  • Auto-Tune: Used a lot in Born This Way, especially "Heavy Metal Lover". It is also used in "Paper Gangsta", "Starstruck", "Monster", and "So Happy I Could Die". However, unlike most examples pegged here, the Auto-Tune she uses is mostly for the outrageous unsubtle effects (e.g. "Starstruck" and "Monster") or to sound hollow (e.g. "So Happy I Could Die", "Monster", "911") rather than to cover up bad vocals.
  • Author Vocabulary Calendar: She has four songs with the word "fashion" in their title; "Black Jesus + Amen Fashion", "Fashion of His Love", "Fashion" (2008), and "Fashion!" (2013)
  • Beautiful All Along: Everyone was incredibly surprised to see her look so beautiful without makeup in A Star Is Born (2018).
  • Be Yourself: The overarching theme of the Born This Way album.
  • Betty and Veronica: Described in "Judas": Judas being Veronica and Jesus being Betty, with Gaga struggling to choose between the two.
  • Becoming the Mask: Gaga consistently maintains that no, it isn't an act, and Stefani is GONE. She actually refused to say her last name in her interview with Jay Leno. The truth of this is up for debate. She has said in one interview that it's more like a nickname and that even her mom calls her Gaga, but in another, said she would prefer bed partners call her Stefani; having somebody yell out "Gaga!" would freak her out. The line "Don't call me Gaga" from "Monster" references this. Then on Howard Stern she said she doesn't like it when fans call her Stefani, saying she prefers only people who know her personally call her by her real name.
  • Beneath the Mask:
    • Discussed in Scheiße. The protagonist (possibly Gaga herself) wishes she could stand on her own.
    • The subject of "Aura".
    • The extreme outlandishness that made her a pop phenomenon also rendered her the poster girl for conspiracy theory scaremongering. She doesn't even deny these tinfoil-hat theories of her being the Devil or working with him on her appearance in The Simpsons. But recently, she has begun baring her humanity to the public, and now even indulges in some fairly classic glamour. She's no longer an untouchably otherworldly creature; there's no doubt she's just another person, after all.
  • Big Fancy House: The setting of the "Paparazzi" video, which is a veritable showcase of Luxury Tropes.
  • Boastful Rap: "Cake Like Lady Gaga"
  • Bowdlerise: Some editions of The Fame Monster have the word "bitch" shortened to "bit".
  • The Burlesque of Venus: A brief spoof of The Birth of Venus can be seen in her music video "Applause", where she plays Venus, wearing a bra, thong and earrings made of seashells and a pair of animated hands surrounding her.
  • Call-Back: A line from “Gypsy” references the spoken word from the intro to “Scheiße”
    I don’t speak German but I try
  • The Cameo: A pretty memorable one in The Lonely Island's "3-Way: The Golden Rule".
  • Camp:
    • To the point that one of her largest Facebook fan groups began as an anti-fan group that was hijacked by fans joining ironically.
    • Also, "Highway Unicorn (Road to Love)". Everything about it.
    • "Babylon" thrives off camp. Only Gaga can make a gospel choir sing "that's gossip" and make it sound awesome.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Paws up."
    • "Cherry cherry boom boom."
    • "I'm a free bitch, baby."
    • "Born this way."
    • "My religion is you."
    • "Artpop."
  • Cigarette of Anxiety: "Mary Jane Holland" is about being anxious and wanting to self-medicate with marijuana, but as a recovering drug addict she can't (see Functional Addict).
  • Classical Mythology: Used as a motif throughout ARTPOP, particularly references to Aphrodite/Venus. Aside from the music video for "G.U.Y.", the album art features a sculpture of her in front of a fractured picture of Boticelli's "The Birth of Venus", "Applause" and performances thereof have her in a get-up invoking the same, and a few songs on the album (including a song actually titled "Venus") allude to the goddess.
  • Clueless Aesop: Whatever your feelings on both Lady Gaga and Don't Ask Don't Tell, it's hard to take the "Alejandro" video and already-infamous VMA meat dress seriously as critiques of the policy, as Gaga insists they function.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: At her shows, both she and Justin Trantor, the lead singer for her opening act Semi Precious Weapons are prone to doing this frequently.
    • Lampshaded by Justin at least at one concert by giving a disclaimer to all the parents who brought their tweenage children that there may be material they find offensive long after the point where many of them would have already left in disgust.
  • Concept Album: Oddly enough, considering she's a dance-pop star, all of her major releases thus far qualify:
    • The Fame is about, well, fame
    • The Fame Monster is about the darker side of fame and Gaga's personal fears
    • Born This Way is about outcasts and rebels.
    • ARTPOP is self-explanatory, being about art and pop culture, but also has more personal themes like deconstructing her image as a popstar diva. (And, of course, this being Gaga, lots of stuff about sex.)
    • Joanne focuses on pain caused by intergenerational familial trauma, breakups, societal problems, and Gaga's own fibromyalgia.
    • Chromatica is conceptualized as a planet that upholds equality as well as a part of her mind that mixes all sounds and colors. Thematically, the album explores mental health issues, loneliness, finding love via adversity, and self-worth.
"I live on Chromatica, that is where I live. I went into my frame. I found Earth, I deleted it. Earth is canceled. I live on Chromatica"
  • Cosplay: Her fascination with Impossibly Cool Clothes often makes critics accuse her of being an Animesque cosplayer.
  • Costume Porn: To the extent where she has her own fashion label, Haus of Gaga.
    • This gallery offers a good overview of some of her more memorable fashion choices.
    • "Perfect Illusion" is the first music video where Gaga completely averts this trope, appearing in a very typical casual outfit instead.
  • Darker and Edgier: The Fame Monster explores the darker side of fame through the use of various horror and thriller tropes while Born This Way takes on a more political tone, making pointed criticism towards the treatment of the Hispanic and LGBT+ communities.
  • Digital Head Swap: Happens in Applause, where her head is on a goose.
  • Do Not Call Me "Paul":
    • Wishes to be addressed as "Lady Gaga" and not "Stefani" or any permutation of that name.
    • When she went on her web campaign to drum up support of the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell, she called her own senators from New York on video and introduced herself as Stefani Germanotta since it is still her legal name, and while she didn't stutter or anything, there was an obvious hint that she was uncomfortable saying it.
    • In Saturday Night Live she's actually called Mrs. Germanotta in one sketch, where she's a geriatric has-been in the distant future.
    • During her 2017-2018 "Joanne World Tour", she would open each show telling the audience to call her Joanne.
  • "Double, Double" Title: "Boys Boys Boys" is titled by repetitions of "Boys".
  • Double Entendre:
    • Gaga tells her lover to do what they want to her body on "Do What U Want", but her "body" can also mean her public image. This interpretation is more apparent in the version with Christina Aguilera, which has a different second verse that discusses public image rather than sex.
    • "Let’s blast off to a new dimension, in your bedroom. (Venus)"
    • "Dancin' in Circles".
  • Drugs Are Bad: The backstory and main message of "Dope", written about her painkiller addiction following her hip surgery. "911" is an inversion however, refer to the subfolder on the video.
  • Eat the Evidence: Gaga did this to David Letterman's interview questions, after snatching and ripping them up in frustration.
  • Edible Theme Clothing: The meat dress that she wore at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. She wore it in protest against the US military's "Don't ask, don't tell" policy, but drew ire from PETA. The dress has since been preserved to jerky for display at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
  • Epic Instrumental Opener: "Chromatica I", "Chromatica II" and "Chromatica III" are orchestral interludes used as setups for "Alice", "911" and "Sine from Above" respectively. The transition between "Chromatica II" and "911" ended up becoming Memetic Mutation bait.
  • Everybody Wants the Hermaphrodite: Lady Gaga has video clips that supposedly show she has male genitalia. It hasn't done anything to detract from her popularity.
  • Fading into the Next Song: Occurs often on Chromatica.
    • "Chromatica I" to "Alice"
    • "911" to "Plastic Doll"
    • "Enigma" to "Replay"
    • "Sine from Above" to "1000 Doves" to "Babylon"
  • Flipping the Bird: She does this to demonstrate "New York driving signals" on Carpool Karaoke.
  • Freaky Fashion, Mild Mind: Even with all her wild outfits, Gaga is actually very chill and sweet.
  • Freaky Is Cool: The image she propagates in her work.
  • Fun with Acronyms: "G.U.Y". It stands for "girl under you", and also contains the Spear Counterpart "G.I.R.L." (guy I'm romancing, loves).
  • Functional Addict: She has been very open about her drug problems in the past, including using copious amounts of marijuana and cocaine to cope with anxiety and to help along the creative process.
  • Gender Bender:
    • In her "LoveGame" video, there is a scene she continuously switches the sex of the police officer she is making out with.
    • And Jo Calderone, her drag king alter ego.
    • Also the whole point of "G.U.Y".
  • Genre Throwback: Born This Way has many songs inspired by pop from The '80s, most infamous being the title track that even Madonna felt was too similar to her work.
  • Genuine Imposter: When she was a guest judge on RuPaul's Drag Race in the Season 9 premier, she pranked the queens by entering the work room with them, making them think she was just a really good Celebrity Impersonator (as one queen remarked, "I see who the Derrick Berrynote  of the season is."). For added laughs, she even appeared in the Confession Cam in boy-drag as "Ronnie". When she revealed herself as the real deal, the queens completely lost their shit.
    • Being fair to the queens, it didn't take them too long to figure out that it was her - the behind the scenes companion to the episode has them discuss the details that tipped them off.
  • Godiva Hair: In her appearance on the cover of Vanity Fair. (And a lot of other magazines.)
  • Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: In the video for "Bad Romance", towards the beginning, she has big, digitally enhanced eyes, that side somewhere between "cute and innocent" and unnerving. The video for "Alejandro" does the opposite variation, as her eyes are mostly narrowed at the beginning.
  • Gratuitous Foreign Language: A trademark of hers. The first two and a half minutes of the "Paparazzi" video are in Swedish. From the glorious mouth of Alexander Skarsgard. It gets to the point that when "Weird Al" Yankovic parodies her with his "Perform This Way", he specifically mentions "And for no reason now I sing in French".
    • Gratuitous French: "Je veux ton amour, Et je veux ta revanche" from "Bad Romance" is probably the most commonly heard example.
      • "Bloody Mary"'s second versus ends with "Je ne veux pas mourir toute seule".
      • The outro of ARTPOP's "Fashion" ends in this manner.
    • Gratuitous German:
      • "Scheiße" (though there is a part where it's German-sounding gibberish.).
      • "G.U.Y." has a bunch of random numbers in German at the end and namedrops the song's co-producer Music/Zedd, most likely to reference his Russian-German heritage.
    • Gratuitous Italian: "Mi amore vole fe yah!" as the second verse ending for "Born This Way"
    • Gratuitous Japanese: For whatever reason, in the diner scene in "Telephone", a katakana that reads "One Piece" flashes after Beyoncé's jerkass boyfriend slaps another diner's ass.
    • Gratuitous Korean: "Sour Candy". Justified due to being a collaboration with the K-Pop band BLACKPINK.
    • Gratuitous Portuguese: The ending of "Bloody Mary" with "Liberdade e amor"
    • Gratuitous Spanish: In "Alejandro" ("En su bolsillo" in the first verse) and throughout much of "Americano".
  • Grievous Bottley Harm: Gaga tries this on her lover in "Paparazzi" when she realizes they're being photographed and tries to escape. It only angers him and he throws her off the balcony, leading into the song.
  • The Gimmick: people who don't like her accuse of getting by on this.
  • Heävy Mëtal Ümlaut: Born This Way has a track named "Yoü and I". The ü is a reference to her ex-boyfriend Lüc Carl, whom the song is about.
  • Homage: Her 2011 Grammy performance of "Born This Way" seemed to be one to Beneath The Planet Of The Apes (minus the nuke worship/plus a giant egg and Yolandi Visser's fringe/bangs). The song itself seems to be an homage to Madonna's "Express Yourself".
  • Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: She is 5'1". Her lover in the "Paparazzi" video (played by Alexander Skarsgard) is 6"4".
  • I Meant to Do That: She didn't title it "Poker Face" for nothing. YouTube is awash with clips of Gaga wiping out, then gracefully rolling onto her back and sticking her legs in the air, as if expecting a Perfect 10 from off-camera judges. (At least on one occasion, she did the maneuver while still hurtling across the stage.)
  • "I Want" Song: "Bad Romance", craving the romance and relationship with her friend and not bothering with the risks it entails.
    "You know that I want you
    And you know that I need you
    I want it bad
    Your bad romance."
  • The Illuminati: Like it or not, she does use a lot of Masonic and Illuminati symbolism in her videos. This is most likely done on purpose to illicit a reaction.
  • Impossibly Cool Clothes: Some of her outfits are just jaw-droppingly bizarre. This includes the meat-dress and machinegun bra.
    David Letterman: So what are you wear— what aren't you wearing?
  • Impractically Fancy Outfit: Most of what she wears for public appearances.
    • Parodied when she had trouble sitting down to play the piano on SNL because of the human gyroscope she was wearing around her.
    • Her meat dress. A dress made of meat. Light on "Fancy" but heavy on the "Impractical".
  • Insult Backfire: When the Westboro Baptist Church made what was meant to be an insulting parody song called No Poker Face, wherein they called her such "creative" names as Lady GayGay and more, Gaga and her fans ironically embraced it. She now sells t-shirts at her shows embroidered with, "I Love Lady GayGay!"
  • Intercourse with You: Her music tends to be sexual when she's not singing about more serious themes.
    • "Let's have some fun/This beat is sick/I wanna take a ride/On your disco stick." And that's probably not even the worst one.
    • "Light me up, put me on top/ let's fa la la la la" Happy Christmas to you too.
    • "Do What U Want" is a pretty blatant example on a surface level, even for her.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: She is very good friends with fellow flamboyant musician Elton John, to the point that she is the godmother to his adoptive kids. She is also close friends with jazz legend Tony Bennett, with whom she released two albums of jazz standards: Cheek to Cheek and Love For Sale.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: She has had some friction with her record company over promotional material, claiming they just want her "Half-naked on the beach touching [her]self." It seems the only thing she doesn't like about that scenario is the beach.
  • Jesus Was Way Cool: Or to put it another way, Jesus is the new Black.
  • Kayfabe Music: She went to her little sister's graduation in full Gaga regalia at her sister's request.
  • The Lad-ette: During her concerts, she's loud and crass, swearing and grinding on her dancers and generally pissing off the Moral Guardians with her decidedly unladylike behavior all while having a blast. She has also stated she would carry around a razor in her mouth when she was growing up in New York City.
  • Lampshade Hanging: She spends a lot of her time lampshading her own brand of art and pop. In both Fame/Monster/Artpop era's.
  • Large Ham: While not as apparent in public appearances (save some performances) at her concerts she goes crazy. By her own admission, she is the "largest ham in the oven." At the 2010 Grammys, she finally made it apparent.
    • "Take my picture, Hollywood ... I WANNA BE A STAR!"
    • ARTPOP in general is super hammy.
  • Latin Lover: "Alejandro" features three: Alejandro, Fernando, and Roberto.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • This piano rendition of "Poker Face".
    • "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)".
    • Her "Viva la Vida" cover.
    • Alex Goot's cover of "Bad Romance", which is this trope summed up. It sounds more like a genuine love song, and less like a freaky love-hate song. Imagine taking out the synths and replacing it with acoustic guitar and much more piano. That is this cover.
    • ARTPOP is a silly campy album about sex and happiness compared to Born This Way's serious Be Yourself religious theme.
      • Bonus points to "Dope", for being a simple piano song compared to the party-like aspect of the rest of the album, although it's lyrically one of the darkest songs on the album.
    • Subverted with Chromatica compared to Joanne before it. While the music is much more camp and dance-friendly the lyrics are often just as personal, poignant and bittersweet.
  • Line-of-Sight Name: According to her former producer Rob Fusari, the name "Lady Gaga" is this. As a private joke, Fusari would frequently sing Queen's song "Radio Ga Ga" to her as she arrived in the studio for recording sessions, calling it her "intro song". One day, he tried to text the words "Radio Ga Ga" to her, but he accidentally misspelled "Radio", and his phone autocorrected it to "Lady". As she was struggling to come up with a decent stage name at the time, she supposedly looked at the text message and immediately exclaimed "That's it!"
  • Like You Were Dying: "The Edge of Glory" borders on this trope, in which someone wants to feel happiness and love for one more time before they die.
  • List Song:
    • "Born This Way" lists almost every sexuality, gender identity, sexual identity, religious belief, and physical race in the human world with few exceptions.
    • "Venus" contains a section listing a bunch of planets.
    • "Gypsy" has a section listing a bunch of places around the world.
  • Loudness War: Like most other popular artists, she does this, most notably on Born This Way.
  • Love Is Like Religion: Quite common in her lyrics.
    • According to Gaga, "Bloody Mary" was, like "Judas", inspired by Mary Magdalene. It incorporates much of the same imagery.
      "And when you're gone
      I'll tell them my religion's you."
    • "Electric Chapel" plays with the idea of sanctuary, asking her lover to commit to her by meeting her in the symbolic "electric chapel".
      "My body is sanctuary
      My blood is pure."
    • One verse of "Teeth":
      "Got no salvation (no salvation)
      Got no religion (my religion is you.)"
  • Lyrical Dissonance:
    • "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)", whose lyrics can be summarized as "I met another guy... we had a good run, right? I wish I had never met you, it'd be less painful than breaking up," uses an instrumental that is cute, pleasant, and guaranteed to make you smile (and make that double for the minimalist Cherrytree Sessions version).
    • The song "Just Dance" sounds like a generic perky dance song, but the lyrics behind it seem to paint a picture of a girl who is way too drunk to be comfortable about her surroundings, concerned about the people around her pawing at her, and trying to "just dance" to calm herself down, by the end of the song the alcohol has left her out of her wits and willing to go home with anyone there.
    • "The Edge of Glory" is an upbeat dance song in the style of '80s pop ballads... about someone who's about to die and wants to feel love and happiness one more time on the last night of her life. The fact that the saxophone solo is the last thing the late Clarence Clemons recorded before his passing makes it all the more bittersweet.
    • "Hair" has a pretty generic, upbeat dance-pop backing track, but is about Gaga's parents crushing her ability to express herself by dyeing her hair.
    • "Swine" is lyrically much darker than the rest of the dance-pop tracks on ARTPOP.
      "The song ["Swine"] is about rape. The song is about demoralization. The song is about rage and fury and passion and I had a lot of pain that I wanted to release."
  • Lucky Charms Title: Whenever you see the word "Monster", be sure to mentally replace the "t" with a cross.
  • Making a Spectacle of Yourself: Used frequently up to a point of it becoming a trademark.
    • Only Lady Gaga would wear shades made from cigarettes, as seen in her "Telephone" video.
    • Don't forget the ones from the "Poker Face" video with the animated light-up lenses.
    • Her lace-covered Steampunk glasses in "Alejandro".
    • And then there were the glasses made out of razor blades in the "Bad Romance" video.
    • Her "Mickey Mouse" sunglasses in the "Paparazzi" video.
  • Metal Head: If it weren't blatantly obvious with her citing Marilyn Manson, KISS, Led Zeppelin, and Iron Maiden as influences she also said she used to dance to Black Sabbath's "Black Sabbath", admitted to being a fan of Faith No More on Twitter and AC/DC in interviews, and her Born This Way album contains two references, one to Judas Priest's Painkiller album and her facial expression is reminiscent of Iron Maiden's first album cover.
  • Metal Scream:
    • A rare and unexpected one in "Bloody Mary".
    • The Title Drop in "John Wayne" verges on this as well.
    • Also in her stage shows, shown in her Monster Ball Live At Madison Square Garden. Mostly at her own fans and such...
  • Mind Screw: To put it short, this is the foundation of Gaga's entire career.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: She may seem bizarre but she is also known to as incredibly sweet and kind and genuinely appreciative and nice to fans.
  • Money Song: "Money Honey", which is a subversion. Then there are "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich" and "The Fame".
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • From The Fame to The Fame Monster. Seriously, pick any song from the first album (other than, say, "Brown Eyes" or "Again Again"), pick any song from the second album ("Telephone" being a possible exception), play them back to back, and see if this trope doesn't apply. The Fame Monster is supposed to be, in a way, the darker side of The Fame.
    • ARTPOP has songs like "Gypsy" and "Dope" which are sad and contemplative in the otherwise art- and sex-themed album.
    • Joanne was, as an album, heavily inspired by country music and has a much more bittersweet tone to it than her past albums, acting like this to ARTPOP. On Joanne itself, however, there's "John Wayne" (which sounds like her usual dance-pop fare), "Dancin' in Circles" (yet another song about masturbation), and "Hey Girl" (a Les Yay laden love song).
    • Song-wise: "Sine from Above" starts off sounding like a standard Lady Gaga dance floor number with Elton John thrown in the mix before taking an sharp turn into Drum and Bass territory.
  • Music Video Overshadowing: Pretty much all of Gaga's videos are elaborate concept pieces only tenuously connected to the subject matter of the song. Not the case with "911" however
  • Nightmare Fetishist: Views horror movies and real crime stories like "a nice cup of tea".
  • Nice Girl: In spite of her oddities, Gaga is widely regarded as being one of the sweetest people in the music industry and loves her fans.
  • Nude-Colored Clothes: Has been sighted on multiple occasions wearing costumes which incorporate a flesh-tone one-piece suit.
    • When she was interviewed for 60 Minutes she showed up in a flesh-colored leotard because "[she] didn't feel like wearing clothes today".
  • Obligatory Bondage Song: Several.
    • "Heavy Metal Lover": You got to earn your leather/in this part of town (on Born This Way).
    • "Teeth": I'm gonna love you with my hands tied indeed (on The Fame Monster).
    • "I Like It Rough": Is it 'cause you don't mean it/Or because I don't feel it/Unless it's rough (on The Fame).
    • "G.U.Y." combines this with Gender Bender (on ARTPOP)
  • One-Man Song:
    • "Judas".
    • "Alejandro" doubles as both an inversion and a subversion. Not only are there actally three men in the song but Gaga is actually fending off their advances.
  • One-Woman Song:
    • "Mary Jane Holland" is a subversion; it's not about another woman but an alter ego which is herself high on drugs.
    • "Alice" is also a subversion, Gaga is using the Alice in Wonderland tale as a metaphor for her own situation.
    • "Joanne", which is about and named after her late aunt.
  • Our Monsters Are Weird: She openly calls herself a "monster", although she presumably means it in the "weird creature" sense, as opposed to the 'horrifically evil person" sense.
  • Parts Unknown: From the December 12, 2012, episode of Late Show with David Letterman, in re the supporting acts for The Rolling Stones' PPV special that weekend:
    David Letterman: Bruce Springsteen, kid from New Jersey; Lady Gaga, from Parts Unknown; and The Black Keys.
  • The Patriarch: The subject of her song, "Speechless" is her much-adored father. "The Edge of Glory" is about her grandfather.
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: Despite being only 5'1", Gaga's singing voice is deep and powerful.
  • Postmodernism: It was not as apparent during the beginning of her career, but it really took off with the video for "Paparazzi". It was the point when her sensibilities started to become a lot more obvious to the general public.
  • Precision F-Strike: During her performance at the 2010 Met Gala:
    "I'll never forget when Anna Wintour called me to play at this event, she called me and said, ‘I would like you to play at the Met Gala, but I just want to make sure, because I’ve seen you perform before, that you won’t be swearing during the performance. So Anna, I will do my fucking best!"
    • From her Radio One performance, right after saying she had been asked to limit the profanity:
      "Raise a glass to mend all the broken hearts of all my fucked up friends!"
    • Many times during her concerts, most notably Beautiful, Dirty, Rich:
      "You dirty BITCH!"
    • And "Teeth":
      "I'll be damned if you people pay your good money just to see some RICH BITCH LIPSYNCH THROUGH A SET! SHOW ME YOUR TEEE-EEETH!"
  • Product Placement:
    • The video for "Bad Romance" features a man using a Wii remote to sell Lady Gaga as a prostitute. It also features her "Heartbeats" headphones which are part of Dr. Dre's "Beats" collection, as well as the Beats Edition HP Envy 15 laptops, both featured prominently in the same video.
    • In "Telephone", the screen of her cell phone always has the Virgin Mobile logo, and at one point she's using Diet Coke cans as hair curlers. The free online dating site Plenty of Fish also gets a nod, as do Honey Buns, Polaroid cameras, Wonder Bread, and Miracle Whip.
    • In "Paparazzi", the drink that Gaga poisons her boyfriend with is the supplement drink Neuro Sonic.
  • Record Producer: RedOne, DJ White Shadow, and BloodPop are record producers she's heavily associated with.
  • Refuge in Audacity: Seriously. Some suspect she wouldn't be nearly as popular if she didn't go completely over-the-top with everything she did (see also What Could Have Been in the Trivia tab).
  • Remix Album: Gaga's released several:
  • Renaissance Woman: Gaga doesn't box herself into categories in any way. In addition to being a singer, she's also been an LBGT+ rights activist, a skilled performer, an actor, and an artist.
  • Revisiting the Roots: Chromatica is an accessible dance-pop album comparable to The Fame, after a decade of more eclectic, experimental projects.
  • Rich Bitch: Used for ironic Self-Deprecation (probably) in "Donatella". "I'm a rich bitch, I'm the upper class!".
  • The Rival:
    • Britney Spears, however unintentionally, is vying for Gaga's title of Gay Icon™, though it's more of a Friendly Rivalry since Gaga actually wrote "Telephone" for Britney and that she cross-dressed as her male alter ego Jo Calderone when presenting the Video Vanguard Award to Britney in the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards.
    • Madonna and Lady Gaga had one after "Born This Way"/"Express Yourself" controversy happened, but they eventually made amends. Gaga even hangs out with Madonna sometimes.
    • Katy Perry, and it only got worse since Prism and ARTPOP were released at around the same time and the former was more successful. Although it's more of a Friendly Rivalry since Gaga defended Perry's controversial 2013 American Music Awards performance of "Unconditionally" in which the singer got flak for culturally appropriating geisha culture.
  • Rouge Angles of Satin: Subverted with "Sine from Above". While "Sign from Above" appears more logical the chorus explicitly states that Gaga is referring to finding joy and healing in the sound of music, which takes the physical form of a sine wave.
  • Rule of Symbolism:
    • During her appearance on Oprah, she explained that the majority of her outfits have some message to them. She points out that the message is most often not apparent to her audience, but she uses it personally as motivation in her performance.
    • There is INCREDIBLY dense symbolism imagery in all of her videos:
    • The infamous VM As 2009 outfit was in reference to the death of Princess Diana as a result of being chased by the... ahem... Paparazzi
  • Sampling: The "muh-muh-muh-MAH" soundbite in "Poker Face" is taken from "Ma Baker" by Boney M.
  • Serial Escalation: First came the daft media persona. Then the crazy outfits. Then the sold-out concerts landing in the red on theatrics. Then the creepy "Paparazzi" video. Then the "three-handed"note  piano versions of her dance numbers. Then the tour with Kanye West when no one else wanted to touch him. Then The Fame Monster. Then the Surreal Music Video for "Bad Romance." Then the even greater Mind Screw Quentin Tarantino parody short subject prominently featuring "Telephone". At this rate, she'll have to trigger the Third Impact to top herself before longnote .
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: She did most of her own backup vocals during The Fame and The Fame Monster.
  • Sexy Surfacing Shot: The music video for "Poker Face" features a shot of her rising from a swimming pool, dripping with water.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: When she's not wearing heavy makeup and weird-ass outfits, that is.
  • Shout-Out:
    "''I want your Psycho, your Vertigo shtick,
    Want you in my Rear Window, baby it's sick."
  • Siamese Twin Songs: "Chromatica II" to "911", and to a lesser extent "Chromatica III" to "Sine from Above".
  • Singer Namedrop: The word "gaga" is often in her songs, like "Just Dance", "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)", "Bad Romance", "Monster", "Judas", among others.
  • Smarks: Her fans tend to be divided into two groups. Those who only listen to her albums and watch her videos and like her because she's so much fun, and those who see her perform unplugged and like her because she's a well-trained pianist and a fantastic singer.
  • Smarter Than You Look: For someone who regularly goes about in her undergarments she's much more intelligent than the average person would expect, given her behavior...
  • Spell My Name with an S: A lot of people insist that her name is spelled "Lady GaGa", most likely because of the Queen song that she takes her name from. Supposedly, Lady Gaga actually did spell her name like that initially, then had a Sure, Why Not? moment.
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • To Britney Spears as far as fun happy pop music, work ethic, and career choices (Be Yourself based second album).
    • Christina Aguilera as far as eccentric preaching against sexist and anti gay social reforms as well as unusual clothing choices and career decisions.
    • Madonna as well, especially for her vocal LGBT support.
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Her guest appearance in The Simpsons Season 23 finale. Not only did she appear on screen before any Springfieldian, she actually got more screentime than the Simpson family. Naturally, this didn't endear her to Simpson fans who aren't Gaga fans.
  • Stage Name: Born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, based her name on "Radio Gaga".
  • Stalking Is Love: "Paparazzi"
  • Stalker with a Crush: "Paparazzi".
  • Stepford Smiler: "Dance in the Dark" is surprisingly dark. "Baby loves to dance in the dark / cuz when he's looking she falls apart".
    • Don't forget "So Happy I Could Die." "I do my hair / I gloss my eyes / I touch myself all through the night."
    • Scheiße: "I wish I could be strong without somebody there/ I wish I could dance on a single prayer/ I wish I could be strong without the scheiße."
  • The Stoic: Early in her career, she came off very somber and robotic in interviews. Addressed by the woman herself in her Cosmopolitan 2010 interview, where she said she began to realize it, and finally let it all go.
  • Strip Poker: In the video for "Poker Face," of course.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: She pulled this trick under the pseudonym "Jo Calderone".
  • Take That!: A somewhat awesome one in response to Madonna, after Miss Ciccone's digs at her on her 2012 tour, especially with her regard to the "Born This Way"/"Express Yourself" business. People who live in glass houses...
  • Take That, Audience!: At all the rumors of her being intersex/transsexual/whatever. She decided the best way to counter the rumors would be to do a photoshoot while wearing a huge strap-on dildo. In one of the top-selling music magazines in the UK.
    • At the start of the "Telephone" video, she is taken to prison for bitches and stripped naked by the jailers, who then walk away.
      Burly Jailer 1: Told you she didn't have a dick.
      Burly Jailer 2: Too bad.
  • Take That, Critics!: "Applause".
  • That Woman Is Dead: I killed my former in Aura!
  • Talky Bookends: "Paparazzi", "Marry The Night".
  • Title Drop: "Heavy Metal Lover" has two:
    "Where heavy metal lovers play, baby we were born this way."
  • Title-Only Chorus: "Again Again".
  • Title Track: All her studios albums have one save for Chromatica, which has three such tracks.
  • The Tyson Zone: Her persona means that hearing practically anything about her would be believable. Would you believe that she went on Late Show with David Letterman, ate the host's notes and declared she was Batman? Yes.
  • Too Much Information: The line "I want your whiskey mouth all over my blonde south" from "Heavy Metal Lover" becomes this when you remember she's a bleach blonde.
  • Uncanny Valley Makeup: Regularly. A notable example is her 2011 American Idol mentoring appearance, where she shows up with bleached eyebrows, exaggerated cat-eye black liner, and a large fake mole on the right side of her face.
  • Underwear of Power: Frequently. One article described her trademark outfit as being "bullet bangs, shoulder pads, and panties". Or better yet, when was the last time she was seen with pants?
  • Unexplained Accent: In a few songs she employs a German-like drawl while in others a faux-British accent is employed. Take "911":
    "I cahn't see me cry, cahn't see me cry ever again"
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Goes without saying with most celebrities, but this woman merits special mention.
  • Unplugged Version: Most people know Gaga through her electropop albums, but her live performances tend to feature just her singing and piano virtuosity.
  • Unusual Euphemism: A point of pride with her.
    • "Bluffin' with my muffin".
    • The most famous, of course, is "I wanna take a ride on your disco stick." Which barely even qualifies as a euphemism, but is certainly unusual.
    • "Want you in my Rear Window"... an unconventional ode to Alfred Hitchcock.
    • Her "blonde south".
    • Gaga takes a "911" - referring to her antipsychotic medication - in the titular song.
  • Verbal Tic: "Ga Ga" in a number of songs.
  • Virgin Power: She supports people who choose to remain celibate.
  • Warts and All: "Bad Romance" is about this.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Her weird pseudo-British accent when she first became popular.
  • Workaholic: Barely took 6 months off to recover from her knee injury and is rarely not touring, promoting or making her music. She has eventually had to start cancelling tours due to a chronic pain condition, but is still working on new material despite this.
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Read her lyrics. Read her explanation to said lyrics. At the very least, you’ll be amused.
  • Yandere: "Paparazzi.", "You And I", "Monster".
  • Yaoi Fangirl: At her Monster Ball concert she dedicated the song "Boys Boys Boys" to the gay males in the audience, referred to her male backup dancers as "my gay boys", and had two of her gay boys make out.
    • After 12 year old Greyson Chance became an instant star on YouTube for his piano cover of "Paparazzi" he appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show where he got to talk to Gaga herself over the phone. Among the bits of advice she gave him for his fledgling career: "stay away from girls." Just the way she said it you knew it was more than the "don't let a relationship distract you" context.

Music Videos:


Tropes used in Alejandro include:

  • Camp Gay: Many of the poses the male dancers make suggest this, and given that the video is at least in part about Don't Ask, Don't Tell, I think we can safely say this was intentional.
  • Darker and Edgier: Very disturbing. While previous songs and videos were about sex slavery and murder, the endings were funny in context, and there was still a lot of decent Fanservice. This one is an especially nightmarish, densely symbolic take on Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the ending is the worst part, and the fetish is even more subjective. It's especially bad coming after the silly, over-the-top "Telephone".
  • Deconstruction: Possibly. At the very least it uses a lot of music video tropes and twists them.
  • Diesel Punk
  • Gun Porn: Literally. She wears a bra with the barrels of M-16 Machine Guns attached. Make jokes about her "guns" at your own risk.
    • The soldier on her bed also holds a golden pistol over his crotch.
    • Since the barrels are less than 16 inches, someone put together a mock NFA form 4.
  • Homage: Numerous elements of the video are tributes to Madonna
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence
  • Making a Spectacle of Yourself: Wouldn't be a Gaga video without them.
  • Mind Screw: Forget that the music video is about Moe clones going to town with each other/Lady Gaga. Forget that they're also Nazis wearing Camp Gay uniforms marching around what looks to be a hospital. Forget the ending and her cross eating. Lady Gaga is wearing normal clothing!
  • Mood Whiplash: This video is almost a polar opposite of its predecessor, "Telephone." While "Telephone" was bright, colorful, and over the top, "Alejandro" is dark, in black and white, and about as close to "normal" and "subdued" as we're likely going to get from her. Watch the two back to back, and you almost couldn't believe they're from the same person.
  • Nude-Colored Clothes: Gaga's wearing underwear that's almost the same color as her skin in some shots, which might make you think she's totally nude in some shots even if she isn't.
  • Putting on the Reich: The constumes are explicitly modeled after Nazi Germany but with a little S&M dropped in.
  • Scenery Porn: Seriously. The costumes, atmosphere and cinematography are GORGEOUS.
  • Steampunk: Her glasses at the beginning of the video qualify.
  • ThoseWacky Camp Gay Nazis

    Born This Way 
  • Eyes Do Not Belong There: She's got an extra one on her chin of all places.
  • Fun with Acronyms: The prologue takes place in the Government Owned Alien Territory in Space. Or GOATS.
  • Good Needs Evil: Sadly, right when the birth of a new race without prejudice or hate was happening, evil was born.
    • And the Mother Monster realizes she cannot protect the perfection without the evil on top of it.
  • Human Subspecies: The video for Born This Way starts with her giving birth to a new species of humans, one without hate.
  • Mind Screw: It wouldn't be a Gaga video without it.
  • N-Word Privileges: She got into a little hot water for using the terms "chola" and "orient" in the song (Although "Oriental" is commonly used to describe East Asians in Britain, it's still considered offensive in America.) Most agree that she simply used the words as short and easy-to-rhyme catch-all terms for Mexicans and Asians, respectively (since she does mention "Black, white, beige" right before), but the words themselves still stung. Ironic considering the song is about equality and respect.
  • Retraux: The song in and of itself is two parts direct homage to Madonna's "Express Yourself", one part New Wave, and one part disco, but the lyrics appear to be directly inspired by Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" campaign from 2010.
  • Shout-Out: The video's opening music comes from the score to Vertigo, written by Bernard Herrmann.
  • Surreal Music Video: The most surreal one yet.
  • Uncanny Valley Makeup: The protruding horns/cheekbones, flesh colored eyebrows and this little ensemble (worn while standing next to Rico Genest, who has the same kind of thing tattooed onto him.)

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: The core meaning behind Judas, although taken up to eleven and filled with maximum symbolism.
  • Badass Biker: The Jesus stand-in leads a group of them.
  • "Bang!" Flag Gun: With a lipstick instead of the flag.
  • Betty and Veronica: Gaga is torn between Jesus (Betty) and Judas (Veronica) stand-ins.
  • Bling-Bling-BANG!: In one scene Gaga can be seen holding a golden, jewel-encrusted mace.
  • Divine Race Lift: The Jesus allegory is Hispanic.
    • This actually makes sense as Hispanic countries are among the few where Jesus is a common name.
  • Glasgow Grin: Gaga draws one on the Judas stand-in's face with a lipstick gun.
  • Jesus Was Way Cool: And an outlaw, too.
  • Love Is Like Religion: Remixes pieces of the story of Jesus, Judas, and Mary Magdalene to explain the singer's current relationship.
  • Mind Screw: Subverted. Aside from a small portion near the end, the video is fairly tame, though also extremely symbolic throughout.
  • Theme Naming: The biker gang is named after the apostles, with the leader wearing a thorned crown.

    You And I 
  • Based on a True Story: Based on her getting back together with her ex Luc Carl.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Jo Calderone shows up.
  • Barbie Doll Anatomy: Gaga's mermaid form has her breasts exposed, but the only feature on them are barely seeable gills.
  • Cheap Heat: Her 'cool Nebraska guy' tends to move around a lot depending on the radio station.
    • Could possibly be a *Take That! to her ex who's originally from Nebraska, basically saying "I'm over you now".
  • Evil Laugh: The Ice Cream man.
  • Handy Feet: She plays the piano with her foot at one point.
  • Mermaid Problem: Averted, as the whole problem is glossed over in the two brief sex shots.
  • Screw Yourself: If Calderone is Gaga's male alter ego, the result would be this.

    Marry The Night 
  • Based on a True Story: Marry the Night is intended to depict Gaga being dropped from Def Jam Records, flipping out, reinventing herself, and then, at the end, leaving for her appointment with Interscope.
  • Call-Back: Gaga fans will remember This moment in which the Lady accidentally smacks one of her dancers in the face with her microphone. Fast forward a couple years later...
  • Censor Box: There is a black bar covering Gaga's breasts during most of the freakout scene. Considering most of it is improv, very little of it utilizes creative angles to serve the purpose.
  • Despair Event Horizon: When Gaga gets dropped from her label, she has a breakdown.
  • Dramatization: While the music video is based on a true story, it is done in Lady Gaga's usual style, Camp and all.
  • Fan Disservice: Gaga purposely chooses the "outfit" she wears for the freakout scene for the purpose of being unattractive.
  • Gainax Ending that could possibly be interpreted as The Phoenix.
  • Gratuitous French: Gaga speaks French briefly on the phone when she gets dropped from Def Jam.
  • Naked Freak-Out: Very much so. Gaga screams, throws things, cries.
  • Naked People Are Funny: Subverted. Gaga is at her absolute rock bottom, naked and screaming.
  • Shout-Out: To The Bell Jar, Flashdance, and to her own style during The Fame time period.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: The early part of the video features Beethoven, against images of Gaga in a ratty apartment, then throwing a fit naked.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: At the first chorus entrance, several cars explode in glorious flames. Later in the vid we see that she had drizzled gasoline all over them first.

    G.U.Y. - An ARTPOP Film 
  • The Cameo: The Real Housewives cast members are shown playing instruments and singing along to "Venus" at one point. Sky Does Minecraft also makes an appearance.
  • Clone Jesus: Well, that was one ingredient; Michael Jackson, Mahatma Gandhi, and (according to Word of God) John Lennon are also in the mixture.
  • Death by Materialism: Gaga uses the greed of the people who betrayed her to take them out.
  • Fallen/Broken Angel: The video opens with imagery of this, with a winged Gaga having been shot down with an arrow by the corrupt businessmen. She spends some time mortally wounded until she recovers enough to take her revenge.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: See Death by Materialism
  • Rule of Symbolism: The video is densely symbolic of how people who she thought she could trust betrayed and abandoned her following a serious injury she suffered during a concert and her return to grace following her recovery.
    • The resurrection of Jesus, Gandhi, Michael and John Lennon and the replacement clones represent the replacing of people who is only interest is making money with people who who have the traits of those she admires, namely vision and artistry.
    • Throughout the video she takes on an Aphrodite/Venus role, the symbolism of which has been used for ARTPOP before. There's also a bit of Broken Angel imagery thrown in at the start for good measure.

     911 (contains spoilers) 
  • Adventures in Comaland: Turns out the fantastic white world we see in the video is a representation of a car accident in the real world that Gaga, here addressed as Stefani, gets involved in, and it ends after paramedics defibrillate her.
  • But You Were There, and You, and You: The people in the white world dream correspond to people in the real world accident scene in the ending.
    • The male dancer hitting his head on a pillow on the ground at the start of the video is a driver whose airbag has deployed and who is trapped in his car.
    • The person wearing blue robes with a high, white collar who lip-syncs the first lines of the song and then grabs a pole behind Gaga is a pedestrian watching the scene of the accident from across the street by a lamp post.
    • The two men in orange robes on either side of the multicolor door frame Gaga is standing behind are two firefighters removing and taking away a car door so they can get the driver out.
    • The woman in purple robes holding a mummy is a pedestrian wearing a purple shirt, holding an unconscious man and crying.
    • The man in black and the woman in white who descend from the sky before the first chorus are the two paramedics helping Stefani (foreshadowed by the woman wearing a white dress with a red cross on it).
    • Two more people wearing blue robes with high, white collars later appear with first person, one of whom has a stick with a rectangle on the end of it. She uses the stick to point out the dancers coming from the sky and then point to the people on the ground. In real life, they’re a couple watching the accident from across the street, and the woman has her cell phone on a selfie stick, hinting that she called the paramedics.
    • During the second verse, the man in black can be seen putting a mask on a seated man, who is wearing gold-and-black robes, while a man in orange holding a water pitcher stands behind them. In the real world, the seated man is another driver wearing a gold-and-black-patterned suit and an oxygen mask, and the man in orange is a firefighter helping him.
    • After the second chorus, another man in orange robes is standing on a ladder and throwing rose petals, and a man in blue is holding out one hand while gesturing with his other arm. In the real world, the man in orange is another firefighter up on the movie theater marquee trying to make it stop shooting sparks, and the man in blue is a police officer directing traffic on the street below him.
  • Call-Back: The hairbow, first introduced in "Poker Face" and was one of her most well-known hairstyles, reappears here.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable: Averted through Rule of Symbolism. Most of the accident victims are shown as receiving an oxygen mask instead with only Stefani appearing to receive it at around the end of the second chorus. Her walking away from the attempt indicates that it doesn't quite fix her.
  • Drugs Are Good: According to Gaga herself, the song is about taking antipsychotic drug to manage her mental health. The accident in the video also happens because Stefani, not having taken her medications (her pain pills, so-to-speak), blunders into traffic and causes a massive accident involving several cars and even causes one casualty.
  • The Ending Changes Everything: This is not your usual Surreal Music Video from Gaga.
  • Flower Motif: Gaga carries a yellow rose as she ascends partway to the heavens before being yanked back down midway through the video. As yellow roses can mean farewell, this, as well as the below-mentioned halo, symbolizes that her character is dying. Reinforcing the dying motif is that the rose has noticeably wilted with the thorns much more visible by the time she is yanked back down to "reality".
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus:
    • At the end of the ascension scene (around 2:17 into the Youtube video), a very brief shot of Stefani gasping for breath in reality after her revival is shown.
    • All of the figures in orange robes in the dream world have "IX I I" or "9 1 1" in Roman numerals on their hats.
  • Gratuitous Panning: The very end of the song switches to a mono sound - used to indicate something isn't quite right with the world Gaga is in.
  • Heroic BSoD: Gaga undergoes one prior to receiving daggers to her chest at the end of the video.
  • Holy Halo: Gaga wears one during her aforementioned ascension. However, ulimately subverted as not only does she survive the accident but the halo is around her head, indicating she is Not Quite Dead.
  • It's All My Fault: After being revived, Stefani tearfully asks if people have died in the accident she has caused (spelled out in a deleted scene, where she directly asks "Did I kill anybody?"), apologizing shortly after.
  • Magical Defibrillator: What eventually revives Stefani from her unconscious state.
  • Nightmare Fuel Coloring Book: Right before the last chorus, there is a drawing on the wall depicting a scene of accident that looks like it is drawn by a child.
  • Parody Product Placement: A downplayed example with an LG (Life's Good) billboard appears just before Stefani cries that she doesn't want to die.
  • Rule of Symbolism: The people and even objects and scenery seen throughout the video turns out to symbolize people and objects in the real world accident scene.
  • Shout-Out: The video is an homage to The Color of Pomegranates, particularly its use of visual symbolism to narrate a story. The real world scene in the ending also includes a poster of the film.
  • Unlimited Wardrobe: Gaga is the only person in the video who dresses in multiple outfits, each with their own meaning.

"Can't read my, can't read my
No he can't read my troper face
She's got me like nobody~"


Video Example(s):


Gaga Oscar Song

Honest Trailer for "A Star is Born" includes a parody of "Shallow" promoting Lady Gaga's Oscar campaign.

How well does it match the trope?

4.56 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / SongParody

Media sources: