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Don't touch her. Don't look at her. My kitten knows tae kwon do.

"Due to my strong personal convictions, I wish to stress that this record in no way endorses a belief in the occult."
— The last lines of "Lifetime Achievement Award", referencing the opening graphic of Michael Jackson's Thriller.
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Lemon Demon is a one-man band created by internet personality Neil Cicierega, active from 2003 onward. To date, seven albums have been releasednote , the first four of which are now available for free.

Most of his songs could be considered Mind Screw, though given he created Animutation, this isn't very surprising.

The most widely recognizable Lemon Demon song is still 2005's "The Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny", which was accompanied by a Flash animation.

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Discography

  • Clown Circus (2003)
  • Live From The Haunted Candle Shop (2003)
  • Hip To The Javabean (2004)
  • Damn Skippy (2005)
  • Dinosaurchestra (2006)
  • View-Monster (2008)
  • Live (Only Not) (2011)
  • I Am Become Christmas (2012)
  • Nature Tapes EP (2014)
  • Spirit Phone (2016)
  • Upcoming album (TBA)


"I wish these tropes could take me away!":

  • The '80s: Lemon Demon's music has the general feel of '80s synthpop. Several songs on Spirit Phone are either set during the decade or reference it extensively, such as "Cabinet Man" and "Reaganomics".
  • Abhorrent Admirer: The singer of "Soft Fuzzy Man" is a parody of "nice guys" who think they're entitled to women because they're different. In one verse he literally sings "I'm not like other guys," which is technically true, since he's sentient cloud of Deadly Gas.
  • Abusive Parents: Implied in "As Your Father I Expressly Forbid It".
    Okay, I found my medicine
    I'm sorry that I yelled at you
    But let this be a lesson, if you ever steal my medicine
    That's what I'll do
    I'll yell at you
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  • Accidental Suicide: Stan in "Modify" tries to "scarify his neck with a rope". It goes about as well as you'd expect.
  • Accordion to Most Sailors: “The Ocean” makes liberal use of the accordion.
  • A Lady on Each Arm: The narrator in "Hip Hop Cherry Pop" claims that, after having the eponymous drink, he'll have three "sexy ladies" on each arm.
  • Bookends:
    • All three parts of Dinosaurchestra begin and end with the sound of a clock ticking, before finally ringing in the third part.
    • The end of "Spiral of Ants", closing track on Spirit Phone, loops seamlessly back into the start of the album in "Lifetime Achievement Award."
      • Also, "Spiral of Ants" is about repetition while "Lifetime Achievement Award" is about resurrection, and the first word spoken on the album is "die" while the final word is "life".
  • Big "OMG!": One happens towards the end of "Ben Bernanke".
  • Body Horror:
    • "Cryptosanta" is about a person who's accidentally shot with an experimental laser beam that causes him to transform (painfully)into Santa Claus.
      Body horror, tendons snapping
      Ribbons and wrapping, stocking stuffing
      Skin is sloughing, bones are bowing,
      Something is growing. Something, ohhh!
    • "Modify", which is half a spoof and half a defense on body... modification.
      Howie thought brass was the height of style
      Now he's got something of a steampunk smile
      [...]
      Sally got a dagger hung from her septum
      O'Malley cut his ears off, but wishes that he kept 'em
      [...]
      Rooney got his skull exposed, doggone it
      Soon he's gonna get scrimshaw carved on it
      [..]
      Mason got Frankenstein stitches installed
      Adjacent to her eyes cause she wants to look mauled
      [...]
      Johnny stuck 20 gauge nails through his feet
      Donnie stuck 40 if only to compete
      [...]
      Stan tried to scarify his neck with a rope
      His plan kinda failed, but it would've been dope
    • "Sweet Bod", in which a honey-filled corpse is prepared for human consumption as a miracle cure.
    • "Cabinet Man", where the singer's "electric desires" drive him to combine his human organs with a game cabinet's systems.
    • In "You're at the Party", staying at the titular party too long causes this to happen.
      Hour hand's gone and now you're feeling strange
      Now your hands grow strong, your fingers long
      And your face
      Your face begins to change
  • Bow Chicka Wow Wow: Part 3.4 of the interactive video "Haircut". "Do you slap her in the face, or do you Bow Chicka-Chicka Wow-Wow?"
  • Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: The chorus of "SAD" is composed of these:
    "Cold plus hopeless: copeless
    Cold plus listless: kissed less
    Cold plus relapse: collapse
    Cold plus morose: comatose"
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: A lot songs start out as fairly tame before turning utterly bizarre.
  • Came Back Wrong: If the ragged breathing and the repeated chant of "oh no!" is anything to go by, this is what happens to the reanimated musician at the end of "Lifetime Achievement Award".
  • Cats Are Mean: The entire purpose of "Kitten Is Angry" is to illustrate this. However, the closing line indicates he love her regardless.
  • Compensating for Something: The lead singer in "Knife Fight" takes offense to his knife being called "way too small", countering that "my knife's super sharp, and that's what counts".
  • Conspiracy Theorist: Spirit Phone features several, fitting its theme:
    • The singer of "Touch-Tone Telephone" is one, and details his attempts to contact the host of a paranormal radio show. He mentions space Nazis, ancient aliens, and UFOlogy as part of his unified theory, and believes that he's being pursued for his beliefs ("pretty soon they'll discover me in the Super-Sargasso Sea").
    • The bonus song "Crisis Actors" shows a darker side, covering the extreme conspiracy theorists who believe that crisis actors — individuals paid to stage emergencies — are behind the world's tragedies. Like "Touch-Tone Telephone", however, the singer also believes he's being pursued ("those who do the math have been known to end up drowning in the bath").
  • Cover Version: A couple on View-Monster, namely "Super Hey Ya" (which gives the original song even more Lyrical Dissonance) and "While My Keytar Gently Weeps" (a synth-laden, vocoded cover of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps").
  • Cowboy BeBop at His Computer: Invoked and parodied with "Jaws", which gets multiple facts about the source material wrong while also mentioning it was "a movie that everyone saw". Among other things, he calls Hooper by his actor's name, Richard Dreyfuss, and also claims that the shark "sneaks in [the mayor's house] in the middle of the night and he eats that fucker in a single bite".
  • Creepypasta: Spirit Phone is basically a Concept Album consisting of Creepypastas, some original and some inspired by existing concepts.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • The Nature Tapes EP has a much more unsettling tracks compared to previous releases, and contains swearing.
    • Zig-Zagged with Spirit Phone. Some of the songs on the album sound much creepier, more of a The Man In Stripes And Glasses tone, while some of them are very upbeat with creepy lyrics.
  • Despair Event Horizon: Crossed by the main character in "Indie Cindy & The Lo-Fi Lullabies". Following a dream of a failed concert, she breaks up (with herself) and tears down her studio.
  • Did You Just Romance Cthulhu?: "No-Eyed Girl" from Spirit Phone is about a man in love with some sort of Eldritch Abomination or Humanoid Abomination. It seems that he gets the "girl," possibly dooming the world in the process.
  • Didn't Think This Through: The guys in "Knife Fight" talk up the epic knife fight they're going to have... until they realize they'll both get hurt! They immediately agree to a much safer tickle fight instead.
  • Digging Yourself Deeper: The joke of "Sweet Bod" is that the narrator tries to explain that he definitely doesn't intend anything sexual in creating a mellified man, and that it's purely a commercial project, but the fact that he thinks it necessary to specify this just makes it come off as definitely being sexual.
  • Dropped-in Speech Clip: "Reaganomics" samples Ronald Reagan's inauguration speech, specifically "In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem." After the initial sample, the quote is edited YouTube Poop style to say "Government is the solution to our problem."
  • Easter Egg:
    • The LP release of Spirit Phone contains one in the run-out groove right after "Spiral of Ants". It's a loop of the Laughing Record mentioned in "When He Died".
    • Similarly, the run-out groove on the vinyl release of Nature Tapes contains the robotic voice from "BRODYQUEST" repeatedly saying "Adrien Brody".
  • Epic Instrumental Opener:
    • "BRODYQUEST" starts off as a progressive instrumental track, until the name of the character walking throughout the quest starts being chanted while he becomes the universe.
    • "Elsewhere", the closing track of Clown Circus, has over three and a half minutes of instrumental before its single verse.
    • "Sick Puppy" from Hip to the Javabean is even longer, being nearly 8 minutes of instrumental and ambiance before getting to the actual song, which is around 2 minutes long.
  • Existential Horror: Pretty much every song on the latter part of Spirit Phone doesn't outright fit the previous Creepypasta theme, instead heavily invoking this, especially "I Earn My Life" and "Spiral of Ants". It is a notable shift from the album's more occult and weird horror-themed songs, and seems to imply a message of "What if the real horror is the modern capitalist society we all live in?" It's especially emphasized by the bonus tracks "Crisis Actors" (which is about people who believe in conspiracy theories to ignore the horrors of society) and "Angry People" (which, albeit with a humorous bent, is about civil unrest).
  • Fading into the Next Song: Neil loves this trope. Most of the songs on each of his albums fades/immediately transitions into the next song.
    • Exaggerated with "View-Monster", where the transitions between each song are given individual entries on the track list.
  • First Contact: "Ancient Aliens" is about a prehistoric caveman's encounter with an extraterrestrial being whom he can't understand.
  • Friendly Tickle Torture: In "Knife Fight", the singers ultimately abandon the titular fight and resort to a tickle fight instead.
  • Hanging Up on the Grim Reaper: In "I've Got Some Falling To Do," a man who is falling to his death from an airplane gets a call from Death, and blows him off in favor of continuing to fall.
  • Haunted Technology: The eponymous "Cabinet Man" is an arcade cabinet whose inner circuitry has been replaced by a human being's organs, becoming a sentient video game.
  • Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: "Aurora Borealis", a song about a man trying to ignore the imminent apocalypse because it's Christmas Eve.
  • I Am Not Leonard Nimoy: Parodied in "Jaws" by referring to Matt Hooper as Richard Dreyfuss, who played Hooper in the movie the song took inspiration from
  • I Am the Band: Aside from live performances, Neil is the sole member of the band.
  • I Fell for Hours: "I've Got Some Falling to Do" is about a man who falls off a plane and opts to continue falling instead of accepting help or immediate death.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: In "You're at the Party", the protagonist decides to drink after the party starts to get to them:
    There's only dust on the floor where people were before
    And the dream won't leave your head
    It won't leave you
    You need a drink
    Half-empty bottles in the sink
    Down the drain
  • Jerkass Gods: Invoked in "Crisis Actors", which repeats "malevolent gods are better than none". It explains the ethos behind these conspiracy theorists, that it's more comforting to think "malevolent gods" orchestrate tragic events rather than face the reality that these events actually happened.
  • Knife Fight: Trope Namer.
    "Knife fight! You're gonna fight for your life!
    Knife fight! You're gonna fight with a knife!
    Knife fight! A really really really sharp knife!
    Yeah, knife fight!
    I'm a crazy (crazy) son of a bitch,
    I'mma cut you (cut you)
    Swish swish!
    In a knife fight! (knife fight)
    Knife fight! (knife fight)
    Knife fight! (knife fight)"
  • Limited Animation: The first three minutes of BRODYQUEST, before Adrien Brody becomes a rock star and then becomes the universe.
  • List Song:
    • "Word Disassociation" is simply a list of random, unrelated words (205, in all) with the occasional chorus.
    • "Everybody Loves Raymond" is a list of American sitcoms.
    • "Toy Food" is a list of various foods before it is explained in the chorus that "is toy."
  • Lonely at the Top: "It Can Get Lonely In My Mansion," about a man who builds all sorts of grandiose attractions in his house, only to discover than no-one really cares.
  • Loony Fan:
    • "Bill Watterson" is about someone who's deeply attracted to Watterson.
    • "Gonna Dig Up Alec Guinness" is about someone who wants to dig up the eponymous actor and put him on display for Star Wars fans to view as an attraction.
  • Lunacy: In "Man-Made Object", the singer is "an altogether different man" between night and day; at night, he gains the desire to build some kind of structure. It seeps into his dreams, and he eventually catches insomnia from looking at the moon.
  • Lyrical Dissonance:
  • A large portion of the songs from Spirit Phone fall into this category, understandably so given the album's overall subject matter. Particularly notable examples include:
    • "Cabinet Man," an upbeat song about a lonely individual who merged themselves with an arcade cabinet to experience love for the first time, only to be abandoned as time passes and home consoles become more popular, and then destroyed by a group of teens who break into the empty arcade.
    • "When He Died," a sweet-sounding song about a man who dies in mysterious circumstances and is implied to have been some kind of Barrier Maiden whose death would usher in "an endless age of untold nightmares" for all of humanity.
    • "Eighth Wonder," about Gef the Mongoose, has a fairly straightforward tone for most of the song - this changes toward the end in the form of Wham Line dissonance, when Gef begs Jim to let him go. This implies that he is either being held captive, or that Jim has become too attached to the ghostly mongoose, who knows he cannot stay.
    • "Ancient Aliens," in which a prehistoric caveman has an encounter with an alien that has likely crash-landed on Earth, killing all of their companions. The alien attempts to reach out to the caveman for help, but the caveman can't understand what or how the alien is communicating.
    • "I Earn My Life," and to a lesser extent, "As Your Father I Expressly Forbid It," both songs about the same father who is incredibly hostile to his child because their family is deep in debt, forcing the father to overwork and potentially contemplate suicide to get out of his burdens. A bit of the dissonance also leaks over into "Reaganomics," as in spite of the upbeat tempo and fun, goofy lyrics, it's implied that "As Your Father" and "I Earn My Life" both take place in the late 80s, meaning that their precarious financial situation, and by extension the father's suicidal idealization, is likely due in large part to Reagan's economic policies.
  • "Indie Cindy and the Lo-Fi Lullabies" is an upbeat song about a struggling musician who becomes so disillusioned with her goals of becoming a musician, she breaks up (with herself) and trashes her studio.
  • Meaningless Meaningful Words:
    • "Redesign Your Logo" consists of a lot of six-syllable nonsense corporate jargon to describe a brand. It's based on an infamous 2008 design document detailing the process behind Pepsi's logo redesign, which uses a very similar meaningless meaningful tone.
    • "Sundial" is intentionally full of lyrics that sound meaningful but make no sense, ending with the line "Don't enjoy this private screening, this one doesn't have a meaning." Which, paradoxically, is the only line that does have a meaning.
  • Metal Scream: Gives a chilling one at the end of "Everybody Loves Raymond".
  • Mind Screw:
    • Oh yeah. "Telekinesis" is an especially good example.
    • What about "Bowling Alley"? Even the narrator claims it's like an acid trip. Not that he advocates drugs because Drugs Are Bad and stuff.
    • His Rugrats video from 2008 which is a bizarre, yet trippy tribute to the beloved Nickelodeon series of the same name. Notably the show's composer Mark Mothersbaugh.
    • Many, many, many songs.
      • Mold en Mono
      • Musical Chairs
      • Sky Is Not Blue
      • New Way Out
      • Word Disassociation
      • Sundial
      • Flamingo Legs
      • 123456 Pokemon
      • Subtle Oddities
      • You're At The Party
  • Mike Nelson, Destroyer of Worlds: "The Saga of You, Confused Destroyer of Planets" is about an intergalactic traveller who accidentally and unknowingly destroys planets while drunk.
  • Mood Whiplash: The otherwise humorous and Devo-inspired Spirit Phone ends with "Spiral of Ants," an unnerving song about being trapped by society. Even earlier in the album, right after the tongue-in-cheek "As Your Father I Expressly Forbid It" comes "I Earn My Life," an upbeat-sounding tune about a man running himself ragged working day to day, terrified of dying, leaving his family in debt.
  • Mundane Made Awesome:
    • Neil somehow manages to turn a list of American sitcoms into an insane techno song in "Everybody Loves Raymond". Especially when he screams the song title during the chorus.
    • In "Lawnmower", he makes the process of mowing lawns seem almost exciting.
  • Musical Nod: When "Jaws" first mentions Brody, it plays a snippet from "BRODYQUEST".
  • Nerds Are Sexy: "Geeks In Love" is about two geeks attracted to each other because of their shared nerdy attributes.
  • Non-Appearing Title: On Spirit Phone, "Cabinet Man". The title of "Ancient Aliens" isn't mentioned in the song itself, but actually gets name-dropped in an earlier song, "Touch-Tone Telephone".
  • Overdrawn at the Blood Bank: The lead singer of "Knife Fight" promises to make his opponent "bleed copious amounts" after being insulted about the size of his knife.
  • Pre-Asskicking One-Liner: The penultimate verse of "Knife Fight" is just the two guys hurling these at each other.
  • Red Right Hand: "Atomic Copper Claw" is about a person who's trying to hide their atomic copper claw, but the narrator is fully aware of it and seeks to expose them.
  • Robot War: "When Robots Attack!" is about a robot war. It seems that the robots win.
  • Rock-Star Song: Defied with "Being a Rock Star", which is a song about Neil not wanting to make a rock star song, seeing it as too much of a cliche and wanting to avoid sounding conceited.
  • Sanity Slippage: The lyrics of “My Trains” starts out rather eccentric, yet somehow becomes even more manic as the song progresses, ultimately becoming absolutely batshit and leaving you terrified of the narrator's level of fanaticism for his model trains.
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: Since Neil is pretty much the only member of his band, most backup vocals heard in songs are just him. On the Spirit Phone commentary track, Neil states that, on "Sweet Bod", some of his backing vocals are even pitched up to make it sound like he has both male and female singers.
  • Self-Referential Track Placement: Subverted. "Eighth Wonder" is the seventh song on Spirit Phone.
  • Shaped Like Itself: In "Modify", Rooney gets "scrimshaw" carved onto his skull. Among other things, the art of scrimshaw includes carvings in bone.
  • Shout-Out:
  • Snake Oil Salesman: The narrator of "Sweet Bod" is selling jars of honey from a "mellified man" for a hundred bucks each, claiming them to be a miracle cure. Neil directly mentions this in the "Spirit Phone" commentary, saying that filling this role makes for a passable pop song.
  • Space Whale Aesop: From "Angry People": "Sooner or later, everybody must die/Die by the hand/Of their own evil baby."
  • Surreal Music Video: Word Disassociation. The video is with pieces of paper with random words on them, put next to random places.
  • Take That!:
    • The song "eBaums World Dot Com", which consists primarily of insults directed at the eponymous site and its founder, Eric Bauman. Several of Neil's close friends have had Flash videos stolen by eBaum, so it comes as no surprise.
    • Never Go On Reddit, a brief parody of "My Lovin' (You're Never Gonna Get It)" by En Vogue.
    • "Reganomics" mocks the political policies of Ronald Reagan, depicting him as a blowhard wannabe action hero offering empty promises to "save" the country.
  • Tears from a Stone: Statues which cry Tears of Blood are mentioned in both "Subtle Oddities" and in "When He Died". No explanation is given in either instance (it doesn't help that the blood in the latter is the blood of the man who died, and the statues are of his own children who apparently went missing).
  • Testosterone Poisoning: "Two Trucks" is a song about two trucks having sex, the sight of which is so magnificent that it makes the singer's muscles involuntarily flex, and makes grown men, including the founding fathers, cry.
  • Tin-Can Telephone: One is mentioned in "Your Imaginary Friend". Who exactly is on the other end, however, is up for debate.

 
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