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Music / Michael Jackson

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The King of Pop.

"I'm starting with the man in the mirror
I'm asking him to change his ways
And no message could’ve been any clearer
If you wanna make the world a better place
Take a look at yourself, then make a change."

Originally a member of the Motown act The Jackson 5, Michael Joseph Jackson (August 29, 1958 – June 25, 2009) debuted as a solo artist in 1971 — the year he turned thirteen. His full-fledged solo career took off in the late 1970s. Though songs from his first serious solo effort, Off the Wall (1979), were extremely popular, he reached unprecedented superstardom in 1982 with his album Thriller. Thriller is still the best-selling album of all time today, and won a total of 8 Grammy Awards.

Jackson was, perhaps, the definitive celebrity of The '80s. His singing voice and dance moves (especially his Signature Move, the Moonwalk Dance) gained iconic status. His unusually elaborate music videos were something of a Killer App for the emerging MTV. In particular, the one for "Thriller" is probably the most famous music video ever made. He had also been the first African-American artist to receive heavy rotation on the channel.note  By the end of the decade, he had another successful album in Bad (the first album to yield five number one singles on the Billboard charts), a direct-to-video movie and even video games.


As The '90s rolled around, Jackson had another success with the album Dangerous. However, within a few years media attention had turned on his health and appearance, his personal life and some allegations of sexual abuse against children. Jackson did release two more albums but for the rest of his life was Overshadowed by Controversy (or perhaps just eccentricity). In 2009, he looked set for a comeback after booking a 50-show farewell concert engagement in London, England.

It was not to be. He died on June 25, 2009 due to an overdose of propofol (a hospital-grade anaesthetic) a few weeks before the first concert, at the age of 50. The doctor who administered the medication was later found guilty of involuntary manslaughter. Jackson's family sued tour organizer AEG for negligence but lost that case in 2013. Jackson's memorial service that July 7 was broadcast live around the world; he is interred in Forest Lawn Memorial Park Cemetery in Glendale, California. Later that year, the first of many posthumous Jackson-related projects, This Is It, compiled from rehearsal footage of the aborted London shows, was released. Shortly after his death, Jackson would see renewed critical and public popularity, though the child molestation accusations would still float around here and there in the public consciousness.


This would eventually culminate in the release of the 2019 Leaving Neverland, which went into detail about two new allegations against him. It was released to critical acclaim. However, it was still incredibly controversial. Some public figures and fans heavily criticized and denounced the documentary, saying it was full of lies and factual errors. Regardless of its accuracy, Leaving Neverland prompted a second public reevaluation of Jackson's life and legacy.

Please note that the previously mentioned means the Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement heavily applies on this page.

Trope Namer for Michael Jackson's "Thriller" Parody, Trope Codifier for Moonwalk Dance.

Studio Discography:

Remix albums:

  • 1986 - The Original Soul of Michael Jackson
  • 1997 - Blood On the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix
  • 2009 - The Stripped Mixes
  • 2009 - The Remix Suite

Posthumous Discography:

Notable Compilation albums:

  • There were a lot of these released during his lifetime and even more after his death:
    • 1972 - A Collection of Michael Jackson's Oldies note 
    • 1975 - The Best of Michael Jackson
    • 1981 - One Day In Your Life note 
    • 1986 - Anthology note 
    • 2000 - 20th Century Masters - The Millenium Collection: The Best of Michael Jackson note 
    • 2001 - Greatest Hits: HIStory, Vol. 1 note 
    • 2003 - Number Ones note 
    • 2004 - The Ultimate Collection note 
    • 2005 - The Essential Michael Jackson note 
    • 2008 - King of Pop note 
    • 2009 - Hello World - The Motown Solo Collection, The Definitive Collection, The Collection, Michael Jackson's This Is It
    • 2013 - The Indispensable Collection
    • 2017 - Scream


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    Tropes associated with his works 
  • '70s Hair: The afro he sported from when he was with The Jackson 5 up until somewhere around the time Off The Wall was released.
  • '80s Hair: His trademark Jheri Curl, as seen in the image above.
  • Album Filler: Or more specifically, a noted lack thereof early on. In later interviews towards the end of his life, he specifically noted this trope as the impetus to his work on his three biggest albums Off the Wall, Thriller, and Bad. He stated he asked himself, "Why can't there be an album where every song could be released as a single?" He seems to have done well with his goal there: Off the Wall was the first album ever with four Top Ten singles, Thriller had seven Top Ten singles (of nine total songs on the album), and Bad was the first album to have five #1 hits in America (only Katy Perry matched it, nearly 25 years later). In fact, 10 out of the 11 songs on Bad were released as singlesnote  , which is still the record for the most singles from an album.
  • Ancient Egypt: The "Remember the Time" music video took place in an ancient Egyptian court, full of pharaohs and the like. No mummies, though.
  • Angry Black Man: Rarely ever acted like this in real life, but he does in his videos for "They Don't Care About Us", "Scream" and "Bad".
  • The Baby Trap: "Billie Jean," where the title character claims her child is his. Michael claimed that it was based on all the groupies trying to pull this on him or his brothers, though the song implies that he did spent the night with her.
  • Being Watched: Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me" as well as his own "Who Is It" video has a face in the wall of the main character's apartment. The face seems to imply he knows what his lover has been doing to him. The lover in the short film is a high profile prostitute.
  • Bowdlerise: The original version of the "black panther" scene from the Black or White music video became controversial due to Jackson being shown to destroy glass from cars and walls. A altered version with racist text added on the glass (as in vandalism) exists, as if Jackson was a anti-Racism protester and wanted to remove all evidence of racism jokes.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: Latoya Jackson plays Michael's love interest in the video for "Say Say Say". In the video, however, they are not (apparently) related, and thankfully they only flirt.
  • The Cameo: There is nothing to say here besides, well... Space Channel 5. Especially Part 2. Yes, that really is his voice.
    • He also appeared as himself in Men In Black 2, and as a hidden boxer in Ready 2 Rumble Boxing: Round 2.
    • He also had a role in Miss Cast Away, made in 2004. He was prominently featured on the cover as a selling point (but then, according to reviews, it had nothing else to offer).
    • The music video to "Liberian Girl" is all about this. Seriously, there a couple of dozen of celebs featured in just this one video, like Whoopi Goldberg, John Travolta, Steven Spielberg, you name it. The video can be simply refereed to as Michael Jackson's "Look how many 80's A-list celebrities I'm friends with!"
  • Celebrity Star: The Simpsons episode "Stark Raving Dad" has Homer meeting a man named "Leon Kompowsky" who thinks he's Michael Jackson. The voice actor credited with the role was "John Jay Smith," but aside (ironically) from his singing it is Jackson's actual voice — he was a huge fan of the show who also produced "Do the Bartman".
    • And even though he didn't sing it, the episode also gave us one of the show's Crowning Moments of Everything in "Lisa, It's Your Birthday". He apparently didn't do the singing parts because Sony would not allow him to, though another story floating around is that Michael wanted to prank his family with the sound-alike singer (Kipp Lennon).
  • Claymation: In the video for Speed Demon, Michael encounters several claymation characters and ends up on the run from them. When he enters the wardrobe, he becomes one himself — a motorcycle-riding rabbit named Spike.
  • Clothes Make the Legend: White socks, short trousers, black trilby, and single sparkly white glove; also a red leather jacket, military jackets, etc. And let's not forget his "Smooth Criminal" attire.
    • His vests and floppy hats during the Jackson 5 period, too.
  • Concept Album: Off the Wall is about the ups and downs of partying while Blood on the Dance Floor as an EP (without the remixes) could very well be a concept album on inner demons such as lust, addiction, jealousy, and masochism.
  • Concept Video: Most of his music videos, which he preferred to call "short films".
  • Crucified Hero Shot: Jackson often did this at the end of performances for his more inspirational, “world-saving” songs, such as “Man in the Mirror,” “Heal the World,” and “Earth Song.”
  • Cute Kitten: On the 25th anniversary edition of Thriller's cover, Jackson is holding a tiger cub.
  • Cooking Duel: Several of his appearances and works has Michael's character resolve a potentially violent conflict through dance battles:
    • In Moonwalker.
    • Also in Beat It, where he defuses gang fights by stepping in and starting to dance, and in Bad.
    • His appearances in Space Channel 5 and its sequel, which is a game of dance battles.
    • Captain EO
  • Darker and Edgier: Bad was supposed to give him an "edgier" image, but it didn't really take. Later albums did delve into this trope more effectively (i.e. "Who Is It" from Dangerous).
    • Also, Thriller is very edgy comparing to his earlier more light-hearted albums, with the darker subjects of zombies, babies trap and gangster violence.
  • The Dead Can Dance: His Thriller video is the Trope Codifier, with many subsequent "zombie dances" mimicking moves from the video. Done again in Ghosts.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The videos for "Scream", "Stranger In Moscow" and the Talky Bookends of "Bad".
  • Distinct Double Album: HIStory, one disc being old "greatest hits" material, the other being new music.
  • Door Slam of Rage: At the beginning of the music video for "Black or White", the father sends his son to his room and slams his door so hard, a picture frame hanging above comes down.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: A demo version of "Another Part Of Me" appears at the end of the 1986 short film Captain EO in which Michael starred. It has different synth sounds to the final version, although similar vocals. The following year, the final version of it appeared on "Bad", and the year after that, as a single.
  • Epic Rocking: Dangerous has ten songs over five minutes long (though "Will You Be There" stole some Beethoven for its intro). Disc two of HIStory has three numbers over six minutes (including "Earth Song"), and Invincible opens with the 6:25 "Unbreakable".
    • Would also draw out live performances, fake-ending them several times, similar to James Brown.
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: He wore silver sequins on his glove and socks for this reason; with sparkly white socks, viewers could pay attention to his dance moves more easily.
  • Everything's Deader with Zombies: Thriller features not only dancing zombies, but Jackson himself becoming a zombie.
  • Face-Revealing Turn: The music video for "Thriller" has possibly the most famous (and most frequently parodied) use of the trope of all time.
  • Fake Shemp: Famously, when he wasn't available, the video for the Jacksons' "Torture" used a wax dummy and elaborate costumes.
    • Michael had also used an impersonator for certain shots in his "Who Is It" video because he was busy with the Dangerous tour at the time. That same impersonator (E'Casanova Evans) also stood in for MJ in Back to the Future Part II.
  • Friend To All Animals: Michael would get in trouble for feeding the rats and mice who lived in his home as a kid.
  • Gem-Encrusted: Most of his costumes as time went on. The ones he would have worn in the This Is It tour would bring it Up to Eleven.
  • The Generalissimo: Jackson’s motif for the HIStory album, but even for years prior to this album, he was known to wear fancy military attire.
  • Giant Spider: This Is It features a giant black widow spider in the Thriller segment. Not only is one on screen (this would have been in 3D, no less), but one scurries on stage that opens up to reveal Jackson.
  • Grand Finale: This Is It was going to be a Grand Finale for his career; he died before it could start.
  • Greatest Hits Album: HIStory has this as a first disc and an album of new material as a second disc. The first disc became available separately some time later.
    • For straighter examples, popular examples are Number Ones, The Ultimate Collection (actually a career-spanning box set), The Essential Michael Jackson (which is part of Sony's acclaimed Essential series), and King of Pop (which had different versions in many differeny countries due to fans voting their own selection of songs). There's also all manner of compilations covering his material as a child star.
  • Guyliner: Wore it from the mid-80s onward, allegedly having tattoos on his eyelids to resemble this in his later years.
  • Heel Realization: Downplayed, but "Man In The Mirror" is about someone who realizes he's been a self-centered jerkass, and vowing to change for the better.
  • Insistent Terminology: From the Dangerous era onwards, he stopped calling his music videos "music videos," exclusively referring to them as "short films" (technically he wasn't wrong, but by and large they still wholly fit into the "music video" category), even the ones that were just bare-bones footage of him performing; even his official Vevo channel gets in on the act! Similarly, his songs with the Jackson 5 were always called "the Old Songs," with his solo works being "the New Songs."
  • Intercourse with You:
    • A few songs seem romantic, but are clearly this trope. At the very least, Invincible's "Break of Dawn" doesn't hide it, despite the sombre mood.
    • Subverted with "The Lady in my Life,". It was one of two tracks not released as a single from Thriller, and has uncharacteristically sexual lyrics.
  • Licensed Game: Michael Jackson's Moonwalker, his appearance in Space Channel 5 and most recently a dancing/karaoke game developed by Ubisoft in light of the Rhythm Game craze.
  • List Song: "Why You Wanna Trip On Me" is a list of things Michael thinks people should worry about more than his personal life. "Earth Song" has a similar list near the end of the song of things Michael thinks we should worry about involving the Earth's ecology.
  • Loony Fan: Billie Jean was reportedly inspired by a fan who claimed Michael was the father of one of her twins, when Michael ignored her she sent him a photograph of herself and a gun, that she told him to use on himself on a certain date. Michael was so scared of her he carried this woman’s photo everywhere, memorizing it in case he ever saw her.
    • After the song came out another mentally unstable fan would change her name to Billie Jean and spend her entire life stalking him, staging regular break ins to both Encino and Neverland, suing him for spousal support and even after his death, suing and demanding custody of his children.
  • Loophole Abuse: After the first trial Michael was forbidden to ever explicitly reference the trial and the accusers by name. So on his album History he produced songs that didn't explcilty mention the trial while still making it clear based on the topics of his songs while the song D.S, a song that mentions the Chandler lawyer Tom Sneddon by name got away with it due to the official lyrics referring to him as "Dom Sheldon".
  • Loud of War: The video for "Black or White" opens with a father insisting his son turns his music off, only for the son to set up a ridiculously large guitar amp and crank it all the way to "Are You Nuts!?!", with rather destructive effects.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "The Girl Is Mine" is light light light '80s pop about two guys fighting over a girl who is probably playing them both for someone less obsessive than either of them. "Billie Jean" is an upbeat dance number about an obsessive fan. "Smooth Criminal" is an upbeat dance-pop song about a woman being attacked in her apartment by a criminal and presumably murdered.
  • Madonna–Whore Complex: Jackson's songs involving women are typically either saccharine love songs—"Lady in My Life," "The Girl is Mine," "I Just Can't Stop Loving You," "You Are Not Alone"—or portrays them as overly sexualized, untrustworthy manipulators—"Billie Jean," "Dirty Diana," "Dangerous," "In the Closet." Given that he never really had a chance at a normal dating experience and his only relationships were with obsessive female fans or other pop superstarsnote , it's often theorized that he wasn't just a prude and was actually afraid of sex.
  • Medium Blending: The claymation, blended with real backgrounds and people, in the video for "Speed Demon".
  • Metal Scream: "Dirty Diana" has some surprisingly epic ones toward the end.
  • Michael Jackson's "Thriller" Parody: Trope originator, obviously. There are countless parodies of dancing zombies that can be directly traced to "Thriller."
  • Mistaken for an Imposter: In 2008, while at a Halloween party with his kids, people thought he was a Michael Jackson impersonator and then played "Thriller" when he walked in.
  • Mistaken Identity:
    • Michael was detained while driving his Rolls Royce in 1981 because they thought his car looked “stolen.” Michael later told his mother he was just excited to have been inside a police cell.
    • Michael also once had the police called out in 1989 because he was wearing a disguise while shopping for a ring and they suspected he was a possible thief.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: The hardest Michael's music ever got was a 4, thanks to "Beat It" which featured an Eddie Van Halen guitar solo. Of course, he wasn't the least bit shy about dipping down to a 1, such as "She's Out Of My Life."
    • "Morphine" from Blood On The Dance Floor might reach a 5 or a 6 due to the somewhat harsh industrial influence and Slash's guitar work, but drops down to a 1 in the bridge.
  • Moonwalk Dance: Didn't invent it, but popularized it, performed it at every live concert, and it became one of his immortal trademarks.
  • The Movie: Moonwalker and/or This Is It can apply.
  • New Jack Swing: The undisputed best selling artist of the genre during the 90s with a combined total of 58 million albums sold worldwide between 1991-97note  Jackson also wrote and produced tracks for several new jack swing artists such as Ralph Tresvant and Blackstreet.
  • New Sound Album: Off the Wall, a pop-R&B album, was this to his previous solo work as a "bubblegum" child act. From that point on, his work followed the trends of pop music in general, with each subsequent album taking on a new sound.
  • Nice Hat:
    • His black Trilby. In several concerts, he threw it into the audience.
    • The white fedora from "Smooth Criminal" can also qualify.
  • No Animals Were Harmed: A disclaimer at the end of the music video for "Earth Song" says that no animals were harmed during the making of the video, though an unnamed poacher had killed an elephant within a mile of the shot.
  • Obsession Song: "Baby Be Mine", "Billie Jean", "The Girl Is Mine", "I Just Can't Stop Loving You", "Dirty Diana", "Streetwalker", "Can't Let Her Get Away", "Remember the Time", "Who Is It", "Give In to Me", and "Dangerous".
  • One-Man Song: Ben.
  • One-Woman Song: Billie Jean, The Lady In My Life, Liberian Girl, Dirty Diana.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: His youngest son, Prince Michael Jackson II, is known as "Blanket".
  • Ordinary People's Music Video: "Black or White" has dancers from all around the world, wearing traditional garb and performing traditional dances. The final segment features several people of different races and gender morphing into another person.
  • Our Founder: The trailer for his HIStory album shows him heading an army and erecting a giant statue of himself. That statue trick (it served as the cover of the album, and actual replicas of it were circulated on his tour) was criticized even by his fans as being too Small Name, Big Ego.
  • Parody Assistance: Jackson was a strong supporter of "Weird Al" Yankovic and even let Weird Al use the “Badder” set from Moonwalker to film the “Bad” parody, “Fat”. Weird Al was also one of the many celebrities to appear in the video for "Liberian Girl". The only parody request Jackson turned down from Weird Al was for "Black or White", because Jackson felt the song's subject matter was too serious to be parodied.
  • Pass the Popcorn: Sorta does this in the "Thriller" video, noshing away at popcorn while his girlfriend recoils in terror during the movie. An animated gif featuring this scene has become a massive meme.
  • Photographic Memory: Those close to him claim that he could remember names, stories, info relating to encounters with people many years before.
  • Pop-Star Composer: In the mid 2000s, it was discovered that Jackson had a hand in composing some of the soundtrack of Sonic the Hedgehog 3, with most evidence pointing to the fact that most of the songs are either uptempo or Suspiciously Similar Songs of tracks from his Dangerous album. He is not credited in the game itself, with the official reasons being that he disliked the low-grade sound equipment used to make Sega Mega Drive music, but given that he had somewhat bigger things to worry about in early 1993, it's easier to see the true reasons behind his abandoning the project. He later lent his voice and likeness to another Sega project, Space Channel 5, but it's not known if he provided any music.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • During the 2nd chorus of "Scream":
    "Stop pressuring me, stop pressuring me, stop fucking with me."
    • The very last line of "Earth Song": “Do they give a damn?!”
    • In a interview around 2004, Michael was asked about his depiction in Eminem's "Just Lose It" music video. Though he kept it fairly civil throughout, he quoted Stevie Wonder's stance on Eminem:
      Michael: Stevie said "He's bullshit", that's what he said...
  • Pun-Based Title: HIStory, which can be interpreted as "history" or "his story".
  • Really Royalty Reveal: Michael is King of an African village in Gabon on the Ivory Coast. They claim he’s had his DNA tested and has been found to have descended from the area.
  • Rearrange the Song: From the ground up! The demo for "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)" was a smooth R&B jam, virtually an entirely different song to the fast-paced dance number on Thriller. In actuality, frequent collaborator Quincy Jones wasn't keen on the demo itself but loved the title so much that he created a much more upbeat song with the same title. Thanks to The Ultimate Collection, fans got to hear the original in 2004.
  • Remix Album: Four of them. The Original Soul of Michael Jackson (1986), Blood On the Dance Floor: HIStory in the Mix (1997), and The Stripped Mixes and The Remix Suite (both 2009).
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: "Leave Me Alone," of course, directed at the media and tabloids, who in 1987 had already begun playing up the whole Wacko Jacko schtick.
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: You can pick up his own distinctive voice in the backing vocals to a majority of his songs, starting as early as "Got to be There" and "Rockin Robin". He also commonly provided his own backing "vocal instrumentation" with beatboxing and the like (as in Tabloid Junkie).
  • Shout-Out:
    • Bad is a shout-out to Cool from West Side Story.
    • "Smooth Criminal" is a shout out to Fred Astaire.
    • "Beat It" is reminiscent of West Side Story: What if Tony had stopped the fight?
    • The "Thriller" section of This Is It starts out in The Haunted Mansion — ghosts having a party in a ballroom, and the "narrator" implied to have hanged himself — and ends like Night on Bald Mountain/Ave Maria — the ghosts return to their graves at sunrise; there's also "dead bride and dead groom" "kites" that resemble the ghosts in "Night on Bald Mountain".
  • Signature Move: The moonwalk. Also, to a lesser degree, his pelvic thrust, right-leg kick, and tiptoe stance.
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: Zig-zagged. As mentioned above, the powerful, masculine-sounding voice he sang with was also his real speaking voice. That notoriously feminine-sounding falsetto he was known to speak with? That was a put-on.
  • Something Completely Different: In his last years, he was experimenting with very different styles of music and art. He considered film acting and directing but sadly, the .
  • Take That!: The song "D.S.", from the HIStory album. The lyrics say that someone named "Dom Sheldon" is a cold man, but if you listen to the song, he's clearly saying "Tom Sneddon", the Santa Barbara DA who went after him for child molestation back in the '90s and again in 2005 — in fact, some people believed that Sneddon had a vendetta against Jackson because of this song, and it was at least part of the reason he took him to trial.
  • Talky Bookends: Popularized this trope with the "Thriller" clip. The film opens with a short skit, ends with a short skit, and in between is music video magic.
  • Technician vs. Performer: MJ was both, but is generally considered the more performative artist compared to Prince. While both were very meticulous about their music, and had amazing stage presences, Prince was a multi-instrumentalist, and produced all of his tracks by himself. Jackson, while able to play some instruments, usually relied on other producers to make his tracks.
  • The Great Politics Mess-Up: The song "Stranger In Moscow" has Jackson being stalked by a KGB agent with the song presumably ending with the KGB agent interrogating him about trying to subvert the pro worker regime. The song came out a few years after the USSR collapsed in 1991, making the KGB and the Soviet regime a thing of the past. Although somewhat subverted in that it apparently takes place is pre Glasnost Russia.
  • Title: The Adaptation: Michael Jackson: The Experience (a video game).
  • Trope Codifier: For the modern, plot-driven type of music video (ones previous to him were mostly just shots of the band playing), for the modern style of pop performances (one of the first to have synchronized choreographed dance while singing), and for the modern pop artist image and persona.
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: "Man in the Mirror" contains a gear change, even being quite highly regarded by the site which is critical of the technique in general. It occurs on the word "change", which combines a lampshading with a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment, considering what was happening to Michael at the time.
  • Verbal Tic: "HEE HEE!", "I don't know!", "CHAMONE!", "WOOH!" and his fairly unique vocal "hiccup" style also qualify.
  • Vocal Evolution: He sounded a lot more nasal, weak and forced on the live tracks for "Michael Jackson's This Is It". Especially noticeable since he sounded more or less exactly the same sans stylistic changes from Bad through Invincible. It's also the reason why some of the more recent tracks on his first posthumous album, Michael are often believed to have been recorded by an impostor.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: Subverted with his song "Ben", which, despite being about a rat from a horror movie of the same name, is quite heartwarming.
  • Zipperiffic: The red jacket he wore in the "Beat It" video was covered in zippers, and was iconic enough that it's a likely trope codifier.

    Miscellaneous Tropes 
  • Bishounen: Long hair? check. Guyliner? Check. Beardless face? Checkmate!
  • Dead Artists Are Better: This is most definitely the case. Michael spent the later years of his life being mocked for alleged child molestation, and for his physical appearance (due to his vitiligo, something that was almost unheard of at the time, and suffering from stress and anxiety, which caused him to lose some weight). The news of his death brought an outpouring of grief and caused record sales to skyrocket. In fact, Jackson's death caused major websites to crash due to extraordinary internet traffic, and MJ's memorial service remains one of the most watched events in online streaming history.
  • Determinator: You could pull up many examples with Jackson, but none stick out as much as his 1999 Munich concert: The man fell fifty feet to the ground due to a technical malfunction, nearly broke his back and legs, and still had enough left in him to finish off the show.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Jackson had nine siblings.
  • Manchild: As a result of being a child star, Jackson never felt like he got a proper childhood and so was noted to take pleasure in a number of "childish" activities, and had a particular affinity for Peter Pan, even naming his home Neverland Ranch.
    • A particularly stark illustration is when Michael tells Martin Bashir that water balloon fights and climbing trees are his favorite things to do. When Martin asks Michael if they outrank things that adults usually find better (such as relationships, sex and raising a family), Michael sidesteps the question.
    • Well into his 40s, Michael spent his downtime on video games, movies aimed for a juvenile age group, and other diversions usually aimed at children and pre-teens, not a middle-aged man.
  • My God, You Are Serious: During their friendship in the early 80s, Paul McCartney suggested Michael get into the business of buying music rights. Several times, Michael said, "I'm gonna buy all of YOUR songs!" Paul laughed it off every time, thinking Michael was joking. He wasn't.
  • The Band Minus the Face: The Jacksons are this since they started touring after his death. Michael technically left the group after "Victory", and only makes a guest appearance on their final album "2300 Jackson Street", though they would make one final comeback during the 30th anniversary concerts in 2001.

Who's bad???


Video Example(s):


The Motown 25 Moonwalk

Widely cited as his breakthrough performance as a solo artist, Michael Jackson debuted the moonwalk to millions watching live around the world at Motown's 25th anniversary special; simultaneously starting a dance craze, and cementing his status as a pop superstar.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / MoonwalkDance

Media sources:

Main / MoonwalkDance