The album was unfortunately the beginning of a brief career slump for Al at the beginning of the New Millennium, largely due to Eminem revoking permission to shoot a video for "Couch Potato" (his parody of "Lose Yourself") at the last minute, therefore robbing the album of much promotion. A video for "Bob" was shot for that year's Al TV special, but did not receive rotation on MTV. Critical reception wasn't much better.
Luckily for Al, he would bounce back a few years later with his next album.
- "Couch Potato"note
- "Hardware Store"
- "Trash Day"note
- "Party At The Leper Colony"
- "Angry White Boy Polka"
- "Wanna B Ur Lovr"
- "A Complicated Song"note
- "Why Does This Always Happen To Me?"
- "Ode To A Superhero"note
- "Genius In France"
Write us some tropes, you're the Troperman.
- Affectionate Parody: Eminem gave Al permission to parody "Lose Yourself" ("Couch Potato")...but then refused to give him permission to do a music video to the song.
- An Aesop: Invoked in "Ode to a Superhero":
- Awesome, but Impractical: Al doesn't perform the song "Hardware Store" because he isn't sure he could pull the coda off again, especially live.
- Big Eater: In "A Complicated Song" the singer eats so much pizza (nineteen extra-larges with extra cheese!) he gets severely constipated.
- Collector of the Strange: The protagonist of "eBay" collects all sorts of odd things from the titular website. A used pink bathrobe, a rare mint snow globe, and a Smurf TV tray are just the start.Junk keeps arriving in the mail
From that worldwide garage sale
- Culture Equals Costume: The narrator of "Genius in France" describes wearing a stripy shirt and a "stupid beret" when he's in France.
- Deep South: In "A Complicated Song," the narrator discovers that his beloved girlfriend is also his cousin, and he worries that he'll have to "move to Alabama where that kind of thing is tolerated."
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: From "Bob": "Ah, Satan sees Natasha/No devil lived on."
- Disproportionate Retribution: The narrator of "Why Does This Always Happen to Me?" stabs his boss in the face for... asking him to get some more toner for the copy machine.
- Don't Explain the Joke: From "Wanna B Ur Lover":I wanna be your KrakatoaLet my lava flow all over youI wanna be your anacondaAnd your heat-seeking missile tooI wanna be your beef burritoAm I making this perfectly clear?I wanna be your love torpedoAre you picking up the subtle innuendo here?
- Epic Rocking: "Genius In France" clocks in at 9 minutes.
- Even Nerds Have Standards: The protagonist of "Genius in France" is such a loser that even the Trekkies want nothing to do with him.
- Everything Is an Instrument: "Hardware Store" has the sound of various hardware tools used in its intro.
- Face on the Cover: "Weird Al" in a subway car, wearing a poodle for a hat.
- Filk Song: "Ode To A Superhero" is this to the first Sam Raimi Spider-Man film.
- F--: The narrator of "Genius in France" somehow got a negative number on his SATs, which is impossible in real life.
- French Jerk: "Genius in France" doesn't describe French people in very flattering terms.People in France have lots of attitude
They're snotty and rude; they like disgusting food
- Fun with Palindromes: "Bob" is an entire song filled with palindromes, based on Bob Dylan's music.
- Geek Physiques: The narrator of "Genius in France" describes himself as "an annoying pipsqueak with an unfortunate physique."
- Genre Roulette: This album has rap, speed metal, classic rock, polka, funk rock, pop rock, alternative rock, folk rock, boy band pop, and Zappa rock, in that order minus repeating genres.
- Germans Love David Hasselhoff: In-Universe, "Genius in France" is about a Straw Loser who was Never Accepted in His Hometown but finds himself inexplicably beloved by the population of France.
- Gorn: "Why Does This Always Happen to Me?" is surprisingly violent, with mentions of people being crushed and Buried Alive in an earthquake, the narrator's boss getting stabbed in the face, and a 12-car pileup with no survivors.I saw brains and guts and vital organs splattered everywhere
As well as my friend Robert's disembodied head
- Gratuitous French: "Genius in France" is chock full of it.
- Hurricane of Euphemisms: "Genius in France" is full to the brim with adjectives describing the narrator's idiocy.Folks in my hometown think I'm a fool
Got too much chlorine in my gene pool
A few peas short of a casserole
A few buttons missing on my remote control
A few fries short of a Happy Meal
I couldn't pour water out of a boot with instructions on the heel!
- I Choose to Stay: The protagonist of "Genius in France" decides that he loves the adulation of the French people so much that he never wants to go back to his home country.
- I Kiss Your Foot: In "Genius in France":Every Frenchie that I meet
Just can't wait to kiss my feet
Get in line; pucker up, tout suite!
- Incredibly Lame Fun: "Hardware Store".
- Intercourse with You: "Wanna B Ur Lovr", with "Weird Al" reciting a lot of ridiculous and sometimes unsubtle pickup lines.
- In the Style of...:
- It's All About Me: The narrator of "Why Does This Always Happen To Me?" sees horrible tragedies every day, but couldn't care less about the innocent lives lost. His only concern is how the tragedies have caused him minor inconveniences.
- Jumping the Shark: In-Universe: A line in "Couch Potato" says that The King of Queens did this. In the first minute.
- Kissing Cousins: "A Complicated Song" includes a man inadvertently dating his cousin.
- Kitchen Sink Included: Kitchen faucets are among the items listed in the bridge section of "Hardware Store."
- Last Note Hilarity: He extends the last note of "eBay". "On eBayyyyyyy-y-y-y-y. Y. Y. Y. Y."
- Lazy Bum: The narrator of "Trash Day" lets garbage pile up around his house because he's too lazy to take out the trash and expects his wife to do all the cleaning for him.
- List Song: The bridge section of "Hardware Store". Also "eBay" and "Bob".
- Longest Song Goes Last: The album ends with "Genius In France" (8:58)
- Losing Your Head: The third verse of "A Complicated Song" has the narrator losing his head and not only surviving but somehow being able to talk out of his neck (it's a rare instance where the decapitated body stays alive and conscious instead of the head.)Haven't been the same since my head and I were separated
- Lyrical Dissonance: "The Angry White Boy Polka" has angry, depressing, and/or irreverent lyrics originally from rap, punk, and nü metal acts incorporated into a polka with an upbeat melody.
- One-Man Song: "Bob," named so because it's done In the Style of... Bob Dylan.
- Major Injury Underreaction: In "A Complicated Song", he is merely frustrated about being beheaded.Why'd I have to go and get myself decapitated?
This really is a major inconvenience; oh man, I really hate it
- Medley: "Angry White Boy Polka". Songs featured, in order:
- "Last Resort" by Papa Roach
- "Chop Suey!" by System of a Down
- "Get Free" by The Vines
- "Hate to Say I Told You So" by The Hives
- "Fell in Love with a Girl" by The White Stripes
- "Last Nite" by The Strokes
- "Down with the Sickness" by Disturbed
- "Renegades of Funk" by Rage Against the Machine
- "My Way" by Limp Bizkit
- "Outside" by Staind
- "Bawitdaba" by Kid Rock
- "Youth of the Nation" by P.O.D.
- "The Real Slim Shady" by Eminem
- "Poodle Hat Polka" by Al Yankovic
- Misplaced Sorrow: "Why Does This Always Happen to Me?" is all about a guy bemoaning the minor inconveniences that happen to him as a result of horrible tragedies that others have died from.
- Mistaken for Gay: The narrator of Couch Potato complains that TiVo now thinks Im gay because he watched one episode of Will & Grace.
- Mood Whiplash: "Why Does This Always Happen To Me?" is of the "serious to silly" variety. It first appears to be a very straight account of a tragic earthquake in Peru, sung in a very earnest fashion in a song whose melody and tempo is quite fitting to the sad mood....then he reveals himself to be a jerk who's mad that this report about the Peruvian earthquake interrupted his watching and taping The Simpsons....I was watching my TV one night when they broke in with a special reportAbout some devastating earthquake in PeruThere were thirty thousand crushed to death, even more were buried aliveOn the Richter scale it measured 8.2And I said, "God, please answer me one question...Why'd they have to interrupt The Simpsons just for this?"What a drag, 'cause I was taping it and everythingAnd now I'll have to wait for the rerun to see the part of the show I missed
- Motor Mouth: The middle of "Hardware Store". He speaks at a rate of 242 words per minute, or all of the below in 30 seconds and in one breath. To date, Weird Al has never performed the song live because he doesn't think he can pull it off again.They've got Allen wrenches, gerbil feeders, toilet seats, electric heatersTrash compactors, juice extractors, shower rods and water metersWalkie-talkies, copper wires, safety goggles, radial tiresBB pellets, rubber mallets, fans and dehumidifiersPicture hangers, paper cutters, waffle irons, window shuttersPaint removers, window louvers, masking tape and plastic guttersKitchen faucets, folding tables, weather stripping, jumper cablesHooks and tackle, grout and spackle, power foggers, spoons and ladlesPesticides for fumigation, high-performance lubricationMetal roofing, waterproofing, multi-purpose insulationAir compressors, brass connectors, wrecking chisels, smoke detectorsTire gauges, hamster cages, thermostats and bug deflectorsTrailer hitch demagnetizers, automatic circumcisersTennis rackets, angle brackets, Duracells and EnergizersSoffit panels, circuit breakers, vacuum cleaners, coffee makersCalculators, generators, matching salt and pepper shakers...
- Mundane Made Awesome: "Hardware Store" treats the opening of a hardware store like the Second Coming of Jesus.
- Nerdgasm: The singer in "Hardware Store" can't resist geeking out at the titular store.
- Never Accepted in His Hometown: The narrator of "Genius in France" makes a point of emphasizing how he never got acceptance in his place of origin, but found himself very popular in France.People say I'm a geek, a moronic little freak
An annoying pipsqueak with an unfortunate physique
If I was any dumber, they'd have to water me twice a week
But when mademoiselles see me, they all swoon and shriek
They dig my mystique, they think I'm c'est magnifique
When I'm in Paris, I'm the chicest of the chic!
- Non-Appearing Title: "Couch Potato", "Angry White Boy Polka", "A Complicated Song", "Ode to a Superhero", and "Bob".
- Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Part of the reason the singer in "Hardware Store" is so excited is because he lives in a boring town where nothing unusual happens.
- Off with His Head!:
- The singer in "A Complicated Song" gets his head knocked off after standing up on a roller coaster.
- In Why Does This Always Happen to Me?, the singers friend Robert gets decapitated in a car crash.
- Overly Long Gag: The end of "eBay" with him stretching out singing the last note for as long as possible.
- Parody Assistance: Ben Folds played piano on "Why Does This Always Happen To Me?", a pastiche of Ben Folds Five, returning the favor for Al directing his video for "Rockin' The Suburbs."
- Also, "Genius in France" obviously doesn't feature Frank Zappa, but for the next best thing, it does feature his son Dweezil on guitar and vocals.
- Pun: Most of "Party at the Leper Colony", but especially:There's a guy in the hot tub, I don't know who
Wait a minute, it looks like Stu!
- Questioning Title?: "Why Does This Always Happen To Me?"
- Record Producer: "Weird Al" Yankovic.
- Sequel Snark: In "Ode to a Superhero," after Peter turns down Mary Jane, Al remarks that MJ "can give it a try again when the sequel comes 'round."
- Shaped Like Itself: From "Bob": "'Naomi', I moan, 'a Toyota's a Toyota'."
- Shoddy Shindig: In "A Complicated Song", the singer attends a pizza party thrown by his friend, but no one else shows up. The two are left to sit and sadly eat pizza by themselves, and the singer takes the leftovers home; eating pizza at every meal for the next few days gives him constipation.
- Sound-Effect Bleep: In "Angry White Boy Polka"'s cover of Papa Roach's "Last Resort":Suffication, no breathing
Don't give a (cartoony whistle) if I cut my arm bleeding
- Speak Ill of the Dead: The narrator of "Why Does This Always Happen to Me?" finds out that his friend Rob died in a twelve-car pileup. The narrator is sad at first... but then remembers that Rob owed him five dollars and berates his deceased friend, noting afterward that the aforementioned car wreck made him late for work.
- Special Guest: Ben Folds of Ben Folds Five plays piano in "Why Does This Always Happen To Me?", and Dweezil Zappa plays guitar on "Genius In France".
- Straw Loser: The protagonist of "Genius in France" is a loser with a capital L: said to be extremely stupid, unattractive, dorky, has body odor, wears a bad toupee, and is completely lacking in any talents or charm, yet is inexplicably popular in France.
- Surprise Incest: The narrator of "A Complicated Song" is aghast to discover that his new girlfriend is his cousin.
- Take That!: Willem Dafoe gets a gentle ribbing in "Ode To A Superhero," when Al sings that Green Goblin from Spider-Man is scarier without his mask.
- Toilet Humor: In "A Complicated Song," the narrator gets severely constipated after eating nothing but pizza for several days straight.Why'd you have to go and make me so constipated?
'Cause right now I'd do anything to just get my bowels evacuated
In the bathroom
- Trash of the Titans: "Trash Day" is about a lazy slob who refuses to clean up after himself and treats his home like a landfill.Think something's rotten here; you'd better hold your nose
(Hey, you disgusting slob! You'd better take the trash out!)
- Umpteenth Customer: From "Hardware Store:"Every twenty-seventh customer will get a ball peen hammer free!"
- Uncommon Time: "Genius in France" shifts time signatures and rhythms incessantly, naturally enough since it's a style parody of Frank Zappa (and quite an impressive one at that).
- Understatement: This bit of "A Complicated Song":I gotta tell ya, life without a head kinda makes me irritatedWhat a bummer
- We Sell Everything: The titular Hardware Store seems to sell anything and everything one could need for their household; take a look at the Motor Mouth section above for an incomplete list.
- Wrecked Weapon: After stabbing his boss in the face, the narrator of "Why Does This Always Happen to Me?" complains that the tip of his knife bent slightly and will probably never straighten out.