Running with Scissors is the tenth studio album by "Weird Al" Yankovic, which was released in 1999. It was the first album to debut his post-LASIK surgery, glasses-free appearance.
- "The Saga Begins"note
- "My Baby's in Love with Eddie Vedder"
- "Pretty Fly for a Rabbi"note
- "The Weird Al Show Theme"
- "Jerry Springer"note
- "Polka Power!"
- "Your Horoscope for Today"
- "It's All About the Pentiums"note
- "Truck Drivin' Song"
- "Grapefruit Diet"note
It's all about the TV Tropes! (Yeah!)
- Aerith and Bob: In "Albuquerque", the two children, Nathaniel and Superfly.
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: The girlfriend from "My Baby's in Love with Eddie Vedder" admires the titular singer for his tough, rebellious bad-boy image.
- All of Them: In "Jerry Springer": "Baby, I've been sleepin' with your sister." "Which one?" "All of 'em!"
- Alliterative Title: "Polka Power!"
- An Arm and a Leg: In "Albuquerque," the narrator cuts off his friend Marty's arms and legs with a chainsaw.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: At the end of "Germs":They're out to get me
They wanna control me
They wanna destroy me
They're tryin' to kill me
It kind of upsets me
- Ask a Stupid Question...: "Albuquerque" has this example:I see this guy Marty trying to carry a big ol' sofa up the stairs all by himself. So I say to him, I say, "Hey! You want me to help you with that?" And Marty, he just rolls his eyes and goes, "Nooo, I want you to cut off my arms and legs with a chain saw." So I did. And then he gets all indignant on me! He's like, "Hey, man, I was just being sarcastic!" Well, that's just great. How was I supposed to know that? I'm not a mind reader for crying out loud. Besides, now he's got a really cute nickname—Torso Boy—so what's he complaining about?
- Awesome, but Impractical: On the rare occasion he'll perform "Albuquerque," he saves it for the encore, as it wrecks his throat and makes it difficult for him to sing anything else afterward. Then again, could anything follow it up?
- Badass Boast: "It's All About the Pentiums" is a great example of this coming from a hard-core computer nerd.
- Basement-Dweller: From "It's All About the Pentiums":
- Bestiality Is Depraved: The spoken interlude of "Jerry Springer" also mentions this. "That goat doesn't love you!"
- Big Eater: The trope is both played straight and inverted with his song called "Grapefruit Diet", which is about needing to lose weight after eating a lot of food.
- Big Rock Ending: "Albuquerque" in a double subversion, with the burp subverting the big rock ending at first. If you listen closely at the end once the music stops, you can faintly hear Al's guitarist, Jim West, laughing over the extremely off-key note he finishes with.
- Bilingual Bonus: "Pretty Fly for a Rabbi" uses Yiddish to make puns such as "The parents pay the mohel and he gets to keep the tip."
- Bowdlerise: Radio Disney took offense to the line "do you see him hitting on the queen" in "The Saga Begins", so Al released an edited version changing the line to "do you see him talking to the queen" (because he prefered to change the line himself rather than have them clumsily edit the entire line out, which is what they had been doing).
- Brick Joke: After 11 minutes of insanity, the song "Albuquerque" finally winds its way back to the original point: AL...HATES...SAUERKRAUT!.
- The Cameo: Drew Carey and Emo Philips show up in the video for "It's All About the Pentiums".
- Captain Obvious:
- In "Albuquerque," while flesh-eating weasels are assaulting Al's face, he meets a girl, who says "Hey. You've got weasels on your face."
- The predictions in "Your Horoscope for Today" that don't fall under Refuge in Audacity are this, but the biggest offender is "The stars predict tomorrow you'll wake up, do a bunch of stuff, and then go back to sleep."
- Careful with That Axe: "Albuquerque", but a box of one dozen starving, crazed weasels will do that.
- Casual Danger Dialog: The titular "Germs" want to control him! They want to destroy him! They're trying to kill him! It kind of upsets him.
- Cheek Copy: "Your Horoscope For Today" offers Leos the following advice: "Now is not a good time to photocopy your butt and staple it to your boss' face, oh no!" Which leaves the question of whether there is a good time to do so.
- Couch Gag: What Al calls the last song listed in the polka medley. This album is the first to start that tradition (all previous albums listed it as the "Ear Booker Polka", but he changed it beginning with this one for "accounting reasons", according to one of his Ask Al online Q&As).
- Department of Redundancy Department: From "Albuquerque": "Hey! You can't have that! That snorkel's been just like a snorkel to me!"
- Destination Defenestration: The narrator of "Your Horoscope for Today" tells Scorpios to "Get ready for an unexpected trip when you fall screaming from an open window."
- Does Not Like Spam: The narrator of "Albuquerque" is quite vocal about his hatred of sauerkraut.
- Does Not Understand Sarcasm: The narrator in "Albuquerque" sees his friend Marty trying to carry a full-sized sofa up a set of stairs, and asks if he needs any help:And Marty, he just rolls his eyes and says, "Naw, I want you to cut off my arms and legs with a chainsaw!" [beat] So I did. But then he starts getting all indignant on me! He says, "Hey, man! I was being sarcastic!" Well, that's just great! How was I supposed to know that? I'm not a mind reader, for crying out loud! Besides, now he's got a really cute nickname: Torso Boy. So what's he complaining about?
- The Dog Bites Back: Played for Laughs in "Germs" when our protagonist decides he's had enough.I'm gonna show them who's boss
I'm gonna get even yet
Just gimme some Lysol spray
Just hand me a moist towelette
- Epic Rocking: "Albuquerque." Emphasis on "epic". Although it also borders on Ending Fatigue.
- Face on the Cover: "Weird Al" in track gear running a marathon while holding scissors in each hand.
- Filk Song: "The Saga Begins" is this for The Phantom Menace.
- Food Songs Are Funny: "Grapefruit Diet".
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Multiple:
- The singer of "Truck Drivin' Song" mentions wearing nipple rings and crotchless panties.
- Jerry Springer includes a skit where a bickering couple reveals their infidelities to each other, starting with sisters and the best friend, and quickly into them sleeping with each others' pets.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: The narrator of "Truck Driving Song" complains that his pumps "keep slipping off the mother-loving clutch" whenever he hits a speed bump.
- He Cleans Up Nicely: The album was released one year after Al's LASIK surgery to correct his nearsightedness, after which he changed up his trademark appearance of wire-rimmed glasses, bangs and a mustache for longer, brushed-back hair, a clean shave and no glasses. This album's cover was his first to debut his new look, which many agree is significantly more attractive than his previous one (though just as many say it makes him look like Kenny G or Tiny Tim).
- Hypocritical Humor: The narrator of "Albuquerque" meets, falls in love with, dates, marries, moves in with and has children with a woman without a moment's notice. As soon as she asks if he wants to join the Columbia Records Club, he divorces her because he's "just not ready for that kind of a commitment."
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Impalement is mentioned twice in "Your Horoscope for Today."(Gemini) Your love life will run into trouble when your fiancé hurls a javelin through your chest
(Virgo) Expect a big surprise today when you wind up with your head impaled on a stick!
- Infant Immortality: Averted in "Albuquerque"."You know, I'd never been on a real airplane before ... And the little kid in back of me kept throwin' up the whole time ... And, oh yeah, three of the airplane engines burned out / And we went into a tailspin and crashed into a hillside / And the plane exploded in a giant fireball / and everybody died"
- Insistent Terminology: The liner notes list The Saga Begins as a Lyrical adaption, not a parody, of Don McLean's American Pie.
- In the Style of...
- "My Baby's In Love With Eddie Vedder" - Zydeco genre
- "Germs" - Nine Inch Nails
- "Your Horoscope For Today" - Third Wave Ska
- "Truck Drivin' Song" - Truck driving country
- "Albuquerque" - The Rugburns (specifically "Dick's Automotive")
- Jerkass: The narrator of "Your Horoscope for Today" is openly insulting and rude to the people whose future he's predicting:You will never find true happiness! What you gonna do, cry about it?
All Virgos are extremely friendly and intelligent... except for you!
A big promotion is just around the corner... for someone much more talented than you!
Work a little bit harder to improve your self-esteem, you stupid freak!
The stars say that you're an exciting and wonderful person, but you know they're lying! If I were you, I'd lock my doors and windows and never, never, never, never, never leave my house again!
- Karma Houdini: The guy with a Flock of Seagulls haircut and one nostril manages to get away with the snorkel, and apparently gets no comeuppance for it, in spite of Al vowing to bring him to justice and the passage of time.
- Literal Metaphor: On "Jerry Springer", that bitch Woofie really is a female dog.
- Literal-Minded: The narrator of "Albuquerque" pretends to be literal-minded in a way that brings a Stock Schtick to a Bloody Hilarious conclusion.This guy comes up to me on the street and says he hasn't had a bite in three days. Well, I knew what he meant, but just to be funny, I took a big bite out of his jugular vein; and he's yellin' and screamin' and bleeding all over, and I'm like, "Hey, come on, don'tcha get it?" But he just keeps rolling around on the sidewalk, bleeding, and screaming... You know, just completely missing the irony of the whole situation. Man, some people just can't take a joke, you know?
- Location Song: "Albuquerque" is a parody song describing "Weird Al" Yankovic's fictional lifestory in this city.
- Longest Song Goes Last: The album ends with "Albuquerque" (11:23)
- Lyrical Cold Open: "The Saga Begins".
- A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away...: "The Saga Begins" starts off with this, spoofing the original song's opening line "A long, long time ago/I can still remember..."
- Medley: "Polka Power!" Songs featured, in order:
- "Wannabe" by the Spice Girls
- "Flagpole Sitta" by Harvey Danger
- "Ghetto Supastar" by Pras (featuring Ol' Dirty Bastard and Mýa)
- "Everybody (Backstreet's Back) by the Backstreet Boys
- "Walkin' on the Sun" by Smash Mouth
- "Intergalactic" by the Beastie Boys
- "Tubthumping" by Chumbawamba
- "Ray of Light" by Madonna
- "Push" by Matchbox Twenty
- "Semi-Charmed Life" by Third Eye Blind
- "The Dope Show" by Marilyn Manson
- "MMMBop" by Hanson
- "Sex and Candy" by Marcy Playground
- "Closing Time" by Semisonic
- "W.A.Y. Moby Polka" by Al Yankovic
- Meet Cute: Parodied in "Albuquerque." Al meets the girl of his dreams, while being mauled by starving crazed weasels that he inexplicably bought at a donut shop. They immediately become a couple.
- Mood Whiplash: The Nine Inch Nails style parody "Germs" is followed by an intensely happy polka (the first track in the medley being the Spice Girls, for crying out loud). Mood Whiplash at its finest, folks.
- Motor Mouth: In the middle of "Your Horoscope for Today," all in one breath:Now you may find it inconceivable or at the very least a bit unlikely that the relative position
of the planets and the stars could have a special deep significance or meaning that exclusively applies to only you,
but let me give you my assurance that these forecasts and predictions are all based on solid, scientific, documented evidence,so you would have to be some kind of moron not to realize that every single one of them is absolutely true.Where was I?
- Mundane Made Awesome: We present to you the tale of his trip to Albuquerque.
- Nerdcore: "It's All About The Pentiums" is widely credited as the first "official" song of this genre.
- Nose Shove: The narrator of "Your Horoscope for Today" advises Cancers against shoving a roll of duct tape up their noses while taking a driving test.
- One-Man Song: "My Baby's In Love With Eddie Vedder".
- One-Word Title: Multiple:
- "Albuquerque" is a parody song describing "Weird Al" Yankovic's fictional lifestory in this city.
- Overly Long Gag: He wrote "Albuquerque" because he wanted to annoy people for 12 minutes straight. The extended version he uses for live performances takes this Up to Eleven with a much larger list of pastries in the donut shop scene. Sometimes he even starts the song over from the beginning just before the finale.
- Patter Song: "The Weird Al Show Theme Song." The first verse is even a run-on sentence!
- Precision F-Strike: In "Jerry Springer"; appropriately, Yankovic himself doesn't use the word, but guest vocalist Tress MacNeille does during a portion of the song parodying a typical episode of the show:
- ...and even then it's a pun, because Woofie literally is a bitch.
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "I! HATE! SAUERKRAUT!"
- Random Events Plot: "Albuquerque."
- Rap Rock: "It's All About The Pentiums," which spoofs the rock remix of "It's All About The Benjamins."
- Record Producer: "Weird Al" Yankovic.
- Runs with Scissors: Well, obviously. The album's cover has Al literally running on a track with a giant pair of scissors in each hand. The inside booklet includes a punchline where Al stands triumphantly on the "first place" stand wearing a gold medal while all of the other runners (played by his band) sustain gruesome scissor-related injuries.
- Sanity Slippage: Albuquerque follows a man who gradually loses his mind after escaping a Hilariously Abusive Childhood and being the sole survivor of a horrific plane crash, then killing about two people.
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: The whole point that Al tries to make in "Albuquerque" is his hatred of sauerkraut.
- Shaped Like Itself: "That snorkel's been just like a snorkel to me!" Doubles as a Shout-Out to Cheech and Chong.
- Monty Python is referenced a couple times: "The Truck Drivin' Song" is basically an update of "The Lumberjack Song" and "Albuquerque" has a scene that recreates the "Cheese Shop" sketch with doughnuts.note
- "Albuquerque" also features a reference to the Cheech and Chong song "Basketball Jones" with the line "That snorkel's been just like a snorkel to me!" (the original line being "That basketball was just like a basketball to me!").
- The dance scene in the video for "The Saga Begins" has some dancers mimicking moves from Pulp Fiction.
- Shown Their Work: Would you believe that Al wrote "The Saga Begins" before the film it's about was released? He got all of his information off of fan websites (something you needed serious nerd cred to do in 1999), insider sources and the tie-in novelization, but the accuracy is so impeccable that you couldn't tell. He even attended an expensive pre-screening for charity to ensure accuracy and only had to make a couple of changes.
- Spelling Song: Spoofed.A! A! L! L! B! B! U! U!BeatBeatQuerque!Querque!
- Stealth Pun
- At the end of "Polka Power" Weird Al segues from the song "Closing Time" to a line, "take us home!" In music, this refers to wrapping up the song, which is what happens next.
- Also, "Woofie, you b*tch!" Woofie is a female dog!
- Take That!:
- "My Baby's In Love With Eddie Vedder" is more sarcastic than harsh, and Al even apologizes in the liner notes.
- In "Albuquerque", one of the many unfortunate circumstances to befall our protagonist on his airplane ride to the titular city is the fact that the in-flight movie is Bio-Dome. Also, he's fine with getting married and having kids, but joining the Columbia Record Club is too much of a commitment to him.
- "It's All About the Pentiums" pokes fun at people who treat computers as Serious Business.
- Terrified of Germs: The singer of "Germs" vividly describes his fear of MICROSCOPIC BACTERIA.
- Toilet Seat Divorce: In "Albuquerque", Al gets a divorce after his wife asks if he wants to join the Columbia Record Club.
- Tongue on the Flagpole: "Your Horoscope For Today" features a variant.Aquarius: There's travel in your future
When your tongue freezes to the back of a speeding bus!
- Trivially Obvious: Used in "Your Horoscope for Today" to parody the overly-vague predictions of actual horoscopes.The stars predict tomorrow you'll wake up, do a bunch of stuff, and then go back to sleep.
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: Appropriately used near the end of "Truck Driving Song".
- Voice of the Legion: On "Your Horoscope For Today" when Al tells Sagittariuses that all their friends are laughing at them behind their back.Kill them...
- What Happened to the Mouse?: We never do find out if Al got his snorkel back or not in "Albuquerque", or what happened to the hermaphrodite man with a Flock of Seagulls haircut and one nostril. We also never hear about the two children Al has with Zelda after they get a divorce.
- Wholesome Crossdresser: The narrator of "Truck Driving Song" is a cross-dressing truck driver whose deep voice and folksy drawl contrast with lyrics like this:Oh, I always gotta check my lipstick in that rear view mirror
And my pink angora sweater fits so tight
I'm jammin' gears and haulin' freight
Well, I sure hope my seams are straight
Lord, don't let my mascara run tonight
- Yiddish as a Second Language: "Pretty Fly For A Rabbi".