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Music / "Shia LaBeouf" Live

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In 2012, Rob Cantor of Tally Hall released "Shia LaBeouf", a song about Shia LaBeouf the cannibal hermit. The song gained some press, with the actor even tweeting it on Halloween 2013.

On October 2014, as Halloween was drawing near, Cantor released a music video, "'Shia LaBeouf' Live", with extended lyrics and more bombastic approach to the music. The video features a rock band, string quartet, men's chorus, children's choir, interpretive dancers, aerialists, and 3D papercraft Shia LaBeouf heads.

The video can be viewed here.


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Tropes:

  • Actually Pretty Funny: Rob Cantor and about 100 musicians, dancers, and aerialists perform a song about a blood-covered Shia LaBeouf who murders people in the woods and dines on the bodies, which ends with him getting decapitated. Shia LaBeouf, the lone audience member in the theater, shows his approval by giving a standing ovation.
  • Alone with the Psycho: You are alone and hopelessly lost in the woods inhabited by cannibal Shia LaBeouf, who is determined to kill you. The twist near the end is that you are not as defenseless as the lyrics suggest.
  • Antagonist Title: Shia LaBeouf is a murderer and cannibal who targets people in the woods, including you.
  • An Arm and a Leg: You lose your lower leg when it's caught in a bear trap and you have to gnaw it off to escape. You limp everywhere afterward, and the blood loss is a liability when you encounter and end up fighting Shia LaBeouf.
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  • An Axe to Grind: You spot Shia LaBeouf in his cottage sharpening an axe. When he goes after you in the woods, you manage to get ahold of the axe and fight him with it.
  • Bathos: The performers tackle the silly concept of a blood-soaked Shia LaBeouf murdering and eating people in the woods by taking it completely seriously. None of the dancers or musicians on stage so much as crack a smile.
  • Bear Trap: You are caught in what sounds like the stereotypical large metal trap with jagged teeth. You're stranded in the dark woods with a murderer who's still looking for you, so you opt to gnaw your leg off to escape the trap.
  • Bittersweet Ending: After a brutal fight, you manage to kill Shia LaBeouf by beheading him, leaving the woods safer for everyone else. However, you're still stranded and it's nighttime, and you've been continuously losing blood from your leg since you gnawed it off, so it's likely you'll bleed out.
  • Black Comedy Cannibalism: The song is a mock horror about Shia LaBeouf, a murderer and cannibal who lives alone in the woods. The concept is ridiculous, though the events are narrated completely seriously for Bathos.
  • Blood Is the New Black: Shia LaBeouf is covered in blood, probably not his own.
    He's almost upon you now
    And you can see there's blood on his face
    My God, there's blood everywhere!
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: A legendary fight with Shia LaBeouf (for you) is a normal Tuesday night for Shia LaBeouf.
  • The Cameo: Shia LaBeouf appears as the lone audience member at the end of the performance.
  • Cell Phones Are Useless: The beginning of the song establishes that your phone is dead, so you're on your own when Shia LaBeouf comes after you.
  • Changed for the Video: "'Shia LaBeouf' Live" features choirs of dozens of singers, while Cantor still does the spoken parts. There are also additional "Shia Surprise" lines after the original lyrics.
  • Don't Go in the Woods: You're wandering alone in the woods. It's inhabited by a cannibal who kills for sport. By the time you lose him, it's dark, and you're lost, and he's still looking for you.
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: You lose your lower leg to a bear trap, and you limp afterward. When you fight Shia LaBeouf again, you're in a hurry to kill him because the constant blood loss is weakening you, and you're at a disadvantage despite knowing jiu-jitsu.
  • Failed a Spot Check: At the end of the stage performance, Shia LaBeouf gives a standing Slow Clap, and like the movie he's referencing, he appears to be expecting everyone else in the audience to join in. He then looks around and sees that the theater is empty except him, and he sits down awkwardly.
  • Full-Name Basis: The murderer is almost always referred by first name and last name, "Shia LaBeouf". The only time it isn't is when he's revealed to be Not Quite Dead, and the chorus exclaims, "Shia Surprise!"
  • Gun Struggle: A knife rather than a gun: Shia LaBeouf goes after you with a knife, and you wrestle it from him before stabbing him in the kidney.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Shia LaBeouf wields a knife when he goes after you, and he later is seen sharpening an axe in his cottage. You wrestle the knife from him and stab him with it, and when he goes after you again, you get a hold of the axe and decapitate him.
  • Hope Spot: After evading Shia LaBeouf, you're lost in the dark woods, but you spot a cottage with a light on. You move toward it hopefully, but the feeling goes away when you lose your leg to a bear trap and then discover that the cottage's occupant is your pursuer.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Shia LaBeouf is a cannibal who murders people in the woods for sport and then eats the bodies.
  • Inherently Funny Words: "Shia LaBeouf", which is uttered many times in the lyrics. The song came to existence when Cantor's friend dramatically whispered "Shia LaBeouf", causing both to laugh.
    Rob Cantor: It's a great name. It's very musical and the consonants are unusual. It just has a unique sound. There's something about saying with a whispered intensity that just feels funny.
  • In the Back: You stealthily enter Shia LaBeouf's cottage while he's busy sharpening an axe, and he doesn't notice you. You get the drop on him by sneaking up on him from behind, and you attempt to strangle him.
  • Knife Nut: Murderer and cannibal Shia LaBeouf goes after his victims with a knife. When you prove to be more trouble than his other prey, though, he foregoes the knife and brings a gun instead.
  • Life-or-Limb Decision: After you lose Shia LaBeouf, your leg gets caught in a bear trap. You have to gnaw off your leg to escape.
  • Not Quite Dead: You stab Shia LaBeouf in the kidney and he's downed. As you limp away from his cottage, it turns out he's still alive.
    Wait! He isn't dead! Shia Surprise!
  • Off with His Head!: You swing at Shia LaBeouf several times with an axe, but he dodges them all. Then, when you successfully counter his parry and your axe catches him in the neck, you waste no time decapitating him, defeating him for good.
  • Performance Video: The video is made to look like a live performance, featuring Rob Cantor, dozens of musicians, interpretive dancers, and aerialists on the stage of the Redondo Beach Performing Arts Center.
  • Rhyming with Itself: "Shia LaBeouf" is uttered many times, and a couple of pairs of lines have it rhyme with itself ("Living in the woods, it's Shia LaBeouf. Killing for sport, Shia LaBeouf"), while others have a rhyme appearing before "Shia LaBeouf" ("Fighting for your life with Shia LaBeouf, wrestling a knife from Shia LaBeouf").
  • Running on All Fours: Soon after you notice Shia LaBeouf is tailing you about 30 feet back, he gets down on all fours and breaks into a sprint after you.
  • Second-Person Narration: The lyrics are about you, the listener, in the woods getting pursued by and then fighting Shia LaBeouf.
    You're walking in the woods.
    There's no one around, and your phone is dead.
    Out of the corner of your eye you spot him:
    Shia LaBeouf.
  • Shout-Out: Shia LaBeouf does a Slow Clap in the silent theater while wearing a dead-serious expression, a nod to Citizen Kane where Kane does the same for Susan after her terrible opera performance. LaBeouf is shot from the same angle as Kane and is even wearing the same tux and white bowtie.
  • Slow Clap: When the performance has ended, Shia LaBeouf stands up, giving a slow-clapping applause for almost half a minute before sitting back down.
  • Spoken Word in Music: Rob Cantor's narration is spoken, while the choirs have the sung portions.
    [spoken] You're looking for you car but you're all turned around. He's almost upon you now, and you can see there's blood on his face! My God, there's blood everywhere!
    [sung] Running for you life from Shia LaBeouf. He's brandishing a knife, it's Shia LaBeouf. Lurking in the shadows, Hollywood superstar Shia LaBeouf.
  • Suddenly Always Knew That: You're implied to not have much combat experience in the first two-thirds of the song, since you flee from Shia LaBeouf and then must sneak up on him to stand a chance against him. When he's revealed to be Not Quite Dead and comes after you again, it turns out that you know jiu-jitsu, and your first move is to bodyslam him.
  • Super-Persistent Predator: Shia LaBeouf goes after you despite you evidently giving him more trouble than any of his other victims. This persistence leads to his death at your hands.
  • Use Their Own Weapon Against Them: Shia LaBeouf tries to kill you using a knife. When you fight him, you wrestle the knife from him and down him by stabbing him in the kidney.
  • Wham Line: For those who heard the original version of the song. Rob Cantor narrates how you stab Shia LaBeouf in the kidney and limp into the woods in seeming victory, akin to how the song originally ended. The stage even slowly darkens, and there's a Beat... but then...
    Singers: Wait! He isn't dead! Shia Surprise!
  • Wham Shot: When the song ends for real, the performers stand still as someone in the audience starts clapping. The camera turns around into the audience... and it's the actual Shia LaBeouf.

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