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Music / Telephone

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At the end of "Paparazzi" Lady Gaga is being arrested for killing and admitting to killing her boyfriend after he pushed her off a balcony. The beginning of the video shows Lady Gaga in jail, and because it's a Lady Gaga video, no one really knows what is going on half the time, nor do we have even the slightest idea what on earth the video has to do with the song...

After the unnecessarily long intro, Lady Gaga answers the Telephone and proceeds to dance while in jail singing about not being able to answer the phone because she is too busy....doing absolutely nothing. Except for, y'know, singing and dancing in jail. While the man in charge of keeping the music playing is somewhere making a sandwich or something, Lady Gaga is let out of jail because someone put up bail money. And of course the guard is on a dating website because of course prison guards don't have anything better to do than go on dating websites.

The music man is still missing in action while Lady Gaga gets into a car with Beyoncé of all people, who reprimands Gaga. And of course, Lady Gaga just makes a comparison between a mirror and trust (earning an odd look from Bee). At this point, the music man returns and Beyonce begins singing about someone repeatedly calling her and how she cannot answer. While the music man prances off to go get his sandwich, Beyonce proceeds to poison a man's coffee. In the kitchen, Lady Gaga has followed the music man, and she proceeds to assemble several poisonous sandwiches which they use to poison everyone in the dinner before driving off and dancing in weird costumes, the words "To Be Continued...."
So basically an ordinary Lady Gaga music video....

Has the examples of:

  • Affectionate Parody: Of Tarantino, specifically Kill Bill. The video references Quentin Tarantino and his films Pulp Fiction (1994) and Kill Bill: Volume 1. And Beyoncé is nicknamed Honey Bee, a reference to the character Honey Bunny in Tarantino's classic film Pulp Fiction.
  • Asshole Victim: While they kill a bunch of people, only the first guy they killed (Honey Bee's abusive boyfriend) can be considered one while the rest were bystanders.
  • Bilingual Bonus: During the newscast, the lyrics are scrolling on the bottom ticker in Swedish.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: If it wasn't for the "To be continued," the ending of the "Telephone" music video would be this.
  • Butch Lesbian: There are two butch women making out in the prison sequence.
  • Continuity Nod: Being a sequel to "Paparazzi", it makes a few references to the other video. The three references being: the mugshot at the end, Beyoncé poisoning Tyrese's drink wearing the same shades Gaga was wearing when poisoning Alexander Skarsgård and Gaga shaking her head several times like she did in the "Paparazzi" video.
  • Food Porn: The hunny bun snack cake Honey Bee and Lady Gaga share before driving. And, albeit poisoned, the foods prepared for the customers in the diner (waffles, chicken, french fries, ect.) look delicious. And then a brief close up shot of Honey's abusive boyfriend slattering his grand slam breakfast (sunnyside-up eggs, sausage, hashbrowns) in honey before devouring it.
  • Genre Throwback: Heavily inspired by the Girls Behind Bars subgenre of Exploitation Films. The video depicts things common in such movies, like catfights and prisoners in skimpy, sexy clothes.
  • Girls Behind Bars: The music video's setting takes place in an all women's prison where (mostly) attractive women taunt the new inmates with prison rape and cute nicknames, peculiarly aimed at Gaga when she first arrives. Then Gaga shares a makeout with two lesbians before being bailed out.
  • Gratuitous German: In the scene where everyone's eating the poisoned food, right after Tyrese's death, you can see "Ein, Zwei, Drei" in the subs while Gaga waits for the other customers to die from their poisoned food, counting "One, Two, Three" in German. Unfortunately it's misspelled. "Ein" means "a/an", while "Eins" means "One".
  • Gratuitous Japanese: (ワンピース). In a music video where no Japanese is spoken.
  • Leave No Survivors: To cover up Beyoncé murdering her boyfriend, Gaga poisons everyone else in the diner.
  • Magical Security Cam: Averted. The "security camera" scenes were shot from a stationary position, and were in lower resolution and less fluid from the rest of the video.
  • Mid-Vid Skit: There's the skit after the first chorus, when Bey picks Gaga up from jail and calls her a "very bad girl." Then the music starts again. Then they enter a diner, when the music stops so that Bey can poison the man's coffee. The music restarts, then stops a third time for the "Let's Make a Sandwich" sequence, in which they poison everybody else there (even a dog!).
  • Making a Spectacle of Yourself: Early in the video, Gaga wears sunglasses with cigarettes glued on them (including on the lenses, which would seemingly make them hard to see in). Odd as they look, they seem to impress one inmate, who immediately starts caressing and eventually kissing Gaga.
  • One Dose Fits All: Played straight. Beyonce's boyfriend dies first from the poison then everyone else in the restaurant collapse at the same time after Gaga serves them poisoned food.
  • Parody: Sherry Vine's "Make Me Moan". When asking why Peppermint killed everyone in the restaurant, she retorts "Do you wanna pay for the check?"
  • Product Placement: Virgin Mobile, Diet Coke, Plenty of Fish, Honey Buns, Polaroid, Wonder Bread, Miracle Whip, Windows 7, just to name a few. It won the Guinness World Record for "Most Product Placements In A Music Video".
  • Refuge in Audacity: Played With. Murdering everyone (even a dog) in a diner by poisoning them. They are easily recognized by witnesses, due to their over-the-top act and outfits. They may or may not get away with it, but the video ends with the police chasing after them.
  • Shameful Strip: Lady Gaga's taken to her cell, given one of these by her guards and dumped on a bed naked but for wide-net tights.
  • Shout-Out: Many. In fact, the number of Shout-Out is so massive, MTV has compiled two pages of exposition detailing all, or maybe just most, the references present. But to list a few:
    • When Lady Gaga enters the jail, the women in the cells pose in a way that's almost identical to the Cell Block Tango from Chicago.
    • The poison that Gaga serves to everyone, which the recipe contains three shout outs:
    • Gaga and Beyonce clasp hands at the end in a manner highly reminiscent of another pair of female murderers.
  • Situational Sexuality: Played with. An uncomfortable Gaga makes out briefly with two lesbians and seems to really enjoy it before she is bailed out.
  • Stylistic Suck: Once the women reach the diner, the music video deevolves into this; including poor quality (sometimes in the wrong language) subtitles, and a fake cooking show called "Lets Make A Sandwich!"
  • Take That, Audience!: There have been rumours of Gaga being a hermaphrodite, so of course two jailers strip her naked and walk away.
    Jailer 1: Told you she didn't have a dick.
    Jailer 2: Too bad.
  • Telephone Song: The song is Gaga telling her ex to stop calling, claiming she's busy, and pretending the phone has bad service when they don't.
  • To Be Continued: The music video ends with Beyoncé and Gaga fleeing from police with "To Be Continued" . Unfortunately, the plot never is continued.
  • Useless Accessory: Instead of wearing fingerless gloves, she wears finger sleeves, like those in the video for "Poker Face".
  • Villain Protagonist: Gaga and Beyonce poison an entire restaurant full of people (and a dog!), then dance around the corpses. Not only are they mass murderers, they're proud of it!
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Her outfit after committing mass homicide is made up of pieces with the American flag printed on them, including a bandana around her head.