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Recap / Star vs. the Forces of Evil S2 E40 "Face the Music"

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While Queen Moon quests to track down Ludo, Star must work with an unconventional songstrel named Ruberiot to compose a ballad for Star's Song Day.


  • Abusive Parents:
  • Be Careful What You Wish For: Star and Ruberiot wanted to make a princess song that explained who the former really is. It drives the people of Mewni to panic when it reveals all the trouble Star's been through that affects the kingdom.
  • Be Yourself: Star and Ruberiot think that a much better princess song would be about the real Star as opposed to an overly idealized lie like all previous princess songs. The song describes Star, in both positive and negative ways, but instead causes chaos. As Queen Moon explains, they don't want to know the real Star Butterfly, they just want to believe she is perfect.
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  • Big Little Brother: Dennis is much taller than Ludo despite being younger than him.
  • Big Little Man: Inverted; Brudo answers the door by peering out the mail slot, appearing to be the same height as Ludo. When he opens the door, he looks taller while still being relatively short. Then he stops slouching and is shown to be taller than Moon.
  • Bragging Theme Tune: The first half of Ruberiot's song is a rock ballad about how awesome Star is.
    She's a rebel princess, she's the best
    She's a ball of lightning in a hot pink dress
    She's a thunderstorm roaring through the night
    She's our shooting Star, and she's lighting up the sky!
  • Continuity Nod:
    • Queen Moon encounters the same Man-Eating Plant Marco encountered in the Forest of No Return in "Diaz Family Vacation".
    • Ludo is seen stirring a pot of stew with his wand, the same way Glossaryck used an image of Star's wand in "My New Wand!" when explaining how to dip down.
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    • Rhombulus cheering "That's my girl!" while the song praises Star, because they bonded during "Crystal Clear".
    • At the end of Ruberiot's song, the camera zooms out away from the projected image he created of Star and Marco as a couple. The light of the projector is a deep red, making it look like the Blood Moon shining down on them.
  • Creepy Child: We first see Dennis glaring silently from across the room as Moon visits Lord and Lady Avarius, then he stalks Moon with narrowed reptilian eyes. Subverted when he widens his eyes and with a nasally voice asks Moon if she's going to help his big brother, even taking her to him.
  • Cringe Comedy: The latter parts of Star's princess song are incredibly awkward for the subjects of the song. Her parents are revealed to have lied to their subjects and the Magical High Council while sitting above them. Star is revealed to have a crush on Marco in front of her entire kingdom while Marco is sitting next to her. With a spotlight shining onto the two of them, which Star and Marco both desperately try to avoid.
  • Curse Cut Short: Ruberiot, musing about how Star vanished for 8 hours, suggests that failing to write a song for Song Day will get him killed. Star returns before he can finish the stanza.
  • Domestic Abuser: Lady Avarius has a seeming black eye she can't open, which given how irritable and angry her husband can get it isn't hard to figure out the implication. However, she can open it (so it seems more of a lazy-eye), which among other hints makes it a bit more ambiguous while still hinting this trope.
  • Don't You Dare Pity Me!: When Moon offers Ludo's family a bag of corn, Brudo angrily claims that they don't need it.
    Brudo: We're doing great, thanks!
  • Double-Meaning Title: Star is literally forced to face the music and help write her princess song. She's also finally forced to deal with Marco finding out about her crush.
  • Everyone Can See It: It takes Ruberiot only a few minutes of watching Star interact with Marco (and whatever Star might have said to him while they worked on the princess song) to realize that she's in love with him. He even includes a verse in the song about how incredibly obvious Star's love for Marco is.
    Ruberiot: I don't need to show it, I think we all know it.
  • Gone Horribly Right: Star wanted her song to be real and truthful, so she includes some damaging royal secrets. Ruberiot decides to go the extra mile and adds a verse about how Star loves Marco, which Star definitely didn't want known.
  • Has Two Mommies: This scene shows a Mewman same-sex couple with their daughter.
  • Idiot Ball:
    • Star wanted a song that was more honest about who she is, but at what point did she think that mentioning that she lost Glossaryck and the Book of Spells to Ludo, and how the royal Butterfly family wanted to keep the search for him a secret was a good idea?
    • Ruberiot grabs onto it as well. Earlier in the episode he sang about how he would be executed if the song wasn't completed at all. What does he think is gonna happen now that he's disclosed the royal family's secrets to everyone? His lyrics don't help either...
      Ruberiot: Royal secret from royal shame...
  • The "I Love You" Stigma: During the concert, Ruberiot declares Star's crush on Marco in the worst way possible even though she never authorized it. This results in awkwardness between the two, which carries onto the next episode.
  • Impoverished Patrician: Ludo's entire family, forced to live in a run-down old manor since Ludo changed the locks on their castle while they were vacation, then destroyed it.
  • Internal Reveal:
    • The Magic High Comission (and most of Mewni) learn about Glossaryck and the Magic Instruction Book being stolen by Ludo, something which the royal family kept to themselves.
    • Marco becomes aware of Star's crush on him.
  • Jaw Drop: Marco's shocked reaction after Ruberiot sings about how Star is in love in him.
  • Jerkass Realization: Star gets one after Ruberiot calls her for assuming he was going to make a "perfect" song like Moon's for Star on her Song Day instead of just actually talking to him.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Ludo managed to turn the tables on his family by locking them out of the castle when they went on vacation without him.
    • After avoiding him for 6 hours, potentially putting his life at risk, and not even bothering to give him a chance, Ruberiot revealed Star's crush on Marco in front of all Mewni, her family, and especially Marco himself.
  • The Last DJ: Ruberiot, as opposed to his predecessors, wants to make true art (instead of a song about how perfect Star supposedly is). Telling Star that he wants to capture the real Star Butterfly (instead of replacing Moon's name with Star in Moon's more traditional Princess Song) is what warms Star up on the idea of working with him.
  • Mix-and-Match Weapon: Or instrument in this case. Ruberiot plays a Harp Guitar which, just as described, is comprised of both a harp and a guitar.
  • Oh, Crap!: The lyrics in the second half of Ruberiot's song get this reaction from the Butterfly royal family.
    • For Moon and River, it's when Ruberiot is singing about the Book of Spells and Glossaryck being stolen.
    • Star is utterly mortified when a puppet of Marco comes onstage while Ruberiot's singing about "true love's spell."
    • A minor one, but Queen Moon has one while she's preparing to battle Ludo, and realizes she forgot that she has to attend Star's Princess Song.
  • Pet the Dog: While Moon probably has every right to be angry with Star for revealing too much about what happened with Glossaryck and the spellbook, she doesn't get angry. She just calmly (and quite sadly) explains the reason behind Mewni's outrage for the secrets the royals kept from them.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Star gives one to Ruberiot. She admonishes him for being a songstrel, claiming that they help put pressure on princesses to live up to the image of being perfect. But Ruberiot turns this back around on Star and admonishes her for writing him off as a hack without giving him a chance or even trying to help him write a song that fits who she is, leading to a My God, What Have I Done? moment when he decides to just use her mother's song and replace her name with Star's.
  • I Reject Your Reality: Moon quite sadly explains to her daughter that the people don't want to hear that their future ruler isn't perfect.
  • Riches to Rags: Ludo's parents, the lord and lady of his old castle, became exiled to a broken-down shack in the woods because Ludo changed the locks while the rest of his family was on vacation.
  • Rockers Smash Guitars: After the slow introduction, Ruberiot smashes his lute and switches to an electric guitar/lyre.
  • Saying Too Much: All the sensitive information related to Star losing the spellbook and Glossaryck was revealed to the entire kingdom of Mewni and the Magic Council in song form. Then Ruberiot outs Star's secret crush on Marco, which she didn't even authorize.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!:
    • Not wanting to perpetuate sugary and fake princesses' songs, Star ditches Ruberiot for an afternoon of shopping with Janna.
    • After Ruberiot declared Star's crush on Marco, Star leaves on a cloud when Marco wanted answers.
  • Serious Business: The traditional princess song, meant to introduce their future queen to Mewni. Ruberiot even sings how he will be killed if Star's song isn't performed on time.
  • Shipper on Deck: The final part of Ruberiot's song (which was a surprise especially to Star) is him being an In-Universe Starco shipper.
  • So Proud of You: After seeing Ludo's family and hearing about their strained relationship with him, Moon takes the chance to tell Star how proud of her she is. She even enjoys Star's unconventional rock ballad princess song.... that is, until it revealed state secrets and caused a riot among the townspeople.
  • Special Guest: Patrick Stump provides the voice of Ruberiot.
  • A Taste of Their Own Medicine: A rare example of this trope when it is not intended as a punishment. Star gets Ruberiot to write song lyrics about delicate information she must have considered her parents would want to keep under wraps before doing it anyway. Not a second after Star tries to help Queen Moon accept getting exposed, Ruberiot sings the ballad's final verse, revealing Star's own secret to the audience: her feelings for Marco.
  • Theme Naming: All of Ludo's siblings are named "__udo", except for Dennis.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Star's reaction to seeing Marco's marionette and hearing the final verses of Ruberiot's ballad.
  • Tough Love: Ludo's parents neglected him and allowed his brothers to bully him for all his life, but did so out is a misguided belief that it would make him tougher since he was the runt of their family rather than outright malice. It backfired when this treatment made Ludo so bitter and resentful of his family he locked them all out of their home and took it for himself.
  • Warts and All: Rather than having a puff piece that paints her as a perfect princess, Star and Ruberiot arrange a song that honestly tells who Star really is with both her virtues and failings. Reality Ensues, however, as the lyrics revealing that Star lost the royal spellbook and that Moon and River kept it a secret from both the Mewni public and the Magic Commission to keep the peace and prevent royal shame causes a riot and the Commission chews Moon out for it.
  • Wham Episode: Thanks to Ruberiot's song, the citizens of Mewni learn what happened to Glossaryck and the Royal Spellbook, and Marco finds out about Star's crush on him. Also, Queen Moon knows Ludo's location and that he possesses the other half of the wand.
  • Wham Line: The last part of Ruberiot's song talks about Star's crush on Marco, and puts it in no uncertain terms.
    Ruberiot: Star Butterfly is in love with her best friend! [quickly and in non-singing voice] And his name is Marco Diaz.
  • What the Hell, Hero?:
    • Hekapoo and the rest of the Magic High Commission give Queen Moon an earful for all the trouble she caused trying to hide Glossaryck's disappearance from the public and them.
    • Star gets one for disclosing such confidential information to the whole kingdom.
  • White Sheep: Dennis is the only one to know about his brother's predicament from presumably watching him and is worried for his mental state. He takes Moon to him hoping she might be able to help him.


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