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"Freude, schöner Götterfunken,
Tochter aus Elysium,
Wir betreten feuertrunken,
Himmlische, dein Heiligtum.
Deine Zauber binden wieder,
Was die Mode streng geteilt,
Alle Menschen werden Brüder,
Wo dein sanfter Flügel weilt"
What the choir is really singing during that one part. You know, that part. note 

"Ode to Joy" (German: An die Freude) is a poem written by Friedrich Schiller. It describes the ideal of humanity united in joy and friendship, in the rather overheated fashion common to German romantic poetry.

The most well-known musical adaptation was written by Ludwig van Beethoven, who used the text for the choral parts of his Ninth, or "Choral", Symphony. The title "Ode to Joy" is used in reference to Beethoven's melody, and indeed the Ninth as a whole, (more often than) it does Schiller's all-but-forgotten original poem. For those familiar with the piece, it's not hard to understand why.

"Ode to Joy" is used as the official anthem for The European Unionnote .

Songwriter Miguel Ríos created a version that is very popular in the Spanish-speaking world.


Anime and Manga

  • The first episode of Classicaloid opens with "Ode To Joy" playing while Beethoven (yes, that Beethoven) passionately tries to make gyoza. This scene sets up the series' comedic tone. The song gets a remixed version in the season finale, bookending things.
  • The OAV Dragon Half uses this in the closing credits... along with a slew of other Beethoven pieces.
  • The heroines sing it in the original German while watching a meteor shower, at the end of the first Gunslinger Girl anime. Their handlers can't help be amused as the sight of their brainwashed cyborg killing machines acting this way.
  • The Inuyasha episode "Battle Against the Dried-Up Demons at the Cultural Festival!" has a group of students singing about the Shikon jewel to the tune of "Ode To Joy".
  • Yashiro Isana hums this several times in K as does the Colorless King, particularly notable in the murder video. Might be an homage to Kaworu, but it might also be because he's actually German.
  • It appears twice in the Kämpfer OVA, used hilariously to make an Ass Shove poke epic.
  • My Next Life as a Villainess: All Routes Lead to Doom!: A sped-up version of the tune is featured at the end of the Season 2 opening.
  • This is Kaworu Nagisa's leitmotif in Neon Genesis Evangelion. He is also heard humming it in his and Shinji's first encounter. He also plays it on a piano during his introduction in the Manga. On the whole, Ode to Joy describes the plot and themes of Evangelion (especially the Instrumentality) in a rather scarily accurate, if ironic, way.
  • Used a few times in Psycho-Pass for Soundtrack Dissonance.
  • In the Read or Die OVA, Yomiko is heard humming it, and is played when The Suicide Symphony is going to be broadcasted onto the entire world.
  • Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" plays out, with original Japanese lyrics, over the closing credits of Satoshi Kon's Tokyo Godfathers.

Comic Books


  • Featured in A Clockwork Orange; once with a woman singing the piece through a vocoder while Alex and his gang are relaxing at the Korova Milkbar, again during Alex's romp in a music store and once more during the Ludovico treatment. Incidentally, the piece, along with the Ninth Symphony as a whole, is one of Alex's personal favorites and freaks when the government scientists (inadvertently) use it against him during the Ludovico Treatment, robbing him of the pleasure he once had of the piece when he used it for his ultra-violent fantasies.
  • Used in Die Hard when Hans and his men open and loot the vault to the Nakatomi Corporation. Referencing this scene, trailers for later Die Hard films would play the song over Stuff Blowing Up. Its usage as the villains theme is a direct reference to Stanley Kubrick's classy ultraviolence.
    Michael Kamen: Our bad guys were lineal descendants of the bad guys in A Clockwork Orange.
  • The above scene from Die Hard is parodied in Four Against the Bank when the film's eponymous German bank robbers open the safe to the famous tune.
  • The climax of Fulltime Killer features this tune.
  • Get Smart uses an edited version in the climax, where a bomb wired to the piano will go off at the end of the piece, killing the President and many others.
  • In the Beatles Help!, the boys sing "Ode To Joy" to tame a tiger.
  • Very common piece in movie trailers, particularly if a film is critically and/or financially successful, for instance the Die Hard and Hot Tub Time Machine films.
  • This song is used in Scrat's storyline in Ice Age: Continental Drift.
  • Used in Immortal Beloved's amazing scene of the debut of the Ninth Symphony. Young Beethoven blending into the stars that were reflected off the lake really captures, in Leonard Bernstein's words, the "the child (Beethoven) that never grew up".
  • In John Wick, the tune is played on an organ in a church as the main character enters.
  • The finale of The Money Pit has Max conducting a classical/hard rock fusion of "Ode to Joy" at Walter and Anna's wedding.
  • An electronic rendition of the piece plays over the climactic scenes in the Bulgarian animated film Planetata na Sakrovishtata.
  • Raising Arizona uses an unusual (but still pleasant) banjo/yodeling arrangement.
  • The Christian hymn "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee" is sung to the tune of Ode to Joy and plays a key role in sequel to Sister Act.
  • Schlussakkord: Erich is an orchestra conductor doing Beethoven's 9th, and the "Ode to Joy" part plays in its entirety. This was a film made in Nazi Germany in 1936. The opening scene shows a band playing raucous jazz at a New York nightclub on New Year's Eve. This orchestra scene uses Beethoven to contrast good, wholesome German culture with decadent America.
  • Used at the end of Stalker (1979), which is quite odd in context, considering the dour and depressing tone of the film and the grim surroundings.
  • In Unknown (2006), the tune is being whistled by the group at some point.
  • Used as the background music during the training montage, as well as Brendan's walkout music during the War on the Shore in Warrior.


  • Used in A Clockwork Orange in much the same fashion as in its film adaptation. Of note is that, unlike in the film, Alex's dismay at its use during the Ludovico procedure originates in his respect for the piece, and his perception that it's sullied by use as a soundtrack to scenes of torture and violence.
  • Robert Fulghum loves this song. His All I Really Need to Know I Learned In Kindergarten series contains many mentions of this. He suggests combining it with a modified version of the "Itsy Bitsy Spider" song to form the fight song of the human race.
    • Furthermore, in Kindergarden he says that someday he'll hire an orchestra and conduct Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. In his later book Maybe, Maybe Not he tells the story of the time an orchestra actually asked him to come along for a tour so he could live his dream and give them some free publicity. It took a lot of work to learn how to actually conduct an orchestra, but he did it and said that he had the time of his life.

Live-Action TV

Professional Wrestling

Video Games

  • The entire fourth movement of Beethoven's 9th appears in Forza Horizon 3 as part of the in-game classical music station Timeless FM. It's also hands down the longest track in the game and in the series overall. Consider yourself very fortunate if it's used as a skill song.
  • "Ode to Joy" plays when the last orange peg in any of the stages in Peggle or Peggle Nights. In Peggle 2, it's only Bjorn's theme.
  • The song features on 102.4 Klassic FM in Saints Row IV as part of the tracklist.
  • An excerpt from the song shows up at the very end of the credits song in Catherine. For bonus points, the song itself is even called "An Die Freude".

Web Original

Western Animation

  • In Angry Birds Toons episode "Another Birthday", when the birthday Pig saw the cake, thinking it's for him. The song played at the end of the episode, including the credits, similar to BURN-E.
  • One episode of Camp Lazlo had Clam play this song on a bottle.
  • In one episode of Courage the Cowardly Dog, the computer downloads itself into Muriel's body and engages in death-defying stunts. Computer!Muriel's leitmotif is this tune.
  • Briefly played at the end of an episode of King of the Hill where Hank is able to relieve himself after a bout with constipation.
  • The series premiere of Little Einsteins had Ode to Joy as the episode's "featured music".
  • This played at the end of the Ren and Stimpy episode, "Stimpy's Cartoon Show", when Ren, Stimpy, and Wilbur Cobb get sentenced to the electric chair.

Alternative Title(s): Ode To Joy