Follow TV Tropes


Theatre / Bat Boy: The Musical

Go To

He has suffered, and now it's your turn.
You are here not to laugh; but to learn.
Hear his ungodly shriek; Watch what they put him through!
Heed the tale of a filthy freak—who's just like you!
And you!
And YOU!
Hold Me, Bat Boy, (1997)

Bat Boy: The Musical is an American rock musical with its book written by Keythe Farley and Brian Flemming and Lawrence O'Keefe doing its music and lyrics. It's a musical production loosely based on the exploits of the Weekly World News regular, "Bat Boy".

In the town of Hope Falls, West Virginia, three kids, Rick, Ron, and Ruthie, are spelunking when they discover a deformed kid in the cave. The kid injures Ruthie but Ron and Rick manage to subdue it and bring it to the town's sheriff, who brings Bat Boy over to Meredith and Shelley Parker, who agree to keep him until Meredith's husband, veterinarian Dr. Parker, returns home. Meredith and Shelley try to tame the creature whom Meredith names Edgar, but when the town of Hope Falls suddenly discover their cows mysteriously dying, eventually blaming Bat Boy, and Dr. Parker planning to put the creature down, any effort Shelley and Meredith take to dispel the fears surrounding Bat Boy and integrate it into society may be easier said than done...

Ever since its first premiere in 1997, this musical has since been produced and performed off-Broadway, in London's West End and in worldwide scores and showings.

Not to be confused with Batman.

Tropes associated with Bat Boy include:

  • Accidental Unfortunate Gesture: Meredith is cleaning a chair rather suggestively while talking to Shelley about romantic relationships.
  • All Musicals Are Adaptations: They turned a tabloid from the Weekly World News into a musical.
  • An Aesop: Plenty of them, as stated in "Hold Me, Bat Boy (Reprise)":
    • "Love your neighbor": Always be accepting and treat others with respect, even if they are different from you; this will cause them to treat you likewise. The townsfolk of Hope Falls did not accept Bat Boy, not helped by the fact that they were easily manipulated by lies from Dr. Parker and from the rumors about their dead cattle and Bat Boy. In short, they let their fears cloud their judgement and views on Bat Boy and showed no "Christian Charity" to him. Bat Boy ended up plotting to kill Meredith and Dr. Parker for covering the truth of his origins and also for not showing enough love for him.
    • "Forgive": If anyone does you any wrong, you should turn the other cheek and let bygones be bygones. The Taylors did not forgive Bat Boy for injuring Ruthie and wanted revenge on him. Rick gets attacked by Bat Boy in return (albeit motivated by the sight of blood). Ron also dies trying to find and kill Bat Boy in the slaughterhouse, with his own mother burning him to death thinking he was Bat Boy. Dr. Parker also did not forgive Meredith over a triviality either, causing the vet to plot revenge against Bat Boy and become the musical's Serial Killer.
    • "Keep your vows": Always practice what you preach. By scapegoating and vilifying Bat Boy, the townsfolk failed to observe their beliefs. It's made worse by the fact that they all claim to practice the Christian faith, but end up behaving less than that, especially when being prejudiced about Bat Boy. It can also be taken to more serious levels with Dr. Parker and Meredith, because Meredith neglected Dr. Parker for Bat Boy and the doctor raped Meredith in the past, violating their marriage vows.
    • "Revenge is something God forbids": Taking revenge on people will never solve anything or give you satisfaction, and will only turn you into a monster. Dr. Parker plotted revenge on Bat Boy and Meredith for letting the lad attend the festival, causing him to become a Serial Killer in the process, including giving Ruthie a lethal injection. The Taylors also wanted Bat Boy dead, though not directly, causing Rick to get injured trying to attack Bat Boy when the whole town is stirred up against him for "killing" Ruthie and Ron to die when Mrs. Taylor sets the slaughterhouse on fire while he was still inside. Bat Boy also wants revenge against Meredith and Dr. Parker for not telling the truth about his origins to him sooner, but ends up dying. Finally, when Dr. Parker kills Bat Boy and Meredith after slashing his own throat, the townsfolk are left horrified by the gory scene, instead of celebrating Bat Boy's death.
    • "To scapegoat folks is wrong": Do not blame others for any faults or wrongdoings you (may) have caused. The ranchers found their cows were dying and blamed Bat Boy for it, only to later learn from Meredith that they were raising cows on the side of a mountain with a long way up and down, exhausting the cattle and depriving them of water and oxygen; this also leads to the lesson "And a mountain's no place to raise cows" which also tells others to use common sense.
    • "AND DON'T KILL MRS. TAYLOR'S KIDS!": Never kill any children. It will only cause grief to their parents. Mrs. Taylor lost all of her children over the course of the musical. Ruthie died by a lethal injection from Dr. Parker, Rick perished by a combination of getting injured by Bat Boy and receiving a lethal injection from Dr. Parker, and Ron was burned to death with smoke inhalation when Mrs. Taylor herself lit the slaughterhouse, thinking Bat Boy was in there. As a result, Mrs. Taylor is left grieving over the loss of her remaining child, having lost him after losing Ruthie and Ron earlier.
    • "Let go the fears to which you cling": Never let fear cloud your judgement or trust any rumors or false news. The townsfolk were easily overcome by fear of Bat Boy, from the rumors that he was killing their cows and when Dr. Parker lied about Bat Boy.
  • ...And That Would Be Wrong: Dr. Parker screams to the town that he will kill again, only to deflect his statement on to the Bat Boy.
  • And There Was Much Rejoicing: Subverted, when Ron dies people at first are relieved because they think the Bat Boy is dead, but quickly turns to horror when they find it was Ron.
  • Asshole Victim: Rick Taylor threatened to kill Bat Boy during the first few minutes of the musical. As such, no tears are shed when Bat Boy attacks him and Dr. Parker gives him a lethal injection.
  • Angry Mob Song: "Another Dead Cow," "Christian Charity (Reprise)," parts of "Comfort and Joy," "Find/Kill the Bat Boy," and "I Imagine You're Upset" has the townsfolk rally up to have Bat Boy dead.
  • Back from the Dead: During the final number, the dead Parkers and Bat Boy come back to sing.
  • Belief Makes You Stupid: Every townsperson in the show practices the Christian faith and use it to help them fend off any evil, but it blinded their judgement on Bat Boy and it never stopped their cows from dying especially since the cows were raised on the side of a mountain with little oxygen and water to go by. Highlighted in "Christian Charity" where Sheriff Reynolds wants to take action to contain the potential threat Bat Boy might pose, but decides to spare him and let the Parkers take him in due to his beliefs.
  • Big "NO!": When Meredith tells the Bat Boy that she is his mother, as well as when Shelley tries to run away from Meredith, thinking that she has become like the angry mob who declares the Bat Boy an abomination.
  • Big "YES!": Shelley when her father asks if she had sex with Bat Boy.
  • Black Comedy Rape: After testing an experimental pheromone, Meredith's rape by Thomas is treated dramatically but a flock of bats raping her later is played for laughs.
  • Black Sheep: Bat Boy is treated as not part of the town; the fact that he was accused of nearly everything that goes wrong doesn't help either.
  • Broken Record: In "Find him, Kill him", the ensemble constantly chant about killing Bat Boy.
  • Brother–Sister Incest: The Bat Boy and Shelley are actually twins born at around the same time.
  • Burn the Witch!: The townspeople do this to Bat Boy because he's different, allegedly monstrous and supposedly killing their cows.
  • Child by Rape: Shelley and Batboy were the result of Dr. Parker and later some bats sexually violating Meredith, resulting her in giving birth to a pair of really awkward fraternal twins.)
  • Comically Missing the Point: The Ranchers were trying to raise cows on the side of a mountain as Meredith calls them out as the musical nears its conclusion.
  • Coming and Going: The musical has plenty of deaths to link up the sex moments in this show...
  • Crosscast Role: Many of the characters crossdress due to the small cast and need to differentiate characters played by the same actor from one another, but the most obvious crossdressing character is Mrs. Taylor, which is always a drag role Played for Laughs.
  • Dark Reprise:
    • "Dance With Me, Darling" (already a fairly dark song) gets two: one when Dr. Parker realizes that Meredith will never love him and only cares for the Bat Boy, and another when Dr. Parker rapes Meredith.
    • Also done with the melody of "Let Me Walk Among You", which is first the Bat Boy's "I Want" Song, but reappears when he's daring Parker to kill him, and again when Parker and Meredith reconcile.
    • "Christian Charity" gets a moderately dark reprise; the first version is about not killing the Bat Boy or turning him over to the FBI, but the reprise is a warning against his attending a big town meeting.
      Townsfolk: You should just be grateful we don't hang him from a tree,
      So don't you go testin' our Christian Charity!
    • The London version's new tracks are an inversion: "Hey Freak," which contains a Dark Reprise of the poignant "Mine, All Mine," is over a dozen songs earlier in the play.
    • "A Home For You" gets a dark reprise during the end of "Apology to a Cow" where Bat Boy decides to get revenge on Meredith and Dr. Parker for not telling him his true origins.
    • Pretty much every song in the show. "Hold Me, Bat Boy" is also sped up for "Find/Kill the Bat Boy," and it also gets a more sombre, slower reprise as the closing of the show.
  • Death by Flashback: Dr. Parker, Meredith and Bat Boy all die but not before explaining the Black Comedy Rape that would give rise to the birth of the last guy in this point.
  • Deceased Parents Are the Best: Meredith dies when Dr. Parker, who had slashed his own throat, stabs her for trying to intervene when Bat Boy got stabbed mere seconds earlier. This leaves a still-living Shelley with both of her parents and her twin brother dead, leaving behind a horrifying memory of them all in the poor girl.
  • Death by Irony: Mrs. Taylor kills her remaining son while trying to protect him from Bat Boy.
  • Downer Ending: Meredith reveals that the Bat Boy and Shelley are fraternal twins, a product of when Dr. Parker and a flock of bats raped her one night, Dr. Parker, overcome with hatred for the Bat Boy, slits his own throat so Bat Boy will kill him, and in his dying gasp stabs both Bat Boy and Meredith as Shelley and the rest of the townspeople look on in horror, leaving them to tell the horrific and tragic tale to the arriving institute man.
    Bat Boy: I am not a boy. I'm an animal! (dies)
  • Dr. Jerk: Dr. Parker turns out to be a Serial Killer who aims to kill Bat Boy while slaughtering others to prove Bat Boy is dangerous. Also a Deadly Doctor.
  • The Eleven O'Clock Number: "Apology to a Cow" is Bat Boy's last major song before things get worse.
  • Exiled to the Couch: Dr. Parker is seen on the family couch after arguing with his wife Meredith over Bat Boy.
  • Final Love Duet: "Inside Your Heart", sung by the Bat Boy and Shelley.
    • Subverted with Parker and Meredith's duet in "I Imagine You're Upset"; Meredith is forgiving Parker for what he's done and telling him that they can renew their love and start over, while Parker is basically telling Meredith his rationale for killing the Bat Boy.
  • Fond Memories That Could Have Been: "Three Bedroom House" and to some extent "Home For You".
  • Greek Chorus: "Hold Me Bat Boy", "Comfort and Joy", and "Hold Me Bat Boy Reprise" has multiple folks filling in the harmonies and melodies for all of our characters living and/or deceased.
  • Half-Human Hybrid: Bat Boy himself is a human but with fang-like canine teeth and pointy ears like a bat's.
  • Her Heart Will Go On: Shelley survives the entire ordeal with her dear Bat Boy whom she grew attached to dead. She is understandably grieved over Bat Boy's death, but soldiers on to begin the town's reflection over what they had learned over the ordeal.
    Shelley: He never knew what he was worth...
    I could not stop his fall...
    But in his precious hours on Earth,
    He taught us all...
  • The Hero Dies: Bat Boy is stabbed by Dr. Parker at the end.
  • Hospital Surprise: Ruthie is given a lethal injection from Dr. Parker as Act 1 ends.
    Ruthie Taylor: Dr. Parker, what are you doing here?
    Dr. Parker: It's not me, Ruthie. The Bat Boy is doing this to you. He's a beast. He's a monster! He can't control himself. We're all going to miss you very much...(injects Ruthie)
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: A large part of Bat Boy's character conflict, especially shown in "Let Me Walk Among You" and his part of "Comfort and Joy". To be fair, he has the whole Vegetarian Vampire struggle without any of the traditional vampire powers. He does not win this conflict.
    Bat Boy: If I can't prove them wrong,
    Show me where I belong
    For a hunger so strong kills all comfort and joy!
    If You'd make me complete,
    I'll avoid all red meat.
    I'll eat nothing but soy to have comfort and joy!
  • Instant Expert: Bat Boy goes from crouching savage to cultured dandy with a high school equivalency diploma in eight weeks. The scene is also an Affectionate Parody of My Fair Lady.
  • Intercourse with You: "Children, Children" is made of this trope.
  • Interspecies Romance: The Bat Boy and Shelley, as well as the other participants in the interspecies orgy during "Children, Children".
  • Imagine the Audience Naked: During Shelley and Meredith's verse of "Comfort and Joy", Meredith tells Shelley to imagine the revival attendants "in their underwear" while they get Bat Boy to integrate into society.
  • I'm Not Hungry: Bat Boy will not eat the chicken or stew Meredith prepares for him.
  • I Want My Mommy!: Meredith after she gets raped by bats and Ruthie after she gets bitten.
  • "I Want" Song: "Let Me Walk Among You", sung by the Bat Boy when he wants the townspeople to accept him. Also, most of the solos in "Comfort and Joy."
  • Last Words: "I am not a boy. I'm an animal!" Bat Boy to Shelley.
  • Looks Like Orlok: Bat Boy with his bald head, pale skin and Pointy Ears make him look like a beast crossed with a man.
  • Luke, I Am Your Father: Played Straight and Inverted; Bat Boy is actually Meredith's son, having given birth to him when she was first violated by Dr. Parker before they hooked up, and then by some bats. Also, because Shelley was born at the same time, she and Bat Boy are twin siblings.
  • Massive Multiplayer Ensemble Number: "Comfort and Joy" has Dr. Parker resolving to save his marriage with Meredith by killing Bat Boy, Shelley and Meredith planning to show the townsfolk that Bat Boy is not to be feared, the townsfolk expressing their hopes of the cattle receiving a cure during the revival.
  • Minor Character, Major Song: Pan gets one of these in act II when with "Children Children". He is never named and randomly shows up and sings a song that results in an interspecies orgy.
  • Murder-Suicide: Parker slashes his own throat and then stabs Bat Boy and Meredith.
    Dr. Parker: Are you hungry? (slashes his throat)
  • Phrase Catcher: "Sweet Wounded Jesus!" to Edgar.
  • Please Dump Me: Bat Boy tells Shelley to leave him in the woods to keep her safe. Shelley offers her arm for Bat Boy to feast on instead.
  • Plot Armor: Shelley survives throughout the musical despite facing situations that could have harmed or killed her such as when Bat Boy nearly sinks his teeth into her arm only to be interrupted by an arriving Meredith.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Meredith and Dr. Parker don't reveal that Meredith is Edgar's biological mother until the climax of the story. Their motivations for keeping this secret are more sympathetic than most examples of the trope, but if that information had been revealed earlier, the ending Meredith fantasizes about in "Three Bedroom House" could have actually happened.
  • Raised by Wolves: Bat Boy was raised by bats.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure:
    • Faith healer Billy Hightower is actually one of the play's most levelheaded characters, being an enthusiastic practicer of the Christian faith and almost immediately accepting Bat Boy once he expresses his desire to integrate into society and live with his fellow townsfolk.
    • There's also Sheriff Reynolds, who tries to protect Bat Boy, wants to avoid giving him in to an institute, and keeps telling the townsfolk not to shoot him.
  • Second Law of Metafictional Thermodynamics: There's a character who's a Serial Killer in the form of Dr. Parker made by the writers of this show to kill people.
  • Serial Killer: Dr. Parker kills off a couple of characters in the show.
  • Shadow Discretion Shot: The "Revelations" scene is often performed behind a screen as a shadow play.
  • Sniff Sniff Nom: Bat Boy attempts to eat chicken, stew, a couch, and a book.
  • The Song Before the Storm: "Comfort and Joy" is only an expression of nearly everyone's hopes as the revival draws near and right before everything hits the fan in the second act.
    • Inverted at the end of the song when Ruthie Taylor is murdered.
  • Thank Your Prey: "Apology to a Cow" has Bat Boy apologising to one of the cows he found as he feasts on it.
  • Training Montage: "Show You a Thing or Two" has Meredith train Bat Boy's knowledge and intellect. Bat Boy later proves himself to be just as smart as anyone.
  • Villain Song:
    • "Dance With Me, Darling" for Dr. Parker as he sings about his relation with Meredith.
    • Dr. Parker's parts in "Comfort and Joy" expresses his desire to get rid of Bat Boy.
    • "Apology to a Cow" for Edgar, where he vows to get revenge on those who've hurt him.
    • "Find/Kill the Bat Boy" for Dr. Parker and the townsfolk as they rally to kill Bat Boy.
    • "I Imagine You're Upset" is partly an Angry Mob Song for the townsfolk, and Dr. Parker has a Villainous Lament towards the end.
    • "Whatcha Wanna Do Tonight?" for Rick as he threatens Bat Boy for harming his sister Ruthie.
    • "Mrs. Taylor's Lullaby" for Mrs. Taylor, who sings Ruthie to sleep promising her that she'll have Bat Boy killed.
  • You Are Too Late: The institute man is called to take the Bat Boy, but by the time he arrives, nearly all the main characters, including Bat Boy, are already dead.
    Institute Man: Alright, where's tha—? (sees Bat Boy's dead body) Oh, god...
    Sheriff Reynolds: You're late.
    Institute Man: What happened here?
    Sheriff Reynolds: It's a Long Story. I don't know where to begin...

Hold your Bat Boy, touch your Bat Boy
No more need to hide!
Know your Bat Boy, love your Bat Boy
Don't deny your beast inside!
Full Company, Hold Me, Bat Boy (Reprise)