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All you gotta do is just dance!
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In 2009, Ubisoft released one of the many dancing games that were on the Wii, perhaps to gain a few decent sales. The game was critically bashed for its movement detection and lack of unlockables... but something happened.

It turned out a lot of gamers didn't really care about scoring or unlocking content. They, well, just wanted to dance. Thus the game became a runaway hit, maintaining sales even over a year after its release. Ubi started on sequels and spinoffs immediately. But they didn't blow it like many Wii sequels by giving no marketing. Thus the sequel sold even better than the first.

The main series:

  • Just Dance
  • Just Dance 2 — Introduced duet routines, Downloadable Content, medleys, a Nonstop Shuffle feature, and colored gloves on the dancers' left hands.
  • Just Dance 3 — Introduced Dance Crews (4-player routines), Mashups (routines that include bits and pieces of past routines), alternative modes, Sweat routines (meant specifically for workout), the Just Create feature (which allowed players to create their own dances), and was the first installment to be available for PS3 and Xbox 360.
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  • Just Dance 4 — Introduced Battle Modes, Dance Quests, the Party Master Mode feature, and was the first installment to be available for Wii U.
  • Just Dance 2014 — Introduced a six-player mode, On-Stage Modes, the World Dance Floor feature (in which one can dance at the same time as others around the world), and was the first installment to be available for Xbox One and PS4.note 
  • Just Dance 2015 — Introduced Trio routines, Mashups and Alternates with specific motifs, and the Community Remix and Just Dance VIP features.
    • Alongside the standard version, there is also a Chinese version that adds five songs by local artists.
  • Just Dance 2016 — Introduced the Just Dance Unlimited streaming service, Dance Quests, and World Video Challenge.
  • Just Dance 2017 — Introduced Just Dance Machine, a side story mode.
    • Alongside the standard version, there is also a Chinese version that removed all online features plus adds two songs by local artists.
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  • Just Dance 2018 — Introduced Kids Mode, a mode that allows easier dance routines for kids under 12.
  • Just Dance 2019 — Introduced a much simpler GUI than the past games.

The spinoffs:

  • Dance on Broadway
  • Just Dance Kids (or Dance Juniors in PAL region)
  • Michael Jackson: The Experience
  • Just Dance Summer Party
  • The Smurfs Dance Party
  • Just Dance Wii (Japan)
  • The Black Eyed Peas Experience
  • ABBA: You Can Dance!
  • Just Dance: Best Of (Europe)
  • Just Dance: Greatest Hits (North America)
  • Just Dance Wii 2 (Japan)
  • Just Dance: Disney Party
  • The Hip Hop Experience
  • Just Dance Kids 2014
  • Just Dance Wii U (Japan)
  • Just Dance Disney Party 2
  • Yo Kai Watch Dance: Just Dance Special Edition) (Japan)
  • Just Dance Now (Smartphone app)
    • Also has a Chinese version known as Vitality School
  • Just Sing (a failed Karaoke spinoff)

The surprise success of the first game, that even Ubisoft admitted wasn't expected, caused a revival in dance game releases, not only for the Wii, but also Dance Central, Dance Paradise, and Dance Masters for the Xbox 360 Kinect, and Singstar Dance for the PlayStation 3.

On January 14, 2019, it was announced that Just Dance would be receiving a film adaptation by Screen Gems. For now, the Dance Dance Revolution film adaption in works has a rival.

Now has a Shout Out page.

Compare We Cheer, Dance Dance Revolution.


Provides Examples Of:

  • Achievement System:
    • Games since 3 have Xbox 360/Xbox One achievements as usual, though 3, 4 and 2016 also have their own sets of achievements on all consoles.
    • The avatars in 4 and games that support Just Dance Unlimited are earned through achievements, mostly playing an Unlimited song. 2017 and 2018 also offer skins, while 2019 implemented titles to customize the player profile.
  • Air Guitar:
    • A Running Gag in the main series which is featured in "Lump", "Louie Louie", and "Funplex (CSS Remix)" in the original, "Girlfriend", "Call Me", "Sympathy for the Devil" (Fatboy Slim Remix), and "Crazy Christmas" (As DLC) in 2, "I Was Made for Loving You" in 3 (which also has air drums, air vocals, and air bass), "So What" and "Livin' La Vida Loca" in 4, and "Get Lucky" in 2014.
    • "Rasputin" & "Here Comes The Hotstepper" in 2 along with the extreme dance for "Fine China"(and its battle against "Gentleman") in 2014 also feature Air Violins.
    • "Cotton Eyed Joe" has an Air Fiddle!
  • Amazing Technicolor World: Amazing technicolor dance floors, that is.
  • Annual Title: Just Dance 2014, 2015, 2016, and so on. Curiously, their titles refer to the year that follows on their release.
  • Art Evolution: From 4 onwards, the dancers became more lifelike, with more realistic hair and clothing textures. Some older routines featured in the Just Dance Now app are also updated to blend in with the newer ones.
  • The Artifact: Subverted. The single (or odd-colored) glove that the dancers wear originally served as a guide for Wiimote movement, back when the series was exclusive to the Wii. With the PlayStation Move and the Switch's Joy-Cons, they still serve that purpose, but the gloves are such a mainstay that they stayed on even in the Xbox 360 and One versions, which use the Kinect for movement capture.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Female dancers are prone to this and serve as the main source of Fanservice. Midriff-baring clothing range from modest low-cut crop tops (2016's "Junto a Ti" P3) to high-cut ones (2017's "Hips Don't Lie") to sport bras (4's "Run the Show").
  • Bewitched Amphibians: "Love is All" features a frog prince as one of the two dancers, the other being a Princess Classic type who kisses him and turns him human at the end of the instrumental break.
  • The Blank: Subverted. The dancers do have faces, but they're usually hard to see, making them appear faceless.
  • *Bleep*-dammit!:
    • Several lines are omitted in "Promiscuous" due to some light innuendo, despite the fact that the most inappropriate thing about this song is its very name.
    • The Lazy Song, which is DLC in 4, had this when the word "birthday" was removed ("birthday suit") but not "freaking" ("I'm the freaking man"). Ironically, "freaking" is removed from Gentleman in 2014.
    • "C'mon" censors a whole bunch of words with sexual connotations (including "get it on", "screw", "lollipop", and "hooters"), and "wine", but not "Budweiser". Huh?
    • "New World" censors "sake" (the Japanese beverage), but not "vodka" in the same stanza.
    • Why is "drunk" removed from The Other Side in 2014 if Teenage Dream allowed it in 3?
    • Why is "cherry" removed in "I Kissed a Girl", but not in "Cool For the Summer", where the innuendo is even more blatant?
    • Sometimes entire lines are censored, such as in 2015, in which "Bang Bang" had an entire line censored due to an allusion to Auto Erotica, despite "Walk This Way" getting away with a similar allusion.
    • Taken to extreme levels in "Kissing Strangers", where Nicki Minaj's verse is subjected to such a degree of censorship that one can only wonder why it wasn't just removed altogether.
    • In "Chantaje", the word "loba" (female wolf) is removed, but not the line "I am a masochist".
  • Bowdlerise: The games do it when songs have lyrics that my be too inappropriate for its younger players. It's not really consistent from game to game (as cited above, lines in "Bang Bang" that alluded to Auto Erotica were censored despite "Walk This Way" getting away with the same allusions).
  • Breakout Character: The Panda was just an an avatar for "C'mon" and "Timber" (understandably so, since both feature Kesha), but his popularity was such that he later got a cameo in the background of "Happy" in 2015, before finally getting a routine all his own, none other than "I Gotta Feeling", in 2016. He has since become a Recurring Character in the franchise, appearing in at least one song per game.
  • Camp: Several choreographies and especially the Gold Moves that require players to strike a pose involve performing exaggerated motions. Characters performed by Mehdi Kerkouche stand out too.
  • Celebrity Power: Two of the three Licensed Games have actual members of The Black Eyed Peas, and ABBA.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: The characters' left hands are of a different colour to show that players should hold their controllers with the right hand.
  • Color-Coded Multiplayer: The pictograms in the Duet, Trio and Dance Crew levels are of a different colour for each playable character, even though they have visually distinctive dancers.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Dance Mashups, introduced in the third game, contain pieces of dances from all of the main series games up to that point, although it wasn't until the fourth game that the first game's dancers started being included.
    • If you look closely at the dancer's TV head during the chorus of "Video Killed the Radio Star", you can see clips of past dances in the series playing in it.
    • In a similar manner, the TV in the background of "So What" in 4 also displays earlier dances from time to time.
    • "Rock Lobster" in 4 contains backgrounds from past games.
    • Appropriately enough, the level for "Just Dance" is one big tribute to the entire franchise, featuring some fan favourite coaches from previous games in the glass windows in the background.
    • "YMCA" in 2014 has the Rasputin, Moves Like Jagger, Viva La Vegas, and DARE dancers, all slightly modified to match the style of the game.
    • The DLC routine "American Girl", at one point, features the opening cutscene to "Blame It on the Boogie" in the background.
    • "Happy" in 2015 features the return of the panda bear from "C'Mon" and "Timber" as one of the many background dancers. This was before 2016 made him a Recurring Character.
    • "Uptown Funk" in 2016 features several dancers from past games in the background.
    • “Watch Me” in 2017 reunites the following animal coaches from previous games: The lion from “Copacabana”, the zebra from “Istanbul (Not Constantinople)”, the fox from “What Does the Fox Say?”, and the frog from “Love is All”.
    • The dancers for the alternate Helmet routine of "Radical" in 2017 are the exact same dancers from "Animals" in 2016.
    • The level for "Fire", which is themed after an arcade game, has fourteen coaches from previous games cameo during the character select segment.
  • Cool Shades: Way too many examples to count. Taken Up to Eleven in 2019, where it's easier to list the coaches who do not fit this trope.
  • Cover Version:
    • Several tracks across the games are covered to avoid copyright. The most notable example would be every single Britney Spears song, before 2016 broke the pattern by featuring the original version of "Circus".
    • In the Kids versions of the franchise, almost all of the songs are covers.
  • Coy, Girlish Flirt Pose: The dancer at the beginning of "Firework".
  • Crossover:
    • With the Rabbids (another Ubisoft property) in "Here Comes the Hotstepper" as either DLC of the second game or as a standalone track for Summer Party, "Make the Party (Don't Stop)" in 4 and "Love Is All" in Just Dance 2015. 2018 took it further by having a level where the coach itself is a Rabbid.
    • And the Super Mario Bros. theme (complete with the man himself) appears in the Japan version and as DLC for the Wii version of the third game.
    • Just Dance 2015 features the Tetris theme as a playable track, and 2016 features an Angry Birds-themed routine.
    • Hatsune Miku appears in "Ievan Polkka" in 2016, "Popipo" in 2017 and "Love Ward" in 2018.
    • The trend continues in 2019, which has a level dedicated to Pac-Man.
  • Curse Cut Short: Given the E10+ rating of the series, but zigzagged like crazy. Oftentimes, like in Wild Wild West, the lyrics will omit the offending word while the song itself does not.
  • Cute Witch: Usually averted in the Halloween-themed levels, but played straight in "Don't Let Me Down". The routine stars two teenagers dancing in the center of a magical circle surrounded by candles. As they dance, they move objects around and summon heart-shaped clouds of smoke. The level ends with them conjuring a small energy sphere and joining hands, having successfully concluded their ritual.
  • Do Well, but Not Perfect: Some of the Dance Quests in 4 require you to get a GOOD rating at certain parts of each song. It doesn't count if you get a PERFECT.
  • Downloadable Content: Starting in the second game, there used to be an online shop that offered extra songs or alternate routines at a price. Averted as of 2016 and beyond, which replaced it with the Unlimited subscription service.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: The JDU-exclusive routine to "Sax" by Fleur East appeared in the music video for Bebe Rexha's "The Way I Are (Dance with Somebody)", nearly a year before it's release.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: The original Just Dance, other than being a motion control-based dancing game, has virtually nothing in common with later games in the series, with a completely different point ranking system and aesthetic, "Shake Moves" as opposed to Gold Moves, and dancers that don't have the now commonplace gloves. Someone unfamiliar with the franchise could easily mistake the first game for a cheap knockoff instead of actually being part of the same series!
  • Easier Than Easy: While Kids Mode's choreographies are deliberately simple so that young children can handle them, the grading system is so simplified and generous that any movement can rack up a few stars.
  • Exergaming: Just Sweat, a mode introduced in the second game of the main series, tracks the calories burnt as the player dances.
  • Expansion Pack: Just Dance Summer Party is basically a compilation of most of the DLC from 2.
  • Expy:
  • Fake Difficulty:
    • This is one of the main problems of the first game, and part of the reason why it was received so harshly. The motion detection is so terrible that even if you follow the moves pretty well, the game more often than not will register the move as OK or an X, making it difficult to get high scores consistently.
    • Some special effects can make it difficult to follow the dancer. Of note are the coaches from "Don't You Worry Child" and "Animals" (Extreme), who become black silhouettes during certain parts of their routines.
    • Thanks to a programming error, it's near impossible to score 5 stars in the "Candy" mashup in Just Dance 2014, as each counted move awards barely any points, even for Perfects.
    • In the Extreme version of "Sorry", the routine syncs its moves to the vocals and instruments arbitrarily, in a way that the challenge comes not from the choreography itself, but from remembering which part of the song each move has been synched to.
    • Another obvious instance of dance steps being performed off beat is in "Lean On", where the punching move during the chorus is completely out of sync with the song.
    • In "Fight Club", several moves are out of sync with the song, with the one right at the start of the chorus being the most noticeable.
  • Fake Longevity: 2014 and 2015 have some mashups that can only be unlocked during a specific month.
  • Fashionable Asymmetry: From 2 onwards, every dancer always wears a glove on their left hand, indicating that the players should hold the controllers with the right hand.
  • Fighting Game:
    • The stage for "Kung-Fu Fighting (Dave Ruffy/Mark Wallis Remix)" is done like this.
    • The Battle Mode in 4 and 2014 resembles one, complete with life bars and dots to count the number of rounds won.
  • Foreign Remake: 2015 and 2017 have Chinese versions with local songs included. Now also has a Chinese version known as Vitality School.
  • Funny Animal: Some routines will use anthropomorphic animals as dancers, such as "Land of 1000 Dances", "Istanbul (Not Constantinople)", and of course any routine using that panda dancer. Also can be Borderline Petting Zoo People, since they're really humans dressed up as animals.
  • Game-Breaking Bug:
    • The Xbox Kinect has a tendency to detect objects like chairs and add them to the game as if they were extra players. In the worst cases, it will stop detecting the actual player movements to focus solely on the object!
    • Having too many players sometimes causes the Kinect to mash them together and treat them as a single dancer. This happens predominantly in choreographies where players swap places or interact with each other.
    • Although rarely, the Wii version of the games sometimes freeze or crash, requiring the console to be unplugged to solve the issue.
  • Gender Flip: Some levels employ coaches of alternating genders that take turns performing. Examples include "Gangnam Style", "Safe and Sound", "Song 2" and "Uptown Funk".
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: A number of songs with sexual or otherwise inappropriate lyrics get into the games mostly uncensored, either because they're not sung in English or the sexual content is subtle enough to get past as innuendo.
    • 2014 has "Blurred Lines", which was highly controversial for its common interpretation suggesting sexism and rape.
    • The verse that references making love in "Fight Club" made it into the game uncensored, as the English lyrics were misinterpreted by the French developers.
      • Similarly, in 2019's "Mi Mi Mi", the word "tits" got past because it was misinterpreted as "peeps".
    • The 2019 edition features the song "Bum Bum Tam Tam", with very kid-friendly lyrics like "The horny underage girls get high and throw themselves at you"note  and "Come at me with your butt"note , all completely uncensored! Granted, only Portuguese speakers will be able to understand those lyrics, but still...
    • Zig-zagged with "Dame Tu Cosita". The entire song consists of the line "Give me your little thing" being repeated ad nauseum while a woman moans. The preview used it unaltered, but the version in the game replaces the moaning with duck quacks. However, the rest of the song went uncensored. It's also worth noting that the routine was originally supposed to appear in 2019 before being released in Unlimited instead, possibly because its controversial nature would impact the game's ESRB rating.
    • "Sweet Little Unforgettable Thing" in 2019. Its acronym (and its original name) is "S.L.U.T."
    • Averted with The Black Eyed Peas and Hip Hop Experience, which were developed for older audiences, thus the former has uncensored songs carrying strong profanity and the latter has songs with indecent sexual lyrics that would never get into the main Just Dance games and provocative music videos playing in the background. They have T ratings for a reason.
    • In "Sugar", the woman from "Built For This" is shown getting married to the carrot from "PoPiPo". Older players should be able to get the joke.
  • Greatest Hits Album: Just Dance Greatest Hits (Best of in Europe) contains popular songs from the first 3 games.
  • Guilt-Based Gaming: Idle example. If you don't score any points during the routine, instead of the results, the game will give you the message, "Step in and just dance!"
  • Interchangeable Asian Cultures:
    • There used to be a section called K-Pop in the Just Dance search bar. However, some songs listed there, mainly the Just Dance original songs, were actually in Japanese. This is fixed in 2019, as the playlist is renamed "Songs from the Far East".
    • In 2017, one of the mashups had the theme of K-pop, which included coaches whose appearances were similar to K-pop singers... and also Hatsune Miku.
  • Intercourse with You: Many songs featured in the franchise fall under this, such as "Birthday" and "Bang Bang". It's also pretty obvious in one of the original songs from 3, "Baby Don't Stop Now". There are actually two versions of the song, the one used in the game and a slightly more explicit version that outright namedrops making love.
  • In the Style of...: The Cover Version of "Fame" was recorded "in the style of Irene Cara".
  • Katanas Are Just Better: The alternate version of 4's "Tribal Dance" is subtitled as 'with a katana.'
  • Konami Code: Use it to unlock the Extreme Version of "Barbra Streisand" in 3.
  • Lawyer-Friendly Cameo: Michael Jackson: The Experience did not feature the singer himself; instead it had someone else cast as him (which explains why the featured artist has a different skin color).
  • Licensed Game: For artists as well as other properties.
  • Lighter and Softer: From 2015 and onwards, the franchise seems to be trying to appeal to a much younger audience.
  • Lyrical Dissonance:
    • "99 Luftballons" is about some red balloons accidentally causing a nuclear war. The routine has a happy couple dancing alongside red balloons.
    • The level for "Copacabana", a song literally about murder, has a group of anthropomorphic animals dancing in a Seussian background.
    • "Last Christmas" is a song about a painful breakup. The routine is about a couple playing in a snowy wonderland.
  • Money for Nothing: Mojocoins in 2014 to 2017 are used to buy avatars and alternate routines. Since 2018, they are used to obtain cosmetic rewards and alternate levels from the Gift Machine. You can keep collecting them even when they become useless after unlocking everything. Averted with Now, in which you have to pay 200 Mojocoins every time you play a non-free song.
  • Multi-Platform: All but the original, 2, Summer Party, and the 3 Japanese games, which are exclusive to Nintendo consoles.
  • Non-Human Head:
    • In Just Dance 3, the dancer for "Video Killed the Radio Star" is a person with a television for a head, which alternates between showing footage of the older games and various cheerful expressions.
    • "Daddy Cool" in 2018 has a normal person wearing a panda mask. Notable in that it's the only Panda level that does not utilize the full costume.
  • No Plot? No Problem!: You just dance. Well, besides the story modes introduced in 2017, which are more of Excuse Plots. This doesn't stop people from coming up with Fanon about various routines and their dancers, due to their unique and creative nature.
  • Nostalgia Level:
    • Being riddled with bits of dances from earlier games in the series, the Dance Mashups can easily fall into this trope.
    • "Uptown Funk" featured several dancers from previous games in the background.
    • The routine for "Don't Worry" in Just Dance Unlimited contains a lot of backgrounds from previous installments. The same concept is used in the Panda version of "Don't Stop Me Now" in 2017.
    • "Sugar" is one of the best examples yet. The level features dancers from almost every previous game, who take turns performing to the song. Quite a fitting celebration for what is the tenth game in the franchise.
  • Oddball in the Series: Some of the spinoffs can be this, especially if they focus on a certain niche. For example, Yo Kai Watch Dance: Just Dance Special Edition is basically another Yo-Kai Watch game.
  • Oddly Named Sequel 2: Electric Boogaloo: From 2014 onwards, each games followed a pattern of being named after the year after its release date.
  • Old Save Bonus: For having save data from any predecessors of the current game you're playing (in 2014 or later), you get avatars based on one dancer each from the previous games in the main series.
  • Once an Episode:
    • There's always at least one Katy Perry song in each of the games, either on disc or as Downloadable Content. Averted with 2017, the first game not to have one.
    • Likewise from 2 onwards, there's a Halloween-themed song.
    • There's at least one song in each game that has someone playing an Air Guitar.
    • From 2014 on, a panda is guaranteed to appear either as a coach or as a background character in at least one song.
    • There is at least one choreography in every game that pays tribute to Bollywood, even if the song itself had nothing to do with India ("It's My Birthday","Fancy", "Cheap Thrills", among others).
  • 100% Completion: While it exists in every game after and including 3 in the form of getting all of the Unlockable Content, 2014 actually keeps track of how many stars you've earned out of the total amount available to give players a measurable sense of progress.
  • Original Character: Original songs, in this case. Amidst all the copyrighted tracks, you are bound to find at least 3 or 4 that were made specifically for each game. The most famous one is probably "All You Gotta Do", which essentially functions as the franchise's Title Theme Tune.
  • Palette Swap: Used extensively in Duets, where several levels have coaches with similar or identical clothing to match a specific theme.
  • Panda-ing to the Audience: A man in a panda costume appears as a dancer in "C'mon" and "Timber" in 2014. The character's popularity led to him becoming a Recurring Character in the following games.
  • Pastiche: The song "Let's Go to the Mall", from a joke on How I Met Your Mother, is a parody of 80s bubblegum pop, so the dance in this game is a pastiche of 80s dances.
  • The Points Mean Nothing: While some gamers really don't like this, others love these games for that reason. Somewhat averted in 3 and onwards, where the amount of points you earn (and thus how many stars you get) affects how much "Mojo" you earn, which in turn determines how fast you earn new Unlockable Content. Once you've unlocked it all, this trope kicks back into full gear.
  • Precision F-Strike: Averted initially by "Starships" in previews for 2014, but fixed on the final version.
  • Product Placement:
    • The on-disc DLC "Safe and Sound" is subsidized by a promotion for the Fructis shampoo in Canada. Conveniently, much of the song's backdrop is plastered in similar colors to Fructis packaging, the routine has a lot of hair action going on, and the words "BOOST YOUR STYLE" show up in the background. It all but screams "shampoo commercial".
    • In 2014, 2015, Now, and 2016 there have been four songs tied to Coca Cola: "The World is Ours", "Movement is Happiness (Find Your Thing)", "The Choice is Yours", and "Taste the Feeling".
    • Unlimited received two choreographies to promote Barbie and the Emoji Movie.
    • The levels based on Tetris and Angry Birds advertise Tetris Ultimate and The Angry Birds Movie, respectively.
  • Pumpkin Person:
    • One of these appears in 2's DLC "Professor Pumplestickle." It reappears for This is Halloween in 3.
    • There is one in 2017's "Ghost in the Keys."
  • Rank Inflation: The ranking system for each song went from one to five stars (One at every 2000-point interval) up to 2016. 2017 introduced the "Superstar" ranking at 11,000 points, and 2018 introduced the 12,000-point "Megastar" ranking.
  • Recurring Character: The panda who was introduced in 2014's "C'mon" and "Timber" has since reappeared as a dancer in 2016's "I Gotta Feeling", 2017's "Don't Stop Me Now" Panda routine, Vitality School's "Adoration to Happiness", 2018's "The Way I Are" and "Daddy Cool", and 2019's "Water Me". The panda has also been used as a Living Prop in many more routines.
    • Other dancers like "Rasputin" and "Built for This" are also reused, but are more of Call Backs.
  • Retraux:
    • The routines for "Kung Fu Fighting" and "Move Your Feet" have a distinct 8-bit feeling. The former is reminiscent of a fighting game, while the latter features little Atari-style critters alongside the player.
    • "In the Hall of the Pixel King" and "Fire" have aesthetics based on arcade games.
  • Rotoscoping: In this case, the dancers are manually painted white before the routines are filmed, and after filming, they're digitally edited, with the outfits being recolored.
  • Rule of Fun: While most people just want to dance, games from 3 onwards take measures to appeal to those who do care about earning points as well.
  • Scoring Points: One of the factors of the game. Not that most people care.
  • Self-Imposed Challenge: Trying to get 5 stars in a song without pictograms.
  • Sentai: 3's "Spectronizer" by the appropriately-named Sentai Express is a Homage to the Sentai genre.
  • Sequel Difficulty Drop: Coming right after what many consider to be one of the hardest games in the series, 2017 tones down much of the difficulty, featuring routines that are noticeably simpler and more repetitive than its predecessor. There are exceptions, though... (looking at you, "Scream & Shout" Extreme).
    • 2 is much easier to score on than the first game, because of the (mostly) vastly improved motion detection.
  • Sequel Difficulty Spike:
    • In general, the choreographies in 4 and 2016 are more complex and demand more attention to learn than their predecessors. The latter game in particular is infamous for having two of the hardest Extreme routines in the series, as well as some regular routines on par with the Extreme levels from 2014. See That One Level for details.
    • 2019 not only has 6 on disc Extreme routines, the most in the entire franchise, but also makes accessing them much more challenging than before. While unlocking alternate levels in previous games was a simple matter of purchasing them with the in-game currency, this time it can only be done by getting a Super Star score (11000 points or more) in the song's original choreography.
  • Serial Escalation:
    • The dance routines in the games got progressively more difficult and involved as time went on, to the point where someone skilled in the later games can go back to the first game and do just about every dance routine in that game without even breaking a sweat.
    • An Inverted Trope, but there is the "Part of Me" choreography: When it was first released in Just Dance 4, it was given a 4 out of 3 difficulty rating (read: very hard). Then when it was re-released in 2014, this got toned down to just Hard, then Medium in Just Dance Wii U, before finally receiving an in-game rating of Easy by the Unlimited service in 2019.
  • Series Mascot: The Panda, thanks to him being a Recurring Character often used among Just Dance media.
  • Serious Business: It is marketed as a silly party game, but Just Dance has grown in popularity to actually become an ESport, with yearly tournaments where players all around the world compete for the title of World Champion.
  • Shirtless Scene: Several male characters throughout the series appear shirtless. The most noticeable examples include Aladdin of 2014's "Prince Ali", P2 of Wii U's "Memeshikute" and the male background dancers in 2015's "Dark Horse" and 2019's "Bang Bang Bang".
  • Shout-Out: See ShoutOut.Just Dance.
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • "Titanium" could be this to "She Wolf". Both levels use songs by the same artists, employ similar moves in their choreographies and feature a female coach with some sort of special ability (Technopathy for the former, Cryokinesis in the case of the latter). They also have rather depressing endings, with "Titanium" shutting down and "She Wolf" being frozen alive.
    • A level that uses a popular song from the previous century, has a low difficulty choreography, and is performed by an alien coach in front of a monochromatic background. Are we talking about “Funkytown” from Just Dance 2 or “Blue (Da Ba Dee)” from Just Dance 2018?
  • Spotlight-Stealing Squad: The song "Chiwawa". It was just an original track in Just Dance 2016, but later it became one of the very few songs to get an alternate routine through the Unlimited service. Then it returned in the main tracklist of the Switch version of 2017. And it is back in 2018, as one of the routines in Kids Mode.
  • "Staying Alive" Dance Pose: The dancer in "I Will Survive" in 2014 does a version of the pose.
  • Stealth Pun: It's a bit ironic that the dancer in "I Will Survive" is a zombie. Then the moon in the background turns into a disco ball and you realize that it's just the way the developers found to say that "disco is dead".
  • Stock Scream: At the end of 4's "Never Gonna Give You Up", the superhero dancer attempts to fly off, only to fall flat on his face and subsequently let out a Wilhelm Scream.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Pretty much thanks to curse words being censored (it is rated E10+, after all).
  • Super-Deformed: The Chinese version of Now, AKA Vitality School, features stylized, chibi avatars.
  • Star-Spangled Spandex: In 2014's "Don't You Worry Child", at certain points, the dancer's outlines and textures are stars. At the chorus, the dancer becomes a silhouette-shaped night sky.
  • Temporary Online Content:
    • "Brand New Start" in Just Dance 4. All other promotional songs were made available through Just Dance Now and Just Dance Unlimited, however this one is unlikely to ever be featured in either, due to legal issues between Ubisoft and the singer.
    • With the discontinuation of online services on 7th generation consoles, DLC on Just Dance 2 to 2015 can no longer be purchased, and avatars that were tied to the World Dance floor cannot be unlocked.
  • That One Player: There will be players who seem to score the highest rank (at this point, a Megastar) on every routine, have a level near or above 100 in a few weeks, don a That One Skin/Title, top the results of a World Dancer Floor round, hold Dancer of the Week for a long time, and are 100% sure to make it to Phase 2 of the Just Dance World Cup.
  • That Russian Squat Dance: "Rasputin" features this, as does "Y.M.C.A.", which reuses its dancer. It also pops up briefly during "Istanbul (Not Constantimople)" in 4.
  • Title Drop: Lady Gaga's eponymous song is (finally) featured in the soundtrack of 2014.
  • Title Theme Tune: "All You Gotta Do (Is Just Dance)" since 2017 serves as the theme song for the series.
  • Tron Lines: Some of the more Electronic-heavy songs' stages look like this.
  • Uniqueness Decay: In older games, a Gold Move was a one of a kind dance move that was worth more points than usual. Come Just Dance 2015, Gold Moves were relegated to simply occur at the start of the song's chorus, which often results in them being performed several times throughout the rest of the song just as a regular move. However, 2019 actually took measures to avert this, employing unique and memorable Gold Moves in its levels.
  • Unlockable Content:
    • In 3 and onwards, collecting enough "Mojo" Points (gained by earning stars and completing special conditions in certain songs) unlocks alternate choreographies and Dance Mashups for certain songs, as well as new icons for the player's Dance Card.
    • Earning enough Mojo points to level up in 4 allows players to spin the "Wheel of Gifts" where the order of unlocks is at random, so it all basically comes down to luck, while 2014 replaces the Mojo with coins, which allows players to unlock the content in the order that they would want instead of it being in a fixed order.
    • In 2018, Mojo coins are instead spent on a gift machine, where players can randomly unlock concept art, alternate routines, titles and avatars.
  • We All Live in America: Famously averted. The game features songs and dance styles from all over the world.
  • Wholesome Crossdresser:
    • The coach from "Drop the Mambo" was originally supposed to be played by a woman, but the male choreographer's enthusiasm was such that the developers decided to just cast him in drag instead. She was brought back for "Sugar", again portrayed by a male.
    • The Chinese man from "The Way I Are" is played by a woman. Unlike "Drop the Mambo", there is really no explanation on why she was cast for this role.
  • Wolverine Publicity:
    • One Direction had songs in "Just Dance" 4 to 2016, and the band's name was featured on the cover of all four. Notably for 2015, their name did not appear on the preliminary version of the cover but ultimately ended up on the final box art.
    • Katy Perry's name has appeared on the box of every game her music's been in.
    • Averted for both in 2017 as neither appear in the game (though former One Direction member Zayn gets a song in). As of 2018, Katy's back, but One Direction is not.

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