Daring to be stupid since the 80's!
"He who is tired of Weird Al is tired of life."
— Homer Simpson, The Simpsons, "That 90s Show"
The reigning king of Song Parody, Alfred Matthew Yankovic (born on October 23, 1959 in Lynwood, California), is a musical humourist with a career spanning nearly 40 years.
Sometime in 1966, a door-to-door salesman stopped by the Yankovic household offering either guitar or accordion lessons; according to Al, his parents figured that "the world needed one more accordion-playing Yankovic" (the first being polka legend Frankie Yankovic, to whom Al is not related) and young Alfred received his first lesson the day before his seventh birthday. As a teenager, he became a fan of Los Angeles-based radio host Dr. Demento, known for playing wacky novelty songs. Al began recording his own humorous songs in his bedroom with his accordion and mailing them to the good Doctor, who played them on the air; according to Al, Demento appreciated the novelty of a geeky teenager with an accordion thinking he was "cool". Al's first songs included "Belvedere Cruising" (an original ode to his family's car, a 1964 Plymouth Belvedere) and "Dr. D Superstar", a parody of "Jesus Christ Superstar" rewritten to be about Dr. Demento.
When Al went to Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to earn an architecture degree, he began performing his songs at the campus coffeehouse and worked for the school's radio station as a disc jockey, where he picked up the nickname "Weird Al". Sometime before he was kicked off the station for refusing to follow various airplay rules, he went across the hall into the men's bathroom with his accordion and recorded a parody of The Knack's "My Sharona" entitled "My Bologna", which became one of the most popular songs on The Dr. Demento Show in the following weeks. Knack frontman Doug Fieger turned out to be a fan of "My Bologna", and got the song released as a single on Capitol Records under a short-term contract.
Al scored another minor hit in 1980 with "Another One Rides the Bus" (a parody of Queen's "Another One Bites the Dust") and decided to pursue a career in music, feeling architecture wasn't really his calling. After a modest start (including a disastrous gig opening for Missing Persons), Al and his band released his first album on Scotti Bros. Records in 1983, hit it big with his second album thanks to "Eat It" (a song and music video parody of Michael Jackson's "Beat It") peaking at number 12 on the Billboard Hot 100, and hasn't looked back since. Most of Al's albums during the '80s and '90s went platinum; Al shrewdly used Viral Marketing to saturate social media with publicity for his 2014 album Mandatory Fun, and he was rewarded with that album debuting at number one on the Billboard 200 (his first number one album ever). The success of Mandatory Fun launched an online petition asking for Al to play the Super Bowl XLIX halftime show, which eventually gathered over 125,000 signatures. (Despite this, Al would be the first to admit he was never seriously in the running due to behind-the-scenes politics; the gig eventually went to Katy Perry.) Al has also won four Grammys in his career: three for various albums and one for a video.
In 1989, Weird Al starred in the film UHF, and he had a short-lived CBS "kids' show" in the 1990s, The Weird Al Show. He has been involved with the Transformers franchise twice: his song "Dare To Be Stupid" was played in the 1986 movie, and he provided the voice of Wreck-Gar in Transformers Animated. His voice has appeared both before and since the latter in a number of cartoons, with his roles ranging from one-off gag characters to the title characters of the Animal Man Animated Adaptation and the Disney XD cartoon Milo Murphy's Law. He's also written two children's books, When I Grow Up and My New Teacher and Me.
In 2017, it was confirmed that Al would be getting a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was awarded his star on the 27th of August 2018.
Al usually releases a new album and goes on tour once every three to four years, which led John Garabedian of Open House Party to say that "every album is [Al's] comeback album, and then he goes away until the next one". With the release of Mandatory Fun, Al fulfilled his record contract, and he now plans to go with completely digital releases in the future, which gives him the opportunity to release new songs as they're completed instead of waiting until he has enough material for a full album.
Unlike other parody-centric artists, Al and his band (who have been together since the 80s) from the second album on — the first album used accordion on every track, in keeping with Al's trademark talent — stay extremely close to the original melodies and instrumentation of the song they parody. In the most extreme example of this attention to detail, "Trapped in the Drive-Thru" (based on R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet") sounds exactly like the original. Al is very sympathetic to geek communities and frequently gives them recognition in his songs.
The popularity of his work eventually created the "Weird Al" Effect (where a parody remains popular long after the original), and his habit of using pop culture metaphors (AKA "Pulling a Weird Al") led to his being the former trope namer for that.
In the early days of filesharing (LimeWire especially), a lot of comedy/parody songs were falsely attributed to Al. The Not Al List was created to catalog these songs and give them the proper attribution. Lots of these songs contain raunchy or offensive lyrics, and the lead vocal vaguely sounds like Al; since Al is the most visible parody musician alive, his name gets attached to them, despite having subject matter and lyrics he would never touch. Even with the occasional dip into raunchy subtext, he still aims to be (in his words) a "more-or-less family-friendly" performer.
The best way to tell if Al performed a given song is to look for music videos of them on YouTube. But take your heart medication first. You wouldn't want to die laughing.
Another One Rides the Bus (1981)
Selections from Straight Outta Lynwood (2006)
Internet Leaks (2009)
Greatest Hits (1988)
The Food Album (1993)
Permanent Record: Al in the Box (1994)
Greatest Hits (Volume II) (1994)
The TV Album (1995)
The Essential "Weird Al" Yankovic (2009)
Squeeze Box (2017), a massive collector's edition of all 14 of Al's studio albums on CD and vinyl. It also includes Medium Rarities, a bonus 15th album full of previously unreleased material and other non-album tracks.
The Compleat Al (1985)
The "Weird Al" Yankovic Video Library (1992)
Alapalooza: The Videos (1993)
"Weird Al" Yankovic: The Ultimate Collection (1993)
Bad Hair Day: The Videos (1996)
"Weird Al" Yankovic: The Videos (1998)
"Weird Al" Yankovic Live! (1999)
"Weird Al" Yankovic: The Ultimate Video Collection (2003)
The Weird Al Show - The Complete Series (2006)
"Weird Al" Yankovic Live! - The Alpocalypse Tour (2011)
"Weird Al" Yankovic is the Trope Namer for:
Tropes associated with "Weird Al" Yankovic include:
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- 419 Scam: In "Lame Claim To Fame", he claims that the email he got from the Nigerian prince certainly sounded legit.
- A Cappella: "Since You've Been Gone".
- Actually Pretty Funny: When Al asked Kurt Cobain for permission to parody one of his songs, Kurt asked what it would be about. When Al said it was making fun of the fact that people had difficulty understanding Kurt's singing, he said “Oh, sure, of course, that’s funny.” He also hinted that a food-based parody of the song would be boring, especially considering that Al had done a lot of them in the past (and, coincidentally enough, an earlier food-based parody had been nixed for reasons relating to the message of the original).
- Adam Westing: Pal.0 in Uncle Grandpa is a robot version of Weird Al himself/conformist car control panel.
- Adolf Hitlarious: Played Hitler in an episode of Drunk History.
- Aerith and Bob: In "Albuquerque", the two sons, Nathaniel and Superfly.
- Affectionate Parody: Most of his original works fall under Affectionate Parody. It helps that he always asks permission from the source artist to do a parody of one of his/her/their songs (even though legally he's not required to do so).
- Michael Jackson gave Al permission to parody any of his work that he wanted for the rest of his life. The only condition was that Al not record a version of his "Black or White" parody (titled "Snack All Night") as he felt it would cheapen the message of the song. Al agreed and plays the song only at his live shows.
- The only song for which he didn't have permission was "Amish Paradise", but there was nothing malicious about it; a miscommunication led Al to believe he actually did have permission, and by the time it was cleared up, it was too late. Coolio (the original artist) got over it and gave Al a hug. As Al put it, "I doubt I'll be invited to Coolio's birthday party, but at least I don't have to wear a bulletproof vest to the mall anymore."
- With Lady Gaga, he announced that his 2011 album was delayed after he was given a flat "no" by her manager when he sent her a recording of "Perform This Way", a parody of "Born This Way" which was intended as the leadoff single. After several hours of backlash, it was revealed that the manager never gave her the song to listen to, out of the assumption she would hate it. Of course, this turned out to be completely untrue; upon actually hearing it, Gaga not only loved it, but considered it an "expansion" of her original song— while the original was a straight-up celebration of alternative lifestyles, Gaga considered the parody a celebration of her own Cloud Cuckoolander-ness.
Lady Gaga: I actually really appreciate the philosophy behind the song. It's actually very empowering, I think. And he's, in a way, although he's parodying the song, he's kind of standing up for me. And I never would have said no to that. And I never did say no to it.
- The only Weird Al parody that isn't affectionate is the early 1980s demo "It's Still Billy Joel to Me", which may be part of the reason it didn't appear on his debut album. (Billy did eventually give him permission to use "Piano Man", which became the Spider-Man-themed "Ode to a Superhero".)
- Al has said that "Achy Breaky Song" is pretty harsh, apologized to Billy Ray Cyrus for it, and donated the song royalties to the United Cerebral Palsy Association. That song actually bashes several artists, though Billy Ray Cyrus gets the worst of it. Al recalls being asked by Donny and Marie to play the song on Donny and Marie. The looks on their faces made it clear that they hadn't heard the very first line of the song, which is "You can torture me with Donny and Marie." As mentioned earlier, the singer preferred them, among other artists, to Billy Ray. (He would eventually parody one of Billy Ray's daughter's songs, giving the world "Party in the CIA".) Donny would later appear in Al's "White and Nerdy".
- "You're Pitiful", a parody of James Blunt's "You're Beautiful", received Blunt's approval and was all ready to be included on Straight Outta Lynwood. But at the last minute, Blunt's label, Atlantic Records, stepped in and said Al could not put the song in the album. So instead, he released it for free on the internet. And then performed it in concert, slowly peeling off layers of clothing (in parody of the original song's video), one article of which was a t-shirt saying "Atlantic sucks" (and later "Atlantic still sucks"). His "White and Nerdy" video has Al defacing their Wikipedia page with a big "YOU SUCK" on it. Ever since, the real page has mostly remained semi-protected or full-locked due to trolls doing exactly that whenever the page was left unlocked.
- Huey Lewis brutally murdered him with an axe in an homage to American Psycho in "retaliation" for "I Want A New Duck".
- Eminem gave Al permission to parody "Lose Yourself" ("Couch Potato")...but then refused to give him permission to do a music video to the song.
- Kurt Cobain was contacted by Al on the set of Saturday Night Live (due to failing to reach Cobain's band Nirvana by conventional means). When Al stated he wanted to do a parody of "Smells Like Teen Spirit", Cobain quickly agreed, though initially he inquired if the song would be about food, a trademark theme of Al. Al instead explained that the song would be about Cobain's incomprehensible lyrics, to which Cobain replied "Oh, sure, of course, that's funny." He reportedly fell about laughing when he saw the video for the parody version and later considered the parody as a sign that Nirvana had "made it" as a band.
- Album Title Drop: "Nature Trail to Hell" In 3-D!
- All Jews Are Cheapskates: Poked fun at in "Pretty Fly (for a Rabbi)"
He shops at discount stores, not just any will suffice; He has to find a bargain 'cause he won't pay retail price. He never acts meshugga and he's hardly a schlemiel; but if you wanna haggle, oy, he'll make you such a deal!
- All Just a Dream: "Stuck in the Closet with Vanna White" is about a string of these.
- All of Them: In "Jerry Springer": "Baby, I've been sleepin' with your sister." "Which one?" "All of 'em!"
- All or Nothing: In "I Lost On Jeopardy!"
Don Pardo: "That's right, Al! You lost! And let me tell what you didn't win! A 20-volume set of Encyclopedia International, a case of Turtle Wax, and a year's supply of Rice-A-Roni, The San Francisco Treat! But that's not all! You also made yourself look like a jerk in front of millions of people. And you brought shame and disgrace on your family names for generations to come! You don't get to come back tomorrow! You don't even get a lousy copy of our home game! You're a complete loser!!!"
- All-Star Cast: Invoked. His music videos are slowly growing into this, but it really shows in the video for "Tacky" which guest stars Jack Black, Margaret Cho, Kristen Schaal, Aisha Tyler, and Eric Stonestreet.
- Anal Probing: Mentioned in "Foil".
- Animated Music Video: Several, including "Skipper Dan", "Another Tattoo", and "Party in the CIA". It's become quite popular lately for professional (and non-professional) animators including Bill Plymptonnote With whom Al is very close friends and John Kricfalusi to create their own music videos for his songs. Craig Bartlett animated Jurassic Park for the album Alapalooza. Steve Barron animated "Beverly Hillbillies" for the album UHF Movie Soundtrack (The music video was actually from the film itself).
- Anti-Christmas Song: "The Night Santa Went Crazy" and "Christmas at Ground Zero".
- Anti-Love Song: He's got five great ones: "Since You've Been Gone", "I'm So Sick of You", "You Don't Love Me Anymore", "One More Minute", and "I Was Only Kidding".
- Appeal to Tradition: Parodied with "Weasel Stomping Day." The Lyrical Dissonance about a holiday where people stomp weasels to death also includes the lines "why we do it, who can say, but it's such a festive holiday" and "it's tradition, that makes it okay."
- Appropriated Appellation: While attending California Polytechnic State University (also known affectionately as "Cal-Poly"), some of his classmates referred to him as "Weird Al" because of his looks. He went on to use it as his DJ handle when he took over the night shift of the school's radio station.
- Arc Number: 27.
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
- "One of Those Days" is about this. A good illustration:
The bank called me up and told me I'm overdrawn,
Some freaks are burning crosses out on my front lawn,
And I can't believe it! All the Cheetos are gone!
- "Confessions, Part 3" is all about this. Apparently having a babymama on the side was forgivable, but eating the last of the Rice Krispies was the last straw!
- Actually the last straw was "....And I lied, yes, that dress makes you look fat". NOW THAT'S what got the gal's goat the most!
- Plentiful in "Virus Alert"
Then cause a major rift in time and space,
And leave a bunch of Twinkie wrappers all over the place!
They're out to get me
They wanna control me
They wanna destroy me
They're tryin' to kill me
It kind of upsets me
- Artistic License – Physics: Not as major as most other examples, but Al manages to incorrectly describe the Law of Universal Gravitation in "Pancreas". While one's pancreas does attract any other pancreas with a force proportional to the product of their masses, said force is inversely proportional to the square of the distance between them. The song leaves out the "square".
- As Himself: In the series finale of Johnny Bravo, he played himself alongside Don Knotts as himself and Gary Owens reprising his role of the Blue Falcon.
- Asshole Victim:
- In the Video for "I'll Sue Ya," Weird Al plays a litigation-happy person who sues anyone and everyone for frivolous reasons. In the end, while he's driving off with all the money he won from the lawsuits, he gets distracted by a Burger Queen billboard and crashes into a truck carrying kitty litter.
- The douchebag Al plays in the "First World Problems" video gets hit by a car at the end because he's too busy texting to pay attention to the road.
- An Ass-Kicking Christmas: “The Night Santa Went Crazy”
From his beard to his boots, he was covered with ammo
Like big fat drunk disgruntled Yuletide Rambo
And he smiled as he said with a twinkle in his eye
“Merry Christmas to all, now you’re all gonna die!”
- Author Appeal: Most of his parodies are about TV, movies, and food.
- Awesome, but Impractical: Al doesn't perform the song "Hardware Store" because he isn't sure he could pull the coda off again, especially live.
- Similarly, "Albuquerque" - he saves it for the encore, as it wrecks his throat and makes it difficult for him to sing anything else afterward.
- Badass Boast: Al's rap parodies tend to be full of these, in keeping with the spirit of the artist being parodied. "It's All About the Pentiums" is a great example. "White and Nerdy" combines this with equal amounts of Self-Deprecation.
- "Word Crimes" has "'Weird Al' Yankovic has a big dictionary."
- Bad Santa: "The Night Santa Went Crazy".
- Badass Bookworm: "That Boy Could Dance".
He was kind of a jerk, he was kind of a bore.
But the women would scream when he walked in the door.
'cause one thing I could tell you for sure — that boy could dance
- Bait-and-Switch Comparison: From the December 1998 edition of "Ask Al":
Stacy of Louisville, Ky asks: Do you like Barenaked Ladies?
'Yes, very much. And I'm a big fan of the band, too.
- Bathos: "Jackson Park Express" has a number of them:
I gave her a penetrating stare, which could only mean
"You are my answer, my answer to everything
Which is why I'll probably do very poorly on the written part of my driver's test"
"I wanna ride dolphins with you, in the moonlight
Until the staff at Sea World kicks us out"
- Be Careful What You Wish For: Al's record label insisted on a Christmas song for his Polka Party! album. Al answered back with "Christmas at Ground Zero".
- Beam Me Up, Scotty!: invoked Referenced in "Stop Forwarding That Crap to Me": "And by the way, your quotes from George Carlin aren't really George Carlin…"
- Bestiality Is Depraved:
- "Virus Alert" lists, among the other consequences of the virus, making you physically attracted to sheep.
- The spoken interlude of "Jerry Springer" also mentions this. "That goat doesn't love you!"
- Don't forget "Woofie" the dog: "WOOFIE YOU BIbleep...!"
- In "CNR", Charles Nelson Reilly "made sweet, sweet love to a manatee." Rather than thinking it depraved, the singer is very impressed.
- Big Eater: Not Al himself, but some of his songs are about this (most obviously, "Fat", "My Bologna", and "Eat It") enough to compile an album in the early 90s. The trope is both played straight and inverted with his song called "Grapefruit Diet", which is about needing to lose weight after eating a lot of food.
- Big Rock Ending: "Albuquerque" in a double subversion, with the burp subverting the big rock ending at first.
- Big "SHUT UP!": During his "interview" with Eminem when his guest's Verbal Tic got out of hand, y'know what I'm saying'?"
Al: "YES, I KNOW WHAT YOU'RE SAYING, OKAY?!?!?!?"
Eminem: "Yeah, whatever..."
- Bilingual Bonus:
- "Pretty Fly for a Rabbi" uses Yiddish to make puns such as "The parents pay the mohel and he gets to keep the tip."
- "Perform This Way" has « Excusez-moi, qui a pété? », which means "Excuse me, who farted?"
- "Taco Grande", much like the song it parodies, is filled with Gratuitous Spanish. While Al's simple phrases are mostly things about foods he wants and paying for them, Cheech Marin's cameo in the bridge is a lengthy recommendation and description of a particularly hot dish and the side effects of eating it, ending by asking if the stupid customer can understand what he's saying.
- Cheech Marin's cameo is doubly amusing, since Cheech doesn't speak Spanish. Al had to write it out phonetically.
- One of the images in the Mandatory Fun booklet has Al triumphantly holding a wrench in the style of old Chinese Communist posters. The Chinese text beneath him says, "I'm not wearing underwear".
- Black Comedy: In fact, lots of Al's songs fall into this. Sometimes it's just a line or two instead of a whole song.
- "Another One Rides The Bus" is about Al on a ridiculously overcrowded bus and he sings "I haven't been in a crowd like this/Since I went to see The Who!"
- "Mr. Frump in the Iron Lung" which should not be funny but really is.
- "Christmas at Ground Zero" is about nuclear war.
- “Good Old Days” is a sentimental reminiscence about torturing and killing people.
- “Melanie” is about stalking a woman he barely knows, ending with him killing himself
- "You Don't Love Me Anymore" is a ballad about all the ways his girlfriend has tried to kill him.
- "I Remember Larry" recounts how the singer was bullied (sometimes quite viciously and dangerously) and how he killed the bully.
- "The Night Santa Went Crazy" details Santa Claus going on a killing spree at the North Pole.
- Bland-Name Product: Taco Belle, Starbux, Toysaurus and Homey Depot among others in the music video for "I'll Sue Ya".
- Also pretty much every product shown in the "Whatever You Like" video, which is interesting, since many real-world products are named in the song.
- Blatant Lies: "(This Song's Just) Six Words Long". The title/chorus might be just six words, but the filler's certainly not. A common fan debate is whether the song's title and lyrics are actually "(This Song Is Just) Six Words Long", which makes seven words.
- Blind Without 'Em: His eyesight was extremely poor until he got Lasik surgery in 1997. By then, his glasses had become such an iconic part of his look that fans were disappointed.
- Bowdlerise: When "The Saga Begins" was sent to Radio Disney in 1999, he wanted the song to entertain the kids who were Star Wars fans, but Radio Disney felt uncomfortable with the lyric in the second verse about Anakin Skywalker ("Now do you see him hitting on the Queen...?") and wanted to have the part of the second verse removed, since "to hit on" meant something sexual and age-inappropriate. Al, however, had another idea: rather than let them remove the part of that verse that has the lyric and ruin the song, he had to record the whole song from scratch as before, but this time rewriting the lyric in the second verse and changing it to "Now do you see him talking to the Queen...?" Surprisingly, Radio Disney approved of the idea.
- A worse example would be his performance of "Couch Potato" on Nickelodeon in 2003, in which the line "TiVo now thinks I'm gay" was censored by having his band shout "Hey!" over "Gay".
- Brain Bleach: "My Own Eyes" is all about this, talking about things the singer wishes he could unsee.
- Brand Name Takeover: Arguably the reason so many non-Al songs are attributed to him. There are thousands of amateur parody artists out there (all you need is an idea and a recorder to make one), but Al is the big guy on the block - no other parody artist comes close to his success. His name has probably become so synonymous with song parodies that this trope kicked in. Al doesn't like it for the reasons explained in the lead.
- Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: See Motor Mouth below for the example.
- "Virus Alert" has many examples.
- "One Of Those Days" features this as well as Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking mentioned above:
I lost one of my socks in the drier
I can't find my wallet and my hair is on fire
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: During the opening from Spy Hard:
By the way, if you walked in late,
allow me to reiterate
the name of this movie is Spy Hard.
They call it Spy Hard.
You're watching Spy Hard.
It's the these from Spy Hard... (held for twenty seconds until his head explodes)
- Brick Joke: After 11 minutes of insanity, the song Albuquerque finally winds its way back to the original point: AL...HATES...SAUERKRAUT!.
- In Al-TV 2K, during his interview with Michael Stipe he asks him to say something and he'll make a song using only that sentence, resulting in "Cell Phones". Later in that special, he sings the song to Snoop Dogg.
- Bernie the hitchhiker in "Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota".
- Al ordering onions on his cheeseburger in "Trapped in the Drive Thru". The very last line has him lamenting that they forgot the onions.
- Buses Are for Freaks: Invoked in "Another One Rides the Bus".
- Butt-Monkey: Ruben Valtierra is often put down by everyone else, probably due to the fact that he was originally added purely to handle keyboard duties on tour while Al (who usually does them on albums) handles other duties. Mostly just played for comedy, though it's notable that he wasn't credited or appeared at all on any albums before Alapalooza and didn't appear in the band group photo until Running With Scissors (where he appeared face-down, with scissors sticking out of his back).
- His first non-concert appearance in Weird Al's works was the video for "Headline News", in which he portrayed Crash Test Dummies pianist Ellen Reid. A noble start.
- By Wall That Is Holey: The side frame of a barn falls on Al in the video for "Amish Paradise".
- Call-Back: One of "Al'"s costumes in "Perform This Way" has a hat with a train on it; this hat was also seen in "White and Nerdy".
- May also be a Shout-Out to Peter Gabriel and his seminal "Sledgehammer" video.
- A lady wearing a hat with a train on it is also in one of the vintage stock video clips in "Dare to Be Stupid".
- The Cameo:
- In Al's work:
- Al works his mentor, Dr. Demento, into many of his videos.
- "I Lost On Jeopardy": The music video takes place on a reproduced version of the 1964-75 set and features both Art Fleming and Don Pardo reprising their roles plus cameo appearances by band members, family members, Demento, and even the guy who sang the song Yankovic was parodying (Greg Kihn).
- Seth Green, Key & Peele, and Donny Osmond make pretty hilarious cameos in the music video of "White and Nerdy"; Weird Al later returned the favor.
- Drew Carey and Emo Philips show up in "All About the Pentiums".
- Dick Van Patten shows up in a lot of his videos.
- Florence Henderson in "Amish Paradise".
- Heather DeLoach reprises her role as "Bee Girl" (from Blind Melon's "No Rain" video) for the opening of the "Bedrock Anthem" video.
- Robert Goulet plays piano in the video for "You Don't Love Me Anymore".
- The video for "Foil" has Al hosting a cooking show which is directed by Patton Oswalt (who is also secretly one of The Reptilians). And then he's later sedated and taken away by Thomas Lennon and Robert Ben Garant.
- The video for "Tacky" brings together Aisha Tyler, Margaret Cho, Eric Stonestreet, Kristen Schaal and Jack Black!
- Al in other works:
- Camera Abuse: Al breathes on the lens in the middle of "Eat It", accidentally punches it while fist-pumping in the segment spoofing Billy Idol in the "UHF" video, and licks it near the end of the video for "Smells like Nirvana."
- Canada, Eh?: Parodied in "Canadian Idiot," which is a satire on American nationalism.
- He's also quite fond of Canada, being one of the few artists that actually tours the country instead of just making "obligatory" stops in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal.
- Canadian Equals Hockey Fan: In "Canadian Idiot", he sings, "Don't wanna be a Canadian idiot! Don't wanna be some beer swillin' hockey nut."
- Captain Obvious:
- In "Albuquerque," while flesh-eating weasels are assaulting Al's face, he meets a girl, who says "Hey. You've got weasels on your face."
- The predictions in "Your Horoscope for Today" that don't fall under Refuge in Audacity are this, but the biggest offender is "The stars predict tomorrow you'll wake up, do a bunch of stuff, and then go back to sleep."
- Car Song: "She Drives Like Crazy."
- Careful with That Axe:
- During the bridges of "Jurassic Park" and "Nature Trail to Hell" and the end of "Cavity Search".
- The guitarist in "Eat It" actually explodes!
- "Albuquerque", but a box of one dozen starving, crazed weasels will do that.
- "Bite Me", the infamous hidden track on Off The Deep End, is eight seconds of Al screaming bloody murder following 10 minutes of silence.
- Casual Danger Dialog: The titular "Germs" want to control him! They want to destroy him! They're trying to kill him! It kind of upsets him.
- Chirping Crickets: Heard as the camera pans up Al wearing the MJ costume in the video for "Fat".
- Chroma Key: This is used most likely purposefully obviously in the music video for "Smells Like Nirvana" (parody of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" by Nirvana) from about 1:55-1:57 when guitarist Jim West walks by a crowd scene munching on a banana and then spits it out.
- Classically Trained Extra: "Skipper Dan" is built on this trope. It's the tale of a former up-and-coming, critically-acclaimed Broadway actor... who is stuck giving shows on the "Jungle Cruise" at Disneyland.
- Cloning Blues: The premise of I Think I'm a Clone Now.
- Comedic Sociopathy: “Good Old Days”; “I Remember Larry” (see Black Comedy for details)
- Commissar Cap: One of the images for the Mandatory Fun album shows Al wearing a commissar cap.... while exposing his Goofy Print Underwear with his pants around his ankles.
- Conspiracy Theorist: The entire second verse of "Foil" talks about The Illuminati finally being primed for world domination, black helicopters coming from across the border, the government's refusal to admit to faking the Moon landing. Just in case aliens get involved, he's got a Tinfoil Hat to protect him, and someday he'll prove there's one giant conspiracy.
- Conspicuous CG: The video for "Perform This Way" features Weird Al's head pasted over a woman's body. The effect works for the most part, but it looks just slightly off...
- Continuity Nod: "School Cafeteria," the B-side to Al's debut single "My Bologna," includes the lyrics "the cook still hasn't got the knack," a play on the band The Knack and their album Get The Knack which includes "My Sharona," making both sides contain an homage to the same band.
- Cool Old Guy. Currently 58 and still performing parodies.
- Cover Drop: The cover art for Bad Hair Day is featured in the "Amish Paradise" video.
- Cover Version: Al very rarely plays straight covers with the lyrics unchanged, but there are a few exceptions, most notably the theme song of George of the Jungle on his album Dare to Be Stupid. He also is known to play Elvis Costello's "Radio Radio" in concert when there are technical difficulties, and played an obscure New Wave song, "I Got Your Number (Written On the Back of My Hand)" by The Jags, during his college coffeehouse days.
- On the "Alapalooza" album, "Bohemian Polka" is basically a Polka version of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody".
- In 2017, he released a cover of "Beat on the Brat" by The Ramones as part of the Dr. Demento Covered in Punk album project.
- 2018 saw the release of "The Hamilton Polka", a medley of songs from Hamilton with the lyrics unchanged.
- At some of the events of his 2018 Ridiculously Self-Indulgent, Ill-Advised Vanity Tour, Al did straight covers of other songs. To wit, during the April 3rd show in Minneapolis, he kept launching into All Star and then stopping, before finally playing the full song in the encore.
- Crossdresser: Often cross dresses in his music videos.
- Just listen to "Truck Driving Song".
- The Cuckoolander Was Right: The director for Al's cooking show in "Foil" reveals himself to be part of The Reptilians after The Men in Black drag Al off the set.
- Curse Cut Short: The last part of "Another Tattoo", at the very end, is the closest he ever comes to swearing in a song (as in, Seven Dirty Words levels of swearing). The line in question? "Ow! Motherf..."
- From his "interview" with Uma Thurman:
"WHAT THE FUUDGESICKLE?!?"
- Cut His Heart Out with a Spoon: To himself in "One More Minute".
I'd rather spend eternity eating shards of broken glass
Than spend one more minute with you
I'd rather rip out my intestines with a fork
Than watch you going out with other men
- A Date with Rosie Palms: He seems to love this joke.
Cause I'm stranded all alone
In the gas station of love
And I have to use the self-service pumps
- From his first children's book When I Grow Up, one of the main character's many dream jobs is "master debater."
- He also claimed that he got "great pleasure" from watching Uma Thurman's movies. But not like that.
- The suggestive butter-churning in the "Amish Paradise" video.
- Deadpan Snarker: Watching Al in candid interviews where he drops the act reveals a subdued, deadpan humor and dry, sharp wit. A good example of this is the VH1 Behind the Music special.
Al: I wrote "Eat It" because I wanted to buy a house. It worked.
- Deconstruction: Not by him, but with his participation: the Behind The Music featuring Weird Al — who's never had any real career adversity (by music-industry standards) or scandal — deconstructed entertainment behind-the-scenes shows.
Weird Al: "And then... my fourth album only went Gold instead of Platinum! sobs I had to get the medium-sized Jacuzzi!!"
- A Degree in Useless: The aspiring actor in "Skipper Dan" who ends up hating his life as "a tour guide on the Jungle Cruise ride."
"I shoulda listened when my grandfather said
'Why don't you major in business instead?'"
- Al has made jokes that his own degree (in architecture) is one for him, given how his career path almost never makes use of what he learned.
- Deliberately Monochrome: The video for "You Don't Love Me Anymore", which in itself parodies the one for Extreme's "More Than Words".
- Department of Redundancy Department:
- From "Albuquerque": "Hey! You can't have that! That snorkel's been just like a snorkel to me!"
- "Sports Song" can basically be summed up by saying we're great, you suck, you really suck, and in case you missed it, YOU SUCK.
- In "Jackson Park Express":
I pointed to the side of my mouth, as a way of indicating
"Hey, I think you got something on the side of your mouth"
- Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: From "Bob": "Ah, Satan sees Natasha/No devil lived on."
- Die Laughing: In the video for "Party in the CIA", some of the agency's enemies have caught up with Al, and Al dies this way.
- Digital Head Swap: Most notably in the video for "Perform This Way", a parody of Lady Gaga.
- Digital Piracy Is Evil: Averted. Al doesn't have that many problems with people downloading his songs, and instead has many more problems with false attribution, the type that labels him as the author of such songs as "Wienie in a Bottle", "Elmo's Got a Gun", and others that he wouldn't be caught dead singing.
- He parodied the phenomenon with "Don't Download This Song", which, ironically, was DRM-free when most online retailers were stuck with it and can be downloaded legally for free.
- Al also has a habit of leaking one or more songs from his upcoming albums early, usually by posting it to YouTube or some other such site.
- And now for some Irony. YouTube seems to have blocked one person's upload of his music videos in the U.S. due to copyright concerns from Sony... said person is Weird Al himself.
- Al also mentions in the DVD Commentary for The Weird Al Show coming across a fansite that was distributing episodes of the show, saying that he was fine with it as long as they stopped after the official DVD release by Shout! Factory.invoked
- Al himself authorized his album Alpocalypse to be streamed over the internet a week before its release date.
- Disney Acid Sequence: During the instrumental in the middle of the video for "Jurassic Park." This may be a parody of the music videos from the 60's (the era that "MacArthur Park," the song being parodied, was released).
- Disproportionate Retribution: In "One More Minute", a malt shop was burnt down just so the song's narrator doesn't want to remember his ex.
- In "I Remember Larry" he apparently responds to Larry's constant pranks by murdering him
- Disturbed Doves: These show up in the music video for "If That Isn't Love" during a couple of repeats of the chorus.
- D.I.Y. Disaster: "The Plumbing Song".
When I flush the john, it turns the shower on!
- Does Not Like Spam: I! HATE! SAUERKRAUT!". Also, the wife of the singer hates liver in "Trapped in the Drive-Thru".
- Averted when he sings about the Trope Namer in "Spam"; he pokes fun at it for being Mystery Meat, but seems to be genuinely pleased with its versatility
- Played straight in "Trapped in the Drive-Thru":
I hopped up and I said: "I don't know, do you want to get something delivered?"
She's like "Why would I want to eat liver? I don't even like liver!"
I'm like "No, I said 'delivered'."
She's like "I heard you say liver!"
I'm like "I should know what I said..."
She's like "WHATEVER! I JUST DON'T WANT ANY LIVER!"
- The Dog Bites Back:
- The last verse of "I Remember Larry". The singer ends up tying Larry's mouth with a rag, "[dragging] him by the ankles to the middle of the forest and [stuffing] him in a big plastic bag".
- The end of "I Was Only Kidding".
- Don't Explain the Joke: In "Sports Song", among the Sophisticated as Hell trash talk, Al twice explains he isn't being literal:
We’re gonna kick your collective posterior
Of course you realize we're speaking figuratively
We’re gonna grind up your guys into burger meat
Again, of course, we're speaking in the figurative sense
I wanna be your Krakatoa
Let my lava flow all over you
I wanna be your anaconda
And your heat-seeking missile too
I wanna be your beef burrito
Am I making this perfectly clear?
I wanna be your love torpedo
Are you picking up the subtle innuendo here?
- Doo-Wop Progression: The chorus of "Stop Forwarding That Crap to Me" uses it.
- Downer Ending: More than a few of the music videos.
- "Party in the CIA" readily comes to mind, as the protagonist is captured and is about to be executed.
- Averted by "TMZ", which is more of a downer song with a sort of heroic The Dog Bites Back ending.
- "The Night Santa Went Crazy". Depending on which version you listen to, it ends with Santa Claus either in jail for several hundred years, or dead.
- Drives Like Crazy: The subject of "She Drives Like Crazy" (Al's Trope Namer parody of Fine Young Cannibals' "She Drives Me Crazy").
- Drunken Song: "Feel Like Throwin' Up," a parody of Bad Company's "Feel Like Makin' Love" from an early food medley recorded in the same Cal Poly bathroom as "My Bologna."
- invoked Dude, Not Funny!: Al himself later felt this way about "Achy Breaky Song", and apologized to Billy Ray Cyrus by donating money to his favorite charity.
- Early Installment Weirdness:
- His self-titled first album. Al played accordion on every song (helped by guitarist Jim West not being present for the recording sessions, and thus featured nowhere on the album), the parodies weren't as close in sound to the originals as they would later be, and only one of the non-parody songs is a style parody.
- Initially, his singing style was strictly his crazy, shrill-sounding voice; he'd largely phased it out by the time of the Dare to Be Stupid album.
- With rare exception, Al's track list follow the pattern "parody, original song, parody, original..." resulting in a roughly even number of both. His first album has only 5 parodies out of 12 tracks, leading to a couple instances of two or more original songs in a row.
- The '80s: The "Dare to be Stupid" video.
- Embarrassing Ringtone: "Ringtone" is about this:
"Why did I buy the stupid ringtone?
I just can't imagine now
what I was thinking at all!
My friends all stare at me whenever I get a call!
When everybody (everybody)
everybody in the world really hates my ringtone!"
- Ending Fatigue:invoked Played for Laughs in "Albuquerque".
- Epic Rocking:
- "Albuquerque." Emphasis on "epic".
- "Trapped in the Drive-Thru," "Genius in France," and "Jackson Park Express" also qualify.
- Even the Dog Is Ashamed: Whoever is being targeted in "You're Pitiful" (parody of "You're Beautiful" by James Blunt) must be a bad case of this, if the following lyrics are anything to go by:
Your dog would much rather
Play fetch by itself.
- Even the Subtitler Is Stumped: The music video for "Smells Like Nirvana," in one hilarious moment:
It's hard to bargle nawdle zouss???
With all these marbles in my mouth
- And according to the insert for the CD, those are the actual lyrics.
- Everyone Hates Mimes: "She Never Told Me She Was a Mime"
- One of the lines in "My Own Eyes" is: I saw a mime get hacked to death. With an imaginary cleaver.
- Evil Lawyer Joke: From "Jurassic Park":
A huge tyrannosaurus ate our lawyer
Well, I suppose that proves
They're really not all bad
- Expospeak Gag: "Mission Statement" is a series of buzzwords and vaguely positive-sounding metaphors that all roughly translate to "we need to make more money".
- Facial Dialogue: "Jackson Park Express" is about the narrator seeing a woman on a bus. The song is nine minutes long, but describes the "conversations" taking place between a man and a woman discussing the hypothetical process of forming a romantic relationship, engaging in sexual activity, breaking up, and moving on with their lives. All this is implied to all take place over the course of a few minutes.
- ...and that it's all one-sided and all in the narrator's head (and the woman in question probably sees him as a creepy guy staring at her).
- Fan Flattering: Al and his band (though the band features more prominently; Al only plays accordion) recorded the song "Al's Band". The third to last stanza has:
Straight Outta Lynwood we hit top ten
White And Nerdy went platinum too
We really hope that someday we might do it again
If we do we know that it’s all thanks to you
All thank you's to you
And you're welcome too
Come and see us play when you can
Then you can see for yourself what is
Making all of this happen
You're the reason why we play
- Fan Hater: invoked One of the defining characteristics of the protagonist in "Close but No Cigar". He dumped a girl because she likes Joe Dirt, despite all the other amazing things she had going for her. Keep in mind, this was the only reason he broke it off with her.
- Fat and Proud: "Fat", of course.
- Fat Slob: "Inactive" is about a lazy slob who's completely given up on exercising and keeping himself healthy.
- Fat Suit: Al wears one and facial makeup in the "Fat" music video, and he also wears one (and a latex mask instead of makeup) when performing "Fat" in live concert shows.
- Filk Song: A good portion of his catalogue; though Al doesn't consider himself a filker, many of his songs qualify and have been sung in filk circles. Some examples:
- "Ricky", a parody of Toni Basil's "Mickey", is this for I Love Lucy.
- "The Brady Bunch", a parody of Men Without Hats' "The Safety Dance", is this for the TV series of the same name, Take That! aside (see below).
- "Isle Thing", a parody of Tone-Lōc's "Wild Thing", is a lesser example of this for Gilligan's Island.
- "Jurassic Park", a parody of the Jimmy Webb-written "MacArthur Park", is this for... well, you know.
- "Bedrock Anthem" is this for The Flintstones, while at the same time parodying the Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Under the Bridge" and "Give It Away".
- "Yoda" (parodying The Kinks' "Lola") and "The Saga Begins" (parodying Don McLean's "American Pie") are examples of Star Wars filk songs, dealing with The Empire Strikes Back and The Phantom Menace, respectively.
- "Ode to a Superhero", parodying Billy Joel's "Piano Man", is this for the first Spider-Man movie.
- Also "Gump", a parody of The Presidents of the United States of America's "Lump", which is about... yeah, you guessed it.
- First World Problems: The name of the song from his Mandatory Fun album, in which he rants about the most insignificant of such problems.
"My barista didn't even bother to make a design in the foam on the top of my vanilla latte!"
- Flaming Emblem: Done in the "White and Nerdy" video which is a parody of Chamillionaire's "Ridin'" where he's eventually standing on a blacktop in front a a flaming version of his logo. In Al's video, the flaming logo is of Pac-Man.
- Food Songs Are Funny: Many examples. Enough to fill an entire compilation album (appropriately named "The Food Album") and then some. You could say that this trope is his bread and butter.
- Football Fight Song: "Sports Song" is done in the style of one.
"We're great, and you suck!"
- Four More Measures: Lampshaded in "You're Pitiful".
- The Fourth Wall Will Not Protect You: In "CNR", Charles Nelson Reilly goes onstage and starts attacking Weird Al's band, then smashes the "screen".
- Free Prize at the Bottom: Appears in "She Drives Like Crazy," a parody of "She Drives Me Crazy" by Five Young Cannibals
When you drive, I can't relax / Got your license from Cracker Jacks
- Freeze-Frame Bonus:
- At the beginning of "Word Crimes", a dictionary's pages are turning through the A's. The definition of "Accordion" has a picture of Al next to it. On a shot of a piece of homework paper, the homeroom teacher is listed as "Mrs. Krabappel". The Reddit user goes by the handle George Newman. On the graphic for the lyric "lost cause", which uses a promo graphic from LOST, the print next to the ABC logo reads "learn your [ABC]s, doofus" instead of the network slogan.
- In the video for "White and Nerdy", the line "I'll ace any trivia quiz you bring on" begins with a closeup of a Trivial Pursuit card with amusing questions. "A&E: What's the deal with Lindsay Lohan? I mean, seriously?" and "SN: What is the melting point of a gorilla's head?" In the comic book shop, Al's t-shirt reads "Carl Sagan Is My Homeboy".
- After Al starts singing about The Illuminati in "Foil", there's a few red frames of Al's face looking the worse for wear - see Subliminal Seduction.
- Frivolous Lawsuit: "I'll Sue Ya" is based entirely upon this.
- The "Fun" in "Funeral": Mentioned in Tacky.
I would live-tweet a funeral
Take selfies with the deceased
- Funny Background Event: Pretty much every music video has something funny go on behind the action, like the basketball players in "Smells like Nirvana."
- Fun with Palindromes: The lyrics of "Bob" (a style parody of Bob Dylan) are all palindromes.note So's the title.
- Game Show Appearance: The subject of "I Lost on Jeopardy." Amusingly, he later appeared on Rock & Roll Jeopardy! in 2001 and lost.
- However, he fared much better on a Celebrity Edition of Wheel of Fortune in May 1994. Appropriately, he won ,800 on his first appearance, and ,700 more on the "Friday Finals" tournament at the end of the week.
- The lyrics and video for "CNR" fittingly give many nods to Match Game, arguably Charles Nelson Reilly's most well known gig.
- Gem-Encrusted: Like a swimming pool. Those things don't grow on trees.
- Genre Roulette: His band is good enough to play any type of music and Al himself can sing in a multitude of styles, able to pull off rock (both classic and modern), country, pop, reggae, boyband, soul, rap, folk and more vocals. There is a reason they have sometimes been referred to as "The world's greatest cover band". In fact, Al has been known to get very annoyed and defensive when people refer to them as a joke band.
- Germans Love David Hasselhoff: Invoked in "Genius in France", which is said to be referring to Jerry Lewis' popularity there.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: Although he's a mostly family-friendly singer, lyrics in several of Weird Al's songs go into grey territory. Notable examples include "You Don't Love Me Anymore", which talks about a woman having sex with an entire hockey team, and "Headline News" which mentions the Lorena Bobbitt incident.
- In the music video of "Amish Paradise", watch the guy churning butter after the girl walks by.
- The singer of "The Truck Drivin' Song" mentions wearing nipple rings and crotchless panties.
- In "One More Minute", the narrator is in "the gas station of love", and he has to use the "self-service pumps".
- His polka medley on Straight Outta Lynwood includes "Candy Shop" by 50 Cent. Yeah...
- "Word Crimes" has numerous examples. "Your participle's dangling" (with appropriate visual), "some cunning linguist", and the video ends with "'WEIRD AL' YANKOVIC HAS A BIG DIC... TIONARY".
- "Jackson Park Express" has "I like your boobs" and "I want you inside me like a tapeworm."
- "Gump" features the line "His girlfriend Jenny was kind of a slut."
- The video for "I Lost on Jeopardy" includes the answer, "This German baroness could suck the chrome off a fender."
- "Dare to be Stupid" has a reference to Looking For Mr Goodbar. No, not the candy...
- "Do I Creep You Out" is basically a story about a stalker who ends up in jail. In the music video, after he's done singing, a muscular man comes up to him and puts a hand on his shoulder. The screen fades to black as they look lovingly into each other's eyes, and a moment later, the main character looks at the viewer in shock.
- "Virus Alert" has a part where he mentions "sending your grandmother all of your porn..."
- During the fade-out in "Don't Download This Song", if you turn up the volume you can hear Al yell, "YOU CHEAP BASTARD!"
- "Jerry Springer" mentions a hermaphrodite, a slut, a crack ho, a man finding out that his wife is a shemale, and a stripper with implants who likes to lap dance. Then, the singer of the song tells his significant other that he's been sleeping with all of her sisters, and she responds that she's been sleeping with his best friend, Jake. He responds that he's been sleeping with Jake, too, and also with her dog Woofie. She responds that she's been sleeping with his pet goat.
- "Pretty Fly for a Rabbi" includes the Double Entendre, "The parents pay the moyl and he gets to keep the tip." A moyl performs circumcisions, so the reference to the "tip" he keeps isn't just financial.
- In "The Hamilton Polka," Al keeps the words "bastard" and "whore" from the opening song of Hamilton.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: In spite of being more than somewhat risqué (see above), Al is a decidedly family-friendly entertainer who generally avoids profanity, and will often Bowdlerise the original lyrics to remove them.
- Grade Skipper: Weird Al finished high school at only 16 years old—he was even the class valedictorian
- Grammar Nazi: See here and here.
- Let's not forget this part of "Close But No Cigar"
She was gorgeous, she was charming
Yeah, she was perfect in every way
Except she was always using the word 'infer'
When she obviously meant 'imply'
And I know some guys would put up with that kind of thing
But frankly, I can't imagine why
- The entirety of "Word Crimes" focuses specifically on this trope.
- Gratuitous French: Parodied in "Perform This Way"
And for no reason now I'll sing in French
Excusez-moi, Qui a pété? (Translation: Excuse me, who farted?)
- Gratuitous Italian: Parodied in "Lasagna". Al attempted to play it straight by having the song be written completely in Italian but realized 99% of the audience wouldn't understand it. Instead he made the song about Italian foods with the rest consisting of Italian phrases and expressions.
- Greatest Hits Album: The Essential "Weird Al" Yankovic, Greatest Hits, Greatest Hits II, and Permanent Record, a four-disc box set of Weird Al's favorite tracks from "My Bologna" to his then-latest single, "Headline News" (which was only available on that box set and Greatest Hits II).
- Happiness is Mandatory: His album Mandatory Fun has Al on the cover standing in military dictator garb with an army at his beck and call.
- Handyman: "Handy" is all about being one, though louder and less laid-back.
I'm so handy
You already know
I'll fix your plumbing when your toilets overflow.
- Heartbeat Soundtrack: The heartbeat monitor in "Like a Surgeon".
- Hell of a Heaven: "Everything You Know Is Wrong" has someone violating Heaven's dress code, and getting stuck with the room next to the noisy ice machine for all eternity. (Suggesting that Heaven is a mid-priced hotel.)
- Here We Go Again!: From the last verse of "I Lost on Jeopardy!":
Well, I sure hope I do better
Next weekend on The Price Is Right
- Hilariously Abusive Childhood: "When I Was Your Age".
Dad would whoop us every night till a quarter after twelve
Then he'd get too tired and he'd make us whoop ourselves
Then he'd chop me into pieces and play frisbee with my brain
And let me tell ya, Junior, you never heard me complain
- Hitler Cam: Used in "One More Minute" at the end, where Al rips out 'his' (plastic) heart.
- Hollywood Nerd: Al played this image up early in his career with the large glasses, white guy Afro, and cheesy mustache. Once he ditched these, around the time "Running with Scissors" came out (although a few videos before then didn't have them), it was suddenly discovered that Mr. Yankovic is actually very good-looking to go along with his geeky charm.
- Hollywood Silencer: A sound effect in "Party In The CIA"note A lyrical parody of "Party In The USA" by Miley Cyrus. Lampshaded by the lyric "And my silencer was on".
- Home Porn Movie: Here. Compare the "White and Nerdy" video
- Horror Doesn't Settle for Simple Tuesday: "Christmas at Ground Zero".
"What a crazy fluke/we're gonna get nuked/on this jolly holiday!"
- Human Head on the Wall: The video for "CNR" has a brief look at a wall in Charles Nelson Reilly's house which is covered with trophy heads. One of them is human. Even better: it's Chuck Norris.
- Hypocritical Humor:
- Amish Paradise contains the line "I know I'm a million times as humble as thou art!"
- Al once made a cameo appearance on Some Jerk with a Camera to rant about how much he hates celebrity cameos.
- In the video for "Word Crimes", a song about proper grammar, one of the degrees on the wall is a "Bachelor of Writing Good".note Proper grammar would make it a "Bachelor of Writing Well".
- The same song - which, as a reminder, is all about poking fun of grammatical errors - itself ends with one.note "to not drool" is a split infinitive; the proper phrasing would be "Try your best not to drool".
Don't Download This Song, a song scolding the listener for illegally downloading songs rather than buying CDs, is available as a free download.
- I Am Not Shazam: "Perform This Way"note A lyrical parody of "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga has the line "I'm Frankenstein, I'm Avatar". Not an Example of Cowboy BeBop at His Computer though, as it was deliberately invoked.
- Iconic Outfit: Earlier in his career, there was a particular pair of horrendously ugly pants given to Al that he wore at every concert (which can be seen on his first album cover). He eventually ditched them. Later, he was known for his large collection of Hawaiian-print shirts and Vans sneakers. He still pulls these out, though not as frequently.
- Impossibly Tacky Clothes: In "Tacky"; both described in the lyrics and worn in the video.
- Incendiary Exponent: Parodied in "Perform This Way"
I'll wrap my small intestines round my neck
And set fire to myself on stage
- Incredibly Lame Fun: "Hardware Store"
- Incredibly Long Note: The piano hit at the end of "Nature Trail To Hell".
- Infant Immortality: Averted in "Albuquerque".
"You know, I'd never been on a real airplane before ... And the little kid in back of me kept throwin' up the whole time ... And, oh yeah, three of the airplane engines burned out / And we went into a tailspin and crashed into a hillside / And the plane exploded in a giant fireball / and everybody died"
- The entirety of "Nature Trail To Hell" is about a psychopath who murders a bunch of Cub Scouts (Boy Scouts between 5-12 years old) at a summer camp.
- Inherently Funny Words: Frequently among his lyrics. Many of his favorites include "weasel," "uvula," "plumber," "bowling" and occasionally "poodle." And of course, "AAAAAAAA-AAAAAAAAA-AAAAAA-AAAAAAALBUQUERQUE!!!!"
- Ink-Suit Actor: His roles on Transformers Animated, Lilo & Stitch: The Series, and especially Cheese Sandwich from the My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic "Pinkie Pride" episode. Also appeared as himself on The Simpsons. Of course.
- Intercourse with You: "Wanna B Ur Lovr", a Beck-style pastiche with Prince-style lyrics, with "Weird Al" reciting a lot of ridiculous and sometimes unsubtle pickup lines.
- In the Style of... / Musical Pastiche: At least half of Al's non-parodies pastiche the style of another significant musician, perhaps the most famous being "Dare To Be Stupid", his take on Devo. In addition, every album but the first and fifth contains a medley of then-recent hit songs performed as a polka.
- "Dog Eat Dog" parodies Talking Heads, and even includes modified versions of lines from "Once in a Lifetime". Al even puts on a David Byrne-style giant suit when performing this song live.
- "Trigger Happy" is a take on the style of of every Beach Boys song ever. Except for the ones he later homaged with "Pancreas".
- "Bob" is a bunch of palindromes sung like Bob Dylan. The video even parodies "Subterranean Homesick Blues".
- "CNR" is a style parody of The White Stripes.
- "Close But No Cigar" is an absolutely spot-on pastiche of the band CAKE's signature style, including blurty trumpet, ad-libs (yelled off-mic), and rampant Vibra-Slap abuse.
- "You Make Me" is a parody in the style of Oingo Boingo, complete with various percussion, a prominent horn section, and distinct guitar solo, all sounding quite Boingo-esque.
- In a lot of cases, his "style parodies" are a result of not getting permission to do a parody of an actual song by the band. For example, after Trent Reznor refused to let him do any Nine Inch Nails songs, Weird Al came out with "Germs," which clearly borrows from several NIN songs (especially "Terrible Lie", "Closer", and "Mr. Self Destruct").
- For similar reasons, he did the song "Traffic Jam" in the style of Prince, who has consistently refused to let Al parody any of his songs.
- "Wanna B Ur Lovr" is thought by many to be another Prince hit, but is styled more along the lines of Beck; Al claimed that the song is himself "trying to sound like Beck trying to sound like Prince."
- "If That Isn't Love" is mostly a style parody of his close friends, the boys of Hanson, but there's definitely a few jabs at Justin Bieber in there too.
- "Mr. Popeil" is a style parody of The B-52s, with Al's female backing vocalistsnote (one of whom, Lisa Popeil, is the daughter of the "Mr. Popeil" the song's named after) doing a perfect imitation of Kate Pierson and Cindy Wilson and Al himself doing the Fred Schneider part.
- In a slightly less musical example, Carnival of the Animals, Part Two (the B-side to Peter and the Wolf) includes recited poetry in the style of Ogden Nash.
- Other examples:
- "Velvet Elvis" = The Police (particularly "Driven to Tears")
- "Frank's 2000' TV" = R.E.M.
- "Everything You Know Is Wrong" = They Might Be Giants
- "Why Does This Always Happen to Me?" = Ben Folds Five (to the point where Ben Folds himself plays piano on the track)
- "Skipper Dan" = Weezer
- "Ringtone" = Queen (with the intro nearly matching that of "Don't Stop Me Now")
- "Craigslist" = The Doors (more specifically, main verse="20th Century Fox/Soul Kitchen", chorus="The Changeling", and spoken-word interlude="The End". Ray Manzarek, the Doors' keyboardist, plays keys on that track).
- "I'll Sue Ya" = Rage Against the Machine, and the chorus closely resembles the one from "Bombtrack".
- "Mission Statement" = Crosby, Stills and Nash.
- "Lame Claim to Fame" = Southern Culture on the Skids (the opening riff in particular is directly inspired by "Camel Walk").
- "First World Problems" = The Pixies.
- "Virus Alert" = Sparks
- "Genius in France" = Frank Zappa. (Zappa's son Dweezil even showed up to play the guitar solo.)
- A rare producer-based instead of artist-based example is "Stop Forwarding That Crap to Me", which emulates Jim Steinman's production style to a tee.
- An additional example is "Christmas At Ground Zero", an Anti-Christmas Song that emulates Phil Spector's production style.
- Less likely, but still possible: "When I Was Your Age" = early Alice Cooper, "Young, Dumb & Ugly" = intended as AC/DC (although it sounds much more like L.A. hair metal, Skid Row in particular).
- Odd one: while "Jerry Springer" is a direct Parody of "One Week" by Barenaked Ladies, the actual lyrics and subject matter sound more like he's doing his own version of "The Barry Williams Show" by Peter Gabriel in the style of Barenaked Ladies.
- "My Own Eyes" is in the style of Foo Fighters, which is probably why it is (so far) the only one of Al's songs to ever appear in the Rock Band video game series (which is often given the disparaging nickname Dave Grohl Band due to the ludicrous amount of his songs available as DLC in comparison to any other artist).
- And then there's "Traffic Jam", from Alapalooza. Prince has long denied Weird Al the opportunity to parody the Purple One's music, but "Traffic Jam" prominently features a keyboard riff strongly reminiscent of "Let's Go Crazy".
- Or Prince's "Let's Go Crazy" mixed with Kenny Loggin's "Footloose".
- The polka medleys are a Spiritual Successor to Spike Jones' musical "travesties" (i.e., keep the lyrics the same, but make the music goofy).
- Speaking of "Dare To Be Stupid", the instrumental tune sounds a tad bit like "Temple Of Love" by Sisters Of Mercy, which predates DTBS by 2 years. Hard to say if this was intentional or not though, as DTBS is also clearly an instrumental parody of Devo's "Whip It" and it may be a total coincidence.
- The video for "It's All About The Pentiums" spends plenty of time parodying the original video and "Mo Money Mo Problems", but even the unrelated scenes mimic the fisheye-heavy visual style of Hype Williams.
- "Truck Drivin' Song" is, naturally, in the style of 70's country trucker songs (with Al's low voice sounding a bit like C.W. McCall's.
- Intimate Marks: The video for "Tacky" has Kirsten Schaal living up to the title by wearing a top with hot pink handprints over the breasts.
- It Came from the Fridge: The aptly titled "Livin' in the Fridge" provides the page quote.
- It's All About Me: "Waffle King", "Why Does This Always Happen To Me?", and "If That Isn't Love" all feature this trope in different ways.
- It Will Never Catch On: Al's first show with his band was opening for Missing Persons. It was a disaster, with people booing them offstage and Al wondering if he should give up music.
- Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Played for Laughs (obviously) in "Party in the C.I.A."
- Jaywalking Will Ruin Your Life: "Don't Download This Song"
- Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: "Don't Download This Song"
- Jumping the Shark: In-Universe. A line in "Couch Potato" says that The King of Queens did this. In the first minute. Because Richard Simmons wasn't in it.
- Jump Scare: Al has stated that "Bite Me" (the Hidden Track at the end of Off the Deep End) was made specifically for this effect on the poor people that forgot to turn off their players.
- Kaizo Trap: "eBay" mentions one of the single most frustrating aspects of any given auction: the risk that someone will outbid the prospective buyer, perhaps even in the middle of a victory celebration, at just the right moment that the prospective buyer will not have sufficient time to respond.
I am the type who is liable to snipe you
With two seconds left to go
- Karmic Death:
- "I Remember Larry" which has Larry being murdered by the target of many of his malicious gags, with the target making it sound like it was only another malicious gag.
- In the video for "I'll Sue Ya", while Al and his band are driving with all of the money they won in their lawsuits, they're distracted by a billboard and crash into a large truck. The billboard and truck are for two brands that Al had earlier sued.
- Kissing Cousins: "A Complicated Song" includes a man inadvertently dating his cousin.
- Kitschy Local Commercial: The "Handy" video is done in this style, mainly by way of hammy acting and deliberately bad special effects.
- Lampshade Hanging: “(This Song’s Just) Six Words Long” is mostly composed of describing the Music Tropes the song itself is employing.
- Larynx Dissonance: The narrator of "Truck Drivin' Song" seems to be either a male Crossdresser or a female with a very low voice, a la Dr. Girlfriend.
- Last Note Nightmare: Parodied; Off the Deep End has one at the very end. After the track "You Don't Love Me Anymore", there are 10 minutes of silence followed by 6 seconds of backwards drumming, guitar feedback, and Al screaming at the top of his lungs, after which, the song ends. According to Al, this "most annoying 6 seconds of audio ever recorded" was meant to scare the listener if he or she forgets to turn the CD player off. (This snippet is called "Bite Me".) This was a parody of "Endless, Nameless" by Nirvana from Nevermind, which came on after 10 minutes of silence and was, essentially, 6 minutes of cacophony.
- In "Trapped In The Drive-Thru", the narrator and his wife mull their options for dinner. After ruling out leftovers, delivery, and several restaurants, they go to the drive-through.
- Last-Second Word Swap: At the end of the "Word Crimes" video:
"Weird Al" Yankovic has a big dictionary.
- Limited Wardrobe: Al has almost always been seen wearing a loud Hawaiian shirt, black trousers, and brightly-patterned Vans shoes since the 1980s. Until Al had his vision corrected with LASIK eye surgery in the 1990s, his distinctive large wire-rimmed eyeglasses were also part of his trademark look.
- List Song: Lots. Hardware Store, eBay, Bob (a list of palindromes done in the style of Bob Dylan), Virus Alert, I'll Sue Ya...
- A lot of the songs on Mandatory Fun fall under this, mostly due to its rushed production. note This wasn't due to Executive Meddling, which is often the case, rather Al HAD to rush the release while the originals were still popular enough. That, coupled with the stiff competition from YouTube satirists, is what led him to declaring Mandatory Fun as his last LP, allowing him to focus more on singles and EPs to better keep up with the times.
- Literal Metaphor: On Jerry Springer, that bitch Woofie really is a female dog.
- Lobotomy: in the song "I Can't Watch This," he proposes that getting one will improve the appeal of HBO, the Playboy Network, Showtime, and MTV.
- Location Song: "Albuquerque" is a parody song describing "Weird Al" Yankovic's fictional lifestory in this city.
- Long-Runners: He's been around for quite a while. As one [adult swim] Eye Catch observed, if you went back to 1984 and told people that Weird Al was still relevant in 2006 while Michael Jackson had flamed out, they likely wouldn't believe you.
- And after 30 years in the business, and in a musical landscape where sites like YouTube have made comedy music commonplace, Weird Al's savvy marketing ploy for Mandatory Fun (debuting each song on a different website) combined with a brilliant batch of music scored him and his bandmates their first-ever #1 album.
- Long-Runner Line-up: Jon "Bermuda" Schwartz, Jim West, and Steve Jay have been with him for almost as long. The lineup's only change since then has been the addition of Ruben Valtierra, and that lineup has been stable since around 1992 or so. This is an unusual example in that these four are almost totally overshadowed by Al himself.
- A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away...: "The Saga Begins".
- Love Martyr: "You Don't Love Me Anymore" takes this trope to extremes.
- Lyrical Dissonance:
- MacGyvering: "Handy" is about a Mr. Fixit who mentions this particular skill by name.
- Made of Iron: In "Ringtone", Al's wife smashed his iPhone with a brick and he miraculously got it fixed.
- Major Injury Underreaction:
- In "A Complicated Song", he is merely frustrated about being beheaded.
- In "Jurassic Park", he only admits to being "kinda mad" about getting his guts torn out.
- M. C. Escher: In "White and Nerdy", Al cites him as his favorite MC.
- Manipulative Editing: Al TV's fake interviews, where Al adds weird questions to a famous person's answers (original / edited). And sometimes, the interviewee acts weird enough to help!.
- Man on Fire: One runs around behind Al during the "Smells like Nirvana" video.
- Medium Awareness: Lucy seems to be this in "Ricky":
"Oh Ricky, what a pity you don't understand / That every day's a rerun and the laughter's always canned"
- The Men in Black: Two agents come and drug Al, then drag him off the stage at the end of the video in "Foil".
- Al becomes one of them in the video for "Party in the CIA," and the song is from the point of view of a CIA agent.
- Meatgrinder Surgery: Both the lyrics and the video (moreso the latter) for "Like a Surgeon."
- Meet Cute: Parodied in "Albuquerque." Al meets the girl of his dreams, while being mauled by starving crazed weasels that he inexplicably bought at a donut shop. They immediately become a couple.
- Memetic Badass: In-Universe example—Charles Nelson Reilly.
- Mickey Mousing: In the video for "I'll Sue Ya", the lawsuits print out to the beat of the bass.
- Mind Screw: "Everything You Know Is Wrong", among others.
- Miniscule Rocking: "Let Me Be Your Hog", coming in at 16 seconds. Justified in that Al wrote it as filler for a scene in UHF when the studio couldn't license "Kung Fu Fighting."
- Minor Flaw, Major Breakup: Or, as he likes to put it, "Close But No Cigar." He has another case in "Albequerque" - he's just not ready for the level of commitment that Zelda asks for: joining the Columbia Records club.
- Minsky Pickup: He throws this into several of his polka numbers.
- Misplaced Sorrow: "Why Does This Always Happen to Me?" is all about this.
- Mood Whiplash:
- A perfect example is on the album Straight Outta Lynwood, after his Rage Against the Machine imitation "I'll Sue Ya." After an angry song like that one, there's an abrupt guitar chord, which is directly followed by a one-second pause going into "Polkarama," which has the "Chicken Dance" as an intro. Of course, THAT goes into a polka cover of "Let's Get it Started" by The Black-Eyed Peas.
- A similar example is on the album "Running With Scissors", where the Nine Inch Nails style parody "Germs" is followed by an intensely happy polka (the first track in the medley being the Spice Girls, for crying out loud). Mood Whiplash at its finest, folks.
- In "Your Horoscope for Today" the prediction for Sagittarius begins like this:
All your friends are laughing behind your back. (beat) Kill them.
- "Foil" starts out as a typical Lorde parody about food before suddenly taking a left turn into Conspiracy Theorist territory. The video emphasizes this, with a television director played by Patton Oswalt who reacts negatively to the new topic. He's in on the conspiracy.
- "You Don't Love Me Anymore" is a humorous breakup song but it has this pair of lines, equivalent to a punch in the gut:
You slammed my face down on the barbecue grill
Now my scars are all healing, but my heart never will
- "Why Does This Always Happen To Me?" is of the "serious to silly" variety. It first appears to be a very straight account of a tragic earthquake in Peru, sung in a very earnest fashion in a song whose melody and tempo is quite fitting to the sad mood....then he reveals himself to be a jerk who's mad that this report about the Peruvian earthquake interrupted his watching and taping The Simpsons....
I was watching my TV one night when they broke in with a special report
About some devastating earthquake in Peru
There were thirty thousand crushed to death, even more were buried alive
On the Richter scale it measured 8.2
And I said, "God, please answer me one question...
Why'd they have to interrupt The Simpsons just for this?"
What a drag, 'cause I was taping it and everything
And now I'll have to wait for the rerun to see the part of the show I missed
- "Theme from Rocky XIII (Rye or the Kaiser)" paints a surprising portrait of the post-retirement Rocky, the friendly sandwich-shop owner, after the first verse leads with the more standard parody of Rocky now fat-and-weak, what a disgra-ace...
- Moon-Landing Hoax: Al is convinced that the government staged it in "Foil". In the video, there's footage of the landing being interrupted by stagehands clacking the marker and moving a boom mic out of the camera shot.
- Motor Mouth
- The bridge of "Hardware Store" has Al singing 242 words per minute, or all of the below in 30 seconds and in one breath. It's the one song he absolutely refuses to sing live because he genuinely doesn't know if he'd be able to pull it off again.
They've got Allen wrenches, gerbil feeders, toilet seats, electric heaters
Trash compactors, juice extractors, shower rods and water meters
Walkie-talkies, copper wires, safety goggles, radial tires
BB pellets, rubber mallets, fans and dehumidifiers
Picture hangers, paper cutters, waffle irons, window shutters
Paint removers, window louvers, masking tape and plastic gutters
Kitchen faucets, folding tables, weather stripping, jumper cables
Hooks and tackle, grout and spackle, power foggers, spoons and ladles
Pesticides for fumigation, high-performance lubrication
Metal roofing, waterproofing, multi-purpose insulation
Air compressors, brass connectors, wrecking chisels, smoke detectors
Tire gauges, hamster cages, thermostats and bug deflectors
Trailer hitch demagnetizers, automatic circumcisers
Tennis rackets, angle brackets, Duracells and Energizers
Soffit panels, circuit breakers, vacuum cleaners, coffee makers
Calculators, generators, matching salt and pepper shakers...
- Also in the middle of "Your Horoscope for Today," also all in one breath:
Now you may find it inconceivable or at the very least a bit unlikely that the relative position
of the planets and the stars could have a special deep significance or meaning that exclusively applies to only you,
but let me give you my assurance that these forecasts and predictions are all based on solid, scientific, documented evidence,
so you would have to be some kind of moron not to realize that every single one of them is absolutely true.
Where was I?
- Taken Up to Eleven with first verse of the theme song for The Weird Al Show. It's not only a Patter Song, but the first verse is a run-on sentence!
- The "Hamilton Polka" takes some of the fastest lines ever to be sung on Broadway and makes them even faster.
- Mockumentary: Two, actually. There's the rare "The Compleat Al," made to help promote the Dare To Be Stupid album, and the Disney Channel combination Mockumentary / Rockumentary "There's No Going Home", which was included as an Easter Egg on the Running With Scissors album.
- There's also the 1985 book The Authorized Al, released as a companion piece to The Compleat Al.
- Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Usually matches the song or style he's parodying, sometimes skewing a point lower, so generally from 1 (e.g. "You Don't Love Me Anymore") to 5-6 (e.g. "I'll Sue Ya", "Germs"). "Bite Me" is the exception - it meets the criteria for a 10.
- Mondegreen: Done In-Universe in the song "Trapped In The Drive-thru"
I hopped up and said, "I don't know, do you want to get something delivered?"
And she's like, "Why would I want to eat liver?
I don't even like liver."
I'm like, "No, I said 'delivered'."
She's like, "I heard you say liver."
I'm like, "I should know what I said."
She's like, "Whatever... I just don't want any liver."
- Mouthful of Pi: In White and Nerdy the title character claims to know Pi to a thousand places.
- Mouth Screen: "Dare To Be Stupid" and "Bedrock Anthem" featured Al's mouth, even scenes of him performing in Chin Face.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Lots, but "Hardware Store" sticks out most.
- The subject of Waffle King presents his waffle recipe as this.
- I present to you the tale of his trip to Albuquerque.
- "Trapped In The Drive-Thru". Al said he picked getting fast food as the topic of the song because it was the most banal thing he could think of.
- Behold! The most epic shredding ever!note Paper shredding, that is.
- "The Biggest Ball of Twine In Minnesota".
- Mundane Utility: The main character of "Everything You Know Is Wrong" is given the chance to go back in time. He decides to go back to the previous Thursday so he can pay his phone bill on time.
- Mystery Meat: "School Cafeteria"
- Naughty Birdwatching: "Melanie".
- Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Although he is primarily identified as a polka performer, there is absolutely no genre the man won't tackle.
- Nerdgasm: In-Universe. The singer in "Hardware Store".
- Nerds Are Virgins:
- The singer of "White and Nerdy" spends his nights with a roll of bubble wrap...
- The subject of "You're Pitiful" is a 42-year old example. He wears a "homemade Star Trek uniform" and "never had a date he couldn't inflate."
- Nerds Love Tough Schoolwork: ...and he does vector calculus just for fun.
- Nice Guy: Although fair-use law regarding parody mean Al doesn't need anyone's permission, he makes sure that he does have permission from an artist in order to poke fun. This has worked out for him in several ways, with the originals artists often contributing resources to the final project to thank him for his politeness. He also adores his fans.
- Nice Shoes: Al has a large collection of Vans sneakers all in colorful patterns◊.
- Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Many of his songs, mostly the ones involving talk shows, are LOADED with this!
- No Celebrities Were Harmed: The UHF video, in which the parodied musicians include Robert Palmer (''Addicted to Spuds" never got its own video), Prince, and The Beatles.
- Non-Appearing Title: Happens sometimes when the parody title has no relation to the original title, like "Couch Potato" (parody of "Lose Yourself" by Eminem). Also all of his polkas, which generally have pretty random titles anyway.
- A few of the songs on Poodle Hat (which also contains the aforementioned "Couch Potato") have these, such as "A Complicated Song" (parody of "Complicated" by Avril Lavigne) and "Ode to a Superhero" (parody of "Piano Man" by Billy Joel).
- Nose Nuggets: "Gotta Boogie". ("Gotta boogie on my finger and I can't shake it off!")
- Nose Shove: One of the many lawsuits filed in "I'll Sue Ya" is against Duracell, after Al did this to one of their batteries.
- "Not Making This Up" Disclaimer: In the booklet that came with Permanent Record, Al notes that the song "Midnight Star" (about ridiculous tabloid headlines) contained mostly real headlines from various tabloids. He specifically noted that he held onto one about The Incredible Frog Boy from the Weekly World News for years.
- Nothing Exciting Ever Happens Here: Part of the reason the protagonist of "Hardware Store" is so excited note The joke being that the town is so boring that a hardware store is considered exciting.
- Now How Much Would You Pay: Called out verbatim in "Mr. Popeil."
- Off the Rails: In the video for "Foil", Al is doing a commercial for aluminum foil wrap, then starts talking about conspiracy theories that his Tinfoil Hat will protect him from. The director is visibly upset because he's secretly one of The Reptilians, so he has the Men in Black carry Al off.
- Off with His Head!: the singer in "Complicated Song" gets his head knocked off after standing up on a roller coaster.
- One of the patients in the video for "Living with a Hernia" is a construction worker who's been decapitated while on the job. It's done for humorous effect, however; he's holding his sentient disembodied head in his left arm.
- A woman in a Bad-Guy Bar has her head yanked off her body and passed on to another person in the video for "Eat It."
- During "Smells Like Nirvana", a member of the audience has his head pulled off.
- Barney, the purple dinosaur, gets his head bitten off in "Jurassic Park".
- Older Than He Looks: Al is 58 years old, but he's aged so gracefully that you can throw a mustache and glasses on him and he could still pass for himself three decades ago. Shows like How I Met Your Mother and The Goldbergs have used this to their advantage by casting Al as his past self.
- Once an Album: Almost every albumnote "Weird Al Yankovic" and "Even Worse" are the odd ones out here contains one polka medley of songs popular at the time note The exceptions being "The Hot Rocks Polka", which is a medley of Rolling Stones' songs from a wider span of time, and "Bohemian Polka" is a double-speed full cover of "Bohemian Rhapsody", and one song in any style ripping on TV shows popular at the time. There's also always at least one song about food.
- Since 1999, every album has included bonus video content that can be viewed on a computer (if not also a DVD player), though Alpocalypse had it as an extra DVD packaged with the CD.
- Old-Timey Ankle Taboo: In the music video for "Amish Paradise" two Amish teens are seen looking at a supposedly erotic magazine, with the centerfold girl lifting up her long skirt to show her ankle. This illustrates how the Amish live by very old-fashioned values.
- One Steve Limit: Averted in "Trapped In the Drive-Thru" — both the song's protagonist and the girl at the drive-thru speaker know a guy named Paul.
- Only a Flesh Wound: From Trigger Happy
Oh, I accidentally shot Daddy last night in the den
I mistook him in the dark for a drug-crazed Nazi again
Now why'd you have to get so mad?
It's just a lousy flesh wound, Dad
You know I'm trigger happy, trigger happy every day
- Only Known by Their Nickname: Nobody really calls him Alfred anymore. It's all Weird Al.
- Origin Story: According to Uncle Grandpa, Weird Al was the RV's conformist, normalizing control panel, who becomes weird due to the RV crew merging forms and spitting Smile Juice on him.
- Out-of-Genre Experience: Of a sort. Nothing musically, but he did direct the music video for The Black Crowes' "Only a Fool." It's not a funny song. It's not a funny song. It's not a funny video. Why he directed it, over anyone else, is a mystery. Perhaps he's just a big name fan?
- Overly Long Gag: He wrote Albuquerque because he wanted to annoy people for 12 minutes straight. The extended version he uses for live performances takes this Up to Eleven with a much larger list of pastries in the donut shop scene. Sometimes he even starts the song over from the beggining just before the finale.
- The end of eBay with him singing the last note.
- Overly Narrow Superlative: "The Biggest Ball of Twine in Minnesota". (Are there bigger balls of twine in other states?)
- Parody Assistance: Sometimes Al gets more than just permission to parody an artist's songs. Michael Jackson donated the subway set used for "Badder" (the kid version of "Bad" filmed for Moonwalker) to Yankovic for his parody "Fat", Ray Manzarek of The Doors played keyboards and bass on "Craigslist", and Mark Knopfler would only allow Al to parody "Money for Nothing" if he was permitted to do the guitar work himself.
- "Like A Surgeon" was conceived because Madonna was asking why Al hadn't parodied her song "Like A Virgin" yet.
- Ben Folds played piano on "Why Does This Always Happen To Me"... which is a parody of Ben Folds songs. "Genius in France", a style parody of Frank Zappa features Frank's son Dweezil on guitar.
- Though more of a stretch, singer and voice coach Lisa Popeil has done female backup vocals for Al since 1983. The first song to feature her? "Mr. Popeil", a song that makes fun of her father's products and brother's infomercials in the style of The B-52s.
- James Brown, who was signed to the same label as Al in the mid-1980s, arranged for the music video to "Living With a Hernia" to use the same backdrop that he performed the original "Living in America" song in Rocky IV.
- On Al's 2011 album Alpocalypse, he did a style parody of Hanson called "If That Isn't Love." Al and the Hanson brothers are friends, and Taylor Hanson plays keyboards on the song.
- The "Smells Like Nirvana" video actually had some of the actors from the original "Smells Like Teen Spirit" video including the janitor.
- Imagine Dragons assisted with the creation of "Inactive", a parody of their own song "Radioactive", to help reproduce as authentic a sound of the original as possible.
- Inverted with “White and Nerdy.” Chamillionaire credited Weird Al’s hit with making his song, “Ridin’ Dirty,” an even bigger hit and ultimately winning him the Grammy for “Rap Song of the Year.”
- Peacock Boy: "Perform This Way" (he also wears it in the actual music video)
- Poe's Law:
- Some people believed that "Don't Download This Song" was actually trying to spread the message that Digital Piracy Is Evil.
- At least one faction of gun nuts takes "Trigger Happy" literally.
- "Foil", if the YouTube comments are anything to go by.
- Poke the Poodle: "Young, Dumb & Ugly" is a song about this.
- Popcultural Osmosis Failure: "CNR" won't make much sense to anyone outside the USA as Charles Nelson Reilly is pretty much unknown in other countries as his fame came about through his long running stage, comedy and television career in his homeland.note While he did have roles in some well known films such as All Dogs Go to Heaven, these were nearly all voice only roles. The only film that overseas audiences might recognise him from is Cannonball Run II where he played Don Don Canneloni.
- Posthumous Narration: In "Melanie".
- Precision F-Strike: In "Jerry Springer"; appropriately, Yankovic himself doesn't use the word, but guest vocalist Tress MacNeille does during a portion of the song parodying a typical episode of the show:
Tress MacNeille: Woofie, you bi[ineffectual bleep]tch!
- ...and even then it's a pun, because Woofie literally is a bitch.
- Yankovic himself finally gets one in with the comparatively mild "You cheap bastard!" during the outro of "Don't Download This Song".
- He also lets out an uncensored "shit" in "Dead Car Battery Blues", an early demo recording from apparently before he dedicated himself to being a more-or-less family-friendly performer.
- An implied one appears in the liner notes to "Mandatory Fun", which says "AFP appears courtesy of herself". Anyone familiar enough with Amanda Palmer should know what the F stands for.
- "The Hamilton Polka" begins with a couple of words ("bastard" and "whore") that Yankovic had only touched once each before.
- Pretty Fly for a White Guy: Chamillionaire complimented Al on his rapping skills.
- Produce Pelting: According to Al, when he opened for Missing Persons in 1982, the audience threw "anything that wasn't nailed down" at him for 45 minutes.
- Professional Wrestling: In "Jurassic Park", one of the T-Rex's jump off of a turnbuckle with the WWF logo on it.
- Pun: Real life example: one of his long time band members goes by "Bermuda" Schwartz.
- Another possible example in "I Remember Larry," after he talks about tying the titular pranker's mouth with a rag and leaving him for dead:
If the cops ever find him, who knows what they'll say
But I'm sure if ol' Lar were still with us today
He would have to agree with me - it was a pretty good gag!
- Most of "Party at the Leper Colony", but especially:
There's a guy in the hot tub, I don't know who
Wait a minute, it looks like Stu!
- From "Perform This Way," regarding Gaga's meat dress, which the woman in the video also wears:
I'll strap prime rib to my feet, cover myself with raw meat
I'll bet you've never seen a skirt steak worn this way
- Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: "I! HATE! SAUERKRAUT!"
- Purely Aesthetic Glasses: Briefly worn after he got Lasik. He still uses glasses with fake lenses whenever he performs "Fat" to help the fat mask stay on better.
- Quirky Curls: One of the few male examples. Despite rumors to the contrary, it is not a perm; he's naturally just that curly (although he has teased it up on occasion to achieve something close to a Funny Afro).
- Rant-Inducing Slight: "First World Problems" contains a long list of utterly trivial annoyances that induce mouth-foaming rage in Al.
- Random Events Plot: "Albuquerque."
- Rap Rock: "It's All About the Pentiums" parodies a rock remix of "It's all about the Benjamins".
- There's also Bedrock Anthem, where he parodies the beginning of "Under the Bridge", but then changes to a parody of "Give it Away".
- "I'll Sue Ya", since it's a style parody of Rage Against the Machine.
- Real Trailer, Fake Movie: This hilarious trailer from Funny Or Die for a heavily fictionalized (to put it mildly) biopic, which depicts Al (portrayed by Aaron Paul) as an alcoholic who has a torrid affair with Madonna. The real Weird Al makes a cameo.
- Reality Warper: The titular computer virus from the song "Virus Alert".
- "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Al gets a doozy of one from Don Pardo at the end of "I Lost On Jeopardy" which crosses over into Disproportionate Retribution.
"That's right, Al. You lost! And let me tell you what you didn't win! A 20 Volume set of the Encyclopedia Internationals, A case of Turtle wax, And a years supply of Rice-A-Roni, A San Francisco Treat. But that's not all, You made yourself look like a jerk in front of Millions of people. And you brought shame and disgrace for your family name for generations to come. You don't get to come back tomorrow. You don't even get a lousy copy of our home game. You are a complete loser!"
- His uncharacteristically nasty mock interview with Kevin Federline qualifies in its entirety, but the most directly insulting piece would be:
"Really? You mean like if somebody got right up in your face, and said that you're an IGNORANT, NO-TALENT, WHITE TRASH, FORTUNE-SQUANDERING VANILLA ICE-WANNABE LOSER, you'd be okay with that?"
- Reckless Gun Usage: The singer in "Trigger Happy" accidentally shoots both his father and his cat.
- Refrain from Assuming: Usually his parodies turn the original title phrase into something wacky and indicative of the parody's subject matter. If he can't manage that, this trope usually ensues.
- Replacement Goldfish: Part of the numerous minor confessions in "Confessions Part 3" listed killing his girlfriend's goldfish and replacing it.
- Reports Of My Retirement Were Greatly Exaggerated: When it was reported that Mandatory Fun (His contract with Volcano expires after its release) would likely be his last album, many people took it to mean that he was done making music. In reality it meant that he plans on releasing music in an untraditional manner and not the traditional album.
- Retconning the Wiki: The music video for "White And Nerdy", in which he replaces the entire text for Atlantic Record's wiki page with huge type reading YOU SUCK!!!!! This was a personal Take That! from Al for slights the company had done him in the past. His fans thought it was so funny, they started doing it for real, resulting in That Other Wiki having to lock the Atlantic Records page.
- Rewind Gag: Near the end of the video for "Amish Paradise", he sings through one scene which obviously plays backwards. Most notably, a buggy rolls past in the background backwards.
- Rhyming List: "Hardware Store"'s list of everything the store has in the back.
- Ridiculous Future Sequelisation: "Theme from Rocky XIII".
- Ripped from the Headlines: "Headline News" has three verses describing the American kid who got caned in Singapore, the Nancy Kerrigan incident, and Lorena Bobbitt.
- And new verses (from the 2007 tour) about Paris Hilton's DUI and Britney Spears's going commando and head shave.
- "Midnight Star" contains several headlines from actual supermarket tabloids including one about "The Incredible Frog-Boy!"
- Rockers Smash Guitars: At the end of the "Smells like Nirvana" video, Al smashes his guitar, the audience smashes plates on a guy's head, and then Al pushes a plunge-detonator to demolish a building. He also used to smash his accordion at the end of his polka medleys in concert when they ended with The Who's "My Generation."
- The video for "You Don't Love Me Anymore"—which is a sad, acoustic ballad—ends with Al (who is not holding an instrument) being suddenly overcome by the dejection expressed in the song, at which point he violently wrests the acoustic guitar from his guitarist's grasp, demolishes it thoroughly against the floor, shoots a disgusted look at the camera as if to say, "what are you looking at?", and finally drags his feet off the set.
The Compleat Al opens with a Hendrix-esque sight of Al setting fire to his accordion during a rather bizarre performance by him and his band.
- Rule 34: In 2014, pictures were released portraying two women dressed (and undressed) as characters from UHF - including one with an Al wig, glasses and Hawaiian shirt.
- Rummage Sale Reject: Appropriately enough, everyone appearing in the video for "Tacky," including two different awful outfits worn by Al.
- Running Gag: The number 27note A reference to birthday of Al's mother, February 7, or 2/7, poodles, hamsters, spatulas, food, and TV.
- Also, a hatred of Prince, especially in his fake interviews.
- Runs with Scissors: The title and image art of his album "Running With Scissors."
- Sanity Slippage: Albuquerque follows a man who gradually loses his mind after escaping a Hilariously Abusive Childhood and being the sole survivor of a horrific plane crash, then killing about two people.
- Everything You Know is Wrong can be seen as one of these too (if you consider that all the things that happen to be inside his head, maybe after being horrifically injured in the car crash at the beginning)
- Saw "Star Wars" 27 Times: From "Cable TV,"
My friends are getting kinda worried,
They think I'm turning into some kind of freak.
Aw, but they're just jealous, 'cause I've seen Porky's,
Twenty-seven times this week.
- Scary Teeth: The subject of "Toothless People".
- Self-Backing Vocalist: A large amount of the time. Notable exceptions include female vocals, lines low enough to be sung by Steve Jay, and several songs such as "Trigger Happy" and "Don't Download This Song".
- "Since You've Been Gone" is a bunch of Weird Als singing a cappella (except for the bass line, which is Steve Jay).
- Self-Parody: Not Al himself, but his music video for "Mission Statement", which combines every meaningless business platitude under the sun into a Crosby, Stills & Nash pastiche, features whiteboard art from TruScribe, a company famous for laboriously illustrating similar lectures and advertisements on behalf of economic firms and the like.
- His parody "Foil" sounds like a return to Al's old food-themed parodies. At first.
- Serious Business: Going through the drive-thru is very serious and don't you dare forget the onions.
- Sesquipedalian Loquaciousness: "Mission Statement" is all about using all sorts of overly-sophisticated corporate buzzwords.
- Severely Specialized Store: "Spatula City".
- "Shaggy Dog" Story: "Albuquerque", running 11 minutes and 22 seconds long, starts out with his mother feeding him sauerkraut until he was 26 and 1/2 years old, when he won a first-class, one-way ticket to Albuquerque, where he survives a plane crash because he had his tray table up and his seat in the upright position, and he meets a hermaphrodite with one nostril who takes his snorkel, and before he seeks revenge on him, he goes to a donut shop and gets a box full of rabid weasels and later meets the girl of his dreams, only to break up with Zelda when she asks him to join the Columbia Record Club. He gets a job, meets a guy named Marty, and when he asks if he can help, Marty tells him "No, I just want you to cut off my arms and legs with a chainsaw", which he takes literally and cuts Marty's limbs off with a chainsaw, meets a guy who hasn't had a bite in three days, so he bites him on the jugular vein. Later on, near the end of the song, he says "Uh, well, uh, OK, Anyway I, I know it's kinda been a roundabout way of saying it But I guess the whole point I'm tryin' to make here is: I... HATE... SAUERKRAUT!"
- Shaped Like Itself:
- "That snorkel's been just like a snorkel to me!" Doubles as a Shout-Out to Cheech and Chong.
- From "Bob": "'Naomi', I moan, 'a Toyota's a Toyota'."
- Shave And A Hair Cut: Often appears near the end of the polka medleys.
- Shoulders of Doom: When performing "Dog Eat Dog", a style parody of Talking Heads, Al wears a suit with massive shoulderpads as a spoof of David Byrne's Iconic Outfit. He also wears it briefly in the "UHF" video.
- The cover for Even Worse is a parody of Michael Jackson's Bad, from the title to Al's outfit and pose.
- In "Eat It", Al even mentions Michael Jackson's "Beat It" in its lyrics:
Just eat it (eat it), eat it, (eat it)
Get yourself an egg and beat it
- These lines from "Amish Paradise":
There's no phone, no lights, no motorcar,
Not a single luxury!
Like Robinson Ca-rusoe,
It's as primitive as can be!
- According to Word of Al, "Slime Creatures from Outer Space" includes a line from an SCTV sketch and the vinyl of Dare to Be Stupid had "More Songs About TV and Food" etched into the inner groove.
- One of the last lines of "CNR" is "'Cause you can spit in the wind or tug on Superman's cape", a shout-out to the Jim Croce song "You Don't Mess Around with Jim".
- "Amish Paradise" also includes the line "But I ain't never punched a tourist even if he deserved it", a reference to the movie Witness, in which Harrison Ford is a police detective placed undercover in an Amish community to protect a murder witness and punches out a tourist who steals his hat.
- There is even a Shout-Out to Al out there. Chamillionaire's remix of "Ridin'" called "Ridin' Overseas" mentions "White And Nerdy". (1:59 in the linked video)
A year later, after "White And Nerdy",
On the grind, still tryin', still flyin' birdies.
Running With Scissors has two shout-outs to Monty Python. "The Truck Drivin' Song" is one to "The Lumberjack Song" (both are about a man in a masculine occupation who likes to dress in ladies' clothing) and "Albuquerque" has a donut shop that has no donuts (referencing the "Cheese Shop" sketch). Monty Python and the Holy Grail also gets a mention in "White and Nerdy," and is also referenced in "Trigger Happy" with the line "it was just a lousy flesh wound."
- To Frank Zappa's Weasels Ripped My Flesh in "Albuquerque", when the guy at the donut shop counter is all out of donuts, and has nothing left but a box of starving, crazed weasels:
So he hands me the box and I open up the lid and the weasels jump out
And they immediately latch onto my face and start bitin' me all over
(rabid gnawing sounds)
Oh man, they were just going nuts,
They were tearin' me apart
- As mentioned above, Shaped Like Itself line in "Albuquerque" is a reference to the Cheech and Chong song, "Basketball Jones."
- The gargling-while-singing and exaggerated gulping on "Smells Like Nirvana" are an homage to Spike Jones, to whom Al is something of a Spiritual Successor.
- His polka medleys are all tributes to Spike Jones, in that they're travesties of popular songs rather than parodies.
- "Horoscope" mentions "naked pictures of Ernest Borgnine", something first mentioned in George Carlin's "Stuff" routine.
- "Perform This Way" has a shout-out to Madonna's "Express Yourself", due to the perception of Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" being a Suspiciously Similar Song. The video even has a Madonna lookalike dressed in the style of her Blonde Ambition concert tour costume.
- At one point, the video for "Word Crimes" shows some doodles including Pac-Man and Trogdor.
- There's also visual references to Doge and the "Use your brains, morans!" picture.
- There's also a grammar exam for Mrs. Krabappel's class.
- At the point of the song for "literacy's your mission", there's a visual reference to Mission: Impossible.
- Plus the visual reference for Lost at the section "you're a lost cause".
- The computer virus described in Virus Alert is described to perform increasingly implausible unpleasant things to the life of everyone it comes in contact with, much like the Bad Times virus hoax.
- The song "Tacky" includes the line "If I'm bit by a zombie, prob'ly not telling you." In the video, Al accompanies this line with a dance move taken from Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video.
- One of the two handymen dancing in the backgrounds of the "Handy" music video wears Mario's red-overall-blue-dungarees combo.
- "Midnight Star" featured several headlines originally used in Weekly World News. In the liner notes to Permanent Record, it was noted that Al kept the article about "The Incredible Frog Boy" for a long time.
- "Trigger Happy": "I always keep a Magnum in my trunk/You better ask yourself, do you feel lucky, punk?"
- "Handy" has the line "I got 99 problems but a switch ain't one!"
- Shown Their Work: About the songs and artists he parodies.
- "Trigger Happy" and "Pancreas", his Beach Boys homages; the former song has elements of "Fun, Fun, Fun", "Catch A Wave", "No-Go Showboat", "Surfin USA", and "Little Deuce Coupe" in it; the latter has elements of "Our Prayer", "Do You Like Worms", "God Only Knows", "I Know There's An Answer", "Wind Chimes", "Heroes and Villains", and "Good Vibrations", all in one song.
- In live performances of "Skipper Dan", Al not only wears an authentic Jungle Cruise uniform but even uses the two-fingered style of pointing at things required of actual Disneyland cast members.
- Al actually walked around a clothing department store for hours taking careful notes on various fabrics and fashions as research for the lyrics to "King Of Suede."
- "White And Nerdy" is the most accurate depiction of a subject that, he, of course, didn't have to do any research for.
- "Jerry Springer", aside from the talking interlude in the bridge, is a note-for-note parody of Barenaked Ladies' "One Week".
- Sidekick Song: "Al's Band".
- Signed Up for the Dental: According to "Party In the CIA", they have a better dental plan than the FBI.
- Sitcom Archnemesis: Prince is a regular target in Al's works, as he was the only artist who consistently refused permission for any parodies of his songs, allegedly due to the Purple One having No Sense of Humornote Al once recieved a telegram from Prince's lawyers before the American Music Awards, demanding that he did not make eye contact with Prince. The antagonism is played for laughs by Al, and typically consists of throwaway song lyrics or quick jokes in interviews.
''You should never / Write words using numbers
Unless you're seven / Or your name is Prince."
—Lyrics for "Word Crimes"
- Following Prince's untimely death in 2016, Al took the high road, simply saying in a tweet that "the music world will miss his prolific genius."
- Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon: In "Lame Claim To Fame", with 6 degrees, no less.
I know a guy who knows a guy
Who knows a guy who knows a guy
Who knows a guy who knows Kevin Bacon.
- Al's own Bacon Number is 2. David Bowe was in UHF with Al, and also in A Few Good Men with Bacon.
- Slasher Movie: The genre's tropes are mocked in "Nature Trail To Hell," on his second album.
- Small Name, Big Ego: “Waffle King” is actually a downplayed example since the Waffle King does seem to be a truly successful chef/businessman. But his ego is way out of control.
“Don’t you know who I am? You’ve gotta be kidding me! I’m the Waffle King!”
- Small Reference Pools: In addition to the part about parody musicians, there are a number of people to this day (as evidenced by the comments left on videos on) that don't realize that about half of Al's output has been original songs, due to his biggest hits all being parodies.
- Something Blues: "Buckingham Blues" and "Generic Blues".
- Something Completely Different: Most of his songs are parody versions of well-known pop/rock songs, or silly polka pieces. "Albuquerque" is a ridiculously long combination of song and spoken-word story; it's completely original and thoroughly absurd even by Al's standards.
- Something Something Leonard Bernstein: "Smells Like Nirvana" is all about how hard the lyrics of "Smells Like Teen Spirit" are to decipher. The only lyrics that match the original's are "never mind" in the final verse.
- Song Parody: Along with Allan Sherman, he is easily the world's best-known and most successful performer of such songs.
- Sophisticated as Hell: "Sports Song" is a reimagining of the classic college fight song, except with lyrics that directly insult the opposing team. After giving a number of different wordy explanations of how much better the home team is than the visitors, it sums up the argument by repeating "We're great, and you suck!" Several times.
Oh, and if somehow we are still failing
To effectively articulate the points at hand
Allow us now to summarize them in a manner
That your feeble brains can understand
We’re great (We're great!)
And you suck (You suck!)
We're great (We're great!)
And you suck (You suck!) [etc.]
- Sound-Effect Bleep: Al's rendition of "Closer" during "The Alternative Polka":
I want to (POINK!) you like an animal!
I want to feel you from the inside!
I want to (CLANG!) you like an animal!
- Special Effect Failure:invoked Done deliberately in several videos (for example, during the second chorus in "Jurassic Park").
- Spell My Name with an "S": He doesn't like it when people pronounce his last name "Yank-o-VITCH" (or spell it with an 'H'). His band elaborates in "Al's Band".
- Spelling Song:
A! A! L! L! B! B! U! U!
- Spiritual Successor
Face to Face with "Weird Al" Yankovic, a Web Original which sees Al "interviewing" celebrities, is this to Al TV.
- "Handy" is this to "Hardware Store". And more directly to the unreleased "I'll Repair For You".
- The polka medleys are all in the style of Spike Jones's "travesties" (ie, play the lyrics straight, make the music goofy).
- Spoofed with Their Own Words: Weird Al usually thinks up silly imagery to put into his song parodies, but in "Perform this Way," most of the lyrics mention things Lady Gaga has actually done, like being born out of an egg on stage.
- Stalker with a Crush: "Melanie". Complete with peeping into her bathroom with a telescope and being willing to jump out a 16 story window for her love. Even being dead cannot stop him.
- Stealth Parody: "Foil" is not just a parody of "Royals," it's also a Self-Parody of Al's food-themed parodies.
- Stealth Pun: "Polka Face" uses a section of Frankie Yankovic's "Tick Tock Polka" as a bridge. The next song in the medley? Tik Tok.
- At the end of "Polka Power" Weird Al segues from the song "Closing Time" to a line, "bring us home!" In music, this refers to wrapping up the song, which is what happens next.
- Stepford Smiler: At the end of the "Skipper Dan" animated music video, the title character, a miserable washed-up actor working the Adventure Land Jungle Cruise ride, forces a smile while posing for a photo with the family.
- Stock Scream:
- There's a portion of "Jurassic Park" that involves a lot of screaming, mainly stock screams.
- During the "Perform This Way" video, after the line, "I'll poke your eye out with a dress like this." S/he hits a backup dancer with the spiky dress and, well... "AAUGH!"
- Stop and Go: "Nature Trail To Hell" has no less than four false endings. When it finally does end, it does so with a ludicrously sustained piano chord.
- Stuff Blowing Up: The end of the "Smells Like Nirvana has Al depressing a box plunger, which immediately triggers a building to collapse for no apparent reason.
- Stylistic Suck: "Girls Just Want To Have Lunch". See Writer Revolt for details.
- Subliminal Seduction: Parodied (of course) in the backmasked phrases in the songs "Nature Trail to Hell" and "I Remember Larry (Respectively: "Satan eats Cheez Whiz!" and "Wow, you must have an awful lot of free time on your hands.")
- The video for "Foil" intercuts the line "Be aware" with single frame shots of Al covered in blood.
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Al does this a couple of times to get around cursing, like in this couplet from "I'm So Sick Of You":
You don't have an ounce of class
You're just one big pain in the neck!
- Also "(This Song's Just) Six Words Long":
I know if I put my mind to it
I know I could find a good rhyme here note Probably a rip on the parodied song rhyming the word "it" with ..."it."
- From "It's Still Billy Joel to me"
It's a big hit,
even if it's a piece of junk!
- Used for a different purpose in "Word Crimes":
You should never
Write words using numbers
Unless you're seven
Or your name is Prince
- Take That!:
- "One More Minute" was written to get over an ex, and he rips her picture in the video.
- 'I'll Be Mellow When I'm Dead" is a Take That! aimed at yuppies, hippies, and health food fads from the 1970s.
- He does a lengthy one against Atlantic Records over his James Blunt parody "You're Pitiful," which eventually led to Wikipedia being forced to lock Atlantic's entry due to excessive vandalism. (Which was caused by Al pretending to deface that entry in his video for "White and Nerdy".)
- "Don't Download This Song", mentioned above.
- There's also the unreleased "It's Still Billy Joel to Me" (parody of "It's Still Rock and Roll to Me"), which is no more than one long attack on Billy Joel.
- Al generally tries to avoid blatantly making fun an artist who has given him permission to parody their work, but sometimes he does his fair share of good-natured ribbing, example include the above mentioned "It's Still Billy Joel to Me," "Smells Like Nirvana," and "Perform This Way."
- "Brady Bunch" and "Achy Breaky Song" are thematically similar, in that Al would rather do literally anything than watch/listen to the aforementioned subjects (The Brady Bunch and "Achy Breaky Heart", respectively). In the case of the latter, Al chose to donate the single's grosses to a charity of Billy Ray Cyrus' choice after deciding the song was on the harsh side.
- "My Baby's In Love With Eddie Vedder" is more sarcastic than harsh, and Al even apologizes in the liner notes.
- "Canadian Idiot," naturally.
Sure they've got their national healthcare
Cheaper meds, low crime rates, and clean air
Then again, well, they've got Céline Dion
- "I'll Sue Ya" is about Al's string of frivolous lawsuits. "I sued Delta Airlines, 'cause they sold me a ticket to New Jersey. I went there, and it SUCKED!"
- When he comes to Ben Affleck, there's silence in the spot where normally he gives the reason for the lawsuit. Finally he just asks "do I even need a reason?"
- Al rags on Pauly Shore every once in a while.
- Apparently, even if you're "the prettiest girl on the planet", he'll break up with you if you own a DVD of Joe Dirt.
- Usually, his Al TV fake interviews with music celebrities are Affectionate Parodies with just some light ribbing. His Kevin Federline interview, however, is nine straight minutes of him genuinely calling the man a terrible musician and a worthless human being.
- "TMZ" calls out both the website and the entitled celebrity behavior that ends up on it.
- The virus described in "Virus Alert" will have a myriad of negative things happen to you if you get infected, two such things being that it will "make your TV record Gigli" and "make your iPod only play Jethro Tull".
- There's a brief, easily missable one towards Alanis Morissette in "Word Crimes", specifically her song "Ironic". Just pay attention to the animation on screen when Al is talking about what irony is and isn't.
- He was also more than happy to break the rhyming scheme just to take a shot at Prince, mentioned in the Sitcom Archnemesis entry above.
- "Word Crimes" itself is arguably a big one against both bad writers and Grammar Nazis.
- The music video for the mid-80's "Christmas at Ground Zero", made up almost entirely of appropriated stock footage, has a young Ronald Reagan standing in front of a Christmas tree and warmly saying, "Well, the big day's only a few hours away now... I'm sure you're all looking forward to it as much as we are." Jeez.
- "If That Isn't Love" has Al still attached to his lover even after she forced him to see Mamma Mia!.
- The video for "Jurassic Park" has the line "I'm afraid those things'll harm me/Cuz they sure don't act like Barney" accompanied by Barney's head getting bitten off by a real t-rex. When shown at his concerts, the crowd regularly responds with thunderous applause.
A huge Tyrannosaurus ate our lawyer
Well, I suppose that proves
They're really not all bad...
- Talking with Signs: Al does a "woo" with a sign near the latter end of the video for "Fat".
- Technology Marches On: Invoked.
- An In-Universe example in "First World Problems", where the singer becomes angered that somebody actually called him on his cell phone, as texting has become the norm in recent years, and barely anyone actually uses their phone to make phone calls anymore.
- "Frank's 2000-Inch TV" is deliberately meant to sound ridiculous— that set would be some 166 feet high, or as tall as Seattle's Pacific Tower building. Technology likely won't march that far.
- Teen Genius: Al was one growing up, not only graduating high school at the age of sixteen, but was also valedictorian.
- Terrible Pick-Up Lines: Invoked in "Wanna B Ur Lovr". The song consists of nothing but cheesy pick-up lines, like "Girl, you smell like Fritos- that's why I'm giving you this hungry stare".
- The Oner: The "Tacky" music video. Which is an Homage to the song it's parodying, Pharrell's "Happy", as most of the segments of his "24 Hours of Happy" are Oners.
- The Show Must Go On: Al went ahead with a concert just hours after learning his parents had passed away in their home from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, explaining later that performing would take his mind off the tragedy, at least for a little while. However, he did cancel the meet-and-greet and autograph sessions afterwards, to give him some time alone.
- Tinfoil Hat: The second verse of "Foil" focuses around fashioning an aluminum foil hat to protect himself against thought control rays and psychotronic scanning.
- Title-Only Chorus: "Why Does This Always Happen to Me" and "First World Problems".
- Title Track: "Dare To Be Stupid" and "Polka Party".
- Toilet Humor: Many songs, especially in early albums, have gratuitous fart or belching noises added. In some cases this is done to provide an alternate interpretation for the lyrics.
- Toilet Seat Divorce: Apparently the Columbia Record Club is too big of a commitment for Al.
- Tomato Surprise: A minor one in "Jackson Park Express". The woman on the bus is assumed to have no anomalous features, and more than halfway into the (9-minute) song:
And I'm pretty sure she looked at me out of the corner [beat] of her good eye.
- Too Much Information: The other major component of the humor in "Confessions Pt. III".
I haven't changed my underwear in 27 days!
- Trash of the Titans: "Trash Day" is about this.
- Trekkie: "White and Nerdy":
''The only question I ever thought was hard
Was, do I like Kirk or do I like Picard?
- Trivially Obvious: Used in "Your Horoscope for Today" to parody the overly-vague predictions of actual horoscopes.
The stars predict tomorrow you'll wake up, do a bunch of stuff, and then go back to sleep.
- Turn Your Head and Cough: In the song "Living With A Hernia," the narrator goes to see his physician, Dr. Jones, who we are told takes off the narrator's pants and tells him to cough.
- Triple Nipple: "CNR" claims that Charles Nelson Reilly had a third nipple on the back of his neck.
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: Appropriately used in "Truck Driving Song". Lampshaded in "I Need a Nap":
- Also occurs in some of his parody songs, but those were based on songs that also had one.
- Umpteenth Customer: From "Hardware Store:
"Every twenty-seventh customer will get a ball peen hammer free!"
- Uncanny Valley:invoked Weird Al's Perform This Way, as his face is digitally subbed over a female dancer. The effect is seriously creepy in a hilarious sort of way, which is certainly intentional, considering who he's parodying.
- Uncommon Time:
- "Genius in France" shifts time signatures and rhythms incessantly, naturally enough since it's a style parody of Frank Zappa (and quite an impressive one at that).
- "Jackson Park Express" has sections in 7/4, and the rare song "Al's Band" (sung by said backing band) is entirely in 7/4 and 7/2.
- This bit of "A Complicated Song":
I gotta tell ya, life without a head kinda makes me irritated
What a bummer
I cannot approve of this attraction, 'cause getting disemboweled always makes me kinda mad.
Well now I'm being chased by some irate Velociraptors, and believe me, this has been one lousy day.
- Uniformity Exception: In the video for "Party in the CIA", all the CIA agents are in black and white, except for Al.
- Unlimited Wardrobe: Al's live shows feature numerous costume changes to fit with the songs, like the yellow jumpsuits for "Dare To Be Stupid", wacky outfits for "Perform This Way", fat suit for "Fat", tacky clothes for "Tacky", and so on, with the band usually changing along with him. During the costume changes, video clips are played, generally one of Al's celebrity interviews, one of his numerous cameo appearances, or even clips from UHF and The Weird Al Show.
- Unsportsmanlike Gloating: "Sports Song" is essentially one long, preemptive parade of this, put into song.
- Useless Spleen: "Pancreas" has the line "My spleen just doesn't matter."
- Viewers Are Morons: "I Can't Watch This", and some of the other songs about TV to a lesser extent.
- Vocal Evolution: On his earlier albums, he tended to sing in a nasal shout more often than not. His voice gradually became more mature and toned-down over time without completely losing the "silly" edge.
- Wacky Sound Effect: Present in a few songs, but most noticeable in the video for "Eat It". Later, Al notices the odd sounds his gestures make and shrugs them off.
- Hand farts courtesy of "Musical Mike" Kieffer are common, and he can be seen performing in the videos for "I Love Rocky Road" and "Headline News".
- Wham Line: "Foil" sounds like Al's usual food parody song until the second verse, when Al reveals it is a Self-Parody.
"By the way, I cracked the code"
- What Happened to the Mouse?: We never do find out if Al got his snorkel back or not in "Albuquerque" or what happened to the hermaphrodite male with one nostril whom Al swore revenge against and forgot about when he went into the donut shop.
- Subverted in the uncensored version of "The Night Santa Went Crazy" (in which Santa is killed in the shootout), no mention is made of Vixen and Donner's fates, except that Vixen's in therapy and Donner's still nervous.
- When I Was Your Age...: The subject of the song of the same name, full of ridiculous claims such as working twenty hours a day in a coal mine, or walking naked to school through a blizzard.
- Who You Gonna Call?: "Slime creatures!"
- Wiki Vandal: In-Universe, he pretends to replace the entire Atlantic Records Wikipedia entry with the phrase "YOU SUCK!" in 72-point letters during the video of "White And Nerdy."
- As mentioned above, the real Wikipedia entry for Atlantic Records had to be locked because of legions of ticked-off Al fans doing the same thing.
- Word Salad Lyrics: If an artist is known for obscure lyrics, you can bet Al will have something to say about it in his parody. Notably, "Bob" parodies Bob Dylan's style by having Fun with Palindromes, and "Smells Like Nirvana" is all about how the singer doesn't even know what the words are but that's OK since it's a Nirvana song.
- Would Hurt a Child: Implied by the homicidal maniac in "Nature Trail to Hell".
- Yes, Virginia: Now Santa's Doing Time. In a Federal prison, for his infamous crime.
- Or... Yes, Virginia: Now Santa Claus Is Dead. Some guy from the SWAT team blew a hole through his head.
- Yiddish as a Second Language: "Pretty Fly For A Rabbi," among others.
He's doin' well, I gotta kvell; The yentas love him, even shiksas think he's swell!Translation I gotta be delighted; The gossips love him, even non-Jewish women think he's swell!
- You Don't Look Like You: Al looks almost nothing like the above image nowadays, thanks to laser eye surgery and an image change. Some early videos ("Ricky", "UHF") foreshadowed his modern appearance.
- Al himself has relayed a story of a television appearance he had soon after the surgery and shaving off his moustache (The Drew Carey Show, season 4 episode 4, "Drew Between the Rock and a Hard Place"). The people at the TV studio wanted him in his "classic" look, and got him prop eyeglasses and a fake moustache. Al described the experience as surreal, "like I was wearing a Weird Al Halloween costume". See it here.
- Averted, however, with an appearance on How I Met Your Mother — the segment Al appears in takes place in 1985, and he looks almost exactly like he did in those days.
- You Put the "X" in "XY": "Jerry Springer" has this:
Jerry's the king of confrontation;
He's a sensation!
He puts the "sin" in "syndication"!
- Your Head Asplode: Al's head explodes while holding out the last note to the opening theme of Spy Hard, a Shout-Out to the rumor that Tom Jones passed out while holding the last note of the opening theme of Thunderball.
- Your Mime Makes It Real: In "My Own Eyes", one of the many things the singer wishes he could unsee is a mime being hacked to death with an imaginary cleaver.
- You Watch Too Much X: Al has described himself as watching too much television. Also the focus of a few songs, like "Cable TV".
- Al has a song about television on nearly every album. Enough for his label to compile them into a full-length album of its own.
- Hell, the song "Jerry Springer" is basically all about this trope.
- So is "Couch Potato", probably even more so.
- And "Syndicated Incorporated".
- Don't forget "I Can't Watch This".