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Sometimes, someone is singing or playing a musical instrument or a drum -- not to be malicious or anything -- and he just WILL. NOT. SHUT. UP., until it finally makes another character yell for him to stop or just start screaming insanely, or lash out in some way. It doesn't necessarily have to be bad music (though it often is), it's just that it's incessant (or sometimes just in a style the hearer just can't stand to hear) and goes beyond the hearer's point of enduring, and to him it becomes like Nails on a Blackboard and he just wants it to end. The "madness" is usually figurative and temporary, but can occasionally be literal and permanent.

Related to Big "Shut Up!", which is often the outcome. Also related to Dreadful Musician. Can be related to It Won't Turn Off. Could be a case of The Thing That Would Not Leave if this happens inside a person's house. Compare Brown Note, which is a related trope. (The difference? This trope is when the music is not harmful itself but irritates you to madness; Brown Note is when the music is inherently harmful.) Also compare Loud of War, which is this trope done maliciously. Also compare Hell Is That Noise. Not to be confused with Ear Worm. Make it so only one character (or a few) can hear the music, and it becomes a form of Terrible Ticking.

Examples of Incessant Music Madness include:


  • In the Cheetos commercial "Piano", a girl and Chester the Cheetos cheetah are repeatedly playing just the beginning of the tune "Chopsticks" over and over. Finally, a guy in the foreground has had enough and says, "Don't you two know anything else?" The girl and Chester look annoyed, then start playing it again -- one octave higher.

Anime and Manga

  • In Darker Than Black, Hei's downstairs neighbors practice for their band into the wee hours of nonstop. Averted, in that this never bothered him, either due to his zen-like calm, or the fact that he's generally never home. Un-averted, when he has Kenji Sakurai as a guest, and he complains about the noise.

Comic Books

  • Cacofonix, the Bard from Asterix qualifies, so much so that this talent is often weaponized.
  • The Donald comic Drie Konigen has Donald chased by a The March of the Three Kings, wherever he goes.


  • Brave Sir Robin's Minstrels in Monty Python and The Holy Grail. (Though that probably has more to do with the lyrics than the quality of their singing).
  • Animal House. At the toga party, some guy is playing a guitar and singing when Bluto happens by. After listening to the singing for a while, Bluto takes the guitar away from the guy and smashes it to pieces against a wall. Watch it here.
  • It's a Wonderful Life: When George returns home after discovering that Billy misplaced the deposit money, he begins to mentally unravel while Janie can be heard practicing Hark the Herald Angels Sing on the piano. Eventually, he snaps and shouts, "Haven't you learned that silly tune yet? You've been playing it over and over! Now stop it! Stop it!!"
  • Who Framed Roger Rabbit?: the director is arguing with Roger after he blows his lines when he finally shouts, "Can we lose the playback please!?"
  • Cheech and Chong 's Next Movie features a stoned Chong pretending to be Jimi Hendrix...with his guitar hooked to a big amplifier. The entire neighborhood quickly knows he's playing, and even Cheech has trouble getting inside to stop him; the sound blasts keep slamming the front door in Cheech's face.
  • The villain in The Driller Killer was driven homicidally insane partly due to his wannabe rock star neighbors never shutting up.
  • In the Australian indie film Samson and Delilah, the main character's brother is in a band. As they are living on an Aboriginal compound in the middle of the bush, they pretty much don't do anything but play music all day, right outside Samson's bedroom, and throughout the movie every time we hear them play it is the exact same song. Mid-way through the movie, Samson gets so sick of listening to it that he attacks them, smashing their instruments.
  • In The Smurfs, Patrick Winslow is driven crazy by the Smurfs constantly singing their theme tune.
  • In Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome, some of the kids have run off. The other kids are showing Max which direction they went, and are chanting a lament in the background. Eventually, Max yells, "Stop the noise, STOP THE NOISE!"
  • In Robin Hood: Men in Tights, Prince John calls for the knights to stop Robin and his men. About 50 men in suits of armor start marching into the room from all sides, the clanging of their armor getting louder and louder and louder. After several minutes of this, Prince John, who has taken refuge under a table and is holding his ears, says, "I hope this is worth THE NOISE!!!"
  • In Rocket Man, the hero and his rival for the astronaut position are both placed in isolation chambers for psychological testing. However, the two chambers aren't isolated enough, so the test subjects can hear each other. The hero passes the time by singing "John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt" for several hours, pushing the other guy to the brink.
  • This short film gives a whole new meaning to "organ grinder". You'll never hear Ah! Le Petit Vin Blanc the same again.
  • In Ghost, Sam convinces Oda Mae to help him after serenading her all night with an enthusiastic rendition of "I'm Henry the Eighth I Am". (Molly claims this is also how he convinced her to go out with him.)
  • In the Apocalypse film series movie Revelation, the song "Amazing Grace" that is sung by the Haters being incinerated becomes a choir song and is made to look as if the two One Nation Earth converts Willy Spino and Cindy Bolton are getting sick of hearing it.


  • A tourist visiting deepest Africa becomes ever more maddened by the incessant sound of native drums, about which the natives will only ever say, "Very bad when drumming stops!" About to completely lose it, he finally forces one of them to tell him what happens when the drumming stops. The native replies: "Bass solo."


  • Not playing an instrument exactly, but in Songs of the Humpback Whale by Jodi Picoult, one of the main characters is a scientist who studies, well, whale songs. For a while he plays recordings of them at home all the time, until he catches his wife attacking the stereo with a knife because she can't stand to listen to them anymore.
  • "Hail Carpathia" becomes musical torture for Chloe Williams when she is held in custody by the Global Community in the Left Behind book Armageddon. She counters this somewhat by singing "Fail Carpathia".

Live Action TV

  • In the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode "Qpid", Q turned the bridge crew into Robin Hood and his merry men. Geordie became the Alan a-Dale analog, and kept plucking annoyingly at a lute. Finally Worf had had enough, walked up, snatched the lute and smashed it against a tree (in an homage to the Animal House example above).
  • Monty Python's Flying Circus, the Cheese Shop sketch. When John Cleese's character enters, there are some guys playing Greek music and dancing. After several minutes of the annoying music in the background, he turns around and yells, "Will you shut that bloody dancing up!" and they stop playing.
    • Also happens in the Spam sketch.
  • One CSI case involved a garotted musician. Turned out he was killed by an angry neighbour who couldn't stand the noise.
  • In the Mash episode "The Smell of Music", Winchester's French horn aggravates BJ and Hawkeye such that they refuse to bathe until he gives it up.
  • Norton often did this in The Honeymooners, prompting Ralph to finally yell at him to stop.
  • In season 7 of Curb Your Enthusiasm, Sammy sings in the shower as Larry's trying to sleep, prompting an extremely agitated outburst. 'SHUT THE FUCK UP!'
    • Cheri Oteri's appearance on Curb Your Enthusiasm was as a mentally unstable nanny who was driven mad by constantly hearing the Looney Tunes theme while working at an amusement park. She sings it constantly and it drives her into a murderous rage.
  • "The Song That Never Ends" from Lamb Chop's Play Along drives Shari Lewis mad.
  • In the BBC comedy show, Not the Nine O'Clock News, Gryff-Rhys Jones played a colonial planter, driven to drink by the noise of the jungle, who staggers drunkenly onto the verandah and demands, "Will you shut up! Will this damn noise never end!" The camera pans back, revealing that what we have taken to be the chittering of night insect noise is really 30 or 40 natives, each of whom is playing with a Rubik's Cube...
  • In Modern Family, Jay gives Gloria a karaoke machine, and she keeps singing off key, to Jay's dismay. He keeps trying to break it to her gently, but in the end it's Manny who snaps and yells at her to stop. In The Stinger, Jay tries out the karaoke machine, but Manny pulls the plug and warns Jay, "This won't be the last plug I pull".
  • As one of the final challenges in the second season of The Mole, the players had to spend the whole night in different hotel rooms suited to their own fears/annoyances. One player was stuck in a room where "Tiny Bubbles" played the entire time. Sometimes half speed, sometimes double speed, sometimes backwards...


Web Comic

Web Original

  • During Proton Jon's Let's Play of Super Kaizo World, he hears the "Time's Running Out" alarm so many times after reloading save states at the very beginning of the level that he eventually pleads for it to stop. He later adds, "I'm not sleeping tonight, guys. This is my nightmare sound."
  • In "The Tiki Room", The League of STEAM deals with a tiki idol that emits a drumming sound and Will. Not. Shut. Up. Fortunately no one actually goes mad, but it does make it difficult to conduct an interrogation.

Western Animation

  • The Bugs Bunny cartoon "Long-Haired Hare" begins with Bugs playing various instruments (a banjo, a harp and a tuba) and singing while an opera singer is trying to rehearse, leading the opera singer to smash Bugs' instruments and beat him up.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants, episode "Jellyfish Jam". SpongeBob and a jellyfish keep Squidward up all night playing loud music. When more jellyfish show up and play the music even louder, Squidward has had enough and counterattacks by playing his clarinet. This angers the jellyfish, and when SpongeBob's pleas to stop result in Squidward playing even louder, the jellyfish goes over to Squidward's and stings him.
  • In early seasons of The Simpsons, one of Homer's catch phrases was "Will you cut out that infernal racket?!" directed at Lisa rehearsing her sax. In the episode where he thinks he's dying from having poisonous sushi, he goes to her room as she's playing. "Hi, Dad. Want me to cut out this infernal racket?"
  • In an episode of The Flintstones, Fred and Wilma find the perfect maid/cook, and everybody's happy--except that Fred keeps singing (badly) an inane song he made up. The hired help finally quits.

 Fred: Oh, Lola Brigada/Your food I dig-ada!

  • On Arthur, Arthur's little sister, DW, likes the song "Crazy Bus", which drives Arthur crazy. Everyone else his age enjoys it too, but not as incessantly as DW.
  • Histeria! had a Civil War skit accompanied by violin music - eventually the soldier started complaining about the music and wound up eating his own head so he wouldn't have to hear it (Played for Laughs).
  • On Invader Zim, as Zim flies to Earth, GIR decides to sing the "Doom Song" on the way... for six months straight. Zim is just about to lose it when they finally arrive.
  • In the Aqua Teen Hunger Force episode, "Multiple Meats", Shake splits Meatwad into several dozen pieces - each of which survives and becomes a mini-Meatwad. Frylock gets them to sing "Three Billion Bottles of Beer on the Wall" (and then leaves), driving Shake insane and causing him to cut his (non-existent) ears off and eventually commit suicide.

Real Life

  • Bagpipes, for many. (They were used by armies for just that reason, another example of this trope being weaponized.)
  • Yodeling, for many. (Also weaponized in Mars Attacks (Film), but for the Martians it was more of a Brown Note.)
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