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And a song I was writing is left undone

I don't know why I spend my time

Writing songs I can't believe

With words that tear and strain to rhyme
Simon and Garfunkel, "Kathy's Song"

Berty: I meant the fact that it rhymes, Jeeves. "Sweden." "Needin'."

Jeeves: Almost, sir.

Aaron: Don't talk about love

Or you'll have to say,

"Fits like a glove" or

"As certain as push comes to shove,

You will pine for the person

You're constantly thinking of."
Curtains, "I Miss the Music"

A Music Trope. It's when you hear a rhyme in a song, or read it in a poem, and you're compelled to cringe at how painfully it's forced in. Maybe the sentence was rearranged into grammatical nonsense to accommodate it, or the rhythm was broken, or maybe it verges on nonsensical. Maybe words had to be intentionally mispronounced to make it rhyme, or an unlikely metaphor invented. In any case, they were really better off not bothering to make it rhyme. Bonus points if it doesn't even quite rhyme, or if they're just repeating rather than rhyming. It's common for amateur poets to do this, since they often rigidly adhere to an "ABAB" rhyme scheme, forcing them to twist their verse into grotesque contortions.

This is at least partially the fault of the English language itself, as it's generally harder to find rhymes in it than other languages. Also, sometimes the difference between accents may make a rhyme painful in America that isn't in Britain or Australia, and vice versa.

Now, Your Mileage May Vary, so when editing be wary, 'cause the words that make you cringe, all the rhymes you'd like to singe, might just be another troper's favorite lyric (possibly because it's so dreadful) - watch out, tropers!

Here is a list of technical names for rhymes that may cause this trope (They're all legitimate, mind you.):

  • oblique: a rhyme with an imperfect match in sound. (one/thumb)
  • assonance: matching vowels. (shake/hate)
  • consonance: matching consonants. (rabies/robbers)
  • half rhyme: matching final consonants. (bent/ant)
  • identity: rhyming a sound with itself or a homophone. (foul/fowl, grace/disgrace)

A common source of Painful Rhymes is the Stock Rhyme, such as girl/world, which is painful primarily because it's overused.

Sublime Rhyme is not the opposite of this trope, so don't get confused.

Examples of Painful Rhyme include:


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    • That was its jingle for a while, but when it decided to get a new one that focuses on serving its customers online, General still couldn't fix it's rhyming problems

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  • The Puffs tissue commercials. They'll try to make it all rhyme, and then one line (typically at the end) will be jarring as it won't rhyme and will have a completely different rhythm/metre than the others, because they suddenly realise they have to cram a lot of information into only one line of verse.


Comic Books

  • Lampshaded in Fables: Frau Totenkinder's spell/Takes a normal message and turns it into doggerel.
  • Etrigan The Demon, in The DC Universe, traditionally speaks in rhyme. Under a skilled writer, such as Alan Moore (who set the rule that The Demon must speak in Gratuitous Iambic Pentameter), his speech is great, even lyrical at times. Under not-so-skilled writers... it's this trope.
    • In Spanish translations at Editorial Vid/Novaro (Latin America) and Zinco (Spain) it is ALWAYS this trope.
  • Who can forget the rather painful first "boss battle" in the first Scott Pilgrim comic book, where almost everything a character says rhymes?


Film

  • Irreconcilable Differences has Ryan O'Neal's character directing a hilariously awful musical version of Gone with the Wind, with his girlfriend and "actress" (Sharon Stone) playing Scarlett and singing lines like:

 This Civil War ain't gonna get me down

I'm taking my act to a brand new town

This belle rings in Old Atlanta

I'm gonna find myself a brand new Santa!

  • In Monty Python and The Holy Grail, there's the Knights of the Round Table, whose "shows are for-mid-able, but many times we're given rhymes that are quite un-sing-able".
  • The Wizard of Oz: the brilliant Yip Harburg makes this part of the film's whimsical style, via Refuge in Audacity. The Cowardly Lion in particular carries many of them:
    • From "If I Only Had The Nerve":

 I could demonstrate my prowess,

Be a lion, not a mow-ess (i.e. "mouse").

    • "The King Of The Forest" manages to rhyme "brontosaurus" with "king o' the fores'", "hippopotamus" with "top to bottom-us" and "elephant" with "cellophant".


Literature

 "It's certainly heartfelt", she said. "Can you really rhyme 'bloomed' with 'ruined?'"

 "Yellow" by Kathy

I really don't feel well, oh.

I don't know who to tell, oh.

I'm sick and I smell, oh.

My barf is yellow.

 "Red" by Joe

The fire truck is red!

It hurried!

The siren wailed!

The building burned!

The firemen saved

the baby who screamed.

    • To be fair, it was shown that he hadn't quite grasped the idea of how to rhyme and that he took Mrs Jewls 'Look for words that end in ed' suggestion a little too literally.
  • A passage from the English translation of Tove Jansson's Comet In Moominland:

 Then Snufkin said: "You could write a poem about this. What about:

Floating on this eerie water

Far away from bricks and mortar."

"Saw a mermaid-- didn't caught her", suggested Sniff, blowing his nose.

"That's not true, not grammar, and it doesn't even rhyme properly", said Snufkin, and the subject dropped.

  • In the PG Wodehouse book Uncle Fred in the Springtime the Duke has a particular hatred for the song The Bonnie Banks o' Loch Lomond because it attempts to rhyme "again" with "Lomond" and he plans to toss eggs at the gardener who keeps whistling it under his window.
  • In Wolves of the Calla, fifth in The Dark Tower series, "The Rice Song" is essentially made of this. King describes some of the rhymes in it as "rape rhymes" (one can only hope this is a technical term), "words that didn't rhyme at all but were forced to for a moment within the borders of the song". The words Eddie can make out follow:

 Come-come-commala

Rice come a-falla

I-sissa 'ay a-bralla

Dey come a-folla

Down come a-rivva

Or-i-za we kivva

Rice be a green-o

See all we seen-o

Seen-o the green-o

Come-come-commala!

 Come-come-commala

Rice come a-falla

Deep inna walla

Grass come-commala

Under the sky-o

Grass green n high-o

Girl n her fella

Lie down togetha

They slippy 'ay slide-o

Under 'ay sky-o

Come-come-commalla

Rice come a-falla!

  • In Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell Strange's attempt to become a poet was derailed when, while writing his first poem, he failed to find an appropriate rhyme for "let love suffice"; coming up with "sunk in vice", "what's the price?", and "a pair of mice" he went for a ride to clear his head, then never looked at the poem again.
  • In The Name of the Wind, the main character mocks someone by pointing out how godawful it is. Many times. With FEELING.
    • And to be fair, he should know, because there are a number of times where he breaks into rhymed verse in the middle of a conversation, though one was with a member of the Fae and the other was probably intentional.
  • Lampshaded in the Illuminatus-trilogy when it is revealed that dolphins are masterful poets; unfortunately as advanced as Hagbard Celine's supercomputer FUCKUP is, the best it can manage in translating their language belongs to this trope.
  • Some older works can sound this way, depending on the time period. The Canterbury Tales contain several instances (typically at least one per page) of rhymes that worked back in the fourteenth century with a British accent, but not in Modern English.


Live-Action TV

 I know... his... journey ends never

His star trek... will... go on forever

 Star Trekkin' across the universe/ On the starship Enterprise under Captain Kirk.

 I whistled for a cab and when it came near

The license plate said "FRESH" and there was dice in the mi'r.

    • Several black dialects actually DO pronounce the word "mirror" shortened as "meer".
  • Red Dwarf plays the trope for laughs with Rimmer's Villain Song (each chorus line ends with 'Rimmer' or something which rhymes). The deleted final verse discusses how they've almost run out of rhymes to use.
    • Also Lister is writing a song about Kochanski, but the only rhyming word he can think of is Underpantski!
  • Played for humor as the entire basis of Hugh Laurie's "Mystery", as performed on A Bit of Fry and Laurie:

 Estuary

I live in a houseboat on an estuary

Which is handy for my work with the Thames Water Authority

But I know you would have found it insanitary

 Mike: My mother and pop, they disapprove

But no one can stop us, 'cause it's true loove.

Bots: Huh? "Loove"?

Mike: Well, I had to rhyme the two words.

 I hear that train comin', comin' round the hill.

I hope that is my train - I better check my schedule.

Oops, that was the train to Appleton, but it's going to Circle Pines.

And I've got about twenty minutes to kill;

It's a good thing I brought some magazines (pronounced with an "eye" sound).

  • On Survivor, the rhyming "tree-mails" announcing challenges are always chock full of forced rhymes and awful meter. You'd think after twenty seasons, the mail-writers would get pretty good at it, but apparently not.
  • The song What Kind of God from the second episode of Mongrels contains this gem that must be a parody:

 Kali: Who brings toddlers to weddings?

God: I shall smite them!

Kali: Wasps?

God: Oh, why did I cre-ite them?

 A polkameister like myself never has to be bored

I just grab my axe and play some patterns on my keyboard

    • Not that this stopped him from using the same rhyme in "White and Nerdy".
  • There's Robin Sparkles' hit single, Let's Go to the Mall, with lines that only rhyme in Canadian:

 Come on Jessica, come on Tori,

Let's go to the mall, you won't be sorry!

Put on your jelly bracelet and your cool graffiti coat

At the mall, having fun is what it's all about!

  • The full version of the theme song to Mighty Morphin Power Rangers somehow managed to rhyme "hands" with "defence".
  • Due to the fact that the songs are all improvised, this happens a lot on Whose Line Is It Anyway?. One hilarious example was during a "Greatest Hits" game about doctors. Chip's attempt to fit a rhyme by cramming it in with a lengthy, rhythm-shattering sentence is so bad it causes Wayne to completely lose it:

 Your headache's as big as the nation,

That's why I'm writing this prescription.

And I am just gonna give you these pills

So you won't have a predilection to take another one!


Musical

  • In the final Gilbert and Sullivan operetta, The Grand Duke, Gilbert rhymes "lowest" with "gho-est." That is to say, a dead person. He hangs a lampshade on this by having the character point this out self-deprecatingly.
    • In The Pirates of Penzance, there is a song "When Frederick was a little lad", in which Ruth describes the troubles that resulted when she confused the similar-sounding words "pilot" and "pirate". They're never actually rhymed with each other, which would be really painful, but that doesn't mean the audience gets off lightly: instead, Ruth pronounces them with unnatural emphasis -- "pi-lot" and "pi-rate" -- with rhymes to match. (Not to mention the bit where she rhymes "what you people call work" with "maid-of-all-work".)
    • Also in The Pirates of Penzance, "I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General" has Stanley singing:

 In short, when I've a smattering of elementary strategy,

You'll say a better Major-General has never... (tries to think of word) sat a-gee! [note: This means to ride a horse.]

    • Rhyming "die" with "sympathy" is bad enough in Patience, but It Gets Worse when Bunthorne reprises the song in the finale ultimo:

 In that case unprecedented,

Single I must live or die--

I shall have to be contented

With a tulip or lily!

      • Sympathy was an accepted, if obscure, pronunciation. Lily is just a gho-est of a gag.
    • From Trial by Jury:

 Gentle, simple-minder Usher

Get you, if you like, to Russher!

      • "Usher" and "Russia" is actually a perfect rhyme in non-rhotic British accents.
    • From HMS Pinafore:

 Two tender babes I nussed;

One was of low condition,

The other, upper crust,

A regular patrician.

    • And...

 We're smart and sober men,

And quite devoid of fe-ar.

In all the Royal N,

None are so smart as we are.

    • From Ruddigore:

 Despard: Oh innocents listen in time

Chorus: We doe

Despard: Avoid an existence of crime

Chorus: Just so

Despard: Or you'll be as ugly as I'm

Chorus: No! No!

    • From Iolanthe:

Tolloller and Mountararat:

'Neath this blow,

worse than stab of dagger,

though we mo-
—mentarily stagger
    • Iolanthe also has this gem, Lampshading the whole mess in the score:

 Strephon: A Shepherd I

Chorus: A Shepherd he

Strephon: From Ar-ca-dye

Chorus: From Ar-ca-dee

    • Additionally, Iolanthe features Private Willis's famous chorus:

 I often think it's comi-cal

That Nature always does contrive

That ev'ry boy and ev'ry gal

That's born into the world alive

Is either a little liber-al

Or else a little conserva-tyve!

    • From Princess Ida, as the three sons of the King of Hungary go into battle:

 Oh Hungary! Oh Hungary! Oh doughty sons of Hungary!

May all success attend and bless your warlike ironmongery!

  • The Pirate Queen has several such cringers:

 "I'll be there though I know that it's madness...

(blah blah and then...)

from the depths of my sadness"

    • or

 "I should be free, free to be Grace/

So I can feel the wind on my face"

  • Of Thee I Sing has the Senate of the United States slipping into Scottish dialect just to sing a rhyme:

 Jilted, jilted, jilted is she--

Oh, what is there left but to dee?

    • Then there's this lovely bit from the patter section of "Love Is Sweeping The Country":

 Florida and Cal-

Ifornia get together

In a festival

Of oranges and weather.

 Solo: In that case unprecedented, single I shall live and die,

I shall have to be contented with a heartfelt sympathy.

      • ... and given a callback in the final solo/chorus

 Bunthorn: In that case unprecedented, single I shall live and die,

I shall have to be contented with a poppy or lilye.

  • An infamous example is "On the Street Where You Live" from My Fair Lady, which rhymes "bother me" with "rah-ther be."
    • Conversely, there are several rhymes in My Fair Lady that work with an American accent but not the English accent of the character. (Rhyming "en masse" with "glass", for instance.)
      • This gets lampshaded in the song "Show Me", when Eliza Doolittle sings, "Haven't your lips/Hungered for mine?/Please don't explain/Show me!" She pronounces "Explain" as "Ex-pline", intentionally falling back on her old flower-girl accent.
    • Alan Jay Lerner committed another Painful Rhyme in "Come Back To Me", otherwise the best song in On A Clear Day You Can See Forever:

 Have you gone to the moon?

Or the corner saloon

And to rack an' to 'roon'?

      • That's qualifies as a printed (in the score) Lampshading as far as I'm concerned. ("roon" is supposed to be "ruin" of course
  • The song Dammit Janet from The Rocky Horror Picture Show has a fair number of painful rhymes, mostly involving Janet and on purpose.

 Here's the ring to prove that I'm no joker

Thare's 3 ways that love can go

That's good, bad or mediocre

    • How has Sweet Transvestite not been mentioned yet?

 If you want something visual

That's not too abysmal

We could take in an old Steve Reeves movie.

  • The song "Castle on a Cloud" from Les Misérables has a painful non-rhyme (that is, the line isn't supposed to rhyme, but manages to sound as if it was supposed to and didn't):

 There is a room that's full of toys,

There are a hundred boys and girls.

    • Also in Les Mis, depending on pronunciation, this rhyme can be quite painful:

 Little dear, cost us dear

Medicines are expensive, M'sieur

    • Justified by the Thenardiers being -- well, the Thenardiers, they're basically allowed to mangle the French language as they see fit.
    • Another Les Mis example comes from "Who Am I

 If I speak, I am condemned

If I stay silent, I am damned.

  • Wicked contains a few very noticeable clunkers. Special mention should go to "Where so many roam to, / We'll call it home, too" in "One Short Day", and "Dreams the way we planned 'em, / If we work in tandem" in "Defying Gravity".
    • In "Popular" Galinda corrects the rhyme in a lyric:

 Instead of dreary who you were - well, are

There's nothing that can stop you from becoming popular - lahr

    • Don't forget Boq speaking to Nessa at the Oz Dust dance:

 Hey, Nessa

Listen Nessa

I've got something to confess - a

Reason why,

    • In "The Wizard and I", Elphaba sings:

 Folks here to an absurd degree

Seem fixated on your verdigris'

  • "The Windy City" from Calamity Jane: "Mean wear sideburns, and they oughtta, 'cause a haircut costs a quarter."
  • "Can I Get a Napkin Please", the song for Improv Everywhere's Food Court Musical, has a couple right in a row: "Got a bunch with your lunch? Got a stack in your pack? Got a couple in your duffel? Got some extras under textbooks?" While the song and performance is awesome and hilarious, these lines come across as totally forced and lame. What the hell do duffels and textbooks have to do with a food court? Thankfully, these lines were cut from the video.
  • Lampshaded in "Camelot Song (Knights of the Round Table)" from Monty Python and The Holy Grail and its theatrical version Spamalot:

 We're Knights of the Round Table

Our shows are for-mi-dable

But many times

We're given rhymes

That are quite un-sing-able.

  • Mentioned by a songwriter (in song) in Curtains:

 Don't talk about love

Or you'll have to say "fits like a glove",

Or "as certain as push comes to shove

You will pine for the woman you're constantly thinking of."

And don't mention your life

Or you'll have to say "cuts like a knife",

Or refer to the heartbreak and strife

When you find that you're missing your wife.

  • The song "Brush Up Your Shakespeare" from Kiss Me Kate is full of intentionally humourous bad rhymes for Shakespeare plays.
  • "Paris Makes Me Horny" from the stage version of Victor Victoria has a lot of terrible rhymes. One could make the argument that the singer (Norma, a rather terrible lounge showgirl singer) would think they are clever. Then, again, it's a Leslie Bricusse lyric, who's been known to write some terrible rhymes before ... tellingly, this song is so poorly regarded that it was cut from at least one subsequent production.
  • Repo! The Genetic Opera: In 'Zydrate Anatomy' we have the lines

 If Mag up and splits/Her eyes are forfeit.

  • In the musical of The Producers, Max begins the "Along Came Bialy" song with:

 The time has come

To be a lover from the Argentine

To slick my hair back with Brilliantine

And gargle heavily with Listerine

    • He even pauses before the last syllable, letting the audience wonder if he's going to force the rhyme or pronounce it properly. He forces it.
  • Something musical film The Apple gives us the following during one of the songs:

 It's a natural, natural, natural desire

To meet an actual, actual, actual vampire!

  • There are more Leslie Bricusse clunkers in Jekyll and Hyde - most notably the Act Two opener "Murder, Murder", which contains such gems as:

 To kill outside St. Paul's

Requires a lot of balls!

    • Points for trying to use British lower-class slang, but the "requires" makes the singer sound erudite and just ruins it.
    • And even more painful:

 Murder! Murder!

Once there's one done,

Murder! Murder!

Can't be undone.

Murder! Murder!

Here in London...

  • In the song "Shall I Tell You What I Think Of You?" from The King and I, Anna mispronounces "employee" to rhyme with "pay" and "libertine" to rhyme with "concubine"... and then corrects herself.
  • "Impossible" from Cinderella rhymes "pumpkin" with "bumpkin". This feels especially painful when you see Cinderella wearing a Pimped-Out Dress and singing on the way to the ball about how a "plain country bumpkin" like herself does have a chance of marrying a prince.
  • A lesser known one comes from the cult musical Chess', in which the opening number (or closing, depending on your production) contains this little gem:

 Chess displayed no inertia,

Soon spread to Persia,

Then West!

 We dine well here in Camelot

We eat ham and jam and Spam a lot

    • Though everything they rhyme with Camelot is pretty terrible, the worst possibly being "We're opera-mad in Camelot, we sing from the diaphragm a lot!"


Poetry

  • One thing that might lead to this a lot is cultural differences. Something that might rhyme with British pronunciation might not in, say, American English, which will make the rhymes sound forced or painful.

 In a time of secret wooing

Today prepares tomorrow's ruin

Left knows not what right is doing

My heart is torn asunder

  • Most all of Ogden Nash's poetry uses these, but much like Tom Lehrer below, they usually add a sense of playfulness to the poems. See "The Tale of Custard the Dragon":

 Ink and Blink in glee did gyrate

Around the dragon that ate the pirate.

    • Nash did object, however, to the kind of Painful Rhyme requiring the poetic pronunciation of "wind" as "wined."
  • In his satirical epic poem Don Juan, Lord Byron often used rhymes for comedic effect, sometimes with Lampshade Hanging. One of the most flagrant (other than rhyming "Ju-an" with "new one"), was this one:

 But, oh, ye lords of ladies intellectual,

Inform us truly, have they not hen-peck'd you all?

 Granny had room.

In her heart, mind, and house

For a tattered and torn rag doll named Clouse

Old picnic baskets and yes--even a mouse.

    • (If you're wondering how this scans, you're not the only one.)
  • William Topaz McGonagall, self-acclaimed poet and tragedian, and Trope Namer for Giftedly Bad, wrote entire volumes of poetry that just about rhymes but doesn't scan, and has all the emotional resonance of a steamroller. Most famous is his "The Tay Bridge Disaster", which ends:

 Oh! Ill-fated bridge of the silv'ry Tay

I now must conclude my lay

By telling the world fearlessly without the least dismay

That your central girders would not have given way

At least many sensible men do say

Had they been supported on each side with buttresses

At least many sensible men confesses

For the stronger we our houses build

The less chance we have of being killed.

    • Equally hilarious is his Address to the Reverend George Gilfillan, which such immortal lines as:

 All hail to the Rev George Gilfillan of Dundee,

He is the greatest preacher I did ever hear or see.

...

He has written the life of Sir Walter Scott,

And while he lives he will never be forgot,

Nor when he is dead,

Because by his admirers it will be often read

...

Rev George Gilfillan of Dundee, I must conclude my muse,

And to write in praise of thee my pen does not refuse...

  • Robert Browning's excellent poem The Pied Piper of Hamlin, which practically begs to be read aloud for fun energy and its many excellent rhymes, uses several such rhyme-pairs, as if to torment the reader.

 So, Willy, let me and you be wipers

Of scores out with all men -- especially pipers!

And, whether they pipe us free from rats or from mice,

If we've promised them aught, let us keep our promise!

    • Aleister Crowley's Ascension Day and Pentecost is an Affectionate Parody of Browning (as well as a colossal Take That to Christianity) but it is also a colossal exercise in excruciating rhymes. The author claimed that he made a list of every word in the English language that was said to be "unrhymable" and found a rhyme (of sorts) for every single one of them. Some choice examples:

 We’ll have the ham to logic’s sandwich

Of indignation: last bread bland, which

After our scorn of God’s lust, terror, hate,

Prometheus-fired, we’ll butter, perorate

With oiled indifference, laughter’s silver:

“Omne hoc verbum valet nil, vir” !

...

(I promise Mr. Chesterton

Before the Muse and I have done

A grand ap-pre-ci-a-ti-on

Of Brixton on Ascension Day.)

    • In Chesterton's Return of Don Quixote, those last two rhymes were why Browning was included in John Braintree's list of Victorian Giants who ought to have met up with Jack the Giant-Killer.
  • In high school English, this editor was exposed to the work of a 17th century American colonial poetess whose name now escapes him. One of the sonnets he had to read for an assignment rhymed "forever" with "persevere", which, according to a footnote, was pronounced with a short E on the final syllable at the time. This editor still considered it a forced rhyme.
  • Although Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz, one of the most famous Hispanic poetesses in the world, wrote quite a bit of excellent poetry in her life, she did slipped in this kind of rhyme a couple of times. One of her poems, for example, resorts to writing "cruel" as "cruël", an archaic Spanish trick to add an extra syllable.
    • That's not really archaic Spanish. All the diaeresis means is "pronounce these vowels separately", and it's not that unusual to see "cruel" pronounced as "croo-el", especially in British works.
      • Or in Good King Wenceslas, to rhyme with "fuel." (which it still doesn't)
  • Shakespeare is now guilty of this at times: namely, all the uses of words like "banishèd" (rhyming with "dead") at the end of rhymed lines in Romeo and Juliet. Back then, if something ended in 'ed' it was always pronounced with the "èd"; if Shakespeare wanted to say it as we do, he would have spelt it "banish'd".
  • "Ode on the Mammoth Cheese Weighing over 7,000 Pounds" by James McIntyre:

 Wert thou suspended from balloon,

You'd caste a shade, even at noon;

Folks would think it was the moon

About to fall and crush them soon.

  • Emily Dickinson. Yeah, yeah, classic poetry. But just read a few of the most famous ones, and you'll notice an annoying tendency for the words to look like they rhyme without actually rhyming at all. As well as rhyming words with themselves.
    • This is called slant rhyme, and it's legit. Of course, it's also entirely possible that she was just using it as an excuse not to think of better rhymes...
      • Oh, come on. "Chill" and "Tulle" aren't even close.
      • If you pronounce "tulle" the French way, it gets a bit better.
  • Dylan Thomas Lampshaded his own use of half rhyme in one of his poems:

 Do not forget that "limpet" rhymes

With "strumpet" in these troubled times,

  • Shel Silverstein's poem Pinocchio does this intentionally with nearly every rhyme in it, by constantly appending "-io" to the ends of words. Such as:

 Pinocchio, Pinocchio,

That little wooden bloke-io,

His nose, it grew an inch or two,

With every lie he spoke-io.

    • Possibly inspired by the poem "Antonio" by Laura E. Richards, which includes such (again, intentional) gems as the following:

 Antonio, Antonio,

Said, "If you will be my ownio,

I'll love you true,

And I'll buy for you

An icery creamery conio!"

 Oh, once there lived in Kankakee

A handy dandy Yankakee,
A lone and lean and lankakee
Cantankakerous Yankakee...

  • A note: Slant rhymes are almost always, if a poet is using them right, meant to be jolting. Messing with people's expectations is one of the things that can distinguish poetry from nursery rhymes and ad jingles.
  • These cringe-inducing lines nominally written about Sir John Hill the apothecary:

 For physic and farces

His equal there scarce is;

His farces are physic,

His physic a farce is.

  • The Passionate Shepherd To His Love by Christopher Marlowe not only tries to rhyme "love" with "prove" and "move", but also "roses" with "posies" and "falls" with "madrigals". If that last one doesn't seem like such a big deal, in a follow-up poetic parody by a different poet "madrigals" is made to rhyme with "canals", which further compounds things.
    • Considering that was over 400 years ago (before the Great Vowel Shift), are we sure those weren't perfect rhymes back then? (The "love"/"prove"/"move" thing wasn't unique to Marlowe: Shakespeare did it too.) When Pope (much later) rhymed "tea" with "say", it wasn't a mistake; it really did rhyme.
  • At one point in the very odd comedic poem Greybeards At Play, G. K. Chesterton randomly rhymes "Hanno" with "piano." The next stanza is also pretty painful (probably intentionally), despite being an apology for doing it:

 Forgive the entrance of the not

Too cogent Carthaginian.

It may have been to make a rhyme;

I lean to that opinion.

  • Stevie Smith's poem The Jungle Husband uses painful rhymes deliberately for a comic effect.
  • At least one translation of Ovid's Metamorphoses, among other crimes, rhymes "unstable" with "unnavigable", "most" with "lost", "bent" with "punishment", "binds" with "winds" (as in, the thing that blows, not the kind of "winds" that would actually rhyme), "alone" with "down", "floods" with "Gods", "food" with both "flood" and, later, "mud".
  • Famously in Blake's The Tyger:

 What immortal hand or eye

Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

    • Some historians and linguists have credited this to his Cockney accent, in which the rhyme is proper.
    • Alternately, it might not be intended to rhyme at all -- when read with the right amount of drama, it sounds bloody good.


Songs

  • B.O.B's "Mellow Fellow" As evidenced by it's beginning lyrics:

 Hello, I'm just a Mellow Fellow!

Just give me a bud and a cigarello!

And I'mma keep it ghetto!

Cuz I stick with it just like velcro!

 Two people crazy in love

Into one another like a hand in a glove

  • The frighteningly bad pop dance song "Max Don't Have Sex With Your Ex":

 Max, don't have sex with your ex

It will make your life complex,

My Max, baby, take it easy

Max, don't have sex with your ex

It will knock you off your legs

Oh, Max, stay cool and just relax

  • Tom Lehrer was a master of these... but rather than making you cringe, they make you laugh because they're just so 'out there' that it can't be taken seriously.

 When you attend a funeral

It is sad to think that sooner or l...

...ater those you love will do the same for you

And you may have found it tragic

Not to mention other adjec...

...tives to think of all the weeping they will do

...

When the air becomes uranious

We will all go si-mul-taneous

Yes, we will all go together when we go!

    • "The Folk Song Army" provides another good example:

 The tune don't have to clever

And it don't matter if you put a coupla extra syllables into a line.

It sounds more ethnic if it ain't good English

And it don't even gotta rhyme.

(spoken) Excuse me, rhyne.

    • "The Elements" was written to incorporate the then-known elements of the periodic table into the Major General's Song from The Pirates of Penzance. Just as in the real periodic table, a space is left at the end for discoveries after the time of writing. Lyrically, this resulted in:

 These are the only ones of which the news has come to Haahvard,

And there may be many others, but they haven't been discaahvard.

      • The heavy Boston accent on "Harvard" and "Discarvard" still fails to subvert this.
    • And then there's this:
      [[Crowning Moment of Awesome "Eating an orange
      While making love
      Makes for bizarre enj-
      Oyment thereof."]]

 "My pulse will be quickenin'

With each drop of strychnine

We feed to a pigeon--

It just takes a smidgen--

To poison a pigeon in the park!"

      • And how can we forget...

 "You may end up just like Oedipus--

I'd rather marry a duck-billed platyps--

You may end up just like Oedipus Rex!

      • And of course...

 "Make a cross on your abdomen,

When in Rome do like a Roman!

Ave Maria, Gee it's great to see ya,

Feelin' estatic and

Sorta dramatic and

Doin' The Vatican Rag!

        • And the internal rhyme in "everybody say his own Kyrie Eleison"
  • "Close to the Edge" by Yes begins with the lyric:

 A seasoned witch could call you from the depths of your disgrace

And rearrange your liver to the solid mental grace

 It comes on unrelentless

I've tried so hard to prevent this...

    • From "Memoirs of an Officer and a Gentleman":

 And when I finally marched from Sandhurst

I'd learned to put my fellow man first

 What's wrong with the world Mama?

People livin' like they ain't got no Mamas

    • It actually sounds like "People livin' like they ain't got no llamas"...

 But if you only have love for your own race

Then you only leave space to discriminate

And to discriminate only generates hate

And when you hate then you're bound to get irate, yeah.

    • Also, "Don't Phunk with My Heart" is pretty close to 100% this trope. For example:

 Why are you so insecure

When you got passion and love her

You always claimin' I'm a cheater

Think I'd up and go leave ya

For another señorita

You forgot that I need ya

You must've caught amnesia

That's why you don't believe

    • (Note that "believe" is pronounced "be-leev-uh", to make it rhyme with "amnesia")
    • "Imma Be" has a particularly jarring example: the words rhyme (mostly), but the final line immediately falls apart if you think about it.

 Imma be brilliant with my millions

Loan out a billion and get back a trillion

Imma be a brother, but my name ain't Lehman

Imma be ya bank, I be loaning out semen.

  • "Jar of Hearts" by Christina Perri

 I have grown too strong

To ever fall back in your arms

    • and in the chorus

 You're gonna catch a cold

From the ice inside your soul

So don't come back for me

Don't come back at all

    • not that

 I've learned to live half-alive

And now you want me one more time

 (The soles of your shoes)

Are all worn down

The time for sleep is now

But it's nothing to cry about

Cuz we'll hold each other soon

In the blackest of rooms

 Now the story's played out like this

Just like a paperback novel

Let's rewrite an ending that fits

Instead of a Hollywood horror

 They headed down to, ooh, old El Paso

That's where they ran into a great big hassle

Billy Joe shot a man while robbing his castle

Bobbie Sue took the money and run.

Billy Mack is a detective down in Texas

You know he knows just exactly what the facts is

He ain't gonna let those two escape justice

He makes his livin' off of the peoples taxes.

    • That's right, ladies and gentlemen, not only do you get Painful Rhymes, but ear-grating grammar to boot ("took the money and run"? "facts is"? Really?!). Mr. Miller's second-grade English teacher must have been so proud.
  • One of the worst examples has to be a line from the Zac Brown Band song "Sic 'Em on a Chicken":

 I was in the kitchen making fig preserves

And I'd heard that youngin' get kicked in the face

And I knew it was the day that rooster was going to get what he deserves

    • (Apparently "preserves" is supposed to be rhymed with "deserves". Don't ask me how.)
      • You can ask me: in most of the South, they would be pronounced pruh-zerves and duh-zerves, so it makes sense for a Georgia-based band to pronounce it as such.
  • Sex Pistols' "Anarchy in the UK":

 I am an Antichrist!

I am an anarch-EYE-st!

    • They were punks, they wanted to offend.
      • With the accent, it sounds more like Anarch-EST.
  • Mariah Carey's "Heartbreaker":

 Heartbreaker you got the best of me

But I just keep on coming back incessantly.

  • Sting is the king (hey! That one worked!) of this; there's one of these in almost every song by the Police, and it gets worse on his solo records. The best-known is probably:

 It's no use, he sees her

He starts to shake and cough

Just like the old man in

That book by Nabokov

    • Sting's "Russians":

 There is no historical precedent

To put the words in the mouth of the president.

    • Then there's Wrapped Around Your Finger, which gives us;

 You consider me a young apprentice

Caught between the Scylla and Charybdis

  • The Kaiser Chiefs are well known for using old-fashioned words like "thee", largely to facilitate rhymes like

 Watching the people get lairy

It's not very pretty I tell thee

Walking through town is quite scary

    • In the same song, they also manage to rhyme "beaten", "policeman", "Smeaton" and "leodensian".
    • The Kaiser Chiefs do have the excuse of being from Leeds there; "thee" is still used in Yorkshire dialect.
  • In his book Dave Barry's Book of Bad Songs, Dave specifically calls out "Last Kiss" by J. Frank Wilson and the Cavaliers:

 Oh where oh where can my baby be

The Lord took her away from me

She's gone to heaven so I got to be good

So I can see my baby when I leave this world

Dave also says that "if I were the Supreme Being, I would have a rule that you could not get into heaven if you had ever deliberately rhymed 'good' with 'world'."
  • Tim McGraw's "Refried Dreams" contains the line "Shooting tequila, wanting to kill him." Yes, it's supposed to rhyme.
  • Eddy Grant's "Electric Avenue" rhymes "soldier" with "abhor ya" and "TV" with "kids." Yuck.
  • Kenny Chesney's "Dancin' for the Groceries" is a pretty good song about a desperate single mom who resorts to stripping in order to support her kids (hence the title). It does, however, contain a cringe-worthy rhyme in the chorus: "In sequins and in laces, she's dancing for the braces." Ugh.
  • ZZ Top, on "Tush":

 I ain't askin' for much.

I said, Lord, take me downtown,

I'm just lookin' for some tush.

  • Neil Diamond's "I Am I Said":

 "I am", I said

To no one there

And no one heard at all

Not even the chair.

    • Dave Barry, in a column which would lead to a massive amount of hate mail from Neil Diamond fans and provide the seed for the famous Bad Songs Survey via readers who agreed with him, complained about the lameness of this line:

 Is Neil telling us he's surprised that the chair didn't hear him? Maybe he expected the chair to say, "Whoa, I heard THAT." My guess is that Neil was really desperate to come up with something to rhyme with "there", and he had already rejected "So I ate a pear", "Like Smokey the Bear", and "There were nits in my hair."

  • According to Martin Pearson, Neil Diamond's "Play Me" contains the worst rhyme in the history of modern music:

 The line comes later in the song; it goes "Songs she sang to me, songs she BRANG to me.'" Ugh! It's "brought", you horrible little American!

  • LFO's "Summer Girls" is quite possibly the worst example of this in history, considering most of the song is just plot relevant lyric + random thing which rhymes:

 Fell deep in love, but now we ain't speakin'

Michael J. Fox was Alex P. Keaton.

    • or

 There was a good man named Paul Revere

I feel much better, baby, when you're near

    • Practically every line in the song qualifies, but this one deserves special mention for being completely nonsensical and still having to mispronounce a word:

 When I'm around you my heart is buzzing like a hornet

Billy Shakespeare wrote a whole lot of sornets

  • In "I've Just Seen a Face" (originally by The Beatles), Paul McCartney attempts to rhyme "aware" and "her." (He also rhymes face/place, girl/world, falling/calling, day/way and sight/quite. All the lame rhymes in one bundle.) There are multiple covers by him, and he's attempted more than one method of trying to make the rhyme work... <sigh>
    • Interestingly enough, in a Liverpudlian accent, "aware" and "her" do rhyme. But of course, Paul tries to sing it with a more neutral accent...
    • Another one in "It Won't Be Long": "It won't be long / 'Till I belong to you."
    • Those kind of pale in comparison to George Harrison's incredibly forced rhyme in Old Brown Shoe: "I may appear to be im-per-fect / My love is something you can't re-ject"
  • The majority of Fall Out Boy's "I Don't Care", in which they not only try to rhyme "tolerance" and "pants", but also this gem:

 I'm the oracle in my chest,

Let the guitar scream like a fascist.

  • Barry McGuire's "Eve of Destruction" tries to rhyme "China" and "Alabama". Seriously.
  • Aside from a touch of Intercourse with You, the entire point of Robby Roadsteamer's "Banana" seems to be finding things that almost-but-not-quite rhyme with the title (such as "slammer", "Panera", "Pantera", and, somehow, "Dragon's Lair").
  • Weezer's "Everybody Get Dangerous" suffers a lot from this, but the most cringe-worthy is in the very first two lines, where "younger" is rhymed with "fun, yeah".
    • "Troublemaker" is even worse:

 Marrying a beeyotch

Having seven keeyods

  • "Muddy Water" by Trace Adkins has the chorus:

 Baptize me in that muddy water

Wash me clean in amazing grace

I ain't been livin' like I oughtta

Baptize me in that muddy water

    • And what's worse is that, in the right accent, those two would be a perfect rhyme! Water and "otter" basically.
  • Rascal Flatts' "Me and My Gang" rhymed "thing" with "gang", implying that they went out of their way to say "thang", something no real country singer would do no matter how thick their accent was.
  • A song by the Miami Boys Choir:

 "Please let me be in the choir/

And I hope that my voice will not tire"

  • Two Out Of Three Ain't Bad by Meat Loaf has more forced rhymes than actual rhymes. A complete cataloguing would excessively lengthen this article; suffice to say, the very first quatrain rhymes "nowhere" with "inside of here" and "the way I feel" with "make me leave here".
  • "Pass the Mic" by the Beastie Boys, as well as Rhyming with Itself for "commercial", includes a rhyme of "on and on to the early morn", which along with "on and on to the break of dawn" is one of those rhymes that stopped being used once rap music escaped from New York.
  • Supertramp's "Breakfast in America", which is a great song, still contains some awful rhyming: girlfriend/girlfriend, breakfast/Texas and dear/millionaire.
    • Truth be told, it was written by Roger Hodgson when he was fifteen; probably his first ever composition. Supertramp kept the lyrics intact as the naivety of the lyrics suited the song better than any more complex or cynical lyric.
  • Elton John's "Nikita" rhymes "world" and "cold". Yuck.
    • "Daniel" has "traveling tonight on a plane" with "heading for Spain", and "never been" and "ever seen".
  • Uncle Sam's "I Don't Ever Wanna See You Again" has the following. The word "addressee" always made me cringe. I forgot until I looked it up for this trope that it didn't even rhyme.

 Early one morning while you were asleep

I received a letter, but there was no addressee

  • Ever hear "Talk Like a Pirate Day" by Tom Smith? It boasts the pain-inducing rhymes of "yourself, I bet" with "alphabet", and "mains'ls" with "brain cells". Ouch.
  • Autopilot Off's "Divine Intervention" has this gem:

 To ride along

The horizon

When these days are gone

It's what we've become

  • Alan Jackson has some painfully bad rhymes in a lot of his songs. One big example is "Where I Come From", which has such gems as "turnpike"/"midnight", "Ventura"/"finger", "dinner"/"soprano", "Kentucky"/"thunder" and "Tulsa"/"salsa".
    • He also tries to rhyme "ice" and "about" in "Good Time".
      • And several from "Country Boy", including "Ashpalt"/"Red dirt", "close"/"road", and well, every freaking rhyme in the song except "butt"/"rut".
  • Speaking of Alan Jackson, he co-wrote Randy Travis' "Better Class of Losers", which rhymes "sweet" and "suite", a very rare example of using homophones as rhymes.
  • Kanye West - "Flashing Lights" It might even work if he didn't try so hard.

 She don't believe in shooting stars

But she believes in shoes and cars

Wood floors in the new apartment

Couture from the store's departments.

    • Or this bit from "American Boy"

 What's your persona

About this Americana

Rhymer, am I shallow

'Cause all my clothes designer?

      • Hell, a large chunk of Kanye's songs come under this trope. Which makes it all the more puzzling why so many consider him a genius...
  • Another homophone rhyme: "Me and You" by Kenny Chesney rhymes "too" and "to" in the chorus.
  • Reba McEntire's "Every Other Weekend" is by no means a bad song, but every single stanza and the chorus end with "again"/"weekend".
  • Ne-Yo in "So You Can Cry": "I won't attend your pity party/I'd rather go have calamari."
  • New Kids on the Block - "Sexify My Love"

 Really gotta concentrate

And now we're gonna consummate

So, let's conversate

    • I would just like to point out that somebody actually wrote this line. And decided to call the song "Sexify My Love". More like, "Rape-ify My Language"...
  • One of Mitch Benn's satirical songs on The Now Show mocks the then-Poet Laureate Andrew Motion for claiming that nothing rhymes with "Wilkinson". As with the Lehrer examples, outrageous forced rhymes are used for comic effect:

 Andrew Motion's changed his mind

He's far too busy milkin' son-

orous words and syllables to find

A rhyme for Jonny Wilkinson.

    • Another one from the first series of Mitch Benn's Crimes Against Music:

Everybody knows ain't nothing rhymes with orange,

Doesn't matter how much imagination or inj-

-inuity you use even words thar are foreign, j-
—ust let it go, ain't nothing rhymes with orange.
    • "Motorway Food" rhymes "ag'ny" with "lasagny".
  • Ty Herndon's "In Your Face" has several: "Libra"/"Reba"/"over-eager", "rejection"/"left me", and "artist"/"party"/"sparkle".
  • Can't believe it's taken this long for Bob Dylan to get a mention. Okay, "knowed"/"road" (from "Don't Think Twice, It's Alright") is different from most examples on the page in that the rhyme is fine, it's the grammar that's wonky. But his song "Hurricane" looks as though it could have been written by McGonagall:

 "It's my work", he'd say.

"I do it for pay.

And when it's over I'd just as soon go on my way

Up to some paradise

Where the trout streams flow and the air is nice

And ride a horse along the trail."

But then they took him to the jail-

House

Where they try to turn a man into a mouse.

    • From the same song as above:

 We want to put his ass in stir

We want to pin this triple mur-der on him

He ain't no Gentleman Jim!

  • Dylan mangled many a meter, though (with clever prosody) he made it work, surprisingly often. Except the times he didn't. For those not familiar with the story from "Motorpsycho Nitemare" please understand, key facts have been omitted. True, but--I don't want to quote the entire thing--so, trust me that It Makes Sense in Context, sorta:

 I said, "I like Fidel Castro,

I think you heard me right"

And ducked as he swung

At me with all his might

Rita mumbled something

'Bout her mother on the hill

As his fist hit the icebox

He said he's going to kill

me/If I don't get out the door

In two seconds flat

"You unpatriotic,

Rotten doctor Commie rat."

    • The chorus in "I Wanna Be Your Lover" is either a Painful Rhyme or Refuge in Audacity: "I don't wanna be hers/I wanna be YERRRRRS!"
  • The Steve Miller Band's "Abracadabra" has quite a few awful rhymes, but the worst part has to be the chorus:

 Abra-abra-cadabra

I wanna reach out and grab ya

Abra-abra-cadabra

Abracadabra

  • In Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car", almost all the rhymes are slant rhymes, and Tracy works hard to make them sound like they rhyme. Well, until we get to this one, which pushes it a bit too far:

 I know things will get better

You'll find work and I'll get promoted

We'll move out of the shelter

Buy a big house and live in the suburbs

  • Dead Kennedys' "California Uber Alles":

 It's the suede-denim secret police!

They have come for your uncool niece!

  • Megadeth's Return To Hangar has this gem:

 Welcome to an empty fortress

A mighty wreck that once was proud

Ate alive by oxidation

Abandoned by a crew of cowards

  • Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah" rhymes the title with "fool ya". (And also "do ya", "to ya", "overthrew ya", "knew ya", and "outdrew ya", but the painfulness of these is well within the ambit of personal taste -- unless the song is being sung by somebody who insists on pronouncing "do you", "to you", etc. 'properly'.)
  • 3OH!3's song "Don't Trust Me". It's bad enough when they try to rhyme "teeth", "need", "east", and "cheeks". "Whoa-oh" is a pathetic rhyme for "ho". But "vegetarian" does NOT rhyme with "fucking scared of him".
  • The rap verses of Blondie's "Rapture" are probably supposed to seem a little silly, but:

 Rapture

Be pure

Take a tour through the sewer

Don't strain your brain

Paint a train

You'll be singing in the rain

Said don't stop to the punk rock

    • And yes, "sewer" is pronounced like "sore" to rhyme.
  • The chorus of Thin Lizzy's "Romeo And The Lonely Girl":

 Oh, poor Romeo

Sittin' out on his own-ee-o

  • Third Day, an otherwise very talented contemporary christian band, rhymed "Leavin'" with "seasons" in the song "I Will Be True".
  • Joni Mitchell's late '60s hit "Both Sides Now" totally falls apart in the last verse by trying to rhyme "strange / changed / gained":

 But now old friends are acting strange

They shake their heads, they say I've changed

But something's lost and something's gained ...

  • R. Kelly puts a character named "Chuck" in his song Trapped in the Closet to rhyme with "fuck" a few lines later.
  • Obscure Canadian rock band Saga's "Live at Five", despite the title smelling of one, remains acceptable mostly (as is usually the case of their work), but this one's just... disturbing.

 'cause this isn't live

it's live at five

    • Though, the band also tossed us a song called "Keep It Reel" on the same album as "Live at Five", so take this how you will.
  • The chorus to "She's a Genius" by Jet:

 That girl's a genius

Whoa oh oh oh oh oh

I think she's serious

Whoa oh oh oh oh oh

  • Both Adam Sandler ("The Hanukkah Song") and "Weird Al" Yankovic ("Pretty Fly for a Rabbi") have rhymed "yarmulke" with "Hanukkah". Oy vey.
    • The problem is that MANY people pronounce "yarmulke" as "yam-a-kah", hence the rhyme.
  • Along with quite a few other songs, "Love Song" by Sara Bareilles seems to run out of rhymes ending in "ay" halfway through the chorus, resulting in the most painful rhyme ever (and biggest ever cop-out) at the end: "today"!

 I'm not gonna write you a love song

'Cause you tell me it's

Make or breaking this

If you're on your way

I'm not gonna write you to stay

If all you have is leavin'

I'ma need a better reason

To write you a love song today

  • "Fantasy" by the Blizzards is just awful: mouth/out, seduction/catch on, fantasy/tingly, culminating in:

 You know my girlfriend, she doesn't know a thing

Pure ignorance is such a beautiful thing

  • "Pinch Me" by Barenaked Ladies: "There's a restaurant down the street, where hungry people like to eat."
    • In this case, the painful rhyming is on purpose. "I could hide out under there, I just made you say underwear"
  • Nine of the Top Ten "winners" in the BBC's search for the worst song lyrics of all time are cited for their painful rhymes (the remaining entry is just inane verbiage). Number one is from Des'ree's "Life":

 I don't want to see a ghost,

It's the sight that I fear most,

I'd rather have a piece of toast,

Watch the evening news.

  • The chorus to America's "Sandman", where "man" is rhymed with "sandman", which in turn is rhymed with "abandoned".
  • Britney Spears "Baby One More Time" contains three lines that sound like they rhyme, but none of them do exactly. (Though this is is arguably a subversion of the trope, because they sound fine in the song, and most people probably wouldn't even notice unless they were analysing the lyrics):-

 When I'm not with you I lose my mind

Give me a sign

Hit me baby one more time

  • The Lonely Island's "Jizz in My Pants":

 Last week, I sawr a film

As I recall it was a horror film

  • "Jesse's Girl", by Rick Springfield, is an especially egregious offender:

 You know I feel so dirty when they start talking cute

I wanna tell her that I love her but the point is probably moot

  • "Black Friday Rule" by Flogging Molly has some rhymes which, though they seem odd when written down, make sense in the singer's cod Irish accent (eye/destroy, you/truth). There's no excuse for this lyric, though:

 Well I lost me a wife, so I found me a plane

Flew all the way to California

    • It's pronounced as "Californ-ee-eye-ay", in case you're wondering.
  • Avril Lavigne's "I'm With You":

 It's a damn cold night

Trynna figure out this life

    • "Sk8er Boi" has "heard" and "world", which are assonant (like the above) and would be forgivable... if she didn't sing the line like she was drunk in an effort to force them to rhyme.
  • Lampshade hung by Alice Cooper, in "School's Out":

 Well we've got no class

And we've got no principals

And we've got no innocence

We can't even think of a word that rhymes!

  • Otep manages to do this both ways in "Confrontation":

 Riot gear, the slaves are here, piling corpses high

It's the rich man's war but its the poor that fight

    • and then:

 A weak nation of need, like silent thieves in the night

It's the rich man's war but its the poor that die

    • One wonders why she didn't just swap them round.
  • The first few lines of Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Dani California". It's chock full of almost excruciating rhymes!
  • Eminem gets in a doozy of one in the third verse of "Kill You:

 Know why I SAY THESE THINGS?

Cause LADIES' SCREAMS

Keep creepin in SHADY'S DREAMS

And the WAY THINGS SEEM

I shouldn't have to PAY THESE SHRINKS

These EIGHTY G'S

A week to say the SAME THINGS TWEECE!

...Twice. Whatever.

  • The chorus of "The Riverboat Song" by Ocean Colour Scene features this predictable rhyme:

 Anyway, for all the sings you said,

Tell me why does the river run red?

Anyway, for all the things you've seen,

Tell me when will the river run green?

    • This song also repeatedly rhymes "double" with "trouble".
  • In the bridge of "Breaker" by Accept, the second line seems to be there only for the purpose of rhyming with the previous one and doesn't make sense in context:

 Icicle brains

Bicycle chains

    • Then, there's the chorus:

 He's a breaker

He will take ya

  • Sugarcult uses a lot of pervasive rhymes (with "Memory" being one of the worst offenders, abusing heart/start/apart to death). Still, none of those are as cringe-inducing as "Pretty Girl," which not only changes its rhyme scheme halfway through the song, but the second verse does, well, this:

 She's beautiful as usual with bruises on her ego, and

Her killer instinct tells her to be aware of evil men.

    • "Riot" tries a bit too hard to rhyme "riot" with "fight."
  • U2's already been mentioned above, but they deserve another mention for this verse from "All Because of You"-- and yes, Bono does indeed pronounce "tortoise" to rhyme:

 I like the sound of my own voice

I didn't give anyone else a choice

An intellectual tortoise

Racing with your bullet train

    • Fairly standard pronunciation of "tortoise" in British English. Still painful though.
      • Especially since it puts the stress on TOISE instead of TOR-, where it belongs. Rhyming and scantion both weep here...
  • Disturbed gets a mention for Inside the Fire. The lyricist is called out on this.

 Wengren: Is there a significance to "Devon, one of eleven"?

Draiman: Uh-huh, big family.

  • cutaway*

"When I was first doing the scat version, the whole song all the way trough, almost every word of it was 'Eleven, Eleven, Eleven' 'cause not too many things rhyme with the word".

    • Yes, this lyric was painful because the subject had to be named "Devon" for some reason. Also note that the actual person the song was based on went unnamed.
    • Supposedly, 1 of 11 people with suicidal thoughts will actually go through with it and succeed [1]. Also, according to The Other Wiki, suicide is the 11th highest cause of death in the US and the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention has 11 goals aimed at preventing suicides. The last two probably don't have anything to do with the song, but it's pretty weird how often 11 shows up.
  • Queen's "Radio Ga Ga":

 So stick around, 'cause we might miss you

When we get tired of all this viss-yool

    • Also from Queen, the song "Brighton Rock" has Freddie Mercury mispronouncing "compromised" and "apologize" so that can both can rhyme with "holidays".
  • "Mykonos", by Fleet Foxes, is a great song. But none of the lines seem to be exact rhymes, and rhymes like "us/up" and "find/night" abound.
  • Lampshaded in Wu Tang Clan's "Shame On A N*** a":

 ...I'm better

Than my compedah

You mean competitor?

Whatever!

  • Ian Dury provided a painful rhyme well known in Britain in the first lines of "Billiricay Dickie" (which was probably completely intentional):

 Had a love affair with Nina

In the back of my Cortina.

A seasoned-up hyena

Could not have been more obscener

 Prayers in my pocket

And no hand in destiny

I'll keep on movin' along

With no time to plant my feet

  • Points to Arctic Monkeys in "Cornerstone" for rhyming "smoke alarm" with "broken arm".
    • Arctic Monkeys are masters of the bizarre rhyme, especially in their earlier work when they leaned more heavily on Alex Turner's Sheffield accent and did things like rhyme "problem" with "Rotherham", or, on "When The Sun Goes Down":

 Oh, 'e must be oop to summat

What are the chances, sure it's more than likely

I got a feeling in my stomach

    • Don't forget "Fire and the Thud"

 And does burden come to meetchya (meet you)

If I've questions of the feetcha (feature)

 What about animals

We've turned kingdoms to dust

What about elephants

Have we lost their trust?

    • "Dirty Diana":

 She waits at backstage doors

For those who have prestige

Who promise fortune and fame

A life that's so carefree

    • "Little Susie" is a festival of poor rhymes and forced ones.
      • "Beating her voice in her doom/But nobody came to her soon"
      • "Oh the blood in her hair.../A mystery so sullen in air"
      • "The girl that now is dead/So blind stare the eyes in her head"
      • "How much can one bear/Rejecting the needs in her prayers" (Which doesn't even make it clear who the "one" is -- the girl, a bystander, or God?)
  • ZZ Top's "I'm bad, I'm Nationwide". It'd be fine if the singer just pronounced "nationwide" with a twang, like "nationwadd", even, but he pronounces it straight.
  • The Decemberists' "A Cautionary Song":

 "'Cos the gentlemen are calling and the snow is softly falling on her petticoats

And she's standing in the harbour and she's waiting for the sailors in the jollyboats

See how they approach"

    • And at the end: "So be kind to your mother/ Though she may seem an awful bother". This is, however, slightly better than the bit in "Sons and Daughters" where they try to rhyme "dirigible" with "untraceable".
      • This one is particularly subjective. The offending words both end in a "bul" sound.
    • They have a knack for this sort of thing... take the following example. Owch.

 Meet me on my vast veranda

My sweet, untouched Miranda.

  • It's probably intentional, as one of Chuck Berry's trademarks is playfully stretched rhymes, but this bit of "Rock And Roll Music" still sort of stands out:

 I must admit they have a rockin' band

Man, they were blowin' like a hurricane

    • The interesting thing is you'd sort of expect he'd drop into a southern accent for "baynd", but instead "hurricane" is pronounced "hurry can".
  • Dethklok does this intentionally on "Birthday Dethday":

 Now you're old and full of hatred

Take a pill to MASTURBATRED

Children point at you and scream

Because they will become that thing

  • Several in The Chicago Bears Shufflin' Crew's "Super Bowl Shuffle", but Jim McMahon probably has the worst:

 I just throw my body all over the field

I can't dance but I can throw the pill

  • The Dresden Dolls' "First Orgasm" attempts to rhyme "fire drill" and "enjoyable".
  • Wonderful one from the Flaming Lips' Yoshimi versus the Pink Robots, particularly to a British listener:

 She's gotta be strong to fight 'em

So she's taking lots of vitamins

  • Annihilator's song 'Army of One'. A song that namechecks various heavy metal bands to cite as influences includes the painfully forced rhyme:

 Priest, Metallica, Megadeth

Iron Maiden and Black Sabbath

  • Collide by Howie Day comes off as this when read, but the singer makes it work. Gives a nice bit of Fridge Brilliance:

 Even the best fall down sometimes

Even the wrong words seem to rhyme.

  • "Down" by Jay Sean has this:

 I'll take you away, hey

Turn this place into our private getaway

  • A vintage example crops up in Porgy and Bess's "It Ain't Necesarily So":

 Oh Jonah he lived in de whale

For he made his home in dat fish's abdomen

  • Stephin Merritt (of the Magnetic Fields and other projects) is very fond of these rhymes. "I Don't Believe You" has "I had a dream and you were in it/ The blue of your eyes was infinite", but even better, from "You Must Be Out Of Your Mind":

 I want you crawling back to me

Down on your knees, yeah

Like an appendectomy

Sans anesthesia

    • Another, from The Future Bible Heroes' "Hopeless":

 Because it's hopeless

All of our dreams are dying of overdoses

All of our plans are lying in ten-car road wrecks

    • In The Magnetic Fields' "Zebra", "The Louvre" is rhymed with "maneuver" and "hoover", but instead of butchering the French pronunciation, the other two words are mispronounced ("manoov" and "hoov"). Which even sort of makes sense in-character, since the song is from the point of view of a pretentious and spoiled upper-class housewife. The printed lyrics take this further by using the spelling "maneuvre" and "hoovre".
  • The epitome of bad rhymes can be found in a song by children's singer Joe Scruggs called "In the Freezer" that was about a snowman being kept in a freezer

 So we asked our mom

And though it did not please her

She said we could keep

Our snowman in the freezer

    • Which was bad enough, but towards the end, it says:

 We watch him as he sits there

Next to the frozen squash

'til Dad shuts the door

And says "It's starting to defrost."

 I live by the sword

I take my boys with me where I go because I'm paranoid

    • The "w" in "sword" is pronounced.
  • Darren Hanlon, in "(There's Not Enough Songs About) Squash"

 Without sounding too peculiar

If it's the cardiovascular

You're after, then you can't beat squash

 Generals gather in their masses

Just like witches at black masses

    • And in "Iron Man":

 Nobody wants him

He just stares at the world

Planning his vengeance

That he will soon unfold

    • Admittedly, Ozzy's enunciation of "unfold" sort of makes it less noticeable.
      • It could be taken as "unfurl", which at least sounds better.
    • No mention of this line?

 Nobody wants him

They just turned their heads

Nobody helps him

Now he has his revenge

  • "Fennario", a folk song about an army captain who falls "in love with a lady like a dove" sticks "-o" at the end of lines to make them scan right:

 If ever I return, pretty Peggy-o,

If ever I return, pretty Peggy-o,

If ever I return, all your cities I will burn,

Destroying all the ladies in the are-o

    • Lampshaded by Bob Dylan in his recording of the song.

 I've been around this whole country, but I never yet found "Fennario".

  • "Harry Rag" by The Kinks describes a young man's fondness for cigarettes thusly:

 But when he gets in a bit of a jam,

There's nothing he won't do to get a harry rag!

  • "Whatta Man" by Salt-n-Pepa (and En Vogue):

 And yes, it's me that he's always choosin'

With him I'm never losin', and he knows that my name is not Susan

    • How awful were the protagonist's previous partners if they couldn't even get her name right?
    • That's most likely a reference to the minor Whitney Houston hit "My Name Is Not Susan."
  • Anything by Rapper Juelz Santana, hell he could probably be the Trope Codifier
  • Kraftwerk, already not generally known for their lyrical prowess, came up with this gem in their song "Sex Object"

 I don't want to be your sex object

I've had enough and that's a fact

  • Live's "Simple Creed" has a couple: "Now nobody's takin' your candy /you just keep on livin' this tragedy" and "Now nobody's takin' your bicycle/ maybe somebody should take your microphone".
  • The Ramones rhyme 'massacre' with 'me' in "Chain Saw."
  • Amy Winehouse rhymes 'players', 'say' and 'millionaire' in "Fuck Me Pumps", with millionaire pronounced 'millio-naya' to fit:

 You don't like players

That's what you say-a

But you really wouldn't mind a millionaire

  • Cobra Starship fails to realise that rhyming "Seven" with "Seven" is REALLY ANNOYING.
  • Marillion's "Emerald Lies" actually ends with:

 And the coffee stains gather 'til the pale kimono

Sets the wedding rings dancing on the cold linoleum

    • This is simultaneously excruciating and wonderful, as the listener realizes that this may be the only song in history not only to end with the word "linoleum", but also to "rhyme" it with "kimono." And to top it off, it does it with a melodramatic, Wagnerian cadence.
  • Angelspit's song Juicy has a rather painful example in the first two lines. "Spin a dice and it's Vegas rigged/A glass full of conobine, you're off your head." The way he sings it, it does work... kinda.
  • Gucci Mane himslef qualifies. Especially in the song Traphouse, where he proclaims his love of shooting "Dices".

 "I got to many vices, I love to smoke weed, love to shoot dices."

  • From Peter Cetera and Amy Grant's "Next Time I Fall In Love":

 Next time I fall in love

I'll know better what to do

Next time I fall in love

Whoo ooh ooh ooh, ooh ooh

    • Granted it does rhyme, it just also makes it sound as though it got recorded before the lyrics were even finished. What really sells is that most of it is vocal filler until they get to the inevitable "The next time I fall in love, it will be with you."
  • In "That Song", Canadian rock band Big Wreck feature a really awful usage when they change the pronounciation of "dumb" to rhyme with "room". Seriously, could no other word have been used there?

 And it might sound doom

So just leave the room

  • Three Days Grace's "Break". Technically, the line in question does rhyme, but still...

 If you can't stand the way this place is

Take yourself to higher places

  • Roger Miller pulls one in "Dang Me" which is totally forgiven for humor value:

 They say roses are red, violets are purple

Sugar's sweet, so's maple syruple

  • Wckr Spgt's version of Andy Kim's "Rock Me Gently", where for some reason all of the original verses get replaced with deliberately bad rhymes that revolve around emphasizing the "-ed" part of past tense verbs:

 Seen ya dressed, seen ya naked

I've seen potatoes

They baked

  • "One Tribe" by The Black Eyed Peas tried to rhyme "amnesia" with "evil". Seriously...
  • ACDC may be a fantastic band, but this rhyme from "First Blood" felt a little forced...

 Some like it hot

Some like it quite not so hot

  • Johnny Mercer's version of "Glow Worm" includes this howler:

 You got a cute vest-pocket Mazda

Which you can make both slow or "fazda."

  • Lyricist Sammy Cahn gave us several classics, including "Let It Snow", "High Hopes", "Call Me Irresponsible"... and this:

 How lucky can one guy be?

I kissed her and she kissed me.

Like the fella once said,

Ain't that a kick in the head?

The room was completely black.

I hugged her and she hugged back.

Like the sailor said, quote,

"Ain't that a hole in the boat?"'

  • Todd in the Shadows said that the first verse of Flo Rida's "Club Can't Handle Me" features "the worst succession of non-rhymes I've heard since the second verse of Steve Miller's 'Take the Money and Run'":

 Hey, I own the light and I don't need no help

Gotta be the feeling that Scarface player

Stuntin' go wild can't handle this plan

Life of the club arrogant like yeah!

  • Tarja Turunen, in her post-Nightwish song "Underneath", pronounces "worry" to rhyme with "sorry".
    • Wouldn't that work if you were Canadian?
    • Since most of the country doesn't have a strong accent, no it wouldn't.
  • War's "Why Can't We Be Friends" pulls this off a couple times: in the next-to-last verse, they rhyme "bright" with "about", while in the final verse, they rhyme "CIA" with "mafia". Yes, pronounced "maf-eye-ay".
  • The humor in Adam Sandler's "Thanksgiving Song" comes from these being intentionally invoked -- with most of its couplets the first line is about Thanksgiving, but the second is usually a silly non sequitur that happens to rhyme.

 Turkey for me, turkey for you

Let's eat the turkey in my big brown shoe

Love to eat turkey all night long

Fifty million Elvis fans can't be wrong

(later) Thanksgiving is a special night

Jimmie Walker used to say "Dy-no-mite!"

That's right!

  • In The Year 2525: Ten/Head.
  • Rod Stewart's "Maggie Mae" has the lines:

 I laughed at all of your jokes,

My love you didn't need to coax.

    • Perfectly fine rhyme, but look at the tortured syntax in that second line.
  • 1980s ska band Madness used Refuge in Audacity and cockney accents to more or less get away with

 I like driving in my car

Even with a flat ty-ah

  • The Cranberries gave us

 People are strangers

People in danger

People are strangers

People deranged are

  • From Depeche Mode's "Everything Counts":

 The handshake

Seals the contract

From the contract

There's no turning back

The turning point

Of a career

In Korea, being insincere

  • "It's Raining Again" by Supertramp opens with an "End/Friend/Mend" sequence, but that's just setting the scene for "C'mon, you little fighter/No need to get uptighter". According to The Now Show Book of World Records entry for Worst Rhyming Couplet In Pop, "after writing this, they probably high-fived and went to the pub. What they should have done is enrolled in a remedial songwriting course at their local techical college."
  • The winner of the book's Worst Rhyming Couplet record is Snap! for the jaw-dropping combination of painful rhyme and tasteless hyperbole that is:

 I'm as serious as cancer,

When I say rhythm is a dancer.

  • Interpol in their song "Obstacle 1" has a very jarring two lines that for some can completely ruin the song because of how shoehorned it sounds:

 It's in the way that she posed,

It's in the things that she puts in my head

Her stories are boring and stuff

She's always calling my bluff

    • While Chameleon Circuit's Doctor Who songs are usually very well done, they do tend to cheat on the rhymes, trying to rhyme "Luke" with "use" and "TARDIS" with "Daleks" (which is less painful with a British accent but still not technically a rhyme) in "Journey's End". Possibly the most egregious example is in "Gallifreyan History 101" where they try to rhyme "Doc" with "box", shortening the Doctor's name in a way that would be unacceptable outside of song for an amost-rhyme.
  • The Kelly Family's "Fell In Love with an Alien" tries to rhyme "Romeo" with "homey boy".
  • Lee Ann Womack's "Buckaroo" contains this couplet, which requires truly heroic amounts of country twang to pull off. She gives it a fair try.

 I need a man who can tame a wild musTANG

Who knows the difference 'tween love and lusTING.

  • Kid Rock's "All Summer Long" contains many of these, the most painful of which being:

 "Sipping whiskey out the bottle,

not thinking 'bout tomorrow"

  • Fort Minor's "Remember The Name" is bad about this: Almost every pair of words that seem to be intended to rhyme don't normally, though words get mumbled to accommodate on occasion. Alone/know him is an offender.
  • "Check It Out" from will.i.am of Black Eyed Peas fame and Nicki Minaj is full of particularly forced rap rhymes (e.g. interest, nemesis, emphasis, and "simple bitch"), but this one really stood out for how hard will.i.am had to struggle to make it sound like it rhymed:

 I'm a shot caller, get up off my collar,

You are Chihuahua, I'm a Rottweiler.

  • In "Firework", Katy Perry tries to rhyme "aah" and "sky":

 Make 'em go aah, aah, aah

As you shoot across the skaa-aah-aye...

    • And in her "TGIF", none of the rhyming triplets in the chorus actually rhyme. Choice examples include attempting to rhyme "bars" with "boulevard" and "dark" with "menage-a-trois."
  • Stereophonics' "I Could Lose Ya" is full of lines that don't really rhyme, although to be fair many of them are facilitated by Kelly Jones' natural accent. The first verse rhymes "theater" with "pier" and "shoulder" with "jumper", and later there's:

 Drip drip the rain upon my window

Wanna lay down still and just be near you

Get the keys and take the Karmann Ghia

Along the coast to buy a couple of beers

  • "Break Down Here" by Julie Roberts has this is the chorus.

 I'd sure hate to break down here.

Nothin' up ahead or in the rear-view mirror.

  • The Black Keys' side project Blakroc has the single "Ain't Nothing Like You", which attempts to ryhme "of" with "been": "I been accused uh/The same thing that you buh"
  • "Fuck You" by Cee Lo Green rhymes "sorry" with "Ferrari" and "Atari":

 Yeah I'm sorry

I can't afford a Ferrari

But that don't mean I can't get you there.

I guess he's an X Box

And I'm more Atari

But the way you play your game ain't fair.

 We started out together/Our expeditions linked

But every student has a theory/The best he's ever thinked

  • The chorus of Belle & Sebastian's "Funny Little Frog" attempts to rhyme "court" and "throat" with "poet". The strange thing is that "throat" is stretched to two syllables but "court" isn't:

 You are my girl, and you don't even know it

I am living out the life of a poet

I am the jester in the ancient court

You're the funny little frog in my thro-at

  • Microdisney's "A Friend with a Big Mouth" contains a serious case of assonance with its attempt to rhyme 'sing' and 'hill': "When you turn to kiss her, birds begin to sing, louder and louder, they're rolling down the hill". This might have been invoked intentionally given that the listener often expects the last line to be "They drown out everything".
  • Bruno Mars' "The Lazy Song":

 Just strut in my birthday suit, and let everything hang oot

  • Rebecca Black doesn't bother keeping up any sort of rhyme in "Friday" -- except that she manages to rhyme "bowl" and "cereal". Almost. The bridge also rhymes "Friday" and "excited".
  • The Irish folksong "I Am a Rambling Irishman" contains this verse:

 When we arrived on the other side

We were both stout and healthy

We dropped our anchor in the bay

Going down to Philadelphia"

(At least one singer pronounced it "Philadelphee"; I'm not sure if that's better or worse.)


Video Games

  • Sing it, Fallout 3 fans: "They have things like the atom bomb... so I think I'll stay where I om...civilizatiooooonnnnn, I'll stay right heeeerrreee!!!"
  • Shantotto once rhymes a word with her LAUGH. If it's not forced I don't know what is.
    • Another thing that she seems to have some kind of issue with is meter. To wit:

 Shantotto: I don't make threats!

If there's no result by the time I'm done researching the ultimate spell, it's too late for regrets!

  • In the search-and-find game Penny Dreadfuls: Sweeney Todd many of the songs in the cut scenes tend to fall victim to this. Nice melodies, sure; okay singing, sure; smooth lyrics...eh. It's hard not to cringe at lines like "Joanna, I felt you watching over me / As I fought the perils of the sea / And almost drowned in my own misery".
  • In The Curse of Monkey Island, Guybrush purposely derails an overly-long-song by pitching the word orange into the rhymes. The singers are unable to come up with anything fitting.


Webcomics

  • In this Dinosaur Comics, T-Rex tries to rap but his rhymes turn out painfully terrible.
  • The Filk Songs found in the comments section of Narbonic and Skin Horse. ("Girl/world" is a repeat offender, given that Helen Narbon is a girl who wants to rule the ... well, you know.) Frequently the bad rhymes are done for comic effect ...
    • Rhyming "live-action movie" with "David Duchovny"???
    • Yes, but they're filk songs. (And sometimes they're better than the originals.)
  • A few of the rhymes in this cartoon of The KAMics
  • Elan's song in this Order of the Stick strip is hilariously bad, even moreso than usual. The worst rhymes are untilled/killed, wooden/pudding, and grass'n/assassin. It's Lampshaded in the title, "You Try Rhyming 'Assassin'"
  • "Super Stupor", a side feature of Randy Milholland's Something Positive, had a brief appearance by a bottom-rung villain named Crimer Rhymer, who normally spoke in very forced rhymes. ("I don't know what you mean / My record from errors is clean.")
  • Least I Could Do: Rayne often does "beat" poetry at the local coffeehouse. Also, this strip.
  • During a Keiki story in which the title character is officially proclaimed the smartest persion in Hawaii, Beefer challenges her to come up with a rhyme for "orange." She answers, "The rock guy screamed, 'more grunge!' as he ate an or-ange."
  • Penny and Aggie features Penny rhyming to Karen that "Boys don't make passes/at girls that wear glasses// But boys think it's way sick/when girls get Lasik."
  • There was once a man from a ruggery. He engaged in consensual heterosexual sex that was well within the confines of acceptable marital bedroom conduct... ery.
  • From Plus EV: The Princess Amazia theme song.


Western Animation

 Built by Ancients so long ago,

The Stargate lay 'til we broke the code,

Now it takes us through the universe

On our mission to get back to Earth.



We are hunted and on the run,

And together we overcome,

Fighting evil through the galaxy:

Stagate Infinity!

  • The Simpsons seems to have a certain fondness for these:
    • "I can do the hully gully...I can imitate Vin Scully!" (Gabbo, "Krusty Gets Kancelled")
    • "I hate every ape I see...from chimpan-a to chimpan-zee..." (Troy McClure, "A Fish Called Selma")
    • "Baby on board... something something... Burt Ward! Wow, this thing writes itself!"
    • "For all the latest medical poop / Call Surgeon General C. Everett Koop / Boop-boop-a-doop."
    • "Well, Scooby Doo can DOO DOO, but Jimmy Carter is smarter!"
    • and...

 Who needs the Quick-E-Mart?

Their floors are stick-E-mart!

They made dad sick-E-mart

Let's hurl a brick-E-mart

The Quick-E-Mart is real... D'OH!

  • The Swan Princess gave us this deathless couplet from its Villain Song, "No More Mr. Nice Guy": "Up 'til now I've pulled my punches/I intend to eat their lunches..."
    • As well as "As soon as my witchcraft has zinged 'em/I'll gain control of the kingdom."
    • Basically if it's a song in The Swan Princess that isn't "Far Longer than Forever", it'll have bad rhymes in it. The "Practice, Practice, Practice" song rhymes "practice" with "attacked us" and "sacked us."
  • Transformers' Wheelie speaks in rhymes that are not groovy, and has been doing so since Transformers: The Movie [the 1985 one]. It is never explained why he talks in rhyme, but it makes watching scenes where he appears a painful time.
    • Your rhyming in that example is badly forced, your poetry work needs to be outsourced. To be honest, I'd wish you luck, but I really just can't give a damn.
  • Dave the Barbarian introduces us to the collective works of Ped X. Ing, whose rhymes are so painful, they cause physical pain and illness.

 "My ears are so waxy

Waxy, waxy

I think I'm going to hail a taxi."

  • Titanic: The Legend Goes On had one with Mexican mice. Just about every rhyme is just a random word with "-sto" tacked on the end to rhyme with "gusto."
  • The opening song to the He-Man and She-Ra film The Secret of the Sword, as well as the music video.
    • A stranger walked into my world/And when he talked, I really heard
      • Especially good as it first makes you think the word is going to be "hurled."
  • The theme song to Count Duckula: In the heart of Transylvania/In the vampire hall of fame, yeah. Just... eh?
    • Plus "He won't bite Beast or Man / 'Cause he's a ve-ge-ta-ri-AN ..."
  • From The Marvel Superheroes:
    • Wheeeen Captain America throws his mighty shiiiieeeld / all those who chose to oppose his shield must YIIIEEELD...
    • The Incredible Hulk cartoon attempted to rhyme "gamma rays" with "unglamorous".
  • This line from True Love's Kiss in Enchanted. I mean, it could be intentional, but Jesus:

 That's the reason we need lips so much,

For lips are the only things that touch...

 Russell: An explorer is a friend to all / Be it bird or fish or tiny mole!

Carl: That doesn't even rhyme!

Russell: Yes it does!

    • The song "Spirit of Adventure" from all the way at the end of the credits has gloriously cheesy rhymes- but then, what else do you expect from a song that rhymes the word adventure three seperate times?
  • The Fairly Odd Parents:

 We're PIXIES! We're PIXIES! We're strong like BILL BIXBY!

  • Pretty much every piece of Mystic Spiral's lyrics in Daria is like this.
  • The newest season of Total Drama Island uses this a lot, but it's a bit justified since they make up the songs on the spot, such as Lindsay rhyming 'brain' with 'game' or D.J. and Harold's 'pieces' and 'feet-ses.'
  • The title theme of Pinky and The Brain rhymes "world" with "unfurled". Not great, but not so bad just yet, especially since the easier-to-rhyme "Earth" is used elsewhere in the song. The really painful part of this is just how much the writers apparently love that rhyme, and constantly use it in other songs on the show (it's always "unfurled"; never any other word). Okay, so "world" isn't the most rhymable word, and yes, it's the final word of Brain's Catch Phrase, but does it need to be rhymed every time the heroes sing?
  • Two in the song "Macadamia Nut" from Animaniacs.

 Dot: I act like a nut so they call me Macadamia

I dance like a klutz on a show called Anamania.

    • and

 Dot: Now please don't mention my brother, the one they call Wakkarino,

He's always burping, every hour, so I threw him out of the tower.

Wakko: Waaaaooooooh..!

  • Bravestarr has a bad one when describing the title character's arrival and powers

 "Then one day, a lawman appeared!

With powers of hawk, wolf, puma, and bear!"

  • Toxic Crusaders, the animated adaption of The Toxic Avenger, has this gem of a description.

 "I had no friends, no girls to hug me!

So I got radioactive ugly!"

  • Not worth creating an Anime folder for: the English dubbed opening of Sailor Moon tries to rhyme "Jupiter" with "new to her".
  • The House of Mouse version of the song "Minnie Mouse in the House" from the "Mickey Unrapped" album (It's sung by the Muses from Hercules in the episode "Where's Minnie?".) Here are two excerpts from the original version of the song:

 ...Now that Minnie's here, it's a mouse-house party

Go tell it to Michael and Mona and Marty

Gonna twirl, gonna swirl, gonna ride the groove

And when you see her, you've got to MOVE!!!

 ...Now you know no one will ever dis her

If she went away we would really miss her!

The dance floor is her heart and soul territory

That's her story

The story of Minnie Mouse (Minnie Mouse)

In the house! (In the house!)

    • Now here's the House of Mouse version for comparison:

 ...Now that Minnie's here, it's a mouse-house party

If she went away we would really miss her!

The dance floor is her heart and soul territory

That's her story

The story of Minnie Mouse (Minnie Mouse)

In the house! (In the house!)

    • The song would've avoided this problem were if there was a music video set in the titular House of Mouse's Prop Room (especially the fact that the melody of the third verse mentioned above sound an awful lot like "The Crystal Chamber".)
    • Another House of Mouse example would be the show's version of the song "You Can Fly" from Peter Pan, where one of the song's lyrics apparantly pronunced the word "aerodynamic" in a way so it rhymes with "beak."
  • Quest for Camelot includes the Villain Song with this ear-wrenching line:

 "Nights of evil, filled with fear"

Your worst dream, that's my idea of fun!"

 "With our cutie marks, we'll rock Equestria

We use our stomachs to digestia."

    • Also in "Over a Barrel". Pinkie Pie's song hasn't one rhyme in it that isn't at least a little silly.

 "We may be divided

But of you all I beg

To remember we're all hooved

At the end of each leg."

    • Pinkie's cupcake song in "Call of the Cutie" really takes the cake.

 "All you have to do is take a cup of flour

Add it to the mix

Now just take a little something sweet, not sour

A bit of salt, just a pinch

Baking these treats is such a cinch

Add a teaspoon of vanilla

Add a little more, and you count to four

And you never get your fill of..."

    • The song "At the Gala" rhymes the words "time" and "divine" near the end.
  • The "Come Home Perry" song from the Phineas and Ferb episode "Oh, There You Are, Perry" has deliberately cringeworthy rhymes when Candace has trouble coming up with rhymes for "Perry":

 Oh, Perry! I'm allergic to dairy,

I'm gonna move to the prairie,

And change my name to Larry!

...

Phineas: Larry?!

Candace: I ran out of rhymes, alright?

    • Lampshaded in the "Frenemies" song from "Lotsa Latkes", which rhymes "spats" with "ats".

 Baljeet: You are pluralising "at"?

Buford: Work with me, brain-boy!

 Always, we will fight as one!

Until the battle's won

With evil on the run,

We never come undone.

Assemble, we are strong!

Forever fight as one!

    • This became more painful after Disney XD cut out all of the theme song except the last two lines, and the part where the singers exclaim, "Avengers Assemble!", in order to make room for recaps and expository voiceovers.
  • An episode of Fillmore has a character called Checkmatey who tries to rap every other sentence and creates some truly terrible rhymes in the process. Fillmore eventually gets tired of Checkmatey's grating personality and bad rapping, and as he calls out Checkmatey:

 Fillmore: You just rhymed "bomb" with "wisdom"!

  • This poem written by Sokka of Avatar: The Last Airbender: "My Name is Sokka/ Its pronounced with an 'Okka'/ Young ladies, I rock-ya!" He gets thrown out of the poetry club- not because of the bad rhyming, but because its meant to be a haiku.
    • For double irony, his attempt to make a Painful Rhyme is what threw off his haiku; if he had stopped with "rock" the syllable count would have been fine.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man: Spidey is reflecting on his current troubles, and hits the audience with the almost-rhyme:

 'Twas the night before Halloween, and all through Manhattan

Not a criminal was stirring, not even Green Gob...lan.


Other

  • A truly startling number of hymns have an awful time coming up with rhymes for "love". It is constantly paired with "prove" or "move" or other similar words.
    • There was, indeed a brief period, around the 1500's in which "Prove" and "Move" were pronounced essentially as they are today, but "Love" was pronounced with the same vowel that is in the word "Foot" today (kinda like it still is in Liverpool.) It's not exact, but it's a lot closer than the modern pronunciations. It doesn't help that "Love" technically should be spelt "Luve", (Old English "Lufu" compared to the French words "Moveir" and "Prover") but Medieval scribes didn't differentiate U and V, so they started writing "Love" for no other reason than they thought "Luue" looked silly.
    • Before 'th' became standard, things like 'yy'(thy) were fairly common(the first letter really being a degenerated thorn); a more likely reason probably has to do with the fact that the name "double U" isn't random - 'W' replaced a letter combination(thus making 'luue' like uuriting 'lwe' today - complete nonsense). But a large number of spelling changes had no better justification than Norman handwriting was sloppy enough to allow certain letter combinations to be confused with other letters/combinations(like some fonts render 'r' and 'n' together as 'm').
  • Charles Wesley has managed to use "prove"/"love" in nearly every hymn he wrote. Many of his other hymns have painful rhymes: "heav'n"/"giv'n", "lamb"/"claim", etc.
    • Charles Wesley wrote the lyrics to over 2,000 hymns. They can't all be perfect, I guess.
  • There are a lot of really beautiful Scottish folk songs that have entered the international repertoire of singers who aren't even necessarily folk singers. Trouble is, a lot of them have lines that only rhyme if they're sung with a Scottish accent (e.g. "eye" to rhyme with "he", "so" to rhyme with "day" and so on), and most non-Scottish singers can't sustain that accent for an entire song. This can lead to awkward results, such as a singer suddenly slipping into broad Scots for the duration of one line or even one word, and then slipping back into their normal accent for the rest of the song...
  • Yahtzee decided that the reboot of Wolfenstein was such a boring game any normal review of it would also be boring, and so performed most of his review of the game in limerick form. Since it's played for laughs, the ridiculous rhymes come off as more hilarious than painful.

 "I know what you're gonna say: "Yahtzee!

You sleek internet paparazzi!

Surely it's always fun

To stick the butt of a gun

Up the arse of a goose-stepping Nazi!"

  • The hilariously terrible "Jingle Man, Christmas Boy", a new Christmas carol written by Stephen Colbert for his Christmas Special. "Boy" not only rhymes with "toys" but also with "Illinois".
  • One of the movie/game collection made by Phoenix Games and Dingo Animation Studios called Dinosaur Adventure featured a dinosaur making horrible rhymes.
  • The entirety of "T.U.R.T.L.E. Power" by Partners in Kryme, which played during the credits of the first live-action Ninja Turtles movie. Awkward sentence-warping, full lines of nonsense, predictable rhyming pairs, wonky metaphors, and the mislabeling of Raphael as the leader (probably for the sake of rhyme/meter... not like they really adhered to a meter anyway) - it's pretty painful. But for some, it hurts so good. Probably the worst is this couplet:

 Now this is for real so you fight for justice

Your shell is hard so you shout "They can't dust us"

    • To be fair, Raphael was portrayed as the leader of the Turtles in the film itself.
  • The Blue Ribbon Day, by Katie Couric. Nearly every page has at least one. One of the worst examples would be:

 So the two go together the day after school.

With Miss Rigg's supervision (you know, that's the rule),

they got out their beakers and their Bunsen burners

and decided to find out if they were fast learners.

 Tanker: Quick! What rhymes with "Sidney"?

Amp: Um, "kidney"?

  • One Beanie Baby named "The End" tries to pass up "to an end" and "everyone" as a rhyme on its swing tag poem.
  • Strong Bad comments on this during Marzipan's song "Sensitive to Bees", where she rhymes "fruit" with "cute".

 Strong Bad: Oh, "fruit" and "cute". Good rhyme!

  • "Elenore" by The Turtles is deliberately written in this style; it's all part of the joke. Notable in that it's the only Hot 100 Song ever to rhyme "et cetera" in the lyrics (with "better", if anyone cares).
  • Echo Bazaar uses the concept for humor in the flavor text which indicates progress in writing a commissioned poem: "The work advances. Are you actually going to rhyme 'mushroom' with 'room'? I mean actually?"
  • An egregiously horrible one from this troper's favorite Advent hymn that tends to make him cringe: "O Come, O Come Emmanuel" has a verse that rhymes "high" and "mightily"/"misery". Perhaps in older times, it rhymed, but these days and in North America, not so much.


Real Life

  • E. Y. Harburg's lyrics yield nothing to Ogden Nash in mangling words for the sake of rhyme.
    • His rhymes weren't as painful because they were meant to be funny. Many other examples on this page weren't, thus increasing their painfulness.
  • The Devil's Dictionary by Ambrose Bierce sarcastically defines "kiss" as "a word invented by the poets as a rhyme for 'bliss.'"
  • Rev. Joseph Lowery's invocation at Barack Obama's inauguration included a a few rhyming lines that were a reference to the 1940s song "Black, Brown and White":

 We ask you to help us work for that day when black will not be asked to get back

When brown can stick around

When yellow will be mellow

When the red man can get ahead, man

And when white will embrace what is right.

  • It may be worth mentioning comedian Alexei Sayle's solution to the whole problem of poetry being difficult to write because people expect it to rhyme: Simply end every line with the same word.

 There was a young lady from Shrewsbury bollocks

Who went to the shop for some fish bollocks

As she walked in the door shit

The shopkeeper said shit

What kind of fish would you like bollocks?

  • As noted above, lots of beginning and amateur poets often stick slavishly to "ABAB" rhyme schemes, which often results in this.
  • The Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas deserves a special mention here: Sinterklaas gifts are traditionally accompanied by poems of.. let's say... varying quality.


Miscellaneous

  • Any song ever that attempts to rhyme "again" with, for example, "rain", when "again" is pronounced "ag'in". For goodness' sake, singers, I know we Americans pronounce it like that, but can't you rhyme it with "within" or something if you're going to use that pronunciation?
    • More to the point, any time they try to rhyme it with such words without pronouncing it like the word "gain" with an "a" slapped on the front. "Ag'in", "agehn", anything but "aGAYn" is guilty of this. And NOBODY FUCKING SAYS "AGAYN" ANYMORE. SO STOP IT.
      • ...I say "agayn"
      • Pretty much my entire country says "agayn"
      • "Underneath the sky AGYAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYN". (Only at the end; otherwise it's "again" to rhyme with "friend". There's also one instance of "agayn" to rhyme with "name"... if there's a band renowned for this trope it's Oasis, whose "Sister/missed her/blister" from "She's Electric" is reckoned to the be one of the worst rhyme combos ever, closely followed by "cousin/dozen/oven".)
      • Stan Rogers rhymes "Pain" with "Again" in The Woodbridge Dog Disaster, but he does so without using the "Agayn" pronounciation.
      • Keane attempts to rhyme "again" with "same" in...brace yourself..."Again & Again." The wonky rhyme is done with "Agayn", but the same word shortly before it (in the obvious phrase) is pronounced "again", making it especially jarring. And it's still only a half-rhyme.
  • Anything if it rhymes with "...you see." at the end of the previous or following line.
    • Justified in "Revelations" by Iron Maiden, on the equal grounds of coming from a song with awesome lyrics (any metal band to quote Chesterton should be awarded a medal), and for coming from a verse that already began as an unlikely prediction ("Bind all of us together, ablaze with hope and free/No storm or heavy weather will rock the boat, you'll see.")

Notes

  1. people often either come to their senses or have someone else intervene before going through with it. And even when they DO try it, many suicide methods aren't 100% successful
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