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Exactly What It Says on the Tin. This is when a songwriter or poet rhymes a word with itself. Perhaps the writer couldn't think of a better word (writing is hard work, after all) or perhaps the writer was just feeling lazy that day. Whatever the reason, they took the easy way out and simply repeated a word when they needed a rhyme. And in some cases, it's just done for the sake of comedy.
While a repeated rhyme isn't generally as cringe-worthy as its sister trope, the Painful Rhyme, it can still cause a listener to pause and wonder what just happened. It's worth mentioning that English is a fairly difficult language to rhyme in, compared to say, French or Spanish. Nonetheless, you are allowed to rhyme, say, "smelt it" with "dealt it".
Note that this trope doesn't really apply to a repetitive chorus, in which the same line is repeated over and over again.
- "Star Spangled Man" from Captain America: The First Avenger rhymes "America" with, "America" too many times to count. Considering the song is an Affectionate Parody of 1940s patriotic propaganda songs, they might have done this for Stylistic Suck purposes.
- And because not much rhymes with America anyway.
- The actual last piece of original material in the seventy-three-book Eighth Doctor Adventures is a song with a certain amount of this. Way to be, Fitz. All the rhyming lines rhyme with each other, and two lines end with the word "true", two with "do", two with "you", one with "too" and one with "to". Also, there's an "oh so true" in there.
- From Eeyore's poem in The House at Pooh Corner:
(I haven't got a rhyme for that "is" in the second line yet.
(Now I haven't got a rhyme for "bother". Bother.)
Those two "bother"s will have to rhyme with each other.
- In Red Dwarf, Lister explains that there aren't many things that rhyme with Kochanski's name, so his song uses "underpantski" twice.
- Eminem is guilty of this at times, most notably in "Still Don't Give A Fuck":
Got your girl on my arm and I'm armed with a firearm
So big my entire arm's like a giant firearm.
Now this looks like a job for me
So everybody, just follow me
'Cause we need a little, controversy
'Cause it feels so empty, without me.
- Madonna's "Vogue":
Don't just stand there
Let's get to it
Strike a pose
There's nothing to it
- The Beatles rhymed "better" with "better" in "Hey Jude":
Hey, Jude, don't make it bad/Take a sad song and make it better/Remember to let her into your heart/and you can start to make it better.
- And then:
- The Doors rhymed "fire" with "fire" on "Light My Fire."
- Black Sabbath rhymed "masses" with "masses" on "War Pigs," although they did use two different meanings for "masses"
- Coheed and Cambria does this with "21:13", the hidden song on their second album, when they rhyme "all" with "all".
- The Black Eyed Peas rhyme a word with its plural in "Where Is The Love":
What's wrong with the world, Mama?
People livin' like they ain't got no mamas
- "Pass the Mic" by the Beastie Boys:
Well, everybody rappin' like it's a commercial
Actin' like life is a big commercial.
- Although it was originally supposed to be "actin' like life is a big rehearsal"; Mike D accidentally said "commercial" twice and they left it in.
- The Ill Communication B-side "The Vibes" rhymes "Les McCan" with "Les McCan", which is so blatant one can only assume it's intentional.
I kick out the jams and tell you who I am
I'll make you shake your ass like Les McCan
And then you're out talking shit like Yosemite Sam
You've got the elephant feet like Les McCan
- "Get It Together" has Q-Tip doing this during his guest appearance and immediately doing some Lampshade Hanging:
I eat the fuckin' pineapple Now & Laters
Listen to me now, don't listen to me later
Fuck it, 'cause I know I didn't make it fuckin' rhyme for real
But, yo, technically, I'm hard as steel
- "Breakfast In America" by Supertramp contains a line that rhymes "girlfriend" with "girlfriend."
- Avril Lavigne used the "girlfriend/girlfriend" rhyme too.
- "Breakfast at Tiffany's" by Deep Blue Something rhymes "The world has come between us" and "Our life has come between us" possibly to avoid having to talk about something that rhymes with "between us" and starts with P.
- Played with, but cleverly averted, in Randy Travis' "Better Class of Losers,", which rhymes "sweet" and "suite," a very rare example of using homophones as rhymes.
- Another homophone rhyme: "Me and You" by Kenny Chesney rhymes "too" and "to" in the chorus.
- And a rather clever one in The Notorious B.I.G.'s "What's Beef", which rhymes "I see you" with "ICU".
- Train's "Meet Virginia" does this four times, with "beautiful," "president," and "unusual" in the verses, and "life" in the chorus. (Technically, they also rhyme "queen" with itself in one refrain, but because of the rhyme scheme it's not as noticeable.)
- Limp Bizkit's "Rollin'" rhymes "here" with "here", although there's at least an internal rhyme involved ("I know you be lovin' this shit right here/ L-I-M-P bizkit is right here").
- Coldplay's "Everything's Not Lost" rhymes "lost" with "lost."
- "It Was an Absolutely, Finger-Lickin', Grits and Chicken, Country Music Love Song" by Bomshel uses "song/along/song/song" as a rhyme in the chorus. This is a rare two-for-one, as it uses both a Painful Rhyme (song/along) and a Rhyming with Itself based on the same word.
- Jessica Harp's "Boy Like Me" rhymes "with me" with the title.
- "If You've Got the Money" by Lefty Frizzell, later covered by Willie Nelson, rhymes "time" with itself in the chorus and second verse.
- "Perfect Insanity" by Disturbed once rhymes "mind" with itself.
- "Some Things Are Meant to Be" by Linda Davis does this with "for you" right off the bat.
- Taylor Swift's "You Belong with Me" rhymes "like I do" with, "like I do", and later, "than that" and "like that".
- "The Seashores of Old Mexico," first recorded by Merle Haggard, gets it out of the way in the first line, which rhymes "in mind" with itself.
- Finger Eleven's "One Thing" rhymes "thing" with "thing" twice, "time" with "time" once, and then goes on a Rhyming Rampage when it begins to rhyme "know" with "know" no less than nine times. This might make One Thing the ultimate example of this trope.
- Flirted with in "The Bride" by Trick Pony, which rhymes "pretty thing" and "anything."
- ABBA's "The Winner Takes It All" rhymes "plain" with "complain," which may not technically be a Rhyming with Itself, but it has the same feel to it.
- And don't forget "S.O.S." where the two couplets in the chorus not only rhyme "on" with itself but also share almost all the same words.
When you're gone
How can I even try to go on?
When you're gone
Though I try how can I carry on?
Like I said, I hate you jerks.
What a bunch of stupid jerks.
- "Weird Al" Yankovic naturally parodied this in "Trapped in the Drive-Thru", a parody of R. Kelly's "Trapped in the Closet", in which he rhymes "Door" with itself several times, and later rhymes "drive-thru" with itself for eight lines in a row.
- Used for humorous effect in an entire verse of Flight of the Conchords' "Hurt Feelings":
I call my friends, say "let's go into town"
But they're all too busy to go into town
So I go by myself, I go into town
Then I see all my friends... they're all in town
- Done by Manowar on their song "God or Man".
I arrive, a stranger in this land
And those who seek me, their blood will wash the land
I will be in the bar
With my head on the bar
- Kid Rock's "All Summer Long":
We were trying different things
We were smoking funny things
- The verses of Moxy Fruvous's "Kids Song" are limericks. The first two have pretty brutal rhymes (toxic/dioxic/dog sick), and then the third one has:
Hello, I'm Gabby and I just got here from Chile
I like Canada, except that it is chilly
I met Premier Bob Rae, and he ain't no Pinochet
My mother makes a spicy bowl of chili-three-rhymes!!
- The Clash rhyme "sound" with "sound" in "Rock the Casbah".
- "Always" by Saliva has this line:
I feel like you don't want me around
I guess I'll pack all my things
I guess I'll see you around
- In DJ Format's "3 Feet Deep", guest rapper D-Sisive does this deliberately for an internal rhyme: "And I can win a mic fight by using the same line twice / Ripping me is like a mic fight"
- "Always" by Erasure rhymes "open" with itself in the first verse.
- Green Day's song "Longview" rhymes three times:
I got no motivation
Where is my motivation?
No time for motivation
Smoking my inspiration
- The Nirvana song "You Know You're Right": "No thought was put into this/I always knew it would come to this". This was a replacement for the original take of the song, where the second line was "I'm walking in the piss".
- "How to Save a Life" by The Fray does this anywhere from two to four different times depending on what counts: two straight examples, one instance of the whole line being repeated when the same line in the previous verse was two distinct lines, and one coupling of "things" with "everything". For perspective, this accounts for nearly half of all the rhyming couplets in the song.
- The White Stripes' "The Hardest Button to Button" has this masterful rhyme:
I've got a backyard
With nothin' in it
Except a stick, a dog,
And a box with somethin' in it.
- Part of the refrain of "Between The Lines" by Stone Temple Pilots: "You always were my favorite drug/ Even when we used to take drugs"
- As shown on The So-Called Coward page, the first verse of "The Coward of the County" rhymes "wrong" with itself.
- As pointed out in Todd in the Shadows' review, "Break Up" by Mario featuring Gucci Mane and Sean Garrett rhymes "model" with "model", much to his incoherent rage.
- Todd's very first episode, Jay Sean's "Down", had to point out this rhyme:
Baby are you down, down, down, down, down? (down, down)
Even if the sky is falling down
- Rapper Juelz Santana abuses the living hell out of this trope. Here's an example:
"Yeah, but I be right back at ya, twice back at ya, like Christ back at ya, yeah!
You be like damn, that’s one nice ass rapper,
I kind of like that rapper, I want to be like that rapper, (no!)
No, but if you bite that rapper,
I might bite back at you, with that rifle at ya"
- Xzibit does this on "Multiply":
I got a Sixth Sense, that tells me you ain't worth six cents,
I'm sick with my sixth sense.
- Shows up in the first verse of "The Cat Came Back":
He tried and he tried to give the cat away;
He gave it to a man going far, far away.
- "Black and Gold" by Sam Sparro has this little gem. Granted, he is talking about two different "matters", but still:
'Cuz if you're not really here
Then the stars don't even matter
Now I'm filled to the top with fear
That it's all just a bunch of matter
- He's actually saying "natter" in the second B line, which basically means "small talk".
- In Beyoncé's verse on Lady Gaga's "Telephone", she rhymes "faster," with "faster," and then with "faster."
- Def Leppard's "Hysteria":
I want to know tonight
If you're alone tonight
- Sonata Arctica rhymes "seeing" with itself in the full version of "Everything Fades to Gray".
- The Magnetic Fields pull off a sneaky one in "I Don't Believe You":
So you're brilliant, gorgeous &
Ampersand after ampersand
- David Bowie's "Kooks":
We bought a lot of things to keep you warm and dry
A funny old crib on which the paint won't dry
- Ric Ross in a lot of his songs, but especially in "(Everyday I'm) Hustlin":
I'm in the distribution, I'm like Atlantic
I got them motherfuckers flyin' 'cross the Atlantic.
- As well as:
We never steal cars, but we deal hard
Whip it real hard whip it whip it real hard
I caught a charge,(yeah) I caught a charge
Whip it real hard, whip it whip it real hard.
- And one that can lead to hysterical laughter on first hearing:
Don't tote no twenty-twos, Magnum cost me twenty-two
Sat it on them twenty-twos, birds go for twenty-two
Lil' mama super thick, she say she twenty-two
She seen them twenty-twos, we in room two twenty-two.
- Yes, he did just rhyme the same word 7 times. So then to end the song, he does this:
In the M-I-A-YO them niggaz rich off that Yayo
Steady slangin' Yayo, my Chevy bangin' Yayo.
- The Kinks' "Lola":
Well, I'd left home just a week before
and I'd never, ever kissed a woman before
but Lola smiled and took me by the hand
said "Little boy, gonna make you a man."
Well, I'm not the world's most masculine man
but I know what I am, and I'm glad I'm a man
- Weird Al's parody, "Yoda":
Well, I'd left home just a week before
and I'd never, ever been a Jedi before
- Some renditions of "Jingle Bell Rock" invoke this by singing "Mix and mingle in the jinglin' feet" instead of "beat." Even though "jinglin' feet" makes no sense.
- Robby Roadsteamer's "Heart Of A Rhino":
I've got the mind of a ninja
And the strength of a thousand... ninjas?
- Don Williams' "Tulsa Time" rhymes "time" with itself several times.
- "Mr. Knowitall" by Primus does this and lampshades it:
They call me Mr. Knowitall - I am so eloquent
Perfection is my middle name and whatever rhymes with eloquent
- Shakira, in the chorus of the Spanish version of "Whenever, wherever" manages to rhyme "vida" with itself three times in a row:
Contigo, mi vida / quiero vivir la vida
Lo que me queda de vida / lo quiero vivir contigo.
- The redundancy is especially grating because the second couplet essentially means the same as the first.
- "Stuck in the Middle With You" by Stealers Wheel rhymes "make some sense of it all" with "makes no sense at all".
- The final verse of Britney Spears' "Toxic" manages to rhyme now four times in a row and that's before it repeats itself.
Intoxicate me now / with your lovin' now / I think I'm ready now / I think I'm ready now
- "Alone Again (Naturally)" by Gilbert O Sullivan rhymes "myself" with "myself" in the first verse. (In the rest of the verses there are legitimate rhymes in that position - cried/died, to/do - so it was intentional.)
- Young Jeezy's "My President Is Black" has a bizarre example: it rhymes "New Orleans" with itself, but uses two different pronounciations.
- Queen's "Who Wants to Live Forever" rhymes "us" with "us" no less than six times over the span of three verses.
- "One Is the Loneliest Number" by Three Dog Night:
Two can be as bad as one,
It's the loneliest number since the number one.
- America's "Sandman" (not to be confused with with the Chordates song "Mr. Sandman") rhymes "man" with "sandman" in its chorus.
- Swedish pop star Eric Saade's single "Popular" presents us with this little gem:
Stop, don't say that it's impossible,
'Cause, I know, it's possible.
- MC Lars' Deangelo Vickers:
My dog got cancer, so we put it to sleep
But when I rock the mic, I don't put you to sleep
- "The Joker" by the Steve Miller Band uses "love" twice in its opening verse:
Some people call me the Space Cowboy (yeah)
Some call me the Gangster of Love
Some people call me Maurice
'Cause I speak of the pompatus of love.
- The chorus of "Love is Like Oxygen" by Sweet matches "high" with itself:
Love is like oxygen
You get too much you get too high
Not enough and you're gonna die
Love gets you high.
- The chorus of Val Doonican's "Walk Tall" begins and ends with the same line, but the meat in the sandwich also rhymes a word with itself:
"Walk tall, walk straight and look the world right in the eye."
That's what my momma told me when I was about knee-high.
She said, "Son, be a proud man and hold your head up high.
Walk tall, walk straight and look the world right in the eye."
- Mike Shinoda rhymes "today" with itself three times in "Papercut":
Why does it feel like night today?
Something in here's not right today.
Why am I so uptight today?
Paranoia's all I've got left.
- Tyler, the Creator both uses and subverts it on the song "The Tape Intro":
- Asher Roth's "I Love College" rhymes "wasted" with "wasted" several times.
- Pitbull's "Give Me Everything (Tonight)" might be the new champion, starting it off by rhyming (of all things) "Kodak" with "Kodak" in... the exact same context:
"Me not working hard?
Yeah right, picture that with a Kodak
Better yet, go to Times Square
Take a picture of me with a Kodak
- It is then followed by the word "tonight" rhyming with itself no fewer than 43 times over the course of the song.
- Kanye West is guilty of this in "Slow Jamz"
"She got a light-skinned friend look like Michael Jackson
Got a dark-skinned friend look like Michael Jackson."
- Don McLean's "American Pie" rhymes "step" with "step" in the first verse.
- Jennifer Lopez's song "On The Floor" rhymes "on the floor" with "on the floor" too many times to count.
- Chris Brown provides a rather extreme example in his single "Look At Me Now."
Better cuff your chick if you with her, I can get her and she accidentally slip and fall on my dick
Oops I said, "on my dick"
I ain't really mean to say "on my dick"
But since we talkin' about my dick
All of you haters say hi to it.
- Some versions of "Winter Wonderland" have this verse:
In the meadow, we can build a snowman
And pretend that he's a circus clown
We'll have lots of fun with Mr. Snowman
Until the other kiddies knock him down
- Foreigner's "Hot Blooded":
You don't have to read my mind
To know what I have in mind.
- Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead Or Alive":
I walk these streets, a loaded six string on my back
I play for keeps, 'cause I might not make it back.
- Rise Against's "Prayer of the Refugee":
So open your eyes, child, let's be on our way
Broken windows and ashes are guiding the way
- "Than that" and "like that" are rhymed in Taylor Swift's "You Belong With Me".
- Big Sean's "Dance" rhymes "what's up" with "shut up".
- In most of Edward Lear's early limericks, the first and last lines are the same, with this as the inevitable consequence. One rhymes "beard" with "beard".
- Dante Alighieri did this intentionally in the Divine Comedy. To prevent any sense of blasphemy, he only rhymed the word "Christ" with "Christ." Notable in that he had to do it three times do to the rhyming system of the Comedy (ABA CAC).
- Edgar Allan Poe sometimes did this to deliberate effect, e.g., in The Raven:
"Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven,
Ghastly grim and ancient Raven wandering from the Nightly shore--
Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!"
- Jorge Luis Borges did it occasionally, most notably in "Arte Poetica", where every rhyme is of this kind, with system ABBA.
- In The Phantom of the Opera song "Notes/Prima Donna", theater-manager Firmin rhymes "wrote" with "wrote," but quickly corrects himself.
Raoul: Isn't this the letter you wrote?
Firmin: And what is it that we're meant to have wrote? (Spoken) Ah... written.
- Oscar Hammerstein II rhymes "forever" with "forever" in his song "Edelweiss" from The Sound of Music.
- Red House Painters' Mark Kozelek usually avoids this. On the song "Have You Forgotten", though, he accidentally lets one slip: "That's when friends were nice, To think of them just makes you feel nice."
- Though written, Pokiehl in Legend of Mana tries writing a poem about Watts, but is clearly struggling to come up with anything to say about him. The first three lines all end with the word "helm", and the last doesn't even try to rhyme.
- Occurs twice in the song "Full Tank (All Masters' RAP)" from Parappa the Rapper:
Chop Chop Master Onion:
I need to go just as bad as you
What I had this morning I don't even wanna say to you
Cheap Cheap The Cooking Chicken:
Crack, break, fix the door, you know.
I gotta go, so yes open up, ya know!
- Strong Bad comments on this during Marzipan's song "Sensitive to Bees," where she rhymes "cute" with "cute" and "cute," after rhyming it with "fruit".
Strong Bad: "Cute", "cute" and "cute." You're the poet laureate of-
- The Jib Jab Christmas song "Santa Claus" has one:
Santa: I'm running out of dough,
The bills ain't getting paid.
[camera cuts to Santa in bed with Ma Claus] I can't remember when,
The last time I got... [[[Beat]], camera cuts back to Santa grabbing dollar bills] paid!
- The theme to the joke "Rorschach and Wolverine" rhymes "psychopath" with itself:
Rorschach and Wolverine, they make a great team. He's a psychopath, he's also a psychopath. I don't think the premise really works.
- In Horrible Turn, a song rhymes "we can throw shrimp on the barbie" with "I can be Ken, she can be Barbie".
- Harry's song in the Potter Puppet Pals episode "The Vortex".
- Conan O'Brien's "Friday" parody, "Thursday", has this for a rapping interlude:
Why is there a rapper here?
Why exactly am I here?
Did I just rhyme "here" with "here"?
I am getting out of here!
Conan: That was a rapper, which makes this a real song!
- Todd in the Shadows complains about this, especially when it's done multiple times in the same song. Though he reacts worse when people "rhyme" words that obviously don't rhyme, no matter how much you distort them.
- In The Simpsons episode "Team Homer," the bowling team has taken to chanting motivational chants at each other during games:
All but Homer: Come on, Homer! Come on, Homer! / Pretend this is baseball and hit us a homer!
(Homer gets a strike; they cheer)
Homer: By the way, guys: rhyming "Homer" with "homer"? (kisses fingers)
- Another Simpsons example, from a man in love with Marge:
Lady, when you go away
It makes me wanna die
And not dye like your hair is dyed
But die like Lady Di
And not die like her name is Di
But die like when she died
But, lady, just like Lady Di
You're my princess tonight
But don't die.
- There's also the first lines in a poem Homer came up with:
There once was a rapping tomato
That's right, I said "rapping tomato"
- The intro theme to She-Ra: the Secret of the Sword. The Nostalgia Chick was not impressed.
- A poem Binky wrote in an episode of Arthur fell guilty of this.
- Parodied in Clone High:
Gandhi: "Man, you wanted a kiss, but instead you got bupkis. *Gasp* 'Kiss'...bupkis.' I just totally rhymed! I rhymed! Wait, 'rhymed,' 'rhymed'! I did it again!
- And indeed, later in the episode, he records a hit song with these lyrics:
G-Spot rocks the G-Spot!
G-Spot rocks the G-Spot!
What's my name? (G-Spot!)
What do I rhyme? (the G-Spot!)
- In an episode of Stroker and Hoop, Hoop tells a rapper that "technically, 'club' does not rhyme with 'club'."
- In the theme song to the animated film Jimmy Neutron Boy Genius, Bowling for Soup rhyme "time" with "time" (in the chorus lyrics "We've got to save the Earth and get to school on time/So many things to do and not much time!") three separate times.
- In Der Fuehrer's Face, there is one song verse that rhymes with itself, rhyming "shells" with "shells":
When der Fuehrer yells,
"We've got to have more shells!",
We Heil! Heil!
For him we make more shells!
- Animaniacs: "The Good-Bye Song"
We're so sad we've no more time together
Just to drop an anvil on your head
And stuff your pockets full of dynamite
Then tie you to a rhino's head!