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Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

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Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

Old 03-14-14, 09:01 AM
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Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

Not sure if this deserves an entire thread for this, BUT:

....Ever notice that everyone in the fictional ROCKY universe is aware that the ROCKY theme song, "Gonna Fly Now", exists?

For example, in ROCKY III, the high school marching band is playing: "Gonna Fly Now" at the Rocky statue.

In ROCKY V, the song is playing when Rocky's plane comes home from Russia.



I don't know how or why Sly would allow the characters to become self-aware of their own movie's theme song.

Is there any other movie where this happens? MAGNOLIA perhaps?
Old 03-14-14, 09:04 AM
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re: Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

What's the irony though?
Old 03-14-14, 09:05 AM
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re: Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

Perhaps it's his theme song as well as the movies theme song?

If Hulk Hogan were going to a high school I'm sure the marching band would play "Real American"
Old 03-14-14, 09:06 AM
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re: Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

Originally Posted by Solid Snake View Post
What's the irony though?

Yeah - the word "irony" isn't quite right - The best word would be: "weird" - but that doesn't have the "oomph" that I'm looking for.....
Old 03-14-14, 09:30 AM
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re: Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

Originally Posted by jeffkjoe View Post
Is there any other movie where this happens?
In film:
-- A snake charmer plays the James Bond theme in Octopussy

In TV:
-- Not a movie, but in the finale of True Detective one of the characters hums the theme song
-- There's an episode of Veronica Mars where she says "we used to be friends a long time ago" right before the opening credits
-- A song sung as a joke in the movie version of MASH ("Suicide is Painless") became the theme for the tv show
Old 03-14-14, 09:47 AM
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re: Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

Please don't ever try and compare Rocky to Magnolia.

Thank you.
Old 03-14-14, 09:51 AM
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re: Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

Originally Posted by dan30oly View Post
Please don't ever try and compare Rocky to Magnolia.

Thank you.
Finally you wise up.
Old 03-14-14, 09:55 AM
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re: Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

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Old 03-14-14, 10:02 AM
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re: Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

In the Goonies, at one point they're watching the Cindi Lauper music video "Goonies R Good Enough" (which they appear in) on TV.
Old 03-14-14, 10:08 AM
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re: Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

Hans Gruber hums Ode to Joy in Die Hard.
Old 03-14-14, 10:11 AM
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re: Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

These are all GREAT examples, guys!

I had no idea that this occurred so often in pop-culture media.

I offer another one:

The Charlie Brown gang dancing to the "Linus and Lucy" theme, multiple times, during the A Charlie Brown Christmas.
Old 03-14-14, 10:21 AM
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re: Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

In the Rami Spider-Man movies, the classic cartoon theme appears a couple of places, once being played by a street musician, and again I think played by a band at a celebration for Spider-Man in Spidey 3.
Old 03-14-14, 10:23 AM
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re: Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

I'm pretty sure Homer, and maybe Bart at some point, hums The Simpsons theme.

This should get a thread title change and a new focus on this sort of thing. Maybe indicate as such in the OP, too.
Old 03-14-14, 10:26 AM
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Re: Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

Originally Posted by story View Post
This should get a thread title change and a new focus on this sort of thing.
Done!
Old 03-14-14, 11:35 AM
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Re: Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe



Also, this doesn't really fall under theme song, but there are some cases (probably only in comedies) in which music is playing that seems to be the score, but then it's revealed the characters are hearing it. Mel Brooks' Blazing Saddles and High Anxiety did it.
Old 03-14-14, 11:46 AM
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Re: Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

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Old 03-14-14, 11:58 AM
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Re: Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

In LAURA (1944) a character plays a 78 rpm record on a phonograph and it's the "Laura" theme that we've already heard ad infinitem.

And in TAXI DRIVER, 32 years later, Sport the pimp (Harvey Keitel) talks his little prostitute Iris (Jodie Foster) into not leaving him and proceeds to play a record (LP) on a phonograph and dance with her to the music and it's the TAXI DRIVER theme by Bernard Herrmann, reorchestrated to sound like a slow dance piece, but already heard a number of times in the film in its more jazzy saxophone iteration by that point.

Last edited by Ash Ketchum; 03-14-14 at 03:00 PM.
Old 03-14-14, 12:19 PM
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Re: Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

Inception maybe?
Old 03-14-14, 01:53 PM
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Re: Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

Marty's band playing "Power of Love" at the auditions in Back to the Future.
Old 03-14-14, 02:04 PM
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Re: Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

Glenn Ford's character Ben Wade whistles the theme song in the original 3:10 to Yuma.

Bronson plays the harmonica theme in Once Upon a Time in the West.

The Russian aristocrat plays the theme song on the piano on the train in Horror Express, as I recall.

Player piano playing the theme song in The Man With the Golden Gun.

Last edited by Ky-Fi; 03-14-14 at 02:09 PM.
Old 03-14-14, 02:29 PM
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Re: Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

Great examples everyone has been compiling.

Are other people like me, that they get momentarily taken out of the movie when this happens. I remember as a small kid being WTF during the Ghostbusters kiddie party scene. "How do they know that song?"

I can't think of a logical reason this should bother me. I mean there's Coca-Cola in real life and there's Coca-Cola in Ghostbusters, why should it bother me that Ray Parker Jr's #1 Hit exists in both the real world and the Ghostbuster's inferior sequel? Still, it always seems weird to me.
Old 03-14-14, 02:59 PM
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Re: Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

Originally Posted by Rockmjd23 View Post
Marty's band playing "Power of Love" at the auditions in Back to the Future.
To a disapproving Huey Lewis!
Old 03-14-14, 03:29 PM
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Re: Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

Originally Posted by Crocker Jarmen View Post
I remember as a small kid being WTF during the Ghostbusters kiddie party scene. "How do they know that song?"
I actually hadn't seen the movie in years and I saw it recently on cable, and it was definitely a WTF moment for me, funny that I didn't remember it.
Old 03-14-14, 03:35 PM
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Re: Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

Originally Posted by Crocker Jarmen View Post
Great examples everyone has been compiling.

Are other people like me, that they get momentarily taken out of the movie when this happens. I remember as a small kid being WTF during the Ghostbusters kiddie party scene. "How do they know that song?"

I can't think of a logical reason this should bother me. I mean there's Coca-Cola in real life and there's Coca-Cola in Ghostbusters, why should it bother me that Ray Parker Jr's #1 Hit exists in both the real world and the Ghostbuster's inferior sequel? Still, it always seems weird to me.
Well, I would imagine that while we know the song as a movie theme, in that world it was created as a tribute to them. I mean, even in the first movie they became popular cultural icons.
Old 03-14-14, 03:35 PM
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Re: Movies (and TV Shows) where the theme appears in-universe

People mentioned Octopussy and The Man with the Golden Gun but this happens in Live and Let Die as well. Plus there's the guy whistling the Goldfinger theme in OHMSS.

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