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When I look back on my life, it’s not that I don’t want to see things exactly as they happened, it’s just that I prefer to remember them in an artistic way. And, truthfully, the lie of it all is much more honest because I invented it.
—"Marry the Night: The Prelude Pathétique"
Lady Gaga (née Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta, b. 1986), is an American dance-pop singer, songwriter, and pianist who burst onto the music scene in 2008 and since then has become known for her catchy songs, suggestive lyrics and outrageous outfits.
Her music is influenced by the likes of Britney Spears, Madonna, Klaus Nomi, Prince and Cyndi Lauper, as well as glam-rock artists like David Bowie and Queen, and the Europop genre of the 1990s. Gaga spent years trying to make it big, writing for other artists such as Fergie, The Pussycat Dolls and New Kids on the Block and Britney Spears while working toward her own big break. She also took part in her university talent contest, attracting rave reviews from the judges, and released a little-known album with a band she was singing with (as Stefani Germanotta).
Okay, that doesn't cover half of it.
Lady Gaga is, quite simply, the poster girl for over-the-top eccentricity. Between her outrageous outfits, her role-play crossdressing, her incredibly trippy music videos and performances, and her Camp sensibilities, Lady Gaga is easily one of the most... interesting pop stars working today, as this page will show you very clearly.
Her critics like to point out, and not without reason, that the entire point of Lady Gaga is her odd behavior and strange mode of dress, noting that without these elements of her stage persona, she never would have become as popular as she is today.
The music video for Bad Romance is currently the third most watched video on YouTube. It has surpassed 400 million views, with a huge chunk coming from fans embedding the video everywhere they can and refreshing the page often. If your computer (or proxy) is within one of the allowed regions, you can watch it here. It currently faces competition from Justin Bieber's "Baby" and Jennifer Lopez's "On the Floor".
In 2011, Gaga's song "Born This Way" became the 1000th song to be identified as the #1 single in America by Billboard magazine since the establishment of the Hot 100 chart.
- As the Stefani Germanotta Band:
- Red and Blue (2005): A five-track EP.
- As Lady Gaga:
- The Fame (2008)
- Hitmixes (2008): A set of remixes and alternate mixes of songs from The Fame.
- "Christmas Tree" (2008): A stand-alone single, and the most suggestive rendering of "Deck the Halls" ever.
- The Cherrytree Sessions (2009): A three-track EP with an unplugged, piano-accompanied "Poker Face" and stripped-down versions of "Just Dance" and "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)".
- The Fame Monster (2009): Released as both a stand-alone EP and as part of an Updated Rerelease of The Fame.
- Lady Gaga: The Remix (2010): Just like Hitmixes, this is a set of remixed versions of songs from The Fame Monster.
- Born This Way (2011)
- Born This Way: The Remix (November 2011) As the title may vaguely imply, it has remixes of songs from Born This Way.
- Born This Way: The Collection (November 2011) Born This Way, its remix CD and the Monster Ball Tour DVD, all in one convenient package.
Tropes Applying to Lady Gaga
- Affectionate Parody: This is Gagaween!
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: Luc Carl is..uh..implied to be this by her obsession with bad boys on the Born This Way album and bikers.
- Analogy Backfire: The song that she took her name from, Queen's "Radio Gaga", is a Take That at MTV and their music videos eclipsing the importance of radio as a medium for experiencing music. This is highly ironic given her reliance on visual imagery to push her... um... image.
- Anime Hair: Most notably the 'do that looks like an umbrella.
- Artist Disillusionment: In around 08-09, she was worried that her over-the-top sexual lyrics and stage antics were inappropriate with the relatively little benefit women derive from sex.
- Artistic License Geography: Lady Gaga, at T in the Park (Scotland's biggest music festival) greeted the crowd with "Hello, London"... Twice. Considering how many Scots, um, dislike being mistaken for the English, this was met poorly.
- Ascended Fangirl: Gaga admits to "falling to the floor crying and laughing" when she heard Brian May would be playing Guitar on "Yoü and I".
- Her Collaboration with Britney Spears for her Circus album is also this. She has called Britney the queen of pop and mentioned how she used to show up at her TRL performances in New York when she was a teenager, basically saying she stalked her when she was kid. (The songs are Telephone and Quicksand).
- She has also had the good fortunate to become the God-Mother of Elton John's child and perform with Bruce Springsteen
- Attention Whore: and damn proud of it too! As she puts it; "fame hooker prostitute wench."
- Attractive Bent Gender: Behold, Jo Calderone!
- She hosted the 2011 VMAs in this persona. And didn't break character. And delivered an awesome monologue. Who'd have thought she was so skilled as an actor?
- Auto-Tune: Used in "Paper Gangsta", "Starstruck" and portions of "Monster" and "So Happy I Could Die".
- Used a lot in "Born This Way" especially Heavy Metal Lover. However, unlike most examples pegged here, the autotune she uses is mostly for the outrageous unsubtle effects (Starstruck/Heavy Metal Lover) or to sound hollow (like in So Happy I Could Die/Monster) rather than to cover up bad vocals.
- Banned In Indonesia: Following threats by Islamic fundamentalists, Gaga's scheduled performance in the country was cancelled due to security concerns.
- Be Yourself: The overarching theme of the Born This Way album.
- Betty and Veronica: Described in Judas: Judas being Veronica and Jesus being Betty.
- Becoming the Mask/Do Not Call Me Paul: Gaga consistently maintains that no, it isn't an act, and Stefani is GONE. She actually refused to say her last name in her interview with Jay Leno. The truth of this is up for debate.
- In a recent interview she said that it's more like a nickname and that even her mom calls her Gaga, but in another, said she would prefer bed partners call her Stefani; having somebody yell out "Gaga!" would freak her out. The line "Don't call me Gaga" from "Monster" references this.
- Beneath the Mask: Discussed Trope in Scheiße. The protagonist (possibly Gaga herself) wishes she could stand on her own and be strong without the persona she presents (the "scheiße").
- Bi the Way: She's stated to be bisexual, and this comes through loud and clear in many of her songs and videos. Of course, she's since been so strident about letting people know about her sexuality (she mentions it seemingly once an interview) that people are beginning to say that its just a gimmick.
- Big Fancy House: the setting of the "Paparazzi" video, which is a veritable showcase of Luxury Tropes.
- Though averted by the woman herself. She has statred in multiple interviews that despite her fame and money, she still lives at home with her parents.
- Black Bra and Panties: Used both in the "Bad Romance" music video and Monster Ball tour promo image. Don't be worried though, she layers it by wearing some metal globe thing around her.
- To be specific, she is wearing a human sized gyroscope. Seriously.
- Blood Bath: Several tabloid papers and gossip blogs published stories in early 2012 alleging that she took a bath in blood in a room at the Intercontinental Hotel in London as part of a Satanic ritual to ward off evil spirits.
- Bowdlerise: Some editions of The Fame Monster have the word "bitch" shortened to "bit".
- Bunny Ears Lawyer: She may very well be the new poster child. Despite her eccentric outfits and behavior, underneath it all, that girl can SING.
- The Cameo: A pretty memorable one in The Lonely Island's 3-Way: The Golden Rule.
- To the point that one of her largest Facebook fan groups began as an anti-fan group that was hijacked by fans joining ironically.
- Also, Highway Unicorn. Everything about it.
- Catch Phrase: The line "Cherry Cherry Boom Boom" appears often enough in her songs to count as one.
- "Cherry Cherry Boom Boom" is the nickname of her producer Martin Kierszenbaum. So it's actually a Shout-Out to him.
- Also, "I'm a free bitch, baby."
- Now it's "Born This Way"
- Celibate Hero: Believe it or not, she says she is celibate.
- Child Prodigy: She taught herself how to play piano by ear at age four. She went on to become classically trained and master some incredibly difficult pieces.
- Cloudcuckoolander: Oh, God.
- Clueless Aesop / Lost Aesop: Whatever your feelings on both Lady Gaga and Don't Ask Don't Tell, it's hard to take the "Alejandro" video and already-infamous VMA meat dress seriously as critiques of the policy, as Gaga insists they function.
- Cluster F-Bomb: At her shows, both she and Justin Trantor, the lead singer for her opening act Semi Precious Weapons are prone to doing this frequently.
- Lampshaded by Justin at least at one concert by giving a disclaimer to all the parents who brought their tweenage children that there may be material they find offensive long after the point where many of them would have already left in disgust.
- Composite Character: Some detractors argue she is playing one that is half Madonna, half Marilyn Manson.
- Concept Album: Oddly enough, considering she's a dance-pop star, all of her major releases thus far qualify: The Fame is about, well, fame; The Fame Monster is about the darker side of fame and Gaga's personal fears; Born This Way is about outcasts and rebels.
- Contemptible Cover/Sexy Packaging: The Remix.
- Costume Porn: To the extent where she has her own fashion label, Haus of Gaga.
- This gallery offers a good overview of some of her more memorable fashion choices.
- Creepy Cool Crosses: "Bad Romance" and especially "Alejandro". See also Lucky Charms Title.
- Darker and Edgier: The Fame Monster and Born This Way.
- Dark-Skinned Blond: In "Eh Eh" - ganguro style, not Paris Hilton style.
- A Date with Rosie Palms: "So Happy I Could Die," to fantasies of herself, and a strange cutaway "Bad Romance" video in which it makes her spine glow.
- Do Not Call Me Paul wishes to be addressed as "Lady Gaga" and not "Stefani" or any permutation of that name.
- When she went on her web campaign to drum up support of the Don't Ask Don't Tell repealment, she called her own senators from New York on video and introduced herself as Stefani Germonatta since it is still her legal name, and while she didn't stutter or anything, there was an obvious hint that she was uncomfortable saying it.
- Doing It for the Art: and HOW, especially her Born This Way album and it's 80's tributes, risky focus on Christianity lyrically and over-all Camp-ness and off kilter Be Yourself nature of everything in the era.
- Double Entendre: 'I want to take a ride on your disco stick.' "Blonde South", The constant reference to "Leather" and so much more.
- Digital Piracy Is Okay
- Dream Team: Lady Gaga and Beyonce. Gaga joined Beyonce for the sultry Video Phone video, and Beyonce appears on The Fame Monster in Telephone.
- Gaga and Elton John at the Grammys.
- Gaga and Brian May for Yoü and I.
- And her tour with the virtually-unknown critical darlings Semi-Precious Weapons.
- The best one so far, by way of a fan mash-up - Lady Gaga and Christopher Walken.
- Gaga/Prince, ftw!
- Lady Gaga and Evanescence in a Lithium Romance
- And though it's most likely a rumor, there has been a document floating around the internet saying she worked with David Bowie on her next album.
- Bowie Jossed that one.
- Lady Gaga/Marilyn Manson. Your Mileage May Vary, but the Chew Fu Ghettohouse remix of Lovegame is pretty freaking sweet.
- Lady Gaga and Britney Spears (Telephone, Quicksand)
- Lady Gaga and Brian May.
- Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett singing The Lady Is A Tramp.
- Electra Complex: Count how many times she uses words that sound like "papa" or "daddy". ie: 'Dirty Rich' sounds almost like 'Daddy rich'. ie: 'papa-paparazzi'.
- To say nothing of the line "Daddy, I'm so sorry, I'm so s-s-sorry, yeah" in "Beautiful Dirty Rich"
- Or "Her boyfriend's like her dad, just like her dad." from "Alejandro"
- "Speechless" was allegedly dedicated to her father - presumably (hopefully) not directly addressed to him, since she refers to the subject as "baby" and "boy" throughout, talks about his "James Dean glossy eyes" and "tight jeans," mentions "all the boys and the girls that we've been through" in the chorus, and...well, really, practically every line!
- Don't forget, from her collaboration with New Kids on the Block: "Beat me, spank me, daddy/c'mon, touch my body."
- At one point during "Government Hooker", she moans "ay, mi papito", which means something along the lines of "oh, daddy" and is widespread as a term of endearment in Latin American Spanish.
- Dye Hard: Though she has appeared in every hair color under the sun and most often blonde, she has only revealed herself in her natural hair color, brown, in "Marry The Night." In "Heavy Metal Lover" her lyrics say, "I want your whiskey mouth all over my blonde south," although as a natural brunette, this makes no sense whatsoever.
- Everybody Wants the Hermaphrodite: Lady Gaga has video clips that supposedly show she has male genitalia. It hasn't done anything to detract from her popularity.
- Everything's Better with Sparkles
- Expy: Jo Calderone is an expy of Ed Nell, former GWR Mix Network/GCap Media/Orion Media radio presenter, now working for Hallam FM in Sheffield.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: 60 Minutes somehow missed a "WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU DO?" sign at her Monster Ball concert.
- Scheiße is this by way of Bilingual Bonus.
- In "Heavy Metal Lover", the autotuned male singer 3/4 of the way through the song gets "fuck" past the censors.
- The official lyrics have it listed as "funk," but it's pretty clearly "fuck."
- It lists one of the beginning lines as "red wine, cheap perfume, and a filthy pout," although most fans undeniably agree it's the word "pout" layered over the word "cunt."
- Lady Gaga admitted herself that Pokerface has instances where she says "Fuck her face."
- Godiva Hair: In her appearance on the cover of Vanity Fair. (And a lot of other magazines)
- Good Eyes, Evil Eyes: In the video for "Bad Romance", towards the beginning she has big, digitally enhanced eyes, that side somewhere between "cute and innocent" and unnerving. The video for "Alejandro" does the opposite variation, as her eyes are mostly narrowed at the beginning.
- Gratuitous French: Most obviously appears in "Bad Romance". Also appears in the chorus of "LoveGame".
- Don't forget "Fashion".
- The first two and a half minutes of the "Paparazzi" video are in Swedish. From the glorious mouth of Alexander Skarsgard.
- "Bloody Mary": "Je ne veux pas mourire tout seule" 
- Gratuitous German: "I don't speak German but I can if you like...". Subverted, as she's not actually speaking German.
- Gratuitous Spanish: In "Alejandro" and "Americano".
- Heavy Metal Umlaut: Born This Way has a track named "Yoü and I".
- Justified Trope: The ü is a reference to her ex-boyfriend Lüc Carl who the song is about.
- Also the art work for the album say it's for ü aka him.
- Homage: Her 2011 Grammy performance of "Born This Way" seemed to be one to Beneath The Planet of the Apes (minus the nuke worship/plus a giant egg and Yolandi Visser's fringe/bangs). The song itself seems to be an homage to Madonna's "Express Yourself", to Madonna's brother's annoyance.
- Huge Guy, Tiny Girl: She is 5"1". Her lover in the "Paparazzi" video (played by Alexander Skarsgard) is 6"4".
- The Illuminati: Like it or not, she does use a lot of Masonic and Illuminati symbolism in her videos.
- Impossibly Cool Clothes: Some of her outfits are just jaw-droppingly bizarre. This includes the meat-dress and machinegun bra.
David Letterman: So what are you wear-- what aren't you wearing?
- Impractically Fancy Outfit: Most of what she wears for public appearances.
- In Da Club: "Just Dance" and "Telephone". Plus, most of her music is played here, often in remixed form.
- Insult Backfire: When the Westboro Baptist Church made what was meant to be an insulting parody song called No Poker Face, wherein they called her such "creative" names as Lady GayGay and more, Gaga and her fans ironically embraced it. She now sells t-shirts at her shows embroidered with, "I Love Lady GayGay!"
- Intercourse with You: "Let's have some fun/This beat is sick/I wanna take a ride/On your disco stick." And that's probably not even the worst one.
- "Light me up, put me on top/ let's fa la la la la" Happy Christmas to you too.
- Most of The Fame and The Fame Monster mention sex.
- I Take Offense to That Last One: She has had some friction with her record company over promotional material, claiming they just want her "Half-naked on the beach touching [her]self." It seems the only thing she doesn't like about that scenario is the beach.
- Jesus Was Way Cool: Or to put it another way, Jesus is the new Black.
- Kayfabe Music: She went to her little sister's graduation in full Gaga regalia at her sister's request.
- The Ladette: She qualifies, interestingly enough. During her concerts she's loud and crass, swearing and grinding on her dancers and generally pissing off the Moral Guardians with her decidely unlady-like behavior all while having a blast. Has also stated she would carry around a razor in her mouth when she was growing up in New York.
- Lampshade Hanging: "SURPRISE!! A pop show, and the bitch can SIIIING!!" Shouted during one of her shows. The context also implies a not-so-sublte Take That at her contemporaries.
- Large Ham: While not as apparent in public appearances (save some performances) at her concerts she goes crazy. By her own admission she is the "largest ham in the oven." In the 2010 Grammy's, she finally made it apparent.
- "Take my picture, Hollywood ... I WANNA BE A STAR!"
- Latin Lover: "Alejandro" features three: Alejandro, Fernando, and Roberto.
- Lighter and Softer: This piano rendition of "Poker Face".
- "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)".
- Her "Viva la Vida" cover.
- Alex Goot's cover of "Bad Romance", which is this trope summed up. It sounds more like a genuine love song, and less like a freaky love-hate song. Imagine taking out the synths and replacing it with acoustic guitar and much more piano. That is this cover.
- List Song: "Born This Way" lists almost every sexuality, gender identity, sexual identity, religious belief and physical race in the human world with few exceptions.
- Little Boy Blue Note: Started taking up the piano as a preschooler.
- Loudness War: As most other popular artists, she does this most notably on Born This Way.
- Lyrical Dissonance: "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)", whose lyrics can be summarized as "I met another guy... we had a good run, right? I wish I had never met you, it'd be less painful than breaking up," uses an instrumental that is cute, pleasant, and guaranteed to make you smile (and make that double for the minimalist Cherrytree Sessions version).
- The song "Just Dance" sounds like a generic perky dance song, but the lyrics behind it seem to paint a picture of a girl who is way too drunk to be comfortable about her surroundings, concerned about the people around her pawing at her, and trying to "just dance" to calm herself down, by the end of the song the alcohol has left her out of her wits and willing to go home with anyone there.
- "The Edge of Glory" is an upbeat dance song in the style of '80s pop ballads... about someone who's about to die and wants to feel love and happiness one more time on the last night of her life. The fact that the saxophone solo is the last thing the late Clarence Clemons recorded before his passing makes it all the more bittersweet.
- 'Hair' has a pretty generic,upbeat dance-pop backing track,but is about Gaga's parents crushing her ability to dress the way she likes.
- Lucky Charms Title: Whenever you see the word "Monster", be sure to mentally replace the "t" with a cross.
- The Man Is Sticking It to the Man: Though supposedly broke due to the effort she puts into...well..everyting, and her Doing It for the Art tendency's and Faux Symbolism Stealth Parody of pop culture. She is part of a bigger company who aren't any of that sort of thing.
- Making a Spectacle of Yourself: Used frequently up to a point of it becoming a trademark.
- Only Lady Gaga would wear shades made from cigarettes, as seen in her "Telephone" video.
- Don't forget the ones from the "Poker Face" video with the animated light-up lenses.
- Her lace-covered Steampunk glasses in "Alejandro".
- And then there were the glasses made out of razor blades in the "Bad Romance" video.
- "Mickey Mouse" sunglasses.
- Metal Scream: A rare and unexpected one in "Bloody Mary".
- Also in her stage shows, shown in her Monster Ball Live At Madison Square Garden. Mostly at her own fans and such...
- Mind Screw: Increasingly going for this. See her VMA 2009 performance for an example. Or her "Bad Romance" video.
- Money Song: "Money Honey", which is a subversion. Then there are "Beautiful, Dirty, Rich" and "The Fame".
- Mood Whiplash: From The Fame to The Fame Monster. Seriously, pick any song from the first album (other than, say, "Brown Eyes" or "Again Again"), pick any song from the second album ("Telephone" being a possible exception), play them back to back, and see if this trope doesn't apply. The Fame Monster is supposed to be, in a way, the darker side of The Fame.
- Music Video Overshadowing: Pretty much all of Gaga's videos are elaborate concept pieces only tenuously connected to the subject matter of the song.
- Nice Hat: Pretty much every hat she wears. There's been the concentric steel rings, the giant button, the spikey-lacey face covering crown and latex version in "Bad Romance" and for "Telephone" in the 'Let's make a Sandwich!' scene, she's wearing a folded out telephone for a hat.
- Nice Girl: Despite her extremely odd personality, she always comes across as very sweet and warm in interviews, being very nice to and genuinely appeciative of her fans.
- Not Christian Rock: "Born This Way" has a pretty strong pro-Christian message, though definitely not in the sense that most religious figures would interpret it, and "Judas" earned her a rebuke from the Catholic League. All this despite the fact that she has openly claimed she is a devout Catholic.
- Nude-Colored Clothes: Has been sighted on multiple occasions wearing costumes which incorporate a flesh-tone one-piece suit.
- When she was interviewed for 60 Minutes she showed up in a flesh-colored leotard because "[she] didn't feel like wearing clothes today".
- Obligatory Bondage Song: 3 of these
- "Heavy Metal Lover": You got to earn your leather/in this part of town is this (on "Born This Way".)
- "Teeth": I'm gonna love you with my hands tied indeed (on "The Fame Monster".)
- "I Like It Rough": Is it 'cause you don't mean it/Or because I don't feel it/Unless it's rough (on "The Fame".)
- The Patriarch: The subject of her song, "Speechless" is her much-adored father. "Edge of Glory" is about her grandfather.
- Post Modernism: Not as apparent initially, but really taking off with the video for "Paparazzi."
- Pretty much the point when her sensibilities started to become a lot more obvious to the general public.
- Precision F-Strike: During her performance at met gala:
- From her Radio One performance, right after saying she had been asked to limit the profanity:
Raise a glass to mend all the broken hearts of all my fucked up friends!
- Many times during her concerts, most notably Beautiful, Dirty, Rich:
You dirty BITCH!"
- And Teeth:
I'll be damned if you people pay your good money just to see some RICH BITCH LIPSYNCH THROUGH A SET! SHOW ME YOUR TEEE-EEETH!
- Product Placement: The video for "Bad Romance" features a man using a Wii remote to sell Lady Gaga as a prostitute.
- Also her "Heartbeats" headphones which are part of Dr Dre's "Beats" collection, as well as the Beats Edition HP Envy 15 laptops, both featured prominently in the same video.
- In "Telephone", the screen of her cell phone always has the Virgin Mobile logo, and at one point she's using Diet Coke cans as hair curlers. The free online dating site Plenty of Fish also gets a nod, as do Honey Buns snack cakes, Polaroid cameras, Wonder bread, and Miracle Whip.
- In "Paparazzi", the drink that Gaga poisons her boyfriend with is the supplement drink Neuro Sonic.
- Record Producer: RedOne.
- Refuge in Audacity: Seriously. Some suspect she wouldn't be nearly as popular if she didn't go completely over-the-top with everything she did (see also What Could Have Been in the Trivia tab).
- The Rival: Britney Spears, however unintentionally, is vying for Gaga's title of Gay Icon™.
- Rule of Symbolism: During her appearance on Oprah, she explained that the majority of her outfits have some message to them. She points out that the message is most often not apparent to her audience, but she uses it personally as motivation in her performance.
- To say absolutely nothing of the INCREDIBLY dense symbolism imagery in all of her videos. A quick run down highlights...
- The Devil: Horned imagery bookends quite a few, leading to popular speculation of Baphomet worship. Or a working contract between the two. Or a secret agent working for him against the Illuminati. Or something.
- Brainwashed: All that butterfly imagery she loves so much? A classic conspiracy theory surrounds Monarch Project Monarch, a ridiculously elaborate hoax.
- Stealth Parody: She Crosses the Line Twice hard on this one enough to wrap in on itself. She's not even subtle about the idea of an Ancient Conspiracy which runs the music industry and is controlling you all through triangular fingers!
- Happiness in Slavery: A great many lyrics can be re-interpreted to essentially say she's quite delightfully overjoyed to have been reborn a puppet. Or she's undergoing Phlebotinum Breakdown and is trying to warn us all about it... Or performing Mass Hypnosis on us all!
- Solar Themes: Halos, starburst glasses, bright shiny lights, and, oh, what's the first two words of Bad Romance's core Ear Worm? "Ra, Ra". For added bonus, go read what The Sun means in the Tarot Motifs page.
- The infamous VMA 2009 outfit was in reference to the death of Princess Diana as a result of being chased by the... ahem... Paparazzi
- To say absolutely nothing of the INCREDIBLY dense symbolism imagery in all of her videos. A quick run down highlights...
- Sampling: The "muh-muh-muh-MAH" soundbite in "Poker Face" is taken from "Ma Baker" by Boney M.
- Serial Escalation: First came the daft media persona. Then the crazy outfits. Then the sold-out concerts landing in the red on theatrics. Then the creepy "Paparazzi" video. Then the "three-handed" piano versions of her dance numbers. Then the tour with Kanye West when no one else wanted to touch him. Then The Fame Monster. Then the Surreal Music Video for "Bad Romance." Then the even greater Mind Screw Quentin Tarantino parody short subject prominently featuring "Telephone". At this rate, she'll have to trigger the Third Impact to top herself before long.
- The "Alejandro" video.. Oh God, the "Alejandro" video.
- Wore a meat dress and topped herself again.
- And then she topped that at the 2011 Grammys by arriving in a vestibule that looked like an egg.
- And now she's gone and done it again with the "Born This Way" music video.
- The Born This Way album cover. Apparently, she was born a half-motorcycle, half-human hybrid!
- Showed up at the 2011 MTV Music Awards as male alter-ego Jo Calderone and stayed in character all night!
- Singer Namedrop: The word "gaga" is often in her songs, like "Just Dance", "Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say)", "Bad Romance", "Monster", "Judas", among others.
- Shout-Out: To Alfred Hitchcock, in "Bad Romance". But...in a somewhat unusual way.
- Also in "Telephone", Thelma and Louise, Women In Prison films, Quentin Tarantino, Silent Hill, One Piece, the Star Wars Expanded Universe, Command and Conquer, and Dune
- Word of God says that the Fernando mentioned in "Alejandro" is a Shout-Out to the ABBA song of the same name.
- "Dance in the Dark", with shout-outs to Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Liberace, Sylvia Plath, Stanley Kubrick, JonBenet Ramsey, and Princess Diana.
- The Mickey Mouse motif in "Paparazzi" might be a reference to Annie Lennox's music video for Waiting in Vain. Gaga's music video style (in general) is similar to Lennox's.
- In "The Edge Of Glory", she looks a little like Vivian. Not to mention the apartment complex looks familiar.
- The aforementioned machine-gun bra.
- "I'll give anything again to be your Baby Doll"
- Signature Song: "Poker Face", "Bad Romance", and "Born This Way".
- Smarks: Her fans tend to be divided into two groups. Those who only listen to her albums and watch her videos and like her because she's so much fun, and those who see her perform unplugged and like her because she's a well-trained pianist and a fantastic singer.
- Smarter Than You Look: For someone who regularly goes about in her undergarments she's much more intelligent than the average person would expect, given her behavior...
- Spell My Name with an "S": A lot of people insist that her name is spelled "Lady GaGa", most likely because of the Queen song that she takes her name from. Supposedly, Lady Gaga actually did spell her name like that initially, then had a Sure, Why Not? moment.
- Spotlight-Stealing Squad: Her guest appearance in The Simpsons Season 23 finale. Not only did she appear on screen before any Springfieldian, she actually got more screentime than the Simpson family. Naturally, this didn't endear her to Simpson fans who aren't Gaga fans.
- Stage Name: Well, yes. Born Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta.
- Stalker with a Crush: "Paparazzi".
- Stepford Smiler: "Dance in the Dark" is surprisingly dark. "Baby loves to dance in the dark / cuz when he's looking she falls apart".
- Don't forget "So Happy I Could Die." "I do my hair / I gloss my eyes / I touch myself all through the night."
- Scheiße: "I wish I could be strong without somebody there/ I wish I could dance on a single prayer/ I wish I could be strong without the scheiße."
- The Stoic: Early in her career, she came off very somber and robotic in interviews. Addressed by the woman herself in her Cosmopolitan 2010 interview, where she said she began to realize it, and finally let it all go.
- Sweet Polly Oliver: She pulled this trick under the pseudonym "Jo Calderone".
- Take That, Audience!: At all the rumors of her being intersex/transsexual/whatever. She decided the best way to counter the rumors would be to do a photoshoot while wearing a huge strap-on dildo. In one of the top-selling music magazines in the UK.
- At the start of the "Telephone" video, she is taken to prison for bitches and stripped naked by the jailers, who then walk away.
Burly Jailer 1: Told you she didn't have a dick.
- Talky Bookends: "Paparazzi"
- Teen Genius: After having been a piano prodigy, she went on to write her first ballad at thirteen and has been writing music for other artists since fifteen.
- Title Drop: "Heavy Metal Lover" has two:
Where heavy metal lovers play, baby we were born this way.
- Title-Only Chorus: "Again Again".
- The Tyson Zone: Her persona means that hearing practically anything about her would be believable. Would you believe that she went on the David Letterman show, ate the host's notes and declared she was Batman? Apparently, she did.
- Too Much Information: The line "I want your whiskey mouth all over my blonde south" from Heavy Metal Lover becomes this when you remember she's a bleach blonde.
- Uncanny Valley Makeup: Regularly. A notable example is her 2011 American Idol mentoring appearance, where she shows up with bleached eyebrows, exaggerated cat-eye black liner, and a large fake mole on the right side of her face.
- Underwear of Power: Frequently. One article described her trademark outfit as being "bullet bangs, shoulder pads, and panties". Or better yet, when was the last time she was seen with pants?
- Unlimited Wardrobe: Goes without saying with most celebrities, but this woman merits special mention.
- Unusual Euphemism: A point of pride with her.
- Up to Eleven: Every trope on this page in the video for "Telephone".
- Virgin Power: She supports people who choose to remain celibate.
- What the Hell Is That Accent?: Her weird pseudo-British accent when she first became popular.
- Yandere: "Paparazzi.", "You And I", "Monster".
- Yaoi Fangirl: At her Monster Ball concert she dedicated the song "Boys Boys Boys" to the gay males in the audience, referred to her male backup dancers as "my gay boys", and had two of her gay boys make out.
- After 12 year old Greyson Chance became an instant star on YouTube for his piano cover of "Paparazzi" he appeared on the Ellen DeGeneres show where he got to talk to Gaga herself over the phone. Among the bits of advice she gave him for his fledgling career: "stay away from girls." Just the way she said it you knew it was more than the "don't let a relationship distract you" context.
Tropes used in Telephone include:
- Affectionate Parody: Of Tarantino, the first half of his George Lucas Throwback style, the second of Kill Bill, specifically.
- Asshole Victim: The first guy they killed, but after that...
- Bilingual Bonus: The katakana in the subs (ワンピース) is a Shout-Out to One Piece.
- Actually, that's Japanese for "dress." (As in the article of clothing worn [generally] by women.) Although, it could go either way.
- Bolivian Army Ending: If it wasn't for the "To be continued," the ending of the "Telephone" music video would be this.
- Butch Lesbian: In the prison sequence, Gaga has an interrupted heavy makeout with two.
- Camp: Enough for Yosemite.
- Continuity Nod: This video is a sequel to the "Paparazzi" video. It being the same Gaga was implied throughout "Telephone", but it wasn't confirmed until the mugshot from the end of "Paparazzi" showed up at the end of "Telephone".
- Beyonce poisons Tyrese the same way Gaga does Alexander Skarsgård (through their drink.) And when everyone starts dropping dead in the restaurant, she's wearing the same shades Gaga was in that scene as well.
- Watch Gaga after she poisons everything in the kitchen. She shakes her head back and forth several times, which she does in "Paparazzi" after tasting her boyfriend's poisoned drink.
- Cryptic Conversation
- "Once you kill a cow, you gotta make a burger."
- "You know, Gaga, trust is like a mirror..."
- Fingerless Gloves: Inverted, as she wears the finger part of the gloves but not the actual gloves themselves.
- George Lucas Throwback: Of Girls Behind Bars exploitation films.
- Girls Behind Bars
- Gratuitous Foreign Language:
- Gratuitous German: In the scene where everyone's eating the poisoned food, right after Tyrese's death, you can see "Ein, Zwei, Drei" in the subs while Gaga
does some strange posingcontinues being Gaga, counting "One, Two, Three" in German. Unfortunately it's misspelled. "Ein" means "a/an", while "Eins" means "One".
- Gratuitous Japanese: See Bilingual Bonus.
- Gratuitous Swedish: During the newscast, the lyrics to the third verse ("Not that I don't like you, I'm just at a party" etc) are scrolling on the bottom ticker in Swedish.
- Gratuitous German: In the scene where everyone's eating the poisoned food, right after Tyrese's death, you can see "Ein, Zwei, Drei" in the subs while Gaga
- Leave No Survivors: Hey, I have an idea! Instead of just poisoning your asshole boyfriend, why don't we kill everybody else here too? It'll be fun!
- Lyrics Video Mismatch
- Magical Security Cam: Averted. The "security camera" scenes were shot from a stationary position, and were in lower resolution and less fluid from the rest of the video.
- Mundane Made Awesome: Let's Make a SANDWICH!
- Precision F-Strike: "You know what they say: trust is like a mirror. You can fix it if it's broken." "But you can still see the crack in that motherfucker's reflection."
- Product Placement: The computer a cop is seen using has Windows 7 on it.
- As well as, y'know, Virgin Mobile, Diet Coke, Plenty of Fish, Honey Buns, Polaroid, Wonder Bread and Miracle Whip
- Refuge in Audacity: The audacity of murrrrderrrr.
- Shout-Out: When Lady Gaga enters the jail, the women in the cells pose in a way that's almost identical to the Cell Block Tango from Chicago.
- Stylistic Suck: Has elements of this. "Let's make a sandwich!" Part of her whole love of Camp.
- To Be Continued
- Villain Protagonist: Has shades of this. What other role could you bestow upon two people that massacre an entire restaurant?
- Wearing a Flag on Your Head: One of her many costumes.
Tropes used in Alejandro include:
- Camp Gay: Many of the poses the male dancers make suggest this, and given that the video is at least in part about Don't Ask, Don't Tell, I think we can safely say this was intentional.
- Creepy Cool Crosses: Oh, what a field day the WBC will have with this one.
- Darker and Edgier: Arguably more disturbing than Bad Romance and Paparazzi. While they were still about sex slavery and murder, the endings were funny in context, and there was still a lot of decent Fan Service. This one is an especially nightmarish, densely symbolic take on Don't Ask, Don't Tell, the ending is the worst part, and the Fetish Fuel is even more subjective. It's especially bad coming after the silly, over-the-top "Telephone".
- Deconstruction: Possibly. At the very least it uses a lot of music video tropes and twists them.
- Gun Porn: Literally. She wears a bra with the barrels of M-16 Machine Guns attached. Make jokes about her "guns" at your own risk.
- The soldier on her bed also holds a golden pistol over his crotch.
- Since the barrels are less than 16 inches, someone put together a mock NFA form 4.
- Homage: Numerous elements of the video are tributes to Madonna
- Interplay of Sex and Violence
- Making a Spectacle of Yourself: Wouldn't be a Gaga video without them.
- Mind Screw: Forget that the music video is about Moe clones going to town with each other/Lady Gaga. Forget that they're also Nazis wearing Camp Gay uniforms marching around what looks to be a hospital. Forget the ending and her cross eating. Lady Gaga is wearing normal clothing!
- Mood Whiplash: This video is almost a polar opposite of its predecessor, "Telephone." While "Telephone" was bright, colorful, and over the top, "Alejandro" is dark, in black and white, and about as close to "normal" and "subdued" as we're likely going to get from her. Watch the two back to back, and you almost couldn't believe they're from the same person.
- Nude-Colored Clothes: Gaga's wearing underwear that's almost the same color as her skin in some shots, which might make you think she's totally nude in some shots even if she isn't.
- Putting on the Reich
- Scenery Porn: Seriously. The costumes, atmosphere and cinematography are GORGEOUS.
- Steampunk: Her glasses at the beginning of the video qualify.
- Those Wacky Nazis Camp Gay Nazis
- Zettai Ryouiki: Old style stockings, but same idea.
Born This Way
- Assimilation Plot: The Cuddly-Orgy shows the various skin colors melding into one another.
- Creation Myth: A very strange one, indeed.
- Eyes Do Not Belong There: She's got an extra one on her chin of all places.
- Fun with Acronyms: The prologue takes place in the Government Owned Alien Territory in Space. Or GOATS.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: While the weird birth imagery fits perfectly with a Gaga video, having them be a kaleidoscope mashup means that it can be QUITE explicit and not get censored.
- Good Needs Evil: Sadly, right when the birth of a new race without prejudice or hate was happening, evil was born.
- And the Mother Monster realizes she cannot protect the perfection without the evil on top of it.
- Human Subspecies: The video for Born This Way starts with her giving birth to a new species of humans, one without hate.
- Mind Screw: It wouldn't be a Gaga video without it.
- N-Word Privileges: She got into a little hot water for using the terms "chola" and "orient" in the song (Although "Oriental" is commonly used to describe East Asians in Britain, it's still considered offensive in America.) Most agree that she simply used the words as short and easy-to-rhyme catch-all terms for Mexicans and Asians, respectively (since she does mention "Black, white, beige" right before), but the words themselves still stung. Ironic considering the song is about equality and respect.
- Retraux: The song in and of itself is two parts direct homage to Madonna's "Express Yourself", one part New Wave, and one part disco, but the lyrics appear to be directly inspired by Dan Savage's "It Gets Better" campaign from 2010.
- Shout-Out: The video's opening music comes from the score to Vertigo, written by Bernard Herrmann.
- Surreal Music Video: The most surreal one yet.
- Uncanny Valley Makeup: The protruding horns/cheekbones, flesh colored eyebrows and this little ensemble (worn while standing next to Rico Genest, who has the same kind of thing tattooed onto him.)
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: The core meaning behind Judas, although taken up to eleven and filled with maximum symbolism.
- Badass Biker: The Jesus stand-in leads a group of them.
- Betty and Veronica: Gaga is torn between Jesus (Betty) and Judas (Veronica) stand-ins.
- Bling Bling Bang: In one scene Gaga can be seen holding a golden, jewel-encrusted mace.
- Divine Race Lift: The Jesus allegory is Hispanic.
- This actually makes sense as Hispanic countries are among the few where Jesus is a common name.
- Glasgow Grin: Gaga draws one on the Judas stand-in's face with a lipstick gun.
- Jesus Was Way Cool: And an outlaw, too.
- Mind Screw: Subverted, actually. Aside from a small portion near the end the video is fairly tame, though also extremely symbolic throughout.
- Rule of Symbolism: Up to Eleven.
- Theme Naming: The biker gang is named after the apostles, with the leader wearing a thorned crown.
You And I
- Attractive Bent Gender: Jo Calderone shows up.
- Barbie Doll Anatomy: Gaga's mermaid form has her breasts exposed, but the only feature on them are barely seeable gills.
- Cheap Heat: Her 'cool Nebraska guy' tends to move around a lot depending on the radio station.
- Foot Focus: Shots of her feet bruised and bloodied from her journey. She also plays the piano with her foot at one point.
- Mermaid Problem: Averted, as the whole problem is glossed over in the two brief sex shots.
- Screw Yourself: If Calderone is Gaga's male alter ego, the result would be this.
Marry The Night
- Based on a True Story: Marry the Night is intended to depict Gaga being dropped from Def Jam Records, flipping out, reinventing herself, and then, at the end, leaving for her appointment with Interscope.
- Call Back: Gaga fans will remember This moment in which the Lady accidentally smacks one of her dancers in the face with her microphone. Fast forward a couple years later...
- Censor Bar: There is a black bar covering Gaga's breasts during most of the freakout scene. Considering most of it is impov, very little of it utilizes creative angles to serve the purpose.
- Despair Event Horizon: When Gaga gets dropped from her label, she has a breakdown.
- Dramatization: While the music video is based on a true story, it is done in Lady Gaga's usual style, Camp and all.
- Fan Disservice: Gaga purposely chooses the "outfit" she wears for the freakout scene for the purpose of being unattractive.
- Foot Focus: Note the heels she's wearing in the early ballerina sequence. Damn.
- Gainax Ending that could possibly be interpreted as The Phoenix.
- Gratuitous French: Gaga speaks French briefly on the phone when she gets dropped from Def Jam.
- Naked Freak-Out: Very much so. Gaga screams, throws things, cries.
- Naked People Are Funny: Subverted. Gaga is at her absolute rock bottom, naked and screaming.
- Shout-Out: To The Bell Jar, Flashdance, and to her own style during The Fame time period.
- Sophisticated As Hell: The early part of the video features Beethoven, against images of Gaga in a ratty apartment, then throwing a fit naked.
- Stuff Blowing Up: At the first chorus entrance, several cars explode in glorious flames. Later in the vid we see that she had drizzled gasoline all over them first.
Can't read my, can't read my
No he can't read my troper face
She's got me like nobody~
- Scheiße is German for shit. The ß symbol actually makes a hard S sound but most people will probably see it as a B and not think anything of it.
- I don't want to die alone
- she uses her right foot as the third "hand"
- Should not have given her ideas.