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"You know what? You can't even sing! Your voice was dubbed!"
Miss Piggy to Charles Grodin, The Great Muppet Caper

A trope most prevalent in Western Animation, but it can occur elsewhere. An actor is often cast into a role for which they can provide a suitable voice, but not always do the casting agents manage to get someone that can sing as well. A second actor will be brought in to dub the songs, and this isn't always as noticeable as one might think.

If the actor is supposed to be playing a musical instrument while singing, two doubles might be used.

Most Japanese voice artists sing the Image Song for their characters regardless of their talent, although again this isn't always the case.

Less frequently, concessions will be made to work around a voice actor with a less than pleasant voice.

Compare Talent Double and Singing Voice Dissonance.

Examples of Non-Singing Voice include:


  • In the dub of Pokémon: Jirachi Wishmaker, May is voiced by Veronica Taylor as usual, but the singing of her original Japanese voice actor KAORI is kept.
    • Completely averted with Brock in the 4Kids dub. Of course, Eric Stuart is a musician as well as a voice actor.
  • In the English dub of Gundam Seed and Gundam Seed Destiny, Lacus Clyne is voiced by two different actresses when speaking normally and when singing - it's pretty obvious in SEED, but much less so in Destiny. In original Japanese, Rie Tanaka performs both, though.
    • French dub simply… didn't dub the songs, so Lacus has Rie Tanaka's voice when she sings.
  • The Macross franchise tends to have different singing and speaking voices for the singer characters. Exceptions are Iijima Mari (Lynn Minmay) and Nakajima Megumi (Ranka Lee).
  • Priss in Bubblegum Crisis Tokyo 2040 also had a different person doing her singing, although that wasn't the case in the original OVA.
    • Averted in the English dub, where Christine Auten did both the speaking and the singing voices for Priss.
  • Normally averted by Japanese seiyuu, but for Saiyuki's Hakkai it's played straight. One can only imagine how terrible his singing voice is, as his Image Song is spoken-word. He's left out of the group song entirely. Lampshaded by Minekura when she referred to the other three seiyuu as "-8" ("Minus Eight"), with Hakkai's name being written with the kanji for "eight."
    • Akira Ishida's singing voice doesn't seem to be as bad as he thinks it is (it's not good, but at least it's on key). Still, he refuses to sing if he has to do any image songs.
  • Another anime where this happens is for Koyuki's singing in Beck. It's painfully obvious, too. Funnily enough, the dub averts this, as Greg Ayres does his own singing.
  • In yet another anime exception, the theme song from Excel Saga is sung by Excel and Hyatt-- but not their normal speaking voice actors. This being Excel Saga, it is lampshaded in one episode where Excel and Hyatt meet their singing voice actors, in full Excel and Hyatt cosplay, at a bowling alley:

 Excel: Why Kobayashi? Why Mikako? [the voice actors' names]

Hyatt: I do so hate knockoffs.

    • They did the opening because they had already made an album under the name Excel Girls wearing the said cosplay.
  • Subverted in Hidamari Sketch where the characters (and voice actresses) visit a karaoke parlor and sing nothing like they have for the openings/imagesongs, but rather sing more like how their characters would.
  • The Italian dubs of Mermaid Melody Pichi Pichi Pitch and Ojamajo Doremi used this a lot. The second one creepily, having four little girls singing with the same, adult voice.
  • Subverted in Haruhi-chan. Yuki talks as she usually does through the whole opening theme while everyone else sings, looking like the "work-around voice actor with less than pleasant voice" variation. Then came the end of episode 6, where she suddenly pulls out a karaoke mic and starts singing "Paradise Lost" to get Achakura to forget the argument they just had.
  • Meanwhile, Lucky Star left all the songs to the Japanese cast. The rapidfire switching off between Wendee Lee speaking and Aya Hirano singing was a bit distracting.
  • In the dubbed version of episode 14 of Slayers Next, Lina (voiced by Lisa Ortiz) shouted "In Japanese!" before she and Amelia started to sing, using the original Japanese audio track.
    • We do get to hear Lisa and Veronica sing as a practice run though. While they don't sound good together, Crispin Freeman is on key when Zelgadis teaches them the embarrassing lyrics.
    • A similar Lampshade Hanging came in the dub of Gokudo-kun Mannyuki: before several characters sing for a concert their de facto manager tells them "and remember to sing in Japanese!"
  • Phoron's singing voice in the Shinkyoku Soukai Polyphonica series is clearly not his own, since it's quite a bit higher than his usual speaking voice. Hiroshi Kamiya, Phoron's voice actor, does do his own singing for Phoron's image songs, but the voice he uses to contract Corti isn't his.
  • Haruhi Fujioka from Ouran High School Host Club had to lipsync when it was revealed she couldn't sing, and she doesn't get an image song! Which means more voice actor irony.
  • Painfully obvious in the Swedish dub of Toei's Puss in Boots, where the young princess was played by Marianne Wäyrynen and her singing was done by professionally trained opera singer Anette Stridh.
  • Iwasawa and Yui in Angel Beats! are both voiced by big name voice actors (Miyuki Sawashiro and Eri Kitamura, respectively), but their singing voices are by marina and LiSA.
  • For the three North American dub CDs released of Sailor Moon, most of the show's voice actresses don't sing their characters' image songs. Jennifer Cihi sings Serena's, songwriter Shandi Sinnamon does Amy's, Sandy Howell does Raye's vocals, and Patricia Tollett does Lita's.
  • In Love Hina dub, during episode 11 and episode 18 when the characters sing, the show switches back to the Japanese vocal track. However, the song in the Spring Special is dubbed by the English VAs.
  • The intro songs to Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei are sung by the anime's voice cast -- except for Hiroshi Kamiya, the voice of Zetsubou-sensei himself, whose lines are sung by a (very good) sound-alike.
  • Averted in the FUNimation dub of One Piece, where the English voice actors sang the character song "Family" during a scene in Skypeia.


  • In Dr. No, Honey Ryder had the speaking voice of Monica Van der Zyl, the singing voice of Diana Coupland and the body of Ursula Andress.
  • Zac Efron's singing lines in High School Musical are all sung by Drew Seeley, with Efron lip-synching. Apparently, it's pretty well done, but you can tell if you know it's there. (For better or worse, he did his own singing in the two others.)
    • That was because the vocal range of Troy was written for a tenor, and Zac, being a baritone, couldn't sing that high. The two sequels eventually changed Troy's vocal range to fit Zac's range better.
  • Marni Nixon was the live-action queen of this for ages (often uncredited). From The Other Wiki: Nixon's dubbing career includes:
    • The singing voice of Margaret O'Brien in The Secret Garden (1949)
    • Providing Marilyn Monroe with a few top notes in her performance of "Diamonds Are a Girl's Best Friend" in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953)
    • The singing voice for Deborah Kerr in two different movies - Rodgers & Hammerstein's The King and I (1956), where her vocals were skilfully intertwined with Deborah's on some tracks; and Leo McCarey's An Affair to Remember a year later.
    • The singing voice for Natalie Wood as Maria in West Side Story (1961) and also sang some parts of the score of Anita played by Rita Moreno, sharing the load with co-dubber Betty Wand and Moreno herself. In parts of the quintet setting of the song "Tonight", Nixon sings both Maria's and Anita's lines.
      • Interestingly, there is a clip of Natalie Wood singing (in an untrained voice) "Tonight" mash-up with Nixon's dub ( Wood had been trying to do her own singing and was reportedly feeling betrayed when she found out she was being dub.
    • The singing voice for Audrey Hepburn as Eliza in My Fair Lady (1964), for which Nixon gained much notoriety, as news-eager journalists ripped apart the customary veil of secrecy. Industry buzz has said this to have been the cause of Hepburn's failing even to get nominated for an Academy Award for the demanding role.
      • Interestingly, the DVD features the original footage of Hepburn singing, and while she's not as skilled as Nixon, she certainly doesn't embarrass herself. They probably could have gotten away with just letting her sing the part.
    • Nixon did get a moment on film, as Sister Sophia in The Sound of Music. Apparently everyone was worried about her meeting Julie Andrews (Nixon had dubbed Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady in the role that Andrews played on Broadway), but Andrews walked up to Nixon, shook her hand and said, "Marni, I'm such a big fan of yours!" Ice broken.
  • All the singing voices in Carmen Jones were dubbed in, even though the cast featured trained singers such as Harry Belafonte and Diahann Carroll.
  • Of the four leads in the 1958 film version of South Pacific, only Mitzi Gaynor got to use her own singing voice. Giorgio Tozzi, the bass who sang for Rossano Brazzi, is a name well known to opera buffs.
  • In White Christmas, Vera-Ellen's singing voice was provided by one Trudy Stevens. For the song "Sisters," Rosemary Clooney sang both parts.
    • Other movie musicals featuring Vera-Ellen had someone else do her singing voice, except On the Town, which assigned her a non-singing part.
  • In Back to The Future, Mark Campbell was the one to sing "Johnny B. Goode" - in the place of Michael J. Fox. The song was credited as having been "performed by Marty McFly".
  • In The Sound of Music, Christopher Plummer recorded every vocal to every song in the movie. In post-production he reviewed his tapes, decided that there was no way in hell he was good enough to sing opposite Julie Andrews, and gave permission for Bill Lee to dub him.
    • Kurt's high note in So Long, Farewell is actually sung by Liesl's little sister, Darleen Carr. According to Charmian's memoir Forever Liesl, Darleen and a few other children were hired to provide additional voices on the group numbers. All seven actors do sing every number, however. The only time additional voices are not used is the listless rendition of My Favorite Things at the beginning of Act II, just before Maria's voice joins theirs.
    • Margery MacKay provided the singing voice of Peggy Wood, who wasn't up to "Climb Every Mountain."
  • In the film version of The Phantom of the Opera, Margaret Preece sung Carlotta's songs instead of Minnie Driver (who did sing "Learn To Be Lonely" over the credits, but didn't have the operatic voice Carlotta needs). Preece also cameos as the female member of the trio in the "Il Muto" scene.
  • Rita Hayworth sang in many movies, but never in her own voice. To name only a few singers who dubbed for her:
    • Nan Wynn in You Were Never Lovelier. (Hayworth also conspicuously doesn't sing in the other movie musical pairing her with Fred Astaire, You'll Never Get Rich.)
    • Martha Mears in Cover Girl. (Mears also dubbed Veronica Lake's singing in several movies.)
    • Anita Ellis in Gilda.
    • Jo Ann Greer in Pal Joey (which also had Trudy Erwin as Kim Novak's singing voice).
  • Thank Your Lucky Stars, with much of the All-Star Cast consisting of dramatic actors Playing Against Type, mostly averted this. The exceptions are Olivia de Havilland and a moment in the finale where Errol Flynn lip-synchs to a high tenor voice and lampshades it:

 Oh, that voice is so divine!

I'm sorry it isn't mine.

  • Averted in the movie version of Guys and Dolls, where the tone-deaf Marlon Brando was given singing voice by the miracle of sound editing. (It's ironic that he played a singing lead part, given that the musical's second male role, Nathan Detroit, was originally played by the tone-deaf Sam Levene and written to suit. In the movie, Nathan was played by Frank Sinatra.)
    • The same thing was done for Gloria Grahame as Ado Annie in the 1955 film version of Oklahoma.
  • Most every film role that Lucille Ball did before television. After becoming a TV star, she used her own not-quite-singing voice for Mame (and the unsuccessful Broadway musical Wildcat which she starred in and co-produced).
  • In Gigi, Leslie Caron's singing was all dubbed by Betty Wand except for the verse of "The Night They Invented Champagne."
  • In John Waters' 1990 film Cry-Baby, all of the characters' singing voices were done by professional singers, including Rachel Sweet, who did Allison's (played by Amy Locane) singing. Johnny Depp, who is a musician, did not sing in this film.
  • In The Harvey Girls, Marion Doenges sang for Cyd Charisse and Virginia Rees sang for Angela Lansbury. That Lansbury didn't get to sing for herself is astounding in light of her later success in Broadway musicals in playing Mame and Mrs. Lovett.
    • Charisse was usually dubbed in other MGM musicals if required to sing. She didn't sing in Singin' in the Rain, but India Adams sang for her in The Band Wagon and Carole Richards was her singing voice in Brigadoon and Silk Stockings. Eileen Wilson did Charisse's singing in Words and Music.
  • In Bugsy Malone all the singing is done by adults with the kids lip-syncing. As a result it's glaringly obvious in places.
  • In O Brother, Where Art Thou? George Clooney's character Everett's singing voice was dubbed by Dan Tyminski of Alison Krauss & Union Station.
  • In Sister Act Wendy Makkena's character Sister Mary Robert's singing voice (the shy but cute nun) was dubbed by Andrea Robinson.
  • A weird case in Dark City. In the theatrical cut, nightclub singer Anna Murdoch is played by Jennifer Connelly, but her singing voice is provided by Anita Kelsey. In the director's cut, Jennifer Connelly does her own singing.
  • Singin in The Rain: Debbie Reynolds had her singing voice dubbed over by someone else. Very, very ironic to anyone who knows the plot of the movie.
    • Actually, for the most part, we do actually hear Debbie. It's only when "Kathy" dubs "Lina" that they use someone else's voice - Jean Hagen (Lina) for the speaking bits, and Betty Noyes for the songs "Would You" and "You Are My Lucky Star".
  • In The Mask, the song that Cameron Diaz's character sings is actually dubbed over by Susan Boyd.
  • In Moulin Rouge, Jim Broadbent's singing voice is dubbed in by an anonymous opera singer; however, this trope is spectacularly averted for the two leads, who both sang their own parts.
    • Are you sure it's dubbed? Sounds like Jim to me, and Baz Luhrman was determined to cast actors who could sing.
    • At least the "Like a virgin"-scene. Baz Luhrman and Craig Pearce say so in the audio commentary. It's because they wanted a very big operatic sound there. Jim actually sang it during the shot, and they thought they were just going to enhance it. But then they found an opera singer who could mimic his voice very well, so he dubbed him.
      • The second soundtrack CD credit an Anthony Weigh along with Jim Broadbent on Zidler's two main songs, Like A Virgin and The Show Must Go On, and IMDB credits him as a voice double (I don't have a copy of the film ATM to check it's credits). So he's not quite an anonymous double, although I can't seem to find much more information in my rather lazy online searching.
  • Mark Wahlberg's singing was dubbed in Rock Star by two metal vocalists, even though he had a musician career (which the movie even lampoons in the credits...).
  • Almost Famous: Marti Frederiksen dubbed Jason Lee's vocals.
  • Averted in the 1986 version of Little Shop of Horrors. Everyone does their own singing, with widely varying results (particularly note the duets between Audrey, played by Ellen Greene - who in additional to being a professional singer also played the role in the original off-Broadway production and in the West End - and Seymour, played by Rick Moranis.)
  • Eddie and the Cruisers had the titular band's lead singer, played by Michael Pare, dubbed with John Cafferty.
  • Duets: Director Bruce Paltrow chose the actors cast in the primary roles of this film for their surprisingly good singing voices. However, in the case of Ricky Kane (played by Andre Braugher), the in-story angelic nature of the character's voice forced the director to dub in a professional singer for his karaoke scenes.
  • In Gypsy, Rosalind Russell's singing was dubbed over by Lisa Kirk. Natalie Wood, however, got to use her own singing voice this time.
  • Gold Diggers of 1933 had Joan Blondell's singing dubbed over by Marian Anderson in "Remember My Forgotten Man." (Blondell used her own singing voice in Dames. It was not pretty.)
  • The film version of Oliver! had the vocals of the title character (played by Mark Lester) sung by Kathe Green, who was the daughter of the musical director.
  • In The Great Race, Natalie Wood's singing was once again dubbed, this time by Jackie Ward.
    • Only when she was singing "The Sweetheart Tree". During an earlier scene, she sings "My Country Tis Of Thee", and it is noticeably off-key.
    • Jackie Ward dubbed Natalie Wood’s singing again in Inside Daisy Clover, though you do get to hear a bit of Wood’s own singing voice on the intro to “You’re Gonna Hear From Me.”
  • In Paint Your Wagon, Jean Seberg's singing was dubbed by Anita Gordon. Clint Eastwood and Lee Marvin's singing voices infamously weren't dubbed.
  • Parodied in Robin Hood: Men in Tights, where the singing voices sound nothing like the speaking voices (notably Arthur Rubin dubbing Cary Elwes).
  • Ava Gardner's singing was dubbed by Eileen Wilson in The Hucksters (1947), One Touch of Venus (1948) and The Bribe (1949). She was determined to put her vocal training to the test as Julie in the 1951 remake of Show Boat; Annette Warren's singing voice was nevertheless dubbed over hers, but Gardner did her own singing on the soundtrack album and in other movies of the 1950s.
  • Susan Kiger didn't sing "Shine Your Love" in the '70s flick Angels Revenge; the singing was actually dubbed by someone named Patty Foley.
  • Except for Bobby Van and (bizarrely) Sally Kellerman, the entire cast of the disastrous 1974 musical version of Lost Horizon was dubbed.
  • Averted in The Hunger Games; "Deep In The Meadow" (the lullaby Katniss sings to Prim and later to the fatally injured Rue) really is sung by Jennifer Lawrence (and Willow Shields, who plays Prim).

Live Action TV

  • In The Partridge Family, only David Cassidy and Shirley Jones actually sang. The others all lip synched to session singers.
  • One Monty Python's Flying Circus sketch features John Cleese as an archaelogist who randomly bursts into song. Cleese by his own admission is a terrible singer (he did sing "Eric the Half a Bee," but very little else), so his singing parts in the sketch were dubbed in by Terry Jones.
    • In his pre-Python TV and radio shows Cleese sang "Rhubarb Tart" and "The Ferret Song", which must be heard to be believed.
  • Willow has only a few lines in the Buffy the Vampire Slayer Musical Episode for this reason, one of which was "I think this line's mostly filler."
    • Averted with Buffy, whose songs were originally going to be dubbed (supposedly by Jewel), but Sarah Michelle Gellar decided she didn't want to be the only one not doing her own vocals.
    • Similary in the Musical Episode of Scrubs, Elliot only has only a few sung lines throughout the episode, even during her and JD's friendship song, due to Sarah Chalke's apparent inability to sing. This inability to sing is later worked into Elliot's character as a running gag in Season 8.
  • Dawn Wells, who played Mary Ann in Gilligan's Island, couldn't even sing "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow" along with the rest of the cast without ruining it, and couldn't sing a single note without being dubbed over.
  • In "The Bitter Suite," the first Musical Episode of Xena: Warrior Princess, Renee O'Connor and Hudson Leick (Gabrielle and Callisto) sang with the respective voices of Susan Wood and Michelle Nicastro; Miss O'Connor subverted this in the second one ("Lyre Lyre, Hearts On Fire"), as she did sing here - along with Miss Wood and Susan Calloway!
    • Averted with Lucy Lawless (Xena) and Ted Raimi (Joxer) in both episodes, along with Kevin Smith (Ares) in the first one and Jay La Ga'ia (Draco) in the second.
  • The early nineties tv movie Freeze Frame dubbed its male lead (Kids Incorporated alum Ryan Lambert) in order to save money.


  • In Jeff Wayne's Rock Opera adaptation of The War of the Worlds, Sir Richard Burton is the narrating voice of the Journalist, whereas Justin Hayward is the character's singing voice.
  • Inverted by the Gorillaz: 2D was originally played by real-life singer Damon Albarn, but had a second voice actor, (Nelson de Freitas,) hired to record his speaking voice.
  • Milli Vanilli was an extremely popular, award-winning rap/pop group in the late 80s and early 90s that returned a Grammy after it was revealed that the people getting all the credit for the music were just models dancing and lipsynching to uncredited vocalists. They were the original Trope Namer for the acting version.
    • They're just the most (in)famous example; several dance-oriented pop groups rely on attractive stand-ins lipsynching to others' voices.


  • The You'll Have Had Your Tea episode "Fame Idol", which hinges on Mrs Naughtie (played by Alison Steadman) having a beautiful singing voice (played by Jane Gilchrist). The series running on Rule of Funny, there was inevitably one scene where Mrs Naughtie sang in her own voice, for no reason whatsoever.

Video Games

  • Averted with Rosie from Valkyria Chronicles, who has her singing voice provided by the main actresses in both English and Japanese. Hedy "Yuna" Burress stands up pretty damn well with her Japanese counterpart, a rare achievement.
  • Played straight with Hedy in Final Fantasy X-2, where the two main songs (real Emotion and 1000 Words) were sung by another.
  • In Loco Roco, yellow and green one both have different voice actors - one for singing, other for talking.
  • In Ape Escape 3, Pink Monkey is voiced by Debi Derryberry (speaking voice), and Anndi McAfee (singing voice).
  • Dragon Age: Origins has Leliana burst into song. Not only does she sound absolutely nothing like her speech voice actress, for bonus points she also looks like an utter freak of nature while doing so.
  • While averted in the Japanese versions of the Ar tonelico series, the English versions fall squarely into this - because they use the same song, not even dubbed or covered.

Western Animation

  • Liz Callaway is easily the queen of singing animated princesses. In addition to her Disney credits listed below, she provided the singing voice for the title character of Anastasia (voiced by Meg Ryan) and Odette in The Swan Princess (voiced by Michelle Nicastro).
    • Not only was the adult version of Anastasia given two voices, but so was the child version - for this one Lacey Chabert took over for Kirsten Dunst when it was time for the girl to sing.
    • Jim Cummings performed Christopher Lloyd's singing voice in "In the Dark of the Night" in Anastasia.
    • John Cusack was Dimitri's speaking voice, but his singing was done by Jonathan Dokuchitz.
    • But Kelsey Grammer sings his own part.
      • Bernadette Peters too.
      • And the "additional voices" is a who's who of Broadway, including J.K. Simmons and Andrea Martin.
    • As does Howard McGillin in The Swan Princess--after all, he's probably best known for playing the title role in Andrew Lloyd Webber's blockbuster stage musical, The Phantom of the Opera.
  • The Live action Alvin and the Chipmunks has Theodore voiced by Jesse Mc Cartney for speaking only. However, Mccartney is a professional singer and did not record his character's singing voice.
  • The Disney Animated Canon is full of this trope nowadays (this isn't really the case though for older films in the series - ie: pre 90's as they tended to virtually all be sung by their corresponding actors).
    • Pretty much everyone in Mulan. The heroine's VA was Ming-Na Wen, but her singing voice was provided by Lea Salonga. Shang's speaking voice was B.D. Wong, and his singing voice was Donny Osmond while in the Chinese version, his singing voice was (awesomely) Jackie Chan.
    • Pretty much everybody in Aladdin had a different singing voice, save for Genie and Jafar (if you consider the sequels, Iago as well). Jasmine's singing was also performed by Lea Salonga.
    • Pocahontas' VA was Irene Bedard, and her singing voice is that of Judy Kuhn.
    • Esmeralda in The Hunchback of Notre Dame was spoken and sung by Demi Moore and Heidi Mollenhauer, respectively. The rest of the cast did their own singing.
    • More actresses Liz Callaway has pretended to be:
      • Neve Campbell (Kiara in The Lion King II: Simba's Pride)
      • Linda Larkin (Jasmine in both Aladdin sequels, replacing Lea Salonga from the first movie--which is perfect, seeing as it's ridiculously easy for someone to mistake Liz for Lea and vice versa).
    • Hercules had no fewer than three voices - Tate Donovan as adult Herc, Josh Keaton when he's younger, and Roger Bart when he's younger and singing.
      • Averted in the Mexican Spanish dub (see below).
    • Matthew Broderick can sing, but for whatever reason, Joseph Williams replaces Simba for singing in The Lion King (and Cam Clarke afterwards). Young Simba is also replaced (Jason Weaver instead of Jonathan Taylor Thomas), and Jeremy Irons sings some of Scar's lyrics, but partway through, the harsher lyrics were replaced by that of Jim Cummings.
    • An early draft of The Jungle Book was originally going to have Thurl "Tony the Tiger" Ravenscroft as the singing voice of Shere Khan.
  • In Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, Kathleen Turner provided the speaking voice of Jessica Rabbit, while Amy Irving supplied her singing voice. In a rare reversal to most of the examples on this page, it's Amy Irving that gets credit while Kathleen Turner is omitted (amusingly, her performance model is credited).
  • The Nightmare Before Christmas has the main character, Jack, with a speaking voice provided by Chris Sarandon and singing voice provided by composer Danny Elfman. With no Burton/Elfman involvement in Oogie's Revenge, Chris Sarandon went on to sing all of Jack's songs in that game.
    • Inverted Trope - when casting, Elfman was chosen to provide Jack's singing parts, and then Sarandon was cast because his speaking voice sounded close enough to Elfman's.
  • In The Prince of Egypt, Val Kilmer's singing voice as Moses was provided by Amick Byram, Danny Glover (Jethro) was replaced by Broadway veteran Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Sally Dworsky dubbed the singing role for Miriam (Sandra Bullock). And proving that being a Dame is no barrier to such things, Helen Mirren has Linda Dee Shayne step in as the Queen's singing voice. (Averted, however, by Michelle Pfeiffer, Martin Short, Steve Martin and Ralph Fiennes.)
  • Other notable aversions in animated musical films:
    • Mel Gibson sings his part in Pocahontas - and would've sung a love duet, too, if they hadn't cut it for pacing reasons.
    • Kenneth Branagh and Kevin Kline (voice actors of Miguel and Tulio, respectively) both sing "It's Tough To Be A God" in The Road to El Dorado. Additionally, they recorded many of their lines together in the studio, which is sort of unusual.
      • Unusual, but it does happen. Animation voices are usually recorded separately because of scheduling issues, but sometimes actors are recorded together so they can bounce their performances off each other.
    • Steve Martin and Martin Short both sing "Playing With the Big Boys" in The Prince of Egypt. Also, Ralph Fiennes did his own singing for The Plagues, and Michelle Pfeiffer did hers for When You Believe.
    • The Mexican dub of Hercules naturally averts this one, as Megara is voiced by the famous singer Tatiana, and Hercules is voiced by Ricky Martin. This also had the bizarre consequence of making Hercules speak like a reggaetonner.
      • Megara's English voice actress, Susan Egan, also did her own singing. She's an accomplished musical theatre actress, best known for originating the role of Belle in the stage adaptation of Beauty and the Beast.
    • All of the actors in Beauty and the Beast sing their own parts. In fact, Disney personnel went to New York to cast Broadway talent just to avert this trope.
      • A lot of Swedish dubs seems to do this too, usually hiring people from the musical scene to do the voice-acting. (The Swedish versions of Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast and The Lion King all feature the voice actors singing... or the singers voice-acting, whatever way you'd prefer to look at it.)
    • Iago doesn't sing in Aladdin, but he does in the sequels, and Gilbert Gottfried sings his part (but then, who could imitate Gilbert Gottfried's voice well enough to pass?)
    • Jodi Benson did her own singing as Ariel in The Little Mermaid. Granted, she was cast as her singing voice first...
      • Interestingly enough, Jodi Benson has voiced Ariel in EVERY incarnation of the character - the sequels, the TV Series, and video games. She provides the voice or Ariel in any Disney created production - she even provided her voice for the new Ariel's Undersea Adventure Dark Ride at Disney Parks.
    • A more recent aversion is the cast of The Princess and the Frog.
    • Another aversion: the cast of Tangled. While the cast of The Princess and the Frog was almost entirely Broadway stars, Tangled featured great singing from TV's Zachary Levi, and character actors like Brad Garrett and Jeffrey Tambor.
        • Let's not forget that Mandy Moore and Donna Murphy are professional singers.
    • Disney wanted to avoid this when they made Oliver and Company, so they cast Billy Joel as Dodger.
  • In Cats Don't Dance, Sawyer's singing voice was provided by Natalie Cole, and the speaking voice was Jasmine Guy. Likewise, Darla Dimple's singing voice is by Lindsay Ridgeway, and her speaking voice by Ashley Peldon. Averted with main character Danny, spoken and sung by actual musical theatre actor Scott Bakula.
  • Jem / Jerrica of Jem had a speaking voice provided by Samantha Newark, but a singing voice provided by Britta Philips.
    • Rival Pizzazz was voiced by Patricia Albrecht when speaking, and Ellen Bernfeld (aka disco singer Menage) when singing.
      • Ellen Bernfeld also did backing vocals for The Holograms and The Misfits, and was the singing voice of Roxy in her only solo song. Roxy's speaking voice actress was Bobbie Block.
    • Riot of The Stingers spoke with the voice of Townsend Coleman and sang with the voice of Gordon Grody (who went on to become Lady Gaga's voice coach).
      • The other two Stingers were also dubbed for singing. When speaking, Minx was Kath Soucie and Rapture was Ellen Gerstell. For singing, both of them were usually dubbed by Diva Grey, but for Rapture's two solo lines in the song "Destiny", she was dubbed by Vicki Sue Robinson, the disco singer of "Turn the Beat Around" fame!
    • When Kimber and Stormer sang a duet, they were dubbed over by Florence Warner and Lani Grover respectively, though Cathianne Blore and Susan Blu perform their speaking lines. Interestingly enough, their singing voices don't match their speaking voices at all.
  • The Family Guy episode "Don't Make Me Over" saw the Griffins forming a family band fronted by Meg. Trouble is, Meg's voice actress, Mila Kunis, can't sing (unlike Lacey Chabert, who originally voiced Meg - see Anastasia above), so they called in Tara Strong to perform Meg's song.
  • The film adaptation of Coraline sees the Other Father (voiced by John Hodgman) sing a catchy little ditty about Coraline, in the voice of John Linnell of They Might Be Giants.
  • Notably averted in Justice League Unlimited. Yep, that's really Batman singing there. The writers discovered that Kevin Conroy was trained as a singer, and figured that it was just too funny to pass up.
    • It's not the first time Kevin Conroy has sung in the DCAU, either--in the Batman Beyond episode "Out of the Past", Bruce and Terry see a performance of "Batman--The Musical!". Kevin Conroy provides the singing voice for the onstage Batman (as does Adrienne Barbeau for the onstage Catwoman).
    • Mark Hamill and Paul Williams also sing for the stage Joker and Penguin but you can just barely make them out because they sing in unison.
  • In Lady and the Tramp II Scamp's Adventure there are three examples of this Buster's speaking voice is Chazz Palminteri while his singing voice is Jess Harnell, Scamp's speaking voice is Scott Wolf and his singing voice is Roger Bart, and Angel's speaking voice is Alyssa Milano and her singing voice is Susan Egan.
    • It's funny that the singing voice for Hercules and Scamp is Roger Bart, and Susan Egan the voice for Meg is the singing voice of Angel, Scamp's girlfriend.
  • In the Baby Blues episode World's Greatest Dad the scantily clad big busted Birthday Lady's speaking voice was Kath Soucie and her singing voice by Elizabeth Daily.
  • In the animated version of The King and I, as like its live-action counterpart, Anna had a separate voice actor as her singing voice.
  • In an episode of King of the Hill the singing voice of Boomhauer, whose regular speaking voice is by Mike Judge, was performed by country singer Vince Gill.
  • In Recess, Mikey's speaking voice is Jason Davis, but his singing voice is performed by Robert Goulet. A whole episode was dedicated to his newly discovered singing talent, and it's later revealed he can also speak in this voice when he uses it to spread a rumor.
    • This could be a parody or subversion, seeing as his singing voice obviously sounds absolutely nothing like his normal voice. To quote a kindergartner in Recess: School's Out, after he sings his farewell to TJ, "Big kid sing good."
    • When the main six perform "Green Tamborine" for the ending credits of the movie, the rest of the main six have different singing voices, with the sole exceptions of Vince (Ricky D`Shon Colins) and Spinelli (Pamela Segal). Interestingly enough, Gus (Courtland Mead) had his singing voice performed by Blake Ewing, the voice of Menlo, and Gretchen (Ashley Johnson) had hers by Andi McAffee, the voice of Ashley A.
    • Any other time the characters sing (aside from Mikey), they keep their regular voices. On one occasion, Miss Grotke even gets her time to shine,'s...adorable
    • In a similar example, Mr. Hyunh of Hey Arnold has an inexplicable country singing voice, done by none other than Randy Travis.
  • Sonic Underground had the three hedgehog protagonists (yes, even the girl) voiced by the same voice actor, Jaleel White. However, when it came to the Once an Episode singing segment, they were voiced by three separate Voice Actors: Sam Vincent for Sonic, Tyley Ross for Manic and Louise Vallance for Sonia.
  • In the Danny Phantom episode "Fanning the Flames", the song sung by Ember was by a woman named Robin Kimissel while her main actress is Tara Strong. Strangely, this is the only incident of that happening. Ember sings another song in another episode which as far as anyone knows, Tara Strong does. Robin Kimiseel only does one episode and is never heard from again.
    • Kimissel was also the singing voice for Penny Sanchez. Rudy and Snap kept their regular voices.
    • Averted with pretty much every other Nicktoon.
  • In The Fairly Odd Parents Musical Episode, the pixies, normally voiced by Ben Stein, had their singing voices done by rappers Methold Man and Redman.
    • A bit of a subversion, though, in that the two voices (dull monotone as opposed to, well, rapping) were so different that it was very obvious, as with the Phineas and Ferb episode below.
  • In an episode of Rocko's Modern Life Filbert discovers he has a talent for lounge singing. His regular speaking voice was done by Doug Lawrence and his singing voice by Tom Kenny (Heffer), who in addition to voice acting is also a professional singer.
  • There are a couple of examples of this in the animated film Rock and Rule. Depending on which version you watch, Omar's speaking voice is either done by Paul Le Mat in the film, or Gregory Salata in the TV version; in both versions, his singing voice is done by Robin Zander. Angel's speaking voice is Susan Roman while her singing voice is Deborah Harry, and Mok's speaking voice is Don Francks while his singing voice is Lou Reed.
  • When Janet Waldo voiced Alice in Hanna-Barbera's TV adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, Doris Drew provided the singing voice. Waldo and Drew sound nothing alike. Waldo herself is actually a very good singer as evidenced in some early radio performances, so why they felt the need to replace her at all remains a mystery.
  • Taken to the point of parody on Phineas and Ferb, where (British) Ferb will sing with completely different accents for reggae or rap songs. Most of the other characters sing with the voice actors' voices, however.
    • And an In-World example from the same, during the "Summer Belongs to You" special, Phineas hires Clay Aiken for his voice for one musical number, and Ferb gets Chaka Khan. It is obviously Lampshaded.
    • Also Lampshaded with Linda, who admits that her "Lindana" career was done by lip-syncing. In real life Linda is voiced by Caroline Rhea while "Lindana" is performed by Olivia Olson, who also voices (and sings for) Vanessa.
  • In The Rescuers Down Under, the villain McLeach is voiced by George C. Scott but during the part where he sings his twisted version of "Home on the Range" his singing is done by Frank Welker.
  • While SpongeBob SquarePants often sings in his normal voice, on special occasions he shows off a fantastic singing voice that sounds nothing like him, with him being voiced by a different guest singer every time.
  • In Toy Story 2, Jessie is voiced by Joan Cusack, but her yodeling was by the late Mary Kay Bergman. Wheezy (voiced by Pixar Regulars Joe Ranft) sings a reprise of the original film's "You've Got a Friend in Me" at the end, sung by Robert Goulet. (the series has many first-person songs such as "When She Loved Me", "You've Got a Friend in Me", "Strange Things" and "I Will Go Sailing No More", but it's more of "music to fit the situation" instead of "character singing")
  • Averted in Monsters, Inc., where Billy Crystal and John Goodman sing in character as Mike and Sulley over the end credits.
  • In The Flintstones, Wilma and Betty both had several different singing voices. None of them sounded anything like their speaking voices.
  • Notably averted throughout Total Drama World Tour. However, some autotuning was required to improve the quality of several characters, especially in "Come Fly With Us." The lack of this probably explains why Cody sings so little, despite lasting second-longest out of a team that was called to perform more than any other. Notably Ezekiel and Tyler, also voiced by Peter Oldring, don't sing much either. (Of course, you'll find plenty of fangirls who still like Cody's singing anyway...)
  • All over the place in Quest for Camelot; also a major case of Hey, It's That Voice!: Kayley is voiced by Teri Schuester (speaking) and Andrea Corr (singing); Garrett is voiced by Westley (speaking) and Bryan White (singing); Kayley's mother is voiced by Jane Seymour (speaking) and Celine Dion (singing); King Arthur is voiced by James Bond (speaking) and Steve Perry (singing). (And I think we already know that Pierce Brosnan should never sing.)
  • Otto the gorilla from The Haunted World of El Superbeasto is voiced by Tom Kenny; his singing voice for his Schoolhouse Rock parody song is done by Chris Hardwick.
  • In the Animaniacs episode "Woodstock Slappy", the speaking voice of the Roger Daltrey caricature is voiced by Jim Cummings; his singing voice, however, is provided by Rob Paulsen.
  • The "Powered by the Cheat" versions of the Homestar Runner characters. Their speaking voices are provided by Mike Chapman, but their singing voices are provided by Matt Chapman (or Missy Palmer in the case of Marzipan); in other words, the same as their normal versions.
  • In My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic a lot of the characters get singing doubles, amusingly Sweetie Bell's double is the actress for her best friend Apple Bloom. (which leads to Sweetie becoming inexplicably Southern whenever she sings)
    • Strangely, Pinkie Pie has someone else singing for her but Fluttershy (who shares Pinkie's voice actress) does her own singing. Possibly Lampshaded in "Bridle Gossip" when Pinkie Pie asks Fluttershy to sing for her while she can't speak due to her tongue being swollen and Fluttershy has a man's voice.
    • In another odd case, Twilight Sparkle, voiced by Tara Strong, has a different singing voice, in spite of her normal voice actress being more than capable of singing herself (heck, she's even been the singing double to other actresses before!).
      • Tara Strong's voice is recorded separately from other actors in the show; she's the only Hollywood-based actor while all the others are from Canada. One assumes that since all the songs are recorded as ensemble they prefer all the singers are here.
    • In the Italian dub, Applejack, Rainbow Dash and Scootaloo have the same singing voice. Their So Bad Is Horrible rendition of "Winter Wrap Up" makes the former two really obvious.
  • In the Looney Tunes movie "Daffy Duck's Quackbusters," Daffy's singing voice is provided by Mel Torme. Lampshaded though, in that Daffy swallows a bottle of mouthwash designed to give him Mel Torme's voice.
  • In Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer The Movie (1998) the villianess Stormella is voiced by Whoopi Goldberg her singing voice is done by Carmen Twillie.
  • In Strawberry Shortcake's Berry Bitty Adventures, Strawberry is voiced by Anna Cummer, but her songs are done by Tracey Moore.
    • Funnily enough, Shannon Chan-Kent, the singing voice for Pinkie Pie in My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic, voices Cherry Jam, a pop star, but her songs are done by Victoria Duffield.