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A theme or element from a work's soundtrack (usually a movie) that gets reused in another work. It may either be an original piece, or a preexisting one that wasn't widely known until being used as soundtrack.

See also Recycled Trailer Music.

Examples of Recycled Soundtrack include:

Anime and Manga


Live-Action TV

  • The theme from the original Japanese version of Iron Chef was made up of score written by Hans Zimmer (“Show Me Your Firetruck”) for the Backdraft movie soundtrack.
  • Some of the soundtrack from Masked Rider was later used in Saban's dub of Digimon, and again in Jim Button.
  • The opening theme to Star Trek the Next Generation was a peppy, uptempo remix of the main theme used in Star Trek the Motion Picture.
  • Some music cues from The Price Is Right have fallen under this trope:
    • A remix of the Celebrity Charades theme cropped up at some point.
    • The theme to The Match Game Hollywood Squares Hour is presently used as a new-car cue.
    • An early new-car cue became the theme to Family Feud when that show debuted in 1976. Price later brought back the last few bars as an introductory sting for the first playing of Plinko, and has used it since 1980 to introduce Grand Game. What's more, Trivia Trap also used the last bars as a victory cue. Finally, Feud retired that theme in 1994, but brought it back in the 2000s.
    • The Bob Cobert theme used on the orignal Price from 1961-65 (titled either "A Gift For Giving" or "Window Shopping", depending on who you ask) would be used on two NBC games afterward — Snap Judgment (1967) and You're Putting Me On (1969).
  • Second Chance shared its theme with the 1976 version of I've Got a Secret. The same theme was later used on the Australian version of Family Feud in the 1980s.
  • An early prize cue from Wheel of Fortune, retired in the early 1990s, became the theme to Merv Griffin's Crosswords over 15 years later.
    • Conversely, one of the other prize cues on Wheel was the theme to the 1978 version of Jeopardy!
  • The Theme Tune from Alex Trebek's Double Dare was reused on Jim Perry's Card Sharks a year after the former's cancellation. Both shows even had virtually-identical openings.
  • The theme from College Mad House was later used on the Lifetime/PAX Game Show Shop 'til You Drop (which would later lend one of its own prize cues to Quicksilver as its theme song).
  • Three of the Family Channel's mid-90's game shows - Boggle, Shuffle and Jumble - used the exact same Theme Tune. (And the same set, host, announcer...)
  • Bob Stewart recycled the theme from his short-lived 1970s game Blankety Blanks on an equally short-lived game from the 1980s, Double Talk.
  • Similarly, the "plonk plonk" timer on Pyramid, which is actually considered part of the soundtrack, was recycled on Go.
  • The theme to another one of Stewart's shows, Jackpot, was later used on This Week in Baseball.
  • The Joe Schmo Show, a parody reality-competition program by the same company and many of the same individuals who worked on The Mole used many of the musical themes created for that program, but without any on-screen credit to the original composer, David Michael Frank.
  • What Would You Do? used many of the same background cues as its sister Nick show, Wild and Crazy Kids. Both were produced by Woody Fraser and used music composed by Alan Ett.
  • Many, many, MANY TV shows from the '50s to the '80s reused music cues, often (but not always) written for the actual series.



  • Leonard Bernstein wrote the score to Wonderful Town in a hurry, and presumably saved time and effort by lifting a few parts from earlier works:
    • The refrain of "Conga!" was previously music for the scene change to the Congacabana in On the Town.
    • The vamp in "Conversation Piece" is from the jazz band piece "Prelude, Fugue and Riffs," parts of which were also incorporated into the ballet "Conquering the City."

Video Games

Western Animation

  • Peter Bogdanovich's What's Up, Doc? (1972) ends with an in-flight showing of the Looney Tunes short "What's Up, Doc?", in which Bugs Bunny and Elmer Fudd sing the title song, thus resulting in a Title Drop, for both.
  • The "Temple of the Night Hawk" roller coaster in Phantasialand (an amusement park in Germany) actually uses "The Egg Travels" as the ride's background music.
  • The music played during the scene from The Sword in the Stone where Mad Madame Mim turns into a dragon was actually recycled music from Sleeping Beauty that played during the scene where Maleficent turns into a um, guess...
    • the 60s and 70s era Disney movies had a re-occuring "sad" motif. (In Sword in the Stone, it plays when Wart is alone in the destroyed kitchen after being told he won't be going to London, and in Robin Hood, it plays during the scene where Prince John is fuming about "The Phony King of England" after having thrown the entire town in jail for it, to name a few examples.)
    • The music played during Baloo's Disney Death at the end of The Jungle Book was actually recycled from Snow White and The Seven Dwarfs during the ending where the seven dwarfs put Snow White's (supposedly) dead body into the glass coffin.
  • About halfway through Aladdin, during the scene where the Genie is looking through his cookbook, a brief snippet of the song "Under the Sea" from the earlier Disney film The Little Mermaid can be heard when Genie can be seen looking at a recipe for "Alaskan King Crab", causing him to pull Sebastian out of said cookbook.
  • The 1958 Crusader Rabbit story arc "The Great Baseball Mystery" uses a tune called "Holiday Jaunt" (by Kurt Rehfeld) as background music in a late chapter. Three years later the tune would be the first theme for the game show Password.
  • Rango takes a few cues from Pirates of the Caribbean, at one point taking an entire song.
    • One scene also uses a track from Danny Elfman's score for The Kingdom.
  1. Hideaki Anno's next series, with music by the same composer