From This Might Be A Wiki
They Might Be Giants often reuse their own song titles, lyrics and musical phrases. Broader thematic reuse is also common, see Category:Song Themes.
Note that as definitive links between songs are hard to prove without official word from the band, some of the correlations listed are subject to personal opinion.
- All Alone, I Am Alone and All Alone, All By Myself
- Answer and No Answer
- Battle For The Planet Of The Apes and Battle For The Planet Of They Might Be Giants
- The Bloodboat and The Bloodmobile
- Counterfeit Fake and Counterfeit Faker
- Cowtown, Cabbagetown, Clowntown, and College Town
- Doom and Doom Doom
- Drink! and Drinkin'
- Hey Everybody and Hey Now Everybody
- Hotel Detective Series: (She Was A) Hotel Detective, She Was A Hotel Detective and (She Was A) Hotel Detective In The Future
- Insect Hospital and After Hours Party At The Insect Hospital
- Microphone (JL) and This Microphone (JF)
- Number Two and Number Three
- Planet Of The Apes (Theme): Planet Of The Apes, Return To The Planet Of The Apes, Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes, Escape From The Planet Of The Apes, Battle For The Planet Of The Apes, Beneath The Planet Of The Apes, This Ape's For You, and Ultimate Battle For The Planet Of The Apes
- Spare The Rock, It's Spare The Rock, and Don't Spare The Rock
- Spine (JL) and Spines (JF)
- Tick and Tick Tick Tick Tick
- Too Cool Girls and Too Tall Girl
- Why Does The Sun Shine? and Why Does The Sun Really Shine?
Recycled Music And Lyrics
- Always Be Giants - "Who's gonna wear my sandals stained with Coca-Cola?" from "Poison Flowers", "He's a thirsty cyborg with-" from "Born In A Graveyard"
- Dan Vs. Cog - adapted from "Born In A Graveyard"
- On Earth My Nina - imitation of Thunderbird backwards
- Robot Parade - adapted from a song for The Chopping Block called "Robot Design"
- With The Dark - "Busting my pirate hump, rocking my peg leg stump"
- Compare with: Puppets Gonna Fuck You Up - "Busting my puppet hump, grinding my puppet stump"
- The song also uses some instrumentation from "Mono", a track from the They Might Be Giants Podcast
- Anqui - tune, style from "Idaho"
- Dial-A-Song Promo - uses melody from "Youth Culture Killed My Dog"
- Goodbye - melody taken from "Glasgow"
- Guitar Was The Case - borrows some melodic elements from "Hall Of Heads"
- Hey, man. I saw your band. - keyboard riff borrowed from "Idaho"
- Hide Away Folk Family - the music during "Better hide away" is very similar to the chorus in "I Hope That I Get Old Before I Die"
- I Blame You - reuses the tune of "Free Bird's Rebirth" with changed lyrics
- I'm Just A Note - "I am just a note", "singing in harmony" same rhythm as "I'm all alone", "behold the mystery" from All Alone
- Ike Was A Handsome Man - A 10-second reprise of the melody to "It Could Be Worse"
- La Dolce Malcolm - Melody partly taken from "Tres Quatro"
- Letter/Not A Letter - music behind kids speaking is a faster version of "Z Y X"
- Lie Still, Little Bottle - borrows the bridge of "I Need Some Lovin'
- All three processionals from the House Of Mayors EP feature the melody from the title track in some form.
- Read A Book - Bass riff before the final chorus is in the same key and has the same opening lick as the bass riff before the final chorus in "Till My Head Falls Off"
- Sleepwalkers - melody line from "What Is Everyone Staring At?"
- Spiraling Shape - chorus taken from "Rocket Ship"
- Thunderbird - very musically similar to "James K. Polk" as is "9 Secret Steps"
- To A Forest - guitar riff is similar to "Contrecoup"
- Who's Gonna Guess The Dead Guy? - Tune of "Boss Of Me"
- Wind Chime - melody bastardized from Integrity Project
- Ampersand - "We'd talk right through the night" is also brought up in Best Regrets.
- Experimental Film - "I already know the ending it's / The part that makes your face implode"
- compare with: Nothing's Gonna Change My Clothes- "All the people are so happy now, their heads are cavin' in"
- Happy Doesn't Have To Have An Ending - the dancing hippie cat recalls "Birds Fly": "cats dance under my feet"
- I Am A Grocery Bag - references Dead's line: "I came back as a bag of groceries..."
- I'm Sick (Of This American Life) - "I didn't come here to socialize...I'm sick...I like staring at two glass eyes"
- compare with: Cyclops Rock - "I'm sick...But I'm not here to socialize...I just stare / With my one glass eye"
- Lazyhead And Sleepybones - "When Sleepy Bones says he's feeling tired / Lazy Head wants to rest...Both take naps so long"
- Compare with: My Evil Twin - "He always wants to start when I want to begin...Then sleep all through the day"
- Long White Beard - tells a story of someone waking up with a long white beard, which is reminiscent of how the narrator of Four Of Two declares that he "had grown a beard, it was long and white" after waking from his sleep
- Lost My Mind - "The one I left behind" is said verbatim in Tender Is The Mind
- Older - borrows the line "Time is marching on" from XTC Vs. Adam Ant
- Ondine - "I dreamed I killed you again / Don't make me kill you again"
- compare with: Extra Krispy - "I'm gonna rock you just one more time / Don't make me rock you again"
- The Lady And The Tiger - "Do you surmise it's wise / to have laser beams emitting from your eyes"
- This mention of laser beams is reminiscent of "She shot the beam of a laser / into my heart" from (She Was A) Hotel Detective In The Future.
- Also see "The monument of granite sent a beam into my eye" from The Statue Got Me High.
- Moonbeam Rays - "By the time you hear this / It will be too late"
- compare with By The Time You Get This - "By the time you get this note / We'll no longer be alive"
- (Flansburgh withheld the former song due to the similarity)
- Upside Down Frown - "Black is white, and the rainbow has a beard"
- compare with: (She Was A) Hotel Detective In The Future - "She walks with the beard of a rainbow"
- The title of the song is similar to a line in "The Big Big Whoredom" - "Turn that frown upside down"
- Wreck It Apart - "Don't make me kill you again" from "Ondine"
Explicit References to other TMBG songs
- Hey, Mr. DJ, I Thought You Said We Had A Deal - "Well, I told you about the world, its address" (The World's Address), "You know the rabid child is still tuning in", "Chess Piece Face's patience must be wearing thin"
- Impossible - "If you wish you had violet hair" recalls "Purple Toupee"
- Nightgown Of The Sullen Moon - "There's a feeling of boredom, of the big whoredom" ("The Big Big Whoredom")
- Rabid Child - "Chess Piece Face and the Big Duluth"
- Piece Of Dirt - "I find myself haunted by a spooky man named Me;" this song precedes "Mr. Me" on Lincoln
- The Songs Of The 50 States - After the last instance of the line "I can't wait for my favorite one," an instrumental version of the chorus of "Arkansas" plays
- Stalk Of Wheat - References a line from "They Might Be Giants": "They might be frying up a stalk of wheat"
- Stone Cold Coup D'État - The narrator claims that "autumn leaves will burn," as did the narrator of No One Knows My Plan. The narrator in Impossibly New also mentions "The corner phone booth in its youth loved burning leaves and morning suits".
- The Flood liner notes are "printed on recycled paper".
- Then The Kids Took Over - "Recycling, self-reliance, energy conservation, no matter how small"
- TMBG has also been known to reuse typefaces, for example, here and here.
- The videos for both "Experimental Film" and "Figure Eight" feature the phrase "it's a lion" in similar handwriting. Both were animated by The Brothers Chaps.
- References To Other Songs Or Musicians
- Song Themes - For examples of thematic recycling
- TMBG Remakes - Songs written by other bands, but recycled by TMBG