Please note that I've tried googling variations on this, but usually just end up with "words that rhyme with unexpected" which is obviously not what I'm going for.

There's a technique I've seen used often, in parody songs/raps especially, where the usual rhyming scheme is subverted and a line ends with something else that doesn't rhyme, and I'm wondering if there's a specific literary term for this.

For example, in the Game of Thrones Recap Rap, there's a part where Ryan Tellez is talking about Joffrey and says "He's the biggest f***ing asshole I've ever f***ing seen, I punch my TV every time he comes on screen!" but then later he's talking about Ramsay Bolton and subverts a repetition of it with "He's the biggest f***ing asshole I've ever f***ing seen, I punch my TV every time he...oh I did that one already."

Most often when I see this employed, the ending of the line is sung/spoken rapidly to still fit the music and usually in a deadpan tone.

  • From your own description: "the usual rhyming scheme is subverted". That seems like the most appropriate description. It's not just a concept, it is a subversion of a concept that was expected. Making this any more terse would change the meaning.
    – Flater
    Commented Jul 28, 2017 at 15:04
  • Uh… no; there isn't, and even though it clearly looks like one, that is not an example of the the usual rhyming scheme being subverted… If it were, the words oh I did that one already would be wholly irrelevant. Also, as you said, this is employed when the ending of the line is sung/spoken to fit the music… which oh I did that one already doesn't, does it? Commented Jul 30, 2017 at 23:19
  • It's subverted in the sense that you're expecting the line to rhyme and it doesn't. And when I say it's spoken to fit, I mean in terms of the speed at which the rapper says it, so it still fits in the bar. Commented Jul 31, 2017 at 15:53

1 Answer 1


I know I'm coming late to the party, but Wikipedia now has several entries that I think are either what you are asking, or adjacent to it. I am assuming that you are talking about something like the "Shaving Cream song" that I sang as a kid.

I first found the descriptive phrase Mind Rhymes in the title of an entry from JSTOR: https://www.jstor.org/stable/25475703. The 1-page preview isn't enough to show a definition, but the use of "Shaving Cream" in the title is what found it for me.

I did a little searching based on the article, and eventually found the article "Subverted rhyme" on Wikipedia, which was a redirection from "Mind rhyme" (no 's'). They also include the phrase teasing rhyme and presumably a redirection may be available from there, too.

Their examples include (from cheerleading):

Raa Raa REE!
Kick 'em in the knee!
Raa Raa RASS!
Kick 'em in the other knee!

There is also a reference to the poetry term enjambment which may be relevant to you.

I have heard three different approaches to this in (non-parody) rap music. The first is simple omission of the word or phrase. I would call this a "mind rhyme" since the expectation is that you will "fill in the blank" mentally. This is a stock approach to editing a song with potentially offensive lyrics into a lower-rated or offense-free content. (Which happens frequently in rap music. Surprise!)

The next is the substitution of a sound, noise, or musical passage (other than the simple "bleep" of censorship). A record-scratch is common. Or sometimes a recording of a related sound. (For example, a gunshot sound to replace "shoot", as in Public Enemy's Burn, Hollywood, burn!) I'm not sure what to call this, other than an elaborate form of censorship. It isn't really "teasing", nor is it "subverting." It can fit under "mind rhymes" but (as in the PE song above) it isn't always used with the rhyme target. It seems like there might be a word, in line with the poetical Oh, noes, mah toes!; Metropolis; & Schenectady (*) that describes this.

Finally, there is the substitution of another word. Like, "can't stop starin' at her ti-ti-ti-ti- face!" This is distinct from the enjambment/shaving cream approach of completely changing lyrical scheme. This is definitely (IMO) a "teasing" rhyme.

(*) Onomatopoeia, metonymy, & synecdoche, if you're nasty.

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