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Riff - Off

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Album: Pitch Perfect: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack
Released: October 2, 2012
By: Toni Basil
Pat Benatar
Boyz II Men
Sung by: The Barden Bellas
The Treblemakers
The BU Harmonics
The High Notes
Solos: Bumper
Jessica Jain (The High Notes)
Cynthia Rose
Place: Barden University Swimming Pool

A riff off is after the new recruits for the acapella groups have been chosen, all of the acapella groups compete by singing songs based off the category previously chosen.


1. You must sing a song that's based off of the given category. If it doesn't match the category then they are "Cut Off", meaning they can no longer compete.

2. When you interrupt another group's song, you must start your song with the same word that the other group's song has landed on.

For example, during the riff off in the movie, the BU Harmonics (the group that sings Madonna songs) interrupts the Treblemakers "Hey Mickey" with "Like a Virgin" by landing on the phrase "so fine" - words and phrase that both songs share.

As another example, when Beca interrupts Jesse's song, he was singing "It feels like the first time" and she came in with "It's going down ..." --- not an exact match. This is what prompted their disqualification from the riff off.

Barden Riff-OffEdit

At Barden, the Riff-Off takes place between the four main a cappella groups on campus- the Barden Bellas, the Treblemakers, the High Notes and BU Harmonics. The four groups battle through music in an abandoned pool hole. The prize in the 2011-2012 season was a microphone used by Hoobastank.

A virtual wheel is spun to choose a category. Any group may join in as long as the song matches the category. The categories are:

  • Ladies of the 80's
  • Songs about Sex
  • Black Michael Jackson
  • White Michael Jackson
  • Christian Rock
  • Hair Bands
  • TV Theme Songs
  • Reggae Time
  • Medium Rock
  • The Judds
  • Famous Duets
  • Overplayed Black Eyed Peas
  • Puppet Songs
  • Songs Ruined by Glee
  • Party Rock Anthems
  • Ugly Lead Singers

In the movie, however only two categories were picked: Ladies of the 80's and Songs About Sex. The Treblemakers beat out Aubrey to start, and sing "Mickey." The Harmonics cut them off with "Like a Virgin." Aubrey then cuts in with "Hit Me With Your Best Shot," joined by the Bellas, to be interrupted by a girl from the High Notes who tries and fails to sing "It Must Have Been Love," and the High Notes are disqualified.

The next category chosen was Songs About Sex. Two of the Bellas, Stacie and Cynthia Rose, start off with "S&M" (the rest of the group back them up with the beat). The Trebles cut off the two Bellas with "Let's Talk About Sex," and Aubrey tries to drag Stacie back to the group, but Stacie makes somewhat of a comeback with "I'll Make Love to You." Stacie is soon cut off (by Jesse, one of the Trebles) with "Feels Like the First Time." Beca soon cuts Jesse off by rapping "No Diggity." Fat Amy joins in with the rest of the Bellas following, and finally the BU Harmonics join in as well.

At the end of "No Diggity," Beca is seen saying to Jesse, "I mean, you're welcome," while being surrounded by her friends. Everyone laughs at this.

The Bellas lose the Riff Off. When Beca rapped "No Diggity," the word she had cut Jesse off was "it." Beca rapped "No Diggity" with the first word being "it's," which unfortunately did NOT lead the Bellas to victory like she would have hoped even though "It's" is just the abbreviated form of "It is". Though Aubrey protests this ruling, Justin hands the prize to the Treblemakers (the Harmonics also being disqualified because they were singing along with the Bellas).

Participants - Acapella Groups


Oh Mickey, you're so fine

Bumper with Treblemakers:
You're so fine you blow my mind
Hey Mickey, Hey Hey Hey Mickey
Oh Mickey, you're so fine

You're so fine and you're mine
I'll be yours till the end of time
Cause you make me feel
Yeah you make me feel (BU Harmonic #3: Ooh yeah)
So shiny and new (BU Harmonic #3: Oh yeah)
Like a virgin (BU Harmonic #4: Like a virgin)
Touched for the very first time (BU Harmonic #4: Touched for the first time)
Like the

Like the one in me
That's O.K.
Let's see how you do it

Aubrey with Bellas:
Put up your dukes
Let's get down to it
Hit me with your best shot
Why don't you hit me with your best shot
Hit me with your best shot
Fire away

Away - ay...
It must have been love
But it's over now
But it's over right now

Cynthia Rose:
Na na na
Come on
Na na na na na
Come on, come on, come on
Cause I may be bad (Stacie: come on come on I like it like it come on)
But I'm perfectly good at it
Sex in the air (Stacie: come on come on I like it like it come on)
I don't care I love the smell of it

Cynthia Rose and Stacie:
Sticks and stones may break my bones
But chains and whips excite me

Cynthia Rose:
Cause I may be bad (Stacie: Come on, come on, I like it like it come on)
But I'm perfectly good at it

Donald with Treblemakers:
(Donald: Sex baby)
Let's talk about you and me
Let's talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be
Let's talk about sex

(Bumper: Alright)
Let's talk about sex

(Bumper: A little bit, a little bit)
Let's talk about sex, baby

Baby, all through the night

Stacie and Fat Amy:
I'll make love to you
Like you want me too
And I

And I guess it's just the woman in you
That brings out the man in me
I know I can't help myself
You're all in the world to me

Jesse with Treblemakers:
It feels like the first time
It feels like the very first time
It feels like the first time

It's going down, fade to Blackstreet
The homies got RB, collab' creations 
bump like acne, No doubt 
I put it down, never slouch
As long as my credit can vouch
A dog couldn't catch me, straight up
Tell me who could stop when Dre making moves
Attracting honeys like a magnet
Giving them eargasms with my mellow accent
Still moving this flavor
with the homies Blackstreet and Teddy
The original rump shakers
Shorty get down, good Lord
Baby got 'em open all over town
Strictly biz, she don't play around
Cover much ground, got game by the pound

(with Fat Amy: Getting paid is a forte)

Each and every day, true player way
I can't get her outta my mind (Fat Amy: well)
I think about the girl all the time (Cynthia Rose: Oh ooh)

Beca with Bellas (Cynthia Rose ad libing):
I like the way you work it No diggity, I got to bag it up, Baby (x6)

We out


  • The Treblemakers won one year's riff-off
  • The Bellas came up 2nd in the aforementioned riff-off.
  • The Bellas lost the aforementioned riff-off because they sung 'it's' in the place of 'it'.
  • The High Notes were the one who got cut-off, or eliminated, first.
  • The BU Harmonics were never officially eliminated. They sang "Like a Virgin" by Madonna in the first round, Ladies of the '80s. However, they did not participate vocally in the "Songs about Sex" challenge, which decided the official winner. Also, the BU Harmonics were singing alongside the Bellas, who were eliminated. Therefore, they were disqualified with the Bellas.
  • How to play in the Riff-Off is just like playing connecting words.



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