308. “The bells, bells, bells, bells, the tintinnabulation of the bells!”

The episode:I Was a Teenage Werewolf,” ep. 809

The riff: Blurted out by Tom as the high school bell rings and our main character (the titular teen werewolf) is overcome by the sound.

The explanation: This is a straightforward reference to a well-known poem by Edgar Allen Poe called “The Bells.” It’s a short poem focusing heavily on the onomatopoeia sounds of bells, whether “jingling” or “tingling” or “moaning” or “groaning.” The tone of the poem slowly becomes darker throughout, which isn’t all that surprising given that this is Poe.

Novelty factor: I am quite familiar with this particular poem. I still remember learning it for the first time in seventh grade English class. It has a very hypnotic rhythm when read aloud because of all the repetition.

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