Created By: MartyD82 on July 14, 2012 Last Edited By: MartyD82 on July 17, 2012

High School Band

The student-run rock band prevalent in most high school shows.

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A sister trope to High-School Dance, the High School Band is the student-run rock band found in almost every high school. In fiction, you can expect everybody in the band to be perfectly skilled with their instruments, any band disputes to be resolved within a half hour, and the entire school making a big deal of their upcoming pep rally or roadside cafe performance. In real life, you can usually expect, well, this:


Live Action TV

  • Saved by the Bell exemplifies this to a tee, both with Zack Attack and with Hot Sundae.
  • Fifteen had Dylan, Chris, Billy and Arseman front a band called Teenagers In Love.
  • Played more realistically on Freaks and Geeks. The freaks' front a rock band called Creation. And, both in and out of universe, they are absolutely terrible.
    • Plus, aside from Nick, the freaks just see the band as more time to goof off. None of them are actually serious about it.
  • My So-Called Life has this with Jordan Catalano's band Frozen Embryos. But it's, again, played more realistically in that the band is terrible, and its whole reason for existing is so that Jordan can escape from his personal problems.

Real Life

  • Some high school bands actually do manage to become highly successful. It's definitely rare, but it does happen.
Community Feedback Replies: 10
  • July 14, 2012
    Battle Of The Bands would be a subtrope.

    • Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Oz's band Dingoes At My Baby. They're good enough to get regular gigs at the Bronze, the local hangout.
  • July 14, 2012
    The Zit Remedy from Degrassi Junior High and Degrassi High was a realistic example. It's spinoff Degrassi has many straight examples.
  • July 15, 2012
    I'm pretty sure Beverly Hills 90210 had a band that played at The Peach Pit.

    Would Kirk also fit this trope?
  • July 15, 2012
    I think this trope would be better named as Garage Band, as that is the common name for people in high school who form their own bands. When I hear High School Band, I picture an official extra-curricular group at the school, like a marching band, that only music nerds participate in. Plus, most of these bands practice in garages anyway, which is where the term came from.
  • July 15, 2012
    But we seem to already have it.
  • July 15, 2012
    Then what is the difference between that trope and this one?
  • July 16, 2012
    None that I can see actually.
  • July 16, 2012
    This troper heard a radio commercial today that suggests this might be on its way to being a dead horse trope. This is because high school programs like band are being dropped due to budget cuts and/or extra-curricular activities giving way to standardized-test prep and such.
  • July 16, 2012
    But a Garage Band doesn't necessarily involve teens, nor does a band of teenagers necessarily have a connection with a garage? Idk, I just feel like this crops up enough with its own parameters, such as competing at a school talent show, or being THE ONLY school band.

    The Goth kids on South Park form one of these for their school talent show, and perform a song about how much they hate talent shows.

    The Donnas have a video where they're one of these bands. Sort of.
  • July 17, 2012
    ^^This trope is about a band formed outside the school, not within. Proof that this probably needs a better name, like Teen Band? As I said, it makes it sound like it's an official school group rather than one formed outside.