->''"More Eddie! More Alex! More David! More of that other guy (Michael)!"''
-->--'''"Ted Templeman"''' recording Music/VanHalen, ''WebVideo/YachtRock''

In the music industry, nobody has worse press than the bassist. The singer is almost always [[TheFaceOfTheBand the first person who comes to mind when thinking of the band]], the guitarist is the second (complete with AirGuitar), next there's the [[AllDrummersAreAnimals wild and crazy drummer/percussionists]], and then maybe musicians playing instruments which are found in orchestras or cultural bands.

And last in line, if at all... the bassist. There are hardly ever any bass solos. There are hardly ever any bassist/singers. There is [[SeriousBusiness no hope.]] Okay, maybe not ZERO hope. For the short heroes' list of bass players who have risen above this cosmic injustice, see LeadBassist.

This can be an [[EnforcedTrope enforced]] or JustifiedTrope. The inherent structure of much popular music encourages a simple, supportive bass line. This makes it hard for a bass player to stand out aurally, and doubly hard to do so without simply showing off at the music's expense. So most of the time, a bassist doing his job properly ends up drawing relatively little attention to himself; bassists who try to defy this and push their way into a LeadBassist role without actually taking the songs themselves into consideration will quickly piss off their bandmates and be shown the door.

This trope refers to this phenomenon, and media in which it is [[DiscussedTrope discussed.]] Compare DumbAndDrummer, which involves similar levels of disrespect but with outright insults instead of the musician simply being forgotten about.
----
!! Examples in media:

[[foldercontrol]]

[[folder:Music]]
* In some bands, the bass player is not an official member of the group, usually because he replaced a long-time bass player. The most famous such band is Music/TheRollingStones, who haven't had an official bassist since Bill Wyman left. Darryl Jones has largely replaced him, but he's a salaried employee of the band, not an official member.
** Hugh [=McDonald=] has been with Music/BonJovi since 1994, but is not considered a full-fledged member (though this is mostly because the band agreed never to officially replace the original bassist).
** PinkFloyd went from having a LeadBassist to none at all when Roger Waters left, and stayed that way, hiring session musicians and using programmed synth basses.
** Music/{{Nile}} hasn't had a full-time bassist since Jon Vesano left back in 2005.
** Music/{{Lonestar}} hasn't had a full-time bassist since John Rich was fired in 1998. Rich has become famous as one-half of Big & Rich, along with plenty of songwriting and production gigs. Since his departure, Lonestar uses different bassists in concert, and session bassists on albums.
** During Ross Valory's absence from Music/{{Journey}}, the band replaced him with non-member hire Randy Jackson (later of ''Series/AmericanIdol'').
** Music/{{ThePillows}} haven't had an official bassist since founding member Kenji Ueda quit in 1992.
* AbneyPark's remedy to a classic onstage mishap. [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bloSdPhViVE When the lead singer screws up, blame the bass player.]]
* Fear of this trope is why, when Stuart Sutcliffe quit Music/TheBeatles, Music/PaulMcCartney was the only guitarist who wouldn't quit on the spot rather than play bass. He still found many occasions to add guitar parts to Beatles albums, and would swap between guitar and bass during his Wings period and his later solo career. Even in the image on his trope page, he's holding a guitar.
** Paul claimed that the good-looking Stuart's inclusion as bassist was something of an attempt to avert this trope.
-->"In our minds, it was the fat guy in the group who nearly always played the bass and he stood at the back. None of us wanted that."
* Music/TheDoors didn't even have a bassist, relying on session players or Ray Manzarek's specially tuned "bass keyboard."
* Session musician Chuck Rainey played bass on [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Rascals The Rascals]]' recordings, but during live shows, Felix Cavaliere played the bass notes on his keyboard.
* In the [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3xLSkpF_E8c music video]] for "Legend of Archery" by Music/DriftlessPonyClub, Sam Grant gets scolded by Matt, flipped off by Nate, and ultimately kicked out by Craig. [[spoiler: [[KillEmAll It doesn't go over well for them...]]]]
* On ''Series/TheColbertReport'', Steve Van Zandt was asked a question about the E Street Band bassist Garry Tallent. At first Van Zandt was confused, and then replied, "Nobody told Garry; we don't talk to him."
* Throughout early Music/{{Genesis}} albums, all bass parts were played by the band's rhythm guitarist Mike Rutherford. Playing live he would spend roughly equal time between guitar and bass; when he was on guitar, the bass notes were either provided by low keyboard notes or a pedal bass synthesizer. After lead guitarist Steve Hackett left the group, Rutherford would alternate the two instruments with sideman Daryl Stuermer, generally playing guitar for more contemporary songs. All the instrument swapping meant that instrument maker Shergold made him an expensive, one-off modular double-neck guitar allowing him to swap out bass, 12-string, and two six-string tunings, and he uses similar AceCustom 12 string/bass double necks to this day.
* In ''Theatre/JerseyBoys'', the bassist is TheQuietOne. He barely impacts most of the plot, and he calls himself [[TheGarfunkel the Ringo]]. When it's his turn to narrate, though, [[BewareTheQuietOnes look out]].
* Since their 1981 reformation, Music/KingCrimson has largely done without a bassist. Tony Levin spent most of his time playing the [[BizarreInstrument Chapman Stick]] or keyboards, and successor Trey Gunn has stuck almost entirely to the Chapman Stick or oddball [[BizarreInstrument Warr Guitar]].
* TheMaryWhitehouseExperience book described Music/{{Queen}} as consisting of "Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and the other one (John Deacon)".
* Music/{{Metallica}} treated Music/JasonNewsted as the new guy [[ReplacementGoldfish for 14 years]]. (it helps that he replaced a beloved friend of theirs who [[DeadPartner died tragically]]) It was even (indirectly [[note]]the producers lost the entire low end of the album, and he had copied the rhythm guitar parts verbatim, a no-no for a bassist[[/note]]) admitted there was an attempt to mute the bass as much as they could in his debut album, ''...And Justice for All''.
* Music/NoDoubt's breakout song "Don't Speak" is essentially a song about [[BreakupSong no longer loving the bassist]].
* In the biopic of ''Film/TheRunaways'', bassist Robyn Robbins doesn't have any spoken lines.
** Also, [[CompositeCharacter Robyn was a character created just for the movie]], as the real-life Runaways couldn't keep a bass player. Over their career as a band, they had ''five'' of them - six if you count when Joan Jett played bass instead of guitar for part of one tour.
* According to some accounts, Patricia Morrison, nominally the bass player at the time of Music/TheSistersofMercy's ''Floodland'' album, didn't even play on the album; or at least much of what she ''did'' play was subsequently overdubbed by Andrew Eldritch playing synth bass (the only song her bass can be clearly heard on is "Lucretia My Reflection"). She later quit the group because she hadn't been paid.
* In a Rolling Stone [[http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/taylor-swift-on-her-messy-love-life-20121012 article]], TaylorSwift accidentally backs her SUV into the parked car behind her, which happens to be owned by bassist Amos Heller. The first thing she says is, "Oh, my God. OH, MY GOD. OH, MY GOD. OH, MY GOD. OH, MY GOD. OH, MY GOD. OH, MY GOD. OH, MY GOD. OH, MY GOD. OH, MY GOD. OH, MY GOD. OH, MY GOD." The second thing she says is, "Oh, is that my bass player? It's fine. It's my bass player!"
* Discussed and inverted by Music/TroutFishingInAmerica on their song "The Day the Bass Players Took Over the World":
-->Now one day the bass players, they decided to uprise\\
They were tired of being sidemen to all those other guys\\
So they kidnapped the horn section\\
They put drugs in the drummer's drink\\
And they tied up all the guitar players\\
With their big ol' flat-wound strings
** The duo itself is an aversion, as Keith Grimwood (bass) and Ezra Idlet (guitar) split the vocals about 50/50.
* Ryan Stasik, the bassist for Umphrey's Mcgee, is the [[ButtMonkey designated social-media punching bag]] of the group. One song even contains the stanza "Stasik / go take a shower / a shower / will do you justice."
* Pity Music/VanHalen[='=]s Michael Anthony. Not only was he the band member no casual fan could remember, he was (musically speaking) the real-life [[WesternAnimation/{{Metalocalypse}} Murderface]]: Eddie Van Halen generally forbade any bass line that didn't double his guitar notes, and insisted on mixing the bass below the point of distinct audibility. For career satisfaction, Anthony pretty much had to settle for availing himself of the massive groupie overstock that accumulated around 1980's Van Halen... wait. Hm. You know what? DON'T pity Michael Anthony. [[Music/{{Chickenfoot}} He certainly landed on his]] [[IncrediblyLamePun foot,]] though.
** Eddie even started to neglect Michael, playing most of the bass parts in ''Van Halen III'' and the new tracks from ''[[GreatestHitsAlbum Best of Both Worlds]]'' (where Anthony only did backing vocals). He only got in the 2004 tour because Sammy Hagar - who later drafted Anthony to both his solo band and Music/{{Chickenfoot}} - wanted him to, as Eddie wouldn't even invite him. And when the band started performing again, the new bassist was a teenager (Eddie's son Wolfgang)!
* The bassist for Music/WeirdAlYankovic makes sure that everyone remembers him more than the rest of the band, through his use of humor. Al introduces his band members over the course of the concert, letting each of them have a solo. After the lead guitar and drummer show off their impressive skills, the bassist leaves the audience in stitches by only playing one note.
** In fact, it's the ''keyboardist'', Ruben Valtierra, who's more often relegated to the role of "that other guy" and treated [[ButtMonkey accordingly]] -- most famously, on the cover of ''Running with Scissors'' he's the one way back in the distance, blurred out, and on the insert he's lying face-down, presumably dead from [[BackStab the scissors stuck in his back]]. It makes sense when you realize that, until recently, he wasn't even an official part of the band, only joining them on tour so Al wouldn't have to sing lead and play keyboards at the same time.
* Some bands love bassists so little that they don't bother having one:
** Music/TheWhiteStripes. (although Jack White often uses an octave pedal to simulate a bass, such as in Seven-Nation Army)
** Music/TheBlackKeys. (although bass is heavily featured on their tracks, played by the guitarist)
** Gossip.
** Deap Vally.
** Music/YeahYeahYeahs.
** Music/{{Device}}.
* Music/NineInchNails had no bassist in the touring band prior to ''The Downward Spiral'', with bass parts being played on synthesizer. After the departure of their most recent bassist, Pino Palladino, Trent Reznor decided not to replace him, going back to the ''Pretty Hate Machine'' four-piece arrangement.
* In a relatively recent playing of the famous bluegrass instrumental [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yQIJuu3N5EY "Foggy Mountain Breakdown"]], there were... two banjo solos, an acoustic guitar solo, two electric guitar solos, a fiddle solo, a mandolin solo, a harmonica solo, a piano solo, an electric organ solo and a dobro(!) solo. The bass didn't get a solo. Hell, the bassist didn't get to appear in the music video.
* Music/DaYoopers changed bassists twice times in the course of about 5 years: in order, they went from Jim Pennell to Joe [=DeLongchamp=] to Dave "Doc" Bradbury, each of whom held their role for only two albums. Each was more prominent than their predecessor; Pennell was quickly forgotten around the time the band achieved regional fame with "Second Week of Deer Camp" (which he didn't even play on — the song had a gutbucket bass played by a guest musician). [=DeLongchamp=] wrote and sang lead vocals on the title track of their third album, ''Camp Fever'', and sang another song on the next album, ''Yoop It Up''. And despite his short tenure, Bradbury got lead vocals several times, including one of their {{Signature Song}}s, "Grandpa Got Run Over by a Beer Truck".\\
Bradbury left shortly after lead guitarist Joe Potila was replaced by Jim Bellmore, who played all the bass parts on their 1996 album ''We're Still Rockin''' by himself. By the next album, Reggie Lusardi had begun serving as their touring bassist, although Bellmore generally continued to play most of the bass parts in-studio. Bellmore also takes over on bass whenever they do "30 Pound Diaper" so that Lusardi doesn't have to rap and play bass at the same time. (Oddly, Bellmore played bass on this song even before Lusardi took over the vocal part from now-departed percussionist Jerry Coffey, who would sing the song in concert many years before a version sung by Lusardi appeared on an album.) For a short time, Dick Bunce (an actor in the sketch comedy segments they do between songs) would sometimes come out and play bass on a few songs, presumably to give Lusardi a breather. This stopped when Bunce left.
** The "nobody loves" side usually comes up with drummer Bobby Symons, who has been in the band since the late 90s. He always stays behind the drum kit, and never sings or participates in skits. In addition, frontman Jim [=DeCaire=] (who used to be the full-time drummer before he got promoted) usually played the drum parts in-studio, with occasional assistance from Jerry Coffey in TheNineties.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* Invoked with Ako in ''MahouSenseiNegima'', who struggles with worries that she is nothing but a minor character destined to live forever in the background (which, well, [[GenreSavvy is kinda true]]) and plays the bass in a high school rock band.
* The anime of ''Manga/LitchiHikariClub'' pokes fun at this, at one point. The club decides to form a band, and everyone is eager to participate, until Zera asks who will be the bass player. Everyone goes dead silent.
* In ''Manga/KOn'', the classical lack of attention towards the bassist is Mio Akiyama's reason for choosing to play the bass, as she has significant self-confidence issues. This would've been played straight had it not been for one [[PantyShot unforseen circumstance]] during their first school festival performance resulting in her being the band's most popular member.
* The bass player was the only band member ''not'' involved in Creator/AyaHirano's career-derailing sex scandal (and subsequently the only band member not fired), though he reportedly had to deal with some sexual harrassment.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Film]]
* ''Film/SchoolOfRock'': The bass player has few spoken lines, and is the only one who doesn't get an end-credit solo (at least in the final cut). The movie's only ''named'' bassists are unsympathetic acquaintances of the main character.
* ''Film/ScottPilgrimVsTheWorld'': In the film, Scott and one of the evil exes engage in a "bass battle," which is treated as a self-evident gag scene.
** MichaelCera seems to have a thing for this, playing the role of loser bassist again in ''NickAndNorahsInfinitePlaylist''.
* In ''Film/ThatThingYouDo'', the bass player of the Wonders doesn't even have a ''name.'' His character is listed as "T.B. Player," and when he disappears during the band's trip to Los Angeles, nobody really cares; they replace him with a studio musician.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Humor]]
* This joke: A couple is going to a marriage therapist. But his efforts seem to be useless, since the husband and the wife aren't even willing to talk with each other anymore. Then, he grabs the bass which happens to be around (don't ask), starts playing - and while he's playing, the couple suddenly starts communicating. Afterwards, they thank him: "You saved our marriage! But what was the bass for?"\\
He answers: "I play in a band as a hobby, and I know from experience: Everyone is talking during the bass solo!"
* Another joke: A man vacationing on an island is driven crazy by the constant sound of drums, but whenever he tries to ask the natives when it will stop, they look horrified and tell him, "Very bad when drumming stops." Finally, he plucks up the courage to ask what happens when the drumming stops, and the response is, "Bass solo."
* In the ''Website/CollegeHumor'' video "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F5QCs3PnQBc Learning Guitar to Get Laid]]", it ends with a (fake) ad for a video cassette called: "Learning the Bass and NOT Getting Laid."
* Let the ''KidsInTheHall'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mwAYUUJ28UU demonstrate.]]
* Q: How many bass players does it take to screw in a light bulb?\\
A: None. The keyboard player can do it with his left hand.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Literature]]
* In ''TheCommitments'' (the novel), Derek is easily the least competent of the instrumentalists in the band.
* In ''Literature/SoLongAndThanksForAllTheFish'', bass players are two for a penny in Han Dold City.
* [[Music/TheKLF Bill Drummond and Jim Cauty]] discuss the disdain for bass in general in their book ''The Manual (How to Have a Number One the Easy Way)''. They note that white Europeans care so little about bass that ''bass rhythms aren't covered by copyright''. So when it comes time to make a future #1 hit song, Drummond and Cauty encourage their readers to make the melody [[SuspiciouslySimilarSong suspiciously similar to some other hit song]], then turn around and tell their readers to just directly copy a good bass line. They also note that the trend is to use synthesizers for the bass lines (the book was written in 1988) because that's preferable to dealing with some "thumb slapping dick head" of a bass guitarist.
-->"The great thing about bass lines is that they are in public domain. Nobody, even if they do recognise it, will seriously accuse you of ripping somebody else's bass line off."
* In ''Discworld/SoulMusic'', none of Insanity/The Blots/The Whom/Surreptitious Fabric/And Supporting Bands can actually play their instruments, but the bass-player, Noddy, has it particularly bad, since no-one seems to care that he has an instrument that is ''impossible'' to play (the guitar maker, giggling hysterically, had made it from a lump of wood and some fence wire).
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* In ''{{Lost}}'', Charlie's singer brother invokes this while talking to him (who's [[LeadBassist the bassist and main songwriter]]): "[[IAmTheBand I am Drive Shaft!]] Nobody even knows who the sodding bass player is!"
[[/folder]]

[[folder:NewspaperComics]]
* Discussed in a [[{{ComicBook/Rocky}} Rocky]] strip, where Rocky and his buddy concludes that being a bassist is a job for slackers, since nobody cares if you show up for rehearsals or even for the ''concerts''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:VideoGames]]
* In ''VideoGame/GuitarHero 2'', several of the loading messages between songs played along with this trope [[RuleOfFunny for laughs.]]
--> ''You need a mini-fridge in your practice space. It's more important than a bassist.\\
If you can hear the bassist, your speakers are too loud.''
** Also this one from the third game:
--->''You seem to be having a problem with your bass amp. I can hear it!''
** This is the bassist's problem in ''VideoGame/GuitarHero World Tour''. She quit her former band because she was sick of being overshadowed by the others. At the end of her story mode, she makes a solo album and becomes famous... with [[LouisCypher Lou's]] help.
* In the Left4Dead Wiki article on the [[FakeBand Midnight Riders]], bassist Jake Thorne is referred to as a [[DepartmentOfRedundancyDepartment "provisional temporary band member"]] despite playing with the band since 1985 on 23 albums, and writing most of the band's songs.
* ''VideoGame/PowerGigRiseOfTheSixString'' did not include a bass mode.
* In ''VideoGame/RockBand'', the first game had no solo bass career, as allegedly the bass didn't have enough interesting songs to warrant a solo mode. Fans of the bands found under LeadBassist disagreed.
** The instrument shop has an oversized double-neck Fender custom with the description "For once... they will pay attention... to the ''BASSIST''!"
** One of the loading tips said that if your bassist claims he has an idea, give him a Kit Kat and tell him to think it through a bit more.
** In ''VideoGame/RockBandBlitz'' you can unlock the super bass power which comes with this description:
-->Bass notes are now worth more points. (Bassists, however, are still not worth that much.)
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WebComics & WebOriginal]]
* ''Webcomic/NineteenSeventySevenTheComic'', where central character Bud Chambers realises that nobody notices the bass player. Ever.
* A Website/{{Cracked}} photoplasty of "25 Team-Ups in History That Would Have Changed Everything" had [[http://i.crackedcdn.com/phpimages/photoshop/0/4/5/125045_v1.jpg this]]. Noticed the lack of bassist? (we could guess the guy put [[Music/{{Metallica}} Kirk Hammett when he wanted Cliff Burton]], but that's giving him too much credit)
* ''Webcomic/{{Fanboys}}'' makes sure to promote the air-bass whenever they mention ''GuitarHero''.
* ''WebAnimation/TeenGirlSquad'': "Can I not get stuck playing bass?" [[ButtMonkey "NOOOOO WAY!"]]
* TVTropes: Guess which instrumentalist isn't represented in the main page for FiveManBand? That's right, the bassist is less important than the ''Tambourinist''.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:WesternAnimation]]
* In the ''WesternAnimation/HomeMovies'' episode "Guitarmageddon", Jason complains about getting saddled with bass, saying it's thankless and the bass player is "the loser of the group." His friends disagree, but when he offers to trade instruments they back out quickly.
* ''WesternAnimation/TheLifeAndTimesOfJuniperLee'': Juniper and her brothers have a band named "Short Angry Freuds". She told her big brother Dennis nobody would pay attention to him because he's the bassist.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Metalocalypse}}'', [[http://video.adultswim.com/metalocalypse/arent-you-the-bass-player.html Why don't you make like a bass guitar and be inaudible?]]
** By unanimous consent, Murderface's bass lines are always left out of the final mix.
** Their producer Dick Knubbler refers to Murderface as "almost part of Dethklok." ''To his face.''
** In ''The Doomstar Requiem A Klok Opera'', a rock opera where almost every line of dialogue is sung, Murderface gets the least amount of dialogue. He's the only major character that doesn't get a song or major verse of some kind. Mind you that characters like Abigail and Ishnifus, who had just appeared in the tail end of the previous season, both got full length songs . Whether this was intentional or not is up for debate.
** Murderface admits that sometimes at concerts he'd leave his bass unplugged and just "pretend play". No one noticed.
** This sentiment was partially averted in "Birthdayklok"; in the ColdOpen he played a solo at a concert...[[{{Squick}} with his penis]].
* In the ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' episode "Dude, We're Getting The Band Back Together!", the boys are trying to re-form [[HeavyMetalUmlaut Love Händel]]. When they approach the bass player, his response is "You don't need me. I just play bass in the background. Nobody even remembers me."
* In ''WesternAnimation/RegularShow'', Mordecai skips the name of the bassist while naming off the popular band 'Hair To The Throne' when they show up at the park, and just calls him "the bass player", then the bassist frowns. He's also the only band member who gets no speaking lines.
* [[TheLancer Laney]], the bassist for ''WesternAnimation/{{Grojband}}'' is often ignored or disregarded by the other band members and fans, many of whom [[LadyLookslikeADude mistake her for a boy]].
[[/folder]]

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