A street musician is one who plays an instrument anywhere large numbers of people congregate and/or pass by (such as at a busy streetcorner or subway station) in hopes that people will drop money; usually, his/her instrument case serves as place to gather said money. A common gag is to have the musician be [[DreadfulMusician purposely terrible]] and let people [[BegoneBribe pay him to stop]].

SubTrope of StreetPerformer, WanderingMinstrel, SuperTrope of OneManBand and OrganGrinder.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* ''Manga/SomedaysDreamersIISora'' has Yasuko, who sings and plays guitar across Shitokitazawa station in Tokyo. Main character Sora loves listening to her performances, and Yasuko's songs form a loose commentary on what happens in the series. Yasuko even interacts directly with the main cast later on and is included in the DistantFinale [[spoiler:where she is shown to have a serious career in music]].
* [[MerryChristmasInGotham The Christmas episode]] of ''Anime/TheBigO'' has a saxophone player as a one-time protagonist. Although he's not very talented, he is portrayed in a very good light and certainly not a DreadfulMusician.

[[folder:Comic Strips]]
* Floyd in ''ComicStrip/BeyondTheBlackStump'', whose playing is so terrible people are more likely to pay him to stop -- even when he's playing air guitar.
* ''ComicStrip/LittleOrphanAnnie'': Annie worked as this together with "Uncle" Dan.

[[folder:Films -- Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/{{Coco}}'', a poor guitarist learns [[ShoeSlap the hard way]] not to play near an old lady with music as her personal BerserkButton.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Madagascar}}'': When the zoosters arrive via subway to Grand Central Station, Melman crashes into the drum set of a blind drummer who doesn't notice he's drumming on nothing.

[[folder:Films -- Live-Action]]
* ''Film/SpiderManTrilogy'': A violin player is seen playing the old animated ''[[WesternAnimation/SpiderMan1967 Spider-Man]]'' theme in the second movie. A blonde guitar player performs his own version at a subway station in the original ("Dresses like a spider/Looks like a bug...")
* Jamie Foxx's character (a bum who happens to be a virtuoso violinist) in ''Film/TheSoloist''.
* In ''Franchise/{{Zorro}}'s Fighting Legion'' one of the baddies is a DreadfulMusician mariachi who uses his busking as a cover for relaying secret messages.
* In ''Film/MaryPoppins'', buskers play back-up during "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious". Bert also appears as a OneManBand in the opening scenes.
* There's a street band in Halloweentown on ''WesternAnimation/TheNightmareBeforeChristmas''.
* In ''Film/{{Cool Runnings}}'', Sanka tries to collect money for the bobsled team by singing in the street. He only made a dollar and sixteen cents, and most of that came from a man who said, "I'll pay you a dollar...to SHUT! UP!"

* ''Literature/{{Discworld}}''
** The harmonica-player in ''Discworld/MovingPictures''.
** Imp y Celyn plays on a street corner when he first arrives in Ankh-Morpork in ''Discworld/SoulMusic''. This being [[WretchedHive Ankh-Morpork]], he ends up with less money than he started with.
* In ''Literature/SoLongAndThanksForAllTheFish'', the LemonyNarrator notes that people in Hyde Park do things they would never do elsewhere, and offers as an example a [[ThriftyScot bagpiper]] who chases away tourists who try to put money in his case saying "I'm only practicing!"

[[folder:Live-Action TV]]
* One time on ''Series/MadAboutYou'' Paul got some change for a pay phone (remember those?) from a street performer by putting a dollar in the guitar case and taking coins out. He was looked at askance by the performer and passers-by, who thought he was just taking money out. He made a big deal about putting in a five and just taking a little change.
* ''Series/MrBean'' used this trope a few times. Once in the TV episodes he wanted to drop money into a busker's saxophone case but discovered he had no loose change, so he laid down his handkerchief and danced along to the sax music. When a lady walked by and dropped a coin onto his handkerchief, Mr. Bean transferred it into the sax case and continued along on his way.
** Mr. Bean does some more busking in the 2007 film ''Series/MrBeansHoliday'' to several songs playing from a borrowed stereo, culminating in a lip-synched performance of Puccini's "O Mio Babbino Caro."
* The ''Series/{{Monk}}'' episode "Mr Monk and the Very Dead Man" concerns a murdered street musician. The other police become convinced that it's the work of a serial killer in the making, one targeting street musicians. So they have Lt. Disher pose as a busker to draw the killer out.
* ''Series/TheBennyHillShow'': Benny and a couple of cronies are going to rob a bank using a machine gun in a violin case, but when they get there they discover that their case has been switched with one containing a violin. As they stand there arguing, holding the violin, someone drops a coin in one of their hats. They realize they could get some money this way so start to play and dance.
* Star's Hollow in ''Series/GilmoreGirls'' had a recurring Troubadour who could regularly be seen with his guitar in the background. Toward the end of the series, he gets an actual record deal and leaves. The town is quickly flooded with new troubadours who believe they'll be the next to be discovered.
* In ''Series/{{Neverwhere}}'', the Marquis de Carabas needs some information from one of these and offers him a song [[MagicMusic written by Merlin himself]] as payment. Later, the Marquis finds that the street musician wants to give the song back, as [[BeCarefulWhatYouWishFor people love it so much they are literally throwing coins at his head and not allowing him to leave.]]
* Phoebe on ''Series/{{Friends}}'' sometimes played on the street or in the subway. One humiliating session just netted her some loose change and a condom (dropped in by accident).

* Music/SaltatioMortis started out as Street Musicians, and some of their band members still perform in the streets from time to time.
* [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ted_Hawkins Ted Hawkins]], who went from busking on the boardwalk in Venice Beach, California to become a cult figure, especially in Europe.

[[folder:Music Videos]]
* Music/TheBangles in "Hero Takes A Fall"
* Music/DireStraits "Walk Of Life" features a Mark Knopfler Expy playing in a subway.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/FableII'' - being a street musician (by playing a VideoGame/GuitarHero-style rhythm game) is one way you can earn money.
* In ''VideoGame/SteambotChronicles'', being a busker is a valid choice for making money.
* In ''VideoGame/TheSims1'', the first job a Sim in the Music career has is "Subway Musician." Averted in ''VideoGame/TheSims2'', though; there a Musician sim starts off as a Record Store Clerk. In ''VideoGame/TheSims3'', anyone who can play a guitar can play for tips, regardless of their job.

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The buskers in ''Webcomic/QuestionableContent'', who even get into a turf war at one point (it's PlayedForLaughs).
* In ''Webcomic/{{Sinfest}}'', [[http://www.sinfest.net/archive_page.php?comicID=3659 Squidley finds it far more effective than merely begging.]]

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* There's a WesternAnimation/PixarShort called "WesternAnimation/OneManBand", where a little girl wanting to toss a coin in a fountain to make a wish is accosted by two street musicians, each wanting her coin. They finally make her lose it and she demands to be compensated. They give her a violin, and when she proves to be a virtuoso, someone tosses her a bag full of coins.
* An episode of ''WesternAnimation/TomAndJerryTales'' has Tom and Jerry competing against each other on opposite street corners, performing music for money.
* ''WesternAnimation/HomeMovies'' had a street musician, basically a bum tunelessly strumming his guitar and mumbling a rambling improv. [=McGuirk=], after flirting with a waitress, drops a bill into the guy's guitar case in a rare good mood, then realizes he dropped in a twenty. He goes to fish it out and gets into an altercation with the guy, who starts yell-singing about "fatso" taking his money. Then, to add insult to injury, [=McGuirk=] sees that the waitress is the guy's girlfriend.
* On the ''WesternAnimation/KingOfTheHill'' episode "The Bluegrass Is Always Greener", Connie and Bobby end up doing this because they can't pay bus fares. Kahn [[Main/LampshadeHanging lampshades]] this fact:
-->'''Kahn:''' She's playing in street for lousy tourists! She should be playing in Royal Albert Hall for Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles!
* According to their song "[[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=piXDIeaxiJ8 It's A Hard, Hard Life]]", The Stingers from ''WesternAnimation/{{Jem}}'' began as musicians living off the streets of Germany. They began slowly gaining popularity until [[SelfMadeMan they became a hit band]] that fills out stadiums and clubs.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Pearl}}'': A short film about a father and a daughter, itinerant street musicians. When the little girl gets old enough to play a ukelele, the father puts her in the act.
* ''WesternAnimation/{{Kaeloo}}'': In Episode 128, while trying to raise money to buy himself a new video game, Stumpy plays music while Kaeloo and Quack Quack are on the subway. As one would expect, he's an absolutely DreadfulMusician. Since Kaeloo already gave him money on three separate occasions in that episode, she initially refuses to pay him, but he threatens to keep playing if she doesn't, [[BegoneBribe so she reluctantly gives him more money.]]