[[caption-width-right:341: Biafra, Ray, Flouride, and Peligro.]]

->''"Is my cock big enough?''\\
''Is my brain small enough''\\
''For you to make me a star?''\\
''Give me a toot and I'll sell you my soul.''\\
''Pull my strings and I'll go far!"''
-->--'''"Pull My Strings"'''

The Dead Kennedys were an important HardcorePunk band from UsefulNotes/SanFrancisco, who became famous for aggressive songs and socially conscious, satirical lyrics.

The band were formed in 1978 with guitarist East Bay Ray (also known as "Ray Valium"), vocalist Music/JelloBiafra, bassist Klaus Flouride, and drummer 6025. 6025 switched to second guitar but left soon after, and Ted was recruited as drummer instead. [[note]] Their real names are, in the posted order: Raymond Pepperell, Eric Boucher, Geoffrey Lyall, Carlos Cadona, and Bruce Slesinger. [[/note]]

Their first single, "California Über Alles," was released in June 1979 on their Alternative Tentacles label. It was the song that [[ImageSong established]] their hallmarks: Ray's psycho surf punk riffs, Biafra's sarcastically biting lyrics (parodying UsefulNotes/{{California}} governor UsefulNotes/JerryBrown as a fascist hippie), and a rejection of the StrictlyFormula loud fast short structure of hardcore punk. During their tour in support, they were invited to perform at the Bay Area Music Awards on 25 March 1980. In typical subversive fashion, the band started "California Über Alles" but stopped quickly and instead played the scathing "Pull My Strings", an attack on the music industry's practices.

The same year, Music/JelloBiafra ran for Mayor of San Francisco on a campaign that mixed serious proposals (banning cars within city limits in response to severe pollution problems, allowing neighbourhoods to elect police officers, legalizing squatting in vacant buildings) with outlandish ones (forcing businessmen to wear clown suits, erecting statues of Dan White so the parks department could sell eggs and tomatoes for people to throw at them, hiring unemployed workers as panhandlers in wealthy neighbourhoods), and using the commercial slogan: "There's always room for Jello." He finished [[http://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=130138 third with 3,79% of the votes.]] As he shared the ballot with a DragQueen candidate named ''Sister Boom Boom,'' the San Franciscan authorities responded by passing a law requiring all mayoral candidates in San Francisco to use their real names.

Dead Kennedys' first album, ''Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables,'' was released in 1980, containing the famous songs "KillThePoor" and "HolidayInCambodia," plus a cover of Music/ElvisPresley's "Viva Las Vegas." The album was a moderate chart success in the UK, boosted by the band's performances there. In May 1981 they issued the single "Too Drunk to Fuck," which reached #31 on the UK charts, giving radio programmers some headaches in the process.

Soon afterwards, Ted left the band and was replaced by D.H. Peligro, who was showcased on the ''In God We Trust, Inc.'' EP from the same year, which was an all out hardcore / thrash punk release, containing the songs "Nazi Punks Fuck Off!", which attacked [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin Nazi punks,]] "Religious Vomit" and "Moral Majority", which lambasted the right wing US government at the time. Their next album, 1982's ''Plastic Surgery Disasters'' showed an evolution in the band's sound to include SurfRock, PsychedelicRock (it was advertised as "putting the pain back in psychedelic music"), and spaghetti western influences. Famous songs from the period include: "Bleed for Me," "Halloween," and "Moon Over Marin," their almost but not quite ballad about the ravages of pollution.

This evolution continued on 1985's ''Music/{{Frankenchrist}},'' which showcased more extended pieces, horns, and synthesizers. High points included the industrial "At My Job," the multi part "Stars and Stripes of Corruption," the organized sports parody "Jock-O-Rama," and the timely "M.T.V. - Get Off the Air." The band got in trouble for including Creator/HRGiger's "Penis Landscape" as a poster with the LP, and were charged with distributing harmful matter to minors. [[{{Pun}} The case ended in a hung jury]] and was dismissed, but it was a PyrrhicVictory, as the cost of the trial drove the band and Alternative Tentacles to near bankruptcy despite donations and support from their fanbase and other PMRC persecuted musicians like Music/FrankZappa. Exhausted, the band broke up in 1986 after releasing their last album ''Bedtime for Democracy,'' a 48 minute final ''tour de force'' employing many musical styles and their expected thought provoking lyrics, which included several songs expressing disillusionment with the state of the punk scene ("Anarchy for Sale," "Chickenshit Conformist"). One compilation of early singles and lost tracks: ''Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death,'' was released in 1987, and the band members went their own way afterward.

In the late 1990's, the band members got caught up in a complicated royalty dispute, and led to a 1998 fraud trial which stripped Music/JelloBiafra of his rights to the back catalogue and gave them to the other members instead (he lost two further appeals and was forced to pay damages). This burned the bridges between Biafra and Ray, Flouride and Peligro thoroughly, worsened by the others inviting Biafra to reunite the Dead Kennedys, which he refused on moral principles. Dead Kennedys albums were reissued on Manifesto Records and tour dates were announced after the court victory, with [[TheOtherDarrin Brandon Cruz]] replacing Music/JelloBiafra. (Cruz, a FormerChildStar, turned out to be the first in a series of {{Replacement Scrappy}}s -- the new DK's have had ''five'' lead singers so far.) This incarnation has been severely criticized for [[MoneyDearBoy betraying Dead Kennedys' anti-corporate ideals]] and touring without their most important member. Lately, the group's official site has reported that both Flouride and Peligro are leaving due to health issues, leaving Ray the sole original member.

Music/JelloBiafra went on to become a spoken word performer and political activist, sometimes also collaborating with other bands like Music/{{Sepultura}} and Lard.

!! Band Members:

* Music/JelloBiafra - Vocals, lyrics
* East Bay Ray - Guitar
* Klaus Flouride - Bass
* 6025 - Drums, percussion, guitar (left 1979)
* Ted - Drums, percussion (1979-1981)
* D.H. Peligro - Drums, percussion (1981-1986)

!! Discography:

* 1980 - ''Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables''
* 1981 - ''In God We Trust, Inc. EP''
* 1982 - ''Plastic Surgery Disasters''
* 1985 - ''Music/{{Frankenchrist}}''
* 1986 - ''Bedtime for Democracy''
* 1987 - ''Give Me Convenience or Give Me Death''

!! Dead Kennedys are the TropeNamers for the following tropes:

* KillThePoor (Once the original name for NeutronBomb, [[Administrivia/TropeTransplant has since come to be defined as]] ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin)
* HolidayInCambodia

!! "Fresh Tropes for Rotting Indexes:"

* AlcoholInducedIdiocy: "Too Drunk to Fuck."
* AntiPoliceSong: "Police Truck," about a group of cops joyfully indulging themselves in PoliceBrutality. Anti-Police themes also show up in "Stars and Stripes of Corruption" and "Nazi Punks Fuck Off."
* AssimilationAcademy: Mentioned in "Your Emotions," "Stealing Peoples' Mail," "Hyperactive Child," "Advice from Christmas Past," "Jock-O-Rama," "Insight," and "Life Sentence"... Biafra doesn't really have a good opinion of schools.
* TheBandMinusTheFace: The group's controversial attempts to continue without Music/JelloBiafra.
* BitingTheHandHumor: "Pull My Strings" (mixed with SugarWiki/AwesomeMoments). Also "Holiday in Cambodia"'s skewering of pretentious, insensitive liberals.
* BlackComedy: Jello's stage name, which juxtaposes the name of a cheap, mass produced dessert with the infamous Biafran Civil War, one of the more publicised cases of mass starvation in Africa.
* {{Bookends}}: ''Plastic Surgery Disasters'' opens and closes with a noise freakout featuring a [[SpokenWordInMusic voice over]] talking about how you should be medicated into a StepfordSmiler so you can be productive at your job. It's entitled "Advice from [[Literature/AChristmasCarol Christmas Past]]" on some releases.
* BreakTheHaughty: "Holiday in Cambodia" basically boils down to: "Annoying pretentious liberal who thinks he knows it all? Send him to the Khmer Rouge, that should solve it!"
* ClusterFBomb: A few of their songs, such as [[CaptainObvious "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" and "Too Drunk to Fuck."]] Probably the majority of their songs have very little to no profanity, though, especially from ''Plastic Surgery Disasters'' onward, and many other uses of the F-word in their discography count as examples of a PrecisionFStrike.
* CompassionateCritic: Jello Biafra fiercely lambasts social problems in a lot of their songs, but he frequently expresses the belief that people can do better than that.
* ConceptAlbum: ''Frankenchrist'' was one, at least according to the [[http://www.alternativetentacles.com/product.php?product=2085 web site]] for Biafra's 2013 album ''White People and the Damage Done.''
* CountryMatters: Dropped in "Moral Majority" towards one of several MoralGuardians targeted by the song.
* TheCoverChangesTheMeaning:
** "Viva Las Vegas." They even changed the lyrics to heighten the effect.
** Also true for "I Fought the Law," which they rewrote to denounce Dan White getting off for killing Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone.
* CoverVersion: In addition to the examples mentioned above, they also covered Music/DavidAllanCoe's "TakeThisJobAndShoveIt" and the theme song to ''Series/{{Rawhide}}.''
* {{Cult}}: "Jock-O-Rama" compares high school football to one.
* ADateWithRosiePalms: A man doing this in "Buzzbomb" meets an unfortunate end:
-->Plow through rest area San-O-Lets
-->Splat! goes the lonely salesman
-->Wanking in the men's room
** (In the remake, he's "''[[ContinuityNod still]]'' wanking in the men's room.")
* DeadBabyComedy : "Funland at the Beach," and, more obviously, "I Kill Children."
-->''I kill children. I like to see them die.''
-->''I kill children. I make their mommies cry.''
* DigitalPiracyIsEvil: Subverted with the cassette version of ''In God We Trust, Inc.'', which had a BSide bearing the label, "Home taping is killing record industry profits! We left this side blank so you can help."
** As a measure of how the reunited, Jello-less DK betrayed their original ideals, at one of their shows in 2010 they played a rewritten version of "M.T.V. - Get Off the Air" named "[=MP3=] Get Off the Web." Fans were pissed.
** On the flip side, Alternative Tentacles claims Jello's personal feelings are mixed. (More specifically, he supports piracy of music released on major labels but does not support piracy of indie labels' material, unless his feelings have changed in the past few years).
* DissonantSerenity: The intro and outro to ''Plastic Surgery Disasters'' are a wonderful example of this trope, as the sickeningly cheerful voice over contrasts heavily with the {{dystopia}}n content of her speech and the noise freakout the band is playing underneath her.
* DrivenToSuicide: The protagonist of "Straight A's," who is [[EducationMama pressured by his parents to excel academically]] and is only sought by classmates if they want to learn what will be on the test, while laughing at his misery otherwise.
* DrivesLikeCrazy: "Buzzbomb."
* [[DrugsAreBad Drugs and Alcohol Are Bad]]: From "Kinky Sex Makes the World Go 'Round:"
-->Now don't worry about demonstrations; just pump up your drug supply. So many people have hooked themselves on heroin and amphetamines since we took over; it's just like [[UsefulNotes/TheVietnamWar Vietnam.]] We had everybody so busy with LSD they never got too strong. Kept the war functioning just fine. It's easy; we've got our college kids so interested in beer, they don't even care if we start manufacturing germ bombs again. Put a nuclear stockpile in their back yard, they wouldn't even know what it looked like.
* EarlyInstallmentWeirdness: Early songs like "Forward to Death" and "Dead End" (neither written by Biafra) espouse a black nihilism and despair that's at odds with angry but decidedly pro-active stance of the vast majority of their songs.
* TheEmpire: How the [=DKs=] view America. Hell, Biafra even outright calls it "an evil empire" in "Stars and Stripes of Corruption," and ends the song with: "I think I love it more than you / I care enough to fight!"
* EnnioMorriconePastiche: When they have horn parts they will often qualify as this ("M.T.V. - Get Off the Air" is a good example).
* EpicRocking: They have one song that qualifies ("Stars and Stripes of Corruption," 6:23) and five that almost do ("Riot," 5:57; "A Growing Boy Needs His Lunch," 5:50; "Cesspools in Eden," 5:55; "Chickenshit Conformist," 5:58; and "Pull My Strings," 5:45). By HardcorePunk standards, this makes them practically a ProgressiveRock band.
* FirstWorldProblems: "Holiday In Cambodia" may be one of the earliest songs to criticize this phenomena, as it's directly about privileged white kids who equate working hard at college with slavery.
* TheFundamentalist: Targets of several of their songs, most pointedly "Moral Majority." A lot of their other references are more fleeting; from "Stealing People's Mail:"
-->We better not get caught
-->We'll be dumped in institutions
-->Where we'll be drugged and shocked
-->'Til we come out born-again Christians
** Ironically, 6025, who wrote the band's song "Religious Vomit", later became a religious fundamentalist himself.
* GenreBusting / NeoclassicalPunkZydecoRockabilly: In part because they played HardcorePunk when it had still been largely an UnbuiltTrope. In some of their songs they display elements of SurfRock, {{Rockabilly}}, SpaghettiWestern soundtracks, PsychedelicRock, and even (occasionally) ProgressiveRock. A few later hardcore bands took some of these influences, but very few of them used ''all'' of them.
* GettingSmiliesPaintedOnYourSoul: From "Calfornia Über Alles:"
-->You will jog for the master race
-->And always wear the happy face
* GodIsDead: From "Moral Majority," directed at MoralGuardians:
-->God must be dead if you're alive.
* GodwinsLaw:
** The band invoked this trope with their first single, 1979's "California Über Alles," which denounced the Golden State's then-Governor Jerry Brown and his hippie followers as "Zen fascists." The second half of the song fantasizes about Brown's regime killing "uncool" people with "organic poison gas." In [[http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/18/AR2010071802839_pf.html an interview]] during Brown's successful 2010 campaign to be re-elected as Governor, Biafra said that: "I realized early on that maybe I'd misfired and exaggerated."
** The song was later rewritten as "We've Got a Bigger Problem Now," with UsefulNotes/RonaldReagan as the new target. Later, Jello (accompanied by the Music/{{Melvins}}) did a third version criticizing yet another California governor, Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger.
*** Some other Dead Kennedys songs, such as "Saturday Night Holocaust", "Stars and Stripes of Corruption" and "Let's Lynch the Landlord" also contain comparisons to UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler and UsefulNotes/TheHolocaust.
*** "Triumph of the Swill" mocks mindless "cock rock metal heroes" and their fans with a comparison to Leni Riefenstahl.
* GreenAesop: "Moon Over Marin" and "Cesspools in Eden." They leave out the actual aesop, but their descriptions of the effects of destroying the environment make the message pretty clear.
* GrowingUpSucks: With a twist in "Life Sentence:" Growing up sucks if you abandon your ideals and only care about your career.
* HistoricalVillainUpgrade: "California Über Alles" portrays UsefulNotes/JerryBrown as a hippie-fascist. As mentioned above, Biafra later admitted that Brown wasn't that bad.
* HoneyTrap: One of the many techniques used by the VillainProtagonist in "I Am the Owl."
* IAmTheNoun: Two examples: The original song "I Am the Owl," and the CoverVersion of "I Fought the Law" (which ends "I ''am'' the law, so I won!")
* ImAHumanitarian: "Dear Abby."
* IntentionallyAwkwardTitle: Jello says that they chose the band name to symbolise the death of the American Dream. They also have several song titles that qualify, most notably "Too Drunk to Fuck." The song became the first UK Top 40 song with the word "fuck" in its title, and when it was announced on the BBC, the announcer simply called it "a record by a group calling themselves the Dead Kennedys."
* InterruptedSuicide: A ''sinister'' version (ItMakesSenseInContext) of this trope can be found in the final verse of "Soup is Good Food."
* InLoveWithYourCarnage: All but implied in "Kinky Sex Makes the World Go Round."
* JerkJock: "Night of the Living Rednecks," an impromptu spoken word piece about Biafra's encounter with some teenaged assholes in a pickup truck who harassed him in UsefulNotes/{{Portland}}.
* KillThePoor: Besides the {{Trope Namer|s}}, it's also implied in "The Great Wall," "Shrink," and "Saturday Night Holocaust."
* LastNoteNightmare:
** "I can almost taste your dandruff as I reach out for your face and I ''STRIKE!''", which abruptly closes the "someone creepy is following you on the street late at night" narrative "The Prey."
** Not to mention the screeching, coughing fit near the end of "Chemical Warfare," which depicts rich people at a country club getting gassed to death.
** Or the puking into the toilet bowl at the end of "Too Drunk to Fuck."
* LifeOfTheParty and WildTeenParty: Hilariously parodied in "Too Drunk to Fuck."
* ListSong: Especially their hardcore punk rants.
* LocationSong: "California Über Alles," a satirical punk song about the right-wing policies of governor Jerry Brown. "Holiday in Cambodia," about the dictatorship there.
* LonersAreFreaks: Subverted, played straight, and inverted in "Insight." The song portrays its loner protagonist as an insightful person who recognizes the pointlessness of his peers' social pursuits ("what he sees escapes our sight"), but also as a potentially disturbed kid who talks to himself and sets his papers on fire. Meanwhile, the more social kids who narrate the song seem bizarrely fixated on him ("Why doesn't he want tons of friends? WHY DOESN'T HE WANT TONS OF FRIENDS??") and beat him up when he laughs at them.
* LoudnessWar: Unsurprisingly, the re-issues on Manifesto Records are generally [[http://dr.loudness-war.info/album/list?artist=Dead%20Kennedys louder]] than the originals on Alternative Tentacles. They're not the worst offenders out there, but there's definitely an audible difference. Another reason to KeepCirculatingTheTapes.
* LyricalColdOpen:
** "Jock-O-Rama" opens with Jello asking: "How 'bout them Hogs?" in a Southern drawl.
** "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" opens with the line "Fuck Off, overproduced by [[Music/JoyDivision Martin Hannett]], take four." Overlaps with StudioChatter somewhat, but it's a joke; Hannett never worked with the band.
** "Short Songs" opens with the LampshadeHanging "[[Music/{{Yes}} Rick Wakeman]], eat your heart out!"
** "Rawhide" also opens with Jello delivering some StudioChatter in a Southern drawl.
* LyricalDissonance: A favourite technique of theirs. To name one of many examples, the beautiful ballad "Moon Over Marin" is about how the Earth and oceans are poisoned and all life on the planet is dying off.
* TheManIsStickingItToTheMan: "Anarchy for Sale" is about this phenomenon.
* MightyWhitey: "Hop with the Jet Set."
* MinisculeRocking: "A Child and His Lawnmower" (0:54) and the LampshadeHanging "Short Songs" (0:20). The latter even gets a funny lampshade at the start:
-->[[Music/{{Yes}} Rick Wakeman,]] eat your heart out!
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: They had a wider variety of material than most Hardcore bands, with their [[MinisculeRocking shortest,]] fastest, noisiest tunes being in the hard 7 / low 8 range, most of their tunes being in the 6-7 range and the odd [[SurprisinglyGentleSong outlier]] falling below that.
* MoralGuardians: Defeated by the band in a PyrrhicVictory. Additionally, some of their songs are directed at them (most pointedly "Moral Majority").
* MotorMouth: Jello's breakneck delivery of the anti-consumerist rant "Drug Me."
* MusicIsPolitics: Several of their songs are directly about this trope, most notably "Pull My Strings," which they performed at a music industry awards show. "Pull My Strings" addresses the payola scandal (at the same time as a TakeThat to The Knack's "My Sharona") as well as the HotterAndSexier tendencies of the music industry and a number of other tropes related to record industry politics.
* NoEnding: The reprise of "Advice from Christmas Past" (see {{Bookends}} above) just cuts off without warning.
* NWordPrivileges: Averted with "Holiday in Cambodia" for the purpose of mocking white liberals who think they're immune to racism:
-->"''Braggin' that you know how the niggers feel cold''"
-->"''And the slums got so much soul''"
** Also in "We've Got a Bigger Problem Now" as a TakeThat to racist Reagan supporters:
-->[[TheKlan Ku Klux Klan]] will control you
-->Still, you'll think it's natural
-->Nigger knocking for the [[GodwinsLaw master race]]
-->Still, you wear the happy face
** (As an aside, it should perhaps be noted that drummer D.H. Peligro is African-American; though he didn't play on either the single or the album version of "Holiday in Cambodia," he did play on "We've Got a Bigger Problem Now." Additionally, this trope is generally played straight when either Jello or the Kennedys perform "Holiday in Cambodia" these days, as the lyrics are generally {{Bowdlerise}}d).
* PoliceBrutality: "Police Truck," as well as "Goons of Hazzard," and a passing mention in "Riot."
* PostApocalypticGasMask: The protagonist of "Moon Over Marin" apparently needs one to go outside.
* PrecisionFStrike: Most occurrences of the F-word in their discography count as this (i.e. "Terminal Preppie," "Trust Your Mechanic," "Hellnation," etc.), but they have a few that fall under ClusterFBomb.
* ProtestSong: Virtually their entire body of work.
* ReligionRantSong: "Religious Vomit" is a Type 2 and "Moral Majority" is primarily a Type 3 (with a bit of Type 2 in the chorus).
* RippedFromTheHeadlines: "A Child and His Lawnmower" is based on a news story where a man in Sacramento, California [[DisproportionateRetribution shot]] his lawnmower for not functioning. Likewise, "HolidayInCambodia" was about the Khmer Rouge, which had just been ousted from power in UsefulNotes/{{Cambodia}} the year before the song came out.
* RockMeAmadeus: "Chemical Warfare" contains an excerpt of "Sobre las Olas" by Mexican composer Juventino Rosas in its bridge.
* SexDrugsAndRockAndRoll: Mocked in "Pull My Strings."
-->I ain't no artist; I'm a businessman
-->No ideas of my own
-->I won't offend or rock the boat
-->Just sex and drugs and rock and roll.
* ShoutOut:
** To Creator/DrSeuss in "Holiday in Cambodia." ("You're a Star-Bellied Sneetch, you suck them like a leech, you want everyone to act like you.")
** "Too Drunk to Fuck" has one to Creator/DavidLynch, with the line "You bawl like the baby in ''Film/{{Eraserhead}}!''"
** "Jock-O-Rama" has ''two'' to UsefulNotes/CollegiateAmericanFootball, which also double as {{Genius Bonus}}es if the listener is familiar with it (apt, considering the topic of the song). The song opens with the line: "How 'bout them Hogs?", and the final chorus is introduced with a loud, "Hook 'em Horns!", sayings between fans of the Arkansas Razorbacks and the Texas Longhorns (historically known to be rival teams), respectively.
** Because some retailers objected to the title of "Too Drunk to Fuck," the band supplied a sticker that said, "Caution: You are the victim of yet another stodgy retailer afraid to warp your mind by revealing the title of this record so [[Music/VelvetUnderground peel slowly and see]]..."
** "Advice from Christmas Past," the title the intro to ''Plastic Surgery Disasters'' was given on some releases of the album, refers to ''Literature/AChristmasCarol.''
** Early vinyl pressings of ''Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables'' had the phrase: "Well? Who ''are'' the Brain Police?" etched in the run out grooves, referring to a song from Music/FrankZappa's ''Music/FreakOut.''
** "Rambozo the Clown" features TheStinger "Hey [[WesternAnimation/RockyAndBullwinkle Rocky,]] watch me pull a massacre out of my pants" followed by the inevitable "Again?"
** "Night of the Living Rednecks" to ''Film/{{Night of the Living Dead|1968}}.''
** They remade "Buzzbomb" with comical vocals intended to sound like an old woman as "Buzzbomb from Pasadena." This is likely intended as a nod to surf music group Music/JanAndDean's hit "Little Old Lady from Pasadena," another song about someone who DrivesLikeCrazy.
** "I Kill Children" opens with Jello saying "God told me to skin you alive", [[https://images.genius.com/a29bfd69f2cd7d99be2822d5ac00c6cd.904x519x1.jpg a quote from]] [[https://pt.scribd.com/document/77345042/Chick-Tract-Why-No-Revival-1970 a]] ComicBook/{{Chick Tract}}s. (in turn, that got a shout out itself once Dead Kennedys' art director Winston Smith used said phrase for the collage on the cover of Music/GreenDay's ''Music/{{Insomniac}}'')
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Most of the band's output sticks to cynically lambasting the problems of society, but they have some songs and lyrics that, despite the presentation, are more idealistic, landing them somewhere in the middle. "Stars and Stripes of Corruption," for instance, combines a long tirade against [[PatrioticFervor jingoism,]] xenophobia, disastrous foreign policy, and "the blind Me Generation" with verses like: "We can start by not lying so much / And treating other people like dirt / It's easy not to base our lives / On how much we can scam" and "Look around, we're all people / Who needs countries anyway?"
* SlippingAMickey and/or TamperingWithFoodAndDrink: When YouHaveOutlivedYourUsefulness, the VillainProtagonist of "I Am the Owl" will drug you with LSD and turn you loose on a freeway.
* SpokenWordInMusic: The intro and outro to ''Plastic Surgery Disasters,'' "M.T.V. - Get Off the Air," "A Commercial," "I Kill Children," "Kinky Sex Makes the World Go 'Round," and "Night of the Living Rednecks." Also, see LyricalColdOpen above.
* StageNames: All band members.
* StandardSnippet: The bridge of "Chemical Warfare" uses one from the waltz "Over the Waves" for the sake of LyricalDissonance. It's immediately followed by the LastNoteNightmare mentioned above.
* StepfordSmiler: Some of their songs mock people who act like this, like "Terminal Preppie," "Well Paid Scientist," "Your Emotions," "Trust Your Mechanic," "The Man with the Dogs," "Life Sentence," and "Halloween."
* StepfordSuburbia: "This Could Be Anywhere (This Could Be Everywhere)."
* StylisticSuck: The musicianship in "Short Songs" is deliberately atrocious. The band were actually rather technically proficient musicians.
* SurprisinglyGentleSong: They have a few.
* TakeThat: Boatloads. About nine out of every ten songs they wrote, if not more.
* TakeThisJobAndShoveIt: They covered the TropeNamer.
* TakingYouWithMe: "Gone with My Wind."
* ThreeChordsAndTheTruth: Subverted. Their songs are more complex and satirical than most punk bands' are, though they have many of the same ProtestSong themes.
* TitleOnlyChorus: "California Über Alles," "Too Drunk to Fuck" (the first time, anyway), "Chemical Warfare," "Nazi Punks Fuck Off," "Drug Me," "[[Music/ElvisPresley Viva Las Vegas,]]" "Hellnation," "This Could Be Anywhere (This Could Be Everywhere)," "A Growing Boy Needs His Lunch," "M.T.V. - Get Off the Air," "Rambozo the Clown," "Triumph of the Swill," and so on. (Technically, two of the lines in "California Über Alles" repeat the words of the title in a different order, but it still counts). "KillThePoor" comes close but just misses out due to a "tonight" at the end of each line, as do "Terminal Preppie" (which starts out with "I'm a") and "Bleed for Me" (which has a "C'mon").
* TortureTechnician: The VillainProtagonist of "Bleed for Me."
* UncommonTime: Part of the chorus of "M.T.V. - Get Off the Air" is in 5/4. Because of the shouted nature of the chorus and the underlying percussion, the effect of this section is roughly the musical equivalent of a boot to the head. "Moon over Marin" also uses this trope; two beats are cut out of a bar from the first half of the verses and added after a bar from the second half, which creates a rather disorienting effect for the listener (additionally, in the intro to the song, there's an instrumental deployment of the first half of the verse with its missing two beats before Jello starts singing). This probably isn't a complete list.
* YouAreNumberSix: From "At My Job:" "Your time card says your name's Joe / But we'll call you 6-3-0."
* YourCheatingHeart: Referred to in "I Am the Owl."