A ska punk band in the United States. Along with groups such as NoDoubt and {{Sublime}} it is one of the big successes of the Orange County ska scene in TheNineties. The group began as a standard HardRock trio featuring Aaron Barrett on guitar and vocals, Matt "[[FullNameBasis Mattwong]]" Wong on bass and Andrew Gonzales on drums, before going through a fluctuating roster of additional guitarists, singers and - after the fledgling band switched from straightforward rock to SkaPunk - horn sections. By the time they got around to recording their first album, Reel Big Fish consisted of Barrett, Wong and Gonzales with Grant Barry and Dan Regan on trombones and Tavis Werts and Scott Klopfenstein on trumpets.

This line-up [[OneHitWonder had a hit single]] on the Modern Rock Chart with "Sell Out" and recorded two well-received albums; ''Turn the Radio Off'' and ''Why Do They Rock So Hard?''. However, after the recording of the second album Tavis Werts and Grant Barry were both sacked and Andrew Gonzales decided to leave. For a second time, the band went through several line-up changes, went independent and continued to record and perform live, at which point Matt Wong left to spend more time with his family. In 2011, Scott left much the same way Matt Wong did, and left to spend time with his family.

The memberhip appears to have settled for now, with Aaron as the remaining founding member along with Dan, John "Little Johnny Christmas" Christianson on trumpet, Ryland "the Rabbit" Steen on drums, Derek Gibbs on bass guitar and newcomer Matt Appleton (formerly of Goldfinger) on sax. While not as mainstream as they were ten years ago, they remain very popular and consistently awesome.


Notable songs include:
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fM29PW3sO9c Sell Out]]"
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZ4S-UiNmzo Take On Me]]" (cover version)
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBNy3l3Me5o She Has a Girlfriend Now]]"
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ALHybzqaWwg&feature=related Everything Sucks]]"
* "[[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYMQyp5xMcQ Beer]]

Discography:
* ''Everything Sucks'' (1995)
* ''Turn the Radio Off'' (1996)
* ''Why Do They Rock So Hard?'' (1998)
* ''Cheer Up!'' (2002)
* ''We're Not Happy 'Til You're Not Happy'' (2005)
* ''Our Live Album is Better than Your Live Album'' (2006)
* ''Monkeys for Nothin' and the Chimps for Free'' (2007)
* ''Fame, Fortune and Fornication'' (2009)
* ''Candy Coated Fury'' (2012)

!!Tropes
* AlbumTitleDrop: Aaron has stated that he wanted each album to have a song with the same title as the album that preceded it, hence "Everything Sucks" on ''Turn The Radio Off''. It didn't quite work out, although a song called "Turn the Radio Off" shows up three albums later on ''We're Not Happy 'til You're Not Happy''.
* AnimeThemeSong: They did "Rave-o-lution", the opening theme music for the English dub of ''RaveMaster''.
* AntiLoveSong: ''Where Have You Been'' is a poignantly brutal one, while ''All I Want Is More'' is [[LyricalDissonance more upbeat]]. A lot of the other songs will often bring up similar themes in passing.
** "I Dare You To Break My Heart" is another one and, like "All I Want Is More", is surprisingly upbeat as it's more about being content single than risk heartbreak again.
* ArtistDisillusionment: Judging from older interviews Aaron Barrett became a bit annoyed with the notoriety of "Sell Out" as well as the ExecutiveMeddling that obliged the band to record the ''Cheer Up!'' album. Since leaving their label, he seems to have gotten better.
* AudienceParticipationSong: On the DVD included with the live album, John attempts to get the crowd to sing ''Cheer Up'' with him, CallAndResponseSong style. [[AudienceParticipationFailure It doesn't go as well as hoped.]]
* BlackSheepHit; "Sell Out". Aaron Barrett has referred to it as "the novelty song I wrote ten years ago" and believes that the song that's kept the group popular was "Beer" from the same album.
* ClusterFBomb: "Hey kids! It's time to use the F-word!"
** Also ''Nothin''.
--> "This song has the F-word in it. [[{{Understatement}} A lot.]]"
* CoolShades: Aaron wears checkered sunglasses in the music videos for "Sell Out" and "Everything Sucks."
* CoverVersion: They're well known for doing ska-influenced versions of pop songs. "[[Music/{{aha}} Take On Me]]" is the best known; similarly weird song choices include "[[Music/DuranDuran Hungry Like the Wolf]]" and "[[Music/PhilCollins Another Day In Paradise]]".
** Their 2009 cd, "Fame, Fortune and Fornication" is all covers
* {{Dissimile}}: "Ladies and gentlemen, this is the meanest song I ever wrote." "You mean mean like MichaelJackson's mean?" "When I wrote this song, I was in a bad mood, and it wouldn't stop." "You mean 'bad' like Michael Jackson's bad?" "No, I mean pissed off!" "Like Michael Jackson is pissed off?"
* DoNotDoThisCoolThing: Averted with ''Don't Start A Band'', which vitriolically points out the reasons it sucks. The music video plays it straight and averts it - the scene may [[MoodWhiplash shift]] from the band sitting in a hot tub with champagne and models to their van breaking down and having to hitchhike.
* EvilIsPetty: In the ''Don't Start A Band'' video, when their contract is cancelled, the execs back out of the room, but quickly come back in to take back Ryland's can of cola.
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: ''Monkeys for Nothin' and the Chimps for Free''. The original songs on the album are under the heading "monkeys" and the ones re-recorded from early records are under "chimps".
* ExactlyWhatitSaysOnTheTin: "Rock and Roll is Bitchin!" is a hard rock number about how completely bitchin' Rock and Roll is, in fact [[SingleStanzaSong those are pretty much the only words used in the song.]]
* ExecutiveMeddling: Part of the reason they're so happy to be on an independent label now.
* FullNameBasis: Aaron Barrett always referred to former bassist Matt Wong by his full name in concerts.
* GenreShift: Live performances of "Suburban Rhythm" feature the band performing the song in multiple genres, including: punk rock, blues, country, disco, death metal, and emo.
** "And now for this next song, which is, in fact, ''the same song''..."
** Not to mention "Party Down," with its multi-genre breakdowns. (ska, disco-ish, country, reggae, hip hop, and death metal while the majority of the song is straight up rock n' roll but with a horn section.
* GirlOnGirlIsHot: "She Has a Girlfriend Now".
--> '''Aaron Barrett:'''"This is a song about a girl who left me for another girl. And it can happen to you, too, if you follow your hopes and dreams!"
--> '''Scott Klopfenstein:''' "Don't quit believing!"
* HypocriticalHumor: In "Another F.u. Song":
-->Fuck laughing
-->Fuck crying
-->Fuck cursing
-->But mostly, Fuck You
* {{Instrumentals}}: The earlier albums each contain one, such as ''241'' or ''Sayonara Senorita''.
* LastNoteNightmare: The hidden track "You're Gonna Die" at the end of ''We're Not Happy Til' You're Not Happy''.
* LyricalDissonance: Crops up in a lot of their songs, although it's often PlayedForLaughs.
* ManipulativeBastard: The narrator of "What Are Friends For" seems to be one.
-->''But don't think that I'll feel guilty or that I'll apologize''
-->'''Cause I got my way, and that means I was right''
-->''I'm not your friend, you don't know me, and I don't''
-->''I don't care about you''
* MotorMouth: ''Nothin'''
* OdeToIntoxication: Uh...both [[CaptainObvious ''Everybody's Drunk'' and ''Drinkin'''.]]
* OneHitWonder: They did a song about it called "One-Hit Wonderful," which is used in the page quote. While "Sell Out" was their one song that actually charted, they're almost as well known for their cover of "Take On Me" by Music/{{Aha}}.
* OneOfUs: Dan Regan and Derek Gibbs are ''WorldOfWarcraft'' fans and Matt Wong enjoys ''CityOfHeroes''.
* OhCrap: "Hate You", from ''Monkeys For Nothing and the Chimps for Free'', begins with Aaron saying in apprehension "Oh, shitfuck!"
* PrecisionFStrike: John Christianson's catchphrase for rousing the audience is "Make some fucking noise!" although he doesn't often swear outside of that phrase.
* [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech "The Reason You Suck" Song]]: When a song isn't an AntiLoveSong there's a good chance it's this. Sometimes both rolled into one.
* RevolvingDoorBand: The band has cycled through over a dozen members at this point, with only two albums (''Why Do They Rock So Hard'', ''Our Live Album Is Better Than Your Live Album'') having the same line-up as their predecessor.
* RockstarSong: "Sell Out" and "Don't Start a Band." The titles should let you know where they stand on the Sliding Scale.
* RunningGag: Dan Regan [[ImportantHaircut changes his hairstyle]] every so often so he always looks like the newest guy in the band.
* SelfDeprecation: In spades.
* ShoutOut: ''Everybody's Drunk'' features a brief change to the tune of ''We're Not Gonna Take It'' by DeeSnider.
* SlidingScaleOfIdealismVersusCynicism: Playfully cynical.
* SpecialGuest: Monique Powell of SaveFerris sings the female lead vocal on "She Has A Girlfriend Now".
** While touring, they'll use different female vocalists (For example, during the 2010 Warped Tour they got the lead from TipTheVan to do it).
* StageNames: Ryland "The Rabbit" Steen and John "Little Johnny Christmas" Christianson.
* StepUpToTheMicrophone: In concert, Aaron will urge a different member of the band each time to sing the final line of ''Where Have You Been''. Additionally, ''Cheer Up'' features ''Drunk Again'', a slow ballad sung by Scott. Some editions of the disc even have a lead-in where, again, Aaron tells him to get up and sing.
* StoryArc: ''Turn the Radio Off'', ''Why Do They Rock So Hard'' and ''We're Not Happy 'Till You're Not Happy'' are about a band getting into the music business, being famous and being older and jaded respectively.
* SurprisinglyGentleSong: ''Candy Coated Fury'', an album loaded with hatred and bile-filled songs, ends with ''The Promise'', wherein the character of the song pledges to be the best person he can for the love of his life.
* TakeThat: "Your Guts (I Hate 'Em)" is the most obvious one. "We Care" and "You Don't Know" from ''Why Do They Rock So Hard?'' are all about how annoying the band though their FanDumb was.
* UnpluggedVersion: ''A Best Of Us For The Rest Of Us'' is their official 2-disc greatest hits album; the second disc is ALL acoustic re-recordings.
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