[[caption-width-right:350:These tropes ain't big enough for the both of us...]]

->''"Envision berets, tennis shorts, absurdist French comedy, espresso, faux luxury, fake English accents and a [[UsefulNotes/AdolfHitler Hitler]] moustache, and some kind of picture will form that approximates the genius that is the first five Sparks albums."''\\
--[[http://exclaim.ca/Interviews/WebExclusive/sparks_russell_mael Don Pyle]], 2008

Sparks are an American band who formed in 1970 in UsefulNotes/LosAngeles and are still active today. The band officially consists of only brothers Ron (keyboards, songwriting, questionable mustache) and Russell Mael (vocals), but over the years they have accumulated a large amount of ex-members and session musicians. The duo's style is characterized by their whimsically over-the-top songwriting, their funny, witty lyrics, Russell's falsetto, and a quirky stage presence which plays with the contrast between Russell's hyperactive FaceOfTheBand attitude and Ron's [[TheStoic deliberately stiff and taciturn]] stage persona.

The group initially formed under the name Halfnelson, but changed it to Sparks shortly after the release of their debut. After releasing two quirky, [[Music/FrankZappa Zappa-esque]] albums that were largely ignored in their homeland, the Maels decided to try their luck on the other side of the Atlantic and relocated to England. It was there that they reached their critical and commercial peak in 1974 with third album ''Music/KimonoMyHouse'', a fusion of glam-rock and dance-pop sensibilities with wry and clever stories, which spawned a surprise number two hit single with their SignatureSong "This Town Ain't Big Enough For the Both Of Us".

They followed it up with ''Propaganda'' the same year and ''Indiscreet'' the next, which were essentially a continuation of the ''Kimono'' sound to continued success (though the latter was much more prone to GenreRoulette), after which they returned to the United States starting with the more straightforward Rock sound of ''Big Beat''. During the next few decades they would go on to make over a dozen albums in which they would flirt with many different genres, including disco with ''Music/No1InHeaven'' (produced by Music/GiorgioMoroder) and a [[NewWaveMusic New Wave]]/SynthPop period in the '80s (''Angst In My Pants'', ''Pulling Rabbits Out of a Hat'', ''Interior Design'').

They had brief resurgences of popularity (especially in Europe) with 1979's ''Music/No1InHeaven'', 1980's ''Terminal Jive'' (which made them {{One Hit Wonder}}s in France with "When I'm With You") and 1994's Europop-tastic ''Gratuitous Sax and Senseless Violins''. The release of the NewSoundAlbum ''Music/LilBeethoven'' in 2002 (ahem) [[JustForPun sparked]] renewed global interest and acclaim. Since then, the band has been making music that's a mocking combination of HouseMusic, ProgressiveRock, BaroquePop and straight-up classical music. The new style paved the way for a productive decade that resulted in the rock-oriented follow-ups, ''Hello Young Lovers'' and ''Exotic Creatures of the Deep'', as well as ''[[TheMusical The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman]]'', a musical Ron and Russell composed for a Swedish radio station.

The band underwent a ''Two Hands, One Mouth'' tour in 2012, stripping their music back to Ron's keyboards and Russell's vocals to great success. Their first live album, culled from the tour, followed in 2013. ''The Revenge of Two Hands, One Mouth Tour'' followed shortly after.

In 2014 they formed FFS with their PostPunk {{Big Name Fan}}s Music/FranzFerdinand and released a self-titled album in 2015, followed by a tour. They released ''Hippopotamus'' in 2017, returning their sound to clever, literate (and often [[BlackComedy darkly humorous]]) pop.

Despite being criminally overlooked during much of their career, the duo are hugely regarded in musician circles (Music/{{Morrissey}}, Music/TheyMightBeGiants, Music/{{Nirvana}}, Music/{{Bjork}}, Music/{{Ween}}, Music/SonicYouth, Music/TheRamones, Music/DuranDuran, Music/DepecheMode, Music/DefLeppard, Music/NewOrder, Music/FaithNoMore, Music/ThePixies and Music/FranzFerdinand are some of their most notable admirers, and Creator/JonathanRoss calls them "possibly the greatest band on the planet"), and their music was crucial to the development of PunkRock, NewWaveMusic and SynthPop.

!! Discography:
* ''Sparks / Halfnelson'' (1971)
* ''A Woofer in Tweeter's Clothing'' (1972)
* ''Music/KimonoMyHouse'' (1974)
* ''Propaganda'' (1974)
* ''Indiscreet'' (1975)
* ''Big Beat'' (1976)
* ''Introducing Sparks'' (1977)
* ''Music/No1InHeaven'' (1979)
* ''Terminal Jive'' (1980)
* ''Whomp That Sucker'' (1981)
* ''Angst in My Pants'' (1982)
* ''In Outer Space'' (1983)
* ''Pulling Rabbits Out of a Hat'' (1984)
* ''Music That You Can Dance To'' (1986)
* ''Interior Design'' (1988)
* ''Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins'' (1994)
* ''Plagiarism'' (1997) - CoverAlbum/tribute album of their older songs
* ''Balls'' (2000)
* ''Music/LilBeethoven'' (2002)
* ''Hello Young Lovers'' (2006)
* ''Exotic Creatures Of The Deep'' (2008)
* ''The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman'' (2009)
* ''FFS'' (2015) - Self-titled album of collaborative band with Music/FranzFerdinand
* ''Hippopotamus'' (2017)
!!This band provides examples of:
* ADayInTheLimelight: The narrator of "When Do I Get To Sing '[[Music/FrankSinatra My Way]]'" is desperately waiting for his.
* AlwaysSomeoneBetter: "Lighten Up Music/{{Morrissey}}" is about a guy whose crush isn't interested in him, because he's not enough like Morrissey.
* AmbiguousGender: Russell in the early days. The operatic falsetto didn't help.
* AntiChristmasSong:
** "Thank God it's Not Christmas", combined with AntiLoveSong: a man dreads the Christmas season because he has to spend it with his dull wife.
** "Christmas Without a Prayer" is about a guy who's left out from the festivities.
* AntiLoveSong: "Throw Her Away (And Get a New One)", "Confusion", "Eaten by the Monster of Love", "I Can't Believe That You Would Fall For All The Crap In This Song". ''Pulling Rabbits out of a Hat'' and ''Hello Young Lovers'' alternate between this and SillyLoveSongs. See also AntiChristmasSong above.
* AsLongAsItSoundsForeign: "Hasta Manana Monsieur" depicts a man struggling to woo a girl in her native tongue. Unsure of her nationality, he takes random, wild stabs at every continent.
* TheAssimilator: "Eaten By The Monster of Love" describes men (and dogs!) being swallowed and spat out as sad creatures with "goo-googly eyes" and "sickly smiles." Resistance is futile for everyone except the narrator, who always narrowly dodges it.
* AttentionWhore: The subject of "Here Comes Bob", which details a man so desperate to have friends, he crashes his car into others. And buses. And mobile homes. [[SerialEscalation And passenger trains]].
* AudienceParticipationSong: "Metaphor" is designed as one of these.
-->'''Russell''': "Who's up for a metaphor?"\\
'''Crowd''': "We're up for a metaphor!"
* BeingGodIsHard: "What The Hell Is It This Time?" deals with a God being plagued by rather banal demands as prayers.
* BreadEggsMilkSquick: During the fade-out in "Occupation", Russell continues to list off various trades. Among these are "baby killers", "undertakers", and "X-rated actors."
* BrokenRecord: The majority of ''Lil' Beethoven'' is built around stock phrases and repetition. It is taken to an extreme with "My Baby's Taking Me Home" which, apart from a spoken word monologue, consists of nothing but the title recited approximately 104 times.
* CallBack: "Gratuitous Sax" is an a capella intro to ''Gratuitous Sax and Senseless Violins'', calling back to the a capella title/intro track from ''Propaganda''.
* TheCameo:
** Earle Mankey's then-girlfriend appears at the beginning of "Biology 2" on their self-titled debut.
** Sparks appeared in the 1976 film ''Rollercoaster'' in place of Music/{{Kiss}}, performing "Big Boy" and "Fill 'Er Up".
** Music/TheGoGos' Jane Wiedlin duets with Russell on "Cool Places" and "Lucky Me, Lucky You" in ''In Outer Space''.
** Director Tsui Hark appears on, well, "Tsui Hark".
** ''Plagiarism'' features Music/FaithNoMore, Music/{{Erasure}}, and Bronski Beat's Jimmy Somerville.
** Ron and Russell themselves appeared on an episode of ''Series/GilmoreGirls'' in 2006, playing a stripped-down version of "Perfume".
** On ''Hippopotamus'' director Leos Carax and opera singer Rebecca Sjowell duet with Russell on "When You're a French Director" and "Life with the Macbeths", respectively.
* ComicallyMissingThePoint: "National Crime Awareness Week" is about a criminal who thinks the titular week is a ''celebration'' of him.
* CountryMatters: The protagonist of "Hasta Manana Monsieur" has this reaction when his foreign ladyfriend mentions [[GeniusBookClub reading Kant.]]
* CoverAlbum: ''Plagiarism'', a cover album of their own songs. It was recorded after the success of ''Gratuitous Sax and Senseless Violins'' to introduce their new German fans to their older music.
* TheCoverChangesTheMeaning: Their cover of Music/TheBeatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" plays it maturely as opposed to the original's innocent teenage romance tone.
* CoverVersion:
** "[[Theatre/TheSoundOfMusic Do-Re-Mi]]", "[[Music/TheBeatles I Want to Hold Your Hand]]", and "[[Music/StevieWonder Fingertips]]".
** The album version of "Baby, Baby (Can I Invade Your Country)" is half original, half cover of "The Star Spangled Banner".
* CripplingOverspecialization: The narrator for "When Do I Get to Sing 'My Way'" is desperately waiting for his big break, but he only knows the one song in the title.
* CrossDresser: Ron in the album art for ''Angst in My Pants'' and the video for "I Predict".
* {{Deconstruction}}: ''Music/LilBeethoven'' is this to the Pop music format, condensing the songs to minimalist and repetitious structures.
* DemotedToExtra: ''Music/KimonoMyHouse''-era bassist Martin Gordon was annoyed when he saw the final album pressing, as on the back the planned band photo had been replaced with a large colour photo of the Mael brothers, with him, guitarist Adrian Fisher and drummer Norman "Dinky" Diamond being relegated to smaller, black-and-white portraits.
* DualMeaningChorus: "Without Using Hands" has a TitleOnlyChorus that the verses give different contexts to. The first verse describes men and women meeting up under the shelter of the canopy of the Paris Ritz Hotel in the rain, planning to "love tonight, without using hands". In the second verse, a couple is showing off slides of their vacation at the same hotel to their kids; the children start misbehaving, and the father laments that "the only way children are punished, unlike old times, is without using hands". Finally, it turns out that during this vacation there was an explosion at the hotel - only the hotel manager had any serious injuries, and everyone else seems pretty unconcerned that he's "going to live his entire life... without using hands", implying he either suffered paralysis or loss of limbs.
* EnsignNewbie: The unwitting new owner in "Now That I Own Creator/TheBBC."
-->"Hey, UsefulNotes/RupertMurdoch, help me out, I'm flyin' blind"
* EpicRocking: "The Number One Song in Heaven", "Ugly Guys with Beautiful Girls" and "As I Sit to Play the Organ at the Notre Dam Cathedral" each pass seven minutes.
* {{Fanservice}}: The sleeves for ''Big Beat'' and ''Plagiarism'' (and ''Angst In My Pants'' if you swing that way).
* TheFuture: "In the Future", natch.
-->''"In the future fun is fun, in the future lots of sun"''
* GenreBusting: From the beginning the band was hard to pin down due to the constant mixing and cycling of musical styles. UpToEleven with ''Music/LilBeethoven'' and beyond.
* GettingCrapPastTheRadar: The title of their collaborative project, FFS, which stands for "Franz Ferdinand Sparks". "FFS" is also a popular text-speak acronym meaning "For Fuck's Sake", and the band were well aware of this when they chose the name.
* GlamRock: From ''Music/KimonoMyHouse'' through ''Indiscreet''. Generally regarded as their best output period, and certainly their most popular and successful.
* GoldDigger: The narrator of "La Dolce Vita".
--> "Gold diggers arise\\
Gold diggers are hungry, guys\\
Gold diggers are we\\
Step up, follow me"
* GratuitousFrench: "The Louvre", "Bon Voyage". Russell speaks very good French.
* HandsomeLech: The narrator for "Ladies".
* HeavyMetal:
** UrExample with "(No More) Mr. Nice Guys" from their self-titled debut, which has a heavy Rock sound and a loud, feedback-laden guitar solo.
** "Ugly Guys with Beautiful Girls" and "Dick Around" from the 2000s, with the brothers adding Music/FaithNoMore touring guitarist Dean Menta to the backing band.
* HellOfAHeaven: Played for dark laughs in "Here in Heaven", as the narrator is stuck waiting for his lover's far-off death after a failed suicide pact. The song provides the trope's page quote:
--> "Up here in Heaven without you\\
It is Hell knowing that your health\\
Will keep you out of here for many, many years"
* HormoneAddledTeenager: "Amateur Hour".
* IncestIsRelative: "Fa La Fa Lee" is sung from the point-of-view of a man who has sex with his sister.
* IntercourseWithYou: A ''lot'':
** "Amateur Hour" (specifically about how TheirFirstTime will always be underwhelming, but eventually "amateur hour" will be over), "Under the Table with Her", "Sextown U.S.A.", "All You Ever Think About is Sex", "Get in the Swing".
** "Tryouts for the Human Race" takes it a step further: it's from the point of view of ''the sperm''.
* InTheStyleOf: Their cover of Music/TheBeatles' "I Want to Hold Your Hand" is in the style of Philadelphia Soul.
* ItWasADarkAndStormyNight: "The Ghost of Liberace" starts with this.
* KavorkaMan:
** "Ugly Guys With Beautiful Girls".
** In "Sigmund Freud's Party" (which Ron co-wrote for the Belgian group Telex), we see that [[UsefulNotes/SigmundFreud Freud]] is renowned for trashing house parties and his sex exploits, taking a keen interest in a blonde "patient".
* {{Keet}}: Russell. But everyone looks excitable when standing next to Ron.
* KubrickStare: Ron loves to do this whenever there's a camera nearby.
* ListSong:
** "Perfume", of women and the perfumes they wear:
-->"Genevieve wears Dior\\
Margaret wears Tresor\\
Mary Jo wears Lauren\\
But you don't wear no perfume"
** "Ride 'Em Cowboy", of various stock phrases and cliches placed against their opposites:
--> "I swam, I sank\\
Top seed, unranked\\
The pole, the wall\\
The pride, the fall"
** "Hippopotamus", of various things that end in 'us' that the narrator finds in his pool. These include the titular hippopotamus, a book by anonymous, a painting by Hieronymous Bosch, and even ''Theatre/TitusAndronicus''!
* LongRunner: In 2018, Sparks (including Halfnelson) will have been a band for ''50 years''.[[note]]This includes their earliest incarnation, Urban Renewal Project, and the original Halfnelson ''A Woofer in Tweeter's Clothing'' demo album, both from 1969.[[/note]]
* LongTitle:
** ''Gratuitous Sax and Senseless Violins'', along with the album's title, has "(When I Kiss You) I Hear Charlie Parker Playing", "[[Film/GoneWithTheWind Frankly, Scarlett, I Don't Give a Damn]]", "I Thought I Told You to Wait in the Car", "Hear No Evil, See No Evil, Speak No Evil".
** "As I Sit to Play the Organ at the Notre Dame Cathedral" from ''Hello Young Lovers''.
** "I Can't Believe That You Would Fall for All the Crap in This Song" from ''Exotic Creatures of the Deep''.
** "So Mrs. Lincoln Aside from That How Was the Play?" from ''Hippopotamus''.
* LyricalDissonance: Every other song. For example, "Here in Heaven" is a rocking, dramatic song about a [[BlackComedy failed suicide pact]], and most of the songs on ''Big Beat'' are charged Protopunk Rock songs about something depressing, cynical, or irreverent.
* MinimalisticCoverArt:
** ''Music/KimonoMyHouse'' is a picture of two geisha girls against a green background[[note]]One of them, Michi Hirota, later contributed SpokenWordInMusic to Music/DavidBowie's "It's No Game"[[/note]]. The cover also didn't have text in its first pressing.
** ''Introducing Sparks'' is just a bust shot of Russell or Ron, depending on which side you're looking at, against a blue background with the album title. Said bust shots are combined in this page's image above.
** ''Music/No1InHeaven'' has a women in a white lab coat holding a microscope against a flat, white background.
** ''Balls'' is just a colored circle on a gradient background.
** ''Music/LilBeethoven'' is mostly text except for a miniature Beethoven cartoon in the corner.
* MisterSeahorse: "(She Got Me) Pregnant", taking the song's title literally. It's really about a guy dealing with the emotional consequences of a one-night stand.
* MundaneMadeAwesome: "Arts and Crafts Spectacular", from the Halfnelson ''A Woofer in Tweeter's Clothing'' demo album, treats a gathering of kindergarten-level crafts with the excitement of a film premiere.
* TheMusical: ''The Seduction of Creator/IngmarBergman'', written for Swedish radio about the titular director getting swept into his own personal Hollywood nightmare after the 1956 Cannes Film Festival.
* NewSoundAlbum:
** ''Music/KimonoMyHouse'' began their GlamRock era.
** ''Indiscreet'' incorporated orchestral arrangements, as well as Jazz and Big Band influences to the ''Kimono'' sound.
** ''Big Beat'' attempted a stripped-back, Protopunk Rock sound.
** ''Introducing Sparks'' attempted a sunny West Coast sound.
** ''Music/No1InHeaven'' began their SynthPop period, which also frequently included [[NewWaveMusic New Wave]], PowerPop, or Electronic Dance music.
** ''Whomp That Sucker'' marked a return to rock, with some NewWaveMusic elements thrown in.
** ''Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins'' took the Electronic Dance UpToEleven after a several-year hiatus, with a big 90's Eurodance influence.
** ''Lil' Beethoven'' began a GenreBusting era which mixed ChamberPop with dance music and HipHop influences.
** ''FFS'' combined Spark's operatic and electronic GlamRock with Music/FranzFerdinand's PostPunk DanceRock.
* NewWaveMusic: Were influential {{Ur Example}}s of New Wave with their early energetic oddball records, at one point being threatened by an audience who thought they were part of "the dandy new wave". In the Eighties, they took part in the style from ''Whomp that Sucker'' through ''Interior Design'' alongside their developing SynthPop style.
* NoSympathy: "Waterproof".
-->''The tears just fall off of me...''\\
''...Your eyes are starting to well up''\\
''But that won't bring me down''
* NotSoStoic: Ron's on-stage character is stiff and taciturn. Occasional music videos and off-stage appearances have him smiling widely, and in person he's as affable as his brother.
* OneManSong: "Roger", "Fletcher Honorama", "Here Comes Bob", "Angus Desire", "Literature/SherlockHolmes", "WesternAnimation/MickeyMouse", "(When I Kiss You) I Hear Music/CharlieParker Playing", "Creator/TsuiHark", "The Ghost of Liberace", "Lighten Up, [[Music/TheSmiths Morrissey]]", "I Am Creator/IngmarBergman".
* OneWomanSong: "Suzie Safety", "That's Not Nastassia", "Nicotina", "Music/{{Madonna}}", "[[Film/GoneWithTheWind Frankly Scarlett, I Don't Give a Damn]]", "What Would Creator/KatharineHepburn Say?", "[[Literature/ArabianNights Scheherazade]]", "Brenda is Always In The Way", "Music/EdithPiaf Said It Better Than Me".
* PieInTheFace: Ron is the victim of this on the ''In Outer Space'' cover and the video for its single, "All You Ever Think About Is Sex". He got it once more when they performed the album in full during their 21 Albums Tour.
* PowerPop: Coincides with their GlamRock and NewWaveMusic albums.
* PrecisionFStrike: "The Angels":
-->''They feel so ashamed''\\
''Because you look so fucking good''
* PunBasedTitle:
** ''Music/KimonoMyHouse'' is a pun on the title of the traditional pop song "Come on-a My House".
** ''Angst in My Pants'' is a pun on "ants in my pants".
** ''Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins'' is a play on "gratuitous sex and senseless violence". The individual songs "Gratuitous Sax" and "Senseless Violins" play the phrases literally.
* TheQuietOne: Ron keeps the vocal duties to his brother. He made three spoken-word appearances ("Under the Table with Her", "Shopping Mall of Love", "Senseless Violins") before finally making his singing debut in ''The Seduction of Ingmar Burgman'' as a cab driver and a tour guide... nearly 40 years after the band formed. He speaks as much as Russell in interview situations though.
** He sings lead on ''one line'' in the FFS song "Collaborations Don't Work", although you can frequently hear him embedded in the backing vocals.
* RecordProducer: Have '''DIY'''-produced the majority of their records starting with ''In Outer Space''. They have also made use of Music/ToddRundgren (''Sparks''), Muff Winwood (''Music/KimonoMyHouse'', ''Propaganda''), [[Music/DavidBowie Tony Visconti]] (''Indiscreet''), Rupert Holmes[[note]]who later recorded "Escape (The Piña Colada Song)"[[/note]] and Jeffrey Lesser (''Big Beat''), Terry Powell (''Introducing Sparks''), Music/GiorgioMoroder (''Music/No1InHeaven'', ''Terminal Jive''[[note]]along with Harold Faltermeyer[[/note]]), Moroder associate Mack (''Whomp That Sucker'', ''Angst in My Pants''), and John Congleton (''FFS'').
* RecycledTitle: Their second album, ''A Woofer in Tweeter's Clothing'', recycles its name from their first demo album as Halfnelson but none of the songs.
* RevengeOfTheSequel: ''The Revenge of Two Hands, One Mouth Tour''.
* RevisitingTheRoots: After decades of ElectronicMusic, experimental ChamberPop, two tours of just voice and piano, and a collaborative album with Music/FranzFerdinand, ''Hippopotamus'' returns the band's style to literate and humorous Pop with musical elements taken from throughout their career.
* RevolvingDoorBand: In the situations where the Mael brothers have hired a backing band rather than session musicians, said group will change with every few albums. Backing band Bates Motel[[note]]guitarist Bob Haag, bassist Leslie Bohem, and drummer David Kendrick[[/note]] and drummer Tammy Glover stayed with them for five albums each[[note]]'''Bates Motel''': ''Whomp that Sucker'' through ''Music That You Can Dance To'', '''Tammy Glover''': ''Balls'' through ''The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman''[[/note]], and guitarist Dean Menta for four albums.[[note]]''Lil' Beethoven'' through ''The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman''[[/note]]
* RichesToRags: The protagonist of "Dick Around" works his way up to CEO of a major company until his wife leaves him, prompting him to lose the motivation that first got him to riches, and he falls back down dramatically until "all [he does] now is dick around".
* {{Sampling}}: UrExample with their 1969 demo and 1971 debut albums. The arrangements and sound effects were too complex to completely record live, so parts were recorded to tape then overlaid into the final mix later. The music for "Roger" in particular is composed similarly to HipHop beats-making.
* SelfBackingVocalist: Russell does this a lot, such as on "Equator" and every song on their 2000s albums.
* SelfTitledAlbum: Their first album, which was also self-titled when the band were called Halfnelson. It was re-released as ''Sparks'' after the band changed their name.
* SerialKiller: "National Crime Awareness Week" is sung from an inept killer's point of view as he taunts the police.
* ShoutOut:
** Several songs are shout outs to films, including two for ''Film/GoneWithTheWind''[[note]]The ''Indiscreet'' outtake "Gone With the Wind" (later a ''Big Beat'' bonus track), and "Frankly Scarlett, I Don't Give a Damn" from ''Gratuitous Sax''[[/note]] and one for ''Film/CitizenKane''.[[note]]"Rosebud" from ''Music You Can Dance To''[[/note]] Filmmaker Tsui Hark receives a simultaneous ShoutOut and TheCameo in "Tsui Hark" from ''Gratuitous Sax''.
** "Madonna" is about [[IntercourseWithYou a one-night stand]] with [[Music/{{Madonna}} the famous singer]].
** "When Do I Get to Sing 'My Way'" references the Music/FrankSinatra song and [[Music/SexPistols Sid Vicious's]] infamous cover.
** "(When I Kiss You) I Hear Charlie Parker Playing" namechecks the eponymous saxophonist as well as quoting the famous musical line "And the hills are alive with Theatre/{{the sound of music}}".
** "Lighten Up, Music/{{Morrissey}}" is a tribute to the eponymous singer. The song's narrator is being brushed off by his girlfriend because Morrissey is so much cooler than him.
* SiameseTwinSongs: The title/intro song from ''Propaganda'' leads immediately into "At Home, At Work, At Play", and both are played together live.
* SiblingTeam: The Mael brothers. The band's first incarnation also included brothers Jim and Earle Mankey on bass and guitar.
* SiblingYinYang: Deliberately played up by flamboyant frontman Russell and stodgy, button-down keyboardist Ron.
* SillyLoveSongs: Often, though not as much as LyricalDissonance Love Songs. Includes "Wonder Girl", "When I'm With You", "(When I Kiss You) I Hear Charlie Parker Playing". ''Pulling Rabbits out of a Hat'' and ''Hello Young Lovers'' alternate between this and {{Anti Love Song}}s.
** "Fa La Fa Lee" is a Silly Love Song about incest. [[EstablishingCharacterMoment It's from their first album]].
* StageMom: "Talent Is An Asset" plays Albert Einstein's mother as this.
* StepUpToTheMicrophone:
** Ron provided brief spoken word sections in "Under the Table With Her" and "Senseless Violins". He nearly speaks every word in "Shopping Mall of Love," besides Russell, who sings the chorus. Then, he ''finally'' sang for ''The Seduction of Ingmar Bergman''.
** Founding guitarist Earle Mankey sings "Biology 2" on their self-titled debut.
* SomethingSomethingLeonardBernstein: On the 70s material, Russell Mael frequently sings in such an odd falsetto that it can often be hard to discern any lines other than the title of the song. A good example is "Here In Heaven".
* TheStoic: Ron Mael is the absolute king of this trope on stage, preferring to perform [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnM3Iq977JU completely stiff and facially flat or unnerving]]. Off stage he's about as smiley and affable as Russell, if a bit introverted.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: "There's No Such Thing as Aliens".
* {{Supergroup}}: Formed FFS in the mid-2010's with Scottish PostPunk band Music/FranzFerdinand. They disassociate themselves from the "supergroup" label, emphasizing that FFS is an actual band.
* SynthPop: Began with 1979's ''Music/No1InHeaven'' and ran until ''Balls'' in 2000. ''No. 1 in Heaven'' marks them as an UrExample of the "fire and ice" SynthPop duo[[note]]passionate vocals set against cold synthesizers[[/note]] that grew to popularity in the 80s with bands like Music/{{Yazoo}} and Music/SoftCell.
* TakeThat:
** [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XGLDtkfSx0w "Rock 'n' Roll People In a Disco World"]] was one against their pure-rock peers hopping on the {{Disco}} bandwagon in the late '70s.
** "Suburban Homeboy" is a mockery of privileged youths who try to act street, set to a classy, vaudevillian orchestra arrangement.
** "What Are All These Bands So Angry About?" is thought to be a swipe at the mainstream popularity of angsty NuMetal bands in the late '90s-early 2000s.
* TheirFirstTime: "Amateur Hour" advises that the first time isn't expected to go well, and that you need to practice at sex before you can get good at it.
* ThreeChordsAndTheTruth:
** ''Big Beat'' is stripped-down Rock centered on guitars and drums, which was partially inspired by the burgeoning PunkRock movement in New York. Subverted with its last song "I Like Girls", which employs a full orchestra.
** The ''Two Hands One Mouth'' and ''Revenge of Two Hands One Mouth'' tours consisted of only Russel's voice and Ron's keyboard, with all of the songs played minimalistically.
* UnpluggedVersion: The ''Two Hands One Mouth'' live tour and its corresponding album, which comprises of stripped-down versions of older material accompanied with just a keyboard and Russell's voice.
* UnusuallyUninterestingSight: The video for "All You Ever Think About is Sex" is of the band miming the song while Ron gets repeatedly [[PieInTheFace pelted with pie]]. Nobody besides Ron reacts to it.
* UnwantedAssistance: The title character of "Suzie Safety" is always helping and protecting the narrator from every little possible danger, and he's starting to resent it.
* VisualPun: The cover art for ''Music/No1InHeaven'' has a spark plug in the top right corner.
* WhammyBid: The subject of "Now That I Own the BBC", in one of the most delightfully preposterous auctions ever. The punchline is that the winning bid was a measly £5, but it still had the whammy effect.
* YouCanLeaveYourHatOn: The video for "I Predict", courtesy of [[MrFanservice Ron]]. [[CrossDresser In drag]].
-> ''...and brother, I ain't gonna leave.''