[[caption-width-right:300: The current lineup from left to right: [[TheSmurfettePrinciple Lorna]] [[PunnyName Doom]], [[AllDrummersAreAnimals Don Bolles]], Shane West and [[BreakupBreakout Pat Smear]].]]

The Germs are a band from UsefulNotes/LosAngeles, California that formed in 1977 after Jan Paul Beahm and Georg Ruthenberg (later dubbed Darby Crash and Pat Smear, respectively) made the decision to form a band after being kicked out of school as "Sophistifuck and the Revlon Spam Queens". They shortened this to The Germs (to represent the germination of an idea) when they realized they couldn't afford to put all of that on a t-shirt. Upon finding a stable lineup of Darby Crash, Pat Smear, Lorna Doom, and Don Bolles, the band started performing semi-regularly in the LA area, and the band's fanbase started to rise, with food fights between band and audience becoming common; as a result, the band was frequently blacklisted from LA clubs, a problem they alleviated by playing as GI (Germs Incognito).

The band released one album - 1979's ''(GI)'', produced by Music/JoanJett - before vocalist Darby Crash died of an intentional heroin overdose on December 7th, 1980, who's death was overshadowed by the murder of Music/JohnLennon a day later. In 2005, the band reunited with Shane West on vocals to mixed reception among the punk community, and a film featuring Shane as Darby Crash titled ''What We Do is Secret'' came out in 2008.

!! Tropes that apply to The Germs:

* AerithAndBob: The current lineup. Pat Smear, Lorna Doom, Don Bolles, and...Shane West.
* AscendedFanboy: Drummer Don Bolles famously drove from Arizona to audition for the band; fortunately for him, he was better than the others who auditioned before him and was hired.
* BreakupBreakout: This trope applied ''twice'' to guitarist Pat Smear. About a decade after The Germs broke up, Music/{{Nirvana}}'s Music/KurtCobain called him up and asked him if he'd like to work with them; he performed with them until Cobain's own suicide in 1994. After that, he went on to play guitar with drummer Music/DaveGrohl in the Music/FooFighters, who he continues to perform with to this day.
* BrilliantButLazy: Darby and Pat were frequently given these attributes in their days at school. According to the teachers, Darby had started something resembling a cult among the students, and in an attempt to keep them off campus and reverse the "antisocial behavior", they were given straight-A's if they agreed never to return. They did anyway.
* DeadpanSnarker: Darby was this before the end of his life.
* DreadfulMusician: The entire band aside from Pat Smear. The early bassists and drummers survived by sliding their fingers along the neck at random and keeping a steady beat with an occasional cymbal crash every now and then, respectively.
* DrivenToSuicide: Darby, via heroin overdose. Fans have multiple theories why he killed himself; according to "Wild-Eyed Boy: The Darby Crash Story", Darby's homosexuality played a factor in his suicide; ''What We Do is Secret'' mentioned a five year plan for RuleOfDrama, and there's always the camp that claims he never meant to overdose.
* HarshVocals: Darby's vocals.
* InitiationCeremony: Darby would give "true fans" of his band a "Germs Burn". Basically, he burned you with a cigarette on the left wrist, creating a permanent circular scar to represent the band and the ideas behind the band. Despite Darby being dead for over thirty years now, the tradition still exists. You'd just have to find someone that already has a burn that can be traced directly back to Darby in order to get a "proper" burn.
* LampshadeHanging: The original single version of "Forming" ends with Darby ad-libbing a [[SelfDeprecation critique]] of the song itself:
-->"You're playing it all wrong. The drums are too slow, the bass is too fast, the chords are wrong, we're makin' the ending too long...[[ScrewThisImOuttaHere I quit]]."
* PunnyName: Lorna Doom and Pat Smear.
* RefugeInAudacity: Darby would fall into this trope every now and then. "What We Do is Secret" exaggerates the trope.
* RevolvingDoorBand: The early days of the band suffered from this trope, with some lineups never even playing in front of an audience before someone quit.
* StageNames: Darby Crash (originally Bobby Pyn), Pat Smear, Lorna Doom, among others.
* StraightGay: Darby.
* TitleOnlyChorus: "We Must Bleed".
* TheUnintelligible: Occasionally in studio, but towards the end of Darby's life, Darby would go onstage - for lack of a better term - ''fucked up''. Case in point, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LpENCyEhIMk The Germs' performance]] of "Manimal" in ''The Decline of Western Civilization'', where Darby's warbling groans just barely come close to matching the lyrics onscreen.
* ThreeChordsAndTheTruth: This came naturally, since The Germs were a punk band. Their recordings usually were rather muddy in quality. "Forming" was infamously recorded with only two microphones (Darby's and one in the back shared by the rest of the band).
* WordSaladLyrics: Darby's lyrics would qualify as this.