[[caption-width-right:350: The Smiths in 1986. From left to right: Andy Rourke, Music/{{Morrissey}}, Music/JohnnyMarr, Mike Joyce.]]
->''"So, I broke into the palace\\
With a sponge and a rusty spanner\\
She said: 'Eh, I know you, and you cannot sing'\\
I said: 'That's nothing - you should hear me play piano.'''
-->--'''The Smiths,''' "''The Queen is Dead"''

The Smiths were a [[OopNorth Manchester]]-based {{alternative rock}} band that formed in 1982 and broke up in 1987. Based on the songwriting partnership of Music/{{Morrissey}} (vocals) and Music/JohnnyMarr (guitar), the band also included Andy Rourke (bass) and Mike Joyce (drums). Their sound was largely defined by the combination of Morrissey's witty, DeadpanSnarker lyrics and {{Camp}}y, {{Melodrama}}tic vocals, Marr's jangly, catchy pop-rock melodies (drawing a lot from Music/TheBeatles, PowerPop and classic rock) and the steady support of the Rourke-Joyce rhythm section, but they've branched out beyond pop-rock and experimented over the course of their career.

Widely regarded as one of the most important bands to emerge from the British indie music scene of TheEighties, the Smiths had a major influence on other artists, including Music/{{Radiohead}}, Music/TheStoneRoses, and Suede. The band's influence on British alternative and indie rock is often compared to the influence Music/{{REM}} had on American alternative rock.

After the break up, Music/{{Morrissey}} went on to have a successful solo career. Johnny formed Electronic with Music/JoyDivision[=/=]Music/NewOrder guitarist Bernard Sumner, and also formed the short-lived Johnny Marr & the Healers. He also played with cult alternative rockers The The and has done session work for too many artists to list. He was a member of the American indie rock band Music/ModestMouse from 2005 to 2008. After leaving Modest Mouse, he joined the British indie band The Cribs which he was a member of from 2008 to 2011.


[[folder: Discography: ]]

* ''[[SelfTitledAlbum The Smiths]]'' (1984)
* ''Meat Is Murder'' (1985)
* ''The Queen Is Dead'' (1986)
* ''Strangeways, Here We Come'' (1987)

Their numerous non-album singles and b-sides are collected on:
* ''Hatful of Hollow'' (1984)
* ''The World Won't Listen'' (1987)
** and its far more famous American equivalent ''Louder Than Bombs'', issued the same year.

Vote for your favourite Smiths album by heading over to the [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/crowner.php/Sandbox/BestAlbumTheSmiths Best Album crowner]]! There's also a [[http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/crowner.php/Sandbox/BestSongTheSmiths Best Song crowner]] as well!

!!! "I'd go out tonight, but I haven't got a trope to wear...":
* [[AllGirlsWantBadBoys All Boys Want Bad Boys]]: It became slowly more evident in Morrissey's lyrics, reaching its culmination in his solo work. Stand-out examples include "Sweet and Tender Hooligan" and "I Want The One I Can't Have".
-->''He killed a policeman when he was thirteen''\\
''And somehow that really impressed me''
* AlliterativeTitle:
** "Death of a Disco Dancer", "Meat Is Murder", "Rubber Ring", "Rushholme Ruffians", "Shakespeare's Sister", "These Things Take Time",[[note]]Doubled down![[/note]] "Well I Wonder", "What's the World", "Wonderful Woman".
** In the consonance department, there's "Still Ill".
* AllOfTheOtherReindeer: The Smiths are one of the few Manchester-based bands of their era not to have signed with Factory Records.
* AmusingInjuries: The narrator of "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" injures himself on the crossbar of his bicycle, apparently breaking his spleen and knee.
* AuthorAppeal: "This Charming Man" and "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" both mention leather car seats, which Morrissey admitted to finding "[[{{Fetish}} erotic]]." And then there's his interest in ruffians and criminals, which became even more pronounced in his solo work."
* BlackComedy: Present in a lot of their songs, as a counterbalance to the more depressing lyrics.
** "Unhappy Birthday" is a prime example, with morbid lyrics made funny by their matter-of fact delivery and anticlimactic nature (the narrator shoots himself toward the end of the song, but it keeps going).
** "Heaven Knows I'm Miserable Now" managed to be both quite sad and quite funny at the same time.
* BoardingSchoolOfHorrors: "The Headmaster Ritual", written about the horrors of the UsefulNotes/BritishEducationSystem as corporal punishment was still legal at the time. The song was released in 1985, and corporal punishment was banned in state schools and state-funded private schools in 1987, and then for all other private schools in 1999 (England and Wales), 2000 (Scotland) and 2003 (Northern Ireland). See SocietyMarchesOn.
* ClosetKey: "This Charming Man" is about a man's bicycle getting a flat tire, and he's picked up by a passing, charming rich man. They proceed to flirt during the ride, though the protagonist is still hesitant about it.
* CoolShades: One of Johnny Marr's favorite fashion accessories.
* CoolestClubEver: Subverted by "How Soon Is Now?" The singer is told "''there's a club if you'd like to go / You could meet somebody who really loves you ...''" But what actually happens is:
-->''So you go on your own''\\
''And you leave on your own''\\
''And you go home and you cry''\\
''And you want to die''
* CoverVersion: "Work Is a Four-Letter Word" by Cilla Black and "Golden Lights" by Music/{{Twinkle}} are infamous for incensing Johnny Marr to the point that he left the band, leading to their breakup.
-->'''Johnny''': I wrote "I Keep Mine Hidden", which I liked, but "Work Is a Four-Letter Word" I hated. That was the last straw, really. I didn't form a group to perform Cilla Black songs.
* CreditsGag: According to the liner notes to ''The Queen Is Dead'', the backing vocals to "Bigmouth Strikes Again" are performed by Ann Coates... In reality, those vocals were Morrissey's own voice sped up, and "Ann Coates" is a pun on Ancoats, a district of Manchester.
* DeadArtistsAreBetter: "Paint A Vulgar Picture" is about this, and how it's exploited.
* DeadpanSnarker: Morrissey.
* DrowningMySorrows: "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before"
-->''Oh, so I drank one''\\
''It became four''\\
''And when I fell on the floor''\\
''...I drank more''
* DumbassDJ: "Panic" was inspired by Steve Wright at the BBC, who played Wham's "I'm Your Man" after announcing the Chernobyl disaster.
* TheEighties
* EpicRocking: By album:
** ''Meat Is Murder'': "Barbarism Begins at Home" (6:57) and the title track (6:06)
** ''The Queen Is Dead'': The title track (6:24)
** ''Hatful of Hollow'': "How Soon Is Now?" (6:44)
* FakeOutFadeOut:
** "That Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" fades out, then back in before carrying on for another minute and fading out again.
** Inverted with "Some Girls Are Bigger Than Others" where the song fades out rapidly and then fades slowly back in at the ''beginning'' of the song.
* GrayRainOfDepression: The opening line of "William, It Was Really Nothing": "''The rain falls hard on this humdrum town / This town has dragged you down ...''"
* LesserStar: Mike Joyce and Andy Rourke. The band's contract apparently only listed Morrissey and Marr as the official members of the band. Joyce and Rourke even sued the other half of the band for royalties that were owed them. Although Rourke wound up settling amicably out of court with Morrissey and Marr, Joyce kept pushing his part of the lawsuit and received a 1 million pound settlement (which in turn alienated him from Rourke). Rourke eventually patched things up with his childhood friend Marr and found steady work as a session musician for bands like Music/ThePretenders. Joyce, meanwhile, left the music business and never reconciled with any of his old bandmates apart from Rourke. Morrissey claims that Joyce's lawsuit is the main reason why the Smiths will never reunite, moreso than his rift with Marr.
* {{Hypocrite}}: Even after releasing ''Meat Is Murder'', Morrissey admitted to wearing leather shoes until synthetic leather shoes became more widespread years later.
* IWantSong: "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want".
* IntercourseWithYou: "Stretch Out And Wait", "Reel Around The Fountain", and "Handsome Devil" are some of the less subtle examples.
* JerkWithAHeartOfGold: Morrissey had turns of this. He often insulted other artists and pissed people off throughout the band's run, but he also wore a fake hearing aid during the band's 1986 ''Old Grey Whistle Test'' performance to support a hearing-impaired fan who was ashamed of wearing one.
* JustJokingJustification: The aptly titled "Bigmouth Strikes Again."
-->"Sweetness, sweetness, I was only joking when I said I'd like to smash every tooth in your head..."
* LargeHam: Morrissey, frequently and entertainingly.
* LongTitle: "Stop Me If You Think That You've Heard This One Before", "Please Please Please, Let Me Get What I Want", "Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me", "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out", etc. It's safe to say that they were ''in love'' with this trope. Morrissey's solo work also uses ridiculously long song titles.
* LyricalDissonance: Sonically, they were like a slightly less murky Music/{{REM}}. Lyrically, they were like a funnier Music/TheCure.
* MinisculeRocking: "Please Please Please Let Me Get What I Want" comes in at a brisk 1:50.
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: The Smiths never went very high up it, pushing a 3-4 at most aggressive moments and 5-6 for "How Soon is Now?" - the lyrics were where the darkness was, not the music. However, when asked in an [[http://www.avclub.com/articles/johnny-marr-has-no-negative-thoughts-about-the-smi,73276/ AV Club interview]], Johnny Marr [[DiscussedTrope discussed]] the trope by mentioning how he felt that bands that drew inspiration from the Smiths like Belle and Sebastian were too lightweight compared to them:
-->"Iíve heard some records by bands that came after us who had their music been any more fey and lightweight, then Iíd expect petals to come out of the speakers. [Laughs.] Thatís kind of missing what we were about, because The Smiths were not all ďOscar Wilde at 3:30 in the afternoonĒ and feyness. The truth of it is, if you were to see any songs from any of our shows, we were, what I would say, quite heavy. Even the ballads were intense. We were a rock band, really, that played a type of pop music, if I care to analyze it. I donít know very much about The Wedding Presentís music, but what Iíve heard of Belle & Sebastian was often quite fey, and light in a very deliberate way. I think they have their own thing, which is absolutely fine. But I donít actually think they sound like The Smiths."
* MyGreatestFailure: Marr admitted to ''Guitar Player'' magazine in 1990 that he regrets not writing down how he achieved the slide guitar sound of "How Soon Is Now?":
--> "I wish I could remember exactly how we did the slide part -- not writing it down is one of the banes of my life! We did it in three passes through a harmonizer, set to some weird interval, like a sixth. There was a different harmonization for each pass. For the line in harmonics, I retuned the guitar so that I could play it all at the 12th fret with natural harmonics. It's doubled several times."
* NewSoundAlbum:
** ''The Queen Is Dead'', which featured more elaborate production than on their previous albums and singles.
** ''Strangeways, Here We Come'' largely abandons the jangle pop sound that they are known for.
* NonAppearingTitle: "Paint a Vulgar Picture", though the original demo version does include it ("and they paint a vulgar picture / of the way they say you were").
* [[{{Oireland}} Oirish]]: Morrissey, Marr and Rourke are the sons of first-generation Irish immigrants to Manchester; Joyce's father is Irish as well. Morrissey and Marr were both taken to visit relatives back in the Auld Sod many times in their childhood where they were exposed to a lot of Irish musical traditions; the influence is most evident in Morrissey's crooning style and some of Marr's acoustic guitar work.
** Morrissey's lyrical style has been compared to the style of Irish literature, and considering his well-known fixation on Oscar Wilde it is perhaps not a surprise. He's also covered "Irish" topics such as family dysfunction, alcoholism and, of course, a death-fixation, although his take on it is perhaps closer to "Cré na Cille" than "The Dead".
* OnlyOneName: Morrissey.
* OopNorth: One of Manchester's beloved musical exports, and noted for featuring Manchester prominently in their promotional pictures (especially for "The Queen Is Dead") and in their lyrics. Their first album featured a song focused entirely around the Moors Murders, "Suffer Little Children".
* ProtestSong:
** "The Headmaster Ritual" and "Barbarism Begins At Home" against child abuse, the former by teachers and the latter by parents.
** "Meat Is Murder" against animal slaughter.
* SadisticTeacher: "The Headmaster Ritual".
* SelfDeprecation: Quite often. "The Queen Is Dead" features the lyric "I know you and you can't sing/That's nothing, you should hear me play the piano". (Morrissey later fulfilled his threat on "Death of a Disco Dancer".)
* SerialKiller: The song "Suffer Little Children" was written about RealLife killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley. Morrissey's fascination with serial killers continued in his solo career with songs like "UsefulNotes/JackTheRipper".
* ShirtlessScene: Moz at almost every concert and quite a few photo shoots.
* SixthRanger: Second guitarist Craig Gannon, who only appeared on the "Panic" and "Ask" singles and the live ''Rank'' album.
* SmallNameBigEgo: Morrissey was mouthy and pissed off a lot of music industry people all throughout The Smiths' rise in popularity.
* SmokingIsCool: Johnny looked pretty damn cool with a cigarette, especially in the OGWT Meat Is Murder tapes.
* SomethingCompletelyDifferent:
** ''Strangeways, Here We Come'' opens with the guitarless "A Rush and a Push and the Land Is Ours".
** "Oscillate Wildly", "The Draize Train", and "Money Changes Everything" were the only instrumentals released by the band.
** "Death of a Disco Dancer" is among the very few Smiths songs where Morrissey "plays" an instrument (the piano).
* SpoofAesop: The entirety of "Accept Yourself", but especially:
-->Every day you must say
-->Oh, how do I feel about my shoes?
* StageNames: [[OnlyOneName Morrissey]]'s full name is Steven Patrick Morrissey, and Johnny Marr's real name is John Maher. The latter changed his name to [[OneSteveLimit avoid confusion with the drummer of the Buzzcocks]] and because it [[StealthPun sounds like]] the [[BilingualBonus French phrase 'J'en ai marre']], which roughly means 'I'm fed up with it all'.
* SuspiciouslySpecificDenial: The narrator of "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" names off some of the injuries he received from his bicycle accident, then follows them with "Who said I lied to her?/Because I never".
* ThreeChordsAndTheTruth: To an extent. The band's music was generally intricate and melodic, but the emphasis on guitar-based rock was a reaction against synthesizer-heavy Eighties pop music.
* TruckDriversGearChange: Quite a few of them in "Paint a Vulgar Picture", so that each verse seems to ascend into the next one, finally building up to the climatic guitar solo (the only one in the Smiths' musical catalogue).
* {{Unrequited Love|Tropes}}: A recurring lyrical theme, often going straight into ObsessionSong territory. Examples include "There Is A Light That Never Goes Out", "I Want The One I Can't Have", and "I Know It's Over."
* UncommonTime: "Back to the Old House" is in 6/8
* UrExample: "How Soon Is Now?" is an UrExample of {{Shoegazing}}.
* TheVicar: The subject of the aptly named "Vicar in a Tutu".
* WeUsedToBeFriends: This seems to be the case with Morrissey and Johnny Marr, and is often cited one of the reasons The Smiths broke up to begin with, and one of the other reasons why the Smiths won't have a reunion. That and [[LongList a wide range of ''reasons,'']] both Marr and Morrissey, state every time speculation of a reunion is said.
* WholesomeCrossdresser: The title character of "Vicar in a Tutu".
* WordSaladTitle: The band named themselves "The Smiths" as a [[AvertedTrope reaction against]] the word salad band names of their contemporaries.
* WriterOnBoard: ''Meat Is Murder'', as Morrissey supports PETA, and has stated he accepts the violent actions of {{Animal Wrongs Group}}s. Based on interviews they've given, the rest of the band seems to have reacted to his fervency with mild exasperation, but they are all vegetarians as well and avoid animal products.
* YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame: Both Morrissey and Marr forbade the Prime Minister David Cameron from listening to The Smiths after he told the media that "This Charming Man" is his favorite song.