An unusual yet cool sounding name or phrase is mentioned by one character, and then another character jokingly remarks what he said would be a good name for a band; usually rock or metal. This generally parodies the Word Salad Title naming convention of many Real Life rock bands.
This is not a list of all bands in fiction, and neither is this a list of what real-life bands were named after (clearly, for any existing band someone thought that its name was a good one). For the latter, see That Other Wiki.
Compare Trope Names for a Band.
Iron Man 3 has Tony fighting Ellen Brandt, an Extremis-empowered Dark Action Girl. After she walks through the flames he placed to get in her way, Volcanic Veins all ablaze, he boasts that he's dated hotter girls than her. When Brandt responds with "That all you got? A cheap trick and a cheesy one-liner?", Tony notes that he should name his autobiography after that line.
Something of a Running Gag throughout The World's End, Gary will hear a phrase and tell Steven to write it down. He turns it round in the climax of the film.
In the GleeslashficStory of Three Boys, while a homophobic pastor is talking about "wayward youth" and "vandalism", Finn says that he's going to start a band called Wayward Youth, and that their first album will be called 'Vandalism' and have naked dudes go-go dancing on the cover.
Most of the nonsense phrases Dave Barry said "would make a good name for a rock band" (which tended not to be so nonsensical when viewed in context). The Federal Duck in particular is a truncation of the real-world "Federal Duck Stamp Program."
In Tricky Business (also by Dave Barry), an untalented rock band with the uninspired name Arrival is desperately searching for a new name (one rejected name: "We May Suck, But We Play Better Than You Dance") when they play a gig at a joint whose rowdy patrons beat up their frontman Johnny for not playing country music. The mention of "contusions" (bruises) in the medical report of Johnny's injuries gives the band the idea of changing their name to Johnny and the Contusions, though the story behind this name doesn't bear repetition.
In The Sarah Jane Adventures, Clyde mentions that Pantheon of Discord would be a good name for a band. The Doctor wholeheartedly agrees.
In Battlestar Galactica, when Anders says that Cylon Leoben might have been right about Starbuck having a special destiny, Starbuck replies that "Kara Thrace and Her Special Destiny" sounds like a bad name for a cover band.
On 4/7/2010, the show covered reports of recent scandals with the Republican National Conference. After a CNN clip regarding the RNC's "Lesbian Bondage Fiasco", Jon Stewart answered, "If 'Lesbian Bondage Fiasco' isn't the name of an hard-edged indy band by tomorrow, I'll be very disappointed."
On 2/21/2012, Jon Stewart, commenting on a Virginia abortion bill, mentioned "Transvaginal Ultrasound" as being a 15-member jazz fusion band.
On 10/23/2013, they discussed one Fox News commentators statement that the Tea Party Republicans were a "suicide caucus", with Jon saying that's impossible because in 1983 he started Suicide Caucus, a speed-punk-ska-jazz fusion band.
In an episode of MythBusters that focused on the transmission of diseases, Adam noted that the fluorescent dye in the test (simulating a runny nose) had spread all over, coating everything in a touch of orange. He then joked that "Touch of Orange" was the name of his cover band.
In a second-season episode of Dark Angel, Max and Alec explore a seemingly abandoned research lab in Terminal City. After finding a huge snake, Max remarks that it's like Ames White and his Familiars are following her around. Alec states that "Ames White and His Familiars" sounds like a rock band. After they leave, a mental patient retrieves the snake and tells it that does sound like a rock band.
During an episode of Reno911!, the cops discover that Wiegel's new boyfriend is a serial killer. They feel conflicted about telling her, because she actually seems happier. One of them points out that she's normally borderline-suicidal, but keeps screwing up her suicide attempts (and subsequently forcing the department to devote resources to suicide watches), and thus having someone around who's experienced at killing might be better, "like a death leprechaun". Another cop declares that "Death Leprechaun" would be an awesome name for a band.
A similar joke is used early in Season 5 of Canada's Worst Driver, when the drivers have to reverse a stretch limousine with each other as passengers. Dr. Gembora summed up the challenge as "eight bad drivers in a stretch limo", which Peter Mellor remarked sounded like a movie title.
This joke is a mainstay of Paul and Storm live performances, most evident in their over-long performances of "The Captain's Wife's Lament" in the "X is name of my Y cover band" format.
Probably every real band in recent history owes its name to this trope to some extent, but Def Leppard gets credit for actually being named after a Fake Band — lead singer Joe Elliott had created a bunch of made-up rock bands and written reviews of them as English class projects.
Similarly, Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album featured a sketch that referenced a made-up band called Toad The Wet Sprocket. In Eric Idle's own words, "I was trying to think of a name that would be so silly nobody would ever use it, or dream it could ever be used." Apparently it was just silly enough that someone thought it would be hilarious to use it anyway. His reaction to hearing a real DJ announce the name for the first time? "I nearly drove off the freeway."
One round in I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue involves the contestants having to say words that aren't related, with the opposing team challenging if they see a connection. A Running Gag has Barry Cryer challenging on ridiculous word-combos, insisting it was the name of a band in the sixties.
"Sharabang Sperm? Sixties rock band."
In one episode of The Museum Of Curiosity, Andrew O'Neil (of The Men Who Will Not Be Blamed For Nothing, so a man who recognises a random phrase's band name potential when he hears it), talking about class-issues on the Victorian necropolis railway quotes one commentator talking about "the body of some profligate spendthrift" before interrupting himself to say "Which is a good name for a band. 'We are Prolifigate Spendthrift!'"
In an episode of The Unbelievable Truth Jeremy Hardy challanges (correctly) when Graeme Garden talks about the origins of shellac and its use in confectionary, claiming "Beetle Arse-Juice Sweets" was an indie band he saw recently.
Mocked in the Reduced Shakespeare Company's The Bible: The Complete Word of God (abridged). Where, while talking about the Exodus, this line was quoted. "And the Lord God cursed the wicked serpent to henceforth crawl about on its belly. Presumable, the wicked serpent had legs prior to that; indicating that it was more of a wicked lizard. And the Lord God thought to himself that Wicked Lizard would be a good name for a Heavy Metal Band." (Possible reference to Noise Rock band The Jesus Lizard, which is actually named after a type of lizard.)
The Stone Mariachis: "The mariachis begin to play a sinister song. As the song's tempo increases, a rumbling begins, deep beneath the ground. As the mariachis reach a dire crescendo (Hey, have you heard my new band, Dire Crescendo?) the gate behind the statues slowly grinds open, revealing the way to the Sorceress' courtyard."
Astral Badger: "<Familiar name> claws your opponent with his pan-dimensional claws and bites him with his astral teeth for <number> damage. Ladies and gentlemen, coming to the stage right now: ASTRAL TEETH!"
Batblade: "This is a dewinged stab-bat. Have you heard my new band, the Dewinged Stab-Bats?"
One-winged Stab Bat: "This is a partially rewinged dewinged stab bat. Have you heard my new band, the Partially Rewinged Dewinged Stab Bats?"
Lita: Never again! I'd sooner have scorpions running down my face than tears.
Eddie: You know, that'd make a cool album cover.
League of Legends has "Pentakill", which is the Announcer Chatter when one player kills 5 enemies in a very short space of time. It's been officially recognized, with Sona (on keyboard), Yorick (on bass guitar/shovel), and Mordekaiser (on guitar/axe), Karthus (lead singer), and Olaf (drums) getting Pentakill skins.
In Stuart Ashen's "Video Game Tat" video, Ashens holds up a video game case that would reveal an activation code if he hadn't put a fake Lens Flare on top of it, and annotates on video: "'Obscured by Fake Lens Flare' would be a good name for a prog rock band."
Monty Python recorded a sketch called "Rock Notes" for Monty Python's Contractual Obligation Album, in which a band called "Dead Donkeys" reported their split. During the sketch a number of alternate band names the Dead Donkeys considered using were mentioned, including, "Sole Marnier, then Dead Sole, Rock Cod, Turbot, Haddock, White Bait, the Plaices, Fish, Bream, Mackerel, Salmon, Poached Salmon, Poached Salmon In A White Wine Sauce, Salmon Marnier, and Helen Shapiro." Years later, in a truly meta note, another band name mentioned in the sketch was adopted by an actual rock band, Toad The Wet Sprocket.
The blogger sahira820, upon writing the phrase 'Harry Dresden and the Sex Vampires' noted this.
(in the tags) "Harry Dresden and the Sex Vampires is my Billy and the Werewolves cover band"