A Good Name for a Rock Band

AttackingTucans: "We should form a musical group."
JoshJepson: "No we shouldn't. That sounds like a horrible idea."
Attacking Tucans: "Let's do it! Band names... We should call ourselves... The Throbbing Masses!"

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. "Gary King and the Enablers" in particular has become a Memetic Mutation.

Fan Works
  • In the Glee slashfic Story 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 Illuminatus! by Shea and Wilson, there is a huge music festival on Walpurgisnacht, with a plethora of Good Names for Rock Bands. Behold!
  • The Hectic Glow from The Fault in Our Stars, a band "so beautifully underground that they don't even exist".
  • In his character defining scene in Blood of the Elves, Dandelion and his two female companions hastily tidy up their clothing. "The modesty of harlots, thought the poet, was not at all a bad title for a ballad."

Live-Action TV
  • 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.
  • The Daily Show:
    • 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.
  • One episode of Series/Scrubs has Elliot buy a new couch in the shape of a car that reminds her of her grandfather who died in a seven car pile up. JD says it sounds like a good name for a band, and Elliot reminds him he told that joke at the funeral.
  • 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.
  • On Qi, Stephen Fry once demonstrated contempt for the book The Da Vinci Code, describing it as "loose stool water". Alan Davies then commented that "Loose Stool Water" would make a good name for a blues singer.
  • Andy from Parks and Recreation actually is the lead singer in a rock band but he's never really been satisfied with its name, meaning that he's completely serious when he makes comments like this.
    April: So tomorrow, I lead a public forum in Leslie's Fleetwood Mac sex pants.
    Andy: Fleetwood Mac Sex Pants, new band name, I call it. Ooh, you know what? Maybe just Fleetwood Mac.
  • Corner Gas: After promotional mugs made for Corner Gas and The Ruby come back reading 'Corner G and The Rub', Brent decides this will be the name of his act if he ever decides to become a rapper.
  • On NCIS: New Orleans, Sebastian, the assistant evidence tech:
    "I'm still trying to identify the species, but it's some kind of benthic worm. Which, by the way, if I ever have a band, will be the name of said band."

  • 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 Pythons 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."

Newspaper Comics
  • In the comic strip Zits, Jeremy and his friends are brainstorming names for their Garage Band, when his dad walks in and says "Goat Cheese Pizza?" They go with it, apparently not realizing that he's actually offering them a pizza with goat cheese on it.

  • One round in Im Sorry I Havent 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.)

Video Games
  • Comes up a few times in Kingdom of Loathing:
    • 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?"
    • Rewinged Stab Bat: "This is a fully rewinged dewinged stab bat. Have you heard my new band, The Joke That Got Repeated Until It Wasn't Funny Anymore?"
    • Giant skeelton: "It kicks you with a multitude of phalanges. A Multitude of Phalanges was, by the way, my favorite 80's band."
  • Played with in Brutal Legend when a woman is refusing to cry.
    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.

Web Comics
  • Referenced in at least two xkcd strips: Worst Band Name Ever (119) and Tumblr (1025).
  • Matchu has "Some Whores" and "Blowjobs", which are explicitly pointed out as BAD band names and freak out the clerk working at the record store.
  • In this Chopping Block, Butch learns, to his disappointment, that Matricide Anonymous is a band.
  • Ravens Dojo has the recurring character Metalhead, who occasionally pops in and steals lines out of context that would make good names for rock bands, much to Dornail's dismay.
    Dornail: Dammit, Metalhead! Those are my sweet band names!

Web Original

Western Animation
  • SheZow
    Max: "So we like Time Travel Guinea Pigs."
    SheZow: "That's a good name for a band."
  • Metalocalypse is full of this, being about an extremely successful Death Metal band. The band's name itself, Dethklok, is a great name for a band, except there's already something called the Death Clock, which is why they changed the spelling of the band name.
    • They also come up with some pretty good names for songs.
    Dude, are you puking blood? Hm... Blood Puke. Great name for a song. Someone, write that down... No wait, we recorded that song already... Great song, though.

  • According to the Rifftrax of 300, "Submission" would be a good name for a Muslim rock band.
  • AlternateHistory.com notes that "Obama and the Republicans," a phrase which comes up frequently in U.S. political discussions, is a good name for a rock band.
  • Voltaire did this with his album Riding a Black Unicorn Down the Side of an Erupting Volcano While Drinking from a Chalice Filled with the Laughter of Small Children which was how a fan described listening to his music. It also made its way into a song.
  • 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"

Alternative Title(s):

Good Name For A Rock Band