When the production team making a show can't afford a real
band to act as a collective Celebrity Star
or Special Guest
, they just build one out of whatever actors Central Casting has handy, and pretend that they are the hot new thing in the world of the program. "Evidence" of their talent is either non-existent, or provided by anonymous studio musicians to whose performance the actors lipsync. (Rarely does the Fake Band actually have real musicians in it, save for the truly postmodern
moments when a real band is masquerading as a Fake Band — which has
been known to happen.)
In a few examples, the Fake Band actually releases real
music, usually as a shameless media tie-in. For a really
shameless tie-in, or if a developer wants to throw in a Shout-Out
, get the music into Guitar Hero
or Rock Band
Fake Band music is either a soulless imitation of the latest trends, or (more frequently) mindless bubblegum pop. Sometimes it tries to be both
. Even if the fake band has some actual talent, expect Suspiciously Apropos Music
The Rocklopedia Fakebandica
has a truly exhaustive listing of fake bands from television and movies.
Not to be confused with an Anonymous Band
Fake bands that produced real music:
Recurring fake bands in other series:
- The ultimate Fake Bands actually were the MacGuffins around which entire series were built: The Partridge Family (who save for two of them note otherwise weren't musicians) and The Monkees (some of whom were, but weren't allowed to use their skills on the show during the first season).
- The Monkees are perhaps the Most Triumphant Subversion: the cast members of the show eventually took over the production of the group's music completely, effectively becoming a "real band".
- The short-lived series The Heights was centered around a band of the same name, formed for the show. A song from the show, "How Do You Talk To An Angel?" made it to #1 in the United States a few weeks after the show was canceled (only one cast member, Jamie Walters - who sang lead vocals - performs on the song).
- Literary twist: The comic strip Bloom County had several of its main characters as members of the group Billy and the Boingers (originally named Deathtöngue). The book "Billy and the Boingers Bootleg" actually included a floppy vinyl "45" containing two songs, "U Stink But I (heart) U" and "I'm A Boinger", supposedly recorded by the band. (They were actually recorded by bands who were fans of the strip.)
- The fake band/fake musician is a pretty standard character in Professional Wrestling, with The Honky Tonk Man, "Double J" Jeff Jarrett, the West Texas Rednecks, and 3 Count all laying claim to the title. Most of them will produce real music, either in a live performance on the wrestling federation's television program, or a "music video" aired on the show (if we're lucky, the song will be lip-synced, and sung by somebody who actually knows what they're doing rather than the wrestler himself).
- The Double J example is actually a triple subversion, as they ran a story admitting that Jarrett wasn't singing his tune... then claimed another wrestler (now known as B.G. James, at the time, playing Jarrett's roadie) actually sang it... which he had in real life, and not badly either!
- However, actual bands formed by wrestlers, namely Chris Jericho's metal band Fozzy, rarely appear on wrestling television shows so people don't think that these bands are fake.
- The creators of Homestar Runner have created at least two heavy-metal Fake Bands as a Running Gag for their website — hair-metal parody Limozeen and death-metal parody Taranchula. Both "bands" contributed songs to the website's soundtrack album, Strong Bad Sings! And Other-Type Hits, and both bands' names were coined by Strong Bad, following the band naming philosophy of taking a cool-sounding word and misspelling it.
- Limozeen performed a real live show in Atlanta, Georgia, and both Strong Bad and Limozeen's music have been featured in the Guitar Hero series ("Trogdor" in II and "Because, It's Midnite" in Rocks the 80s).
- Strong Sad's favorite band is the alt-rock pastiche Sloshy, who have a hit song called "We Don't Even Really Care About You". They covered one of Limozeen's songs while Limozeen covered theirs.
- Newcomer Peacey P appears to make a career largely out of appearing as guest rapper in other peoples' music; even appearing as a guest in one of his own albums! He even manages to accidentally record a rap song with Coach Z.
- Another frequently featured "guest artist" (usually collaborating with Peacey P) is R&B singer Tenerence Love.
- Here's one to wrap your head around. The garage band parody Brainkrieg (of the spinoff series Teen Girl Squad, which is a comic drawn and voiced by Strong Bad in-universe) originated as a one-off joke in the Strong Bad E-mails (much like TGS; actually, pretty much like every spin-off on the site; Sbemails themselves can arguably be called a spin-off feature from the main cartoons), which was a comment on words starting with "D-E" that do not belong in death metal (cut to the Battle of the Crappy High School bands, a reference to a previous TGS episode, where Brainkrieg shouts words like "Dentist!" and "Deli-style!" along with their future catchphrase "Jugga-jigga-wugga"). Flash forward a bit, and Brainkrieg is featured in two TGS-style "music videos", both holiday-related ("If I Don't Get Videogames (For Decemberween)" and "Decomposing Pumpkins"), with actual musical backing as opposed to a few shouted lines.
- So, to recap: a fake band which is a spinoff from a comic that is a spinoff of a (somewhat) spinoff fan mail series, originating as an off-hand reference in the fan mail series to an episode of the comic spinoff, which is now doing holiday-themed spinoff music videos.
- The characters of the cartoon themselves have formed their own bands: Marzipan, The Cheat, and Strong Mad perform in a folk-rock trio known as "Cool Tapes", Coach Z and Bubs apparently jam together as the Two-O Duo on occasion, and in the Strong Bad Email "senior prom", the Poopsmith and the rest of the King of Town's servants performed at the "Entrapment All Up On The Moon" Dance as "All The King's Men". In Baddest of the Bands, Pom Pom and Homestar form Pomstar, while Strong Bad, the King of Town, and Homsar start DOI.
- California Dreams features a Fake Band of the same name that also doubled as your standard teen comedy Six Student Clique.
- Dethklok, the protagonists' death-metal band on Metalocalypse. Notable because not only did they produce real music, but The Dethalbum is the best-selling death metal album of all time, and that record was beaten by Dethalbum II.
- Subverted when Brendon Small, series creator and composer, assembled three other real musicians to conduct Dethklok tours.
- Not many Fake Bands are created by alumni of the Badass Berklee College of Music.
- Amazingly obscure despite its pedigree is The Rutles — a Beatles parody group which has released several albums and CDs since the late 1970s. Featuring Neil Innes and Eric Idle of Monty Python's Flying Circus, the Rutles first achieved prominence in All You Need Is Cash, a 1978 NBC mockumentary which was also the only known collaboration between the Pythons and the original Not Ready For Prime Time Players from Saturday Night Live. In 2002, a followup was made, called The Rutles 2: Can't Buy Me Lunch; both films can frequently be seen on VH-1.
- This Is Spinal Tap is a mockumentary about the eponymous fictional band. Many viewers at the time of its release didn't realize that the whole thing is fake and thought that Spinal Tap is a real band. The film features several original songs, and the performers have subsequently gone on tour as Spinal Tap with more original music.
- A Mighty Wind features a whole slew of fictional folk bands and features a number of folk songs. One of the bands, the Folksmen, consists of the reunited performers of Spinal Tap. The Folksmen had previously appeared as Spinal Tap's opening act during their Break Like The Wind tour in the early 1990s. At least one audience booed them off the stage, apparently not recognizing the performers.
- The titular band from the cartoon Josie and the Pussycats. Note that Josie was not originally conceived as a Fake Band character — Josie was just an Everygirl high school student in the same vein (and universe) as Archie and Jughead, but her comic title, She's Josie, was clumsily retooled as a comic about a wildly popular pop band in order to boost sales enough to justify a TV series (while providing for shameless media tie-ins).
- The original Josie and the Pussycats Fake Band was a genuine fake band — i.e. a band that existed outside the show's universe, for whom they hired three real female musicians to provide the singing voices of the cartoon characters, appear in album art and actually cut an album. They probably would've gone on to tour in-character as "Josie" and her friends had the album actually made any money. Interestingly, there are countless disparities between the band as it actually appears in the show and the band we hear in the musical numbers. Josie, for instance, is presented as the band's lead singer, but most of the lead vocals on the songs actually come from Patrice Holloway, who played Valerie Brown. Moreover, the formula used for the band's songs was a heavily studio-produced R&B sound, while Josie's band in the comic is a three-piece band with two guitars and a drummer. Almost always, fans of the show were treated to scenes of Josie's band rehearsing at home, playing in concerts or giving impromptu live performances with mysterious orchestral string sections or flutes or synthesizers coming out of nowhere.
- ...Not that this isn't depressingly common in "live" pop performances nowadays, but still.
- The Josie and the Pussycats movie was better about this, at least in the sense that the kind of pop-punk music that the new Pussycats play is something that you can more realistically imagine three teenage girls coming up with in their garage.
- On a separate note, the movie was also eerily prescient, foreshadowing the replacement of boy bands and pop princesses with power pop (Good Charlotte, Paramore) and singer-songwriters (Kelly Clarkson, Avril Lavigne) following the Turn of the Millennium. (The movie was made in 2001. The following year, Avril Lavigne, Good Charlotte, and Simple Plan broke into the mainstream.) Maybe the producers recognized that people were getting tired of bubblegum pop?
- And speaking of Archie and the Riverdale gang, they also formed a fictional band, the Archies. (Which, while generally less famous than Josie and the Pussycats in their shared milieu, produced the real-world #1 hit, "Sugar, Sugar".)
- Brazilian heavy metal band Massacration is composed by the Five-Man Band that forms the comedy group Hermes & Renato. The band appeared as a skit back in their own eponymous MTV program, in 2002. They are a downright stereotype of every heavy metal cliché in the book, from being dressed on denim and leather (they adopted a more Hair Metal look later on) to singing in Engrish to being devil worshipers (one of their videos even has the devil chasing them around... only to ask for their autographs), but the joke made so much of a success among viewers, they have two albums out, which are pretty good, as long as you don't take it all too seriously. Oh, and they also helped make heavy metal more popular among Brazilian teens, along with Guitar Hero. To understand what their backstory is about, check the article on Wikipedia. Think Dethklok, mix it with Spinal Tap, add some black humor-laden slapstick and a blatantly overblown backstory and the end result is Massacration.
- Their second album, Good Blood Headbanguers (intentional misspelling) was produced by none other than Roy Z. How's that for status in the metal community?
- The short-lived cartoon Generation O!! had as its short-lived, somewhat creepy and frightening premise that an eight-year-old girl known to the media as "Molly-O" is the world's most popular rock star. The titular band was portrayed by the real-life band Letters to Cleo, whose lead vocalist, Kay Hanley, apparently really can sound eight years old if she tries.
- The title song from That Thing You Do! became a chart-topping one-hit wonder, which utterly disrupts the lives of the formerly completely obscure band of protagonists (named, appropriately, the Wonders, originally the "Oneders"). The song, composed by Fountains of Wayne bassist Adam Schlesinger, actually did become fairly popular on Top 40 radio following the movie's release.
- Similarly, washed-up rock star Charlie Pace from LOST has a character background as the former bassist and songwriter for one-hit wonder alt rock band DriveSHAFT, who produced the song "You All Everybody", a song deliberately designed by the producers to be as lightweight, vapid and meaningless as possible. (The song's incomprehensible lyrics are taken from a rant many years ago on the Phil Donahue show.) The actual song we hear on the show was recorded by LA singer/songwriter Jude; the producers have joked that they hoped for it to become a hit on iTunes, which it has yet to do (though it did show up in a cameo on J.J. Abrams' other show, Alias).
- Beck/Mongolian Chop Squad, from the series of the same name. They're a hit in the USA.
- The comedy-improv show Whose Line Is It Anyway? had a regular sketch where a "theme album" CD is being hawked: Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie would give Wayne Brady a made-up song title and a (real) band/singer, and Wayne would have to improvise a song in that person's style. One time, Colin also made up the musician: a Scottish blues singer named "Wet Biscuit" McGlee, who is so old and grizzled you can't actually understand anything he says. Wayne came through, and the character still gets mentioned in joking "histories" on the Internet.
- Gravitation featured the rising success of fake J-pop group Bad Luck, suspiciously acronymized to BL. Naturally, once it got adapted from manga to anime, they needed to produce real music.
- The Grand Theft Auto series has Love Fist, an eighties hair metal pastiche band who perform songs like "Dangerous Bastard" and "Fist Fury" on the in-game radio stations and wind up being carted through various missions by the player in Vice City. Later installments in the franchise have featured actual musicians as fake ones, such as rapper Ice-T playing Madd Dogg in San Andreas.
- "Fresh-Step" was a parody Boy Band which appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman and TRL in 1999.
- Phantasm, an indie band that produced Suspiciously Apropos Music in Chaos;Head, had three singles and an album released. Voice actress Yui Sakakibara was already a visual novel and anime singer, so producing the music for Phantasm wasn't a large stretch.
- And they recently released their fourth single, titled as Unmei no Farfalla, this time was the single with the ending theme of the game for Xbox 360 called Steins:Gate from the company Nitroplus; the same company that developed the game Chaos;Head: .
- Stephen and the Colberts with their 80s-styled hit "Charlene", which is about Colbert stalking a love interest with that name, and found its way onto the Rock Band platform.
- Of course, it's actually rather good. Gotta love that solo.
- Not quite the same, but certainly similar: The movie Swing Girls centres on the formation of such a band, but they're a big-band (and thus they perform covers of 20th-century standards). Also notable because, for the sake of realism, the director cast girls who didn't have any musical experience (they trained while making the film) and portrayed them actually playing their instruments.
- All About Lily Chou-Chou follows fans of fake popstar Lily Chou-Chou.
- Kira-Kira is all about a band formed by the main characters. Various songs are played during the story, and the developer sells actual d2b (the name of the band) CDs containing the music played by the band in the game. As the game is about a band, there are also plenty of other bands in the game, of which two (Star Generation and Happy Cycle Mania) also have songs that are actually played in the game.
- The animated version of The Band With Rocks In produced some pretty decent rock'n'roll pastiches, which appeared in full on the soundtrack album.
- The titular band of Detroit Metal City is the most popular heavy metal band in Japan and one of the most popular musical acts, beating out rival bands Kintama Girls and Tetra-pot Melon Tea, and rapper MC Kiva. For The Movie, all four released singles (DMC's two singles also featured the light-hearted J-Pop songs by lead singer's alterego Soichi Negishi) and DMC released a full-length 10-track album.
- Left 4 Dead 2 brings us the Midnight Riders, whose cancelled concert is used by the survivors to alert the rescue helicopter in the second campaign. Two of their songs, One Bad Man and Midnight Ride are played during the finale (with lyrics- apparently, the Riders were planning to mime) and come up at random on the jukeboxes in other campaigns. A third song, All I Want For Christmas Is To Kick Your Ass was also published on YouTube, and The Passing DLC added Save Me Some Sugar (This Won't Take Long) to their repertoire. Check out their website!
- "One Bad Man" and "Midnight Ride" are also available as Rock Band DLC.
- MS Paint Adventures has introduced one of these, Midnight Crew, with an entire album of dark jazz music. The creator has suggested that there will be other fake bands in the future.
- The Nickelodeon show Big Time Rush is essentially this.
- Although, the band has been defictionalized - to an extent - a la Hannah Montana, releasing two albums that aren't necessarily soundtracks, which feature writing from the band members and don't have some of the songs the band releases in the show, making separate music videos for songs which have different, completely filmed music videos in the show and going on tours with very little in reference to the show itself.
- Trip Cyclone from the PC game Shivers 2: Harvest of Souls. Full song versions of the snippets used in the game are found as tracks on the second disc of the game.
- Be*Tween, from the Avalon: Web of Magic series, was a fake band whose songs were later performed by Debra Davis and released on the website.
- The manga series Idol No Akahon is about a (fictional) Idol Singer group called Triple Booking, and the OP song from Seitokai Yakuindomo (by the same author) is credited to Triple Booking.
- After-School Tea Time and Death Devil from K-On! can qualify. The voice actresses sing the lyrics for basically every vocalized song in the series, but the music is done by others. Albums of the openings, endings, and a number of the insert songs have topped Japan sales charts at least once.
- Questionable Content has Deathmøle, the male lead's band, with him as guitarist. They have released several albums of actual music, composed entirely by author Jeph Jacques.
- The Subdigitals of Code Lyoko (known as the "Subsonics" in Season 2, but renamed as there was already a real band with that name) not only have a pretty heavy presence in the series proper, but an actual album released in English and French. It's above-average French pop, though it is worth note that the English release is not so much a "translation" as a complete rewrite with varying levels of success. The song "S'envoler/Break Away" is adapted from the show's ending theme, and it and "Planet Net" are featured in the episode "Music to Soothe the Savage Beast."
- The Ohio Express were more of a record company's marketing identity than a real band, and consisted of whatever musicians were available at the time. Joe Walsh is suspected to have been a member of an early version, and the final version eventually became the "classic" lineup of 10cc.
- The Cheetah Girls were originally a book series, but it did have the same models on every book cover. In 2003 the series was made into a movie, which released original songs by The Cheetah Girls. Ultimately the band was defictionalized with Adrienne Bailon, Kiely Williams, and Sabrina Bryan from the movie. This crosses over with "Real bands masquerading as fake bands", since Kiely Williams and Adrienne Bailon were both from the real band 3LW.
- Infant Sorrow, the band fronted by Aldous Snow in Forgetting Sarah Marshall and it's sort-of spinoff Get Him to the Greek: The Forgetting Sarah Marshall soundtrack included two of their songs, while in lieu of a traditional various artists soundtrack, Get Him to the Greek had a tie-in album consisting almost entirely of Infant Sorrow songs (as well as two by other fake musician Jackie Q), including songs that weren't in the movie. Russell Brand does in fact sing all of the Infant Sorrow songs.
- Eddie and the Cruisers included the ubiquitous radio hit "On The Dark Side," which was in actuality performed by John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band.
- Green Leaves, a Japanese Boy Band famous for the internet sensation and runaway sleeper hit Yatta! written by Hideki Fujisawa, was featured on the Japanese sketch comedy show Silly Go Lucky (the band members were actually some of the show's cast members). The song was intended to be a joke, so the producers were astonished that it topped the Japanese charts and went triple-platinum shortly after it was released as a single.
- Crisis Of Conformity were an Affectionate Parody of 80's Hardcore Punk that appeared in a single Saturday Night Live skit, where they were played by Fred Armisen, Dave Grohl, and Ashton Kutcher. Not too long after that, the indie label Drag City quietly released "Fist Fight", a seven inch single supposedly by the band, but actually written and performed entirely by Armisen himself. Both Dave Grohl and Fred Armisen have been in real hardcore bands - the collage on the cover of the single includes a picture of a young Fred Armisen singing for his old band, as well as one of a young Dave Grohl in a crowd shot (presumably in the audience for a different hardcore band's show). To top it off, their record was produced by Brendan Canty of Fugazi.
- PJ and Duncan spun off from children's soap Byker Grove, whose characters PJ and Duncan formed a band. They released three albums of light hip-hop under that name, and another more soulful (and less successful) one as Ant And Dec, the actors' real names. They did their own singing but didn't write the songs.
- Yes-Man's Munchausen by Proxy, who had four of their songs on the official soundtrack, all of which were cowritten and sung by Zooey Deschanel. Taken a little bit further in the packaging - the other nine songs on the soundtrack are by Eels, so the liner notes have an essay about Munchausen by Proxy penned by Eels' Mark Oliver Everett and an essay about Eels supposedly written by Deschanel's character Allison Monier.
- In 1959, MAD released a 45 containing two songs ostensibly performed by its mascot, Alfred E. Neuman, "and his Furshlugginer Five". The A-side was a novelty song called "What, Me Worry?" featuring an uncredited man singing in the role of Alfred, and the B-side was an instrumental piece called "Potrzebie".
- SCTV had Yosh and Stan Schmenge (John Candy and Eugene Levy) and their polka band, "The Happy Wanderers". They performed their song "The Cabbage Rolls and Coffee Polka" live on Late Night with David Letterman, and even had a "mocumentary" TV movie about their "career", called The Last Polka. Candy and Levy could really play their instruments (clarinet and accordion, respectively).
- After his stint on Saturday Night Live, Michael Myers formed a faux 60's band called Ming Tea, adopting the pseudonym "Austin Powers", with Susanna Hoffs of The Bangles (as Jillian Shagwell) on lead guitar. Their characters in the lark band spawned the idea for the Austin Powers film series, and the band performs in all three films. They produced two songs, "BBC" and "Daddy Wasn't There".
- Otis Day and the Knights toured as a real band after appearing in Animal House.
- Dr Teeth and the Electric Mayhem from The Muppet Show. One great What Might Have Been was to use animatronics and the real band My Morning Jacket to create an Electric Mayhem live tour.
- Music blog Wondering Sound published The Best Albums That Never Existed, an article covering ten supposed cult classic albums by ten different fake bands in different genres of pop or rock, complete with artwork, track-listings, and one sample song for each album: In reality, the music, art, and text were all provided by Jed Smith.
Real bands masquerading as fake bands:
- "Jessie Cochraine and the Rippers" (later "Jessie and the Rippers" when the character's last name was retconned) in Full House.
- "The Molly Phillips Band" in So Weird, itself the offspring of the backstory "Phillips-Kane Band", which may have been a Fictional Counterpart of Fleetwood Mac.
- Kids Incorporated, in the series of the same name.
- Snow Crash has Vitaly Chernobyl and the Meltdowns, who start their own genre of music called "nuclear glow-fuzz". Their number one hit is "My Love is a Smoking Hole in the Ground".
- Grey Star on Jimmy Neutron made several appearances on the show, even once or twice as background characters.
- "C-Drive" from GEAR Fighter Dendoh, which was a popular band in the show - at least, the protagonist, a loud-mouthed martial artist, loved them... even if they did play a lot of 'girlie' tunes. Though, they were quite good and their songs were sometimes used as alternate theme songs.
- Also from Metalocalypse, "Snakes 'n Barrels", the 80s era hair metal band that Dethklok's drummer, Pickles, used to front.
- A three band show: Jem with Jem And The Holograms (80's pop), The Misfits (80's new wave) and 'The Stingers'' (80's hard metal.)
- The Ikemens in Kamen Rider Kiva, of which Kengo (master of The Power of Rock) and Wataru (withdrawn hero) are a part of. Since Wataru's actor sings as part of the real band TETRA-FANG to produce the show's insert battle songs, the line between the Ikemens and TETRA-FANG is a thin one indeed.
- The Berenstain Bears series from the early 2000s had at least one cringeworthy reference to a band called The Backstreet Bears.
- Clifford the Big Red Dog had an episode in which Clifford, Cleo, T-Bone and Mac formed one of these called The Pack Street Dogs.
- Arthur had "Binky", a foreign band which had become very popular out of nowhere thanks to their guerrilla marketing (and got Binky falsely accused of vandalizing the school). It was later revealed that the band was literally fake; the producers were using vocal synthesizers and hologram generators.
- And then we have "The Squabs" (Who performed "Boogie Woogie Christmas" in Arthur's Perfect Christmas). ''Arthur, It's Only Rock 'n' Roll' gave us U-Stink and We Stink, formed within the special's premise. It should be noted, however, that Jodie Resther and and Holly Gauthier-Frankel, the VAs of Francine and Fern respectively, are accomplished musicians in real life.
- Butch Cassidy And The Sundance Kids
- Tech Infantry has Volkskrieg Overdrive and Gun Metal Grey. The first is mainly mentioned in passing as being a popular act of the era, the second is a major part of the plot in Miro Creed's arc.
- Black Heaven is about a band called Black Heaven getting back together years after they split up. The band was supposedly extremely popular and famous before their career ended. They only ever play variations of one song, and it's been shown that other songs are just not good enough for the ultimate weapon.
- Chuck has Jeffster, with show's resident Cloudcuckoolander Jeff & Small Name, Big Ego Lester performing a variety of covers. Whilst Scott Krinsky (Jeff) is miming on instruments, Vik Sahay (Lester) records the vocals & then lip syncs whilst filming.
- Growing Up Creepie: In Season 2, Episode 8: Going For Brogue, The 3 Goth Kids formed their own rockband calling themselves "Plaid Vapors", with Raven the guitarist, Misery the pianist, & Morpheus the drummer. Their chance to play at the school dance may have got canceled due to it's bagpipers gone batty, but believe it or not their 1st gig was a huge success. This was in large part in their friend Creepie Creecher & her mastery of the bagpipes, Raven Mcfadden herself was so proud of her that night. What she also told Creepie that the bagpipes itself contain the ghost of her great great great great great grandfather Angus Mcfadden, born in Scotland no doubt.
- Phineas and Ferb has an entire episode focusing on getting a Fake Band from The Eighties named "Love Handel" back together for the titular characters' parents' anniversary. Other than that episode, they're only present in cameos. Another episode featured Candace and Stacy winning a contest to spend a day with their favorite girl-rock band, The Bettys.
- Besides Love Handel and the Bettys there's also been Tiny Cowboy, Jeremy and the Incidentals, Lindana, Phineas and the Ferbtones and 2 Guys N the Parque.
- Notable in that, this being Phineas and Ferb, these bands are actually pretty good, as the standing cast has some great singers, and Danny of Love Handel is even voiced by the lead singer of Bowling for Soup.
- In another episode, the boys decide that they're going to retroactively make their dad into the star of an 80s band that never existed, playing with this in-universe.
Lawrence: But how can I be a rock star if nobody's heard of me?
Phineas: We're not trying to make you into a rock star, we're trying to make you into a has-been! That's much easier!
- The Steve Harvey Show has Steve Hightower and the Hi-Tops. They reunite and perform during the show's early seasons. When the band breaks up for good, Steve and Cedric form another Fake Band called The Soul Teachers. Steve manages a girl group called Barely Legal, until Regina's feminist meddling causes the group to break up and pursue worthier goals.
- The short-lived cartoon The Bremen Avenue Experience updates the medieval story "The Bremen Town Musicians" by starring a Garage Band made of Funny Animals.
- Mystik Spiral from the MTV cartoon, Daria. But they might have changed their name...
- Tröper Crüe, a traditional heavy/power metal band from TV Tropes The Webcomic.
- That's So Raven had The Boyz 'N' Motion. They appear in two different episodes.
BOYS! We are the boys in motion, we give you our devotion
- The Bedrock Rockers from The Pebbles And Bamm Bamm Show.
- Frilly Shirt has barbershop trio The Three Swell Chaps, art-rockers The Commissioners of Lunacy, and electronic outfits Bourbon Versailles and Electro-Magnates.
- The Illuminatus! Trilogy has the bands Clark Kent and his Supermen and The American Medical Association the latter of which turns out to be evil immortal Nazis
- The Rainbow Magic series has The Angels, A-OK, The Groove Gang, and Frosty and his Gobolicious Band.
- PvP has an occasional running gag about a no-music fake band called Djörk which was created when several of the regulars were feeling bored.
- Double Dragon Neon's soundtrack, produced by Jake Kaufman, features several fake bands such as Mango Tango and Billy & The Breakers.
- Two Hanna-Barbera series from the late 1960s, The Banana Splits and The Cattanooga Cats, starred fake bands made up of Funny Animals. Both groups released albums in real life.
- Alan Matthews, the Dad on Boy Meets World was a member of a band called "The Tongues" in his youth. Cory and Shawn also form a literal fake band (i.e. they hav no idea how to actually play) on one episode which they dub "The Exits."
- Frank Zappa released an album named Cruising with Ruben & the Jets in 1968, where he and the Mothers of Invention performed as a Fake Band called Ruben & The Jets, even creating a false biography in the sleeve notes. In 1973 a real doowop band named Ruben & the Jets would tour the country. Their debut album was even produced by Zappa!
- In My Little Pony Equestria Girls: Rainbow Rocks, this trope is a major plot point. The main characters have formed a band called the Rainbooms. This brings them into conflict with the evil Sirens, who are busy spreading a Hate Plague with the Magic Music of their band the Dazzlings, turning a talent show into a hostile Battle of the Bands in the process. About a dozen fake bands make appearances of varying lengths.
- "The Weird Sisters" in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire included Jarvis Cocker and Steve Mackey of Pulp, Phil Selway and Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead, Steve Claydon of Add N to (X), and electronica artist Jason Buckle, who has worked with Jarvis Cocker in their side-project Relaxed Muscle.
- From Whos The Boss, the doo-wop group "Tony and the Dreamtones" is played by actual doo-wop group "The Mighty Echoes" (plus, of course, Tony Danza). (They did have Ray Charles play himself in another ep, however, even replacing the usual "Brand New Life" endcredit instrumental with a song Charles and the other cast members performed.)
- The J-Rock band "Hummingbird" appeared as Macross 7's band "Fire Bomber," whose music and adventures (including live performances aboard Transforming Mecha controlled by guitars) were at the center of the series. The band released a number of real albums as "Fire Bomber", including an entire fake tribute album to another fictional singer in the Macross Myth Arc. There have been 13 "Fire Bomber" albums so far, many of which have songs that never were in the anime.
- Particularly mind-blowing example: In The Blues Brothers 2000, the titular band enters the "Battle of the Bands", and has to go head to head with 'The Louisiana Gator Boys'... which is basically a collection of all the most legendary blues musicians alive at the time of filming. Among the biggest names could be mentioned B.B. King, Eric Clapton, Bo Diddley, Isaac Hayes and Dr. John...
- The Blues Brothers themselves began as a comedy sketch on Saturday Night Live, when Dan Akroyd wanted to do something with Blues music on the show, and became a smash hit.
- In the climax of the 1986 film Crossroads 1986, the protagonist (Ralph Macchio) enters a guitar duel to save his soul. He faces off against the Devil's guitarist, Jack Butler, played by legendary guitar wizard Steve Vai (Vai played both parts of the duel; Macchio's parts in the rest of the film were played by legendary slide guitarist Ry Cooder).
- In an episode of The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Haruhi and Yuki stand in for members of a fake band called ENOZ — a Sdrawkcab Name Shout-Out to a real-life band named ZONE. Meanwhile Haruhi's voice actress is a real singer, who released her songs from this episode as singles.
- Many Japanese seiyuu double as singers, singing theme songs for the characters they portray.
- Two different J-Pop artists were pressed into service as the fake bands from Nana — and a different pair of artists portrayed those bands in The Movie. All four wound up releasing Top 10 singles.
- The Mighty Boosh has featured the members of electro-punk group Robots In Disguise on several occasions, once in a band called Kraftwerk Orange, along with Vince and "Johnny Two Hats."
- The Horrors also appear in the third series as the Black Tubes.
- Fountains Of Wayne has basically made a career out of standing in as a Fake Band, and Kay Hanley has made a career out of standing in as a Fake Vocalist. They performed together to provide the music for the Josie and the Pussycats remake. Fountains of Wayne also wrote and performed the titular Fake Song of That Thing You Do!, and Hanley provided the singing voice of Molly O from the cartoon Generation O! (her band was portrayed by Hanley's band at the time, Letters to Cleo). Fountains of Wayne appeared as animated versions of themselves in the cartoon Hey Joel, regularly contributing Suspiciously Apropos Music to the show.
- The lead vocals of "That Thing You Do" — and all the other singing by Johnathon Schaech's character — were performed by Adam Schlesinger's friend Mike Viola of The Candy Butchers.
- The Soggy Bottom Boys from O Brother, Where Art Thou? is a mishmash of either bluegrass musicians or musicians who could copy the style well, including Ralph Stanley, John Hartford, Alison Krauss, Emmylou Harris, Gillian Welch, and Dan Tyminski. The exception is Tim Blake Nelson, the actor for Delmar O'Donnell, who sang his own lines for "In the Jailhouse Now," in case you couldn't tell.
- In the 2008 film St. Trinians, real-life band Girls Aloud perform the closing song, credited as the school band.
- Four Star Mary stood in for Oz's fictional band, Dingoes Ate My Baby, on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
- The Glenn Miller Band's two appearances on film were as Phil Corey's Orchestra in Sun Valley Serenade and Gene Morrison's Orchestra in Orchestra Wives.
- The Residents had The Big Bubble, a band of Zinkenites whose "album" was the conclusion of The Mole Trilogy.
- There's an episode of Home Movies in which a pair of camp counsellors named Mike and Miguel write a bunch of songs. The songs are played, and the characters voiced, by Johns Flansburgh and Linnell of They Might Be Giants.
- Speaking of They Might Be Giants, during one of their tours, they had a very strange opening band, Sapphire Bullets, who played cover versions of the songs from the Flood album, in their entirety, in order. Made even more strange by the fact that Sapphire Bullets really WAS They Might Be Giants, disguised as a fake band, playing cover versions of their own songs.
- TMBG also released a series of mp3s collectively known as "Battle Of The Bands", where they did songs portraying various fake bands, such as metal band Demchuk, Boy Band Too + 3, and Shirley Temple-esque child star Little Lisa Whitman.
- The members of The Traveling Wilburys have some impressive alter egos (Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynne). But according to the liner notes, they're all the children of Charles Truscott Wilbury Sr by different mothers: Lucky (Dylan), Otis (Lynne), Charlie T. Jr (Petty), Lefty (Orbison) and Nelson (Harrison)).
- The Jonas Brothers on Jonas.
- Radio host Pat Maine in the game Alan Wake can't quite put his finger on why Poets Of The Fall remind him so much of Bright Falls' local rock legends, the Old Gods of Asgard.
- An early Happy Days episode concerned the rock band Johnny Fish and the Fins (Richie knew the keyboard player back in grade school), played by 50s Tribute Band Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids (now just known as Flash Cadillac).
- The plot of Interstella5555 revolves around the Crescendolls, a fake band who supposedly recorded Daft Punk's "One More Time." The band is fake on more than one level, because they don't exist in real life and they aren't really who they appear to be in the film either.
- Devo supply the music for Cube Squared, a fictional Swedish band from the film Tapeheads: While they aren't played by Devo themselves, the actors mime a Swedish-language version of "Baby Doll". Similarly, "Mr. MX-7", supposedly performed by a metal band called Blender Children in film, is actually by Stiv Bators And The Zeroes, Pop Star Composers Fishbone have a cameo as a country band called Ranchbone, and real life soul-singers Sam Moore (of Sam And Dave) and Junior Walker portray fictional soul duo The Swanky Modes. Full songs by The Swanky Modes, Cube Squared, and Ranchbone were on the soundtrack.
- Banjo & Sullivan from The Devils Rejects are kind of an unusual example: None of their music actually appeared in the movie (although the characters were established as country musicians), but a supposed Greatest Hits was released as a tie-in, with the music actually provided by country singer Jesse Dayton.
- K Pop group, The Wonder Girls. For their 'English Debut' they released a film on Teen Nick, called 'The Wonder Girls'. they also had a cameo in 'The Last Godfather'.
- In Scrubs, Ted's band "The Worthless Peons" is the actual a cappella band The Blanks, who have released a CD with several catchy tunes.
- Inverted in Pink Floyd's live performances of The Wall, where the opening song was performed by a "surrogate band" disguised as the members of Pink Floyd (who, at that point in the story, are Adam Westing as a Fake Band backing up a solo artist called Pink Floyd).
- Steve of The Sneeze has created a fake band, the Tree Brains, named after the fungus that annually grows on a tree in his yard (and that is, as it turns out, delicious). You can be a part of it! (You don't have to do anything).
- Progressive rock band Dream Theater used to occasionally switch instruments with each other during live shows and perform a cover version of Deep Purple's "Perfect Strangers" (except in one case where they did "Suicide Solution" by Ozzy Osbourne instead) under the pseudonym "Nightmare Cinema". They stopped after Derek Sherinian left the band. The only member who didn't switch was James La Brie (or "Abdul Matahari"), who remained on vocals.
- Meet The Dalton Brothers, a short-lived country band from Galveston, Texas. They've only performed three shows, and they've never released an album. Oh, and they're also U2 performing under another name.
- Real-life musician Doctor Steel has a "mechanical (robot) band" - which never seems to work, so he uses real musicians on those rare times he does live performances.
- Milli Vanilli. Nothing more to be said.
- Occasionally during the 70s and 80s, when Blue Oyster Cult wanted to avoid notice so they could play smaller venues like clubs, they would book gigs under the name Soft White Underbelly
- Weezer used to occasionally bill themselves as Goat Punishment for similar reasons - the gimmick was eventually retired because it became too much of an open secret. The first couple of Goat Punishment shows were cover sets (of Nirvana and Oasis) done on a lark, and later Goat Punishment shows were for the sake of warming up for a tour or bigger show, or to test out new songs. Official Goat Punishment shirts that portray alter-egos of the band members existed, and for a while they started going so far as having a light-up "GP" in place of their signature light-up "W" prop on stage for these shows.
- An interesting variant came with late-1980s country band Billy Hill, composed of songwriters Bob DiPiero and John Scott Sherrill, former Detroit Wheels member Dennis Robbins, former Steve Earle bassist Reno Kling, and session drummer Martin Parker. They created a character named Billy Hill who was said to be the "lead singer", although that post actually went to both Sherrill and Robbins.
- Members of GWAR would open their own shows as "X-Cops." Eventually, some fans got a group together and with the band's permission performed under the name.
- The video for the New Order song "Crystal" features a fake band named "The Killers". The Killers took their name from the band.
- REM occasionally played as "Bingo Handjob".
- Psychic TV released three albums, Jack The Tab, Tekno Acid Beat, and Ultrahouse The L.A. Connection, which were packaged as compilations performed by various artists: Thus songs were credited to aliases like DJ Doktor Megatrip and Wolves Of The Sun. However, Tekno Acid Beat also featured one song credited to Psychic TV themselves, while Ultrahouse featured one song by an actual performer, Glen Meadmore.
- There's the curious case of "Ready 'n Steady" by D.A., a song that supposedly charted on the Billboard pop charts in 1979. Chart historian Joel Whitburn, after many years of research, is convinced that this was a falsified listing, as he could never find any existence of the single, its band, or its label.