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Garage Band
So you want to start a band?

No money? Instruments held together with spit and duct tape? But you're gonna make it big someday, right? You'll need someplace to practice before you play the big stage. If you're from Suburbia do I have news for you! You have the ultimate practice space right in your own home!

The garage!

Yes, that dinky space where your dad keeps the Christmas decorations on the off season and keeps swearing that one day he'll clean it out so he can actually park his car in there. Co-opt that space now! Kick some stuff out of the way and drop your instruments where you can find space and wail away. You'll be playing concerts in no time, just open the garage door and the neighbors can get in on the action.

This trope is often played in fiction as a ragtag group of teenagers, for bonus points it may be a group of Emo Teens, forming a band. Sometimes the band is a spur of the moment thing, started as a weekend project or to win a talent show and becomes the plot of the episode. Often the band will break up at the end of the episode.

Truth in Television, obviously, as it tends to be the largest single room in a typical suburban house that isn't in constant use by the rest of the family. (It also tends to be somewhat soundproof, which is a bonus if you're not very good.) A number of successful bands have started out as Garage Bands, with Nirvana being one of the most famous in recent years. Hell, there's even a genre of music called Garage Rock. Not directly related to the Apple software of the same name, although many garage band members swear by it... if they can afford a MacBook.

See also Three Chords and the Truth.

Examples:

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     Anime and Manga 
  • In Tamako Market, Tamako's father was in one with Kunio, the current owner of the music cafe when he was a teenager. He even wrote a song for his future wife.

     Fan Works 

  • In this fanfic of the 101 Dalmatians TV series, the main pups form their own rock band. This fanfic later inspired a few fan arts and other fan works.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic, "Rock N Roll Equestrian Style'', is about the main 6 forming a rock band to perform at Canterlot.
    • There are several fan arts of the main 6 as a rock band, but this one matches the positions the main 6 have in the fanfic mentioned above, which seems to appropriately match their personalities (according to most user comments).

     Film 

  • Marty McFly's band The Pinheads in Back to the Future, which auditions for the school dance.
    Audition Judge: Hold it, fellas. I'm afraid you're just too darn loud.
    • That judge? Huey Lewis in a cameo.
  • Bill & Ted has Wyld Stallyns.
  • The Australian movie Garage Days is about a band like this.
  • In Freaky Friday (2003), Anna's band practices down in the garage and don't get a real break until the Wango Tango auditions.
  • Scott Pilgrim's band Sex Bob-omb

     Literature  

  • In Soul Music, there's Insanity/The Whom/The Surruptitious Fabric/The Blots/And Supporting Bands. Due to an absence of cars (and hence of garages), they reherse in Crash's dad's stables.
  • In the Tim Dorsey novel Florida Roadkill, there's a Satanic Rock band that practices in a storage unit. They're so bad that they have to practice with the door closed because of noise complaints from the nearby airport.

     Live Action TV  

  • In Rita Rocks, Rita, a harried but Happily Married mother finds a creative outlet in a garage band with her neighbor, her best friend, and her daughter's boyfriend.
  • The Partridge Family started out this way in their show.
  • Matt from Lizzie McGuire started a garage band once for a subplot.
  • Degrassi has had at least one active garage band among the main characters in every version of the franchise since 1987.
  • George Lopez has an episode where George's son Max joins such a band as he is learning to play guitar.
  • The freaks had one in Freaks and Geeks, before it fell apart.

     Newspaper Comics  

  • Jeremy has one in Zits.
  • Chip Flagston has a band with two of his friends in Hi and Lois.

     Radio  

     Web Animation  

     Web Comics  

     Western Animation  

  • Grojband naturally uses this trope. Because "groj" sounds like "garage."
  • South Park: the Lords of the Underworld. They only become popular when they become Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld.
    • There's also Moop. In the same episode, Faith+1 starts out this way before getting popular.
  • Jimmy Neutron has an episode where Jimmy & Co. try to start a band for a talent show.
  • Family Guy has Chris starting a metal garage band in one episode.
    • In another episode, Peter and his buddies form a rock band, but things don't go so well at their first gig when they find out they don't know any songs.
  • In Gumby Adventures, Gumby and his friends have a rock band of their own. They practice in their barn.
  • American Dad! has Steve and his friends starting a band in one episode.
  • The titular characters of Beavis And Butthead started a garage band in one episode, despite only knowing how to play air guitar. They named their band "Metallica" and caused a huge riot when they didn't show up to a gig, where hundreds of people awaited the band of the same name.
  • Duane's garage band SCB (note the Hevy Mtal mlaut) in Home Movies. They even do a rock opera based on Franz Kafka.
    • Brendon and his pals start a band in "Guitarmageddon", but they put more energy into coming up with band names than on their music.
  • Darkwing Duck: In the episode "A Revolution in Home Appliances," Gosalyn, Honker, and Tank start a garage band of sorts.
  • The Bremen Avenue Experience takes the animal characters from the Fairy Tale "The Bremen Town Musicians" and re-imagines them as a modern day Funny Animal Garage Band.
  • Doug had an episode about this, apropriatly titled, "Doug's Garage Band".
  • Kick Buttowski had the episode "Garage Banned" where Brad and his gang practised to win the Battle of the Bands, leaving Kick and Gunther to practice elsewhere.


Freudian TrioEnsemblesGang of Critters
Game Show AppearancePlotsGarage Sale
Fake BandMusic TropesGlamorous Wartime Singer

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