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Metalhead
Say what, dude?

They can't stop us, let 'em try!
For Heavy Metal we will die!
Manowar, "Die For Metal"

Also known as headbanger, thrasher, or hesher, the metalhead is a character that started showing up in movies and television shows in the 1980s as Heavy Metal became popular. As the title implies, he is a very passionate fan of hard rock and heavy metal music and is not shy about expressing it. Unfortunately, some express their opinions too much to the point of coming off as an elitist Jerkass (and No True Scotsman is by no means uncommon).

The metalhead can usually be identified by any combination of the following: long hair, tattoos, piercings, a black t-shirt bearing the logo of his favorite band (occasionally a hoodie as well), a black leather motorcycle jacket, tattered denim jeans, camo pants, high-tops, skate shoes, combat boots, or a denim vest adorned with pins and patches. They are also known for using the "heavy metal horns" hand gesture as a way of showing their approval for something. Most metalhead characters are male, though female examples exist. Metalhead characters usually live in a Poster-Gallery Bedroom with walls covered in heavy metal band posters (and sometimes they still live in Mom's Basement).

He usually has a menial job and dreams of one day being in a successful band. He likes to say "dude" and "awesome" a lot. Although he doesn't have a lot of book smarts, his knowledge of heavy metal is staggering and he can debate for hours what bands should and should not be considered "metal." Other stereotypical things that the metalhead loves are muscle cars, motorcycles, beer, Horror Films, violent Video Games, and (depending on the portrayal) marijuana. S/he may also be portrayed as a Hollywood Satanist for good measure.

Examples:

Advertising
  • According to this commercial football commentator John Clayton is a metalhead who still lives with his mom.
  • The ad for Aviva Motor Insurance in Ireland has a stereotypical metal head as the main character.

Anime and manga
  • Many minor characters in Detroit Metal City, given that the story centers around a metal band. (The main character is often disturbed by just how metalhead his fans are.)
  • Sawako Yamanaka in K-On! (also animated by Kyoto Animation, see above) due to her age usually tries to suppress her inner metalhead, but lapses into the wild behavior from her highschool days quite frequently.

Film
  • In Airheads, a trio of metalheads/struggling musicians end up taking a radio station hostage while trying to get their demo played.
  • Wayne and Garth from the Saturday Night Live skits and ''Wayne's World films are a pair of sardonic, but likable metalheads.
  • The Stoned Age follows a pair of stereotypical metalheads who are trying to get laid during a night in the late 1970s.
  • The drama film Hesher is about a metalhead who helps a young boy overcome the death of his mother.
  • Rock Star (which was originally titled "Metal God") is a film about a 1980s metalhead who suddenly becomes the lead singer of his favorite band after the original vocalist is fired.
  • The titular characters of Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.
  • Little Nicky's only human friends are a pair of metal heads and an Ambiguously Gay man.
  • Pretty much everybody in Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny.
  • Virtually everyone in Heavy Metal Parking Lot.
  • In 30 Minutes or Less, Dwayne spends most of the movie clad in a Metallica Master of Puppets t-shirt. Also, the ringtone for his mobile phone is "Raining Blood" by Slayer.
  • The teenage version of Lou from Hot Tub Time Machine has long hair, a leather jacket, and an Iron Maiden t-shirt. Making him a pretty typical 1980s metalhead.
  • Kenny from Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead. In fact, the scary heavy metal posters on his bedroom walls are what causes the babysitter to die from a heart attack.
  • The Icelandic drama film Metalhead is about a girl who witnesses the accidental death of her brother, who was an avid heavy metal fan. To deal with her grief and anger she remakes herself in his image by wearing his clothes and listening to his music at loud volumes. But as time goes on her acts of rebellion no longer satisfy her so she begins lashing out on a larger and more destructive scale.

Live Action Television
  • Strange Frequency has many metal heads in it.
  • That '70s Show has Hyde, your resident '70s era metalhead. Donna could also count to a lesser extent.
    Donna: Where are my Led Zeppelin Posters?!
    Jackie: Oh, those? I removed them. They were ugly anyhow. It's time for a change.
    Donna: Captain and Tenille?
    Jackie: Yeah! Aren't they great?
    Donna gives Jackie a Death Glare.
  • The majority of the freaks in Freaks and Geeks could qualify as Metalheads around the end of the 70's beginning of the 80's.

Professional Wrestling
  • The secondary gimmick of Balls Mahoney, ECW was full of metal music anyway so it wasn't especially noticeable compared to, well you know, chairs and stuff. Still, he made sure to let everyone know, even if it was just with the horn gesture.

Video Games
  • Most of the good guys in the game Brutal Legend are metalheads. The main character is the world's greatest roadie, and there are even thick-skulled headbangers who overcome their foes by head-butting them to death.
    • And their combo attack is the Mosh Pit.
  • The character of Axel Steel from Guitar Hero is a stereotypical metalhead.
    • The character of Casey Lynch also seems to be an example of a female metalhead, in addition to being a bit of a Grunge fan.
    • Lars Umlaut is another metalhead character, albeit one who is mainly interested in Norwegian black metal.
  • I-no from Guilty Gear is a musician that plays loud heavy metal as her moveset and Instant Kill.
  • Averted in Power Gig: Rise of the SixStringas the most metalhead looking character is actually a poet with a Dark and Troubled Past.
  • Ibuki Mioda in Super Danganronpa 2, the "Ultimate/Super Highschool Level Musician/Light Music club member." She left her old band due to creative differences, from them wanting to play pop music as opposed to her love for death metal. In one of the special interactions with her, she challenges your character to a headbanging competition, and he ends up wondering why she doesn't get horrific neck pains from thrashing around.

Web Original
  • The metalhead stereotype is lampooned in this article from The Onion.
  • Similarly, Cracked pokes fun at it when referring to Def Leppard fans in the eighties:
    In the band's heyday, fans of Def Leppard spanned all colors, genders, and hairstyles (or at least hairstyles typical of the late eighties). The vast majority of Heavy Metal fans, meanwhile, are widely known to be white males, either rail-thin or over 250 pounds, with so much hair they could supply a Locks of Love chapter in perpetuity.

Western Animation
  • Beavis and Butt-Head is about a pair of extremely stupid and socially inept teenage metalheads.
  • The character of Otto Mann from The Simpsons. In one episode he was forced to choose between his bride-to-be and metal. Guess what he chose?
  • In Metalocalypse, Dethklok fans are portrayed as being sterotypical metalheads.
  • Home Movies has the inarticulate teenage metalhead Duane and his band Scb. In spite of his lack of ability to express himself verbally, he is a highly talented guitarist and has written a rock opera based on Franz Kafka.
  • The Bumbling Dad from My Dad The Rock Star

Real Life
  • The "menial jobs and not book smart" description is averted in real life: a French sociologist studied the metal crowd, taking for basis the fans who attended the Hellfest Summer Open Air festival of 2011. His conclusion: higher diplomas and less unemployment among metalheads than other youth groups.

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alternative title(s): Head Banger
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