The Power of Rock

aka: Music Can Do Anything

"Hey, Antichrist-a! Beelzeboss!
We know your weakness, our rockin' sauce!
We rock the casbah, and blow your mind!
We will defeat you, for all mankind!
You hold the scepter, we hold the key!
You are the devil, we are the D!"

In which the world is saved and the Big Bad defeated, not only through The Power of Love or The Power of Friendship, but through ROCK!!!

Yes, for some reason, music is the most capable form of creative expression when it comes to defeating the forces of evil. The battle often takes the form of a rock concert or music video. That in itself helps to explain why it's almost always music that saves the world. It'd take a very imaginative writer/director to defeat the villain with the power of Symbolism, also known as Modern Expressionism.

Incidentally, it's only "The Power of Rock" because 99 percent of the time rock is the musical genre of choice for this trope. Rock tends to be loud and theatrical, and therefore more powerful. As the examples below show, other kinds of music work too.

Can also refer to the many, many works of fiction in which characters fight for their right to rock (or party, or dance, or whatever as long as it involves music). Expect any video game involving musicians to have the "rocking heroes fight Culture Police" plot.

Seen quite a lot in shows that feature a literal Five-Man Band or a Fake Band, and associated performances. The weapon of choice of The Rock Star when he goes adventuring.

Note: Not to be confused with Musical Assassin. This trope involves actual music playing that the audience can appreciate, not just characters playing instruments with the sonic power to kick ass. There are few game examples of The Power Of Rock outside of music-based games.

A form of Magic Music or Disco Tech.

Compare Care Bear Stare, The Power of Love, The Power of Friendship, Autobots, Rock Out!, A Little Something We Call "Rock and Roll", Great Balls of Fire, Brown Note, Rock Me, Asmodeus!, Make Me Wanna Shout, Clap Your Hands If You Believe, Crowning Music of Awesome. Contrast Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll. May be presented as a form of Cool and Unusual Punishment.

Not to be confused with Rocks With Powers, or Rocks That Grant Powers, Power Over Rocks or Music With Rocks In. Possibly beaten by The Power of Paper, though the Power of Scissors hasn't made its appearance. This is also not the kind of rock that is poor and predictable, or Rachmaninoff.


Example subpages:


    open/close all folders 

    Card Games 
  • Magic: The Gathering has this with older enchantments' "verse counters", and with other cards like Glorious Anthem (and its green counterpart, Gaea's Anthem), Joraga Bard, Hymn to Tourach, and the like. Mostly music is seen as healing or inspiring others to go on. And yes, there was a Lotus Cobra is Evil cartoon about the Mirran-aligned planeswalkers forming a band because Mirrodin is a plane of metal.

    Mythology 
  • Orpheus, who had music to soothe the savage beast. And trees and rocks. And Hades himself. But not the Maenads, unfortunately for him.
    • It's also worth noting that there are, canonically, precisely three ways for a seafarer to escape the sirens' song. The first two, as seen in The Odyssey, are to stuff your ears with wax so you can't hear the song or be tied up so you can't go to them. The other, as seen in Jason and the Argonauts, is to bring along Orpheus and have him tune up his lyre and sing, enchanting the sirens themselves into shutting up and just listening.
  • In Finnish folklore, Väinämöinen creates the first Kantele and his singing and playing is magically powerful and beautiful, such that he can charm the beast and birds.
  • In The Book of Joshua, the walls of Jericho fall after the Israelites march around the city for seven days blowing horns, "rock music" being Older Than Feudalism. The Clash referenced this in their songs "Jericho" and "The Sound of Sinners".

    Theater 
  • We Will Rock You! If you've guessed that the protagonists fight an oppressive government using the music of Queen, you win a cookie.
    • The Big Bad of the show, Killer Queen, was defeated by having the band play an instrumental version of Tie Your Mother Down.
  • The lovable gang in RENT brings Mimi back from death by HIV, exposure and drugs through the power of song.
  • In Sam Shepard's Tooth of Crime, apparently the primary form of entertainment in the future is watching cowboy/rock star/gangsters fight each other using rock's power.

    Web Original 
  • Played with in the Global Guardians PBEM Universe: The hero team 4Justice is a quartet of young superhuman singer/dancers who won their place on the team by way of the "reality" TV game show "Who Wants to Be a Superhero". To date, they've not actually appeared in the field fighting crime, but have released four albums, had a nationwide tour, and a TV movie. While each member of the band has a "code name", they are all much better known by their real names among their fans (who are all tween- and teen-aged girls, apparently). Outside of their fans, they receive little respect from the hero community, and not much more respect from the musical community.
  • The music video for Lindsey Stirling's "Moon Trance". There are not many places (internet or otherwise) where you can see a violin-wielding girl duking it out with breakdancing zombies on electric keyboards and drums.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fan animation "Epic Wub Time" features an electronic music variant in lieu of rock; the sheer power of Vinyl Scratch's bass cannon generates a gigantic energy blast that proves capable of dispatching Discord with astonishing ease.
  • Parodied in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Abridged Series in a Yugioh 5D one-shot parody, where Godwin is despicted as a Corrupt manager who knows trying to conquer the world with the power of darkness never works... so he intend to use the power of Rock'n Roll instead.
  • SCP-1987-J. A piece of sheet music which can be played, irrespective of any known ability to play the guitar or lack thereof, by anyone who knows how it is supposed to sound and has access to an electric guitar and amp (playing on any other instrument causes mild revulsion in onlookers). Playing causes apparently permanent effects, from the player simply appearing more attractive; through the spontaneous manifestation of various stage effects; vehicles in the area of effect being polymorphed into classic hot rods or muscle cars, motorcycles becoming custom bikes; female observers being regressed to around 18 years old, with 68% of cases also experiencing transmogrification of clothing into lingerie, G-string bikinis and leather fetish gear; manifestation of female 18-year-olds if none are present, as well as large quantities of alchohol, dinosaurs, dragons and female angels; resurrection or reanimation of nearby corpses; spontaneous pregnancies... However if played too long, a being known as SCP-1987-J-1 will appear, and demand you stop playing or challenge him to a guitar duel he calls an "Epic Rockdown of Rocktimate Rockstiny" for the title of "ultimate Rockness". Noone knows what that is, as noone has won, and the penalty for failure is being polymorphed into a middle-aged guy named Earl who works in a garage. These are now being classified as D-class, as there are far more of them than is needed for the site's motor pool.

Alternative Title(s):

Power Of Rock, Music Can Do Anything