"Punk is nothing but death and crime and the
rage of a beast!"
Every youth subculture gets its moment to be The New Rock & Roll
, thugs, goths
; hell, Mystery Science Theater 3000
proves the beatniks
got a good round of it. And when the late '70s and early '80s came around, the punks got it with both barrels. The subculture relied on brilliant and strange hairstyles, a growing feeling of societal discontent, and stripped-down, often angry music
. It was like a license to sow moral panic.
But where the general societal backlash to a subculture tends to abate over time, there's still the idea that punk is violent and nihilistic. Maybe it's the pervasive nature of the imagery. Maybe it was the hardcore seeding of memetics that painted punks as people who wanted to tear the system down and piss on the ashes. Or maybe it was because Sid Vicious
fucked it all up for everyone else.
Hence, the Quincy Punk. The Quincy Punk looks for all the world like a stereotypical punk — mohawk in all the colors of the Kool-Aid rainbow, studded leather jacket, and very uncomfortable piercings. The music he listens to is distorted and raw, like hardcore on PCP, and often doesn't much resemble actual punk rock. He's an anarchist, but it's more about setting fire to a police station
than any sort of rational opinion on Kropotkin's Mutual Aid
. Oh. And he hates you. The Quincy Punk is most often used as a stock mugger, thug, or street gang member
for superheroes or other urban vigilantes to kick the crap out of, allowing for an intimidating image in an urban setting while avoiding the Unfortunate Implications
beating the crap out of more racially-oriented street criminals.
For actual information on Punk rock, see Punk
or the Punk Rock
page. Nothing to do with President John Quincy Adams
, unless some tell-all biography reveals his youthful radicalism. There's now a book out that's a field guide to these sorts of portrayals, paired with the rare cases where the creators actually knew what the hell they were doing.
Not to be confused with the clan of Quincies from Bleach
. Or one of the first suburbs Southies
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- Subverted hilariously by this Chips Ahoy! ad. "Jam-packed with chocolate/ We’re really neat/All the mommies love us ’cuz we’re nice and sweet!"
Anime and Manga
- The mohawk-wearing, murderous kidnapping biker gangs of Fist of the North Star. No music though.
- Parodied in the Excel♥Saga anime, in the episode that was a direct spoof of Fist of the North Star.
- Liar Game subverts this - a character who dresses and is initially assumed to be this way turns out to be one of the nicest people in the cast.
- Bartolomeo from One Piece is like a mix of this and a good ol' Troll - he has the style and certainly seems to have some anarchistic tendencies, but also spends a lot of time provoking people for fun.
- As Linkara from Atop the Fourth Wall has covered, there was an infamous Batman graphic novel called "Fortunate Son" about Batman's strange relationship with rock and roll. In flashback, Bruce Wayne reveals that as an angry young man, he went to Europe and fell in with the punk scene — here represented by paper-thin Expies of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. You can probably guess how this ended.
- The Terminator opens with three stereotypical punks smashing up the Griffith Park Observatory. And then they try to mug the T-800.
- The Road Warrior uses a group of mohawked, leather-clad bikers as its stock baddies.
- Doomsday, as an homage to all the post-apocalypse flicks of the '80s, does the same. Oh, and they're cannibals.
- In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Kirk and Spock encounter such a punk on a bus in 1980s San Francisco. When he refuses to turn down the loud punk rock music he is playing, Spock nerve pinches him into silence, and - creepily, since the punk might be dead for all they know - everyone else on the bus applauds.
- A lot of movies by Cannon Films. Most notably the Death Wish series.
- Class Of 1984 is all over this trope.
- To some degree the punk rock skinhead gang the Turnbull ACs from the 1979 movie The Warriors counts.
- The punks who briefly appear in Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan look and act the part.
- Escape from New York and its sequel Escape from L.A..
- A mohawked example appears briefly in Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, of all movies. He's shown getting booked during a brief scene in a San Francisco police station.
- In the 1989 movie Night Children, David Carradine plays a veteran cop who fights a street gang of nihilistic punks that cause chaos wherever they go.
- Howard the Duck has the titular mallard almost getting mugged and killed by stereotypical punks the second he arrives in Cleveland.
- Splatterpunks in RoboCop 3 are a gang of violent punks who love violence.
- Invoked and averted in Pax Britannia: Gods of Manhattan by Al Ewing, in which the introduction to Steampunk New York says that while the "Futureheads", with their dyed "Injun" haircuts, peculiar piercings, and cries of "No future for me, and no future for you!" might look scary, most of them will glare at you with contempt, maybe spit at you, and then move on. It's the gangs who look like ordinary kids on bicycles you have to watch out for...
- Averted in Tony Robinson's Bad Kids: The Worst Behaved Children In History, which does a rundown of noted subcultures of 20th century Britain. Robinson ranks the punks as almost as harmless as the hippies, and says most of them were nice middle-class kids trying to make a statement.
- Dan Brown's Digital Fortress has a particularly ridiculous case of this. The punks David comes across in Spain are almost a parody of the stereotype in both appearance and behaviour. This holds even though there's at least a hundred of them- as far as the reader can tell, they all have identical personalities. They also seem to be cast as uneducated and/or criminal drop outs, as they're somehow the first punks the university lecturer has ever met.
Live Action TV
- The Trope Namer is an infamous episode of Quincy called "Next Stop, Nowhere," where the titular M.E. tries to save the youth of Los Angeles from the moral scourge that is punk rock. For years, "Quincy punk" came to be used in Southern California's scene to describe a punk who cares more about the rebellious image than anything else.
- There was an episode of CHIPS ("Battle of the Bands") about the rivalry between a violent band of punks called Pain, and Snow Pink, a peaceful band of new wave kids.
- House, "Games." The gang treats an old, bitter "punk" musician whose music sounds like a rabid cougar humping a PA. This is put into contrast later in the episode with an earlier melodic folk recording he made, showing he can produce something of beauty (because we all know punk rock can not produce harmonious songs). It seems like he was supposed to be a shout-out to GG Allin, who created harsh, dissonant punk music; however, he also created touching country/folk music.
- In a first-season episode of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, "Power Ranger Punks," the villains had a scheme to slip Billy and Kimberly some "punk potion" before unleashing the Monster of the Week on Angel Grove. Needless to say, the potion turned them into Quincy Punks who didn't give a damn about the monster.
- Bulk and Skull had shades of this as well.
- On NewsRadio, Matthew starts acting like a stereotypical British punk, accent and all, after turning thirty and having an identity crisis. However, he doesn't do much research and thinks '80s hair bands like Winger and Whitesnake classify as punk rock.
- Vyvyan on The Young Ones. His main motivation is destroying things around the house. Not especially egregious, because the show paints all its characters in broad strokes.
- On the same network as the infamous Quincy episode Remington Steele had a episode with a brief scene where Stephanie Zimbalist and Pierce Brosnan walk into a punk rock night club, and one of the kids in the mosh pit gets up in Brosnan's character's face for no reason and shouts "YOU STINK!" at him.
- The 80s sitcom Easy Street, starring Loni Anderson as heiress L. K. Maguire, featured an episode where a stereotypical punk rocker (Peter Noone) moves into the upscale neighborhood. L. K.'s stuffy sister-in-law (Dana Ivey) is alarmed and calls a neighborhood meeting. As testimony to his subversive nature, she reads them the lyrics to one of his songs ("the only ballad on the album"), called "Squash the Puppy." She then drives her point home by playing the song backward, then interpreting the total cacophany as, "Howdy-do, Satan, have a cup of tea."
- An early episode of Charles In Charge featured the archetypal punk-rock boyfriend, a jerkass loser who played in a band called The Scuzz.
- The Blake's 7 episode "Hyperdrive" has the Space Rats, a gang of far-future outlaw bikers IN SPACE who dress in leather and have gigantic mohawks, but match the costume and hair with Ron Wood-style glam-rock face paint.
- "Punk Rock Girl" by The Dead Milkmen describes antics closely resembling this trope, including causing a ruckus in a pizza place for not having hot tea, causing a ruckus in a record store for not having Mojo Nixon records, causing a ruckus in a shopping mall just to laugh at shoppers, and stealing a car.
- In Misspent Youth by Robert Bohl, the protagonist characters are often a bunch of bomb-throwing anarchists.
- Generally averted by Nothing Nice To Say. While the comic does invoke stereotypes and/or archetypes such as the Goth, the Emo Teen, the Smug Straight Edge and the self-righteous activist punk, it tends to steer well clear of this trope. Both the main characters appear and behave more like realistic punk fans, as do most background and one-off characters, while Chris, the regular character who most matches the visual side of this trope, is established to be both a vegan and left-wing activist, in stark contrast with the "fuck the world" nihilism of the traditional Quincy Punk.
- The shortlived cartoon version of Teen Wolf had a subversion. The straitlaced main characters are freaked out by the appearance of some stereotypical-looking mohawked punks in their neighborhood, assuming the worst. But when they attend a punk club, the cast ends up having a huge amount of fun dancing, dressing up in punk gear, and rocking out with the punk crowd... to the point that the punks are the ones politely lecturing the main characters that the party eventually needs to be cut short, so that people can get home safely, do their homework, and get to school the next day.
- Bebop and Rocksteady from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) sported this look before (and to some extent after) being exposed to the mutagen.