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Music: Green Day
L-R: Tré Cool, Billie Joe Armstrong, Mike Dirnt; Not Pictured: Jason White

"Do you have the time
To listen to me whine
About nothing and everything all at once?"
Basket Case

Green Day is a Pop Punk / Alternative Rock band from the Bay Area (Oakland, to be precise). Around 1987, Billie Joe Armstrong (vocals/guitar) and Mike Dirnt (bass) formed the band Sweet Children; in 1988, John Kiffmeyer joined as the drummer. Before releasing their first LP, the band changed its name to Green Day, supposedly as an inside joke about marijuana. In 1990, Kiffmeyer left the band to attend college and Tre Cool joined in his place, completing the Green Day we know today. In 1999 Green Day gained backup guitarist Jason White, who became an official member of the band in 2012.

Green Day reached its peak of popularity with the Dookie album. Although Insomniac and Nimrod also got a favorable reception, the band began losing popularity after 1997. But in 2004, Green Day made a comeback with the rock opera American Idiot. The album is very anti-establishment in tone and frequently criticizes President Bush, as the Iraq War was going on at the time. American Idiot marked a complete departure from their earlier pop/punk style and alienated a portion of their fanbase, although it also won over new fans. American Idiot also received controversy for being "Anti-American," despite only a few songs having any sort of political message. Interestingly, the album was very popular in Europe.

Green Day cites influence from punk bands such as the Sex Pistols, The Ramones, and The Clash. However, since the release of American Idiot, many have accused Green Day of selling out and adopting a more mainstream rock image.

The band have their own Rock Band game treatment, released June 2010.


Related Bands
  • The Boo (Billie Joe, Adrienne, Jakob)
  • Foxboro Hot Tubs (Billie Joe, Mike, Tre)
  • The Frustrators (Mike)
  • The Network (Billie Joe, Mike, Tre, and a few others, all under fake stage names)
  • Pinhead Gunpowder (Billie Joe, Jason White, Aaron Cometbus)
Notable Albums:
  • 39/Smooth (1990)
    • 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours (1991), which adds the 1000 Hours and Slappy EPs to the end of 39/Smooth. The original 39/Smooth is no longer in print because its been replaced completely by this longer and more popular release
    • "Going to Pasalacqua" (They still play this one live)
  • Kerplunk (1992)
    • "2000 Light Years Away" (Will sometimes get played on Alt Rock stations [Seattle's 107.7 The End for example] on the radio if requested)
  • Dookie (1994)
    • "Basket Case"
    • "Longview"
    • "When I Come Around"
    • "She"
    • "Welcome To Paradise"
  • Insomniac (1995)
    • "Brain Stew/Jaded"
    • "Stuck with Me"
    • "Geek Stink Breath"
    • "Walking Contradiction"
  • Nimrod (1997)
    • "Hitchin' a Ride"
    • "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)"
    • "Redundant"
    • "Nice Guys Finish Last"
  • Warning (2000)
    • "Minority"
    • "Warning"
    • "Waiting"
    • "Macy's Day Parade"
  • American Idiot (2004)
    • "American Idiot"
    • "Jesus of Suburbia"
    • "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"
    • "Wake Me Up When September Ends"
    • "Holiday"
  • 21st Century Breakdown (2009)
    • "Know Your Enemy"
    • "21 Guns"
    • "East Jesus Nowhere"
    • "21st Century Breakdown"
    • "Last of the American Girls"
  • ¡Uno! (2012)
    • "Oh Love"
    • "Kill the DJ"
    • "Let Yourself Go"
    • "Nuclear Family"
    • "Stay the Night"
    • "Troublemaker"
  • ¡Dos! (2012)
    • "Stray Heart"
  • ¡Tre! (2012)
    • "X-Kid"
Other:
  • "J.A.R. (Jason Andrew Relva)" (1995): non-album single which was a number-one Billboard Modern Rock hit
  • Skull Ring (2003): Collaboration with Iggy Pop
    • "Private Hell"
    • "Supermarket"
  • "I Fought the Law" (2004): Bobby Fuller Four cover
  • "The Saints Are Coming" (2006): Skids cover with U2
  • "Working Class Hero" (2008): cover of the John Lennon song
  • "The Forgotten" (2012): official theme for Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 2

(For American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown tropes, go to their respective pages)

Green Day's music includes examples of:

  • AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle: From "Basket Case," "I am one of those/me-LO-dramatic fools."
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Tre Cool. Snorts donut sprinkles. Smokes lettuce. Is the only person to climb the Universal Tower without getting into trouble. Allegedly can suck his own.
  • Arc Words: In Uno, Dos, and Tre: "When the Red Lights Flash"
  • Ascended Extra: Jason White. He became a touring guitarist for the band starting with the Warning years, then he became a full member in time for the Uno, Dos, Tre trilogy.
  • Awesome McCoolname: Almost literally with Tré Cool, meaning "very cool" in French. His real name, Frank Edwin Wright III, is also impressive.
  • BDSM: "Dominated Love Slave" and "Blood, Sex and Booze". The latter, too, is from the slave's point of view.
    • "Pulling Teeth" may also be about this - or plain old physical abuse.
      • Funny story, Mike Dirnt (bassist) wrote this song in sarcasm about a pillow fight he had with his girlfriend. The band thought it was funny so they recorded it and put it on the album.
  • Bi the Way: Billie Joe and Tre are openly bi.
  • Bishōnen: Admit it, Billie Joe and Tre' are pretty freaking sexy and fit this pretty well.
  • Butt Monkey: The entire band in the opening of The Simpsons Movie. A single line about the environment into a three-and-a-half-hour free concert and the crowd immediately folds on them. What a bunch of ingrates.
    • Hey, this is Springfield we're talking about. At least 90% of the populace there is made up of inconsiderate morons and/or jerks.
    • Not to mention that they get killed off by sinking into the toxic waters of Lake Springfield a few seconds later.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: A lot. Every album they made has at least one F-bomb. Their first two albums kept it clean with only one F-bomb in 39/Smooth and Kerplunk (bear in mind that the F-Bombs are in the cover songs and the one from Kerplunk was sampled from Blue Velvet), but once they got into Dookie, they became profanity magnets, with six S-Bombs and six F-Bombs.
    • Insomniac had thirteen F-Bombs and eight S-Bombs.
    • Nimrod had 16 f-bombs and seven S-Bombs, including this gem.
    "Platypus (I Hate You)": "DICKHEAD, FUCKFACE, COCKSMOKING, MOTHERFUCKING ASSHOLE, DIRTY TWAT, WASTE OF SEMEN, I HOPE YOU DIE— HEY!"
    • Also "The Grouch", which curses sixteen times in it alone.
    The world owes me so fuck you
    • Warning was Green Day's cleanest mainstream release, with only two F-Bombs in "Minority" (even then one was a repetition of the other: "a free-for-all, fuck 'em all...").
    • American Idiot has seventeen profanities in it, while 21st Century Breakdown has ten profanities, including the only use of the word n*gger in it.
    • Uno! seems back to the dirty mouth of before ("shoot the fucking DJ... voices in my head are saying, 'shoot that fucker down!'")
    • Dos! amps up the profanity dial even more than Uno!; Tre! scales it back an extensive amount, but an F-bomb still appears here and there.
    • Billie Joe likes to swear in concerts as well ("And don't fucking wear it out!"), specially if the organization screws the band and cuts their concert short.
      • The rant is made all the more memorable for the fact that Billie Joe says "fuck" and its variants 21 times, rips on Justin Bieber, and smashes his guitar repeatedly into the ground until it breaks apart. Interestingly enough, he checked into rehab the following day to be treated for "Substance Abuse".
  • Crossdresser: "King For A Day".
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: The Dookie Hidden Track "All By Myself."
    • The infamous "Longview" (which talks about apathy in general) isn't even remotely subtle about it, combining a reference to "going blind" ("but it's just a myth") with the explicit "when masturbation's lost its fun, you're fucking breaking."
    • "2000 Lightyears Away," by some interpretations.
    I hold my breath and close my eyes and dream about her
  • Darker and Edgier: Insomniac compared to Dookie.
  • Drama Queen: ¡Tre! has a track of this name about one.
  • Epic Rocking: Didn't really delve into it much before American Idiot, but Warning has the 5-minute-long "Misery"
    • After American Idiot, however, oh boy. "Jesus of Suburbia" is just over nine minutes, "Homecoming" is just under ten, "21st Century Breakdown" is just under 7, "American Eulogy" is just over six, and "Dirty Rotten Bastards" is just under seven.
  • Fading into the Next Song: Many, most notably "Brain Stew/Jaded" and "Holiday/Boulevard of Broken Dreams".
    • The entire 21st Century Breakdown album, save for the final songs in each "act".
  • Fanservice: Billie Joe likes to lift up his shirt a lot.
    • And the opposite direction with his pants as well.
    • There's also the lingerie-clad harem in the "Oh Love" video.
  • Filk Song: "Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?"
  • Four More Measures: "Good Riddance". It's not helped by the two false starts.
  • The Four Chords of Pop: "When I Come Around", "21 Guns", "Holiday", "Boulevard of Broken Dreams". For a Pop Punk band, they don't use it as frequently as others.
  • Genre Throwback: Their 2012 album, "¡Uno!," could be considered this, as the entirety of the album strongly resembles the sounds found in their 1994 release, "Dookie."
    • Their are also songs that sound a bit like they could be from "Nimrod" (1997) or "Warning" (2000.)
  • Greatest Hits Album: International Superhits!
  • Grief Song: "Ha Ha You're Dead" is a subversion for obvious reasons.
    • "Amy" plays this trope straight, as it was written as a tribute to Amy Winehouse
  • Guyliner: Billie Joe adopted it since American Idiot came out (part of why some label them as Emo).
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Billie Joe and Mike (despite Billie Joe not being straight)
  • Iconic Outfit: Billie Joe's black polo shirt, red tie, and Guyliner, which he wore on the American Idiot tour. He has since stopped wearing the tie and shirt regularly, but it still remains his most iconic appearance.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: When they performed "Geek Stink Breath" on Saturday Night Live, they got away with saying "Shit" because nobody understood what Billie Joe was saying
  • The Insomniac: Bilie Joe has confessed being this. During the time where his sleep was even worse, due to his son crying, he made the album Insomniac.
  • Instrumentals: "Last Ride In" from Nimrod and "Espionage" from the Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me soundtrack (and which also made the cut for Shenanigans).
  • Intercourse with You: "Fuck Time" from ¡Dos!.
    • As well as "Stay The Night" from ¡Uno!
"Well, I ain't got much time so I'll get to the point
"Do you wanna share a ride and get the fuck out of this joint?"
"I've got an impulse so repulsive that it burns"
"I wanna break your heart until it makes your stomach turn"
  • Done with a twist with the songs "Dominated Love Slave," "Blood, Sex, and Booze," and, "Like a Rat Does Cheese."
  • Isn't It Ironic?: "Good Riddance" is frequently subjected to this due to its mellow tone and the "time of your life" chorus.
  • Licensed Game: Green Day: Rock Band.
  • Lighter and Softer: Nimrod compared to Insomniac, and Warning compared to all previous albums.
  • Loudness War: Unfortunately, the recent stuff is pretty badly clipped.
  • Love Nostalgia Song: Several, including but not limited to Scattered, Whatsername, and Sweet 16.
    • Scattered
    Open up the past and present now and we are there
    Story to tell and I am listening
    Open the past and present and the future too
    It's all I've got and I'm giving it to you
    • Whatsername
    Remember, whatever
    It seems like forever ago
    The regrets are useless in my mind
    She's in my head, I must confess
    The regrets are useless in my mind
    She's in my head from so long ago
    • Sweet 16
    Old days are fine, but left so far behind
    From California to Jane street
    The kids are alright, alright as they'll ever be
    Cause you will always be my
    You will always be my sweet 16
  • Lyrical Dissonance: The happy songs usually have some dark themes.
    • "Basket Case" is a up-tempo and fun Sanity Slippage Song. "Good Riddance", which many people think of as a ballad, is actually a Breakup Song, wishing your lover to leave forever and never come back.
  • Metal Scream: Billie Joe has used this on several songs. The best example is the chorus of "Take Back", which is nothing but this. He starts the bridge in "Letterbomb" with one. He also screams the last "G-L-O-R-I-A" in "Horseshoes and Handgrenades".
  • Mood Whiplash: Nimrod has both "Platypus (I Hate You)" which is probably the dirtiest Green Day song ever, played right after the relatively mellow "Worry Rock" and "Take Back", a punk-metal anger song, which is followed by the deliriously happy-sounding "King for a Day."
    • This trope runs rampant throughout the Uno! Dos! Tre! trilogy. "Lady Cobra" being followed by "Nightlife", being followed by "Wow! That's Loud"; "Angel Blue" being followed by "Sweet 16"; "Brutal Love" being followed by "Missing You", and "Drama Queen" being followed by "X-Kid". The list goes on.
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: Varies wildly, but probably averaging around 5 or 6. Sometimes going up to 7 or 8 with songs like "Take Back" or "Platypus (I Hate You)" and dropping down to 1 or 2 with songs like "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" or "Macy's Day Parade."
  • Murder Ballad: "Having a Blast" from Dookie.
  • Nervous Wreck: "Basket Case" is from the point of view of an extremely neurotic person.
  • New Sound Album: Warning was much more upbeat and poppy than their previous albums, especially when compared to Insomniac.
  • N-Word Privileges: Somewhat; Billie Joe Armstrong is bisexual, not gay, but in "American Idiot", he proudly proclaims, "Well maybe I'm the faggot, America!"
    • Lest we not forget the only usage of "n*gger" in the entire band's discography in "American Eulogy". No one seems to bat an eye at that, though. Possibly because that's one of the many songs in which Billie Joe is very hard to understand. The exact line being, "Because the martyr was a compulsive liar when he said 'It's just a bunch of n*ggers throwing gas into the hysteria.'"
  • Obligatory Bondage Song: "Blood, Sex, and Booze" from Warning and "Dominated Love Slave" from Kerplunk
  • Older Than They Look: All four members of the band are in their early forties, but you'd never be able to tell. Billie Joe looks around 20-21, if this photo taken in 2011 has any indication.
  • The Oner: The Music Videos for "Redundant" and "Macy's Day Parde".
  • Once per Episode: See Ho Yay. Billie Joe kisses a dude every concert.
  • One Woman Song: "Haushinka" and "Maria". "Ashley" and "Amy," both from ¡Dos! and "Amanda" from ¡Tré! "¡Viva la Gloria!" and ¿Viva la Gloria? [Little Girl]," although from a third person point of view.
  • Plagiarism: Green Day's, "American Idiot," released in 2004, rips off a band called Dillinger Four, "Doublewhiskeycokenoise," released in 1998, BUT Green Day released a song called, "Walking Contradiction," released in 1995, which has the exact same chord progression as, "Doublewhiskeycokenoise." So, therefore Green Day ripped off Dillinger Four who ripped off Green Day.
  • Pop Punk: Green Day are far from the Trope Makers, but they're definitely Trope Codifiers. Pop hooks had always been a small part of the sound of Punk Rock, dating back to early punk bands like The Ramones, Buzzcocks and The Dickies. But Green Day, proud punk revivalists, were as poppy as punk gets, and their knack for addictive, accessible singles proved such a huge mainstream success that a ton of pop punk bands wound up following them up the charts, like blink-182, Sum 41 and Good Charlotte.
    • Speaking of which, Green Day also gave Pop Punk its reputation for sophomoric humor, and generally being played by and for juvenile delinquents. In the 90s, they were big douchebags and proud of it, exemplified by their infamous mud fight with the audience at Woodstock 1994, and the Vulgar Humor of songs like "The Grouch." (Heck, the protagonist of "Longview" was an apathetic slob that sits around playing with his junk all day.) That kind of loutish behavior was celebrated in the subgenre, particularly by Sum 41, until Green Day got older and phased it out in the 2000s. Soon after, Fall Out Boy and their brethren changed the game by adopting more of a Deadpan Snarker attitude.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In spades. "F.O.D. (Fuck Off and Die,)" "Platypus (I Hate You,)" "Take Back," "Jackass," "Too Much Too Soon," "Ha Ha You're Dead," and "Scumbag," just to name a few.
  • Rock Trio: Though in 2012 it was expanded to a quartet with Jason White (touring member since Warning) being promoted to official member.
  • Sanity Slippage Song: "Havin' A Blast" seems like this, but I'm not sure if it counts since by this point he's already snapped...
    • How could you forget "Basket Case"?
    • "Brain Stew" is explicitly about this, caused by insomnia.
      My mind is set on overdrive
      The clock is laughing in my face
      A crooked spine
      My senses dulled
      Past the point of delirium
    • "Lazy Bones" from Dos! could be seen as this.
  • Shout-Out: The marching sounds around the 0:41 mark from Homecoming could be a reference to the Sex Pistols song Holidays in the Sun.
  • Siamese Twin Songs:
    • "Brain Stew" and "Jaded" from Insomniac.
    • "Jinx" and "Haushinka" from Nimrod.
  • Stylistic Suck: Any song with Tré Cool on lead vocals. Though for some reason they wind up as So Bad, It's Good (case in point, "Dominated Love Slave" with its country guitar riff)
  • Stage Names: Averted with the singer (his name is Billie Joe), played straight with the other two. Mike's real name is Michael Pritchard (he got the name "Dirnt" from saying "dirnt, dirnt, dirnt" while playing air bass as a kid), Tré's is Frank Edwin Wright III.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Mike and Tré at times sing. Mostly Played for Laughs.
  • Subdued Section: "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" and "Macy's Day Parade" for Nimrod and Warning, respectively.
    • Also their cover of The Kinks' "Tired of Waiting for You" in Shenanigans.
  • Subliminal Seduction: "East Jesus Nowhere" contains a reversed whisper saying "don't test me."
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)", "Macy's Day Parade" and "Wake Me Up When September Ends"
  • Take That:
    • "Jackass" is this in spades. It was never confirmed on who the song was ripping on, but the general consensus is that it's about blink-182, despite the fact that both bands have toured together.
    • Also in the aforementoned screw over.
      Billie Joe: Let me fuckin' tell you something. Let me tell you something: I've been around since fuckin' nineteen eighty-fuckin'-eight And you're gonna give me one fuckin' minute?! You gotta be fuckin' kiddin' me! You're fuckin' kiddin' me! What the fuck?! I'm not fuckin' Justin Bieber, you motherfuckers!
  • Three Chords and the Truth
  • Title Only Chorus: "Take Back"
  • Those Two Guys: Word of God confirms Billie Joe and Mike were this when they were younger. Tre claims they had a "Paul and John" vibe going that made it hard for him to blend in at first.
  • Unplugged Version: "Good Riddance" and most of Warning. Some songs of American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown are unplugged for most of their duration.
  • Viewers Are Morons: Why Mike claims the band will never officially release Tre's song "DUI."
  • Verbal Tic: "Y'know?" Yes, we know, Billie Joe.

The FugsReprise RecordsJosh Groban
The FugsCreator/Reprise RecordsJosh Groban
Stacy's MomImageSource/MusicRock Trio
Gogol BordelloTurnOfTheMillennium/Music21st Century Breakdown
Greeley EstatesRockHed PE
Good CharlottePop PunkHawthorne Heights
GotyeMusic of the 2010sGrouplove
The MessageMusic of the 1980sGuided By Voices
The MessageAlbums IndexAmerican Idiot
GravediggazMusic Of The 1990sGuided By Voices

alternative title(s): Green Day
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