[-[[caption-width-right:350: Current [[RevolvingDoorBand Megadeth lineup]]. L - R: Bassist [[TheLancer David Ellefson]], drummer [[Music/{{Soilwork}} Dirk Verbeuren]], guitarist [[TheLeader Dave Mustaine]], and guitarist [[Music/{{Angra}} Kiko Loureiro]].]]-]

->'''Dad''': I want to watch the news!\\
'''Son''': This ''is'' the news.
-->--"Peace Sells" music video

->''"Muh-uh-Ladies and gentlemen, meh-muh-meh-muh-meh-muh-MEGADETH!!!"''
-->--'''[[WesternAnimation/PorkyPig The Eager Young Space Cadet]]''', ''WesternAnimation/DuckDodgers'', "In Space, No One Can Hear You Rock"

One of the "Big Four" ThrashMetal bands, Megadeth was formed by guitarist Dave Mustaine after he was kicked out of Music/{{Metallica}} for drinking and violent behaviour. After two years of lineup instability, the band settled down and were signed to Combat Records, where they released their debut album ''Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good!''. Despite poor production and a thrash metal cover of a Music/NancySinatra song that later got them in legal trouble, the album was well received.

When the time came to record their second album, Mustaine got fed up with the small label's shortcomings and signed the band with Creator/CapitolRecords instead. Their second album, ''Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?'' was released in 1986, again receiving critical acclaim and commercial success. However, the tour became plagued by substance abuse problems, which spilled over during the recording of ''So Far, So Good... So What!''. Released in 1988, the album reached number 30 on the Billboard 200 despite having no commercial radio play.

After some time off in rehab for the band and another line-up change, Megadeth returned with ''Rust in Peace'' in 1990, a progressive effort which contained the famous songs "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due" and "Hangar 18." They remained silent for two years, after which they pulled a FollowTheLeader and released ''Countdown to Extinction'', an album full of slower, less thrashy, straightforward {{heavy metal}} songs modeled after ''Metallica''. It was their greatest commercial success, reaching #2 on the US charts and selling in excess of 2 million copies, propelled by the singles "Symphony of Destruction," "Foreclosure of a Dream," and "Sweating Bullets." The simplification continued on 1994's ''Youthanasia'', attracting [[TheyChangedItNowItSucks some condemnation from older fans]] but overall being received just as well as its predecessor, going to #4 on the charts and spawning the hits "Train of Consequences" and "A Tout le Monde," with Creator/{{MTV}} banning the latter's video for supposedly being "pro-suicide."

Troubles started in 1995 after Megadeth changed their management, hiring Creator/BudPrager. His influence would ultimately prove counterproductive, as he steered the band towards more blatantly commercial tracks, convinced them to work with Nashville pop producer Creator/DannHuff, and [[ExecutiveMeddling closely supervised the writing process, also contributing musical ideas and lyrics to the songs]]. ''Cryptic Writings'' was released in 1997, to a mixed critical reception and less sales than ''Youthanasia'', despite four Mainstream Rock hits. Mustaine then made the critical mistake of giving ''more'' influence to Prager and Huff, which resulted in ''Risk''. Largely eschewing metal in favour of newfound dance and electronic influences, it was a failure that triggered a backlash among fans and critics.

After the debacle, Megadeth left Capitol Records for Creator/SanctuaryRecords. Mustaine fired Bud Prager and decided to self-produce their next album, which would be a return to metal. ''The World Needs a Hero'' did mark a return to form, but had a mixed reception critically and commercially.

In 2002, Dave Mustaine suffered an outbreak of radial neuropathy in his left arm, and temporarily disbanded Megadeth. After physical therapy and occupying himself with remastering the band's catalogue, he gathered a new lineup (the first to include Chris Poland since 1988), and released ''The System Has Failed'' in 2004, to critical acclaim. Since, they've released ''United Abominations'' on Creator/RoadrunnerRecords in 2007, and ''Endgame'' in 2009, both to further acclaim from fans and critics (especially ''Endgame''). Megadeth's last album on that label, simply titled ''[[Letters2Numbers Th1rt3en]],'' was released in 2011. After that Dave Mustaine started his own record label, Tradecraft, in 2013; ''Super Collider'' was released that same year. The band saw some turmoil near the end of 2014 due to the departure of long time members Shawn Drover and Chris Broderick, but the band soldiered on. ''Dystopia'', which saw the band include Chris Adler of Music/LambOfGod and Kiko Loureiro of Music/{{Angra}} among their ranks, was released in January 2016.

The band are famous for their musical skills, [[EpicRocking extended songs]], and sociopolitical sensibilities expressed in the lyrics, especially during their "classic" period (1985-1994). While not to the extent of Music/{{Anthrax}}, their lyrics tend to be more humorous (in a sarcastic / tongue in cheek manner) than those of Metallica and Music/{{Slayer}}. Despite the late-career follies that have also plagued Metallica (sans DigitalPiracyIsEvil), their place in the thrash metal pantheon is assured, arguably more so after their second wind in 2004.

'''Current Members''':
* Dave Mustaine - lead vocals, guitars (1983-present)
* David Ellefson - bass, backing vocals (1984-2002, 2010-present)
* Kiko Loureiro - guitars, backing vocals (2015-present)
* Dirk Verbeuren - drums (2016-present)

'''Former Members''':
* Lawrence Kane - lead vocals (1983)
* Robert Cromwell - guitars (1983)
* Matt Kisselstein - bass (1983)
* Greg Handevidt - guitars (1983)
* Dijon Caruthers - drums (1983)
* Lee Rausch - drums (1984)
* Kerry King - guitars (1984)
* Gar Samuelson - drums, backing vocals (1984-1988)
* Chris Poland - guitars, backing vocals (1985-1988, 1989)
* Mike Albert - touring guitars (1985)
* Chuck Behler - drums, backing vocals (1987-1989)
* Jeff Young - guitars, backing vocals (1987-1989)
* Nick Menza - drums, backing vocals (1989-1998)
* Marty Friedman - guitars, backing vocals (1989-2000)
* Jimmy [=DeGrasso=] - drums (1998-2000)
* Al Pitrelli - guitars, backing vocals (2000-2002)
* Shawn Drover - drums (2004-2014)
* Chris Adler - drums (2015-2016)
* Glen Drover - guitars, backing vocals (2004-2008)
* James [=MacDonough=] - bass (2004-2006)
* James [=LoMenzo=] - bass, backing vocals (2006-2010)
* Chris Broderick - guitars, backing vocals (2008-2014)

* 1985: ''Killing Is My Business... and Business Is Good!''
* 1986: ''Peace Sells... But Who's Buying?''
* 1988: ''So Far, So Good... So What!''
* 1990: ''Rust in Peace''
* 1992: ''Countdown to Extinction''
* 1994: ''Youthanasia''
* 1995: ''Hidden Treasures'' EP
* 1997: ''Cryptic Writings''
* 1999: ''Risk''
* 2001: ''The World Needs a Hero''
* 2004: ''The System Has Failed''
* 2007: ''United Abominations''
* 2009: ''Endgame''
* 2011: ''[=TH1RT3EN=]''
* 2013: ''Super Collider''
* 2016: ''Dystopia''

!! "Tropes sell, but who's buying?:"

[[folder: Song Tropes]]

* AgeProgressionSong: "Of Mice and Men," from ''The System Has Failed''.
* AlbumTitleDrop: Aside from the {{Title Track}}s, even the borderline case "Peace Sells" (the chorus goes "''[[PunctuatedForEmphasis Peace sells...but who's buying?]]''"), "Use the Man" has the line "''Cryptic writing(s)'' on the wall, the beginning of the end", "Kick the Chair" goes "You're going to jail / ''The system has failed''".
* AntiLoveSong: Megadeth mostly focused on politics and storytelling as opposed to personal stuff until around ''Countdown''. Some examples:
** "Last Rites / Loved to Deth", from ''Killing...'' is about a toxic relationship that carries over into hell (literally).
** "Wake Up Dead" from ''Peace Sells...'' is about a man trying to sneak back into his home without waking up his wife after cheating on her.
** "In My Darkest Hour" from ''So Far, So Good... So What!''
** "Tornado of Souls" from ''Rust in Peace'' is about divorce and features some pointed {{Take That}}s to the woman in question.
** "This Was My Life" from ''Countdown to Extinction''.
** "Reckoning Day" from ''Youthanasia''.
** "Trust" and "Almost Honest" from ''Cryptic Writings''. "Almost Honest" doubles as a BreakupSong:
--->''I lied just a little\\
When I said I need you\\
You stretched the truth\\
When you said that you knew\\
I just can't believe it\\
There's nothing to say\\
I was almost honest\\
** "The Hardest Part of Letting Go... Sealed with a Kiss," from ''Endgame''.
* ArcNumber: Thirteen for... well, ''[=TH1RT3EN=]''.
* AsTheGoodBookSays: "Shadow of Deth" is basically Psalm 23 as a Megadeth song.
* AudienceParticipationSong:
** [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xX6UjWMffaY MEGADETH!!! MEGADETH!!! AGUANTE MEGADETH!!]]
** The instrumental part of "Hangar 18" has its main riff seem just ''made'' to yell "ME-GA-DETH!" to it. They have many more songs for this, just check the DVD "That One Night" for more examples.
* AxCrazy: "Black Friday" is about a serial killer who dispatches his victims in ''very'' bloody fashion.
* AxesAtSchool: "Have Cool, Will Travel".
* BadassBoast:
** Basically the first 2 minutes of vocals in "Prince of Darkness".
** From "Peace Sells":
--->"What do you mean I couldn't be President of the United States of America\\
Tell me something, it's still 'We The People', right?"
* BawdySong: The original "The Mechanix" [[note]] which Metallica rewrote into "The Four Horsemen" [[/note]], which uses [[AutoErotica auto repairs as a metaphor for getting busy]].
* BitingTheHandHumor: Their last release on Capitol Records was a GreatestHitsAlbum titled ''Capitol Punishment: The Megadeth Years.''
* BungledSuicide: "Skin o' My Teeth", from ''Countdown to Extinction.''
-->'''Dave''': This is a song about how many times I tried to kill myself and just couldn't get the fucking job done.
* CallBack: "Victory" from ''Youthanasia'' is loaded with references to older songs.
* CensoredForComedy: The original writer of "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'," Lee Hazlewood, objected to Megadeth's parody cover and its changed lyrics after its release. So when all of ''Killing Is My Business'' got remixed and remastered in 2002, ''every'' lyric change got bleeped out, but the worst the song really got was "Now someone else can kiss your ass" and "Whaddya know bitch, you got a lot to learn." And what would you make of the line "One of these days, these boots are gonna [[spoiler:stomp]] all over you"?
** According to Dave, the reason why the censorship happened in the first place indeed stemmed from Lee's objections. However, between the album's original release in 1985 until it was being prepared for remastering, Lee had made no objection at all until [[MoneyDearBoy the royalty checks stopped coming in]].
* ChronologicalAlbumTitle: ''[[Letters2Numbers TH1RT3EEN]]''.
* ConceptAlbum: ''Peace Sells...'', ''Rust in Peace'', ''Countdown to Extinction'', ''Youthanasia'', and ''Dystopia'', all of them sort of.
* ConspiracyTheorist: Some of Mustaine's lyrics deal with conspiracy, such as "New World Order", "Washington is Next!" and "Endgame." He was also a friendly guest on the Alex Jones Show.
* ContinuityNod:
** "Return to Hangar" from ''The World Needs a Hero'' was written as a SequelSong to "Hangar 18" from ''Rust in Peace''.
** The symbols at the bottom of ''[=Th1rt3en=]'' reference the previous 12 covers ([[http://i.imgur.com/EfF7Zhu.jpg a booklet picture]] even sets them in chronological order).
* CountryMatters: The messed up line in their cover of "Anarchy in the U.K." ("Or just another country / And other cunt-like tendencies", instead of "Another council tenancy") was due to Mustaine not being able to understand what Johnny Rotten was singing in many parts.
* CoverDrop: Three straight examples, with the earliest being ''[[http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-fYakqapTzo8/Tb8_c0eRLFI/AAAAAAAAA7s/Hq9DiOkFHwU/s1600/Megadeth-Youthanasia.jpg Youthanasia]]'':
--> ''" 'We've been hung out to dry.' That line is probably the strongest representation of how we feel about the young people who listen to our music and what their future holds for them. You have a choice -- you can be pro-active, or you can choose youthanasia."''\\
-- Dave Mustaine, explaining the song "[[TitleDrop Youthanasia]]" in an interview.
** The cover to ''[[http://www.metalinjection.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/600px-Megadeth_-_The_System_Has_Failed.jpg The System Has Failed]]'' makes a bit more sense with the lyrics to "Kick the Chair," which also [[TitleDrop contains the album title]]:
---> ''Justice means nothing today''\\
''Now that the courts are for sale''\\
''Pick a crime from the menu; pick a sentence and defend you''\\
''And pay the down payment called bail''\\
''The system's for sale''
** And finally, ''Endgame'' is explained in its title track, like ''Youthanasia'' above:
---> ''A system of controlled movement, like a giant ant farm''\\
''Any time is a long time, now you're not in charge of your time anymore''
** Surprisingly, this was subverted with ''[[http://images1.buymusichere.net/images/w/302/60302.jpg Countdown to Extinction]]'' even before Megadeth started to play the trope straight. The title track actually speaks out against [[https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Canned_hunt canned hunting]] in this case, rather than being a WarIsHell song like several of the '80s tracks.
** There is a borderline example in the very first album, as "Skull Beneath the Skin" describes Vic Rattlehead (whose skull adorns the album cover).
* CoverVersion and RearrangeTheSong: Any song they cover, they make it thrash metal, and it's awesome.
** [[Music/NancySinatra "These Boots"]] (''Killing is My Business...'' -- though they also rewrote part of the lyrics)
** [[Music/HowlinWolf "I Ain't Superstitious"]] (''Peace Sells...'')
** [[Music/SexPistols "Anarchy in the U.K."]] (''So Far, So Good... So What?'') and "Problems" (B-side to ''A Tout le Monde'', also appears on ''Hidden Treasures'')
** [[Music/AliceCooper "No More Mr. Nice Guy"]] (soundtrack to ''Film/{{Shocker}}'', also appears on ''Hidden Treasures'')
** [[Music/BlackSabbath "Paranoid"]] (''Nativity in Black'' Volume 1, ''Hidden Treasures'') and "Never Say Die" (''Nativity in Black'' Volume 2)
** [[Music/LedZeppelin "Out on the Tiles"]] (bonus track in ''United Abominations'')
** [[Music/ThinLizzy "Cold Sweat"]] (''Super Collider'')
** [[Music/{{Fear}} "Foreign Policy"]] (''Dystopia'')
** [[Music/{{Budgie}} "Melt the Ice Away"]] (''Dystopia'')
** "Grabbag", a.k.a. the ''VideoGame/DukeNukem3D'' theme. (bonus track in ''Risk'' and ''Duke Nukem: Music to Score By'')
** "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" for an all-metal Christmas album. It's as epic as you think.
* {{Cyberpunk}}: Dystopia in all it's glory.
* DidYouThinkICantFeel: The lyrics of "When" express this.
* DrugsAreBad: "Burnt Ice," from ''United Abominations'' is about drug addiction, most likely meth. "Poison Was the Cure" [[note]] about using methadone to beat heroin addiction [[/note]], "Addicted to Chaos", "Use the Man"[[note]] about the degradation drugs can cause [[/note]], and "Kingmaker" are other examples.
* EpicRocking: "When", from ''The World Needs a Hero'' lasts 9:13.
* EverythingsBetterWithMonkeys: The chimpanzees in the video for "Public Enemy No. 1."
* EverythingTryingToKillYou: The final verse of "Black Curtains".
* EvilLaugh: This was used to {{Narm}}ful levels in "Loved to Deth", but only once at the start of "Lucretia" (the latter can also be heard in "Victory" when the song is referenced).
* ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin:
** "Head Crusher", from ''Endgame''. Its starting solo WILL crush your head. It makes sense, since it's about an ancient torture device that crushes your skull. Not pretty. Just look at the album art for the [[http://tanakamusic.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/09/Megadeth-Head-Crusher.jpg single.]]
** The band's thirteenth album is entitled "''[[Letters2Numbers Th1rt3en]].''"
* [[ExcitedShowTitle Excited Album Title!]]: ''Killing is My Business... And Business is Good!'' and ''So Far, So Good... So What!''
** [[ExcitedShowTitle Excited Song Title!]]: "Killing is My Business... And Business is Good!", "Washington is Next!" (from ''United Abominations''), "This Day We Fight!" (from ''Endgame''), and "Burn!" (from ''Super Collider'').
* FadingIntoTheNextSong: "Dialectic Chaos" into "This Day We Fight!" and "Bodies" into "Endgame", both from ''Endgame''.
* FamousLastWords: "À Tout le Monde" is a hypothetical version, as clarified by Dave in an interview.
* FilkSong:
** The second part of "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due" is about ComicBook/ThePunisher, from Frank Castle's point of view.
** "Five Magics" from ''Rust in Peace'' is about the Lyndon Hardy novel "Master of the Five Magics"
* {{Gorn}}: A large part of "Black Friday"'s lyrics are about the...very messy things the song's subject does to his victims.
* GratuitousFrench: The chorus of "A Tout le Monde". Surprisingly well-pronounced though. Also, the demo for said song had significantly less refined French than the final version, but Mustaine got the help of an unnamed French journalist to tidy things up.
* GratuitousSpanish:
** Dave has some degree of Spanish competence, as he shows in ''That One Night''.
** There are versions of "Trust" and "Promises" with the choruses translated literally; the Spanish chorus was used once when they performed "Trust" on ''That One Night'' (the other three iterations of the chorus were all still in English).
* HappyPlace: More like "A Secret Place", from ''Cryptic Writings''.
* HarshVocals: Dave often resorts to growling.
* HoldingOutForAHero: The trope was originally named "The World Needs a Hero," after all.
* {{Homage}}: According to Dave, "When", from ''The World Needs a Hero'', to Music/DiamondHead's "Am I Evil?".
* HorsemenOfTheApocalypse: "Blessed Are the Dead" seems to suggest they might be a lesser evil than [[HumansAreBastards mankind itself.]]
* {{Instrumentals}}: "VideoGame/DukeNukem Theme", "Dialectic Chaos" (from ''Endgame'') and "Into the Lungs of Hell". (From ''So Far, So Good... So What!'')
* InTheStyleOf: Parodied as ''Series/JimmyKimmelLive'' had them do a commercial for [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6uo_hugLlwQ a Christmas album]]. On the other end, Dave's daughter Electra is trying to make a career in country music, and [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-W4-BAMPcOA recorded Megadeth in that genre]].
* JustBeforeTheEnd:
** "Set the World Afire", from ''So Far...''
** "Countdown to Extinction" and "Symphony of Destruction", from ''Countdown to Extinction''.
*** "Countdown to Extinction" is actually about canned hunting, so the "extinction" here is of endangered animal species, not the world as a whole.
** "How the Story Ends", from ''Endgame''.
* LastChorusSlowDown: "Trust" and "A Tout le Monde".
* LastNoteNightmare: "High Speed Dirt", a song about skydiving, ends with an "[=shii=]''iiiiiIIIIIIT''" -- (loud thud / splat sound).
* MetalBandMascot: Vic Rattlehead, the sensory-deprived skeleton who appears in some fashion on all their album art and is portrayed by a man in costume during concerts.
* {{Metalhead}}: "Rattlehead" is dedicated to the bandís mascot and the fans and is about thrashing to metal.
* MohsScaleOfRockAndMetalHardness: The first four albums are mainly an 8, sometimes going down to a 7, with the exception of ''Rust in Peace'''s "Dawn Patrol" which is about a 2. However, ''Countdown to Extinction'' is less harsh in contrast, and its follow-up, ''Youthanasia'', is more melodic overall. Both albums are a pretty solid 7 for the most part (with "Foreclosure of a Dream" and "Addicted to Chaos" being a 6, and "A Tout le Monde" being about a 5). ''Cryptic Writings'' is more commercial, being mostly at about a 6-7. ''Risk'', missing many of the metal influences the band had before, is at about a 4-6 on the scale. The next three albums were mostly a 7 with an occasional step up to an 8. ''Endgame,'' however, returns to the mostly 8 songs. In contrast, ''Th1rt3en'' returns to the mostly 7 songs, while ''Super Collider'' is a 6-7. This was reversed with ''Dystopia'', which returns to mostly 8 songs. The band rarely made it into 9 territory, with "Loved to Deth", "Good Mourning / Black Friday", and "Head Crusher" teetering around 8-9.
** "Use the Man" is probably the hardest Megadeth song to pin down on this scale. Its verses are a 2, the chorus is about a 4 or 5, and the guitar solo and outro are a 7 or 8.
* MohsScaleOfLyricalHardness: Hardly gets below a 6, as Dave is extremely cynical, and can punctuate with things such as the violent descriptions of "Black Friday".
* MoodWhiplash:
** "The Hardest Part of Letting Go... Sealed With a Kiss" begins as a ballad, but then turns into an aggressive metal song without warning partway through. It then changes back to a ballad at the end. In ''Endgame'', it is followed by "Head Crusher", which is [[ExactlyWhatItSaysOnTheTin possibly the heaviest song on the album]].
** "Last Rites / Loved to Deth" starts with a soft piano / organ piece, then descends into brutal thrashery.
* MovieBonusSong: "[[Film/LastActionHero Angry Again]]", "[[Music/AliceCooper No More]] [[Film/{{Shocker}} Mr. Nice Guy]]," "[[Film/DemonKnight Diadems]]" and "[[Film/SuperMarioBros Breakpoint]]." All collected in the ''Hidden Treasures'' EP.
** "Diadems" is a different version on the soundtrack, however.
** They also rerecorded "These Boots" in 1988 for a movie soundtrack. This version of the song has not been rereleased.
** "[[Film/UniversalSoldier Crush 'Em]]".
* MyspeldRokband / FunetikAksent: Mega''deth'', as opposed to "megadeath", a term coined in 1953 by RAND military strategist Herman Kahn to describe one million deaths in the event of thermonuclear war (which Dave considered AGoodNameForARockBand after reading it in a flyer).
* NameTron: "Psychotron" from ''Countdown''.
* NewSoundAlbum: The first was arguably ''Rust in Peace'', as it was much more focused on technical musicianship than the previous albums. ''Countdown'' is the first definite example, slowing down to a more traditional metal style than pure thrash / speed. ''Youthanasia'' continued this style, featuring mostly slow-paced songs and downtuned instruments (to E-flat; most Megadeth albums are done in E-tuning). ''Cryptic Writings'' was a much more blatantly commercial sounding album, and ''Risk'' is the one where metal pretty much went out the door and fans and critics started screaming.
* NonAppearingTitle: "Bad Omen," "Poison Was the Cure" and "My Kingdom" (although the word "king" appears twice in the last one). Only part of the title appears in "Holy Wars... The Punishment Due," "Tornado of Souls," "Return to Hangar" (sequel to "Hangar 18" with the same exact chorus lyric) and "Never Walk Alone... A Call to Arms."
* NotChristianRock: Four songs from ''The System Has Failed'' (The four last ones: "Truth Be Told", "Of Mice and Men", "Shadow of Deth" and "My Kingdom Come") and two songs from ''United Abominations'' ("Never Walk Alone... A Call to Arms" and "Blessed Are the Dead").
* NowILayMeDownToSleep: Used at the beginning of "Go to Hell", and then parodied at the end:
-->Now I lay me down to sleep,\\
BlahBlahBlah, my soul to keep.\\
If I die before I wake,\\
I'll go to hell, for heaven's sake!
* OminousLatinChanting: You'll know that TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt is coming when you hear [[OpeningChorus the Angel's Choir at the beginning of]] "Symphony of Destruction"...
* ParentalIncest: "Family Tree", which even uses the lures molesters use as part of the chorus.
* PrisonRape: Shows up in the last verse of "Captive Honour".
* ProtestSong: "Symphony of Destruction" [[note]] about politicians and leaders becoming power-hungry tyrants [[/note]], "Countdown to Extinction" [[note]] about canned hunting and extinctions [[/note]], "Washington is Next!", "Amerikhastan", "Gears of War", etc.
* ProfessionalKiller / PsychoForHire: The song "Killing is My Business... And Business is Good!" is about an assassin who promises to come after his employer once he's made his assigned hit.
* {{Portmanteau}}: ''Youthanasia'' (Youth+euthanasia, referencing how Dave felt society is filled with "young people turning to drugs, gangs, crime, violence, teenage pregnancy and ultimately suicide whether it's quickly or whether it takes a long period of time").
* PunctuatedForEmphasis: A few {{Title Drop}}s combine this with BigWordShout (e.g. "Peace... Sells... ''But who's buying''?", "SWEATING '''BULLETS!'''")
* RageAgainstTheHeavens: "Elysian Fields".
* RatedMForManly: They did a version of VideoGame/DukeNukem's [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oUCbflBkIgo theme]], for Duke's sake!
* RereleaseTheSong:
** "À Tout Le Monde" from ''Youthanasia'' was remade as a SopranoAndGravel duet for ''United Abominations''.
** Several on ''[=TH1RT3EN=]'': "Sudden Death" (originally recorded for ''VideoGame/GuitarHero: Warriors of Rock'' in 2010), "Black Swan" (bonus track on ''United Abominations'') as well as "New World Order" and "Millennium Of The Blind" (bonus tracks on the 2004 remaster of ''Youthanasia''ó a demo of "New World Order" also appeared on some editions of the ''[[MovieSongBonus Hidden Treasures]]'' EP).
* RockStarSong: "Rattlehead", "The Killing Road", "Bodies".
* RussianRoulette: "My Last Words" is about this from the perspective of someone playing it.
* SanitySlippage: The subject of "Sweating Bullets"
* {{Sampling}}:
** "Use the Man" begins with an excerpt from The Searchers' "Needles and Pins" (this only appeared on the original CD and not the remaster).
** The band's cover of the ''Duke Nukem'' theme features samples of Duke's catchphrases from ''Videogame/DukeNukem3D''
** Samples of actual AK-47 shots and news reports were used in "44 Minutes".
* SelfDeprecation:
** After Dave unintentionally caused a riot at a concert in Ireland, he wrote the line "Fools like me who cross the sea / And come to foreign lands" in "Holy Wars" as a jab at himself.
** He also slips in the line 'All my friends say: Dave you're mental anyway' into "Lucretia".
** A Vic Rattlehead ChestBurster breaks out of Dave's guts in the cover of ''The World Needs A Hero'' (after all, how else to [[HesBack re-welcome the mascot]] after 11 years and 4 albums without him on the cover?).
* SequelSong: "Return to Hangar", to "Hangar 18".
* SongOfSongTitles: "Victory", from ''Youthanasia'', is a basic example of this. A funny thing to notice is how the songs are, for the most part, well-divided amongst themselves: ''Killing'' and ''Peace Sells'' songs on the first verse, and ''So Far...'', ''Rust'' and ''Countdown'' songs on the second (though "Peace Sells" gets dropped in the second verse).
* SopranoAndGravel: Their remake of "A Tout le Monde" on ''United Abominations'' with [[Music/LacunaCoil Cristina Scabbia]].
* SpellingSong: The chorus of "Hook in Mouth":
--> F is for fighting, R is for red\\
Ancestors' blood in battles they've shed\\
E we elect them, E we eject them\\
In the land of the free, and the home of the brave\\
D for dying, O your overture\\
M they will cover your grave with manure\\
This spells out "freedom", it means nothing to me\\
[[TakeThat As long as there's a PMRC]]
* SpokenWordInMusic: The famous "Read my lips" quote by UsefulNotes/GeorgeHWBush was sampled in 1992's "Foreclosure of a Dream," and 2004's "The Scorpion" ends with a chain of news reports by the same anchorman while the music fades out.
** The band has actually used this quite frequently since ''Countdown to Extinction''.
* StarCrossedLovers: [[TearJerker The quite sad]] "[[CrowningMomentOfHeartwarming Promises]]".
* StopAndGo: Heard in "Bad Omen" and "Sleepwalker".
* StudioChatter:
** Nick yells [[GratuitousGerman "Eins, zwei, drei, vier!"]] for the count-in to "Train of Consequences"; this was removed on the remaster.
** At the end of their cover of "[[Music/BlackSabbath Paranoid]]":
---> [''song ends, but drums continue''] \\
'''Dave:''' Nick. Nick! NICK!!! [''drums abruptly stop'']\\
'''Nick:''' *almost inaudibly, due to him not having his own mic* Fuck...me...running!
* TakeThat:
** Metallica can be seen as the first bullseye of Mustaine's declarations, for obvious reasons. The "Don't wear no leather to fit in / Don't wear no spikes to be cool" in "Rattlehead" from ''Killing...'' is very easy to interpret as a shot at the lyrics "No life 'til leather" and "[...] with your leathers and your spikes" from "Hit the Lights" and "Whiplash", respectively, from ''Kill 'em All''.
** "Hook In Mouth", while being a song against censorship in general, takes a very direct hit at [[MoralGuardians the PMRC]].
** "Liar" was written about Chris Poland, who ended up [[WelcomeBackTraitor recording as a session member for the ''Rust In Peace'' demos]] only ''one year'' later (and eventually for ''The System Has Failed'' in 2004).
** "Something That I'm Not", from ''The System Has Failed'', could either be a shot at Lars Ulrich or Bud Prager, their [[ExecutiveMeddling infamous producer]]:
---> Unlike you I'm no vision to myself, lest you forget\\
You didn't ever make metal, buddy; metal made you
** "Back In The Day" is a TakeThat at Bud Prager and is mentioned as such in the booklet for ''The System Has Failed''.
* TalkingToThemself: The lyrics of "Sweating Bullets" are written to resemble this and says so in the last verse.
-->Well, me, it's nice talking to myself\\
A credit to dementia
* TalkyBookends: The title track to ''United Abominations'' begins and ends with Dave narrating like an anchorman.
* ThreeChordsAndTheTruth... or rather ''Truth And The EpicRocking''
* TitleTrack: Every album except ''Risk'', ''So Far, So Good... So What!'' and those listed in AlbumTitleDrop. Even then, there are the variants "Peace Sells" (the full title is a line on the song) and "13" (the album title is not the number itself, but it spelled out as a word).
* UncommonTime: All over the place in some of the band's material. "Five Magics" goes through about five time signature changes in slightly over as many minutes, including segments in 7/4 and 5/4. ''Rust in Peace'' in general has a lot of this.
* TheVamp: "She-Wolf" is all about one.
* VerySpecialEpisode: The music video for "99 Ways to Die" is about gun violence against children.
* WarIsHell: Several songs, including "Holy Wars"[[note]]not "The Punishment Due", which is based on ComicBook/ThePunisher[[/note]], which is about the senselessness of fighting for religion, and "Take No Prisoners" which is about not only war but the ruin of the soldiers.
* TheXOfY: Without the ''The'', although is implied: "Symphony of Destruction", "Architecture Of Aggression", "Foreclosure of a Dream", "Blood of Heroes", ''VideoGame/GearsOfWar''...
* XtremeKoolLetterz: The song "Mechanix," the album ''[[Letters2Numbers Th1rt3en]]'' and hell, even [[FunetikAksent the band name itself]].
* {{Yandere}}: The protagonist of "Last Rites/Loved to Deth", who kills a girl so no one else will date her.

[[folder:Misc tropes]]
* TheArtifact: Mustaine says in the liner notes to the 2004 remix/remaster of ''Risk'' that he knew it was the beginning of the end for the band. Only a few months after those liner notes were written, the band reformed and released their comeback album ''The System Has Failed'' and are still going strong to this day. The 2004 remaster of ''Risk'' is still the in-print version of it, and the liner notes haven't been changed, so it can confuse people who don't know Mustaine really thought the band were finished when he wrote those liner notes.
* ContemptibleCover: The original ''Killing Is My Business...'' cover, as the label lost Mustaine's sketch and recreated with whatever props they could find (both Mustaine and Ellefson expressed contempt, describing it as "a plastic skull covered in ketchup"). It was solved with the 2001 re-release, whose art is closer to Mustaine's idea.
* FollowTheLeader: ''Many'' parallels with Music/{{Metallica}}'s career. Most of the bands' albums had similarities in the execution, with Megadeth usually following Metallica's lead. (''...And Justice For All'' and ''Rust In Peace''; ''Metallica'' (The Black Album) and ''Countdown to Extinction''; even ''Load''/''Re Load'' and ''Cryptic Writings'', to an extent.) Inverted after ''St. Anger''; Metallica's ''Death Magnetic'' is a comeback in the vein of ''The System Has Failed'' (though some will say that said comeback also happened around the same time with ''Endgame'').
* FourTemperamentEnsemble:
** Mustaine: choleric
** Ellefson: melancholic
** Kiko: phlegmatic
** Dirk: sanguine
* GeorgeLucasAlteredVersion:
** The 2004 re-releases of all their prior work count as this, as they went beyond simply remastering and remixing the music and actually re-recorded some some guitar and vocal tracks, as some of the original multitrack master tapes were said to be lost. While they didn't change the songs much, the new versions feature an older Dave. True to the spirit of this trope, the release of the new versions put the originals out of print. However, the original mixes of ''Rust in Peace'' and ''Countdown to Extinction'' have both been reissued, but are straight remasters from the original mixdowns and not re-mixed.
** Mustaine however lied about this when it came to remastering the MD.45 album ''The Craving''. He initially said that Lee Ving's vocals and harmonica tracks were lost, hence his addition of his own vocals and guitar, but then years later, said he remixed the album to make it sell better. Fans remain divided as to which tracks work better with Mustaine's vocals and which don't.
* ChronologicalAlbumTitle: ''[=TH1RT3EN=]''.
* IAmTheBand: Until ''The World Needs a Hero''. Dave Mustaine later took offense to [[Music/{{Aerosmith}} Steven Tyler]] saying that Mustaine was Megadeth, and several band members have been given more influence in song writing and line-up decisions. Pretty much every line-up change since 2004 has come from recommendation from everyone else in the band, including Dave Ellefson's return.
* IdiosyncraticCoverArt: A 1998 re-release of their catalog has mascot Vic Rattlehead [[https://tshirtslayer.com/files-tshirt/styles/shirtview/public/user-5800/e63db484451d63de3e12cecc661d724b.jpg on the albums' spines]].
* MetalBandMascot: The [[DemBones skeletal]] Vic Rattlehead. He's a VisualPun for "See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil", although in "Skull Beneath the Skin", the song that apparently describes his creation, he's the victim of a black magic ritual:
-->Prepare the patient's scalp\\
To peel away\\
Metal caps his ears\\
He'll hear not what we say\\
Solid steel visor\\
Riveted across his eyes\\
Iron staples close his jaws\\
So no one hears his cries
* MonsterMash: On Halloween 2013, [[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YC4BGeWE-9A the band performed in]] Hollywood for Jimmy Kimmel [[http://www.braingell.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Megadeth-with-Kimmel.jpg dressed as classic monsters]]. Mustaine was FrankensteinsMonster (possibly because it allows to hide his hair...), David Ellefson the WolfMan, Chris Broderick ThePhantomOfTheOpera, and Shawn Drover was {{Dracula}}. (the "Franchise/DonkeyKong" in the picture is Kimmel himself).
* NinjaPirateZombieRobot: Vic's been depicted as various things, from [[https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/5/58/Megadeth_-_Holy_Wars.jpg a general]] to a {{Cyborg}} [[http://static.musictoday.com/store/bands/1845/product_large/MDT66241.jpg assassin]].
* NoHoldsBarredBeatdown: The music video for "Head Crusher" is based around a wrestling tournament in which skilled fighters beat up prisoners.
* {{Remaster}}: Mustaine remixed and remastered all of the albums from ''Killing Is My Business...'' through ''Risk'' while he was recovering from his arm injury.
* ThePowerOfRock: In a episode of ''WesternAnimation/DuckDodgers'', Megadeth successfully fought off a Martian invasion by performing the song "Back in the Day". Dave Mustaine had a modified electric guitar that shot laser beams at space ships.
* PutOnABus: Literally the way Dave Mustaine was expelled from Metallica.
* RevolvingDoorBand: The members listed at the top of the page are only the members who have appeared on some recording. At least two more drummers and three more guitarists could be added to that list, including [[Music/{{Slayer}} Kerry King]] during the band's early years. In total, 20 different musicians have been members of Megadeth over the years.
* TheRival: Metallica was clearly this for Mustaine. Not anymore though.
* SesameStreetCred: Mustaine guest-starred in ''WesternAnimation/DuckDodgers''.
* StartMyOwn: Mustaine's reason about why he started Megadeth. It was after he was fired from Music/{{Metallica}} due to his alcohol problems. Various former members have also done this; Greg Handevidt formed Kublai Khan (not to be confused with the hardcore group of the same name), Chris Poland has had various projects over the years (the jazz fusion act Ohm probably being the most famous), Gar Samuelson started the progressive thrash group Fatal Opera with his brother, and both Chris Broderick and Shawn Drover started the thrash / melodic death metal group Act of Defiance.
* TakeThat:
** Some ex-members like David Ellefson, Al Pitrelli and Nick Menza are/were among the receptors of Dave's word shots on interviews. Ironically, Ellefson would return to the band and they're back to being friends again.
** Another interview had him taking a jab at Music/{{Pantera}} for aping their sound. Ironically again, he wanted Dimebag Darrell in the past for the band, and he aped ''their'' sound for "Train of Consequences".
* ThinlyVeiledDubCountryChange: Their cover of [[Music/SexPistols "Anarchy in the UK"]], despite leaving the title the same, changes all mentions of the UK to the USA. However, almost none of the other lyrics are rewritten to reflect this, making the references to very British political issues like the IRA feel very out of place.