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Band Geek

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"This one time at band camp, I..."
"How could you have a soccer team if all were goalkeepers? How would it be an orchestra if all were French horns?"
Desmond Tutu

A staple in many American high schools, the Band Geek is an ubiquitous sight in the band room; they are usually seen traipsing down the hall with their instrument case, or jamming out in a practice room during study hall. They're never the cool kids, and are generally outcasts or nerds. Note that this contrasts hugely from the kids in a band who are generally cool rebels. The kids in the band are usually straight laced geeks. This is why that, though Girls Like Musicians, the band geeks are usually left out.

Sometimes, the more religious Band Geeks are found staring at their sheet music and annotating it, furiously fingering along to it if they can. Expect the sheet music to look insanely hard. The Band Geek is by no means a rare breed; despite not being conventionally "cool" or "popular" they can exist in huge numbers.


The Band Geek is not just about band; it can include orchestra kids too. (For those of you who don´t know the difference, band is usually the crowd with wind-related or percussion instruments, and orchestra is string instruments, like violin, cello, etc.)

Can be the result of parental pressure, which frequently overlaps with Asian and Nerdy. The Asian Band Geek usually plays a stringed instrument like piano or violin. A particularly talented Band Geek may be a Child Prodigy or Teen Genius. Most Band Geeks, however, do it just for fun. Compare Polka Dork, another character whose musical inclinations are shorthand for social awkwardness. See Music Tropes for more information pertaining to Band Geeks.



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    Anime & Manga 
  • Sound! Euphonium is a series about a group of high schoolers in an orchestra. A few of the characters are eccentric but not necessarily "geeky". The protagonist, Kumiko, has poor social skills but is not looked down upon for playing the euphonium.

    Comic Books 
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Wonder Woman (1942): In the Golden Age, a number of the Holliday Girls were in the band, and Etta Candy was a sousaphone player who took band very seriously.
    • The Legend of Wonder Woman (2016): Pamela Smuthers and her back-up singers look down on, bully, and try to sabotage the Holliday Girls, who are a musical group that includes three definite band geeks and where every member can play at least one instrument.

  • Subverted in American Pie: Michelle is shown to be a band camp geek throughout the movie and even loser Jim begrudgingly goes to prom with her for lack of alternatives. Turns out band camp is basically sex camp and she's actually very sexually forward and confident.
  • Doug from Descendants is the awkward, Dogged Nice Guy son of Dopey from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. He is in the band.

  • Skippy Dies: Seabrook doesn't have a proper band, but the authorities forcefully form a small wind ensemble out of a few boys, all of whom are extremely dorky. It's led by Ruprecht, a Teen Genius with no social skills whose french horn hobby is listed as one of his many geeky traits. Rounding out the quartet is Jeekers, Ruprecht's academic rival and a conscientiously rule-abiding dweeb, Geoff, a RPG-obsessed Cloud Cuckoolander, and Dennis, who is incredibly embarrassed to be in the group as he views being in a wind quartet the least cool thing he could do.


     Professional Wrestling 

  • Mixed with a generous helping of punk, Zia from Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues is a multi-instrumental musician who tutors for other students at the school. While not 'geeky', she is a social outcast due to events in her harrowing past.

    Video Games 
  • Band Camp Boyfriend: Every character in the game qualifies - they're at band camp.
  • In High School Story, Aiden has been learning to play the piano since he was four. He plays trumpet in the school band and is constantly trying to learn new instruments.
  • Persona 4: If the player elects to join the band over drama club, they will meet Ayane Matsunaga, a rare Japanese example of the trope. She's an introverted nerd with self-esteem issues that is in the band because she's too shy to be in a center stage role. Helping her overcome those issues is the crux of her character arc.

  • SWAP Ensemble is an odd music program that takes place after school for two hours on every day of February. The students who participate are also part of their own schools' bands and orchestras. Thus they are sacrificing even more time out of their day to practice music than they normally would.

    Western Animation 
  • Marcie from As Told by Ginger is a neurotic nerd who is in her school's band.
  • Hey Arnold!: Lorenzo is a put-upon kid who is under heavy pressure by his parents to succeed academically. He has almost no social life and instead just studies and practices the viola.
  • Lisa from The Simpsons is a huge loser in the school and fittingly, the only social activity she regularly partakes in is band, where she plays the saxophone.
  • Over the Garden Wall, Wirt, an awkward and insecure teen, plays the clarinet. The penultimate episode reveals that his crush and her group of dorky friends are all in marching band, but Wirt is too insecure and self-hating to even join.


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