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Garage Band

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There's twenty-two singers! But one microphone
Back in the garage
There's five guitar players! But one guitar
Back in the garage
Complaints! Complaints! Wot an old bag
Back in the garage
All night

So you want to start a band?

No money? Instruments held together with spit and duct tape? But you're gonna make it big someday, right? You'll need someplace to practice before you play the big stage. If you're from Suburbia do I have news for you! You have the ultimate practice space right in your own home!

The garage!

Yes, that dinky space where your dad keeps the Christmas decorations on the off season and keeps swearing that one day he'll clean it out so he can actually park his car in there. Co-opt that space now! Kick some stuff out of the way and drop your instruments where you can find space and wail away. You'll be playing concerts in no time, just open the garage door and the neighbors can get in on the action.

This trope is often played in fiction as a ragtag group of teenagers, for bonus points it may be a group of Emo Teens, forming a band. More rarely, it will consist of middle-aged adults; usually this is Played for Laughs, or to show what immature losers they are for doing something usually associated with teenagers or twenty-somethings. Sometimes the band is a spur of the moment thing, started as a weekend project or to win a talent show and becomes the plot of the episode. Often the band will break up at the end of the episode.

Truth in Television, obviously, as it tends to be the largest single room in a typical suburban house that isn't in constant use by the rest of the family. (It also tends to be somewhat soundproof, which is a bonus if you're not very good.) A number of successful bands have started out as Garage Bands, with Nirvana being one of the most famous in recent years. Hell, there's even a genre of music called Garage Rock. Not directly related to the Apple software of the same name, although many garage band members swear by it... if they can afford a MacBook.

See also Three Chords and the Truth.


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  • Chuck E. Cheese is the leader of Munch's Make Believe Band, the rock and roll band which he forms with his friends Helen Henny, Mr. Munch, Jasper T. Jowels, and Pasqually P. Pieplate. They are joined by Bella Bunny in the early 2020s.

    Anime & Manga 
  • In Tamako Market, Tamako's father was in one with Kunio, the current owner of the music cafe when he was a teenager. He even wrote a song for his future wife.

    Fan Works 
  • In this fanfic of 101 Dalmatians: The Series, the main pups form their own rock band. This fanfic later inspired a few fan arts and other fan works.
  • The My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic fanfic Rock N Roll Equestrian Style is about the Mane Six forming a rock band to perform at Canterlot. There are several fan arts of the Mane Six as a rock band, but this one matches the positions they have in the fanfic mentioned above, which seems to appropriately match their personalities (according to most user comments).

    Films — Animation 
  • The Barbie Diaries: Barbie is the leader of Charmz, the rock band she forms with Tia and Courtney.
  • My Little Pony: Equestria Girls – Rainbow Rocks:
    • The human counterparts of the Friendship Is Magic characters form a rock band, the "Rainbooms", following Rainbow Dash's idea. They're even seen rehearsing in the barn of Applejack's family farm. Several of the Web shorts preceding the movie also show them picking up their respective instruments.
    • The human Trixie forms one, "Trixie and the Illusions", with her two girlfriends.
    • Flash Sentry and his two buddies form their own, which is called "Flash Drive" in the novelization.
    • Photo Finish also forms one with two of her friends, known as "Photo Finish and the Snapshots" from the novelization.
  • Pixar Shorts: In the Mater's Tall Tales short "Heavy Metal Mater", Mater started out as the leader of his own garage band, Mater and the Gas Caps, before they became a famous rock band called Heavy Metal Mater.

    Films — Live-Action 

  • In "Cold Snap", Jamie Chambers is in a punk band called Transhumance with his girlfriend (who writes their songs) and his former roommate (who's the drummer). He figures Transhumance has a shot at success if they can get a PA system that works properly, a better drummer, any bass player, and enough songs to play a full set without repeating themselves. Another character notes that they've never played to an audience larger than fifty, which Jamie defensively says is a large crowd for the kind of venue they're able to get bookings at.
  • In Soul Music, there's Insanity/The Whom/The Surruptitious Fabric/The Blots/And Supporting Bands. Due to an absence of cars (and hence of garages), they rehearse in Crash's dad's stables.
  • In the Serge Storms novel Florida Roadkill, there's a Satanic Rock band that practices in a storage unit. They're so bad that they have to practice with the door closed because of noise complaints from the nearby airport.

    Live-Action TV 
  • iCarly: The b-plot of "iGet Banned" has Freddie and Gibby form a band called The Floors.
  • Julie and the Phantoms has Sunset Curve, a 90's garage rock band who were about to get their big break with a gig at the Orpheum, but three of the four members died before they even got to play. Years later the ghosts of the three dead members meet a living girl in the old garage where they used to play (as her family now owns it) and form a new band, the eponymous Julie and the Phantoms.
  • Make It Pop: Sun Hi, Jodi, Corki, and Caleb form the K-Pop garage band XO-IQ.
  • In Rita Rocks, Rita, a harried but Happily Married mother, finds a creative outlet in a garage band with her neighbor, her best friend, and her daughter's boyfriend.
  • The Partridge Family started out this way in their show.
  • Matt from Lizzie McGuire started a garage band once for a subplot.
  • Cory in the House has DC3, formed by Cody, Meena, and Newt. Sophie joins them one time.
  • Degrassi has had at least one active garage band among the main characters in every version of the franchise since 1987.
  • The George Lopez Show has an episode where George's son Max joins such a band as he is learning to play guitar.
  • The freaks had one in Freaks and Geeks, before it fell apart.
  • Liv and Maddie: Season 2 has Liv form one with Willow, Andie, and Holden called The Dream.
  • On My Name Is Earl, Earl recalls how he and his old friend Ralph, plus Randy and an elderly man from a fast-food drive-thru started a local band called "Phish Tako". They borrowed instruments, and even got a gig at the Crab Shack. But Earl and Ralph were hoping to get groupies...and their elderly bassist was scaring the women away, so they kicked him out. Earl ends up with two misdeeds to make up for: kicking out a band member on the basis of his age (just to get laid), and sleeping with Ralph's mother while drunk after the show.
  • On Orange Is the New Black, it's revealed that Caputo used to be in one of these, until his then-girlfriend informed him that she was four months pregnant (and not by him; she had cheated on him with one of his bandmates), he gave her an Honorable Marriage Proposal, and eventually that band broke up. Later in life (many years after she divorced him for that former bandmate), he joins another garage band called "Sideboob."
  • Taken: In "Charlie and Lisa", Lisa Clarke becomes the drummer in a garage band several days after she moves to Seattle in September 1992. In "God's Equation", she is still a member of the band in 2002.
  • The Thundermans: Max has his own band formed with his three buddies Oyster, Gideon, and Wolfgang (who replaced Angus after two episodes), but haven't agreed on a name. They break up in Season 4
  • An episode of The Wonder Years has a rock musician transfer into the protagonists' school and gets Kevin and friends to form a band. Even the so-called musician can't actually play; luckily the local cops shut them down for noise complaints before they get a chance to play for an audience.
  • Yo Gabba Gabba!: The Season 2 episode "Band" focuses on the Gabba Gang forming their own band like the Yo Dazzlers, and learning the importance of practice and performing together.

    Comic Strips 


    Video Games 
  • Hiveswap: Xefros and Dammek are in a band called the Grubbles (or Grubbels). The former acts as the vocalist laying down pro-rebellion raps with an auto tuned microphone, while the latter provides instrumentals and backup singing.
  • Mae, Gregg and Angus of Night in the Woods played in a band together before Mae left for college, and Bea joined during her absence. Gregg wastes no time recruiting Mae back in to play bass once she returns to Possum Springs.
  • Subverted in Total Distortion. One of its endgame locations is called "Hell's Garage", a literal garage in Hell. You can listen to a group of satanic rock songs by downloading them from a Macintosh, but the band itself is never seen, just its equipment.

    Visual Novels 
  • Invoked in Morgan’s epilogue of Double Homework with Uncle Tommy’s band, The Tits. Uncle Tommy, having to put on a concert as the last surviving band member, enlists Morgan and the protagonist to play with him, even though the protagonist has no musical background and Morgan’s playing is horrible. After several practices in the garage, they don’t seem to be getting any better, but Uncle Tommy eventually tells them that he was looking for a more amateur sound. And the concert delivers just that.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius has an episode where Jimmy & Co. try to start a band for a talent show.
  • American Dad! has Steve and his friends starting a band in one episode.
  • The titular characters of Beavis And Butthead started a garage band in one episode, despite only knowing how to play air guitar. They named their band "Metallica" and caused a huge riot when they didn't show up to a gig, where hundreds of people awaited the band of the same name.
  • The Bremen Avenue Experience takes the animal characters from the Fairy Tale "The Bremen Town Musicians" and re-imagines them as a modern day Funny Animal Garage Band.
  • The Bubble Guppies start a garage band in "We Totally Rock!" to perform for the Bubbletucky townsfolk.
  • In the ChalkZone music video segment "All Day Jam", Rudy, Penny, and Snap perform as one.
  • In Daria, there's Trent's band Mystik Spiral (but they're thinking of changing the name).
  • Darkwing Duck: In the episode "A Revolution in Home Appliances," Gosalyn, Honker, and Tank start a garage band of sorts.
  • Doug had an episode about this, apropriately titled, "Doug's Garage Band".
  • DuckTales (2017): The Three Caballeros are reimagined as having been one in this continuity, with Donald Duck, Panchito Pistoles, and José Carioca having literally practiced in Scrooge's garage during their college years, much to the latter's annoyance.
  • Family Guy:
    • Chris starts a metal garage band in one episode.
    • In another episode, Peter and his buddies form a rock band, but things don't go so well at their first gig when they find out they don't know any songs.
  • Grojband naturally stars one. Because "groj" sounds like "garage."
  • In Gumby Adventures, Gumby and his friends have a rock band of their own. They practice in their barn.
  • Home Movies:
    • Duane's garage band SCÄB (note the Heävy Mëtal Ümlaut). They even do a rock opera based on Franz Kafka.
    • Brendon and his pals start a band in "Guitarmageddon", but they put more energy into coming up with band names than on their music.
  • Kick Buttowski had the episode "Garage Banned" where Brad and his gang practiced to win the Battle of the Bands, leaving Kick and Gunther to practice elsewhere.
  • The Loud House: "House Band" features Luna and the Loud siblings forming a garage band to perform at the Family Fun Fair. A flashback in the same episode reveals Lynn Sr. used to be in one himself, but his horrid cowbell skills got him kicked out.
  • The early 2000s specials for Polly Pocket revolved around Polly and her friends forming a band, Polly and the Pockets, which performs at the end of each production.
  • The Simpsons:
    • The episode "Homer's Barbershop Quartet" shows Homer in a flashback starting a barbershop quartet with Barney Gumble, Principal Skinner, and Apu.
    • The episode "Covercraft" has Homer, Kirk Van Houten, Rev. Lovejoy, Dr. Hibbert, and Apu form a garage band.
  • South Park:
    • The Lords of the Underworld. They only become popular when they become Timmy and the Lords of the Underworld.
    • There's also Moop. In the same episode, Faith+1 starts out this way before getting popular.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants: The episode "Krabby Road" has SpongeBob and Plankton starting a band with Patrick and Squidward, which is actually a plot by Plankton to steal the krabby patty formula.
  • Sunny Day: "Band Together" has Sunny form a band with Rox, Blair, and Doodle for Timmy's talent show, called Sunny and the Sun Rays.
  • Vampirina has the titular vampire girl and her two human girlfriends form one called "The Ghoul Girls".