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"We are not groupies. Groupies sleep with rock stars, ’cause they want to be near someone famous. We’re here because of the music. We are Band-aids."
Penny Lane, Almost Famous

"Groupie" refers to a (usually female) fan of a musician who enjoys them to a degree more so than normal fans. The term originates from 1965 but the concept dates back at least to the 1940s. A more modern and generalized equivalent would be a "fangirl". The term "groupie" usually refers to fans of music but also applies to fans of athletes, celebrities, and actors. For simplification reasons, this trope refers specifically to use music fans.

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What sets groupies apart from other fans, however, is that they're best known for following around the musicians on tour. Due to this, it's often assumed that all groupies try to sleep with band members. Some do, but most groupies keep their admiration at a distance.

Groupie characters are most common in works created or set during the 1960s through 1980s, though they still appear to a lesser degree in works set afterwards. Narratively, these are usually background characters or Disposable Love Interests in a rock music themed setting. Groupies are a resource for the mindless sex that's essential to Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll.

Similar to a groupie is a "rock bimbo" from the 1980s, though that has become a Forgotten Trope. It's a trope based on the idea that many female fans of rock bands are attractive, shallow, dumb, promiscuous partiers and more often than not overlapping with stereotypes of the Valley Girl and images of the singer Madonna from the time. It went away completely with the rise of grunge rock in the 1990s. But at least the rock bimbo's look — long feathered hair, dark but skimpy clothing, and wearing lots of long necklaces topped by maybe a large crucifix — has long been a relic.

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Compare to The Roadie, Fangirl, and Loony Fan. See also Groupie Brigade, which refers to a group of groupies surrounding characters.


Examples:

Comic Books

  • Jem and the Holograms:
    • Clash is a groupie for the metal band The Misfits who hangs around them often. She wants to be a part of their band. Unlike in the cartoon, they tolerate Clash being around, however they still don't consider her Misfits material.
    • Downplayed with Clash's best friend, Blaze. She's a huge Misfits fangirl but doesn't actively hang out with them. Blaze ends up becoming a Misfit after filling in for an ill Pizzazz and impressing the group.
  • Scott Pilgrim has Knives Chau, the self-declared first groupie of the Sex Bob-Omb, even making her own t-shirts with the words and logo of the band. Not to mention she's already a groupie for Clash at Demonhead, the big band of the moment and admires Envy Adams (Scott's Evil Ex).
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Fan Works

  • The Jem fic Bad Influence turns Clash into the type of groupie that tries to sleep with the band. Stormer has only kissed and cuddled with her, but it's implied her bandmates have done more.

Film — Live Action

  • The film Almost Famous revolves around groupies. It's set in the 1970s and follows a teen as he tours with a rockband. During this experience, he gets to meet the band's groupies as well.
  • In School of Rock, Dewey assigns three girls as "groupies" of the other band members. Summer, however, refuses to be a groupie and is instead given the role of band manager.
  • The Banger Sisters (with Goldie Hawn and Susan Sarandon) is about a pair of former groupies who reunite years later. Suzette (Hawn) is still living a fairly wild, rock-n-roll lifestyle, but Vinnie (Sarandon) has become a conservative, middle-class mother, who is both appalled and attracted by the reminder of her wild youth.
  • 200 Motels features rock star Keith Moon of The Who playing a nun who is obsessed with rock bands, and wants to be a groupie, but is hindered by...looking like Keith Moon.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show has Columbia credited as "A Groupie". She acts as a devoted fan of Frank-N-Furter throughout the film, even after she snaps at him for how he treats people.
  • Arthur in Velvet Goldmine is a male example. In his youth he's an ardent fan of the Glam Rock band Venus In Furs and devotes his life to following them on tour for a time. He even ends up sleeping with Kurt Wild, the guitarist.

Live-Action TV

  • In one episode of Monty Python's Flying Circus, a sketch about government ministers who talk about policy while stripping is followed by an interview with a group of Groupies who have been following the government ministers around for about five years. The women are all blonde, heavily made-up, and somewhat ditzy.
  • In one Auf Wiedersehen, Pet episode Wayne notices a young woman hanging around outside the construction site, and thinks she might be waiting to be picked up by one of the workers; Barry notes that he's heard of rock groupies, but not cement groupies.
  • iCarly has Mandy Valdez, their biggest fan.

Music

  • The Beatles' song "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window" refers to a group of real life Beatles groupies called the "apple scruffs". The song refers to an incident where a few of them broke into Paul's house and stole some items.
  • In "Lover I Don't Have to Love" by Bright Eyes, the narrator has sex with a fan after his concert.
  • "Star Star" by The Rolling Stones is about the groupie scene during the 1970s.
  • The New Riders of the Purple Sage song "Groupie" is actually a subversion based on real life; it's about a young woman who looks and acts like a groupie during the shows—going so far as to tell the guards she "knows the drummer" so she can get up on the side of the stage to dance—but who always just leaves after the show is over instead of trying to get to...know the band.
    "She really ain't no groupie!...At least, that's what she said to me."
  • Pink Floyd's The Wall features groupies during the "Young Lust" portion of the storyline, where Pink is engaging in the lifestyle of Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll. Unfortunately, when he discovers that his wife is having an affair with another man, he turns his rage on one unfortunate groupie in "One Of My Turns", trashing his hotel room and frightening her away.
  • Sly and the Family Stone's song "Jane Is A Groupee" is about the type of groupie that tries to sleep with the band.
  • Michael Jackson's "Dirty Diana" is about avoiding seduction by a groupie who sleeps with a lot of musicians.
  • The Monkees’ “Star Collector” is about one.

Video Games

  • In Brütal Legend (a fantasy reimagining of everything Heavy Metal), Groupies are basic ranged units of General Lionwhyte's Hair Metal-themed army and Evil Counterparts of Ironheade's Razor Girls (or rather, Razor Girls are ex-Groupies who rebelled and defected to Lars' army with Ophelia's help).

Web Animation

  • Strong Bad Email: Several examples, most associated with the Hair Metal band Limozeen:
    • In "coloring", the Limozeen coloring book reaches out to groupies with the title "Ladies, we're staying in Room 302 at the Ramada", and one of the pages features the band serenading some "of age" groupies after the show.
    • In "best thing", the short-lived Limozeen cartoon mostly revolves around escaping from and/or giving backstage passes to alien groupie babes, in this case from the planet Groupulon-5.
    • In "time capsule", Strong Bad writes a Number One Jam and sends it into the future in the time capsule. He's sure it'll be a hit, and sits around waiting for people in the future to send him the royalties and groupies he feels he deserves.

Western Animation

  • Reoccuring character Clash from the 1980s cartoon Jem is a groupie for The Misfits. She hangs around them often and adores them. Clash wishes she could join their band, but they don't take her seriously because she's Hollywood Tone-Deaf and is terrible at instruments.
  • In GrojBand, the titular band has two loyal groupies, Kate and Allie. They are literally referred to as "groupies" by characters. Depending on the episode they can either be the band's loyal sidekicks or Loony Fans who are borderline stalkers.
  • Robot Chicken: One sketch based on Alvin and the Chipmunks has a fangirl wanting to be a groupie for the Chipmunks, something that Alvin is up for because he thinks it makes them a legitimate band.
    Simon: Don't even think about it, Alvin.
    Theodore: It's against God's plan!
    Alvin: We're 4-foot-high chipmunks! We're proof that God is dead!
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