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Groupie Brigade

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What no Idol Singer wants to run into fresh out of the shower.
"Billie and I got chased through the traffic once in a car. You expect paparazzi to do that, but when it's normal people you start to think the world's gone a bit mad."

In TV Land, whenever a famous musician or actor (or any kind of celebrity really) ventures out in public, there is good chance they will be descended upon by a Thundering Herd of screaming fans who will pursue, attempting to get their autographs, rip their clothes off, etc. The celebrity will probably find themselves forced to tactics such as hiding in garbage bins or donning ridiculous disguises to escape the Groupie Brigade.

Very much Truth in Television, versions of this trope have probably existed as long as there have been celebrities. However, it reached its apex in the 1960s and 70s as a result of Beatlemania. These days it is something of a Dead Horse Trope as most celebrities have security too tight to allow anything like this to happen, and fans must content themselves with flinging their underwear at their idols and other such shows of affection.

Compare Instant Fan Club. May overlap with Open the Door and See All the People. Can become an Angry Mob if someone expresses disdain for the focus of the group's adoration. See also: Celeb Crush which can result in Groupie Brigades. See also Paparazzi. For groupies as individual characters, see Groupie.


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  • The Chase (Pepsi) centres around Michael Jackson being chased around California by a large mob made up of both groupies and Paparazzi, leading him to do death-defying (and in some cases, literally impossible) stunts to get away.
  • A CN City bumper has the leads of Hi Hi Puffy AmiYumi walking into a store and immediately running out due to fans.

    Anime and Manga 
  • In Ceres, Celestial Legend (manga version only), the main character, Aya, goes to see the band GeSANG (which consists of two Ambiguously Gay Bishounen ... one of whom is really a Sweet Polly Oliver) and is literally trampled by a horde of crazed fangirls.
  • Sakuraba in Eyeshield 21 is frequently chased around by hordes of fangirls, much to the delight of his agent who is making a mint off merchandising. Hiruma Youichi once uses this to his advantage.
    Hiruma: Well, let's get rid of Sakuraba at least, using a simple missile.
  • In the Turning Red spinoff 4★Town 4★Real, Aaron T. attracts one of these when he is out shopping in a mall.
  • Despite not being a really "famous" person," Yuki Sohma of Fruits Basket is regularly stalked by the Prince Yuki Fanclub, a vast brigade of obsessive fangirls who are dedicated to adoring Yuki and making sure he stays single.
  • The members of Bad Luck in Gravitation tend to attract these.
  • Kamichama Karin Chu's Idol Singer Kuga Jin is often surrounded by hordes of fangirls. Karin has had to fight her way through the crowd to talk to him more than once.
  • Macross Frontier is the originator of the trope pic: Sheryl Nome has this group stalking her in High School. Yes she is in that room, yes that room is a shower, and yes that is a guy with a conspicuously angled camera.
  • In Skip Beat!, Kyoko has to get Ren by a groupie brigade.
  • Rukawa's fangirls in Slam Dunk. They follow him to every game, loudly cheering for him and against his opponents (and Sakuragi). He doesn't seem to know or care.
  • Early on in Yu-Gi-Oh! The Movie: Pyramid of Light, Yugi is mobbed and chased by a bunch of fans who really want to duel him.
  • Yuri "Yurio" Plisetsky of Yuri!!! on Ice has an entire club of fangirls who are infatuated with him, who call themselves the "Yuri Angels". He just finds them annoying.

    Comic Books 

    Fan Works 
  • When an exploratory team from the Discworld visits Earth in crossover work The Many Worlds Interpretation, this happens to Ponder Stibbons. Talked into dressing up for a cosplay night at Stuart Bloom's Comic Book Store, the nerdy and self-conscious young wizard realises that on Earth, his physical and facial resemblence to an older Daniel Radcliffe combined with being dressed as an imagined Earth Wizard draws attention.note  On Earth, Ponder also speaks with an educated British accent. Much to the discomfort of Ponder's actual girlfriend note . Ponder is mobbed by an admiring crowd. Who ring their friends to come along. Stuart is ecstatic: there have never been this many chicks in the store before.
    I'm tellin' you, hon, it's Daniel Radcliffe!
  • One of these kicks off the action in the New Zork chapter of With Strings Attached, as the four turn a corner and unexpectedly come face to face with a line of kids waiting to win free “Beagles” tickets. (Keep in mind, it's 1954, so they're hardly expecting to be recognized.) Given their various means of escape, Ringo gets the worst of it by far, being thrown off a garage roof by a fan trying to get him down to his friends. And the Groupie Brigade stuff doesn't end there:
    • Although Ringo escapes those fans by accidentally teleporting to the Plaza Hotel, he gets trapped there because it's under siege by more fans.
    • Paul manages to lure the Groupie Brigade around the Plaza into swamping the “Hitler Youth” trying to detain him, because one of them is wearing a “Beagle” wig.
    • When John leads the harveys in their peaceful protest, they're surrounded by fans, but he's protected by layer upon layer of giant rabbits.

    Film — Animated 
  • The Disney animated Hercules features a scene where Hercules' fangirls raid his mansion as he tries to leave it and trample him, forcing him to hide behind a curtain until Phil tricks them into leaving.
  • In Turning Red, Mei's classmates turn into this when she intentionally turns into a giant red panda in front of them for the first time.

    Film — Live Action 
  • In ABBA: The Movie, Ashley Wallace has multiple encounters with ABBA's obsessed fans as he follows the band around Australia, trying desperately to get an interview.
  • At the beginning of Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, Austin (a photographer) was being pursued by his Groupie Brigade, in a parody of A Hard Day's Night.
  • In Bedtime Story (1964), Freddy is pursued onto the train by a crowd of women he's seduced.
  • The Calamari Wrestler: Calamari gets them, and how! Swarms of women rush him for autographs in restaurants and on the streets of the city.
  • Prince Char in Ella Enchanted. Worse still, the leader of all the Groupie Brigades was essentially a stalker who had spent her spare time spying on him and is convinced she'll marry him eventually.
  • The opening scene of Ferry Cross the Mersey shows throngs of screaming girls greeting Gerry And The Pacemakers at the airport.
  • A Hard Day's Night: Possibly the Trope Codifier, with the hordes of groupies chasing The Beatles all around London. Supposedly those were real shots of real groupies chasing the Fab Four while the cameras rolled.
    • Amusingly inverted in their next movie Help! - the Beatles pull up to their homes, and the only girls around are a couple of middle-aged housewives, one of whom needs to be coaxed to wave.
      • A similar scene occurs in Confessions of a Pop Performer, where Sid and Timmy find a rock band they want to promote, and at their first concert, have to bus in some middle aged women who have to be encouraged to scream and wave.
  • The Idolmaker: Caesare's first concert suffers from inadequate security, allowing girls to climb onstage and swarm him a few lines into his first song. Once Caesare is taken backstage, the girls are cleared off, and security is beefed up, Vinny sends Caesare back onstage in the same ripped shirt, which he rips even more while he sings.
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. While in Berlin to retrieve the Grail diary, Indy gets tangled up in a mob of Nazis who are members of Hitler's fan club.
  • I Wanna Hold Your Hand, being a tribute to the Beatles' first day in America, has all manner of this.
  • Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat is treated this way during the musical number "Stone the Crows", to the dismay of both him and the Pharaoh.
  • The movie Nickelodeon (1976) has silent movie stars being stripped naked by screaming fans ripping off their clothing for souvenirs.
  • In Phantom of the Paradise, Phoenix gains one after her first performance at The Paradise. Winslow rescues her from it to have a private conversation with her on the roof. More bizarrely, Beef gains one after he dies: with the crowd enthusiastically chanting his name as his body is wheeled out to the ambulance.
  • The Rutles. There's a rather surreal sequence at the start of the film, where they hop from limo to limo to escape the hordes of fans. To be fair, there's a similar sequence in A Hard Day's Night.
  • Singin' in the Rain. Poor Don is simply trying to get to a party, yet he must climb onto a streetcar in order to escape his fangirls, ruining his clothes in the process.
  • Played dramatically in the Judy Garland remake of A Star Is Born where Vicki Lester can't attend her husband's funeral without being torn at by a groupie mob in attendance.
  • Will Success Spoil Rock Hunter? has a horde of groupies chasing poor Rock, after he's been splashed all over the tabloids as the supposed lover of movie star Rita Marlowe.
  • In Zachariah, The Crackers (Country Joe and The Fish), a rock band/gang of bandits, attract screaming women wherever they perform.

  • Aunt Julia And The Script Writer: Tons of women show up in the radio when Lucho Gatica pays a visit. They practically maim him trying to touch him.
  • In A Boy Made of Blocks, Emma mentions that when they were younger, Dan had a fan club of girls following him everywhere. She compares him to Justin Timberlake.
  • Parodied, along with most other rock group tropes, in the Discworld novel Soul Music. Crowds are overcome by the spirit of "Music with Rocks In", which apparently has no musical merit for objective listeners not themselves possessed by it. This causes them to behave like stereotypical groupies, as well as forming their own bands.
  • Herald Alberich takes advantage of one of these in Exile's Valor. When he realizes that the actor Norris is trailing him, he goes into a large inn and "happens" to mention the fact that Norris is outside to a roomful of young ladies ... then dives for cover as they charge outside and mob Norris.
  • I Funny: In the beginning of the third book in the series, "I Totally Funniest", Jamie has become so famous in his school for winning multiple comedy competitions that he is now popular with girls, as he is surrounded by screaming fangirls who all want his autograph, to the dismay of his friends. One of Jamie's rivals, Ben the Italian Scallion, has hordes of screaming female groupies as well.
  • In Monster Hunter Vendetta, Owen Pitt's brother (nicknamed Mosh) is a heavy metal guitarist of some renown, and is followed by a swarm of adoring orcs from the local village once he goes to the MHI compound.

    Live Action TV 
  • 100 Things to Do Before High School: "Meet Your Idol Thing!" culminates in CJ and an increasingly obsessed Mindy trying to make their way through a horde of crazed Anthony Del Rey fans in an effort to meet the pop star. Hilarity Ensues.
  • The Buffy the Vampire Slayer episode "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" has a spell go wrong (as they often do) and Xander is chased by hordes of love-sick fans. Only they want to tear his flesh off, not his clothes.
  • In The Dick Van Dyke Show episode "The Redcoats Are Coming," Rob tries to hide a pair of British rock-and-roll idols in his house to keep them from being discovered by the local teenagers. Somehow word gets out, and Rob's house winds up trashed by the groupie brigade.
  • As does Hannah Montana in her show; it's worth noting that they also play with it a bit at times, and one character was even smart enough to use her popularity as a way to escape by loudly yelling that she was there to a lobby-full of people who had just been to her concert.
  • The Lucas Brothers have these in Jonas.
  • Leverage: Eliot acquires one when posing as a country and western singer in "The Studio Job".
    • Who are then promptly weaponized by Hardison when it comes time to stall the mark.
  • The Monkees:
    • Although situations like these were more than plentiful in the real life mid-60s era of Monkeemania, rarely is this trope actually seen, because, in their wacky TV show universe, the Monkees are not famous at all... in fact, they're Starving Artists.
    • One notable exception would be the documentary episode "The Monkees On Tour" and, to a much different extent, "The Monkees In Paris".
  • In the live-action adaptation of Moyashimon, the UFO Club is depicted as this for Aoi Mutou.
  • The Trope Namer is the Sylvester Stallone episode of The Muppet Show where Sly's fan club manages to get backstage and wreaks havoc. Kermit refers to them as as Sly's "groupie brigade".
  • The New Avengers: The Avengers stage one as a distraction to allow them to snatch a defector from an airport in "House of Cards".
  • Played with in Power Rangers Ninja Storm, in which the Big Bad casts a spell city-wide to cause this to happen, and the conveniently immune Rangers nearly get trampled to death by stampeding fans.
  • Sherlock gives us the Empty Hearse, begun by none other than Anderson as a club for debating the possible ways Sherlock could be Faking the Dead. Although some of the members use it as a way to write romantic fiction about Holmes, instead. It seems to be half a parody of real-life Sherlockian literary clubs and half a parody of certain parts of the show's fanbase.
  • The Twilight Zone (1985): In "Special Service", John Selig is almost ambushed by dozens of screaming female fans after he learns that his life has been turned into a hugely popular TV show. Since the secret is out, they don't need to hide anymore.

  • The Beatles' song She Came In Through the Bathroom Window was allegedly inspired by a tale told to the Beatles by The Moody Blues' member Ray Thomas. Ray says he was awoken one night by groupies who had apparently climbed three floors up the outside of the hotel wall, to break in to his room through the bathroom window. Who were dissappointed they'd only got the flute player, when they were aiming for Justin Hayward or John Lodge. Ray said his ego was further defalted when the Beatles turned his story into a song, and he didn't get a penny of any royalties for it.
  • There's a bit at the start of a song by The Bonzo Dog Band called "The Sound Of Music" talking about such an event.
    Life's like that, isn't it? Only the other day I was walking down the West End and suddenly I was set upon by hordes of fans and admirers who wanted to...touch my clothes. So I took sanctuary in a nearby cinema, normally, of course, I wouldn't go in, but that day I saw something that really moved me. I'd like to share this wonderful experience with you, it was... the Sound of Music.
  • Yoshiki Hayashi tends to have an almost Instant Fan Club variety pop up at any event he attends that is also being attended by Japanese rock fans.
  • King Crimson's "Ladies of the Road" is a paean to groupies and one of the band's very rare Intercourse with You songs.
  • Parodied in the Rock Star Song "There'll Be Some Changes Made" by Mark Knopfler and Chet Atkins:
    Chet: But your money for nothing and your chicks for free?
    Mark: Well... them groupie girls ain't what they're cracked up to be. ...Not all of them, anyway!
  • Neil Sedaka's song "Queen of 1964", about an old groupie who used to claim, amongst other things, that she once 'had' Mick Jagger (getting a kick and a black eye from Bianca Jagger for it).
  • Allan Sherman's song "Pop Hates The Beatles" (to the tune of "Pop Goes the Weasel") has a funny take on this.
    When the Beatles come on the stage,
    They scream and shriek and cheer them.
    Now I know why they're such a rage,
    It's impossible to hear them.
  • System of a Down's "Psycho" is about this amongst the Word Salad Lyrics.
  • Frank Zappa: Zappa wrote countless songs about groupies and their devotion for rock stars, most notably on the albums Chunga's Revenge, Fillmore East, June 1971, 200 Motels and album one of Joe's Garage.

     Professional Wrestling 
  • The wrestling slang term for groupies is ring rats, sometimes shortened to rats. In the late 1990s/early 2000s Florida independent promotion IPW Hardcore Wrestling, the commentators would mention "Richie's Rats," referring to referee Richie Rich.

  • Bye Bye Birdie has the Conrad Birdie Fan Clubs, who can always be counted on to sing extra choruses of "We Love You, Conrad" and go absolutely bananas whenever Conrad Birdie's name is mentioned. The character was inspired by Elvis Presley, who had similar experiences.
  • In Fangirls, Harry has a legion of obsessed female teenage fans who stalk his every movement and swarm him at every public appearance. And when he vanishes, they become a Powder Keg Crowd looking for someone to blame for his disappearance.

    Video Games 
  • Groupies are an actual enemy in Brütal Legend, working for the Hair Metal Militia. They're copies of the Razor Girls, and don't do a lot of screaming or, well, non-murderous Groupie behaviour.
  • Level 4-D in Panic! has a gag involving various hero-types being chased between rows of doors, including a tuxedo-clad secret agent being chased by a horde of screaming women.
  • This applies to wrestlers too, for example in the Glitz Pit in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door.
  • Early in Stage 3 of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World: The Game, a throng of Clash at Demonhead fans appears as a stage hazard, trampling your character if they stand at the middle part of the screen.

    Visual Novels 
  • Scandal in the Spotlight focuses on "Japan's hottest Boy Band," and screaming throngs of fans are a constant hazard for the protagonist once she gets caught up with Revance. Most of the time, the biggest concern is that the guys will get mobbed if they're recognized in public, but in some cases - such as on Iori's route - the fangirls get downright nasty over seeing her in the company of one of their idols.

    Web Animation 

    Web Comics 

    Web Original 

    Western Animation 
  • Lampshaded in Animaniacs, where the Warner Brothers and the Warner Sister Dot are in the middle of a parody of A Hard Day's Night, and sing "We are running from our fans".
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • In "The Warriors of Kyoshi", Aang acquires a groupie brigade of young girls on Kyoshi Island. Then he loses them when they get bored with his half-hearted attempts at showing off.
    • In season three, Avatar goes meta, and Zuko gets a literal horde of fangirls.
  • Ben 10: Ultimate Alien: Ben Tennyson has to call Gwen and Kevin to rescue him from one at the start of "Deep".
  • The start of every episode of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kids had the band escaping from their fans in various creative ways. It is also used in the opening titles.
  • Carl and (C2) acquire one in the "Spotlight on Carl" two-parter in Carl².
  • Chessie the Autograph Hound was this to The Cattanooga Cats.
  • One episode of Danny Phantom focused on this when Danny Phantom (by this point, a well known hero and celebrity) is on the run from screaming teenage fans; most of which come from his own school. He had to secretly turn human to get away from the crazed mob.
  • Dinosaur Train: King Cryolophosaurus is cornered by an entire group of excited dinosaurs when he goes to the Dinosaur Big City. This forces him to jump on the Dinosaur Train's engine and speed off.
  • Donald Duck acquires one in the Classic Disney Short Donald's Dilemma, after being hit on the head by a flowerpot and becoming a famous crooner.
  • Checkmatey, the rapping chess master of X Middle School, has one in the Fillmore! episode "Of Slain Kings on Checkered Fields".
  • The Fairly OddParents!: This trope is a one-off joke in the episode "Dadbra-Cadabra". After Mr. Turner's magic act is a huge success, he is followed home by a huge mob of screaming fangirls who try to barge into the Turners' house by breaking into a window. Luckily, Mrs. Turner is able to stop them by boarding them up.
  • Generator Rex and Noah get hysterical screaming girls kissing them and tearing off their Letterman jackets when Rex joins Noah's school table tennis team. And the band TrenBenders has one in "Rock My World".
  • Kim Possible: Movie star Heather (with Kim in tow) is pursued through the school by one in "And the Mole Rat Will Be CGI".
  • King Arthur's Disasters: Lancelot has his own little group of fangirls following him around in "Mission: Implausible" and "The Yodeling Dolphin of Kirkwall".
  • Frank Sinatra was depicted this way in some old cartoons, like Frank Tashlin's "Swooner Crooner and Tex Avery's Little 'Tinker'', with some fans actually fainting. This was Truth in Television. A decade or so earlier, Bing Crosby was getting much the same treatment.
  • In Metalocalypse, this (just like everything else in the series) is taken to ridiculous extremes... including the mass suicides among female fans after lead singer Nathan Explosion got a girlfriend. And then more female fans breaking out into open warfare upon hearing that he's single again. Dethklok's fans are easy to rile, though; The Louvre was nearly destroyed by marauding fans after Murderface said he didn't like any of the art in it. Oh, and they resort to acts of terrorism with minimal provocation, defacing Mount Rushmore and committing mass murder to persuade Dethklok to perform songs from their album Dethwater live. They even have their own army of volunteer fans called Klokateers to work for Dethklok, with no shortage of signups, despite the training process being at minimum 50% mortality rate (literally the first task is to pair up with someone and fight them to the death). Metalocalypse owes a lot to A Hard Day's Night and This is Spın̈al Tap to begin with.
  • On My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic, Fluttershy ends up getting one after becoming a fashion model in the episode "Green Isn't Your Color".
  • Needless to say, the New Kids on the Block cartoon was all about this.
  • Pearlie: A groupie brigade of fairies pursue Buggy Holly and the Crickets when they play in the park in "Bongo Boy".
  • In the Ready Jet Go! episode "Kid-Kart Derby", Mitchell tries to invoke this when he wins the race by asking people if they want autographs from him. However, it fails.
  • Johnny Test: In the episode "Phat Johnny", Johnny gets mauled by a horde of screaming fangirls at the height of his popularity as a rapper.
  • Rocko's Modern Life:
    • In "Seat to Stardom", Rocko gets an insane squealing brigade when he becomes an underwear model for Wedgie Boy briefs.
    • In "Wacky Delly", when the titular Show Within a Show becomes popular, producer Ralph Bighead gets an army of increasingly crazed fans that take pieces of his car, his clothes, and his scalp as souvenirs. In a later scene, Ralph pushes his car with a dummy of himself towards the fans to distract them so he can safely walk into Bighead Studios.
  • From Scooby-Doo Shaggy acquires one after being hailed as circus superstar in Big Top Scooby-Doo!.
  • Homer acquires one of these (made up of elderly female opera fans!) in The Simpsons episode "Homer of Seville".
  • Shuriken School had Eizan and his other two friends disguised as a kid singing group doing a limousine drive-by disguised as them, where they barely made it to their destination.
  • Superman: The Animated Series: Jimmy Olsen gets chased by a mob of lovestruck teenage girls in "Superman's Pal" after Angela Chen blows his relationship with Superman out of proportion.
  • Teen Titans Go!: Robin gets pursued by one when he gets trapped outside while naked in "Laundry Day".
  • Total Drama: Some contestants' fame earns them groupies.

    Real Life 
  • Any rock band that has enjoyed significant mainstream popularity will have one of these. In particular, bands like Led Zeppelin, Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, and Guns N' Roses are infamous for the debauchery they have enjoyed with their groupies backstage. The Trope Codifier for reality, though, had to be either The Beatles or Elvis Presley.
  • A Groupie Brigade almost killed Robert Pattinson after he tried to avoid them by running out into traffic and being hit by a car. He was okay, but he still chewed out his fans.
  • Benny Hill encountered fans when he made trips to mainland Europe. He made regular visits to France, Spain and Italy at first in peace. But when people recognized him quickly from local broadcasts of The Benny Hill Show, he quickly found himself surrounded by adoring fans.


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Fan Mob


We Love/Hate You, Conrad!

There is a notable gender divide on people's feelings about Conrad Birdie.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (3 votes)

Example of:

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