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The Quincy Punk

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Well, when you spend all your time at sea on a cruise ship, these things will happen.

"Punk is nothing but death and crime and the rage of a beast!"

Every youth subculture gets its moment to be The New Rock & Rollgreasers, mods, hippies, skinheads, goths; hell, Mystery Science Theater 3000 proves that even the beatniks got a good round of it. And when the late '70s and early '80s came around, the punks got it with both barrels. The subculture expressed their societal discontent and marginalization with strange spiky, colored hairstyles and a mix of ripped and provocative clothing that was often DIY, ripped, and edgy. Their simple, raw-sounding, angry music was designed to shock. It was a veritable license to sow revulsion and moral panic among the Moral Guardians of the day. TV stations dutifully produced Very Special Episodes and newscasts about the punk movement's menace to good suburbian society's peace, law and order. Hollywood's efforts to depict punks showed a lack of effort to research the actual subculture or music; instead, creators tended to use cartoonish, simplistic stereotypes of punks as violent, nihilistic and dangerous.

But whereas the general societal backlash to a subculture tends to abate over time, there's still this idea, decades later, that punk is violent and nihilistic. Maybe it's the pervasive nature of the admittedly shocking album and lyrical imagery, which aimed to "épater les Bourgeois"note . Maybe it was the hardcore seeding of memetics that painted punks as angry rebels who wanted to tear the system down and piss on the ashes. Or maybe it was because Sid Vicious' crashing and burning ruined punk's reputation for everyone.

Hence, the Quincy Punk. The Quincy Punk looks like a stereotypical punk — mohawk in all the colors of the Kool-Aid rainbow, studded leather jacket painted with band names, t-shirts with offensive slogans, and uncomfortable piercings. The music he listens to is distorted, noisy and raw, like hardcore on PCP, and often doesn't much resemble actual punk rock. He's an anarchist, but it's more about setting fire to a police station than any sort of rational opinion on Kropotkin's Mutual Aid. Oh. And he hates you and the rest of society. The Quincy Punk is most often used as a stock mugger, thug, or street tough for superheroes or other urban vigilantes to beat the shit out of, allowing for an intimidating image in an urban setting while avoiding the Unfortunate Implications of Batman (or some other Super Hero or Action Hero) beating up more “ethnic” or racially-oriented street criminals. A post-apocalypse setting will likely be infested with punks as a sign of how lawless and desperate the world has become.

The Trope Namer is an infamous episode of Quincy, M.E. called "Next Stop, Nowhere," where the titular M.E. tries to save the youth of Los Angeles from the moral scourge that is punk rock. For years, "Quincy punk" came to be used in the Southern Californian punk scene to describe a punk who cares more about the rebellious image than anything else. The promo for the episode shows a good example of Quincy punk in its natural habitat.

Later works occasionally feature the "hardcore bro", who, while differing in attire (usually preferring band shirts or sports jerseys, snapback hats, skate shoes, buzzed hair, and gauged earlobes), acts largely the same: rude, obnoxious, aggressive, and prone to violent and destructive behavior for stupid, petty, and often nonsensical reasons. Portrayals of the latter are most likely influenced by the behavior of FSUs, short for "Friends Stand United" or "Fuck Shit Up" depending on who you ask. They started out as a legitimate (albeit extremely violent) anti-racist Straight Edge group who aimed at driving neo-Nazis and drug dealers out of Boston's Hardcore Punk scene, before gradually devolving into one of the nastier real-life examples of this trope, becoming infamous for invading shows, starting fights, and staging multi-man ambushes on disliked individuals to the point where the FBI eventually declared them a street gang in 2009. Many of their early members eventually wound up in biker gangs.

Punks themselves are also likely to cite the "trusty crusty" or "oogle", somebody, usually a young white man, with a substantial trust fund who embraces the crust punk lifestyle while cherrypicking the most superficial aspects of it. This usually entails voluntary homelessness, deliberately attempting to become as filthy and repulsive as possible, and excessive drug and alcohol usage juxtaposed with obnoxious moral grandstanding, often while secretly falling back on their trust funds whenever their efforts to generate income (typically through panhandling, busking, or bottle returns) or dumpster diving turn up short (or when they spend all of their money on alcohol and drugs), all while being completely and utterly blind to their own privilege.

Incidentally, Emo Music grew directly out of this trope, or more specifically, as a backlash against it. The roots of emo go back to the "Revolution Summer" movement in the Washington, D.C. punk scene in 1985, when a group of musicians led by Minor Threat vocalist Ian MacKaye clustered around Dischord Records felt that the scene had been overrun by violence, sexism, and people who came to shows just to fight in the mosh pit. Joining the Post-Hardcore scene, their more melodic sound and personal lyrics became an important forerunner to emo.

For actual information on Punk rock, see Punk or the Punk Rock page. Nothing to do with President John Quincy Adams, unless some tell-all biography reveals his youthful radicalism. There's now a book out that's a field guide to these sorts of portrayals, paired with the rare cases where the creators actually knew what the hell they were doing when they depicted the punk scene.

Horror Hippies is another trope based on demonizing a youth subculture.

Not to be confused with the actual clan of Quincies from Bleach. Or one of the first suburbs Southies escaped to (though they may overlap due to their Lower-Class Lout nature).


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    Anime & Manga 
  • The mohawk-wearing, murderous kidnapping biker gangs of Fist of the North Star, who terrorized the wastelands and were always the first to get their heads popped by Kenshiro. No music though.
  • Parodied in the Excel♡Saga anime, in the episode that was a direct spoof of Fist of the North Star.
  • Great Teacher Onizuka: Onizuka dresses like one, complete with a mohawk and studded jacket, to teach Urumi a lesson.
  • Liar Game subverts this — a character who dresses and is initially assumed to be this way turns out to be one of the nicest people in the cast.
  • Bartolomeo from One Piece is like a mix of this and a good ol' Troll — he has the style and certainly seems to have some anarchistic tendencies, but also spends a lot of time provoking people for fun.
  • Bazz-B from Bleach fits the trope to a T, with his hot-pink mohawk, Punk Rock variation of the Wandenreich uniform, and bad attitude. And of course, he's a Quincy... which pretty much makes him a literal Quincy Punk.

    Comic Books 
  • As Linkara from Atop the Fourth Wall has covered, there was an infamous Batman graphic novel called "Fortunate Son" about Batman's strange relationship with rock and roll. In flashback, Bruce Wayne reveals that as an angry young man, he went to Europe and fell in with the punk scene — here represented by paper-thin Expies of Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. You can probably guess how this ended.
  • The notoriously Darker and Edgier Doctor Who Magazine comic story "Ravens" features a gang of devil-worshipping Goth-punks attempting a human sacrifice. The story's writer, Andrew Cartmel, actually apologised for the subcultural stereotyping in the 2016 TPB that contained it.
  • Judge Dredd, at least in its early days, depicted most of Mega-City One's civilians as wearing punk hair and clothes; Dredd himself seems to imply this is the mainstream fashion, with everyone being weirded out by Max Normal, a punk who deliberately dresses like a Quintessential British Gentleman.
  • Ultimate X Men: Before the X-Men found her, Dazzler was the leader of a Punk Rock band. And she kept her "Fuck the authority" attitude while in the team, much to the dismay of the formal and polite leader Charles Xavier.
  • Sonic the Hedgehog (IDW): Surge the Tenrec's design invokes this. The quills on her head are bent forward similar to a mohawk, a black shirt with torn-off sleeves, a metal ring on each of her index and ring fingers, metal earrings and studded bracelets. She is also bloodthirsty, arrogant and foul-tempered.

    Fan Works 

    Films — Animated 

    Films — Live-Action 
  • A gag in An American Werewolf in London has David and Alex riding the London Tube surrounded by punks with multi-colored hair.
  • Class of Nuke 'Em High: The Cretins are possibly the Quinciest Punks who ever Quincy Punked.
  • Terminator
  • Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior uses a group of mohawked, leather-clad bikers as its stock baddies.
  • Doomsday, as an homage to all the post-apocalypse flicks of the '80s, does the same. Oh, and they're cannibals.
  • In Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Kirk and Spock encounter such a punk on a bus in 1980s San Francisco. When he refuses to turn down the loud punk rock music he is playing, Spock nerve-pinches him into silence, and everyone else on the bus applauds. (The scene would much later be referenced and subverted in Star Trek: Picard; see below.) According to Leonard Nimoy, this was inspired by an actual incident while visiting New York City, where he saw a punk loudly playing his music while walking in the street, saying afterwards, "[I was struck] by the arrogance of it, the aggressiveness of it, and I thought if I was Spock I'd pinch his brains out!".
  • A lot of movies by Cannon Films. Most notably the Death Wish series.
  • Class of 1984 is all over this trope. The villains are a quintet of punks wearing black leather, dark make-up and multi-colored hair in Patsi's case. They're dedicated to causing anarchy in school by selling drugs, killing animals and kidnapping the wife of the the new teacher that challenges them.
  • To some degree the punk rock skinhead gang the Turnbull ACs from the 1979 movie The Warriors counts.
  • The punks who briefly appear to get scared away by Jason showing his face to them in Friday the 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan look and act the part.
  • Escape from New York and its sequel Escape from L.A..
  • A mohawked example appears briefly in Homeward Bound: The Incredible Journey, of all movies. He's shown getting booked during a brief scene in a San Francisco police station.
  • In Lévy and Goliath (set in Paris in The '80s), Big Bad Goliath is a ruthless punk-dressed drug dealing gang leader who's armed with a switchblade.
  • In the 1989 movie Night Children, David Carradine plays a veteran cop who fights a street gang of nihilistic punks that cause chaos wherever they go.
  • Police Academy 2 features a gang of these as villains. Their leader returns in the subsequent films as a new police academy recruit.
  • Howard the Duck has the titular mallard almost getting mugged and killed by stereotypical punks the second he arrives in Cleveland.
  • Splatterpunks in RoboCop 3 are a gang of violent punks who love violence.
  • In Hardcore Henry, the title character encounters many versions of a character calling himself Jimmy. One of them is a violent, harshly-speaking punk who has a mohawk and is dressed in leather. He eventually loses his life during a desperate last stand against Akan's mooks, appropriately with punk music blaring in the background.
  • X-Men: Apocalypse, which is set in the '80s, gives Storm a punk rock makeover as part of her Evil Costume Switch when she becomes one of Apocalypse's horsemen.
  • The horror film Dolls (1987) features two punk girls who try to rob the house of the seemingly benevolent couple who let them stay the night. Bad idea, girls.
  • Gorilla, Interrupted: Sid is an angry and irreverent British punk rocker with green hair, a studded leather jacket, and a name obviously referencing Sid Vicious.
  • Freddy in School of Rock takes an interest in punk, and opts for Spiky Hair and referencing the Sex Pistols. His costume for the Battle of the Bands has a mild punk influence too. Of course he's also the most rebellious and aggressive child in the cast.

  • Discussed in Pax Britannia: Gods of Manhattan by Al Ewing, in which the introduction to Steampunk New York says that while the "Futureheads", with their dyed "Injun" haircuts, peculiar piercings, and cries of "No future for me, and no future for you!" might look scary, most of them will glare at you with contempt, maybe spit at you, and then move on. It's the gangs who look like ordinary kids on bicycles you have to watch out for...
  • Dan Brown's Digital Fortress has a particularly ridiculous case of this. The punks David comes across in Spain are almost a parody of the stereotype in both appearance and behaviour. This holds even though there's at least a hundred of them- as far as the reader can tell, they all have identical personalities. They also seem to be cast as uneducated and/or criminal dropouts, as they're somehow the first punks the university lecturer has ever met.
  • Invoked in Disco's Out...Murder's In!, which features tales of teenagers joining a punk rock gang in Los Angeles from the late-'70s to the mid-'80s, where they begin drinking and abusing drugs, fighting (and sometimes killing) random people and rival punk gang members, and getting into various shenanigans of questionable morality and legality. For bonus points, the Trope Namer is discussed by the gang, with one member bragging that his TV cop antics would have resulted in a potentially fatal assault had he applied them in real life. Ultimately, the portrayal is justified, as it's an autobiography from a former member of said punk gang who went straight and ultimately laments his role in shaping punk's reputation as an egregiously violent subculture and forcing people to "quit" punk out of fear of the violence his gang brought to the scene.
  • Leila in P is for Peril is a mix of this and Bratty Teenage Daughter. Her first appearance consisted of black and/or leather, with bleach blonde hair that's short and spiky on one side and dreadlocks on the other, and when her mother, Crystal, disapproves of this, Leila lashes out vulgar insults towards her. It's also been stated that she hangs out with her older teen friend, Paulie, late at night—most likely doing drugs—and has gone to juvenile prison at least once.
  • The Witch of Knightcharm: Chosovi Naha, one of the new recruits at an evil Wizarding School, is depicted as this. She has torn clothes and a dyed mohawk, and she's also a sadistic monster who revels in violence and bloodshed.

    Live-Action TV 
  • The Trope Namer is an infamous episode of Quincy, M.E. called "Next Stop, Nowhere," where the titular M.E. tries to save the youth of Los Angeles from the moral scourge that is punk rock. For years, "Quincy punk" came to be used in Southern California's scene to describe a punk who cares more about the rebellious image than anything else. The promo for the episode shows a good example of Quincy punk in its natural habitat.
  • There was an episode of CHIPS ("Battle of the Bands") about the rivalry between a violent band of punks called Pain, and Snow Pink, a peaceful band of new wave kids.
  • House, "Games". The gang treats an old, bitter "punk" musician whose music sounds like a rabid cougar humping a PA. This is put into contrast later in the episode with an earlier melodic folk recording he made, showing he can produce something of beauty (because we all know punk rock can not produce harmonious songs). It seems like he was supposed to be a shout-out to GG Allin, who created harsh, dissonant punk music; however, he also created touching country/folk music. Subverted somewhat, when the punk character was shown to be a Friend to All Children. As well as a possible GG Allin reference, the grinding noise recording may also be a reference to Lou Reed's infamous Metal Machine Music.
  • Power Rangers:
    • In a first season episode of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, "Power Ranger Punks", the villains had a scheme to slip Billy and Kimberly some "punk potion" before unleashing the Monster of the Week on Angel Grove. Needless to say, the potion turned them into Quincy Punks who didn't give a damn about the monster.
    • Bulk and Skull had shades of this as well.
  • Star Trek: Picard: In a Shout-Out to Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (see above), the time-traveling Raffi and Seven encounter a stereotypical Quincy Punk (played by the same actor from Star Trek IV, Kirk Thatcher!) playing his stereo annoyingly loud on a Californian bus. The trope and reference are then subverted; they ask him to turn the music down, and he apologises and does so.
  • On NewsRadio, Matthew starts acting like a stereotypical British punk, accent and all, after turning thirty and having an identity crisis. However, he doesn't do much research and thinks '80s hair bands like Winger and Whitesnake classify as punk rock.
  • Vyvyan on The Young Ones. His main motivation is destroying things around the house. Not especially egregious, because the show paints all its characters in broad strokes.
  • On the same network as the infamous Quincy episode, Remington Steele had an episode with a brief scene where Laura and Steele walk into a punk rock night club and one of the kids in the mosh pit gets up in Steele's face for no reason and shouts "YOU STINK!" at him.
  • The 80s sitcom Easy Street, starring Loni Anderson as heiress L. K. Maguire, featured an episode where a stereotypical punk rocker (played by Herman's Hermits singer Peter Noone, of all people) moves into the upscale neighborhood. L. K.'s stuffy sister-in-law (Dana Ivey) is alarmed and calls a neighborhood meeting. As testimony to his subversive nature, she reads them the lyrics to one of his songs ("the only ballad on the album"), called "Squash the Puppy." She then drives her point home by playing the song backward, then interpreting the total cacophony as, "Howdy-do, Satan, have a cup of tea."
  • An early episode of Charles in Charge featured the archetypal punk-rock boyfriend, a jerkass loser who played in a band called The Scuzz.
  • The Blake's 7 episode "Stardrive" has the Space Rats, a gang of far-future outlaw bikers IN SPACE who dress in leather and have gigantic mohawks, but match the costume and hair with Roy Wood-style Glam Rock face paint.
  • Quinn from Glee adapted this look during her "bad girl" phase in the first half of the third season, but she succeeded only in looking like an outdated cliche.
  • Hunter (NBC). In "Death Machine", a robber dressed up like this trope turns out to be doing it as a disguise. However the Corrupt Corporate Executive he robbed doesn't know this, and gets a punk Psycho for Hire to get his stuff back. He commits several murders in the process, so we then have Fred Dryer dressing up as a Quincy Punk to lure the psycho out.
  • On Night Court, these stereotypical punks can sometimes be seen as the crowd in the courtroom. In an early episode when Harry finds himself in a romance with a punk-rock star, the singer herself is shown to have great hidden depths beneath the stereotypical punk facade, but her many fans which mob the courthouse are playing this trope straight.
  • An episode of WKRP in Cincinnati had the station book an on-air appearance by a "hoodlum rock" band named Scum of the Earth. When they appear, the band is obstreperous and uncooperative, refusing to perform until the staff bands together to give them a No-Holds-Barred Beatdown(!). Subverted in that the band dress in 3-piece suits and affect posh accents instead of punk gear and slang.
  • Star Trek: Voyager. In "Real Life", the Doctor decides to create his own holographic family, but they're so Sickeningly Sweet that B'Elanna Torres reprograms them by randomizing their decisions. One of the changes involved turning the Doctor's son into a surly delinquent who hangs around Klingon friends who might as well be this trope Recycled In Space, right down to the Delinquent Hair, obsession with violence, and loud music.
  • Kali's gang in episode seven of Stranger Things, season 2. Most notably Axel and Kali herself, and El when they give her a makeover.

  • "Punk Rock Girl" by The Dead Milkmen describes antics closely resembling this trope, including causing a ruckus in a pizza place for not having hot tea, causing a ruckus in a record store for not having Mojo Nixon records, causing a ruckus in a shopping mall just to laugh at shoppers, and stealing a car.
  • Weekend Nachos frequently targeted these in their songs, particularly hardcore bros and "trusty crusties", and none were more direct or vicious than "Fashionable Poverty", which outlined the stereotypical "trusty crusty": a young white person from a wealthy and privileged background with an enormous trust fund, who gave up their cushy gated community existence on a whim (without really giving it up), and who lives their life as a physically repulsive and foul individual prone to obnoxious, self-serving virtue signaling, with absolutely zero self-awareness.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Bull Nakano combined violent punk with Badass Biker and inhumanly resilient monster.
  • Psycho Clown, often seen in AAA, though he wears much brighter colors than most other examples since he combines this trope with Circus of Fear.
  • "Jezebel" Eden Black, Christina Von Eerie and Heidi Lovelace in descending levels (Lovelace being the furthest from this trope), particularly in SHIMMER\SHINE, where their paths are most likely to cross.
  • 'The Anarchist' Arik Cannon applies the look of an eighties punk, especially regarding his mohawk and jacket. Amusingly enough, he teamed for a time with Claudio Castagnoli, who for a time had a gimmick of a rich foreign banker.
  • Dave Crist of The Irish Airborne and Ohio Is For Killers has sported this look and attitude. His brother Jake and the other Oi4K members don't have the look or persona but strive to live up to the "killer" reputation all the same.
  • The Devil himself, Derek Drexl, who has been seen in The North West Wrestling Alliance and Don't Own Anyone Pro Wrestling as part of the Clan and Illuminati stables (the Clan being a trio within the Illuminati including drunkard Wade Hess and Dr. Kliever)
  • The entire point of the FEST music festivals is to avert this trope by bringing people together through the positive aspects of punk culture. And when FEST decided to go a step further for punk wrestlers, side shows to the music, and give them their own promotion even Arik Cannon was relatively well behaved.

    Tabletop Games 
  • In Misspent Youth by Robert Bohl, the protagonist characters are often a bunch of bomb-throwing anarchists.
  • Inverted in Matt Forbeck's Punk Rock Saves the World, in which punk rockers are the heroes.
  • In Magic: The Gathering's Guilds of Ravnica storyline basically reinvents the Gruul clans as such. Already anarcho-primitivists whose oppression by other guilds prompted them to violently attack civilisation, they now bear punk-esque aesthetics and even have Cockney accents.
  • Most street gangs, and more than a few player characters, in Shadowrun have a rather punk look. Among the fanbase "pink mohawk" has become shorthand for runners who prefer to go in guns blazing and fireballs flying, in contrast to the stealthier "black trenchcoats."
  • On the other hand, many elements of Warhammer Fantasy are quite punkish - most notably Dwarven Slayers who are usually solid antiheroes sport impressive mohawks.

    Video Games 

    Web Comics 
  • In Aqua Regia, Anahí O'Riordan is a punk through and through sporting a more modern undercut and mohawk, or sporting torn jean vests or pants; Bonus points for also having quite the temper and being a Military Brat.
  • In Darwin Carmichael Is Going to Hell, Darwin and his girlfriend Mina sported the look as teens, with mohawks, black lipstick, and combat boots. They also had the attitude, as they didn't seem to care about following the rules and were neglectful babysitters.

    Western Animation 
  • The shortlived cartoon version of Teen Wolf had a subversion. The straitlaced main characters are freaked out by the appearance of some stereotypical-looking mohawked punks in their neighborhood, assuming the worst. But when they attend a punk club, the cast ends up having a huge amount of fun dancing, dressing up in punk gear, and rocking out with the punk crowd... to the point that the punks are the ones politely lecturing the main characters that the party eventually needs to be cut short, so that people can get home safely, do their homework, and get to school the next day.
  • Bebop and Rocksteady from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) sported this look before (and to some extent after) being exposed to the mutagen.
  • Mad Dog from Rambo: The Force of Freedom is another villain with this look.
  • Birch Badboy in the Danger Mouse remake is a punk villain (the archenemy of "Danger K" back in The '80s — don't ask how that fits with the original series still being canon)... but the worst he does is make rude noises and insult people, and encourage others to do the same. Sometimes with Mind Control technology, admittedly.
  • Ice Bear from We Bare Bears meets a group of these in his backstory.
  • Duncan from Total Drama is a modernized example, being an in-and-out-of-jail juvenile delinquent with numerous piercings, a green Mohawk, a fondness for punk rock and heavy metal, and an obsession with being seen as tough, masculine, and rebellious to the point where he gets offended when people accuse him of being nice.
  • Subverted in All Grown Up!. Chuckie gets worried when Kimi starts hanging around with Z - a green-haired, leather-clad, piercing-wearing bad boy. He especially panics when Kimi gives herself a pink mohawk. It turns out Z is actually a Child Prodigy and Nice Guy, and actually gets excused from school to do charity work. Of course, he hides the latter so as not to ruin the rebellious image.
  • King of the Hill: A flashback in "Be True To Your Fool" showed Hank and his friends celebrating Bill's last weekend before leaving for the army by traveling to Dallas and hanging out at a punk music club called "The Chainsaw" (Hank thought it was a bar for the lumber industry). Hank got too drunk and accidentally bumped into a couple punks, one of whom tried to punch Hank before the then-in-shape and badass Bill stopped the punch with his bare hands and physically held them off. Afterwards, the drunken Hank decided to tattoo Bill's name onto his body as his way to show his appreciation (he was planning to tattoo it across his chest before Boomhauer talked the artist into putting it somewhere more discreet, specifically the back of his head). Since he was too drunk to remember, Hank only realized he had the tattoo when he was forced to shave his head after a sudden onset of lice.
  • One of The Simpsons Vignette Episodes features Lisa and Nelson as Sid & Nancy. Sid Vicious/Nelson and the Sex Pistols (made up of the Springfield Bullies and Bart) are an Affectionate Parody of punk on the cusp of the mainstream. The lyrics of their hit song "Education's Bollocks" just consist of Johnny Rotten/Bart loudly declaring things to be "bollocks".
    Education's bollocks!
    Bollocks! America is bollocks!
    Bollocks! Politeness is bollocks!
    Bollocks! Bollocks!


Video Example(s):



Meet Hobie Brown a.k.a. Spider-Punk. A punk rocker alternate universe Spider-man who hates labels amongst many other things.

How well does it match the trope?

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Example of:

Main / CoolPeopleRebelAgainstAuthority

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