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Music / Foo Fighters

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And I wonder if everything could ever feel this real forever.note 

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"That is an insult to this fine man, Dave Grohl, who has spent the last 15 years of his life tenaciously fighting foo... and winning!"
Jon Stewart, The Daily Show

Foo Fighters is an alternative rock band, which was formed by Nirvana drummer Dave Grohl after Kurt Cobain's suicide in 1994. From 2017 to 2022, the band comprised Grohl on vocals and rhythm guitar; Chris Shiflett on lead guitar and backing vocals; Pat Smear on second lead guitar; Nate Mendel on bass; Rami Jaffee on keyboards; and Taylor Hawkins on drums and backing vocals.

The band's name is a reference to a term for unidentified flying objects sighted by pilots during World War IInote . Grohl is on record as saying he hates the name, and would never have used it if he'd thought the band would get anywhere.

Foo Fighters was originally a one-man project started by Dave Grohl after the dissolution of Nirvana (though he had written and recorded future Foo Fighters songs while still in the band), and he plays all the instruments on every song on the band's debut album (with the exception of "X-Static", which featured Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs on guitar). At first, Grohl hid behind the Foo Fighters name, preferring that people judge the album on its own merits rather than on Grohl's name or the fans' desire to fill the vacuum left by Nirvana. Eddie Vedder played a few songs on his radio show, and the positive response motivated Grohl to move forward.

Grohl decided to draft in a full band for live shows and for the second album, The Colour and the Shape. Bassist Nate Mendel and drummer William Goldsmith came from cultly admired emo trope codifiers Sunny Day Real Estate, while Pat Smear, a member of The Germs and the fourth member of Nirvana for its last few years, played guitar. Goldsmith left after the album was recorded, as Grohl had replaced most of Goldsmith's drums tracks with his own. Smear left shortly after the album was released. Replacements were found in Alanis Morissette ex-bandmember Taylor Hawkins on drums and Franz Stahl in place of Smear (who was himself replaced by Chris Shiflett after the release of their third album, There Is Nothing Left to Lose; that album was recorded by Grohl, Mendel and Hawkins as a trio specifically because of the lineup instability).

The band has been praised highly by critics, stepping out of the shadow of Nirvana to become one of the most influential alternative rock bands of recent years. To date, all but 2 of their albums were nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rock Album, with four of them actually winning. However, some critics believe that their mainstream popularity and many radio hits mean that Dave Grohl has been "selling out" Kurt Cobain's legacy. (Grohl himself wondered this in "Hey, Johnny Park!", where he sang "Am I selling you out?")

Wasting Light, their seventh studio album, was released in April 2011. It was produced by Butch Vig of Nevermind fame, and features Pat Smear back as a full member of the band. Recently, the band has gotten out of hiatus and recorded their eighth studio album, titled Sonic Highways. It was released on November 10th, 2014. Its production was registered in a documentary series directed by Dave, which debuted on the previous month. This was followed with Concrete and Gold, released on September 15th, 2017, and by Medicine at Midnight, released on February 5, 2021note . They were also inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2021, making Dave Grohl part of the select club of musicians inducted more than once (having already been inducted in 2014 as part of Nirvana).

On March 25, 2022, Hawkins was found dead in his hotel room only hours before the band was set to headline a music festival in Bogotá, Colombia. He was 50 years old; his cause of death is not yet determined. In light of the news, the festival stage was instead turned into a candlelight vigil for Hawkins, and the band canceled all remaining tour dates.

On June 8, 2022, the surviving members announced plans for two Taylor Hawkins tribute concerts: one on September 3, 2022 at Wembley Stadium in London, England, and another on September 27, 2022 at the Kia Forum in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood, California. In January 2023, the band announced they would headline three festivals in the summer, with the drummer yet to be revealed. The following May, after much speculation, their new drummer was revealed to be veteran session drummer Josh Freese, known for his work with hundreds of different bands and artists including Devo, Sting, The Offspring, A Perfect Circle, Guns N' Roses and Nine Inch Nails. In the interim between Hawkins' death and Freese's hiring, Grohl temporarily returned to the drum throne to record the band's eleventh studio album But Here We Are, a tribute to both Hawkins and Grohl's mother, who died prior to the Hawkins tribute concerts; this album was released in June 2023.

Note that they don't actually fight foos, much to Mr. T's chagrin.

Not to be confused with Foo Fu.



  • Dave Grohl - Lead vocals/Rhythm guitar (1994-present)
    Studio: Drums (1994-1997, 2022-2023), Lead Guitar (1994, 1999), Bass (1994)
  • Nate Mendel - Bass (1995-present)
  • Pat Smear - Rhythm Guitar (2010-present; 2005-2010 as touring member), Lead Guitar, backing vocals (1995-1997)
  • Chris Shiflett - Lead Guitar, backing vocals (1999-)
  • Rami Jaffee - Keyboard, Piano (2017-present; 2005-2017 as touring member)
  • Josh Freese - Drums, percussion (2023-present)


  • Franz Stahl - Lead Guitar, backing vocals (1997-1999)
  • William Goldsmith - Drums (1995-1997)
  • Taylor Hawkins - Drums, percussion, backing and co-lead vocals (1997-2022, died 2022)


  • Foo Fighters (Album) (1995)
  • The Colour and the Shape (1997)
  • There Is Nothing Left to Lose (1999)
  • One By One (2002)
  • In Your Honor (2005)
  • Five Songs and a Cover (2005)
  • Skin and Bones (2006) - A live, acoustic album.
  • Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace (2007)
  • Greatest Hits (2009)
  • Wasting Light (2011)
  • Medium Rare (2011)
  • iTunes Festival: London 2011 (2011)
  • Sonic Highways (2014)
  • Saint Cecilia (2015)
  • Concrete and Gold (2017)
  • Foo Files (2019-2020) - A series of EPs comprising a variety of B-sides, different renditions of previously-released songs and live tracks.
  • Medicine at Midnight (2021)
  • Hail Satin (2021) note 
  • But Here We Are (2023)

"Gimme some tropes, I'm coming loose":

  • Adam Westing: Happens in a live-action Band Toon way in their Comedy Horror movie Studio 666.
  • Album Closure: Very common, as seemingly every last track goes for reflections on closure, departure, persistence and rebirth.
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Both Taylor and Dave fit the bill on stage.
  • Alliterative Name: Foo Fighters.
  • Album Title Drop: Done with the album One By One, in the first track "All My Life" ("One by one, hidden up my sleeve")note .
    • Echoes, Silence, Patience and Grace takes its title nearly verbatim from a line in the album's final track, "Home" (Echoes and silence, patience and grace).
    • "Generator" from There Is Nothing Left to Lose fakes-out one of these with the line "When there's nothing left to use".
    • "Miss the Misery" has "Don't change our mind, You're wasting light"
    • Subverted by The Colour and the Shape whose proposed title track ended up as a b-side.
    • Subverted by Sonic Highways, except if you count a Title Drop in the TV series ("You can tie all these people and places together with these Sonic Highways").
  • Alternate Music Video: The US video for "Times Like These" has the band performing under a bridge while people throw various things off the bridge to land near them, until eventually a (floorless) house is dropped on the band and the walls fall away around them. The international version has the band performing against various psychedelic backdrops and skies, before eventually they show the Chroma Key set the band are playing in at the end of the song.
  • Arc Number: 8 for Sonic Highways. It's their eighth album, was recorded in eight different cities, has eight tracks, and has a building in the shape of an eight on the cover. There's also a few hidden 8s in each city of the cover.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Taylor Hawkins in the videos for "Everlong" (particularly as Nancy Spungen) and "Learn to Fly" as the stewardess.
  • Audience Participation Song: Foo concerts are basically 2 and a half hour invocations of this trope. Oftentimes the audience sings louder than Dave does, especially during "Best of You", "Times like These", "Rope" (during the "CHOKE! On a kiss, save my breath for you!" part of the chorus), "Learn to Fly", "Arlandria" (Dave does a stop and go portion in the middle of the song, encouraging the crowd to yell along with the guitar chords) and of course "Everlong".
  • Ballad of X: "Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners"—which isn't really a ballad at all, being an instrumental song. Doubles as a Heartwarming Moment: During the Beaconsfield Mining disaster, when they finally made contact with the trapped miners and could give them food and water, the miners asked for an MP3 player with Foo Fighters music on it. Dave Grohl was touched by this and sent with them a note saying that the miners had tickets to any Foo Fighters gig when they got out. Dave met with one of the miners after a concert in Sydney and wrote the track on the spot.
  • Boisterous Bruiser: Pat Smear. He's huge, and flashier on stage than The Stoic Chris Shiflett.
  • Call-Back: One of the tracks of Sonic Highways was recorded in Seattle. Not only Dave went for the same studio where he did the original Foo Fighters, but he brought producer Barrett Jones to play the e-bow as well.
  • The Cameo:
    • Greg Dulli of The Afghan Whigs plays guitar on "X-Static" on the self-titled debut—the only part on the entire album not recorded by Dave.
    • Tenacious D appear in the video for "Learn to Fly" as custodians who spike the coffee. Jack Black appears again, in the video for "Low".
    • Brian May plays guitar on "Tired of You", and Grohl's former bandmate Krist Novoselic reportedly sings backing vocals on b-side "Walking a Line".
    • "Virginia Moon" is a duet with Norah Jones, Josh Homme plays guitar on "Razor", and John Paul Jones plays mandolin on "Another Round" and piano on "Miracle".
    • Kaki King plays guitar on "Ballad of the Beaconsfield Miners", while then touring band member Pat Smear plays guitar on "Let It Die".
    • Grohl's idol Bob Mould of Hüsker Dü sings and plays guitar on "Dear Rosemary", Krist Novoselic plays bass and accordion in "I Should Have Known", and Fee Waybill of The Tubes sings backing vocals on "Miss the Misery".
    • Lemmy Kilmister appears in the video for "White Limo", driving the titular vehicle.
    • Sonic Highways has so many that it borders on Massive Multiplayer Crossover.
    • Concrete and Gold comes close to Sonic Highways with the number of cameos, including Justin Timberlake, Shawn Stockman of Boyz II Men, Inara George, Alison Mosshart, and Dave Koz. Paul McCartney even plays drums on "Sunday Rain".
  • Camp Straight: Pat Smear. Frequently dressed like a Leatherman during his first run in the band, sounds like this, but he's actually happily married to a woman, with kids.
  • Careful with That Axe: Dave already screams a lot, but "In Your Honor" has one that falls straight into this.
    • "Enough Space" takes this even further, for its chorus consists of Grohl screaming "SPAAAAAAAAAAAAAAACE, SPAAAAAAAAAAAACE" at the top of his lungs.
  • Changed for the Video: The video for "Everlong" features a repetition of the final chorus which isn't present in the studio version.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Compared to the rest of their catalog, "The One" qualifies as this, dropping the word "shit" six times; on the other hand, Dave (and to a lesser extent, Taylor) are this incarnate at concerts.
    • "FFL" is a better example. The title is an acronym for "Fat Fucking Lie" and it drops five f-bombs in under 3 minutes.
  • Concept Album: Sonic Highways is this, also tying into Grohl's documentary project, Sound City. The album itself also spawned its own documentary.
  • Cover Version: Many, which were compiled in the limited edition Cover Album Medium Rare. Most notable is Prince's "Darling Nikki" (see more on Shout-Out). There is also half of the Dee Gees' Hail Satin, the source of which should be obvious by the name.note 
  • Darker and Edgier: Wasting Light, which is quite a bit harder and more serious than previous albums. The former was enforced by producer Butch Vig once he heard Dave's intent to make a very heavy album (usually by adding in Pat playing a baritone guitar), and the latter from Dave making lyrics reminiscent of time passing and mortality (aside from "White Limo", which are Word Salad Lyrics specially because Nate said he liked Dave's meaningless songs too).
  • Distinct Double Album: In Your Honor. First disc with a more typical rock sound, and a second disc of more mellow acoustic music.
  • Dream Sequence: The video for "Everlong" is made up of these.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: An instrumental of "White Limo" was originally used as backing music for the In Your Honor documentary in 2005, before the finished song eventually appeared on Wasting Light in 2011.
  • The Elevator from Ipanema: The music playing in the intro of the "Learn to Fly" music video as the plane prepares for boarding is a soft-pop cover of "Everlong" with cheesy synthesizers.
  • Emo Music: "The Colour And The Shape" has noticeable elements of the style, thanks in large part to new recruits Nate Mendel and William Goldsmith previously belonging to 90s emo pioneers Sunny Day Real Estate. The album (particularly "Everlong") proved to be influential on the later emo scene of the 2000s, though the group would largely ditch the genre afterwards, later taking a lighthearted jab at the 2000s scene on the title of "Cheer Up, Boys (Your Make Up Is Running)".
  • Epic Rocking: "Come Back" and "I Am a River" both clock in at over seven minutes. They also fit Longest Song Goes Last. "The Teacher" is the band's longest song yet at 10:04.
  • Grief Song: Most of the 2023 album But Here We are, but most notably "Under You" which mostly deals with the band's grief at the sudden loss of Taylor Hawkins and the slow process of acceptance of the loss of a beloved friend.
  • Fading into the Next Song:
    • "Hey, Johnny Park!" -> "My Poor Brain"
    • "Learn to Fly" -> "Gimme Stitches"
    • "DOA" -> "Hell", "The Last Song" -> "Free Me"
    • "White Limo" -> "Arlandria" is kinda muted in Wasting Light, but live performances make sure the transition is seamless.
    • "Subterranean" -> "I Am a River"
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out \ Stop and Go: "Monkey Wrench", "Next Year".
    • The 7-minute long "Come Back" has a rather elaborate fake fade out that fades to just one instrument. Which then picks up others. Which develops into a long musical piece. Which then fades out... and finishes off with a final chorus.
    • "Rope" takes this to new heights by doing it twice, once around the 2:45 mark, and again at the 4 minute mark. The second break doubles as Book Ends, since it's the same echoed chords at the beginning.
    • When "Let It Die" appears to end, it returns with a full blast (it's almost Epic Rocking).
    • Both "In Your Honor" and "White Limo" have breaks that return with a blood-curling scream.
    • "How I Miss You" and "Up In Arms" both start slow, pause and return with heavier sections.
  • Fan Disservice:
    • Their video for "Keep It Clean" requires a bucket of Brain Bleach. Let's just say it involves a lot of nudity and borders on porn.
    • Their video for "Love Dies Young" has a synchronized swimming quintet who undergoes Digital Head Swap to receive the bearded faces of the bandmembers (except Pat).
  • Frying Pan of Doom: In the video for "Everlong"
  • Fun Personified: Dave and Taylor (Nate even expressed fear when the latter entered the band as he thought two goofballs would be hard to stomach).
  • Garage Band: Not only they sound like one, but Wasting Light was recorded in Dave's garage.
  • Genre Roulette: Both In Your Honor (particularly in the acoustic album) and Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace (hard rock, alternative rock, surf rock, acoustic songs, a heartfelt piano ballad...)
  • Homesickness Hymn: "Home" is about longing to be home, but the song refers not only to literally being away from home, but the feelings of loss and heartache that come with moving on to new stages in life.
  • Ho Yay: Invoked often and gladly by Dave with Taylor. If you're going to see them live, expect to hear some serious flirting between the two.
    • Taken to truly preposterous levels with their tour promo, "Hot Buns". (NSFW)
  • Humiliation Conga: The video for "Walk" can be reasonably described as "Dave Grohl and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day". (Or, alternately, "Davey Grohl Is Falling Down".) He gets stuck dead in traffic on the way to practice, gets flipped off by a probably eight-year-old kid in the car in front of him, his phone battery dies, the convenience store clerk refuses to give him change so he can use a pay phone (that has been removed), his fast food burger is pathetic compared to its picture, he steps in dog crap, gets mugged, gets hit by a golf ball when he cuts across a golf course, then gets arrested by a SWAT Team at practice for his various "road rage" incidents in reaction to the above, tazed, and hauled off.
  • I Am the Band: Grohl's original plan for the band. However, only the Self-Titled Debut plays it straight. He has since become the de-facto face of the band instead.
  • I Can't Do This by Myself: "Learn to Fly", between second and third chorus: "Fly along with me, I can't quite make it alone..."
  • In the Style of: As if Hüsker Dü wasn't enough an influence, Dave invited Bob Mould to play in "Dear Rosemary" as he was intentionally trying to evoke his band. He also said "No Son of Mine" is him doing his best attempt at a Motörhead song.
  • It Will Never Catch On: Dave has said he hates the band's name. He only made it up to make it sound like an actual band, and would've chosen something different if he had any idea it would go anywhere.
  • Keet: You'll be hard pressed to find a picture where Taylor isn't smiling.
  • Last Note Nightmare: A few during the fake-out endings, such as the blood-curling screams in "White Limo" and "In Your Honor".
    • Concrete and Gold—both the album and the song (since it's the last track)—end with this twice. The first is the very last chord of the song, taking the space-rock vibe from the chorus and finishing it like a guillotine with a multi-layered power chord and feedback. The second one (that might be Last Note Hilarity instead) comes a few seconds later. FUCK YOU, DARRELL!
  • Lead Drummer: Even if Dave primarily plays guitar on the band, he still fits, to the point that he was unhappy with William Goldsmith's percussion in The Colour and the Shape and replaced almost all of it with his own playing. Taylor's role as The Lancer is a minor case.
    • Taylor's tragic passing saw Dave step back into this role for the recording of But Here We Are.
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the band he became famous in, Dave set out a much less Darker and Edgier path with the first Foo Fighters album, which features nonsensical lyrics written in 20 minutes, catchy melodies, more blatant jokes ("For All the Cows", "Wattershed") and the laidback "Big Me". Later Foo albums started to get somewhat more serious and less lighthearted, as the nonsensical lyrics disappeared and the catchy melodies were turned up volume-wise.
  • Location Song: Sonic Highways has 8 of those. The series even shows how the interviews with local people inspire specific lines.
  • Long Runner: "The Pretender" topped the Modern Rock chart for 18 consecutive weeks. That's longer than any song has topped the Hot 100 (until Lil Nas X and Billy Ray Cyrus' "Old Town Road" in 2019). Muse would later dethrone that record with "Madness" five years later, which spent one week longer at the top than "The Pretender" (which itself would be dethroned by Portugal. The Man's "Feel It Still" by one more week five years after that).
    • "Rope" topped the Hot Rock Songs chart for even longer, clocking in at 20 weeks; it was the longest-lived chart topper until Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive" spent 23 straight weeks at the top.
  • Long-Runner Line-up: Technically, the one which lasted the longest is Dave-Nate-Taylor-Chris, from 1999 until Pat was reinstated as a member in 2010note ... but he had already been playing live with them for five years. And Rami's promotion to full member was after 12 years as a touring musician.
  • Loudness War:
    • One By One was widely derided for playing into this trope, and is considered by all, including the band itself, as their worst album. Compare say.. "Times Like These", with its muddy, distorted guitars and drums that bleed into the rest of the instruments, with "The Pretender" and its crisp distinctive sounds.
    • The Colour And The Shape regularly flitters between maxed out and dynamic, which makes it somewhat exhausting to listen to all the way through.
    • Wasting Light's regular version is incredibly obvious, and odd since the entire album was recorded on tape to recreate the 'garage experience'. Lampshaded, as a label on the shrink-wrapped CD reads "Please play at maximum volume." There's a special vinyl edition which is normal.
  • Lyrical Cold Open: "Doll", "Best of You", "Breakout", "This Is a Call", "Lonely as You", "The Line", and "Concrete and Gold".
  • Meaningful Name: As of the first album. You think you hear a band, but it's almost all Dave Grohl.
  • Metal Scream: Except for slow ballads such as "Big Me" and "Walking After You", every song has Dave yelling the lyrics at least once ("Best of You" is one of the most yelled).
    • The entire bridge of "Monkey Wrench", between the second and third choruses, is yelled out nonstop.
    • Dave starts singing "Let It Die" in a rather quiet manner... then after a a short break he goes louder, culminating in a full-throttle scream by the end.
    • "White Limo". Add the vocals being run through a distortion box, and the studio version is essentially unintelligible.
    • "Weenie Beenie". The vocals are modulated and screamed, and constitute epicness.
    • The vocals in the title track B-side from The Colour and the Shape consists of nothing but type 3 Metal Screams.
  • Mondegreen Gag: Taylor Hawkins once admitted in an interview with MTV that he used to think the line "What do you do when all your enemies are friends?" from the song "Monkey Wrench" was actually "What do you do when all your enemies are French?"
  • Music Video Tropes:
    • Dress Rehearsal Video: "All My Life". "The Pretender" appears to be this, then the Culture Police show up in Riot Gear. Then the wall explodes with water and epic rocking out ensues. "Times Like These" has the band in front of a green screen in one version of the video.
    • Sports Story: "Love Dies Young" has one with a synchonized swimming competition, with the Foos as the girls through Digital Head Swap and Jason Sudeikis as the coach. The final sequence is an extended homage to the Grossout Fakeout of Caddyshack.
    • Stock Footage: The ends of "Long Road to Ruin" and "White Limo" both use the same footage of a car flying off of a cliff.
    • Surreal Music Video: "Everlong". Takes place partially in dreams, but not All Just a Dream as such. It involves giant phones, band members discarding false skins to reveal their true identities, and Dave Grohl (in-character) gaining a massive right hand with which to administer bitch slaps of death. It's directed by Michel Gondry, one of the kings of surrealist videos.
      • "Monkey Wrench" is also pretty weird, with the multiple versions of the band.
      • "DOA" features a world that slowly does a 360-degree roll over the course of the video (reportedly, the spinning around got them so sick they nearly had Potty Failure), subtitled lines from both humans and animals that don't match the context, and mixed color and black-and-white. And that's just the beginning. Nothing is certain except that it's set on a train.
    • Video Full of Film Clips: "Breakout" (though it justifies, by having Dave and Traylor Howard going to a Drive-In Theater to see Me, Myself & Irene - on which Howard stars...) and "The One" (it even opens with Dave reenacting a sequence of Orange County).
    • Window Love: "Walking After You".
  • Must Have Caffeine: Dave ended up in the hospital once with chest pains after his work schedule drove him to downing 6 pots of coffee a day. Being the person he is, it didn't take long for him to revel in the situation.
  • New Sound Album: After the first two post-grunge sounding albums, the next was more pop-rock oriented, whilst later albums have included a complete acoustic set. This lead to a return to heavy, straight-to-the-point rock in Wasting Light.
    • Again with Concrete and Gold, which was produced by Greg Kurstin who has worked with Adele, Sia, P!nk, among others. The album is still very much a Foo Fighters album, but the production is unlike the earlier, largely punk-influenced, stripped-down hard rock style with more complex compositions and dynamics.
  • Nice Guy: Dave has a strong reputation as this among other musicians and fans, so much so that 'nicest guy in rock' has become a nickname for him. Grohl is aware of this trope and during the Wasting Light period in particular, took every opportunity to live up to it by doing as much publicity as possible. In the movie 'Back And Forth', he apologized for the rare times he didn't live up to this, such as the poorly handled firing of drummer William Goldsmith, and a time when he yelled at a producer during a particularly frustrating recording session. That being said, there's definitely an element of Beware the Nice Ones, as Dave has shown more than once that if you piss him off, he will not hesitate to loudly, savagely and mercilessly call you out for it.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Hey, Johnny Park!", "Oh, George", "Cheer Up Boys (Your Make-Up Is Running)" and "White Limo".
  • The Not-Remix:
    • Some releases of the b-side "Podunk" describe it as the Cement Mix, it appears that it is the same as the regular version.
    • "Learn To Fly" and a couple of other tracks on There Is Nothing Left To Lose were remixed prior to the album's release, However, the original versions still appear on modern vinyl pressings of the album, due to these being taken directly from the original master tapes.
  • The Oner: "My Hero" appears to be this. It's however subverted in that the actual cuts are disguised by smoke.
  • Out-of-Genre Experience: While "Everlong" is one of their biggest hits, it is not really representative of their usual style, as it is a fairly straightforward 90s emo song.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • While on stage, Dave Grohl is Cluster F-Bomb incarnate, the lyrics only use swearing for really emphatic lines, such as in "Word Forward" ("They're just fuckin' words!"), "Monkey Wrench" ("EVERY SINGLE WORD YOU SAID, AND ALL THE SHIT"), "Something from Nothing" ("Fuck it all, I came from nothing!") and "Make It Right" ("I don't fuckin' need, I don't fuckin' need, I don't need a martyr!).
    • In the "Big Me" video, Dave clearly mouths "The fuck?" when he sees the kid on stage with them.
  • Progressive Rock: Before losing Taylor and his mother back to back turned the follow-up to Medicine at Midnight into a memorial to them, Dave had mentioned wanting to create "an insane prog-rock record". "The Teacher" appears to be incorporating these ideas into But Here We Are.
  • Protest Song: "The Pretender" is generally considered to be about the George W. Bush presidential administration, but the full interpretation is kept somewhat vague to allow listeners to make their own interpretation and gain their own inspiration for their own issues.
  • Re Release The Song: The single version of "Walking After You" is a re-recording with the full band made for the The X-Files: Fight the Future soundtrack. And Out Cold had on its soundtrack "Win or Lose", which was actually a re-recording of B-side "Make a Bet" (and putting it full circle, it was also issued as a B-side).
  • Revolving Door Band: Dave felt the band was turning into this around 2000 (on which half of the original band, plus the replacement guitarist, had left).note Chris even said he was afraid he would either be fired or the band would end just because he had joined.
    • Long-Runner Line-up: After Chris, it has since become stable, with the only changes being Pat returning to full-time member status with Wasting Light and keyboardist Rami Jaffee joining full time in 2017, until Taylor's untimely death in 2022.note 
  • Road Trip Album: Sonic Highways was recorded in 8 cities, as the band spent a week in each to get inspiration for the songs.
  • Rock Trio: Dave, Nate, and Taylor recorded There's Nothing Left to Lose as one. For the tour, they decided that they needed a second guitarist again and hired Chris after auditions.
  • Rockumentary: Back and Forth for the band. Sonic Highways is a rockumentary mini-series focusing on the evolution of music through various cities, and the band recording their new album of the same name.
  • Sanity Slippage Song: "Breakout":
    I may be crazy, little frayed around the ends
  • Scatting: The start of "Generator" with the robotic talk box.
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: Dave is the only vocalist on the vast majority of their tracks.
  • Self-Titled Album: Foo Fighters.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The opening riff in "A Matter of Time" is a nod to Rush's "Tom Sawyer".
    • Probably one of the biggest ones the Foos will ever get is when Prince covered "Best of You" during his Super Bowl halftime show medley in 2007. This of course was after the Foos had done their own Prince Shout-Out by covering "Darling Nikki"... to which Prince complained and didn't let the band release it in the States. (Though, that didn't stop the song from getting airplay on alternative rock radio and peaking at #15 on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart.) Whether covering their song is hypocrisy or irony, you pick.
    • "Ballad Of The Beaconsfield Miners" is a shoutout to the trapped Beaconsfield Miners. (see Ballad of X).
    • "The Last Song" is a shout themselves. The main riff is identical to the main riff in "Breakout".
    • "Times Like These" has the line, "I'm a new day rising." New Day Rising is an album by Hüsker Dü, one of Dave's biggest influences.note 
    • "Cloudspotter" has the line "Refuse me while I kiss the sky"
  • Sixth Ranger: Rami Jaffee, previously of The Wallflowers, plays keyboards both in the studio and on tour ever since In You Honor. He became an official member in 2017.
  • Song Style Shift: Most present in Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace, where aside from the ballads, every song has at least one tonal shift, be it going full rock by the end ("Let It Die", "But Honestly"), starting slow ("The Pretender", "Come Alive") or slowing down at parts ("Erase/Replace", "Cheer Up Boys"). "Waiting on a War" from Medicine at Midnight has this present as well, starting as an acoustic ballad before going full rock at the end.
  • Special Guest: Aside from how Sonic Highways has a local musician in every track, Greg Dulli in "X-Static", Brian May in "Tired of You", Norah Jones in "Virginia Moon", Bob Mould in "Dear Rosemary", Dave's former bandmate Krist Novoselic in "I Should Have Known", Justin Timberlake in "Make It Right", Alison Mosshart in "The Sky is a Neighborhood" and "La Dee Da", Paul McCartney - playing drums! - in "Sunday Rain"
  • Step Up to the Microphone: "Cold Day in the Sun", "Sunday Rain" and their covers of Pink Floyd's "Have a Cigar" and Joe Walsh's "Life of Illusion" are sung by Taylor Hawkins. Covers of "Danny Says" by The Ramones and "Kiss the Bottle" by Jawbreaker are sung by Chris Shiflett.
  • Spell My Name with a "The": Inverted. The band is called Foo Fighters, not The Foo Fighters.
  • The Stoic: Chris Shiflett and Nate Mendel.
  • Surfer Dude: How Nate Mendel described his first impression of Taylor Hawkins.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Walking After You", "Aurora", "Doll", "Big Me", "February Stars", "Stranger Things Have Happened", and the whole second disc of In Your Honor.
  • Take That!:
    • A few songs are complaints against the ever-greedy Courtney Love, from "I'll Stick Around" ("I don't owe you anything!"), to "Let It Die".
    • As part of its Whole-Plot Reference to Falling Down, the "Walk" video opens with Dave Grohl stuck in a traffic jam and being increasingly annoyed by the behavior of those around him and text around him. Among these is "Punk is Dead" in a wall, and stickers reading "Bieber is my co-pilot" "Thank You, President Bush" and "Coldplay".note 
    • A less-than-peaceful church from Kansas not worth naming has tried to protest their concerts on several occasions. Their response? The first time in 2011, it was to dress up like hicks and sing a country song about loving everyone. The best part was that the band stood right in front of the protestors during the performance.note  Then in 2015, the band rickrolled the protestors from the bed of a pickup truck. They returned to the previous gag in 2021, playing disco tracks outside one of their protests.
  • Textless Album Cover:
    • There Is Nothing Left to Lose has no text, just a picture of Dave Grohl's FF tattoo on his neck.note 
    • The cover for Sonic Highways also has no text, instead showing a cityscape featuring buildings from all eight cities in which the album was recorded.
    • Concrete and Gold is a variant, where the only image is an emblem that resembles two Fs. The digital cover averts it completely by replacing the F-like symbols with a plain "Foo Fighters" text.
  • The Show Must Go On: At a concert in Sweden in 2015, Grohl fell off the stage not even halfway through the second song of the set and fractured his leg. After a brief checkup with a doctor who was attending the concert, Grohl went back on stage and finished the show before going to the hospital. Not only that, but he finished the tour while in crutches, designing a giant throne made out of guitar headstocks and lasers for himself.note 
  • Title Track:
    • "In Your Honor".
    • They have a song called "The Colour and the Shape", but it was cut from the eponymous album because Dave felt its "Weenie Beenie 2.0." vibe didn't fit with the record (it was released as a bonus track on the 10th anniversary edition of the album).
    • "Concrete and Gold"
    • "Medicine At Midnight”
    • "But Here We Are”
  • True Companions: The band took a break from recording, during which Dave played with Queens of the Stone Age and even considered disbanding the Foo Fighters... and then noticed he was missing the band, which inspired him to write "Times Like These".
  • Unplugged Version:
    • A whole disc in In Your Honor are unplugged songs, they released a live album of unplugged songs (Skin and Bones) and they also have several slower songs on their 6th album Echoes, Silence, Patience, and Grace.
    • There are also acoustic versions of "See You" , "Floaty" and "Ain't It The Life" as b-sides.
    • At the 2012 Democratic National Convention, the band performed acoustic versions of "My Hero" and "Walk".
  • Uncommon Time: Most of their songs are written in 4/4 time, but not all of them:
    • "Enough Space" and a decent part of "Miss the Misery" are in 6/4.
    • "Times Like These" is partially in 7/4.
    • "Outside" is mostly in 4/4, but there is a portion in 13/4 (more accurately, 6+7/4).
  • Wholesome Crossdresser: Taylor in music videos for "Everlong" and "Learn to Fly".
  • Word Salad Lyrics: Especially on the first album, where Grohl admitted he wrote whatever he could think the twenty minutes before recording, even if it was completely nonsensical or gibberish.
  • Your Makeup Is Running: The Non-Appearing Title of one of their songs ("Cheer Up Boys (Your Make Up Is Running)"), either taking a potshot at the emo scene or an Artifact Title, as Dave Grohl said that this was a working title that had nothing to do with the song. It just stuck because it was funny. It greatly enhanced Dave Grohl's popularity amongst people who were sick of the melodramatic emo scene of the time regardless.


Video Example(s):


Foo Fighters

During Foo Fighters' performance at the 2011 iTunes Festival, Dave Grohl spots an unruly member of the audience trying to start a fight. Dave quickly stops the performance to call the person out and promptly boots him out of the crowd.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / GetOut

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