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Music / Garbage

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Left to right: Marker, Vig, Manson and Erikson
I'm only happy when it rains,
I'm only happy when it's complicated,
And though I know you can't appreciate it,
I'm only happy when it rains.
"Only Happy When It Rains"

Garbage are an American Alternative Rock group from Madison, Wisconsin. They basically play alternative rock with heavy pop, electronic, and industrial influences.

Garbage was formed in 1994 by Record Producer Butch Vig, noted for his work with famous alternative rock acts like Nirvana (Nevermind), Sonic Youth, The Smashing Pumpkins and L7. Vig took up the position of drummer and brought in some old bandmates and fellow producers, guitarist/keyboardist Steve Marker and bassist Duke Erikson. The lineup was completed with the recruitment of Scottish vocalist Shirley Manson, formerly of alt-rock bands Angelfish and Goodbye Mr. Mackenzie. Their bandname comes from somebody commenting that Vig's remix work sounded "like garbage", a quote frequently attributed to Trent Reznor for some reason.note 

After gaining a bit of attention through demo tapes, the band signed to Mushroom Records and began to work on their debut, the self-produced Garbage. Released in 1995, its hybrid electronic-alternative-industrial-rock sound was favourably received and quickly gained a large audience, managing to come up with a few hits in the process such as the Stealth Parody (or open parody, really) of grunge angst "Only Happy When It Rains", "Vow" and the Clash-sampling "Stupid Girl" (not the P!nk song, though lyrically similar).

For their follow-up, Version 2.0, Garbage continued with the same electro-rock sound but added a denser production, more techno and trip-hop influences and catchier melodies. 2.0 became another well-received success and gave them a few more hit singles as well, such as the technoey "Push It", the super-heavy Epic Riff-driven "I Think I'm Paranoid", and the ballad "You Look So Fine". Around this time, they were recruited to perform the theme to The World Is Not Enough, on which they worked alongside composer David Arnold.

The band's gravy train slowed down somewhat after The '90s ended, thanks to record label problems and a mixed reception for beautifulgarbage that frequently included charges of both They Changed It, Now It Sucks! and It's the Same, Now It Sucks! — a reception that translated into poor sales. During the Troubled Production of their next album, they nearly broke up due to intra-band tensions in 2003, but managed to regroup and finish Bleed Like Me in 2005, which once again suffered a mixed reception but did slightly better in the charts. They went on a hiatus for five years afterwards, during which time Manson played a regular dramatic role as the liquid metal Terminator known as Weaver in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles. Despite generally positive reactions, she didn't continue with acting. Manson announced in October of 2010 that the group had reformed and was working on a fifth album, which was released in 2012 as Not Your Kind of People. The title track was used in the trailer for Metal Gear Solid V, so the group has at least one Japanese fan. Strange Little Birds followed in 2016 followed by No Gods No Masters in 2021 (Manson admits that they’re not the fastest creators in the business).

Their discography as of 2021:

  • Garbage (1995)
  • Version 2.0 (1998)
  • beautifulgarbage (2001)
  • Bleed Like Me (2005)
  • Absolute Garbage (Greatest Hits Album, 2007)
  • Not Your Kind Of People (2012)
  • Strange Little Birds (2016)
  • No Gods No Masters (2021)

Non-album singles:


  • Garbage Video (VHS, 1996)
  • Absolute Garbage (DVD, 2007)
  • One Mile High... Live (DVD/BD, 2013)

"You learn to love the tropes you feel...":

  • Album Title Drop: The song "Even Though Our Love Is Doomed" slips in the line "Such Strange Little Birds, devoured by our obsessions".
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: "Bad Boyfriend" takes the trope as read, and more or less celebrates it.
  • Alpha Bitch: The girl described in "Stupid Girl" is something like this.
  • Anachronism Stew: The music video for "The World Is Not Enough", the theme for the Bond movie of the same name, is a sort of mini spy-fi movie, apparently set in Chicago 1964, except for the fact the cars look pretty obviously contemporary to the 1990s. Oh, and also Shirley Manson is an apparently sentient, sexy, bisexual robot. With a bomb inside her!
  • Anti-Love Song: "I Hate Love" surprisingly enough.
  • Appropriated Appellation: Someone told Vig that their new songs were garbage.
  • Ascended Glitch:
    • The tape where they recorded "Supervixen" kept skipping, and the band decided to keep it as they felt it worked. (And apparently lots of fans complained that their albums were broken, given it's the opening track...)
    • The opening of "Dumb" features a weird voice, that Butch Vig explained was a Spanish-speaking cab radio that somehow found itself captured as the bass was being recorded.
  • Ax-Crazy: "Vow" is about a sado-masochistic couple's relationship falling apart and the woman wanting revenge.
    I came to cut you up
    I came to knock you down
    I came around to tear your little world apart
  • Bigger Is Better in Bed: Shirley may or may not believe in this.
  • Bifauxnen/Bishōnen: The "Androgyny" video, which was kind of the point.
  • Break-Up Song: A few, most notably "Special" and "It's All Over But the Crying".
  • The Cameo:
    • Dave Grohl plays drums on "Bad Boyfriend".
    • For "Queer", Butch was considering a drum sample from James Brown's "Funky Drummer". Then he discovered the drummer lived nearby and asked him to play on the song.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: "Blackout" is all about the pain of keeping things inside.
  • Concept Video: They had a few very well publicized concept videos in the Nineties; "Queer", "Push It", "Special" and "The World Is Not Enough". Later in their career they made "Bleed Like Me" and "Tell Me Where it Hurts".
  • Cool Old Guy: The guys were born in The '50s, so they all really broke out as musicians over or nearing 40, and evolve more and more into this.
  • Cool Old Lady: Shirley, born in 1966, also fits once The New '10s kicked it. Not that she looked 45 or near 50.
  • Cover Version:
    • One of their B-sides is an electronic cover of "Thirteen" by Big Star.
    • They've also done the Velvet Underground's "Candy Says", The Seeds' "Can't Seem to Make You Mine", The Jam's "Butterfly Collector" and Vic Chesnutt's "Kick My Ass".
    • They also covered U2's "Pride (In the Name of Love)" at a 2003 event to honour Bono's charity work; and in studio form "Who's Gonna Ride Your Wild Horses" for an Achtung Baby compilation in 2011.
    • They covered The Ramones' "I Just Wanna Have Something To Do" for the WE'RE A HAPPY FAMILY tribute album.
    • Near the end of their 2012 tour with opening act Screaming Females, Shirley Manson invited guitarist Marissa Paternoster onstage with her to duet on Patti Smith's "Because the Night." The two bands later recorded a studio version, released as a single in 2013. Shirley Manson had recorded a cover version of Patti Smith's "Kimberley" twenty years prior with her old band Angelfish.
    • Talking of live covers, the band has also performed The Beatles's "Don't Let Me Down", Vic Chesnutt's "Supernatural", Patsy Cline's "I Fall to Pieces", Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation" and the Velvet Underground's "I'm Waiting For the Man". Occasionally they would also break out into parts of Fleetwood Mac's "The Chain", The Beatles "Day Tripper" and Black Sabbath's "Black Sabbath".
    • As part of a Howard Stern tribute to David Bowie, they covered "Starman", which was later released as the B-side to their 2018 single “Destroying Angels”.
  • Creepy Child: Shirley's persona is the grown-up version — when it's not something else entirely... See in particular her role as an especially icy T-1000 in Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles.
  • Darker and Edgier: Strange Little Birds stands out as one of their most downbeat albums, and it was deliberate, with Shirley saying she found the pop landscape "incredibly happy and shiny and poppy" and needing some dark and dismal.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: A large proportion of their videos are at least partially done in black and white. Such videos include "Queer", "Push It", "I Think I'm Paranoid", "Why Do You Love Me", "Blood for Poppies", "Big Bright World", "The Chemicals" and "The Creeps".
    • Part of the video for "Tell Me Where It Hurts" is done in black and green due to the usage of Night-Vision Goggles, "No Gods No Masters" is mostly black and blue, and somes of Shirley's scenes in "The Creeps" are in black and red.
  • Disposable Sex Worker: Downplayed in "Tell Me Where It Hurts". Shirley is injured by one of her clients, but recovers. The client on the other hand...
  • Downer Ending: Every album they ever made throws a depressing ballad at the end: "Milk", "You Look So Fine", "So Like a Rose", "This City Will Kill You", and a few others.
    • "Happy Home", the final song on Bleed Like Me, is especially depressing, as the lyrics seem to imply that the song is the narrator's suicide note.note  The strings don't help either.
    • Subverted with "Beloved Freak" (which brings Tears of Joy, as despite the melody is a message for the listener to be themselves and not to give up) closing Not Your Kind of People. (Except for the deluxe edition, where closer "Show Me" is far from depressing).
    • And then Strange Little Birds ends with "Amends", a particularly resentful and pained Break-Up Song, to bring the trope back on full force. It even makes the follow-up's closer "This City Will Kill You" seem upbeat by comparison.
  • The Eeyore: Shirley admits that being Scottish, she likes dark themes. Gloriously celebrated in "Only Happy When It Rains".
  • Everything Is an Instrument: The first album includes weird samples such as a broken DAT tape in "Stupid Girl", and much later "Sugar" has a musical saw.
  • Eye Scream: The video for "Blood for Poppies" has Shirley's left eye being slit open in a shout out to the 1929 film Un Chien Andalou.
  • Eye Take: In the video for "The World Is Not Enough," Shirley Manson gets a wide-eyed Reaction Shot when she sees her robotic double enter her dressing room.
  • Fake Guest Star: Eric Avery is basically all but a full time member now, as he started playing with them in the Bleed Like Me World Tour and has been their live bassist ever since, and even recorded on all albums since Not Your Kind of People.
  • Fake Shemp: Butch Vig was badly ill during the shoot for "Cherry Lips", so for the parts where he'd be wearing a green morph suit and invisible anyway, he was portrayed by a crew member who could play drums well enough to pass as him. He did recover enough to record the scenes he'd need to be visible in though.
  • Fading into the Next Song: The end of "Not My Idea" fades into the beginning of "A Stroke of Luck."
  • Fanservice: Played straight most of the time but is zigzagged on occasion. Videos such as "Vow", "Queer", "Run Baby Run" and "Blood for Poppies" downplay this by having Shirley in normal attire while other videos feature her in short dresses. "I'm Think I'm Paranoid", "Cherry Lips" (An invisible Shirley sees her clothes fall off and walks naked to the bathroom) and "Bleed Like Me" turn this up to eleven. Also, the video for "Androgyny". To quote: "It has men who look like attractive women, women who look like attractive men, Shirley Manson wearing a rather sexy outfit that looks like a weird hybrid between suit and a dress, Shirley Manson wearing suspenders and the aforementioned androgynous people, in various states of undress, doing vaguely hinted at things with each other in a tightly-packed environment. Something for everyone, really."
  • The Fatalist: "Control".
  • Faux Death: A photoshoot for a 2019 interview featured Shirley first apparently having died, complete with police tape; then as a grisly corpse in a mortuary with foam coming from her mouth; then being made up by unseen hands to look like she's alive (including a bit of Fandisservice where she appears to be wearing only a transparent vinyl raincoat); until finally her heavily made-up "corpse" is posed in various positions. It's... disturbing and funny.
  • Fiery Redhead: Shirley.
  • Flipping the Bird: "Flipping the Bird" quotes this verbatim.
  • Follow Your Heart: "Beloved Freak".
  • Free Handed Performer: Shirley Manson provided backing vocals and keyboards for the band Goodbye Mr Mackenzie. Following that, the founding members of Garbage were looking for a female lead vocalist and she took on the role. Despite playing guitar on some of the band's albums, she only sings on stage.
  • Genre Blindness: "The World Is Not Enough" features the line, "no one ever died from wanting too much." Virtually every James Bond villain ever to cross the screen died for that very reason. Justified, since it's the Villain Song.
  • Genre Mashup: The band wanted to break out of the straightforward rock they either played or produced for the previous decade, thus mixing in elements of electronica, pop, funk and hip-hop.
  • Greatest Hits Album: Absolute Garbage, but it wasn't composed solely of their previous songs, as "Tell Me Where It Hurts" was released on it. Five year later, their Australian record company released a repackaged and resequenced version titled The Absolute Collection which omitted "You Look So Fine" and "The World is Not Enough" and added two of their singles from beautifulgarbage and Not Your Kind of People apiece, as well as "Supervixen" from their debut.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Usually a bassist (for instance, ever since the Bleed Like Me tour Jane's Addiction's Eric Avery has been a recurring collaborator), though at times a drummer too (Matt Walker of The Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam and Soundgarden touring drummer Matt Chamberlain).
  • Guyliner: Donned by Butch, Duke and Steve in "Only Happy When It Rains".
  • Happy Rain: "Only Happy When It Rains", of course. ("Pour your misery down on me!")
  • Have a Gay Old Time: Downplayed in "Queer", where the old meaning ("weird or unusual") is used. The band was well aware of the alternative meaning however and allowed the song to be open to interpretation.
  • Hospital Hottie: The video for "Bleed Like Me".
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Shirley and Gwen Stefani.
  • Hidden Track: The vinyl release of Strange Little Birds includes one titled "Fucking With You" on side D (which also has an etching), which is not available on other editions.
  • High Class Callgirl: Shirley plays one in "Tell Me Where It Hurts".
  • I Am What I Am: "Not Your Kind of People".
  • I Call It "Vera": Shirley owns an orange Fender Stratocaster named 'Rita'.
  • Important Haircut: Around the time beautifulgarbage was released, Shirley cut her long red hair short, spiked it and dyed it platinum blonde. Watch the videos for "Cherry Lips" and "Breaking Up the Girl" compared to their others, the difference is quite striking. However, nowadays it's back to the way it was before.
  • In Da Club: "Run Baby Run" plays this straight, but "The Chemicals" plays with the trope - the patrons are young and quite attractive, but they are drunk/on drugs and a few of them are quite aggressive (it is a rave bar).
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: The end of "Nobody Loves You".
  • Intercourse with You: At least half of Version 2.0note , "Alien Sex Fiend", "Bad Boyfriend", "Sex Never Goes Out of Fashion", and "Anonymous XXX" (about prostitution and the lack of emotional connection it involves).
  • The Invisible Band: The video for "Cherry Lips", but that's actually a literal example.
  • It Makes Sense in Context: The twist ending of "Cherry Lips", if you were paying attention to the lyrics.
  • Kids Rock: Both Vig's and Marker's daughters contributed to the final chorus of "Not Your Kind of People".
  • Kiss of Death: In the video for "The World Is Not Enough," the android Shirley Manson is able to kill with a kiss. She uses it to Kill and Replace the real Shirley Manson.
  • Lead Drummer: The main musical force is Butch Vig, who chose to play drums. (although on occasion he called an outsider to focus on producing, or was replaced on stage being unable to attend)
  • Lighter and Softer: Their first, Self-Titled Album is quite easily the band's darkest and angriestnote , so the rest of their discography is essentially lighter and softer in comparison. It’s subverted with beautifulgarbage; although it’s musically lighter and softer with the incorporation of hip hop and electronica influences, the lyrics are more melancholic — Manson having just gone through a divorce may be relevant.
  • Little Black Dress: Shirley often wears versions of this style on stage and in videos though they are not always black (being blue in "Only Happy When It Rains", or black with white polka dots in "I Think I'm Paranoid", for example).
  • Long-Runner Line-up: A very rare Type 1 and Type 3.
  • Longest Song Goes Last: the standard editions of Version 2.0, beautifulgarbage and Bleed Like Me, as well as the deluxe edition of Not Your Kind of People, feature this.
  • Looped Lyrics: "Felt".
    What is real? Is real reason?
    What is real? Is real reason?
    What is real? Is real reason?
    What is real?
  • Loudness War:
    • Bleed Like Me's been roundly bashed by audiophiles the world over for its lifeless, dynamic-deficient and horribly clipping sound. A real bad moment considering three of the band members are producers and their previous albums had proper dynamics despite all the distortion and loudness. However, it should be noted that this is done in the mixing and mastering phase of production, not the recording phase; it's out of the producer's hands by that point.
    • Not Your Kind of People hasn't fared much better in the war either.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: Most of their songs are cheery, with gloomy lyrics about breakups ("Special"), failed relationships ("Cherry Lips", "Breaking Up The Girl"), or "I'm a really screwed person." ("Bleed Like Me", "I Think I'm Paranoid").
    • Subverted with "Only Happy When It Rains" — It's a upbeat, catchy song about liking being depressed (both as Self-Deprecation and to parody the angsty rock of the '90s).
    • Also subverted with "Beloved Freak", a slow tearjerker-like ballad about accepting and embracing yourself as an outsider.
  • Lyrics/Video Mismatch: Garbage's "Special" looks like a clip out of Crimson Skies and it has nothing to do with the song.
  • Male Band, Female Singer: After demos with Vig singing, the three men decided that they should try with a woman. And then Marker catches the one time Angelfish played on MTV and the rest is history.
  • Mind Screw: The video for "Cherry Lips (Go Baby Go!)".
  • Murder Ballad: "Destroying Angels".
  • New Sound Album: Bleed Like Me focused less on the electronics trying to reflect the band's raw and loud live performances.
  • Non-Appearing Title:
    • "Supervixen", "Vow", "Parade," "Blood For Poppies," "Anonymous XXX," ("anonymous" does appear) "No Gods No Masters" ("No master or gods to obey").
    • B-sides: "#1 Crush," "Driving Lesson," "Subhuman," "Sex Never Goes Out of Fashion". Played with in "13 x Forever", the song fades out with Shirley saying "thirteen times one, thirteen times two, thirteen times three...", implying she will continue saying "thirteen times" forever.
  • Nothing but Skin and Bones: "Bleed Like Me".
    And the kick is so divine when she sees bones beneath her skin.
  • Obligatory Bondage Song: "Supervixen". And "Queer". And, well, quite a lot of the first album. "Anonymous XXX" also qualifies.
  • Obsession Song: "#1 Crush", "You Look So Fine", "Cup of Coffee", "Vow".
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: In the video for "Bleed Like Me", Shirley plays a nurse. In one scene, she breaks into a room, still wearing the uniform with a black mask serving as her only disguise.
  • Performance Video: "Vow" is a notable case in that the band had not considered playing live, but once they performed together for the video, they decided that it worked and soon afterwards scheduled a tour.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • Played straight with "Bleed Like Me" and "The Men Who Rule the World" ("fuck"), "Cherry Lips", "Why Do You Love Me" and "Boys Wanna Fight" ("shit") and "Shut Your Mouth" and "What Girls are Made Of" (both).
    • Taken up to eleven with the Strange Little Birds bonus track "Fucking With You", which is not only the title, but also starts nearly every line in the song's chorus.
  • Prim and Proper Bun: Shirley frequently donned this look around the time Not Your Kind of People was released.
  • Professional Sex Ed: According to Shirley, "Queer" is about a hooker being hired by a young gay man's father to try to "turn" him straight. It doesn't work.
  • Protest Song: "Boys Wanna Fight" for The War on Terror, "Sex Is Not the Enemy" against Moral Guardians, and most of the songs in No Gods, No Masters.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: A few Title Drops ("This! Is! Not! My! Idea! of a good time..."; "Why! Don't! You! Come - oveeeer?!"; "Automatic - Systematic - Habit!").
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "Stupid Girl" berates a woman for manipulating other people and faking innocence as they do so.
  • Record Producer: The band is always credited for producing its own albums. (the only outside producers were David Arnold on "The World Is Not Enough", and The Dust Brothers' John King on "Bad Boyfriend" and B-side "Space Can Come Through Anyone" — the other Bleed Like Me songs they worked on with him were re-recorded).
  • Refuge in Audacity: The videos for "Tell Me Where It Hurts", "Cherry Lips" and "Anonymous XXX".
  • Religion Rant Song: "Subhuman". Also "As Heaven is Wide", a Break Up Song about somebody who has been hurt by a (supposedly) religious man.
  • Revenge: "Vow".
    You burned me out but I'm back at your door
    Like Joan of Arc coming back for more
  • Rhyming with Itself:
    • "Drive You Home".
    Walk on shells tonight / Can't do right tonight.
    • Also this couplet from "Bad Boyfriend:"
    Keep you on ice so I can show all my friends / C'mon baby be my bad boyfriend.
  • Robe and Wizard Hat: Donned by Shirley in "Magnetized"
  • Rose-Haired Sweetie: With the given reservations, Shirley from 2015-2017, when she dyed her hair to a pink similar to the one in the first album's cover. Again, nowadays it's back to the way it was before.
  • Rule of Pool: "Big Bright World".
  • Sampling:
    • They used the beat from "Train in Vain" by The Clash for "Stupid Girl". The Beach Boys' "Don't Worry Baby" was originally sampled for "Push It", but the sample is not present in the final version of the track (although present in recent performances); Shirley sings the lyrics herself.
    • "Special" similarly has Shirley quoting from Pretenders' "Talk of the Town", leading to a sample. Chrissie Hynde's lawyers denied the band permission to use the sample, but Shirley got Chrissie on the phone and got Chrissie to write a letter giving the band permission to sample "my music, my lyrics; indeed, my very ass".
    • The breathy vocals that start off, and are scattered throughout, "#1 Crush", are Madonna's, originally found on "Bedtime Story".
  • Sanity Slippage Song: "The Creeps".
  • Seduction Lyric: “Bad Boyfriend” is a song about how All Girls Want Bad Boys, or at least this one does, and doubles as a Bad Girl Song, as the singer thinks she’s a good matchfor this bad boy.
    So ripe so sweet come suck it and see
    But watch out daddy I sting like a bee
    I know some tricks I swear will give you the bends
    Come on baby be my bad boyfriend
  • Self-Deprecation: They admit "Only Happy When it Rains" is a dig at their own penchant for darker themes.
  • Shout-Out: A lot:
    • "Cherry Lips" and "Bleed Like Me" have shout-outs to Laura Albert's alias "JT Leroy".
    • "Bleed Like Me" also gives a shout-out to Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive".
    • "Sleep Together" ("If we sleep together, will you like me better?") has a clear homage to Romeo Void's "Never Say Never" ("I might like you better if we slept together!"). Shirley downright sung the original's lyrics during that album's 20th anniversary tour.
    • "The One" has a reference to something Shirley did:
    Call me a doctor. I cannot lose control. There must be someone. A robot, a terminator?
    • "Only Happy When It Rains", "Supervixen" and "Felt", amongst others, are homages to Shoegazing (The Jesus and Mary Chain for the former, who released a song called "Happy When It Rains" back in 1987, and My Bloody Valentine for the latter two, with "Supervixen" going so far as to imitate the opening drum roll and riff from "Only Shallow").
    • The line "beautiful garbage" was previously featured on Hole's "Celebrity Skin". Shirley was also inspired by Courtney to write "Right Between the Eyes".
    • Another shout out in "Supervixen" is the title itself, a nod to Russ Meyer's 70's Exploitation Film Supervixens.
    • "Push It" quotes The Beach Boys "Don't Worry Baby".
    • "Special" references the Pretenders' "Talk of the Town".
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: Shirley's Scottish accent isn't so noticeable when she sings.
    • Ooh, Me Accent's Slipping: Except in "Stupid Girl", where she pronounces the word "stupid" as "stju-pid" as opposed to the American pronunciation as "stoo-pid", and adds some Trrrilling Rrrs to "girl" (something that confused the rest of the band). This isn't a one-off either, with the same pronunciation also present in the songs "Breaking up the Girl", "Boys Wanna Fight", "If I Lost You", "Night Drive Loneliness" and "A Woman Destroyed".
      • "Run Baby Run": the Title Drop sounds more like "rahn my baby rahn"
      • "Not Your Kind of People": she pronounces "cast" almost like "cahst"
      • "Sometimes": its opening verse has "rather" pronounced to rhyme with "father"
      • "Empty": where "all" and "talk" sound more like "ool" and "toolk".
      • "No Horses" has quite a few lines sung in a breathy whisper that's mostly her real accent. Especially the line "This is the apocalypse".
  • Soprano and Gravel: "Girls Talk", where Shirley is the Soprano to Brody Dalle's Gravel.
  • Stage Name: Aside from Shirley and Steve, Douglas "Duke" Erikson and Bryan "Butch" Vig.
  • Stalker with a Crush: "#1 Crush".
  • Stealth Parody "Only Happen When It Rains" is a parody of Grunge culture by having the narrator be so over-the-top depressive.
  • Surreal Music Video: "Push It", "I Think I'm Paranoid", "Blood for Poppies", "The Creeps".
  • Take That!:
  • Title-Only Chorus: "Why Don't You Come Over", "I Hate Love", "The Chemicals".
  • Tomato in the Mirror: The video for "Bleed Like Me" has Shirley working as a nurse at at hospital with the rest of the band as doctors only she's actually a patient with her doctor "colleagues" being her guardians.
  • Trrrilling Rrrs: "I'm only happy when it rrrains!"
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: Played straight in "Breaking Up The Girl", "Can't Cry These Tears", "Cup of Coffee" and "Run Baby Run". Inverted, however, with "Not My Idea". The song changes key directly after the second chorus but then reverts to the original key after the final one.
  • Video Full of Film Clips: "The World Is Not Enough" was remade into one of these (since it was made for the James Bond movie of the same name).
  • Villain Song: "The World Is Not Enough" is a memorable villain song for Elektra King. Bond usually goes for "The Villain Sucks" Song, but this is definitely villain PoV.
  • Vocal Tag Team: Duke joins Shirley on vocals in the ending of "Amends".
  • Yandere: Many, with a shout out to "Vow".
    I can't use what I can't abuse
    And I can't stop when it comes to you.
    • As well as in "#1 Crush"
    You will believe in me
    And I will never be ignored