Follow TV Tropes


Music / Good Charlotte

Go To
From left to right: Billy, Dean, Joel, Benji, and Paul

"Lifestyles of the rich and the famous,
They're always complainin',
Always complainin',
If money is such a problem,
Well, they got mansions,
Think we should rob them.
"Lifestyles of the Rich and the Famous"

Good Charlotte are an American Pop Punk band from Waldorf, Maryland. Formed on April 1, 1996, by identical twins Joel (Vocals) & Benji Madden (Guitar/Vocals) with Paul Thomas (Bass), Billy Martin (Guitar/Keyboard) and Aaron Escopolio (Drums). Just as the band were about to start writing their breakthrough album, The Young and The Hopeless, Escopolio left to play drums in his brother's band, Wakefield and was eventually replaced by Chris Wilson whilst they were touring in support of TYATH. However, Wilson left the band in May 2005, citing personal health reasons, and he was replaced by the band's current drummer, Dean Butterworth, who had previously drummed with Morrissey.

Musically, they are probably best known as the band who wrote "Lifestyles of The Rich & Famous".


  • Good Charlotte (2000)
  • The Young and the Hopeless (2002)
  • Bootlegs (2004)
  • The Chronicles of Life and Death (2004)
  • Good Morning Revival (2007)
  • Greatest Remixes (2008)
  • Cardiology (2010)
  • Greatest Hits (2010)
  • Youth Authority (2016)
  • Generation RX (2018)

Keep your hands off my tropes:

  • All Girls Want Bad Boys:
    • Inverted in "Riot Girl", where the singer is a boy pining after a bad girl.
    • Exploited in "Break Apart Her Heart."
      There's something I don't wanna understand
      The only way a woman's gonna want a man
      The only way you'll ever keep her in your hands is breaking apart her heart
      Don't tell her she's the reason that you live
      Don't give her everything that you've got to give
      If you wanna keep the girl for as long as you live just break it apart, her heart
  • Anti-Love Song: "I Don't Wanna Be in Love (Dance Floor Anthem)"
  • Audience Participation Song:
    • "The Anthem" has the "Another loser anthem, woah-oh!" refrain towards the end
    • The chorus in "Movin' On" is pretty much made for this.
      Life, hope, truth, trust, faith, pride, love, lust
      Pain, hate, lies, guilt, laugh, cry, live, die
      Some friends become enemies
      Some friends become family
      Make the best with what you're given
      This ain't dying, this is living
  • Book Ends: The Chronicles of Life and Death very nearly plays this straight - The album opens with "Once Upon a Time: The Battle of Life and Death", a brief instrumental performed on strings; the piece is reprised at the end of "In This World (Murder)". The only reason it isn't played straight, is the bonus tracks afterwards ("Falling Away" or "Meet My Maker", depending on if you bought the "Life" or "Death" version of the album, with the hidden song Wounded following both).
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: In "I Just Wanna Live":
    I rock a... lawsuit when I'm going to court,
    A white suit when I'm getting a divorce,
    A black suit at the funeral home,
    And my birthday suit when I'm home alone.
  • The Cameo:
    • Mandy Moore in the "Little Things" music video.
    • Members of Mest, Linkin Park & New Found Glory in the "Festival Song" music video.
    • Chris Kirkpatrick, Kyle Gass & Mike Watt in the "Lifestyles of the Rich & Famous" music video.
    • Members of Mest & Home Grown in the music video for "The Anthem."
    • Jeffree Star & Megan Fox in the music video for "The River."
    • Members of The Maine, Boys Like Girls and Mest in the "Like It’s Her Birthday" music video.
    • Marc Summers in the "Last Night" music video.
    • Cameron Diaz in the "Life Changes" music video - which isn’t so surprising when you realise she had married Benji by that point.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: During the touring cycle for The Chronicles of Life and Death, Joel began wearing all white outfits. Two examples of this can be seen in the music videos for "The Chronicles of Life and Death" and "We Believe."
  • Concept Album: The Chronicles of Life and Death focused on the idea of mortality, with the songs being arranged in such a manner that they play out like a life story.
  • Cover Version:
    • Two on the Not Another Teen Movie soundtrack:
      • "If You Leave" by OMD (Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark) .
      • "I Want Candy" by The Strangeloves.
      • "Put Your Hands On My Shoulder" by Paul Anka, although this one was only featured in the movie.
    • "Acquiesce" by Oasis.
    • "Cemetery" by Silverchair.
    • "Footloose" by Kenny Loggins.
    • Greatest Remixes features a cover of "Dance Floor Anthem" by Metro Station.
  • First World Problems:
    • "Lifestyles of The Rich and Famous" targets celebrities and the social elite complaining about the difficulties they face in their lives, oblivious to the privilege their lifestyles provide.
    • "I Just Wanna Live" complains about the pitfalls of celebrity life, and the loss of privacy after suddenly becoming famous. The lyrics also note the Dramatic Irony of the song coming an album after "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" launched the band into superstardom by targeting celebrities complaining about their fame.
  • Genre Shift: From Pop Punk on their first two albums, to "Dance Punk" on Good Morning Revival, and back to Pop Punk with Cardiology.
  • Goodbye, Cruel World!: Averted; "Hold On" has a very clear anti-suicide message, whilst "S.O.S." was written from the perspective of someone who needs help and wonders if anyone would miss them.
  • Greatest Hits Album:
    • Subverted; their penultimate release (But the last one the band were actually involved in) on Sony Music collected their singles & some fan favourite songs in the form of a remix album.
    • Played straight, however, in that the week after Cardiology (The band's first release on Capitol Records) was released, Sony Music released a Greatest Hits Album without the band's involvement; Benji outright told fans not to buy it.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: The chorus to "I Just Wanna Live".
    I just wanna live
    Don't really care about the things that they say
    Don't really care about what happens to me
    I just wanna live
  • Live Album:
    • Bootlegs, sold via the band's website in a bundle with The Chronicles of Life and Death at release.
    • iTunes Live from Montreal, an acoustic EP released only on Apple Music/iTunes.
  • Long-Runner Line-up:
    • Joel, Benji, Billy & Paul are a Type-1, having been in the band since high school.
    • Joel, Benji, Billy, Paul & Dean are a Type-5; with Dean joining the band in 2005, and the line-up remaining to date with a 4 year hiatus covering 2011 to 2015.
  • Lyrical Dissonance:
    • "Wondering" sounds like it was written from the perspective of a hopelessly devoted boyfriend. It’s actually about Benji’s dog.
    • "The Day That I Die" definitely counts. It's an upbeat-sounding song about waking up one day and realizing that you're going to die.
  • Misogyny Song: On the surface, "Girls and Boys" sounds like one, but the outro of this song reveals what the band really mean: Superficial relationships between gold digging girls and trust fund boys that won't do good to any party involved.
    "All of these boys and all of these girls,
    Losing their souls in a material world."
  • Mood Whiplash: Several times on The Young and the Hopeless.
    • The middle of the album bounces around between an upbeat pop song (“Girls & Boys”), an angry Murder Ballad (“My Blood Valentine”), an anti-suicide anthem (“Hold On”), back to upbeat pop (“Riot Girl”), and finally, a somber song about trying to hold on to a fractured relationship (“Say Anything”).
    • “Emotionless”, the heartbreaking open letter to the twins’ Disappeared Dad is sandwiched between “The Young and the Hopeless” and “Movin’ On
  • Murder Ballad: "My Bloody Valentine".
  • No Full Name Given: The band were only credited by their first names on their Self-Titled Album.
  • Parental Abandonment: Benji & Joel's dad walked out their family on Christmas Eve when they were 15; the song "Emotionless" is an open letter to their father.
  • Parent Never Came Back from the Store: Benji and Joel Madden's father deserted them this way. They've written several songs which are either about it ("The Story of My Old Man") or mention it in passing ("Little Things").
  • Put on a Bus:
    • Original drummer Aaron Escopolio left the band shortly before they began recording The Young and The Hopeless.
    • Second drummer Chris Wilson toured with the band in support of The Young and The Hopeless, then took over full-time prior to writing The Chronicles of Life and Death, but then he left the band during that touring cycle. He was subsequently replaced by the band's current drummer, Dean Butterworth, who became their first drummer to last more than one album.
  • Rearrange the Song: Greatest Remixes was an entire album of this.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The "Last December" video offers a look life in Los Angeles during the height of the COVID-19 viral pandemic, with numerous shots of empty streets and boarded-up businesses.
  • Rock-Star Song: "I Just Wanna Live", with some of the lyrics featuring Joel complaining about the band's sudden fame. On the album after they did a song mocking the celebrities who complained about their success. Lampshaded within the song.
    "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous", your first hit, aren't you ashamed?
  • Rockumentary: Fast Future Generation.
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: Averted; Joel sings lead, whilst Benji sings back-up & on occasion, lead. As they're identical twins, it can sound like this trope.
  • Self-Titled Album: Their very first album.
  • Sequel Song: "Los Angeles Worldwide" from Greatest Remixes serves as one to "Waldorf Worldwide" from their self titled album.
    "We'll be self-made millionaires; these lives we'll lead without a care, oh yeah" - From the bridge of "Waldorf Worldwide"
    "Self-made millionaires, we promised you; These lives we lead without a care" - From the bridge of "Los Angeles Worldwide"
  • Sibling Team: Joel and Benji Madden.
  • Special Guest: Avenged Sevenfold's M. Shadows & Synyster Gates perform vocals & guitar respectively on "The River" from Good Morning Revival.
  • Take That!:
    • "Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous" is, at the title suggests, targeted at wealthy celebrities and their First World Problems. The second verse specifically calls out O. J. Simpson and his lawyer Johnnie Cochran, as well as then-mayor of Washington D.C. Marion Barry, respectively.
      "Did you know, when you were famous, you could kill your wife
      And there's no such thing as 25 to life
      As long as you got the cash to pay for Cochran?
      And did you know, when you were caught and you were smoking crack
      McDonald's wouldn't even wanna take you back?
      You could always just run for mayor of D.C."
    • The music video for "I Just Wanna Live" takes aim at the fickle media cycle turning on celebrities after building them up, with the video recreating the Paris Hilton sex tape and Ashlee Simpson’s SNL lip sync scandal.
  • Those Two Guys: Billy & Paul, if only for being the longest lasting members of the band who aren't the twins.
  • Trash the Set: The video for "The Young and The Hopeless" featured the band performing in a room filled with trophies & awards, and subsequently destroying every single one of them as they perform. And, fittingly enough, actually causing such destruction that part of the set started to collapse.
  • What Did I Do Last Night?: The appropriately titled "Last Night".
  • Yandere: What the Villain Protagonist of "My Bloody Valentine" is.