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Music / Green Day

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"Don't wanna be an American idiot!"note 
"Do you have the time
To listen to me whine
About nothing and everything all at once?"
"Basket Case"

Green Day is an American Pop Punk/Alternative Rock band from the Bay Area (Oakland, to be precise).

Around 1987, Billie Joe Armstrong (lead vocals/guitar) and Mike Dirnt (bass) formed the band Sweet Children; in 1988, John Kiffmeyer (Al Sobrante) joined as the drummer. Before releasing their first LP, 1990's 39/Smooth, the band changed its name to Green Day, supposedly as an inside joke about marijuananote . In 1990, Kiffmeyer left the band to attend college and Tré Cool joined in his place, completing the Green Day lineup we know today.

Green Day reached its first breakout success with 1994's Dookie, still seen as one of the most seminal albums of its time for its lasting impact on punk rock and its mainstream acceptance. It remains their highest-selling album. From then on, the band would continuously slide between cynical and optimistic tones in their songwriting and concepts, often transparently informed by the political tensions of the times, and experiment with different genres both in their work and their handful of short-lived side projects, including The Network (New Wave, under pseudonyms) and Foxboro Hot Tubs (Garage Rock).

The band has their own Rock Band game treatment, released in June 2010, and were inducted by Fall Out Boy frontman Patrick Stump into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2015.

Principal members (Founding members in bold, current members in italic):

  • Billie Joe Armstrong - lead vocals, guitar, drums, harmonica, mandolin, piano (1987–)
  • Michael Pritchard (Mike Dirnt) - bass, backing and lead vocals, baseball bat, farfisa (1987–)
  • John Kiffmeyer (Al Sobrante) - drums, percussion, vocals (1987–1990)
  • Frank Wright (Tré Cool) - drums, percussion, backing and lead vocals, guitar, bongos, tambourine, accordion (1990–)
  • Jason White - guitar, vocals (2012–2016; currently a touring member)

Full discography:

  • 1989 - 1,000 Hours EP
  • 1990 - Slappy EP
  • 1990 - Sweet Children EP
  • 1990 - 39/Smooth
  • 1991 - 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours (compilation)
  • 1992 - Kerplunk
  • 1992 - On The Radio (live)
  • 1994 - Dookie
  • 1995 - Insomniac
  • 1997 - nimrod.
  • 2000 - Warning:
  • 2001 - Tune In, Tokyo... (live from Warning tour)
  • 2001 - International Superhits! (compilation)
  • 2002 - Shenanigans (compilation)
  • 2004 - American Idiot
  • 2005 - Bullet in a Bible (live from American Idiot tour)
  • 2009 - 21st Century Breakdown
  • 2009 - Last Night on Earth: Live in Tokyo (live)
  • 2011 - Awesome as Fuck (live from 21st Century Breakdown tour)
  • 2012 - ¡Uno!
  • 2012 - ¡Dos!
  • 2012 - ¡Tré!
  • 2014 - Demolicious (compilation)
  • 2016 - Revolution Radio
  • 2017 - Greatest Hits: God's Favorite Band (compilation)
  • 2019 - Live! Woodstock '94 (live from Woodstock 1994 performance)
  • 2020 - Father of All Motherfuckers

"Am I just paranoid, or am I just troped?":

    open/close all folders 

  • Accent Upon The Wrong Syllable: From "Basket Case": "I am one of those/me-LO-dramatic fools."
  • All Drummers Are Animals: Tré Cool. Snorts doughnut sprinkles. Smokes lettuce. Is the only person to climb the Universal Tower without getting into trouble. Allegedly can suck his own.
  • Arc Words: The phrase "when the red lights flash", throughout the Uno! Dos! Tré! trilogy.
  • Ascended Extra: Jason White. He became a touring guitarist for the band starting with the Warning years, then he became a full member in time for the Uno, Dos, Tré trilogy. Unfortunately in 2016 he was Demoted to Extra again, and surprisingly enough, not by the band but by his own according. Debates range from just finding working with a band too stressful, the reception of the trilogy, or the fact he was diagnosed with an illness.
  • Audience Participation: In some of their concerts, the band will pick fans from the crowd to sing or play a song. This is an example.
  • Audience Participation Song:
    • "American Idiot"; everything from the verses to chants that Billie Joe conducts. He even orchestrates the "calling out to idiot America" line to be sung only by the audience.
    • During the Reading 2013 performance of "Boulevard of Broken Dreams", as soon as the audience heard the opening riffs, they took it upon themselves to sing the whole first verse before Billie Joe came in.
    • "Holiday". The repeated "HEY!" chants as well as the "Can I get another amen? (AMEN!)" line.
      • The chord progression is simple, so Armstrong often calls a young guitarist onstage to play the main riff.
    • The opening section of "Letterbomb". Hell, Tré even conducts the audience with his drumstick.
    • "Longview".
    • Everyone sings along with Billie Joe during "Basket Case", and he'll always conduct the first half of the hook to be sung by the audience before he steps in, to prevent the crowd from being drowned out by the guitar and drums.
    • While playing "Hitchin' a Ride" live, the audience always contributes with the "ONE, TWO, ONE, TWO, THREE, FOUR".
    • "Still Breathing" is also an example, as Billie will have the audience sing "my way to you" at the end of the chorus.
  • Bathroom Stall Graffiti: In "Jesus of Suburbia"
    "I read the graffiti in the bathroom stall
    Like the holy scriptures of the shopping mall."
  • BDSM: "Dominated Love Slave" and "Blood, Sex and Booze". The latter, too, is from the slave's point of view.
    • "Pulling Teeth" may also be about this - or plain old physical abuse.
      • Funny story, Mike Dirnt (bassist) wrote this song in sarcasm about a pillow fight he had with his girlfriend. The band thought it was funny so they recorded it and put it on the album.
  • Berserk Button:
    • Don't ever tell Billie Joe that Green Day sucks, or else he'll beat you into submission right then and there.
    • Do not @ them on Twitter on October 1st to tell them to "wake up." It's overplayed on a surface level, but there's also the fact that it's a shallow reference to "Wake Me Up When September Ends", a song Billie Joe wrote for his late father, who died on the first of September.
  • Blasphemous Boast: Their second Greatest Hits Album is titled God's Favorite Band.
  • Book Ends:
    • "Minority" begins and ends with an acoustic guitar playing the same riff.
    • "Take Back" begins and ends with the same radio monotone.
    • 21st Century Breakdown's title track and closing track open and close with the same riff.
    • Revolution Radio's final track "Forever Now" features a reprise of its opening track, "Somewhere Now".
  • Bowdlerise: Their album Father of All Motherfuckers goes by the clean alternate title Father of All....
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: Billie Joe recognizing Jason Freese after they play "Brain Stew" on BIAB.
    "On the piano, on the saxophone, on the trombone, and many, many, many, many, many, many, many, many pornographic websites on the Internet..."
  • Butt-Monkey: The entire band in the opening of The Simpsons Movie. A single line about the environment into a three-and-a-half-hour free concert and the crowd immediately folds on them. What a bunch of ingrates.
    • Hey, this is Springfield we're talking about. At least 90% of the populace there is made up of inconsiderate morons and/or jerks.
    • Not to mention that they get killed off by sinking into the toxic waters of Lake Springfield a few seconds later.
    • On the bright side, the church did play an organ version of "American Idiot."
  • Call-Back: The opening guitars of "8th Avenue Serenade" on Tre! sound identical to those of "Stay the Night" on Uno!.
  • Careful with That Axe:
    • The distant voice yelling "SHUT THE FUCK UP" in "Let Yourself Go".
    • Right after the second chorus of "She".
    • The climax of "Hitchin' a Ride" kicks off with silence followed by a sudden scream of "SHIIIT!".
  • Catchphrase: Billie Joe almost always says "get your ass up here" when he picks a fan to come on-stage and play with him.
  • Censored Title: Awesome As F**k, Father of All... and the case of Dos! has a black box on 3\4 of the first word of "Fuck Time".
  • City Shout Outs: The lines "from Anaheim to the Middle-East" ("Jesus of Suburbia") and "the representative of California has the floor" ("Holiday") replace the American location to wherever the show is being played. "Youngblood" did the same for the line "Fuck you, I'm from Oakland!"
  • Cluster F-Bomb: A lot. Every album they made has at least one F-bomb. Their first two albums kept it clean with only one F-bomb in 39/Smooth and Kerplunk (bear in mind that the F-Bombs are in the cover songs and the one from Kerplunk was sampled from Blue Velvet), but once they got into Dookie, they became profanity magnets, with six S-Bombs and six F-Bombs.
    • Insomniac had thirteen F-Bombs and eight S-Bombs.
    • Nimrod had 16 f-bombs and seven S-Bombs, including this gem.
    • Warning was Green Day's cleanest mainstream release, with only two F-Bombs in "Minority" (even then one was a repetition of the other: "a free-for-all, fuck 'em all...").
    • American Idiot has seventeen profanities in it, while 21st Century Breakdown has ten profanities, including the only use of the word 'nigger' in it.
    • Uno! seems back to the dirty mouth of before ("shoot the fucking DJ... voices in my head are saying, 'shoot that fucker down!'"). Special mention goes to "Let Yourself Go", which drops 9 f-bombs, with 7 in rapid succession (repeating the line "always fuck, fucking with my head now").
    • Dos! amps up the profanity dial even more than Uno!; Tré! scales it back an extensive amount, but an F-bomb still appears here and there.
    • Revolution Radio is almost devoid of profanity, with the exception of "Youngblood" which contains two F-bombs.
    • Billie Joe likes to swear in concerts as well ("And don't fucking wear it out!").
    • Father of All Motherfuckers has four F-bombs - one in "Sugar Youth" and three in "Take the Money and Crawl".
  • Cover Drop: The "21 Guns" video features the two lead characters of 21st Century Breakdown, Christian and Gloria, performing The Big Damn Kiss that is depicted on the album cover.
  • Cover Version: The Kinks' "Tired of Waiting for You" and Fifteen's "C#(Tion)", dubbed "C Yo Yus".
  • Crossdresser: "King for a Day" is about the narrator going through his mother's closet as a child to try on her clothes.
  • Cultural Cringe: American Idiot is basically American Cultural Cringe: The Song, specifically written for America during the second Bush administration.
  • Darker and Edgier: Insomniac compared to Dookie in terms of themes and sound.
  • Department of Redundancy Department: The song, "I Was a Teenage Teenager".
  • Downer Ending: The video to "Wake Me Up When September Ends". The boyfriend breaks his vow to never leave his girlfriend by enlisting in the army, leaving the girlfriend heartbroken and terrified that he might die in battle. And sure enough, he does.
  • Drama Queen: ¡Tré! has a track of this name about one.
  • Driven to Suicide: "X-Kid" is about a close friend of the trio who killed himself.
  • Epic Rocking: Starting with American Idiot, the band started indulging in it. "Jesus of Suburbia" is just over nine minutes, "Homecoming" is just under ten, "21st Century Breakdown" is just under 7, "American Eulogy" is just over six, "Dirty Rotten Bastards" is just under seven, and "Forever Now" is also just under seven.
  • Fading into the Next Song: Many.
    • Most notably, Insomniac's "Brain Stew/Jaded" and American Idiot's "Holiday/Boulevard of Broken Dreams". The latter two songs in particular are paired into one track for the album's Spotify release.note 
      • The latter example takes the trope over to the songs' music videos. The video for "Holiday" has the band rocking out to the song in a car, ending with the car breaking down. The "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" video then shows the band exiting the car and walking the rest of their way, which also cleverly ties into the "walking alone" theme in the lyrics.
    • The outro to Dookie's "Chump" goes right into the intro to "Longview."
    • Nimrod's "Jinx" segues right into "Haushinka" without so much as pausing for breath.
    • Between every song from 21st Century Breakdown, save for the final songs in each "act".
    • The intro to Dos!, "See You Tonight", fades into "Fuck Time".
    • From Revolution Radio, "Somewhere Now" fades into "Bang Bang", and "Bouncing Off The Wall" fades into "Still Breathing" then that into "Youngblood."
  • Fanservice: Billie Joe likes to lift up his shirt a lot.
    • And the opposite direction with his pants as well.
    • There are some videos circulating on YouTube of Billie Joe playing "She" completely naked...and uncensored. In fact, the camera tries to get as much of his sexy bits as possible.
    • There's also the lingerie-clad harem in the "Oh Love" video.
  • Flipping the Bird: At the very end of Billie Joe's iHeart Radio meltdown.
  • Foregone Conclusion: When the boyfriend leaves his girlfriend to enlist in the army in the "Wake Me Up When September Ends" video, you can basically tell where it's going from there...
  • Former Child Star: Billie Joe recorded his first song at the age of 5. He and his dad toured through children's hospitals and old people's homes to cheer them up.
  • The Four Chords of Pop: "When I Come Around", "21 Guns", "Holiday", "Boulevard of Broken Dreams". For a Pop Punk band, they don't use it as frequently as others.
  • Four More Measures: "Good Riddance". It's not helped by the two false starts.
  • From Bad to Worse: The "Walking Contradiction" video is a series of chain reactions of destruction inadvertently and indirectly caused by the members of the band, who merely walk away, unaware of it. For example, Billie Joe throws a stick onto the road behind him, snagging onto the front wheel of a bicyclist behind him. A car then comes along and mows down the bike.
  • Garage Rock: Dos!, in lowest terms, is seen as the band's take on the genre.
  • Genre Mashup: Father of All Motherfuckers is easily their most diverse album yet. Among the influences heard on the album include Garage Rock, Glam Rock, Power Pop, Blues Rock, and New Wave. In fact, their signature Pop Punk sound can be heard on only two tracks ("I Was a Teenage Teenager" and "Sugar Youth").
  • Genre Roulette: Nimrod, Nimrod, Nimrod. Considering the album was purposely written to be experimental (they were tired of their Three Chords and the Truth structure) and to be a set of standalone songs instead of a cohesive album, the band combined many different genres from hardcore punk to ska to soft rock to regular alternative. For more specification, see Nimrod under New Sound Album below.
    • Father Of All.. is probably the most experimental record the band has ever recorded, pulling influences from a wide variety of genres. It has garage rock, (the title track, "Fire, Ready, Aim," "Take the Money and Crawl") power pop, ("I Was a Teenage Teenager," "Graffitia") glam rock, ("Oh Yeah!") their old-school pop punk ("Sugar Youth") and even blues rock ("Junkies on a High").
  • Genre Throwback: ¡Uno! could be considered this, as the most of the album strongly resembles the style of Dookie. Some of the songs also sound a bit like something from Nimrod or Warning.
  • Gratuitous Panning:
    • Left side:
      • This example's easier to spot with headphones; around 1:08 in "Let Yourself Go", you can hear a distant voice in the bottom left side screaming "SHUT THE FUCK UP!"
      • The opening radio hum in "Take Back".
      • The first bit of guitar in "Pulling Teeth".
    • Right side:
      • The opening guitar in "Castaway".
      • The xylophone in the "Dearly Beloved" section of "Jesus of Suburbia".
    • The intro to "21 Guns" is split both ways, the notes alternating left-right-left-right.
  • Greatest Hits Album: 2001's International Superhits!, consisting of all the singles from Dookie to Warning - including the previously soundtrack exclusive "JAR" - as well as a brand new song ("Poprocks & Coke"), and a re-recorded B-side ("Maria").
    • 2017 brought us God’s Favorite Band, with content from Kerplunk all the way to Revolution Radio(10 of the songs were in the previous compilation), as well as a new song (“Back In The USA”).
  • Grief Song: "J.A.R."note  and "Amy"note .
    • "Ha Ha You're Dead" is a subversion for obvious reasons.
  • Groin Attack: Tré Cool lost one of his testicles in a pyrotechnics accident.
  • Guttural Growler: Billie Joe occasionally delves into this when he's screaming at concerts or really reaching the higher levels of his Careful with That Axe abilities.
  • Guyliner: Billie Joe adopted this look when American Idiot came out (part of why some label them as Emo) and would discard it after the ¡Uno!¡Dos!¡Tré! era.
  • Heterosexual Life-Partners: Billie Joe and Mike (despite Billie Joe not being straight, he's bi).
  • Homesickness Hymn: "Christie Road", a song about nostalgia and memories of adolescence, refers to a place where Billie Joe Armstrong and Mike Dirnt would go to get high as teenagers.
  • Hostile Show Takeover: Briefly. In 1998, the band - at the height of their juvenile delinquent years - appeared on Australia's Saturday morning show Recovery TV for just an interview, but then they decided spontaneously to perform a song. So they took the instruments from a surprised house band and performed the very not TV-friendly "The Grouch." Dylan Lewis, the host, was not happy, even if the fans were. See it here.
  • Iconic Outfit: Billie Joe's black dress shirt, red tie, and Guyliner, which he wore on the American Idiot tour. He has since stopped wearing the tie and shirt regularly, but it still remains his most iconic appearance.
  • Idiosyncratic Album Naming / Theme Naming: The ¡Uno!-¡Dos!-¡Tré! series.
  • The Immodest Orgasm: Heard throughout "Fuck Time".
    • In the BIAB performance of "Hitchin' a Ride", Billie Joe conducts the audience to say various sounds, which escalates to an orgasm. Then he slips his hand into his pants...
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Whoever's shooting at Christian and Gloria in the video for "21 Guns" could really use some brushing up. They manage to hit everything in the room but them.
  • Inaction Video: The "Redundant" video has the band playing in a house filled with tons of people doing various activities around the house, the only ones who aren't being the band themselves. Attentive viewers will notice how all of these activities are looped and played again exactly as they were before (coinciding with the song's title and its lyrics). This comes to a stop at the end where the band members leave and the woman picking up the newspaper sees that there isn't one, and screams.
  • Incredibly Lame Pun:
    • Some fans like cracking jokes that Billie Joe's iHeart Radio Music Fest meltdown could be seen as a "21st century breakdown".
    • From "Missing You": "I lost my nerve / it's unnerving."
  • Incredibly Long Note:
    • Several in "Jesus of Suburbia":
      • Around the halfway mark in "I Don't Care", Billie Joe performs a Title Drop that ends with him stretching "care" out for 11 seconds!
      • "Tales of Another Broken Home" has a Title Drop that ends explosively with some background vocals stretching "home" out for 10 seconds. You can tell when it's starting to strain his voice.
    • In "Makeout Party", Billie Joe lets out a particularly raspy Metal Scream during the solo that lasts for 6 seconds.
    • In the BIAB performance of "Minority", while conducting some "hey-oh" Audience Participation, Billie Joe sings a "hey" that gets stretched out for 16 seconds without very noticeable strain on his voice.
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: Not quite to Kurt Cobain levels, but Billie Joe's singing can be very difficult to understand at times, especially on the earlier albums.
  • The Insomniac: Billie Joe has confessed being this. During the time where his sleep was even worse, due to his son crying and screaming, he made the album Insomniac.
  • Instrumentals: "Last Ride In" from Nimrod and "Espionage" from the Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me soundtrack (and which also made the cut for Shenanigans).
  • Intentionally Awkward Title:
    • "Fuck Time," of course.
    • The album Father of All Motherfuckers, which of course has to have the Censored Title Father of All... for retail (amusingly, it is represented by placing a unicorn in front of where "Motherfuckers" would be).
  • Intercourse with You:
    • "Fuck Time" from ¡Dos!.
    • As well as "Stay The Night" from ¡Uno!.
    "Well, I ain't got much time so I'll get to the point
    "Do you wanna share a ride and get the fuck out of this joint?"
    "I've got an impulse so repulsive that it burns"
    "I wanna break your heart until it makes your stomach turn"
    • Done with a twist with the songs "Dominated Love Slave," "Blood, Sex, and Booze," and, "Like a Rat Does Cheese."
  • Isn't It Ironic?: "Good Riddance" is frequently subjected to this due to its mellow tone and the "time of your life" chorus.

  • Last Note Nightmare:
    • "Kill the DJ" suddenly ends on an incredibly sour note, in direct contrast with the rest of the incredibly catchy track.
    • "Sex, Drugs & Violence" appears to end normally, only for a rather loud guitar note to suddenly jump out of nowhere.
    • "American Eulogy" is quickly overwhelmed in the final part by various sound effects and static which grow louder, drowning the song out, and then cut off.
  • Lethally Stupid: Throughout the "Walking Contradiction" video, the guys cause mayhem throughout their city without even noticing or being aware. It really reaches an extreme when we see Mike pressing a pedestrian crossing button that explicitly says not to use it, causing an explosion to ensue that blows a worker out of the crane he was working in.
  • Licensed Game: Green Day: Rock Band.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • Nimrod compared to Insomniac, and Warning compared to all previous albums.
    • The Uno! Dos! Tré! trilogy is also this compared to their duo of de-constructive Rock Operas. It's arguably their most radio-friendly output yet.
  • Live Album: They have four.
    • Tune In, Tokyo... (2001), recorded from their Warning tour in Japan.
    • Bullet in a Bible (2005), recorded from their American Idiot world tour.
    • Last Night on Earth (2009), recorded from the Akasaka BLITZ in Tokyo.
    • Awesome as Fuck (2011), recorded from their 21st Century Breakdown world tour.
  • Long-Runner Line-up: None of the members have changed since 1990; until 2012 it was just Billie Joe, Mike, and Tré, although Jason had been touring with them since 1999.
  • Loudness War: Unfortunately, the recent stuff is pretty badly clipped. Sometimes it's given alternate HD releases which are better, though: American Idiot is DR5 on CD, but the HDTracks release is DR9; similarly, 21st Century Breakdown is DR6 on CD, but HDTracks is once again DR9. Strangely, there seems to be little rhyme or reason to which versions have better dynamic range.
  • Love Nostalgia Song: Several, including but not limited to "Scattered", "Whatsername", and "Sweet 16".
    • Scattered
    Open up the past and present now and we are there
    Story to tell and I am listening
    Open the past and present and the future too
    It's all I've got and I'm giving it to you
    • Whatsername
    Remember, whatever
    It seems like forever ago
    The regrets are useless in my mind
    She's in my head, I must confess
    The regrets are useless in my mind
    She's in my head from so long ago
    • Sweet 16
    Old days are fine, but left so far behind
    From California to Jane street
    The kids are alright, alright as they'll ever be
    Cause you will always be my
    You will always be my sweet 16
  • Lyrical Dissonance: The happy songs usually have some dark themes.
    • "Basket Case" is a up-tempo and fun Sanity Slippage Song. "Good Riddance", which many people think of as a ballad, is actually a Break-Up Song, wishing your lover to leave forever and never come back. and "21 Guns," is a song about peace and the evils of war. And "Revolution Radio" is a surprisingly upbeat rallying call inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement.
  • Medley: Live performances of "King for a Day" always segues into the Isley Brothers' "Shout", and once the Subdued Section of that kicks in, Billie Joe will sing cover snippets (including "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" from Life of Brian, "Hey Jude" by The Beatles, "Teenage Kicks" by The Undertones, and "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" by The Rolling Stones, among others).
  • Metal Scream: Billie Joe has used this on several songs.
    • The best example is the chorus of "Take Back", which is nothing but this.
    • He starts the bridge in "Letterbomb" with one.
    • He also screams the last "G-L-O-R-I-A" in "Horseshoes and Handgrenades".
    • He lets out several during "Makeout Party", but has an especially long one during the solo.
  • Miniscule Rocking:
    • Father of all Motherfuckers. 10 songs, 26 minutes.
    • "Take Back" is barely over a minute long.
  • Mood Whiplash:
    • Nimrod has both "Platypus (I Hate You)" which is probably the dirtiest Green Day song ever, played right after the relatively mellow "Worry Rock", and "Take Back", a punk-metal anger song, which is followed by the deliriously happy-sounding "King for a Day."
    • This trope runs rampant throughout the Uno! Dos! Tré! trilogy. "Lady Cobra" being followed by "Nightlife", being followed by "Wow! That's Loud"; "Angel Blue" being followed by "Sweet 16"; "Brutal Love" being followed by "Missing You", and "Drama Queen" being followed by "X-Kid". The list goes on.
    • On 21st Century Breakdown there's "Christian's Inferno", a fast-paced punk rock song full of rage and adrenaline, which is followed by "Last Night on Earth", a piano-heavy love ballad you could slow-dance to.
    • On Revolution Radio, this is obvious in spades. Going from a song about a mass shooter ("Bang Bang") to a Protest Song about the American Black Lives Matter movement, and from an epic rhapsody featuring a reprise from the opening song "Somewhere Now" ("Forever Now"), to an ending ballad that's comparable to "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" ("Ordinary World").
  • Mooning: Billie Joe several times during the Bullet with a Bible performance of "King for a Day".
  • Murder Ballad: "Having a Blast" from Dookie.
  • Nervous Wreck: "Basket Case" is from the point of view of an extremely neurotic person.
  • New Sound Album: Green Day never lost sight of the pop-punk at their core, but they've sure jumped around quite a bit:
    • 1995's Insomniac is much darker (both lyrically and musically) than Dookie or Kerplunk, and there's a touch more experimentation, such as the Dick Dale-esque, Surf Rock intro to "Panic Song," and the jarringly slow, heavily overdubbed "Brain Stew."
    • 1997's Nimrod is much more experimental than anything they'd previously recordednote , with a Surf Rock instrumental ("Last Ride In"), an Unplugged Song ("Good Riddance"), a Ska tune about transvestism ("King for a Day"), and the Cluster F-Bomb Hardcore Punk of "Platypus (I Hate You)".
    • Warning was much more upbeat and poppy than their previous albums, especially when compared to Insomniac.
    • By this time, we shouldn't even need to mention American Idiot, a Rock Opera that changed the band's ambitions forever.
    • Early 2020's Father Of All Motherfuckers was a sharp left-turn into Glam Rock, Garage Rock, and British Invasion-era rock, and the band wanted it to be their own version of a ride through rock history.
  • Nuclear Family: Dedicated a track on Uno! to this trope.
  • N-Word Privileges: Somewhat; Billie Joe Armstrong is bisexual, not gay, but in "American Idiot", he proudly proclaims, "Well maybe I'm the faggot, America!"
    • Lest we not forget the only usage of the N-word in the entire band's discography in "American Eulogy". No one seems to bat an eye at that, though. Possibly because that's one of the many songs in which Billie Joe is very hard to understand. The exact line being, "Because the martyr was a compulsive liar when he said 'It's just a bunch of niggers throwing gas into the hysteria.'"
  • Obligatory Bondage Song: "Blood, Sex, and Booze" from Warning and "Dominated Love Slave" from Kerplunk.
  • Officially Shortened Title: "At the Library" was originally titled "At the Library with Waba Sé Wasca" on the 39/Smooth LP; it was shortened to the former on the 1,039/Smoothed Out Slappy Hours compilation CD and has since been referred to under that title.
  • Older Than They Look: All four members of the band are in their early forties, but you'd never be able to tell. Billie Joe looks around 20-21, if this photo taken in 2011 has any indication. This collage also demonstrates that his face has hardly changed over the years.
    • During the Broadway run of American Idiot, Billie convincingly portrayed St. Jimmy despite being 38 at the time.
    • Not so much in Mike Dirnt's case anymore as he's aged quite dramatically in recent years, almost to the point of being Younger Than They Look. Compare the page photo, from 2009, to this photo, from circa 2012.
  • Once per Episode: See Ho Yay. Billie Joe kisses a dude every concert.
  • One Cast Member per Cover: Each installment of the triple album ¡Uno!,¡Dos!,¡Tré! features a different member of the trio with their eyes crossed out.
  • The Oner: The music videos for "Redundant" and "Macy's Day Parade".
  • One-Woman Song:
    • "Haushinka" from Nimrod.
    • "Maria", a B-side from "Waiting".
    • "Ashley" and "Amy," both from ¡Dos!
    • "Amanda" from ¡Tré!
    • "¡Viva la Gloria!" and ¿Viva la Gloria? [Little Girl]," although from a third person point of view.
  • Only Sane Man: Jason White.
    • Also to a lesser extent Mike Dirnt, when directly compared to his bandmates Billie Joe and Tre.
  • Piano Drop: Among other chaos seen in the music video for "Walking Contradiction", in one scene Billie Joe picks up a rear-view mirror fallen from a car. As he is checking himself in it, he temporarily blinds a worker lifing a piano, just as Tre Cool is walking under it (and also stops to pick something off of the ground), only narrowly avoiding the piano falling down on him.
  • Pop Punk: Green Day are far from the Trope Makers, but they're definitely Trope Codifiers. Pop hooks had always been a small part of the sound of Punk Rock, dating back to early punk bands like The Ramones, Buzzcocks and The Dickies. But Green Day, proud punk revivalists, were as poppy as punk gets, and their knack for addictive, accessible singles proved such a huge mainstream success that a ton of pop-punk bands wound up following them up the charts, like blink-182, Sum 41 and Good Charlotte.
    • Speaking of which, Green Day also gave Pop Punk its reputation for sophomoric humour, and generally being played by and for juvenile delinquents. In the 90s, they were big douchebags and proud of it, exemplified by their infamous mud fight with the audience at Woodstock 1994, and the Vulgar Humor of songs like "The Grouch." (Heck, the protagonist of "Longview" was an apathetic slob that sits around playing with his junk all day.) That kind of loutish behaviour was celebrated in the sub-genre, particularly by Sum 41, until Green Day got older and phased it out in the 2000's. Soon after, Fall Out Boy and their brethren changed the game by adopting more of a Deadpan Snarker attitude.
  • Power Walk: The band is seen doing a slow-motion, unbothered-expression walk through a rowdy party crowd in the video for "Kill the DJ".
  • Radio Voice:
    • "Holiday".
      The representative from California has the floor...
    • The beginning of "Bang Bang".
  • Rainbow Puke: The censored cover art of Father of All Motherfuckers partially blocks out the "motherfuckers" in the title with an anthropomorphic unicorn vomiting a rainbow. In the album's uncensored cover, the unicorn is absent.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: In spades. "F.O.D. (Fuck Off and Die,)" "Platypus (I Hate You,)" "Take Back," "Jackass," "Too Much Too Soon," "Ha Ha You're Dead," "Scumbag," and "Let Yourself Go," just to name a few.
  • Religion Rant Song: "East Jesus Nowhere" is Type II, written by Billie in the wake of Mike being disgusted with the hypocrisy of a church he went to in order to see a friend's child's baptism.
  • Rockers Smash Guitars:
    • In the 90s, they loved being those guys. Sets would often end with Mike wrecking his bass and Tré burning his kit to the ground with gasoline, and then Billie would finish by playing "Good Riddance" by himself in front of the fire.
    • Their reputation preceded them by the end of the decade. During a 1997 in-store appearance at Tower Records in NYC, Green Day trashed the venue and caused $50,000 in damage. Afterward, when they got to Toronto for their appearance at HMV, which was to be filmed for a Muchmusic special, the company decided it'd be best if their appearance was in the alley behind the store instead. It proved to be a wise decision, as the band happily wrecked everything in sight at the end of that set, including amps.
    • When he realizes that the organization has cut his iHeart Radio Fest concert short, Billie Joe unloads a profane tirade that ends with him smashing his guitar onstage, much to the approval of the audience. To credit Mike as a friend, he immediately begins smashing his bass afterwards.
  • Rock Opera: American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown.
  • Rock Trio: Though on stage, it can be up to a quintet - they have a second guitarist (who was an official member for a while) and a keyboardist who also provides horn sections.
  • Sanity Slippage Song:
    • "Having a Blast" seems like this, but I'm not sure if it counts since by this point he's already snapped...
    • "Basket Case" in all of its neurotic glory.
    • "Brain Stew" is explicitly about this, caused by insomnia.
      My mind is set on overdrive
      The clock is laughing in my face
      A crooked spine
      My senses dulled
      Past the point of delirium
    • "Lazy Bones" from Dos! could be seen as this.
    • "Bang Bang" from Revolution Radio, a song from the perspective of a mass shooter looking for attention and chaos.
  • Screw Politeness, I'm a Senior!: "The Grouch".
  • Sensory Abuse: The last 30 seconds of "Wow! That's Loud", which consist of grating guitar noises, some of which get extremely ear-piercingly high. They gave it that title for good reason.
  • Serial Escalation: The "Walking Contradiction" video, from start to end, is nothing but repeated attempts to top itself over and over by means of the damage the band members cause. The video even ends with the guys causing a building to collapse.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Their version of "My Generation" has the "Heineken? Fuck that shit!" clip from Blue Velvet pasted onto what should be the vocal break.
    • The marching sounds around the 0:41 mark from "Homecoming" could be a reference to the Sex Pistols song "Holidays In The Sun".
    • The "I never asked you a goddamn thing" line from "East Jesus Nowhere" could be a subtle reference to the "I don't remember asking you a goddamn thing" line from Pulp Fiction.
  • Siamese Twin Songs:
    • "Brain Stew" and "Jaded" from Insomniac.
    • "Jinx" and "Haushinka" from Nimrod.
    • "Are We The Waiting/St. Jimmy" and "Give Me Novacaine/She's A Rebel" from American Idiot.
  • Signature Instrument: Billie Joe Armstrong's first guitar, which he named "Blue", is a Fernandes Stratocaster copy; a birthday present from his mother, it was the first electric guitar he ever owned. After customizing it with several stickers, he used it extensively throughout Green Day's heyday, and still uses it in concert to this day.
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: Billie Joe's singing employs a British accent reminiscent of Sex Pistols or The Clash, but while speaking it's clear he is Californian.
  • Sixth Ranger: Jason White, the second guitarist first hired in 1999 to allow Billie Joe to interact more with the audience (and because by that time, Green Day's output was far too complex for the usual guitar-bass-drums configuration), and even billed as an official member in the Uno/Dos/Tre era, giving his likeness on the cover of the official documentary, Quatro. On a lesser level, Jason Freese, who after contributing a saxophone in American Idiot has given keyboards and horns on stage and on studio ever since.
  • Stage Names: Averted with the singer (his name is Billie Joe), played straight with the other two. Mike's real name is Michael Pritchard (he got the name "Dirnt" from saying "dirnt, dirnt, dirnt" while playing air bass as a kid), and Tré's is Frank Edwin Wright III.
  • Stealth Pun: ¡Tré! concludes the ¡Uno!-¡Dos!-¡Tré! trilogy, but also acts as a nod to Tré Cool, who actually turned 40 a few days after the album was released.
    • "Homecoming" is actually about Jesus of Suburbia coming home, not an actual school homecoming.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Mike and Tré at times sing. Mostly Played for Laughs.
  • Stylistic Suck: Any song with Tré Cool on lead vocals. Though for some reason they wind up as So Bad, It's Good (case in point, "Dominated Love Slave" with its country guitar riff).
  • Subdued Section:
    • "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)" and "Macy's Day Parade" for Nimrod and Warning, respectively.
    • Also their cover of The Kinks' "Tired of Waiting for You" in Shenanigans.
  • Subliminal Seduction: "East Jesus Nowhere" contains a reversed whisper saying "Don't test me."
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song:
    • "Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)"
    • "Macy's Day Parade"
    • "Wake Me Up When September Ends"
    • The "Dearly Beloved" section of "Jesus of Suburbia"
    • "Ordinary World"
  • Take That!:
    • A light-hearted one towards blink-182; at this live performance of "Hitchin' a Ride", when the audience tries to egg him on to take his pants off, he says "No, no, this isn't Blink-182."
    • Also in the aforementioned screw over.
      Billie Joe: Let me fuckin' tell you something. Let me tell you something: I've been around since fuckin' nineteen eighty-fuckin'-eight and you're gonna give me one fuckin' minute?! You gotta be fuckin' kiddin' me! You're fuckin' kiddin' me! What the fuck?! I'm not fuckin' Justin Bieber, you motherfuckers!
    • Most of American Idiot is a one to the Bush administration, while many on Revolution Radio are used against Donald Trump.
  • Take That, Critics!: Having once been active in the underground punk community but then treated as a pariah by them after the band went mainstream, they have released several songs directed towards them.
    • "No Pride" on Insomniac is one of the earliest ones, having been written soon after being derided as a sellout. In turn, the song proclaims that Billie Joe has "no pride" in the punk community anymore, criticizing it for being actively limiting and hypocritical.
    • "Platypus (I Hate You)" on Nimrod is directed at the owner of a punk club that the band used to perform at. It happens to be the most profane song they ever released.
    • American Idiot in its entirety is one big deconstruction of the punk movement. The protagonist is a drug-addled slacker who only rebels against society because he's bored with his life, and he only succeeds in making it worse for himself.
  • This Song Goes Out to TV Tropes: From Bullet in a Bible:
    Billie Joe Armstrong: This song is dedicated to everybody who took the train to get here tonight, alright? This song's called 'Jesus of Suburbia.'
  • Those Two Guys: Word of God confirms Billie Joe and Mike were this when they were younger. Tré claims they had a "Paul and John" vibe going that made it hard for him to blend in at first.
  • Three Chords and the Truth: Particularly before American Idiot, as the songs were short (the only time they broke 4 minutes before was the 5 minute "Misery" in Warning) and to the point as good punk goes, but on both Nimrod and Warning they scaled back a few notches.
  • Title-Only Chorus: "Take Back" and "Christian's Inferno".
  • Uncommon Time: In "Before the Lobotomy", the verses alternate between 4/4 and 7/8 every other measure, and the choruses are entirely in 7/8.
  • Unflinching Walk: The entirety of the "Walking Contradiction" video, quite hilariously, dangerously, and awesomely.
  • Unplugged Version:
    • "Good Riddance" is an entirely acoustic song with some violin accompaniments.
    • Most of Warning.
    • Some songs of American Idiot and 21st Century Breakdown are unplugged for most of their duration.
  • Verbal Tic: "Y'know?" Yes, we know, Billie Joe.
  • Walkie-Talkie Static: "Song of the Century" and the beginning of "American Eulogy", since the two use the same tune as well.
    • Whatsername's song in the beginning of "Letterbomb".
  • War Is Hell: The main moral of the "Wake Me Up When September Ends" video, ending on a saddening juxtaposition between a boyfriend dying at war and a girlfriend tearfully mourning him in a quiet field, showcasing the pain that comes with losing loved ones to war.
    • Also "21 Guns".

Nobody likes you,
Everyone left you,
They're all out without you,
Having fun.


Video Example(s):


American Idiot

The title track by Green Day shows the band's protest and criticism towards U.S. President George W. Bush and mass hysteria perpetrated by mass media

How well does it match the trope?

5 (8 votes)

Example of:

Main / ProtestSong

Media sources: