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Left to right: Chris Wolstenholme, Matthew Bellamy, and Dominic Howard.

"Come ride with me
Through the veins of history
I'll show you a god
Who falls asleep on the job
And how can we win
When fools can be kings?
Don't waste your time
Or time will waste you"
Muse, "Knights of Cydonia"

Muse is an English alternative/progressive rock band formed in 1994 by vocalist/guitarist/keyboardist Matthew Bellamy, bassist Christopher Wolstenholme, and drummer Dominic Howard. They are well-regarded for their genre-busting hybrid of musical styles, which is characterised by the incorporation of strong elements of classical music, art rock, electronic music, metal, jazz and flamenco, with a defiantly-experimental bent. This is all tied off with a penchant for the darkly theatrical, which reveals itself especially in their rather hyperoperatic live performances.

They have released eight studio albums thus far, with Simulation Theory the most recent on November 9, 2018. With regard to singles, the band has been successful in both their home country — where they've had 17 Top 40 singles — and American alternative radio, where they have ten Top 40 singles on the Billboard Hot Alternative Tracks (formerly Hot Modern Rock Tracks) chart. They also managed a #37 hit on the Hot 100 pop chart with "Uprising", something they achieved without the help of pop radio. They have been nominated for the Grammy Awards four times, and have won twice - the first being for The Resistance in 2011 and the second for Drones in 2016.


Their music video for "Knights of Cydonia" has its own page, which should tell you something.

Fun fact: the band was originally called the Rocket Baby Dolls after a Hentai. Puts a whole new context to "Plug In Baby", doesn't it?

"Survival," a song from The 2nd Law, was adopted as the theme tune for the 2012 Olympics, and "Isolated System" was adopted as the theme for World War Z.


  • Showbiz (1999)
  • Origin of Symmetry (2001, though not released in the United States until 2005, see the trivia page)
  • Hullabaloo Soundtrack (2002, a combination live album and B-sides collection)
  • Absolution (2003)
  • Black Holes and Revelations (2006)
  • HAARP (2008, second live album)
  • The Resistance (2009)
  • The 2nd Law (2012)
  • Live from Rome Olympic Stadium (2013, third live album)
  • Drones (2015)
  • Simulation Theory (2018)
  • Will of the People (2022)

Tropes Are Running Out:

  • An Aesop: Their fifth album, The Resistance, has a three-part symphony at the end of the album entitled "Exogenesis" which speaks of mankind abandoning a post-apocalyptic, dystopian Earth in order to re-populate and spread their kind across other planets in the universe in order to keep their species alive. Good idea at first, one can think, and that's how it's believed throughout the first two parts. Too bad that by the third part, mankind realizes that the reason they left Earth and they're all together in this mess is that they botched it in the first place, so chances are it'll all become a cycle unless mankind changes its disruptive ways.
    • There's a lot of hope in the third part, which is titled 'Redemption'. A major part of redemption is recognizing that yes you've done the wrong thing, but also that you can still change before it's too late. There can't be redemption without that commitment to do better.
    • The entire Aesop of The 2nd Law is that the rich, greedy and short-sighted elite are dooming the species to self-destruction. A comparison with the second law of thermodynamics is made, where Earth is an isolated system and the entropy of that system is only increasing because of humanity's self-indulgent apathy. It's similar to the message of "Exogenesis", but far more cynical in its presentation.
  • Album Title Drop:
    • Black Holes and Revelations is a lyric in the song "Starlight".
    • Absolution appears in the title and lyrics of "Sing for Absolution".
    • The Resistance appears in the title and lyrics of "Resistance".
    • Drones appears in the lyrics of many songs throughout the album.
  • Alliterative Title: "Stockholm Syndrome".
  • Apocalypse How: The end of "Drones" is a class 2 or even a 3a. It's explicitly stated 'There's no countries left', and it is most likely only two people are left alive.
  • Armies Are Evil: Their track Psycho appears to take this stance.
  • Audience Participation Song:
    • "Knights of Cydonia". All together now: "NO-ONE'S GONNA TAKE ME ALIVE!"
    • "Starlight" has a famous clap to go with it, which spells out "tits" in Morse code.
      • Also from "Starlight", "Our hopes and expectaaaations, black holes and revelaaaations..."
    • "Uprising": "They will not force us..." It also has a clap to go with it.
    • From "Time is Running Out": "Bury it, I won't let you bury it..."
  • Awful Truth: Simulation Theory is about this.
  • Badass Longcoat: Matthew James Bellamy, in multiple music videos and live shows.
  • Band Name Drop: "You are my muse", in I Belong to You [+Mon Coeur S'Ouvre à Ta Voix]. Easily missed; the entirety of "Mon Coeur S'ouvre à Ta Voix" occurs between "Mu" and "se", which are blended into the vocalization.
  • Bears Are Bad News: Teddy bear uprising FTW.
  • Bizarre Instrument: That weird bass thing Chris plays in "Madness" is a Kitara bass version.
    • Some of Matt's primary guitars also have an MIDI touch pad built into them, resulting in instruments that land somewhere in between of analogue and digital.
    • During the recording of "Won't Stand Down" Matt uses a GuitarViol, a hybrid between a guitar and a cello.
  • Black Eyes of Evil: The woman from the music video for "Dead Inside". And at the end, the man too.
  • Breather Episode:
    • "Unintended", the softest song on Showbiz, is sandwiched between the dramatic, intense Title Track, and the angry, explosive "Uno".
    • On Origin of Symmetry, "Screenager" is placed between the album's two most terrifying tracks, "Micro Cuts" and "Darkshines"
    • "Endlessly", a gentle piano-driven number, comes after "The Small Print", one of the album's heaviest songs, and before "Thoughts of a Dying Atheist", one of the darkest songs in the band's discography in terms of subject matter.
  • Brutal Honesty: Invoked with "Break It To Me."
  • BSoD Song: "Micro Cuts," the lyrics of which were inspired by a series of nightmares and hallucinations that plagued Matt at the time.
  • Careful with That Axe: A feature of some of the rougher and rawer tracks, such as "Dead Star" and "Agitated." Matt also has a tendency to punctuate live performances with random, startling screams, especially during outros or particularly intense extended jams.
  • Cluster F-Bomb:
    • The hidden track on the Starlight DVD. Commonly referred to as 'You Fucking Motherfucker' in fan circles. Also counts as an absolutely massive Cluster of Atomic F-Bombs.
    • Once the band was asked not curse during a Origin of Symmetry-era Spanish TV performance. Taking offense at this due to the lack of profanities in their songs, Matt changed an entire verse of "Feeling Good" to this. Hilarity ensues.
    • "Psycho" has the line "A fucking psycho" repeated three times in the chorus apparently by a Drill Sergeant Nasty.
  • Concept Album:
    • Black Holes and Revelations draws parallels between astronomical concepts such as space and time, and human concepts like love and hatred.
    • The Resistance has many songs directly inspired by 1984. It's mainly a discussion of rebellion and the pressing need for it in the modern context.
    • Drones is a concept album about a person who joins the rankings of being a "drone" within warfare and eventually defects. Beware the huge Downer Ending.
    • Matt later on confirmed that Drones has two stories: Songs 1-10 follow the story of "Mary", who joins the rankings of being a "drone" within the army after losing her lover. The last two tracks are about a man who follows a similar story like Mary, but it only leads to a Downer Ending.
  • Conspiracy Theorist: In Matthew Bellamy's own words to a German magazine:
    "I've always been interested in conspiracy theories. There is much information withheld from the people for sure. Including myself, so I'm not saying that I know about them. I've read much about it prior to the album production. Some things are just bollocks, other things are quite interesting. I like this narrow line. Many songs on [Black Holes and Revelations] deal with conspiracy theories or the formation of a world government, a topic which has been discussed in the last fifty years. Other songs are about control and how the media is purposely influencing and trying to keep us off from the truth. Methods that keep people off from questioning things and issues. Inventions and technologies bottled up in order to be able to use them later in military. I'm interested in all this, and it influenced the album." note 
  • Continuity Nod: The video to Pressure starts with one; namely to themselves. The school principalnote  announces the band as hometown heroes and the local Battle Of The Bands winners, Rocket Baby Dolls. As well as the three of them attending college together - initially in separate bands - they gradually gravitated to one anothernote  where they became the Rocket Baby Dolls; the precursor to Muse who won a local Battle Of The Bands contest in 1994.
  • Cosplay: Dom is known to often wear a Spider-Man costume (normally sans mask) during live performances. Smaller examples are Chris' Captain America costume and the outfits worn by the band during the encore of their concert on Halloween 2009: Matt was a vampire, Chris was Batman with light-up horns, and Dom was, predictably, Spider-Man.
  • Dare to Be Badass: "Butterflies and Hurricanes" and "Dig Down" are calls to arms.
  • Darker and Edgier: Drones aims for this, according to Matthew Bellamy, and as one of its storylines ends with almost all of mankind killed by nukes, it certainly shows.
    • In comparison to Showbiz, Origin Of Symmetry and Absolution definitely ramp up the theatrics and dour themes.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Psycho's lyric video opens with surreal imagery and a very loud, very abusive drill sergeant hamming it up. It's also from a drill sergeant's point of view.
  • Elmuh Fudd Syndwome: Matt Bellamy is afflicted with this, moreso in speech - although it does seep into his singing as well. This performance of "Time Is Running Out" shows it off quite well. On some songs ("The Small Print," for one) he sounds a bit like he's spitting into the mic.
  • Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: Matt's default appearance and on-stage persona. With his gaunt, pale features, spindly frame, unruly black hair, piercing tenor vocals and an affinity for the theatrical and doom-laden, it's no wonder he's often compared to a banshee.
  • Ennio Morricone Pastiche: They have a few, but "Knights of Cydonia" is no doubt the most famous. Some live performances even quote "The Man with a Harmonica" from Once Upon a Time in the West.
  • Epic Rocking:
    • The band's longest (one-part) song to date is "The Globalist" at 10:07.
    • "Citizen Erased", which is already 7:21 on its own, seamlessly runs into "Micro Cuts"; the combined song is both awesome and around 11 minutes.
    • The three-part closing song to The Resistance, "Exogenesis: Symphony," forms a 13-minute long song when all three parts are played one after the other. The trend continues with The 2nd Law, closing with a two-part Title Track whose two halves total 8:48.
  • E.T. Gave Us Wi-Fi: According to a German interview quoted on the Muse Wiki, Matthew Bellamy wrote "Exo-Politics" about "a trade agreement between the US government and extraterrestrials, about the use of new technologies," although he has not been entirely consistent on that line.
  • Everyone Went to School Together: All three members attended Teignmouth Community College (now designated as "School") in the town of that name in Devon, England.
  • Everything Is an Instrument: Matt once played guitar with a fan's shoe.
  • Fading into the Next Song:
    • Most notably on Origin of Symmetry: "Citizen Erased" blends seamlessly into "Micro Cuts."
    • "Space Dementia" into "Hyper Music" into "Plug in Baby." Whoa.
    • "Falling Away With You" into "Interlude into Hysteria." Perfection.
    • If you listen closely to the end of "Uprising," the beginning of "Resistance" can be heard - it's faint but present. A similar segue occurs between "Cave" and the title track on Showbiz.
      • A straight example on The Resistance is "United States of Eurasia (+Collateral Damage)" into "Guiding Light", with the songs linked by a missile sound effect.
    • Starting from "The Handler" until the end of the album, all tracks from Drones fades into the next song: "The Handler" into "[JFK]" into "Defector" into "Revolt" into "Aftermath" into "The Globalist" into "Drones".
  • Fanservice:
    • In the otherwise un-sexy "Undisclosed Desires" video there is a gratuitous lingering shot of Dom Howard's buttocks. That this is done while Matt Bellamy is singing "Please me" might make it Ho Yay.
    • The lyric video for "Dead Inside."
  • Final Solution: Referenced by name in "Thought Contagion". In the music video, the protagonist, a young man bitten by his vampire girlfriend, approaches a pair of Gas Mask Mooks struggling to contain the girl, seeking help. They turn to look at him; the light makes their masks' eyes shine a sickly green and they start dancing in sync with the vampires.
    It's too late for a revolution / Brace for the final solution.
  • Genre Mashup: To a point, with shades of New Sound Album.
    • Showbiz was Radiohead-inspired alternative rock.
    • Origin of Symmetry adopted hard rock and prog metal qualities.
    • Absolution shifted slightly to symphonic rock whilst retaining the hard edge.
    • Black Holes and Revelations took a more pop-y, electronic turn.
    • The Resistance adopted cues from classic rock and prog rock (a la Queen) and classical music.
    • The 2nd Law really plays this trope straight by borrowing aspects of a wide variety of genres, from synth-rock to symphonic prog to funk to, yes, dubstep.
    • Drones has a more straight-forward rock sound with a few pop songs in it.
    • Simulation Theory is almost entirely composed of electronic pop rock songs.
  • Gentle Giant: Chris is 6'5" and quite ripped. He's also seen as the calming force of the band, and is a Friend to All Living Things.
  • Government Conspiracy:
    • "Exo-Politics", taken at face value, is about the government cooperating with aliens from the Zeta Reticuli system in a massive mind control conspiracy. Matthew Bellamy has alternately confirmed this interpretation, or highlighted how alien theories cover up real military conspiracies at sites like Area 51. Either way, he clearly believes the US government is up to no good.
    • The live album HAARP takes its name and stage design from the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program, a US government-funded weather research station in Alaska. In an interview with Q, Bellamy quoted a number of conspiracy theories about the project, before claiming to have chosen the design because "it just looks really cool."
    • The song "MK Ultra" was inspired by the secret CIA behavioral engineering project that, since its public revelation in 1975, has become a favourite target of conspiracy theorists.
  • Gratuitous Panning: "Micro Cuts" during its solo.
    • The outtro of "Futurism" on the 20th anniversary remix of Origin of Symmetry.
  • Guyliner: The "Supermassive Black Hole" video. Also a staple of Matt's stage looks from around 2005-2011.
  • Hurting Hero: The protagonist of "The Dark Side"
  • Incredibly Long Note:
    • "Prague" more than any other song played by the band.
    • "Falling Away With You."
    • "City of Delusion."
    • The Last Note Nightmare of "Take a Bow."
    • An absolutely astonishing series of them at 2:09 of "Shrinking Universe". Whilst most musicians would play that as a guitar solo, Matt sings it all in falsetto.
    • The chorus of "Screenager."
  • Indecipherable Lyrics:
    • Taken Up to Eleven in the song "Execution Commentary". Even the official Muse wiki list the lyrics as "indecipherable screaming."
    • "Micro Cuts."
    • "Exogenesis: Symphony Part 1 (Overture)."
    • "Forced In."
  • In the Style of...:
    • "Feeling Good", a fairly standard show tune, now a new-prog song.
    • "Who Knows Who", a collaboration with rapper The Streets; a Rage Against the Machine-esque b-side to "Uprising".
    • "I Belong to You (+Mon cœur s'ouvre a ta voix)" features a french bit that covers Maria Callas' "Mon coeur s'ouvre a ta voix"
    • The band channels them often, but "United States of Eurasia" really shows the Queen
    • The intro to "Knights of Cydonia" pays homage to "Telstar" by The Tornadoes. Appropriate, seeing as Matt Bellamy is the son of George Bellamy, one of the group who performed the earlier song.
  • Kaleidoscope Hair: Matt often dyed his hair various colors during the Origin Of Symmetry period - notably red, blue, and blond.
  • Keet: Matt, both on and off stage. On stage, he's incredibly animated and theatrical, often running about and jumping around while performing. Off stage, rather at odds with the intensity of the music, he's prone to going so far off on tangents he'll often forget the original topic, talking at the speed of a bullet train, and breaking out into fits of childlike chuckling.
  • Kill 'Em All: The entire world is nuked at the end of "The Globalist" in the album Drones.
  • La Résistance: Considering their 2009 album is titled The Resistance, this seems appropriate.
  • Large Ham: Oh dear God, Matt Bellamy. You want proof? Listen to Apocalypse Please. Or Bliss. Or Knights of Cydonia. Or United States of Eurasia. Or Plug In Baby. Or Showbiz. Or Neutron Star Collision. Or Space Dementia. Or House of the Rising Sun. And ESPECIALLY Prague and Survival. He definitely doesn't disappoint in live performances either.
  • Last Note Nightmare:
    • "Eternally Missed" ends with some incredibly creepy whispering.
    • The Scare Chord towards the end of "Space Dementia."
    • That creepy, synth-y "Ohhhhhhh" at the end of "New Born," which abruptly cuts off at the very end.
    • Downplayed in "Supremacy," where the "nightmare" only lasts for about eight seconds after the false ending.
    • "Ruled by Secrecy's" creepy countdown at the end.
    • "Reapers" ends with an absolute shriek of "HERE COME THE DRONES!" Several times over.
    • "Take A Bow," which turns what was an almost triumphant choral climax into an electronic howl that fades away over the space of more than 20 seconds.
  • Lighter and Softer:
    • Drones features the pop song "Mercy" and "Revolt", "Mercy" being arguably their most blatant pop song. There is also "Aftermath" which sounds a bit like Coldplay or "One" by U2.
    • Simulation Theory as a whole has a lighter soundscape, dominated by synths and an far more optimistic tone overall. Of course, it doesn't last.
  • Long-Runner Line-up: The band has had the same lineup ever since they formed in 1993.
  • Loudness War: Most of their albums, even when they mixed/mastered. The 2nd Law, however, got a high-definition digital release that mostly averted this trope. It is possible that other albums will follow suit.
  • Lyrical Dissonance:
    • "Thoughts of a Dying Atheist" from Absolution.
    • "Map of the Problematique's" lyrics indicate wanting to stay with someone and sort it out, but the music is heavy with lots of momentum in the bassline.
    • "Soldier's Poem" sounds like a barbershop quartet piece but is about the pointlessness of war and how apologists let people die.
    'There's no one left for us to blame. It's a shame we're all dying.'
    • "Starlight." The verses in particular seem to indicate rather dark suicidal thoughts, with that glossy piano playing over it.
    • "Mercy" has a similar sound to "Starlight," and is about someone trying, and presumably failing, to escape mind control.
  • Metal Scream: "Psycho"
    I'm gonna make you! I'm gonna break you! I'm gonna make you! A FUCKING PSYCHO!
  • Mind Screw: Many of their lyrics.
    • "Exo-Politics", once one finds out the inspiration for this song. Good luck finding out though.
    • "Space Dementia" has the aforementioned Last Note Nightmare and superbly creepy lyrics.
    • "Micro Cuts" is just nightmarish, and the indecipherable lyrics and pained falsetto don't help either.
    • "Plug-In Baby" is reputedly about either a sex doll or genetically engineered puppies which never grow old. Matt was on 'shrooms when he recorded it, so even he doesn't remember.
      • Others say it's about his guitar(s).
      • The original title of the song was "Bloody Mary", which if replaced with the current title makes more sense in the chorus: "Bloody Mary \\ Crucifies my enemies," and the references to forgetfulness and "unbroken virgin realities".
    • "Screenager" is very creepy, not helped when you find out that bones were used for percussion.
    • The guitar parts on the B-Side "Host" are fairly haunting, listening to the song alone at night is probably not advisable.
  • When Matt breathes in the song "Dead Star", it isn't so much breathing as a disgusting, horrifyingly raspy hiss. Really uncomfortable, very creepy.
  • More creepy, slurp-y breathing in "New Born."
  • Even more creepy, slurp-y breathing in "Time Is Running Out," where the lyrics "asphyxiated" and "I know I'm trapped" really create a tense atmosphere that is completely at odds with most other hit singles of the time.
  • Miniscule Rocking:
    • From Absolution: "Intro" and "Interlude."
    • The hidden track track on the "Starlight" DVD.
    • From The 2nd Law: "Prelude."
    • From Drones: "Drill Sergeant" and "[JFK]"
  • My God, What Have I Done?? : The ending of "The Globalist."
  • Nobody Loves the Bassist: Averted. While Chris is not as outgoing as Matt or Dominic, Chris is still a well respected musician in the bass circle with many memorable basslines in his repertoire.
  • Non-Appearing Title: Zigzagged throughout their discography.
  • Obsession Song: Many of their songs have undertones of this, while some are more blatant. "Endlessly" is a Passive example, while "Hysteria" and "Bliss" (chorus quoted below) are squarely Aggressive ones.
    • "Sing for Absolution" combines this with elements of Fallen Angel imagery.
    • "Space Dementia" is a particularly creepy one.
      You'll make us wanna die
      I cut your name in my heart
      Will destroy this world for you
      I know you want me to
      Feel your pain
    • "Madness" certainly sounds like one, even turning the title into a Madness Mantra by making it the bass line.
  • One Head Taller: Chris stands at 6'5". He towers over Dom, who is 5'10"; he, in turn, towers over 5'7" Matt.
  • One-Word Title:
    • Albums:
      • Showbiz
      • Absolution
      • Drones
    • Songs:
      • "Showbiz"
      • "Resistance"
      • "Invincible"
      • "Drones"
      • "Survival"
      • "Uprising"
      • "Psycho"
      • "Algorithm"
      • "Pressure"
      • "Propaganda"
      • "Blockades"
      • "Starlight"
  • Out-of-Genre Experience:
    • "Soldier's Poem", a soft acoustic guitar track with vocal harmonies that could be right out of a barbershop quartet, smashed between "Map of the Problematique" and "Invincible". Apparently, they recorded it with the usual full-band arrangement, but it didn't sound quite right.
    • The bluesy "Falling Down" and Alternative Metal track "Dead Star."
    • "Undisclosed Desires" starts off this way, but winds up sounding familiar by end. It's one of only two songs with slap bass, though (the other being "Panic Station"), plus the only one where Matt plays neither the guitar nor the piano. note 
    • The title track of Drones is an a capella Gregorian chant.
  • Papa Wolf: "Follow Me" - an Declaration of Protection penned by Matt for his then-newborn son.
  • Platonic Cave: The main theme of Simulation Theory.
  • Playing with Puppets: A rather common motif in several songs. The music video and stage visuals for "The Handler" feature faceless hands controlling marionettes, while the chorus of "Micro Cuts" references "destroying puppet strings to our souls."
  • Precision F-Strike: This tends to be averted, but it's played straight on "Crying Shame" (B-Side for the Supermassive Black Hole single), "Panic Station," and "Psycho", the only times when the word "fuck" has been used in the band's entire discography other than the absurdly over-the-top hidden track from the Starlight DVD. All three instances are quite shocking. Even though "Panic Station" only contained the one solitary F-bomb (in a less-than-sexual context, too), it was enough to slap the entire album with a Parental Advisory sticker.
  • Pretty Boy: Matthew Bellamy.
  • Protest Song:
    • "Take a Bow" has a laser-focused vicious stab at various world leaders, enough that it could be the anger march of La Résistance.
    • Most of The Resistance is populated by protest songs, including "Uprising".
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    • The chorus of "Uprising".
    • "Defector." as well.
  • Recovered Addict: Chris once admitted to being a "raging alcoholic" for a considerable section of the band's career. He has since sobered up, and wrote "Save Me" and "Liquid State" about his experiences and his determination to not slip back into it.
  • Repurposed Pop Song: A Downplayed Subversion; once their cover version of "Feeling Good" was released, Nestle tried to acquire the rights to use that song in a commercial, but the band turned them down. But they used it anyway! Muse then successfully sued the company, and then promptly donated the money they got to charity.
  • Robot Girl: The focus of the music video for "Mercy". She's also being used as a Sexbot.
  • Rockers Smash Guitars: Matt has a freaking world record for smashing the most guitars in one tour (140 during the Absolution Tour 2004). This page chronicles the death of many of Matt's precious axes.
  • Rock-Star Song: "Sunburn," "Muscle Museum," "Cave," "Showbiz," and "Hate This and I'll Love You," all from Showbiz.
  • Rock Trio: The band has only three primary members. Since 2006, however, keyboardist Morgan Nicholls has assisted them on tour, mostly to prevent excessive use of backing tracks.
  • Sharp-Dressed Man: Their wardrobe varies, but they have their moments.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Resistance" is based on the love subplot between Winston and Julia in 1984. The song mentions the Thought Police, and "United States of Eurasia" is a very blatant reference to the states of Eurasia, Eastasia, and Oceania.
    • The video to "Time Is Running Out" is set in The War Room from Dr. Strangelove, with performers in military uniforms.
    • Most of the video for Knights of Cydonia is movie references, listed on its page.
    • Origin of Symmetry was titled after a concept put forward by theoretical physicist Michio Kaku in his book Hyperspace.
    • One scene in the official lyrics video for the song "Mercy" (about a person feeling disillusioned with the totalitarian system where they work) shows a few masks. One is a Guy Fawkes mask.
    • They used a recording of Tom Waits' "What's He Building in There?" to open concerts around the Origin of Symmetry era. It can be heard on the second disc of Hullabaloo Soundtrack by rewinding from the first track (though not all CD players will support this) or by ripping the album as a disc image, then altering the start of the first track in the resultant .cue sheet.
  • Sociopathic Soldier: "Psycho."
  • Space Madness: The implied topic of the aptly named "Space Dementia".
  • Stalker with a Crush: "Hysteria" is sung from the point of view of a man who is slowly consumed into madness from his obsessive love for a girl and turns into a stalker.
  • Step Up to the Microphone: Chris is the writer of and lead vocalist on two of the tracks from The 2nd Law, "Save Me" and "Liquid State".
  • Stockholm Syndrome: One of their songs is both titled after it and based on it.
  • Take That!:
  • Title Track:
    • "Showbiz."
    • "Resistance" counts, even if the album is technically called The Resistance.
    • The last two tracks on The 2nd Law.
    • "Drones."
    • Averted outright with Origin of Symmetry, the only (studio) album to date with neither a Title Track or an Album Title Drop. A track with the title "Origin of Symmetry" was mentioned by the band prior to the album's release, but this track has never been released or heard in any form.
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: "Take a Bow" and "Survival" have a noticeable pitch shift between their two verses.
  • True Companions: They've been through hell and back together, weathering hardships and successes alike since 1993. They consider their friendship to be their "longest-lasting relationship."
  • Turned Against Their Masters: "Algorithm"
    "This means war with your creator!"
  • Vocal Evolution: Matt's voice became noticeably deeper during the Black Holes and Revelations tour. Comparing the studio versions of that album's songs to the live versions on HAARP make the change very obvious.
  • Villain Song: "Psycho" is sung from the perspective of a Drill Sergeant Nasty (complete with drill sergeant samples) who wants to turn to person he is talking to into a mindless soldier.
  • War Is Hell: "Map of the Problematique", "Soldier's Poem", and basically all of Drones.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: A rather common first reaction to Matt's accent. Matt, like the rest of the band, is from Teignmouth, Devon, which is quite a large distance, and possesses a different dialect, in comparison to the places from where most UK bands are from (usually London, Sheffield, and Manchester). Alongside that, he's half-Irish, and traces of that can be found in his accent too, as well as having a pretty noticeable speech impediment. When combined with his falsetto, it usually creates a sound very unlike most other UK artists. He is also hard to understand when interviewed because he talks very quickly and animatedly.