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Music / Nickelback

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"Yeah, sure. (laughs) We suck. Our music is terrible. Everyone hates us. Chad Kroeger is the worst singer ever. I've heard it before. We've all heard it before. But you know what? These *points to the row of eight platinum records on his wall* tell me that someone out there is buying our music. What did what's his name say? 'I'm crying all the way to the bank'?"
Chad Kroeger (actually quoting Liberace, who was similarly bashed by critics)

Nickelback is a Canadian Hard Rock/Post-Grunge band formed by Chad Kroeger, his half-brother Mike Kroeger, guitarist Ryan Peake, and then drummer Brandon Kroeger. They're known for producing many hit songs that tend to sound suspiciously similar to each other, and Chad Kroeger's, um, distinctive voice.

Chad was engaged to fellow Canadian Avril Lavigne on August 21, 2012; they married on July 1, 2013 and separated in 2015.

Their current lineup is:

  • Chad Kroeger - vocals, guitar
  • Ryan Peake - guitar, backing vocals
  • Mike Kroeger - bass guitar
  • Daniel Adair - drums, backing vocals


  • Curb (1996)
  • The State (2000)
  • Silver Side Up (2001)
  • The Long Road (2003)
  • All the Right Reasons (2005)
  • Dark Horse (2008)
  • Here and Now (2011)
  • No Fixed Address (2014)
  • Feed The Machine (2017)
  • Get Rollin' (2022)

If Everyone Troped:

  • Auto Erotica: "Animals" features the speaker and his girlfriend getting busy in his car like "a couple animals".
  • Band of Relatives: Chad Kroeger and half-brother Mike. Cousin Brandon was also in the first incarnation of the band.
  • Biblical Bad Guy: While not directly mentioned, the song "The Betrayal - Act III" is a link to Judas and his betrayal of Jesus.
  • The Cameo: Exaggerated in "Rockstar" with appearances by Gene Simmons, Nelly Furtado, Eliza Dushku, Ted Nugent, Twista, Paul Wall, Chuck Lidell, Taryn Manning, Lupe Fiasco, Holly Madison, Bridget Marquadt, Kendra Wilkinson, the Teutuls, Dale Earnardt Jr., Kid Rock, Jerry Cantrell, Dominique Swain & Wayne Gretzky. This overlaps with Casting Gag since a few of the guests are musicians and some of the lyrics they lip-sync relate to themselves.
  • Chekhov's Gun: Partway into "Saving Me" a statue can be seen in the foreground being lifted through the air, it comes crashing down at the end of the video.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: "Next Contestant" is about one of these who is always getting pissed at other guys hitting on his girlfriend or worse.
  • Dead All Along: The protagonist of the music video for "Someday", and the protagonist's Disappeared Dad in the music video for "Never Gonna Be Alone".
  • Death's Hourglass: The music video for "Savin' Me" begins with a twitchy-looking man saving a well-dressed man from walking in front of a car. Pretty soon, the well-dressed man starts to see what the twitchy man saw: numbers over everyone's heads, rapidly counting down.
  • Disappeared Dad:
    • Chad didn't know about his real father until his late teens. Mike's father and his adopted father was also this and the subject of "Too Bad".
    • The main premise of the music video for "Never Gonna Be Alone".
  • The Dog Bites Back: "Never Again" ends with the abused wife getting a gun and murdering her husband.
  • Drugs Are Bad: "Just to Get High" and "Worthy to Say".
    • Kinda implied with "Rockstar".
  • Darker and Edgier: Dark Horse and Feed the Machine.
  • Driven to Suicide: The lyrics to "Savin' Me" imply this, as a man is "standing on the ledge of an eighteen story." "Hurry, I'm fallin'" is sung in the background.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: Both Curb and The State are much heavier and less-commercial sounding than anything the band has recorded after those albums. They were also more apparently influenced by Nirvana and Alice in Chains than anything else they recorded.
  • Earn Your Happy Ending: Some of their music videos, with "Far Away" and "Never Gonna Be Alone" being the most notable examples.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: Discussed in "Next Contestant"—the protagonist "even fears the ladies" coming onto his girlfriend.
  • Failed a Spot Check: The would-be bank robbery in "Get 'Em Up" is foiled because the robbers lack one crucial piece of information: it's Sunday and the bank is closed.
  • Fond Memories That Could Have Been: The first half of the music video for "Never Gonna Be Alone".
  • Greatest Hits Album: Two, in the forms of Three-Sided Coin (released in Japan only), and The Best of Nickelback Volume 1.
  • Guttural Growler: Chad Kroger's signature voice is a combination of this and Yarling. What's interesting is that this only applies to his singing voice and not his normal talking voice.
  • Growing Up Sucks: "Photograph" is a reminiscence on the good moments and how things have gone wrong since.
  • Hiroshima as a Unit of Measure: The Public Policy Polling agency (gauging the popularity/unpopularity of any given politician or party) uses Nickelback as a measurement (alongside head lice and the DMV) if someone is more hated than the band.
  • Ignorant of the Call: In "Hero", Chad acknowledges that "a hero can save us", but that he's not going to stand around waiting for one to show up. He thus unknowingly becomes the very hero he wasn't going to wait around for, all the while denying that he's any kind of hero at all.
  • Insult Backfire: A pretty good one, too.
  • Intercourse with You: "Next Go Round", "Animals", "Flat on the Floor", and "S.E.X.", just to name a few.
  • Large Ham: One of the reasons people like to do mocking imitations of Chad is his over-the-top, throaty delivery.
    It's too bad, TOO LATE! So wrong, SO LOOOOONG!
    How the hell'd we wind up like dis?
  • Little Black Dress: The woman in the music video for "How You Remind Me".
  • Long-Runner Line-up: They only changed the drummer, and even then it's been the same since 2005.
  • Lyrical Cold Open:
    • "Figured You Out" opens with Chad singing the opening line by himself:
      I like your pants around your feet
    • "Rockstar" has a brief one:
      [inhale] I'm through with—
  • Marked Bullet: "Side of a Bullet".
    I cried alone and scratched your name
    On the side of a bullet
  • Mood Whiplash: Often induces this from song to song. Many of their songs' content comes off as earnest and emotional and can sometimes border on Silly Love Songs. Then they come out with a tune like "Animals"... and many more like it.
  • Ms. Fanservice: "Something in Your Mouth", and Chad's girlfriend in the music video for "How You Remind Me".
  • New Sound Album: Dark Horse was way darker than both of the albums before and after it.
    • In comparison, No Fixed Address has a more electronic production style that, at least according to Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic, results in their best album to date.
  • Never Bring A Knife To A Gunfight: Mentioned in "This Means War".
    But you went and brought a knife
    To an all out gun fight
  • Not Quite Dead: The main character of the music video for "Far Away".
  • Oh, Crap!: The main characters' reaction in the last verse of "Animals." He and his girlfriend are in his car getting busy when she realizes that her dad has found them and is standing right outside. And worse, the keys aren't in the ignition because they fell on the floor while they were in the middle of it, all while he is screaming that it was her mouth he was kissing.
  • Pep-Talk Song: "What Are You Waiting For?" encourages its listeners to stop dawdling and take the chance to chase their dreams.
  • Performance Video: "Never Again" originally had a video, but MTV deemed it too graphic and violent and the band reshot the video with concert footage.
  • Precision F-Strike In the last line of "Must Be Nice" the main line of the chorus "Your life's a God damn fairy-tale" changes to "Your life's a fucking fairy tale.
  • Random Passerby Advice: Not really "random", but while they were arranging "How You Remind Me", Ryan brought up the idea of the musical stops in the choruses. They played it a few times that way but still felt it was missing something, at which point Daniel's drum tech said "You should do a really big stop at the last chorus". They tried it, loved the effect it had on the song, and gave him a $50,000 bonus on the spot.
  • Rock-Star Song: "Rockstar," but it's meant to mock the industry.
  • Rousseau Was Right: "If Everyone Cared" ponders what the world would be like if this were true. The question at the beginning of the music video point-blank wonders the same thing.
  • Self-Deprecation: In the video for "This Afternoon", the band is brought to a fraternity party while Bound and Gagged. The fraternity leader replies: "Nickelback? You got me Nickelback?! ... Alright, fine, they'll do."
  • Self-Parody: A 2021 ad for Google Photos uses a self-deprecating parody of "Photograph".
  • Stalker with a Crush: "Follow You Home" has lyrics akin to a stalker coming to his crush's home despite her attempts to get rid of him.
  • Stupid Evil: "Jim" and his group in the song "Get 'Em Up", who plan to rob a bank together. The bank is closed because it's Sunday, and there's a cop car parked right across the street. Since they had to find parking a block away, someone should have noticed this.
  • Shout-Out: "This Afternoon" name-drops Bob Marley, Cheech and Chong, and Creedence Clearwater Revival.
  • Talking Down the Suicidal: "Lullaby" has the singer saving the suicidal out there who need a reason to keep living. It has lyrics such as "I have faith in you, that you're gonna make it through another night" and "the best is yet to come."
  • This Means War!: The title of the first track on Here and Now.
  • Title Track: Only Curb and Feed the Machine have them.
  • Together in Death: The alternate ending of the music video for "Someday"...
  • Tomato Surprise: ...unless you've found the original version.
  • Unreliable Narrator: "Do This Anymore" evidently has one:
    She says I'm only tellin' half of it
    That's probably 'cause there's only half worth tellin'
  • Wolverine Publicity: A common complaint amongst the band's critics during the 2000s was that their music was getting a disproportionate amount of radio airplay.
  • Yarling: Chad Kroeger's preferred singing style is a throaty snarling tone.


Video Example(s):


Deadpool defends Nickelback.

In a trailer for Once Upon a Deadpool, Fred Savage attempts to deliver a Take That to Nickelback, only for a fed up Deadpool to come to their defense.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (16 votes)

Example of:

Main / CriticalBacklash

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