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Music / No Doubt

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"Don't speak,
I know just what you're saying,
So please stop explaining,
Don't tell me cause it hurts.
Don't speak,
I know what you're thinking,
I don't need your reasons,
Don't tell me cause it hurts."
— "Don't Speak"

No Doubt is an American Third Wave Ska and New Wave Music-influenced Alternative Rock band founded in 1986. Yep, that long. The band consisted of Gwen Stefani (vocals), Tom Dumont (guitar), Adrian Young (drums) and Tony Kanal (bass). While their first two albums didn't sell well, Tragic Kingdom revived ska for The '90s. The band has won two Grammys and has sold albums worldwide.

The band started out of Anaheim, California, and became a hit with the release of the singles "Just A Girl" and "Don't Speak" and the release of the Tragic Kingdom album, which was highly influenced by the relationship between Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal. After 2004 the band took a hiatus for Gwen to work on her solo career. They returned with a 2009 summer tour, and released a new album in 2012.

The group went on an even longer hiatus in 2015, with Gwen again focusing on her solo career. In January 2024, they reunited with plans to perform at the Coachella music festival that April.

Gwen Stefani may be a vampire.


  • No Doubt (1992)
  • The Beacon Street Collection (1995)
  • Tragic Kingdom (1995)
  • Return of Saturn (2000)
  • Rock Steady (2001)
  • Push and Shove (2012)

No Doubt's music provides examples of:

  • The '90s: Tend to be associated most with this decade because of the success of 1995's Tragic Kingdom, though they wouldn't release another album for the remainder of the decade.
  • Abbey Road Crossing: Push and Shove has a cover which looks like that of Let It Be.
  • Ambiguous Syntax: The chorus of "Don't Speak" has the line "don't tell 'cause it hurts", which can be read as either "don't tell me it's because it hurts" or "telling me would hurt, so don't."
  • Anti-Love Song: "Hey You" cynically compares a soon-to-be Happily Married couple to faceless Ken and Barbie dolls.
  • Band of Relatives: Gwen and Eric Stefani are brother and sister; Eric would leave the band after Tragic Kingdom.
  • Black Widow: The video for "It's My Life" sees Gwen as one of these with the male members of the band as her victims. The framing device is scenes of her being put on trial and eventually executed for her crimes.
  • Changing Chorus: In the chorus of "Just A Girl", the phrase "I'm just a girl" is the only line that's consistent between verses:
    • First verse:
      'Cause I'm just a girl, a little 'ol me.
      Well, don't let me out of your sight.
      Oh, I'm just a girl, all pretty and petite.
      So, don't let me have any rights.
    • Second verse:
      Cause I'm just a girl I'd rather not be,
      cause they won't let me drive late at night.
      Oh, I'm just a girl, guess I'm some kind of freak,
      'cause they all sit and stare with their eyes.
      Oh, I'm just a girl, take a good look at me.
      Just your typical prototype.
    • Third verse:
      I'm just a girl living in captivity.
      Your rule of thumb makes me worrisome.
      I'm just a girl. What's my destiny?
      What I've succumbed to is making me numb.
      Oh, I'm just a girl, my apologies.
      What I've become is so burdensome.
      Oh, I'm just a girl, lucky me.
      Tweedle Dum, there's no comparison.
  • Closed Door Rapport: "Sunday Morning" was inspired by one of these between Gwen and Tony in real life, according to the liner notes from their Greatest Hits album.
  • The Cover Changes the Gender: "It's My Life", originally by Talk Talk.
  • Fangirl: Gwen says she used to be such a big Madness fangirl that she cried when she heard that Suggs was married. She's definitely a fangirl of 2 Tone in general.
  • Geeky Analogy: Tony Kanal compared Rock Steady to Return of the Jedi in Rolling Stone:
    "It's like, full of Ewoks. You know, just happy."
  • Genre Mashup: Many of their songs mash up elements from different genres, but "Ex-Girlfriend" is especially notable for its jarring shifts between its hard-driving rock and its rap verses, with a bit of Latin guitar thrown in for good measure.
  • Gratuitous Japanese: Gwen and her "super-kawaii!" later on.
  • "I Am" Song: "Just A Girl" tells what Gwen is but would rather not be.
  • Heel Realization: The meaning of Sweet Escape "I know I've been a real bad girl. I didn't mean for you to get hurt"
  • Hidden Track: Return of Saturn has "Too Late Instrumental", hidden after either "Dark Blue" (on the normal edition of the album) or "Big Distraction" (the bonus track on the European and Australian editions).
  • Lead Bassist: Tony Kanal, primarily due to him being one of the band's main songwriters.
  • Long-Runners: They've remained together for 35 YEARS! They've gone on hiatus a couple times, but despite Gwen's solo success, have never officially broken up. Gwen was only 17 when they started, and their oldest member, Tom Dumont, is only a year older than her.
  • Male Band, Female Singer: Gwen is not only the vocalist, but also the only woman in the band. Played With in the music video for "Don't Speak", an Ur-Example.
  • Mood Dissonance: "Ex-Girlfriend" has a very upbeat vibe in the music, but the lyrics are another story...
  • Mood Whiplash: A frequent side effect of the band's Genre Roulette tendencies. A notable example is "You Can Do It", an incredibly upbeat, disco-inspired dance track that shows up on Tragic Kingdom right after their most famous breakup song, "Don't Speak".
  • My Sister Is Off-Limits: This is a Real Life example. Gwen Stefani's brother Eric started the band, and she kept her relationship with Tony secret from him.note 
  • Odd Friendship: Gwen with rapper Eve.
  • Older Than They Look: Gwen turned 50 in October 2019. If you saw her and thought she was in her 30s, or even as young as her 20s, nobody would blame you.
  • Pixellation: Gwen's butt in the video for "Hella Good." Adrian's genitals in the video for "Hey Baby".
  • Shout-Out: "Hella Good" showed people playing Jet Set Radio Future.
    • The "Ex Girlfriend" music video is inspired by Kite starting at 2:12.
    • Their new song "Settle Down" featuring a scene in the beginning in which Tony Kanal grabs an orange and savors it. This calls back to the video for "Don't Speak", which starts with him pulling a rotten orange from a tree and ends with him putting it back.
    • Listen carefully to the random horn soloing at the end of "Tragic Kingdom". One of them riffs on the Star Wars theme.
  • Sibling Team: Gwen Stefani's brother Eric used to be in the band.
  • Special Guest: Bradley Nowell on "Total Hate 95".
    • Mike Garson plays the piano on the hidden instrumental version of "Too Late", from Return of Saturn.
  • Ska: Definitely the most successful of the third wave revival bands.
  • A Wild Rapper Appears!: "Hey Baby", "Underneath It All" and "Push and Shove" feature the reggae equivalent of this trope, with guest appearances by Bounty Killer, Lady Saw, and Busy Signal & Major Lazer, respectively.


Video Example(s):


No Doubt

The video for "Don't Speak" features a magazine cover shoot, where the photographers only want to shoot Gwen Stefani and ignore the other band members. This is based on a real-life incident involving the band.

How well does it match the trope?

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Main / SpotlightStealingSquad

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