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Music / Scissor Sisters

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L-to-R: Paddy Boom, Jake Shears, Ana Matronic, Del Marquis, and Babydaddy
When you're walkin' down the street and the man tries to get your business,
And the people that you meet want to open you up like Christmas,
You gotta wrap your fuzzy with a big red bow,
Ain't no sum bitch gonna treat me like a ho,
I'm a classy honey kissy huggy lovey dovey ghetto princess.
— "Filthy Gorgeous"

"Spawned by the scuzzy, gay nightlife scene of New York", Scissor Sisters crashed onto the music scene in the mid-‘00s. They became one of the most popular pop acts of the decade, especially in the UK. Their self-titled album was (as of 2006) the 10th biggest-selling album of the 21st century, making them stick out like a sore thumb among other (mainstream) artists who sold similar numbers. Celeb fans include Lady Gaga, Thom Yorke, Josh Homme*, Elton John, David Gilmour, Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend.note 

The band's name comes from a popular lesbian sex act. They are known for their sexually-charged lyrics and campy performances, many of which have Jake Shears performing in revealing clothes (if any at all).

The band have been on indefinite hiatus since 2012, save the charity single "SWERLK" in 2017. Jake Shears released a self titled solo album in 2018, shortly before appearing at the lead in the Broadway adaptation of Kinky Boots.

  • Jake Shears — vocals, piano, guitar
  • Babydaddy — bass guitar, keyboards, vocals, rhythm
  • Ana Matronic — vocals, "Mistress of Ceremonies", percussion, keyboards
  • Del Marquis — lead, bass guitar
  • Randy Real — drums, electronic drums, percussion
  • Paddy Boom — drums, electronic drums, percussion (former member)

The only member confirmed to be straight was Paddy Boom. Randy Real's (Paddy's replacement) sexuality has yet to be disclosed.


I don't feel like tropin', tropin':

  • Animated Music Video: The second-half of the video for "Mary" is an animated retelling of "Rapunzel," created by none other than Don Bluth!
  • Best Friend: They are friends with pop punk band Busted.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: From "Any Which Way."
    "Take me any way you can: in front of the fire place, in front of your yacht, in front of my parents! I don't give a damn, baby, just take me!"
  • Buried Alive: Referenced in "I Can't Decide" (where what can't be decided is "whether you should live or die"): "Or I could bury you alive / But you might crawl out with a knife / And kill me when I'm sleeping".
  • Censored for Comedy: The radio edit of "Filthy/Gorgeous" bleeped the word "acid" (as in LSD)... but only the second syllable, which made it sound really... uh, filthy. "Trip on a hit of ass" indeed.
  • Chiaroscuro: The front cover for Ta-Dah.
  • The Cover Changes the Meaning: Their not-universally loved cover of the Pink Floyd classic "Comfortably Numb" brings out a different facet. The original is overflowing with angst, about someone who can't quite get numb enough. The remake sounds like someone who really has been medicated into oblivion, to the point of losing both their neuroses and their identity, and is loving every minute of it.
  • Downer Ending: Their first album (the non-UK version) ends with "Return To Oz", a song about drug use in the gay community.
  • Drugs Are Bad: Return to Oz. Oh, boy, Return to Oz. It's all about crystal meth abuse in the gay community, told via analogies based on the film of the same name, and it's absolutely chilling.
  • Every Episode Ending: Their first two albums ended with one song completely devoid of synths and drum loops. However, after Paddy Boom left and the band started doing out-and-out techno, this was dropped.
  • Fag Hag: Ana could be considered one, as she's the lone female in a band consisting almost entirely of openly gay men. However, she could also be considered a subversion; while she is commonly assumed to be straight, she has in fact had relations with women (though she is currently married to a man) and doesn't label herself as any particular sexuality.
  • Fanservice: In-universe: "Filthy/Gorgeous" is about a woman (or possibly not) who goes to a sex club and is transformed into a dancer/stripper (with hula hoops). It contains, it is not much of an exaggeration to say, every fetish there is, including pregnancy, toe sex, smoking, armpits, blow-up dolls, leather, vinyl, adult babies, pony play, men kissing, boobs galore, drag queens, the biggest hair in the world, bears... a little something for everyone. Try guessing the original or true gender of everyone who appears.
    • The animated segment of "Mary" has the male protagonist at one point strip down to his underwear.
    • The guy's ass (complete with impressive wedgie) adorning the cover of Night Work.
    • Jake himself has been known to strip almost completely naked during concerts if they venue gets too hot.
  • Get Back in the Closet: Not surprisingly, Wal-Mart refuses to sell their CDs because of their overtly homoerotic lyrics and openly gay band members.
  • Hidden Track/Thanking the Viewer: The UK version of their Self-Titled Album features "A Message from Ms. Matronic" after the standard tracks, where Ana thanks the listener for listening to the album.
  • Intentionally Awkward Title: Just try being the one to introduce this band to a lesbian. Or someone who's squeamish about innuendo, although such a person probably won't be their biggest fan anyway. Worse yet, their original name (as part of an arms race of escalating vulgarity) was "Dead Lesbian and the Fibrillating Scissor Sisters."
  • Intercourse with You: Oh boy, this has got to be their favorite trope. Emphasis on "boy."
  • In the Style of: The disco cover of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb", which got mixed reactions from Floyd fans — while some considered it a butchering of the work, others find that the disco beat fits the song's lyrics pretty well.
  • I Was Young and Needed the Money: Jake was a stripper around the time the band formed.
  • Love Hurts: "Better Luck Next Time."
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "I Can't Decide", made famous to geeks everywhere by its use in Doctor Who, is an excellent example. The bouncy, upbeat song's chorus actually starts, "I can't decide whether you should live or die..." and the middle eight describes various methods of murder.
  • New Sound Album: Their first album was on the edge between "band" music (i.e., mostly live instrumentation) and dance pop, with their second moving much more towards the former with the addition of drummer Paddy Boom. Once he left, however, the band made a stylistic U-turn with the electroclash-heavy Night Work, eventually doing straight-up dance pop on Magic Hour.
  • Non-Indicative Name:
    • Scissor Sisters contains no lesbians, siblings or scissors. And only one woman.
    • And their song "Paul McCartney" isn't really about Paul McCartney.note 
  • Older Than They Look: Jake is in his 40s. He could pass for being in university.
  • One-Woman Song: "Laura" and "Mary".
  • A Party, Also Known as an Orgy: The video for "Filthy/Gorgeous", especially the uncensored version.
  • Portmanteau: The title "SWERLK" is a seriously next-level example; a combination of "swirl," "twerk," "twirl," "work" and "swerve."
  • Punny Name: Ana Matronic.
  • Rearrange the Song: "Comfortably Numb" disco-fied.
  • Smurfette Principle: Ana is the lone girl of the quintet.
  • Soprano and Gravel
  • Shout-Out:
    • Don Bluth's animated segment of their "Mary" video is one to his own "Don't Walk Away" segment from Xanadu, which the band are huge fans of.
    • "Return to Oz" references Return to Oz, obviously, but there's another, subtler reference there; the lyrics reference Wheelers (bad guys from Oz) but also Skeksis, the evil race from The Dark Crystal. Fitting as the song is about crystal meth.
    • The debut album's band photo references the inner gatefold of Roxy Music's For Your Pleasure, and "Better Luck Next Time" quotes "If There Is Something" from that band's own self-titled debut.
  • Spoken Word in Music: "Let's Have A Kiki" begins with Ana giving this doozy of a voicemail rant:
    "What's up; it's Pickles. Leave a message." [BEEEEEEEEP]
    "Hey, I'm calling you back! Oooh, she's been a bitch tonight! And by bitch, I mean this rain. No cab, nowhere. So I had to put on the wigs and the lashes and the heels and the eairh and take the train to the club, and we all know that the MTA should stand for Motherfuckers Touching my Ass. So then I get to the club, looking like a drowned, harassed rat, and I'm greeted, not by Miss Rose at the door, but our friend, Johnny Five-Oh. Yes honey, the NYPD shut down the par-ty. So no fee for me! I don't even know what's the tea! So I hope you're up girl, 'cause we are all coming over. Lock the doors, lower the blinds, fire up the smoke machine and put on your heels, 'cause I know exactly what we need!"
  • Staying Alive: "I Can't Decide".
    Oh I could throw you in the lake / Or feed you poisoned birthday cake / I won’t deny I'm gonna miss you when you're gone / Oh I could bury you alive / But you might crawl out with a knife / And kill me when I'm sleeping / That's why / I can't decide / Whether you should live or die...
  • Straight Gay:
  • Un-person: A curious case concerning Randy Real, since it happened during his tenure as a full member and with no apparent bad blood present: despite being the fifth official member, the music videos from Night Work and Magic Hour portray the band as a quartet, composed only of Jake, Ana, Del and Babydaddy. Randy's predecessor as drummer, Paddy Boom, was notably featured at the same level of the other members.
  • Unusual Euphemism:
    • "Skin This Cat" is about an umm...special male body part. That or perhaps a special female body part.
    • From "Whole New Way: So with everyone gone home, I got your tail between my legs.
  • Villain Song: "I Can't Decide" seems to be this, seeing as it's styled as a goofy love song but involves the singer plotting to murder the person he's singing to.