Punishers of evil rock and roll band
The Aquabats! (and yes, the exclamation mark is necessary) are an American comedy rock band formed in Orange County, California in 1994. The band started out as an eight-or-nine-piece ska band before shifting their sound towards a more New Wave-influenced style of rock and punk in the early 2000s.
The most distinctive - and most Troperiffic - aspect of The Aquabats! is their prominent superhero theme. The band bills themselves as a ragtag group of superhero rock musicians, traveling the world on a quest to fight evil and rock out in equal proportion. Many of The Aquabats' songs revolve around this theme, featuring lyrics detailing the band's adventures and battles with their Rogues Gallery of villains, as well as their theatrical stage shows which include comic skits and fight scenes with costumed villains and monsters.
Accordingly, each member of the band has their own superhero persona; as of 2006, The Aquabats consist of singer and Face of the Band the MC Bat Commander, bassist Crash McLarson, keyboardist Jimmy the Robot, drummer Ricky Fitness and guitarist EagleBones FalconHawk.
Also notable is the fact that Christian Jacobs, the MC Bat Commander, is the co-creator, writer and voice actor of the children's show Yo Gabba Gabba!.
The Aquabats! Members:
- The MC Bat Commander (Christian Jacobs) - lead vocals
- Crash McLarson (Chad Larson) - bass guitar, DJ
- Jimmy the Robot (James Briggs) - keyboards/saxophone
- Eaglebones Falconhawk (Ian Fowles) - guitar
- Ricky Fitness (Richard Falomir) - drums
- Chainsaw, the Prince of Karate (Corey Pollock) - guitar
- Catboy (Boyd Terry) - trumpet
- Ultra Kyu (Charles Grey) - guitar/synth
- The Baron von Tito (Travis Barker) - drums
- Doctor Rock (Gabe Parkin) - drums
- Nacho (Chad Parkin) - keyboards
- Prince Adam (Adam Deibert) - trumpet/synth/guitar
- Ben the Brain (Ben Bergeson) - guitar
- Roddy B. (Rod Arellano) - drums
- 1996 - The Return of the Aquabats!
- 1997 - The Fury Of The Aquabats!
- 1999 - The Aquabats! vs. the Floating Eye of Death! and Other Amazing Adventures, Vol. 1
- 2000 - Myths, Legends, and Other Amazing Adventures, Vol. 2
- 2005 - Charge!!
- 2011 - Hi-Five Soup!
- 2020 - Kooky Spooky... in Stereo!
Myths, Legends, and Other Amazing Tropes, Vol. 2
- Album Intro Track:
- "Robot Theme Song!" from Myths, Legends, and Other Amazing Adventures
- "Now Stand Back, For Your Own Safety!" from Charge!!
- All Just a Dream: Implied with "Lotto Fever!"When I woke up
I found the bottle was gone
Someone took it away
- All Love Is Unrequited: "The Story of Nothing!"True love, the birds would sing
And trees would call her name as she walked by
Love was grand
Until the magic day she turned me into
- Animated Adaptation: As part of The Aquabats! Super Show!, featuring standalone shorts featuring their Lil' Bat mascot, Pablo and episodic shorts with the Aquabats animated like out of an oldschool anime (featuring character designs from long time fan, Pey)
- Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
- The liner notes for "Fury of the Aquabats!" lists some of the villains that went after the Aquabats after Space Monster M put a bounty on their heads: "Gas Face, the Powdered Milk Man, The Zorilla, El Demonico the Silver Skull, The Specter, Grungor, the Sandfleas, and even Grandma Peterson".
- "Captain Hampton and the Midget Pirates!" features the following list of torments visited upon the victims of the Midget Pirates: "Slashing at us with their swords, gutting our bellies, poking our bums, clipping our knees!"
- Artifact Title: Originally the band were supposedly humanoid, aquatic bat creatures from the island of Aquabania. That has since been almost completely fazed out of their mythos, leaving their name unique, but somewhat of a mystery.
- Ascended Extra: One of the monsters in their earlier videos shows up later as Muno in Yo Gabba Gabba!, albeit bumpier.
- Auto-Tune: Used in "B.F.F.!" as a joke.
- Badass Boast: Unsurprisingly common for a band of superheroes.
We have been chosen, the lone protectorsTo rescue those who can't surviveThe onslaught of those Trojan horsesWe cannot die, we will not be broken
- "Awesome Forces" serves as an extended one for the 'Bats themselves.
Four radios blastin' classic rockAnd they're pointing at youWith your fist raised highand a hitch in your stepYou've got it allI've got no reason to lie
- From "Look at Me, I'm a Winner!", directed towards the listener.
Stand back man, I don't wanna hurt you......too much.
- "Karate Body" opens with a good one.
- Bellisario's Maxim: The narrator of "Stuck in a Movie!" tells the listener:If you want to know if this is imitation of something real
If you want to be here in my feature film
Well take your brain and shut it off.
- Birds of a Feather: The narrator of "Magic Chicken!" ends up marrying a girl who's just as crazy about chicken as he is.When I first met my baby
I was sipping chicken gravy
And I thought I'd have to close up shop
Now we're wedding in the chapel
Eating chicken, drinking Snapple
Our chicken love you just can't stop
- Body Horror:
- "Amino Man!" is about a bodybuilder whose obsession with getting huge turns him into an overly-muscled monstrosity.Where are his eyes, where are his eyes?!
Something's got to give!
- "Radiation Song!" features jolly lyrics about radiation poisoning and hideous mutations.The toxic waste in synthetic place
Can add an eyeball to your face
- "Amino Man!" is about a bodybuilder whose obsession with getting huge turns him into an overly-muscled monstrosity.
- BSoD Song: "Meltdown!". The main character can't endure the pressures of his everyday life any longer, despite his best efforts, and so "the nachos in [his] head explode".
- Call a Smeerp a "Rabbit": The narrator's Non-Human Sidekick in "Sandy Face!" is referred to as a "dog", but the description is rather unusual:There's a one-eyed dog with horns like a yak
Wax lips, and a broken back
His feet in front face the opposite
Of his hind legs in the back.
- Cats Are Mean: "The Cat With Two Heads!" Of course, if you spent most of your life kept in a box while being bombarded with radiation until you turned into a two-headed mutant, you'd be pretty mad too.
- Crossover: Strong Bad and Homestar Runner both make an appearance in "Pink Pants!" Christian Jacobs and H*R co-creator Matt Chapman both work on Yo Gabba Gabba! Matt is also one of the lead writers for The Aquabats! Super Show! and portrays Carl the Wizard, who is basically a live-action version of Strong Bad, in the season one episode "Cobraman!".
- "Days of the Week" Song: "Pizza Day", a nostalgic ode to, of all things, school-lunch menus.
- Monday, hot dog
Wednesday, hamburgers and chocolate milk
Thursday, sloppy joes, burritos in a bag
Friday was pizza day, the best day of the week
- Department of Redundancy Department:
- From the intro to "Pool Party!": "There's gonna be food, and girls, and more food..."
- Depraved Dwarf: The eponymous Midget Pirates from "Captain Hampton and the Midget Pirates!"
- Dirty Coward: "Captain Hampton and the Midget Pirates!" ends with Captain Hampton "triumphantly" running away while the Midget Pirates overwhelm his crew.
- Eerie Pale-Skinned Brunette: The fashion-obsessed teenagers(?) in "Fashion Zombies!".And this horror-like production
Takes total dedication
Of black clothes and pale complexions
Rock jet black hair to match their makeup
- Emotion Bomb: "The Thing in the Bass Amp!" is about a town overcome with malaise and apathy thanks to the eponymous Thing.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: The Humongous Mecha from "Mechanical Ape!". Comes with a pair of fuzzy dice in the cockpit.
- Exactly What It Says on the Tin: "I'm a shark fighter! I fight sharks!"
- Exact Words: In "Poppin' A Wheelie!", MC Bat Commander asks "Who likes popping a wheelie?" and gets some half-hearted cheering. He gets a much more enthusiastic response when he asks "Who loves popping a wheelie?"
- Excited Show Title!: The Aquabats! are always excited. Basically all of their song and album titles (not to mention the name of the band itself) end with an exclamation point.
- Expository Theme Tune:
- "Theme Song!" explores the (then) backstory of the Aquabats, explaining how they were driven out of their homeland by Space Monster M.
- "The Wild Sea!" is written in the style of one.Sailing on and on and on and on
Into the ocean, into the sun
Our boat, a Viking, my dad, and me
On the Wild Sea!
- Fan of Underdog: The narrator's girlfriend in "Look At Me (I'm a Winner)!"Someone once told me you can't lose 'em all
And that someone was you
But when I nail-gunned my hand to the wall
I started to wonder if that could be true
- Faceless Eye: The Floating Eye of Death.
- Fake Twin Gambit: In "Hot Summer Nights (Won't Last Forever)!", Elizabeth pretends to be her twin sister "Liz" when she accidentally bumps into the narrator again, to fend off his affections. He falls for it completely. Later, she pulls it off a second time by pretending to be her "identical cousin", "Beth".
- Fat Best Friend: "B.F.F.!" mixes this trope with Big Fun and The Big Guy
- Genie in a Bottle: "Lotto Fever!"In a bottle of noodles
I found a small green fish
Who told a fish story
He could grant me any wish
"Okay," I said, "That sounds great
I think I understand."
The fish rolled up his sleeves
And said "Your wish is my command!"
- Genre Roulette: In-Universe, the movie (movies?) that the guy from "Stuck in a Movie!" is stuck in. He describes a mish-mash of action, horror, and fantasy, but none of the pieces seem to be connected to each other; it's more of a montage.
- Green-Skinned Space Babe: The alien from "Martian Girl!" has "big orange eyes and green skin".
- Heroes Love Dogs: "Canis Lupus!" is one long love-letter to dogs.
- Hidden Track:
- "The Wild Sea!" from Myths, Legends, and Other Amazing Adventures ends with an extended period of silence, then a conversation between Danger Woman and MC Bat Commander.
- "Karate Body, Part 2!" from Kooky Spooky... In Stereo! ends with several seconds of silence, then a bonus song.
- Hikkikomori: The narrator of "Pajamazon!" is obsessed with the idea of staying at home all day and doing all his shopping online.
- Humongous Mecha: "Giant Robot-Birdhead!" and "Mechanical Ape!"
- "I Am Great!" Song: "Awesome Forces!"Well have you seen us?
We summon awesome forces
We are the ones that myths and legends talk about
We're so far beyond your definitions
We cannot die, we will not be broken!
- I Love Nuclear Power:
- "The Cat With 2 Heads!" was mutated by "the power of atomic energy".
- "Radiation Song!", a tongue-in-cheek ode to post-apocalyptic life.
- In Medias Res: The title of their first album "Return of the Aquabats!", as well as the first episode of their TV series that references events in the "prior episode".
- Instrument of Murder: Used to fend off attacking monsters during their live shows. On The Aquabats! Super Show, Eaglebones Falconhawk's guitar can shoot Frickin' Laser Beams.
- It's All About Me: The narrator of "Pink Pants!" is incredibly self-absorbed and likes to surround himself with sycophants.We can talk about me
And then we'll talk about you
And I will tune that part out
As I know you will too
- Jaywalking Will Ruin Your Life: In "Pizza Day!", the narrator blames his malaise and inability to hold down a job on skipping lunch during middle school.
- Kayfabe Music: They're not just a rock band, they're a team of superheroes.
- Robot or Spaceman Alter Ego: In the case of Jimmy the Robot.
- Laughing Mad: The narrator of "The Man With Glooey Hands!" ends the song with a bout of maniacal Cry Laughing.
- Lighter and Softer: The band was always goofy, but their music has leaned more towards children over time, with less adult references in the lyrics.
- A specific example with Martian Girl. The original version of the song has her reveal her sharp teeth by kissing the protagonist and making them bleed. The song was revised for Fury, where it was changed to her merely smiling at him.
- Lilliputians: "Tiny Pants!" tells the story of a man's encounter with a race of gibberish-spouting tiny people.
- Little Known Facts: "Worms Make Dirt!" claims, among other things, that geothermal radiation is caused by a chipmunk living in the center of the Earth baking desserts.
- Lyrical Dissonance:
- "The Story of Nothing!" is a bouncy ska tune about the sting of unrequited love.
- "Chemical Bomb!", a mellow and cheerful tune about the narrator fantasizing a rather violent apocalypse.
- "Hello, Goodnight" has a soothing and mellow tune, but the lyrics are about coping with disaster, misfortune, and the impending mortality of you and everyone you know and love.
- "Radiation Song!" is a jaunty show-tune about living in an irradiated, post-apocalyptic wasteland.
- Made a Slave: The fate of the title character of "Sandy Face!" is to be sold into "hippie slavery", serving grilled-cheese sandwiches at Grateful Dead concerts.
- Mascot: Pablo the Aquabat, who even gets his own solo cartoons on the Supershow! Despite being non-vocal, he's a Badass Adorable little guy who does stuff like kicking sharks in the face and using their heads as surfboards after they break his original one.
- Mood Whiplash: The Aquabats vs. the Floating Eye of Death! is full of this. Dark and serious songs like "Sequence Erase!", "Monster Wedding!", and "Chemical Bomb!" and the thoughtful and slow-tempoed "Hello, Good Night" definitely stand out from songs like "Giant Robot-Birdhead!", "Lovers of Loving Love!", and "Tiny Pants!".
- Mundane Made Awesome: The Aquabats seem to love writing epic songs about relatively mundane things.
- "CD Repo Man!" is about a ruthless mercenary who will stop at nothing... to get back the compact discs your friends borrowed but never returned.
- "Dear Spike!" is about the narrator writing an epic thank-you letter to the delivery guy who finally brought him his fan club package, based on a real letter written by an Aquacadet.
- "I Fell Asleep on My Arm!" is a nu-metal parody about a teenager freaking out after he falls asleep in class and his arm goes numb.
- "The Baker!" is a song that makes being a baker sound bad-ass.Up in the morning to start my work
I cannot help wanting to bake a dessert
Like a gladiator about to meet his fate
I enter the arena, bow my head, and start to bake
- "Poppin a Wheelie!" is a song about a guy who is really enthusiastic about popping wheelies on his bicycle.
- "Food Fight on the Moon!" is a song about some bored astronauts having a Food Fight on the Moon.
- Musical Assassin:
- Former member Baron von Tito, the mysterious drumming mercenary.
- "Danger Woman!" is also known as "the Songbird Avenger".
- New Sound Album: Starting with their 1999 album The Aquabats! vs. the Floating Eye of Death!, the band shifted away from ska-punk towards a New Wave-influenced pop-punk sound. They dropped their brass section entirely with their 2005 album Charge!!
- Noodle Incident: The bridge to "The Wild Sea!" alludes to a number of crazy misadventures the captain and his crew have been on, including ones involving "the mysterious island of bigfoot women" and "the underwater bison family".
- Nostalgia Filter: "Playdough!" is a song about a guy waxing nostalgic about his favorite childhood toys and cartoons.
- Operation: [Blank]: Mentioned in the final refrain of "Super Rad!"Feel the wrath
Of Mission Codename: Applesauce, Applesauce, Applesauce!
- The Perils of Being the Best: The narrator of "Sneak Attack!" brags about being good at scaring people, but also admits to being scared people will try to get back at him.I go to sleep with one eye open. I contemplate my end
Now that Ive become the grand scaremaster Ill never sleep again!
- Piss Take Rap: Pretty much any rap performed during one of their songs, such as "Pool Party!", "I Fell Asleep on My Arm!", and "Hey Homies!"
- The Power of Rock: One of the band's powers, naturally.
- Proud to Be a Geek: Touched on in a number of songs, but especially in "Nerd Alert!"
- Ridiculously Human Robot: Jimmy the Robot. His snarky tendencies are considered a noteworthy breakthrough achievement in robotic technology.
- Rocket Punch: One of the features of Giant Robot-Birdhead.This was the dream
Don't cross the streams
Can launch a rocket punch into the eye-yai-yai-yai!
- Sanity Slippage Song: "Meltdown!"
- Scary Stinging Swarm: The villain of "Sandy Face!" kills the narrator's dog sidekick with his "beard of bees".
- Science Is Bad: Zig-zagged in "Cat With 2 Heads!"; the opening verse talks about how "Science brings gifts of convenience to the modern man", but the rest of the song talks about the horrors of the eponymous mutant feline.
- Self-Titled Album: The Return of the Aquabats (which was actually their first album), The Fury of the Aquabats!, and The Aquabats! vs the Floating Eye of Death
- Shock and Awe: In addition to his rapport with striped big cats, Miklik the Tiger Rider from "Tiger Rider vs. the Time Sprinkler!" has powers of lightning control.Grab a hold of the lighting bolt
And you pull down the lightning (Ride the lightning!)
- "Idiot Box!" name-drops Casper the Friendly Ghost, Scooby Doo, Mr. Magoo, and (in the version from Return of the Aquabats!) Mickey Mouse.
- The opening of "Powdered Milk Man!" is a reference to the opening of "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath.
- "Giant Robot-Birdhead!" features the line "Don't cross the streams."
- "Hey Luno!" is a reference to the Terrytoons series Luno the White Stallion.
- "Adventure Today!" is inspired by The Goonies, and thus loaded with subtle and not-so subtle references to the movie (references to a wishing well and an underground water slide, and a fellow named Willie who "don't got an eye").
- "Radiation Song!" contains references to Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (including Humongous as a vaudeville M.C.)
- "Danger Woman!" is a tribute to the Feedbackverse character of the same name.
- The bridge from "Fashion Zombies!" is a parody of the spoken-word outro from Michael Jackson's "Thriller".
- "Radio Down!" cribs some lyrics from Billy Idol's "Dancing With Myself".
- "Luck Dragon Lady!" is loaded with references to The Neverending Story, including an impressive impression of Falcor the Luck Dragon.
- The bridge from "Karate Body!" features a reference to "Panama" by Van Halen.
- Silly Love Songs: Emphasis on the silly. "Lovers of Loving Love!" is probably the most blatant, but there's also songs like "Red Sweater!" and "The Legend Is True!"
- Slobs vs. Snobs: "Anti-Matter!" has a definite "rich kids vs. poor kids" vibe to it.Hey you, with the hand-me-downs
Ripped up shoes and the Buster Browns
No tattoos, you don't stand out
It's all about the Lincolns in your bank account
- Snakes Are Sinister: "Attacked by Snakes!" is about a guy who is awakened in the middle of the night to find his front yard infested with thousands of snakes.
- The Something Song: "Fight Song!" and "Theme Song!" from Fury of the Aquabats, and "Radiation Song!" from Myths, Legends, and Other Amazing Adventures
- Space Western: "Sandy Face!" is described as "a tale of lost love in the Old West... on another planet."
- Spoken Word in Music: Used a few times, notably in "Captain Hampton and the Midget Pirates!", which contains monologues regarding the eponymous group during breaks in the music.
- Stage Name: As mentioned, each member of the band adopts a superhero "character" upon joining. It's part of their thing.
- Stalker with a Crush:
- "The Man With Glooey Hands!", whose idea of dealing with rejection is to glue his hands to the face of the one he loves.Stuck together, you and me
Always together, like honey and bees
Forever and ever, can't you see?
We were meant to be, but you tried to leave
- The narrator of "Hot Summer Nights (Won't Last Forever)!" comes across as a bit of this, with his persistent attempts to get in touch with his ex-girlfriend Elizabeth. It's no wonder she pretended to move to Alaska.
- "The Man With Glooey Hands!", whose idea of dealing with rejection is to glue his hands to the face of the one he loves.
- Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: In the second verse from "Captain Hampton and the Midget Pirates!"Now, seven weeks into the trip
And Jim was sick to the death
Of being sick
Some kind of action he wanted
As he searched the seas
For everyday was the same old... stuff
That night he felt like jumping ship
But then he heard a crash
Hit the starboard side of the ship
And bumped him out of his bunk
Onto his bottom!
- Take Over the World: Oddly enough, this was the band's original In-Universe goal! The band originally set out to gather a massive following through their fans (and hypnotic suggestion through their songs) to raise an army to defeat Space Monster M.
- Take That, Audience!: Inverted in "Look at Me (I'm A Winner)", which seems to be mostly about how awesome the listener is.
- Tall Poppy Syndrome: Discussed in "Lobster Bucket!"There are times when you find
Lobsters in a bucket can't climb out
Why won't they climb away?
Because other lobsters pull them down!
- Threatening Shark: The idea behind "Shark Fighter!"
- Took a Level in Badass: The band seems to have done this, in song. Compare "The Aquabat March!," where apparently there aren't quite so bulletproof, and so beg any villains with guns not to shoot them, to the rather more boastful "Awesome Forces!".
- To Serve Man: The eponymous "Martian Girl!" "came from space to eat people meat".
- Trademark Favorite Food: The narrator of "Magic Chicken!" is more than a little obsessed with chicken.
- Translation: "Yes": The name of the Tiger Rider from "Tiger Rider vs. the Time Sprinkler!"His name is Miklik, which is translated
To mean "the champion of hope and glory"
- "The Villain Sucks" Song: "Powdered Milk Man!"
- A Wild Rapper Appears!: Featured in a couple of their songs, including one by guest singer Biz Markie on "Radio Down!"