That's okay, man, 'cause I like the abuse,
I know she's playing with me,
That's okay 'cause I got no self esteem.
The Offspring is a popular Punk Rock band from Orange County, California. They formed in 1984 and released their first album, self-titled, in 1989. They have made nine albums in total. Credited along with Green Day and a few others with helping to bring punk rock into the mainstream. Their first two albums were indie punk and not very popular, but that all changed soon. Their 1994 album Smash was their biggest commercial success and remains the highest-selling album ever released on an independent label, having sold over 16 million copies.
Their mostly punk music contains elements of pop, grunge, metal and ska. Lyrical topics are very wide-ranging; one of their most famous songs, "Self Esteem", is about a personal relationship involving an Extreme Doormat Love Martyr, but they also released a concept album dedicated to the degradation of America, for example.
The band's constant members from 1985 to 2018 have been Bryan "Dexter" Holland (vocals, guitar), Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman (guitar, backing vocals, Nerd Glasses) and Gregory "Greg K." Kriesel (bass, backing vocals). Their best-known drummer was Ron Welty, who was in the band from 1987 to 2003. Afterwards they cycled through a few extra drummers (Josh Freese, Atom Willard of Rocket from the Crypt and Angels & Airwaves) before settling on Pete Parada (formerly of Saves the Day and Face to Face), who has been in the band since 2007. Amusingly, Wasserman was the janitor at Holland and Kriesel's high school, and he was initially brought into the band because he was 21 years old and could buy everybody else beer.
In 2018, Holland and Noodles allegedly decided to ban Greg K. from the band, causing him to file a lawsuit against them. He is now replaced by Todd Morse, while drummer Pete Parada was dismissed from the band in 2021 due to his refusal to take the COVID-19 vaccine on his doctor's orders with Josh Freese replacing him for their 2021-22 tour.
- The Offspring (1989)
- "I'll Be Waiting/Blackball"
- Ignition (1992)
- "Kick Him When He's Down"
- Smash (1994)
- "Come Out and Play"
- "Self Esteem"
- "Gotta Get Away"
- "Bad Habit"
- Ixnay on the Hombre (1997)
- "All I Want"
- "Gone Away"
- "Cool to Hate"
- "The Meaning of Life"
- "I Choose"
- Americana (1998)
- "Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)"
- "Why Don't You Get a Job?"
- "The Kids Aren't Alright"
- "She's Got Issues"
- Conspiracy of One (2000)
- "Original Prankster"
- "Want You Bad"
- "Million Miles Away"
- Splinter (2003)
- "Hit That"
- "(Can't Get My) Head Around You"
- "Spare Me the Details"
- Greatest Hits (2005)
- "Can't Repeat"
- "Next to You" (The Police cover)
- Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace (2008)
- "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid"
- "Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?"
- Days Go By (2012)
- "Days Go By"
- "Cruising California (Bumpin' in My Trunk)"
- "Turning Into You"
- "Dividing By Zero/Slim Pickens Does the Right Thing and Rides the Bomb to Hell"
- Let the Bad Times Roll (2021)
- "Coming for You"note
- "Let the Bad Times Roll"
- "We Never Have Sex Anymore"
- "This is Not Utopia"
- "Breaking Down Walls"
Come Out and Trope:
- Addiction Song: "The Opioid Diaries" is about someone who became addicted to prescription painkillers.
- Admiring the Abomination: The singer of "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid" seems to be admiring the handiwork of a Magnificent Bastard manipulating people with his music, even while he himself is falling victim to that handiwork.
- A God Am I: The narrator of "Bad Habit" is so Ax-Crazy he says this in the interlude ("Something's odd, I feel like I'm God"), right before the famous Precision F-Strike.
- Album Title Drop: Splinter has in "Long Way Home" the line "I'm splintered by my own desire". Inverted in Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace - the title was taken from the title of one song and the second line of another ("Fix You" - "she wakes up, rage and grace").
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: "Want You Bad" is a Gender Flip, as the narrator wants a bad girl.
- Animated Music Video: "Dividing By Zero/Slim Pickens Does The Right Thing And Rides The Bomb To Hell"
- Anti-Police Song: "LAPD" was a direct response to the Rodney King case in 1992.
- Atomic F-Bomb: In "Americana".I'm a productOf my environmentSo don't blame me, I just... work here but I want to FUCK IT UP!!!!!!
- The way "Session" begins: "Aaaaaaah FUCK! FUCK, FUCK, FUCK!!!"
- Ax-Crazy: "Bad Habit" and "Special Delivery". The latter's chorus includes the line "And the voices told me to blow you away!".
- Big Word Shout: "MOTA!" (done by the same guy who did "You gotta keep 'em separated!")
- Black Comedy Rape: "When You're in Prison".
- Body Horror: The video for "The Kids Aren't Alright" transitions between characters by having them coming out of the previous person's body.
- Breather Episode: Days Go By is fairly heavy, musically and thematically, but after tracks like "Hurting As One" and "Turning Into You" you get "Cruising California (Bumpin' in my Trunk)", a lighthearted jam about goofing around and trying to get laid in the band's hometown of Huntington Beach, CA.
- The Cameo: Guy Cohen, who played the titular role in "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" music video makes a brief appearance as this character towards the end of "Why Don't You Get a Job?".
- Censored Title: "Stuff Is Messed Up". The chorus line is actually "shit is fucked up".
- Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: "Kill the President" from their 1989 debut album provides a rare song example, having all but vanished from their discography due to their record label not liking the content of the song. It is conspicuously absent from the track listing on all streaming services, not present on recent physical re-releases of the album, and has not been performed live since 1991.
- This also happened to Greg K when he was kicked out of the band; his absence has still never been mentioned in any official capacity.
- Christmas Song: In 2020 they recorded and released a cover of Darlene Love's "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)."
- Cluster F-Bomb: A lot. Conspiracy of One became notable since it was their first album to lack an F-bomb. (Except on editions with the bonus track "Huck It". It also manages a "you know it smells like shit, goddamn" in "Original Prankster".)
- Also "Bad Habit", which includes the gem "You stupid, dumbshit, goddamn MOTHERFUCKER!"
- "Ignition" literally starts with one.
- In "Americana", with the line "distorted in Americana, my way... well, FUCK YOU!"
- "Da Hui" is just one big Cluster F-Bomb:I won't fuck with Da Hui!I won't fuck with Da Hui!I won't fuck with Da Hui!Because Da Hui will fuck with me!...Don't fuck with Da Hui!Don't fuck with Da Hui!Don't fuck with Da Hui!Because Da Hui will fuck with you!
- Crowned with a lapse into Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking territory:I won't park next to Da Hui!Because I don't really feel comfortable.
- Crowned with a lapse into Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking territory:
- Concept Album: Americana is about the degradation of America. Meanwhile, Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace is often interpreted as the journey of a school shooter (though only one song is clearly about that).
- Content Warning: Ixnay on the Hombre begins with a particularly snarky one:Ladiiiies and gentlemen, welcome to the disclaimer! That's right, the disclaimer! This American apple pie institution known as parental discretion will cleanse any sense of innuendo or sarcasm from the lyrics which might actually make you think, and will also insult your intelligence at the same time! So, protect your family! This album contains explicit depictions of things which are real! These real things are commonly known as "life"! So... if it sounds sarcastic, do not take it seriously! If it sounds dangerous, do not try this at home or at all! And if it offends you, just... don't... listen to it!
- Done by Jello Biafra of Dead Kennedys, no less.
- Continuity Nod: The chorus of "Slim Pickens Does The Right Thing And Rides The Bomb To Hell" from Days Go By is "Dance fucker, dance, let the motherfucker burn!" which is both a Continuity Nod back to "You're Gonna Go Far Kid" from Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace and a Shout-Out to "The Roof Is On Fire" by Rock Master Scott and the Dynamic Three.
- Corrupt the Cutie: "Want You Bad".
- Cover Version: "Killboy Powerhead" by The Didjits, on Smash, and "Next to You" by The Police in the Greatest Hits Album (as a Hidden Track). As well as a crapton of random covers on their singles albums and rare EPs. Additionally, "Feelings" from Americana is a parodic cover of Morris Albert, with lyrics rewritten to be about hatred instead of love.
- Creepy Child: The children in the "Hammerhead" video.
- Dancin' in the Ruins: "Slim Pickens Does the Right Thing and Rides the Bomb to Hell," obviously alluding to Dr. Strangelove.
- Deranged Animation: the video for "She's Got Issues", which features Zooey Deschanel in one of her earliest roles.
- Also, the heads of the characters (the dog included) in the video for "Hit That".
- Parts of the video for "Dividing By Zero", but practically all of "Slim Pickens Does the Right Thing and Rides the Bomb to Hell" (the two songs share a single video, but there's a drastic Art Shift between the two).
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: The girl's movements with a beer can at the end of the "Want You Bad" video, and the guy's reaction. Doesn't help that she ends up covered in white from the eruption.
- Domestic Abuse: "Self Esteem" is about a man in an abusive relationship with a woman.
- Drives Like Crazy: The narrator of "Bad Habit" insists that he's perfectly alright in the head (though he's waving a gun around as he says it...), but when he's behind the wheel, bad or inconsiderate drivers push about every button he has. (Dexter said he was inspired by his old car that struggled to accelerate, and thus made him get "flipped up about once or twice a week")
- Drugs Are Bad: "Mota" which is about a day in a stoner's life (the title is Mexican Spanish for "weed"), and "What Happened to You?", which is about a friend who is trying to get his friend to quit.
Mark still lives at home 'cause he's got no job
- One of the characters in "The Kids Aren't Alright" is a junkhead as well:
Just plays guitar and smokes a lot of pot
- Epic Instrumental Opener: The Prelude to "Change The World"
- Epic Rocking: "Pay the Man", which runs 8 minutes and 9 seconds (most of which is a Middle-Eastern Epic Instrumental Opener), and then has some silence and a hidden track.
- Everyone Hates Mimes: The music video for "Coming for You" has a whole gaggle of clowns fighting each other, but when a mime crashes the fight club, they all gang up on him. Unfortunately, the mime wins this round.
- Extreme Doormat: "Self Esteem" is about one of these.
- Fangs Are Evil: The dogcatcher in the music video for "Hit That"
- Fading into the Next Song: "Have You Ever" > "Staring at the Sun", "Never Gonna Find Me" > "Lightning Rod", "The Future is Now" > "Secrets from the Underground" and "Dividing by Zero" > "Slim Pickens Rides the Bomb to Hell."
- Fanservice: The music video for "Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)" features a lot of sexy girls in revealing clothing writhing around (especially during the "Give it to me baby (uh-huh, uh-huh)" bits), climaxing with a trio of gold-painted supermodels in golden bikinis dancing in a studio.
- Farm Boy: The video for "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid" starts out with the protagonist struggling to farm an overgrown patch of land choked with brambles before he's given the magical guitar.
- Flaming Skulls: The band's logo.
- The Four Chords of Pop: Uses it very frequently. "Self-Esteem", "Gotta Get Away", "All I Want", "The Kids Aren't Alright" and "You're Gonna Go Far Kid" is just a partial list. This also leads to a bit of Self-Plagiarism.
- Get a Hold of Yourself, Man!: "She's Got Issues", given it deals with a particularly Wangsty one.
- Gold Digger: "Why Don't You Get a Job?" is a scathing critique of these.
- Gosh Dang It to Heck!: "Stuff Is Messed Up". Naturally, it's averted in the song, where the line "shit is fucked up" is meant to be the actual Title Drop.
- Gratuitous Spanish: "Uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, cinco, seis!" ("Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)")
- Also, in "Why Don't You Get A Job":But she wants more dinero just to stay at home...
- In "OC Guns":
- Which is also a Profanity bonus because it translates to "you son of a bitch, asshole!"
- Later, they say "dios", which means God.
- Also, in "Why Don't You Get A Job":
- Grief Song: "Gone Away," "The End of the Line," and "Breaking These Bones"
- Growing Up Sucks: "The Kids Aren't Alright", which follows a group of friends with bright futures and how crappy their lives has turned out.
- Harsh Vocals: Dexter Holland more or less shouts at the top of his lungs 24/7.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Implied in "Half-Truism", which is about a revolution/riot.The banner you're waving
Is burning and red
It's blocking the sunlight
That shines overhead
- Hidden Depths: Dr. Bryan Holland is known as "Dexter" because of his Ph.D. in molecular biology. He is also a certified commercial pilot and flight instructor, and runs a hot sauce business called Gringo Bandito. Lampshaded in "Questions with Dexter and Noodles"Noodles watches porn and surfs!
- Hidden Track: Americana has a mariachi instrumental of "Pretty Fly", and Greatest Hits has a cover of "Next to You".
- History Repeats: The whole point of "Way Down the Line".
- I Ate WHAT?!: From "Don't Pick It Up":I saw a little kidAs he walked aroundHe picked a candy bar upOff the groundHe chowed about a halfAnd his face turned blueTurned out that candy bar was a doggy-doo
- Also shown in the video of "Original Prankster", where the main character picks up some dog's crap and slips it into his dad's sandwich. The prank works.
- Laser-Guided Karma: When the farm boy in the music video for "You're Gonna Go Far Kid" misuses the magic guitar he was given, the goddess who gave it to him uses it to force him to dance to death.
- Lighter and Softer: Americana, being released after the more skate punk-influenced Ixnay on the Hombre, especially with its inclusion of radio rock staple "Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)".
- Like Father, Like Son/Generation Xerox: "Way Down the Line" is entirely about this.Nothing changes 'cause it's all the sameThe world you get's the one you give awayIt all just happens again way down the lineAnd all the things you learn when you're a kidYou'll fuck up just like your parents didIt all just happens again way down the line
- Long-Runner Line-up: The lineup of Dexter Holland, Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman, Gregory "Greg K." Kriesel, and Ron Welty lasted from 1987 (when Welty joined) until 2003 (when he quit)—16 years. Once Welty's second replacement Pete Parada joined in 2007, the band only changed with Greg K.'s departure in 2018.
- Long Title: "Slim Pickens Does the Right Thing and Rides the Bomb to Hell", the last track off Days Go By.
- Love Martyr: "Self Esteem" again.
- Lyrical Dissonance: Since The Offspring are a punk band, a good many of their songs are very fast. They also cover topics like violence, death, and social problems, fast or slow.
- "Why Don't You Get a Job?" is an excellent example of this: a rather happy song about people annoyed by their mooching girl/boyfriends.
- "Self Esteem" is more upbeat than the somber first single "Come Out and Play", and it has lyrics about an extreme Love Martyr.
- "The End of the Line" is a fast pop-punk song complete with "whoah-whoah" chorus, so naturally it's about the death of a loved one.
- Lyrical Tic: Dexter really loves his "woah" and "yeah", double in the choruses or intros.
- Manipulative Bastard: The driving point in "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid". Crosses over with Magnificent Bastard.
- The Masochism Tango: According to the narrator in "Self Esteem":Now I know I'm being usedThat's okay, man, 'cause I like the abuseAnd I know she's playing with meThat's okay, 'cause I got no self esteem
- "Want You Bad" is another example.
- Motor Mouth: The bridge in "Stuff is Messed Up":Shopping sprees, RPGs, ecstasy, atrophy
Genocide, Pimp My Ride, politize, euphemize
Injustice everywhere, apathy, I don't care
Hurricanes, climate change, huh!
Therapy, I won't tell, rehab and LOL
Worldwide calamity, TV reality
Euthanize, supersize, death squads and boob jobs
VIP infamy, gratify instantly
- Dexter's no slouch elsewhere, either. He sings particularly quickly in "All I Want" and "Don't Pick it Up", but a lot of the band's catalogue is quite fast.
- Mood Whiplash: The two heartfelt\depressing songs of Rise and Fall, Rage and Grace ("Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?" and "Fix You") are placed between some of the most aggressive and snarky tunes. The Greatest Hits Album is also guilty, given "Gone Away" is even more of a downer preceded by "All I Want" and followed by "Pretty Fly".
- Murder Ballad: "Beheaded" is about a Self-Made Orphan singing about how he killed his parents.
- Nerd Glasses: Kevin "Noodles" Wasserman always wears them.
- N-Word Privileges: Despite not technically having them, they get away with this in "LAPD", though to be fair, context is very important. The Rodney King incident and subsequent LA riots were very recent at the time the album was released, and the song is basically a very angry Take That! against the titular police force.
- Our Lawyers Advised This Trope: "Disclaimer".
- Out-of-Genre Experience: "Cruising California (Bumpin' in My Trunk)" is their mocking version of a pop song (and it was the second single of Days Go By, a jarring change from the more traditional Title Track).
- Painful Rhyme: "Self Esteem" has...several. Especially...But she came over, I lost my nerveI took her back and made her dessert
- Plus "free"/"dreams" on "The Kids Aren't Alright".
- Pig Latin: Ixnay on the Hombre (as Dexter explained: "fuck The Man").
- Pretty Fly for a White Guy: The Trope Namer: the song revolves around a white middle class suburban wannabe gangster rapper who thinks his clothes, his tunes, his car and tats are dope. They are, as in whack, picture a send up of Eminem.
- Produce Pelting: Given the Woodstock 99 crowd was angry at how things were going wrong in that festival, the band's concert was marked by flying water bottles. And yet Dexter remained cool even being hit in his face!
- Product Placement: In the music video for "Defy You", during the instrumental bridge, Dexter goes out to the store and buys what appears to be Dasani brand mineral water before returning to where his band is performing.
- Prison Rape: "When You're in Prison".
- Questioning Title?: "Why Don't You Get a Job?" (along with "She's Got Issues", parodying the crawls seen in many a Point-and-Laugh Show) and "Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?"
- Rape as Drama: The meaning behind "Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?". Dexter states this song is about a girl he knew who was raped in her early teens and no one was there for her.
- Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud: A musical example near the climax of "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid""Drum! *click* Stick! *click* Segue! *click*"
- Repurposed Pop Song: ESPN uses "All I Want" and "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid" in adverts for their college basketball coverage.
- Of course "All I Want" and other tracks were also famously on the soundtrack for the original Crazy Taxi and its sequel.
- Re-release the Song:
- A re-recorded version of "Dirty Magic" on Days Go By, which originally appeared on 1992's Ignition.
- "Gone Away" was re-recorded as a piano ballad on Let the Bad Times Roll.
- Riding the Bomb: Obviously referenced in "Slim Pickens Does the Right Thing and Rides the Bomb to Hell," and appears in the music video, where a fighter pilot in an aerial battle surfs behind a bomb after his plane is shot down.
- Sarcasm Mode: Most often.
- A great example is in the song "Stuff Is Messed Up": "Now thank god for the media/for saving the day/putting it all into perspective/in a responsible way"
- "Cruising California (Bumpin' in My Trunk)" basically describes a man wanting to get laid as a parody of the society's norm for pop songs.
- School of Hard Knocks: "Come Out and Play"
- Sex Is Cool: "Cruising California (Bumpin' in My Trunk)" as a part of it's parody on recent pop music.
- Shattered Sanity: Many songs deal with someone losing their mind, many times becoming Ax-Crazy as well.
- Shout-Out: "The Kids Aren't Alright" references the song "The Kids Are Alright" by The Who and more or less presents the exact opposite message of that song.
- "Stuff Is Messed Up" has one to The Clash: "Now we're rocking the casbah, and taking the flag".
- "Slim Pickens Does the Right Thing and Rides the Bomb to Hell" is an obvious Shout-Out to Dr. Strangelove.
- "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid" references Lord of the Flies.
- "Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)" borrows the faux-German vocal intro from "Rock of Ages."
- Sliding Scale of Idealism vs. Cynicism: Leans very heavily towards the "Cynical" side, which makes a song like "Cool to Hate"note all the more ironic.
- Sophisticated as Hell: "When You're In Prison"
- Stage Names: Dexter's first name is Bryan, Noodles is Kevin Wasserman, Gregory Kriesel shortens his name to Greg K... and one of the drummers was Atom Willard (who only played with the band in tours, not studio albums).
- Stalker with a Crush: "Special Delivery".
- Stepford Suburbia: "The Kids Aren't Alright". Most of its album, Americana, also fits.
- Stuff Blowing Up: The video of "Want You Bad", where everything blows up in bubbles.
- Suddenly Shouting: "Hammerhead". Up until the point while the song seems like it's about a soldier, Dexter sings with a relatively normal voice. But the moment, when true nature of the song is revealed, he starts yelling like a maniac.I'm busting through, all hell breaks loose
AND YOU CAN ALL HIDE BEHIND YOUR DESKS NOW!
AND YOU CAN CRY "TEACHER, COME HELP ME"!
THROUGH YOU ALL MY AIM IS TRUE!
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: "Kristy, Are You Doing Okay?" It has to be, given the subject.
- Take That!: "LAPD" is one against, well, you know.
- Teens Are Monsters: Several of their songs, most notably "Come Out and Play", which talks about gang violence ("You gotta keep 'em separated") and "Walla Walla", which is about a young offender who's finally going off to prison ("Slap on the wrist — ell, not this time!").
- Teen Pregnancy:
- "Hit That", with lyrics specifically mentioning "baby daddy" and "baby mama".
- The second verse of "Way Down the Line" deals with a 17-year-old girl who is dealing with a pregnancy and absentee baby daddy, much like her mom did at the same age.
- The End of the World as We Know It: "Slim Pickens Does the Right Thing and Rides the Bomb to Hell".
- Three Chords and the Truth: They tend to get chewed out for recycling their chord progressions. Example: "Self Esteem" is only a half step off from "The Kids Aren't Alright", and the same as "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid".
- Title Track: "Smash", "Americana", "Conspiracy of One", "Rise and Fall" (Rage and Grace comes from a line in "Fix You"), "Days Go By", and "Let the Bad Times Roll".
- Tomato Surprise: "Hammerhead" The lyrics make it sound like a cop or a soldier, but the last verse reveals it is a school shooter. The surreal imagery in the video enhance the suggestion that the shooter is delusional.
- Too Much Information: "Spare Me the Details" is partially about not being told about his girlfriend cheating on him, and partially about how he especially doesn't want the amount of information about it he's getting.I don't wanna know...I don't wanna know...
- Troubling Unchildlike Behavior: The armed gangs of schoolkids killing each other in "Come Out And Play".
- Truck Driver's Gear Change: Possibly the most profane one in music history at the climax of "Americana", when Dexter's final scream of "Well fuck you!" rises to a new level of fury.
- Villain Song: "You're Gonna Go Far, Kid", since it's about the actions of a Manipulative Bastard using his music to control people for personal gain and taking from those in need.
- Wrong Name Outburst: A whole verse of "She's Got Issues" (and the latter one can be interpreted as something horrible):Now, she talks about her ex non-stop, but I don't mind.
But when she calls out his name in bed, that's where I draw the line.
She told me a hundred times how her father left and he's gone.
But I wish you wouldn't call me "Daddy" when we're getting it on.