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Music / The Wonder Years

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The Wonder Years are a Pop Punk/Emo band from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania known for being the Trope Maker for the Defend Pop Punk movement of Alternative Rock.

They are notable among Emo-influenced bands for much of their discography having lyrical themes that are far more "mature" than most bands of the genre: their critically acclaimed "Depression" trilogy deals with, among other things, gentrification, homelessness, death of close friends/family, quarter-life crisis, and generational differences.

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Their fifth studio album "No Closer To Heaven" reached #12 on the Billboard Charts in the United States.

Discography

  • Get Stoked On It (2007)
  • The Upsides (2010)
  • Suburbia: I've Given You My All, And Now I'm Nothing (2011)
  • The Greatest Generation (2013)
  • No Closer To Heaven (2015)

'Tropes:'

  • Arc Words: "We're no saviors if we can't save our brothers" is a repeated line throughout No Closer To Heaven.
  • Bedsheet Ghost: The music video for "Came Out Swinging" features a girl dressed in a homemade, bedsheet-based ghost costume going around her neighborhood playing pranks on people.
  • Concept Album: As stated above, The "Depression Trilogy" comprised of Upsides, Suburbia, and The Greatest Generation.
  • Concept Video: The video for "Melrose Diner" tells the story of the song as a Pro Wrestling campaign. At the beginning, the dorky, emo Face The Lone Wolf loses the title to the evil, macho Heel Kraagh because his goth girlfriend abandoned him for Kraag in the middle of the match. The lone wolf proceeds to have a bunch of equivocal matches against second stringers before going up against Kraagh in the final. At first, the Lone Wolf does poorly, but a hipster, Girl Next Door type from the audience comes up and inspires him, and he gets a second wind and activates his "Wolf Cry" special ability that allows him to win the title.
  • Darker and Edgier: 'The Upsides' was a lot more mature than 'Get Stoked On It!' It only got more darker and mature from there:
  • Dark Reprise: Zig-zagged between this and Triumphant Reprise in "I Just Want To Sell Out My Funeral" from 'The Greatest Generation'. While the music is full of energy, the lyrics are taken from previous songs in the album and as such the song is rather sad. It fits the tone of the album though.
  • Downer Ending: 'The Greatest Generation' ends with 'I Just Want To Sell, Out My Funeral', which ends on a verse about how wanting to be a great person is no longer an admirable goal. 'No Closer to Heaven' ends with the titular song, about how Soupy will never truly find happiness (or heaven, in this case).
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    • Notably averted in the video for "Cigarettes and Saints".
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Get Stoked On It is far less mature lyrically than their trademark later sound.
  • The Generation Gap: Much of "The Greatest Generation" can be seen as Soupy lashing out at the Baby Boomers and Generation X for their short-sightedness.
  • Grief Song: Most of "No Closer To Heaven" consists of these.
  • Heroic Second Wind: In the video for "Melrose Diner", the heroic Lone Wolf is getting his ass kicked in the ring, until a girl comes up to him, gives him a word of encouragement, and he activates his wolf cry ability, allowing him to power up and win the match and the title.
  • Lyrical Cold Open: "The Devil In My Bloodstream"
  • Precision F-Strike: A particularly epic one in "The Devil In My Bloodstream".
  • Power Ballad: "The Devil In My Bloodstrean" and "Cigarettes and Saints".
  • Religion Rant Song: "I Won't Say The Lord's Prayer", and "Cigarettes & Saints".
  • "Stuck at the Airport" Plot: "Came Out Swinging" deals with, among other things, Soupy having slept in an airport so many times it feels like home to him.
  • Snow Means Death: "We Could Die Like This" mentions the possibility of Soupy having a heart attack shoveling snow.
  • Triumphant Reprise: Zig-zagged between this and Dark Reprise in "I Just Want To Sell Out My Funeral" from 'The Greatest Generation'. While the music is full of energy, the lyrics are taken from previous songs in the album and as such the song is rather sad. It fits the tone of the album though.
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