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Left to Right: Geoff Wigington (IS A NICE BOY), Awsten Knight (IS A POSER), & Otto Wood (OTTO)

A Waterparks promotional poster from Warped Tour, letting you know exactly what you're getting into.

Waterparks are a Pop Punk/Pop Rock band from Houston, Texas formed in 2011, featuring lead singer and guitarist, Awsten Knight, Geoff Wigington on secondary guitar and Otto Wood on drums.note 

They released two independent EPs, Airplane Conversations and Cluster in 2012 and 2014. They signed to Equal Vision Records in late 2015, releasing the Cluster EP and their first album Double Dare in 2016. Their second album, Entertainment was released in 2018.

After scrapping the previously recorded version of their third album, commonly referred to as Friendly Reminder, Waterparks released FANDOM in 2019, now on Hopeless Records. A month after FANDOM's release, the band released "Entertainment 2019" and "Double Dare 2019", re-imagined and re-recorded mashup tracks of the first two albums in the style of FANDOM. 2020 featured the release of the single "Lowkey as Hell" and the band's first live album/concert film, FANDOM: LIVE IN THE UK. Their fourth album, Greatest Hits (Not a Greatest Hits Album, a regular studio album) was released on May 21, 2021 on 300 Entertainment, a predominantly hip-hop label. 2022 featured their first singles on Fueled By Ramen, "Funeral Grey", "Self-Sabotage", and "FUCK ABOUT IT", the latter featuring blackbear, in the lead up to their fifth album, INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY.

Waterparks are represented by MDDN, the management company owned by Joel and Benji Madden of Good Charlotte. The band is currently signed to Fueled By Ramen.

Musically, Waterparks sets itself apart from similar bands through electronic elements, heavy pop influence, genre experimentation, honest to a fault lyrics, and being surprisingly heavy on certain songs. They also have an uncommonly sharp sense of humor. They often combine playful sarcasm, Comical Overreacting, the occasional pop culture reference, really weird shit, and heavy doses of self-aware meta-humor at the expense of themselves, their fans, and others.


  • Airplane Conversations (EP) (2012)
  • Black Light (EP) (2014)
  • Cluster (EP) (2016)
  • Double Dare (2016)
  • Entertainment (2018)
  • FANDOM (2019)
  • Greatest Hits (2021)

Slow down and list tropes that apply to Waterparks here, jellybean.

  • Aborted Arc: The version of Waterparks' third album known as Friendly Reminder was hinted at since 2017 in music videos, tweets, and various fan theories. Awsten had also "leaked" a few demos on Instagram Live throughout 2018, including "Glitter Times", "Lemonade," and "Noise". Around the end of the One OK Rock tour in March 2019, Awsten dyed his hair red, which would normally be a sign that all was a go for the third album. Then he dropped the phrase "Delete Friendly Reminder" during a show. Right after the tour, he announced on Twitter that he actually did end up deleting Friendly Reminder. A few months later, Waterparks signed to Hopeless and released "Turbulent"...with green being the new official era (and hair) color. In conceding interviews with Rock Sound and Kerrang, the band explained why it was deleted: Friendly Reminder was fundamentally an angry/sad breakup album, but with a year having passed, Awsten didn't have the same feelings and wanted to focus on making songs that actually reflected the current state of things. Touring and promoting Friendly Reminder would have had the same mixed feelings as the band had for Entertainment and they weren't 100% behind the material on Friendly they just skipped it.
    • Not everything from Friendly Reminder has been scrapped, some songs have been kept but reworked. Some of the demos for previously teased songs found themselves on 1 (A COLLECTION OF UNRELEASED HOME DEMOS, THIS IS NOT G, OR EVEN AN ALBUM, SHUT UP ENJOY). The album does still exist and is in Awsten's rough mixes and as a mastered version he made for fun, just for himself. Deleting Friendly Reminder = Awsten deleting the stems that would allow him to make an actually intended for release album.
  • An Aesop:
    • The first verse of "I Miss Having Sex But At Least I Don't Want To Die Anymore" addresses Awsten's annoyances with surface-level questions ("How'd you get your band name?" "Is that your real first name?") and superficial fan requests for his attention ("Can you text and follow back, cause it's my birthday"). While the song starts off addressing people not considering his wants and needs in favor of their demands, it goes from bad to worse when he mentions getting death threats so often, he's starting to get desensitized to them.
    • "You'd Be Paranoid Too (If Everyone Was Out To Get You) and "Just Kidding" are the bluntest songs Awsten has written about how toxic fandom on social media has negatively impacted his mental health. While he's taken steps to alleviate these problems, including a social media break and being more selective with fan interactions when he returned, the tracks were still a shock to many as he openly talks about suicidal ideation.
    • "Watch What Happens Next" drops at least three messages:
      • Fans are harming their favorite bands by holding them up to the Starving Artist ideal and labeling them sellouts for wanting to be able to make a living off their work. This is what leads to many bands breaking up when they realize making music isn't sustainable.
      • Fans are not owed anything by their favorite musicians. At a time when fan entitlement is at its highest thanks to the easy access social media gives them to creators, this is all too important for people to hear.
      • Finally, the belief that Rock is Authentic, Pop is Shallow ultimately cripples artistic experimentation, which is what leads to much of rock music becoming stagnant.
    • "Fuck About It": Using sex and prolonged fights in a relationship as a means to get out of difficult but more productive conversations is toxic. Emotional abuse in a relationship is just as bad as physical abuse. And maybe don't stay at your romantic partner's house for a week straight if you're not committed enough to be living together yet.
  • Album Title Drop: "Take Her to the Moon" drops Double Dare's.
    • "Stupid For You" on the same album drops it too.
    • "Little Violence" has a Call-Back to Black Light.
    • Entertainment was originally going to have an album title drop, but the song that included it didn't make it to the album.
    • "War Crimes" drops FANDOM.
    • "Snow Globe" and "Greatest Hits" drops ''Greatest Hits'.
  • Album Intro Track: "Greatest Hits" opens Greatest Hits, introducing the dream theming and featuring dramatic voice samples. The track starts with nighttime noises leading into Awsten repeating "Last night, I had the strangest dream of all" with the clock from the FANDOM album ending track "I Felt Younger When We Met" ticking for each track on that album.
    • The INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY opening track, "STARF*CKER", references it being the opening track.
      "Yo, imagine an album starting like this"
  • Album Closure: FANDOM ends with "I Felt Younger When We Met", a sad and raw song about the end of Awsten's relationship. Where it differs from other examples of the trope involves its emotional intensity and its very abrupt ending, which eventually ties back into the beginning of the album, providing no closure since Awsten didn't have any himself.
    • "See You In The Future" provides (temporary) closure to the dream similar to a movie outro, but is incredibly chaotic, representing how real life can be more intense than dreams. The song ties up and calls back to certain thematic aspects of the album involving self-esteem and impermanence while also including stuff Awsten that wanted to rant about but didn't make it into a longer song.
  • Alphabetical Theme Naming: The first letter in the title of each release by Waterparks so far corresponds to alphabetical order.
    • This pattern is directly referenced in the title of 1 (A COLLECTION OF UNRELEASED HOME DEMOS, THIS IS NOT G, OR EVEN AN ALBUM, SHUT UP ENJOY).
    • INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY would seemingly defy the naming convention, but actually makes ''Greatest Hits'' a special case: as it's intended to be a mashup of album "eras", it counts as both the G and H album, with plans for it to be a two-disc release scrapped for being confusing and due to pandemic restrictions.
  • American Accents: The Waterparks members don't have super noticeable accents that would stereotypically be associated with Texas. The closest that they get is rare instances of it coming out when Awsten is excited. Awsten says "y'all" and "all y'all" a lot (even in written conversation), whereas Geoff (not a Texan native) and Otto rarely if ever use the terms at all.
  • An Arm and a Leg: In the "Easy To Hate" video, the fan gets his foot cut off by Awsten.
  • Arc Number: 7 (As in Saturday at 7PM on the cover of FANDOM) and 103 (originally introduced in the video for We Need To Talk, but used more frequently for Greatest Hits.)
  • A Wild Rapper Appears!: blackbear on Fuck About It. In line with his other alt music guest features like on All Time Low's "Monsters" and good friend/rapper-turned-rocker Machine Gun Kelly's albums, his verses and delivery fit with the song without any awkwardness.
  • Badass Boast: The one on the Warped Tour post used as this page's top quote.
    • God's Favorite Boy Band completes its transformation from semi-pisstake from Parx to unironic use from fans and media to actual badass boast in "War Crimes".
    • "LIKE IT" takes a Rock Sound interview sample where Awsten jokingly responds to James Wilson Taylor saying "It's Waterparks" with "IT'S ME" and turns it into an "It's Britney, bitch!"-esque intro.
  • Big Eater: According to Awsten's book, Otto once ate two and a half Chipotle burritos in one sitting...and then followed them up with a six-pack of Reese's Big Cups. Proving this wasn't a one-time thing, Awsten also recalls seeing Otto eat two full boxes of Pop-Tarts in four hours. As is common for this trope in fiction, he really doesn't look like one.
  • Bowdlerize: Waterparks has had clean versions of their songs made since "FANDOM" handled by Awsten, which often feature jokier attempts to clean up Awsten's profanity.
    • For example, the clean version of "Turbulent", features reworked lyrics like "and you never bad word answer" that fit the production of the original track. In contrast, the clean version of "I Miss Having Sex, But At Least I Don't Wanna Die Anymore" just features Awsten screaming "WHAT" in place of sex.
    • More traditional clean versions of Waterparks songs started to come out after the switch to Fueled By Ramen, ranging from the sensible (Self-Sabotage switching out "what the fuck" for "what the hell") to the nonsensical (Funeral Grey switching out the infamous "baptized in my spit" line for "baptized in my kiss", breaking the metaphor). The clean version of the Good Charlotte version of Self-Sabotage just beeps the f-bombs out.
    • Another nonsensical change is "Fuck About It" becoming "Love About It" in the clean version. Blackbear saying "shit" is beeped out, but the rest of the self-harm comparison lyric remains.
  • Boy Band: Parodied in their music video for "Stupid For You," where Waterparks serve as the off-screen backing band and true vocals for a cheesy and conceited 90s style boy band, PARXBOIZ, complete with coordinated white outfits, a gloriously tacky logo, and the conceited frontman getting all the attention. Eventually, Waterparks is revealed, with the boy band audience loving them and PARXBOIZ utterly embarrassed. Also a nod towards them being dismissed as a "boy band" since their inception, similar to other groups like Busted, McFly, and 5 Seconds of Summer.
    • With the number of rock videos mocking pop stars, you might assume that it's intended to be a slam towards boy bands. Waterparks actually likes them! Awsten was also very proud of being called "the boy band to take the place of One Direction". Julian Bunetta, best known for being one of One Direction's primary songwriters and producers, co-wrote half of Intellectual Property including most of the singles such as "Funeral Grey".
    • Waterparks have taken to calling themselves "God's Favorite Boy Band", which fans use as an unironic term of endearment. Awsten calls Waterparks a boy band partially because trying to explain that he sees the band as more fluid in terms of genre, in his words, "confuses stupid people on the internet" and claiming that the band "can out-stupid them anyway". Fans also refer to the band endearingly as "parxboiz" and the video helped popularize abbreviating Waterparks as "Parx".
  • Bland-Name Product: Promo for Awsten's book "You'd Be Paranoid Too If Everyone Was Out To Get You" featured an Ouija board designed by Awsten and clothing based on it. Oh wait, that's an OXXXA board. The design largely follows Ouija format, aside from "YA/NAH" options, letters and numbers laid out like a keyboard, and "goodbye" replaced with "unfollow".
  • Bloodless Carnage: In the "Easy To Hate" video, the fan's foot amputation has a surprising lack of blood coming from it.note 
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall:
    • The opening credits for the "Dream Boy" video, which Awsten directed, are pretty standard...up until the point where Awsten addresses the audience directly through the credits text to say "INTRO LONGER THAN I REMEMBER, MY BAD".
    • The opening credits for the "Lowkey As Hell" video are shorter by comparision but feature a similar address indicating that the "SONG IS GONNA START."
    • Many of the posters Waterparks has at major live music events like Warped Tour (as shown in the page quote at the top) and Slam Dunk are directly written by Awsten, addressing viewers and often making specific meta-jokes and commentary about whatever the poster is intended to promote.
    • On "War Crimes", Awsten talks about calling Jawnnote , Zakknote , and Travisnote  to do some "bad shit"...only for two of them to interject, not knowing what Awsten is talking about and that they "don't even do bad shit", implying that Awsten is exaggerating what they do for dramatic effect.
    • A Freeze-Frame Bonus in "Easy To Hate" featuring a photo of the band acknowledges that it's showing up during a drum fill, mocks anyone complaining that Awsten used Instagram to edit it, and plugs FANDOM streaming.
    • 1 (A COLLECTION OF UNRELEASED HOME DEMOS, THIS IS NOT G, OR EVEN AN ALBUM, SHUT UP ENJOY) directly addresses anticipated complaints it isn't the next Waterparks album, or even a regular Waterparks release. It only exists because fans predictably took Awsten's joke about releasing a new album on January 22nd if he got 20k retweets a little too far. (Including buying RT bots!) Much of "LIFE IS PUKE (20,000)" is Awsten talking over most of an instrumental specifically about this and wondering if Drake even gets that many. Teenage Jealousy has a part where Awsten specifically cuts in to "redact" whatever lyric was originally supposed to be there.
    • During performances of "Easter Egg" (featured on their 2014 EP Black Light) on the 2017 Outbreak Tour, the on-stage graphic featured text going !!! THIS IS NEVER HAPPENING AGAIN !!! above a minute long countdown. Parx has yet to perform the song live again, in full or in short like on the Outbreak tour, after 2017.
    • During "Stupid For You" on FANDOM: LIVE IN THE UK, Awsten specifically thanks people viewing the digital and physical version of the concert film. This is turned into Cheap Heat for the live album version on music streaming services. The implementation is clunky, as the originally mentioned "iTunes or something" is switched out for another service name depending on where you're listening, but Awsten is still talking about the film version on the track. These soundbites can range from still shoehorned but natural sounding Awsten (YouTube Music), sped up sorta robotic sounding Awsten (Spotify), and outright robotic sounding Awsten (Soundcloud). There's no soundbites in favor of the original "iTunes or something" mention on Apple Music and, surprisingly, Deezer.
      "If you're watching this on, a, uh—[sped up, robotic sounding Awsten soundbite] SPOTIFY AND SPOTIFY PREMIUM, thank you so much for getting it or having a DVD player!"
    • Much of the humor in Waterpark's Anti-Tour online show involved the band handling things like they normally would live but under incredibly different circumstances; any opportunity given by Awsten to joke about how awkward it is to play certain songs without a crowd, point out when the crowd would have normally sang, and directly address the audience to get them to act like they would at a regular context was taken. Awsten makes no attempt to hide the involvement of their production crew, telling Jawn to get footage of Geoff sitting down so Awsten can joke about it, saying that it's "A-roll now".
  • Break-Up Song: "Crave" is specifically one, but it's written by Awsten about one of Geoff's breakups and even features Geoff singing on a verse.
    • FANDOM is full of them, but the subject matter bounces between self-aware deep dives into Awsten figuring out how to handle the fallout of his toxic relationship, contending with it on top of music industry/toxic fandom nonsense, and very cold take thats towards his ex while also still having lingering feelings for said ex.
  • Breather Episode: In the midst of the emotionally heavy FANDOM, we have "Group Chat", a 15-second song that has each member saying their name and all of them saying "we're all friends" at the end. But Awsten sounds not too much of a breather.
    • "Gladiator (Interlude)" serves as a funky one right before the intensity of the latter half of Greatest Hits. The song is a little over a minute, but heavily trunciated from a 25 minute recording Awsten made of an already longer rant by Josh Madden about darker elements of fandom and celebrity culture being tied back into gladiator fights.
    • Greatest Hits also has "Fruit Roll Ups", which contrasts with the more introspective (and oftentimes darker) songs in the same album by being a stream-of-consciousness Silly Love Song with a mellow beat.
  • Brick Joke: Attempted in "Lowkey As Hell", but might not be immediately obvious to viewers. According to Awsten, the kid that Otto kicks into the sky comes back down to Earth later in the video as the much older man with spiral Wingding Eyes going "I've seen the end".
  • Butt-Monkey: In the "Stupid For You" video, the music industry exec that was judging Waterparks in the corner the whole time, eventually tries to confront Awsten. Who then laughs in the guy's face without even looking at him directly.note  Big mistake. The whole band starts goofing off, which gradually grinds the lipsyncing PARXBOIZ show to a halt. Eventually, Awsten shoves the exec, who accidentally drags down the PARXBOIZ background, revealing Waterparks. The guy falls in full view of the concertgoers and gets stepped on by one of the backing dancers coming back on stage for Waterparks. Awsten is the most physically aggressive and directly antagonistic towards the exec, being responsible for most of his humiliation.
    • The video for "Gloom Boys" features a hapless bass player running through a Scott Pilgrim style gauntlet of ex-bassists to join Waterparks. The band is largely skeptical and dismissive of him, even after he actually manages to make it through the humiliating ordeal, and he didn't even get to keep the laptop!
    • The dad in "Dream Boy" is implied by his dialogue to be one, wanting to get back to combing his hair so his children would finally respect him. Instead of trying to humiliate or dismiss him like the other videos, Awsten bluntly but sympathetically tells him that's not how it works. Then in a blink-and-you-miss him moment, he strangles the poor guy to death. All he did was tell Parx to turn the music down!
    • The fanboy in the "Easy To Hate" video finds himself haunted by Parx, who engage in increasingly obnoxious but harmless shenanigans. Up to the point where the frustrated fan unfollows Waterparks on Twitter, then Awsten amputates the guy's foot then murders him.
  • Caps Lock: Yes, Awsten keeps this on all the time on social media for both his personal and his band accountsnote . This happens so much that it's even leaked into the band's marketing.
  • Careful with That Axe: The last few verses of "TANTRUM" have Awsten shrieking his head off. The song, up to this point, has dealt with injustices, double standards, how a "heavier is better" mentality leads to unoriginality in the music industry, and how these have affected him alongside personal struggles, similar to the Double Dare track "Little Violence". Here, though, it transitions into relationship drama with an uncommon twist: unlike other bands talking about their girlfriend's exes, Awsten names names.
    • One particular moment stands out in "Watch What Happens Next": "Tell me all the things you want AND I WILL GIVE UP ME FOR YOU"
  • Caption Humor: The Pop Up video for "Lowkey As Hell" mixes actual production factoids (The sky at the end of the video was inspired by Spyro the Dragon (1998), with screenshots from the game put on Awsten's moodboard) with Blatant Lies. (The band didn't actually have to be shrunken down in post for the video, because the woman who played the gardener was actually the Guinness World Record holder for Tallest Woman in 2004.)
  • Censored for Comedy: "LIKE IT" features samples from an interview from Rock Sound. In the interview, James Wilson-Taylor introduces Waterparks and Awsten jokingly responds with "IT'S ME!" On the song, this is edited to become "IT'S ME, [BLEEP]".
  • Chroma Key: The video for "Dream Boy" is heavy on the Stylistic Suck version of this.
    • Used prominently for Lowkey as Hell.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: Based on shirts sold by Waterparks corresponding to each member and jackets they've worn on tour, Awsten is red, Geoff is blue, and Otto is yellow. For Greatest Hits, their coordinated outfits in shoots have either kept to this format or shift to Awsten being blue, Otto being red, and Geoff being yellow. In an MTV feature where Awsten uses his synesthesia to assign colors to each of the tracks on FANDOM, the colors for Group Chat are red, blue, and yellow in the order of when the band talks in the song.note 
  • Clip Show: The music videos for No Capes, Plum Island, Peach (Lobotomy), and SELF-SABOTAGE are mostly live and behind the scenes tour footage.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Awsten can come off as this. If you read his tweets, he tweets IN ALL CAPS and tweets really out there and random things. He also really likes to swear in interviews, which can be funny when he wonders if he can swear in some of them and asks for permission, sometimes after he's already sworn several times. At the same time, he's also very lucid in interviews, often going into expansive detail about Waterparks' creative decisions, his own thought processes, and the music industry at large.
    • Awsten has openly criticized the tendency for people to characterize him solely as this, as he's either seen as not a complex human being simply because he makes over the top jokes or, even worse to him, faking his personality for publicity purposes.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience: Colors play a central role in Waterparks' lyricism, musical symbolism and stage lighting. A large part of this is influenced by Awsten's synesthesia.
    • In several songs, Awsten associates himself with the color blue. Yellow is also used to refer to Awsten's ex, Ciara Hanna, whose best-known role is the Yellow Megaforce Power Ranger.
    "I'm color-coding my moods, you're yellow, I'm natural blue, let's get together and be green like my insides"
    • Double Dare is associated with yellow, Entertainment is associated with purple, and FANDOM is green.
    • Since Double Dare, Awsten also tends to dye his hair different colors to reflect the moods and themes of each album cycle. He's gone from blue, for Double Dare, to purple, for Entertainment, to red, for the scrapped Friendly Reminder and neon green for 'FANDOM. For the release of "Lowkey As Hell" as a single, it went back to his natural brown for the first time since the EP days, then ended up blue mixed with spots of red and yellow.
    • This has become so expected that there was heavy speculation that the scrapped original third album, Friendly Reminder was going to be associated with red and that Awsten would dye his hair accordingly. He did, briefly, on the final dates of opening for One OK Rock. Then Friendly Reminder got scrapped and green was revealed as the era/theme color for the album that would eventually become known as FANDOM. On top of the prior blue and green associations, green and red play a slight thematic role in the lyrics of FANDOM. He would later switch to red for real in the leadup to INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY.
  • Concept Album: FANDOM is about the cyclical nature of trauma and the intermingling of toxic fandom with Awsten's relationship fallout. If FANDOM is day, then Greatest Hits is the night after, representing a nightmare that's implied to repeat. This repeated cycle theme is expressed less directly in Greatest Hits than the outro of FANDOM's "I Felt Younger When We Met" leading back into album opener "Cherry Red". Greatest Hits also delves into wanting time to make up for past mistakes.
  • Concept Video: Three videos for songs on Entertainment, "Lucky People", "We Need To Talk", and "Not Warriors/Crybaby" are connected to each other, with the videos for "We Need To Talk" and "Not Warriors/Crybaby" having the most direct connections.note . This has lead to a lot of fan speculation about the videos being a meta-commentary on Awsten's relationship with his ex, with Awsten saying that he wrote "We Need To Talk" "very carefully and specifically". In particular, the existence of a videotape labeled "Friendly Reminder" in "We Need To Talk" led some to believe that the third Waterparks album would be named Friendly Reminder, which Awsten teased as the title several times after that.
  • Concert Film: FANDOM: LIVE IN THE UK, described by Awsten as an "abstract" take on a live concert film as opposed to pure documentation of the filmed show, with color coding and visual effects intended to reflect how he feels when performing.
  • Continuity Nod: They have a song called 'I'm a Natural Blue' (which, contrary to popular belief, is not referring to the color Awsten used to dye his hair, since it wasn't actually blue at the time he wrote it). In one of the first few lines of 'Stupid For You,' Awsten sings, "You're yellow, I'm natural blue," referencing the past song.
    • Also, on "Little Violence," name dropping Black Light in the first chorus.
    • "Watch What Happens Next" references "Worst", which at the time of its debut hadn't been announced to be on FANDOM and was mainly known for being a solo demo Awsten released covertly.note 
    • "Easy To Hate" brings back the glowing eyes and dramatic green-tinted dark lighting from "Watch What Happens Next", bringing it in line with the house haunting theme of the video.
    • The line "Game over, bitches" from the "New Wave" video is later repeated in the video for "Gloom Boys." Both characters who say the line are even played by the same person, Travis Riddle.
    • Awsten's "anti-thanks" section of Double Dare's liner notes includes griping about his driver's ed teacher not teaching him to parallel park when he was 16 and the resulting awkwardness when he tries to do it as an adult. In his anti-thanks section for FANDOM, he briefly interrupts the anti-thanks to point out that he can parallel park now.
    • "Lowkey As Hell" references "What What Happens Next" with a twist.
      "I like cool shirts, I like cold rings
      I want a big house, but I'm hiding."
    • The video for "Lowkey as Hell" brings back the flower wall motif from the "Not Warriors/Crybaby" video. The space the band performs in after they're put into a gardener's bucket is also similar to the storage unit from the video for "I'm A Natural Blue", but with more fog, fisheye lens, and mood lighting.
  • The Corrupter: In "See You In The Future", Awsten positions himself as this:
    I'm a ray of sunshine, look at me
    Everywhere I go, I'm poisoning
    Everyone whose eyes look up to me
  • Covert Pervert: In the "Stupid For You" video, the music industry exec's assistant is seen eagerly taking notes while watching something in front of her. Cut to Awsten performing faux oral on his microphone.
  • Cover Version: They covered Green Day's 'Hitchin' a Ride' for Kerrang's Green Day's American Superhits compilation cover album. The Hidden Track for the EP is "All By Myself", another hidden track in Green Day's discography done by drummer Tré Cool. The cover credited to Waterparks, but is actually Otto going solo!
    • They've also contributed a cover of Head Automatica's "Beating Heart Baby" to a Rock Sound compilation, a slower tempo piano-driven jazz lounge cover.
    • They've done live covers of Michelle Branch's "Everywhere" for Alternative Press, Fall Out Boy's "Sugar, We're Goin' Down" back when they were first starting out...and of Big Time Rush.
    • Awsten has partially covered the World 1-1 music from Super Mario Bros to stall for time while Otto and Geoff get back on stage.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: In the video for "We Need To Talk", the desperate girlfriend immediately checks under a bed to find a box labeled "Awsten's stuff", with various tools needed for necromancy. She uses these tools to perform a ritual, largely hinting at background for the music video's version of Awsten that doesn't (and probably shouldn't) get elaborated on.
  • Dark Reprise: "Dream Boy" has subtly dark lyrics but an upbeat pop tempo; the chorus gets a slower, sadder take during Zone Out, which leads into the last song on the album.
    • "Double Dare 2019" reframes the original as this. While there aren't any major lyric changes, the restructuring of everything puts more emphasis on this. In particular, the track starts off with minor elements of "Hawaii (Stay Awake)"...overlayed with elements of "Little Violence", the most aggressive song off the original album, which leads into Dizzy. "Take Her To The Moon" gets hit with this hard, as it's much slower, features what little of "Stupid For You" that we get in a much more desperate tone, then leads straight into "Royal". "Entertainment 2019" has less of this going for it, but is similar in that the original intro song for Entertainment, "11:11", is used sparingly for the intro before being overshadowed by implementation of an angrier song that appears much later in the original version of the album.
    • Awsten posted a short clip of a "crushed" version of "Stupid For You", which much like the part of it on "Double Dare 2019", sounds far sadder.
    • "Ice Bath" is this for "Greatest Hits" off of Greatest Hits and serves as an "awakening" in the dream narrative of the story.
  • A Day in the Limelight: Otto occasionally gets to be lead singer during live shows, promo videos for outlets like Alternative Press, or for songs like the cover of "All By Myself" by Green Day. Alt Press has dubbed this "Ottoparks", which has been fully embraced by the fandom to the point where it got mentioned on a Waterparks tour t-shirt. Otto got to do vocals on the tail end of the US FANDOM tour to help back Awsten up due to voice issues. When Ottoparks actually happens live, it's sometimes an excuse for Awsten to play drums.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Otto's sense of humor involves a lot of this. Awsten also does some deadpan snarking during interviews (especially when it involves something that he can't joke about more directly), but leaves that mode far easier than Otto.
  • Denserand Wackier: While Waterparks is known for their irreverent sense of humor, their music up until Greatest Hits generally stuck to more "grounded" songs about relationships, Awsten's feelings towards the alt rock scene & where he currently was in his life, and increasing criticism towards darker aspects of fame. While jokier moments were there, they were usually more brief. Greatest Hits features far more "out there" lyrics including in-jokier ones that wouldn't be out of place on his Twitter (Numb, See You In The Future), stream of consciousness (The Secret Life of Me, Fruit Rollups), and more gratuitous swearing instead of it being used for sporadic emphasis.
    • For INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY, Funeral Grey and Self-Sabotage tone down the "denser", being more radio-friendly relationship focused songs but retain wackier lyrical moments. (The subject of Funeral Grey's, uh, direct ways of countering Awsten's sass and Awsten's surprisingly violent methods of self-sabotage in Self-Sabotage). Real Super Dark amped up the denseness and wackiness to at or above a Greatest Hits level to what was intended to be a darkly comedic early Eminem-esque level.
  • Destroy the Product Placement: In the "Easy To Hate" video, the fanboy rips up the poster in his room and two copies of a magazine that Parx features in. To be even more exact, he tears up the "253.4" pack that Rock Sound sells, featuring the retail cover version of issue 253 with the retail cover, the online exclusive cover version of issue 253, and a huge poster with multiple pictures to choose from. Rock Sound took advantage of their coverage of the music video release to heavily plug the package.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: "Stupid For You": Is some label guy hassling you while you're acting as the vocals some hack boy band has to lip-sync to? Embarrass him on stage in front of countless people!
    • "We Need To Talk": Get into a really nasty argument with your girlfriend? Jump out the window and fall to your death.
    • "Dream Boy": Some suburban dad yells at you to stop your car and turn down your loud music that he (maybe) doesn't like? Strangle him to death then stow his dead body in your car!
    • "Easy To Hate": A nice fan who you followed home doesn't seem to appreciate you giving him a free live performance in his mom's house in the middle of the night and unfollowed your band's Twitter? Amputate his leg, use it on a necklace, then murder him!note 
    • "Lowkey as Hell": Geoff knocks a little girl out in the head for waving to him and Otto punts a boy around the same age into the sky for just standing near him (and he's still in the sky later in the video!)
  • Drowning My Sorrows: From "Dizzy":
    Daylight savings gives me time to think
    Which is the last thing that I want since I don't drink
    So I can't numb my feelings to avoid my thoughts
    That climb to the back of my head tying my veins in knots
  • Early-Installment Weirdness: The two self-produced EPs are more rudimentary in their production. The Cluster EP is where Waterparks settles into the electronic-tinged pop-rock they're most recognized for. Airplane Conversations and Black Light also feature something that the other two don't: a bassist that's officially in the band's lineup. Eventually, they decided to go without, with the role being handled by fill-in bassists on studio albums and pre-recording backing tracks (and the occasional special guest bassist) during live shows.
    • Referenced in their video for "Gloom Boys," where a guy wants to become their bassist, but they said they don't have a bassist anymore and don't want another one.
  • Fake-Out Opening: The Houston show of the FANDOM tour appeared to be starting as normal with the opening of "Cherry Red," only for the singer to turn out to be Travis Riddle (in the merch stand's Awsten-inspired wig). He sang/screeched along to the song before promptly leaving the stage for Waterparks to come on.
  • Foreshadowing: The Alternative Press "Vocal Rest" game video, posted in December 2018, features Awsten wearing a sweatshirt that he drew over with text and an absurd amount of brand logos. The front of the sweatshirt featured the name of his later announced book, "You'd Be Paranoid Too If Everyone Was Out To Get You". The back of the sweatshirt, aside from the logos and lyrics from 11:11, featured initials that later corresponded to many of the tracks on the final tracklisting for what would become FANDOM. The announcement of Friendly Reminder's deletion happened after Waterparks opened for One OK Rock's tour in early 2019, which also just so happened to feature Parx heavily referencing/teasing about fan speculation for Friendly Reminder, Awsten singing a short part from "Never Bloom Again" before "21 Questions", and even alluding to the deletion before it happened during "Plum Island".
  • Furry Reminder: The pigeon head lady that later attacks Parx in the "I'm A Natural Blue" video is shown having a picnic...consisting of a bag of bread and presumably nothing else. The buffalo head man is also shown typing on a regular keyboard in spite of having hooves.
  • Gayngst: Some fans interpret "Pink" as being written from the perspective of unrequited love with a heterosexual man, due to the "playing for the other team" line. This is fueled by Awsten repeatedly saying in the past how the song is not about falling for a lesbian.
  • Horror Comedy: The premise of "Easy To Hate", a comedy dominant example in which the band commits acts of Comedic Sociopathy on a hapless fan, ending in him getting murdered after he unfollows the band on Twitter.
  • Hotter and Sexier: While there were occasionally allusions and mentions of sex in previous Waterparks songs, the singles and teased songs in the leadup to INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY are far more direct about Awsten's (largely dysfunctional) hookups with women and him being horny. However, in spite of the album being characterized as "hypersexual" by Awsten, there's not much on the album that isn't radio friendly or easily editable to make it radio friendly. Waterparks having a lot of underage fans presumably would impact how sexually explicit the band could actually get.
  • Hotblooded: Awsten is very passionate about having the band continue to be successful, especially since much of Waterparks' early days involved him having to believe in the band even as his lack of progress compared to his other Houston area friends was becoming more evident.
    "I've never doubted we were going to be successful. I had to believe we were going to be a success. Whatever I do in life, I want to be great at; I don’t see how you can’t want success, especially when you’re working as hard as I was in the early days. I always thought we’d get there, and if anyone questioned me, I'd say, 'Trust me – we're going to make it happen'."
  • Here We Go Again!: "I Felt Younger When We Met" ends abruptly and leads back into "Cherry Red", intended to reflect the cyclical but non-linear nature of grief and how you have to go through it multiple times before being in the position to be out of it.
  • Hypocritical Humor: In the video for "Dream Boy", Awsten tells Geoff to put his seatbelt contrast to him spending most of the video riding on the hood of the car, Otto using a flame thrower, and the three of them getting rid of a dead body at the end of the video.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Parx delves into this for the clean versions of their songs. For example, Turbulent goes "Frick yourself and frick your feelings".
    • Awsten previously made clean versions of Parx songs as a joke, but Waterparks started putting out regular clean versions after signing to Fueled By Ramen. The clean versions of "FUNERAL GREY", "SELF-SABOTAGE", and "FUCK ABOUT IT" feature replacements for sexual innuendo and cursing. In response to playing a show in Salt Lake City for the first time, he joked about having a fully clean set for the Mormons including songs like "Soak About It".
  • Iconic Item: Awsten's "toe token" necklaces. Many fans make bootleg versions of the ones that Awsten wears, to the point where the band started officially selling them. (This has extended past the point where Awsten stopped wearing the necklaces, with fans making ones themed after later albums like FANDOM and Greatest Hits.) Selling them officially presented a problem; normally "toe tokens" are actually intended to be an incentive for kids in running clubs and are sold by a company called Fitness Finders. They initially didn't take too kindly to Awsten's unintentional appropriation of their product, but eventually, they worked things out.
    • FANDOM has the toe tag necklaces replaced with rings, often themed around eyes and skulls, and a nice watch. The eye rings would be even more prominent during ''Greatest Hits'.
    • A pre-FANDOM example: Geoff wore a choker with a Triforce on it, though occasionally it was switched out out with a Poke Ball.
  • I Have Many Names: Awsten leans in on this for the title card of "Lowkey as Hell", which lists him as "AWSTEN KNIGHT AKA DANNY FANDOMnote  AKA FELONY STEVEnote  AKA BLONDE JOVInote ". This tweet adds a few more including BLEACH BOYnote , THE ORIGINAL BLEACH BOY, THE MAXIMUM SYNONYM (likely a nod to just how many names he has), MR LONELY NIGHTS, and... Hanson 2.
  • Improvised Weapon: In the video for "I'm A Natural Blue", Awsten tries and fails to hit the buffalo head guy with his guitar. Otto does manage to take out the pigeon head lady by shoving her head into the head of his drum kit.
  • Inconvenient Summons: The fanboy in "Easy To Hate" finds himself teleported from his room back to the Parx haunted living room in the middle of ripping up a magazine that Parx features in note  If you pay attention to him after the teleport, you can see him pulling at his skin for a second before he realizes what's going on.
  • I Need a Freaking Drink: From "Blonde": "I'm seconds from bottles when these seconds feel awful now / But I don't for you"
  • Insistent Terminology: Discussed and joked about by the band in regards to FANDOM: LIVE IN THE UK. Originally intended for a DVD release, the final product was released on Blu-ray and digital. Promotion and band tweets showed confusion and disagreement about whether or not LIVE IN THE UK should be referred to as a "live DVD" (Awsten's preference, as it sounds more natural and "live Blu-ray" isn't really a common term even if it's accurate) or a "concert film" (which is still accurate and platform agnostic).
  • In Touch with His Feminine Side: Awsten is unashamed of his love of romantic comedies, cute animals, and pop music. Not to mention his enjoyment of spa treatments and hot yoga.
  • Jump Physics: Geoff is known for his impressive jumps while rocking out on stage. Awsten doesn't disappoint either.
  • Keet: Awsten practically defines this trope, with his loud, cheery way of talking, hyperactive stage presence and tweets in full capslock.
  • Kaleidoscope Hair: Awsten's dyed his hair blonde, pink, blue, silver, purple, red, neon green, and as Greatest Hits, a multicolor blue/red/yellow hearts with alternating patterns including hearts and leopard spots.. Since he dyes his hair to coordinate with album cycles, which hair he'll go with next is a common speculation topic. He even has his own brand of Manic Panic hair dye, Knight Bright Purple and has collabed with Good Dye Young, Hayley Williams from Paramore's hairdye brand.
  • Kiss Diss: In an abundant amount of photoshoots from the Cluster and Double Dare eras, Awsten is usually seen trying to kiss another member (usually Otto), never landing on the lips, but usually the cheek (much to the chagrin of Otto).
  • Lampshade Hanging: In their cover of Green Day's "Hitchin' A Ride", in the end, Awsten says, "Wow, not as good as the original," jabbing the people who'd say just that. You can look in the comments section of this upload of the cover for proof on that. Doubles as a Take That!.
  • Lightmare Fuel: The video for "Easy To Hate" features a fan getting increasingly haunted by Parx in an aggressive manner, that's still largely played for laughs even during the fan getting murdered.
  • Literalist Snarking: Featured in a tweet Awsten made in response to guilt-tripping fans:
  • Loving a Shadow: "Dream Boy" is all about this.
    Awsten: It’s about being built into something, based on an idealized version of you – an unwarranted one, at that – where people look at you as a certain thing...they put what they need you to be into their heads. It’s built into this thing that you cannot live up to, and it’s ultimately going to lead to disappointment – on their end, and my end, because it doesn’t feel good to let people down. But that’s just what happens. Pop banger, dude!
  • Loony Fan: "VIOLET!" is about a very persistent stalker of Awsten's. The song directly addresses them, shifting between Awsten's stress about the stalker knowing where he lives and digs at them for believing that he's leading them on.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: A favorite for Waterparks, even voiced in the song "Gloom Boys"
    I like happy songs that sound nice
    Even with their words like dog bites
    • "Violet!" despite the serious subject matter detailed above, is a very upbeat song.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Otto solidified his status as this when he started wearing crop tops on Warped Tour. He also doesn't wear a shirt in boy band member form in the "Stupid For You" video, which leads to a moment where the camera intentionally and awkwardly focuses on him a bit too longer than it should.
    • In one of Jawn Rocha's YouTube videos, Awsten and Jawn took advantage of people wanting to see Awsten as Mr. Fanservice by covering up Awsten's torso when removing his hoodie with heavy mosaics.
  • Motormouth: "See You In The Future" features Awsten's incredibly fast rapping, partially to fit within the theme of "waking up" from the dream that is Greatest Hits and how real life is more chaotic, partially because he had a bunch of things he wanted to say but didn't want to have an eight minute song about them.
  • Music Is Politics: Largely defines the band's relationship with Equal Vision, who gave them their first indie label push but later took legal control of their third EP and first two albums. More detail about this is under the Executive Meddling section in Trivia.
    • The focus of "LIKE IT!", where he criticizes having to prioritize business decisions over making art and third parties saying that they love the band but keep making suggestions that make no sense for the band to pursue. The track also features a call out of an unknown entity whose name was censored, as Awsten describes having to stop them from "fucking us over".
  • My Nayme Is: Yes, Awsten is his real first name. It was originally Austen, but he started calling himself Awsten around when he was in middle school and ended up changing it legally after it stuck with everyone else. Names originally considered by his parents include Scott and Thor.
  • Never Trust a Title: Greatest Hits is not a Greatest Hits Album, it's all new material.
  • Nice Guy: Geoff has this (well deserved) reputation to the point where when Waterparks sold shirts representing each band member on tour, Geoff's was a blue shirt simply saying "Geoff is a nice boy". This is occasionally subverted in Waterparks' music videos. The subversion is usually shown as Geoff assisting alongside Otto with Awsten's not so nice boy behavior. In the video for Lowkey As Hell, Geoff is shown knocking a little girl out cold.
    • Despite his online reputation, Awsten is respected for this offline, on top of being super good with animals and children. He's the godfather of Geoff's daughter for a reason.
  • Neck Snap: In the video for "I'm A Natural Blue", Awsten takes the buffalo head guy out with one after he missed hitting the guy with his guitar.
  • Nobody Loves the Bassist: After bad experiences with bassists, Waterparks decided to not have one as Awsten, Geoff, and Otto get along well and didn't want to disrupt that balance by having another member involved. Instead, the band use fill-in bassists in studio (and occasionally live) when it's not just Awsten playing and pre-recorded backing tracks during shows. While they might not want a bassist, questions about why they don't have one and if they'd consider having one abound, much to their chagrin. This has opened up some great collaborations, like Mikey Way performing bass on the Cluster EP and Greatest Hits and live for Waterparks on Warped Tour. In that case, everyone loves the bassist!
    • Both Otto and Geoff had previously expressed interest in playing bass for the band, with Otto being the most insistent on it. Obviously, this hasn't worked out. This is referenced in the video for "Gloom Boys" by Otto mentioning that he was once the band's bassist...for a day. The video also features a guy trying to become their bassist; in real life, attempts by fans to get Waterparks to let them play bass on stage with them are met by Awsten immediately shutting them down, often by reminding them that Otto and Geoff already called dibs. He's also rejected people by joking that the band "hates friends".
  • Obsession Song: "Peach (Lobotomy)", of the passive variety, "Territory" of the aggressive variety.
    • "Telephone", a song about Awsten having a brief hard crush on a girl he saw in Target... in the midst of depression, so he didn't act on it and wouldn't have even if he wasn't depressed.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Awsten usually keeps up caps lock on social media, but one of the main reasons he'll drop it is when he needs to convey bad news or more serious sentiment that the caps lock would compromise.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: Awsten (mostly) successfully managed to avoid getting recognized by multiple people at a Hot Topic despite only wearing poorly fitting Groucho Marx glasses as a disguise and constantly plugging Waterparks.note  When recognized by a fan, he commits to his "Blake" bit but it's obvious they both know she isn't buying it. When another person pointed out Awsten on the Waterparks shirt he was trying to sell to them, he tried to weasel out of it by pointing out the hair differences.
  • Pop Punk: Naturally, with influences including Green Day, Fall Out Boy, blink-182, Sum 41 and My Chemical Romance. However, they spice things up by mixing high-energy, pop-leaning, fast-paced punk jams with a healthy dose of electronics mixed into the songs, similar to old school Hellogoodbye.
    • Even though it's reasonable to assume about Waterparks, classifying the band as pop-punk is a sore point, if not sometimes a Berserk Button for Awsten. He considers modern pop punk to be largely derivative and elitist, especially compared to the pre-2010s acts that he feels the genre peaked with, and takes pride in the quality of Waterparks' production compared to other bands. As a result, he doesn't want to be pigeonholed, especially as Waterparks takes a lot more influence from pop music and other genres than people give them credit for.
      Awsten: I'd really like it if people on the internet would stop calling us pop-punk, because we're not that fucking basic and if you listen past, like, anything and you heard any of the fucking chord trees or any of the fucking programming I'm doing, YOU'D NOTICE THAT!
      Geoff: He's not lying! He's not lying at all.
    • While still not considering Waterparks part of that movement, Awsten has been less judgemental about the 2020s "pop punk revival". He framed it in seeing it as a trap-influenced "new wave" lead by established figures like Travis Barker that more naturally followed what came out of the 2000s instead of the "semi-ironic" hardcore-influenced bands of the 2010s.note 
  • Precision F-Strike: On their albums, kept minimal for maximum impact, in real life, constantly coming out of Awsten's mouth alongside less precision.
    "I'd unfuck you if I could, ooo-ooo-ooo"
  • Pretty Boy: Awsten is frequently acknowledged as this due to his fairer facial features, dyed hair, and sense of fashion.
    • He's well aware of this reputation, to the point where he'll randomly bring up how cute he is as a joke, even if it doesn't make sense in the context of what he's discussing. The opening line of TANTRUM is a pointed rhetorical question based on that reputation and how it impacts his chances of success in the music industry:
      "If I wasn't thin and white with blue hair, would I be here?"
  • Psycho Knife Nut: For the FANDOM Live premiere VIP and a Greatest Hits promotional interview with The Gunz Show, he brought out a knife near his video call setup which stuck around for the rest of the streams. He also has a recurring habit of comedic but risky poses with larger knives on his Instagram Stories.
    Gunz (confused, as he only just noticed the knife): Awsten's got a knife, so, [chuckles] he's doing pretty well.
    Geoff: Why not, you know? Pretty on brand.
  • Rearrange the Song: "Entertainment 2019" and "Double Dare 2019" are single-track mashups of the original albums with the same names. Recorded over the course of four days, with two days dedicated to each, these were made out of necessity; while Equal Vision now owns the album versions of Double Dare and Entertainment, Waterparks owns the 2019 versions.note  The tracks reorder the song order, cherrypick lyrics from certain songs with varying emphasis (with songs like "11:11" and "Stupid For You" barely having any at all), clearer vocals, vocal delivery that either differs from or is surprisingly near 1:1 with the original, and a production approach that brings the content more in line with FANDOM.
    • The Good Charlotte version of Self-Sabotage features a rerecorded version of the intro from Awsten but otherwise reuses his vocal parts from the original song. Good Charlotte provides a new second verse.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: The majority of the songs on Double Dare and Entertainment were written about Awsten's up-and-down relationship with then-girlfriend Ciara Hanna. Friendly Reminder was originally going to be an angry break-up album (because that breakup was indeed nasty), but was scrapped in part due to Awsten not wanting an album full of angry/sad breakup songs and feeling that a person that hurt someone that much doesn't deserve an entire album. The breakup still informed songs like "Turbulent", but in a way intended to reinforce self-esteem and fully examine his mental state instead of fully mope or fully tear into someone.
    • FANDOM and Greatest Hits contend with Awsten's struggles with Parx's current level of fame and often toxic fanbase with Greatest Hits' going the most in-depth about Awsten's mental state and how he copes with it (or doesn't).
  • Rock is Authentic, Pop is Shallow: Constantly criticized by Parx on songs like "Watch What Happens Next" and "Little Violence". Awsten is a huge pop music fan and has been open about appreciating it on a technical level. He hasn't been nearly as kind to modern rock's tendency to avoid experimentation in the way that pop and hip-hop do in favor of "authenticity". This goes far back to where ''Pop Is Not A Dirty Word'' was the working title in 2012 for what would eventually become the Black Light EP.
    • Some scene reactions to Parx signing to Fueled By Ramen were fueled by this assumption based on the label having more post-2000s success with alt-pop crossover acts like fun.. Twenty One Pilots and post Vices and Virtues Panic! at the Disco and other acts like One Ok Rock and A Day to Remember making poppier albums on the label. However, aside from ignoring Waterparks having made poppier songs in the past, Awsten has stated that Intellectual Property was 95% done before they met with anyone with the label, specially saying there was no label-oriented change to the music.
  • Running Joke: Geoff loving Minions. He's never actually seen the movie; Awsten started it by tricking Geoff into taking a picture with a Minions calendar and escalated it so far that fans started actually giving him Minions merch. Tons of it. The fun never ends! (To be fair, when there's an opportunity to let Geoff defend himself, he usually lets Geoff have it. During the show filmed for FANDOM: LIVE IN THE UK, Awsten voiced concerns that if he were to mention the filming on Twitter, the entire front row would be filled with people in Minions outfits.)
    • Through a mildly creepy song, a weird amount of affection, and persistence, Awsten has somehow convinced people to make him or help him make his weapon: the toothbat. It's a bat with fake teeth embedded into it. People consequentially began to send real baby teeth to him for his toothbat, much to his chagrin. The fun never ends...?
    • When a clueless news crew came out to cover a Warped Tour date, Awsten took advantage of that by pretending to be "Kyle Fletchers" of fictional generic Warped band December's Tragedy. Awsten has cracked a few jokes about the character since then, including saying that "people keep calling him Kyle" while talking to a customer during a Hot Topic stunt where he was pretending to be a store clerk.
    • Awsten exaggerating his or the band's heights as beyond six feet tall in promotional material like interviews and the Pop Up video for "Lowkey as Hell".note 
  • Sampling: Gladiator (Interlude) notably is comprised of a sample of a 20 minute long rant that Josh Madden, the Madden Brother that isn't part of Good Charlotte did about the nature of celebrity culture. This was going to go into Greatest Hits at its original unabridged length, but thanks to Travis Riddle sending a very lengthy email proposing edits and justifying his take, Awsten caved and made it regular song length.
  • Scatting: Prominently on Greatest Hits, especially "LIKE IT".
    • Also appears in their jazz cover of "Beating Heart Baby!" by Head Automatica.
  • Scream Discretion Shot: The fan's foot amputation by way of Awsten's meat cleaver in Easy To Hate is kept offscreen, indicated largely by the fan's reactions and the band's amusement at the situation.
  • Sell-Out: In "Little Violence", a song that largely criticizes the alt-rock scene, one lyric outright says "I want to be a sellout just to piss y'all off." Awsten has frequently talked about wanting the band to be highly successful even at the expense of some less tolerant people in the alt-rock scene and in their own fanbase.
    • "Watch What Happens Next" largely decries the concept being used in rock music to police bands who want to actually make a living (and sometimes make more than a living), citing hypocrisy for it being less acceptable for rock musicians to flaunt wealth compared to pop and hip hop artists. They also say unrealistic expectations lead to bands breaking up because toxic fan culture enforces the idea that "real artists" shouldn't be making money period, let alone enough money to flaunt.
  • Shout-Out:
    • It Follows is the name of another song.
    • The title of "Plum Island" likely refers to the real island known for secret biological testing on animals by the government, the 2008 appearance of the Montauk Monster, and mentions in both the film and novel version of Silence of the Lambs'. Alternately, it could refer to the fictional island from Survival of the Dead.
    • "This line's here to say "Fuck The 100"
    • The music video for 'Gloom Boys' is a shout-out to Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
    • "Not Warriors" features the Pixar movie naming theme on top of referencing "The Office (US)", one of Awsten's favorite shows.
    • A hidden track listing on the Waterparks site before the official FANDOM tracklisting was announced referenced Vanilla Sky.
    • While he isn't referenced on the track by name, it's hard to see a mention of hip-hop making country songs that hit number one and not associate it with Lil Nas X.
    • The ending of "Telephone" features a voice sample from The Wedding Singer, more specifically of Jimmie Moore saying "He's losing his mind...and I'm reaping all the benefits!" Also serves as Self-Deprecation as it's what Jimmie says in response to Robbie Hart's performance of "Somebody Kill Me Please", a song that has the same level of breakup mood whiplash lyrics as much of the FANDOM album. The reference is intended as a meta nod to Awsten benefiting from releasing songs about deep emotional turmoil.
    • The posters released at venues to promote dates for the FANDOM tour and announce the full tracklisting say "LOOK IF I COULD BE LIKE U2 I'D JUST PUT IT ON YOUR PHONE FOR YOUnote  BUT WE DON'T HAVE THAT KIND OF POWER YET SO PLZ GO PRE-SAVE ITnote  NOW. ALSO WHAT A REFERENCE WOW". This isn't the first time he's expressed an interest (joking or otherwise) to pull that kind of move either.
    • Awsten spends much of the run time of "Awsten Knight Works At Hot Topic For A Day" plugging Billie Eilish merch, even going so far as to promote Parx by describing them as the "Boy Billie Eilish" (or "Boyllie Eilish").
    • In the video for "Watch What Happens Next", Awsten is wearing a "DON'T TALK TO ME" hoodie from The Masked Singer.
    • The title of "American Graffiti" is a reference to George Lucas' American Graffiti.
    • "See You In The Future" is full of these, including One Direction and Harry Styles (but not Zayn), Cast Away, Awsten saying he's Michael Scott-o Sebringing-it, and Limp Bizkit's "Break Shit".
    • "VIOLET!" shouts out Misery and You as a means of calling out Awsten's stalker's behavior.
  • Shout-Out Theme Naming: Each Waterparks release has one song title that references a Pixar movie.
  • Slasher Smile: In "Easy To Hate", Awsten sports this while killing the fanboy with a cleaver.
  • Sophisticated as Hell: Awsten explaining the deep intricacies of why he'd name a Reading and Leeds food stall "The Dildo Store And Also Some Pizza If There's Any Left":
    "By adding ‘If There’s Any Left’ creates a false limit of constraint thus creating more demand for a product which I would be more than ready to supply – pushing profits through the roof! I’d make as much as Goddamn Travis Scott!"
  • Sound-Only Death: The end of "Easy To Hate" features this as we get a quick cut to black as the song ends and a scream caps off the video.
  • Source Music: "Easy To Hate" is the source music for the video, which gets the fan increasingly freaked out as the band continues performing it at inconvenient times and trying to get him to join in. When his mom shows up to complain about the noise, she only perceives it as coming from the TV instead of what her son sees. When the song gets to a point where synth parts are played, since Awsten wouldn't be performing those parts live, he mimes the part.note 
  • Spiritual Antithesis: The "Easy To Hate" video and Fall Out Boy's video for "Uma Thurman". "Uma Thurman" focuses on a young woman winning a fan contest to become Fall Out Boy's assistant for the day. Lighthearted wish-fulfillment shenanigans ensue as she assists the band with fun activities like walking Joe Trohman's zebras on the grounds of his luxurious mansion, joining Andy for his workout, indoor skydiving with Pete, karaoke with Patrick, and running over anti-LGBTQ legislation with a tank. "Easy To Hate" focus on a young man who is joined by Parx on his ride home in the middle of the night. "Easy To Hate" seemingly goes down the empowering and wholesome fanservice route as the fan sings with Parx in his car...until Parx starts haunting the fan's house and gradually rob him of his agency over the course of the video. This starts with little things like playing loud music when his mom expects the house to be quiet and kicking him out of his own room to far more creepy tactics like teleporting him back into the living room after he rips up Parx magazines and Awsten amputating his foot then killing him after he unfollows the band on Twitter. This even carries onto the song choice as "Uma Thurman" is about trying to woo a badass, empowered woman like Uma while "Easy To Hate" is about Awsten falling out of love with his ex.
  • Splash of Colour: The music video for "High Definition" makes use of this, with Awsten's neon-green hair and eye makeup in the shape of stars being the only colors in an otherwise monochrome video.
  • Surprisingly Creepy Moment: For "Dream Boy", what was otherwise a goofy, nonsensical video gets suddenly dark at the end when Geoff parks the car in an alleyway while Awsten and Geoff inelegantly drag a body bag out of it. You might be less surprised if, after the scene of Awsten and that dad yelling at each other, you had noticed the brief part of Awsten strangling him.
  • Surrogate Soliloquy: Utilitized in Greatest Hits, notably in "Crying It Over It All" in which Awsten addresses the song to an imagined someone who would be around after fans stop caring and Awsten addressing the listener in "See You In The Future", even going so far as this lyric:
    If I'm the guy from Cast Away, that makes you Wilson, hate to say
  • Take That!: Constantly.
    • In the music video for 'Stupid For You,' Waterparks portrays themselves as both their regular selves and as a Boy Band called "Parxboiz". Waterparks are actually performing Parxboiz' music for them behind-the-scenes while the actual boy band themselves lip sync. This is meant as a slight towards people who consider them to be a boy band, accuse them of being "industry plants", and claim that the Madden Brothers are ghostwriting their songs just because they make poppy music. Some have misinterpreted it as a diss towards acts like One Direction (which they actually love, in this interview Awsten reels off a list of favorite One Direction songs which includes some lesser-known bonus tracks) Some have also misinterpreted it as a diss towards 5 Seconds of Summer even though Awsten has performed with the band live in Houston during 5SOS' 2018 touring on top of watching their performance. Then going to see them perform again later in the year. Not even in special VIP seating either both times either, actually being in the audience.
    • "War Crimes", "TANTRUM", "Little Violence", "Blacklight", and "I'm A Natural Blue" are Take Thats to the alternative music scene they're in. While "I'm A Natural Blue" simply covers disillusionment and unoriginality in the scene, the songs gradually get angrier and more direct while adding on more grievances, correlating with the band's increase in popularity. TANTRUM also adds additional Take Thats to other non-music sources: exes of his-then girlfriend. This tendency also creeps into otherwise unrelated songs like "Plum Island", where we get "Can't wait for complaints about the vocals and pop / 'cause y'all are stuck in the past and I got a crystal ball".
    • Awsten dissing people on his personal Twitter and on the band's Twitter falls in one of two categories: jokes or intense complaints around the competency of others, up to and including people directly involved with the band's business dealings, like the company that sells their merch.
    • "Dream Boy" is the first Waterparks song to be played on nationwide satellite radio on Sirius XM Hits 1, a channel normally dedicated to Top 40 acts. Parx and Hopeless Records worked out a deal to get the song added to the Hits 1 rotation if fans got a worldwide trending topic on Twitter, and they did...but even after they met the goal, Awsten said he'd only go through with it after fans got the trending topic to beat that of Ben Shapiro. Which they also did.
    • FANDOM has some very damning Take Thats towards Awsten's ex.
    • On Entertainment and FANDOM, Awsten caps off the band's album liner note thank you section with "anti-thanks". This involves topics as varied as his upstairs neighbors making too much noise, Otto (after thanking him in the regular thanks section), trying on pants, Mark Zuckerberg (who has baby legs), him, you, and us. Aw.
    • "See You In The Future" features a straightforward diss of Zayn Malik, who Awsten previously complained about "breaking up" One Direction, but also features a deliberately inaccurate one towards Elon Musk and his cybertruck. The Elon Musk Take That is intended to highlight how things that are weird to be mad about can set people off as much as deeper, valid feelings.
    • A subtle one for "VIOLET!": The song's official lyrics feature the line "I'm not leaving any signs / like the kind you think you find" at the end of the song...but they're not actually sung in the song itself, implying that Awsten expects the stalker to dig deep enough to find the discrepancy but to be self-aware enough to take the hint.
  • Take That, Audience!: Waterparks loves teasing their fans for their eccentricities as much as their fans love teasing them for theirs, but they also take aim at toxic fans too.
    • A shirt Waterparks made for Warped Tour emulating fangirl speak has a brief moment where they joked about fans that doubted their ability to deliver on Entertainment but ended up liking it in the end.
    • Then that shirt got a sequel (yes, really) that was more directly a Take That, specifically at fan speculation about their third album, reception towards Geoff and Otto compared to Awsten, and setlist decisions.
    • Another Warped Tour shirt with the text "I Didn't Want To Like Waterparks".
    • More malicious digs show up on "Watch What Happens Next" towards fans who complain about genre experimentation (for both Waterparks and other rock acts), enforce the Starving Artist mentality, and general entitlement about how artists should be expressing themselves.
    • If you're the kind of fan that is begging the band for attention on Twitter or sending Awsten death threats, you got a Take That on "I Miss Having Sex But At Least I Don't Wanna Die Anymore". Unfortunately, these kinds of fans haven't gotten the hint yet, but at least the band won't just put up with it.
    • Waterparks' first full band cover has Awsten wearing a shirt saying "WHY DO THEY KEEP PUTTING HIM ON THE COVER".note  Depending on the bundle one gets from the AP Store, you can even get a variant of that shirt for yourself!
    • One that's not directly related to Waterparks fandom: When TikTok users made "I Miss Sex But At Least I Don't Wanna Die" into a meme on the platform, the song's popularity exploded. Awsten's response was to make a TikTok account...where he used the song in the meme format in increasingly bizarre ways (or in otherwise normal posts that don't fit into TikTok's expected formats) and jokes about how the label is making him do it. On the flip side, he does actually appreciate how well the song has been doing on streaming and later admitted to TikTok being good for music discovery akin to MySpace & introducing the band to casual audiences who experience Waterparks differently than your average Twitter stan. He would later start using TikTok more sincerely.
  • Thanking the Viewer: During the "Stupid For You" performance in FANDOM: LIVE IN THE UK, Awsten thanks home viewers for watching the digital and physical releases. For some streaming versions of the live CD, this thank you has inserted soundbites to reflect the streaming platform, like for Spotify, YouTube Music, and Soundcloud.
  • That Came Out Wrong: This bit from MTV Fresh Out:
    Awsten: Yo, Cardi B looks like a fruit roll-up right now! ...I would eat it. [the background music stops and Otto facepalms] The hair, I mean. Fruit roll up I mean. *sigh* NEXT.
    • During FANDOM: LIVE IN THE UK, Awsten had to clarify when he was shouting out concert goers at the "super top" of the multi-tiered venue that "it sounded sexual, it's not".
  • The Men in Black: Feature prominently in the video for "Watch What Happens Next", though they're mostly shown as a nuisance than an actual threat. Awsten even tells them off before shutting the door on them!
  • Theme Naming: Every EP and LP they've released so far has had a name that's gone in alphabetical order. Airplane Conversations, Black Light, Cluster, Double Dare, Entertainment, and FANDOM.
  • The Oner: The music video for "High Definition" is a continuous shot of Awsten singing and gesturing in a dark room, illuminated only by a spotlight.
  • This Is a Song: A whole verse of this from "We Need to Talk."
    This line's here to make you think of Burbank...
    This line's here to say fuck The 100...
    This line's here to make you think of your nose twitch...
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: "Where the fuck is my flying truck, bitch?"
  • Title: The Adaptation: Play: A Waterparks Game, the HTML5 browser game released to promote Greatest Hits.note 
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Awsten loves orange juice, more specifically the kind from H-E-B, a regional supermarket chain based mainly in Texas, with some locations in northeast Mexico.
  • Undeathly Pallor: Awsten gets this in the We Need to Talk video after he gets resurrected as a zombie.
  • Unexpectedly Dark Episode: Most Waterparks music videos are either goofy, surreal, horror, some mix of either or a straightforward live performance video. We Need To Talk, opens with Awsten having an argument with his fictional girlfriend that ends in him jumping out the window committing suicide. The distraught girlfriend then resurrects him as a zombie. The ending involves him leaving the girlfriend's house, narrowly avoiding a visit by the priest that the girlfriend brought there. While the second half of the video is more bittersweet and sad than anything, the first part of the video gives you a Gory Discretion Shot by not showing Awsten actually falling and hitting the ground...then you get to see his actual limp body on the pavement with blood coming out of his nostrils. There's no content warning given and there wasn't much expectation that the video would be this dark, even though some parts of another connected Waterparks video, "Not Warriors/Crybaby" got a little spooky. Unlike other Parx horror videos, there were no real comedic or surreal elements to balance things out.
  • Visual Innuendo: In the "Stupid For You" video, in order to spite a music industry exec interrupting Waterparks' performance, Awsten starts cupping his mouth around his mic. Afterward, he starts jerking the neck of his guitar up and down like, y'know.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: In "Easy To Hate", the fanboy's mom briefly appears to complain about the noise, but isn't seen in the video after that. Made even more concerning in that the mom can't see Parx in the house like her son can and as a result, she may not know her son is dead.
  • Wham Line: From "TANTRUM": "And to the rest, I'll keep them fuck it, here we go"
  • Yandere: The unnamed stalker in "VIOLET!" shows traits of this character archetype, with Awsten even making direct references to other yanderes in fiction.
    It's like I'm watching you
    But it's about me
    And just to be clear, I meant the show, you're Joe