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Left to Right: Geoff Wigington (IS A NICE BOY), Awsten Knight (IS A POSER), & Otto Wood (OTTO)
"WATERPARKS IS THE ONLY BAND THAT MATTERS.
BUY OUR ALBUM SO WE CAN GET A COOL PLATINUM RECORD TO HANG ON MY WALL.
SO I CAN EARN MY DAD'S RESPECT.
ALSO SO GEOFF CAN GET A CAR WITH WINDOWS THAT ROLL UP."
A Waterparks promotional poster from Warped Tour, letting you know exactly what you're getting into.
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Waterparks is a Pop Punk/Pop Rock band from Houston, Texas formed in 2011 by lead singer and guitarist, Awsten Knight, and bassist Gage Matthieu, with Owen Marvin on drums. Matthieu and Marvin were eventually replaced with the two other members of their line up, Geoff Wigington on secondary guitar and Otto Wood on drums. 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. Waterparks are represented by MDDN, the management company owned by Joel and Benji Madden of Good Charlotte.

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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. Waterparks also has an uncommonly sharp sense of humor, combining playful sarcasm, Comical Overreacting, the occasional pop culture reference, the constant really weird shit, and heavy doses of self-aware meta humor (and actual digs) at the expense of themselves, their fans, and others.

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Discography:

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

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 Reminder...so 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)
  • 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.
    I'M JUST HERE FOR OTTOPARKS. MY WIG FLIES FIRST CLASS WITH NO SEATBELT TO VENUS FOR OTTOPARKS.
  • 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.
  • 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).
  • American Accents: The Waterparks members don't have super noticeable accents that would stereotypically be associated with Texas. 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.
  • Awesome Mc Coolname: "Awsten Knight"? "Geoff Wigington"? "Otto Wood"? These guys were walking around with cool names before they even started the band!
    • It gets cooler: Awsten's full name is Awsten Constantine Knight. His first name's spelling wasn't because of his parents either.note  His birthname was actually Austin, but he started writing his name as Awsten in his tweens. Eventually it stuck so hard with everyone else around him that he got the spelling of his name legally changed.
  • 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 ironic pisstake from Parx to unironic use from fans and media to actual badass boast in "War Crimes".
  • 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: Awsten's initial mischievous glee in having to make a clean version of "Turbulent" for radio play was somewhat tempered by that version actually gaining traction.
    • 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 Sex, But At Least I Don't Wanna Die" just features Awsten screaming "WHAT" in place of sex.
  • 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.
  • 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 a 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".
    • 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 (which will likely start with G) 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.
  • 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 14 second song that has each member saying their name and all of them saying "we're all friends" at the end. But Awsten sounds kinda...off...so not too much of a breather.
  • 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 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 run 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 accountnote . This happens so much that it's even leaked into the band's marketing.
    • The titles for FANDOM and 1 (A COLLECTION OF UNRELEASED HOME DEMOS, THIS IS NOT G, OR EVEN AN ALBUM, SHUT UP ENJOY) are stylised this way.
  • 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.
    "AND IF I SEE YOU IN PERSON
    I'M TAKING TEETH
    TRUST, YOU'VE EARNED THIS!"
    • 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"
  • Chroma Key: The video for "Dream Boy" is heavy on the Stylistic Suck version of this.
  • 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: Colours 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 colours 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 currently has neon green for 'FANDOM.
    • 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.
  • 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 video tape 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.
  • 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). 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.
  • 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 labelled "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.
  • 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.
  • 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 yell 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 
  • 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 Alternate 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 track listing 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".
  • 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.
  • 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 on...in 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!: The clean version of "Turbulent" got this treatment as a joke. "Frick yourself and frick your feelings" doesn't have the same ring to it, and this is the version that's actually getting radio play!
  • 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. 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 four rings and a nice watch.
    • A pre-'FANDOM' example: Geoff wears a choker with a Triforce on it, though occasionally it's switched out with a Poke Ball
  • 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 "
  • 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, and as of FANDOM, a neon green. 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.
  • Lampshade Hanging: In their cover of Green Day's "Hitchin' A Ride", at 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!.
  • Long Title: "I Was Hiding Under Your Porch Because I Love You"
    • Awsten's book, You'd Be Paranoid Too If Everyone Was Out To Get You.
    • The first Waterparks demo collection, 1 (A COLLECTION OF UNRELEASED HOME DEMOS, THIS IS NOT G, OR EVEN AN ALBUM, SHUT UP ENJOY)
    • Awsten's TEI workshop on Warped Tour was called "AWSTEN DOING WHATEVER HE DECIDES THAT DAY PLEASE COME", and so he did, and so people came.
    • "I Miss Sex But At Least I Don't Want To Die Anymore."
  • 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.
  • 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!
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: They generally hover around 4-5, but have dropped lower on some songs.
  • Mohs Scale of Lyrical Hardness: Ranges from a 4-6 with an occasional veer into 7.
  • My Nayme Is: Awsten, not Austin.
  • 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".
    • 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.
  • Mr. Fanservice: Otto solidified his status as this when he started wearing croptops 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.
    Awsten:: IF OTTO WASN’T AS CUTE AS HE IS DO YOU THINK BITTER LOCAL HOUSTON BANDS IN 2012 WOULD’VE CALLED US A BOYBAND?????
    • 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.
  • 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 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".
  • No Pronunciation Guide: Geoff is pronounced like "Jeff" (in the same way that Geoffrey is pronounced like Jeff-frey), but often gets confused for other pronunciations like "GEO-ff" based on how it's spelled.
  • 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.
  • OOC Is Serious Business: If Awsten drops caps lock on Twitter, that usually means you should listen.note 
  • 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 oldschool 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 at all.
  • Power Trio:
    • 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. 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 
  • 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 off 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?"
  • Rearrange the Song: Entertainment 2019 and Double Dare 2019 are single track mashups of the original Double Dare and Entertainment albums. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.)
    • 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 of Choice: 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.
  • 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 ya'll 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 Montuauk 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 benefits from releasing songs about deep emotional turmoil.
    • The posters released at venues to promote dates for the FANDOM tour and announce the full track listing 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").
  • 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 colours in an otherwise monochrome video.
  • Surprise Creepy: 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.
  • 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 "Parxboyz". Waterparks is actually performing Parxboyz' 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.
  • 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.
      "LIKE, DOUBLE DARE WAS FLAWLESS AND I KNEW ENTERTAINMENT WOULD BE GOOD BUT I LOW KEY KIND OF DIDN'T THINK THEY'D BE ABLE TO FOLLOW IT UP BUT THEN THEY DID THAT I WAS LIKE WHAT. THEY'RE MY FAVS."
    • 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.
      "AND YES I AM FULLY PREPARED TO YELL AT THEM FOR ONLY PLAYING 6 SONGSnote  DESPITE THE FACT THAT THEY'RE NOT HEADLINING. DON'T CARE. NOT MY PROBLEM."
    • More malicious digs show up 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 FANDOM. 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 uses 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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, Blacklight, 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"...
  • 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.
  • Unexpectedly Dark Episode: Most Waterparks music videos are either goofy, surreal, horror, some mix of either of these things, 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. Afterwards, 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 nameless...aw fuck it, here we go"

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