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The 15 Greatest Fictional Punk Bands Because Reality Is Sometimes Too Tough to Bear

Oftentimes, the problem with punk music made by actual PEOPLE is that those people are so rarely puppets, sitcom characters, or Martin Short. With this list, we hope to legitimize the tireless efforts of those aforementioned entities, and count down the greatest fictional punk bands of all time. Hopefully proving once and for all: you don’t have to be real to rock.

Billy and the Boingers (Bloom County)

Created for a running arc of Berkeley Breathed’s Bloom County comic strip (which popularized characters like Bill the Cat and Opus the Penguin) Billy and the Boingers released a flexi-disc distributed solely through the Bloom County treasury “Boingers Bootleg.” Possibly the only recorded punk band that emerged from a comic strip, unless those Family Circus kids cut a secret 7” I don’t know about.

Kobujutsu (On-Gaku: Our Sound)

In the animated feature On-Gaku: Our Sound, Three bored, taciturn teenage delinquents suddenly start a band that sounds somewhere between the devolved garage of the Gories and a malfunctioning washer/dryer. It’s a great movie that anyone reading THIS site should seek out immediately. Has a climactic “rock festival” scene that genuinely rivals anything that guy Scorcese ever did.

The Bird Brains (Spongebob Squarepants)

It’s the Cramps voicing a group of funny little marionette birds who rock so hard they blast Tom Kenny through a dozen walls…What am I supposed to do, NOT put it on the list???

How Now Brown and the Moo Wave (Sesame Street)

The Street’s resident new wave band How Now Brown gave us this blistering ode to, uh well, paint glippin’ and gloppin’ around in a bucket. Which apparently the Children’s Television Workshop deemed an important enough concept as the alphabet and “the concept of near and far” to teach to the kindergartners of the world. And you know what? They were right.

Dewey Cox & the Hardwalkers (Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story)

In the 2006 biopic parody Walk Hard, country rocker Dewey Cox is introduced to cocaine by his ever-apprehensive, but entirely un-discouraging drummer and invents hardcore instantly. And this sequence is implied to take place in the early ’50s, somehow even pre-dating Marty Mcfly inventing rock ‘n roll in the early ’60s. What a whirlwind.

Rock City Soundscape (The Birthday Boys)

Lampooning the genre-switching tendencies of indie musicians, The Birthday Boys’ Rock City Soundscape gave us the dance-punk classic “The Woods.” How punk rock is “The Woods” you ask? Well, as you can see from this video, they sometimes have a spider for a keyboardist. Why, not even Crass was THAT anarchic. Featuring all three members of the very NON-fictional party-rock band The Sloppy Boys.

Hell Hath No Fury (Degrassi: The Next Generation)

From the aptly titled episode “Rock ‘n Roll High School” Hell Hath No Fury is formed by Degrassi High students Ashley, Hazel, Paige and Ellie. Their song, “Mr. Nice Guy” is a fantastic anti-Craig Manning ode that sounds like Hole by way of the Go-Go’s. And if you think Downtown Sasquatch deserved to beat them at the battle of the bands, I’m sorry, but you’re a sexist.

Lady Parts (We Are Lady Parts)

This all-female Muslim punk band at the center of the British sitcom “We Are Lady Parts” is the absolute real deal (except for the being “real” part, but that’s the whole point of the article.) If you subscribe to Peacock, maybe make better use of your time by watching this show instead of your twelfth run through of the damn Office, huh?

The Blowholes (The Adventures of Pete & Pete)

In the episode “A Hard Day’s Pete,” music-hater Little Pete Wrigley forms a band to capture the one song he’s ever heard that he actually likes (Polaris’ “Summerbaby”). Even though the Blowholes consist of two children, a middle school math teacher, and a local gas meter reader, they can blast the belly button lint right out of your innie. You can tell Iggy Pop lived down the street.

The Stains (Ladies and Gentlemen…The Fabulous Stains)

In my opinion, more bands should feature Laura Dern on bass. Because, let’s face it: “dern” is the sound a bass makes.

Nada ft. Piggy (Get Crazy)

Allan Arkush’s spiritual sequel to Rock ‘n Roll High School “Get Crazy” revolves around New Year’s Eve concert curated with a cornucopia of made-up rock bands (often played by real musicians. Lou Reed acts in this thing, it’s nuts.) This one in particular is notable because, well, you can probably tell from just listening: that’s Lee Ving as lunatic vocalist “Piggy”, making this pretty much a lost FEAR track.

The Queen Haters (SCTV)

Take away the laugh track and somehow ignore the fact that all the members are recognizable 70’s comedy stars, “I Hate the Bloody Queen” could easily be mistaken as a legitimate entry in British punk’s first wave. The anthem proved so seminal that it’s been covered by NOFX and Mudhoney respectively. Plus, look at John Candy on those drums. Perfect.

Josie and the Pussycats (Josie and the Pussycats)

While their cartoon predecessors dealt firmly in bubblegum (and solving mysteries), the titular band of the 2001 cult classic Josie and the Pussycats are a pop punk powerhouse that could easily open for Blink 182 (for exactly one gig, until the tour organizers realized they messed up and correct it to be the other way around)

The Riverbottom Nightmare Band (Emmet Otter’s Jugband Christmas)

Also known as simply “The Nightmare” to the folksy woodland community of Frogtown Hollow, this gang of puppet thugs Though some may scoff at my calling their glammy, Blue Oyster Cult-ish stomp “punk”, please take note that one member of the Nightmare’s employ is a fish whose only job is to snottily spit on the audience and their expensive equipment.

Crisis of Conformity (Saturday Night Live)

C’mon, you knew Fred Armisen was gonna be on here somewhere. Honestly, good on us for not simply making this a whole list of fake bands he’s been involved with. Anyhow, this is a great sketch with a killer reveal that manages to satirize Jello Biafra, Suicidal Tendencies, and Black Flag all while on the precious airwaves of mainstream national broadcast television. You gotta hand it to the guy, that’s no small feat.