Bands That Were Named After TV Shows And Movies
Have you ever wondered how a band came up with their name? Some, like The Beatles, were simply influenced by other bands like Buddy Holly & the Crickets, so they just chose another animal. The Pixies landed on their name because the word was randomly selected from a dictionary.
Inspiration can come from anywhere, even from movies and TV shows. We’re looking at bands that were inspired by the modern marvel of moving pictures so much that they named themselves in honor of their favorites. Scroll on to learn about these band name origin stories.
Okilly Dokilly is a metalcore band from Phoenix, Arizona. Their name and the theme of their entire aesthetic derives from the bible-pushing character Ned Flanders from The Simpsons. One of their songs, “White Wine Spritzer,” is featured on the closing credits of a 2019 episode.
The members of Okilly Dokilly are: frontman Head Ned, Shred Ned on guitar, Zed Ned on synth, Dread Ned on drums, and Bed Ned on bass guitar. And yes, they dress just like Ned Flanders on stage complete with mustache and glasses.
The Simpsons Continue to Influence Music
A second band that was inspired by The Simpsons is Fall Out Boy, an American alternative and pop punk rock band. They named themselves after the Robin sidekick parody character Fall Out Boy, who has made several appearances in The Simpsons episodes.
The band recalled in interviews that during a show in Chicago they asked the audience a suggestion for a band name. One fan shouted out, “Fall Out Boy!” and the rest is history.
“Don’t Care How, I Want it Now!!”
Veruca Salt was formed by vocalist-guitarists Nina Gordon and Louise Post in the early ’90s. They named themselves after the famous character written by Roald Dahl in his classic book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The film adaption starring Gene Wilder brought Veruca Salt, the spoiled rich girl character, to the forefront of pop culture.
Like the character, Veruca Salt the band produced music with a lot of attitude characteristic of early 90s grunge rock, making the name a perfect fit for their aesthetic.
Kung Fu Fighting
The Wu-Tang Clan got their name from a 1980s martial arts movie called Shaolin and Wu Tang. The film not only inspired the name of the hip-hop group, but they used several audio samples from the English dub of the film in their debut album Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers).
Today, Enter the Wu-Tang is considered one of the best hip hop/rap albums of all time. What would they have called themselves without the influence of kung fu?
Duran Duran took their name from the 1960s cult classic science fiction film Barbarella starring Jane Fonda. In the film, the antagonist was a mad scientist called Dr. Durand-Durand, played by actor Milo O’Shea.
Naming themselves after the character in the film isn’t the only time they were influenced by the Roger Vadim movie. One of the nightclubs where they regularly played in England was called Barbarella’s, and their first single in the United States was “Electric Barbarella.”
A Slasher Film Inspired This Alt Rock Band
The Irish alternative rock band My Bloody Valentine’s name came from the 1981 Canadian slasher film of the same title. It was a lower-budget movie in the vein of popular horror flicks of the time like Friday the 13th and Halloween.
The film is mostly infamous for having an entire nine minutes cut out by the Motion Picture Association of America for excessive violence and gore. A remake of My Bloody Valentine was released in 3D years later under the title My Bloody Valentine 3D.
Hold The Bear
The indie rock band from Seattle, Minus the Bear, got their name when a friend of the band was trying to describe how his date went the night before. Referencing a television show from the 1970’s call B.J. and the Bear, he said, “You know that TV show from the ’70s, B. J. and the Bear? It was like that … minus the Bear.”
B.J. and the Bear was a sitcom that aired on NBC from 1979 to 1981. It was a comedy about a trucker who travelled the nation’s highways with his pet chimpanzee named Bear.
Rapper group Das Racist named themselves after a clip from an obscure show on MTV2 called Wonder Showzen.
Member Himanshu Suri said in an interview: “When I saw the little kid yelling ‘THAT’S RACIST’ it blew my mind. And then it became a game…to take all the seriousness out of making legitimate commentary on race, because that can get very annoying. So when something veering on racially insensitive would pop off in a commercial on television or something it would be like, who could yell ‘That’s Racist’ first. And then we thought it would be a cool name.”
Marilyn Monroe And Punk Rock
Founding member of The Misfits, Glenn Danzig, named the band after the 1961 film The Misfits. The Misfits was Marilyn Monroe’s final film before she died the following year (the movie was released posthumously).
The punk band has had its share of ups and downs (and cycle of replacement band members) over the years since they hit the scene in 1977. They are still performing and last played at Chicago’s Allstate Arena in April 2019.
“Hey, You Guuuuys!”
The Fratellis, a Scottish rock band from Glasgow, supposedly got their name from the 1980s Stephen Spielberg classic The Goonies. In the film, the Fratelli family are the bad guys chasing after a bunch of kids in the race to get their hands on a secret treasure.
While the origin of the band’s name is debated, all of the members changed their last names to Fratelli for their stage names. Guitarist Jon Fratelli was born John Lawler, bass guitarist Barry Fratelli was born Barry Wallace, and drummer and backing vocalist Mince Fratelli was born Gordon McRory.
A Classic Horror Film Inspired Rob Zombie
The film 1932 film White Zombie is considered to be the first horror zombie flick. It starred Bela Lugosi, most famously known for playing Count Dracula in 1931’s Dracula.
Rob Zombie, a musician, horror film buff, and now a horror film director himself, was of course inspired by the horror classic and dubbed his band “White Zombie.” White Zombie went on to become one of the first in the industrial metal music genre.
Bassist Steve Harris of Iron Maiden has attributed the band’s name to the film adaption of The Man in the Iron Mask. The title reminded him of the medieval torture device known as an “iron maiden.”
An iron maiden is like the ‘chokey’ from Matilda, but much, much darker. Instead of a room with spikes on the inside the door, an iron maiden is an upright sarcophagus with spikes along the inside of double doors. When the doors closed on the victim the spikes would pierce vital organs, causing them to slowly bleed to death.
Horror And Metal: A Match Made in Heaven
Continuing with the horror movie inspo trend comes metal rock band Black Sabbath. Before they landed on the name, they called themselves “Earth.” When they realized in England in 1969 that they kept being mistaken for another group named Earth, they saw a movie theater across the street from their rehearsal room advertising the horror film Black Sabbath.
The film’s title inspired a new song of the same name, a new band name, and a new, darker sound that contrasted with the flower power, folk-y music of the era.
1990s-era ska punk band Save Ferris got their name from the 80’s classic teen film Ferris Bueller’s Day Off starring Matthew Broderick. The name refers to a comical sub-plot in the movie where the public hears that Ferris is very ill and begin raising awareness and funds to save him (Ferris, of course, is faking sick and just playing hooky from school).
Save Ferris most recently played an anniversary show for the Lawrence Beer Company in August 2018.
While the Brooklyn-based alternative rock band They Might Be Giants is named after a 1971 movie, the band doesn’t put much value into that fact. Member John Linnell once said in an interview, “It’s the name of a movie. It’s not a good movie and it don’t hold that much significance for us.”
Other viewers of this movie disagree: They Might Be Giants has a 70% Rotten Tomatoes score and a 7/10 on IMDB.
D.C.’s The Dismemberment Plan were inspired by Bill Murray’s classic film Groundhog Day. “There’s a part where an insurance salesman is talking to Bill Murray’s character and mentions the death and dismemberment plan,” singer-guitarist Travis Morrison told Spin.
Morrison ran the name by his bandmates and friends who all advised against it. “I ending up making an executive decision,” he explained. Even Fugazi’s Ian MacKaye told him to change the name! Morrison stood his ground and the name stuck.
“Marcia, Marcia Marcia!”
More famously known as Vitamin C in the 90s, Colleen Fitzpatrick was in an alternative rock band called Eve’s Plum before her hit pop single “Graduation (Friends Forever)” hit the airwaves. The band released two albums and broke up in 1998.
Eve’s Plum got their name from actress Eve Plumb, who played Jan Brady in The Brady Bunch. Her character Jan is most famous for the line “Marcia, Marcia Marcia!” which has been widely parodied in films and television.
“Does It Offend You, Yeah?”
Does It Offend You, Yeah?, the British dance-punk band who played their final show in December 2015, got their name from a quote said by Ricky Gervais’ character David Brent in the original version of The Office.
According to the lead singer, zero thought went into the name choice: “We needed a name so just put what was the first thing that was said on TV, we switched it on and Ricky Gervais said ‘Does it offend you, yeah? My drinking?’ so we just went with that.”
The Truth Is Out There
Eve 6 was an American rock band that formed in the mid-’90s in California. The group was named after an episode from the first season of the hit sci-fi television series The X-Files, called “Eve.”
In the episode, genetically engineered women were named “Eves” and genetically engineered men were “Adams.” One of the Eves was named Eve 6. Drummer Tony Fagenson was a fan of the show and suggested the name to his other bandmates.
La Caduta Degli Dei
The English punks got their name from a poster advertising a movie called The Damned. Only the movie wasn’t actually called “The Damned,” but La caduta degli dei. It was an Italian film and the title means “The Fall of the Gods.”
It was released in England as The Damned. Can you imagine a band called La Caduta Degli Dei alongside their contemporaries The Sex Pistols and The Clash? Not the most fitting name for a punk rock ensemble.