Battle of the Bands

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A contest where two or more musical bands (usually Hard Rock or Heavy Metal) decide who is the best. In Real Life, this is usually determined by a judges panel, but in fiction, it often gets turned into an actual battle, especially when Magic Music, Instrument of Murder, and the literal Power of Rock get involved.

A staple in Music Stories, being the only type of direct Conflict that can take place between musical bands. Everything else is either indirect competition (selling more records, gathering more concert audiences, etc.) or violent off-stage brawls (which are not always cool).

Examples of Battle of the Bands include:


  • In Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, the Battle of the Bands between Sex Bob-omb and the Katayanagi twins turns into an epic showdown between Energy Beings representing each side.
  • In School of Rock, the one with Jack Black, the climax of the movie is a competition which is called, well... Battle Of The Bands
  • Bill and Ted: In Excellent Adventure they dream about being in the school's battle of the bands. In Bogus Journey they end up at the battle, battling the Evil Robot Usses' band.
  • In Zulu during a lull in the fighting the Zulu and Welsh soldiers sing martial songs at each other as a kind of Trash Talk.


  • The Graeme Base book The Worst Band in the Universe.
  • In Rock Star the protagonist's band gets into a nationwide Battle of the Bands, but the protagonist himself is grounded from playing because he's failing math. When his replacement gets injured he does it anyway and the band wins, which leads to him running away from home to become a rock star. It doesn't work out.
  • King Dork: Tom & Sam's band enters the school BotB and sucks on purpose.

Video Games

  • In Brutal Legend, the Battles of the Bands are called "Stage Battles" and are actual battles, with music and instruments used for indiscriminate murder.
  • There is a Wii game called Battle Of The Bands.

Web Comics

  • The webcomic Scary Go Round has a whole chapter named "Battle of the Bands".
  • The subplot of Soul Symphony revolves around John and his heavy metal friend Charlie forming a band to compete in their school's Battle of the Bands. Of course, Charlie just really wants to win to defeat his bitter rival.

Web Original

  • Taken very literally in S2E22 of RWBY Chibi, surprising the villains, who expected a music competition and were unprepared for a literal battle.

Western Animation

  • The CatDog episode "Battle Of The Bands" had the titular duo enter said competition with Cat playing guitar and Dog playing the drums. However, due to Cat's insistence that they play really, really soft, they were nearly booed out of the competition, until the Greases showed up, having mistaken the competition for an actual battle, which results in CatDog finally winning the Battle of the Bands.
  • The 1935 Disney Silly Symphony "Music Land" involved a Saxophone from The Isle of Jazz having a Romeo and Juliet romance with a Violin from Symphony Land, which culminates in the two different styles having an all out musical artillery duel.