In a perfect world, I spend weekend afternoons rehearsing with my bandmates—The Hex Girls on Saturdays and The Beets on Sundays. In concerts, the crowd is always packed and fans know the songs by heart. But that is until I stop the videos and I’m back to reality again. Honestly, I think we all deserve to be in a fictional band.
Whether as iconic cameos or memorable mainstays, cartoon music groups are highkey pop culture phenoms. They infuse our attachment to the show, serve us real bangers, and dress better than us. To channel our frustration over their non-existence IRL, here’s our mini ode to the bands on the other side.
The Misfits (“Jem”)
No, not the ’70s pop punk one, but it’s as strong. The Misfits, a.k.a. Jem and the Holograms’ bane of existence, are what pop stars wish they are. Pizzazz (main vocals, rhythm guitar), Roxy (lead guitar), Stormer (keytar and lyrics) and Jetta (saxophones) make up the dazzling, aggressive ’80s rock band. They’re risk-takers (riding electric guitar-shaped bikes is… a choice) and can rock duotone garments and fishnet bottoms. And, as what MTV said, their MVs are something else.
Listen to: Outta My Way
The Beets (“Doug”)
The Beatles? I only know The Beets. There’s nothing like this quirky, fun indie rock band—composed of Munroe Yoder (lead vocals, bass) Chap Lipman (guitar), Flounder (drums) and Wendy Nespah (keyboard, tuba)—from Queens, New York. Blame them for Doug and Skeeter’s interesting music taste. With their hoop earrings and sunglasses, they offer a mix of mysterious and relatable, making them an easy crowd fave. Uh, hello, “Killer Tofu”?
Listen to: “I Need Mo’ Allowance”
Spectrum of Enchantment (“Bojack Horseman”)
Look, I wish this band had longer screen time in everyone’s favorite existential series, but I guess there’s charm in the same-day hello and goodbye. We briefly meet Spectrum of Enchantment through Judah, Princess Carolyn’s trusty assistant. In S6EP14, PC learns about this band. During the band’s gig at the Zebralon, Judah’s fox bandmate (with cute eye makeup, I must say) asks him, “Wow, this is a huge crowd for us. Is everyone in your office here?” Judah sighs and says, “Not everyone.” I trust everything Judah, and that includes this band and their songs we’ll never get to hear. But hey, we probably have a sneak peek below.
Listen to: Judah’s song for Princess Carolyn
Josie and The Pussycats (“Josie and The Pussycats”)
These girls originally from “Archie Comics” are too iconic that they got their own Saturday morning show and a live-action reboot. Josie McCoy (vocals and guitar), Melody Valentine (drummer) and Valerie Brown (tambourines) are at their best when they’re flexing their animal print ’fits and uber positive, head-bopping tunes.
Listen to: “Josie and The Pussycats” Theme Song
Mystik Spiral (“Daria”)
I think we can all agree that Mystik Spiral… isn’t an A+ band. Sound and songwriting-wise, this heavy metal/grunge rock band probably won’t be selected to mentor rockstar aspirants, because they sound like your 8 a.m. hangover. But what makes Trent Lane (vocals and guitar), Jesse Moreno (rhythm guitar), Max Tyler (drums) and Nicholas Campbell (bass) a ’90s cult classic is because of their personality and passion. And, well, just how they are. “We’re Mystik Spiral, but we’re thinking of changing the name,” they’d say as they open their sets.
Listen to: “Ow! My Face”
The Hex Girls (“Scooby-Doo! and the Witch’s Ghost”)
Known for their killer ’fits and making us believe in goth supremacy, The Hex Girls are the alternative trio you’d line up in a meet and greet for. With their color-coordinated clothes, strong relationship with the environment and sultry and catchy music, you’ll easily wish they enter your playlists. The Independent has also described Thorn (lead vocals), Dusk (drummer and back-up vocals, Luna (keyboards and back-up vocals) as queer icons.
Listen to: “Hex Girl”
The Itty Bitty Ditty Committee (“Bob’s Burgers”)
Once upon a time, aspiring musician Gene formed a band with Tina, Louise, Darryl, Regular Sized Rudy and Peter Pescadero. Though their origin story came off a bit heartbreaking and sad-funny, they still came together and helped each other rediscover their love for music. The result? Fun tracks that slap the hell out of everyone. I mean, maximizing the potential of straws in making sounds? We love a resourceful crew.
Listen to: “Gene’s Fart Song”
Still from “Bojack Horseman”