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File:Newkids 514.jpg

Before and After

New Kids on the Block, or NKOTB, are a Bostonian Five-Man Band Boy Band. Originally conceived as a white version of New Edition (seriously), they enjoyed several years of major success in the late 80's and early 90's, but declining sales, internal strife, and accusations of lip-syncing and other issues led to the group disbanding in 1994. Most of the members went on to solo musical careers, and Donnie Wahlberg became a successful actor. They got back together in 2008, released a new album, and held a very successful and much Better Than It Sounds reunion tour and a tour in 2011 co-headlining with the Backstreet Boys. Boy Band fans are just a little bit excited about this...

NKOTB is one of the Trope Makers (or, at least, Trope Codifiers) for subsequent Boy Bands.


  • Donnie Wahlberg (older brother to Mark Wahlberg "Marky Mark" Wahlberg)
  • Danny Wood
  • Joey McIntyre
  • Jordan Knight
  • Jonathan Knight (Jordan's older brother)


  • 1986 - New Kids On The Block
  • 1988 - Hangin' Tough
  • 1989 - Merry, Merry Christmas
  • 1990 - Step By Step
  • 1991 - No More Games - The Remix Album
  • 1994 - Face The Music
  • 2008 - The Block
  • 2011 - NKOTBSB (combined NKOTB and BSB hits album along with three new songs)

NKOTB provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Celebrity Endorsement:
    • During their original run, the band endorsed name-brand products during their most popular years. Most notably, Coca-Cola, which peaked with a contest run by the soda company that tied into their Magic Summer tour. Sadly, the "Magic Cans" caused a lot more grief than expected. (Your Golden Ticket was supposed to pop up through the opening of the can if you won. This did not work so well in practice.)
    • Since his mother's death from breast cancer, Danny has become an outspoken supporter of the Susan G. Komen Foundation, with proceeds from some of NKOTB's merchandise during the reunion tour and all of the profits from his solo album Stronger: Remember Betty going to the Foundation.
  • Christmas Songs: Merry, Merry Christmas, combining Christmas standards with original songs that were of...questionable quality.
  • Cluster F-Bomb:
    • Original run: The closest they ever came was a "No way/Bullshit!" loop in Face the Music's opening track.
    • At the end of the reunion tour, Donnie and Jordan sang a duet about how far up shit creek they'd be if it wasn't for the backing musicians.
    • Solo material: Joey's live album One Too Many, where the language flows freely between songs...and frequently interrupts them. For example:

 Joey: (singing) Up here we're one big happy family

Riding - aw, they're gonna sue me and shit! "Joe, you did great but you broke the fuckin' piano! Come back anytime!"

  • Cover Version: Jordan covered Prince's "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man" on his debut solo album, and did several covers on Love Songs.
  • Eighties Hair: What did you expect?
  • Fan Service: We could spend a whole paragraph on this. It's probably enough just to note that there was a lot of it. Now that they're back together, it's even more prevalent. Conversely...
  • Fandom Nod:
    • The group's song "Tonight", and Joey's song "Five Brothers and a Million Sisters".
    • The entire comeback tour, especially in its later stages.
  • Five-Man Band: Of course!
    The Hero / The Sweet One - Jordan Knight
    The Lancer / The Tough One - Donnie Wahlberg
    The Smart Guy / The Cute One - Joey McIntyre
    The Big Guy / The Cool Big Brother - Danny Wood
    and Jordan's older brother Jon.
  • A Good Name for a Rock Band: Originally averted; for whatever reason, their Imposing Manager named the group Nynuk when it first formed (to this day, nobody is quite sure what he was thinking). Thank Donnie and Columbia Records for the group's current moniker; Donnie wrote the song "New Kids on the Block" for the first album, and Columbia said they'd give the group a record contract provided they changed their name. The rest is history.
  • Hotter and Sexier: In spades since the reunion.
  • Intercourse with You:
    • Mostly averted in their original run.
    • The Block plays this very straight, depending on the song.
    • In their solo material, Jordan uses this a lot, with "Give It to You" being one of the best examples. Joey and Donnie also use it fairly regularly. Danny used it a lot more in his earlier material than his more recent albums.
  • Mondegreen: "Grown Man" features the repeated line "Yo, check out our DJ's spin", but it sounds a lot like "Yo, check out Adidas Bay".
  • Mood Dissonance: Jordan's solo song "Give It to You" is very steamy; the video has him dancing in an amusement park.
  • Precision F-Strike:
    • Subverted with "Grown Man"; the two places where profanities would fit were replaced with effects or wordplay.
    • Mild versions show up in banter and lyrics when they're performing live.
  • The Quiet One: Jon. Lampshaded frequently by the rest of the group, and sometimes by Jon himself when he does talk.
  • Self-Titled Album: The group's debut album, and Jordan's first solo album.
  • Serious Business: Still after all these years. We need a sociologist to get to the bottom of the dedication of Boston-based fandoms. They're like the Red Sox of music...
  • Shirtless Scene:
    • At least one photo from most of Danny's solo albums, if not all the art.
    • The live video of "Baby I Believe In You" has Jordan wearing an open white shirt that totally showed off his chest and abs; he recycled this for his solo routine during the first part of the reunion tour.
    • Pretty much a standard feature of the shows during the NKOTBSB tour.
  • Silly Love Songs: Take a shot every time they say "girl". By the Hangin' Tough album, snarky critics started wondering if they were actually singing to a woman named Girl.
  • Straight Gay: Jon.
  • Take That:
    • Face the Music's first track was a Take That of sorts to the lip-syncing accusations and other criticisms the group had been facing during that time.
    • Some of Joey's songs have taken sly jabs at the Backstreet Boys, N*SYNC, and Britney Spears.
  • Tall, Dark and Handsome: Jordan, who took full advantage of it for Fan Service.
  • Yoko Oh No: Poor Tiffany!

Animated Series:

At around the time New Kids fandom peaked, a Not Quite Starring animated series based on the group began production. Lasting from 1990 to 1991. It is best remembered as embodying everything wrong with Celebrity Toons. Episodes are usually not difficult to find on good old YouTube, where they can be enjoyed in all their Snark Bait glory. A review of the series, with viewing guide (the author is a fellow Troper and lets no trope pass without comment), can be found here. It had examples of the following tropes:

  • Adventure Towns: The various stops on their seemingly endless tour. If you live in one of the towns, be aware that the writers really Did Not Do the Research.
  • Band Toon: And it followed the associated tropes to a T: every episode they get into some kind of adventure and sing a song at the end. Whee.
  • Disney Acid Sequence: Not just the songs either. The whole show is presented in Glorious Seizure-Vision! The thing looks like a Youtube Poop of itself.
  • The Faceless: The Band's tour bus driver Sam doesn't seem to show her face, but we do get see what her hair looks like (It's brown for those wondering).
  • Flanderization: "So you say Jon is serious, Danny likes to work out, Donnie used the phrase 'ballistic' to mean 'awesome' in a song once, and both he and Joey like to crack bad jokes? Well, there's our research, let's start writing some scripts!"
  • Groupie Brigade: Ugh. Yes. It was referred to as a fan club, but strangely enough it was almost a literal brigade. It was entirely consumed with stalking the New Kids, and the actions of its leadership were not unlike those of a brigadier and officers overseeing a theater of operations.
  • Hey, It's That Voice!: Jordan is Robin! Joey is, uh, also Robin and (just to keep things confusing) Danny! Donnie is Captain Planet and the Planeteers Planet!?!
  • Horrible Camping Trip: "Overnight Success" may as well be the type specimen. There is a slight subversion in that the characters actually know how to go camping, but it even has the requisite grizzly bears. In the forests outside Boston (which are real, but are lacking in the bear department). Sigh...
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: In "New Kid in the Class," Joey entertains the notion of quitting the group so that he can... go to school. The hell?
  • Not Funny Anymore: It's hard to see producer Dick Scott cast as the show's Butt Monkey in light of his recent passing.
  • Not Quite Starring: The New Kids were voiced by professional voice actors. See "Hey, It's That Voice" above.
  • Off-Model: This was a very cheap show (It was made by Di C after all). In particular, the episode "In Step Out of Time" will make your eyes bleed.
  • Poor Man's Substitute: SO many bad Boston accents. After a few episodes, they just stopped trying. Mercifully. (But see Totally Radical below.)
  • The Power of Rock: Figured in at least once every other episode.
  • Stealth Parody: You almost get the sense that the series may be an elaborate Take That against Celebrity Toons.
  • Stock Footage: One of the worst offenders in recent memory. Actual concert and interview footage was edited into the series seemingly at random (ie, the cartoon's story would be interrupted by a clip of Jordan talking about his cats). It was as if the producers were saying, "Here, here are the actual New Kids. Are you happy?"
    • Fun fact about this: A lot of the random cutaways and effects are due to the animation coming back from Asia with lots of mistakes. There was no time to fix them, so they added all these video effects and cutaways to salvage what usable footage they had, and passed it off as "music video effects" or something. As previously stated, the overall effect is that the show is a Youtube Poop of itself.
  • Team Pet: Nikko the Shar-Pei. Somewhat justified in that he was the Knight brothers' dog in reality too. Funny thing is, he's clearly the writer's favorite character.
  • This Loser Is You: Personified by the character Fanny, who is basically an incarnation of Fan Dumb. Other fans were portrayed as being just short of a Stalker with a Crush. Half the plots involved the New Kids looking for their few fans who weren't completely obsessed. If there's a downright odder place for the Straw Fan trope to be applied (you'd have to be an obsessed New Kids fangirl to like this show), we here at TV Tropes would love to know about it.
  • Totally Radical: To the point where you wonder if the writers are even aware of how people from Boston speak. (Or, one could argue, how people from Earth speak. Ballistic!)
  • Viewers are Morons: How else to explain the "interruption" in the middle of "Sheik Of My Dreams", where Straw Fan Fanny assures the Jordan fangirls in the audience that Jordan is not getting married in real life?