FANDOM


WikEd fancyquotesQuotesBug-silkHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extensionPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifierAnalysisPhoto linkImage LinksHaiku-wide-iconHaikuLaconic

I keep ya weak! Comin' from the streets of the ghetto,

At the end of the week, I get to keep your dinero!

You're fast asleep when I sneak in your casa.

Now you're bankrupt, your life sucks and I'm laughin'.

You can't trust me, ese, because I'm Latin!

I don't care if you don't like me, everybody wanna fight me.
Opening of Can you feel the heat?, known to WWE fans as Eddie Guererro's theme music

Members of a youth street-gang whose behavior usually involves various criminal activities, including drug dealing, killing members of other groups, and vandalizing buildings by painting graffiti tags. May or may not commit rapes [1], as usually members of youth gangs have little trouble getting girlfriends who like the excitement and danger, some of whom are in girl gangs and killing their competitors too.

Gangbangers often fill the same role as The Mafia, but fit into a different archetype. Gangbangers are usually poor criminals, disorganized mobs who patrol ghettos, selling crack and getting into fights with rival gangs just for the hell of it, whereas Mafias are intelligent, very wealthy, diplomatic, and more likely to plan assassinations and ambushes than just go around getting into fights. The two can overlap, but the distinctive dress will usually make the difference clear; Mafias wear suits, ties, sunglasses and fedoras, while Gangbangers wear head bandanas, wifebeaters and torn jeans.

The Irish Mob can be either depicted as period-appropriate Gang-Bangers or as a kind of Mafia (though don't ever call them that), depending on time period, location, and the creator's opinions. For instance, the Irish gangs (and all the other gangs, for that matter) in Gangs of New York were the 19th-century equivalent of today's Bloods and Crips. The Irish Mob in The Departed, however, was much more Mafia-like.

Mafias will typically be composed of Italians, Russians (or some other post-soviet Ethnic nationality), or occasionally Chinese or Japanese, whereas as the Street Gang is made up of Blacks and Hispanics, with Unfortunate Implications all around (although American producers can be forgiven, as this is often Truth in Television for the most infamous gangs, especially since an all white gang fitting this description would almost certainly be labeled as Skinheads or something similar instead). May occasionally overlap with Biker gangs, though they usually fall into their own category.

As a nod to the lack of precision or training, they will typically use their weapons Gangsta Style. White Gang-Bangers is what happens when the Unfortunate Implications are avoided intentionally, though often unrealistically (unless it's not America but an all-white country with white gangbangers, like Russia).

Gangs separate themselves from each other with identifiers such as different coloured clothes and gang tattoos, which in extreme cases may make them a Gang of Hats. Often come from the Wrong Side of the Tracks. This is the alternative for most students in Save Our Students plots.

See The Yardies for the British equivalent and Japanese Delinquents for the Japanese version.

Examples of Gang-Bangers include:


Comic Book

  • Most of the characters of DC's early 90s Milestone imprint, who were gangsters turned Designated Heroes after getting sprayed with a gene-altering tear gas substitute.
  • Sin City has street gangs that pop up from time to time. Considering this is Frank Miller, the street gangs are sometimes Nazis.

Live Action TV

  • Lincoln Heights has a black gang and a Latino gang. There was even one episode that had a white supremacist street gang based on the Aryan Brotherhood. Most likely a case of Did Not Do Research, since the Aryans are a prison gang, not a street gang, and the fact that no white surpremacist gang would EVER set up operations in a black and Latino neighborhood.
  • Half the cast of The Wire.
    • Subverted in that the gangs on The Wire are highly organized (even the lower-level guys are shown to be at least competent, if not intelligent), moderately disciplined, innovative, and tend to be run either by Machiavellian businessmen taking college courses in macroeconomics (Stringer Bell) or ruthless, power-hungry sociopaths (Marlo Stanfield). Oh, and they have white gangbangers shown in Season Two, much to the disgust of the Polish community and Nick Sobotka in particular.
  • Similarly for The Shield.
  • The History Channel has a semi-documentary series called Gangland devoted to Gang-Bangers.
  • Seriously common in Southland.
  • In the The Walking Dead episode "Vatos", at first the trope seems to be being played straight, but it turns out that they're really just acting that way to protect an old folks home whose residents were abandoned by the staff when the zombie apocalypse hit.
  • The One-Niners in Sons of Anarchy, a series centering around a California based Outlaw Motorcycle Club.
  • In Season 11 of Degrassi Drew kills one who was attempting to rape Bianca, leading to the gang pursuing him.
  • CSI: NY had the Tanglewood Boys on two occasions. They're the sons of mafia members and still rather connected to it, but tend more toward typical gangbanger tendancies themselves. Based on a real group, though they're now pretty much defunct.

Film

  • The Warriors, of course.
  • Subverted by American Gangster. Frank Lucas' gang is well-organized, reasonably disciplined, innovative, and entirely made up of African-Americans.
    • It's actually a minor plot point that a law enforcement agent giving Richie a hard time didn't buy his story because he refused to believe that a black organization could outperform the Italian mafia. He then called Richie a kike.
  • Subverted with CMB from New Jack City as well.
  • Sin City The Movie even has a gang of hookers.

Video Games

  • CJ and his crew, as well as most of the early antagonists in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas. Grove Street Families is loosely based on Crips, Ballaz is based on Bloods, Vagos on 18th Street Gang.
    • Liberty City in Grand Theft Auto IV is occupied by a few street gangs along with larger, better-organized groups.
    • The Red Jacks and Purple Nines in Grand Theft Auto III. Who, though being stand-ins for the Bloods and Crips, happily walked around side by side and attacked the player if he attacked one of the other gang.
  • The gangs of lower Taris in Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.
    • One was more focused on honor and gang loyalty than usual for the trope, the other was mostly a bunch of berserkers with little other ambition. Older members of the second gang will tell the player they used to be more like the first until a recent leadership change.
  • Summon your own! Masterminds in City of Villains can choose to major in Thugs, which gives the Player Character the ability to command multiethnic Gang-Bangers in combat.
  • The Outer Estrana gangs in The Way.
  • The whole web game Urban Rivals is about gang wars, but the Bangers clan fits most of the Gang-Bangers tropes.
  • Don't forget that Saints Row is a game where you actually become a Gang Banger.

Western Animation

Web Original

  • In The Gamers Alliance, the Nightstalkers are a gang of young thugs with big plans for rising up in the Maar Sulais criminal hierarchy.
  • ASH: there are lots and lots of these, some with themes like "all-cyborg" or "voodoo-esque powers". Pretty much all of them have exclusively paranormal membership. Hard to compete with people who can shoot lightning and throw cars when you can't.

Notes

  1. despite the other meaning of banging gangs
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.