The On-eeders   The Wonders

That Thing You Do movie poster          Although technically not a band, “The Wonders” are the fictitious band from a movie titled “That Thing You Do”. The movie is a cult classic that has inspired other bands to take the fictitious band’s name (in one form or another) and numerous bands and musicians to perform covers of the movie’s music. In the movie, a group of young musicians from smalltown Erie, Indiana, get a lucky break when a last minute replacement drummer decides to turn the group’s song, a romantic ballad, into a dance tempo. This sets off a chain reaction that results in the song’s becoming a nationwide hit and the band’s becoming a national phenomenon.

The movie, which was released publicly in 1996, was initially given a mediocre review by famous movie critic Roger Ebert but this didn’t disuade an enthusiastic public from making the film a hit movie. The ripples spread even further, with the city of Erie latching onto the film as a calling card for the city’s 15 minutes of fame. The actors from the movie were even invited to come and perform in Japan, an event that almost didn’t happen when actor Tom Everett Scott got to the plane only to realize he didn’t have his passport.

In the movie, the band’s leader Jimmy decides the band should be called “the One-ders” which leads to the general public thinking the band is called “the Oneeders” and one of the central jokes in the film. When they sign with the fictitious Playtone Records, they’re renamed “the Wonders” and become part of a music industry campaign to replace the Beatles with an American band. It doesn’t happen and the band breaks up within several months, due to the pressures of the industry and the long days on tour.

Clips of the movie are widespread on YouTube and the movie can be purchased from or viewed on iTunes. It’s worth watching but, even if you don’t, the songs which were written for the movie are infectious and worth listening to. The movie’s actors have reunited on several occasions, including during the recent COVID pandemic when they reunited once again in memory of Adam Schlesinger, who wrote the movie’s songs but died as a result of the COVID outbreak.

                             click on the links below to see the lyrics for the songs mentioned above: That Thing You Do (lyrics); Dance With Me Tonight (lyrics); All My Only Dreams (lyrics)


                                       fictitious: something that isn’t real

                                       cult classic: something, usually a movie, that has a small but extremely loyal group of followers

                                       chain reaction: a series of events where each event is caused by the one before it

                                       mediocre: neither good nor bad

                                       latching onto: attaching to or associating oneself with something

                                       perform: to play in front of an audience (usually music)

                                       sign: to write one’s signature on a legal or other document

                                       campaign: a series of activities done to achieve a purpose or result

                                       widespread: something that appears in many different locations and in large numbers

                                       reunited: when members of something (a band, a group, a personal relationship) come back together after ending the relationship

                                       Downloadable Items

                                       article text
                                       story comprehension questions
                                       story comprehension answers

                                       YouTube Movie Clips

                                       The Wonders, "That Thing You Do"

                                       That Thing You Do: Dance With Me Tonight

                                       All My Only Dreams

                                       Covers of the title song

                                       Banda Bubbles Official: The Wonders - That Thing You Do!

                                       Josh Taerk: That Thing You Do - The Wonders (Cover)

                                       alpha bill: The Knack - That Thing You Do! (The Wonders cover 1964/1996) (1998)

                                       Derek Hammond: That Thing You Do! Cover

                                       Article Research Sources

                                       IMDb - That Thing You Do!

                                       Erie Reader: Wonder of Oneders

                                       Hits Daily Double – Rumour Mill: WONDER WHAT HAPPENED TO THE ONEDERS? THEY'RE REUNITING

                                       Siskel & Ebert (1996) - THAT THING YOU DO!

                                       The Wonders- That Thing You Do (the Mercy Talent Show)

                                       That Thing You Do! (2/5) Movie CLIP - Radio Debut

                                       Making That Thing You Do!(1996 documentary about the film)

Last updated Friday, February 17, 2023
copyrighted © John Erick Kenmuir 2023