1. American Hi-Fi, “Flavor of the Weak”
The best word play in the history of pop-punk… I mean, “weak” instead of “week”? American Hi-Fi’s best-known tune is a winning recipe: Just add a douche-y boyfriend and unrequited teenage love (aka carnal desire). I’m starting to believe they were the voice of our generation but no one really took notice. Except for this song. Which is amazing.
2. Wheatus, “Teenage Dirtbag”
1.) Wheatus’ “Teenage Dirtbag” appears at the penultimate scene in the incredible teen comedy Loser, because the only thing more pop-punk than actual pop-punk is a movie about high school. 2.) THAT FALSETTO.
3. Paramore, “Misery Business”
This song literally demands you swing your hips. Because Hayley Williams is an angel goddess sent from above, most of her vocal range is impossible for a normal human to access. “Misery Business” is the pleasant exception. Scream-singing “You’re just a whore and nothing more / I’m sorry that will never change,” is super effing fun, so go on with your bad self.
4. Sum 41, “Fat Lip”
If you can nail the rap verse, you are automatically Queen of Karaoke. Those are the rules.
5. Sum 41, “In Too Deep”
If you can’t nail the rap verse in “Fat Lip.”
6. Avril Lavigne, “Sk8r Boi”
This is the point where pop-punk purists will disagree with me, but there was/is certainly nothing truly punk about Avril, so she belongs on this list. “Sk8r Boi” was one of the few songs that came out in 2002 that my mom and I could both enjoy. ~*~so alt~*~
7. Ashlee Simpson, “La La”
You can’t mess with Ashlee. I mean, she married the guy from Fall Out Boy, so she has that street cred forever. I was going to throw “Pieces of Me” on this list too, but decided it was a little too slow and it doesn’t overtly refer to having raunchy sex in public places.
8. Jimmy Eat World, “The Middle”
Contrary to popular thought, this song has verses, which might not make it the best song to sing in karaoke. Even if you don’t know all the words, chances are one of your bros will (probably the guy in the Drive Thru Records hoodie). It just takes some time.
9. Blink-182, “All the Small Things”
Blink-182 is the best band to ever exist. This is their most famous song. You do the math.
10. Blink-182, “Dammit”
For those who don’t want to go for the obvious track. “Dammit” is every crazed Blink-182 fan’s favorite song and is arguably one of the easiest songs to play on guitar. But guess what? It’s also insanely easy to sing!
11. Fall Out Boy, “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down”
Before frontman Patrick Stump’s solo world takeover in 2011, Fall Out Boy were just another emo/pop-punk band from Chicago, with one exception: Their vocalist had a crazy falsetto which made them kind of better than everyone else. “Sugar, We’re Goin’ Down,” was their quintessential hit, and is also a fun challenge for those who sing in a low register.
12. Taking Back Sunday, “Cute Without the E (Cut From the Team)”
What was it about emo boys and Chuck Palahniuk? Fight Club was terrible, so why Taking Back Sunday tried their hand at recreating it for the “Cute Without the E” video is beyond me. But this song rules — some girl must have really hurt poor Adam Lazarra’s tweenage heart. I’m glad she did, because now I get to yell “You’re such a sucker” at my friends.
13. Green Day, “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”
Everyone in the English-speaking world knows the words to Green Day’s “Good Riddance,” so if you’re a chicken and refuse to sing solo (me), this is always a safe bet. In addition, it’s probably one of the only pop-punk songs that can be described as “beautiful,” so there’s that.
14. Harvey Danger, “Flagpole Sitta”
Yup, the American Pie song. It’s absolutely perfect and anytime the word “Paranoia,” appears in popular culture, this is where everyone’s mind goes. It’s unfortunate that Harvey Danger are considered one-hit wonders, but at least that means this song is available at pretty much all karaoke locations.
15. Yellowcard, “Ocean Avenue”
Palm-muted power chords. Teenage nostalgia. A desire to run away. A song title that directly references high school stomping grounds. Ascending melody. If there’s an equation to writing the perfect pop-punk song, these Jacksonville boys have nailed it. Let’s just hope their haircuts have improved.