1. REO Speedwagon, “Can’t Fight This Feeling”
This has been the anthem of milquetoast dudes with a crush on their best friend since long before anyone ever coined the term “friend zone.”
2. Biz Markie, “Just A Friend”
Biz’s off-key warbling only make this song about being rejected that much more affecting. It’s a funny song, but he really makes you feel his pain too.
3. Pulp, “Like A Friend”
Jarvis Cocker has a few songs from within the zone, but this one is the best because it taps into some serious frustration directed at both himself and this woman who keeps stringing him along.
4. Bonnie Raitt, “Something To Talk About”
This one is kinda arguable! It’s basically Bonnie addressing rumors that she and this guy are a secret couple, and being like “oh, let’s just for it!” So you can either look this optimistically and see it as the beginning of a romance, or be a pessimist and see it as the first step into a friend zone in which she just sings “I Can’t Make You Love Me” over and over and over and over.
5. Eric Clapton, “Layla”
This one is a wounded cry from deep within the zone.
6. Mr. Big, “To Be With You”
“I’m the one who wants to be with you / deep inside I hope you’ll feel it too.”
7. Taylor Swift, “You Belong With Me”
Swift has a few songs about unrequited love, but this is the best one about having a crush on your best friend and deeply resenting his girlfriend.
8. Coldplay, “Shiver”
“From the moment I wake to the moment I sleep / I’ll be there by your side / Just you try and stop me, I’ll be waiting in line / Just to see if you can / Oh, did you want me to change? / Well, I’ll change for good.”
Does it surprise anyone that Coldplay has a friends zone song?
9. En Vogue, “Don’t Let Go (Love)”
“I often tell myself that we could be more than just friends / I know you think that if we move to soon it would all end / I live in misery when you’re not around / And I won’t be satisfied till we’re taking those vows.”
10. Bowling For Soup, “Girl All The Bad Guys Want”
This is pretty much the ultimate “nice guy” douchebag anthem.
11. Angels & Airwaves, “It Hurts”
“Your best friend is not your girlfriend.”
12. Kenny Loggins and Stevie Nicks, “Whenever I Call You ‘Friend’”
This one is a little vague – it could either be about a relationship or platonic friendship, or something more like the friend zone. You can make it whatever you want it to be.
13. Bob Marley, “Waiting In Vain”
“It’s been three years since I’m knockin’ on your door / and I still can knock some more / Ooh girl, ooh girl, is it feasible?”
14. Wheatus, “Teenage Dirtbag”
It’s a little unclear whether this guy is actually friends with Noelle, but there is no doubt that she has zero interest in getting with him.
15. Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder, “Just Good Friends”
“No, you won’t see her kiss and hug me / just good friends.”
16. Sonic Youth, “Crème Brûlée”
This one flips the perspective. When Kim Gordon ends the song by singing “I’ll say it before, and I’ll say it again / I’m so happy we’re just friends,” it stiiiiiings.