1. “Livin’ on a Prayer” by Bon Jovi
Stop and think about how often karaoke DJs and people who work at karaoke bars have to hear this song. You may only go out to karaoke once in a while, but these poor souls have to hear this damn Bon Jovi song enough times to result in post-traumatic stress disorder. Show some mercy.
2. “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey
Don’t ever stop believin’, but it’s time to stop singin’ this song.
3. “Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler
Contrary to what you might have been led to believe, there is no law that this song must be performed at least once per night at every karaoke bar in the world.
4. “Sister Christian” by Night Ranger
Unless you’re going to go all the way with this and fully reenact that scene in Boogie Nights with Alfred Molina, just sing something else.
5. “Baby Got Back” by Sir Mix-A-Lot
Look, it’s not as if there aren’t a million other rap songs about butts. Show some imagination.
6. “I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)” by Meat Loaf
Even if you think it’s totally hilarious to wonder what it is that Meat Loaf would not do for love, it will stop being funny by the third minute of this song, and then you have to keep going for another five minutes.
7. “Someone Like You” by Adele
Some songs are just better to sing by yourself in your own quiet personal sadness pit.
8. “Sweet Caroline” by Neil Diamond
If you insist on singing this total cliché of a karaoke song, you may as well go all the way and add the obnoxious “so good, so good, so good!” part that’s not actually in the song but has been added by bros at sports events over the years. People will be cringing either way.
9. “Summer Nights” by Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta
There really aren’t that many fun male-female duets, but you don’t have to default to this one.
10. “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind
There’s actually a lot more to this song besides the “doot-doot-doot” part.
11. “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen
This can be good as a group sing-along, but if you’re doing this all by yourself, you are going to be humiliating yourself onstage for a loooong time.
12. “I Will Survive” by Gloria Gaynor
It’s actually a miracle how many people have survived through terrible renditions of this song.
13. “It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)” by R.E.M.
If you can get up and get this exactly right, you will be a hero. But the chances of that happening are very, very poor.
14. “My Way” by Frank Sinatra
At least six people have been murdered while singing this song at karaoke bars in the Philippines. Just take that as a warning.
15. “99 Problems” by Jay Z
Everyone thinks they can just walk up and nail this, but then they realize about halfway through that they only really know the “I’ve got 99 problems and a bitch ain’t one” line, and that wow, rapping is harder than it seems.
16. “Wonderwall” by Oasis
This is a great song to choose if your idea of a good time is pushing your voice to its most nasal extreme.
17. “One Week” by Barenaked Ladies
Don’t be that guy.
- The 2016 MTV VMAs are airing at 8 p.m. ET tonight. Here are all the nominees 📺🎵