Top 20 Cheesiest One Hit Wonder Songs of the 2000s



Top 20 Cheesiest One Hit Wonder Songs of the 2000s

VOICE OVER: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Mimi Kenny
For better or worse, you won't be able to get these divisive one-hit-wonders out of your head. For this list, we'll be looking at the most over-the-top and corny one-hit wonders from 2000 to 2009. Our countdown includes “Teenage Dirtbag”, “This Is Why I'm Hot”, “The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)”, “Graduation (Friends Forever)”, “Stacy's Mom”, and more!

Top 20 Cheesiest One-Hit Wonders of the 2000s

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 20 Cheesiest One-Hit Wonders of the 2000s.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the most over-the-top and corny one-hit wonders from 2000 to 2009. While some of these artists had other hits, they’re all best known for one song.

Which of these cheesy 2000s songs do you love the most? Let us know in the comments!

#20: “Teenage Dirtbag” (2000)

Being a teenager can be tough. It feels like everyone has it in for you, including yourself. This song, from alternative rockers Wheatus, is an anthem for losers who aren’t afraid to identify as such. Its music video even includes footage from college comedy “Loser.” Frontman Brendan B. Brown sings about an unrequited crush with absolute agony, only to learn he doesn’t know as much about his crush as he thinks. This song is the perfect singalong for anyone who’s felt like an outcast but hasn’t lost hope. That goes doubly true if they’re into Iron Maiden.

#19: “Fireflies” (2009)

Owl City
Synth-pop is already known as one of the cheesiest genres, but Owl City’s music is enough to make you feel lactose-intolerant. On his biggest hit, the musician, born Adam Young, sings about fireflies as a metaphor for insomnia and the racing thoughts that come with it. And the sound of the song is so bright and cheery, it’s hard to imagine anyone being able to fall asleep when it’s playing. “Fireflies” became one of the most unexpected chart-toppers of the 2000s, and it surely soundtracked many listeners’ restless nights as they too tired of counting sheep.

#18: “This Is Why I’m Hot” (2007)

Some artists spend years releasing music before they get any kind of recognition. Rapper Mims caught a lucky break when his debut single reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100. With its club-ready beat, full of hip-hop samples, confident flow, and iconic hook, it’s easy to see why this song resonated with so many people. But while Mims was hot with this song, his time in the musical spotlight didn't last too long. However, he's still doing well for himself, having helped make a popular recording app called "Cre8tor." Could the next big hit be made with an app from Mims?

#17: “Wherever You Will Go” (2001)

The Calling
Another debut single that made a huge splash was “Wherever You Will Go,” the heartfelt ballad by L.A. band the Calling. Like all good cheesy love songs, this one declares a passion for the other person that's absolutely undying, with frontman Alex Band putting his all into every verse and chorus. But while this song was a hit, the Calling weren’t able to replicate its success again. They’ve broken up and reformed multiple times, but it’s been more than 15 years since their last album. Who knows where the Calling could possibly go next?

#16: “I Believe in a Thing Called Love” (2003)

The Darkness
It may sound like a cheesy ‘80s rock song, but we can assure you it’s from the new millenium. With its thick riffs, lascivious lyrics, and over-the-top vocals, English rockers the Darkness made a song that sounded like it was made from the best parts of every glam rock hit ever. And it didn’t just resonate with people yearning for a bygone era. The song reached number two on the UK Singles Chart and also performed well in the US and Ireland, among other countries. While the Darkness had other successful songs, none received quite as much love as this one.

#15: “I Love College” (2009)

Asher Roth
College is full of challenges, with many hours spent studying, writing papers, and listening to boring lectures. But those aren’t the aspects Asher Roth is focusing on. On “I Love College,” the Pennsylvania rapper talks about the joys of partying as a college student, as well as dispensing advice for staying safe. It’s not about a particular school, just the college experience in general. If you went to a fraternity party in 2009, you probably heard it played. But Roth hasn’t been able to make another hit on this scale. Maybe he could try “I Love Grad School?”

#14: “Crush” (2008)

David Archuleta
David Archuleta won runner-up on “American Idol” thanks to his soulful vocals and natural charisma. And while he didn’t see success at the same level of other “Idol” alumni, he still managed to score one big hit. “Crush” is a number two hit that showcases Archuleta’s many talents as a performer, including singing and playing piano. As the song title suggests, Archuleta is singing about an overwhelming infatuation, and the passionate chorus addresses just how painful a crush can be. We bet a lot of teens got a crush on David Archuleta thanks to this song.

#13: “Collide” (2004)

Howie Day
Want to win someone’s heart in 2004 with your voice and an acoustic guitar? You might try a rendition of “Collide,” Howie Day’s tribute to a loved one and all they do for him. There’s not a trace of irony to be found in this song, just complete sincerity as Day sings and strums. But the song doesn’t pretend that love solves all problems. As the chorus acknowledges “Even the best fall down sometimes.” But what gives him hope is knowing that the right people can work through their issues together. How’s that for hope?

#12: “The Reason” (2004)

Sometimes, you make a big mistake and a normal apology won’t do. So, you express your remorse through song. We don’t know what exactly Hoobastank frontman Doug Robb is sorry for, but he’s definitely doing his best to convince the other person that he’s a changed man. “The Reason,” a combination apology song and love song, became one of the biggest hits of its release year. It peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 and was nominated for two Grammys, including Song of the Year. If there’s someone who should apologize, it’s whoever came up with the band name “Hoobastank.”

#11: “Tipsy” (2004)

The legal age for drinking alcohol in the United States is 21. But when rapper J-Kwon released his hit single “Tipsy,” he was only 17 years old. And at the top of the song, he admits to having a fake I.D. That might not be legally admissible evidence, but “Tipsy” is definitely guilty of being one catchy song. The lyrics aren’t deep, but it’s a song made not for deep analysis but for starting a party and keeping it going. Despite the success of “Tipsy,” J-Kwon’s career mostly stalled. The party is fun. The morning after, not so much.

#10: “He Loves U Not” (2000)

When you think of famous girl groups, names like Spice Girls and Destiny’s Child spring to mind. But does Dream ring a bell? The members of this group, signed to Diddy's Bad Boy Records, were all teenagers when they released their debut single "He Loves U Not." This confident pop song, about standing up to a romantic rival, wasn’t exactly beloved by critics. But it made it to number two on the Billboard Hot 100. What song kept it from the number one spot? None other than “Independent Women Part I” by Destiny’s Child. Though Dream seemed poise to be the next big girl group, they were hit by lineup shifts and declining sales. In 2003, the Dream was over.

#9: “The Ketchup Song (Aserejé)” (2002)

Las Ketchup
If you didn’t know better, you might think “The Ketchup Song” is a novelty song about a certain condiment. But it’s actually a Latin pop song about a club-goer who loves the Sugarhill Gang’s “Rapper’s Delight.” With its mix of English and Spanish lyrics, “The Ketchup Song” will make you proud to be bilingual, and plenty of us memorized its hip-shaking dance. But while the song topped the charts in numerous countries, it only managed to hit number 54 in the U.S. If it hit number 57, do you think they could've gotten an endorsement deal with Heinz?

#8: “Lips of an Angel” (2006)

The title “Lips of An Angel” suggests a tender romance ballad. While this song by Oklahoma City rockers Hinder is about love, it’s a lot more dramatic than most love songs. Frontman Austin John receives a late-night phone call from an old flame while his current girlfriend is nearby, but it seems the passion hasn’t burned out. Whether they related to the lyrics, got hooked on the chorus, or anything else, audiences loved “Lips of an Angel,” and it topped the charts in Australia and New Zealand. Although Hinder’s later material didn’t make the same impact, “Lips of an Angel” was still one of the biggest rock songs of the 2000s.

#7: “Bad Day” (2005)

Daniel Powter
There’s no one formula for crafting a number-one song. But it’s always good to write about relatable subjects. Everyone knows what it’s like to have a bad day, which helped this song by Daniel Powter become such a big hit. The song doesn’t go into specifics, meaning listeners can easily insert themselves into the narrative. Powter probably had plenty of good days after its release, as this was deemed the most popular song of 2005 by Billboard. It may be cheesy, but it’s also the perfect pick-me-up on a day when nothing has gone right.

#6: “Butterfly” (2000)
Crazy Town
Rap rock isn’t exactly known as a sensitive genre. So, we can appreciate “Butterfly” for being a change of pace with its lyrics about love and affection for a partner. Revolving around a Red Hot Chili Peppers sample, the song is unapologetic in its sentimentality. Of course, even when they’re being romantic, Crazy Town can’t help but to be crass, particularly with a certain line about a tongue ring. Many listeners felt the love, as “Butterfly” made it to number one on the Billboard charts. But they didn’t “go crazy” for the band’s other material and this song, along with Crazy Town, is mostly remembered as a relic of the 2000s.

#5: “Graduation (Friends Forever)” (2000)

Vitamin C
Graduation tends to be a bittersweet experience, as it combines the excitement of starting a new chapter with the sadness of saying goodbye to people you care about. This song, by American pop singer Vitamin C, became a staple of graduating classes with its universal lyrics about saying goodbye to your friends while also spreading your wings. Though it was released more than 20 years ago, the lyrics can apply to pretty much any graduating class today. It’s hard to say goodbye. But as this song demonstrates, the closing of one door can mean the opening of another.

#4: “All the Things She Said” (2002)

How did Russian duo t.A.T.u’s song “All the Things She Said” get so big? Was it the catchy chorus or the electronic production? While those elements certainly helped, the biggest thing had to be its scandalous music video. At a time when the conversation on LGBT rights was much different, here was a video about two teenage girls in love, complete with kissing in the rain. Unsurprisingly, the video caused a stir, with many finding it exploitative. But, as we know, controversy sells, and “All the Things She Said” topped the charts in numerous countries. The group released a few more albums before splitting in 2011. This is one t.A.T.u that wasn’t permanent.

#3: “Stars Are Blind” (2006)

Paris Hilton
During the 2000s, it felt like the radio was one of the only places you could escape Paris Hilton’s ubiquitous presence. That is, until the release of “Stars Are Blind,” her reggae-infused lead single from her first and, so far, only album, “Paris.” What was more surprising than Paris Hilton making a reggae song is that it actually turned out to be pretty good. While fairly disposable, “Stars Are Blind” is the kind of summer song we don’t get enough of. Hilton’s music career didn’t see much traction, but something tells us she could get by without that extra income.

#2: “Stacy’s Mom” (2003)

Fountains of Wayne
Power pop band Fountains of Wayne had already earned plenty of love from critics, but “Stacy’s Mom” was the song that really put them in the spotlight. A song about a crush on a friend’s mom might not seem like an obvious choice for a top 100 hit, but “Stacy’s Mom” evidently proved too catchy to resist, and was even nominated for a Grammy. This song might’ve been the bane of girls named Stacy and their mothers in the 2000s, but we can’t deny how fun it is to hear, even after all these years.

#1: “Who Let the Dogs Out” (2000)

Baha Men
There was one question on everyone’s mind in the year 2000: Who let the dogs out? We weren’t looking for an answer. But we couldn’t get this song out of our heads. A cover of Trinidadian musician Anslem Douglas' song "Doggie," the song isn't about canines. It's actually about women standing up to chauvinistic men. However, many found it to be more annoying than empowering, especially with the barking in the chorus. The song still managed to become a hit around the world and win a Grammy for Best Dance Recording. More than 20 years later, we still don’t know who exactly let the dogs out.