If you were a teen or twenty-something during the aughts then this list will have some familiar names and tunes for you. The 2000s were dominated by a myriad of genres, influences, and fashion styles. From pop rock and emo to McBling and hip-hop, it was an era defined by youth culture, flip phones, and plenty of angst.
Once upon a time these artists held the world and the radio waves in their hands. Nobody sets out to become a one-hit wonder but sometimes a song just sounds so good it dooms the artist to playing the same tune. Not to say that none of these artists don’t have any other great songs, but these just happen to be the tracks they’ll be remembered by most. Here are 17 classic one hit wonders from the 2000s that may have slipped your mind!
17. Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag
Nothing screams the angst of the 2000s like Brendan B. Brown nasally belting the chorus of this coming of age classic. Not to mention bonus points for American Pie‘s Jason Biggs being in the video.
16. Fountains of Wayne – Stacy’s Mom
Fountain of Wayne has to be the epitome of the one hit wonder but boy did they write a 2000 Freudian classic about lusting over your girlfriend’s mom. Looking back though, its kind of weird how they casted Kidz Bop-looking children for this video but uh, the times were different right?
15. D4L – Laffy Taffy
Even in the year 2022, there is still something about this first notes of this track that still gets people going. D4L never really landed another chart-topper but he did change the meaning of the word “laffy taffy” forever.
14. La Roux – Bulletproof
With 2K-era electronica making a huge stylistic comeback, La Roux’s electro-pop romp “Bulletproof” has to be one of the most timeless songs on this list. Even in the age of TikTok, teens are still rediscovering this pop classic making it as relevant as the first time it hit radio waves back in 2009.
13. Gnarls Barkley – Crazy
Gnarls Barkley, the team of CeeLo Green and producer Danger Mouse, hit it out of the park with this sultry single. Blending old school with the new school, this memorable neo-soul single charted at number two on the BillBoard Hot 100 back in 2006.
12. Crazy Town – Butterfly
We would never really hear another radio single from Crazy Town, but this catchy blend of hip-hop and rock was an ear worm when it released in 2000.
11. Hurricane Chris – A Bay Bay
I swear to god, there was an era where everybody had this song as a ringtone on their Motorola RZR flip phone. It just wasn’t a party without this song and T-Pain’s “Apple Bottom Jeans” back in the day.
10. Peter Bjorn and John – Young Folks
You may not remember the Swedish trio of Peter, Bjorn, and John but you sure as heck have heard that iconic whistle melody before. If you’ve heard this song once then you’ve heard it a hundred times before in commercials, ads, and probably while shopping for jeans at Old Navy back in high school. Though the song came out back in 2006 it was certainly a gateway for many indie music fans.
9. Liz Phair – Why Can’t I?
Despite releasing a string of critically-acclaimed albums Liz Phair never quite got the mainstream love she deserved. But she did nail the teen angst soundtrack the era needed with this song. When it comes to girl pop rock ballads, “Why Can’t I?” has got to be up there with Avril Lavigne’s “Sk8er Boi” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone.”
8. MIMS – This Is Why I’m Hot
Another song that was blasted from clubs and cellphone speakers alike. MIMS greatest contribution to hip-hop’s bling era has to be his single “This Is Why I’m Hot” which peaked at number one on the BillBoard Hot 100 in 2007.
7. Gotye – Somebody That I Used To Know
Of all the songs on this list, none were a bigger global hit than Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know.” The song climbed the charts in 28 countries including the US, the UK, and New Zealand. Gotye and Kimbra collaborated to make the mid-tempo smash hit that defined their careers. Though Gotye’s music has received critical acclaim, none of his songs have managed to repeat the success of this single.
6. Nine Days – Absolutely (Story of a Girl)
The opening guitar chords of this 2000s classic are instantly recognizable. Nine Days had a smash hit on their hands when they released “Story of a Girl,” charting at number six on the BillBoard Hot 100. The band has been around since 1994 and are amazingly still kicking today.
5. Jet – Are You Gonna Be My Girl
Another instantly recognizable piece of pop rock. That raspy vocal and wild guitar riff made “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” a perfect fit for a dozens of advertisements and movie soundtracks alike.
4. The Darkness – I Believe In A Thing Called Love
The Darkness has to be one of the zaniest bands of the 2000s. The iconic vocal performance, Justin Hawkin’s raunchy glam rock vibe, plus the killer alien crabs in this video are more than enough to set this band apart from others of the era. Plus it’s a killer karaoke request.
3. Shop Boyz – Party Like A Rock Star
The 2000s really loved blending hip-hop and rock & roll, and “Party Like A Rock Star” was the epitome of this. Something about this song just makes me want to chug a Monster energy, bro.
2. Leona Lewis – Bleeding Love
When it came to ballads, this song from Leona Lewis had the world and airwaves eating from her hands. The song topped charts both in the US and UK alike. Also fun fact, but All My Children actor Jesse McCartney has a songwriting credit on the track.
1. Jimmy Eat World – The Middle
Nothing screams angsty teen house party like this classic from Jimmy Eat World. The song was a breakthrough hit and got the band a slew of loyal fans when it dropped in 2001. Today “The Middle” is remembered as a 2000s youth anthem and was a sure gateway for millions into the emo genre.