There’s a fine line between a great song and an annoying one. We get both stuck in our heads, and we know all the words. The fact that they tend to overplay these kinds of songs on the radio doesn’t make matters better. Don’t get us wrong; guilty pleasure songs do have their appeal.
But if we hear them too often, we start to love hating on them. Then there are songs that get played nonstop that you hate how much you love them. Here is our collection of massive pop hits that we hate to love and love to hate.
If you have ever been to a karaoke bar, then you have undoubtedly heard this lively tune. The repetitiveness of this song makes it very easy to get stuck in our heads. But it also gets on under your skin because it is so repetitive while being a bit too happy.
The song was a one-hit-wonder in the United States, where it reached #3 on the US Billboard Hot 100. In the UK, the Scottish band was successful. There was even a film made based on and named after the band’s record “Sunshine on Leith.”
Axel Foley was a police officer out of Detroit who was transferred to the luxury 90210 districts of Los Angeles. Eddie Murphy played this character in “Beverly Hills Cops,” and it was iconic. So naturally, the movie’s original theme song became a hit, just like the movie.
Decades later, the song made a comeback, but in the form of this baffling remake, paired with an even more bizarre music video of a CGI-animated frog. The video was made by Swedish artists and musicians, though no one knows what these people look like. Regardless, the song was huge and played everywhere.
The only thing more uncomfortable than listening to “Afternoon Delight” is listening to it with your parents, who genuinely think it’s a song about snacks. The tune of the song remains pretty monotone throughout the record. But we can’t doubt its effect on pop culture.
It was creepily covered on “Glee,” but perhaps the best cover version was sung in “Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy,” the hit movie starring Will Ferrell. It gives the song a much-needed comedic twist, which highlights its cheesiness while somehow making it a bit more loveable.
This band’s stylist knew historians would look back and use this group as an example of everything the ’80s had to offer. They managed to have the big hair, the leather jackets, and don’t forget the heavy synth sound. The high-energy song relies on a single, repetitive, and unchanging riff.
Sometimes you just don’t mess with a good thing, and this riff is what makes it such a good motivational song. We’ll level with you; this song can get very annoying very quickly if overplayed. And if it comes on during the last set of your workout? The perfect fit!
“Copacabana” is one of those classic cabaret songs that just about everyone seems to know without remembering where they first heard it. The song has stood the test of time as it came out in the ’70s and continues to get played in public.
While there is no doubt that he’s a popular artist, Barry Manilow’s cheesy quality can be pretty irritating, and this song is definitely proof of that. The lyrics tell an intriguing story, but all we can recall is the chorus. It’s a fantastic melody, just not on repeat.
The origins of “Cotton-Eyed Joe” go all the way back to 1865 as it was an American nursery rhyme turned folk song. It quickly spread throughout the South as a beloved square-dancing song. We have no clue how it got to Sweden, but it did, and Swedish group Rednex released their version in 1995.
The song climbed as high as Top 25 on the US Billboard Hot 100 charts. And these days, it’s shifted to become a meme more than anything. It’s very repetitive and reminiscent of folk music, so if that doesn’t bother you, chances are you’ll like it.
This song is outrageous, and that’s what Tom Jones intended for it to be. At the time of its release, he was building a reputation as a vulgar pop star, so this song was the perfect single for him. Though, if you’re not a fan of lyrics filled with double entendres, this makes for an uncomfortable listen.
It was a big hit in 1965 when it was the theme for the film “What’s New Pussycat.” The song was nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Song. Plus, the tune peaked at number 3 on the US Billboard Top 100 charts.
Cher is an icon. She has managed to have huge hits every decade since the ’60s. When the ’90s rolled around, fans prepared themselves for another hit, and Cher did not disappoint. “Believe” took over a decade to make, but the catchiness and cleanliness of the tune made the wait worthwhile.
In 1999, this dance club favorite was one of the most successful selling singles. The song builds on itself, and when listened to periodically, rather than on repeat, it is a crowd-pleaser. Plus, many people give credit to this song for the popularization of autotune!
The song came out in 1998 and became the Italian synth-pop band Eiffel 65’s most successful single. It peaked at number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. “Blue” is an addictive dance tune with lyrics depicting someone whose entire existence is blue.
The energetic electro sound is what captivates listeners. And Marvel Studios agreed. “Blue” made it onto the soundtrack for “Iron Man 3.” It is pretty cool that it was utilized in a blockbuster film, though we’re slightly confused since Iron Man’s suit has zero blue in it…
“Who Let the Dogs Out” reached the Top 40 in the United States and was a smash hit. The song is fun, catchy, lively, and reminds us of summertime, all wrapped into three minutes. However, by the end of the song, we could honestly care less about who actually let the dogs out.
The track’s mix of reggae, pop, and rap managed to win it a Grammy for Best Dance Recording. To be fair, it did make us go wild on the dancefloor, but the repeated “woof, woof, woof, woof” can get on anyone’s nerves.
This song is a dramatic saga from beginning to end. At the end of the music video, he literally leaps off of a cliff into the ocean because he can’t be with a beautiful woman who already has a boyfriend.
Many regard it as a super romantic tune, though Blunt himself has gone on record saying how weird that is as it isn’t a romantic song. Ever since he said that the song is about a man on the subway, high on drugs, following another man’s girlfriend, we haven’t been able to listen to it the same.
We can’t say how, but we guarantee that you’re familiar with this song. Even if you have never been to Disneyland, “It’s a Small World” will be on repeat in your head for days once you’ve listened to it. It’s a recognizable hook, and it hooks into your brain without mercy.
It’s evolved into a children’s theme song, and kids genuinely seem to enjoy it, but for the adults who have to listen to it with them? ‘ ‘It’s the longest three minutes of their lives. One redeeming quality is that it includes so many international languages, so that’s pretty neat.
Rick Dees, the Memphis DJ, took one day to write this parody song but took three months to convince his bandmates to record it in 1976. His inspiration for the tune? He figured that it would be hilarious to play during his morning show. He never imagined people would like it that much.
For ten weeks, “Disco Duck” was in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and even held the top spot for a week! The song was enough of a commercial success that it managed to secure a spot on the “Saturday Night Fever” soundtrack.
Nickelback is one of those bands that people just love to hate publicly. But for a band that’s so hated, they sure have sold a lot of records and secured radio playtime. “Photograph” was one of those songs played way too much on the radio, and now we’re stuck knowing all the words.
As one of the band’s most popular songs, the lyrics actually depict a captivating story about memories. However, lead singer Chad Kroeger has a distinct singing style that almost distracts from the content of the song. Better luck next time, Chad.
“MMMBop” was one of the biggest songs of the ’90s. It reached the number one spot on the charts all over the world, including the United States. In the era of boy bands, Hanson was set apart by the fact that they were all children when their song became such a success.
The chorus was so catchy and easy to remember due to its simple lyrics that it was a surefire radio smash hit. Could we listen to it on repeat every day? Not unless we’re trying to give ourselves a headache. But it’s a fun pop song every so often.
Another smash hit sung by a kid singer, “Baby,” served as Justin Bieber’s big single after the success of his debut album. He sounds so young, singing a cheesy love song, and somehow that secured him a Ludacris feature and a Billboard Hot 100 debut at number five.
The song went certified Diamond in the United States, and its music video currently sits as the 40th most-watched video on YouTube. Funnily enough, all those views led to it holding the title as the most hated video on YouTube for years but was dethroned in 2018.
If you want to talk about a catchy song, look no further than Aqua’s “Barbie Girl.” Released in 1997, the song was an international chart-topper. It peaked at number seven on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. The Euro-pop dance track has a mesmerizing beat and an easy chorus to remember.
But did Mattel, the makers of Barbie, enjoy this song? On the contrary, they actually sued MCA Records over the song! The company said that the song violated the Barbie image through its suggestive and almost sexual lyrics.
The ’80s was the decade of big hair, heavy use of synth machines, and hating on “We Built This City.” The song was released in 1985 and was even nominated for a Grammy. But since then, it has consistently been included in lists or compilations of bad songs.
It got such a bad rap because it became a symbol of ’80s lite-rock that undermined the rest of the music coming out of the decade. Despite the hate, it has resurfaced in projects like 2011’s “The Muppets” and parodied on “New Girl.”
“De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da” hilariously gets criticism for its childish lyrics, but that was the whole point. The Police’s lead singer, Sting, said that the point in making the song was to comment on how people are drawn to really simple lyrics.
Because it’s a Police song, obviously, the riff is going to be repetitive, but it does toe the line of too much of the same thing. Although, we do encourage you to listen for the lyrical genius of the verses as Sting has proven time and time again that he has a special way with words.
The energetic and addictive Latin pop dance track by former ’90s heartthrob Ricky Martin was a smash hit when it was released in 1999. Grammy award nominations and topping the Billboard Hot 100 chart cemented this song’s impact on the pop music scene in the United States.
Constant radio play ensured it was on repeat in everyone’s head, and people didn’t mind one bit. Certified double platinum, “Livin’ La Vida Loca” was a great mix of Spanish and English to draw diverse crowds. Its resurgence in 2004’s “Shrek 2” helped to introduce the song to younger audiences.
Released in 2005, “My Humps” made quite the stir in the pop music world. Critics did not hold back as they attacked the song for its overtly sexual lyrics and repetitiveness. Its controversial lyrics stem from the idea of a woman using her curves to reach her goals.
We’re all for female empowerment, but the innuendos don’t help convert naysayers. The song won a Grammy in 2007 for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. Despite the heat it got from critics, this is one of those songs that you can’t help but remember the lyrics.
Typical for music that came out of the ’60s, “Sherry” brings us back to a unique era in American culture, a place that is a foreign concept to the 2020s. A time when playful innuendos were heavily taboo and prohibited.
The song was The Four Season’s first single, and it peaked at number one on both the Billboard R&B and Billboard Hot 100 charts in the United States. The most irritating part of this ’60s jam is the shrill high notes that might cause permanent damage to our eardrums.
Word to your mother, this song came out in 1989 and was everywhere. It was the first hip-hop single to peak at number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. No one even paid attention that the background bass riff was a sample of “Under Pressure” by Queen and David Bowie.
In fact, the first time that Freddie Mercury was shown the song, he just started laughing because he was fully convinced that it was his song! All in all, “Ice Ice Baby” was a commercial success, and Vanilla Ice still gets paid for the song’s continued use.
Celine Dion is one of the most talented singers in the world, and one of her most famous songs is “My Heart Will Go On,” the title track from “Titanic.” Just as many consider the film to be “overrated,” this song gets the same critiques thanks to how often it’s overplayed.
One of the most overplayed tracks, even “Titanic” actress Kate Winslet claims that she feels like she needs to puke when she hears the song. The funniest part is that when Celine was initially pitched this song, she didn’t even want to record it!
Sisqo is a blunt man who wanted to make sure everyone knew exactly what he was singing about. When song inspiration came into question, Sisqo used his youth at the time of the song’s release as his explanation. Released in 2000, the song was literally about the undergarment.
In the same interview, he argued that if you’re attracted to someone, and then you see them looking even better while flaunting a thong, the possibilities are endless. The song peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States.
Those who lived through 1983 fully understand how annoying this song can be when this song was played on the radio. There didn’t seem to be a single hour of the day that this song ‘wasn’t getting airplay. The song peaked at the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States.
We weren’t sure what a karma chameleon was, despite listening to it so many times. Boy George once claimed that the song was about having your actions match your feelings and the consequences if you choose to contradict them.
This is one of those songs that you either despise with your entire being, or you secretly rock out to it on your way to work. “Friday” was released in 2011 and immediately became a viral sensation. The video was taken down due to its nearly two million “dislikes.”
The critics’ response to the song was overwhelmingly negative, some even going as far as calling it “the worst song ever.” The absurdity of the song and music video made it easy to hate but also gained it a cult following of people who genuinely enjoyed it.
This 1992 single made waves with younger listeners. In an age where widespread interest in country music was dying, this man with the long mullet came out with a song that turned all of that around. Its combination of pop and country music also helped popularize square dancing.
The song itself is something else; it’s typically used as a method to make fun of other country songs. Poor Billy Ray, it must (achy) break his heart to hear that’s what others think of his song. At least he has talented children who have gone on to great success.
Released in 1993, this song wasn’t just a single; it started a dance craze that hasn’t stopped! It was played everywhere throughout the ’90s, and when people heard it, they couldn’t help but break out into the infamous dance. It was a true international sensation.
For example, at sports games, if the song came on in the arena, fans got up and started dancing the Macarena. It was rare to find such a catchy dance that came with its own simple dance. Obviously, the fact that they played it too much ultimately made it more irritating.
Well, here’s the story from A to Z: “Wannabe” was the Spice Girls’ debut single, and what a strong start for the group it was. The Spice Girls were incredibly popular during the ’90s, and all the bands’ members became superstars. The song became an anthem for friend groups of girls around the world.
“Wannabe” peaked at the top spot on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. They even made “Spice World,” a film that made $100 million at the box office. Basically, if you wanna be our lover, you better not overplay this song!
Cue the snapping. Before George Michael made it big as a solo artist, he gained a following with Wham! The band was often teased for its too-happy pop style, so it came as no surprise when they released 1984’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.”
The song went certified platinum in the United States. Paired with over-teased hair and those iconic “Choose Life” t-shirts, the music video made about as much of a cultural impact as the song did. It made a comeback when it was featured in a dancing montage in the movie “Zoolander.”
Everything else besides the catchy beats of “Blurred Lines” came under fire from critics who had a lot to say about the song’s lyrics. Many said that the song should be canceled for its grossly inappropriate innuendos that perpetuated sexism and idolized rape culture.
To top it all off, the song had a cloud of controversy hanging over it. A judge decided that the music used the hook from Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up.” It’s almost impressive how they managed to turn a beloved track into such a questionable song.
The Strangeloves originally released this song in 1965 and was famously covered twice, once by Bow Wow Wow in 1980 and again by Aaron Carter in 2000. It’s repetitive but loved overall for its upbeat, cheery, and catchy tune.
“I Want Candy” reached the number eleven spot on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. As is customary with most hit songs, this song crept its way into every facet of pop culture. We are talking absolutely everything from movies and TV shows to grocery stores and NCAA basketball tournament commercials.
This song hilariously makes zero sense. It’s the Muppets, so the goal of silliness is easily achieved since this song contains no words from any detectable language. When it comes to songs sung by famous puppets, we’d expect nothing less.
It is performed by vocalizing “Mahna Mahna” and “Doo doo doo doo doo,” back and forth for the chorus. In place of the verses is some meaningless breathy scatting as if it were a jazz tune. When it comes to songs for children, they tend to be pretty straightforward, but sometimes simple can get annoying.
Why is it that when summer rolls around, there’s always an increase in releases of pointless songs? “Cheerleader” was released during the summer of 2012. The song is sung by Jamaican musician Omi, who had started working on the track in 2008.
The song went through several remixes before really catching on with the US music charts. The reggae fusion with its conga, piano, and trumpet made it an instant dance hit. A song that’s easy to dance to and released in the summer?! We are as shocked as you are.
How does one write a super captivating song with a catchy hook and only use one word? Is it a commercial? Is it an advertisement? It’s essentially just two minutes highlighting some saxophone instrumental with the word “tequila” said throughout the song only three times.
All we know for sure is that the band was inspired by Cuban mambo beat and only took three takes to record the finalized version of the song. Also, keep in mind that it was a B-side track released in 1958, so they had no expectations that it would become such a pop culture phenomenon.
In 1964, The Newbeats got it right on the first try as their hit song “Bread and Butter” was their first recorded song and went on to be their most successful. The repetitive and bothersome song ended up being a hit. It peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart.
With their success, the band was able to join a world tour with the Rolling Stones. They had two other successful songs, called “Run Baby Run (Back Into My Arms)” and “Everything’s Alright.” But after their short time in the limelight, they retreated into obscurity.
The song was released in 1958 and dominated the charts. It peaked at the number one spot on the R&B charts and also nabbed the top spot on the Top 100 pop chart. Due to its chart success, it became an instant classic in rock music.
The rockabilly playlet about a teenager talking back when given household chores and his parent’s warning response of “Don’t talk back” was a hit. The ’50s brought us so many iconic songs, but this is one that is tough to listen to multiple times in a row.
The sweet, peppy tune of this song makes listeners believe that this is just another catchy pop song. But when you actually sit down and read the lyrics of this 2014 song, you realize that it depicts a man who is congratulating himself for not cheating on his significant other.
The song peaked at number nine on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the United States. The song discusses temptations of infidelity, so the music video featured a montage of one hundred actual couples. Now that we know the meaning of the song, it’s a bit harder to listen to.
Simply being reminded of this song’s existence gives us an instant neck cramp just thinking of how aggressively people whipped their hair to this song. The chorus is so repetitive and at surface-level that it makes sense that Willow was only a child when the song was released in 2010.
The message behind the song of loving yourself with immense confidence is an incredible message that is overlooked by its autotuned chorus. On the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States, “Whip My Hair” peaked at the number eleven spot.
This is a children’s song through and through – from topic all the way to the tune. Safe to say that if you’re a living, breathing adult, you’re going to find this song incredibly annoying. Unfortunately, children all over the world love this song, so parents are listening to it all the time.
It’s hard to believe that it’s less than two minutes because it can be borderline torture you if you listen to it more than once. The tune seems to be inspired by K-Pop thanks to its extra background sounds and the energy it has from beginning to end.
Here is another track that every parent, teacher, and guardian has been forced to listen to. When Barney’s afternoon TV show was popular in 1992, this song spread like wildfire. Toddlers and young children everywhere seemed to gravitate towards it since it’s such an easy tune to learn.
Songs about love and expressing that love? We are so here for it. However, for a piece shorter than sixty seconds, this one is tough to listen to if you’re over six years old. This one should stay on children’s TV rather than be heard in real life until the end of time.
A huge year for music, 2012 also brought us the gem that is “Call Me Maybe.” This song was literally everywhere we went as the song craze followed us throughout our daily lives. Some people wish the song had never been released, while others secretly love to belt it in the car.
Carly Rae Jepsen kept the lyrics simple, which made cheesy, universal dance moves to the song that much easier. The song was nominated for two Grammy Awards and was the most sold single worldwide for the year 2012.
“I’m a Gummy Bear (The Gummy Bear Song)” is a novelty children’s song from German group Gummibär. Fun fact: the gummy bear candy actually originated in Germany! This high-pitched and repetitive song is made for kids’ ears to enjoy and pretty awful for adult ones.
The song’s music video was what helped the success of the song. The YouTube video became an international meme and helped the spread of the track. In the United States, this song even hit the number 28 spot on the Billboard Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart.
Billy Ray Cyrus’ most famous daughter, Miley Cyrus, has been fiercely independent since her Hannah Montana days. We are in full support of Miley finding herself through her music, but this one in particular, with its strange “rapping,” makes for a weird listening experience.
Radio stations everywhere played it on rotation when it came out in 2013, so we all became aware that she was doing her “thang.” Unfortunately, we never really understand what that meant, nor did we want to stick around to find out if it meant listening to it on repeat.
Do you want to know how we are certain she’s all about that base? Because she just kept repeating herself. She’s all about being proud of having a curvaceous body. The 2014 track “All About That Bass” was Meghan Trainor’s first song to make the music charts.
It boasts an important takeaway, attempting to spread messages of body positivity and self-love. She calls out the entertainment and fashion industries for making absurd and unrealistic standards of beauty that everyone is compared to. We just wish the chorus was as wonderful as the verses!
Here is another song whose title tells us exactly what the song is about. Granted, this song was used in a children’s film, so the simplicity makes a lot of sense. The song’s energetic soul feel and clapping throughout makes it accessible and interactive for all ages.
Released in 2013, this song was a mega success. The song was catchy and captured a universal theme that everyone could relate to. On the US Billboard Hot 100 chart, Pharrell Williams’ hit song peaked at the top spot and was also nominated for an Academy Award.
Just reminding you that there is a Glee cover of this song, and that should say a lot. “Marry You” was one of the singles off of Bruno Mars’ 2011 debut album. It’s a sweet song depicting a young man in love suggesting that the pair should get married.
The problem with sweet pop songs is that too much radio play ruins their adorableness, which is what happened. At the height of its popularity, it seemed like the anthem for flash mob marriage proposals. We can only hope those couples are still together today.
In 2010, Kim Kardashian met famed music producer The Dream, who suggested that she release a single. This resulted in the heavily produced, autotuned, and uncomfortable song that is “Jam (Turn It Up).” Looking back on her short-lived music career, Kim regrets releasing the song.
From the single, you can tell that singing is not one of her strengths. We can see people putting this song on ironically and then end up genuinely liking it. Regardless, we think that she made the right call in sticking with her other business ventures and working towards practicing law.
“It’s Peanut Butter Jelly Time” should come with a warning label because this song is a lot to handle. It’s just pure chaos. The song starts at such a high energy level that it’s exhausting to listen to. The lyrics are simple enough that it makes it that much easier to remember.
We do enjoy a good peanut butter and jelly sandwich every once in a while, but this song almost convinces us that we don’t. This is the perfect song for if you’re pulling an all-nighter and need to wake yourself up. Beyond that, it’s too much for us.