Sometimes the only way to cure the Monday blues or the Sunday scaries is to have a throwback jam-sesh. Honestly nothing is better than reminiscing on the old days and remembering when you and your friends would create your own music videos, choreography and all, to some of the biggest hits. We’re not the only ones who did that, right?
One genre of music that definitely does not get as much love in the mainstream world as it deserves is our beloved pop-punk/emo. Bands like Good Charlotte, Fall Out Boy and Linkin Park basically wrote the soundtrack to our pre-teen years, and we wanted to say ‘thank you’ in a big way.
We rounded up the 30 best pop-punk songs from the early 2000s (meaning, they came out before 2005) that still give us all the feels. Honestly narrowing down this list was one of the hardest things we’ve ever had to do and it may or may not caused some drama because we take our music very seriously. So grab your headphones and a snack and get ready to revisit some old classics that still have the power to change lives. And get comfy, too; there’s well over an hour worth of music videos to watch here, but it’s definitely worth it.
1. “Grand Theft Autumn/Where Is Your Boy” by Fall Out Boy (2003) — This FOB hit has everything from a great chorus to meaningful lyrics. It shows that emo music can have just as much heart as other genres. We’d bet at least 90% of the people reading this had at least one phrase from this tune in their AIM profile at one point back in the day.
2. “Memory” by Sugarcult (2004) — This is THE single that put Sugarcult on the map and while it’s well over a decade old, it will never leave our ~memory~.
3. “I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” by My Chemical Romance (2004) — This iconic song not only gave people a simple chorus that everyone could sing along to, but also an iconic music video that will always be one of our faves.
4. “The Anthem” by Good Charlotte (2002) — Not only is this a classic Good Charlotte anthem (no pun intended), but in 2003 alone it was featured in more than five movies/TV shows. That’s how you KNOW it was a hit.
5. “Cute Without the ‘E’ (Cut from the Team)” by Taking Back Sunday (2002) — The 15-year anniversary of this song recently passed but it still is, arguably, TBS’ most popular song to date. DON’T YELL AT US FOR SAYING THIS, GUYS — it’s just the truth.
6. “Konstantine” by Something Corporate (2000) — Fun fact: lead singer Andrew McMahon, who now tours under the name Andrew McMahon in the Wilderness, only sings this song once a year on November 11 in honor of the lyric, “I always catch the clock it’s 11:11.”
7. “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day (2004) — You know that this track was history-making because it’s been 13 years and it’s still the only song to win both the Grammy Award for Record of the Year and MTV Video Music Award for Video of the Year in the same year. Also, have you ever met anyone who doesn’t know all the words? We think not.
8. “Sic Transit Gloria…Glory Fades” by Brand New (2003) — Come on…you KNOW we had to include this classic emo tune! Sure, you were probably singing the lyrics in between ballet class and middle school basketball practice, but you could ~tOtAlLy~ relate…
9. “Ohio is for Lovers” by Hawthorne Heights (2004) — This song made us want to move to Ohio.
10. “Hands Down” by Dashboard Confessional (2002) — HANDS DOWN THIS IS THE BEST SONG WE CAN EVER REMEMBER, WE’LL ALWAYS REMEMBER!
11. “Sidewalks” by Story of the Year (2003) — All One Tree Hill fans will have flashbacks to the scene in season two when Peyton and Jake have sex for the first time when they hear this classic emo jam.
12. “The Reason” by Hoobastank (2003) — High quality song, high quality music video. Sure, the chorus got a bit repetitive for a while, but LBR — it was good enough to have as your Myspace profile song for at least a couple weeks.
13. “Perfect” by Simple Plan (2002) — Honestly who didn’t belt this song out when they were angry at their parents?! #Misunderstood
14. “Ocean Avenue” by Yellowcard (2003) — This is by far Yellowcard’s most famous, and our all-time favorite, song. It made us dream of finally getting our driver’s license so we could bust out of our boring town and scream it with the windows down.
15. “All Downhill From Here” by New Found Glory (2004) — This music video was so popular that after fans voted it to be played on MTV’s Total Request Live for 50 days in a row, the network retired the song so others could be played. The power of pop-punk!
16. “In Too Deep” by Sum 41 (2001) — This song is honestly iconic…so iconic, in fact, that it got a place on the Cheaper by the Dozen movie soundtrack. PUNK ROCK, BABY!
17. “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World (2001) — We’re pretty sure it’s impossible to not sing along to this song whenever you hear it even now, almost a decade later.
18. “The Taste of Ink” by The Used (2002) — We suddenly have the urge to be super angsty and journal all of our feelings. Anyone else?
19. “The Quiet Things That No One Ever Knows” by Brand New (2003) — This video made us question pretty much everything and, NGL, still does.
20. “First Date” by blink-182 (2001) — Not only is this a total bop, but the fact that it’s also about guitarist Tom DeLonge’s first date with now-wife Jennifer Jenkins makes it even better.
21. “Wow, I Can Get Sexual, Too” by Say Anything (2004) — This song is the original “Hotline Bling,” tbh.
22. “Best of Me” by The Starting Line (2002) — The last chorus of this TSL song is just…wow. The band actually broke up in 2008, but they reunited in 2012 to tour in honor of the 10-year anniversary of Say It Like You Mean It
23. “The Future Freaks Me Out” by Motion City Soundtrack (2002) — There’s no way you can listen to this song and not jam out. And, when you think about it, the lyrics are still relevant today. *chills*
24. “Swing Life Away” by Rise Against (2004) — This song almost didn’t get released because the band thought the ballad didn’t fit their sound, but we are SO glad they realized how much it deserved attention.
25. “All Hail the Heartbreaker” by The Spill Canvas (2004) — *Puts this song on repeat for the rest of the day just like we did on our iPod mini in 2004*
26. “In The End” by Linkin Park (2000) — While lead singer Chester Bennington is sadly gone, this song will live on forever.
27. “1985” by Bowling for Soup (2004) — We may or may not have made a dance to this with our friends in middle school and we may or may not still remember the choreography.
28. “Swing Swing” by The All-American Rejects (2002) — This was TAAR’s first single and still is one of their bests. We remember waking up in the early 2000s for school, flipping on VH1, and being guaranteed to see this music video at least once. Ahhh, the good old days.
29. “Face Down” by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (2002) — If you’ve never belted this song (even though you probably got some lyrics wrong) in the car with your friends then you’ve never truly lived.
30. “Beating Hearts Baby” by Head Automatica (2004) — This song basically personifies the feel-good elements of a true pop-punk jam.
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