Jacob Zinn :: journalist + photographer

Top 5 Late ’90s/Early to Mid ’00s Teen Comedy Signature Songs

Posted in Top 5, TV & Film by Jacob Zinn on May 22, 2009

Todays teen comedies aren’t what they say they are: teen comedies. Every Judd Apatow flick comes with an R rating and a lot of unnecessary language. What happened to the days of MTV-produced PG-13 teen comedies with killer soundtracks and cameos?

They’ve been left behind with their portable CD players and Jennifer Love Hewitt, but we can reminisce. That’s why I wrote up this list of signature songs from teen comedies of that era–3:30 tracks, some made just for the movie, that you hum for days after you hear them.


Top 5 Late ’90s/Early to Mid ’00s Teen Comedy Signature Songs

5. “The Middle” by Jimmy Eat World – Orange County (2002)
Arizona rock group Jimmy Eat World, which has quite the following on Twitter (@jimmyeatworld), lent their biggest track to the soundtrack of one of MTV’s not-so-big movies. Though the film isn’t particularly memorable, the song is. It’s the “be yourself” anthem of this generation, even if it’s featured in a movie where Jack Black is in his underwear for most of the 82 minutes.

4. “I’m Just a Kid” by Simple Plan – The New Guy (2002)
The music video for Simple Plan’s debut single features the band trying to impress Eliza Dushku, the leading actress from The New Guy. With a cameo appearance by skateboarder Tony Hawk (who also guest stars in the film), having celebrities in their music video gives the Montreal pop-punk group credibility–and the song’s alright too.

3. “Scotty Doesn’t Know” by Lustra – EuroTrip (2004)
In “Scotty Doesn’t Know,” Scotty, the main character from EuroTrip doesn’t know his girlfriend has been cheating on him for a year–and he finds out through this song at a party, with Matt Damon playing the lead singer. It’s so catchy that by the end of the movie, Scotty’s best friend has it as his cell phone ringtone.

2. “Mrs. Robinson” by the Lemonheads (Simon & Garfunkel cover) – American Pie (1999)
Though the original is better, the Lemonheads do Simon & Garfunkel some justice. Throughout American Pie, the antagonist sexhound Stifler ridicules buddy Paul Finch, but Finch gets back at him by sleeping with Stiflers cougar of a mom. You wait the whole movie until that moment to hear “Mrs. Robinson”–because they never played it one time at band camp.

1. “Teenage Dirtbag” by Wheatus – Loser (2000)
Jason Biggs’ other film with Mena Suvari wasn’t as successful as the American Pie franchise, but this song actually got radio airplay. Biggs is–you guessed it–a loser, but he gets the girl at the prom (played by Mena Suvari) when she sings, “I’m just a teenage dirtbag, baby, like you.” They were made for each other.


Honourable Mentions:

“Flagpole Sitta” by Harvey Danger – American Pie (1999)
“Flavor of the Weak” by American Hi-Fi – American Pie 2 (2001)
“Inside Out” by Eve 6 – Can’t Hardly Wait (1998)
“Girl All The Bad Guys Want” by Bowling For Soup – The New Guy (2002)
“I Want You to Want Me” by Letters to Cleo (Cheap Trick cover) – 10 Things I Hate About You (1999)
“Little Things” by Good Charlotte – Undergrads (TV Series) (2001)



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