The Best Pop Punk Songs Of All Time Ranked

Pop-punk emerged in the late 1970s with groups such as the Ramones, the Undertones, and the Buzzcocks. 1980s punk bands like Bad Religion, Descendents and the Misfits were influential to pop-punk, and it expanded in the 1980s and early 1990s by a host of bands signed to Lookout! Records, including Screeching Weasel, the Queers, and the Mr. T Experience. In the mid–late 1990s, the genre saw a massive widespread popularity increase with bands like Green Day, the Offspring and Blink-182. The genre was further popularized by the Warped Tour. Pop-punk’s popularity continued throughout the early-mid 2000s, with artists such as Avril Lavigne, Fall Out Boy, My Chemical Romance, Sum 41, Good Charlotte and New Found Glory achieving various levels of critical and commercial success. From the mid–late 2000s onward, pop-punk acts were largely indistinguishable from artists tagged as “emo”, to the extent that emo crossover acts such as Fall Out Boy and Paramore popularized a pop-punk-influenced style dubbed emo pop. By the 2010s, pop-punk’s mainstream popularity had waned, with rock bands and guitar-centric music becoming rare on dance-focused pop radio. During this period, however, a wave of underground artists defined a rawer and more emotional take on the genre, namely the Story so Far, the Wonder Years and Neck Deep. In the early 2020s, a new crop of pop-punk music began experiencing mainstream resurgence with various new acts such as Machine Gun Kelly, KennyHoopla and Yungblud. Here are all of the best Pop Punk songs.

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15. Ocean Avenue – Yellowcard

““Ocean Avenue” is about a time and a place, and its kick of nostalgia was everything back in 2003. Specifically, the song references a place in Jacksonville, Fla. The members of Yellowcard used to hang out before moving to California. But for listeners, Ocean Avenue is a stand-in for that special coming of age moment where you leave the place that made you follow your dreams. It’s the pop-punk “Thunder Road.”

14. Best of Me – The Starting Line

“While “emo”-leaning bands such as Taking Back Sunday, Dashboard Confessional and Saves The Day rode the fast track to stardom, the Starting Line hugged their pop-punk roots. “Best Of Me” features an ungodly catchy hook, and you probably know the chorus by heart. But it’s the song’s, and for that matter the band’s, accessibility that makes it so influential. “Best Of Me” is very coverable, and young bands could envision themselves in the Starting Line’s shoes—a bunch of rebellious suburban kids with some talent and loads of passion for music.”

13. My Friends Over You – New Found Glory

“New Found Glory had already built a solid fanbase with its 2000 debut. But when “My Friends Over You,” the lead single from 2002′s “Sticks and Stones” hit, the band became a true sensation. The record sales may not have matched. But walking the halls of high school at the time, you’d find just as many New Found Glory fans as that of Nickelback, Nelly or Eminem. The impact on the pop-punk genre was huge.”

12. The Sharpest Lives – My Chemical Romance

“My Chemical Romance from the beginning embodied a raw emotion in each of their songs that draws any listener in. No matter what mood you’re in they have songs that will appeal to it and seem to sing the thoughts you can’t form on your own! This song pulled me through rough times and is always there whenever I’m feeling down or just need to rock out. My Chemical Romamce is definitely a band unlike any other, and it shows through their music.”

11. Fat Lip – Sum 41

“Few things…Check that. NOTHING in the history of pop-punk is more recognizable and more likely to insight a mosh pit than the opening guitar riff on Sum 41′s “Fat Lip.” It’s that good. And when it comes to pop-punk hooks, it gets no bigger and better than “I don’t wanna waste my time…” Two decades after its release and “Fat Lip” is still the ultimate pop-punk party starter. When it comes to 21st-century pop-punk songs, you won’t find one more enduring than this.”

10. In Too Deep – Sum 41

“It’s easy to forget just how huge Sum 41 was. No pop-punk band has ever written catchier choruses. Sum 41 followed up its breakthrough “Fat Lip” with “In Too Deep,” another infectious anthem leaning even more to the pop side of things. “In Too Deep” went platinum and cemented Sum 41 as not just one of the biggest acts in pop punk, but one of the biggest bands in the world.”

9. Welcome to Paradise – Green Day

“Welcome to Paradise” has about as rich a history as any Green Day song. It was first featured on Green Day’s influential Lookout! Records album “Kerplunk.” The band and producer Rob Cavallo thought enough of its potential to give it a refined sound for 1994′s landmark “Dookie.”

8. Dammit – Blink-182

“Blink-182 would go on to have bigger hits than “Dammit.” But for many fans, it’s still Blink at its peak. Heck, to this day the band still closes out most of its shows with. That’s because “Dammit” and its signature line “I guess this is growing up” would come to embody the spirit of pop-punk heading into a new millennium where it would become a genre played all over MTV.”

7. What’s My Age Again? – Blink-182

“The idea of grown men writing about immature antics and self-loathing is weird. But rather than pretend its not, Blink-182 leaned into it on “What’s My Age Again?,” the song that would propel pop-punk into a new century. What was pop-punk before the members of Blink-182 were running naked down the street on MTV? Honestly, it’s hard to remember. Pop-punk was a genre long before Blink-182 became popular.”

6. Longview – Green Day

“Shortly before Jawbreaker hit pay dirt by touring with Nirvana in 1993, a young Billie Joe Armstrong crafted Green Day’s “Longview,” named after the Washington city with a population of less than 40,000 people, debuting it in 1992. Ironically, a song about boredom launched the careers of one of music’s most entertaining trios. “Longeview” became the first single off Dookiethe highest-selling pop-punk album of all time. Ah, the beginning of something special. “

5. I Write Sins Not Tragedies – Panic! at the Disco

“The instantly recognizable accordion riff cements the song’s status as a iconic song in pop punk. The flamboyant, out-going lyrics match the way Brendon Urie acts in the video.
I Write Sins Not Tragedies is a very well structured song and sounds very good. The guitar, bass and drums in the chorus are perfect for Urie’s vocals.”

4. Sugar, We’re Goin Down – Fall Out Boy

“Fall Out Boy introduced a whole new generation to pop punk. I would say any of their songs deserves to be on this list! Sugar, were going down is definitely one of the best pop punk songs ever written. Not just the best pop-punk song of all time, but the best song of any genre! The lyrics are a work of pure genius. “

3. All the Small Things – Blink-182

“The song that introduced everyone to the world of pop punk! Blink-182 are one of the most influential bands from the 90’s and most of todays popular pop punk artists would not be here cause of them. One of the greatest, plain and simple, punk songs ever written. Tom Delonge is a very underrated songwriter. This is magic, instant-catchy riffs and nasal vocally lyrics.”

2. American Idiot – Green Day

“This song is pop punk. Basket case threw Green Day into the spotlight and American idiot cemented their position. The fact that they can still fill stadiums for songs 10+ years old just shows how influential this was. The guitar, the lyrics, the base… It’s a song that went against the then current way of thinking and spat in the face of society.”

1. Basket Case – Green Day

“For those who weren’t around to see it, it’s hard to describe what it was like watching MTV in the mid-1990s and seeing Billie Joe Armstrong’s guitar get plugged in at the start of the video for “Basket Case.” It was every bit as explosive a moment for pop punk as the “Smells Like Teen Spirit” was for grunge music. Green Day released two singles from “Dookie” before “Basket Case.” But it was the song’s opening question — “Do you have the time to listen to me whine about nothing and everything all at once? — that came to define pop-punk.”