The Top Ten Pop Punk Songs That Got Me Through Those Awkward Teenage Years

Categories: Lists

pete wentz_sized.jpg
Wikimedia Commons
Pete Wentz of Fall Out Boy

​Painful breakups and social awkwardness and angst-ridden lonely nights. Sometimes those teenage years took a toll on my young fledgling heart.

And to make matters worse, adults never understood. They could never comprehend how the way a girl looked at me (or didn't) could adversely affect my ability to turn in homework on time. They just could not believe that the pressure to not be myself became so intense that everything else just faded into the background.

But someone did understand. Someone knew exactly what to say to get me through. From the anthems of loneliness to the uplifting reminders that things would get better, pop-punk kept my little heart ticking through it all.

To this day, these songs still cause little prickly twinges of nostalgia to dance around in my chest when they pop up in my headphones.

10. "Still Trying" (Midtown)
Everyone has had relationships ruined because someone had a big mouth. Even if we couldn't muster the courage to call the offender out, Midtown had our backs.

9. "Stupid Kid" (Alkaline Trio)
Being young and in love and fairly stupid doesn't always end well (I know this for a fact). No one knows about the relationship between love and regret better than Alkaline Trio and no song better exemplifies this than the aptly titled "Stupid Kid."

8. "Hey" (The Movielife)
There is a first time for everything. In a lot of cases, that time came between the ages of about sixteen and nineteen. This song helped us remember all of those special times long after we had managed to screw them up.

7. "Tell That Mick He Just Made My List of Things to Do Today" (Fall Out Boy)
Remember all of those perfect lines that popped into your head four seconds after your ex-girlfriend walked away from you junior year? Fall Out Boy was always there for us to deliver those lines for us, on time and in perfect pitch. Our favorite: "Let's play this game called 'when you catch fire'/ I wouldn't piss to put you out."

6. "True Believers" (Bouncing Souls)
No matter how many seemingly terrible things happened during my teenage years, my best friends were always there to help me through it. I want to thank the Bouncing Souls for reminding me of that.

5. "Seventy Times 7" (Brand New)
Did you ever get so fed up with someone in high school that you just wanted to badmouth him/her in front of every single person he/she knew? And then have them run off of the road and die in a car accident? Yeah, me too. Brand New helped me vent all of that frustration in a questionably-healthy manner.

4. "10 Minutes" (The Get Up Kids)
Listening to The Get Up Kids is like listening to a transcript of my 17-year-old self's worried thoughts set to some killer music. No song quite captures the flurry of doubts that ran through the hormone-laced pathways of my brain like "Ten Minutes."

3. "Hit or Miss" (New Found Glory)
Breakups can be difficult, especially when you are a melodramatic teenager and you force yourself to remember every good time you ever had with your former flame. New Found Glory made the regrets and reminiscing a little bit easier to handle.

2. "Freakish" (Saves the Day)
Everyone knows how it feels to be a voiceless loner struggling for recognition. Saves the Day's Chris Connelly forced out this song to show us that we are not alone. New Jersey's own prince of pop punk gave us all a voice with this solemn ode to anonymity.

1. "Dammit" (Blink-182)
From the moment "Dammit" begins, the song is something of a paradox. Its iconic opening riff and catchy sing-along chorus seems to promise the listener another goofy and fun addition to the Blink-182 catalog, yet the lyrics paint a picture of heartbreak, confusion, and impending adulthood. The tune encompasses all of the pain, joy, and utter chaos of "growing up."

These songs still make my heart race to this day and send a rush of different emotions surging through my body. Did I miss any? Probably. If I had all of the space and time in the world, I could probably name one hundred more. Let me know if I left any of your favorites off of the list and I will appreciate (do little of substance to make up for) it.

Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help

i am surprised there is no Green Day on here...

Alex Kack
Alex Kack

Good, but so many more things to add to this list though,  Wendy Clear by Blink while not as iconic as Dammit still worth a nod,  Violins by Lagwagon Journey to the end of the east bay  by Rancid Fat Lip by Sum 41 Penguins and Polar Bears by Millencolin Doing time by MxPx I'm not a loser by The Descendents,  Etc, etc, etc, the list keeps going on.


Whoever created this list should go die!


Decent List! I would've included "Get busy living or get busy dying" and "XO" by Fall out boy


Im with the bear. At 24 this list takes me right back to a different universe. Jeez just reading the title "Ten Minutes" made me anxious.

Spectacular throw back WS.

Jake The Bear
Jake The Bear

This is not the definitive list of pop punk songs in the history of the world but it doesn't claim to be. Even the title openly states that this is representative of a period in one person's life so I really find it hard to understand what everyone is getting up in arms about. 

That being said, this is a great fucking list and you did a great job giving an accurate impression of each band without repeating yourself. 

Frankly, if you aren't down with these bands, I'm probably not down with you.

Concerned Pop Punk Lover
Concerned Pop Punk Lover

That's a pretty embarassing list.  If you're going to call it "pop punk", I would at least expect to see a little bit of bands not from the last 10 years.  Maybe even a little Queers or Screeching Weasel?  The Descendents would absolutely qualify for "pop punk" if you wanted them to..

Instead, it's an early 20-something's list of commercial pop music with a punk tinge.  Even from the bands you picked -- I like some Bouncing Souls, but "True Believers" seems like a throwaway song on one of their newer albums.  Blink-182's "Dammit" is the #1 meaningful pop-punk song?  That's just sad..


Those aren't punk.  Lame article.  What are you 23?


I know, man. The Get Up Kids know how to jam. Any other songs I missed that get you in the same way?


I understand all of your concern.  I am young, so kill me.  If we wanted to make a top 10 pop punk songs of all time list, I am sure it would look very different.  However, it is just a list of the songs that got me through my awkward teenage years.  

I appreciate the reads and the feedback, though. Keep on rocking.


You are quite right, sir.  These songs are actually part of a genre that is punk rock's geeky younger brother, pop punk. If I were looking for punk songs I would be just as enraged as you are.  This list is not up to snuff in that regard. However, while I enjoy their tunes, The Descendants, The Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, etc. did not quite come in handy on those especially awkward high school days. 

Now Trending

Phoenix Concert Tickets

From the Vault