There's nothing worse than having a perfectly good drinking session ruined by a song that either doesn't belong in a bar, has been crammed down your ears too many times, or just plain sucks.
14. ALL I WANNA DO – SHERYL CROW
- 1 14. ALL I WANNA DO – SHERYL CROW
- 2 13. MR. BRIGHTSIDE – THE KILLERS
- 3 12. R.E.M. – IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT (AND I FEEL FINE)
- 4 11. DANCING QUEEN – ABBA
- 5 10. SWEET HOME ALABAMA – LYNYRD SKYNYRD
- 6 9. DON’T STOP BELIEVING – JOURNEY
- 7 8. SMOOTH – CARLOS SANTANA AND ROB THOMAS
- 8 7. HOTEL CALIFORNIA – THE EAGLES
- 9 6. I WILL SURVIVE – GLORIA GAYNOR
- 10 5. MEATLOAF – PARADISE BY THE DASHBOARD LIGHT
- 11 4. KID ROCK – BAWITDABA
- 12 3. ANYTHING BY THE BEATLES – THE BEATLES
- 13 2. PIANO MAN – BILLY JOEL
- 14 1. AMERICAN PIE – DON MCLEAN
WHO PLAYS THIS ON THE JUKE BOX: The 45-year-old wannabe cougar who, despite being totally beaten down by her dead-end job as a real estate agent, thinks she can relate to the free spiritedness this song represents. She could totally drink beer at noon on a Tuesday…if she didn’t have to be at work. And she could totally drive down Santa Monica Boulevard with some guy named Billy or Mac or Buddy…if she didn’t have to pick her kids up from soccer practice. So, instead of going all Thelma and Louise, she ends up dancing with her other cougar friends before calling it a night in time to catch Grey’s Anatomy.
WHY IT NEEDS TO BE RETIRED: When played at a bar, it does nothing but get a bunch of middle-aged women with fupas and gunts up on the dance floor who ask the DJ to play “Margaritaville” next.
13. MR. BRIGHTSIDE – THE KILLERS
WHO PLAYS THIS ON THE JUKE BOX: The wanna-be hipster. That’s right, he’s not a hipster, but he is choosing to become one. That’s like being potty trained and choosing to shit your pants. Unfortunately for him, the killers lost hipster credibility when they became profitable to a record label. So, even though he’s wearing a t-shirt featuring the tour dates of a band he’s never heard of, and really really tight jeans, once he’s popped this song on, other hipsters react like a Klu Klux Klansman hearing his buddy quote a Martin Lawrence movie.
WHY IT NEEDS TO RETIRE: The sound of the lead singer bellowing “I NEEEEVVVEEERRRR” towards the end of the song is reminiscent of the sound a man makes when he inadvertently sits on his testicles. The worst part about this song being picked in a juke box is that someone is definitely trying to say something about themselves, thus the next two selections his dollar provided is going to be even more shitty emo. By the end, you’ll want to take the Pabst Blue Ribbon he’s forcing himself to drink and lodge it in your windpipe.
12. R.E.M. – IT’S THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT (AND I FEEL FINE)
WHO PLAYS THIS ON THE JUKE BOX: The bespectacled, sweater-wearing grad schooler who wants to play a song that shows off his knowledge of political and world affairs. He almost puts on Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start The Fire” but figured REM might make him look a little hipper. But his inability to talk to the opposite sex compels him to explain every cultural reference in the lyrics. “Did you know Leonid Brezhnev served as leader of the Communist party longer than anyone except Stalin? It’s true. And Lester Bangs was an influential music writer who wrote for Rolling Stone and Creem magazines. Hey, where are you going? ”
WHY IT NEEDS TO BE RETIRED: Everyone who hears this song thinks they can sing along, but they always end up screwing up the words. So you get a bar full of people screaming, “That’s great it starts with an earthquake…birds…Lenny Bruce!…hurricane…LEONARD BERNSTEIN…oh wait, that comes later.”
11. DANCING QUEEN – ABBA
WHO PLAYS THIS ON THE JUKE BOX: She’s a shy wallflower with lots of acne in her mid-20s who still reads Sweet Valley High books and plays with her My Little Pony dolls. This song represents her fairy tale dream where she steps onto the dance floor and wows all the guys with her graceful moves. At the end of the night she’s swept off her feet by a handsome Prince Charming who takes her away in a chariot led by 10 mighty steeds. Later that evening, she realizes she’s in a rusty 1984 Datsun and the guy next to her has a pizza stain on his Foreigner T-shirt and he’s asking her to chip in for gas money.
WHY IT NEEDS TO BE RETIRED: It’s disco.
10. SWEET HOME ALABAMA – LYNYRD SKYNYRD
WHO PLAYS THIS ON THE JUKE BOX: Look to the bar, there’s probably a gentleman there who’s wearing a flannel shirt with black sleeves. Upon closer inspection, you’ll realize he’s wearing a sleeveless flannel shirt, and what you thought were sleeves are actually a dark, dense fur that’s made a home on in his shoulders and upper arms. He’ll meander up to the juke box and stare it for ten minutes looking through every album twice, because unlike the sex he has with his obese wife, he’s in no rush to finish. When he selects the song, watch closely, because as it begins to play, he’ll say the words “turn it up,” then hold his hand up and when Skynyrd says “turn it up,” he’ll drop his hand down, signifying that he correctly predicted Skynyrd would say this as well.
WHY IT NEEDS TO RETIRE: If Lynyrd Skynyrd had a Juke Box at their house, I’m pretty sure this wouldn’t be on it. This song, much like Jenna Jameson’s vagina, once was great, but years of non-stop commercialized rocking have made it unsuitable for use.
9. DON’T STOP BELIEVING – JOURNEY
WHO PLAYS THIS ON THE JUKE BOX: The middle aged guy who’s still in the suit he bought just to make sure he landed the Peterson account, which he did! But he knows it’s Friday now, time to order some chicken fingers and let loose! Right before he plays the song, he’ll talk to his buddies about how they should totally take a trip to Vegas together. “Fuck it, let’s just do it.” Then they’ll all check their blackberries to find that they either have a prostate exam, a kid’s play to go to, or “wife wants to go see her parents so I kind of got to keep my weekends open for whenever that will be.” Then they’ll sit in silence until one of them leaves and heads to the juke box to make this ass kicking selection.
WHY IT NEEDS TO RETIRE: This song is as played out as Steve Perry is ugly. Whenever it’s selected on a juke box, it’s like a time out is being called from having fun. If this still pumps you up to hear, you probably also get pumped up when your wife says stuff like “I rented the first season of that show “The Closer” that my sister recommended. Maybe if I’m not too tired afterwards we’ll have sex or something
8. SMOOTH – CARLOS SANTANA AND ROB THOMAS
WHO PLAYS THIS ON THE JUKE BOX: The mega brodawg wearing a white bandana and rings on his fingers who “cannot believe!” that his “main man” Carlos Santana got together with the lead singer of the “totally best fuckin’ band ever” Matchbox Twenty. Seriously, this has “gotta be the best jam of all time, bro.” He’s pretty sure that the only way a better song would come along is if “Jimi came back from the dead to play with, like, Mozart, bro. Totally.”
WHY IT NEEDS TO BE RETIRED: It’s a washed-up guitarist joining forces with the world’s blandest singer to write a song that my parent’s older friend’s like (honestly). This song should only be played on the jukebox in homes for the deaf.
7. HOTEL CALIFORNIA – THE EAGLES
WHO PLAYS THIS ON THE JUKE BOX: The college freshman who just “discovered music” and is “getting into” the “deep and heavy lyrics.” This gateway song will lead this young man into an ill-advised Steve Miller concert, Pink Floyd posters on his dorm walls and, tragically, the purchase of a Phish album. If you see these signs in anyone attempting to use the jukebox, call the authorities immediately.
WHY IT NEEDS TO BE RETIRED: This song has been played so much even Glenn Frey and Don Henley stab their own ears with icepicks whenever they hear it. Killing someone for playing it is legal in 13 states.
6. I WILL SURVIVE – GLORIA GAYNOR
WHO PLAYS THIS ON THE JUKE BOX: The 39 year old newly divorced woman whose friends have taken her to a bar where they’re all ten years older than the everyone in the bar, including the manager. After a 45 minute session where she and her friends repeatedly convince her that “any guy in this bar would fuck you. I’m telling you, Janice. You show me one other person who’s had three kids and is as hot as you!” she downs her last cosmo and makes a beeline for the juke box. She confidently plays this song, and as the beginning piano solo comes in, she turns around towards her friends as they all excitedly scream in unison, then begin singing. Behind them a group of 25 year old frat guys say “How many beers to take down the grandma?”
WHY IT NEEDS OT RETIRE: Nothing kills a buzz faster than having a group of people next to you get up and sing a song with the same passion and intensity of Russell Crowe speech from Gladiator, then suddenly sitting down once the song is over. Attempting to empower yourself by singing a 70s disco song tells the whole bar “I have low self esteem. Talk to me later when I’m drunk and there’s a good chance I’ll fuck you.”
5. MEATLOAF – PARADISE BY THE DASHBOARD LIGHT
WHO PLAYS THIS ON THE JUKE BOX: With his over-the-top Broadway theatrics and his over-the-belt belly fat, Meatloaf attracts the tubby, pony-tailed husky guy who thinks to himself, “Hey, if a great big fatass like Meatloaf can pull this off, then I can too. Because I am also a great big fatass.” He then proceeds to try and out Meatloaf Meatloaf by undoing his pony tail for full hair-flip effect, props one knee on a table and sings along as loud as he possibly can. When he tries to get a girl to do the “let me sleep on it” part she politely declines and he’s forced to sing both the male and female parts by himself. Moments after the song is over he goes home, very alone.
WHY IT NEEDS TO BE RETIRED: First off, it’s eight minutes long. Secondly, it’s shitty Meatloaf singing about having sex in a car. The man is too fat to have sex in a barn. I'm pretty sure those are the only two reasons you need.
4. KID ROCK – BAWITDABA
WHO PLAYS THIS ON THE JUKE BOX: He’s got a lifted truck that’s most likely powered by gasoline and “deez nuts.” He’s pounding bud lights sitting at the bar in a shirt that’s either sleeveless, or with sleeves short enough to show off the tattoo he got to commemorate the animal that most closely resembles the demeanor he displayed while playing middle linebacker in high school. He’s also a few beers deep and “there’s a lotta fatties and uptight bitches in this place,” so it’s vital that he take it upon himself to “fucking rock THIS SHIT brother.” He walks over to the juke box while maintaining a full body flex and enters the numbers for this song. Then he nods his head approvingly, as if to say to everyone “Don’t worry, you’re about to see what I picked and it’s gonna take your nuts and shove them inside your asshole, bro.”
WHY IT NEEDS TO RETIRE: Unlike some other songs on the list, this was never an acceptable juke box selection. The only time this is an appropriate selection is when you’re a stripper working the mid-day shift and you need a pick me up because you’re feeling gassy from the free hot dog lunch buffet your club was offering.
3. ANYTHING BY THE BEATLES – THE BEATLES
WHO PLAYS THIS ON THE JUKE BOX: He or she is around 55 and although they seriously considered a cut off the Beach Boys “Pet Sounds” album, “you just can’t go wrong with the beatles.” They’re wearing Teva Sandles and a sweater from whatever college their son or daughter attended. They don’t go to the bar that often, but hey, who doesn’t love a good margarita. Maybe it’ll get them drunk enough to have sex with their significant other who has become disgusting with age! They’ll probably be sitting with several other older people who are waiting for just the right time to pull out their story about when they first heard this beatles song, which will be a lie, since the actual first time they heard it they were smoking laced weed while awkwardly looking for a place to shoot their load in the circle jerk that just “sort of happened.”
WHY IT NEEDS TO RETIRE: Before you freak the fuck out, we’re not saying the Beatles suck. The Beatles are a legendary and influential band and because of that, everybody has heard every one of their songs so many times that it feels like you’re living in North Korea and its propaganda spewing from megaphones mounted in the street.
2. PIANO MAN – BILLY JOEL
WHO PLAYS THIS ON THE JUKE BOX: The lonely guy wearing a suit, who just took off his sportcoat, loosened his tie and undid the top button on his shirt. After ordering a scotch and soda he asks the bartender where he was when this song came out. Instead of listening to the guy's answer, he immediately starts telling him how he came this close to signing to the Mets farm team and how his wife left him because he worked too much and that he really wanted to be a astronaut when he was a kid. Hours later, when he's finally done with his pity party and gets up to leave, he doesn't even notice that the bartender hung himself with a bar towel.
WHY IT NEEDS TO BE RETIRED: It makes everyone over 37 all weepy and sad as they sit there and reminisce about all their hope and dreams that never came true. And it makes everyone under 37 furious with murderous rage because they have to listen to this shitty song one more time.
1. AMERICAN PIE – DON MCLEAN
WHO PLAYS THIS ON THE JUKE BOX: The 55-year-old hippie who’s long, thinning hair and tie-dyed T-shirt scream desperation for a bye-gone era. He’ll spend the entire 8:32 of this epic ballad telling you how much better things were back in the 1960s because the youth actually fought for something. Then, because this song is so goddamn long, he’ll run out of boring stories and will start telling you his “secrets he learned in ‘Nam” that the government invented cancer and that LSD is the only true form of learning. Once it’s finally over, he’ll ask you to sign a petition to legalize hash.
WHY IT NEEDS TO BE RETIRED: It’s an eight-minute long shitty folk ballad that has long outlived it's welcome. It needs to die.