Everyone has their most-hated song, the one that if they kept it from having ever existed, they wouldn’t have to think twice about zapping it out of the universe.
Redditor u/themoonisgoneforever—who takes their name from another song, “On Top of the World” by Boys Like Girls—took to the popular forum r/AskReddit, earning 17,900 upvotes and 23,700 comments for their post, “What song annoys you every time you hear it?”
Songs listed range from irritating commercial jingles, repetitive country songs and cuts going viral on TikTok, but what is it that makes a song annoying? The artists Komar and Melamid were curious about that, and worked with composer Dave Soldier and lyricist Nina Mankin in 1997 to create what they called “The Most Unwanted Song.”
Soldier, basing his idea on Komar and Melamid’s previous work looking at the most unwanted painting, devised a wide-ranging survey of musical tastes and asked 500 people about the things they most wanted to hear in a song—and what they least wanted. The survey included topics, genres, instruments, length and other metrics.
“The Most Unwanted Song” ended up a 22-minute monstrosity that jumped genres haphazardly, and combined such disparate elements as a children’s choir singing holiday-themed Walmart jingles, bagpipes, a cowboy-themed operatic rap and more. The song included the casual use of profanity, what Mankin described as “intellectual content,” political buzzwords like “pork barrels” and “special interests,” a verse in German and a voice accusing the listener of having “murdered all the innocent children.” “
While none of the songs listed by Redditors were quite as irritating as Komar, Melamid, Soldier and Mankin’s work, elements of it can be found in almost all the suggestions.
The top-rated suggestion came from u/this_is_too_goo, who earned 20,600 upvotes for suggesting The Shangri-Las’ “Remember (Walking In the Sand)”, though they described it as “‘Oh no.. oh no.. oh no no no no’, no idea what it’s called but everyone hates it I think.”
The 1964 hit—which is also the first appearance of Billy Joel on record, as he plays the piano on the cut—recently became a viral tune on TikTok, and was sampled by Capone for his song, “Oh No.”
“I’m walking on sunshine: I used to work at a summer camp and they would play it every single morning on repeat for like 5-6 minutes for the campers to come in,” u/big_cheesee suggested, referring to the 1983 Katrina and the Waves hit. “I don’t know why they decided to continue to inflict that psychological trauma on everyone, but it’s stuck with me for over 15 years.”
Pharrell’s “Happy” was another common song appearing in the thread, with u/msnyder87 saying that the song always had the opposite effect on them: “AGREED! that song does the opposite to me and p**ses me off lol.” Redditor u/rdickeyvii suggested pretending to hear the “Weird Al” Yankovic version, “Tacky,” instead.
“All About That Bass for me. It’s not even that I hate the lyrics, but whoever designed the instrumental completely forgot to add any sort of bass to the song at all. P**ses me off more than anything,” u/tirosey124 said about the Meghan Trainor tune.
The viral children’s song “Baby Shark” was another contender, with over 100 people chiming in on their hatred of the cut.
Country music appeared on the list a few times, too.
“That country pop song that keeps repeating ‘if it’s meant to be it’s meant to be meant to be meant to be meant to be meant to be ride with me ride with me ride with me ride with me ride with me’. Nothing more annoying than a song that hits the top of the charts that was probably written in less than 3 minutes with a repetitive chorus that lasts forevvvvvvvvver,” u/unbiasedasian wrote about “Meant to Be” by Bebe Rexha and Florida Georgia Line.
Walker Hayes’ “Fancy Like,” famous for appearing in Applebee’s advertisements, appeared on the list as well.
“The moment I realized that’s an actual song someone put on an album…I was speechless. I really thought it was just an Applebee’s ad,” u/5hrs4hrs3hrs2hrs1mor wrote.
“Literally the worst song in the world. I can’t believe it made it to the radio considering how many people something has to go through to get to the radio. Like, are we being trolled by the music industry? Were we bad? Because that song is punishment,” u/SurferRosa85 added.
Speaking of commercials, other users called out common jingles.
“That stupid Liberty Mutual jingle, if that counts,” u/ofthisredearth wrote.
“Yeah it’s no ‘We Are Farmers Dum da-dum da-dum da-dum,'” u/Tokasmoka420 agreed.
“JG WENTWORTH!!! 877-CASH NOW!” u/meldiane81 suggested.
“The operatic version is fire though,” u/throwawaykarl countered.
What songs do you hate? Feel free to sound off in the comments below.