5 “Never Gonna Give You Up” — Rick Astley
The only song on the list to split the “hilariously annoying” description, Rick Astley’s anthemic love song is hilarious to those using it to “rickroll” someone and annoying to the one being rickrolled. When it was originally released in 1987, “Never Gonna Give You Up” was number one on the Billboard Hot 100 and a number of other international charts. Several decades later, it was gifted a rebirth in popularity as the butt of a bait-and-switch joke. Over time, rickrolling eventually made its way to the hilariously annoyed eyes and ears of New York Mets fans, MTV, the Oregon House of Representatives and this list.
4 “Cotton-Eyed Joe” — Rednex
Talk about lost in translation. It would take a group of Swedes to think anyone would be interested in listening to a techno version of a bluegrass song. Funnily enough, it was a group of Swedes who did precisely that in 1994, and the results were hilariously annoying. The worst thing about this song is that the nasally voice everyone universally adopts when mocking an annoying song doesn’t work here, because you still end up just sounding like the song itself. The band’s genius exploitation of the untapped niche of music listeners yearning to hear electronically produced bluegrass at 133 beats per minute earned them a number one single in the United Kingdom and gold record sales in the United States.
3 “I’m Too Sexy” — Right Said Fred
No one ever wants to hear this song—shocking considering it was a number one hit in 32 countries, one of which was the United States. But if someone should happen to play it, everyone’s pantomiming and lip-synching along. Given the deep voices of the “Freds” (which they call themselves, despite the fact one of them is named Richard), this act is far more amusing if performed by a young woman. Make fun of it if you want—it was intended to be satirical. If you can listen to it with a straight face, maybe you actually are too sexy for this song.
2 “Friday” — Rebecca Black
The video was uploaded to YouTube in February of 2011. By the middle of March, it had more than 3 million views as a result of an internet “Oh, this is horrible, you have to watch it” frenzy of viral proportions. Nearly every late-night talk show in existence got its claws into the breakout in some way, because comedians can’t stand it when someone is accidentally funnier than they intentionally try to be. Rebecca Black could hold a clinic about how not all publicity is good publicity, however—she reportedly left public school after harassment from classmates. Even knowing that, you’re probably still laughing.
1 “Who Let the Dogs Out?” — The Baha Men
You can’t go to a public event without hearing this song—and there’s a reason for that. In the summer of 2000 when the song was released, it rocketed all the way up to number 40 on the Billboard 200. But that’s selling the song short. The album peaked at number 5, won a number of awards, and sold 3 million copies in the United States. To be fair, this was a bit before digital downloads of singles became a “thing,” but it’s worth noting that the actual fans of this song felt its strength alone justified buying a whole album. If you don’t think this song is “hilarious” enough for this list, you’ve clearly never seen the video.