21 Most Annoyingly Over-Used Movie Trailer Songs

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These are the songs that make you roll your eyes in theaters, change the channel, or even put the TV on mute when you hear them come on in movie trailers.

Some are actually fantastic and beautifully written songs that have been ruined by overexposure; some are inexplicably popular songs that need to die immediately.

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    We have no idea how this song even came to fruition. Who thought this was cool? The song itself even starts out kind of badass (imagine you'd never heard it before) and then goes on to get really really friendly. It was actually a huge hit on Radio Disney for YEARS.

    But seriously, we have no idea who possibly thought it was a good idea to spend time and money and actually use their names, faces and voices to make such a stupid and horribly annoying song.

    Songs like these usually go away... songs like these usually go away! *Rocks back and forth* Songs like these usually go away.

    But not this one. It first came out in 1999, started being used in trailers then... and it STILL. IS.

    The worst part is that now any kids' movie with a dog and/or men behaving like dogs, or even just fun, light-hearted family films has this in the trailer.

    The ultimate one-hit wonder song, "Who Let the Dogs Out" can rape your ears in everything from "The Hangover" to "Shallow Hal" to "Rugrats in Paris: The Movie," and graces such trailers as the one embedded here, where it is arguably most distastefully used.

    Here's your token dogs-are-on-the-screen-so-let's-get-the-s**tty-tropical-dog-song moment from the Snow Dogs trailer at 0:50 to the left.

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    • Artist: Baha Men
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    Just gonna put this out there, and although we don't wanna rock any boats, we'll be the first ones to admit it. You know what? We HATE this song. By "we," I mean "the thinking people of America."

    And I think it's because of how Hollywood has saturated every part of our lives with this song. It's in video games, television, and movies such as Digimon: The MovieInspector Gadget, seemingly every single Shrek movie and "Mystery Men" (where they apparently had enough people on staff who smoked crack that they decided to make this the theme of their movie).

    We would donate our dozens of dollars to charity to never have to hear this song in a movie (or life) ever again.

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    • Artist: Smash Mouth
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    The embedded trailer for High Fidelity uses the song for its intended purpose, super great feelings. This is what you use in a trailer when your characters are feeling a few notches above "I Feel Good." When people want to jump on tables, run while their hair bounces, drive off in a car, wear sunglasses, or dance for no reason, this is the song to play.

    Cheesy/lame uses of it? Most def. Check out this trailer for Mr. Bean.


    Honorable Mentions:

    "Eye of the Tiger" (cause really, we're not sick of that one, it will last forever)
    "Wake Up" by Arcade Fire (give it a few years, it'll belong here)
    "Home" by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros (watch Indie trailers for it)

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    • Artist: Katrina and the Waves
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    Kung Fu Fighting

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    An original B-side song, recorded in ten minutes by a Jamaican dude name Carl doesn't exactly motivate the listener to allow their minds to be transported to a dreamworld of dragons, egg rolls, and other supercool Asian stuff. Oh wait, that is exactly the kind of Asia that a song like "Kung Fu Fighting" makes the listener connect with. With appearances in everything from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie to Rush Hour 3, it seems like City of God is one of the only movies on this song's list of cultural infiltration that is actually worth being proud of.

    Shockingly, the song was also used in the Dreamworks's movie Kung Fu Panda (gasp!), which is actually a cute movie if you're seven or like drugs. Fast-forward to the 0:34 mark to begin your immersion in Asian culture, the Hollywood way.

    Thanks Carl! Now all martial arts comedies will be able to share one CD (who are we kidding, this is totally on a beta) for their soundtrack until the end of time.

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    • Artist: Carl Douglas
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    No question, you know this song. You've heard it in Clerks 2 and in the part of any movie trailer where a kooky guy (or crew of guys) has to change their ways or take on a seemingly impossibly task. Who knows what could happen? Craziness ensues! But no matter what does, you know that everything is going to be OK because it's "ABC" time, so go see their crappy movie!

    Here's the trailer for Daddy Day Care (you're welcome). At 1:16 the song starts, giving us the perfect, cliche example of how Hollywood uses this song.

    That's right, if you have a child running amok or a clueless man learning anything in a movie, Tito Jackson is sure to get a check.

    Perhaps the saddest thing about this song though is that it was responsible for kicking "Let It Be" out of the number one Billboard spot in 1970.

    Oh, and for those who just can't get enough of the first three letters of the alphabet, you can download this jam for Rock Band or play it on Band Hero.

    But seriously, please don't.

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    • Artist: The Jackson 5
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    What a Wonderful World

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    Bad to the Bone

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    I Got You (I Feel Good)

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    A song that's cool enough to be in both "Full House" and "Lost" is all right in my book, no matter how over-utilized it is by Hollywood. But dear God is it overused in trailers.

    The Godfather of Soul's hit single has been made an appearance on basically every soundtrack ever, including The Nutty Professor, It Takes Two, Garfield: The Movie, and Home Alone 4 (hey, I never said they were good soundtracks).

    Really, this song is used masterfully by trailers in a way that isn't obvious in the least... ready for it? It's played whenever someone "feels good." BOOSH.

    Remember this Richard Gere movie? GREAT example of how lame it is.

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    • Artist: James Brown
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    "I don't give a damn about my bad reputation!"

    Used in Shrek, 10 Things I Hate About You, Baby Mama and a few others, Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation" has got a bad reputation for being used in otherwise pretty decent movie trailers. It's just not right to do this sort of thing to an awesome song!

    Formerly used as the theme song for the great canceled-way-too-early NBC show "Freaks & Geeks," this song is being overused in trailers such as Kick-Ass and any other trailer that involves children fighting back or something juvenile or anthropomorphic rebelling in some way, shape, or form.

    See for yourself. Here's Joan's song being used in one of its most cliche ways in the "Kick-Ass" movie trailer (1:40).

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    • Artist: Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
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    Carnival of the Animals

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    "Carnival of the Animals, VII Aquarium," is the perfect example of one of those movie trailer songs that you have no idea what it is, but it's in all movie trailers needing a mystical and mythical musical background. Anything playfully mysterious or even slightly (but gothically) ethereal will have this song at the beginning of its trailer.

    An actually lovely song, "Aquarium" is just one part of a larger collection of music, but seems to be the one part that every movie trailer maker latches on to (perhaps they all have a lucky number seven). Kind of like the intense part of "O Fortuna," which isn't included in this list because people really seem to have eased off the song in the last 5-10 years (thankfully).

    Here's just one of the 637 billion trailers (we totally counted) out there that use "Aquarium."

    And if you find the song just a bit too annoying, try listening to it while looking at fish (either real or on Youtube), it really does sound like what an aquarium looks like.

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    Another case of a great band that had one song sucked into the movie trailer vortex that sits in the center of Hollywood's first "O" never to be played or sung outside of any other context besides a children's movie about magical nannies, faeries, unicorns, or whatever magical crap kids today believe in (note to children: THEY'RE NOT REAL, well except for unicorns, those are totally real. And you shouldn't be on this website anyway, go now. scat).

    Shockingly unexpected was the decision to use "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic" in the new Nanny McPhee trailer (1:36), as it's most often spotted along with images of Adam Sandler smiling above his name at the end of a trailer that gives away the whole movie, or for mid-level, barely-got-made romantic comedies that have no personality.

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    • Artist: The Police
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    Although Iron Man is making sure that it too, needs to come to a stop, the only AC/DC song that is still cool to use in trailers is "Thunderstruck," because that song rules. Overused in places here and there (TV's "Supernatural" and the Iron Man 2 trailer but hopefully not any Thor trailers, but if it happens, you heard it here first, folks), but "Thunderstruck" still manages to be a great song.

    Here are two AC/DC songs that have been taken to the dark side of bad-ass song turned aaaaanoying.

    "Back In Black": used whenever someone is "back," as in they are reformed and out to kick some ass with a new lease in life.

    "Highway to Hell": used whenever a badass is doing anything, or whenever someone's flaunting their stuff, proud to be who they are despite what naysayers have to say.

    You might even say they have a haters gonna hate attitude. Like this . And this.

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    • Artist: AC/DC
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    Ah yes, the ubiquitous anthem of every ass-kicking, bone-breaking and tights-wearing action movie trailer. Why? Because it's obvious.

    With such moving and thought provoking lyrics like "Let the bodies hit the floor.Let the bodies hit the floor. Let the bodies hit the floor. Let the bodies hit the floor. Let the bodies hit the floor."

    Yeah, that's about it.

    In any movie where bodies need to, or will be, hitting the floor you can bet your sweet ass that at some point you will hear the brutally-metal voices of Drowning Pool letting you know that they're going to be allowing something, and that something is bodies hitting the goddamn floor.

    Skip to 1:19 in this trailer for Jason X to hear the satisfying thud of some bodies. Also used in Vin Diesel movies and crappy, not-going-to-make-their-money-back-in-theatres movies, which are essentially the same thing.

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    • Artist: Drowning Pool
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    Let My Love Open the Door

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    • Artist: Pete Townshend
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    "Well I guess this is growing up."

    This one line has assured that "Dammit" by Blink 182 would make it past the 90s, pass the 00s and all the way to the Squeakquel without being dropped as another "coming of age" tune because Hollywood thinks that it can really sell us the idea that the kids (or backyard woodland creatures) in the trailer are really going to LEARN something, and that it's worth our dinero.

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    • Artist: Blink-182
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    Hey Mama

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    2015 brought on the release of the hit single with Nicki Minaj, by David Guetta, called "Hey Mama." This catchy, eclectic and fun dance number caught on in pretty much every medium imaginable. It's in TV promos, the radio and also featured very obnoxiously in the movie trailers for American Ultra, Sisters, and many, many more trailers from the summer of 2015. How can a song wear itself out that quickly?

    Well, maybe because every single trailer that it's in uses it in the exact same way. 

    About 80% through the trailer the song will start off with the "YOU BEATIN DRUM LIKE DUM DI DI DEY." 

    The song will then get progressively louder throughout the trailer and the titles will come on and you'll get sound effects mixed with the "Hey ma ma ma ma hey ma maaa" part and the last "Hey ma maa" will go over the titles that show when the movie comes out. 

    Prove me wrong. Also post in the comments if you see more examples. 

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    You know it as that "Bawidaba di bang di bang diggy diggy..." song that isn't Kid Rock.

    If you've seen trailers, television or if you've been through a mid-level action or tense/farce-like scene in any comedy for the past 10 years, you have most likely have heard this song. It's also used at the beginning of some movies and for pretty much any chase or "oh no, someone's in a hurry" scenes in the show "Chuck" on NBC. You can even find it in Date Night (which JUST came out on DVD... this song is still going strong).

    Any song that was on the abercrombie kids' music repertoire should not be used to convince us to go see a movie.

    Teddybears is one of those annoyingly recognizable songs that seems to be in every single movie, television show or nightmare that you'll never know the name of but you can instantly recognize on the first note.

    Here's another laundry list of what Cobrastyle has been used in to brainwash and seemingly alter the minds of the masses into an acceptance of s**tty pop culture delirium.

    I wish I could turn this song into a person just so I could kill it.

    You, yes YOU, can find Cobrastyle in...
    - promotions on PBS (Mister Rogers would so not approve).
    - as an official theme song for WWE SummerSlam 2006 pay-per-view event.
    - appeared in an episode of the American reality show Laguna Beach: The Real Orange - County (shocking)
    - appears in the pilot episode of Primeval.
    - appeared in episode "Love Me Or Leave Me" of 90210.
    - appeared in episode "Run Cooper, Run!" of NBC's Las Vegas.
    - Steve-O and Lacey Performed their Salsa dance to this song on Dancing With the Stars.
    - Featured as the closing song for the trailer for Harold & Kumar Escape from Guantanamo Bay.
    - Appeared in a television commercial advertising the film called No Respect.
    - Appeared in a trailer for the film Epic Movie (see video, 0:49).
    - Appeared in the 2008 film College Road Trip.
    - Appeared in the 2010 film Date Night, during the car chase scene.
    - Appeared in the 2010 film Diary of a Wimpy Kid.
    - Featured in the popular video game FIFA 06.
    - Featured in the racing video game Forza Motorsport 2.
    - Played at New York Giants games at Giants Stadium.
    - Played at Cleveland Indians games at Jacobs Field during the starting lineups.

    As you can see, there are way too many instances of Cobrastyle (ps: what is Cobrastyle and what is being done in the style of a cobra?).

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    • Artist: Teddybears
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    Muse is a pretty sweet band. They didn't send us flowers or anything, they're just talented, intense, catchy, and just simply awesome. They have interesting, thought-provoking lyrics and can really back up the rock star status with some mean instrumentation.

    And it's because of their ability to actually make decent music, Hollywood d-bags jump at the chance to put their songs like "Uprising" and "Knights of Cydonia" in tons o' crap. Literally crap.

    Check out the trailer for "Knight and Day" (do you even know anyone who saw this turd, and don't admit if you did) and skip to the 2:00 mark to see how they took a decent song and made it annoying.

    "Uprising" and "Knights of Cydonia" are the Muse songs which are overused more than any others, but Muse in general is just a HUGE trailers' band. They're amazing, but whenever you start to associate a crappy trailer with a song you love... song = dead.

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    • Artist: Muse
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    Okay, this song is actually really heartwarming, but the fact that it is almost solely associated with either cheesy trailers or that awesome movie trailer recut of The Shining is really sad.

    "Solsbury Hill" is a feel-good song that allows Hollywood to "hook in" audiences with that "feel great and warm and mushy" feeling so that the warm and mushy scenes in the trailer are able to brainwash them to think, "awww, I should see that!"

    Perfect example of kooky, to heartwarming, to "will he EVER learn ;-)?" trailers that use this song is the one for In Good Company, featured here.

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    • Artist: Peter Gabriel
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    Lux Æterna

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