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Culture

The 12 Most Underrated Made-Up Songs In Pop Culture

Career musicians need to step up their game.

Sometimes the stars will align, and a made-up band from a TV show or movie will hit harder than any real band who plays music as a career. Made-up songs have made their mark on pop culture for decades, and it’s high time they got their flowers. Ahead, you’ll find some of the best — and most underrated — made-up songs from throwback cartoons, iconic teen films, and blustering comedies.

Doug - “Killer Tofu” by The Beets

The rock outfit The Beets not only advocated for the importance of a healthy diet, but they also crafted an earworm hook that’s embedded itself into our hearts and minds for decades.

Nickelodeon

The Fresh Prince of Bel Air - “Make Up Your Mind” by Ashley Banks

This funky R&B track about an indecisive lover could have easily been been an actual chart-topper in the 90s. Ashley has the vocals on lock, and Carlton and Will’s backup dancing techniques would have looked great on tour.

NBCU

Josie & The Pussycats - “Pretend To Be Nice”

Josies & The Pussycats redefined what a teen film soundtrack could be! The power-pop anthem “3 Small Words” may be the breakout hit from the film, but the soundtrack is full of gems that made it a paradigm-shift as a whole for early aughts films. “Pretend To Be Nice” is one of them — a universal anthem about begging a guy to give even a little bit of a sh*t about you.

Harry/Kaplan Elfont Marc Platt/Riverdale/Riverside CANADA/USA Scene Still Comedy

The Lizzie McGuire Movie - “What Dreams Are Made Of”

This song begs the question: Have you ever seen such a beautiful night? The climatic pop banger from The Lizzie McGuire Movie ushered in Hilary Duff’s music career with the type of autotune vocals that sound like they were lovingly created in a lab by a group of top Swedish music producers.

Walt Disney

Freaky Friday - “Take Me Away” by Pink Slip

Who told Pink Slip to rock this hard? There would be no Olivia Rodrigo angst-ridden singles if it weren’t for this electrifying pop-punk number, and I will die on this hill.

Walt Disney

As Told By Ginger - “Little Seal Girl” as performed by Macie Lightfoot

There’s something so tender and endearing about a ballad sang by a lonely, yet optimistic half-girl, half-seal.

Nickelodeon

Music & Lyrics - “Pop Goes My Heart”

Not to out myself as 100 years old, but I may or may not have had a bootleg of this song downloaded to my iPod. The 80s synths and corny lyrics are catchy as hell, and would have easily had legions of girls swooning over a poster of Hugh Grant as Alex Fletcher in their bedrooms.

Castle Rock Ent/Warner Bros/Kobal/Shutterstock

Forgetting Sarah Marshall - “Dracula’s Lament”

Lyrics like “If I see Van Helsing I swear to the Lord I will slay him!” are beautifully deranged, but what else do you expect from a piano ballad written from the perspective of a Dracula puppet?

Apatow Productions/Kobal/Shutterstock

Girls - “In Those Keds” by Questionable Goods

Charlie and Ray’s band Questionable Goods was questionable indeed, but they were asking the right questions: Where are you going... in those Keds?

HBO

Black Mirror - “I’m On A Roll” by Ashley O

This pop star may have been tortured in a dystopian hellscape, but she definitely knew how to make a bop.

Netflix

Schitt’s Creek - “A Little Bit Alexis”

What’s not to love about a chaotic, party girl dance anthem?

Brooke Palmer/CBC/ITV/Kobal/Shutterstock

This American Dad - “I’m A Virgin” by The Weeknd

A sultry bop from The Weeknd that’s not about rampant drug use and having sex with models? Now I’ve heard everything!

Fox

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