90s | Pop Culture | Music | Quizzes
How Many Of These 90s One Hit Wonders Can You Name?
While some of these artists did have other songs or albums, they were never able to match the success of the song that we included, at least in the US. Scroll down to check your answers and listen to the full songs.
How many did you get? Check below to see how many you got right!
1. I'll Be There For You - The Rembrandts
Much better known as "The Friends Theme Song," this might just be one of the definitive songs of the 90s, entirely thanks to the lasting popularity of the show that made it famous.
The Rembrandts actually had a Top 20-song in 1991, 4 years before Friends exploded onto the scene, but the fact that you didn't know that really says it all.
2. Groove is in the Heart - Deee-Lite
One quirk of the 90s was the resurgence of everything 60s and 70s (sort of like how the 80s and 90s are now making a comeback, hmm) and if there is one song that represents just how much the 90s loved the funk of the past, it's "Groove is in the Heart."
The music video for it is also completely bonkers, which is always an added bonus.
3. Stay (I Missed You) - Lisa Loeb
If you were an angsty teen girl in the 90s, this was probably your theme song. Released as the lead single for the Reality Bites soundtrack, "Stay" launched Lisa Loeb to the top of the charts, making her the first unsigned artist to do so.
4. Nothing Compares 2 U - Sinéad O'Connor
It shouldn't come as a surprise that a song written by Prince would be a major hit, especially since Sinéad O'Connor's arrangement of it perfectly channels the angst of lost love that the original (performed by The Family) seemed to miss.
While she's more famous now for her...eccentric behavior, feuds, and controversies, this song is definitely one of the definitive hits of the 90s.
5. Just a Friend - Biz Markie
While this one was technically released in 1989, it didn't really get popular until 1990, so we'll count it as a 90s song. "
6. Breakfast at Tiffany's - Deep Blue Something
"Breakfast at Tiffany's" is the perfect example of a song that you recognize immediately, and can probably name, but have no idea who sang it.
7. What's Up - 4 Non Blondes
Linda Perry is the badass lady behind many of the biggest pop songs of the 2000s (Christina Aguilera's "Beautiful," anyone?) but before she found success as a writer and producer, she was the lead singer of an mostly-female rock band called 4 Non Blondes.
While "What's Up" was actually the second single off their debut album, it was the only one that had any sort of success. This is a song that is so very 90s, it's probably for the best that it stays there.
8. Flagpole Sitta - Harvey Danger
Harvey Danger, like so many alt-rock bands of the 90s, came out of the Seattle indie music scene. That makes it a little fitting that their biggest (and only) hit was a song they wrote capturing the rage and frustration they felt at the commodification of the underground music scene they loved.
It also became the most popular song from the movie American Pie, despite not appearing on the official soundtrack.
9. What is Love - Haddaway
In the realm of One Hit Wonders, there are some that, when you hear them again years later, you can't help but wonder how they ever found success in the first place. "What is Love" is not one of those songs.
It's nearly impossible to say whether it became popular because of Night at the Roxbury, or if Night at the Roxbury became popular because of it, but either way, "What is Love" is the 90s gift that keeps on giving.
10. Here Comes The Hotstepper - Ini Kamoze
It's not hard to see why this song became popular, seeing as it's just so damn catchy. Unfortunately for Ini Kamoze, out of the 7 singles he released between 1981 and 1995, it would be the only one to have any sort of popularity.
11. Jump - Kris Kross
These two almost-teens were responsible for not only one of the catchiest songs of the early 90s, but also the completely bizarre fad of wearing all of your clothes backwards, which was both impractical and not very comfortable.
"Jump" was the fastest selling single in 15 years, which is pretty incredible when you consider that Chris "Daddy Mac" Smith and Chris "Mac Daddy" Kelly were only 12 and 13 years old at the time.
While they would release two more albums, and several more singles, none of them would have the same success as their debut. Sadly, Chris Kelly died of an overdose in 2013 at the age of just 34.
12. Steal My Sunshine - Len
There's something about this song that just screams summer, and it's impossible to listen to it and NOT feel some mad 90s nostalgia.
13. My Own Worst Enemy - Lit
As if it's not hard enough being considered a One Hit Wonder, but imagine having people think that your one famous song was actually by someone else?
Such is the reality for pop-punk band Lit, whose song "My Own Worst Enemy" is not only often mis-titled "Please Tell Me Why" but is also often attributed to the considerably more famous and well-known Blink 182.
At least they will always have this incredible music video.
14. Macarena - Los Del Rio
It is literally impossible to do a list of 90s one hit wonders and NOT include this song. If you were alive in the 90s, guaranteed you lose your damn mind and still do the full dance every time you hear this song.
And we're only just getting started...
15. Mambo No. 5 - Lou Bega
Unlike a lot of one hit wonders, where you likely just remember the chorus and nothing else, Mambo No. 5 has become so iconic that you likely started singing it in your head the second you saw the name of the song.
16. Sex and Candy - Marcy Playground
If you - for some reason - need to find a song and video combo that sums up rock music in the 90s, look no further than Marcy Playground's "Sex and Candy."
Everything from the chill guitar riffs, to the moody lyrics, and especially the bonkers and nonsensical music video perfectly capture a very specific period of rock history. It seems almost criminal that so few remember this song.
17. Bitch - Meredith Brooks
Here's another example of a song that is not only more famous than the artist who sang it, but is also often attributed to the wrong artist.
In the case of "Bitch," it's often linked to Alanis Morrissette. To be fair though, it does really sound like it could be Alanis Morissette circa 1995, though it's probably still a jagged little pill for Meredith Brooks to swallow.
18. I’m Blue (Da Ba Dee) - Eiffel 65
Here's a song that we all know and remember. While it's true that we definitely remember all the lyrics to it, that's mostly because a good 90% of the lyrics are just repeating the words "da be dee, da ba di" so it's hard to say if that really counts.
This song also wins for having, hands down, the most bonkers CGI-atrocity of a music video.
19. Cotton Eye Joe - Rednex
While the 2000s had Darude's Sandstorm, we in the 90s had Cotton Eye Joe. Watch the video and decide which decade is the clear winner.
20. I'm Too Sexy - Right Said Fred
"I'm Too Sexy" is so iconic, I guarantee you still know all the words to it. Shockingly, it didn't start out as a dance pop track, but instead as an indie rock song. It's impossible to imagine it being that different.
21. Closing Time - Semisonic
Even to this day, if you stick around a bar until the end of the night, chances are you'll hear this song played as a subtle call to finish your drink and get out. It's not surprising considering the song's winning combo of a catchy hook and simple, repetitive lyrics.
22. In the Meantime - Spacehog
The only thing Spacehog is likely known for, other than this song of course, is the fact that it's lead singer, Royston Langdon (what a name!) was once married to Liv Tyler.
23. She's So High - Tal Bachman
Son of Canadian rocker Randy Bachman (The Guess Who, Bachman-Turner Overdrive), Tal Bachman seemed destined to be a musician. Unfortunately, he never found success beyond 1999's "She's So High."
24. Save Tonight - Eagle-Eye Cherry
Growing up, I always thought Eagle-Eye Cherry was the name of a band, but it turns out it's the actual name of Jazz musician Don Cherry's son. Turns out having famous parents can have it's downsides.
While his song "Save Tonight" may be a one hit wonder, at least it's a very catchy one.
25. Connected - Stereo MCs
While they had more success in their native U.K. Stereo MCs only had one hit in North America, 1992's "Connected."
It also had the dubious honor of appearing in the 1995 Angelina Jolie movie Hackers.
26. Your Woman - White Town
This song, as trippy and catchy as it may be, has left enough people confused by the lyrics that Jyoti Prakash Mishra (White Town is a one-man band) felt the need to make an FAQ on the band's website largely devoted to answering fans' questions about the song.
27. Brick - Ben Folds Five
While it feels a little weird to include this on a list of one hit wonders, considering both Ben Folds Five and Ben Folds himself have released plenty of music over the years, none of their other work has achieved nearly the same level of success as "Brick" did in 1997.
And we haven't even gotten to some of the best one hit wonders yet...
28. No Rain - Blind Melon
The only thing more memorable than this song is the music video for it. Unfortunately Blind Melon's chance for further success came to an end in 1995 with the death of their singer Shannon Hoon.
They did try and make a comeback about a decade later, but it didn't end up going anywhere.
29. Would I Lie To You - Charles & Eddie
While David Guetta released a fairly popular cover of this song in 2016, nothing could possibly compare to the original. This is one of those songs that we tend to forget about, but anytime we hear it, it brings us right back.
Sadly, Charles Pettigrew passed away from cancer in 2001 at the age of 37.
30. Tubthumping - Chumbawamba
Although people tend to remember this song as "I Get Knocked Down," no 90s playlist (and not just ones of one hit wonders) would be complete without Tubthumping.
31. I Touch Myself - Divinyls
While this was by far the biggest hit for Australia's Divinyls, they did have some success doing covers for movie soundtracks, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the 1992 movie, not the TV show), and Super Mario Brothers.
32. Lullaby - Shawn Mullins
It's pretty much impossible to listen to this song and not miss the 90s. The song had a resurgence in 2009, thanks to The Office and Michael Scott's "Need more Mullins."
33. One Headlight - The Wallflowers
There seems to be some sort of curse if you were the kid of a celebrity musician releasing music in the 90s. The front man of The Wallflowers, Jakob Dylan, is the son of the legendary Bob Dylan, and when you hear him sing you can definitely hear the similarity.
While The Wallflowers have released plenty of music over the years, nothing else has come close to their iconic single "One Headlight."
34. Missing - Everything But The Girl
This 90s dance track isn't even the original version of the song. It was originally released in 1994, but after it didn't end up going anywhere, it was remixed and released again a year later, at which point it exploded internationally.
This song isn't just one of the biggest dance anthems of the 90s, but probably one of the biggest of all time.
35. One Of Us - Joan Osborne
Any time a movie or a TV show is doing anything even vaguely related to faith, this song inevitably makes an appearance (looking at you, Joan of Arcadia). Not only that, but it has also been parodied pretty much to death over the last 21 years.
36. Torn - Natalie Imbruglia
Considered one of the biggest pop hits of all time, not many people know that Natalie Imbruglia's mega (and only) hit was actually a cover.
The original version, by the band Ednaswap, was only released two years before Imbruglia's version became the obsession of 90s kids everywhere.
37. You Get What You Give - New Radicals
Considering how similar this sounds to the songs U2 released in the 90s, it makes sense that U2 guitarist The Edge would say that this is the song he is "most jealous of."
The song definitely stands on it's own, though, and it served well as an anthem for all the disillusioned teens of the 90s.
38. MMMbop - Hanson
It almost hurts to admit that the sweet baby angels of Hanson are actually one hit wonders, the numbers don't lie. Their album Middle of Nowhere did sell exceptionally well, but none of their singles other than "MMMbop" did nearly as well.
History may see them as one hit wonders, but in our hearts they will always be superstars.
39. Informer - Snow
Let's be honest, the only reason we know the name of this song is because it's the only word of this song we understand.
40. How Bizarre - OMC
While they were pretty big in their home country of New Zealand, their super catchy tune "How Bizarre" was the only one that had any international success.
41. Barbie Girl - Aqua
There is no way you lived through the 90s and didn't know this song. While plenty of 90s kids loved other songs by Aqua (Dr Jones, anyone?), that didn't translate into success on the charts.
Possibly the best part about this song is the fact that, when Mattel sued the band over the song, the judge dismissed the case by saying "The parties are advised to chill." Now if that isn't peak 90s, I don't know what is.
How many did you get? Let us know in the comments!