1. Green Day
One of the pop punk band that heavily influenced the pop punk movement in the ’90s was Green Day. Look for any list with the best pop punk songs of the decade, and you’ll find a few of of their songs. Formed in 1987 in East Bay, California, this American-based band continued as a power trio.
The band enjoyed one of its biggest successes after releasing a major-label debut, Dookie, in 1994. They followed this with other albums such as Insomniac (1995), Nimrod (1997), and American Idiot (2004). Some of the band’s greatest hits include “Basket Case,” “American Idiot,” and “Jesus of Suburbia.”
Today, the band has released 13 studio albums and won 95 awards, including five Grammy Awards and six Billboard Awards. Green Day has sold approximately 75 million records, with Dookie selling over 20 million copies globally.
Southern California band Blink-182 popularized modern-day pop punk by combining classic punk riffs and pop music. They became famous among young crowds due to their animated live shows and contemptuous humor.
Formed in 1992, Blink-1982 acquired mainstream success in the late ’90s and early ’00s. Their third and fourth studio albums saw international success, making them one of the best-selling bands.
Some of their biggest studio albums include Enema of the State (1999), Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001), and Untitled (2003). Their singles like “Dammit,” “All the Small Things,” and “I Miss You” were big hits.
Blink-182 has released eight studio albums, won 18 awards, and sold over 50 million albums globally.
3. Fall Out Boy
Wentz and Trohman formed Fall Out Boy in 2001 in Wilmette, Illinois, as their pop punk side project. Initially, the band was part of Chicago’s hardcore punk scene before they became a success. They started gaining popularity in 2003 after releasing their debut album, Take This to Your Grave.
Fall Out Boy’s big break came in 2005 after releasing From Under the Cork Tree. The album featured two hit singles, “Dance, Dance” and “Sugar, We’re Goin Down.” They later released Infinity on High (2007), which featured two international hit singles, “Thnks fr th Mmrs” and “This Ain’t a Scene, It’s an Arms Race.”
Fall Out Boy’s punk rock, power pop, and electropop style—blended with a bit of R&B, hip-hop, soul, and funk—has influenced many bands contemporary of their time and those who followed after.
4. The Offspring
One of the bands that heavily influenced the popularity of pop punk in the 1990s was the Offspring. Formed in 1984 in Garden Grove, California, they began gaining local fans thanks to their eponymous debut album in 1989. They also released Ignition (1992) and one of their best-selling albums, Smash (1994).
Smash contained their first successful hit, “Come Out and Play,” which acquired mainstream success. The band went on to release other albums, including Americana (1998), which including hit songs such as “Self Esteem” and “The Kids Aren’t Alright.”
The Offspring has released ten studio albums, won 16 awards, and sold more than 40 million records globally. Smash alone has sold over 11 million copies globally.
5. Sum 41
Canadian-based pop punk band Sum 41, was formed in 1996 in Ajax, Ontario. After signing a record deal with Island Record, the band released its debut album, All Killer No Filler (2001). The album gained mainstream success thanks to the hit singles “Fat Lip,” “Motivation,” and “In Too Deep.”
During the 2000s, Sum 41 released other successful albums—Does This Look Infected? (2002), Chuck (2004), and Underclass Hero (2007)—as well as hit singles like “The Hell Song,” “Still Waiting,” “Pieces,” and “We’re All to Blame.” These cemented the group firmly in pop funk history as one of the greats.
Sum 41 became one of the best-selling bands in Canada after selling more than 15 million records globally. They have released seven studio albums and won two Juno Awards.
In 2004, Paramore was formed in Franklin, Tennessee. The distinct vocals of lead singer, Hayley Williams, has contributed significantly to the band’s success in the 2000s.
Their second album, Riot!, dropped in 2007, became a mainstream success. It had many of their best singles, like “Misery Business,” “That’s What You Get,” and “Crushcrushcrush.”
Brand New Eyes, in 2009, was the band’s second successful album that featured a hit single “The Only Exception.” Still yet, in 2013, their fourth album, Paramore, became the #1 album in different countries, including the US. The album featured the charting songs “Ain’t It Fun” and “Still Into You.”
Paramore has won 25 awards, including one Grammy Award, and released five studio albums. The band has sold approximately 11 million records globally.
7. Good Charlotte
Next up, we have Good Charlotte, formed in 1996 in Waldorf, Maryland. Though with strong pop punk roots, their music has a blend of emo, skate punk, and alternative rock that appealed to many pop punk fans.
The band’s big break came after releasing The Young and the Hopeless in 2002. Their songs “The Anthem,” “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous,” and “Girls & Boys” were featured in the album, helping to gain the group popularity.
Another of their hit albums is The Chronicles of Life and Death (2004) and had the hit singles “I Just Wanna Live” and “Predictable.”
Today, Good Charlotte has seven albums and won nine awards under their belt. They have also sold about 11 million copies.
8. Jimmy Eat World
Childhood friends Jim Adkins and Zach Lind created Jimmy Eat World in in 1993 with Tom Linton and Mitch Porter.
Despite having a slow start, the band gained commercial success with their fourth studio album, Bleed American (2001). The single “The Middle” from the album become the #1 song on the Alternative Songs chart.
Three years later, the group topped the Hot Modern Rock Tracks chart with the song “Pain” from their fifth album, Futures.
Jimmy Eat World has released a total of 10 studio albums and sold over 1.8 million records. They continue to wow fans with new releases to this day.
9. The All-American Rejects
In Stillwater, Oklahoma, high schoolers Nick Wheeler and Tyson Ritter formed the All-American Rejects in 1999. They eventually added Jesse Tabish on guitars, and since then, they have appeared in multiple charts in the US and overseas.
Their self-titled debut studio album in 2003 helped them achieve mainstream success. “Swing, Swing,” from the album, was part of their breakthrough, which received a Best Group Video award.
They later released other successful albums during the 2000s, such as Move Long and When the World Comes Down.
Though still together, the All-American Reject has not released new content since 2019.
10. My Chemical Romance
The pop punk scene today would not be what it is without My Chemical Romance. Formed in 2001 in Newark, New Jersey, the band was among the most influential pop punk bands of the 2000s.
Their album The Black Parade in 2006 was their most successful commercially and solidified the groups standing as a pop punk great. It featured the song “Welcome to the Black Parade,” which topped two UK charts and Billboard Alternative Airplay.
The group broke up in 2013 but had a reunion in 2019. They recently had a reunion tour in 2022.
11. New Found Glory
Our next band, New Found Glory, is best known for combining pop punk and hardcore breakdowns.
Formed in 1997 in Coral Springs, Florida, the group rose to popularity in 2002, thanks to the third studio album, Sticks and Stones. Its single “My Friends Over You” peaked at #5 in the US Alternative Airplay chart.
The band continued to release albums, with the latest in 2021, but they weren’t the same as Sticks and Stones. However, with their music style and fame, fans had by then dubbed them “godfathers of pop punk.”
After a line-up change in mid 2000s, New Found Glory continued to tour and release music.
12. All Time Low
Like All-American Rejects, All Time Low formed in 2003 while the members were still in high school. They went on to become one of the most successful pop punk bands of the 2000s and 2010s.
Certified Platinum, “Dear Maria, Count Me In” from their second album, So Wrong, It’s Right, became their first charting song. The album was followed by their most successful one yet, Nothing Personal, which topped Billboard‘s Independent Albums, Alternative Albums, and Top Rock Albums charts.
All Time Low has won three awards—from iHeartRadio Music, Rock Sound, and Alternative Press Music. They continue to tour and drop music to this day.
From Jacksonville, Florida, Yellowcard was formed in 1997. Because of the use of the electric violin in their songs, the group’s sound is unique and distinct.
Initially, the songs recorded by Yellowcard was more hardcore punk, but they soon transitioned to pop punk, which is evident in their album Ocean Avenue, their first certified Platinum work.
The title track of Ocean Avenue is one of their most popular, along with “Lights and Sounds,” and “Only One.”
Yellowcard went on to release 6 more studio albums, and all were ranked in US charts. However, in 2016, they decided to disband. The group sometimes get together, but there is no official reformation.
Summing Up Our List Of The Best Pop Punk Bands
It is without question that music today would not be the same without the contribution of these pop punk bands.
With their unique style and memorable songs, they have provided entertainment for countless fans. For sure, they will forever be etched in pop punk folklore.
We hope you have enjoyed the list and use some of their hit songs to build epic playlists.
Have we left off a pop punk band that should be on this list? Let us know and we’ll add them!