Let’s be real, middle school was a cringe-worthy time for all of us. From braces to Aeropostale hoodies to blue eye shadow, we are all glad it’s over. But the biggest part of middle school? The beginning of school dances—and with that, a series of songs is forever associated with awkward slow dances or trying to grind.
Here are eighteen songs that were essential to the middle school dance scene.
1. Low by Flo Rida (feat. T-Pain)
This was one that echoed throughout the halls of every middle school, and every girl called her uggs “boots with the fur.”
2. I Kissed A Girl by Katy Perry
This one was more edgy (LOL), but you definitely sang this with your 7th grade #squad at every junior high party (also, remember Jr. High parties? those were next level uncomfortable).
3. 7 Things by Miley Cyrus
You are lying if Miley and Nick breaking up was not the most dramatic thing of 2008. Plus, her song 7 Things—where she tore his photo in half and wore his necklace—just added fuel to the fire.
4. You Belong With Me by Taylor Swift
Back before Taylor declared herself a feminist, she had this song which, despite its questionable lyrics (she wears short skirts I wear tee shirts so apparently I’m better), it was the go-to song when your middle school crush liked some other girl. Any Taylor Swift song was (and still is) perfect for any relationship problem.
5. Single Ladies by Beyoncé
Before Bey was the surprise album dropping queen she is today, she released the single girl anthem we all still love.
6. S.O.S by Rihanna
Pre-Bitch Better Have My Money, Rhianna was still a huge artist and had a ton of influence on our middle school lives.
7. Little Secret by The All-American Rejects
Anything that played in John Tucker Must Die, aka the most 2000s movie basically ever, is an automatic add to the list. Everything about All-American Rejects just screamed middle school. What even happened to them anyways?
8. Don’t Trust Me by 3OH!3
Say what you want about 3OH!3, but “Tell your boyfriend, if he says he’s got beef, that I’m a vegetarian and I ain’t fucking scared of him” was one of the most savage lyrics of 2008.
9. Love the Way You Lie by Eminem (feat. Rihanna)
This was another one for the middle school angst that lived inside every colliegette from sixth through ninth grade. Giving it another listen now, it’s really dark—like really, really dark.
10. If You Seek Amy by Britney Spears
This was SUCH a controversy. At first, everyone was like, “Huh I wonder if she found Amy,” before the secret message of her lyrics was out and everyone’s jaws dropped.
11. Tik Tok by Ke$ha
This song was EVERYTHING! Ke$ha was the definition of a perfect trash queen, and you definitely screamed the lyrics at every middle school function and used the phrase “now the party don’t start till I walk in” every single day from that day on.
12. I Gotta Feeling by The Black Eyed Peas
The ultimate party song that you used to pump yourself up before going to one of those 8th grade ragers. This was also played at literally every Bat Mitzvah party because at one point, they say “Mazel Tov.”
13. Poker Face by Lady Gaga
No explanation needed. Lady Gaga was queen in the late 2000s
14. Good Girls Go Bad by Cobra Starship (feat. Leighton Meester)
In the middle of her Gossip Girl reign, Leighton Meester gave us all new life with her addition to one of the best songs of 2009.
15. Sugar We’re Going Down by Fall Out Boy
Debatably anything from Fall Out Boy could make this list, because it was everything to basically any middle school girl going through her scene phase.
16. So What by P!nk
This was a necessity for when your significant other broke your seventh grade heart and you needed to remind yourself they suck and you’re awesome.
17. Love Song by Sara Bareilles
If you didn’t know someone who could play this on the piano, you weren’t even a real middle school girl.
18. Crank That (Soulja Boy) by Soulja Boy Tell’Em
You’re lying to yourself if you say you don’t still know the dance to this.
We will never forget any of these iconic bops for as long as we shall live. Jam on, collegiettes! Get on with your bad middle school selves!