If there's one thing we love, it's a solid one-hit wonder — extra points if it's an earworm. One-hit wonder is often a derisive term in music criticism, but we think it doesn't need to be. After all, some musicians toil away in obscurity for their entire careers, and would rather have one huge hit than nothing at all. And we know that the artists featured were all delighted to have so many people enjoy their work, even if the fame didn't last.
In compiling this list, we learned some interesting facts about one-hit wonders. First, celebrities who weren't originally musicians (like Paris Hilton), tended to have only one hit song in their pop star dabbling. We haven't heard much from Lindsay Lohan or Jesse McCartney since their songs blew up.
Second, we think of the 90s as being the peak era for one-hit wonders. And while that is definitely true, we decided to avoid some of the more obvious and overplayed ones from those years. We can only listen to "Flagpole Sitta" so many times. And in doing the research for this slideshow, we realized that 2004 was an impossibly great year for one-hit wonders.
What made 2004 such a fertile time for these hit jams? Having lived through those years, we're going to say that it was a combination of a few things: the internet becoming more of a presence, the desire for indie bands to cross over into the mainstream, and inspiration provided by the cultural conversations at the time.
And in the end, one-hit wonders contributed to the zeitgeist that they're a part of. Rather than mock them for being, well, one-off hits, we remember all the good times we had with these jams. Click through to see some of the best one-hit wonders of all time, and let us know your favorites.