It's not good enough for a phone to simply ring anymore. Your phone's ring must say something about you, become an expression of your unique individuality, or, failing that, let everyone around you know that you really, really like that OutKast song that everybody else likes.
However, individual expression is not enough for some people. Some people seem to deliberately pick the most obnoxious ringtones possible, and we're not sure who we hate more, the people who choose those ringtones because that's what they genuinely like, or the people who choose them out of some hip, ironic appreciation that left Rocks Off's bodies some time in our late twenties.
If you don't want to be either of those types of people, here are some ringtones to avoid.
1. The Black Eyed Peas, "I Gotta Feeling": The first 30 seconds of this song sound like a fire alarm klaxon in an office building, yet somehow it actually manages to get worse from there. The Black Eyed Peas are truly a pox on mankind, perhaps some kind of curse for how we've treated the Gypsies.
2. Butthole Surfers, "The Annoying Song": This one should be obvious.
3. Crash Test Dummies, "Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm": Putting the "mmm mmm mmm mmm" part on a loop for your ringtone will simultaneously trigger nostalgia and violent rage in those around you.
4. Justin Bieber, "Baby": Really, anything by this kid would qualify, but this song is especially grating. It's like he never even saw the episode of South Park mocking the Jonas Bros for overuse of the word "baby." He may not have, come to think of it; is he allowed to watch stuff rated TV-MA?
5. The Trashmen, "Surfin' Bird": Yeah, it was funny on that episode of Family Guy. Guess what, you're no Seth MacFarlane. It's not funny on your fucking phone.
6. Soulja Boy Tell 'Em, "Turn My Swag On": Not only does this asshole have the worst name in all of hip-hop, he consistently puts out brain-dead, tone-deaf pop-rap so bad it seems deliberate. Are there any Worst Rap Song contests out there that offer money? Oh right, the Billboard Top 40.
7. Any Happy Hardcore: Happy hardcore is fine for the clubs, or even for working out. Seriously, we're not going to hate on anything that dares to have a higher BPM rate than Mel Gibson's blood pressure at Trae Day. But when that shit suddenly fires up on somebody's phone at 10 o'clock in the morning while we're waiting in line for a smoothie, it hurts us inside. There's a time and a place, dude.
8. Fred: Jesus Christ.
9. The "Give Me Back That Filet O' Fish" Song: We know a guy who used to have this as his ringtone. We say "used to" because he's dead now. We didn't have anything to do with that, but the authorities are looking for his body in all the wrong places. We imagine.
10. Smash Mouth, "All Star": Are you serious with this crap? If this is your ringtone, then every time someone calls, you sound like the trailer for a godawful romantic comedy starring Ben Stiller and Kate Hudson. You probably think you like music, but if you like this song enough to set it as your ringtone, we've got bad news for you: You like music the same way a serial killer likes prostitutes.
11. This Japanese McDonald's Commercial: Do Japanese people hate sleep? Because sometimes it seems like all of their creative output is designed to induce nightmares.
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12. The Locust, "Pain Reliever": Or any Locust song, really. This is the kind of music you'd make if you grew up with a broken tape deck. Locust fans, God bless 'em, still aren't aware that The Locust are a novelty act. It's like if there was a group of people who took Richard Cheese really, really seriously. Sad, yet kind of adorable.
13. The "Signal Pop": We don't know whose idea this was, but we'd love to "measure" the size of the mountain of coke they must have been snorting. Your phone is not supposed to make that noise. Your phone is supposed to make other instruments make that noise, and even that is accidental. With this ringtone, you'd have this torturous electric crackle in stereo. What a delight.
14. ABBA, "Dancing Queen": If you like Abba, you will die alone. And your many, many small dogs will feast on your corpse.
15. This Guy: Just kidding. This is obviously the best ringtone of all time. Look at that, we haven't outgrown this sort of thing after all.