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10 types of songs you will hear at a karaoke bar

By / 11.29.10

Songs Karaoke Bar

Annie Mole, Flickr



Everyone loves to toss a few back, forget their inhibitions, and then proceed to embarrass themselves. Karaoke bars are the best way to get all of those things accomplished in a short amount of time. Most of the time, karaoke bars are a giant train wreck, which is why they’re so damn entertaining. These are the types of songs you will definitely hear whenever you find yourself at one.

Warning: Some of the videos below are as cringe-worthy as your own personal live karaoke experiences. Watch with caution.

Photo credit: Annie Mole, Flickr

10 The Crowd Pleaser
There are just certain songs you can’t go wrong with. Get a bunch of drunken people in a small room and blast Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ on a Prayer” or Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” and you’ll be the most popular person in the room for 3 minutes. Probably less. This song choice will make even the stuffiest “I’m too cool” guy in the bar sing at the top of his lungs. It’s definitely a safe move if you don’t feel like having empty bottles of Dos Equis thrown at your head.

9 The “Does This Song Ever End?”
Yes… everyone loves “Rapper’s Delight”. It’s one of the most famous songs of all time. However, it should be swiftly removed from any karaoke playlist. No one wants to hear you sing for fourteen and a half minutes. Especially when there are 67 other people in line waiting for their chance to get on the mic. Also, don’t sing “I Would Do Anything For Love (But I Won’t Do That)”. It too falls under this category and we don’t even like it when Meatloaf sings it, so you won’t stand a chance.

8 The Showoff
Karaoke is a place where people who wish they could sing, get drunk enough to actually convince themselves that they can. It’s supposed to be an absolute mess. But somewhere in the middle, you get a girl who thinks she’s Kelly Clarkson’s long lost twin or something. And the worst part is, she kind of is. Only she’s not rich or famous and she’s singing in a dive bar…not on stage at American Idol. That sure as hell doesn’t stop her from performing like she is.

7 The Obscure Song That No One Actually Knows
This guy triumphantly walks up to the stage as if he’s doing everyone a favor. Everyone stares at the screen to see what song is next and we get something like, “Asphyxia by The Chortling Sea Men”. No one’s ever heard of the song or the band, yet for some reason, it’s still on the playlist and someone still thinks it’s a good idea to sing it. It’s not. I tried to get a clip as an example, but no one cares enough about any of these songs to ever break out their camera phones to record them.

6 The Downer
There’s always the one girl who thinks this is her opportunity for everyone to hear how horrible her life is just because she has the microphone. It’s because of buzzkills like this that karaoke bars should remove all Fiona Apple and Tori Amos songs from their playlists. Oh, but on the bright side, those empty Dos Equis bottles that you held onto during The Crowd Pleaser… you can go ahead and chuck them here.

5 The Don’t Stop Believin’
It doesn’t matter what part of the night you walk into that bar, you WILL hear “Don’t Stop Believin’”. Why? Because it’s been requested 29 times that night. The person singing it is usually terrible, but it’s okay because everyone else in the room always joins in. Occasionally you’ll get a nice surprise, like this pudgy-mustached guy with the voice of an angel. Who knew Mr. Belvedere could hit notes like Steve Perry?!

4 The Boy Band
Let’s say you’re someone whose chances of getting laid are slim to none. This is the best way to make it none to none. There’s always one guy in the group who’s really into it and unfortunately, his friends go along for the ride. And you always get the uncomfortable feeling that they have actually spent time practicing the choreography prior to this horrid performance.

3 The White Dude Rap
You can see this one coming a mile away. A funny looking white guy, with an absurd amount of hair gel, who plans on showing off his “ability” to rhyme with the best of them. It’s funny and amusing for the first 30 seconds or so, but after that it just becomes pathetic.

2 The Man-Version Woman Power Ballad
The guy who chooses the song that is normally sung by a woman is always a crowd favorite. But, you can’t be shy about it. You have to go all out. The clip below is (unfortunately) way too short to get the full effect, but those gyrating hips and that Adam Sandler-esque singing voice are what the Man-Version Woman Power Ballad is all about.

1 The Old Dude
This guy is one of the best parts of your night. He’s way too old to be up at this hour, let alone at a bar…but he gets on that microphone and completely owns a song that he shouldn’t really be singing. If our hips will allow it, we should all aspire to have a karaoke performance like this when we’re his age.


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About Max Steven Miller... Max Steven Miller is a graduate of UC Berkeley and the insane mind behind RuinedMyWeek.com. He is a contributing writer to Guyism.com, as well as a variety of other popular websites. He may or may not be one of Arnold Shwarzenegger's illegitimate children and can often be found spending most of his free time in Rachel Bilson's dreams.

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