One Hit Wonderland: MMMBop by Hanson


Yeah? Yeah.

About Todd in the Shadows


  1. Oh yeah, I remember jokes about the members of Hanson looking like girls being EV. RY. WHERE.
    On a side note, I guess this episode wasn’t a complete waste. You did get to endorse a band that a lot of people probably didn’t know was legit (I had that discovery with The Proclaimers and Flock of Seagulls)
    Of course, if we’re talking about artists who are just known for one song, the same fate has befallen Ray Parker Jr. – several hits before his trademark (and a few after) and he’ll forever be known as the Ghostbusters guy.

  2. Aw man, this song played all the time at the roller rink.

  3. Ha, now I feel a bit silly for telling Todd that Hanson had an interesting post-Mmmbop career back in the St. Elmo’s Fire review. Didn’t realize I was preaching to the converted!

  4. God, this fucking song! I worked at a Papa Gino’s in the late 90s, and every fucking time I went up to the dining room to wipe down the tables, some fucking kid would put this, Spice Girls’ Wannabe, or Cher’s Believe on the fucking jukebox!

    • What a coincidence – I also worked at a Papa Gino’s around the same time (as a delivery driver), and one of our regular customers was a local radio station, and they tipped with CDs instead of cash, which is the only reason I own the album that has MMMBop on it…

  5. It’s not so much that we thought they looked like girls, it’s that we thought the keyboard girl was hot….until we found out they were all brothers.

  6. A number of years ago, the pop station in my area did a little experiment, and played a Hanson song of one of their then-upcoming albums, with the listener base having to guess whom it was. None of the listeners were able to guess it, but it did get plenty of requests and likes. Of course, once the cat was let out of the bag, the number of requests for the song stopped.

    While I’m not a Hanson fan, I do give them enormous credit for how their career continued after their initial brush with teeny-bop fame.

  7. I remember when this song was big, and everyone was making fun of it.

    I saw Hanson play it live on some show, and thought, “I can never admit this, but they’re actually kind of talented for a bunch of kids.”

  8. Hated the crap out of it back in high school… listening it in the video kinda sparked that old “Three lines of actual lyrics, and then just baby-talk gibberish!” reaction. But hey, credit to them for still going and sounding like they picked up some decent skill since then.

  9. I *assume* you’re not actually going to do “Killing in the Name”? RATM don’t qualify as one-hit in ANY sense of the term – they had more than one hit on BOTH sides of the pond, and Guerrilla Radio has more mindshare anyway thanks to being catchier and being the intro song for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 2 (the critical and sales darling of the series).

    Want to make it up to the guy? Do “Doctorin’ The Tardis”. The KLF had other hits, but Doctorin’ is the only one instantly recognizable, for obvious reasons. Plus, The KLF is PERFECT material for OHW! 😀

    • KLF? Dude, they had several songs off White Room that people tend to recognize, like “3am Eternal” and “What Time is Love?” Actually, a lot of the songs off The White Room are probably more recognizable as KFL than “Doctorin’ the Tardis.”

      • I can guarantee you that “Eternal” and “Love” are only widely recognized by KLF fans, though there are quite a few of those. EVERYBODY knows “Doctorin'” because of:

        A. the link to Doctor Who
        B. it being a mindless earworm
        C. it being the core of The KLF’s persona as a group who got a #1 hit by following a formula, then writing a book about it.

        • Dunno. I know Eternal and Love and don’t know ‘Doctorin’ at all.

          • I’m going to agree. KLF is kind of a one hit wonder in at least the part of the US that I’m from (Long Island, NY) and that one hit is ‘3am Eternal’. I haven’t heard Doctorin’ the TARDIS YET, and I’m a proud at-least-Nu-Whovian at that.

          • I’m surprised The White Room was such a success. There was a lot of that kind of techno being released at that time, and I find that TWR’s songs don’t stand out as much compared to some of the competition like Snap!, 2 Unlimited, and Black Box. I personally prefer the original “pure trance” mixes, FWIW.

            In any case, “Doctorin'” IS the song that made them famous.

          • I’m surprised no one here remembers that song the KLF did with Tammy Wynette, “Justified and Ancient”. *That* was one weird effing song.

    • Yeah, I REALLY hope that guy was just being a troll, because if he wasn’t… dude needs to broaden his taste in music beyond Guitar Hero. And I can guarantee you that’s why he probably thinks they’re a one hit wonder, because that song became re-popular because of that game, to the point that rock stations over played the shit out of it, and not…y’know, other RATM songs.

  10. Well, any friend of Weird Al’s is a friend of mine.

  11. The Reason by Hoobastank being a hit annoys and haunts me to this day whenever I go to the Bowling Alley or a retail outlet, especially since they’re fucking non-ballad buttrock is SO MUCH GOD DAMN BETTER. Hansan deserved better.

  12. Generally Ashley

    I was a closet Hanson fan back when everyone else was making fun of them — only for my college roommate and I to geek out big time years later. And I’ve stuck with ’em, too … Hanson’s given me remarkably great driving music over the years and I still love them. (Also, that “Thinking ‘Bout Somethin'” video makes me smile every damn time I see it, so thanks for including it!)

  13. My friend thought the lyrics “there’s so many relationships in life, only one or two will last” was “yes the man who was asian killed his wife, he only wanted to relax”

  14. Oh wow, I remember this song, I even had a poster of them in my room when I was a kid (being into pop music at the time). It’s nice to see that they kept on playing and didn’t get all screwed up, compared to some other bands/singers I could mention…

  15. Nice. Todd and I are both Hanson AND Weird Al fans.

    I have to ask though, if I can…. what do you think about some of the other songs on the Middle of Nowhere, Todd? Like, what do you think of Weird, or Man from Milwaukee?

    I feel like the lyrics in Man from Milwaukee are sort of proto-Weezer…

  16. MidnightScreeningsman2014

    Well I was thinking of what song of theirs I heard and loved back in 2011 when it was on vh1 and couldn’t remember the song and when give a little came up after the video was done I instantly looked up the music video for that song and now I don’t like it as much as I did in 2011. Good video though and suprised they didn’t get in trouble(but believe I realized that four years ago)!!!!

  17. I like mmm bop for one reason. I got my revenge! There was this one really bitchy girl in high school who just went out of her way to be nasty to me all the time. Just the first time I met her she decided to just be a dick and say nasty stuff about me (I don’t think I had even talked to her before). My last year of school I had a class with her, which wasn’t fun. Then mmm bop came out and she was the fucking twin of the middle kid in Hanson. Like separated at birth. Anytime she would start with shit with me, I’d be like “At least I don’t like like one of the Hanson brothers.” And she would shut the fuck up. It was sweet, sweet justice.

  18. Well, I gotta say, I learned something there. I seriously thought Hanson had stopped performing and recording by 2000, simply because my local radio stations were like so many others at the time and seemed to play the hell out of “Mbop” and nothing else, and I can’t remember anything else by Hanson since, even when I knew they were still around.

    Now that I know, I’ll have to look up some of their newer stuff, because they sound like they’re actually pretty good at what they do now that they’ve gotten older and past what they were famous for.

    • that’s awesome! Im glad this review was able to re-kindle your fandom. I’ve been a fan since 1997 and I’m very proud to say that. They have released new music over the years that you should totally check out! 2004’s Underneath album, 2007’s The Walk, 2010’s Shout it Out Album, and the newest one Anthem that was released in June of 2013. They are touring again this year starting in the fall . but sadly only 10 cities and the tickets are WAY more expensive then normal only because they are playing two shows in each city one a night of cover songs and the next a night all their own songs. they also just did a song with Owl City called “Unbelievable” which is all 90’s nostalgia. its awesome! Hope you enjoy what you hear and for anything else Hanson related check out Enjoy! 🙂

  19. This Time Around was one of my favorite songs off the Now That’s What I Call Music discs I had as a kid. I completely forgot that Hanson made them. Thanks for reminding me.

  20. Do I need to pay money for you to do “10 Years Asleep” from kingmaker?

  21. Wow, I had no idea Hanson was still around, let alone that they’re actually a decent band. Who knew? In all due seriousness though, when people say they looked like girls, it wasn’t just because they were girly looking, but they actually did look like girls. It’s true that we could tell the gender of the oldest, though he did look like a feminine guy. However, if you had told me the band consisted of an older brother and his two sisters I would have believed you. I actually think the middle one was the easiest to mistake for a girl. The singing style of Mmmbop probably didn’t help, and his parts sound especially like it was a girl singing them, on top of him looking the most like a girl. No, I was never a fan of this song, but girls were the target audience, and I guess there are worse things out there.

  22. Did Hanson cover “big yellow taxi”? I was convinced the first time i ever heard the song was by them?

  23. Murder on the dancefloor – Sophie Ellis Baxter

  24. Welp I guess it’s time to check out Hansen… I would have never even known about them still being a band with good music if you hadn’t done this video.

  25. I’m a big robot and I want a biiig cereal!

  26. They’re only considered a one hit wonder to the mainstream music. But they’re still releasing albums and playing music as independent musicians. They’ve done so much more since the release of this song. They have their own label, they have their own beer (not kidding), they have done countless charitable work, etc. The list is goes on. Don’t bash Hanson so quickly, read up on them if you’re not sure.

  27. As much as I hated this stupid song, I’m glad Hanson is doing well for themselves.

  28. i did like this song for a time, but eventually i got tired of it, I do remember “I will come to you” but i didn’t know it was from them. I did know “thinking bout somethin” with is a great song + a great parody of the Blues Brothers. I will definatly look up more Hanson songs.

  29. Are you going to do The Rembrants “I’ll Be There For You (The theme to Friends)”?

  30. Hey Todd, great episode as usual, just wanted to give a few suggestions :
    -Europe, ”The Final Countdown”
    -Phantom Planet, ”California” (Basically the OC theme)
    and Dragonforce, ”Through The Fire and Flames”, they are basically a one hit wonder by now… I guess at least

    • They have had loads of other hits though.

      • Well they might have, but most people will probably remember them just for that song, which has also been certified as a gold single and entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 86 in 2008, unlike other songs of theirs … Based on these facts I’m pretty sure they could be considered One Hit Wonders

    • Europe are not one-hit wonders. They also had “Rock the Night”, “Carrie” and “Cherokee”.

      My suggestions:
      Right Said Fred-“I’m Too Sexy”
      Crash Test Dummies-“Mmm Mmm Mmm Mmm”
      New Radicals-“You Get What You Give”
      Jermaine Stewart-“We Don’t Have to Take Our Clothes Off”
      Jane Child-“Don’t Wanna Fall in Love”
      Gerardo-“Rico Suave”
      Martika-“Toy Soldiers”
      Nenah Cherry-“Buffalo Stance”
      Timbuk 3-“The Future’s So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades”

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