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7 Reasons Your Teenage Years Would Have Sucked Without Blink-182

Written by Emmy Mack on February 3, 2015

There’s been a lot of ugly business at the Blink-182 dude ranch recently, with mud being slung across social media with reckless abandon.

And while we all wait to see whether Tom, Mark and Travis can manage to bury the hatchet and, uh, stay together for the kids, we thought it might be nice to pause for a second and remember all the small things ways that our teenage years would have sucked if this crude punk rock trio had never streaked their way into our hearts.

1. They made us realise how ridiculous that whole “fame” thing was

Blink called our attention to the phoney nature of pop bands like The Backstreet Boys and their army of heartthrob clones, by hilariously dismantling a long list of boy band tropes in the blockbuster music video for 1999’s chart-smashing single, All the Small Things . All while poking fun at their own burgeoning popularity.

The trio mocked the pop star brand of high-budget production, badly choreographed dance moves and show-pony camera flirtation with gender-bending mischief and arse-wiping incisiveness. That took some serious bananas.

Watch: Blink 182 – All The Small Things

2. You, and every single one of your mates, may have never picked up a guitar

For those who grew up in the 90’s and early 2000’s, the iconic 1997 Dammit riff was the first — and, in many cases, only — thing you learned how to play on guitar. All together now: dow-nuh-now-nuh-now, dow-nuh-now-nuh-now, dow-nuh-now-nuh-now, dow-nuh-now-nuh-now…

Watch: Blink 182 – Dammit

3. They made us realise that age was just a number

Blink articulated the mounting pressures we felt from authority figures like teachers and parents to be successful at a young age, to excel at school, graduate, and then immediately go out and make something of ourselves. Nobody likes you when you’re 23 and are still more amused by prank phone calls, after all.

What’s My Age Again? revels in the joys of immaturity and points an erect middle finger and pixelated crotch squarely in the direction of anyone who tells you to grow up and conform to society’s expectations. You also may have learned what “sodomy” was.

Watch: Blink 182 – What’s My Age Again

4. They made it OK to be a little bit emo sometimes

The new millennium saw Blink begin to explore their more artistic side and express darker, more melancholy themes in their songs, such as 2003’s I Miss You. The tune features lyrics inspired by Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas, and its video clip shows Hoppus trading up his guitar for a double-bass and DeLonge sporting a full-blown fringe.

All in all, it almost goes full emo, but just brings it back from the brink. Which is OK. Never go full emo.

Watch: Blink 182 – I Miss You

5. They gave you your first sexual awakening

Whether it was the babin’ pornstar nurse on the front cover of Enema Of The State or, if you were into dudes, the band themselves (“Imagine if you put Mark’s face on Travis’s body with Tom’s voice… ZOMG!”) Blink gave thousands of awkward zit-busters just like yourself their first masturbatory muse.

Plus, if you were a dude, there was also an added confidence boost. Because, for some reason, people seemed to be really attracted to this bunch of pasty white guys with less muscle mass than Hannah Montana-era Miley Cyrus.

6. They turned us on to lip piercings

Tom DeLonge did for lip rings what Slash did for top hats, Chrissy Amphlett did for schoolgirl uniforms and what Sia did for covering your face with random objects all the time. Even if you didn’t do it, you probably considered doing it at some point.

7. They made us realise it was actually possible to survive high school

1999’s Adam’s Song had all the feels. It’s like Blink took all the moody, depressive, angsty teenagerdom oozing out of your skin in new and exciting lumps every day, and squeezed it into one perfect song. It was the tune you blasted after you’d had a fight with your parents, or your best friend, or your teacher, and you felt like all the hope had been fisted from the world.

That simple little riff reminded us that it was OK to be alone sometimes, and it reassured us that the bad times would eventually pass, even if we managed to spill a whole fucking gallon of apple juice in the hall.

Watch: Blink 182 – Adam’s Song

Blink-182, we salute you.

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