Teenage Dirtbag

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For the 2009 film, see Teenage Dirtbag (film).
"Teenage Dirtbag"
Single by Wheatus
from the album Wheatus
Released July 17, 2000
Format CD single
Recorded 2000
Genre Power pop, pop rock
Length 4:07
Label Columbia
Writer(s) Brendan B. Brown
Wheatus singles chronology
"Teenage Dirtbag"
"A Little Respect"
Music video
Teenage Dirtbag at Youtube.com
Alternative cover
UK single cover

"Teenage Dirtbag" is a song and debut single by American alternative rock group Wheatus. It was released in July 2000 as the lead single from their eponymous debut album. It was included on the soundtrack of the movie Loser.

The single was massively successful in Australia, spending four weeks at number 1 and becoming the second-highest selling single of the year. It also reached number 2 in Germany and the United Kingdom, where it was certified Platinum in 2013.[1]


The song was ranked number 69 on the Top 100 Greatest Pop Songs Of All Time countdown by British music channel, "The Hits". It is performed by singer Brendan B. Brown, including the segment in a 'female' voice. When the group arranged a joint tour with MC Frontalot, MC Frontalot contributed a nerdcore rap verse to the song as did MC Lars.

In March 2011, the song returned to the UK Singles Chart at number 43 and climbed to number 35 the following week,[2] nearly 11 years after its initial release. Bigtop40.com suggested that this was due to a promotion on iTunes.[3] In April 2012, it re-entered the UK Singles Chart again, this time peaking at number 36; and then once again in March 2013, where it entered at number 46.

In June of 2013, Triple J ranked the song as number 82 on their "Twenty years of Triple J's hottest 100".[4]

Track listing[edit]

US CD Single
  1. "Teenage Dirtbag" (Clean Single Version) – 4:17
  2. "I'd Never Write A Song About You" – 3:38
  3. "Pretty Girl" – 4:29
European CD Single
  1. "Teenage Dirtbag" (Explicit Album Version) – 4:01
  2. "I'd Never Write A Song About You" – 3:38
  3. "Sunshine" (Remix) – 2:52
French CD Single
  1. "Teenage Dirtbag" (Explicit Album Version) – 4:01
  2. "I'd Never Write A Song About You" – 3:38
UK CD Single
  1. "Teenage Dirtbag" (Explicit Album Version) - 4:01
  2. "I'd Never Write A Song About You" - 3:38
  3. "Hey Mr Brown" (With Club Audience) - 2:22
  4. "Teenage Dirtbag" (Video)

Critical reception[edit]

Ayhan Sahin of Billboard magazine reviewed the song favorably, calling it a "gritty, on-the-edge track " and saying that its "keen melody, inventive production, and cool lyric about those who have felt like underlings during high school will entice listeners who prefer hanging out behind the gym with a smoke to Latin club." He went on to say that it "stands strongly on its own as an emphatic anthem and a song many teens will be proud to push hard from their car speakers."[5]

Music video[edit]

The video clip alludes to the film Loser, with Jason Biggs playing a nerdy character similar to that in the movie and Mena Suvari as the love interest who unexpectedly invites the protagonist to an Iron Maiden concert. In some versions of the music video a large glitter ball falls from the ceiling and strikes him on the head, after which he wakes up having fallen asleep while doing his homework revealing his brief romance with Suvari to be a dream.

In popular culture[edit]

  • The song appears in the HBO miniseries Generation Kill at the end of episode four, Combat Jack. While driving away from a road block, USMC 1st Reconnaissance Battalion Sgt. Brad Colbert, Cpl. Ray Person, LCpl. James Trombley, Cpl. Walt Hasser, and Rolling Stone's embedded reporter Evan Wright (all occupants of the point Humvee) bust out singing it, changing the lyrics "He drives an IROC" to "He drives in Iraq". When they are done singing it Colbert says "Thank you, Ray" and Ray responds, "Thank you, Sergeant."
  • The song appeared in the Daria TV movie, Is it Fall Yet? at the Landon's Fourth of July BBQ.


The second verse of the song originally began with, "Her boyfriend's a dick/He brings a gun to school". Radio edits usually omitted the word "dick" or edit it so that it sounds like the less offensive "Prick", but most modern versions of the song have the words "brings a gun to school" covered by scratching sounds. Some versions also edit the lines "And he'd simply kick/My ass if he knew the truth", to remove the word "ass".


Chart (2000-2001) Peak
Australia (ARIA)[7] 1
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[8] 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[9] 1
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Wallonia)[10] 3
Denmark (Tracklisten)[11] 6
Finland (Suomen virallinen lista)[12] 9
France (SNEP)[13] 62
Germany (Media Control Charts)[14] 2
Ireland (IRMA) 2
Italy (FIMI) 34
New Zealand (Recorded Music NZ)[15] 27
Norway (VG-lista)[16] 6
Sweden (Sverigetopplistan)[17] 2
Switzerland (Schweizer Hitparade)[18] 3
U.S. Billboard Modern Rock Tracks 7
UK Singles (Official Charts Company) 2
Chart (2011) Peak
Ireland (IRMA)[19] 35
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[20] 35
Chart (2012) Peak
Ireland (IRMA)[19] 29
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[20] 36
Chart (2013) position
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[20] 46

Decade charts[edit]

Chart (2000–2009) Peak
UK Top 100 Songs of the Decade[21] 42


  1. ^ "British single certifications – Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag". British Phonographic Industry.  Enter Teenage Dirtbag in the field Keywords. Select Title in the field Search by. Select single in the field By Format. Select Platinum in the field By Award. Click Search
  2. ^ "Radio 1 - Charts - The Official UK Top 40 Singles Chart". BBC. 1970-01-01. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  3. ^ "Wheatus land in the iTunes chart". Big Top 40. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  4. ^ "Countdown | Twenty Years of triple j's Hottest 100 | triple j". Abc.net.au. 2013-04-18. Retrieved 2014-04-23. 
  5. ^ Billboard, July 8, 2000 - Vol. 112, No. 28, Page 22.
  6. ^ Modell, Josh (29 July 2014). "Tokyo Police Club covers Wheatus". The A.V. Club. Onion, Inc. Retrieved 30 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "Australian-charts.com – Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag". ARIA Top 50 Singles.
  8. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40.
  9. ^ "Ultratop.be – Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50.
  10. ^ "Ultratop.be – Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag" (in French). Ultratop 50.
  11. ^ "Danishcharts.com – Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag". Tracklisten.
  12. ^ "Wheatus: Teenage Dirtbag" (in Finnish). Musiikkituottajat – IFPI Finland.
  13. ^ "Lescharts.com – Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag" (in French). Les classement single.
  14. ^ "Chartverfulgong > Wheatus > Teenage Dirtbag – musicline.de" (in German). Media Control Charts. PhonoNet GmbH.
  15. ^ "Charts.org.nz – Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag". Top 40 Singles.
  16. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag". VG-lista.
  17. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag". Singles Top 60.
  18. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Wheatus – Teenage Dirtbag". Swiss Singles Chart.
  19. ^ a b "Chart Track: Week 11, 2011". Irish Singles Chart.
  20. ^ a b c "Archive Chart: 2011-03-26" UK Singles Chart.
  21. ^ Radio 1 Official Chart of the Decade, as broadcast on BBC Radio 1 on Tuesday 29th December 2009, presented by Nihal

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" by Spiller
Australian ARIA Singles Chart number-one single (first run)
November 19, 2000
Succeeded by
"Who Let the Dogs Out?" by Baha Men
Preceded by
"Who Let the Dogs Out?" by Baha Men
Australian ARIA Singles Chart number-one single (second run)
December 24, 2000 - January 7, 2001
Succeeded by
"Cruisin'" by Gwyneth Paltrow and Huey Lewis