"The Best Damn Thing" is a song by Franco-Canadian recording artist Avril Lavigne, taken as the fourth and final single from her third studio album, The Best Damn Thing (2007). The song was written by Lavigne and Butch Walker, and was produced by Walker. The song is a pop punk track about female self-confidence. The song received mixed reviews from music critics, some citing its similarities to Toni Basil's song "Mickey", and comparing it to her previous single "Girlfriend". Commercially, the song failed to make any significant impact on the charts, peaking outside the top-forty in most countries. However, it achieved platinum status in Brazil, for selling over 100,000 copies.
After success of the first two singles from "The Best Damn Thing" (2007), "Girlfriend" (which topped the Billboard charts, among others) and "When You're Gone" (which became a top-ten hit in many countries), Lavigne released the song "Hot as the album's third single, however, the song didn't prove to be a success in the United States, whilst it charted very moderate in other countries. After rumors about releasing the song "Innocence" as the next single,Sony BMG announced that the title track would be released as the album's fourth single in May 2008. According to a press release, the music video for "The Best Damn Thing" would be shot soon and her older brother Matthew who made a cameo as a bass player in her "Girlfriend" music video would star in the video. The song was released in a few places of Europe, including Brazil,Germany, on June 6, 2008 and elsewhere on June 24, 2008.
"The Best Damn Thing" was written by Avril Lavigne and Butch Walker, with Walker producing the song. Lyrically, the song was considered "a tear through female self-confidence." Musically, the song is a pop punk and glam-infused track, in which Lavigne sings, "I hate it when a guy doesn't understand / Why a certain time of month I don't wanna hold his hand." In the middle of the song, Avril spells out, in the style of an American football cheer, her name as a pneumonic, with each letter spelling out a different way in which a girlfriend deserves to be treated. Gary Graff of Billboard called its lyrical content a "man-smashing slap-down", while Alex Macpherson of The Guardian wrote that Lavigne is "chanting about periods" on the track.
The song received mixed reviews from most music critics. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic picked the song as a highlight on the album, writing that the song, "driven by cheerleader chants", is terrific, addictive pop song that is harder and tougher yet feel fresher and lighter than her big hits from Let Go." Bill Lamb of About.com also picked The Best Damn Thing as a "top track" on the album. Alex Macpherson of The Guardian praised her "confidence" on the track, calling it "obnoxious but irresistible." Theon Weber of Stylus Magazine called it "gloriously polymorphic", while Darryl Sterdan of Jam! Canoe found similarities with Lavigne's "Girlfriend" (naming it 'Girlfriend Pt. 2), calling it "another cheerleader beat, another killer chorus and another brash vocal about how Avril hates having to open her own door." Tim O'Neil of PopMatters echoed the same thought, calling it "almost as catchy as 'Girlfriend'."
Joan Anderman of Boston Globe perceived that Toni Basil's '80s anthem "Mickey" was the model for the track, which according to her has "perky hand claps and a cocky cheer." Sal Cinquemani agreed, writing that the song features "cheerleader stomp a la Tony Basil's 'Mickey,' effectively appropriating the song back from Gwen and Pharrell." Dave De Sylvia of Sputnikmusic wrote the song has "aggressive background shouts and the cheesiest of middle sections (even by glam rock standards)." Eric R. Danton of Connecticut Music was critical with the song, writing that its "thumpy beats mimic any number of Black Eyed Peas tunes." Alex Nunn of musicOMH was mixed, writing that the song shows "how inexperienced Avril remains as a sole lyricist," calling it a "bratty naivety track." Spence D. of IGN wrote the song shows "her weakness for glomming on to a particular style and beating it to death."
Though the single had no physical release in North America, it charted at number seven on the U.S. BillboardBubbling Under Hot 100 Singles chart and at number seventy-six on the Canadian Hot 100; however, it failed to re-enter the Billboard charts. In Germany, it debuted at number sixty-four, becoming her lowest charting-single there. In Austria, "The Best Damn Thing" debuted and peaked at number 51, on 27 June 2008; also her lowest-charting single of her career. The song proved to be successful in Brazil, where it received a platinum certification, for selling over 100,000 copies.
The music video was directed by Wayne Isham and was filmed on February 28, 2008. It premiered on Total Request LiveItaly on April 4, and on the website Imeem on April 9 following an introduction by Lavigne. Similar to the video for "Girlfriend", the video shows Lavigne as three distinct characters: the leader of a cheerleading group called "Team Avril", herself wearing a bobbed pink wig and unwholesome dress whilst playing an electric guitar, and herself with her band. She plays the drums towards the end of the video. Her brother Matthew and former band members Evan Taubenfeld and Devin Bronson appeared in the video. In the end, she pays homage to her own video for "He Wasn't".
Lavigne performed the song and "I Can Do Better" on an episode of the American talk show Live with Regis and Kelly in April 2008. She also performed "The Best Damn Thing" on Music Station Japan on September 12, 2008.