Why Don't You Get a Job?

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"Why Don't You Get a Job?"
Single by The Offspring
from the album Americana
B-side "Beheaded (1999)"
Released March 30, 1999
Format CD, 12"[1]
Recorded 1998
Genre Ska punk, folk punk, comedy rock
Length 2:49
Label Columbia[2]
Writer(s) Dexter Holland
Producer(s) Dave Jerden[3]
Certification 2x Platinum (ARIA)[4]
Gold (RIANZ)[5]
Gold (IFPI Swe)[6]
Gold (BPI)[7]
The Offspring singles chronology
"Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)"
"Why Don't You Get a Job?"
"The Kids Aren't Alright"

"Why Don't You Get a Job?" is a ska punk song by The Offspring. The song is featured as the 11th track on The Offspring's fifth studio album Americana (1998) and was released as the second single from the album. The song also appears as the eighth track on the band's Greatest Hits album (2005). The main tune of the song is inspired by The Beatles' song "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da," but also borrows heavily from Simon & Garfunkel's song "Cecilia."[citation needed] The single peaked within the top ten of the charts in many countries, including number two in the United Kingdom, Australia and Sweden.

Track listings[edit]

Australia CD Maxi[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Why Don't You Get a Job?"   2:49
2. "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)" (Lowriders Remix) 3:01
3. "Beheaded (1999)"   2:38
4. ""Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)"" (Music Video in the CD-ROM) 3:07

Part 2[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Why Don't You Get a Job?"   2:49
2. "Why Don't You Get a Job?" (The Baka Boyz Remix) 4:22
3. "Beheaded (1999)"   2:38
4. "I Wanna Be Sedated" (Ramones Cover) 2:19

Later version[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Why Don't You Get a Job?"   2:49
2. "Beheaded (1999)"   2:38
3. "I Wanna Be Sedated" (Ramones Cover) 2:19

Promo CD[edit]

No. Title Length
1. "Why Don't You Get a Job?" (Album version) 2:52
2. "Callout Hook #1"   0:10
3. "Callout Hook #2"   0:05

Music video[edit]

The music video, directed by McG, was shot on the backlot of Universal Studios Hollywood, and as such many notable TV and movie scenes can be seen throughout the video, including Colonial Street (which was used as Wisteria Lane in Desperate Housewives) and Courthouse Square from the Back to the Future trilogy. The video features the four members of the band walking through these locations while a steadily growing crowd follows them.

Dexter Holland opens the video by flying into a serene suburban setting on a hang glider (McG explains this sequence by stating he wanted to start off the video with "something bizarre"). Self-destruction is a frequent theme throughout, with a male fast food worker (played by Dor Ashur) (playing a frustrated boyfriend referenced in the lyrics) getting a milkshake dumped on his face by a group of buxom female customers and then throwing himself through a window early in the video, and a BMX biker falling off a roof shortly thereafter (for which the actor suffered a concussion, as revealed by Dexter and Noodles in an interview). Toward the end, Holland creates an explosion (triggered by a red button sitting inexplicably in the middle of the street), scattering his followers so that only his fellow band members remain. Ron Welty has already exited the scene by this point, foreshadowing his departure from the band several years later.

In the Newlywed Game parody sequence, Bob Eubanks, the host of the real Newlywed Game, makes a cameo appearance. Also, near the end of the video the character from "Pretty Fly (for a White Guy)," played by Guy Cohen, makes a short appearance (although there is an edit of the video where he doesn't appear). Chris "X-13" Higgins also appears shortly in the video as a lazy boyfriend. Wearing a Wifebeater, he pours mustard on his chest, a homage to John Belushi, who does the same thing in Animal House. Dancer and original Pussycat Dolls member Carmit Bachar plays his girlfriend.

DVD appearances[edit]

The music video also appears on the Complete Music Video Collection DVD. It was released in 2005.

Chart performance[edit]

Chart Peak
US Billboard Hot 100 74
US Billboard Hot 100 Airplay 62
US Billboard Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks 10
US Billboard Hot Modern Rock Tracks 4
US Billboard Top 40 Mainstream 21
Australian Singles Chart 2
Austrian Charts 16
Canadian RPM Top Singles 19
Canadian RPM Rock Chart 4
Mega Single Top 100 6
Switzerland Charts 24
Sverigetopplistan 2
New Zealand 4
Polish Singles Chart[8] 1
UK Singles Chart 2


Region Certification
Argentina (CAPIF)[9] 5× Platinum
Australia (ARIA)[10] 2× Platinum
Sweden (GLF)[11] Gold

Cover versions[edit]

South African singer Snotkop translated the song into Afrikaans as "Kry Jou Ass By Die Werk". [12]


  1. ^ "Offspring, The – Why Don't You Get A Job?". Discogs. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Why Don't You Get a Job?". Rate Your Music. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  3. ^ "The Offspring – Why Don't You Get a Job? [US]". Allmusic. Retrieved July 15, 2013. 
  4. ^ "ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 1999 Singles" Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved on July 14, 2009.
  5. ^ "RIANZ Charts - 1999 - Top 40 Singles Chart" Recording Industry Association of New Zealand. Retrieved on July 14, 2009.
  6. ^ "VERKSAMHET - GULD & PLATINA - 1999 - Search for OFFSPRING" British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved on July 14, 2009.
  7. ^ "BPI Database - Statistics - Certified Awards - Search for Offspring" British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved on July 14, 2009.
  8. ^ "Polish Singles Chart |". 
  10. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accreditations – 1999 Singles". Australian Recording Industry Association. 
  11. ^ "Guld- och Platinacertifikat − År 1999" (PDF) (in Swedish). IFPI Sweden. 
  12. ^ http://www.channel24.co.za/Music/FeaturesInterviews/Interview-Snotkop-20090715 Retrieved 7 January 2014

External links[edit]