The tour was conceived by Blink-182 to echo the famous Monsters of Rock tours; the idea was to have, effectively, a Monsters of Punk tour. The tour, from the band's point of view, had been put together as a show of unity in the face of consistent accusations of rivalry between the two bands, especially in Europe. Instead, Green Day's Tré Cool acknowledged in a Kerrang! interview that they committed to the tour as an opportunity to regain their status at the top of tree, as their spotlight had faded over the years. "We set out to reclaim our throne as the most incredible live punk band from you know who," said Cool. Cool contended that "we heard they were going to quit the tour because they were getting smoked so badly […] We didn't want them to quit the tour. They're good for filling up the seats up front."
The 2003 film Riding in Vans with Boys follows the Pop Disaster Tour throughout the U.S from Kut U Up's perspective.
Several reviewers were unimpressed with Blink-182's headlining set following Green Day. "Sometimes playing last at a rock show is more a curse than a privilege […] Pity the headliner, for instance, that gets blown off the stage by the band before it. Blink-182 endured that indignity Saturday at the Shoreline Amphitheatre," a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle wrote in 2002.
The Pop Disaster Tour as a whole grossed nearly $20 million from 45 shows.