All Star

All Star

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Updated Sep 04, 2023 at 04:35PM EDT by Philipp.

Added May 30, 2015 at 02:03PM EDT by Z..

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"All Star" is a 1999 alternative rock song by Smash Mouth, which was notably featured as a main theme in the Shrek franchise. Online, the song is frequently referenced in ironic meme communities and has been widely remixed, covered and parodied.


On May 4th, 1999, "All Star" was released as the second single off Smash Mouth's second full length album Astro Lounge.[1] The song became one of the group's most successful hits, having peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 list in August that year.[4] That year, the comedy superhero film Mystery Men was released, which featured the song on its official soundtrack. Additionally, scenes from the film were used in the official music video for the track (shown below, left). In 2001, the animated film Shrek was released, which featured "All Star" during the film's opening sequence (shown below, right).


On April 16th, 2009, YouTuber Richalvarez uploaded a Super Mario-themed parody of "All Star" titled "Mario, You're a Plumber," which gained over 1.4 million views and 2,500 comments over the next eight years (shown below, left). On March 30th, 2013, YouTuber Ninja98 posted an "All Star" music video created in Source Filmmaker (shown below, right). Within four years, the video garnered upwards of 1,09 million views and 1,800 comments.

On April 14th, YouTuber Freuderthreep uploaded a mashup of the 2002 rap song "Lose Yourself" by Eminem (shown below, left). On August 4th, YouTuber SoulPancake uploaded a parody "All Star" music video featuring viral video stars Rebecca Black and Tay Zonday (shown below, right).

On February 3rd, 2014, YouTuber Advicecersas uploaded a short animation titled "Somebody Once Told Me," featuring a 3D model of Shrek bursting out of an outhouse while saying "donkey" (shown below, left). On April 23rd, the /r/smashups[2] subreddit was launched for mashups of various Smash Mouth songs. On August 11th, the Winnie Animations YouTube channel uploaded a Minecraft parody titled "Fighter" (shown below, right).

On October 7, YouTuber The Living Tombstone uploaded a mashup of "All Star" with the title theme of Super Smash Bros. for Wii U and 3DS, gathering more than 3.8 million views and 13,000 comments over the next two years (shown below, left). On September 18th, 2015, YouTuber Cyranek uploaded an airhorn remix of the song (shown below, right).

Neil Cicierega's "Mouth" Albums

On April 27th, 2014, musician and YouTuber Neil Cicierega released the album Mouth Sounds, featuring various mashups of Top 40 hits with "All Star" (shown below). The album received many positive reviews from critics and gained over 600,000 plays on SoundCloud[6] over the next several years.

This was followed with the release of a "prequel" album Mouth Silence (shown below) released on July 19th, 2014, an album which also followed the format of Mouth Sounds featuring mashups of Top 40 hits. Though there was very little reference made to Smash Mouth's All Star audibly, easter eggs on the album do make reference to it however. The album was also positively received and garnered over 408,000 plays on SoundCloud[11] in the next 2 years.

On January 23rd, 2017, Neil released a followup to both albums titled Mouth Moods (shown below).

Jon Sudano's Covers

On October 13th, 2016, YouTuber Jon Sudano uploaded in which he sings the lyrics from "All Star" over the 1971 soft rock song "Imagine" by John Lennon (shown below, left). The following day, Sudano posted a similar video in which he sings "All Star" over the 2003 nu metal song "Bring Me to Life" by Evanescence (shown below, right).

Over the next few weeks, Sudano uploaded an additional six videos of himself singing "All Star" over various pop songs. On October 21st, The Daily Dot[8] published an article about Sudano's videos. The following day, a page for Sudano was created on Encyclopedia Dramatica.[7] On October 31st, Redditor Brandon65756 submitted a post about Sudano's rapidly growing subscriber count to the /r/MemeEconomy[9] subreddit.

Smash Mouth's Response

On January 4th, 2017, Inverse[10] published an interview article with Paul Delisle, the bassist of Smash Mouth, in which he addressed the late resurgence of the band's 1999 hit "All Star" as an ironic meme:

“It’s funny because a large percentage of our fans don’t even know what a meme is -- heck, we didn’t really know either at first,” Delisle admitted. “But we have never taken ourselves that seriously. We like the attention, so even though it’s a bit of a goof, it usually centers around our song ‘All Star’ and it still sells weekly like mad. So we take the bad with the good and fully embrace the meme aspect.”

Steve Harwell's Death

On September 4th, 2023, Smash Mouth wrote that the band's co-founder and long-time vocalist Steve Harwell passed from liver failure. On that day, the news went viral on X / Twitter, with users sharing memories of the singer and 'All Star's' cultural impact.

Various Examples

Somebody Once Told Me

Somebody Once Told Me is the first line of song that is often used to caption a series of two panel comics.

Gravity Falls comic of Grunkle Stan reacting to the song lyric somebody once told me

Fan Theories

On May 3rd, 2014, Redditor KindaConfusedIGuess submitted a post to /r/FanTheories,[5] claiming that "All Star" is a song against the glorification of celebrities. Prior to being archived, the post received more than 930 votes (86% upvoted) and 100 comments. On July 1st, 2016, Redditor nintrader submitted a post speculating that the song is about a "man's turn towards existentialism" after realizing that the world will be destroyed by global warming to /r/FanTheories.[3] Within four months, the post gathered upwards of 1,700 votes (90% upvoted) and 100 comments.




Search Interest

External References

Recent Videos 155 total

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Top Comments

Edgar Weebling
Edgar Weebling

RIP to the legend.

Yeah, it's true. Smash Mouth were never a particularly known or successful band, and All Star will probably stay as their only true hit, but still, the sheer iconicness of this song is, in my opinion, good enough. Making a good song is something, but making such an iconic song that people still sing and play it three decades after its release is a true achievement, and it deserves to be recognized as such.

Rest in peace, Steve Harwell. You were the real All Star.


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