What Your Embarrassing Middle School Ringtone Says About You Now

by Connor Toole

I'm sure there are some people who can look back at middle school without hating the person they used to be, just like I'm sure there are people who have purchased an iPad from a vending machine at an airport.

They might exist, but I've definitely never met one.

For most people, the middle school years are defined by using the small amount of independence you were given to make as many regrettable decisions as your awkwardly developing brain could handle.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is how I ended up with seven different And1 shirts covered in basketball-related disses by the time I was in sixth grade. If you'd looked up "phat" in the dictionary, you would have seen a picture of my game.

If you think fashion was the only thing I had no taste in, you've obviously never met an adolescent before. My taste in music was about as sophisticated as the average YouTube commenter -- bad.

Luckily, I went to middle school in the Golden Age Of Ringtones, where I had the chance to share snippets of musical brilliance from visionaries like D4L and Hurricane Chris with the world whenever someone needed to reach me (so, fairly infrequently).

You've probably changed since middle school (or wherever you were in life when these songs were all the rage), but it's pretty safe to assume your favorite ringtone says a lot about the person you were at the time.

I'm about to get as judgmental as the popular girl at the seventh-grade Spring Fling. I suggest you listen to all of these on the worst speakers you can find to get the full effect.

"Crazy Frog"

Your parents had to take out a small loan in order to pay for the number of ringtones and backgrounds you bought for $2.99 a pop after texting the number you saw on TV.

As an adult: You've lost thousands of dollars on penny auction sites over the past few years.


You told anyone who would listen how much you loved European trance and hoped they wouldn't ask you to name another song besides this one.

As an adult: You've used the words "That's not real EDM" in polite conversation.

A polyphonic Beethoven symphony

Your favorite class was band, and you probably played the clarinet.

As an adult: You probably still have the same ringtone.

"In Da Club"

You won't be allowed in the club for at least four years, so if people actually try to find you there, they're going to be horribly disappointed.

As an adult: You know every word (even the ones you're not allowed to say out loud) to countless rap songs you'll never be able to relate to.

An actual ringing phone

This retro ringtone was a favorite among the guys who wore a tie to school every day and the girls with fingerless gloves who spent the majority of their lunch period writing poetry in a journal.

As an adult: Absinthe is your drink of choice, and you run a Tumblr devoted to steampunk cosplay.

"Sk8r Boi"

You bought the majority of your clothes at Hot Topic (except for the glow-in-the-dark underwear you stole from Spencer's) and had a boyfriend who hoped you wouldn't realize he'd never successfully landed a skateboard trick.

As an adult: You have a well-paying job and a comfortable life because you realized the mistakes you were making early on in life and changed things for the better.

It's either that, or you have one-and-a-half sleeves of tattoos and a piercing nobody can see.

The "Super Mario" theme song

As an adult: You'll share any article that tickles your nostalgia bone. No need to make an exception with this one.

"Lady Marmalade"

You bought the majority of your clothes at Spencer's (including more lingerie than any middle school girl would ever need) and had a new boyfriend every week.

As an adult: You're a big fan of Tinder.

"Crank That"

You spent far too much time in front of a mirror getting the moves down so you could bust them out in the middle of the dance circle at your post-graduation party.

As an adult: You did the same thing with The Dougie, The Harlem Shake and the "Single Ladies" video.

Your phone's default ringer

As an adult: You're not planning on breaking the bank when they start to look at nursing homes.

"The Thong Song"

You used your phone's default ringer when there were adults in the area but turned this on to impress your friends whenever you got some alone time.

As an adult: You have an incredibly complex system of generically-named folders where you stash the porn you've downloaded.

Anything involving the words "pick up the phone"

You thought it would be really funny, but you also bought "The Master Of Disguise" on DVD the first day it was released. Some people hit comedic puberty later than others.

As an adult: You make the cliché office jokes everybody hates and don't even realize you're doing it.

Anything by Dashboard Confessional

You broke up with your boyfriend three times in the same month and locked yourself in your room and cried for an entire day after every single one.

As an adult: You've done the same thing, only there was wine involved.


You were miles ahead of your peers and likely became an incredibly productive member of society. The world needs more people like this.

As an adult: You've had to stop yourself from murdering the people who blare their music on public transportation.