While emo and pop punk are notorious for swoopy hair and skinny jeans, there are a plethora of bands who decided to spice it up a bit. These iconic looks spawned hundreds of copycats or made something so different that no one else could replicate it. To this day, these music video looks are immediately what we reference back to when thinking of our favorites.
My Chemical Romance – “Welcome To The Black Parade”
Out of all of the incredible My Chem music videos, this one is undoubtedly the most iconic. Spurring hundreds of Halloween costumes and cosplays, the band’s costuming is creative, theatrical and complex, making this video the face of mid-2000s alternative.
Honorable mention: Literally every other MCR music video…including the live ones.
Panic! At The Disco – “I Write Sins Not Tragedies”
Featuring Brendon Urie in a long, red coat and a black velvet top hat, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” played a key part in Panic! At The Disco’s flagrant over-the-top music video aesthetics. With every cast member in the video being done up to the nines, “I Write Sins Not Tragedies” is a perfectly twisted look into an equally as twisted marriage.
The Killers – “Mr. Brightside”
With just a hint of eyeliner and the sharpest gold vest we’ve ever seen, Brandon Flowers looks pretty dang good. However, the costuming of his love interest in the music video for “Mr. Brightside” is even more incredible. With a constant subtle glow, the woman with untamed white hair swings herself around in a Renaissance-style gown reminiscent of The Phantom Of The Opera.
Fall Out Boy – “Sugar, We’re Goin Down”
Marking the beginning of Patrick Stump’s obsession with funny little hats, “Sugar We’re Goin Down” is another emo favorite. Featuring a boy with antlers growing out of his head, the music video teaches us to embrace ourselves and realize we are not all that different.
Green Day – “American Idiot”
We can guarantee when you think of Green Day, you immediately remember Billie Joe Armstrong’s black shirt and red tie affair. Featuring Armstrong’s truly iconic spiky black hair and heavy black liner, “American Idiot” quickly became the band’s visual identifier.
Paramore – “Misery Business”
Every single scene girl in 2007 wanted to be Hayley Williams, and with that two-toned hair and colorful stocking collection, we really can’t blame them. “Misery Business” was the original anthem for girls who didn’t really fit with the in-crowd.
Good Charlotte – “Lifestyles Of The Rich & Famous”
If Francis Ford Coppola and early 2000s emo teamed up to make a movie, this is what it would look like. With the members of Good Charlotte dressed in classic black suits and ties, this band truly served up some looks with this one.
Motion City Soundtrack – “The Future Freaks Me Out”
We didn’t ask for Justin Pierre dressed as a dusty cowboy, but we got it.
The Used – “All That I’ve Got”
We don’t have to say it twice: Bert McCracken in false eyelashes is a look. The Used’s music video for “All That I’ve Got” serves up major Panic! At The Disco/My Chemical Romance vibes, and we are absolutely here for it.
blink-182 – “I Miss You”
Dressed in dull, noir-like suits, “I Miss You” features blink-182 in a light that we often don’t see them, making their appearance in the music video all the more classic. The extras in the video are also seen with layers of tulle and light fabrics that complement the video’s dazy aura perfectly.