Here we are, more than a decade since the first prototypes of the modern ringtone download services were introduced around 1997. So what have we learned, kids? Well, for one thing, that assembling a list of the top ten ringtones of all time is bound to become outdated within, oh, I dunno, a week.
Still, we can with some degree of accuracy list a few of the tones that have stuck around over the years, and call that list the top ten.
10. Pick Up Yo Phone by Mr. T
For whatever reason, many people continue to enjoy being alerted to an incoming call by the bombastic yelling of Mr. T, demanding that the pitiful fool in question, you, pick up yo phone!
9. Crazy Frog
This tone seems to show up on every top list we look at, and we’re not popular enough to be different. All jokes aside, except for, of course, the Crazy Frog, this tone has real staying power.
8. OMG by Usher
Just to date our list, like naming the theme song of your graduating class from high school or recalling fondly your penchant for plaid pants, we’ve thrown this week’s No. 1 selling ringtone on Thumbplay. Will this song be like “cool” or “swell”? Only time will tell.
7. South Park Soundbytes
From satirical songs to appeals to “Respect my authori-tie!” you can’t go wrong with a foul-mouthed slander from the mouths of babes.
6. Super Mario Brothers (Theme)
Despite the introduction of the Wii, Playstation and X-Box, there’s something about the eight-bit Nintendo that can never be topped. And it doesn’t get anymore classic than Super Mario Brothers when it comes to video games. As far as we’re concerned, the Super Mario Brothers theme is to videogame sountracks as Stairway to Heaven is to that guy noodling ceaselessly in Guitar Center.
5. Exorcist Theme (Tubular Bells)
This polyphonic tone combines synthesized bass, a melody on bells and piano chords to inspire the thrill of chills. You’ll find it on Jamster.
4. Get Low by Lil’ John
What can we say? People seem to love this tone, so we’ll call it No. 4 and call it good.
3. Original Nokia Real Tone
Traditionalists and those who can’t be bothered to download additional ringtones alike keep this, the original real tone, alive and in the top ten. You know the one. To paraphrase, Do da lu do, do da lu do, do da lu do, do.
2. Star Wars Theme
Everybody loves Star Wars, and probably always will. So, how could we not include it here. Answer, we couldn’t.
Really more of a default winner, etiquette often requires setting our phones to vibrate to avoid being that person–in class, the big meeting, you know the one–whose phone interrupts and exposes them to a flood of derogatory comments and wilting mockery. Play it safe, and let it vibrate so you can still text under the table.