The cringe things you’ll remember if you were a mid-2000s emo kid



There was time when no-one really got you. Do you remember it? People would stare at you in the street, in your black clothes with your razor-sharp hair and your studded wristbands, not understanding why you were doing what you were doing.

They just didn't understand the emo lifestyle, and they never will.

If you were one of the privileged few to identify as an emo, an Emotionally Massacred Orphan, a high-ranking member of the Black Parade, you'll remember some of the trials and tribulations you had to go through. These are just a handful.

The smell of burning hair

Not in a serial killer way – it’s just the scent you became accustomed to as you singed and seared your fringe every morning with your Argos own-brand death sticks because you couldn’t afford a pair of GhDs like your mates.

Still, at least it gave your bangs that impeccable Cute Is What We Aim For feathering that everyone in your friendship group lusted over.

Only ever being able to see out of one eye

Of course having that perfectly coiffed fringe meant sacrificing the vision in one of your eyes, but who needs depth perception when you look that good?

Trying to get the perfect volume on your backcomb

It was almost like there was a parallel line drawn horizontally across your scalp. In front of it, everything sleek and shiny and straight; behind it, carnage.

You’d backcomb and backcomb and fill it with as much product as possible, hoping it would stay large and bouffant and glorious at the expense of it being as dry as a bird’s nest filled with Weetabix.

You’re still not sure if the noxious fumes from the bottles upon bottles of hairspray have caused lasting damage to your lungs.

Never being brave enough to get full-on raccoon hair

Mainly because your mum wouldn’t allow it.

Not for me thanks


If you didn't quite have the testicular fortitude to wear eyeliner on a day-to-day basis, you'd actively seek out fancy dress costumes for parties which allowed you to slather it on thick.

Guess I'll go as Sweeney Todd again!


So much of it, in so many layers, that you could barely lift your eyelids from the sheer inky weight of it all.

Not being allowed the tattoos or piercings you wanted

Those star tattoos which were really in fashion? Your parents vetoed that one. Plugholes in your ears? Not if your school had anything to say about it. And those Sonny Moore double lip piercings? Yeah, no chance.

Plus you really wanted a rose on your throat like Oli Sykes, but it was mainly you chickening out which stopped that in its tracks

rawr XD

Owning Jack Skellington merchandise

Jack Skellington was like Christ for the style-conscious emo kid, so you were bound to have him on your bag or your pencilcase or the clip-on earrings you bought for £2 from Claire's Accessories.

Skinny jeans which sat halfway down your legs

Completely defeating the point of a) the jeans being so skinny and b) you wearing three separate bedazzled belts to hold them up.

This trend existed solely to showcase whichever brightly-coloured, zanily-patterned pair of Topman boxers you were wearing at the time. Snakes and ladders? It would be a crime to hide that under black denim!

Of course it meant you had to spend your days waddling around like an angsty penguin, struggling to climb stairs or expend yourself aerobically at all. Thank God sport was for the normies.

Being madly in love with either Pete Wentz or Hayley Williams

Unless you were one of the kids who found them too mainstream and decided to fancy Patrick Stump or the girl from Tonight Alive instead.

You'd fancy really specific teen boys from really outlandish bands, and get annoyed if people didn't fancy the same one as you – even though they all looked exactly the same.

I’ll take either

Having an enviable collection of studded belts from Attitude

You had chessboard belts, neon checkerboard belts, belts with flat metal studs and circular metal studs and metal studs so pointy and extreme you probably could've taken a waist-level kid's eye out.

You loved them all equally, despite the fact that they all shredded pinholes in the bottom of every single one of your favourite T-shirts.

And chunky belt buckles, for that matter

In the shape of Optimus Prime or a cassette tape or Pac Man, bought from a dodgy stall at Camden Market for a fiver. It would rust badly and the paint would flake off within weeks, but fuck your crotch looked dope.

Spending hours perfecting your Myspace page

You'd have a name like ..::{{ashleyanarchy}}::.. and Miss Murder by AFI would be your profile song.

There'd be bats bouncing around the purple background, every one of your top friends would have a variation of the same towering neon haircut and your profile picture would be painstakingly filtered to look gothic way before Instagram existed.

Every so often you'd post a bulletin, in which you'd say you were feeling "sad" or "down" or "dark" while filling it with RAWRs and XDs and Dashboard Confessional lyrics.

PC 4 PC?

Sharing these illustrations

And deep, meaningful posts like this

Constantly taking selfies from really high angles so your fringe looked good

Bonus points if you could fit your battered Converse, your Batman symbol belt buckle and your Bullet For My Valentine T-shirt all in the same frame.

Or bent over with your legs further behind so they looked good in your super skinny jeans

Your head would be tilted to one side, lips pouted, glancing your heavily-eyelinered eyes to the side with a facial expression that says "lolz rawr roflcopter I'm not the sort of girl who usually takes photos XD."

Idolising Myspace celebs with really extreme hair

They all had profile pictures like this.

danidynamite? lauralaceration?

Pacing the pews in a church corridor when you couldn’t help but to hear an exchanging of words

WHAT A BEAUTIFUL WEDDING. This was just one of a selection of song lyrics which really spoke to you. Others included Papa Roach telling you “I tear my heart open just to feel” and that one where the guy is all like "I called her on the phone and she touched herself" and he laughs himself to sleep.

You would file these away in your brain, occasionally rolling one out when you needed to caption a new photo or write something in a card for the crush who kept spurning your advances.

Only listening to music where the lead singer had an insufferably whiny voice

Have you listened to New Found Glory or The Used recently? The singers in every band you used to like sounds like they've just been told their childhood dog died after taking a massive huff of helium.

But not knowing which ones to put in your MSN status

¸.•*¨*• .¸ cute without the E ¸.•*¨*• .¸

Mourning My Chemical Romance, Green Day and 30 Seconds to Mars when they sadly became too mainstream

For many, MCR's Teenagers was a seminal moment in emo culture – for you, it was the day you tore down your Gerard Way shrine and shook your fist at the sky as you lamented the loss of the band who made Helena and I'm Not Okay.

Although you still listened to Mama at least once a day for your entire teenage years, and your Jared Leto posters remained suspiciously untouched.

Clapping along to Enter Shikari

Guys it's that bit it's coming it's about to be that bit guys –


Becoming completely invincible in mosh pits

For a teen who was by all accounts quite weedy and slightly anaemic-looking, you couldn't half take a beating once you'd thrown yourself into a mosh or a circle pit or even the dreaded Wall of Death.

Probably because you were moshing at a You Me At Six concert. When you went to see Slipknot, your dad made you buy tickets in the seated section.

Checkerboard vans

There was nothing quite like buying a new pair and showing them off to anyone you bumped into. Look, you'd say, they've got a crossword pattern on top!

Ruining family photos since day one

Having Kerrang! posters plastered over every inch of your bedroom wall

You didn't even care for Biffy Clyro and you'd definitely never heard anything by Glassjaw, but you had to cover up all of the wall space in your childhood bedroom somehow.

And spending hours watching Kerrang! TV (or Scuzz if you felt a bit more hardcore)

If you weren't getting your music from the sample CDs that came with Kerrang! and Rock Sound and Metal Hammer, you were watching music videos on TV.

You'd be fuming if you had to switch it off so your dad could watch the cricket or your mum could watch Eastenders. How else were you meant to hear the new Madina Lake single?

Dabbling with crunkcore

Fer sure maybe fer sure not fer sure eh fer sure bomb.

Yep, there was a pretty strange few months where this was your anthem and Brokencyde were your next big thing. You wore a desert scarf and Kanye West shutter glasses.

It was a weird time for you and everyone around you.

Confusing everyone when you suddenly slipped into scene

As quickly as you'd embraced the darkness, one day you suddenly switched black skinny jeans for red, dark band merch for neon T-shirts that said "RAVE" and Bring Me The Horizon screamathons for whatever glitch-pop bullshit Hadouken had just started doing.

I don’t even know who I am anymore

Everyone told you it had just been a phase. You knew it was so much more.