Smash Mouth is a sentient goatie known for hit songs like “All Star” and several other movie-montage-friendly gems. Not only did “All Star” come out in 1999, we’re pretty sure 1999 wouldn’t exist as a period in time without “All Star.” The music video features Ben Stiller, Dane Cook, and cargo pants. ”All Star” is as late-90s as a Jar Jar Binks porn parody downloaded from Napster. In much the same way, the song is trauma burned onto our collective memories and deflates any sense of sexual arousal when recalled.
“All Star”—the myth, the meme, the legend—is simply the greatest song to soundtrack your favourite (???) movie. Its lyrics are a motion picture—one that tells the story of human struggle throughout the ages. As Karl Marx once said, “Somebody once told me the world is gonna roll me.”
Compelled by Pizza Pocket-induced flashbacks, I put together a definitive list (this is it—the only list to ever matter) of the greatest films that use Smash Mouth’s “All Star.” From Shrek to Rat Race, these pieces of cinema capture the essence of “All Star” and therefore the essence of life itself. But is there something more here? For while philosophers debate over the meaning of life, it was Smash Mouth that said, “Well, the years start coming and they don't stop coming.” For me, though, the conspiracies start coming and they don't stop coming when it comes to "All Star" and its infiltration into pop culture.
“All Star” is the Shrek song. The Shrek franchise centres around a farting, eye-ball eating, antisocial monster who has to learn how to love. “All Star” is pretty much about the same thing. Check out these lyrics straight from the (smash) mouth of lead singer Steven Harwell:
Somebody once asked could I spare some change for gas?
I need to get myself away from this place
I said yep what a concept
I could use a little fuel myself
And we could all use a little change
Dude doesn’t give a hot damn about helping someone in need. Harwell is basically shouting, “My swamp!” at a lovable donkey’s face.
Remember that scene in Rat Race when Jon Lovitz and his family accidentally steal Hitler’s car, and then Lovitz transforms into the führer through a slapstick accident? Remember how we thought it was was funny because it was 2001 and nazism was still mostly used in popular culture as a cartoonish prop to represent evil? Good times. Smash Mouth has a cameo during the end credits of Rat Race, as if “All Star” is used to bookmark this simpler life, when tiki torches were just nice things.
Digimon: The Movie
This one makes the most sense. If you’re going to force enslaved monsters to fight each other to death, “All Star” is the obvious soundtrack. Digimon (the digital monsters, not to be confused with analogue variety) are essentially modeled to represent the lyrics of the Smash Mouth anthem. Don’t believe us? Check out this irrefutable scientific evidence found in this photo of Gabumon, one of the Digimon creatures:
That, people of this fine court, is the “‘the shape of an ‘L’ on her forehead.”
Mystery Men is about a bunch of reject superheroes who have to band together to save a city. They have powers, like the ability to throw a bowling ball, and getting angry and lame stuff. Ben Stiller is in it. These were different times. Other than the fact that “All Star” is featured in the soundtrack, and Mystery Men is a key franchise tie-in within the “All Star” music video, I can’t possibly see how else this movie would be connected to the “All Star” universe theory. Ha! This idea is as good as a fart in the wind.
Wait … farts. Of course! In Mystery Men, Paul Reubens character, Spleen, has the power of super farts. Shrek also has the ability to kill things with his farts, as seen in the opening credits of Shrek, an opening scene which of course features the song “All Star.”
It’s an obvious clue, as if Smash Mouth wanted us to see this all along. But see what exactly? What are you hiding, Smash Mouth?
There is something here. Inspector Gadget is a detective, of course, which is an obvious cue from Smash Mouth to investigate these seemly arbitrary connections. After several breakdowns, we almost gave up hope of linking Inspector Gadget to the “All Star” universe, but then we found this:
Damning stuff. The 1999 Inspector Gadget movie features Matthew Broderick and Rupert Everett. This was one of Everett’s best roles. Other notable parts he’s played include Prince Charming in Shrek 2 and Shrek the Third. Furthermore, Cheri Oteri, who is in Inspector Gadget, is also known for her voice work in Shrek the Third as Sleeping Beauty. Well, we aren’t sleeping. We’re woke now.
All of these secrets, hiding in plain sight this whole time. It’s obvious when you take the whole thing in. The movies; the song; the fact that Inspector Gadget is a character that can produce tools and things from his body and wears a khaki-coloured trench coat. What else holds a lot of things and is khaki-coloured? That’s right: Smash Mouth is a media plant from the Big Cargo Pants industry. What does it mean? Does it mean anything? Of course it does because meaning is everything! Smash Mouth and "All Star" deeply matter. We’re pretty sure this research piece has unlocked a massive conspiracy, opening a gateway to a secret “All Star” universe hidden throughout these films of the late 90s and 2000s. Maybe Hollywood was too lazy produce scenes of genuine feelings of joy, so they opted to fill the silence with Smash Mouth?
Devin Pacholik is afraid. He’s breaking the mold on Twitter.