Wilson Phillips' 'Hold On' Has Been Inspiring Fans – and Pop Culture – for 25 Years

The song's uplifting message has become a plot point in more than a few works of pop culture


Yes, Wilson Phillips has been encouraging fans to hold on for a full quarter century. That’s quite a bit more than just “one more day” – this song has staying power.

“Hold On” was Carnie Wilson, Wendy Wilson and Chynna Phillips’ first No. 1 single, and it was the standout track from their band’s self-titled debut album, which dropped on May 8, 1990. In the 25 years that have followed, it’s probably helped a few people overcome a hardship. At the very least, the video must have inspired someone to propose a day of singing in the mountains and then wearing matching black dresses to the beach.

The song has inspired a few pop culture moments, too.

Probably the biggest would have to be the finale to 2011’s Bridesmaids, which has the band reuniting and making the entire wedding party sing along. It’s worth it just to watch Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph dance out the lyrics.

However, Bridesmaids wasn’t the first movie about female friendship that hinged on a performance of “Hold On.” In 2009, Saturday Night Live stars Amy Poehler and Rachel Dratch as well as Parker Posey starred in Spring Breakdown, a solid comedy about former nerds who return to spring break as adults to try to have the fun they didn’t have in their younger days. It ends with a very dorky but very heartfelt performance of “Hold On” at a spring break talent show.

(It also opens with a performance of "True Colors" with the leads in full ’90s nerd drag, in case you’re interested.)

It’s not only female friends who belt out “Hold On” in movies, though: There’s a moment in Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle when the leads sing along to it while on the road.

In its fifth season, Glee did it, but come on – Glee did everything.

There’s also a brief scene in Chuck in which Arrested Development star Tony Hale sings “Hold On.” (Singing in cars on-screen is kind of a tradition for Hale.)

And when Chynna Phillips competed on season 13 of Dancing with the Stars, she and partner Tony Dovolani danced the rumba to, yes, “Hold On.”

Finally, in 1992 the song inspired a spot-on parody on the sketch comedy series The Edge, with Julie Brown as Carnie Wilson, Jill Talley as Wendy Wilson and a pre-Friends Jennifer Aniston as Chynna.

Here’s to another 25 years of holding on.

What’s Cyndi Lauper’s Favorite ’80s Song?

Related Articles