“The Middle” is a song by American rock band Jimmy Eat World. It was released in October 2001 as the second single of their fourth album, Bleed American (2001). It was a number-five hit on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 2002 and reached the top 50 in Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. The song was a breakthrough hit for Jimmy Eat World, who had self-financed the recording of the Bleed American album after being dropped by Capitol Records in 1999. It is considered the band’s signature song.
The music video features a fully clothed teenage boy (Josh Keleher) who attends a pool party at which Jimmy Eat World is playing, only to find everyone, except the band, in their underwear. Much of the crowd is making out, but the boy is excluded. Finally, out of frustration, he starts to strip to be like the others, only to bump into a teenage girl doing the same thing in the closet he is in. The kids keep their clothes on and leave the party, arms around each other, as the song concludes.