clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

SuperM’s Many Modes of Transportation, Ranked

The premiere of “100” signals the K-pop group’s return—and a return of their obsession with being in motion

Getty Images/Ringer illustration

After debuting in 2019 with a Billboard no. 1 album, SuperM is back. And as expected, they’ve returned with bops, memes, and many, many cars. No one loves getting from Point A to Point B more than SuperM; their latest single, “100,” is yet more evidence of their adoration for transportation. “Can’t slow down,” they repeat in the chorus, punctuated in the video by flashes of cars, trains, and what may or may not be a spaceship. (More on that in a moment.)

But where, exactly, do the flashy new vehicles of “100” fit into SuperM’s grand history of traveling in style? Buckle up—from fuel efficiency to style and speed, it’s time to evaluate and rank every method of SuperM transportation. Don’t worry, there are no real losers here. After all, the real journey was the fans they made along the way.

16. Baekhyun Just … Walking (“Jopping”)

SM Entertainment

Speed: 1/10
Efficiency: 1/10
Style points: 1/10
Creativity: 0/10
Safety: 0/10
Total: 3/50

SuperM’s music video for “Jopping” was their first foray into over-the-top machinery, as the seven members are shown traveling via various methods to meet at a futuristic concert dome in the middle of the desert. Yet one member isn’t actually shown riding in anything—group leader Baekhyun is left to trudge dramatically across the endless sands of the Dubai desert while the other members speed ahead. Imagine what that dry air could do to those golden vocal chords! Yes, there are a few shots of him walking away from a helicopter ... but we never actually see him in it. And couldn’t they have dropped him off a little closer? Maybe Baekhyun’s just doing his best for the environment. At least his carbon footprint is in good shape, even if his feet aren’t.

15. Kai’s Home Improvement Aisle (“100”)

SM Entertainment

Speed: 0/10
Efficiency: 0/10
Style points: 4/10
Creativity: 4/10
Safety: 1/10
Total: 9/50

The first images of Kai for the latest round of promo spawned a wave of “Kai works for Target” jokes, and the “100” music video does little to refute that theory. Unfortunately our guy spends most of the song stuck in a gravity-defying equivalent of the Target tools department. Whether it’s a floating wrench, a detached steering wheel, an ugly throw pillow, or seven types of overpriced trail mix, Employee of the Month Kim Jongin is going to make sure you check out with $300 worth of things you don’t need.

14. The Eponymous Super Car (“Super Car”)

SM Entertainment

Speed: 10/10
Efficiency: 10/10
Style points: 10/10
Creativity: 10/10
Safety: -30/10
Total: 10/50

Pros and cons of the super car, subject of iconic SuperM song “Super Car”:

Pros:

  • It is super.

Cons:

  • It says “vroom”—like actually says it. Seems like a symptom of underlying engine trouble.
  • According to the lyrics, the back trunk is about to explode.
  • It literally does not stop—seriously, it doesn’t even have brakes.
  • It does not have enough space for Kai and Lucas. Unacceptable.

13. Ten and Lucas’s Exercise Bikes (“Let’s Go Everywhere”)

Korean Air/SM Entertainment

Speed: 3/10
Efficiency: 0/10
Style points: 2/10
Creativity: 2/10
Safety: 8/10
Total: 15/50

Regular brain: Exercise bikes don’t actually go anywhere, therefore they should be in last place.

Galaxy brain: These exercise bikes happen to be on a super-swanky plane, so technically they’re going faster than nearly every vehicle on this list.

12. Taemin’s Magical Hot Wheels

SM Entertainment/Beyond Live

Speed: 1/10
Efficiency: 0/10
Style points: 5/10
Creativity: 5/10
Safety: 10/10
Total: 21/50

Consume enough SuperM content, and you’ll start seeing cars everywhere. (Perhaps whoever is making these videos is just in constant Oprah mode.) Even the tiniest of automobiles are not left behind; in the introductory video that preceded SuperM’s live concerts, Taemin kicked things off by playing with ... Hot Wheels? OK. However, normal toys these are not—the glowy little cars zoom around in ways that defy the laws of physics, much like Taemin himself. Play on, dance king.

11. Lucas’s Mysterious Silver Aircraft (“100”)

SM Entertainment

Speed: 7/10
Efficiency: 7/10
Style points: 7/10
Creativity: 7/10
Safety: 1/10
Total: 29/50

I think Lucas might be going to space. (Again.)

But I’m not sure, which is why this mysterious silver aircraft is not higher on the list. He’s definitely hurtling upward, based on the trajectory of the lights outside the windows. But is he in an elevator? A cargo plane? Is he in some kind of vertical tunnel, about to be blasted into the stratosphere? What will happen if he lets go of those straps? So many questions, so little screen time. If you’re gonna put a man in a horse jacket and throw him on a spaceship headed for God knows where, you gotta give him more lines. It’s only fair.

10. Taeyong and Mark’s Cars (“Jopping”)

SM Entertainment

Speed: 7/10
Efficiency: 8/10
Style points: 6/10
Creativity: 5/10
Safety: 8/10
Total: 34/50

A SuperM algebra problem: Mark Lee leaves SM Station at 7:00 p.m. traveling west in a car at 100 miles per hour. On a parallel highway, Taeyong leaves SM Station three hours later, traveling west at 127 miles per hour. At what point in this long-ass ride will Taeyong catch up with Mark?

By now I should probably admit that I know absolutely nothing about cars—in this case, I’m more concerned with the boys driving them. That’s perhaps why these particular vehicles, driven by Taeyong and Mark in the “Jopping” video, merely land in the middle of the list. Sure, I guess they’re shiny and pretty. They seem reasonably safe, unlike the super car. I enjoyed watching Taeyong learn how to honk the horn. But the cars alone don’t leave nearly as significant an impact as Mark’s iconic verse, and if Taeyong and Mark are going to the same place, why can’t they just carpool?

9. Taemin’s Futuristic Elevator (“100”)

SM Entertainment

Speed: 10/10
Efficiency: 9/10
Style points: 9/10
Creativity: 8/10
Safety: 1/10
Total: 37/50

“The only way is up!” wails Baekhyun on “100” ... a statement that Taemin disproves as he swans around a disco-tech elevator that’s dropping at an alarming rate. But we can’t be surprised, considering he also seems to have ignored the entire theme of this video in favor of a glam cowboy aesthetic. I approve, but next time I need him to go full Lil Nas X.

8. Taemin’s Motorcycle (“Jopping”)

SM Entertainment

Speed: 9/10
Efficiency: 7/10
Style points: 8/10
Creativity: 7/10
Safety: 7/10
Total: 38/50

It’s safe to say that Taemin has the best array of vehicles across SuperM’s content thus far, and his motorcycle scenes in “Jopping” are no exception. He even takes a minute to serve commuter chic in the middle of the freeway before donning a sleek helmet (safety first!) and passing Taeyong and Mark in the time it takes to say “money monsoon.” That said, all these machines have their limits—namely, that they can’t improve on Taemin’s own legs. Remember when he spun, moonwalked, and jumped into a hole in the stage floor at the end of his SuperM solo set? This is why I never get scared when I see those robot dogs from MIT—machines will never replace mankind.

7. Baekhyun and Taemin’s Car Army (“100”)

SM Entertainment

Speed: 9/10
Efficiency: 6/10
Style points: 9/10
Creativity: 9/10
Safety: 6/10
Total: 39/50

Poor Baekhyun. All these fancy cars zooming past him, and still no room for a weary traveler. The more things change, the more they stay the same. At least he’s getting his steps in.

6. Taeyong and Mark’s Train (“100”)

SM Entertainment

Speed: 9/10
Efficiency: 8/10
Style points: 9/10
Creativity: 9/10
Safety: 5/10
Total: 40/50

Most of Taeyong and Mark’s “100” rap verses take place inside what appears to be a loose train car—safety concerns aside, it’s the most fun vehicle in the video. My only problem is that spontaneous performances on public transportation make people uncomfortable and are never a good idea. No exceptions.

5. Kai’s Helicopter (“Jopping”)

SM Entertainment

Speed: 9/10
Efficiency: 9/10
Style points: 9/10
Creativity: 9/10
Safety: 6/10
Total: 42/50

It was sleek and streamlined. It shone in the sun, defied gravity, and catapulted Kai into new, previously unexplored territory. It was unexpected ... thrilling ... revolutionary.

Why yes, I am talking about Kai’s ponytail. What helicopter?

4. Ten’s … Magic Portal??? (“100”)

SM Entertainment

Speed: 10/10
Efficiency: 10/10
Style points: 10/10
Creativity: 10/10
Safety: 4/10
Total: 44/50

We’ve known for years that the constraints of gravity do not apply to SuperM and WayV’s bendy, acrobatic dancer, but his apparent ability to transcend the plane of human existence is new. In the “100” video, Ten is sadly lacking any real transportation of his own, until he runs toward what looks like a glass window … and kicks through it, dissolving into blue particles and disappearing. Is it a portal? A black hole? A computer simulation? Did Kai teach him some of his EXO teleportation tricks? Again, since Ten has very few lines, I have no time to fully evaluate what’s happening here, and frankly, I’ve been staring at this strange angle for so long that he’s starting to look like one of those thumb people from Spy Kids.

3. The Korean Air SuperM Plane

Korean Air/SM Entertainment

Speed: 10/10
Efficiency: 10/10
Style points: 10/10
Creativity: 10/10
Safety: 10/10
Total: 50/50

Talk about elite sponcon. Along with recording a song and an accompanying safety video for their partnership with Korean Air, SuperM also had their faces plastered onto the side of a Boeing 777. Next time anyone tells you the giant K-pop posters in your room are “overkill” or “too much” or “don’t match the vibe of the apartment, Kate”—please direct them to this photo.

2. Ten and Lucas’s Tank (“Jopping”)

SM Entertainment

Speed: 9/10
Efficiency: 9/10
Style points: 100/10
Creativity: 100/10
Safety: 5/10
Total: 223/50

This is the Batmobile of tanks; the chaotic good peak of all SuperM vehicles. There is absolutely nothing anyone can say that can make me consider placing this any lower than second place. Why is it here? Where did they get it? How do they drive it? Which one is Batman, and which one is Robin? Who cares! It’s a tank!

1. Jopping

Speed: 1,000,000/10
Efficiency: 1,000,000/10
Style points: 1,000,000/10
Creativity: 1,000,000/10
Safety: 0/10
Total: 4,000,000/50

Not since an apple fell onto Sir Isaac Newton’s head in the summer of 1666 has humankind been so altered by the discovery of a new kind of motion. Jumping and popping, you say? At the same time? Impossible, you might say. But with the debut of SuperM came the invention of jopping, the dance move that would change the course of history. (It did, technically, make history. Really.)

And lo—jopping sits at the top of this ranking with full points in nearly every category. Speed? Jopping is practically imperceptible to the human eye, especially in the actual “Jopping” choreography. (One million dollars to anyone who can point out any actual jopping happening throughout the song.) Efficiency? Self explanatory—you’re doing two dance moves at once. Style? These are some of the greatest dancers in K-pop. Creativity? They invented an entire word!

Safety is the only category lacking here—frankly because I think if I make an editor read the word “jopping” one more time, I’ll lose my job.

[Ed. note: Correct.]