"Valley Girl" was picked up by KROQ-FM, who obtained an acetate disc before release. Zappa praised the station's original programming but feared it would lead to others copying it, adding, "I would hate for it to become another service, freeze-dried to other stations." Moon was a regular KROQ listener and persuaded the station to play the track during an interview. There was an immediate response from the public, and the song began receiving regular airplay.
The song was Zappa's only Top 40 single in the United States, peaking at #32 on the Billboard Hot 100 during September 1982, although he had charted hits in other parts of the world. The song was also included on the 1995 compilation album Strictly Commercial.