Meaning of Bad Guy by Billie Eilish & The Story Behind

The debut album of the young American singer Billie Eilish was released under the mysterious title When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?. It was a huge success all over the world: first places in dozens of charts, prestigious awards, commercial success and so on. And the most resonant track from the album was the composition bad guy, which is the subject of the article.

Bad Guy by Billie Eilish – The Story Behind

Billie co-wrote Bad Guy with her brother Finneas O’Connell. The song consists of two parts: the first is quite fast, and the second is quite slow. To use this technique in Bad Guy, Billy Eilish was prompted by the tracks of famous rappers.

I was inspired by a song called Never by JID and Isaiah Rashad’s Stuck in the Mud, which kind of stops in the middle for about five seconds, and then a new song starts, which is shorter. I thought it was interesting.

Rolling stone

Billy said that they got some ideas from the main musical compositions of the video game Plants vs. Zombies and the sitcom Wizards of Waverly Place, as well as from the song Everything Is Not What It Seems by Selena Gomez.

Initially, the authors did not believe in the success of the track:

My brother and I sat in his room, trying to write something else on top of it, but we didn’t succeed, because nothing else worked.


The meaning of the song bad guy by Billie Eilish

Billy Eilish is a very young girl who does not try to look older than her years in her tracks, to be mature and exaggeratedly feminine (as previous young idols of youth like Britney Spears tried in their time). This is what the performer won the love of the widest audience: both teenagers and quite old people, nostalgic for youthful enthusiasm, listen to her. The song “bad guy” combines an energetic and catchy beat with cheeky, ironic lyrics, the meaning of which we will consider.

Let’s look at what the bad guy song is about line by line.

The very first picture in the song appears bright and bloody – “my bloody nose”. The girl lies with a bloody face, you might think that she was the victim of physical violence.

However, the next line reduces the tragic intensity to zero. The lyrical hero of the song sneaks past the girl on tiptoe, as he is obviously afraid of her. He does not want to wake her up, but at the same time “think you’re so criminal”, that is, he feels like a criminal, a bad guy.

Further, the girl says that she always does only what she wants, because she is truly cynical (“my soul so cynical”), which means it’s worth considering who in this situation is really worth worrying about, for the lyrical heroine or the hero of the song.

The chorus fully reveals this idea. First, there is a list of all the reasons why a young man is a “bad guy”, and then the girl suddenly begins to list all the immoral things that she is capable of, so that it becomes obvious who in the context of the song is really a “bad guy” and who is trying to seem to impress. One promise to upset the mother of the lyrical hero and seduce his father says a lot.

The post-chorus, consisting of one line, states all of the above. The girl says “I’m the bad guy, yeah.”

The slang expression “duh” is quite interesting here. On the one hand, it expresses agreement, approval, and on the other hand, it has a pronounced ironic connotation. There are analogues in Russian, but they are expressed rather intonationally. The closest thing is “yeah” and “still”, said with palpable irony.

The meaning of the song is revealed in the second verse from a different angle. The girl admits that she likes it when her young man pretends that he is the main one in their relationship, she says that “I’ll be your animal” will be his pet, but only as long as it entertains her herself.

Further, the girl admits that her mother will feel sorry for the guy with whom the heroine of the song contacts, and explains the reason for pity for the young man with the refrain of the song.

The post-chorus this time consists not of one, but of two lines. In addition to the fact that the girl says that she is the bad guy, she admits that “only good at bein’ bad”, that is, she is only good at being really bad.

The interlude sums up the track. The girl admits that she just likes it when a young man gets angry. She says she doesn’t understand why the girls around him are afraid of her (actually she does). The lyrical heroine notices that the problem is that she simply lives “in his shoes”, in the image of a bad guy (here is another metaphor, “I’m wearing your cologne”, but these expressions are interchangeable).

Talking about what the song Bad Guy is about, Billie Eilish claimed that it makes fun of people who want to seem like rebels, but they really are not. At the same time, the singer thinks that she herself sometimes sins with something similar.

The main idea of ​​the song is that people who are constantly telling everyone what they really are not like that… In general, I think you will never meet an evil bitch telling everyone that she is an evil bitch…

If you go around saying, “Yes, I’m bad, I always break the rules, I do this and that,” that’s not true. I know because I said it myself, but I wasn’t like that. Bad boys, bad boys, bad bitches and the like, they all do shit without even realizing it.


The idea is that you are a cool guy and you have to tell everyone that you are cool. Well, if you act like that, then I will also pretend in every possible way. Okay, I’m bad. I’m the type to upset your mother. Who will drive your friend crazy. Can seduce your dad. Yes, you hear these words in the song.

I’m not like that, but if you can mislead others and try to prove that you are not like you really are, then I can do it too.

Rolling Stone 2019

The phrase bad guy is usually used when talking about men, but Billie Eilish believes that it is appropriate for women:

There is always a bad guy in any movie or children’s book. Even if it’s a girl, she’s a bad guy. I want to be like this.


It is strange to hear this from the lips of a girl. I think Nicki Minaj said in one of her songs that she’s a bad guy, and I just recently realized that.

This sentence has such a cool contrast. Why does it evoke emotion in people? I know why it excites me, but all these reasons concern only me.


Release and achievements

Bad Guy is the second track on When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? On March 29, 2019, the song was released as the fifth single. She topped over two dozen charts and broke several records.

Bad Guy has received numerous prestigious awards and titles, including the following:

  • “Best Song” at MTV European Music Awards 2019,
  • “Best Song of 2019” by Billboard.

Billie Eilish made a splash at the Grammy Awards 2020, winning in such categories:

  • She won “Best New Artist”.
  • Bad Guy was voted “Record of the Year” and “Song of the Year”.
  • When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? named “Album of the Year” and “Best Pop Vocal Album”.

In addition, the album won in the Best Engineering category.

Video of Bad Guy by Billie Eilish

The music video was directed by Dave Meyers. The video was launched on Billy Eilish’s YouTube channel on the day the single was released.

On August 15, 2019, Billie Eilish also posted the Bad Guy music video in vertical video format.

bad guy cover versions

On July 11, 2019, Billie Eilish released the Bad Guy remix, recorded with Justin Bieber.

Interesting Facts

  • For nine weeks, Bad Guy remained at number two on the Hot 100, behind Old Town Road, but then managed to overtake Lil Nas X.
  • With Bad Guy, Billie Eilish became the first singer born in the 2000s to top the Billboard Hot 100.

Lyrics of Bad Guy by Billie Eilish

White shirt now red, my bloody nose
Sleepin’, you’re on your tippy toes
Creepin’ around like no one knows
Think you’re so criminal
Bruises on both my knees for you
Don’t say “thank you” or “please”
I do what I want when I’m wanting to
My soul so cynic

So you’re a tough guy
Like it really rough guy
Just can’t get enough guy
Chest always so puffed up guy
I’m that bad type
Make your mama sad type
Make your girlfriend mad tight
Might seduce your dad type
I’m the bad guy

I’m the bad guy

I like it when you take control
Even if you know that you don’t
Own me, I’ll let you play the role
I’ll be your animal
My mommy likes to sing along with me
But she won’t sing this song
If she reads all the lyrics
She’ll pity the men I know


I’m the bad guy
I’m only good at bein’ bad, bad

I like when you get mad
I guess I’m pretty glad that you’re alone You said she’s scared of me?
I mean, I don’t see what she sees
But maybe it’s ’cause I’m wearing your cologne

I’m the bad guy
I-I’m the bad guy

Bad Guy Lyrics: Billie Eilish O’Connell, Finneas Baird O’Connell

Publisher: BMG Rights Management, Universal Music Publishing Group, Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Bad Guy Lyrics by Billie Eilish Alternate

The white shirt turned red, the nose was bleeding.
I sleep, you’re on tiptoe
Sneaking like no one is watching.
You think you’re a real gangster.
Because of you, I have bruises on both knees.
Don’t say “thank you” or “please”.
I do what I want when I want.
I’m so cynical at heart.

So you’re a tough guy
Like, really tough
Which is never enough
All such a chest with a wheel.
It’s me that’s so bad.
Of those who make your mother sad
Of those who infuriate your girl
The kind who can seduce your daddy.
I’m the bad guy.

I’m a bad guy.

I like it when you’re in control
Even if you know it’s not.
Own me, I’ll let you play the part
I will be your animal.
My mommy likes to sing along to me
But she won’t sing this song.
If she reads the whole text,
She will feel sorry for all the men I know.


I’m a bad guy.
Well, I can only be bad, bad!

I like it when you’re angry.
I think I’m really glad you’re single.
Are you saying she’s afraid of me?
You know, I can’t see the world through her eyes.
Maybe it’s because I use your cologne.

I’m a bad guy,
I-I’m a bad guy.

Song Quotes

For some reason, people really like her and she’s incredibly popular right now. This is one of my favorite songs of all time. I love doing it – it’s so much fun. I am very proud of this song.

Billie Eilish

…dance music through a distorting mirror.

Louie XIV, Vanity Fair

This is the perfect anthem for anyone who likes to touch their dark side.

Sam Prance

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