Bad Guy Lyrics Meaning – Billie Eilish’s “bad guy” Explained

Bad Guy Lyrics Meaning

Even if you’re not an expert on all things Billie Eilish (which you should be, just saying), there is no way in hell you haven’t heard “Bad Guy.” Billie wrote the song with her brother, Finneas, and it surpassed “Old Town Road” on the Billboard Hot 100—which is a big f*cking deal, considering Lil Nas X owned the charts for months. And trust, she had no idea this was coming…

Billie Eilish
Billie Eilish

“What’s funny about it is I actually thought it would flop…because the chorus doesn’t have a hook—at least what we wrote as the chorus,” Billie told Billboard. “My brother and I actually sat in his room trying to write something else over that, but we couldn’t do it because nothing else worked. [We didn’t] want it to be empty there, but we were just like, ‘I don’t know if anyone’s going to like this, because there’s no lyrics here.’ For some reason, people do like it and it’s huge now. It’s one of my favorite songs I’ve ever made. It’s my favorite to perform, it’s so fun. I’m so proud of that song.”

“White shirt now red, my bloody nose”

Unclear where Billie drew the inspiration for the song’s epic intro, but as Genius points out, the video features her wearing a white shirt while having a nosebleed, so let’s assume she’s being literal here.

i'm the bad guy lyrics
i’m the bad guy lyrics

The song continues:

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 cynical

Right away, it’s clear that Billie is playing with power dynamics, not to mention some pretty mature sexual themes (reminder: She only just turned 18). But it also seems like she’s playing a character in a song that’s somewhat satirical.Bad Guy Lyrics Meaning

“It’s basically making fun of everyone and their personas of themselves. Even mine,” Billie explained while chatting in the interview below. “The initial idea for the song is, like, people who have to tell everybody that they are a certain way all the time? They’re not that certain way….In general, I feel like you will never catch a bad bitch telling everyone she’s a bad bitch. It’s on—it’s you. If you’re going around all the time saying, like, ‘Yeah, I’m bad, I’m always breaking rules and doing this and doing that.’ You’re not. I know that because I used to say that and I wasn’t. Bad kids, bad boys, bad bitches, whatever, they do that sh*t and they don’t even know.”

Which brings us to the chorus:

So you’re a tough guy
Like it really rough guy
Just can’t get enough guy
Chest always so puffed 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
Duh

Bad Guy Lyrics Meaning

So…that “might seduce your dad type” line has gotten some side-eye from more conservative fans (especially since Billie was underage when she wrote it):

But let’s focus on the “bad guy” part of these lyrics. Billie actually commented on ~what it all means~ in an interview with Billboard, saying, “It’s a weird thing to hear come out of a girl’s mouth. I think Nicki Minaj said in one of her songs that she’s the bad guy, and I didn’t realize that until recently. It’s such a cool juxtaposition of that sentence. Why do people resonate with it? I know why I resonate with it, but they’re all my own reasons.”

In verse two, Billie goes even deeper into power dynamics between her character and the dude she’s singing about. At least, that’s what I’m getting here. Agree?

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

Bad Guy Lyrics Meaning

She also makes it clear that her mom isn’t gonna love this song thanks to the provocative lyrics:

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

Kay, onto the bridge:

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

Billie again seems to question the way women are stereotypically painted in relationships—she’s wearing cologne, she’s dominant, and the other woman in this guy’s life is intimidated by her. In other words, this song rules and I’ll be singing it for the rest of the year, bye. Actually, before we go, fun fact: “Bad Guy” was recorded in Billie’s childhood home, which you can tour in the video below.

Bad Guy Lyrics Meaning

Bad Guy Lyrics Meaning

On Bad Guy Lyrics

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