It’s true. Purple has been stripped from Olivia Rodrigo’s artistic color board, stocking up on the thick reds coated in GUTS’ ‘vampire,’ the first single off her new era that follows SOUR. It was in the imagery of the track title itself, known for the gory thrill that comes with an energy drainer sinking their fangs into your positive aura. Now, the shade has leaked into the type of block letter font you’d find off of WordArt for the ‘bad idea right?’ music video.
It flashes in the center of the starting frame, around suburban trees that can nearly touch the night sky. We know that it’s that time of day because there’s the sound of thunder—for those who listened to ‘bad idea right’ on Spotify or Apple Music first, this is where the sliding door effect comes in, a callback to the engine starting in ‘drivers license.’ But we digress. The story begins when it’s dark out.
Then, in a nineties-inspired getup, a silver disco-sequined skirt, and a midriff cropped sweater, our starring actress, Olivia Rodrigo, tells the messy tale in the style of how all of our bathroom warriors do it: with a lipstick liner in hand. It’s red, by the way, and that’s how we know for sure that it’s boy driven. “Haven’t heard from you in a couple of months,” she admits about her ghosting ex-boo. Her voice has just a hint of computerization that makes others believe she’s talking to him through a voicemail. “But I’m out right now, and I’m all f**ked up.”
She may not be with him at that moment. Nor the one after that where she’s skipping the party for a rando’s truck and then a bus, only to stalk the still-raining motel grounds that he’s staying at to see him. Eventually, though, she does get there, only for his glowing silhouette, distinctly comparable to one’s higher self, to combust into flames.
The Whodunnit Line-up
Yep, the universe has turned into the biggest killjoy! However, she’s not the only one who had the potential to show Olivia that lousy luck was stacked against her from the start, as what the music video directed by Petra Collins does really well is play off the personalities of various zany characters. The trio squad with Tate McRae, Madison Hu, and Iris Apatow, for one, and the curly-haired passenger who reenacts the many Glee scenes where Rachel Berry gets a slushy thrown at her, for another, each have a reason to join up with the mother universe to light the unnamed ex on fire. So we thought, in a hypothetical game of whodunnit, we’d name a few of them and then let you decide who exactly was her accomplice.
Suspect One: They’ll Make Him Redo The Friend Approval Test And Then Fail Him Again For Giggles!
While Olivia’s RL-girl group shows up from the beginning (Iris in her ‘bad idea right’ merch tee with a devil-horned heart), they come into head-swaying action around the 29-second mark. Even warning her as they lip-sync, “I should probably, probably not” in their cute Mean Girls-crossed dance routine. Don’t get this confused with crossing their arms; instead, they form an ‘x’ as their arms are together, click their fingers, and then undo the alphabetical letter. If you want to copy it at some point, that is. Anyway, it’s rather obvious where they are on this side of the debate: block. Find someone that fits into the “I’m sure I’ve seen much hotter men” category at the party!
Suspect Two: Jimmy, “No Hitchhikers” Truck Driver
As Olivia falls from the partygoers’ attempt at crowd-surfing her (this is where the parallel shot comes in from ‘good 4 u’), we’re transitioned into the car park, where what’s more daredevil than catching a ride from your mate is cruising in the back of an unsuspecting truck. That truck is tied to driver Jimmy, who says into his radio, “No hitchhikers this time.” While we’re on the topic of early 2000s movies, some of you may remember Sophia Bush’s The Hitcher. Though the roles would be reversed here with the driver being the killer compared to straddler Olivia, we feel that it shouldn’t have ended well, especially when wondering who was his first passenger. Could it have been the ex, hm?
Suspect Three: Bus Passenger Who Watches Too Much Glee
By now, we all know how the bus scene ends up: a slushy thrown in the face! But we don’t know why. Could it have been Olivia’s inability to stop talking about this guy? In another color-washed explosion of anxiety (this time, we’re replacing reds with those ‘good 4 u’ blues), each passenger, even the bus driver, repeats, “It’s a bad idea, right?” We’ve all been on those journeys where we wish we had slipped earplugs in our bag, and as much as we adore her, Olivia would be the reason for us reaching for them.
Suspect Four: Rodrigo (BRB, Then Ghosts An Entire Party)
Perhaps, in a twist, on the line of suspects, our eyes should go directly to our 5’4 brunette because she’d be one to turn off her phone instantly after texting him in order not to have to know if he replied (counterintuitive? We know, but us girls are complicated.) And he was also ultimately acting as a tosser, from calling her solely to hook up to never giving her the house tour. “And I pull up to your place on the second floor / And you’re standing, smiling at the door,” directly implying that he buzzed her in! It’s not that it would end up on MTV Cribs, regardless, because it’s crawling with spiders. Maybe when the fireworks turn into destructive sparks, and she’s staring at the ceiling wondering how she got there, she’s doing precisely that, waking up to who he is.
Who do you most suspect would be hatching a plan with the universe to combust Olivia’s ex into flames? Our votes are on her friends, as nothing screams creating distance between the two more than hearing another breakup narrative. However, if you’re swaying for the slushy, let us know on our Twitter @thehoneypop, and we’ll try to understand your reasoning.
‘bad idea right?’ is the second single off Olivia’s GUTS, arriving on September 8. Our Instagram and Facebook accounts have more articles on the era, including Spill Your GUTS Olivia Rodrigo Style, which puts a spin on the classic game.