Rodrigo, 20, broke records with her first solo song — which appeared on her debut record, SOUR, released in May 2021 — where she sings about a past relationship that went wrong. The drama that followed the song’s release contributed to its success as fans were quick to speculate that Rodrigo was singing about her High School Musical: The Musical: The Series costar Joshua Bassett.
“And I know we weren’t perfect / But I’ve never felt this way for no one / And I just can’t imagine how you could be so OK now that I’m gone,” she sings on the chorus. “I guess you didn’t mean what you wrote in that song about me / ‘Cause you said forever, now I drive alone past your street.”
Following the drama — which included multiple song releases from each artist — all three parties responded. While neither of them outright confirmed or denied the love triangle.
“I totally understand people’s curiosity with the specifics of who the song’s about and what it’s about, but to me, that’s really the least important part of the song,” Rodrigo told Billboard in January 2021. “It’s resonating with people because of how emotional it is, and I think everything else is not important.”
Despite what she’s said, fans have continued to decode Rodrigo’s song lyrics. When she dropped “Vampire” in June 2023, listeners were quick to speculate that she was referring to rumored fling DJ Zack Bia as a “bloodsucker” and “famef—ker” in a particularly savage set of lyrics.
“I think the song isn’t about fame f–king, I think it’s more about someone being manipulative and sucking you dry, using you for all your worth,” she shared on Audacy’s “The Julia Show” that July. “I think that’s a universal theme, and I also think fame is more easily accessible now than it has ever been.”
Keep scrolling for a guide to Olivia Rodrigo’s breakup anthems and most iconic lyrics:
Speculated to be about Rodrigo’s rumored romance with Bassett, she seemingly called him out after their split, noting that he “said forever” but “now I drive alone past your street.”
This track has also been speculated to be about Bassett, claiming within the lyrics that he seemingly did all the same things with Rodrigo and his new girlfriend — at the time, possibly Carpenter — who “thinks it’s special, but it’s all reused.”
‘Good 4 U’
A rock breakup anthem, this is another SOUR track speculated to be about Bassett.
“You bought a new car and your career’s really takin’ off / It’s like we never even happened,” she sings in part. “Baby, what the f–k is up with that?”
With lines like “you betrayed me” and “you’ll never feel sorry,” it’s safe to say this is a pretty major breakup track.
“You talked to her when we were together /Loved you at your worst, but that didn’t matter,” she sings on the song. “It took you two weeks to go off and date her / Guess you didn’t cheat, but you’re still a traitor.”
‘Enough For You’
In, quite possibly, her most heartbreaking track, Rodrigo sings about having not been “enough” for her ex, noting the things she did for him when they were together. Following their split, she just “wants myself back.”
The chorus says it all.
“I hope you’re happy / But not like how you were with me,” Rodrigo sings. “So find someone great, but don’t find no one better / I hope you’re happy, but don’t be happier.”
This song took a different tone as Rodrigo started to take responsibility for her part in the relationship and subsequent breakup knowing deep down she did various things “just so I could call you mine.”
“You used me as an alibi / I crossed my heart as you crossed the line / And I defended you to all my friends,” she sings. “And now, every time a siren sounds / I wonder if you’re around / ‘Cause you know that I’d do it all again.”
Speculated to be about Bia, this savage track calls out an ex who bled Rodrigo “dry like a goddamn vampire.”
“And every girl I ever talked to told me you were bad, bad news / You called them crazy, God, I hate the way I called them crazy too,” the second verse lyrics read. “You’re so convincing / How do you lie without flinching?”
‘Bad Idea Right’
Addressing the trope of not being over an ex head-on, Rodrigo sings about how seeing her former flame is “a bad idea right.” But “f—k it,” she’s going to do it anyway.
“And I told my friends I was asleep / But I never said where or in whose sheets / And I pull up to your place on the second floor,” Rodrigo’s lyrics read. “And you’re standing, smiling at the door / And I’m sure I’ve seen much hotter men / But I really can’t remember when.”