The Real Meaning Behind Billie Eilish's Bad Guy Lyrics

Billie Eilish writes the kind of controversial songs that fans love, which is why she's found so much success in just a few short years in the industry. Despite the fact that she's still a teenager, the singer has made history in the music business, will make history in the movie business, and has made more money than you could probably imagine. However, there are plenty of untold truths about the singer, including the true meaning behind her song "Bad Guy." Fortunately for those who love to sing along with Eilish, she's now explained what's really behind the lyrics.

Apparently, the song focuses on people indulging in fake behavior. "So the idea is kind of like, you're a tough guy, you've got to tell everyone that you're tough," Eilish explained during a 2019 interview with Rolling Stone, seemingly talking about someone who was not, in fact, tough. "Okay, if you're going to be that, then I'm going to be all types of fake, too. So then, great, I'm the bad type. I'm the make your mama sad type. Make your girlfriend mad type. Might seduce your dad type." Yes, you may recognize those words from the song.

Eilish went on to say, "I'm not that, but if you can be fake with everyone and try to prove that you're something that you're not, then I can do it, too." That's certainly a far cry from what she was told to write about at the beginning of her career.

Billie Eilish was told to sing about 'self-love'

Billie Eilish may be famous for songs that focus on being a (fake) bad guy and (eek) burying a friend, yet despite the fact that she's found countless fans thanks to her wonderfully shady and fantastically creepy music, it turns out that's not what she was told to sing about.

"When I was starting out, one of the only things I heard was that the music was too dark, too sad, too depressing, that it wasn't happy enough," Eilish said while chatting with Variety in 2019. "There was this period where all I was hearing was 'Smile! Talk about how much you love yourself!' — and I was literally at a time when I didn't love myself."

Eilish told Variety that back then, she "was a little 14-year-old" who "didn't know anything about self-love or self-care." She says, "All I knew was the stuff that I knew, and a lot of it was bad and negative. That's what I wanted to write about, and that's why people relate to it. I mean, even the Beatles have songs that are just like, 'I'm miserable!'" Fair enough.

And it's definitely a good thing that Eilish didn't do what she was told and instead stuck with what she knew because it certainly led to the kind of success that may now give her a reason to smile. Or not. That's cool, too.