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Released: 2023

Olivia Rodrigo’s “bad idea right?” is a confessional pop tune expressing the inner turmoil of navigating the precarious path between moving on from a past relationship and the enticing allure of reconnection. It captures the tug and pull of romantic temptation and the emotional chaos it can unleash, even when the conscious mind is well aware of how ill-advised it is.

The song starts with Olivia referencing a period of silence following a break-up. She describes a moment of vulnerability – she’s out, she’s drinking, and her ex suddenly calls her. Despite knowing their relationship is over, she is drawn towards him, suggesting the hold he still has on her.

The chorus is a clear embodiment of cognitive dissonance. “Seein’ you tonight, it’s a bad idea, right?” Olivia acknowledges that meeting up with her ex isn’t a good move, yet cannot resist the pull. The use of the phrase “my brain goes, ‘Ah'” showcases the mental chaos and inability to form coherent thoughts, reinforcing the struggle between logical reasoning and emotional impulse.

The lines “Yes, I know that he’s my ex, but can’t two people reconnect?” makes it clear that despite the history and the break-up, she still harbours a desire to rekindle things, even if just for a night. In “I only see him as a friend, I just tripped and fell into his bed,” Olivia uses metaphorical language to frame the situation in a more palatable light – reducing it to a simple accident rather than the result of a conscious choice. She’s effectively lying to herself, showing how we often rationalize bad decisions in the face of emotional desire.

In the latter half of the song, Olivia sings about sneaking out to see her ex, disregarding her plans and lying to her friends – a testament to how powerful the pull is. Leading up to the final chorus, we see her resolution falter: “Seein’ you tonight, fuck it, it’s fine” – she’s given in to her desire, disregarding the negative consequences that might follow.

Spilling out her feelings in “bad idea right?,” Olivia Rodrigo gives a candid account of post-breakup entanglements. Her lyrics tell a story relatable to many, brilliantly portraying the enthralling allure of past love and the mental gymnastics we sometimes perform in the name of emotional satisfaction.

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