Interpretations:Boss Of Me

From This Might Be A Wiki

Interpretation 1[edit]

I have always thought of this song as a sort of homage to the ever-beloved ska punk genre. The lines "You're not the boss of me!", "Life is a test", and "Life is unfair" certainly mirror the adolescent angst of that movement, and the music fits the bill perfectly: Ska strumming in the verse, followed by the fast, punky, and poppy chorus. "Yes, no, maybe, I don't know/Can you repeat the question?" brings to mind (my mind, at least) the image of a schoolboy being called on to answer a question, when he clearly wasn't paying attention. The "Stain on the wall...Why I'm in this room" section sounds like the said teen lamenting over being grounded and getting his TV taken out of his room. Well, the song was definately apt for the show! --Stiddy 08:48, 24 April 2004

Interpretation 2[edit]

While I'm certain that the above is what the song was intended to mean, it could also technically be about a down-trodden employee standing up to their boss. The boss thinks that he's big and important because he can tell his underlings what to do, but the chorus states angrily that this is not the case. The fact that the boss isn't so big leads me to believe that they're the boss at a McDonald's or something. The lack of a job has lead him to be poor, as you might guess, which explains the lack of the TV. So, now that he's blown his career, he's sort of failed the test of life. And yet he's completely content. He's perfectly happy living up to no one's standards but his own. A "yes or no" question doesn't have to be answered yes or no. Maybe, I don't know, and "Can you repeat the question?" are all perfectly acceptable answers to a yes-or-no question. Similarly, life isn't just hit-or-miss, pass or fail. The singer is quite happy in the middle of yes and no. However, the fact that not everyone should live by the same standards isn't fair or equal, so therefore, life is unfair. --Mushroom Pie 'n stuff 00:15, 5 July 2005

Interpretation 3[edit]

I think it could also be seen as a branching of of songs like "Nothing's Going to Change My Clothes", or "Snowball in Hell". The song is once again rejecting the ideals of society. The singer refuses to change, or do what he is told. Society is the boss, and we're not going take it anymore!

--King of Hearts 13:15, 23 July 2005

Interpretation 4[edit]

This song is obviously (to me, anyway) the somewhat whiny rant of a pre-adolescent boy against some sort of authority figure -- it could be an older brother, a parent, or a babysitter. But I'm inclined to think that it's directed to a new step-parent. I'm basing this mostly off of the lines "But ever since / We've moved in it's been empty." The kid's mom (or dad) just got married, they moved to a new place, and the new step-mom or dad doesn't let the kid watch TV. He can see, however, the place where the TV had been placed by the previous owner, and he sits and pouts in his room, thinking, "This guy isn't the boss of me just because he married my mom/dad." Tutt 15:05, 7 Oct 2005 (EDT)

I think the simple fact that it's used as the 'Malcom in the Middle' theme song should give this the obvious meaning it's about adolescents. It's more or less obvious! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Altik 0 (talkcontribs) 13:46, 9 July 2006

Interpretation 5[edit]

It's about the pains of being a kid bossed around by an older person. =) Oh the agony of kid-dom! Actually, I think a lot of people don't like this because it's so popular. {shrugs} I like it. It's a bit for different TMBG. There's the obscure TMBG songs, and there's the mainstream-sorta song that big fans dislike because it's so popular. I'm a big fan, I like this song. {shrugs again} Don't mind my ranting. --Lemita 11:29, 16 Apr 2006 (CDT)

Interpretation 6[edit]

I believe the song is about adolescent angst, as someone posted above, but I interpreted the lyrics differently. 'Life is unfair, so I just stare, at the stain on the wall where/ the TV'd been, but ever since, we've moved in it's been empty' seems to me like a reference to being grounded (since we've moved in), and having the TV taken away. 'Why I'm in this room/there is no point explaining' seems like the typical reaction of a teen when asked why they've been grounded. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs) 18:06, 28 May 2007

Interpretation 7[edit]

Despite Flans saying this is about his older brother, I recently read that John Linnell's mother had taken away their (his families) TV when he was a teen and for the rest of the time he lived at home they didn't have another TV. This instantly brought to mind the lyrics in this song;

So I just stare At the stain on the wall where The TV'd been

I'm guessing Linnell might have had a helping hand in the lyrics, esp. since it says on this page that Flans, after writing a 30 second version (presumably the intro up until the TV lyrics) was unable to finish writing the song for a year.

Anyway, I'm thinking it's a little about both of their childhoods.

--Philius Phogg 20:37, 15 July 2007

A John Flansburgher![edit]

This isn't related to the lyrics of the song, but I just had the urge to point out an epic visual pun in the music video [1]: the toy Flansburgh ends up in a cheeseburger that is being eaten, thus creating a John Flansburgher.