There's A Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven't Thought Of It Yet

Album: A Fever You Can't Sweat Out (2005)

Songfacts®:

  • In this song, lead singer Brendon Urie compares himself to cancer, in that it's something you hate but won't go away. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    bobby - blsh, NY
  • This song is about superficiality. It takes on stereotypes, wanting to be beautiful, fashion, and the quest for perfection. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Sydney - Cincinnati, OH

Comments: 48

  • Ryden from Somewhere In The UsaThis song is amazing! I think the song is about a lady going to a big, fancy party where most people are wearing top-hats, overcoats, etc. She feels "out of place and underdressed" next to everyone else, and runs to the women's bathroom, where she tries to console herself by telling herself that she's a diva. Alas, it was in vain, since she knows that she "just can't keep up with these fashionistas" and they're whispering behind her back. While she's in there, the narrator who was trying to ruin her social standing ("when you're in black slacks with accentuating off-white pinstripes, everything goes according to plan") spikes the punch and laces the cigarettes with nitroglycerin, which explodes when set alight.
    This is my favorite song off of AFYCSO!
  • Joey from Chicago, IlWell, the plot of the song is actually quite obvious in my opinion. The narrator is hosting a party for whatever reason, perhaps because it is all just a plot to sabotage this woman who he has invited. They tell her to leave her overcoat and hat and whatever else she has on the exterior part of her outfit with the doorman, from who she can retrieve everything at the end. This move leaves her more vulnerable as she cannot hide behind all the fancy and heavily stacked clothing. Once this has occurred she is feeling out of place and underdressed as everyone else still has their clothing on. When she arrives upstairs where the dinner is actually occuring, she is told to sit at a certain table, which is a hint at the title which explains to us before we know that there is a reason for this. She is directed to the table with her number on it, but as everyone sees her walk by, they realize her over causalness and make comments to each other that she seems trashy or even slutty. She has to take a trip to the bathroom to talk herself up as she is likely very self conscious at this point. She tells herself she is a diva but she knows she is really a whispering campaign here. While she is distracted by the anxiety she has there, the narrator and host spikes the punch and makes sure she is sitting next to the pack of cigarettes laced with nitroglycerin, a drug that is dangerous when mixed with the alcohol that the narrator has spiked the punch with. When she comes back, she likely lights up a cigarette and drinks the punch with may make her look like a fool due to the reaction, or even kill her or make her faint. Therefore, the narrator has successfully ruined her night and took her spot as the diva. The reason they have decided to sabotage this woman is something we may never know, but it is quite an eventful and sadistic song.
  • Liz from Hollywood/clermont , FlUmm. In my head, the first time I listened to this song, I daydreamed of a music video for this.(I do that a lot)
    It was of two up-rising people. One man one woman. At first they worked together to bring down all those who opposed them in the ball/party. By like, bringiing them down, and attacking their confidence.
    And by the end once everyone looked up to them, and they were the most popular, The two decided to "secretly" oppose eachother and try to poison eachother by "spiking the punch" hehe. My imagination got a bit carried away. And everytime I hear this awesome song I always imagine my "music video" :D
  • Mariah from Rainier, OrI think the song is telling the story of guy at a pary, charity banquet, whatever, and his ex is there. They are trying to get back at each other. He is stealing the attention and she doesn't like it. He is becoming infectious(like cancer as mentioned in the chorus)And at te ending he sings about spiking the punch, causing her to get drunk and act like a fool.
  • Kylie-marie from Whetstone, Azi agree with alissa from sydney, because even if their just quotes, they make an awesome song, and all they were doing is having a little fun. and BTW david from canada and all you oher people saying they suck just because of the cancer stuff,their not making fun of cancer and saying that its a joke, their just having a little fun and saying hes ready for anything that cancer throws at him. hes ready and hes not afraid of it. so get over yourselves and quit being so gullible. if you dont have a sense of humor, your never going to survive in the real world!!!!!
  • Jessie from L.a, CaBTW the not so 'funny' song titles are actually mostly quotes from famous novels or movies so not really that silly after all are they !!
  • Kaitlyn from Oklahoma City, OkI agree with Teresa from San Diego. A lot of their song titles are actually lines from Chuck Palahniuk-the author of Fight Club-'s books. I'm pretty sure you're right about the nitroglycerin soap. And the alternate personality. It makes complete sense to me.
  • Carrie from Timaru, New ZealandHeyy Alissa from Sydney That was a really good comment i agree totally with you :)
  • Alissa from Sydney, Australiaseriously all of you guys are taking the song way to seriously. it's fun, it's a joke all their songs are they said it themselves.

    yeah of course they have a deeper meaning. and no i doubt very much we'll ever know what it is. i think that it's fun to just guess what the song is about cause then it means what we want it to men, it's more meaningful to everyone instead of only one type of person. lol. so dpont tell people their dum and they don't know what it's about because that is just plain slack.

    personally i think it's about a guy whos ex is really.. popular and hes allways just been in the background biut then suddenly shes got hooked on drugs/cigerettes and hes taken the chance to step out in front of her.

    i think she hurt him so hes getting back at her. but shes too blind to see what hes doing and pretty much regretted leaveing him.

    itys like all in the song. i rekon that if i knew what ryan was thinking when he wrote the song it would either make or break the song.

    also i rekon that ryan doesnt get enough credit for the songs because everyone just thinks it's brendon cause hes the singer. btw, brendons voice is so amazing that it makes the song 10 times better. love the band, love the songs, love evrything about it, how bloody awesome does the cd look. ohh i love it.
  • Mackenzie from Arlington, United Kingdomok paige "I Write Sins Not Tragedies" has something to do with its title because that song talks about how the bride and groom are just together because of lust but lust is one the seven deadly sins hints the name. and it talks about how brendon urie is the urie is the narrerator of the the song
  • Madi from Hb, CaI think the singer is setting up his ex-girlfriend for humiliation. He makes her feel stupid, ugly, and want him back. What he means by cancer in my opinion is something that spreads quickly and gets everybody's attention.
  • Paige from West Lafayette, Ini love this song!!!!!!
    i love how in the album: a fever you cant sweat out, none of the songs have anything to do with the titles. its hilarious. so awesome

    ♥Brendan urie
    ♥Ryan ross
    ♥Panic At the Disco
  • Trisha from Ohio, Ohi think the song is about a guy that is at a party and invites a girl he hates (maybe someone that was an ex) and he tells everyone to come VERY fancy and elegant, but tells the girl to come casual. when he says "please leave all overcoats canes and tophats with the doorman" he makes it so the girl will be VERY underdressed compared to the elegant people. then "i'm the new cancer never looked better and you can't stand it." probably means that the girl usually got the attention and made him feel bad and stuff, but now, its the guys turn. i don't know,, just a guess (:
  • Sally from Fremantle, AustraliaWell, as with every song, it means something different to everybody. Once the singer/songwriter/etc has released it, everyone's entitled to their opinion on it. I'm making a music video for this at the moment (storyboard stage right now), and to me it's about a girl at a party, who's different from everyone else (the conformists) who all think they're the new black, or just awesome, and her self-confidence is taking a battering. At one point she retreats to the bathroom, swept away by the pain of not fitting in. However, the conformists feel she is taking attention away from them, and so lace her cigarettes and spike her drink. Really, in essence to me it's about pretending to be someone you're not and the pressures of society today.
    Just my opinion, once again. :)
  • Chris from Qc, PhilippinesIt was discovered that smoking a cigarette containing nitroglycerin relieved angina pectoris (chest pain). ref: http://jcp.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/19/1/75
  • Emily from Radville, Ori dont think this is the real reason, but it could easily be about smoking. Because of the line, "Im the new cancer" describes cigarettes and how they are deadly and hard to overcome. Also that of the line, "and the smokes in that cigarette box on the table they just so happen to be laced with nitroglycerin could be again, a refference to there deadlyness. And for the line of," you will be out of place and underdressed" means if you take a smoker away from there cigaretts they can go nuts!
  • Robin from Oakville, Onbtw for all of you people who are saying "brendon urie is saying...." this is wrong cuz it would actually be "ryan ross is saying..." beacuse ryan is the one that writes ALL of the songs :D
    but i love bden too....actualy even more than i love ryan :P

    just saying........
  • Randi from Culpeper Killed Superman, VaTheres a guy hosting a party. For all the attending people this is supposed to be another sort of charity banquet(When you're in black slacks with accentuating, off-white, pinstripes
    Whoa, everything goes according to plan.) but he tells them to take off all their expensive things as soon as they enter the room. (Please, leave all overcoats, canes and top hats with the doorman.
    From that moment you'll be out of place and underdressed.) They're all wearing the same suits so theres nothing really special about them except their social status. To me it seems like this guy was already apart of the rich socialite scene but he was like a wallflower but now he's taking charge (I'm the new cancer, never looked better, you can't stand it.
    Because you say so under your breath.
    You're reading lips "When did he get all confident?")

    ------Next is a trip to the, the ladies room in vain, and
    I bet you just can't keep up (keep up) with these fashionistas, and
    Tonight, tonight you are, you are a whispering campaign.
    I bet to them your name is "Cheap," I bet to them you look like shh...Talk to the mirror, oh, choke back tears.
    And keep telling yourself that "I'm a diva!" ---------
    When people are at some fancy party they think like that but they have to pull themselves together and act like theyre the best thing ever.

    (Oh and the smokes in that cigarette box on the table,
    They just so happen to be laced with nitroglycerin.) He says that because everyone has an ulterior motive that could hurt you. Even though someones being nice and offering someone a cigarette its actually going to kill you to take it.

    -----And I know, and I know, it just doesn't feel like a night out with no one sizing you up.-----Everyone judges everyone its just something you expect.






  • Marie from Chicago, IlI think cancer hear just means a malignant and contagious presence. the narrator is kind of invading the banquet and ruining it especially for the young fashionista wannabe.
    I imagine he's hosting a party, taking special care to make an ex girlfriend or something feel like crap, ruining her night and her self esteem.
  • Teresa from San Diego, CaI'm pretty sure this song is about the movie fight club, as a lot of their songs are allusions.

    They made nitroglycerin out of soap in that movie, and the main character dealed with a cigarette-smoking alternate personality. Plus, there was the part about them dragging that police officer into the bathroom and threatened to castrate him.
  • Z from Somewhere Over The Rainbow, WaI love this song, but I hate this song. Whenever I listen to this song I feel like the meaning is trying to blare out at me and then when I start to think about it, it says something that screws over what I just thought about, with even just one word that should make no difference, but somehow does! Panic is one of my favorite bands and I have friends who worship Brendon Urie in a very dementedly fangirlish fashion. Most of the time I just want to figure out what the song is REALLY trying to tell me, and it drives me insane. This is one of those songs where it can mean something different to each person, so you could all be wrong, or you could all be right. I'm going to try to ask them what this song means to them when I see them in concert in June (squee) just to see their point of view looking at that song.
    ~~Ta~~
  • Mischa from New York, NyI find the song is more about low self confidence and the need to be the center of attention. The narrative in a way would be the antagonist out to get the wannabe diva.
  • Alex from Liverpool, Englandthis is what i think anyways.
    i think it is a boy getting back at his ex-girlfriend who finished him because she was more popular.
    he's invited her to a party and told her its casual dress, btu when she gets there everyones dressed up so she stands out.
    'Please, leave all overcoats, canes and top hats with the doorman.
    From that moment you'll be out of place and underdressed'
    meaing without her coat etc, she doesnt look as good as eveyrbody else.
    when they sing 'black slacks' these are pants that are worn for informal occasions.
    'everything goes according to plan'
    the idea has been planned out and is working

    now, ' the new cancer, never looked better, you can't stand it.'
    cancer affects alot of people, and wen he says im the new cancer, he's saying he's the one gettin all the attention and popularity, never looked better and u cant stand it, shows her jelousy.
    'it just doesn't feel like a night out with no one sizing you up'

    no-one cares about her and she's not used to it, he's getting the attention.

    i think the title shows popularity status,'There's A Good Reason These Tables Are Numbered Honey, You Just Haven't Thought Of It Yet'
    the higher the table number the more popular u are.
    thats what i think, anyone agree?
  • Flyleaf from Kuwait, ArI Think This Song Is About Guys Who Are Bored And Want To Crash A Party When He Says "Please Leave All overcoatd,Canes And Top hats With The doorman From that Moment You'll Be Out Of The Place And Underdressed" he means that those people who left are so sick of the party crash.. and when he says "im the new cancer never looked better and you cant stand it" he means that he became the centre of attention (cancer is not attention) that's what i think of this song
  • Rachelle from Singapore, United StatesAs i was reading this, the song started playing on my itunes. haha. I love this song so much even though i have no idea what the lyrics actually mean. Its all like literature with the whole hidden meaning stuff. The tune and all is just really great. Second favourite song of mine from their album

    and if you hate p!atd and their music so much then don't bother commenting because honestly, your comments aren't very constructive and saying that they're talentless won't help anyone
  • Happymode from Sequim, WaOk, I hope I don't get totally bashed for saying what I think the song means. Its about some chick who walks into the restraunt/club or whatever, trying to make a good impression. She sits alone, no friends at a table with a high number (hence the title) Shes there, smoking, alone, AND DOES NOT HAVE CANCER. Shes jelous of a man (persumably the singer) who is the new "cancer", or the new thing. Everyone talks about her, saying she looks like crap and such, but shes trying to be like them, be the new "thing", try and have the new "cancer". Well thats all I got for now lolz. And Peoples, if you hate a band, don't post it, we know there are haters of this band, but we don't need you to post your comments bashing them. Maybe, if ya open your ears a bit and find the true meaning of the song, you'd like them alot better ;) -E <333
    PS I LOVE THIS BAND!!! *squeals like a fan girl* xD xD xD
  • Kayla from Pikeville, KyI took it as comparing the band and their music to cancer, not as a disease or something bad that just won't go away, but something that was infectious and taking over whether people wanted it to or not...I thought it was a bragging song about how awesome they are lol.
  • Hannah from Hampshire, EnglandI totally agree with Pyro i mean whats in a name? i dont think the title is supposed to be funny, its quite a serious song. This song isnt making fun of cancer its using it as a metaphor if ur so offended by it then why did you bother giving all that effort to look up and comment on the meaning of a song that u dont even like???
  • Niz from Mineral Wells, Txdoes anyone know how to take things less than literally?
    saying i'm the new cancer is like saying i'm the new sex or i'm the new cool....it has nothing to do with actual cancer
    and the title is just that...a title...same as tbs and brand new does, they're just titles
  • Lizz from Menner, Ohto erin in toledo, i hear yah, none of my friends here the banjos either, but i can!
  • Lizz from Menner, OhOK, in this song, nobody has Cancer. As in the disease. HUmans have a knack for wanting things they cant have. But yes, theres is a prostitute/stripper, of some sort. In generla it is saying:

    There is a woman there to crash the party, who certaily is not liked. ( aka, she is figurtivly "Cancer")

    People dont want to be around her, a dont want to "catch her disease"

    but humans want desperatly to kind of be like her, to do and say what she wants, and to not care what people think. at the time, a social ball, where you must be proper, they want even mre to be improper, like this "Cancer"

    (HAvent you heard that) I'm the new cancer, ive never looked batter, and you cant stand it.)


    this is a complete metaphore, but if you think about it it makes alot of sense.
  • Izzy from Buffalo, Nyhe says, 'im the new cancer, never looked better, and you can't stand it', this basically means, that the person has cancer, and they've never looked better, and the people can't stand that even that the person has this horrible disease, they look amazing.
  • Tori from Nyc, NyWhen he says to leave your items with the doorman, he is referring to a woman who is/was a stripper. She feels underdressed just without her coat. He has a plan to ruin the evening, and is dressed up just for that occasion. He wants to ruin this night for this girl.

    Now, when it comes to the cancer chorus, the boy is now the center of attention. Cancer does get a lot of attention, which is why he compares himself to it.

    The girl/stripper now goes to the restroom. She's trying to convince herself that she is still the center of attention and still looks great. People, the fashionistas, are talking behind her back, saying she looks cheap.

    Finally, it doesn't seem like a night out to her without her being the center of attention and all alone. She is so wrapped up in herself, she'll be too busy to notice when the boy "spikes the punch" or ruins the night.

    That's what I got out of the song. I hope this helped!
  • Alexx from Rochester, Nythis is a really good song =]] itz one of my favorites. along with "bulid God then we'll talk" and "but itz better if you do" I think thisis a great song to dance to; like a salsa or tango or something =]]
  • Marvin from Trenton, NjThe tables aren't numbered so that she gets the smokes wiht nitroglycerin, tables are numbered so that people that don't get along don't sit together.
    The girl and the singer don't get along at all (presumably becuase they just broke up) and she expected him to be sad. Instead he looks better than ever, and she can't stand it. The fact that he's doing so well without her is bothering her so much and it makes her feel ugly and it just won't go away. Like a cancer. No one got it right cuz they're dumbasses.
  • Matt from Millbrae, Cawhat a silly, silly band. i can't believe they expect to be taken seriously.
  • Pyro from Bunaberg, Australiaok lets get started then shall we?

    1. who realy cares if u think long song titles are 'funny' or not if it best describes a song?
    2.and if listening to a particular song of a band is a 'fad' then everyone is a part of the 'fad'
    3.the song is not in any making fun of cancer it is refer to the actions of cancer as doing the same things as cancer does
    4.'watever this band claims to do' have u even listened to the band? or even the SONG for that matter im guessing no u would realise that the band does not say that they are using cancer as art or testing the limits they are singing a song that is saying 1 person acts like cancer does
  • Galina from New London, CtI think the song is really cool... it my fave by P!ATD. Although the song titles are a bit long. I just remember my favorite songs by the numbers.
  • Brandon from Peoria, IlDoes everyone forget that lyrical giants, Simon and Garfunkel, compared silence to cancer in the song "Sounds of Silence?" "Silence, like a cancer, grows." It's just a word people, relax. OK, I understand that cancer is killing everyone in this country right about now, but he isn't saying "cancer is great...yay for CANCER." People get offended by the stupidest crap...in fact, someone WILL get offended with what I just said. Just relax, there are more important issues to argue about.
  • Emma from Olympia, WaCancer: A pernicious (Tending to cause death or serious injury; deadly), spreading evil. Ok? They aren't comaparing themselves to the anaplastic cells, the sickness cancer, malignant neoplasms. Though they have the same general idea. Panic! At the Disco are amazingly clever with their word choice, that's all. (In response to Matt, LA, CA)
  • Wilfred from Melbourne, Australia"And the award for ridiculously long song titles goes to..." Gee, these guys would certainly want to have some good music, 'cause they aren't going to be remembered for their song titles in hurry...
  • Matt from Los Angeles, CaComparing cancer to oneself is about the most presumptuous thing you can do, even if it is in the name of "art" and "testing the limits" or whatever the hell it is this band claims they do.
  • David from Port Hawkesbury, CanadaWhat also isn't funny is taht cancer is a serious issue, and people who make fun of it are morons.
    Quite clearly a talentless band.BTW all you wannabes get over the fad already.
  • Patrick from Humboldt, Ialong song titles aren't funny.
  • Tyna from La Crescenta, Cafor those who haven't realized it yet, the tables are numbered so she (the character the song is directed to) gets the cigarettes that are laced with nitroglycerin
    "oh and the smokes in that cigarette box on the table they just so happen to be laced with nitroglycerin"
  • Erin from Toledo, OhDo you guys hear the Banjos(sp?)or is it just me?
  • Shannon from Auburn, WaPanic is my Fave band and this is my Fave song of all of the songs on the their album, i dont know why it wasnt a single!
  • Bobby from Blsh, Nyby far the greatest P!ATD song out there. great horns backing up the song.
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