Gives You Hell

Album: When the World Comes Down (2008)
Charted: 18 4


  • The first single from The All-American Rejects third album, frontman Tyson Ritter said in a track-by-track interview before the album was released that the song was about a single person, but he later explained to MTV News: "It's kind of this tongue-in-cheek way of looking at someone you hate, whether it's your mom, for some reason, or it's your teacher at school, or it's your boss at work. It's just someone who makes you struggle, and it's giving them the finger."

    Ritter and Rejects guitarist Nick Wheeler write all of their songs, and when they wrote this one, they each had a steady girlfriend, so the lyrics were not personal. The song became a huge hit, but Tyson went into a downward spiral - both he and Nick lost their girlfriends and it was a while before they were productive again. Talking about getting it together to write for their next album, Kids In The Street, Wheeler told us: "Ty was still coming down off the whole 'Gives You Hell' ride, and we both moved to Los Angeles. He got mixed in with the bad crowd and kind of thought he was on top of the world - thought he was bulletproof and all that."
    Their song "Beekeeper's Daughter" finds Ritter reflecting on this time when he was a jackass but didn't care.
  • This song made #1 on the US Pop charts, and was their biggest hit on the Hot 100, but the band wasn't so sure about it when they recorded it. Nick Wheeler told us: "We recorded it with (producer) Eric Valentine. The whole time, we were like, What is this? Like, Is this us? Why am I having these mixed feelings about this song? It turned out to be our first #1 song, so I'm glad we ended up putting it on the record."
  • Ritter explained the song's promo to MTV News: "The video basically pits one neighbor against another terrible neighbor, who lives on a completely opposite schedule. He's not on the grid - he's not on, like the song says, 'a 9-to-5 pace.' And this guy's living the cookie-cutter life, with his white picket fence, and his wife who brings him lemonade when he's washing the car. So it's kind of like the clash of those worlds; only at the end, there's kind of a twist, where the two worlds kind of flip-flop."
  • Nick Wheeler of All-American Rejects explained to what happens guitar-wise on this tune: "You hear an acoustic guitar, like this wacky E6 chord fading in the beginning and that's all you hear. Yeah, that's all you hear until the second verse. Then a little acoustic guitar comes in – actually the acoustic guitar carries the whole thing until that last chorus. That's when like the big monster comes in. It's just the acoustic guitar in the chorus and you hear that little lead line right before the 3rd verse. It's little moments like that. If every part on the record is thought out and holds its place in the song, then you don't need more than just those special parts. It's not about taking a big guitar and layering the crap out of it. It's not about that. Every part, from the vocals to the guitar parts to the drum fills, really hold their place in the song."
  • Tyson Ritter and Nick Wheeler wrote this song during a road trip that the band took to Vancouver in Canada. Ritter and Wheeler typically write on trips where they can seclude themselves.
  • This was named the #1 Most Played Song of 2009 on Billboard's Top 40 Chart. "We are thrilled that we have been played relentlessly over the past year, hopefully people aren't too sick of us by now," said Ritter. "But truly, we have the best fans in the world. It's because of them that this band is where we are. They are the ones who kept our song on the charts and on the radio for so long and we thank them."
  • The song was the band's first to break into the Top Five on Billboard's Hot 100 and stayed in the Billboard Top 10 for over 13 weeks. It was also a success internationally and became the All-American Rejects best selling single worldwide. The track peaked in the Top Five in Canada and Australia and in the Top Twenty in several other countries including the UK, Ireland, Germany and New Zealand.
  • The group vocals on this song were recorded at George Lucas' Skywalker Ranch studios in California, where apparently alcohol is allowed. Nick Wheeler says that they wanted it to sound like "a bunch of drunk a--holes," so the band and crew had a few beers and yelled the part into a microphone for a few takes.
  • This was surprisingly the first song with "hell" in its title to the reach the Top 10 of the Hot 100. It was preceded by four heavenly-named #1 singles:

    1979 Bee Gees, "Too Much Heaven."

    1985 Bryan Adams, "Heaven."

    1987 Belinda Carlisle, "Heaven Is A Place On Earth."

    2005 Carrie Underwood, "Inside Your Heaven."

Comments: 24

  • Camille from Toronto, OhAn "f--- you" song that's perfection. One reason for its appeal: a universal feeling most of us have had at one time or another about someone in our life, that being: I hope it makes you sick when you so much as see me. As Tyson Ritter says, it could be about your mom, boss, teacher, ect. The tune and vocals of the verses are upbeat, implying that the person singing is at a good place in his life, even while having these thoughts of hatred for someone who has wronged him. Love how the song builds to a crescendo, with a whole chorus of drunken-sounding people singing "hope it gives you hell." It just paints a picture of someone going to a bar for a few drinks to dull the pain of a sour relationship, who gets the whole place to rally around him, take his side, and wish nothing but the worst for the person who done did him wrong. Oh yeah.
  • Hayley from Not Tellin, HiI really needed this song today. To one person in peticular: When you see my face hope it gives you HELL!
  • Elizabeth from Anytown, IlLOL! luv this song *Truth be told i miss you and truth be told I'm lying* :D
  • Kathy from Mission, TxI Fuking love this song *When you see my face hope it gives you HELL* lol love The All American Rejects
  • Shawn from Prescott, AzWhen you see my face hope it gives you hell.
  • Christopher L. from Fort Worth, TxNice song, nice vocals,nice beat and a nice way to tell someone to f--- themself.
  • Trent from Qleensland, Australiait is a mad song
  • Lori from Katy, TxI love this song, it matches my relationship perfectly with the lies, and the list going on and on. He told me ridiculous lies, was very demanding, and I finally got fed up with it all.
  • Emily from Around Chicago, IlDoes anyone know what the text messages said?
  • Kelsey from Rustburg, VaOk... I love how the 9-5er is the one who loses it first lol!!
  • Kelsey from Rustburg, VaPaige, I understand what you mean. Same just happened to me. Also, I agree with jon. Anyway... I luv this song! I have a hard time catching it on the radio now, but a few weeks ago it was on like every 5 minutes. I bought the CD but this and Real World are like the only good songs on it...
  • Ben from Beaumont, AbI think that the song is about a guy who broke up with a girl. The man is fairly happy about his new life but says that he misses her to comfort her, but really doesn't miss her. She misses him, but he broke up with her because of the way she treated him and just wants to see her suffer. Also, the slower paced melody of the song during the first few verses makes you feel sad for whoever it is. But, then when you hit the chorus and most of the song, the fast-pace of the song makes you think that the guy broke up with the girl for a good reason and you want to see her suffer.
  • Jennifer from Liberty, ScI interpret it to be about an ex that treated you like crap... I like the part that says "if you find a man thats worth a damn & treats you well... Then hes a fool, you're just as well, hope it gives you hell" to me that means "idc if you've moved on & idgaf if your new lover is the sweetest/best person in the world... You're still a b*tch & they'll wise up & then you'll be back to where you started from"
  • July from London, United KingdomTo Damien, Melbourne: On the sms it says "Watch your back!"
    That's the only thing I could catch, that's the last line.
    Love this song by the way.
  • Natalie. from Beverly Hills , Ca:D love this song.
    it gets stuck in your head easily haha.
  • Damien from Melbourne, AustraliaThe video clip posted to the right of the "Songfacts" box is not the official video. In the real video clip the 9-5er sends the 5-9er(?) an sms when he's riding on a ride on mower, doesn anyone know what it says?
  • Jasmine from Allentown, Pathis is one of mine and my best friend's favorite song in one week combined we listened to it over a thousand times.
  • Daniel from Winchester, OhIm obsessed with this song Its their best one yet!!
  • Liz from Pittsburgh, PaI agree with Jon. Also, I like the humor in this song.
  • Caleb from Titusville, FlWhat Jon from NJ said is completely true. Cause everytime I listen to the song, it reminds me of my ex gf and what is going on with the situation.
  • Paige from West Lafayette, Inlove this song....
    i feel this way about my ex-best freind... i hope every time she sees me, it gives her hell.

    i love how the lyrics say: "and truth be told, i miss you, and truth be told im lying"
    haha that was really funny
  • Jon from Jackson, NjI think it's more about a broken-up couple. The guy got dumped, and now the girl is having second thoughts. Now he doesn't want it anymore, so he hopes that she feels horrible about it, as payback.
  • Angela from Cartersville, Gai like the reason tyson wrote this song!!! i do hate alot of people cause their all mean!! =) =0
  • Angie from Hollister, Cai love this song =]
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