Follow TV Tropes


All Girls Want Bad Boys / Music

Go To

  • Barbara Mandrell's "Angels Love Bad Men," a top 20 country single from 1986 about a girl falling for a career robber; guest backing vocals were provided by Waylon Jennings.
  • Pretty much everything from Lana Del Rey falls into this trope. Her debut album Born to Die has "Blue Jeans" (which even namedrops James Dean), "Off to the Races" (which is more of an ode to an Outlaw Couple), "Born to Die" (which is about an abusive relationship with a macho man while living on "the wild side")... it goes on and on. It's hard to tell whether she really believes it or whether she just plays up that persona to sell records.
  • The narrator in Halsey's "Ghost" admits to this.
    I like the sad eyes, bad guys, mouth full of white lies
    Kiss me in the corridor, but quick to tell me goodbye.
  • Liz Phair tends to parody this. Her debut album Exile in Guyville features the song "Soup Star Joe", about the idealization of such men in Hollywood.
  • So why do good girls like bad guys? I've had this question for a really long time! I've been a bad boy and it's plain to see! So why do good girls fall in love with me?
  • Garbage has a song titled 'Bad Boyfriend', featuring lyrics such as "And if you can't love me honey, come on, just pretend", and "It may not last but we'll have fun till it ends". The lyrics seem to be from the perspective of a bad girl, too.
  • Pet Shop Boys song "West End Girls".
  • Backstreet Boys had a song with the title, "If You Want It To Be Good Girl (Get Yourself A Bad Boy)".
  • Angel and the Reruns performed a song called "Why Do Good Girls Like Bad Boys?" in Bachelor Party.
  • The (hilarious) DMX song "Good Girls, Bad Guys."
  • "Leader of the Pack", sung by girl group The Shangri-Las was a Billboard #1 hit in 1964. To be air, this was something of a subversion- she claims she knew "he was sad" rather than bad, and he does seem like a reasonably nice guy from her description.
    • Twisted Sister did a gender-flipped cover of it in 1985, sung from Jimmy's POV. In this one, it's the girl who drives off and dies in an auto accident.
  • It's part of the reason why the groupie goes off with the hot mega-rock star Pink in The Wall. And then, of course, Hilarity Ensues as she finds out just how bad he really is, as he proceeds to trash his hotel room and nearly kill her in the process.
  • Stephanie's Irresistible:
    I know he's wrong
    But his arms feel so right
    He's a magical potion
    Tearing up my emotions
    What if I see what this boy does to me?
    Can't I simply forget him
    Cause I know I'll regret him
    I can't fight anymore
  • No Doubt's Bathwater:
    Wanted and adored by attractive women
    Bountiful selection at your discretion
    I know I'm diving into my own destruction
    So why do we choose the boys that are naughty?
    I don't fit in, so why do you want me?
    I know I can't tame you, but I just keep trying.
  • MC Lyte's "Ruffneck".
  • Taylor Swift 's "The Way I Loved You" is about a girl who dates a nice guy but is incredibly bored with him and misses the way she and her ex would "scream, fight and kiss in the rain."
    • "Blank Space" is this Gender Flipped, inverted, and subverted. "But you'll come back/each time you leave/'Coz darling I'm a nightmare dressed like a daydream." Even features the line "I can make the bad boys good for a weekend."
  • Cobra Starship's "Nice Guys Finish Last":
    Listen kid you hear them sirens coming for me
    But when I get downtown she will already be
    Posting bail in her favorite dress
    Smiling at me because I'm no good
    • Cobra Starship also has "Good girls go bad"
  • The Cheer Up, Charlie Daniels song "Too Damn Rock and Roll" plays with the trope. The girl wants him, but she won't follow through.
  • Ludo's Roxy has a theme like this, although it's more like "All Girls Want Jerkasses":
    Oh Roxy, why won't you love me?
    Is it because I'm American?
    Or maybe it's because I don't grope you and your friends
    Like the fool behind you now dancing halfway down your pants
  • Alexandra Burke likes Bad Boys.
  • The song "Bad Romance" by Lady Gaga could be interpreted this way.
    • "Judas" also counts. Lady Gaga even admitted this was about her then-ex-boyfriend, a notorious bad boy. The video is also clearly about the bad boy—the betrayer—in the group.
  • Britney Spears' "Toxic" practically defines this trope. "You're toxic, I'm slipping under, a taste of your poison paradise"—clearly from the perspective of a bad-boy-wanter!
  • Professor Green's song "Just be Good to Green" invokes this.
    I'm a bad boy, something every good girl needs
  • Kylie Minogue has a song called "Better the Devil You Know".
    I'll forgive, and forget. If you say you'll never go. Cause its true. What they say, it's better the devil you know
  • Jewel's song "Foolish Games" is a deconstruction that analyzes this from the perspective of a girl who's been deeply hurt by her Jerkass of a boyfriend, who's described as having many of the aspects of this trope.
  • "Good Girls Like Bad Boys" by Jadyn Maria.
  • Bowling for Soup has "Girl All the Bad Guys Want", which is about an uncool guy who likes a bad girl who dates bad boys. So...played straight and two or three kinds of inverted?
  • Can't Leave 'Em Alone by Ciara.
    I can't leave 'em alone
    Tried that good boy game
    But the dope boy's turning me on
    So bad, I love that, I can't leave 'em alone
  • "Bad Boys" by Wham!.
    Boys like you, are bad through and through/Still, girls like me, always seem to be with you!
  • "Be Hit" by Smog.
    It seems that my sensitive touch
    Could be given by any old schmuck
  • "Becoming More Like Alfie" by The Divine Comedy is about a former Nice Guy who's decided to become a Bad Boy after striking out once too often with girls who like the latter over the former.
  • "Biker Like An Icon" by Paul McCartney is about a girl who's infatuated with a rough-and-tumble biker and follows him around, hoping to meet him. It's deconstructed, however, since "the biker doesn't like her", and when they finally meet up, it's implied he rapes and murders her.
  • "Rule Breaker" by Ashlee Simpson is this.
  • "Mr. Wrong" by Mary J. Blige. In the song, she gets along with her "bad boy" boyfriend, but he hurts her a lot. She tries to leave but can't get herself to do it because she loves him. It can be interpreted either as a love song or sad song.
  • Speaking of Mary J. Blige, her duet song with rapper Method Man called "You All That I need", a remake of a classic R&B song, became the bad boy anthem of the mid 90s.
  • Gender Flipped in Apache's "Gangsta Bitch".
  • Cascada's "Bad Boy" is sung from the POV of girl who's had her heart broken by a bad boy and doesn't want to be involved with him again but still wants to have sex with him.
  • Theory of a Dead Man's "Gentleman" is this trope with a dash of Take That!.
    Girls don't want a gentleman
    They say they do but in the end
    Girls don't want a gentleman
    They want a loser like me
  • "Oh, Mr. Darcy" by the Doubleclicks is about someone trying to overcome this tendency, inspired by early exposure to the 1995 version of Pride and Prejudice.
    • Their song "Lasers and Feelings" advances the "bad boy" concept to the level of super-villain.
  • Celtic Thunder's Ryan Kelly, especially in the songs "That's a Woman" and "Heartbreaker". The latter even provided his Fan Nickname: "The Dark Destroyer".
  • Richard Thompson seems to enjoy playing with this trope. For example, his "1952 Vincent Black Lightning" is about a passionate romance between Fiery Redhead Red Molly and Badass Biker James, which ends when the latter is gunned down during an armed robbery (leaving the former his bike). Or there's his "I Feel So Good", about a newly-released ex-con hitting the town with "a half-naked woman with her tongue down my throat". For that matter, Thompson's tongue-in-cheek but straight-faced cover version of Britney Spears's "Oops, I Did It Again" turns that song into a faintly sinister evocation of this trope.
  • "Bad Boy" by the Miami Sound Machine
    Bad, bad, bad, bad boy! You make me feel so good!
  • Billy Joel's "You May Be Right" explores this trope from the perspective of the bad boy.
    • "Only The Good Die Young" does so to an extent, too.
  • "Poison" by Groove Coverage.
    I wanna love you but I better not touch.
    I wanna hold you but my senses tell me to stop.
    I wanna kiss you but I want it too much.
    I wanna taste you but your lips are venomous poison.
    You're poison running through my veins, you're poison.
    I don't wanna break these chains.
  • Trisha Yearwood's "Walkaway Joe" shows the dark side of this trope: bad boys are usually bad for a reason, and have no qualms toying with the hearts of young girls and leaving them behind (after robbing a gas station).
  • "Rasputin" by Boney M:
    "This man has got to go" declared his enemies
    But the ladies begged, "Don't you try to do it, please"
    No doubt this Rasputin had lots of hidden charms
    Though he was a brute, they just fell into his arms
  • "Rich Fantasy Lives", a Filk Song by Tom Smith and Rob Balder:
    That waitress at Pete's, who took so long to seat you
    And left you to stand in the doorway
    With her stringy red hair, and her thousand yard stare
    In her mind, she's the princess of Norway
    As she takes down your order, she's crossing the fjord
    Her white stallion spits foam like a madman
    Many vikings have died trying to take her as bride
    But her heart is reserved for a bad man
  • Deconstructed by Laura Branigan's "Bad Attitude", where the singer says she only has herself to blame for getting into a relationship with a boy like this, and dumps him. Australian Girl Group Girlfriend's cover includes the backup singers as her friends warning her that things would turn out this way, and alters one of the lines to "But Cupid's a real good liar".
  • The Offspring provide a rare gender inversion in their song "Want You Bad".
    I know your arms are open wide, but you're a little on the straight side, I can't lie
    Your one vice is you're too nice
    Come around now, can't you see?
    I want you, all tattooed, I want you bad
    Complete me, mistreat me, want you to be bad, bad, bad, bad, bad
  • Imelda May has "Big Bad Handsome Man" (on the album Love Tattoo) — see the title — and "Psycho" (on Mayhem), which is about a boyfriend who's some way beyond just bad.
  • "To Catch A Thief" by Lovage is about a girl falling in love with a notorious and wanted thief.
  • Henry Rollins' song "Liar" is sung from the perspective of a guy who knows this trope well, and knows that no matter how much he hurts you, you'll come back.
    I can't believe I ever hurt you
    I swear I will never to you lie again, please
    just give me one more chance
    I will never lie to you again
    I swear that I will never tell a lie
    I will never tell a lie, no, no
    (Beat) Ha ha ha ha ha hah haa haa haa haaa
  • "Gangsta" by Kehlani.
    I need a gangsta
    To love me better
    Than all the others do
    To always forgive me
    Ride or die with me
    That's just what gangsters do