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Music / Britney Spears

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She's not that innocent.

"I don't like defining myself, I just am."

Britney Jean Spears (born December 2, 1981) is an American singer, dancer and actress. Known for her catchy, dramatic, electronic-focused, deep and edgy pop music, she is considered one of the most popular and influential artists of the 2000s.

A former member of the 1990s revival of The Mickey Mouse Club, Britney has been described as the poster girl of the late '90s wave of boy bands and female solo artists, debuting in 1998 with the single "...Baby One More Time" (and an album of the same name). Part of her rise came from the exploitation of her sexuality, as Britney, 17 at the time, flaunted her lolita looks with school girl outfits and tight red leather catsuits, while still having an image of innocence. Interestingly, Spears orchestrated many of her most controversial moments, including choosing a high school setting for the music video of "...Baby One More Time", and unbuttoning her T-shirt for her 1999 Rolling Stone cover.

Britney has sold over 100 million records worldwide, making her one of the highest-selling artists in the world. Her music videos also gained constant rotation on MTV, and she made numerous well-received guest spots on Saturday Night Live as both host and musical guest. Most of her MTV Video Music Awards performances are considered some of the most controversial and memorable in the show's history, most specifically her strip-tease performance of "Oops!...I Did It Again", dancing with a snake for "I'm A Slave 4 U", and kissing Madonna, among other things. She had a hit movie (Crossroads) and received 2 Grammy Award nominations (for Best New Artist in 1999 and Best Pop Vocal Performance in 2002), eventually winning Best Dance Recording for "Toxic" in 2005. In early 1999, Spears started dating Justin Timberlake after being reunited with him on tour. The two broke up in March 2002, after three years together, much to the delight of the tabloids. Britney soon received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003.

At the height of her fame in the early 2000s, "Britney" was more-or-less synonymous with "Idol Singer", to the point that the entertainment press regularly used "the next Britney" as shorthand for "the next big thing". In an interesting footnote in pop music history, Britney's popularity inspired a small wave of female singer-songwriters who were marketed by record labels as "the Anti-Britney", since they knew that Spears' popularity had to peak sometime. While Spears was known for her blonde supermodel looks, her peppy and colorful stage persona, and her sexually charged lyrics and choreography, the "Anti-Britneys" tended to be dark-haired women who played their own instruments, and generally favored a more minimalistic sound with introspective lyrics. There were a lot of them, but Vanessa Carlton, Michelle Branch and Avril Lavigne are probably the best-known.

In 2004, Britney's personal life entered a downward spiral, with the media reporting every detail. Britney had an impulse marriage to a childhood friend in Las Vegas which was quickly annulled after just 55 hours. This was followed by a whirlwind romance with backup dancer Kevin Federline. The pair married months after meeting while Federline's ex-girlfriend (Moesha star Shar Jackson) was still pregnant with his second child. The public and media widely believed Spears was too good for Federline and that he made her "trashy". A reality TV series in 2005 (Britney & Kevin: Chaotic) was created in an effort to combat the waves of bad publicity surrounding their relationship. Viewership started off strong but gradually declined over the show's run, and ironically only added to the media craze around her.

Though Britney ultimately divorced Federline in 2006, shortly after the birth of her second child, it culminated in a rather public mental breakdown that resulted in her night-partying heavily with Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan, shaving her head, and checking into rehab twice. She was sent back and completed a month in rehab, but continued to spiral out of control. She gave a universally panned performance of her single "Gimme More" at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards that was followed by her losing custody of her kids for a period of time and eventually leading to a three-hour standoff at her home regarding the custody of her sons. The standoff involved police, ambulances, helicopters, and the paparazzi. She was soon placed in a 5150 hold at the hospital and after being released, her father was named her conservator by the courts.

All of this is explained further, though not entirely in-depth, in her 2008 MTV documentary For The Record. In the documentary, Britney also discusses life in the spotlight, the thrill of performing, her actions after her marriage to Federline fell apart, her workload over a three-month album launch, and her vow to not be a victim of circumstances. A later documentary, 2021's Framing Britney Spears, prompted renewed attention to her conservatorship, as well as subsequent reporting by New Yorker journalist Ronan Farrow and court statements by Spears herself alleging financial and other mistreatment.

Britney has since recovered, personally and professionally. Her conservatorship ended in November 2021, and she has secured her status as a pop culture figure and icon.

     Discography & Releases 


  • Greatest Hits: My Prerogative (2004)
  • B in the Mix: The Remixes (2005)
  • The Singles Collection(2009)
  • B in the Mix: Vol. 2 (2011)
  • Oops!...I Did It Again: Best of Britney Spears (2012)
  • The Essential (2013)

Video and DVD Recordings For Public Release

  • Time Out with Britney Spears (1999)
  • Live and More! (2000)
  • Britney: The Videos (2001)
  • Live From Las Vegas (2002)
  • Crossroads (2002)
  • Stages: Three Days in Mexico (2002)
  • In the Zone (2004)
  • Greatest Hits: My Prerogative (2004)
  • Britney & Kevin: Chaotic (2005)
  • For The Record (2009)
  • Live: The Femme Fatale Tour (2011)


  • Crossroads EP

Extended Plays:

  • ''In the Zone" EP (2004)
  • Chaotic: Britney and Kevin (2005)
  • Someday (I Will Understand) (2005)

Other Singles

  • My Only Wish (This Year) (2000)
  • 'What's Going On (2001)
  • Boys (Co Ed Remix) (2002)
  • And Then We Kiss (2005)
  • S&M (2011)
  • Scream & Shout (2012)
  • Ooh La La (2013)
  • "Tom's Diner" (2014)

Cancelled Releases

  • Original Doll (2005)


  • ...Baby One More Time Tour (1999-2000)
  • Oops!...I Did It Again Tour (2000-2001)
  • Dream Within a Dream Tour (2001-2002)
  • The Onyx Hotel Tour (2004)
  • M+M's Tour (2007)
  • The Circus Starring Britney Spears (2009)
  • The Femme Fatale Tour (2011)
  • Piece of Me Residency (2013-2017)

Guest Appearances and Roles in Television


  • Heart To Heart (2000)
  • A Mother's Gift (2001)
  • Stages (2002)


  • Curious (2004)
  • Fantasy (2004)
  • Curious in Control (2006)
  • Midnight Fantasy (2006)
  • Believe (2007)
  • Curious Heart (2008)
  • Hidden Fantasy (2009)
  • Circus Fantasy (2009)
  • Radiance (2010)
  • Cosmic Radiance (2011)
  • Twist Fantasy (2012)
  • Island Fantasy (2013)
  • Fantasy Anniversary (2014)
  • Fantasy Naughty (2014)
  • Fantasy Nice (2014)
  • Fantasy Stage (2014)


  • Dolls (1999-2001)
  • Shades of Britney (2000)
  • Britney's Dance Beat (2002)
  • Britney for Candie's Collection (2009-2010)
  • The Intimate Collection (2014)
  • Tour Merch (1999-2014)

I'm addicted to tropes, don't you know that you're toxic:

  • Action Girl: In many of her videos such as "Toxic", "Break the Ice", "Womanizer", "Criminal" and stage shows.
  • The Ace: In both work ethic and general ability to sell, one can look for "flops", but they are few and far between, semi on-purpose (Britney Jean) or forced by sketchy circumstances (the Clear Channel radio drama during the Britney era). Besides her comeback and "hiatuses", she's the most successful of her peers who started at the same time she did.
  • All Just a Dream: The videos for "...Baby One More Time", "Born to Make You Happy", and "I Wanna Go". "Everytime" is another possible example, as she wakes up in the end due to Executive Meddling.
  • Audience Participation Song: "I Wanna Go" during her Femme Fatale Tour where audience members danced alongside her on stage. "Anticipating" was the sing-along section in Dream Within A Dream.
  • Alone in a Crowd: The lyrics of "Lucky" and "Alien", where the trope is almost said word for word.
  • Abhorrent Admirer: Her role in How I Met Your Mother.
  • Album Title Drop: The significant majority of her albums have these.
    • "...Baby One More Time", "Oops!...I Did It Again", and "Circus" are Title Tracks.
    • "I wanna get ''In the Zone"..." in "Me Against the Music".
    • A track from her album Femme Fatale, titled "Big Fat Bass" can be heard saying "The Femme Fatale" at the end of the song.
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: She sang of wanting less-than-wholesome men in Toxic and Criminal.
  • All of the Other Reindeer: Britney has been criticized since the beginning of her career for recording pop songs or dance songs with mass appeal, singing in a breathy rather than "powerhouse" voice, having an openly sexual image, lip-syncing during live performances that feature heavy dancing, and especially for her personal troubles. While most musicians face criticism, the sheer amount of vitriol Britney received has been the subject of dozens of media re-appraisals and at least one documentay, 2021's Framing Britney Spears.
  • Ambiguous Situation: It is unknown if the end of the "Lucky" video where she is crying in her bed is real or just part of her movie.
  • …And That Little Girl Was Me: Done towards the end of her song "Girl in the Mirror".
    I can't believe it's what I see
    That the girl in the mirror
    The girl in the mirror
    Is me
  • Animated Music Video: "Break The Ice" and "Kill The Lights" - both unrelated in terms of art style and continuity.
  • Answer Song: "Everytime" is this to Justin Timberlake's Celebrity Break-Up Song, "Cry Me a River".
  • Anti-Love Song: "Oops!...I Did It Again."
    It may seem like a crush. But it doesn't mean that I'm serious.
    I'm not that innocent.
    • She has others like "When I Say So".
  • Arc Words / Verbal Tic / Lyrical Tic / : You'd be amazed by how often she says "crazy" and "baby".
  • Ascended Fangirl: Both ways with Madonna, who wanted to work with her and did twice. Performed with Michael Jackson at his 30th anniversary concert in 2001 and also presented him with MTV's Artist of the Millennium award in 2002.
  • Audience Shift: Her audience was originally pre-teens and teenagers her age that then grew up with her.
  • Badass Longcoat: In three different sections of the "Dream Within A Dream" tour.
  • Be Yourself: Her overall message.
    • "Bottom line: If you love yourself, it will all work out."
    • "I know not everyone will like me, but this is who I am so if you don't like it, tough!"
    • "I looked up to people, but I never wanted to be them. I always had my own identity."
    • "What you see is what you get
      This is me, hey you
      If you want me, don't forget
      You should take me as I am
      'Cause I can promise you
      Baby, What U See Is What U Get"
    • "Baby I'm a freak and I don't really give a damn."
      "Walk a mile in my shoes, do me right or I'm through!"
    • "Go with your heart, follow your instincts, don't try to control it, let it kind of control you."
    • The message and theme of Femme Fatale
    • "People can take everything away from you, but they can never take away your truth. But the question is, can you handle mine?" From My Prerogative.
  • B-Side: "I Run Away", "Deep In My Heart", "Intimidated", "Before The Goodbye", "Autumn Goodbye", "Heart", "Mona Lisa", "Over To You Now", and that's not even half of it.
    • Bonus Tracks: WAY too many to list - this woman has a truckload of them that she could easily make another album's worth, or two, just from them. General fan consensus is that some are better than the actual album tracks. Some include "Amnesia", "Quicksand", "Scary", "Brightest Morning Star" and "Hold On Tight".
  • Beneath the Mask: Played with in her video for "If U Seek Amy" where her character has a "bright and happy" public persona and a "dark and wild" hidden self.
  • Beige Prose / Brevity Is Wit: Her statements at The X Factor have had this element to them.
    • Additionally the times when she does think hard about what she wants to say she can be quite witty.
  • Buffy Speak: She was a teen pop star, but she hasn't outgrown it much.
  • Biting-the-Hand Humor: Some of her earlier SNL stints had this, particularly the Dawn Pawlowski skit in 2000.
  • Bittersweet 17: "I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman" discusses not just the confusion of being age seventeen and so neither social construct of girl nor woman, but also asks for a moment to remain in this time of in between.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: She plays all three in her videos for "Toxic" and "Womanizer".
  • Break-Up Song: A lot; ranging from depressed to angry to hopeful to broken. "...Baby One More Time", "From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart", "Where Are You Now", "I Run Away", "Shadow", "Everytime", "Why Should I Be Sad", "Toy Soldier", "Womanizer", "Shattered Glass", "Mannequin", "Till It's Gone", "Don't Cry", and a ton more...
  • British Accent:
    • Adopted one during 2007 while dating British paparazzo Adnan Ghalib.
    • Played around with for collaboration with - "Scream and Shout".
    • An unreleased song, "Whiplash", co-written by Britney and recorded by Selena Gomez, features Selena incorporating a Fake Brit accent — quite possibly a holdover from the demo recording.
    • Used in some parts of "Work Bitch".
  • Badass Boast:
    • "Piece Of Me": "No wonder there's panic in the industry, I mean, please!" and "Miss American Dream since I was seventeen".
    • Hot As Ice's key lyric is: "Living legend, you can look but don't touch!".
    • The producer of "Gimme More" announces "The legendary Miss Britney Spears" at the end of the song.
    • "Toy Soldier" features the line: "Coming back looking delicious, yes I know you wanna kiss it".
    • "Work Bitch" can be seen as one Badass Boast considering she already has all of the luxury and riches she sings of and is in a position to tell others they should work for the same. Also stated, when asked if she was ashamed of her prior music, all of it "fucking rocks!".
  • Call-Back: One notable lyrical moment is the song "Stronger," where she sings "My loneliness ain't killing me no more," a reference to "...Baby One More Time" in its lyrics "My loneliness is killing me."
    • Also in the song "Inside Out." She references "...Baby One More Time" ("Hit me one more time, it's so amazing").
    • Outright called the "Womanizer" music video, Toxic part 2 in her documentary For The Record. An actor she hired for "Toxic" reappears in "Womanizer".
    • "Yeah I did, did it again" was slipped into "Mannequin".
    • Her Piece Of Me performances call back to her whole career.
  • Cannot Spit It Out: Topic of "Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know".
  • Can't Get Away with Nuthin': She rarely, if ever, criticizes her peers and contemporaries; the few times she has, in self-defense, gained her much criticism.
    • This even applies to her "Golden Years" where she was blocked from radio stations in 2001-2004 due to copyright issues involving her label and Clear Channel.
    • She is (was) knocked for being a bad role model even though if anything she is an overachiever (then) and a survivor (now). See NewBritneyology's Article About this Phenomenon.
  • The Casanova: In "Womanizer" she discusses this trope.
  • Catholic School Girls Rule: "Baby One More Time". Oh baby, baby...
  • Censor Steam: In the edited version of the "Womanizer" video. She appears naked in a sauna covering her breasts with her hands and with her genitals out of view of the camera, but this was still too racy for some airings, so the edited version was released.
  • Celebrity Endorsement: Did three Pepsi commercials back in 2000-2001, was the face of Candies for two years, and of course, her own perfume line, reported as one of the most successful celebrity fragrance lines. She also worked with Sketchers in the early 2000s. Plenty of Fish, and Sony were featured in her "Hold It Against Me" music video. Other major endorsements:
    • Made a mini music video/commercial for Twister Dance, released September 2012.
    • She released her own video game called Britney's Dance Beat in 2001.
    • She's had at least two clothing lines, one by Candies, one Intimate.
    • She popped in a popular Super Bowl ad with multiple football fans, and famous cartoon characters.
  • Central Theme: Be yourself and it's okay to make mistakes.
  • Changed for the Video: "Born To Make You Happy" has the breakdown removed and "Overprotected" was remixed for US release.
  • Child Prodigy: Dancing since 3, singing since at least 5, worked for Disney in a variety show when she was a kid, used to have an incredibly low voice for a child, which she won awards for, used to be a successful gymnast, and went to a performance arts school in New York when she was a pre-teen.
  • Christmas Songs: "My Only Wish (This Year)."
  • Circus Synths: "Circus" has Spears compare her career as a pop singer to a circus performer. Shortly after the release of the song, Spears also went on a tour called "The Circus Starring Britney Spears", which featured stages set up to resemble a traditional circus.
  • Clothes Make the Legend: The tied up and buttoned down school shirt, the red jumpsuit in Oops!, her flesh-toned VMA 2000 outfit, her 2001 VMA snake, her 2003 Toxic air hostess uniform and her various belly baring outfits in the early 00's.
  • Cloudcuckoolander: Her persona on The X Factor and to some, her persona in life.
  • Combat Stilettos: When fighting her doppelganger in the "Hold It Against Me" music video.
  • Commitment Issues: The character in "Oops!" has these. Hinted at also in the In The Zone/Blackout albums.
  • Cover Version: "The Beat Goes On", "Satisfaction", "I Love Rock N Roll", and "My Prerogative", to name a few.
    • A lesser known cover would be "Out From Under," which was originally on a Bratz soundtrack.
    • She covered Madonna's "Burning Up" for the Femme Fatale tour.
    • She covered "You Oughta Know" on The Circus Tour.
    • She did a Madonna/Janet Jackson cover medley in her debut tour.
    • She also covered "Walk This Way" with *NSYNC and Aerosmith themselves at the Super Bowl...
    • "I'm Scared" was briefly a part of her Circus tour, originally by the artist Duffy.
  • Crossover: Meeting Austin Powers, Pharrell Williams and DJ Qualls in the "Boys" video.
  • Censored Title: "If U See Amy" instead of "If U Seek Amy". "Work Work" instead of "Work Bitch".
  • Dark and Troubled Past: Lynne, her mother, wrote a book; Through The Storm released in 2008, which basically took the story they told in 2000, with Heart To Heart, and turned it on its head, with alcoholism, money problems, her father's business issues and numerous other indications/incidents and family cited as reasons for Britney to have such a big breakdown in 2004-2008, outside the immense career pressure she was enduring.
  • Darker and Edgier: Most of her albums have been progressively darker and edgier than their predecessors. Being a bubblegum pop star, they have also gotten Hotter and Sexier.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates: A "Criminal."
  • Dancing Is Serious Business: Britney has said she doesn't want to tour unless she can dance on her tours.
    "Any time I can go into the studio and just dance and put choreography together is like a spiritual experience for me. Everyone has a world they create around themselves, if I have a lot of nervous energy... when I start dancing it all goes away and I just feel emotion."
    "For me, art is therapy because it's like your expressing yourself in such a spiritual way, Sometimes you don't need words to go through what you need to go through. It's an emotion you feel when you dance that you need to touch on and you only touch it when you move a certain way."
  • Double Vision: Used in the video for "Lucky" with her playing the role of the titular character as well as her guardian angel. Plays three different versions of herself in "Toxic" and "Womanizer".
  • Downer Ending: "Why Should I Be Sad?" on Blackout, "Everytime" on In the Zone and "Don't Cry" on Britney Jean.
    • The "Sometimes" video ends with her unable to confess her feelings to the boy.
  • Digital Piracy Is Okay: She leaked the demo of Mona Lisa to her fans in 2004/2005 and has been ever since. Over 50 noted on The Other Wiki. Anytime a song of hers is leaked, it's affectionately called "Britmas" by her fans and supporters.
  • Driven to Suicide: In the cancelled ideas for Everytime and Gimme More videos.
  • Dream Within a Dream: Her third concert tour for her third album was titled, and based upon this idea.
  • Dedication: Just Yesterday (for my sister) for Jamie Lynn, Someday for her first son, My Baby for her second son, Perfume for Jason Trawick, Dramatic/Guilty/Look Who's Talking for Justin Timberlake, she probably has more both unreleased and songs on her albums which she hasn't disclosed who there about.
  • Epic Rocking: "From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart" is longer than any of her other songs.
  • Ethical Slut: Most of the "In The Zone", "Femme Fatale", and "Blackout" albums. And songs like "When I Say So", and "3", go figure.
  • Even the Girls Want Her: She has her fair share of female fans who would turn for her at the drop of a pin. Reese Witherspoon admitted a crush and another female celebrity said "I'd bathe in her sweat".
  • Expy: In some of her music videos, Britney isn't Britney, she's Æon Flux, complete with her own Trevor Goodchild. Three instances: "Toxic", "Womanizer", and "Break The Ice".
  • Evil Stole My Faith: A Christian for most of her life, but the years under her father's Conservatorship and the rest of her family essentially turning their backs to her, caused her to lose faith altogether.
  • Easter Egg: All over the artwork of her seventh album "Femme Fatale", she has a tattoo saying either 7 or the "FF" insignia.
  • Fangirl: Madonna, Lady Gaga, Marina Diamandis, Demi Lovato, Katy Perry, Pixie Lott, Kesha, Rihanna, Lana Del Rey, Miley Cyrus, Hilary Duff, Kelly Clarkson, and Selena Gomez, to name a few.
  • Fanservice: Quite possibly almost all of her videos and outfits.
  • First-Name Basis: If you hear or say "Britney," chances are she's the first person you think of.
  • Feather Boa Constrictor: Her famous and infamous "I'm A Slave 4 U" 2001 MTV VMA performance.
  • Femme Fatale: The title of her seventh album and tour, based on the concept of a "sexy assassin".
  • Female Gaze: Often in her music videos, notably in "Don't Let Me Be the Last to Know" and "Womanizer".
  • Follow Your Heart: To go with her Be Yourself message, she also said:
    • "Go with your heart, follow your instincts, don't try to control it, let it kind of control you."
    • Songs of hers such as "Stronger", "Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know", "Touch of my Hand", "I Wanna Go", and "Passenger" for example, all fit into the criteria.
  • Former Child Star: One who rebounded gloriously and has stayed on the radar well into adulthood.
  • Fake-Out Fade-Out: In her cover of "I Love Rock N Roll."
  • Gem-Encrusted: Famously had diamonds glued all over her naked body for the "Toxic" video. Wore a bra made entirely from diamonds during her Dream Within A Dream tour in 2001-2002. Has also opened her Vegas residency wearing a jewel-encrusted bodysuit similar to the one she wore at the 2000 MTV VM As.
  • Genki Girl: Britney's image is extremely cheery and high-energy.
  • Genre Roulette: Britney's albums span genres including bubblegum pop, dance-pop, R&B, trip-hop, electronica, rock, dubstep, synthpop, and new wave. Her most varied albums are In The Zone, Blackout and Circus.
  • Good Bad Girl: A big part of her image growth from the year 2000, which was not overtly in-your-face sexual until 2001's "I'm A Slave 4 U".
  • Genre Shift: Ever since Britney won a Grammy for Best Dance Recording with "Toxic," she's produced fewer ballads, and her subsequent albums incorporated elements of electronic genres like EDM, dubstep and trip-hop. The shift happened a few years before the whole of US pop music would embrace dance.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: Try saying the title of "If U Seek Amy" fast. Not too bad? How about with context: "Love me, hate me, say what you want about me but all of the boys and all of the girls are begging to if you seek Amy." The album it was on escaped the Parental Advisory label, and nobody noticed the pun until after it was released, forcing Britney to record a cleaned-up version for radio broadcast.
  • Girlish Pigtails: In the "...Baby One More Time" video and various live performances.
  • Girl on Girl Is Hot: Her kiss with Madonna at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, some moments during her 2007 VMA performance and her Slave music video where she engaged in a co-ed orgy.
    • Almost kissed Lady Gaga's character Jo Calderone at the VMA's 2011 but backed away, quipping "I've done that already!".
    • And again in the video for "Slumber Party", with guest singer Tinashe. Their hair obscures enough for it to be unclear if they actually kissed, but they sure were very snuggly.
  • Godiva Hair: While she's in the bath in the "Everytime" video.
  • Greatest Hits Album: Two, Greatest Hits: My Prerogative and The Singles Collection.
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: Was marketed as this when she first started out, though she's cast that image aside in favor of a more mature one. She could still be said to qualify as she is blonde and said by many fans and collaborators to be a very sweet person. Though somewhat ironically, she's actually a natural brunette.
  • Hand-or-Object Underwear: The "Womanizer" video has her completely naked in a sauna covering her breasts with her hands, and the "Toxic" video has her entirely naked and covered with diamonds.
  • Hates Being Alone: This is also a common theme in her music, in songs like "Lucky" and "Alien."
  • Heartbeat Soundtrack: Used at the end of, oddly enough, Heart!
  • Hollywood Spelling: Those with the more traditional spelling of "Brittany" are probably annoyed by how she spells her name (or more specifically, her mother's choosing to spell it as such to set her apart).
  • Hotter and Sexier: Been walking this path for awhile now. Was dubbed "Sexiest Woman In Music" by Billboard in 2012 and "Sexiest Woman Alive" in 2004 by FHM.
  • Human Aliens: in the music video for "Oops!...I Did It Again", she's the queen of Mars.
    • Lampshaded in the video for "Hold It Against Me". Britney pokes fun at a rumor from early in her career that she was an alien by crash landing to Earth as a pop star who shortly after takes the world by storm at the beginning of the video.
    • A song on her 2013 album Britney Jean is called "Alien". It examines loneliness caused by fame and features lyrics such as "the stars in the sky look like home/take me home" and "I was lonely then/like an alien".
  • Hymn to Music: "Me Against The Music", "Circus", "Till The World Ends", "Body Ache", to name a few.
  • I Know You're Watching Me: The animated version of her in "Break the Ice" glares at a sniper taking aim at her right before he fires at her and she dodges it.
  • Idiosyncratic Album Theming: 5 out of her 8 albums so far, end on a ballad. "Dear Diary", "Everytime", "Why Should I Be Sad", "My Baby" and "Criminal".
  • In Da Club: All her albums from Britney to Britney Jean.
  • Important Haircut: Britney shaved her head in February 2007 shortly after being forced into, then checking out of, rehab. The media was frenzied.
  • Intercourse with You: So many of her songs, particularly on In The Zone, Blackout, and Femme Fatale. "I'm A Slave 4 U" and "3" are probably the best known.
    • "Body Ache" and "Tik Tik Boom" off of Britney Jean.
  • In Love with Your Carnage: An interpretation of "Toxic" reads this way.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: A recurring lyrical theme: "can we just go to the movies?", "I like to be out amongst the people", "I don't wanna be one of those stuck up people who's like "everybody's looking at me', but they are, it's the truth", Like an alien, are but a few examples.
  • Intergenerational Friendship: With Madonna, Lady Gaga, Kesha, Katy Perry, and Selena Gomez. She's the bridge between the the 80's pop stars and the 2010's pop stars.
  • It Will Never Catch On: She was rejected early on by record labels who believed listeners wanted more boy bands and Simon Cowell even said "she'll never be famous with a name like that". It's fair to say she's since made them eat their words.
  • Jenny's Number: A variation appears in the music video for her cover of "I Love Rock 'N' Roll", where she has "Ben *876-5309" written on her hand.
  • Just Friends: Discussed in "Dear Diary", "Seal It With A Kiss" and other songs.
  • Kaleidoscope Hair: She has dyed her hair many colors over the years, though blonde has always been predominant and associated with her career.
  • The Klutz: Her selling point is "Klutz to whom you can relate".
  • Lampshade Hanging: A few examples of this...
    • "Womanizer" has a conspicuous shot of a Nokia cell phone near the start. One of the appointments just visible in the frame is about a product placement meeting.
    • The start of the video for "If U Seek Amy" spells out the "hidden" message in the lyrics very blatantly before the song begins.
    • "Piece Of Me" is one long lampshade hanging regarding her relationship with the press.
    • In the video for "Hold It Against Me" Britney pokes fun at a rumor from early in her career that she was an alien by crash landing to Earth as a pop star who shortly after takes the world by storm at the beginning of the video.
    • The Soprano and Gravel elements "Big Fat Bass (Feat." is lampshaded with the lyric: "I can be the treble, you can be the bass".
    • Overprotected (Darkchild Remix) video has a woman obviously from a radio news channel saying how "Britney shows up at awards show half naked again, this annoys Moral Guardians Everywhere".
  • Lighter and Softer: Circus was softer than Blackout, song and sound-wise.
  • Love Makes You Crazy: The topic of "(You Drive Me) Crazy" as well as "Perfume" being about her insecure moments in her relationship with her then-boyfriend Jason Trawick. On "Womanizer", quips: "You say I'm crazy/I got your crazy!" to the uh, womanizer. Appeared on then-husband Kevin Federline's song "Crazy", where she sings "And they say I'm crazy, for loving you". You get the picture.
  • Lyrical Dissonance: "Lucky" is a perky, symphonic pop song about a celebrity who hates their life and feels very alone, despite how many people surround them on a daily basis.
    "She cries in her lonely heart thinking, if there's nothing missing in my life, why do these tears come at night?"
    "Lost in an image, in a dream, but there's no one there to wake her up."
  • Melismatic Vocals: The word "go" in "...Baby One More Time" which she turns into a very deep "GoOoOoOoOoOoOO". Same for "Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know": "Don't hold back! Just let it goooooooooo! Don't...let me be the last to knoOoOoOoOw". "From The Bottom Of My Broken Heart" and "And Then We Kiss" are full of these. "I'm A Slave 4 U": "I'm a slaAaAaAaAve...for you!". "I Love Rock N Roll": "We can be aloooooone". "Perfume": "Sometimes it feels like there's threeeeeeeee." The time she sang Happy Birthday to LA Reid during X Factor in 2012.
  • Madonna-Whore Complex: Discussed in the notes in her first greatest hits collection.
    " she a good girl doing bad things,
    or a bad girl doing good things?
    Either way we are engaged."
  • Medley: She's done about 8 tours featuring various medlies. Best examples are the DWAD medley of Sometimes/Born Make You Happy/Lucky featuring Britney dancing in a life-size music box, the Femme Fatale tour medley of "...Baby One More Time" and" S&M", her VMA performance of Satisfaction/Oops!...I Did It Again. Her performance with Madonna, Christina Aguilera and Missy Elliott saw her performing Like A Virgin/Hollywood/Work It and a Madonna Janet Jackson 80's medley in her first tour, and a Gimme More/Break The Ice segment in one of her Vegas shows.
  • Miniscule Rocking: "Dear Diary" is her shortest song, as is "Shattered Glass", just under 3 minutes, her average is way over 4.00
  • Music Is Politics: Played straight, but Britney and her team know how to play the game. She was the first pop star out the gate in 1997. She knew what styles were "cool" and not. Took risks when others didn't and worked her ass off when others put in the bare minimum. Understands momentum and having presence even on when on "hiatus".
  • Madness Mantra: "Not alone, not alone, not alone" in "Alien".
  • Mind Screw: Many of the videos for her first songs turn out to be daydreams. "Lucky" turned out to be incredibly prophetic to Spears' own life. The Overprotected Darkchild video sees Britney being annoyed by criticism of an outfit she wore to an awards show. In response, Spears puts on the same outfit and dances in various public places before the media catches up to her.
  • Mood Whiplash: The penultimate track of In The Zone is the upbeat, girl-powerish "Brave New Girl," which segues into "Everytime", one of the most Tear Jerker songs Britney has ever recorded.
  • Moral Guardians: She did manage to anger many of them in her early years, with the claims that she presented inappropriate sexual imagery to her younger fans and especially when she posed for a very provocative photo shoot for Rolling Stone magazine in 1999 while still underage.
  • Ms. Fanservice: She started her career with Ready for Lovemaking songs, continues to sing about sex, and always dresses as revealing or sexy as possible.
  • Multiple Demographic Appeal: Her audience ranges from preteens to seniors.
  • Must Have Caffeine: Noted in both "Live and More!" and "Behind The Scenes of The Toxic Video" she must have caffeine every morning due to her crazy working hours. Is somewhat (in)famous for her Starbucks addiction; nicknamed "Queen of Starbucks" by her Chinese fans.
  • My Country, Right or Wrong: While Britney has largely shied away from talking about politics, during an interview for MTV, Britney stated her patriotism and political beliefs: that she had unwavering support and trust for then-president George W. Bush regarding the Iraq War, as well as hoping that Americans would trust and support their President no matter what. She has since walked these statements back somewhat.
  • Navel-Deep Neckline: Her Elvis-outfit promo for "Live in Las Vegas" and her white one-piece swimsuit for the "3" music video both have a neckline that plunges to her navel.
  • Non-Actor Vehicle: Crossroads was Britney's first major acting role.
  • Non-Appearing Title: Blackout doesn't feature the word, or any references to "blacking out."
  • Nostalgic Music Box:
    • Used in her unreleased track "Baby Boy" 533233and in her 2001 tour performances of "Born To Make You Happy".
    • Also used for Tear Jerker effect in "Everytime." invoked
  • Not Staying for Breakfast: She had a string of flings post Justin in 2003-2004. This is also a running theme on In The Zone, "Blackout" and "Femme Fatale."
  • Next Sunday A.D.: Till The World Ends is dated 21 December 2012, though the song came out early 2011. This is a reference to the conspiracy theory claiming the end of the world would happen on that date.
  • Or Was It a Dream?: The Reveal of the Dream Within a Dream tour is that she wasn't dreaming the experience.
  • Obligatory Bondage Song: Lace And Leather is this, as well as her feature on a remix of "S&M" by Rihanna too.
  • Obsession Song: "Radar" has its moments:
    "Whether you like it or not, I ain't gonna stop!"
    "I got my eye on you... and I can't let you get away..."
  • Passing the Torch: From Madonna in the "Me Against the Music" video. Also a Take Up My Sword moment as Madonna is still around.
  • Past in the Rear-View Mirror: Her song "Passenger".
  • Pimped-Out Dress: The nightgown and awards show gown in "Lucky" and the wedding dress in "Hold It Against Me".
  • Prayer Pose: She did this in her "...Baby One More Time" album cover, her "Piece of Me" music video and her 2007 VMA performance.
  • Plucky Girl: From 2002 onward, where she went through a lot to endure both artistically, going in new directions to prove she could hold her own in a changing music landscape, and personally, given the collapsing marriage, mental breakdowns, being placed in a restrictive conservadorship, etc.
  • Precision F-Strike: "If U Seek Amy" is wordplay for "F U C K me".
    • Do Somethin': "FUCK! Do somethin'!"
    • Dramatic: "Baby, fuck you".
    • Get Naked: "I'm crazy as a motherfucker".
    • Hot As Ice: "This ain't no foolishness or fuckery".
  • Pretty in Mink: Has worn several furs to enhance her pop princess image, like a fox wrap over a simple white dress to the 2000 Grammys, a sable-trimmed dress for a magazine shoot, a pink rabbit jacket (with pink jeans), and others.
    • The single cover for Work Bitch has her wearing blue fur.
  • Product Placement: Has started using her own branded perfume in her music videos: "Circus", "Hold It Against Me", "Criminal" and, of course, "Perfume"!
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: I'm! Not! That! Innocent!
  • Rearrange the Song: In her shows and performances, but most specifically the cabaret style of hit songs "Oops!", "Crazy" and "...Baby One More Time".
    • The cabaret mixes were performed at her Onyx Hotel tour and her ABC Gotham City Hall special.
    • Overprotected was remixed for release in America, in order to target a more urban demographic.
    • Crazy was remixed for release as a "Stop!" remix.
    • Boys was remade into a Co-Ed remix with producer and songwriter Pharrell Williams singing a verse.
    • Me Against The Music Bollywood remix and Circus was made funky.
  • Refuge in Audacity: In her Will & Grace and How I Met Your Mother episodes where she plays extremely out of character people.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: "Rockstar", an unreleased song, has this in spades ending with "I never loved you, XOXOXO"
    • "Stronger", "Womanizer", "Don't Go Knockin' On My Door", "Cinderella", "Lonely", "Piece Of Me", "Kill The Lights", as well.
  • The Rival: Christina Aguilera, who was also originally in The New Mickey Mouse Club also Jessica Simpson and Mandy Moore fit into this description in the early 00's.
  • Running Gag: In her Greatest Hits: My Prerogative DVD, its extras feature the astronaut of the Oops! video. Also, an in-joke within her fanbase about her song "Radar" always being a new bonus track in every subsequent album since Circus, "I Am Britney Jean" has her father Jamie Spears and his duct tape.
  • Rock Star Song: "Can't Make You Love Me", "Look Who's Talking", "Overprotected", "Outrageous", "Mona Lisa (Both Versions)", "Money, Love and Happiness", "Rock Star" "All That She Wants (Self written verses)", "Rebellion", "Alien", "Work Bitch", "Telephone", "Get Back", "Piece Of Me", "Circus", "Kill The Lights", "Mannequin" and "I Wanna Go". There's a lot.
  • Recut: Multiple cuts exist for her Not A Girl, Piece Of Me, Perfume, Gimme More, 3, Womanizer and Till The World Ends videos.
  • Record Producer: Danja, Max Martin, Dr. Luke, Will I Am, and David Guetta to name a few.
  • Rockumentary: "Time Out With Britney Spears", "Live and More", "Stages:Three Days In Mexico", "Britney Spears: In The Zone", "Chaotic", "For The Record", "I Am the Femme Fatale" and "I Am Britney Jean".
  • Rule of Symbolism: Fully invoked for the "Hold It Against Me" music video.
  • Signed with a Kiss: Her Christmas song "My Only Wish (This Year)" mentions a wish list being sent to Santa signed and sealed with a kiss. In the wish list, she only asks for someone to love her.
  • Stalker with a Crush: Her role on How I Met Your Mother and in the lyrics of her song "Radar".
  • Stepford Smiler: The music video for "If U Seek Amy" is the very definition.
    • Britney admitted to being one in a statement to the Los Angeles Superior Court in mid-2021, saying that the cheerful, stoic image she was pressured into maintaining while under her conservatorship was a lie:
      "I've lied and told the whole world I'm OK and I'm happy. It's a lie. I thought I just — maybe I said that enough, maybe I might become happy because I've been in denial. I've been in shock. I am traumatized, you know, fake it till you make it. But now I'm telling you the truth, OK? I'm not happy. I can't sleep. I'm so angry. It's insane and I'm depressed."
  • Sequel Song: "Now That I Found You" for "When I Found You", "My Baby" for "Someday", and of course "Stronger" for "...Baby One More Time". Her albums Britney and Britney Jean sort of serve as personal bookends.
  • Self-Backing Vocalist: Written about in's In Depth articles, particularly used in her song "Shadow."
    • "Selfish" and "Don't Keep Me Waiting".
  • Self-Deprecation: "Piece Of Me" includes calling herself shameless. She used to do a lot of skits poking fun at her fame/unique style, such as SNL's "Lip-Sync + Fake Boobs."
    • She briefly appeared in a Macy's Christmas advert where wide bunch of different stars and TV personalities were setting up an outlet for the Christmas shopping season, and played up her somewhat ditsy image, first trying to push open a door labeled "Pull", then accidentally pulling the plug on a string of lights that were set up for decoration.
  • Self-Titled Album: Her third album and her 8th album.
  • Self-Empowerment Anthem: "Brave New Girl" is a song Britney wrote to encourage herself to embrace her new-found freedom as a 21 year old in 2002. "Stronger", "Don't Go Knockin' On My Door" and "Lonely" also encourages people to get out of bad relationships and find happiness within themselves. "Rebellion", an unreleased song, sees Britney speaking out against controlling people. "Touch Of My Hand" examines female sexuality away from the male gaze, and finds sexual fulfillment in self love. Spears wrote the song specifically for girls because she felt it was important they discover themselves outside of anyone else's validation. Many of her songs see Britney take on a sexually forward or dominant attitude, particularly "I'm A Slave 4 U": "I won't deny it, I'm not trying to hide it". Her 8th album examines adulthood, emotional maturity, clarity after breakups and sees Britney rediscovering religion on its three bonus tracks.
  • Sexy Secretary: One of the personas she uses to test the loyalty of her boyfriend in the "Womanizer" video. Also the character she plays on How I Met Your Mother,
  • Shout-Out:
    • The last shot of her "I Wanna Go" video is a shout out to Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video.
    • Her VMA performance with Madonna and Christina Aguilera was a callback to Madonna's own 1984 performance of "Like A Virgin."
    • The video of "Criminal" feels reminiscent of Bonnie and Clyde, complete with the police trying to kill them with machine guns.
  • Silly Love Songs: Songs such as "Heaven On Earth", "Trip To Your Heart," and "Now That I Found You"; her first and third albums in particular.
  • Singer Namedrop: In "Gimme More", "Intimidated" and "When I Say So".
  • Singer-Songwriter: Usually writes poems first that later become songs. Co-wrote the majority of In The Zone and the entirety of Britney Jean. Her Everytime co-writer said she only helped with arrangement and melodies, otherwise everything else was all Britney. Wrote "Someday" in one sitting.
  • The Stoic: Katy Perry, Christina Aguilera, Ke$ha, and Justin Timberlake have all made direct or indirect comments regarding Britney in an insulting or rude manner at one point or another, but she has never said anything rude about any artist save for when defended herself against Christina Aguilera during a TRL episode and even then, complimented her still. Most of the time she keeps her head down and does her own thing.
    • As several journalists noted, one reason her statements to the Los Angeles court about her conservatorship were shocking was because it was the first time in years she had expressed anything but stoicism.
  • Strictly Formula: Her first two albums were this so much they border on Extruded Music Product. Both followed a pattern of singles consisting of the title track, ("...Baby One More Time," "Oops!... I Did It Again") a mid-tempo song ("Sometimes," "Lucky") another up-tempo song with rock and dance flairs ("Crazy," "Stronger"), and a slow syrupy ballad ("From the Bottom of My Broken Heart," "Don't Let Me Be the Last to Know."). Although "Born to Make You Happy" wasn't released in the U.S.
    • All of her main men featured in her career somehow: She toured with *NSYNC and recorded "What It's Like To Be Me" with Justin, Kevin was in My Prerogative's video and Jason was in Criminal's video.
  • Stringing the Hopeless Suitor Along: "Oops! ... I Did It Again" is about doing this to a guy.
  • Studio Chatter:
    • "Is this thing on?" and "Can you turn it up?" on "I Love Rock N' Roll" and "Don't Keep Me Waiting", respectively.
    • The "Oops!...I Did It Again" album also features some studio chatter and random phone conversations with her friends as cuts in between songs.
  • Super Bowl Special: Got paid a huge amount for doing one of these in the early 00's, a Celebrity Endorsement of Pepsi.
  • Supermodel Strut: The start of the music video for "Till The World Ends" shows her strutting towards the camera in a seductive fashion.
  • Surprisingly Gentle Song: Not in the typical hardcore rock sense, but in the break-from-dancing-your-ass-off sense:
    • "Where Are You Now" on Oops, "Everytime" / "Shadow" during In The Zone, "Why Should I Be Sad" at the end of Blackout, "Unusual You" / "Out From Under / "Blur" / "My Baby" on Circus, "Trip To Your Heart" on Femme Fatale and "Passenger" / "Chillin With You" on Britney Jean.
  • Surreal Music Video: "Hold It Against Me," and "I Wanna Go" so very much. "Boys" also is a bit trippy, as is "Circus" in parts.
  • Subdued Section: Mostly from her Britney and Britney Jean records.
  • Take That!: Dozens of Take That! answer songs were pitched by songwriters to her after Justin Timberlake broke up with her and implied in songs like "Cry Me a River" and interviews that she cheated. She recorded at least three, though they weren't released: "Look Who's Talking", "Dramatic" and "Guilty." These songs implied that he was a Mama's Boy who was bothered by her fame, placed her very low on his list of priorities and wasn't there for her, then subsequently freaked out when she did something about it and dumped him.
    • One of the answer songs Britney didn't record was "Sweet Dreams My L.A. Ex," which "Toxic" songwriter Cathy Dennis wrote as a rebuttal. The song was instead given to former S Club 7 member Rachel Stevens, and it became one of her biggest hits.
    • "Womanizer", About all her prior lovers..
    • The leaked demo "Rock Star" may have been aimed at Fred Durst after he dissed her in "Just Drop Dead".
    • "Mannequin" outright states that a guy "can cry cry cry, again-gain gain, [but] my face like a mannequin".
  • Take That, Critics!: Many of her songs, her SNL specials, her cameos (Will and Grace) and beyond feature this theme. "Piece Of Me" and "Kill the Lights" confront how perverted and invasive paparazzi have been toward her, and the "If U Seek Amy" performance on Femme Fatale Tour has a follow on from that concept, showing Britney standing on a pedestal while dancers with cameras try to sneak up-skirt shots.
    • She called "Cry Me A River" by Justin Timberlake, "pussified", and called out her ex-boyfriend David on stage in Vegas.
  • Teen Idol: She was the definitive one in her early years, hitting it big with her first ever single "...Baby, One More Time" at age 16.
  • There Are Two Kinds of People in the World: "Circus."
    "There's only two types of people in the world/the ones that entertain, and the ones that observe"
    "There's only two types of guys out there/Ones that can hang with me, and ones that are scared"
  • This Is a Song: "Everytime."
    I may have made it rain/Please forgive me
    My weakness caused you pain/And this song's my sorry...
    • Also "Lucky"
      "This is a story about a girl named Lucky"
  • This Is for Emphasis, Bitch!: In "Gimme More" with the catchphrase: "It's Britney, bitch!"
    • "Work Bitch" applies too.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: She was supposed to take a 6 month break after the Hype Backlash of 2001/2002; didn't happen, she went straight back to work harder than ever, resulting in the In The Zone era, where she saturated media for two straight years. Was technically on "maternity" leave through periods 2005-2008, did TV shows, two albums (Blackout, Circus), award shows, a remix album, and at least one mini-tour during this period, and in 2010 she earned millions of dollars despite only featuring in a Glee cameo, and starting another perfume and clothing campaign. She also recorded Femme Fatale during that period.
  • Three Minutes of Writhing: Slave, Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know, Till The World Ends, Gimme More. Okay, basically the majority of her songs.
  • Title-Only Chorus: "Gimme More" (and "Womanizer", almost).
  • Title Track: "...Baby One More Time", "Oops!...I Did It Again" and "Circus".
  • Updated Re-release: Usually refrains from doing this, with the exception of "Britney" which was re-released in Australia/Oceania with an extended album (17 tracks) and a bonus DVD.
  • Vocal Evolution: She's used many vocal styles, depending on the song and the era, from full bodied, to whisper, being aggressive.
  • Voicemail Confusion: Inverted on "…Oops, I Did It Again", at the end of "What U See (Is What U Get)". Britney answers the phone pretending to be her voicemail.
  • Walking Shirtless Scene: "Don't Let Me Be The Last To Know" is set on a beach, with her love interest being a living trope of this.
    • "Womanizer" shows Britney's love interest in the shower.
  • What the Hell Is That Accent?: Employs a British accent on "Scream & Shout" and "Work Bitch".
  • Weirdness Magnet: She's been through some extreme highs and lows, much of which played out in public.
  • Wolverine Publicity: Rihanna's "S&M" hit number 1 after a remix with Britney was released, and Giorgio Moroder's most downloaded track was an electronic cover of "Tom's Diner" with Britney on vocals.
  • Will Not Be a Victim: The theme and verbalized outright in her "For the Record" rockumentary. "I don't like that; [being called a] victim of my success. I've been *placed* in that category for some reason, and I hate that because I love to see people making the most of their situations."
  • A Wild Rapper Appears!: Ying Yang Twins in "Boom Boom", Sabi in "(Drop Dead) Beautiful", Will I Am in "Big Fat Bass", T.I in "Tik Tik Boom" and G-Eazy in "Make Me...".
    • Played with in Brave New Girl and It Feels Nice/Sin City when she's the rapper.
  • Woman Scorned: "Toxic", "Stronger", "Lonely" and "Womanizer."
    • On the unreleased songs list, "Dramatic" and "Guilty" would also count.
  • Womanofa Thousand Voices: From a wild party animal ("Get Naked", "I'm A Slave 4 U", "Freakshow"), to the maternal kindhearted mother ("My Baby", "Someday", "Now That I Found You").
  • Xtreme Kool Letterz: "I'm A Slave 4 U", "What U See (Is What U Get)" and "If U Seek Amy".
  • You Are Not Alone: "I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman", "Dear Diary", "Brave New Girl", "Lucky", "Touch Of My Hand", "Alien", "I Will Be There" were all created for the purpose of relating to her fans; the trope works well with her "Be Yourself" message.
  • Yandere: Her role on How I Met Your Mother.

Bottom line: If you love yourself, it will all work out


Video Example(s):


Britney Spears & Rogelio

Rogelio was friends with Britney Spears until she embarrassed him on national TV. Though that's not the whole story...

How well does it match the trope?

5 (4 votes)

Example of:

Main / HistoryWithCelebrity

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