"Best Thing I Never Had" (CD Single)

Music review by
Stephanie Bruzzese, Common Sense Media
"Best Thing I Never Had" (CD Single) Music Poster Image
R&B diva sings mostly clean song about bouncing a bad guy.

Parents say

age 7+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 9+
Based on 5 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Nothing exceptionally positive or negative; just a girl who's feeling glad that she didn't end up with a guy who didn't treat her well.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Neither positive nor negative role model behavior is displayed by the singer, who expresses relief about the end of a bad relationship.


One line -- "You showed your ass and I saw the real you" -- and the word "sucks."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that "Best Thing I Never Had" is a fairly clean song that features no references to sex, substances, or violence and omits offensive language, with the exception of "ass" and "sucks." That said, its theme -- a girl who sings about how glad she is that she didn't end up with a guy who turned out to be a jerk -- may be a bit too mature for younger tweens. 

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bychagsters January 28, 2012


Great song! Beyoncé has a beautiful voice. :)
Parent of a 1 and 3-year-old Written byMiranda G. August 16, 2011

Im not dumb enough to ban it from my children because of one word

The song is totally clean except for "You showed your a-s and i saw the real you", which i dont find that bad. Yes, there is a few uses of t... Continue reading
Teen, 16 years old Written byrebma97 November 9, 2013

Good song with language

This song isn't my favorite, but it's catchy enough. It's not really a good message, because Beyonce's talking about how her boyfriend was t... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byAmani_xoxo November 25, 2016

Major hit!

Best thing I never had sends a message out to people-especially kids. It motivates people that they don't need a jerk and can find a true gentleman to spen... Continue reading

What's the story?

"BEST THING I NEVER HAD" is the second single from 4, the aptly titled fourth album from one of the world's biggest R&B superstars: Beyonce. True to her typical form, the singer keeps the song pretty clean, leaving out mature language (aside from a couple of milder words like "ass" and "sucks") and references to sex, substance use, or violence. The song's subject matter -- about a girl who dumps a bad guy and later celebrates what she feels was a good decision -- may be a little too adult for very young ears, but it's still a fairly clean pick overall.

Is it any good?

Beyonce's powerhouse pipes are once again on full display in this tune, supported by a catchy piano hook and a host of strong female backup voices. It's no "Single Ladies," but the song is still likable enough that it will surely gain entry into the growing list of hit Beyonce songs. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how this song's subject matter differs from Beyonce's real-life marriage to rapper Jay-Z. Why might Beyonce sing about a troubled relationship when she doesn't appear to have one?

  • What can you learn from a bad relationship that will help you avoid similar situations in the future?

Music details

  • Artist: Beyonce Knowles
  • Release date: June 7, 2011
  • Type: Single
  • Label: Columbia
  • Genre: R&B
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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