"I Knew You Were Trouble" (CD Single)



Love is painful in clean yet emotional track.
Popular with kids

What parents need to know

Positive messages

A positive message about owning up to a bad choice you've made, even when you knew better to begin with.

Positive role models

The track is about taking personal responsibility for an action instead of looking to place blame elsewhere.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that "I Knew You Were Trouble" is one of Taylor Swift's less sunny tunes, with all of the lyrics focused on feeling terrible about being dumped by a notorious lady-killer. While the track lacks profanity and graphic adult content, lines like "I'm lying on the cold hard ground" and "I'm drowning" reveal the painful side of breakups.

What's the story?

"I KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE" is a track from the fourth full-length album, Red, by country superstar Taylor Swift. Once again, Swift sings about romantic rejection, belting out some of her strongest lines yet about a rogue ladies' man she decides to date against her better judgment.

Is it any good?


More pop-flavored than some of the country singles ("Red") from this album, "I Knew You Were Trouble" has a rapid-fire hook that quickly gets under your skin. And Swift's stronger-than-usual vocals demonstrate again that she's at her best when she's fired up.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about breakups. What can you do when you're feeling down after a romantic disappointment? Who can you talk to about your feelings?

  • Have you ever liked someone you knew wasn't good for you? What did you do about it? Did you learn any lessons from the experience?

  • Why do you think Taylor Swift is so focused on relationships? What else could she sing about?

Music details

Artist:Taylor Swift
Release date:October 9, 2012
Label:Big Machine Records
Parental advisory:No
Edited version available:No

This review of "I Knew You Were Trouble" (CD Single) was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.


Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

About Our Rating System

The age displayed for each title is the minimum one for which it's developmentally appropriate. We recently updated all of our reviews to show only this age, rather than the multi-color "slider." Get more information about our ratings.

Great handpicked alternatives

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 11 years old December 15, 2012

Great Song

I think that "I Knew You Were Trouble" is a great song about how good looking boys are not always good and can be trouble. This songs message is to steer clear of those types of boys.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Teen, 17 years old Written byRosebud95 November 22, 2012

Catchy, and pretty epic song ;)

And Taylor's voice sounds really good here :D
Teen, 13 years old Written byCommonSense101 December 19, 2012

I Knew You Were Trouble 101

Although a lot different from her usual songs, I Knew You Were Trouble is a great pop song that everyone can dance and sing along to. There are no suggestive lyrics in this song, though it does show the hard side of a breakup. Don't let kids watch the music video!! LOTS of kissing, but most of the scenes are like picture they're flying by so fast!
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models


Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Star Wars Guide