"The One That Got Away" (CD Single)

Music review by
Stephanie Bruzzese, Common Sense Media
"The One That Got Away" (CD Single) Music Poster Image
Popular with kids
One of Perry's cleaner songs -- despite a few iffy lines.

Parents say

age 10+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 27 reviews

A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

One line about stealing your parents' liquor.

Positive Role Models & Representations
Lyrics mention alcohol, making out, and getting a tattoo.

Mild: "We make out in your Mustang."


Mentions Mustang and other musical artists.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

One reference to drinking liquor.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that "The One That Got Away" is among the cleaner songs in Katy Perry's catalog. Its only mature lyrics include one mention of alcohol ("steal your parents' liquor"), making out, and getting a tattoo. Otherwise, this fairly clean tune contains no profanity or other extremely adult content -- making it one of the better choices for Perry's younger fans.

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User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAl Jackson April 18, 2012

From,the same lady who sang "Firework" comes,"The One That Got Away"!

This song is really catchy! I listened to it and I couldn't stop singing along to it!
Parent Written bytreat02 February 17, 2012
Kid, 11 years old February 22, 2015

Sweet song is sometimes mature

There is some sex and drinking references but tweens and teens should handle it.
Kid, 10 years old October 19, 2013

Nice song, but has a few iffy lines.

Cleaner than other Katy songs. Consumerism: Mentions Johnny Cash, and a Mustang. Drinking drugs smoking: One line goes, "stealing your parents liquor.... Continue reading

What's the story?

In her track "THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY" -- the sixth hit single from her album Teenage Dream -- pop princess Katy Perry sings about losing her teenage love. Though the two teens steal their parents' liquor, make out in a car, and get matching tattoos, the rest of the song is an account of an adult who wistfully wishes her teen romance had lasted.

Is it any good?

Perry can get away with releasing six songs off of one album, since so many of her tunes have an undeniable pop appeal. "The One That Got Away" is no exception, with its super-catchy synth hook and Perry's solid pipes. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the serious consequences that can result from underage drinking. Why do so many songs make light of this topic?

  • The song is about romanticizing a teenage romance, wishing it had stood the test of time. Why don't most teen relationships last?

Music details

  • Artist: Katy Perry
  • Release date: November 1, 2011
  • Type: Single
  • Label: Capitol
  • Genre: Pop
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: June 20, 2019

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