"What the Hell" (CD single)

Music review by
Stephanie Bruzzese, Common Sense Media
"What the Hell" (CD single) Music Poster Image
Popular with kids
Bouncy pop song is all about letting loose; OK for teens.

Parents say

age 12+
Based on 4 reviews

Kids say

age 11+
Based on 55 reviews

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A lot or a little?

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

Positive Messages

The song's somewhat out-of-control tone ("I just need to be a little crazy / All my life I've been good but now, I'm thinking what the hell / All I want is to mess around and I don't really care about / If you love me, if you hate me, you can't save me") sends a message that it's OK to be reckless.


Positive Role Models & Representations

Engaging in irresponsible, hurtful behavior isn't the best example for kids.



Talks about "making out" and has a sexually suggestive line: "You say that I'm messing with your head / Boy, I like messing in your bed."



"Hell" is repeated throughout.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that "What the Hell" is a song about throwing caution to the wind and behaving without boundaries. Though the song doesn't include profanity beyond "hell" or graphic references to sex or substances, it has some suggestive lyrics about "making out," "messing in your bed," and "raging." The song also describes not caring about whether these behaviors hurt another person's feelings.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written bySk8rGrly10123 December 25, 2011

Talk to your kids

The song is about going for it and partying. It does have a bad word. It is good for 11 year olds
Adult Written byhi:D August 13, 2011

Avril Lavinge... love herr

Well my family just got back from her concert/vacation in Bejing and she's amazing. I personally don't care what my kids listen to, but some parents m... Continue reading
Kid, 8 years old June 22, 2017

OK for teens

Well, it is somewhat inappropriate due to the minor swear word "Hell" and romantic behavior. However, in the video Avril is a good role model.
Kid, 11 years old August 7, 2013


is it me or is the picture h4fuijuksjk

What's the story?

WHAT THE HELL is the first single from pop rockster Avril Lavigne's album Goodbye Lullaby, her first record since 2007's The Best Damn Thing. In this track, Lavigne sings "All my life I've been good, but now, I'm thinking what the hell" -- and proceeds to make out with guys, go out on a "million dates," and "rage." While she doesn't use any profanity beyond "hell" or make direct references to substance use, Lavigne's not-so-subtle descriptions of wild behavior make this track out of reach for the grade-school set.

Is it any good?

In "What the Hell," Lavigne sticks with the tried-and-true pop formula that made her famous, producing a tune that sports the same rapid-fire pop hook and saucy vocals as previous singles like "Girlfriend." While the song is far from original, it will undoubtedly appeal to Lavigne's loyal fan base and be blasted at slumber parties for some time.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how this song may parallel Avril Lavigne's life at the time she wrote it -- when she had just ended her marriage to Sum 41 singer Deryck Whibley.

  • What do you think of the song's message? Do you think a lot of teens get tired of being "good" all the time?


Music details

  • Artist: Avril Lavigne
  • Release date: January 18, 2011
  • Label: RCA
  • Genre: Pop
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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