There’s nothing like a holiday dedicated to the importance of pairing off like Noah’s Ark livestock to make anyone who’s been unceremoniously dumped feel like one big loser. But you don’t need to spend this Valentine’s Day under the covers, drunk-texting your ex and washing down a tub of Chunky Monkey with an economy-size bottle of Jack. Instead, watch our picks for the 15 bitterest breakup videos of all time, and remember: Even pop stars like Beyoncé, Justin Timberlake, Carrie Underwood, and (believe it or not) Weird Al have been rejected too, and they feel your pain.
15. Travis Tritt, “Here’s a Quarter (Call Someone Who Cares)”
Attention, disgruntled divorced men with time on their hands: This wry country kiss-off is included on a compilation called Divorce Songs for Him that makes for the perfect background music while crying in your beer about the evil woman who done you wrong. It actually would’ve made it higher on this list … if people still used pay phones these days, and if pay phones still cost only a quarter.
14. Rihanna, “Take a Bow”
Oh, if only Rihanna had dedicated this to Chris Brown a few years ago. It probably would’ve saved her so much heartache.
13. Adele, “Rolling in the Deep”
Hell hath no fury like an Adele scorned. The venom positively drips from her voice here, and her performance in the video is equally passionate. Much of her Grammy-winning album 21 was about a very bad man who broke her heart. We have a feeling this song haunts his dreams. Also, that guy’s name is reportedly Slinky Sunbeam, so obviously Adele got the last laugh.
12. “Weird Al” Yankovic, “One More Minute”
Although Weird Al is best known for his parody tunes like “Eat It” and “Amish Paradise,” he’s also written some hilarious originals, like this doo-wop number, which has got to be the funniest breakup song in pop history. (His original ballad “You Don’t Love Me Anymore” is also good for a post-breakup laugh.) Incidentally, in happier romance-related Al news, the Weird One made one lucky woman his very own Mrs. Yankovic in 2001.
11. Lily Allen, “Smile”
The voice of a British generation, Lily has never been one to mince words, and she certainly put some jerk in his place here. He’s probably still crying into his lager now.
10. Katy Perry, “Ur So Gay”
OK, so the title isn’t politically correct, and we imagine the more “woke” Katy of 2018 would choose her words differently. But an opening lyric like “I hope you hang yourself with your H&M scarf” is admittedly priceless. Hallmark ought to put that on a new line of anti-Valentine cards. Katy could send them to Russell Brand and John Mayer.
9. Beyoncé, “Ring the Alarm”
Yikes! Bey’s entire baseball-bat-wieldling Lemonade opus is required anti-Valentine listening, of course … but we have to credit to this old-school angst anthem, which is every bit as ferocious as “Sorry” or “Don’t Hurt Yourself.” We’re surprised that Jay-Z wasn’t too afraid to put a ring on it, after Beyoncé released this scary revenge video.
8. Kelis, “Caught Out There”
This song is basically Kelis yelling, “I HATE YOU SO MUCH RIGHT NOW!” over and over. And over again. ‘Nuf said.
7. Carrie Underwood, “Before He Cheats”
She sings softly, but she carries a big stick. Carrie may seem like an all-American golden girl, but as this video proves, she has a dark side. Now that she’s happily married, let’s hope she never has a reason to bash in a car window again.
6. Kelly Clarkson, “Never Again”
Kelly’s “Since U Been Gone” trafficked in similar achy-breaky fare, but that song was as sweet as a Barney sing-along compared with this vicious diatribe. Come on, has there ever been a better opening line to a breakup song than “I hope the ring you gave to her turns her finger green”? That zinger is even better than the Katy one. Kelly’s best revenge, of course, is that she got married, became a mother, and nowadays seems happier than ever.
5. Ben Folds Five, “Song for the Dumped”
Ben certainly does not go for subtlety here. It should be noted that Ben has been married four times. We wonder which wife inspired this vitriolic tune? We just hope Ben eventually got back his black T-shirt.
4. Alanis Morissette, “You Oughta Know”
The only thing that lessens the blow of this hard-hitting hate song? Um, knowing that, according to urban legend, Morissette wrote it about some (non-Stamos) guy who starred on Full House. We didn’t need to know that!
3. Eamon, “F*** It”
Before CeeLo Green came out with his own expletive-riddled tour de force, Eamon was the F-bomb king. His unexpected juxtaposition of the four-letter slur with sugary R&B harmonies still elicits a chuckle today … although his ex-girlfriend probably isn’t laughing.
2. CeeLo Green, “Forget You”
CeeLo took Eamon’s message one step further with a song that was so good that even conservative Grammy voters, who’d normally be turned off by such excessive profanity, couldn’t ignore it. The message is admittedly lessened a bit in the PG-rated version, “Forget You,” but it’s still one of the best breakup songs ever. Eff yeah!
1. Justin Timberlake, “Cry Me a River”
No ex-boyfriend ever got such sweet onscreen revenge on a woman as J.T. got on Britney Spears. Casting a newsboy-capped Britney clone as his nemesis, then playing a stalker who breaks into her home to leave her a very clear anti-love message, Justin brought scary back in this compulsively watchable video. Clearly, revenge is a dish best served by Timbaland. (Side note: Jessica Biel had better never two-time this guy.)
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