Unpacking all the ‘drivers license’ drama

Curious about what's going on with Olivia Rodrigo and her viral song? We've got the scoop!

· Jan 28, 2021 Tweet

Molly DeVore/The Badger Herald

The definition of a triangle is, “a plane figure with three straight sides and three angles.”

Perhaps your favorite triangle is an obtuse triangle, in which one of the three interior angles measures to greater than 90 degrees. Or maybe an equilateral triangle tickles your fancy. Regardless of how well you paid attention in 10th-grade geometry, there is no greater triangle than the epic saga between Olivia Rodrigo, Joshua Bassett and Sabrina Carpenter.

Black artists release array of social justice-inspired musicThe last three months have featured an explosion of music expressing the anger, frustration and sadness many feel about the Read…

TikTok has taken Rodrigo under its wing as fans everywhere are desperately obsessed with the 17-year-old’s new hit single, “drivers license.” The ex-Disney star won over hearts as the lovable yet talented Nini in the “High School Musical” spin-off series “High School Musical: The Musical: The Series.”

But on Jan. 8, Rodrigo redefined her artistic talent and put dating rumors to rest with “HSMTMTS” co-star Bassett. 

The song centers around receiving her driver’s license, a milestone tied to memories with her ex-flame Bassett. Fans quickly picked up on hints sprinkled throughout the song that alluded to something deeper than their on-screen romance. Allusions to her rumored relationship with Bassett fill the song, but Rodrigo’s stab at Carpenter surprised fans the most.

The lyrics go, “And you’re probably with that blonde girl/Who always made me doubt/She’s so much older than me/She’s everything I’m insecure about.”

Carpenter is rumored to be “that blonde girl” who is “so much older” than Rodrigo. Though there were no official dating announcements, Carpenter and Bassett were seen together on numerous occasions and the internet rumored them to be dating.

The pair were spotted together roughly a year after Bassett allegedly wrote “Anyone Else” about Rodrigo while filming “HSMTMTS” in Salt Lake City. 

Then, less than a week after “drivers license” dropped, Bassett released a music video for his song, “Lie, Lie, Lie.” While fans quickly made assumptions about potential ties to his rumored relationship with Rodrigo, he had teased his followers on Instagram with a quick snippet of the song before the pair were allegedly together. He later addressed via Instagram that the song was about a friend of his that was talking behind his back. 

Review of Spillage Village’s new ‘Spilligion’ albumWhen the pandemic first struck in March, very few people predicted it would last this long or have this devastating Read…

Despite that, the “drivers license” video and the “Lie, Lie, Lie” video contain several aesthetic similarities. There’s even a scene in the “Lie, Lie, Lie” video featuring Bassett arguing with a girl — with long hair not unlike Rodrigo’s — inside a car with vibey purple and pink lighting all too reminiscent of Rodrigo’s music video.

A week later, Carpenter released her side of the triangle, with the lyric video to her song, “Skin.” The song is supposedly about Rodrigo, as Carpenter makes pointed remarks about the way in which Rodrigo is getting under her skin, while Bassett is, “all on [her] skin.”

Carpenter sings, “Maybe we could’ve been friends/If I met you in another life/Maybe then we could pretend/There’s no gravity in the words we write/Maybe you didn’t mean it/Maybe blonde was the only rhyme/The only rhyme.”

The love triangle between these three is simply too addicting to turn away from. The theories are running wild as fans desperately continue to make timelines and connections between their song lyrics, interview answers and social media content.

Regardless, I think I am way too invested in this love triangle and should probably start my homework. 


This article was published Jan 28, 2021 at 6:26 pm and last updated Feb 1, 2021 at 7:36 pm


UW-Madison's Premier Independent Student Newspaper

All Content © The Badger Herald, 1995 - 2024