Trying to figure out why “Drivers License” is suddenly all over your feed? Think about it this way: Remember when Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan were feuding over Aaron Carter? Well, the Gen-Z iteration of the Disney Teen Love Triangle just dropped, and its theme song is “Drivers License” by Olivia Rodrigo. Here’s everything you need to know if you’re wondering why TikTok is suddenly obsessed with this song:
Olivia Rodrigo, 17, is a star on Disney+’s High School Musical: The Musical: The Series, alongside Joshua Bassett, 20. And just like in the original High School Musical, the on-screen pair was rumored to be dating in real life, too. They even wrote music together that was used in the show. More recently, though, Bassett has been spotted with Sabrina Carpenter, 21, who first rose to fame on the Disney Channel’s Girl Meets World (man, everything is a reboot these days).
What supposedly happened?
Per People, this led fans to believe that Bassett had split with Rodrigo for Carpenter. The timing isn’t super clear here, since people have basically pieced it together and made inferences from what’s posted on Instagram, and no one involved has commented on it. (So let that tell you take this all with a grain of salt.) Bassett and Carpenter went as Sharkboy and Lavagirl for Halloween, which could be a couple costume in the romantic sense or the friendship sense, but they were definitely “together” in some way.
How is that part of “Drivers License?”
In the lyrics of the song, Rodrigo sings about getting her license, “Just like we always talked about,” which fans think is a reference to Bassett, as a resurfaced video indicates he helped her learn to drive. A few lines later, Rodrigo references a “blond girl” who is “older” and made her feel insecure, possibly Carpenter. Then again, back in July, Rodrigo posted a video of herself working on the song in which the line references a “brunette.” So the change to “blond” could be totally benign.
What’s the Taylor Swift connection?
Rodrigo has been a fan of Swift’s for years, and TayTay recently congratulated her on her success; “Drivers License” is charting alongside tracks from evermore. Swift was known to write diaristic songs when she was Rodrigo’s age, and even revisited the teenage love triangle theme (albeit a fictional one) on her Folklore album.
What are people saying?
Oh, anything and everything. It’s become a huge trend on TikTok to explore the various points of view presented in the song, as well as theorizing about the real-life drama that could have inspired it. The good news is that Bassett praised the song on Instagram, and everyone seems to be on mostly good terms, even if feelings were hurt at some point. Drive safe, kids!
Let’s Break Down the ‘Drivers License’-High School Musical Drama You’re Seeing Everywhere The British Journal Editors and Wire Services/ Glamour.