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For the tour of the same name, see Troublemaker Tour.
Troublemaker cover
Single by Weezer
Album Weezer (The Red Album)
Released June 3, 2008
July 26, 2008 - as a single
Recorded March 2008
Length 2:44
Label Geffen
Writer(s) Rivers Cuomo
Producer Jacknife Lee
Status Officially released
Live debut September 9, 2008
Stream Play on spotify.png Spotify
Play on Apple Music.png Apple Music
Weezer singles chronology
"Pork and Beans"
"The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn)"
Weezer (The Red Album) track listing
"The Greatest Man That Ever Lived (Variations on a Shaker Hymn)"
Alternate Cover
Troublemaker Remixes
Troublemaker Remixes
This song is part of the "Troublemaker" lineage of songs

"Troublemaker" is the second single, second iTunes single and first track off of The Red Album.



"Troublemaker" was reportedly written originally in 2006. When the label suggested to Weezer to include more commercial material to speed up the album, the band went back to work on the "Troublemaker" demo. Despite this, the song is listed as the second most recent entry on Rivers' latest songwriting chart. Rivers' inspiration for the line "Keep it on the up" came from his friend and former band mate Kevin Ridel of Avant Garde and AM Radio. Ridel has stated "Rivers sure has made my catch phrase popular!" "Troublemaker" is notably repetitive, with a guitar riff and drum beat that play unchanged throughout almost the entire song.

In the 2020 release of Alone X: The Red-Raditude-Hurley Years, multiple demos of "Troublemaker" were released. The demos revealed that the song evolved from "Diamond Rings" in a song titled "Special." It later was changed under the title "Rock Star" with an alternate chorus before becoming "Troublemaker."

The song has seen release as a digital single, as well as a one-track promo. A physical retail single was scheduled to be released in the UK in late September 2008, but it never surfaced

Liner notes

Troublemaker which talks about your schooling, the middle references all those things you experience growing up. It's an interesting way to start a record.

Rivers: Yeah it's a real introductory sort of song saying, "Hi this is who I am". In that sense, "Troublemaker" reminds me of the way we started the blue album with "My Name is Jonas." It's just like reaching out your hand to shake and saying. "Hi, this is who I am." And I go through some of my childhood, and how I was raised and, what my background is and how I see myself now.

You touch on bits of spirituality or other things going on in your life at the moment.

Rivers: The way my brain works its actually hard for me to remember what the content of my songs is when I'm sitting here talking about it. I'm really focused when I'm writing it or even singing it, but talking about it I almost can't remember what the song is about. Troublemaker is a song I had written in 2006 and I was stuck on it. I set it aside and forgot about it. We listened back to old demos and immediately everyone was like, yes that's the song.

Music video

The music video for Troublemaker, released on October 6, 2008 and consisted of Weezer and a selected group of fans attempting to break various world records. It was filmed in front of the Great Western Forum in the Los Angeles suburb of Inglewood, California. The video includes footage of Weezer fans playing dodgeball, riding on an oversized skateboard, playing air guitar, and filling a large Weezer logo with nachos, cheese, and jalapenos. Rivers Cuomo was also shown pulling a stationwagon full of Weezer fans with his teeth. The video alternates between scenes of the hootenanny as well as a live performance by Weezer. It was directed by The Malloy Brothers.

Track listings

Promo Radio Single

  1. "Troublemaker" (2:44)

Japanese iTunes E.P.

  1. "Troublemaker"
  2. "Are 'Friends' Electric?"
  3. "Oddfellows Local 151"
  4. "Pork and Beans" (Naked Version)

Troublemaker Remixes

Main article: Troublemaker Remixes



Put me in a special school cuz I am such a fool
And I don’t need a single book to teach me how to read
Who needs stupid books? They are for petty crooks
And I will learn by studying the lessons in my dreams
So turn off the TV cuz that’s what others see
And movies are as bad as eating chocolate ice-cream
They only sicken me, don’t let me play football
I’ll sack the quarterback and jack the brother of the ball

I’m a troublemaker, never been a faker
Doin’ things my own way and never giving up
I’m a troublemaker, not a double-taker
I don’t have the patience to keep it on the up

I picked up a guitar. What does this signify?
I’m gonna play some heavy metal riffs and you will die.
You wanted arts and crafts. How’s this for arts and crafts?
Wuh-nuh- nuh- nuh- nuh- nuh- nuh- nuh- nuh-that’s right!
I’m growing out my hair. I’m moving out to Cherokee.
I’m gonna be a rock star and you are gonna bear with me
Cuz I can’t work a job like any other slob
Punchin’ in and punchin’ out and suckin’ up to Bob

Marryin’ a beeyotch, havin’ seven keeyods
Givin’ up and growin’ old and hopin’ there’s a God.

I’m a troublemaker, never been a faker
Doin’ things my own way and never giving up
I’m a troublemaker, not a double-taker
I don’t have the patience to keep it on the up

I’m gonna be a star and people will crane necks
To get a glimpse of me and see if I am having sex
And studying my moves, they try to understand
Why I am so unlike the singers in the other bands.
I’m such a mystery as anyone can see
There isn’t anybody else exactly quite like me
And when it’s party time, like 1999
I’ll party by myself because I’m such a special guy.

I’m a troublemaker, never been a faker
Doin’ things my own way and never giving up
I’m a troublemaker, not a double-taker
I don’t have the patience to keep it on the up

See also