You're on Fire

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"You're on Fire"
Song by They Might Be Giants from the album Nanobots
Published 2013
Released February 21, 2013 (2013-02-21)
Recorded 2012, Patrick Dillett's NYC studio
Genre Alternative rock
Language English
Length 02:42
Label Idlewild Recordings
Writer John Linnell
Producer Pat Dillett
They Might Be Giants

"You're on Fire" is a song by American alternative rock band They Might Be Giants. It was released on February 21, 2013 as an advance track from their album Nanobots, which was released March 5, 2013. On May 24, the band performed the song on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon.

The song and its music video received positive attention from critics.


"You're on Fire" was the fourth advance track from Nanobots. It was preceded by "Call You Mom", "Black Ops", and "Lost My Mind", which appeared on Nanobots EP in January 2013.[1][2] "You're on Fire" premiered on Stereogum on February 21, 2013.[3] The music video was released on September 5, 2013.[4]

Music video[edit]

The song's music video was directed by Hoku Uchiyama and Adam Bolt and stars actress Lauren Lapkus. The video also features puppets made from vegetables purchased at a grocery store, as well as a silicone meat puppet constructed by Sue LaPrelle. The vegetables were mobilized using puppetry.[5] Uchiyama was selected for the project by the band's John Flansburgh, who had been impressed by the work the he did on a music video for Evelyn Evelyn in 2010.[6]

The music video explores the perspectives of various foods, which Lapkus's character is preparing for consumption with a significant other. When they are not in human eyeshot, the raw meat and vegetables appear to be performing the song on their own.[4] The premise has been compared to the animated film Toy Story, in which a child's toys become autonomous when humans are not present.[4][7]


"You're on Fire" has been fairly well received in critical reviews of Nanobots. Heather Phares, in her review of the album for Allmusic, favorably described the song as "literal-minded" and "pure comedy".[8] A Paste review of the album written by Alex Skidmore praised the song for easily "grabbing" the attention of the listener, as the album's lead track.[9] Eric Limer of Gizmodo speculated that the track makes an effective single-song representation of the band's music. In his explanation of this point, Limer made note of the "call-and-response" guitar parts in stereo and "predictably absurd" lyrics.[10] The music video for the song was also lauded as innovative and playful by Hellhound Music[11] and MTV's Buzzworthy Blog.[12]

The track became a fixture of setlists on the tour that accompanied the release of the album. In a show review, Mitch Kocen referred to a performance of the song as a "freshly-minted crowd pleaser".[13]


They Might Be Giants[14]
Backing band[14]
  • Patrick Dillett – producer
  • They Might Be Giants – producer
  • Jon Altschuler – engineer


  1. ^ Suits Baer, Harrison (2013-01-24). "They Might Be Giants release preview EP for forthcoming album Nanobots". Beats per Minute. Retrieved 2014-09-19. 
  2. ^ Freed, Nick (2013-01-29). "Album Review: They Might Be Giants – Nanobots EP". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2014-09-19. 
  3. ^ Breihan, Tom (2013-02-21). "They Might Be Giants — You're on Fire". Stereogum. Retrieved 2013-09-07. 
  4. ^ a b c Bowe, Michael (2013-09-05). "They Might Be Giants – "You’re On Fire" (Video)". Stereogum. Retrieved 2013-09-07. 
  5. ^ Dykes, Brett (2013-09-06). "If You Enjoy Food That Sings And Dances, Then You Will Like The New They Might Be Giants Video". UPROXX. Retrieved 2013-09-07. 
  6. ^ Boilen, Bob (2013-09-05). "Dancing Vegetables, Singing Ground Beef: TMBG's Old-School Video". NPR. Retrieved 2013-09-07. 
  7. ^ "They Might Be Giants – "You’re On Fire"" (in Spanish). Sopitas. 2013-09-06. Retrieved 2013-09-10. 
  8. ^ Phares, Heather. "Nanobots - They Might Be Giants". Allmusic. Retrieved 2013-09-07. 
  9. ^ Skidmore, Alex (2013-03-05). "They Might Be Giants: Nanobots". Paste. Retrieved 2013-09-07. 
  10. ^ Limer, Alex (2013-03-23). "They Might Be Giants: You're On Fire". Gizmodo. Retrieved 2013-09-07. 
  11. ^ "They Might Be Giants Drop Video ft. 'Orange is the New Black' Actress and Tour". Hellhound Music. 2013-09-05. Retrieved 2013-09-07. 
  12. ^ O'Neil, Luke (2013-09-09). "They Might Be Giants Anthropomorphize Cooking Ingredients Their 'You're On Fire' Video". MTV Buzzworthy. Retrieved 2013-09-10. 
  13. ^ Kocen, Mitch (2013-06-17). "Show Review: They Might Be Giants with Moon Hooch at the Warfield, 6/14/2013". Spinning Platters. Retrieved 2013-09-07. 
  14. ^ a b c Nanobots (Media notes). They Might Be Giants. Idlewild Recordings. 2013.