Take it from the legions of fans at Olivia Rodrigo’s recent Los Angeles tour stop screaming every word to a song released before most of them were born: Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” packs a timeless punch. Although Morissette has never publicly stated who the raging breakup anthem, released in 1995 when she was 21, is about, the lead theory has long been Dave Coulier, who Morissette dated for two years in 1992 when she was 18 and he was 33. Per Deadlinein a recent interview on Sirius XM’s Faction Talk, the Full House star recalled the moment he realized that, well, he oughta know.
Coulier says he was driving through Detroit when he first heard the “You Oughta Know,” which served as the lead single off of Morissette’s third (and most beloved) studio album Jagged Little Pillon the radio. After enjoying the track for a moment, Coulier says the aha moment finally hit him. His first reaction, he claims? “Ooh, oh no! Oh, I can’t be this guy!”
Unfortunately for Coulier’s case, he says after he hurried to a record store (ah, the ’90s) to buy the album for an in-depth listen he only found more reason to believe he may have left a mess when he went away, and denied the cross Morissette bears that he gave to her, even (we swear that’s the last pun in this article).
“There was a lot of familiar stuff in there that her and I had talked about,” Coulier said of Jagged Little Pill. “Like [in ‘Right Through You’] ‘your shake is like a fish.’ I’d go, ‘Hey, dead fish me,’ and we’d do this dead fish handshake. And so I started listening to it and I thought, ‘Ooh, I think I may have really hurt this woman.’ And that was my first thought.”
Although Morissette has stayed mum on the song’s inspiration (and the lyrics don’t name any names), the release timeline also lines up—Coulier and Morissette split just a year before Jagged Little Pill was released. Whatever may have inspired the track, all we can do is be grateful Morissette turned her heart-wrenching fury into a widely-applicable classic (if you’re not Dave Coulier, that is.) Who doesn’t have someone in their life who really, really oughta know?