Is Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” Actually About Dave Coulier?


Who doesn’t know Alanis Morissette’s song, “You Oughta Know?” It’s one of history’s most famous angry breakup songs. But, did you know that the classic vengeful heartbreak song may actually be about Uncle Joey from Full House? For years, rumors have swirled that actor and comedian, Dave Coulier, (AKA Joey Gladstone) is the inspiration for the song. So, are the rumors true? 

Alanis Morissette And Dave Coulier Dated In The Early ‘90s

Morissette and Coulier met in 1992 and dated for two years. The couple has a 15-year age gap. When they met, Morissette was 18, and Coulier was 33 and just out of a two-year marriage.

A year after the stars’ allegedly rocky romance ended, Morissette released her album, Jagged Little Pill, in 1995. The album was a critical and commercial success, thanks to her raw, confessional songwriting and stylistic shift into angsty alt-rock. Because of the timing of her breakup and album release, rumors swirled that Dave Coulier inspired the album’s first single, “You Oughta Know.”

Rumor Has It That Alanis’ Song “You Oughta Know” Is About Dave

As of 2022, Morissette has never revealed the true inspiration of her song. In 2019, she appeared on Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen. She was asked to finally put a name to the guy in her song, to which she replied, “No revealing… but I am intrigued at the thought—or at the fact—that more than one person has taken credit for it. I’m thinking, I don’t know if you want to take credit for being the person I wrote ‘You Oughta Know’ about.” 

We agree with her on that—and so does Coulier. He told Buzzfeed in 2014, “… the guy in that song is a real assh*le, so I don’t want to be that guy.” But, it seems like Coulier isn’t really sure if he’s “the guy,” either. He wasn’t the only man rumored to be the song’s subject. In fact, his Full House co-star, Bob Saget, also got caught in the rumor mill, as well as Friends’ Matt LeBlanc, hockey player Mike Peluso, and songwriter Leslie Howe.

Morissette hasn’t even revealed the identity of her malevolent muse to Coulier.

“I asked Alanis, ‘I’m getting calls by the media and they want to know who this guy is.’ And she said, ‘Well, you know it could be a bunch of people. But you can say whatever you want,” he told Buzzfeed.

Coulier even suggested that he was pressured into admitting he was the guy the song is about. “One time, I was doing a red carpet somewhere and [the press] just wore me down and everybody wanted to know so I said, ‘Yeah, all right, I’m the guy. There I said it.’ So, then it became a snowball effect of, ‘OH! So you are the guy!’ It’s just become this silly urban legend that I just have to laugh at.”

Coulier Has Plenty Of Reason To Worry That He Is The Inspiration

While he can’t be completely sure, Coulier has admitted that some of the lyrics hit a little close to home. He remembers hearing the line that says “I hate to bug you in the middle of dinner” and getting a flashback to an experience he and Morissette had shortly after their split. Coulier recalled in an interview with HuffPost Live, “She called, and I said, ‘Hey, I’m right in the middle of dinner, can I just call you right back?… I remember that line when I heard ‘You Oughta Know,’ … it was like, ‘Uh-oh.’” 

Moments like this made Coulier reflect on their relationship. He told People,  “I listened to the song over and over again, and I said, ‘I think I have really hurt this person.” Even so, the two have mended any hard feelings and are now on good terms.

As is true with so many internet rumors, we may never find out the truth about the inspiration for “You Oughta Know.” But, deep down, we all have our suspicions. Either way, one thing is for sure: even guys who seem nice may end up warranting the angriest breakup song ever written.