What does Pumped Up Kicks mean?

Search Login

Foster the People: Pumped Up Kicks Meaning

Song Released: 2010

Get "Pumped Up Kicks" on MP3:

Get MP3 from Amazon

Pumped Up Kicks Lyrics

Robert's got a quick hand
He'll look around the room
He won't tell you his plan
He's got a rolled cigarette
Hanging out of his mouth he's a cowboy kid
Yeah found a six-shooter gun
In his dad's closet hidden in a box of fun things, I don't...

  1. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 7th 2015 report

    It's about a kid who is planning to kill his classmates, Columbine style.

  2. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 9th 2014 report

    The song ends abruptly. "my hairs on fire" did this troubled kid shoot himself?

  3. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 8th 2014 report

    I think it's about the Columbine shooting because most of the time when you see a music video for it made by someone other than the record company, it involves TV reenactments of the shooting. Also, the song came out after the actual shooting. And "a box of fun things" mus be referring to the supplies used in the attack (ammo, knives, extra guns, and the bombs that never went off). The name Robert was to avoid controversy, along with the fact there is only one shooter in the song. There's no doubt about it. The actions of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold in 1999 inspired one of Foster the People's most recognized songs.

  4. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Mar 20th 2014 report

    I think this is about the Columbine shooting.

  5. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 12th 2013 report

    It's actually inspired by Mark Foster's hearing about an American killed in Prague by anti-Americans on the same day as 911... Roberta, is a bohemian chick who is still in love with the American who was killed by the gang of young commie mafia...this gang was known for its pumped up kicks since the had killed other tourists from England, Ireland, Germany, etc. by getting their marks drunk in the Chapeau Rouge, drugging their drinks or just jumping them, kicking them after knocking them on ground & then surrounding the victim to be kicked violently by 6 or more gang members...John Carry an air force tourist was killed on 911 by that gang and Roberta is warning them she is going to avenge his death with her American "daddy's" six shooter...or was she in on it with the gang since she was pissed he might be cheating on her in that bar...they may have pumped up their kicks while on a drug fueled bender.

  6. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jan 11th 2013 report

    no actually this song is referring to the school shooting know as "columbine" that happened in Jefferson State, Colorado. he has a cigarette and a gun and it says "run faster then my bullet". the song is about the columbine shooting in colorado. u just got PWND!

  7. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 31st 2012 report

    Killed his family because of abuse.

  8. Ezmryder
    click a star to vote
    Dec 11th 2012 report

    i like this song but it has a sad meaning

  9. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Dec 10th 2012 report

    In the chorus, I get the sense that this song is about someone saying, "If you have nicer things than I do, I'll do whatever I have to do to get it, because I am entitled to what you've worked hard for, even though I haven't put in any work at all."

  10. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Nov 30th 2012 report

    A lot of you are talking about shootings... Yes, that is the literal meaning, but there's a different meaning under the words.

    The name Robert is simply a name. I don't think it has any meaning, maybe some reference to a character in the Bible (I'm not Christian, so I don't know...) The main character is clearly an abused teenager, abused by his father. Because of his scars from his beatings, he is thought to be really strange by his peers, and is probably bullied by them. He's practically a human ticking bomb, and has reached his fuse. He's out for revenge. He wants them, the kids who are considered "normal" to feel his pain.

  11. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 22nd 2012 report

    The song is about an every bullied kid's dream of revenge.
    This particular boy is being bullied because of his red hair. The phrase "Your hair's on fire! You must have lost your wits!" is a usual bullies' insult towards red-haired children. Now he sarcastically returns it as he shoots them down. The line "I reason with my cigarette" may imply that, saying those words, he actually sets some bully's hair on fire instead, or before, shooting him.
    "Pumped up kicks" means that bullies are strong, "pumped up", and so are their kicks. The specific use of this phrase in the line "kids with pumped up kicks" represents those kicks as bullies' weapons - opposed, and inferior, to his gun.
    There are indications that this revenge may be taking place only in the boy's imagination, as he envisions himself romantically rather than realistically (cowboy kid with a quick hand and a rolled cigarette in his mouth), but on the other hand, pointing at the exact location where he found the gun may imply that the shit is happening for real.

  12. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Sep 10th 2012 report

    The dinner on ice thing I think is that the dad is coming home drunk as a surprise and is going to beat his son and to keep the swelling down he's going to put like a steak on it or a bag of frozen peas.

  13. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 28th 2012 report

    this song is about robert Butler Jr.who came to his school one day normally and he randommly fired shots in the main office. but he was a victim of bullying and i guess he shot the principals cuz he thought they were the ones who didnt teach the bullies anything good.but that morning he wrote on facebook a warning.

  14. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Aug 14th 2012 report

    Okay. So Robert is a kid. He gets bullied at school because he's the cowboy kid. One day he snaps and goes and gets his dads gun from his box of fun things. The chorus is him telling all the other kids with the pumped up kicks that they'd better run, better run, outrun his gun.

  15. anonymous
    click a star to vote
    Jul 1st 2012 report

    its about this lonely kid who is bullied and his parents dont love him, just buy him stuff to stay happy. he turns into a drug addict and goes on a shooting spree shooting kids.

More Foster the People song meanings »


Submit Your Interpretation

[ want a different song? ]

Just Posted

Mutter Yestin
King Of The Clouds anonymous
Tongue Tied anonymous
In The Name Of Love anonymous
Trampoline anonymous
Paralyzed anonymous
This Masquerade anonymous
Oh Cecilia (Breaking My Heart) anonymous
Little Things anonymous
Machinehead anonymous
Juliet anonymous
Hold You Up anonymous
Jolene anonymous
1 Night anonymous
Hide Away anonymous

Get a weekly email update

(We won't give out your email)

Latest Releases

We Wouldn't Be Us
Alexandra Kay
Better Than You’re Used To
Tyler Rich
I Can't
Caitlyn Smith
Best Parts Of Me
Will Dempsey
Nathaniel Rateliff
To Be Loved By You
Parker McCollum
Cover Me In Sunshine
Charlotte Cardin