September 6. 2019, Melanie Martinez finally releases her second album K-12, along with a feature film, featuring all songs from the album in the form of a comedic, musical movie. That she so kindly placed on her YouTube channel for all fans to watch FOR FREE and AD FREE!

With the irony of Thirteen title tracks released on Friday, September 6. 2019. 

Meaning of Each Track of K-12

Continuing the story of Crybaby, she finally enters school and tells of her story/perspective in each song in K-12. Each of Melanie’s songs contains a subtle, yet a hidden truth about our education system that no one really wants to fix. \

By using clever lyrics along with the movie scenes to convey her message through each song:

Wheels on the Bus

image via Google

The start of the album, the beginning of each person’s school journey is the arrival from a school bus. But the journey that happens on the bus ride, is its own lifetime. People don’t realize what goes on when adults or parents aren’t around. 

I know the driver sees it

I know he’s peeking in the rearview mirror

He says nothing

Class Fight

This song title, “Class Fight” is pretty self-explanatory, where students would get into fights, while the teachers won’t care. Leaving the students to get even more injured and intense about the fight.

“Daddy chimed in, “Go for the throat”

For the throat, for, for the throat”

The Principal

The school system is corrupt, where the overall main leader of the school administration is using students for money, taking advantage of us. And who else fits the role of that exactly? That’s right the Principal

“Sneaky, greedy, money seeking
Always peeping, fucking creeping”

Show and Tell

The untold truth of being “famous” where you’re just a mindless product in the world of business and money. Like she states in the lyrics, people are just “product[s] to socirty”

Everything made for entertainment and nothing is truly genuine anymore. 


“Show and tell

I’m on display for all you fuckers to see

Buy and sell (Buy and sell me, baby)

Like I’m a product to society

Nurse’s Office

image via Google

Sometimes in order to avoid our school life problems, we find excuses, one of which is faking an injury or a sickness. Involving the “nurse’s office”

Teacher, can I sit right there?

This bitch behind me is cutting my hair

“No, just sit your ass down at the chalkboard, you stare”

I faked up a seizure and left then and there

Drama Club

image via Google

The drama at schools is crazy, that they should run the true “drama” club at school. Critiquing every word that you say and interpreting in the way they want to use it against you. 

“Everyone’s so soft, everyone’s so sensitive

“Do I offend you? You’re hanging on my sentences…

I never signed up for your drama”

Strawberry Shortcake

Men take advantage of women’s bodies. Claiming the truth about school dress codes making girls feel uncomfortable in their bodies is due to men’s uncontrollable emotions. 

 Hence the lyric, “Now, the boys want a taste of the strawberry shortcake”

Feeling unsure of my naked body

Stand back, watch it taking shape

Wondering why I don’t look like Barbie

Got boys acting like they ain’t seen skin before

Got sent home to change ’cause my skirt is too short

Lunchbox Friends

No one wants to be friends just to hang out at lunch, but true genuine friendship that will last forever. Not a material label that will turn their back on you when you need them most. Hence the lyrics:

“I don’t want no lunchbox friends, no

I want someone who understands, oh, oh, no

Come to my house, let’s die together

Friendship that would last forever, no”

Orange Juice

Many fans see the song as Mrs. Potatohead’s sequel, as it reveals a similar theme of how you shouldn’t ever change your appearance to try and fix your insecurities and be confident in your own body. Torturing yourself, in order to stay skinny and look “pretty” under society’s harsh requirements. 

“You turn oranges to orange juice

Into there, then spit it out of you

Your body is imperfectly perfect”


image via Google

Detention is a place, where you are wronged and have to justify your actions. Putting you under a spotlight the shows everyone what you’ve done wrong, for the whole world to see

The teachers don’t care about me

Fuck how I feel as long as I make money

They let them do whatever they want to me

They’re the customer, I’m chopped meat

I’m chopped meat

Teacher’s Pet

image via Google

Sometimes the “teacher’s pet” concept is way darker than it seems. Being favored by a teacher in a way that makes the student uncomfortable is not okay. Not in the way that we’ve ever seen before. 

She said, “It’s for all the right reasons, baby

Don’t care ’bout grades, just call me your lady

If I pass this quiz, will you give me your babies?

Highschool Sweethearts

Highschool crushes come and go, with love being such a pain, yet a blessing with your teenage hormones going crazy.

Boys and Girls are now a hot topic for young adults to discuss, making our hearts go crazy for the smallest gestures.

Crybaby finally experiences a sweet high school love that is none like before. Giving her future partner a list of rules on how to treat her right if they were to ever date or get together

“If you can’t handle a heart like mine

Don’t waste your time with me”


Students’ freedom from their prison cells, which is school. The only break where kids can be kids and finally rest. But in this case, recess can also be a place where you get replaced, ending friendships and relationships altogether. 

“People gonna say

If you need a break, someone’ll take your place

People gonna try

To tell you that you’re fine with dollars in their eyes”

Other Observations Throughout Each Track

The low, automated voices in the songs (like The Principal or Lunchbox Friends) can hint → a darker side on the issue. It isn’t Crybaby’s perspective anymore but the victims themselves…

The different hairstyles in each scene could represent a whole other hallucination or that time is passing slowly from kindergarten to senior year of high school.

The K-12 Film

At the end of the movie, we see Crybaby’s character conflicted about whether she wanted to stay in the human world or not. However, many fans think that the fact she hesitated before entering her true “alien” world, means that she chose to stay. 

image via Google

Also if you watch all the way the final seconds of the film, you will see a pitch-black screen followed by two significant sounds. A fire extinguisher going out and a young child saying “I’m getting out of here”

I guess to add to the comedic relief or some closure to what is the outcome of the school itself.


Thank you so much for reading! I hope you enjoyed reading my opinions and interpretations on her whole album, which is amazingly produced. Comment down below your thoughts on the album and any other interpretations you may have yourself!


  1. I think what’s pretty cool about this is that all of the songs are each different grades. Wheels on the bus is kindergarten(you know why!) But what I think is super true is that Strawberry Shortcake is 6th grade, which I think makes total sense because the children are older and they are beginning to see the older children and are trying to make themselves look attractive for boys. I learned this the hard way when I was in middle school. <3

    1. I thought that too, but if it was one song for each grade, then why are there 13 songs instead of 12? Recess being the last song of the album and you don’t necessarily get a “recess” in high school. Just a thought that the songs don’t really specify a grade but more or less school in general with some songs like High School Sweethearts specifying a certain grade but not every single song.

      1. Actually k-12 is around 2nd-3rd grade if you see in the background in class fight it says the grade, also in Melanie Martinez first album Crybaby in pity party it shows how many candles and there is 9 candles representing that crybaby failed around 2 grades, and yes I am a FAN of Melanie Martinez, and I am in 6th grade, I hope this answered this kind of a question.

  2. record. Martinez’s official website describes the album’s sound as “a vibrant and singular melting pot of low-key hip-hop, soulful pop and indie-leaning electro “.

  3. I feel like recess must have a few different meanings. Like people taking advantage of the time they have during recess away from the teachers to do whatever they want to do with anyone, lying to the teachers when the get told off and calling them a “tattle tail” and the teachers believe them to make there job easier. “, tell you that your fine with dollars in there eyes.” And about all the drama happening and the friendship replace ments “If you need a break, some one ‘ll take your place.”

    1. well i think that mightve been intentional, or I could’ve been her natural face? but I wouldn’t say that about someone..

    2. If you really think that why are you here…That’s a bit too much to go on to an website with Melanie Martinez and post something that you should keep to yourself.

  4. i never realized this! now i understand why it’s called k-12. and recess is when school is finally over and the kids are free.

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