Dave Coulier Discusses Realization That Alanis Morissette’s “You Oughta Know” Was About Him
Ever since Alanis Morissette’s breakup anthem “You Oughta Know” came out in 1995, it’s been widely assumed to be about Full House actor Dave Coulier, whom she met in 1992 and dated for two years. Morissette has never come out and said her hit song is about Coulier, who was in his mid-30s to her 18 when they met. And Coulier has gone back and forth in interviews about whether he is the subject. Now, Coulier has discussed his reaction to hearing “You Oughta Know” for the first time in the ’90s, recalling how he thought, “I think I may have really hurt this woman.”
Sitting down for an interview with SiriusXM’s Jim Norton & Sam Roberts on the Faction Talk channel, Coulier described driving in Detroit when he first heard “You Oughta Know.”
“It was what it was. We dated and she was writing all that Jagged Little Pill stuff during that time,” he began. “I never saw this angry white girl thing that people have kind of coined her as. I never saw that. She was funny, she was sweet, she was super intelligent, super talented. I never saw that, but that was ’95 when Jagged Little Pill came out.”
He goes on:
Here’s the story. I’m driving in Detroit and I’ve got my radio on. And I hear the hook for ‘You Oughta Know’ come on the radio, and I’m like, ‘Wow, this is a really cool hook. And then I hear the voice and I’m like, ‘Wow, this girl can sing.’ And I had no idea that this was the record… And I’m listening to the lyrics going, ‘Ooooohh…. Oh no. I can’t be this guy.’ And I went to the record store, bought the CD. And I went and I parked on a street and I listened to the whole record and there was a lot of familiar stuff in there that her and I had talked about, like, ‘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, ‘Oooh. I think I may have really hurt this woman.’ And that was my first thought.
Later, Coulier described reconnecting with Morissette and asking what she’d prefer him to say in the inevitable case that he’s asked about the song. “Years later, we reconnected and she couldn’t have been sweeter. And I said, ‘What do you want me to say when people ask me about this relationship?’ And she said, ‘You can say whatever you want.'”
He continued: “I’ll tell you the kind of person [Alanis] is. When my sister Sharon was dying [of] cancer, Alanis was living in Toronto, and my sister was in Detroit. She actually drove to Detroit with her guitar and sat with my sister playing songs and singing with my sister in the hospital. That’s the kind of human being she is. I’ve never had anything bad to say about her. She’s lovely.”
Radio DJs being radio DJs, of course, had to follow that up with asking Coulier what movie he and Morissette were watching during the infamous “Would she go down on you in a theater?” line. (Real classy, fellas.) Coulier tried to laugh it off, replying, “You do that popcorn cup trick one time and it backfires on you.”
Watch the whole interview below.