Who is Twenty One Pilots' Formidable about? All the fan theories explained

21 May 2021, 15:36

Tyler Joseph reveals his new pink hair in Twenty One Pilots Scaled and Icy promo

By Katie Louise Smith

Jenna Joseph, Rosie Joseph, the Clique? Here's all the fan theories about the meaning behind TØP's 'Formidable'.

With the release of their new album Scaled and Icy, Twenty One Pilots just blessed their fans with 11 brand new tracks. Each one is as great as the next but 'Formidable' is already emerging as one of the most popular, thanks to its upbeat tempo and heartfelt lyrics.

The track gives off a golden hour vibe, it sounds a little bit like The Beatles at times, and Tyler Joseph even revealed that it was originally written on the classic TØP ukelele before moving to acoustic guitar.

The word formidable itself has a few meanings, but in the context of the song, it means to be strong and powerful or to inspire sheer wonder and awe.

Tyler hasn't yet revealed the exact inspirations behind the song, so the meaning has already become a popular debate amongst the fans. The Clique have theorised that the song could be about Tyler's wife Jenna Joseph, or even about their daughter Rosie. Others have interpreted the lyrics to be about the band, Josh Dun, the music and the Clique themselves.

Here's all the Twenty One Pilots 'Formidable' theories broken down...

Twenty One Pilots Formidable lyrics: The meaning and theories explained
Twenty One Pilots Formidable lyrics: The meaning and theories explained. Picture: Fueled By Ramen

At first, thanks to its lyrics and love song vibes, fans believe 'Formidable' to be a song written about Tyler's wife Jenna Joseph. Some lyrics have also been interpreted by fans as a song for their daughter Rosie.

In the first chorus, Tyler sings, "But I just can’t believe that I’m for you/Yeah, yeah, yeah, I can die with you", which fans have taken to refer to his relationship with Jenna.

In the first verse, Tyler also sings about just meeting someone for the first time, possibly his daughter Rosie, who was born in February 2020: "And I know that we just met/But could you take me everywhere you’ve ever been?"

Fans have pointed out that the lyric "I'm afraid of you now, more than I was at first" could also refer to his love for Jenna and Rosie. It's almost scarier now than it was back then because his love and appreciation is so deep.

Twenty One Pilots - Formidable (Lyric Video)

However, there's one lyric in the song that has some fans leaning towards a different interpretation. Tyler sings, "Fast-forward thirteen years now/don't know what it was, but somehow we played it out in reverse".

Tyler and Jenna first started dating in 2013, which doesn't quite add up with the specific time period mentioned in the song, but fans have noted that Tyler first began recording and releasing music back in 2007 with his solo album No Phun Intended. The lyrics could be interpreted as an ode to his entire career, the band (including Josh) and the 'formidable' fandom.

On a Reddit discussion about the song, one fan commented how the "I'm afraid of you now, more than I was at first" lyric is similar to a line from 'Pet Cheetah': "This clique means so much to this dude/It could make him afraid of his music/And be scared to death he could lose it."

'Pet Cheetah' is also about Tyler's creative process.

So, who do you think 'Formidable' is about? Jenna, Rosie, the fandom? All three?