Breaking Down Carrie Underwood’s “Dirty Laundry” Video . . . Metaphor by Sweet Metaphor

Carrie Underwood released the music video to her current single, “Dirty Laundry,” last week (Oct. 13). And just like Miranda Lambert’s “Vice,” it’s a metaphorical promise land—full of animals, flaming doorknobs and, yes, dirty laundry.

I decided to break down the video—frame by frame, metaphor by metaphor—and give you my two cents’ worth. Without further ado, here’s my slanted interpretation of each metaphor. Keep in mind, this isn’t serious.


The first thing you’ll notice is that the video is shot in black and white, which obviously means it’s a period piece. The second thing you’ll notice is Carrie has on backward suspenders, which Jean Paul Gaultier was doing in 2013. Based on this info, we can conclude this video took place in 2013 when reversed suspenders were fashionable.

Metaphor: Sometimes we need more than suspenders to help hold us up.


Carrie sings That lipstick on your collar, well, it ain’t my shade of pink, as a lone lipstick is forced to look at its own shadow. Since the video is black and white, we have to take Carrie at her word that this lipstick ain’t her shade of pink.

Metaphor: Trust in Carrie.



We have our first animal spotting as a snake slithers through the dirty laundry.

Metaphor: Among other things, snakes can represent both the life force and Satan. I’m going with life force on this one. This snake is too small to be Satan.


It wouldn’t be a Carrie Underwood video unless there was a wardrobe change . . . or two . . . or six.

Metaphor: Don’t let suspenders restrict who you are.


Pretty bird, pretty bird. Owls are supposedly wise, but this one looks mean.

Metaphor: The field mouse is fast, but the owl sees at night.


This may be a first for a music video: a flaming doorknob.

Metaphor: In the event of a house fire, remain low to the floor and don’t grab the doorknob.



More items are spontaneously combusting, this time it’s a flaming heel.

Metaphor: Don’t be a flaming heel.


A street sign appears out of nowhere, but that’s keeping with the anything-goes theme of the video, where random things like flaming shoes and owls are abundant.

Metaphor: Love is a two-way street.


A peacock makes an appearance, bringing the menagerie of animals in this video to 5 (animals not pictured earlier include a lion and horse). Surely this won’t be the last animal spotting. Spoiler alert: an elk appears at the 2:50 mark.

Metaphor: Strut your stuff.


We learn that Love St. intersects Lost St.

Metaphor: It is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.


With the flaming shoe and doorknob in the room, it was getting too hot for Carrie, so she shed her jacket.

Metaphor: Sometimes you have to show a little skin.


A tea kettle begins to steam a few seconds after Carrie strips down to something more comfortable.

Metaphor: Hot stuff coming through.


As the video comes to a close, the “No Vacancy” sign turns to “Vacancy.”

Metaphor: There is a vacancy in Carrie’s heart.

Watch the full video below.


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