From This Might Be A Wiki

Kung fu movie[edit]

I think the point of this song was to give the impression that they`d pulled all these quotes from some badly dubbed kung fu movie and used them for their song[``I promise not to kill you`` reinforces this notion most for me]. Spider would of course, be the protagonist and the alternating ``He is our hero`` and ``Step on Spider`` would represent his allies and enemies. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:41, March 14, 2004

I find that many of the lines (especially "Step on spidaa!!") remind me a whole lot of Japanese cartoons. Apollo 18 was '92 - before I remember Japanese cartoons being really big in the US - but maybe there's a slight chance this was Japanese cartoon-influenced? -- Rhinoceros Rex 21:17, June 24, 2004

Feelings toward spiders[edit]

I think this song is about the ambivalent feelings people have toward spiders. They're "our hero" because they eat insects, but people also find them disgusting, and want to "step on" and "get rid of" them. The fact that a lot of people think of Spider-Man and badly dubbed foreign movies might well have also been intentional on TMBG's part, though. --Vovat 22:10, June 11, 2004

It's about the conflicting views that people have about spiders. I have a friend who won't kill any spider if it comes in his house. The song entertains two schools of thought. One side says "He is our hero" and we love you spider" the other says "Step on spider" "Get Rid of" and "Must STOP!!" on one hand they're helpful because they eat bugs, but they also bite. The noble spider is finally given a chance to speak in his defense in this song a la "I promise not to kill you" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:16, July 10, 2005

Joke track[edit]

A very weak joke track. (mr Tuck) 11:53, July 17, 2004


Am I alone in thinking that this song could possibly be about Spiderman? -The Cowch 00:23, March 14, 2005

I also believe this to be about Spiderman. If it means anything, in the booklet for A User's Guide to They Might Be Giants, they have a timeline with events relating to the songs on that album. One of the timeline events is "Stan Lee first draws Spiderman." Mmmyep. --Weston 15:47, May 26, 2005
I thought it was Spiderman too.--Futuramaooy 06:43, 25 Jun 2005 (EDT)

Interpretation 5[edit]

I heard secondhand this came out of an incident of Them finding a spider in the studio and trying to decide what to do with it. Does anybody have a real reference for this? I definitely hear Rhino Rex's movie line idea in there, but I for some reason I thought this was about a real spider.

It really captures the whole absurdist TMBG gestalt. The first album I heard was Severe Tire Damage, and when I got to Spider, I laughed myself breathless, played it several times. -- Christina Miller 10:42, May 17, 2005

Just another example of TMBG just foolin' around and being silly. ~Anna Ng hears your words. 18:15, 18 September 2007 (UTC)


I always thought that it was about a spy. Kinda like a 007 type character, who is being discussed by both the "good guys" and the "bad guys." I've thought about this since the first time I heard the song! --ArAn 02:50, 23 Jan 2006 (EST)

Interpretation 7[edit]

I think this song is just some classic TMBG jammin.' You know, just making up random stuff as they go along. Or, perhaps if you replace the word 'spider' with 'grapefruit', you unlock the true meaning of the song:

Ladies and gentlemen

Ladies and gentlemen

Coopidy coop coop cadoo

Coopidy coop coop cadoo

Coopidy coop coop cadoo

Coopidy coop coop cadoo


He is our hero


Get rid of


Step on grapefruit


We love you grapefruit

I promise not to kill you



We love you grapefruit


Get rid of


Must stop


He is our hero

- (Turnip) 23:21, January 26, 2006


I never thought the song was about this, but it always makes me think of the Spider character from Goodfellas --(Bishma) 19:13, January 27, 2006

Controversy of heroes[edit]

I find this to be about the controversy of heroes. Some find them to be heroic, great, some dislike them. We did a whole, about 2 month unit on heroes and we had this discussion. I truely believe this song is about the controversy of heroes and heroic deeds. The end! =) --Lemita 18:42, 5 May 2006 (CDT)

Interpretation 10[edit]

I always thought that this song was just the noises a spider hears walking by, and how people go insane over it (I promised not to kill you...), but also worship it (he is our hero!). People get scared of spider, go crazy over spider, and try to kill spider, but he just walks by, totally unaware, and probably thinking "What's wrong with these guys???". The Joe (Talk) 23:38, 6 November 2006 (UTC)


This song really reminds me of Mothra for some reason. Hell, most of the lines in this song sound like they were ripped off of some badly-dubbed japanese movie, and those "UUUUUAAAAaaagggghh"s sound like a bad imitation of Godzilla's roars. Then again, if the Johns really intended this to be about Mothra, they'd probably just use "Mothra" instead of Spider". --ZippZapp 01:23, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Interpretation 12[edit]

All right, I know for a fact that this is just the Johns messing around with their instruments, but here is what I always think about when listening to the song:

Ladies and Gentlemen!; The song takes place at a sideshow act, with the (giant) spider in a cage being the main attraction.

Coopidy coop coop cadoo: Just the Johns being silly.

He is our hero!: People are rallying for the spiders freedom.

Get rid of: Our protagonist, who I always picture as a guy in a trench coat but you can imagine as anyone you want, is trying to get to the spider in time to stop it from being released.

Step on Spider!: Different people, fearing for their safety but not really understanding the spider's power, want it out of the sideshow.

We love you spider: Same, rallying people.

I promise not to kill you: The spider is tempting the rallying people to let him go.

Must Stop: Trench coat guy again.

He is our hero: Rallying people.

The story ends on a cliffhanger, so we have no idea whether the spider was released, destroyed, or what. So, that's my take on it. Kinda dumb, I know. -NC 16:42, July 27, 2008

Interpretation 13[edit]

This song reminds me of Warren Ellis's 97-02 comic book series Transmetropolitan, or at the very least his irascible protagonist, outlaw Spider Jerusalem. Spider is described as a dirty bastard by almost every other character in the book, but he's also used as a source of much dark humor and tongue-in-cheek commentary on just about anything and everything. He has three different character modes: Normal Spider: A very angry or just plain world-weary loner; Angry Bastard Spider: A ruthless and brain-smashing journalist who will stop at nothing to expose the Truth (whatever it may be); and Magical Truthsaying Bastard Spider, who acts and talks like some kind of enraged god on a drug-induced rampage. It's this last one that makes the most impact on readers and what I think lends to the Jerusalem-tinged feel I hear in the song:

Ladies and gentlemen Ladies and gentlemen (An unwanted anouncement; Spider prefers to be left alone)

Coopidy coop coop cadoo (Spider goes out "monstering", i.e. looking for victims of his column)

He is our hero (his loving public)

Get rid of Spider (The Smiler, American President and main antagonist of the series)

Step on spider (Any number of thugs whom Spider vanquishes with a single blast from his Bowel Disruptor)

We love you spider (His "filthy assistants" Channon and Yelena: They can't stand him, but they can't live without him, either.)

I promise not to kill you (Spider, the old dirty bastard lying through his teeth--if he really wanted to, they'd already be dead.) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:14, February 18, 2009


Maybe John Linnell has arachniphobia and descided to write a song about how he wants to kill a spider on his living room wall.... And Flans was bored so he messed around with the instruments while linnell was ranting at the spider.. User:Nerdy4ever95 18:04, July 15, 2009


What if it's a song about a Japanese action movie/cartoon about mankind's relationship with spiders? —Preceding unsigned comment added by Guacamole37 (talkcontribs) 01:43, March 12, 2010

The Pulp fiction vigilante The Spider[edit]

I just recently got into a comic series based on an old pulp vigilante called The Spider, similar to The shadow. Originally created in a novel series in 1933 to compete with The shadow's own novel series. They made movie serials in 1938 and 1941, the quotes in the song seem to me to fit the style of these time period pulp vigilantes. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:03, May 28, 2012


To me the song is about the Hitler/Nazi takeover of Europe:

  • Note it's pronounced "Schpider" in what sounds like a German accent.
  • The drum beat could be aligned with marching to battle
  • People say they love Spider (The Germans)
  • A man says they must step on Spider (The Allies).
  • Guy in French sounding nasal tone keeps saying "Urrrrrrrrrrrr!" as if acknowledging a huge screwup.
  • Boooom..... (bombs)
  • Spider sounding like Dracula says he promises not to kill you. (Yeah right, some promise, bloodsucker.)
  • More marching to battle drums. Weird 40s sounding music.
  • More loving Spider
  • Now Allies say "GET RID OF, MUST STOP"!
  • A long French sounding "Urrrrrrr..." again.
  • Then BOOOOOOOMMMMMMMMM the destruction of France.

Spider = Nazis {{subst:unsignedIP||21:16, July 19, 2016||