She's Actual Size

From This Might Be A Wiki

song name She's Actual Size
artist They Might Be Giants
releases The Statue Got Me High (EP), Apollo 18, Flood + Apollo 18
year 1992
first played January 23, 1992 (500 known performances)
run time 2:05
sung by John Flansburgh; John Linnell sings "size!"


  • This song was apparently inspired by the band's 1990 Flood tour, during which they spent a lot of time driving around looking in rearview mirrors and at the phrase 'objects may appear larger than actual size' that appears on it.
  • John Flansburgh, in an April 1992 interview with XS Magazine: "There's a country western song that talks about seeing someone going away in a rearview mirror. I thought that was a really succinct way of talking about leaving somebody behind. It turned into kind of a brag song about a woman who leaves everyone behind by the virtue for being super cool, so happening that they're intimidating."
  • Flansburgh spoke about writing the song in a 1992 interview: "It's a song about being intimidated by somebody. The original song was actually written like a brag song as 'I'm Actual Size,' but it was getting really harsh and kind of bogus that way. I didn't know how to modify it except turn it into 'She's Actual Size.' That worked much better."
  • Introducing the song in 1992, Flansburgh stated: "This song is about scale, and sexuality, and, uh...relationships."
  • Flansburgh has expressed dissatisfaction with the studio recording of this song. He explained in a 1994 interview:
When I listen to 'She's Actual Size,' I would be lying if I said that it didn't make me a little disappointed, because the later performance versions of it have so much more spirit than the recorded version. It was very tentative at the (recording) time because it was just finished. [...] It's not so much the arrangement, but the confidence we have when we perform the song. It's frustrating to hear the "definitive" version of the song—I think it's a solid song—to be a timid performance.

Song Themes

Cities, Language, Mind Control, Hypnotism, Mirrors And Reflections, Money, New York City, Not In Major Or Minor, Religion, Supernatural, Shapes, Size, Songs With Samples, Spoken Word, Swing Feel, Transportation


Current Rating

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She's Actual Size is currently ranked #540 out of 1010. (99 wikians have given it an average rating of 8.18)