Britney Spears: Why There’s a ‘Titanic’ Reference in ‘Oops!… I Did It Again’

Britney Spears’ musical output is full of surprises and “Oops!… I Did It Again” is a prime example. Shockingly, the bridge of the “Oops!” frames the song as a sequel to James Cameron’s Titanic. There aren’t a lot of songs that serve as sequels to films, so Spears’ team certainly deserves credit for being innovative! This raises an interesting question: Why is there a Titanic reference in the song?

Leonardo DiCaprio hold Kate Winslet's hand in Titanic
A scene from Titanic | CBS via Getty Images

The connection between ‘Titanic’ and ‘Oops!… I Did It Again’

“Oops!” is a dance-pop song where Spears tells a guy she’s not in love with him — even though he thinks otherwise. It has nothing to do with cinema or the Titanic or any boat. Yet, the bridge of the song is about the Heart of the Ocean, the fictitious diamond from Cameron’s film.

In the bridge, the guy who’s in love with Spears said he (somehow) found the Heart of the Ocean for her. Spears is shocked considering Rose threw the diamond into the Atlantic Ocean at the end of Titanic. After the bridge, the diamond isn’t mentioned again. The Titanic reference in the bridge of “Oops!” is odd — but purposeful.

Someone holding the Heart of the Ocean diamond
The Heart of the Ocean | CBS via Getty Images

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Titanic was obviously big and we needed a bridge,” the song’s co-writer, Rami Yacoub, told The Ringer. “Because MTV was so massive at the time, we were always imagining the video as we wrote the song. The idea was pretty simple: Let’s make the bridge have a Titanic reference where Britney gets the stone from the old lady.”

Was Leonardo DiCaprio going to reprise his ‘Titanic’ role for Britney Spears’ song?

The song’s writers wanted Leonardo DiCaprio to reprise his role from Titanic on the song’s bridge. The Ringer reports DiCaprio allegedly agreed to appear on “Oops!” but his schedule wouldn’t allow it. Instead, Max Martin, the other writer of “Oops!,” lent his voice to the bridge.

Why the ‘Titanic’ reference was an issue for the director of the ‘Oops!… I Did It Again’ video

‘Oops!… I Did It Again” by Britney Spears

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Rolling Stone reports Spears herself conceived of the song’s video. She wanted it to be set on Mars. This raised an issue because, well, the Titanic isn’t on Mars.

“You’re going, ‘What the f*ck?” Nigel Dick, the director of the “Oops!” video, told Rolling Stone. “I’m on Mars, which obviously means somewhere in the middle of the 21st century. And then suddenly the brakes squeal, and you do an about-turn and you go back to 19-whenever it was when the Titanic sank. I said, ‘This bit about the Titanic, what am I going to do with that? How does that fit in?’ And she goes, ‘Oh, you’ll think of something!’”

In the finished video, an astronaut gifts Spears the diamond. He doesn’t explain how he got it. Dick said the final video reflects his ideas for it. To this day, the Titanic reference in “Oops!” remains one of the strangest crossovers between the world of movies and the world of music.

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