‘Sherlock’ Inspired This ‘F*cking Scary’ Billie Eilish Hit

Sherlock has had quite an influence on pop culture — including one of Billie Eilish’s songs. One of the tracks from her album When We Fall Asleep,Where Do We Go? was directly inspired by a line from the show. Here’s what Eilish wanted to accomplish with the song — and how the public reacted to this unexpected combination of Eilish and Sherlock Holmes

Benedict Cumberbatch in front of a person
Benedict Cumberbatch | MWE/GC Images

The ‘Sherlock’ line that inspired a Billie Eilish song

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes stories and novels have memorable dialogue, and the BBC show Sherlock lives up to that legacy. A certain line from the show inspired Eilish and her brother, Finneas O’Connell, to write a song. Interestingly, the line in question came not from Holmes, but from a more devious character.

“There’s this character Jim Moriarty in Sherlock and he’s sort of like the bad guy. If you haven’t seen it, he’s psychologically horrible, but in the most genius way” Eilish told Billboard. “He steals the crown jewel, and there’s a scene where he’s talking to Sherlock and he’s basically just like, ‘honey you should see me in a crown.’ And me and Finneas were obsessed with the show forever and we just thought that line was dope, and we were just like ‘f*ck it. Let’s make it into a song.'” What did Eilish think of the finished product?

The scene from Sherlock that inspired Billie Eilish

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What Billie Eilish’s goal was when she wrote ‘You Should See Me in a Crown’

“It’s pretty simple, but I think it’s dope,” she says. “I feel like if I heard that, I’d be freaked out and I love being freaked out, so I really want to freak other people out.” She added “I just want it to sound like, if you heard it in a dark room, it’d be f*cking scary. So terrifying…but that’s the goal, is to freak everybody out.” 

“You Should See Me in a Crown” is about wanting to rise to the top. It could easily be interpreted as a song about Eilish’s desire to do well in the music industry. “You Should See Me in a Crown” has much of the same regal energy of songs like Halsey’s “Castle” and Beyoncé’s “Flawless” — even if it’s creepier. So did “You Should See Me in a Crown” drive away audiences with its eeriness?

“You Should See Me in a Crown”

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How the public reacted to ‘You Should See Me in a Crown’

“You Should See Me in a Crown” reached No. 41 on the Billboard Hot 100. Though it wasn’t as big as some of Eilish’s other singles, like “Bad Guy” or “Everything I Wanted,” it still did well on the charts. In addition, the song’s name was used as the title of a young adult novel by Leah Johnson. Clearly, “You Should See Me in a Crown” resonated with audiences — even if it was designed to freak people out.