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Song by Weird Al
Released 2014
Recorded December 2013
Length 2:22
Producers Joel Little (original)
Genres Comedy, parody
Label n/a
From Mandatory Fun

"Foil" is a song by "Weird Al" Yankovic off his album Mandatory Fun. It parodies Lorde's "Royals".


Writing and composition

The song opens with Yankovic lamenting that he cannot finish food at restaurants, opting for a doggy bag from the waiter to take it home. The song's first verse and chorus find the narrator expanding upon the usage of aluminum foil for food storage purposes: "That kind of wrap is just the best / to keep your sandwich nice and fresh." Yankovic deems it better than what he feels as inferior food storage options, among them "baggies, glass jars, [and] Tupperware containers."

In a twist, the second verse finds Yankovic ranting about conspiracy theories. In particular, he notes that the Illuminati are being primed for "world domination" and that shadow organizations are monitoring daily life, and he reinforces the conspiracy theory that the moon landings were fake. To conclude the song, Yankovic once again reinforces the greatness of aluminum foil, in this scenario putting a hat made of foil atop his head to avoid "thought control rays."

The original song's instrumentation is carried over, albeit toned down a little to fit Al's singing voice, and the song contains elements of "minimalist electro-pop". Kevin O'Keeffe of The Wire observed that it is the shortest parody on Mandatory Fun as it omits the bridge and final chorus of the original song.


[Verse 1]
I never seem to finish all my food
I always get a doggie bag from the waiter
So I just keep what's still unchewed
And I take it home, save it for later

[Pre-Chorus 1]
But then I deal with fungal rot, bacterial formation
Microbes, enzymes, mold and oxidation
I don't care; I've got a secret trick up my sleeve
I never bother with baggies, glass jars, Tupperware containers
Plastic cling wrap, really a no-brainer
I just like to keep all my flavours sealed in tight

With aluminum foil (foil)
Never settle for less
That kind of wrap is just the best
To keep your sandwich nice and fresh
Stick it in your cooler (cooler)
Eat it when you're ready
But maybe you'll choose (you'll choose, you'll choose, you'll choose)
A refreshing herbal tea

Mmm, lovely!

[Verse 2]
Oh, by the way, I've cracked the code
I've figured out these shadow organizations
And the Illuminati know
That they're finally primed for world domination

[Pre-Chorus 2]
And soon you've got black helicopters comin' cross the border
Puppet masters for the New World Order
Be aware: there's always someone that's watching you
And still the government won't admit they faked the whole moon landing
Thought control rays, psychotronic scanning
Don't mind that, I'm protected cause I made this hat

From aluminum foil (foil)
Wear a hat that’s foil lined
In case an alien's inclined
To probe your butt or read your mind
Looks a bit peculiar ('culiar)
Seems a little crazy
But someday I'll prove (I'll prove, I'll prove, I'll prove)
There's a big conspiracy

Music Video


The music video for "Foil" was released as the third of a series of eight videos produced for Mandatory Fun on July 16, 2014 through CollegeHumor's YouTube channel. 


In the video, Yankovic carries his brown paper doggy bag out of a restaurant and onto the set of a cooking program titled Now We're Cookin'!. Yankovic's role is that of what Slate Magazine described as an "infomercial huckster." Throughout the sequence, he spoofs Lorde's "on-camera intensity"; MTV also observed that the video highlights the similarity between Yankovic and Lorde's hair styles. Patton Oswalt appears as the director for Now We're Cookin'!] and "watches in horror" as Yankovic begins his monologue on conspiracy theories. As stock footage of rotating Illuminati logos plays on screens behind Yankovic, the set changes to a dark red color to match the sinister tone of the lyrics. By the song's final chorus, two men in black suits (portrayed by Tom Lennon and Robert Ben Garant) drag him off the set. As Yankovic is taken away, the director peels his face off, revealing the face of an alien-like lizard.

"Foil" was the most successful video from Mandatory Fun, attracting 11 million views in five days.

Live Performances

Yankovic performed "Foil" as part of his Mandatory World Tour in 2015. The live version mostly replicates the music video, with Al behind a Now We're Cookin'! table and accompanied by various props including a roll of aluminum foil, a teapot, and the famous foil hat. For some international performances, Al changed the pronunciation of "aluminum" to "aluminium" to reflect the different ending being commonplace outside of North America.


Critical reception

The Los Angeles Times deemed the song a highlight of Mandatory Fun. Consequence of Sound called it one of the album's "essential tracks," comparing it to past food-related parodies by Yankovic. Billboard wrote that while both "Tacky" and "Foil" could have been "one-joke affairs," they were both successful, noting, "Lorde should feel honored: on Mandatory Fun, "Royals" is the only tune Yankovic re-imagines as a song about food." Paste considered "Foil" to be less clever than the other parodies on the record.

When asked about being parodied on Yankovic's latest album in an interview with Billboard, Lorde responded, "'Weird Al' is so cool! I’m so psyched to be on it. He asked ages ago if he could do it and I was like 'PLEASE! Please, can you do something with 'Royals'.' I was listening to 'Weird Al' parodies when I was like 10 — especially that one that he did of "Confessions" by Usher. How could I have been listening to that while I was young and … that’s me now."

Chart performance

"Foil" peaked at #3 on the US Comedy Digital Tracks (Billboard) Chart.