Video Breakdown: Twisted Sister – We're Not Gonna Take It

Twisted Sister's We're Not Gonna Take It video
The world's most annoying dad

The video for Twisted Sister’s 1984 single was directed by Marty Callner, who’s directed videos for Aerosmith, Whitesnake, Heart and Chaka Khan. Is this video a statement on teen rebellion and the overwhelming influence of rock? Or is it just an excuse for Twisted Sister to hurl Doug Neidermeyer from Animal House through a few windows and generally muck about?

Let’s find out in this week’s Video Breakdown…


The opening scene depicts a young Jerry Seinfeld rocking out in his bedroom with an electric guitar. Look, there’s bit of windmilling, too. Wrong band, mate.


Enter Doug Neidermeyer from Animal House. He’s looks pissed off. It’s probably got something to do with his ill-fitting shirt.

This man is angry because he can't do buttons

This man is angry because he can't do buttons


“This is a pigsty,” says his dad, trashing the room. What a dick. It was perfectly tidy before you came in and made a mess, with your shirt all open acting like a spitty drill sergeant.


“You are a disgusting slob!” he adds for no reason. His son has got his trousers on. Seems like a go-getter to us.


His dad is so spitty. Calm down, mate. Your son hasn’t turned up with a dance music compilation.


Young Jerry Seinfeld expresses an interest in the music industry with a chiming open chord. Spitty Dad is thrown through the window in shock.

'Airline meals? What's the deal with that?

'Airline meals? What's the deal with that?


Surprisingly, the fall from the second storey doesn’t kill Spitty Dad. His put-upon wife, possibly reacting in shock, throws a bucket of water over Spitty Dad’s face.

"Can you turn your stereo down, son?"

"Can you turn your stereo down, son?"


Fun fact: if you spin around in your room to the sound of a cowbell and snare, you will turn into Dee Snider. It’s a bit like the Candyman – but with more make up and a massive sneer.

Dee is not a morning person

Dee is not a morning person


Imagine running up the stairs only to come face to face with Dee. You’d shit yourself. Down the stairs.

"Frizz Ease? Ran out this morning."

"Frizz Ease? Ran out this morning."


Dee’s singing at the kids at the dinner table now. It’s like that time Uncle George got hammered on Malibu at Christmas.

"Pass the saaaaaaaalt.... please."

"Pass the saaaaaaaalt.... please."


He’s sang at the family with such force, they’ve turned into Twisted Sister. It happens, so do be careful.

"Who wants pudding?"

"Who wants pudding?"


Spitty Dad has his faced smashed into a door by a member of Twisted Sister.


And again.


And again. I’d just move.


And one more time for luck.

This lady is married to a man prone to defenestration

This lady is married to a man prone to defenestration


Fuck’s sake.


The late A.J. Pero smashes his drum and glitter flies everywhere. Imagine being a glitter roadie. You’d just cry.

Ooh, sparkly!

Ooh, sparkly!


They’ve just burst into the bedroom. Didn’t even knock. They’re ganging up on Spitty Dad.


Basically, a gang of glam metallers are harassing a middle-aged man in his own home. Surely there are laws against this.


It looks like he’s jumped out of a window again. Maybe everything isn’t going so well at home.


He’s tumbled off the porch roof. Might want to get the police on the phone, just in case.

That's another £200, easily.

That's another £200, easily.


It’s OK. A flowerbed broke his fall. There’s his wife, with a squirt of water for good measure. Refreshing.

This is what persistent PPI claim calls feels like

This is what persistent PPI claim calls feels like


We’re now being treated to some truly awful 80s split-screen effects.


Spitty Dad is at the end of his tether. He’s climbing a tree with a length of rope. He swings into his home’s wall, seemingly for no reason.

"Mmm, soft bricks..."

"Mmm, soft bricks..."


Dee’s now being tormented by ghosts against a chain link fence.

Ghosts were keen to get Dee Snider's autograph, but definitely not for eBay. Nope.

Ghosts were keen to get Dee Snider's autograph, but definitely not for eBay. Nope.


There’s a mass sing-along at a Twisted Sister show. Have you ever seen a hen do in Blackpool? It’s a bit like that but with no fighting.


Twisted Sister are back to torment Spitty Dad again, who can’t seem to find a safe place to stand. He’s drawn to those windows like a moth to a flame. Just stand in front of a wall. There you go. Sanctuary.


It doesn’t matter. The level of Twisted Sister’s not-taking-it has thrown him through said wall. And he appears to have aged 10 years and turned into… Peter Falk from Columbo.

"Aaah, just one more thi--"

"Aaah, just one more thi--"


Although Spitty Dad lives, it seems the relationship with his wife will take longer to repair than the three broken windows and a smashed wall. And that’s it really.

What did we learn from We’re Not Gonna Take It?

It’s simple. If you’re going to trash your kids’ room for no reason other than liking classic rock, then you’re going to get everything you deserve. Also: Spitty Dad seems to be impervious to pain. Maybe he should become a one-man army.

Simon Young

Born in 1976 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Simon Young has been a music journalist for over twenty years. His fanzine, Hit A Guy With Glasses, enjoyed a one-issue run before he secured a job at Kerrang! in 1999. His writing has also appeared in Classic RockMetal HammerProg, and Planet Rock. His first book, So Much For The 30 Year Plan: Therapy? — The Authorised Biography is available via Jawbone Press.