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Why the Song at the End of the ‘Yellowjackets’ Season 2 Premiere Hits So Hard

Calling all raisin girls

Shauna and Taissa stand in the cabin, talking to each other and looking pensive.

This post contains spoilers for Yellowjackets season 2, episode 1.

With the current ’90s revival in full swing, and the cultural phenomenon that was Kate Bush’s “Running Up That Hill (A Deal With God)” in Stranger Things and on TikTok, it was only a matter of time before the witch queen herself, Tori Amos, rose to prominence again. Sure enough, one of her most iconic songs showed up in the season 2 premiere of Yellowjackets. Why does “Cornflake Girl” work so well in the series? What does it mean? As a lifelong Tori fan, I’m here to enlighten you.

A quick recap: episode 1 ends with a montage launching all the plotlines that season 2 will explore. Shauna’s daughter Callie finds Adam’s burnt-up driver’s license. Natalie and Travis find a patch of melted snow covered in vibrant green moss in the woods. And Shauna, pacing around the cabin, eats Jackie’s ear.

Why “Cornflake Girl” by Tori Amos is such a perfect choice for Yellowjackets

First, there are the cool moments of synchronicity in the song. Tori sings “she knows what’s going on” when Callie finds the license, confirming her suspicion that her mother was involved in Adam’s death. She sings “things are getting kind of gross” as soon as Shauna examines Jackie’s severed ear. But there’s a deeper meaning to the song, too.

The song lyrics tell a story about cornflake girls and raisin girls. “Never was a cornflake girl,” Tori sings. “Thought it was a good solution, hanging with the raisin girls.” But one of those raisin girls has betrayed the narrator: “She’s gone to the other side, giving us the yo-heave-ho.” Tori Amos is known for her dreamlike, often hard-to-decipher lyrics, but the story of a friendship turning sour is pretty clear in “Cornflake Girl.”

In multiple interviews throughout her career, Amos has explained the meaning of cornflake and raisin girls. It’s based on slang that she and her friends reportedly used when she was growing up. Girls who betray you are as common as the flakes in a box of Cornflakes. Raisin girls, on the other hand—the ones who are true friends, and who will stick by you no matter what—are as rare as the raisins. It might not be the most flowery metaphor, but you can definitely picture it. Cornflake girls are the ones who will stab you in the back.

And who’s the backstabber in Yellowjackets? Shauna. At the end of season 1, Jackie confronts Shauna about sleeping with Jeff behind Jackie’s back, and tries to hold the group accountable for nearly murdering Travis at Doomcoming. Shauna responds by rejecting her, though, and now Jackie is a ghost wandering around her own frozen corpse. As Jackie’s best friend, Shauna was supposed to support her, but she turned out to be a cornflake girl, breaking Jackie’s heart and leaving her to freeze to death outside.

In fact, everything in the 1996 storyline is heading toward betrayal. After all, in the very first scene of the series, the girls are literally hunting and eating each other. Be on the lookout, throughout season 2, for the cornflake girls and the raisin girls.

Will “Cornflake Girl” go viral like “Running Up That Hill” did? It’s hard to say, but this song definitely deserves a comeback—even when it’s not played over a teen girl taking her first tentative steps into cannibalism.

(featured image: Showtime)

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Julia Glassman (she/they) holds an MFA from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, and has been covering feminism and media since 2007. As a staff writer for The Mary Sue, Julia covers Marvel movies, folk horror, sci fi and fantasy, film and TV, comics, and all things witchy. Under the pen name Asa West, she's the author of the popular zine 'Five Principles of Green Witchcraft' (Gods & Radicals Press). You can check out more of her writing at