9 Definitive Elements of Every Tegan & Sara Music Video

Are we all in general agreement that Tegan and Sara are really fucking cute? Yes? Okay, good. Now let’s talk about substance (abuse). (JK)

Released on Monday, the video for Northshore is actually how Northshore makes me feel — like dancing around in my room playing air guitar, which is exactly what Tegan and Sara do for two minutes. Initially, we (Intern Laura and Intern Emily) were a little wary of the video, probably because we’re still recovering from the disappointment of On Directing (we’re not asking for much, just something a little more than looking directly at the camera the whole time).

We’ve been die-hard Tegan & Sara fans forever. We love these girls more than we love ourselves (because obviously insecurity is part of why we love them). Tegan and Sara are weird and creative and interesting people so they should make weird and creative and interesting music videos! We loved the dancing in Alligator, the story in The Con, and everything about Speak Slow, but we want moar of that and not just cute faces.

Northshore is the shortest video they’ve ever made, and yet it managed to include almost every idiosyncrasy Laura and I noted when we watched their videos like real people with a job if that job was to watch Tegan & Sara videos. We now present to you:

The 9 Definitive Elements of a Tegan and Sara Music Video

or, Don’t Be an Alligator Downtown While Directing Your Head in Northshore

1. Look me in the eye and tell me you don’t find me attractive

Weird faces. They happen a lot. I guess their parents never told them their face might get stuck like that.

2. When my loud guitar comes in

We love girls with guitars. Emily was supposed to do a girls with guitars gallery in December. Where is she? Zero out of 10 for following through.

3. I don’t see what they see

Tegan and Sara really get into their singing. Sometimes they close their eyes the for the entire song. Maybe it’s like playing hide and seek when you’re little; if I can’t see you, you can’t see me!

4: Your eyes focus like a microscope

Look at you girls, staring meaningfully into our souls. Do we like it? Absolutely. Do we want 2 to 4 minutes of it? Not really. Emily and I tried staring at each other intensely for 2 minutes to see how it felt. It was awkward and boring, and I like her almost as much as I like them.

5. They yell, “speak up!”

Okay so this doesn’t happen as much as we thought. Whatever.

6: Is it better than keeping my mouth shut?

If you find yourself watching all of Tegan and Sara’s videos in a row, watching Tegan’s mouth twitch never gets old. “Call It Off” is especially guilty and even comes with a little bonus lip quiver when she’s not even singing.

7. I love the rock and roll


8. There’s a war inside of me

The lesbians have feelings. They want to share.

9. There’s something so divided

You know what this video was really missing? A split screen. Two girls, one cup two screens, it just makes sense.

Bonus: We are all made of kittens

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Laura is a tiny girl who wishes she were a superhero. She likes talking to her grandma on the phone and making things with her hands. Strengths include an impressive knowledge of Harry Potter, the ability to apply sociology to everything under the sun, and a knack for haggling for groceries in Spanish. Weaknesses: Chick-fil-a, her triceps, girls in glasses, and the subjunctive mood. Follow the vagabond adventures of Laura and her bike on twitter [@laurrrrita].

Laura has written 308 articles for us.


  1. There are more videos that could go under #2, like Speak Slow and even Walking With a Ghost even though they aren’t being played. Maybe there could be one about phones or close ups on drums. Or shirts with stripes or no sleeves.

  2. I LOVED THIS VIDEO!! Finally! Loved! See you can do simple and awesome. I think Tegan and Sara are too heavy on the simple this video cycle. But I love this, it fits the song. I like the blue light, the slow motion, air guitar, tegan with the microphone like she is 12 at a talent show, tearing stuff up. The only thing that would have taken this a bit further is maybe a wardrobe change and tearing down the walls!

    P.S. I have a gallery of girls ‘rocking the mic’. Interested?

  3. for all my fangirling I’ve really only seen like 3 of their videos. I guess I’ll be on youtube for the rest of the night.

    • Really Lynne? I’m disappointed, especially after what happened when we saw them on the day Judge Walker handed down the Prop 8 decision. It was like a big homo party with Lindsey Byrnes and we were the biggest creeps ever. <3

    • I did too:) And I named all the songs that the video stills came from…a bit much? Gotta love those two!

  4. Tegan and Sara videos would not be complete without Teganface.

    LIFE wouldn’t be complete without Teganface.

    I appreciated how much it was featured in this video. (But like you mentioned, Call It Off was number one for Teganface.) I also appreciated air-guitars. Cause that was really cute. As it turns out, playing air guitar is something that can be added to Sara’s list of “Things I Do Cutely.”

    • I can just picture this as a compliment, “You give/got good Teganface.” T-Face for the short.

  5. i fail to see the difference between points 1 and 7. that being said i was so relieved to finally see a ‘good’ video from them.

  6. I’d also add to the list – a lot of monochrome clothing and stripes (especially in the last few years)


  7. I feel like the cuts should have been quicker, the air guitar part looks awkward…I feel like they should have had their band in the video, would have opened the door to more shots/performance madness… But cute, as always.

  8. Love This! Very Funny…it totally fed into my guilty pleasure. Now I just need to figure out where I find a friend to endlessly critique T&S videos with me haha

  9. I loved the “Northshore” video too. Simple works so well for Tegan and Sara. Everyone likes a good dose of WTF? every once in a while, but I’m happy to see a video without people in scary masks/outfits that come to get me in my sleep (Thanks, “Hell”!)

  10. Ha,ha well I think the evidence will show (as your pics in this article do) that Tegan is pretty much responsible for all the funny faces.But of course for every funny face Tegan makes she has a few that will melt you as well.

    Like the one at the 42-45 second mark on My Number from the Letterman You Tube video.That one always gets me,of course her growl doesn’t hurt either.I don’t usually watch the official videos more than once but I do like their live ones.

  11. What happened to T&S? They took a nosedive after The Con… what’s with all this 80’s crap, and the equally as weird videos? Feist made choreographed dancing work. But T&S can’t pull it off. It looks totally awkward, try-hard and a little embarrassing. I miss the old T&S.

  12. love is tegan and sara. me listening = happy, especially if it’s a pretty day. just makes life even happier. why, i’m listening now, and it’s a lovely and beautiful day outside, pretty girls are out jogging, and unicorns and baby animals are cuddling under double rainbows. a random person could even hug me right now, you just never know.

    but their videos? :/ bless ’em for trying, though.

    a good video can sometimes be all it takes for me to run out and buy a band’s cd’s. for instance, most recent example, i saw broken bells’ “the high road” video (the one with christina hendricks from firefly!). wow! bought their cd, LOVE it. they are an awesome band. another example: OK Go and “end love”. great video, probs cost $2.18 to make. two words: the goose! bought their cd.

    years ago, the vid i saw for tegan & sara’s “superstar” was actually a fan-made video for buffy and faith. but here’s the thing: it still sold the song/band to me. i immediately rotated on down to the store and bought all their cds! i’ve never felt gayer except when i bought a stack of melissa etheridge cds in 1994.

    (see? all roads to all good things begin at joss whedon. but i digress.)

    videos are more than just an expression of creativity, they are also an excellent marketing tool. they don’t need monster budgets, and they don’t need to be big productions like “november rain” or something. i see a really creative video of a band i’ve never heard, and there is a very good chance i’m going to go get their cd. they get money, i get great music for all my adventures in/around boston. everybody, win!

    i hope that one day the girls will branch out and try something new/strange/different. i’m not the only one who’d love to see it. :)

  13. call it off is the only t&s video i ever need. brilliant concept and endless close-ups of tegan looking intensely in my direction. and the hottest mouth quivers ever seen.

  14. i definitely missed this article the first time around, or i would have commented. good thing riese and the team are on it.

    loved this – the graphics, the lyrics, the total awkwardness. lets be honest, i’ll read almost anything about tegan and sara, but this was obviously a total labor of love and next time i watch a t&s video im going to come back to this page and maybe play a drinking (or maybe just spoonfuls-of-peanut butter) game with myself! oh that reminds me, i once got to dance with t&s onstage once in DC for a taping of pancake mountain, and my friend and i were the awkward 23 year olds in a sea of toddlers and their parents. bopping around with a three year old while five ft from tegan quin? amazing.

  15. I’m always enthralled when watching their videos due to Tegans freely moving mouth but when it comes to the crunch it’s Sara’s deer in the head light look that makes me swoon. I love them and this post makes me :D

  16. Pingback: Queer women kissing actually shown in new Tegan and Sara Video! « Garbanzo Guerrilla

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