In Black Mirror, Irma Thomas's song 'Anyone Who Knows What Love Is' got featured a lot:

  • In Fifteen Million Merits: Abi sings "Anyone Who Knows What Love Is" for the judges.

  • In White Christmas, song is used in a karaoke segment.

  • In Men Against Fire, Hunter sings this song in Heidekker's farmhouse while holding him at gunpoint.

  • In Crocodile, while the insurance lady was driving

  • Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too - The song is extracted from Ashley O's brain during her coma and produced by her managers through speech synthesis.

  • Joan Is Awful - The song is played in the background when Joan enters a bar to meet Mac.

But why is this real life song used so prominently? Is there any significance of the song to a Black Mirror theme?

1 Answer 1


It's simply an Easter Egg:

When asked if they had a favorite Season Three Easter Egg, Brooker immediately mentioned “Nosedive.” “I think my favorite, currently, is the status update from Michael Callow [the Prime Minister in “The National Anthem“] that appears in ‘Nosedive’ because I had forgotten that I typed it in, and I thought it hadn’t made it into the finished show,” he said. “Somebody found it and screen-capped it where he says, he’s sort of moaning about being thrown out of a zoo.”

Brooker also added that he enjoyed Irma Thomas’ “Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand)” reappearing in “Men Against Fire.” The song is known in the series for Abi’s (Jessica Brown Findlay) haunting performance of it on the reality show Hot Shot in “Fifteen Million Merits.”

Also from DigitalSpy - Charlie Brooker explains how one huge Black Mirror easter egg links several episodes

First heard in season one's 'Fifteen Million Merits', Irma Thomas' 1964 track 'Anyone Who Knows What Love Is (Will Understand)' has actually been played numerous times throughout the series.

Also appearing in 'White Christmas', Season 3's 'Men Against Fire', and Season 4's 'Crocodile', the showrunners confirming that ties the episodes into an "artistic universe".

"It was originally selected for ['Fifteen Million Merits'] because it was, it has the sound of a timeless haunting classic, yet wouldn't be familiar to most viewers," Brooker told TheWrap. "Idea was to have the character of Abi sing a song of earnest beauty."

His co-showrunner Annabel Jones explained that he "has loved [the song] for a long time", adding that they return to it constantly because Brooker "liked the idea of nesting all the episodes together in an artistic universe of sorts".

  • 1
    @Tetsujin Thanks for the update!
    – BCdotWEB
    Commented Jul 4, 2023 at 15:11

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