“Someone who’s in this relationship that they know they shouldn’t be in. It’s this dysfunctional relationship, and they don’t have the strength to get out. And ‘what have I, what have I, what have I done to deserve this?’ – there’s a real sense that they shouldn’t be there, but they’re basically a slave to this obsessive love. It’s one of the few songs of mine that is about that but doesn’t turn itself around and go, ‘I’m leaving here, screw you, go make someone else miserable.’ Usually I don’t just leave it at ‘what have I done to deserve this,’ but it felt right for the group, so that’s what it was.”
— Allee Willis, co-writer of What Have I Done To Deserve This?
Though this song may be out a toxic relationship, I always think of it as being about the showgirl taking off her glasses before going out to dance on stage. That’s the power of a good music video.
This video was directed by Eric Watson, who spent most of his music video career working with Pet Shop Boys, though he also did videos for Samantha Fox, Rod Stewart, and Debbie Harry.