Directed by Joe Hahn, the indoor scenes of the music video are set in St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague, Czech Republic as are the outdoor scenes. The school interiors, the classroom, the corridor and the outside playground are set in Johannes Kepler Grammar School (Gymnázium Jana Keplera) in Prague. The bridge scenes were all shot on Prague’s famed Charles Bridge. Due to vocalist Chester Bennington suffering from severe abdominal and back pains, the band’s performance was filmed later in a matching cathedral in Los Angeles.
The video follows the domestic and social problems faced during a day in the life of an unpopular outcast young female student (portrayed by Briana Evigan). The girl apparently spends much of her time drawing pictures, revealing that she probably has dreams of becoming an artist. She is largely shunned and ridiculed at school, considering that when she is told off by the lecturer for drawing in class everybody laughs at her and teases her, when she trips on the stairs nobody stops to help her up, and that when she tries to join a group of girls at a lunch table they immediately get up and leave. There are also self-inflicted cut marks on her arms, which spell out “NUMB”. During the song’s climax, she is shown in her room, as she ties up her hair with a paintbrush, and throws paint at a canvas in anger. At the end, she runs into the church that the band was playing in, almost as if she heard them, only to find the church left behind empty.
MuchMusic’s 100 Best Videos ranked it at #40. As of 20 July 2017, it has 550 million views, and is the most viewed video of Linkin Park on YouTube, as well as the most viewed metal music video.