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What You Waiting For? deals directly with the lyrics' theme of Stefani's search for inspiration in songwriting. When Stefani picks up an oversized pocket watch from the piano, a rabbit knick-knack jumps across the room. She throws the watch at the knick-knack, causing her to fall back on her chair and find herself transported to a fantasy world based on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.
Stefani portrays several characters from the books, including Alice, the White Queen and the Red Queen. The video frequently cuts to Stefani back in the studio to show her singing and performing in semi-synchronization with her actions within her fantasy-world. Stefani rediscovers her confidence, and her full awareness is transported back to the ordinary reality of the studio just as she dances in front of her four giggling Harajuku Girls. At the end, she is presented with her bill by the consultant as a wooden chair topples to the floor. The video also pays homage to The Shining when Stefani chases someone through the hedge maze.
At the 2005 MTV Video Music Awards, the video was nominated for Best Editing and won the award for Best Art Direction. At the 2005 MuchMusic Video Awards, the video was nominated for Best International Video and it won the award for Best Dressed Video at the first MTV Australia Video Music Awards.