Hidden Details You May Have Missed In Popular Taylor Swift Music Videos
Taylor Swift is without a doubt the Queen of hiding Easter eggs. From secret messages hidden in the liner notes of her albums to dropping clues in magazine interviews, Instagram posts, and television appearances, her fans (also known as Swifties) are always in full detective mode searching high and low for clues that relate to new music or subtle references to who or what is behind the song inspiration. The place where Taylor hides most of her Easter eggs is within her music videos! With a new album release on the way in August, her latest music videos are no exception. While we anxiously await the release of TS7 let’s dig into Taylor’s most Easter egg filled videos and uncover 41 hidden details you might have missed in Taylor Swift’s music videos!… Ready for it?
41. The Dice – ‘You Need to Calm Down’ (Lover)
When numbers appear in a Taylor Swift music video are they ever just random? Never. It appears that the dice on the table add up to 13 – Taylor’s lucky number. However, it doesn’t stop there! One Swiftie noticed on Twitter that all of the dice together add up to 67. Yes, 6 + 7 = 13 BUT, 67 days after the video’s premiere is August 23rd, which is none other than the album release date!
40. “Mom, I am a Rich Man” – ‘You Need to Calm Down’ (Lover)
Back in 1996 Cher did an interview where she explained that her mother asked her when she would settle down with a rich man, to which the singer responded, “Mom, I am a rich man.” It’s no wonder that Swift (whom the media portrays as being ‘boy crazy’) used to line as a way to emphasize that a relationship does not define you and to provide for you. A narrative she has since been trying to be excluded from.
39. New Merchandise – ‘You Need to Calm Down’ (Lover)
Taylor debuted a lot of new merch in this music video that became available to order online immediately after the premiere. This included a “Lover” phone case, the “Calm Down” sleeping mask, heart-shaped sunglasses and several t-shirts.
38. Benjamin Button Watch – ‘You Need to Calm Down’ (Lover)
Anything cat related can be chalked up to Taylor’s love of cats but this particular cat on the face of the watch resembles her newest addition to her cat family, Benjamin Button, who Taylor adopted right off the set of her music video “ME!” While the homage is cute, one of the numbers of the watch does not follow the same pattern as the rest. The number 1 is actually in army time which is – you guessed it – 13!
37. Back Tattoo – ‘You Need to Calm Down’ (Lover)
Taylor’s back tattoo is a nod to the beginning of her music video for “ME!” which is also a metaphor she’s been using quite frequently during this latest album promotion. The popular reputation era snake bursting into butterflies is Swift’s own metamorphosis in which she is leaving her reputation behind and is becoming her true self.
36. Rose-Lined Pool – ‘You Need to Calm Down’ (Lover)
Roses have been making an appearance in a number of ways recently but have yet to be officially explained. In several promotional photos for her new album have displayed Swift sporting a rose. During her performance at Wango Tango in Los Angeles, she used roses as part of her backdrop in her set design. While we may not know the meaning of these clues just yet, Taylor has been known to hide Easter eggs that won’t be explained until the full album is released. Taylor, we’re sitting tight on this one.
35. The Infamous Track 5 – ‘You Need to Calm Down’ (Lover)
Singer Hayley Kiyoko is seen shooting an arrow and hitting the bullseye with a number 5 written on it. But why the number 5? The Swiftie fandom has been keen to note that track 5 on Taylor’s albums have usually been emotional ballads such as, “Delicate” (reputation), “All Too Well” (Red), “Dear John” (Speak Now), “White Horse” (Fearless) and “Cold As You” (Taylor Swift). Unfortunately, the track listing hasn’t been listed yet, but chances are track 5 will be a doozy…possibly in collaboration with Hayley Kiyoko?
34. Ellen DeGeneres’s Tattoo – ‘You Need to Calm Down’ (Lover)
Not only was Taylor Swift’s interview on The Ellen Show one big Easter egg, but her tattoo was also spotted peeking out of her sleeve during the interview by clever fans. Ellen coyly asked to be in her music video when she had already filmed her part! This clue is another one to put in our back pocket for later as we aren’t too sure what it could mean. The name of a track off the new album? Or, it could be a reference to Kanye’s compilation album of the same name along with a nod to the time of year when Kim Kardashian released Taylor and Kanye’s phone call and called her a snake? Here’s hoping it’s a new song title!
33. Pop Queen Pageant/Crown – ‘You Need to Calm Down’ (Lover)
As RuPaul graces the stage to crown the winner of the Pop Queen Pageant, the “RuPaul’s Drag Race” contestants are dressed as popular artists including Ariana Grande, Lady Gaga, Cardi B, Taylor (obvs), Beyonce, Katy Perry, and Nicki Minaj. As the crown flies in the air no one tries to grab it because they realize that there doesn’t have to be just one artist on top. The line, “We all know now / we’ve all got crowns” is also a reference to “Call It What You Want” (Reputation) where Taylor sings about people bringing her down and trying to take her crown whereas she knows now that no one can take her crown because they’ve all got their own.
32. Ryan Reynolds – ‘You Need to Calm Down’ (Lover)
Ryan Reynolds seems like an odd addition to this LGBTQA+ anthem, but it’s what he’s depicted painting that matters! This scene parallels his Deadpool/Bob Ross bit but this time he’s painting the iconic Stonewall Inn which days before the video release, Taylor made a surprise performance to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the uprising and is a symbol for the LGBTQA+ community. It’s also worth mentioning that next to Ryan in a bucket is a bottle of Aviation Gin, a company which he owns.
31. The Reputation Snake – ‘ME!’ (Lover)
The opening shot of Taylor’s first single off her 7th album a shot of the famous reputation snake in pastel pink skin slithering on a chalk-colored road hissing before suddenly bursting into a million butterflies that fly away. We’ve already discussed how Taylor is leaving her reputation behind and allowing her true self to shine, but the symbol of the butterfly is one that Taylor has used since she walked the runway at the iHeart Radio Awards with butterfly heels. She also secretly commissioned artist Kelsey Montague to paint a butterfly mural in Nashville for the single promo. It’s also important to note that a flock of butterflies is called a kaleidoscope which will make a return later because nothing is a coincidence in the world of T Swift.
30. Christmas Tree – ‘ME!’ (Lover)
It doesn’t appear to be Christmas when this music video is taking place yet there is mysteriously a Christmas tree in the background of Taylor and Brendon’s apartment. The tree could be referencing Taylor’s pre-fame life in which she grew up on a Christmas tree farm in Reading, Pennsylvania. Back on July 13, 2018, Taylor Instagrammed a picture of herself at her childhood home with the caption “Take Me Home.” Could this be a potential song from the new album?
29. French Subtitles – ‘ME!’ (Lover)
Why are Taylor and Brendon speaking French? It could be referencing Taylor’s Paris themed music video for “Begin Again” (Red), however, some of the words are capitalized and we’ve learned that nothing is a coincidence for Taylor. While everyone was speculating the capitalized words (I’m not sleeping on this by the way), Brendon straight out says, “You need to calm down.[[[-” Definitely not calm tbh.
28. Palm Trees – ‘ME!’ (Lover)
As Taylor is walking down the hallway, palm trees can be seen through the window which doesn’t seem to be fitting since this video could be set in either France or England. The day Taylor finished her 7th album she Instagrammed a photo with seven palm trees which fans were quick to guess meant her 7th album was on its way. Palm trees are also a symbol of rebirth much like a butterfly. Hmm…
27. The 13 Clouds – ‘ME!’ (Lover)
It’s no surprise that the number 13 makes its appearance in this video as 13 storm clouds surround Taylor as she walks through what resembles the throne room in the ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ video. When Taylor taps the phone the storm clouds get angry and two of then turn into snakes. Kimye perhaps? While one tries to eat her whole, she escapes unscathed and walks off!
26. The Pink Phone – ‘ME!’ (Lover)
If you think you’ve seen this pink phone before you are correct! It’s the same phone that rings in Taylor’s Netflix Reputation concert special that Tiffany Haddish answers mid-LWYMMD performance to announce that the old Taylor can’t come to the phone because she’s dead! This is also an ‘Old Taylor’ reference as the phone is incredibly similar to the one Taylor used in her music video for ‘Our Song’ off her first album back in 2006.
25. Cool (Dixie) Chicks – ‘ME!’ (Lover)
While the painting of chickens wearing sunglasses is an exceptionally clever pun for the lyrics, “There’s a lot of cool chicks out there,” the chicks I couldn’t help but notice the most are the DIXIE CHICKS. In Taylor’s February interview with Elle UK, she referenced two musical acts – Panic! At the Disco and the Dixie Chicks. I didn’t think much of this call out until Taylor announced her first single was featuring Panic! At the Disco’s lead singer, Brendon Urie. Fans were quick to speculate a possible Dixie Chicks collab and perhaps a return to Taylor’s country roots? Only time will tell!
24. Suitcases – ‘ME!’ (Lover)
Counting is, of course, a common occurrence in Taylor’s Easter eggs and these suitcases were no exception. When the song was released there was no confirmation an album was to follow but the 7 suitcases surrounding Taylor was a clear indicator that this song is the first single off her much speculated 7th album!
23. Chrysalis Sky – ‘ME!’ (Lover)
The butterfly metaphor makes a comeback in the sky as the background resembles what seems to be a chrysalis! This is fitting since the song is about embracing your own identity and who you are but we can’t help but think this confirms Swift’s own metamorphosis from her past reputation.
21. Lover Sign – ‘ME!’ (Lover)
In an interview with British news outlet the Independent, when asked about the album title Swift responded by saying, “I think you see it once and hear it twice.” The “Lover” sign that appears as the singer is perched atop of a unicorn gargoyle is the only time it is visible in the whole video and the word is heard twice in the lyrics. Swift later confirmed in an Instagram live on June 13th that the name of her new album is in fact Lover and will have a total of 18 tracks! That’s practically a double album. How did we get so lucky?!
20. Kaleidoscope of Heartbeats – ‘ME!’ (Lover)
While Swift’s rejection of an engagement ring is a nod to Taylor not being ready for several speculated proposals in the past, she excitedly accepts a cat because, well, Taylor loves cats. It’s Brendon opening his coat pocket to reveal a heart-shaped door that spirals into a kaleidoscope that’s a visual representation of the lyrics, “kaleidoscope of loud heartbeats under coats,” from her 1989 song, ‘Welcome to New York’!
19. London Calling – ‘ME!’ (Lover)
Since Swift began dating British actor, Joe Alwyn, the singer has been spending a lot of time in the UK so it’s no wonder that she snuck in some notable landmarks of London in one of her videos. As the camera pans away from the street marching scene you can clearly see Big Ben, Capitol Hill and Parliament in the background. We do get a feel of London early on in the video with some very ‘Mary Poppins’ vibes as the street she lives on is reminiscent of the Banks’ family home, along with Brendon and the ‘lame guys’ jumping out of windows and rooftops with umbrellas a la Mary herself!
18. Graffiti 89/91 – ‘…Ready For It’ (reputation)
Right off the bat of this music video we get a call back to 1989 with Taylor’s birth year (‘89) spray-painted behind her – but what is the ‘91 referring to? There’s speculation that the song is about Taylor’s beau Joe Alwyn who was born in 1991! Though Taylor never reveals who her songs are inspired by, this Easter egg is a pretty clear indicator!
17. Elevator Buttons – ‘…Ready For It’ (reputation)
Taylor is very skilled at staying on brand during each era of her music and this includes little details down to the font on the elevator buttons. Before this album she has been known for using more whimsical and girly fonts, the type on the elevator buttons she pushes matches the Engravers Old English font of her reputation album cover. But if you’re looking closer you’ll notice she pushes the buttons 21 and I’m willing to bet it’s not a coincidence that Joe Alwyn’s birthday is on the 21st of February.
16. Chinese Characters – ‘…Ready For It’ (reputation)
I definitely can’t read Chinese but when this video came out I really wished I could! Luckily, this Swiftie pointed out that the Chinese characters in the background read ‘Year of the Snake.’ Not only was Taylor reclaiming her own narrative after being called a snake on social media by Kim Kardashian, but 1989 was actually the year of the snake! Other Chinese characters worth noting read: reputation (duh) and future. Future seemed to be misplaced until the tracklisting revealed that the rapper Future collaborated on a song on the album.
15. Joseph – ‘…Ready For It’ (reputation)
We’ve already uncovered two clues that lead us to believe this song is about Joe Alwyn, not to mention the lyrics are pretty clear themselves, but the name JOSEPH is displayed twice on the walls in the alley. Once in neon lights and again in graffiti with a halo around it! Now, this could be in reference to the video’s director, Joseph Kahn, with whom Taylor has worked with on several music videos in the past. Although this may be true, our hearts lean towards Joe Alwyn <3.
14. Graffiti Lyrics – ‘…Ready For It’ (reputation)
When this video was released back in September 2017, we were still anxiously awaiting the release of reputation. Most of the graffiti painted walls were actually Easter eggs that contained clues that wouldn’t reveal themselves until the full album was released. Lines like, “I loved you in secret”, “ur Gorgeous”, “This is enough”, “all eyes on us” and “they’re burning all the witches” are all lyrics from songs yet to be released on reputation!
13. Old Taylor vs. New Taylor – ‘…Ready For It’ (reputation)
A video with two Taylors? How could we be so lucky?! The comparison of the two Taylor cyborgs was not so much of an Easter egg but rather an allegory of Swift’s reputation in the media. The dark cyborg Taylor represents her reputation the way the media has portrayed her over the years, and the Taylor trying to escape the glass box represents the real Taylor. New Taylor defeats ‘reputation’ Taylor thus allowing her true self to be free. I’m not crying, you’re crying!
12. This Is What You (We) Came For – ‘…Ready For It’ (reputation)
When Calvin Harris and Rhianna released the song, ‘This Is What You Came For’ in April 2016, it had a je ne sais quoi that separated it from past Calvin Harris songs. Three months later after their split, it was confirmed by Taylor Swift’s reps that the singer penned the lyrics under the pseudonym Nils Sjöberg so the pair’s then relationship didn’t overshadow the song. In the video for TIWYCF, Rhianna is seen singing in a glass box very similar to the one new Taylor is trapped in. The lightning in the glass box that cyborg Taylor conjures also mimics Calvin’s album artwork for the single.
11. White Horse – ‘…Ready For It’ (reputation)
One of cyborg-Taylor’s attempts to escape the glass box her reputation is keeping her in is by conjuring a white horse. Taylor first use of a white horse came from her Fearless single of the same name and was brought back again in the ‘Blank Space’ music video. This time, the white horse isn’t representing someone saving her or making her whole but rather as a way to save herself or break free from her reputation.
10. Are We Out of the Woods Yet? – ‘…Ready For It’ (reputation)
Past career references continue with the parallels from the ‘Out of the Woods’ music video. Images of Taylor lying on the ground in the box are reminiscent of her lying on the ground in the desert in OOTW. The parallels continue when cyborg attempts to her use light to escape using the same imagery in OOTW when Swift is searching through the forest among the fireflies. But why is she referencing this specific song? ‘Out of the Woods’ was a song about the feeling of anxiety in a relationship that felt like it could end at any minute and wondering when it would end, similar to her feelings towards her media reputation which when painted badly could have ended killed her image and ended her career. It’s no doubt that Taylor was wondering when she would be out of the woods from her tainted reputation.
9. Nils Sjöberg We Meet Again – ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ (reputation)
Swift made a comeback in a big way with ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ as a response to her reputation painted by the media. It began with a zombified Taylor climbing out of a grave. Terrifying. Zombie Taylor is wearing the same dress that Swift wore in the OOTW music video and proceeds to bury Taylor from the 2014 MET Gala next to a tombstone that reads Nils Sjöberg – her pseudonym from Calvin Harris’s ‘This Is What You Came For’.
8. Bathing in Diamonds – ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ (reputation)
Bathing in a tub filled to the brim with diamonds is not only extravagant but it’s a callback to the ‘Blank Space’ character Taylor created from the persona the media created of her. When playing at the Grammy Museum before releasing 1989, she described the character as someone who collects men but can’t keep them and cries to herself in a bathtub surrounded by pearls.
7. The Symbolic Dollar – ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ (reputation)
It might seem weird that while bathing in a tub full of diamonds that there would be a single dollar bill in the mix. The dollar bill here references the symbolic dollar that Swift asked for in her countersuit against radio DJ David Meuller after he sexually assaulted her during a photo op.
6. Locket – ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ (reputation)
If you follow Taylor on Instagram you’d recognize the heart-shaped locket that ex-beau Calvin Harris gifted her for their one year anniversary! It’s no surprise that it’s laying on the floor next to the bathtub but the kicker here is that the chain of the locket seems to spell out the word “NO”. Is Taylor alluding to turning down a proposal from the DJ who had been rumored to be ring shopping just before their split?
5. “Et Tu Brute” – ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ (reputation)
Engraved in the arms of Taylor’s golden throne and the two pillars on either side of the staircase are the Latin words “ET TU BRUTE” which is a line from Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Ceasar’, translating to, “Even you Brutus”. This clue is two-fold. Like Ceasar, Taylor herself has been betrayed by Brutus’ in the likes of (i.e. Kanye West, Katy Perry, cheating exes). But if you’re also a ‘Mean Girls’ fan, you’ll remember Gretchen referring to Regina as Ceasar and expresses how they should backstab Ceasar (Regina). So what does ‘Mean Girls’ have to do with Taylor you ask? Well, back in September 2014 when Taylor’s feud with Katy Perry was in full force, KP tweeted: “Beware the Regina George in sheep’s clothing,” essentially calling Taylor Ceasar!
4. Car Crash Grammy – ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ (reputation)
There’s a lot going on in the Maserati car crash scene. First, Taylor is sporting a similar blonde hairstyle similar to the one that Katy Perry had during her ‘Witness’ promotional tour. She is also seen holding a Grammy as she sits in the wreckage. Back at the 2016 Grammy Awards, Taylor Swift won 3 Grammys – one of which was for Best Music Video for her single ‘Bad Blood’ which was speculated to be about her feud with Katy Perry. That year Taylor’s Grammy total hit 10 and she became the only solo female artist to win the coveted Album of the Year award twice – and in separate genres to boot! And Katy? Well, Katy Perry has zero Grammys so far.
3. Streaming Service Robbery – ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ (reputation)
As an advocate for artists rights, in 2014 Taylor pulled her entire back catalogue from Spotify whom she believed wasn’t paying artists enough for their work as they were receiving under a penny a stream! She also penned a letter to Apple Music when it was discovered that they weren’t going to pay artists for streams that were within a user’s 3-month free trial period. Seen here robbing the vault of ‘Stream Co.’ Swift burns the money, calling out critics who accused her of pulling her music as a way to make more money from album sales rather than standing up for struggling musicians.
2. Squad Army – ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ (reputation)
The plastic doll army is without a shadow of a doubt calling out Swift’s A-list group of friends. Taylor more than anyone has often been criticized for collecting famous friends and are often referred to as her ‘squad’. From Blake Lively to Lena Dunham, Selena Gomez, and a number of Victoria’s Secret models, the media has had a heyday in recent years suggesting that these friends aren’t real at all and only hang around the star to improve her image.
1. Ghost of Taylors Past – ‘Look What You Made Me Do’ (reputation)
This scene is arguably the highlight of the whole video as Taylor donning a reputation bodysuit stands atop of a mountain only to be revealed as a mountain of old Taylors through various moments in her career fighting each other to get to the top. Ultimately her reputation prevails and they all fall to their doom because the old Taylor is dead! RIP girl.