Taylor Swift 'Easter Eggs' Even Her Most Devoted Fans May Have Missed

Photo: Jay L Clendenin/Los Angeles Times/Shutterstock
Taylor Swift at the Grammys

If there’s one thing Taylor Swift fans and FBI agents have in common it’s the ability to find even the most obscure clues and connect them to a wider plot.

Ever since Swift first revealed that she hides clues and hidden meanings in most of her work, fans have become experts in dissecting her work to catch these surprises.

Swift calls these gems "Easter eggs" — a term for hidden messages, images or features coined in the late '70s by Steve Wright, then Director of Software Development for Atari — and uses them to add layers of metaphors to her work.

The singer has embedded Easter egg hunts for everything from updating her relationship status to unveiling the names of celebrity babies — and Swifties have become accustomed to being kept on their toes as they constantly wait for clues of what’s coming next.

Here are some of Taylor Swift’s most recent Easter eggs that have fans buzzing:

From Grammys outfits to previous albums, Swift has given us plenty of Easter eggs in the past year.

Clues from the Grammys

Swift addressed some of her most talked-about Easter eggs in her Grammy’s acceptance speech as she thanked her boyfriend Joe Alwyn for his participation in the creation of her recent albums, Folklore and Evermore.

She said that Alwyn was “the first person who I play every single song that I write and I had the best time writing songs with you in quarantine.”

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Fans have long suspected that Alwyn co-wrote the songs “Exile” and “Betty” under the pseudonym William Bowery and Swift’s speech appeared to confirm this.

Swift went on to thank “James, Ines, and Betty, and their parents, who are the second and third people that I play every new song I write.”

This referred to Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds whose youngest daughter’s name was revealed to the world via Swift’s song “Betty” in which James and Ines are also mentioned.

Swift also shared an image taken at the Grammys in which she is holding up three fingers, leading some people to speculate further that a third album is coming to join her sister albums Folklore and Evermore that were released in tandem in 2020.

However, this choice of pose is most likely a reference to Swift taking home the Album of the Year award for the third time in her career.

Another obscure theory is taken from Swift’s Oscar de la Renta Grammy’s outfit which was covered in flowers. The dress featured a sunflower that was not in the original design as it appeared on the runway leading some fans to speculate that it is a clue.

After Harry Styles and Swift were spotted chatting at the awards some hoped the flower was a signal that these two exes are working on a collaboration together.

Styles has a song of his own called “Sunflower” and Swift is expected to record her own track “Style” which is believed to be about the former One Direction member.

Surprises about Swift’s Fearless release

Swift has been hinting that she would rerecord some of her old music for years now following her high-profile spat with Scooter Braun over her rights to own her masters.

First up on the re-records is Swift’s second studio album and one of her earliest successes, Fearless.

She recently hid a special announcement in one of her Instagrams in which she used some strategically placed capitalized letters to tell fans that the rerelease would be coming on April 6.

But that’s not the only Easter egg fans have found about Swift’s Fearless album. Ahead of the release, Swift shared a re-recording of her hit single “Love Story” with accompanying cover art.

On the cover, Swift wears an identical shirt to that worn by the “Romeo” character in her original music video. Fans suspect this is Swift’s way of communicating that she no longer needs a man to save her as she takes control of her own artistry with the release.

Fans also suspect Swift will be including an unreleased collaboration with bestie Selena Gomez after a few clues implied these two were cooking something.

Gomez recently took to Instagram to gush about missing Swift and included a product named "Fearless" in her Rare Beauty makeup collection. It is suspected that the track will be number 13 on the album which is well documented to be Swift's favorite number.

Evermore Easter eggs

Swift dropped Evermore in December 2020 much to the surprise of fans who were still getting over her Folklore album that had arrived just a few months prior — but some key Easter eggs subtly told us that the singer was working on something special.

Prior to releasing Folklore, Swift had shared a post to social media with the caption, “Not a lot going on at the moment” so when a post with the same caption came later in the year, fans were correct in assuming this meant another release (Evermore) was coming.

Swift also let fans in on some of the track names through the magic of Instagram in the weeks leading up to the album.

She captioned one Instagram story, “Tis the damn season” which would later be revealed as the title for the album's fourth track. In another post, she hid images of willow and ivy in the background. These plants later became track titles on Evermore.

Swift also effortlessly hid some clues in Folklore about what to expect in Evermore by making the 13th track of each album about her grandfather and grandmother respectively.

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Folklore metaphors

Swift’s Folklore era was filled with countless clues, hints, and metaphors — within and outside the album.

Prior to its release, Swift’s music video for "Lover," the title track of her previous album, had given fans a hint at the aesthetic of Folklore.

Folklore is also where Inez, James, and Betty were introduced as characters in a teenage love triangle. Swift shifts perspectives throughout the album to tell a love story from each character’s point of view.

The general consensus seems to be that the three songs in this trio are "Cardigan," "August," and "Betty." The characters involved seem to be called James, Betty, and Inez. "Cardigan" is from Betty’s point of view, "August" from Inez’s, and "Betty" from James.

Swift’s expert skill at teasing fans and leaving them wanting more has kept her followers on their toes for years as they comb through her social media, outfits, lyrics, and more for what is to come.

And given that we are awaiting rerecordings of years worth of her music, we can certainly expect more Taylor Swift Easter eggs soon.

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Alice Kelly is a writer living in Brooklyn, New York. Catch her covering all things social justice, news, and entertainment.