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Music / Taylor Swift

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Got a long list of ex-lovers, they'll tell you I'm insane.

"I'm not that complicated. My complications come out in my songs. All you have to do to be my friend is like me... and listen."

Taylor Alison Swift (born December 13, 1989) is a popular country-pop turned full on pop singer-songwriter from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. Swift found herself interested in poetry and music from an early age, and won a nationwide poetry contest at age nine with a poem called "Monster in my Closet", learned to play guitar from a computer repairman at 10, sang the national anthem at the U.S. Open in 2001 at the age of 11, and was signed by Sony/ATV at age 14. Swift broke into the Top 40 in 2006 with her debut single "Tim McGraw", and has since achieved widespread appeal and success both in the world of country music as well as mainstream pop.

Five albums, two EPs and three tours into her career (and counting!), Swift has seen all four of her country albums go to #1 on the country charts (and four albums, including the pop 1989 go to #1 on the Billboard 200), seven #1 singles on the country charts, dozens of songs charting in the Hot 100 (almost all of those making the top 40), gotten to #1 on the Hot 100 for the first time in 2012 with "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", has won seven Grammy awards, became the first female artist to succeed herself in the #1 spot in 2014 with "Shake It Off" and "Blank Space", and all of her big hits have crossed over massively. She's been certified by Nielsen as the most commercially successful country artist in music history and almost singlehandedly made the independent Big Machine Records label and her early producer Nathan Chapman big names in the country music industry.


She also appeared in an episode of CSI as a murder victim, was the musical guest for two episodes of Saturday Night Live (a season 34 episode hosted by Neil Patrick Harris and a season 35 episode where she was both host and musical guest, becoming the second-youngest host/musical guest to appear on the show - Britney Spears was the first when she appeared on SNL on the show's 25th season) and was one of the many stars in the film Valentine's Day, and had her first leading role as Audrey, the female lead in the film adaptation of the Dr. Seuss book The Lorax. She played Rosemary in the film adaptation of The Giver and appeared As Herself in (and on the soundtrack of) Hannah Montana: The Movie.

In June 2017, after years of withholding her back catalogue, it was finally put back on streaming services - Tidal, Spotify, Pandora, and Google Music - to celebrate 1989 selling ten million copies. She subsequently released her latest album, reputation. In November 2018 after her contract with Big Machine (with whom she'd been signed since before her original album came out in 2006) expired, she made the move to her new home of Universal Music Group in a deal that's estimated by Forbes to be worth somewhere between $100 million and $200 million. Her first album with them should be out in 2019 though she is also contractually obligated to release a greatest hits album with Big Machine.



Live albums:

  • Live From SoHo (2008)
  • CMT Crossroads: Taylor Swift & Def Leppard (2009)
  • Speak Now World Tour Live (2011)

Headlining Tours:

  • Fearless Tour (2009–10)
  • Speak Now World Tour (2011–12)
  • The Red Tour (2013-2014)
  • The 1989 World Tour (2015)
  • Reputation Stadium Tour (2018)

More tropes relating specifically to reputation can be found on its page.

Taylor Swift and her works provide examples of:

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  • 419 Scam: There's been a fair amount of spam purporting to come from Taylor Swift, but it's an obvious scam, since it's so often phrased in the template of standard 419 spam, except signed as 'Taylor Swift' and even linking to her website. Which is not so good for fans...
  • AcCENT upon the Wrong SylLABle:
    • Combined with a strange line-break, the bridge of "Fearless" is hard to decipher:
      Well you stood there with me in the door-
      -way, my hands shake, I'm not usually this way...
    • "Teardrops On My Guitar" also counts:
      Drew talks to me, I laugh 'cause it is just so funny
  • The Ace: Her string of top 10s is quite impressive.
  • Action Girl: Not just Taylor, but no less than twenty girls and women in the music video for "Bad Blood". The whole video is some sort of sci-fi noir set up, complete with explosions, hand-to-hand combat, swordfighting, and numerous Quentin Tarantino references.
  • Adam Westing:
    • Done in the video for rapper T-Pain's parody song, "Thug Story", in which she pokes fun at her squeaky clean image.
    • The Monologue Song, as well.
    • Done in the song "Blank Space" and even more explicitly in the music video. Taylor's character is the media's perception of her: A girl who lures boys in, dates them for song writing material, gets jealous and clingy, goes Ax-Crazy, and as the current boy escapes, she has another one lined up.
    • The music video for "Look What You Made Me Do" features numerous callbacks to previous music videos and appearances, culminating in a lineup of Taylor Swifts caricaturing herself and trading barbs.
    • During a guest appearance on Saturday Night Live, she crashes Seth Rogen's monologue out of the blue, claiming that Seth was getting upset, and, "Whenever a man shows emotion... I appear."
  • Advertised Extra:
    • Colbie Caillat on "Breathe". It's supposed to be a duet, but Colbie's voice is really hard to hear; some might be surprised that she's on the track.
    • Taylor herself on John Mayer's "Half of My Heart". She listed as featured but is really a glorified backup singer.
  • Adorkable:
    • You can see some of it in her goofy dancing in "You Belong With Me" and "Shake It Off". Compared to the professional dancers in the latter one, Taylor comes off as hilariously incompetent.
    • A BuzzFeed article Taylor favorited on Twitter shows some Real Life examples.
    • The "Delicate" video features some more goofy dancing, as well as a scene of Taylor making silly faces into the mirror.
  • Age-Progression Song:
    • A minor one in "Mine", which chronicles Taylor's relationship with another guy throughout the years. More prevalent in the music video.
    • More explicit versions are exhibited in "The Best Day", "Never Grow Up", and "All Too Well".
    • As well as "Mary's Song (Oh My My My)"
  • Air Quotes: In the music video for "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together".
    We hadn't seen each other in a month
    When you said you needed "space." (What?)
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys:
    • In "The Way I Loved You", though she expresses genuine affection for her new boyfriend (who is very much a Nice Guy) the narrator is still reminiscing passionately about the excitement of "screaming and fighting and kissing in the rain" with her bad-boy ex.
    • "Treacherous" from Red has a similar theme, only this time it's about knowing someone will be trouble (pun not intended) and still falling for them anyway.
    • "I Knew You Were Trouble" and "Dear John" are aimed at a particular "bad boy".
    • "Blank Space" has this line: "I can make the bad guys good for a weekend."
    • "You look like bad news... I've gotta have YOU!!!" (from "22")note 
    • "Wildest Dreams" has "He's so tall and handsome as hell / He's so bad but he does it so well".
    • "End Game": "And I heard about you / You like the bad ones too".
  • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: In "You Belong With Me" (and this clip is going to be referenced quite a bit here), but eventually subverted as the boy leaves his cheerleader girlfriend for the band geek protagonist.
  • All Love Is Unrequited: In "Invisible" the protagonist has a crush on a guy who has an unrequited crush on a girl.
  • Alone in a Crowd: "Now I'm standing alone in a crowded room, and we're not speaking," in "The Story of Us."
  • Alpha Bitch:
    • Did a double role as both the blonde Girl Next Door (the protagonist) and the brunette Alpha Bitch (the antagonist) in the "You Belong With Me" video.
    • "Mean" is about Alpha Bitches and bullies in general.
  • Amazing Technicolor Battlefield: On New Years' Eve 2014, she performed "Welcome to New York" and "Shake It Off" on a stage in Times Square that had colored lights glowing aplenty.
  • Ambiguously Gay:
    • One of the characters in the "Mean" music video is a young man (in a purple sweater and bow tie) who is tormented by jocks when they catch him with a fashion magazine; he ends up being a successful designer. (Which doesn't necessarily mean he's gay.)
  • Analogy Backfire: "Love Story". See Critical Research Failure on the YMMV tab.
  • Arc Number:
    • Let's see, she was born on the thirteenth, Fearless has thirteen tracks, she often writes the number on her hand during concerts, the stage used on the Speak Now tour has "XIII" written on it in multiple areas, her character's office in the "Ours" video is on the thirteenth floor, her Twitter handle is @taylorswift13, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" debuted at #13 on Hot Country Songs, "I Knew You Were Trouble" debuted at #13 on American Top 40 on the first weekend of 2013…
    • In promotional videos for the Speak Now tour, Taylor also identifies 8 as a significant number, as "Speak Now" contains 8 letters and her band, including herself, is 8 people.
    • Red has a theme of 22, the bonus version has 22 tracks, a song called 22 on it and it's released while she's 22 years old and was released on October 22.
  • Arc Words: There are frequent references to a little girl walking all the way home in Speak Now, along with a few fairy tale references ("Enchanted", "Dear John", "Sparks Fly" "Mine", etc).
    • Arc Gesture, she always finds time every show to do the heart above the head using the hands gesture for her fans.
  • Audience Participation Song:
    • On Speak Now Live, almost all of the songs are accompanied by the roar of tens of thousands of audience members singing along with Taylor.
    • "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" has also turned into one as well.
    • As well as "I Knew you Were Trouble"; at certain concerts, you can hardly hear Taylor's voice over the roar of 'Trouble, trouble, trouble!'
  • Ascended Meme:
    • Sone of this is related to her Adam Westing.
    • Someone made a Facebook page featuring a picture of a woman named "Becky" with a claim that she died of marijuana poisoning. Many people pointed out that the pictured woman was obviously Taylor Swift, but the original poster insisted "no it's Becky." The phrase instantly became a meme, and even Taylor Swift herself poked fun at it by wearing a t-shirt with the phrase.
  • Ax-Crazy: Becomes this in the "Blank Space" video.
  • Babies Ever After: In the "Mine" music video.
  • Bad Job, Worse Uniform: The waitress in the "Mean" music video has to dress up as a giant cardboard star.
  • Balcony Wooing Scene: Referenced in "Love Story", where the Romeo character throws pebbles at the POV character's window in a Star-Crossed Lovers scenario.
  • Bare Your Midriff: Taylor's been going for this look to one degree or another since 1989's release, although she's more subdued about it than many other pop acts. Especially prominent are the cheerleader and hip hop dancer outfits in the "Shake It Off" video. But though she often bares her midriff, she rarely shows her belly button.
  • Beautiful All Along: Done at the end of the video for "You Belong With Me" when she switches her geek garb for a prom dress. However, she wasn't exactly bad looking as the band girl with the glasses.
  • Best Served Cold:
    • A few of her songs about breakups, but the best example according to her is "Picture to Burn".
      Taylor: I always try to tell the audience that I really do try to be a nice person... but if you break my heart, hurt my feelings, or are really mean to me, I'm going to write a song about you. Haha. This song is the perfect example.
    • Pretty much the entirety of Speak Now, at least those that aren't "sorry". And half those apologies are "sorry for my revenge". An obvious example is "Better than Revenge" Or "Mean".
    • She parodies this in her SNL monologue.
    • We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together and I Knew You Were Trouble are pretty much intended to annoy the ex boyfriends they are about.
    • In a similar way, "Shake it Off" is ever so slightly annoying in order to piss off the haters she's "ignoring".
    • "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things" is a big "fuck you" to Kanye West and Kim Kardashian.
    • "Look What You Made Me Do" is her revenge song after her huge public falling out with Kanye West in 2016.
  • Betty and Veronica: "You Belong with Me," from the perspective of the "Betty"
  • Beware the Nice Ones:
    • Combined with Bitch in Sheep's Clothing in "Blank Space".
      ♪Rose garden filled with thorns...♪
      'Cause darling, I'm a nightmare dressed like a daydream...
    • The subject of "This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things":
      'But you stabbed me in the back while shaking my hand...'
  • Be Yourself: She's on record as saying, "If you're lucky enough to be different, don't ever change." Her accessibility is seen by many to be her biggest asset and huge reason for her success.
  • Big Applesauce: "Welcome To New York", based on her having moved to an upscale apartment in New York City.
  • Big "SHUT UP!": Fourteen Taylors vs Grammy!Taylor.
    Grammy!Taylor: I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative-
    The rest: Oh SHUT UP!!!
  • Big "WHAT?!":
    • Likely to be the first word out of her mouth every single time she wins an award, if it's not 'Oh my God'. Even if it's her third or fourth award of the night. She'll usually have her Jaw Drop and have an Eye Take to go along with it.
    • She also has an Adorkable look of shock and this trope on her face all the way through Speak Now Live concert. She's surprised she's so loved.
    • "When you...said"
  • Bishōnen: "I'd Lie".
    "First thought when I wake up, is, 'My God he's beautiful', I put on my makeup, and pray for a miracle."
  • Black Widow: Her performance of "Blank Space" for the American Music Awards is themed after this. The music video proper takes on a more Yandere feel.
  • Blind Without 'Em: By her own admission, Taylor has horrible eyesight, and is totally blind without her contact lenses.
  • Book-Ends: "Tim McGraw" begins and ends with the lines "You said the way my blue eyes shined / Put those Georgia stars to shame that night / I said that's a lie." The radio edit removes the second iteration, and just ends after the last chorus.
  • Bowdlerise:
    • "That's fine, I'll tell mine you're gay" in "Picture to Burn" was changed to "That's fine, you won't mind if I say" for the radio edit and video version.
      • You'll never hear the original lyrics now, because she never sings them.
    • Some stations edited the lyrics to "Teardrops on My Guitar". They are changed from "so damn funny" to "just so funny."note 
  • Braids of Action: Shown in her "You Belong With Me" and "The Story of Us" music videos.
  • Break the Cutie: Her entire career arc from sweet country ingénue to embittered snake queen. The shift began between her second and third albums when nefarious figures such as Kanye West and John Mayer entered her narrative.
  • Breakup Bonfire: The topic of "Picture to Burn".
    • Shown for a short second in the "Blank Space" music video.
  • Break-Up Song: If you make a Drinking Game out of it, you will die.
    1. "I Knew You Were Trouble"
    2. "You're Not Sorry"
    3. "White Horse"
    4. "Cold as You"
    5. "Haunted"
    6. "A Perfectly Good Heart"
    7. "Tim McGraw"
    8. "Dear John"
    9. "Forever & Always"
    10. "Should've Said No"
    11. "Begin Again"
    12. "You're Not Sorry"
    13. "The Story of Us"
    14. "Breathe"
    15. "Last Kiss"
    16. "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together"
    17. "All Too Well"
    18. "All You Had To Do Was Stay"
    19. "Clean"
      • To mix it up, she also wrote songs about her revenging upon her ex ("Pictures to Burn") or the girl who lured him away ("Better Than Revenge"), a song in which she convinces her love interest to breakup with his bride-to-be ("Speak Now"), a song where she steals someone else's boyfriend ("You Belong with Me"), songs about breaks ups that were her fault ("Back To December", "The Last Time", and "The Way I Loved You"), and breakups that were due to mutual agreement ("Wildest Dreams" and "Style"). Frankly, it comes as bit of a shock when the couple in the song argued but managed to work through their issues and stay together ("Stay, Stay, Stay", "Love Story", and "Mary's Song"). "Bad Blood" can be interpreted as a break-up song, though Taylor has said it was about a friend, not a significant other.
  • The Bro Code: Invoked in "Picture to Burn":
    There's no time for tears; I'm just sitting here, planning my revenge.
    There's nothing stopping me from going out with all of your best friends!"''
  • Broken Aesop: “Mean” can come off as this considering some of Swift’s other songs. Because writing vindictive songs about your exes and their new girlfriends is not mean-spirited at all?
  • Broken Bird: She's this in "Mine" & "Begin Again".
  • Burn Baby Burn: Said word-for-word in "Picture to Burn".
  • Butt-Monkey: Pick one Break-Up Song subject, any Break Up Song subject. She became a Punchline in the process.
    Michael K: "Yes, every songwriter writes songs about their exes, but not every songwriter turns the speculation about who that song is about into a game. Taylor set up the board, handed out the playing cards, rolled the dice first and turned into a giant game of Clue by dropping clues in the liner notes and during interviews."
  • Call-Back: In the first verse of "The Story of Us", she sings about "how we met and the sparks flew instantly", referencing "Sparks Fly", an earlier song on the album.
  • Call to Agriculture: She has stated numerous times over the years that she plans to primarily spend her twilight years gardening.
  • The Cameo: The video for "Bad Blood" is more or less just a string of cameos of various female actors, singers, or models.
  • Canon Discontinuity: She no longer performs any song off her first album in concert, except the occasional performance of "Our Song" in a more pop style.
    • This changed as of the reputation tour, which includes a medley of "Should've Said No" with later song "Bad Blood" in every show, along with various first-album tunes sometimes chosen as her acoustic surprise song.
  • Celeb Crush: "Superstar" on Fearless: Platinum Edition has hints of this.
  • Censored for Comedy: Taylor and T-Pain's short parody song "Thug Story". The end of the song was censored for comedic effect, with Swift herself protesting "But I didn't even swear."
  • Chained to a Railway: Swift winds up tied to the railroad tracks by a villain in the video for "Mean". She gets away in the end, though.
  • Changing Clothes Is a Free Action: Inexplicably changes from running shoes to high heels in "Ours".
    • Taylor's getting rather known for this. There were five different costume changes in the video for "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", a video shot in one take. She made another costume change mid-song in a live performance of "I Knew You Were Trouble" at the 2012 European Music Awards.
    • This trend actually started at the 2008 CMA Awards. While performing "Love Story", she changed from a normal dress to a wedding dress on stage. She also did this while performing the song on the Fearless Tour.
  • Cheap Heat: "Someday you'll turn your radio on" in "Tim McGraw" got several edits along the line of "Someday you'll turn [name of station] on". Bob Kingsley's Country Top 40 countdown even got its own edit, which said "And turn the Bob Kingsley countdown on".
  • The Cheerleader:
    • The antagonist in the video for "You Belong With Me".
    • Subverted in the video for "Shake It Off": One of her personas is a cheerleader, but displays none of the associated personality traits.
  • Christmas Songs: Sounds of the Season, an EP featuring country-pop renditions of Swift's favorite holiday songs.
  • Clothing Damage: Taylor undergoes this in the video for "Out of the Woods", her dress being ripped up quite a bit.
  • Color-Coded for Your Convenience:
    • The girl bullies in the "Mean" video all wear pink, while their victim wears blue.
    • In videos where Taylor competes with another girl for a guy's affections, her rival will usually be brunette.
    • The title song to her 2012 album, Red, describes emotions as colors.
    • At the prom in the "You Belong With Me" video, she is dressed in a conservative white dress, while the evil ex of her crush is dressed in a revealing red number. Just missing horns and a tail.
  • Concept Album: According to Taylor's introductory essay in the album's liner notes, all of the songs on Speak Now are tied together by the concept of words Taylor regretted not saying to other people in her life in certain situations. The title song invokes the Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace trope, appropriately.
  • Continuity Cavalcade: The music video for "Look What You Made Me Do" is packed with references to Taylor's older events, appearances, and music videos. Not even the most diehard Swiftie could catch them all on the first viewing.
  • The Cover Changes the Gender: When "Teardrops On My Guitar" was arranged as a duet for Crossroads, the verse sung by Joe Elliot had "Drew talks to me" changed to "You talk to me".
    • Swift's cover of "Drops of Jupiter" changes the subject of the song from a woman to a man.
    • On the other hand, Ryan Adams covered 1989—all of it—in a manner that flipped everything to a man's point of view.
  • The Cover Changes the Meaning: Luna Halo's song "Untouchable" turns more towards the lust side of attraction. Taylor manages to turn it into a ballad about not being able to admit her love for someone while changing amazingly few of the lyrics on Fearless: Platinum Edition. Nevertheless, the changes were still enough for Luna Halo to give Taylor co-writing credit for her version.
  • Crossover: In 2008, Swift appeared on an episode of CMT Crossroads, backed by Def Leppard. Awesomeness ensued.
  • Cute Kitten:
    • Swift has designed several greeting cards featuring kittens. She's on record as saying "I feel like kitten cards make everything better, pretty much."
    • And now we must note the kitten she went and adopted, further fulfilling the trope.
    • And the second kitten she went and adopted.
    • And that Diet Coke commercial, which takes it up to eleven.
  • The Cutie: Includes the aforementioned kitty.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Discussed in "Mean." Taylor basically vows to stop the cycle.
    • And then proceeds to mock the 'mean' girl for being "mean, and a liar, and pathetic, and alone in life, and mean". No wonder it's a Broken Aesop.
  • Damsel in Distress: Subverted in the video for "Mean".
  • Darker and Edgier: Watch the video for "You Belong With Me" or "Love Story" followed by the video for "I Knew You Were Trouble." You won't believe they're by the same artist.
    • "Speak Now" and "Red", if not exactly Darker and Edgier, are definitely more biting and cynical than her first two albums.
    • "Blank Space" shows Taylor at her most Ax-Crazy.
    • And then, there's "Look What You Made Me Do".
    • reputation as a whole explore more adult themes than her previous albums, with themes sex, lust, obsession and jealousy instead of romance.
  • Dastardly Whiplash: The villains in the "Mean" video.
  • Darker and Edgier:
    • "Love Story".
    • Also, to a lesser extent, "Ours".
  • Deadpan Snarker: Surprisingly enough, she can be quite sarcastic at times.
    • For proof of this, one needs to look no further than her appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in October, 2012. She's one of the few guests who could actually match wits with Ellen pretty well!
    • "We Are Never Ever Ever Getting Back Together" ALL verses are snarked.
    • Her tongue seems definitely in her cheek with "Shake It Off", certainly where the lyrics referencing criticism against her is concerned. More so in the song's music video.
    • "Blank Space" portrays her as what the media makes her out to be: a crazy, serial dater that lures in men.
    • "Stay Stay Stay" from Red and This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things from reputation show her snarky side as well.
  • Digital Piracy Is Evil: Not just digital piracy, but even some legitimate forms of digital media. Taylor has crusaded against music being sold or streamed for free, especially her own, as she's pulled her entire catalog off of Spotify and iTunes (the latter being temporary; after Apple returned to a paid streaming model, she posted her 1989 album back up). This Tumblr post explains the move as meant to help struggling young artists who can't afford to just give away their art.
    • Taylor has been criticized for this position and justification in some circles, as most signed artists make little-to-no income off of their music, meaning that it is actually the label that is hurt most by free streaming (artists tend to make much more of their money off of merchandise and ticket sales). It's gotten to the point where people often contrast her to Miley Cyrus, who has absolutely no problem if her music is pirated since as she has "made her money".
  • Disproportionate Retribution:
    • In "Speak Now", the guy's fiancee gets jilted and humiliated in public for yelling at her bridesmaid and having bad taste in wedding dresses.
    • The entire point of the video for "Mean", which is about bullying. A girl in the video has to eat lunch alone because she's wearing a different dress than everyone else.
  • Does Not Like Shoes: Yeah, she goes barefoot pretty often.
  • Double Entendre:
    • In "Tim McGraw" she claims her boyfriend was "just a boy in a Chevy truck / That had a tendency of getting stuck / on backroads at night."
    • In "Treacherous": "And I'll do anything you say / If you say it with your hands". This is Taylor at her most sexual – in a Rolling Stone interview, she becomes evasive and blames cowriter Dan Wilson for the line – and nevertheless, it's still veiled just enough so that her youngest fans won't pick up on it.
  • Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Averted in "You Belong With Me". The evil, shallow Alpha Bitch shouts at, pushes around and cheats on her boyfriend, but this is in no way seen as acceptable.
    • Played straight in the "Blank Space" video, which shows Taylor('s character) destroying her boyfriend's property and physically abusing him in a positive/"ironic" light.
  • Double Vision: The "You Belong With Me" video.
  • Downer Ending: Surprisingly, Taylor doesn't resolve the conflict between her and her ex(?) by the end of the "The Story of Us" and "Back to December" videos. Considering the latter is about Taylor Lautner and the former is believed to be about John Mayer, these seem to have Reality Subtext to them. "All Too Well", "Sad Beautiful Tragic", "I Almost Do" also do this.
    • "I Knew You Were Trouble" is basically "Downer ending" made from transitioning acoustic guitars and perky beats into heavy dubstep and slowly slipping sanity lyrics.
  • Dream Team: John Mayer, Ed Sheeran, Foster the People, Butch Walker, The Civil Wars.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Taylor Swift is much closer to mainstream country music than the country-pop style Taylor adopted as early as her second album, or the complete abandonment of country as of 1989. As of her 2011 tour, only one song ("Our Song") from her debut album is included in the setlist. Some of the change in sound may be due to her phasing out Liz Rose as a co-writer — Swift and Rose wrote most of the first album together, but only a couple tracks on the second, Taylor wrote all of Speak Now on her own, and only one track on Red. According to Word of God, 1989 is her first official full Pop album.
  • Easily Forgiven: Not her, but Kanye West. "Innocent" is about him.
    • Subverted as of reputation, given the events of 2016 involving West and Kim Kardashian. "Look What You Made Me Do" and "This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things" especially seem to be directed at him, and make it very clear that they're no longer on good terms.
  • Easter Egg: In the liner notes to her albums, the lyrics are all lowercase except for a few seemingly random capital letters. When read top to bottom, the capital letters spell out a message (for instance, "Can't tell me nothin'" is the hidden message in the lyrics to "Tim McGraw"), and "Hyannisport" is the hidden message in "Everything Has Changed".
  • Eating Lunch Alone: The little girl in the "Mean" music video is forced to because she's not wearing the same color dress as everybody else.
  • Empathic Environment: The "emotional landscape" in the video for "Out of the Woods"
  • Entitled to Have You: "You Belong With Me".
  • Epic Fail: Averted with "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." The song debuted at #13 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in September 2012, fell back to No. 19, rebounded to make the lower reaches of the top 20 ... and then fell out of the top 20 again. It appeared the song's run on the chart was finished. Then, Billboard introduced new chart methodology for several of its major charts, including the Hot Country Singles chart, incorporating both radio airplay and sales (music downloads and sales) into the data. The result: an aversion of the trope – "We Are Never Ever ... " becomes a No. 1 country song. In doing so, it is her first to top both the all-encompassing Hot Country Songs and all-encompassing Hot 100, and just the 38th song in the country chart's nearly 69-year history (dating to 1944) to top both the country and pop charts. (The last song to do so was Lonestar's "Amazed," turning the trick on the country chart in the summer of 1999 and the Hot 100 in March 2000.) With the December 15, 2012 chart, the song surpassed the country chart's longevity record of "Amazed" (eight weeks) and now stands in the same company as the last song to spend nine weeks at No. 1 – David Houston and "Almost Persuaded," a song that topped the chart some 46 years earlier.
  • Erotic Dream: All but stated in "...Ready For It?"
    In the middle of the night, in my dreams, you should see the things we do, baby. Mmm...
  • Everything's Better with Sparkles: Lampshaded.
    "I like glitter and sparkly dresses but I'm not gonna talk about that in my monologue!"
  • Epic Rocking: The live version of "Better Than Revenge" ends with a lengthy instrumental outro that allows guitarist Grant Mickelson to show off his chops. Several other songs include extended musical interludes as well in order to cover Taylor's costume changes.
    • The rock version of "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" from 1989 World Tour is as epic as it gets.
  • Eye Take: Often when she wins awards. She'll usually have a Big "WHAT?!" and a Jaw Drop to go with it.
  • Facial Dialogue: During her performance of "Mean" at the 54th Grammys, the looks on her face during the downstage closeups show you exactly what she thinks of the person who inspired the song.
  • Fanservice:
    • A probably accidental example in the video for "Change" in that we get a nice look down her cleavage at two different points.
    • A probably intentional example in the video for "Out of the Woods". Taylor goes barefoot and suffers quite a bit of Clothing Damage.
  • Fangirl: Taylor is a Joni Mitchell fangirl. So much in fact, that "The Lucky One" may have been written about her. The title for Red (her 4th album) could have been inspired by Joni Mitchell's Blue. The album cover for Red closely resembles that of Joni Mitchell's 13th album. (see Thirteen is Unlucky)
  • The Farmer and the Viper: The message of this aesop is alluded to in "Look What You Made Me Do"
    You asked me for a place to sleep
    Locked me out, and threw a feast
  • Femme Fatale: Her character in "Blank Space" has elements of this.
    • "I Did Something Bad" portrays a somewhat hammy version of this trope.
  • Fight Fur Your Right To Party: Minus getting drunk, this happens in the video for "We Are Never Ever Getting back Together."
  • Forbidden Fruit: "Love Story".
  • Foreshadowing: In a sense, "22" can be considered this to "I Knew You Were Trouble" based on this line in the post-choruses:
    It feels like one of those nights
    You look like bad news
    I gotta have you, I gotta have you
  • The Four Chords of Pop: "Tim McGraw" uses a slightly modified Doo-Wop Progression (the V chord is suspended before sounding normally), and "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" uses IV-I-V-vi.
  • Freeze-Frame Bonus: In "Out of the Woods" video, if you pause at the right time, you'll see the vines spelling out the song title.
  • Future Loser: The antagonists of "Mean".
  • Genre Savvy: The song is called "If This was a Movie."
  • Genre Shift: From country to more traditional pop. On her Speak Now tour, at every North American stop Swift would cover a couple well-known songs sung by local bands. This led to her covering everything from Eminem's "Lose Yourself" to the Beach Boys' "God Only Knows" to Justin Bieber's "Baby" to Fall Out Boy's "Sugar, We're Goin Down" to Britney Spears "Lucky". Red incorporates elements of bubblegum, Britpop, and dubstep on various tracks. It's only a matter of time before Swift attempts disco, ragtime (of which there was a hint near the ending for the "Mean" clip), and reggae.
    • 2013 sees Taylor collaborating with Eric Prydz for a new House Music release - according to a showbiz blog (which itself made speculation British football forums Hilarious in Hindsight or a "Funny Aneurysm" Moment).
    • She completed the genre shift with the release of 1989, where there are no acoustic guitar sounds to be found at all, but lots of synthesizers and pop beats.
    • As of reputation, she's started dabbling in R&B and hip-hop, including rapping the verses on "...Ready For It."
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • The earliest example would probably be "Fifteen", which includes the lyric "And Abigail gave everything she had to a boy who changed his mind."
    • All over her album "Red" featuring lines such as: "nights when you made me your own", "drowning out the night with the sounds of 'I need you', "I'll do anything you say, if you say it with your hands" and "we are alone just you and me, up in your room and our slates are clean, just twin fire signs, and four blue eyes."
    • Not to mention the video for "I Knew You Were Trouble", which features her alone in a bedroom with her shirtless boyfriend. (And she appears to be wearing his shirt)
    • She blames Dan Wilson for the suggestive lyrics in "Treacherous"
    • And then there's "Sparks Fly". While it could be interpreted as a simple love song, some of the lyrics hint it could be about a one night stand, especially since before it was changed for the album, there was originally a line about her meeting this guy in a bar: "And you stood there in front of me just close enough to touch", "Get me with those green eyes, baby, as the lights go down. Gimme something that'll haunt me when you're not around", "My mind forgets to remind me, you're a bad idea", "You touch me once and it's really something, You find I'm even better than you, imagined I would be."
    • In "Wildest Dreams," there's this awfully suggestive little lyric: "I said "No one has to know what we do," / His hands are in my hair, his clothes are in my room."
    • reputation completely abandons all pretense, most blatantly on "Dress" which includes the line "Only bought this dress so you could take it off." She also says "shit" on "I Did Something Bad."
  • Girl Next Door: In "You Belong With Me" and "Teardrops on my Guitar".
  • The Glasses Come Off: Done by her band girl character near the end of the "You Belong With Me" video. And that includes...
  • The Glasses Got To Go: "You Belong With Me", yet again.
  • Good People Have Good Sex: Implied in "Sparks Fly".
  • Gorgeous Period Dress: In cream tones for the "Love Story" music video. The "Fearless" music video shows that she also wears dresses like these when she performs the song at concerts.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!:
    • Parodied in the video for T-Pain's parody song, "Thug Story", in which she gets bleeped despite not even swearing.
    • Subverted in the video for ''The Story of Us". When Taylor ducks behind her book, she can clearly be seen mouthing "Shit!" at the sight of her ex.
    • Subverted in her 2005-2006 MySpace posts.
  • Gossipy Hens:
    • Taylor learns about her boyfriend's infidelity through her best friend in the "White Horse" music video.
    • Two coworkers whisper about her in the cafeteria in the "Ours" music video.
  • Grammy Awards: Album of the Year (Fearless and 1989), Best Country Album (Fearless), Best Female Country Vocal Performance ("You Belong With Me"), Best Country Song ("White Horse" and "Mean"), Best Pop Vocal Album (1989) and Best Country Solo Performance ("Mean").
  • Grand Romantic Gesture: Taylor confessed her crush on her best friend at her high school talent show through singing "I'd Lie".
  • Green Eyes: She seems to have a thing for them, as they're mentioned in "Sparks Fly," "Everything Has Changed," and "Wonderland."
    • Also, Karlie has distinctly green eyes. Hmmm...
  • Grief Song: Her charity single "Ronan," which was inspired by the blog of a mother whose four-year-old son died of cancer and includes sayings from the blog such as "I love you to the moon and back."
  • Growing Up Sucks: The basic theme of "Never Grow Up".
  • Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: She tries to portray - especially in early works - an image of being pure, innocent, beautiful and virginal. Also from a purely physical standpoint, especially when she was younger and before her hair began to darken slightly, her eyebrows were so light-colored that she would have to rub mascara into them so they'd be visible under the bright lights used in photoshoots.
    • In the video of "You Belong With Me", the innocence of the blonde protagonist is contrasted with the brunette vamp—both, naturally, played by Swift.
  • Happily Married: Swift and the Love Interest in the "Mine" music video.
  • Happy Ending: "Love Story" and "Mine".
  • Happy Rain: "Fearless", "Sparks Fly" and "The Way I Loved You".
  • Here We Go Again!: The music video for "Blank Space" ends with another suitor arriving to fill the blank space left by the previous guy who just took off running.
  • High-School Dance: The video for "You Belong With Me" has nerdy, sneaker-wearing blonde Taylor get an upgrade from Unlucky Childhood Friend status at the dance when her love interest realizes what a jerkass the cheating, cheer captain brunette Taylor is. And just in case he had any last minute doubts they're even dress coded for his convenience.
  • Hollywood Nerd: An egregious example of Type 2 with her as the neighbor girl in the video for "You Belong With Me".
  • Hotter and Sexier: Her two most recent albums, Red and 1989, explore more sexual themes, and Taylor has also been wearing noticably more revealing otfits in her 1989 World Tour.
    • Then compare "Look What You Made Me Do." Not only the song itself, but the video - especially when she dons a patent-leather suit that might as well be a dominatrix's costume. "...Ready For It" took this trope even further, with both the lyrics and her wearing a nude bodysuit in the video.
  • Huge School Girl: Believe it or not, she's 5'11" without heels. In the "The Story of Us" music video, she actually is dressed as a school girl.
  • Human Notepad: It's getting to the point where you're almost as likely to see her with something or other written on her arm as not. Some random song lyric, her award show thank-yous, something.
  • Humble Pie: "Back to December" is about the singer realizing what an awful mistake she made by dumping this great guy, and that she threw away something good for no real reason. Now she's swallowing her pride and asking if they can fix things — but also admitting she screwed up, and she understands if he doesn't want her back.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Taylor Swift's first appearance on Saturday Night Live had her singing a musical monologue where she talked about various things, but then she ends each verse with "But I'm not gonna talk about X in my monologue."
  • In-Joke: Remember those Easter eggs in her liner notes? The hidden messages for "Stay Beautiful" and "Sparks Fly" are Shake N Bake and Portland, Oregon, respectively.
  • I Want You to Meet an Old Friend of Mine: The video for "Fifteen" co-stars one Abigail Anderson, Swift's high school friend who is named in the song's lyrics.
  • Irony: "Shake It Off" is about shaking off the hate. Less than a day after its release, she's already receiving hate.
  • Intercourse with You: Believe it or not. "Sparks Fly" lives and breathes this trope, what with such lyrics as "You touch me once and it's really something. You find I'm even better than you imagined I would be" and the entirety of the bridge ("I'll run my fingers through your hair and watch the lights go wild. Just keep on keeping your eyes on me, it's just wrong enough to make it feel right and lead me up the staircase. Won't you whisper soft and slow, I'm captivated by you baby like a firework show").
    • Treacherous is also know for having sexual implications.
    • There's also the "we are alone, just you and me..." verse from "State of Grace."
    • "His hands are in my hair, his clothes are in my room" from "Wildest Dreams".
    • "...Ready For It?" is her most blatantly sexual song to date.
    • That is, until we heard "Dress," which is also absolutely gushing with Les Yay.
  • I Regret Nothing: From "I Did Something Bad."
    I don't regret it one bit, 'cause he had it coming.
  • I Warned You: "Boys only want love if it's torture. Don't say I didn't, say I didn't warn you..."
  • Jaw Drop: Often when she wins awards. She'll usually have a Big "WHAT?!" and an Eye Take to go with it.
  • Jerkass: The cheer captain in the video for "You Belong With Me".
  • Jerk Jock: A group of them bully a Kurt Hummel-esque character in the "Mean" music video.
  • Just Friends: Taylor and the love interest in "You Belong With Me" and "I'd Lie".
  • Kids Are Cruel: The girls in pink in the "Mean" music video.
  • Kindhearted Cat Lover: Any video of her and Meredith shows some extremely cute footage.
  • Kubrick Stare: Demonstrates in the videos for "Blank Space" and "Bad Blood".
  • Lady in Red: The Alpha Bitch in the "You Belong With Me" video.
    • And ever since Red was released, Taylor's rarely been seen in public without dressing in something primarily red.
  • Large Ham: In the latter half of the "Blank Space" music video. This is actually a good thing, since she's playing a psycho who "takes it way too far".
  • The Last Title: "Last Kiss" and "The Last Time".
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: During a performance at the 2012 Grammys, she switched a line in "Mean" to read "Someday, I'll be singing this at the Grammys..."
  • Light Is Good: The "You Belong With Me" video.
  • Little Black Dress: Mentioned in "Tim McGraw".
  • Loudness War: Averted; she records using an analog machine that preserves most of the instruments' fidelity.
  • Love at First Sight: "Love Story".
  • Love Makes You Crazy: "My mother accused me of losing my mind" in "Dear John".
    • “Don’t Blame Me” uses this quite a bit.
  • Love Nostalgia Song: "Tim McGraw", "Wildest Dreams"
  • Long Title: "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", "The Way I Loved You", "Tied Together With A Smile", "I'm Only Me When I'm With You", "Look What You Made Me Do", "This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things", "Dancing With Our Hands Tied"
  • Lyrical Dissonance: As she said about "The Story Of Us", "See, that made you want to dance. But it's a breakup song, so it's confusing. That's what we want here."
  • Lyrical Shoehorn: "Fearless", again: "And I don't know why, but with you I'd dance / In a storm in my best dress, fearless". On top of that, nearly half of the line breaks are in odd places.
  • Madonna–Whore Complex: In the "The Story of Us" music video, where Taylor's love interest chooses a girl who's much more physical in her affections than Taylor is, who shows to be more flirty and playful.
  • Marilyn Maneuver: She suffered this during a concert when a wind machine blew her skirt (the linked article called it a Wardrobe Malfunction, which it clearly isn't).
  • Masochism Tango: Taylor's favorite kind of love in "The Way I Loved You". Also heavily implied all over Red with All Too Well, Red, We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together, and Sad Beautiful Tragic.
  • Meaningful Echo: "Mine" uses this quite effectively. In the story of the song, the young woman remembers "how we sat there by the water/you put your arm around me for the first time/ you made a rebel of a careless man's careful daughter/ you are the best thing that has ever been mine." At the song's conclusion, the woman fights with her husband, and feeling he is going to abandon her, runs off in despair. But he finds her and repeats the same words {ie the refrain} she has been singing in the whole song back to her with loving reassurance that he will never leave her.
  • Meganekko:
    • Her role as the nerdy neighbor girl in the video for "You Belong With Me." Subverted in the end of the video, though, in that she takes them off when she does her Cinderella act and gets the guy.
    • Since she's Blind Without 'Em, she occasionally wears glasses when out and about. She prefers contacts, but anyone can agree, even in the nerdiest of Nerd Glasses, she still looks positively lovely.
  • Megane: Her Love Interest is this in the "The Story of Us" music video.
  • Messy Hair: One could argue that this is prevalent in most of her videos, but it's the most obvious in "The Story of Us", where her hair is straightened and frizzy, probably to make her look like a stressed high school student. Lampshaded in several parts where she makes futile attempts to push her bangs out of her face during the interludes.
  • Mixed Metaphor: "Love Story" is often criticized for randomly referencing The Scarlet Letter in an otherwise Romeo and Juliet-themed song. Another example is the first line of "Sparks Fly": "The way you move is like a full-on rainstorm / And I'm a house of cards".
  • Mohs Scale of Rock and Metal Hardness: While her studio albums are generally 1 or 2, her live songs can go higher. With a couple performances even bordering on 6.
    • "Better Than Revenge" teeters somewhere between 4 and 5, arguably the hardest song she's recorded. Songs like "Bad Blood" and "Look What You Made Me Do" are just as angry, if not more so, but they're not rock songs at all.
  • Mood Whiplash: On Red, "All Too Well", a heartbreaking Tear Jerker that makes Adele's "Someone Like You" sound like "Don't Worry, Be Happy", is immediately followed by "22", a dance-pop party anthem cowritten by Max Martin and Shellback. It's almost like Taylor was apologizing for making everyone depressed and trying to cheer them up.
    • "I Knew You Were Trouble" shifts back and forth from sprightly soft country-pop to harder synth-heavy techno-pop.
    • "How You Get The Girl," a very uptempo song, is sandwiched between "Wildest Dreams" and "This Love," both of which are much slower and have sadder tones.
  • Mondegreen: Many people misheard the "Blank Space" lyric got a long list of ex-lovers as something to do with Starbucks lovers, due to the enunciation of the line. This quickly became a meme.
    • This Love has the line "this love is a-live back from the dead", easily mistaken for 'all I ask of the dead' or something equally creepy.
    • I can't be the only one who heard "Drew" in Teardrops On My Guitar as "you" for years.
    • Some people were surprised at the Take That! aimed at whoever "my ex-man bought his new girl-friend" was about. At least until the volume was turned up.
    • The first line of Starlight sounds very much like "I'm a Barbie on the boardwalk, summer of '45". It's not. It's "I met Bobby on the boardwalk".
    • Once you realize her enunciation of “Call It What You Want To” is exactly the same as “Karlie, would you want to?”, you will never unhear it. For want of a glottal stop, a vague love note to an unidentified man becomes a marriage proposal to a very specific woman.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Seems to have come into this by the time of 1989 (see Hotter and Sexier above) thanks to her skimpy outfits and more sexual posturing and themes.
  • Mundane Made Awesome: In her rap parody "Thug Story" she brags about how she bakes cookies at night, still lives with her parents, and knits sweaters, yo.
  • Never My Fault: Her critics have accused her of dumping all the blame on her ex's and never acknowledging her own responsibility in her relationships falling apart. If you read most of her lyrics, though, this is actually not true. She openly admits to such tendencies as obsessiveness and occasional neediness in many of her songs. The song "Back To December" is about how she herself screwed up a relationship, and the album Red includes songs like "All Too Well," "I Knew You Were Trouble," and "Sad Beautiful Tragic," where Taylor does take fault.
  • Never Say "Die": Averted in "Love Story" and "The Story Of Us".
  • New Sound Album: Speak Now has more of a pop-rock song than Swift's earlier albums, relying on electric guitars and synth more than acoustic guitar and banjo, and Swift abandons on it the affected Southern twang she used on her first two albums. Speak Now Live is even more so - the version of "Better Than Revenge" included on it borders on Heavy Metal.
    • Red is even more pop, but also more rock then Speak Now.
    • 1989 is her first official pop album.
    • Reputation is all over the map, from grinding techno to synth pop to R&B to dream pop.
  • Neoclassical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: "Red" is rock, played through a country introduction and with a pop-like hook, all at the same time, this rule could be applied to many of the other non-Max Martin tracks on the album.
  • Nice Girl: Watch any interview with her and she comes across as so sweet You'd probably get diabetes from standing next to her.
  • Nobody Thinks It Will Work: One of the bonus tracks on Speak Now (Ours) is about one of these.
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed: The protagonist of "Wildest Dreams" is clearly based on Elizabeth Taylor, with her unknown co-star standing in for Richard Burton.
  • Non-Appearing Title: "Ronan", which was a charity single written for a boy who died of cancer. This is the only example in her repertoire. (See the entry for Title Drop for more information.)
  • Noodle Incident: "...the incident that happened backstage when Taylor Swift appeared in concert in Wembley November 2009", as mentioned by a radio presenter on the Orion Media group of stations in the Midlands in the United Kingdom. What the incident was, exactly, is not made clear. It's speculated it was something involving something funny we can't go into. Speculation states we can't go into it."for legal reasons".
  • Obligatory Bondage Song: "...Ready For It?" is kinky as hell.
  • Obsession Song: "Teardrops On My Guitar", "You Belong With Me", and "Speak Now". "Invisible" might qualify for this. All but said in "Dear John"...
  • Odd Friendship: Many people consider her friendship with Lena Dunham to be this.
    • Same with her friendship with Lorde, with Lorde even noting how on the outside they have nothing in common while introducing Swift's performance at the 2014 MTV VMAs.
  • Ode to Youth: "22", "Tim McGraw", "Our Song", "Long Live", "Never Grow Up"
  • Older Than They Look: Does she look like she's 27? For reference's sake, she's 16 on her debut album's cover art.
  • The Oner: "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together".
  • Oop North: Where she's become a fashion icon, competing with Kesha in the style stakes. Particularly in Wigan where others try to emulate her look, and sometimes, her singing voice.
    • In fact, "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" is an unofficial anthem in Ormskirk, for some reason, in factor, Taylor Swift is something of a celeb icon there - more so than her home state, or the United States, and it's not entirely clear.
    • Those from the North are not quite sure either, but when she was just getting well known the children's choir performed "Love Story" at the Manchester Arena. Perhaps because she seems similar enough to them and is American; there is an appeal to that.
  • Ordinary High-School Student: In "You Belong With Me".
  • Other Me Annoys Me: None of the Taylors in the "Look What You Made Me Do" music video get along.
  • Over-the-Shoulder Carry: Courtesy of Harry Styles.
  • Overprotective Dad:
    • "Picture to Burn".
    "My daddy's gonna show you how sorry you'll be!"
    • "Love Story".
  • Parental Love Song: "The Best Day" is about a girl and her mother and the good times they have as she grows up.
    And I didn't know if you knew
    So I'm taking this chance to say
    That I had the best day with you today.
  • Past in the Rear-View Mirror: "White Horse".
  • Performance Video: "Change", "Fearless", and "Sparks Fly."
  • Pimped-Out Dress:
    • The lyrics to "Speak Now" mention "someone back inside the room wearing a gown shaped like a pastry".
    • She wears a couple classical ones in the video for "Love Story".
  • Piss-Take Rap: Her and T-Pain's parody "Thug Story".
    • Then "Shake It Off" has her actually rapping in a Kesha-like way.
  • Pop Punk: "Better Than Revenge" and "The Story of Us" wouldn't sound out of place in a Paramore album.
  • Power Walk: The music video for "Bad Blood" features one.
  • Precision F-Strike: Not on the actual track, but the music video for "Look What You Made Me Do" has Taylor calling herself a bitch. And then the other Taylor objects to it. (Yeah, it's that kinda video.) Not an f-strike, but still surprising when compared to her previous stuff.
    • Likewise, the line "If a man talks shit, then I owe him nothing" on "I Did Something Bad" surprised many fans.
  • Princess Classic: Fairytale imagery featured on Swift's second album, Fearless. She explored the disconnect "between fairy tales and the reality of love": "We're raised as little girls to think that we're a princess and that Prince Charming is going to sweep us off our feet". Seen in Love Story, White Horse, and Today Was A Fairytale.
  • Princess Phase: Mentioned specifically in "The Best Day," when describing early memories of her and her mother.
    "There is a video I found from back when I was three...
    It's the age of princesses and pirate ships and the seven dwarfs...
  • Product Placement: The aforementioned Bob Kingsley edit of "Tim McGraw".
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: WE. ARE NEVER. EVER. EVER. GETTING BACK TOGETHER. Discussed on-air on UTV radio stations, and on Real Radio Scotland.
    • You could've been getting down to THIS. SICK. BEAT.
    • "This is why we can't have nice. Things. Dar. Ling!"
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: This line from "Long Live":
    And the cynics were outraged
    Screaming, "This is absurd!"
    Cause for a moment a band of thieves in ripped up jeans got to rule the world.
  • Rapunzel Hair: Donned this until February 2014 when she fully transitioned to Pop music. She then sported shoulder-length hair until 2017. Since the release of reputation, it appears she has started growing her hair back out again.
  • Real Is Brown: The office in the "Ours" music video is decorated in a way that makes it look very sepia-toned.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot:
    • The lyrics of "Should've Said No" were based on words used by Taylor when she confronted an ex-boyfriend.
    • All of her songs on her album Speak Now are supposedly about her relationships, each relating to one person or event, except for "Speak Now" (based on a dream) and "Mine" (totally hypothetical scenario).
  • Real Women Don't Wear Dresses: Invoked in the video for "You Belong With Me".
  • Really Gets Around: The subject of "Better Than Revenge" is said to do this.
  • Rearrange the Song: Many of Swift's singles are heavily remixed for airplay on stations less friendly to country music:
    • The pop mix of "Our Song", used so widely it appeared on one of the Now That's What I Call Music! albums, replaces fiddle with power chords in the intro and all but does away with the banjo and the silly style of the instrumental. There is a country version on Taylor Swift and a pop version on Fearless, it's really obvious.
    • The pop radio version of "Teardrops on My Guitar" completely replaces the country instrumental from the original with electric guitar, keyboards, and a drum machine.
    • "Love Story", in particular, drops the banjo and strings, pushes the bass and drums forward, distorts the vocals more so than the original, and adds a brief electric guitar solo.note 
    • "You Belong With Me" replaces the banjo with electric guitar.
      • For the Red tour, Swift herself rearranges the song entirely as a doo-wop number.
    • The pop radio versions of "Mine" and "The Story Of Us" similarly drop the country-ish electric guitar from the verse sections in favor of some Power Pop chords.
    • In a variant, she started performing "Sparks Fly" in 2007 and it became a viral hit on YouTube. She released a re-written version of the song on Speak Now in 2010 (it was released as a single the next year) with electric guitar as the lead instrument as opposed to banjo, and slightly more suggestive lyrics.
    • Also seen on the deluxe version of Fearless, where "Forever And Always" appears both as an up-tempo pop song and as a slowed-down solo piano piece.
    • "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" went in the other direction — the pop version made the album, while the country version was a radio-only release.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech:
    • "Dear John" to John Mayer, who apparently took advantage of her and broke her heart. John responded in the press and the song appears to have worked splendidly.
    • "Mean" is clearly about calling one particular person out.
      All you are is mean!
      And a liar, and pathetic, and alone in life and mean!
    • "Better Than Revenge" to Camilla Belle. The song references Joe Jonas' song "Much Better", which was written about Belle.
    • "Forever and Always" is this towards Joe Jonas about leaving her for Belle; she refers to him as "a scared little boy".
    • Others include "Picture to Burn" and "Cold As You".
    • Jake Gyllenhaal gets run through the wringer on Red, allegedly being the inspiration for "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together", "All Too Well", the negatively-portrayed ex in "Begin Again", and the bonus track "The Moment I Knew". He gets a couple of more positive songs ("State of Grace" first among them), but the overall sentiment is clearly that Taylor is glad to be rid of him.
    • "I Knew You Were Trouble" about John Mayer.
    • "Bad Blood", which is rumoured to be about Katy Perry.
    • "Look What You Made Me Do" and "This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things" are pretty clearly about Kanye West.
  • Record Producer: Her debut album was the first production credit for Nathan Chapman, who has since become an in-demand producer and session musician.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Implied in the video for "Love Story."
  • Regal Ringlets: "Love Story"
  • Rhyming with Itself:
    • "Like I do" is rhymed with itself in "You Belong with Me", which also rhymes "than that" with, "like that" and others.
    • She also does it in "Look What You Made Me Do":
    But I got smarter, I got harder in the nick of time,
    Honey, I rose up from the dead; I do it all the time.
  • The Rival: At first, she's touted to be rivals with Miley Cyrus. Considering Taylor and Miley are known to be good friends, even performing together, and even Taylor being a cameo on Hannah Montana: The Movie, this is nonsensical. However, her latter feud with Katy Perry is real; see Take That! below as to how it started.
  • Romance on the Set: invoked The starlet in "Wildest Dreams" has one with the male lead. It doesn't end happily, as he moves on to someone else.
  • Running Gag: Check the end of her first three albums' liner notes:
    • Taylor Swift: "P.S. To all the boys who thought they would be cool and break my heart, guess what? Here are 14 songs written about you. HA."
    • Fearless: "And to the boys who inspired this album, you had fair warning."
    • Speak Now: "P.S. To all the boys who inspired this album, you should've known. :)"
    • This stopped with Red, which just read "THANK YOU'' under the inner CD holder.
  • Second-Person Narration: "Fifteen", despite being clearly autobiographical, switches between this and first person.
  • Secret Keeper: Given that "You're So Vain" is also about a real person, it kind of fits that she's one of only two people in the world who knows for sure who Carly Simon's singing about.
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • During one verse in "22", you can clearly hear the voice of someone saying "Who's Taylor Swift anyway? Ew!"
    • Taylor does this a lot. During one concert, she said, "I imagine it could be really hard to make a relationship last. I wouldn't know." And "Whenever a man shows emotion, I appear." on SNL.
    • The video for "Shake It Off" has her surrounded by skilled dancers of all types and her just being... not.
    • At an award show, she happily nodded along to a host saying watch out for her, she'll break up with you and write a song about it.
    • One line in the chorus of "Blank Space" is, "Got a long list of ex-lovers/They'll tell you I'm insane".
    • All of the celebrities picked the names of the alter egos they played in the "Bad Blood" video themselves. Taylor's alias was "Catastrophe".
  • Signature Song: "You Belong With Me" for her country period, "Shake It Off" or "Blank Space" for her pop period.
  • Self-Titled Album: Go on, guess what her first album was called.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: The "You Belong With Me" video.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Tim McGraw" is a shoutout to that singer in general, and specifically to his song "Can't Tell Me Nothin'".
    • "Bad Blood"'s music video references several films. The bikes, for instance, are a reference to TRON. The opening scene, in which Taylor gets thrown out a window and lands on top of a car, also closely resembles the opening scene of the horror-comedy Detention (which, notably, was also directed by Joseph Kahn), right down to the way in which she's splayed out atop the car, as well as the fact that the character in Detention who suffers that fate is named Taylor.
  • Signature Style: Recurring references include the guy's eyes, rain, and Tuesday night (even more specifically, 2am). Before Red, she was also distinguished by acoustic pop production and her thin singing voice.
  • Silly Love Songs: "Love Story" lampshades itself as this.
  • Single Girl Seeks Most Popular Guy: Definitely in her Fearless and Self-Titled Album eras.
  • Sarcasm Mode: in We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together: "I hate you, we break up, you call me, I Love you"
  • Small Town Boredom: Particularly in "White Horse".
  • The Something Song: "Our Song", "Mary's Song" and "The Monologue Song (La La La)".
  • Speak Now or Forever Hold Your Peace: Said word for word in "Speak Now."
  • Spiders Are Scary: A spider got in her dress driving back from the "Love Story" video shoot. This scenario was then followed by four rapid-fire "Oh my God"s and someone killing the spider with a deluxe Swift CD.
  • Statuesque Stunner: She's 5'10" barefoot, and when dressing 'fancy' usually wears two inch heels, making her 6 feet even. Her guest appearance on New Girl lampshades it when she tells her love interest that she's not too tall for him.
  • Stealth Parody: "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together".
  • Subdued Section: "Sparks Fly" and "Back To December", also "Haunted" and "Red"
  • Slut-Shaming: "Better known for what she does on the mattress" and other family friendly quotes. She later revoked these lyrics, blaming it on her immaturity when she wrote them.
  • Stop Worshipping Me: White supremacists and neo-nazis have worshipped Taylor Swift and have given her the title of the "Aryan goddess". She is justifiably horrified and appalled by this and tried to sue them for using her image.
  • Studio Chatter: At the end of "Stay Stay Stay", she can be heard laughing and exclaiming "It's so fun!".
  • Sanity Slippage Song: I Knew You Were Trouble, Red, are two examples of toxic boys taking her sanity. Trouble's video monologue also lampshades it. All Too Well may also apply.
  • Take That!: "Forever and Always" to Joe Jonas. Also, her Saturday Night Live "Monologue Song" to him and Kanye West.
    • "Better Than Revenge," which is about Camilla Belle. She goes through a period of talking about how Belle is haughty towards Taylor, apparently mocking her towards other people, and how she's been misinterpreting the concept of sophistication, likely in one of her best Take That! moments ever. She ends the paragraph with this line:
    But no amount of vintage dresses gives you dignity.
    • And then there was the one to Harry Styles at the Grammys.
    • "Bad Blood" is a song about an artist who tried to hurt Swift's career. Considering her falling-out with Katy Perry, and the fact that some of her tour dancers were hired out by Perry, most believe the song to be about her. (Another substantial rumor that plagues the song is that she's resentful of Perry's on-off relationship with John Mayer, who also dated Taylor and that she's bitter over someone she thought was a friend is dating her ex.)
    • And then there was the one to Kanye West at the Grammys.
    • "Look What You Made Me Do" jabs at a lot of things, including a few repeat targets.
  • Take That, Critics!: "Mean" calls out those who criticize her singing ability, a common criticism held against her.
    • "Shake It Off" goes one step beyond.
  • Teen Idol: She was sixteen when her first single was released.
  • Teen Pregnancy: According to Word of God, this was averted. Its aversion was lampshaded. Quoth her MySpace:
    "I read a very creative rumor this morning saying I’m pregnant, which is the most IMPOSSIBLE thing on the planet. Take my word for it. Impossible."
  • That Man Is Dead: The bridge of "Look What You Made Me Do." "I'm sorry, the old Taylor can't come to the phone right now. Why? Oh, 'cause she's dead."
  • 13 Is Unlucky: Inverted. Oh so inverted. Not only is 13 Swift's lucky number, to the point where she will actively seek out any possible instance up to and including the expiration date on milk cartons, she also considers the number 31 an acceptable substitute, because it's "13 backwards." Her birthday being on the 13th of December probably helps to explain a few things.
    • "The Lucky One" is the 13th track on Red, in which she sings the word lucky 13 times.
  • This Is a Song: "Dear John" and "Our Song".
  • Three Minutes of Writhing: Played straight in the "The Story of Us" music video, where the camera frequently cuts from the main storyline to Swift singing in the library, squirming against a wall.
  • Through His Stomach: She's a noted advocate of using this approach at winning over new boyfriends.
  • Title Drop: And how. As of the release of Red, every song she has ever released commercially, even as a featured artist, is an example of this trope. The only exception is "Ronan", which is a charity single.
    • There is a page where many are listed, because you can't really fit such a massive discography on this page.
  • Title-Only Chorus: "Look What You Made Me Do."
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: "She wears short skirts, I wear T-shirts, she's cheer captain and I'm on the bleachers...." Yeah, that song again. The main character doesn't even look that tomboyish, but it counts by comparison.
    • Likewise, Swift herself is the girly girl to Selena Gomez's tomboy.
  • Tomboyish Ponytail: In the "The Story of Us" music video.
  • Took a Level in Badass: The "Out of the Woods" music video is essentially about Taylor doing this, being chased into an apparently-enchanted forest by some wolves and surviving treacherous conditions.
  • Troperiffic:
  • Truck Driver's Gear Change: Done in "Love Story" in an unusual fashion: she sings half of the chorus, goes up from C to D, then starts the chorus over again.
  • True Companions: "Change" and "Long Live" imply this relationship between her and her band, The Agency.
  • Tsundere: The narrator of "Gorgeous." She has a crush on someone, but she has a boyfriend and feels guilty for liking someone else, so she copes via making fun of them, blatantly ignoring them, or getting drunk.
    You make me so happy, it turns back to sad.
    There's nothing I hate more than what I can't have.
  • Turn the Other Cheek:
    • "Innocent".
    • Subverted by "This is Why We Can't Have Nice Things."
    And here's to you, 'cause forgiveness is a nice thing to do. (pause, followed by uproarious laughter) I can't even say it with a straight face!
  • Twirl of Love: Taylor's reunion with her boyfriend returning from deployment in the "Ours" music video.
  • Undercrank: Used for no freaking reason in the end of the "Fearless" video. It's just a curtain going down.
  • Unflinching Walk: The music video for "Bad Blood".
  • Unfortunate Names: She's thought of as a relative of this presenter.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Here's what she looks like without the makeup. She also displays this in the video for "Out of the Woods".
  • Unlucky Childhood Friend: The inspiration for "Speak Now", according to Word of God.
  • Valley Girl:
    • In We are Never Ever Getting Back Together she has this inflection in her voice. Like ever.
    • Also her "ex-man's new girlfriend" apparently speaks like this.
  • Villain Song: "Look What You Made Me Do" certainly has a sinister vibe going to it.
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: With Ellen Degeneres. Ellen's probably the one person who can make Taylor into an out-and-out Butt-Monkey and get away with it.
  • The Vamp: Taylor's rival (and Taylor herself) in the "You Belong With Me" music video.
  • Wham Episode: She was one of the first celebrities to wipe off her entire social media to promote reputation during August of 2017.
  • What Beautiful Eyes!: A recurring theme.
  • White Stallion: The song "White Horse":
    I'm not a princess, this ain't a fairytale
    I'm not the one you'll sweep off her feet
    Lead her up the stairwell
    ...Now it's too late for you and your white horse
    To come around.
  • Wide-Eyed Idealist: Her self-portrayal in "White Horse", all the way to the Tear Jerker ending.
  • Win Back the Crowd: Her accounts on UKAstle and Reddit could be seen as an attempt at this.
  • Whole Costume Reference: The video for "Shake It Off" has Taylor dressed up as Gwen Stefani, Lady Gaga, Skrillex, and Fergie as they appeared in various music videos.
  • Woman in White: It would be easier to count which music videos don't have her in a white dress of Incorruptible Pure Pureness.
  • Woman Scorned: Go ahead. Make a Drinking Game out of it.
  • Yandere: Often portrayed as one in parodies.
    • She seems to be one in her own music video for "Blank Space," parodying the parodies of her.
  • You Keep Using That Word: In "Love Story", Swift says she "was a scarlet letter", presumably meaning Forbidden Fruit, as in My Daughter Is Off Limits. However, The Scarlet Letter actually refers to a badge of shame worn by an outcast (said of the one worn by the main character in the book).
    • Possibly actually refers to the concept of something "red letter" being exciting and off-limits.
    • "New Romantics" has the line "we show off our different scarlet letters, trust me, mine is better," which makes more sense considering the song is overall about not letting others' negative opinions get to you.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Comes up in several of her songs, including "Should've Said No" (breaking up with her partner for cheating), and "Style" (both partners confess to cheating but it doesn't seem to end the relationship). It's also the reason for the breakup in the "White Horse" music video, though the lyrics make it sound more like an abusive relationship.