Follow TV Tropes


Music / Taylor Swift

Go To
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.

Six 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 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.


On April 26th 2019, she released the first single and an accompanying video from her upcoming seventh album, "ME!", which is a collaboration with Brendon Urie of Panic! at the Disco. Her album Lover was released August 23rd.


  • Taylor Swift (2006)
  • Sounds of the Season (EP) (2007)
  • Beautiful Eyes (EP) (2008)
  • Fearless (2008)
  • Speak Now (2010)
  • Red (2012)
  • 1989 (2014)
  • reputation (2017)
  • Lover (2019)

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)
  • Lover festival tour (2020)


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

"These are the best tropes that have ever been mine":

    open/close all folders 
  • 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
  • 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.
    • 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.
  • 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 with tropes like Happily Married and Babies Ever After.
    • The first verse of "The Best Day" takes place with Taylor at five years old. The next skips to 13, and the rest is from the perspective of the adult Taylor.
    • Flipping the script, "Never Grow Up" watches Taylor's own child grow from an infant to a teenager to an adult.
  • Air Quotes: She does these 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?)
  • Alice Allusion: "Wonderland" uses shout-outs to Alice in Wonderland to describe a fairy-tale romance that descended into madness.
  • 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.
    • "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".
  • 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" is a line 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 and popular mean girl) 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" is an homage to Romeo and Juliet... where both the protagonists end up dead.
  • Arc Number:
    • Since 13 is her favorite number, she has set about to make it the Arc Number of her career, hiding it in liner notes and merchandise and scheduling performances and song releases for the 13ths of months.
    • Red has a theme of 22: The bonus version has 22 tracks, a song called "22" appears on it, and it was released when she was 22 years old 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).
  • 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.
    • "I Knew you Were Trouble"; at concerts, you can hardly hear Taylor's voice over the roar of 'Trouble, trouble, trouble!'
  • Ax-Crazy: Her character becomes this in the "Blank Space" video, literally destroying her boyfriend's car with an ax.
  • Babies Ever After: The "Mine" music video ends with the couple happily married with a child.
  • 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 buttonnote .
  • Beach Episode: All the photos taken for her cover story in the September 25, 2014 Rolling Stone were shot on a beach. See under Contractual Purity on the Trivia page.
  • 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, but there is an implied improvement of her looks.
  • Betty and Veronica: "You Belong with Me," from the perspective of the "Betty".
    She wears high heels
    I wear sneakers
    She's cheer captain
    And I'm on the bleachers
  • Between My Legs: Taylor crawls through a tunnel of legs in the music video for "Shake It Off".
  • 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...'
    • Her hard turn to liberal politics and artists’ rights issues, especially after the sexual assault lawsuit that she won. Do NOT fuck with her or her friends and colleagues.
  • 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.
  • Bi the Way: In Miss Americana, when planning the video for “ME!”, going down the list of things that define her, casually including “gay pride”, unambiguously confirming years of speculation about her sexuality in a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment.
  • 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 
  • 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.
  • 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!"''
  • 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.
  • 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".
    • 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 a costume change mid-song in a live performance of "I Knew You Were Trouble" at the 2012 European Music Awards.
    • This trend started at the 2008 CMA Awards. While performing "Love Story", she changed from a normal dress to a wedding dress on stage.
  • Cheap Heat: The lyric "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: Subverted in the video for "Shake It Off": One of her personas is a cheerleader, but displays none of the associated personality traits.
    • The antagonist in the video for "You Belong With Me" plays this straight, being the Alpha Bitch antagonist to the nerdy girl protagonist. It's also mentioned in the song itself:
    She's cheer captain and I'm on the bleachers
  • Christmas Songs:
    • Sounds of the Season, an EP featuring country-pop renditions of Swift's favorite holiday songs.
    • "Christmas Tree Farm" is also one, inspired by Taylor's real-life childhood growing up on, well, a Christmas tree farm.
  • 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.
  • Colorful Song: In "Red," she describes her many feelings as colors.
    Loving him is like trying to change your mind once you're already flying through the free fall
    Like the colors in autumn, so bright just before they lose it all
    Losing him was blue like I'd never known
    Missing him was dark grey all alone
    Forgetting him was like trying to know somebody you never met
    But loving him was red
  • 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."
    • Her Diet Coke commercial, which takes it up to eleven.
    • One appears in a scene the video for "ME!", given to Taylor by duet partner Brendon Urie. In real life, Taylor adopted the kitten, calling him Benjamin Button.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Darker and Edgier: Her public image and musical style both took this turn with the dawn of the reputation era, though she was back to sparkles and pastels shortly after.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • "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.
  • Door Slam of Rage: Taylor's character and her love interest played by Brandon Urie have an argument in the music video for "ME!" which ends when Tyalor walks out of the apartment and slams the door for good measure.
  • 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 the "Blank Space" video. While Taylor portrays an abusive psycho who entices and violently drives away men at an unhealthy rate and gets away with it, the behavior is clearly not endorsed and it's meant to be a parodic portrayal of the character many media make Taylor out to be.
    • In "Stay, Stay, Stay", while having an argument with her boyfriend, she mentions "I threw my phone across the room at you". This is played as cute and funny, with the next verse recalling that the boyfriend made a joke about it, putting on a football helmet to finish the argument.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Exact Words: It was rumored that the video for "You Need To Calm Down" would feature Taylor and Katy Perry, dressed as a burger and French fries, kissing. Taylor said it was false, and she didn’t lie —the two didn't kiss.
  • 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:
    • In the video for "Change" in that we get a nice look down her cleavage at two different points.
    • 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
  • 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.
  • Gay Aesop: The second verse and pre-chorus of "You Need To Calm Down" call out homophobes; the video for the song features many LGBTQ+ celebrities and contains anti-homophobia/pro-Gay Pride imagery throughout.
    You are somebody that we don't know
    But you're comin' at my friends like a missile
    Why are you mad when you could be GLAAD? (You could be GLAAD)
    Sunshine on the street at the parade
    But you would rather be in the dark ages
    Makin' that sign must've taken all night
    You just need to take several seats and then try to restore the peace
    And control your urges to scream about all the people you hate
    'Cause shade never made anybody less gay

  • Gayngst: If you take all the songs based around secrets and forbidden love out of her discography, there isn’t much left, especially on her pop albums. Now ignore the pronouns... yeah. It’s suspected by some fans that Lover was supposed to drop after Taylor came out as queer, but the coming out attempt was squelched by the drama surrounding the sale of her old label (and, if Miss Americana is any indication, Taylor’s nerves in general).
  • 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."
  • Girlfriend in Canada: Although many presume that "London Boy" is about Joe Alwyn, the London Boy of the song is barely spoken of at all in the midst of a blizzard of name-drops of random place names and cultural references in London, implying this trope.
  • The Glasses Come Off: Done by her band girl character near the end of the "You Belong With Me" video. And that includes...
  • Golf Clubbing: Destroys her boyfriend's car at the end of the "Blank Space" music video in this way.
  • 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".
  • Gratuitous French: In the music video for "ME!", she and Brendon Urie from Panic! at the Disco have an argument in French for some reason.
  • 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."
  • 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.
  • 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:
    • Red and 1989 explore more sexual themes, and Taylor also wears noticably more revealing outfits 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.
    • The Lover album finishes what reputation started, especially with "False God".
  • 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:
    • "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 known 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 one of her most blatantly sexual songs.
    • "Dress" which is absolutely gushing with implications of lesbian romance.
    • "So It Goes...": "You know I'm not a bad girl, but I / Do bad things with you", "Scratches down your back now".
    • "False God" is even more blatantly lesbionic than "Dress", namedropping NYC's West Village (the home of the Stonewall Inn) and strongly implying oral sex.
  • I Regret Nothing: From "I Did Something Bad."
    I don't regret it one bit, 'cause he had it coming.
  • I Warned You: From the bridge of "Blank Space":
    Boys only want love if it's torture
    Don't say I didn't, say I didn't warn you...
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • Love at First Sight: "Love Story".
  • Love Is Like Religion: Several songs on Red play with this.
    • In the opening track, "State of Grace", she compares the short time she spent with her lover to a state of grace, though she admits in the bridge that "you were never a saint / And I loved in shades of wrong".
    • The similar "Holy Ground":
      And darling, it was good
      Never looking down
      And right there where we stood
      Was holy ground
  • 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.
  • Messy Hair: It's very obvious in music video to "The Story of Us", where her hair is straightened and frizzy, probably to make her look like a stressed high school student. She makes futile attempts to push her bangs out of her face during the interludes.
  • Misery Poker: "New Romantics".
    We show off our different scarlet letters
    Trust me, mine is better
  • 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 song 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.)
  • Obligatory Bondage Song: "...Ready For It?" is kinky as hell.
  • Obfuscating Stupidity: Featured in "New Romantics":
    We play dumb but we know exactly what we're doing
  • Obsession Song: "Teardrops On My Guitar", "You Belong With Me", and "Speak Now". "Invisible" might qualify for this. All but said in "Dear John".
  • Ode to Youth: "22", "Tim McGraw", "Our Song", "Long Live", "Never Grow Up"
  • The Oner: "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together".
  • 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.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The breakup in "The Story Of Us" happens because "Miscommunications lead to fall-out." And then, she wishes to reconcile, but can't find the words to do it.
  • 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 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.
  • 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.
  • Regal Ringlets: Her character in the "Love Story" video sports them.
  • Reincarnation Romance: Implied in the video for "Love Story."
  • Relationship Revolving Door: "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" was inspired by Taylor's relationship when she and her boyfriend broke up and reunited several times.
    I say, "I hate you," we break up, you call me, "I love you"
  • Revenge Ballad: Taylor is notorious for writing songs-as-revenge.
    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. [Laughs] This song is the perfect example . . .
    • "Picture to Burn" is about break-up and the revenge she wants to take.
    • "Better Than Revenge", where she admonishes the woman who stole her man, telling her she really should have known better because "There is nothing I do better than revenge". The bridge reveals that the song itself is the revenge.
      You might have him, but I always get the last word
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Scenery Porn: The music video to "ME!". It begins in a gorgeous mansion, and the scenery only gets stranger and more beautiful from there, as Taylor goes downstairs and walks through a room full of clouds. The rest of the video shows her and Brendon dancing and singing through a lovely, colorful city that apparently runs on dream logic, and the last scene shows them dancing in a rainbow rainstorm.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • Singer Name Drop: "...Ready For It?":
    And he can be my jailer
    Burton to this Taylor
  • Sarcasm Mode: in We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together: "I hate you, we break up, you call me, I Love you"
  • The Something Song: "The Monologue Song (La La La)".
  • Song of Many Emotions: "22," while it's mostly a feel-good song in itself, mentions reveling in mixed emotions:
    We're happy, free, confused and lonely in the best way
    It's miserable and magical, oh yeah
  • 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.
  • "Spread Wings" Frame Shot: Taylor Swift commissioned Kelsey Montague to create a mural of butterfly wings to pose in front of to promote her "ME!" music video.
  • 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.
  • Studio Chatter: At the end of "Stay Stay Stay", she can be heard laughing and exclaiming "It's so fun!".
  • 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.
    • “You Need To Calm Down” is this to several people: men who tell women to smile/ how to behave, homophobes, and internet trolls. The homophobic picketers shown in the music video (and referenced in the lyrics) are jabs at the Westboro Baptist Church (known to picket at Pride events), and right-wing fundamentalists who have started picketing outside Taylor's concerts, which she confirmed in an interview with Vogue.
  • 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.
  • Title Drop: 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..." from song "You Belong With Me".The main character doesn't even look that tomboyish, but it counts by comparison.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Umbrella of Togetherness: The music video for "ME!" has a scene where she's dancing in strange colourful thick rain and her Love Interest played by Brandon Urie comes to her with an umbrella which they share and dance off. They share an umbrella in the live version as well.
  • 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.
  • You're Cute When You're Angry: "Stay Stay Stay" has the line:
    You think that it's funny when I'm mad, mad, mad


How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: