Been here all along, so why can't you see?
You belong with me"
"You Belong With Me" is one of Taylor Swift's first big hits. A 2009 single from Swift's 2008 album Fearless, it has a troperiffic music video starring Swift as both the Girl Next Door protagonist and The Cheerleader rival, alongside Lucas Till as The All-American Boy love interest.
The video is from the perspective of a blonde band geek with a crush on her kind-hearted neighbor, a wholesome boy on the football team . . . who is dating a brunette Alpha Bitch cheerleader. The protagonist feels she has a special relationship with her crush, and they frequently exchange messages via large notepads through their opposing bedroom windows. As the video progresses, the love interest slowly realizes that his girlfriend is unpleasant and has cheated on him, while his true affections lie with his neighbor. The video culminates with Taylor turning up to prom to dance with him, and revealing the note she never held up: "I love you." The boy pulls his identical note out of his tuxedo, and they dance Happily Ever After.
At the 2009 MTV awards, it won Best Female Video. There's a good chance that you remember this, because the speech proved a memorable and memetic, with Kanye West inexplicably taking the stage (and the microphone, directly from Swift's hand) to announce his displeasure at the win. This interruption was the beginning of a long-running feud between the artists, which would work its way into many future Taylor Swift songs.
Tropes associated with "You Belong With Me":
- Acting for Two: Taylor Swift as love rivals—the cheerleader and the band girl.
- The All-American Boy: The boy, played by Lucas Till.
- All Guys Want Cheerleaders: Initially, but eventually subverted as the boy leaves his cheerleader girlfriend for the band geek protagonist.
- Alpha Bitch: The band girl's love rival.
- Beautiful All Along: Done at the end of the video when she switches her geek garb for a prom dress. However, she wasn't exactly bad looking as the band girl with the glasses.
- Betty and Veronica: The relationship angle, from the Betty's perspective.
- Big "WHAT?!": When the boy blows off the head cheerleader for the band girl, you can almost hear the cheerleader's big "WHAT!"
- Braids of Action: The protagonist wears these.
- The Cheerleader: "She's cheer captain and I'm on the bleachers"
- Color-Coded for Your Convenience: At the prom in the 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.
- Double Standard: Abuse, Female on Male: Averted. The evil, shallow Alpha Bitch shouts at, pushes around and cheats on her boyfriend, but this is in no way seen as acceptable.
- Double Vision: The two girls in the video.
- Entitled to Have You
- Girl Next Door: The protagonist lives next door to her love interest, allowing them to exchange wistful notepad messages through their windows.
- The Glasses Come Off: Done by her band girl character near the end of the video. And that includes...
- The Glasses Got To Go: For her reinvention going to prom.
- Grammy Awards: Won Best Female Country Vocal Performance
- Hair of Gold, Heart of Gold: In the video, the innocence of the blonde protagonist is contrasted with the brunette vamp—also the only difference between them.
- Happily Ever After: The ending of the video has the protagonist and her love interest dancing at prom after declaring their love in one of the cutest and most throwback-y ways.
- High-School Dance: The video 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.
- Jerkass: The cheer captain
- Just Friends: Taylor and the love interest.
- Lady in Red: The Alpha Bitch wears a seductive red dress at the High-School Dance.
- Meganekko: As the nerdy neighbor girl. Subverted in the end of the video, though, in that she takes them off when she does her Cinderella act and gets the guy.
- Memetic Mutation: The basis of the Kanye West memes page is "Interrupting Kanye". It is an über-meme.
- Obsession Song
- Ordinary High-School Student
- The Quarterback: the boy in the video. He's her cute neighbor and down-to-earth quarterback, and is also secretly in love with her even though dating the Alpha Bitch.
- Rearrange the Song: Like how many of Swift's singles are heavily remixed for airplay on stations less friendly to country music, "You Belong With Me" replaces the banjo with electric guitar.
- Rhyming with Itself: "Like I do" is rhymed with itself, and "than that" is rhymed with "like that".
- Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains:She wears short skirts, I wear T-shirts
- She Cleans Up Nicely: The protagonist in the music video literally has her crush's jaw dropping as she struts up to him in the video.
- Tomboy and Girly Girl: "She wears short skirts, I wear T-shirts, she's cheer captain and I'm on the bleachers..." The main character doesn't even look that tomboyish, but it counts by comparison.
- The Vamp: Taylor's rival in the "You Belong With Me" music video.