Taylor Swift's Most Surprising Easter Eggs Of 2020

Taylor Swift is famous for a lot of things. There's her incredible singing voice and tremendous songwriting ability. There's her sense of style. Of course, there's her cats. And as so many Swifties know all too well, she also has a thing for leaving tons of Easter eggs (AKA hints and clues) in all of her work. Whether it's a new song, a music video, an outfit, or even a manicure, Swift finds ways to allude to future projects, song lyrics, and her famous feuds in everything she does.

Over the years, Swift has mastered the art of Easter eggs and has created a fun dialogue between herself and her fans. For example, her 2017 music video for the song "Look What You Made Me Do" is filled with so many clues that Swift told Entertainment Weekly, "Literally the whole video is just an Easter egg. There are thousands of Easter eggs. There are some that people still haven't found. It will be decades before people find them all."

Swift revealed that she started leaning into Easter eggs more during her Reputation era when she wasn't doing interviews, so it was her way of staying connected to fans. She shared with Entertainment Weekly that she "loves to communicate via Easter eggs" and that the "best messages are cryptic ones." And so, with two entirely new albums, three new music videos, and plenty of new Easter eggs to uncover in 2020, we are going to break down Swift's most surprising hints and clues she dropped over the year.

Scooter Braun got Easter egged by Taylor Swift

Before we get into the folklore and evermore albums, we have to remember that Taylor Swift was still in the midst of her Lover era at the beginning of 2020 (yes, the year has been ridiculously long). The music video for Swift's song "The Man" dropped in late February and it was jam packed with Easter eggs. Most notably, she takes multiple digs at music manager Scooter Braun.

In case you aren't familiar with the Swift/Braun drama, in short, Braun's company bought the masters to Swift's first six albums from her former record label Big Machine Records in 2019. Swift spilled the tea about Braun purchasing her life's work, which supposedly wasn't offered to her, in an emotional Tumblr post in June 2019. Since then, the two have continued to go back and forth over Swift's masters. As soon as she was contractually allowed, Swift decided to re-record all of her music so that she can own her masters again.

Now, back to "The Man" music video. Fans were quick to point out that at one point in the visual, Swift is seen in character peeing on a wall with all her album titles, a sign that says "Missing: If found return to Taylor Swift," and a "no scooters" sign (Scooter pun likely intended). This music video was Swift's solo directorial debut and while she hasn't explicitly confirmed these Easter eggs it's clear she had a message to get across.

Taylor Swift snuck a dig at Scooter Braun in an ad

We mentioned that Taylor Swift would be re-recording her albums, but at the November 2020 American Music Awards, she revealed in her acceptance speech that she was actually already in the process of re-recording some of her work. Then in early December, Swift tweeted that she let her longtime celebrity pal Ryan Reynolds use a snippet of her re-recorded version of "Love Story" in a Match commercial he wrote. Fans obviously loved getting to hear a little bit of her new/old music, but leave it to Swift to find a way to plant an Easter egg in this commercial.

She took yet another dig at Scooter Braun, in the form of yet another scooter. At one point in the ad, a scooter is seen on the ground next to a literal dumpster fire and the number six is graffitied above it. Fans were quick to tweet their responses to this Easter egg, like the person who wrote, "The scooter by the dumpster is EVERYTHING," and the fan who said, "but the SCOOTER NEXT TO THE DUMPSTER YES." While others noted that the number six is likely for her six albums that Braun purchased from Big Machine Records behind her back.

Capital One needed a basket for all of these Easter eggs

That Match ad wasn't the only commercial that Swift managed to sneak Easter eggs into this year. In her November 2020 Capital One commercial, she snuck not one, not two, but tons of Easter eggs into a 30-second ad. In the commercial, Swift looks out the window and realizes that it's chilly outside, so she walks over to her closet and grabs a cardigan. She turns to the camera and gives us a wink as she makes an obvious allusion to her song "cardigan." But that moment was hardly an Easter egg or clue. True Swifties know that finding Swift's Easter eggs requires looking closer at a moment like this. And that's what many of them did.

Fans noticed that if you look at the shelves alongside the closet, they are jam packed with nods to her folklore album. There's a peace sign to seemingly represent her song "peace"; a disco ball for her song "mirrorball"; a green dog, which is referenced in her song "the last great american dynasty"; and a miniature version of the trunk we saw in her "cardigan" music video. There are so many more clues, like Swift's lucky number 13 and some photos that fans think might be of Swift and boyfriend Joe Alwyn. You'll have to watch the commercial again to spot them all!

Taylor Swift teased a secret album way before it came out

Let's discuss one of the biggest Easter eggs sagas of 2020 that none of us saw coming. On April 27, 2020, Taylor Swift shared a photo of herself and wrote, "Not a lot going on at the moment" (don't worry, we will also revisit this caption as an evermore Easter egg later on). The original post was right in the midst of the pandemic lockdowns, so fans didn't think much of it at the time.

Fast-forward to a few months later, we found out that Swift actually had quite a lot going on at that moment. She was working on her eighth studio album, folklore, and she later revealed it would be coming out July 24, 2020. As soon Swift dropped the news that she would be dropping her album, fans looked back at this caption and realized it was in fact an Easter egg after all.

One person wrote, "BYE THIS WAS A F**KING EASTER EGG THERE ARE 8 WORDS IN THE CAPTION AND IT WAS POSTED ON 4/27 WHICH FLIPS TO 7/24 WHICH IS JULY 24TH AKA FOLKLORE." Another fan chimed in with their own theory and did some diehard Swiftie math. They wrote, "HOLY LUCKY NUMBER 13! Taylor Swift will release her 8th studio album tomorrow, July 24, which is 7-24. 7 + 2 + 4 = 13. She named it #folklore which has 8 letters in it saying it's her 8th album!!! Isn't she genius? Say NO and don't ever talk to me!!!"

The Cardigan music video was filled with clues

Once the folklore album officially dropped and her self-directed "cardigan" music video was released, Swifties watched the video with eagle eyes looking for Easter eggs, and Taylor Swift didn't disappoint. She even released a second version of the video around a month later called "cardigan (Footnotes)" where she confirmed many of these Easter egg speculations.

So let's dive into these hidden clues that were revealed in the footnotes. At the beginning of the video while Swift played piano in a cabin, above the piano is a framed photo of her grandfather. Swift eventually posted about the significance of this photo, noting that her grandfather is the subject of her song "epiphany." Additionally, above the piano there's also a framed piece of art that Swift painted herself during quarantine and a clock pointing to numbers one and three. The one and three are another nod to her lucky number 13.

Those Easter eggs only scratch the surface. In the footnotes, Swift revealed that there's also some more unique symbolism in the "cardigan" video that are unlike traditional Easter eggs. The forest represents the "evergreen beginning of a relationship where everything seems magical and full of beauty." The ocean represents "the isolation and fear involved when a relationship is breaking down." And finally, when she goes back to the cabin, she's "returning to a sense of self after experiencing love lost." Only Swift could pull off all of this symbolism and all of these clues one music video.

Taylor Swift confirmed Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds' daughter's name

One of the songs on Taylor Swift's folklore album is one giant Easter egg. "Betty" is about a young man losing the love of his life and having to apologize to get it back. But Swifties were quick to notice that Swift decided to use the names of Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds' daughters as the characters in this love story. Fans already knew that James and Inez were Lively and Reynolds' first two daughter's names, but Swift seemingly confirmed that Betty was their third daughter's name with the song title. Lively and Reynolds famously hadn't yet announced their third-born's name, and Swift later confirmed that the song was in fact named after their daughter Betty.

Swift revealed the Easter egg when she introduced the song on country radio in August 2020. "I've always loved that in music you can kinda slip into different identities and you can sing from other people's perspectives. So that's what I did on this one," she said. "And I named all the characters in this story after my friends' kids so I hope you like it!" Now how's that for an epic baby name announcement?!

Fans think Taylor Swift subtly took a swipe at Kanye West

While we're talking about specific folklore tracks, let's break down an Easter egg in Taylor Swift's song "peace." When chatting with Paul McCartney for Rolling Stone, Swift said the track is about the changes she's made in her relationship with Joe Alwyn. "But I think that in knowing him and being in the relationship I am in now, I have definitely made decisions that have made my life feel more like a real life and less like just a storyline to be commented on in tabloids," she shared. Even so, she'll always make headlines.

Swift has openly discussed how her enduring feud with Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West has impacted her professional and personal lives. And fans were in for a very hidden Easter egg when watching the lyric video for Swift's song "peace." When Swift sings the lines, "But there's robbers to the east/Clowns to the West," fans noticed that "W" in West was capitalized, like the last name, not the direction. One fan tweeted about this writing, "In peace Taylor Swift capitalized West and not east and no one can convince me that she isn't calling Kanye a clown. Thank u for coming to my ted talk." And another person tweeted, "The way Taylor Swift said in peace 'robbers to the east, clowns to the West.' Notice how 'east' is in small caps while 'West' is in capital letters. She's definitely referencing Kanye West I'm screamingggg."

The story behind Taylor Swift's boyfriend's pseudonym

From the moment Taylor Swift's eighth studio album dropped in July 2020, Swifties were scratching their heads about "William Bowery," who is credited on two folklore tracks. Fans wondered if the name was an Easter egg and if "William Bowery" was a pen name for Swift's boyfriend, Joe Alwyn, because "William Bowery" had no other songwriting credits. The theory was that the "William" came from the first name of Alwyn's great-grandfather, William Alwyn, who was a composer, conductor and a music teacher. And the "Bowery" referred to where one of Swift and Alwyn's first-ever hangouts took place back in 2016.

Turns out, fans were right yet again. Swift, who has also used the pseudonym Nils Sjöberg in the past, confirmed the identity of William Bowery during her Disney+ film. While talking with fellow folklore creators Jack Antonoff and The National's Aaron Dessner, Taylor addressed the rumors about the mystery co-writer. "There's been a lot of discussion about William Bowery and his identity, because...it's not a real person," she said (via E!). "So, William Bowery is Joe...as we know."

On folklore, William Bowery (AKA Joe Alwyn) is credited for co-writing songs the "exile" and "betty," and on evermore he co-wrote "champagne Problems," "coney island" and "evermore." And during her Disney+ film, Swift added that, "Joe plays piano beautifully and he's always just playing and making things up and kind of creating things."

Swifties believe Taylor Swift's hairstyle was a clue

In November 2020, Taylor Swift received the award for Apple Music's Songwriter of the Year and she gave a speech about how honored she was to receive this award, especially in 2020. "Winning songwriter of the year in any capacity in any year would be so exciting but I think it's really special because this particular year was a year where I really feel like songwriting was the one thing that was able to keep me connected to fans that I wasn't able to see in concert," she said. And as lovely as her acceptance speech was, fans couldn't help but think Swift's 'do was a possible Easter egg.

Swift's hair during her speech was extremely different from the natural, curlier hair she has been rocking throughout her folklore and evermore era. Many thought that her hair looked more similar to how she looked during her Red album era and thought that the look could be an Easter egg about what album she is currently re-recording.

The Swifties took to Twitter to reveal their theories about what her new hairstyle could mean. One person tweeted, "She straightened her hair with bangs! Again, she straightened her hair withbangs! When was the last time she did that? RED ERA! 10-minute All Too Well version is coming!" Another Swiftie added, "SHE'S RERECORDING RED I JUST KNOW." And another fan chimed in saying, "THE BANGS GIVES ME RED VIBES SHE REALLY BE TEASING US."

Taylor Swift left Evermore Easter eggs in plain sight

Just when you think Taylor Swift couldn't possibly surprise us anymore than she already had in 2020, evermore entered the chat. On December 10th, Swift revealed that her ninth studio album would drop that night. "I'm elated to tell you that my 9th studio album, and folklore's sister record, will be out tonight at midnight eastern," she tweeted. "It's called evermore. To put it plainly, we just couldn't stop writing songs."

Swift just released folklore around four months prior, so the Swifties weren't on high alert for an entirely new album so soon. And yet, Swift has really become the queen of surprise in 2020. Hindsight was also 20/20 for the Swifties who looked back on the months leading up to the evermore announcement and found plenty of Easter eggs that Swift had hidden for them along the way.

For example, in late November, Swift shared a new photo with the same "not a lot going on at the moment" caption. Additionally, she shared this photo from her Entertainment Weekly photoshoot and wrote, "'tis the damn season" alongside it, which we now know is a song title on evermore. Other fans noticed that Swift's hairstyle during her American Music Awards acceptance speech was a lot like her hair on the evermore album cover. And one person even pointed out that the day before Swift announced the album, she included nine tree emojis in a tweet, to signify her ninth album dropping.

The songs that are about people in Taylor Swift's life

As soon as fans got to listen to Taylor Swift's ninth album evermore, they got straight to looking for clues and Easter eggs within the music. One common theme that Swift noted in her post about the album is that she wanted to continue to tell these "imaginary/not imaginary tales." And fans noticed that some of these tales were about real people in Swift's life. Like for example, track 13 on evermore is called "marjorie", who Swift revealed was her grandmother. Marjorie Finlay was Swift's maternal grandma, an opera singer, and someone who inspired Swift's passion for music. Interestingly enough, fans also pointed out the parallel between folklore and evermore in that track 13 on each album is about one of her grandparents.

Additionally, Swifties are convinced that the evermore song "dorothea" is about Swift's longtime friend Selena Gomez. There were entire threads that broke down each lyric and how it related to Gomez's life like how she used to do pageants, how she has been on the cover of many magazines, how she started her own makeup line, and some people even though the song made references to Gomez's ex Justin Bieber. Others pointed out the Wizard of Oz is known to be Gomez's favorite movie and she's even played a character named Dot (a nickname for Dorothea) before. Swift hasn't confirmed this but since she and Gomez have been friends for so long, we wouldn't be surprised if she was the subject of this track!

Fans suspect Taylor Swift's got another album on the way

We got folklore in July 2020, evermore in December, and believe it or not, fans now think Taylor Swift has another album called Woodvale in the works. And while we were totally shocked by evermore, Swifties are now actively searching for any more surprises from Tay. Eagle-eyed individuals noticed that on the "hide and seek" version of the folklore alternate album art, the word "woodvale" was hidden in the corner. This led many to believe that there may be a third sister album; as one fan tweeted, "woodvale will be the third album which will come out in the spring and it'll be like a trilogy- woodvale, evermore & folklore." 

Swift hasn't confirmed or denied any of this speculation, but let us not forget that she is the queen of Easter eggs; she wouldn't just put Woodvale in the corner for no reason, right?! Either way, fans do have some other reasons to suspect these albums are part of a trilogy. For one thing, some of the merch on Swift's site is being sold in sets of three, and Swifties have noticed that the color schemes match up with folklore and evermore... but what about that third color, hm? Of course, it's all just speculation, so for now let's just keep enjoying folklore and evermore as we keep our eyes and ears peeled for more clues!