Taylor Swift

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Don't get any teardrops on that thing, you'll ruin the varnish. (Taylor in 2008)
Ooh, look what you made me do. (Taylor in 2017)
"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 Swift, in the liner notes for Taylor Swift (2006)

Taylor Alison Swift (b. December 13th, 1989) is an insanely popular Country Music/crossover Pop singer-songwriter from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania. A child prodigy who found herself interested in poetry and music from an early age, Swift 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. Of course, it was only a matter of time before she became every teen girl's hero and every teen boy's secret Celeb Crush.

She rose even more in popularity when Kanye West took the microphone away from her at the MTV VMAs and said Beyoncé's video was better than hers. She's dated Joe Jonas, that guy from Twilight, and that other guy from Glee. She's been rumored to be dating John Mayer and Jake Gyllenhaal. She was seriously involved with Tom Hiddleston for a while, too.

Swift has seen her first three albums go to #1 on the country charts (and two of them at #1 on the mainstream charts), four #1 singles on the country charts, 42 songs charting in the Hot 100 (ten in the AT40 with Ryan Seacrest), has won six Grammy awards, 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 prominent.

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.

Discography:

Live albums:

  • Live From SoHo (2008)
  • CMT Crossroads: Taylor Swift & Def Leppard (2009)
  • Speak Now World Tour Live (2011)
Taylor Swift provides examples of the following tropes:
Well you stood there with me in the door-
—way, my hands shake, I'm not usually this way...
  • Acting for Two:
  • 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.
  • 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: And that's just the start.
  • 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" and "Never Grow Up".
  • All Girls Want Bad Boys: In "The Way I Loved You", she comments about how, although she thinks it's nice how close she and her love interest have gotten, she still misses those heart-wrenching moments with him.
  • All Guys Want Cheerleaders: In "You Belong With Me" (and this clip is going to be referenced quite a bit here).
  • 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.
  • 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...
  • 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.
  • Auto Erotica/Double Entendre/Getting Crap Past the Radar: In "Tim McGraw", she claims her boyfriend had "a tendency of getting stuck on backroads at night".
  • Auto-Tune: She doesn't use it to the robotic extremes of, say, T-Pain, but her pitch correction is pretty obvious on the studio recordings (she's usually better on the ballads).
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: Seriously, what part of "Taylor Swift" do you not quite get? Even she doesn't know what's continuing to be so hard about this. See Tastes Like Diabetes on the YMMV tab.
  • Be Yourself: She's on record as saying, "If you're lucky enough to be different, don't ever change."
  • 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.
  • Bishonen: "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."

  • Blue Eyes
  • 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" on some stations (the video uses the hetero-normative version).
    • Some stations edited the lyrics to "Teardrops on My Guitar". They are changed from "so damn funny" to "just so funny."[1]
  • Braids of Action: Shown in her "You Belong With Me" and "The Story of Us" music videos.
  • Break-Up Bonfire: The topic of "Picture to Burn".
  • Break Up Song: If you make a Drinking Game out of it, you will die.
  • 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 Bird: She's this in "Mine".
  • Burn, Baby, Burn: Said word-for-word in "Picture to Burn".
  • Camp Gay: One of the characters in the "Mean" music video.
  • Celeb Crush:
    • "Superstar" on Fearless: Platinum Edition has hints of this.
    • Swift herself has crushed on Chace Crawford and Frankie Jonas of all people. No, really.
  • 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".
  • 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 Kingsleys 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".
  • Christmas Songs: Sounds of the Season, an EP featuring country-pop renditions of Swift's favorite holiday songs.
  • 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 Cover Changes the Gender: When "Teardrops On My Guitar" was arraged 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.
  • 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.
  • Creator Breakdown: Just about all of her songs are based on Real Life scenarios, most of which were relationships with boyfriends or high school friends with whom she had parted ways. Lampshaded by Taylor Swift herself, who said, "If you listen to my albums, it’s like reading my diary."
  • 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, including this one. 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, [dead link] further fulfilling the trope.
  • The Cutie: Includes the aforementioned kitty.
  • Cycle of Revenge: Discussed in "Mean." Taylor basically vows to stop the cycle.
  • Damsel in Distress: Subverted in the video for "Mean".
  • Dastardly Whiplash: The villains in the "Mean" video.
  • Dating What Daddy Hates:
    • "Love Story".
    • Also, to a lesser extent, "Ours".
  • Deadpan Snarker: Surprisingly enough, she can be quite sarcastic at times.
  • 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 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.
  • Early Installment Weirdness: Taylor Swift is much closer to traditional country music than the country-pop style Taylor adopted on her later albums. As of her 2011 tour, only one song ("Our Song") from her debut album is included in the setlist.
  • Easily Forgiven: Not her, but Kanye West. "Innocent" is about him.
  • 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").
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Eye Take: Often when she wins awards. She'll usually have a Big "What?" and a Jaw Drop to go with it.
  • Fan Service: A probably accidental example in the video for "Change" in that we get a nice look down her cleavage at two different points.
  • Foot Focus: Her debut album features a picture of her feet on the disc itself. She sometimes performs on stage barefoot (Innocent at 2010 VMA's) and is frequently shown barefoot in promotional photographs, album artwork, commercials, etc. The "Safe and Sound" video has a fair amount of it.
  • Forbidden Fruit: "Love Story".
  • Future Loser: The antagonists of "Mean".
  • 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". It's only a matter of time before Swift attempts disco, ragtime and reggae.
  • 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 Darn 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.
  • 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), Best Country Album (Fearless), Best Female Country Vocal Performance ("You Belong With Me"), Best Country Song ("White Horse" and "Mean") 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: Mentioned in "Sparks Fly".
  • Growing Up Sucks: The basic theme of "Never Grow Up".
  • Hair of Gold
  • Happily Married: Swift and the Love Interest in the "Mine" music video.
  • Happy Ending: "Love Story" and "Mine".
  • Happy Rain: "Fearless" and "The Way I Loved You".
  • Hidden Depths: She's believed to have ghostwritten a British site about streetlights. This may be an Urban Legend though.
  • 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 realises 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".
  • Huge Schoolgirl: 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.
  • 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.
  • The Ingenue: She is the epitome of this trope.
  • 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 fireworks show").
  • 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.
  • Lady in Red: The Alpha Bitch in the "You Belong With Me" video.
  • 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".
  • 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."
  • Madonna-Whore Complex:
    • The "You Belong With Me" video provides the page image.
    • 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 recent 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".
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Noodle Incident: "...the incident that happened backstage when Taylor Swift appeared in concert in Wembley November 2009", as mentioned by a radio presenter in the Midlands in the United Kingdom. What the incident was, exactly, is not made clear.
  • Not Love Interest: She's this in "I'd Lie" and "You Belong With Me".
  • Oblivious to Love: "You Belong With Me".
  • 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: Believe it or not, she's good friends with Katy Perry.
  • Older Than They Look: Does she look like she's 22? For reference's sake, she's 16 on her debut album's cover art and no older than 20 in the page image.
  • Oop North: Where she's become a fashion icon, competing with Ke$ha in the style stakes. Particularly in Wigan where others try to emulate her look, and sometimes, her singing voice.
  • Ordinary High School Student: In "You Belong With Me".
  • Overprotective Dad:
    • "Picture to Burn".

"My daddy's gonna show you how sorry you'll be!"

"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...

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
  • 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 Never 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 radio version of "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. [2] "You Belong With Me" replaces the banjo with electric guitar. 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.
  • "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.
    • "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".
      • Really, half of her catalog is this. Others include "Picture to Burn" and "Cold As You".
  • 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."
  • Rhyming with Itself: "Like I do" is rhymed with itself in "You Belong with Me", which also rhymes "than that" with, "like that".
  • The Rival: As of late, the media's been setting her up as one of Miley Cyrus, which is a bit weird, considering Taylor and Miley are known to be good friends. They've even performed together before. Taylor also got a cameo on Hannah Montana: The Movie.
  • Second Person Narration: "Fifteen", despite being clearly autobiographical, switches between this and first person.
  • Self-Titled Album: Go on, guess what her first album was called.
  • Sensible Heroes, Skimpy Villains: The "You Belong With Me" video.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Say it with me now: 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'".
  • Signature Song: "Love Story" or "You Belong With Me".
  • Silly Love Songs: "Love Story" lampshades itself as this.
  • Single Girl Seeks Most Popular Guy
  • 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 5'11 without heels.
  • Strictly Formula: Recurring references include the guy's eyes, rain, and Tuesday night.
  • Subdued Section: "Sparks Fly" and "Back To December".
  • Take That: "Forever and Always" to Joe Jonas. Also, her Saturday Night Live "Monologue Song" to him and Kanye West.
  • Take That, Critics!: "Mean" calls out those who criticize her singing ability, a common criticism held against her.
  • 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."

  1. Strange, as most stations let "damn" slide.
  2. This is also how the song is performed in concert.