It’s officially here — Taylor Swift’s newest music video for “Anti-Hero” has dropped. “Anti-Hero” is the first song to get a music video from Swift’s Midnights album, and it was officially released at 8 a.m. EST on Oct. 21, leaving everyone shook. It’s been a minute since Swift released a music video for a new track, so it’s safe to say the Swifties are working hard to decipher what all the secret Easter eggs in the video truly mean. After all, if there’s one thing Swift is known for, it’s her ability to weave secret messages and motifs into all of her content.
The music video even winks at this tendency (and the tendency of Swifties to read into her lyrics and videos and hunt for Easter eggs), with two of the characters at her funeral searching her will for secret messages that Taylor claims aren’t there.
Swift posted about the music video premiere, tweeting, “The Anti-Hero video is HERE, which I wrote and directed. Watch my nightmare scenarios and intrusive thoughts play out in real time.” This context may just provide some insight into the questionable symbols that appear throughout the video.
If you’re struggling to uncover their hidden meanings, scramble no more: Here are all the hidden Easter eggs in the “Anti-Hero” music video explained, for your convenience.
- The glitter
At the beginning of the music video, Swift is cutting into her breakfast of eggs and bacon, but instead of runny egg yolk, the broken eggs oozes out… glitter? Swifties are already drawing parallels between the glitter shown here and the glitter in the music video for “The Man.” That music video contained its own host of hints about its potential subject (Scooter Braun), so this could be a callback to Swift’s feud with him.
- The cowboy hat
The first ghost Swift sees in the music video is wearing a cowboy hat. This could potentially be a reference to Swift’s past in country music, before she switched gears and solidified herself as a pop artist. Swift may be indicating here that she’s haunted by how the country music industry treated her after she moved more into the pop genre.
- The red sunglasses
At 0:41 in the music video, you can see that one of the ghosts haunting Swift is wearing red, heart-shaped sunglasses. These sunglasses are too iconic to not be a reference to when she wore them in the music video for Red‘s “22.” One Swiftie further pointed out that one of the ghosts is wearing cat ears, which also made an appearance in the “22” music video. Plus, the beginning of the video shows Swift eating breakfast — at midnight. Hello, “22” lyrics! Maybe Swift is attempting to reminisce on this era — or even escape it.
- Younger Taylor
There are a few different versions of Swift that show up in “Anti-Hero,” but perhaps the most prominent is a younger version that knocks on the door and drinks shots with current Swift. Swift is no stranger to referencing past versions of herself (hi, “Look What You Made Me Do” music video), but this “other” self is a bit harder to parse. She could be a reference to Swift’s Red era, due to her red outfit, or perhaps 1989 or Reputation. Or, instead, she could be an amalgamation of all of those eras — another ghost that haunts Swift, even if she doesn’t have a sheet over her head like the others.
- Alice In Wonderland References
Swift is seen attempting to crawl into her dining room to join a dinner party at the start of the second verse, but she’s too big to fit into the door. And at the end of the music video, a third version of Swift joins the two already present, and she’s also taller than the house the music video is set in. Swift growing too large to fit into a room could be a reference to Alice in Wonderland, in which Alice eats a cake that’s labeled “EAT ME,” which causes her to grow bigger.
- The photo of Marjorie
An eagle-eyed Swiftie spotted a photo of Marjorie Finlay, Swift’s grandmother, on the wall in her house. Most Swifties came to learn more about her through “Marjorie,” one of the tracks on Evermore that Swift dedicated to her late grandma. Finlay was an opera singer who reportedly encouraged Swift’s passion for music when she was young, making this Easter egg a sweet tribute.
- The bow and arrow
OK, this one is perhaps one of the most obvious references to another Swift song: Lover‘s “The Archer” gets a nod when a man in Swift’s dining room shoots her with a bow and arrow and she bleeds more glitter. The lyrics of “The Archer” deal with Swift’s insecurity about her relationships, platonic and romantic, so this could perhaps signify someone who betrayed and left her.
- Swift’s emblem on the wine bottle
At around the 1:47 mark, Swift flashes the label of the wine bottle she’s drinking from at the camera, and you can see for a split-second that it has a crest on it. Some fans have pointed out that it looks just like Swift’s official emblem, which has made an appearance in a few past music videos and contains symbols special to Swift like the Roman numerals for the number 13, three cats, and a snake.
- The scale
Swift weighs herself at one point in the music video, with the younger version of her watching in disappointment as the scale reads “Fat.” Swift has opened up about her struggles with an eating disorder in her documentary Miss Americana, and this could be a reference to her struggles with body image and its effect on her perception of her self-worth, especially since she wrote the song’s lyrics to be pretty critical of herself. In this same vein, the aforementioned Alice in Wonderland references to size could also be implying similar self-critical thoughts Swift has had about her body.
- The daughter-in-law’s Fearless-era dress
The music video follows the bridge’s lyrics pretty explicitly, when Taylor sings, “I have this dream my daughter-in-law kills me for the money,” and the video shows her funeral. But Kimber, the daughter-in-law in question, actually has long, curly blond hair and is wearing a dress that everyone points out is one Taylor wore on the 2009 Fearless tour.
Uh, did Swift just shade Kim Kardashian? As I mentioned earlier, the daughter-in-law in the video is named Kimber, a possible reference to Kimberly Kardashian, who as we all know, had a longstanding feud with Swift due to her then-husband Kanye West including Swift in his “Famous” lyrics and music video. On its own, this might not be a lot to read into, but Swifties have pointed out that Midnights dropped on Oct. 21… aka Kardashian’s birthday. Hmm.
- The recording phone
Yes, yes, here’s yet another possible Kim and Kanye reference: At the funeral, character Chad has a podcast (titled Life Comes At You Swiftly… get it?) and Preston calls him out for recording the funeral and their argument on his phone. This could also be a reference to when Kardashian leaked footage of a phone call where Swift allegedly agreed to Kanye’s reference to her in “Famous,” which is widely agreed upon as the origin of their feud.