Sick of scramble for Easter eggs


Isabella McNutt ’27 is a international relations and history double major, and she is a member of Alpha Chi Omega. She loves traveling, basketball and music. Email her at 

The views expressed in the article are the author’s own.

On December 12, 2023, fans rushed to type “Taylor Swift” into the Google search bar and solve her puzzles. The secret puzzle discoveries flooded TikTok as fans desperately tried to figure out what Taylor was trying to reveal: 89 puzzles for the re-recording of her 1989 album for Taylor’s version. To anyone unfamiliar with the extensive, somewhat chaotic relationship Taylor has with her fans, this may seem alarming and, well, let’s face it, a little psychotic. But Swift, one of the biggest artists of the 21st century, continues to shock the world with her every move and the fans are loving it. I just simply do not understand why the world tries to stay one step in front of Swift, when it fails almost every time. Her fans analyze every outfit, piece of jewelry and interview she does, just to try to keep up with her somewhat diabolical plans. She has completely taken over the internet with these Easter eggs that her fans, despite all the analyzing, cannot decipher, which makes the practice seem pointless.

But Easter eggs in the music industry is not a new concept. Many artists have used the Easter egg marketing strategy to encourage their fans to listen to their music more closely. Incredibly sensational artists from Pink Floyd to the Rolling Stones have used Easter eggs. According to the Capitol Theatre, “In 1967, The Beatles released ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,’ an album with one of the most memorable album covers of all time. The album gave a nod to the rivalry they had with The Rolling Stones, which features a Shirley Temple doll wearing a ‘Welcome The Rolling Stones’ t-shirt. Months later, The Rolling Stones released their own album ‘Their Satanic Majesties Request,’ featuring a colorful album cover to pay silent tribute to The Beatles.”

These little hints were always popular and have been sporadically used by the world’s most famous and legendary artists. Importantly, these hints were manageable. Yes, they were somewhat time consuming, but they did not occur to the extent and frequency of Swift’s infamous Easter eggs. Swift just takes it to a whole new level. With the announcement of her new album “Tortured Poets Department,” Swift surprised fans who were almost positive that this announcement would be about the re-recording of her “Reputation” album. Just the announcement of her new album alone was important because it was announced as she received her 13th Grammy for best pop vocal album (which is also her “lucky number”). She has been doing this forever, and it is one of the things that makes her so popular to her fans. Swift herself told The Washington Post, “When I was 15 and putting together my first album, […] I decided to encode the lyrics with hidden messages using capital letters. That’s how it started, and my fans and I have since descended into color coding, numerology, word searches, elaborate hints, and Easter eggs.” But there are so many clues that do not seem to materialize or which take a completely different turn, so why do we always fall for all her tricks?

Everyone loves to be right. Even in silly little moments like uncovering Swift’s next move, her fans pour their everything into trying to uncover her tricks before they become so blatantly clear. People have an inherent need to be right and prove their intelligence in dissecting the intricate details of Swift’s innermost thoughts. The idea of uncovering an incredible music artist’s next song clues and release dates in and of itself is not necessarily absurd, but the constant failure of fans from being able to ever discover Swift’s next move completely baffles me. Her fans will never be able to figure it out until she herself uncovers the clues. So why bother? That’s the part that makes absolutely no sense to me. Her fans spend hours in the all-consuming scavenge, but they are never successful.

Swift’s ability to take the concept of Easter eggs that were always an integral part of the music culture and turn it into this pointless, repetitive and somewhat redundant process of endless searching is not her fault; she’s just playing off of the irrational desire of her fans to devote insanely long hours to uncovering her hints and falling for her tricks. As long as her fans continue to dissect her every move, she will keep giving them what they want. I do agree that Swift genuinely cares about her fans, but this endless supply of hints and tricks is nothing more than a marketing strategy to increase her popularity in the music industry. I do not think I will ever understand how her fans pour hours of their time into figuring out her Easter eggs, but Swift will not stop feeding into this process until her fans decide it is no longer worthwhile.


  1. Thanks for your great article! I know you are still a Swiftie listening this morning but I agree, things have gone reallyyyyy far with some people haha


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