Decrypting the easter eggs from All Too Well

Just return her the scarf

  • 16.11.2021

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Taylor Nation had a tough weekend. Not that anything bad happened, mind you. It was more along the lines of sobbing over what poor TayTay went through back in 2010. We might be ok, but we’re definitely not fine at all. For those unfamiliar, Taylor blessed us all with a 10 minute version of All Too Well , a short film with the same title, plus the entire Red Taylor’s Version album. Needless to say, Swifties across the world went into a collective spiral. 

As we all know, fandoms are known for two things: Their undying loyalty to said idol, as well as some extraordinary sleuthing skills. But not many compare to Taylor Nation, where Taylor Swift herself willingly indulges her fans by deliberately inserting easter eggs in her lyrics and music videos — of which hint at upcoming songs, projects, or references to her life.  We’re talking iconic MVs in the vein of Look What You Made Me Do, where she literally gave nods to every single musical era of her career. But hey, no one’s complaining – Taylor Nation for one, had a blast deciphering and obsessing over every little detail. So in true Taylor fashion, here’s thirteen of our favourite fan theories/ easter eggs we found after enthusiastically reading YouTube comments, reddit threads, and Taylor Nation fan accounts. Enjoy.

1 | The Scarf

It’s probably the first thing you spot right as the short film starts. Sadie is spotted in a red scarf that she hangs up in the house they enter. A definite nod to her lyrics “And I, left my scarf there at your sister’s house And you’ve still got it in your drawer even now” and when you cut to the ending scene where 13-years-later Him is wearing the same scarf – “But you keep my old scarf from that very first week ‘Cause it reminds you of innocence And it smells like me You can’t get rid of it ”

2 | The Cast

One of the biggest threads we found was probably about how despite the age gap, there was insane chemistry between Dylan O’Brien and Sadie Sink, who were cast as Him and Her respectively. No one’s pointing any fingers, but Swifities have long pointed out that All Too Well could have been written about Jake Gyllenhaal who Taylor dated for 3 months back in 2010. The two shared a large age difference of 9 years, which is comparable to Dylan and Sadie’s 11 years.

Extra observant fans have also pointed out that instead of just having Dylan be Him, later on, Taylor had someone named Jake Lyon take on the role. We never see his face, only a shot of his back. Interestingly Jake Lyon and Jake Gyllenhaal share the same first name, and some have also pointed out that Jake Lyon sounds suspiciously like Jake Lyin’

3 | Wardrobe

Having established that Dylan O’Brien could possibly be playing Jake Gyllenhaal in his role as Him, let’s take a look at his wardrobe. It seems to mostly consist of flannels and beanies. He also has a beard. Not sure about you, but that looks suspiciously like Jake’s wardrobe. We’ll let the pictures do the talking here.

Moving on to Sadie, fans have pointed out that the black turtleneck and red lipstick that she wears in the dinner scene was the very same outfit Taylor wore when she announced Red TV on her TikTok. Our hearts broke a little when fans also spotted Sadie wearing Dylan’s flannel as she cries in bed in the later scenes. One more easter egg that eagle-eyed fans spotted was the parallel between the scene of Sadie sitting with her knees up on the floor, and Taylor’s White Horse MV. They both seem to be wearing an oversized grey sweatshirt and black leggings too. 

4 | Autumn Stroll

To further illustrate their point of how Jake Gyllenhaal was clearly the inspiration for All Too Well, fans have dug up similar paparazzi photos of Taylor and Jake enjoying an Autumn stroll — of which is strikingly similar to this particular scene in the short film, down to the hand placements. Coincidence? Taylor Nation thinks not.

5 | Car Scene

In a similar thread, fans have also dug out these paparazzi shots of Jake and Taylor in a car, which also just kinda seems like the inspiration behind this particular clip where Dylan is seen loudly arguing on a phone as he throws his keys at Sadie. Don’t linger too long though, Sadie’s heartbreak in her eyes is enough to make you tear up a little.

6 | 1989 Car

1989 is an important year for Taylor Nation, not only because it’s Taylor’s birth year, but also because she named an album after it. So when a 1989 Benz made an appearance in the short film, some are starting to speculate that that might be the next album Taylor might be releasing next. Harry Styles… might need to sleep with one eye open. 

7 | The Actress

Taylor Nation seems a little divided on the issue on who the actress might be in the lyrics: “Not weeping in a party bathroom Some actress asking me what happened, you ”. Some say it might be Jennifer Anniston, who supposedly offered Taylor Swift relationship advice at the People’s Choice Awards, while others think it might be Anne Hathaway, who in an interview with Glamour, said that she told Taylor she was a “magnificent creature”. Taylor was still dating Jake Gyllenhaal at this time too. We’ll let you decide for yourselves from the screenshots below.

8 | All Too Well Novel

In one of Taylor’s TikToks, fans have spotted that she wrote the lyrics “Just between us did the love affair maim you too ‘‘ on the inside cover of a book that may actually be the All Too Well novel featured in the short film. Others have also compared the cover of the book to The Giving Tree, a children’s book about a boy who continuously takes from the tree, comparing it to the relationship where Sadie is giving love constantly but also receiving nothing in return. Still on the topic of the cover, fans have also spotted the same scarf on a tree in the lyric video. And one of the most popular fan theories of all, was that the little chapter markers scattered through the film is an easter egg lead up to how she eventually becomes an author at the end of the short film.

9 | The Stove

Some fans are calling out the fighting scene for the perfect example of gaslighting. “I don’t think I’m making you feel that way, I think you’re making yourself feel that way.” And they’re not putting it past Taylor for putting this particular scene in a kitchen where there just so happens to have a gas-lit stove. Talk about details.

10 | Fight Scene 

Also on the topic of the fight scene, fans are pointing out that Dylan and Sadie were fighting over a particular incident where Dylan claims was “Literally a moment that I don’t even f***ing remember” And surprise surprise, may just be a nod to the lyrics where Taylor sings about remembering it all too well. 

11 | Chocolate Chip Cookies

Taylor Nation knows that Taylor has two loves – cats and baking. In her 1989 Secret Sessions, she baked chocolate chip cookies for all her fans who were invited to the house for the pre-release listening party. So when they saw the plate of cookies just sitting at the table, they just knew it had to be an easter egg that Taylor left for them to find.

12 | 21 Birthday Party

Fans are drawing parallels between the short film’s birthday scenes and the birthday scene for her music video Lover. Sadie acts out the lyrics of “But then he watched me watch the front door all night, willing you to come And he said, “It’s supposed to be fun turning twenty-one”” where she sadly celebrates her 21st birthday without her boyfriend in the film, but fans are saying that it contrasts to the one shot in Lover, where Taylor plays herself with a loving boyfriend by her side. 

Some fans are also saying that the short film’s birthday scene could also be a nod to her lyrics in The Moment I Knew, where the lyrics go “You should’ve been there Should’ve burst through the door With that ‘Baby, I’m right here’ smile”.

13 | 13 Minute Runtime

And last but not least, fans have pointed out that the short films’ run time up till the screen plays “Written and Directed by Taylor Swift” was 13 minutes long. Long time fans would of course know that 13 has long been Taylor’s favourite number, citing it to be a number where many lucky and momentous things happened to her. So since then, it’s always been part of her, be it writing it on her hand during concerts or hiding it as easter eggs.