Taylor Swift’s second Midnights music video is one giant Easter egg hunt. The singer released her video for “Bejeweled” at midnight and told Jimmy Fallon on the Tonight Show ahead of its release that there’s a “psychotic amount” of Easter eggs in her fun take on Cinderella. “We have a PDF file for the Easter eggs in this video because there are so many that we could not keep track,” she admitted.
Swift spoke about the casting for the video, explaining her thought process. “I wanted to make a video that’s just for the fans who like certain things like glitter and Easter eggs and lots of little cameos,” she started. “So basically I was thinking about Midnights, the concept, and I was like where do we hear about midnights a lot? We hear about it a lot when we talk about the Cinderella fairy tale and so I was like what if we did a little twist on a Cinderella story and I could cast my friends? My best friends, the Haim sisters, what if they played the stepsisters? And I was like what if we really shoot for the stars with the other castings. What if it was Oscar winner Laura Dern playing my stepmother? I was like, ‘Oscar winner Laura Dern, hello, I’ve written a script. It’s a one scene script in which you are going to call me a tired, tacky wench.’ And she was like, I’m down. She’s the coolest. She’s so funny. She’s another one, I’m like, ‘friend. You are my friend now.’”
“Directing Oscar winner Laura Dern is like easier than anything I’ve ever done in my life.” Swift continued. “She’s just the greatest and I can’t even believe I’m saying things like this. And so then we have one of my favorite performers who I think has been so influential in pop music and I’ve nicknamed this character not the fairy godmother but the fairy goddess and that is played by Dita von Teese who I think is one of the most iconic performers and it’s so exciting to get to see her do what she does in this. Jack Antonoff is in it. The genius, legendary makeup artist and creator Pat McGrath is in it. So I’m really, really, really excited.”
Fans were quick to identify many Easter eggs. Here, everything they spotted so far. Watch the music video too below.
In the stepsisters and stepmother scene:
The violin strings play “Enchanted,” Swifties quickly pointed out:
The stepmother, played by Laura Dern, uses Swift’s last name in a pun: “He tired of her quite quickly or should I say swiftly?”
“There it is. That joke never gets old. Thank you, thank you so much,” Swift dryly replied.
Dern references “exile,” the name of a track from Swift’s folklore album: “Lest you forget, you’ve been exiled here.”
One of the stepsisters, played by Danielle Haim, says “bye snake,” to Swift, referring to what trolls have called Swift online.
The portrait of Jack Antonoff, the Prince Charming in the video and Swift’s frequent collaborator, has cats on it, Swift’s favorite animal.
Fans noted that Swift references “Speak Now,” several times in the video, going so far as to release the music video on the album’s anniversary.
From the 3 elevator button she hits (her third album) to Dern’s dialogue to the stage decor, Swift drops many hints that it will be the next re-recorded album she releases.
Swift’s Cinderella cleaning outfit (and her “exile” look) resemble her look in the “cardigan” music video.
One fan theorized the transition from her cleaning look to bejeweled outfits represent her re-entry into pop after folklore and evermore.
Swift taking the castle and leaving her folklore cottage could also symbolize her music era shift:
Swift hits the 3 button in the elevator (Speak Now, her third album), then goes to the fifth floor (1989 her fifth album).
Fans think that could signify the order she’s releasing her re-recorded albums in.
The colors in the elevator (and floors) symbolize Swift’s past albums.
They also appear on her necklace:
Swift’s Old Hollywood get-up in her scene with fairy goddess Dita von Teese looks a lot like her 2014 Met Gala look, which kicked off her 1989 era.
It also has the same old Hollywood vibes as her “Wildest Dreams” music video did.
Swift and Antonoff pose with a vault key, symbolizing the vault tracks that have appeared on her re-recorded albums so far, a fan pointed out.
The vault tracks are songs that didn’t make the final cut of the album but were written for it.
The dragons at the end of the music video may be a reference to Swift’s “Long Live” lyric, “I had the time of my life fighting dragons with you,” fans pointed out.
Orchestration also plays the tune of the song.
Swift on the balcony at the end of the video echoes her Speak Now tour, fans pointed out.
Yet another clue that Speak Now (Taylor’s Version) is up next.
This post will be updated with more Easter eggs as they’re identified.
Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.