If there’s one thing we all know about Taylor Swift, it’s that she loves writing songs about the A-listers she’s fucked dated. And that she’s annoying. Okay, that’s two things. Whatever. While we know that each and every one of Taylor’s lyrical roasts are about some real man out in the world, it can be hard for anyone but Taylor’s most dedicated stans to keep together who she’s dated and when, let alone which songs correspond to their breakup. Given that Taylor Swift’s love life is a literal rubix cube of hookups, it can be hard to figure out which of Taylor’s boyfriends each of her songs is about. Like, when was she dating Joe Jonas again? Was that really NINE years ago? Has Taylor Swift really been famous for the entirety of my adult life? How can one person be so annoying yet so good at writing breakup songs?
Well, I can’t offer you an explanation for the last one, but what I can offer you is a detailed timeline of all of Taylor’s exes and the songs she wrote about them, because I have way too much time on my hands, apparently. Use this info to wow your friends at a party, or make them concerned for your mental health. Either way, it’s free attention.
Taylor Swift, 2006
Taylor Swift’s debut album, from back when she was a country star or whatever, is mostly about the high school guys she dated who people only know about now because Taylor became so famous. Still, this album was a pretty good precursor to all the take-downs of her celebrity boyfriends yet to come. In fact, we actually know a surprising amount about the boys in this album, all because they made the mistake of dating Taylor Swift when she was in high school.
“Picture To Burn”
ABOUT: Jordan Alford
WHO HE IS: High school boyfriend
THE EVIDENCE: Friends have said the video “contained references to their relationship.” Because just writing a song about someone is not enough.
“Teardrops On My Guitar”
ABOUT: Drew Hardwick
WHO HE IS: High school crush
THE EVIDENCE: Well I mean, she literally says his name at the beginning of the song. Bold move for a not-yet-famous 16-year-old with crimped hair. Taylor truly has been insane for years.
ABOUT: Brandon Borello
WHO HE IS: Longterm High School Boyfriend, he and Taylor dated for like, a very long time apparently.
THE EVIDENCE: Originally performed at HS talent show when the two of them were dating. You know, before she realized she could start getting with Jonas brothers and shit.
“Should’ve Said No”
ABOUT: Sam Armstrong
WHO IS HE: HS boyfriend who cheated on her. Little did he know that the girl he was cheating on would become a mega famous pop star known for her epic breakup anthems.
THE EVIDENCE: In the liner notes for this song every S A and M that are in order were capitalized because Taylor Swift is nothing if not a shady, shady bitch who lacks subtlety.
ABOUT: Brandon Borello
WHO HE IS: Again, this was her longterm high school boyfriend who may or may not be the only ex that Taylor Swift actually likes.
THE EVIDENCE: Lyrics about breaking up for college, which they did. I guess the only way to escape Taylor’s rage is to break up mutually, for geographic reasons.
Fearless still falls into Taylor Swift’s pop-country phase, but also represents a definite shift in her dating habits because it was released after her first major celebrity relationship with Joe Jonas. It would be only A-lister for Taylor from here on out.
ABOUT: Brandon Borello
WHO HE IS: Her longeterm high school boyfriend, again. Taylor clearly was still hung up on this relationship despite the whole “getting super fucking famous” thing. Maybe the reason Taylor can’t seem to hold down a relationship is because her true love was Brandon the whole time? Just a thought.
THE EVIDENCE: This is who she was dating when she was 15 so yeah the song is about him.
ABOUT: Stephen Liles
WHO IS HE: Some musician who toured with Taylor and is part of the country duo Love & Theft. This was clearly Taylor’s first attempt at celebrity dating, but I think we all knew she could do better.
THE EVIDENCE: His name is literally the title of the song.
“Forever & Always”
ABOUT: Joe Jonas
WHO IS HE: Arguably the hottest Jonas brother, Joe was Taylor’s first big celebrity relationship. The two dated from July 2008 to October 2008 at which point Joe dumped Taylor over the phone. Big mistake, Joe. Huge.
THE EVIDENCE: Lyrics about “staring at the phone” after Taylor had gone all over television to tell people Joe had dumped her over the phone. Clearly she wanted people to get the reference. Very subtle, Tay.
Speak Now, 2010
By 2010, Taylor is still fucking with the country vibe, but has fully converted to only dating celebrities. In the two years between 2008 and 2010, Taylor had already gone through one Jonas brother, a Glee castmember, one of the Twilight guys, and an alcoholic John Mayer. Girl clearly had an agenda, and honestly her ability to cross pop culture heartthrobs off her “to do” list is kind of inspiring.
ABOUT: Cory Monteith
WHO HE IS: Late great star of Glee. RIP.
EVIDENCE: Before Cory and Leah Michele were a thing, he had a month long fling with Taylor Swift. And a month is all Taylor needs to write a song. This one is about a boy she barely knew, and many people think she’s referring to Monteith.
“Back To December”
ABOUT: Taylor Lautner
WHO HE IS: The werewolf from Twilight who falls in love with Kristen Stewart’s baby in the end.
EVIDENCE: Okay, so this is a bit of a journey. Basically, Swifties think this song was meant to be an apology from Taylor S to Taylor L after they’d just broken up because when Taylor S performed this song at the AMA’s she added “it’s too late to ‘pologize” at the end, which taken to be a reference to a parody video Taylor L made for “Apologize” by One Republic around that same time. Like I said—a rubix cube of hookups.
ABOUT: John Mayer
WHO HE IS: Katy Perry’s ex.
EVIDENCE: As we all know, 20-year-old Taylor Swift briefly dated thousand-year-old John Mayer from December 2009 to February 2010, which would eventually spawn the Katy Perry/Taylor Swift rivalry of today (anybody who believes that shit is about a backup dancer is playing themselves). The song both has John’s name in the title and refers to the pair’s age difference, so I think it’s pretty safe to say this one is about John Mayer. Also John Mayer told Rolling Stone the song “humiliated him” which is hilarious considering he had no shame in dating a woman only two years out of high school.
“Better Than Revenge”
ABOUT: Joe Jonas
Evidence: If you thought Joe Jonas was going to get away with leaving Taylor for actress Camilla Belle, then you don’t know Taylor Swift at all. This song goes in not only on Jonas, but his new girlfriend, with lyrics referring to an “actresses” who’s “better known for the things that she does on the mattress” (sick burn, Tay!) and the line “she underestimated just who she was stealing from,” which is honestly probably very true.
ABOUT: Joe Jonas
EVIDENCE: Joe Jonas, you done fucked up now. JJ had to learn the hard way that you do not dump Taylor Swift on the phone for some rando actress without having any less than three pointed breakup songs about you. The timeline of relationship vs. when song was released points to this one being another dig at Joe.
Red was the first album where we see Taylor make the full shift from country star to pop artist, and honestly, it’s one of her best. Taylor had also had two more years to grow her celebrity fuck list, which is why Red has pound for pound the most songs about the most celebs than any of her previous or later works. Taylor had fully established her reputation as the breakup queen at this point, and Red is basically her just leaning wayyyy into it.
“State of Grace”
ABOUT: Jake Gyllenhaal
Who He Is: Maggie Gyllenhaal’s brother who got to hook up with Heath Ledger in that one movie.
EVIDENCE: Jake Gyllenhaal and Taylor Swift dated from October 2010 to January 2011, which is pretty long in Swift years. As such, basically every song on Red is about Jake Gyllenhaal. The lyric “Twin Fire Signs and Four Blue Eyes” gives this one away. Jake and Taylor both have blue eyes, and they’re both Sagittarius, which is a fire sign.
ABOUT: Conor Kennedy
WHO HE IS: A fucking Kennedy.
EVIDENCE: From July 2012 – October 2012, Taylor decided to move away from celbrity A-listers to literal American royalty by dating a Kennedy, and she promptly fucked that relationship right up. The two broke up after reports that Taylor came on wayyyy too strong (the prospect of being the next Jackie O was too much for Taylor to handle). Taylor reportedly straight up followed Conor via private jet to his family vacation on Hyannis Port. T-Swizzle literally bought a house in Hyannis Port, the Kennedys’ favorite vaca spot. The lyric “I’ll follow you home” is supposed to be a (very creepy) reference to this event.
“I Knew You Were Trouble”
ABOUT: Harry Styles
WHO HE IS: Hottest guy in one direction who isn’t Zayn Malik.
EVIDENCE: Taylor gave this one away when she performed the song at the Grammy’s and used the opportunity to show off her mock British accent (needs work, btw). Then, in case Harry didn’t get the message, she went on TV and said of the performance “It’s not hard to access that emotion when the person the song is about is standing off to the side of the stage watching.” Also, Harry Styles is totally trouble, and you would know it if he walked in.
“We Are Never Getting Back Together”
ABOUT: Jake Gyllenhaal
EVIDENCE: One of Red‘s biggest his is also another one about Jake, and it’s fairly obvious. She references his indie band directly here. Also they had like, just broken up. Plus, Taylor stans say that a scarf featured in the music video is identical to one Swift wore on date with Jake. Sidebar: If you’re so into Taylor Swift that you notice something like this, you are disturbed.
“All Too Well“
ABOUT: Jake Gyllenhaal, again
EVIDENCE: It’s this scarf shit again! This song refers to a “scarf” left at “your sister’s house,” which I guess is a reference to a scarf that Taylor left at Maggie Gyllenhaal’s house. Very deep.
“Everything Has Changed”
ABOUT: Conor Kennedy
EVIDENCE: As you may or may not know, Taylor Swift has taken to hiding messages in the liner notes of her CDs. This made more sense when people were actually buying CDs, but whatever. The hidden liner note message for this song reads “HYIANNIS PORT,” which is a misspelled version of “Hyannis Port,” aka the place where 22-yea-old Taylor Swift stalked 18-year-old Conor Kennedy until (we assume) he dumped her out of fear.
“The Last Time”
ABOUT: Jake Gyllenhaal
EVIDENCE: Okay so Taylor Swift must have really, really liked Jake Gyllenhaal. I mean, he’s cute and all but like, is he 4+ songs on what is arguably your best album cute? IDK. Swifties say this song is about Jake because of the lyric “Put my name at the top of your list,” since Jake had been linked to both Rachel Bilson and Anna Kendrick at the time.
ABOUT: Joe Jonas
EVIDENCE: Just when you thought Taylor was over the whole Joe Jonas dumping her on the phone thing, she’s fucking not! This song is all about NYC, and at the time Joe was her only NYC-based boyfriend. You do the math.
I think we have all had at least 2-3 good angry public cries to 1989 since the time it has come out. If not, you’re probably dead inside, and I commend you for it. This album was the nail in the coffin for Taylor’s “country girl” image as she went full pop star and honestly, we didn’t hate it. 1989 is full of amazing breakup tunes, but there’s actually a surprising lack of info regarding who each of these songs are about.
“Welcome To New York”
ABOUT: New York
WHO HE IS: The greatest city in the world.
THE EVIDENCE: New York City literally paid Taylor Swift to write a song about them, because there totally aren’t enough songs about New York. Hard to tell who is more desperate here.
WHO HE IS: ????
THE EVIDENCE: I only put this here because, given that “Blank Space” is one of the biggest singles off the album, it’s kind of crazy we don’t know who this one is about. Could it be about Taylor’s breakup with the public’s favor, after we all wised up and realized she’s fucking insane? That’s just my theory. If you have any info re: “Blank Space”’s mystery man, please forward them to the Senate Intelligence Committee immediately. The people demand an investigation.
ABOUT: Harry Styles
THE EVIDENCE: I mean, the song is called “Style.” Also, the lead in the music video looks exactly like him.
“Out Of The Woods”
ABOUT: Harry Styles, again
EVIDENCE: Harry Styles is the big winner for 1989. This song refers to paper airplanes, which is probably a reference to the matching paper plane necklaces Taylor and Harry had while they were together (barf), also she talks about “snowmobiles,” which is apparently something they did together.
ABOUT: Katy Perry
WHO SHE IS: Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairwoman/pop star with boobs.
EVIDENCE: I know they never dated, but Taylor Swift is literally obsessed with Katy Perry, so it’s almost like they did. Everyone knows this song is about Taylor’s feud with KP over John Mayer a backup dancer. And the whole girl gang music video thing was obviously an attempt to show Katy and the world who is more popular. Pettines Level: High.
As you can see, Taylor Swift is both a lyrical genius, and a fucking delusional psychopath. Who has the time to hide so many clues in so many songs? But you know what they say, “the more batshit the betch, the better the pop album.” So how did everything shake out, numbers-wise? Congrats to Joe Jonas and Jake Gyllenhaal for tying for first place with 4 songs apiece. Honestly, you’re in incredible company. Though of course, they could always be knocked out of first if Taylor’s next album turns out to just be a 12 song manifesto about her relationship with Tom Hiddleston. Sounds horrible but, knowing Taylor, she’d find some way to make the whole thing catchy AF.
There is one language that every betch is fluent in, and that’s pettiness. Much like other languages, you first learned it in high school, casually continued your studies in college, and became totally fucking fluent by the time you graduated. As we all know, pettiness can take many forms. It can be a subtweet. It can be an eye roll. It can be you waiting until somebody leaves the room to tell everyone you heard they got herpes from a club promoter. Whatever works for you. And just like everything else in this world, your pettiness style is 100% dictated by your date of birth, as it corresponds to the position of the stars and the planets. I’m talking, of course, about your zodiac. Should you casually mention that chokers are over while in the vicinity of your ex’s new gf who is wearing a choker? Or should you just “accidentally” bump into her and ruin the new suede dress she won’t shut the fuck up about? Let the stars decide! Here’s our guide to what type of petty person you are based on your horoscope.
Aries – The Competitive Petty Person
Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the pettiest bitch of all? It’s you, Aries! Congratulations. When you see an opportunity to be petty, you’re going to take it ASAP. Bae say something that could be construed as an insult but was actually probably just poor word choice due to his male gender? Strap the fuck in for a three hour long marathon fight that will leave him saying, “Who am I? Who are you? How did we get here?” And don’t even get me started on if some other girl has the audacity to think she’s better than you. You will find a way to come for her, whether it be by posting the one photo where she looks bad and everyone else (you) looks good, or by pretending she spilled a drink on you and using that as an excuse to reveal all the times her “boyfriend” tried to slide into your DMs. Aries never backs down, so you will win the argument or die trying. And I mean literally die. All this drama is likely to give you a pettiness-induced heart attack.
Taurus – The Well-Researched Petty Person
As a Taurus, you’re not one to rush into petty behavior. You first need to gather your receipts. That way by the time you finally send whatever fuckboy pissed you off the “we need to talk” text, you’ll already have three years’ worth of screenshots to back up your point. And given that you had to dedicate a full Netflix binge to locating said screenshots, the chances of changing your mind are approximately 0. Sure, you suggested “talking it out,” but by “talking it out” everyone should know you always mean “sit the fuck down and let me tell you how fucking stupid you are.” Luckily for whoever is the recipient of your petty wrath, you forgive fairly easily. Once you win the argument and receive an unequivocal apology, of course.
Gemini – The Hot and Cold Petty Person
Geminis reserve the right to change their mood faster than DeMario gets kicked off television shows, meaning that you can flip your pettiness switch on at any time. One minute you’re totally pissed, making underhanded comments about how some guy at the bar “disrespected” you, the next second you’re dancing on said bar accepting drinks from Disrespectful Bro like nothing ever happened. Sometimes it’s hard for Chill You to keep track of all the things you did when Petty You was present. “Omg did I really key your car?!? hahaha that’s so random…” The downside to being so liberal with your petty switch is that you’re def the type of person who will start an argument just because you’re bored or hungover or haven’t had any good drama in a while. The upside is you DGAF and will probably feel better in an hour or so, while the person you were in an argument with will be permanently deleting their Facebook account and moving to the woods out of fear.
Cancer – The Sobbing Petty Mess
Cancers are generally extremely sympathetic people, so when someone’s annoying AF behavior pushes you to pettiness, that pettiness is likely to be accompanied by 10-15 liters of tears. Faced with a minor inconvenience? Time for you to bust out the waterworks and literally collapse from the exhaustion. Not only does your strategy of immediate sobbing make you look like the victim no matter how your-fault the argument is, but it also makes whoever you’re arguing with 100% uncomfortable and ready to just say whatever the fuck you want so the crying will stop. Basically Cancer, you have no fucking shame, and as long as the respect of your peers isn’t something you need rn, it’s totally working.
Leo – The Publicly Petty Person
Leo, you know you like attention. And what better way to get attention than by turning your voice all the way up to 11 and causing a scene at Sunday brunch (again)? You are also not above dropping tons of hints on social media so that everybody knows that you’re in a fight. As soon as someone crosses you, whether it be by talking to you when you weren’t in the mood to talk, or by stealing your man-who-isn’t-really-your-man-but-he-totally-is-your-man-so-back-off, you will be subtweeting the fuck out of them with thinly veiled insults about “SOME people whose name rhymes with Bobecca and has the body of an American Girl Doll.” If the argument starts to backfire (aka the other person starts making good points), Leos will just pull a quick “why are you so obsessed with me?” and dip faster than you can say “I’m over it.”
Virgo – The Secret Petty Person
Virgos are so calm and collected, the object of your pettiness will probably not realize you’re being petty with them until it’s too late. Sure, your mouth is saying “I’m not mad,” but there’s definitely something in your eyes that says “I’m going to fucking kill you while you’re sleeping.” This makes you one of the absolute scariest people to get in a fight with. Oh, and getting mad at someone for something that you legit also did one week ago? Yeah, Virgos are all about that. Because getting wasted and throwing up on someone’s red Alaia dress is 100% different when you do it. Totally.
Libra – The Passive-Aggressive Petty Person
Libras generally try to avoid arguments if they can, so when they want to be petty, they’re going to opt for the hit-and-run approach. Your favorite form of petty behavior is to leave a detailed note listing all the ways in which your roommate has failed in their responsibilities, and then just dipping and hanging at your boyfriend’s place for 3-4 days. By the time you return, your roommate will be so devastated from both the note and the fact that you’ve been ignoring her via text but active in the group chat that she’ll do anything to get back into your good graces, even if that means tackling 3 weeks’ worth of dirty dishes that are probably at least half yours.
Capricorn – The Petty Coworker
Caps love noting more than letting people know how much more competent than everyone they are, making coworkers the perfect recipients of your petty tendencies. When you feel the pettiness start to creep up on you mid-work day, all you have to do is fire off an extremely detailed email to the entire company about the proper way to format an invoice that is clearly directed at Janet from accounting. And let’s face it Cap, you generally are better at your job than everyone else, so it’s like, your right to talk down to people in meetings. On the rare occasion that someone you’re arguing with is actually *gasp* right, rather than admit your fault, you’ll just say something like, “You know what, let’s drop it.” Then you’ll head back to your desk and spy on them until you discover something else they’ve done wrong and the cycle begins all over again. It’s kind of beautiful, actually.
Scorpio – The Jealous Petty Psycho
Okay Scorpio, be honest. How many times have you gone through a guy’s phone? 100? 1,000? Scorpio betches ain’t nothin’ to fuck with, mainly because they’re always accusing people of fucking with them. Did some thot just say “excuse me” while walking by your boyfriend at the club? Better take your earrings out because it’s time to start a fucking fight. And don’t even get me started on what will happen if the man-who-isn’t-your-man-but-back-off-because-that’s-your-man likes an Insta of a girl in a bathing suit. Like fucking hell you’ll believe that “she’s my cousin” bullshit. And besides, what is he doing with a female cousin in the first place? That shit is shady, and Scorpio is here to expose the shadiness, even if that means showing up at 3am with a BB gun and shooting a hole through bae’s window.
Sagittarius – The Petty Person Who Really Just Went There
Oh damn Sag it’s like that? When someone pisses off a Sag, the gloves come off fast. Some chick has the audacity to question the hilariousness of your latest Instagram caption? Okay well why don’t you just remind everyone that her ex boyfriend left her to appear on The Bachelorette (sorry Lexi…)? Sure, maybe some of your roasts are a little below the belt, but as far as Sags are concerned “the belt” is for fucking losers. So what if you only made out with a hotdog once. It’s still fair game. Burn book? More like a Burn Encyclopedia. And Lord save us all if that shit ever gets out. Being called a “fugly slut” is the least of everyone’s worries.
Aquarius – The Zen Petty Person
Sure, Aquarius, you pride yourself on being above this kind of pettiness, but you know in your heart you’re not. When the claws come out, you’ll go to your age-old tactic of declaring that someone has “negative vibes” and that you’re “cutting toxic people out of your life.” This will probably be accompanied with a 2-3 page long Facebook post that somehow ties your own minor inconveniences to the healthcare debate or the Black Lives Matter movement. Pettiness at its finest. This tactic works because it’s not you who is calling your ex’s new gf a desperate whore with a snaggletooth. The universe is calling your ex’s new gf a desperate whore with a snaggletooth. And who are you to disagree with the universe?
Pisces – Petty Best Friend
Do. Not. Fuck. With. A. Pisces’. Friends. Do not even think about fucking with a Pisces’ friends. Sure, somebody can insult you, Pisces, but as soon as they come for someone even remotely connected to your friend group, the claws come out. You’re that friend who takes a minor complaint from your bestie about her new guy’s bad text response time, steals his number from her phone, and starts blowing his ass up about how she’s perfect and he’s a total shit for not seeing it. Remember that time a girl at Coachella tried to say her crew’s flower crowns were better than yours? No, you don’t, because the ensuing argument left you with short-term memory loss. Honestly, this whole thing would be kind of noble if it weren’t so fucking terrifying.
Brandon Vezmar, 37, who will be forever be remembered as one of the pettiest fuckboys of all time, is suing his Bumble date after she wouldn’t stop texting during Guardians Of The Galaxy 2. According to KVUE, the suit states that it’s not so much about being reimbursed as it is about the fact that “the Defendant’s behavior is a threat to civilized society.”
Can you countersue someone for having no chill? Asking for an unnamed Bumble woman I’ve never met.
According to Brandon The Petty, he clearly told his date her texting was “driving a little nuts” to which she rightfully responded “I can’t not text my friend,” and continued texting.
Honestly I’ve never been more on anyone’s side in my entire life.
Apparently, Unnamed Bumble Woman found out about the suit when American Statesman called her for comment, to which she responded, “Oh my god. This is crazy.”
Again, a 100% appropriate reaction from Unnamed Bumble Woman.
So how much money is Brandon looking for his troubles? $17.31. The price of a movie ticket, and probably .000001% of what it cost Brandon to meet with a lawyer about this for even one minute.
While of course Brandon will not win this lawsuit in any way shape or form (TBH I imagine the judge is going to laugh him out of the courtroom), this does have the potential to set a very dangerous precedent. What’s next? Getting sued for the price of your side salad for table texting about your date’s Axe body spray? Being subpoenaed for helping your friend get out of a disastrous date by calling and saying there’s an “emergency?” Finding out there’s a search warrant out for you because you ghosted?
Are we going to have to like, pay attention to our shitty dates now? This is how we get The Handmaid’s Tale, people.
After what we assume was a thorough roasting of Brandon in Unnamed Bumble Woman’s group chat, she released the following statement:
“I did have a very brief date with Brandon, that I chose to end prematurely. His behavior made me extremely uncomfortable, and I felt I needed to remove myself from the situation for my own safety. He has escalated the situation far past what any mentally healthy person would. I feel sorry that I hurt his feelings badly enough that he felt he needed to commit so much time and effort into seeking revenge. I hope one day he can move past this and find peace in his life.”
Wow. Honestly, I love Unnamed Bumble Woman. Her response literally hit every passive-aggressive tactic in the book, and I am living for it. In just one paragraph she:
1. Questioned Brandon’s very questionable mental health.
2. Said she felt sorry for him.
3. Pointed out how much time and effort his weird revenge plot actually will take.
4. Made him sound like a complete and total tool with no life.
5. Wished him peace in his life.
And she even fit in an “I’m sorry I hurt your feelings.” Girl is on fire. Honestly I’d go to a movie with Unnamed Bumble Woman any day. The only way that she could have knocked this out of the park more was if she started the paragraph off saying she wasn’t 100% sure on who Brandon was, and ended it by thanking her fans for support.
According to The Telegraph, Brandon and
Local Hero Unnamed Bumble Woman met up and she gave him the money and he agreed to drop the suit, adding that “he would donate the money to charity.” All $17 of it. Oh, I’m sorry, and 31 cents. Just in case you had any doubts that it was not about the money, but about what this neckbeard thinks he was “owed” by a woman who dared to go on a date with him without fucking him or even pledging her lifelong devotion to him immediately afterward. The audacity of that woman!
We wish Unnamed Bumble Woman all the luck in the world with her dating life, and hope to see her texting with full brightness in a movie theatre soon. As for Brandon, I think I speak for all Bumble users when I say: delete your account.