Taylor Swift’s ‘Anti-Hero’ Music Video Is Packed with TV Easter Eggs

A still from Taylor Swift's Anti-Hero
Youtube/Taylor Swift

When Taylor Swift first announced her tenth studio album, Midnights, she called it “the stories of 13 sleepless nights.” The assumption, for many, was that Swift was left awake on these nights because of things like heartbreak, anxieties, excitement for the future, etc.— feelings that she then turned into songs, and ultimately an album. But now, I think she may not have been sleeping those nights because she was up watching TV. On Friday, Swift followed Midnights’ drop with the release of a music video for the lead single, “Anti-Hero.” And yes, per usual, there are easter eggs galore packed into those five minute, but seemingly also the revelation that Swift is a binger.

Hear me out. The music video and song seem to be a bit of a self-loathing anthem, where Swift once and for all lets that little voice in her head take over. She, quite literally, lets her inner saboteur in. Now, to me that sounds like someone who has been watching a little too much Drag Race. We already know Swift’s a fan of the show, as she’s worked with Ru girls before, casting a plethora of them in her “You Need to Calm Down” music video back in 2019. And anyone who watches reality show knows that the idea of an inner saboteur is a recurring theme in the franchise, with RuPaul often citing it as the main issue behind self-doubting queens. On the most recent episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK, RuPaul gave one queen some advice. “I’ve found, over the years, that I’ve had to make friends with my inner saboteur. It comes rearing its ugly, and I have to say, ‘Hey girl, what’s up?’” Is that not exactly what’s going on here?:

Youtube/Taylor Swift
Youtube/Taylor Swift

We then get to what is probably the most iconic line of the entire album (granted, I haven’t listened to the whole thing yet, but I can’t imagine this not being the case): “Sometimes I feel like everybody is a sexy baby.” It seems like absolute gibberish to the layman. To a 30 Rock fan, however, it just sounds like someone who has an appreciation for Cristin Milioti’s guest starring role as Abby Flynn on season 5, episode 16 of the show when she proclaims, “I’m a very sexy baby.” Of course, by Swift claiming to be a “Monster on the hill,” she’s making herself the Liz Lemon of this situation.

Elsewhere, though, Swift seems to be calling herself more of a Jenna, like when she fantasizes about her funeral and her blonde children fighting over the will, which literally feels like it could be a clip from the show. It’s very akin to Jenna finding her six biological children and planning a reality show with them, only to be kicked out of the group because, as one of her daughters explains it, they’re “like The Girls Next Door and you’re like that old boat captain that shows up sometimes.”

Hammering the point home is the fact that comedian John Early plays both one of Jenna and Taylor’s fictional blonde offspring.

Youtube/Taylor Swift

Or, Swift is like everyone else in the world, and she’s currently obsessed with House of the Dragon, and has been fantasizing about her own blonde dynasty. Which would explain this:

Then, there’s Swift’s house in the video, which looks like it could have been filmed on an old set from That ‘70s Show.

Youtube/Taylor Swift
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We already know Swift is a fan of television, as she revealed that she came up with the title for the first track, “Lavender Haze” after hearing the term on an episode of Madmen. Now, it seems like she’s admitting that she, just like all of us, may have spent her time in the pandemic, not just writing music, but also binging shows, and some good ones at that, in my opinion. Of course, between these (possible) TV references there’s still a ton of room for easter eggs, callbacks, and hidden clues, but that’s all par for the course when it comes to Swift. This new revelation that Swift may be a 30 Rock-head in addition to Drag Race fan is something new and I can’t help but wonder what she thinks about All Stars 3.