Taylor Swift's 'Look What You Made Me Do' Video References All Her Haters

No, that bathtub full of diamonds (probably) isn't a dig at Kim Kardashian.

Sorry, no one on the internet can come to the phone right now. Why? Because they’re dead.

Okay, so that’s probably melodramatic, but the video for Taylor Swift’s new song “Look What You Made Me Do,” which dropped Sunday night during the MTV Video Music Awards, is ... a lot.

The lead single off Swift’s upcoming sixth studio album, aptly entitled “Reputation,” targets everyone who has ever shaded Swift or disparaged her in a public forum, (“I’ve got a list of names and yours is in red, underlined / I check it once, then I check it twice,” she sings). And the visuals Swift chose to accompany her polarizing lyrics are pretty loaded.  

She pokes fun at herself throughout, reclaiming the snake imagery that was sent her way after Snapgate, addressing criticism that she often positions herself as a victim, as well as her”squad” army of tall, thin, modelesque women. She wasn’t kidding about the “old Taylor” being dead, either, because the several iterations of the pop star that show up toward the end of the video are all cast off by the new one.

So, because we’re petty as hell, we’ve gathered all the slights made in the video for your reading pleasure:

There’s a tombstone dedicated to Swift’s pseudonym, Nils Sjoberg. Sjoberg was the name she used to write Calvin Harris and Rihanna’s song “This Is What You Came For.” 

When she appears as a zombie, the dead Taylor Swift is wearing the dress she wore in the “Out of the Woods” video to signify that the old Taylor is, in fact, dead.

There’s a scene of Swift bathing in diamonds, which some have speculated is a reference to a comment she made in a 2015 interview about being portrayed as a woman who ensnares men and then “is crying in her marble bathtub surrounded by pearls” when they leave.

Additionally, her bejeweled bathtub features a single dollar ― which is what Swift was awarded after suing a former disc jockey who groped her during a meet-and-greet in 2013 for exactly that amount. 

Others have speculated that the bathtub full of diamonds is a reference to the horrific robbery Kim Kardashian went through in Paris last year. That seems a bit too malicious for Swift, who, while capable of deep shade, doesn’t usually aim that low.

She sips tea being poured by literal goddamn snakes.

Swift has leaned into the snake narrative hard ― a word Kim Kardashian has called her in the past ― with snakes acting as her teaser imagery for the song. She’s even gone so far as to sell the snake merchandise she wears in the video on her site. 

We get it, Tay. People wronged you and they’re slithery reptiles in your mind.

She dons a very Katy Perry look at one point.

Perhaps the most overt shade Swift throws in her video is the below outfit, one she wears while crashing a car. With large sunglasses and specifically cropped blonde hair, Swift looks positively Katy Perry-esque. Oh, and she’s holding a Grammy ― something she has and Perry doesn’t.

Others have speculated that the car crash is a reference to the crash in fellow pop queen Madonna’s “What It Feels Like for a Girl” video.

Swift swingin’ from the top of a golden cage may or may not be an inadvertent reference to Lindsay Lohan’s iconic 2004 video for “Rumors.”

This one is also a stretch ... but it’s too good to not mention.

The layers in Swift’s sweatshirt/thigh-high boots/cat mask look are excellent, but the locale here is also a dig.

For starters, the Kardashians have rocked this Yeezy-esque style repeatedly, so it’s definitely not a coincidental sartorial choice. And the cat mask is almost certainly a nod to Perry’s feline-drenched aesthetic.

But most notably, Swift is seen robbing a streaming company with her cohorts here. This is likely a reference to Swift pulling her music from streaming services like Spotify in 2014. In a surely coincidental move, Swift did end up putting her music back on the service, one night before Perry’s latest album was released.

She pays homage to criticisms of her “squad” by having a plastic-y robotic squad that is made up of models. 

Swift’s friend group has long been the subject of derision, particularly since many of them are famous models and the growing size of her crew made people wonder how genuine her friendships were. Here, the pop singer positions herself as a ruthless friend dictator of sorts.

Her dancers’ T-shirts had a very specific message.

Prior to the video’s release, there were murmurings that the following sequence, where Swift appears to lead a v-formation of dancers in an opulent mansion, was going to be a cheap rip-off of Beyoncé’s “Formation” video. Thankfully, it was not — but it was a dig at Swift’s ex-boyfriend Tom Hiddleston. 

The shirts on the dancers behind Swift read “I <3 TS.”

In case you forgot, during the brief period of time that was Hiddleswift, the actor was seen frolicking in the water wearing a shirt that shared the same sentiments.

The video culminates in Taylor facing off with all the old iterations of herself.

There’s Taylor at the 2009 VMA’s, Taylor from the “You Belong With Me” era, Taylor at the 2012 MTV Europe Music Awards, etc. 

In this sequence, Taylor confronts each version of herself with the commentary that people have thrown at her over the years as well as lines of her own that have gotten her in a bit of trouble — namely, “I would very much like to be excluded from this narrative,” which is from a statement she released after Kim Kardashian mentioned her Swift drama in an interview.

Swift’s “You Belong With Me” T-shirt gets a twist this time around and features the names of all of her BFFs, including Selena Gomez.

Another Taylor claims she’s getting “receipts” that she’ll edit, which is either a jab at Katy Perry (who mentions receipts in “Swish Swish”) and/or at Kim, who released a video of husband Kanye West talking to Swift about the lyrics for his song “Famous” on the phone.

“Look What You Made Me Do” may not be the banger we’re used to from Swift, but, hell, it’s probably the shady bop we deserve at this point. 



2017 MTV VMAs