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All the Easter Eggs in Taylor Swift’s ‘All Too Well’ Short Film


Taylor Swift has officially released Red (Taylor’s Version), the re-recording of her 2012 album, complete with additional tracks that had never been heard before—including one very important 10-minute version of the fan-favorite song “All Too Well.” Swift has teased for years that there was an original, longer version of the song, and now with Red (Taylor’s Version), she’s not only given it to the fans, she’s also created an entire cinematic universe around it.

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At 7 P.M. EST, Swift premiered her new short film titled All Too Well: The Short Film, starring Dylan O’Brien, Sadie Sink, and Swift, who also wrote and directed the movie. Fans have been closely dissecting the casting, specifically noting that the age difference between Sink and O’Brien is similar to that of Swift and actor Jake Gyllenhaal, who the song is rumored to be about. For reference, Sink is 19 and O’Brien is 30, while Swift and Gyllenhaal were 20 and 29, respectively, when they started dating.

And like any piece of content that Swift puts into the world, there are easter eggs sprinkled throughout the nearly 15-minute film. Swift even told Jimmy Fallon on The Tonight Show, “It’s ridiculous how many there are in [the short film].” Let’s dissect below:

The scarf

sadie sink wearing the red scarf in the all too well short film

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The Scarf™ has its own folklore in the Taylor Swift fandom. (See what I did there?) According to the song, Swift left the scarf at her ex’s sister’s house, which many people assume to mean Jake’s real-life sister, Maggie Gyllenhaal. Maggie Gyllenhaal was even once asked on an episode of Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen if she still has the scarf, to which she responded, “You know, I never understood why everybody asked me about this scarf…I am in the dark about the scarf. It’s totally possible. I don’t know.” In the fictional world of the film, the ex shows up at a reading Swift is giving 13 years later wearing the scarf.

Chocolate chip cookies

sadie sink and dylan o'brien sitting at a table with a plate of cookies in the all too well short film

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If there’s one thing we know about pop star Taylor Swift, it’s that the woman loves to bake. During her 1989 Secret Sessions, when she invited fans over to her house to play them the album before it was released, she baked everyone chocolate chip cookies to eat.

Plus, another fun fact about this scene: Sink’s father is played by Shawn Levy, an executive producer and director for Stranger Things, the show in which Sink stars.

O’Brien’s Jake Gyllenhaal-inspired wardrobe

dylan o'brien wearing a beanie in the all too well short film

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For the moment, let’s just forget the fact that O’Brien bears a canny resemblance to Gyllenhaal and move on to the very particular wardrobe he wears throughout the film. O’Brien is seen sporting plaid shirts (a nod to the lyric, “After plaid shirt days and nights when you made me your own”) and beanies, both staples of Gyllenhaal’s wardrobe.

Sink’s Taylor Swift-inspired wardrobe

sadie sink wearing a black turtleneck and red lipstick in the all too well short film

YouTube

Similarly, Sink channels a popular Swift look: a black turtleneck and red lipstick. Swift seems to have even teased this outfit in her very first TikTok, where she wears a black turtleneck and red lipstick while announcing the Red (Taylor’s Version) vinyl.

The paparazzi photo reference

dylan o'brien giving sadie sink a piggyback ride in the all too well film

YouTube

OK, stay with me on this one, but does this piggyback ride remind you of this famed paparazzi photo of Swift and Gyllenhaal frolicking in Brooklyn? No? Just me?

The “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” reference

sadie sink crying in the all too well short film

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While this part of the film is silent, we see Sink crying on the bed after she seems to have gotten off the phone. Could this be a reference to the line in “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” (also heavily rumored to be about Gyllenhaal) where Swift sings: “So he calls me up and he’s like, ‘I still love you’ / And I’m like, I’m just, I mean this is exhausting, you know? / Like we are never getting back together, like, ever”?

The actor Jake Lyon

the ending credits in the all too well film

YouTube

In the short film, it’s revealed that Swift is playing an older Sadie, 13 years later. As for who’s playing O’Brien? According to the film credits—you never really see his face—it’s an actor named Jake Lyon, which is honestly just a power move by Swift.

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The All Too Well book

the all too well book featured in the all too well short film

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An eagle-eyed fan pointed out on Twitter that Swift seemed to have teased the All Too Well book that’s shown in the short film in a TikTok Swift made about fall back in October. In the TikTok, Swift writes what we now know to be a lyric from “All Too Well (10 Minute Version)” in the back of what looks like the All Too Well book, which she is also now selling as merch.

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13 years later

all too well the short film

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This one is obvious. Swift loves the number 13, so if she’s going to put a time jump into her short film, of course it’s going to be 13 years into the future.

Swift’s red hair

taylor swift with red hair in the all too well short film

YouTube

This is less of an easter egg and more of an observation that Swift loves rocking red hair. She did the same in the music video for the song “Babe”, which Sugarland originally recorded alongside Swift. (Swift then re-recorded it for Red (Taylor’s Version).) She also wore red hair in the music video for “Bad Blood” off the album 1989. Could it be a sign that she’ll re-record 1989 next? Only time will tell.

The car from 1989

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Back when the teaser trailer for the short film came out, fans were quick to figure out that the car featured in the clip was an 1989 Mercedes-Benz S-Class, a nod to Swift’s Grammy-winning album 1989.

The crossword puzzle

It was noted that O’Brien and Sink spend one scene lounging in bed and laughing over what sure looks like a crossword puzzle. Sound familiar? A fan noted it is likely a reference to a lyric from “Red” where Swift sings, “Fighting with him was like trying to solve a crossword and realizing there’s no right answer.”

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“The Moment I Knew” is acted out

Lyrics from the Red song “The Moment I Knew” seem to come to life as well, with Sink hanging around a party in red lipstick. Everyone is having a blast and she’s not, or, “And it was like slow motion / Standing there in my party dress / In red lipstick / With no one to impress / And they’re all laughing / As I’m looking around the room / But there was one thing missing / And that was the moment I knew.”

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The parallels to “White Horse”

Taylor Swift’s song “White Horse” was released in 2008 on her album Fearless. That was a couple of years before she and Gyllenhaal got together, but some people think she’s calling back to that video, which muddies the timeline a bit. Maybe this is just what heartbreak looks like:

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The red box

Swift fan @sammytheswiftie pointed out on Twitter that a bright red gift that Swift featured in a TikTok 21 days before the album’s release appears behind Sink’s shoulder in one scene:

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Wearing his clothes

In her Speak Now song “Last Kiss,” Swift sings, “But now I’ll go / Sit on the floor wearing your clothes / All that I know is I don’t know / How to be something you miss.”

In a shot at the beginning of the film, O’Brien is wearing a plaid T-shirt that Sink wears towards the end, while mourning their relationship.

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The birthday cake

Just like this scene in the short film, there’s another music video of Swift’s that features a birthday. The image of Sink blowing out the “21st birthday” candles at a party her boyfriend didn’t show up to looks a whole lot like a shot in “Lover,” except in that video Swift plays herself, with a loving boyfriend at her side. (Some fans think this scene also could be a reference to “The Moment I Knew,” where Swift sings, “You should’ve been there / Should’ve burst through the door / With that ‘Baby, I’m right here’ smile”)

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