Taylor Swift is a music video queen. From her early, low-key country girl videos to her literally playing 20 versions of herself in her latest video, the girl’s done it all. She’s definitely evolved since her days of singing with a guitar in the back of a pickup. Luckily for fans, she’s fully embraced the ~drama~ in her videos. With her newest album, Reputation coming out in a few weeks we’re already preparing for a slew of new music videos from Tay. So, whoops, look what you made us do — rank her top 20 music vids!
20. “Fifteen” (2009)
Swift gets points for including her BFF, Abigail Anderson in the video, but it doesn’t have much more going for it. The garden imagery and animation feel like it’s right out of some 13-year-old’s Tumblr account. Taylor has certainly done one thing as her star status has risen: improved the quality of her videos.
19. “Mean” (2011)
Album: Speak Now
This video and the song for that matter are all about knocking bullies down a peg. The video shows four people getting bullied in life, but eventually overcoming it. While it’s a great message, it’s also kind of a whiny song. “All you’re ever going to be is mean!” Swift laments — but honestly, she just kind of sounds like a brat. It almost ruins the whole video.
18. “Tim McGraw” (2006)
Album: Taylor Swift
Tay’s very first single and music video, it’s the cutesy, country girl video that put her on the map, so obviously it has to be included here. While it’s not her flashiest vid — it’s basically her, a guitar, a cute guy, and a pickup truck — it’s pretty endearing. And it marked one common thread that would run through just about all of her videos: a super cute love interest.
17. “Teardrops on my Guitar” (2007)
Album: Taylor Swift
Rhinestones on her face, unrequited love, a super cute music video boyfriend. Yep, it’s a Taylor Swift video. This is an OG Swift video, all about a high school love. It’s a fun and nostalgic look at the superstar before she was ruler of the pop world.
16. “White Horse” (2009)
Taylor Swift + Stephen Colletti = music video gold. The Laguna Beach and One Tree Hill star plays Swift’s smarmy love interest who’s totally living a double life. She considers going back to him, replaying the good memories and that adorable Stephen’s face in her mind, but in the end decides he isn’t worth it. Just another name on the list of men who’ve wronged Taylor.
15. “I Knew You Were Trouble” (2012)
This was one of Taylor’s first “edgy” videos as she transcended country girl stardom. Maybe probably (definitely) about Harry Styles, Swift became a bonafide pop star with this jam. The video is like a mini-movie, something that has become par for the course for Swift. The upped production value and quality makes this a major turning point for Swift’s music videos.
14. “Everything Has Changed” (2013)
Cute mini-Taylor Swift and mini-Ed Sheeran make this one of Swift’s most adorable videos. Plus, Ed Sheeran. Cute kids, cute guy, adorable first love. It’s just a wholesome video. Oh, and did I mention Ed Sheeran is in this? I know I did, but I’ll just put that out there one more time.
13. “Picture to Burn” (2008)
Album: Taylor Swift
This video has Taylor in total revenge-mode going after a dude who’s wronged her. It’s another video that her BFF, Abigail appears in, this time helping her take down the jerk who screwed Tay over. The video is badass, and it’s definitely the most convincingly ~edgy~ Swift has ever been. Sorry, Tay, no one quite believes the old Taylor is dead! But if you want to be this Taylor more often, we wouldn’t hate it.
12. “Shake it Off” (2014)
Swift’s in-crowd dancing at awards shows was becoming one of those quirky Taylor Swift things that everyone knew about. Some people loved it, some made fun of her. But it was just Taylor being Taylor. So in her “Shake it Off” video she danced her little, awkward heart out aiming at anyone who thought she shouldn’t be having fun. It’s silly and shows why we love Swift: she’s as nerdy as we are.
11. “Ours” (2011)
Album: Speak Now
This one brings all the “awwwws”. Swift plays a woman going through a *meh* day at work, looking at pictures and videos of her boyfriend played by Friday Night Lights hunk, Zach Gilford. The video ends with Taytay rushing to the airport to meet her beau… who is returning from serving overseas. It’s just pure tearjerking goodness.
10. “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” (2012)
Taylor’s silliest breakup anthem also has one of her silliest videos to accompany it. Full of colorful apartment scenes, her band in animal costumes, and some thick-rimmed glasses — it’s classic Taylor Swift. And even though it’s all about saying “goodbye!” to a jerk, that jerk is of course, a total hunk in the video. Swift knows how to pick her video boy toys.
9. “Style” (2015)
This gorgeous video plays with all kinds of illusions and delivers Swift’s sultriest video yet. The video definitely has its own style, and it’s intriguing to watch. There are lightning strikes and rough ocean waters, and it may have almost nothing to do with the song? But it’s beautiful to watch and that’s what a music video should be, anyway.
8. “22” (2013)
This music video is literally just Taylor Swift having fun. And there’s nothing wrong with that! It’s all about celebrating your early 20s with your squad and just having a good time. And wearing cat ears, of course, that’s very important too.
7. “Wildest Dreams” (2015)
Swift traveled back to the ’50s for this mini-movie music video. In the vein of famous on-set romances like that of Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Swift tells the story of two actors who fall madly in love with each other during the desert shoot for a movie. Their passionate romance turns to fighting and eventually the love affair ends, with the reveal that Scott Eastwood‘s character actually has a wife. It’s a sweeping romantic epic and almost more entrancing than the song.
6. “You Belong With Me” (2009)
This was the video that defined the public persona of Taylor Swift. The dorky girl, pining after a guy who has friend-zoned the crap out of her. Obviously, she gets the guy in the end — after stealing her from the “popular girl” (also played by Swift). This video set the tone for what being a Swift fan was, and for that reason, it’ll always be one of her best videos.
5. “Bad Blood” (2015)
This video is a who’s-who of Taylor Swift’s squad. In a move that makes fun of the idea of “the squad,” while simultaneously including all her girlfriends in a video, she went all in celebrating girl power. She even got Mariska Hargitay aka Detective Olivia Benson for a cameo. If that doesn’t make for one badass video… nothing does.
4. “Love Story” (2008)
This is THE song and video that made Swift a crossover hit. Sure, she had fans beforehand but even people who weren’t country fans knew who she was after this single blew up. Her Romeo and Juliet-esque love story in the video is classic and indicative of the story tale romances she’d become known for singing about. Without this video, T. Swift as we know her may not be the same.
3. “Look What You Made Me Do” (2017)
Say what you want about the song, but the video is absolutely one of Tay’s best. While Taylor can sometimes seem a bit tone deaf, in this video she takes aim at all of her personas, and all of the different ways the media perceives her. The easter eggs are unlimited and you’ll want to watch this one over and over again to catch all the hidden gems. Plus, Taylor biting the diamond necklace? Iconic.
2. “Out of the Woods” (2016)
Taylor has a lot of gorgeous videos, but this one may take the cake. Set in a wooded forest as seasons change throughout the video, the imagery is breathtaking. It also ends with a quote also found in the album’s liner notes that all girls should see: “She lost him, but she found herself, and somehow that was everything.” Taylor may sing about boys a lot, but she realized she doesn’t need a man to be happy. She discovered her self-worth without some guy and that is a great message.
1. “Blank Space”
Taylor totally embraced the crazy for this video. In it, she takes on all the stereotypes told about her, and all women, about how ~cray~ they get when in a relationship. She owns the crazy and goes all in on being a total nutcase. It’s hilarious, beautifully shot, and features one of her hottest video boyfriends to date. In her new “pop” era, it’s the video that redefined what a music video is for Taylor Swift. Her videos have always been entertaining and interesting, but this one ushered in the era of mini-movies and beautiful production values.
It’s just her best, plain and simple, don’t @ me.