Here Are 20 People Taylor Swift Name-Drops In Tortured Poets

From a Peter Pan nod to some very curious pseudonyms.

Taylor Swift at the Eras Tour. Photo via Getty Images
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Taylor Swift is known for her starry squads, and for The Tortured Poets Department, she’s assembled her biggest, most eclectic group yet. Modern musicians, historical figures, and curious pseudonyms are all scattered among the titles and lyrics of the new album.

We’re long past the simple days of “Hey Stephen” or Bobby on the boardwalk — there are a lot of names to keep track of! Here’s a quick rundown, for your second, third, or fourth listening session.

Dylan Thomas & Patti Smith

Both of these writers spent time in the Chelsea Hotel, which was once a housing cooperative that many creatives called home. In the album’s title track, Swift’s narrator tells her beau that they’re neither Thomas nor Smith, but instead “modern idiots.” It sounds like a self-aware wink — that despite the album’s moody, academic aesthetic, Swift doesn’t take herself too seriously.

Charlie Puth

In the same song, the narrator and her partner agree that “Charlie Puth should be a bigger artist,” a shoutout that left fans pretty confused. But as one social media video shows, Puth considers Swift a “genius,” so maybe she’s simply returning the love?

Regardless, a Puth feature on Swift’s next album feels imminent.

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Lucy & Jack

The bridge of “The Tortured Poets Department” references two people, Lucy and Jack, who seem to be mutual friends of the song’s main couple. Fans quickly theorized that if the song is about Swift’s rumored ex Matty Healy, then Lucy and Jack are likely Lucy Dacus and Jack Antonoff.

Sarahs & Hannahs

It seems that the “Sarahs and Hannahs” from “But Daddy I Love Him” are simply stand-ins for fans who don’t support Swift’s love life — ostensibly her rumored relationship with the 1975’s Healy, whose history of problematic comments stirred controversy among Swifties.

Swift inserts some digs about pearl-clutching and saying these women “hate” her. It isn’t necessarily the nicest shoutout to her fan base, but Sarahs and Hannahs on X (formerly Twitter) didn’t take it as an insult.

Clara Bow

Swift’s “Clara Bow” explores themes of fame and authenticity through the lens of several iconic artists, including the titular Clara Bow, a Hollywood starlet from the 1920s and ’30s. Bow’s great-granddaughters told People they found the nod — including the line about being a “real thing” in a fake town — a “hauntingly beautiful” homage.

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Stevie Nicks

Fleetwood Mac’s Stevie Nicks gets a sweet shoutout as well, with Swift noting her signature look and the way the “crowd goes wild at her fingertips.” Nicks wrote a poem to accompany The Tortured Poets Department CDs, per Variety.

Not only have Nicks and Swift performed together in the past, but Nicks recently said Swift’s “You’re On Your Own, Kid” helped her after the passing of her friend and bandmate Christine McVie.

Taylor Swift

Does a name-drop of yourself count? Swift mentions her own name at the end of “Clara Bow,” seemingly referring to someone who might be compared to her one day — but has an “edge she never did.” Fans naturally started theorizing who the line might be about, with several guessing Swift’s Eras Tour opener Sabrina Carpenter.

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Chloe Or Sam Or Sophia Or Marcus

Um, who? It doesn’t seem to matter — the names dropped in “Chloe or Sam or Sophia or Marcus” seem to be Swift imagining her ex with someone else. Who they move on with is immaterial compared to the lingering hurt of a bad breakup.


In “So High School,” Swift sings about the way her relationship emulates the sweet simplicity of a teenage romance. “You know how to ball, I know Aristotle,” she sings at one point. Their extracurricular interests might be different, but that’s OK! It’s like their own little High School Musical. Or “You Belong With Me” reenactment.


The antagonist in “thanK you aIMee” is the titular Aimee — but the real call-out might be hidden in the title’s capitalized letters, which spell out “KIM.” Fans theorized that this thank-you-bully bop — similar in spirit to Christina Aguilera’s “Fighter” — was about Kim Kardashian and the “Famous” controversy.

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No real mystery here. In “The Prophecy,” Swift compares herself to the biblical Eve when she pursues a doomed relationship. “I got cursed like Eve got bitten,” she sings. “Oh, was it punishment?”


Another storied figure who gets a shoutout is the Greek mythological figure Casandra. Swift likens herself to the prophet, who was never believed, and says her life was lit “in flames” by skeptics — which several fans believe, again, has something to do with the Kim Kardashian drama.

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“Peter” describes a former relationship through the lens of Peter Pan and Wendy. Swift reminds this “Peter” that he promised to grow up and find her, but he never did. It’s not the first time Swift has employed this storybook imagery, of course, previously lamenting “Peter losing Wendy” in 2020’s “Cardigan.”


“Robin” is a bright, whimsical song that uses animals like dinosaurs, tigers, and dragonflies to paint a picture of a young child getting to know the world around them. The title is likely a nod to co-writer Aaron Dessner’s child, Robin, which makes the song even sweeter.