This Subtle You Easter Egg May Prove Joe Is The Ultimate Swiftie
Makes sense, considering Penn and Taylor are already TikTok besties.
Spoiler alert: This post contains light spoilers from throughout You Season 4, Part 2.
Who knew Joe Goldberg was so into pop music? He started out in Season 4 of You by dismembering a body to the tune of Cardi B’s “I Like It,” and ended it by waxing poetic about his new life to the tune of Taylor Swift’s “Anti-Hero.” But that final needle-drop wasn’t the only Swift shoutout during Joe’s time in London. Actually, there was a super-subtle Taylor Swift Easter egg earlier in Season 4 that really cemented Joe’s status as a diehard Swiftie. But you’d have to be a Swiftie yourself to have caught it.
After Joe realized he had trapped Marienne in one of his infamous glass cages at the end of Season 4, he resolved to not repeat the mistakes of his past and set her free. But before he could do that, he had a hallucinogenic stress dream in which he failed to save her in time. As Marienne went into anaphylactic shock in the cage, Joe watch on helplessly trying to figure out why his passcode to open the cage wasn’t working. Since it was a dream, it’s likely the code Joe kept reentering was indeed the actual cage’s passcode, and any Taylor Swift stan would recognize those numbers right away.
As Joe revealed when muttering the code to himself, it was 121389. Yep, that’s Swift’s birthday: Dec. 13, 1989.
Because of Swift’s well-known love for the number 13 and her hit album 1989, even casual fans have her birthday memorized, so Joe using those exact numbers for his passcode felt like a very intentional reference.
The subtle nod to Swift is also a nod to when Penn Badgley first joined TikTok back in October 2022. His debut on the ep was a lip-sync of “Anti-Hero” performed from Joe Goldberg’s perspective. Swift showed the video some love by commenting “OMG!!!!,” and just like that, an unlikely TikTok friendship began.
Given his deliberate passcode choice, it looks like Joe is just as much of a Swiftie as Badgley is.