As Entertainment Weekly explained, when the music video for the album’s first single, “Cardigan” first dropped, Swift joined fans on YouTube to answer some of their pressing questions about the track and album.
“One thing I did purposely on this album was put the Easter eggs in the lyrics, more than just the videos,” she told fans. “I created character arcs & recurring themes that map out who is singing about who.”
“For example, there's a collection of [three] songs I refer to as The Teenage Love Triangle. These [three] songs explore a love triangle from all [three] people's perspectives at different times in their lives."
While Swift hasn’t explicitly said which three songs on the album are part of this Teenage Love Triangle, fans have a theory—“Betty,” “Cardigan” and “August,” in that order. The characters in said love triangle include: Betty and James, who seem to be in love, a secret unknown person who James cheats on Betty with, and a resident gossiper called Inez.
While "Cardigan" and "August" are written in a past tense, almost reflecting on a past love, "Betty" is a song about the love triangle in present. It tells the story of young loves Betty and James at Betty's party and how James cheated on Betty, all from the perspective of James themselves.
And, in the spirit of Swift’s shift to narrative storytelling in her new music, Swifties like Kerri Hellmuth (@kerrinotcarrieokay) are recreating the events of “Betty” on TikTok, and reimagining it from the perspectives of Betty’s mum, dog, best friend and others. And, not gonna lie, they’re pretty good.