Why Taylor Swift Fans Think Tortured Poets Department Is a Nod to Ex Joe Alwyn

After Taylor Swift announced her 11th album The Tortured Poets Department at the 2024 Grammys, fans started speculating that the title was a nod to her ex Joe Alwyn.

By Gabrielle Chung Feb 05, 2024 4:07 AMTags
Watch: 2024 GRAMMYs: Taylor Swift Reveals New Album ‘The Tortured Poets Department’

The conversation with friends on 2024 Grammys night is that the title of Taylor Swift's new album has a Joe Alwyn Easter egg.  

Shortly after the "Anti-Hero" singer announced the April 19 release date of her 11th studio album at the Feb. 4 ceremony, Swifties started speculating that its title, The Tortured Poets Department, was a nod to her ex. (See every star on the Grammys red carpet here.)

"I knew that taylor swift's new album name sounded a little too familiar," one fan wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter, alongside a screenshot pointing out that Joe was in a WhatsApp group chat called "The Tortured Man Club."

Meanwhile, a second Swiftie quipped, "tortured man club group chat lighting up i fear."

A third fan remarked of Taylor, "oh she's wild for this LMAOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO."

Joe first revealed the chat name in 2022, joking that he "started the group" with Normal People's Paul Mescal and Fleabag's Andrew Scott as a tongue-in-cheek nod to the characters they play onscreen.

See the Winners of the 2024 Grammys

"It's the Tortured Man Club, I think," the Conversations With Friends star shared in a joint Variety interview with Paul. "We were both in the Sally Rooney universe and crossed over with Lenny Abrahamson. We were so lucky to have that experience."

Joe added at the time that the chat consisted of Andrew "messaging himself good mornings."

"It hasn't had that much use recently," the 32-year-old said, with Paul jokingly noting that the three were "less tortured now."

Christopher Polk/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Taylor, 34, dated Joe for six years before news of their breakup surfaced in April. During their relationship, the music superstar collaborated with the actor several time, including on her 2020 album folklore, where Joe was credited under the pseudonym of William Bowery.

In fact, that collab led to Joe winning his first-ever Grammy. (See the complete list of winners at the 2024 Grammys here.)

"It wasn't like, 'It's 5 o'clock, it's time to try and write a song together,'" he told The Guardian in 2022. "It came about from messing around on a piano, and singing badly, then being overheard, and being, like, 'Let's see what happens if we get to the end of it together.'"

Joe continued, "I mean, fun is such a stupid word, but it was a lot of fun. And it was never a work thing, or a 'Let's try and do this because we're going to put this out' thing. It was just like baking sourdough in lockdown."

To see Taylor—as well as more stars—at this year's Grammys, keep reading.

Céline Dion

in Valentino and Tiffany & Co. jewelry.

Halle Bailey

in Gucci.


in custom Luis de Javier and Laurel DeWitt bracelets.

Dua Lipa

in custom Courreges and Tiffany & Co. jewelry.

Kacey Musgraves

in custom Schiaparelli.


in Do Long.

Lenny Kravitz

in vintage Dior.

Taylor Swift

in custom Schiaparelli, Giuseppe Zanotti shoes and Lorraine Schwartz jewelry.

Miley Cyrus

in Maison Margiela.

Ice Spice

in custom Baby Phat.

Olivia Rodrigo

in Versace.

Janelle Monae

in custom Armani Privé.

Madison Beer

in Marmar Halim and Jewels Aficionado jewelry.

Christina Aguilera

in Fashion East.

Doja Cat

in Dilara Findikoglu.

Lana Del Rey

Chlöe Bailey

in Gaurav Gupta.


in Dolce & Gabbana.


in Louis Vuitton.

Sofia Richie

in Saint Laurent and Lorraine Schwartz jewelry.

John Legend

in Saint Laurent.

Kelsea Ballerini

in Vera Wang and ALDO heels.

Ellie Goulding

in Zuhair Murad.

Oprah Winfrey

in Valentino.

Kelly Clarkson & Remington

in custom Jason Wu and Jared Atelier jewelry.

Victoria Monet

in custom Atelier Versace.

Chrissy Teigen

in Alexandre Vauthier.

Paris Hilton

in Reem Acra.

Billie Eilish

in Chrome Hearts.

Coco Jones

in Celia Kritharioti.

View More Photos From Grammys 2024: Celebrity Red Carpet Fashion
For a full recap of the 2024 Grammy Awards, visit E! Online's Grammys page for every photo, winner and OMG moment.