It was released on April 18, 2009, by Big Machine Records as the third single from Swift's second studio album, Fearless (2008).Swift was inspired to write "You Belong with Me" after overhearing a male friend of hers arguing with his girlfriend through a phone call; she continued to develop a story line afterward.The song is one of the best-selling singles worldwide, with worldwide sales of more than 7 million units (according to the IFPI).The song's accompanying music video was directed by Roman White.Josh Love of The Village Voice thought "preternatural wisdom and inclusiveness" shined through the lyrics and theme of "You Belong with Me"; Love also mentioned that it was one of Fearless' "great songs".The same magazine later ranked the song at number 10 on its annual Pazz & Jop critics' poll.
"You Belong with Me"'s accompanying music video was directed by Roman White.
The song was performed live at numerous venues, including the 2009–10 Fearless Tour, where it was the opening number. Basically like 'girl-next-door-itis.' You like this guy who you have known for your whole life, and you know him better than she does but somehow the popular girl gets the guy every time." The lyrics to "You Belong with Me" alternate between narrative modes, where she speaks of herself, a male friend whom she has an unrequited crush on, and his girlfriend.
It has been covered by various artists, including Butch Walker and Selena Gomez & the Scene, and parodied by "Weird Al" Yankovic. Greenblatt described Swift's role as a storyteller, the song being a narrative set to music, which describes concerning about love and boys "just [being] very hard to catch".
The school supplied many students as extras, including football players, band members, cheerleaders and students.
The final prom scene used the school's decorations for its real prom the next night.