A Quick Rundown Of The Feud Between Zayn Malik And Louis Tomlinson, And Why Fans Think It’s Over

Zayn Malik on Jimmy Kimmel Live and Louis Tomlinson on the Teen Choice Awards.
(Image credit: ABC/Fox)

Tensions have been high between Zayn Malik and the other members of One Direction since his departure from the group in 2015. While Louis Tomlinson, Harry Styles, Liam Payne and Niall Horan released another album that year, the group has since been on extended hiatus in order for everyone to focus on building up solo careers. While Zayn has said he didn’t make any friends in One Direction, he and Louis in particular have had issues over the years. However, some recent online activity has fans thinking that Louis has ended his feud with the “Pillowtalk” singer, which follows another bandmate made some bold comments on Logan Paul’s podcast. So much drama. 

What Liam Payne Said About One Direction Members On Logan Paul's Impaulsive Podcast

Liam Payne went on the podcast Impaulsive, where he divulged some stories about his former bandmates and made some bold (and easily disprovable) claims about his solo success, specifically regarding the stats for the single "Strip That Down." Among Liam’s claims to Logan Paul were that One Direction was formed around him being the lead singer, and that he and Louis Tomlinson had “hated each other” and almost “come to blows.” 

When it comes to Zayn Malik, Liam Payne made reference to the altercation Zayn had with ex-girlfriend Gigi Hadid’s mother, and said there are “many reasons” he doesn’t like Zayn. He ultimately said, “I don’t agree with his actions," and said "I can’t be on his side,” which he stated a minute or so after literally saying "There's many reasons why I'll always be on his side." So no buried hatches there, it seems. 

Why Fans Think Zayn Malik And Louis Tomlinson Have Ended Their Feud

Zayn Malik has rarely associated himself with One Direction in recent years, but apparently Liam Payne’s podcast comments were enough to spark a response, despite Payne’s attempts on Twitter to clarify his statements. Without necessarily stating his direct intent, Zayn clapped back via Instagram with a short video of himself standing in front of myriad awards, hitting the high note on One Direction’s hit “You and I.”

Fans immediately picked up on some shade being thrown, as Liam Payne was the band member tasked with hitting that note during concerts after Zayn Malik’s departure, and they saw the post as Zayn proving that Liam was never the most talented in One Direction. Just as thrilling, if not more, for fans was that Zayn’s post got a “like” from an unlikely source — Louis Tomlinson. Does that mean the feud is over? Is this small gesture a sign that the former bandmates have formed a united front against Liam?

The Feud Between Zayn Malik And Louis Tomlinson Started Years Ago

Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson’s beef goes all the way back to 2015, after Zayn left One Direction and openly trashed the music they’d made. In May 2015, Buzzfeed reported the former bandmates had some heated social media exchanges after Louis Tomlinson mocked a photo of his former bandmate. Zayn’s response at the time showed that his split from the band was not as amicable as he’d tried to claim:

@Louis_Tomlinson remember when you had a life and stopped making bitchy comments about mine?

Things were still tense between the two in 2016 when, after the birth of Louis Tomlinson’s child, Zayn Malik “liked” a social media photo of the new baby but admitted the two were “not talking on friend terms.” After the death of Louis’ mother later that year, Zayn reached out again, but Louis later revealed he was upset when Zayn didn’t come to his performance on the X-Factor finale in the following days — which happened to be Louis’ first solo performance — as he’d promised to. Not the kind of thing that fuels animosity between former friends, but so be it.

Is it possible that time and age will heal old wounds? Simon Cowell had expressed hope for One Direction getting back together someday, but if the bickering between members continues, as well as their individual success as solo artists, that might turn out to be a pipe dream for fans. But they can always hope!

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.