27 Iconic Moments in One Direction History
We've officially entered One Direction's hiatus, and fans the world over are heartbroken — and a bit bored. Niall Horan, Harry Styles, Louis Tomlinson, and Liam Payne have all reassured fans that the break is just temporary and they'll be back in a year or two, refreshed and ready to continue as One Direction, but how much do you know about the first five years of their career? As a bit of a diehard fan, I took it upon myself to try to come up with what I think are the most iconic moments in One Direction's history. The evolution of these boys, if you will. Scroll through to see them all, and then powwow with me while we listen to "History" on repeat and anxiously wait for our boys to come back to us.
What happened: Harry, Liam, Louis, Niall, and Zayn Malik all auditioned for The X Factor as solo artists but were rejected.
Why this is important: The initial rejection could have been the end of the road for the five of them, but the show's judges decided to pick these five boys who had never performed together and put them into a group. This was the beginning of One Direction.
What happened: We found out One Direction can't dance.
Why this is important: Fans found out from the get-go that none of the boys can really dance. This is why there are no choreographed dance routines during any of their concerts, despite the boy band stereotype. I can't count how many concert reviews I've read that criticize them for not dancing, but seriously, they're really, really bad at it, so they're better off not doing it.
What happened: One Direction started filming their video diaries while on The X Factor.
Why this is important: Back when One Direction were babies, they sat at the bottom of a set of stairs every week and filmed a video diary for The X Factor. It was here that fans got to know them and start to fall in love with their antics. Those stairs will always have a special place in fans' hearts because they were a beginning.
Dec. 10, 2010
What happened: One Direction took third place in The X Factor.
Why this is important: One Direction is the biggest thing to ever come out of The X Factor and probably out of any reality TV show ever — and they didn't even win. Just goes to show you don't have to win those things to have success.
What happened: Zayn couldn't remember where they were.
Why this is important: Malabami (Malibu + Miami) will always be a special location to fans because it was just an adorable gaffe. (He actually didn't say Malabami, he said Miami, but it sounded like Malabami, and fans will never accept anything else.) We will always have Malabami, Zayn.
Feb. 14, 2012
What happened: One Direction's first US single, "What Makes You Beautiful," was released.
Why this is important: There was no guarantee One Direction would ever find success outside the UK, yet finding success in the US is the ultimate goal for musical artists. The song, which will forever be a jam and one of the band's most well-known songs, has gone platinum four times . . . just in the US.
What happened: One Direction toured the US as the opening act for Big Time Rush.
Why this is important: The first time One Direction toured the US, it was as Big Time Rush's opening act for their small tour. I know, who is Big Time Rush? I don't know either, so it's amazing that One Direction, who just three years later were headlining the largest stadiums in the world, opened for them once upon a time.
What happened: Zayn bleached the front of his hair.
Why this is important: Fans are still talking about Zayn's cinnamon-swirl hair because it was one of the best hairstyles he's ever had. Also, Zayn is beautiful, and all pictures of him are beautiful. Enjoy.
Dec. 3, 2012
What happened: One Direction headlined Madison Square Garden in New York.
Why this is important: Needless to say, headlining MSG is kind of a big deal, and these guys did it pretty early in their career. As far as a timeline goes, let's put it this way: One Direction released their first US album in March and tickets for MSG went on sale — and immediately sold out — in April.
Aug. 30, 2013
What happened: One Direction: This Is Us was released in the US.
Why this is important: This Is Us is one of those movies that's really only appealing to the fans, and that's OK. The movie included live performances from London concerts and behind-the-scenes looks at several months of the boys' lives while on the road — as well as their early days on The X Factor.
Sept. 13, 2013
What happened: Liam tweeted about a snake habitat in Australia!
Why this is important: This is probably Liam's most important and most remembered tweet ever. There was a group of fans lurking around the boys' hotel in Australia, and he was trying to get them to leave. He tried telling them about the snake habitat sign, but no one listened, so he told them again. You say "SNAKE HABITAT TURN AROUND" to any 1D fan, and they know what you mean.
Nov. 20, 2013
What happened: Liam said if he could switch places with anyone else in the group, he'd switch with Harry.
Why this is important: Harry is easily the most well-known member of One Direction, which means he also gets a lot more hate than anyone else. When Liam said he'd switch places with Harry, it wasn't so he could be the popular one. Liam said he'd switch with Harry so Harry could have a break from being Harry. These boys really love each other, OK?
Nov. 23, 2013
What happened: We were blessed with 1D Day.
Why this is important: 1D Day was the biggest, best sh*t show ever to have existed. The band live streamed for over seven hours, and fans were treated to technical difficulties, awkward segues, guest stars like Jerry Springer, and video montages with a lot of shirtlessness. It was also how Jason Derulo's "Talk Dirty to Me" became so popular so quickly.
Nov. 25, 2013
What happened: Midnight Memories, the band's third album, was released in the US.
Why this is important: The band's third studio album is the first one to have a majority of the songs written by the boys themselves. Of the 18 tracks on the deluxe CD, 15 of them are credited to at least one member of One Direction.
Dec. 7, 2013
What happened: One Direction made their second Saturday Night Live appearance.
Why this is important: For the second year in a row, the boys were the musical guest on SNL, but unlike the first appearance, this time they sang music from their third album, aka music they had actually written. It was a much more grown-up appearance than the year prior. It was also still better than their third appearance the following year.
May 7, 2014
What happened: The boys hid in the back of a bread van to visit Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro.
Why this is important: The boys never really get a chance to sightsee because they're mobbed by fans everywhere they go, so this was a rarity for them. However, that is not the most important part about this day. While in the back of the bread van, Harry made sure everyone knew that he used to be a baker. It's something he's been proud to share with the world since the very beginning.
What happened: Harry started embracing his new love of fashion.
Why this is important: Not only is it great to see a man embracing all forms of flashy fashion — including women's jeans, floral suits, and patterned shirts half unbuttoned — but it was really important for him because it was only two years prior that he admitted that he cared a lot about what people think of him. To go from that semi-insecure teenager to someone who willingly wears a red floral Gucci suit on TV is a big step.
July 21, 2014
What happened: Louis's mom got married.
Why this is important: When Louis's mom got married, Liam and his girlfriend, Sophia; Niall; Harry and his family; and even the band's hairstylist, Lou Teasdale, were there to share in Louis's family's day. Noticeably absent was Zayn, who didn't seem to show up to any event he didn't have to.
Aug. 27, 2014
What happened: Harry wore a Michael Sam jersey at the St. Louis concert.
Why this is important: Harry often preaches about love being love, no matter who you are. He is quick to run around a stadium stage waving a rainbow flag and use gender-neutral pronouns in interviews, so it wasn't much of a surprise when he showed up at the St. Louis concert wearing Michael Sam's jersey. The concert was held just a few weeks after Sam, the first openly gay NFL player, had been drafted by the Rams.
Nov. 1, 2014
What happened: Niall Instagrammed his first group selfie!
Why this is important: There really aren't a lot of selfies of the whole group together, but we do have a few, mostly thanks to selfie king Niall. His Instagram mostly consists of his three favorite things: One Direction, sports, and Ireland.
March 25, 2015
What happened: Zayn left the band.
Why this is important: Zayn leaving the band left the future up in the air for the remaining four members and the fans. No one was really sure if One Direction would continue as a four-piece group and if they would find success. Turns out, they did just fine.
Aug. 4, 2015
What happened: Louis confirmed he is going to be a dad.
Why this is important: This was the first time Louis acknowledged the baby rumors that had started floating around the month prior. On an episode of Good Morning America, Michael Strahan wished Louis well with having a new baby, and Louis thanked him, thus confirming that our 1D boys are indeed growing up.
Aug. 10, 2015
What happened: Louis hosted a charity ball for sick kids.
Why this is important: The boys do a lot of charity work that often goes unnoticed. This particular event, benefitting Believe in Magic, was a charity ball hosted and organized by Louis where all the children in attendance were treated like royalty.
Oct. 31, 2015
What happened: Harry and Louis hugged on stage during the last show of their last tour.
Why this is important: Back in the early days of the band, Harry and Louis were practically inseparable. They were the cutest pair of friends until people started to think they were more than that. The rumors of their relationship eventually drove a wedge between them, and you'd be hard pressed to find much interaction between them since 2013. But at the very last show, they hugged on stage, giving fans a glimpse at the old Harry and Louis.
Nov. 17, 2015
What happened: Niall wore glasses!
Why this is important: Let me break it down for you. Niall is the heart and soul of One Direction, so whenever he does things, it's a big deal to everyone. During promo for their last album, Niall decided to wear some glasses as an accessory, and the fandom lost their damn minds. He found out how popular they were and kept wearing them for funsies. Also to keep melting fans' hearts.
What happened: The band officially went on hiatus.
Why this is important: One Direction performed on The X Factor — where it all began — for the last time before taking their break. Their Carpool Karaoke from The Late Late Show With James Corden aired a few days later, leaving fans with gems like this one to tide us over until the boys (hopefully) return.
And lastly . . . from Jan. 16, 2010
What happened: Niall tweeted about auditioning for The X Factor.
Why this is important: This is the most important One Direction tweet in existence. Niall tweeted this after his very first audition, and it's often referenced when it comes to the boys' success. I think it's safe to say it all worked out, Niall.