Please Enjoy This Not At All Dramatic Look Back At The Phases One Direction Went Through

One Direction

So one night in bed when I couldn’t sleep, I decided to enter a YouTube hell hole. I thought maybe true crime ‘cos I was in the middle of Mindhunter season 2 but somehow I ended up watching One Direction music videos. Happens to the best of us. Said YouTube hole made me yearn for another time, a simpler time, when all I thought about was how I wished Niall Horan would make eye contact with me from about a gazillion metres away, in the dark, at a concert, and fall in love with me. BRING IT BACK. I WANT IT BACK.

Quality memz aside, it’s time we look back at One Direction. But not in a “look at the change in music #growth” way, I want to look at their lewks through the years. That, and how Niall’s hair has barely even changed.

The Foetus Phase

MY GOD, I threw myself on the 1D bandwagon quite late in the game, like late 2012 so I completely missed this entire phase. Well, not really. I went to an all-girls school which meant I was still one hundo per cent aware of the shenanigans. Girls literally cried when they missed out on tickets to 1D’s first tour of Australia. ANYWAY, what the FRICK. Why did people find this attractive? I did not vibe with 1D in 2010 and it is absolutely because they were all foetuses.

I just did not love the scarf look at all and Niall only stepped out in supra shoes, which did my head in.

One Direction
(Photo by Ian West/PA Images via Getty Images)

Re: Supra.

The Year 10 Formal Phase

I remember at one point One Direction really wanted to remind you they were a B R I T I S H boyband. I’m talking about the polo shirts, suspenders, blazers with a crest on it, pocket squares, Peter Pan collars, bowties, a tasteful cardi and so on and so forth. It’s exactly how the boys at my year 10 or 11, I don’t remember, dressed. They tried to look older but just… did not.

Credit: One Direction

B R I T I S H boyband.

This is still before Liam shaved his head for the first time so I do not care about them yet.

Photo by Debra L Rothenberg/FilmMagic)

How good’s the MATCHY-MATCHY!?

Louis also kept wearing suspenders.

The Liam-Shaved-His-Head-Somehow-Kicking-Off-A-Unanimous-Change-In-The-Band-From-Cute-Boys-To-Hot-Boys Phase

We’re still in 2012 here but something has changed, 1D no longer look like boys in adult clothing. Growth spurts have been had and the band’s style has subtly shifted for the better.

I can pinpoint the exact moment I fell in love with Niall Horan. It happened at the 2012 Royal Variety Performance and it was the moment when his hands started to shake uncontrollably because he was so nervous to be singing in front of Queen Liz. It was bloody cute!

This also did things to me back in the day SIX YEARS AGO.


At the end of 2013, One Direction gifted the world Midnight Memories – the “slightly rockier” album full of bangers like “Story of My Life”, “Best Song Ever”, it’s titular tune “Midnight Memories”, and “Happily”. 

To go with their ~ new ~ sound, the boys started dressing like men and holy shit was I there for it. Year 11 Me did not cope with the constant lewks.

One Direction
(Photo by Kevin Mazur/WireImage)


I’m getting violent flashbacks to Wattpad and if you don’t get that reference get outta here.

There’s only one way I can continue this yarn and it’s to link to every single music video from Midnight Memories. I mean, it’s the right damn thing to do. FUN FACT: One Direction still have over 30 million subscribers on YouTube.

OMG, remember this?

*listens to “You & I” while staring deeply out the bus window in my school uniform on the way home, thinking about how I should’ve gotten a large pasta instead of a small one at the canteen*

This was also the same year 1D released the doco “One Direction: This Is Us”, which I have on blu-ray somewhere.

God, the nostalgia whiplash is really something else right now. But all that aside, LOVED THIS PHASE, LOVED THIS ENTIRE YEAR. One Direction was thriving.

The Young Thriving Daddies Phase

1D pumped out another album, Four, around about a year after Midnight Memories. Four brought us “Steal My Girl”, “Night Chances”, and “Ready To Run”. 

When I think Four, I think Harold and his hats / the beginning of his very long hair. Also, they went from dressing like that hot guy in your lecture to young thriving daddy.


Photo by Juan Naharro Gimenez/WireImage)

Friendly reminder: two of the five are actually daddies now.

This is a literal fanfic of a music video, and I hope whoever thought it up got a big raise.

The Zayn Fucks Off Phase

And they still made an album! Right on schedule! Unbelievable!

“Made in the A.M.” debuted at the end of 2015 and featured the tunes “Drag Me Down”, “End Of The Day”, and “If I Could Fly”. Despite the shitshow in the media and social media, re: Zayn, the boys kept it together until they didn’t have to anymore. At the end of that year, Louis confirmed the worst… the h-word. I won’t even type it. I refuse.

I do love them, but they all looked very over it by this point. I also feel like everyone just gave up and wore whatever they wanted to.

(Photo by Mark Davis/DCNYRE2016/Getty Images for dcp)

Louis’ smile screams “help me”. Liam looks half-dead. 

In conclusion: TAKE ME BACK TO 2013.