aka. How to Ruin Your Life
sitting normally is for losers
I’ve had a few people on twitter fall to the collective charms of One Direction, but when they asked me for a primer, everything I had once looked at is now out-dated or comes with a very shippy bias. Not that there is anything wrong with shipping! It’s just nice to have a summary as intro before really getting invested. (Because, lbr, you are going to get invested).
[edited: 08/26/13 - added engagement, movie/tour things]
The Players: aka. adorable faces
don’t be fooled by this adorable face. he is full of mischief.
Louis is the oldest (currently 21, 22 in December). He is from Doncaster. His parents got divorced when he was young, so now he has a step-dad and 4 younger half-sisters (and 1 step-sister, I think?). HE LOVES HIS FAMILY (and it hurts me). He says in the Year in the Making documentary that his mom is his best friend. When he auditioned for XFactor, he originally wanted to audition in a group because he is very insecure about his voice, but when he couldn’t get a group together, he went at it alone. So, basically, getting put into a group was the best thing that could have ever happened to him.
His name is pronounced “Lou-ee". In older pics, he is the one who is wearing stripes, red pants, suspenders, or a combination of the three. He also doesn’t like socks. Louis is always pointed to as the troublemaker in the group and he definitely has the loudest personality. Despite this, he also has a fierce protective streak and sometimes goes off on twitter rants about people being mean to the people he loves. He is basically the real life personification of Peter Pan. Lately, his fashion has been more focused on fuzzy sweaters - which has personally been really good for me. Also, as Zayn helpfully told us in a recent interview, he has the best ass in France. He has 2 tattoos: a screw that is the band tattoo and a cartoon of a stick figure on a skateboard on his inner forearm. [11/8: he now also has quotation marks on his inner wrist and "far away" on his right bicep. 3/8/13: i give up on documenting his tattoos, he has like 10 now.]
He loves football. He played in a charity match once and has since been signed to the Doncaster Rovers roster to possibly play a game of two in the 2013 season.
People to Know:
Stan - they have been friends since childhood and now they co-manage a football team together; I don’t want to talk about it.
Eleanor - girlfriend for... some unspecified amount of time because they give zero fucks and don’t remember their anniversary.
(ok i cheated, there is an extra pic in this section for Louis,.. but rly can you blame me?)
how do you genetics?
Zayn is 20 (21 in January). His family lives in Bradford (Bradford bad boi~) and he is the one who is just ridiculously attractive. He is half-Pakistani and has 3 sisters and before he auditioned for XFactor he had never really left home (AND NOW HE HAS TRAVELED THE WORLD, I AM NOT OKAY). He is very insecure about his dancing and during XF bootcamp, he tried to hide during one of the group dancing bits and Simon had to go find him backstage. Since then, he has posted a few videos of him and his friends dancing stupidly to things, so I assume he is less shy about it now. For maximum pain, he once said that he always wanted brothers and now, with the band, he has four. (Y u p. It hurts me too.)
Zayn is supposed to be the ~bad boy~ of the group, which is funny because he’s not really bad at all. He is usually wearing a leather/varsity/other jacket...and that’s all I’ve got for his style. He smokes (boo) but apparently want to quit. He comes off as very quiet and ~mysterious in a lot of interviews, but it has been said multiple times that he is definitely Louis’s partner in crime for all their pranks. My favorite thing about Zayn is that he is so pretty that whenever the band is asked who is the most vain, they always point at him... AND THEN HE GETS REALLY OFFENDED ABOUT IT. He will also quite literally fall asleep anywhere and on whoever is nearest, which has resulted in a lot of adorable pictures. He also has a lot of tattoos in places all over, but mostly on his arm. (I am not even going to try naming them all) 3/8: arm tattoo has been upgraded to a half-sleeve. Also he now has a large tattoo of a girl that is in tribute to his fiancee.
People to Know:
Danny - long-time friend, I don't know a ton about his personal life, but they are super bros and he has gone out partying with Zayn, Louis, and Stan in the past. He has a matching jigsaw puzzle piece tattoo with his younger brother (Ant) and Zayn.
Perrie* - HIS FIANCEE (engaged in August 2013), she is 1/4th of the girl group called Little Mix, who won XF the season after 1d was on. Her voice is amazing and she should record a duet with Zayn and sell it for charity.
hair is subject to change.
Liam is like the sensible middle child of One Direction. His family is from Wolverhampton and he is 20 in August. He has two older sisters. He auditioned for XF once before and made it to judge’s houses, but then was told that he should come back after growing up a bit. He is very serious about music and his job (if he hadn’t made it, he would be working in an airplane factory back at home). One of his kidneys was non-functional, but he recently tweeted that it had apparently fixed itself, but this is the reason he doesn’t really drink. Basically, Liam is a giant puppy and definitely the reason that Louis doesn’t end up in more shenanigans. He has also changed his hair the most, which makes it really confusing when you are trying to learn their names. He is, however, the one starting all their songs (like 90% of the time) because his voice tends to be the most consistent.
Liam’s band nickname was Daddy Direction for a while. Louis has said that he runs things by Liam to make sure it’s not going too far. He wears vests a lot of the time in group photos and he really likes plaid, button-down shirts. He likes to talk to fans on twitter, but only if you add lots of extra letters to allll youuuur wordsssssss. The best part him is his gradual corruption since the band has been formed. He started off sensible, but he definitely has loosened up quite a bit and is often a player in Louis’s interview shenanigans. Liam has the band tattoo... and recently got something on his arm that has not yet been revealed. [11/8: he has "Everything I ever wanted, but nothing that I'll ever need" on his left forearm, 4 chevrons on his right forearm and "Only time will tell..." on his wrist"]
People to Know:
Andy - friend... who does something with some clothing company? idk, he doesn’t show up much.
[Danielle - Liam's ex-girlfriend. She is a dancer who works often with X Factor, which is how they met. She is 24 years old and they have been dating for a while (there was a short break in late 2012, but as far as we all know now, they are back together currently.) They broke up again in the spring of 2013, but she still shows up in fic sometimes.]
oh man, he used to be so much tinier and blond... er.
Niall is the Irish one. He is also the blonde one, although he does seem to be letting it darken a bit... which is going to be confusing later. He is 19 (20 in September) and is from Mullingar. He was really adorable during the XF auditions. He also plays guitar and is generally always laughing. Also, Niall/food OTP. The main thing is that Niall is One Direction’s biggest fan.
Everything about life seems to be delightful to Niall. He is always laughing at general shenanigans in interviews. His general fashion is casual; he wears lots of cardigans and also baseball caps. Things he loves include: food, Barack Obama (he has a life-size cardboard cutout of him), Ireland, food, and One Direction. He also has/d a thing for Demi Lovato that everyone teases him about all the time. He has braces that he has said he will be getting off soon. He is also the member of One Direction most likely to hang out with Justin Bieber. He has no tattoos and has said that he has no desire for any.
People to Know:
The LIC (Niall Breslin, Eoghan McDermott, and Laura Witmore are the core group) - Group of Irish transplants who basically adopted Niall when he moved to London. They are super cute friends. There is a nice masterpost on Tumblr that talks a bit about them.
“we’re just like the normal boys you went to school with" NOPE
Harry Styles is the baby of the group at 19 (20 in Feb). Anyone who has seen a picture of the band knows him as “the kitten one with the hair". He is from Holmes Chapel and has an older sister (and a really hot mom). Back home, he worked at a bakery and also had a band called White Eskimo in high school (...is that what it’s called in the UK? idk idk). When he cries, baby animals die. He also has a great voice that has deepened considerably since the band was formed, which makes the progression of solos over time very interesting.
If Louis is young at heart, Harry is the opposite side of the coin. He is really charming and easy-going, a fact that has won the heart of... pretty much everyone I know. If you can’t find him via his hair, look for the tall one wearing a blazer or some sort... or sometimes, a bowtie. A lot is made of the fact that, when asked what he likes in a girl, he always answers with gender-neutral (or no) pronouns. Also, if he has been seen in public with a female, there are probably multiple articles about how he is dating them - a reputation that he works hard to distance himself from. He is definitely the most recognizable of the band and he deals with it very well. He has the most tattoos in the band because it seems like he just lets anyone with a tattoo gun doodle on him. The current number is upwards of 20 at this point. [3/8: most recent tattoo is of a moth across his stomach]
People to Know:
Caroline Flack - current host of Xtra Factor, she is better known in 1d fandom as the woman who Harry dated for a while and the reason that everyone says he likes older women. (BUT SHE IS AWESOME IN HER OWN RIGHT! WE SHOULD NOT REDUCE HER LIKE THIS)
Nick Grimshaw* - Radio1 DJ and current host of the breakfast show. He is weird and kind-of a hipster, but he is also from the northern part of England and him and Harry are adorable friends.
Ed Sheeran - british singer-songwriter who has been friends with Harry for a while. He is adorable and ginger and writes awesome music. He has written a few songs for the band.
Cal Aurand - no one knows what Cal does. He has an impressive IMDB resume, but right now he seems to just be following Harry around the world, sometimes with a camera.
Other miscellaneous things!
- The band is called One Direction because, when they were formed, Harry thought it would sound cool when the announcer said "ONE DIRECTION!". That is literally the whole story.
- After XF, the boys all got flats in the same complex. Harry and Louis got one together. <3 They have all since moved out to their own places, but this fact will forever make me happy.
- All the boys used to make fun of Harry for having a hot mom and he would get really indignant about it.
- After XF was over, they all went to stay at Harry’s step-dad’s bungalow in the country so they could get to know each other better. This is immortalized in the Year in the Making documentary, complete with bed-sharing, sitting around a fire and talking about their goals (all of which they have met AND THEN SOME) and Harry being mostly naked all the time.
- The story of the band tattoo: Zayn and Harry got bored in their hotel and decided to tattoo a screw on each other, for... reasons? After that, they decided that the rest of the band should do it too. That’s it. That’s the whole story.
- Major fandom ships include: Harry/Louis (Larry Stylinson) & Liam/Zayn were initially the prominent ships within the band, but if you are looking for fic, there is a good bet that you will be able to find any combination of pairings. (Or, my personal favorite, OT5).
The Wranglers and Babysitters
Paul Higgins - Long suffering head of their security, he is basically a glorified babysitter and probably isn’t getting paid enough to put up with these shenanigans. We are talking like, the boys will actively try to run away/distract him and his team to jump into crowds/get lost in Australia trying to find Rihanna and end up on roofs. (Tumblr actually tells me that by the end of next year he is planning on leaving the team, but until then, we love Paul)
Look at him cradling Louis. It’s almost like Lou isn’t a devil child.
Partners in crime... being evil.
Presented without comment.
Lou Teasdale & Lux - Lou is the band’s stylist/hair dresser. She is very close with all the boys, but I believe is the closest with Harry. Lux is her daughter, who traveled with the band during all of the first album touring. The boys adore this child and there are a lot of soul-crushing pictures of them all with her. Below, I have given you a few terrible examples.
brb, gouging my eyes out
everything is pain
i don’t want to talk about it.
The XFactor era:
look at these adorable bbs. don’t you want to give them a record deal too?
So now you know the boys, it is time to talk about how they became the international sensation known as One Direction.
They all made it to the end of bootcamp only to be told that they were not going to keep going in the competition. This moment has given us terrible video of Niall crying and going all red and blotchy in the process. But first! Some fun facts about bootcamp. While at bootcamp (or maybe it was auditions? IT WAS SOMETIME DURING THE PROCESS), Louis told both Liam and Harry that they would be just fine and make it far. He asked Harry for an autograph and a picture because HE KNEW THAT HARRY WOULD BE FAMOUS SOMEDAY. If that doesn’t hurt your heart, you should probably get that checked. (ok maybe that was only a single fact, BUT IT IS IMPORTANT).
ANYWAY. So they were all told to leave, so they cried.. and then they left. After a bit, the 5 of them were called back on stage and told that they were too talented to let go and were asked if they would like to try as a group. Here is the video of this happening.
Their next step was to make it to the live shows. To do that, they needed to come up with a song to sing during the judge’s houses. But of course, DISASTER NEARLY STRUCK before they could do that. Louis managed to step on a sea urchin at the beach and had to go to the hospital the day before they had to perform together. The other boys all said at the time that it was really hard to practice without him because it felt like something was missing. Take a moment to contemplate that they had been a group for like 2 weeks at this point. I’ll be here when you’re done crying.
So here is the video of this beautiful moment, complete with all the awful XF hair. I have a soft spot for them all carrying Louis and being so excited to have him back. Then... they sing Torn, which is just funny (Louis is your mic even on?!).
But yay! They made it to the live shows! Most of the performances are a hot mess because they didn’t know how to harmonize properly and honestly, they all needed some voice lessons to be stage-ready. If you listen to their performances over the course of the show, you can hear them slowly improve. They start off all singing the same melody line and eventually figure out how to do different things as a group.
Honestly, the best part of XF are the video diaries. They did one each week where they answered audience questions while sitting on this staircase in the XF house and you can see how their personalities have settled into the proper ~role in the band. Lots of Louis being really loud and silly, Niall laughing at everything, Zayn being quiet except for when he’s not and everyone petting Harry while Liam actually tries to ANSWER THE QUESTIONS, DAMNIT. They are worth a watch if you have like 30 minutes to kill. There are 10 of them and here they all are, compiled in one video!
The video diaries gave us gems like Louis telling the world that he likes girls who like carrots (a statement he regrets to this day), “vas happenin" from Zayn, and everyone playing with Harry’s hair.
The band made it all the way to the finals (where they performed with Robbie Williams) but they ended up coming in 3rd place. They were really sad about it, but determined to stay together and try to make it big anyway. Luckily for them, Uncle Simon had some dollar signs in his eyes and he decided to sign them right away to his label. (Yaaaayy Uncle Simon! Now you have all the moneys!)
Up All Night: album and touring the world
Ok, so Up All Night is their first album and it was basically number one everywhere it was sold and it is platinum (.....and I can’t talk about it BECAUSE THEY WERE JUST FIVE BOYS WITH BIG DREAMS AND OH GOD THEY GOT EVERYTHING). ...Ok I’m fine now.
There are 4 music videos from this album, but I think only 2 of the song got an significant radio play in the US? And the last of those music vids is more of a tour video.
What Makes You Beautiful
So this is the song that EVERYONE knows. Chances are, you have heard the opening notes of this song and immediately changed the station. (Good thing that was before you decided they were all flawless). Here is a link to the music video for this song. it features delightful things like everyone frolicking on the beach and falling over in the ocean and generally being silly. It’s a pretty good representation of the band in general.
Naturally, since this was their first big hit, there are a lot of live performances out there. One that gets referenced frequently is the Red or Black TV performance. It was their first big one, so they were all very nervous. Long story short, Harry messed up his solo due to nerves and then broke rule #1 by googling himself after the performance. So there is a dreadful 2 minutes in the Year In the Making documentary that is just him crying about how people were saying mean things about him, interspersed with clips of Niall and Louis talking about how they wished they could make it better. ….You can look that up yourself on youtube.
Since that time, if you watch live performances of the band, you will notice that someone will always poke at Harry a bit right before his solo to make him smile and calm down a bit. BASICALLY THEY ALL LOVE EACH OTHER.
Other notable places this song has been performed:
OLYMPICS CLOSING CEREMONY (no, go away), iCarly, various awards shows, SNL
Gotta Be You
Uh... I guess this was a single (edit: it was in the UK, but nowhere else), but I had never heard it until I gave in and bought the album? But there is a video where they run around in scarves and coats and are generally attractive jerks. You can watch it here!
I can’t think of them ever performing it outside of their concerts? I could be wrong, but clearly it wasn’t noteworthy.
This is probably the other song you are familiar with. The music video is really cute because they are just riding around on a bus and being silly. There are also some attempts at doing something of a choreographed dance, but it’s really.... not anything to write home about. But really, we’re not here for choreography, that just ruins the puppy piles. VIDEO!
The thing I like best about this song is the acoustic version that they also posted on the official YT account. If you know someone who thinks they are just tiny talentless children, just send them this video and then dare them to tell you that they can’t sing. Acoustic vid here.
I’m sure they have performed this on various shows here and there in addition to SNL... but nothing that screams MUST WATCH to me.
More Than This
More Than This is possibly one of my favorite songs on the album, but it was not a US single. So I’m just going to leave the video here and call it a day. Mostly I just enjoy how Louis places the pause in his solo so that he is singing “when I see you walk the street, in his arms I get weak" ...instead of moving that comma over to AFTER “arms."
I also HIGHLY recommend going to the Official Channel and watching all the little BTS vids for the music videos.
So that is the album. They toured basically everywhere WITH this album and also released a concert DVD that is super cute and captures all their shenanigans in a more professional format than shaky fangirl-cam. I highly recommend it because the concert was structured in 4 acts corresponding to each season. During the season changes, the video screens basically play out their very own high school AU, complete with charming bike antics and hanging out in the common room.
The best part of the concerts, though, are the various antics they would get into. Louis liked to dictate lyric changes (“it’s gotta be you" turned into “wrong size shoe", “it’s kung-fu", etc etc). Since there was no choreography to speak of besides occasional cues to walk to a certain part of the stage, there would be a lot of poking, hitting, hanging off of, etc., in the background during solos. HOWEVER, one of my FAVORITE stage moments was when they were asked to play leapfrog across the stage. Here is the video for you. (Protip: turn down your volume).
So... yup. That is Up All Night. Other suggested viewing are all of the video diaries from the various tours, which can all be found on the youtube channel. Here is one compilation.
UAN has also won lots of awards, for singles and the album as a whole; including a Brit, 3 Teen Choice Awards and 3 MTV VMAs.
...Did I mention that they performed AT THE OLYMPICS?
Interviews & Videos You Should Watch:
The band has been on Alan Carr’s show three times and each time has been hilarious; especially the part where he likes to harass Harry about EVERYTHING. I always tell people to start with these when they want to get to know the boys.
July 29, 2011
Nov 27, 2011
Sept 28, 2012
They were on an episode of iCarly where it was shown that none of them can act.
Pregnancy Prank - Zayn and Louis pranked the other boys with help from Nickelodeon, and it is HILARIOUS.
This interview is delightful for many reasons and you should watch ALL OF IT. You get to see Harry’s serial killer death stare when the interviewer touches Louis’s thigh, followed by him possessively patting the same spot. They also talk about living together and watching tv in bed together with tea.
Here they are, totally trashed after winning a Brit, which I believe was their first big award? Notice the hilarious pointing and the fact that Harry seems incapable of speech. click
And here we have a hilarious video of Niall being betrayed by food when he tries vegemite on Australian television.
I don’t understand the point of this video. It’s just them, loving on each other with a romance movie soundtrack.
And finally, the boys being silly behind the scenes of their second Fabulous Magazine photoshoot.
This is obviously only the tip of the iceberg. Most interviews start to sound the same, but it’s easy to spiral into sitting and watching random ones for hours just to watch them interact (and to learn what Louis’s “I am definitely bored with this and want to cause trouble" face looks like).
OK I LIED. I UPLOADED THE YEAR IN THE MAKING THING. Just get HJ Split and join the files in this folder.
You can also stream it in lower quality here.
They released a fragrance line (perfume, body wash, and lotion) called Our Moment in August 2013. The fragrance ad is...well it's something.
Take Me Home: album the second
The second album is called Take Me Home and was released in Nov 2012. They actually wrote on five of the songs on this album, so it’s all very exciting. Niall also plays guitar on it. It has been stated in interviews that they have let the music grow with them and that it won’t be a drastic change in sound, but that it WILL be different.
The first single off it is Live While We’re Young, which is a total earworm. The music video for it is suuuuper cute (and also everyone gets wet) so you should go watch it HERE.
The second single is called Little Things and it was written by Ed Sheeran, so it is amazing. It is also basically a love song to each other and it fills me with OT5 thoughts. Go check out the video.
The performed both of the first 2 singles on US XFactor on 11/8/12.
Live While We're Young
They also promo'ed the album on Ellen and the Today Show.
The third single off Take Me Home is Kiss You, another upbeat pop song. The official video follows the same formula of them being dumb as the previous videos. They also performed it on both the UK and the US X Factor. US / UK
In November/December 2012, they did some one-off shows that featured the first performances of the handful of singles. One of these shows was Madison Square Garden, which was a huge deal. All the boys flew out family and friends so they could attend. Ed Sheeran opened for them and sang with them on Little Things.
Comic Relief and Red Nose Day:
In 2013, the band was chosen to record and release the official charity single for Comic Relief and Red Nose Day. They recorded a mashup of One Way or Another/Teenage Kicks, which was #1 on the charts the week of its release. In association with the charity, they went to Ghana and visited a children's hospital there. There are a series of videos on the Red Nose Day youtube account about their visit here
They also released a music video for the single which they filmed themselves and is super cute. CLICK
They first performed it live at the 2013 BRIT Awards, where they also received the award for Global Sensation. Here is the performance. They also have the cover on their current tour setlist.
The Take Me Home Tour:
The world-wide tour for Take Me Home started in Feb 2012 and will basically continue for the rest of 2013. Here is a nice spreadsheet (Thank you, @girlphenom!!!) that lists all the tour dates: brace yourself
The band 5 Seconds of Summer is their supporting act for the entirety. They were asked on the tour after Louis watched their videos on youtube and campaigned for them to join up. The current set-list is 21 songs and includes the One Way or Another/Teenage Kicks mashup and a cover of Teenage Dirtbag. It remains to be seen whether this will stay the same or not.
1D3D The Movie:
In August 2013, a 3D movie is going to be released internationally. They have been filming it for a while and it is going to be documentary style. It covers basically the European leg of the Take Me Home tour and ends with their big stadium concerts in Mexico City. It is a mix of 2-D and 3-D (with the 3-D being the concert footage taken at the London shows of the tour).
They also released a song, "Best Song Ever" for the movie, along with a really cute music video that they filmed in Miami between tour stops. It plays over the ending credits and they performed it live at the Teen Choice Awards in LA. Here is the BTS for the Best Song Ever video.
There were two premieres for the movie. The first was in London on August 20th, the second in NYC on August 26th.
Where We Are: album the third
Not much is known about the third album. They recorded a lot of it while on the road. Also there was a lot more involvement on the band's part in the writing. Louis and Liam are said to have written a dozen songs, with 7-9 of them being included on the album.
Expanded Info on Band-Adjacent People:
Perrie & Little Mix
(Jesy, Leigh-Anne, Jade, Perrie)
Little Mix was on the season of XFactor after One Direction. Like 1D, the 4 girls auditioned solo and were put together into a group. They ended up winning because they are amazing. Perrie is dating Zayn. Jade, like Liam, had auditioned for the show before and was actually friends with Liam from the first time they both were on the show.
ugh their stupid faces
As stated before, Nick is a Radio1 DJ (in addition to doing a lot of small TV things). He is the current host of the Breakfast Show on R1. I... actually don’t really know how to explain him, but he comes up a lot because Harry and he are basically attached at the hip. They have been known to spend entire weekends together and Harry recently bought a house in the same neighborhood as Nick. Nick is openly gay and has talked about how he’s never had a serious relationship because no one has ever offered him committment. I’m just gonna... leave it at that.
There is a large corner of the fandom that ships Nick and Harry (because oh my god the canon is ridiculous). rivers_bend has made an awesome primer with links and more info about Nick and the ship here. Go check it out!
And now for some more pictures (BECAUSE I LOVE THEIR FACES)
One Direction doesn’t believe in personal space
they are actually stupid, why are they famous?
(video by jumpercut)
Twitter: 1d twitter / Harry / Louis / Niall / Zayn / Liam
Self-pimp: I run an update account on twitter where I focus on just posting video links to concert vids, BTS things and interviews, and obviously I recommend you follow it.
Fic: LJ / ao3