"I like girls who eat carrots."One Direction
— Louis Tomlinson
(commonly initialized as 1D
) is a British-Irish Boy Band
formed in London, England. Originally auditioning for the seventh series of The X Factor
as individuals, the members were assembled into a group by Simon Cowell, who became their mentor throughout the show. After placing third, Cowell signed One Direction to his own record label in 2010. Since then, the band has skyrocketed to worldwide fame, releasing many hit singles, winning numerous awards, and unseating Justin Bieber
as the biggest teen heartthrobs in the world. In most music markets aside from their home countries (where Take That
and Westlife hold their respective countries' crowns), 1D have become the most successful U.K. and/or Irish boy band of all time.note
Members of One Direction include (from left to right in the picture):
- Louis Tomlinson - born December 24, 1991 in Doncaster, South Yorkshire.
- Liam Payne - born August 29, 1993 in Wolverhampton, West Midlands.
- Harry Styles - born February 1, 1994 in Holmes Chapel, Cheshire.
- Niall Horan - born September 13, 1993 in Mullingar, County Westmeath, Ireland.
- Zayn Malik - born January 12, 1993 in Bradford, West Yorkshire.
- Up All Night (2011) - 1D's first album. Upon its U.S. release in March 2012, they became the first U.K. group to debut at #1 on the U.S. Billboard 200 with a debut album.
- Take Me Home (2012) - One Direction are one of very few groups to have debuted at the top with both of their first two albums. Only Girl Group Danity Kane and Eminem's rap troupe D12 have done so prior to them.
- Midnight Memories (2013) - One Direction became the first (and to date, only) group to debut atop the Billboard 200 with each of their first three albums. The last group to even reach the top with its first three albums were The Monkees in 1967.
- Four (2014) - 1D's fourth album. Like the previous one, it set a record for its number one debut and had the no-longer-boys Growing the Beard.
- Album Title Drop: Take Me Home's title comes from a line in "Kiss You".
- "If you don't wanna take it slow/And you just wanna take me home/Baby say yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah/And let me kiss you."
- Ascended Extra: Louis and Niall sang mostly backup save for a few token solo lines on their first album; lead vocals were shared between Liam and Harry and (to a lesser extent) Zayn. Fans lobbied for them to get bigger parts and got their wish from the second album on.
- Ascended Fanboy: Niall idolized Justin Bieber before One Direction was formed and cited him as an influence during his X Factor audition. Since then, they've hung out out several times and tweeted pictures together. Additionally, One Direction's level of success has rivaled and arguably exceeded Bieber's.
- Band Toon: Here. You're welcome.
- Boy Band: Their most defining characteristic. While their record sales trail the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC, One Direction is said to have a larger fan base than their predecessors. While One Direction are significantly behind Take That's success in their homeland, they have eclipsed them everywhere else. Their five-man band formula goes as follows:
- The Heartthrob: Harry
- The Bad Boy: Zayn
- The Cute One: Niall
- The Older Brother: Louis
- The Shy One: Liam
- British English: In interviews they use a lot of British slang, which can be confusing for foreign fans.
- Call Back: "They donít know about the up all nights" from "They Don't Know About Us" references the title of their first album.
- Camp: Their Kiss You video, to great success.
- Catch Phrase: Zayn has "Vas Happenin'?". The other boys use pretty much any opportunity to mimic it.
- Cover Version: During their run on The X Factor, they covered everything from Elton John to Rihanna.
- Crowning Moment Of Indifference: When the boys (minus Louis and Zayn) were tricked into believing a woman was going into labor on the studio floor, Niall could not have been more apathetic.
- Curb-Stomp Battle: Their 2014 BRIT Music Video award was a particularly jarring example. More than 1.7 million votes were cast in the span of less than two hours. Not only did their #BRITsOneDirection hashtag top the Worldwide twitter trends, but they were the only one of the five nominees to even make it onto the trending list. Twitter reveals that a whopping 93% of all votes in this contest were for One Direction.
- What's even more painful for the losers is the Brits' decision to go global that year. Had the awards ceremony remained a domestic event, One Direction, while still likely to win the award, would probably have had far less than 93% of the vote.
- Digital Piracy Is Evil: Savan Kotecha, one of One Direction's song writers, addresses this.
- Disguised in Drag: Zayn.◊ Played straight rather successfully in the "Best Song Ever" music video.
- Distaff Counterpart: Fifth Harmony, since they both have 5 members and they both started out on The X Factor (the former in the US version, the latter in the UK version). They both consisted of five solo artists who were put into a group after getting rejected, they both finished third, and they have similar shorthand names (5H and 1D).
- Gender Neutral Writing: The majority of their songs are addressed to an ambiguous, inclusive "you" that is only assumed to be female.
- Notably, in interviews that ask◊ about their preferences◊ in women Harry often says that he would want "someone" who... or he likes "people" that... instead of specifying if his preferences are for males or females.
- Even more relevant since Harry's comments about gender being "not that important" when looking for a potential lover, and telling Niall "don't knock it til you try it" when talking about sleeping with another man.
- Genre Relaunch: They, Big Time Rush and The Wanted have brought boy bands back into the mainstream, full force — but since they became an *NSYNC-level phenomenon whereas the latter two groups were generally unsuccessful, they are usually given credit alone.
- Hair Flip: A running joke in the group is Liam's "One, Two, Three, Flick" dance routine. Except now there's no hair to flick. It eventually grew back. Kind of.
- I Can't Dance: Just watch this. Or this.
- Intercourse with You: "Rock Me" could be interpreted this way. And again, "Kiss You" ("If you don't wanna take it slow/ And you just wanna take me home/ Baby, say yeah, yeah, yeah").
- Actually most of their songs could be interpreted as this. They may as well call themselves Getting Crap Past the Radar: The Band.
- Especially since the release of Midnight Memories, where they stopped even trying to be subtle.
- Just watch this.
- Irony: The band's Signature Song is "What Makes You Beautiful", which has the lines "don't need makeup to cover up, being the way that you are is enough" and One Direction just released a line of makeup.
- It Is Pronounced Tro PAY: Non-Brits may not realize that Louis's name is pronounced like "Louie", not "Lewis".
- "I Want" Song: "I Want". Double Subverted in that most of the song isn't about what the guys want, but about admonishing a girl who is selfish and materialistic and wanting a girl who will just love them.
- Landslide Voting: Their wins at the Teen Choice Awards, Kids Choice Awards, and other similar awards ceremonies are likely won through landslides. While voting data has never been revealed, the outcome is generally a very safe assumption.
- Looped Lyrics: Quite a few... "I want, I want, I want...", "I shoulda, I shoulda, oh, I shoulda kissed you / I shoulda, I shoulda..."
- Lyrical Shoehorn: The bridge of "What Makes You Beautiful" consists entirely of "na na nas."
- The Movie: This Is Us was released August 2013.
- My Nayme Is: Zayn was actually born "Zain", but he changed the spelling for his professional career.
- Preppy Name: From "Best Song Ever": Said her name was Georgia Rose / And her daddy was a dentist. If you are English and your name is Georgia, then daddy is more likely to be a dentist than a docker.
- Pungeon Master: Harry likes puns. The other boys like pointing out how lame they are.
- The Runner Up Takes It All: They are by far The X Factor's most successful act.
- Shout-Out: Listen to the opening beat of "Rock Me" and think of what it sounds like.
- "Better Than Words" name drops popular love songs from the past several decades.
- The opening riff of "What Makes You Beautiful" does this to Grease's song "Summer Nights".
- Silly Love Songs: "What Makes You Beautiful", "One Thing", "Live While We're Young"... they make a lot of these.
- "Better Than Words". Bonus points for the fact that its verses entirely consist of titles from other silly love songs..
- Title Track: The song "Up All Night" from their debut album and "Midnight Memories" from their third album are examples of this.
- Vocal Tag Team: Liam and Harry clearly had the most solos on their first album, Up All Night (see #28). Later albums are more even-handed.