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They started as costars in the massively successful Spider-Man movies, with Holland playing Peter Parker and his superhero alter ego, and Zendaya as his love interest MJ. That working relationship gradually bloomed into a supportive friendship, then something more. For years, the two lit up red carpets and press engagements with their charisma and chemistry — not to mention their witty banter — and were spotted together a lot, including visiting children's hospitals and appearing at the MTV Movie Awards.
After many years of squashing dating rumors left and right, things seemed to change between the costars and close friends, and sure enough, love was in the air. Today, the two are very tight-lipped regarding their relationship and share pieces of their life together only on occasion. While you can regularly catch them in paparazzi photos, spending quality time together across the globe, and supporting each other while filming their respective projects, they do not typically make grand declarations of love or pose together on the red carpet.
Instead, they do their relationship their way, making those little snippets and tidbits they do decide to share with us all the more special. Let's revisit how Zendaya and Tom Holland went from Spider-Man costars to besties to lovers below.
February 22, 2024: Zendaya can't help bringing up her boyfriend, even when no one asks.
We love their love! When Zendaya was asked during her Buzzfeed Puppy Interview (released February 22) who on the Dune cast had the most rizz, the actor first answered jokingly, naming herself. “I don’t know. Rizz is short for charisma, right? Everybody’s kind of got their own," she continued before steering absolutely to the left. "I think someone who has beautiful charisma, not on the Dune cast, but I, personally — it works for me — is Mr. Tom Holland.”
“I’m more shy and kind of quiet. So it takes a bit more to pull me out of my shell,” Zendaya explained. “But he’s great at just talking to people and getting to know people. You see him on talk shows and stuff like that, he’s just naturally very good at that… He's got that natural gift." (Her gushing over her boyfriend's charisma is ironic given the fact that, just last summer, Holland told Buzzfeed he has “no rizz whatsoever.")
Tomdaya fans reacted online to the couple's habit of bringing each other up during press cycles, despite being known for trying to keep their relationship as private as possible. One fan collaged photos of Zendaya hysterically laughing at Holland's jokes during the Spider-Man press tours, writing: “'Works for me' yeah girl we're aware.”
February 15, 2024: Holland and Zendaya are seen together for the first time since those breakup rumors.
Zendaya made headlines on February 15 for her show-stopping red carpet look for the London premiere of Dune: Part Two, and must have decided later that night, why not make more? Z and Tom Holland were seen on the streets of London that same evening turning the world premiere afterparty into their own personal date night — their first public outing together since breakup rumors swirled in mid-January. (When asked if he and Zendaya had split, Holland replied firmly, with a "No, absolutely not," effectively shutting down any speculation of a split.)
The couple matched in all-black outfits; Zendaya wore a chic, black velvet Mugler gown (a departure from her archival, butt-baring Mugler robot suit worn earlier in the night) and vintage Bulgari jewelry, while Tom wore a black sweater vest over a black tee and slacks. The two were seen holding hands and getting into a sprinter van together, dodging fans and paparazzi. Just usual Tomdaya things. *heart emoji*
January 23, 2024: Holland fanboys over Zendaya at Schiaparelli.
When the internet saw the killer look Zendaya rocked for Schiaparelli's haute couture show, we all went ballistic — and that includes Tom Holland. As the number one Zendaya fan, Tom reacted to his girlfriend's look by sharing a fancam of the Dune star arriving at Daniel Roseberry's show set to Gym Class Heroes' “Cupid's Chokehold.”
“Take a look at my girlfriend / She's the only one I got,” goes the song as the video intercalates images of Zendaya arriving at the show, flaunting her new hime cut-inspired hairdo. “This was made for me,” Tom wrote on his Instagram stories with a laughing emoji, reposting the Reel.
Tom's Zendaya praising hours didn't stop there either. The actor also shared a black-and-white picture of Z, adding three heart-eyed emojis for emphasis. Hey, we get it.
January 2024: Holland reveals he and Zendaya rewatch Spider-Man together.
It's no secret that we have Spider-Man: Homecoming to thank for the genesis of Tom Holland and Zendaya's relationship, but what is a secret is the fact that the couple often rewatches the movie together — or it was until January 2024, at least. Speaking to Extra, Holland admitted the two “every now and then watch Spider-Man 1 and reminisce about being 19 and making those movies again.” He added: “It’s such a luxury, such a gift, to be able to sit down and sort of relive your youth and watch those movies. I wouldn’t be the man I am today without that job."
January 2024: Holland denies breakup rumors after Zendaya's unfollowing spree.
When Zendaya set her Instagram following to zero to start the year, many speculated she and Tom Holland could have broken up. However, Holland was quick to clear any speculation just days later. Holland was caught by a TMZ photographer in Los Angeles when he was asked about the rumors that he and Zendaya had broken up. “No, absolutely not,” he clarified.
October 2023: Zendaya and Holland visit a dog shelter together.
We all know Zendaya and Tom Holland love their own puppies, but they also have more than enough dog love to share. The duo paid a visit to a dog shelter in London ahead of the holiday season to promote rescuing. The result? The cutest pics you've ever seen — and for a good cause.
September 2023: Zendaya and Holland attend Beyoncé's Renaissance Tour in L.A.
During the 2023 summer, Tom Holland and Zendaya became faithful Beyoncé devotees. After attending their first Renaissance Tour show in Poland, the duo went back for seconds in Los Angeles, nailing the silver dress code and the “Everybody on Mute” challenge.
September 2023: Holland wishes Zendaya a happy birthday.
Are you even in a relationship if your significant other doesn't have an arsenal of hilarious photos of you? We don't think so. And thankfully for us Tom Holland is willing to share his camera roll. To wish Zendaya a happy 27th birthday, the actor tapped into the archives to share some pics of Z scuba diving. “My birthday girl,” he captioned one of the pics shared with the heart eyes emoji.
July 2023: Holland reveals Zendaya needed stitches after trying to cook for him.
In an appearance on Family Trips With the Meyers Brothers podcast released on July 11, Holland recalled a time Zendaya cooked for him and ended up needing multiple stitches after badly cutting her finger.
Sometime in 2022 in New York while Holland was filming The Crowded Room, the British actor returned home after a long day of filming to find a scene straight out of a horror movie in his kitchen. "I saw an empty kitchen with food everywhere, a really bloody rag and a knife, and was I like, 'Oh my god, what's happened?' and she cut herself, like really badly, too," he recounted on the pod. We don't know what happened to the actual dinner, but we do know the couple ended up going to the hospital, where Z got a couple of stitches. "She was fine. She was a boss about it," Holland added, confessing that his girlfriend has actually “cut herself a few times” during past cooking attempts.
If this story rings a bell, it's probably because there is a chance it might be the same cooking incident that Zendaya chronicled live on her Instagram Stories last summer. ICYMI: Z uploaded a close-up of her bleeding finger wrapped in gauze accompanied by a very humbling caption: “See now this is why I don't cook.” Though the cat is out of the bag now, Zendaya and Holland have been tight-lipped about their relationship, and it was not "confirmed" at the time her accident happened.
"I try my best to keep it as private as possible; we both feel very strongly that that is the healthiest way to move on as a couple," Holland recently said on the On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast. “It's interesting being in a romantic relationship with someone that is in the same boat as you. You can share your experiences and all that sort of stuff — and that's worth its weight in gold.”
June 2023: Holland and Zendaya sing “Love On Top” to each other at Beyoncé's concert in Poland.
It looks like Holland and Zendaya were two of the many fans who flocked to Europe to attend Beyoncé's Reinnasance Tour. The couple traveled to Warsaw, Poland, to watch Bey's show and were spotted singing “Love On Top” to each other while in the crowd.
The pair, who were shown on the jumbotron during the show, attended the concert with Z's BFF Darnell Appling as well as Zendaya's Euphoria costar Hunter Schafer, and even got the chance to link up with Jay-Z for the occasion. Talk about a reunion. (Please invite Timmy next, thanks!)
June 2023: Zendaya wishes Holland a happy birthday with beach photos.
To commemorate Tom Holland’s 27th birthday, Zendaya took to her Instagram Stories to share some photos of the duo's time at the beach. The Dune star posted a picture of her Spider-Man co-star and IRL boyfriend forming a heart with his hands while submerged in the water, which she complemented with a heart emoji to fit the hand framing.
June 2023: Holland admits his carpentry skills helped him win over Zendaya.
In the early stages of a relationship, we all like to show off a little bit harder than usual. Apparently, in Holland's case, that meant flexing his carpentry skills. In case you were not aware, when Holland was in a bit of an acting rut early in his career, he decided to take up carpentry as his Plan B. Plan A might have worked out, but that doesn't mean his training went to waste. In an interview with UNILAD, the actor recalled a time his carpentry knowledge came in handy to fix Zendaya's door.
“I fixed my girlfriend's door once really early on in our relationship,” the actor recounted. "I was hanging out at her house, and her door was broken. I was like, 'I'm gonna fix that door for you.' And now we're in love." Sometimes, the key to someone's heart could literally be a door key, I guess.
June 2023: Holland can't stop talking about Zendaya during his press run for The Crowded Room.
So far on the list of Tom Holland and Zendaya’s favorite pastimes we have: Beach vacations, museum dates, dinner dates, hockey game night dates, boat trip dates… Essentially, all sorts of dates. But there’s also a much more active, well, activity the pair enjoy doing together: Golf.
In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Holland opened up about his love for sports, admitting that since childhood, he has played (and excelled at) various sports such as rugby, football, cricket, tennis, and golf. Out of all, the latter is the only one he still avidly partakes in to this day, and now he has a new partner on the field. “I’ve given [Zendaya] a few lessons. She’s very naturally talented, a real athlete, so she picked it up really quickly,” the actor admitted.
The couple also enjoys another way more inconspicuous exercise that we can all relate to a bit more: Meme-sharing. In an interview with Buzzfeed, Holland admitted that the meme-sharing between the two is “non-stop,” but she definitely has the upper hand. “She sends me too much,” the star revealed, shaking his head and letting out a faint chuckle. “I can’t keep up because I deleted my Instagram for days at a time. I download it to post and then I have to check my messages, and I’ll have hundreds, and hundreds, and hundreds of things from her. I try and keep up, but it’s intense.” (Zendaya is fluent in meme, after all.)
Even though he’s spilling a little bit about things the pair enjoy doing together, Holland is still very much anti-sharing the inner workings of their relationship. “Our relationship is something that we are incredibly protective of, and we want to keep as sacred as possible,” the actor also told The Hollywood Reporter. “We don’t think that we owe it to anyone, it’s our thing, and it has nothing to do with our careers.”
May 2023: Zendaya and Holland take a romantic boat trip in Italy.
When in Rome ... well, Venice, that is. As noted by Entertainment Tonight, the couple made the most of a trip to Italy with an adorable, PDA-heavy boat trip with a bonus cute dog to hang out with. Holland and Z were snapped boarding the boat and holding hands, with Z planting a kiss on Holland's cheek before boarding; both stars were dressed casually, with Holland in jeans and Zendaya in all black and glasses. The actor even took a few pics of his girlfriend snuggling the aforementioned cute dog. Can't get much better than that!
April 2023: Holland likes a bunch of photos and videos of Zendaya's Coachella 2023 performance.
Zendaya surprised fans with a “last minute” guest spot during her friend and Euphoria collaborator Labrinth's Coachella set on April 22. The morning after, eagle-eyed fans caught screenshots of Holland liking tons of Z Coachella content from Zendaya fan accounts on Instagram. Holland will embark on a press run later this spring as he gears up for the release of his Apple TV+ limited series The Crowded Room, so he's off of his social media hiatus and very much online. Can you imagine what his explore page looks like? Just Zendaya posts everywhere? Same.
March 2023: Zendaya is spotted wearing a ring with Tom Holland’s initials
Who needs an engagement ring when you can have a personalized signet ring? Zendaya was spotted wearing a gold signet ring with Tom Holland's initials when she shared a picture of her manicure.
February 2023: Holland reacts to Zendaya's red carpet looks.
Holland, he's just like us! The actor couldn't get enough of his girlfriend's gorgeousness in early 2023, posting a series of heart-eyed emojis on Zendaya's post of her NAACP Image Awards look. Given that the two keep their relationship very low-key, this was a big declaration from the usually private pair.
October 2022: The couple enjoys a museum date in Paris.
Holland and Zendaya saw the sights in Paris with a day date at the iconic Louvre museum, taking in the art and spending quality time together. This would be one of their first cultured dates captured by paparazzi — since, Z and Holland have gone on tons of museum dates, and even castle dates, while in Europe.
September 2022: Zendaya reveals Holland was the first person she texted after winning her second Emmy.
After Z made history as the youngest woman and first Black woman to win Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series not once, but twice, she revealed that Holland was the first person she texted upon accepting the award. “Well, I didn't have to text my mom ‘cause my mom was already there,” she said. “She's here tonight, which was very special… and I texted my boyfriend.” Fans were thrilled to hear Z say the "b-word" for the first time.
June 2022: Zendaya shuts down pregnancy rumors.
Z was not here for the pregnancy rumors that had run amok on social media, taking to Instagram Stories to refute a variety of TikTok videos about her alleged pregnancy. “See now, this is why I stay off Twitter," she wrote. “Just making stuff up for no reason… weekly.”
June 2022: Zendaya wishes Holland a happy birthday on Instagram.
In a very rare public acknowledgment of her relationship, Zendaya posted a pic of herself and Holland together on Instagram for his birthday. "Happiest of birthdays to the one who makes me the happiest," she wrote, and millions of fans suddenly found themselves misting up with emotion. (Or maybe that was just me?)
April 2022: Zendaya talks about how Holland supported her while she filmed Euphoria season 2.
Euphoria isn't an effortless show to film, but Holland was by Z's side for some of the more emotionally taxing scenes of season 2. "I think it's great to have that support and love around you because you need that,” Zendaya said at the time. “This isn't an easy job, so it's good to have that to free you up from it every now and then."
February 2022: Holland and Zendaya wear his-and-hers hockey jerseys.
Crying, screaming, throwing up. The couple donned matching New York Rangers hockey jerseys for a sporty date night, with Holland wearing a "Zendaya" jersey emblazoned with her name and birth year, and vice versa.
February 2022: Zendaya and Holland step out for date night.
The couple looked beyond chic together when they were photographed out and about in New York City. Holland wore a gray suit and turtleneck, while Z wore a silk shirtdress and a gorgeous bouncy blowout.
December 2021: Zendaya and Holland joke about their height difference.
The costars and rumored couple jokingly addressed their height difference and how it makes filming difficult. "Because of our height difference, if we're on the same point... I would land before him. My feet hit the ground before he does," Zendaya explained of a particular Spider-Man scene. “Zendaya would land, and I'm the superhero, I'm supposed to look cool," said Holland. “And I would land [like this] and my feet would swing from underneath me and then she would catch me.” The two even hilariously showed off how the stunt works — or didn't work.
"You were actually very lovely about it... you were like 'Thank you,'" Zendaya teased Holland.
"It's so nice to be caught for a change!" he joked in response.
December 2021: Holland and Zendaya hit the red carpets for the Spider-Man: No Way Home press run.
Holland was all of us when he was photographed staring at Zendaya in her custom spider dress with an enchanted look on his face. The costars posed for pics together and separately, but it was their coupled-up snapshots that really got our hearts fluttering.
November 2021: Holland says he's "in love."
Things were apparently getting serious between the two in late 2021, as Holland told Total Film that he was “very happy and in love” and thinking about his future both in the film industry and personally. “I might go and be a carpenter for two years, and take a big break, and come back,” he said. “Or I might not come back. I might go away, and get married, and have kids, and just disappear for the rest of my life.”
November 2021: Holland and Zendaya address those paparazzi photos.
After the kissing photos dropped, both stars opened up about the attention from fans and paparazzi. “One of the downsides of our fame is that privacy isn’t really in our control anymore, and a moment that you think is between two people that love each other very much is now a moment that is shared with the entire world,” Holland told GQ. “I’ve always been really adamant to keep my private life private, because I share so much of my life with the world anyway.” The actor continued, adding that he and Z “sort of felt robbed of our privacy.”
Zendaya called it "invasive," saying: “The equal sentiment [we both share] is just that when you really love and care about somebody, some moments or things, you wish were your own… I think loving someone is a sacred thing and a special thing and something that you want to deal with and go through and experience and enjoy amongst the two people that love each other.”
October 2021: Zendaya shares what she admires about Holland.
The pair may be tight-lipped about their relationship, but they have never been shy about praising each other's skills. The actor told InStyle that she really loved watching Holland at work. “In an actor way, I appreciate that he really loves being Spider-Man," said Z. "It's a lot of pressure — you take on the role of a superhero wherever you go. To the little kid who walks by, you are Spider-Man. I think he handled that so well. And seeing him at work, even though he's not a Virgo [laughs], he is a perfectionist. Our director allowed me to come in every day [of the shoot], and it was cool to see how he cares so much about his work and making it right.”
October 2021: It's revealed that Zendaya was Holland's celebrity crush.
After Z's Dune costar Timothée Chalamet basically got her to confirm Holland was her celeb crush, fans did a little digging and found a clip from 2017 where Holland admits Zendaya was his biggest crush. Ugh, a love written in the stars.
September 2021: Zendaya turns 25 and Holland wishes her happy birthday on Instagram.
In honor of Z's 25th birthday, Holland shared a behind-the-scenes snap from Spider-Man filming, where he's wearing part of his Spidey suit with Z peeking behind his back to take a mirror pic. Many fans took this as enough confirmation of their relationship status. "My MJ, have the happiest of birthdays," he wrote. "Gimme a call when your [sic] up xxx." Awww.
August 2021: Holland and Zendaya attend a wedding together.
The rumored couple were photographed attending a friend's wedding together in August 2021, with Holland seen resting his head on Zendaya as they watch the newlyweds' first dance.
July 2021: Holland and Zendaya are spotted kissing.
The costars were photographed kissing in a car in Los Angeles in July 2021, adding all the fuel in the world to those dating rumors they hadn't been able to shake.
May 2018: Holland shows Z love on social media.
Holland has always been supportive of Zendaya, right from the jump. Fans noted his use of emojis under many of her posts, with the actor serving as a hypeman for Zendaya in all her endeavors. We love to see it.
June 2017: Zendaya responds to dating rumors... again.
Z squashed the rumor that she and Tom had gone on vacation together, tweeting that her vacays were few and far between. "Wait wait... my favorite is when it says we go on vacations together HA! I haven't been on a vacation in years!" she wrote at the time. "Does the press tour count?" Holland chimed in.
June 2017: Holland and Zendaya jokingly respond to dating rumors.
In a perfect example of their witty back-and-forth, the costars shot down another round of romance rumors on Twitter. When a fan said they were "cooking up sweet romance," Z responded with a tongue-in-cheek reference to her banter with Holland. "Right, cause nothing says 'sweet romance' like dragging each other for filth on Twitter," she wrote. Has she never heard of enemies to lovers?
June 2017: Holland and Z share clothes on set.
The besties weren't afraid to borrow from each other's closets. During the press tour for Spider-Man: Homecoming, Holland showed off his — well, Zendaya's — new leather jacket. Perks of being friends with a fashion icon.
May 2017: Holland performs the Lip Sync Battle heard 'round the world.
We'd be remiss not to mention the classic "Umbrella" performance from Holland and Zendaya's episode of Lip Sync Battle, which goes viral on Twitter every other month, and for good reason. Z played Bruno Mars, but it was Holland-as-Rihanna who really stole the show — and our hearts.
November 2016: Holland says his first meeting with Zendaya was "embarrassing."
Apparently the actor didn't come off quite as suave as he had hoped when meeting his future costar. “My first meeting with Zendaya was very embarrassing actually, for me,” Holland shared at the time. “It was just one of those moments where it just wasn’t my smoothest moment.” Z, to her credit, didn't clock it. “I don’t remember this, but he says that there was some kind of awkward hug, shake thing,” she recalled.
And still, it was nothing but love between the costars right from the start. “I didn’t really know what to expect with Zendaya, but I was excited to see what she was like, and I was so surprised and so happy,” said Holland. “She’s one of the most professional and hardworking people I’ve ever met in my life." Zendaya echoed that sentiment about Holland: “He’s so nice, he’s one of the nicest people I think I’ve ever met. He’s just a good dude, so it’s really good thing to see good things going on for a good person.”
March 2016: Zendaya is cast in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
It all began in early 2016 when Z was cast as MJ opposite Holland's Peter Parker in the Spider-Man reboot. Little did they know this casting choice would lead to true love.
Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue
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