It feels like decades have passed since Shawn Mendes and Hailey Baldwin attended the Met Gala together in 2018. After all, Baldwin married Bieber the same year, and they’re still going strong. Mendes, meanwhile, celebrated his two-year anniversary with Camila Cabello in July 2021. But just three years later, the two couples reunited at the Met Gala on Sept. 13 and had a very normal, civil interaction that, naturally, went viral on TikTok, with many fans dubbing it “awkward” and difficult to watch.
The 25-second clip was taken from Vogue’s “Get Ready for the Met Gala” video. Cabello hugs Baldwin and Bieber and compliments the latter’s performance from the night before at the MTV VMAs. Mendes tells Bieber he looks good, and Bieber notes that Mendes is rocking “the no shirt vibes.” Then, Baldwin tells Bieber they have to go, and adds, “We’ll see you guys there.” All four say goodbye, and Bieber even throws in a, “Love you so much.” All in all, it’s a standard, albeit brief, conversation.
User @dreamofmendes shared the video on TikTok. “I feel so awkward watching this,” they wrote. Several commenters noted the “tension,” and E! News argued that the clip could win an award for “most awkward Met Gala interaction.” No one can really explain why it’s so awkward to watch, though: Maybe it’s the very surface-level small talk, or maybe it’s the fact that the couples didn’t walk in together. Maybe it’s just confusing that such a polite, unexciting conversation was filmed and shared in the first place. But ostensibly, the really awkward part is Mendes’ reported history with Baldwin.
Baldwin and Mendes never officially dated, but their friendship dates back to November 2017, when they attended the same Europe Music Awards after-party and even took some pics together. A month later, TMZ published photographs of the two cuddling at a Daniel Caesar concert. In May 2018, they went to the Met Gala as dates, but they both said they were single — and just weeks later, in June 2018, Baldwin was photographed kissing Bieber. She promptly deleted all photos of Mendes from her Instagram and got engaged to Bieber in July 2018, but everyone involved seemed to stay on good terms. “I love them both,” Mendes told ETALK in June 2018 “They’re both really awesome people.”
For years, Mendes and Baldwin maintained they were just friends, but in a November 2018 interview with Rolling Stone, Mendes admitted they were in “more of a zone of limbo.” Either way, everything worked out, and Mendes and Bieber have even collaborated in the years since. There’s clearly no tension here. Sure, from the looks of their Met Gala conversation, these two couples might not be double dating, but the only awkward part of the night was the very confusing dress code.