Romance has been treading on a
thin line this summer. Some of Hollywood’s most unsuspecting, private, and slightly controversial duos have called it quits, leaving many to wonder what’s brewing in the air this season. Fortunately, there have been several couples that have outstood this chaotic breakup period, such as Zendaya and Tom Holland. Their relationship rides the “friends-to-lovers” pipeline that’s had social media (ahem, BookTok) in a chokehold for years. And for that, fans can tip their hats to Marvel.
Ever since Zendaya and Tom starred in the MCU’s
in 2016, their Spider-Man: Homecoming chemistry has been through the roof. After four years of sweet moments on the red carpet and press interviews, the two unintentionally hard-launched their relationship in 2021. Since then, the two have largely maintained their privacy. Even with that discreet approach, that hasn’t stopped their romance from being marred with marriage and pregnancy rumors.
Here’s a full breakdown of their relationship, from their flirtatious
promotional run to engagement rumors. Spider-Man
March 2016: Zendaya & Tom Officially Entered The MCU
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Let’s give another round of applause to Marvel. In March 2016, Zendaya was
cast as MJ — also known as Mary Jane Watson — in the rebooted franchise. Meanwhile, Holland reportedly landed his role as Spider-Man Peter Parker in 2015 and debuted his web-slinging powers that following year. Months after filming wrapped up, the two stars showed off their chemistry several times.
They were all smiles while attending Comic Con in July 2016, as seen above. That same month, Tom posted a sweet photo of him and Zendaya
enjoying the summer weather on Instagram. Four months later, Zendaya praised Tom while sharing their cover. Hollywood Reporter “Amidst all the chaos and sadness, this one good thing did happen to me today. Honored to share it with the very best Spider-Man himself,” she wrote on Instagram.
June 2017: Zendaya & Tom Began The Cutest Press Tour Run Ever
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Before the film was released in July 2017, the two served up
major co-star goals on the Spider-Man press tour. Whether on the blue carpet, in interviews, or as surprise guests on TV (ahem, their joint appearance on Lip Sync Battle in May of that year), it’s clear their friendship was meant to be.
July 2017: Zendaya & Tom Playfully Denied Dating Rumors
Their infectious friendship hit a new peak. In an interview with
People that year, Holland marveled (no pun intended) over his connection with Zendaya. “We are like the best of friends. She’s so great and amazing,” he said at the time, adding he learned how to handle fame from Zendaya. “I just call her up and say, ‘How do I manage being famous?’ I’m very glad I have a friend like her.” BRB, currently sobbing.
It wasn’t long until dating rumors began to follow them. The duo became aware of them, and they denied the speculations in a lighthearted way. That same month, Tom and Zendaya responded to a now-deleted tweet that suggested they
“went on vacation together.” Tom joked, “Does the [ Spider-man] press tour count?”
2019: Zendaya Reportedly Started Dating Jacob Elordi
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There’s no better way to shut down romance rumors than to date other people. In 2019, Zendaya started her stint as the memorable Rue in HBO’s
. She also reportedly Euphoria began dating her costar Jacob Elordi, who plays Nate Jacobs in the series.
People, the two were “ cozy” at the American Australian Arts Awards dinner in January 2020. That following month, they were seen kissing during an outing in New York City. After a few more public PDAs and a couple of trips, the duo quietly called it quits in 2020. In September of that year, Elordi began dating Kaia Gerber.
July 2020: Tom Reportedly Started Dating Nadia Parkes
Tom also bypassed the rumored Zendaya romance. In July 2020, the actor
hard-launched his relationship with British actress Nadia Parkes on Instagram. According to the , the two reportedly quarantined together during the early days of the pandemic. It’s not exactly clear when the couple split; however, this next moment in the timeline ensured that Tom had moved on. Daily Mail
July 2021: Zendaya & Tom Were Spotted Kissing
August 2021: Zendaya & Tom Attended A Friend’s Wedding Together
While the rumored couple remained tight-lipped about their romance, that didn’t stop them from publicly hanging out. The following month after their kiss, Zendaya and Tom
attended a friend’s wedding together.
September 2021: The Rumored Couple Seemingly Made Their Relationship IG Official
After two months of silence, Tom seemingly hard-launched his relationship with Zendaya on Instagram. It’s a rather touching approach, as he first debuted their friendship on the platform. On Sept. 1, Tom shared a sweet
behind-the-scenes photo of him and Zendaya for her 25th birthday. “My MJ, have the happiest of birthdays. Gimme a call when you’re up,” he wrote on the post, which features the then-birthday girl taking a photo of him in the mirror. My heart.
December 2021: Zendaya & Tom Reunited For Another Memorable Press Run
Emma McIntyre/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Similar to their 2017 press run, their excursion for 2021’s
Spider-Man: No Way Home was just as iconic. The two were seen photographed together on many occasions, including when Zendaya wore her custom spider dress. Though MJ isn’t a glam girl, her Marvel character would certainly approve of this look.
June 2022: Zendaya Wished Tom A Happy Birthday On Instagram
If their carpet interactions don’t warm your heart, then their rare Instagram shoutouts will do the trick. On June 1, Zendaya honored Tom’s birthday with a sweet post. “Happiest of birthdays to the one who makes me the happiest," she wrote, featuring a photo of
her and Tom embracing one another. S’cute!
That same month, the couple also endured some pregnancy rumors. According to
The Cut, the pregnancy rumor started after a TikTok of an ultrasound that was photoshopped on Zendaya’s Instagram went viral. The singer-actor shut down the speculation on her Instagram Stories. “See now, this is why I stay off Twitter," she wrote. “Just making stuff up for no reason… weekly.”
September 2023: Zendaya Hilariously Cleared Up Those Engagement Rumors
Daniele Venturelli/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
That wasn’t the only rumor that plagued Zendaya and Tom’s relationship. In September, speculation arose the two were engaged after Zendaya posted a mirror selfie on her Instagram Stories. In the photo, the
Euphoria star showed off her Golden State Warriors hat; however, many fans couldn’t help but notice the pearl ring on her finger. With a playful quickness, Zendaya cleared up the rumors in a since-deleted Stories. “I can’t post anything, you guys. I posted it for my hat. Like, not for the ring on my finger, you guys. Seriously, you think that’s how I would drop the news? You think? Like, what?” She said in the video, holding back her laughter. right Don't miss a thing
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