Celebrity relationships and friendships are a rare breed. These famous faces have their lives played out in front of the masses, whether it’s the good, the bad, or the straight-up shady. In Elite Daily’s It’s Complicated series, we’re highlighting the biggest celebrity "feuds" that took over Hollywood and dominated our Sunday brunches for weeks on end. We’ll take a deep dive into the lives and social media feeds of our favorite stars and dissect what happened in front of the camera, what went down behind the scenes, and everything you might have missed in between.
Riverdale has had one of the most loyal fan bases ever since the first episode aired in January 2017. Arguably more dedicated than fans of the TV series itself were the shippers of its on-screen-turned-real-life couple, Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart. Throughout their nearly three-year-long relationship, stans watched the super-private couple's every move on social media, during interviews, and on red carpets for the latest read on their relationship status. That's why, amid constant breakup rumors, these photos of Cole Sprouse and Lili Reinhart through the years were vital for fans.
Sprouse and Reinhart resisted the urge to confirm their relationship explicitly in its early stages. But, by all appearances, things really started to heat up between them in 2017 when they began posting flirty Instagrams and tweets about each other constantly. It wasn't until May 2018 that Sprouse and Reinhart would finally make their red carpet debut together, and then, in August of that same year, Reinhart called Sprouse "my love" in her birthday post to him.
Through it all, the pair kept explicit relationship updates close to the chest, all while "unnamed sources" insisted they were on the outs. So, Sprouse and Reinhart's photos together helped set fans straight on their relationship status.
June 4, 2016: Getting Close
Long before romance rumors really took off, Sprouse and Reinhart snapped this photo together with the actor's twin brother, Dylan. While it seemed like a casual outing at the time, the image later made fans second guess their relationship status.
July 2017: No Signs Of Romance
There was no PDA between Sprouse and Reinhart in photos from Comic-Con in 2017 despite reports Reinhart and Sprouse were spotted making out at Entertainment Weekly's party during the weekend-long event. There were, however, fan photos that surfaced of Reinhart wearing Sprouse's maroon blazer at the party, so that could have been a sign something was going on between the two.
January 2018: Photo Official... Kind Of
In a November 2017 interview with People, Sprouse said he'd never officially confirm the status of his relationship with Reinhart. But, three months later, the pair spent New Years in Hawaii together and even posed for photos with fans. Their holiday in the sun was as good as confirmation to fans that Sprousehart was the real deal.
May 7, 2018: Red Carpet Official
At long last, Sprouse and Reinhart finally made their red carpet debut as a couple at the 2018 Met Gala, and they looked picture perfect. While the outing wasn't an explicit confirmation that they were in a romantic relationship, the Met Gala presumably doesn't give plus ones to just anyone, so fans definitely read into the occasion.
July 28, 2018: A Subtle Date Night
The duo had the most low-key date night in Sprouse's Riverdale trailer, where they watched the rare Blood Moon lunar eclipse.
Aug. 4, 2019: Officially In Love
Days later, Reinhart called Sprouse her "love" in a since-deleted photo tribute for his birthday, the first explicit declaration that things were romantic between the pair.
Aug. 12, 2018: Trouble In Paradise?
Sprouse and Reinhart walked the 2018 Teen Choice Awards red carpet separately just months after their big debut, which confused fans who thought they had finally gotten all the clarity they needed on the couple's relationship status. Confusing things further, the pair ended up sitting together inside, though they weren't photographed showing any PDA.
Sept. 10, 2018: Oh, THERE'S The PDA
Weeks after their subdued Teen Choice Awards outing, Sprouse posted a flirty photo of himself going in for a kiss with Reinhart, subtly debunking any rumors of a split. "It’s pretty, pretty late," he wrote.
Nov. 22, 2018: Family Time
Sprouse spent Thanksgiving with Reinhart's entire family, so their relationship was still going strong at the time.
March 8, 2019: PDA Galore
After months of no public outings, Reinhart and Sprouse looked happy and in love at the premiere of Five Feet Apart, going as far as kissing and hugging on the red carpet.
July 21, 2019: Breakup Rumors Swirl
In a twist of events, Us Weekly reported Sprouse and Reinhart had broken up, and they kept their distance during Comic-Con that year.
The same day, Reinhart posted a photo that showed her sitting between KJ Apa and Cole during a panel and captioned it, "Please don’t put me between these two ever again," worrying fans even more. Considering breakup reports had just come out, they weren't so sure if she was serious or not.
July 25, 2019: Shutting Down The Rumors
Four days later, Sprouse and Reinhart's joint cover of W Magazine hit newsstands. While they posed together for the shoot, the duo reportedly requested separate interviews.
The same day, Reinhart tweeted: "Don’t believe everything you read on the internet, kids. And news sources should try a little harder to be less vile. 'Reliable sources' can kiss my ass."
For fans of the couple, their joint W Magazine cover shoot and Reinhart's tweet was enough to confirm they were still going strong.
Nov. 10, 2019: Riding Solo
Sure, Reinhart debunked rumors of a messy breakup in July, but after months of not stepping out together publicly, gossip the pair had split was fueled further when Sprouse showed up to the People's Choice Awards flying solo.
Nov. 25, 2019: Casual Hangs
Less than two weeks after Sprouse attended the People's Choice Awards alone, Reinhart posted a picture of the pair together with Riverdale costar Casey Cott and another pal. The snap gave fans hope things were still going strong for Sprousehart. They had no clue it would be the last non-Riverdale-related picture Sprouse and Reinhart put on social media.
Aug. 19, 2020: The Breakup
Sprouse confirmed in an emotional Instagram post that he and Reinhart split. He accompanied the announcement with one of the many photos he'd taken of Reinhart over the course of their relationship. In his post, Sprouse revealed they initially split in January 2020, but it wasn't until March when they agreed to split "more permanently."
"What an incredible experience I had, I’ll always feel lucky and cherish that I had the chance to fall in love," he wrote. "I wish her nothing but the utmost love and happiness moving forward. All I’ll say about it, anything else you hear doesn’t matter."