The Disney Channel may be an epic place to start your career, but under such a big spotlight at such a young age can also come with a lot of negativity. Just like Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez were pinned against each other early on despite being friends for years before making their respective Disney debuts, Zendaya and Bella Thorne went through a similar experience being pinned as rivals. The now super-famous friends got their start playing onscreen BFFs on Disney Channel's hit series Shake It Up in 2010, and there's no denying how far they've come since. Of course, like everyone else in the world, the pals went through some adolescent changes that led them down different career and life paths, often leading people to speculate their friendship had ended. This timeline of Zendaya and Bella Thorne's friendship tells a story that goes much deeper than what any fan may expect.
Back in 2014, Thorne opened up about how she and Zendaya got off to a rocky start in 2010 when Shake It Up first started filming. “Zendaya and I were put in a very unfortunate position where we were kind of forced to compete against each other [during Shake It Up], which made the whole first season of the show just very awkward for us,” Thorne told J-14. “We wanted to love each other, but yet we were constantly being put against each other. It was, ‘Who’s better at this?’ and ‘Who’s better at that?'”
Luckily, even at a young age, the women were able to put their differences aside and realize they are both talented in their own right. When they finally did that, they quickly became besties. So, let's take a look back at their friendship timeline.
2011: Finally Friends
Thorne and Zendaya ended up becoming BFFs during season 2 of Shake It Up. “And then, second season, we kind of just had this tell-all talk where we started crying and really just put everything out there on the table, and that’s when we became best friends," Thorne explained to J-14.
2014: Red Carpet Cuties
Despite their series ending in November 2013, Thorne and Zendaya remained close friends, often accompanying each other to red carpet events, like the Blended premiere in May 2014.
They also posed together at the premiere of Alexander And The No Good Very Bad Day in October 2014.
2016: Low-Key Hang Sessions
By 2016, Zendaya and Thorne were both very famous, with Zendaya then starring in, and helping produce, Disney's K.C. Undercover, and Thorne still riding the success from her film Blended. With their show behind them and their busy schedules front-and-center, they still made time to hangout. In February of that year, the girls did what any BFFs do at some point: Had a car karaoke jam session together.
Thorne proved how comfortable her and Zendaya's relationship was when she trolled her for her parking job.
2017: No Drama To See Here
Thorne put any rumors of a strained friendship behind her when she opened up about her and Zendaya's bond during a J-17 interview. "We text each other all the time, and we’re always sending photos back and forth,” Thorne said.
2018: On Each Other's Side
While Zendaya and Thorne weren't publicly hanging out together all the time, the two made it very clear on social media that there was no beef between them.
In February 2018, Thorne came across a tweet posted by Seventeen Mexico comparing her and Zendaya's red lipstick. Instead of getting heated over the unfortunate comparison, Thorne had the perfect response that showed her love for Zendaya.
"Beauty battle?" Thorne tweeted. "That’s not right. Damn it’s been years and people still wanna pin us against each other in some way. :( love you z."
2019: More Public Support
The following June, Zendaya rushed to the defense of Thorne after Thorne released her own nude photos in response to a hacker attempting to blackmail her with them. Thorne was subsequently slammed for her actions, including by The View's Whoopi Goldberg who criticized Thorne for taking the photos to begin with. Thorne responded to Goldberg's comments in an emotional IG Story at the time, saying: “I just want to say that me watching this video made me feel really bad about myself ... You’re so crazy for thinking such terrible things on such an awful situation.”
Thorne shared screenshots of text messages of support from her friends, including Zendaya. In one message, The Greatest Showman actress wrote: "You are strong and courageous and beautiful inside and out. You’re a light and I’m proud of you. Love you."
2020: Still Strong Friends
Despite people attempting to create drama between Thorne and Zendaya for nearly a decade, Thorne set the record straight once again during an interview with Entertainment Tonight.
"I think people love pitting women against each other," Thorne said. "It's always this and that. It's been happening to me and Zendaya since we started the damn show. It's no surprise."
In the same interview, Thorne also gushed over her hope that Zendaya would take home an Emmy for Best Lead Actress for her role in Euphoria. "I just hope she f*kcing wins," Thorne said. "I love her."
No matter what has happened, or will happen in the future, Thorne and Zendaya's friendship is refreshingly drama-free.