Harry Styles, 25, was back on the stage at 30 Rock! The Brit pulled double duty as host and musical guest on Saturday, Nov. 16 and threw some hilarious — and, um — unexpected shade in his opening monologue! “I love those guys,” he said to the audience, referring to his former One Direction bandmates. “They’re my brothers. Niall, Louis, Liam and…mmm oh — Ringo!” he added, blanking on Zayn Malik‘s name. Twitter immediately started freaking out over the legendary diss, and fans were quick to voice their opinions!
“Ringo,” of course, refers to the iconic Beatles drummer Ringo Starr who infamously was the first member to leave the group after a tension-filled recording session for their 1968 album. Like Ringo, Zayn was also the first member to leave the wildly popular 1D — often thought of as The Beatles for a new generation — back in 2015. Zayn later shaded his former bandmates, whom he had worked with since their inception on The X Factor in 2010, calling the music “generic as f–k.” After his departure, Harry, Niall, Louis and Liam continued on as a foursome releasing their final album in 2015 and Zayn went on to have a successful solo career.
Fans immediately responded to the joke on social media, and some of the tweets were epic. “@Harry_Styles did you just call @zaynmalik ‘Ringo’? I know you’re joking but baby NO!” @zarry_Spencer wrote on Twitter. “Zayn living in their minds rent free while they stay name dropping him hoping to get a reaction out of him,” Zayn stan @zicarusfalIz tweeted. “you try saying that again when your fave constantly gets s— just for simply EXISTING,” user @bohemian_blood added. “I love Harry, but I’m truly starting to lose faith in the other boys for not keeping their story straight with Zayn since his departure or they do little jabs like this. not cool,” they continued.
Harry fans also jumped in, defending their king! “In 4 yrs, he has not referred to Zayn,” @ishouldbesmokin wrote. “There was no shade. He did not have to mention Zayn. It is officially the 4 of them. He did it as someone who has an inside joke. It’s like Zayn is at home saying to the screen ‘That a** called me Ringo.’ Then text him like ‘Really, Ringo.'”