A Very Thorough Timeline of Tom Holland and Zendaya’s Surprisingly Low-Key Relationship

tom and zendaya
Tom and Zendaya Just Celebrated Her B-Day in NYCDavid M. Benett - Getty Images

When it was reported that Tom Holland and Zendaya were officially, definitely dating, it was long-awaited and joyous news to their fans, who have pretty much been rooting for them since 2016 (aka when they first bonded/showed the world their unmissable chemistry while filming Spider-Man: Homecoming).

If you need some help sorting out the details of their relationship, you are not alone and that’s totally fair—the couple has made a point of keeping things pretty low-key, making it tough to pin down *exactly* when they took the leap from just amazing friends who everyone not-so-secretly shipped to bona fide couple. Keep scrolling for all the answers the internet has to offer about Tom and Zendaya’s romance.

July 10, 2016

Spider-Man: Homecoming didn’t come out until 2017, but fans got a sneak peek at their adorable vibes the year before when they started making cameos in each other’s IG posts, like this picture of them enjoying a pool day with a third friend that Tom shared in July 2016.

November 9, 2016

That fall, Zendaya gave an early look at just how close her bond with Tom was when she posted a picture of their Hollywood Reporter cover, along with a full-on aww-inducing caption. “Amidst all the chaos and sadness…this one good thing did happen to me today,” she wrote. “Honored to share it with the very best…Spider-Man himself @tomholland2013. 🙏🏽”

July 5, 2017

As part of the promotional blitz leading up to the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming, Tom and Zendaya appeared on Lip Sync Battle, and Tom’s mashup of “Singin’ in the Rain” and “Umbrella” promptly went viral. The performance highlighted the pair’s sense of humor and also featured Tom briefly grinding on Zendaya (you know, like you do with all your most platonic friends).

Early July 2017

Within days of Spider-Man: Homecoming’s premiere on July 7, 2017, rumors started circulating that Tom and Zendaya were a couple IRL (not surprising, on account of the aforementioned incredible chemistry they shared in the movie).

barcelona, spain   june 18  the stars and filmmakers of spider man homecoming, actors tom holland, zendaya and director jon watts appear in barcelona on the occasion of the cineeurope event on june 18, 2017 in barcelona, spain  photo by robert marquardtgetty images for sony pictures
Robert Marquardt - Getty Images

“They started seeing each other while they were filming Spider-Man,” a source told People of their alleged romance. “They’ve been super careful to keep it private and out of the public eye but they’ve gone on vacations with each other and try and spend as much time as possible with one another.”

Another insider offered some insight into what made their rumored relationship work at the time, saying, “They’re both really ambitious and they challenge each other—but most importantly, they make each other crack up. They seem to have a really similar sense of humor and love joking around together. They have great banter back and forth.”

Unfortunately, Tom had already shut down dating rumors around the same time, telling People he and Z were BFFs in an interview shortly before the movie premiered.

“We are, like, the best of friends. She’s so great and amazing,” he said at the time. “I’m a little worried [about dealing with fame…but] Zendaya is super famous and she’s been through this and I just call her up and say, ‘How do I manage being famous?’ I’m very glad I have a friend like her.”

July 13, 2017

Zendaya and Tom publicly dragged the romance rumors in a hilarious exchange on Twitter that highlighted their shared sense of humor and, TBH, only made fans ship them harder.

london, england   june 15  tom holland and zendaya attend the spider man  homecoming photocall at the ham yard hotel on june 15, 2017 in london, england  photo by karwai tangwireimage
Karwai Tang - Getty Images

“Wait, wait…my favorite is when it says we go on vacations together HA!” Zendaya wrote in reference to the People report. “I haven’t been on a vacation in years! Hbu @tomholland1996 ???”

Tom replied, asking, “Does the press tour count?”

August 2017

Zendaya continued to deny that she and Tom were anything more than best friends throughout the summer. In a Variety interview published August 8, she said, “He’s a great dude. He’s literally one of my best friends. This past how many months, we’ve had to do press tours together. There’s very few people that will understand what that’s like at 20 years old.”

The next day, Entertainment Tonight reported that even though Zendaya still insisted she and Tom were just friends, she wasn’t surprised by the dating rumors.

“It happens all the time, and of course we expected it,” she said. “I mean, it comes with the territory. It comes with the job, so it’s all good.”

December 16, 2017

By the end of the year, reports circulated that Tom had met Zendaya’s parents, Claire Stoermer and Kazembe Ajamu Coleman, and they were “charmed” by him.

“Tom has met Zendaya’s family and they love him,” a source told Us Weekly at the time. “They are still seeing each other. It’s been about a year.”

May 8, 2018

The following spring, Zendaya attended the Met Gala and Tom was so stunned by her lewk that he posted about it on Instagram, where he captioned the photo, “All hail the queen. Killing it, mate. 🙌🏻”

October 12, 2018

In October, pictures of Zendaya holding on to Tom while the pair filmed scenes for Spider-Man: Far From Home made the rounds online, reminding fans just how much they wanted T and Z’s onscreen love to be real too. Can you blame them though? Look at her BEAMING smile:

new york, ny   october 12 tom holland and zendaya are seen on october 12, 2018 in new york city  photo by mediapunchbauer griffingc images
MediaPunch/Bauer-Griffin - Getty Images

May 9, 2019

Tom reignited more-than-friends rumors when people noticed his, um, interesting tag placement in this group picture on Instagram. Zendaya joined the masses in raising an eyebrow at the tag and commented, “I’m assuming because you don’t know how to work [Instagram], that’s the reasoning behind my name placement.”

Still, when a fan asked her later if Tom’s tagging placement was a subliminal slip, Z insisted it wasn’t anything deeper than a mistake. “Nah, he’s just Instagram stupid,” she tweeted.

Tom later addressed the snafu in an interview with British GQ in April 2021.

“You mean because I tagged Zendaya over my groin in an Instagram post?” he joked when asked about the ongoing relationship rumors. “That was so funny; it was obviously a mistake. But in all seriousness, it is also incredibly frustrating. It’s very nerve-racking. It means that if you are dating someone, you have to be really conscious of their feelings, because if something does happen between the two of you, it’s not just happening between the two of you, it’s happening in front of the entire world. And it can be very complicated. It’s one of the things I worry about most, of all the things in my career.”

June 30, 2021

Rumors that Tom and Zendaya were a couple died down for a couple of years, during which time they were both linked to other people (Zendaya reportedly dated her Euphoria costar Jacob Elordi, while Tom was linked to Nadia Parkes). Then in June, TMZ reported that they had been spotted getting dinner on what appeared to be a date in Los Angeles.

July 1, 2021

The next day, the dating rumors were upgraded to “confirmed” when Tom and Zendaya were photographed making out in a car in L.A. (Page Six ran the pics, which were quasi internet-breaking).

August 2021

Tom and Zendaya continued to act like a couple throughout the summer, attending the wedding of their friend Josh Florez (where they were snapped in pictures that ended up on Insta).

September 1, 2021

Tom and Zendaya went Instagram official with their relationship on her birthday. Tom shared a behind-the-scenes picture from the Spider-Man set, captioned, “My MJ, have the happiest of birthdays. Gimme a call when your [sic] up xxx.”

Five hours later, Zendaya commented on the post, “Calling now. ♥️”

October 12, 2021

Zendaya openly gushed about Tom in her cover interview with InStyle magazine, praising his passion about playing Spider-Man and his perfectionism on-set.

“Our director allowed me to come in every day [of the shoot], and it was cool to see how he cares so much about his work and making it right,” she explained. “I watched him do a fight scene all day, which is exhausting. He’d do a move, come back to the monitors, watch it, and say, ‘I can do that better.’ I’d be like, ‘Dude, you got it.’ But he wants us to be perfect, and I really appreciate that.”

She also took a moment to share some of the things she loves most about Tom, who appears to be turning her into an honorary Brit.

“Yeah, he’s a fun time,” she added. “Very charismatic, can make anybody feel comfortable and have a good laugh and a good chat. A good chat—I sound so British.”

October 18, 2021

Tom showed his support for Zendaya’s latest movie, Dune, on Instagram, sharing a stunning picture of her from the movie’s premiere captioned simply, “Dune. 😍”

October 20, 2021

During the Dune press tour, Timothée Chalamet was asked to name Zendaya’s celebrity crush and said, “Easy, Tom Holland.” Her reaction? Pretty much the cutest thing ever:

November 11, 2021

Tom took to Instagram again to show Zendaya some love after the 2021 CFDA Awards, sharing a picture of her gorgeous red carpet look, captioned, “Naaa stop it. 😍 An incredible achievement for the most incredible person. Congrats @zendaya and @luxurylaw you guys deserve every bit of this.”

November 17, 2021

Tom Holland was profiled in GQ and vaguely spoke about his relationship with Zendaya without name-dropping her, saying, “One of the downsides of our fame is that privacy isn’t really in our control anymore, and a moment that you think is between two people that love each other very much is now a moment that is shared with the entire world.”

December 5, 2021

Tom spotted Zendaya on a red carpet and mused, “There she is, looking beautiful, I might add.”

December 13, 2021

Tom interrupted an interview when he spotted Zendaya on the Spider-Man premiere carpet. Honestly, you just have to watch.

December 16, 2021

Zendaya paid tribute to her Spidey on Instagram, writing, “My Spider-Man, I’m so proud of you, some things never change and good thing.”

January 6, 2022

In an interview with Access Hollywood about Euphoria season 2, Zendaya spilled that Tom visited the set a few times and joked about him having a lil season 3 cameo. “He keeps talking about it,” she said. “Maybe we can get him in the background of a shot eventually, but he definitely came by [the set].”

January 25, 2022

Tom and Zendaya were spotted in London at the end of January, and they were seen around his family’s home doing a bit of shopping and spending time with his mom and two younger brothers. For an evening, the whole family apparently went out together to the Palace Theatre in London’s West End to see Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. Aww.

March 15, 2022

“Yours is just really good,” Tom gushed about Zendaya’s first Spider-Man: Homecoming audition in a YouTube vid alongside his GF and costar Jacob Batalon 🥺❤️.

June 1, 2022

In honor of Tom's 26th birthday, Zendaya shared a beyond-sweet snap of the two of them on Instagram, writing, “Happiest of birthdays to the one who makes me the happiest <3.” BRB, sobbing!

July 7, 2022

The New York Post reported that Zendaya and Tom’s relationship has reached new heights, aka they were spotted looking at notoriously pricey properties together in New York City. How pricey, you ask? A cool $5.35 million. After all, we’re talking about a 5-bedroom, 4,400-square-foot townhouse in Brooklyn’s Fort Greene/Clinton Hill area here. “At 22 feet wide, it features plenty of indoor and outdoor space, along with earthy, stone-colored neutral, light-filled interiors,” the outlet wrote of the property, which dates back to the 1860s. *le sigh* To be an A-list actor!

September 1, 2022

Z celebrated turning 26 alongside Tom, and the two were spotted at NYC Italian restaurant Mamo. The Disney Channel alum also took a sec to commemorate the special day in an Instagram post on Friday. Sharing a throwback photo of herself in a pool, the actor wrote, “I get to spend the day responding to the most beautiful messages (sorry I’m a little late) thank y’all for filling my heart with so much love, I couldn’t be more grateful. 💕 Here’s to 26!”

November 23, 2022

An Us Weekly source blesses us with an update, saying Tom and Zendaya are "absolutely planning for a real future together,” that their relationship is “serious and permanent,” and that they're "in settling-down mode."

December 1, 2022

Zendaya's mom posts a screenshot that seems to have been written on her notes app—a *chef's kiss choice, might I add—complete with the definition of the word "clickbait" on her Instagram.

The Story reads: "Clickbait typically refers to the practice of writing sensationalized or misleading headlines in order to attract clicks on a piece of content. It often relies on exaggerating claims or leaving out key information in order to encourage traffic. The term is generally used in a dismissive sense." Oop!

claire stoermer instagram
Claire Stoermer - Instagram

Though the note kiiind of gives cryptic vibes, many eagle-eyed netizens immediately made the association between the Story and the recent speculation about her daughter's engagement after Pop Hive claimed that the couple was "reportedly engaged" in secret via Twitter.

Neither Zendaya nor Tom have addressed these rumors, but given their low-key style it's not the most shocking response. Tbh I think it's time to start taking notes from these two and Taylor and Joe.

March 21, 2023

Zendaya's nail artist posts a photo of her manicure annnnnnd that's def a ring with Tom's initials!

Aaaaand that pretty much brings us to this duo’s ’ship at the moment! This timeline will be updated with the next chapter of Z and Tom’s romance, fear not.

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