Ashley Tisdale Pens Heartfelt Birthday Tribute to Vanessa Hudgens' Ex Austin Butler

It's the start of something new for Austin Butler. Ashley Tisdale wished her longtime friend (who happens to be the ex of her High School Musical co-star Vanessa Hudgens) a happy 30th birthday.

By Lindsay Weinberg Aug 17, 2021 11:54 PMTags
Watch: Ashley Tisdale Gives Birth, Names Daughter After Planet

Ashley Tisdale's latest Instagram post has some fans doing a double take. Is she really bopping to the top with her bestie's ex-boyfriend? 

The Carol's Second Act actress wished Austin Butler a happy 30th birthday on Aug. 17, writing, "I am beyond proud of you and everything you're accomplishing but most importantly proud of the person you are."

Though he's risen to fame for landing the coveted role of Elvis Presley in an upcoming biopic, Austin is also recognizable to High School Musical stans as the former boyfriend of Ashley's co-star, Vanessa Hudgens

But there's a very simple explanation here. Lest you forget, while Ashley and Vanessa worked side-by-side on the Disney Channel trilogy, the Sharpay icon became close friends with Austin. 

"I can't believe your 30!!! [sic] Welcome to the club buddy!" Ashley, 36, wrote in her post, which included throwback photos of the pair. "You've been my best friend since you were 15 so that's 15 years strong of friendship!"

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Vanessa Hudgens and Ashley Tisdale's Cutest BFF Moments

For the mathletes out there: Austin turned 15 just a few months after High School Musical came out in 2006. Ashley was 21 at the time. It was five years later when he first sparked romance rumors the Vanessa in 2011. 

Ashley continued her birthday message to her "closest friend through the years" by saying, "You're the type of friend that came over when I was crying on the floor from a horrible breakup and not only lifted me off the ground but brought my favorite candy."

Jerod Harris/Getty Images

"I honestly didn't think anyone would ever understand me like you," the new mom gushed. "But then enter my husband and You happily embraced him like a brother."

Though she married Christopher French in 2014, she knows there's "no one" like Austin and called him "my twin born 7 years later." 

Ashley then got sentimental by bringing up Austin's late mom, Lori Butler, who died in 2014 of undisclosed causes. At the time, Vanessa's mom wrote a tribute to "our angel in heaven." 

As the Phineas and Ferb alum wrote this week, "I can imagine your mom is beaming of joy watching everything you do and is with you every step of the way. I hope you know how loved you are!" 

Of course, her walk down memory lane wasn't complete without bringing up The Carrie Diaries star's surprise appearance in Sharpay's Fabulous Adventure in 2011, when he played Peyton Leverett.

Ben Mark Holzberg/Disney Channel via Getty Images

Ashley quipped, "ps remember that one time I convinced you to be in my Disney movie Sharpays fabulous adventure well look at you now!!"

Fans quickly shut down other users that brought up Vanessa's nine-year relationship with the actor, which ended in January 2020. "Why are people talking about Vanessa, they're all good friends and they all follow each other! Yes they're exes but he's been a massive part of Ashley's life for a long time," one said. "She's not just going to ignore that."

Another added that they "love this friendship so much," and we couldn't agree more. 

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