Once upon a time, there were two beautiful princesses. One raven-haired, one with locks of blonde. The princesses both lived (and worked) in a magical land called Hollywood, but they were never rivals; instead, they each reigned over their own kingdoms of film and music, respectively.
When the princesses weren't hanging out in their castles, hosting private listening parties of upcoming albums and testing out cookie recipes, they ventured out into the kingdom to attend movie premieres and wave to their admirers from behind velvet ropes. When they wanted to keep things low key and forget about all the responsibility that comes with being a princess, they went out for ice cream.
But slowly, over time, the two princesses began to grow apart. There were a great many suitors, and royal duties, and even new princesses to befriend, all of which got in the way. They've lived happily ever after, of course; so happily, in fact, that most of the members of the kingdom plum forgot they even used to be BFFs.
But not E! News. We're here to remind everyone of the princesses' friendship, and most importantly, to figure out where it all went astray. For this is the investigation of Taylor Swift and Emma Stone.
To understand, let's go back to the very beginning. It all started at the Young Hollywood Awards in 2008, where they met for the very first time. This is a day that will go down in history, mostly because most people still don't know what exactly transpired at this party. Folklore has it that, while photographed together, the friendship didn't really kick off until they started emailing back-and-forth after the awards. It all exploded from there.
Suddenly, Stone and Swift (Stift? Taystone?) were all the rage in the world of celebrity besties. This relationship truly pre-dated the idea of the squad (especially the Taylor Swift squad, the concept of which didn't fully form until the 1989 tour), but it was clear that fans and the press regarded them as such. They were constantly chased by paparazzi, and every joint outing was hailed as total #friendshipgoals, again before the trend even existed.
They were spotted on ice cream dates, going to dinner and perusing the bins at candy shops, but the shining moment of friendship was their red carpet debut, at the September, 2010 premiere of Easy A. Emma took Taylor as her date to the big event, and an entire generation let out a squeal in unison. Once they went red carpet offish, the A-list outings kept coming. A Weinstein Company cocktail bash! The Vanity Fair Oscars after party! They were two red hot celebrities in a red hot friendship, with nothing to stand in the way of their branded photo booth domination.
It was around this time that the entertainment journalists swarmed. The union of two Hollywood It Girls was too much not to write about, and so the incessant questioning began. This bore the world a plethora of adorable sound bites, like Emma spilling that Taylor has a "sick sense of humor." Or describing her private Speak Now listening session by gushing "It's exciting for it to be out and to own the songs, instead of just be singing them in my head."
And let's not forget the time Taylor told PopSugar, "The [friends] that are like sisters to me are Selena Gomez and Emma Stone... They can predict my thoughts; I've known them for so long it's really cool to have friends that are that close."
Next came a textbook Taylor move: Emma received a coveted invite to a Fourth of July party. At the 2014 festivities, the actress and then-boyfriend Andrew Garfield were firmly implanted among the squad in Rhode Island, baking those whipped-cream-and-blueberry flag cakes and yachting with the likes of Jaime King and Lena Dunham. Everything seemed great: There were smiles and slightly humble-brag-y Instagram posts all around, and they were on a yacht for Pete's sake. Then tragedy struck.
Five months later, Taylor went to see Emma perform in Cabaret on Broadway. She Instagrammed her enthusiasm for the occasion, saying "Got to see Emma KILL IT in Cabaret last night! Every new project she takes on is even more excellent than her last and it has inspired me since the day I met her 7 years ago." But, behind those supportive words were a dark secret—we think. Because that would be the last time Emma and Taylor hung out. That we know of, at least.
They continued to circle around each other's lives—they are both in Hollywood, of course—but circling is as far as it got. They both attended the Saturday Night Live 40th anniversary show but there is no evidence to prove that they even interacted at all: They walked the carpet at different times and didn't pose together once. Emma supposedly attended a stop of Taylor's 1989 tour, but she never made it onstage like basically every single one of her peers, a move that is perhaps the most telling of all.
Stone and Swift also began to form deeper friendships with other members of the, ahem, La La Land tribe. Taylor famously went the way of the Victoria's Secret model, while Emma buddied up to fellow ingénues like Adele and Jennifer Lawrence.
So what happened here? How did a fairy tale friendship go the way of a cautionary tale? Perhaps, like so many relationships of our youth, they simply grew apart. People change so much throughout their twenties that it's understandable if your interests simply cease to align. They both have had big career changes and serious relationships to fall into that losing a few friends here and there is simple mathematics.
Or maybe it was Cabaret. It's widely agreed-upon that Emma was excellent in the Broadway show, but anyone who's been to the theater will know what it's like to sit through a play. Time moves like molasses and you always have to pee. An extended version of "Mein Herr" after one of those jumbo sodas could have been the last straw.
Or maybe it was really over after the Fourth of July party. Was Emma given a less-than-ideal room assignment? Did she always try to stuff one more cup into the recycling in an attempt to get out of emptying it? What if she couldn't get the strawberry placement on the flag cake just so and Taylor would have none of it?
Perhaps they stayed low-key friends for awhile, but then when they "accidentally" wound up with the same platinum blonde bob it had to end? There surely isn't room for two bobs in a friendship.
Maybe Taylor didn't invite Emma onstage at 1989. Maybe Emma turned down an invitation onstage at 1989. Maybe Andrew Garfield and Calvin Harris didn't get along. Maybe Emma told Taylor she didn't like crop tops. Maybe Taylor "just didn't get the hype" La La Land. (Actually, scratch that last one; it's too blasphemous to even joke about.)
Or maybe, just maybe, s--t happens.