Stars Who Are No Longer In Taylor Swift's Squad

By the time 2015 rolled around, it was hard to avoid the phenomenon known as #squadgoals. That is, according to The Guardian, "An aspirational term used on social media to highlight something you and your friends want to accomplish." The trending hashtag blew up in large part thanks to "Taylor Swift and her PR machine" using the phrase to talk about her group of friends — a.k.a. Taylor Swift's squad

And who wouldn't want to be a part of this crew? The collective of high-profile celebs and the singer-songwriter's childhood friends seemed to be everywhere, from music videos to concerts to epic parties that only the rich and well-connected could ever dream of. But the good times and fairy tale friendships were eventually tested. As these carefree pals grew older and sometimes further apart, the real drama stemmed from two major events in Swift's career, which showed the true allegiances — but more on those details below. From this point, it was champagne for the "Blank Space" hitmaker's real friends and real pain for her sham friends.

Though the squad may never die, it's time to find out the stars who are no longer in Taylor Swift's squad.

How did Taylor Swift start her squad?

The origin story of Taylor Swift's squad likely starts with Selena Gomez and the Jonas Brothers. Back in 2008, Swift briefly dated Joe Jonas, while Gomez went out with Nick Jonas. "We actually dated the Jonas Brothers together," Gomez joked with KISS FM UK on how she first met Swift. "... We just clicked. It was the best thing we got out of those relationships." 

As the years went on, Swift slowly befriended other big name stars, like Emma Stone, Ed Sheeran, Karlie Kloss, and Lena Dunham — often through Twitter, Cosmopolitan reports. The singer-songwriter not-so-secretly used her music to give a shout out to her newfound besties. For example, the liner notes on her 2012 album, Red, said, "ASHLEY DIANNA CLAIRE SELENA." According to Vulture, this was in reference to Swift's stylist Ashley Avignone, Dianna Agron from Glee, "her hometown BFF Claire Winter Kislinger," and Gomez herself. The following year, Swift performed at the Victoria's Secret fashion show — and expanded her inner circle with supermodels Cara Delevingne, Lily Aldridge, and Martha Hunt. Then came model Gigi Hadid and musicians Lorde, the Haim sisters, and Camila Cabello. 

Meanwhile, longtime buddy Katy Perry and Swift started their very public feud. As a result, Swift allegedly wrote the song "Bad Blood" about Perry, and invited a ton of her friends — many from her squad — to cameo as femme fatale alter egos in the 2015 music video ... including Gomez in a very Perry-style wig.

The rise and fall of Taylor Swift's squad

After the infamous "Bad Blood" video dropped, Taylor Swift continued to grow her buddy list with actresses Serayah McNeill and Ruby Rose, plus another supermodel for good measure: Kendall Jenner. Swift's squad reached its apex during her 2016 Fourth of July party, dubbed "Taymerica." Alongside her already amazing line-up of buddies, Swift celebrated with friends Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Tom Hiddleston (this was back during the "Hiddleswift" era), and Uzo Aduba.

Later that month, Swift faced her biggest PR crisis to date. Following the release of Kanye West's "Famous," which featured the lyric, "I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that b**ch famous," Swift "[denied] signing off on the line," per Vulture. But then Kim Kardashian shared footage of a phone call between the musicians, where Swift seemed to verbally approve the lyric, even thanking West for calling her ahead of time to ask permission. The truth about the call eventually came out, but the damage was done. With a feud brewing between Kimye and TayTay, celebs started choosing sides.

Cue major event No. 2: Per Vulture, "Swift woke up and read the news that Scooter Braun's Ithaca Holdings had bought her former label and the owners of her masters, Big Machine Label Group" in June 2019. Swift publicly voiced disgust for Braun and his "incessant, manipulative bullying." Friendship lines once again became apparent as celebs, per the outlet, "either voiced their support or silently disconnected themselves from the music manager."

Taylor Swift's roller coaster ride with Katy Perry

Katy Perry and Taylor Swift were first spotted together at the 2008 MTV VMAs, per Elle. This dream friendship for fans continued with affectionate tweets between the stars. "I love Katy Perry. I think I'm going to hang her poster on my wall now," Swift shared in a since-deleted tweet (via People), to which Perry replied, "You're as sweet as pie!" Swift later invited Perry onstage to sing her "Hot N Cold" hit together. Even when Perry started dating Swift's ex, John Mayer, in 2012, a joint photo at the 2013 Grammy Awards showed the two appearing friendly.

But things took a definite turn by 2014, when Swift called out an unnamed female artist who "basically tried to sabotage an entire arena tour" by "[hiring] a bunch of people out from under [her]" in a Rolling Stone interview. She confessed, "We're just straight-up enemies." One day later, Perry referred to Mean Girls' gossip queen on Twitter: "Watch out for the Regina George in sheep's clothing..." 

And thus began a long and highly-publicized back-and-forth rivalry — including Swift's perceived "Bad Blood" slam, and Perry's alleged "Swish Swish" response — that appeared to end in 2018 when Perry sent Swift an actual olive branch. The frenemies hugged it out in Swift's "You Need to Calm Down" music video the following year, but considering Perry attended a political fundraiser hosted by Scooter Braun a month after he acquired Swift's old catalog, we're hoping a duet can clear up any potential drama.

Taylor Swift went from road trips to no ship with Karlie Kloss

"I love Karlie Kloss," Taylor Swift stated in a 2012 interview with Vogue, adding, "I want to bake cookies with her!" The famous model caught wind of the story and shared her mutual affection on Twitter: "Hey @taylorswift13 love the @voguemagazine cover! Your kitchen or mine?" As the outlet reported in 2015, the two officially met "backstage at the 2013 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, where Kloss walked the runway in pink underwear and giant psychedelic wings and Swift performed with Fall Out Boy." 

However, their friendship reached official status while taking a road trip together to Big Sur in 2014, during which Kloss posted an Instagram photo of Swift writing "Karlie *hearts* Taylor" in the sand. Aww. The besties even appeared side-by-side on the March 2015 cover of Vogue, with Kloss explaining in the interview, "Real friends are hard to find — and Taylor's a real friend. There's nothing better."

The supermodel continued to appear at Swift's big parties and concerts through the summer of 2018 — but it seems "Kaylor" eventually fizzled out. In addition to calling Kim Kardashian a "lovely person" in 2016, and captioning a video with "Swish swish" two years later (purportedly in reference to Swift's on-and-off friend, Katy Perry), Kloss was spotted vacationing with Scooter Braun and his wife, Yael Cohen, following his 2019 incident with Swift. Per Vulture, Swift's stylist, Ashley Avignone, liked "tweets suggesting that Karlie and Taylor are no longer friends" around this time.

Taylor Swift's bad blood with Zendaya turned into real friction

For the star-studded "Bad Blood" music video, Taylor Swift enlisted former Disney star Zendaya to play the role of Cut-Throat. Zendaya told Entertainment Tonight at the time, "Anyone who knows Taylor knows that she's just a genius. She's so smart and she's such a sweet person." Alongside other "Bad Blood" members, Swift and Zendaya posed together before the video premiered at the 2015 Billboard Music Awards. And though Swift and Zendaya didn't appear to be public BFFs like Karlie Kloss, things seemed to be going well ... until the 2016 Kim Kardashian incident. 

According to E! News, Zendaya appeared to take sides when she reportedly liked two different tweets following Kardashian's video reveal of Swift chatting with Kanye West on the phone about his song, "Famous." The first post "included two photos of Zendaya and Swift posing with past and present squad members," the outlet reports, alongside the caption, "My girl zendaya knew better." The second message read, "I'm glad zendaya was never really down with that whole Taylor squad s**t." 

The singer-actress eventually un-liked both tweets — but not before the damage was apparently done. 

Kendall Jenner would rather be sick than mention the Taylor Swift squad

Though speculative, E! News reported in 2015 that Taylor Swift asked Kendall Jenner to appear in the "Bad Blood" music video. However, according a source cited by the outlet, the model "couldn't do it because she had an out-of-town commitment on shoot day." While Jenner was reportedly "bummed" about the timing, she apparently "loved the video." Later that year, with no bad blood between them, Jenner joined Swift and multiple squad members onstage during her 1989 tour, per PopSugar. Perhaps Swift and Jenner talked about their mutual ex-boyfriend, Harry Styles? 

Either way, Jenner didn't seem too into the idea of #squadgoals, as she later revealed to Yahoo! Beauty (via Harper's Bazaar), "I don't like to have, like, the biggest squad ever. Just because I feel like that gets too complicated." When Jenner later appeared on The Late Late Show with James Corden for a round of "Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts," the host asked her, "Who is your least favorite member of Taylor Swift's squad?" Instead of answering, Jenner opted to drink bird saliva. Yikes. And as Swift's feud with Kimye heated up, Kim Kardashian claimed things weren't "awkward" with her younger sister on Watch What Happens Live: "I don't know if Kendall was a part of [Taylor's] squad. I don't think she was." 

Likely closing the door forever? Vulture reports that Jenner liked "Scooter Braun's wife's post defending him" after Swift put him on blast in 2019.

Did the shadiest Taylor Swift t-shirt hint at her current squad?

As an expert in Easter-eggs and clues in her music, Taylor Swift sparked a million conspiracy theories in 2017. Her music video for "Look What You Made Me Do" features Swift wearing a white t-shirt with names handwritten all over — alluding to the one worn in 2009's "You Belong with Me." As Cosmopolitan summarized, the 2017 version of the shirt contains the first names of longtime friends, like Selena Gomez, Lena Dunham, and Ed Sheeran. 

But perhaps even more important than who made the list was who didn't — hinting that perhaps Swift and these particular buddies had grown apart. Among the left-out friends: Hailee Steinfeld, Jaime King, Uzo Aduba, Dianna Agron, Serayah McNeill, Ellie Goulding, and Ruby Rose. Three other notable names excluded were Emma Stone, Lorde, and Cara Delevingne. However, this trio seems to still be on good terms with Swift (at least, as of this writing). A year later, Stone appeared at a Swift concert in New Jersey, Elle reported. As for Lorde — who had previously distanced herself from Swift — she was spotted with Swift and the Haim sisters as the group left a plane together in 2019 (via Vulture). And in June 2020, Swift publicly supported Delevingne for a Variety cover story, writing in an email to the publication: "Cara is extreme, eccentric, hilarious, loving and deeply loyal." 

In the words of the singer-songwriter herself, here's a toast to Taylor Swift's real friends.