Let’s Pretend These 2016 Celeb Beefs Never Happened

From Kim and Taylor to Kanye and Wiz, these are the pop culture feuds we should leave in the dust

We didn’t see this year coming, but we heard it from all sides. In Signal & Noise 2016, you’ll find the way we made sense out of all of that sound.

Where there are celebrities, there will be beefs, and 2016 had its fair share of heated showdowns. From Lady Gaga smoking The Chainsmokers to The Rock and Vin Diesel’s battle of the baldies, there was plenty of tea-spilling and receipt-airing. Let’s look back at the year’s craziest and pettiest clashes that need to be left the hell behind once 2017 rolls around.

  • Kim Kardashian vs. Chloë Moretz

    As far as “breaking the internet” goes, no one has a more stacked résumé than Kim Kardashian. Back in March, for example, she graced social media with the naked selfie seen ‘round the world. Everyone from Bella Thorne to Bette Midler chimed in on the racy pic’s #impact, but one of the most scathing critiques came via Chloë Grace Moretz, of all people. The actress bashed Kim in the name of feminism, tweeting, “I truly hope you realize how important setting goals are for young women, teaching them we have so much more to offer than just our bodies.” Kim hit back at the 19-year-old with a Kanye-esque Twitter takedown and an epic essay about how she wants to empower women to embrace their sexiness. Chloë stood by her comments, but Kim was too busy dealing with another burgeoning beef to bother with her anymore. Which brings us to...

    Pettiness rating: 2/5

  • Kim Kardashian and Kanye West vs. Taylor Swift

    We all know about Taylor Swift and Kanye West’s seven-year-long feud, which ignited at the 2009 VMAs and will only blow over when the world implodes on itself, and not a second beforehand. Their beef was rekindled this year thanks to a little song called “Famous” and its patent dig at Tay: “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous." Kanye insisted that Taylor approved the blistering lyric during an alleged phone call, but Taylor called bullshit. Kim Kardashian fanned the flames when she told GQ that Tay was just trying to “play the victim.” And then she gleefully whipped out the receipts, releasing audio on Snapchat of Taylor and Kanye’s phone call, which does seem to show Tay signing off on the “Famous” lyrics. Taylor responded with a disappointed statement on Instagram and wisely laid low for the next few months while the internet had its little “Taylor Swift Is Over” party.

    Pettiness rating: 3/5

  • The Rock vs. Vin Diesel

    In the most beefhead-y beef of the year, Vin Diesel and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson took their epic onscreen hostility from Fast 5 into the real world. In August, The Rock posted a biting message on Instagram calling out certain unprofessional “candy asses” on the set of The Fate of the Furious. It soon became abundantly clear that his comments were directed at Vin, and THR reported that Vin confronted The Rock the next day, culminating in a heated argument. Even so, the head honchos at Universal don’t seem too concerned that the bitter baldies’ beef will have any negative impact on the film. A studio source told THR, “What happened is over, and no one expects there to be any lingering effects. When it comes time to promote the movie, this will have no bearing.” We’ll find out for sure when the flick hits theaters in April 2017 — that’ll definitely be a promo trail worth watching.

    Pettiness rating: 3/5

  • Zendaya vs. Julie Klausner

    Zendaya and Julie who, you might be asking? The comedian and star of Difficult People weaseled her way into tabloid fame in March when she body-shamed Zendaya, calling her a “thinspo model for your impressionable tweens” and even making jokes about Z having an eating disorder. In true Zendaya fashion, she took the high road with an uplifting tweet: “Everyone go look in the mirror at their beautiful body, and love that shit #thickgirlswinning #skinnygirlswinning #weallwinning,” she wrote. Klausner, however, refused to back down — she claimed she was only trying to point out dangerous beauty standards, and then said “Zendaya hates Jews.” Uhhh ... right. OK.

    Pettiness rating: 4/5

  • Taylor Swift vs. Calvin Harris

    After a whirlwind year of swan floatie dates and anniversary cakes, Taylor Swift and Calvin Harris called it quits in June. They insisted it was an amicable breakup, but their split took a dramatic turn when Taylor’s rep revealed she had written Calvin’s latest hit with Rihanna, “This Is What You Came For.” Calvin assumed his ex was trying to make him look bad, so he fired off a (since-deleted) string of tweets that accused her of trying to tear him down, and even referenced her feud with Katy Perry. Taylor never responded, probably because she was too busy dealing with much more threatening forces on her heels (cough cough, Kim and Kanye).

    Pettiness rating: 4/5

  • Justin Bieber vs. Selena Gomez

    In another epic battle of the exes, Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez unexpectedly threw jabs at each other this fall and hinted that there may have been more to their breakup than meets the eye. It all started when Sel criticized Justin for posting pics of his new boo, Sofia Richie, on Instagram. He responded by writing, “It's funny to see people that used me for attention and still try to point the finger this way. Sad. All love.” Then Selena accused him of cheating on her, and he did the same, even insinuating that she had hooked up with Zayn Malik while they were together. Clearer heads prevailed, and Sel took to Snapchat later that night to admit, “What I said was selfish and pointless.” As for JB, his fling with Sofia ended just a few weeks later and he ended up erasing his Instagram entirely. Probably for the best, TBH.

    Pettiness rating: 5/5

  • Kanye West vs. Wiz Khalifa

    When Kanye decides to tweet, there’s no telling what, or whom, he’ll target — and in the case of his now-infamous January tweetstorm, it was Wiz Khalifa who suffered his wrath. It all started when ‘Ye changed the name of his much-hyped seventh album from Swish to Waves. Wiz got upset that Kanye hadn’t given credit to Max B, who originally popularized the term “wavy,” and Kanye responded with a rant claiming Wiz ripped off Kid Cudi and that his music was corny. He even dragged their mutual ex Amber Rose into it, and grossly claimed, “I own your child!” 'Ye later said he and Wiz talked things out over the phone, and you know what? None of this ended up mattering anyway, because Kanye ultimately decided to change his album title (again!) to The Life of Pablo. All that tweetin’ for nothin'... but at least it gave us the forever memorable hashtag #Wizwearscoolpants.

    Pettiness rating: 5/5

  • Meek Mill vs. The Game

    Poor Meek Mill ... just when you thought his reign as rap’s punching bag was finally over, he gets embroiled in yet another beef. This one began when The Game called out Meek for being a “snitch” during a live club performance, on a scathing dis track, and in a series of nasty Instagram posts. Meek struck back with a surprisingly punctual dis track of his own, then Game dropped another dis track and a video that really played off that degrading “Meeky Mouse” nickname. Meanwhile, the rest of the hip-hop world wasn’t amused. Nipsey Hussle, for one, accused the rappers of “bad leadership” and urged them to keep their clash confined to wax. Thankfully, they obliged, and it looks like this one’s blown over ... though Game doesn't really seem like the kind of dude to forget his grudges.

    Pettiness rating: 4/5

  • Lady Gaga and Mark Ronson vs. The Chainsmokers

    The Chainsmokers suffered the wrath of Little Monsters when they bashed Lady Gaga’s “Perfect Illusion” in an interview with Rolling Stone, declaring, “it sucks.” Gaga responded with a punny retort, suggesting they might like her second, smokin' Joanne single “A-YO” better. That basically left the DJ duo with their tails between their legs — they admitted to NME, “That was such a clever, witty response ... she can have that victory.” And then all was well and fine, right? WRONG. Gaga’s Joanne collaborator Mark Ronson got involved when he called the duo “charisma-bypassed champions of 2 bar Ableton loops,” and not-so-subtly suggested that time was ticking on their cultural relevancy. Ouch.

    Pettiness rating: 3/5

  • Shia LaBeouf vs. Soulja Boy

    Last but not least, we have the year’s most unexpected and most hilarious feud: The one recently stirred up by Shia LaBeouf and Soulja Boy. It all started when Louis Stevens surprised everyone with his boastful bars on The Breakfast Club, unleashing a freestyle that called out Soulja Boy and Lil Yachty. Soulja responded with an expletive-filled rant on Instagram, warning the actor never to show his face in Atlanta. Clearly unperturbed, Shia fired off another track promising to visit ATL “when [his] schedule is flexible” (LOL). He also declared that freestyle to be his “last one,” but maybe Chance the Rapper can convince him otherwise.

    Pettiness rating: 5/5

Check out more from the year in music, culture, politics, and style in Signal & Noise 2016.