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Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson Once Pranked One Direction Band Mates With a Producer Going Into Labor

One Direction was close to the biggest band in the world in the mid-2010s. Even though the band has entered an "indefinite hiatus" since 2016, each member has continued on their solo paths. These days aren't the only time the One Direction members have separated from each other, as a 2012 pranking incident shows.

One Direction was close to the biggest band in the world in the mid-2010s. The group was known almost as much for their rapport with each other as they were for their music, mirroring The Beatles in a way. As the band has entered an “indefinite hiatus” since 2016, each member has continued to be a celebrity on their solo paths. These days aren’t the only time the One Direction members have separated, as a 2012 pranking incident shows.

Zayn and Louis were two members of One Direction

All five One Direction band members jumping in the air in front of a helicopter in various poses.
One Direction | Getty Images

Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson were members of the band One Direction alongside Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Harry Styles. The group was active together from 2010 to 2016, though Malik left the group early to pursue solo projects in 2015. While together, the quintet gained a massive fan following and produced some of the most popular songs of the decade like “What Makes You Beautiful,” “Up All Night,” and “Story of My Life.”

Throughout the years, one of the hallmarks of One Direction is the relationship the band members had with each other. Like many boy bands before them, the group was positioned to seem like five friends goofing around and having fun while also making music together. There are many examples fans can pull from, but a famously funny one happened in 2012 when Malik and Tomlinson played a prank on the rest of the gang.

The guys played a serious prank on their friends

People Magazine recounts the story. While preparing for an interview at Nickelodeon during September of 2012, a heavily pregnant producer went into labor while discussing details of the TV appearance with the band. Immediately, the boys begin moving furniture and offering their help.

As they attempt to move her somewhere more comfortable and keep her calm, even trying singing to comfort the baby, they grow increasingly more panicked at the discovery that seemingly every other person on set has disappeared. Eventually, the woman insists they call her husband to come help her, but he doesn’t pick up.

A little bit later, the whole thing is revealed for what it really is: a prank. The “producer” was just an actor wearing a fake stomach to appear pregnant, and the terrible luck they were having like everyone else leaving the set and the husband not picking up was staged. It was all thought up by Malik and Tomlinson to trick the rest of the band. All of this was caught on three hidden cameras provided by Nick, who helped them do this.

In the end, it seems like the only thing real about this situation was the boys’ urgency to help someone they thought was in distress. If nothing else, that’s pretty admirable.

The rest of the band were pretty OK with the prank


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As shocking as things were in the moment, no one seems to have any bad blood over the prank. Harry Styles admitted to seeing it as an opportunity for the band. He revealed that, as concerned as he was about helping the supposedly pregnant producer, the idea of headlines like “One Direction Delivers Child” was already in the back of his mind. In fairness, that would be some impressively good press if it had really happened. Overall, it seems like little more than a funny memory for everyone involved, laughing about it in future interviews.