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Top 10 One Direction Music Videos

One Direction
Jason Merritt, Getty Images

Do you understand how hard it is to settle on a ranking order of One Direction‘s top 10 music videos? On an increasing scale of difficulty from algebra to calculus, try to guess how tough it is to qualify levels of goodness when it comes to things you love. If you’re thinking algebra-level tough or calculus test hard, you’re thinking way too small. It’s more akin to trying to deciper the Voynich Manuscript — completely impossible, frustrating and fruitless.

But we did it anyway, because when it comes to One Direction, we are next-level gluttons for punishment. We are Augustus Gloop and One Direction is our river of chocolate — won’t stop till we surrender. If it were up to us, this entire list would be their X Factor judges’ house audition of “Torn,” but that one isn’t even a music video so, sadly, we had to pass. If only an official video could have immortalized Liam’s flat-ironed hair and Harry’s propensity for thin scarves that serve no purpose other than to hang there limply the way the “Torn” video does.

The one thing (… get it) that made this list easier is the fact that One Direction only have so many videos to include in a top 10 countdown. Bless their limited time in the music industry.

Check out our picks for the top 10 One Direction music videos below. If you think our list is wrong, the truth is probably that you are wrong.

Zayn Malik


10

“Gotta Be You”

 

 

The truth is that “Gotta Be You” is kind of the worst. Everyone is young and very dramatic and pained-looking. But that is also what makes it the best. Liam’s acting and sad eyes are the true stars of this video, and it’s the only one other than “What Makes You Beautiful” to feature a love interest of any kind. This was also the era during which they had a stylist who helped pick out clothes that were tailored to their bodies. Have you seen the way Zayn wears that burgundy coat in this video? We’re pretty sure the fireworks at the very end are actually birds colliding together in a flurry of high-energy impact, distracted from trying to get a close look at his face.

 

9

“Story of My Life”

 

 

If you’re anything like us, you’re a total sucker for sentimentality and cute guys who are into photography and showing outward displays of affection toward their family members. While the “Story of My Life” lyrics don’t really match up with the concept of the music video or make any sense at all, we’re pretty sure no One Direction video has ever been much of a visual retelling of the accompanying song, so whatever.

The end product for this one managed to be super sweet and — if you’re a casual fan who doesn’t know every detail or social security number of every member — gives viewers a sneak peek at the families the boys came from.

Plus, they all look really good.

 

8

“Little Things”

 

 

This video was filmed to make it look like the members of One Direction are singing directly into your face. And as uncomfortable as it might be to make eye contact with Harry while he tells us that we don’t fit into our jeans without sucking in, when it comes down it, Zayn is wearing a leather jacket and that’s all that matters.

 

7

“Best Song Ever”

 

 

They really tried with this one. There’s acting, cross-dressing, American accents; it’s practically a short film. After seeing Harry’s Woody Allen-inspired Leroy (accent-wise, at least), it’s no wonder Harvey Weinsten is obsessed with him. The worst part of this video is when Harry throws some poor woman’s computer off the table, as though computers are not expensive machines by which many of us make our livelihoods. That is her job, Harry.

The guys also showcase just how terrible they are and always will be at dancing — just in case you weren’t already aware of that fact after two tours where they spent the majority of the shows piling on top of each other the way seals will sometimes do in the wild.

 

6

“Kiss You”

 

 

Listen, we were totally hoping for a ’50s-themed video for “Kiss You.” Maybe Niall’s at a sock hop, trying to convince some girl to dance with him, but then she goes off with Zayn instead because he’s got that James Dean daydream look in his eye, you know? We practically wrote out a treatment for the video; we really had our hopes up. But then the actual music video came out and it wasn’t that and we were kind of underwhelmed.

But the truth is, the “Kiss You” video has aged like a fine wine and it gets better with every viewing. From Zayn and Harry’s embrace on that motorcycle to Harry rocking an imaginary baby when he sings the word “baby” to Louis’ shirtless shoulder shimmy to Liam’s buzzcut, it’s just an all-around delight to behold.

 

5

“Live While We’re Young”

 

 

What a treat this video was when it first leaked online.

Zayn in plaid, Louis pushing Liam off a raft, the lyrics “tonight let’s get some.” It was all just so much at one time, you know? We love the innocent nature of the video juxtaposed with the borderline inappropriate lyrics like “If we get together / Don’t let the pictures leave your phone.” Pictures of what? Root beer? Please.

It kind of reminds us of that Spice Girls song, “2 Become 1″ — at the time we had no idea what it meant, but now we’re embarrassed we ever sang it a capella during lengthy car rides with our parents up front.

 

4

“Night Changes”

 

 

Quick summary: Liam throws up in his date’s hat, Louis has a run-in with a police officer, Niall gets set on fire, Harry breaks his date’s ankle and Zayn (the only one who didn’t actively ruin anything because he is perfect) had his perfectly coiffed hair messed up by a plate of pasta.

We truly appreciate this visual demonstration of Murphy’s Law. In case you are unaware of the world’s most accurate adage, it is the idea that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong — even if you are a member of One Direction.

 

3

“One Way or Another (Teenage Kicks)”

 

 

Not only was this video filmed for a good cause — a charity called Comic Relief — but it managed to give us the most gifable One Direction moments of all time. From Harry hugging the Statue of Liberty to Niall moving about his shower stall with the awkward gait of Gollum to Zayn caressing a tree — it reminds us exactly why we’ve the spent the majority of the last few years watching One Direction-related videos on YouTube for hours on end.

Also, some of the cutest kids you will ever see are featured in this video.

 

2

“One Thing”

 

 

Sure, Harry’s hair is an unforgivable mess here, but that color scheme really worked for all of them. The architecture and One Direction are all so beautiful. Plus, look at how much fun they’re having. And look at how much fun we’re having watching them have fun.

In the wise words of YouTube commenter G Brown, “Ninety nine thousand people don’t know what cute looks like.” (Because 99,000 people disliked it on YouTube. Unbelievable.)

 

1

“What Makes You Beautiful”

 

 

There is truly something to be said for nostalgia. The truth is, there is nothing remarkable about this video. But for many of us, “What Makes You Beautiful” was the beginning of it all and the end of our sanity.

The boys (because they were, at the time) are all varying levels of awkward, but it’s endearing and cute and they’re all so excited to be in sunny Los Angeles. Do you see Harry? Gravity can’t even hold him down; he exists only on the balls of his feet for the entirety of the shoot.

It gets us emotional when we realize that at this point in time they had no idea they would go on to sell out stadiums and unite fans all over the world and be the source of happiness for so many people. If you’re a bird, I’m a bird, you know?

Looking back, we can’t believe there was ever a time when Harry wore ill-fitting khakis.

 

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