There’s nothing like catching a good side-eye when the person doesn’t think they are being watched. This is even truer when the person throwing shade is a celebrity, even more so when the person on the receiving end is also a celebrity. Definitely no one wants to be on the receiving end of a celebrity side-eye, or worse, become a viral meme. Unfortunately, for some unsuspecting celebs, this has been the case many times and there have been many stars that have been caught on camera issuing a cold shoulder at another. Each time it has been magnificent for those of us on the outside looking in. Whether it has been at an awards show, a fashion gala, or perhaps another celeb gala where some A-lister awkwardly bumps into an ex. Sometimes we might be treated to multiple side-eye occurrences at the same event. There is always plenty of shade to go around!
Over the years there has been plenty of side-eye moments caught on camera. There are a few repeat offenders, those who can’t help but throw serious shade at a given moment. We’re talking about the likes of Nicki Minaj, Beyoncé, perhaps a Kardashian or two; but, there have been other side-eye greats before them. Some might not even intend to throw shade, but perhaps just trying to sneak in a stare or two. We’re talking about side-eye experts who excel at staring at the corner-of-their-eye stare. Here we intend to celebrate some of the best moments where celebrities were caught giving the cold shoulder another celebrity, just when they thought no one was looking.
19 Michelle Obama
Do you remember the iconic side-eye that occurred after Barack Obama’s 2013 Inauguration Day luncheon at the Capitol? It was everywhere and is a great example of someone sneaking in a side-eye even during the ritziest events. First Lady Michelle Obama was sitting between President Obama and House Speaker John Boehner. Reportedly, Boehner, a smoker, asked the President if he had indulged in a cigarette after delivering his inauguration address. Obama, who is said to have quit smoking in 2010, dips behind the First Lady’s back and gives an unseen reply, to which Boehner responds, “Somebody won’t let you do it.” The First Lady heard this remark and gave her now famous side-eye and subsequent eye roll! Nice!
18 Timothée Chalamet
Posh events full of stars and celebrities are often the best place to catch the best side-eyes! This was never truer than at the 75th Annual Golden Globe Awards held on January 7, 2018. Timothée Chalamet was nominated for his great performance in Call Me By Your Name. The camera catches the moment the young star realizes he is sitting just seats away from figure skater Tonya Harding. He tries hard not to gawk but the camera doesn’t lie and catches his shock as he peers over at Harding, who was being thanked by Allison Janney as she accepted her Best Supporting Actress in a Musical or Comedy award for I, Tonya.
17 Dakota Johnson
The 2018 Golden Globe Awards not only gave us the Chalamet-Harding side-eye, but mere seats away, viewers were treated to another side-eye event! Fifty Shades of Grey star Dakota Johnson was sitting next to Timothée Chalamet when she couldn’t help but try to steal a glance at a nearby superstar. As Jennifer Aniston appeared on stage to announce the next award, Johnson peeked over towards Angelina Jolie, who was sitting nearby. Even though Aniston and Jolie have moved past their relationships with Brad Pitt, we totally understand Johnson’s curiosity in trying to catch Jolie’s reaction to Aniston taking the stage. Reportedly, Johnson claims she was actually looking past Jolie in an attempt to peek over that cast of Stranger Things, who were also in attendance.
16 Leonardo DiCaprio
Like I said previously, the Golden Globe Awards are chock full of side-eye glory! In 2016, at the 73rd Annual Golden Globe Awards, Lady Gaga was awarded the Best Actress in a Miniseries or Television Film award, for her role in American Horror Story: Hotel. As Lady Gaga made her way towards the stage to collect her award, she bumped past A-lister Leonardo DiCaprio. DiCaprio, who won the Best Actor for his role in The Revenant, was in high spirits and failed to notice Gaga taking to the stage until she nudged his arm out of the way. The moment DiCaprio realized who bumped him is priceless! His incredible side-eye was most likely the viral moment of the night! Explaining his reaction, he recalled, “I just didn’t know what was passing me, that’s all!”
Beyoncé could be quite literally the queen of side-eyes. There are numerous photos of her throwing shade and side-eyes galore at fellow Destiny’s Child members. Just go back and watch an old interview of the group and you’ll catch Bey giving the side-eye when one of the other group members gives an answer she either didn’t approve of or finds beneath them. I don’t know how Kelly and Michelle lasted so long, as Bey can be scary at times. It’s true, she’s a demanding perfectionist, simply awesome, and worthy of the title of Queen Bey, but she’s also a master of shade. At one press conference, former group member Farrah Franklin gave an answer to a question that didn’t sit right with Beyoncé, a side-eye ensued, and literally one week later, Farrah was out!
Do you remember when Miley Cyrus surprisingly appeared on-stage to perform with Robin Thicke at the 2013 VMA’s. I’m trying to forget it! That performance of Thicke’s song “Blurred Lines,” with Cyrus’ accompaniment will go down in history as one of the most talked about performances ever. Several superstars that were in the audience couldn’t help but let loose with authentic reactions; one such celeb was Rihanna. As Cyrus danced around Thicke, Rihanna was unimpressed. The bawdy dance moves made Rihanna unleash some attitude via a classic side-eye moment!
13 One Direction
As if you might think Rihanna was just a one-off at the celebrity-strewn audience reaction to Miley Cyrus’ performance with Robin Thicke at the 2013 VMAs, here is more! When the camera pulls back from Rihanna’s aforementioned side-eye, viewers are treated to the members of the London-based band One Direction, seated directly behind her. All original five members: Zayn Malik, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Harry Styles, and Louis Tomlinson sat confused as if not sure what to make of the performance. Though not throwing true shade their collective group side-eyed looks are more of disorientation and feelings of “What are these Americans into?”
12 Nicki Minaj
Beyoncé might be the queen of side-eyes; Nicki Minaj is definitely ranked up there! Her time as a judge during the 12th season of American Idol made it worth watching. I would watch the series to catch Minaj’s throwing that world-class shade at fellow judge Mariah Carey or during questionable auditions. Minaj just doesn’t leave all her best shade on American Idol; she still kept some in reserve. Case in point, the 2015 American Music Awards. Host Jennifer Lopez kicked the show off performing a dance medley of some of that year’s nominated hit songs, including Minaj’s “Anaconda.” When Lopez got to Minaj’s song, the camera cut to a shot of Nicki Minaj in the audience. Her quick side-eye and neutral expression is priceless.
11 Nicole Kidman
Back in 2017, Ellen DeGeneres had celebrity chef Giada De Laurentiis and Nicole Kidman on her popular The Ellen DeGeneres Show. De Laurentiis was teaching DeGeneres and Kidman how to roll scoops of risotto into little balls and fry it. The entire time you could tell Kidman was not into it at all. De Laurentiis, watching how Kidman rolled her balls, asked her if she’s ever made meatballs? Kidman expression was priceless, as she raises her hand as De Laurentiis turns back toward DeGeneres. The tension between the two was so thick you could cut it with a knife. DeGeneres tried to lighten the pair with a few jokes but it seemed as if De Laurentiis and Kidman were always just seconds away from a good old-fashioned reality TV fight!
We all know Beyoncé is on top of her game: extremely talented performer, icon, successful business woman, wife, and mother; you name it! So when it comes to throwing shade, as you would expect, her game is on-point! And to be honest, I’d be a little intimidated by her. Her gaze will melt you. When it comes to the dreaded side-eye, even her husband, Jay-Z is not immune. Naturally, when Bey finds time to plan a date night out with her husband, she expects him to concentrate on her. That was the case one night in 2015, when Bey and Jay-Z took in a basketball game together. Rather than watching the game, or having quality conversation with his wife, Jay-Z spent most of the night gazing into his phone. Beyoncé spent most of the evening giving some serious side-eye and keeping tabs on what he was doing.
9 Kylie Jenner
Back in July 2017, Kim Kardashian shared a photo on Instagram of her sister, Kylie Jenner, star of the reality show Life of Kylie. The photo depicts Kylie giving off some epic side-eye action to fellow model Bella Hadid. Hadid might be a Victoria’s Secret model but that doesn’t mean she always has to be posing when out in public. When a candid photo was snapped one evening, Hadid looked as if she was on location for a shoot. It appears like Kylie is so over it! Kim captioned the post “#MoodGoals,” leaving many to believe she was equally frustrated with recent events in her own life.
8 Nicki Minaj
Back at the May 2016 Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala in New York City, a now-viral photo was snapped showing some impressive side-eye action. The photo depicts perennial shade-thrower Nicki Minaj glaring down songstress Demi Lovato as they share a photo with fashion designer Jeremy Scott. Scott had designed the outfits that both Minaj and Lovato wore that evening. Minaj posted the photo to Instagram and failed to tag Lovato. Lovato saw the posting and responded with the caption, “This picture pretty much summed up my first and probably last met.” Hey at least Lovato wasn’t trying to perform Minaj’s hit “Anaconda.”
7 Ariana Grande
Ariana Grande was on stage performing her song “Bang Bang” at the 2014 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in London. During her set, she was nearly toppled over by model Elsa Hosk’s angel wings as Hosk walked past Grande on the runway. Grande sent some stellar side-eye towards Hosk after getting slapped in the head by the prosthetic wings. Thankfully, Grande took the whole incident in stride and was able to quickly laugh it off. “A Victoria's Secret angel accidentally smacked me in the face with her wings and it was awesome #goals #bangbangintomyface," Grande later wrote on Twitter, though at the time, the look on her face was priceless!
6 Michelle Obama
Another serial side-eyer on this list, Michelle Obama caused an uproar on social media during Donald Trump’s Presidential Inauguration in January 2017. The former First Lady’s facial expression and side-eye was caught for prosperity and had the internet analyzing the moment. Many believed it was an insult to the incoming first family. Michelle quickly countered during an appearance at the American Institute of Architects convention that her side-eye was not meant to be an insult. In fact, according to Obama, she was overwhelmed by the occasion and was reflecting on her and her growing daughters’ time at the White House coming to an end.
5 Bella Hadid
As most people will attest, working with an ex post-breakup is no walk in the park, in fact, they can be downright awkward sometimes. Such was the case when Bella Hadid was walking the runway during her ex The Weeknd’s performance at the 2016 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in Paris. This occurred shortly after their breakup and was unfolding right smack in the public eye; awkward! So, while performing his song “Starboy,” The Weeknd tried to steal a dance with Hadid as she strutted past him on the runway. Looking absolutely beautiful in her designer metallic outfit, Hadid was so not in the mood. The model fired off some serious side-eye while side-stepping her ex and strutting off, clearly signalling she won that encounter.
4 Taylor Swift
This great moment was captured as Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez were walking backstage at the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas back in May 2013. The pair of superstars was walking together when Gomez split off to greet her ex Justin Bieber with a kiss on the cheek. Seeing this, Swift couldn’t help but side-eyeing Gomez and displaying her evident disapproval. Swift’s side-eyed disgust at the public display of affection with the Bieb’s, not to mention sticking her tongue out in the universal sign of "yuck," turned into a social media meme; however, this was made all the more iconic as Swift had no idea she had been caught by a backstage camera.
3 Samuel L. Jackson
When Mo’Nique won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress in 2010, for her role as the abusive mother in Precious (2009), her acceptance speech ruffled some feathers. Known primarily beforehand as a comedic actress, she took the stage and gave an emotional speech. She thanked the Academy for showing that, for once, the award was about the performance and not the politics. She was publicly flouting the political campaign process and it did not go over well with the powers at be. Sitting in the audience was actor Samuel L. Jackson who, seeing the potential storm Mo’Nique’s words would bring down, gave a side-eye and eye-roll, all caught on tape. Mo’Nique has indeed found it a bit harder to find work in Hollywood since then.
2 Sophia Loren
In 1955, newcomer Sophia Loren became the most photographed actress at the 1955 Cannes Film Festival. Two years later, in 1957, at a Beverly Hills party held to officially welcome the new Italian starlet Loren to Hollywood, we were blessed with what could be the first documented side-eye, perhaps the most famous! When Loren found her spotlight being stolen by Jayne Mansfield, she couldn’t help but let her shade flow. Many years later, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Loren confirmed that at the time of the photo she was thinking exactly what you might believe she was thinking. Look and you’ll see what she means.
Back in June 2016, Beyoncé cemented her reign as queen of the side-eye when she was sitting court side for game six of the NBA finals. She was sitting next to her husband, Jay-Z, but on the other side was a mild-mannered Cleveland Cavaliers fan named Steve Cespedes. He made the mistake of gazing in Queen Bey’s direction. The Grammy winner was photographed giving an iconic side-eye to Cespedes as she caught his eye line. The Huffington Post quickly shared the photo via Twitter in real-time. Cespedes saw the photo in his feed and shared it with Beyoncé. Finding the photo humorous, Beyoncé agreed to take another photo with Cespedes in reply to HuffPo, with the caption, “Who is looking at who now?”