Child Co-Stars Who Didn’t Get Along in Real Life
It’s no secret that many former child stars have gone on to live tumultuous lives, often learning hard lessons while under public scrutiny along the way. Many feuds and outbursts are quickly swept under the rug by producers and showrunners, but sometimes the tension is impossible to ignore, especially when those hard feelings last beyond the stars’ tenure on their shows.
Child actors employed by Nickelodeon, Disney and other companies have some of the largest fan bases in the world. They also have some of the longest-lasting feuds and drama sessions.
Drake Bell and Josh Peck
Drake Bell and Josh Peck spent the better parts of their young-adult years together on the Nickelodeon hit show Drake & Josh. Playing step-brothers that had radically opposing personalities, the two transformed from awkward caricatures into beloved characters. Their relationship outside of the show seemed to deepen as well.
And yet, Bell felt betrayed in 2019 when he found out that his long-term buddy had gotten married — and he hadn’t received an invitation to the wedding. Fans felt just as shocked, and the rift seemed to deepen when Bell took to social media. However, their relationship has recently started to heal.
Jamie Lynn Spears and Alexa Nikolas
Cliques can be devastating for socially unprepared children, especially pre-teens. When Alexa Nikolas was cast to play the best friend of Jamie Lynn Spears’ character in Zoey 101, she earnestly and naively believed that the star might become her real-life friend and companion.
Instead, Nikolas received constant verbal and mental abuse at the hands of Spears and other co-stars, resulting in her absence from the show after the first couple of seasons. Nikolas shared her story after failing to receive an invitation to the Zoey 101 reunion. Sadly, it may be a case of too little, too late.
Miley Cyrus and Emily Osment
Hannah Montana star Miley Cyrus had a publicly close relationship with co-star Emily Osment until around 2009. At that point, the two seemed to have tired of each others’ company and began drifting apart. While this is a natural thing that happens to many adolescent friendships, being a teen celebrity with internet access changes things drastically.
Fortunately, the two young women reconnected several years later, with Cyrus reaching out to Osment on Twitter in 2013. Osment returned the sentiment a year later. Since then, they’ve started spending more time together.
Selena Gomez and the Sprouse Twins
There are quite a few heightened emotions associated with having your very first kiss onscreen. When that kiss happens to be with the twin brother of your crush, things get even more complicated. Selena Gomez’s stunt on The Suite Life of Zack & Cody resulted in her first kiss when she ended up locking lips with Dylan Sprouse.
But Gomez had feelings for Cole Sprouse, something that she revealed only recently. This probably came as a surprise to Cole Sprouse, considering that he and his brother made their less-than-positive feelings about working with the diva known several years ago. Awkward!
Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell
Kenan Thompson and Kel Mitchell entertained an entire generation of children, and in the minds of millennials, they will always be best friends. However, things between the two soured when Kenan decided to focus on his solo career. Mitchell agreed to publicly comment on and confirm this in 2012, which broke the hearts of a million ’90s babies.
Fortunately, the two have reconciled and even performed their famous Good Burger sketch together since the 2012 admission. Both have announced that their relationship is doing well, and they are once again very close. Phew!
Amanda Bynes and Gabriel Iglesias
Gabriel Iglesias might be a popular, reasonably affluent guy nowadays, but back in the 1990s, he was just one of many struggling child actors. While he did land a spot on All That, it didn’t last very long. Iglesias blames this on Amanda Bynes and her wholly negative attitude toward him.
According to Iglesias, Bynes pulled him aside after a scene and told him that he didn’t know how to be funny. The young Iglesias shrugged off the remark and decided to stay away from Bynes, a decision which resulted in his quick dismissal from the cast.
Raven Symone and the Cheetah Girls
What happens when you’re the Yoko of your own band? Probably something similar to what happened to Raven Symone and the Cheetah Girls. The musical group was intended to represent long-lasting friendships and continued togetherness, but unfortunately, their star vocalist also happened to hog the spotlight.
Symone left the group after filming their second movie, putting a quick stop to future projects. Though the girls are all successfully attempting solo projects now, it was a slap in the face for them to lose their roles thanks to Symone’s diva attitude.
Joe Jonas and the Michalka Sisters
Romantic relationships between young Disney and Nickelodeon stars are the stuff of celebrity-feud legends. Youthful romances hardly tend to last, and public break-ups often result in regrettable choices. Joe Jonas and AJ Michalka were both employed by Disney when they got together in 2007.
They only dated for a year, but Jonas was Michalka’s first kiss. The break-up hit her sister, Aly, far harder than it initially hit her, causing a rift between the groups of siblings that would never fully heal. Still, both sides admit no hard feelings these days.
Ariana Grande and Jennette McCurdy
Ariana Grande and Jennette McCurdy were close at one time. But then Disney decided to start paying Grande much more than McCurdy. Also, their careers and their lives went in dramatically different directions when Grande began her music career. Like many of the co-stars on this list, the two drifted apart.
Still, money tends to complicate things, and unfair pay seems to have played a significant role in the decline of this relationship. In recent interviews, McCurdy has expressed her gratitude toward Grande, stating that they will always be friends.
Zendaya and Bella Thorne
Shake It Up suffered from a few cast problems, but perhaps the most significant one in the first season was the tension between Bella Thorne and Zendaya. The producers of the show wanted their young cast to produce their best performances, and so they would often force the girls to compete against one another. Anyone can tell you that this is stressful.
This stress made it almost impossible for the two teen actresses to form a friendship during the first season. However, they were able to remedy the situation and get to know one another better in later seasons.
Selena Gomez and Jake T. Austin
Wizards of Waverly Place vaulted Selena Gomez into the public eye and was the first major stepping stone toward her future solo success. But victories often incur losses, and in this case, Jake T. Austin felt like his career was sacrificed for Gomez’s. Because she wanted to move on to bigger and better things, the show was canceled.
This put Austin out of a job and made him more than a little bitter toward his former co-star. He even made a point to say that she would lose her loyal fans for leaving Disney — obviously, that’s not what happened.
Rowan Blanchard and Uriah Shelton
Several generations of Boy Meets World fans lost their minds when a sequel was announced in 2012. But, unfortunately, the show wasn’t able to capture the same spirit as the original and was canceled after only a few seasons. A feud between young co-stars may have fueled the quick dissolution of the show.
Uriah Shelton posted his thoughts about feminism on social media. Namely, he said he didn’t think that the modern world needed feminists. This upset feminist activist and co-star Rowan Blanchard, who proudly voiced her reaction to Shelton’s comment.
Katrina Johnson and Amanda Bynes
Amanda Bynes may have been loved by audiences for her unforgettable characters and hip fashion choices, but some of her co-stars resented her for her on-set behavior. Not only could she be extremely demanding of her co-stars, but she could also be quite the bully. Katrina Johnson, an All That co-star, revealed her memories of Bynes.
She said that she found the young comedian annoying. Johnson had been the baby of the cast before the arrival of spunky, energetic Bynes. So whether Johnson’s dislike comes purely from jealousy or from a mixture of negative experiences remains to be seen.
Alexa Nikolas and Victoria Justice
Unfortunately for Alexa Nikolas, Jamie Lynn Spears wasn’t the only famous peer to betray her trust and bully her. She had managed to make friends and build trust with fellow co-star Victoria Justice and thought she might finally belong. But that changed when the two argued over — you guessed it — a boy.
Nikolas claims that Justice immediately turned against her, spreading gossip and nasty rumors at the first opportunity after their little spat. The truth may never be fully known, as teenage fights over boys get dirty fast and are challenging to defend.
Ross Lynch and Laura Marano
Austin & Ally fans shipped the two leads with the passion and devotion that only true Disney fans understand. So they were a little disappointed to find out that Ross Lynch and Laura Marano weren’t making out between takes. They were bickering with each other, though.
The two describe their relationship as that of “an old married couple.” They often fight with each other over trivial things, sometimes upsetting their co-stars in the process. Whether this constant arguing is a symptom of romantic tension or genuine annoyance is currently unknown. Fans hope for the first option.
Ashley Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel
Sometimes actors can try their best to hide their personal feelings toward their co-stars and, despite their best efforts, fail miserably. This seems to be the case for Ashely Tisdale and Lucas Grabeel, two young actors who starred in High School Musical. It may have taken 10 years for the pair to admit it, but they hated each other’s guts.
While their characters weren’t supposed to get along anyway, which made the performance even better, the fact that the two so closely resembled the people they were playing is quite hilarious.
Lindsay Lohan and America Ferrera
When Lindsay Lohan guest-starred in Ugly Betty, a few crucial things happened. The first thing that happened was Lohan herself. Absorbed in a constant cloud of her entourage and cigarette smoke, she seemed to destroy everything she touched. That’s not good business. The second thing that happened was that Ferrera pantsed Lohan.
This pantsing was in the script, but it seemed to catch Lohan off-guard. Various sources report that she was going commando that day, while others assert that she was wearing extremely skimpy underwear. Either way, everyone was embarrassed, and her scheduled appearances dropped from six episodes to only four.
Miley Cyrus and Nick Jonas
When young love falls apart, it can lead to some pretty horrific online feuds and verbal smackdowns. The awkward situation between Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez is ultimately Nick Jonas’ fault. Had he not been dating Cyrus and flirting with Gomez at the same time, the two girls may have been able to remain friends.
Had he not dumped Cyrus and immediately hooked up with Gomez, Cyrus wouldn’t have rallied against him. Still, she was only a teen when they split, and her response was to dye her hair black and cry a lot.
Debby Ryan and Skai Jackson
Debby Ryan’s babysitter character in Jessie goes through quite a few stages of growth during the show’s run. Some of her scenes with tiny Skai Jackson involve her trying to grab the girl or punish her for her small misdeeds. In real life, Jackson claims that Ryan bullied her constantly and made her life onset extremely unpleasant.
Ryan neither confirmed nor denied these allegations, choosing instead to remark on how unprofessional it is to spread negative information about co-workers through social media. Both teams are pretty split on this one, with some claiming Ryan’s innocence and others siding with Jackson.
Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez
Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez have a storied history together as Disney co-stars. As they’ve grown and changed, so has their relationship — sometimes not in the most positive of ways. When Gomez started spending more time with fellow pop star Taylor Swift, Lovato took it personally.
Seeing your best friend make a new best friend and forget that you exist can be one of the most painful experiences in the world. Lovato was clearly going through the grief of losing Gomez as a close friend. A reporter asked her how Gomez was doing, and she replied, “Ask Taylor.” Ouch.
Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens
Great romantic acting becomes more apparent when you find out that the two leads hated each other’s guts. Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens, the Romeo and Juliet-esque couple from Disney’s High School Musical, couldn’t stand each other in real life. As soon as the camera panned away, so did their cheery dispositions.
They dated while filming some of the High School Musical movies, but when arguments began to arise, it put the future of the films in jeopardy. Eventually, they decided to go their own ways. They say it was a mutual decision, but who knows?
Dylan Sprouse and Joe Jonas
While this feud is more of a shade-throwing match than a full-on battle, it still caught the attention of Disney fans and drew a line in the sand between the Zack & Cody and Jonas Brothers fanbases. In 2013, Joe Jonas released an essay condemning various Disney practices. In particular, he criticized the company for restricting creative freedoms.
Dylan Sprouse responded to the essay with a sharp literary punch, claiming that Jonas’ assertions were “bulls***” and that he and his brother had exercised quite a lot of control over their show. This doesn’t seem like a personal fight — at least not yet.
Tim Allen and Jonathan Taylor Thomas
Many Home Improvement viewers naturally assume that Tim Allen had a decent relationship with his fellow cast members. And for the most part, they’d be right. But while the relationship between Tim Taylor and middle-child Randy Taylor wasn’t purely for the camera, things between Allen and young co-star Jonathan Taylor Thomas quickly dissolved when Thomas quit the show.
Though most cast members were supportive of the overworked youth when he decided to pursue his higher education over more seasons of Home Improvement, Allen was furious. He blew up at Thomas right before the season finale, resulting in Thomas’ absence.
Amanda Bynes and Miley Cyrus
Ah, social media. It has allowed us to connect and share in ways that were unthinkable just a few decades ago. It’s also permitted celebrities to start massive fights with each other from a safe distance. In 2013, Amanda Bynes made the strange decision to bully various celebrities, including Miley Cyrus.
She tweeted a picture of Cyrus and commented, “ur ugly.” Cyrus had nothing aggressive to say about the post, instead choosing to express her disappointment in Bynes’ behavior. Some have speculated that Bynes was making a power play to try and get Liam Hemsworth’s attention. Weird.
Selena Gomez and Miley Cyrus
Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez became household names in 2007 when they acted and performed together on Hannah Montana. However, like similar feuds between young female co-stars, the end of their friendship began when they both met and became enamored with Nick Jonas.
Cyrus was right to be suspicious and a little jealous of Gomez, because as soon as she and Jonas split up, the young pop star found his way to Gomez. Gomez has stated that there’s no ill will between the two stars, but maybe that’s just because they’ve both moved on from Nick Jonas.
Jo Marie Payton and Jaleel White
Anyone who survived the 1980s is likely to remember the unsettling disappearance of Jo Marie Payton from the ninth season of Family Matters. This was a decision that Payton made herself, and if she could have left the show sooner, she would have. Many have speculated about the reasons why she was so determined to leave the successful sitcom.
The show became focused on White’s character early on, leaving little room for other characters to grow and shine. This proved to be a disappointing situation for Payton, who was hoping for a more even-keeled acting experience.
Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan
Though Aaron Carter has battled drug addiction and bankruptcy within the last decade, he was something of a hot commodity in the early 2000s. So much so, that he caused one of the most public and longest-lasting feuds between two young American sweethearts, Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan.
Carter and Duff started dating during their teenage years, but Carter soon found himself bored with the tame Disney star. Seeing Lohan as a more attractive option, Carter immediately started his public involvement with Lohan, perhaps even before breaking up with Duff. This didn’t sit too well with the Lizzie McGuire star.
Lea Michele and Naya Rivera
The cast of Glee was riddled with as much in-house drama as a real-life glee club. When Lea Michele started gaining a massive fanbase, other characters started receiving fewer lines and less-important storylines. This, at least in part, helped to break apart the friendship between Glee co-stars Lea Michele and Naya Rivera.
Rivera denies that the two ever had any real issues with one another but doesn’t deny that ego, growing up and career differences led to the rapid decay of her relationship with Michele. It’s a sad yet common reality for young actors.
Zendaya and Lindsay Lohan
It can be easy to start a fight with Lindsay Lohan, especially when you make your opinions on the red-headed actress known. And Zendaya has never been afraid to speak out in defense of herself. Lohan made the first volley when she attacked Zendaya’s fashion sense in 2019.
Zendaya declined to make a direct reply to the slight, but when she was questioned about it, she simply shrugged it off. In her eyes, someone only tries to hurt someone else when they themselves are hurting, and that’s a sad place to be. Wise words.
Zendaya and Demi Lovato
Zendaya may want to open a butcher shop, because she has quite a lot of beef with other celebs. Still, this one feels a little undeserved — or at least misplaced. While Zendaya was still working on Shake It Up, one of the characters made an offensive and inappropriate joke about anorexia. Demi Lovato noticed.
She took the show, Disney and Zendaya to task about the bizarre joke, making sure that every person who read her tweets and comments knew that eating disorders are nothing to laugh about. The two have since reconciled.