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Who’s to Blame for the Taylor Swift–Tom Hiddleston Breakup?

We’re looking at you, Ryan Reynolds

Getty Images/Ringer illustration
Getty Images/Ringer illustration

Who’s to blame for Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston’s breakup? Short version: everyone. Long version: I’m really glad you asked.

Here are the 10 entities most responsible for the Hiddleswift breakup:

10. Hillstone restaurant

According to Us Weekly, “The pair … [was] last spotted dining at Santa Monica’s Hillstone restaurant on July 28.” The last supper. What is it about Hillstone restaurant that makes Taylor Swifts break up with Tom Hiddlestons? We did some investigating, and the results were pretty shocking. To quote Yelp user Kimberly H., “As far as food, the Hawaiin Ribeye [sic] literally melts in your mouth. I got it with a side of corn which was great as well.” OK, that’s not very helpful. Let’s dig a little deeper. Yelp user Lindsay H. has this to say: “My friend and I always end up at this joint for late-night drinks and apps. The atmosphere is warm and cozy, albeit a bit stuffy.” Interesting. But it’s Yelp user Alice C. who really gets at the truth: “Food is always consistent here. Almost everything is a safe bet.” And now I think you see what the problem was. Consistent. A safe bet. Where is the spark? Where is the passion? Love isn’t consistent. Love isn’t a safe bet. Love is a Hawaiian ribeye that literally melts in your mouth.

9. Taylor Swift

Popular singer-songwriter.

8. Conspiracy theories

One of the running thrills of the Hiddleston–Swift union was its rampant conspiracy corner. There was the fanfic writer who predicted the relationship. There was the “Tom is using Taylor’s fame to enhance his starpower enough to become bankable as the next James Bond” angle. And, of course, there was the idea that it might all be a hoax — that the entire relationship was a publicity stunt, orchestrated by Swift, to drum up buzz for her next album. Conspiracy theories abounded — one more cynical than the next. And maybe the weight of that cynicism destroyed their relationship. But do you know what the most powerful conspiracy theory of all is? LOVE. Hiddleswift isn’t over. I want to believe.

7. Tom Hiddleston’s mom

I’m sorry — I don’t trust her.

6. Even numbers

Swift has released an album in October or November of every even-numbered year since 2006: Taylor Swift (2006), Fearless (2008), Speak Now (2010), Red (2012), and 1989 (2014). It’s currently September 2016. And if you think that Taylor Swift — Taylor Swift — is releasing a new album amid “she’d say yes if he proposed” rumors, then I have a box of unworn fox sweaters I’d like to sell you.

5. PDA

“Tom wanted the relationship to be more public than she was comfortable with,” a source tells Us Weekly. “Taylor knew the backlash that comes with public displays of affection but Tom didn’t listen to her concerns when she brought them up.” There are few universal relationship truths in this world, but here is one of them: No relationship has ever survived a PDA dispute. Let alone a PDA dispute after MAKING OUT AT THE COLOSSEUM. They made out at the Colosseum. Seriously try to think of something less romantic than ambivalently making out at the Colosseum. Awful. You have to figure that shit out in advance.

4. Ryan Reynolds

You lived a good life, Love, and you touched a lot of people. Think of the legacy that you leave behind: crushes, flowers, making out, Romeo + Juliet, Valentine’s Day, the TV shows where the premise is, like, “marriage hahaha,” Hitch. When you were alive, Love, no one could touch you. Your influence was unparalleled. I am not sure why Ryan Reynolds decided to murder you in cold blood with his face this past summer — in Rhode Island! Of all places — but that’s the thing about death, Love. We just never know. When it’s time to go, it’s time to go. R.I.P. Love, Big Bang–4 July 2016. You will be missed.

3. Tom Hiddleston

Third male lead in Thor: Ragnarok.

2. Australia

I have to be honest: Australia might have fucked this up. Now, don’t get me wrong — America isn’t perfect. But I’ll say this: We are a place where love at its most annoying and unnecessary and not not vulgar may bloom. Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston knocked on our front door, their eyes wet, their arms wide open, asking us, begging us, for their rich dumb hearts to be made full. And — god bless America — we obliged. We gave them: Taylor Swift’s goth phase; literally everyone in Marvel movies being considered a heartthrob for some reason, it’s hard to explain; a party with a theme of “scotch-tape tin foil to yourself”; an afterparty; a dance floor; WE GAVE THEM T.I.’s 2004 HIT “BRING ’EM OUT.” Which is to say: We gave them everything we had.

Europe did its part, too: London, Rome — it was tacky, it was inauthentic, it was borderline not believable, it was definitely unlikable, it was romantic, nothing has ever been more true. Good job, Europe.

But however strong Hiddleswift was after the first two legs of its world tour … here’s what we know for sure: It couldn’t survive Australia. What was it about Australia specifically? Who’s to say. Maybe Taylor tried to throw an Australian Independence Day party and Australia said, “Today isn’t our Independence Day, why are you throwing a party,” and Taylor Swift said, “Squad,” but it wasn’t enough, they didn’t come. Maybe the couple got spooked by the fact that, in Australia, their once-admired knitwear wasn’t even par for the course. Maybe it’s just … hard to date The Guy Standing Next to Chris Hemsworth. Or maybe it was none of those things. Whatever it might have been, though, here’s what happened: By the time that Hiddleswift returned to L.A. to salvage things, it was simply too late. Australia is amazing. It ruined everything.

1. Kim Kardashian West

Kim Kardashian West is running the table in 2016. She is going undefeated. Not many celebrities have ever gone undefeated over an entire year, but this year it’s happening — and Kim is the one. What does going undefeated mean? It means that — no matter the subject, and no matter the headline, and no matter the other people involved — for every piece of celebrity news in 2016, the takeaway remains the same.

And the takeaway of Hiddleswift’s breakup is no different:

Kim won.