“ONE THING” (2012)
One Direction, looking dapper in London! The “One Thing” video embraced their humor, energy and chemistry and is a throwback to the antics of bands like the Beatles and the Monkees. This video was the first that was more in line with their personalities, not that of 90s boy bands.
Another black and white performance video, only this time in a hotel instead of a recording studio. The video shows them dicking around in the lobbies as well as during quieter times in their rooms, closing with a rooftop performance. Sophie Muller’s video direction somehow makes a simple performance video stand out more than it normally might have among their funnier videos.
“DRAG ME DOWN” (2015)
The first video after Zayn left the group was kind of a mic drop in song message and video. The concept is simple and amazing: they train to be astronauts. NASA, YOU GUYS. I’m just saying, watch this video, then watch Zayn’s terrible “Pillowtalk” video. Tell me who won.
“KISS YOU” (2013)
The “Kiss You” video is another throwback, with One Direction reenacting videos from people like Elvis Presley (“Jailhouse Rock” specifically), the Beach Boys, and the Monkees on a soundstage for a photo shoot. They dress up in ski gear, in bathing suits to surf, in Elvis’s version of a jail uniform, and as sailors and generally dick around. It’s a fun video that showcases how comfortable they are with one another.
“BEST SONG EVER” (2013)
One Direction’s first story video is written by British comedian (and future Late Late Show host) James Corden and producer/director Ben Winston. The guys play both themselves and various personalities at a record label–Niall and Louis are executives, Zayn is a lady secretary, Harry is their nerdy marketing consultant, and Liam is their flamboyant choreographer. After being pitched a ridiculous ‘90s makeover, One Direction wreaks havoc all over the office, trashing the place and coordinating a ridiculous, quirky dance routine with some of the employees. The band’s commitment to comedy really sells this video–it looks effortless and like a ton of fun to shoot.