Winter Love Island fans are in love with Tom and Shaq’s friendship. They say controversy sells, but nothing beats genuine friendship and connections. And fans have found it thrilling to watch the emergence of the Tom Clare and Shaq Muhammad “bromance” during Winter Love Island 2023. Fans of the show have been raining praises on the duo after they showed off their close friendship following the movie night drama in the villa.
In a short clip posted on Reddit, the two boys stepped outside the villa doors for a breather after a tense movie night. However, at some point, Shaq became overwhelmed by his emotions and started crying — as Tom quickly moved over to embrace and console him. The scenes sparked several reactions from fans on Reddit, with many of them entirely in awe of their close friendship.
Tom and Shaq Hold Each Other Accountable
Tom and Shaq’s friendship has been a highlight of the current season. Apart from being there for each other, another crucial aspect of their friendship is their readiness to point out each other’s flaws. Earlier in the season, Shaq drew praise from fans after he took Tom to the cleaners over his frolicking with bombshell Ellie Spence despite being coupled with Olivia Hawkins.
Ellie first confided in farmer Will Young about the secret kiss she shared with Tom. However, the information didn’t take long to trickle down to other Islanders, including Olivia. While Olivia started crying after a confrontation with Tom, he soon found himself in more trouble with the boys. Tom had previously assured the boys nothing had happened with Ellie, so they were not impressed to find out he had lied. However, Shaq was the only one who called him out for his behavior. Shaq slammed Tom for being dishonest and warned him against playing with the girls’ feelings. Shaq said:
“You’ve got to start being honest bro.”
“Don’t say it’s only a kiss, you can’t say it’s only a kiss when you’re telling all the boys that you see Ellie as only a friend.”
Tom and Shaq Have Each Other’s Back
This year’s movie night, dubbed the “messiest yet” by ITV2 and ITVX viewers, lived up to its name as they watched clips exposing the secrets and lies the islanders hid from each other. Tom’s relationship with Samie Elishi was left hanging in the balance after the islanders watched him kiss Casa Amor girl Lydia Karakyriakou and later cuddle her in bed. All his attempts to try and work things out with Samie proved abortive, as the pair ended up having a heated exchange. Samie stormed off in tears while Tom went outside the villa doors for a much-needed breather.
As Tom tried to get himself together, a distraught Shaq joined him outside after watching clips of his partner Tanya and bombshell Martin Akinola. While muttering to himself, fans heard Shaq say, “I’m sick of this.“Tom then walked over to his side to console him. Shaq eventually began to cry, and his friend pulled him close for a hug. The iconic moment highlighted how far the pair have come with their friendship, and fans couldn’t help but praise the duo. While commenting on a Reddit thread, one user gushed:
“This is exactly what I was saying as it happened. I was saying this is the most real moment in love island history. I felt for both of them. They were trying so hard to self-regulate and not give big bad reactions.”
Another user added:
“The part that really got me was the way Tom started out comforting Shaq in a slightly more reserved way, then once he looked down at Shaq and saw him crying he just wrapped him up in a big bear hug and let him cry. It was so beautiful.”
Many Winter Love Island fans have continued expressing excitement about Tom and Shaq’s friendship. However, they hope the two will continue their “bromance” outside the show.