The Anatomy of a Celebrity Breakup Rumor

Crust, mantle, core.

Ben Affleck & Jennifer Garner
(Image credit: Getty, design by Jen Baumgardner)

Just as the language of celebrity divorce announcements varies from "conscious uncoupling" to "amicable separation," so too do the structures of the rumors leading up to them. You've got the popcorn kernel, which Anna Faris most recently referenced in her heart-stopping Worst Summer for Celebrity Marriages Ever entry. There's the nebula of who-knows-what-ness that spins around most whisperings involving famous people like threads of cotton candy. You've got the 💣, which is the only way to accurately illustrate what today's news of Kate Middleton and Prince William possibly getting a D-WORD feels like.

Let's zoom out for a second, shall we, and get a bird's eye view of what happens when it's impossible to tell what's real and what's not except that love is dead. It's basically an Everlasting Gobstopper where all the flavors are bitter. GET IT? Behold…my magnum opus.

The Anatomy of a Celebrity Breakup Rumour Graph

(Image credit: Design by Jen Baumgardner)