So when Louis Tomlinson, Niall Horan, Harry Styles and Liam Payne sat down on the Late Late Show couch, Corden – who has been friends with the band for years -- had to clear the air by addressing the elephant in the room.
"We should talk about the fact that there are four of you here on this sofa, where there has always been five," the host said, broaching the topic.
Corden addressed Tomlinson first, asking how his relationship with Malik has been since he exited.
"There's been a bit of back and forth," the 23-year-old boy band member said, laughing. "But we're on good terms."
Addressing his Twitter feud
with Zayn and producer Naughty Boy, the singer added, "I've never been good at biting my tongue… Twitter is great for connecting with the fans, but also if you feel like saying something you probably shouldn't. It's good for that too."
Liam Payne admitted that the news of Malik's departure
hit hard when it happened, but that the group understands their former bandmate's decision.
"At first we were a little bit angry obviously, we were surprised," Payne explained. "But we all knew the general vibe that Zayn was feeling."
"If you don't like the job, you gotta follow your heart and go where you need to go," Payne added. "There's no hard feelings."
Corden also brought the conversation around to the idea of adding a new fifth member, asking Styles if the band ever considered finding a replacement.
"No," Styles replied definitively.
That's when Corden made the motivation behind his question a little clearer, asking the band if they ever considered asking him to join 1D.
"Not even for a split second?" a rejected Corden prodded.
"I mean… No." Styles really wasn't having Corden's less-than-subtle hinting.
Although he did joke that the band considered asking Late Late Show band leader Reggie Watts to come on board. Everyone agreed that would be amazing.
Tomlinson also opened up a little about being single, and "making hay while the sun," as Corden put it. The 23-year-old pop superstar revealed that, of his bandmates, Payne always serves as the best wing man.
The guys didn't only focus on the past and the band's recent hurdles but they also had some good, old fashioned, wacky Late Late Show fun when they got into a heated game of dodge ball with a hardcore all-girl team that mopped the floor with them.
Despite Corden serving as their coach and their team captain, no amount of him screaming "Knock. Knock? Ball in your face!" could prepare the guys for the ferocious might of the Ball Busters.