January 25, 2016 12:30 PM

Are they or aren’t they?

That’s the big question surrounding Justin Bieber and Kourtney Kardashian – and Ellen DeGeneres tried her best to solve the romance mystery when the reality star taped an interview airing on Monday’s episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

A source told PEOPLE in December that Bieber, 21, was enjoying a “huge ego boost from hooking up with Kourt,” 36, over the span of a “few months,” but Kardashian has remained mum on the subject – until now.

It all started when DeGeneres asked, “Does Justin Bieber help with the kids at all?”

“Um, no,” said Kardashian, who has three children – sons Mason, 6, and Reign, 1, and daughter Penelope, 4 – with ex Scott Disick.

Still, the mere mention of Bieber, 21, made Kardashian light up with a big smile. “That’s the rumor. I know you all are just friends, right?” said DeGeneres, prompting Kardashian to simply reply, “Yes.”

DeGeneres didn’t stop there, though, jokingly asking, “Or are you really dating him?” Kardashian paused and stated, “We’re friends.”

Justin Bieber and Kourtney Kardashian in October 2015
AKM-GSI

“You’re friends,” DeGeneres continued. “But why are you smiling that way?” Appearing a bit flustered by the questioning, Kourtney put her hands in front of her face and reiterated, “We’re friends.”

“You’re smiling as if, maybe, it’s beyond friends,” DeGeneres explained, joking. “No, no – not like that,” Kardashian told her.

After the host pointed out a subtle change in her smile, the eldest Kardashian sister said, “Okay,” and took a casual sip of water – a move DeGeneres read into. “Look, now you’re drinking water,” said DeGeneres.

Bieber has been just as coy in recent months. Prior to his cozy New Year’s vacation with longtime pal Hailey Baldwin, 19, he joked about the Kardashian speculation on The Bert Show, saying, “I’m being used, man. What can I say?”

Meanwhile, Khloé Kardashian has said neither Kourtney nor their sisters Kendall Jenner, 20, and Kylie Jenner, 18, have hooked up with Bieber. The topic came up during her appearance on Watch What Happens Live earlier this month. Host Andy Cohen asked, “Which of these sisters has Justin Bieber been with?” She replied with a laugh, “None! It would be amazing if it was all of the above, though.”

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