When people get rowdy on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette, thankfully there are cameras around to capture the magic. As time has passed, the seasons have gotten more outrageous with ratings-bait antics, so our list of the top crazy moments skews heavily in favor of the most recent insanity. Just try to top this, Chris Soules (and ladies)!
1. Jason Picks Melissa — No, Molly!
In 2009, unlucky Season 13 Bachelor Jason Mesnick managed to dethrone Brad Womack as the most hated Bachelor ever. Part of it had to do with the fact that it was Jason — sweet, single father Jason, a fan favorite from DeAnna Pappas's season of The Bachelorette. It didn't seem like he could hurt a fly and yet he publicly broke up with his chosen one, Melissa Rycroft — who called him a "bastard" — only to ask out his runner-up, Molly Malaney, just a few minutes later.
The way it played out — the happy finale with Jason and Melissa, followed by the After the Final Rose dumping, then the After the Final Rose Part 2 with Jason and Molly — was awkward, painful, and totally unbelievable. It also launched the whole spoilers phenomenon from Reality Steve, with fans desperate for more intel on what crazy thing would happen next. Once again, things ended well for all parties: Jason and Molly are now married and Melissa has never left the public eye, first competing on Dancing With the Stars, then launching a TV correspondent career and co-hosting Bachelor Pad. She's also married to a guy she knew before going on The Bachelor and pregnant with their second child. If anything, she should thank Jason.
2. Brad Womack Pulls The Womack
Oh, Brad! Brad, Brad, Brad. We'll give him credit: He may be a lot of things, but he is not a sell-out. The Bachelor audience wants a happy ending, but instead of giving us the usual proposal or "let's see where this goes" finale — only to inevitably break up a few months later — Brad decided to be honest. He was just not that into you, DeAnna Pappas and Jenni Croft. He shocked viewers, who felt like Brad had completely wasted their time and needlessly led on two innocent women. It all ended up fine, but Brad was the most hated guy in The Bachelor universe for a long time. (Until, uh, see above.)
3. Jake and Vienna Dissolve Their Union of Fame Whoredom
The hand chop heard 'round the world aired during Ali Fedotowsky's season of The Bachelorette. If only Jake Pavelka had taken Ali back, maybe he could've been spared the embarrassment of his harsh public breakup with Vienna Girardi. She cried. He seethed. She interrupted. He yelled. Chris Harrison looked alternately terrified of the train going off the rails in front of him and excited by the prospect of high ratings. Somehow, Vienna ended up looking like the winner of the fight — even after bursting into tears, calling Jake a mean fame whore, and running away. But Jake found redemption of a kind onBachelor Pad Season 2 when he tried to make peace with Vienna and she rejected the olive branch.
4. The "He/She's Got a Girlfriend/Boyfriend Back Home" Move
At this point, no season feels complete without someone being outed for having a hot piece back home. You know most of them have someone on standby, it’s just a matter of which contestant will be called out and how much of a fuss will ensue.
Wes Hayden launched the trend in The Bachelorette Season 5; it was shocking — shocking! — at the time, even if we never even saw his alleged girlfriend, Laurel. They upped the ante in Season 6 with entertainment wrestler Justin "Rated-R" Rego. He hobbled off into the Turkish sunset as voicemails he left to his ex-girlfriend, Jessica, played out for viewers to enjoy.
Casey Shteamer brought some gender equality into the mix when her supposed ex back home said they were still together, leaving Casey a sobbing mess as she left The Bachelor Season 16. And things got really fun in Desiree Hartsock’s recent The Bachelorette Season 9 when Brian Jarosinski and Stephanie Larimore aired their dirty soap opera laundry right there in front of everyone. Where can this now popular theme go from here? Perhaps next time, the ex will just be one of the contestants, too.
5. They Quit!
There was a time when it was rare for people to just admit they weren’t feeling it. Now it happens a lot, although it’s usually early in the season, not right before they might get engaged.
Ed Swiderski, Ali Fedotowsky, Frank Neuschaefer, and Brooks Forester all broke the hearts of their respective leads when they left fairly late in the game. At least Ed came back. He left Jillian for his job back in Chicago, before returning to The Bachelorette Season 5, which he later won. Ali left Jake for Facebook and then called to come back. By then, Jake had moved on, so Ali was free to dump Facebook again for a starring role on The Bachelorette. Frank masterfully combined the girlfriend-back-home theme with quitting late in the game when we actually saw him reunite with his girlfriend in Chicago, then watched him leave Ali at the final three in Bora Bora.
Brooks was (wrongly) spoiled as The One for Desiree Hartsock, but after a long, rambling speech it gradually became clear that Brooks just wasn’t that into Des, and he left her questioning the whole process … for about five minutes, before she decided to just go with Chris. Who will quit next?
6. Nick Says “Let’s Talk About Sex, Baby”
Apparently Nick Viall didn’t get the memo: What happens in the Fantasy Suite stays in the Fantasy Suite. The runner up on Andi Dorfman’s season of The Bachelorette was so flabbergasted by the idea that Andi could sleep with him but not pick him, that he brought it up on national television during the After the Final Rose Special with the question “If you weren’t in love with me, why did you make love with me?” Cringe. Awkward. We’re getting secondhand embarrassment all over again.
Andi got pissed, Nick looked like he was going to cry, Chris Harrison wasn’t sure what to do and became very interested in picking his fingernails, and then Josh Murray had to trot out on stage and pretend like the world hadn’t just found out that his fiancé slept with another man the night before him. Ouch.
7. Rozlyn is Accused of an “Inappropriate Relationship” With a Producer
Rozlyn Papa was accused of flirting, cuddling, and snuggling with producer Ryan Callahan, who was fired from the show. It would’ve been funnier if Jake had attempted to confront Rozlyn instead of Chris Harrison, when this all went down on Season 14, Episode 2. Was it because Rozlyn was accused of getting cozy with a show producer and Chris was there as a production rep? Their conversation was so awkward and choppy, it’s hard to tell what in the world really happened. (Kelly Ripa did a fun reenactment, though.) Jake stayed out of it, unlike Ali chasing Justin through Turkey. The Rozlyn thing turned into a big he said/she said scandal, although in hindsight it just seems like maybe she was a better fit for Bachelor Pad … which didn’t exist yet. Ahead of her time!
8. Ben and Courtney Go Skinny Dipping
Can you imagine if Ben Flajnik didn't pick Courtney Robertson and his Chosen One had to see him go skinny dipping with the model? Before Season 16 even started, ABC teased NSFW videos of Ben in the buff, which just turned off a lot of fans — and they hadn't even started disliking Courtney yet! This isn’t exactly a classy show, but some fans felt it was a step too far for the Bachelor to get naked with one of his ladies — on TV, at least. Courtney was very free with her body throughout the season, stealing Ben's attention in her bikini and then going topless with the natives. The other girls weren't quite as forward, but Ben loved her aggression. Missed out? Relive the magic.
Why couldn’t everyone just appreciate her *sparkle*?! The Bachelor has a long history of drama girls, and the most recent is Tierra LiCausi. Her uncontrollable eyebrows and over-the-top emotions dominatedSean Lowe’s season. Did she really tumble down the stairs? Did she really get hypothermia? Was she even really engaged after the show? How much was real and how much was a sparkly show? Who will be the next drama girl, since it’s inevitable Juan Pablo’s season will have (at least) one?
10. Drunk Tim Needs to Take the Special Van Home
It's really only surprising that this doesn't happen more often. People get drunk on the show all the time, but Tim McCormack took it to a new level on Ashley's Season 7 premiere. Stacey Elza of Matt Grant's season got drunk, gave him a pair of panties, and passed out, but at least she didn't have to be carted away. Tim was literally carried out by the fellow bachelors. He didn't even get a limo exit, he was dropped in a van before the first rose ceremony even happened. Poor guy. Talk about embarrassing. The funniest part might be how much he insulted Masked Jeff before leaving, as if the mask was a worse move. Jeff's gimmick was upstaged by Tim's drunkenness, making the mask seem almost mature by comparison.
11. Andi Says Adios to Juan Pablo’s Attitude
Here goes Andi again, embroiled in another Fantasy Suite dates kerfuffle. The morning after she and Juan Pablo Galavis spent their overnight date in St. Lucia together, Andi tells El Bachelor he didn’t make all her fantasies come true. What happened? Well, he broke the same rule as Nick and mentioned the unmentionable, i.e., that the morning before he woke up next to Andi, he woke up next to Clare Crawley. Not exactly the pillow talk that gets a gal giddy with emotion.
But what’s worse? In between talking about nothing but himself, he also told the future Bachelorette that she “barely made it” to St. Lucia and was there “by default.” For that, Andi faulted him and peaced herself out of the competition.
12. Don’t Mind My Family!
No wonder they save the family stuff for the end of the season — put it off as long as possible! Hometown Dates can kill this show, and sometimes — like with Ashley’s disapproving sister trying to steer her away from JP Rosenbaum — they can even ruin your happy final time. Remember how Desiree’s brother scared away Sean, Catherine Giudici’s sisters almost sabotaged her, Kirk DeWindt’s father took Ali into the basement to view the taxidermy, and Naomi Crespo’s mother forced Jason to attend a funeral for a bird? Good times!
13. Emily Goes West Virginia Hood Rat on Kalon
Southern Barbie is usually the picture of ladylike poise, but Emily Maynard got super ticked off when Doug Clerget told her that Kalon McMahon referred to her daughter Ricki as "baggage." So she confronted Kalon in front of everyone and went "West Virginia hood rat backwoods on his ass." She made a whole speech, then told him to "get the f--k out." It was such a surprise from her, and totally made us want to induct her into our lady gang.
14. Chantal Slaps Brad
Chantal O'Brien set the tone for Brad’s 2.0 Season 15 with a hard slap to the face. She was the first one out of the limo, and introduced herself by saying she had seen his past season and had something for him "from every woman in America." Slap! Brad took it pretty well, saying he deserved that. A lot of women in America disagreed; in hindsight, Brad probably made the right — and most honest — call to not pick anyone on Season 11.
15. Clare Tells Juan Pablo Ees Not OK
Hell hath no fury like a woman slut-shamed on national television. Juan Pablo did all sorts of wrong by Clare during his season, and when he dismissed her, she gave him the dressing down he deserved. First, Juan made out with Clare during a late night dip in the ocean, then called her out for being a bit of a loose woman. Then, when she asked him to tell her he loved her, he responded by saying he “loved f—king her” instead. The fact that Clare didn’t slap him right then and there still boggles our minds.
So when JPG finally cut her loose in favor of Nikki Ferrell, who has now also joined the ranks of women who have bid Juan adieu, Clare told him in no uncertain terms that she was the prize, not him. What got lost in translation between these two? Everything. But the lecture Clare gave him during her exit left nothing up for interpretation.
What outrageous moments have stood out to you in the past 18 seasons of The Bachelor and ten of The Bachelorette? Do you think Chris Soules’ season will add a few more to the list?