Let’s take a look back at the 35 most dramatic moments of the past two decades of “Bachelor” history, in order from oldest to newest. From Colton Underwood jumping the fence to Peter Weber’s mom Barb dissing Madison on “After the Final Rose,” here are some of the juiciest “Bachelor” and “Bachelorette” moments in history.
Jesse Palmer Forgets Karen Lindsay’s Name
Former NFL player Jesse Palmer accidentally called the wrong name during Season 5 in 2004. In a hilariously panicked moment, he pulled Chris Harrison aside to tell him that he had forgotten Karen’s name and had called Katie [Gehart] instead. “I froze and forgot,” he told a bemused Harrison. “We gotta do that again.” Katie got to stay another week for her troubles.
Trista Rehn Reveals Some Intimate Details in the Fantasy Suite
The first-ever Bachelorette, Trista Rehn, now Trista Sutter, revealed to her date in the fantasy suite that she’d “never had an orgasm during real intercourse.”
Brad Womack Walks Away Empty-Handed
The first time he was the Bachelor on Season 11, Womack famously decided that neither of his final two women were right for him in the end. In an unprecedented moment in “Bachelor” franchise history, no winner was chosen. But Womack would get another chance in 2011 for Season 15.
Jason Mesnick Pulls a Switcheroo
Season 13 Bachelor Jason Mesnick initially chose Melissa Rycroft, but on “After the Rose,” he decided that he just couldn’t forget about Molly Malaney, who remains his wife to this day. He broke up with Melissa right there on TV, and she was not amused.
Rozlyn Papa Is Accused of Having an Affair With a Staffer
On Jake Pavelka’s Season 14, Rozlyn Papa was accused of having an affair with someone who works on the show. Chris Harrison had to awkwardly ask her to pack her bags and leave.
Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi Go Off on Each Other
After breaking off their engagement, Jake accused Vienna of selling him out to the tabloids. Vienna called Jake a “fame whore” and accused him of being emotionally abusive in their relationship. Chris Harrison, as always, bared witness to it all.
Brad Womack Ends Engagement to Emily Maynard
Womack got a second chance to be the Bachelor on Season 15, which ended in him choosing Emily Maynard. But soon after, the couple called it quits and ended their engagement. Maynard went on to become the next Bachelorette.
Courtney Robertson and Ben Flajnik Go Skinny Dipping
On Season 16, Courtney surprised Ben with a proposition to take advantage of their time in Puerto Rico and go skinny dipping. He said “Why not,” and he ended up choosing her as his final pick. But they broke off their engagement a few months later, and she released a book called “I Didn’t Come Here to Make Friends: Confessions of a Reality Show Villain.”
Lindsay Yenter Takes Off Her Heels
Yenter made it to the final two on Sean Lowe’s Season 17, but she got sent home after making it to the final two. In a snap decision that many Bachelor fans found relatable, Yenter famously took off her Badgley Mischka heels and walked back to the car barefoot. Lowe ended up marrying Catherine Giudici, and the pair just welcomed their third child in Dec. 2019.
Brooks Forester Tells Desiree Hartsock He Doesn’t Love Her
In a strange turn of events, a contestant dumped the Bachelorette instead of the other way around. Brooks Forester told Desiree Hartsock that he just wasn’t feeling it shortly before she had planned to tell him she loved him on Season 9. She went on to marry Chris Seigfried.
Andi Dorfman Calls Juan Pablo an A–Hole
“There’s a difference between being honest and being an a–hole,” the Season 10 Bachelorette told this future Bachelor, who wouldn’t stop saying “It’s okay” in very serious situations. Newsflash, Juan Pablo — it’s NOT okay.
Nick Viall Gets Rejected a Second Time
Though Viall would go on to have his own season of “The Bachelor,” but to get there, he had to go through two seasons of coming in first runner-up on “The Bachelorette.” First he got rejected by Andi Dorfman on Season 10, and then Kaitlyn Bristowe on Season 11. We’re sorry to report that things didn’t last with Vanessa Grimaldi, his pick from Season 21 of “The Bachelor,” either.
Corinne Reveals She Has a Nanny
Corinne Olympios, a contestant on Nick Viall’s Season 21, famously revealed that she has a nanny who makes her bed, washes her clothes, and makes her cheese pasta.
Arie Luyendyk Ends His Engagement With Becca Kufrin
Season 22 Bachelor Arie Luyendyk Jr. chose Becca K. as his bride-to-be in his season finale, but just weeks later, he realized he’d made the wrong choice. He broke up with Becca in a tear-filled special that was all caught on camera by ABC. Arie went on to marry his first runner-up, Lauren Burnham, with whom he now has a daughter. Watch their dramatic wedding video here. Becca ended up going on to become the Season 14 Bachelorette.
All the Things Chad Johnson Did
From punching a door to ripping another contestant’s shirt to aggressively eating a sweet potato, Chad was drama from start to finish on JoJo Fletcher’s 12th season of “The Bachelorette.”
Rachel Lindsay and Peter Kraus Breakup
In a particularly heartbreaking moment to watch, Season 13 Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay broke up with Peter Kraus because he said he wasn’t ready to propose to her the next day. She went on to marry Bryan Abasolo.
Colton Underwood Jumps the Fence
After Cassie Randolph leaves, Season 23 Bachelor Colton Underwood rips off his mic and jumps a fence out of frustration, fleeing Chris Harrison and the producers as they call his name. He later breaks up with the other two remaining contestants, Tayshia and Hannah, and gets Cassie back. After dating for a few years, the couple broke up, and Randolph has since filed a restraining order against Underwood.
Hannah Brown Tells Off Luke Parker
Though this would not be the last we saw of Luke P. on Hannah B.’s Season 15, this was the defining moment between Alabama Hannah and the 5’8″ villain. After he tells her that he would leave if he she had slept with any of the other contestants, Hannah tells him, “I have had sex. And Jesus still loves me.”
Hannah Brown Ends Engagement With Jed Wyatt
In a shocking turn of events, after wrapping production on Season 15 of “The Bachelorette” with a proposal from Jed Wyatt, a People Magazine story revealed that he had a secret girlfriend who he had promised to come back to after the show. Hannah confronted Jed, who had little justification for his actions, and she ended their engagement.
Hannah Brown and Peter Weber Come Clean About the Windmill
During the “After the Rose” special Hannah sat down with her third runner-up, Peter Weber, and revealed to all — including Peter’s mom and dad — that they didn’t just have sex twice in that famous windmill… it was actually four times.
Hannah Brown Returns
After she smashed Peter Weber’s heart into a million little pieces, Brown crashed the Bachelor mansion at the start of her old flame’s Season 24 and very nearly re-joined the house before thinking better of it.
Hannah Ann Sluss opened a bottle of champagne that Kelsey Weier was saving for a special moment with Peter on Season 24. It blew up into a “finasco” that few will soon forget. Luckily, Kelsey got herself a new bottle and some alone time with Pete after all… except that it exploded in her face. Peter was very confused as to what was going on the entire time, as usual.
Alayah Gets Sent Home… Again
It’s been nearly a year, but our heads have barely stopped spinning from all of this Alayah drama from Season 24 of “The Bachelor.” First, she was accused of being fake for the camera. Then, after much pot-stirring by all involved, she was sent home, only to later show up uninvited to a group date to settle the score. Peter, ever the marshmallow in the face of a crying woman, brings her back. But the other women of the house weren’t having it, so, he sent Alayah home once again — for good.
Tammy Yells at People
Another Season 34 villain, Tammy, seemed to just live to make other girls cry. First, she came for Kelsey, then she came for Sydney, and then she came for poor Mykenna. Finally, in a rare moment of deciding NOT to reward drama for once, Peter sent Tammy home.
Hannah Ann Tells Off Peter, Her New Ex-Fiancé
Though they left Australia a happily engaged couple, Peter broke off their engagement a month after filming ended for Season 24. Hannah Ann, who had been a soft-spoken southern bell for the majority of the season, gave him a piece of her mind in footage aired on “After the Final Rose” — “You betrayed me, and you know it.”
Barb Gives Madison a Piece of Her Mind
Peter’s mother, Barb, knew that he and Madison were doomed from the start. When the pair declared they intended to continue dating on “After the Final Rose,” Barb told them to their faces: “Everyone that knows him knows it’s not gonna work.” Well, she was right — the pair broke up the next day. Peter is currently dating former contestant Kelley Flanagan.
Yosef Tears Into “Oldest Bachelorette” Clare
Clare Crawley’s stint as the Bachelorette didn’t last long, but it managed to pack some serious drama. Exhibit A: Yosef, who tore into Clare after he found out about a group date that involved the guys playing strip dodgeball. “[I] believe that you’re not fit to be a mother to my child,” he shouted at her. “You’re completely classless, Clare. I expected way more from the oldest Bachelorette in history.” With that, he headed out of La Quinta, but not before Clare could respond: “To sit there and say, ‘You’re the oldest Bachelorette!’ Guess what? I’m the oldest Bachelorette that’s standing here that’s single because I didn’t settle for MEN LIKE THAT.” Unsurprisingly, Dale swooped in to comfort Clare, which leads us to…
Clare Chooses Dale and Ends Her Season Early – VERY Early
Clare’s “Bachelorette” season was always going to be different, considering filming got pushed back because of COVID delays and the action was confined to just one place: the balmy La Quinta Resort in Palm Springs. But even by “Bachelor” standards, this one was wild. After just four episodes, Clare decided Dale Moss was her man, the two got engaged and that was that. The woman just knew what she wanted.
Tayshia Rolls In for a Mid-Season Switch
Clare may have found her happy ending with Dale, but she also left a lot of poor guys hanging in the process. Enter Tayshia Adams, a fan-favorite from “Bachelor in Paradise” and Colton’s season of “The Bachelorette,” who rose like a gorgeous, orange bikini-clad phoenix out of the La Quinta swimming pool to shoot her shot as the Bachelorette.
Ben Shows Up After Getting Eliminated
Tayshia eliminated California personal trainer Ben Smith after hometowns, mostly because he couldn’t bring himself to say those three little words. But after Brendan sent himself home, Ben returned to La Quinta and managed to tell Tayshia he loved her. Unfortunately for Ben, it was all for naught, because Tayshia ended up blissfully engaged to Zac Clark.
Sarah Blindsides Matt by Sending Herself Home
Turns out, the time Sarah Trott fainted during a rose ceremony wasn’t her most memorable moment on the show. The early frontrunner of Matt James’ season shockingly chose to send herself home during week three, partially because she was being bullied by other contestants, but mostly because her dad was ill with ALS and she wanted to return home to her family. A mature decision, but one that ultimately blindsided Matt.
Anna Accuses Brittany of Being an Escort
Almost a month into Matt’s season, producers diabolically chose to bring in five new women — which definitely didn’t go over well. Anna was part of the “mean girl” clique who relentlessly bullied the new women, even going so far as to accuse Brittany of being an escort. Matt ended up sending Anna home after he learned about her bullying behavior, and she later apologized on the “Women Tell All” special.
Pretty Much Everything “Queen Victoria” Did
Victoria Larson was inarguably the villain of Matt’s season, a title she seemed to assume with absolute glee. She picked fights, called women names, quite literally stole the crown off another contestant’s head and was unapologetic about it all.
Matt Chooses Rachael — While Viewers Grapple With Her Past Racist Actions
As viewers watched Rachael Kirkconnell steal Matt’s heart on screen, the Georgia native’s past offscreen behavior came to light. Photos of Rachael at an Old South plantation-themed party in 2018 began circulating, and internet sleuths also found posts she had “liked” with Confederate flags in them. She later apologized, but things got even worse when Chris Harrison ignorantly defended Rachael’s actions and subsequently stepped down as host of “The Bachelor.”
Matt and Rachael Awkwardly Reunite at “After the Final Rose”
By the time Matt’s season finale aired, he and Rachael had already broken up because of the controversy surrounding her past racist actions. That made for an uncomfortable reunion at “ATFR,” during which Matt somberly told his ex, “When I questioned our relationship, it was in the context of you not fully understanding my Blackness and what it means to be a Black man in America. It broke my heart because this is the last conversation I thought we’d be having. I didn’t sign up to have this conversation.”