There are some moments in television that are just so cringe-inducing that it’s hard to sit through, but they are moments that you are also not going to soon forget. Whether it is a scripted sitcom, like the infamous “Scott’s Tots” episode of The Office or from real life events like the one earlier this year at the Academy Awards, there is no shortage of cringy moments that the world has provided us.
Below we’re going to focus on the latter as we cover the 15 most cringe-worthy moments that have ever happened on live television and involve some of the biggest celebrities in Hollywood.
Whether it is Johnny Depp trying to present an award while hammered, the numerous times (that’s right, numerous) the wrong winner has been announced or you know, the time Martin Short got interviewed about his wife who had been dead for 1.5 years, we have no shortage of variety.
With each video being under 5 minutes long and embedded into our list, we’ve created a one-stop for arguably the most cringe-worthy moments to ever happen on live TV. We’re sure these celebrities wish they could take these moments back, but as one celebrity mutters awkwardly in one of our video “This is what happens when you have live TV folks!”
15. Kelly Osbourne – Makes A Racist Comment Towards Mexicans On The View
Kelly Osbourne had such a smug look on her face when she was getting ready to make her point on an episode of The View back in 2015. The only problem is the point she was about to make was very very stupid.
In an attempt to spur on a conversation about immigration and jobs that potential Mexicans can do, Osbourne had the brilliant suggestion of saying “If you kick every Latino out of this country, then who is going to be cleaning your toilet, Donald Trump?…In the sense that….you know what I mean?”
No Kelly, no we don’t. The comments then led to the other women to stare her down before making sure to reiterate that Latinos are capable of doing more jobs than that.
Osbourne took to social media shortly after the incident, saying,
“I wholehearted f—ed up today. I don’t want to bullshit anyone with lame excuses. Although, I was stopped mid sentence by Rosie and couldn’t finish my point, I will not let Rosie take responsibility for my words… I’ve learned a very valuable lesson. I should have known I was on The View and it was live.”
14. Christina Aguilera’s Anthem Fail
If you are going to be singing the national anthem, you are definitely going to want to make sure you know what every single one of those lyrics are, after all, it’s a pretty patriotic thing to get wrong. Especially you know, if you’re Christina Aguilera and you just happen to be singing the anthem at the SUPER BOWL!
In the above video, Aguilera gets ready to belt out what ends up being her own improvised version of the American anthem. Instead of going with the classic, “O’er the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming” Aguilera went with her own “What so proudly we watched at the twilight’s last reaming.”
At least she was able to keep the rhyme the same?
13. Johnny Depp – HAMMERED Trying To Announce An Award
You had to know Johnny Depp was hammered only a few seconds into his speech at the Hollywood Film Awards. After all, saying “this is the weirdest microphone I’ve ever seen in my life” and then stumbling on about how you aren’t very good at this type of things.
The slurring is rampant throughout the video, but my favorite part is “He’s someone I consider a great friend, somebody … uh, yeah, uh … incredibly, uh … loyal, loyal friend. Um. And so … you have to watch the film. Yeah, there you go.” that we get around the 45-second mark.
Then you also have the moment where Depp admits he can’t read the teleprompter and that “it’s one of those nights.”
12. Caitlin Upton – Worst Answer In Beauty Pagent History
Caitlin Upton is a successful fashion model and former beauty queen, but she may not be the world’s best public speaker. Her embarrassing moment came in 2007 after she was announced Miss South Carolina Teen USA and went on to compete in the Miss Teen USA pageant.
During the Q&A portion, Upton was asked the question “Recent polls have shown a fifth of Americans can’t locate the U.S. on a world map. Why do you think this is?”
Leading her to respond,
“I personally believe that U.S. Americans are unable to do so because, uh, some, uh, people out there in our nation don’t have maps and, uh, I believe that our education like such as in South Africa and, uh, the Iraq, everywhere like such as, and, I believe that they should, our education over here in the U.S. should help the U.S., uh, or, uh, should help South Africa and should help the Iraq and the Asian countries, so we will be able to build up our future. For our children.”
11. John Travolta – Butchers Idina Menzel’s Moment
When you are going to try and talk about musicals at the Oscars, one of the best potential actors you could get to talk about it is John Travolta. I mean, love or hate the guy how can you argue against Grease, and even Hairspray is an enjoyable film. Idina Menzel however, who most famously sung “Let It Go” for the Disney movie Frozen may not be such a huge fan.
Back in 2014 when it was supposed to be Idina Menzel’s time to shine, Travolta took to the Oscar stage to instead hilariously butcher her name introducing “Adele Dazeem”
10. Martin Short – Kathie Lee Gifford Forgets His Wife Is Dead
If you are going to do an interview with someone, one of the main things you want to make sure is that you are going into it with the most updated and relevant information you can. Going to talk about a movie? Find out what the movie is about. Going to talk about an actor and his personal life? MAYBE FIND OUT IF HIS WIFE IS STILL ALIVE.
This was a mistake that Kathie Lee Gifford made back in 2012 when interviewing Martin Short on the Today Show when she asked Martin Short all about his ex-wife, who died 1.5 years prior due to cancer.
The interview which you can see a snippet of above included Gifford asking several questions about his marriage including how long they have been together and saying “You’re still like in love!” and saying that the two were still madly in love.
9. Janet Jackson’s Nip Slip (Sorry Fellas, No Video!)
Janet Jackson had a great idea for her halftime performance with Justin Timberlake at the Superbowl back in 2004. She was going to rock out to the song “Rock Your Body” and then when the lyric “I’m gonna have you naked by the end of this song” came on, Timberlake was supposed to rip off her top and reveal a red, lace bra underneath.
The only problem, Timberlake got a tad too aggressive and instead Jackson’s breast was suddenly exposed to 140 million viewers.
Timberlake spoke out about the incident after, calling it a wardrobe malfunction. There were several ramifications of the event, perhaps none more weird or shocking than the fact that Jackson had a Mickey Mouse statue of herself in Walt Disney World to honor her legacy, but it was removed following the performance.
8. Elizabeth Taylor – Drunk At Golden Globes
Elizabeth Taylor made sure to let the audience know a few moments into her drunken introduction speech at the Golden Globes that she didn’t have much experience in presenting awards. But she hopefully should have had enough experience to realize you shouldn’t do it drunk!
Taylor’s most telling moment may have been when she goes to list off the nominations by attempting to open the award-winning envelope! Thankfully she was told by someone sitting in the front row that she was to just read the movies off the teleprompter and THEN open the envelope that says who won.
7. Mariah Carey – Gives Up On New Years Performance
If you get the chance to perform at Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve in Times Square, you definitely want to bring your A-Game. That sadly was far from the case for Mariah Carey who suffered a massive fail on December 31st, 2016.
As you can see in the above video, Carey realized early into the performance that her earpiece was not working, but what the audience may not have realized is that it was going to become incredibly evident that she was lip-syncing her performance, especially when you consider she eventually gives up on trying to sing and just starts talking to the audience.
6. Ashlee Simpson – Lip Sync Fail Turned To Irish Jig
When you are tuning in and checking out Saturday Night Live, you would not be wrong in thinking that you are going to spend some time laughing. But you probably were not anticipating laughing when Ashlee Simpson took to the stage to sing back in 2004 (or you know, you were, but not for this reason.)
Simpson got through her first song “Pieces of Me” without issue, but when she went to play the 2nd song “Autobiography”, “Pieces of Me” came over the soundtrack again, indicating that she had previously been lip-syncing.
Simpson then gave the awkward little jig of a dance move that you see above. She tried to blame it on the band at the end of the show, saying they were playing the wrong song but that also didn’t excuse why her singing was coming out over the speakers. She later admitted she was told by a doctor not to sing because she was suffering from acid reflux disease.
5. Taylor Swift – Kanye Steals Her Thunder
Taylor Swift looked completely shocked when she was announced that she won Best Female Video. She then started her speech by saying she always dreamed what it would feel like to win one of these awards, but she must have been even more shocked when Kanye took the stage, the mic from her and said
“I’m really happy for you, I’ma let you finish but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all-time, one of the best videos of all-time!” leading to boos from the audience.
When Taylor Swift was talking about the incident on The View, she said,
“I think my overall thought process went something like, Wow I can’t believe I won. This is awesome, don’t trip and fall, I’m gonna get to thank the fans. This is so cool…oh Kanye West is here…cool haircut, what are you doing there? And then ouch, and then I guess I’m not gonna get to thank the fans.”
Kanye also admitted on Ellen that Mos Def came up to Kanye after and said that he needs to get out of the country, so Kanye said he stopped doing music and went to Japan to escape paparazzi and also moved to Rome.
4. Steve Harvey – Announces Wrong Miss Universe
Steve Harvey had one huge job at the Miss Universe 2015, make sure you say the right name when it comes to the winner. Judging by the fact that he was on stage not long after announcing it saying “I have to apologize”, you can understand that it did not go that way.
Harvey gave the award to Miss Colombia, but after further evaluation, he realized that she was the first runner-up and that Miss Philippines had in fact won.
The organizers of the pageant spoke out about the incident saying, “Unfortunately, a live telecast means that human error can come into play. We witnessed that tonight when the wrong winner was initially announced.”
3. Australia’s Next Top Model (2010) – Announces Wrong Winner
One of the most important tools for an announcer to have working at all times is their ear piece. This becomes even more important if you are the presenter during the announcement of who was going to win the crown of Australia’s Next Top model. Sadly, for Sarah Murdoch who hosts the show, her ear piece breaking was exactly what she experienced.
“I had nothing. It didn’t come at that moment through my [earpiece] so I went with what I knew. As far as I knew it was the right call, it was what I had been told.”
That definitely was not the case! Sarah Murdoch announced that Kelsey Martinovich has won the competition, only to have to cut her off in the middle and announce that Amanda Ware had won.
When talking about it further, Murdoch admitted that the show had decided last night that Martinovich had won (but changed their mind the following day), which was why that was her best guess.
2. Tom Cruise – Jumps All Over Oprah Because Of Love For Katie Holmes
Tom Cruise may be an outstanding actor, but when he appeared on the Oprah show back in 2005, we bet he wishes in hindsight he could have kept it a little more together.
This, of course, was the day that he elected to jump all over the couch, jump up and down, fist pump the air and even go down on his knees in celebration. I mean, at least it has a super cute reason behind it because it was all inspired by how much he loves Katie Holmes. Though the above video which is also edited to make sure we include Oprah’s comments of “You are really gone! The boy is gone!” and that she had never seen him like this!
The interview then, of course, ends in the most awkward way possible with Cruise dragging Holmes on stage from the green room.
1. The Academy Awards
You aren’t going to be able to end this list without mentioning the most recent, and arguably the now most memorable awkward moment in the history of live television. For those who were not watching the Oscars, let the above video be proof enough of the awkwardness that can ensue when you announce the wrong winner for the Best Picture award!
To make the matters all the more awkward, it’s not even like they stopped them right at the beginning either. It has since come out that Warren Beatty who was one of the announcers was wrongly given the cue card that was for Best Actress (which went to Emma Stone for La La Land).
The Academy reached out after the event saying, “We apologize to the entire cast and crew of La La Land and Moonlight whose experience was profoundly altered by this error. We salute the tremendous grace they displayed under the circumstances.”