Marriage proposals are nerve-wracking enough – you want it to be perfect, you’re worried they might choke on the ring that you’ve carefully hidden inside a restaurant cake, but most of all, you’re paranoid your other half might say no. You might think the latter scenario is as bad as it can get, but imagine that there’s video evidence of your botched marriage proposal? This was the reality for these poor guys who either filmed (or found themselves being filmed) while seriously messing up their special moment.
A lot of the marriage proposal fails on this list are people getting rejected (sometimes in public). Others on this list are just guys who got almost everything right but ended up slipping at the last moment. Either way, we genuinely feel sorry for every one of these dudes (and one girl) who may probably never live their failed moment down, especially now that it’s out there for all to see. It’s not such a romantic story when you have to tell your kids “Mommy said yes shortly after Daddy threw up.”
As well as fails of that kind, this list also looks at proposals that failed in every sense of the word – as in the person said no in front of witnesses. Ouch! The moral of this story is: never propose in public. Or at least, don’t propose in front of a camera! From super awkward public rejections to sweet proposals that didn’t quite go to plan, here are 15 awkward as hell marriage proposals that were caught on tape…
15. Rejected On The Big Screen At UCLA Basketball Game
The jumbo screens at basketball games are a recipe for humiliation, but some guys clearly have the balls (no pun intended) to try it out. Unluckily, a few guys end up miscalculating their girl’s commitment and they end up being rejected in one of the most embarrassing ways possible – like this poor dude. At a UCLA basketball game around Christmas, cameras were capturing couples in the stadium on a “Mistletoe Cam.” Things were all warm and fuzzy until the camera landed on this particular couple.
This guy didn’t just go in for a kiss with his girlfriend, he stood up, took a ring out of his pocket and got down on one knee – but nothing about his gf’s reaction seemed too positive. After popping the question, the girl hesitated before getting out of her seat and walking away – all on the jumbo screen. Wow. The best bit about this clip is when the courtside reporter consoled him with the fact that she may have just been a little “camera shy.” I don’t think so somehow…
14. Guy Throws Up Before He Can Ask GF
One poor guy botched his own marriage proposal when he got motion sickness and blew chunks. In a video that has now gone viral, Darrel Hamilton Jr. from California got motion sick in what was supposed to be a romantic helicopter ride to ask for his girlfriend’s hand in marriage. He may have wanted to ask her for a sick bag instead, because he vomited before he even had a chance to pop the question to her.
Darrell had planned a special helicopter ride for him and girlfriend Rheanna so he could point out a sign that read “Marry me?” in his cousin’s yard below. To preserve the special moment forever, he set up a camera inside the helicopter and waited for the best moment. Darrel soon started to feel queasy but stuck to the plan. He tapped Rheanna on the shoulder and showed her the ring but before he could say the magic words, he threw up. Poor guy. At least he knows his fiancée will be there for him in sickness as well as in health.
13. GF Accidentally Dropped Engagement Ring Into River
Proposing on a river boat might sound like one of the top romantic ways to pop the question, until you factor in one thing – water. One couple from Wisconsin learned this the hard way when their engagement ring was accidentally tossed over board and lost to the Wisconsin river. Local man Shane had everything planned out perfectly to propose to girlfriend, Cheri – he even had some friends stand on the shore and hold up “Marry me?” signs.
Unluckily, Cheri got so caught up in the excitement of what she saw that she unexpectedly knocked her own engagement ring out of Shane’s hands and into the river below. The couple searched for two days afterwards but were unable to find the ring, so Shane had to splash out (sorry) for a new one. Thankfully, ring or no ring, she said yes, but talk about a stressful and expensive start to married life!
12. Turned Down On TV Show In Super Awkward Proposal
Other than hearing your significant other say the words “It’s not me, it’s you,” perhaps an equally stinging phrase you never want to hear your loved one say is something along the lines of “We need to talk” especially when they say it in response to you proposing. This brutal and super cringey put down is what one poor guy got from his girlfriend on national television when he made the grave mistake of popping the question on a late night talk show.
While on the Almost Late Show with Bobby Bones on METV, one audience member was coaxed by the host to ask someone in the audience a very special question. Oh boy. Mike from Austin, Texas appeared visibly nervous but managed to ask his girlfriend of a few months if she’d marry him. He walked towards girlfriend Lynne and bent down on one knee, while her face froze in an expression that only seemed to say “WTF?” She soon leaned in and could be heard saying to him “Can we talk about this later?” Ow!
11. Taking Too Big A Leap For Leap Year
It’s one thing to propose after dating someone for a couple of months (as the above guy did), but how about popping the question after only a couple of weeks? Even for couples who believe in love at first sight, two weeks has to be a definite no-no. Sadly, no one told this eager lady as she confidently went ahead and proposed to her boyfriend at a crowded party on leap day back in 2009.
The girl presumably took the leap year as a sign of doing something wild and crazy. Uncomfortably, it didn’t go down too well with her man who just seemed to look scared more than anything else. When the guy appeared to let her down gently, she flipped and threw the ring at his feet before yelling at him. The party can be heard chanting “four more years!” as the soon to be ex-couple have an awkward squabble. Cringe.
10. Another Guy’s Heart Stomped On At Basketball Game
We don’t know what it is about basketball games, but there seems to be a curse for guys that try to propose. It is kind of tacky and maybe not the most romantic way in the world to profess your undying love, but we’re guessing this wasn’t the reason these women said no. In what is now an infamous viral video, one guy really underestimated his girlfriend’s feelings for him when he got rejected in the middle of a basketball court while the crowd (and the TV audience) watched with him.
In the absolutely toe-curling proposal vid, the man bares his heart and soul by proposing to his girl in the middle of the game, while the players, mascots, and fans look on. At first, it looks like he’s on to a winner since the girl smiles and stands there looking shocked – that is before she does an epic curb stomp on his heart by running out on him as fast as she can. We shouldn’t laugh at what is clearly a painful moment for the guy, but the mascot shaking his head is the cherry on top!
9. Tearful Proposal Fail
Tears are usually a good sign after a guy has gone down on bended knee with a ring in hand. That is, if the tears are ones of joy. Unluckily for one guy, his marriage proposal had the opposite reaction and he had a busy market street around him to witness his heartbreak. After finishing his little proposal speech, the crowd that had gathered around the couple started to cheer as he got down and presented her with the ring. No pressure on his lady then?
At this point it became obvious that his girlfriend’s tears were actually tears of guilt about having to publicly dump his ass as she looked beside herself with misery before running away. It doesn’t help matters that the crowd of people started to laugh at the poor guy in what is easily the most humiliating moment of his life. Cringe! This really is one of those times where you’d wish the ground would swallow you up.
8. No Appetite For Marriage At Food Court Proposal
A guy chose a food court of all places to propose to his girlfriend and things went sour pretty quickly. It turns out that the guy and his girlfriend had first met at the same food court spot a year before, but it seems that his woman wasn’t appreciating the sentimental gesture. In hindsight, perhaps picking the sight of their first date or first kiss would have been more romantic (or at least more private!).
Right in the middle of loads of shoppers and diners in the food court, the guy bent down in front of girlfriend, Caroline, and started listing off all the cute little things he loves about her. His speech seemed to go on forever, all the while he had gotten a guy to serenade her with “Sweet Caroline” on a guitar nearby, at which point half the food court diners had turned around to watch the romantic moment unfold. After an eternity of looking shocked and politely smiling, she finally ran off, leaving Romeo’s heart in the trash can along with a dozen half-eaten chili dogs.
7. Struck (Literally) Out At A Baseball Game
Proposing at sports events clearly don’t hold a good omen for guys, because yet another marriage proposal went disastrously wrong – this time at a baseball game. Judging by the start of the clip, everything seems to go well since the crowd starts cheering loudly as soon as he gets out the ring. Awkwardly, the audience are the only ones behind this decision because his girlfriend quickly rejects him in a very painful way (in every sense of the word).
We’re guessing the proposer did the dirty on her or something, because after her initial shock, she responds to his proposal by slapping him across the face before storming out of the stadium and his life. Wow. Since we don’t know the full story here, the guy has our sympathy, because he has his head in his hands and starts crying. Life carries on though, as evidenced by the vendor off screen shouting “Hot dogs!” as he walks past the poor guy.
6. Guy Storms Stage to Propose To Missing GF
If you’re gonna go out on a limb and propose to your girlfriend on stage, at least make sure she is actually in the audience at the time. While at a Born Ruffians gig in San Francisco, one super confident guy got up on stage – shirtless – and told the audience that he wanted to “ask a special girl to marry me.” This was initially followed by cheers but soon turned into laughter when it was obvious that the girl was nowhere to be seen.
The proposer calls out her name several times, but the happy girl he was hoping would rush the stage and kiss him never appears. Ouch. Maybe she just popped to the bathroom and eventually said yes? Or maybe she slipped quietly out the back when she got the first hint of a proposal. Whatever happened next, this guy risked rejection in front of a large crowd and presumably one his favourite bands. Harsh.
5. “Footy Show” Scores No Goals With Awkward Proposal
The number one rule for public marriage proposals should be to never assume anything, unless you can stake your life on your other half saying a big fat yes. This poor guy had it all planned out and even got ahead of himself by telling his mum to record the moment when he’d propose on TV. Unfortunately, quite a few people saw his proposal attempt, so there was no need for TiVo here!
Appearing on national television on the Australian sports programme The Footy Show, audience member Peter requested specially that he get up on stage and ask his lady a special question. The TV hosts cheered him on and encouraged his girlfriend Katherine to join him on stage and this is where things got toe-curlingly awkward. As Peter starts to pop the question, Katherine starts immediately shaking her head before running off stage. Yikes! Peter gets up and says simply “I told my mum to record this.”
4. Christian Music Festival Proposal That Wasn’t So Holy
Proof that even the love of the Lord can’t help you out when it comes to winning your girl over. This guy should have gotten the hint that things weren’t going well and changed his romantic monologue halfway through, because his girlfriend’s harsh body language screams one word: NO. Unfortunately, this dude was clearly the hopeless romantic type and had a long proposal speech worked out to tell his girl (and everyone in the audience) what made her so special. Cringe.
As he stood on stage at a “Jesus Jam” Christian music festival, Jerome waxed lyrical to the crowd about how beautiful and amazing his girlfriend Marsha is, before asking that she join him on stage. “She’s gonna kill me. She hates being the centre of attention.” Ironically, Jerome probably also did after this stunt fell flat. Marsha stood there with her arms folded, looking as uncomfortable as we feel watching it but poor Jerome didn’t take the hint. She eventually said sorry before leaving the stage.
3. Half-Time Proposal While Dressed As A Mascot
Someone should have told this guy that getting down one knee while dressed as a sport mascot is probably not every girl’s dream. Fair play to him though, he made the effort and obviously went to a lot of trouble to surprise his girl, but it wasn’t enough and the result is pretty painful to watch. During a half-time show at a basketball game, the proposee is playing a game called “Find the mascot blindfolded.” You can probably see where this is going. She certainly couldn’t.
The woman eventually finds the winning mascot and the host congratulates her on her prize, but tells her there is another surprise in store for her. She takes her blindfold off and realizes that her boyfriend was hiding inside the giant goofy mascot costume and is about to clumsily get down on bended knee. Before he can even ask her the all-important question, she runs out of the stadium. Brutal. Still, at least he had a costume to hide in if he wanted to.
2. A Not So Holly Jolly Christmas Proposal
This proposal is so cringey it’s unbelievable. This guy may not have humiliated himself in front of a huge stadium audience like our other unlucky Romeos in this list, but he arguably had a much worse experience. Why? Because he chose a cozy Christmas Day with the family to get his heart stomped on. The most wonderful time of the year? Not any more for this poor guy. In front of what looks to be the entirety of his girlfriend’s family, he gets rejected in front of his never-to-be in-laws.
In the middle of a warm and very merry Christmas scene, the boyfriend stops to ask for everyone’s attention. He then launches into quite an overly-long speech about family and hospitality and blah blah blah until he finally gets down (rather awkwardly) on one knee and gets ready to ask his girlfriend the big question. By then, her expression changes from a genuine smile to the kind of one you’d do if a complete stranger popped the question. After a super awkward silence, she walks out and leaves him heartbroken in front of her family. That’s cold.
1. Engagement Ring Attached To Balloon Goes Up, Up And Away
When proposing, it’s probably a good rule of thumb to keep hold of the ring yourself until the big moment comes. But understandably, some people want to be creative with the concept, even if it means taking a huge risk. Some proposers like to hide the ring in a cake or in a glass of champagne (um, choking hazard much?), others might get their pet dog to carry the ring to them in a basket. But as risky as these ideas are, nothing can beat how dumb this proposal idea was.
While acting with sweet and romantic intentions, this guy should have thought his plan through a little better before proposing, because he was soon going to have to cough up a few thousand for a second engagement ring. The guy had tied the ring to the end of a heart balloon, which he then gave to his gf. As they walked through the park together, he got down on one knee and – in her excitement – she let go of the balloon. Dang. At least some magpie was able to take a bit of cool ass bling back to his nest.