From Bekah M.'s popping up on a missing-persons list to Corinne Olympios' whip-cream surprise, here are some of the most dramatic, craziest moments over the years.
The Bachelor/Bachelorette franchise is a consistent ratings winner for many reasons. Since 2002, the reality dating show has thrived on particularly dramatic moments that take place while contestants vie for love.
Diehard fans still cringe at the memory of Season 11's Bachelor, Brad Womack, who chose neither woman during the finale. And who could forget Corinne Olympios removing her bikini top on a date? Or Ben Flajnik's skinny dip? Or Jason Mesnick reversing his decision months after he'd handed out the final rose? And, more recently, Bekah Martinez, now featured on Arie Luyendyk Jr.'s search for a wife, was reported missing in November in a bizarre side story to the current season.
The show has a history of spotlighting drama, including onscreen intoxication, double-rejection and secret affairs — all in the quest for love. Read on for some of the craziest moments.
Bekah Martinez made recent headlines, after it surfaced that she simultaneously debuted on The Bachelor and as a registered missing person in California's Humboldt County.
Before the season started filming, she posted on Instagram that she was giving up her "phone and social media for the next several weeks, so if you need to contact me, well... tough luck!"
News broke last week that she was one of 35 people who were listed as missing by Humboldt County on the California Department of Justice's website. A fan recognized her and flagged authorities. After a deputy spoke to her, confirming she was not, in fact, missing, she was taken off the list.
Martinez took to her social media to say, "Found myself, quite literally, on this season of The Bachelor. PSA: always call your mom back."
After the Final Rose Ceremony, Jake Pavelka and Vienna Girardi undeniably had the messiest — and most public — breakup in the show’s history. Girardi promptly accused Pavelka of emotional abuse. While sitting down with host Chris Harrison, the pair vehemently fought, as they answered questions about what their lives looked like after The Bachelor and who was at fault. Pavelka told her ex, “I’m so mad at you. I’m disgusted with you” about the accusations she revealed in a tabloid article, in which Girardi fired back, “You are a fame whore is what you are.”
The interview ended with Girardi in tears, storming out and screaming, “He is the biggest liar I’ve ever met in my life!”
Pavelka turned to Harrison and said, “Unfortunately, that’s what one of our arguments looks like.”
The contestant, who got a 6-inch tattoo to woo Ali Fedotowsky, described the Bachelorette as his "future wife" and broke out in an impromptu song after a sunset helicopter ride. Fedotowsky, clearly not knowing how to respond to Kahl’s performance, looked down and laughed.
In an unprecedented move, Brad Womack chose neither of the final two contestants. The self-described “biggest jerk in America” left both of the final two women — Jenni Croft and DeAnna Pappas — in tears and received substantial backlash.
His deliverance to Pappas was brutal, as he walked away and came back saying, “We always promised ourselves we would be completely honest — and I can’t look you in the eye and tell you I love you — I just can’t. I have to tell you goodbye.”
Corinne Olympios gave viewers something to talk about every week until Nick Viall sent her packing after hometown dates. Among her over-the-top behavior, including going topless on her first date with Viall and saying, “My heart is gold and my vagine is platinum,” was the moment she asked Viall to lick whipped cream, she put on herself, on episode two. (Later, on Bachelor in Paradise, she and DeMario Jackson became embroiled in a controversy that temporarily hut down production on the show.)
Courtney Robertson turned to the camera and said, “I don’t know if he’s ever skinny dipped with a model before — might be fun.”
Surprised by Robertson's suggestion, Flajnik responded, “Why the hell not?” The pair left his hotel room and proceeded to take off their clothing on a beach in Puerto Rico.
Chris Harrison promised Ashley Salter would be “the most talked-about girl on the show for quite some time” after Chris Soules' Bachelor season and he was right.
In one interview, Salter pointed into the bushes and walked off camera saying, “People you meet are like an onion — when you cut them, you peel them back, layer by layer” — and then she grabbed a pomegranate.
Before he made headlines for his tryst with Corinne Olympios on Bachelor in Paradise, Bachelorette Rachel Lindsay made the decision to kick DeMario Jackson off the show after his ex appeared during a group date, claiming the pair never broke up.
Lindsay concluded she “doesn’t want somebody texting someone else, 'Goodnight, babe.'”
When Kelsey Poe sat down with Bachelor Chris Soules, to reveal to him that she’s a widow, she told the cameras, “Isn’t my story amazing? I mean it’s tragic, but amazing — I love my story.”
She then proceeded to make out with Soules, as he comforted her.
“Waist down, I hate my legs — people have written blogs that I have cankles. I try to be strong all the time but it’s the scariest thing ever,” Olivia Caridi told her Bachelor at the wrong moment.
Ben Higgins, who had just revealed two friends of his family had died in a plane crash, told the cameras after the odd exchange, “I came in here a little down, and this is not really what I wanted to talk about.”
After rejecting Nick Viall, Bachelorette Andi Dorfman and her season's runner-up sat down to talk about their break-up.
Viall asked, “If you weren’t in love with me, I’m not sure why you made love with me.” It was the first time on the show that a contestant publicly acknowledged what many viewers had long suspected — that the contestants do more than just kiss in the Fantasy Suites.
“She had a physical relationship with a producer on our show,” host Chris Harrison informed viewers of Jake Pavelka's season. “You cannot do that. There is no gray area. … Other girls on the show saw it," he ended up telling the contestant before kicking her off the show. "The producer confessed more than once and to more than one person. I cannot make it any clearer.”
Rozlyn Papa, however, insisted the two were just good friends and accused the franchise of concocting the story in for higher ratings.
After 20 seasons, viewers thought they’d seen it all. But when Higgins told both of his finalists, JoJo Fletcher and Lauren Bushnell that he loved them, America was shocked that the Bachelor broke one of the show's cardinal rules.
He explained of uttering the three words — twice — to the cameras, “I'm in love with two women and it complicates things." Ben ended up picking and getting engaged to Lauren, though the pair ultimately broke off their engagement. JoJo went on to become the next season's Bachelorette.
The Bachelorette star found out that Justin Rego — aka "Rated R" — had a girlfriend back home after receiving a phone call from his girlfriend.
Rego later denied the allegations after his show-stopping exit, saying in a Facebook post, "I was not in a relationship before I went on the show and I am still single now. I went on the show to experience an opportunity with possibilities of meeting the love of my life."
In a bizarre rant, contestant Ian Thompson told Bachelorette Kaitlyn Bristowe that she was "surface level" and "only here to make out with guys.” After their argument, he made sure to mention he went to Princeton and pitched himself as the next Bachelor; a gig he did not get.
Months after handing out his final rose to Melissa Rycroft, Jason Mesnick rejected her on national television for another chance with Molly Malaney.
He explained his decision by saying the producers told him, "'Jason, we [now] want Melissa to be the next Bachelorette. Because we're going to let you ask Molly out, and you can't do that away from the camera because you're under a $5 million contract. The fans just need to feel sorry for Melissa. Work with us and we'll let you have Molly.' That's what they told me."
After Jason broke the news to Melissa, noting their chemistry had changed, she said, “I trusted you with everything. He knows what I've been through. I'm so mad at you."