In the past 15 years, The Bachelor & Bachelorette have given us plenty of shockers, from emotional meltdowns to twists we never saw coming.
Usually, these events result – or stem from – an elimination.
Or a dramatic departure of one’s own volition. Or someone being asked to leave by the show itself. Or just a really, really bad breakup.
With the TV cameras rolling, obviously. Not even The Bachelor spoilers or Bachelorette spoilers can prepare you for this kind of drama.
Suddenly it’s no surprise that this franchise has left a mark on the genre, airing for more than THIRTY-FIVE seasons, with no end in sight.
The men, women and moments featured on this list made their way onto it for very diverse reasons. Often through no fault of their own.
All provided images we won’t soon forget, however … at least not ’til the next season airs on ABC and we update this list once again.
Where does this week’s Bachelorette season finale, and its devastating heartbreak for Blake Horstmann, place in our rankings?
What about this spring’s two-part shocker – which saw Becca Kufrin win The Bachelor, only to be dumped for Lauren Burnham?
Or for so many other famous faces from years’ past?
Here’s a look back at those and other stunning exits in the turbulent, nearly decade-and-a-half history of The Bachelor and The Bachelorette …
1. DeAnna Pappas AND Jenni Croft
The one that started it all: Brad Womack rejected Jenni Croft on his season finale, and looked poised to propose to fan favorite DeAnna Pappas … who he ALSO rejected! No matter what stunners took place in subsequent years – and we’ve seen a bunch, including the most recent finale – walking away with nothing and breaking two hearts AT THE FINAL ROSE CEREMONY remains the least expected (and least popular) move in franchise history.
2. Becca Kufrin
It wasn’t just that Arie Luyendyk Jr. got engaged to Becca Kufrin on the finale, then broke it off within a matter of weeks. We’ve seen that many times before. It wasn’t even that he went back to Lauren Burnham, his season’s runner-up, in the wake of that broken engagement. Jason Mesnick (scroll down) pulled that one off too. But the way in which Arie ended things with Becca – blindsiding her with cameras rolling, and ABC airing the 40-minute scene uncut – nearly took the top spot on this list. Just savage. Fortunately for Becca, she’ll have a chance at love again as The Bachelorette this summer.
3. Jason Mesnick
DeAnna Pappas became The Bachelorette, and threw fans for a loop by rejecting beloved single father Jason Mesnick, who was so smitten with her, in favor of Jesse Csincsak … who she stayed engaged to for like two weeks.
4. Melissa Rycroft
Jason Mesnick upped the ante on both Brad and DeAnna in the finale night shocker department. After getting engaged to Melissa Rycroft on his season finale, he dumped her … on the After the Final Rose special, in favor of runner-up Molly Malaney! At least this one had a happy ending, though: Jason and Molly are happily married, and have a beautiful daughter.
5. Peter Kraus
Peter Kraus, the runner-up on Rachel Lindsay’s season of The Bachelorette, may well have won the thing if he had just been ready to propose. Many fans felt winner Bryan Abasolo was her real second choice, or even a rebound. We shall see – and also see if Peter will become the next Bachelor.
6. Lauren Burnham
Lauren Burnham, of course, ended up engaged to Arie Luyendyk Jr., but not before being dispatched in a season finale twist that triggered his shocking reversal. Lauren had finally opened up to Arie for the first time on their final date, setting off an internal conflict that led him to get engaged to Becca Kufrin while still pining for Lauren.