“The Bachelor” franchise, which includes “The Bachelorette” and a number of associate spinoffs can be somewhat polarizing — most people either love these programs or can’t stand them. Regardless of how you feel about this unique series, you have to admit that some of the best TV moments have happened during the 30+ collective seasons.
From gut-wrenching heartbreaks and unexpected betrayals, to crazy characters and even the occasional lasting romance, there’s a lot to digest. Here are some of the best moments from the show’s 18-year history:
1. Colton’s Fence-Jumping Fiasco
Colton Underwood, former professional football player and the star of Season 23 of “The Bachelor,” had a particularly rocky time finding love on the show. Throughout the season, producers teased a dramatic moment where Underwood jumped over a 7-foot fence to escape camera crews, and fans weren’t disappointed when the event finally unfolded.
The iconic leap takes place in Portugal, after contestant Cassie Randolph tells Underwood she’s not ready for marriage and eliminates herself from the competition. Spoiler alert: He wins her back in the unconventional season finale.
2. Brad Womack Leaving Alone — Then Coming Back
In all of “Bachelor” history, there was only one season that didn’t end with a winner, and that was Brad Womack’s (first) season. In the genuinely shocking season 11 finale, the southern bachelor sent both Jenni Croft and DeAnna Pappas home without a rose or a ring, claiming he wasn’t in love with either one.
And then in another “Bachelor” first, Womack got a second chance to find love, appearing once again as the star of season 15, during which he proposed to Emily Maynard.
3. Clare and Andi Calling Out Juan Pablo
Some people go as far as to say that Juan Pablo Galavis, the 18th bachelor, was the worst lead in the show’s history. Throughout his season, Galavis comes off as inattentive, disengaged, and often just plain rude. That said, this bachelor pretty much had what was coming to him, being told off on-air by both runners-up, Clare Crawley and Andi Dorfman, for his insensitive behavior.
4. The Contestant-Producer Affair During Season 14
While pilot Jake Pavelka was searching for his future wife on season 14 of “The Bachelor,” one of his contestants had her eye on a different prize. Rozlyn Papa was called out for having an “inappropriate relationship” with one of the show’s producers, and when host Chris Harrison caught wind of the alleged affair, he was quick to send her packing, despite her protests.
5. When Jesse Palmer Called Out the Wrong Name
Imagine meeting 30 people in a matter of a few hours, then being expected to remember all their names. It’s a big ask, and I’m honestly surprised that what happened to season 5’s Jesse Palmer doesn’t occur more often.
As you might have guessed, this bachelor awkwardly calls out the wrong name at his rose ceremony. He plays it off cool in the moment, then bring in Harrison for backup, explaining he said Katie but meant to give the rose to Karen. Oops!
6. The Aftermath of Hannah’s Windmill Fantasy Suite
During season 15 of “The Bachelorette,” Hannah Brown was open about being religious, but she was in no way willing to put up with having her faith used against her. During a one-on-one date toward the end of the season, contestant Luke Parker says to Brown, “I just want to make sure you’re not going to be sexually intimate with the other relationships here.”
Considering “Fantasy Suites” are a big part of the show, his demands didn’t go over well with Brown, who told him off and asked him to leave. When Parker didn’t go quietly, Brown brazenly told him that she didn’t owe him anything and that she had already “f***** in a windmill” during her previous date. You go, girl.
7. Carly and Evan’s Unconventional Path to Love
“The Bachelor” is full of over-the-top romance, from hot air balloon rides at sunset to intimate concerts with musical superstars, but every once in a while it’s nice to see a relationship that feels a little more real. Such is the case with Carly Waddell and Evan Bass, who had a very unexpected path to love.
Season 3 of “Bachelor in Paradise” found Bass pursuing Waddell, who was remarkably uninterested in his affection. There was a cringe-y date involving a habanero pepper, and it seemed like this pairing was a flop. While the two made a halfhearted attempt to date other people on the show, they eventually came back to each other, much to viewers’ surprise. Bass proposed at the end of the season, and now they are married with two children, making them one of the few successful “Bachelor” couples to date.