25 Embarrassing Live Television Bloopers That Went Viral

Posted by , Updated on March 25, 2024

There are many benefits to watching live television productions. Not only are they traditionally viewed by a larger audience, but they are also more interactive.

For example, live events have the option to include real-time chatting or polls. This gives viewers an opportunity to feel involved with the experience.

Another fun aspect of watching a live event is that it brings people together. There is something unifying about knowing millions of people all across the country are watching the same thing as you are … at the exact same time

With all the good that comes with live television, there is a bit of bad. With everything filmed in real-time, a possibility always exists that something could go terribly wrong. Unlike with recorded broadcasts, you can’t simply edit out an awkward moment.

If something embarrassing happens on live TV, the whole world has a chance to see it. In this article, you will discover 25 of the Most Embarrassing Live Television Slip-Ups.


Nip Slip

Nip Sliphttps://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/film-tv/g16561511/biggest-live-flubs/?slide=1

One of the most infamous live television slip-ups occurred on February 1, 2004. Millions of people tuned in that night, surrounded by friends and family, to watch the Super Bowl XXXVIII.

The game was televised by the family-friendly CBS network. So when Janet Jackson’s breast accidentally got exposed during the halftime show, people were in shock.

The controversial halftime show went down in history with its embarrassing live television “nip slip” that some people believe was a publicity stunt.


Kanye West / Taylor Swift

Kanye West, an American rapper, is known not only for being a musical genius but for speaking his mind. Even though many people are aware of his outspoken ways, viewers were shocked when he jumped on stage during the 2009 Video Music Awards.

West took the mic from singer Taylor Swift as she was making her acceptance speech for the Best Female Video. He went on to tell Taylor that he was going to let her finish, but that Beyonce had the best music video of all time. 


And the Winner goes to La La Land


The Academy Awards ceremony, often called the Oscars, is an annual event honoring achievements in the film industry. It is presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, located in Beverly Hills, California.

During the 2017 Academy Awards, La La Land was mistakenly announced as the Best Picture winner. No one realized the mistake until two minutes into La La Land’s acceptance speech.

The awkward moment was broadcasted on live TV for millions of viewers to see.


Miss Universe

Being crowned as Miss Universe is a dream for hundreds of thousands of girls all over the world.

The international beauty pageant is held every year by the American-based Miss Universe Organization. It is viewed by half a billion people from over 190 different countries worldwide.

You can easily imagine the embarrassment and heartache of Miss Colombia when Steve Harvey mistakenly announced her as Miss Universe in 2015. Miss Philippines was the rightful winner.


Kendall Jenner

Kendall Jenner, American model and media personality, was given the honor of announcing the winner of the 2014 Billboard Music Awards.

As soon as Jenner took the stage, viewers could tell that she was nervous.

Instead of announcing the winner as 5 Seconds of Summer, she almost said “One Direction.” Luckily, she caught herself after saying, “One.” Jenner proceeded to say, “Guys, I’m the worst reader.”


Axed by X Factor

X Factorhttps://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/film-tv/g16561511/biggest-live-flubs/?slide=4

The X Factor is a talent competition show that includes auditions, boot camps, live performances, and eliminations. Contestants put everything they have into the whole process in hopes of becoming the winner.

Viewers were left on the edge of their seats when Olly Murs almost eliminated the wrong X Factor contestant in 2015.


John Travolta


John Travolta is a beloved American actor, singer, and dancer. He first stole viewers’ hearts for his performance in Saturday Night Fever in 1977. Over the years he has made a name for himself as a respected Hollywood star.

In 2014, he was asked to be an announcer at the annual Oscars ceremony. However, Travolta seriously flubbed up his duties when he slaughtered the pronunciation of Broadway legend Idina Menzel’s name.


Jennifer Lawrence


Jennifer Lawrence is an American actress most recognized for her roles in The Hunger Games, Red Sparrow, and X-Men. Her off-screen persona shines just as brightly as (if not brighter than) her silver screen roles.

Lawrence is known for her down-to-earth personality and humble demeanor.

Other stars might have been extremely embarrassed if they were caught tripping on screen. However, when Lawrence took a bit of a tumble on her way to accept her Academy Award in 2013, she gracefully laughed it off.


Brooke Shields


The prestigious Tony Award ceremony takes place every year to recognize excellence in the live Broadway theatre. Neil Patrick Harris had the honor of hosting the event in 2011.

During one segment, he went into the audience to sing with Brooke Shields. Unfortunately, their duo was anything but pitch-perfect.

Shields was caught on live camera messing up lyrics several times before completely giving up.


Ashlee Simpson


Many people now know Ashlee Simpson for being Jessica Simpson’s younger sister. However, there was a period in history where she was famous in her own right.

Back in 2004, Ashlee Simpson had the opportunity to perform one of her songs on Saturday Night Live. Sadly, her lip-syncing performance was all offbeat.

Instead of taking ownership of her screw-up, she went on to blame the band, stating, “I feel so bad. My band started playing the wrong song. I didn’t know what to do so I thought I’d do a hoe-down. I’m sorry, Live TV!”


Queen of New Year’s Eve

New Years Evehttps://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/film-tv/g16561511/biggest-live-flubs/?slide=8

Mariah Carey, an American singer, songwriter, and record producer, is also known as the queen of the holiday season. Year after year, Carey’s Christmas hits can be heard on every radio station from November to January.

In 2016, she had the honor of performing live at the New Year’s Rockin’ Eve. Her awkward performance was seen by millions of viewers.

She later admits that the show wasn’t her best because of technical difficulties.


Michael Jackson


Only the king of pop can turn a birthday cake into an award. The best part of the awkward experience is that it was caught on live TV.

At the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards, Britney Spears was in charge of presenting a cake on stage to Jackson for his birthday.

Instead of simply saying thank you for the cake, Jackson launched into an almost too long acceptance speech.


Kathie Lee Gifford


Kathie Lee Gifford is a singer, songwriter, and author. Many people know her for her 11-year run with Hoda Kotb on NBC’s Today Show.

During one of their interviews with actor Martin Short, Gifford made a horribly embarrassing mistake.

Not knowing that his wife has been deceased for almost two years, she asked Short how he kept the spark alive in his marriage. Instead of correcting this mistake, Martin Short just went along with it.


Miss South Carolina


Miss Teen USA is a competition open to women from the United States between the ages of 14 and 19. Every year, thousands of contestants enter in hopes of being crowned as Miss Teen USA.

The pageant is a live broadcast that can be seen online or from a mobile device. In 2007, one of the finalists seriously crumbled under pressure when asked why a fifth of Americans couldn’t locate the USA on a map.

Miss South Carolina’s answer sounded like a bunch of gibberish that didn’t make any sense. Unfortunately, the teenager grew depressed after receiving a lot of online criticism in the wake of that embarrassing scene.


Three's Company

Watching TVhttps://www.ok.co.uk/lifestyle/11-worst-live-tv-blunders-14742181

British TV personality Kate Garraway broke the number-one rule of TV during a BBC interview. She openly spoke about sexual relations, which made a majority of conservative British viewers cringe.

Garraway discussed why there shouldn’t ever be a threesome on the sofa. Cohosts Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard sat awkwardly as this embarrassing conversation unfolded.


David Letterman


David Letterman is a respected American TV host who has over 40 years of experience in the industry.

Luckily for his career, his embarrassingly weird “Oprah, Uma” moment didn’t ruin his reputation. 

In 1995, Letterman had the honor of hosting the Oscars. However, for many viewers, his inappropriate joke about Uma Thurman and Oprah Winfrey was painful to watch. 


Australias Next Top Model

Next top model https://www.ok.co.uk/lifestyle/11-worst-live-tv-blunders-14742181

Australia’s Next Top Model is a competition series where models compete in different shoots and challenges in order to win a modeling contract.

Some of the contestants let go of their everyday jobs and relationships just to join the show. So when host Sarah Murdoch announced the wrong winner, the losing finalist was completely devastated.

The whole ordeal was seen live by thousands of viewers.


Dick Pope

Academy Awardshttps://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/film-tv/g16561511/biggest-live-flubs/?slide=16

Mispronouncing a name could be worse than announcing a completely wrong winner, especially during the Academy Awards. For one presenter, this embarrassing mispronunciation has gone down in history.

During the 2015 Academy Award ceremony, Cheryl Boone Isaacs accidentally announced Oscar nominee as “Dick Poop” instead of Dick Pope.


Sam Rubin

People are human; therefore, confusing someone with another person can happen. However, when it happens on live TV, that mistake seems to sting a bit more.

During an interview, reporter Sam Rubin confused Samuel L. Jackson for Laurence Fishburne.

Luckily for viewers, the very awkward moment has been recorded. It can be watched over and over again on the internet. 


Lady Gaga

Lady Gagahttps://www.harpersbazaar.com/culture/film-tv/g16561511/biggest-live-flubs/?slide=18

Lady Gaga is known for her outrageous outfits, larger-than-life personality, and superb singing abilities. She knows (more than most) that something can always go wrong during a  live performance.

Unfortunately, her on-stage mishap took place during the 2017 Grammy Awards.

Gaga’s duet with famous heavy rock band Metallica went horribly wrong after a series of microphone glitches. She ended up having to share her mic with Metallica frontman, James Hetfield.


Good Morning Britain

England https://www.ok.co.uk/lifestyle/11-worst-live-tv-blunders-14742181

Sometimes the things people say come out far worse than they originally intended. For Good Morning Britain TV host, Susanna Reid, her strangely-worded question had viewers shaking their heads.

She asked actor Dan Stevens if he had to “beat off” a lot of American men to get the film part. Luckily for her, Stevens laughed off the awkward question and the show flowed effortlessly from there.


Miss Nebraska

Miss Americahttps://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/worst-live-tv-blunders

Performers go through a lot of preparation before they appear on stage. Altering their wardrobe to prevent any malfunctions is just as important as getting their hair and makeup done.

However, sometimes wardrobe malfunctions have nothing to do with the outfit itself … but rather how the person wears it.

For Miss Nebraska, forgetting to cross her legs during the 2014 Miss America competition exposed her underwear for thousands of viewers to see.


Snoozing on Air


Some people are very light sleepers while others have the ability to sleep through anything.

The legendary singer Harry Belafonte is one of those heavy sleepers. While waiting to discuss his memoir in an interview, he was captured on camera taking a nap.

The reporters quickly took the camera off him and tried to make light of the embarrassing situation.


iPhone Catastrophe

Broken iPhonehttps://www.therichest.com/most-popular/10-of-the-most-embarrassing-live-tv-mishaps/quickview/4

There is always a lot of mania right before a new Apple product is about to be released. People sometimes wait outside of stores for hours just to be the first to buy the product.

For one frenzied shopper, his embarrassing iPhone catastrophe was caught on camera. When a TV reporter went to interview him about his new phone, he accidentally dropped it on the hard pavement.


Ryan Seacrest’s Awkward High Five

Most Embarrassing Live Televisionhttps://www.digitalspy.com/tv/a834540/awkward-tv-moments-embarrassing/

Every Sunday, millions of viewers tune in to ABC’s singing competition on American Idol. The family-friendly show makes it a perfect opportunity for adults and children alike to gather together.

In 2009, viewers cringed as they saw host Ryan Seacrest trying to high-five a blind contestant. It was an honest mistake, but Seacrest made it worse when he tried to pretend he was going to shake his hand.

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