Celebrate National Awkward Moments Day With the Pop Culture That Had Us in a Full-Body Cringe

These are the 13 pop culture full-body cringe moments worth remembering on National Awkward Moments Day on March 18.

By Billy Nilles Mar 18, 2020 1:00 PMTags
Awkward Moments, John Travolta, Mariah Carey, Steve Harvey, Ashlee SimpsonGetty Images/E! Illustration

We could all use a good laugh right about now.

With the state of the world what is it is right now and everyone practicing some extreme social distancing for the sake of everyone, we're all looking for something to take our minds off our worries, if even for just a few minutes. Enter: National Awkward Moments Day.

We're not sure why someone decided to dedicate a day every year to celebrating the cringe-inducing moments that we all experience from time to time, but we're so glad that they did and that it falls on Wednesday, March 18--right when we need it most.

To celebrate this year, we've gathered the funniest and strangest pop cultures moments in recent years that left us with a full-body cringe as we watched them unfold. Thankfully, there's been no shortage of them. From a pair of unforgettable John Travolta moments at award shows to Mariah Carey's NYE meltdown, a Bachelor dumping his fiancée on live television to Steve Harvey crowning the wrong Miss Universe, these are the moments we live for and are so glad we weren't actually a part of.

A History of Awkward High Fives

And, of course, we mean this all in good fun and thank the celebs involved for their service!

Introducing Adele Dazeem

Oscar fans were left wondering exactly what they'd just heard during the 2014 ceremony when John Travolta introduced Frozen star Idina Menzel to sing the nominated smash hit "Let It Go" but calling her Adele Dazeem by mistake. And just like that, one of the funniest and most bizarre moments of live TV was born. Travolta publicly apologized days later and the two reunited at the following year's ceremony, where she jokingly called him Glom Gozingo, signaling that it was all water under the bridge.

No Hug for You!

Is it more or less embarrassing to be denied a hug from one of your favorite celebrities if you're also a celebrity? You'll have to ask Kesha, who, in 2017, was told not once, not twice, but three times by Jerry Seinfeld on a charity event red carpet that it was no hug for her.

The Best Picture Boondoggle

It seemed like the 89th Academy Awards were over and done with once Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway revealed La La Land to be the year's Best Picture winner after a slight hesitation on the part of the former as he opened the envelope. But while producers of the musical gave their acceptance speech, it became abundantly clear that something had gone wrong as a commotion on the side of the stage only continued to grow. And when producer Jordan Horowitz stepped forward to reveal that the correct envelope named Moonlight as the winner, jaws dropped both inside the Dolby Theater and in millions of homes across the country. It turned out that Beatty had been handed an envelope revealing the winner of Best Actress, which had gone to La La Land's Emma Stone, again, hence his hesitation and confusion. Everyone involved handled the moment with grace, but wow, was it uncomfortable.

Mariah at Midnight

Was there anything that went right when Mariah Carey took the stage in Times Square to usher in 2017 on Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve? She couldn't hear herself or the music and made no attempt to hide her frustration with the millions watching both in the freezing cold crowd and at home. Luckily, she was able to redeem herself the following year.

Demi's Favorite Dish

In 2015, someone asked Demi Lovato what her favorite dish was and she responded by waxing poetic about the humble mug. And it will never not make us giggle.

The Opposite of Meet-Cute

When Bachelor Nation member Mike Johnson decided to shoot his shot with GMA3 host Keke Palmer during a 2019 visit to the ABC morning show, we wanted to crawl under the couch as we watched her look to her co-hosts Michael Strahan and Sara Haines for help to no avail before reminding the dude, "I'm at work."

Nicki's Big Question

Miley Cyrus has no idea what she was in for as host of the 2015 VMAs when, after speaking ill of Nicki Minaj in an interview in the days leading up to the event, she was called out on national television by the queen of rap. Never has the phrase, "What's good, Miley?" been so uncomfortable. And Miley's attempt to explain her comment away? Squirm city.

Travolta's Confusion

John Travolta strikes again! The actor was inexplicably on hand to present the Moonman for Video of the Year at the 2019 MTV VMAs and he got a little confused when Taylor Swift's posse of drag queens came to the stage with her to accept the in for "You Need to Calm Down" and attempted to hand off the trophy to Jade Jolie, the Drag Race alum doing her best Taylor drag. Oops.

Breaking Up Is Hard to Do

Being dumped hurts. Being dumped on national TV probably hurts even more. And being dumped on national TV while the guy turns right around as asks someone else for another chance all before the next commercial break? That's got to be the epitome of awkward. Poor Melissa Rycroft, who suffered such a fate during the 2009 finale of The Bachelor when Jason Mesnick shocked everyone by changing his mind about their engagement and decided to pursue runner-up (and his eventual wife) Molly instead.

Gaga Spooked Leo

The face Leonardo DiCaprio made as he realized Lady Gaga was walking past him to accept her Golden Globe win for American Horror Story in 2016 is the face of someone about to get caught talking some s—t and you can't convince us otherwise.

Jesy's "Jamaican"

Whoever thought it was a good idea to record the ladies of Little Mix playing a game that required them to try out accents probably changed their mind very quickly once Jesy Nelson landed on "Jamaican" and she, after a moment of thought, hilariously shouted "Balegdeh." Whatever that means.

Steve's Snafu

Who was more shocked when Steve Harvey announced the wrong winner while hosting the Miss Universe pageant in 2015: The woman who briefly thought she'd won, the woman who'd actually won, or all of us watching at home?

Ashlee and the Wrong Song

Never has a musical performance on Saturday Night Live gone as badly as poor Ashlee Simpson's 2004 appearance when the wrong backing track began to play, she froze, danced a strange little jig, and ran off stage. It took quite some time for her career to recover from the embarrassment.

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