The Bachelor franchise is a show centered on finding love, however, that also means the entire season is bursting at the seams with breakup after breakup, and devastating moments that have viewers reaching for the boxed wine.
It’s easy to get attached to certain contestants or leads when you hear their stories and watch them open up. We root for our favorite contestants and scream at the television when a lead sends them packing.
Watching people shed muffled tears, getting rejected, having their self-esteem shattered, and getting their hearts broken is par for the course when you watch a show about people finding love, but that doesn’t make it any easier to watch these devastating Bachelor franchise moments.
While it’s always upsetting watching someone walk up to the person they want to spend forever with, only to have that same person dump them in favor of getting engaged to someone else, it’s even worse watching all the sweat, false eyelashes, and foundation that drip down the faces of the unfortunate.
It’s not just The Bachelor and The Bachelorette finales that are hard to watch; Bachelor in Paradise has served viewers some pretty devastating moments on the beach (though Ashley Iaconetti is not on the list.) But, at least those people got to drink margaritas and swim in the ocean first.
Without further ado, below are the top 10 most devastating moments in Bachelor franchise history. Get your tissues ready, and say a little prayer for all that expensive makeup that went to waste.
1. Brooks Forester self-eliminated leaving Desiree Hartsock devastated
Desiree Hartsock is happily married to her final pick, Chris Siegfried, and the pair share two adorable sons. However, during her time on The Bachelorette, it looked as if she might not choose anyone.
Brooks Forester was a clear front runner for much of the season, so it came as a complete shock when he broke up with Desiree before fantasy suites, leaving her a sobbing, runny-nosed, tear-stained mess.
Honestly, couldn’t someone have gotten the poor girl a pint of Ben and Jerry’s and a Sleepless in Seattle DVD? There were so many inhaling, and exhaling noises that it felt like we were listening to a scuba-diving program on the Discovery Channel.
Even worse? After he broke up with her, Desiree continued to profess her love for Brooks, making the whole moment simultaneously devastating and cringe-worthy.
2. Colton Underwood jumps a fence
Colton Underwood jumped a fence during the end of his season of The Bachelor after front-runner Cassie Randolph eliminated herself. Many on social media called it romantic, claiming no guy had ever jumped a fence for them, while others got to work on making memes.
In reality, Colton was simply trying to get away from Bachelor producers who made sure that fence jump was seen in every single preview of the show. Before it aired, Bachelor Nation had no idea what we were seeing.
Did Colton just want to practice his jumping skills? Was he upset at the poor wifi signal in his hotel? Was he running out to buy condoms, ready to finally lose his virginity? Viewers were left wondering until the very last minute.
Either way, it was a pretty upsetting breakup to watch, and nobody could blame Colton for not wanting to sit down and pour out his feelings to milllions of people watching.
3. Arie Luyendyk Jr. breaks up with Becca Kufrin
Arie Luyendyk Jr. was public enemy number one in Bachelor Nation for quite some time. Well, before Jed Wyatt swooped in with his guitar and dog food jingle.
After breaking up with Lauren Burnham and proposing to Becca Kufrin, Bachelor viewers were shocked when Arie showed up to that fabulous Airbnb in order to dump her. Not only did he show up with cameras and producers, but he blindsided Becca, who assumed they were simply meeting for a “happy couples weekend.”
The Bachelor producers showed how far they were willing to go when they filmed the devastating breakup, making sure to put Arie and Becca’s faces side by side. Chris Harrison even teased viewers, claiming it was the first unedited scene in reality television history!
The show clearly reached a new low. Becca wasn’t phased, though, since she went on to become the next Bachelorette. Anything for a few more thousand Instagram followers. I mean love.
4. Ben Higgins tells JoJo Fletcher he loves her…then dumps her
Ben Higgins, the human version of a golden retriever, wore his heart on his sleeve during his entire run on The Bachelor. It was hard to fault him for any wrongdoing.
However, everyone in Bachelor Nation knows the number one rule for a lead is that you never tell any contestants you love them. The Bachelor had gone on for 19 other seasons like this until Ben Higgins decided to blow up the whole thing.
He told his eventual pick, Lauren Bushnell, that he loved her, and then turned right around and told JoJo Fletcher he loved her too! In all honestly, it kind of looked like Ben was looking for a couple of good nights in the fantasy suites.
When Ben told JoJo he loved her back, she looked at him as if to say, “are you even allowed to say this?!” and rom-com music began to play like it was the happily ever after at the end of a cheesy movie.
When Ben sent JoJo packing during the finale, she looked like a deer caught in headlights; completely blindsided.
5. Jason Mesnick sends Molly Malaney home during the finale
You have to do something pretty memorable on The Bachelor to have something named after you. Changing your mind after the finale will forever be called “pulling a Mesnick” as Arie Luyendyk Jr. did later on.
Jason Mesnick sent home Molly Malaney and proposed to Melissa Rycroft, however changed his mind. He dumped Melissa live on After the Final Rose and asked Molly if she would take him back in not very many words. It looked more like a sixth-grader asking out his crush at a middle school dance.
However, this wasn’t even the most devastating part of The Bachelor finale. After dumping Molly, Jason unleashed what looked like 12 years worth of pent-up tears. He leaned over a balcony, absolutely sobbing, and made enough tears to sink the Titanic.
6. Peter Kraus can’t commit to Rachel Lindsay
Peter Kraus was an obvious front-runner during Rachel Lindsay’s season of The Bachelorette. However, after making it to the final two, he then decided to drop a bomb on Rachel during what should have been a romantic date.
Despite an engagement at the end being the entire reason for going on the show, Peter got cold feet. Emotions were clearly running high, with Peter bitterly saying, “Fine, then go find someone to have a mediocre life with.” Rachel cried so hard during their goodbye that her false eyelashes came off; it was brutal.
Some fans of The Bachelorette felt it was Peter’s way of telling Rachel he just wasn’t that into her (at least enough to get married), while others felt he was just being logical.
In the end, though, the pair said a tearful goodbye, looking as if they really didn’t want to leave each other. It was like an airport departure between a long-distance couple.
7. Kirk DeWindt blindsides Carly Waddell
Before Carly Waddell and Evan Bass made headlines with their shocking separation, Carly was on Season 2 of Bachelor in Paradise. She and Kirk DeWindt coupled up pretty early on in the season and looked as if they would go the distance.
However, right after Chris Harrison made his declaration that it was time to either get serious or get packing, Kirk clearly got a little freaked out. Carly was basically talking china patterns after just five weeks together, which isn’t considered crazy in Bachelor world. Kirk, however, was ready to run for the hills and let her know it.
Kirk pulled Carly aside, to which she joked, “You’re not breaking up with me are you?”
Wow. Completely cringe-worthy. Bachelor Nation covered their eyes, already seeing it coming. While Kirk first let Carly know he was “a little behind” in his feelings, Carly didn’t seem to take the hint. He reiterated, telling her he was “a lot behind” and she still didn’t appear to get that she was being dumped.
Eventually, though, Carly got it and made a run for it. She later wrote a song called Blindsided about what happened, and Kirk probably breathed a sigh of relief that he dodged a bullet.
In terms of brutal breakups, this one would definitely be in the top five in Bachelor Nation.
8. Becca Kufrin devastates Blake Horstmann
If there were a ranking of sweatiest moments in the Bachelor franchise, the breakup between Becca Kufrin and Blake Horstmann during The Bachelorette finale would definitely win, hands down. For how much this show spends on hotels and airline tickets, you would think they could have sprung for a handheld fan at least.
While Blake walked down the beach, viewers were shown his interview about how he saw a future with her and how he wanted to hear Becca say she loved him. It was like watching a puppy get kicked multiple times and then hit by a car; you could not look.
The entire time, Blake was standing there with sweat dripping into his eyes. It was hard to tell if it was tears, sweat, snot, or possibly a combination of all three, but the producers clearly didn’t feel the need to give the poor guy a towel or a Kleenex of some kind.
9. Hannah Brown sends home Tyler Cameron
As far as Bachelor franchise breakups go, Hannah Brown dumping Tyler Cameron wasn’t necessarily the most devastating for the two of them, however, it was devastating to Bachelor Nation itself. Viewers were left reeling when Hannah sent Tyler home in favor of Jed Wyatt.
Rumors had already been swirling before the finale that Jed went on the show with a girlfriend, making their engagement all the more uncomfortable for viewers.
Watching the finale left fans fuming that handsome, funny, dazzling, respectful, charming Tyler (who even looks amazing in a salmon suit) was left broken-hearted in favor of dog food jingle writer Jed. When Hannah had the nerve to ask Tyler to get a drink during the live After the Final Rose special? Oh, hell no! You had your chance!
10. Kaitlyn Bristowe doesn’t choose Nick Viall
It’s hard to feel bad for Nick Viall, knowing now how much of a career he has tried to create out of being on the Bachelor franchise. However, during Kaitlyn’s season, it was only his second appearance. Despite ruffling a few feathers among the other guys, Nick was allowed to walk on mid-season to date Kaitlyn.
Nick once again made it to the finale of The Bachelorette, yet he was left broken-hearted again. Many viewers felt Kaitlyn should have stopped Nick’s speech way before she did, as it only served to make things worse.
The most brutal part? When Nick pulled the ring out of his pocket (he and Neil Lane must be very good friends by now) only for Kaitlyn to stop him, and for Nick to reply, “No? Okay,” and put the ring back in his pocket.
The Bachelor franchise doesn’t spare feelings guys, they are only here for the ratings.