Chances are, at some point before getting engaged, you likely imagined what your perfect proposal would look like. Whether it involved a romantic stroll down the Champs-Élysées, a megatron at a sporting event, or a quiet night at home involving your dog with a ring on his collar, you likely had at least some idea of how you wanted the moment to go down.
But for these nine couples, let’s just say the reality did not exactly live up to what they (or at least one partner) had hoped for. From a terrifying moment in an airplane to a few flat-out nos, each of these marriage proposal fails were so spectacularly bad, we couldn’t help but cringe while watching them—and yet, we couldn’t seem to look away.
And (just in case) here’s exactly what to do if a bad marriage proposal happens to you—other than, hopefully, laugh about it together 40 years down the line.
1. The couple whose love took terrifying flight.
Maybe don’t trick the person you’re proposing to into thinking that they’re in a near-death situation when you’re trying to convince them to spend their whole lives with you? Just a thought.
2. A breakup prank gone wrong.
One surefire way to surprise the person you’re proposing to? Make them think you’re dumping them. Just don’t expect them to be thrilled about it.
3. The girl who said no.
It definitely would have been less awkward if he’d asked her in the privacy of their own home.
4. The girl who said no…in front of an entire crowd of basketball fans.
Welcome to every guy’s worst proposal nightmare.
5. The girl who ran away midproposal.
While some people might love to be proposed surrounded by fast food, it's not something this potential bride looks thrilled about. At all. The cameraman’s commentary of “Wow, that’s brutal” just about sums it up.
6. The guy who learned the hard way that proposing in front of a waterfall may not be the best idea.
Note to self: A proposal at a waterfall is far more romantic in theory than in practice.
7. The couple who literally fell in love.
Proof that you should never get in a woman’s way when she’s on a mission. Or playing volleyball. (Thankfully, she said yes.)
8. The woman who hit her not-future-fiancé with a ukulele.
It’s a little unclear what, exactly, is happening here (and why there’s a train chugging through the scene), but what is clear is that this woman definitely does not want to marry the man who’s proposing to her. And that she swings a mean ukelele. (And a PSA to the rest of us: There's no need to get violent. Just say no.)
9. The guy who lost the ring.
This one is almost too hard to watch, but let’s just say if you’re going to tie an engagement ring to a balloon, you better be sure you’re holding on tightly.