14 Celebs Who Had Major Embarrassing Moments -- But Bounced Back (PHOTOS)

14 Celebs Who Had Major Embarrassing Moments -- But Bounced Back (PHOTOS)

Celebrities really are just like us, only, when they screw up, the fallout is on an enormous scale. And whether they're hiring prostitutes, or peeing in their pants on stage, they make plenty of very public and very embarrassing mistakes. But a gaffe doesn't have to mean the end of a career.

Here are 14 celebrities who had major face-palm moments but managed to overcome them and go on to have a lot of success. May we all be so lucky.

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  • Ariana Grande


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    The tiny singer with the powerful pipes got plenty of hate for licking an unbought doughnut at a sweet shop counter and saying she hated America. She later apologized, explaining that she was protesting the country's childhood obesity epidemic. It was a good enough save for Grande, who later deftly shifted attention toward her makeup line with MAC, whose profits will benefit women and children living with HIV/AIDS.  

  • Benedict Cumberbatch


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    Sherlock and 12 Years A Slave star Benedict Cumberbatch was passionate in his call for greater diversity in film while on the Tavis Smiley show in 2015, but used the outdated term 'colored' to describe black actors, drawing heat. He immediately released an apology making no excuses for himself (a Hollywood rarity), and using his own faux pas as proof that more awereness was needed, all was forgiven.

  • Julianna Hough


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    Dancing With the Stars regular Julianne Hough set the Internet on fire in 2013 when she was photographed leaving a Halloween party dressed as Orange is the New Black character Crazy Eyes -- in blackface. Rumors swirled that she'd been cautioned to remove the offensive makeup while at the party, to no avail. She apologized the following day, and less than a year later, went from dancer to judge on DWTS.

  • Zac Efron


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    When Lorax actor Zac Efron accidentally dropped a condom on the red carpet, at the premiere of the children's movie, no less, he did his own walk of shame, hiding his embarrassment behind a pair of sunglasses and leaving the scene as soon as possible. But he still had to contend with Matt Lauer's probing about the incident on Today, joking that he now had a "pocket-checking policy" before red carpet events.

    More from The Stir: 10 Awkward Child Stars Who Grew Up to be Gorgeous (PHOTOS)

  • Jennifer Lawrence


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    Our knees would buckle too, if we won a Best Actress Oscar at age 22 and had to negotiate slippery stairs in a voluminous evening gown to accept the award. But the embarrassing moment, which happened in front of thousands in the Dolby theater and millions in homes worldwide, was also the moment Jennifer Lawrence became America's newest -- and most relatable -- sweetheart. Now, she's the highest-paid actress in Hollywood.   

  • Reese Witherspoon


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    After her husband was pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving in Atlanta in 2013, Reese Witherspoon pulled the diva card, defying the officer's instruction that she stay in the car and yelling: "Do you know my name? You're about to find out who I am," as she was arrested. Though her box office receipts soured after the incident, she was nominated for an Oscar for 2014's Wild, and has an upcoming limited series on HBO called Little Big Lies.


  • Christian Bale


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    What's the male term for a diva? Divo? Somehow, that doesn't capture the major, expletive-peppered tantrum that Christian Bale threw on the Terminator Salvation set in 2009, when the cinematographer broke his concentration. The leaked audio sent a deluge of bad press Bale's way, and he apologized, saying "I was out of order beyond belief." The incident had no effect on Terminator or any other of his movies' box office takes, and Bale has remained a respected actor.

  • Fergie


    Image via Danny Moloshok/Reuters/Corbis

    Oops! With no time for a bathroom break when she and the rest of the Black Eyed Peas arrived an hour late to a concert in 2005, Fergie went directly onstage to sing -- and peed her pants. The singer refused to talk about the incident, addressing it only in 2014, and her strategy of staying mum worked: She found massive success with the band and as a solo artist.

    More from The Stir: 20 Female Celebrities Who Have Happily Skipped Having Kids (PHOTOS) 

  • Winona Ryder


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    For some celebrities, it takes longer to bounce back from embarrassment. When Winona Ryder was busted shoplifting $5,000 worth of clothes from Saks Fith Avenue in 2001, the actress disappeared from Hollywood for years to try to get her life back together, and it was only in 2009 that she started making a comeback, in Star Trek. She's since earned Screen Actors Guild nominations and became the face of Marc Jacobs for Spring 2016. 

  • Jessica Simpson


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    She was already a successful singer, but Jessica Simpson actually became a star thanks to famously questioning whether Chicken of the Sea brand tuna was actually canned chicken, on her and then-hubby Nicky Lachey's reality show, Newlyweds. Consequently, the reputation for being a ditz followed her for years. Until she built a $1 billion clothing, shoes, and accessories empire. Who's the smart one now?

  • Beyonce


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    It seems almost heretical to point out a public Beyonce gaffe, but the singer's over-the-top onstage antics sometimes land her in trouble, as in when she wore an too-long coat and tripped down some stairs in 2007, or when she got her hair caught in a giant fan while singing Halo in 2014. You gotta say this for Queen B: A consummate professional, she invariably gets right back up and "performs even harder." Her recovery time from onstsage embarrassment is literally five seconds.

  • Kate Moss


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    Pictures of supermodel Kate Moss apparently doing lines of cocaine landed on newspaper front pages in 2005, causing her to lose nearly all her modeling contracts, though she apologized and hit rehab. Just two years later, though, she'd won them all back, and started Topshop to boot. She remains one of the most enigmatic and iconic fashion figures ever. 

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  • Justin Timberlake


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    Crooner Justin Timberlake survived two embarrassing gaffes: In 2002, he became the first celebrity to be pranked on Punk'd,  Ashton Kutcher's MTV show, when "government agents" confiscated his belongings due to back taxes -- and JT started crying. In 2004, during a halftime Super Bowl performance with Janet Jackson, a "wardrobe malfunction" caused her nipple to flash onscreen for seconds (he apologized at the Grammys). Timberlake managed to live down both incidents when he released 2007's Future Sex/Love Sounds, becoming a star.

  • Hugh Grant


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    Despite having a gorgeous girlfriend (Elizabeth Hurley) and a new movie (Nine Months) to promote, Hugh Grant hired a prostitute in Los Angeles in 1995. When a cop busted them in his car, he was arrested and the case became public. He immediately issued an apology, but the master stroke was going on the Tonight Show to talk about it. One sheepish, contrite, somehow charming interview later, all was forgiven.  But he still lost Hurley.

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