The 25 Most Brutal Breakups in 'Bachelor' History

Nicole Pomarico | Sep 12, 2019 TV
The 25 Most Brutal Breakups in 'Bachelor' History
Image: ABC

Becca Kufrin, Arie Luyendky Jr.

Sure, The Bachelor and The Bachelorette (and all their various spin-offs) are supposed to be about finding true love, but more often, they're about dramatic, awful breakups, both inside and outside of the weekly rose ceremonies. At the end of every season, the leading man or lady has broken up with literally dozens of people by the time the proposal happens, and some of those splits can be truly brutal. And even when it does work out after the finale? Bachelor couples still aren't immune to breakups, and they happen all the time -- and they're usually public, which makes an already bad situation even worse. We love the Bachelor franchise for its drama, and it definitely doesn't stop after the cameras stop rolling.

And of course, some of these breakups are way worse than others. There's something about the combination of reality TV and emotions running high that really brings out the worst in people. Add social media fuel to the fire, and we have the recipe for the perfect dramatic breakup -- and plenty of fans ready to speculate on what might have happened, which probably doesn't help, either. And is it just us, or are Bachelor in Paradise breakups some of the saddest? 

And these days, Bach alums have been all about hooking up with each other even when they haven't met on the show yet. It seems like as soon as contestants have been on the show, they find each other in real life so fast. And sometimes, that means they fall in love and live happily ever after, because let's face it -- after the crazy experience of looking for love on reality TV, it's rare to find someone else who understands. But other times, it ends in total disaster.

But which breakups were the worst? It's hard to rank heartbreak on any level, but read on for some of the absolute most brutal breakups in Bachelor Nation history. 

  • Caelynn Miller-Keyes & Blake Horstmann


    Their relationship (or whatever it was) happened off screen, but it blew up on screen. On BIP Season 6, they were forced to confront each other on the beach, and it wasn't pretty. Caelynn felt like Blake had betrayed her by sleeping with other women, while Blake felt like their relationship boundaries had been clear -- and he published their private text conversations on Instagram for the world to see to prove his point. 

  • Jason Mesnick & Melissa Rycroft


    Image via ABC

    Jason brought the entire world in on their breakup when he dumped his original choice, Melissa, for his runner-up, Molly Malaney, during the After The Final Rose special after their finale aired. Um, awkward? Maybe it was for the best, though, because Jason and Molly are now happily married with children.

  • Angela Amezcua & Clay Harbor


    After dating for eight months, Angela and Clay went their separate ways... but we didn't find out about the drama behind it until recently. On BIP this season, they came face to face all over again, and it resulted in more than a few awkward moments. Angela seemed way over it, but Clay was carrying around baggage that almost sabotaged his new relationships on the show. 

  • Kaitlyn Bristowe & Nick Viall


    Image via ABC 

    It's never easy when a Bachelor or a Bachelorette star has to say goodbye to her runner-up, but it has to happen at some point to get to happily ever after. Unfortunately, Nick didn't take it well when Kaitlyn told him she was choosing Shawn -- like, at all. He was pretty pissed in his limo ride back to the airport, and to be honest, it was really hard to blame him. Poor guy! 

  • Hannah Brown & Jed Wyatt 


    While Jed was on The Bachelorette, it came out that he'd actually been dating someone else when he went on the show -- and he lied to Hannah about it. Since she didn't exactly have that info at the time, he ended up being Hannah's final pick, but it all blew up after filming had come to an end. Hannah was obviously heartbroken, but at least she knew the truth. 

  • Andi Dorfman & Josh Murray


    Image via ABC

    Andi and Josh seemed meant to be when they got engaged during the Bachelorette finale, but unfortunately, it didn't end so well. They announced their breakup in January 2015, and since then, they've thrown a few cryptic tweet-shaped gauntlets at each other from a distance on social media.  

  • Juan Pablo Galavis & Andi Dorfman


    Image via ABC 

    Honestly, Andi Dorfman hasn't had the best experiences on The Bachelor, and her first try might have been her worst. Although she was definitely into Juan Pablo, his bad qualities kept worming their way to the surface, and eventually, it was easy to see that they weren't the right match. As soon as Andi realized the only person Juan Pablo cared about was himself, she was out of there. 

  • Jordan Kimball & Jenna Cooper


    These two weirdos seemed totally perfect for each other last summer on Bachelor in Paradise, and we were thrilled when Jordan popped the question on the finale ... only apparently Jenna had a boyfriend back home, whom she told she was only going on the show to "promote her business." Yup, she was Jed Wyatt before Jed was Jed. 

  • Matt Grant & Shayne Lamas


    Image via ABC

    When Shayne and Matt split, neither of them talked pleasantly about each other in the press, and then, Shayne did something pretty terrible: She tried to out him in her blog. Um, yeah, we'd say that's not taking a breakup too well. 

  • Kaitlyn Bristowe & Shawn Booth


    It was absolutely heartbreaking when Bachelorette couple Kaitlyn and Shawn decided to call it quits last year. Although it had been clear that something was different between them for a while, it was still a punch to the gut to find out that they were ending their engagement. And hearing Kaitlyn tearfully talk about the end of her relationship on her Off the Vine podcast? So sad.

  • Britt Nilsson & Chris Soules


    Image via ABC

    After spending most of the season focused on Britt and Britt only, Chris decided to break things off with her after he bought into the rumors that the other women were spreading about her hating his tiny hometown of Arlington, Iowa. Britt's goodbye was incredibly emotional, and it was even worse when they came face-to-face again during After the Final Rose. 

  • Juan Pablo Galavis & Clare Crawley


    Image via ABC

    Oh, Juan Pablo. After basically having sex with Clare Crawley in the ocean, he refused to tell her he loved her -- only that he loved you-know-what-ing her. Obviously, this was enough for Clare to send herself packing, because duh. 

  • Arie Luyendyk Jr. & Becca Kufrin

    Arie Luyendyk Jr., Becca Kufrin

    After his season of The Bachelor was over, Arie realized he made a mistake and should have chosen Lauren Burnham instead. And then, fans got to see his split with Becca in real time, airing along with his season finale. It was so hard to watch, but Becca ultimately got her happy ending on The Bachelorette and is now engaged to Garrett Yrigoyen.

  • Emily Maynard & Kalon McMahon


    Image via ABC

    It was obvious that Kalon was not the one for Emily when he referred to her daughter as "baggage," and, understandably, Emily totally lost it on him. Children are not baggage, for the record, so we were totally on Emily's side for this one. 

  • Andi Dorfman & Nick Viall


    Image via ABC 

    Andi told Nick before the final rose ceremony that he wouldn't be her pick, but he still didn't take it well. When they came face-to-face on After The Final Rose, he shocked Andi (and us) when he brought up the fact that they had slept together and done "fiancé type stuff" together. Yikes. 

  • Ashley Iaconetti & Kevin Wendt 


    After meeting and falling in love on Bachelor in Paradise, Ashley and Kevin seemed like a perfect match. But then, a more perfect match happened -- Jared Haibon finally realized he returned the feelings Ashley had for him for so long. Kevin didn't try to hide how bitter he was about their breakup, but being that Ashley is now married to Jared and Kevin is now engaged to Astrid Loch, it seems like everything worked out in the end.

  • Ian Thomson & Kaitlyn Bristowe


    Image via ABC

    On The Bachelorette, Ian decided he wasn't getting enough time with Kaitlyn, and because of it, he thought the best way to make an exit was ... to insult her? Yep, he ripped Kaitlyn a new one, calling her shallow and mocking her sense of humor (as well as what the rest of the guys in the mansion thought was funny). Kaitlyn wasn't amused, and barely batted an eye when he sent himself home. 

  • Joe Bailey & Samantha Steffen


    Image via ABC

    When Samantha arrived on the scene in Bachelor in Paradise, she brought the drama when she swept in and stole Joe out from under Juelia's nose -- and then she brought even more when she decided she was done with him. But it was nothing compared to the way Joe took the news, as he vowed to get his revenge on her. Yeah, pretty sure he's the biggest villain the show has ever seen.

  • Brad Womack, DeAnna Pappas & Jenni Croft


    Image via ABC

    During the final rose ceremony, Brad made a pretty surprising decision: He didn't choose either of his final ladies, sending both DeAnna Pappas and Jenni Croft home without a proposal. There's a first time for everything, right?

  • Becca Tilley & Chris Soules


    Image via ABC

    Becca was pretty blindsided when Chris told her he wouldn't be proposing during the Bachelor finale, and stood there in shock as she said goodbye. It was obvious she was upset at the time, but Becca's kept a good sense of humor about things. She's even still friends with Whitney, Chris' chosen leading lady (well, former leading lady, anyway).

  • Carly Waddell & Kirk DeWindt


    Image via ABC

    All season long, Kirk and Carly seemed like one of the most solid couples on Bachelor in Paradise ... 'til it came time to make a final decision. Kirk dropped a major bomb on Carly in announcing he still had feelings for his ex, and Carly was completely heartbroken. The bright side: It inspired Carly to write plenty of good breakup songs about him. 

  • Juan Pablo Galavis & Nikki Ferrell


    Image via ABC

    The JP and Nikki breakup? Well, it was always coming, but it's like it happened in slow motion. At first, he didn't propose or drop any L-bombs during the finale, even though Nikki was more than ready to commit. And later, not even a stint on VH1's Couples Therapy was enough to help them.

  • Amanda Stanton & Josh Murray

    Amanda Stanton, Josh Murray

    They fell in love on BIP, and even got engaged on the finale. It seemed like all was going well... until their explosive breakup, which sucked enough that Josh became a major focus of Amanda's recent memoir about her Bach experience. Their relationship was volatile, so it's probably for the best that they've gone their separate ways. 

  • Ben Higgins & Lauren Bushnell 


    It really seemed like Ben and Lauren were going to go the distance after The Bachelor -- they even went on to star in another reality show about their life together. But it quickly became obvious that Ben wasn't ready to get married, and Lauren was, and ultimately, they chose to split. It seems like it was for the best, though, since Lauren is now engaged to country singer Chris Lane. 

  • Nick Viall & Vanessa Grimaldi


    They found love on Nick's season of The Bachelor, but ultimately, it didn't last. Less than a year after getting engaged on the show, they decided to go their separate ways, and things have been awkward between them ever since... including a lot of social media weirdness. 

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