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These proposal fails will make your Valentine’s Day seem fantastic

It is that one defining moment in a relationship: The man drops to one knee, produces a beautiful ring, and the girl, overcome with emotion, runs away.


Mike Fenn

Internet Culture

Posted on Feb 14, 2013   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 12:53 am CDT

It’s that one defining moment in a relationship: The man drops to one knee, produces a beautiful ring, and the girl, overcome with emotion, runs away.

Ideal, perfect marriage proposals are events that are gushed over in many social circles. Their ugly cousins, the infamous proposal fails, are memorable in their own therapy-requiring, homicide-inducing ways. And when such bombs go off in public, the pain surrounding them can be witnessed over and over thanks to the magic of YouTube.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Daily Dot found five of the biggest public rejections that were inadvertently immortalized. All of the videos are heartbreaking, all of them elicit shock, and all of them feature hundreds of comments claiming that they are fake/staged.


1) LeftRightSevenProd, “Food Court Proposal Gone Bad”

First of all, the “gone bad” part of LeftRightSevenProd’s title of the video is pretty redundant; most people could figure out which way the proposal pendulum will swing just from the words “Food Court Proposal.”

This video instantly became a classic once the man utters “We met here one year ago in front of the Cinnabon” as part of the proposal speech. Despite such romantic dialogue—and an insistence to “say yes” being made from a Joe Pesci look-alike in the background—the girl still reacted by graciously declining and bolting from the premises. 


2) xxrockstar2, “Proposal Rejection!”

There must be something about guys thinking that the inside of a shopping mall is the best place to swear lifelong allegiance to someone through marriage.

In this video, watch the final moments of a relationship tick away as the man gets down on one knee in the beautiful glow of the nearby clothing store’s window display. This time, upon rejection, it is the man who quickly bolts from the scene, leaving his near-fiancée with the ring box.

Maybe he went to Cinnabon.


3) Peter Chance, “UCLA marriage proposal fail on jumbo tron”

At live sporting events, the “Kiss Cam” (or “Mistletoe Cam,” as UCLA refers to it) fills gaps of time between gameplay. The “Jumbotron” camera crew focuses on a couple, frames them with a ClipArt heart, and more or less encourages a makeout session or just a quick peck. 

One fan decided to use the moment to his advantage. Upon appearing on the “Kiss Cam,” he whips out a ring. His soon-to-be-ex-girlfriend replies by whipping out a rejection. Both decide that the game is over as far as they are concerned, leaving the ditzy “Mistletoe Cam” host to fumble her way through an explanation as to what had just transpired.


4) GuzerVideo, “Marriage Proposal Rejected at Basketball Game”

No matter how big of a sports fan she may appear to be, any sort of stadium might not be the best venue for attempting a proposal, guys. I lack the necessary extra X chromosome to say this for sure, but most women probably don’t want a crowd full of screaming, drunken fanatics as the first people to see her as a bride-to-be. You have been warned.

At a Houston Rockets basketball game, one man paused the action on the court by asking for his girlfriend’s hand in marriage, which she of course kept to herself. Fortunately, the Rockets appear to have a lovely contingency plan set up for such public catastrophes.

First, he of course gets to bear witness to the boos and immediate public shaming that his now-ex receives as she runs from the court. Then he is comforted by Clutch the Rockets Bear. Finally, as he exits, he is served a free beer.


5) kristentheROCKSTAR, “Proposal Fail”

Finally, we have an outdoor venue! True, it is an exterior shopping plaza, but it is still a slight step up from sporting arenas and mall food courts.

As the neon letters of the plaza’s McDonalds glow in the background, our latest poor schlub is rewarded for his proposal efforts by a tear-filled sprint from the walkway. Pro tip, guys: If she is actively backing away from you as you propose, chances are that it won’t end well.


You made it this far through all of those awkward, painful exchanges, so we figured we would reward you with a bonus video.

BONUS: mega compilation, “Marriage Proposal Interrupted by Fight | HD”

In an extreme rarity, a successful marriage proposal is immediately tarnished by a escalating argument by two background pedestrians, one of whom actually smears his enemy with dog poop. 

Photo via Andrew Abogado/Flickr

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*First Published: Feb 14, 2013, 11:53 am CST