5 of the most WTF-worthy moments in Super Bowl history

We scoured one of Reddit's largest default subreddits, r/wtf, for a quick history of Super Bowl gaffes.


Mike Fenn


Published Feb 1, 2013   Updated Jun 2, 2021, 2:11 am CDT

The Super Bowl is one of sport’s biggest and most tightly scripted spectacles, with coveted commercial spots and massive halftime shows

But rarely does the big game go exactly as planned. .

We scoured one of Reddit’s largest default subreddits, r/wtf, for a quick history of Super Bowl gaffes that caused jaws to drop and faces to smack palms nationwise.

1) Super Bowl XXIII gets bamboozled.

Super Bowl halftime shows are always memorable—sometimes for all the wrong reasons. Janet Jackson’s famous “wardrobe malfunction” stole the spotlight away from the New England Patriots’ win over the Carolina Panthers in 2004, but redditor uparrow’s February 2012 post about Super Bowl XXIII was equally WTF-worthy. The halftime performance was put on by Elvis impersonator Elvis Presto and was entitled “Be Bop Bamboozled in 3-D.”

“My brother was conceived during this,” redditor Bizarro_you claimed.

2) Comcast switches NBC feed to a porn channel during Super Bowl XLIII.

Super Bowl XLIII was a matchup between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Arizona Cardinals. Outside of Pittsburgh and Phoenix, it is a safe bet that few viewers really cared about which team would emerge victorious.

Comcast Cable (unintentionally, we think) took this into consideration and temporarily replaced the widely-watched broadcast with porn channel Club Jenna. Unfortunately for Comcast, Super Bowl XLIII occurred in 2009, a time when such gaffes couldn’t easily escape unnoticed.

Reddit naturally jumped all over the incident, with ThisIsMyProfile’s February 2009 post being one of many submitted to narrate the tale.

“Wow, it’s horrible to think that the audience was forced to see a body part that more than half of them have,” redditor whitedawg quipped.

3) The 2002 tower collapse.

During U2’s halftime performance at Super Bowl XXXVI, names of 9/11 victims scrolled on two giant towers, a setup obviously meant to resemble the collapsed World Trade Center. As the performance ended, however, the towers actually “collapsed.” In his January 2013 post, redditor GiveMeBackMySon displayed the moment in a GIF.

Fellow redditors questioned whether the setup was rigged to fall or if it was just a very unfortunate coincidence.

“It almost seems they wanted it to fall…funny it didn’t fall on the stage,” darkgothvamptress remarked.

4) The Doritos commercial that never was.

The Doritos company has become renowned in recent years for allowing fans to upload their own Doritos-centric videos to the company website prior to the big game. The most-voted entry will be aired in the coveted multi-million-dollar spot.

Sadly, the video submitted by redditor severinslightly in November 2011 prior to Super Bowl XLVI, never made it to the airwaves.

“Is this something that people vote on? Reddit should make this awful thing win,” redditor golfjunkie stated.

5) NFL charges people $200 to stand outside the stadium.

In 2011, at Super Bowl XLV, if fans wished to stand anywhere near Cowboys Stadium, where the Steelers-Packers matchup took place, it cost $200. Redditor JZN, who submitted the January 2011 thread, was quick to make a Super Bowl prediction of his own.

“Soon enough the super bowl will be a pay-per-view event and these insane people will be able to burn their money right from the comfort of their own homes.”

Photo via daveynin/Flickr

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*First Published: Feb 1, 2013, 9:49 pm CST