Since the early 2000s, The Bachelor franchise has delivered shockers, emotional meltdowns and twists we never saw coming.
Usually, these result - or stem from - an elimination.
Or a dramatic departure of one's own volition. Or someone being asked to leave by the show itself. Or just a really bad breakup.
All of the above have left an indelible mark.
With the TV cameras rolling, obviously. Not even The Bachelor spoilers or Bachelorette spoilers can prepare you for this.
Suddenly it's no surprise that this franchise has stood the test of time, airing for 40-plus seasons, with no end in sight.
The men, the women and the moments featured on this list made their way onto it for very diverse, but very real reasons.
Often through no fault of their own.
All provided images we won't soon forget. At least not 'til the next season airs on ABC and we update this list once again.
Where does this week's Bachelor season finale, and its devastating heartbreak for multiple people, rank on the list?
Behold, the most stunning exits in Bachelor history ...
DeAnna Pappas AND Jenni Croft
The one that started it all: Brad Womack rejected Jenni Croft on his season finale, and looked poised to propose to fan favorite DeAnna Pappas ... who he ALSO rejected! No matter what stunners took place in subsequent years - and we've seen a bunch, including the most recent finale - walking away with nothing and breaking two hearts AT THE FINAL ROSE CEREMONY remains the least expected (and least popular) move in franchise history. And moreover, DeAnna became The Bachelorette and also left a fan favorite runner-up heartbroken (we'll get to that shortly), beginning the Golden Age of Bachelor(ette) Ratings.
It wasn't just that Arie Luyendyk Jr. got engaged to Becca Kufrin on The Bachelor season finale, then broke it off within a matter of weeks. We've seen that many times before. It wasn't even that he went back to Lauren Burnham, his season's runner-up, in the wake of that broken engagement. Jason Mesnick (scroll down) pulled that one off too. But the way in which Arie ended things with Becca - blindsiding her with cameras rolling, and ABC airing the 40-minute scene uncut - nearly took the top spot on this list. Just savage. Fortunately for Becca, she got a second chance as The Bachelorette that very summer, and is still together with her final rose recipient Garrett Yrigoyen.
DeAnna Pappas became The Bachelorette, as we said, and threw fans for a loop by rejecting beloved single father Jason Mesnick, who was so smitten with her, in favor of Jesse Csincsak ... who she stayed engaged to for like two weeks. Jason was the most obvious pick for The Bachelor in history on the heels of this, but he generated some controversy himself.
Jason Mesnick upped the ante on both Brad and DeAnna in the finale night shocker department. After getting engaged to Melissa Rycroft on his season finale, he dumped her ... on the After the Final Rose special, in favor of runner-up Molly Malaney! At least this one had a happy ending, though: Jason and Molly are happily married, to this day, and have a beautiful family together.
Madison Prewett's decision to self-eliminate on The Bachelor finale in 2020 was bizarre for many reasons. 1. She had already given Peter Weber an ultimatum about not having sex with the competition, which he clearly did. 2. She appared to be eliminating herself earlier this season, but showed up at the penultimate rose ceremony and received a rose instead of Victoria Fuller. 3. Peter's family approved of this! They seemed 100% sold on Madison's fellow finalist Hannah Ann Sluss, who is 100% sold on Peter ... but despite the fact that Hannah Ann was the only one left after Madison's departure, he's not feeling it! Remind you of Arie, anyone? Peter sure did a number on her, not to mention ...
Hannah Ann Sluss
Hannah Ann Sluss' exit from the show was unlike anything in franchise history. She got engaged to Peter Weber on the finale, only to get dumped after the fact and lay out - live on After the Final Rose - all the reasons Pete strung her along, led her on, withheld critical information, only proposed to her so he didn't have to let her go, robbed her of her first engagement, and most of all, failed to act like a real man. Just an epic performance by Hannah Ann, who conducted herself with the confidence and maturity you wouldn't expect from a 23-year-old. Kudos to her.
Lauren Burnham, of course, ended up engaged to Arie Luyendyk Jr., but not before being dispatched in a season finale twist that triggered his shocking reversal. Lauren had finally opened up to Arie for the first time on their last date, setting off an internal conflict that saw Luyendyk get engaged to Becca Kufrin while still pining for Lauren. This emotional triangle reminds many fans of what we're seeing here in 2020.
Colton Underwood and Cassie Randolph
Colton Underwood and Cassie Randolph make the list as a couple, which they miraculously still are today. Who can believe that ... or forget that she dumped him on The Bachelor and peaced out. The virginal football player proceeded to punch a camera, declare that he was "f--king done" with this charade and peaced out of the competition himself to chase after her! It worked. She gave him a second chance, and he gave her the final rose. As the saying goes, if you love someone, set them free. But also jump the fence.
Nick Viall thought he had Andi Dorfman's heart all to himself. He was shocked to learn before he got to the final rose ceremony that she was cutting him loose, and picking Josh Murray instead. He didn't take the news well to say the least ... which would've been understandable, except that he wrote her letters after the season wrapped, was filmed on a plane trashing Josh, and asked Andi on After the Final Rose, live, why she would make love to him if she wasn't going to pick him in the end. Yeah, that was awkward.
Peter Kraus, the runner-up on Rachel Lindsay's season of The Bachelorette, may well have won the thing if he had just been ready to propose. Many fans felt winner Bryan Abasolo was her real second choice, or even a rebound. Not the case, at least judging by the fact that she and Bryan tied the knot after The Bachelorette wrapped.
Becca Kufrin's season of The Bachelorette was pretty conventional by franchise standards, with a two-person race to the end and no epic plot twists, fiance-swaps or anything of that nature. But that doesn't take away from the heartbreak experienced by Blake Horstmann. That s--t was raw. It's hard to remember a person that devastated by coming in second, with the sincerity evident in his tearful reactions, both on the finale itself and on the After the Final Rose reunion.
Arie Luyendyk Jr.
Before his starring turn as the Bachelor, Arie Luyendyk Jr. was eliminated by Emily Maynard on the finale of her season. Like Blake Horstmann, there was no major twist here. Just raw pain in his eyes. What was even more surprising was that Luyendyk was reportedly told he was The Bachelor in 2015 before producers went with Chris Soules at the last minute, then randomly chosen as the leading man in 2018, when he left his own indelible mark on the series - and this gallery. See Kufrin, Becca, and Burnham, Lauren.
It's water under the bridge now for a happily married Sean Lowe (who wed Bachelor winner Catherine Giudici after his own season at the helm), but his final three dismissal by Emily Maynard - who split from Jef Holm soon after - was a stunner. Both he and Arie seemed better positioned than ultimate winner Jef with one F, and genuinely excited to be not only her husband but a father figure to her daughter Ricki.
In Season 14, starring Jake Pavelka, Rozlyn Papa got the boot at a rose ceremony ... after getting a rose! Say what? Yes, she allegedly had a fling with one of The Bachelor staff members and was excused from the show. That's a first. And one lucky staff member.
Nick Viall proposes to Kaitlyn Bristowe and gets rejected - again - on The Bachelorette season finale. Watch the emotional carnage right here.
Ben Higgins' would-be fiancee Jojo Fletcher was likely the first woman in Bachelor history to hear the words "I love you" from The Bachelor ... and lose anyway. We have no doubt that his feelings were real and that he simply fell for Lauren Bushnell a little bit harder, but dude. Kind of brutal the way he dragged that out. Ben and Lauren have broken up since, while JoJo and Aaron Rodgers, er, Jordan Rodgers are still together, so ... there's that.
Andi Dorfman gave Juan Pablo the business before signing on to be The Bachelorette.
The one blemish on Sean Lowe's near-perfect record on The Bachelor franchise? At least according to a bitter AshLee Frazier, he made promises he did not keep.
Heartbreak is nothing new to men on The Bachelorette who would prefer not to be eliminated. But as much as any contestant in recent memory, Robby Hayes was crushed - and shocked - to learn that he was not going to marry JoJo Fletcher.
Reid Rosenthal bolted The Bachelorette of his own volition during the final three ... then returned to propose to Jillian Harris on the finale after a change of heart ... only by then she had already chosen Ed Swiderski to be her fiance.
Weirdly enough, Ed left in the middle of that same season of The Bachelorette ... only to return after a few episodes and WIN Jillian Harris' final rose. His shady, cheating ways soon caught up with him, however, and the lovable Canadian brunette decided to List It, Not Love It ... see what we did there?! Because she went on to host the show Love it or List it on HGTV. Nevermind.
The third-place finisher on JoJo's subsequent season of The Bachelorette, Chase McNary made a last-ditch effort to profess his undying love and earn a spot in the finale. Alas, her feelings for Robby Hayes and eventual winner Jordan Rodgers were simply too profound.
Like Andi before her, Clare Crawley also took Juan Pablo to task after not receiving his final rose ... she certainly had the final word(s). That guy sucked. Clare, in a surprising twist of fate five-plus years later, will be the woman handing out the roses as The Bachelorette in 2020!
Eric Hill's exit from The Bachelorette was all the more shocking considering that he left on less than stellar terms with Andi Dorfman, only to tragically pass away weeks later.
Kalon McMahon was straight up destroyed by an irate Emily Maynard after referring to her daughter Ricki as "baggage." Not a way to endear yourself to a single mom, most of the time.
Frontrunner Brooks Forester dumped Desiree Hartsock on The Bachelorette's penultimate episode. You don't often see the star of the show get dumped by his or her clear #1 that late in the game, but when one door closes, another opens, or something. Somewhat incredibly, a then-clear second choice Chris Siegfried ended up being The One. They're married!
Britt Nilsson made a great first impression on Chris Soules, and was a major contender until she absolutely self-destructed late in the season ... only to be somehow named co-Bachelorette just a few weeks later. That was even more shocking.
Raven Gates had never experienced an orgasm before she met Nick Viall. Having accepted his invitation to the Fantasy Suite, and very possibly enjoyed her first one there, she finished second to Vanessa Grimaldi in the end. There's always Bachelor in Paradise?
Though he vowed to guard and protect her heart, Kasey Kahl got straight up ditched on a freakin' glacier by Ali Fedotowsky in a hilarious one-on-one date denial for the ages. Points for originality.
Ali Fedotowsky herself left The Bachelor by her own accord, removing herself from Jake Pavelka's season after being told she'd lose her job if she did not do so. Many later felt this was BS as she signed on to star as The Bachelorette right after, but it was still pretty shocking at the time!
Justin Rego, a.k.a. Rated R, sure made things entertaining vying for Ali's heart ... until she busted him for having a girlfriend back home. And literally, physically chased him down to confront him as he tried to bolt. She had some real winners that season.
Who could forget Bentley, probably the biggest douchebag in the history of a franchise filled with douchebags. He got the boot from Ashley Hebert, who he was disappointed to see as the Bachelorette (he preferred Emily Maynard) and openly said was a girl he would hook up with but would never date, as she wasn't even that hot. She eventually got wind of his shadiness, and not a moment too soon. She seemed way too into this loser, but cooler heads and warm hearts prevailed: Ashley married eventual winner J.P. Rosenbaum.