Ellen's Worst Moments

The lowest lows of the daytime show's 19 seasons

VANCOUVER, BC - OCTOBER 19:  Comedian Ellen DeGeneres seen onstage during "A Conversation With Ellen...
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The Ellen Show is in its final week, and what better way to celebrate the show’s 19-year history than by looking back at some of its absolute rock-bottom moments. In the nearly two decades the show has been on the air, there has been no dearth of monologues, interviews, games, segments, pranks, musical performances, and dance breaks that have made moms across the nation say “She’s just like me!” But for the sake of this list, we will mostly focus on the last decade, when Ellen stopped having anything to prove to middle America and leaned into her worst tendencies, high on the rush of her near-constant house flipping.

Not included in this list is anything about the allegedly toxic workplace she cultivated, the various immoral game shows she’s hosted, or the Oscars selfie. We’re here to focus specifically on The Ellen Show, a show that once had the tagline “Be kind to one another.” So without further ado, let’s dive in.

Defending Her Friendship with George W. Bush

Try to make it through this clip — cloyingly titled “This Photo of Ellen & George W. Bush Will Give You Faith in America Again” — without rolling your eyes. If you can do it, you are stronger than I. In 2019, Ellen and the former president sat next to each other at a Dallas Cowboys game and were photographed looking awfully chummy. People were upset by this, so Ellen used her monologue to address the concerns. “I’m friends with a lot of people who don’t share the same beliefs that I have. We’re all different and I think that we’ve forgotten that that’s okay that we’re different,” she told her viewers. That’s true to an extent; I have friends who don’t believe in ghosts and I love them all the same. However none of my friends are responsible for hundreds of thousands of casualties in a needless war that they started. Perhaps Ellen and Dubya bonded over their mutual love for extrajudicial torture, which brings us to the next item on this list.

Every Single Prank

They’re all bad. Of course there’s the recent time when Ellen used Kim Kardashian’s noted arachnophobia against her. There’s also the time Ellen scared a 62-year-old Kris Jenner so badly she fell backwards — Kim would go on to jokingly (?) say that Jenner required knee surgery because of it. Or what about the time she scared Sarah Paulson three times in a row. Oh, there was also that time that she pranked a bunch of stressed holiday shoppers at Michael’s by having her writer wrap their presents horribly (presented by Scotch™, of course). I don’t know if there are any “good” pranks, but Ellen was sure to convince me that there are a lot of bad ones.

Introducing Charlie Puth to the World

Did you know that Ellen is the reason Charlie Puth is famous? In the most 2011 scenario possible, he sang a cover of Adele’s “Someone Like You” with Berklee classmate Emily Luther as part of a contest on Perez Hilton’s website. The clip went viral, and Ellen signed both Puth and Luther to her record label eleveneleven. Now Puth cries on TikTok and makes underwhelming pop music while Luther’s only claim to fame is being a contestant on season 13 of The Voice. For the record, it was Luther’s idea to submit to the contest and she sounds better than Puth in their duet. Ellen is just obsessed with bringing dark energy into the world.

Giving Damn Daniel a Platform

Once Ellen started having viral sensations on her show everything went downhill. These boys (Daniel and the other one) have no charisma, no spark, and certainly no media training. It’s truly one of the most boring interviews you can watch, but you wouldn’t know that based on the fact that this clip has been viewed a staggering 43.8 million times on YouTube. Usually when Ellen has minors on the show, it’s because they have some kind of compelling talent or heart-wrenching story, but these guys just said a phrase a lot. Ellen talked to them as if they were Steve Jobs. “When did you realize how much it was taking off,” she asked. I don’t know Ellen, probably when it was going absolutely mega-viral. Have some self-respect.

Bill Gates Guessing Supermarket Prices

Hahahaha billionaire think big bag of pizza rolls cost $22 hahahaha.

Interrogating Taylor Swift About Her Exes

You might expect the infamous Dakota “That’s Not True, Ellen” Johnson clip to be on this list. That is actually a great moment in the show’s history, one that is endlessly rewatchable and fun. This, on the other hand, is excruciating (so much so that it isn’t even on Ellen’s YouTube channel). Ellen asks a visibly uncomfortable Taylor Swift to reveal who “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” is about. She does not want to play, and Ellen has to be a jester freak about it. It’s like I always say, there’s nothing like antagonizing a 21-year-old girl for entertainment. Damn Daniel indeed.