Relive Ellen DeGeneres' most insane on air moments and awkward celebrity interviews as show ends

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Ellen DeGeneres bid a tearful farewell to daytime TV when her eponymous talk show came to an end on Thursday after 19 seasons, but many of her most shocking interviews will continue to live in infamy. 

From being called out by Dakota Johnson for lying to outing Mariah Carey's pregnancy on national television, The Ellen DeGeneres Show has aired more than its fair share of awkward interviews over the years — many of which are still being recirculated on social media today.

DeGeneres, now 64, first premiered her show in September 2003, and despite earning more than 171 Daytime Emmy Award nominations and winning 61 of them, the series has also been blighted by scandal in recent years following accusations of 'toxic' behavior in the workplace.

After facing backlash over the allegations, DeGeneres announced in May of last year that her show would be coming to an end. But despite the controversy, the longtime host still continued to pull in a vast number of celebrity guests and hosts, including a number of A-list appearances during the show's final days.

In the last few weeks alone, DeGeneres has been joined by the likes of Oprah Winfrey, Jennifer Aniston, P!nk, Billie Eilish, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Mila Kunis, Justin Timberlake, Zac Efron, and Bruno Mars, adding to her impressive catalog of star-studded on-screen interviews. 

But among all her celebrity sit-downs, she has also had a host of uncomfortable moments with famous guests, including some of the world's most iconic singers. 

Back in 2018, Cher called the comedian a 'b***h' on air, after she teased her for stating that chocolate turned her on, while Celine Dion was visibly upset during an appearance on the show in 2007, when DeGeneres made fun of her son's hairstyle. 

Ellen DeGeneres bid a tearful farewell when her talk show came to an end on Thursday after 19 seasons, but many of her most shocking interviews will continue to live in infamy

Dakota Johnson went viral after she called out DeGeneres for lying about being invited to her birthday party (left), and Mariah Carey later shared that she was upset that the host outed her pregnancy on national television (right)

DeGeneres has also come under fire for grilling Justin Bieber (pictured) about his nude photos and completely mispronouncing Hasan Minhaj's name

In honor of DeGeneres closing the book on her long-running talk show, FEMAIL has rounded up the top 10 most awkward moments the host has ever had with celebrity guests

DailyMail.com first broke the news that the talk show would be ending back in May 2021, following DeGeneres' toxic workplace scandal, which resulted in three top producers getting fired.

In early 2020, Variety reported that workers on the show were upset after they received little communication about changes to their pay.

Then, in a report published by BuzzFeed months later, one current and 10 former employees — all of whom remained anonymous — spoke out about working on the show, alleging that there was a culture of fear and intimidation on set. 

DeGeneres later apologized in an episode of her show, explaining, 'I learned that things happened here that should never have happened.

'I know that I’m in a position of privilege and power, and I realize that with that comes responsibility, and I take responsibility for what happens at my show.'

She then confirmed the news that her show was ending in a statement, saying: 'When you're a creative person, you constantly need to be challenged — and as great as this show is, and as fun as it is, it's just not a challenge anymore.' 

In honor of DeGeneres closing the book on her long-running talk show, FEMAIL has rounded up the top 10 most awkward moments the host has ever had with celebrity guests.

Dakota Johnson accuses DeGeneres of lying  

Johnson's appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres show in 2019 took an awkward turn when DeGeneres jokingly complained about not being invited to Johnson's 30th birthday party

But it turns out, the actress had invited the talk show host to the celebration, even though Johnson said she 'didn't know if DeGeneres liked her'

Johnson's appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres show in 2019 took an incredibly awkward turn when DeGeneres jokingly complained about not being invited to Johnson's 30th birthday party.

But it turns out, the actress had invited the talk show host to the celebration, even though Johnson said she 'didn't know if DeGeneres liked her.'

'How was the party? I wasn't invited,' DeGeneres said to Johnson. 

'Actually, no, that's not the truth, Ellen. You were invited,' the Fifty Shades of Grey star bluntly replied.

Johnson said she made sure to invite DeGeneres because the comedian gave her 'a bunch of s**t' about not being invited to her birthday party the year before. 

She admitted that she didn't know she wanted to be invited, telling DeGeneres: 'I didn't even know you liked me.'  

'But I did invite you [this time], and you didn't come,' she added. 

'Actually, no, that's not the truth, Ellen. You were invited,' the Fifty Shades of Grey star bluntly replied when DeGeneres claimed she hadn't been invited

'Of course I like you,' DeGeneres said. 'You knew I liked you. You've been on the show many times, and don't I show like?'

DeGeneres tried backpedaling and questioned if she was actually invited, but Johnson stuck to her guns, saying: 'Ask anybody. Ask Jonathan, your producer.'

Johnson turned to various staff members on set for backup, who confirmed that DeGeneres was indeed invited to the bash, and opted not to go.

The TV star awkwardly stumbled through the reasons why she didn't attend, explaining that she might have been away and that she didn't want to travel all the way to Malibu for it. 

The host eventually confessed that she did remember being invited, and thanked the actress for including her.

But things got awkward again when she brought up comedian Tig Notaro's performance at the party. 

'She did a bunch of funny stuff. She's my favorite comedian,' Johnson said, leaving the host a bit stunned. 

'Other than you,' she added, a bit too late. 'I'm sorry.'

Johnson then got up and pretended to leave as DeGeneres called Jennifer Aniston her favorite actress.

During an appearance on the Drew Barrymore Show in October 2021, Barrymore subtly brought up the awkward moment between DeGeneres and Johnson, which prompted Johnson to burst into laughter.

'People have gotten in trouble for claiming not being invited to your parties,' said Barrymore. 'That was amazing, by the way. Like, amazing.' 

DeGeneres defends her friendship with George W. Bush 

DeGeneres came under fire for sitting next to former Republican President George W. Bush at a Dallas Cowboys football game in 2019, and later addressed their friendship on her show 

DeGeneres explained that she and her wife were invited to the game by Charlotte Jones, daughter of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, where they sat next to Bush and his wife

'Here's the thing: I'm friends with George Bush. In fact, I'm friends with a lot of people who don't share the same beliefs that I have,' she said on her show

DeGeneres came under fire for sitting next to former Republican President George W. Bush at a Dallas Cowboys football game in 2019, and later addressed their unlikely friendship on her show. 

The daytime talk show host explained that she and her wife, de Rossi, were invited to the game by Charlotte Jones, daughter of Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.

She added: 'Just because I don't agree with someone on everything doesn't mean that I'm not going to be friends with them'

'When we were invited, I was aware that I was going to be surrounded with people from very different views and beliefs - and I'm not talking about politics. I was rooting for the Packers and everyone in the Cowboys suite was rooting for the Cowboys,' she joked in her monologue.  

DeGeneres sat right next to Bush and his wife, former First Lady Laura Bush, in the private suite. 

She and the former president were briefly shown on the Fox broadcast of the game and photos of them chatting and laughing together went viral afterwards.

Several viewers took to social media to express their mixed feelings about Bush and DeGeneres sitting together, and the comedian noticed.

'People were upset. They thought, "Why is a gay Hollywood liberal sitting next to a conservative Republican president?"' DeGeneres said.

'A lot of people were mad. And they did what people do when they're mad, they tweet.

'Here's the thing: I'm friends with George Bush. In fact, 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 OK that we're all different... but just because I don't agree with someone on everything doesn't mean that I'm not going to be friends with them,' she added. 

'When I say be kind to one another, I don't mean only the people that think the same way you do. I mean be kind to everyone.'

DeGeneres grills Justin Bieber about nude photos 

When Bieber appeared on the show in 2015, DeGeneres projected a naked paparazzi photo of the then-21-year-old that was taken when he was on vacation, and grilled him about it

She also pressed the Love Yourself singer about who he was on the vacation with, pointing out that a woman could be seen in the background of the photo

'Why are you putting me on the spot like this? Gosh,' Bieber said, covering his face with his hands and appearing visibly upset. 'She's just a friend. Stop, you're making me blush, dude'

When Bieber appeared on the show in 2015, DeGeneres projected a naked, full-frontal paparazzi photo of the then-21-year-old singer that was taken when he was on vacation, though his private area was blurred, and grilled him about the nude pictures. 

'So, you are obviously in a private bungalow,' DeGeneres pointed out, asking: 'How did you not see that there were paparazzi there?'

'I just didn’t see them,' Bieber said. 'I think I wasn’t really looking out for them either.'

The pop star added that the photographer was 'definitely in a boat.' The snaps showed him walking out of his bungalow in Bora Bora in the nude.  

'A couple days later, [my manager] Scooter [Braun] came to me and was like, "Yo, I hate to tell you this, but your penis is on the internet." I was like, "What?"' Bieber recalled. 

'The first thing I saw was the censored one, and it had the black thing over it,' he added. 'I'm like, "Oh my goodness. I don’t know what this is gonna look like.’ And then it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was gonna be. Wasn't terrible.'

'I'm no expert but I heard that it was good,' joked DeGeneres.

She also pressed the Love Yourself singer about who he was on the vacation with, pointing out that a woman could be seen in the background of the photos.

'Is that your girlfriend?' she asked him.

Bieber quickly responded, looking uncomfortable, 'No it's not. She's just a friend.'

'You brought a friend to Bora Bora?' pressed the host. 'And you're just naked with your friend?'

'Why are you putting me on the spot like this? Gosh,' Bieber said, covering his face with his hands and appearing visibly upset. 'She's just a friend. Stop, you're making me blush, dude.'

DeGeneres outs Mariah Carey's pregnancy before she miscarried 

In 2008, Mariah Carey was secretly expecting a baby when she appeared on the show, and DeGeneres tried to get her to reveal her pregnancy on live television

She poured the singer a glass of champagne in an attempt to see if she'd drink it or not - since you're not allowed to have alcohol while you're pregnant.

When Carey tried to fake taking a tiny sip, the host exclaimed: 'You're pregnant!' Carey responded, 'I can't believe you did this to me, Ellen'

In 2008, Carey was secretly expecting a baby with her then-husband, Nick Cannon, when she appeared on the show, and DeGeneres tried to get her to reveal her pregnancy on live television.

She poured the singer a glass of champagne in an attempt to see if she'd drink it or not - since you're not allowed to have alcohol while you're pregnant.

'People are saying that you're pregnant,' the host said. 'There's rumors...'

'Don't discuss that,' Carey responded with an awkward laugh.

 Shortly after the stunt, the songstress miscarried. More than a decade later, Carey reflected on the difficult moment and said the host made her 'extremely uncomfortable'

The comedian then pulled out a bottle of bubbly and pressured the All I Want For Christmas Is You songstress to take a sip. 

The panicked singer tried claiming that she could have champagne, but didn't want to because 'it's just fattening.'

As DeGeneres pressed on, Carey seemed distraught, saying: 'I can't believe you did this to me, Ellen.'

'This is peer pressure. Do you see what Ellen is doing? This is peer pressure,' the Grammy winner added, while the audience roared with laughter.

'Let's toast to you not being pregnant,' DeGeneres quipped, handing her a glass. 

When Carey tried to fake taking a tiny sip, the host exclaimed: 'You're pregnant!' 

Shortly after the stunt, the songstress miscarried. More than a decade later, Carey reflected on the difficult moment during a 2020 profile interview with Vulture, in which she admitted the host made her 'extremely uncomfortable.'  

'I was extremely uncomfortable with that moment is all I can say. And I really have had a hard time grappling with the aftermath,' she said. 'I wasn’t ready to tell anyone because I had had a miscarriage. 

'I don’t want to throw anyone that’s already being thrown under any proverbial bus, but I didn’t enjoy that moment.' 

Caitlyn Jenner's standoff with DeGeneres over same-sex marriage

Caitlyn Jenner was grilled by DeGeneres on her reluctance to support same-sex marriage when she appeared on the talk show in 2015, shortly after transitioning from male to female

Jenner said that while she didn't 'get it' at first, she has 'changed her thinking' on same-sex marriage and realized she doesn't 'ever want to stand in front of anyone's happiness'

Shortly after the interview, DeGeneres discussed Jenner's comments on Howard Stern's SiriusXM, explaining that she found her views on gay marriage to be 'confusing'

Caitlyn Jenner was grilled by DeGeneres on her reluctance to support same-sex marriage when she appeared on the talk show in 2015, shortly after transitioning from male to female. 

The reality star, who is a self-described conservative Republican and arguably the most famous trans person in the world, admitted that she was 'not for' gay marriage when the issue first came up years prior. 

'I'm a traditionalist,' she explained on the show. 'I am older than most people in the audience, and I kind of like tradition. It's always been a man and a woman.'

Jenner added that while she didn't 'get it' at first, she has 'changed her thinking' and realized she doesn't 'ever want to stand in front of anyone's happiness.' 

'A lot of Republicans would vote against a lot of the issues that you as a trans person would want someone to support,' DeGeneres pointed out to Jenner.

'It's funny because you're still kind of a little not on board with [gay marriage].' 

'No, I'm on board,' Jenner insisted. 'It is pretty much going to be the law of the land, so I still feel like, yeah, I'm OK with that. I don't want to stand in front of someone's happiness.'

Jenner later said that she felt DeGeneres had misinterpreted her stance on the subject, and admitted that the comedian's comments 'alienated' her from the LGBTQ+ community

The former Olympic athlete admitted that she was so mad after the appearance that she considered calling her ex-wife Kris Jenner and asking her to ban all of the Kardashian-Jenner clan from appearing on the show

'If that word "marriage" is really, really that important to you, I can go with it,' she added. 

Shortly after the interview, DeGeneres discussed Jenner's comments on Howard Stern's SiriusXM, explaining that she found her views on gay marriage to be 'confusing.'

'She still has a judgment about gay marriage,' DeGeneres said of Jenner. 'And I said, "You’re wanting people to understand and accept you… and you still have a judgment about gay people and marriage."'

Jenner later said that she felt DeGeneres had misinterpreted her views on gay marriage, and admitted that the comedian's comments about her 'alienated' her from the LGBTQ+ community. 

'I didn't think she'd respond the way she did. And then she goes to me, "Well it sounds like you're really not for [gay marriage]." And I said, "No, I just said I'm for gay marriage,"' recalled Jenner on Big Brother VIP in 2021.

'The next week, she goes on Howard Stern's radio show and says I was against gay marriage, and absolutely burnt my a**. And so, in the media, I got really tough on her.'

The former Olympic athlete admitted that she was so mad, she considered calling her ex-wife Kris Jenner and asking her to ban all of the Kardashian-Jenner clan from appearing on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. 

'But I didn't. I thought, "I don't want to get involved in that," Let them do their thing,' she concluded. 

DeGeneres teaches Sofia Vergara a new English word

When Sofia Vergara - who grew up in Columbia - was on the show in 2017, DeGeneres appeared to make fun of English being Sofia's second language

She declared she was going to teach Vergara new English word. However, the actress seemed unexcited by the idea, stating, 'I know English very well'

 DeGeneres asked her to say the word 'discombobulated,' and when Vergara had trouble pronouncing it, the talk show host laughed at her

When Sofia Vergara — who grew up in Columbia — was on the show in 2017, DeGeneres appeared to make fun of English being her second language.

DeGeneres she told the star that she was trying to learn Spanish and teaching herself a new word every day.

She then declared that she was going to teach Vergara a new English word. However, the actress seemed unexcited by the idea, stating, 'I know English very well.'

DeGeneres asked her to say the word 'discombobulated,' and when Vergara had trouble pronouncing it, the talk show host laughed at her.

Vergara struggled to say the word for a couple minutes, before she eventually gave up.

However, the Modern Family star later defended her online, insisting that she was in on the joke all along, and has appeared on the show numerous times since then

'It's because I'm nervous,' Vergara said. 'That's not even a word. You're doing it to ruin my reputation.'

'It is a word,' insisted DeGeneres. 'It means confused or disorganized.'

DeGeneres received a lot of scrutiny for the segment; however, the Modern Family star later defended her online, insisting that she was in on the joke all along.

'[It's] two comedians having fun with each other to entertain. I was never a victim guys,' Vergara wrote on Twitter. 'I was always in on the joke.'

DeGeneres mispronounces comedian Hasan Minhaj's name

Things turned awkward quickly when comedian, writer, and political commentator Minhaj sat down with DeGeneres for an interview on her show in 2019

Within the first 30 seconds, DeGeneres actually mispronounced Minhaj's name, which prompted him to stop her midsentence

'No,' he interrupted, before he told her how to say it correctly. He explained that people 'always mispronounce it' and that he 'appreciates people trying' to get it right

Things turned awkward quickly when comedian, writer, and political commentator Minhaj sat down with DeGeneres for an interview on her show in 2019.

Within the first 30 seconds, DeGeneres mispronounced Minhaj's name, which prompted him to stop her midsentence.

'No,' he interrupted, as she introduced him to the audience. 

'I actually want to do this on national television,' he said before giving her a lesson on how to properly pronounce his first and last name.

'Good, please, because everyone that says your name says [it wrong],' DeGeneres said.    

'This is a big deal because my parents are here,' he added. 

He later spoke out about DeGeneres saying his name wrong on the air, and he admitted that although he played it off in the moment, he was not happy with it

Minhaj explained that people 'always mispronounce it' and that he 'appreciates people trying' to get it right.

'When I first started doing comedy, people were like, you should change your name. But I was like, "I'm not changing my name,"' said the Patriot Act star. 'If you could pronounce Ansel Elgort, you can pronounce Hasan Minhaj.

'There's an actor named Ansel Elgort and we just walk around pronouncing it completely normally.'

He later spoke out about DeGeneres saying his name wrong on the air, and he admitted that although he played it off in the moment, he was not happy with it.

'I looked in the audience ... and my mom who gave me that name is just like, "Ugh." And I'm like, "Dude, what am I doing?" I have a show with my f**king name on it,' he said on his show.

Cher blasts DeGeneres as a 'b***h' on national TV

Cher appeared to get fed up with DeGeneres when she played a game of Five Second Rule with her during a segment on the show in 2018

The singer blasted the host as a 'b***h' after she kept teasing her about the things that turned her on

Cher appeared to get fed up with DeGeneres when she played a game of Five Second Rule with her during a segment on the show in 2018.

The singer blasted the host as a 'b***h' after she kept teasing her about the things that turned her on.

During the game, which requires you to answer questions quickly, DeGeneres had to list three things that turned her on within five seconds.

She said 'music, sweetness, and chocolate,' before adding that the candy didn't actually put her in the mood and that she said whatever came to her mind so she didn't lose.

'I just made that up so I’d win,' she told Cher. 'Does chocolate turn anybody on?'

However, when Cher said it did turn her on, DeGeneres couldn't stop making jokes about it.

'I love it. I don’t get it much, but I love chocolate and cake,' gushed the singer. 

DeGeneres then asked, 'You eat chocolate, and you’re like, in the mood?' 

'No, no,' replied Cher. 'It’s like, I don’t get to have chocolate. I’m working on my body, and I just don’t… No, it doesn’t turn me on. I didn’t mean it in that way. B***h.'

Despite the two laughing it off, the tension between them was present throughout the rest of the game.

DeGeneres makes fun of Celine Dion's then-six-year-old son  

Dion appeared unamused when DeGeneres made fun of her six-year-old son's hairstyle during an appearance on the show in 2007

The My Heart Go On artist added that her son makes his own decisions when it comes to his hair, and that he has insisted on keeping it long. 'When he's ready, I'll cut it,' she concluded

Dion appeared unamused when DeGeneres made fun of her six-year-old son's hairstyle during an appearance on the show in 2007.

'He's beautiful but look at his hair, when are you going to cut that hair?' DeGeneres asked her, to which Dion snapped back, 'Do you have a problem with that?' Dion is pictured with her son and husband at the time

'It seems like you're busy because you're forgetting to cut your son's hair,' DeGeneres told the songstress, as a family photo popped up on the screen. 'He's beautiful, but look at his hair, when are you going to cut that hair?'

Dion was not here for it, and quipped, 'Do you have a problem with that?' 

DeGeneres explained that she 'didn't have a problem,' but reiterated, 'That is some long hair.'

Dion responded by pointing out that no matter what parents do with their kids' hair, it results in judgement from others.

'You shave your kids hair and people say, "Isn't that terrible?" I don't even cut my son's hair and they say, "Oh my God, when is she going to cut her son's hair?" Whatever I do, I won't please everyone.'

The My Heart Go On artist added that her son makes his own decisions when it comes to his hair, and that he has insisted on keeping it long.

'When he's ready, I'll cut it,' she concluded.

DeGeneres forgets that Katy Perry was married to Russell Brand

Katy Perry was a guest on DeGeneres' show in 2017, and when it slipped the talk show host's mind that the singer was once married, it made things pretty awkward

When Perry reminded the comedian about her wedding to Russel Brand, she added, 'Wait, were you? To who? Oh that's right, I forgot about Russell'

Perry pointed out that DeGeneres even gave her some wedding gifts, before DeGeneres joked that they were going to have to cut out that segment from the show

Katy Perry was a guest on DeGeneres' show in 2017, things got pretty awkward when it slipped the talk show host's mind that the singer was once married. 

After DeGeneres told the hitmaker that she was going to play a game to help set her up with a potential suitor, Perry joked, 'I'm going to have to get married again?'

She tied the knot with Russell Brand seven years prior to the interview, in 2010, but the two split up two years later.

'You were not married,' DeGeneres responded. 

When Perry reminded the comedian about the wedding, she added, 'Wait, were you? To who? Oh that's right, I forgot about Russell.'

Perry pointed out that DeGeneres even gave her some wedding gifts after the tied the knot. 

The host then joked that they were going to have to cut out that segment from the show.

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