Every Jaw-Dropping Moment We Still Can't Believe Happened in 2021

To close out the year, we looked back at the most surprising celebrity news stories of 2021, including Cardi B and Penn Badgley's friendship and Ashley Olsen hiking with a machete.

By Tierney Bricker Dec 31, 2021 11:00 AMTags

WTF: When the f--k did that happen?!

Well, we did it. We may be limping across the threshold into 2022, but we made it through the year. It was a marathon, not a sprint, which may be why it's hard to remember just when all of the celebrity news that went down over the last 12 months. Sad breakups, unexpected hookups, lavish weddings and...oh, yeah...questionable bathing habits.

That's right, remember when everyone was obsessed with stars' hygiene routines? Or when an Olsen twin was spotted in the woods with a machete? And we almost forgot about Chris Evans and Lizzo getting textual while Cardi B fangirled over You star Penn Badgley. Those were just a few of the most surprising celeb moments of the year you may have forgotten about. 

The Most Unexpected Couples of 2021

So, before we officially welcome the new year, let's reminisce about all of the wildest stories of 2021: 

Cardi B Flew Her Fangirl Flag

Binge-watching You and becoming obsessed with Joe Goldberg? Still being Team Edward after all this time? Cardi B really is just like us, except, you know, she actually has access to the actors she loves.

The rapper and Penn Badgley formed an unlikely bond when she learned the actor was an admirer of her Twitter profile, leading to a delightful back-and-forth and culminated with both stars changing their Twitter avatars to photos of one another.

Cardi continued to have zero chill when she met Robert Pattinson in November, posting about their meeting on Instagram

"Come, look at my friend, guys," Cardi said in the clip, screaming as the star of Twilight and The Batman posed with her, sticking his tongue out playfully.

The rapper captioned the video, "Look who I met the other day ! I felt like a teen!"

Oscar Isaac Kissed Jessica Chastain's Arm

We have never been kissed in the same way Jessica's tricep was at the Venice International Film Festival in September. It's fine, we're fine, everything's fine!

Ashley Olsen Hiked With a Machete

Honestly, we are happy to still not have context about this truly iconic photo that went viral in July after her boyfriend, Louis Eisner, shared it on his Instagram Story.  And yes, it is on our vision board for 2022. In fact, it's the only thing on it. 

Celebrity Hygiene Controversy

For some reason, celebrities decided to start spilling the tea bath salts about their bathing habits—or lack thereof. Actually, wait, we do know the reason: It all started when Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis shared their preferences on Dax Shepard's Armchair Expert podcast. "I don't wash my body with soap every day," Mila shared. As for her husband, "I wash my armpits and my crotch daily, and nothing else ever," Ashton admitted. To sum up the Internet's response in a word: Ick. 

Soon, Jake Gyllenhaal, Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, Jason Momoa and even Brad Pitt were brought into the TMI conversation before the That '70s Show couple swiftly ended it by making fun of themselves on social media.

Lizzo and Chris Evans Flirted Via DMs

All the rumors were true that the "Juice" singer and Captain America himself were chatting on Instagram, with Lizzo gifting the world with the cute receipts on TikTok.

Exit Stage Left

The View's Sunny Hostin and Ana Navarro being scurried off the stage mid-show because they tested positive for COVID-19 just minutes before they were set to interview Vice President Kamala Harris was the very definition of live TV. (P.S. The results turned out to be false positives. The Morning Show could never!)

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Told All

We are still having issues with our jaw after it hit the ground so many times during the couple's explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey. From their so-called secret wedding to Harry's rift with Prince William and Meghan's real issues with Kate Middleton, relive every bombshell here, if you can emotionally handle it. 

Porsha Williams' Family Matters

Here's just one example of why The Real Housewives of Atlanta star belongs in reality TV's hall of fame: In May, Porsha took to Instagram to confirm she was in a romantic relationship with Simon Guobadia, the ex-husband of her co-star Falynn Guobadia. The pair are now engaged and Porsha has her own spinoff after exiting RHOA

Erika Jayne's Story About Tom Girardi's Accident

"Tom's house was broken into and he confronted the burglar and then had to go have eye surgery. And then my son had to go over and help. And then my son, he rolled his car fives times on the way home."

If someone doesn't perform this monologue in their audition for The Juilliard School, we'll be very disappointed. Erika's marital and legal troubles dominated headlines and the story on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' 11th season, but it was this moment that will live on in infamy.

The Most Important Day of the Year

The history books will show that Nov. 12 was a huge moment in pop culture: Taylor Swift dropped Red (Taylor's Version) and the short film for "All Too Well (Taylor's Version)," Britney Spears was finally freed from her conservatorship and Paris Hilton was celebrating being a married woman.

Jay-Z Briefly Joined Instagram

After amassing 1.6 million followers, the rapper deleted his account after less than 24 hours. To put that in perspective, he was on the social media platform for less time than it takes to watch all the Harry Potter movies in one sitting. Not that we know that from personal experience or anything.

Kate Winslet Vaped and Ate Wawa Sandwiches

Watching the Oscar winner speak with a Philly accent, down Rolling Rocks and eat Cheez Whiz straight from the can on Mare of Easttown? To quote Captain America: We could do this all day!

Madison LeCroy Entered the Chat

You guys, Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez were still engaged at the start of the year. But little did we all know how Southern Charm would play a factor in their breakup. 

It all started during the Bravo reality series' reunion in January, when Madison's co-star Craig Conover accused her of cheating on then-boyfriend Austen Kroll with a Miami-based "ex-MLB player." Host Andy Cohen added that the man was "married" and "very famous." Cue social media s--tshow. A-Rod denied ever being involved with the reality star, with Madison later clarifying the pair had "spoken on the phone" but "never met up."

By April, the former baseball star and J.Lo split, with the superstar going on to rekindle her romance with ex-fiancé Ben Affleck. Meanwhile, Madison got engaged to her boyfriend Brett in October. Bless all of their hearts!

Jen Shah's Great Escape

The devil works hard, but the Bravo gods clearly work harder as they managed to have cameras rolling when a SWAT team showed up to arrest The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star, just as the women were about to depart on a trip. Yep, viewers got to watch her co-stars find out in real time about allegations of fraud and money laundering against Jen—who had abruptly left minutes before the cops showed up after receiving a phone call—and her assistant. (Jen pleaded not guilty to the charges in April 2021.)

19 Minutes and 50 Seconds Into Episode Three

Even if you didn't watch Netflix's Sex/Life, you undoubtedly turned it on to that exact time-stamp to see what all the fuss about that shower scene was about

The Triple Kiss

Again, apologies to Marvel for yet again bringing up that time Thor director Taika Waititi and star Tessa Thompson were photographed canoodling with Rita Ora. But, to quote Taika in The Sydney Morning Herald, "'Is it that big a deal?' No, not really. I was doing nothing wrong. It's fine."

Katie Thurston Got "Messy"

In the most dramatic TikTok reveal ever, the season 17 Bachelorette revealed she was dating John Hersey, a guy she sent home in the second week, just two months after announcing her breakup with Blake Moynes, which came just two months after their engagement aired on ABC. Time is a flat circle in Bachelor Nation.

The Friends Reunited

The one where it finally happened! After many delays, the highly anticipated HBO Max special dropped in May, with Jennifer Aniston, Courteney Cox, Lisa Kudrow, Matt LeBlanc, Matthew Perry and David Schwimmer reconnecting on the actual set of the iconic show to recreate scenes and reminisce about their decade spent in Central Perk.