Scandals That Were Definitely Worse Than Watergate

The Watergate scandal involving President Nixon and break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters has gone down in history as one of the biggest political scandals. Even the name “Watergate” has become synonymous with scandal. Over the years, people have begun to use the “-gate” suffix on other words to drive home how scandalous an event really is.

Even though Watergate might be the greatest political scandal, is it as bad as Donutgate? Can it compare to Envelopegate? Read on to see all the scandals that have paid tribute to Watergate in the most hilarious ways.

Ariana Grande Shocked All Of America With Donutgate

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Jun Sato/GC Images
Jun Sato/GC Images

Grande is now on top of the world, but back in 2015, the only thing that anyone was talking about what Donutgate. The pop singer was caught on a security video in a donut shop licking the display donuts, putting them back for others, while saying “I hate Americans. I hate America. This is disgusting.”

Grande later apologized for “behaving poorly” and said she was extremely proud to be American. Judging by her success, the country accepted her apology for this heinous crime.

Envelopegate Ruined The 89th Academy Awards

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Kevin Winter/Getty Images
Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Who could forget the massive mess up at the 2017 Oscars when Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced La La Land won Best Picture…when it didn’t. Producers had to come out on stage three minutes after the acceptance speech and say no, it was really Moonlight that had won best picture.

Beatty tried to explain that he read the wrong name on the envelope, and the internet burst into criticism over the Academy’s font choice.

In 1993, Hairgate Was Bill Clinton’s Biggest Scandal

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hepard Sherbell/CORBIS SABA/Corbis via Getty Images
hepard Sherbell/CORBIS SABA/Corbis via Getty Images

Back in 1993, long before Clinton would become entangled in one of the biggest political scandals with intern Monica Lewinsky, he was busy angering the public with Hairgate. The scandal goes that Clinton and Air Force One held up traffic at LAX for more than an hour so that he could get a haircut on the plane.

Thanks to Air Force One hanging out on the tarmac for an hour, half of LAX’s runways had to be shut down and incoming flights were put on hold.

Boobgate Has Gone Down In Super Bowl History

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Frank Micelotta/Getty Images
Frank Micelotta/Getty Images

The Janet Jackson nip-slip from the 2004 halftime show has influenced history more than we realize. Subsequently called “Boobgate” or “Nipplegate”, it was exposed to be a planned stunt. So many people wanted to see the clip that YouTube co-founder credits the incident as the influence behind creating the video-sharing website.

Boobgate made “Janet Jackson” the most searched term on the internet in 2004 and 2005, and Merriam-Webster even added “wardrobe malfunction” to the dictionary because of it.

Deflategate Cost The Patriots $1 Million

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John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Deflategate began after the 2015 AFC Championship game when the Indianapolis Colts claimed that the New England Patriots used slightly deflated footballs in the game. The NFL investigated and found that 11 of the 12 footballs provided by the Patriots were deflated to make them easier to handle.

Quarterback Tom Brady was suspended without pay for four games, the Patriots ended up being fined $1 million, and the team lost their first-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft because of Deflategate.

Celebgate Prompted An FBI Investigation

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Riccardo Savi/Getty Images
Riccardo Savi/Getty Images

Celebgate began on August 31, 2014, when nearly 500 scandalous photos of celebrities were leaked online. The photos were posted on 4chan and quickly spread to other internet sites like Reddit. Some of the celebrities who had photos leaked included Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kaley Cuoco, and Olivia Wilde.

Due to the high-profile names, this scandal actually led to an FBI investigation and five men were eventually convicted on various charges.

The People Of New Jersey Were Not Happy With Bridgegate

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John Moore/Getty Images
John Moore/Getty Images

The George Washington Bridge is the main point of entrance for most New Jersey residents who travel from the city of Fort Lee to Manhattan Island. On September 9, 2013, three of the major lanes on the bridge were inexplicably closed off resulted in massive traffic jams.

Many people speculated the lane closures were done by Governor Chris Christie as retaliation against the Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich for not endorsing Christie as a Democratic candidate. A state investigation proved the claims to be true and many believe Bridgegate was the start of Christie’s demise.

Chris Christie Was Back At It Again With Beachgate

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@njdotcom/Twitter
@njdotcom/Twitter

Hot off the heels of Bridgegate, Chris Christie kept the scandals going with Beachgate. This time, it was the result of a state government shutdown. Christie couldn’t agree on a state budget by the deadline, so state services were shut down, which included access to New Jersey’s beaches on the Independence Day weekend.

The only problem was that on July 1, Christie was photographed soaking up the sun on the same beaches closed to the public. Beachgate was the final nail in Christie’s coffin and he was voted out of office in 2018.

Fajitagate Caused A Police Chief To Resign

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Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images
Joe Amon/The Denver Post via Getty Images

Fajitagate all started with a simple street fight in San Francisco. The fight involved three off-duty police officers and two civilians. The off-duty officers tried to take a bag of steak fajitas from the other two men and a fight broke out, which led to the two civilians being seriously injured.

No arrests were made and it was later shown that the San Francisco Police Department tried to cover for the three off-duty officers. The police chief would eventually resign and the three men were charged with assault.

Elevatorgate Spawned An Internet War

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Rebecca Wilson/Wikipedia
Rebecca Wilson/Wikipedia

In June 2011, a popular skeptic Rebecca Watson was attending the World Atheist Convention when she spoke out about sexism in the atheist movement. One of her examples was that, on a previous night, she left the bar at 4 a.m. and a man asked her out in the elevator.

The comments prompted a massive internet debate on whether or not it was actually inappropriate or if Watson was overreacting. Richard Dawkins even stepped in and wrote an open letter to Watson.

Elbowgate Shows Canada Isn’t As Wholesome As You Think

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Neil Hall – Pool/Getty Images
Neil Hall – Pool/Getty Images

Elbowgate was an incident where Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau grabbed another member of Parliment to steer them up to vote and allegedly elbowed a female member in the chest. Elbowgate resulted in a yelling match on the parliament floor and Trudeau later apologized.

After reviewing the video, it was shown that Trudeau did nothing wrong, despite some parliament members calling it “physical molestation” and “criminal assault.” The fact that the Prime Minister accidentally elbowing a woman is the biggest scandal in Canada says so much about their precious nation.

Camillagate Confirmed What Everyone Suspected

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PA Images via Getty Images
PA Images via Getty Images

Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, had largely been suspected by close friends of being the “other woman” in Prince Charles’ life. The speculations increased after Princess Diana mentioned another woman in her book Diana: Her True Story.

The affair was confirmed with the Camillagate tape scandal, where recordings of intimate phone conversations between Camilla and Prince Charles were released to the tabloids. The tapes are seen to be the reason why the public hates Camilla so much.

Squidgygate Was Diana’s Camillagate

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Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images
Bettmann/Contributor/Getty Images

Not long after Princess Diana and Prince Charles announced their separation, The Sun revealed they had their hands on taped telephone conversations between Diana and a close friend, James Gilbey. The tapes were especially controversial for exposing Diana’s worries she might be pregnant, and for Gilbey calling Diana nicknames like “Squidgy.”

Some believe the release of the tapes prompted Diana to write her own tell-all and expose everything from her own point of view.

Closetgate Made Scientologists Pretty Angry

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@THR/Twitter
@THR/Twitter

South Park is used to making waves, but their episode “Trapped In The Closet” took it to the next level. In the episode, Stan joins Scientology and the episode basically takes a satirical approach to the religion.

The controversy came when the episode showed one of Scientology’s biggest followers, Tom Cruise, “coming out of the closet.” After the episode aired, Cruise refused to promote his film Mission: Impossible III unless they pulled the episode.

Skategate Exposed Olympic Collusion

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Clive Brunskill/Getty Images
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

The world was shocked at the 2002 Winter Olympics when the Canadian pairs team was denied a gold medal for their perfect skate, and instead it went to the Russian pairs team despite them making several mistakes.

After public outcry from both the Canadian and American media, it was proven that a French judge was pressured to score the Russians high. They did so in exchange for a Russian judge scoring the French team high in the ice dance competition. The Canadian team was eventually given the gold medal they deserved.

Trousergate Didn’t Help Theresa May’s Image

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@MCY1X/Twitter
@MCY1X/Twitter

In 2016, at the peak of calls for Brexit, British Prime Minister Theresa May was photographed in an interview wearing pants called “60%-dark-chocolate brown.” The kicker was that the pants cost $1,250.

May already has a tough enough time connecting with the working class and youth of Britain. Just take a look at the video of her dancing to ABBA on stage. Trousergate had many opposing politicians say that May was totally out of touch with the people.

Facebookgate Is Not As Bad As You Think

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Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images
Omar Marques/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The first big Facebook scandal was way before the 2016 election, and happened back in 2008. A book publisher called College Prowler used Facebook to create 125 illegitimate “Class of 2013” groups for people to join so they could advertise their product.

When it was discovered, College Prowler removed the groups and admitted “it was clearly over the line.” Nowadays, we can all think of bigger scandals that could be dubbed Facebookgate.

Poopgate Will Go Down In Rock’N’Roll History

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Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images
Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Poopgate will go never be forgotten by fans of the Dave Matthew’s Band or the people of Chicago. The scandal happened in 2004 when the Dave Matthew’s Band tour bus let out more than 800 pounds of poop from the bus’s septic tank while they were crossing the Kinzie Street bridge over the Chicago River.

The real problem was the feces dropped right onto tourists on a riverboat architecture tour.

Rathergate Forced A Resignation

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STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP/Getty Image
STEPHEN JAFFE/AFP/Getty Image

This 2004 scandal also known as “Memogate” came from six documents that alleged President George W. Bush didn’t fulfill his military duties as a member of the National Guard. After only a few hours, the internet began to call out the documents as fake. Typography experts proved that indeed, the documents were falsified.

The controversy was even greater because CBS released the fake documents only two months before the 2004 election. Anchor Dan Rather was forced to resign over the false documents but he later sued CBS claiming they made him a “scapegoat” for the scandal.

Reutersgate Threatened Journalists Worldwide

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Adnan Hajj Photographs Controversy/Wikipedia
Adnan Hajj Photographs Controversy/Wikipedia

The Adnan Hajj controversy, also known as “Reutersgate”, happened after it was discovered a Lebanese freelance photographer was digitally altering his photos. Hajj was based in the Middle East and provided most of the photos of conflict in the region for Reuters.

In 2006, two internet bloggers showed the photos were digitally altered and Reuters removed all 920 photos by Hajj on their website. After an internal investigation, a top Reuters photo editor was fired for not finding the mistakes earlier.

Fangate Has To Be One Of The Silliest Political Scandals

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The 2014 Florida governor election was set between Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist. The two met at Broward College on October 15 to debate. The discussion was derailed for seven minutes because Scott refused to take the stage. It turns out Crist had a small fan on his podium to keep cool, and Scott alleged that was “against the agreed rules.”

Nearly everyone criticized Scott for derailing politics for such a trivial issue, but he still ended up winning the election.

Pastagate Was Some Serious Carb-Filled Hate

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Robert Alexander/Getty Images
Robert Alexander/Getty Images

If you thought Elbowgate was hilariously Canadian, Pastagate is even better. This scandal happened in Canada’s French-speaking province of Quebec. An inspector for the Quebec Ministry of Immigration and Cultural Communities sent a warning letter to an Italian restaurant.

The letter said that using Italian words like “pasta,” “antipasti,” and “calamari” were illegal. It said they had to use the French versions of the word or they would be shut down. Instead of complying, the owner of the restaurant went public and successfully fought the letter.

Bladegate Is Not As Intimidating As It Sounds

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Michael Steele/Getty Images
Michael Steele/Getty Images

No, Bladegate wasn’t about throwing knives or scary swords, it was about the blades that amputees use to run with. The controversy began after the 2012 Summer Paralympics when famous South African athlete Oscar Pistorius narrowly lost a race to sprinter Alan Oliveira.

Pistorius alleged that Oliveira couldn’t have won on his own and that his blade length must not be regulation. The blades turned out to be regulation and Pistorius was silenced.

Napgate Ended Ken Griffey Jr.’s Career

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Stephen Brashear/Getty Images
Stephen Brashear/Getty Images

Griffey Jr. was in the final year of his career and playing for the Seattle Mariners in 2010. One month into the season, the team manager decided to limit Griffey Jr.’s playing time because he wasn’t performing well. After getting benched, two Seattle players alleged to the media that Griffey Jr. had been asleep in the team’s clubhouse during a game.

The claims divided the team with some players supporting the claim and others denying it. Griffey Jr. himself never denied it and announced his retirement from baseball less than one month later.

Bendgate Didn’t Do Much Damage To Apple

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Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Apple as a tech company might be indestructible but their products aren’t. We’ve all been complaining about the charging cords, but Apple faced serious complains in 2014 upon the release of the iPhone 6 Plus.

Unhappy customers began to report that their phones were bending after being put in the pockets or having pressure added to them. The scandal went so far as to be covered by Consumer Reports, which proved the iPhone could indeed be bent.

Ponytailgate Almost Ruined A Politician

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Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Sanjeev Verma/Hindustan Times via Getty Images

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key was accused in 2015 of repeatedly tugging on a waitress’s ponytail. The young waitress claimed that The New Zealand Prime Minister would visit the café she worked in several times and would tug on her ponytail. One time he even told her “that’s one very tantalizing ponytail.”

Both the waitress and Key’s wife asked him to stop numerous times but he just kept on tugging.

Hackgate Brought A Newspaper Down

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Mark Makela/Corbis via Getty Images
Mark Makela/Corbis via Getty Images

Hackgate occurred after allegations that the British tabloid News of the World hacked into the phones of celebrities, politicians, dead soldiers, victims of the London bombings, and even members of the British Royal Family. It was shown that the hacking gave News of the World most of it’s latest “scoops.”

After the scandal, most of the tabloid’s advertisers pulled their support and the 168-year-old paper folded after running from 1843 until 2011.

Gamergate Has Been Used To Change The Video Game Industry

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Joanne Rathe/The Boston Globe via Getty Images
Joanne Rathe/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

In one of the few examples of “-gate” scandals actually doing some good, the hashtag #GamerGate began in 2014. It focuses on females working in the video game industry and the sexism that they deal with.

The hashtag has become more of a movement than a single scandal. Most of the #GamerGate controversies have come from online harassment of women working in the industry, but also extended to female video game players.

Bountygate Ousted The New Orleans Saints Coach

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Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images
Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

In March 2012, the NFL learned of a bounty scheme that had been going on for nearly two years with the defensive players for the New Orleans Saints. It was proven that players were receiving money by the defensive coordinator Gregg Williams if they made an incredibly big play. They were even being compensated for intentionally injuring opposing players.

The NFL investigated and learned that the head coach knew about the bounty scheme and did nothing about it, so they suspended him for one full season.

Climategate Pitted Science Against Skeptics

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Howie Garber / Barcroft Media / Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Howie Garber / Barcroft Media / Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Climategate happened after the server at the Climate Research Unit in Britain was hacked in 2009. The hackers claimed the documents they found proved that global warming was a scientific conspiracy and that climate change was not real.

The scandal prompted eight different committees to investigate the Climate Research Unit and none of them found any evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct. It also confirmed that climate change is indeed a result of humans.