7 Insanely Embarrassing Public Marriage Proposals

To celebrate this year's National Proposal Day, you could propose to your sweetie at home, in front of the atmospheric roar of a fire, and create a special memory for just you two to cherish forever; or, you could, you know, propose in public and put it on the Internet. Because today, as befits a world where pretty much all our hopes, failures, and morning latte farts are documented on the Internet for all eternity, many of our marriage proposals also take on a permanent life of their own; documented in shared photos, social media posts, and, increasingly, video. Ironically, as overall U.S. marriage rates drop lower than ever, over-the-top viral proposals have become a new American tradition — one that ties the spectacle of tradition romance with the "pics or it didn't happen" sensibility of modern Internet culture.

And sometimes, a huge public declaration of love in front of strangers is actually very moving and meaningful for both the couple and all us voyeuristic Internet creepos. I mean, remember that Home Depot dance mob proposal? In these cases, a flashy public proposal is a symbol that you know your intended better than anyone else — and that deep knowledge includes the fact that they would like, just once in their life, to be treated like Drew Barrymore at the end of Never Been Kissed.

But other times, it goes wrong. During these proposals, what's supposed to be a public declaration of love turns into a public declaration that the couple just doesn't know each other that well. Maybe one member of the couple misreads the other's level of interest, and asked too soon, hoping that the pressure of a public space will force her (and let's get real, when it comes to failed public marriage proposals, the proposee seems to almost always be a her) to say "yes"; other times, the proposer seems to have overestimated the proposee's taste for appearing on stage, or on a baseball stadium's "kiss cam," or in front of hundreds of bewildered strangers who are just trying to eat at Sbarro.

In fact, contrary to what all the Ted Mosbys of the world might think, a 2014 study found that 39 percent of rejected marriage proposals were rejected because they were public. So learn from these seven embarrassing proposal fails below, and remember: if you're not totally positive that your lovah would like the entire staff of the Cheesecake Factory to sing "Rock Me Like A Hurricane" while you descend from the ceiling via zipline clutching an engagement ring, maybe just ask them to marry you at home.

1. The Mall Food Court Proposal

The thing about an embarrassing marriage proposal video is that even when it's real, all the bad emotional calls made in it make it seem fake. I mean, who thinks it is romantic to propose to your lady next to the mall La Salsa? In fact, the jury is still out on whether this proposal was real, especially since fake rejected marriage proposals have become something of a publicity tool for everyone from minor league baseball teams to The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

But given the very surreal nature of public viral proposals, it is essentially impossible to know if this was actually a real ill-thought-out proposal, or just viral marketing scheme for Cinnabon. Maybe everything in our lives is just viral marketing for Cinnabon. On a related note, aren't you hungry for the delicious taste of Cinnabon right now?

2. The Basketball Half-Time Proposal

Imagine this — you're out on a Friday night, just doing your favorite things: taking in a local basketball game and running around the court blindfolded at half-time, trying to grab a giant puffy square. And then, before you know it, your boyfriend who obviously doesn't know you that well proposes to you. Ugh. You should have just stayed at home and watched CSI: Annapolis.

3. The Reporter-Ruined Proposal

Public proposals aren't only embarrassing when they end in rejection. They can also turn into flaming shame-spolisions simply from coming into contact with the random things that screw up our lives every time we set foot outside our homes — like the stupidity of strangers. Here, Iowa State football player Ian Johnson's planned public proposal is messed up by a reporter, who basically ends up accidentally proposing to Johnson's girlfriend himself. Luckily, the reporter's snafu doesn't slow Johnson's roll — his girlfriend says yes (to Johnson, not the reporter).

4. The Jumbotron Proposal

How do we know that this ridiculous proposal fail video is real? Because the thwarted proposer then went on to direct a semi-related documentary about how his penis is too small, which aired on Showtime in 2013. There, that sentence answered like nine of your questions about what kind of dudes spring flashy public marriage proposals on their uninterested girlfriends, right?

5. The Disneyland Proposal

It is me, or is there kind of an element of intentional embarrassment in a lot of these proposal videos? Like, is getting proposed to a form of hazing? Is it marriage-hazing? I guess it's better than getting dropped off blindfolded in an empty corn field and finding your way back to a frat house. But, like, barely.

6. The Falling Crane Proposal

So, yeah, a guy tried to get a crane to dangle him outside his girlfriend's window to propose, and instead it fell and crushed his neighbor's apartment. But blame for this embarrassing/dangerous proposal should be shared — don't just point your finger at the dude whose romantic fantasies inexplicably involved floating through the air while singing, a la that Spiderman musical. Blame the crane operator who was like, "Bro, that is a beautiful, relatable sentiment AND I totally have the skill and dexterity to make it a reality without crushing a single house! This is [Crane Operator]'s time to shine!"

7. The Fake Death Proposal

"Faking your own death in order to show your girlfriend that her life is meaningless without you, and then proposing to her with balloons and fireworks moments later" sounds like the first scene of a horror movie that ends with this lady discovering a human femur bone hidden behind the chicken tenders in their freezer years later. But she said "yes," so I guess, hey, what do I know? (I know so much, oh my god, do not marry this guy, get out, THE CALL IS COMING FROM INSIDE THE HOUSE!).

Images: Universal Studios/ DNA Films/ Studio Canal/ Working Title Films, Giphy