If you ever become rich and famous, you might want to take a pass on dating Taylor Swift.
Because when the breakup comes -- and you know it will -- there's not much doubt the vengeful songstress will let her fans know what a jerk you were, either in a hit song or by dissing you while the cameras are rolling.
Last Sunday night, for instance, Swift apparently dropped the F-bomb when boy band One Direction and former love interest Harry Styles took the stage at the annual MTV Video Music Awards.
As Styles and his bandmates presented an award onstage, the cameras showed Swift -- known for writing those infamous breakup tunes about former boyfriends -- sitting in the audience, turning to close friend Selena Gomez and mouthing the words: "Shut the f - up!"
Was the potty-mouthed zinger aimed at Styles? No one really knows and it's even less likely that anyone really cares. While the caught-on-video moment likely will have zero effect on the 23-year-old superstar's career, she can still take solace from the fact she is far from the first famous person to have their salty language inadvertently captured by a TV camera or broadcast on a microphone they didn't realize was switched on.
With a bow in the pop star's general direction, here are five of our favourite embarrassing on-air gaffes that have been preserved for posterity:
5) Ron Jaworski -- As critics noted at the time, it is entirely appropriate that a man nicknamed "Jaws" landed in hot water for his big mouth. In September 2011, the popular ESPN analyst accidentally dropped the S-bomb while critiquing a replay during a broadcast of a Miami Dolphins-New England Patriots game on Monday Night Football. The verbal slip came after Dolphins QB Chad Henne overthrew a receiver in the end zone, prompting Jaws to observe: "That's one Chad would love to have back ... S , you have to get rid of this ball just a split-second quicker." The former NFL quarterback quickly apologized for the gaffe, but considering Miami was blown out 38-24, we think his analysis was (bad word) spot on.
4) Joe Biden -- If you watch Saturday Night Live, you know it's not exactly news when the U.S. vice-president, a one-man gaffe machine, says the wrong thing at the wrong time. In early 2012, after introducing President Barack Obama at a ceremony for the signing of a health-care bill, Biden pulled the president close and a microphone captured this whispered blue-collar endorsement: "This is a big f deal!" Always quick on his feet, Obama responded: "Thank you everybody." Then, after a tiny dramatic pause, drew big laughs from the audience by quipping: "Thank you, Joe."
3) George W. Bush -- You just knew the silver-tongued former U.S. president had to make this list, didn't you? In one of our favourite open-mic moments this side of Ronald Reagan, the younger Bush didn't realize he was being recorded by official Russian TV during a working lunch at the 2006 G8 Summit and could be overheard sharing his unvarnished views on Mideast violence with then-British PM Tony Blair. After politely thanking Blair for the gift of a sweater, George W. offered this simple solution to the crisis: "See, the irony is what they need to do is get Syria to get Hezbollah to stop doing this s , and it's over!" Apparently Blair let him keep the sweater.
2) A.J. Clemente -- The phrase "There but for the grace of God go I" was invented for this unfortunate young man. Just 15 seconds into his very first broadcast as the new weekend news anchor for NBC affiliate KFYR in Bismarck, N.D., A.J. dropped an F-bomb and an S-bomb on air. The hapless newsman's career was over almost before it started in April of this year as the first words he uttered on air were the last most viewers want to hear. It seems the broadcast went live seconds earlier than expected and A.J., now a viral video star, was venting his frustration over being unable to pronounce three names in an upcoming segment. He apologized profusely but was promptly fired. On the upside, he got to appear on the Today Show and Late Night With David Letterman. At last check, he was tending bar in Delaware. We'd swear to it.
1) Ernie Anastos -- We have nothing but sympathy for the Emmy-winning news anchor with New York City Fox affiliate WNYW, who was bantering on air with weatherman Nick Gregory in 2009 when he made an unwitting slip of the tongue that became an instant Internet catchphrase. In an odd attempt to offer his colleague some encouragement, Anastos said ... well, we can't actually tell you what he said. But what he MEANT to say was this: "Keep on plucking that chicken!" And don't try to tell us you don't know what he ACTUALLY said. It's a remark that has since been immortalized on T-shirts and coffee mugs.
The last (bad) word:
Taylor Swift is above this sort of thing, but poor Ernie Anastos has repeatedly apologized for his innocent barnyard blunder. And we have forgiven him. As we always say: No harm, no fowl!