The biggest night in fashion, the Met Gala, returns tonight after one year away due to COVID-19 and expect the usual mix of style and shock. 

It might be the most stylish night of the year but that doesn’t mean awkwardness can’t ensue. You almost certainly saw the seating chart for this year’s Gala that went viral last month: it showed some hilariously uncomfortable table seating arrangements, including James Charles sandwiched between The Weeknd and Idris Elba, Tom Brady opposite Lady Gaga, and Timothée Chalamet living it up beside Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande. It turned out, to utter collective sadness, to be a hoax.

There have been plenty of other awkward encounters over the years however so we thought, since that would-be-iconic 2021 seating chart is no more, we’d take a look at some of the most awkward Met Gala moments ever.

(Although we mere mortals can’t see inside the actual Gala, we are humbly permitted to watch all the red carpet action. Catch it from 5:30pm ET (7:30am AEST) on either Vogue or E!.)

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Kylie Jenner’s complete lack of interest in Ryan Reynolds

I don’t think Ryan Reynolds would mind me saying this: he can be a bit much. The star of Deadpool usually plays the same character in every movie, the fast-talking, chirpy, charismatic everyman, throwing out quips as if they’re going out of fashion. Again: it can be a bit much. So maybe that’s why Kylie seemed to spend a hell of a lot of time on her phone or looking the other away when she ended up seated beside the actor at the 2017 Gala. Although, considering that Reynold’s wife Blake Lively was on his other side, maybe she just felt left out of the power couple’s endless banter.

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Jaden Smith bringing his old hair as his weird date

We all love seeing power couples on a red carpet; we gush when a famous actor brings his wee mum with them to the Oscars (here’s to you, DiCaprio). What we don’t find as endearing, I’d wager, is someone bringing their musty old cut-off hair with them. That’s what Jaden did in 2017 though, stating that it was because he couldn’t bring his sister as his date. Then just come alone Jaden, god!

Streaker alert

The high point of any streaker’s existence is a world-renowned event. A World Cup final? There’s no greater pinnacle for a streaker to show the entire world what god gave them. Taking off all your clothes at a music concert? Alcohol changes us all from time to time. The Met Gala is also a great stage for a streaker, as Ukrainian prankster Vitalii Sediuk proved in 2014. Sporting just a gold chain and a bright pink mankini, he probably wasn’t even the worst-dressed there.

Jay-Z versus Solange

You knew this was going to be included. Although it technically happened at a Met Gala afterparty, there’s been little more infamous stories around the event than this one in 2014. Footage caught Solange, sister of Beyoncé, swinging at her brother-in-law in a lift, which it’s since been confirmed was spurred by rumours of Jay-Z cheating on his wife.

Rihanna and her dress of a thousand memes

She might be an absolute legend of the Met Gala but even legends miss from time to time. Rihanna caused an internet meltdown in 2015 with her, um, statement-making dress. Is it a pizza? Is it an omelette? No, it’s just a ridiculously expensive piece of fashion.