It's kind of hard to believe, but MTV's Catfish is still going strong in 2019, almost a decade after the documentary that inspired the series first premiered. Even after all these years, people are still getting fooled all over the world when it comes to online dating and catfishing profiles. And apparently, people still really don't know how to Google reverse image search on their own.
But hey, that's where Nev Schulman (and formerly Max Joseph) come in to save the day. For seven seasons, MTV has been swooping in to solve contestants' romantic woes, helping them to learn the truth about their online loves and whether they are, or aren't, the person they thought they were talking to all along. Spoiler alert: they almost always aren't. Here, we're taking a look back at some of the most memorable and often iconic stories of catfishing the series has produced so far.
10 Rod and Ebony
All the way back in the series' first season, Catfish introduced viewers to the story of Rod and Ebony. Rod and Ebony met on an online dating website, and quickly hit it off with one another. However, after they were romantically involved for a few months, Ebony revealed to Rod that she was transgender.
As it turns out, Rod had been catfishing Ebony all along, using photos of his cousin KJ, along with KJ's identity. And on top of it all, Ebony was never transgender at all, but rather a woman who believed she had been a lesbian before, but was now questioning her sexuality. But perhaps the most memorable moment comes from the fact that it wasn't any of the lies in particular that shook this relationship - but rather the fact that Rod seemed to only want Ebony if she was transgender. All that had come before didn't seem to matter for him, once she learned that she wasn't.
9 Colleen and Tony
As we've already stated, it's almost never the case that the catfish and the catfishee are both exactly the person they've been making themselves out to be online. But in extremely rare cases, that doesn't always seem to matter, in the end. The season six episode "Colleen and Tony" falls into that category, in one of the series' most emotionally nuanced and gripping episodes of all time.
Colleen and Tony met online and became engaged after only a few months of knowing each other. But as it turned out, Tony was really a shy African American young man named Jeremy, who had been posing as white online because he felt he didn't fit the African American ideals his family believed in, and that they wouldn't accept him dating a white woman. But in the end, these two managed to make it work. And according to Colleen's social media, they're still together, and have even welcomed a baby together.
8 Keyonnah and Bow Wow
It's a pretty good rule of thumb: if you think you're in a romantic relationship with a celebrity online, you're definitely, absolutely not. But for optimistic Keyonnah, she just didn't seem to get that memo at any point during her life, which led her to believe that she was romancing the rapper Bow Wow. This season two episode is the first time the series is forced to confront the reality of celebrity impersonators taking advantage of people online.
But the twist it offers is truly hilarious, and so impossible to believe, that it's hard to take any serious lesson from the episode in the end. Of course, Keyonnah was not dating Bow Wow, but rather Dee Pimpin', a young lesbian woman who liked to convince straight girls to turn her way. She seemed fully convinced, even, that Keyonnah would believe she was Bow Wow, so long as she used certain paraphernalia to imitate having male genitalia. We don't even have words for this one.
7 Johnny and Connor
Sometimes, the catfish winds up being the catfishee. But few catfishes are ever quite as entertaining as the absolutely adorable, unfiltered, and ridiculously funny Johnny. First featured in the season five episode Andrew and Zac as the catfish, Johnny would return the following season as the victim of a catfish all on his own, and Nev and Max both really couldn't get enough of this guy.
From the get go, Johnny seemed totally clueless regarding the way he came off to people, or how it could feel to be in the position he'd previously put people in. That's why it was so hilariously satisfying to learn that the catfish themselves was a woman he'd burned in the past.
6 Lauren and Derek
"I'm in Derek's driveway!" Any longtime Catfish fan should immediately remember all that there is to know about this episode based on that single quote alone. 99% of the time, the catfish isn't who they say they are, or isn't who they present themselves to be in their photographs. But sometimes, very rarely, and perhaps even less than 1% of the time, they are who they've said they are.
The second season episode that introduced viewers to Lauren and Derek's love story was one of the first in the series to feature a truly happy ending. After being in a relationship online for eight years after meeting on MySpace, these two finally met face to face, and hit it off so well that they wound up getting engaged. But sadly, things turned out to not be meant to be for these two, as they split a few months after their engagement in 2014.
5 Ramon and Paola
Sometimes, the catfish and catfishee both are so deluded that you can't really root for either of them in the end. The season two episode featuring young lovers Ramon and Paola is exactly the textbook definition of that. Ramon contacted the show to help learn the truth about his online love Paola - a girl he had also been financially supporting with a significant amount of money, all from his own desire to do so, might we add.
Nev and Max were eager to help Ramon learn the truth about Paola, who turned out to be a young woman named Loyda. But the biggest shock came when it was revealed that Ramon had long known exactly who Loyda was, and what she looked like. He just couldn't bear to accept that she wasn't the model thin and pretty girl he'd thought he'd fallen for.
4 Lucille and Kidd Cole
There are plenty of episodes of Catfish where someone is either pretending to be a famous person, or winds up pulling a con on an actual celebrity. But there are even more episodes where the catfish in question presents themselves as an up and coming undiscovered talent, particularly a rapper or singer, in order to explain away their inability to connect or meet up in any capacity. But not all of these episodes end up going the way that the third season episode about Lucille and Kidd Cole did.
Lucille formed a friendship with the alleged talent Kidd Cole online, and believed that he even worked with big artists like Kanye West. She helped him pay fees for events he was planning, even though he would bail on them and leave her hanging. Understandably, she wanted answers, and wanted her money back. But when Nev, Max, and Lucille finally met up with Kidd Cole, he seemed distracted and unbothered by it all, which prompted Nev to rip his phone out of his hands and fling it into the water they were standing beside.
3 Spencer and Katy
You would think people would know better by now, than to believe that they're actually talking to and flirting with a celebrity online. You would especially think people would know better than to think they've been carrying on a six year relationship, planning a marriage, and discussing future children with one of the biggest female singers in the world, after meeting online via a Yahoo chat forum or something similar.
But apparently, poor Spencer never learned that life lesson, and so spent six years of his life thinking he was dating the one and only Katy Perry. The poor guy also shelled out a good chunk of his life savings on a customized engagement ring for "Katy." But in the end, Katy of course wasn't Katy, but a young Canadian lesbian living abroad in England who appreciated Spencer's friendship, but never took any of this seriously, the way Spencer so clearly did.
2 Artis and Jess
The second season episode featuring Artis and his online love Jess unarguably features one of the series' biggest plot twists of all time. Although he has a significant other and a baby, Artis has been secretly talking with a girl named Jess online, who looks like she was ripped right from the pages of an adult magazine. And as it turns out, she was, since the photos are from an adult entertainer's website.
In fact, Jess isn't even a woman, but a man named Justin who has taken it upon himself to white knight on dating websites in the hopes of catching potential cheaters in the act and exposing themselves for the pigs they are. The confrontation between Artis, Justin, Nev, and Max features some of the series' most truly bizarre moments - scenes that only become all the more confusing when you take into account Artis and Justin's claims that the entire episode was staged, and they just wanted to get on television.
1 Antwane and Tony
It's not exactly uncommon for a catfish to wind up being someone that the catfishee knows. But it always comes as a real shock when it turns out to be a member of the catfishee's own family. The Antwane and Tony episode of Catfish featured just that level of shock, when it was revealed that the man Antwane believed he had fallen in love with was none other than his female cousin, Carmen, posing as a man named Tony.
And how, exactly, did Carmen manage to do that? With the use of "the Tony voice," which she demonstrated by lowering her voice to a more masculine sounding register. And why, exactly, did she do this? Because she was mad at her cousin for once flippantly calling her "a fat a-- Kelly Price." Moral of the story: watch your words in arguments, kids. You never know when you'll wind up being catfished as a result of them.