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This is a list of scandals or controversies whose names include a "-gate" suffix, by analogy with the Watergate scandal, as well as other incidents to which the suffix has (often facetiously) been applied.[1] This list also includes controversies that are widely referred to with a "-gate" suffix, but may be referred to by another more common name (such as the New Orleans Saints bounty scandal). Use of the "-gate" suffix has spread beyond U.S. English to many other countries and languages.

Etymology, usage, and history of -gate

The suffix -gate derives from the Watergate scandal of the United States in the early 1970s, which resulted in the resignation of U.S. President Richard Nixon.[2] The scandal was named after the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C.; the complex itself was named after the "Water Gate" area where symphony orchestra concerts were staged on the Potomac River between 1935 and 1965.[3]

The suffix is used to embellish a noun or name to suggest the existence of a far-reaching scandal, particularly in politics and government. As a CBC News column noted in 2001, the term may "suggest unethical behaviour and a cover-up".[4]

Such usages have been criticized by commentators as clichéd and misleading;[5] James Stanyer comments that "revelations are given the 'gate' suffix to add a thin veil of credibility, following 'Watergate', but most bear no resemblance to the painstaking investigation of that particular piece of presidential corruption".[6] Stanyer links the widespread use of -gate to what the sociologist John Thompson calls "scandal syndrome":

[A] self-reproducing and self-reinforcing process, driven on by competitive and combative struggles in the media and political fields and giving rise to more and more scandals which increasingly become the focus of mediated forms of public debate, marginalizing or displacing other issues and producing on occasion a climate of political crisis which can debilitate or even paralyse a government.[7]

The adoption of -gate to suggest the existence of a scandal was promoted by William Safire, the conservative New York Times columnist and former Nixon administration speechwriter. As early as September 1974 he wrote of "Vietgate", a proposed pardon of the Watergate criminals and Vietnam War draft dodgers.[8] Subsequently, he coined numerous -gate terms, including Billygate, Briefingate, Contragate, Deavergate, Debategate, Doublebillingsgate (of which he later said "My best [-gate coinage] was the encapsulation of a minor ... scandal as doublebillingsgate"), Frankiegate, Franklingate, Genschergate, Housegate, Iraqgate, Koreagate, Lancegate, Maggiegate, Nannygate, Raidergate, Scalpgate, Travelgate, Troopergate and Whitewatergate. The New York magazine suggested that his aim in doing so was "rehabilitating Nixon by relentlessly tarring his successors with the same rhetorical brush - diminished guilt by association".[9] Safire himself later said to author Eric Alterman that he "may have been seeking to minimize the relative importance of the crimes committed by his former boss with this silliness".[10]

The usage has spread into languages other than English; examples of -gate being used to refer to local political scandals have been reported from Argentina, Germany, South Korea, Hungary, Greece and the former Yugoslavia.[11]

The use of a suffix in this way is not new. -mandering has long been used as a suffix by a politician's name in analogy with gerrymandering ("Henry-mandering" was used in 1852). In recent years, the -gate suffix as a catch-all signifier for scandal has seen some competition from as in "Ballghazi" instead of "Deflategate", or "Bridgeghazi" instead of "Bridgegate". The use of -ghazi is a play on the investigation into the 2012 Benghazi attack, which despite numerous official investigations into the possibility of government cover-ups, has resulted in no criminal charges or major repercussions for the individuals supposedly involved. -ghazi may be seen as carrying an ironic or self-effacing connotation in its usage, implying that the event described has the appearance and media coverage of a scandal, but does not actually amount to much in a grander sense.[12]


Arts and entertainment

Name Year Description Country Reference(s)
Animegate 2019 Shortly after the premier of the animated film Dragon Ball Super Broly, allegations of sexual harassment were made against one of the English language actors involved its production. Fans who believe the allegations to be false have harassed[] the alleged victims in retaliation. Likewise, voice actors supporting the alleged harassment victims lashed out against the accusers' detractors on social media.[] United States [13]
Burning Sun gate (also known as Burning Sun scandal) 2019 An entertainment and sex scandal that revolved around the Burning Sun nightclub in Seoul and involved several celebrities, including Korean idols in popular K-pop groups, and police officials. South Korea [14]
Celebgate (also known as "The Fappening"[15][16][17]) 2014 A collection of almost 500 private pictures of various celebrities (notably Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kirsten Dunst, and Jessica Brown Findlay), many containing nudity, were leaked via iCloud and posted on the imageboard 4chan, and later disseminated by other users on websites and social networks such as Imgur and Reddit. United States
Closetgate 2006 The controversy that erupted following the broadcast of the South Park episode "Trapped in the Closet", a satirical parody of the Church of Scientology and some of its famous adherents, such as Tom Cruise. United States [18]
Donutgate (also known as "Doughnutgate") 2015 Singer Ariana Grande was observed on video in Lake Elsinore, California, licking unpurchased doughnuts and stating "I hate Americans. I hate America. That's disgusting." In the aftermath of both police and health department investigations, Grande canceled her headlining performance at the 2015 MLB All-Star Game concert, citing recent oral surgery. United States [19][20][21]
Doritogate 2012 Two initially unconnected events involving video game journalists Geoff Keighley and Lauren Wainwright are questioned in an article by Robert Florence, triggering a chain of events;
  1. Florence's publisher is threatened with legal action,
  2. which led to the subsequent editing of the article,
  3. Florence resigning,
  4. the unedited version of the article suffering from the Streisand effect,
  5. and the video game journalism industry questioning the closeness of game journalists to the companies whose products they cover.
Driv3rgate 2004 Before the worldwide release of the video game Driver 3, Atari offered the magazines PSM2 and Xbox World early review copies of the game in exchange for positive review scores. This deal was taken by both of them, yet, due to the disappointing nature of the game when it was released, gamers took to forums to complain about the mysterious circumstances related to why both magazines gave positive scores for a heavily berated game. Many then figured out that Atari had paid both, and as a response the comments were systematically wiped by administrators, which gave way to suggestions of a cover up by the publishing house. This controversy would later be referred to as "DRIV3Rgate" and the affair gained a fairly large amount of coverage in the games press and on Internet forums. During this time, Atari hired a guerrilla team to, in desperation, repeatedly make new accounts and post positive threads and comments about the game in an attempt to reduce the controversy. [25]
Envelopegate 2017 At the 89th Academy Awards, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced La La Land as the winner for Best Picture. Three minutes after the producers gave their acceptance speeches, producer Jordan Horowitz announced that Moonlight was the actual winner. Beatty explained that the envelope that was handed to him was for Emma Stone in La La Land as the winner for Best Actress, an award which she had won earlier. PricewaterhouseCoopers issued an apology and took the blame for the fiasco. United States
Flakegate 2000 Photographs of the wedding reception of TV presenter Anthea Turner were used to promote Cadbury's then new Snowflake chocolate bar, bringing scorn from the tabloid press and causing Turner to claim this was not part of the £450,000 that OK! magazine had paid her for exclusive access to her wedding. United Kingdom [26]
Gamergate 2014 The Gamergate controversy concerns issues of sexism and progressivism in video game culture, stemming from a harassment campaign conducted primarily through the use of the Twitter hashtag #GamerGate. United States [27][28][29][30]
Gerstmanngate 2007 Refers to the controversy following the November 2007 dismissal of Jeff Gerstmann from his position as Editorial Director of GameSpot. Gerstmann had awarded a Fair rating to the game Kane & Lynch: Dead Men at a time when the game was being heavily advertised on GameSpot, which led to accusations from many games journalists of a lack of editorial integrity on the part of GameSpot, who denied that the review had been a part of the reasoning behind the dismissal. However, a subsequent interview with Gerstmann in 2012 countered this statement, with Gerstmann claiming that, although there was more to his firing than any single review, it would not be untrue to say that the Kane & Lynch episode contributed to it. [31][32]
Nipplegate (also known as "Boobgate" or "wardrobe malfunction") 2004 Justin Timberlake revealed Janet Jackson's breast during the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII. United States [33][34]
Penisgate 2015 While performing at a concert in Stockholm, singer Lenny Kravitz squatted and his pants split open revealing his penis to concertgoers. Sweden [35]
Portraitgate 2009 Two oil paintings depicting Brian Cowen, Taoiseach of Ireland, in the nude, were briefly displayed in Dublin art galleries in March 2009 as an act of guerrilla art. Ireland [36][37][38]
Sachsgate (also "Manuelgate") 2008 Comedian Russell Brand and TV presenter Jonathan Ross left a series of obscene voice messages on the answering machine of actor Andrew Sachs during an episode of the BBC Radio 2 show, The Russell Brand Show. United Kingdom [39]
Tomato-gate 2015 Radio consultant Keith Hill compared women artists in country music to a garnish, saying that male artists were the lettuce in our salad and "the tomatoes of our salad are the females." United States [40]
Mandragate 2015 Massive corruption that involves Indonesian senior comedian, Mandra and TVRI (State-owned TV Station) Indonesia [41][42]

Journalism and academics

Name Year Description Country Reference(s)
Choppergate 2011 The Nine News Queensland program on 20 and 21 August 2011 included live coverage each night by reporters Melissa Mallet and Cameron Price, respectively, from the station's helicopter, which they claimed was "near Beerwah", where the remains of murdered schoolboy Daniel Morcombe had been found earlier that month. The reports were revealed to be fake when, on the second night, rival station Channel Seven recorded video of the Nine helicopter sitting on the helipad outside their studios at Mount Coot-tha at the time of the broadcast. Radar footage also revealed that, on the first night, the helicopter was actually hovering over Chapel Hill, 70 km away from Beerwah. Both Mallet and Price, as well as news producer Aaron Wakeley, were sacked by the Nine Network following the incident, and news director Lee Anderson accepted responsibility and resigned over the faked reports. Australia [43]
Climategate 2010 Emails that were hacked remotely from the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia were publicized by climate change denialists alleging a global warming conspiracy theory: the allegations against climate scientists were subject to eight investigations, which found there was no evidence of fraud or scientific misconduct, though there was a finding of a lack of openness. United Kingdom [44][45][46]
Elevatorgate 2011 In June 2011, skeptic blogger Rebecca Watson revealed that a stranger had asked her out in an elevator at 4am as she was leaving the World Atheist Convention. After stating that she found this intrusive, several opponents sent her hate mail including death threats. Further controversy arose when Richard Dawkins wrote a blog post which mocked Watson by comparing her experiences to those of women in Muslim countries. Ireland [47]
Facebookgate 2008 In order to promote their university guides, book publisher College Prowler (now rebranded as Niche) created 125 fake "Class of 2013" Facebook groups. After their involvement was exposed, they removed their administrative access from the groups, admitting, "It was clearly over the line." United States [48]
Fredo-Gate or FredoGate 2019 A heckler in Shelter Island, New York referred to journalist Chris Cuomo as "Fredo", in reference to a fictional mobster character named Fredo Corleone, from The Godfather film; who was generally associated with emotional weakness and a lack of intelligence. Following Cuomo's profanity laced tirade against the individual in question, President Donald Trump tweeted about the incident numerous times, criticizing Cuomo's unhinged behavior. United States [49]
Hackgate (also "Rupertgate" or "Murdochgate") 2011 Allegations that the now defunct News of the World had hacked into the phones of celebrities, politicians, members of the British Royal Family, and victims of crime. United Kingdom [50]
Mediagate (also known as "Anchorgate") 2012 The controversy over Pakistani top journalists in the mainstream media. Pakistan [51][52][53][54]
Rathergate (also known as "Memogate") 2004 The scandal over a forged memo about George W. Bush's military record that ultimately led to the resignation of Dan Rather as anchor of CBS Evening News. United States [55][56]
Reutersgate 2006 The controversy over Reuters photographer Adnan Hajj manipulating news photos with Photoshop. Lebanon [57][58][59]
Ubergate 2018 The controversy following Karl Stefanovic and a phone call he had in the back of an Uber, complaining about his job as a journalist. The incident lead to his resignation on the Today Show. Australia [60]


Name Year Description Reference(s)
Angolagate (also known as Mitterrand-Pasqua affair) 2008 Arms sales to the Government of Angola by the Government of France between 1993 and 2000. [61][62]
Beachgate 2017 New Jersey Governor Chris Christie lounged in the sun with his family at a state-owned beach house amid a statewide government shutdown that closed such beaches to the public. The scene was captured in airplane photographs snapped by the state's largest newspaper, The Star-Ledger. Christie subsequently defended his actions. [63]
Bebe-Gate 1993, 1997 [64][65]
Betsygate 2004 Allegations that former United Kingdom Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith had put his wife Betsy on his payroll, without her actually doing any work. [66]
Bigotgate 2010 UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is accidentally recorded calling a party supporter a bigot. [67]
Billygate 1980 U.S. President Jimmy Carter's brother, Billy Carter, legally represented the Libyan government as a foreign agent. [68]
Bingogate 1999 A scandal that occurred during the administration of former Premier of British Columbia Michael Harcourt, involving the skimming of charity funds for use by the ruling NDP by MLA Dave Stupich (Premier Harcourt was not involved but did resign). [69]
Biscuitgate 2017 A scandal in Mauritius involving the alleged abuse of power by the speaker of parliament's daughter to sell biscuits to government departments at inflated prices. [70]
Blabbergate 2017 U.S. President Donald Trump allegedly revealed highly classified information to Russia's Foreign Minister and Ambassador, boasting, "I get great intel. I have people brief me on great intel every day." Trump seemingly confirmed the scandal in a tweet. [71][72][73]
Blobbygate 1994 Lancaster City Council spent £300,000 of taxpayer's money on a Crinkley Bottom theme park which only stayed open for 13 weeks. The overall cost to the taxpayer was £2.6 million. It was known as "Blobbygate" due to the Mr Blobby character who was the main character of the park. [74][75]
Bonusgate 2008 Pennsylvania scandal involving the alleged use of government funds to finance partisan political campaigns. [76]
Bridgegate 2013 Allegations New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's administration ordered lane closures from Fort Lee, New Jersey, to the George Washington Bridge because the Fort Lee mayor did not endorse his reelection. [77]
Brothelgate 2010 The series of events that led to the resignation of the Irish Minister of Defence Willie O'Dea. [78]
Cablegate 2010 In November 2010, WikiLeaks began to release American diplomatic cables from a trove of over 250,000. [79]
Cashgate 2014 The plundering of Malawian government funds by government officials that occurred in 2013. [80]
Camillagate 1992 Following the release of a tape of a telephone conversation between Charles, Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles (Duchess of Cornwall since 2005). [81]
Choi Soon-sil gate 2016 South Korean scandal involving Choi Soon-sil's influence over president Park Geun-hye. [82][83][84][85][86]
Choppergate (1) 2013 An Indian parliamentary investigation into allegations of bribery and corruption involving several senior officials and helicopter manufacturer AgustaWestland surrounding the purchase of a new fleet of helicopters. [87]
Choppergate (2) 2014 An Australian political scandal involving Speaker of the Australian House of Representatives, Bronwyn Bishop flying from Melbourne to a party fundraiser in Geelong in November 2014, at a cost of AUD$5227. [88][89]
Chinagate 1996 Refers to the allegations of Chinese interference in the 1996 United States elections, and the possible collusion between the Beijing and the Clinton presidential campaign, and the subsequent presidency. [90][91][92][93][94]
Coingate 2005 The mishandling of Ohio government funds entrusted to Ohio Republican Party operatives, involving rare coin funds [95]
Coalgate 2014 The mishandling of coal field auctions by the Indian government under the UPA-1. The alleged loss was $37 billion. [96]
Corngate 2002 A political scandal in New Zealand in 2002, which involved the suspected release of genetically modified corn seed in 2000. [97]
Dasukigate 2015 The diversion of moneys intended for purchase of arms and armaments for the army in its counter-insurgency war with Boko Haram to things like paying for Dasuki's purchase of real estate property in Dubai and paying a friend's private hospital complex for "offering prayers" for the success of President Jonathan's re-election bid [98]
Debategate 1980 A political scandal in the United States involving the suspicious acquisition of debate preparation documents. []
Donnygate 1990s A political scandal involving expenses fraud by councillors in Doncaster, United Kingdom [99]
Duna-gate 1990 A political scandal in Hungary in 1990, with the communist regime's secret service illegally collecting information on opposition parties. [100][101]
Elbowgate 2016 Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accidentally elbowed a female MP in the chest in the House of Commons, causing the opposition to accuse him of assaulting her. [102][103]
Emailgate 2015 In violation of federal security and transparency guidelines, Hillary Clinton covertly used a private email account tied to a server that had been purchased under a pseudonym and installed in her New York basement while she was Secretary of State. [104]
Erdogate 2016 After the publication of a satirical comedy sketch by Jan Böhmermann and Neo Magazin Royale, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdo?an filed several lawsuits against the comedian, which led the German parliament to decide to discard the antiquated law §103. [105][106][107][108][109][110][111][112]
Faceliftgate 2017 Controversy surrounding two Donald Trump tweets criticizing Morning Joe hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough. Together, the tweets read "I heard poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don't watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came... to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!" [113][114][115]
Fallagate 2007 Political scandal in Guernsey over an attempt to avoid a political conflict of interest over a hospital extension plan. [116]
Fajitagate 2002 In November 2002, three off-duty San Francisco police officers allegedly assaulted two civilians over a bag of steak fajitas (which were mistaken as drugs), leading to the retirement of the chief of police and the firing of his successor. [117]
Fingergate 2015 A video emerged showing Greek Finance Minister Yanis Varoufakis "making an obscene hand gesture" to punctuate his English-language comments about the financial relationship of Greece and Germany during a lecture which he gave in Croatia in 2013. German satirist Jan Böhmermann claimed to have doctored the video. However, he later informed the public that his statement had been satirical and was awarded the Grimme award for what had been labeled #varoufake. [118][119][120]
Fangate 2014 In a 2014 Florida gubernatorial election debate Governor Rick Scott did not take the stage for seven minutes after learning that his Democratic opponent, former Gov. Charlie Crist, had a small electric fan underneath his lectern, which Scott's campaign and debate organizers stated was against the agreed rules. Scott was subsequently criticized for nearly derailing a debate over a trivial issue. [121]
Filegate 1998 The illegal possession and scrutiny of 300-900 FBI files by the Clinton Administration without the file subjects' permission. [122]
Gaiagate 2014 Ruinous spending on Vila Nova de Gaia (Portugal) city hall-owned companies and waste disposal concession contracts by former mayor Luís Filipe Menezes and his cronies. [123]
Garglegate 2010 A radio interview given by Taoiseach Brian Cowen in September 2010, in which many commentators said he appeared to be suffering from a hangover. [124]
Gategate or plebgate 2012 UK political row, when Andrew Mitchell MP allegedly called a policeman a "pleb", after he was asked to use another gate to leave Downing Street on his bicycle. Mitchell denied using the word pleb; however, he resigned amid the media furor over the alleged comments. Reports later emerged which called the legitimacy of the officers' claims into question and a PC was eventually jailed for his involvement in the incident. This "-gate" scandal is noteworthy for actually involving a gate. (Another scandal named Gategate involved footballer Ross McCormack claiming he was unable to attend training due to his electric gate at his home not functioning. It is believed his manager travelled to his house to measure the fence.) [125][126]
Gloriagate (also known as the Hello Garci scandal) 2005 An electoral scandal in the Philippines involving leaked telephone conversations between President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and a member of the Commission on Elections (COMELEC), with both allegedly conspiring to rig the results of the 2004 presidential election in Arroyo's favor. [127][128]
Grangegate 2014 A political scandal involving former New South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell and a $3,000 bottle of Penfolds Grange. [129][130]
Gulargate 2013 A political corruption scandal in Azerbaijan involving Member of Parliament Gular Ahmadova. [131]
Guptagate 2013 A political scandal involving South African President Jacob Zuma and the illegal landing of a planeload of guests at the Gupta family's wedding at Waterkloof Air Force Base in South Africa. [132]
Hailgate 2016 Scandal following leaked footage of the Nazi salute used by attendees of a white nationalist conference organized by Richard B. Spencer. [133]
Hairgate 1993 Unsubstantiated allegations surrounding a haircut given to U.S. President Bill Clinton. [134][135]
Hawaiigate 2016 Outrage in Thailand over Defence Minister Prawit Wongsuwon's 20.9-million-baht chartered flight to an ASEAN-US defence meeting in Hawaii. [136]
Ibizagate 2019 A scandal featuring senior members of Austria's far-right FPÖ party in a sting operation that happen on the island of Ibiza, involving them offering government contracts to alleged Russian backers in return for favorable coverage in the country's press. The scandal that caused the Kurz government of ÖVP & FPÖ parties, to collapse. [137][138]
Iraqgate 2003 A Finnish scandal involving the leaking of secret documents to Anneli Jäätteenmäki, which helped bring down Paavo Lipponen's government. Later, it also brought down Jäätteenmäki's government. [139]
Irangate or Contragate (also referred to as the Iran-Contra affair) 1980s The Reagan Administration sold weapons to Iran and diverted the proceeds to the Contra rebels in Nicaragua. [140]
Irisgate 2010 UK political scandal involving an affair by Iris Robinson MP MLA, wife of Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson. [141][142][143]
Jurmalgate (Latvian: J?rmalgeita) 2005 Political scandal in Latvia that involved several businessmen and politicians offering a bribe to a deputee of Jurmala City Council in an attempt to sway the mayor of J?rmala 2005 elections. [144][145]
Kazakhgate 2005 Scandal surrounding James Giffen, an American businessman and former advisor of Nursultan Nazarbayev, the president of Kazakhstan, who paid US$78 million in bribes to high-level Kazakhstani officials to secure the oil contracts for Western companies in the 1990s. [146]
Koreagate 1976 A U.S. scandal involving South Korean influence peddling in the U.S. Congress. This was the first scandal after Watergate to receive the suffix. [147]
Leakgate 2015 An Indian scandal involving the theft and sale of government documents [148][149]
Lunaticgate 2016 During the 2016 Labour Party leadership election campaign, leadership challenger Owen Smith, in a speech to party members in Hammersmith on 23 August, said "What you won't get from me is some lunatic at the top of the Labour Party", commenting about incumbent Leader Jeremy Corbyn and sparking outrage from many. Though Smith later admitted that he needed to be "slightly less colourful" with his choice of language, he said that his comment was not referring to Corbyn. [150]
Mammygate 2008 Gloria Squitiro, wife of Kansas City Mayor Mark Funkhouser, allegedly called one of her secretaries "mammy". The secretary, Ruth Bates, who is black, sued the city council for discrimination. The case was settled in 2009. [151][152]
Memogate (2) 2011 Controversy surrounding an alleged Pakistani memo seeking the help of the Obama administration in the wake of the Osama bin Laden raid to prevent a military takeover in Pakistan. []
Monicagate, Lewinskygate, Tailgate, or Sexgate ("Zippergate", "the Lewinsky scandal") 1990s Named after Monica Lewinsky, who had an "inappropriate relationship" with the then-U.S. President Bill Clinton. [153]
Muldergate 1979 South African political scandal in which funds were clandestinely diverted by defence minister Connie Mulder for overseas propaganda in support of the apartheid regime. The scandal brought about the downfall of BJ Vorster. [154]
Namagate 2015 A Northern Irish political and financial scandal in which the First Minister of Northern Ireland allegedly stood to benefit from the sale of a portfolio of loans and properties by the National Asset Management Agency.
Nannygate (1) 1993 A political controversy in the United States wherein the nomination of Zoë Baird and near-nomination of Kimba Wood for U.S. Attorney General were withdrawn due to the hiring of illegal aliens as nannies or the failure to pay taxes for them. []
Nannygate (2) 2006 Swedish scandal over the non-payment of employment taxes of nannies and obligatory television fees by members of the Reinfeldt cabinet. []
Nenegate 2015 A political controversy in South Africa following the firing of Nhlanhla Nene as Minister of Finance by then president Jacob Zuma resulting in large scale capital flight from the country. [155][156]
NISgate 2013 South Korean National Intelligence Service manipulated public opinion to promote the ruling party and Park Geun-hye. [157]
Nkandlagate (1) 2009 South African political scandal brought to light in 2009 by Mail & Guardian regarding a multimillion-rand state-funded private home of South African President Jacob Zuma. The story became more sensitive after the release of the public protector Thuli Madonsela's report titled "Secure in comfort". The scandal drove the opposition to initiate impeachment proceedings against Zuma. [158]
Officegate 2001 First Minister of Scotland Henry McLeish resigned after it was revealed that while he was a Westminster Member of Parliament between 1987 and 1998 (before the advent of devolution), he sublet his constituency office in Glenrothes, Fife, but failed to ensure that it was registered or that the party issued funds from the income to the House of Commons. [159]
Panamagate 2016 Ongoing political scandals in several countries, associated with the Panama Papers, a leaked set of 11.5 million confidential documents that provide detailed information on more than 214,000 offshore companies listed by the Panamanian corporate service provider Mossack Fonseca.

In Malta, Panamagate refers to a March 2016 scandal surrounding Energy Minister Konrad Mizzi with an undeclared trust in New Zealand and a company in Panama.[160]

In Pakistan, the Panama Papers case, or Panamagate case, resulted in the disqualification of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from holding public office for 10 years.[161]

Multinational scandal, involving several countries. See List of people named in the Panama Papers
Pantigate 2014 Controversy surrounding payments by RTÉ after drag queen and LGBT activist Panti accused some anti-LGBT campaigners of homophobia [162]
Pardongate 2001 Controversy surrounding Bill Clinton's pardons of 140 people on his last day in office as President of the United States, including Patty Hearst []
Pastagate 2013 Montreal controversy, in which an Italian restaurant was investigated by the Quebec government for using words that do not comply with their language laws, such as "bottiglia", "calamari" and "pasta". [163]
Pastygate 2012 Controversy in March/April 2012 around the taxation by the UK Government of hot snacks such as pasties, where Conservative ministers were said to be out of touch with the eating habits of ordinary people. [164][165]
Pemexgate 2000 Scandal involving the state-owned oil company Pemex in Mexico in which funds were used to support a political campaign of the presidential candidate for the Institutional Revolutionary Party. []
Penelopegate 2017 Revelation that French presidential candidate Francois Fillon had officially employed his wife Penelope as an aide while a politician, but that it was a fictitious job which she never worked but nonetheless earned over EUR1 million in public wages. Known as both "Penelopegate" and "l'affaire Fillon" (the Fillon affair) in French. [166][167][168]
Petrogate 2008 The name given by the press in Peru to the corruption case involving large amounts of oil. Norwegian mining company Discover Petroleum and state-owned Perupetro are involved, which shocks politicians in Peru and prompts the resignation of cabinet ministers. []
Picklegate 2016 President candidate Hillary Clinton was on the Jimmy Kimmel. Donald Trump was saying that she was to weak to be president. Jimmy gives her a pickle jar to see if she could open it and she does. People started to say that the jar was already open.
Piggate 2015 The name given to the accusation Lord Ashcroft made against British Prime Minister David Cameron, of performing a ritual in which he engaged in sexual acts with a dead pig's head. [169]
Plamegate (also "Leakgate", "CIA leak scandal", "Plame affair") 2005 The revealing, by Robert Novak, of the name of Valerie Plame. Lewis Libby allegedly leaked to the media the identity of a covert CIA agent who worked on WMDs, in retaliation for her husband, Joseph C. Wilson, criticizing George W. Bush's justification for the invasion of Iraq. [170]
Ponytailgate 2015 A young waitress claims Prime Minister of New Zealand John Key pulled at her hair's ponytail numerous times over several months while visiting the café, even after being requested to stop by her and his wife. [171][172][173]
Porngate 2012 Three members of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in India resign from their offices after accusations that they watched porn during government proceedings. []
Pussygate 2016 On October 7, 2016, The Washington Post released a video and accompanying article about Donald Trump and Billy Bush having "an extremely lewd conversation about women" in 2005. In the video, Trump indicated that he might start kissing a woman that he and Bush were about to meet during the filming of an episode of Access Hollywood. Trump further asserted that "when you're a star, they let you do it. You can do anything ... grab them by the pussy". [174][175]
Railgate (also known as the Basi-Virk Affair and the BC Legislature Raids scandal) 2007 Scandal and court proceeding involving influence peddling and abuse of privilege in regard to the sale of BC Rail to Canadian National Railways by the government of British Columbia Premier Gordon Campbell, the raid of government offices in the provincial legislature building on December 28, 2003. [176]
Rinkagate 1976 UK scandal in which Jeremy Thorpe, leader of the UK Liberal Party, lost his position and his seat in Parliament after being accused of involvement in an unsuccessful attempt to murder an alleged former gay lover. Thorpe was eventually acquitted, but the scandal and an unrelated personal illness ended his career. "Rinka" refers to a Great Dane that was killed in the attack. [177]
Robogate 2011 Allegations of widespread voter fraud targeting non-Conservative voters occurring during the 2011 Canadian federal election. Robotic and live calls to voters are claimed to have been made in 200 ridings. Investigation by the RCMP, the Conservative Party, and Elections Canada. [178]
Russiagate 2016 Refers to the allegations of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections, and the possible collusion between the Kremlin and the Trump presidential campaign, and the subsequent presidency. [179]
Rywingate (also known as the Rywin affair) 2002 A corruption scandal in Poland, which began in late 2002 while the post-communist government of the SLD (Democratic Left Alliance) was in power. It is named after the prominent Polish film producer Lew Rywin, who was a key figure. [180]
Salmondgate 2018 Scandal involving former First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond who had been accused of sexually harassing two female aides in Bute House, Edinburgh. [181][182]
Shawinigate 1999 Canadian scandal involving then-Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's profiting from real estate deals in his home riding of Shawinigan, Quebec [183]
Shitholegate 2018 During a meeting with lawmakers about immigration, President Trump is reported to have asked, "Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?" [184]
Squidgygate (also known as Dianagate) 1992 Tape of a telephone conversation between Diana, Princess of Wales and a male friend. [185]
Stormontgate 2005 Allegations of a Provisional Irish Republican Army spy ring operating in Stormont (Home to the Northern Ireland Assembly). [186]
Strippergate 2003 Two separate government scandals and criminal investigations on the West Coast of the United States, both involving state and local politicians, strip clubs and organized crime. [187]
Thulegate 1995 Danish scandal regarding the storage of nuclear weapons in Greenland in the late 1950s and 1960s, in contravention of Denmark's nuclear-free policy. [188][189]
Toallagate 2001 Scandal in Mexico due to the high cost of bathroom towels (around US$400 apiece) bought for the official residence of the Mexican president. [190][191]
Taxigate 2005 The second major scandal to rock the Scottish Parliament after its founding; Scottish Conservative Party leader David McLetchie was found to have claimed an excessive amount in taxi expenses (over £11,000) many of which were for party business rather than parliament business. The debacle resulted in McLetchie's resignation as Leader of the Scottish Conservative Party. [192]
Telegramgate (also known as Chatgate and RickyLeaks) 2019 Telegramgate is an ongoing political scandal involving Ricardo Rosselló, the Governor of Puerto Rico, a self-governing United States territory, that began on July 8, 2019, with the leaking of several pages of a group chat on the messaging application Telegram. The leak came in the midst of allegations by the ex-Secretary of Puerto Rico's Treasury, Raúl Maldonado Gautier, that his Department boasted an "institutional mafia" which Rosselló was involved in. [193][194][195]
Traingate 2016 Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn filmed a short video of him sitting on the floor of a packed UK train on a three-hour journey saying he would not pay to upgrade his ticket to business class saying "after all it is the people's money". A couple of days later, Virgin Trains released CCTV footage challenging the Labour leader's claim, in which after filming the short video, Corbyn got up and sat in spare seats with his aides. The hashtag "traingate" trended highly on social media with Corbyn responding that he hoped Virgin Trains owner Richard Branson was "well aware" of his plans to re-nationalise the railways. [196]
Travelgate 1993 Controversy surrounding the firings of White House Travel Office employees at the start of the Clinton administration. [197]
Travelgate (South Africa) 2006 A controversy and resulting court case in South Africa involving Bathabile Dlamini and 13 other African National Congress government ministers who pleaded guilty of fraud after claiming travel benefits amounting to R254,000. [198][199]
Troopergate (1) 1994 Allegations by two Arkansas state troopers that they arranged sexual liaisons for then-governor Bill Clinton. [200]
Troopergate (2) 2007 Controversy involving New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, who allegedly ordered the state police to create special records of senate majority leader Joseph Bruno's whereabouts when he traveled with police escorts in New York City. [201]
Troopergate (3) 2008 The controversy surrounding allegations that Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the 2008 Republican vice-presidential nominee for the United States presidential election, fired the state's public safety commissioner, allegedly for not cooperating with her demand that he dismiss her former brother-in-law, a state trooper. [202] Palin uses the term "Taser-gate", a reference to the allegation that the trooper used a taser on his 10-year-old stepson.[203]
Trousergate 2016 Controversy following a photograph taken of the serving UK Prime Minister Theresa May in The Sunday Times in which she was wearing a pair of brown leather trousers, reportedly worth £1000. Former Conservative Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan criticized May for the photo and claimed she had never spent that amount of money on anything except her wedding dress. When Morgan withdrew from her scheduled appearance on Have I Got News for You on 16 December at short notice, following an ensuing row with an aide to the Prime minister, she was replaced with a leather handbag on the show after it transpired she owned a similar bag costing £950. [204][205]
Tunagate 1985 Canada political scandal involving large quantities of possibly spoiled tuna that were sold to the public. [206]
Utegate 2009 Australian political incident in June 2009 around the lending of a utility vehicle ("ute") to Australian Labor Prime Minister Kevin Rudd by car dealer John Grant, and subsequent allegations of improper favorable treatment of Grant by the Treasury department. [207][208]
Valijagate 2007 Venezuelan-American entrepreneur Guido Antonini Wilson arrived in Argentina on a private flight hired by Argentine and Venezuelan state officials carrying US$800,000 in cash, which he failed to declare. []
Wampumgate 1995 Controversy around the 1995 rejection of an Indian gambling project submitted by three impoverished tribes in the American northlands. []
Watergate 1972-1974 The original "gate" scandal got its name from the Watergate Hotel, where two politically motivated burglaries took place in 1972. The Watergate scandal ultimately led to the resignation of U.S. President Richard Nixon on August 9, 1974. [209]
Watergate 2019- An ongoing Australian political scandal surrounding an AUD$80 million water buyback in 2017 by the government as part of the Murray-Darling Basin Plan, with the money going to a private company linked to the Cayman Islands. [210]
Waterkantgate (also known as Watergate an der Waterkant) 1987 A major political scandal in Germany. West German politician Uwe Barschel allegedly issued orders for political rival Björn Engholm to be spied upon, with the aim of bringing tax evasion charges against him; as well as orders to install a bugging device in his own phone to frame Engholm's party, the Social Democratic Party of Germany. Barschel's guilt was never proven. [211][212]
Weinergate 2011 U.S. Representative Anthony Weiner's Twitter account linked to an inappropriate photograph. Weiner claimed that his account had been hacked, but later admitted he sent the tweet; numerous other lewd photographs from Weiner were later revealed. In 2013, after he resigned from the House and attempted to return to politics by running for mayor of New York City, it was revealed that he had been involved in another sexting relationship with a woman in her early twenties. [213][214][215]
WhatsApp Gate 2018 A political scandal involving members of the cabinet of Ricardo Rosselló, the Governor of Puerto Rico (see also Telegramgate) [216]
Strippergate 2018 Yair Netanyahu was secretly filmed at a Tel Aviv strip club, referring to a controversial gas deal signed by his father, the Prime Minister of Israel (see Netanyahu corruption investigations) [217][218]


Name Year Description Reference(s)
Astrogate 2018 In Game 1 of the MLB American League Championship between the Boston Red Sox and the Houston Astros, a Houston Astros employee was removed from the stadium after being caught spying on the Red Sox dugout. [219]
Bibgate 2009 American Nordic combined skier Bill Demong's disqualification for not wearing his bib during the ski jumping part of the team event at the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships 2009, in Liberec, Czech Republic, on February 26. [220]
Bladegate 2012 Controversy that arose during the 2012 Summer Paralympics when athlete Oscar Pistorius questioned the size of the running blade of fellow amputee sprinter Alan Oliveira on live television when the former unexpectedly caught up with Pistorius and narrowly overtook him before the finishing line at the Men's 200 metres T44 final. [221][222][223]
Bloodgate 2009 The events surrounding a faked injury to Tom Williams of English rugby union side Harlequins in a 2008-09 Heineken Cup quarterfinal against eventual champions Leinster. Specifically, Williams used fake blood to dupe the referee into allowing Harlequins to send in a blood replacement, at the instigation of Harlequins coach Dean Richards and team physiotherapist Steph Brennan. Williams later admitted that his mouth had been cut open immediately after the match in an attempt to cover up the fake injury. Richards was ultimately banned from rugby for three years and Brennan for two; Williams was initially banned for one year, but his ban was reduced to four months for his role in revealing the full extent of the scheme. [224]
Bottlegate 2001 Rowdy fans of the Cleveland Browns threw beer bottles and other debris on the field after a controversially overturned call in the final minute of the game led to the Browns losing the game 15-10 to the Jacksonville Jaguars. [225][226]
Bountygate 2012 In March 2012, the NFL discovered that from 2009 to 2011, a number of New Orleans Saints players and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams had operated a "bounty" scheme, illegal under league rules, in which defensive players received financial rewards for big plays, including those that injured offensive players. The investigation also revealed that head coach Sean Payton knew about the scheme but took no steps to stop it. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell handed out multiple suspensions to coaches and players involved in the scheme. The most severe were an indefinite suspension (ultimately one year) for Williams and season-long suspensions for Payton and player Jonathan Vilma (Vilma's suspension was overturned during the season). [227][228][229]
Broomgate 2015 Hightech brooms and new sweeping techniques allowing sweepers in curling to change the direction of the curling stone and hence significantly changing the nature of the game. [230][231][232]
Coughgate 2017 Allegations that professional darts player and 27th seed Justin Pipe coughed in the direction of opponent Bernie Smith, in order to distract and prevent Smith from throwing a match-winning double 10 during the first round of the 2018 PDC World Darts Championship. Pipe was fined £3,000 and was reprimanded for the incident by the Darts Regulation Authority in January 2018. [233][234]
Crashgate 2008 The allegations of race fixing at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, where Renault team bosses allegedly ordered Nelson Piquet to crash, handing an advantage to his teammate, Fernando Alonso. [235][236]
Deflategate 2015 After the 2015 AFC Championship game, the NFL acknowledged it was investigating reports that the game balls had been deflated. One report may have come from Indianapolis Colts player D'Qwell Jackson after he intercepted a pass by New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. Patriots coach Bill Belichick stated he knew nothing of the reports until the morning following the game, and that he and the team would "cooperate fully" with any investigation. Brady called the allegation "ridiculous". On January 20, sources reported that 11 of 12 footballs provided by the Patriots were underinflated. On May 11, 2015, the NFL announced it had suspended Tom Brady without pay for 4 games of the upcoming season. The Patriots were fined $1 million and lost their first-round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and their fourth-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft. In September 2015 a federal judge overturned the suspension, allowing Brady to play the 2015 season. A federal appeals court overturned the lower court's ruling, reimposing the suspension for 2016. [237][238][239][240][241]
FIFA-gate 2015 A case of corruption and money laundering by officials and associates connected with FIFA, the governing body of association football, futsal and beach soccer. [242]
Glovegate 2016 A controversy in which Collingwood forward Travis Cloke wore a glove to protect two swollen fingers on his right hand during a game against Greater Western Sydney. The Australian Football League (AFL) deemed that the glove he wore was illegal, and the club was fined $1,500. [243]
Grannygate 2006 A rugby league scandal involving New Zealand players and their family history. The term was most recently invoked in the 2006 Rugby League Tri-Nations series, in which New Zealand was penalized for fielding former Queensland hooker Nathan Fien. [244]
Helmetgate 2019 Oakland Raiders wide receiver Antonio Brown held out of training camp and filed a grievance over the new helmet rules passed by the NFL during the offseason threatening to retire if he cannot wear his old helmet that is now banned by the league. [245]
Homeworkgate 2013 Used to describe a controversial sequence of events that took place during the Australian cricket tour of India in 2013. [246][247]
Indygate 2005 Seven Formula One teams pull out of the 2005 United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis Motor Speedway ("Indy") following tyre failures and the inability to come to a compromise with the FIA. [248]
Lleytgate 2008 The sixth day of the 2008 Australian Open featured a long, five-set match between World No. 1 Roger Federer and Janko Tipsarevi?, which extended into the evening session of the day, and thus delayed it by more than two hours. As a result, the scheduled second match of the session between Lleyton Hewitt and Marcos Baghdatis did not start until just before midnight Australian time, and the match, which also lasted five sets, did not finish until 4:33am local time. The second match had been delayed initially as a match between Venus Williams and Sania Mirza had to be played out first, as per the schedule. [249]
Lochtegate 2016 During the 2016 Summer Olympics, US gold-medalist swimmer Ryan Lochte, and 2 teammates, Gunnar Bentz and Jack Conger, attempted to hide that they had drunkenly caused damage to a gas station bathroom, and then gotten into a belligerent altercation with the security guard, by fabricating the story that they were robbed at gunpoint in Rio. Lochte is the best-known athlete involved, as well as being widely regarded as the "ringleader" of the scheme, because he and his mother were the ones who elaborated on the lie. The case became viral on social media sites with the hashtag #LochteGate. [250][251][252][253][254]
Moggigate 2006 Football clubs of Italian Serie A were involved in a referee appointment scandal, named after Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi. [255]
Napgate 2010 In May 2010, Ken Griffey, Jr., who played for Major League Baseball (MLB)'s Seattle Mariners, was asleep in the clubhouse according to two teammates. Griffey did not deny being asleep and quit the team one month later. [256][257][258]
Noisegate 2015 The Atlanta Falcons were disciplined for piping in fake crowd noise during home games in 2013 and 2014. The team was fined $350,000 and will lose their 5th round draft pick in 2016. Falcons president Rich McKay was suspended from his position on the league's Competition Committee. [259]
Ovalgate 2006 The Pakistan cricket team forfeited the 2006 Oval Test Match against England after allegations of ball tampering. []
Partgate 2008 NASCAR team owner Jack Roush accuses opposing team Michael Waltrip Racing of stealing a sway bar at a test session. Waltrip later admits they had the part, but it was taken accidentally. [260][261]
Piegate 2017 During Sutton United's 0-2 loss to Arsenal in the 2016-17 FA Cup, Sutton United's goalkeeper Wayne Shaw knowling ate a pasty while sitting on the bench after learning of a betting company offering 8-1 odds against him eating pie during the game. Shaw defended himself by saying he did it in response to fans chanting "Who ate all the pies?" Shaw resigned from Sutton United soon after, and was fined £375 and banned for two months by the FA. [262]
Pizzagate 2004 Manchester United manager Alex Ferguson was assaulted with a slice of pizza by an unnamed opposition player following a tumultuous league game against Arsenal. Former Arsenal player Cesc Fàbregas later admitted to throwing the pizza in 2017. [263][264]
Sandpapergate 2018 Ball tampering scandal involving the men's Australian national cricket team during their 2017-18 tour of South Africa. During the third Test, Cameron Bancroft was revealed by television cameras to have rubbed the cricket ball with sandpaper, with the intent to make it swing in flight. Cricket Australia later banned captain Steve Smith and vice-captain David Warner from all international and domestic cricket for one year for their roles in the scandal, while Bancroft received a nine-month ban. Although not involved, Australia coach Darren Lehmann resigned after the fourth Test. [265][266][267]
Seatgate 2011 Referring to the scandal over 800 ticketed fans who were denied seats at Super Bowl XLV due to Fire Officials' regulations. [268]
Shouldergate 1978 A controversy that arose in June 1978 when the Pittsburgh Steelers were found to have practiced in shoulder pads during an off-season period in which such drills were not allowed under NFL rules. The team was stripped of its third-round selection in the 1979 NFL Draft as a penalty. [269]
Sirengate (1) 2006 A controversial match in Australian rules football when the umpire failed to hear the final siren, allowing St Kilda to score an extra point and draw the match. Four days later, the Australian Football League overturned the result and awarded the match to Fremantle. [270]
Sirengate (2) 2014 A National Rugby League match between the Melbourne Storm and St. George Illawarra Dragons ended in controversy when the Storm, trailing 22-24, played the ball ten metres out from their line just as the full-time siren went, and from the subsequent play, winger Young Tonumaipea scored the match-winning try which officials the following day said should never have been awarded. [271]
Skategate 2002 During the pairs competition at the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, controversy brewed when Canadian skaters Jamie Salé and David Pelletier were denied the gold medal despite a clean long program while Russian pair Elena Berezhnaya and Anton Sikharulidze won the title despite making several mistakes, causing an uproar from both the Canadian and American media. It was later revealed that French judge Marie-Reine Le Gougne had been pressured by Didier Gailhaguet, the head of the French skating federation into voting for the Russians in the pairs competition in exchange for the Russians voting for the French team in the ice dance competition. As a result, Le Gougne was suspended by the ISU for 3 years and her marks for the long program were thrown out, resulting in a 4-4 split decision. The IOC then decided to upgrade the Canadians' silver to gold, and a second medal ceremony was held with both the Russian and Canadian pairs attending. [272]
Sonicsgate 2009 The controversial relocation of the National Basketball Association (NBA)'s Seattle SuperSonics to Oklahoma City. The creators of the Webby Award-winning 2009 documentary Sonicsgate coined this term as the title of their film and video series, which soon became synonymous with the scandal as the definitive historical document on the topic. [273][274]
Spygate (1) (also known as Stepneygate) 2007 Allegations of espionage in Formula One racing carried out by members of the McLaren team. [275][276][277]
Spygate (2) 2007 The scandal involving the New England Patriots' videotaping of the New York Jets defensive signals during a 2007 NFL game. [278]
Sodagate 2013 On November 27, 2013, late in an NBA game at Barclays Center between the Brooklyn Nets and Los Angeles Lakers with no timeouts remaining, Nets then coach Jason Kidd communicated to Tyshawn Taylor during a stop, "Hit me", while holding a cup of soda. The ensuing spillage delayed the game and allowed for the Nets' coaching staff to draw up a final play as they were down 96-94. Although the Nets eventually lost, the incident caused much controversy among fans and the media, and after a league review deeming the event incidental, the NBA fined Kidd $50,000. [279]
Spingate 2013 Near the end of the 2013 Federated Auto Parts 400 race in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series at Richmond International Raceway on September 7, 2013, team orders became an issue in order to ensure certain drivers would make the Chase for the Sprint Cup. Michael Waltrip Racing driver Clint Bowyer spun in turn 4 on lap 393 of 400 to bring out a caution while Michael Waltrip Racing's general manager and vice president Ty Norris ordered Brian Vickers to pit, both in an attempt to help Michael Waltrip Racing driver Martin Truex Jr. make the Chase over Ryan Newman, who was leading the race before the caution caused by Bowyer. Carl Edwards won the race and Truex made the Chase while Newman did not. A few days after the race, Michael Waltrip Racing was fined $300,000 while Bowyer and Truex both lost 50 points, enough to knock Truex out of the Chase and allow Newman to make it. In addition, it was determined that Penske Racing and Front Row Motorsports collaborated to have Front Row Motorsports driver David Gilliland give up track position to ensure Penske Racing driver Joey Logano made the Chase. [280]
Strippergate 2015 In October 2015, Katina Powell, a self-described former madam, published a book in which she charged that former University of Louisville men's basketball staffer Andre McGee had paid her $10,000 over a four-year period, during which the Cardinals won a national title, to provide strippers and prostitutes for players and recruits.[281] In June 2017, the NCAA announced major penalties that, after a failed appeal by Louisville, forced the Cardinals to vacate their 2013 national title.[282] [283][284][285]
Tattoogate 2011 In May 2011, Jim Tressel, the head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes football team, resigned amid allegations that he lied in order to cover up activities, including tattoos, undertaken in violation of NCAA rules by players he was coaching. [286][287][288]
Taxigate 2018 During a mid-season training camp in Barcelona in February 2018, West Bromwich Albion footballers Gareth Barry, Jonny Evans, Jake Livermore and Boaz Myhill broke a team curfew and stole a taxi, which they drove back to their hotel. The theft was investigated by Spanish police but no arrests were made. The four players apologized for the incident and were each fined the maximum two weeks' wages, totalling almost £500,000. Evans was also stripped of his team captaincy for one game. [289][290][291][292]
Textgate 2015 The Cleveland Browns and general manager Ray Farmer were disciplined for sending text messages to coaches during games in the 2014 season, a violation of NFL rules. The team was fined $250,000 and Farmer received a four-game suspension without pay for the first four games of the 2015 season. [293]
Tigergate 2010 A series of alleged and admitted marital infidelities by golf superstar Tiger Woods. [294]
Tissuegate 2015 At the conclusion of an April 4, 2015 Major League Soccer match between FC Dallas and the Portland Timbers, Dallas head coach Óscar Pareja taunted Timbers head coach Caleb Porter by mockingly offering him a tissue during their post-game handshake. Pareja was irritated by Porter's "crying" at the referees throughout the match. Porter, whose team won the match 3-1, responded by pointing to the scoreboard and saying, "scoreboard", and proceeded to toss the tissue back in Pareja's face. Pareja had to be restrained by his coaching staff. [295]
Toiletgate 2006 The allegations by Veselin Topalov and his manager Silvio Danailov during the World Chess Championship 2006 that Topalov's opponent Vladimir Kramnik was visiting the toilet suspiciously frequently during games. The allegations were never proven, and were widely viewed within the international chess playing community as an act of gamesmanship on the part of Topalov and Danailov, attempting to distract Kramnik at a time when he was ahead in the match. [296]
Tripgate 2010 During a December 11, 2010 NFL game between the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins, the Jets' strength and conditioning coach Sal Alosi tripped Dolphins gunner Nolan Carroll as he ran down the Jets sideline. The Jets suspended Alosi indefinitely for setting up a "wall" on the sideline and claimed that "he acted alone in doing so". [297]
Twirlgate 2015 After No. 7 ranked Eugenie Bouchard defeated Kiki Bertens in the second round of the 2015 Australian Open, Bouchard was asked during her on-court interview to "give us a twirl." When Bouchard balked, the male presenter persisted, saying: "A twirl, like a pirouette, here you go." Bouchard reluctantly acquiesced, twirling in front of the crowd. The exchange set off a firestorm on social media, with some fans excoriating the request as sexist and many questioning whether a man would have been asked to twirl. [298][299]


Name Year Description Country References
Antennagate (also known as Gripgate) 2010 The name the media applied to the controversy over the iPhone 4's antenna after initial users complained of dropped calls and Consumer Reports would not recommend it. United States [300][301][302][303][304]
Bendgate 2014 Numerous people reported bent iPhone 6 Plus phones, which was later reported on by Consumer Reports. United States [305][306]
Dieselgate (or Emissionsgate) 2015 International Council on Clean Transportation and West Virginia University caught Volkswagen cheating on emissions tests on about 11 million diesel cars by programming them to enable emissions controls during testing, but not control NO
pollution during real world driving
Worldwide [307][308][309]
Donglegate 2013 A series of events following a double entendre on the word "dongle" overheard at a programmers' convention on March 17, 2013, which led to two people being fired and a DDoS attack. United States [310]
Chipgate 2015 Apple used two different kinds of processors in the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus, one made by Samsung and the other by TSMC, with the Samsung one running hotter and using more battery life. United States
Shirtgate 2014 Matt Taylor, a Rosetta mission project scientist, wore a homemade shirt at an ESA press conference that caused concern. United States [311][312]
Staingate 2015 Anger over reports that the anti-reflective coating appeared to be wearing off several MacBook Pros, including mid-2012 to mid-2014 models sold between June 2012 and present. United States [313][unreliable source][314]
Pengate 2015 Anger over Samsung's design flaw in the Galaxy Note 5 which allows the stylus to be put in backwards. Once the stylus was put in backwards, it got stuck and destroyed the sensors that detected stylus removal. United States [315]
Petrikgate 2009-2012 An attempt by the Russian pseudoscientist Viktor Petrik and the politician Boris Gryzlov to get a contract for a massive amount of low quality water filters for an inflated price under the guise of cutting-edge new technology. Russia
Resolutiongate 2013-present A controversy about the resolution on the Xbox One console. United States [316]
Hissgate 2016 Some users reported an audible hiss coming from somewhere near the Apple logo of their iPhone 7 during CPU intensive tasks. United States [317]
Notegate 2016 Lithium-ion batteries spontaneously combusting in Samsung's Galaxy Note 7. Worldwide [318]
Twittergate 2016 The revelation that child pornography was being shared between thousands of Twitter accounts. United States [319]
Rapidgate 2018 A phenomenon in the rapid charging of a few electric car models (especially Nissan Leaf 2nd generation) where the charging speed is greatly reduced due to repeated rapid charging. Worldwide [320]
Bumpgate 2008 Nvidia Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) chips experienced high failure rates because a design flaw lead to cracked solder bumps Worldwide [321][322][323]
Webcamgate 2010 Lower Merion School District allegedly do surveillance by using student's MacBook United States [324][325]
Flexgate 2019 Some fourth generation MacBook Pro can feature uneven lighting at the bottom of the screen, which looks a bit like a "stage light" effect, and the display can eventually fail entirely after frequent opening and close the lid due to fragile flex cable. Worldwide [326][327]


Name Year Description References
Horsegate (also "Horsemeat-gate") 2013 A UK scandal in which it emerged that several large supermarket chains were selling meat containing horse or equine meat while claiming they were "100% beef". Further context to this is that, while horsemeat is mostly fine for human consumption and is eaten in countries throughout Europe and the rest of the world, it is rarely sold on the mainstream UK market and is considered somewhat culturally unacceptable to eat in British society. [328]
Nutgate 2014 Korean Air vice president Heather Cho, dissatisfied with the way a flight attendant served her nuts on a plane, ordered the aircraft to return to the gate before takeoff, before dismissing the flight attendant and cabin crew chief. She was arrested two months later and charged with interfering with flight safety. The crew members eventually returned to their positions. [329]
Elsagate 2017 A scandal and phenomenon referring to thousands of inappropriate YouTube videos targeted towards young children. [330]

In popular culture

Film and television

Name Show Episode Description References
Babygate Glee This refers to the scandal wherein one of the characters, Quinn, portrayed by Diana Agron, got pregnant by her boyfriend's best friend and tried to pass off the baby as her boyfriend's.
Bingate The Great British Bake Off[331] Series 5, Episode 4: "Desserts" The Ice Cream in contestant Iain's baked Alaska did not set and he threw his baked Alaska in the bin and walked off the set. The editing suggested another contestant Diana Beard was responsible for this. Later, when the contestants had to present their bakes to the judges, Iain presented the bin in which he had discarded his baked Alaska. He was eliminated, with the judges saying they couldn't judge him due to him not presenting them with anything to taste. [332]
Butterflygate RuPaul's Drag Race Season 10, Episode 14: "Grand Finale" Finalist Asia O'Hara attempts a reveal during her lip sync using live butterflies, but it does not go as intended [333][334][335][336]
Clipgate The Colbert Report Stephen Colbert's mocking of Fox News Channel's portrayal of the way Barack Obama presented his jobs bill proposal with pages clipped together, rather than bound together. [337]
Cuntgate Veep Season 5, Episode 6: "Cuntgate" A newspaper publishes a report which says that the POTUS was called a "cunt" by one of the senior members of her staff. This leads to the firing of three members of the staff and the issue becoming "Cuntgate". [338]
Flatgate The Thick of It Government minister Hugh Abbot is involved in a scandal surrounding the ownership of a Notting Hill flat - which the press are dubbing "Flatgate", but which Abbot's secretary feels would better be named "Notting Hill Gate gate". [339]
Kimono-gate RuPaul's Drag Race Season 8, Episode 5: "Supermodel Snatch Game" Half of the remaining queens came out on stage in a kimono, inspired by Madonna's "Nothing Really Matters" video and "Paradise (Not For Me)" for a Madonna-inspired runway. [340][341][342]
Maskgate Season 9, Episode 9: "Your Pilot's On Fire" The contestant Valentina initially refuses to remove her mask during the "lip sync for your life". This incident was referred to as "Maskgate" by viewers. [343][344][345]
Muffgate Pitch Perfect Pitch Perfect 2 A cappella singing group The Barden Bellas are performing for President Obama at the Kennedy Centre when Fat Amy descends from the rafters in Cirque du Soleil-like trapeze silks as if to perform an acrobatic sequence à la Pink while performing Wrecking Ball. Unfortunately, the silks rip, Amy's pants split, she flips upside down, and she delivers an epic wardrobe-malfunction that comes to be referred to as "Muffgate". [346][347]
Pantygate The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 7, Episode 4: "Pantygate" New housewife Dorit Kemsley and her husband Paul pass judgments on Erika Girardi's decision not to wear underwear to a party with the housewives. [348][349]
Petra-Gate Ugly Betty Season 1, Episode 20: "Petra-Gate" Daniel sleeps with an underage girl, Petra, and it is up to Betty and Henry to prove her real age.
Polkagate ALF Season 2, Episode 5: "Prime Time" The character ALF tries to rig the ratings for a Polka dance show to save it from cancellation. After he's caught, he refers to his efforts as "Polkagate".
Punchgate Celebrity Big Brother (UK) Series 22 Roxanne Pallett accused fellow housemate Ryan Thomas of deliberately and repeatedly punching her; she was criticized for over exaggerating the light play fighting and has since called it a "horrible mistake" after leaving the house and seeing the footage. [350][351][352]
Sharongate EastEnders Sharon (Letitia Dean) confessed on tape that she had slept with Phil (Steve McFadden), the brother of her husband Grant (Ross Kemp). [353][354]
Stargate Community "Contemporary American Poultry" The main characters set up the character "Star-Burns", who is accused of controlling a chicken finger-laundering scandal.
Strawberry-Gate I'm a Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here! UK series 17, Episode 11 Contestants Amir Khan and Iain Lee won the Dingo Dollar challenge receiving the opportunity for a reward; Chocolate coins or Strawberries & cream. Their campmates got the question right, and Amir and Iain were given Strawberries & cream. However, while returning to camp, they decided to eat the treat and pretend that the camp got the question wrong. [355]
"Stupid Watergate" Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Season 4, Episode 13 A recurring segment called "Stupid Watergate" is concerned with the appearance of Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and resulting coverups. It is called "Stupid Watergate" because, according to Oliver, it is "a scandal with all the potential ramifications of Watergate, but where everyone involved is stupid and bad at everything".[356]
Tullegate RuPaul's Drag Race Season 3, Episode 11: "RuPaul's Hair Extravaganza" The contestant Raja used tulle fabric in a challenge in which all the contestants had to design an outfit only using hair and wigs. This was alleged by other competitors Shangela, Alexis Mateo, and Yara Sofia, before Raja confirmed it on an episode of Untucked. In the Drag Race fan community, many fans refer to this as Tullegate. [357][358][359]
Waitergate The Simpsons "The Boy Who Knew Too Much" A court case surrounding a clumsy waiter who appeared to have been beaten by Freddy Quimby is named by the press as 'Beat-Up Waiter'. Local news anchorman Kent Brockman reports suggesting it be called 'Waitergate', but was "shouted down in the press conference". Bart in fact witnessed the waiter's accidental injuries while playing truant from school, but did not come forward as he would be punished by Principal Skinner. In an interesting contrast to real world events, Bart eventually does come forward and tells the truth, and while Skinner sincerely praises Bart for doing the right thing, he also gives the student months of detention as punishment. [360]
Wiggate RuPaul's Drag Race Season 11: Episode 6 "The Draglympics", Episode 11 "Bring Back My Queens!" Some of the remaining contestants fight over Arial Versace's wigs which were left on set. [361][362][363]
Woollygate Wallace and Gromit A Close Shave Gromit is sentenced to life imprisonment for sheep racketeering in a trial the newspapers refer to as the "Woollygate scandal".

Conspiracy theories

Name Year Description References
Pizzagate 2016 A debunked 2016 conspiracy theory falsely claiming the existence of a child trafficking ring involving the Washington, D.C. restaurant Comet Ping Pong. [364]
Spygate (3) 2018 Donald Trump's name for the now-debunked conspiracy theory that accuses the FBI of sending an informant into Trump's 2016 Campaign for "political purposes". [365]


  1. ^ "-gate, suffix", Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press
  2. ^ "-gate, comb. form." OED Online. Oxford University Press, March 2015. Web. June 8, 2015.
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