List of -gate scandals and controversies

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, known as "Bountygate"). Use of the -gate suffix has spread beyond American English to many other countries and languages.

The Watergate complex in Washington, D.C., the inspiration for the -gate suffix following the Watergate scandal

Etymology, usage, and history of -gate edit

The suffix -gate derives from the Watergate scandal of the United States in the early 1970s, which resulted in the resignation of US President Richard Nixon.[2] The scandal was named after the Watergate complex in Washington, D.C., where the burglary giving rise to the scandal took place; 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 has become productive as a libfix and 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 some 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]

Columnist William Safire popularized the -gate suffix.[8]

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.[9] 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".[10] 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".[11]

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.[12] The term is also used in Mandarin Chinese with the suffix -mén (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; lit. 'door', 'gate').

Some commentators have characterized this use of the -gate suffix as a snowclone.[13] But Geoffrey Pullum, the coiner of the term snowclone, considers that it is only a "lexical word-formation analog".[14] Martha Brockenbrough, the founder of The Society for the Promotion of Good Grammar, said that no one should aspire to write with cliches and that although they do help to get a lot of complicated things across in few words that they are not a good way to get people to keep reading what you're writing.[15]

Similar phenomena edit

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 -ghazi, 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.[16]

Like the -gate suffix, the Italian -opoli suffix emerged in Italian media from investigations in the 1990s that uncovered a system known as Tangentopoli.[17] The term derives from tangente, which means 'kickback' (e.g., bribery given for public works contracts),[18] and -(o)poli, meaning 'city'. Examples of snowclone-like use of -opoli include Bancopoli (a financial scandal) and Calciopoli (a 2006 Italian football scandal).

Scandals edit

These scandals have been given the -gate suffix.

Arts and entertainment edit

Name Year Description Country Refs
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 [19]
Celebgate (also known as "The Fappening") 2014 A collection of nearly 500 private photographs of various celebrities, many containing nudity, 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 [20][21][22]
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 [23]
Comicsgate 2018 Comicsgate is a campaign in opposition to what its participants describe as "forced diversity" and progressivism comic books – including the creators hired, the characters depicted, and the stories told – which they argue has led to a decline in both quality and sales. North America [24]
Cuntgate 2018 The outrage on social media that followed when Samantha Bee called Ivanka Trump a "feckless cunt" on her comedy news show, Full Frontal. United States [25][26]
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 [27][28][29]
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, the game's publisher 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. United Kingdom [31]
Elsagate 2017–Present A scandal and phenomenon referring to thousands of inappropriate YouTube videos deceptively targeted towards young children. Worldwide [32]
Envelopegate 2017 During the presentation of the Best Picture category at the 89th Academy Awards, La La Land was announced as the winner; however, the announcement was a mistake as the actual winner was Moonlight. This incident drew comparisons to the Miss Universe 2015 crowning moment. United States [33]
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 [34]
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. United States [35][36]
Mandragate 2015 Massive corruption that involves Indonesian senior comedian, Mandra, and state-owned television network TVRI over programming procurement on the network. Indonesia [37][38][39]
Nipplegate (also known as "Boobgate" or "wardrobe malfunction") 2004 Justin Timberlake exposed Janet Jackson's breast during the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII. United States [40][41]
Nudegate (Edison Chen photo scandal) 2008 Intimate photographs of Hong Kong actor Edison Chen were leaked online and widely discussed in Hong Kong media. Called "Nudegate" (simplified Chinese: 艳照门; traditional Chinese: 豔照門; pinyin: Yànzhàomén) in Mainland China, using the Chinese character for the word "gate" (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: mén) China and Hong Kong [42]
Papoosegate 2018 British television host Piers Morgan retweeted and mocked (commenting, Oh 007.. not you as well?!!! and including the hashtag "#emasculatedBond") a photo of English actor Daniel Craig holding his newborn daughter in a papoose while walking down the street. After facing backlash for the tweet (notably from celebrities such as American actor Chris Evans), Morgan attempted to explain it by claiming that "James Bond would never use a papoose to carry his babies". United Kingdom [43][44][45]
Penisgate 2015 While performing at a concert in Stockholm, singer Lenny Kravitz squatted and his pants split open revealing his penis to concertgoers. Sweden [46]
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 [47][48][49]
Queuegate 2022 Controversy surrounding the accusation that This Morning presenters Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby jumped the queue to walk past the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II during her lying-in-state in Westminster Hall. Schofield and Willoughby's actions were compared to that of other celebrities, such as David Beckham and fellow television presenters such as Susanna Reid, who had queued several hours with the public rather than skip the queue at Westminster Hall. The scandal prompted the creation of a petition calling for the presenters to be dismissed from the programme, which reached 75,000 signatures within a week. United Kingdom [50][51][52]
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 [53]
Slapgate 2022 On March 27, 2022, during the live television broadcast of the 94th Academy Awards, actor Will Smith walked onstage and slapped comedian Chris Rock[54] across the face as Rock was about to present one of the Oscar awards. Just before, Rock had acknowledged Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith, with a joke about her shaved head, which Pinkett Smith has said was due to her alopecia areata. Smith then walked onto the stage and slapped Rock before returning to his seat, where Smith repeatedly shouted profanities at Rock, on live television. United States [55][56][57]
Spitgate 2022 A video taken at the 79th Venice International Film Festival premiere of Don't Worry Darling was interpreted by some social media commentators to depict Harry Styles, the film's lead, spitting on co-star Chris Pine. Both Pine and director Olivia Wilde denied this rumor, and Styles later jokingly referenced the alleged incident at a concert. Italy [58][59][60]
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 [61]
Threshergate 1992 A controversy based around a faked story, claiming that the British Chancellor Norman Lamont had purchased cigarettes and champagne at an off-license. United Kingdom [62]
Treegate 2023 NBCUniversal hired arborists to illegally trim trees outside Universal Studios Hollywood that were being used as shade from heatwaves by SAG-AFTRA and Writers Guild of America on strike from the company; representatives denied that the selective pruning of those trees was a targeted attack on the protesters, calling it and ongoing construction "unintended challenges for demonstrators". As the company was a first-time offender, NBCUniversal received a maximum fine of just US$250 from the City of Los Angeles for destruction of city property and tree law violation. United States [63][64][65]
Pandoragate 2023 A scandal among Polish influencers which started when YouTubers Sylwester Wardęga and Konopskyy revealed videos proving that many popular Polish influencers were acting abusive toward their viewers. One of them, Stuu, wrote lewd messages to 14 year old girl. The case was loudly commented on by Polish media and politicians, including Polish prime minister Mateusz Morawiecki and Minister of Justice Zbigniew Ziobro. Poland [66][67][68]

Journalism and academics edit

Name Year Description Country Refs
Choppergate 2011 The Nine News Queensland bulletins on August 20 and 21, 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 kilometres (43 mi) 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 [69]
Chyrongate 2023 A Chyron regarding former President Donald Trump's federal arrest ran on Fox News during speeches by both Trump and President Joe Biden reading, "Wannabe dictator speaks at White House after having his political rival arrested". This was criticized by many journalists and the White House itself. United States [70][71][72]
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 [73][74][75]
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 [76]
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 [77]
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 behavior. United States [78]
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 [79]
Kategate (also known as "Photogate") 2024 A scandal involving the release and then retraction of a Mothering Sunday photo by Catherine, Princess of Wales, who is commonly known as Kate, and her three children, which was later revealed to be photo doctored allegedly by the Princess. United Kingdom [80][81]
Mediagate (also known as "Anchorgate") 2012 The controversy over Pakistani top journalists in the mainstream media. Pakistan [82]
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 [83][84]
Reutersgate 2006 The controversy over Reuters photographer Adnan Hajj manipulating news photos with Photoshop. Lebanon [85][86][87]
Suzygate or Suzyscam 1988 James Revson, a rival gossip columnist at Newsday, accused Suzy Knickerbocker of fabricating some of the content of her columns. He alleged that she had reported on parties which she had not attended, instead writing from press releases and guest lists. United States [88]
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 led to his resignation on Australia's Today show. Australia [89]

Politics edit

Name Year Description Refs
Abu Ghraibgate 2004 The torture and abuse of inmates at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. [90][91]
Agrogate 1987 The Agrokomerc Affair in the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia exposes the extent of the economic and political corruption and decay in Communist Yugoslavia as its economy collapsed, contributing to its disintegration in 1991. [92][93]
Angolagate (also known as Mitterrand-Pasqua affair) 2008 Arms sales to the Government of Angola by the Government of France between 1993 and 2000. [94][95]
Baligate 1999 The Golkar Party officials colluded with the Indonesian Bank Restructuring Agency (IBRA) to coerce Bank Bali (now Permata Bank) chief Rudy Ramli to pay an illegal commission of Rp546 billion (then equivalent to about US$80 million) to private company Era Giat Prima in order to collect Rp904.6 billion owed by two banks taken over by IBRA. [96][97]
Bananagate 1974 The United Brands Company paid a $1.25 million bribe to Honduran President Oswaldo López Arellano, followed by another $1.25 million the next year to have a tax reduced from fifty cents to twenty-five cents per box of bananas. When the bribe was revealed, it provoked the overthrow of the military government in Honduras and this in turn led to the nationalisation of United's railways along with a major divestiture of land by the companies. [98][99]
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. [100]
Beergate 2022 Leader of the Labour Party Keir Starmer is accused of breaching COVID-19 social gathering rules while campaigning in Durham in 2021, with pictures circulating of him and his colleagues drinking beer indoors against government advice. Gaining media attention in 2022, critics have cited potential hypocrisy by Starmer given his harsh criticisms of Boris Johnson's actions during Partygate. On 9 May 2022, Starmer announced that he would resign as leader of the opposition if he were to be found to have broken COVID-19 regulations, as did his deputy Angela Rayner. Starmer and Rayner were cleared of any wrongdoing by Durham police. [101][102][103]
Bibigate (1) 1993 Benjamin Netanyahu admitted to having an extramarital affair [104]
Bibigate (2) 1997 Allegations that Benjamin Netanyahu chose Roni Bar-On for attorney-general to please Arie Deri who was in the corruption trial. [105]
Bigotgate 2010 UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is accidentally recorded calling a party supporter a bigot after a woman challenged him while he was campaigning in Rochdale during the run-up to the 2010 UK general Election. [106]
Billygate 1980 US President Jimmy Carter's brother, Billy Carter, legally represented the Libyan government as a foreign agent. [107]
Bingogate 1999 A scandal that occurred during the administration of Premier of British Columbia Mike Harcourt, involving the skimming of charity funds for use by the ruling NDP by former MLA Dave Stupich (Premier Harcourt was not involved but did resign). [108]
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. [109][110]
Blabbergate 2017 US 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. [111][112][113]
Bleachgate 2020 US President Donald Trump suggesting drinking bleach to cure COVID-19. [114]
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. [115][116]
Bonusgate 2008 Pennsylvania scandal involving the alleged use of government funds to finance partisan political campaigns. [117]
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. [118]
Brothelgate 2010 The series of events that led to the resignation of the Irish Minister of Defence Willie O'Dea. [119]
Buloggate and Bruneigate 2003 Two related cases that leads to Gus Dur's impeachment:
  • Buloggate: Gus Dur wanted to lend some funds from Yanatera Bulog for development in Aceh, however the $4 million fund was abused by someone who profited from Gus Dur's name and Gus Dur asked for fund lending without DPR/Senate consent
  • Bruneigate: Brunei sultan donates for Aceh without any notification.
Cablegate 2010 In November 2010, WikiLeaks began to release American diplomatic cables from a trove of over 250,000. [122]
Calendargate 2023–24 The promotional 2024 calendar released by Ultra Right Beer featuring young American female conservative activists and commentators in pin-up poses, some but not all minimally dressed, to disparage transwomen; it was widely criticized by social and Christian conservatives as indecorous and contrary to the movement's values while embraced and defended by libertarians [123]
Cashgate 2014 The plundering of Malawian government funds by government officials that occurred in 2013. [124]
Camillagate (also known as "Tampongate") 1992 Following the release of a tape of a telephone conversation between Charles, Prince of Wales (later King Charles III) and Camilla Parker Bowles (later Queen Camilla). [125][126]
Cheriegate 2002 A political scandal over the purchase of two flats in Bristol by Cherie Blair with the alleged assistance of Peter Foster, a convicted Australian conman and boyfriend of Blair's friend Carole Caplin. [127][128]
Choi Soon-sil gate 2016 South Korean scandal involving Choi Soon-sil's influence over president Park Geun-hye. [129]
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. [130]
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. [131][132]
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. [133]
Clonegate 2020 Russian president Vladimir Putin has been accused of having clones, proponents say that his extremely different appearance is a giveaway, however this hoax has been disproven, as this appearance change is easily explained with Botox use and facelifts. [134][135]
Coingate 2005 The mishandling of Ohio government funds entrusted to Ohio Republican Party operatives, involving rare coin funds [136]
Coalgate 2014 The mishandling of coal field auctions by the Indian government under the UPA-1. The alleged loss was $37 billion. [137]
Corngate 2002 A political scandal in New Zealand in 2002, which involved the suspected release of genetically modified corn seed in 2000. [138]
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 [139]
Debategate 1980 A political scandal in the United States involving the suspicious acquisition of debate preparation documents. [140]
Donnygate 1990s A political scandal involving expenses fraud by councillors in Doncaster, United Kingdom [141]
Dildogate 2016 Protest action against the Trans-Pacific Partnership where a protester flung a rubber dildo at MP Steven Joyce, striking him in the face. Also known as the Waitangi dildo incident. [142]
Dissertation-gate 2019 Controversy surrounding the authenticity of Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen's 1984 doctorate earned at the London School of Economics. (See Chinese article: zh) [143][144]
Duna-gate 1990 A political scandal in Hungary in 1990, with the communist regime's secret service illegally collecting information on opposition parties. [145][146]
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. [147][148]
Emailgate 2015 During her tenure as United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton drew controversy by using a private email server for official public communications rather than using official State Department email accounts maintained on federal servers. Clinton's server was found to hold over 100 emails containing classified information, including 65 emails deemed "Secret" and 22 deemed "Top Secret". An additional 2,093 emails not marked classified were retroactively designated confidential by the State Department.[149][150][151]

The controversy was a major point of discussion and contention during the 2016 presidential election, in which Clinton was the Democratic nominee. In July, FBI director James Comey announced that the FBI investigation had concluded that Clinton had been "extremely careless" but recommended that no charges be filed because Clinton did not act with criminal intent, the historical standard for pursuing prosecution.[152]

Clinton claimed that her use complied with federal laws and State Department regulations, and that former secretaries of state had also maintained personal email accounts (however Clinton was the only secretary of state to use a private server).[153] Unlike the official system, which was hacked by the Russians, her private system was never hacked.

Erdogate 2016 After the publication of a satirical comedy sketch by Jan Böhmermann and Neo Magazin Royale, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan filed several lawsuits against the comedian, which led the German parliament to decide to discard the antiquated law §103. [154]
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!" [155][156][157]
Fallagate 2007 Political scandal in Guernsey over an attempt to avoid a political conflict of interest over a hospital extension plan. [158]
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. [159]
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. [160]
Farmgate 2022 In February 2020 US$4 million was stolen from South African president Cyril Ramaphosa's private game farm. The theft was not reported and only became public in June 2022 following the lodging of an official criminal complaint against the president by the controversial former head of the State Security Agency Arthur Fraser. The incident raised a number of questions about why the theft was not reported, why Fraser only reported it two years later, and what impact it might have on future South African politics. [161][162][163]
Fartgate (Canada) 2016 In a speech at the Canadian House of Commons made by Michelle Rempel Garner, the MP for Calgary Nose Hill, Alberta, about jobs in her province, Rempel asked, "Why does this government treat Alberta like a fart in the room that nobody wants to talk about or acknowledge?" The member of Parliament for Saanich—Gulf Islands and leader of the Canadian Green Party, Elizabeth May, stood up and described Rempel's use of the word "fart" as "unparliamentary". May requested for Rempel to withdraw the word "fart", which Rempel refused to do. The crowd watching the House of Commons proceeded to heckle May. [164][165]
Fergiegate 2010 Videotape of a conversation between Sarah, Duchess of York and Mazher Mahmood in which she is offered £500,000 in return for access to her ex-husband. [166][167][168]
Filegate 1998 The illegal possession and scrutiny of 300–900 FBI files by the Clinton Administration without the file subjects' permission. [169]
Fridgegate 2019 After refusing to be interviewed a number of times in the 2019 election campaign UK PM Boris Johnson hid in a fridge to avoid being interviewed by Good Morning Britain. Reporter Jonathan Swain attempted to ask Johnson for an interview live on TV while he was campaigning in Pudsey, Yorkshire. In the brief encounter a Johnson aide can be heard saying "oh for fuck's sake" before Johnson disappears into a fridge at Modern Milkman. He did not return for the interview.

The event was coined 'fridgegate' with a number of memes being created and the tag '#fridgegate' trending on Twitter.

Gaetzgate 2021 US politician Matt Gaetz is placed under investigation concerning sex-trafficking and a potential sexual relationship with a minor. The investigation has since expanded to include allegations that Gaetz accepted gifts from marijuana investors, including travel and paid escorts, in exchange for pay-for-play legislation favorable to the investors, and sought to secure government jobs for some of the escorts involved. [171][172][173]
Gaiagate 2014 Ruinous spending on Vila Nova de Gaia (Portugal) city hallowned companies and waste disposal concession contracts by former mayor Luís Filipe Menezes and his cronies. [174]
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. [175]
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.) [176][177]
Ghaligate 2021 A diplomatic crisis between Morocco and Spain following the admission of Polisario Front leader Brahim Ghali to a Spanish hospital. [178][179][180]
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. [181][182]
Golfgate 2020 A number of Irish TDs and senators and former TDs and senators including Fine Gael EU Commissioner Phil Hogan, Fianna Fáil TD and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Dara Calleary, Galway TD Noel Grealish, and others attended the Oireachtas golf society dinner in Clifden, Galway to celebrate its 50th anniversary in direct breach of COVID-19 social distancing measures where the limit of individuals in a contained space was set by the Dáil with no more than 50 attendees while the event itself had 82 attendees. [183]
Grangegate 2014 A political scandal involving former New South Wales Premier Barry O'Farrell and a $3,000 bottle of Penfolds Grange. [184][185]
Greek Watergate 2022 Prime minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis was revealed that shortly he took office in 2019, he ordered the Greek intelligence services to have the phones of his political opponents tapped to secretly monitor their calls and texts. This particular scandal is called "-Watergate" instead of "-gate" because of similarities with the original Watergate scandal including the direct involvement of the most important politician in the country, the wiretapping of the politician's opponents, the scandal's domination of the national news media and the widespread coverage in the international media (with corresponding damage with the government's reputation abroad). [186]
Gropegate (1) 2003 Refers to the allegations of groping and sexual misconduct against actor and former governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger during his campaign in the 2003 California gubernatorial recall election. [187]
Gropegate (2) 2018 The name for the accusation of groping in 2000 by former journalist Rose Knight against Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau. Knight released a public statement asserting she refused to involve herself with publicity or any pursuits of repercussions. [188]
Grubgate 2024 An uproar in which Mayra Flores used photos of food from social media and posted to the social media of her political campaign with captions suggesting that she cooked the food in the photos. [189]
Gulargate 2013 A political corruption scandal in Azerbaijan involving Member of Parliament Gular Ahmadova. [190]
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. [191]
Hailgate 2016 Scandal following leaked footage of the Nazi salute used by attendees of a white nationalist conference organized by Richard B. Spencer. [192]
Hairgate 1993 Unsubstantiated allegations surrounding a haircut given to US President Bill Clinton. [193][194]
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. [195]
Ibizagate 2019 A scandal featuring senior members of Austria's far-right FPÖ party in a sting operation that happened 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 First Kurz government of ÖVP & FPÖ parties, to collapse. [196][197]
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. [198]
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. [199]
Irisgate 2010 UK political scandal involving an affair by Iris Robinson MP MLA, wife of Northern Ireland's First Minister Peter Robinson. [200][201][202]
Jurmalgate (Latvian: Jūrmalgeita) 2005 Political scandal in Latvia that involved several businessmen and politicians offering a bribe to a deputy of Jurmala City Council in an attempt to sway the mayor of Jūrmala 2005 elections. [203][204]
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. [205]
Koreagate 1976 An American scandal involving South Korean influence peddling in the US Congress. This was the first scandal after Watergate to receive the -gate suffix. [206]
LadyRussiagate 2022 A South African scandal involving the secretive docking of a sanctioned Russian cargo ship carrying military cargo at a naval base in South Africa. The United States accused South Africa of selling arms to Russia that would be used in its war with Ukraine resulting in the damaging of South African-USA bilateral relations. [207][208]
Leakgate 2015 An Indian scandal involving the theft and sale of government documents [209][210]
Lecterngate or Podiumgate 2023 Arkansas governor Sarah Huckabee Sanders' office purchased a replica of the Presidential Falcon lectern and road case using a state-issued credit card for $19,029.25, which was reimbursed by the Republican Party of Arkansas. Public record requests revealed the purchase to the public, and it was criticised for alleged waste and potential wrongdoing. The Arkansas General Assembly opened an audit. [211][212][213]
Lettergate 2022 Then Prime minister of Pakistan Imran Khan and his government allege that the United States government threatened Pakistan with 'consequences' if the vote of no-confidence were to fail and Khan was to remain in office, and that 'all would be forgiven' if Khan were removed. White House Communications Director Kate Bedingfield replied to this by saying "there is absolutely no truth to that allegation". [214]
Liquorgate 2022 Irrelevant licensing, extensions and inviting private firms and businessmen into liquor sector, shutting away government power and grip over the retail liquor sector in national capital of India, New Delhi. [215][216]
Lunaticgate 2016 During the 2016 Labour Party leadership election campaign, leadership challenger Owen Smith, in a speech to party members in Hammersmith on August 23, 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. [217]
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. [218][219]
Marocgate (also "Moroccogate") 2022 An alleged bribery scandal between Morocco and several members of the European Parliament, consisting of gifts and holidays costing up to €100,000 offered by Morocco to "obtain votes and defend its claims on Western Sahara". [220][221][222][223]
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. [224]
Merriongate 2021 Similar to the Golfgate scandal in 2020, former Minister for Children Katherine Zappone hosted an outdoor gathering on 21 July 2021 for 50 guests, including Tánaiste Leo Varadkar, at the Merrion Hotel in Dublin during the COVID-19 pandemic in Ireland, six days prior to her controversial appointment as an "UN special envoy" which was proposed by Simon Coveney. This resulted in widespread anger among opposition TDs. Ultimately Zappone would decline to take up the envoy role, which subsequently led to a motion of no confidence against Coveney for his handling of the affair. [225][226]
Minkgate 2020 The slaughter of all mink in Denmark under orders of the prime minister that were later revealed to have no legal basis, leading to snap elections following threats of a no-confidence vote [227]
Monicagate, Lewinskygate, Tailgate, or Sexgate ("Zippergate", "the Lewinsky scandal") 1990s Named after Monica Lewinsky, who had an "inappropriate relationship" with the then-US President Bill Clinton. [228]
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. [229]
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 US Attorney General were withdrawn due to the hiring of illegal aliens as nannies or the failure to pay taxes for them. [230]
Nannygate (2) 2006 Swedish scandal over the non-payment of employment taxes of nannies and obligatory television fees by members of the Reinfeldt cabinet. [231]
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. [232][233]
NISgate 2013 South Korean National Intelligence Service manipulated public opinion to promote the ruling party and Park Geun-hye. [234]
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. [235]
Nokiagate 2022 In May 2022, the Dutch state attorney revealed in a courtcase that Prime Minister Mark Rutte daily deleted all the text messages on his archaic Nokia mobile phone, which those he deemed important being forwarded or dictated to civil servants. This was referred to as "real-time archiving". The phone purportedly only had memory space for twenty messages. According to the Council of State, text messages are required by law to be stored to allow officials to be held accountable by the public. Rutte denied withholding information or breaking the law. Experts and opposition parties were critical. A motion of no confidence failed. [236][237][238]
Nueragate 2015 The Chilean president was accused of giving advantageous business deals and credits to her daughter-in-law ("nuera" in Spanish) through a position that her son also held in the government. [239]
Nukegate 2017 A political and legal scandal which arose from the abandonment of the Virgil C. Summer nuclear expansion project in South Carolina by South Carolina Electric & Gas (a subsidiary of SCANA) and the South Carolina Public Service Authority (known as Santee Cooper) in 2017. It was the largest business failure in the history of South Carolina and resulted in criminal charges. [240][241]
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. [242]
Palmargate 2003 Minister of Housing and Lands resigned and was arrested twice following bribery allegations regarding the lease of state owned land on the coast line of Mauritius. It involved the use of fake contracts by notaries, lawyers and political intermediaries to extort money from a local businessman. [243][244][245]
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.[246]

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.[247]

Pantigate 2014 Controversy surrounding payments by RTÉ after drag queen and LGBT activist Panti accused some anti-LGBT campaigners of homophobia [248]
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 [249]
Partygate (United Kingdom) 2021 A political scandal surrounding social gatherings of United Kingdom government and Conservative Party staff that took place during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and 2021, when there were public health restrictions on such gatherings. Whilst several lockdowns in the country were in place, reported gatherings occurred at 10 Downing Street, its garden, and other government buildings. Starting in December 2021, these attracted substantial media attention, public debate, and controversy. The scandal contributed to the downfall of Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was later found have deliberately misled the House, a contempt of Parliament. over the affair by a privileges committee, prompting his resignation as an MP in June 2023. [250]
Partygate (Hong Kong) 2022 A political scandal in Hong Kong involving the birthday party of Witman Hung during the COVID-19 pandemic [251]
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". [252]
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. [253]
Pemexgate 2000 Scandal involving the state-owned oil company Pemex in Mexico in which funds were used to support the political campaign of Carlos Romero Deschamps, the presidential candidate for the Institutional Revolutionary Party. [254]
Penelopegate 2017 Revelation that French presidential candidate François 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 €1 million in public wages. Known as both "Penelopegate" and "l'affaire Fillon" (the Fillon affair) in French. [255][256][257]
Petrogate 2008 The name given by the press in Peru to the corruption case regarding large amounts of oil. Norwegian mining company Discover Petroleum and state-owned Perupetro were involved, which prompted the resignation of cabinet ministers. [258]
Pizzagate 2014 Mayor of New York City Bill de Blasio dined on pizza with a fork and knife, causing a humorous reaction on the internet. [259]
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. [260]
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. [261][262][263]
Popcorngate 2021 Amid the COVID-19 pandemic and an ongoing curfew related to the pandemic, Quebec premier François Legault announced that movie theaters would be permitted to open in the province ahead of March break. However, with much of the province in the most restrictive "red" zone, the theaters were not permitted to sell popcorn or other concessions, unless they were located in the lesser restrictive "orange" zone. Legault justified that the move was so that patrons could keep their masks on throughout the entire movie, as a mask mandate had been in place in Quebec since July 18, 2020. The announcement was condemned by other MNAs as well as by movie theater mogul Vincenzo Guzzo (owner of Cinémas Guzzo, a prominent Quebec movie theater chain), who has been active on Twitter throughout the pandemic criticizing the handling of the pandemic by Legault. Quebec then announced that it would compensate movie theaters for the absence of popcorn sales. Guzzo refused the money and would not open his theaters until the end of May, when the curfew was lifted. [264][265][266]
Porngate 2012 Three members of the Karnataka Legislative Assembly in India resigned from their offices after accusations that they watched porn during government proceedings. [267]
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". [268][269]
Qatargate 2022 Ongoing political scandal in which politicians, political staffers, lobbyists, civil servants and their families are alleged to have been involved in corruption, money laundering and organised crime involving the state of Qatar in exchange for influence at the European Parliament. Qatar denies the allegations. Law enforcement authorities in Belgium, Italy and Greece seized €1.5 million in cash, confiscated computers and mobile phones, and charged four individuals with the alleged offences. [270][271][272]
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. [273]
Ranjangate 2020 A collection of audio recordings of phone calls between Sri Lankan parliamentarian Ranjan Ramanayake and several high-ranking government officials were leaked to the media. [274]
Ridoutgate (also known as the Ridout Road rentals) 2023 Singapore-based government agency Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) investigate about ministers K. Shanmugam and Vivian Balakrishnan on the rentals of 26 and 31 Ridout Road respectively, after a blog post was published by opposition politician Kenneth Jeyaretnam and initiate the case. Investigations held from 23 May until 28 June, and revealed that neither ministers were convicted, with Senior Minister Teo Chee Hean, who launched its independent review on the situation, mentioned that there are "no abuse of power or conflict of interest resulting in the ministers gaining any unfair advantage or privilege". [275]
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. [276]
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. [277]
Russiagate 2016 The controversy and Russia investigation that ensued after the 2016 US presidential election regarding the discovery of myriad secretive links between Trump associates and Russian officials and spies. [278]
Rywingate 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. [279]
St Louis gate or Saint Louis gate 2020 Corruption scandal in Mauritius regarding the award of a contract for the upgrade of an existing diesel power station at St. Louis, on the outskirts of capital city Port Louis. Burmeister & Wain Scandinavian Contractor (BWSC) of Denmark was awarded the contract by the Mauritian power-generating entity Central Electricity Board (CEB) following a tender issued in 2014. A whistleblower alerted the financier African Development Bank (ADB) that the award to BWSC occurred after bribes had been received by several CEB employees through an intermediary of BWSC who owns a Mauritian construction company. ADB investigated the claims and thus excluded BWSC from all future work for 21 months. Leader of Opposition Arvin Boolell raised this issue in Parliament and several employees of CEB were stood down. [280][281]
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. Salmond was eventually acquitted. [282][283]
(distinguish from the identically named conspiracy theory)
2019 Repeated assertions by US president Donald Trump, falsely claiming that Hurricane Dorian would hit Alabama, showing a map altered using a black marker pen, and having the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration publish statements in support of his claims. [284][285]
Shawinigate 1999 Canadian scandal involving then-Prime Minister Jean Chrétien's profiting from real estate deals in his home riding of Shawinigan, Quebec [286]
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?" [287]
Sleep-gate 2018 Conservative MP for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock, Bill Grant was twice caught sleeping in the House of Commons. First, in December 2017, Grant appeared to have fallen asleep during a debate on pensions equality for women however, he claimed he was "listening intently". Then, in July 2018, during questions to the then Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire, Grant was again caught asleep but this time admitted that he had taken "a wee nap" and was "guilty as charged". [288][289][290]
Sofagate 2021 The event when the first female EU commission president Ursula von der Leyen had to take place on a sofa while EU council president Charles Michel and Recep Tayyip Erdogan were offered seats [291]
Sophiegate 2001 Tape of a conversation between Sophie, Countess of Wessex and Mazher Mahmood. [292]
Squidgygate (also known as "Dianagate") 1992 Tape of a telephone conversation between Diana, Princess of Wales and a male friend. [293]
Stickygate 2020 During the recount for the 2020 New York's 22nd congressional district election, sticky notes used by some boards of elections to mark disputed ballots fell off and became attached to other ballots. [294]
Stormontgate 2005 Allegations of a Provisional Irish Republican Army spy ring operating in Stormont (Home to the Northern Ireland Assembly). [295]
Strippergate (Seattle) 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. [296]
Strippergate (Canada) 2004-5 Canadian federal immigration minister Judy Sgro was accused of providing favours to people who helped with her political campaigning during the 2004 Canadian federal election. [297]
Strippergate (Israel) 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) [298][299]
Swinggate 2019 Irish politician Maria Bailey sued a hotel after falling off a swing while holding a drink, at a time when insurance costs were rising due to high levels of personal injury claims. [300]
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. [301][302]
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. [303][304]
Taxigate 2005 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. [305]
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. [306][307][308]
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 East Coast 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. [309]
Travelgate 1993 Controversy surrounding the firings of White House Travel Office employees at the start of the Clinton administration. [310]
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. [311][312]
Troopergate (1) 1994 Allegations by two Arkansas state troopers that they arranged sexual liaisons for then-governor Bill Clinton. [313]
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. [314]
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. Palin uses the term "Taser-gate", a reference to the allegation that the trooper used a taser on his 10-year-old stepson. [315][316]
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 December 16 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. [317][318]
Tunagate 1985 Canada political scandal involving large quantities of possibly spoiled tuna that were sold to the public. [319]
Ukrainegate 2019 A conversation between Donald Trump and Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy in which an intelligence analyst who listened in on the conversation filed a whistleblower complaint that Trump was demanding that Ukraine commence an investigation of Hunter Biden (son of Joe Biden, a potential opponent in the 2020 United States presidential election), as well as unofficial clandestine diplomatic efforts by Rudy Giuliani and threats to withhold Congressionally-approved military aid. [320][321]
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. [322][323]
Valijagate 2007 Venezuelan-American entrepreneur Guido Antonini Wilson arrived in Argentina on a private flight hired by Argentine state officials carrying US$800,000 in cash, which he failed to declare. [324]
Watergate (United States) 1972–1974 The original "gate" scandal got its name from the Watergate Office Building, where two politically motivated burglaries took place in 1972. The Watergate scandal ultimately led to the resignation of US President Richard Nixon on August 9, 1974. [325]
Watergate (Australia) 2019– An Australian political scandal surrounding an AUD$80 million water buyback in 2017 by the Australian federal government as part of the Murray–Darling Basin Plan. The buyback was approved by Barnaby Joyce, and the money went to a private company registered in the Cayman Islands, which was co-founded by Angus Taylor. Joyce and Taylor were both government ministers and members of the National Party. [326]
Water Bottle-gate 2013 A media controversy wherein United States Senator Marco Rubio interrupted his rebuttal to President Obama's state of the union address to grab an offscreen bottle of water and take a drink. [327]
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. [328][329]
Weinergate 2011 US 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. [330][331]
Willowgate 1988–1989 A corruption scandal in Zimbabwe in which The Bulawayo Chronicle revealed illegal resale of automobile purchases by various government officials. The ensuing investigation resulted in the resignations of five members of President Robert Mugabe's cabinet. One of the five, Maurice Nyagumbo, later committed suicide after being charged with perjury. The reporters who had broken the story, Geoffrey Nyarota and Davison Maruziva, were subsequently removed from their posts. [332]
Vacunagate 2021 487 people (mainly senior officials of the Executive Power of Peru) were irregularly vaccinated against COVID-19. Among these people were former president Martín Vizcarra and high-ranking officials of the Peruvian government such as the Minister of Foreign Affairs Elizabeth Astete and the Minister of Health Pilar Mazzetti. [333][334]
Omtzigtgate, Scoutinggate or Scoutsgate (Dutch: Verkenningsgate, Verkennersgate) 2021 In March 2021, Dutch cabinet formation scout Kajsa Ollongren left Parliament in a hurry after learning of her positive COVID-test. A photograph showed her legible notes. It read among other things: "position Omtzigt, position elsewhere" (Dutch: positie Omtzigt, functie elders). Pieter Omtzigt is a critical and rebellious MP. Ollongren and her colleague resigned shortly after. Prime Minister and party leader Mark Rutte claimed that he had not discussed Omtzigt. Documents later showed the opposite. Rutte claimed he did not remember (Dutch: Ik heb er geen actieve herinnering aan, which became a stock phrase in society). After he said he had been notified of the documents' content hours before the debate and ahead of other leaders, and refused to say by whom, an unsuccessful motion of no confidence was introduced. [335]

Sports edit

Name Year Description Refs
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. [336]
Barçagate (1), or Bartogate 2020 During Josep Maria Bartomeu's presidency of Futbol Club Barcelona, the club allegedly hired a social media agency which protect the president's image, and spread defamation over popular figures related to the club. These included players such as Leo Messi, ex-players like Xavi, and even high-profile political figures such as Quim Torra and Carles Puigdemont. [337][338]
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. [339]
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. [340][341][342]
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. [343]
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. [344][345]
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 was 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). [346][347][348]
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. [349][350]
Crashgate 2008 The allegations of race fixing at the 2008 Singapore Grand Prix, where Renault team bosses Flavio Briatore and Pat Symonds allegedly ordered Nelson Piquet Jr. to crash, handing an advantage to his teammate, Fernando Alonso. Neither driver would be punished, but Symonds and Briatore would be banned from all FIA events for five years and indefinitely respectably, although this would later be overturned [351][352][353]
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. [354]
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. [355]
Grannygate 2006 A rugby league scandal involving New Zealand players, their family history and therefore their eligibility for the national team. The term was most recently invoked in the 2006 Rugby League Tri-Nations series, in which New Zealand was penalized for fielding hooker Nathan Fien despite his ineligibility. [356]
Homeworkgate 2013 Used to describe a controversial sequence of events that took place during the Australian cricket tour of India in 2013. [357][358]
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. [359]
Liegate 2009 Allegations of Lewis Hamilton lying to stewards at the 2009 Australian Grand Prix, where Hamilton and McLaren told stewards another driver passed him under the Safety car illegally when McLaren had ordered Hamilton to let the other driver pass. [360]
Lleytgate 2008 The sixth day of the 2008 Australian Open featured a long, five-set match between World No. 1 Roger Federer and Janko Tipsarević, 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. [361]
Lochtegate 2016 Scandal involving United States swim team members Ryan Lochte, Jimmy Feigen, Gunnar Bentz, and Jack Conger during the 2016 Summer Olympics held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. While initial news stories reported that Lochte and three other US swimmers had been robbed at gunpoint after a night out in Rio, later details emerged that the "armed robbers posing as police" were actually security guards at a gas station where the swimmers had urinated outside the bathroom and Lochte allegedly vandalized a framed poster, and ended with the swimmers providing money to the guards. Some of the swimmers were detained in Brazil as witnesses. Ultimately, the athletes each released statements, and one swimmer paid a fine of approximately $10,800 to a Brazilian charity in order to get his passport back. Lochte apologized for not being more candid about the gas station dispute, and subsequently lost four major sponsorships. [362]
Moggigate 2006 Football clubs of Italian Serie A were involved in a referee appointment scandal, named after Juventus general manager Luciano Moggi. [363]
Monkeygate 2008 During the verbal altercation between Andrew Symonds and Harbhajan Singh in the second Test between India and Australia in Sydney in 2008, the off-spinner allegedly hurled a racist abuse at Symonds, referring to him as a 'Monkey'.  [364]
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. [365][366][367]
Piegate 2017 During Sutton United's 0–2 loss to Arsenal in the 2016–17 FA Cup, Sutton United's goalkeeper Wayne Shaw knowingly 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. [368]
Pizzagate (also known as the "Battle of the Buffet") 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. [369][370]
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. [371][372][373]
Seatgate 2011 Referring to the scandal over 800 ticketed fans who were denied seats at Super Bowl XLV due to Fire Officials' regulations. [374]
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. [375]
Sirengate 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. [376]
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. [377]
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. [378][379]
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 at the expense of Hendrick Motorsports driver Jeff Gordon, who was subsequently added as a 13th Chase driver. [380]
Spygate (1) (also known as Stepneygate) 2007 Allegations of espionage in Formula One racing carried out by members of the McLaren team against the Ferrari team in 2007. The documents taken were given to the team by Ferrari factory worker Nigel Stepney. After unrelated events at the 2007 Hungarian Grand Prix launched an investigation, McLaren were disqualified from the Constructors' Championship and fined $100,000,000, however the drivers were not punished. [381][382][383]
Spygate (2) 2007 The scandal involving the New England Patriots' videotaping of the New York Jets defensive signals during a 2007 NFL game. [384]
Spygate (3) 2017 The scandal involving the Houston Astros using technology to steal signs from their opponents using a video camera hidden in center field during the 2017 season in which the Astros won the World Series. [385]
Stickygate 2021 The 2021 pitch doctoring controversy in Major League Baseball, referring to the sticky substances used by pitchers to enhance grip and spin. [386]
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.[387] In June 2017, the NCAA announced major penalties that, after a failed appeal by Louisville, forced the Cardinals to vacate their 2013 national title.[388] [389][390][391]
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. [392][393][394]
Tigergate 2010 A series of alleged and admitted marital infidelities by golf superstar Tiger Woods. [395]
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. [396]
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". [397]

Technology edit

Name Year Description Country Refs
Antennagate (also known as Gripgate) 2010 The name the media applied to the controversy over the Apple iPhone 4's antenna after initial users complained of dropped calls and Consumer Reports would not recommend it. United States [398]
Audiblegate 2020 The controversy around Audible secretly deducting costs of Audiobook returns from rights holders even though the listener had already listened to it before returning it. Worldwide [399]
Batterygate 2016 Involves the implementation of performance controls on older models of Apple's iPhone line in order to preserve system stability on degraded batteries. Worldwide
Bendgate 2014 Numerous people reported bent Apple iPhone 6 Plus phones, which was later reported on by Consumer Reports. United States [400][401]
Bumpgate 2008 Nvidia Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) chips experienced high failure rates because a design flaw lead to cracked solder bumps Worldwide [402][403][404]
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 power. United States
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 NOx pollution during real world driving Worldwide [405][406][407]
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 [408][409]
Flexgate 2019 Some of Apple's 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 [410][411]
Locationgate 2011 The controversy surrounding the discovery that the Apple iPhone stored location coordinates and timestamps of owner's movements in a hidden file, with a year's worth of location recorded on the phone. Led to multiple class action lawsuits, a US Senate hearing, and a mention on South Park. Worldwide [412][413]
MoFi Gate 2022 The controversy within the audiophile and vinyl communities surrounding the discovery that audiophile reissue label Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab was pressing records using digital masters, despite implying in their marketing that they were using all-analogue sources. Worldwide [414][415]
Notegate 2016 Lithium-ion batteries spontaneously combusting in Samsung's Galaxy Note 7. Worldwide [416]
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 [417]
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 at an inflated price under the guise of cutting-edge new technology. (see Russian article: Петрикгейт) Russia
Rapidgate (and Coldgate) 2018 A phenomenon in the rapid charging (DC Fast Charging, Supercharging) of a few electric car models (especially Nissan Leaf 2nd generation) where the charging speed is greatly reduced due to high battery temperatures after the first or second rapid charge. This causes much longer charging stops on long road trips. Most other cars have cooling systems and are not affected. Also, in low temperatures, Lithium Ion batteries would be damaged if charged too fast. Most cars can heat up their battery, either from the grid when plugged in, or even from the battery itself when a charging stop is planned. Worldwide [418]
Resolutiongate 2013 A controversy about the resolution on the Xbox One console. Worldwide [419]
Shirtgate 2014 Matt Taylor, a Rosetta mission project scientist, wore a homemade shirt at an ESA press conference that caused concern. United States [420][421]
Staingate 2015 Anger over reports that the anti-reflective coating appeared to be wearing off several Apple MacBook Pros, including mid-2012 to mid-2014 models sold between June 2012 and present. United States [422][423]
Webcamgate 2010 Lower Merion School District allegedly do surveillance by using student's Apple MacBooks United States [424][425]

Other edit

Name Year Description Refs
Buttergate 2020–2021 In February 2021, reports emerged regarding industry-wide changes in the consistency of Canadian-produced butter, which softened at a slower pace at room temperature than before. It was speculated that the increased use of palm oil or palmitic acid in feed by dairy farmers to help meet demand may have had an impact on the resulting butter products. [426][427]
Fartgate (United States) 2019 In November 2019 US Representative Eric Swalwell (D-CA) appeared on MSNBC's Hardball, when a fart sound "ripped through the airwaves". Swalwell denied the allegations, writing "It was not me!!!!!" to BuzzFeed News in a text. The show later attempted to explain away the sound, claiming "it was the #hardball mug scraping across the desk". [428][429]
Flossgate 2016 A scandal when the 2015 United States Dietary Guidelines for Americans[430] did not include a recommendation about flossing. [431]
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. [432]
Monkeygate 2018 The controversy after it was revealed that Volkswagen had experimented on monkeys to prove that diesel exhaust was not harmful to primates. [433]
Nutellagate 2013 A controversy at Columbia University surrounding allegations of widespread Nutella theft that cost the university $5,000 per week. [434]
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. [435]
Smooshgate 2018 A proposal for a JavaScript language feature called Array.prototype.flatten turns out to be Web-incompatible. The proposal author jokingly suggested renaming flatten to smoosh to avoid the compatibility issue. The joke was not clear to everyone, some people started to incorrectly believe that the new name had already been decided, and things escalated quickly. [436]

Conspiracy theories edit

These conspiracy theories have been given the -gate suffix by both supporters and critics of them.

Name Year Description Country Refs
Italygate 2020–present Allegations that the 2020 United States presidential election was rigged in Joe Biden's favor by switching votes from Donald Trump to Biden at the US Embassy in Rome. United States [437]
Kategate 2024 Speculation and gossip concerned with Catherine, Princess of Wales United Kingdom [438][439]
Obamagate 2020 Used by President Donald Trump as a nickname for unsubstantiated claims that his predecessor Barack Obama had spied on his incoming administration. United States [440]
Pencilgate 2016 Allegations that the use of pencils in UK voting stations in the lead-up to the EU membership referendum allowed for MI5 to erase the results of Brexit voters. This led to the hashtags #Usepens and #Pencilgate on social media in the UK. United Kingdom [441][442]
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. United Kingdom [443]
Pizzagate 2016–present In reference to an alleged child-sex trafficking ring run by high-ranking Democratic Party officials out of the basement of a pizza restaurant. United States [444]
(distinguish from the identically named political scandal)
2020 Allegations that the use of marker pens invalidated ballots in the 2020 United States presidential election in the state of Arizona. United States [445][446]
Spygate 2018 A conspiracy theory initiated by President Donald Trump in May 2018 that the Obama administration had put a spy in his 2016 presidential campaign for political purposes. United States [447]

In popular culture edit

The suffix has also been commonly used in the context of popular media, including satirical usage by television pundits and viewers of reality shows.

Film and television edit

Name Show Episode Description Refs
Bingate The Great British Bake Off[448] 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. [449]
Butterflygate RuPaul's Drag Race Season 10, Episode 14: "Grand Finale" Finalist Asia O'Hara attempts a revelation during her lip sync using live butterflies, but it does not go as intended [450]
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. [451][452]
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". [453]
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. [454][455][456]
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. [457][458][459]
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 a wardrobe-malfunction that comes to be referred to as "Muffgate". [460][461]
Notegate The Traitors US Season 1, Episode 3: 'Murder They Wrote' In Episode 3 just before the round table, Brandi (who was banished) and Kate discussed who is a traitor, in which they discussed the possibility of Shelbe and Amanda being The Traitors next target Shelbe's name was crossed out and after the round table in which Brandi was banished Anjelica found the note and shared it Cirie who revealed it to a small group of the remaining contestants Cirie dubbed it "Notegate"
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. [462][463]
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. [464][465][466]
Sharongate EastEnders Sharon (Letitia Dean) confessed on tape that she had slept with Phil (Steve McFadden), the brother of her husband Grant (Ross Kemp). [467][468]
Stargate Community "Contemporary American Poultry" A newspaper uses the name in a headline after the character Star-Burns is accused of controlling a chicken finger-laundering scandal. The newspaper also clarifies that the title is a reference to Watergate, not the 1994 film Stargate. [469]
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. [470]
"Stupid Watergate" Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Season 4, Episode 13 and Season 5, Episode 14 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".[471] [472][473]
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. [474][475][476]
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. [477]
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. [478][479][480]

References edit

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