Tom Cruise went viral for jumping on Oprah's couch, but what happened in the next minute was so much worse.

It was the couch that broke the internet before the internet even really knew what the word 'viral' meant. 

Tom Cruise jumping on a couch while being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in 2005.

The imagery is iconic at this point. An overzealous and jubilant Cruise spends the entirety of his sit-down interview with the talk show host not really sitting down at all. Instead, he leaps up on the couch, hams it up with fist-pumping and excitedly shakes his host by the arms all while professing his deep love for his new girlfriend, Katie Holmes.

This interview has been studied and picked apart for years. You don't have to search far online to watch old clips, delve into opinion pieces or trace moments from the couch interview through to the end of #TomKat's relationship.

The full video of the infamous interview, however, is often never shown in its entirety. 

If you watch the full video, you'll see that Winfrey welcomed Cruise out on to the stage and it was clear that her ever-enthused audience would be willing participants in a Cruise-fest. This was pretty par for the course at a Winfrey taping but this particular day seemed to buzz a whole lot louder than usual.

"He's in the building!" Winfrey prepped her audience, almost encouraging the fanatics.

The stage was set and Cruise was no doubt taking on this energy while waiting for his cue to walk out.

He was adored and he knew it.


When welcomed on to the stage, it was clear that the promotion of his new film War of the Worlds was certainly not going to be the focal point of the interview. Publicists be damned, Cruise was in love with his new girlfriend, Katie Holmes, and he needed everyone to know about it.

What proceeded over the course of their chat was an intense and erratic display from Cruise. He could hardly answer questions without jolting into some sort of physical action — with the couch leaping of course being the most iconic of them all.

Winfrey — a seasoned journalist who could steer even the most steely of interviewees — had lost control of her guest. 

"He's gone!" she shouted almost in defeat as the A-list star gushed about his life away on her hit talk show.

"What has happened to you?" she said while fighting back bewildered giggles.

"I'm in love!" he shouted back. 

"I'm in love and it's one of these things where you want to be cool, like, 'Yeah I like her' ...that's not how I feel."

So who was this woman who had beguiled him to the point where he couldn't sit through an interview without proclaiming his utter adoration?

It all began back in October, 2004 when a 26-year-old Katie Holmes said in an interview that as a young girl she believed she would always marry Tom Cruise. It was a seemingly innocent admission if not a little on the nose given she was engaged to actor Chris Klein at the time. 


It's hard to say if her words put something into action but just six months later Holmes and Klein announced their breakup. Shortly after she was spotted on holidays with Cruise in April, 2005.

News of their relationship travelled far and wide, sweeping the tabloid world like wildfire. Everyone was lapping up this new pairing and magazine editors had found a dazzling A-list couple to plaster across their front pages.

There was no denying it: Cruise and Holmes were the new IT couple.

Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes in 2012. Image: Getty. 


Just one month later in May, 2005 Cruise appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show in the interview that sparked so much conversation. The relationship appeared to be moving at the speed of lightning and the public began questioning the legitimacy of this pairing.

Was it all for show? Surely a sane person who wasn't intent on pushing some agenda wouldn't behave so erratically. The comments came in from around the world and the jury had decided that Cruise's declaration of love for Holmes felt incredibly heavy-handed.

The couch jumping was one thing, but it was what happened towards the end of the taping which garnered a little less ridicule but is perhaps a lot more telling about what was really going on behind closed doors.

With a little bit of encouragement from Winfrey (who no doubt wanted to switch up the one-on-one energy with Cruise) she rallied the audience to start chanting "Katie" to encourage her to come out.

Cruise looks around and makes commentary about his girlfriend Katie most likely wanting to run for the hills. After the chanting doesn't have the desired effect an energetic Cruise bounds into the guts of the backstage area on the hunt for Holmes. Producers frantically scurry about not prepared for this off-script moment.

Then he finds her.


Crusie then appears to grab her and holds her arms behind her as he leads her through the corridors, pushing his clearly shy and embarrassed girlfriend into the frenzy of the live audience and cameras. The bright studio lights hit her face and she embraces Winfrey.

Cruise then lifts her up, her body becoming a trophy of sorts.

They kiss. The audience cheers. It's the off-the-cuff Hollywood moment producers dream off. Zing, in the bag, lights out, everyone go home.

More than a decade on, everyone remembers Cruise's couch jumping, but few people would remember the moment where Katie Holmes was pulled from backstage to be held up for the audience in order to achieve another round of applause. It's also a moment she has never been able to speak publicly about. 

In the wake of the interview it was clear this was the beginning of the downfall of Cruise's public identity for a moment in time. Up until that point he was still somewhat a bonafide Hollywood star albeit with some raised eyebrows from the public thanks to his connections to the Church of Scientology.

Years later it appears that Cruise has placed the blame for the interview on Winfrey and show producers. 

In Seth Rogen's 2021 book of essays, Yearbook Rogen opened up about an alleged encounter he had with Cruise. Apparently in 2006 the comedian visited Cruise's home to discuss a potential work collaboration.

During the meeting Rogen alleges that Cruise spoke about the Winfrey interview and implied that producers had edited the interaction to make him look bad.


"Well, yeah, they're making it seem like I'm losing my mind," Cruise allegedly told Rogen. "There's a coordinated effort to make it appear that way.

They're scrambling and they're doing everything they can to discredit me so I won't hurt sales anymore."

Despite this anecdotal information Cruise has never really publically opened up about the backlash he received after the Winfrey interview. But perhaps, the proof was in the pudding as his personal life began to come somewhat unstuck in the following years.

After a brief courtship Cruise proposed to Holmes in 2005 then in early 2006 they welcomed their only child together, a girl named Suri. By late 2006 they were married in a lavish Italian ceremony and sold their exclusive picture rights to tabloid magazines.

Then in 2012, in what many labelled an escape, Holmes pulled off a shock split from her husband which was by all accounts a very stealth and secret operation. After a lightning-speed divorce proceeding the pair reached a custody agreement after just 11 days which granted Holmes sole custody of their young daughter, Suri.

The allegation has always been that after being indoctrinated into the Scientology religion Holmes became unsettled by their practices and wanted to protect her daughter from what was going on within the church.

In a separate court proceeding years later, Cruise was pressed by lawyers who asked if his ex-wife had filed for divorce in order to protect Suri from Scientology.


"There is no need to protect my daughter from my religion," Cruise responded at the time.

However, years later it's hard to say whether those sentiments hold up. Cruise and his daughter Suri haven't been seen together in public since 2012 and it largely appears as if Holmes has raised their child without any involvement from her ex-husband.

Just weeks ago Suri celebrated her high school graduation marking a major milestone without Cruise by her side. It's widely reported she has even dropped his last name and now goes by 'Suri Noelle' a nod to her mother's middle name.

As far as timelines go, the breakdown of Cruise and Holmes' relationship has always been steeped in speculation with details that may forever be bound by watertight legal documents.

The couch jumping incident will forever be tied up in the story of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' romance, but very few people will remember the moment he pulled her from backstage in a frenzy, her arms seemingly pinned behind her back.

Yet in hindsight it is a moment that paints their very public relationship in a new light. 

Feature Image: OWN.

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