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Hoda Kotb smiling wearing silver halter top

We all have embarrassing childhood memories, and celebrities are no exception. Today show host Hoda Kotb recently opened up about a “super painful” memory of a middle school game of spin-the-bottle. 

Kotb’s Experience With The Friend-Zone

Today co-host Jenna Bush Hager tested positive for COVID last week, so another fellow Today star, Willie Geist, joined the morning show as a substitute. He and Kotb discussed being stuck in the friend zone and Kotb was quick to share her own experiences. 

“I feel like I was always seen as the friend,” she told Geist. “When someone would approach at the dance, I would think ‘it’s happening, it’s happening,’ and they’re like ‘hey, do you think your friend would dance with me if I asked?’”

She then told a “super painful” story about a party she attended as a teen. “We were playing spin the bottle, we were in seventh grade, just for the kiss,” Kotb said. “Spun the bottle, it landed on a guy named Todd, and I had never been more excited.”

“Do you know what he said?” she asked Geist. “He said ‘I think that’s going a little too far.’ It was a bone crusher.” Geist jokingly replied, “Where’s Todd now? Todd, where you at, Todd?” 

Kotb laughed at her co-host’s response, before continuing: “I do remember thinking in that moment, oh my god, I don’t think I fit, I don’t know where my place is. For everybody who’s ever been the weird one, we know what you feel like!” Geist chimed in, saying, “The moral of the story is that someday you turn out to be Hoda Kotb.” The rest of the people in the studio responded with cheers.

Kotb’s Recent Honor

Kotb is currently on a career-high. She and fellow Today show host Savannah Guthrie were recently inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame, and she used her acceptance speech to encourage other women. 

After describing interviews with famous women like Viola Davis and Rita Moreno, both of whom described feeling “not worthy” of the success they had, Kotb said, “[That] brings me to the women in this room, all of the fabulous fantastic women in this room. I don’t know what you make in your salary but I’ll say this: you deserve more. I don’t know what position you have but you’re probably due a promotion. We need to know our worth.”

“This is a long way of saying, ask for what you want, ask for the raise, ask for the promotion, ask for the family, even if it’s just a whisper,” she continued, before concluding, “This award is to all the women who felt not worthy: you are worth it and so am I.”

While Kotb may have struggled with feeling accepted in her middle school years, her career success has made it clear she has come a long way from those days of feeling like “the weird one.”

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