How GBBO Fans Really Feel About Paul Hollywood's Season 12 Handshakes

For those unfamiliar, "The Great British Bake Off" is a popular television show where unofficially trained bakers compete in weekly competitions to show off their various baking skills in order to win the title of the "U.K.'s Best Amateur Baker" (via the official website). Paul Hollywood, a pretty well-liked judge on the show, has fans watching his every move, especially when he attempted to dress up as country legend Billy Ray Cyrus as well as "Game of Thrones" characters.

But, recently the focus has shifted from what he is wearing to what he is doing with his hands. As early as 2019, viewers have noticed his signature move to dole out handshakes to competitors is becoming too much. Hollywood's handshake, critics say, started off as a once-in-a-while gesture for those who accomplished big feats, but it's quickly become a now ritual offered to pretty much anyone and everyone — and fans don't really appreciate it. Vulture even called it "the absolute worst."

Why people are upset with the Hollywood Handshake

In 2018, Buzzfeed dug into the "Hollywood Handshake" phenomenon and its rising excessive nature. A fan requested the investigation to find out why Paul Hollywood has become so liberal with them. Even the article says the handshake was once "super-rare," but confirmed that the regularity of the accolade has been "hyper-inflated" — the conclusion they came to after watching every episode to see how many times it occurred.

A Reddit chain also confirms fans' displeasure with the handshake usage, with one person pointing out, "There was a time when handshakes were sprinkled throughout the season and reserved for the best of the best bakes." Another replied, "The handshake thing has jumped the shark." And another Redditor pointed out, it's gotten so out of hand that there is even an online counter at While some might argue that those tracking the number of handshakes have a bit too much time on their own hands, it definitely seems the repeated gesture holds a bit less weight now than it did when they were first handed out. Maybe it's time for Hollywood to come up with a new move?