Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi have been known to surprise each other with some pretty incredible gifts. Naturally, DeGeneres wanted to keep that streak going for the 15th anniversary of when they began dating, so she planned a grand romantic gesture — which turned out to be a little less grand than she expected.

The talk-show host told her audience about the gift on Tuesday, December 4, explaining that although she and her wife agreed not to exchange presents, she still wanted to mark the special occasion in some way. To that end, she decided to hire a plane to skywrite a message for de Rossi. When the company told her that it would be overcast and too cloudy to see anything written in skywriting, she suggested that they instead use a banner with the number 15 and a heart.

“You’ve seen those planes fly huge banners and you can see them,” she explained. “So I thought that would be really funny to surprise her.” As the plane flew by, though, DeGeneres realized she “should have specified the size.”

When the big moment came, the comedian led de Rossi outside and casually pointed out the plane. Unfortunately, the anniversary message had been written on a small banner that was barely visible. “I kept pointing to it. And she’s like, ‘What is that?'” DeGeneres quipped. “That’s what I get for hiring the same company that makes fortune cookies. It was so tiny.”

DeGeneres also posted the unintentionally hilarious moment to Twitter. In the video, you can hear the couple laugh as the plane flies by. So even though the gesture didn’t turn out as expected, it was still a memorable (and happy!) moment.

Have you ever had a gift go terribly wrong? Let us know @BritandCo!

(photo via Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)