Romanian political elites strategically used moments of crisis to solve unrelated political problems. These moments included the formation and termination of cabinets. At times, political entrepreneurs tried to force cabinet changes through authoritarian innovations. In so doing, politicians increased the country's risk of democratic backsliding. In particular, in their reactions to the 2008 financial crisis and to the COVID-19 pandemic, politicians sought to modify how some institutions function to take over or increase executive power and challenged the rule of law in the process. Forced cabinet changes for political gains also increased coalition instability. Political elites' choices to use moments of disruption opportunistically reaffirmed entrenched patterns in Romanian coalition politics. The role of the president in coalition formation, political parties' fluid ideologies and flexibility in adjusting their issue positions, and extreme party switching are the main factors that explain the instability of Romanian political coalitions.