Nothing’s worse than sitting down to watch a movie or show—anything from a good old-fashion rom-com, to a comedy, to a drama—and getting bombarded with an expectedly terrible, cringe-inducing and horribly awkward sex scene. And it’s even worse if you’re watching with your parents.
For every movie with a not-too-graphic, not-too-unrealistic, just-the-right-amount-of-sex sex scene, there’s another one that you can hardly bear to watch. For every rom-com with a cute, heartwarming romance, there’s another that makes you wonder: “Why is this even on TV?”
Whether it’s a scene that truly represents the awkwardness of sex, one that parodies and dramatizes that awkwardness for comedic effect, or one that’s meant to be serious but ends up being horribly cringeworthy, they’re all awkward just the same. So we’ve rounded up some of the most awkward sex scenes on TV & film, just so you won’t be caught off guard next time you watch.
1. Riverdale – “The Hills Have Eyes” (Season 2, Episode 14)
If you’ve ever watched Riverdale, you know that there’s a lot of romance (and a lot of the time it’s very, very uncalled for) but sometimes it’s just a bit too much. In this episode, Varchie and Bughead are at Veronica’s lake house without any parental supervision. Aside from the fact that they’re all supposed to be 15/16 years old (but who even believes that?), the fact that both couples have sex on opposites sides of the same wall is a little off-putting.
Just because it’s meant for comedic effect does not make this scene any less terrible. From the horrifying facial expressions of Jon Hamm to his maniacal laughter, this scene is pretty hard to watch. The only way to get through it is to simply avert your eyes, cover up the sounds with your own laughter and peek at the screen every once in a while through splayed fingers.
3. New Girl – “Virgins” (Season 2, Episode 23)
When a group of friends as hilarious and awkward as the ones in New Girl get together to share stories about how they lost their virginity, there’s bound to be some cringey ones. Whether you’re watching Jess get caught inside a small castle on a children’s playground mid-sex, or Shmidt falling off the top bunk in his dorm room covered petroleum jelly, you can’t help but laugh and cringe at the same time.
4. The First Time
Pretty much the entire movie is awkward. Centered around the couple’s “first time” (as the name implies), it’s full of some of the most uncomfortable romantic scenes around. But just because they’re supposed to be that way doesn’t make them any less cringeworthy. From Dylan O’Brien painfully struggling with a condom to the stony silence that eventually follows, the couple just can’t escape the awkward.
Although it may be an accurate representation, it’s not just the sex itself that’s awkward; it’s the fact that LadyBird and Kyle are on completely different pages. Although Kyle told LadyBird that he was a virgin (which solidified her decision to have sex with him), it turns out that he actually lied. Not only is he not a virgin, but he brushes away LadyBirds feelings of betrayal by reminding her that there are people dying at war. Awkwaaard.
6. Modern Family – “Caught in the Act” (Season 2, Episode 13)
Nothing’s worse than watching an awkward sex scene with your parents—nothing aside from what happens to Alex, Haley and Luke in this episode. After walking in on their parents having sex, things are made even worse when Claire screams her apologies and Phil yells “nothing’s happening.” If that doesn’t make you squirm in your seat, then nothing will.
7. The Fosters – “Dirty Laundry” (Season 4 Episode 18)
It’s not so much a sex scene as it is a sex ed talk, but it’s painful to watch all the same. Not only does Jesus ask permission from his mom to have sex with his girlfriend, Lena then has to explain to both Jesus and his girlfriend the exact process that they can do it (even though it’s because of his brain injury, it’s still very uncomfortable).
Next time you decide to switch on a rom-com, a drama or a seemingly harmless comedy, watch out—secondhand-embarrassment inducing sex scenes are everywhere.