Sex is a beautiful thing, right? It’s about love, compatibility and chemistry – and in the world of TV there have been some spectacular and… affecting sex scenes between our favorite characters. But we all know that, just like real life, it’s not always going to be as great as we hope it to be. Sometimes the timing is off, the location is disturbing and, let’s face it, sometimes you’re just doing it with the wrong person, for the wrong reasons.
There’s something unfathomably watchable about cringe-worthy TV, and sex scenes are at the very top end of the unbearably awkward scale.
Here is Screen Rant’s list of the 10 Most Awkward TV Sex Scenes.
10. Jerry and Elaine – Seinfeld
After finding out that Karen (Lisa Edelstein) has been faking her orgasms with George (Jason Alexander), Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld) begins to boast that no-one has ever faked an orgasm with him – cue comedy timing, and in walks Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss), who proceeds to explain that she in fact never had an orgasm while having sex with Jerry.
After this exchange, Jerry insists that Elaine let him have another try at getting her to climax…which, of course, she declines – stating that it would ruin their friendship. However, as the episode draws on, he sulks more and more, becoming bitter and snapping at her at any opportunity. Eventually she gives in, giving him half an hour – “to save the friendship”.
9. Robin and Ted – How I Met Your Mother
Robin (Cobie Smulders) and Barney (Neil Patrick Harris) shippers everywhere rejoiced when the How I Met Your Mother couple finally gave in to their feelings and became a couple. However, Barney’s history with women left him feeling a little nervous about his ability to be a “boyfriend.” Luckily for him (and not at all weird…), his best bro Ted (Josh Radnor) had traveled the land before, and he prepared his best tips on how to impress Robin.
However, as we learn in a flash back, his knowledge turned out to be less helpful than he thought. Robin clears up a discrepancy in Ted’s lesson on her “surprising erogenous zones” through a flashback to an incredibly awkward sex scene, wherein Ted is caressing a noticeable grimacing Robin’s knees.
8. Selma and Troy McClure – The Simpsons
In this classic Simpsons episode, we see Troy McClure (Phil Hartman) attempt to further his career and put to bed rumors about his disturbing relationship with fish by becoming a “family man” and marrying Selma Bouvier (Julie Kavner), one of Marge’s sisters.
She eventually figures out that the marriage is a sham, but agrees to stick around anyway – until Troy’s agent (guest star Jeff Goldblum) insists that he will get a movie part if he has a baby. The attempt at conception is pitiful, with both parties at either side of the room claiming “why don’t you come over here” and ultimately neither of them making the move.
7. Walt and Skyler White – Breaking Bad
In the Breaking Bad pilot, we see Walter White (Bryan Cranston) celebrating his 50th birthday with his family, before retiring to the bedroom with his pregnant wife, Skyler (Anna Gunn). In a sad depiction of the life Walt is living, and a genius scene by the Breaking Bad writers, Skyler proceeds to inelegantly shove her hand down his pants under the sheets – whilst still on her laptop. Calling him “birthday boy” she begins, and then carries on with their conversation as though it isn’t happening.
Throughout the turgid display, Skyler asks what his plans are for the weekend, before hassling him to paint the bedroom. Both awkward and depressing, the scene sets the tone of Walt’s mediocre life perfectly.
6. Schmidt and Elizabeth – New Girl
Season 2 of New Girl sees the guys discussing how they lost their respective virginities. Schmidt (Max Greenfield) looks back at his obese college days, when he was ready to lose his v-card to his college girlfriend, Elizabeth (Merrit Wever) – even though he refuses to admit to Nick (Jake Johnson) that it was to be his first time – “Back in high school they used to call me the sex … the sex haver.”
Unfortunately, as it happens, a very wasted Nick (who has been taking magic mushrooms) is unable to leave the room as Scmidt tells his story, due to the troll he hallucinated is at the end of his bed. Also, his arm has become a magnet and the wall is magnetic. So he’s stuck listening as Schmidt gets lube in his Elizabeth’s eyes and subsequently flounders around on the top bunk, slipping on to the floor just as Nick is trying to sneak off.
5. Alan and Lyndsey – Two and a Half Men
Poor Alan Harper (Jon Cryer) could never catch a break on Two and a Half Men. After whisking his new love, Lyndsey (Courtney Thorne-Smith) off to a romantic hotel for the evening, she spends the first part of the date feeling unwell in the bathroom. Unperturbed, Alan gets his fill of the strawberries and oysters he has so thoughtfully ordered for the room.
Finally feeling better, Lyndsey begins to get amorous with Alan – while talking intermittently about her ex-husband and comparing the two.
And of course, if that wasn’t bad enough, as things begin to heat up between the couple, Alan’s stomach makes an almighty gurgle, ending with him rushing to the bathroom to relinquish the disturbing oyster and strawberry combination, leaving Lyndsey to fall asleep alone.
4. Rachel and Joey – Friends
Opinions were divided when the Friends writers paired together Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) and Joey (Matt LeBlanc) in season 10. Throughout the later seasons, the two of them had individually developed feelings for each other which ebbed at the surface. The writers have since admitted that this turn of events was a plot device they used to keep Ross (David Schwimmer) and Rachel apart until the series finale.
After a rocky start to their brief relationship, Joey and Rachel finally commit to having sex for the first time. After her giggly first time with Ross way back in season 2, it was to be expected that Rachel would have a little trouble controlling her emotions in the same situation with Joey. She couldn’t help but slap his hand away every time he attempted to touch her – which leads them to “power through.” Perhaps not the greatest idea, as she eventually knees him in the groin, finally killing any romance in the moment once and for all – and ultimately ending their relationship.
3. Will and Charlotte – The Inbetweeners
The UK Comedy The Inbetweeners follows a group of misfit teenage boys as they attend high school and face what many teenage boys face – including, of course, losing their virginities. While none of them particularly want to admit to never having had sex, Will (Simon Bird) is thrilled to find that one of the popular, Charlotte (Emily Atack) girls wants him to come over, and that he will finally pop his cherry.
However, if she wasn’t certain that he hadn’t had any practice before; it wouldn’t be long before she found out. Will remains stiff and moves his entire body as one as he grinds, clueless, on top of a very unimpressed Charlotte.
2. Mark and Dobby – Peep Show
Before Mark (David Mitchell) and Dobby (Isy Suttie) became a fully-fledged couple, there was a moment of sexual tension between the two of them in the JLB Credit office stationery cupboard. Peep Show has the innovative quirk of being shot entirely from the characters’ points of view, which only makes more a more cringe-worthy experience, particularly during the sex scenes.
There are plenty of awkward moments on offer in Peep Show, but Dobby grinding her backside against Mark until he makes a bit of a mess (to put it politely) before claiming that he needs post-its is definitely up there – predominantly because of the running inner-monologue throughout the entire escapade. “I’m just a filthy statue” Mark thinks to himself – before running in to his ex-wife in the hallway, still decidedly.
1. Hannah and Adam – Girls
It’s very difficult to choose just one awkward sex scene from Girls, but our first encounter with Hannah (Lena Dunham) and Adam (Adam Driver) on the couch is definitely high on the list. The pair are about to “get feisty” doggy style, when Adam makes a thrust for the wrong hole.
In true Hannah fashion, she begins to explain in excess detail her lack of desire for that kind of an evening, before being instructed by Adam to “play the quiet game,” shushing her and continuing emotionlessly behind her. Romance isn’t dead, after all…
Can you think of any other awkward sex scenes that should be on this list? Let us know in the comments!