The first season of Euphoria has officially come to a close. It quickly became one of the most talked-about shows in recent memory for a variety of reasons. The HBO series pulled no punches as it painted a realistic and often graphic picture of the lives of teenagers struggling with many different problems.
Drug addiction, nudity, homophobia, violence, blackmail, abusive relationships, and much more were explicitly showcased in Euphoria. Almost every episode was followed by a lengthy discussion across social media platforms. One topic that often came up was how wild the show was. We've picked out ten scenes that were the most controversial for several reasons.
10 Sex Scenes
When you watch a show on HBO or any premium cable channel, there is bound to be an abundance of sex scenes and nudity. That turned out to be the case with Euphoria, though some members of the audience found this to be a questionable decision.
Since the series centers around teenagers who are still in high school, depicting them in raunchy sex scenes is often seen as kind of tasteless. There are nude photos and a handful of sex scenes that we see a lot of, despite the characters being underage in almost every case.
9 Webcam Kat
This was controversial for similar reasons to the aforementioned sex scenes. Kat Hernandez (Barbie Ferreira) is a girl who begins the show as pretty innocent. However, she yearns to be more promiscuous and to explore her sexuality. That ultimately leads to her becoming more confident in herself and loving the way she looks, which she previously struggled with.
Her sex scenes are one thing, but it was her time as a webcam performer that drew more controversial responses. Considering that Kat interacts with grown men in a sexual manner during these webcam conversations, it can be uncomfortable. That was made even clearer when the show depicted one of these men pleasuring himself while talking to Kat.
8 Locker Room
As noted, nudity is a common aspect of premium cable shows. However, that is most often associated with females. Male nudity just doesn't happen as much in the world of film and television. That's not how Euphoria handled things. In just the second episode, "Stuntin' Like My Daddy," there's a scene that didn't shy away from male nudity at all.
The episode took viewers inside the locker room of the high school's football team. That scene was filled with a reported 37 penises on the screen at one time. That must be some kind of a record. It was considered controversial by some who aren't comfortable with that increased level of nudity.
7 Jules' Backstory
Jules Vaughn (Hunter Schafer) is a transgender girl who plays a major role in the series. A trend of the show was that most episodes opened by detailing the backstory of a particular character. The episode following Jules took us back to her childhood and how her parents dealt with the way she was feeling about her body.
On its own, this is a topic that gets a lot of conversation these days. What made this flashback so controversial was what Jules' mother does. She leaves a crying Jules all alone at a psychiatric hospital because she couldn't handle the fact that Jules wanted to transition. While there, Jules also started to self-harm and that's the kind of thing that can be very triggering for a lot of audiences.
6 Maddy And Nate
At a carnival where pretty much every character came together for one reason or another, Nate Jacobs (Jacob Elordi) attacked his girlfriend Maddy Perez (Alexa Demie). It was done both in retaliation for offensive names she called his mother and out of frustration as she had begun closing in on his secret. Nate violently choked Maddy in a scene that was hard to watch for many who have experienced that kind of relationship.
What made it more difficult was watching how Maddy constantly defended Nate. She understood how toxic he was and what he did to her, but she wouldn't give him up to the cops. Maddy did everything possible to cover it up. Watching the cops have to physically remove some of her clothing to see the bruises because she was so adamant about defending him was all too real for far too many viewers.
Poor Tyler (Lukas Gage). In the pilot episode, he seemed like just a random hookup for Maddy to make Nate jealous. But in the following episode, we found that Nate had become obsessed with Tyler. He snuck into Tyler's apartment and brutally beat him up to the point where he was hospitalized.
Nate didn't leave it at that. He then blackmailed Tyler to take the fall for him in the case of the abuse on Maddy by blackmailing him because Maddy was 17 when he hooked up with her. Nate used the same blackmail tactic to get Jules to pinpoint Tyler as the culprit as well. It was one of the many moments that made Nate the most hated character in the show.
4 Abortion Scene
One of the key plotlines heading into the season finale, "And Salt the Earth Behind You," was Cassie Howard's (Sydney Sweeney) pregnancy. She had an emotional conversation with the baby's father, Chris McKay (Algee Smith) in the prior episode and it was clear that he didn't want her to keep it. The finale spent several scenes cutting back to Cassie and her family dealing with the pregnancy.
Cassie went to an abortion clinic and had her pregnancy terminated. Any show that deals with this touchy topic often draws a lot of controversies. The fact that Euphoria did so in a more in-depth fashion than most is what made this scene stick out. Cassie listened to music as we saw the doctor doing the work and the nurse holding her hand.
3 Jules And Cal
The first glimpse that viewers got of Jules saw her preparing for a night out. We found that she was receiving sexts and on her way to meet a mysterious man at a hotel. The man turned out to be Cal Jacobs (Eric Dane). When you consider the twenty-plus year difference between the characters and the fact that Jules is underage, it makes the scene wildly uncomfortable.
To add to the experience, the show gave us a graphic sex scene between the two that looked more violent than you'd expect. The way Jules was just left in a heap at the end of it came across as something difficult to watch. It was a shocking sight for the pilot episode of a series.
Recently, Netflix made a major change to one of its most popular shows. They went back and edited out the graphic suicide scene in 13 Reasons Why because it was too controversial and upset many viewers. While the overdose scene in Euphoria isn't as striking, it was controversial for similar reasons.
The sight of Rue's (Zendaya) overdose is very tough to sit through. Her little sister finds her unconscious and we see as paramedics rush to try and save her life. They ultimately succeed, but it is still something that many audience members had dubbed as triggering.
1 One Direction Fan Fiction
Other than a series like South Park, animation isn't often a source for controversy. But Euphoria featured a rare animated scene that was the talk of Twitter for a few days. In the episode "Made You Look," we found out that Kat was quite popular online as a fanfiction writer. Her most famous entry revolved around some members of One Direction.
While we were told the story about Kat's fan fiction, an animated scene played out featuring One Direction members Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson in a sexual relationship. It angered many One Direction fans online and even Tomlinson himself addressed it. He took to Twitter to say that he didn't approve it. Some fans of One Direction went as far as to boycott the show.