We’re tired of these glamorized sex scenes in movies—the truth is that sex is awkward and weird sometimes, and we love when movies get it right. There’s nothing quite like a painfully awkward sex scene in a movie, whether it’s played for laughs or for discomfort. We’ve collected a list of the most awkward sex scenes in movies, ranging from the hilarious to the embarrassing, cringe-worthy, and hard to watch.
Read on to see if your favorites made the cut. We’ve included video clips for some, but others were just a little too NSFW.
So your wife took some of her own genetic material and combined it with animal DNA to create a new creature that you guys are raising like your own daughter. But then your daughter grows up and amid the marsupial, reptilian, and cat-like features are some human ones, like breasts and female reproductive organs – what do you do? Have sex with her, of course. Adrien Brody having sex with the Dren creature from ‘Splice’ is definitely awkward – she’s kind of like his daughter and she’s also pretty much an animal, which makes this scene some terrifying combo of bestiality and incest.
Sylvester Stallone is woken from cryo-sleep to help the police in the future catch the most dangerous criminal in existence, but things are pretty different in the future. For instance, when you use the bathroom, instead of toilet paper there are three mysterious seashells (and we will never know what was up with that). And you don’t have physical contact during sex because of disease and the risk of pregnancy (smart) – instead you don some virtual reality helmets, like Sly does with Sandra Bullock, and things get really weird.
Judd Apatow’s comedy provides an honest look at pregnancy, and as such features a scene that helps us understand what it’s like to have sex when you’re pregnant. Don’t act like you’ve never wondered. It’s about as sweaty and uncomfortable as we imagined – Allison (Katherine Heigl) is incredibly self-conscious about her much rounder body, while Ben (Seth Rogen) is terrified that by having sex with her he’ll somehow “poke” the baby, even though that’s pretty much impossible. The combination of neuroses is disastrous, leaving both parties frustrated and dissatisfied.
There are few songs less appropriate for sexy times than Leonard Cohen’s original version of “Hallelujah” – come on, everyone knows if you’re going to get down to “Hallelujah” you go with the Jeff Buckley version. Cohen’s vocals are amazing, no doubt, but can be jarringly quirky to some, making this sex scene between Silk Spectre (Malin Akerman) and Nite Owl (Patrick Wilson) on his owl ship just a little bit silly. Leonard Cohen is great and all, but he’s definitely not what most people consider appropriate “mood music.” Unfortunately, the end result becomes unintentionally hilarious and corny. [You can watch the NSFW scene here.]
When Aura (Lena Dunham) returns home from college, she’s at a loss for what to do next. Eventually she takes a job as a hostess at a restaurant and develops a crush on a guy who has a girlfriend. The pair hook up anyway – in a concrete construction pipe, doggy style. The weird location is enough to invite discomfort, but the real awkwardness arrives when Aura gets what she wants from this guy and realizes it doesn’t make a lick of a difference.
‘The 40-Year-Old Virgin’
Andy (Steve Carell) is, as the title says, a 40 year old virgin. He spends the film’s runtime feeling increased pressure to finally lose his virginity, especially after meeting a beautiful single mother (Catherine Keener). There’s nothing awkward about their eventual sex scene, but when we flash back to see the times that Andy has attempted to have sex in the past, one scene is particularly cringe-worthy: in college, a young woman tries to suck Andy’s big toe while they’re fooling around, leading him to kick her in the face and give her a bloody nose. It hurts to watch.
‘Howard the Duck’
And then there was that time that Lea Thompson almost had sex with a giant duck. In ‘Howard the Duck,’ an alien duck with a fondness for cigars is beamed to Earth, where Lea Thomspon takes him in. In this scene, the pair joke about hooking up, but things almost become very real when Thompson starts putting the moves on her new duck friend. Thankfully, she’s stopped before she can take her top off and go too far. The 80s were a strange time.
Put teenagers and sex together and the results are guaranteed to be awkward. In ‘Superbad,’ Evan (Michael Cera) really wants to hook up with Becca (Martha MacIsaac), but by the time he gets to the party, she’s already pretty wasted. And while Evan hesitates because he knows sex shouldn’t be like this, Becca persists and hilariously attempts some dirty talk. In the end, she throws up and freaks out, drunkenly accusing Evan of not liking her because he won’t have sex with a drunk girl. The first time is always so special.
Not all sex scenes are hilariously awkward. Some are depressingly awkward and feel a little too real, like the ones between Helen Hunt and John Hawkes in ‘The Sessions.’ Hawkes plays a man paralyzed due to a bout of polio when he was a child, and Helen Hunt is the sex therapist he hires to help him lose his virginity and attempt a legitimate sex life. Hunt’s confidence is inspiring and helps make the scenes easier to digest, but Hawkes’ inability to control his own body is consistently heartbreaking and hard to watch.
‘Requiem For a Dream’
Perhaps the most depressing and uncomfortable sex scene in film history belongs to Darren Aronofsky’s ‘Requiem for a Dream.’ Jennifer Connelly’s character is desperate for heroin and nearing rock bottom when she decides to call up Keith David, who will give her heroin in exchange for sexual favors. She thinks it’s harmless enough until she shows up at his apartment, where Connelly is expected to double-team a sex toy with another desperate woman while drunk, wealthy men throw money and yell at them. The way Aronofsky films the scene creates the illusion that Connelly is actually participating in the sex act, and while it’s painful enough to watch, her sweaty, pained face makes things extra uncomfortable. The footage is woven together with the climactic scenes from the other lead characters’ stories, making this sequence intense and cringe-inducing.
‘Team America: World Police’
Never did we think we’d see puppets having sex on film, but then Trey Parker and Matt Stone had to go and prove us wrong. It wasn’t enough to film two puppets going at it – the guys had to really make it over the top, and so we get to watch puppets have sex in every imaginable position and then urinate and defecate on each other. And strangely, that’s not the awkward part. What makes this scene so great is that the melodrama is cranked to 11, and these puppets are really taking each other seriously.
The opening scene of ‘Bridesmaids’ contains one of the most instantly memorable sex scenes of all time. We know Jon Hamm best as the slick and suave Don Draper on ‘Mad Men,’ but writer and star Kristen Wiig wisely casts him as a guy who’s incredibly attractive but the equivalent of tone deaf when it comes to sex. He’s completely sexually incompatible with Wiig’s character, but she keeps going back to him because he’s just so damn sexy. The pair get into some horribly awkward positions, make ridiculous faces, and have sex with each other with all the grace of seizure victims.
‘Observe and Report’
This sex scene—if you can even call it that—from Jody Hill’s dark comedy ‘Observe and Report’ definitely skews to the more painful and uncomfortable side of awkward. Seth Rogen’s character finally gets Anna Faris’ snobby cosmetic counter assistant to go on a date with him, but she gets too drunk at dinner and takes some of his prescription meds, resulting in what appears to be date rape as Rogen humps her passed-out body. But then Faris, whose head rests on a vomit-stained pillow, stirs and tells him to do it harder… so, not date rape?
Either way, incredibly awkward.
There’s no question about it—Will Forte’s horrifically uncomfortable sex scenes in his satire of the classic MacGyver character are the ultimate in awkward movie sex. Whether he’s having imagined sex with the ghost of his dead wife on her grave or getting down with Kristen Wiig, Forte’s awkwardly whiny sex noises and movements are the perfect combo of cringe-worthy and hilarious, made all the more delightful because MacGruber has like, zero self-awareness in bed. And making things even better (worse?) is the use of Mr. Mister’s 80s classic “Broken Wings.” Oof