Most Awkward TV Sex Scenes That Will Make You Cringe

Television gets a lot of things right. From series that capture millennials perfectly to crime dramas that have you leaping off your couch, TV is getting better and better, and that includes the sex scenes. From Outlander to Insecure, the chemistry between some of our favorite characters is off the charts. (Seriously, did anyone watch The Tudors?)

Unfortunately, for as many amazing sex scenes that get us all hot and bothered on TV, there are some that make us want to vomit. Sometimes, the actors simply aren’t vibing and other times, the sex makes no sense for the characters. In some cases, the location of the hot and sweaty tumbles makes us want to turn away from the television screen altogether.

Listed from fairly gross to completely unbearable, here are some of the most awkward sex scenes to ever grace our TV screens.

16. Fleabag and Arsehole Guy — Fleabag

Fleabag & Arsehole Guy standing in front of a river.

Fleabag & Arsehole Guy | Two Brothers Pictures

As the series opens, we meet Fleabag (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) who is in the midst of getting down with Arsehole Guy (Ben Aldridge). As Arsehole begins to take liberties about where he places his “man parts,” Fleabag begins to narrate the entire encounter as it happens.

It’s pretty awful, and we all felt as uncomfortable as Fleabag did. It gets worse the next morning when we see Arsehole watching Fleabag sleep and stroking her face.

15. Monica and Chandler — Friends

We adore Monica (Courteney Cox) and Chandler (Matthew Perry) just like everyone one else, but we’ll never forgive Friends for subjecting us to that horrid vapor rub sex scene. Monica had always been a control freak, but in Season 6, she took it to a whole new level.

Deciding that being sick was a sign of weakness, Monica refused to lay down and get some rest. Instead, she set out to seduce Chandler but aggressively rubbing vapor rub over her body. We haven’t looked at Vicks the same way since.

14. Adam and Hannah — Girls

Hannah and Adam walk down a street together while talking.

Girls | HBO

Adam (Adam Driver) and Hannah (Lena Dunham) were a weird couple to begin with. Subjecting us to their awkward first sexual encounter on Girls — which involved doggy style and the “wrong hole” –makes us shudder everytime we think about it.

During the rendezvous, Hannah begins to describe why she’s just not down for anal sex until Adam hushes her and tells her to play the quiet game as he continues on with the act. Barf

13. Louie and a nameless woman — Louie

Louie does cringeworthy perfectly, but usually, it didn’t involve intercourse. In one particular episode, Louie (Louis C.K.) hooks up with a mother at his daughters’ school. Though the two decide to engage in no-strings-attached sex, the woman throws him for a loop when she changes into a horrible nightgown, lotions up her legs, and sends him on a wild goose chase for blueberries, among other things.

The episode ends with the woman eating the blueberries while sobbing on her bed. Awkward is not even the word.

12. Jerry and Elaine — Seinfield

Jerry and Elaine sit in his apartment looking straight ahead and smiling.

Seinfield | NBC

A ton of nonsensical things happened on Seinfeld, but perhaps none more uncomfortable than the non-sex scene between Jerry (Jerry Seinfeld) and Elaine (Julia Louis-Dreyfuss). After learning that Karen (Lisa Edelstein) had been faking her orgasms with George (Jason Alexander), Jerry becomes obsessed with getting a redo with Elaine — apparently, he was never able to get her to the finish line.

Though Elaine initially refuses to engage with him, she eventually decides to give him 30 minutes in order to save their friendship. Tragically, Jerry had psyched himself out so much that his equipment wasn’t able to rise to the occasion.

11. Jamie and Cersei — Game of Thrones

Jaime holding Cersei's head in his hand, kneeling in front of her as they look into each other's eyes

Game of Thrones | HBO

As the pilot of Game of Thrones closed and we witnessed twins Jamie (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Cersei (Lena Headey) Lannister going at it, we nearly expired. Unfortunately, after catching the siblings in the act, poor Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) nearly did as well.

Over the course of seven seasons, we’ve watched the twins engage in various nefarious acts across the Seven Kingdoms, and it’s disgusting every single time.

10. Red and Kitty — That ’70s Show

Catching your parents going at it is enough to make any kid want to curl up in a hole and die, which is why we felt so bad for Eric (Topher Grace) on That ’70s Show. Ignoring all of the signs, including creepy porn music and candlelight mood lighting, Eric goes barging into his parents’ bedroom and catches them in their birthday suits getting down.

Luckily, the crew at That ’70s Show spared the audience the visuals, and we got to witness it all through Eric’s horrified and disgusted facial expressions.

9. Sylvia and Don — Mad Men

If you thought Eric had it bad, then you must not remember what poor Sally Draper (Kiernan Shipka) had to endure on Mad Men. On the series, Sally walks in on her married father and her married neighbor, Sylvia (Linda Cardellini), in coitus. Obviously, she freaks out.

This wasn’t the first time Sally had to enure the wrongdoings of adults. She also caught her stepmom’s mother Marie (Julia Ormond), and her father’s business partner Roger Sterling (John Slattery) engaged in some oral play. Yikes

8. Rachel and Joey — Friends

Joey and Rachel stand in front of a tropical wall at a hotel.

Friends | NBC

We knew that the Friends writers didn’t care about us when they put Rachel (Jennifer Aniston) and Joey (Matt LeBlanc) together in the tenth season. It was just gross. Their relationship was brief and icky, and it made our stomach turn when they first decided to have sex.

Luckily, the act never actually happened since Rachel slapped Joey’s hand away everytime he tried to touch her. She ends up kneeing him in the family jewels — killing both the moment and the relationship for good.

7. Schmidt and Elizabeth — New Girl

Elizabeth looks at Schmidt as he smiles at her

New Girl | Fox

Poor Schmidt (Max Greenfield) never wanted to admit to Nick (Jake Johnson) that his first time was with his college girlfriend Elizabeth (Merrit Wever). Unfortunately, Nick, who was super high at the time, was actually present when the deed went down.

Unable to move because of some magic mushrooms, Nick listened as Schmidt gets lube in Elizabeth’s eye while they floundered around on the top bunk. Awful.

6. Walter and Skyler — Breaking Bad

Walter & Skyler standing in front of stacks of money.

Breaking Bad | AMC

Pre-Heisenberg, Walter White (Bryan Cranston) was living a pretty sad life on Breaking Bad. On his 50th birthday, we watched his very pregnant wife Skyler (Anna Gun) give him a tragically lackluster handjob.

She had one hand down his pants while she focused on her computer. As she continued with her hand and her work, she asked Walter to paint the bedroom that weekend. The only (slight) saving grace is that she calls him “birthday boy,” but that didn’t make the scene less cringeworthy.

5. Alan and Lyndsey — Two and a Half Men

Lyndsey and Alan look at each other while standing outside of a house

Two and a Half Men | CBS

Poor Alan (Jon Cryer) could never catch a break on Two and a Half Men. It was always his brother Charlie (Charlie Sheen) who had all of the swag and fun.  A hopeless romantic, Alan took his girlfriend Lyndsey (Courtney Thorne-Smith) on a romantic getaway, but things don’t go exactly to plan.

Initially, Lyndsey doesn’t feel well and spends a great deal of the evening in the restroom. Alan tries to salvage the night and orders strawberries and oysters to get her in the mood. Unfortunately, while waiting for her, he consumes too many oysters and gets pretty sick himself — just as Lyndsey returns to the bedroom. It was not pretty.

4. Noel and Felicity — Felicity

First-time sexual encounters are almost never sexy, as was the case with Felicity (Keri Russell) and her sort-of boyfriend Noel (Scott Foley). In fact, it was so bad that they almost set their dorm room aflame. After deciding she wanted to have sex with Noel, Felicity gets all in her head about making sure everything is perfect.

In the end, it’s over before it even gets started. Noel knocks over a candle during foreplay, and some guys even walk in on the couple. To this day, we haven’t recovered. 

3. Carrie and Brody — Homeland

Carrie and Brody kiss inside a bedroom.

Homeland | Showtime

In the second season of the critically acclaimed series Homeland, Carrie (Claire Danes) knowing that her hotel room is bugged entices Brody (Damian Lewis) into some very loud sex.

Her CIA coworkers are then forced to listen in as the two go at each other. It made us want to peel off our skin, it was so uncomfortable.

2. Robin and Ted — How I Met Your Mother

Robin and Ted hugging in inside their apartment.

How I Met Your Mother | CBS

Sometimes people are better off as friends — as was the case with Robin (Cobie Smulders) and Ted (Josh Radnor) on How I Met Your Mother. Though the two tried to make it in the romantic department, fans were relieved when they broke up, and Robin finally got together with Barney (Neil Patrick Harris).

Unfortunately, Barney thought it was a wise idea to go to Ted for tips on how to please Robin, and fans were subjected to a strange sex scene of Ted caressing Robin’s knees as she grimaced at him.

1. Barney and Nora — How I Met Your Mother

Barney and Nora talking in front of a building as they face each other.

How I Met Your Mother | CBS

Poor Barney starts to lose his mind when his brother (Wayne Brady) comes to visit and points out the similarities between Barney’s girlfriend Nora (Nazanin Boniadi) and their mom (Frances Conroy). Both women call Barney “my sweet boy,” and they even hug in a very similar matter.

Barney lets it all go to his head, and later, when he and Nora are trying to get it on, he sees his mother’s face above him. Talk about an actual nightmare.

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