There are few things in life more uncomfortable than settling down to watch a nice wholesome movie with your parents, only to be greeted with a completely unexpected jolt of passionate onscreen intimacy, complete with pleasurable screaming and/or way more flesh than you were mentally prepared for. How are you supposed to react? Make a joke to lighten the mood? Get up and take a conspicuously timed bathroom break? Avoid direct eye contact for the entire rest of the scene, then the rest of the movie, then the rest of your lives?
Whether you're a teen going to see a presumably appropriate film with your mom or dad, or a fully grown adult casually throwing on a fun family film over the holidays, the covert love scene is a universal awkward moment we've all had to grind through at some point in our lives. Take a look below at the most jarring love scenes you might've suffered through with your parents, and vote up the ones that you were truly the least prepared for.
Forrest Gump is a decades-long love story/historical reimagining that took the early '90s by storm and continues to run on TV regularly to this day. But amid the star-crossed brushes with Elvis Presley and John Lennon, the film diverges for a brief moment that either mortified - or simply confused - unsuspecting kids with their parents.
When Forrest (Tom Hanks) and his childhood best friend Jenny (Robin Wright) head to college, Jenny invites Forrest up to her dorm room on a rainy night. Suddenly, their strictly-friendly relationship takes a turn when Forrest admits he's never been with a girl. It's an innocent confession that prompts Jenny to take her top off and guide Forrest's hands to her chest.
Forrest then reacts by doing something that you might not have totally gotten if you saw this movie at too young of an age. Thankfully, the scene is mercifully short (no offense, Forrest), but not short enough to take away the awkwardness of watching it with your parents.
Jerry Maguire does have an R rating, but it's an endlessly quoted and eminently wholesome Oscar movie about falling in love and completing your soul mate, set in the unique world of sports agencies. For the most part, it does deliver on its promised storyline, with Jerry struggling to become a more honest man in a dishonest profession, Dorothy trying to date as a single mother, and one incredibly jarring jump-cut that ruined many a family movie night in the late '90s.
Renée Zellweger's character, Dorothy Boyd, is lovingly admiring her charismatic, soon-to-be-married boss, exclaiming (as a soft acoustic guitar strums), "Whoever snagged him must be some classy babe." This immediately jumps to Jerry's fiancée Avery screaming in furious ecstasy as they go at it against a bookshelf.
The scene continues for a solid 30 seconds, and comes in the first 20 minutes of the movie, leaving you on edge for the rest of what's actually a fairly romantic film. Jerry returning to get the love of his life who "completes" him? Perfect family entertainment. A half-minute of impromptu bookshelf banging? Not a fun cross-generational experience.
Ghostbusters is a wacky PG comedy about ghosts that every child of the '80s (and beyond) was universally obsessed with. It's about four goofballs of varying degrees of nerdiness investigating the paranormal - how could they turn that into a sensual escapade? Well, not only did the movie include a cringeworthy scene, but it also managed to make it the weirdest love scene possible.
While Ray (Dan Aykroyd) settles in for some rest at the firehouse, he dreams about an encounter with a ghost. In his dream, the ghost is a beautiful woman whose one goal in the afterlife, apparently, is to pleasure Ray. We see a quick image of the ghost before she disappears, and then we cut to some footage of Ray's belt and pants being undone. While that's as raunchy as we get on screen, the following footage of Ray's eyes rolling back in his head make it pretty clear what's going on in this fantasy.
Considering that the rest of the film is pretty kid-friendly, this scene sort of came out of nowhere. While it may have gone over your head as a child, the second you understood the implications, it quickly became the most awkward part of the entire film. You can't feign innocence forever. You and your parents both had to cop to the uncomfortable nature of this scene eventually, resulting in a weird interaction for everyone.
Titanic became the highest-grossing movie of all time in 1998 and obliterated the Academy Awards, earning a record-tying 14 Oscar nominations and winning 11 - every human on earth saw this movie in the theaters or on home video, often with a grown-up family member present. The film is part historical cross-class love story and part action movie, sandwiched around two particular scenes that every kid/mom duo getting in on the Titanic craze had to power through together.
In the more famous of the two scenes, Rose (Kate Winslet) asks her soon-to-be-lover Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) to paint her wearing nothing but a massive blue diamond, culminating in a lengthy, sensual painting scene that pushes the boundaries of the amount of skin a PG-13 movie can get away with. Then, the couple takes it one step further when they climb into the back of an automobile and get physical. And if there were any abiguity about what was happening in that car, Rose's hand dramtically slapping against the side of the window pretty much corrected that.
When watching the film with parents, there's a lot of awkward silence as you wait for Rose to finally slip back into her robe, only to be faced with the awkward encore of a steamy car ride. It's a perfect double-jolt of anxiety to segue into the film's action-packed climax.