13 Bad TV Sex Scenes That Taught Us Something

Note: This story was originally published on July 14, 2016.
We've all witnessed it — the awkward looks, the role play gone awry, and the uncontrollable sobbing. Watching your favorite TV characters have awful, hide-your-eyes-in-sorrow sex is a harrowing experience. But it can also be an enlightening one.

How many of us learned to check for guardrails before knocking boots on a roof from watching a guest star plunge to the end of her contract? Or that "jackrabbit sex" is truly not okay (unless you're actually into that sort of thing)? Sure, great sex is fun. But it's the mistakes and mishaps that we can really learn from.

These are the sort of lessons they don't teach us in sex-ed. Cue up the streaming services and grab a pen; you may want to avoid these pratfalls IRL.
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Felicity & Noel, Felicity (1999)
Getting it on in a dorm is always tricky. But even Team Noel diehards questioned their allegiance after the pair's awkwardly drawn-out plan to finally do the deed goes awry. Results: the death of an iMac, a Christmas-tree fire, and no actual sex. Score one for Team Ben.

Lesson: There's something to be said for spontaneity.
2 of 13
Jerry & Elaine, Seinfeld (1993)
After Elaine confesses that she never had an orgasm when she and Jerry dated, he begs for 30 minutes to prove his skills between the sheets and save their friendship. Elaine thinks it's a bad idea — and she's right. Jerry's too psyched out to perform and Elaine gets some quality time with a magazine.

Lesson: If your best friend is also your ex, maybe think twice about revisiting that honey pot.
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
E & Sloan, Entourage (2010)
When E and Sloan try anal sex for the first time like it’s an agenda item at the end of a trying day, not to mention a point of pride, it doesn’t turn out well. Go figure.

Lesson: Exploring boundaries takes time. And lube.
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Christian & Gina, Nip/Tuck (2008)
These two carry on a love-hate sexual relationship for five seasons of Ryan Murphy's twisted series, with most of the hate falling on Christian's side. Gina, a sex addict with borderline personality disorder, usually has a bomb to drop — like claiming to be pregnant with his child (when he's not the father) and revealing that she has HIV and he (and all his previous partners) should get tested. When she devises to win him back and he's finally had enough, Christian fucks her right off the edge of a building.

Lesson: Check those railings — and your lover's mood — before dropping trou on a rooftop.
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Adam & Hannah, Girls (2012)
These two might as well have invented cringe-worthy sex, but Adam calling Hannah a “dirty little whore” who uses a Cabbage Patch lunchbox and now needs his permission to come takes the cake. She also finds out that he’s sleeping around and doesn’t really like condoms, so there’s that, too.

Lesson: Agree on protection practices and role-play scenarios in advance.
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Jess & Paul, New Girl (2011)
Burned by a cheating ex (the only guy she's slept with since before Obama was in office), Jess is all nerves climbing into bed with Justin Long's Paul. After she consults the gang, picks up some soft-core fetish gear with Cece, and studies Schmidt's porn for pointers, it's Winston who doles out the best advice: Just be yourself. (This being Jess, awkwardness ensues, regardless.)

Lesson: Relax.
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Rachel & Joey, Friends (2003)
When has consummating a relationship ever been so difficult for two grown adults with neighboring apartments?

Lesson: Maybe don't do anything "in the interest of powering through."
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George & Meredith, Grey's Anatomy (2006)
Breaking into sobs while you're doing it? Hey, everyone has bad days. Though few as bad Meredith's. Even Grey's writers found it awful at the time. "It’s just so WRONG...you’re feeling kinda like the only thing left to do is...crawl under your desk and pretend it never happened," scribe Stacy McKee wrote of the incident.

Lesson: Some friends you just shouldn't sleep with. Ever.
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Eric & Talbot, True Blood (2010)
As payback for Russell slaughtering Eric’s entire family back in the day, the sexually fluid former Viking kills Russell’s beloved Talbot...while having sex with him.

Lesson: Don’t sleep with your enemies, or your partner’s, or maybe just vampires in general.

Watch it, here.
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Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Carrie & Berger, Sex and the City (2003)
These ladies have enough bizarre sexcapades between them to last a lifetime, but Carrie and Berger’s lukewarm attempts at making business are particularly, er, deflating, especially given their chemistry outside the bedroom. As the Post-It heard ‘round the world proves, Samantha’s right about this one.

Lesson: “Fuck me badly once, shame on you. Fuck me badly twice, shame on me.” — Samantha (Translation: It does not always get better.)
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Daya & Mendez (a.k.a. Pornstache), Orange Is the New Black (2013)
As an elaborate plan to protect her baby daddy, Bennett, Daya lures Pornstache into a utility closet rendezvous, so he can take the fall for consorting with an inmate. Her plan works when Caputo catches them in the act, but sorta backfires when Pornstache goes all High Fidelity on her.

Lesson: Lock the door — or don't, if you want to get caught.
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Theon & Yara Greyjoy, Game of Thrones (2012)
When Yara is first introduced in season 2, her brother, Theon (being the Theon of old), puts the moves on her. From behind. On a horse. Shudder. (At least Cersei and Jaime both go in with their eyes open.)

Lesson: Ask for a last name.
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Photo: Courtesy of Showtime.
Jenny & Dana, The L Word (2004)
Emo artist Jenny and type-A tennis champ Dana don’t meet until the end of the first season, each on their first visit to a lesbian bar. They go home together and try to make it work, but fans yelling “NOOO” into the TV actually worked, for once.

Lesson: Opposites may attract, but sometimes, they just don’t belong in bed together.
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