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The most awkward kissing scenes of the past decade

It's no secret that filming kissing scenes in movies can often be far more uncomfortable than the way it ends up appearing onscreen. Having to make out with someone while an entire crew of people watches, even when (or sometimes especially when) working across from a kissworthy hearthrob of a co-star, can often be among of the most awkward experiences of an actor's career. Every so often, that outright discomfort is visible in the finished product, and the results end up being memorable in the worst way.

At the same time, some onscreen kisses are actually supposed to be awkward, putting the audience in the characters' uncomfortable situation and heightening the tension with an added level of physical intimacy. The past decade of movies has seen its fair share of both kinds of awkward kissing scenes, and here's a not-so-fond look back at the ones we'll still be cringing at in the years to come.

Rupert Grint and Emma Watson in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2011)

While it's a bit weird that a kiss between two teenage characters would be widely anticipated, Harry Potter and Deathly Hallows Part 2 is a franchise-concluding exception. Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley's (Rupert Grint) combative relationship begins to soften ever so slightly once they admit their romantic feelings for each other. After a particularly harrowing series of events in which their survival is far from assured, Hermione and Ron finally lock lips. But rather than taking the audience deeper into this intense moment and the terrifying events that preceded it, their kiss is awkward enough to have the audience looking away. 

Talking to MTV News, Watson confessed that she and Grint were extremely uncomfortable and nervous during filming, and Watson in particular since it was her first proper onscreen kiss. "I was like, 'Do I use tongue?' Do I not use tongue? Do I cover my teeth? What do I do? Do I go first? Oh my God!' Which explains what happened next: "I ended up pouncing on Rupert. I was so desperate to get it over. After the first take he was like, 'Whoa, there! Where did that come from?' I was like, 'Sorry!'" This kiss was awkward for everyone involved.

Liam Hemsworth and Jennifer Lawrence in Hunger Games (2012-2015)

One of the foundations of the plot of Hunger Games, aside from poor children killing children for the entertainment of the rich, is the love triangle that develops between Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence), and rival suitors Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) and Gale (Liam Hemsworth), often serving as a welcome romantic break from all the state-sanctioned murdering. But absolutely none of these three actors enjoyed their kissing scenes — and for good reason. In Catching Fire, Katniss and Peeta share a post-CPR kiss with a drippy backstory. While filming one of the takes, Jennifer Lawrence had a "snot bomb" running down her face... right into Josh Hutcherson's mouth. Nobody volunteered as tribute for that

Like Hunger Games meeting Jackass, this wasn't Jennifer Lawrence's only nasty kiss on set. Being good friends with Liam Hemsworth in real life, Lawrence decided to prank her co-star before their scheduled kissing scenes. Talking to The Independent, Hemsworth recalled, "If we had a kissing scene, she would make a point of eating garlic or tuna fish or something that was disgusting and right before the scene she'd be like 'I didn't brush my teeth.' I'd be like 'great, I can't wait to get in there and taste it.'" This information puts an entirely different spin on all of Katniss and Gale's romantic moments. 

Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Silver Linings Playbook garnered a whole host of awards season attention, winning Oscars, BAFTA, SAG, and Independent Spirit Awards for this quirky drama about a mentally ill man Pat (Bradley Cooper) who is forced to move back in with his parents after his marriage falls apart. While there, he gets caught up with manic pixie dream girl Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) who manages to rope him into being her dance partner for a ballroom competition. While their onscreen smooch did win an MTV Movie Award for Best Kiss, their saliva swap was as awkward to film as it was to watch. On The Graham Norton Show (via Daily Mail), Cooper revealed that Lawrence called him out on set for being a bad kisser, "After the second take [Lawrence] said, 'You're a wet kisser,'" he recalled. "You don't want to hear that. It was not a compliment."

Adam Devine and Rebel Wilson in Pitch Perfect 2 (2015)

After proposing to his longtime girlfriend Fat Amy (Rebel Wilson), Bumper (Adam DeVine) is unceremoniously and publicly dumped by Amy, who claims she is far from ready to stop playing the field, even though in Pitch Perfect 2 (and its predecessor) she's only been interested in him. They spend much of the movie apart until Amy has an epiphany at a capella boot camp and decides she really does love him and now wants to change her final answer to a resounding "yes." To the tune of Pat Benatar's We Belong sung by Wilson and DeVine (but not a capella for once), Bumper and Amy reconnect in one of the most awkward kissing scenes of the past decade — although this one's definitely awkward on purpose. As they weirdly lip-lock and roll around the grass while also managing to keep singing, the awkwardness heightens the romantic comedy ick factor we've come to know and love since gross-out rom-coms like There's Something About Mary.  

Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie in The Tourist (2010)

Angelina Jolie is no stranger to being called out for awkward onscreen kisses, which is bizarre considering she's consistently named one of the world's most beautiful women. First it was her uncomfortable and passionless lip-lock with James McAvoy in 2008's Wanted, which was as awkward to film as it was to watch

But this past decade, she and co-star Johnny Depp get the prize for lackluster kissing scenes everyone expected to smolder. Instead, their makeout sessions are about as spicy as a boiled potato — and Depp told the Mirror (via Digital Spy) that he was uncomfortable filming the scenes and had to use humor to get through them. It just goes to show that just because a movie casts two gorgeous leads doesn't mean there will be onscreen chemistry. 

Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt in Jurassic World (2015)

As the dinosaurs take over once again in Jurassic World, the fourth installment of the popular movie adaptations of Michael Crichton's bestselling novels, a lot of questionable things go down on Isla Nublar. First, they've made a hybrid dinosaur from recombinant DNA that is not only majorly aggressive, but its chameleon traits allow it to fully blend into any surroundings. Second, as Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), Owen (Chris Pratt), and her nephews are being hunted by dinosaurs, Claire and Owen share an awkward lip lock that is completely out of place. Yes, there are indeed times in life when a well-timed kiss even amid inappropriate circumstances can help to relieve tension, whether in real life or onscreen. But the jury is still out on whether this applies to being under attack from hordes of dinosaurs as the island you're on burns up from one end to the other. Funnily enough, according to Jurassic World's leading lady, the kiss was unscripted and spontaneous — which only makes it worse that it came off so awkward.

Octavia Spencer and Corey Fogelmanis in Ma (2019)

Tate Taylor's revenge horror Ma features Octavia Spencer as Sue Ann Ellington, a veterinary assistant in a small American town. After a group of high school kids headed by Andy Hawkins (Corey Fogelmanis) asks Sue Ann to buy liquor for them, she realizes that these are the children of her own high school bullies — and she begins concocting an elaborate plan to get back at the people who most badly hurt her, including Andy's dad Ben (Luke Evans). As Sue Ann rampages her way through her list of offenders, she ends up kissing young Andy, who is attempting to placate her more violent impulses. Unlike many of the awkward kisses of the last decade, this scene is orchestrated to creepy effect on purpose, highlighting Sue Ann's post-traumatic psychosis as well as how far the teens will go in order to survive. 

Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt in Passengers (2016)

The Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt sci-fi drama Passengers doesn't only feature one of the most awkward kissing scenes of the past decade, it's also arguably one of the most uncomfortable movies of the decade to boot with an incredibly problematic plot. Pratt plays Jim, a passenger on a space colony ship who wakes up decades early during the voyage. He sees another passenger, Aurora (Lawrence) who he falls in love with at first sight, and decides to wake her up so he won't be alone anymore — despite the fact that it'll doom her to death on the ship along with him. Yikes. 

It's a while before Aurora finds out her awakening wasn't an accident like Jim's, at which point they've already begun a relationship that includes physical intimacy. Passengers was Jennifer Lawrence's first sex scene, as well as her first time kissing a married co-star. She was so uncomfortable with the scenario she ended up getting really drunk to film their scenes, which only made the situation even more awkward to film and to watch. Sadly, the awkward kissing scenes are far from the most uncomfortable aspects of this hugely troubling movie.   

Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley in The Spectacular Now (2013)

Shailene Woodley isn't only known for her acting chops and strong performances in films like the Divergent series as well as HBO's Big Little Lies. She's also known to be really into holistic therapies, Chinese medicine, and clean eating. You'd think her healthy lifestyle would make her an optimal kissing partner, but her The Spectacular Now co-star Miles Teller has a different perspective. 

Talking to Variety, Teller recalled, "Before our first kissing scene, Shailene took these Chinese dirt supplements and shoved them in her mouth. It's like a dirt pouch, and it smells like crap... She always has a mason jar and 100% of the time it smells like crap." Luckily for Teller, most of their kissing scenes were in the middle of fraught and complicated situations, so he didn't necessarily need to look like he was fully enjoying things.

James McAvoy and Anya Taylor-Thompson in Split (2016)

After several bombs, master of the twist ending M. Night Shyamalan returned in 2016 with the multiple personality horror movie Split (which also ended up being a sequel to his 2000 film Unbreakable and the centerpiece of a trilogy that ended with 2019's Glass). James McAvoy plays Kevin Wendell Crumb, a man so traumatized by the abuse he survived as a child he has created an entire army of alternate personalities that help him cope. From prim schoolmarm Patricia to militant Dennis and flamboyant Barry, these personalities have begun to merge into the Horde and the Beast, a violent being who defies the laws of nature. 

The Horde has kidnapped three high school girls, including Casey Cooke (Anya Taylor-Thompson), and is keeping them prisoner for the Beast's next meal. One of Kevin's alters is nine-year-old Hedwig, who Casey manages to bond with and almost allows her to escape. In the process, Hedwig asks if he can kiss Casey, who has no choice but to comply. The result is a most awkward kiss that has viewers looking away from the screen as much as the onscreen gore. McAvoy's turn as Hedwig is so realistic you almost forget he's actually a grown man, which makes it that much harder to watch him kissing a teenage girl.

Michael Fassbender and Michael Fassbender in Alien Covenant (2017)

There is still so much that is unclear about the sixth installment of the Alien franchise. Set years after the future events depicted in Prometheus, Alien: Covenant finds the android David (Michael Fassbender) after he's fashioned himself a kingdom on the home planet of humanity's creators, called the Engineers. David lures a colony ship on their way to terraform a new planet to his home on Paradise, where he meets Walter (Fassbender), a new android model who looks just like David. David shows Walter his creepy lair, covered in sketches of the Xenomorph creature, jars filled with all kinds of weird stuff, and a variety of tools and instruments that David has been creating or repurposing. After teaching Walter how to play the flute, David kisses Walter full on the mouth. Why he does this is never explained — maybe an expression of pure narcissism to kiss his identical twin? — but it is as awkward as awkward gets, made worse by the fact that David tries to kill Walter almost immediately after. 

Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon in Water for Elephants (2011)

Pleasantville star Reese Witherspoon had a decidedly unpleasant experience on the set of her carnival period piece Water for Elephants with co-star Robert Pattinson. This romantic drama involves Pattinson as a Jacob, a veterinary student who drops out of school to join the Benzini Brothers Circus. There Jacob meets Marlena (Witherspoon) and her abusive partner, the big top ringmaster August (Christoph Waltz), and he can't help but fall in love with this beautiful but damaged woman even though August's temper would put them all in danger if he ever found out. 

During one of their kissing scenes, the music swells in elaborate and emotional waves, but Pattinson admitted to MTV, "I was doing it when I had a really bad cold. My nose is running all over the place, and it was in one of the additional photography scenes, and Reese had this wig on, and literally, I was wiping my nose on her wig." Witherspoon corroborated his story, saying, "He did have a very runny nose, yeah. It wasn't appealing; it wasn't pleasant."

Jennifer Aniston and Will Poulter in We're the Millers (2013)

There's nothing like implied incest to make any situation awkward. In We're the Millers, drug dealer David Clark (Jason Sudeikis) has to smuggle an RV full of marijuana across the border and needs a cover family to help. He enlists dancer Sarah Rose (Jennifer Aniston) to be his pretend wife, and runaway Casey (Emma Roberts) and his neighbor Kenny (Will Poulter) to round out the fake family. On the way they link up with another family, and Kenny starts crushing on their daughter Melissa (Molly Quinn). Kenny wants to make a move but doesn't know how to kiss, so Casey and Sarah Rose give him a detailed tutorial. Of course Melissa walks in on them, horrified, not realizing that these folks aren't actually family at all. Awkward! Since this reveal potentially threatens their cover story, more hijinks ensue for "The Millers." According to Poulter, the scene was as awkward to film as it was to watch.

Jamie Dornan and Dakota Johnson in the Fifty Shades Trilogy (2015-2017)

E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy was a bestselling set of fan fiction inspired by Twilight but with a twist — pun intended. Like the books, the film adaptation explores the abusive relationship masquerading as kink between Anastasia (Dakota Johnson) and her lover Christian Grey (Jamie Dornan). While other films featuring the most awkward kissing scenes of the last decade only had one major offender per movie, all three of the Fifty Shades trilogy are almost exclusively awkward kissing scenes, with even more awkward dialogue and absurd plot details thrown in to pad the pair's problematic relationship. Although the duo's infamously bumpy backstage relationship thawed over the course of filming the trilogy, filming those hookups never really got easier. "Shot of whiskey [and] mints," Johnson said when asked to describe their pre-sex scene rituals. "He does pushups and I just lay there and drink whiskey."

Taylor Lautner and Kristen Stewart in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse (2010)

As if being a love triangle between an ancient sparkly vampire who looks like a teenager and a young werewolf wasn't awkward enough, The Twilight Saga is filled to the brim with overwrought acting and dialogue. But for leading lady Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), one of the most awkward of too many uncomfortable moments comes when she attempts to make her vampire boyfriend Edward (Robert Pattinson) jealous by making out with werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner). The scene by itself is cringeworthy enough to match the rest of the movie, but Stewart struggled on the set since her character's behavior "was so against everything that Bella's always been." A teenage girl obsessed with a much older vampire, who then ends up also kissing her good friend the werewolf? This all perfectly tracks for Bella and her many bad decisions.

Chris Evans and Emily VanCamp in Captain America: Civil War (2016)

By the close of Avengers: Endgame, the decades-long love affair between Captain America, a.k.a. Steve Rogers (Chris Evans), and Peggy Carter (Hayley Atwell) ends up taking on new prominence as the Avengers undo Thanos' (Josh Brolin) murderous snap. It was undeniable how much Cap loved Peggy — but Captain America: Civil War features an unintentionally awkward kiss between Cap and Peggy's great-niece Sharon Carter (Emily VanCamp), which takes place after they've both attended Peggy's funeral. Atwell herself told Entertainment Weekly, "I wouldn't want to date my great aunt's guy. It just feels like it crosses an incestuous boundary. And Peggy just died. That's even more disrespectful, right? It's like, 'Don't touch that. You can't tap that!" Not only does Atwell have an excellent point, Evans and VanCamp also had questionable onscreen chemistry that made a problematic kiss even more awkward to watch.