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The Steamiest Scenes From Married... With Children

This content was paid for by Sony and created by Looper.

When "Married... with Children" debuted as one of the very first shows on the brand-new Fox network in 1987, it was an one-of-a-kind TV gem. In an era when scripted television was pretty much limited to a few broadcast networks who had to program content with broad appeal that wouldn't offend network censors or advertisers, along came a family sitcom that wasn't really appropriate for the whole family, and which was about a family that really didn't like each other (or themselves, or their lives for that matter). One of the first dark comedies to ever hit big or run long (the series ran for 262 episodes, and until 1997), "Married with... Children" made TV legends out of stars Ed O'Neill, Katey Sagal, and Christina Applegate because it was so audaciously different, cynical, and crude. It became a TV classic in part because it was openly human, daring to depict life's moments of intimacy and passion in a way no show had done before.

Here are all the most memorable, steamiest, envelope-pushing, hot-under-the-collar, almost too-hot-for-TV, and full-on racy moments in the history of "Married... with Children."

Peg has some hot dance scenes with a dashing stranger

In the 1990 "Married ... with Children" episode "The Dance Show," Peg grows so frustrated with husband Al's refusal to pay her any attention of any kind that she addresses the possibility of finding it elsewhere. It's not like she sets out to have an affair, but she thinks she just might when, going out dancing with her friend Marcy a couple times a week, she meets a kind and charming man named Andy. 

While the recently divorced Marcy gets hot and heavy with a succession of young, smiling, physically affectionate hunks, Peg enjoys an escalating relationship with Andy, who calls her Lola, calls her the most beautiful woman he's ever known (behind his mother and Judy Garland), and he leads her in erotic, teasing fast-dances and holds her close during intimate slow numbers. They finally come clean to one another, admitting they're both married, but with the idea of an affair off the table, the dancing just gets comically dirtier. Eventually, Peg gets the attention and romance she wanted when Al shows up, seemingly to threaten and beat up Andy, much to his wife's delight. But he's actually there to tell Andy to leave his wife alone and go home, so this plot arc ends with Al and Peg slow-dancing it out.

Peg cleans up, Al gets excited

The central conflict, and eternal joke, of "Married...with Children" is that Peg adamantly refuses to do any sort of housework —cooking, cleaning — whatsoever, leaving husband Al frustrated, hungry, and resentful. In return, Al is so put off by Peg's self-righteous laziness that he has lost all romantic interest in her, which she craves and asks for on an extremely frequent basis. Thus, it's kind of an event, both titillating and heartwarming, when Al and Peg's libidos line up and aim at each other. 

Ultimately, this is exactly what happens during the 1989 episode "Hot Off the Grill." Al, feeling uncharacteristically warm toward his family, decides to celebrate Labor Day with an outdoor family cookout. That requires all hands on deck for preparation, forcing Peg to begrudgingly clean. However, just the mere idea or sight of seeing Peg clean gets Al more hot and bothered than he's been in years. He simply must have Peg and he definitely goes for it, exhausting her with his aggressive advances anywhere and everywhere in the Bundy home, including on the patio table.

Just who is that mystery dancer who overwhelms Al?

It's not like Al Bundy has lost of all of his carnal interest in the opposite sex after life strips him of all hope, dignity, and passion — he's just lost most of his desire for Peg, his adversarial but libidinous spouse. Al still has an eye for the ladies, as evidenced by his enjoyment of a men's magazine called "Big'Uns," and his semi-frequent trips with his friends to a local adult establishment with the hilariously and openly crude name The Jiggly Room.

During the business's "amateur night" in the 1997 episode "Live Nude Peg," Al's two worlds — his home life and home-away-from-home life — collide, and with sexy results. Asked to judge the contest, a dancer evoking a scantily clad Jasmine from "Aladdin" look lures a thrilled Al up on stage and gives him a very personal, very physical dance in front of all the patrons. Tongue-tied and turned on, he tries to make a quick exit because he really needs to go see his wife, to, well, burn off some of that energy. Of course, by then the dancer removes her mask and everybody else, as well as viewers at home, learn that the dancer is his wife. Who knew Peg had such sultry moves?

Peg and Marcy have a little fun

While Al Bundy and his boorishly sexist friends in the anti-woman NO MA'AM league often go out and ogle dancers at a strip club, in the heavily charged-up two-part 1987 episode "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," the tables turn when Peg Bundy and Marcy go out on the town. After witnessing her husband Steve leer at an attractive female repair tech, Marcy is so jealous and hurt that she seeks revenge by taking Peg to a strip club featuring only scantily clad muscle-bound male dancers. 

It becomes a repeat engagement until Marcy feels deep regret over a very close encounter. While pawing a little too aggressively at one of the dancers, her wedding ring slips off and winds up somewhere deep in the guy's pants. Wracked with guilt, she won't own up to why it's missing to Steve, until the dancer personally returns it to Marcy. But as the strip club nights drive a rift between Marcy and Steve, it's a different story for the Bundys. All revved up after watching real-life guys lose their clothes and gyrate around a few inches in front of her, Peg gets so turned on that she takes all that energy back home and gives it all to a very surprised Al.

Al can't deal with a little blonde ambition

Al Bundy is a sad sack of a middle-aged man — the kind of guy who obsesses pointlessly over other life paths he could have taken, and how great he believes his life used to be before he got trapped in a life of misery, mediocrity, and marriage. In the 1987 episode "Al Loses his Cherry," Al's frustrations manifest in a big fight with his wife, Peg, and he leaves home, at least temporarily, to calm down and sleep it off at the home of his best friend Luke, a smug ladies' man and bachelor type.

In addition to Al, Luke ends up entertaining two more unexpected guests that evening: neighbors Terry and Sherry Cherry, a pair of young, blonde, and heavily flirtatious flight attendant sisters. In other words, they're exactly the kind of woman that Al wishes he could be with and figures he could be with, in another life. After Terry goes off with Luke, Al and Sherry are left alone. She offers a massage, which gets pretty intimate, especially after she explicitly consents to going farther physically with Al. But he just can't do it — he just can't cheat on his wife. He rushes home, finds Peg in the bedroom, patches things up, and they presumably make love... after Al presents a blonde wig for his wife to wear.

Al and Peg's couch encounter

"But I Didn't Shoot the Deputy" is only the third-ever episode of "Married... with Children," but by this point, the show has already established its unique take on the sitcom: a revolutionarily frank and open attitude about physical acts of love, boasting a cynical tone completely antithetical to the squeaky-clean family programs that dominated broadcast TV in 1987. One such scene in this early first-season episode illustrates both concepts. 

With Peg on the couch watching TV, Al comes home from work and convinces his wife to rub his back. Things quickly escalate — she kisses his neck, he breaks up the massage to kiss her powerfully in return. Implying that he's ready for much more, Al asks where the kids are, because he doesn't want them to interrupt. Peg explains they're in their rooms, but to ensure they don't come out, yells up and asks them to help her with some kitchen chores. Their doors slam, and Al and Peg are left alone to get frisky, right there on the couch in the living room. Unfortunately for them, their spontaneous rendezvous ends almost immediately when a bunch of neighbors show up.

A true dream of a Married... with Children episode

Erotic dreams are almost universally embarrassing. There's just something awkward and uncomfortable about one's own brain devising some kind of fictional, sexy scenario all on its own. It feels like a real betrayal when an erotic dream occurs about someone from one's own life, and someone to whom they feel little more than repulsion. Relatability and complex feelings — that's why the 1987 "Married... with Children" episode "Nightmare on Al's Street" is so amusing and ribald.

The Bundys' neighbor Marcy is Al's one true enemy, since she can return the vicious insults back just as quickly as Al can dish them out — particularly as they revolve around one another's appearance and perceived lack of desirability. But clearly, Al gets into Marcy's subconscious, because she starts to suffer from a series of recurring and steamy dreams in which Al is the central character. In one sleepy fantasy, Marcy's husband Steve arrives home early from a trip, initiates an encounter... and then transforms into Al. The scene cuts at that point, but judging from Marcy's later reactions, the dream must have gotten pretty filthy.

A rare non-dud for Bud

The young adult children of the Bundy family are a study in contrasts. Plenty of humor is derived from the assumed libertine, sex-positive dating habits of the usually barely dressed Kelly Bundy, and just as many if not more jokes come at the expense of Bud Bundy, unlucky in love, romance, and the physical expression thereof, seemingly repellent to all women. It's a bit of a surprise, then, when Bud engages in a tryst of sorts in the 1994 episode "Naughty but Niece."

In the midst of college, Bud desperately needs to study for a test that will provide him a scholarship to study at Oxford University, but he keeps dozing off and having deliriously dirty dreams about attractive women he knows — particularly Amber, the niece of neighbor Marcy D'Arcy. In one dream, which doesn't quite play like a dream, Amber sneaks into Bud's bedroom (against her aunt's wishes) and has her way with him. Later on, he wakes up — but amazingly for Bud, his time with Amber hadn't been a dream at all.

Vanna White's indecent proposal

Few famous women were fantasized about in the '80s and '90s as much as "Wheel of Fortune" letter-turner Vanna White, and in 1993 she guest-starred on "The Proposition," a "Married... with Children" episode clearly inspired by the then-contemporary hit erotic drama film "Indecent Proposal." 

Al was one-half of a high school power couple with then-girlfriend Helen Granowinner, who in the years since graduation became an ultra-famous millionaire who goes by the name Coco. But now she's back in town, and she wants Al back. Undeterred by Al's marriage, she offers Peg Bundy $500,000 for her husband. The Bundys are all in and the pay-to-play culminates in a bedroom scene, with Coco barely dressed in skin-bearing lacy lingerie attempting to seduce Al. As they get close, the chemistry is palpable and steamy, and they're about to do all kinds of stuff to each other... before Peg barges in, having changed her mind about selling Al to Coco in the first place.

Peg's birthday is full of salacious surprises

The 1989 "Married... with Children" episode "Her Cups Runneth Over" features some of the most provocative, suggestive, and mature content in the show's long run with both Al and Peg Bundy subjected to an almost overwhelming amount of romantic tension and attention — but just not with each other, and about 100 miles apart from each other. When birthday woman Peg learns that her favorite line of bras are no longer being produced, Al surprisingly offers to track one down for her, locating the item at a distant lingerie shop called Francine's of Wisconsin. He and neighbor Steve make the trek to the boutique. It's fairly transactional, until a young woman in a changing room asks Al for his objective opinion of her selection — revealing herself to be wearing some of the skimpiest underwear ever allowed on TV at that time. After she removes her bra to see if that makes for a better look, Al passes out.

Meanwhile, back at the Bundy home in the Chicago suburbs, Marcy endeavors to help a down Peg celebrate her birthday by ordering her a surprise stripper-gram. No, that man isn't really a police officer — he's an exotic dancer, made clear when he starts grinding up against Peg and Marcy when the loud music starts up.

Good night, Bundys

Being resigned to a baseline feeling of emasculation is a big part of Al Bundy's personality and inspires a lot of his behavior. The 1993 episode "'Til Death Do Us Part" shows him fighting back for a change — against giving up, against community disrespect, and for the affections of Peg, his wife, who often feels neglected and humiliated by her husband's bedroom activities (or lack thereof).

After Peg lets slip to Marcy about a disappointing night with Al, the gossip spreads around the neighborhood and Mr. Bundy becomes a living joke. In order to reacquire his self-confidence and self-respect — and to get fit for the physical activity of being with his wife — Al starts working out hard. In an attempt to become the star high school athlete he once was, Al trains hard, expressed in an energetic montage to the tune of the Fabulous Thunderbirds' "Tuff Enuff." When he's good and ready, he marches upstairs to Peg on the couch, tears a book in half, and tells her, "Let's see what you got, punk." Peg is quite interested as Al throws her over his shoulder, takes her upstairs. Cut to night, cut to morning, cut to night again, with Peggy shouting "Oh, Al!" each time. The sequence ends on one of the most iconic shots ever on "Married... With Children" — Peg happily dazed, her hair looking as if she's been electrocuted, while Al smokes a cigar. "And to all a goodnight," he triumphantly declares.