Nothing really compares to the horrific awkwardness of watching a romantic scene with your parents. We’ve all been there. You choose a film or a TV show as a family. It looks wholesome and fun. But halfway through, the two lead characters suddenly give in to their passion for one another. What follows can feel like the most uncomfortable minute of your life as you and your parents stare determinedly, unflinchingly at the screen, no one making a sound.
Of course, sex scenes aren’t the only uncomfortable thing to watch with the parents. When things become too political, too disturbing, or too profane, you may find yourself squirming in your seat on the sofa yet again.
If you’re looking for a few Netflix shows to avoid next time you’re searching for something to watch with your parents, we’ve got you covered. These shows may be great to watch with your friends or significant other, but you should definitely steer clear of these options when you’re watching with Mom and Dad.
Too Hot To Handle is way too hot of a Netflix show for parents
Unsurprisingly, the Netflix show called Too Hot To Handle is quite literally too hot for most parents to watch with their kids. The reality show saw a group of singles hanging out on a beach in Mexico in sexy swimwear. The catch? No one is allowed to hook up.
While the premise of the show is that there can be no romantic physical contact if its stars want to avoid deducting money from a shared grand prize of $100,000, it becomes the main topic of conversation. We assume that watching young people talk about how horny they are may not be the kind of thing you want to watch with your parents. Plus, as Entertainment Weekly noted, many of the contestants don’t abide by the rules, so there are a few sexy scenes as well.
As one contestant, Francesca Farago, told Esquire, she wouldn’t even let her own parents watch certain scenes. “I spoke with my dad and I was like, let me watch it first and then I’ll let you know which scenes to avoid, because I saw the trailer, so I know there are some scenes that he might not wanna watch.” By the sounds of things, you’ll probably want to keep your parents far away while you watch this show.
You is a little too racy for you to watch on Netflix with your parents
Netflix’s You not only has plenty of sex scenes, it also has a disturbingly attractive serial killer. In one sex scene in Season 1, the passion only lasts for eight seconds. While this swift lovemaking may seem like a good thing for people watching with their parents, it actually leads to some seriously awkward jokes about how quickly Penn Badgley’s Joe, well, lasted.
As The Sun reported, the female character, Beck, played by Elizabeth Lail, is heard on a voiceover after the scene, saying, “What was that? 8 seconds? Oh yeah, he’s got that Trump just took Pennsylvania look. Say something.” Yikes. This is not the kind of joke that you’ll want to share with your parents.
Lail spoke to Refinery29 about the show and admitted that she was actually shocked by the script when she first read it. “I didn’t realize what I was getting myself into and how dirty it was going to be!” she said, adding, “I wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to do it justice, because a large part of the story is the sexual components of these characters.” If this doesn’t make you want to avoid watching with your parents, we don’t know what will!
Netflix's Bridgerton isn't just another G-rated period drama
Bridgerton made a huge splash on Netflix. In fact, it became Netflix’s fifth biggest launch ever, with 82 million households tuning in around the world, according to Deadline.
If you’re one of the few people who haven’t dived into the colorful, ridiculous world of Bridgerton yet, we strongly advise watching this one without your parents around. While the show looks fairly harmless, it’s actually one of the raunchiest, horniest shows out there. Unlike the subdued romances of Jane Austen, Bridgerton has some fairly explicit and lengthy romance scenes that are sure to make you wish the sofa would swallow you whole. As one surprised viewer warned in a piece for Stylist, “Bridgerton is sexy. It’s important that anyone planning on watching this extravagant Netflix Cinderella story understands that long before they settle into the sofa on Christmas Day with their family.” She added, “There are… many… sex scenes. Featuring… several… positions.”
The Bridgerton marketing team even caught onto the fact and published a hilarious “user manual” for viewers watching with their parents that showed the exact time stamps of each sex scene. “Excuse oneself from the room at these moments when watching with mamma and pappa,” the poster wrote (via Universal News).
Sex Education is filled with awkward coming-of-age moments
Not only does Sex Education have a more than a few sex scenes, but much of its story focuses on teenagers learning about sex and going through the awkward and embarrassing rites of passage that come with a sexual awakening. In other words, this Netflix show has awkward sexual encounters, discussions of non-consensual sex, and much more, as Teen Vogue noted in a review. Of course, this type of content is hugely important for both young and old audiences to see. As journalist Lorraine Candy wrote for The Times, it’s a “sex-positive” show that “reminds you how awkward and emotional adolescent sexual relationship are.”
Candy went on to say that only a few parents had mustered the courage to watch the show with their teens. “If you can get over your initial mutual unease then you’ll find it very useful as a jumping-off point for a discussion on the physical act — something so many parents find hard to do,” she stated. Of course, if you don’t want to have that conversation with the parents, this might be one show to save for later.
BoJack Horseman is probably too shocking for your parents
BoJack Horseman is an animated Netflix show about a troubled “horseman.” As The Verge noted, BoJack is a troubled character with some seriously adult problems. He’s an alcoholic, he’s depressed, he hurts people, he gives underaged people alcohol, and he almost sleeps with a teen girl. The show is pretty shocking. And while many critics thought it was a heart-wrenching, well-executed tale, it’s probably one you should avoid watching with your parents. With sex scenes, drug use, and some hard-hitting moments, it will not only cause that all too familiar cringey feeling, but it might also bring up some uncomfortable topics for you and your family.
For instance, one of the show’s plot lines (spoiler warning!) features BoJack’s problematic and abusive mother getting dementia. Eventually, she dies and BoJack is forced to face some uncomfortable truths about his relationship with her, as noted by Bustle. Despite being a show about a talking horse, this series may get just a little too real for you and your parents.
Big Mouth is definitely going to be an awkward Netflix show to watch
Big Mouth is a show that tackles the tricky subject of the sexual coming of age. For many parents, this cartoon may be downright shocking. The language is seriously vulgar. Nevertheless, its subject matter is important. It tackles everything from lust to love, but it just might not be the best thing to watch with them. After all, not many of us want to relive those awkward coming-of-age moments with our parents sitting right next to us!
As Fatherly noted, the Netflix show feels like it was made for teens to watch with their parents — and , as the publication put it, “That sounds like a recipe for a rather awkward evening, but also like a way to jumpstart a much more open conversation about the vicissitudes of love and lust.” Still, unless you’re hoping to start some deep chats, you might want to choose another show from Netflix’s list for your next family TV night.
Black Mirror may be too confusing to watch with the older generation
We’ve all been there — you arrange a Zoom call to catch up with you mom and spend the first ten minutes trying to teach her how to answer the call, unmute, and get her video working. While not all parents are bad at technology, plenty of us have technologically challenged moms and dads, as Jan Golden, founder of Boomer Web School, noted in HuffPost. If this sounds like you, your parents might not really appreciate the themes and plot lines of Black Mirror.
This Netflix show is all about the fictional not-so-distant future in which technology threatens to turn against us. This makes for some disturbing, troubling viewing, especially if you’re worried about what technology might look like in the future. As The Guardian put it, the show “delights in shaving off slices of our collective psyche and sliding them under an unforgiving microscope to examine our most current concerns.” Add parents into the mix and you may find yourself not only explaining tech concepts, but also getting into a few arguments about the state of the world. If your family tends to thrive on less challenging, easygoing TV shows, maybe give this one a pass.
Sense8 isn't too appropriate for families to watch together
Sense8 is a Netflix show created by the Wachowski siblings who gave us the Matrix films. It’s a sci-fi show about eight people who become connected telepathically. As The Guardian noted, “They can see each other’s thoughts, use each other’s skills, and feel each other’s pain.” At first glance, the show may sound perfect for the whole family. However, it’s actually filled with quite a few sex scenes. Hypable even created a guide to censoring the show to avoid awkward moments with the parents. As they put it, “Maybe you want to enjoy Sense8 with your parents, but don’t really feel like five-minute-long orgy montages are going to go over well with them.”
That’s right. This show doesn’t just have sex scenes — it has some pretty raunchy ones! Actor Max Riemelt told the Independent, “The sex scenes are very positive: they’re symbolic and full of feeling, which is so important.” Whether they’re “full of feeling” or not, it sounds like these sex scenes are not great viewing for families!
Avoid the Netflix show Love with your parents around
The Netflix series Love is about a young couple. Unlike our favorite rom-coms, this show does everything in its power to show us the difficulties of real-life love. As The Guardian wrote, “Love indulges our expectations and brings the couple together but then demolishes them by them both behaving so poorly towards one other that you want them to break up.”
While it doesn’t sound fun to navigate a troubled relationship with your parents, that’s not so bad, right? Well, it turns out, the show also has a few explicit scenes that may cause a few awkward silences during family movie night. As News.com.au’s body+soul noted, the fifth episode of Season 2 is particularly bad, advising that characters Mickey and Gus have “fantastic, exploratory, can’t-keep-your-hands-off-each-other sex.” Sounds like that episode in particular is one to avoid if you’re watching with your parents.
Overall, this show sounds a little too risqué to watch with mom and dad. Better to just watch it alone.
Tiny Pretty Things has scenes to make you and your parents uncomfortable
Tiny Pretty Things is a Netflix show about teenage ballerinas at a competitive dancing school in Chicago. Sounds harmless enough — maybe even like something to watch with Mom. However, the show is a lot more adult than many viewers might initially think.
As the Daily Mail reported, many fans found themselves shocked to learn that the show had so many sex scenes. One Twitter user wrote, “There is no need for these actors/actresses to be naked all the time or for all the explicit sex [scenes], especially while portraying teenagers.” Someone else tweeted, “Watching Tiny Pretty Things on Netflix as a study break and some of the scenes make me uncomfortable as a twenty-something-year-old.” Apparently, lots of fans of the show found the intimate scenes troubling.
Sounds like this is another show to take off the family-friendly list. In fact, you might even find these scenes awkward when you watch by yourself — after all, these characters are meant to be teenagers!
Hollywood is pretty racy for family viewing
The Netflix show Hollywood deals with a wide range of important issues. Set in post-war Hollywood, the show imagines a world in which “a group of gay men and people of color sweep prejudice aside on the road to box-office victory and Oscar glory,” as The Guardian wrote. While the show is bound to interest the whole family and potentially pave the way for some interesting, nuanced discussions, there is one good reason to avoid watching it with your parents in the room. This show is filled with sex.
Ryan Murphy, the show’s creator, opened up to Entertainment Weekly about some of these scenes. “It’s actually important to the show that you see the sex,” he explained. “Because the whole point is that in that era, the public didn’t see any of that.” As Murphy noted, these scenes would never have been seen on screen at the period this series is set — so maybe you and your parents should stick with an old classic instead.
Easy is a sex-filled Netflix show that you might prefer to watch alone
Easy is a pretty revolutionary Netflix series that is presented in an anthology format and unabashedly shows the realities of modern love and life. There are quite a few uncomfortable scenes throughout the series of vignettes. As The Guardian put it, “Every single episode contains moments of undeniable charm, even one where you have to watch Orlando Bloom crawl over naked bodies for what feels like an eternity.” Charm or not, that scene sounds like a pretty horrible thing to watch with your mom and dad. And that’s not the only sex scene — there are apparently enough to rank them. Decider‘s list included a threesome and a seriously raunchy window scene. Awkward!
Plus, if your parents have ever experienced ennui in their own relationship, this somewhat sad, hyper-realistic show might hit a little close to home.
Don't watch The Queen's Gambit if you have troubled family relationships
For many families, The Queen’s Gambit, the story of an orphaned chess genius, will be a great pick. It has gripping chess scenes — yes, you read that right — along with stunning 1950s clothes and brilliant performances. There’s definitely something for the whole family.
However, for families with troubled pasts, this show may be a little uncomfortable. Beth comes from a broken family. Her mother suffers from a mental illness, and her father has seemingly abandoned them for another family. Her mother eventually takes her own life, leaving Beth alone in the world.
Later, Beth is adopted by a seemingly kind couple. However, the father turns out to be distant and cold, abandoning his wife and Beth with nothing. As Screen Rant put it, “If Beth’s biological father taught her that she was a mistake and not worth loving, Allston [her adopted father] only reinforced this notion — and also taught her the danger of loving or relying on someone else.” If any of these unhealthy family dynamics are triggering for you, it may be best to avoid watching this show with your parents.
Behind Her Eyes has an intimate office scene you don't want to watch with your parents
Behind Her Eyes is a Netflix drama about some pretty serious issues that include abuse, adultery, addiction, and trauma. In the show, Louise starts an affair with her boss and also becomes friends with his wife. One thing that most viewers notice about this very grown-up show is just how many steamy scenes there are. As The Sun noted, “In one episode, Louise and David rekindle their affair as they can’t keep their hands [off] each other, leaving viewers very hot under the collar.” This scene takes place on David’s office desk, which is sure to give you an idea of just how raunchy it is!
As one viewer, who bravely watched the show with her mom, wrote on Twitter, “My mum watching #BehindHerEyes as they shag in the office: ‘They really need to lock that door.'” Sounds like her mom was able to brush the awkwardness aside — but consider yourself warned!
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