Kisses in Pop Culture, Ranked Worst to Best

Posted by Rose Moore

[source: Icon Productions]

Today is International Kissing Day, but who needs just one day of the year to celebrate that wonderful moment when lips meet and sparks fly? We’re still celebrating the magic of kisses in pop culture… and awkwardly laughing at the less-than-magical ones, too. From the badly written to the cringeworthy, we’ve got some of the worst lip-locks on page and screen for you. But don’t worry, we’ve rounded up a few of the very best, too. Pucker up for the best and worst kisses in pop culture, ranked.


[source: Universal Pictures]

50 Shades Of Grey (Anastasia and Christian): See the video

Oh dear, where else could we possibly begin? E. L. James’ bestselling trilogy is packed with laughably bad writing, and the kissing scenes are not spared. Even looking past the ridiculously unrealistic relationship between Christian and Anastasia, some of these smooches are on the border of being so bad that they are almost good. Such as when Anastasia "consumes" Christian, with an "avaricious" tongue, or when his mouth swoops down on hers (like some kind of bird of prey, perhaps?). We’re sure that these kisses are as impossibly mind-blowing as the rest of the things these two do together, but the descriptions of them certainly aren’t!


[source: HBO]

Sex And The City (Charlotte and Brad): See the video

Okay, this one almost feels like cheating, because the whole point of this mini dating story in Sex And The City is that Brad is a terrible kisser…but having to watch his attempts at a romantic make-out session multiple times in the episode ("No Ifs, Ands or Butts"), it deserves a spot on the list! Not only is the hapless Brad under the impression that licking the entire lower half of someone’s mouth is sexy, but he actually defends it as "his thing." An on-screen horror story for any first daters out there…


[source: Columbia Pictures]

Cruel Intentions (Kathryn and Cecile): See the video

Oh yes, it’s time for that kiss. The one that had hordes of teenage boys wearing out the rewind button back in 1999 when this film first came out. When the excessively sultry Kathryn sets out to turn the adorable Cecile into a world-class tramp, she starts with a gratuitous makeout session in the park. As one does. What makes this kiss truly terrible, though, is the extreme close up that is so tacky that it was actually parodied in Not Another Teen Movie.


[source: WB]

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Wesley and Cordelia): See the video

This kiss has all the ingredients of the perfect romantic moment: a long build up of tension, a private moment together, the slow drawing together of two people who are clearly attracted to one another, even the music rising in the background. However, Wesley and Cordelia quickly discover that their chemistry just doesn’t translate, and have what might be the most awkward kiss in the entire series. While the actual lip lock might be awful, though, this counts as a great kiss in pop culture, because it’s just so darn realistic.


[source: Columbia Pictures]

Spider-Man (MJ and Peter Parker): See the video

Many romantics see this as one of the great movie kisses, but we’re not quite so sure. Yes, there are some fantastic — the rescued girl kissing her prince in disguise is an absolute classic. However, on a practical level, we’ve got some questions. How is it that Peter Parker isn’t choking from rain pouring up his nose? What kind of wizardry is MJ’s still-perfect makeup? Wouldn’t that be awkward, kissing with one person literally upside down? But perhaps these are all things we can overlook for the sake of romance (after all, the whole movie is about a teenager with spider-powers…).


[source: New Line Cinema]

The Notebook (Allie and Noah): See the video

When it comes to kissing in the rain, Allie and Noah have the edge on MJ and Peter any day… not least because they are both standing up. And know who each other are. This moment when Noah reveals that he wrote to Allie every day, that he has always loved her, and that he’s still not done is a moment to weaken the knees of any romance fan. It’s far from the only kiss in this tear jerker of a film, but the kiss-in-the-rain is definitely top of the list for fans.


[source: Icon Productions]

Romeo & Juliet (Romeo and Juliet): See the video

"O trespass sweetly urged. Give me my sin again!" Of course, nothing can compare to the Bard himself, and this perfect, poetic first kiss between doomed lovers Romeo and Juliet. This moment in the Baz Lurhmann adaptation of the classic play combines passion, poetry, the urgency of avoiding anyone who would stop the young lovers…and of course, the shocking moment when identities are revealed. It’s a perfect moment, even if we do know that these two are destined for a tragic end.


What’s your favorite pop-culture kiss? Comment and let us know!