Long gone are the days where TV couples would signal that they were about to get it on with a cute little wink. Even before that, a man and a woman weren’t allowed to be shown sleeping in the same bed. Now, shows like Game of Thrones and The Americans are increasingly pushing the boundaries when it comes to portraying sex on cable television. What a time to be alive. Of course, we can’t expect the same kind of nastiness when it comes to broadcast television, as these networks trade in adult content in favour of a larger audience. Networks like ABC have to comply with FCC censorship rules, otherwise they will have to pay hefty fines. Even worse, they might alienate viewers, which could cause advertisers to pull out (pun not intended, but definitely noticed).
We also don’t see the same level of action on the traditional sitcom: a comedy, 30 minutes in length, which focuses on the same set of characters, usually in one particular environment. Part of the reason for this is that these sitcoms are on networks that are governed by the censorship rules mentioned above. However, there have been a few instances where sitcoms have surprised us with several particularly hot and heavy scenes, much to our enjoyment. We have compiled a list of some of the most shocking, hot and groundbreaking scenes for you. Right here, right now.
15. A Presidential Pounding, Veep
One of the reasons why we put Veep on this list is because, unlike the majority of shows on television, especially when it comes to sitcom TV, it shows that women over 50 can still get down and dirty and be hot while doing it. Selina (played by Julia Louis-Dreyfus), president of the United States, does whoever she wants, whenever she wants it, including her ex-husbands and sometimes with the use of phone sex. And she does it completely unforgivingly, without being thought of as unfavourable (unlike Samantha from Sex and the City). In this particularly steamy scene, she takes the vice president to bed, Tom James (Hugh Laurie), despite all of the conflict between them. The scene is equal parts hilarious and steamy. You will have to check it out for yourself if you don’t believe us.
This is not the first time Julia Louis-Dreyfus has taken on a progressive woman, as she played the iconic Elaine in Seinfeld, establishing that women can hang with the boys, too. We salute you, Julia.
14. The Firefighter Fantasy, Sex and the City
Sex and the City is credited with being one of those series to show that women can enjoy sex just as men can. Naturally, a show of this nature, a show that has sex in its very name, is going to have a lot in its arsenal of hot and steamy scenes. When it comes to the hottest scene, though, it is Samantha Jones’ (Kim Cattrall) rendezvous with a firefighter that takes the cake. Men and women have many fantasies and for Samantha, it is being with a man who clearly knows how to handle a hose that is hers. She screams like a fire truck through the entire thing, so you know it must have been good. Spoiler: a lot of positions are also involved in this particular scene.
The firefighter was just one of 40 men that Samantha made love with over the course of the show (and one woman). You know, in case you were wondering. Interestingly, it has been said that that number is actually relatively accurate for New Yorkers. Who knew? Although this scene was certainly hot, we had to place it higher on our list given the fact that it was on HBO, making the scene just a little less shocking than something that would be on network TV.
13. Getting Down And Dirty, Looking
The sadly departed Looking, courtesy of HBO, is now off the air but even in its short running time, the show managed to take itself in a direction that relatively few shows on television ever have, specifically when it came to their depiction of two gay men partaking in the act. One particularly steamy scene, which involved Patrick (Jonathan Groff) and Kevin (Russel Tovey), is very sensual and particularly intimate as Patrick finally gives in to the buildup of tension with his boss.
The show is about three gay men’s escapades in San Francisco. While the show’s brief time on air managed to explore the sexual side of gay relationships, the intimacy was relatively tame compared to that of heteronormative relationships on television (some also argue the scenes were also more of a real representation of the act). While we give them points for going there at all, it would have been interesting to see the slow rise (no pun intended) taken to the next level.
12. The Nurse Fantasy, Scrubs
A woman in a nurse’s outfit is a classic male fantasy come true (the fireman fantasy might be the female equivalent). In season two of the show, Dr. Christopher Turk, played by Donald Faison, has a not-so-nice dream about Dr. Elliot Reid (Sarah Chalke). The scene is a very steamy and involves Elliot seducing Turk and then proceeding to spank her, complete with high heels and smacking bubble gum while Marvin Gaye‘s “Let’s Get It On” plays in the background (indeed, the song choice was very appropriate).
In fact, the scene was so hot that even the producers goofed up and made a continuity error. At first, you can clearly see a lot of blood on Turk’s glove in the close-up scene, but then the blood is miraculously gone. There is nothing particularly groundbreaking about this scene, but it is very steamy indeed – especially for sitcom television.
11. Doggy Style, Modern Family
Claire Dunphy (Julie Bowen) and Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell) on ABC’s Modern Family, show that sex doesn’t get boring in middle age. Sure, that doesn’t sound like the sexiest of beginnings, but allow us to elaborate. Modern Family is typically tame in its representation of sexual relationships, obviously, since it is network TV. The show even came under fire with viewers criticizing its portrayal of Cam and Mitchell’s relationship, a gay couple, for never displaying overt affection. However, in 2011, in an episode titled “Caught in the Act,” they went where network TV hasn’t gone before. Indeed, their children walk in on Claire and Phil in the act and it is clear that that the two were being extra naughty in a doggy style kind of way. While the children were rinsing out their eyes with water after witnessing such an act, we are guessing that you weren’t. Although the episode was tame by our ruined standards, for a show that is on ABC Family, it was pushing boundaries a bit.
10. Ménage à Trois, Entourage
The title of this steamy episode was aptly titled “Three’s Company.” We don’t really need to say more, but we will. Yes, there was a ménage à trois. A threesome, if you will. There, we said it. And this one went into uncharted territory courtesy of HBO. Think sex toys, bedroom talk, the works. The scene sees Eric Murphy’s, played by Kevin Connolly, fantasy come true. His girlfriend (played by Emmanuelle Chriqui) has an equally hot friend, Tori (played by Malin Akerman) who is ready for a bedroom adventure. It was fun for a moment until tension ensues when Eric begins to develop post-coital feelings for the other woman and wakes up spooning her the morning after. Ouch. We have to give credit to Entourage for pushing the boundaries of taboo topics. Indeed, one study has found that threesomes are now on the rise.
9. The Accidental Slip, The Mindy Project
When it comes to network TV, sex is generally hinted at due to its “primetime” slot on television. That was certainly the case in 2014’s episode of The Mindy Project, titled “I Slipped,” with the episode discussing the implications of a man “slipping” into the backdoor. Do we need to say more? The episode has since been considered a “historic moment” for broadcast TV as it was the first time an*l has ever been depicted on broadcast television. Indeed, the topic was so risque that the show never actually explicitly mentions the act, it simply meanders around the topic with Mindy making comments like “My office only has one entrance, and I don’t think that’s enough for you anymore.” At the end of the day, this episode tried to normalize more of a taboo topic for which we give credit.
However, the scene wasn’t without its critics. Some people brought up the issue of consent and the fact that Mindy’s boyfriend, Danny (played by Chris Messina) just, “slipped it in” without Mindy agreeing first. The real-life Mindy, Mindy Kaling, had this to say: “It was not an issue of sexual unsafety. I understand people felt that way, and I disagree … In a larger sense, we have this card — this red card — of stirring fear in men about certain things. I was sad about that because I thought, ‘Is that a situation where we want to use that card for that?’ It bummed me out a little bit. There was no sexual peril in there; it was not a situation where she felt unsafe or was objectified. She just was startled … I was sad about that.”
8. Raw And Groundbreaking, Queer as Folk
As we roll on with our shocking and hot scenes list, how could we not include television’s first-ever explicit depiction of two gay men. Queer as Folk came out guns blazing in the very first episode of the show. The show sees Brian (portrayed by Gale Harold) and Justin (Randy Harrrison) get down and dirty for a casual night of fun after the two meet in a bar, in a monumental moment for television. And to think that this scene was only 16 years ago! The scene wasn’t tame, let us just say that. We saw sex for exactly what it was: raw and uncensored, tongue in places it had never gone before, all on television. Viewers ended up getting exactly what they wanted from the highly anticipated show. It even cast actors who are gay in real life.
The show went on to feature more than just the first-ever depiction of gay sex: it also showed a gay couple getting married, adopting a child for the first time and the implications of a couple where one is HIV-positive and the other is not.
7. Dining On The Back Patio, Girls
Lena Dunham is queen of taking television into uncharted territory. In fact, this particular scene has to be one of the most explicit sex scenes in a sitcom, ever. Allow us to explain: the scene features Marnie, played by Allison Williams, on the receiving end of some backdoor tongue action, if you catch our drift.
Yes, Girls is known for its seemingly gratuitous millennial sex, but its creator, Dunham, stands by her decision to portray a less glamorous and more realistic side of sex. In fact, she insists the sex scenes on Girls aren’t gratuitous at all and that every scene is necessary to the development of the characters.
In any case, the scene definitely goes where no sitcom ever has before. That is because of the very sexual act that is being depicted. This particular scene is important in its attempt to make certain aspects of a couple’s relationship less off limits.
6. Sexaphone, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia
Get it, girl. By which we mean Charlie Day. In this particularly raunchy-yet-hilarious scene, Charlie does a girl doggy style and scissors her, all while being naked in a way that makes us question whether or not we are actually watching a skin flick. Charlie pulled out all the sex positions in this particularly steamy scene. If that isn’t enough for you, the episode ends with another big bang with Charlie playing the saxophone in the buff on a bear skin rug. How could we ever want more? The episode is supposed to serve as a parody of 80s style ski movies, kind of like Hotdog… The Movie. Of course, it wasn’t all fun and games though, as some TV critics questioned whether the show, in its 11th season, took the episode too far. Regardless, it certainly makes the list of “Hot Scenes You Won’t Believe Were on Sitcom TV.”
5. Basically A Softy, Californication
A show whose premise surrounds that of sex addict Hank Moody is likely going to have a lot of hot scenes up its sleeve. Indeed, the show has been labelled as being “soft p***.” Californication, featuring David Duchovny, is no exception. We couldn’t pick just one steamy scene due to the sheer volume of nasty scenes to choose from. From the pilot episode wherein underage sex is had (shocking!) to oral with a nun in a church, to slow backdoor, to threesomes, all of it is explicit, raunchy and never censored. The show covers other highly explicit topics, including toys, dolls, solicitation and more.
When asked about the shocking sex scenes on the show, however, Duchovny seemed to think that they weren’t that big of a deal, saying,”The sex stuff, all that, we really don’t concern ourselves with it. Honestly. It’s like, it’s a scene or it’s not a scene. It’s got truth or it’s not got truth. It’s funny or it’s not funny. It’s in character or it’s not. And that’s all that we concern ourselves with. You know, it’s boring. But that’s why we’re good.”
4. Neon Green ‘Toys’, Broad City
In what has been titled one of the best sex scenes of 2015, Abbi’s dream of sleeping with Jeremy, her neighbour, finally comes true. Spoiler alert: there is a neon green toy involved (big shocker, right?). The scene starts off hot and heavy in the bed and then goes where you would not ever expect sitcom TV to go. Jeremy asks Abbi to strap one on (yes, Abbi was equally surprised at the request). All we can tell you here is that the line “plowing it like a queen” is used in this episode. You can be sure that, like all episodes of Broad City, hilarity ensues.
3. Scissor Me Timbers, South Park
Scissor me timbers, anyone? If you can’t tell where we are headed, allow us to explain. In the 11th season of South Park, Mrs. Garrison meets a woman named Allison while at the gym; she then takes Mrs. Garrison to a gay bar. And Mrs. Garrison is shocked. After Allison asks Mrs. Garrison if she had ever made love with another woman and some hesitation ensues, the two finally begin to get hot and heavy (this is where “scissor me timbers” comes in). If it isn’t yet clear, yes, the two engage in some heavy cartoon action, which is quite explicit. For sitcom TV, this is definitely a fairly shocking episode – certainly one of South Park’s most graphic scenes.
2. So Much Girl Love, Orange is the New Black
The popular Netflix original show Orange is the New Black, may fit slightly outside of the confines of a traditional sitcom (it is longer than the usual 30 minutes). However, we decided it warranted a spot on this list because it has done a TON to portray lesbian love in a way that not a lot of shows have. Perhaps one of the hottest scenes was when we were treated to two girls, Alex (Laura Prepon) and Piper (Taylor Schilling) getting it on in the shower, making things extra steamy (and we mean steamy) in the very first episode of the show.
1. Racist Romp, Curb Your Enthusiasm
First, let us get this out of the way: we love Larry David. Larry David is king. But watching Larry David get down and dirty, bless him, is not necessarily what comes to mind when we picture “hot scenes.” However, this scene is definitely one you won’t believe was on sitcom TV, perhaps for other reasons than simply being too steamy. Prepare yourself, as it is shocking. And deeply inappropriate. And highly offensive. It turns out that Larry David is doing it with an anti-Semite. How do we know this? Well, Shara, in the middle of the act, squeals, “I’m going to f– the Jew out of you.” Hypothetically, this should have been enough for Larry David to end the rendezvous, but as he says later: “The penis doesn’t care about race, creed and colour. The penis wants to get to its homeland.”
The episode was certainly creative, using a carnal act as a vessel to discuss the relationship between Palestine and Israel. While some claimed the episode to be groundbreaking, others called it racist and perpetuating stereotypes.