Movie Scenes That Give Me Second Hand Embarrassment

Sarah Kester
Ron, Hermione and Harry hugging
IMBd | Warner Bros.

If you’re looking for cringe humor, Hollywood delivers.

There's The Office (the original or the US version), Impractical Jokers, or Nathan for You.


These shows were made to make people look away from the TV and their skin crawl. But what about movies that make people feel uncomfortable unintentionally?

Whether it's an awkward kiss, a horrible dance scene, or sappy emotional moments, here are movie scenes that gave me — and the world — secondhand embarrassment. 

'13 Going on 30'

Jenna with her friends wearing a blindfold
We Heart It | Universal

A movie centered around the pubescent age of 13 is bound to have some awkward moments.

Like when Jenna thinks she's going to kiss her crush, Chris, and says, "oh, Chris." But when she takes off her blindfold, she sees her best friend, Matt, instead.

'Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince'

Harry and Ginny kiss
youtube | Trailer Crunch

"Daniel Radcliffe is the world's most awkward kisser. I mean his kiss with Ginny was awful, but so was his kiss with Cho. It was like...the same kiss." - u/PMme_your_dreams_ In his defense, first kisses are often awkward.

'Knocked Up'

Couple in doctor's office
The Movie Buff | Apatow Productions

When a baby is born in a film, the director usually spares us the gory details (translation: we don't see it actually happen).

Judd Apatow, the director of Knocked Up actually showed a detailed scene of a baby crowning.


Teen kissing
Daily Motion | Lionsgate

"The movie starts with two teenagers making out for what seemed to be an eternity. The first time I watched it was with my parents (I was 10) whilst we were looking for something to watch on TV. Awkward as hell." - u/deleted

'The Edge of Seventeen'

Teacher in The Edge of Seventeen

In case you didn't know, Hailee Steinfeld is a gifted singer and a gifted actress.

But even she couldn't stop the awkwardness in one scene involving her and her teacher. Since she often goes to him for boy advice (weird), she reads out a text that says, "I want you to put your mouth on my tits.'"


Becca from Superbad
Looper | Apatow Productions

"The scene where Michael Cera's crush thinks she's being sexy and stumbling around when they're alone, sing-songing "Looka what-I-have-a-here-for-you..." trying to undress herself. Dear god, please stop." - u/blackberrying. Everything about this film was awkward, from the penis drawings to McLovin'.

'Dumb & Dumber'

Man on toilet seat

Although the film has many dumb moments, the most awkward was when Harry has terrible explosive diarrhea and then finds out the toilet doesn’t work! This was super awkward to watch, mainly because the situation is relatable.

'Spider-Man 3'

Spider-Man dancing

"The Spider Man 3 dancing scene made me cringe so hard I almost didn't finish the movie. That movie had so much potential if they had gone with the Maximum Carnage story that the fans were hoping for." - u/GlassArrow


Bella on Edward's back
Pinterest | New Line Cinema

With so many cringe-worthy moments (and acting by Kristen Stewart), it's hard to choose what was the worst.

However, it was hands down, when Edward told Bella, "hold on tight, spider monkey" before taking her jumping through the trees.

'I Love You Man'

"In I Love You, Man when he makes drinks for the girls and hears them talking about how he has no friends. He tries to leave but they catch him and know he heard cringe." - courtneyl42412d617

'Bring It On'

Torrance dancing
Insider | Warner Bros.

Although it's a teen classic, there was one scene in the film that had no one cheering. It was when Torrance dances in her room to Cliff's mixtape. The lyrics and the cheerleader's awkward moves made it hard to watch.

'Love, Simon'

Bram and Simon sitting together
ET | 20th Century Fox

"In Love, Simon when Martin asks Abby to the dance in front of the entire school and she says no — I wanted to crawl in a hole from secondhand embarrassment." —campbells4dbe23c87. Rejection is never easy to watch.

'Legally Blonde'

Elle Woods as bunny

While Elle Woods is — and forever will be — iconic, there's one scene that was hard to watch. The secondhand embarrassment practically oozes from your pores as you watch her wear a Playboy bunny costume to a regular party.

'Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban'

Ron, Hermione and Harry hugging
IMBd | Warner Bros.

"That part in when Hermione cries into Ron’s chest and Harry awkwardly as hell puts his arm around her. It is the epitome of third-wheeling." - brieannad. You can't help but cringe watching it.

'Mrs. Doubtfire'

Mrs. Doubtfire's mask coming off

The scene where Daniel gets caught as Mrs. Doubtfire was even worse than viewers expected.

As the fake prostetic skin falls down his face, your own skin crawls. Plus, there was the awkwardness of the whole restaurant watching.

'50 Shades of Grey'

Couple about to kiss
People | Warner Bros.

"In 50 Shades of Grey when he says, 'I'm 50 shades of [expletive] up.' I laughed out loud even though it wasn't meant to be funny. It just sounded so ridiculous in a movie when it didn't sound that ridiculous reading it." —jordans43125d2f3

'Bring It On: All or Nothing'

If you're on TikTok, you've probably seen users hilariously recreating this scene of Hayden Panettiere's character krumping.

Her moves are so bad, it makes us wonder why we thought it was so impressive as kids.

'Taxi Driver'

Travis clapping
Giphy | Hollywood Suite

"Taxi Driver. All of it. Travis Bickle makes me cringe really hard, but I also feel really bad for the poor guy. Swinging between those two emotional extremes (at least, they felt very extreme to me) made it difficult to watch the movie in one sitting. Excellent performance." - u/lemons_with_eyeballs

'Save the Last Dance'

Julia Stiles dancing
Giphy | Paramount Movies

And here it is, one of the most awkward moments in movie history.

As kids, we were so impressed with Julia Stiles's dance audition at Julliard. But once you watch it as an adult, you realize that her moves are mediocre.

H/T: Buzzfeed, Buzzfeed, Reddit, Reddit