Parental Sexuality Squick

Abe: Unsatisfying sex life?
Homer: N — yes! But please, don't you say that word!
Abe: What, seeeex? What's so unappealing about hearing your elderly father talk about seeex? I had seeeex.
Homer: [shudders]
The Simpsons, "Grampa vs. Sexual Inadequacy"

Do you have parents? Are your parents human? Do you have one or more siblings who are not your twin/triplet/etc?

If you have answered "yes" to any of these questions, then it's entirely likely that your parents have had sex.note 

Disgusting, innit?

In fiction, it's common enough to see a child react with curiosity to their parents in a Primal Scene. As they get older, however, the very thought that their parents might be getting it on is enough to send them searching for some Brain Bleach. Truth in Television, most likely an evolutionary measure to prevent inbreeding.


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  • A recent Direct TV ad plays on this, with the son going home to be comforted by his parents after getting a high cable bill, only to see them in the middle of a group of elderly couples engaging in slow massages. Which results in the son driving away with tears in his eyes, which in turn has him driving into "a pizzeria that makes really good baked ziti."

  • In Nextwave, The Captain mentions that one codename he considered was "Captain Avalon", after the Roxy Music album of the same name. He quickly decided not to do so after learning that his mom conceived him while listening to that album.

     Film-Live Action  

  • Mr. Woodcock: The protagonist sneaks into his mother's house and, when he realizes she's come home, quickly hides under the bed. Guess what she and her boyfriend promptly start doing?
  • Crops up a few times in Kevin & Perry Go Large; in one scene, Kevin walks in on his parents, and later he alleges that they've only done it once, in order to give birth to him.
  • Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure uses the "give him money to go get himself ice cream while we do it" variant. Also gives Ted a way to annoy Bill over the May-December Romance between Bill's dad and a girl just slightly older than Bill himself.

  • "Have you ever wondered if your Mom kissed you goodnight after giving your Dad a blowjob? You are now."
  • "The one thing you do not want to think about while eating that at some point, your grandparents had to have sex."


  • Happens in Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold. Ivan freaks out when he learns that his mother has gained a boyfriend in Simon Illyan.
    "They're old, Miles! It's, it's, it's undignified. Or something. Scandalous. She's high Vor, and he's, he's Illyan."///
    • Though one has to wonder if he'd be coping better if she was seeing someone other than the Imperial Spymaster.
  • In Sybil, the titular character is described as having spent her nights until she was about ten in a crib beside her parents' bed, never being given an opportunity to leave the room while they had sex. It's considered among the many, many abuses she endures that causes her disassociation.
  • In The SM Judge, the protagonists are a judge and his wife. One of his enemies try to destroy his career by publicly using their sex life against him. One tactic used by this enemy is to force their daughter to watch a video of them having BDSM sex. This make her break all contact with her parents. Not because of the scandal or the BDSM, but simply because they had a sex-life, period. "You are my parents, and parents don't have sex!"
  • In ''Sein Language," Jerry Seinfeld says that nobody wants to visualize their parents having sex and that if he found out he was adopted, this would be great news because that would mean it was possible that his parents were just really good friends.
    I mean, sex is a great thing and all but you don't want to think that your whole life began because somebody maybe had a little too much wine with dinner.

     Live Action TV  

  • Breaking Bad: During a fit of spontaneous sex, Walt and Skyler hear Jr. walking into the house. They try to sheepishly play it off as he approaches their room, but halfway there, he realizes what is going on, gets disgusted, and leaves.
  • This makes up roughly 15% of the humor in Cougar Town. In the first episode Travis walks in on his mother performing oral sex on a man his own age, and so the standard is set.
  • That '70s Show had an episode in which Eric walks in on his parents during sex (unbeknownst to them) and spends the rest of the episode entirely unhinged. It's the only time he ever receives sympathy from his sister. At the end of the episode, Donna tells him of a time when the same thing happened to her.
  • In an episode of Corner Gas, Brent accidentally records his parents begin to act out a sex fantasy on the gas station's security camera. Afterwards he rips the camera out of the wall and denies that it was ever there.
  • On The Big Bang Theory, the gang has gotten a hold of one of the prop rings from The Lord of the Rings movies and are holding it together, with the last one standing getting the ring. Howard and Rajesh try to psych Sheldon out by invoking this about his beloved grandmother.
    Howard: Think about it. The only reason you exist is because your grandmother had sex.
    Raj: Yeah, Meemaw did the nasty!
  • In Freaks and Geeks, Sam and Lindsay are horrified when their parents get frisky mid-day... while all their friends are over.
  • Subverted in one episode of Boy Meets World. Shawn is trying to leave the house quickly and when he walks toward the window he panics because Cory's parents are having fun in the backseat of the car. Instead of being Squicked Cory thinks his parents are really Badass.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer, in "Earshot". "You had sex with Giles? You had SEX with GILES??? On the hood of a police car? TWICE?"
    • Averted in an earlier episode, where Joyce shows Buffy her high school yearbook.
      Buffy: Mom, I'm old enough to know that you've had sex. I'm not old enough to know that you had Farrah hair.
    • And in Season Five, when Joyce comes home from a date, Buffy notes that her date didn't kiss her good night. Joyce decides to have some fun.
      Joyce: Oh, no.
      Buffy: What?
      Joyce: I left my bra in the car.
      Buffy: Mom!
      Joyce: Just kidding! (Buffy sighs with relief) I left it in the restaurant.
      Buffy: Mom! (runs upstairs, hands over her ears)
      Joyce: (calling upstairs) On the dessert cart!
  • In Blossom, her parents nearly sleep together after being divorced for years. Blossom and Tony discuss it afterwards. Tony admits they just like to think their parents had sex only three times (one for each child). Blossom says she likes to think they just did it twice, and Joey was sent to Earth by aliens.
  • One episode of Arrested Development has Michael convincing his mother to visit his father in a conjugal trailer. While Michael is mildly discomforted by the discussion, his brother GOB reacts with outright disgust when Michael talks to him about it. GOB is later detained against the window of said trailer during their visit.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place, played straight fairly often, but a notable example is when Alex is told by her mother that her father is her 'big cuddly bug' and finds it grosser than the idea of going out with her older brother. It Makes Sense In Context, kind of...
  • Referenced in Time Gentlemen Please, in regards to Christanity and the virgin birth:
    Guv: No man likes the thought of his parents having sex, but to base an entire religon around the idea that they never did is taking it a bit too far!
  • How I Met Your Mother: Ted's mother and her second husband don't seem to have a problem talking about this around him, eventually leading him to lose it at their wedding.
    • In a later episode, Marshall has a freakout when he sees his mother having sex. Lily tells him to calm down and that his mother is only a woman with needs, at which point he tells her that she'd been screwing Lily's father. Lily immediately throws up.
  • In Psych, Shawn accidentally walks in on his (divorced) parents while they are having sex. After Shawn rants about the incident, Gus insists that his parents never had sex, his rationale being that he was "a perfect little miracle" and that his sister was adopted. Later in the episode, in a spirit of mockery, Shawn introduces Gus as "Immaculate Conception" as a part of his Running Gag of always introducing Gus using bizarre names.


  • Notably averted in The Lonely Island song "Mother Lover", where a pair of friends played by Andy Samberg and Justin Timberlake go into detail about their plans to seduce the other's single mother as a Mother's Day gift.
    "We both love our moms, women with grown women needs"
    "I say we break em off, show em how much they really mean"

     Newspaper Comics  

  • Two characters in Zits had the stories of their conceptions told to them, with horrible reactions.
    • Jeremy was in his room playing "Stairway to Heaven" on his guitar (he always liked the song for some reason), when his mother mentions that he probably likes the song so much because he was conceived to it. Within minutes, he's rinsing his ears out and boiling his guitar string.
    • Hector's parents let slip that a batch of blueberry muffins burned during his conception. The very sight of a blueberry muffin results in severe nausea thereafter.

  • Lucie Miller in the Big Finish Doctor Who audio Death in Blackpool has similar feelings about her Parental Substitutes, the Doctor and Auntie Pat (who aren't):
    Lucie: What would they be doing in a cupboard?
    Billy: You'll never guess...
    Lucie: Oh God, no.
    Billy: Worse than that.
    Lucie: What could be worse than that?

     Video Games 
  • In Mass Effect 3, Liara's reaction to her father (Matriarch Aethyta) telling her that her mother had a "hell of a rack" is a grossed-out "You don't need to tell me everything."


  • Roy in The Order of the Stick is horrified to learn that both of his parents have become considerably more promiscuous since dying and moving on to the afterlife; apparently they took the 'til death do us part' wording of their marriage vows literally.
  • In Narbonic, Dave and Helen's Kid from the Future walks into a bar shortly after their breakup just as Dave is loudly bemoaning that he will never have any lesbian sex again.
    Holy crud I picked the wrong time to come in.
  • In a Girl Genius sidestory, Old Man Death is telling his granddaughter about how he used to run with the Jaegers:
    Old Man Death: ...Then one day, while sacking a castle, I was ravished by a wild princess...
    Zeuxippe: You the who what now?
    Old Man Death: Heh, even today your grandmother is a remarkable woman.
    Zeuxippe: Eeew! Grandpa!
    Old Man Death: Tsk. Poor sensitive child. At any rate, she sort of abducted me. Took me away from that, you know? And now, through mysterious processes I'll forbear to mention, here I am and here you are.
  • In El Goonish Shive, Tedd is put off by his father just mentioning his impotence even though he didn't mean it in that way.
  • Happens in Dinosaur Comics, but it comes off as even more of a shock to T-Rex as he either didn't know what sex was or didn't know sex was required to have babies.
    T-Rex: MOM did that?
  • One early strip of Kevin & Kell has Rudy walking in on his parents roleplaying Little Red Riding Hood. To expand, they're a wolf and a rabbit, though the wolf was playing Lil' Red.
    • Ralph's head literally imploded when he learned the picture of the 'hot babe' he had leaked onto the internet was of his mother, back when she was quite the looker.
  • In And Shine Heaven Now, Integra is horrified at the thought of hearing her father's teenage exploits as told in a novel. Alucard reassures her she has nothing to worry about, since the writer/narrator is a twit and wouldn't know sexual content if it bit him. Considering said narrator is Bertie Wooster, he's pretty much right.
  • In The Non Adventuresof Wonderella, during national awareness week, one girl realizes that ALL of her ancestors had sex. with each each other.

     Western Animation