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. Unless you were a test tube baby...and even then, IVF is generally only done after couples have been trying to conceive naturally for a sufficient period of time, or are a same-sex couple lacking the opposing parts. Or if you're adopted, in which case, there was still a pair of human beings that conceived you. A theoretical possibility is divine conception, but we're going to go out on a limb and say that two people put Tab A into Slot B to bring you into the world.

Disgusting, isn't it?

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.


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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."

    Comic Books 
  • 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.
  • In Spider-Girl, this is Mayday's reaction to hearing her mom's going to have another baby. Her thought process goes directly from "How could this happen?" to "EWWW!"
  • Supergirl:
    • Downplayed in Supergirl (Rebirth). Supergirl really doesn't like hearing her foster parents flirt when she's around (or when she is not around. She can hear them from anywhere, literally). They are not concerned about her squicked reaction, though.
      Jeremiah: What I did miss?
      Edna: Just the launch, Jeremiah. But the new uniform sure fits.
      Supergirl: Comms are live. I can hear you two.
      Edna: We're your parents, Kara. We're not dead.
    • In Many Happy Returns, Linda learns that her mother got pregnant. When their parents explain the hows and whys, she decides she did NOT need to know that.
      Linda: How did this happen?!
      Fred: What—
      Linda: Are you responsible for this?
      Fred: What the hell kind of question's that?
      Linda: Haven't you ever heard of protection?
      Fred: I had a gun nearby. Didn't help.
      Sylvia: Remember that afternoon you kind of surprised us, when your dad and I reconciled? Well, I think that's when...
      Linda: Oh, I SO don't need to hear that! Jeez, Ma, you're too old old to be having—
      Sylvia: Sex?
      Linda: I was gonna say "a baby", but yeah, the other thing, too.
  • In Superior Spider-Man when Peter discovered he was able to rifle through Octavius's memories, he found one of the night before Doc Ock's planned marriage to Aunt May (a real comics plot from 1973), and quickly tried to convince himself he hadn't.

    Comic Strips 
  • 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.

    Fan Works 
  • In Daria fic Camera Obscure, Quinn Morgendorffer is completely squicked out over her parents reviving a moribund sex life, and begs to spend the night sleeping in her sister's room. Daria pretends not to understand and makes her suffer before relenting.
    They're married. They got a licence to practice. Get over it.
  • There is a Meet the Robinsons fanfic where Lewis ends up swapping dating stories with his Kid from the Future Wilbur and mentions that one of the girls he dated prior to Franny (Wilbur's mother) helped him realize how much he liked kids; Wilbur comments on how disturbing he finds that. Lewis points out that he needs to like kids for Wilbur to exist; Wilbur counters "There are many things necessary for my existence that I don't like to think about." Lewis can't respond because he's laughing so hard.
  • In Mass Effect: End of Days, a human boy born to an Alliance AI and a human (It Makes Sense in Context) hears his mother discussing sexuality with Legion. Reaction... predictable.

    Films — 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.
  • In The SM Judge, the protagonists are a judge and his wife. One of his enemies tries 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 makes 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!"
  • Happens in Next Friday when Craig's dad Willie is taking him to his uncle Elroy's until Deebo is found. During the drive, Willie says it'll be nice to have the house empty so that he and Craig's mom can "walk around butt-naked again," then he excitedly describes the naked fun they'll be having, which Craig does not want to hear about.

  • "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."
  • "If you have a biological younger sibling whose birthday is approximately 9 months after your own birthday, then it's entirely likely that your parents had sex and conceived your younger sibling during one of your birthdays."

  • Happens in Memory by Lois McMaster Bujold. Ivan freaks out when he learns that his mother has gained a boyfriend in Simon Illyan.
    Ivan: 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 title 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 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 
  • Awkwardly subverted once on America's Funniest Home Videos when a couple announced to their 3 children that they were going to soon have a new sibling, one of the boys (who looks to be about 6 or 7 years old) exclaims, "Way to go, dad!" and gives his dad a high-five.
  • 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 - except they were doing it in the hammock.
  • Corner Gas:
    • In an episode, 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.
    • Also, this conversation, when Oscar doesn't want to go to the doctor.
      Oscar: A guy my age goes to the doctor and everyone's gonna assume he's gonna get one of those little blue pills. Everyone in town is gonna be saying how I can't get it-
      Brent: [grossed out] Dad!
      Emma: What's he talking about?
      Brent: Viagra.
      Emma: Oh, for Pete's sake! [Beat] Well, if you're going there anyway, you might as well ask...
      Brent: [even more grossed out] Ohhh, Mom! [leaves]
  • 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", Buffy is inflected with demon blood that allows her to read other people's mind. She then accidentally reads her mother's mind and... well:
    Buffy: (extremely outraged) 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 religion 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.
  • Inverted in Game of Thrones, after Margery Tyrell marries King Tommen Baratheon, she starts spreading stories of his sexual prowess around town, much to Cersei's disgust.
  • 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.
  • In Life in Pieces, Tyler is horrified when Tim starts describing to his son how he thought he'd lost his virginity in high school but had the experience "disqualified".
    Tim: We were on this couch at Uncle Dave's beach house.
    Tyler: I don't think I want to hear this story.
    Tim: It's time I told someone and I want that someone to be you.
    Tyler: No! It doesn't have to be!
  • In Modern Family, The Dunphy children walk in on their parents having sex, they eventually realize that it's a good thing that they love each other so much and get them a lock for their door, which unfortunately has a very audible click.
  • A recurring theme in Friends with Judy and Jack Gellar: Ross and Monica accidentally seeing their sex tape; Monica later seeing the "live show" version; Jack cheerfully discussing the list of celebrities he's allowed to sleep with with Ross, oblivious to his son's discomfort.
  • On an episode of Joan of Arcadia, Joan (along with her brothers Kevin and Luke) gives her parents (Helen and Will) a pass for a weekend at a spa so they can have their "married couple" weekend - which she doesn't want to know the definition, or the details, of (she's freaked out enough when Helen reminds Will about playing "strip Scrabble").

  • 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

  • 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."
  • This occurs during a boss battle in South Park: The Stick of Truth. The player is shrunk down by Underpants Gnomes and must battle them while watching the player character's parents having sex in the background. The boss battle even has a quicktime event where you must dodge your dad's scrotum.
  • Sasha Nein, one of the psychic camp counselors from ''Psychonauts had this reaction when he read his father's mind as a young boy in an attempt to find out more about his deceased mother.

    Web Animation 
  • In RWBY, Ruby and Yang's uncle, Qrow, mentions he has tons of inappropriate stories about his old team, STRQ (Stark), which includes Yang and Ruby's parents. He doesn't go into it, saying he won't say until the girls are older. However, this leads to the 15 year old Ruby's obvious reaction:
    Ruby: [disgusted at the thought of that conversation] Eww, gross.
  • If the Emperor Had a Text-to-Speech Device: when the Emperor learns that he has still living mortal offspring, he reminisces to his sons Magnus and Kitten about how rough he used to be in bed and leaving his partners bruised, much to their disgust.

    Web Comics 
  • 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-Adventures of Wonderella, during national awareness week, one girl realizes that ALL of her ancestors had sex. With each other.
  • In S.S.D.D Tessa's adoptive parents are embarrassingly open about sexuality, in particular their own open marriage.
  • The page image comes from an xkcd comic, where parental sex is treated like some sort of awful disease.
  • In Shortpacked! Mike basically banked on this trope to try to get Amber to leave him once and for all, by manipulating events so her mother had sex with the sex addict Jacob, recording it, and playing the tape for Amber. While Amber did throw up after hearing the tape, she later expressed disbelief that Mike thought she'd leave him because she heard her mother (who's middle aged and had been abused in her marriage) finally have a fulfilling sexual experience. As for the vomiting? Turns out that was Morning Sickness.

    Western Animation 
  • Archer, to the point where his mother getting married actually causes him enough stress to push him into a fugue state.
  • In Family Guy episode "The Son Also Draws", Stewie is freaked out after accidentally walking in on Peter and Lois having sex the night before. Brian messes with him by suggesting where else they did it.
  • In one episode of The Cleveland Show Cleveland's Dad and Donna's "Auntie Momma" have ludicrously dirty sex (in the dark) and then discuss it at the dinner table. Causing Cleveland to vomit continuously for almost a minute. Though that may have been because he knew that "Auntie Momma" was actually "Uncle Kevin" as his Dad had the same reaction when he found out.
  • On Futurama, Leela finds out it's worse when the parental sex is with your Abhorrent Admirer.
    Munda: Sex with Zapp! Sex with Zapp! Sex with Zapp!
  • On King of the Hill, Hank feels pretty awkward about sex in general. When he comes into the kitchen to see his mom and her boyfriend doing it on his counter, he experiences Temporary Blindness until he and the boyfriend talk through their problems. He's also continually exasperated with his father's womanizing ways.
    Hank: How could you not know you had another son?! How many women have you slept with? Five? Six?!
    Cotton: Two hundred seventy-three.
  • On Metalocalypse episode "Dethfam", Nathan Explosion delivers the line "the fact that my parents had sex to create me makes me want to be buried alive."