When the plot revolves around a control freak and a doormat, some moments are bound to make you feel uncomfortable.
- The majority of Christian Grey's behavior is nightmare fuel because it's textbook stalking and abuse. He gets away with it because he's handsome and rich.
"Alaska is very cold and no place to run. I would find you. I can track your cell phone— remember?"
- Anastasia drinks too much, throws up and passes out, only to wake up half-naked in Christian's bed and she has no memory of what happened. That alone is scary enough, but then Anastasia asks where Christian slept. And he simply says he slept right next to her. Holy crap! Just thinking of Anastasia, a drunk, unconscious woman, being dragged around and undressed by a man, to wake up in a place she doesn't know, a bed she isn't familiar with and no recollection of getting there. And then learning that a stranger was sleeping next to her, who could've done whatever he wanted and she wouldn't have known.
- Chapter 12 of 50 Shades, he receives an email from Anastasia, in which she (unbeknownst to him, jokingly) said she was not interested in getting into a BDSM-relationship with him. Christian proceeds to break into her home and have sex with her against her will. As bad as that already is in itself, the real horror is revealed when it's pointed out that Kate was in the apartment, too, but didn't know what was going on.
- Not only does Christian dictate what Ana should do and eat, and also constantly checks in on her, but when Ana jokingly says that she would run away...
He bends and starts undoing one of my sneakers. Oh no... no... my feet. No. I've just been running. "No," I protest, trying to kick him off. He stops. "If you struggle, I'll tie your feet too. If you make a noise, Anastasia, I will gag you."
- It is very clear that the author has a warped view of a healthy BDSM relationship, because there are several instances of unsafe practices that occur without Ana's consent, and Christian even rapes her several times.
- Christian has 'taken Anastasia's panties hostage' and will not return them to her, unless she begs him for them. Not wanting to beg, Anastasia goes commando to lunch with Christian's family at their home. Christian tries to finger Anastasia at the lunch table, but she stops him. And then Christian decides to take Anastasia to the boathouse and rape her, because she dared to not let him do as he pleases. Including the Victim-Blaming he pulls there, the entire scene reads like the preparation for a horror-snuff film.
- This is made even worse knowing that this is portrayed in a positive, "kinky" light, depicting this as a relationship to aspire to.
- Practically every word Christian tells Anastasia is gaslighting. He verbally manipulates her into consenting to sex, into continuing in a job, where he became a partner to the company, into becoming head of that company, when she has no intention of owning one, into forgiving his actions by stating his Freudian Excuse and blaming everything on his mommy. And it works. Every. Time.
- Film Theory makes the point that it's not just textbook stalking and abuse—it's textbook cult indoctrination. Christian's actions in the first film are, essentially, him brainwashing Ana to do whatever he wants and not stand up for herself.
- In Darker, Christian is left alone with his ex-submissive and stalker Leila, who had broken down. He admits that he gave her a bath. To a woman who was emotionally dependent on him and who was unresponsive to other people. And whom he then had carted off to a mental institution.
- Christian's reaction to learning that Anastasia is pregnant in Freed. He yells, throws a dish and begins blaming her for the entire thing, because clearly him having sex with her did not lead to this. And after he's done yelling at her for a good few minutes, to the point that Anastasia is shell-shocked onto her chair and afraid to move, Christian leaves and gets drunk, with an implication that he may have had sex with Elena at the time, too. Just imagine having to break the news of pregnancy to your partner and that being their reaction. To make matters extra horrible, Ana actually anticipated he'd react poorly the moment she learned she was pregnant, though she's still caught off guard by how badly he takes it.
- To many, the idea of Christian being a father. If he reacts like the above example upon learning about Ana's pregnancy, who's to say he'll be kinder to the child/children?
- In Freed, Hyde kidnaps Mia Grey. After she's rescued, it's revealed that he gave her a date-rape drug. And given how Hyde has a history of raping and blackmailing women by recording the intercourse, it's pure horror to think what he was going to do to her. Or was already doing to her, before he was arrested.
- Elena's 'relationship' with Christian, which is actually statutory rape and grooming. She was in her thirties and a family friend, who took advantage of her friend's fifteen year old son when he was in a very troubled state in his life, feeling isolated and lost. She had him performing BDSM acts with her and keeping it a secret from everyone, and convinced him that he was incapable of having intimate relationships that didn't involve violence, control and domination (which explains a lot about his relationship with Ana). Years later he still believes nothing they did together was abnormal and that she's the only person who truly understands him, which she also tells him. The whole situation is extremely disturbing...and the worst part is that besides being otracized by the Greys when she's found out, Elena basically gets away with it.