There are certain movies you should never watch with the people who made you. Now, sometimes there’s just a line or two in the entire movie that's uncomfortable, and this can be easily rectified with a well-timed snack or bathroom break. But sometimes the movie is simply doomed to be a big party of awkward. Not in and of itself—if you were with friends, this would be hilarious and barely worth noting. But with your parents, you’re squirming and mentally tabulating the number of times someone says the word "sex."
That being said, there are some basic categories that constitute an awkward cinematic viewing experience with the parental units, and they are as follows:
Too Much Sexy Time
Whether it’s a harmless innuendo or a full-blown steamy scene, there’s nothing like too much onscreen HND to make Family Movie Night unbearably awkward. Your parents are always going to see you as their kid, and there’s no way in hell your impressionable child eyes should be beholding things that are far above your maturity level. And there’s no reason you should be hearing, much less understanding, the inappropriate jokes that are flying fast and furious.
Movies to avoid: The Hangover 2, Showgirls, Black Swan, American Pie, Brokeback Mountain, The 40-Year-Old Virgin, Borat, Zack and Miri Make a Porno (as a general rule, you should probably avoid all movies with the word "porno" in the title).
Too Many F-Bombs
Some parents are cool about curse words. Some are less than cool. If you grew up in a household where swearing earned a time-out of the highest caliber, and was the rough equivalent of punching your sibling in the face, then every naughty word is going to be like a knife in your soul. This includes the frequency with which they are used and the context in which they are spoken. A casual I-just-stubbed-my-toe or I-really-wish-that-building-hadn’t-exploded swear word may not warrant a flinch, but a colorful string of elaborately woven curses will do the trick.
Movies to avoid: Tropic Thunder, Superbad, Knocked Up (anything by Judd Apatow is practically a guarantee), The Usual Suspects, South Park: Bigger, Longer, & Uncut (I really can't stress this enough).
Too Much Violence/Gore (a.k.a. “the Ick Factor”)
Sometimes a horror movie has so much gore that it’s hard to watch it yourself; no way are you going to bring your parents into the mix. Every time someone gets gruesomely axe-murdered, you just know they’ll be cringing and mentally wondering about your taste in movies and what kind of psychopath they have brewing here.
Movies to avoid: Battle Royale, Battle Royale 2 (probably... I haven't seen it yet, but nothing about the first one suggested to me that its sequel will err towards the romantic comedy genre), The Human Centipede, The Human Centipede 2 (ditto), American Psycho, Fatal Attraction, anything from the Saw franchise.
Movies That Somehow Incorporate All Three
Sometimes you’ll hit upon a movie that includes the full spectrum of sexy time, swearing, and gore in a trifecta of discomfort, and if your parents have camped out on the sofa with a bucket of popcorn, it’s going to be a harrowing journey.
Movies to avoid: Most of the movies on this list overlap categories in some form or fashion. The writers are thinking, “If we’re going to make this weird for kids to watch with their parents, there’s no point in making it anything less than a FULL-BLOWN AWKWARD NIGHTMARE THAT WILL DEFINE THIS RELATIONSHIP FOR YEARS TO COME."
What other movies should you NEVER watch with your parents?