The movie trope of walking in on someone having sex is a common one, but it’s most often the result of someone making a surprise trip home, or getting off work early, only to bust in on their significant other, leading to sadness and pain all around. Sometimes, though, the reactions of those being interrupted are a bit more unusual than simply shock, or tears, or a defensive fistfight with a cuckolded spouse. In these other cases, the reactions can lead to some surprising situations—or possibly just some awkward ones.


1. Have a lengthy gunfight while you finish getting it on (Agent Smith, Shoot ’Em Up)

There are few things that would put an end to the act of intimacy quicker than having a bunch of gunmen burst into your bedroom, intent on killing you—for most of us, anyway. Happily for cinematic purposes, Smith—Clive Owen’s taciturn badass in the absurdist action film Shoot ’Em Up—isn’t most of us. During Smith’s intense bout of lovemaking with Monica Bellucci’s Donna, a team of thugs burst into the couple’s hotel room, intent on terminating Smith with extreme prejudice. Instead, with a physical agility that comes across like a live-action version of a Tex Avery cartoon, Smith grabs a gun and begins firing back, without missing a beat in his rhythm. (A trick Nicolas Cage’s character in Drive Angry would borrow just a few years later.) Smith and Donna keep at it, up against walls, various floors, and moving across rooms, all while he dispatches the entire squadron of killers (finishing off the last one just as Bellucci climaxes, naturally). He even caps off the whole experience with a groaningly bad pun, which we’re going to tactfully refrain from quoting here, because some things just beggar belief. [Alex McCown]


2. Discover that your partner is underage (Amy Townsend, Trainwreck)

From a legal standpoint, it’s a nightmare to find out the partner with whom you’re getting busy isn’t actually above the age of consent. Thankfully, the Amy Schumer romantic comedy Trainwreck is able to use this situation as comedic fodder. After a few too many, Schumer’s magazine writer character, Amy, ends up going home from the bar with office intern Donald (Ezra Miller). Although slightly befuddled by his bedroom behavior—namely, he keeps slapping her, calling her “Daddy,” and wants her to massage his pierced nipples—Amy rolls with it in the name of being open to experimentation. She’s saved after a few minutes of awkward humping and petting by an even more excruciating presence: Donald’s mother, who abruptly enters the room and screams in horror that he’s just 16. Naturally, their makeout session is now very much over—and Amy’s left to experience some serious personal and career mortification, as well as a riotous hangover. [Annie Zaleski]

3. Come up with a bland explanation for your insane pie-fucking behavior (Jim and Noah Levenstein, American Pie)

As Noah, the square, bespectacled father of American Pie protagonist Jim Levenstein (Jason Biggs), Eugene Levy looks like the type of parent who would be appalled by their child’s feverish quest to lose their virginity. But whenever sex comes up in their household, Levy bucks his stereotype by speaking openly about the topic and giving advice to his son, however awkward it may be. Even when he walks in on Jim sprawled over the kitchen counter (Biggs is standing up with his back to the camera in the theatrical cut), passionately thrusting himself into a freshly baked apple pie, he doesn’t scream, scold him, or walk out of the room in embarrassment. After a gasp accentuated by the arching of Levy’s caterpillar eyebrows, Noah instead goes into parental damage-control mode. “We’ll just tell your mother that uh,” he stammers while staring down at the mangled heap of crust and fruit in front of them, “we ate it all.” A lesser father would be disgusted by the incident, but as Noah freely admits later on, he used to masturbate quite a bit himself, even though he “never did it with baked goods.” [Dan Caffrey]


4. Have a giggle fit after unzipping the wrong zipper (Muriel Heslop, Muriel’s Wedding)

As the title character in her breakthrough role, Toni Collette spends the first stretch of the film being psychologically beaten down by her disinterested family, her catty group of frenemies, and her deadening small-town life. But after moving to the big city, she starts to find some confidence, enough to ask out her most devoted customer at the video store where she works. While making out on her beanbag chair, Muriel giggles excitedly as her date tears open her blouse, and fumbles with her bra. But when he mistakes the zipper on her leather pants for the one holding the beanbag chair together, he starts a chain reaction of mishaps. As styrofoam pellets explode out of the chair, he loses his balance, knocks over a lamp, and breaks a window. The commotion attracts the two very naked men in mid-tryst with Muriel’s roommate in the next room. Every step in the chain elicits more giggles, and the mood is dead, buried, and overgrown with weeds by the time the giggles subside. Not the sexiest sex scene in movie history, but for the awkwardly amorous, one of the most true-to-life. [Mike Vago]


5. Prevent future interruptions (Jaime Lannister, Game Of Thrones)

Most people don’t want someone spying on them during sex. (Except the occasional fetishist. No judgment, man. You do you.) But preventing spies becomes a lot more important when you’re boffing your own sister, she’s the queen of your country, and it’s really important for everyone to believe the illegitimate children you had together are actually the rightful heirs to the crown. Which explains what happens at the end of Game Of Thrones’s first episode: Jaime Lannister and his sister Cersei are caught in the act by 10-year-old Bran Stark. So Jaime shoves him out of a high tower window, sighing, “The things I do for love.” Many, many years of plot developments come from this casual act of attempted paedocide, but at least people stop walking in on Jaime and Cersei, and they can return to their increasingly unpleasant, increasingly non-consensual sex life in privacy. [Tasha Robinson]


6. Receive approval from your partner’s parent (Tone Lōc, “Wild Thing”)

Of all the people who could walk in on you while you’re getting down to business, your paramour’s mother is more or less the worst-case scenario. Typically, parents attitudes towards their progeny having sex are at best “don’t ask/don’t tell,” and at worst, firearm-related. But in Tone Lōc’s 1989 hit “Wild Thing,” things go better than expected when he meets a girl at the mall and goes back to her place. In the course of one line of the song, things then go terribly wrong for the couple: “I keyed the door, we cold hit the floor, looked up and it was her mother.” But after a tense moment, Mom surprises everyone involved by saying: “She said, ‘Hey you two, I was once like you, and I liked to do the wild thing.’” Of course, having dodged that bullet, Tone clearly decides not to press his luck, as he’s on to another girl in the next verse. [Mike Vago]


7. Get a room—literally (Couple screamed at by David Kleinfeld, Carlito’s Way)

Midway through Carlito’s Way, corrupt lawyer David Kleinfeld (Sean Penn) gets busy with his girlfriend Steffie (Ingrid Rogers) in a nightclub bathroom, indicating that he has no problem with sex in public places. But he’ll be goddamned if anyone’s going to get a handjob on his lawn, as one of his guests tries to do during a coked-out party at his summer house. “You got any manners?” Davey screams at the guy and woman straddling him. “You wanna fuck her? Fuck her like a normal human being! Take her in the bedroom!” Director Brian De Palma never shows whether or not the couple follows their host’s orders, but it’s assumed that they do, given what happens next: It would be awkward for everyone involved if, while tearfully confessing to Carlito Brigante (Al Pacino) that he needs help breaking a client out of Rikers Island prison, Davey had to continue watching his party guest get jerked off. [Dan Caffrey]


8. Run away just long enough to come back and interrupt someone else (Jack and Miles, Sideways)

When Thomas Haden Church’s Jack is first interrupted during sex with a waitress late in the movie Sideways, both the interloper and the subsequent reaction are pretty textbook: They’re interrupted by the woman’s husband, and Jack, faced with physical confrontation, runs away, mostly naked, and returns to the motel where he’s staying with his buddy Miles (Paul Giamatti), by their estimate about “five clicks” away. But in his haste, Jack forgets his wallet, the contents of which include the wedding bands his fiancee (the one he was just cheating on) had designed. So Jack and Miles return to the scene of the interruption, where they find the waitress and her angry husband are now having sex themselves. Jack doesn’t perform the actual interruption; he sends Miles in his place to retrieve the wallet and incur the wrath of the very angry and very naked husband. He pursues Miles and Jack out into the street, and though they’re able to escape, the episode confirms that sex interruptions really aren’t Jack’s bag. Whether he’s interrupted or the interrupter, odds are he will be chased away, fearing for his life. [Jesse Hassenger]


9. Get bitten by a vampire (Corey Bryant, Salem’s Lot)

In Stephen King’s vampire opus, ancient bloodsucker Kurt Barlow chooses the rural New England village of Jerusalem’s Lot over a big city as his feeding ground because, as he explains to Corey Bryant, small towns have more darkness, more secrets among their citizens. Just take Corey, for instance. The 22-year-old phone repairman (changed to Fred Willard’s real-estate agent in the 1979 miniseries) has been having an affair with Bonnie Sawyer, whose husband Reggie catches them in the act. After being forced to suck on a shotgun barrel for several minutes, the young man soils himself and slinks out of the house onto a dark country road. Shamed to the point where his life in the Lot is ruined, it’s no wonder he welcomes Barlow’s appearance—and the inevitable bite that turns Corey into a vampire himself. [Dan Caffrey]


10. Explain something mechanical and get offered a job (Kaylee Frye, Firefly)

Captain Malcolm Reynolds collected the crew of Serenity in a lot of strange ways, but few made their way into the crew in as esoteric a fashion as chipper mechanic Kaylee Frye. The ship already had a mechanic in so-called “genius” Bester—a mechanic who was ’twixt Kaylee’s nethers (her words) when Mal first walks in on them, their sexual congress putting the ship even further behind schedule and Mal’s patience past the breaking point. However, once clothes were put on, it turned out that in Kaylee’s time on her back she’d already observed multiple fixes to the engine that Bester had missed, and without batting an eye started hard-wiring the ship to render the faulty reg couple redundant. “Just tends to gum up the works when it gets tacked. So I figure, why even have one?” That was advice dear to the ever-pragmatic Mal’s heart, and in only a minute he went from calling Kaylee a “prairie harpy” to offering her a job as long as she could keep Serenity flying. And Bester? Well, he turned out to be about as useless as the reg couple, and went from having no shirt to also having no employment. [Les Chappell]

11. Try to hide at your friend’s place, only to interrupt him doing it (Ghostface Killah, “Yolanda’s House”)

Ghostface Killah frequently gets praised as being hip-hop’s answer to Raymond Chandler, and rightfully so—he spits his hardboiled crime yarns with a vivid grit usually reserved for pages made of cheap wood pulp. But he also leaves room for humor among all the violence and overdoses, especially on “Yolanda’s House,” where he throws in enough chase scenes, opening and closing doors, and sex to transform the song into a Benny Hill sketch. First, Ghost hides out at his girl’s apartment while getting pursued by the police. The cops soon interrupt the couple’s meal of fishsticks and biscuits (not to mention their foreplay), prompting the rapper to run to the home of Method Man, who’s also engaged in the dirty deed. His partner, an asthmatic, screams and hyperventilates, and Ghost can’t stop laughing at the comedy of it all. And seeing as Meth’s dick keeps slipping out of his boxers while the two friends hide in the closet, it’s hard to blame him. It takes an appearance by Raekwon to truly end the party, as the business-minded MC—forever focused on the cold logistics of the coke game—shows up to collect a debt. [Dan Caffrey]


12. Be blown up by aliens (Sharona, Mars Attacks!)

In Mars Attacks!, Christina Applegate’s Sharona is imbued with a romantic enthusiasm that won’t be dampened by any force, up to and including an alien invasion. The absence of boyfriend Billy Glenn—off to volunteer with the army in greeting the Martians—barely registers, as her non-stop lovemaking sessions continue on uninterrupted. A pair of Martians briefly pause from their violent rampage to ogle Sharona’s trailer, a trippy horror vacui of perversion filled to every corner with concise Day-Glo diagrams of lovemaking techniques. Sharona screams after noticing the duo outside her window, who—despite their alien physiology—are aroused enough by what they see to fog up the insides of their own helmets with heavy breathing. This problem is easily solved when they deploy their conveniently installed set of miniature window wipers. Given the Martians seemingly asexual anatomy, it’s possibly the thought of more violence, not sex, that excites them. Regardless, Sharona’s trailer, with her and her lover inside, soon goes up in a pillar of flame. [Nick Wanserski]


13. Just keep on keepin’ on (Rosaline, Shakespeare In Love)

Remember, it’s only an interruption if you actually stop. Little Bill’s wife in Boogie Nights (played by Nina Hartley) figured that out—whether her husband runs across her boinking randos in their bed at home, in someone else’s bed at a party, or in a parking lot in broad daylight, surrounded by eager onlookers, she just snaps at him to move along, and gets back to the action. Rosaline (Sandra Reinton) develops a similar attitude by the midpoint of Shakespeare In Love. When her lover Shakespeare (Joseph Fiennes) catches her in bed with another man (Simon Callow), the latter leaps off her as if her lady-parts are on fire, which doesn’t leave her with much choice about the interruption. So later, when Kit Marlowe (Rupert Everett) similarly walks in on her enthusiastically riding a third lover, Burbage (Martin Clunes), she just keeps bouncing throughout the resulting conversation. Kit doesn’t care—he has fees to negotiate!—but the distracted Burbage eventually cries, “Will you desist, madam?” Rude. Maybe her fourth lover will finally remember to lock the damn door. [Tasha Robinson]

14. Rush to your moaning patient, eventually (Doctor and nurse, A Clockwork Orange)

There don’t seem to be a lot of basic creature comforts in the world of Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange: It’s a sterile future dystopia full of thugs and drugs and sudden violence. (It is, after all, a Kubrick film.) So when protagonist Alex (Malcolm McDowell) winds up in the hospital after an attempted suicide, the audience shouldn’t be too surprised that a couple of hospital staffers are neglecting their duties in favor of a quickie behind a hospital privacy screen. Whatever passes the hours. Alex is only surprised because when he moans in pain, he hears what sounds like a responding moan from the nurse locked in sexual congress feet away from him. The scene turns into a little comic moan-duel, until he finally manages to convince his doctor and nurse to knock it off for a moment and attend to his needs instead of their own. In the world of Clockwork Orange, that practically passes for a pleasant moment. [Tasha Robinson]


15. Go shoot and curb-stomp some people and get hauled off to jail (Derek Vinyard, American History X)

What’s worse than walking in on your brother (Edward Norton as Derek Vinyard) and his girlfriend (Fairuza Balk as Stacey) having sex? Answer: Feeling like you needed to in order to alert big bro to the gang members outside your house, who he then decides to shoot and curb stomp to death before being arrested and sentenced to (only?) three years in prison. Norton, portraying a neo-Nazi, manages to go from butt-naked to fully dressed killer quicker than most people can finish the job (so to speak). Vinyard’s jail time, however, includes fellow inmates brutally raping him without interruption. American History X is not for the faint of heart. [Becca James]