The Ten Most Cringe-Worthy Moments on 'Girls' - Rolling Stone
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The Ten Most Cringe-Worthy Moments on ‘Girls’


Jojo Whilden

Lena Dunham’s acclaimed show about the highs and lows – but mostly lows – of being young in the city ends its first season this week. We remember the cringe-worthiest moments we almost wish we didn’t.

By Halle Kiefer

10) Charlie Plays Hannah’s Journal Song (Episode #4, 'Hannah’s Diary')

Phillip Caruso


Charlie Plays Hannah’s Journal Song (Episode 4, ‘Hannah’s Diary’)

What is Marnie thinking of? Probably dissolving into a flesh puddle and draining away between the floorboards, seeing as how her soon-to-be-ex Charlie composed a song based on her roommate's journal rants. It's awful enough finding out yours is a "kind of smothering love" by secret diary, but then to be such a diva you'd compose a tune and sing it to your girlfriend in a rage? Our bodies are wracked with wave upon wave of cringes.

9) Hannah Tries to Seduce Her Boss (Episode #5, 'Hard Being Easy')

Jojo Whilden


Hannah Tries to Seduce Her Boss (Episode 5, ‘Hard Being Easy’)

Equal parts cringe-worthy and baffling, Hannah decides to seduce her sexual harasser-of-a-boss Rich "for the story." The story ends with Hannah laying Rich's stunned hand on her breast and declaring "I'm letting you know that it's OK for you to act on your fantasy, because I am gross and so are you." Then she threatens to sue and then quits. You know that if you cringe for too long, your face gets frozen like that? That’s why we're all monsters now.

8) Shoshanna's Rejection (Episode #4, 'Hannah’s Diary')

Jojo Whilden


Shoshanna’s Rejection (Episode 4, ‘Hannah’s Diary’)

Despite his obvious interest, Shoshanna's date Matt bails out of their sexual encounter after discovering that his old camp buddy/potential hook-up is still a virgin. "Virgins get attached. Or they bleed," he sniffs. "I'm a totally unattached bleeder," she tries to argue. No wonder Shoshanna is insane! Her whole lady soul is in a permanent cringe! Maybe she's the only sane one after all (probably not).

7) Hannah Receives Someone Else’s Sext (Episode #4, 'Hannah’s Diary')

Jojo Whilden


Hannah Receives Someone Else’s Sext (Episode 4, ‘Hannah’s Diary’)

Hannah thinks it's funny that Adam accidentally sent his dick pic to her, instead of the person it was actually intended for. Her friends, colleagues and anyone with a tiny shred of romantic hope disagree. "This picture wasn't for you? That is fucked up," her fellow office ladies gasp. The fierce Cholita Marx eyebrows Hannah is rocking in this episode ain’t taking any of the cringe out of this, either.

6) Hannah Sees Her Dad Naked (Episode #6, 'The Return')

Jessica Miglio


Hannah Sees Her Dad Naked (Episode 6, ‘The Return’)

As Hannah herself put it, "Of course you're embarrassed, because this is embarrassing for everyone involved." The cringe factor of Hannah scooping her injured, naked father off the bathroom floor is undercut by the tenderness of the scene. On the other hand, "That is fully your wet butt." Just imagine picking your own damp, naked father off the ground! Are you thinking about that now? Are you cringing? That should probably be the criteria for some diagnosis.

5) Chris O'Dowd's American Psycho Rant (Episode #8, 'Weirdos Need Girlfriends Too')

Jojo Whilden


Chris O’Dowd’s American Psycho Rant (Episode 8, ‘Weirdos Need Girlfriends Too’)

It's a good thing frustrated financial consultant Thomas Jane was played by the charming Chris O’Dowd, or else his desperate, angry diatribe after being rebuffed by Jessa and Marnie ("No more excluding me, Mary Poppins," he shouts. "What are you doing with a bowler hat?") would be so cringe-worthy. Ha ha, just kidding. It's beyond cringe-worthy. New words should have been invented to describe cringing after this episode aired.

4) Jessa Rebuffs Her Boss Jeff (Episode #7, 'Welcome to Bushwick')

Jojo Whilden


Jessa Rebuffs Her Boss Jeff (Episode 7, ‘Welcome to Bushwick’)

"Oh my God, I'm that guy," Jeff moans after arriving at the massive Bushwick warehouse party to Jessa’s awkward surprise. And that’s before he gets beaten up and ends up in the E.R.! Despite that moment of self-realization, Jeff still tries to get Jessa to go home with him, calling her a "tease" through a bleeding nose when she turns him down. Not as cringe-worthy as the off-screen moment when he has to tell his wife what the hell happened to him, but still . . . yikes.

3) Shoshanna Gets Her Voyeurism On (Episode #5, 'Hard Being Easy')

Jojo Whilden


Shoshanna Gets Her Voyeurism On (Episode 5, ‘Hard Being Easy’)

"You're a bat-shit little perv!," Jessa howls when she discovers her mortified cousin has accidentally watched her bed an ex in their living room. Jessa might need to prove she's "unsmoteable," but Shoshanna now needs some trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy. Maybe your peeking out of a closet is just a metaphor! A metaphor for being a cringe-worthy perv.

2) Marnie Dumps Charlie Mid-Coitus: (Episode #5, 'Hard Being Easy')

Jojo Whilden


Marnie Dumps Charlie Mid-Coitus (Episode 5, ‘Hard Being Easy’)

After a quiet, mournful journey back into each other's arms, Marnie doesn't quite realize she does not want to be with Charlie until they are in the midst of the most tender make-up sex. "Don't abandon me," he whispers into her hair . . . causing Marnie to clock her head against the bottom of his loft in a violent on-screen cringe. We're right there with you, girl.

1) Hannah’s AIDS Monologue (Episode #2, 'All Adventurous Women Do')

Jojo Whilden


Hannah’s AIDS Monologue (Episode 2, ‘All Adventurous Women Do’)

"You know, it's also a really good excuse to be mad at a guy. It's not just something dumb like, 'You didn't text me back,' it's like 'You gave me AIDS. So deal with that. Forever.’ Maybe I'm actually not scared of AIDS. Maybe I thought I was scared of AIDS, but really what I am is . . . wanting AIDS." Hannah's gyno appointment rant is the cringe-worthy moment to end all cringe-worthy moments. Or just, all moments. All moments are over now. There is only cringe.

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