The Weirdest Kisses In Sci-Fi Movie History

What makes a good movie kiss? Is it the chemistry of the actors mixed with the proper lighting? Is it the combination of the narrative and the right director? Maybe it is just a random bit of cinematic circumstances falling into place. There's no easy way to explain the success of Hollywood's most outstanding smooches, and if there were, the iconic ones wouldn't be as special.

While most of these remarkable canoodles are found in rom-coms and period dramas, one movie category doesn't get enough credit for its treasure trove of cinematic pecks — science fiction. Film fans watch sci-fi movies for their space battles or their thought-provoking concepts, but underneath the CGI and visual effects, there's always an emotional element that often leads to some significant displays of cinematic affection. 

To celebrate this ever-evolving genre, let's take a look at sci-fi kisses that don't play by the rules. A few are romantic, others are filled with complexity, and a handful are hard to define in one simple phrase. Regardless, they all have played a part in showing the diverse range of emotions science fiction can represent. So without further ado, let's examine some of the most captivating — and sometimes strange — kisses of sci-fi cinema. 

Andrew and Portia — Bicentennial Man

'90s box office flop, "Bicentennial Man" follows a robot named Andrew Martin (Robin Williams) as he faces various hurdles to become human. One such struggle Andrew faces is his relationship with Portia Charney (Embeth Davidtz), a restoration artist who is also related to his original owner. While their first few encounters are pretty bumpy, this quirky pair has a fascinating spark, leading Andrew to realize that their bond is more than just friendship. However, when Andrew discovers that Portia is engaged to someone else, he makes one last attempt to win Portia's heart. The result? One of the most under-appreciated kisses in this or any galaxy. 

From the start, it's hard to ignore the magic between Williams and Davidtz. Much like Andrew and Portia, they have an equally incredible connection, making the scene a pure delight to watch. Though the reason this kiss had to be mentioned is how it plays into typical rom-com tropes but in a unique sci-fi way. Sure, the scene contains the usual lovey-dovey proclamations, but it also features Andrew detecting Portia's heart to figure out her true feelings, resulting in some sweet robot humor. Ultimately, this sequence is a beautiful example of why "Bicentennial Man" deserves more acclaim and why Andrew and Portia's romance is one for the ages. 

Data and the Borg Queen — Star Trek: First Contact

As a franchise, "Star Trek" has had its fair share of significant kisses. Take, for example, the one shared by Data (Brent Spiner) and the Borg Queen (Alice Krige) in "Star Trek: First Contact."  Data is held captive by the Borg to gain access codes to the Enterprise via his neural net. As time passes, Data meets the Borg Queen and realizes that she'll do anything to find the android's weaknesses — including grafting human skin onto his arm which allows him to feel a new sensation, pleasure. Yet, that isn't the only trick up the Queen's cybernetic sleeve, as she eventually seduces Data into an intimate smooch.

Featuring brilliant dialogue by Brannon Braga and Ronald D. Moore, this sizzling sequence displays the elements that make the Borg Queen such an iconic baddie. From her erotic energy to her gentle mannerisms, it's easy to see why Data would fall under her spell. Plus, Spiner and Krige do a great job of playing off of the juxtapositing elements of their characters: Data embodies innocence and naivety while the Borg Queen evokes a mix of danger and maturity. This makes their kiss a fantastic representation of the duality their relationship represents.

The finale kiss — The Fifth Element

Luc Besson's '90s classic, "The Fifth Element," follows its own beat. Leeloo (Milla Jovovich), a divine being who is destined to save Earth from destruction, just happens to fall into the cab of taxi driver Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis.) As the narrative twists and turns, the unlikely pair find themselves together on more than one occasion, eventually leading them to form a romantic connection that has the power to protect the planet. While many moments show the couple's adorable chemistry, their embrace inside of a recovery chamber during the film's finale perfectly closes this unique sci-fi movie.

Beginning with President Lindberg (Tommy "Tiny" Lister Jr.) talking to Korben's mother and ending with its final blue frame, this scene shows Besson's distinctive brands of humor and romance. While a more traditional director would have concluded the movie with the pair kissing as the sun sets, this approach not only pays off earlier jokes set up in the film but feels like it fits the quirky nature of Leeloo and Korben's relationship. Plus, with the smooth sounds of Eric Serra's "Little Light of Love" playing as Willis and Jovovich's eyes magically meet, the scene embodies the sparkly magic of what a first kiss feels like.

Laliari and Fred — Galaxy Quest

While many of the kisses on this list have a genuine romantic feel, a few serve a more comedic purpose. Take, for instance, the iconic smooch from "Galaxy Quest," when Fred Kwan (Tony Shalhoub) and Thermian crewmember Laliari (Missi Pyle) embrace in quite the quirky fashion. In the scene, Fred, Laliari, and Guy (Sam Rockwell) are watching Fred's successful use of the digital conveyor on a video monitor. To celebrate, Laliari begins to frantically kiss Fred, leading the pair to get more intimate as she reveals her true form.

From the over-the-top acting by Shalhoub and Pyle to the fantastic comedic timing of Don Zimmerman's editing, this scene wonderfully balances emotions and laughs. Sure, Fred and Laliari are as unlikely a couple as any, but that makes them charming. We all want to find someone who accepts us for who we are — alien tentacles and all. Plus, Rockwell's reaction as Guy to said canoodle is icing on the cake, making it clear why this movie remains a fan favorite.

Jake and Neytiri — Avatar

Romance can come in many interesting forms in the world of sci-fi, and among the most fascinating examples is the relationship between Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) and the Na'vi princess, Neytiri ( Zoe Saldaña) in James Cameron's "Avatar." Despite the warranted narrative criticisms the blockbuster has drawn over the years, Jake and Neytiri's love story is one of the more captivating aspects of this incredibly flawed movie. Look no further than the moment the couple embraces when surrounded by the Tree of Voices. 

Featuring a stunning color palette and delicate performances by Worthington and Saldaña, this kiss not only makes this list for its well-earned impact but also for the fascination audiences still with the scene. Yes, the connecting of the hair tendrils and the erotic nature of everything happening at the moment is a lot to handle, but there is a genuine sense of romance within the scene. Simply put, Jake and Neytiri's story is about love knowing no bounds between time, space, and species. While Cameron isn't the most nuanced storyteller, that aspect of this scene speaks for itself. 

The Amphibian Man saves Elisa — The Shape of Water

In the realm of sci-fi, a kiss can do some incredible things. In Guillermo del Toro's "The Shape of Water," Elisa Esposito (Sally Hawkins), a cleaning lady who works at a secret lab, discovers the Amphibian Man (Doug Jones), a humanoid aquatic creature kept inside the facility. As their relationship progresses, Elisa and her new friend form a unique romantic bond that puts them into some dangerous circumstances, especially once Colonel Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon) discovers their whereabouts. When Strickland shoots Elisa, it's up to the Amphibian Man to save the heroine's life in the only way he knows how — through an underwater kiss. 

While some viewers might scoff at the mere sight of a fish man kissing a human woman, there's a lot to be said of the emotional significance of this scene. Not only does this moment speak to Del Toro's romantic side, but this kiss perfectly bookends Elisa's story. She dreams of finding a place to belong, but because of the way her life panned out, she's always felt on the outside looking in. Thanks to the Amphibian Man's abilities, her childhood scars become the key to her survival. Plus, she finally has a place to belong alongside the creature who understands her better than anyone.

Jupiter and Caine's Aerial Smooch — Jupiter Ascending

While most of the movies on this list are considered "good" in the conventional sense, "Jupiter Ascending" is entertaining for all the wrong reasons. From its confusing plot to its meme-worthy explanation of bees, this Lana Wachowski creation continues to boggle the minds of audiences, but when it comes to the elements that perplex viewers, the relationship between Jupiter Jones (Mila Kunis) and Caine Wise (Channing Tatum) easily takes the cake. Is it because their romance sounds like it was an abandoned plot from a '90s anime? Or could it be Jupiter's attraction to Caine being half dog? It's hard to pick a simple answer, but one thing is for sure, their final on-screen kiss is as fascinating as their wacky love story.

The scene starts with the two casually sitting atop a skyscraper as they get ready to fly around in space boots. Yet, as the scene progresses, it becomes pretty clear this sequence only exists to show how hot and bothered Jupiter is about Caine, especially when she sees his cybernetic wings. Their kiss is a beautiful sight to behold (because Kunis and Tatum are pretty to look at), but the campy nature of their performances mixed with the oddity of the film's tech and lore makes this a noteworthy sci-fi smooch.

Joi and K's surrogate experiment — Blade Runner 2049

In "Bladerunner 2049," K (Ryan Gosling) and his digital girlfriend, Joi (Ana de Armas), have anything but a typical relationship. Joi is a virtual girl who K purchased to fill the void of his incredibly lonely existence, but even with Joi at K's side throughout the majority of the movie, they still can't have the kind of tangible relationship humans crave since, you know, she's a hologram. Then there's the replicant Mariette (Mackenzie Davis), a sex worker hired by Joi in the hopes of fulfilling the couple's genuine missing link — sexual intimacy. With Joi projecting herself onto Mariette's body, the three embark on a strange erotic journey that begins with a kiss and goes to even more fascinating places.

From its first frame to its last, this sequence brilliantly juxtaposes the uncanny yet sexy nature of the characters' actions. At first, K seems uncomfortable with Joi's suggestion of using a surrogate, while Mariette is more than willing to help Joi fulfill her fantasy. As the scene progresses, the trio becomes in sync with each other. Joi shifts from shy and nervous to confident and in control. Ultimately, this sequence works because it respects the sexuality of its characters without degrading them. 

George and Zira's kiss goodbye — The Planet of the Apes (1968)

In the original "Planet of the Apes," audiences follow George Taylor (Charlton Heston), an astronaut who crashes on a mysterious planet 300 light years away from his home solar system. Later, he and his remaining crew are taken captive by a society of highly-evolved apes whose speech and intellect match their own. One of the apes our hero encounters is Dr. Zira (Kim Hunter), a chimpanzee psychologist fascinated with human behavior. She especially grows fond of Taylor, and as much as he doesn't want to admit it, Taylor slowly begins to like Zira, too. As the film nears its iconic conclusion, viewers see Taylor part ways with his new ape friend with a goodbye smooch.

Whether you interpret the kiss as a weird sign of romance or friendship, this sequence does a great job of bookending Taylor and Zira's quirky relationship. While they have a lot of bumps along the way, their bond is fueled by a desire to understand each other because they are misfits in their societies. So it makes perfect sense that their kiss symbolizes them finding acceptance in each other despite coming from different worlds. Plus, the hilarious reactions from the other characters in the scene give the film one last light chuckle before its bone-chilling ending.

Samantha and Theodore's intimacy — Her

In Spike Jonze's sci-fi film, "Her," viewers witness the complicated but beautiful relationship between Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) and Samantha (Scarlett Johansson), a couple who just happens to be a human greeting card designer and a virtual AI assistant. Despite how incredibly different the two are, their relationship evolves from a simple technology-based working relationship to something purely romantic. While many sequences showcase the incredible highs of their love story, one particular scene does it the best of all — the moment when the two discuss their physical desires in bed.

Although we never see the pair kiss in a literal sense, the magic of this moment works because of Phoenix and Johansson's fantastic performances. With each word, audiences can feel the intensity of the couple's affection and how their bond knows no limits, despite Samantha not having a physical body. Of course, some viewers might have difficulty not laughing at Theodore and Samantha's emotional connection, but for those willing to give it a chance, this love scene speaks to the power of intimacy and all the forms it can come in.

Richard and Elise's first kiss — Somewhere in Time

Some sci-fi kisses have the power to leap through decades, which is very much the case with this moment from Jeannot Szwarc's "Somewhere in Time." In the movie, playwright Richard Collier (Christopher Reeve) travels back to 1912 to meet stage actress Elise McKenna (Jane Seymour). After a lovely walk around the grounds of the Grand Hotel, Richard escorts Elise back to her room, asking if he can spend just one more moment with her. Though initially hesitant, Elise lets him in, increasing the already obvious tension between them. As Richard slowly makes his way to Elise, it becomes clear that their "conversation" won't require any words.

Though it might seem strange, the genius of this kiss is due to the actors' subtle choices. Seymour gives Elise this multidimensional element, which makes it seem that the character has never known what true love feels like. Similarly, Reeve does a great job of portraying Richard's intense love for Elise, making it seem as if he has also been waiting a lifetime to kiss someone with such passion and tenderness. While the scene is odd if you overthink the time travel elements of the couple's relationship, it's hard to ignore its beauty.

Roy Batty kisses his creator — Blade Runner

Not every kiss has to be romantic. Case in point: the moment replicant Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer) meets his creator, Eldon Tyrell (Joe Turkel), in the original "Blade Runner." In the scene, we see Batty and genetic designer J. F. Sebastian (William Sanderson) enter Tyrell's penthouse. With an intimidating stare, Roy continues to come closer to his maker, demanding that Tyrell extend his existence (a premature aging disorder is shortening his lifespan). However, the pair find no solution to prevent Roy's impending demise. As a final act, Roy gives his creator a powerful kiss that leads to Tyrell's ultimate end.

Filled with many impactful religious messages, this scene walks a tight rope of being simultaneously strange and meaningful. It allows Hauer to chew the scenery while also flexing his dramatic acting muscles. However, what truly makes this a memorable smooch is the cinematography by Jordan Cronenweth, who captures the raw intensity (and slight campy edge) of the sequence in the most cinematic way. Ultimately, this scene might weird out certain audiences, but for those who appreciate multi-layered filmmaking, this kiss is a tour de force.