HBO's "Girls" has taken a lot of heat this season for perceived offenses ranging from nepotism to racism. But as its Season 1 finale approaches on Sunday night (June 17 at 10:30 p.m. ET on HBO), HuffPost TV is taking a moment to appreciate one thing it's done exceptionally well: utilize gross-out humor and cringe-worthy sex scenes to get laughs in a way that few other shows have dared to.
Under the supervision of co-executive producer Judd Apatow, "Girls" has pushed the envelope of the kind of raunchy comedy viewers are accustomed to watching on TV. Lena Dunham, the show's star and creator, seems willing to put her characters in pretty much every awkward situation she can think of. From exploring innumerable varieties of weird sex, to walking in on her parents naked, to accidentally smoking crack, there's not much that "Girls" has shied away from in its freshman season.
"Girls" cringe-worthy moments aren't always funny, though, and the show sometimes teeters on the edge of hard-to-watch territory. In a few instances, plotlines have intersected with criticisms about the show's lack of diversity and blind-spots to ethnic stereotypes, like when Hannah's Latina co-workers gave her eyebrows a new penciled-on look. But most of the awkwardness feels intentional, as if Dunham's brand of storytelling relishes occasionally making its audience feel uncomfortable.
With that in mind, check out this slideshow tribute to the usually-endearing awkwardness of "Girls." Here are 21 of the show's most cringe-worthy moments from Season 1.
Hannah steals the money her parents left for the hotel maid after they cut her off.
Hannah's parents have sex in the shower, treating viewers to shots of Becky Ann Baker (the mom from 'Freaks And Geeks') topless. Later, Hannah covers her dad's junk with a towel.
Charlie sings Hannah's diary entry about how Marnie needs to break up with him.
Marnie masturbates furiously after artist guy tells her a slick one-liner.
Shoshannah watches Jessa have standing out-the-window sex with her ex.
Hannah and Marnie have dueling sessions of awkward doggy-style sex.
Marnie breaks up with Charlie while having sex with him.
Jessa gets her period while hooking up with a random guy at a bar.
Hannah's Latina co-workers give her eyebrows a penciled-on makeover.
Shoshannah accidentally smokes crack and runs around Bushwick pantsless.
Hannah calls Adam her boyfriend before he actually is.
Jessa tries to lead nanny's revolt, but loses the kids she's babysitting.
Marnie makes out with Jessa.
Hannah asks doctor at the free clinic if the "stuff that gets up around the sides of condoms" can cause AIDS.
Hannah tries to stick her finger up guy from home's butt.
Adam asks Hannah to belittle him while he's jerking off. She obliges.
Hannah propositions, then threatens to sue her sexually-harassing boss, who responds by laughing in her face.
Jessa gets Jeff, the dad of the girls she babysits, punched in the face at a party, then rejects him at the hospital.
Adam pees on Hannah in the shower.
Elijah tells Hannah he thinks her dad is gay, then slaps Marnie across the face for complaining about her too much.
Shoshanna freaks out her camp crush by telling him she's a virgin.