In honor of The Shape of Water’s fish loving, here’s more weird sci-fi smash

By A. Lynne Rush

Let’s face it: questionable sex exists. It’s why we have things like protection, STD testing, and the walk of shame. Sometimes it leads to adventure and romance, as is the case of Guillermo del Toro’s Oscar-winning The Shape of Water. Sometimes it leads to unwanted pregnancy, which isn’t exactly the type of alien adventure you probably had in mind.

In honor of our favorite cuddly uncle weirdo’s big Oscar win, here’s a list of questionable times our favorite writers and series took on interspecies, intergalactic, and downright irresponsible, sci-fi sex.

shape of water kiss

Spoilers ahead!

Star Trek

If there’s a poster child for questionable alien loving it’s gotta be the many faces of the Star Trek franchise. Remember when “Enterprise’s” Trip got knocked up after playing an innocent mind-reading game on an alien ship? Or how about the episode of “The Next Generation” where everyone regressed into their primitive animal form and Worf spent an entire episode trying to mate with Troi? What about the time Kirk impregnated a Scalosian queen, or the time he took Scottie to a bordello to cheer him up, or the time he had poor Miramanee stoned to death because she got knocked up by Kirk (who claimed to be a God)? Someone give Kirk a shot of penicillin.

Of course, one of the weirdest players to come out of the whole franchise is Data. His conquests include Tasha Yar and the Borg Queen, so he earned his spot in this list.


When you think about unwanted pregnancy, you don’t usually think about a tiny baby alien birthing itself out of your chest cavity. And yet, that’s exactly what happened to poor John Hurt after he got a little too close with a face hugger. We’ve heard about the childbirth process wrecking your body, but sheesh.


I have questions about “Avatar.” I have questions about the ethics of getting involved with an alien girl when you’re not wearing your own face. I have questions about how that tail is used for adult intimacy – and talking to the trees, and for riding those horse things. There’s a lot going on in Avatar, and while it was super pretty, I feel like James Cameron has some explaining to do – if not for us, then for the horses.

Howard the Duck

No tentacles or blue tails here, but Howard the Duck’s on-screen sex scene with Lea Thompson does have some… erm, ruffled feathers? Howard’s is a bit of a lech but ultimately shy and unprepared for a relationship with a woman three feet taller than he. After all, he is fun-sized. In the comics, though, fun-sized takes on a whole new meaning to Beverly Switzer.

Howard is hardly the only weird sci-fi hook-up in the Marvel universe. Open any X-Men comic and you’re sure to find a hookup that thumbs its nose at convention. If Beast, Nightcrawler and the Thing can get some loving, there’s hope for us all.


There are so many ethical problems with “Splice” that there’s no knowing where they stop or start. Scientists make a new species by way of gross mutant baby. Mutant baby is raised by scientists and grows quickly into a woman with wings, a stinger and unguligrade legs. Scientists have sex with adult mutant (who has also briefly become male?). There’s so much gross in that synopsis that the only good thing about the whole mess is when she slaughters people at the end. Spoilers!

District 9

“District 9” knows that first contact means different things to different people. It’s no surprise that of the many ways people reacted to the Prawns, some of them decided to forgo diplomacy and skip straight to selling them guns, drugs, and women. Unlike the silliness of other properties on this list, “District 9” takes a societal commentary aspect

Galaxy Quest

The “Star Trek” spoof that captured everyone’s hearts features a sweet interspecies love story that includes a lot of batted eyelashes, some awkward flirting and tentacles. Of course, the humanoid forms aren’t the Thermian’s real form – they kind of look like tentacled blobs. It’s likely to make you wonder what poor Tony Shalhoub is in for. It’s the trope-iest of the space tropes, which is why it was played off so well by a movie that mocked everything held sacred by sci-fi.

Mass Effect

It’s almost cheating to include the many games of Bioware in this list, but for sci-fi sexy time it’d also feel wrong to exclude it. Forget Shephard banging his way across the galaxy, or the mechanics of qunari/dwarf nookie – the real question is jellyfish and action hero Blasto.

Would it be uncouth to ask how? Nevermind, I don’t want to know.

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