Awkward Celeb PDA Moments That Were Caught On Camera

Maybe it's a post-pandemic need to be touched. Maybe it's a crowded media landscape that demands ever-wilder antics in order to monopolize the attention of fans. Maybe it's the fact that there are more cameras, in more places, taking more pictures than ever before. Whatever the reason, we seem to be entering a golden age of celebrity PDA. Scroll through any given awards show red carpet, and it's easy to come away with the impression that the celebs just can't keep their hands (and mouths, and tongues) off each other!

Occasionally, celeb PDA is a welcome sight, a reminder that the stars we love are in love themselves. Sometimes, though, the camera manages to capture people at just the wrong angle, in just the wrong moment, and the resulting photographs are more cringe than cute. Often, it's just plain awkward. Read on for a look back at awkward celeb PDA moments that were caught on camera.

Shawn Mendes and Camilla Cabello showed off online

Social media allows celebrities to control the narrative around their relationships, giving fans a glimpse into their love lives in a way that gossip magazines and traditional media could never hope to provide. Some celebs, however, take their social media displays of affection to new heights. That was the case for Shawn Mendes and Camilla Cabello, whose 2019 Instagram video gave viewers an eyeful. "We saw, like, on Twitter and stuff you guys saying stuff about the way we're kissing and how it looks weird, like we kiss like fish," an uncomfortable-looking Mendes said at the start of the clip. "Really hurt our feelings," Cabello chimed in. Then, promising to give their fans a look at how they really kiss, the "Señorita" collaborators leaned in for a smooch.

Cabello stuck out her entire tongue. Mendes opened his mouth as wide as it would go. He squished his nose into her cheek. She stuck her nose into his open mouth. The "kiss," if one could even call it that, drew shocked and confused reactions across social media. "Can someone please pour bleach in my eyes?" one fan tweeted.

Mendes explained the thinking behind the video on an episode of Dax Shepherd's "Armchair Expert" podcast. Admitting that they intended to be "gross," the "Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile" star confessed, "We might have had a little too much tequila." 

Megan Fox licked Machine Gun Kelly's black tongue

Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly are no strangers to public displays of affection. They've kissed during his concerts, on the red carpet at the 2021 VMAs, in a music video, on Instagram, and more. Even when they aren't physically together, Fox and Kelly have publicly displayed their affection for one another. At the VMAs in 2020, the rapper-turned-rockstar brought a picture of his girlfriend to the red carpet. "I'm actually getting on a plane right when I leave here to come see you and give you a big kiss," he said (via Twitter).

Their PDA reached new heights at the Billboard Music Awards in 2021. Earlier that day, according to People, MGK posted on Instagram that he had dyed his tongue black for the event, calling it a "special accessory." When he hit the red carpet with his girlfriend, his tongue's shocking color didn't stop Fox from licking it while grabbing his crotch at the same time. Fox's strappy dress added to the spectacle of the situation, as did the fact that Kelly kept his shirt entirely unbuttoned, showing off his elaborate chest and stomach tattoos.

While the photos caused quite a stir on social media, at least one viewer was unimpressed with the hype. "All they did was f***ing touch tongues?!" they wrote on Twitter.

Kourtney Kardashian sucked Travis Barker's thumb

Like their occasional PDA partners Megan Fox and Machine Gun Kelly, Kourtney Kardashian and hubby Travis Barker are no stranger to proving their attraction to one another in public. In addition to social media and red carpet shenanigans, their PDA has caused commotion on the Hulu reality show "The Kardashians."

As "Entertainment Tonight" noted, Kardashian's daughter Penelope and son Reign had to beg their mother not to "French kiss" the Blink-182 drummer at the dinner table (via YouTube). Kardashian defended her tendency to kiss her boyfriend in public in a confessional interview on the show, insisting, "Kissing and hugging is not a bad thing. I'm actually grateful that my kids can see a loving, affectionate relationship because they haven't seen that their whole lives" (via The Independent).

Kissing and hugging are all well and good, but what about thumb-sucking? Kravis' most awkward PDA moment has to be the video he shared on Instagram of his wife sticking his thumb in her mouth ... and the post was meant to celebrate her birthday, no less! "I f***ing love you!" Barker captioned the video. "You're a blessing to this world." Commenters on the video were not impressed.

Drake tried to show Rihanna some affection

Drake and Rihanna were friends and frequent collaborators for more than a decade leading up to the 2016 VMAs, which would prove to be a turning point in their relationship. While presenting his "What's My Name?" duet partner with the Video Vanguard Award, the rapper confessed to carrying a torch for his friend. After praising her ability to dominate the charts with each release, Drake admitted, "She's someone I've been in love with since I was 22 years old" (via YouTube). The crowd went wild, but Rihanna seemed taken aback, jokingly rolling her eyes.

As she walked up to accept the award, Drake proved he wasn't kidding. Though the broadcast cut to a wide shot to keep viewers at home from seeing exactly what was going down between the two, MTV later posted a video to YouTube showing a close-up of the uncomfortable display of affection. The "Certified Lover Boy" rapper leaned in for an open-mouthed kiss, which Ri artfully curbed; instead, he seems to have found himself planting it on her cheek. Awkward.

The "Rude Boy" singer later said that the moment was difficult for her at the time. She told Vogue, "Waiting through that speech was probably the most uncomfortable part. I don't like too many compliments; I don't like to be put on blast." Furthermore, she revealed, "We don't have a friendship now, but we're not enemies either. It is what it is."

Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield played up their awkward PDA for laughs

"The Amazing Spider-Man" stars Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield were in a relationship for years. Though they technically never confirmed they were dating, they were photographed by paparazzi on multiple occasions, and after they broke up, both alluded to why they kept their relationship private. "It's so special to me that it never feels good to talk about, so I just continually don't talk about it," Stone told the Wall Street Journal. Garfield, on the other hand, confessed to USA Today, "Having a relationship with the public is very confusing to me."

That being said, we'll always have "SNL." In 2014, Stone joined her then-boyfriend and co-star for a skit about how awkward it is to kiss on camera. The skit was a clever way to poke fun at what we expect from celebrity relationships: We want to be given a look at their romance, but often, it's just plain uncomfortable for everyone involved.

Under the direction of a character played by Taran Killam, Stone and Garfield attempted repeatedly to have a natural-looking PDA session. "Just kiss like normal people kiss," an exasperated Killam said, but the open-mouthed, tongue-filled smooches just got more and more awkward until they were repeatedly pumping air into each other's mouths (via YouTube). Then, promising his most romantic kiss yet, Garfield attempted to swallow Stone's entire chin. If you ask us, they should have taken the act to red carpets everywhere!

Lady Gaga and Taylor Kinney bared it all

Lady Gaga kicked 2016 off with a bang, guest editing the 99th edition of V Magazine. In addition to developing 16 variant covers for the issue, the "Fashion of His Love" singer penned a letter explaining her approach to the magazine. "I wish it to explode the conversation of fashion with the most mind-blowing and controversial approaches: fashion and imagery that aims to sell nothing, a playground for all the greats to flock and break rules," she wrote for V Magazine.

One of the variants was, indeed, controversial. Gaga posed alongside then-boyfriend Taylor Kinney in a nude, paint-covered display of affection. The image was snapped by the "Chicago Fire" star in a mirror as the two cuddled up together, after apparently making love on a canvas covered in paint. In typical Gaga fashion, the image came with a long explanation of her intention behind it. "We made love on the canvas on a Sunday in Chicago. We made love amidst chaos. We talked about shootings. We made love amidst terrorism," she wrote (via Yahoo).

Fans on social media went gaga over their idol's PDA. One user on Twitter compared it to John Lennon and Yoko Ono's iconic Rolling Stone cover.

Kanye West helped himself to a handful of Kim Kardashian

Kim Kardashian's marriage to Kanye West ultimately ended acrimoniously, with the rapper going to some extreme lengths to try to win her back and see their children. Their breakup still affects Kardashian's love life, as she explained on the "Angie Martinez IRL" podcast (via YouTube). "There's a part of me that's like, 'Oh, my God, is everyone going to be scared because I don't have the easiest ex?'" she said.

Back in 2015, however, it was all love on the red carpet of the Grammy Awards. While posing for photographers, Ye planted a kiss on Kardashian's lips, appeared to bend her backward, and planted his hands right on her infamous derrière. The move seemed to amuse the reality star, who appeared to be smiling while she kissed her husband back. They may have been feeling good because West was nominated for two Grammys that night — though he won neither – for his song "Bound 2." Kardashian infamously appeared in the music video for the song, riding a motorcycle backward while naked. Talk about public displays of affection!

Ariana Grande had to lean up to kiss Pete Davidson

Their whirlwind romance had already led them to an engagement by the time Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson made their red carpet debut at the 2018 VMAs. The couple hadn't been shy about the fact that they couldn't keep their hands off each other, with Grande infamously bragging about Davidson's ... endowment. They set the internet ablaze when they were photographed on a walk in New York City; dressed in an oversized hoodie, Grande licked a lollipop while she stared up at the "SNL" star. The pictures instantly became a meme.

At the VMAs, Grande wore her hair down, as opposed to up in her trademark high ponytail. This had the effect of making her seem shorter than people were used to, an effect only heightened when she stood next to her significantly taller significant other. The two engaged in some classic red-carpet PDA, but they were all giggles as Grande had to crane her neck upward to kiss her fiancé. Davidson, too, couldn't help but laugh as he seemed to press his nose against Grande's cheek.

Unfortunately, the smoldering relationship was not to last. The month after the VMAs, Grande's ex Mac Miller died. A month after that, according to People, Grande and Davidson called off their engagement and went their separate ways.

Lil Xan's nose found Noah Cyrus' face

Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson weren't the only ones getting frisky on the red carpet at the 2018 VMAs. Singer Noah Cyrus (Miley's little sister) and rapper Lil Xan attempted to show off their young love, but things didn't go according to plan. First, their interview with MTV pointed to a love built on ... well, not very much. "I just fell in love with this girl really fast," Xan told the network. Speaking with Us Weekly about her boyfriend's most romantic gestures, Cyrus confessed, "I don't know. He gets me chicken nuggets."

Then, some incredibly awkward moments were captured by the red carpet photographers' cameras and went viral online. Fans were particularly tickled by one snap showing the "My Girlfriend" rapper smushing his nose into the region of Cyrus' temple, while she looked unimpressed. The image became so popular online, in fact, that it has its own Know Your Meme page. According to i-D, Cyrus posted (and has since deleted) the photo to her Instagram. "Most ugliest couple at VMAs. Yeah, we know," she captioned the snap. 

They later broke up over rumors of infidelity, according to OK Magazine. Ah, young love. So fleeting.

Cardi B and Offset love touching tongues

At the 2019 Grammy Awards, amid rumors that they were splitting up, Cardi B and Offset touched tongues on the red carpet. The "WAP" rapper is no stranger to showing off her tongue; she even once proudly tweeted, "Yes, my tongue is kinda long." Still, who expected her to lick her husband's tongue on the red carpet? The tongue-related shenanigans didn't end there; during her performance of "Money" later that night, the camera cut to Offset in the audience, and he stuck his tongue out at her on stage.

Cardi later explained on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" that their unconventional PDA was simply a practical consideration. "Sometimes when we do all of that, you know what I'm saying, I have on makeup. Then all that lip glosses and the concealer gets on his face, then he looks like he ate a donut and whatnot!" she told the comedian (via YouTube). "That's never happened before to you?"