Top 10 Famous Kisses


Ah, the kiss. The strange ritual of pressing lips together, exchanging breath and a small amount of spittle while clicking teeth and touching tongues. Sounds disgusting, but we love to do it. So much so you spend about 2 weeks of your life performing this romantic act. So just what are the top ten most famous kisses? Pucker up and find out.

10. Spider-man Upside-Down Kiss

How many young boys (and men) get to live out their fantasies watching Spider-Man swing through the streets of New York City? A few more fantasies were created by the upside-down kiss between Spider-Man and Mary Jane, played by Toby Maguire and Kristen Dunst, respectively. The fact that this kiss was between a superhero and the mildly attractive Kristen Dunst (odd teeth and a large head), who looks her best in the scene, and you have a fairly original and exciting kiss. Rain and a wet t-shirt certainly help. 😉

9. First Homosexual Kiss on Screen

Peter Finch and Murray Head have the distinction of performing the fist homosexual kiss on the silver screen. In the 1971 film Sunday Bloody Sunday, directed by John Schlesinger, a medium close-up shot was filmed of the two men kissing, which was at first planned only to be only an embrace. Someone screamed at a director’s screening of the film, much to John Schlesinger’s consternation. It turned out to be Finch’s wife. Finch was later asked about the kiss and replied, “I did it for England.”

8. Museum Kiss valued at $1,260

Image result for ruth van Herpen kiss

In 1977, Ruth van Herpen visited an art museum in Oxford, England and made the mistake of kissing a painting

, white monochrome painting by Jo Baer. Ruth left a lipstick smear in her wake and she was ordered by law to pay the restoration costs of $1,260. She claimed to kiss the “cold” artwork in order to cheer it up. Others saw this as an excuse for art vandalism.

7. Sexual Harassment Kiss

In 1996 a six-year-old named Johnathan Prevette, a first grade student in North Carolina kissed a classmate innocently on the cheek. His teacher reported him to the principal, Lisa Horne, who ordered him to spend the day in detention. While this is asinine, this isn’t what made this kiss famous. After appearing on a local radio show, the mother’s story spread until the U.S. Department of Education rewrote the sexual harassment guidelines to omit kisses by first graders. Our tax dollars at work, people. To be fair to Johnathan he stated the girl had requested the kiss.

6. MTV Kiss

In 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and Madonna performed “Like a Virgin.” At the end of the performance Britney and Madonna ended the musical number with a French kiss and a second, less scandalous kiss, occurred between Madonna and Christina. Proud moments for all involved, I’m sure. Their kids will love watching this for years to come. Suffice to say it out-shined the awards show.

5. First Kiss on Film

The first kiss to be recorded in a motion picture happened in 1896 in a film by Thomas Edison. The film was aptly named The Kiss, and was between John C. Rice and actress May Irwin. The running time was under 30 seconds as it was filmed for display in a nickelodeon.


4. The Kiss – Sculpture by Francois Auguste Rodin

Image result for The Kiss - Sculpture by Francois Auguste Rodin

The passionate love of Francesca da Rimini and Paolo Malatesta was a theme which Rodin used to inspire The Kiss. Although it was originally intended to be part of the Gates of Hell, Rodin did not feel that it fit and removed the figures to make them an individual statue. The embracing couple depicted in the sculpture appeared originally as part of a group of reliefs decorating Rodin’s bronze portal The Gates of Hell, commissioned for a planned museum of art in Paris. The couple were later removed from the Gates and replaced with another pair of lovers. Rodin described his sculpture as follows, “complete in itself and artificially set apart from the surrounding world.”

3. Sleeping Beauty, the Kiss of Awakening

Image result for Sleeping Beauty, the Kiss

A timeless fairy tale and a timeless kiss. The kiss first appeared in Charlies Perrault’s version of the fairy tale in 1697 in “La Belle au Bois Dormant.” In earlier versions of this tale, the prince isn’t so charming when he rapes her before leaving the scene. Thankfully the fairy tale has been modified to the more romantic version we are familiar with. Benevolent fairies remove the curse of death upon Princess Aurora and change it from death to a deep sleep from which Aurora can be awakened only by love’s first kiss. Romantic, climatic and perfect timing make this a kiss to remember.

From this chamber
She shall wake
When true love’s kiss
The spell shall break.

2. Life Magazine VJ-Day Kiss

Image result for Life Magazine VJ-Day Kiss

Many people think the world’s most famous kiss was captured on film in New York City. This famous kiss photo was taken on V-J Day in Times Square. The photo was plastered all over newspapers and was seen as a symbol of a new era of peace, love and hope. The truth of the matter was that this soldier was kissing every woman in the square and this nurse dental assistant slapped the sailor for his indiscretion. Photographer: Alfred Eisenstaedt

A sculpture commemorating the kiss is located in Sarasota Florida and in Times Square.

1. The Betrayal Kiss of Judas

Judas Iscariot used a kiss to identify Jesus Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. The high priest Caiaphas paid Judas 30 pieces of silver to betray Jesus with a kiss. Jesus was then arrested, condemned to death and crucified. God used his Son’s death as a perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world and Christianity was born.

And while he yet spake, behold a multitude, and he that was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew near unto Jesus to kiss him. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss? – Luke 22:47-48

Some other kisses deserving honorable mention:

  • The kiss from From Here to Eternity as Deborah Kerr and Burt Lancaster locked lips on a beach while waves crashed around them.
  • Lady and the Tramp‘s kiss that was preceded buy slurping on a spaghetti noodle.
  • The first interracial kiss on US Television by Captain Kirk (William Shatner) and Lieutenant Uhura (Nichelle Nichols).

Agree, disagree with these famous kisses? Make a comment and tell us what you think.

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  1. The first homosexual kiss on the silver screen was NOT Sunday Bloody Sunday. It’s in Wings, a 1928 silent movie about pilots in WWI. Yep, they were totally showing gay love in the 1920s.

    • Shell Harris on

      Not quite, since romance was not intended.

      Wings was one of the first to show two men kissing: when several aviators are presented medals by a French general and are ceremonially pecked on their necks, and a fraternal moment between Rogers and Arlen during the deathbed finale. Marcel Danesi remarks that the Rogers-Arlen kiss was “really not a romantic kiss, reverberating more with the desperate love between two dear friends who are about to be separated by death.” Source

  2. the notebook? I know – cliche. But still, ya gotta admit that was one of the best film kisses.

  3. i see that the two i was going to mention are already posted, but here they are again: gone with the wind should have definitely been in there, and the princess bride deserves an honerable mention. I appreciae that the list is not entirely film-related.

    • personally, i’ve always loved the kisses in breakfast at tiffany’s (in the rain) and it’s a wonderful life (phone call), as well.

  4. I’m glad somone mentioned the kiss of death Michael Corleone planted on Fredo. It’s freaky because poor Fredo is too naive to figure out what it meant.

    The Michael Jackson/Lisa Marie kiss was probably the most contrived kiss in history.

  5. and what about Gustav Klimt's masterpiece "The Kiss"? does not it deserve a place in top ten?

  6. Oh you Americans!

    Leave it to you to remark about a LIFE magazine photo -"Many people will think the world’s most famous kiss was captured on film in New York City."

    Are you serious?

    WORLD'S?????? And at number two??

    Before Rodin and Sleeping Beauty????

    Have you figured out yet why the world finds you so annoying?


  7. What a fab list! When you think 'kiss' you think of the movies and romance, but this was really interesting.

    I always thought that the Madonna/Britney kiss was probably the lamest thing I ever saw.

  8. Another honorable mention would be the first interracial kiss in a U.S. television drama preformed between Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner in a Star Trek episode ("Plato's Stepchildren" 1968).

    It was controversial enough to not be aired in some Southern cities.


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    • Actually, that is often mistaken for the first interracial kiss on US Tv. Robert Conrad kissed Pilar Seurat on Wild, Wild, West and Robert Culp kissed France Nuyen. Although Star Trek was the first to FILM the kiss, both WWW and I, Spy aired first.

  9. I was going down the page to write the same thing as funkenforcer. After all, it is more well-known than most of the kisses on this list.

  10. i was really shocked that best kiss of all time didn't make it into the top ten, hands down this is undoubtly the first place.

    "Le baiser de l'hôtel de ville" by Robert Doisneau
    for the first place in this top ten we should stick with reality, not with some fairytale of some roman occupied desert people from the ancient near east.

  11. I think Michael kissing Fredo in Godfather 2 should get at least an honorable mention, don't you?

  12. Sebastyne – That kiss didn't quite make the list, but it was considered. It is difficult to choose only 10 kisses and I didn't want the list to be only movie kisses. That could be a list in itself.

  13. What happened to Rhett Butler and Scarlet O'Hara's engagement kiss?! I was expecting it to be on the top but it never appeared! 🙁

  14. Whoops, I forgot to mention the Pee Wee Herman movie's name – it was Big Top Pee Wee.

  15. Pee Wee Herman's three minute screen kiss with Valeria Golino at one point was (supposedly) the longest kiss ever filmed (and a pretty good kiss is was, too!). A record that was held until Kids in America in 2005 (six minute screen kiss).

    [more info]

    But in the 2005 independent film Kid in America, during the end credits, Holden explains that in 1941, the film You're in the Army Now boasts the longest onscreen kiss – 3 minutes and 5 seconds. Charlotte replies, "Are you ready … to rewrite a little bit of film history?" They then kiss, while the end credits roll, for 5 minutes and 57 seconds. (DVD version)

  16. Helen Copy911 on

    I don't want to seem a bore, but the French name for 'Sleeping Beauty' is 'La Belle au Bois Dormant' (i.e. 'a beauty in the sleeping forest'), while 'ois' is a kind of intake port 🙂

  17. Silver Screen Fan on

    Princess Bride? I was always disappointed with that on screen kiss. What about Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in Notorious. Alfred Hitchcock got away with a long kiss (against the rules back then) by having the two stars kiss and then keep cheek to cheek and kiss again. It was the longest kiss at the time on film.

  18. Ironically three of the top ten kisses are between the same sex: Peter Finch and Murray Head; Britney and Madonna; Jesus and Judas. Of course only two would be perceived as homosexual, Jesus and Judas was a betrayal kiss by a "brother".

  19. Smooches Macgee on

    These smooches are okay, but how could you miss the kiss from The Princess Bride, as the narrator said, it blew all the other kisses away. Interesting choice for #1.

  20. This is a eclectic collection of kisses. I was assuming romantic kisses but that certainly isn't the case.