The best on-screen kisses

We round up 20 of our favourite on-screen kisses from iconic film and television couples.
Best on screen kissesGetty

What makes the perfect on-screen kiss?

There’s no hard and fast formula – after all, most iconic TV and film kisses are iconic because of the romantic tribulations that precede them – although according to our extensive research, it certainly helps if you have two very photogenic leads, and some inclement weather conditions.

Take a look back at some of the most iconic kisses in movie and television history in our roundup below.

Holly and Paul, Breakfast At Tiffany’s: The rain! The trench coat! The choral arrangement of “Moon River”! We’re getting a little emotional just thinking about the climactic scene of this Audrey Hepburn classic, and we haven’t even thought about ‘Caaaaaaat!’ yet…

Ross and Rachel, Friends: Before the break, before Vegas, before ‘I got off the plane!’ there was this glorious first kiss. He’s her lobster!

Kat and Patrick, Ten Things I Hate About You: “I hate the way I don’t hate you, not even close, not even a little bit, not even at all.” We’re not crying, there’s just something in our eye…

MJ and Peter Parker, Spider-Man: The 2002 Spider-Man film set a new benchmark for superhero films and also established the infamous ‘upside-down’ kiss that would go on to be imitated (and parodied) by plenty of others over the years. You can’t argue with the intensity of the original, though!

Seth and Summer, The OC: And of course, who could forget the moment everyone’s favourite OC couple recreated that iconic Spider-Man kiss?

Allie and Noah, The Notebook: It was the film that cemented Ryan Gosling’s place in the pantheon of Hollywood heartthrobs and left an indelible impact on an entire generation of moviegoers. There have been plenty of other Nicholas Sparks film adaptations since, but nothing will ever top the heat generated by Ryan and Rachel McAdams in this iconic scene.

Vivian and Edward, Pretty Woman: Julia Roberts and Richard Gere – making fire escapes romantic since 1990.

Leia and Han, Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back: One of the galaxy’s most enduring love stories was immortalised in this sci-fi classic, with the inimitable Carrie Fisher and always-suave Harrison Ford lending real heat to the blossoming romance between their two characters.

Lady and the Tramp: Cutest Disney kiss, hands down. Plus – spaghetti.

Romeo and Juliet, Romeo + Juliet: Before things take a turn for the tragic (curse you, Shakespeare), Baz Luhrmann’s re-imagining of the tale of star-crossed lovers is filled with more impossibly photogenic kisses than we could count. Worthy of extra special mentions are that elevator moment…

And the swimming pool. Sigh.

Baby and Johnny, Dirty Dancing: Nobody puts Baby in the corner, after all…

Her foot pops! The fairy lights switch on! It’s true love! (Until The Princess Diaries 2: Royal Engagement, that is, when Michael’s absence is explained away in the opening voiceover.)

Rose and Jack, Titanic*:** “I’m flying, Jack!” Cue the sound of a million hearts breaking, to the strains of a woodwind arrangement of ‘My Heart Will Go On.’

Molly and Sam, Ghost: Who knew that pottery was such a romantic hobby?

Joey and Pacey, Dawson’s Creek: This moment was certainly a long time coming…

Cecile and Kathryn, Cruel Intentions: The characters? Horrible. The kiss? Iconic.

Bridget and Mark, Bridget Jones’ Diary: If anyone deserves a ‘happy ever after,’ it’s our Bridget.

Monica and Chandler, Friends: Three cheers for the sweetest moment from the only Friends couple you’d actually want to hang out with in real life.

Thomas and Vada, My Girl: In this heartwrenching 1991 classic, Macaulay Culkin and Anna Chlumsky’s characters share their first kiss by the water.

Westley and Buttercup, The Princess Bride: In this fairy tale adventure classic, Cary Elwes stars as Westley, who is on a quest to reunite with his true love (Robin Wright).

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