Sexuality in superhero films is a strange case. Generally speaking, most superhero films just avoid it entirely. The Marvel Cinematic Universe, in particular, is notable in that it doesn’t seem like anyone ever actually has sex (well, Hawkeye has kids, but that’s about all the proof that we have that any of the Avengers ever had sex). This is understandable, of course, as they are pitching to a wide audience, including kids, so they try to avoid certain areas. That same concern exists for most superhero movies.
However, even with the relative lack of sex in superhero films, what’s remarkable is that when it does happen, it is very often a “one night stand.” In some instances, it is because it is being used to teach a morality lesson of some sort, but other times it just happens because two characters want to hook up. It took some doing, but we managed to find the most scandalous one night stands of the bunch!
15. MAGNETO AND MYSTIQUE
This one gets in on a technicality since it was only implied to be a one night stand. In X-Men: First Class, Mystique is attracted to the Beast, but she gets the feeling that he’s really more attracted to her when she looks “human” than in her natural, blue form. Her self-esteem is all over the map when she then tries to seduce Erik Lehnsherr (in his pre-Magneto period) by taking on different forms.
He ultimately tells her that her true mutant form is when she is most beautiful. It is then implied that they have sex. Lehnsherr then cripples his best friend, Charles Xavier, and in the next film, Mystique is now trying to kill Magneto (even though we know she is destined to join his Brotherhood in the future), so it is likely that their romance never lasted past that one night.
14. BATMAN AND VICKI VALE
This might be a surprising entry considering that Batman ended with Bruce Wayne and Vicki Vale in a committed relationship (albeit one that did not last until the next movie), but their first sexual encounter was a textbook case of a one night stand. Vicki Vale and Bruce Wayne really did not know each other when they got drunk (well, Vale got drunk, Bruce presumably faked it) and slept together (with Bruce being rather forceful with her).
Showing his lack of emotional maturity, Bruce then basically blew Vicki off. Only her dogged personality wouldn’t let him get rid of her so easily and she managed to break through all of the barriers that he put up over his life and they managed to make things work (for the first movie, at least).
13. MAGNETO AND QUICKSILVER’S MOM
This is another instance where the one night stand is implied, as we never actually see Erik Lehnsherr with the woman who ended up giving birth to Quicksilver. However, due to the state that Erik’s mind was in after his mother was killed by a Nazi scientist, there was little room in Erik’s life for anything but his pursuit of the Nazi who killed his mother. It is somewhat surprising that he had the emotional room to even have a one night stand with Quicksilver’s mom, period.
Quicksilver’s issues with his father ended up playing a larger role in X-Men: Apocalypse, as Peter did not actually know he was Magneto’s son when he debuted in X-Men: Days of Future Past. In Apocalypse, he is aware of the connection, but he ultimately decides not to let Magneto know of their connection.
12. IRON MAN
When it comes to fictional narratives, two jobs that repeatedly end up getting short shrift on ethical standards are lawyers and reporters. In real life, lawyers and reporters rarely actually sleep with their clients or the people that they are writing stories about, but in fiction, it seems like that that’s all they do.
That is certainly the case with Christine Everhart, the reporter who sleeps with Tony Stark in Iron Man while she is writing a profile on him, and then gets essentially slut-shamed the next day when Pepper Potts shows up to escort her from Tony’s mansion. She starts things by being snarky to Pepper, saying that Tony still has her doing the laundry, but she responds that she also “takes out the trash.”
11. BATMAN AND TALIA AL GHUL
Sexuality in the Christopher Nolan Batman films was strange, as Bruce Wayne carried on a mostly platonic love affair with his childhood sweetheart, Rachel Dawes, until she is killed in The Dark Knight. He then spends the next eight years moping over her death (even though she was practically engaged to another guy when she died). In The Dark Knight Rises, businesswoman Miranda Tate is the first person who has perked Bruce’s interest in years.
He ends up having sex with her, but then it turns out that she is secretly Talia Al Ghul, the villainous daughter of Ra’s Al Ghul. Because of course the first woman that Bruce sleeps with in the Nolan-verse turns out to be a villain. At least at the end of the film, it looks like Bruce finally was ready to have a normal relationship with Selina Kyle.
10. IRON MAN (AGAIN)
One of the most destructive one night stands on the list was definitely the one in Iron Man 3 between scientists Maya Hansen and Tony Stark. At a New Year’s Eve party in 1999, both Hansen and Aldrich Killian were vying for the attention of Tony Stark. Stark blew off Killian, but because Stark is a renowned horndog, he spent the night partying with Hansen. They got drunk and she showed him her research.
In the morning, after having sex, Stark blew her off, but did leave her with some thoughts on her research. She used them but was angered by his treatment of her. She ended up turning to Killian and the two began to work on their project, Extremis, through an illegal think tank that turned out to be part of Advanced Ideas Mechanics. And all because Tony blew her off after sleeping with her.
Lorelei Amrbosia was the beautiful mistress of the villainous Ross Webster in Superman III. In an interesting twist, while she appeared to be a complete ditz, it was all an act. In reality, she was quite brilliant (there’s a bit where she is secretly reading “Critique of Pure Reason” by Immanuel Kant and criticizing the work in a non-baby doll voice).
When synthetic Kryptonite causes Superman to turn into a jerk, Webster has Lorelei seduce Superman so that she can get him to sink an oil tanker that Webster needed out of the picture. After being saved by Superman on the Statue of Liberty, they go back to her place where she gets Superman to sink the ship. He turns down her offer of champagne, though, and chooses to have her instead. After Superman is cured of his issues, he no longer remembers sleeping with Lorelei.
8. BATMAN AND BATGIRL
One of the biggest criticisms of The Killing Joke over the years is the fact that Barbara Gordon, one of the most prominent female DC superheroes, is really more of a prop in the story than an actual character. The fact that she was shot and paralyzed by the Joker wasn’t really about what it did to her but rather how it made her father feel, as Joker was trying to prove that he could drive Commissioner Gordon insane through just “one bad day” (similar to the origin Joker, himself, offers up in the story).
In the animated film adaptation (which had a brief theatrical run), the story is the same, except now Batman had a one night stand with Batgirl before she was shot, making her attack have more of an effect on Batman, without it changing anything else. She essentially remains a prop.
7. HOWARD THE DUCK
Technically, these characters were interrupted before they actually had sex, but they were close enough that we’re still counting it, primarily because it is such a bizarre scene. In the film, Howard the Duck, the duck that walks like a man who is trapped in our world, befriends the singer Beverly Switzler.
While they are alone in her apartment on her bed, they joked about hooking up with each other, but then the joking got serious and they were just about to have sex when they were interrupted by a scientist that thinks he could get Howard back to his home world. In the end, Howard is stuck on Earth, but he decides to become the manager of Beverly’s rock band.
In the film, Hancock, the title character is a down-on-his-luck superhuman vigilante who often tries to do good deeds but keeps on causing massive property damage while he saves people. Eventually, one of the people he saves becomes his friend and decides to turn Hancock’s public image around, complete with getting him a new costume.
In any event, a deleted scene in the film shows a superhero groupie seduce Hancock. They go back to his trailer, but he warns her about the dangers of when he “finishes.” She ignores the risk and they have sex. When he is about to orgasm, he has to throw her off of him and then when he releases, he ends up causing a series of holes in his roof. This freaks her out and she runs away. It’s such an odd scene that it was probably a good idea to cut it.
5. WOLVERINE AND MARIKO
In the Marvel comic book universe, Wolverine and Mariko Yashida have one of the great tragic romances. After fighting his way to finally being able to marry her, the villainous Mastermind brainwashed Mariko into jilting Logan and she then tragically died a few years later in Wolverine’s arms. She was dying of poison, so Wolverine actually technically killed her as a mercy killing — it was brutal.
That tragic romance was translated into the film The Wolverine, where Wolverine spends a lot of time in Japan with Mariko after he saved her from an attempted kidnapping. They grew close and even spent the night together. It seemed like it was destined for something more, but then Mariko ended up having to take over her family business and the two were torn asunder, leaving their time together as just “one night.”
4. DAREDEVIL AND ELEKTRA
Interestingly, while both the comic book version and the television version of the Daredevil/Elektra romance involved the two characters knowing each other when they were younger, the 2003 Daredevil movie decided to play it as if they were just meeting for the first time. This turned their torrid romance into a “two people falling for each other hard” rather than a wistful reunion. It even came with a make-out session in the rain!
This was followed by a lovemaking session in Matt Murdock’s bed… which was a nice surprise to know he had a bed as he spent most of his time in his apartment in a sensory deprivation chamber. They seemed like they were on track to be a full-fledged romance, but sadly the villainous Bullseye then killed Elektra, turning the one rain-filled night between Matt and Elektra into their only night together.
3. GREEN HORNET
In the Green Hornet, the introduction of the film shows us a Britt Reid who is an irresponsible lout who embarrasses his father with his sordid interests. Right when his father is trying to talk about the morality of the city going down the tubes, his own son is getting drunk and having a one night stand in their family estate.
When his father is then killed, Reid has to grow up, but even then, at first, he just enjoys his newfound status as the head of the Reid fortune. He does finally buckle down and take his new career as a superhero seriously. Here, the fact that he has a one night stand with a woman he doesn’t know is a statement of how Reid needs to grow up and become a better person.
2. GREEN LANTERN
When we first meet Hal Jordan in the Green Lantern film, he’s a young boy with a serious case of hero worship for his test pilot father. He then watches his father tragically crash in front of his very eyes. The experience was obviously damaging to Hal’s psyche, so much so that when we meet him in the future, we see that he is the type of person who runs from responsibility as much as he can.
This is demonstrated when he wakes up late for work with a one night stand who he doesn’t remember from the previous night (and his apartment is so gross that all he can offer her is “water in the tap”). When he is given a Green Lantern ring, however, he is forced to turn his life around and become a more responsible person.
In X-Men: Days of Future Past, the X-Men are being hunted nearly to extinction by Sentinels in the future. Their only hope is to send Wolverine’s mind back in time to 1973 so that he can prevent Bolivar Trask from being murdered by Mystique, which was destined to make Trask into a martyr and ensure that the Sentinel program would become a reality in the future.
When Wolverine showed up in the past, he discovered himself in his 1973 body… in bed with a woman! She’s the daughter of a mobster and he’s being paid to protect her, not sleep with her! Technically, Logan slept with her enough times for it to not be a one night stand, but that was past Logan, so we’ll still treat it as a one night stand for future Logan (we’re tricky like that).
Can you think of a one night stand that we forgot to list? Let us know in the comments!
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