30 Most Iconic Kisses of All Time
Prepare your pucker for history's greatest kisses.
Let’s face it: The only thing almost as satisfying as locking lips with your own loving partner is seeing others lock lips with their loving partners—regardless of whether that’s John Lennon and Yoko Ono showing their love on a famous Rolling Stone cover or total strangers sharing a triumphant kiss to celebrate the victory of World War II. To see history’s greatest kisses, read on—and feel the love! And for more on the smooches that echo through history, check out these 30 Steamiest On-Screen Kisses.
Coretta Scott King kissing her husband, Martin Luther King Jr.
The civil rights leader looks more than overjoyed while his wife, Coretta, gives him a heartfelt kiss following his court appearance in 1956 after the Montgomery bus boycott.
The Trumps at the RNC in 2016
Melania Trump is pictured kissing her husband at the 2016 Republican National Convention, while then-presidential nominee Donald Trump seems to be kissing… the air?
Writing for Us Magazine, body language expert Patti Wood offered an explanation for the cold embrace: “There was no heart-to-heart contact. There was no pelvis-to-pelvis contact. That was really odd. There was no real warmth.” Ouch. And for more on our current POTUS, check out these President Trump’s 13 Weirdest Habits.
Nancy Reagan kisses Mr. T
The unlikely friendship between the pair blossomed while they worked together on Nancy Reagan’s “Just Say No” drug prevention program in the 1980s. This photo of the two was captured during one of the Reagan’s Christmas parties, where the former The A-Team star posed as Santa Claus. And for more coverage of your favorite celebs, don’t miss these 30 Amazing Celebrity Style Evolutions.
The kiss between the two queens of pop
The stage at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards featured an iconic performance by all three reigning pop divas at that time—Madonna, Britney Spears, and Christina Aguilera. In the middle of Madonna’s performance of her hit song “Hollywood,” she leaned over to give Spears a kiss, which quickly (and quite literally) made the entire world do a double-take. And for more on big cultural moments, check out these 30 Crazy Facts That Will Change Your View of History.
Adrien Brody gives Halle Berry an unexpected kiss
This 2003 Oscars smooch, described by actor Adrien Brody as “amazing,” and by his kissing victim, Halle Berry, as a feeling similar to sheer terror, surprised everyone involved. The lip-locking incident occurred as Brody was heading to the stage to accept his award for “Best Actor” for The Pianist. Instead of using the adrenaline from the win to fuel a poetic acceptance speech, Brody used it to give this long and incredibly steamy kiss to a stunned Berry.
“Kiss by the Hotel de Ville”
Though it was later revealed that this photo was staged, famed French photographer Robert Doisneau created a sensation with the image. The photograph, capturing a kiss between a man and a woman outside the Hotel de Ville in 1950, is a part of the photographer’s series for Life aptly named, “The Lovers of Paris.”
“V-J Day in Times Square”
Perhaps the world’s most famous kiss was captured by photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt as sailors celebrated the end of World War II in Times Square. (Above is a statue rendering of that moment.) It was later discovered that the kiss occurred between George Mendonsa and Greta Zimmer Friedman.
Roseanne Barr kisses Mariel Hemingway
Before Roseanne Barr’s controversial tweets made headlines, she was stirring up intrigue on the original version of her eponymous show.
In 1994, long before same-sex couples were prominently featured on network television, Roseanne featured this same-sex kiss between Roseanne and actress Mariel Hemingway, which sent shockwaves through Hollywood and the rest of America.
Meghan Markle finally embraces husband, Prince Harry
After the tradition-breaking royal couple were officially declared man and wife, they broke yet another rule as the cameras were rolling during this moment. Instead of posing for the traditional newlywed kiss on the balcony of Buckingham Palace, the pair proved that they couldn’t wait that long to embrace each other again—and kissed just after exiting St. George’s Chapel.
Will Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen kiss on the MTV Movie Awards
Following the tradition of those who received the “Best Kiss” award before them, Will Ferrell and Sacha Baron Cohen didn’t disappoint with their infamous (and excruciating long) lip-lock. The pair received this MTV honor for their equally awkward kiss in Talladega Nights.
Chilean miner kisses his wife after being rescued
After being trapped in the San Jose mine in Santiago, Chile for a record 69 days in 2010, Osman Araya’s first act above ground was documented in this photograph, which shows him passionately embracing his wife, Angelica.
Klimt’s “The Kiss”
This painting, created by Austrian painter Gustav Klimt between 1907 and 1908, depicts an embracing couple surrounded by regal gold robes. Klimt was known for exploring love, intimacy, and sexuality in his work.
Supermodel kisses nerd in GoDaddy commercial
Serving as a victory cry to nerds everywhere, GoDaddy’s 2013 Super Bowl commercial featured supermodel Bar Refaeli kissing character actor Jesse Heiman as a part of their “sexy meets smart” campaign. According to GoDaddy, they had to film 45 takes of the intense make-out session before getting it right—an ordeal that made Heiman feel as though he won the “championship of men.” Well, someone had to do it.
The Obamas share a kiss on election night
Though the still-smoldering romance between the former president and first lady is well-documented, this display of affection on election night in 2008 seemed especially sweet. Right after discovering that he would indeed become the very first African American president of the United States, Barack Obama turned to the newly-crowned first lady for a well-deserved kiss.
Auguste Rodin’s “The Kiss”
This 1182 marble sculpture by Auguste Rodin was originally entitled “Francesca da Rimini,” as it depicts the embrace between the Italian noblewoman and her husband’s younger brother, Paolo, who were lovers previously immortalized in Dante’s Inferno. Unfortunately, the lovers’ lips never actually meet—a fact that may have been due to the discovery of their illustrious affair by da Rimini’s husband, who, not being entirely happy with the betrayal by his family members, killed them both.
John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s kiss on the cover of Rolling Stone
This photo taken by Annie Leibovitz became famous not only for the warmth and honesty it conveyed about the peaceful couple but also because it proved to be the very last photograph ever snapped of musician John Lennon. Only hours after the photos were taken, Lennon was assassinated outside of his apartment building.
The first same-sex couple share a traditional U.S. Navy homecoming kiss
Since the repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” in 2010, gay couples have been able to have their own traditional military moments—like this one, between Petty Officer 2nd Class Marissa Gaeta and her girlfriend, Petty Officer 3rd Class Citalic Snell, who were able to share a traditional Navy homecoming kiss—making them the first lesbian couple to ever do so.
Al and Tipper Gore share a staged kiss
Though the couple has never openly admitted this open-mouthed kiss at the 2000 Democratic National Convention was staged, many suspected that it might have all been a ruse to make Gore seem less robotic and more… attracted to his wife?
Unfortunately, Gore lost the presidency and eventually divorced his wife.
Soviet leader Leonid Brezhnev and East German President Erich Honecker share a “socialist fraternal kiss”
This photograph, picturing the Soviet leader and East German president sharing a “social fraternal kiss”—a special communist greeting between two allies that involves an embrace and three kisses on the cheeks, or, if the leaders are especially close, kisses on the mouth, as was the case with here. The photograph received further notoriety when it became the subject of a painted mural on the Berlin Wall by artist Dmitri Vrubel.
Actors share the first on-screen kiss
In 1896, May Irwin and John Rice became the first actors to ever kiss on film in this short titled The Kiss by Thomas Edison. The kissing scene turned out to be so controversial and shocking to audiences, that the Roman Catholic Church called for its censorship, stating the display of affection could lead others to do the same—and at the time, kissing in public could get you thrown in jail.
Ekkachai Tiranarat and Laksana Tiranarat share the world’s longest kiss
If this couple looks like they’re not exactly enjoying this lip-lock, it’s probably because they’ve been holding it for the past 58 hours. Ekkachai and Laksana Tiranarat of Thailand set this Guinness World Record in 2013, by clocking their kiss in at 58 hours, 35 minutes, and 58 seconds.
Princess Diana kisses Prince Charles on their wedding day
As it turns out, these newlyweds began the tradition of the balcony kiss with their wedding in 1981.
Couple finds each other in chaos of Vancouver riots
Following the Canucks’ loss to the Boston Bruins, Vancouver was in a state of chaos—except for one spot of complete tranquility, as captured in this photograph of a young couple embracing on the street, surrounded by police. Reports in 2016 confirmed that the couple was still together five years after this picture was snapped—and from this angle, it’s easy to predict the longevity of their relationship.
Model Jane Priest kisses Prince Charles
In 1979, While Princess Diana was only a twinkle in the Prince’s eye, another woman—model Jane Priest—seemed to catch his attention while he was strutting along the beaches in Australia. Years later, Priest admitted that this kiss had only been a publicity stunt concocted by the royal family to make the stuffy Charles appear more personable.
Lady and the Tramp
Lady and the Tramp had no idea that their accidental-but-adorable kiss would spawn countless imitations over the years to come. But who can really blame them? As it happens, this iconic kiss in the 1955 film was almost cut altogether by Walt Disney himself when he doubted the fact that two dogs would enjoy fine Italian cuisine. Well—if dogs are anything like us, they care deeply about a date’s ambiance.
Star Trek introduces television’s first interracial kiss
In 1968, Star Trek took viewers to another galaxy with this intergalactic (and, more importantly, interracial) kiss between co-stars Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner.
“Betrayal of Christ”
Also known as the “Kiss of Judas,” this piece of art has been recreated by many notable artists. In this scene, Judas is identifying Jesus with a kiss so that the members of the church, who were beginning to worry about all of the commotion created by his movement, could arrest and eventually crucify him. This painting captures the very moment Judas betrayed Jesus.
Aurora is brought back to life with a kiss on Sleeping Beauty
This Brothers Grimm tale about true love’s first kiss inspired decades of girls—and women—everywhere. After all, we’re all just looking for our Prince Charming (or Princess Charming) to rescue us from our deep slumber.
The kiss of death from Godfather Part II
According to Time Magazine, this kiss between mob boss Micheal Corleone, played by Al Pacino, and his brother Fredo, played by John Cazale, is the “kiss that kills.” Though it’s far from romantic, the moments right before the kiss when Michael whispers menacingly that he knew it was him along—are delightfully spine-tingling.
Usain Bolt’s kiss of victory
Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt kisses the track at the London Summer Games in 2012, after winning the 100m and 200m races in record times. Later, he told the New York Times, “I am a living legend.”
To discover more amazing secrets about living your best life, click here to sign up for our FREE daily newsletter!