Sex toys have gone mainstream over the last two decades, becoming a part of many of our everyday lives and showing up on the big and small screen. That’s right, it’s not all about jokes like the notorious confection in American Pie! Sex toys in TV and movies may still be treated humorously, but the plotlines also make it clear that men and women are using items like vibrators and dildos to get off, alone and with partners.

Here are some of our favorite moments where sex toys have shown up in pop culture.

Sex and the City

Sex and the City is the OG of TV shows dealing with the title topics and, along with them, sex toys. “The Turtle and the Hare” episode from season one, in which Charlotte gets a rabbit vibrator that soon becomes her new pride and joy, brought this type of vibe to new heights of popularity. After this episode aired, women all over the country were inspired to try one of their own after witnessing Charlotte’s unabashed pleasure in this dual vibrator, which offers penetration and clitoral stimulation at the same time.

Broad City

Broad City was one of the first forms of entertainment to introduce pegging, the act of wearing a strap-on dildo for penetrative sex. This popular episode, which co-star and co-creator Abbi Jacobson says is the best of the series’ run, takes place in the second season. Abbi (the character) pegs her crush Jeremy with a handmade dildo, at his request. Jacobson’s co-star and co-creator Ilana Glazer told Newsweek of the episode’s inspiration, “One of my old friends from high school was into getting pegged by his girlfriend. We did not want the episode to be ‘straight dudes who like anal pleasure are gay!’ We specifically wanted it to be represented by a more complete whole masculinity.”


Mary-Louise Parker’s weed-dealing mom character, Nancy, experiences something any sex toy lover has probably experienced: running out of batteries for her vibrator. She rummages around and eventually finds batteries in her remote control that she can use to get her pleasure on. If you don’t want to have to scramble for batteries in the heat of the moment, make sure you stock up on batteries or go for a rechargeable vibrator that will keep up with you no matter how turned on you are.

Grace and Frankie

Vibrators are a recurring plot point on Netflix’s Grace and Frankie starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin in the title roles because the title characters start a sex toy business selling vibrators and lube. The show never shies away from its support of vibrators; it even put them on a billboard in Los Angeles. While in much of pop culture older women are treated as less than sexual, it’s refreshing to see this popular show put senior women’s pleasure front and center.

The Bachelor

Vibrators took center stage on reality TV this year when, on the latest season of The Bachelor, Katie Thurston brought a pink vibrator when she introduced herself to Matt James. Of her sex toy stunt, she said on the Bachelor Happy Hour podcast, according to People, “It wasn’t some agenda that I had coming on to the show. It’s just who I am and who I’ve been this whole time. It wasn’t until after the fact that I realized how big of a deal it was — which excites me because I do believe it’s 2021 and women should be comfortable talking about their sexuality.”

For his part, James told Refinery29 he didn’t mind the vibrator’s appearance, saying, “It was a great icebreaker! It takes a lot of balls to do something like that. She’s super confident and I respected it. I wasn’t upset about it.” Will Katie reprise her sex toy’s role as she stars in The Bachelorette next season? You’ll have to wait to find out!

Saturday Night Live

On a December 2020 episode of Saturday Night Live, Pete Davidson gave a shout out to an Etsy store selling a vibrator with his face emblazoned on it. While most of us don’t have sex toys featuring our photos, how awesome would it be if they did?

Zach and Miri Make a Porno

While many of the sex toys shown in movies and on TV are geared toward women, in Zack and Make a Porno Seth Rogen’s character, Zack, tells Miri, played by Elizabeth Banks, what the popular Fleshlight is for. He winds up buying it and while later he jokes that using it is “like fucking a flashlight,” in real life, this classic men’s sex toy is a must-have for guys who want a realistic sensation and tight squeeze during solo play.

Fifty Shades Darker

Of course, the blockbuster movies based on the trilogy by E.L. James centering around the kinky explorations of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele would include sex toys! We’re highlighting the second movie in the trilogy, Fifty Shades Darker, because it has a pivotal scene with a sex toy that’s a little less common: ben wa balls. These orbs can be inserted into the vagina and used to enhance arousal, and do they ever for Ana! As Cosmopolitan puts it, “We are to believe that Ana is aroused (or at least feels something) every time she claps, giggles, crosses her legs, or talks to Mia (Rita Ora) or Christian’s mother. Ana even bids on Christian’s chalet in Colorado while wearing the Ben Wa balls.” There’s something thrilling about using a sex toy in public when no one’s the wiser.

If reading about all these scenes has made you want to try something new in the bedroom, you’ll find all types of sex toys right here at Spencer’s!