That doesn't really happen, does it?
August 3, 2011 5:23 AM   Subscribe

2 part question about morning breath: 1 - are there any movies in which the characters address this issue, rather than pretend it doesn't exist? 2 - Do you kiss with morning breath?

It always bothers me when movie characters wake up and have full-on makeout sessions without regard to their breath. Because let's be honest, morning breath stinks. I realize it's a movie and addressing life's ugly little details would make it boring, but I'm curious - are there ANY movies that address this in a realistic way? I imagine there's a comedy or two out there that would touch on it.

And this got me thinking...maybe it actually happens in real life? Are my partner and I the only ones who avoid kissing on the mouth in the morning? If so, how does it work? I have never actually done it so...does your mutual bad breath make it tolerable? Enlighten me, metafilter!
posted by yawper to Human Relations (46 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
There's a scene in Sex and the City where Carrie's boyfriend tells her to brush her teeth before he'll kiss her. But she had recently cheated on him and been a shitty girlfriend so it's really more about that.

Some people's morning breath is worse than others'--I personally haven't rebuffed or been rebuffed due to it, but, different strokes and all.
posted by tetralix at 5:26 AM on August 3, 2011

Yeah, I distinctly remember discovering morning breath as a teenager and thinking but they never mention it in the movies!

In the past I've been rebuffed for it, but current SO swears he cannot taste or smell any halitosis whatsoever, and I'm the same. Once one of us cleans our teeth, though, the other's minging breath becomes apparent. Still not quite figured that one out yet.
posted by dumdidumdum at 5:32 AM on August 3, 2011

I had a memory of a scene like that starring Julia Roberts (she covers up her mouth and refuses to kiss the guy she's with), and a little Googling told me that it happened in America's Sweethearts. (which I don't remember seeing, but there you go)
posted by cider at 5:37 AM on August 3, 2011

If morning breath is the grossest thing about your partner that you have to deal with, count yourself lucky. I, for one, wouldn't tolerate being rebuffed due to that, and don't remember ever having been. It goes with the territory of sleeping with other people.
posted by MrMoonPie at 5:37 AM on August 3, 2011 [11 favorites]

In "America's Sweethearts" Julia Roberts wakes up next to John Cusack and covers her mouth with the blanket when he rolls over to kiss her.
posted by MrBobaFett at 5:38 AM on August 3, 2011

i make out with my husband with morning breath. i've also never been bothered by onion/garlic breath. maybe people have different levels of tolerance for these sorts of things.

i do agree with dumdidumdum, when one is brushed and the other isn't, then it is noticeable.
posted by nadawi at 5:42 AM on August 3, 2011

Morning breath has never bothered me either. Maybe for once, hollywood is reinforcing and validating the existence of natural body processes?
posted by Jon_Evil at 5:49 AM on August 3, 2011

There is this terrible movie with Freddie Prince Jr. and Julia Stiles where a scene about morning sex involves a mention of morning breath by the narrator. The corresponding action sort of shows them avoiding I said, terrible movie and I don't recall its title (sorry!).
posted by boofidies at 5:53 AM on August 3, 2011

There's a scene in Tales from the City, when Michael wakes up for the first time with the cute doctor (Jon), and one of them had slipped out of bed early to brush his teeth, and the other says, "hey, no fair!"
posted by endless_forms at 6:12 AM on August 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

"Morning breath" hasn't really ever been much of an issue for me -- and some Googling suggests that that may be because I really don't drink very much. "morning breath" is aggravated by a dried-out mouth, and alcohol slightly dehydrates you -- so if you don't drink much, you're not dehydrated, and if you're not dehydrated, your mouth's not dried out, and you don't have bad morning breath. (The nights I do have a few drinks, I make sure I have a big glass of water before bed; that also seems to do the trick.)

That is, I'm assuming it hasn't been much of an issue for me, unless my exes were all avoiding telling me something. I did have an ex who got worried about his own breath a couple times and solved it by sneaking off to the bathroom to brush his teeth before I woke up.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:15 AM on August 3, 2011

Maybe it just takes some time? My boyfriend didn't want to kiss with an open mouth in the mornings for months, whereas I didn't mind it, as long as we both had not brushed (as has been mentioned above, the moment someone else has a fresh mouth, and you don't, it's over!) But now, a couple of years later, he doesn't seem to have a problem with it! YMMV
posted by unlaced at 6:18 AM on August 3, 2011

I was just watching "Knight and Day" (shut up) and there was some scene where one of the main characters woke up from like 18 hours of drugged sleep and soon enough they were making out and I was like EWWW GROSSSSS. And this is a movie that, in the first ten minutes, Cameron Diaz is using breath spray before her first close encounter with Tom Cruise! Shocking. I was shocked.

I knew watching that movie would come in good for SOMETHING, just didn't know it would be an AskMe thread.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 6:21 AM on August 3, 2011

boofidies is referring to "Down To You"
posted by edbles at 6:22 AM on August 3, 2011

There's a scene in Torch Song Trilogy in which Harvey Fierstein wakes up, dashes into the bathroom, shaves, brushes his teeth, puts on deodorant, etc, and then slips back into bed and pretends to wake up with Matthew Broderick.

In my own experience, morning breath is something that bothers me more--both mine and my partner's--now that we've been together a long time. I'm not sure if it's one of those things that you can overlook early on because you're so hot for each other, but that then becomes a bother later, or if it's that our morning breath is worse now that we're middle-aged, or some combination.
posted by not that girl at 6:25 AM on August 3, 2011

Morning breath never stops my wife and me from kissing as soon as we wake up. Sometimes it's a "morning breath aware" closed-mouth kiss. Other times... "I've got morning breath." "I don't care!" (Cut to drapes flowing in the breeze.)
posted by The Deej at 6:30 AM on August 3, 2011 [3 favorites]

Morning sex is the best so it's worth the risk. I did once read a lifehack that you should keep an orange next to your bed and offer a slice to your partner and take one for yourself before initiating the morning make-out session.
posted by Skwirl at 6:39 AM on August 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

Seven is a horror movie with Brad Pitt as the lead. Throughout the movie he makes references to his slovenly personal hygiene, morning mouth among the transgressions.
posted by effluvia at 6:53 AM on August 3, 2011

I'm really, really sensitive to smells and I haven't kissed my husband first thing in the morning ever. Really, not ever in the 20+ years we've been together. It grosses me out. Then again, I won't kiss him after he's eaten onions or other smelly foods until he brushes his teeth.
posted by cooker girl at 6:54 AM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

In Giving it Up [Do Not Watch], I think it's one of the earliest scenes, Mark Feuerstein and some woman are having morning sex and she tries to kiss him, and he keeps trying to stop her, and then they do kiss and she (I think, could be he) winds up running to the bathroom to vomit, because, you are led to believe, of morning breath.
posted by thebazilist at 7:16 AM on August 3, 2011

The rule in our home: Absolutely no open mouth kissing/breathing face to face before both of us have brushed teeth. Code word is "dragon breath."
posted by Sternmeyer at 7:28 AM on August 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

Bit tenuous, but morning breath is mentioned in the Rachel Papers by Martin Amis on page 14 of the linked document.

"Gloria was evidently bucked by her breakfast, and we rolled about hugging and tickling each other, and laughing, in an evasive cross-fire of bad breath, before coming together cautiously for the first kiss of the day. In my limited experience, this is nearly always tolerable if one is wholehearted about it and almost invariably emetic if one isn't. I was wholehearted about it, what with adulthood pending"

Not sure if it made it into the film
posted by fatfrank at 7:34 AM on August 3, 2011

I just wish I could favorite MrMoonPie more than once.
posted by aabbbiee at 7:53 AM on August 3, 2011

I love smooching my SO and couldn't imagine morning breath or typical "negative" mouth tastes [garlic? onions? those are delicious foods!] keeping me away. I believe he feels the same way, thus we are a good match.
posted by jessamyn at 7:54 AM on August 3, 2011 [4 favorites]

1) .

2) My wife won't kiss me until I brush my teeth in the morning, yet she insists I kiss her before she brushes her teeth. Anyone say double standard?
posted by TinWhistle at 8:31 AM on August 3, 2011

I've totally given my special lady the morning-kiss redirect when she's had some hair-curling morning breath. And I know mine can't be that much better... regardless of the other person, I can't morning kiss if *I* can taste my mouth.
posted by FatherDagon at 9:08 AM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Yeah, generally speaking no open mouth kissing first thing in the morning. I dated a girl in college who kept gum by the bed for just such occasions, I used to keep those Listerine breath strips always nearby. Now I just go to the bathroom and use the mouth rinse.
posted by MrBobaFett at 10:20 AM on August 3, 2011

Mike Myers describes it as "kitten breath" in So I Married an Axe Murderer.
posted by annaramma at 10:27 AM on August 3, 2011 [2 favorites]

There's a scene in Scrubs where J.D. wakes up and kisses his ladyfriend, and she tells him his breath "smells like eggs". He is abashed but then she continues that "she loves that smell" or something like that.

I figure if people feel like giving some morning lovin' to their SO something like bad breath probably wouldn't stop them. Then again, it depends on the couple.
posted by sprezzy at 10:48 AM on August 3, 2011

In Gilmore Girls, Sookie and Jackson move in together, and when Lorelai asks Sookie how it's going, Sookie ruefully admits that they're still getting used to each other. Her main example is that they both sneak out of bed every morning to brush their teeth and then sneak back and pretend they just woke up that way.
posted by colfax at 11:07 AM on August 3, 2011 [3 favorites]

True story: I was once about to give a new lady friend a good-morning kiss, and she asked me if I'd brushed my teeth yet. I was mightily taken aback until she clarified that she had not, and just wanted to be sure we were in the same state before getting started. That was one of the god-damned sexiest things I ever heard.

I tell this story to emphasize the fact that I have never, never had this issue come up with any of the women I've found myself kissing in the morning. I'm not surprised that there are a few persnickety morning kissers, and I accept that some folks' morning breath is worse than others', but I also want to emphasize that I've always considered this whole thing to be an exagerrated condition manufactured by mouthwash companies. I really am blown away that so many folks here come down on the no-kissing-until-brushing side of things--I had no idea this was as common as it appears to be.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:09 AM on August 3, 2011 [5 favorites]

Not really but sort of related. Last night I was watching Doc Martin on Netflix, and there was a scene when the main character asked the woman he just kissed for the first time, if she had any dental hygiene or health issues because her breath was so bad. (It was in the morning after being awake all night, so maybe it sort of counts.)
posted by pyjammy at 11:26 AM on August 3, 2011

In the movie Practical Magic, Nicole Kidman's character (Gillian) rouses Sandra Bullock's character (Sally) out of bed by noting her bad breath.
posted by lrrosa at 12:54 PM on August 3, 2011

One of the Shrek sequels has Fiona noting Shrek's bad breath and embracing it.
posted by amicamentis at 1:18 PM on August 3, 2011

I find that morning breath is more smellable than tasteable, so I inhale well before approaching for the kiss, and no problem.
posted by milk white peacock at 1:22 PM on August 3, 2011

It doesn't bother me, or my SO.
posted by cp311 at 1:23 PM on August 3, 2011

I have been in love with a couple of individuals whose breath I literally would have eaten if I'd been able to, including my husband. That also includes morning breath. It's bound to be a pheromones/hormonal thing, but that's just me personally.

However, if someone's just eaten onions, I have to weigh whether it's worth it or not. If I love the person, it always is.
posted by Unicorn on the cob at 4:26 PM on August 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've kissed a few people before brushing my teeth in the morning. If I like the way they smell / taste enough to find myself waking up with them, the morning breath doesn't bother me. And anyway, after you kiss for a few seconds any funky taste abates.
posted by bunderful at 5:31 PM on August 3, 2011

I absolutely cannot kiss before we've both brushed in the morning. I know my breath smells like ass because my mouth tastes like ass, and even if he doesn't mind I would be too self-conscious to relax. And I know his breath smells like ass because when I lay my head on his chest in the morning, he breathes delightful puffs of hot ass-scented air down into my face. Doesn't matter if our status matches or not, I can't get past it. It just makes me queasy.

However, I think I may be much more sensitive to bad breath smells than other people are. I've known folks whose breath continually smells to me as if it could knock a buzzard off a shitwagon, and yet they have significant others who make out with them without complaint.

The rare morning sex at our house features lots of cheek, neck and shoulder kissing, unless we're awake enough to go brush.

Anyway... I know of a few scenes from TV dealing with morning breath:

In Ugly Betty, the first morning Betty and Henry wake up together he is embarrassed of his morning breath, and she tells him he should be comfortable with who he is, and kisses him.

In Scrubs, JD and Eliot are discussing the possibility of morning sex, and she asks him if he remembered to set out mouthwash the night before, and if he diluted it so they could swallow it instead of getting up to spit.

In Eureka, Jack and Allison wake up and start to get snuggly, and she insists on getting up to brush her teeth before things progress any further.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 5:33 PM on August 3, 2011 [3 favorites]

I don't actually mind kissing my husband's morning breath. It isn't too bad. What I mind is him kissing my morning breath because I hate how mine tastes. It's right there in my mouth, I know it's unpleasant. We kiss in the morning all the time but I feel really self-conscious about it and try to avoid it. I'm pretty sensitive to bad smells and flavors and he isn't, and rationally, I know that he doesn't mind because he keeps trying to kiss me in the morning, but I just can't get past it and enjoy it.

Now, if he's just eaten a garlic bagel with onions and lox? Forget it, man. I can't even be within a foot of his mouth.
posted by troublesome at 10:57 PM on August 3, 2011

When my husband and I first got together, I remember just ignoring the morning breath sometimes and kissing without teeth-brushing. Several years later, that's just not going to happen. I definitely don't trust my morning breath, as I have severe allergies and take meds that effectively dehydrate me, which means I breathe through my mouth a lot and wake up with icky dry desert-mouth. I think I'm also just really sensitive to scent compared to some people.
posted by bizzyb at 7:48 AM on August 4, 2011

Let me add this: I am so sensitive to smells that I will get queasy and have been known to throw up if a particular smell sets me off. I didn't ask for this and I wish I could blithely go about my business in the world without having to deal with this every single day. I would love to be able to kiss my sweetie first thing in the morning but I just can't. It's not all in my head and I can firmly say that I haven't been brainwashed by mouthwash companies. From what my mother has told me, I've been like this my whole life.

I'm surprised that so many responders are surprised that many of us can't tolerate intense smells. We're all different, right? I'd be willing to bet that there are things that drive others crazy that don't bother me a bit. Embrace the differences! Rinse your mouth if that's what your partner likes! Eat onions if that's what your partner likes! Viva la difference!
posted by cooker girl at 8:59 AM on August 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Depends on the person, I think. I don't mind kissing before teeth brushing. My first serious boyfriend didn't either, so I kind of thought that it wasn't a big deal. Then I dated a guy who was super fastidious about hygiene and absolutely positively would not kiss me before I brushed my teeth. Kind of made me feel gross, but now I understand that it's a big deal for some people now, for whatever reason.
posted by anotheraccount at 11:13 AM on August 4, 2011

My boyfriend and I kiss every morning - mostly closed mouth, but occasionally it turns into a full makeout session. It works since neither of us has brushed yet.

There's a reference to morning breath on "A Different World" (Cosby show spin off) when Dwayne and Whitley first move in together.
posted by jacindahb at 9:06 PM on August 4, 2011

In the recent comedy Bridesmaids the female protagonist sneaks out of bed to brush her teeth and apply make up before her shallow paramour wakes up and pretends to wake up then.
posted by joost de vries at 4:08 AM on August 13, 2011

Skwirl: "I did once read a lifehack that you should keep an orange next to your bed and offer a slice to your partner and take one for yourself before initiating the morning make-out session."

Okay, in Florida, you would wake up to an ant-covered orange if you tried that. Worse than morning breath? I think maybe.

Up until I started HRT and anti-depressants, morning breath didn't bother me. It's more my breath than his, because the anti-depressants make my mouth really dry and so I am ALWAYS drinking something, keep a big glass of water by the bed and everything. I don't like the taste of my OWN mouth, so I don't want him to have to deal with it.

And if he's been drinking beer the night before, I can't handle it. HRT makes me more sensitive to smells, for some reason, and I've never been able to take that beer smell anyway (grew up a couple miles from a brewery).

So then, I have my big glass of water by the bed for us both. Problem solved. Or we brush our teeth first or have shower sex or something instead.

I was surprised how many people said morning breath didn't bother them--but then I remembered that back when I didn't have the dry mouth thing going on, and he didn't really drink beer much it was never an issue, either.

And I like that we're comfortable enough around each other that we can say, "Hold on a minute, my breath taste like something died in my mouth, meet you back here in five," and go brush our teeth.
posted by misha at 9:48 AM on August 13, 2011

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