Skins UK Remembrance Day: Our 10 Favorite Skins Scenes

by crystal & riese

Tonight is the premiere of the fantastic and/or blasphemous premiere of Skins MTV/USA, which will take the original series from the UK to Baltimore and replace the gay guy with a lesbian. SOOOO we thought, as the two recappers of Skins for Autostraddle (yes we work harmoniously as a team, it’s lovely), that we’d take this opportunity to share with you our very most favorite scenes from the first four years of Skins UK.

Also, if you’re not following Skins FTW on Tumblr, you should be. We snagged some pics from there as well. That’s why we’re telling you to follow them. Because they have such snatchable photos.

Our Ten Favorite Skins Scenes From the UK Original




1. The Best Day Of Chris’ Life

1st Generation (Series 1, Episode 4)

In Skins Series 1 Chris has a lot going on. When his mother skips town and he turfed from his own house by squatters, Chris visits his father only to be reminded that his father thinks he’s a fuck up and doesn’t care that he’s homeless & broke. But despite all this, instead of whining about his shitty life Chris decides to connect with Jal by telling her about the best day of his life, how his deceased brother Peter once saved him from humiliation at cub scouts.

This scene captures everything I love about Chris, who’s my favorite Skins character to date. Here’s a kid struggled through most of his scripted life and, although he didn’t make life easy for himself, I admired his fighting spirit, the way that when shit got hard he looked on the bright side and kept getting back up. Well, until he didn’t. RIP.



2. The Worst Day Of Chris’ Life

1st Generation (Series 2, Episode 9)

This is really the most important “Chris” scene because in it, Chris dies. He has a seizure in Cassie’s arms while trying to remember Jal’s name and it’s horribly, tragically sad. What I liked about this scene was the way it hit hard & fast, like a steel fist to the gut that came out of nowhere but not the ‘oh, Freddie just got murdered by the therapist’ kind of nowhere which is a place so fundamentally ridiculous and pointless that it can’t possibly be real.

Chris’ death felt real. It felt like it’s entirely possible that one moment you can be smoking weed on the couch with your friends and then the next, you’re dead. Just like that. It was ugly and brutal and unfair. It felt like the other shoe dropping even though I’m not completely sure when the first one hit.


3. Tony Loves Sid

1st Generation (Series 2, Episode 10)


Tony: “I’ve always loved you the best, Sid.”

Overall the Tony & Sid relationship was torturous to watch. I loathed its familiarity and  the feeling that I was giving Tony the benefit of the doubt when I probably shouldn’t have been. I spent most of the series in hope that he’d eventually prove that he was capable of showing compassion to someone other than Effy, and this scene felt like the reward. The beauty in it is that Tony finally shows Sid how much he loves and needs him by letting him go. He buys Sid the ticket to New York City and allows himself to be that guy who stands in the terminal and cries.


4. Naomily, Blowbacks

2nd Generation (Series 3, Episode 6) (recap)

Naomi: “I don’t understand blowbacks, why can’t anybody just smoke the thing straight?”
Emily: “It’s fun. Have you tried it?”
Naomi: “No, but I’ve seen it and can tell it’s shit.
Emily: “Come on, anything once.”
Naomi: “Fuck it. Go ahead and disappoint me.”

Every scene I’ve selected for my top 5 so far has been sad, so let’s take a moment to appreciate that scene where Naomi and Emily drank vodka and smoked weed and had sex beside the lake. Thank you Skins, I mean really. Thank you for casting those two girls. Thank you for giving them the courage to finally get it on. Above all, thank you for teaching this new generation of young lesbians that doing blowbacks is the quickest way to get a girl to kiss you.

You can read more of our slightly depraved feelings about how hot this scene was here.


5. Effy’s Spotless Mind

2nd Generation (Series 4, Episode 5) (recap)

Freddie: What have I done? What did I do?
Cook: You went to the end of the fucking earth, man. The end of the fucking earth. You’re gonna have to go further now, mate. For her. For you. For me.

MY GOD it was so difficult to choose my favorite scene from that time in Series 4 when Effy gets high and loses her mind and almost loses her life. Last year Riese and I had a lot of feelings about it, specifically how sad and confusing and kinda sudden Effy’s sickness was and also how hilariously qualified we were to comment on it.

Given the time restraints that come with 8-episode seasons, I think the writers did a reasonable job at showing Effy’s fall from sanity and the huge impact it had on her loved ones. Notable attempts include Freddie and Effy huffing over the kitchen sink and lying in the meadow. But the scene that had the biggest impact didn’t feature Effy all – it was at the very end, post suicide attempt, when Freddie burns up Effy’s crazy collage and Cook steps out of the shadows to tell him that all he can do is push on. The love and fear and desperation in this scene SLAYS ME.




I can’t actually do this. Like I can’t actually pick five. So these are like “some” of my favorites. I want to Facebook Like every word that comes out of Cassie’s mouth, sidenote.


1. Naomi Has Loved Emily For So Long

2nd Generation (Series 4, Episode 8 ) (recap)

The last episode of Skins upset me on about 45 levels, which I extrapolate on in detail here, but there was definitely a beam of lesbian sunshine beating its way through all those always-oddly saturated clouds —

Naomi: I loved you from the first time I saw you. I think I was 12. It took me three years to pluck up the courage to speak to you. And I was so scared of the way I felt, you know, loving a girl – and so I learned how to become a sarcastic bitch just to make it feel normal. I screwed guys to make it go away, but it didn’t work. When we got together, it scared the shit out of me because you were the one person who could ruin my life. I pushed you away and made you think that things were your fault, but really I was just terrified of pain. I screwed that girl Sophia to kind of spite you for having that hold on me, and I’m a total fucking coward because I got these tickets to Goa for us three months ago. But I couldn’t stand – I didn’t want to be a slave to the way I felt about you. Can you understand? You were trying to punish me back and it’s horrible, it’s so horrible because really I’d die for you. I love you. I love you so much it’s killing me.

It was a perfect scene; the dialogue digs underneath Naomi’s skin into her heart and the whole history of her life up until now. The holes are filled up, just like that, and sealed with a kiss — and it’s the first time we’ve really gotten a good conversation out of either of them regarding what it was like to grow up gay, or always feel different, or what happened back in their youth of stolen kisses.


2. It’s a Wild World

1st Generation (Series 1, Episode 9)

Skins – Wild World
Uploaded by omiKASE. – Explore more music videos.

So Magnolia! They pulled this shit off, and I appreciate that. Also, “Wild World” truly is that song you hear in your head when shit got crazy and now it’s quiet and you’re going from Point A to Point B and the journey is all.


3. Psychedelic Slumber Party

2nd generation (Series 3, Episode 4)

This scene really ‘explored the social dynamics’ between this set of male friends and also of female friends and it was f*cking hilarious. Also, I started watching S4 before the rest of Skins and I admit I didn’t really “get” Pandora or her place on the show. But in S3 she made me laugh like, 500 times.


4. Maxxie Comes Out to Anwar’s Dad

First Generation (Series 1, Episode 9)

In a show chock-full of disappointing, absent, cheating, drunk, negligent, drugged parents & teachers & psychiatrists — it’s Anwar’s strict Muslim father who truly mans up and does what grown-ups are supposed to do — break down the big things into little things and show their children where to go.

Also, on the gay /Maxxie tip, I wanna sneak this one in there as one of the funniest moments of Skins…


5b. Classroom Confessions

First Generation (Series 1, Episode 7)

[starts at about 4:00]

Maxxie: “I got off with Tony on the Russia trip. I only did it ’cause I fell out with Anwar when he said he hated gays. So I got upset and Tony said he’d give me head to cheer me up, you know? And it didn’t mean anything but I lost my head, then he gave me head, then we got deported from Russia and I’m really, really sorry for being a slut, okay?”

I also like how nonchalantly sexual fluiditity was handled in this episode. Skins has always been remarkably honest about its homos.


5. Cassie’s Exam

First Generation (Series 2, Episode 9)

When Cassie says to Sid, “I’ll love you forever Sid,” and he says “Is that right” and she says “Yes, that’s the problem,” I mean… GOD.

The final exchange with her teacher at the end of the exam is like a referendum on the Skins kids in general — how do you reconcile your self-destructive relationship to life’s slings/arrows with a need to stay alive and an uncertainty regarding your desire for happiness or how to go about getting some. And in the end, all you can really do is dance.

Cassie: Is it possible to truly enjoy power?
Lawes: Sorry?
Cassie: It’s question three.
Lawes: I’m not supposed to help you with your exam.
Cassie: I stopped eating, and then everyone had to do what I said. That was powerful.
Lawes: And did you enjoy that?
Cassie: I think it was the happiest time of my life. But I had to stop because I was going to die, because… otherwise it wasn’t fun…. You wouldn’t understand.
Lawes: You’re wrong, Cassie.
Cassie: Did you cut yourself, too?
Lawes: People will do anything to– People will do anything to work out why they feel bad, won’t they?
Cassie: And did you? Work it out?
Lawes: Like I said, I’m not supposed to help you with your exam.
Cassie: I want you to tell me!
Lawes: What?
Cassie: How to stop bad things happening.
Lawes: Doesn’t work, does it? That’s why you have to start eating again.
Cassie: … I fell in love.
Lawes: Ah, love. Why cut yourself when you can be in love?
Cassie: You think passing an exam will make me happy?
Lawes: Cassie, passing exams generally only makes life more complicated, but there’s lots of other stuff that makes things bearable, and you don’t even have to use a knife.
Cassie: … Like?
Lawes: Disco.

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Founding member. Former writer. Still loves Autostraddle with her whole heart.

Crystal has written 320 articles for us.


  1. 1. (tie) Catflap and “Be Brave” which are both in the best episode of Skins ever.
    2. Anwar’s Dad could care less that Maxxie is gay
    3. Tony holding Sid after Sid’s father has died
    4. Naomi’s confession of love
    5. Cassie saying she hasn’t eaten for 3 days – heartbreaking

    • ME TOO. Every Skins fan I have ever talked to has given me strange, strange looks after I tell them I loved Chris best. His death was the hardest I have ever cried for a non real event. He and Jal were so wonderful.

    • I totally forgot how much I loved Chris’ relationship with the teacher!! So awesome. Ahhh he was such a great character, I couldn’t believe it when he died :(

  2. i have decided to give skins usa a chance. if it can touch me the way original skins did, then its a win/win

  3. i love this… i love skins
    good job autostraddle, not for the first time in coming here there are tears in my eyes

  4. This task way too time-consuming and too much of an emotional roller coaster for me so thanks for taking it on. How a teen drama combined pathos and hilarity so perfectly is kind of staggering but testimony to the UK’s telly standards. Fingers crossed Tea and co. are even half as good.

  5. i’m so nervous about skins US, i feel like i should be (will be) watching it with a strong drink or something

  6. Great list!
    I’m gonna try to keep an open mind on the US version, I need something to watch, cause Netflix is a jerk and won’t send me Season 4 yet. “Very long wait” my ass!!

  7. Naomily, Blowbacks: I have a lot of feelings about this. #1 being God, Kathryn Prescott says “Ever” and I just want to fuck her cute little brains out. I can’t even. Emily is so persistent, and insistent that Naomi does want her, and Naomi is clearly scared as shit and still hedging everything she does, and although she finally lets herself go, she tries to just erase it the next morning, and I just…I love Emily Fitch to death, but I identify WAY MORE with Naomi.
    Effy’s Spotless Mind: there needs to be a trigger warning for LOSING YOUR FUCKING MIND on all of Effy’s scenes during this period. Beautifully done, but cuts like a razor.
    Naomi Has Loved Emily for So Long: I won’t even start on the whole loved you since age twelve thing, because there are some things from my middle/high school experience that are probably best left unexamined for the sake of my current sanity. “I was so scared of the way I felt – you know, loving a girl – and so I learned how to become a sarcastic bitch just to make it feel normal.” I cried so much. THIS. NAOMI I FUCKING HATE HOW MUCH I UNDERSTAND YOU. Just yes.
    Also: everything Cassie ever does. Love it.

  8. Okay, so I hate to be ~that guy~ but Naomi says, “But, being all-seeing, I already know it’s shit.”
    I just love that line a lot, okay? Now I’ve told you. Now you know.

  9. God, you guys. I love skins…No, I fucking love skins.

    My (as of yesterday) ex-girlfriend loves skins too, thanks to me.

    And now I don’t even know if I’ll even be able to handle watching the USA version. I can’t even think about watching Naomi/Emily scenes, so I guess it’s good that they’re starting with series 1. I have nothing else to do tonight, so I’ve decided to watch the first episode. (And if I cry in the giant downstairs lounge of my dorm as I do, it’s because I don’t have a tv of my own and I have nothing else to do tonight except make my best guy friend feel awkward as I cry while watching some tv show he doesn’t care about but agreed to watch with me anyway because of said breakup occurring only yesterday.)

    Jesus. I hate to be that person that brings their emotional baggage into a discussion about something on the teevee…I feel like that was strangely cathartic though.

    • Babe, that’s ALL I DO when I talk about TV. The reason this stuff matters so much is that we have such a limited pool of media to see our own lives in.

      • And the other stupid thing I keep thinking….I don’t know if I’ll be able to watch glee when it comes back either. Or that video of darren criss singing “teenage dream” that used to make me so damn happy.


        You’re probably right about the limited media thing though.

  10. I’m watching Skins for the first time and just want to give Cassie a hug, and I’m not really a hugging sort of person.

  11. The lake scene with Naomi and Emily is so fucking hot. I can’t even. I mean, I don’t even care that they’re minors, how could you when Emily is just so fucking hot? Those panties, I would just tear… fuck. FUCK FUCK FUCK. Naomi is totally hot, too, but Emily… Emily, Emily, Emily.

    I would do blowbacks with Emily forevs and evs and evs.

  12. Also, I need something new, maybe a small animal, so I can name it Pandora and then call it Panda for short because that is seriously the cutest thing ever.


    (episode of Skins I cared about the most)

  14. I love the scene with Sid and Cassie on the trampoline. Sid and Cassie were/are so perfect. I knew I loved Cassie when she had that monkey around her neck.

    I’m with you, Crystal, on the best day of Chris’ life. I really loved him. I cried so much when he died. :(

    Clearly I loved holding hands through a cat-flap and Naomi’s confession. But I loved when Naomi left the morning after the blowbacks and Emily shouts at her “Be brave and want me back!”
    Let us not forget: “Watch out, Katie. I might get confused and fuck you with my great big strap-on by mistake.”

    I’m not sure if I can handle MTV’s Skins. I made it through about half of the episode and had to turn it off. I think I might hate it. I can’t stand how they essentially copied everything from the original series. They copied it and made it bad. I’m gonna try, I will. But I don’t know how long I can handle their version of Cassie. (And Effy…?!)

  15. I just clicked on here to comment but instead I was sent to a website that yelled INTERNET!!!!!!! at me, and now I’m confused?

    when sid confronts cassie. mmm.

    Cassie: Do you remember when you rode with me in the ambulance after I tried to kill myself?
    Jal: Of course.
    Cassie: That’s what love feels like.

    and also the Naomi Emily rooftop scene. “Everything is so fragile. Didn’t you realize that?”

  17. I watched maybe 5 minutes of the US version and it reminds me of Degrassi… but it looks better.. but Id track down and watch the UK version instead. I HATE MTV. XD

  18. I was just informed by my ultra-conservative bible thumping mother that I should “reflect on the values I claim to have and then try to justify watching a show like (UK) Skins. It’s foul.”

    Dear Mother,


  19. 1. Cassie meeting and bonding with Adam in New York. That entire episode was so beautifully written… “Don’t worry, I won’t touch.” Transition to the next morning, with Adam gone and Cassie feeling alone all over again. Plus, American TV needs more characters like Cassie, so it was an unexpected suprise to see her travel to this side of the pond.

    2. Emily and J.J. bonding over their mutual outsider-ship, Emily for being gay and J.J. for having Asperger’s. As someone who comes from both of these realms of experience, I really related to that scene. Plus, Emily was able to give J.J. the push to work on his problems. It was in the first episode I ever saw, and it was what made me fall in love with the show.

    3. Chris discovering his talent for real estate, thanks to a little bit of motivation from Jal. These two were my favorite couple, and Jal is my favorite character. It was great to see their relationship taking off, and to see Chris living up to his potential.

    4. The second generation goes camping. Between the fear of those creepy hunters, the arrival of Cook to spoil the fun, and Effy’s disoriented confrontation with Katie, I loved the suspence.

    5. Effy and Pandora go to buy pot from Cassie, and to inquire on her sentiments toward Sid. “Tell him I’ve discovered the power of pussy.” “Tell him I’m on a one-way ticket to dick city… And I’m loving it!” The slugs. This was classic Cassie, and the set-up to classic Pandora.

  20. 1. Emily and Naomi on the rooftop. “I was scared!” “You’re always scared.” That whole scene just broke my heart. When Emily’s flipping through Sophia’s drawings, and Emily’s so upset about everything, but Sophia herself was so lonely and upset….

    2. The backyard party at Naomi’s house. “I fucked the dead girl!” But mostly, when Emily is crying and yelling at her family that they’re “pretending to love each other,” and then Katie slaps Emily, and Emily starts sobbing quietly. Ugh, my heart.

    3a. Cassie’s “I didn’t eat for three days so I could be lovely.” And how she tells her cab driver she loves him, and he tells her she loves him, just because they’re both lonely. And when she calls the cab driver to meet her for a burger, and she finally eats.

    3b. When Cassie goes to America. It’s so fucking sad when Adam leaves her, and she’s crying on the bed, alone yet again.

    4. The whole part with the gang in the forest. Effy’s hallucinations, mostly, and when Effy wakes up in Cook’s car (“It’s you and me, babe. It’s always you and me.”). Oh, and also when Effy is hiding underneath the bed while everyone else is partying downstairs. And Freddie and Effy’s hedonistic moments that are just plain sad.

    5. Pandora’s birthday pajama party. Classic.

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