Quiz: Which Sweeps Week Lesbian Kiss Are You?

Ah, the ‘90s. We had oversized flannels, we had Caterpillar boots, we had Claire Danes dyeing her hair red and wondering why her mom just didn’t understand her — but one thing we didn’t have, one thing we thought we might never have, was girls kissing on TV as part of a normal plot arc.

Before Ellen ever said “I’m gay,” before Willow and Tara kissed for comfort as they got ready to go see Buffy after her mom died, what we had was the Lesbian Sweeps Kiss. A legacy of the Nielsen TV ratings system, sweeps were a couple of weeks a year when TV shows brought out sensational content, like women kissing, to reel in viewers. These plot arcs usually ended with the instigator, who was often a guest star, unceremoniously leaving the show. And they continued well into the 2000s, really! Buffy producer Marti Noxon explained it in 2003: “You can show girls kissing once, but not kissing twice, because if they kiss twice, that means they liked it.” Talk about queerbaiting!

These days, I can’t even keep up with all of the shows with queer series regulars (or keep up with their cancellations!!!), and I feel so very grateful for shows like A League of Their Own, where Max and Carson can talk frankly about being queer as a three-dollar bill. Still, I’m occasionally nostalgic for those Very Special Episodes from the ‘90s, when you knew that for a moment, however fleeting, someone was gonna let themselves get vulnerable, let themselves get just a little bit gay, and let themselves get kissed.

Which Lesbian Sweeps Kiss are you?

It’s Sunday, and you’ve got a whole day off ahead of you. What do you do?(Required)
Rent a VHS:(Required)
Choose a quote for your senior yearbook:
What queer stereotype do you identify with the most?(Required)
After a very long Hot Girl Summer, Cozy Queer Autumn is almost here! Choose a sweater.(Required)
What’s your dream career?(Required)
You’re pre-ordering a book from Casey’s big list of LGBTQ+ books coming out this fall. Which one are you dying to read?(Required)
What’s your favorite way to unwind?(Required)
Adopt a pet:(Required)
You’re stuck somewhere in suburbia, with only chain restaurants for miles around. Where do you go?(Required)
Choose a color scheme for your bedroom:(Required)
And finally, who’s your favorite ship?(Required)

Before you go! Autostraddle runs on the reader support of our AF+ Members. If this article meant something to you today — if it informed you or made you smile or feel seen, will you consider joining AF and supporting the people who make this queer media site possible?

Join AF+!


Darcy, a.k.a. Queer Girl, is your number one fan. They're a fat feminist from California who doodles hearts in the corners of their Gay Agenda. They're living through a pandemic, they're on Twitter, and they think you should drink more water! They also wanna make you laugh.

Darcy has written 376 articles for us.


  1. Picket Fences – that’s a deep cut! One that I absolutely watched with my mom every week but I didn’t not remember the line about “confus[ing] intimacy with sexuality.” El oh el, indeed!

  2. Judy Hoffs and Megan, from 21 Jump Street!

    That is a show I watched when if first came out but I don’t remember the kiss.

    Honestly, the only sweeps week kiss I remember seeing was on LA Law – between Abby and CH maybe? It was very formative for me because the main character (Abby?) actually identified as bi and when she got involved with a man later on she came out to him. I pretty much channeled her when I came out to my future husband a few years later. It wasn’t great bi rep but it was the only bi rep I saw on tv and it did help.

  3. Got Marissa and Alex from the O.C. A show I never watched, but heard way too much about back in the day. The drama is spot on though, opposites attracting each other. What could go wrong, indeed 🙊

  4. Roseanne Conner going to a gay bar with your lesbian friend, with someone walking up and kissing you while you’re there!

    I’m pretty sure this almost happened once at a local queer night, but I was with someone and put a hand up to stop it.

Contribute to the conversation...

Yay! You've decided to leave a comment. That's fantastic. Please keep in mind that comments are moderated by the guidelines laid out in our comment policy. Let's have a personal and meaningful conversation and thanks for stopping by!