‘Girls’ Season Two: The Moments Seared In Our Brains

From a Q-Tip mishap to a Kanye cover, here's what got us talking about the HBO series.

“Girls” had it rough this season. Whether weathering failed relationships, failed careers or failed grooming (we’ll never look at a cotton swab the same way!), Hannah, Marnie, Jessa and Shoshanna suffered no shortage of indignities during the series’ second season.

As we look toward the “Girls” season finale on Sunday, we’re rounding up the moments that made us laugh, cringe and hide underneath our Snuggies.

Painful Predicaments
Last Sunday’s episode was so chockablock with hard-to-watch scenes we could write an essay just on Marnie’s Kanye cover and Hannah’s butt splinter. But if we have to choose, here are our favorites:

» Marnie agreeing to get locked in Booth’s crazy TV art contraption and being forced to watch disturbing wildlife videos.

» The dinner with Thomas-John’s parents and the epic fight between Jessa and TJ afterwards in which they break up in the nastiest and real talk-est way possible.

» The post-coital moment when you see hot yuppie Joshua tune out as soon as Hannah starts talking about her problems.

» The wine cellar scene where Marnie realizes she’s Booth’s assistant, not girlfriend.

» The second time Hannah punctures her eardrum with a Q-Tip.

Inappropriate Hookups
An ambitious category, to be sure. I mean, can you name a sexual interlude that wasn’t inappropriate this season? But we’ve got to start somewhere, and why not the hookup freshest (ewww) in our minds?

» Between Adam’s face-plant in Natalia’s butt and one very graphic portrayal of semen, this moment left us contemplating the merits of born-again virginity.

» That time Hannah slept with Jessa’s teenaged step-brother. Was it the folded over turtleneck that really sealed the deal?

» Charlie seems to think he can solve all of Marnie’s problems (be they self-doubt or manic-depressiveness) with his tongue. Or, in this case, his youknowwhat, in the middle of his Chelsea office.

» It’s not that he’s an admittedly hot doorman (we aren’t classists), but that Shoshanna cheated on Ray, and then lied about it with some childish tale of holding hands.

Sonic Stuffs
Like a Quentin Tarantino movie, “Girls” has a knack for playing the right music at just the right moment.

» Following her breakup with Thomas-John, Jessa runs to Hannah’s apartment and finds her pal singing Oasis’ “Wonderwall” while soaking in a filthy bath tub … and joins her for one of the most touching scenes in season two.

» The “cocaine episode” was insane enough. But watching Hannah and Elijah lose their minds to Icona Pop’s “I Love It” in a dance club was like being on drugs without having to, like, be on drugs.

» You can’t talk music and “Girls” without the cringe-inducing Kanye West “Stronger” cover by Marnie at ex-Charlie’s work party. Almost harder to watch than Adam’s rough sex with Natalia. Almost.

Misguided Fashion
Stick with your e-book, Hannah. You’ll never be a style blogger.

» We get it. Hannah’s penchant for ill-fitting rompers is meant to play up her total cluelessness about fashion, but could she at least wear a nude-colored pair of undies with her sheer shorteralls?

» Conversely, Marnie tries real hard when it comes to her personal style. Often too hard. Exhibit A: The bubble dress she wore to “co-host” a party with “boyfriend” Booth Jonathan. Aiming for high-fashion, she hit farcical.

» That mesh shirt. You know the one. During her coke-night out, Hannah trades tops with a club kid, traipsing around Brooklyn with her nipples out for the whole borough to see.

Check out MTV Style’s interview with “Girls” costumer Jenn Rogien.

Clever Cameos
It wouldn’t be a New York-set show without a few big names stopping by.

» Rosanna Arquette was an inspired choice to portray Jessa’s New Age-y step-mother Petula, who believes the world is just one big video game.

» Ultimately, we have Carol Kane to blame for that awkward Adam-Natalia sex scene (she set the couple up). Thanks for nothing, Carol.

» Actor/author Bob Balaban appeared as Hannah’s psychiatrist, and it can’t be a coincidence that his alter-ego penned a children’s book about a bionic dog.

What season two “Girls” moments are stand-outs for you?

Often guilty, never convicted. 15 years behind bars at MTV News.