The last few minutes at the end of every New Year’s Eve can either be magical or stressful, as people are gathered around televisions, radios, and clocks listening to the countdown to midnight. Couples often stand hand-in-hand with smiles on their faces, friends gather around to ring in the new year together, and strangers may even give a shy smile to one another. When the clock finally counts down to midnight, everyone explodes in applause as they cheer, pop fireworks, and turn to kiss a person they love.
This midnight kiss is a wonderful tradition as you get to start the new year on a good note and surrounded by great people. There is often magic in the air as party streamers or snow flutter down. Everyone is in a good mood, and it feels as if all your troubles disappear for a brief moment.
Now, the entertainment industry knows and understands the magic that comes with the New Year’s Eve kiss, and they have strategically used that moment to pair actors for amazing, magical, and memorable kiss scenes. Here are the 20 most memorable New Year’s Eve kisses in movies and TV series.
20 Serena and Dan — Gossip Girl (2007-2012)
In the fifth season of Gossip Girl, fans are ultimately frustrated with Serena and Dan’s back-and-forth will-they-won’t-they relationship. However, on New Year’s Eve, Dan realizes that he needs to let Blair go, and Serena is right beside him as everyone begins to countdown. The two lean in for a subtle yet longing kiss as everyone in the room cheers. Serena lovingly looks at Dan once the moment is over, but they both know they have many things to sort out if they want to make their relationship work again. Stream on Max
19 Bridget and Mark — Bridget Jones’s Diary (2001)
Kissing in the snow is one of the most romantic things to happen in movies, but when one of the individuals is in nothing more but some sneakers, a cardigan, and striped underwear, things are a bit less romantic.
In Bridget Jones’s Diary, Bridget chases down Mark as she thinks their relationship has failed before it has even had a chance to start, and the two embrace and share a passionate kiss for all to see. It’s a comical and sweet scene all at once, but there is truly no better way to close out the film than Bridget being unapologetically herself. Stream on Paramount+
18 Kevin and Lucy — 200 Cigarettes (1999)
Though it’s not a traditional New Year’s Eve kiss at midnight, best friends Kevin and Lucy getting busy in a public bathroom, as they finally release their sexual tension, is a scene that will forever be burned into the brains of those who have watched 200 Cigarettes. The two are awkward in the stall as they try to cross that line from friends to lovers, and it certainly does not help that Kevin’s ex walks in on them. While the entire scene is less than smooth, it is rather memorable. Not Currently Available to Stream or Purchase
17 Robin and Ted — How I Met Your Mother (2005-2014)
After running all over the city trying to have the perfect New Year’s Eve night, the whole gang in How I Met Your Mother finds themselves stuck in traffic with just minutes left until midnight. Robin’s boyfriend shows up with just seconds to spare, but she chooses to kiss Ted instead. Knowing how Ted feels for Robin and how much she cares about him, the friendly kiss means so much more than the two just sticking to their deal. Stream on Hulu
16 Charlie and Marcie — Happy New Year, Charlie Brown! (1986)
On New Year’s Eve, in Happy New Year, Charlie Brown, the titular character attends a party with all of his friends, but the only person he is hoping to see is the Little Red-Haired Girl. Due to all the time Charlie has spent on his book report, he actually falls asleep and misses out on all the fun. Peppermint Patty is fuming that she did not get her midnight kiss, and Charlie is baffled that his crush showed up without him even knowing. Marcie quickly gives Charlie a kiss on the cheek as he departs, and it is the sweetest and most iconic moment in any Charlie Brown holiday special. Stream on AppleTV+
15 Stanford Blatch and Anthony Marantino — Sex and the City: The Movie (2008)
Stanford Blatch and Anthony Marantino hated one another for far too long, and at some point, that distain eventually turned into love for one another. In the first Sex and the City film, the two men awkwardly look around as everyone else locks lips at midnight on New Year’s Eve. They each then down their champage and give the crowd a kiss that will never be forgotten. It was the moment that ended their feud and sparked their love for one another. Rent on AppleTV
14 Chandler and Monica — Friends (1994-2004)
In Friends, Chandler and Monica had been keeping their relationship a secret from everyone (except Joey) for quite some time, and as the gang celebrates the new year, the couple naturally want to kiss. Joey devises a plan where each of the six pair up, and Monica and Chandler get to kiss in front of everybody without any suspicion. It is a sweet and sincere NYE moment for everyone involved, but with Monica’s arms around Chandler’s neck and his perfect boyish smile afterward, everyone should have known that it was more than just a friendly peck. Stream on Max
13 Roger and Mimi — Rent (2005)
Roger and Mimi come with their own baggage in Rent, but as the group makes their way down the street on New Year’s Eve, everything feels right with the world. They watch on a television in a storefront window display as the countdown begins. Once midnight is announced, everyone cheers and kisses one another. Mimi and Roger give one another a quick but sincere kiss, and the rest of the group gets in on the action. It’s a fun moment, but for these two, it means the world to ring in the new year with a genuine person. Rent on AppleTV
12 Michelle and Comet — Full House (1987-1995)
Full House‘s Michelle Tanner will absolutely not be left out of any holiday festivities, even if that means staying up well past her bedtime. As the Tanners and their dates celebrate New Year’s Eve with one another, Michelle gives her trusty golden retriever a kiss, and he happily licks her right back. It’s a sweet and innocent moment, and Michelle becomes the most relatable character ever as she drags herself to bed after realizing the party is over. Stream on Hulu
11 Harry and Sally — When Harry Met Sally… (1989)
Harry can never make anything simple in When Harry Met Sally…, so why should a New Year’s Eve kiss be any different? Sally is angry at Harry when the clock strikes midnight, but after listing out all the things he loves about her, they ring in the new year with a passionate and heartfelt kiss. This is the kind of kiss that makes women swoon and guys take notes as the couple finally realizes that they are meant to be together forever. Stream on Paramount+
10 Marissa and Ryan — The O.C. (2003-2007)
If you look up «friends to lovers,» Marissa and Ryan’s picture should come up. In The O.C., they are young and in love, but that also comes with a few challenges. During a New Year’s Eve party, Marissa constantly looks at the door, hoping Ryan will appear, and Ryan is racing against the clock to kiss her at midnight.
The moment he busts through the door, their eyes lock, and nothing else around them matters. People cheer and celebrate as confetti rains down, and Ryan and Marissa share one of the most iconic kisses in TV history. There is passion as well as freshness to the kiss as their previous argument is forgotten about, and they are happy to be together. Stream on Hulu
9 Donna and Eric — That ’70s Show (1998-2006)
The series finale of That ’70s Show is one of the absolute best as it takes place on New Year’s Eve 1979 (to conclude the decade), and Eric makes a surprise appearance to reconcile with Donna. Given their history, fans were rooting for the pair to get back together during the final season, but we had no idea we’d have to wait until the very last moments of the series.
When Eric apologizes for leaving Donna, she wraps her arms around him, and they share one of the most sensual on-screen kisses. Happily, that kiss brought back a spark as That ’90s Show reveals the two later got married and had a daughter. Stream on Peacock
8 Paul and Ingrid — New Year’s Eve (2011)
A New Year’s Eve midnight kiss as a New Year’s resolution is definitely something we can get behind. After quitting her job in New Year’s Eve, Ingrid and Paul go all around New York City as she completes all of her resolutions. Then, once it hits midnight, Paul not only kisses Ingrid, but he grabs her and dips her while giving her a smooch. She is immediately baffled, but Paul is so proud to have helped her cross off all of her items that they simply had to celebrate the end of the year with a kiss. Stream on Max
7 Will and Rachel — About a Boy (2002)
It is not uncommon for strangers to kiss on New Year’s Eve, as they want to ring in the new year with a quick peck like everyone else, but for Will Freeman in About a Boy, the small and subtle kiss between him and Rachel is more than two strangers engaging in a tradition.
It is the first time he’s ever felt something real for a woman, and she has no idea the lengths he will go to try to keep her in his life. The kiss itself is innocent and sweet, but for Will, it is the start of a new pursuit. Stream on Starz
6 Michael and Fredo — The Godfather Part II (1974)
While most New Year’s Eve kisses are done out of love, there is one in The Godfather Part II that everyone remembers being filled with hate and disgust. Michael Corleone approaches his brother, Fredo, during a festive New Year’s Eve party, but instead of joining in on the fun, Michael has other plans. He kisses Fredo, and from an outsider’s perspective, it looks like a passionate family kiss. However, Michael then lets Fredo know he is aware of his betrayal. The moment then turns frightening as audiences know Michael will stop at nothing to secure his family business. Stream on Paramount+
5 Joey and Janine — Friends (1994-2004)
Aside from the best dance routine in TV history, another Friends New Year’s Eve episode creates a sweet moment between Joey and his new roommate, Janine. After attending a televised production together, the two go back to the apartment, and Janine takes the lead. She kisses Joey, and they finally admit their feelings for one another. It is the most heartwarming moment between the two as they get to be vulnerable with one another in the privacy of their own home. Stream on Max
4 Oliver and Emily — A Lot Like Love (2005)
In A Lot Like Love, Emily is drunk and sad about her ex-boyfriend on New Year’s Eve (not a great combination), but luckily, she has her friend Oliver to help distract her. When the countdown begins, Emily finds herself alone in the middle of a club’s dance floor, and she looks rather distraught. Just a second after the clock strikes midnight, Oliver comes racing through the crowd and dips Emily with a passionate kiss. She comes back up giddy and smiling as her feelings of being alone simply wash away in the moment. Not Currently Available to Stream or Purchase
3 Chris and Tasha — Everybody Hates Chris (2005-2009)
As we all know, Chris rarely gets his way in Everybody Hates Chris, but in the «Everybody Hates New Year’s Eve» episode, he has one of the best endings and beginnings of the new year. Chris not only gets to go to Times Square to see the ball drop (his biggest goal of the evening), but his crush Tasha actually turns to him and kisses him. Chris is understandably stunned, but the kiss is pure, innocent, and everything he needs to feel like he is going to have a good year. Stream on Prime Video
2 Derek and Meredith — Grey’s Anatomy (2005-Present)
The new year comes no matter where people are, and for our beloved surgeons, Derek and Meredith, in Grey’s Anatomy, their holidays are typically spent in the O.R. After completing a risky surgery, Derek notices the clock is just seconds away from midnight, and everyone in the room stops just for just a moment to watch as Derek counts down. While Meredith and Derek are respectfully still in their surgical masks, they «kiss» when the clock strikes 12. It is corny yet heartfelt as their love feels so authentic in that little moment. Stream on Netflix
1 Randy and Elise — New Year’s Eve (2011)
After spending most of their night in an elevator together in New Year’s Eve, Randy and Elise finally make it out in time for Elise to take the stage and kick off the new year with a song. Randy, having found a new appreciation for the holiday, tells Elise she forgot something in the elevator. He then leans in and kisses her.
At first, she appears surprised, but then she leans in as well. When Elise opens her eyes again, it seems as if nothing else in the world matters. This is a perfect and magical moment just before she leads thousands of others in the city’s celebration. Stream on Max