As you may have heard, the Parents Television Council has chosen [American Horror Story: Hotel](tag:3561561) as the latest show to receive their wrath, calling the FX "the most vile and shocking content" that's ever been on the small screen. What they don't seem to realize is that's the exact reason most of us tune in.
Across its five distinct seasons, American Horror Story has become one of the most awarded and talked about shows in recent memory, and that's no accident. It's a result of Ryan Murphy's tried and true cocktail of impeccable casting, ever-changing storylines, and, most of all, shocking moments that truly push the envelope.
Here are 11 of the most disturbing American Horror Story scenes that made every parent group despise it.
11. Coat hanger abortion (Asylum)
Those who object to American Horror Story on the basis of propriety tend to not be huge fans of a woman's right to choose. So imagine their horror when brought face to face with this gruesome scene that sees Lana, after a seemingly endless saga of torment, perform an impromptu abortion. Though it ended up being a ruse, the image is one that has remained engrained for way too long. To make matters worse, "The Coat Hanger" is the actual title of this episode.
10. Minotaur seduction (Coven)
Coven was full of horribly gruesome moments when it came to Madame LaLaurie's detestable house of horrors, but it was the ramifications of her evil that really stuck out in my mind. For example, after turning Marie Laveau's lover into the Minotaur, he somehow ends up face to face with Queenie. She promptly begins to masturbate in front of him in the hopes that they would have a nice roll in the hay. Naturally, it doesn't exactly go as planned.
9. Adult breastfeeding (Asylum)
Both Bloodyfaces had major mommy issues, which manifested in the most disgusting way possible: the consuming desire for breast milk. As a result, Zachary Quinto and Dylan McDermott got a pair of the most revolting scenes (like Quinto demanding colostrum and McDermott dribbling milk from his chin). Blech!
8. The Infantata (Murder House)
So, this was a seemingly immortal baby made out of a dead baby's parts and fueled by the need for more death. And easily the scariest part of the first season.
7. Horrible, horrible sexy talk (Asylum)
Honestly, this one's not even a scene, it's just a line. Simple words even. But hearing the words "mossy bank" used like...this...still makes me want to run to the nearest trash can and evacuate my memories along with my lunch.
6. Incest (Coven)
Once Zoe and Madison make their perfect boyfriend Kyle out of various frat boy parts, they think they're doing the right thing by bring him home to mom. Little do they know that this mom is a deranged, incestuous lunatic who can tell her son's been changed because she recognizes "every part" of him. I can't express "Ew" enough.
5. Shelley's dismemberment (Asylum)
I used to consider myself a particularly callous viewer, until this scene made me swear off American Horror Story for a few weeks. Once I finally came back to the fold, this episode was quickly followed up with a brutalized Shelley dragging her body—which is essentially pustular carrion at this point—in front of a bunch of schoolchildren.
And they say American Horror Story isn't educational.
4. Lobster claw finger play (Freak Show)
Jimmy has ectrodactyly, a condition that results in conjoined fingers that are often described as "claw-like." These hands may have landed him in Elsa Mars's Freak Show, but they also brought him up close and personal with a whole neighborhood of suburban housewives. And a shudder was heard around the world.
3. School shooting (Murder House)
In my opinion, Tate's shooting rampage was one of the most horrifying and well-done scenes in the entire series. It came at a time when Tate was still this lovable ghost, and the scene successfully dashed most defenses for the character. Seeing a young girl wet her pants as she begged for her life guaranteed a particularly visceral response, and this came way too close to the state of American mass shootings today.
2. Spontaneous eye removal (Coven)
As Cordelia discovered her power was enhanced when she didn't have eyes, she decided to remove them with one decisive stab. And we all reacted with screams of terror and hiding our faces (and I didn't wear contacts for about a week).
1. Drillbit rape (Hotel)
You'll forgive me for not choosing an animated GIF for this example, because I don't think any of us want to relive this particular scene. That's because it was easily the most grisly (and controversial) in American Horror Story history.
In the end, no matter how gruesome it gets, I will never understand people who demand that something be removed from the air. Unlike these characters who were pushed to their absolute limit to commit atrocities, we can always just change the channel.