The White Lotus: The 6 Most Awkward Conversations

Another season of The White Lotus means another batch of hilariously cutting and awkward conversations.

Dominic Di Grasso (Michael Imperioli) and Bert Di Grasso (F. Murray Abraham) on The White Lotus Season 2
Photo: HBO

When you first turn on The White Lotus, you’re going to notice that you’re watching a TV show quite unlike any other you’ve seen for one specific reason. No, we’re not talking about Murray Bartlett’s exasperated Armond taking a dump in a hyper-privileged guest’s luggage. And no, we’re not talking about the same Armond who got to enjoy the sensual creases of Lukas Gage’s ass while performing a rim job in front of God and everyone. 

What we’re talking about is the fact that the show is littered with conversations between disgustingly rich people that often make you want to shield your eyes and clog your ears. The awkward tension that emits off the screen is palpable in a way that can only be described as Succession on steroids. The characters say things that would make the corniest characters who have ever existed blush a dozen different reds. We thought with the second season finally being full steam ahead, now would be the perfect time to look back at which of these dialogues takes the cake as the crown prince of cringeworthy. 

The Di Grasso Men Discuss the Merits of Eldery Hormones

Season 2 Episode 1 – “Ciao”

Something you’ll notice immediately in the new season of The White Lotus is how ungodly horny the most elderly guest at the resort is. Bert Di Grasso (F. Murray Abraham) is the patriarch of the family and on a trip to Sicily with his son, Dominic (Michael Imperioli), and his grandson, Albie (Adam DiMarco). The most uncomfortable, yet realistic scene in the season premiere is at the dinner table between the three men when Bert is finally confronted by Dominic and Albie over his perpetually sexed-up state. There’s discourse over the possibility of 80 year old men having the ability to get aroused, whether doctors suggest masturbating daily, and analogies comparing male genitalia to sunsets. You know, all the usual things we discuss with our relatives at meals, right? 

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Rachel Shows Olivia and Paula the Goods

Season 1 Episode 1 – “Arrivals”

Everyone in the first season of The White Lotus is pretty damn unlikable in their own way, but Rachel Patton (Alexandra Daddario) is the person with the most redeeming qualities. She’s a victim of gender stereotyping and societal expectations placed upon attractive women, even in the presence of two characters who like to think they’re socially progressive. This scene in which Rachel tries to learn more about college students Olivia Mossbacher (Sydney Sweeney) and Paula (Brittany O’ Grady) turns into a tension-filled, judgment-inundated affair in which the girls grill Rachel over her decision to marry a rich man and whether she should exploit her relationship for money. After several awkward pauses and lapses in their gossip, Rachel decides to conclude the scene by conforming to the box she’s been placed in, stripping herself of her clothes and revealing the trophy wife underneath. 

Mark Has Some Gay Sex Questions For Armond

Season 1 Episode 3 – “Mysterious Monkeys”

Mark Mossbacher (Steve Zahn) arrives in Hawaii fearing he has testicular cancer, and midway through the trip he’s faced with a problem he turns into something much larger than a medical issue. Mark learns his father was a closeted gay man, and he’s so confused by this revelation that he starts to wonder what could have been so marvelous about anal sex as to spur his father into trying in. When he sits down at the bar with hotel manager Armond (Murray Bartlett), Mark hints that he may want to try it out for himself to learn what the fuss is about. Armond offers him a night in the sack, to which Mark says he’ll take a rain check. 

Belinda Pulls Back Too Many Layers of Tanya’s Onion

Season 1 Episode 5 – “The Lotus-Eaters”

Jennifer Coolidge’s Tanya McQuoid was the highlight character according to many in the first season, partly because it was hard to get a read on her true motives. One of the oddest things she does throughout the first few episodes is persistently offer her spa therapist, Belinda Lindsey (Natasha Rothwell), the opportunity to build her own practice off of Tanya’s dime. When Belinda finally takes her up on the offer, replete with a thorough business proposal, Tanya has turned her time and attention to her new boyfriend, Greg (Jon Gries). This doesn’t stop Tanya from still using Belinda as a set of ears, though, and the audience can’t help but feel equal parts uncomfortable and heartbroken for the hotel’s best worker. 

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Nicole Goes Total ‘Karen’ on Rachel 

Season 1 Episode 2 – “New Day”

Nicole Mossbacher’s defining trait throughout the show is her obsession with her job. She constantly wants to find the best lighting for her Zoom meeting, and she doesn’t think anything anyone else is doing adds up to much. When Rachel comes to Nicole for some advice on being a strong, independent woman like her, the conversation takes a complete 180 when Nicole finds out Rachel wrote a feature on her that she despised. The entitlement seeps through the screen, and boy is it rancid. 

Season 1, Episode 3: “Mysterious Monkeys”: Tanya Scatters Her Mother’s Remains With Rachel and Shane Beside Her

The second we meet Shane Patton (Jake Lacy), we understand he’s the embodiment of rich white boy entitlement. He thinks about the world from one specific viewpoint in his head, and trying to take others into account is simply too much to bear. Seeing Tanya selfishly intrude on Shane’s romantic dinner attempt with Rachel on a small boat was validating, but also socially grotesque. Watching so many people act with such a dearth of tact is just too much sometimes, and The White Lotus has this idea down to a comedic science. 

The White Lotus season 2 premieres new episodes Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on HBO.