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Smallville's Infamous 'Good Sex, Bad Lex' Poster Still Makes Us Cringe 19 Years Later

Having run for an impressive 10 seasons, "Smallville" is one of The CW's greatest success stories, and its popularity can even be seen as the impetus for the network's Arrowverse. However, that doesn't mean that the Superman origin story was without its flaws throughout its decade-long run. 

Case in point: A ridiculous advertisement that premiered in advance of the show's fifth season. The "Smallville" poster shows Clark (Tom Welling) and Lana (Kristin Kreuk) seemingly nude as Lex (Michael Rosenbaum) peers at them from the shadows. As if this wasn't already tasteless enough, the text on the advertisement reads, "Good sex, bad Lex."

While this is technically accurate, as Season 5 of "Smallville" is when Clark and Lana finally consummate their relationship and Lex finally starts to go full evil, the suggestion of the ad has been making fans cringe for almost 20 years. This is because the picture implies that Clark and Lana are having sex while Lex watches them with a perverted little smirk. Furthermore, "Good sex, bad Lex" is just a really dumb tagline, and it's hard to believe that The CW even approved it in the first place.

Fans are still roasting the advertisement to this day

Though this is clearly an attempt to mine the desires of the "Smallville" shippers who were eagerly waiting for Clark and Lana to make it official after four seasons, the fact that the two have seemingly had their heads photoshopped onto the bodies of shirtless models makes it even harder to take the poster seriously. Though Clark's is at least close enough that it could be real, Lana's neck would need to be impossibly skinny for the picture to be accurate.

@Guslivesagain shared the poster on X (formerly Twitter), reminding a whole generation of "Smallville" viewers of an ad that most have likely blocked out. You can see it embedded in all of its ridiculous glory above, and fans were more than happy to show up and roast the poster yet again.

"Clark and Lana have sex while Lex watches?" asked @Lordidk187. "Watches very badly?" Really, there is no version of this poster that would work, but takes like these immediately point out what makes the ad so goofy. Meanwhile,@RJSTXCKS posted a zoomed-in look at Lex's evil smirk with the caption, "Bet they don't own an air fryer."

While there have been plenty of legendary advertising fumbles over the years since (Kendall Jenner's Pepsi ad, anyone?), this "Smallville" poster scrapes the bottom of the barrel just to make a bad pun and, as such, is likely best scrubbed from the history of the show altogether.