Why Yes, Christopher Meloni Does Remember That Fan-Favorite Law And Order: SVU Shirtless Scene With Mariska Hargitay

Stabler and Benson in apartment in Law & Order: Organized Crime
(Image credit: NBC)

Even though Law & Order: SVU has been on for over 20 seasons, the hope that Benson and Stabler will get together will never fade for some fans. After the former partners reunited for the launch of Organized Crime, Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni seem to be as close as ever, even after all this time. Now, Meloni is recalling a fan-favorite scene scene with Hargitay years ago when both were shirtless.

Ahead of what’s sure to be a Bensler reunion to remember on SVU, Christopher Meloni spoke to Today.com to talk about a very memorable scene that remains a fan-favorite today. In the Season 10 episode “Wildlife,” in order to stay undercover and not get caught, Benson pretends to be a prostitute when smugglers come knocking on the door, which involved taking off her shirt, while Stabler was already shirtless. Meloni opened up about the scene and how uncomfortable their characters likely were:

I do remember that being out of the box. There was something about that exposure — a literal exposure — that made it very dynamic. I just remember that feeling, and I remember she and I — we were extra, I don’t know, vibrant or vivacious or whatever, and that was our expression of, ‘Oh, my God, this is really pushing these characters towards an uncomfortable place.' I remember it clearly. I remember the feeling.

It’s no secret that Benson and Stabler have gone through a lot together and forged a very strong bond back in their mutual SVU days, all while he was married to complicate matters. They always had each other's backs in dangerous situations, whether or not the circumstances could get uncomfortable. Meloni and Hargitay nailed the scene together, even though it was not the kind of moment that their characters usually shared. Take a look:

Bensler’s potential relationship has been a popular source of speculation among fans for quite some time now, even more so now with Organized Crime airing. With Mariska Hargitay and Christopher Meloni’s IRL friendship, now I need more behind-the-scenes tea on some other fan-favorite Benson/Stabler scenes. With SVU at 24 seasons and counting and Organized Crime going strong in its third, could the two iconic characters really get together?

Well, Benson and Stabler seem to be on different pages when it comes to SVU and Organized Crime, which makes sense since the two shows focus on different kinds of crimes to solve and have different formats. It’s hard to predict just where the former partners will go, but it might finally be time to explore their relationship with more crossovers, or at least indications that they're spending time together off screen.

Whether or not Bensler will finally get together is, of course, unknown, but it may just be a matter of time before that happens. Hopefully their relationship continues to deepen, whether or not it becomes romantic. New episodes of Law & Order: SVU air on Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST on NBC! Check out CinemaBlend’s 2023 TV schedule to see what else to look forward to in the coming months for the new year.

Megan Behnke
Freelance TV News Writer

Passionate writer. Obsessed with anything and everything entertainment, specifically movies and television. Can get easily attached to fictional characters.