35 Best Unplanned Movie Scenes That Gave Us Some Of The Most Iconic Cinema Moments Ever
Producers, directors, and actors give their best to meet rigorous movie deadlines and create the next blockbuster. After all, their art lasts forever, and they want it to be perfect. However, did you know that some of the most loved, most original, and most hilarious movie scenes are actually unplanned?
That’s right, even in Hollywood, things happen by accident. These scenes were so amazing that the directors decided to keep them. After all, Hollywood loves epic moments. Here are 35 best-known scenes, lines, and moments of movie magic that were not in the script.
35. The Usual Suspects – Breaking Out In Laughter
The Usual Suspects is one of those movies that you mus love. After years and years, this is one of the movies to watch if you want to see amazing actors, exciting plot, and mind-blowing plot twist. One of the most memorable scenes in the famous line up in the police station.
That laugh at the police station? Completely unplanned. Laughs were real because there were some gassy moments. Apparently, Gabriel Byrne del Toro had just come back from lunch, and his stomach was a bit upset.
34. Fight Club – You Hit Me In The Ear?
You know that the most important rule of the fight club is to never talk about Fight Club, right? Well, Brad Pitt forgot to mention some things, such as not to be hit when he’s not ready. Brad and Norton may seem fierce and wild, but they are in real life friendly and down-to-earth guys.
Still, both Norton and Pitt learned something about fighting while filming. Fincher, the movie director, told Norton to punch Brad in the unexpectedly during a scene. The result? Pitt being a bit furious and yelling, “You hit me in the ear?”
33. Django Unchained – Leo’s Deep Cut
Tarantino knows how to make memorable movies, but one scene in Django Unchained caught him off guard. In Django, Leonardo DiCaprio played the role of Calvin J. Candie, a stereotype and cruel landowner, who is often aggressive. In one dynamic scene, Leonardo slaps Broomhilda across the face.
You can see the fear all over her face. She knew about the slap, but she wasn’t prepared for Leonardo’s deep gash from a glass he had just broken. As a true professional, Leonardo stayed in character, and the entire set clap him once the scene was over.
32. Raiders of the Lost Ark – Indy Brings a Gun to a Knife Fight
The first Indiana Jones movie was filmed in various locations, including Tunisia. At the moment of filming, it was 130 degrees for six weeks straight. Unnecessary to say that the entire crew was exhausted, especially in the last days. According to the producer, Frank Marshall, they were just about to film the huge fight scene between Indiana and a man in black with the sword.
Filming that scene required an additional three days in hot weather. Everyone was exhausted, and not even Harrison Ford could take in any more. Another physical fight for him was too much. So, he asked the director can he just shoot the man in black, and he said – yes. That’s how the famous scene was born. According to Marshall, that was the most significant moment of the movie.
31. The Silence of the Lambs – The Hiss
Ted Tally might have won the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for his adaptation of The Silence of the Lambs, from a famous book to fil, but there is one memorable moment that Tally didn’t write. When cannibal psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter is being interviewed by Jodie Foster’s character Clarice Starling, and he mentioned how he ate a patient’s liver (“with some fava beans and a nice Chianti”), he suddenly slurps or hisses.
That sound wasn’t planned, and the famous actor entirely improvised it. According to Tally, it seemed like no other actor could accomplish that: “I couldn’t think of an American actor who could do it without us seeing quotation marks around everything he said…he’s smart. You can’t fake that smartness on a big screen.”
30. Taxi Driver – You Talkin’ to Me?
You Talkin’ to Me? – is one of the most memorable movie lines ever. Even kids today know this line, although they have probably never seen the movie. But, did you know that this line wasn’t included in the script? Yes, this scene was a completely spontaneous moment between director, Martin Scorsese, and lead actor, Robert De Niro.
Martin approached and asked De Niro, “Can you say something to yourself? In the mirror?” Once the cameras started rolling again, Robert looked in the mirror and repeated to himself, “Are you talking to me?” De Niro himself loved this line so much that he even once lead the crowd in the Tribeca Film Festival, to shout of, “You talkin’ to me?”
29. The Shining – Here’s Johnny!
One of the most chilling moments from The Shining is when possessed Jack Torrance, played by Jack Nicholson, puts an ax through the bathroom door that his wife is hiding behind. While his wife is screaming, Jack starts shouting, and the screaming became one of the most memorable lines of the movie – “Here’s Johnny!”
The line was completely improvised, and surprisingly it was inspired by the late-night show The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. Reportedly, Jack had been pumping himself up before the scene, and the energy might kick in. Surprisingly, the famous director Stanley Kubrick almost choose not to include this moment in the movie. Luckily, he did.
28. Midnight Cowboy – Taxi Incident
Whenever you see a movie scene where a person shouts in the taxi, in New York, “I’m walking here!”, know that that line is from this memorable movie. What people also don’t know is that this scene is entirely improvised. Moreover, this scene happened after a mistake on set.
While Hoffman and Voight were busy trying to deliver their scene as best as possible, a cab driver decides to ignore the sign “Street Closed for Filming” and drive right into the shot. As a true professional, Hoffman stayed in his character and just yelled, “I’m walking here!”. Later on, during an interview, he stated how one thing was going through his head, and it was: ‘Hey, we’re makin’ a movie here!’”
27. The 40-Year-Old Virgin – Chest-Waxing Scene
In far 2005, when the now-famous series The Office kicked off, Steve Carrell and Judd Apatow weren’t as much famous as they are today. After working together on the movie Anchorman, Apatow had to approach Carrell, and tell the actor how much he was thrilled with his improvisations of the Will Ferell movie.
He also adds that he would be happy to make a feature with him. That’s how famous the chest-waxing scene was born. Although everyone knew what the scene was about, no one knew how Careell would react. Every line in that scene is improvised. It’s easy to see by co-start reactions that no one knew what Carrell would say.
26. Zoolander – But Why Male Models?
Zoolander is a funny movie. After all, Ben Stiller had some of the best performances in these movies, and this spontaneous moment is no exception. In the movie, Derek and Matilda meet conspiracy theorist and former hand model J.P. Prewett (David Duchovny), who has some vital information.
Derek begins by asking Prewett, “Why male models?” Prewett elaborates it with vivid examples, while Derek reminisces some shooting scenes. One minute later, out of the blue, Stiller asked again, “But why male models?” Instead, to reset, Duchovny simply went with it, answering in serious disbelief, and the cut was left in the movie.
25. The Godfather – The Cat
The very opening scene in The Godfather is also one of the most memorable scenes. It’s the day of Corleon’s daughter’s wedding, and Bonasera asked Don Vito for a big favor. There, you can see that the famous Don is petting a cat sitting in his lap. Although the ambient seems planned, it wasn’t, neither was the cat.
It turns out that the now-famous cat was a stray cat. An adorable feline has been found in the Paramount parking lot and was given to the actor Marlon Brando. Although the cat wasn’t planned, it later came to represent the soft side of the mob boss. The cat enjoyed the filming so much that her purring override Brando’s dialogue forcing the actors to re-record dialogue for the scene.
24. The Fugitive – Tommy Lee Jones Didn’t Care
Well, when you have such legendary actors, such as Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones, in one movie, memorable moments are guaranteed. In one scene, Dr. Richard Kimble can grab U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard’s handgun. Kimble, shouts, “I didn’t kill my wife!” while pointing his gun at the federal officer.
Then, Gerald responds calmly, “I don’t care!” According to producers, the original line was that isn’t my problem,” but this improvisation was more alluring, and everyone preferred this version. Therefore, this version made the final cut.
23. Being John Malkovich – Think Fast!
A 1999 movie Being John Malkovich is one of the classic movies of the modern era. There is one specific scene that fans love to mention even today, more than twenty years later. The scene involved a vehicle passenger throwing a half-full can of beer at John Malkovich while he walked down the street – no one believed that he would be able to him in one try. Not even Malkovich.
This devilish and challenging task was given to John Cusack’s writing partner, who was so good that he did it in the first shot. He even adds a little twist by shouting, “Hey Malkovich! Think fast!” just before throwing the can. The loud yell of pain that Malkovich does after is not acting as well.
22. Pretty Woman – Jewelry Box
Richard Gere and Julia Roberts are one of the big screen most loved couples. Their chemistry in the famous movie Pretty Woman contributed to the movie’s fame. Although this Cinderelella-like-movie was planned to the last detail, one moment was utterly spontaneous.
In one scene, Richard shows Roberts the ruby and diamond necklace, only to shut it all of a sudden as she reaches for it. It turns out that director Garry Marshall told Gere to do so. It wasn’t planned to be in the movie, Garry was just aiming for the fun moment. Eventually, they decided to leave it in the movie, and it became like the trademark of the movie.
21. The Dark Knight – Joker’s Clap
Even if you are not a Batman fan, you know just how vital Heath Ledger was important for this franchise. His role was an X factor in The Dark Knight movie. Once notorious Joker was set behind bars, the most memorable movie moment occurred.
While everyone is celebrating victory, Ledger decided on the spot to disturb the scene by creepily clapping with everyone else. The movie director, Christopher Nolan, saw the potential of this scene and encouraged the crew to keep filming. This scene can still give you the goosebumps.
20. The Dark Knight – The Hospital Bomb Doesn’t Work
The Dark Knight is a real gem when it comes to excellent and spontaneous moments. Do you know that scene when Joker blows up a hospital? That’s an actual explosion. Nolas didn’t want to have models or generated effects. The only problem with real-life explosions is that you get only one shot to film it right.
The bomb didn’t go off as expected. Instead of questioning what was happening, Ledger stayed in his character as the Joker. He looked annoyed and angry while pressing the detonator. Finally, it worked, and the scene made it to the final cut.
19. Dumb & Dumber – The Most Annoying Sound in the World
Dumb & Dumber is more stupid or hilarious? Either way, this movie is one of the favorites when it comes to not-your-average comedy. The truth is that the entire movie seems as it was built on spontaneous moments, but the truth is that only one moment was spontaneous. And the mastermind behind it was fabulous Jim Carrey.
While driving to Aspen, a gangster, Carrey’s character Lloyd asks the seemingly innocuous question, “Hey, wanna hear the most annoying sound in the world?” That awful sound was completely unscripted, but it was so funny that it was left in the movie.
18. Caddyshack – Cinderella Story
If you are a comedy fan, that you must have been familiar with hilarious Caddyshack. According to the director of Caddyshack, Harold Ramis, this movie was a lot about improvisation. However, one moment was really really standing out.
Therefore, the famous Cinderella story” monologue, lasting almost a minute and a half, was entirely made up by Murray on the spot. All that Ramis said in the script was: Carl is outside of the clubhouse practicing his golf swing, cutting the tops off flowers with a grass whip.” Murray took it from there.
17. Good Will Hunting – Farting Wife
Good Will Hunting was nominated for nine Academy Awards, and it’s considered to be a classic. This movie is also responsible for launching the careers of Ben Affleck and Matt Damon. Although the movie won the Oscar for best screenplay, the most memorable scene wasn’t even scripted.
After Will opens up and tells Dr. Maguire (Robin Williams) about his fear of perfect women, Dr. Maquire shares his story. The doctor shares with Will a story about how his wife used to fart in her sleep. The truth is that the entire scene was made up of fantastic Williams. What about Damon’s hysterical laughing at the end of the story? No fake.
16. Full Metal Jacket – Nearly All of Gunnery Sgt. Hartman
R. Lee Ermey had a straightforward choice: to join the Marine Corps or go to prison. He was a teenager, and he choose to join the Corps. This experience suits him well. Not only that, he was able to reach the higher ranks, but he got to show Marine philosophy once cast as a sergeant who terrifies the recruiters at the beginning of Full Metal Jacket.
It turns out that Ermey pours his soul and experience into this role. Eventually, it was discovered that his lines weren’t in the script – they were made up on the spot.
15. The Empire Strikes Back – Harrison Ford Plays It Cool
Fans know how emotional was the last scene in Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back. Han Solo was captured, and no one was sure if they will see him again. On top of that, he hears Princess Leia abruptly cry out, “I love you!” Even at that moment, the ultimate charming bad boy, without knowing his end, responds simple, “I know.”
Originally, Leila was supposed to say, “I love you. I couldn’t tell you before, but it’s true.” To this, Han was supposed to reply, “Just remember that, ‘cause I’ll be back.” However, Ford felt that it wasn’t Solo and came up with this memorable line.
14. Saving Private Ryan – Stories From Home
Just before the movie ends, Matt Damon’s characters shared some moments with Captain John Miller (Tom Hanks). As they wait for the battle, Ryan decides to tell Captain his life story before the war was over. That story was utterly ad-libbed on the spot.
In Peter Bart’s book The Gross, he describes the story as nothing exciting or unique to Captain, which is the reason why it worked between the two characters.
13. Jaws – You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat
Before Spielberg introduced the world’s fantastic Indiana Jones and Jurassic Park, he was working on another franchise – Jaws. His work is probably the main reason why people are so scared of sharks even nowadays. While working on the first Jaws movie, Steven and his crew had to fight close-fisted producers.
People consistently worked around producers, saying, “You’re going to need a bigger boat,” every time something would go wrong. The line became so catchy that it was used spontaneously during the scene. When Brody comes face to face with a massive great white shark, Roy Scheider, actor, decided to ab-lib the inside joke whenever it was possible.
12. Casablanca – Looking At You Kid
Nowadays, Casablanca is considered to be one of the best movies ever. Back in 1942, when this movie was filmed, no one could guess that this movie could be a hit. Interestingly, filming was extremely chaotic. They even started filming before the script was done.
As a result, many of the lines had to be made upon the spot. One of the most memorable lines was during the famous and bittersweet farewell from Bogart to Bergman, “Here’s looking at you kid,” which has since hit number five in AFI’s 100 Years…100 Movie Quotes.
11. Good Morning Vietnam – Robin Williams as the Radio Host
Barry Levinson, the director of cult 1987 film Good Morning Vietnam, loved working with multitalented Robin Williams. He said: “Robin…is extremely funny and spontaneous, and then the thing is, let’s take advantage of those things. ‘Cuz there’s a guy on the radio making up stuff, it’s not like he wrote out everything every morning — he’s making up stuff.”
Barry also described filming a delightful process, with William making up the dialogue during each take. Then they would discuss the scene and take another shot. These moments lead to Williams improvising entire scenes.
10. Crazy, Stupid, Love – Dirty Dancing
Creators of the well-known movie Crazy, Stupid, Love shocked everyone when they discovered that the famous dirty dancing scene between Jacob and Hannah was actually based on a real event.
While talking about the script, Gosling shared how once he had made the Dirty Dancing move in real life with someone. Directors immediately decided to place that scene into the movie. Initially, Gosling refused. However, after a lot of practice and some persuasion, the lift ended up in the film.
9. 50/50 – Head-Shaving
In comedic movie 50/50, Adam has cancer and decides to shave his head, while his friend watches. According to Rogen, aside from the fact that Gordon-Levitt was shaving his head, no other dialogue of note had been given. However, they decided to make the scene funny, regardless.
Rogen explained later on that they had improvised the whole thing. Of course, this is not something that should be done quickly, especially when you have only one shot. However, the scene turns out to be great. So, Kyle’s look of surprise wasn’t entirely acted on Rogen’s part.
8. Goodfellas – You’re a Funny Guy
Martin Scorsese knows how to make a good gangster movie. Goodfellas is no exception. There is one scene in this movie that made this classic more memorable. “Funny how? Am I a clown? Do I amuse you?” is what Ray Liotta tells Joe Pesci, and it turns out that it was entirely improvised.
Pesci himself worked as a waiter as a youngster and had some real-life experience with the mob world. He shared this anecdote that was incorporated into the movie.
7. Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory – Wonka’s Wacky Entrance
Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is one of the most original movies ever. This masterpiece is based on the Roald Dahl book of equally revered stature, and the leading role went to the late actor Gene Wilder, who was so excited about the role that he had only one requirement before accepting.
His only requirement was to choose how Wonka gets to be introduced in the film. That opening scene became one of the movie’s best scenes. Wonka approaches the crowd, pretends to fall down – before gracing into a somersault to tremendous applause. From that moment on, no one knew for sure if Wilder was lying or telling the truth.
6. E.T. – Chocolate Promotion
When you miss an opportunity for something great, it can hunt you forever. This is precisely what happened to the famous chocolate bar manufacturer, Mars, who also make famous M&Ms. Speilberg approached them and offered them an opportunity to promote their chocolate in the scene where Elliot lures E.T. into his house, but they said no.
At the time, they couldn’t recognize the movie’s potential. So, instead of or MARS, Hershey got the gig, and favorite alien ended up eating Reese’s Pieces. The result? It was one of the best promotional campaigns in Hershey’s history, tripling their sales.
5. Animal House – I’m A Zit
Animal House is one of the first coming-of-age comedy films, with late comedic actor John Belushi. He had an opportunity to express with self scene after scene.
Filmmakers gave him ana enormous freedom when it comes to this film. He could improvise more than another actor. THat food cafeteria scene. Only improvisation. “I’m a zit. Get it?”
4. The Goonies – The Truffle Shuffle
According to directors, one of the best things about working with child actors is that they don’t have experience. Therefore, they feel free to be themself and show the magic and adventurous side of childhood. Moreover, they can quickly transfer that magic to the screen. This is what happened in the famous movie The Goonies, at least.
There is a scene where Chunk does his iconic “Truffle Shuffle” dance. Jeff, the actor who portrayed this famous character, was asked to improvise dance – prompting him to pick up his shirt, shake his belly, and do the dance that everyone knowns nowadays.
3. The Breakfast Club – Opening Up
The Breakfast Club is an ultimate classic, and reasons for that are endless. First of all, it demonstrates the walls of social class. The ide of the movie? Place five different class kids in one room and watch them grow. In no time, they have actually realized just how similar they are.
The majority of liens and scenes were scripted, but the director, John Hughes, encourage them to improvise as much as possible. The result was a serious sense of realness to one of the movie’s best sequences.
2. Reservoir Dogs – Mr. Blonde’s Sinister Dance
Tarantino again! Reservoir Dogs is a true masterpiece when it comes to cinematography. It’s also reasonably horrific, especially when Mr. Blonde is torturing someone. He holds a license and enjoys dancing to “Stuck In The Middle With You,” and overall looking happy.
The truth is that the actor, Michael Madsen, had no idea about this dancing scene. He only knew that he would torture someone, and that’s what Tarantino wanted. He wanted authenticity to the scene, and he got it.
1. Wayne’s World – Bohemian Rhapsody
Dana Carvey and Mike Myers showed the world that they are more than SNL comedians in this famous and classic movie. This movie gets better with each passing scene. Probably the most typical scene here is the memorable “Bohemian Rhapsody” moment.
Cruising around in the 1976 AMC Pacer and banging head is one of the most vivid moments from this movie. Interestingly, this scene rarely happened in the movie. Initially, the gang was supposed to bang their head s to Guns N’ Rose song, but Myers refused and insisted it had to be “Bohemian Rhapsody.”