Skip To Content

    19 TV And Movie Lines That Were Totally And Surprisingly Improvised By The Actor

    Robert Downey Jr. really helped shape the whole future of the MCU with one line.

    There's nothing like finding out one of your favorite moments in a TV show or movie was improvised, so here are some of the best unscripted lines from Friends, Fight Club, the MCU, and more.

    1. “You fuckin’ hit me with the phone, dick!” —Scream

    View this video on YouTube

    Dimension Films / Via

    Matthew Lillard said this after the phone slipped out of Skeet Ulrich's fake-bloody hands at the end of Scream and hit him in the head.

    He also ad-libbed, "My mom and dad are gonna be so mad at me."

    2. “You hit me in the ear! Ow, Christ, why the ear?” —Fight Club

    View this video on YouTube

    20th Century Fox / Via

    This was another authentic reaction to an accidental on-set injury. When Brad Pitt and Edward Norton were filming their first fight scene for Fight Club, Norton hit Pitt in the ear for real.

    "[David] Fincher came up to me and said, 'Hit him, connect with him somewhere,'" Norton told Jimmy Fallon. "I didn’t know what to do, and I hit him in the ear."

    3. "Leslie, I typed your symptoms into the thing up here, and it says here you could have 'network connectivity problems.'" —Parks and Recreation

    View this video on YouTube

    NBC / Via

    Chris Pratt improvised this line in Parks and Recreation, infuriating executive producer Michael Schur in the process. 

    "I’m not kidding — as a writer, it made me furious," he said at the 2012 Paley Fest. “... The camera happened to be on him, he did it once, and I think it’s the funniest joke that’s ever been on our show."

    4. The Snake Juice sceneParks and Recreation

    View this video on YouTube

    NBC / Via

    This time the whole cast got in on the ad-libbing. The scene where everyone's wasted off Snake Juice and talking directly to the camera was all an improvised attempt to get a laugh out of Amy Poehler, who directed the episode.

    5. "Fe-he-he-he-heeny!" —Boy Meets World

    View this video on YouTube

    Buena Vista Television / Via

    Yep, that's right — the iconic Feeny Call was Boy Meets World star Will Friedle's creation.

    He told Cosplay & Coffee: "You know the Feeny call really started by it just saying 'Mr. Feeny' in the script and I kind of took it from there to where it expanded to be nine minutes long."

    6. "I don’t wanna go." —Avengers: Infinity War

    7. "I am Iron Man." —Iron Man

    8. Oz and Willow's animal crackers convo —Buffy

    Oz from Buffy saying: So I'm wondering, do the other animals sort of ripped? Like is the hippo going, "Hey man, where are my pants. I have my hippo dignity." And the monkey's just, "I mock you with my monkey pants." And there's a big coup in the zoo.

    9. Robin Williams and Billy Crystal's convo —Friends

    View this video on YouTube

    Warner Bros. / Via

    Not only were the lines improvised, but the whole cameo was as well. During the filming of the Season 3 penultimate episode, Williams and Crystal were on a nearby set (presumably shooting Father's Day, which hit theaters the day after the episode aired). 

    They stopped by the Friends set and were asked to film a quick scene, leading the two comedic legends completely to make up the story about Crystal's character sleeping with Williams' character's wife on the spot. No wonder the main cast was on the edge of their seats the whole time.

    10. "Here's Johnny!" —The Shining

    View this video on YouTube

    Warner Bros. / Via

    Jack Nicholson's reference to The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson almost didn't make it into The Shining because director Stanley Kubrick didn't get the joke.

    11. "Hot damn!" —Brooklyn Nine-Nine

    View this video on YouTube

    NBC / Via

    On Brooklyn Nine-Nine, when Amy is late for work for the first time ever, the rest of the crew have fun speculating why. Even Captain Holt gets in on the action, and when his guess is correct, he lets out a very loud, very surprising, "Hot damn!" — which Andre Braugher improvised.

    12. "I know." —The Empire Strikes Back

    View this video on YouTube

    20th Century Fox / Via

    Han Solo was supposed to say, "I love you too," to Princess Leia in The Empire Strikes Back, but Harrison Ford (accurately) thought "I know" was truer to his character.

    13. "How come he don't want me, man?" —The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air

    View this video on YouTube

    Warner Bros. / Via

    This might be one of the saddest ad-libs of all time. Will says it after being abandoned (again) by his biological father, and Will Smith credits the moment to the encouragement he got from James Avery, who played Uncle Phil.

    "James Avery was relentless on me to elevate. [He] wouldn’t give me a damn inch," Smith told Rap Radar in 2018. "He was the model for me. He just had that acting power that I wanted to have."

    He added that while Avery was hugging him after the line, he whispered to him: "That’s fucking acting right there."

    14. "My dad's dead? I'm not ready for this." —How I Met Your Mother

    Marshall in How I Met Your Mother

    15. That weird hissing sound Hannibal Lecter makes —The Silence of the Lambs

    View this video on YouTube

    Orion Pictures / Via

    In Silence of the Lambs, the noise Hannibal makes after telling Clarice Starling he once ate a census taker's liver with "some fava beans and a nice Chianti" was all Anthony Hopkins' idea.

    16. "I'm keeping it real!" —Clueless

    17. "I love lamp." —Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy

    18. "But why male models?" —Zoolander

    Ben Stiller and David Duchovny in Zoolander

    19. "Sure. Where?" —Friends

    View this video on YouTube

    Warner Bros. / Via

    OK, here's one more from Friends. In the final scene, when they're leaving the apartment for the last time, Rachel asks if everyone wants to get coffee. Matthew Perry's ad-libbed response is a perfect reflection of Chandler and a great way to wrap up the series.

    What's your favorite improvised line from a TV show or movie? Tell us in the comments!

    This post has been updated.