Skip To Content

    22 Moments In Movies That Were Completely Unplanned, And I'm Surprised By A Lot Of These

    Iconic lines we still quote to this day could never have existed if not for these actors.

    When we watch films, we don't typically think that anything happening *isn't* scripted. However, you'd be surprised to know just how many scenes were actually improvised, unplanned, or even dangerously accidental.

    1. The cannoli line, The Godfather (1972):

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    When the Godfather is nearly killed in a hit, one of his lieutenants is charged with the task of taking out one of the underlings responsible, but not before he picks up cannoli on the way there. Actor Richard Castellano came up with the famous line, "Leave the gun. Take the cannoli." Honestly, I'd probably do the same thing.

    2. Miracle Max, The Princess Bride (1987):

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    Billy Crystal has a cameo as Miracle Max in this classic movie and was encouraged by the director to ad-lib, embellish, and even speak Yiddish to really bring the character to life. Well, it worked!

    3. The first shark scene, Jaws (1975):

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    In order to keep the costs down on set, one of the support boats was too small to handle its job. The cast and crew joked about it by saying, "You're going to need a bigger boat" whenever anything went wrong on the set. It was rewritten into the script in the scene where they see the shark for the first time, and it ended up being an iconic line we all still use to this day!

    4. Leo's glass, Django Unchained (2012):

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    Leonardo DiCaprio's character has a bit of an outburst in a scene in Django Unchained, causing him to smash a glass onto the table. Much to his (and everyone's) surprise, he cuts his hand and starts bleeding. However, the show must go on and he continues acting through it. I can't believe this didn't win him an Oscar.

    5. The love scene, The Empire Strikes Back (1980):

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    How can we forget this iconic scene in The Empire Strikes Back? When Princess Leia says "I love you" to Han Solo, he was scripted to say, "I love you, too." Instead he says "I know," which was much more in line with Solo's cocky attitude.

    6. The Wakanda fight scene, Avengers: Infinity War (2018):

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    In the Wakanda fight scene, Captain America and Thor exchange some friendly banter that was totally improvised. Chris Hemsworth (Thor) says to Chris Evans, "Noticed you've copied my beard."

    7. The iconic wax scene, The 40-Year-Old Virgin (2005):

    View this video on YouTube

    Universal Pictures / youtube.com

    The wax scene done by Steve Carell actually had a ton of unscripted lines. The waxing was real, live, and uncut. This made for really hilarious language and reactions from Carell.

    8. The "most annoying sound in the world," Dumb and Dumber (1994):

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    I'm sure you know the car scene where Lloyd and Harry annoy the hit man until he flips out. Well, according to director Peter Farrelly, about 15% of the movie was improvised or tweaked before shooting, and supposedly that includes Jim Carrey making "the most annoying sound in the world."

    9. The mirror scene, Taxi Driver (1976):

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    In the scene where Robert DeNiro is practicing drawing his weapon, there wasn't any actual dialogue in the script. However, the director, Martin Scorsese, told DeNiro to ad-lib, and this is how the iconic line "You talkin' to me?" was born.

    10. The opening factory scene, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971):

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    When Willy Wonka first steps out of the factory, he comes out with a limp. When he gets closer, he somersaults toward the audience, revealing that he was okay. This entire scene was actually all Gene Wilder's idea. His thought process was basically that no one would know if he (as the character) was ever telling the truth or a lie.

    11. The library scene, Ghostbusters (1989):

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    During this scene, Bill Murray improvised the "They hate this" line, which, in my opinion, just makes the scene *that* much better.

    12. The Truffle Shuffle, The Goonies (1985):

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    The director, Richard Donner, loved working with the child actors because of their pure, wonderful, and unprogrammed minds. This was proved in the scene when the gang forced "Chunk" (played by Jeff Cohen) to dance before he could enter the house. He pulled up his shirt, made a face, and started shaking his belly, thus creating the iconic spur-of-the-moment Truffle Shuffle that perfectly captured kids being kids.

    13. The lineup scene, The Usual Suspects (1995):

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    The lineup scene may seem a little random when you see all of them break into a burst of laughter, right? Well, the reason they couldn't contain themselves is that one of them kept farting during filming. Talk about gross (but hilarious).

    14. The ear punch, Fight Club (1999):

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    I'm sure we all know someone who is a huge fan of this movie, but do they know that the scene where Edward Norton punches Brad Pitt's ear was not in the script? He was supposed to punch him in the shoulder, but at the last second, the director, David Fincher, instructed him to punch Pitt's ear. His reaction was completely genuine!

    15. The jewelry scene, Pretty Woman (1990):

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    In the scene where Richard Gere shows Julia Roberts the necklace when he opens the jewelry box, he snaps it shut when she tries to touch it. This was actually just a silly prank he pulled on her, but her laugh was so genuine and cute, they kept it in the film.

    16. The orange, Rocky (1976):

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    Because they had such a small budget for this film, the director, John Avildsen, was not able to have a closed set. This means that the scene where Rocky is running down the street was actually a public street. *This* means that the person who threw the orange at him was completely unplanned! It worked so well, they kept it in!

    17. The "Do You Want Some Cream?" scene, Mrs. Doubtfire (1993):

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    In the scene where Robin Williams stuffs his face into a pie because he lost his mask, you notice that some of it starts to drip in the mug of tea. According to IMDb, the reason it kept dripping was that the set lights were so hot, it was melting the icing off of his face. He managed to improvise it into the scene in a perfectly Robin Williams way. One of my favorite quotes to say is "Helloooo!" in Mrs. Doubtfire's voice.

    18. The coatrack scene, Thor: The Dark World (2013):

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    The scene where Thor hangs his hammer on the coatrack is not just hilarious but also completely unplanned! Hemsworth was just trying to be funny, but the improv was so good, the director, Alan Taylor, kept it in.

    19. The bleachers scene, The Princess Diaries (2001):

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    There's something heartwarming about knowing that when Anne Hathaway slipped on the bleachers during this scene, it was a total accident. Her laugh is so genuine, and her costars looked genuinely concerned.

    20. The crawl scene, Dirty Dancing (1987):

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    We have always loved the chemistry between Johnny and Baby, but did you know that the part where they crawl toward each other wasn't actually part of the script? They were just warming up before filming, but the director, Emile Ardolino, loved it so much, he added it to the film!

    21. The fart scene, Rain Man (1988):

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    While filming this scene, Dustin Hoffman accidentally farted. However, he and Tom Cruise both went along with it, making it a part of the scene, and it worked so well. I can't watch this scene without laughing now because of this bit of information.

    22. And finally, the chest banging, The Wolf of Wall Street (2013):

    View this video on YouTube

    youtube.com

    Before takes, Matthew McConaughey would bang his chest as a relaxation technique. Well, DiCaprio suggested using it in the scene, and the director, Scorsese, loved it because of how well it fit their screen personalities.

    What other scene in a movie was unscripted? Share the ones you know in the comments!

    TV and Movies

    Get all the best moments in pop culture & entertainment delivered to your inbox.

    Newsletter signup form