10 Memorable Movie Scenes Completely Improvised

Sometimes the best movie scenes are created when an actor is inspired for adlib or uses a prop that isn’t part of the script. Who will never forget “You’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat” by Roy Scheider, the iconic jewelry scene from A pretty womanor Gandalf banging his head in Bilbo’s house?

On this list are unforgettable movie scenes that would never have had the impact they had had they not been improvised.

Related: Top 10 funniest food scenes in movies

ten Rain Man fart scene

When rain man Premiering at the 39th Berlin International Film Festival, it won the Golden Bear award. After its release in 1988, the film became the highest-grossing film of that year. Film star Dustin Hoffman won an Oscar for his portrayal of an autistic savant who inherits the majority of his father’s estate.

More than 30 years later, the film is considered “controversial” due to its perceived autism stereotypes. However, despite the controversy, fans still love it and continue to cite several scenes, including a stunning unscripted one that brought Tom Cruise to tears. While filming the scene where Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman’s characters are in a phone booth, Hoffman let one rip. Exclaiming “Oh oh, fart. Oh oh, fart” began an impromptu back-and-forth between the two actors that was so funny it was kept in the movie.

Hoffman still refers to the incident as his favorite scene in the film.[1]

9 The Lion King Luau Stage

THE LION KING 3D – Create a distraction

Even after 28 years, The Lion King remains one of the best animated films ever made. It combines heartfelt scenes with comedic scenes, making for an unforgettable cinematic experience. Plus, there are several homages to other legendary movies and actors, including beloved warthog Pumbaa shouting, “They call me Mr. Pig!” in reference to the emblematic “They call me Mr. Tibbs!” by Sidney Poitier.

Timon and his sidekick Pumbaa are a must-have duo and have created several hilarious scenes together. One of these, the luau stage, was improvised by Nathan Lane, who voiced Timon. He added, “What do you want me to do, dress up in drag and do some hula?” after Simba said they needed live bait to distract the hyenas. The film’s director liked the line so much that he created the hula dance and song around it.[2]

8 Thor: Scene from the Story of the Serpent Ragnarok

Thor Snake Story Scene | Thor Ragnarok 2017 | infozilla

The strong dynamic between Loki and Thor is part of what made Thor: Ragnarok such a successful film. During filming, Chris Hemsworth improvised a lot of dialogue which made several scenes sparkle. An example of this is the “get help” gag that Hemsworth invented on the spot.

Another perfectly improvised scene was the story of the snake told by Thor. He tells that Loki turned into a snake because he knew that Thor liked snakes. When the Thunder God picked up the snake to admire it, Loki turned back to himself and stabbed Thor. Most importantly, they were both eight years old at the time. Loki’s face as Thor tells the story completes the scene perfectly.

Six versions of the story were filmed, and Taika Waititi ultimately decided that the snake story was the best. One of the previous versions included Thor seeing a Turkish rug in a field and standing on it. The rug then transformed into Loki, and in doing so, a hole was formed. Thor fell through the hole and impaled himself on a pile of spikes.[3]

7 Green Mile Last Words Scene

The Green Line (1999) – Execution of Eduard Delacroix

One of Stephen King’s best books came out in 1999 and starred Tom Hanks and the late brilliant Michael Clarke Duncan. While most Stephen King adaptations aren’t well received, The green Line was a huge box office success and received excellent reviews from critics. Duncan played the memorable role of John Coffey, for which he earned an Oscar nomination. He was suggested for the role by Bruce Willis, who had nothing but praise for the actor after working with him on Armageddon.

Another unforgettable main character is Eduard Delacroix, who awaits execution on death row. When his time is finally up, he dies a violent death after leaving a dry sponge on the electrodes of the electric chair. The actor behind the character, Michael Jeter, spoke Delacroix’s last words while praying Ave Maria in Cajun French. However, in this case, it is not the improvisation that attracts the most attention. Instead, the death scene itself traumatized many moviegoers and is still referred to as the “movie scene that went too far.”[4]

6 Pulp Fiction Dance Scene

Pulp Fiction – Dance Scene (HQ)

pulp Fiction has been called the best movie ever made and is full of fantastic scenes and memorable dialogue. There’s the Honey Bunny and Pumpkin moment, the Three Little Fonzies scene, and Quentin Tarantino’s cafe cameo, to name a few.
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John Travolta and Uma Thurman also shine in the film and have one of many distinctive moments when they compete in a dance contest at a retro restaurant called Jack Rabbit Slim’s. Tarantino asked Travolta and Thurman to dance the Twist to Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell.” Travolta took the scene to a whole new level when he improvised more dance moves into the scene, including the Spin, the Hitchhiker, and the Batman. Tarantino left it in Travolta’s hands and was extremely impressed with how the scene turned out.[5]

5 American Psycho Moonwalk Scene

Hip to be Square – American Psycho (3/12) Movie CLIP (2000) HD

American psycho is a disturbing film, made even more so by Christian Bale’s brilliant performance. Bale claimed he drew inspiration from his scenes as an alpha male while watching Tom Cruise. He also spoke in an American accent at all times to ensure a flawless delivery during filming. So when he reverted to his native English accent on closing night, many of the crew were shocked as they thought he was American.

Bale improvised several scenes in the film, the most memorable of which was the moonwalk he did while hiding an ax before murdering Paul Allen, played by Jared Leto. The previous novel’s author, Bret Easton Ellis, wasn’t a big fan of the improv, though he approved of the film adaptation as a whole.[6]

4 Good Will Hunting Memory Lane Scene

Greatest Dialogue in History (Coffee Joke, Sleep Fart) – Good Will Hunting (1997) Movie Scene

The beloved late Robin Williams won an Oscar for his supporting actor role in Goodwill hunting, in which he played a therapist for Matt Damon’s character Will Hunting. The couple were praised for their on-screen chemistry and the film was ranked 53 on the list of Hollywood’s 100 Favorite Movies.

Being the comedian he was, it’s no surprise that Williams improvised the funniest scene in the film. As Dr. Sean Maguire, Williams descends into the past when asked about his late wife. He then leaves the script behind and tells Hunting, “She used to fart in her sleep. One night there was so much noise that it woke up the dog. She woke up and was like, ‘Oh, was that you?’ I would go, ‘Yeah.’ I just didn’t have the heart to tell him.

Damon tried to stay in character but couldn’t help but laugh out loud at this turn of events.[7]

3 A clockwork orange home invasion scene

A clockwork orange pause in the scene warning graphic

It’s not often that an improvised scene ends up costing the filmmakers more. So when Malcolm McDowell decided to add his own unique cachet to A clockwork orange during filming, Stanley Kubrick paid an additional $10,000 to ensure the improvised stage could be used.

During the scene where McDowell’s Alex DeLarge and his droogs break into a woman’s house to assault her, DeLarge begins to dance and sing his own rendition of Gene Kelly’s “Singin’ in the Rain”. McDowell later said it was the only song he “kinda knew half the lyrics to”. Kubrick enjoyed the improvisation so much that he and McDowell went on a road trip to secure the rights to use the song, to the tune of $10,000. It was also Kubrick’s idea to change “rain” to “pain” after seeing how well the song and dance worked in the scene.[8]

2 A star is born lousy commentary scene

A Star Is Born – “You’re Ugly!” [Scene 98]

Lady Gaga surprised the world when she proved she could act as well as she could sing. While she got her first big acting role in American Horror Story Hotel, she really showed off her skills in the critically acclaimed film. A star is born. Her chemistry with fellow star Bradley Cooper was off the charts, leading to speculation the pair were seeing each other in real life.

In the film, the two begin a tumultuous and even toxic relationship. In one scene, Gaga, who plays Ally, takes a bath while Bradley Cooper’s character Jackson hurls drunken insults at her. Then, deviating from the script, Jackson calls Ally “ugly” during the final take, which clearly devastates her. Gaga later told a news outlet that the shocked expression on her face was real because, just like her character, she had always struggled with insecurities about her appearance.

Cooper also commented on the scene, saying he never saw the comment “as a violation” because he and Gaga were very close and “felt safe together acting.”[9]

1 Rock ice skating scene

Rocky (1/10) Movie CLIP – Meet at the Ice Rink (1976) HD

The story of how Rocky has come to be is almost as much an underdog tale as the film itself. Sylvester Stallone was broke and his script kept getting rejected because he insisted on playing the lead character. So when it was finally greenlit, he had to rewrite large sections of the script while filming. However, his hard work paid off, as it grossed over $200 million, making it the highest-grossing film of 1976. It also received 10 Oscar nominations.

One of the film’s most endearing scenes, where Rocky and his lover Adrian go ice skating, was almost entirely improvised. The production could not afford to rent the rink or pay for extras, which meant they could only use it during the rink’s off hours. Stallone ignored most of the dialogue in the scene to try to accentuate the awkwardness of the moment. He also jogged around the rink alongside Adrian, played by Talia Shire, because he couldn’t skate. This improvisation added credibility to the unease between two people who had very little in common.[10]



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Darci Heikkinen

Andrea G. Henderson