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Famous Movie Lines That Were Unscripted

Updated August 18, 2020 18.1k votes 2.3k voters 897.1k views20 items

List RulesVote up the unscripted movie lines that movies wouldn't be the same without.

What if we told you the famous line, "Warriors, come out to play," is actually an unscripted, totally ad-libbed movie line? In this list, we're going to focus on the magic that strikes during production. It's when the right actor has just the right instinct at the right moment and creates something iconic. The actor says a line that becomes larger than the script, larger than the moment, and sometimes represents the entire movie.

Movies are an incredibly huge undertaking. It takes a village (or an army, depending on who you ask) to make a film. They say you make a film three times: once in pre-production, again while you're filming, and finally while you're editing. At any of these points, lightning can strike and completely change the course of the film. This is a collection of famous, originally unscripted, dialogue in classic films. Those one-in-a-million pieces of magic where a line struck all the right chords and became legendary

  • 'You’re Going To Need A Bigger Boat” - Jaws (1975)
    Video: YouTube

    While luring the great white shark within range, Police Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) gets his first look at the shark and how impossibly large it is. Stunned, he stands and mutters the now famous line to Captain Quint (Robert Shaw) completely off-the-cuff, “You’re going to need a bigger boat.”

    Essential ad-lib?

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  • 'Here’s Johnny!' - The Shining (1980)
    Video: YouTube

    Wendy Torrance (Shelley Duval) and her son Danny (Danny Lloyd) hide from the unhinged Jack Torrance (Jack Nicholson) in a hotel bathroom. Jack chops through the door with an ax. As he makes a hole big enough for his face, he yells a phrase previously made popular by Ed McMahon on The Tonight Show, "Here's Johnny!" The line was never part of the script, but was instantly iconic.

    Essential ad-lib?

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  • 'My Wife Used To Fart When She Was Nervous' - Good Will Hunting (1997)
    Video: YouTube

    Robin Williams' character (Sean Maguire) is a therapist and decides to tell Will Hunting (Matt Damon) a bit about himself in order to get the kid to open up. He tells a story about his wife and her flatulent habits, which causes Damon to laugh hysterically. The best part: The entire story was made up by Williams mid-scene. Damon's laugh is actually genuine. If you look carefully, the camera shakes a tiny bit; the cameraman was laughing, too.

    Essential ad-lib?

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  • 'You Talkin' To Me?' - Taxi Driver (1976)
    Video: YouTube

    In this scene, there was no specific dialogue. The script merely said, Travis talks to himself in the mirror. Every single thing that Travis Bickle (Robert De Niro) says during his insane conversation with himself in the mirror was improvised by De Niro.

    Essential ad-lib?