Movie Details About Improvised Moments That Demand A Rewatch

List Rules
Vote up the details you missed the first time around.

Movies are the result of thousands of hours of work by hundreds of people (if not more), and they all follow a carefully written, edited, and rewritten script from start to finish. Actually, that's how it's supposed to work. In reality, scripts go through multiple rewrites by several people, and the actors often weigh in a lot as well, which can lead to some of a movie's greatest moments consisting of unscripted lines. Improvisation can often add clarity or levity to a scene, and when it works, it feels natural, leaving many to assume those lines and moments were always meant to be included.

Because of this, few people realize that their favorite moments from beloved movies stem from one or more people's improv. When fans notice one of these movie moments, they occasionally head over to the MovieDetails subreddit to share their findings. This list takes the very best examples of improvised movie moments that are so well done they demand a rewatch.

  • 1
    13 VOTES

    Most Of Ernie McCraken From 'Kingpin' Is Improvised Including Bowling Three Strikes In A Row

    From Redditor u/Celestial_Inferno:

    In Kingpin (1996) Bill Murray plays the infamous pro-bowler, Ernie McCracken. In addition to improvising nearly all of his lines, Murray actually bowled three strikes in a row on camera to a live audience in one take. Their thunderous applause was real.

    13 votes
  • 2
    9 VOTES

    The Joker's Greatest Mannerism In 'The Dark Knight' Stems From Itchy Prosthetics

    From Redditor u/Russian_Bagel:

    In The Dark Knight (2008), Joker is constantly licking his lips. This is actually because of the prosthetic scars that Heath Ledger wore. They kept falling off, so Heath would lick his lips to keep them in place. Gradually, it became a part of the Joker’s character.

    9 votes
  • 3
    9 VOTES

    Stealing A Candy Bar Kept Al Leong's Character In 'Die Hard' Longer

    From Redditor u/unhappy_lil_trees:

    In Die Hard (1988), the scene where Uli pockets a candy bar was improvised by actor and stuntman Al Leong. Writer Steven de Souza said “That assured him a longer life. I was killing somebody every eight or 10 pages but that moment made him interesting. He's one of the last guys to die.”

    9 votes
  • 4
    9 VOTES

    Axel Foley's "Super Cops" Line Is Improvised In 'Beverly Hills Cop'

    From Redditor u/bjorktothefuture:

    In Beverly Hills Cop (1984), Eddie Murphy's improvised story about "super cops" made John Ashton crack up so much, he had to pinch his face to hide his laughter.

    9 votes
  • 5
    7 VOTES

    The Funniest Moment In 'Zoolander' Arose From A Forgotten Line

    From Redditor u/howmuchbanana:

    Ine of the funniest lines in Zoolander (2001) was ad-libbed. JP Prewitt (David Duchovny) spends a full minute explaining why male models are being used for evil. Stiller forgot his next line, so he repeated: "But why male models?" Duchovny rolled with it: "Are you serious? I just told you that!"

    7 votes
  • 6
    7 VOTES

    Milo Wasn't Supposed To Grab The Frisbee In 'The Mask' So Jim Carrey Improvised

    From Redditor u/klsi832:

    The Mask (1994) - Milo wasn't supposed to bite the frisbee and refuse to let go, so Jim Carrey's reaction was improvised.

    7 votes