10+ Of The Greatest Improvised Movie Moments Ever

The history of cinema is comprised of some of the most ambitious, talented, and thought-provoking writers to ever pick up a pen. But sometimes, actors take it upon themselves to go off-script.

Below are 10+ of the greatest improvised movie moments ever caught on film. These scenes are the very definition of lighting in a bottle and will be talked about for decades to come.

"I'm walking here!" from *Midnight Cowboy*.

While filming Midnight Cowboy, production was at the mercy of real-life traffic. That cab that nearly hits Dustin Hoffman, as well as his most memorable quote, are 100% genuine.

Thank goodness the car stopped short!

"What do you mean, 'I'm funny'?" from *Goodfellas*.

Supposedly, this was taken from a real-life experience of Joe Pesci. Before becoming an actor, Joe used to wait tables in a known gangster bar.

He, like Henry in the film, also made the mistake of calling a made-guy, funny.

"You talking to me?" from *Taxi Driver*.

This scene has been quoted, reworked, alluded to, and parodied more times than I can recall. It's a glimpse at Travis' expanding psychosis and paranoia.

According to De Niro, the mirror ad-lib was just something he was compelled to do.

Quint's harrowing tale from the USS Indianapolis in *Jaws*.

When Robert Shaw was first given the scene, it was more than ten pages long.

He took a night to re-work the dialogue himself but the speech about the Indianapolis was all off the cuff.

"I'll have what she's having," from *When Harry Met Sally*.

Here's a fun fact for you: that's director Rob Reiner's mother who says the film's most iconic line.

Billy Crystal was the one who suggested in-between takes that the joke would be hilarious.

When Steve Carrell got his chest waxed in *The 40-Year-Old Virgin*.

There are some things that you just can't fake in film. A grown man's pain reaction to having his chest waxed is one of them.

Steve's screaming and swearing were all natural (surprise, surprise). For better and for worse, it's defined his career.

"You're gonna need a bigger boat," from *Jaws*.

When Roy Scheider delivered his now-iconic line, he was originally looking to get a laugh from the crew.

"You're gonna need a bigger boat," was a running joke the team used whenever something went wrong on set.

When Henry Cavill reloaded his arms in *Mission: Impossible - Fallout*.

The way that Henry tells the story, the double-arm reload was something he did in a random take. When no one said anything, he began to feel self-conscious.

When they ran the scene again, he omitted the arm action and was quickly chastised for doing so.

Never bring a sword to a gun fight in *Raiders Of The Lost Ark*.

Pretty much everything that could go wrong went wrong on the set of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The worst of which involved Harrison Ford catching a horrible bout of flu.

The scene was going to be an intricate sword fight in the script. But Ford was so sick and exhausted he opted just to shoot him instead.

Rick Moranis' entire party speech from *Ghostbusters*.

Rick Moranis is a genius. Lewis' entire speech explaining how his party guests are actually all his clients was 100% Moranis.

He's also the one who initially came up with the idea to play Lewis as an accountant.

"Here's Johnny!" from *The Shining*.

It makes me feel incredibly old to have to explain this. But there's an entire generation of moviegoers who don't realize that Jack Nicholson is quoting Ed McMahon from The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

What's even more incredible is that Stanley Kubrick nearly cut this scene from the film!

R. Lee Ermey's monologue from *Full Metal Jacket*.

Originally, R. Lee Ermey was hired on to be a consultant.

He was a real-life drill sergeant and Stanley Kubrick was vying for authenticity. It didn't take long before Ermey was thrust into the role.

The scene with Gomer Pyle's donut was completely unscripted, as were the bulk of his insults.

The Joker's clapping in *The Dark Knight*.

As if you needed any more reasons to love Heath Ledger's final performance as The Joker. In the script, there's nothing indicating that Heath is to do anything whatsoever.

His clapping is incredibly foreboding and makes this one of the most memorable scenes in the entire movie.

Leonardo DiCaprio cutting his hand in *Django Unchained*.

Leonardo DiCaprio was supposed to slam his hand on the table He was not, however, supposed to get a two-inch glass shard stuck in his hand. Instead of calling for a medic, Leo went with it!

Which means when he smears the blood on Kerry Washington's face — that was real blood.

"Yippie ki-yay, mother [expletive]," in *Die Hard*.

OK, so this one if up for debate. But according to Bruce Willis himself, he was the one who came up with John McClane's historic one-liner.

It was his natural response to being called an "American Cowboy." How badass is that?