10+ TV Scenes That Were Completely Improvised

When watching scripted television, most of the scenes that make it to the screen were planned ahead of time. But, sometimes, actors and actresses improvise and create iconic television moments.

Here are 10+ examples of times when television scenes on shows from The Office to Grey's Anatomy happened on the fly. Some of these scenes and moments might surprise you!

*Parks and Recreation* actors improvised the "SnakeJuice" scene.


During a legendary scene on the show, the main characters gather at Tom Haverford's club where they all get drunk on "SnakeJuice."

Aubrey Plaza told Toofab that this improvised scene "came at a time when it was like, everybody knew their characters so well."

Jason Segel didn't know his character's father was going to die.


When Marshall's father passed away, it was his wife, Lily, who told him. Segel didn't read the dialogue for Lily's character ahead of time.

So, his reaction to hearing that his character's dad had died was totally real. He even improvised the dialogue.

Millie Bobby Brown's collapse on *Stranger Things* was fueled by real exhaustion.

In season three of Stranger Things, Eleven collapses into Mike's arms, but this on-screen exhaustion wasn't fake.

She and her costars had been filming up to 12 hours a day, so this makes complete sense.

Max Greenfield improvised this *New Girl* moment.

During a flashback scene, Schmidt tells Nick about his dream girl and goes into detail about her wearing a beanie and a hoodie.

Max Greenfield actually improvised these lines on the spot which is probably why they were a little unpolished but also hilarious.

Catherine O'Hara came up with one of Moira's iconic pronunciations.


"I said 'bebe' as a joke or a mistake the first time. Once I hit on 'bebe' and got a laugh from the crew, that was it," O'hara told Vulture.

It was a happy accident that turned into one of the most iconic moments of the show.

Chris Pratt made up a line about "connectivity problems."


Chris Pratt actually came up with many lines for the character of Andy Dwyer, but one of the most memorable was from season three.

When Andy was supposed to be looking up symptoms of the flu he said, "Leslie, I typed your symptoms into the thing up here and it says you could have network connectivity problems!"

Norman Reedus telling Carol that she "looked ridiculous."


The relationship between Daryl and Carol is one of the most compelling on The Walking Dead.

Norman Reedus showed this easy connection when ad-libbing the line, "You look ridiculous."

This is when Daryl returns to Alexandria to see Carol dressed in her "mom" outfit.

Jensen Ackles swearing on *Supernatural."

Dean Winchester is known for dropping some memorable swear words in the series, but one of the best moments was when actor Jensen Ackles improvised the line "son of a [expletive]."

The line caught costar Jared Padalecki off guard and made him laugh. You can even see it in the episode.

Captain Holt's "hot damn" line.

Brooklyn Nine-Nine is filled with some hilarious moments, but Holt's "hot damn" line is definitely one of the best.

It caught everyone off guard since he's usually so tight-lipped! This line was actually improvised by actor Andre Braugher while filming.

The fight scene between Rue and her mom in *Euphoria* was improvised.


This emotional flashback moment was basically totally improvised as the script only instructed that "Rue and her mom have a fight."

Clearly, both Zendaya and Nika King have powerful acting skills since they came up with something so intense.

Sophia Bush giving Brooke's speech about high school.

During the final episode of One Tree Hill, Brooke gave a speech about what made the high school experience so important and special.

This speech was actually made up by the actress who used her own experiences filming the show as inspiration.

Tormund's smile at Brienne in *Game of Thrones.*


In the scene where the two characters leave Castle Black, Tormund looks over longingly at Brienne and gives her a smile, but this moment wasn't planned.

This means that both of the actors' reactions were believable and true to character.

*Haunting of Hill House* actors got genuinely scared.

Director Mike Flanagan included unscripted moments to ensure the actors would react authentically.

For one particular scene in episode eight, he had actress Victoria Pedretti jump out earlier than expected to scare the other actresses in the scene! It clearly worked.

Oscar and Michael's kiss on *The Office.*

During the episode "Gay Witch Hunt," Michael awkwardly and inappropriately kisses Oscar to prove he's not homophobic.

The scene was supposed to only have them hug instead, but actors Steve Carrell and Oscar Nuñez did one improvised take that ended with a kiss.

A heartbreaking moment from *Breaking Bad.*


One of the most intense moments from Breaking Bad is when Walter White kidnaps Holly in the episode "Ozymandias." The baby playing Holly said "mama, mama" out of the blue.

Leave it to children to bring an emotional moment with no prompting.

A conversation is improvised on *Stranger Things*.

You can even spot Natalia Dyer trying not to laugh at the breakfast table!

The actors have all admitted how difficult it was for them to film the scene. They just couldn't keep it together.

Aimee Lou Wood improvised Aimee's "my ham" line.

"[There were] things that I didn't think would make it into the show because it was me messing about, but then they ended up in there. When I watched it, I was like, 'Oh my god, I can't believe 'my ham' is actually in it!' And everyone really likes 'my ham!' I've been tagged in photos of ham on Instagram," she told Teen Vogue.

Benedict Cumberbatch forgot a line on *Sherlock*.


When Sherlock and Watson were getting drunk in one of their scenes, Cumberbatch forgot his lines and made some up on the spot!

Clearly, it ended up working out for the scene!

Alison and Donnie burying the body in *Orphan Black*.

While Alison and Donnie buried a body in their garage, the director set up a camera and allowed the actors to do literally whatever they wanted!

It ended up being a fantastic scene, so this all worked out for the best.

Oliver removing Felicity's glasses on *Arrow*.

The sweet and tender moment on Arrow was improvised by Stephen Amell himself.

It went down in their fandom history, and will probably always be remembered forever! They love a sweet moment.

Will's speech about his dad not wanting him.


This is probably one of the most famous scenes of all time from The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.

The speech was completely improvised, and it has gone down in history as one of the best-improvised scenes ever.

Zeek and Amber go see her wrecked car.

Craig T. Nelson and Mae Whitman improvised the entire scene on Parenthood, when they go see her wrecked car.

It is one of the most powerful scenes in the show and can bring tears to anyone's eyes.

KJ Apa actually broke his hand on *Riverdale*.


Talk about method acting!

When Archie was trying to save Cheryl, who was drowning, he kept punching ice to try and get to her. He ended up breaking his hand while doing so!

Breaking a tea set on *Veep*.

To be fair, a ton of the show is improvised and used a lot.

But Gary and Mike breaking an expensive tea set while they were in London is definitely one of the best improved scenes done on the show!

Randall and William at the barber shop on *This is Us*.


This was completely unscripted.

Sterling K. Brown and Ron Cephas Jones decided to talk about their real first haircuts, making for a super enjoyable scene that fans will never forget.

Animal crackers on *Buffy the Vampire Slayer*.

Seth Green went on an improvised rant about animal crackers on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, according to the season 4 DVD commentary.

Who would have thought a rant about animal crackers would go down in history?

Killer BOB in *Twin Peaks*

This entire character was created by accident.

A set worker was seen in the pilot episode of the show by accident, and creator David Lynch decided to turn the accident into a character! Enter, Killer BOB.

"The Thanksgiving Song" on *Bob's Burgers*.

The song was improvised by John Roberts, who voices Linda. So everyone say thank you, John Roberts!

It was in the Thanksgiving episode from season 2 and ended up being completely iconic.

"This is not a marriage. This is the world's worst hangover!"


Said by Rachel in "The One After Vegas" on Friends, this line was confirmed as an improv line in the book Friends Like Us: The Unofficial Guide to "Friends".

It is one of the most iconic lines now!

Mark Harmon slapping on *NCIS*

Harmon, who plays Gibbs, is known for smacking people on the head but only because the first time was improvised!

Harmon was agitated and did actually do the slap, and they decided to make it a regular thing on the show.

Almost everything the janitor says on *Scrubs*.

The writers barely had to write lines for the character!

Neil Flynn was just such a good actor that they wanted to make him do everything himself. Clearly, it ended up working out for the best.