Top 10 Best Unscripted Moments From MCU Movies

Top 10 Best Unscripted Moments From MCU Movies

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Spencer Sher
Sometimes the best moments are made up on the spot! For this list, we're looking at ad-libbed, improvised, and unscripted moments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Our countdown includes “Avengers: Endgame”, "Thor: Ragnarok", "Captain America: The First Avenger", and more!

Top 10 Unscripted Moments from MCU Movies

Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Unscripted Moments from MCU Movies.

For this list, we’re looking at ad-libbed, improvised, and unscripted moments in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

What’s YOUR favorite unscripted MCU moment? Let us know in the comments!

#10: “Liar”

“Avengers: Endgame” (2019)
Given just how jam-packed this movie was with stories, characters, and action, you’d be forgiven for not remembering this blink-and-you’ll-miss-it moment in “Avengers: Endgame”. After being rescued from space by Captain Marvel, Tony Stark returns to the Avengers compound emotionally and physically defeated. Despite this, he finds the strength to confront Steve Rogers over his role in failing to stop Thanos in the previous film. During this stirring tirade, Robert Downey Jr. decided to insert a single word into his character’s dialogue that serves as the perfect reminder that the events of “Civil War” are still fresh in this mind. Tony calling Steve a “liar” was improvised, with director Anthony Russo calling the moment “one of Downey's most inspired.”

#9: Pec Touch

“Captain America: The First Avenger” (2011)
Steve Rogers’ transformation from scrawny kid to buff super-soldier is one of the MCU’s most iconic moments. However, it wouldn’t have worked if Chris Evans hadn’t fully committed to getting eye-bogglingly jacked. Much to the delight of fans, Evans pulled it off, emerging from the procedure with bulging muscles worthy of the legendary comic book character. It’s clear from Hayley Atwell’s performance in the scene that fans weren’t the only ones taken aback by Evans’ shredded physique. While shooting, Atwell impulsively reached out to touch Evans’ pecs, and the filmmakers decided to keep the ad-lib in the finished product. Atwell spoke about the incident in an interview, quipping that she couldn’t quite help herself when confronted by Evans’ man boobs.

#8: Nick Fury Tries to Talk Sense Into Spidey

“Spider-Man: Far From Home” (2019)
Samuel L. Jackson is known for his profanity-laced dialogue. So it should come as no surprise that he decided to spice up his lines in “Spider-Man: Far From Home”. This crops up in the scene in which he attempts to convince Peter Parker to help him and Mysterio defeat the Elementals. Initially, Peter is hesitant to lend a hand, quipping that the situation feels a little extreme for a “friendly neighborhood Spider-Man” like himself. Nick Fury doesn’t skip a beat in reminding Peter that he’s less than a year removed from being on another planet, and Jackson and Jake Gyllenhaal both confirmed that the former added a little something extra to ensure the line truly hit home.

#7: Nick Fury Sneaks a Peek

“Captain Marvel” (2019)
Samuel L. Jackson strikes again! It turns out that one of “Captain Marvel’s” funniest moments (and there were plenty) was improvised by the long-time MCU star. During the scene in which Nick Fury and Keller examine the now-deceased Skrull that had been impersonating Agent Coulson, Fury decides to check what’s under the alien’s proverbial “hood”. It’s totally in-line with the character’s curious nature, and we wouldn’t have been surprised to learn that it was in the original script. However, that little moment was all Jackson. Directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck loved the ad-lib and decided to keep it in the finished product. You’ll hear no complaints from us!

#6: Beyoncé

“Doctor Strange” (2016)
The relationship that Dr. Stephen Strange and Wong share is one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s most underrated. Perhaps it’s because both characters are played by actors named Benedict. One of their best moments also happened to be 100% improvised by Benedict Cumberbatch. According to Benedict Wong, Cumberbatch would throw all sorts of silly lines at him while filming, simply to see what kind of reaction he could provoke. So when Strange calls Wong “Beyoncé” early in the film, the latter’s look of stoic confusion wasn’t fake. The filmmakers doubled down on the joke later on, with Wong jamming out to Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)” while reading.

#5: "Hey, Auntie"

“Black Panther” (2018)
You’d be hard-pressed to deny that Killmonger is one of the MCU’s best villains. He’s intelligent, ruthless, cares about his people, and has a backstory that audiences can sympathize with. The character was brilliantly portrayed by Michael B. Jordan, who clearly felt comfortable enough in Killmonger’s skin to improvise this awesome line of dialogue. The ad-lib comes after meeting his relatives for the first time. During this shocking reveal, Jordan decided to throw a little salt in the wound, referring to the Queen Mother as “Auntie” with enough arrogance to make Thanos proud. This was not the only ad-lib that made it into the film, as M’Baku barking at Ross to shut him down was improvised by actor Winston Duke.

#4: Spider-Man’s Last Words

“Avengers: Infinity War” (2018)
You may want to break out a box of tissues for this next entry, for it’s often considered one of the saddest in the history of the MCU. Having just lost to Thanos, Tony is stunned to see his comrades start to disintegrate before his eyes. Spider-Man is one of the last ones standing but soon collapses into his mentor’s arms. His cries of “I don’t want to go” were improvised on the spot, though director Joe Russo also deserves credit; Russo told Holland before shooting to “act like you don’t want to go”. Holland turned the direction into dialogue, and his performance totally sells it.

#3: Gamora, Gamora, Gamora

“Avengers: Infinity War” (2018)
Hot take alert! Drax is the funniest character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Need proof? Just check out this scene in which he stupidly attempts to add something to a conversation between Tony Stark and Peter Quill – while lying beneath Tony’s foot, we might add. [Why is Gamora?] This iconic and hilarious line was made up on the spot by Dave Bautista, who slipped it in after a few days on set. The only lines that were actually in the script were the ones spoken by Tony and Peter; Drax’s line was simply Bautista becoming one with his character. We tip our caps to that mountain of a man and his ability to catch everything that goes over his head. [Nothing goes over my head]

#2: "He's a Friend from Work!"

“Thor: Ragnarok” (2017)
Owing to the fact that this line was splashed across promotional material for “Thor: Ragnarok”, you’d be forgiven for thinking it took a team of writer’s months to come up with. Alas, Thor’s hilarious exclamation upon seeing Hulk on the planet Sakaar for the first time was in actuality the brainchild of a, well, child. A kid from the Make-A-Wish Foundation was visiting the set one day and told Chris Hemsworth that he should say the line when he encounters Hulk in the arena. Hemsworth loved it, director Taika Waititi loved it, and the rest, as they say, is history. A big improv fan, Waititi actually encouraged his actors to ad-lib on set. That’s how we got Thor’s snake story, too!

Before we unveil our top pick, here are some honorable mentions:

“Get Help!”, “Thor: Ragnarok” (2017)
Chris Hemsworth Came Up with the Gag

Peter & Tony’s “Hug”, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” (2017)
Tom Holland Improvised & RDJ Took It in Stride

Hammer Hang, “Thor: The Dark World” (2013)
Another Gag Courtesy of Chris Hemsworth

#1: “I Am Iron Man”

“Iron Man” (2008)
In the pantheon of iconic MCU lines, one stands above the rest: [I am Iron Man]. Tony Stark’s declaration at the end of the first “Iron Man” movie is the stuff of legend, with the superhero breaking convention by throwing the well-worn trope of secret identities to the wind. The line is quintessential Tony, making it all the more shocking when you discover Robert Downey Jr. made it up on the spot! The reaction from fans was instantaneous, with Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige later admitting that it inspired him not to be “afraid to adapt and evolve and to change things.” The line reappeared in “Avengers: Endgame”, serving as the perfect bookend to Tony’s character arc.