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Top 10 Improvised Movie Moments of the 2000s
Top 10 Improvised Movie Moments of the 2000s

Top 10 Improvised Movie Moments of the 2000s

VOICE OVER: Ryan Wild WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
But, why male models? For this list, we'll be looking at the best moments from films from the first decade of the 21st century that were not in the script. Our countdown includes moments from "Mean Girls", "Anchorman", "The Dark Knight" and more!

Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Improvised Movie Moments of the 2000s. For this list, we’ll be looking at the best moments from films from the first decade of the 21st century that were not in the script. If there’s an impromptu cinematic moment you wish we’d included, improvise some comments down below!

#10: Male Models

“Zoolander” (2001)
The story of ditzy model Derek Zoolander is chock full of quotable, hilarious lines. But one of its funniest moments wasn’t even written to be that way. Zoolander finds himself caught up in a conspiracy. He and his love interest, Matilda, meet with J.P. Prewett, a former hand model, who tells them that male models have been used to assassinate political figures throughout history. However, at the end of Prewett’s explanation, Derek repeats his earlier question about why male models are used. Actor Ben Stiller improvised the line after he forgot what his scripted one was, and comedy gold was born.

#9: Pink Shirt Back

“Mean Girls” (2004)
When Cady Heron’s new friends Janis and Damian ask her to join the popular, superficial girl group, the Plastics, to spy on them, she has trouble fitting in at first. For one thing, she doesn’t own any pink shirts. However, Damian has her covered. Unfortunately, Cady goes too deep in her attempts to fit in with the Plastics, and Janis calls her out on her treatment of them (all while Damian panics about driving his car after curfew). As the duo drives away, Damian shouts at Cady that he wants her to return his pink shirt that she borrowed. The line was made up by Damian’s actor, Daniel Franzese, and it worked so well that they kept it in.

#8: Jar of Dirt

“Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest” (2006)
Johnny Depp’s Jack Sparrow is a bundle of chaotic energy, so it’s no surprise that some of his best moments were off the cuff. When Jack and his crew are pursued by Davy Jones, Jack has one up on him by containing the sea-bound villain’s heart in a container of dirt. When Jones and his ship surface unexpectedly, Jack handles the situation with his usual diplomacy, taunting the tentacle-faced pirate with a sing-song voice. The other characters’ looks of disbelief are genuine since Depp improvised much of the scene on the spot.

#7: Stu’s Song

“The Hangover” (2009)
Stu, Alan, and Phil have a rough time remembering the night before after a wild bachelor party for their friend Doug in Vegas. The next morning they find Doug missing and Mike Tyson’s tiger in the bathroom, among other bizarre events they don’t recall. While waiting for the drugged tiger to fall asleep, Stu passes the time with a song. Actor Ed Helms wrote the song himself that morning after discussing the idea with the director, and then played the hilarious tune about tiger’s dreams. While not improvised in the moment, if we had to do the same, well, we’d be out of luck.

#6: A Literacy Discovery

“Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” (2002)
The “Harry Potter” films may be adaptations, but they still made room for improvised lines here and there. When Ron and Harry go undercover disguised as their nemesis Draco Malfoy’s cronies, Crabbe and Goyle, Harry forgets to remove his glasses. When Malfoy remarks on this, Harry replies that they’re for reading. Actor Tom Felton reportedly forgot his next line and came up with Malfoy’s hilarious response, which is a great dig at his flunky. The line ended up being one of Felton’s favorites in the role, and it’s certainly one of ours too.

#5: A Dairy Decision

“Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy” (2004)
This Judd Apatow comedy is chock full of improvised hilarity, but our pick goes to one of the titular Ron Burgundy’s lowest moments. Fired from his job as a news anchor and heavily depressed, Ron aimlessly wanders the streets of San Diego, drinking a carton of milk. After running into his friends who refuse to talk to him (except Brick, who’s oblivious as usual), Ron declares how miserable he is - as well as lamenting his choice of beverage. Out of all of “Anchorman”’s quotable lines, this improvised line is among the most fun to repeat.

#4: Applauding the Commissioner

“The Dark Knight” (2008)
According to director Christopher Nolan, Heath Ledger would constantly surprise “The Dark Knight” crew during filming with his Joker improvisations. One of these occurs during the scene at Gotham’s police station. After the Joker is captured, the mayor arrives. While going over the Joker’s history with James Gordon, the mayor reveals that he’s been promoted to commissioner. As everyone congratulates Gordon, they all react as they see the Joker clapping too. The killer clown’s wry applause was all Ledger’s idea. It’s these little additions to the character that put smiles on our faces.

#3: The Whisper

“Lost in Translation” (2003)
This melancholy romantic dramedy about two Americans, Bob and Charlotte, finding companionship in Japan always makes us happy/sad, but its final moments are particularly celebrated. When Bob is in a taxi on his way to the airport, he spots Charlotte by chance on the street. He stops, goes to her and they share an intimate goodbye, with Bob whispering something to Charlotte before they share a kiss goodbye. The whole scene was unscripted, including Bob’s oft-discussed mystery whisper and the kiss. While many have theories about what he said, the ambiguity of this impromptu romantic moment still leaves many swooning.

#2: Waxing

“The 40-Year-Old Virgin” (2005)
One of the funniest scenes in this adult comedy is 100% unscripted, from waxed top to bottom. The titular virgin Andy Stitzer goes with his friends to get his chest waxed in preparation for a date. However, the waxing process proves extremely painful, prompting Andy to yell various profane and/or ridiculous exclamations. Everything that happens in the scene was not in the script. Jay leaving the room was due to the actor feeling uncomfortable when the wax drew blood. Paul Rudd came up with the man o'lantern line, while Seth Rogen suggested that Steve Carell yell a certain singer’s name. Even the waxing “specialist” was making things up as she went along - she wasn’t trained, and lied on her resume. No wonder it hurt!

#1: “I Am Iron Man”

“Iron Man” (2008)
The conclusion of the first MCU film sees Tony Stark give a press conference. The plan is to deny everything - Iron Man is a bodyguard, not Tony. However, questions during the statement stoke Tony’s ego. In the end, he drops the act and admits that Iron Man is him. This moment completely changed the direction of the character and the MCU going forward, and it was actor Robert Downey Jr.’s idea! To be fair, it’s much more in character. Plus, it gave Tony one fantastic catchphrase to boot!
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