Top 10 Unscripted New Girl Moments That Were Kept in the Show
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Top 10 Unscripted New Girl Moments That Were Kept in the Show

VOICE OVER: Emily Brayton WRITTEN BY: Jesse Singer
We bet you didn't know these unscripted "New Girl" moments were left in the show. Our countdown includes the cookie, true American, water massage, and more!

Top 10 Unscripted New Girl Moments That Were Left in the Show

Welcome to MsMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 unscripted “New Girl” moments that were left in the show

For this list, we’ll be looking at unscripted and improvised moments that were so good they made the final cut.

We don’t have a script for your comments so feel free to improv something below.

#10: Mumbling
Various Episodes

If you used to watch actors mumble or whisper their lines on “New Girl” and think, “shouldn’t they have used a better take?” you aren’t alone. There were some TV veterans working on the show who felt the same way at first. This new technique that the actors used to get through some longer passages, while still keeping the energy up, went against all the old-school ideas of comedy and performance. However, show creator and EP, Liz Meriwether loved how real it felt. And it didn’t take long for everyone to see how funny it was, and to get on board.

#9: Jay Cut-hu-ler

One of the funniest ongoing gags throughout the run of the series was the way Schmidt would mispronounce certain words. We’ll get to how it all started later in this list, but for now let’s just enjoy his take on ex-Bears quarterback Jay Cutler. These mispronunciations definitely weren’t scripted. But is there a “New Girl” fan out there who uses coupons at the grocery store and doesn’t call them cup-ons? Actor, Max Greenfield, loved doing these mispronunciations so much that sometimes the crew would have to ask him not to do it in a scene that was supposed to be a little more serious.

#8: Water Massage

When we talk about unscripted moments we aren’t just talking about dialogue. Sometimes a character’s reaction can be just as improvised as their words. Which was the case with the water massage scene in season two. In this scene, Tran gives Nick a water massage in an attempt to calm and relax him. Prior to filming the scene, the crew brought in a professional water masseuse to explain to actor Jake Johnson, how he should react to the experience. Well, once he was actually in the water, Johnson felt uncomfortable and decided to go with it and play that up in his performance. It definitely doesn’t look very relaxing.

#7: Nick and Jess Fight

Usually on a single-camera comedy, filming is done with the camera on one actor while the other actor is off-camera reading their lines. “New Girl” however, used a cross-coverage technique that had multiple cameras filming at all times, allowing the actors to feel more engaged and comfortable improvising, without fear of stepping on each other's lines. This free flow is often best seen during fights, like the one between Nick and Jess in season two. As Greenfield has said in the past, “When it does get crazy, and really over each other, and it really does feel like, ‘What are these guys doing, there’s no way that this is scripted,’ it’s probably not.”

#6: True American

If you still don’t quite understand how to play the True American drinking game, don’t feel bad. The actors don’t know either. And neither do the writers. The game makes its first appearance on the show in episode 20 of season one. And according to actor Lamorne Morris (who plays Winston), the scene was pretty much all improvised, “We made it up completely.” All the script said was, “they play a drinking game called True American.” This hasn’t stopped people from asking for rules clarifications from the actors though. Says Morris, “I have people sending me photos of them playing and questions of them debating the rules with friends, but I have no idea. I have no clue what these answers are.”

#5: Chutney
"Cece Crashes"

The first time actor Max Greenfield improvised a mispronunciation was in episode five of the first season, with the word “chutney”. When he did it, it made show creator Liz Meriwether laugh. “And when you get Liz to laugh,” said Greenfield “it makes you feel really nice. It’s a very good sign. So when she started laughing, I was like, ‘Oh, I guess I have the green light to do this whenever I want.’” And he didn’t wait very long either, because two episodes later Schmidt was arguing with Nick over a broken turdlet.

#4: “Sparkles Are In!”
“Operation: Bobcat”

The freedom the actors on the show had to improvise and talk over each other's lines (as people actually do in real life) can’t be praised enough. The writing on the show was great, but this free-flow style, to paraphrase Emeril Lagasse, took the show up a notch! Another example of this is Nick’s mostly improved rant at Cece in season six where he first tells her to change her shirt, and then speaks over her dialogue, with more and more authority and volume, telling her that “sparkles are in!” BAM!

#3: Theodore K. Mullins

Damon Wayans Jr. was great in the pilot episode of the show, and when he had to leave the show there were probably a few fans who resented the new guy on “New Girl,” Lamorne Morris. However, if you were initially lukewarm on Winston, you surely came around after his hysterically brilliant Theodore K. Mullins rant in episode 19 of that first season. Of course now you’re wondering how much of that rant was unscripted. Well, this was the only line in the script: “I'm Theodore K. Mullins and Nick is my lover on the down low.” The rest was all Morris!

#2: The Cookie

To paraphrase Sigmund Freud, sometimes a cookie is just a cookie. But sometimes it’s so much more. This was the case in the fifth episode of the second season, when Nick gives Schmidt a cookie as a symbolic gesture of how much he cares about him. Jake Johnson later posted a part of the script from the now-famous “cookie” scene on his Instagram account. And as we see, this is another great example of the freedom the actors had. First off, the repeating of the line “gave me cookie, got you cookie” five times wasn’t scripted. But there are smaller things too, like leaving out, or adding, a word here and there. Co-showrunner David Finkle has called the final result, “so real.”

#1: Bromance Flashback
“Engram Pattersky”

The series finale features another classic Nick and Schmidt flashback scene. And it was pretty much all improvised. The scene flashes back to when the guys first moved into the loft and are talking about what the future might hold for them. In the script Schmidt says, “I’m gonna hopefully meet a girl and have a kid.” and Nick responds, “Maybe I’ll be a writer and fall in love.” According to Johnson, “That was all that was in there.... I think I said to him, ‘What does she look like?’ And he improvises exactly what I look like.” It’s one of those things that is so perfect to the show, and the characters, you can’t imagine it wasn’t written that way. But it wasn’t!