Most Paused Movie Scenes in Film HistoryBy Michelle Stone
We bet you all have used the remote to pause and rewind while watching a movie, be it to rewatch a really cool scene or comprehend a dialogue that went right over your head. Some moviemakers even plant unique gems and details in the frame that flashes away if you’re not paying enough attention. It’s not an uncommon occurrence, but do you know that some scenes have been paused more than others over the years? Especially ones that feel like the whole plot depended on them!
These screenshots hooked the audiences to the level where that image is the first thing that pops to mind when we think of that movie title – like when Jack disappears into the Atlantic in ‘Titanic’ or the final battle in ‘Avengers: End Game.’ So, here we take a trip down the celluloid lane to list the most-watched iconic scenes of Hollywood. Beware and don’t blink- you might just miss it!
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’ was the first installment in the ‘Indiana Jones’ film franchise, and it managed to create quite a splash in Hollywood as far as commercial success and fan frenzy goes! The film is definitely full of unforgettable moments, but one stands out from the rest.
Featuring one of the most despised villains – Dr. Rene Belloq, played by Raul Freeman, was a scene where he was enacting the role and saying brilliant lines, but at that very moment, a fly flew into his mouth! The actor still managed to continue like the pro he is!
The 1993 film ‘Jurassic Park’ was ahead of its time when it came to special effects, so it’s fair to think that some people may have overlooked some great easter eggs in the movie due to the magnificent visuals.
One of these is a tribute to the cinematic hit ‘The Goonies’ as the character of ‘Dennis Nerdy’ wears outfits throughout the film that all pay homage to the cult classic. We know that Steven Spielberg was in charge of directing ‘Jurassic Park’ and wrote the script for ‘The Goonies,’ so it’s not a long shot to assume that he had something to do with placing this great reference on screen!
Toy Story 3 (2010)
Regardless of how it is named, the ‘Toy Story’ franchise is enjoyed by adults and kids alike! In the first installment released in 1995, Woody and Buzz go on an adventure together only to be locked up by Sid, a kid who likes to destroy toys.
Lovers of the series must have gasped in surprise when they saw that Sid reappears in ‘Toy Story 3,’ working as a garbage man. It really makes the series come full circle, and is a treat for the adults who have been watching the series for ages, don’t you think?
Beauty and the Beast(1991)
Sometimes the details in a film are so subtle that it requires several pauses to fully comprehend the artistry level that filmmakers can put into their work.
Take, for example, the penultimate scene in the 1991 ‘Disney’ classic, ‘Beauty and the Beast’ where ‘Gaston’ climbs up the castle to fight the beast. If you look closely, you’ll be able to see little skulls that the animators added to his eyes, which foreshadows a dreadful fate for the character. It’s one of those things that could be missed very quickly, but luckily, there are people out there to help us spot the details and appreciate the art even more!
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
Yes, we did pause many times in the movie to figure out Stan Lee’s cameo role, but there was another in the film! During one of the scenes in high school, Michelle is seen reading a book called ‘Human Bondage’ while sitting amidst the audience.
A quick search on the internet reveals that it is a century-old novel written by Somerset Maugham, which talks about an orphaned boy who lives with his aunt and uncle. A familiar story, isn’t it? Now, let us thank the smart social media users for pointing this out!
Three Men and a Baby (1987)
In what came as one of the earliest comedies featuring babies, ‘Three Men and a Baby’ went on to become a surprise in the late ‘80s. Directed by our very own Spock, Leonard Nimoy, it went on to achieve the status of a cult classic and even saw remakes and sequels being commissioned.
Amidst all this, the rumor mill spread word that there was a ghost standing in the backdrop of a scene towards the end of the film. Much to the other-worldly theorists’ dismay, it turned out to be a cut out of Ted Danson!
While ‘Scanners’ might not make it to the list of the most famous films, it does have its own niche of followers. Revolving around the devastating impact of psychic powers on the fictional company ‘ConSec,’ the Canadian movie successfully put David Cronenberg and Stephen Lack on the map.
Despite the many highs and lows, there is only one scene that is largely associated with the film. Even after four decades, it is among the most searched movie scenes on the internet. Here’s a little spoiler for you – it is mind-blowing!
Teen Wolf (1985)
Just imagine a blockbuster that features Michael J. Fox, but instead of him being the star, all any viewer can talk about is an extra who goofed up! It happened when ‘Teen Wolf’ released – in the film’s climax when Scott and Lisa are celebrating their win, the camera steers towards the cheering crowd for a split second.
At this point, a boy on the bleachers is seen with his pants down! While we don’t know if his role was a credited one, we can rest assured that the fans of the film will surely remember him.
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)
We love Easter eggs and subtle shout outs to other films, don’t we? During a scene set in the Galactic Senate of ‘The Phantom Menace,’ we spotted a bunch of cheering alien creatures who look very similar to the E.T. This crossover was enough for the fans of both films to go gaga!
It is widely believed that this was George Lucas’s way of reciprocating to Steven Spielberg for making a Yoda reference in ‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.’ Such camaraderie between directors is certainly turning out to be a treat for us film watchers.
Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
Given the fact that George Lucas and the team came out with six ‘Star Wars’ films in the latter part of the 20th century, we are bound to find a few mistakes in them. Take ‘A New Hope,’ for instance where a hilarious moment came at the cost of an extra on set.
One of the stormtroopers ended up banging their head in an attempt to walk through the door. People couldn’t help but rewind to see what happened, and we are wondering how it made it to the film’s final cut!
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
The seventh installment of the ‘Star Wars’ franchise saw Princess Leia pursuing a tireless search for her brother Luke. We do manage to find our beloved hero towards the end of two hours, albeit with some more mysteries. In a pretty intriguing scene, he is seen standing near a tomb-like structure when Rey, the newest addition to the universe, hands him his age-old lightsaber.
Needless to say, fans kept pausing to look for clues and decipher whose grave it was. Quite literally, they were left with nothing but a cliffhanger!
The Lion King (1994)
‘The Lion King’ rose to the stature of the most favorite kids film of the ‘90s and still transcends time as it maintains the same position. It is often praised for its heartwarming story, but a few sharp-eyed watchers spotted a possible goof or what seems like an unlikely Easter egg.
When Mufasa and Sarabi are sitting on the dais like rock and gazing into the night sky, the dust and stars together conjure up a three-letter-word which is deemed inappropriate for a kids’ feature. We hope the graphics team took note of this slip-up!
We cannot possibly miss the film that set the bar for a generation of American cinema – ‘Psycho’! The Hitchcock masterpiece is filled with tense moments right from the get-go and was considered a bold move by the 1960s audience and critics.
Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates played into our worst fears as the creepy motel owner and gave us the scariest ending ever. As he is being taken to jail, we can observe that an image of a skull is superimposed onto his face. If you hadn’t noticed it till now, all the best with trying to get a good night’s sleep!
The Rescuers (1977)
For reasons only known to ‘Disney,’ its movies have gained attention not only for their splendid animation but also for sneaking strange background characters into scenes when you least expect it! For example, in the cartoon film called ‘The Rescuers,’ the Mice decided to include some eyebrow-raising shots of mysterious individuals getting changed in their quarters.
It can be spotted when the mice are riding in an empty sardine can to get past a building. We are a little surprised about how such a thing managed to fly under the radar!
Fight Club (1999)
Without a doubt, the David Fincher film has many brutal moments, which can end up raising eyebrows. Over the years, it has received a cult status for its unique plot-line and characters. That being said, there are some frames in ‘Fight Club,’ which pass so quickly that it becomes a task to follow the chain of events.
Way before the introduction of Brad Pitt’s eccentric character, Tyler Durden, we get a glimpse of him in the hospital scene. You can spot this pretty easily, but there’s only one rule – you cannot blink!
Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
The cameo by Adam Lambert definitely made us do a double-take and was one of the best in recent history! ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ featured the singer in a truck driver’s role that piques Freddie Mercury’s interest due to confusion regarding his orientation.
The makeup artist and costume designer did a phenomenal job giving Adam a new avatar, as he almost looks unrecognizable at first glance! This role was quite special, since 2011 onwards, Lambert is a part of the band ‘Queen’ as a lead singer and has filled in Mercury’s shoes!
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Making a fantasy film in the ‘30s was no mean feat! The ‘Wizard of Oz’ did manage to show us a figment of L. Frank Baum’s imagination in the first-ever on-screen depiction of the novel. As expected with movies of that era, there were quite a few unexplained and bizarre occurrences. The most discussed of them all is that of a mysterious object in the backdrop!
When Dorothy is on her way with the Tin Man and Scarecrow, we can see the silhouette of someone or something in the air. While urban legend suggests that it is a hanging munchkin, it is actually a large flying stork!
The Exorcist (1973)
One of the original films that mastered the art of jump scares and was a pioneer in the horror genre is ‘The Exorcist.’ No matter how many times you see the movie, it still scares the bejeesus out of us! With so many shocking scenes, there are quite a few that are worth pausing and admiring, that is if you appreciate horror!
Some people are under the impression that the demon who takes control of Regan, Pazuzu, only makes an appearance much later into the film, but if you pause at the correct time, it is easy to spot him quite early!
Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Why would someone want to pause during a horror movie and take a close look at those unnerving scenes? ‘Cabin in the Woods’ had a moment where a scientist tries to list all the creatures that are being controlled by the team. With over a dozen names on the board, many watchers paused this frame to take note of the many mythical names listed.
Such moments show how engaging the film was, as most viewers could easily recall those names from famous folklore. No wonder it made over $100 million at the box office and got rave reviews for the plot and sequences.
One of the most iconic movies based on aliens has to be ‘Signs.’ Anyone who has seen the film enough times knows that the extraterrestrial beings are eventually revealed, but not many people know that we also get a glimpse very early on in the reel! It is so fleeting that the scene needs to be paused to get a good look.
While the quality may not be the best, it is quite enough for someone who has an active imagination! It definitely manages to create an ominous atmosphere and a sense of foreshadowing about what’s to come.
Burn After Reading (2008)
Movies directed by Coen Brothers are famous for their overcomplicated plots and ferociousness, and ‘Burn After Reading’ is no different. There are quite a few blink and miss moments in the film! In a bizarre scene between George Clooney and Brad Pitt, the former finds the latter hidden in a closet and proceeds to act on reflex or self-defense.
It happens so quickly that the film needs to be paused to process that one of the main characters was just fatally wounded and see the gory details before the camera changes focus!
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
The reason why people just love to watch ‘Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy’ again and again is because there are so many hidden jokes and easter eggs scattered throughout the movie! In one scene, a restaurant named ‘Escupimos en su Alimento’ is shown, and it was specially put in so that Spanish speakers could get a hearty laugh out of the phrase!
When searched, it literally translates to “we spit in your food”! A moment of appreciation for whoever thought about this crafty little detail and for the intelligent writers!
Man of Steel (2013)
The ‘DC’ superhero universe is a magical world, and fans are quite passionate about the characters. That’s why when ‘Man of Steel’ dropped in 2013, mixed reactions poured in for Henry Cavill’s take on the beloved Superman. Whether you like him or hate him, there is one interesting tidbit in the movie that goes by so fast that it is hard to catch!
During the exciting fight sequence in space, when Superman leaps past a satellite, it happens to portray the logo of Wayne Enterprises. It was a foreshadowing towards Bruce Wayne, a.k.a. Batman, whom we meet a couple of months later.
Back to the Future(1985)
Movies are filled with great moments that the average viewer often overlooks, but thanks to film buffs, we get to experience these small nuances, which helps us appreciate the movie maker’s eye for detail.
A great example of this is when the character ‘Marty McFly’ accidentally runs over one of the trees at the ‘Twin Pines’ mall in ‘Back to the Future’ while traveling to the past. Near the end of the film we see ‘McFly’ return to the shopping center, and lo and behold, it’s now called ‘Lone Pine’ mall! We give it ten out of ten for continuity!
‘Disney’ films are often filled with wonderful surprises, and it’s great when movie detectives can show them to us. The 2013 film ‘Frozen’ is no exception to this rule, and contains a scene which feels very familiar!
That’s because the part where characters ‘Hans’ and ‘Anna’ discuss their feelings and sandwiches is a replica of a scene from the hit comedies ‘Arrested Development’ and ‘The Simpsons!’ It’s clear that the people at ‘Disney’ love to put in some references so that adults can also enjoy the movies as much as their kids do!
Iron Man (2008)
Can it really be a ‘Marvel’ movie if there are no hidden treasures or post-credit surprises in it? In ‘Iron Man,’ one of the earliest films in the cinematic universe, we saw a half-built shield in blue and white. Quite evidently, it is a vibranium armor meant for another important character in the series – Captain America!
When fans managed to figure this out, it became one of the most paused scenes in the film. Who knows, both the plotline and the shield were probably under-construction at the time of the shoot!
Finding Dory (2016)
The sequel to the massively successful ‘Finding Nemo’ was released after thirteen years and was named ‘Finding Dory.’ While we got to see many of our favorite characters back, we also came face to face with one of the antagonists from the previous movie. Even though it was an extremely short cameo, it was enough to elicit a shudder!
A brilliant Easter Egg by Pixar – it was a picture of Darla, the scientist’s niece, who initially comes to take Nemo as a pet and is famous for destroying fish!
It is an important moment in the film – Ed Dillinger is keenly looking at a schematic diagram to search for Tron and Flynn. Everything is going perfectly in this live-action movie until we realize that he is staring at a blown-up version of the popular game, ‘Pac-Man.’ In fact, the classic ‘waka waka’ sound can also be heard in the background.
While ‘Pac-Man’ was indeed very popular among youngsters, it just doesn’t seem to fit well into a scene of such gravity. Now, the entire movie seems like one big arcade game!
Jurassic World (2015)
Yes, we know that the ‘Jurassic Park’ purists are not big fans of the newer installments! Despite this, there are many scenes in ‘Jurassic World’ which are memorable, and at times, require a closer second look. For instance, take this moment featuring Jimmy Buffet, the singer, as a bystander who runs away from a Pterodactyl.
Even in this tense situation, we can’t help but notice that Buffet is trying to escape the mighty creature with two full drinks in his hand. Apparently, his party doesn’t stop for anything or anyone!
1992 was an excellent year for three things. It cemented actress Sharon Stone’s place in entertainment history, it gave us the movie ‘Basic Instinct,’ and we got one of the most paused and talked about scenes ever to grace the silver screen.
Yes, you’re right! That scene in which a seemingly fully-dressed Sharon crosses her legs, revealing that she isn’t leaving anything to the viewer’s imagination. To say the scene is iconic is an understatement, and you have to admit that it must’ve taken all of Sharon’s courage to tackle a part that required that kind of pizzazz!
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
If one thinks of classic coming-of-age films, ‘Fast Times at Ridgemont High’ has to be relatively high up on the list. It’s filled with great performances from stars like Jennifer Jason Leigh and Sean Penn, whom we consider to be great today, and is also known to have one of the most paused scenes in history.
The scene centers around actress Phoebe Cates’s character ‘Linda’ getting out of the pool, leaving the character of ‘Brad’ in absolute awe, and we’re sure that he would’ve also wanted to be able to capture and replay that moment over and over again!
She’s the Man
Over the years, many works of the great author, Shakespeare, have been adapted into films, and the movie ‘She’s the Man’ is one of them.
The film and play revolve around ‘Viola’ hiding her identity to compete amongst men. She does it so well that no one believes she is a woman, which in the screen adaptation’s case led to a very pausable moment where actress Amanda Bynes shows off her bare chest to her male counterparts to prove that she is indeed a girl. It’s easy to understand why anyone would want to linger on this part for a bit!
Any movie featuring actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger is sure to be, at the very least, action-filled. Still, some like the film ‘Total Recall’ is packed with a lot more, like stunning imagery and weirdness, which is bound to have a few people press the pause button.
One scene, in particular, did have this effect, as it contained an alien woman who sported three bossoms; which, if we’re honest, is plenty of reason for many people to want to stop and make sure they saw what they think they did! No sir, your eyes did not deceive you!