By now it’s the expected that any show or movie will probably have a blooper reel revealing the many instances of scenes getting messed up as a special feature for home video. Usually these mistakes are just an actor forgetting a line, but other times something really funny happens that you almost wish had been left in the final cut. And occasionally the director actually does leave these bloopers in because they wind up making the moment unexpectedly better.
Some directors embrace unplanned moments and even give their actors free rein to ad-lib some of their scenes, but even then sometimes things can go off the rails. However, if the actors are able to keep from killing the scene by bursting out laughing at the accident, it can actually wind up showing some interesting alternatives to take a scene in. Sometimes the director even likes the alternative so much that they wind up keeping it. Sometimes the things that go wrong turn out oh so right. Let’s get into some mistakes you might not have even known about that were deliberately left in the final cut of TV shows.
Here are 15 TV Mistakes You Completely Missed (That Were Left In On Purpose).
15. GAME OF THRONES: IAN GLENN’S DOTHRAKI
Making a fantasy language might sound easy since you can make it however you want, but getting languages to be consistent is tricky. Whether it’s Klingon, Elvish, or dwarvish, you want the language to hold up if people genuinely try to learn it.
When making the Dothraki language for Game of Thrones, the showrunners did their best to keep the language consistent. However, there were a few instances where the language makers couldn’t be reached in time, and the actors had to compensate.
In season two of Game of Thrones, Iain Glen, better known as Jorah Mormont, didn’t have his professionally crafted Dothraki lines delivered to him in time.
This meant he had to just form his own words on the fly.
Now if Glen’s words had sounded terribly out of place, they likely would have just been dubbed over. Instead, the creators of the Dothraki language were able to integrate Glen’s words into the existing Dothraki language and make it an official part of how they spoke. So basically Glen made up his own new words for the scene and wound up helping to make part of the Dothraki language.
14. THE X-FILES: MULDER’S WEDDING RING
In the season five episode of The X-Files called “Travelers” it wasn’t anything supernatural that had fans buzzing, but rather something very common— a wedding ring. Specifically, Mulder all of a sudden had a wedding ring on his left ring finger in a flashback episode.
This caused fans to wonder why he’d never mentioned being married.
In reality, David Duchovny had simply recently gotten married and wanted to keep his ring on. But wearing it on the show inevitably reflected on the character of Mulder, leaving many confused about how to explain it.
Duchovny said it could be explained as Mulder’s marriage falling apart or his wife passing away, so it shouldn’t impact anything going forward. It’s still pretty weird that Mulder now has a former wife who he had never spoken of for five seasons, but it’s not impossible. With that small decision to wear a piece of jewelry, Duchovny added a big change to Mulder’s past.
13. SUPERNATURAL: JARED PADALECKI’S BROKEN WRIST
Sometimes injuries happen on set and it’s simply expected the actors will tough through it if they are able. Otherwise it means shutting down production and losing lots of time and money.
When Jared Padalecki wound up legitimately breaking his wrist during the filming of Supernatural, he was willing to work through it. The problem was broken bones usually need a cast, so the show had to provide an explanation for him wearing one.
In “Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things” a reason for Sam to be nursing an injury was established after he got into a fight with the character Angela, and left the conflict saying, “I think she broke my hand.”
For a good chunk of the remainder of the season we see Sam sporting a cast on his hand. Of course, this was really so Padalecki’s hand got a chance to recover, but the writers simply rolled with the punches and incorporated it into the script.
12. SHERLOCK: Sherlock’s “HIM”
BBC’s Sherlock TV series starring Benedict Cumberbatch got a lot of praise when it was first released for its depiction of the detective. Cumberbatch’s take on the character has been charismatic, while also amusing in how much he bucks social convention. He’s usually thought of as a genius who can solve any case, but in the episode “The Sign of Three” we see the usually chatty detective suddenly much less articulate with his words.
After drinking too much for John’s “stag night,” Sherlock is much less dignified than usual.
When a case lands in his lap, rather than being able to pounce on it with the same intelligence he usually shows, Sherlock vaguely stumbles over his words in an amusing moment. It wasn’t actually planned for Sherlock to refer to John as “my… him.” It was really just that Cumberbatch forgot what the line was supposed to be, but it fit so well with being intoxicated that it was left in the show.
11. TWIN PEAKS: BOB IN THE MIRROR
A lot of the mistakes that have made it into TV shows and been kept haven’t really been anything that major. Maybe someone ad-libbed a line that the writers liked, or something funny happened that helped out a sitcom. But in the case of Twin Peaks, the mistake actually wound up changing how the series’ central mystery played out.
Frank Silva was a crew member on the show, and in a scene where the character of Mrs. Palmer was shown screaming, Silva accidentally got stuck in the room during filming. It turned out Silva was seen in a mirror and appeared in the top right corner of the show.
David Lynch liked the result so much that he decided to keep it and cast Silva as the character Bob.
One mistake of a crew member initially ruining a shot actually landed him a major role in the series. It’s surprising that more crew members haven’t started trying this given how well it worked for Silva.
10. FRIENDS: ROSS SAYS “RACHEL” BY ACCIDENT
The end of season four of Friends is when Ross’ wedding to Emily was supposed to happen. Obviously that didn’t go so well when Ross accidentally mixed up Emily’s name with Rachel’s during the wedding vows, setting the stage for season five.
Clearly since this became the basis for the start of season five, this particular scene was done intentionally, right?
In fact, Ross saying “Rachel” was not initially the plan.
It started because in an earlier scene David Schwimmer mixed up the two women’s names in a far less dramatic moment. The writers were inspired by it, though, and thought it would be a great way to resolve the wedding to have Ross blurt out the wrong name.
9. BREAKING BAD: THE JAMMED CAR DOOR
Before “Better Call Saul” was a TV show, it was the name of an episode in season two of Breaking Bad. While the fan-favorite lawyer definitely stole the show in this episode, it was still the kind of well-crafted storytelling that fans had grown used to from the series. But just because a show has talented writers doesn’t mean some happy accidents can’t still find their way into the show, as was the case here.
As Hank and the cops are closing in on finding Walt and Jesse, the latter two are frantically trying to drive off and get out of the area. Instead, when Jesse runs up to the car to get in, the door is jammed.
This wasn’t meant to happen. You’d think that’d be cause for a reshoot, but it actually played perfectly into Walt and Jesse being amateur criminals and mounted the tension, so it fit the scene well. The director liked it and left it in.
8. PRISON BREAK: WARDEN POPE’S HAND INJURY
One scene fans frequently bring up in Django: Unchained is when Mr. Candie gives his speech at dinner and slams his hands down on the table so hard he slices his hand open on a dish. It’s widely known that this was not intentional, and that DiCaprio legitimately got hurt, but acted through it. The effect it had on the scene was so striking that Tarantino left it in.
Well, it turns out that, years before Django, a very similar thing happened in Prison Break.
After Michael Scofield makes his escape at the end of season one, Warden Pope loses his job. As he goes to pack his things in his office, he looks at the model Taj Mahal Michael had been building for him. Pope realizes Michael had only been doing it as an excuse to have access to his office, and Pope flies into a rage. He smashes the model with a lamp and flips over the table, stopping only to glance at his hand.
7. HERCULES: KEVIN SORBO IS “DISAPPOINTED!”
There are two sides to this story so you’ll have to pick which one sounds more believable to you.
The first, and more popular notion, is that Hercules actor Kevin Sorbo was reading the script and got a little confused. Fans figured the script said the word “disappointed” to indicate the way he should deliver the line “Wait a minute… This isn’t my world.” A lot of people believe he mistook the instruction for dialogue and subsequently belted out the word “disappointed!” in an awkward end to his scene.
Sorbo has been asked about this, though, and his explanation is that he’s a fan of the movie A Fish Called Wanda where one of the characters shouts that same line after finding a safe full of money to be empty. So Sorbo claims he liked it so much that he ad-libbed it in Hercules. I s that the truth, or is Sorbo just trying to cover for a silly mistake? Either way, it made it into the show and has become an iconic meme.
6. THE SOPRANOS: TONY’S REAL BURN
James Gandolfini was an incredible actor, and it seemed like he was destined to play Tony Soprano. He brought out Tony’s vicious side in a way that seemed so natural. In fact, he was so good at it that you may have missed one legitimate instance of anger Gandolfini showed.
It happened during Ralphie’s death scene in his kitchen, where inviting Tony in for breakfast turned into a fight that used anything at hand as a weapon. Despite being blinded with a nearby can of spray, Tony knocked Ralphie to the floor and wound up killing him. Afterwards Tony stumbled to the counter to wipe his eyes clear, but here is where the blooper happened.
The scene was meant to end with Gandolfini putting his hands down on the counter and gasping for air. Instead, he accidently put his hand down on one of the stove’s lit burners. Gandolfini cried out in pain and cursed, but it seemed so in character for Tony’s character that it was kept in the final cut. Gandolfini’s unintentional method acting actually worked perfectly for the scene.
5. NCIS: THE GIBBS SLAP WAS REAL
People who watch NCIS have grown used to the running gag where Leroy Jethro Gibbs will become so frustrated with somebody that he will give them a slap upside the head. It’s a humorous way for his character to indicate to somebody that he has gotten fed up with them without actually doing any harm to them. The slap causes more of a bruised ego than anything, and has become a longtime character trait of Gibbs.
It turns out actor Mark Harmon actually created the moment purely by accident.
Rather than the smack upside the head being written in for Gibbs, Harmon had simply gotten exasperated with his co-star Michael Weatherly during screw ups in a scene and gave him a little slap as a cue to get it together. It turns out the crew thought it was funny and fit well with Gibbs, so they put it into the show.
4. SEINFELD: THE CAR NOT STARTING IN “THE PARKING GARAGE”
“The Parking Garage” is a typical Seinfeld episode that takes a relatable, tedious situation and finds enough humor in it to fill an entire story with. All four of the main characters went out together and need to get home soon, but they can’t find Kramer’s car in the garage. They spend the entire episode looking for it, resulting in Elaine’s goldfish dying, Kramer putting his air conditioner down and forgetting where it is, and Jerry and George getting caught by security for urinating in public after being unable to find a bathroom.
The episode was supposed to end with the four of them finally finding the car and driving off hours later than they intended. Instead, once they get in Kramer’s vehicle, the car being used for the scene wouldn’t start. Realizing this is the perfect way to cap off a terrible day for the characters, the writers kept this mistake in the final cut of the show.
3. MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000: CROW CATCHES ON FIRE
While today it is extremely common for people to commentate over pieces of media, Mystery Science Theater 3000 was actually a bit ahead of the curve when it started doing this in the late ‘80s. The show had initially gone off the air in the late ‘90s, but returned last year to try out some new ideas.
While MST3K is all about mocking the mistakes of older movies, on one occasion the show had a pretty big mistake of its own.
In season six’s “Danger!! Death Ray” it was only natural the death ray would have to be used at some point. And it wound up being used on the robot Crow, who was then supposed to come on screen screaming and emitting smoke. Instead, Crow had legitimately caught fire from the smoke effects, but the actors kept going with the scene.
2. FAWLTY TOWERS: THE MAJOR GETS SPLASHED WITH COFFEE
Though Fawlty Towers only ran for twelve episodes, it has become one of the most beloved sitcoms to appear on TV. The thought process behind making the series so short was to go out on a high note and focus on quality rather than quantity, but even with that philosophy some noticeable mistakes slipped into the show.
One of the most amusing ones came in the episode “Communication Problems”, when a guest at the hotel with a hearing aid continually aggravates Basil Fawlty.
Near the end of the episode Basil is forced to fork over money to his annoying guest and angrily begins shaking out some change. Sybil tries to get her husband to get ahold of himself by throwing her coffee in his face. Instead, Sybil’s actress inadvertently overshoots Basil and throws the coffee right in the face of the elderly Major. The Major plays it off like nothing happened, but it’s amusing to see him carrying on the scene while his suit is drenched in coffee. The mistake was just too funny to redo, though.
1. SUPERNATURAL: BREAKING CHARACTER IN “BAD DAY AT BLACK ROCK”
In many ways Supernatural follows in the tone of shows like Buffy the Vampire Slayer, where seemingly unending battles with monsters are mixed with lots of snarky banter. Just because there’s a war between heaven and hell doesn’t mean the Winchester brothers can’t find time to crack a joke.
It was very much in that spirit when the episode “Bad Day at Black Rock” featured a moment that got Sam laughing— even though it was totally unscripted.
Near the end of the episode Dean and Sam are prepared to destroy a lucky rabbit’s foot that curses the person in possession of it. The thief Bela arrives wanting to claim the item for herself, but winds up being tricked by Dean into getting cursed herself and having to destroy it anyway. As Bela leaves, Dean feels like the day wasn’t a total loss as the rabbit’s foot gave them some winning lottery tickets— until he realizes Bela stole them.
Here Jensen Ackles ad-libs by shouting out “son of a b—-!” while Jared Padalecki tries to stifle a genuine laugh.
Can you think of any mistakes that actually made a scene even better? Share any moments you can think of in the comment section!
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