Some of the most noteworthy scenes in films happen in the blink of any eye, which means you have to pause the scene to get the full effect. Some of the best ones happen at a flash, and if you aren’t paying close attention, you could miss them altogether! These are the movie scenes that are paused the most.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)
Fast Times at Ridgemont High is one of the classic 80’s coming of age films. Many would argue that its most memorable scene involves Phoebe Cates’ character, named Linda, while she is enjoying a swim. The moment in question is when she is finally climbing out of the pool.
Wild Things (1998)
While this 90’s film did not make an appearance on the award season circuit, it did include a steamy scene that many found to be memorable. Denise Richards and Never Campbell characters share an intimate moment in the pool as they embrace in a kiss, a scene that would have many pausing to watch again.
Basic Instinct (1992)
This 1992 film included a scene that was so provocative, it became iconic. Basic Instinct featured actress Sharon Stone in a headline-stealing role. Stone’s leg crossover gave viewers much more than initially expected, leading the scene to become one of the most paused of all time.
Cabin in the Woods (2012)
Cabin in the Woods is a horror film that was done with a meta approach. While the scientists in the film are discussing what potential harm could come to the main characters, a whiteboard is shown with a detailed list of monsters that the scientists are controlling. Many chose to pause this scene to get a better look at which creatures are included.
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
1939’s classic The Wizard of Oz is often hailed as one of the greatest films of all time. Interestingly, many fans have observed some dark references in the movie, including this one. While Dorothy and the gang are strolling down the yellow brick road, some viewers believe that a munchkin that has hung himself can be seen in the trees ahead of them.
Teen Wolf (1985)
1985 was a big year for Michael J. Fox, who starred in Back to the Future and Teen Wolf that year. In his role as the title character, the teen wolf manages to help his team even without his wolf persona. People noticed that in the celebration scene, a random mans seems to be standing with his pants down in the background!
The Little Mermaid (1989)
The Little Mermaid is one of the classic animated films from the 80’s golden era of Disney. However, fans of the film were quick to point out several seemingly inappropriate shots throughout the film. One of these includes the scene in which Ariel’s fins turn into legs. People say that way too much of her body is being shown given that this is a children’s movie.
Fight Club (1999)
Fight Club is a mind-bending movie that includes many twists and turns. One of most interesting is the fact that before we are introduced to the character of Tyler Duren, he actually appears in one of the opening scenes of the film. Since this happens in just one frame, the subliminal effect can be missed at the blink of an eye.
Total Recall (1990)
Totall Recall is an Arnold Schwarzenegger film that features a lot of strange imagery, including this shot of a woman who happens to have three upper body anatomical parts as opposed to two. Many viewers tend to pause the movie at this moment in order to full process what they’re seeing.
Alfred Hitchcock’s 1960 classic horror film Psycho is one of the defining films of its genre. In one of its scenes, Norman Bates’ character is taken to jail, which features a moment in which Bates looks straight into the camera, while an image of a skull is superimposed onto his face very briefly. If you pause at this exact moment, you’ll be able to see it.
The Lion King (1994)
1994’s The Lion King is one of the most classic Disney films of all time. Many viewers claim that in the scene in which Simba collapses onto the ground from exhaustion, eddies of dust fly up into the air, causing a cloud of dust to spell out a three letter word that is certainly not appropriate for children. You can pause the scene and evaluate for yourself.
Boogie Nights (1997)
Boogie Nights tells the story of an spiring adult film star, played by Mark Whalberg, who slowly becomes the talk of the town — for one big reason. The most paused moment of the film is certainly when his character bares it all. In reality, Whalberg was wearing a prosthetic, but it is still pause-worthy!
The 1982 film Tron is loved by many due to its arcade-like feel. In one scene, David Warner’s character Ed Dillinger is seen looking at the gameplay of classic arcade video game Pac-Man. This small easter egg has a lot of viewers pausing for the full nostalgic effect.
Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
One of the funniest scenes in 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope was not even meant to be in the film. In one of the scenes where the stormtroopers are heading through a doorway, one of them its his head on the top of the door. Although this was a blooper, it was left in the final cut of the scene.
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)
This scene happens so quickly, if you don’t pause it, you might just miss it! In Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace, a group of aliens seen on the Galactic Senate resemble the iconic character E.T. This can be interpreted as George Lucas’ homage to Steven Spielberg, as Spielberg included a child dressed as Yoda in the E.T. film.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, the main storyline involves finding Luke Skywalker. Rey is finally able to find him hiding on an island in the middle of the sea. Many viewers pause the scene in which he is first revealed, since it would appear that he is standing next to what looks a lot like a gravestone.
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)
One of the most iconic animated characters of all time is Jessica Rabbit from Who Framed Roger Rabbit. In one of the scenes of the 1988 film, the curvaceous Jessica apparently reveals a lot more than what viewers expected, leading them to pause this specific scene.
Three Men and a Baby (1987)
In the 1987 film Three Men and a Baby, there’s small added feature in a scene that many have overlooked. In a scene that featured Ted Danson, you can see a cardboard cutout of the actor peering our from the window in the background. How odd!
Jurassic World (2015)
In one of the newer installments of the Jurassic Park films, 2015’s Jurassic World incorporates many memorable scenes. One of these includes legendary singer and entertainer Jimmy Buffet himself running away from a pterodactyl, while hilariously carrying two drinks along with him. He takes the Margaritaville mentality seriously!
Iron Man (2008)
In a major scene in 2008’s Iron Man film, Tony Stark is putting on his superhero suit. As Marvel films are known for their easter eggs, this one is no exception. In the background of this scene, viewers catch a fleeting glimpse of Captain America’s half-completed shield.
Man of Steel (2013)
Superhero films tend to have easter egg references all over them. This can be seen in Man of Steel, which references another iconic superhero. While Superman is fighting in outer space, he flies past a satellite that includes the Wayne Enterprises logo on it, referencing the iconic character of Bruce Wayne – also known as Batman.
The Rescuers (1977)
In another surprising choice for an animated children’s film, The Rescuers includes a scene that seems a bit questionable. There is a scene in which some individuals are changing in their room. We’re not sure how Disney was able to get away with this type of thing over and over!
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Raiders of the Lost Ark includes one of the most iconic villains of the franchise: Dr. Rene Belloq, played by Raul Freeman. In one of the most classic scenes that is frequently paused, Freeman is able to deliver his lines, even despite the fact that a fly flies directly into his mouth! Talk about dedicated to the craft.
The classic alien movie Signs by M. Night Shyamalan does eventually reveal its extra terrestrial creatures. However, early on in the film, viewers can catch a very brief glimpse of one of these creatures. If paused at the right moment, you can catch a blurry alien running around, foreshadowing what will come next.
Burn After Reading (2008)
One of the strangest scenes in the 2008 Coren Brothers film Burn After Reading takes place when George Clooney’s character finds Brad Pitt’s character. He immediately shoots him, and the scene takes place so quickly, that without pausing, the viewer is not even sure what has taken place, only to then realize the character has died.
Finding Dory (2016)
The sequel to the successful Finding Nemo film was released 13 years after the original. Finding Dory features a surprising but very quick reference to the original film’s main villain. Darla, the niece of the dentist, can be seen in a photo in the background in the scene that features Dory being quarantined.
Before I Go to Sleep (2014)
As many films tend to do, Before I Go To Sleep features a female actress in a vulnerable situation. Nicole Kidman’s character is seen walking around without any clothes on, which has led many viewers to pause…just to make sure. However, the film’s creators have confirmed that Kidman was partially clothed while filming the scene.
The Exorcist (1973)
The Exorcist is one of most shocking image-filled films of all time. In one of the scenes, if you pause at just the right time, you can catch a glimpse of the demon Pazuzu, who ends up possessing Regan. We’re not sure that we do want to pause for this one, though!
Pulp Fiction (1994)
Pulp Fiction is a classic, and is full of fleeting moments that are pause-worthy. One surprising one comes during a trivial scene, when Bruce Willis’ character is on the run. When he steps out of the shower, you may catch a glimpse of Willis in his full glory.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
2004 film Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy contains many easter eggs, including this one. The restaurant featured is called Escupimos en eu Alimento, which means “we spit in your food” in Spanish. Viewers who understand Spanish surely got a kick out of this one, and those who took the time to pause and translate the name were rewarded with a laugh as well.
Toy Story 3 (2010)
In the original Toy Story film, Buzz and Woody narrowly escape from the clutches of Sid, a disturbed child who enjoys dismembering toys for fun. In Toy Story 3, he makes an appearances very briefly as a garbage man. Die-hard fans surely didn’t miss this one, but if you pause, you’ll see it too!
Back To The Future (1985)
Those paying very close attention while watching Back to the Future will have noticed this small detail. Marty McFly and the Doc meet up at the Twin Pines mall in order to travel back in time. Later in the film, Marty runs over one of the two pines, and when he comes back to the future, the mall is appropriately renamed.
Many Disney films feature little jokes and moments that are intended for the adults to understand while simply flying over the kids’ heads. One of these can be found in Frozen, which features a song with lyrics that may cause Arrested Development fans to pause for a moment. The lyrics of the song are a direct reference to the scene in the comedy show!
Beauty And The Beast (1991)
In one of the final scenes of Beauty and the Beast, the main villain Gaston stumbles off one of the castle’s turrets, and ultimately falls to his death. If you pause and look carefully, you will notice that there are little skulls added into his pupils, confirming his upcoming death.
Jurassic Park (1993)
Wayne Knight playing Dennis Nedry gave us several reasons to pause while watching Jurassic Park. In an homage to The Goonies, and in particular the characters Mikey, Mouth, and Chunk, we can see that Dennis is wearing the same shirt as the Goonies characters. Spielberg directed Jurassic Park and also wrote the script for The Goonies, so this reference makes sense.
Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
One of the most “blink and you miss it” moments in the 2018 film Bohemian Rhapsody features singer Adam Lambert, who is the current touring frontman of Queen. Lambert plays a trucker that causes Freddie Mercury to begin questioning his sexuality. Lambert is almost completely unrecognizable, but astute fans didn’t let this one get past them.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
In a scene from 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, Zendaya, who plays Michelle, can be seen reading a book called Of Human Bondage while she is sitting on the bleachers. The book 1915 book tells the story of an orphaned boy who lives with his aunt and uncle. Sure sounds familiar!
The Matrix (1999)
In the 1999 film The Matrix, this artistic shot is taken when Morpheus says, “I can only show you to the door” while Neo reaches out for the doorknob. The cool shot could not fully hide the camera, and if you pause and take a closer look, you can see that the cameramen placed a coat and a tie that matches Morpheus’ tie on the camera in order to help it blend in.
In 2016’s Zootopia, Judy Hopps is a bunny rabbit who is a member of the police force. In one of the scenes, viewers have paused to notice this adorable detail. If you look at Judy’s iPod, you can see it is full of animal pun titles that are very similar to song titles of many beloved songs, as well as band names like Fleetwood Yak, Fur Fighters, and Guns’n’Rodents. How cute!
Fans of Stanley Kubrick films did not let this one slide so quickly. In 2016’s film Passengers, there is a scene that perfectly mirrors a scene from The Shining. Passengers director Morten Tyldum is a big fan of Kubrick’s work and wanted to pay homage to the film legend.
The Crying Game (1992)
The Crying Game was a huge success due to incredible performances by a fantastic cast. However, Jane Davidson, who played singer Dil, truly stole the show. In one infamous scene, she reveals that she is transgender, stunning audiences completely.
Steven Spielberg’s classic film Jaws was revolutionary in its time for addressing scary scenes head-on. The first scene of the movie is quite impactful, as it includes a dramatic death scene of the character Chrissie. Audiences were absolutely shocked at what they had just scene, especially as an opening scene of a film.
Deadpool 2 (2018)
Deadpool 2 features a motley crew of misfit super humans, collectively known as the “X-Force.” One of its members includes the Vanisher, who is invisible. In one scene, the X-Force jump out of an airplane, and most of them perish on the way down. However, for a brief moment, the Vanisher’s identity is revealed to be none other than Brad Pitt! Definitely a pause-worthy scene.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
Sharp-eyed Reddit members pointed out a great easter egg while watching Captain America: The Winter Soldier. They noticed that if you paused one of the scene in the beginning of the film, you’ll see Captain America writing out a list of things to catch up on now that he has reawakened. The list changes based on where viewers are around the world! Clockwise from top left, these are the scene from the US, South Korea, UK, and Russia.
This beloved animated Disney film features an unforgettable soundtrack by the great Phil Collins, which will always be in our hearts. Many viewers noticed an amazing detail while watching the movie. In one scene, Mrs. Potts and Chip from Beauty and the Beast make a brief appearance, bridging together two of the most loved Disney movies.
Titanic was released in 1997 and was immediately a mega-hit. The most memorable scene in the film comes when Jack is drawing Rose like “one of his French girls.” This most-paused scene comes back later, as the drawing ends up becoming and important part of the story as it is recovered from the ship’s wreckage.
Suicide Squad (2016)
2016’s Suicide Squad introduced Margot Robbie as the character of Harley Quinn, the Joker’s sidekick. Though the film was panned by critics and audiences, one scene kept viewer’s attention. This was when Harley Quinn lifted up her shirt for a moment, which had many pausing their screens.
She’s the Man (2006)
2006’s She’s the Man tells the story of Viola who pretends to be her twin brother in order to play on the school soccer team. Similar to Suicide Squad, She’s the Man featured a scene that had audience pausing when Amanda Bynes’s character lifts up her shirt to prove that she is, in fact, a woman.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
In this Martin Scorsese epic film, Margot Robbie’s character decides to tease Jordan Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio. This particularly steamy scene is certainly one that is paused by many. Later in the film, Jordan reveals to his wife that his security guards could actually see everything she was doing…how awkward!
Scanners jumpstarted David Cronenberg’s career in 1981 and has amassed a loyal following since its initial release. In one particularly gory scene, a character’s head does something quite out of the ordinary. We don’t want to ruin it for you, but this scene definitely calls for pausing and rewatching in order to get the full effect of what is actually happening.
Peter Pan (1953)
Disney’s 1953 rendition of the classic tale of Peter Pan, originally by J.M. Barrie, tells the story of the boy who never wanted to grow up living in the magical Neverland. In a scene in the beginning of the film, Peter does a jig in order to prove that his shadow has been sewn back to his feet, and in a split second, we are shown an outline of his nether region.
Spider Man (2002)
2002’s version of Spider Man featuring Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst is often referred to as the best adaptation, despite the fact that 8 more films have been released since then. The iconic scene in which Spider Man and Mary Jane share an upside down kiss is one of the most paused scenes, and we understand why.
In another classic Disney move, 1992’s Aladdin features yet another momentary crossover. In a scene when the Genie takes out a book and flips through its pages, he pulls out a crab, who happens to be Sebastian, our favorite crustacian from The Little Mermaid.
American Pie (1999)
1999 high school and coming of age film American Pie featured a scene that was paused frequently, although nowadays this scene would probably be considered to be too creepy. The scene in question features Nadia, the foreign exchange student undressing in front of a webcam audience, even though she doesn’t realize it.
American Beauty (1999)
American Beauty features main character Lester and his growing infatuation with a high school cheerleader, who is played by Mena Suvari. In the scene in which she is dancing and he’s watching from the bleachers, she is the focus of his attention and also the spotlight, and everything else fades to black. The powerful scene caught many viewers’ attention as a film-defining one.
Cruel Intentions (1999)
Cruel Intentions is yet another coming of age film, but albeit with a bit of a darker tone. One scene in particular had audience clamoring for the pause button. In the scene, Kathryn, played by Sarah Michelle Gellar, teaches the much less experienced Kathryn, played by Selma Blair, how to kiss.
Sleeping With Other People (2015)
2015’s Sleeping With Other People starred Alison Brie and Jason Sudiekis as old college friends who had once been intimate with one another. One scene in particular involves Brie’s character giving a provocative dance, which seemed to be quite pause-worthy for audiences.
The Seven Year Itch (1955)
1955’s The Scene Year Itch includes arguably the most iconic pause-worthy scene of film history. It features Marilyn Monroe’s character walking over a subway gate that emits a gust of air, blowing up her white dress into the air. There’s a reason why this scene is one of the most recognizable ones ever.
The Graduate (1967)
1967’s The Graduate features a young Dustin Hoffman who gets entangled in an affair with a woman who is twice his age, Mrs. Robinson. In one of the most noteworthy scenes of the film, she locks Dustin’s character in the room with her and strips down completely.
The Matrix (1999)
1999’s The Matrix is known for many incredible cinematic moments. However, one of the most impressive is the scene in which Neo faces a barrage of oncoming bullets when he incredibly holds up his hand to stop them in mid-air. This scene was truly a defining one in the whole franchise and is not one to forget.
For any Star Wars fans out there, this scene is quite recognizable, as is the heated argument about what actually happened. Did Han shoot Greedo first? This highly paused scene has caused decades of fan theories and disagreements. Even though George Lucas himself has weighed in on the matter, this scene is undeniably one that is remembered.
Avengers: Infinity War
Who can forget the stunning scene in Avengers: Infinity War that showed T’Challa disappearing just as he was trying to help out Okoye during the Battle of Wakanda. Many fans said that even for a film with many heart-racing scenes, this one was one of the most pause-worthy of all.
Speaking of T’Challa, the scene in which he has to battle with Killmonger in order to keep control of Wakanda is seriously intense. What’s even more pause-worthy is the moment when Killmonger actually wins and throws T’Challa over the waterfall and overtakes the Wakanda throne. Who saw that coming?
The Favorite tells the story of Queen Anne along with two of her most devoted supporters, Lady Sarah and her cousin Abigail. The scene that caused audiences to pause involved Queen Anne explaining to Sarah why she favors Abigail so much. Her delivery is quite deadpan and her reasoning is even more reason to pause and take it what just happened.
Although Free Solo is a documentary, that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t include adrenaline pumping scenes. When free solo climber Alex Honnold sets out to climb Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan and become the first person to do so in a free solo manner, the scene in which he climbs to the top is certainly one that deserves pausing to fully appreciate.
The film Hereditary is quite an intense one. For the majority of the time, viewers are left unsure of where this film will go. When Peter’s sister Charlie accidentally ingests nuts, which she is deathly allergic to, he immediately rushes to drive her to the hospital. The scene in the car is so stunning, many viewers felt that they had to pause before they could go on.
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
The Jurassic franchise is quite a hotly debated franchise. Some people love it, and some people love to hate it, especially since Colin Trevorrow has been in charge. However, nobody can deny the absolutely pause-worthy opening seen of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom featuring the Mosasaurus swallowing the entire submarine, just after one of the men on it said “relax, anything in here would be dead by now.” Yikes!
There are so many pause-worthy scenes in this classic film, but one of our most-paused scenes is the one when the great white shark attacks the boat carrying Quint, Hooper, and Brody. As the boat begins to capsize, we see Quint fall right into the shark’s open mouth. We almost never expect to lose a main character like that.
The Deer Hunter
One of the most memorable scenes in The Deer Hunter is the one in which Michael, Steven, and Nick are forced to play Russian Roulette. As each man switches and takes the shot, we’re breathlessly waiting to see what’s next, creating one of the most intense scenes of any film.
2006’s Martin Scorsese film The Departed features many plot twists, but one of the craziest comes towards the very end of the film. Billy Costigan has captured Sullivan and is on his way to have justice served. When the elevator door opens, suddenly a gun shot is heard and in the chaos, viewers are left stunned with what actually happened, leading a lot of viewers to pause and rewind to fully process what just happened.
Kill Bill Vol. 1
One of the most adrenaline driven scenes can be found in Kill Bill, Vol. 1 when we see Uma Thurman kicking some serious butt during her standoff with Gogo. Then we abruptly have mere seconds before she’s back in action. The scene is so crazy, many felt the need to pause and rewatch to get the full effect.
127 Hours is a brutally accurate biographical movie that tells the story of Aron Ralston when he gets trapped under a boulder while out in the Bluejohn Canyon in Utah. The scene depicting 127th hour that is referenced in the film’s title is so intense that many viewers needed to pause the movie.
The Godfather is often considered to be one of the greatest films of all time, and this particular scene is part of the reason why. Audiences everywhere were absolutely stunned when they first saw the scene that many refer to as “the offer,” depicting a truly disturbing treatment of someone’s horse.
Police Story showcases Jackie Chan and all of his immense talent, and includes what many consider to be the greatest stunt found in any film ever. The scene, involving Chan’s character eletrocuting himself, dislocating his pelvis, among several other crazy things, is definitely one that is paused by many.
Lost In Translation
Lost In Translation, featuring Scarlet Johansson and Bill Murray explored the relationship of these two strangers who are in Japan at the same time. The melancholy undertones of the film follow the characters throughout the whole movie. As the tension builds, the most pause-worthy scene is that very last one in the film, where Murray’s character whispers inaudibly in Johansson’s ear, and what he said is never revealed.
In perhaps one of the most talked about and polarizing endings of any film, Inception manages to get viewers talking and arguing over the scene that features the spinning top. It is not revealed whether it falls or keeps spinning, keeping that fate of the characters suspended for us to interpret.
Terminator 2: Judgment Day
In the second installment of Terminator, we find out that there are actually two robots: the one trying to kill John Connor, and one trying to save him. Many viewers paused the scene in which the evil robot is hunting Connor, forcing him to drive into a flood control channel.
Ready Player One
In this 2018 film, a truly pause-worthy scene involved fighters from Overwatch, Halo, as well as Battletoads, Gremlins, and He-Man all make an appearance. There are so many pop culture references packed into the fast camera movements, that many have paused to try to catch all the references.
This apocalyptic film shows New York City before and after a monster takes over the place. When the main character, Rob, is on a date in Coney Island, suddenly we see a strange black dot zooming into the water at the same time as a digital beeping sound. Many viewers have theorized that it was a satellite. While J.J. Abrams hasn’t fully confirmed this, many have paused the scene and rewatched to try to figure it out.
Often heralded as the greatest film of all time, Citizen Kane gives viewers one of the very first mind blowing endings of the film industry. Viewers were left stunned when the film ended in a way that had them pausing to think about the meaning of the film.