Related Videos

Top 20 Most Paused Movie Moments

VO: Phoebe de Jeu WRITTEN BY: Nick Spake

In honor of hitting 20 million subscribers, we’re giving you double the mojo! For this list, we’re revisiting two of our classic Top 10s, going into even greater detail on movie moments that had audiences repeatedly rewinding and pausing just to confirm what they were seeing. Our list includes moments from “The Lion King” (1994), “Iron Man” (2008), “There’s Something About Mary” (1998), “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” (1988), “The Rescuers” (1977), and more! Join WatchMojo as we count down our picks for the Top 20 Most Paused Movie Moments.


You must register to a corporate account to download this video. Please login

Script written by Nick Spake

Top 20 Most Paused Movie Moments

In honor of hitting 20 million subscribers, we’re giving you double the mojo! Welcome to WatchMojo, and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 20 Most Paused Movie Moments.

For this list, we’re revisiting two of our classic Top 10s, going into even greater detail on movie moments that had audiences repeatedly rewinding and pausing just to confirm what they were seeing.

#20: Where’s Ron?

“Ghostbusters” (1984)
Believe it or not, the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man isn’t the most random character who pops up in this comedy classic. When our heroes are forced to shut down their protection grid, a horde of ghosts are released. As all hell breaks loose, numerous onlookers gather around the firehouse. If you’ve seen your fair share of adult films, one particular New Yorker might stand out. Sporting his signature mustache, porn star Ron Jeremy gazes up with his mouth agape. Sprinkled amongst a crowd of extras, it’s easy to miss The Hedgehog, and you may need to zoom in to get a good look.

#19: The Diggler

“Boogie Nights” (1997)
It’s only fitting that we’d transition from Ron Jeremy to a film about the porno industry. Jeremy didn’t shed any skin in “Ghostbusters,” but the artist formerly known as Marky Mark bares all in “Boogie Nights.” Okay, not really. Nowadays, it’s common knowledge among cinephiles that Mark Wahlberg’s “13-inch penis” was phony baloney. Back when the film was first released on home video, though, this scene had many pausing their TV sets to investigate the authenticity of Dirk Diggler’s . . . diggler. What makes this moment especially pause-worthy is that the size of his penis had been built up throughout the film, literally AHEM teasing the audience . . . It isn’t until the end that we’re given a peek at his manhood in all of its prosthetic glory.

#18: The Shield

“Iron Man” (2008)
When Nick Fury appeared in the post-credits scene for 2008’s “Iron Man,” it became clear that this wasn’t just the launching point for a potential trilogy, but an entire cinematic universe. Even before Fury showed up, there were signs that Marvel had bigger plans in mind. In Tony Stark’s workshop, Captain America’s incomplete shield resides on his desk. The star-spangled shield would make a more obvious appearance in “Iron Man 2” and within the next year Chris Evans made his cinematic debut as The First Avenger. Cap’s shield was one of the first Easter eggs to foreshadow what Marvel had in store for us, demonstrating early on that no detail is too small in the MCU.

#17: “I’m Taller”

“Speed” (1994)
“Speed” more than lives up to its title, delivering high-octane thrills around every turn. The film is so fast-paced that you can’t blame viewers for overlooking one of the most obviously fake decapitations in blockbuster history. Duking it out atop a subway train, it appears the villainous Payne has the upper hand over Jack Traven. Payne enters a world of pain, however, when he’s beheaded by an overhead light. Considering how Payne prides himself on being the smartest man in the room, this is an ironic way for him to go out and Traven’s cool one-liner only makes his demise more memorable. When you rewind, slow down, and hit pause, though, it becomes increasingly apparent that Dennis Hopper has been replaced with a lifeless dummy.

#16: Zipper Trouble

“There’s Something About Mary” (1998)
In an era where comedies generally played it safe with a PG-13 rating, “There’s Something About Mary” went all out with hard-R humor. So, when Ben Stiller’s Ted gets his junk trapped in his zipper, the filmmakers don’t refrain from giving us an up-close and all-too personal look. Based on how the characters describe this ghastly sight, the audience is able to paint a graphic picture in their heads, but whatever you’re imagining can’t prepare you for the real deal. Like a train wreck, you simply can’t look away from the veiny bubble popping out of Ted’s trousers. Even after we hit the pause button, it’s hard to tell how Ted managed to get his beans over his frank. Perhaps we’re better off not knowing.

#15: Roller Undercarriage

“V for Vendetta” (2005)
In David Lloyd and Alan Moore’s original graphic novel, a couple of panels find protagonist Evey in the nude. Natalie Portman didn’t go topless for the 2005 screen adaptation, but the movie did deliver a little fan service for eagle-eyed viewers. In order to assassinate a clergyman who’s been molesting children, V sends Every in to seduce him. Although she tries to warn the bishop, he fails to catch on and gets kicked in his frankincense. As Evey rolls off the bed to escape, there’s an ever-so-brief glimpse of what she’s wearing underneath.

#14: Thong

“The Back-up Plan” (2010)
Jennifer Lopez’s butt has essentially become part of her brand and it’s seemingly on full display in this romantic comedy. Playing a woman who finds true love after being artificially inseminated, Lopez observes her changing body in the mirror. Assuming you weren’t watching the film with your significant other, there’s little doubt that you rewound and paused to further examine Jen’s curvy rear end in a thong. As Lopez revealed in an interview, she actually had a body double stand in for her. Lopez claims it was her idea to include this scene, saying “we should have a real pregnant lady double do it.” Oh well, it’s not like you can’t see JLo’s legendary booty elsewhere.

#13: Topless Frames

“The Rescuers” (1977)
At first glance, “The Rescuers” is another innocent family romp from the Mouse House. When the film was released on home video for the second time in 1999, however, attentive viewers noticed something a tad risqué about this G-rated flick. Hitching a ride on Orville, Bernard and Bianca fly past the image of a topless lady in the New York background. Of course, you’d never spot the scantily clad woman unless you paused with perfect precision. Chances are we’ll never know who was responsible for sneaking this bit of nudity into the film. All we know is that Disney had to recall over 3 million videos to correct the controversy.

#12: Legendary Cameo

“Man of Steel” (2013)
Christopher Reeve sadly didn’t live long enough to see Henry Cavill assume the mantle of Superman. This 2013 film does feature a symbolic passing of the torch, though, which also serves as a tribute to the actor who originally made us believe a man could fly. As General Zod plots to terraform the planet, Clark Kent transforms right before our eyes. Skyrocketing towards the World Engine, Reeve’s face begins to shine through, if only for a fleeting instant. Being faster than a speeding bullet, you’ll need to pause to catch Reeve briefly overtaking Cavill’s face. Let’s just be grateful it’s more seamless than Cavill’s removed mustache in “Justice League.”

#11: Mrs. Robinson

“The Graduate” (1967)
This scene is intended to be sexy and uncomfortable all at once. Director Mike Nichols achieves this through clever editing that puts the audience in Benjamin Braddock’s shoes. Making it clear that she is indeed trying to seduce Benjamin, we get a glimpse of a naked Mrs. Robinson in the reflection of her daughter Elaine’s photograph. Standing right in front of her, Benjamin does his best to avert his eyes, but ultimately catches a couple of peaks of the topless Mrs. Robinson. These bits of nudity fly by so quickly that the audience may second guess what they just saw. With the ability to pause the film, however, you can clearly see everything that Mrs. Robinson was offering.

#10: Horror History

“The Cabin in the Woods” (2012)
This whole movie is basically a love letter to the horror genre, packing in both subtle and blatant references everywhere. Unless you’re a speedy reader, a pause button is necessary to fully appreciate this scene. Betting on what will plague the titular cabin, an underground organization lists a series of monsters on a whiteboard. In addition to obvious creatures likes zombies, vampires, and mummies, the board also includes more obscure creatures like dismemberment goblins, snowmen, and mermen. “Evil Dead” even gets a couple shout-outs with Deadites and an angry molesting tree present. There’s one particular name on the board that remains clouded in mystery, though. Who exactly is Kevin? Is he from “We Need to Talk About Kevin” or a slasher version of “Home Alone?”

#9: Extra from an Extra

“Teen Wolf” (1985)
When a film stars Michael J. Fox as a teenager who transforms into a basketball-playing werewolf, you can expect to see some bizarre imagery. The film’s strangest moment, however, apparently wasn’t even intentional. In the end, Scott Howard wins the big game, shares a passionate kiss with Boof, and they all live happily… whoa, wait a second! Is that extra’s fly down? Contrary to what “Family Guy” will tell you, it turns out the extra in the crowd isn’t a “guy,” but a woman whose face can be seen in the film’s full frame version. Kristina Hagerty, another “Teen Wolf” extra, provided further insight into this wardrobe malfunction, suggesting that the woman’s pants were probably unzipped or unbuttoned because they were too tight.

#8: Commando Cartoons

“Who Framed Roger Rabbit” (1988)
Jessica Rabbit could be a Playboy Bunny and not just because her husband is a literal rabbit. This cartoon dame is one of the most overtly sexual temptresses ever put to paper, so much so that she might’ve snuck her private parts past the censors. When the film was released on LaserDisc, reports surfaced that Jessica can be spotted going commando when she’s flung out of Benny the Cab. At 24 film frames per second, this moment goes by in a flash – and in more ways than one! Although this scene has been paused time after time, it’s still heavily debated if Jessica really exposed herself. In any case, the scene was altered in future releases to avoid further controversy.

#7: Give Up the Ghost

“Three Men and a Baby” (1987)
There are several movies that supposedly experienced paranormal activity on set, but you wouldn’t expect “Three Men and a Baby” to be one of them. In what seems like a pleasant scene between Ted Danson, his mother, and his infant daughter, a mysterious figure is visible in the background. As if that’s not eerie enough, a rumor surfaced that a nine-year-old boy took his own life in the house where the film was shot years earlier. There’s actually a reasonable explanation for all of this. The image in the window is just a Ted Danson cutout and the scene was really shot on a soundstage. Considering that Leonard Nimoy directed the film, though, you can’t blame people for wanting to believe something supernatural was afoot.

#6: The Munchkin Suicides

“The Wizard of Oz” (1939)
As Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Man set out to meet the Wizard, an unidentified Munchkin prepares to meet his maker. At least that’s how the urban legend goes. According to an age-old rumor, this otherwise cheerful musical number features a Munchkin hanging himself between some trees in the background. This scene had conspiracy theorists everywhere pausing their TVs until the film received a remastered release, revealing that the silhouette was really a stork stretching its wings out. Yet, some continue to argue that the bird was merely edited into later versions as a cover-up. Could there be something more sinister going on behind the Emerald Curtain?

#5: Secret Surprises

“Tron” (1982)
Disney is known for working Hidden Mickeys into their movies, causing audiences to constantly freeze-frame. One of the most elusive examples can be found in this 1982 sci-fi adventure. In most cases, Hidden Mickeys are subtly integrated into the background. This one, however, practically engulfs the entire screen as the solar sailer flies by. You’d think this would make it easy to spot, but Mickey’s distinctive mouse ears would evade most people if it weren’t for the pause button. Mickey isn’t the only one who makes a cameo, as Pac-Man somehow wandered out of his maze and into the Grid. It’s a shame Wreck-It Ralph wasn’t around, since he happens to know both Tron and Pac-Man.

#4: Disney Debauchery

“The Lion King” (1994)
If you thought “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” had sexual undertones, be prepared to have your mind blown. Collapsing by a cliff, Simba releases a cloud of dust that appears to spell out the letters “S,” “E,” and “X.” Hey, when you’re a growing lion without a mate, you’re bound to have some pent-up sexual frustration. To be fair, Disney animator Tom Sito claims it actually spells out “SFX” in reference to the special effects crew. You can pause the scene all you want, but there will likely never be a definitive answer as to whether this is just a case of sloppy penmanship or if Simba is sending a subliminal message about his animalistic urges.

#3: A Headbangin’ Good Time

“Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope” (1977)
“Star Wars” is one of those films that audiences can continuously rewatch without ever growing tired of it. The same can be said about this scene, which has given countless fans pause. Entering a room with his squad, a clumsy Stormtrooper bumps his head on the door above. The head-bumping Stormtrooper is so infamous that he even has his own Wookieepedia page. George Lucas decided to embrace this happy accident, amplifying the sound effect for the film’s 2004 DVD re-release and paying homage to the scene in “Attack of the Clones” when Jango Fett bumps his head. Considering that Stormtroopers are clones of Jango, we guess their head-bumping habit is hereditary. Their lack of spatial awareness may also explain why they never hit their targets.

#2: Brad Pitt Flashes

“Fight Club” (1999)
In this cult classic, Edward Norton’s Narrator mentions that Tyler Durden likes to sneak his own “contributions” into movies while working as a projectionist. It appears Tyler also had some fun in the editing room for this movie, as he splices himself into four scenes before properly introducing himself. Nobody knows that they saw it, but they did. In addition to these subliminal frames, Tyler is also present in a TV ad dressed as a waiter, which could be alluding to his other job peeing into soup at a hotel. Ingeniously foreshadowing Tyler’s true identity, moments like this demonstrate why “Fight Club” merits repeated viewings with the remote on standby.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable Mentions:

The Vanisher

“Deadpool 2” (2018)

The Little Mermaid Wedding

“The Little Mermaid” (1989)

Strategic Pot Lid Placement
“American Reunion” (2012)

The Red Bikini
“Fast Times at Ridgemont High” (1982)

E.T. in the Galactic Senate

“Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” (1999)

#1: Sexy Double-Cross

“Basic Instinct” (1992)
Audiences were completely caught off-guard when Catherine Tramell exposed her nether regions… and apparently so was Sharon Stone. The actress claims she originally wore underwear for the steamy interrogation scene, but complied with director Paul Verhoeven’s request to take them off. Stone assumed the nudity would simply be hinted at until she saw the film with a test audience. Although Verhoeven has denied these accusations, Stone allegedly slapped him for misleading her. In any case, the final product forever solidified Catherine’s status as the ultimate femme fatale. While Catherine’s dialog is mostly comprised of seductive one-liners, it’s her crossed legs that do all the talking here. As one of the raciest moments ever filmed, it’s only natural that this would also be the most paused.

Sign in to access this feature

Related Blogs