The Most Paused Movie Scenes in Hollywood History

Some of the most critical moments in movies happen so quickly you simply have to pause them to understand exactly what’s happening. Some movie scenes are so pause-worthy we just can’t help but pause, rewind, and watch them over and over again.
Getty Images Photo by Sunset Boulevard
Getty Images Photo by Sunset Boulevard
If you’re a film lover, we’re guessing you’ve done this yourself several times. From salacious to surprising – blink at the following scenes, and you might miss them! We’ve put together a list of the most-paused movie scenes of all-time!

The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

When “The Wolf of Wall Street” was released to cinemas in 2013, moviegoers worldwide couldn’t stop talking about it. There was one scene, in particular, that moviegoers felt inclined to pause – and no, it wasn’t the slo-mo scene in which Jordan Belfort decided to abuse quaaludes.

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The scene involved the leading lady, played by the talented Margot Robbie, attempts at seducing Leonardo DiCaprio’s character. There you have it, one of the most-paused movie scenes in recent memory!

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)

Along with Rami Malek’s outstanding portrayal of rock legend Freddie Mercury – the movie was worth watching for many reasons. There is a cameo moment that is difficult to notice without a quick pause – which is the reason award-winning film “Bohemian Rhapsody” has made its way onto this list.


The moment may happen too quickly for one to notice, but Adam Lambert, the singer, portrays the trucker with whom Mercury becomes besotted.

Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

While it may not be the most excellent movie of all time, “Fast Times at Ridgemont High” is home to one of the most-paused moments in cinema. Phoebe Cates’s character, Linda Barrett, is going for a swim in her friend’s pool in a red bikini.


The most paused moment in this movie, and perhaps in movie history, comes when Linda finally climbs up the steps and gets out of the pool…dropping viewers’ jaws on the floor.

Basic Instinct (1992)

“Basic Instinct” was a groundbreaking film for many reasons. First of all, we are blessed with a criminal mastermind who can keep her murder a secret. In what might have been one of her most significant moments as an actress, Sharon Stone has made it on this list with a pause-worthy moment.

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In this scene, Stone’s character decided to cross her legs in a dress in an attempt to confuse the detective, portrayed by Michael Douglas. Surprise, surprise! It works!

Sleeping With Other People (2015)

Anytime you see Alison Brie on screen, there’s a good chance she’ll do something quirky or out of this world. This film was no different; in “Sleeping With Other People,” Brie gave viewers a dance scene that they probably didn’t expect.


In the film, Brie plays the role of Lainey, a woman who reunites with Jake, an old college friend, played by Jason Sudeikis. The scene had Jake starring at his former college fling – though the closest viewers got was pausing the scene in hopes of making it last longer.

Zootopia (2016)

In the film “Zootopia,” we’re given a sneak peek into the lives of animals as they live their lives like humans in the big city. For the most part, the story revolves around a few animals as they try to uncover a conspiracy. In the middle of the mess, we’re treated to a scene that is worth pausing.


One of the movie’s characters glances at their iPod to reveal a list of musicians that have been renamed to fit the animal theme. Trust us, and this is a creative moment that is worth pausing!

The Seven Year Itch (1955)

This scene has been paused so many times; the image has become iconic in its own right. In fact, we’ve seen it so many times, and it’s hard to imagine this scene was a part of a film, to begin with. In “The Seven Year Itch,” Marilyn Monroe’s character tempts the married male protagonist, Richard Sherman.

Getty Images Photo by Sunset Boulevard

In one outstanding scene, Monroe gives us this moment, and she walks over a vent from the ground that begins to blow her dress up. She holds it down, but the scene is one that has been paused countless times since the movie’s release in 1955.

The Exorcist (1973)

Many refer to “The Exorcist” as one of the greatest horror movies of all time. Linda Blair’s character’s transition from a sweet innocent girl into a fully possessed demon really is a work of art. The film contains some tricks that make watchers want to pause.


One of the more obvious of these scenes is when the demon Pazuzu shows his face. In a brief moment, we are shown the face of the possessor, and of course – people paused to take a better look.

Iron Man (2008)

The next one might take a bit of concentration. “Iron Man” was one of the first in a series that we now know to be a modern-day superhero franchise. Aside from this, it is also known as being one of the most-paused movie moments in cinematic history. So, which scene exactly did Marvel fans pause on?


We get shown a little piece of Captain America’s shield. While Tony Stark was being disassembled by his robot – we spot the guard hiding in the background…

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988):

Everyone knows that Jessica Rabbit is one of the most bodacious animated characters of all time. In the 1988 film, “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?”the red-haired woman often makes the people around her stop and stare at the screen.


Off-screen, it had the same effect; only viewers had to pause the film physically. It is important to remind fans that she is not real, which in all honesty, can be easy to forget.

Total Recall (1990)

Before he was known as the Former Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger starred in some of the greatest movies. His role in perhaps one of his biggest flicks, “Total Recall,” led many to hit the pause button.


There is a scene in the science action film in which he is surveying the Martian planet and comes across a character that is different than many expect. It is that same difference that caused fans to pause and ponder.

Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)

“Anchorman” is one of those movies that crafts subtle jokes into every scene they could fit. For the audience that can read Spanish, this joke is enough to make anyone pause to read. In this scene, there is a Mexican restaurant with a pretty odd name.


The name translated into English is: “We spit in your food.” Although this joke speaks to a specific crowd, those who can read the language paused and giggled during this scene.

Before I Go to Sleep (2014)

In the psychological thriller “Before I Go to Sleep,” Nicole Kidman plays Christine Lucas, an amnesiac whose memories fade each time she falls asleep. The film itself didn’t win over much praise from critics; one scene, in particular, captured the attention of plenty of viewers.

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One of the scenes that had the film’s viewers pressing pause on repeat was the scene where Kidman appears to be standing naked, looking at a bunch of hanging photographs on the wall.

Three Men and a Baby (1987)

Although the title of the film may sound like the beginning of a pretty corny joke, the movie is phenomenal. There is one scene in the movie that is so strange and out of place. For a second, you have to pause it to make sure you didn’t accidentally change the channel.


In that scene, we are shown a cardboard cutout in the background. Who is it a cutout of, you may be wondering? Actor and heartthrob, John Stamos! The strangeness of the scene had many raising an eyebrow as they pressed pause.

The Cabin in the Woods (2011)

When you think of Chris Hemsworth, the last thing you think of is a horror movie, right? Well, in 2011, Hemsworth was cast in “The Cabin in the Woods,” a modern horror movie that tried to things a little different. The film has one of the most-paused scenes in recent history.


The scene involved the controllers of the monsters showcasing which monsters and demons they do have control over, showing exactly how many. The fine details make many want to pause and review the scene.

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

In the first of the three Star Wars prequels, there is a small and hard-to-notice Easter egg that director George Lucas decided to place in the film. This shocking moment has many grabbing their remote and hitting pause.


In the scene in which senators and other politicians meet to talk, a glance at a specific platform will show a family of alien friends that may remind you of another movie…What movie, you may be asking? E.T! Keep your remote close next time you’re binging Star Wars.

TRON (1982)

If there’s one thing to be said about the movie “TRON,” it’s that it was drastically ahead of its time, the movie’s production incorporated state-of-the-art computer graphics to show a hacker in his digitized universe. The film was innovative, but more than that, there was one scene that was worth pausing.


There was one scene when the protagonist, Sark, is looking at a glass screen. What exactly is he doing? He’s playing Pac-Man! Is this scene worth a pause? Um, yes!

The Graduate (1967)

The Oscar-winning film “The Graduate,” starring Dustin Hoffman in his breakthrough performance, tells the story of a young man who moves back in with his parents after college. Hoffman’s character, Benjamin Braddock, struggles to find direction in life and is seduced by a woman twice his age, Mrs. Robinson.

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The film’s progressive plot may have caused chaos with its release in 1967 but also blessed us with one of the most paused scenes in history – the one in which Mrs. Robinson locks Ben in a room and strips naked.

Teen Wolf (1985):

“Teen Wolf” was targeted as a family-friendly flick, but millions of viewers may disagree, and believe it or not, the scene in question happens minutes before the credits roll. During the movie’s opening, an extra is seen with his pants and underwear around his ankles – a pause-worthy, gasp-inducing moment.


The exact moment happens when Michael J. Fox’s character, Scott Howard, wins the basketball match when the camera catches a glimpse of the crowd cheering from the bleachers. Oops! Wonder how they forgot to edit that out.

The Matrix (1999)

The first “Matrix” movie is often regarded as one of the best films of all time. There is one scene in the Academy-award winning installment that is both a fan favorite and well, you guessed it – pause-worthy. In this scene, there is a shot reflected off a doorknob.


Usually, a shot would show a reflection of a camera, but the director decided to do something worthy of a double-take. They dressed the camera up to look like Morpheus. Dedication level – 100!

American Beauty (1999)

Perhaps one of the most film-defining moments in modern history – if you’ve ever seen “American Beauty,” this scene won’t be hard to recall. The film’s protagonist, Lester, is sitting in a crowded basketball gym – when he becomes obsessed with the lead cheerleader, his daughter’s best friend, played by Mena Suvari.


As he becomes fixated on the young woman, the spotlight shines on her, and all else fades to black. This scene has been paused so many times; it is embedded in our minds for good.

Titanic (1997)

One of the most epic love stories of our time has evolved from a blockbuster movie to a cultural phenomenon, capturing the hearts of many. It’s hard not to fall in love with Rose and Jack’s love story. Rose admires Jack’s images of naked women in Paris.

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She asks him to draw her in what is the most-paused scene of the film. The drawing later plays a vital role in the movie after it’s uncovered from the wreckage years later.

The Lion King (1994)

Over the years, there have been speculations over hidden messages in many Disney movies – “The Lion King” was not exempt from such allegations. There is a scene in which something a little eerie happens, and no, we’re not talking about Mufasa’s horrific death.


In the movie, there is a scene in which clouds of dust briefly spells out something in the sky. While the reasoning behind this decision is still a mystery – it’s one that makes many viewers pause and wonder…

Fight Club (1999)

There are a few movies that have turned themselves into classics without even really knowing it. “Fight Club” is one of them. Full of raw, piercing moments, anyone who has seen this movie knows it’s one to be admired.


Before we are appropriately introduced to Tyler Durden, Brad Pitt’s character – we get a quick shot of him early on in the movie. If you blink, you will most likely miss the subliminal effect in this film as Tyler appears for a literal frame.

Psycho (1960)

“Psyhco” may have been the first of many horror films of its kind. In many ways, the 1960 film has become the standard for how these movies would be made. There was one moment, though, there is a scene that is particularly pause-worthy.


In the photo here, which is a paused image from the film, we see the face of character Norman Bates’s mother superimposed over his face. The haunting scene is one that many wanted to see again and again, to make sure their eyes aren’t fooling them!

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)

“Raiders of the Lost Ark” is a movie loved for many reasons. For starters, it was one of the films that helped us gain a new appreciation for Harrison Ford. Another reason is that it had one of the most-paused moments in movie history.


During filming, Belloq, played by Paul Freeman, is giving a speech. While speaking, a fly lands close to his mouth. Then the little critter makes its way into the actor’s mouth. It’s a moment worth pausing.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

A Quentin Tarantino had to make it on this list! Famous for his non-linear plotlines, it’s no surprise that “Pulp Fiction” is known for its constant slip-ups. In arguably one of the most infamous scenes, Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) and Vincent (John Travolta) successfully dodge bullets that are shot at them by someone hiding in the bathroom.


Some viewers took a closer look at the wall behind the two and noticed that the bullet holes were in the wall even before the shootout took place.

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)

Even if you aren’t the biggest Star Wars fan – you know that the original movies were groundbreaking. The films incorporate timeless themes into a cinematic experience that was hard to forget.


There’s one scene in A New Hope that’s deeply embedded in our minds. In this scene, a group of Stormtroopers comes off of a cargo ship. So what makes this scene so unique? It’s probably far from what you’re expecting! One of the Stormtroopers hits their head!

Jurassic World (2015)

Cameos are frequent in Hollywood. Sometimes there’s an actor that’s asked to play a peripheral role to add some humor, or sometimes an actor strictly likes a production and wants to make their mark on it. In “Jurassic World” – Jimmy Buffet makes a cameo.


In the scene in which flying pterosaurs assault civilians, he is seen fleeing with two margaritas. It had us laughing…and pausing the scene to do a doubletake as we stirred up our own margaritas.

Deadpool 2 (2018)

Cameos can frequently be the thing that makes or breaks a film. As for “Deadpool 2”, there was a cameo that made the action movie even that more compelling. Once we figured out who this cameo was made by – many movie watchers felt the need to pause and contemplate.


The character in question, Vanisher, accidentally guides himself into a set of electrical wires. As a result, he is, unfortunately, electrocuted to death. In the process, we are shown that the invisible man is portrayed by none other than…wait for it, Brad Pitt!

Signs (2002)

As well as being one of M. Night Shyamalan’s better films, “Signs” was one of Mel Gibson’s more prominent roles before he experienced a downpour of negative publicity. In one creepy moment of the film, we are exposed to footage showing the alien caught on tape.


The eerie creature is shown lurking in an alley in Mexico. The briefness of the sequence has caused many fans to stop and pause the scene.

Scanners (1981)

While it may not be the most recognizable as the other films on this list, “Scanners” has built a strong fanbase since being released in the early 1980s. Scanners mostly revolve around psychic powers and how hard dealing with those powers can be.


We don’t want to spoil it for you, but the following scene has been paused countless amounts of times due to the gory nature of it. It entails the typical 1980s horror tactics, including the explosion of someone’s head complete with ketchup and ground beef.

Toy Story 3 (2010)

The Toy Story gang can’t stay out of trouble – no matter how hard they try. In the third movie, they are donated to daycare. There is one scene in this animated wonder that has caused many people (old and young) to stop the film immediately.

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This scene is where a villain from one of the past movies is now shown as the sanitation worker. You have to be pretty sharp to notice, but when you do, the pause button comes in handy!

Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Some movies add such a subtle form of foreshadowing, we can’t help but admire them for it.  “Beauty and the Beast” is one of those films. This very tactic has also earned it a spot on our list of most-paused movie moments.


In this climactic scene, Gaston tries to attack The Beast. As he approaches, little skulls are placed into his eyes, moments before he’s thrown from the ledge. This subtle artistry is worthy of pause.

Wizard of Oz (1939):

It’s no secret that fans have been spotting out many obscure references since the 1939 classic was released. One of the strangest observations someone made was in the background while Dorothy and the gang were walking down the yellow brick road.


Although the official story confirmed the figure in the background was, in fact, a bird, many viewers have developed a theory that a munchkin is spotted taking his own life. It certainly puts a dark spin on this scene!

Dirty Dancing (1987)

There is one moment in “Dirty Dancing” that is so iconic – it has been recreated countless times. It occurs in the film’s climax just as “Time of My Life” blasts in the speakers, and Jennifer Grey soars up into the arms of Patrick Swayze.

Getty Images Photo by Hulton Archive

It’s the kind of moment that makes a film great, and in many ways, it seems like this scene was created specifically for people to pause it. Anyone who ever tried to recreate this pose knows that they had to tirelessly study Swayze and Grey at this moment, staring at the paused screen until they perfected it.

Burn After Reading (2008)

“Burn After Reading” had a cast of characters that is anything but typical. Some are so bizarre and awkward that we can’t help but flinch anytime they enter a frame. One of the movie’s most pause-worthy moments – that is, if you didn’t need to pause the film and take breaks while watching it – is Brad Pitt is lingering in a closet.


While some might find this recreational activity odd, the sudden plot twist involving his character caused many pauses.

Boogie Nights (1997)

There is no denying that Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Boogie Nights” is a unique movie due to the focus of attention. The 1997 drama revolved around Mark Wahlberg’s character, Dirk Diggler, an aspiring adult movie star. He slowly but surely becomes the talk of the town.


Viewers couldn’t help but pause, not one, but several moments throughout the movie. The most seemingly paused movie scene happened when Diggler bares all for the crew. As it turns out, whatever he was showing off was prosthetic.

Cruel Intentions (1999)

The 1999 film “Cruel Intentions” is easily a cult classic. The characters are young, beautiful, and are experiencing love for the first time. At the same time, they are also full of…you guessed it, cruel intentions. Sarah Michelle Gellar, playing the role of Kathryn, dominated every scene she was in.


This specific scene has been in fan’s heads for more than two decades. As Kathryn taught Cecile (Selma Blair) how to kiss, we were treated to one of the most entertaining and most-paused lessons of all time.

Wild Things (1998):

Though it was critically slammed, “Wild Things” has a particularly steamy scene that will forever be synonymous with the film. The film’s main characters, portrayed by Denise Richards and Neve Campbell, kiss in the swimming pool.

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This scene is one that forced most folks to forget they didn’t like the movie to begin with. Of course, it was that scene that had people grabbing their remotes and hitting pause. Although the film was destined to be a flop, this is a scene worth remembering.

Man of Steel (2013)

“Man of Steel” depicts the Krypton expatriate-turned-superhero played by none of there than Henry Cavill plays the. In the scene in which Cavill’s character is fighting the supervillain General Zod, we see a delightful little gem that has caused many to hit pause.


What kind of gem, you may be wondering? On the satellite the two crash into on their way out of Earth’s orbit, we get a glimpse of a Wayne Enterprises logo. This little bit of foreshadowing has caused many to imagine the increased frustration with Batman.

She’s the Man (2006):

“She’s the Man” traces its story’s origins way back to William Shakespeare. The film centers around two twins Viola and Sebastian, in which Amanda Bynes’ character Viola dresses up as her brother in hopes of making it onto an all-male soccer team.


When things get out of hand, Viola is forced to reveal her true identity by flashing her chest – causing everyone to hit pause and see if they could catch a look.

Spider-Man (2002)

2002 marked the first “Spider-Man” movie of many. Nearly twenty years later, people are still calling it one of the best. One of the best movies, kisses, was also one of the most-paused moments in history. Tobey Maguire playing Spider-Man set the bar high for those who would come after.

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Spidey kissing Mary-Jane Watson while dangling upside down is a scene paused so often, and it’s easy to understand why that kiss was simply iconic.

Aladdin (1992)

Back in the 90s, Disney animators’ hidden Easter eggs were inside jokes between them.  If viewers ever saw the secret tricks, they would spread the news of it through word of mouth. These days, thanks to streaming services and the ability to screenshot, animators are forced to step up their game to keep these moments better hidden.


In “Aladdin,” when Aladdin asks Genie to turn him into a prince, animators planted a not-so-hidden surprise. Genie takes out a book, and while he flips through recipes on how to make a princely persona out of someone, he pulls out a crab – Sebastian from The Little Mermaid.

Back to the Future (1985)

“Back to the Future” has become a massive part of the subcultures that saw it. It was a rite of passage for the era in which is it was released. Among many memorable moments, there was one scene in particular that stood out, and one easily missed if the remote wasn’t nearby.


Marty McFly runs over a tree that is the namesake for a local grocery – Twin Pines. When he visits the store in the future, we see that the store had to change its name to Lone Pine because he ran over one of the trees.

The Little Mermaid (1989)

Although we tend to think that Disney movies are as innocent as they get – the more we watch them, the more we realize adult innuendos are hiding in every corner. “The Little Mermaid” had its fair share of references that were, and still are, considered inappropriate.


The moments were so shocking that people had to pause them just to understand if they saw things right. For example, when Ariel is given human legs, the viewers see too much of her…for a children’s movie.

Finding Dory (2016)

Years after fans begged and pleaded for a sequel to “Finding Nemo”; “Finding Dory” was released. In the animated sensation, we follow Dory as she navigates her way through life as a forgetful fish. While Dory is in the midst of trouble, you’ll see an unexpected villain, that is, if you look closely enough.


On the wall behind where Dory is encased, we see a photo of one of the main villains from “Finding Nemo” – Darla, the girl with the braces. You may have to pause to catch it, though.

Grease (1978)

Many scenes turn “Grease” into a cultural classic. The movie’s catchy tunes are endless, and the high school drama involved is good entertainment for young and old viewers alike. But it’s the scene at the very end that makes the movie.

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Throughout the entire film, the new girl Sandra Dee is such a “good girl” that there is even a song dedicated to her innocence! But in the final scene, we see her come out after a complete makeover – a moment that has fans pausing in awe and had our chills multiplying.

Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

“Spider-Man: Homecoming” is another “coming into their own” story of one of our favorite Marvel characters. In the film, Spiderman learns how to save the world while balancing the mischievousness that comes with being a high school student.


There is one moment in the movie that has paused so many times – and it’s a surprising one. One of the movie’s characters is reading literature that you wouldn’t expect a high school teenager to be reading…

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

It seems like if there are Easter eggs in almost every Marvel Studios film. One of the most paused scenes in the franchise happens to be in one of the studio’s least popular films, “Thor: The Dark World.” The scene we’re talking about is when Dr. Selvig scribbles all over a chalkboard in the mental health facility he’s in.

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The gibberish that’s written is actually real astronomical and mathematical equations and theories. They even contain the name of a place called Nidavellir, which plays a huge part in “Avengers: Infinity War.”

Iron Man 2 (2010)

Yet another paused Marvel movie scene; this time, at the end of “Iron Man 2.” Tony Stark and Nick Fury meet, and behind the characters is a screen that apparently shows a map of superhero motion.


The areas reveal “hotspots” like Captain America’s frozen body in Greenland, a spot in Africa that would be revealed as Wakanda years later, Thor’s hammer in New Mexico, and many other hidden gems.

The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996)

Disney may have been one of the first studios to drop Easter eggs into their films. One of the most hard-to-spot and subtle moments took place in “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” when Quasimodo sings high above the city.


If you look closely at the city streets, you’ll see Belle from “Beauty and the Beast” reading a book, the Carpet from Aladdin, and Poomba from “The Lion King.”

The Back-up Plan (2010)

In “The Back-up Plan,” Jennifer Lopez’s character undergoes artificial insemination. The film tells the story of her pregnancy and the new guy in her life. As you may already know, the world has become somewhat obsessed with J-Lo’s behind.

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In the movie, there is a scene where movie-watchers can see Lopez’s backside as she looks in the mirror. Of course, the moment has been paused countless times in hopes of catching a glimpse. Well, we have some news for you, it’s not actually Jennifer in the scene at all; it’s her body double!

There’s Something About Mary (1998)

More than 20 years after its release, “There’s Something About Mary” still manages to hold its place as a comedy classic. The film has many memorable scenes but perhaps the most significant scene. Definitely, the most paused moment was when a teenage Ben Stiller had an unfortunate incident with his zipper.


It looks like a painful moment, which raises why people would want to pause the video, but they still do!

Ghostbusters (1984)

“Ghostbusters” was a big hit when it came out in the mid-’80s; it was appealing to both older and younger audiences. It was so appealing, in fact, that a special someone made a brief cameo in the film. Ron Jeremy, a famous 1970s adult film actor, made an appearance in the film.


Viewers noticed the actor’s presence, and of course, paused the film to get a better look at him. Jeremy can be seen in a crowd as the ghost outbreak occurs.

Peter Pan (1953)

There aren’t many things that surpass the joy of watching a classic Disney film. One of the things that outdo a Disney classic is a Disney scandal.

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In the 1953 “Peter Pan,” Peter does a little dance to show that his shadow has been sewed to his feet and is now stuck for the rest of his life. In addition to the dance, the viewer got a quick yet seemingly inappropriate outline of his lower region, so of course, this scene had to be put on this list.

American Pie (1999)

“American Pie” may be one of the most iconic teen comedies of our time. The films were free, wild, and exciting. The cast rose to fame thanks to the movies; actors like Jason Bigg, Alyson Hannigan, and Tara Reid became huge after the films’ release.


Though the films were full of controversy, there was one scene that was very memorable to viewers. Nadia, the international student, undresses in front of a webcam, under the impression that she was alone. Needless to say, the moment was paused and replayed by many fans.

Trading Places (1983)

As the daughter of Tony Curtis and Janet Leigh, Jamie Lee Curtis was destined for fame. She made a name for herself as the “Scream Queen,” after her tole in the horror film, “Halloween.” As she grew older, she managed to land herself roles in several movies, one of which was “Trading Places.”


In one scene, in particular, Jamie was standing in front of a mirror and was soon deemed “the body,” thanks to her perfect figure. This highly anticipated scene has been paused numerous times and will probably be paused for many years to come.

E.T (1982)

E.T’s freedom ride has captured the hearts of viewers since the film’s release in 1982. It’s also captured their pause button.

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As E.T lifts the two with his telekinetic powers, their silhouettes can be seen against the moon, creating one of the most beautiful, well-known, and most-paused shots in cinematic history. The shot has left its mark on millions of viewers since the movie’s release until today.

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)

Stanley Kubrick’s directing technique is quickly identifiable due to his constant, symmetrical framing and camera viewpoints. In one particular scene in “2001: A Space Odyssey,” the main character, Dave Bowman, is in center frame and surrounded by white lights.

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Kubrick created the feeling that the viewer is directly behind Bowman, making them feel like a part of a narrative and causing many to pause the film.

Alien (1979)

“Alien” was a pretty exciting film. After a baby Xenomorph is introduced into the plot, the audience gets a real taste of what’s about to await the crew. The scene also showcases the destructive abilities of these creatures.


So many elements at this moment caused viewers to pause, from the gory effects to the look of horror on the actors’ faces.

Speed (1994)

The 1994 film “Speed” more than lives up to its title. The film is so fast-paced if you don’t pay close enough attention, you may miss something. After a “duel” between Payne and Jack Traven, Payne is beheaded by an overhead light.

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If you rewind that moment and hit pause, you’ll notice that the actor (Dennis Hopper) has been replaced with a lifeless dummy.

V for Vendetta (2006)

In the graphic novel, there are a couple of panels in which Evey is nude. Though Natalie Portman didn’t go topless for the film adaptation, there was a wink to the original novel. It takes place when V sends Evey in to help assassinate an evil clergyman.

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After Evey tries to escape, there’s a brief glimpse of what she’s been wearing underneath. A moment that was paused too many times to count.

The Rescuers (1977)

At first glance, “The Rescuers” seems like an innocent family film. When the film was released, attentive audiences noticed something a little bit risqué about this G-rated flick. While hitching a ride on Orville, Bernard and Bianca fly past the image of a topless woman in the New York City background.


Unless you’re paying very close attention, you’ll miss it. And though we’re not sure who’s responsible for the mishap, we do know that Disney had to recall more than 3 million videos due to controversy.

Men In Black (1997)

You can’t go wrong when it comes to Will Smith. “Men in Black” follows Jay (Smith) in his journey joining the super-secret Men in Black organization. As he arrives, he initially receives a facility tour, which is exactly when our most paused moment happens. Jay takes a facility tour, eventually arriving at a holographic computer that displays several alien locations.


Audiences were forced to pause the screen to understand exactly what images were being displayed. If you’re quick enough to pause the scene, you’ll notice each image is a celebrity, or rather an alien disguised as a celebrity. This brilliant shot was both clever and a dig at quite a few of our favorite celebs, including Danny DeVito and Sylvester Stallone.

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

In this thriller, director Stanley Kubrick gives us a look into a world full of secrets, lies, and deception. One of the most pause-worthy moments in the history of cinema takes place in this unique film. When our protagonist, Bill Hartford, portrayed by Tom Cruise, arrives at a mysterious event of an obscure cult, we encounter an intimate ceremony.

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This unforgettable moment has had viewers pressing pause for the past 20 years and will have fans pressing pause for years to come.

Inception (2010)

One of the most captivating films of the century, “Inception,” caught the eyes of many viewers. A complicated and unique plot that follows that the powers and possibilities of lucid dreaming, Christopher Nolan’s “Inception” is the source of an incredible pause-worthy moment. This moment happens when Leonardo DiCaprio, playing Cobb, takes his student Ariadne into a common dream in Paris, France.

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That’s when Ariadne takes action and uses her imagination to create an impossible architecture wonder in what is already one of the most beautiful cities in the world. The moment, a beautiful one, is one of the most pause-worthy moments and one for our list!

Reservoir Dogs (1992)

“Reservoir Dogs,” which is now known as Quentin Tarantino’s first feature film, has become one of the most studied and respected crime films in cinema history. The film tells the story of a robbery and its consequences on all the characters involved. As Mr. Blonde (Michael Madsen) waits impatiently in the safe house, viewers witness what we consider a pause-worthy moment, not to mention a violent one.

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Mr. Blonde holds a police officer prisoner and, while injuring him, turns on the radio and starts dancing to its tunes. Without a doubt, a scene we urge you to pause and soak in!

The Matrix (1999)

Perhaps one of the biggest milestones in the action and science fiction genres was “The Matrix.” The 1999 film was revolutionary in both its plot and its groundbreaking visual effects. If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t yet seen “The Matrix,” let us summarize it for you (without any spoilers), the story takes place in a parallel reality, in which humanity is unknowingly living inside a simulated reality created by machines.

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Though you had to pay close attention to the whole film to understand exactly what was going on, there was one moment that was particularly pause-w0rthy. Neo, played by Keanu Reeves, is in the middle of an intense duel when he discovers his amazing ability. The slow-motion moment is a pause-worthy one for sure!

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

We’re all familiar with the “Star Wars” franchise by this point, right? During the final scene of this film, Rey returns Luke Skywalker’s old lightsaber to him. Since the film’s release, fans have frequently questioned the movie’s final frame, in which the rock Luke is standing next to seems to be a gravestone.


This has lead many fans to believe that the stone was man-made and that Rey is Luke’s daughter – is it possible that Luke’s wife and Rey’s mother are buried there? The theory has caused many to pause the frame in hopes of answering their open-ended questions!

Doctor Strange (2016)

Don’t get us wrong, “Doctor Strange” has many pause-worthy moments, but the scene towards the end of the film, when Doctor Strange dies several times, has definitely become a fan favorite. Doctor Strange uses the Eye of Agamotto to manipulate time and save the world.

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Doctor Strange enthusiasts believe that the Eye of Agamotto will have an important role in the future installments, which is why so many chose to pause on its effects. Honestly, we can’t blame them!

Star Wars – Return of the Jedi (1983)

Yet another “Star Wars” film on our list. A major part of the fun of watching this 1983 film is pausing scenes to see how its visual and special effects have held up over the years. You may be surprised to discover that they’ve held up pretty well. Of all the pause-worthy scenes, the most paused moment in the film happens when Luke Skywalker backs away from killing his father, and the Emperor strikes Vader with a bolt of lightning.


Vader attacks, and as he stumbles back, the remaining bolts of lightning flow over him and, for a split second, audiences could see his skeleton illuminated under his armor.

Nerve (2016)

It may be kind of hard to recall the pause-worthy moment in this 2016 film, but let us jog your memory. It has to do with cheerleading. Are you beginning to remember?


The scene in which Sydney moons the crowd is one of the most pause-worthy moments in recent years. It was one that made the on-screen crowd goes wild. So did the ones at home.

The Greasy Strangler (2016)

“The Greasy Strangler” was a film full of uncomfortable yet pause-worthy moments. That being said, there was one scene that stood out as a fan favorite, and if you’ve seen the movie, you probably know what we’re talking about.


The eye-popping strangulation scene is one for the books. Fans reached for the remote control because they just couldn’t believe what they had just seen.

The Brothers Grimsby (2016)

The scene in “The Brothers Grimsby” that had most viewers reaching for the remote control is the one in which naked Rebel Wilson streaks across a football field. Don’t get too excited, though; there’s a catch.

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It wasn’t really Wilson running across that field. Sacha Baron Cohen, who starred in and wrote the film, tried to convince Wilson to do the streaking scene, but the actress refused. So they settled for a blonde body double, a dancer from South Africa.

Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

Leave it to Reddit users to spot an easter egg in “Captain America: The Winter Soldier.” Fans all around the world pressed paused and shared notes. In one of the film’s first scenes, Captain America is making a list of things to do now that he’s awake.


Interestingly enough, the list changes depending on which country you’re watching the movie in. There are slightly different perspectives around the world. Cool, huh?

Frozen (2013)

Disney loves adding easter eggs that appeal to the parents watching with their children; the infamous “Frozen” was no exception. In the scene with Anna and Hans, there’s a moment when they’re discussing sandwiches…


Well, the scene is a play by play of a scene in the critically acclaimed (adult) television show “Arrested Development.”

Tarzan (1999)

Moments before the turn of the millennium, “Tarzan” was released in theaters, and Phil Collins’s soundtrack mended our hearts. It comes as no surprise that Disney movie is home to yet another easter egg.


Bear with us for a moment. It’s no coincidence that the teapot and cup in “Tarzan” look remarkably familiar. Yep! You got it right; it’s Mrs. Potts and her son Chip from…”Beauty and the Beast.”

The Crying Game (1992)

“The Crying Game” was a huge success, both commercially and critically. The thriller set in Northern Ireland was full of excellent performances, but there was one that stood out.

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Nightclub singer Dil, played by Jaye Davidson, is responsible for the scene in which jaws drop and pause buttons were pressed. In a key scene, Dil reveals she’s transgender, and viewers worldwide responded with a collective double-take.

Passengers (2016)

Sharp Stanley Kubrick fans know that the director of “Passengers” dropped some Kubrick-Esque easter eggs. The easter eggs referred to none other than “The Shining.” Morten Tyldum is a big Kubrick fan and wanted to honor the late director through its set design.

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For starters, the robot-bartender bears a remarkable resemblance to the bartender from “The Shining.” Then, the ship’s carpet is comparable to the carpet in the Overlook Hotel.

Black Panther (2018)

The Academy Award-winning film that took audiences by a storm was bound to have at least one pause-worthy moment. The scene in which T’Challa has to battle Killmonger to keep control of Wakanda is intense, to say the least. One worth pausing for.

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What makes the scene even more incredible is the moment when Killmonger wins and throws T’Challa over the waterfall, overtaking the Wakanda throne. No one, and we mean no one, saw that coming.

The Favourite (2018)

“The Favourite” tells the story of Queen Anne and her two most loyal supporters, Lady Sarah and her cousin Abigail. Interestingly enough, the film has made our list with one scene in particular. The scene that caused viewers to pause involved Queen Anne explaining to Sarah why she favors Abigail so much.


Olivia Colman, who plays Queen Anne, delivers her reasoning in such a deadpan manner that gives the scene all the more reason to pause and soak in what just happened.

Free Solo (2018)

Who said a documentary couldn’t have pause-worthy scenes? “Free Solo” includes many adrenaline-pumping scenes, ones that are worth pausing and taking in. When free solo climber Alex Honnold commences climbing Yosemite National Park’s El Capitan, making him the first person to do so in a free solo manner.

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The infamous scene, in which he climbs to the top, is one that’s worth pausing, taking in, and fully appreciating.

Hereditary (2018)

Hereditary is one of the most intense films that has been released in recent years. For the majority of the film, viewers are left unsure of the film’s destiny. One moment stuck out among the rest. When Peter’s sister, Charlie, unknowingly ingests nuts (which she is severely allergic to), he immediately rushes her to the hospital.

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Though it may seem like you’re average thriller scene, this scene, in particular, is so stunning, many audiences felt that they had to pause before they could go on.