40+ Famous Movies And The Scenes Fans Frequently PauseBy Phillipa G
In this streaming era of film and television, it is becoming much easier to pause and examine scenes in your favorite movie (or pause it for a bathroom or snack break without missing anything). While it is not something the average viewer would think about, we have compiled a list of the most paused scenes in some of the most popular movies of all time. Some of them are because viewers were confused and needed a closer look at quick at unexpected frames in scenes, and others are likely from viewers examining key scenes to theorize about where the plot is going. Have a read below and see if you’re one of the many who has paused these films at these spots, or if you too have missed little features of these films (no judgment here!)
Suicide Squad (2016)
It is no surprise that the most paused scene in this film is the first appearance of Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn. It’s certainly not the wildest scene in this movie, but any Margot Robbie scene is bound to have a high number of pauses — just look at her!
In this scene, Harley Quinn comes in full of energy and the camera zooms out giving a full view of the character. Viewers have enough time to pause and take in the full Harley Quinn outfit and the chaos around her. Either that, or viewers turn the movie off as the ratings weren’t so great.
Titanic is still one of the highest-grossing movies of all time. One moment in particular is loved most by viewers as it has been paused the most amount of times. This scene is the “paint me like one of your French girls,” where Jack sketches Rose wearing the heart of the ocean necklace.
The subtly steamy scene draws the viewers in, but also plays an important role in the ending of the movie. The sketch not only leads the divers to search for the infamous necklace, but it is proof that it was on the Titanic at all and helps the researchers track down Rose.
Teen Wolf (1985)
Although it is a hugely popular movie, Teen Wolf has a very childish scene as the most paused moment. At the end of the film, a man is seen with his pants down, and this is where most viewers have paused the film!
The rest of the film did incredibly well at the box office and stars Michael J. Fox, the 1980s heartthrob. Despite being criticized for being predictable, the movie is an easy and feel-good watch that almost anyone can enjoy and appreciate.
The Lion King (1994)
The beloved children’s film has been watched millions of times the world over. The family favorite has a rather crude most-paused scene, though. A three-letter word is easy to miss in the dust dispersed into the air after Simba plops down.
Definitely one for the parents who sit through these films with their children, we won’t blame anyone who missed it as it is very hard to find when you aren’t looking for it. Regardless, this is a great movie for all to enjoy.
The Little Mermaid (1989)
Similar to The Lion King, The Little Mermaid had a rather risqué scene that was most paused by viewers. The scene in question is when Ariel grows her human legs. Some viewers say that they saw much more than they anticipated in a kids movie so they paused it.
Although it is still a 2D animated film for children, so really not much is seen in this part of the movie, and the storyline would be completely different without it. We’ll let you make up your own mind about this one if you want to go and watch it.
Basic Instinct (1992)
Basic Instinct is one of the most famous and profitable neo-noir films. It raked in $352 million at the box office and was one of the highest-grossing films in 1992. Basic Instinct has a very provocative most paused scene. The main character is played by Sharon Stone.
In the scene, Stone’s character goes to cross her legs in a full body shot. The angle of the cameras gives the viewers a lot more than they bargained for — leading to this moment being paused by many viewers.
This is a severely under-rated film, but the one that began the career of director David Cronenberg. Scanners is a sci-fi horror film that depicts psychics and those with telepathic powers who inflict all sorts of issues onto other people, and they have very robotic-sounding names.
As it is a horror film, Scanners has a very gory scene that is most paused by viewers. We won’t go on and spoil it for you here, but we will say that it is well worth the watch, although discretion is advised.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)
The beauty of Reddit has helped viewers spot a vital Easter Egg in this installment of the Captain America series. Many viewers are interested in the list of history and popular culture that Steve needs to catch up on after waking up. The scene moves too quickly to read all of the writing.
When it is paused, you can read the list of things that Captain America needs to catch up on. Oddly enough, some eagle-eyed viewers pointed out that the lists change depending on the region the viewers are watching in. They really pay attention to all the details in these movies.
This beloved animated film won over kids and adults alike, and has the unforgettable soundtrack that can only be found in Disney films. However, the most paused scene is a blatant copy of another film from the animated Disney archives.
Do you recognize these cups and saucers and the teapot? They’re Mrs. Potts and Chip from Beauty and the Beast! It isn’t explained in the film that they are supposed to be the same characters, but these iconic tableware items cannot be mistaken for anything else.
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
The dark film that has been adapted time and time again, but the darkest scene is without a doubt the most-paused scene. We all know the famous yellow brick road that Dorothy strolls down, and makes new friends along the way.
The scene that is most paused depicts a figure hanging in the trees in the background of the shot. The official explanation is that it is a bird on a branch, but other eagle-eyed viewers think that it is a munchkin that is hanging from a branch.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)
Star Wars: The Force Awakens was a blockbuster hit, selling 111 million movie tickets the year it was released. The film follows the main characters from the previous Star Wars installment, Return of the Jedi, on their search for missing Luke Skywalker. Viewers have paused this scene the most.
This scene is at the very end of the movie, after Luke is found. This cliffhanger was supposed to entice fans to watch the next film in the Star Wars franchise. They were certainly intrigued, with the post pauses occurring here, as fan try to determine if that figure is a gravestone — a popular fan theory.
Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999)
This installment of the Star Wars series has a very unique most paused scene. Most viewers would miss this reference as it is a nod to a completely different film. Although it’s unrelated in terms of plot and characters, it is still space-themed…
In one scene, a number of aliens from the film E.T. can be seen in the corner. This isn’t the first time George Lucas and Steven Spielberg shared a reference. E.T. had a child dressed as Yoda in the background.
Fight Club (1999)
Fight Club is an iconic movie. If you haven’t seen it, be prepared for a big plot twist! We won’t spoil it, but there’s one character everyone loves talking about. Brad Pitt’s Tyler Durden is epic, but fans get a glimpse of him even before he’s introduced.
There are a few scenes where Brad Pitt flashes in for only a few frames, like the hospital scene. The confusion is cleared up later in the film when we are properly introduced and get a load of eye candy while we’re at it.
Star Wars: A New Hope (1977)
Another one of the Star Wars movies makes this list. Given the notoriety of this series of films, it is no surprise that many fans and viewers pay very close attention to all of the scenes and pause them to analyze.
This time, it is a more hilarious scene that viewers pause and watch back over and over again. A Storm Trooper enters a room and hits its head on the door frame. Somehow, the editors missed it (or kept it in for comedic effect) so the scene made the final cut.
Jurassic Park (1993)
This is one of the most famous movies on this list, and has the three most paused moments. Each of these moments are related as they are separate homages to the blockbuster film The Goonies. These were mostly noticed by Discord users and posted online.
There are three costumes that are direct references to the film. However, these very subtle references are not at all surprising given that Steven Spielberg, the director of Jurassic Park, also wrote the script for The Goonies. What would we do without fans that can identify these for us?
Jurassic World (2015)
In the long-awaited follow-up to Jurassic Park, where the scientists have developed a new, genetically modified dinosaur, there are a number of memorable scenes. With dinosaurs running everywhere, it is no shock that many viewers pause this film regularly to look for Easter Eggs in the chaos.
One of the most paused moments shows an unnamed character played by Jimmy Buffett running away from one of the dinosaurs with a margarita in each hand. Obviously, nothing can get in between this guy and making the most of his all-inclusive visit!
Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (1988)
Being one of the sexiest animated characters of all time, Jessica Rabbit naturally draws attention to any scene she is in. In this hybrid animated and live-action whodunnit, Jessica is by far the most eye-catching character, especially compared to the live-action character.
The most paused moment in this film is a scene when Miss Rabbit is showing a lot more of her animated body than most viewers were expecting, leading them to pause the movie and get a closer look. It’s important to remember that it is just an animated character though, so no actual skin is revealed.
This incredible Hitchcock psychological thriller was an iconic movie that brought about a turning point in the horror genre. Starring Anthony Perkins as Norman Bates, this film brought horror into the mainstream and redefined the making and production of thriller movies.
The most paused scene is at the end of the film after Norman is captured by police and his dual personality is revealed. There is a brief moment where a skull is overlapped with Bates’ face while he is staring directly into the camera.
Deadpool 2 (2018)
In the sequel to the wildly successful Deadpool, starring mega-famous Ryan Reynolds, Deadpool 2 also features another major star that most viewers missed. When Deadpool (the character) brings a number of superheroes into his team, there is one very skilled person in this team, namely the Vanisher.
What most viewers and fans missed is that the Vanisher is actually Brad Pitt. The most paused moment is when the Vanisher, who is invisible for most of the film, meets an untimely end. Specifically when he is electrocuted and revealed to be Brad Pitt.
The Crying Game (1992)
This ’90s thriller with a major twist at the end was a major box office success. In one of the major scenes of the film, Dil, the nightclub singer played by Jaye Davidson, announces that she is a transgender woman.
In this famous scene, the audience were left with their jaws on the floor as they hadn’t expected this twist at all. Apparently, many viewers have been quite shocked as well, considering so many have paused this scene while watching this film.
The iconic sea-based thriller that has put many viewers off ever swimming in the ocean has a very notable most paused scene. The opening scene with an ominous low angle and below sea shot of a swimmer (Chrissie) above is actually where most people pause this movie.
This is, of course, just before the shark attacks Chrissie and the thrill of this horror movie begins. The director, Steven Spielberg, used incredibly advanced techniques for the time to scare the viewers and really create the sense of fear around the sharks.
This film was so popular in its day that a sequel, Tron: Legacy, was made in 2010. Although the wait for a second film was so long, the essence of Tron is so specific to its time that even the most paused scene features an iconic ’80s game.
In this scene, the main character, Ed Dillinger (played by David Warner), is seen playing Pac-Man. The video game is so distinctive that it is unmissable in this frame, and absolutely screams 1980s. Although the video quality of that era is not where it is today, the film is still an amazing watch.
She’s the Man (2006)
In this famous coming-of-age film that is loosely based on Shakespeare’s The Twelfth Night, the main character — portrayed by a young Amanda Bynes — pretends to be a boy in order to play soccer. Her school had scrapped the girls’ team, so she had to pretend to be her brother at a new school to get on the team.
She goes on to be one of the team’s best players, without any of them realizing her true gender until she reveals it herself. The way she does this is by lifting her shirt and flashing her chest to the boys. It’s not surprising that this is where many viewers paused the scene.
Boogie Nights (1997)
In this film directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, heartthrob Mark Wahlberg stars as an aspiring adult film actor. Wahlberg plays Dirk Diggler, and it’s unsurprising that a number of scenes caught viewers’ attention due to the nature of the scenes.
However, there is one shirtless scene in particular that viewers paused the most. This is where Diggler is auditioning for an adult role and takes his shirt off for the cast and crew, and they all get a view of what is underneath.
This suspense sci-fi film has many scenes that caused viewers to pause and take a closer look due to the number of subtle nods to The Shining. Director of Passengers, Morten Tyldem, is a huge fan of Stanley Kubrick, who directed The Shining.
In particular, the bartender caused the most amount of pauses, given that he is a spitting image of the bartender in The Shining — right down to the costume and design of the set. Fans of both films will instantly recognize the homage.
The Matrix (1999)
The most paused scene in this iconic film is actually an unavoidable camera error, but that doesn’t mean that it takes away from the effect of the scene. It is still a very powerful and important scene to the plot of the film.
The scene shows the character Neo reaching for a doorknob after being told by Morpheus that “I can only show you to the door.” However, the doorknob is mirrored, so when you pause the frame you can see the camera in the reflection.
Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)
The latest iteration of the timeless superhero Spider-Man is played by Tom Holland. And fans love the edgy update to MJ, now Michelle Jones, played by Zendaya. In fact, they even added some interesting props that reference the film’s storyline.
In this scene, MJ is seen reading the 1915 novel Of Human Bondage, written by author W. Somerset Maugham. Despite the interesting title, the novel features a boy who is orphaned and has to go and live with his aunt and uncle — a very clever reference to the plot of this film.
Bohemian Rhapsody (2018)
This Academy Award-winning biography film that tracked the life of Queen frontman Freddie Mercury was an absolute hit at the cinema. There is one scene that most viewers didn’t pick up the reference to, but some mega-fans of Queen did.
Adam Lambert, who is of course the new Queen frontman, plays a trucker who makes homophobic remarks towards Freddie and questions his sexuality. Thanks to the beauty of hair and makeup, Lambert looked incredibly disheveled and was unable to be recognized by anyone who wasn’t a huge fan of Queen.
Cabin in the Woods (2012)
This very famous film is a hybrid horror-comedy and has quite the cult following. Its most paused scene, however, is not surprising at all. The scientists have made a list on a whiteboard and the camera moves too quickly for viewers to read the names.
The list contains names of a number of creatures that the scientists have under their control. The scene shows the scientists determining what could happen to the other main characters in the film depending on what each creature can do.
Toy Story 3 (2010)
Toy Story 3 is the penultimate installment in the iconic Toy Story series — not counting shorts and spin-offs. It also features a guest appearance from the villain in the first two films, but it is so subtle that most viewers would have missed it.
Viewers of the first two films will remember Sid, the villain who captures Woody and Buzz Lightyear to dismember them. He makes a return in Toy Story 3 as a garbage man, but he is very grown up and unrecognizable to the average viewer.
Total Recall (1990)
This science fiction/action film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger and has some bizarre and dark imagery, but provides endless entertainment. However, it is clear that there are a number of scenes that would cause viewers to pause and take a closer look.
For example, in the picture scene this woman has three of a certain body part rather than the normal two. Unsurprisingly, many viewers paused the movie here to do a double-take and see the exceptional special effects and makeup for themselves.
The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)
The standard finance bro’s favorite film starring Leonardo DiCaprio is full of debauchery and fraudulent trades. The party scenes are second to none and some of the more outrageous scenes would cause viewers to pause the film to take it all in.
However, the most paused scene in this film is the one that catapulted Margot Robbie to international fame. Playing the new wife of DiCaprio’s character, she teases him relentlessly after they have had an argument. If you’ve seen the film, you know exactly what part we are talking about.
This adorable animated film is set in an alternate universe where the animals are like the people in our society. The plot of the film is buddy-cop style, just with animals instead of people. The main character Judy Hopps (a bunny rabbit) becomes a police officer and begins investigating a rabid animal case.
The most paused moment of this film is when Judy is scrolling on what looks like an iPod shuffle to pick some music. The animators have hilariously changed the names of famous pop songs and artists into animal puns — which is just so cute!
The Rescuers (1977)
One would be forgiven for thinking that this film would be totally innocent, given that it is an animated Disney film targeted toward children. However, there is one scene in this comedy-drama film that raised a few eyebrows for its risqué nature.
We have no idea how this was able to stay in the final cut, but there is one scene where the mouse is in a bedroom and there are people getting changed. Somehow, a lot more than expected is shown in the frame, even if the characters are animated.
Beauty and the Beast (1991)
This half empowering, half Stockholm syndrome emphasizing animated film has quite a symbolic most paused scene. We all know that Gaston is fighting with the Beast when he trips and falls to his death. However, there is a glimpse of skulls in his eyes as he falls.
Most viewers wouldn’t have caught this, as it only flashes across the scene for a second. Some say that the skulls symbolize the evil within him, and others say that they represent his impending fate. We’ll leave that up to you to decide if you can catch the moment next time you watch the film.
Back to the Future (1985)
Everyone’s favorite classic film, also starring Michael J. Fox, has very clever small changes between scenes that many viewers miss. We all know the dramatic change in his family’s behavior, but the changes in the timeline appear earlier than that…
In the example above, McFly drives into a tree and knocks it down at the site where the Twin Pines Mall is in the present day. When he comes back to the present after knocking down the tree, the set has changed to Lone Pine Mall, reflecting that only one tree remained.
Three Men and a Baby (1987)
This hilarious comedy film follows three young men who are left to look after a baby who was left by one of their girlfriends. Many people don’t know, though, that this movie was directed by Leonard Nimoy, who played Spock in the original Star Trek series.
One strange choice of the director was to keep a cardboard cutout in the curtains in the background of the above shot. This choice has led many people watching this film to pause and do a double-take at the figure in the curtains.
Iron Man (2008)
Iron Man is one of the most famous Marvel heroes, and the first film launched a decade-long franchise. Marvel films are famous for the Easter Eggs and linked storylines/universes between the different films, and this movie was no exception to this.
In this scene, where Tony Stark (played by Robert Downey Jr) is getting dressed in his superhero suit, fans can see Captain America’s shield in the background. This was a hint that the next Captain America film was in production, and teased the fans who were waiting for it.
Although this film’s target audience was kids, it was a global hit and had people of all ages singing “Let it Go” for years to come. In typical Disney style, there were several small references in there to keep the parents engaged during this movie.
Disney copied a line from the show Arrested Development. This was during a conversation between Hans and Anna about sandwiches. They both say the same line, and in the same way that the characters in Arrested Development do. This line is also featured in The Simpsons!
Pulp Fiction (1994)
This Tarantino classic co-starring Bruce Willis instantly became a pop culture phenomenon when it was released, and remains a classic today. Tarantino is known for provocative films that push the boundaries of the mainstream, and this movie is no exception.
In this scene, which you can miss if you blink at the wrong time, Willis steps out of the shower while in hiding and on the run. Many viewers have paused the quick second where he gets out of the shower with nothing covering him.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
This installment of the Indiana Jones franchise is one of the most unforgettable. The major villain Dr. Rene Belloq is played by Raul Freeman. Freeman delivered some incredible lines in this film, and displayed great acting ability. The man is a true professional…
This is seen especially in a scene in the desert where flies can be seen crawling into Freeman’s mouth as he is delivering his lines. Many viewers have had to pause the film here to see if it is really happening, as the actor doesn’t even flinch.
Man of Steel (2013)
Another superhero movie graces this list, this time starring Henry Cavill as Superman. While this casting choice generated some mixed feelings among fans, this cinematic universe was still a hit at the box office. Similar to Marvel, there are crossovers in the DC universe.
In this film, there is a scene where Cavill is fighting in outer space, and a Wayne Enterprises logo on a satellite. For those who don’t know, this is a reference to Bruce Wayne’s business, aka Batman. Batman is another hero in the DC universe.
The Exorcist (1973)
Horror films have many scenes that cause viewers to pause, due to their scary nature and psychological twists. The Exorcist is especially chilling, with a number of jump scares and disturbing images. If you can pause quick enough, you can see the demons that pop up in the frightening parts.
In one scene, viewers can pause the movie and see the demon that possesses and haunts the main character, Regan. This demon is called Pazuzu and is not something you want to see in your nightmares. As always, viewer discretion is advised when watching films like this one.
Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (2004)
You will be struggling to find someone who hasn’t seen this iconic comedy or at least heard of it. While the whole movie is funny, with plenty of obvious jokes, there are so many other subtle jokes that viewers need to pause to properly see and understand.
See this restaurant sign that depicts a Spanish name. So many viewers would miss this without pausing, and if you can’t read or understand Spanish then you won’t understand this joke. The phrase translates to “we spit in your food,” giving an extra laugh to any Spanish-speaking viewers.
Before I Go to Sleep (2014)
This psychological thriller starring Nicole Kidman is a slow-burn horror film that leaves viewers on the edge of their seats. Similar to other major films in this list, the most paused scene is when the leading lady is in the frame…and naked.
The “fan-favorite” scene is when Kidman’s character discovers the secrets that her husband is keeping from her. Although she is actually partly clothed, hopeful viewers have been pausing to try to get as much of a view as possible. It could also be to see more of the pictures on the wall, but we’ll let you decide.
Burn After Reading (2008)
Brad Pitt stars in this dark humor film that follows career criminals. It was a great success, bringing in $168 million at the box office — probably due to the star-studded cast featuring big names such as Brad Pitt and George Clooney.
The most paused scene is where Brad Pitt’s character is hiding in a wardrobe from George Clooney’s character. When he is found, he shoots the hunter without thinking twice, and then starts laughing maniacally. This film has many fast-moving scenes, so viewers have frequently paused this film here to figure out if Clooney’s character has actually died.
Wild Things (1998)
This film was wildly popular, probably because of the risqué scenes that hadn’t become part of the mainstream yet. The dark film grossed $67.2 million at the box office, so it’s no secret that lots of people have watched it.
The most paused scene is where the two main female characters, played by Neve Campbell and Denise Richards, share a steamy kiss in a swimming pool. It clearly caught many viewers’ attention, as it has been paused over, and over, and over again…
Finding Dory (2016)
Over ten years after Finding Nemo stole our hearts, the sequel Finding Dory was finally released. Featuring many of the same characters, Finding Dory is a funny and heartwarming film that perfectly follows on from the storyline in Finding Nemo.
However, one character that makes a very brief return is the first film’s antagonist, Darla. In this sequel, Darla can briefly be seen in the window behind Dory while the fish is quarantined. You need to be quick, though, because it is a brief cameo.
The famous extraterrestrial film set in rural Pennsylvania and set around a retired Reverend (played by star Mel Gibson) has a major twist at the end of the film and reveals the alien invasion after many weird occurrences that couldn’t be explained.
Although most viewers won’t have seen any of the aliens until the invasion is shown, eagle-eyed viewers, or those who notice enough to pause it, will have noticed that the aliens make very brief appearances earlier on in the film.