10 Iconic Sci-Fi Movie Moments That Were Totally Improvised

When it comes to creating sci-fi movie magic, who says you need a script?

Will Smith Independence Day
20th Century Fox

Science Fiction. What is cinema without the crowning jewel of wild, spectacular wild rides that are sci-fi films? Over the past forty years, we have borne witness to countless sci-fi gems. We’ve laughed with the Men in Black, cried with The Iron Giant, and done everything but with Battlefield Earth.

Looking back, sci-fi has given us some of the most memorable moments in all of cinema history. From “No, I am your father” to “KHAAAAN,” science fiction has consistently remained a crucial part of the zeitgeist since its inception.

Would you believe, then, that some of those lines that have been quoted more times than Borat were completely improvised?

Every so often when the stars align and, let’s be honest, Bill Murray is working on set, the conditions are just right for an actor to strike gold right on-the-spot. These moments can make such an impression on the audience, that we never would’ve guessed that they weren’t in the script in the first place.

This list is dedicated to those miraculous made-up movie moments, which were so perfect, the director couldn’t help but leave them in. The result: sci-fi magic.

10. "Just Give Me My F*cking Phone Call" - Robocop

Will Smith Independence Day
MGM/United Artists

“Part man, part machine, all cop.”

Who else could boast this ingenious combination but Peter Weller in 1987’s Robocop? Don’t you dare say Joel Kinnaman. This sci-fi action rollercoaster is a powerhouse of the genre and, as such, has a slew of unforgettable scenes.

One such scene comes when crime lord Boddicker is captured and brought to the police station. Boddicker is escorted by Robocop into the station; he is marched up to the front desk where he spits out blood and exclaims that the police should “just give [him] [his] f*cking phone call.”

Not only does this perfectly encapsulate the antagonistic character of Boddicker, but it is one of the more memorable lines of the movie.

“Oh wow, what an awesome moment, surely no-one could’ve improvised that.” Wrong – it’s on this list so you bet this line was improvised. Actor Kurtwood Smith allegedly thought it would be a funny prank to catch his castmates off-guard with a glob of bloody spit.

The memorable line he says afterwards just came from him getting caught up in the moment. Who would have guessed?


Dan is a writer and actor originally from South Australia who now lives in a constant state of anxiety... and Los Angeles. Whether writing about movies, watching movies, or binging the Great British Bake-off, Dan approaches any endeavour with a steely resolve which is rivalled only by his ability to lie about his strengths. For professional inquiries, call Melissa Cropley - Dan's mum; she wishes he would call more often and you'd really be doing him a favour.