Who needs writers when you have Joe Pesci pulling some magnificent feat of stream-of-consciousness? A script can spend years, even decades in development hell, being passed around from one writer to the next, each doing their best to punch it up and add just the right quip or observation to make it resonate with the intended audience. And after passing through all those hands, draining all that money, waiting all that time, Philip Seymour Hoffman decides to scream something about a “pig fuck,” and that’s the thing that takes the film to the next level. Sometimes the actor just happens to be great at improv, and other times it takes a bit of coaxing from a particularly brilliant (or particularly sadistic) director to make the magic happen. Lots of times, though, it’s a team effort: maybe Stanley Kubrick tees it up with a full week of psychologically torturing Shelley Duvall, and Jack Nicholson knocks it out of the park with an improvised quotation of a late night show. Here’s that story, and a few other instances of actors ad-libbing some of the most memorable lines in cinema history:

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Spider-Man: No Way Home

Andrew Garfield ad-libbed a key line in Spider-Man: No Way Home. There's a line I improvised in the movie, looking at  and I tell them I love them. That was just me loving them, he said. CRACKED.COM

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