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Kiss scenes that were never supposed to happen

Just like in real life, in movies and TV shows, not everything we see was written in the script. Lines — and sometimes entire scenes — are improvised. Some of the funniest, scariest, and most powerful moments on the big and small screens were never supposed to happen, but once they did, they were just too good to take out. 

Kissing scenes aren't excluded from these unexpected moments. Actors surprise co-stars with kisses because they forget a line, because one actor just thinks it feels right, and sometimes because a co-star just can't stop themselves. In at least one case, the reveal that an actor was surprised with an onscreen kiss sparked enough audience outrage that if you run a search on "unexpected kiss" you'll find almost nothing but that story. 

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. From the tender to the hilarious and the controversial, here's a look at some onscreen kisses that were never supposed to happen. 

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Found in translation

One of the most-discussed parts of Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation is the tender moment at the end between Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson) and Bob (Bill Murray). Murray famously whispered something in Johansson's ear that he's committed to never revealing (which hasn't stopped fans from developing their own theories). The whisper wasn't the only thing Murray contributed to the scene — according to Coppola, their kiss was never planned either. 

When asked about it, Coppola told The Daily Beast"I remember sometimes [Murray] would spring things on [Johansson], and it was fun to get her reaction."

In 2003, Coppola told indieWIRE Murray was "great at improvising," and that the skill served Lost in Translation well; the sushi bar scene in which Bob and Charlotte first meet is a perfect example. Coppola wrote simply "He tries to make her laugh" in the script, but everything that came out of Murray's mouth was all his. 

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A kiss that inspired anger

Disappointing lovestruck nerd Dustin (Gaten Matarazzo), Lucas (Caleb McLaughlin) and Max (Sadie Sink) share a first kiss in the season 2 finale of Netflix's Stranger Things. In spite of his heartbreak, Dustin's response to the smooch was mild compared to the outrage that erupted on social media when the behind-the-scenes story of the kiss was revealed. 

In an episode of the aftershow series Beyond Stranger ThingsSink said the kiss wasn't in the script and that showrunners Matt and Ross Duffer sprang it on her the day of filming. Before adding it, Ross Duffer apparently joked with Sink about having her kiss McLaughlin, and the idea stressed Sink out so much that he decided to do it for real. Duffer joked that it was actually Sink's fault, implying if she wasn't "so freaked out" by the idea, it wouldn't have been added. 

It soon became clear a lot of fans were not okay with this, and the fact that the story came out at the height of the response to a long list of Hollywood men accused of sexual misconduct doubtless didn't make matters easier for the Duffers. In the wake of the outrage, Sink told TheWrap, "I mean, of course I was nervous… But I never objected to [it] or felt pushed into anything."

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No one's ever really gone

Whether they love it or hate it, Star Wars fans are passionate about The Last Jedi. Unfortunately, a lot of that passion turned ugly after the movie's release. But whatever your feelings about the movie, if you didn't at least almost tear up when Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamill) told Leia (Carrie Fisher) "No one's ever really gone" before kissing her tenderly on her forehead, then your soul and heart are as frozen as the most sunless corner of Hoth. Fisher tragically died one year before the film's release — a fact that couldn't help but lend heartbreaking power to the scene. 

In spite of how fitting and powerful the moment is, the kiss Luke gives his sister wasn't part of the script. Hamill told Entertainment Tonight he spontaneously decided "in the take" to do it, saying "it just happened" — and that the crew wasn't ready for it, but "they said, 'do that again.'"

Hamill went on to say it was "really momentous" for him, "because Luke was saying goodbye to his sister forever," and as it turns out Hamill lost his friend Fisher before the scene was shown in theaters. Hamill said that because of the loss, he still can't watch the scene. "She'll be forever missed," Hamill said, "and she's irreplaceable."

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Taking to the part, chemically

David O. Russell didn't cast Jennifer Lawrence in his 2013 black comedy American Hustle until "very late in the process." The director told Vanity Fair that even though she was old for the role, Lawrence enjoyed a "timeless quality," and that "she took to the part, chemically." Considering an improvised kiss scene between Lawrence and Amy Adams, it would be interesting to learn exactly which chemicals Russell was talking about.

Lawrence played Rosalyn Rosenfeld, wife to conman Irving Rosenfeld (Christian Bale). At a pivotal moment in the film, Rosalyn argues with Irving's mistress Sydney (Amy Adams) in a bathroom, and in the middle of the confrontation Rosalyn aggressively kisses Sydney and — once she breaks off the kiss — bursts into cruel laughter.

Russell said the kiss was improvised, recalling that the idea was pitched to him, but he "didn't know how it would happen." In a 2013 press conference about the movie, Adams said even though the kiss was her idea, the credit for the moment goes to Lawrence. dams went on to say the kiss "didn't just feel like a moment where two girls are going to kiss onscreen — it felt emotional," and called Lawrence's laugh that followed the kiss "genius."

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It just felt right

In 2014's Edge of Tomorrow, United Defense Force Major William Cage (Tom Cruise) is arrested by a superior officer for insubordination during an alien invasion and — after his records are deliberately altered to make it look like he's a private — is forced into action, where he quickly dies in battle only to discover he's trapped in a time loop where he repeatedly relives the day leading up to his death. His only ally is Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt), a highly regarded sergeant who's also the only person he's able to convince of his time-looping dilemma.  

Speaking to Film School Rejects, screenwriter Christopher McQuarrie said the filmmakers struggled to find a place in the film for Cage and Rita to kiss, but nothing they tried seemed genuine. "[I]t always felt false," McQuarrie said. "It always felt like they weren't focused on what was really important." 

McQuarrie and his colleagues gave up on the kiss completely, but apparently Blunt hadn't. McQuarrie said as they shot a scene in which Rita says goodbye to Cage, "[Blunt] just kissed him goodbye in the moment. And it was not in the script. It was not even discussed." According to McQuarrie after the scene was filmed, Blunt said, "It just felt right. It felt right and I did it."

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Woody's crush

Upon the home release of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2, Woody Harrelson told Entertainment Tonight his kiss with Elizabeth Banks in the film had nothing to do with the script. "She didn't know I was even going to do it," Harrelson said, "I just kissed her." While he never explicitly said this was the reason for it, he also made a point to tell ET that kissing Banks wasn't exactly his least favorite thing in the world. 

"I have a crush on Elizabeth Banks. I'm not going to lie," Harrelson said. "I think she's a beautiful woman, I think she's a marvelous actress, and I just love her as a person." Harrelson joked later, "hopefully, you know, once we do the sequel to this that no one's expecting — including the author — you know, something will pick up with these two."

When Harrelson spoke to the Associated Press, he talked again about his attraction to Banks: "I, personally, always wanted to kiss her. I don't know if that was the right thing to do." Though Harrelson denied knowing anything about it, the AP reporter said she'd heard Banks intentionally flubbed takes during the scene so she could keep locking lips with Harrelson.

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Krakens, snakes, and stunt doubles

Because of the realities of making a big-budget television show, in at least one case when two actors improvised a kiss, it turned into an uncomfortable kiss of three. 

Before the airing of the Game of Thrones season 7 episode "Stormborn," fans speculated wildly about the glimpse of a kiss between Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan) and Ellaria Sand (Indira Varma) they saw in trailers. Whelan and Sand told Entertainment Weekly the kiss was improvised. "It just seemed like something we should do," Whelan said. "It was meant to be a suggestion [of flirting] and then it became more sexual than we expected because it seemed right."

The unplanned kiss took place on a ship just before an attack by Euron Greyjoy, and their smooching was interrupted by the assault. Whelan's back was injured and she couldn't perform all of her stunts, so Whelan's stunt double also had to kiss Varma. 

"I had to start kissing this poor stunt double and she was so terrified," Varma told EW. "I don't think she'd ever been put in that situation before. She's used to falling over and being attacked and all the stunts, but to be kissed by an actress was a bit beyond her."

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Pratt finds a way

In the script for 2015's Jurassic World, Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) didn't kiss. Howard told Out Magazine the kiss — set amidst park visitors screaming and running in panic — was "spontaneous," and wasn't shot until the final day of filming. "We had shot the scene in the way that it was written — there was no kiss," Howard said. "And then on the last day, that happened — what you see in the movie."

According to a behind-the-scenes discussion between Pratt and director Colin Trevorrow on the Jurassic World Blu-ray, the kiss was only half spontaneous. The director took Pratt aside and talked to him about kissing Howard, but never told Howard. "The idea was we're just going to have Chris Pratt surprise [Howard] in front of 200 people," Trevorrow said. "And that's the take that's in the movie."

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We're all still here

As any fan of the American version of The Office knows, if you want Michael Scott (Steve Carell) to blow something out of proportion, just ask him to be discreet about it. Such was the case in the classic Office season 3 premiere episode "Gay Witch Hunt." After Michael learns his employee Oscar Martinez (Oscar Nuñez) is gay and hasn't appreciated some of Michael's humor, Scott characteristically makes things worse while trying to prove to everyone how tolerant he really is. The episode ends with arguably the most awkward kiss in the history of television, when Scott kisses Oscar on the lips. In spite of how perfect it was and how difficult it is to imagine the episode without it, it wasn't in the script. 

"We were just supposed to hug," Nuñez said, "and he kept hugging me. And that particular take he came in really close, and I'm like, "Where is he going with this?" Oh, dear, yes, here we go." Nuñez told IGN he was worried someone in the cast or crew would laugh out loud and ruin the take, but it survived to likely cause as many cringes as it did guffaws in American living rooms. 

As to whether Dwight's (Rainn Wilson) subsequent attempt to lip-lock with Oscar was likewise unplanned, there's no word. Maybe some things are best left to mystery.

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Helena's Magic Moment

The critically acclaimed romance A Room with a View was filmed when Helena Bonham Carter was only 18 years old, and according to an interview at Criterion.com, she hadn't kissed anyone all that much at that point — in front of the camera or otherwise — which made it even more difficult to take the last-minute direction to kiss co-star Julian Sands.

According to Carter, the film crew was waiting for a "magic moment" to get a kiss with her and Sands. Carter said when the moment finally came, it was hard enough to just stay on her feet (and not necessarily because of Sands' romantic skills). "It's very hard to walk across a plowed field in high heels," Carter said. "I just knew I had to get to him without falling down. And then not laugh when he kissed me." Thankfully for Carter, Sands, and audience members, neither gravity nor Carter's sense of humor pushed too hard that day.

Carter went on to say that other kissing scenes were equally challenging. She said it was "really hard" to not laugh while kissing Daniel Day-Lewis. She also said Sands was uncomfortable kissing Carter when her mother visited the set, and that Sands had to ask her to move out of his line of sight.

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Kissing Buddies

According to Jake Johnson, a.k.a. New Girl's Nick, co-star Max Greenfield (a.k.a. Schmidt) has kissed him more times "than any girl [Johnson has] ever dated." The pair talked about it as guests for On Air With Ryan Seacrest.

The first time New Girl fans saw the bro-mancing pair kiss was a little over halfway through the first season in the episode "Injured," when Schmidt (Greenfield) — worried about medical news he'd learned about his friend — kisses Nick (Johnson) on the mouth twice. Nick called it a "Fredo" kiss, referencing the aggressive kiss Michael Corleone gives his doomed brother in The Godfather Part II.

Greenfield told Ryan Seacrest that while it may have been the first time a kiss made it to the screen, it was hardly their first. "We'll do a lot of improv on the show and I'll just go in and kiss [Johnson] sometimes," Greenfield said. He said before the "Fredo" kiss, the crew was telling him the kisses were inappropriate. "They usually don't put it in," Greenfield said. "And finally they put it in after about the seventh time I'd done it."

Greenfield also said Johnson's initial reactions to the improvised kisses were "really aggressive," and that Johnson would push Greenfield away or hit him. Since the success of the "Fredo" kiss led to smooches being put in the script, Johnson was less surprised and more relaxed with the kisses. 

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The origin of Stydia

One unexpected kiss not only made it to the screen, it actually created a relationship.

In early 2017, Celebeat reported that Holland Roden — the actor who played Lydia on MTV's Teen Wolf — was at the Showtime Con 2 in Madrid when she shocked fans with the revelation that co-star Dylan O'Brien created what fans called "Stydia" (the coupling of Teen Wolf characters Stiles and Lydia) with an improvised scene earlier in the series. Roden said O'Brien surprised her by kissing her on the cheek at the end of a scene, and the kiss survived the editing process. All it took was that little peck for fans to start "shipping" the pair (i.e., making them a couple in their own fan fiction), which in turn helped bring the two characters together in the official series.

As one Teen Wolf fan aptly tweeted, "The real reason why Stydia happened: Dylan O'Brien's inability to just stick to the script."