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Hysterical Bloopers From Otherwise Serious TV Shows

TV is a whole lot better than it used to be. Over the past decade or so, there have been many great shows worthy of a big audience for their superb acting, cinematic style, and unpredictable storylines. 

Most of those shows are devastating dramas that detail the sadder, more tragic parts of life, and the difficulty of being human in an uncaring universe. Not the usual kind of stuff that one would even think would have a blooper reel, much less one that got out to the public for fear of it compromising the seriousness of its source series. But here they are: actors and actresses from some of the most deadly serious shows ever to air on TV messing up their lines, missing their marks, laughing, swearing, and goofing off.

Breaking Bad

Child actors are unpredictable—and the younger they are, the more unpredictable they are. But productions only have a limited time each day in which they can use babies in scenes, so they can't wait around for when the baby "feels" like acting, especially since they don't really know they're acting. Nor do they care. Take this Breaking Bad outtake, for example, in which the infant playing Holly White is making all kinds of gross, wet noises, and all adult actresses Anna Gunn and Betsy Brandt can do is roll with it.

Game of Thrones

This blooper has a little bit of all the things that make Game of Thrones such a remarkable television series, namely nudity and the death of a main character. In this scene, Kit Harington plays the corpse of Jon Snow, his body laid out on a table for what will ultimately be his spooky resurrection from the dead. Snow is supposed to be naked, but Harington was afforded some modest, genital-concealing garments. He's also not supposed to move, but when he feels "exposed," he quickly and amusingly hides his private business in a hurry.


So many gag reels consist of actors forgetting their lines and swearing up a storm. But what happens on a show like HBO's gritty western Deadwood, in which half of the dialogue is already swearing? The actors simply burst into song. That's what happens when Ian McShane, while portraying Al Swearengen, can't remember what comes after a line that includes the words "start me," prompting him to launch into a jazzy take on the Rolling Stones' classic "Start Me Up."

Sons of Anarchy

There was a lot of rough-and-tumble action on Sons of Anarchy. It was a show about a ruthless motorcycle gang, with plenty of tension and high-stakes drama. That's why this blooper is extra funny. While shooting an action sequence that included toting a shotgun and hiding behind a pickup truck for cover, actor Ryan Hurst (Opie) overestimates how far he needs to move and winds up right in the lap of his gun-toting, cover-seeking costar Charlie Hunnam (Jax)...who doesn't miss a beat, and goes right into Santa mode.


Bryan Fuller's artfully gory television adaptation of Thomas Harris' Hannibal Lecter novels featured many scenes of its central cannibalistic serial killer intricately preparing gourmet meals in his beautiful kitchen. It would seem that a lot of that was achieved through the magic of tricky camera-work and editing, because in this blooper Mads Mikkelsen can't quite get down the knife skills that would be second nature to a murderer and/or cooking enthusiast. He's supposed to catch a potato on a knife while carrying on a conversation and has a such a hard time doing it that he just about ruins the take when he actually does it correctly.

Criminal Minds

Despite the gruesome subject matter of Criminal Minds—trying to figure out the identities of murderers so they can be stopped before they kill again—it looks like the cast and crew keep things pretty loose and light on set. He's no longer with the show, but Thomas Gibson seemed to have a pretty good time while he was starring on the long-running CBS crime procedural. Here he is not quite ready for the crew to roll film because he can't get a pair of rubber gloves on. It takes such a comically long time that Gibson does what anybody would do when forced to ruminate on rubber gloves for more than a second: he makes prostate exam jokes.

Law & Order: SVU

It's kind of hard to believe that a blooper reel even exists for NBC's long-running crime series about the most appalling of crimes. Perhaps allowing oneself to laugh here and there on set is a way for actors to cope with the depressing material. Case in point: former star Christopher Meloni can't get over how funny it is—and how utterly creepy he sounds—when he keeps asking a suspect for a DNA swab of their mouth.


The hit NBC hospital drama ER made George Clooney a superstar, and eventually he became one of the biggest movie stars on the planet. He also had a unique way of coming up with some dialogue in the event that he forgot a line in the course of filming a scene for the incredibly fast-paced show: he would simply remind his scene partner that he was a very good-looking man that many people would enjoy seeing without clothes.

Orphan Black

Tatiana Maslany plays many different clones on Orphan Black, but they're all quite different. For example, Alison Hendrix is a high-strung type A kind of person, Sarah Manning is a self-sufficient and streetwise rogue, and Helena always seems to have really bad things happen to her. In this scene, there's a scorpion that's supposed to be crawling all over Helena. Or the toxic little monster would be doing that, if Maslany could quit laughing long enough. Who knew a potential scorpion attack could be so hilarious?