Typically, there are scriptwriters responsible for the story when it comes to big-budget Hollywood movies and television shows. But even though these writers put their blood, sweat, and tears into a script, sometimes there are moments where the actors get into the flow and begin to improvise. Occasionally these improvisations make it into the films, and the audience is never the wiser. Here are a few examples of times actors gave unscripted and authentic performances!
Charles McKeown – Monty Python’s Life of Brian
The comedic stylings of the British group Monty Python have become a worldwide sensation. You might imagine that a lot of their stuff has been prized, and we are sure that it has been. But maybe one of the most famous unscripted moments was one that got left in Monty Python’s Life of Brian.
In the epic scene where the Roman emperor is reading a list of incarcerated wrongdoers with a lisp, the Roman soldier standing at attention desperately tried not to laugh. But couldn’t help himself, and this was left in the movie.
Georgie Henley – Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Working with child actors can be fun but it is also a little tricky because they haven’t developed all the skills necessary to be able to react in a truly honest way. The director of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe knew this.
That’s why he refused to let either of the smaller children see the set of Narnia until they started shooting. So the reactions of both the actress who played Lucy as well as the actor who played Edmund are very truthful.
Alan Rickman – Die Hard
The 1988 film Die Hard became a classic. This was partly due to the fantastic portrayal of the movie’s villain Hans Gruber by the late great Alan Rickman. But what you may not know is that Rickman’s face during the death scene is very real.
Doing his own stunts, the actor was told that they were going to release him on the count of three. But instead, they dropped him on the count of two, and that helped give his character a realistic facial expression.
Entire Cast –Alien
If you’re into horror or science fiction, then one of your top 10 movies is probably the 1979 film by Ridley Scott, Alien. This movie was a blockbuster and came with a lot of really incredible special effects.
One of the most iconic moments is the chest-burster scene. The reactions of the cast here are genuine as the effects used during the scene were kept secret from them until that very moment.
Drew Barrymore – E.T.
Most Hollywood movies are filmed out of sequence. This is so that they can make sure they have all the right lighting and all the actors in those scenes are available. But Steven Spielberg opted to do something a little different in his classic alien film E.T.
He chose to film in the exact order the script was written, and that left the kids of the movie seeing the E.T. puppet for the first time as they filmed the scene. So the reactions are very honest as they were actually scared.
Line-up Actors – The Usual Suspects
The movie The Usual Suspects was a pretty intense film with a great cast of actors. But just because it was serious doesn’t mean that there weren’t some shenanigans going on. In fact, one of those shenanigans actually made it to the final cut.
In the iconic line-up scene, Benicio Del Toro seems to have a little bit of a gas problem. This, of course, made the other actors laugh, and that was left in.
Harrison Ford – The Fugitive
Sometimes when you’re filming, the director will decide to do something completely off-book just to get a realistic feel for whatever was going on at the moment.
This is what happened on the set of the 1993 film The Fugitive with Harrison Ford when it came to the interrogation scene. The director, Andrew Davis, did not give the script to Harrison, which resulted in everything that went on during this scene being improvised.
Will Ferrell – Elf
Maybe one of the hardest things for an actor to show is to be surprised, especially when they have to repeat a scene many times. So, sometimes this calls for the director to get a little creative.
In the film Elf, there’s a scene where Will Ferrell is playing with Jack-in-the-boxes. The director, Jon Favreau, used a remote control and activated them at different times so that it was always surprising.
Heath Ledger – The Dark Knight
Sometimes the improvisation that ends up staying in the movie comes from an actor trying to work his way through a prop malfunction. In the case of the 2008 film The Dark Knight, Heath Ledger relied heavily on his on-the-spot thinking when his prosthetic scars kept falling off.
He started to lick his lips as a solution to keep the scars in place and the director liked the way it looked. Over time, this lip-licking reaction became part of his character.
Julia Stiles – 10 Things I Hate About You
At the end of the ’90s teen comedy 10 Things I Hate About You, the main character reads a very emotional poem. But the scene that ended up in the film was not the scene that was in the script.
After reading the poem aloud, the actress, Julia Stiles, actually began to cry. This was during the first take and because her emotions were truly genuine, the director decided that it worked much better than the intended scene.
Leonardo DiCaprio – Django Unchained
On rare occasions, while on set, accidents can happen, and depending on how severe the injury is, actors can actually carry on shooting despite the pain. Such was the case for Leonardo DiCaprio’s gory scene in Django Unchained.
He was supposed to have blood on his hands but he accidentally cut his hand and continues to act while he was bleeding. In between takes, though, they would clean it and add fake blood.
Steve Carell – The 40-Year-Old Virgin
When you’re thinking of iconic moments in comedy films, the scene where Steve Carell’s character gets waxed in The 40-Year-Old Virgin probably comes to mind. But the reaction you saw on screen was not really acting.
During this scene, the actor actually got his chest waxed by someone, so those screams were all improvised and very real. The person doing the waxing also was not a real beautician, so they had no idea what they were doing.
Dustin Hoffman – Midnight Cowboy
There are some iconic movie lines that, no matter if you’ve seen the movie or not, you probably have them once in your life. One of these comes from the 1969 film Midnight Cowboy.
There is a scene where Dustin Hoffman’s character yells at the taxi cab, “Hey, I’m walkin’ here!”. That line was not actually in the script. It was the actor’s very real response to traffic in New York City.
Isla Fisher – Now You See Me
The character that Isla Fisher plays in Now You See Me has a very interesting magic trick seen in the movie. The trick takes place in a water tank where she is meant to escape from it easily.
In the film, she is supposed to look like she is drowning at one point. However, a prop got caught on the actress’s outfit, and so she actually was drowning and unable to get out of the water for several minutes.
Viggo Mortensen – Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers
There is no substitute when it comes to the actual reaction to pain than actually being in pain. Take, for instance, Viggo Mortensen and his broken toe during the filming of The Two Towers.
In one scene, he became frustrated and kicked a helmet on the battlefield. After he did this, he released a horrifying scream, and that was because he had kicked it so hard that he broke his toe.
Cary Elwes – Princess Bride
There are all kinds of tricks of the trade when it comes to stunts in films. But sometimes, no matter how hard you try, stunts don’t look as real as actually completing the task at hand. That is why Cary Elwes got a little bump on the head during the filming of The Princess Bride.
In the scene where Christopher Guest’s character hits Cary in the head with a sword, the actor is actually getting hit in the head. The shot was great, but unfortunately, the actor ended up in the hospital.
Sylvester Stallone – Rocky IV
When you are filming a movie that is focused on any type of combat sport like boxing, you want the fights to look really realistic. Most of the time, this can be done with some clever camera work and stunt doubles.
But when it came to Rocky IV, Sylvester Stallone really wanted the fight with Dolph Lundgren to be real. So he told him to just wail on him for the first 15 seconds. It looked great on film, but it landed Stallone in hospital for more than a week.
Matt Damon – Saving Private Ryan
There were a lot of extra steps taken when it came to the filming of Saving Private Ryan, in order to create a realistic feel to the film. To do this, most of the cast wound up going to a 10-day boot camp, except for one lucky actor.
Matt Damon was denied attending this boot camp so that the rest of the cast would be a little more hostile to him, seeing as how he got out of the harsh treatment they had gone through.
Anne Hathaway – The Princess Diaries
Sometimes when filming, the director catches a spontaneous moment that is too good not to use. Take, for instance, the trip in the bleachers that the main character in The Princess Diaries experiences.
It had rained recently in the area they were shooting the film in and because of this, Anne Hathaway slipped in some water and landed on her bottom on the bleachers. The director loved it and left it in the film.
Entire Cast – Les Misérables
Some directors really like to get their actors in the mood, so they will create certain circumstances to do so. For the movie based on the French Revolution, Les Misérables, the director did just that.
To get into the spirit of the era, the director instructed the cast to quickly build a barricade in 10 minutes out of whatever they could find. This is the actual scene that ended up in the final cut.
Kids – Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
The 1971 version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is an iconic film. Not only were there incredible effects but the set itself was amazing. Could you imagine being a kid and walking into that?
The film’s director actually decided to keep the children away from the set as it was being built so that when they walked in, they would have a jaw-dropping experience. It worked, and the scene made its way into the film.
John C. McGinley – Seven
The psychological thriller Seven was filled with a lot of disturbing imagery and subject matter. We can imagine there were a lot of unintended takes that wound up in the film.
One of those that we do know of is, of course, the reaction of John C. McGinley’s character when the body of sloth begins to move in the film. The actor apparently didn’t know it was a real person in makeup.
Kate Winslet – Titanic
Most of the time, if there are harsh conditions while filming, the actors in the scenes will be warned of this and protected against them. This was the case on the set of the legendary movie Titanic.
The cast was warned that the water that would fill the set was cold… But they just weren’t told how cold. Needless to say, when Kate Winslet was in the water, it was so cold she was shivering, and that added to the realism, so it was left in the film.
Kurt Russell – The Hateful Eight
Some actors like to stay in character and really give it their all, which means occasionally going above and beyond when it comes to the action scenes. That is what happened while filming the movie The Hateful Eight.
Kurt Russell actually smashed the guitar during a particular scene and didn’t realize it was an antique guitar which caused the other actor to react even more than they typically would have. The director liked the take, and so it became the final one.
Michael J. Fox – Back to the Future III
A lot of actors actually enjoy doing their own stunts, and so it’s no surprise that when there came a time for one on the set of Back to the Future III, Michael J. Fox agreed to do a little stunt work. However, it didn’t quite go as planned.
During the scene where his character is strung up, he was unable to get his hands in place, and the rope actually began to choke him. Good thing someone realized this and got him down!
Julia Roberts – Pretty Woman
One of the most beloved romantic comedies ever made may just well be Pretty Woman. There are many iconic scenes in that movie. But one of them actually wasn’t quite scripted. We’re talking about the jewelry box snapping scene.
In this scene, Richard Gere did a little improvisation when he snapped the jewelry box shut as Julia Roberts was reaching for it. Because this wasn’t in the script, the reaction that Julia Roberts had was authentic.
Jenna Fisher – The Office
For T.V. shows that run for a long time, the actors become like family after a while. That means when the show comes to an end, and there have to be goodbyes said, sometimes those emotions reflect exactly what’s happening in real life.
Take, for instance, the scene in The Office where Jenna Fischer is saying goodbye to Steve Carell. The tears were all very real and found their way into the final episode.
Matt Damon and Robin Williams – Good Will Hunting
Comedians tend to be great at improvisation, and sometimes they bring that with them when they begin to diversify their roles and journey into more dramatic ones. One example can be seen in the fart story scene in Good Will Hunting.
Robin Williams improvised the whole story, and so the final scene of Matt Damon’s laughter was actually Damon really laughing, and it just was so authentic that it had to be kept.
Dustin Hoffman and Katherine Ross – The Graduate
If you are into film studies, then you know that one of the classics is the 1967 movie The Graduate. In its iconic final scene, the director got a little creative in order to elicit the most natural expressions from the actors.
He decided to not tell the two actors when he was going to cut and let the camera roll. That had to be a little uncomfortable for a while and the mood changes worked perfectly.
Entire Cast – The Rocky Horror Picture Show
There are a lot of shocking things that went on during the making of the cult classic The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It was definitely a counterculture movie, and one of the scenes was even shocking to the cast.
In the scene where the body is unveiled, nobody knew that there would be a body under the dining table. Except for Tim Curry who had to unveil the cloth. So, the cast was shocked to see what was revealed.
Entire Cast – Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest
Sure, actors can act surprised but their reactions would be a lot more believable if they were actually kept in the dark about a secret. So, for the actors of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, the final scene, and the big reveal were kept on the down-low.
None of the cast knew which character was making the big return or that a character was even making a big return. To do this, the actor went uncredited until the final scene had been filmed.
Jennifer Lawrence – The Hunger Games
Once again, directors will do anything to get a lifelike reaction, especially when it’s supposed to be shocking. For Jennifer Lawrence, who played Katniss in The Hunger Games, the director would have to be a little sneaky when it came to a particular video.
After Peeta was captured, Katniss sees a video of him with sunken features, so in order to get an authentic response from Lawrence, the director made sure that she and the actor hadn’t seen each other in a while.
Jason Segel – How I Met Your Mother
Even comedies have some tragic occurrences, especially when they run for as long as a show like How I Met Your Mother. In one of these traumatic moments, the director of the episode was able to catch Jason Segel’s real reaction to a sad event.
The actor was not told that his character’s father was going to die, and so when the scene was shot, he reacted the way any real son would.
Shelley Duvall – The Shining
Some directors go above and beyond the call of duty to try to make their actors really get into their character. On the set of Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, the director took it upon himself to heighten the actor’s insecurities.
To do this, he would yell at Shelly Duvall and berate her, all in his quest to make sure that in every scene she was in, her character looked uncomfortable and indecisive.
Roy Scheider – Jaws
Some of the most iconic quotes from films are adlibs. Take, for instance, the one in Jaws where Roy Schneider simply says, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat!” This line was not actually in the script.
The actor had come up with the sentence after overhearing some conversations of the crew and eventually found a perfect place in the film to utter the words. And the rest, as they say, is history.
Steve Carell – The Office
Sometimes actors really feel a particular scene and add a little flourish or movement that makes the scene even more memorable. So in one episode of the NBC show The Office, Steve Carell found one of those moments.
There was an episode called “Gay Witch Hunt” in which Carell felt the scene called for a bit of a lip lock. The other actor didn’t know this, and so the surprise was very real and made for perfect T.V drama.
Joaquin Phoenix – The Joker
There are many ways to elicit emotions from your actors, and one of those is through music. So when the director of Joker was filming the iconic mirror scene, he thought playing the soundtrack might help Joaquin Phoenix get into his character.
But in the first take, the director noticed that Joaquin had released a tear. And he decided to stop filming there because he felt this was the perfect scene.
Tricky – Fifth Element
In big-budget Hollywood blockbuster action films, there are tons of explosions and gunfire. So you probably assume that all the actors are aware of what’s happening but that’s not always the case.
The actor Tricky who played Zorg’s henchman in the sci-fi adventure The Fifth Element actually had a moment of genuine fear. No one told him how big an explosion was going to be, and so his real reaction was caught on film.
Brad Pitt – Fight Club
“The first rule of Fight Club is you never talk about Fight Club” – this line and so much more about the film Fight Club were very iconic. Surprisingly, several of these scenes were a result of the actor’s real-life reactions.
Maybe the biggest was in the first fight scene with Edward Norton and Brad Pitt, where Norton actually punched Pitt in the ear. The director had told him to make contact anywhere, and so he did. Needless to say, Pitt was a little surprised!
Entire Cast – Boyz N the Hood
Boyz N The Hood was directed by John Singleton, and as the director, he knew that he had to get creative with shocking the actors during the gunfire scenes. To do this, he left some important facts out when he was giving a rundown to the actors before shooting.
What did exactly did he leave out? The fact that real-life gunfire was going to be used in the scene. So, their reaction to this made its way to theater screens across the nation.
Kids – It (2017)
The character Pennywise from the 2017 version of Stephen King’s IT was much scarier than in the original. Wanting to elicit more fear when it came to the facial reactions and emotions of the young actors in the film, the director chose to keep what the wicked clown was going to look like a secret.
This tactic worked really well because when the young actors finally saw the clown, they were scared and shocked.
Jason Miller and Max Von Sydow – The Exorcist
No matter what type of movies you love, when you hear the words ‘pea soup’, most of us often think of the iconic scene from the horror classic The Exorcist. But what a lot of people don’t know is that the actors only thought the soup would hit them in their chests.
Instead of that, though, the director decided to spray the pea soup right into the faces of the actors. Their final reaction was the one we all saw in the film.
Michael Keaton – Birdman
Birdman was an interesting take on being a superhero. You follow this character as he begins to unravel and eventually finds himself in underwear in the middle of Times Square. When you look at this scene, it looks like there are an awful lot of extras around.
But in truth, Michael Keaton, who played the lead role in this film, was in the middle of Times Square with a bunch of real people milling around him. It made for a pretty epic scene and a real improvisational moment.
People on the Street – Rocky
Sometimes when you’re filming a movie, especially if you don’t have as big a budget as you would like, you have to do some things on the fly. That might include having your lead actor run up and down a street with everyday people going about their day.
That’s what happened in the 1976 film Rocky when Stallone ran up and down the Italian marketplace street. In fact, the man that tosses Rocky an orange was completely unscripted and yet still made it into the film.
Entire Cast – The Blair Witch Project
When The Blair Witch Project came out in theaters, there was a lot of fuss about it. Many people thought it was real and well done, while others thought it was way too creepy. But one thing most people didn’t realize was that almost the entire film was improvised.
The actual film only had 35 pages to the script. And so, when the actors were released into the woods, they were told to go with the flow and see what happened.
This was absolutely one of Cartoon Network’s weirdest shows. Not many know this but the show intended to be a parody. The result was a half-action and half-reality talk show. In other words, a weird interbreed.
The show was based on the original animated series Space Ghost from the ’60s. At some point, it went completely off tangent, turning more and more surreal. The conversations didn’t make sense, and the jokes were lousy.
One episode of Dexter’s Laboratory, called “Silver Spooner”, was taken off the air since it supposedly featured a queer character. The character — who bears the same name as the episode — had a rather flashy appearance, impressive physique, and a crush on Judy Garland.
However, the truth is that he closely resembled a Marvel Comics character, and Marvel threatened to sue Cartoon Network over potential copyrights violations. For this reason, Cartoon Network was forced to take it off the air.
The Szechuan Sauce
In the premiere of the third season of Rick and Morty, the creators made sure to include a joke about searching for Szechuan Sauce. Now, in 1998, just before Mulan was released, Mcdonald’s included the sauce as a dip for its nuggets — but only for a short while, since it was meant to promote the movie.
Following an uproar by Rick and Morty ardent fans who remembered the food chain’s promotional stunt, Mcdonald’s offered the sauce, but only for one day. The results were messy.
Adventure Time: Apocalypse
Not many have noticed, but one of your favorite childhood TV shows features a post-apocalyptic future. The Land of Ooo is a post-apocalyptic Earth. You can now guess what the Mushroom War stands for.
This also explains all the scattered pieces of modern technology that you can see in the background. When you think of it, it’s a pretty dark theme to include in a children’s TV show. Also, it took a while for the producers to admit that it was, in fact, a post-apocalyptic world.
The Regular Show
The two funny gatekeepers from the show have a surprising little secret to them. The creators of the show have no pre-written script. The actors are simply told, in general lines, what are they expected to do and they just go with it.
Maybe that’s why every time they try to solve a problem, it ends up being surreal or just plain weird. Honestly, we never liked this show. But, that’s just us.
Samurai Jack is perhaps one of the most favorite and memorable childhood TV shows that ever aired on Cartoon Network. Many kids avidly waited for each new episode to find out more about the adventure of Samurai Jack.
However, the show abruptly ended after only four seasons. Its creator later confessed that Genndy Tartakovsky simply didn’t know how to give it a proper ending. We think it’s just a sad excuse.
The Amazing World of Gumball
The show that featured a blue cat called Gumball Waterson, and his best buddy, a goldfish named Darwin, was actually based on all kinds of rejected characters.
It was created by Benjamin Bocquelet who simply amassed together all the characters he developed during his years in the industry, but never got a chance to see the light of day. And so, this is how The Amazing World of Gumball was born.
Cow and Chicken
It appears that Cow and Chicken was created by accident. It started as a bedtime story that the creator of the show, David Feiss, used to tell his daughter before she went to bed.
Later on, when Feiss presented his ideas to Cartoon Network, they requested a more detailed plot. One thing led to another (as often happens in such cases), and Cartoon Network had a full-blown show on its hands.
Teen Titans Go!
Teen Titans Go! is loosely based on the DC Comics fictional superhero team. However, the writers of the series didn’t trust the voice actors to make the show as good as the original.
When something like this happens, it could pretty much ruin the show for good. Surprisingly, the show did gain popularity. We guess that a small intrigue like this won’t stop the fans from liking it, right?
Whoa, Whoa, Whoa
Remember the trio called the Powerpuff Girls? You know, spice and everything nice until chemical X was added to the mixture? So, apparently, they were originally called the The Whoopass Stew Girls, and you can probably guess from the name that they were meant for a more mature audience, so to speak.
The original show was created by Craig McCracken who offered it to Cartoon Network. Cartoon Network did buy the rights for the show, but made some significant changes to it.
Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends
The show is set in an imaginary world, in which imaginary friends co-exist with humans, and follows a boy named Mac. His mother pressures him into abandoning his imaginary friend. Luckily, they discover a foster home for imaginary friends.
The show is actually based on the struggles and hopes of adopted dogs. When you think of it, there are clear similarities between the stories of adopted dogs and abandoned imaginary friends.
Courage the Cowardly Dog
This was perhaps one of the most, if not the, scariest shows that ever aired on Cartoon Network. What’s even scarier is that it’s based on a very frightening story as well. The Middle of Nowhere is based on an actual farm in New Mexico.
An elderly couple who lived on that farm supposedly vanished after encountering a skin-walker (a type of an evil spirit), leaving only their poor dog behind. Of course, this could be just an urban legend, but it’s still scary.
Johnny Bravo was not an easy show to swallow, and it’s not because it was too greasy. After all, the resemblance to Elvis Presley is quite obvious. What’s even more surprising is that Warner Brothers wanted to make a live-action adaption of the animated TV series.
They even hand an actor in mind — Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson. Surprisingly, Johnson is a huge fan of the show, which explains his enthusiasm. However, that never came to be.
Ed, Edd ‘n’ Eddy
The iconic show, which centers on three characters — called Ed, Edd, and Eddy — first aired in January 1999. While it finally concluded in 2009, after no less than six seasons and a television film, it’s still considered to be the longest-running original series on Cartoon Network.
We’re not surprised actually. We always considered this show to be special, albeit some dark fan conspiracy theories placed the show during The Great Depression of 1929.
The Grim Adventures of Billy and Mandy
This hilarious show has a weird twist to it. The show follows a rather silly boy named Billy and his cynical sister Mandy — both of whom become best friends with the Grim Reaper. Now, no one ever stays to watch the end credits, because you know, why would you waste your time on that?
But, the fans who did it report that, if you listen carefully, you can actually hear the creator of the show saying — “No, no. This is the end of the show. You’re watching it backwards!” Kinda cool, no?
Samurai Jack’s Theme Song
Another surprising fact about Samurai Jack pertains to its theme song. Its composer is the famous William James Adam Jr. If the name doesn’t ring a bell, then we can tell you that it’s the lead singer of Black Eyed Peas — will.i.am.
In case you’re wondering, it wasn’t the only time the singer worked with Cartoon Network. Back in 2002, Adam recorded the song “Secrets” from Dexter’s Labaoroty. Isn’t that interesting?
Courage (Almost) Takes an Oscar
While Courage the Cowardly Dog isn’t exactly the kind of a show that you’d expect to win a nomination for anything, it did. To be even more precise, its pilot episode was nominated for the Best Animated Short Film at the 68th Academy Awards.
However, it didn’t win the golden statuette. We still think it’s a great show, though. The show won other awards, such as the Golden Reel and the Annie Award.
The Three Women of Johnny Bravo
This might come as a shock to many fans of the cartoon, given the fact that it depicts a rather misogynist character, but if it hadn’t been for three women, Johnny Bravo wouldn’t have aired.
Ellen Cockrill, Juli Kane-Ritsch, and Janet Mazotti insisted that Cartoon Network pick it up. At first, the network refused but after enough pressure, the executives caved and agreed to produce it.
Inaccurate Teen Titans
Not many know this, but Teen Titans Go! was supposedly based on a 1964 comic called The Brave and the Bold. While most fans have gained their knowledge about the adventures of the titans from the animated series alone, those who have read the book know that the original titans are different from the ones depicted in the show.
The original group featured Robin, Kid Flash, Aqualad, Wonder Girl, and Speedy. But, we guess it didn’t matter to those who watched Cartoon Network’s version as it was still very exciting.
The Marvelous Adventures of Flapjack
The creator of the show has an interesting life story, which relates to how he got the idea for the show. Van Orman was born in Florida. As a kid, he always enjoyed thinking about living by the docks and going on adventures.
When he was 13, his family moved to Utah, a landlocked state. As an adult, he saved enough money and moved back to Flordia. Later, he got to Shell Island, intending to live off the sea. He later moved to Mexico and lived on whatever he picked up from the street.
Triple Dog Dare You
Ed, Edd ‘n’ Eddy has perhaps the funniest reason behind its creation. The creator of this animated TV series, Danny Antonucci, was designing commercials when he was dared by a friend to create a cartoon for children.
Antonucci was not accustomed to creating anything for children — until that very moment. However, he picked the gauntlet and began crafting an animated series for children. The result was Ed, Edd ‘n’ Eddy.
Kids Next Door
This is yet another weird fact about Cartoon Network. The series Codename: Kids Next Door actually started as an entirely different show. Tom Warburton actually created a pilot episode, “Diseasy Does It,” for a show called Kenny and the Chimp.
Hanna-Barbera Studios was meant to produce the show, which would have included a group of kids nicknamed “those kids next door.” However, one thing led to another and these minor characters somehow became the focus of the show. And that’s how Kids Next Door was born.
Seven Years of Chowder
Some shows take years to produce and it’s not because they’re difficult to create, but simply because other things get in the way. C.H. Greenblatt began developing the show in the early 2000s, but it was not until 2007 that he got to see the fruits of his labor.
Greenblatt also worked on Spongbob Square Pants and The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy. It simply took the network a couple of years to approve his idea.
DC Universe Collapsed Into Itself
Young Justice was based on a DC comic book that shared the same name. It focused, as you can infer from the name, on young superheroes in the original DC universe. Basically, these were young superheroes who dealt with adult problems.
At the end of the second season, Cartoon Network decided to terminate it. With this happening, DC universe scrapped its plan to produce an animated version of its superhero universe.
Nickelodeon Said No
The network actually said “no” twice to Pendelton Ward, the creator of Adventure Time. To be more precise, Nickelodeon decided to give it a try. A short premiere aired on Nicktoons and even became a hit.
However, the network ultimately decided that the concept was too weird for a children’s show. Frankly, we don’t blame them. Ward tried again later, but got the same answer. Ultimately, Cartoon Network picked it up and the rest is history.
Camp Lazlo’s Complications
It’s never fun to get a “yes” which later changes into a “no.” This is exactly what happened to Camp Lazlo! The show originally got a green light for production that was later revoked.
Joe Murray first came with a different name for the show, 3 Beans, which was rejected by the network. He swapped it for Camp Lazlo and was approved for production. But, someone in upper management wasn’t entirely convinced. Nonetheless, he somehow managed to produce the show.
Low-Key Animation Technique
There isn’t a single thing today that’s done without some involvement of computer technology. This is especially true in the animation industry. However, this isn’t the case with Cartoon Network’s The Regular Show.
The creator, J.G. Quintel, prefers doing things the old-fashioned way. Everything begins with hand-drawn images. After approval, they’re sent to an animation studio in Korea where they’re scanned and digitally modified. Perhaps the end result has more quality to it.
The Surprising Origins of Ben 10
Although Ben 10 isn’t based on any known comic book, it still has some relation to comic books. In fact, some ardent fans of the show reported that something about the show reminded them of comic books.
This isn’t without a reason. The creators of the show — including Duncan Rouleau, Joe Casey, Steven T. Seagle, and Joe Kelly — are long-term comic book creators. So, there’s no wonder that something about the show reminds one of comic books.
A Dexter’s Laboratory episode, called “Dexter’s Rue Removal,” was banned by Cartoon Network because of problematic langue and profanity. This was back in 1998. For years, the forbidden episode gathered dust on the shelves, deep in the network archives.
However, in 2013, the decision was reversed and the episode aired — albeit some parts were censored because certain things are still considered unsuitable for young audiences. We’d love to see the episode!
No One Liked Space Ghost
For those of you who had the pleasure of watching the show, this might come as no surprise. It appears that no one liked the idea behind it and that’s why Cartoon Network almost didn’t fund it.
The creators of the show just used original material and made things up as they went along. It’s no wonder why this show doesn’t make sense. It has no plotline!
Steven Universe Goes Dark
Cartoon Network’s first animated TV show that was created by a non-binary person has a dark twist to it. The show features complex topics and “adult questions” in increasing numbers on purpose.
The show’s creator, Rebecca Sugar, said that this was her intention all along. As the fan base grew, the show became darker and darker, bit by bit. This was done, supposedly, to prepare children for the real world.
We Three Bears
Remember Grizzly, Panada, and Ice Bear? The three bears from the show We Three Bears who are trying to integrate into the human world in the San Francisco Bay Area? So, apparently, Ice Bear is a totally made-up character.
What we mean by this is that he doesn’t have a script. It’s all impromptu. We guess that’s easy since he doesn’t get to talk much anyway. Perhaps he’s just a filler-in type of a character?
Australia Censored Cartoon Networks
While Cartoon Network’s target audience is primary children, sometimes the creators of the various shows sneak in some dirty jokes and a good measure of adult references. This is tolerable in the US, since, technically, there’s nothing wrong with referencing adult topics as long as it’s not too overt.
However, this is not the case in Australia. While Australia has always been known for its no-nonsense policy, this is a bit extreme. The country censored many of Cartoon Network’s shows left, right, and square.
The Powerpuff Girls and Samurai Jack
This sounds like a weird cross-over, but please bear with us on this one. Many might have missed that, but some sharp-eyed viewers noticed that in the pilot episode of Samurai Jack, the decimated city bears a close resemblance to Townsville.
If that name sounds familiar, it’s the same town that the Powerpuff Girls protect from monsters in every episode. This leads to one logical conclusion — The Powerpuff Girls and Samurai Jack share the same universe.
Adult Humor in Ed, Edd ‘n’ Eddy
This might have passed over your head if you were watching Cartoon Network’s Ed, Edd ‘n’ Eddy as a kid. The show has some pretty overt adult references. The same was attributed to Spongbob by the way.
In any case, just to give you an example of this — in one of the episodes, the boys are shown to peruse a particular journal, featuring the letter “X” three times over on the cover. We’ll leave it to you to figure the rest out.
Suing the Regular Show
While we simply believe that shows that represent lowlife characters should be made illegal because c’mon, kids are watching it, the show was actually sued for a very weird reason.
It appears that the creators of the show included a vague reference to The King of Kong, which is a documentary about Billy Mitchell, a famous video gamer from the ‘80s. However, a federal judge decided that there’s no legal basis for a lawsuit and the case was dismissed.
LGBTQ+ in Adventure Time
Adventure Time has a very pro LGBTQ+ stance, which is kinda cool. In fact, we’re all for shows that are inclusive and representative of a variety of characters.
However, some didn’t like it. In a promo for the episode “What Was Missing,” it was heavily implied that two female characters had an affair in the past. These would be Princesses Bubblegum and Marceline. Due to negative responses, the promo was discontinued.
What could be described as a Christian-themed animated show has, apparently, some interesting and rather dark aspects to it. The show first had a light and humorous vibe, however, it became darker as time went on.
While the show was canceled after its third season, creator Dino Stamatopoulos claimed that a few episodes never aired. These are rumored to be pretty dark and controversial. We’re not sure we want to know why, though.
Cartoon Network’s Accidental Creation
For those of you who didn’t know, Cartoon Network was created in 1992. But, how exactly it was created merits an item. Ted Turner, a media tycoon and the owner of Turner Broadcasting Company, decided to acquire Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer.
74 days later, he regretted his decision. He made a deal with MGM — selling it back to them, but getting the right to keep all media rights for films and TV shows produced prior to 1984. He later went on to purchase Hanna-Barbera Studios. With so many cartoons in hand, he founded Cartoon Network.
Adventure Time Banned in Africa
We already mentioned the fact that Adventure Time is quite pro-LGBTQ+. Now, since Cartoon Network broadcasts practically all over the world or to be more exact — in over 50 countries and in over 30 languages — it’s obvious that certain content may not be country-appropriate.
In this case, Adventure Time is not broadcasted in South Africa and other sub-Saharan countries because of its pro-LGBTQ+ themes. We guess you can’t expect everyone to understand it.
Gumball vs. Tumbler
The Amazing World of Gumball is probably one of Cartoon Network’s best shows, and not only because of Gumball’s character. The topics and problems that are presented and dealt with are just so relevant to real life.
In one episode called “The Best,” however, Gumball seems to have picked a bone with Tumbler — sorry, we meant Ramblr. But, you get it, don’t you? This episode is rather controversial since it targets Social Justice Warriors.
In the deep entrails of Cartoon Network, which are actually MGM’s historical bowels, there are crates upon crates of old cartoons. Some of these are dated back to the WWII era.
While Cartoon Network usually doesn’t air cartoons that might be controversial or offensive, some of these materials might be of academic or historic value. Some of these cartoons, in particular those featuring Bugs Bunny in them, supposedly portray Japanese people in a stereotypical way.
Pokémon’s Banned Episode
You could hardly say that there’s anything wrong with Pokémon. The Japanese show was (and perhaps still is) quite popular among children around the world. However, one episode turned out to be quite problematic and Cartoon Network couldn’t broadcast it in the United States.
Electric Soldier Porygon was banned from being aired in the United States since it was deemed medically unsafe. Some 700 children in Japan were hospitalized after watching the episode, leading to a wide ban on the episode in the United States.
No June Bugs
A Bugs Bunny marathon sounds like a good idea, right? We mean, what could be possibly wrong with Looney Tunes? Well, as it turns out, a lot. Cartoon Network planned to air cartoons featuring Bugs Bunny for the entire month of June, hence the name June Bugs.
However, they quickly realized that their old stash of Bug Bunny cartoons is inappropriate or simply too controversial. These cartoons belonged to a different era — before PC was really a thing.
The First Cartoon
Up until 1995, Cartoon Network used to broadcast old MGM and Warner Brothers films. At some point, the channel realized that this cannot go on forever. If they didn’t start creating original content, their days would be numbered.
That’s how Dexter’s Laboratory was born. It was the network’s first original cartoon production. To prepare the audience for the change, the network launched “What a Cartoon!” — which showcased the upcoming changes. We’re glad they made this change and switched to original content.