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11 Most Paused Movie Moments One Couldn’t Help Watching Again And Again

Kate Winslet in Titanic
Source: Paramount Pictures

Who hasn’t watched a Hollywood movie and thought “did I just see what I think I saw?” only to pause, rewind, and search for it again? Whether it comes as the result of scenes that were either too good or bizarre not to see twice, hidden messages, or obvious production blunders, Hollywood is full of many pause-worthy moments. Read on to discover some of the most paused scenes in movies that viewers just had to get a second look at.

1. Basic Instinct (1992)

It was Sharon Stone’s portrayal of Catherine Tramell in the erotic 1992 thriller, Basic Instinct that secured her position as a Hollywood sex symbol. In fact, one of her scenes in the film became such a hit among viewers that it is now considered one of the most paused movie moments in history.

Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct
PictureLux/The Hollywood Archive/Alamy Stock Photo

The scene in question is when Stone is interrogated by a police officer after becoming a prime suspect in her famous boyfriend’s murder. In an effort to seduce the officer into distraction, Stone crosses her legs, exposing herself in the process. The scene leaves little up to the imagination, and had viewers everywhere grabbing for their remotes to try and sneak a peek.

2. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982)

In the classic 1982 coming-of-age film Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Jennifer Jason Leigh plays Stacy Hamilton, an inexperienced teenager who is ready to dabble her feet in the world of dating. She heeds the advice of her uninhibited BFF Linda Barrett (played by Phoebe Cates) and winds up getting trapped in a love triangle as dramatic as could be.

Jennifer Jason Leigh, Fast Times at Ridgemont High
YouTube/Steven Acedo/Universal Pictures

In what is every teenage guy’s fantasy — and surely one of the most paused moments shared by generations of VHS owners — in a dream sequence, Stacy and Linda go for a dip in the pool together. Linda gets out from the pool wearing only an itty bitty red bikini, which she then begins to take off.

3. Wild Things (1998)

There’s no arguing that the 1998 cult classic Wild Things certainly celebrates the female body, for lack of a better word. With a plot that revolves around a small Florida town sex scandal, it is known for its many backstabbing twists and beautiful women. Oh, and also that one scene that everyone paused.

Wild Things
YouTube/Captain Meme-O/Columbia Pictures

Of course, we’re talking about the moment when Denise Richards and Neve Campbell are in the pool and exchange some passionate kisses. Let’s face it: Wild Thingswas destined to be a flop, unless of course it gave audiences something worth remembering. And this scene served as just that fantasy fodder.

4. Titanic (1997)

A tale of epic romance mixed with disaster on the frigid waters of the North Atlantic, Titanic has left moviegoers swooning ever since its release in 1997. The film has evolved from a blockbuster movie to something of a cultural phenomenon, capturing the hearts of many, and with 11 Oscar wins to prove it.

Kate Winslet in Titanic
YouTube/Titanic Movie/Pelicula/Paramount Pictures

It’s hard not to get swept up in the love story between socialite Rose and poor sketch-artist Jack. As a fan of his work, Rose especially admires his images of naked women in Paris. She asks him to draw her in what is the most paused scene of the film, and then proceeds to sleep with him in the back of a very foggy car. The drawing later plays an important role in the story after it’s uncovered from the ship wreckage years later.

5. The Wolf of Wall Street (2013)

Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street chronicles the extravagant story of Jordan Belfort, a New York City stock broker who conned his way into making a fortune off of penny stocks in the 1990s. With a plot so outlandish that crashed helicopters, prostitutes, and drugs are but a norm, it’s possible for viewers to think Scorsese must have taken lots of creative liberty in telling the story.

Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street
IMDb/Paramount Pictures

But in actuality, Scorcese’s drama closely follows the memoir Belfort wrote of the same title. Now whether the steamy scene where Margot Robbie seduces Leonardo DiCaprio actually happened, we’re not too sure. But one thing we do know is that viewers love it, for many admit having to pause it in an effort to watch it again and again.

6. American Pie (1999)

In the late 90s and early 2000s, there was a certain brand of high school-based raunchfest comedies that transformed a nation of angsty teens, and American Pie was at the helm of it all. Starring a young Sean William Scott, Tara Reid, Jason Biggs, and Alyson Hannigan, the films were wild, exciting, and free.

American Pie
YouTube/MulaMovieclips/Summit Entertainment

One scene in particular was especially memorable to viewers – in which Shannon Elizabeth, playing the role of foreign exchange student Nadia, undresses to a live webcam audience, even though she thinks she’s alone. As creepy as that sounds, it’s a moment which was certainly paused quite a bit.

7. American Beauty (1999)

Another popular film that came out during that year was American Beauty. The scene in question won’t be hard to recall for those who’ve seen this film, for it pulls viewers under a spell quite effortlessly. It starts off with the film’s protagonist, Lester, sitting in a crowded basketball gym, and watching a group of cheerleaders do their dance.

YouTube/auris2002/Jinks/Cohen Company

However, he soon becomes infatuated with the lead cheerleader, played by the talented Mena Suvari (who, incidentally, also starred in American Pie). As he becomes ever-fixated on her dancing more and more, her spotlight shines, and all else turns to black. It’s a film-defining moment, and not one we’ll forget any time soon.

8. Cruel Intentions (1999)

Here’s a classic still from yet another 1999 film. Cruel Intentions was like the dark, mysterious cousin of American Pie. The characters are young, vibrant, and experiencing love for the first time. But at the same time, many of them are also incredibly malicious and full of, well, cruel intentions.

Cruel Intentions Movie
YouTube/Movieclips/Original Film

Sarah Michelle Gellar, playing the role of the sinister Kathryn, is the head of the snake – but it’s safe to say that she dominated every scene she was in. This one, in particular, didn’t leave fans’ minds for awhile. As Kathryn taught the less-experienced Cecile (Selma Blair) how to kiss, we were treated to one of the most entertaining lessons of all time.

9. The Seven Year Itch (1955)

When you talk about the Hollywood titans, the icons who paved the way for the future of the industry, you have to talk about Marilyn Monroe. She was the symbol of a period where peoples’ attitudes towards sexuality were starting to change rapidly – and one scene in particular, from 1955’s The Seven Year Itch, pretty much sums up the effect she had on the world.

Marilyn Monroe
AF archive/Alamy

As she walks over a subway grate, a strong gust of air blows her white dress up, while she innocently laughs and covers herself. Monroe manages to balance modesty and exposure, tradition and rebellion, and does it in such an effortless manner that it’s no surprise the image has stood the test of time.

10. The Graduate (1967)

Oscar-winning film The Graduate, starring Dustin Hoffman in his breakthrough performance, tells the story of Benjamin Braddock, a despondent young man of few interests who moves back in with his parents after college. While he struggles to find direction in his life, he is seduced by a woman twice his age, Mrs. Robinson, played by Academy Award-winner Anne Bancroft. However, their affair proves to be short-lived, because he soon falls for her daughter, Elaine.

The Graduate
YouTube/Cedric Agnus/Studio Canal

The film’s progressive plot may have caused a stir among some of its 1967 viewers, but it also gave us one of the most paused scenes in history: the one in which Mrs. Robinson locks Dustin in a room and strips naked. Viewers are shown only quick glimpses of her body, but the helpless look on Ben’s face is truly priceless — and iconic.

11. Sleeping With Other People (2015)

Anytime you have Alison Brie on screen, there’s a good chance she’ll do something quirky or wild. In Sleeping With Other People, she gave viewers a provocative dance scene which they probably didn’t expect – and certainly didn’t complain about.

Alison Brie, Sleeping With Other People Movie
YouTube/Ace/Gloria Sanchez Productions

In the film, Brie plays the role of Lainey, a woman who reunites with Jake, an old college friend whom she had once been intimate with (played by Jason Sudeikis). The two try to keep things platonic while the sparks continue to fly like it’s the fourth of July – but their eventual coupling is pretty much inevitable. From Jake’s perspective, this dance scene certainly didn’t make things easier for him.

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