When The Beat Dropped: The Top 10 Surprise Dance Scenes in Film

There’s nothing quite like a surprise dance scene to catch you off guard during a movie. They can be short and silly or they can be grand and elaborate. Sometimes they’re used to relieve tension from a previous scene or sometimes they’re there just for fun. Regardless of the reason, unexpected dance sequences will always be entertaining to watch. For your pleasure, here are the top 10 surprise dance scenes!

10. The Mask

Everything with The Mask is unexpected, so a random dance sequence shouldn’t be too surprising. When the cops have him cornered and surrounded, he breaks out his maracas and his chick-chicky-boom-booms. His movements are so mesmerizing that he even gets the entire police force to join in on his performance of “Cuban Pete” by Ricky Ricardo.

9. Beetlejuice

Barbara and Adam Maitland’s initial attempts to get rid of the Deetz family are slightly disturbing, if not silly. Although making the Deetz shake their bums to “Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)” by Harry Belafonte proves to be ultimately ineffectual, I would’ve probably freaked out if those shrimp hands had grabbed my face…

8. Big

After wandering into FAO Shwarz, Josh Baskin performs “Heart and Soul” and “Chopsticks” with Mr. Macmillan, the owner of MacMillan Toy Company. Although the dancing is more like Dance Dance Revolution before its time, this scene was an endearing surprise nonetheless.

7. Enchanted

In an effort to convince Robert that true love exists, Giselle breaks out into song and dance in spectacular Disney fashion. As more and more New Yorkers join her to dance and sing, she puts on an over the top celebration of romance that escalates to a grand finish. Alan Menken composed “That’s How You Know” with lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.

6. Scent of a Woman

Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade, played by Al Pacino, is a blind alcoholic who is unpleasant for the majority of the film. However, he shows a gentle side when he invites a young lady to dance with him during his trip to New York City. A gentleman with no shortage of class, he whisks her off her feet to “Por una Cabeza” by Carlos Gardel.

5. The 40-Year-Old Virgin

Once the film and the title character reach their respective climaxes, the end credits roll in the form of a surprise dance sequence set to “Aquarius/Let the Sunshine In” by the 5th Dimension. Notable shirtless men that show off their moves include Seth Rogen and Paul Rudd (Ant-Man!).

4. Napoleon Dynamite

Realizing his friend Pedro didn’t have a skit prepared for the student election, Napoleon decides to help his buddy out by jamming to “Canned Heat” by Jamiroquai. Fun fact: the Male Blood Elf in World of Warcraft performs Napoleon’s dance moves if the player types /dance!

3. Tropic Thunder

Played by Tom Cruise, Les Grossman unwinds to “Get Back” by Ludacris during the end credits of the film. Large prosthetic hands, a bald cap, and a fat suit are not enough to keep him from raining godly firestorms upon his enemies on the dance floor.

2. (500) Days Of Summer

Set to “You Make My Dreams” by Hall & Oates, this scene follows Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tom who is filled to the brim with joy after a very special night. Feeling like the badass Han Solo, JGL shows what it’s like to be on top of the world and you just can’t help but be happy for him.

1. Love Actually

Who knew the British Prime Minister had such sweet dance moves? After defending the pride of England against U.S. President Billy Bob Thornton, Hugh Grant breaks it down to “Jump” by the Pointer Sisters. Just how does he manage to dance backwards down half a flight of stairs? It’s amazing!