12 Costly Mistakes Made by Movie Extras

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Background performers, known as extras, usually have a straightforward task. They’re supposed to act naturally, not stand out. However, some extras unintentionally draw attention to themselves, and these mistakes can end up in the final film more often than you’d think. It can be tough to spot these incidents when numerous people are in a scene or a complex setup with many moving parts. Editors and filmmakers often keep these small scenes in the film instead of cutting them due to cost or oversight.

Movie buffs have spotted anomalies in their favorite films over the years. These moments stand out if someone acts oddly during a simple task or an extra is overly dramatic. And when kids or animals are involved, getting a perfect take becomes even more challenging.

Sweeping the Air in Quantum of Solace (2008)

12 Costly Mistakes Made by Movie Extras
Photo Credit: Eon Productions

007 is sent on a mission to Haiti in Quantum of Solace, and there’s a clear mistake in the backdrop. You’ll see a guy cleaning with a broom behind Daniel Craig’s James Bond as he uses his phone while standing on a dock. The man’s broom isn’t even in contact with the ground, and that’s the problem.

He pushes it several times back and forth, but the broom never touches the ground. It’s only reasonable to think this man is an extremely skilled undercover agent. Still, the extra was only acting out his assigned scene in a very implausible way.

Frozen Kids in Everything Must Go (2010)

12 Costly Mistakes Made by Movie Extras
Photo Credit: Bird Song Pictures, Nationlight Productions

Will Ferrell plays the lead in Everything Must Go, a unique dramatic role about an alcoholic who attempts to start over by selling most of his belongings during a yard sale. As Ferrell’s character, Laura Dern makes contact with an old high school friend, we see her two children playing in the front yard.

When the scene returns to Ferrell and Dern, her children are still in the background, but they are still this time. The performers don’t appear to realize that the kids are trapped in a ghostly time loop for the whole six-second sequence. It stands out from the rest of the movie because it’s strange.

Boy Plugging Ears in North By Northwest (1959)

12 Costly Mistakes Made by Movie Extras
Photo Credit: Metro -Goldwyn-Mayer

Alfred Hitchcock’s drama North by Northwest has a lot of climactic suspense, yet for a split second, that tension is eliminated. In one scenario, Eve Kendall (Marie Saint) is confronted by Roger Thornhill (Cary Grant) at the Mount Rushmore cafeteria. As you can guess, it took several tries to perfect Eve’s gunshot after the sequence before she killed Roger.

One of the young extras sat in the restaurant and was bothered by the harsh, loud noise the pistol produced, even though it was just firing blanks. In the take, Hitchcock ultimately used for the movie, a small youngster can be seen blocking his ears in anticipation of the sound. The pivotal moment happens at around 1:40.

Unzipped Pants in Teen Wolf (1985)

12 Costly Mistakes Made by Movie Extras
Photo Credit: Atlantic Releasing cooperation

One of the most well-known moments on this list is this cinematic blunder, which even sparked a Family Guy mimic. Teen Wolf has a scenario that happens immediately following the Beacon High School Beavers’ basketball victory. A red-sweatered supporter is briefly seen cheering for the team with their pants unbuttoned as the crowd goes wild.

The additional swiftly zipped up their fly as soon as they realized what had transpired. Look it over at 0:16 seconds in. It turns out that the extra, initially thought to be a guy, was a woman. Her red sweater may also be seen in a few more movie sequences.

Smirking Soldier in Dunkirk (2017)

12 Costly Mistakes Made by Movie Extras
Photo credit: Warner Bros Pictures

The real-life evacuation of Allied forces from northern France is the subject of Christopher Nolan’s epic World War II film Dunkirk. A German jet that is threatening to destroy them instantly causes a group of troops to exhibit panic at one point in the first teaser trailer for the movie.

On the other hand, a soldier on the right seemed to be having a good time. Viewers soon noticed his alluring grin since it seemed so out of place. Perhaps one of the other extras cracked a joke on him before they started filming?

Too Much Enthusiasm in Ghostbusters (1984)

12 Costly Mistakes Made by Movie Extras
Photo provided by Columbia pictures

When the situation warrants it, background performers are encouraged to be animated, like in the Ghostbusters parade in the 1980 movie of the same name. But there’s a point at which you overdo things. A lone man among the crowd gives the Ghostbusters his all as he stands there.

At one point, he even fits in an audible phrase, “Ghostbusters, alright!” which will go down in Ghostbusters history. Ironically, Eldo Ray Estes, the extra, went on to win an Emmy for makeup work.

Drunk Party Guest in Scream 2 (1997)

12 Costly Mistakes Made by Movie Extras
Photo provided by Dimension Films

When the police get to a neighboring sorority house where Ghostface has just killed a female student, the party in Scream 2 comes to an end for Neve Campbell’s character, Sidney Prescott. Sidney hesitantly leaves the home with a puzzled look as the guests leave in droves.

Additionally, for a split second at 2:39, we witness a man blundering out while holding a bowl, giving off the hilarious appearance of a drunk partygoer. As he regains his senses, his eyes roll around his head, converting a solemn situation into something utterly ridiculous.

Happy Beachgoer in Jaws (1975)

12 Costly Mistakes Made by Movie Extras
Photo provided by Universal Pictures

People were deterred from going into the ocean by Jaws because they were afraid of being attacked by sharks. The idea of Jaws is still very believable today. Nearly. When the video cuts to 23 seconds in, you’ll see the man with the bucket hat—who is shirtless—running for the water with a broad smile on his face.

This guy is having the time of his life at the beach while everyone else mimes widespread panic. Fortunately, the illusion isn’t destroyed because he makes a fleeting appearance on camera.

Unlucky Girl in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971)

12 Costly Mistakes Made by Movie Extras
Photo provided by Paramount Pictures

Before taking a sinister detour inside the twisted lair of the renowned candymaker, Bill the Candy Man (Aubrey Woods) sings this upbeat little song in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. It’s a rather nice song despite being largely naïve about the delights of accepting candy from a relative stranger—well, save for a single instance.

Bill unintentionally snaps the jaw of a little girl standing right in front of the counter when he opens the hatch to let the kids behind it. At 2:19, the girl lurches backward, which must have been rather uncomfortable. This was not what the youngsters had in mind when they desired a jawbreaker from the Candy Man.

Dog Tossing in Mr. Nanny (1993)

12 Costly Mistakes Made by Movie Extras
Photo Credit: Sternin & Fraser Ink Inc

In the movie Mr. Nanny, Hulk Hogan plays a guy who looks after two children as a nanny and a bodyguard. Although it’s not a very good or memorable movie, its strange “dog tossing” sequence did make it popular. At the film’s start, Hogan rides his motorbike through Palm Beach, Florida, at great speed on the highway.

He passes a body of water and sees a man tossing his dog into the air and the sea. No matter how often you see it, the moment, which starts around 15 seconds in, is impossible to make sense of. In a technical sense, this man was merely an unfortunate bystander to a weird performance; he was not paid extra in the play. Could it be that his dog was itching to swim?

Man, Down in The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

12 Costly Mistakes Made by Movie Extras
Photo Credit: Warner Bros, Legendary Entertainment and DC Entertainment

When performed correctly, a planned combat scene can be incredibly stunning, and this one from The Dark Knight Rises was virtually faultless, apart from one small item. One man on the left draws attention to himself with a peculiar character decision while Batman and Catwoman battle a group of goons: he trips and falls without getting struck by anyone.

Even though Catwoman and Batman are far away, he collapses like wood. At least there’s not much light in the location, so the figure appears to be a dark silhouette.

Cat-astrophic Explosion in You Only Live Twice (1967)

12 Costly Mistakes Made by Movie Extras
Photo Credit: Eon Productions

Extras don’t only exist as human beings. Animal extras are also available; those little fellas can be real divadoms. Take this cat, for example, who almost spoiled a scene in the James Bond movie You Only Live Twice. Donald Pleasence’s character Blofeld is well-known for carrying a calm white cat on his lap or arms.

However, the cat’s attitude changes when a loud explosion occurs within the villain’s headquarters. The actor tries to maintain an impossible grasp on the startled cat as he starts to wriggle out of Pleasence’s arms. Even though the cat appears incredibly uncomfortable the entire time, he succeeds.

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