"I guess you had to be there" moments in movies

What are some scenes that, on paper are not really all that funny, scary, sad, what have you, that elicit an over the top reaction from you?

For instance in There’s Something About Mary, even though I know the hair gel scene is supposed to be the big laugh, the prom night scene was over all funny but when the father says “is it the frank or the beans?” I doubled over screaming with laughter. I mean, couldn’t breathe, missed the rest of the scene laughter. And throughout the rest of the movie, if I’ thought about it I’d start giggling again. Same thing in Horrible Bosses when a coked up Charlie Day is in the car keeping lookout and he’s singing “That’s not my Name” and reclining back and forward in the seat. Doesn’t sound that humorous when you retell it but that scene still makes me laugh until I cry. Hence, the thread title - I guess you had to be there.

Creepy or sad scenes qualify as well. A good example is the slow zoom of the photo at the end of Rupulsion. It’s pretty obvious that Polanski uses it to telegraph the deep roots of the main character’s neurosis, but I don’t know that he intended for it to be so utterly creepy. Even after having seen the movie many times, I can barely manage to look at it.

Belushi’s “Guess what I am now?” scene in Animal House is without a doubt the funniest thing I have ever seen. But, it only works once - it’s not that funny the second time.

The opening scene of the first Star Wars (yeah yeah, ep IV) movie when the Imperial ship follows the Rebel ship. Surround sound, big screen, never seen anything like it, with my sci-fi friends next me, being a young teen… Yes, you really did have to be there.

I totally agree with this and I barely remember anything else about the movie!. It was awe inspiring.

Just about every scene Belushi did in* Animal House* played out funnier than could be described.

The “Get in the crash position” scene from Airplane! (at 4:56) always cracks me up.

The scene in Monty Python’s “Meaning of Life” when Mr. Creosote starts projectile vomiting all over the restaurant. Part of the “you had to be there” experience for me was that that was the point when quite a few people got up and left the movie in disgust, which just made it even that much more hilarious for me.

Surely you can’t be serious.

The final scene in The Blair Witch Project:Mike standing in the corner facing the wall.On paper, it sounds about as scary as a puppy. But in the context of the story, it was one of the scariest scenes I’ve ever seen in a movie.

Perfect example. That last shot haunted me for several days. I don’t know if the creators even foresaw how effective it would be but damn, what an awesome 2 seconds of film.

A lot of these will come from the first movie that does these things. The Animal House scenes are a good example of that. Used Cars is full of scenes like that, the car blowing up and Toby peeing on the guy to get his attention among others. Weekend at Bernie’s is great for that too. The Meaning of Life scene described above is a case of a fantastic setup, you know something is going to happen and I just burst out laughing when the guy began to puke.

From MP & the HG:

Doesn’t sound very funny on paper.

I often mention the final scene in Osama as the one of the most horrifying scenes in film. But if you just see the scene out of context, it all seems perfectly innocent.

A man bathes in a large tub. And no genitalia are shown, if you think that’s what I mean.

In context, it will chill you to the bone.

I think the end scene in “12 Monkeys” fits the bill.

Cole and Doctor Railly are running through the airport when

The security guards shoot down Cole, Railly cradles the dying Cole in her arms and as he slips away she looks around and catches and holds the gaze of the young Cole in the crowd looking on

Sounds like nothing really but it is a wonderfully played, heartbreaking moment.

Can you please explain / spoiler the spoiler?

Monty Python’s Life of Brian - The “rescue” scene when Brian falls off of the tower.

If you describe it, it just seems like dumb random humor.

If you watch an out-of-context clip on YouTube, it’s not particularly funny, just weird.

But in the context of the movie, the sheer incongruity of a alien spaceship appearing out of nowhere in Biblical times to catch Brian while he’s falling was hilarious to the point that I had tears streaming down my face and almost fell out of my chair in the theatre. Even funnier is that there is never any reference to the event in the rest of the movie.

When you first realize who Keiser Soze is!

Some not so positive ones:
When you encounter the “twist” in every M Night Shyamalan movie after The Sixth Sense

The first time you watch the Nicholas Cage remake of The Wicker Man and realize the last 15-20 minutes actually just happened. Hell…I still think it’s funny as shit. But it still never beats the first time you watch it and are like “WTF”!?

Throw Momma From The Train. Scene in the kitchen, where Danny DeVito introduces Billy Crystal to the enchanting Anne Ramsey.

“You don’t have a cousin Paddy!”
“You lied to me!”
*hits Billy Crystal with frying pan

It’s Billy Crystal’s immediate dive to the floor that makes it so hilarious. It’s a genius bit of physical comedy.

Not the bees!

Michael confronting Carlo. It’s not the words on the page it’s the look in Pacino’s eyes.

From Leon: The Professional: the scene where the psycho cop shouts “Everyone!”.

In one word, just the way he does it, he exudes evil and menace!