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Signature Scene

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The most famous scene from the most disastrous teen romance you're likely to find.

"THAT scene in American Pie."

That one scene that everyone remembers from a movie or other media. When people think of the work, this is the one scene that they immediately think of, and may be the only reason to remember it at all. If the work is referenced in popular culture, it will reference this scene. Cover illustrations will often depict this scene. Any parodies will also center on this scene specifically.

There are many reasons that the scene may stand out. It may be...

No matter the reason, the Signature Scene is cemented in the minds of the general public. If you have actually seen the work yourself, there may be more scenes that you enjoy, or possibly stick out more in your mind than what people believe to be the Signature Scene. This dissonance leads to Small Reference Pools.

Scenes which are little more than famous quotes should probably not be listed here. Those are examples of Signature Lines. Quotes do help keep a Signature Scene memorable, though.

Compare All There Is to Know About "The Crying Game", Best Known for the Fanservice, Watch It for the Meme, Money-Making Shot, and Everybody Knows That.


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    Awards Shows 
  • Academy Awards
    • 1972: Charlie Chaplin receiving an Honorary Oscar
    • 1973: Sacheen Littlefeather accepting Best Actor on behalf of Marlon Brando.
    • 1974: The streaking incident preceding the presentation of Best Picture.
    • 1978: Vanessa Redgrave's politically charged Best Supporting Actress acceptance speech.
    • 1985: Sally Field's Best Actress speech.
    • 1989: The Rob Lowe-Snow White number.
    • 1999: Roberto Benigni climbing over the audience to accept Best Actor.
    • 2002: Halle Berry becoming the first African-American Best Actress.
    • 2003: Either Eminem winning Best Original Song for "Lose Yourself" or Adrien Brody winning Best Actor and kisses Halle Berry.
    • 2007: Martin Scorsese winning his first Best Director Oscar.
    • 2009: Heath Ledger posthumously winning Best Supporting Actor.
    • 2010: Kathryn Bigelow becoming the first woman to win Best Director.
    • 2011: Melissa Leo blurting the F-bomb upon accepting her Best Supporting Actress Oscar.
    • 2013: Jennifer Lawrence tripping over the steps after winning the Best Actress Oscar.
    • 2014: Either John Travolta's "Adele Dazeem" blunder or Ellen DeGeneres's star-studded selfie.
    • 2016: Leonardo DiCaprio winning his first Oscar for Best Actor.
    • 2017: La La Land being erroneously announced as Best Picture when in actuality Moonlight won.
  • Grammy Awards
    • 1965: The Beatles winning Best New Artist.
    • 1990: Milli Vanilli winning Best New Artist and having it subsequently stripped.
    • 2000: Jennifer Lopez's green dress.
    • 2001: Elton John and Eminem performing together.
    • 2012: Adele's dominating night.
    • 2014: Pharrell Williams in the Mountie hat.
    • 2015: Kanye West interrupting Beck's acceptance speech.
    • 2017: Adele breaking her "Best Album" Grammy in two to honor Beyonce.
    • 2018: Kesha's performance of "Praying" and/or the "Fire and Fury" read-along.
  • Golden Globes
  • MTV Video Music Awards
    • 2003: Madonna kissing Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera in their performance.
    • 2007: Britney Spears' disastrous performance of "Gimme More".
    • 2009: Taylor Swift winning the award for Best Female Video only to be interrupted by Kanye West.
    • 2010: Lady Gaga accepting her award for Best Video while wearing a dress of raw meat.
    • 2011: Beyoncé announcing her pregnancy with Blue Ivy Carter.
    • 2013: Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke's performance of "We Can't Stop" and "Blurred Lines".
    • 2017: Logic's performance of "1-800-273-8255".

    Comic Strips 
  • Popeye:
    • Popeye beating up his opponents (in the original comics he did this without the aid of spinach. After the cartoon became a hit this element was added)
    • Wimpy eating hamburgers.
    • Eugene the jeep seeing "jeep".
  • Krazy Kat: Ignatz zapping Krazy Kat with a brick.
  • Little Nemo: Little Nemo flying on his bed through the night, then awaking because it was All a Dream and having fallen out of his bed.
  • Peanuts:
    • Charlie Brown failing to kick the football after Lucy pulls it away.
    • Schroder playing the piano.
    • Snoopy sleeping on top of his dog house.
  • Calvin and Hobbes:
    • Hobbes pouncing on Calvin.
    • Calvin and Hobbes riding in Calvin's red wagon.
    • Calvin pretending to be Spaceman Spiff.
    • The final strip, with Calvin and Hobbes going sledding as Calvin says "Let's go exploring!"

    Fan Works 

    Multiple Media 
  • BIONICLE:
    • The 2001 commercial for each Toa, but especially Tahu's, showing him rebuilding himself slowly, and turning red upon putting his Kanohi on.
    • From the films:
      • Mask of Light: Jaller's Disney Death and Takua becoming Takanuva.
      • City of Legends: Lhikan's death.
      • Web of Shadows: The mutation scene.
      • The Legend Reborn: Mata Nui and the Ignika landing on Bara Magna, followed by the creation of Mata Nui's Toa body.
    • 2006 will be remembered for the Piraka Rap...for better or worse.
    • For 2007, Matoro's sacrifice is this undoubtably.
    • The entire island of Mata Nui breaking apart as the living body of Mata Nui, which was revealed to be the same size as the entire Matoran universe, revealed himself.

    Music 
  • Abba: The band how they appeared during their winning performance in the Eurovision Song Contest of 1974.
    • The very first performance of "Dancing Queen" at the king of Sweden's wedding.
  • Louis Armstrong: Laughing and hamming it up with a big grin, holding a white handkerchief too.
  • Josephine Baker: Dancing around in her banana skirt.
  • The Beatles:
  • David Bowie: His Ziggy Stardust image.
  • Dream Theater: The ending of Metropolis Pt. 2: Scenes from a Memory, where the hypnotherapist from earlier ambushes Nicholas in his home and kills him, just like his previous incarnation, Edward, killed Nicholas' previous incarnation, Victoria. "Open your eyes, Nicholas!"
  • James Brown: Faking that he is too tired to go on anymore and seemingly walking off stage, while a band member puts a cloak over his back, only to suddenly leap back and grab the mike again.
  • Cab Calloway: Calloway dancing around in his hepcat white suit and fedora hat.
  • Bob Dylan holding lyric cards while his song is playing in the most famous scene of Don't Look Back.
  • Dizzy Gillespie playing the trumpet, with bulbous cheeks.
  • Michael Jackson
    • The preteen Jackson dancing and singing alongside The Jackson Five.
    • The Moon Walk Dance, complete with one glove on his hand.
    • Jackson dancing on the illuminating tiles in the music video of "Billie Jean".
    • Jackson and the rivaling gang members dancing together near the end of the music video of "Beat It".
    • Jackson transforming into a werecat and later a zombie in the music video of Thriller, which leads to the thriller dance that has often been parodied. Also the final shot where he is revealed to have scary cat eyes.
    • The scenes where he dances in a leather jacket along with fellow gang members in the music video of Bad.
    • The gravity lean scene in the music video of "Smooth Criminal".
    • The racial face morphing scene in the music video of "Black Or White" and the (often ommitted) scenes afterwards where he dances in a back alley, hits a car with a crowbar and changes into a panther.
  • Madonna: Appearing on stage in her white Gaultier bra.
  • Freddie Mercury: The mustached front man parading around on stage with his microphone stand.
  • Queen: The opening shot of the music video for "Bohemian Rhapsody", where the band members are seen as four heads together. This has become so iconic that is has been imitated and parodied often.
  • Elvis Presley
    • Elvis shaking his hips on the Ed Sullivan Show.
    • Elvis dancing with prisoners in Jailhouse Rock.
    • Elvis in his white glitter suit during his Las Vegas period. Obligatory to that image are the phrases: "Thank you, thank you very much" and the phrase: "Elvis has left the building".
  • Frank Sinatra: The young singer in his Cool Hat and suit, with the often imitated Coat Over the Shoulder pose.

    Music Videos 
  • Michael Jackson:
    • "Don't Stop Till You Get Enough": Michael dancing with three clones of himself.
    • "Billie Jean": Michael dancing on the illuminating tiles.
    • "Beat It": The final scene where he and other dancers do a synchronized line dance.
    • Jackson transforming into a werecat and later a zombie in the music video of "Thriller", which leads to the thriller dance that has often been parodied. Also the final shot where he is revealed to have scary cat eyes.
    • The scenes where he dances in a leather jacket along with fellow gang members in the music video of "Bad".
    • The gravity lean scene in the music video of "Smooth Criminal".
    • The racial face morphing scene in the music video of "Black Or White" and the (often ommitted) scenes afterwards where he dances in a back alley, hits a car with a crowbar and changes into a panther.
  • Madonna:
    • "Like a Virgin": Dancing on a gondola.
    • "Like a Prayer": The controversial scene where a black Jesus Christ statue is brought to live, upon which they embrace and she turns out to have stigmata afterwards.
    • "Justify My Love": Madonna meeting many people of Ambiguous Gender in semi-pornographic poses.
    • "Vogue": Madonna striking a pose by holding her hands in front of her forehead and chin.
    • "Music": The strip club.
    • "Frozen": The morphing sequence.
    • "Ray of Light": Dancing to a time lapse video.
  • MC Hammer: The scene in "Can't Touch This" where he dances around in baggy pants, while four young women are behind him in the background.
  • Britney Spears: Dancing in a young schoolgirl outfit in the hallway of the school in "Baby One More Time".
  • Eminem falling off a building in "The Way I Am".
  • Alanis Morisette singing "Ironic" in her car - as the driver and three passengers.
  • Guns N' Roses' "November Rain" has two, Slash soloing outside a church and a sad Axl lying on a casket in the rain.
  • PSY's "Gangnam Style" has the scene of PSY laying between Noh Hong-chul's legs while the latter dances using his pelvis.
  • Childish Gambino's "This Is America" has the intro scene, with a shirtless Donald Glover dancing over to a man playing guitar and shooting him in the back of the head.

    Sports 
  • Ask people in Chicago, and they'll tell you that the Cubs lost the 2003 NLCS because of Steve Bartman. Forget the fact that they couldn't get an out the rest of the inning, and then lost the next game. No, it all comes down to that one play.
    • It might make Cubs fans feel better to realize that their Arch-Nemesis, the St. Louis Cardinals, had essentially the same thing happen in the 1985 World Series, when the Denkinger Call, a blown umpiring call, entered Cardinals infamy, with the point that they couldn't get out of the inning either, and then also lost the next game. However, it probably doesn't.
    • The ending of Game 7 of the 2016 World Series.
  • Similar with Buckner in the 1986 World Series. The Red Sox had already blown a two run lead with two outs in the 10th inning. Buckner's error allowed the third (albeit winning) run to score. The Red Sox also blew a three run lead the next game to lose the Series. Ask most people why the Red Sox lost that series though, and they'll tell you about the Buckner play.
  • Michael Jordan hitting "The Shot" over Craig Ehlo to eliminate the Cavs in Game 5.
  • Carlton Fisk waving a home run ball fair in the 1975 World Series. Of course, Boston lost the series to the Big Red Machine, one of the greater teams in history, but the Fisk home run is what people most focus on.
  • 2013 ALCS. The Red Sox down by four, bottom of the eighth inning in game 2, David Ortiz hits a grand slam, culminating into a walk-off run in the ninth. The image in every New England newspaper the next day was of a BPD officer in the bullpen with his arms raised in excitement as Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter went tumbling into the bullpen trying to catch the ball (though his excitement was more over the home run than Hunter doing a flip over the wall).
  • 1980 Miracle on Ice "Do you believe in miracles?! YES!" Also, the team celebrating after Eruzione's goal to take the lead.
  • The FIFA World Cup has a few.
    • Pelé's goal in the 1958 final, and Maradona's goal versus England in 1986 (no, not the one he punched the ball!).
    • The 1954 final: Helmut Rahn's winning goal against Hungary ("Aus dem Hintergrund müsste Rahn kommen...") and the West German team lifting coach Sepp Herberger and captain Fritz Walther on their shoulders in the rain after the handing-over of the Jules Rimet Cup. Doubles as a signature scene for the German national team.
    • The extra time of the "Game of the Century", Italy vs. West Germany 4-3, in Mexico 1970. Fans remember how quickly and often the score changed that they tend to forget how boring the regular 90 minutes were in comparison. (Italy took an early 1-0 lead and then defended it by hook and by crook until Karl-Heinz Schnellinger equalized in the 90th minute).
    • The 2006 final: French football icon Zinedine Zidane headbutting Italian defender Marco Materazzi and getting a red card on his last international game.
    • 2014: Brazil getting blown out 7-1 by Germany in the semi-final (especially the 7 minute sequence in which Germans scored four times). At their home turf.
  • 2004 ALCS Dave Roberts stealing second base.
  • Super Bowl:
    • Super Bowl III: Joe Namath raising his finger in victory while walking back to the locker room, after his Jets upset the Colts.
    • Super Bowl X: Lynn Swann's "Swann Dive".
    • Super Bowl XXV: Scott Norwood's 47-yard field goal attempt that sailed wide right, resulting in the Bills losing 20-19 to the Giants.
    • Super Bowl XXXII: John Elway being hit by tackles from both sides, spinning in midair and slamming into the ground, on his way to leading the Denver Broncos to winning their first Super Bowl.
    • Super Bowl XXXIV: Titans receiver Kevin Dyson's touchdown attempt ending one yard short of the goal line, at the end of the game.
    • Super Bowl XXXVI: U2's 9/11 themed halftime show performance.
    • Super Bowl XXXVIII: Janet Jackson's halftime show "wardrobe malfunction".
    • Super Bowl XLII: Quarterback Eli Manning throwing a pass after escaping a sack that was caught by third string wide receiver David Tyree against his helmet while being pulled to the ground.
    • Super Bowl XLIII: The Steelers' Santonio Holmes catching the game-winning touchdown pass, while keeping both of his feet in bounds.
    • Super Bowl XLIV: Tracy Porter intercepting Peyton Manning's pass and returning it for a touchdown, which sealed the game for the Saints.
    • Super Bowl XLVI: Ahmad Bradshaw "accidentally" scoring the winning touchdown for the Giants.
    • Super Bowl XLVII: The power outage a few minutes into the second half of the game.
    • Super Bowl XLVIII: At the start of the game, Broncos center Manny Ramirez botched a snap to Peyton Manning, resulting in a safety for the Seahawks. This incident lead to the Broncos getting blown out 43-8.
    • Super Bowl XLIX: Combined with Down to the Last Play; it seemed that the image of Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Jermaine Kearse making his juggling catch was going to be the game's biggest moment. Two plays later, New England Patriots rookie cornerback Malcolm Butler (who played a role in said catch) one-upped that by intercepting a Russell Wilson pass intended for Ricardo Lockette at the goal line, saving the Patriots' victory and humiliating the Seahawks for making an awful play call.
    • Super Bowl LII: Julian Edelman's diving catch in traffic on the Patriots' game-tying, comeback drive in the fourth quarter.
  • For NASCAR: the fatal crash of Dale Earnhardt at the 2001 Daytona 500.
  • For Formula One: the fatal crash of Ayrton Senna at the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.
  • Pittsburgh Pirates Hall-of-Famer Bill Mazeroski was regarded as a superb second baseman; his batting was so unremarkable that it nearly cost him his chance to be in the Hall. What is he remembered for? In the Game Seven of the 1960 World Series, he cracked a walk-off home run that won his team the Series.
  • The Green Bay Packers:
    • The Packers carrying Vince Lombardi off the field after winning Super Bowl II, his final game as the team's head coach.
    • Another Packers example is Brett Favre ripping off his helmet and running off the field after throwing a touchdown pass in Super Bowl XXXI on Green Bay's second play from scrimmage.
  • "The Catch", in which Dwight Clark caught a pass from Joe Montana to win the 1982 NFC Championship.
    • This was followed up years later by "The Catch II" (Steve Young to Terrell Owens) during the 1998 NFC Wild Card, and "The Catch III" (Alex Smith to Vernon Davis) during the 2011 NFC Divsional. All three Catches took place on 3rd and 3.
  • The Oakland Raiders were on the receiving end of two of the most controversial plays in NFL history: The Immaculate Reception (vs. the Steelers in the 1972 AFC Divisional) and The Tuck Rule Game (vs. the Patriots in the 2001 AFC Divisional).
  • "The Play". Lateral after lateral allowed Cal to win the 1982 Big Game with no time left on the clock, with the final receiver even having to run through the Stanford marching band to reach the end zone.
  • Jim Marshall will forever live in American football infamy for running the football the wrong way in a 1964 game against the 49ers.
    • At least the Vikings won that game. Roy Riegels of the California Golden Bears ran the wrong way in the 1929 Rose Bowl against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, only being stopped a couple yards from his own end zone by his own teammate before getting dogpiled. The next play was a blocked punt which yield two points to Georgia Tech, the ultimate difference in an 8-7 loss.
  • A weird, but awesome, aversion from the sport of mountaineering: "The Belay", in which climber Pete Schoening saved almost his whole climbing team on K2 from a fatal fall, maybe the most remembered moment in the entire sport — yet absolutely nobody saw it but Schoening, including, in all likelihood, the men whose lives he saved.
  • The end of Game 7 of the 2016 NBA finals, in which the Cleveland Cavaliers won the city their first major sporting championship in half a century.

    Web Comics 

Alternative Title(s): Iconic Scene

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