What, in your opinion, are scenes that could easily have been removed from a film/book/show and left the story and characterisation wholly intact?
For example, I think that in many cases with films an unnecessary and tonally-jarring happy ending appears to have been tacked onto the end, one which either derails the story or ruins the overall mood for the sake of assuring the audience or appearing "cool".
The Matrix does this with an (IMO) painful few additional seconds; instead of leaving the implication of Neo recruiting the audience, we are treated to him flying away from the phonebooth. If this is intended to impress upon the audience the power and uniqueness of Neo-who-has-harnessed his abilities, it hasn't done the job it was intended to do.
Likewise the end of The Faculty; my assumption had been that the film would end with the few survivors laughing inside their cage, exuberant and near-hysterical with relief at having survived. It was upbeat and life-affirming and a good strong ending, which makes the inclusion of a "they're all okay really" coda which brought several characters back to life even more baffling.
There are other examples which spring to mind, but I was wondering if anyone else could think of unnecessary, self-indulgent scenes/shots/lines or the like that they'd cut to tighten up a book, episode, or film - or instances where an additional scene might have been useful, too.
Writing, writing, and writing
- In an attempt to get the ball rolling