‘New Girl’ Series Finale: That Final Nick-Schmidt Bromance Flashback Was Totally Improvised

Max Greenfield and Jake Johnson tell TheWrap about ending their on-screen love story the way they wanted

(Spoiler alert: Please do not read ahead unless you’ve seen the series finale of “New Girl”)

The love story at the center of Fox’s “New Girl” was a focal point of the series finale on Tuesday. We’re talking, of course, about the bromance between Nick (Jake Johnson) and Schmidt (Max Greenfield).

Oh, come on, you always knew Nick and Jess (Zooey Deschanel) were going to get married. But did you ever imagine Nick would finally admit he truly loves his BFF? Yes, in the last few moments of the episode Nick says those three little words Schmidt has been waiting for so long to hear.

And if Johnson and Greenfield had had it there way, you probably would have seen more of a two-sided relationship long before the finale.

“I love all the flashback stuff,” Johnson told TheWrap, while being interviewed along with stars Greenfield and Hannah Simone at an advanced screening of the final two episodes of the Liz Meriwether sitcom. “[Greenfield] in the fat suit was always really funny. Lamorne with those rows was always funny — those cornrows. It was just really fun to do those. And the one that I saw in this one [the finale] — now I’m trying to brag, but I have seen the last two episodes — we do a bit on the couch –,” Johnson said, before being cut off by Simone, who plays Schmidt’s wife Cece.

“I have not seen that like intense sexual chemistry that happens there,” Simone said, laughing.

“Yeah, well, cause it’s been cut out Hannah! For six years!” Johnson said. “Every scene — all you’ll see, cause [Hannah and I] hadn’t worked together for four years — but all you’ll ever see would be ‘Cool it man!’ [from Nick]. And everybody thinks I’m a bad guy. They always cut out. Every bit for him is he’s got a thing for me and I was really glad they finally put it in!”

Johnson then broke down the scene he was referencing, which is a flashback in the series closer showing Nick and Schmidt moving into the loft right out of college. As he told the story, Greenfield and Simone stood by and tried (unsuccessfully) not to laugh.

“Cause the bit is — it wasn’t scripted that way, he improvised that,” Johnson said. “It was scripted, ‘What’s gonna happen in this loft?’And he goes, ‘I’m gonna hopefully meet a girl and have a kid.’ ‘Maybe I’ll be a writer and fall in love,’ [I say.] That was all that was in there. He improvises — I think I said to him, ‘What does she look like?’ And he improvises exactly what I look like.”

Oh, he does. Down to the gray beanie.

“We laughed, the crew laughed. I thought, ‘Another garbage, throwaway moment.’ But finally what I appreciate is they did put that in. Cause that is what it was seven years! Every opportunity to make it a sexual bit between us, he would do, I would fight. We would do for three minutes, somebody would finally yell, ‘Guys stop! We’re never using it.’ But it was fun to do.”

Greenfield expanded on his dynamic with Johnson a bit more, talking about how so much of their on-screen banter was improvised over the years. And how his favorite came about in just the last few episodes.

“There is a moment that really had me crying laughing,” Greenfield said of a scene in Episode 2 in the final season. “Jake walks into the scene and he has some line about like, ‘That’s like a porcupine putting on a tie’ [laughs]. And I remember very vividly — and I don’t remember a lot of things cause my brain dies sometimes [laughs] — and improvising on every take, ‘Wow, wonder what that would look like.’ And I remember Jake saying for the first three takes, ‘Please ,stop improvising that, cause they’re gonna put it in the show.'”

And of course, they did. “I saw it at home when it was on later. Done. One of the funniest things I’ve ever seen. That happened and just — tears.

OK, go back and watch that one now, cause you’re gonna need some happy tears after all the feels in the series finale.