Billy Crystal reveals secret behind 'I'll have what she's having' scene

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By Ree Hines

It's the most memorable scene from 1989's "When Harry Met Sally" — heck, it's one of the most memorable scenes to ever hit the big screen — but few fans knew what was really behind the "I'll have what she's having" moment that saw Meg Ryan deliver a very public and very fake orgasm — until now.

On Monday morning, actor-comedian Billy Crystal visited TODAY and revealed just how it all came about.

"It started in rehearsal, where Nora Ephron, who was so great, said to Rob (Reiner), 'You know, women fake orgasms,'" Crystal recalled. "He was, like, shocked — 'Well, they haven't faked one with me!'"

But Reiner's incredulous response didn't deter the film's leads.

"In the rehearsal, Meg said, 'I should fake one. I should fake it in a public place,' And I said, 'Yeah, like a restaurant with a lot of people," Crystal explained. "And she said, 'I'll give a huge one.' And I said, 'And then there should be an older woman who says, 'Waiter, I'll have what she's having.'"

And that, of course, is exactly how it happened. Well, eventually.

"Meg was a little nervous, so the first orgasm … so so," he said. "The second one was like you're married 12 years. And then Rob said, 'I want you to do it this way. Like this.' And he sat down opposite me — so now it looks like I'm on a date with him or Sebastian Cabot — he has an orgasm that King Kong would be jealous of."

Reiner had it right in front of the stars and the extras on the set, which included the woman who uttered the now-famous "I'll have" response.

"So he finishes this huge thing, the extras applaud, and he pulls me aside and goes, 'I shouldn't have done that.'" Crystal remembered. "I said, 'No, Meg is fine.'"

But the director wasn't worried about Ryan. He was far more concerned about that unforgettable extra, otherwise known as his mom.

"I just had an orgasm in front of my mother," Reiner complained.

Crystal shares more on-screen and off-screen tidbits in his new memoir, "Still Foolin' 'Em," which hits shelves Sept. 10.