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So you've been watching a new show for a few weeks now, you like the characters and are just getting comfortable with the routine of how things work. You tune in expecting another Monster of the Week when all of a sudden the writers pull a fast one.

This is done to either showcase something that's been teased at, raise the stakes, or change the game somehow to keep things more interesting.

Generally the point when the Exposition stops and the real Plot begins. Usually falls on episode 7 or there about as it's halfway through the first 13 episode season, or 1/4 of the way through your 26 episode season if you get renewed. May extend to later seasons as well.

Warning. Examples are essentially Spoilers but since they're so early in the series, most are probably closer to Late Arrival Spoiler.

Compare First Episode Spoiler and Late Arrival Spoiler.

Unless otherwise specified, all examples actually land on Episode 7 exactly.

Examples of Seventh-Episode Twist include:


Anime and Manga


Live-Action TV

  • Episode 7 of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is when we learn that Angel is a vampire.
    • Season 2: Angel reveals his connection to Drusilla.
    • Season 3: Faith loses her trust in people.
    • Season 4: Riley works for the Initiative. Spike becomes a series regular.
    • Season 5: "Every Slayer has a death wish".
    • Season 6: Buffy and Spike kiss.
    • Season 7: The Big Bad confronts the Scoobies. Spike has been feeding again.
  • 24:
    • Season 1 is a special case, because the show wasn't certain to get a full 24 episode, they dropped the twist in the finale of the 13th episode (when their original contract ended) - A second hitman arrives in Los Angeles.
      • Actually, there was a 7th episode twist: Jamey was revealed to be the mole at CTU working with Ira Gaines.
    • Season 2: Kim finds the dead body of Carla in the trunk of her car. Up until that point, Carla's husband Gary was just abusive. Now he's a murderer too.
    • Season 3 begins with a virus threat and a demand to release a drug lord from prison. However by episode 7, it's revealed that the virus threat was all a hoax created by the good guys as part of a completed undercover mission to obtain the real virus.
    • Season 4: Tony Almeida returns.
    • Season 5: CTU apprehends the man who can reprogram the detonators but he is killed before he talks.
    • Season 6: Philip Bauer is involved in the terrorist plot.
    • Season 7 episode 6: The First Gentleman kills the secret service agent who tried to kill him.
    • Season 8: Jack is captured by Bazhaev.
  • Chuck
    • Season 1 - Bryce betrayed Chuck so he won't be recruited by the CIA.
    • Season 2 - Jill is FULCRUM.
    • Season 3 episodes 5-8 chronicled Chuck's doomed relationship with Hannah.
    • Season 4 - we are introduced to Volkoff and Chuck loses the intersect.
    • Season 5 - Shaw is Dekker's boss.
  • Dollhouse - we find out that Caroline was investigating Rossum (the company that owns the Dollhouse) before she became Echo.
  • Moonlight - marked the reappearance of Mick's supposedly dead wife, as a human.
  • Angel
    • Season 1 - Doyle gets a vision of Buffy in danger.
    • Season 2 - Wolfram & Hart wanted Angel to sire Darla. BAD IDEA.
    • Season 3 - The arrival of Holtz.
    • Season 4 - The Beast covers Los Angeles in darkness. Cordelia and Connor have sex.
    • Season 5 episode 8 - Lindsey returns.
  • Vicki's death on The Vampire Diaries.
  • The 2011 season of Doctor Who reveals that River Song is Amy and Rory's daughter.
    • Although thanks to British Brevity, the seventh episode (where this is revealed) is also the mid-season finale.
  • Pretty Guardian Sailor Moon: Mamoru discovers Sailor Moon's identity but keeps it a secret.
  • Supernatural is mostly Monster of the Week but sometimes gets this:
  • Head Of The Class: the original premise had Charlie as a substitute teacher to a "gifted" class. Episode 6 featured the return of the original teacher and a permanent change in Charlie's status -- specifically, since this wasn't the last episode, he becomes permanent. The show does act as though he will leave until the literal last minute of the episode.
  • The Sarah Connor Chronicles
    • Season 1: Sarah finds and destroys the missing T-888 arm.
    • season 2: Cromartie finds out where the Connors live.
  • Life
    • Season 1 - Crews discovers a link between Dani's father and the Bank of LA shootout.
    • Season 2 episode 8 - Crews' investigation goes higher up than he thought when he is confronted by an FBI agent.
  • Friends
    • Season 1 - First appearance of Paolo.
    • Season 2 - Ross finds out about Rachel's feelings for him.
    • Season 3 - Janice is cheating on Chandler.
    • Season 4 Episode 5-7 - Chandler falls for Joey's girlfriend.
    • Season 5 episode 6 - Ross and Emily's marriage ends.
    • Season 6 - Joey gets a new roommate.
  • Game of Thrones
    • Season 1 - Jon takes his vow as a man of the Night's Watch. An attempt on Daenerys' life convinces Khal Drogo to invade Westeros. Eddard is arrested for contesting Joffrey's accession to the throne.
    • Season 2 - Wildlings capture Jon. Bran and Rickon escape from Winterfell but Theon claims he killed them. Xaro proclaims himself king of Qarth.
  • The Good Guys: Jack kisses Liz and admits he's not over her.
  • Once Upon a Time: Regina remembers the fairytale world, has somehow kept her collection of hearts from those she enslaved, and kills Graham.
  • Community
    • Season 1 - First appearance of Prof. Slater.
    • Season 2 - Pierce breaks his legs and gets addicted to painkillers.
    • Season 3 - Annie moves in with Troy and Abed.
  • Burn Notice
    • Season 1 - Michael gets his hand on what got him burned; a fake dossier detailing all the bad things he supposedly done.
    • Season 2 - Michael and crew discover the name of the man who picked up the sniper rifle Mike stole last episode.
    • Season 3 - Michael decides to work with Strickler.
    • Season 4 - Fiona destroys evidence proving Michael burned Jesse.
    • Season 5 episode 4 - Michael is framed for the death of his CIA contact.
  • Terriers
    • Episode 5 of Season 1- After spending the first part of the season trying to figure out the mystery about the Montague real estate development, Hank and Brit find a document that states there are toxic chemicals in the ground, only to end the episode with the discovery that the report is fake and the people bankrolling the development want people to think that the site is dangerous so the land can be marked uninhabitable.
  • New Girl - Nick and Schmidt get into a fight. This is the first time we see drama in the show.
  • Early Edition episode 4 - Gary discovers the name of the previous owner of the paper, Lucius Snow.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess
    • Season 1 Episode 6 - first appearance of Ares.
    • Season 2 - Callisto switches bodies with Xena
    • Season 3 Episode 6-7 - Xena goes (back) to China.
    • Season 4 Episode 3 - Gabrielle is alive (for some reason). Hope is finally killed.
    • Season 5 Episode 4 - Xena finds out she's pregnant.
    • Season 6 - We are introduced to the Norse gods.
  • Person of Interest: Elias makes his first on-screen appearance and becomes the first member of the Rogues Gallery, marking something of a Genre Shift and demonstrating that the show had a strong Myth Arc.


Videogames

  • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance: Chapter 7 is when the divided group comes back together, and when Greil dies, forcing Ike to go from rookie to commander of the Mercenaries at the beginning of Chapter 8.
    • Also in Blazing Sword Chapter 7 is the first time we meet The Black fang, who go on to become the primary antagonists and their relationship hunting Ninian and Nils, which goes on to become a major plot point. We also meet Eliwood, who goes on to become the primary protagonist, a cameo by Hector, the third member of the main Power Trio.


Web Originals

  • In American Kitsune, the seventh chapter reveals that Serena and David are long lost siblings.
  • Red vs. Blue - ends with a teaser stating a character would die in the next episode. Of course with the nature of this show, the character who dies comes back.


Western Animation

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: Episode 7 is part one of the the two-part Winter Solstice episode that introduces the Spirit World, Aang's ability to talk to past Avatars, and the coming of Sozin's Comet. The series jumps from "Let's take Katara to learn Waterbending" to "kill Ozai in a year or the world gets destroyed".
    • In the second season, episode 7 spotlights Zuko and is notable for the complete non-appearance of the protagonists and for shedding light on some very significant backstory. In the third season, episode 7 is filler, but episode 6 is key, revealing the shared history of Avatar Roku and Fire Lord Sozin and how the War began.
    • The Legend of Korra has this between episodes 6-7, the midpoint of the first Season (or "Book"). In #6 we have the Equalists destroying the pro-bending arena (depriving Mako and Bolin of their home) and emerging publicly; in #7, we learn that Hiroshi Sato is The Mole for the Equalists and has been building them Mecha, and so Mako, Bolin and Asami move in with Tenzin's family.
  • ThunderCats (2011): Episode 7, "Legacy" is a Wham! Episode, where we learn the origin of the Thundercats, their relationship with Mumm-Ra, and the game changes for the characters. They don't just need the Sword and Book of Omens, now they need to unite the Animals and find three new mystical stones as well.
  • In Teen Titans Season four, episode seven is when Raven reveals her true nature and destiny to the other Titans.
  • Episode seven of The Spectacular Spider-Man first introduces (in-costume) the Green Goblin, who will ultimately take over as Big Bad.
    • The following season's seventh episode ends with George Stacy all but flat-out admitting that he knows Peter is Spider-Man.
  • X-Men: Evolution
    • Season 1 - Rogue's Heel Face Turn and the existence of Mystique to the team.
    • Season 2 - Introduces Angel as well as Magneto's first on screen appearance since his apparent death the previous season finale.
  • Danny Phantom - first appearance of Vlad Plasmius.
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series did this over the seasons:
    • "Enter the Punisher": Ends with Spider-Man succumbing to the full effects of his Neogenic Disease - transforming into Man-Spider.
    • "The Man Without Fear": Spider-Man learns Wilson Fisk is the Kingpin, The Man Behind the Man for many of his past battles.
  • For Young Justice, "Denial" could be considered Fridge Seventh Episode Twist. On first viewing, it seems like a straightforward Villain of the Week episode. However, it's later revealed that said villain, Klarion, is a member of the series Big Bad organization, the Light, and was in fact the first Light member to appear on-screen. Between various clues spotted by longtime comics fans and leaks from voice actors and toy sales, fans were able to deduce every member of the Light except Klarion. The episode also launched the ongoing Dr. Fate subplot, which would turn out to have major ramifications down the line; dropped the first hint towards Red Tornado's back story (Hey, why does he consider an old Justice Society member a friend?); and didn't foreshadow the Wally/Artemis ship so much as write it in the stars.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes:
    • The team forms at the end of the seventh episode produced during season one.
    • In season two, episode 7 is when the Avengers first become aware of the Skrull infestation. It also marks the end of Iron Man as leader of the Avengers, with Skrull Captain America leading only Hawkeye, Hulk and Wasp due to Iron Man, Ms. Marvel and Black Panther spitting off out of mistrust for the rest of the team. Interestingly, the production order lists this as the sixth episode of season two, but Marvel has confirmed that the chronological order designates this as the seventh episode.
  • X-Men has a couple:
    • Season 1: The X-men return home from a rescue mission only to find the mansion completely destroyed.
    • Season 2: Bishop returns to the past to prevent another disaster from destroying his future, in this case a plague that has been infecting humans, engineered by the Friends of Humanity to pin the blame on mutants and eventually infect them with as well. Cable, who's been researching the events, discovers that the plague was actually created by Apocalypse and that Bishop's actions are actually wiping out his own timeline.
    • Season 3: Jean Grey, now merged with the Phoenix, must sacrifice herself to seal the M'Kraan Crystal before it destroys all existence.
  • Voltron: Legendary Defender:
    • Pidge reveals her gender to the others in episode 8, but the audience already knew when Shiro called her by her real name, Katie, three episodes prior.
    • Season 2, episode 8: Keith is revealed to be half-Galra.
    • Season 3, episode 7: the Evil Sorcerer Haggar the Witch was once Honerva, a benevolent Altean Hot Scientist. And Zarkon is her husband, whose Face-Heel Turn began when he tried to save her and failed..
    • Season 4, episode 6: Lotor saves Keith from getting himself killed and offers to ally himself with Team Voltron.
    • Season 6, episode 6: Shiro did truly die during the battle with Zarkon, and the Shiro who came back to the team was a clone with his memories created by Haggar to use as a Manchurian Agent.
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