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Let's just say it now: Every. Grand. Finale. EVAH. With that out of the way, some more specific examples are listed below.

These series have their own page:


Other examples

A-D

  • An incredibly startling example is from Alias -- in "Phase One", Sydney was suddenly able to bring SD-6 crashing down, take down The Alliance, and hook up with Vaughn, essentially changing the entire premise of the show. This falls under the category of Retooling as well as a Wham Episode.
    • Don't forget that Francine gets Killed Off for Real by her Doppelganger in the same episode.
      • Especially notable as this wasn't a premiere or Cliff Hanger finale. This happens in the middle of Season two with almost no warning.
    • The end of "Almost Thirty Years", where The Man Behind the Man is revealed to be Sydney's mother, who is not only still alive, but the KGB agent Jack was accused of being.
    • The end of "The Truth", when Sydney wakes up in an alley, with a new scar, and goes on to discover that she's missing 2 years of her life, everyone thinks she's dead, Vaughn has married, etc.
    • And before all of these was the pilot, which is two hours of Wham in a one hour cannon. Sydney's fiance is killed after she tells him she's a spy for the CIA, she finds out she's not a spy for the CIA and she actually works for the bad guys, SD-6 is trying to kill her, and her estranged father is a total badass spy who's also a double agent for the real CIA.
  • American Horror Story blew a lot of minds with "Rubber Man," in which the person behind the mysterious titular character's mask was revealed as fan-favorite Tate Langdon.
  • Angel
    • "Reunion": Angel locks the entire Wolfram & Hart Special Projects Division in a room with a pissed off Darla and Drusilla, then returns home and fires Wesley, Cordelia, and Gunn.
    • "A Hole in the World". A primordial evil devours Fred whole; and the cute stuffed animal Higgenbotham introduced at the start as Fred's security blanket, when at the end she tearfully begs that she needs Higgenbotham, but Illyria has devoured so much of Fred's soul that Fred realizes that she no longer remembers who Higgenbotham is, and throws a third Chekhov's Gun onto the heap with Lorne, whose behavior the rest of the ep seems out of character: he violently decks someone when before he was a pacifist, and is almost hesitant about seeking his contacts for help.
    • "Sleep Tight" takes the status quo that had been built up in Season 3 and straight up murders it. Wesley kidnaps Connor in a misguided attempt to keep him safe, only to get his throat slit and left to die as a reward. A four-sided confrontation goes down between Angel, Lilah, Sahjahn and Holtz over what happens to the boy, and Holtz winds up taking Connor with him through a portal into a hell dimension. Cue two months of reruns.
    • "Lineage" reveals just how drastically Wesley's changed from his introduction in Buffy. He's gone from a stuttering, smitten, stickler for rules to a man whom his father points out is working for the enemy, and who ends up gunning down his father without hesitation when the man threatens Fred, to Wesley's own horror. When Fred offers up that Wesley must've known deep down that his father was a robot, Wesley corrects her, saying he was absolutely certain he was killing the real deal. In a lesser series this would've meant Fred realized the depths of his affection for her, but not on Angel. [[spoiler: Wesley spends the final moments of the episode awkwardly trying to reconcile with his abusive father, who angrily and dismissively admonishes his son for calling him at such an early hour.
    • "Forgiving" in Season 3. The ending scene when Angel visits Wesley in the hospital, where he's recovering from having his throat cut. Angel has what starts out as a normal, calm conversation, assuring Wes that it was Angel talking, not Angelus. cue Angel's face contorting with rage, not vamping out, but even scarier, and doing his level best to KILL WES IN HIS HOSPITAL BED!!
    • "Hi, dad."
  • Supernatural fans are still reeling from the Season Finale, "No Rest For The Wicked", which had Dean getting sent to hell for the summer, Sam's powers coming back and Lilith only just starting her reign of Nightmare Fuel.
    • Except that they'd been leading to Dean going to Hell for the entire season. Not really a twist when they've been angsting about it the whole time. Fits more into Anyone Can Die or Tonight Someone Dies.
    • The discovery that Mary knew the YED in "All Hell Breaks Loose".
    • "Changing Channels" seems like a goofy episode until you get to the last part and- oh, wait, the Trickster is actually the Archangel Gabriel and he's pretty bitter over the way his brothers and are always fighting and doesn't want to have to see it.
    • 'Hammer of the Gods' has Gabriel faking his death for the nth time, other gods complaining about how they were here before the angels- then Lucifer turns up and kills Gabriel.
    • The trilogy of "What Is And What Should Never Be/All Hell Breaks Loose". "What Is" set up how much of a broken basket case Dean really was and "All Hell" took it to astonishing new lows (selling his worthless soul). The demon gets killed (but it's an anti-climax if there ever was one), a whole new war has begun, Dad gets out of hell and Sam might have come back wrong. Yay?
    • The Season 1 finale has Sam, John, and Dean barely escaping from YED at the very end of the episode, heading for the ER, only for the Impala to be slammed midconversation by a demon-driven semi. Fade out with everyone incapacitated (or worse) on the side of the road...
    • "Lazarus Rising". Dean crawls out of his grave, fresh from Hell, which is pretty standard stuff for these guys. They spend the episode searching for the baddie that brought him back, and when Dean and Bobby finally manage to summon it for questioning at the end of the episode, it turns out his resurrection was performed by something we didn't believe existed in this verse- an Angel of the Lord (and a Badass Longcoat Angel of the Lord at that). Because God commanded it. (!) Because we have work for you. (!!!) Guess we're not just chasing around the freak of the week anymore...
    • Every time Supernatural ups the HSQ we get a Wham! Episode. Notables from season 5 alone include: "The Song Remains the Same" (notable for revealing not only the origin of Azazel's plan but Mary and John's own shocking pasts), "Point of No Return" (for the jaw-dropping developments with Dean... and for the ridiculous amounts of really obvious Ho Yay between Dean and Castiel (talk about catering to your audience...)), "Hammer of the Gods" (where the HSQ hit the roof and just kept on going), "The Devil You Know" (thank you, Crowley), "2 Minutes To Midnight" (Introducing the Cosmic Entity Death (which threw the show into Go Mad From the Revelation proportions)), and "Swan Song" (if you don't know why it's on this list, then you haven't seen it).
    • Season 6 had a few Wham Episodes, but by and far the biggest is (naturally enough) the season finale "The Man Who Knew Too Much". Castiel - as per his own Story Arc for the season - finally jumps off the slippery slope from Well-Intentioned Extremist to full-blown Knight Templar: he breaks the wall in Sam's mind - returning his memories of Hell and putting him in a coma - before killing Balthazaar and absorbing all the souls of Purgatory. He then proceeds to declare himself the new God and demand that the heroes bow down to him.
    • Season 7 midseason finale "At Death's Door". Bobby dies; that is all.
  • The first season finale of Arrested Development reveals that George Sr. has been building houses for Saddam Hussein's army in Iraq. Also, Gob tries to take over the Bluth Company, Tobias and Lindsey have marital issues, George-Michael has a girlfriend, and George Sr. is on the run.
  • Ashes to Ashes has these every other episode, but 1x08's revelation that Gene was the one who took young!Alex's hand after the explosion that killed her parents and 2x08, where Alex is shot by Gene in 1982, wakes up in 2008 to her daughter, only to find Gene speaking to her through her television in "the real world" are both off the charts.
    • Season Three kicks off in a big way: Gene has gone on the run for shooting Alex; Ray has made DI and is in charge of Fenchurch East; Chris and Shaz have broken up; Alex gets back to 1983 and discovers a file on Sam Tyler hidden in Gene's cabinet; and DCI Jim Keats, who claims to want to help Alex and has been nothing but genial to everyone suddenly turns around and tells Gene he hates him and he's going to bring him down. Oh, and Gene did something terrible three years ago (coincidentally, around the time Sam "died" in this universe) that Keats will expose. Welcome to series 3, everybody!
      • Both seasons 2 and 3 have a clear Wham! Episode around Episode 6/7. In the second season it's Martin Summers spectacularly averting Never the Selves Shall Meet by arranging a meeting between himself, Alex Drake and his younger self. He then shoots his younger self in the face and leaves a hysterical Alex to hide the body. Season three has the death of Viv and Jim Keats crossing the Moral Event Horizon from 'creepy Designated Villain' to 'literally Satanic'.
  • The new Battlestar Galactica Reimagined does this kind of thing with awesomeness, and on a (very) regular basis:
    • In "33", the first series episode, we start out in the middle of a situation, with five days of non-stop running, 50,000 humans left, and the Hero wipes out 1,500 of the survivors to "save the day". A week after the genocide. (Oh, and that guy's alive)
      • To bring this into perspective; 1,500 deaths out of a 50,000 total is 3% of all humans killed by the hero. This would be similar to killing about 200 million people on present-day earth.
    • Honestly, the pilot mini-series, with a strongly POV'd view of a believable apocalypse wham'd a lot of fans of the original or Space Opera in general.
    • In "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part II", Commander Adama stages a military coup, Gaius Baltar finds out the "shape of things to come" (it's a child), Sharon learns that she's a Cylon, and then she shoots Commander Adama twice in the chest.
    • In "Resurrection Ship, Part II", the Resurrection Ship is destroyed, robbing Cylons of their capacity to resurrect; Admiral Cain and Commander Adama nearly assassinate each other but hold off; Cain is killed anyway by Gina, the escaped Cylon on Pegasus; Roslin promotes Adama to Admiral in the wake of Cain's death and the Pegasus has truly joined the fleet.
    • In "Lay Down Your Burdens, Part II", Baltar becomes the new President; Cylon sleeper agent Gina blows up the Cloud Nine (among other ships); the narrative skips forward a year - everyone is living on New Caprica, Starbuck, Chief Tyrol and Lee Adama are married, and just about everyone is captured by the Cylons.
    • In "Exodus, Part II" (beginning to notice a pattern with the part two's, anyone?), Colonel Tigh euthanizes his wife, the Pegasus is destroyed, everyone escapes New Caprica, Baltar goes to join the Cylons, and the crew compliment of the Pegasus are merged with Galactica.
    • In "Crossroads, Part II", Baltar is surprisingly acquitted, Roslin's cancer comes back, four characters are revealed as Cylons (including one who was all but ruled out before then), and Starbuck comes back from the dead (after being gone for three episodes) before telling Apollo that she's been to Earth.
    • "Guess What's Coming to Dinner?" A big fat hybrid-induced jump, that's what.
    • In "Revelations," they finally find Earth! Except it's been devastated by some nuclear apocalypse.
    • In "Sometimes a Great Notion", Dualla goes on a lovely date with Apollo, kisses him goodnight, and, once she's alone in her quarters, promptly shoots herself in the head. The 13th tribe of humanity were in fact, Cylons. And the fifth is Ellen Tigh, who's dead. Maybe.
    • In "The Oath", Gaeta of all people, having suffered the cumulative effects of one too many Wham Episodes and a case of Break the Cutie and Freak-Out, leads a godsdamned mutiny against Adama, leading to the Galactica going through an extended period of bloodletting as comrades turn on each other in large numbers.
  • Being Human, S3E8: Sure Mitchell's had his suicidal moments, but surely he's not all that serious when he asks George to stake him. Then while George is explaining why he won't they get interrupted by a new vampire character who looks to be a new antagonist. George brandishes a stake, but the other vampire isn't concerned. So George turns and stakes Mitchell to save him from being forced to kill to protect his friends..
  • Blue Mountain State is a comedy series built firmly upon the Rule of Funny. The acts committed by the team shown in the show would get a real NCAA team in serious trouble with the NCAA but hey, it's a comedy, so that kind of talk is brushed aside. Then comes the end of season 3. It turns out that the NCAA has been investigating BMS and the Goats are in serious trouble.
  • Boardwalk Empire has had a number of shocking events, but none measure up to the last five minutes of episode 10 of Season 2, "Georgia Peaches". While Jimmy drives off to sell booze in Princeton, Manny Horvitz decides to kill Jimmy in retaliation for the failed hit Jimmy put out on him. He walks into Jimmy's house and finds Angela and her lover, then shoots them both in cold blood (despite Angela's terrified pleading that she has a child).
    • Hell, the last three episodes of Season 2 are all about this. "Under God's Power She Flourishes" features the revelation that Jimmy and Gillian pretty much did it when he was in college, and ends on Jimmy murdering the Commodore. Then comes "To the Lost," where the whole scheme collapses and Nucky ends killing Jimmy. "I am not seeking forgiveness."
  • The Bones episode "The Critic in the Cabernet" is full of them. Brennan wants a baby - Huh? She wants Booth to be the sperm donor - Wha?! But wait, is that Stewie? And what's that you say? - BOOTH HAS A BRAIN TUMOR?!?!?!?!
    • The season three finale, "The Pain in the Heart," which concludes the season-long Gormogon arc with the revelation that Zack is the apprentice.
    • The season five finale, "The Beginning in the End," in which Brennan and Booth both leave the Jeffersonian to fill a higher calling outside the country.
    • The penultimate episode of season six, "The Hole in the Heart" could also qualify. Vincent Nigel-Murray is gunned down by Broadsky, and Brennan and Booth sleep together. Though the true ramifications of the latter don't surface until the following episode.
    • The season six finale, "The Change in the Game." Brennan is pregnant with Booth's baby. The status quo with never be the same, driving some fans to cry jump the shark for the fourth season in a row.
  • Boy Meets World: "We'll Have a Good Time Then..." ends with the death of Shawn's father Chet.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer is full of these.
    • In the Season 2 episode, "Passion," Angelus' terrorizing of the Scoobies reaches a new level following his murder of Jenny Calendar. This is followed by perhaps an even greater Wham Moment where Giles, expecting a romantic evening with Jenny, finds her corpse left lying on his bed. This is the first time in the series that a major character has been killed off at all, let alone in a disturbing, abrupt way and by a character thought to be good.
    • In the Season Two finale, "Becoming," Buffy and Angelus share a final confrontation. Moments before Buffy intends to kill him, a spell of Willow's restores his human soul. Buffy is forced to kill Angel anyway, sending him permanently to a Hell dimension. At the end of the episode, Buffy leaves Sunnydale for LA.
    • The Season Five premier, "Buffy Vs. Dracula" is pretty standard, entertaining Buffy fare, until the last scene where BUFFY SUDDENLY HAS A LITTLE SISTER!
    • The Season Five episode, "I Was Made To Love You." After a standard humor-tinged Monster of the Week episode where the Scoobies chase down a renegade sexbot, Buffy comes home to find that her mother, Joyce, has died of an aneurysm.

  "Mom? What are you doing?... Mom?... Mom?... *quietly* Mommy?"

    • In the Season Five finale, "The Gift," Buffy realizes the true meaning of the First Slayer's prophesy, "death is your gift," and in order to defeat Glory, Buffy sacrifices her own life to save that of her sister, Dawn.
    • "Tabula Rasa" in Season Six. Hijinks Ensue during one of the most light-hearted and hilarious episodes yet, but within the last couple minutes it is met with Mood Whiplash. Oh, where to start? Giles leaves for England, Willow and Tara break up, and Spike and Buffy are seen making out.
    • In "Seeing Red," The Trio continues to menace the Scoobies. The game changes when Warren obtains gun, and in literally the last couple seconds of the episode Warren shoots through Willow's bedroom window, killing Tara.

  Your shirt?"

  • Caprica: "End of Line" certainly lives up to its title.
  • Castle has several of these, but the most notable is the season three finale "Knockout". Let's review: Beckett and Castle have a UST-fueled fight about their relationship which ends with Beckett kicking him out of the Precinct for good, Mongomery was the third cop involved in Beckett's mom's murder, Montgomery performs a heroic sacrifice to take down Lockwood, Beckett is shot in the heart at Mongomery's funeral, and Castle confesses his love to Beckett before she loses consciousness. A major character dead and UST in shreds--essentially, three seasons worth of canon down the drain. Oh, and Alexis wants to move out.
    • All of the episodes that deal with Beckett's mother's murder probably qualify as this, but "Knockout" is, by far, the biggest.
      • ...at least until "Always". After a season of trying to get her to steer away from her mother's murder, a vic who broke into Montgomery's house for his files jumps her right back into it again. Esposito's right behind her, but Ryan and Castle aren't so gung-ho: Castle walks away from Beckett after yet another UST-fueled fight about their relationship, and Beckett decides to go on a rogue mission to get the killer...without telling Gates, and without Ryan backing her up. This confrontation has her hanging of a building, only thinking of Castle, until Ryan and Gates ride to her rescue. Gates makes Beckett and Espo turn in their badges...and Becket resigns on the spot. Esposito is no longer on speaking terms with Ryan. And Castle? Just deleted his file on Beckett's mother's murder...when she knocks on his door, apologizes profusely, and starts kissing him. Oh, yeah, They Do. But it ain't over, now that the people who planned Beckett's mother's murder has found Mr. Smith, the guy who's got the information that's preventing them from just taking her out...which was the reason for the break-in of Montgomery's place in the first place.
  • Charmed has several of these. The most notable, however, is the Season Three finale, "All Hell Breaks Loose". It starts with Prue and Piper almost being killed by Shax, the Source's assassain. Phoebe saves them, and Prue and Piper are healed by Leo, but are soon after exposed as witches while vanquishing the demon. Piper is shot by a crazed fanatic and Prue loses all self control and starts telekinetically throwing everybody in her way as she tries to rescue Piper. Piper dies in Prue's arms, and Prue is almost taken out by a SWAT team before Phoebe, Leo, and Cole convince Tempus to restore time. Everything seems like it's been reversed, except this time, Phoebe and Leo are stuck in the Underworld. Shax attacks as before, killing the innocent, injuring Piper, and murdering Prue.
  • Cold Case's 4th season finale "Stalker", at the end of which Lilly is shot. Makes the pair with "Into The Blue", in which we find out at the end that Lilly has dreamed the whole episode after her car has been thrown into the river and is rescued. Not only that, we also hear her father's letter to her, in which he tries to explain to her why he left her, her mother and her sister.
  • Criminal Minds likes to pile on the tension and do this with the ends of episodes, then devote the next episode to fixing whatever they've done:
    • "The Fisher King Pt. 1" has Elle arriving home to find the UnSub waiting for her, and two gunshots ringing out. In "The Fisher King Pt. 2", we have Elle fighting for her life and Reid staying in the house with Garner despite the pipe bomb.
    • "Aftermath," the season 2 episode in which Elle murders a suspect in cold blood is an early and rather more traditional example, in that nothing is fixed, afterward.
    • At the end of "Lucky", Garcia's date says "I've been thinking about doing this all night", and shoots her point-blank in the chest.
    • One of the SUV's exploding at the end of "Lo-Fi", which continues in "Mayhem" with Joyner close to death, Hotch screaming for help that won't come, Morgan chasing the UnSub down into the subway and almost getting electrocuted, and Morgan driving the ambulance with the bomb in it and only jumping out a split-second before the bomb goes off.
    • "...And Back" has a Trauma Conga Line for the team with the Turner murders, and they arrive back in Virginia exhausted. Hotch goes home, fixes himself a drink, and turns around to find Foyet in his apartment, who proceeds to shoot at him.
    • The season 2 finale, "No Way Out (2): The Evilution of Frank." A serial killer goes after people the team has saved and Gideon hits his Despair Event Horizon.
    • "100". Just, "100". The resolution to the Reaper arc, and a hell of a Despair Event Horizon.
    • While nothing can top the trauma of "100," "Our Darkest Hour" packs a hell of a punch. L.A. is instituting rolling blackouts to prevent city-wide power failure during a heat wave. A serial killer (played by Tim FREAKIN' Curry is using the blackout schedule to hunt his targets in total darkness. The public gets hysterical and forces the police to cancel the blackouts. Later, the team realizes that the lead detective (Spicer) on the case has a connection to Curry; Curry killed his parents. AND HE HAS SPICER'S FAMILY. And then the entire city goes black. Morgan and Spicer go to Spicer's childhood home, but don't have time to wait for backup. Curry gets the drop on them, restraining Morgan and holding Spicer at gunpoint. Then CURRY KILLS SPICER IN FRONT OF HIS SISTER AND DAUGHTER. He leaves Morgan and the sister tied up while he drags the girl out of the room, crowing about how much fun he's about to have. NO ONE on the team knows where Morgan is, and there's no way to contact him. Cut to black.
  • CSI, the eighth season finale. Savvy audiences will compare it with the previous season finale, and its outcome, but then they remember that Gary Dourdan left the show and they're hit with the realization of his character's fate.
  • CSI: Miami the episode in season 3 that ended with the death of Tim Speedle
  • Damages does this almost constantly, especially in Season 3.
  • Degrassi is reputed for its drama, but nothing compared to Rick shooting Jimmy in season 4. The fallout from that lasted for years.
    • And then, three seasons later, JT gets stabbed, resulting in the first major character ever getting Killed Off for Real on that show.
    • Season 10's half Season Finale, "All Falls Down", was hyped to be on the same level as "Time Stands Still" and "Rock This Town" as mentioned above.
      • "Dead and Gone", Season 11's half season finale, wasn't nearly as hyped but managed to be almost as WHAM-ish as Time Stands Still, even though Nobody died or was paralyzed or anything.
    • The franchise's first Wham! Episode came in Season 1 of Degrassi Junior High when Spike turned out to be pregnant at 14, a real shocker in a (then) public-television kids' show in 1987.
    • In old Degrassi (Degrassi High, another WHAM Episode happened when Claude killed himself. At school. And Snake found the body. Less Wham-y but still big were also Erica getting an abortion, Dwayne having HIV, and in DJH, Shane jumping of the bridge resulting in permanent brain damage. The last act of School's Out was pretty WHAM-y as well.
  • Dexter. Season 4 finale, "The Getaway", and the Season 6 finale. Both "wham" moments happen in the last few moments of the episode. The second one has almost no foreshadowing.
  • Much like the Blackadder example, Dinosaurs was a family comedy with dinosaurs. Combining this trope with Sudden Downer Ending, the final episode involved the father causing an ice age that will kill all dinosaur life.
  • Doctor Who has been around for nearly fifty years. It is inevitable that wham episodes are frequent in its long history.
    • The very first would probably be The Tenth Planet, which was the first regeneration episode.
    • Before that, we had The Daleks' Master Plan featured not one but two companions dying, and one Sabalom Glitz-esque character, one of them spacing herself and her assailant in a last-ditch attempt to save the mission.
    • And Earthshock surely must count, one for the Episode One cliffhanger (that Producer John Nathan Turner took great pains to keep a secret, even turning down a cover of the Radio Times) and the Episode Four ending. Doctor Who has had plenty of Wham Episodes, but this one was always the Wham-iest to me.
    • The otherwise rather average episode Cold Blood in season five/thirty one/fnarg turned into a Whammer in the last five minutes when yet another companion, Rory, was shot and killed, and then promptly erased by the crack eating up everything in the universe, this made Amy, his fiance (though she didn't remember it) a more tragic character for the remaining of the season.
    • Another original series wham episode has to be The War Games, where the Doctor is forced to call on his own people to fix a problem for the first time. It ends with the Doctor regenerating again and being exiled to Earth, changing the course of the series for the next three years and beyond.
    • The Evil of the Daleks ended with the Doctor's greatest foes being Killed Off for Real (well, for five years at any rate).
    • Steven Moffat has managed to write an opening episode absolutely full of Wham - The Impossible Astronaut and Day of the Moon. Looks like much of the season will be devoted to avoiding what happens to the Doctor, in his future, who gets shot twice, then again during his regeneration sequence, killing him permanently. The companions know that but the Doctor mustn't know. What's more, the Doctor discovers Amy's quantum pregnancy, but keeps it a secret, all of this change the Doctor/Companions dynamic during the season.
      • In The Almost People, it's revealed that the Amy accompanying the Doctor and Rory is actually a Ganger, and the real Amy is, erm, somewhere, and about to give birth.
    • A Good Man Goes to War is this :
      • River Song is a mistranslation of Melody Pond, clarifying the "the only water in the forest is the river" line from earlier, and revealing that River is Amy's daughter.
      • There's a war going on against the Doctor,with Melody/River intended as a weapon to kill him
    • In The Wedding of River Song, it is revealed that the Silence believe that silence will fall when the question is asked, with the question being "Doctor Who?"
  • Dollhouse, "Man on the Street", which was meant to be the big turning point of the first season is a quadruple wham. One of the handlers is a seriously bad egg. The Dollhouse is keeping much better tabs on Ballard than we'd realized. Echo got a secret imprint. And the Dollhouse is a much bigger deal than we'd previously assumed.
    • "Briar Rose": Alpha returns, and Echo is his lover.
    • In the next episode "Omega", there's a Doll on a permanent engagement who we've long thought of as another member of the cast. And that Doll has a history with Alpha.
    • And the ultimate Wham! Episode, "Epitaph One". You know how Ballard says The World Is Not Ready for Dollhouse technology? He had no freaking idea.
    • "The Public Eye" and "The Left Hand".
    • After "Belonging," It's starting to look like S2 is a wham season rather than just an episode. Not to mention that we know Epitaph One is coming...
    • "The Attic" - The whole episode seemed like Dollhouse' answer to "Restless", but then came the end, which truly shocked the show's tiny audience. Adelle is actually a hero and has a plan to take down Rossum!!! Holy s***!
    • So, you know how Echo needs Caroline's memories in order to identify the head of Rossum corporation? Well, at the end of "Getting Closer" she finally gets those memories. Oh my god holy crap what is this I don't even
    • The finale, "Epitaph Two", makes a complete 180 from the ending of the penultimate episode. After seeing Echo take down Rossum, destroy their facility, and kill off it's chief executive, we learn that her removal of Rossum's infrastructure caused their tech to leak into the black market, where China got ahold of it and created a mass-remote-imprint-bomb that turned the entire world into "Epitaph One". It then proceeds to un-WHAM itself right back when Topher fixes everything for good.
  • Due South - Juliet Is Bleeding - Someone in the Mafia orders a bomb planted in Ray's 1972 Buick Riviera. Poor Louis.

E-H

  • In season 6 of ER, the episode 'Be Still my Heart' ends with Carter getting stabbed by a schizophrenic patient and bleeding out in curtain 3 while everyone else has a Valentine's Day Party, and from his position on the floor, sees a blood-covered Lucy also lying hidden on the floor on the other side of the bed, staring back at him. This ending managed to be truly shocking in spite of being hyped by the promos. They don't get discovered until the end of the next episode's teaser.
  • Eureka, "Twice In A Lifetime": Every single weirdness has happened because the future has been altered by Henry to avert his girlfriend, Kim's death because of the mysterious Artifact. And in the following episode, Henry discovering that the accident that killed Kim and had three men die of Spontaneous Combustion, with Series Regular Nathan Stark being saved in the nick of time, was caused by Beverly's removal of a minuscule component. Also, the discovery that Allison's son Kevin was down there too.
    • Then they do it again with "I Do Over": Due to a lab accident, the day that Allison and Stark are supposed to get married keeps getting repeated over and over, and Carter is the only one who remembers. He convinces the scientist who caused the mistake that it's repeating, and the scientist dies trying to fix it, and he failed. Finally, he convinces Stark and Fargo that it's happening, and Stark figures out how to fix it, and that someone needs to be inside the chamber to fix it. He volunteers. The problem is fixed, and Carter goes up to the chamber...as Stark fades away into nothingness.
      • And again in the first episode of Season 4. It fundamentally altered the dynamics of the characters and the entire town itself, and has no sign of being fixed anytime soon.
      • And again in the first two episodes of Season 5, first with the apparent change in the main characters' relationships thanks to four years having passed only to be revealed as everyone from the Astraeus crew as having been put in a scientific Lotus Eater Machine, then with The Reveal of Senator Wen as the true villain behind Dr. Barlowe--complete with an in-universe Moral Event Horizon that leads Beverly to Heel Face Turn.
  • Farscape, the season one episode "Nerve". Up until this point the series had been a relatively standard space opera, albeit with lots of creativity and a couple of great episodes along the way, but with "Nerve" the plot suddenly kicks in a big way and things will never be the same again.
    • In the middle of the second season, the episode "Beware of Dog" confirmed that John wasn't just under stress - he really was starting to lose his mind.
    • The season 2 finale, "Die Me Dichotomy"-Possessed nearly completely by Scorpy-Neural-Clone Harvey, John sends Aeryn's Prowler crashing into a frozen lake. To repeat: JOHN KILLS AERYN. After her cryo-funeral, John submits to the neural-chip-removal surgery that has a good chance of killing him. The chip is removed, but the resulting neural damage reduces the ultra-verbal Crichton to speaking gibberish. THEN, Scorpius invades the medical facility, kills the surgeon, and leaves John screaming aphasically on the table. (Until the next series.)
      • Scorpius: "John Crichton, I condemn you....to live!"
    • And then there's the Season 4 mid-season finale, where John winds up in space in with nothing but a space suit between him and vacuum, separated from Moya by a wormhole she hadn't gone through, and what's more, the planet he's floating above is Earth. Things are indeed changing from this point forward.
    • You want a wham episode, I present "Won't be fooled again." Complete with Gaslighting, Mind Rape, Driven to Madness, and plunging the entire show into Darker and Edgier with the speed of a freight train, changing the whole dynamic between our John and Scorpius, introducing our lovely Chaotic Evil Scarrans, and setting the stage for many a Journey to The Centre of The Mind to come.
    • Every finale ever. Every time the show turns up the Holy Shit Quotient, you get either a wham episode or a wham-episode-arc. How much "wham" in the episode is usually proportional to the size of whatever explosion John has set off. And you get extra wham points if a main character dies. Example: Talyn and Crais.
    • The "Unrealized Reality" arc. It pretty much pulled the ground out from beneath the universe. The moral of our story? DO NOT get the space-time coordinates of a wormhole exit wrong. Bad things happen...
    • "Eat Me" seems like a standard one-off episode at first, with Crichton, D'Argo, Chiana and Jool on an abandoned Leviathan full of zombie-like creatures. The Mad Scientist Monster Lord responsible has the power to "twin" - creating "equal and original" sets of a person. D'Argo and Chiana's "twins" die, but in the end, there are two very much alive Crichtons. Also, those on Moya find a badly damaged Talyn and an unconscious Crais - suggesting something very unpleasant attacked them and is still on the hunt. This all kicks off storylines that echo throughout the rest of the season.
  • In Firefly's relatively short run, it only managed to get in a couple of Wham Episodes.
    • "Heart of Gold," where at the end Inara announces she's leaving the ship because she's getting too attached to Mal.
    • There was also "War Stories," where we get one hell of a whammy regarding River, who was previously just a broken, insane girl with some Psychic Powers. Then she gets the gun from Kaylee, and we get our first extremely blunt and direct look at what the Academy was really doing to her.
    • "Ariel" had wham moments as well. The first was Simon. The Fish Out of Water who almost fell to pieces having to spontaneously fake a mud buyer a couple of episodes previously suddenly turns into a criminal mastermindThen there's Jayne... who makes good on his threat in the pilot episode and turns on Mal.
    • "Jaynestown" in one emphatic Mood Whiplash story. It starts off fairly lighthearted and comedic as everyone struggles to accept the idea of selfish, money-grubbing, murderous Jayne as a hero to anyone, let alone an entire town. Then we learn what happened to make him a hero - he stole a lot of money from the magistrate, got shot and had to dump the money to escape. That's the story he's willing to tell. Then we learn the truth - he didn't just dump the money to stay airborne. He dumped his partner, who wound up in a hotbox for 4 years and lost an eye over it and is now gunning for Jayne for revenge. And the biggest wham moment of all? Despite the town hearing all this dirty laundry get aired in front of them, one young lad still takes a bullet for Jayne as if he's a hero worth saving.
  • The Frasier episode "Back Talk", which is set up as a fairly standard episode featuring Hilarity Ensuing from Poor Communication Kills...until the very last scene, where Daphne casually asks Frasier to clarify a single throwaway statement of Martin's from much earlier in the episode, and he answers with the painkiller-induced Wham! Line: "Oh, he meant Niles. He's crazy about you."
  • The Friends season four finale where Ross screws up his wedding and Chandler and Monica hook up. And the season five finale with its surprise Vegas weddings.
    • Season 1 finale - Rachel finds out about Ross' love for her but he comes back from China with a new girlfriend.
    • Season 2 finale - Monica and Richard break up. Chandler's chat mate is Janice.
    • Season 7 finale - Rachel is pregnant.
    • Additionally, the late season 6 episode "TOW Paul's the Man" has Monica making a fake wedding engagement with Chandler as a practical joke. After it's found out everything goes back to normal... until the last few minutes where it's revealed that Chandler, who's often been infamous for not wanting to rush too much into his relationship with Monica, plans on keeping the date and proposing to her.
  • Game of Thrones has had three so far:
    • Episode 1x07, "You Win Or You Die": Ned discovers that Robert's children are actually Jamie's. Robert dies in a hunting accident. Littlefinger betrays Ned, who is imprisoned.
    • Episode 1x09, "Baelor" Robb tricks Tywin Lannister and defeats Jamie, who is captured by Robb. Khal Drogo is dying from an infected wound. Dany allows Mirri Maz Durr to save him via Blood Magic. But what pushes the HSQ is at the end where King Jofferey orders the beheading of Eddard Stark.
    • Episode 2x05, "The Ghost of Harrenhall" Renly is assassinated by a living shadow birthed from Melisandre in the previous episode, and sired by Stannis.
  • On Glee, the storyline of Kurt being bullied by Karofsky reached a turning point in "Never Been Kissed," where Karofsky forcibly kisses Kurt. The next episode, Karofsky threatens to kill him if he tells anyone--Kurt doesn't, and ends up transferring schools as a result.
    • There's also Grilled Cheesus, where Burt has a heart attack and the audience is lead to believe he's going to die. It ends with Kurt holding his hand and sobbing, asking him to wake up. Burt then give Kurt's hand a gentle squeeze.
    • How about On My Way, that starts with Dave Karofsky trying to kill himself after being outed, which leads to Sue Sylvester and Sebastian (the bad guy from the Warblers) both having Heel Face Turn s and ends with Quinn getting hit by a truck? Yeah. And this is a show called Glee!
  • Grey's Anatomy pulled off two Wham! Episode twists in the same episode. Halfway through the post-Super Bowl episode "It's the End of the World", a simple surgery becomes a bomb threat, and the end of the episode results in a character stabilizing the bomb panicking and fleeing, leaving the title character to keep it stable.
    • And then in part 2 ("As We Know It"), the doctors have successfully defused the bomb and give it to the bomb squad leader, who takes it out only to have it explode in his hands.
    • The season 5 finale: O'Malley joins the Army, and none of his friends like it, so they plan an intervention. Later, a guy comes in with a totally crushed face; he saved a girl from being hit by a bus only to be hit himself. He tries to convey something, but can't hold a pen to write. The gang gets ready for the intervention only to be told O'Malley left that morning instead of working a full final shift. And then the guy with the crushed face conveys something to Meredith that tells her... he's O'Malley.
    • In the same finale, Izzy wakes up from her cancer surgery only to find that she has damage to her short term memory, meaning she can't remember anything that happened even a few minutes ago. After building up most of the rest of the episodes (Karev and Yang make Post-it notes to direct her to the answers to her questions), she finally gets that short term memory back...and then collapses in Karev's arms. The last scene is a dream sequence of Izzy getting in a hospital elevator to the ground floor...and finding O'Malley in an Army uniform waiting for her. (The surprise, though, was mitigated by the fact that we knew George's actor wasn't coming back for Season 6, but Izzy's was...at least, for that season.)
    • The season 6 finale: A widower, distraught over Webber and Shepherd deciding his wife couldn't be saved and obeying a DNR she made three years earlier, returns and asks for directions to Shepherd's office. And then pulls out a gun and shoots Reed right between the eyes.
      • And that's just the beginning of the carnage. Even the unborn aren't safe; Meredith miscarries, having just revealed said pregnancy to one person (and the audience).
  • The Hannah Montana episode "I'll Always Remember You", from the final season. After Hannah's career is jeopardized and Miley finds she's unable to attend college as herself or Hannah, Miley finally reveals her dual identity to the world. The remaining episodes of the series deal with the reaction and repercussions of The Reveal.
  • Harpers Island, episode 12, "Sigh": Trish, after having seemingly successfully escaped John Wakefield, sees Henry and runs out to him, thinking she's safe, only to find out that Henry is the second killer and be stabbed to death by him.
  • The frequent plot twists in Heroes regularly shed new light on existing character relationships and allegiances.
    • But the revelation that in four years, Sylar will make a Heel Face Turn has to top most of them.
      • AND THEN HE EXPLODED!!
  • Highlander had two of them. Season 2 had 'The Darkness', which ended with Tessa's death. Then there was season 5's ending, which was pretty much the show's Jump the Shark moment: Duncan takes Richie's head in a psychotic,demon-induced haze.
  • House has quite a few:
    • The season one episode "Three Stories" has House holding a lecture on diagnostic medicine. About two-thirds into the episode, the ducklings (and the audience) figure out that one of the patients he's talking about is himself. The rest of the episode then tells us what happened with House's leg and essentially what screwed up his relationship with Stacy.
    • Season four's "House's Head" focuses on House having been in a bus crash and being unable to remember anything from just before the crash happened, except that someone on the bus is sick and needs help. He realizes that he saw a symptom in the driver and goes through a variety of methods to try and trigger his memory and save the driver. It turns out that the driver wasn't the sick person at all -- Wilson's girlfriend Amber was.
    • Season Five has a whole chain of Wham Episodes, starting with Kutner's sudden and unexplained suicide and then having House suffer increasingly upsetting hallucinations. In the second to last episode of the season, we get House and Cuddy finally sleeping together, only to find out in the season finale that most of that episode was a hallucination; House was alone the entire night, and he just started hallucinating that Cuddy was there instead of Amber. The "lipstick" he toys with throughout the episode is actually a bottle of Vicodin, after he hallucinated beating his addiction. He then sees Amber and Kutner in a hallucination. The end of the episode has House check into a psychiatric ward, no longer able to tell what is real and what is not. Can I get an order of "OMGWTF" to go?
    • Don't forget the two in season three: episode where House was a jerk to the wrong patient (police detective Michael Tritter) had a VERY big uh-oh when the patient fought back in a way that put House on the defensive, and which very thoroughly impacted half of the season. And then in the last episode of season 3 House lost all three members of his staff, leading to a big cast-expansion in the following seasons.
      • There's also "Finding Judas", the Trope Namer, in which House discovers the guy selling him out to Tritter is Wilson.
    • And now we have Season 7 Episode 17. After the end of a long story arc with House and Cuddy's relationship we get what seems to be a "standard" House episode. Homeless guy who lies about his identity, but according to House everyone lies anyway, right? Weird things in his digestive tract, but we've seen several patients who are dumb enough to eat bad things and this guy is homeless, right? The poor guy has guilt issues, but after a near-death experience thinks that God may be giving him a second chance... and for crying out loud, he is diagnosed with schizophrenia (not the reason he's sick, though), so let's all cut him some slack. So after several false diagnoses, they figure out what's wrong and fix him up and send him on his way. And then it turns out the patient is a serial killer who eats his victims' bodies. All the clues were right there, and he almost confesses the whole truth at one point, and everyone missed it. In particular: those bone fragments in his intestines? Probably human bones.
    • Who could forget the season 3 finale, "Human Error," where House loses his entire team, setting up his search for a knew one in the first half of season 4.
    • The season six finale, Help, also probably qualifies. House and Cuddy getting together changed the status quo for sure.
    • And then it changed again when he drove his car through her living room...
  • The season three episode "Sandcastles in the Sand" from How I Met Your Mother ends with the surprise hookup between Barney and Robin.
    • "Natural History": One minute Robin and Barney are having fun touching things they're not supposed to in a museum. The next, Barney learns the truth about his father.
    • The season six episode "Bad News" ends with Marshall's dad dying.
    • The sixth season finale ends in a perfect uproar, with Lily telling Marshall she's pregnant, Robin realizing that she's still in love with Barney and the wedding flashforward of Ted serving as someone's best man that had been alluded to all season actually getting a chance to continue long enough to reveal that Barney's the groom...although the identity of his bride is a mystery.
    • The season seven episode "Disaster Averted" ends very much like "Sandcastles in the Sand". Except that this time, both Barney and Robin are dating other people.
    • The season seven episode "The Rebound Girl" ends with Robin telling Barney (with whom she's cheated on her current boyfriend) that she's pregnant.
      • This is followed up by the next episode, "Symphony of Illumination", where She's not pregnant! And you discover she can never be pregnant. Ever. She also never becomes a mother according to future Ted so she won't adopt.

I-L

  • ICarly has had several, usually involving the relationships between the characters.
    • "iKiss" - Sam and Freddie don't really hate each other.
    • "iThink they Kissed" - Carly finds out what happened in "iKiss".
    • "iSpeed Date" - Sam's softer side is shown and Carly enjoys a dance with Freddie.
    • "iSaved your Life" - Freddie saves Carly's life. Carly becomes attracted to Freddie. In the final scene, not long after Freddie asks if Carly is his girlfriend, He ends the relationship, but later regrets it.
    • "iOMG" - After 4 seasons of hints at both Creddie and Seddie, iOMG ended with Sam kissing Freddie. We have yet to learn of Freddie's feelings.
  • Kamen Rider also likes to do this many times. To name a few examples:
    • Kamen Rider Agito has an episode that reveals that the powers of the eponymous character are in fact a gift gained from God (well, sort off). Also, there is the reveal that the equivalent of Satan created humanity, but his counterpart gave humanity the Seed of Agito, so that one day humanity may break free from "Satan's" rule.
    • Kamen Rider Blade has the sudden appearance of Kamen Rider Leangle. He pummels The Hero and the Anti-hero with relative ease. Later there is the big reveal that one of the anti-hero is in fact a being that can cause the end of the world as we know it.
    • Kamen Rider Decade has a Wham ending arc. Tsukasa, the eponymous character, spend an entire series on a mission to prevent the multiverse from collapsing. He does so by helping the Riders of other dimensions, thinking its the right thing to do, only to see his new friends killing each other on the battlefield. To add more injury to the insult, Kurenai Wataru, the one who send him on his mission, reveals that he had to kill all the riders instead of helping them, so as a punishment, Tsukasa would get killed. the final episode ends with him getting shot at point-blank range and a trailer for a new sequel movie.
  • The Knight Rider episode "Junkyard Dog" dumped its sentient AI vehicle Kitt into a pit of acid. We'd seen him destroyed and bashed up before, but never systematically disintegrated back to a bare chassis. He's notably shaken by this and so is the audience.
  • Law and Order generally avoided these... up until the Sixth Season finale, "Aftershock". With this episode, the show abandoned the usual "cops investigate, then we get a trial" formula to follow the main characters throughout their day after they all witness the execution of a murderer they put in prison. Curtiz cheat on his wife, McCoy reveals his history as an abused child, and Briscoe falls back into his alcoholism after nearly a decade sober. But the real WHAM doesn't come until the ending moments: Assistant DA Claire Kincaid is giving a drunken Lenny Briscoe a ride home when the car they are in is struck by a drunk driver. Briscoe isn't seriously hurt. Claire is killed instantly. Her death would haunt several of the main characters (especially Jack McCoy, who lost a lot of his "carefree liberal" attitudes in favor of a harder prosecutorial line) until the very end of the series.
  • Law and Order LA: "Zuma Canyon"
  • Law and Order Special Victims Unit. "Loss". My God.
  • Leverage season finales tend to be these.
    • "The Maltese Job", the second season finale. Sophie returns, and Nate goes to jail.
    • "The Big Bang Job", third season finale. Eliot worked for Damien Moreau. Also features the first on-screen killing by a Leverage team member; and he does a lot of it.
    • "The Radio Job", fourth season finale. The season-arc villain is Victor Dubenitch, and the warehouse with Jimmy Ford in it blows up.
  • Life On Mars itself had one of these in the last episode. Somewhat justified because it is, y'know, the final episode. But it's significant in that it gets not one wham, but three.
    • First we find out that Sam Tyler was actually an undercover name taken by a man named Sam Williams in 1973, who was undercover, trying to find corruption in Gene Hunt's division. Morgan tells us that Sam has been suffering from hallucinations like this all his life.
    • Then, after a dramatic shootout where every member of the team is shown to be wounded, Sam wakes up. And finds out that his room in the hspital is labeled Hyde 2612.
    • Finally, with Sam back in 2007, Sam kills himself. ohmygodwhatjust
      • There's a reason it was voted #1 TV show ending of all time.
    • And then there's the US version, whose ending went compltely the other way on the popularity scale.

M-P

  • Mad Men has a few:
    • "Nixon vs. Kennedy", when we first learn how Dick Whitman became Don Draper.
    • The season 3 finale, "Shut the Door, Have a Seat", definitely qualifies since upon hearing that Sterling Cooper is going to be bought out, Don leaves and makes his own company. Along for the ride are Roger, Bert, Lane, Peggy, Pete, Joan, and Harry.
    • "Hands and Knees": Where does one start? Joan finds out she's pregnant with Roger's child. Lucky Strike fires SCDP, costing them over half their business, and Roger has to beg for thirty days to try and salvage what he can. Lane is dating a black girl who works at the Playboy Club and his father beats him with his cane when he finds out. Don is investigated by the FBI due to a potential account with the DOD, Betty lies to the government for him, and he convinces Pete to stop the account before his Martin Guerre past is revealed. Pete takes the fall with the partners, getting royally chewed out for "losing" a 4 million dollar account. And Don has an anxiety attack and tells Faye the truth about himself.
  • Magnum, P.I.: One of the first Whams was when Thomas asks Ivan, "Did you see the sunrise?"
  • Mash got a few in. Season 1's Sometimes You Hear the Bullet, the first hint that the show was not just a light comedy, and the season 3 finale, which killed off the company CO, are the most obvious examples. The final episode Goodbye, Farewell and Amen, which covered the end of the Korean War and locked the lead character in a mental hospital, also qualifies.
    • The Season 3 finale was also a Wham for the cast as they were not told of the character's death. That instrument someone dropped on the floor? Yeah, that was a real reaction from the actor.
      • The idea that no one was told about Henry Blake's death is actually an Urban Legend - they weren't told until just before the scene so that the reactions would seem authentic. A lot of the supporting cast and crew didn't know, though, and the first take of the scene was actually ruined by the crew gasping in reaction to the news.
  • At the end of The Mentalist season three, Jane finally finds Red John. And then Jane shoots him dead in the middle of a shopping mall.
    • As of season four, Reset Button is hit and we find out the guy isn't Red John after all.
    • Episode eight from season two, His Red Right Hand, might count: after a series of episodes dedicated to developing a relationship between Bosco's and Lisbon's team, with Jane eventually winning Bosco's trust enough so that Bosco agrees to keep him up to date on the Red John case, Bosco's secretary guns down Bosco's team. Bosco dies at the end of the episode, after a Dying Declaration of Love to Lisbon.
  • Merlin episode 2x12, The Fires of Idirsholas - In order to break the spell on Camelot, Merlin has to kill Morgana (the 'source of the magic'). So he attempts to poison her. Morgause saves her, but then teleports them both out of Camelot to an uncertain fate. Merlin then frees the Dragon, who, in the trailer, is seen wreaking fiery havoc on Camelot. Holy shi-
    • In episode 3X13 Morgana takes over Camelot, outs her magical powers to the world, and is defeated by Merlin and Gaius. Meanwhile, Arthur and Guinevere share a kiss in the central courtyard of Camelot (thus exposing what was previously a Secret Relationship) and Uther becomes unable to function as king, being too traumatised by Morgana's betrayal.
    • That's nothing compared to Episode 4x03. Uther dies and Arthur is crowned King of Camelot.
  • Police Camera Action has had many, many occurrences of the Wham! Episode in its 18 years of existence.
    • The 1996 episode Driven to Distraction featuring new fonts in the graphics (no more Zurich Expy font!) and an even more serious tone than before.
    • The 1997 episode On Your Bike, first one to feature international footage and a Cold Open, which the rest of the series (excluding the Very Special Episode) would use - the cold open, that is. Improved montage of 1995 footage in the Title Sequence.
    • The 1999 series, as it did not use a montage of 1995 series footage in the Title Sequence. Also, newer softer graphics were added.
    • The 2002 series, after it was Un Cancelled.
    • The 2007 series was a total Wham! Episode, more like a Wham Series, given that it added a co-presenter (Adrian Simpson) and all footage was cropped and zoomed.
    • From December 2008 onwards, Alastair Stewart and Adrian Simpson were replaced by Gethin Jones of Strictly Come Dancing fame, and every episode was a Very Special Episode. Much of the humor of the older episodes was lost.
  • Even Power Rangers managed this. Season 5, Power Rangers Turbo, got rid of everyone in the Competence Zone (almost to the point of a Retool) just before the halfway mark, replacing them with a kid genius Cousin Oliver and a new Alpha robot who said "Yo, yo, yo!" instead of "Ay-yi-yi-yi!" so they needed a Wham! Episode for the season finale. Part one of "Chase Into Space" ends with Zordon captured, the Command Center and Zords destroyed, and the Big Bad crowing in triumph... until The Man Behind the Man's messenger requests her company. Part two ends with the Cousin Oliver talking NASA -- er, NASADA into loaning the Rangers a space shuttle and choosing to stay on Earth with his wayward father while the others... well, the title is pretty self-explanatory. To drive the point home even further, the credits run next to a still shot of the Rangers' shuttle with a To Be Continued message beneath it, rather than the then-usual outtakes reel. While it was followed by fan favorite Power Rangers in Space, which verges on a Wham Season, Turbo remains the only season in the franchise after the original Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (when the seasons ended on cliffhangers) where the villain wins in the end.
    • Part of the reason later seasons would end with the good guys winning is because "...in Space" would bring the continuous storyline of the first six seasons to a close, with later seasons adopting the new-cast-and-story-every-season formula of the Super Sentai series upon which they are based, with later seasons having only minimal connection to the original six-season continuous plot.
    • Then we have Power Rangers RPM, a wham season. The premise kills off 99.9% of humanity (including anyone from previous seasons not dead of old age and all of their descendants). There are not-so-subtle hints throughout that the entire planet has been nuked (as in with actual nuclear weapons). One of (if not the first) episodes involves a prison brawl. We see people actually die onscreen with alarming regularity (although they don't use the word). And so on. Describe the plot to anyone for the first time and they generally refuse to believe you.
    • "The Mutiny" from Mighty Morphin season 2 was a Wham Episode aired in prime time. Synopsis: Rita's boss, Lord Zedd has come do what she didn't and take out Rangers once and for all. The Dinozords are frozen. The Tyrannosaurus and Dragonzords are under his control. The monsters are stronger. And even if it did end with eventual triumph, we learn that resurrected Green Ranger power will never be viable again leading us to "Green No More" with the Dragonzord coin's eventual end.
    • Others include a "The Ninja Encounter" (Rocky, Adam, and Aisha's introduction which ends with the first identity reveal in PR history), "The Power Transfer" (The aforementioned three replace Jason, Zack, and Trini), "Ninja Quest" which shocked fans with the sight of the Zords blowing up and falling to pieces, and "Hydrohog Afternoon" (which setup Zeo and had Billy's retirement by blowing up the Command Center).
    • Power Rangers Lost Galaxy. "The Power of Pink." After a kickass teamup with the Space Rangers in the previous episode, Psycho Pink manages to do what no other villain before or after her could ever do, and kill one of the Rangers.
  • The season four finale of Psych, especially the last two minutes.
    • The season six midseason finale. After a case at Shawn and Juliet's couples' retreat vacation, Gus finds Shawn's lost Nintendo DS. Gus hears a rattle from inside the DS and opens the battery compartment to discover an engagement ring hidden inside; Shawn had been planning to ask Juliet to marry him.

Q-T

  • The last episode of Season One of Queer as Folk has Justin getting smashed in the head with a baseball bat, and the episode ends with Brian and Michael sitting outside his hospital room, Brian in tears, and nobody knowing what's going to happen to Justin.
    • This packs even more punch when you think of all the things that Brian's been through in that season, and that is what makes him cry.
  • "The Great Game" is one for Sherlock with the appearance of Moriarty.
    • Even moreso is "The Reichenbach Fall", which ends with Sherlock being totally discredited, Moriarty killing himself, Sherlock faking his own suicide, and John going back in to therapy. In fact, "Reichenbach" is so much this that all resulting fanfic, and in fact the fandom itself, can be divided into "pre-Reichenbach" and "post-Reichenbach".
  • The Season 1 finale of Six Feet Under, in which we find out that Nate has AVM.
    • Not to mention the season four episode, "That's My Dog". Yikes.
    • Despite being set up by the famous Narm cliffhanger, "Ecotone" has one. You don't think they'll go there, but in the end... Nathan Fisher. 1965-2005.
  • Smallville "Gemini".
    • Season 5, Jor-El saves Clark's life but tells him that only death can pay for life and that he will lose someone he loves. Episode 5x12 starts with Lana getting killed, but Jor-El allows Clark go back in time to change that resulting in the death of Jonathan, Clark's father.
  • Soap has a good few of these, odd since you learn in the very first episode that Burt killed Mary's first husband (it's only a wham when she finds out). Learning that Carol, pregnant with Jodie's baby and been going on about them being together since her introduction, leave Jodie at the alter was a big one.
    • Another is when Danny gets shot through his kidneys whilst defending a crime witness and needs a transplant. Jodie (his brother) says he'll give one of his kidneys because Mary, their mother, isn't healthy enough. Except she tells him that they aren't 100% brothers because Danny is really Chester's child (Chester being Jessica's (Mary's sister) husband). Which made the entire show more complicated.
  • Sons of Anarchy is a show with a few Wham-ish episodes, but the season two finale upped the ante quite a bit. Goddamn Irish.
    • Episode 12 of season four takes it a step further, with Opie gunning Clay down.
  • The Sopranos had many of these, frequently in the penultimate or final episode of the season, sometimes both:
    • Season 1: 46 Long: Jackie Aprile dies creating a change in the family's status quo. In Isabella, the season's penultimate episode a hit is place on Tony by Uncle Junior. In the season finale Tony retaliates by having Junior's right hand man, Mikey murdered. Junior is arrested by the FBI.
    • Season 2: Full Leather Jacket: Christopher is shot by two low level thugs attempting to impress Richie and remains on the brink of death for several episodes. In the penultimate episode "The Knight in White Satin Armor" Tony decides to have Richie whacked but Janice beats him to the punch. In the season finale "Funhouse" Tony deduces that Pussy is a rat after which Tony, Paulie and Silvio execute him.
    • Season 3: "Amour Fou" where Jackie Jr.'s heist goes wrong leading into the finale which is more of a foregone conclusion than a Wham! Episode. "Provshai, Livushka", "Employee of the Month" and "He is Risen" also arguably fall into this category.
    • Season 4: "Whoever Did This" where Tony finally snaps and kills Ralph after he allegedly kills a horse and "Whitecaps" the season finale where Tony and Carmella decide to separate.
    • Season 5: "Long Term Parking" where Adriana tells Chris she is an informant. She is killed by Silvio. Everybody's sad.
    • Season 6: "Members Only" is a fairly eventful episode: Eugene is revealed to be an informant, Ray, also an informant, dies of a sudden heart attack, this leads the FBI to pressuring Eugene who commits suicide, Junior has a senior moment and shoots Tony. "Cold Stones": Phil kills one of Tony's capos Vito, recently revealed to be gay, without Tony's permission.
    • Season 6 Part 2: Several episodes fall under this banner, most notably "Kennedy and Heidi" and "The Blue Comet".
  • Star Trek the Next Generation
    • Perhaps the greatest Wham Episode in the history of the Star Trek franchise, "The Best of Both Worlds", is absolutely shocking. After a drawn-out battle with the Borg - away missions, sneaking around, confrontations - the Enterprise receives a hailing message from the Borg Cube. It's Picard. And he's a borg.
      • I am Locutus
      • "Mr. Worf: Fire."
    • The appearance of "Tasha Yar" at the end of the "Redemption" episode is a major failure to perform this trope, in that it is clearly intended to be a Wham Event, except that the Half-Human Hybrid, Time Travel angle never affects any story at all, and Sela is just another scheming Romulan commander scheming her schemes until she's replaced by the next scheming Romulan commander. Yar's actual death in a much earlier episode however was something of a shock for many.
  • Star Trek: Voyager had a few:
    • "State of Flux", in which Seska is revealed to be a Cardassian spy who has been selling Voyager's technology to the Kazon.
    • "Blood Fever", in which the crew learns that they are approaching Borg space.
    • "Message in a Bottle", a mostly comedic episode where Voyager finally succeeds in contacting the Federation to tell them that they are alive.
    • "Pathfinder", where Barclay manages to establish a permanent method of communication between the Federation and Voyager.
  • Star Trek: Enterprise: After two seasons of episodic adventure, "The Expanse" sees Earth attacked by the mysterious Xindi. Seven million are dead and this was only the weapons test. To save Earth, the crew embark to the Delphic Expanse with 1) Trip grieving over the death of his sister and wanting revenge, 2) T'Pol quitting the Vulcan High Command to help in the mission and 3) Archer realizing he's going to have a lot of tough decisions to make in the future.
    • The destruction of Florida radically alters the theme of the show. "Man, poor Florida..."
      • Now see, why'd they have to go and blow up the mother from Good Times? Hasn't that poor woman suffered enough having to listen to Jimmy "J.J." Walker all the time?
  • Episode 7, series 3 of The Thick of It starts off like any other episode before it turns into several people outrightly attacking Malcolm (the series' resident chess master and Magnificent Bastard) and culminates in him getting sacked in the last couple of scenes.
  • Third Watch has a lot of these, but the most memorable is the season five finale "Monsters" where the hospital that the entire Third Watch is at gets gunned down by William Mann's people.
    • Also in the season five episode "Purgatory", Doc keeps the paramedics and the firefighters hostage in the firehouse after suffering a mental breakdown as a result of the 9/11 attacks, Taylor's death, his fiance leaving him, and the changes at the firehouse.
    • Not to mention in "The Price of Nobility," when a major character dies...and there's still thirty minutes left to the episode.
  • Titus has a few:
    • "Mom's Not Nuts": We're introduced to Titus' mother. And yes, she is nuts.
    • "Episode Eleven": The other characters visit Ken in the hospital after he has a heart attack and crashes his car. They then find out he didn't really have a heart attack, but crashed the car doing something very dangerous. In retaliation, they decide to play a cruel prank on him(because it's what Ken would do), but this causes him to have a heart attack for real.
    • "The Smell of Success": An incident at a car show in a past episode comes back to bite Titus in the ass, and Titus High Performance ends up bankrupt. At the end, he starts drinking again, and Erin leaves.(In the next episode, he tries to get her back again.)
    • "The Pit": In an attempt to rebuild their image, Titus High Performance competes in a drag race, and Titus crashes his car, and is in a coma in the next episode.
    • "The Wedding": Titus and Erin attempt to have an impromptu wedding, but everybody shows up and Titus' mother ends up shooting her abusive husband.(This was actually supposed to air earlier in the season, but Fox moved it to the end.)
    • "Tommy's Not Gay" Tommy's father comes out of the closet, and surprisingly, Tommy is angry about it(not for being gay, but to lying to his mom all those years).
    • "The Trial": Titus' mom goes on trial for murdering her husband (See "The Wedding"). Titus helps her get off, and she isn't happy about it, so she takes Ken hostage.
    • "The Visit": Titus' mom escapes from the nuthouse, just as the child services officer comes to determine if they can adopt Amy. Turns out, his mother's dead, having committed suicide some hours before.
    • "The Protector": Titus and Erin find out Amy was molested as a child by one of her classmates' father.(Like "The Wedding", this was supposed to air earlier in the season.)
  • Torchwood has had a few. "Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang" and "Reset" were pretty shocking, but "Exit Wounds" beats them both for sheer "wham".
    • Children of Earth is pretty much one great big wham miniseries, between the destruction of the Hub, Ianto's death, and the United Nations collaborating with the militaries of the major world powers to abduct 10% of the Earth's children and surrender them to an alien race. Probably the biggest individual wham is the revelation that the reason the Four-Five-Six are essentially interstellar druglords who deal in prepubescent children because their hormones are a euphoric among their species.
    • "Adrift" was pretty wham, too. That scream pretty much sets the stage for the next episodes.
    • Torchwood: Miracle Day has "The Categories of Life" and "The Blood Line".
  • True Blood has the season four finale. Sookie dumps Eric and Bill both. Tara gets shot in the head. So does Debbie Pelt. Jesus gets stabbed to death. Nan Flanagan gets staked. Russell Edgington escapes from his chained grave. The Authority puts out kill orders on Bill and Eric. And the season closes on Sookie cradling Tara's bleeding body, crying desperately for help.

U-Z

  • Ultimate Force, a British SAS show, killed off 3 of the 5 man band in the first 5 minutes of Season 3, including the central character, and put its mission control on a bus, as part of a retool to a longer format.
  • Veronica Mars, "Not Pictured." Veronica was raped at Shelley Pomroy's party. Aaron is dead on Duncan's orders. Weevil is in jail for murder. And, oh yeah, Beaver's a raging psychopath who blew up the bus, raped Veronica, and threw himself off the roof of the Neptune Grand. Damn.
  • Weeds does this several times:
    • Between seasons 2 and 3, a drug deal gone bad destroys Nancy's entire business and puts her in the service of a thug named U-Turn.
    • And that is nothing compared to the end of season 3, where a fire destroys her entire neighborhood and she moves to a city just north of the Mexican border.
  • At the end of the White Collar fall finale, we find out that the main villain responsible for holding Kate hostage and using her to blackmail Neal is in fact the FBI.
    • That's not the Wham part. The part that kicks you in the teeth is that it's Peter.
    • But then we find out it's not Peter, and that Neal's original suspicion, OPR Agent Fowler, was correct. And then the MacGuffin is revealed: some music box.
    • Season 1 finale: Music box mystery closed (sorta), Kate found, Neal heads toward a plane that will carry off Kate and him to their government approved happily ever after ... and then the plane blows up in Neal's face while Kate was on it.
    • Then there's the season 2 summer finale: Mozzie gets shot through the heart. White Collar just loves these.
  • The Wire had a few, often positioned at the second last episode of a season. Particularly, in the penultimate episode of season three, McNulty finally has a lead on the guy he's been chasing three years, Stringer Bell! Before Stringer gets killed by Omar Little and Brother Mouzone.
    • Whenever a main character on The Wire gets shot - not necessarily fatally - it tends to be a Wham! Episode. In the first season, when Kima gets shot on a stakeout gone wrong, it shakes up most of the other characters. Mc Nulty goes into burnout, feeling responsible, Rawls and Landsman come out of the office and show themselves to be brilliant field cops, and on the criminal side the Barksdale shooters panic and go into hiding once they discover their victim's identity.
  • The X-Files has more than a few, but one of the standouts is "Leonard Betts." It starts off as an investigation into a man with a Healing Factor who fuels it by consuming cancerous tissue, usually killing the person he's extracting it from. Standard for a monster of the week episode. Then, at the climax, he turns to Scully, of all people, and says, "I'm sorry, I'm so very sorry... but you have something I need."
    • Most of the Season enders qualified as these, but most notably Season 5's last episode entitled 'The End', which ends with the X Files being closed down and Mulder's office (including all the files) being burned to the ground.
      • The two-part season eight finale, "Essence" and "Existence" is also pretty notable. Scully's baby is born, ending her official assignment to the X-Files.
      • The three-part season two finale/season three premier, containing the episodes, "Anasazi," "The Blessing Way," and 'Paperclip', is pretty big. Mulder and Scully are pursued by a hit squad, and by the end of "Paperclip" Mulder's father and Scully's sister are both dead.
      • I'd say the season seven finale, "Requiem", is one of the biggest. Mulder is finally abducted by aliens, marking the beginning of his absence on the show to the first two thirds of the following season. Also, Scully, who can't have children, is pregnant.
    • "Closure," in season seven, where the portion of the Myth Arc regarding Mulder's sister is concluded.
    • "William," in season nine, which involves the revelation that Scully's son is a super soldier and ends with Scully giving him up for adoption to keep him safe.
    • Most two-parters also fall under this. One of the most significant, "Christmas Carol"/"Emily," takes place in season five, where Scully discovers that she has a biological daughter who is an alien-human hibrid and the daughter subsequently dies. This all happens shortly after Scully is told that, due to procedures done during her abduction, she can no longer have children.
    • Potentially subverted by "Musings of a Cigarette Smoking Man". The episode is remember for being CSM's A Day in the Limelight and revealing much about his past through a lengthy flashback that many took as gospel. However, Word of God has reminded fans that the supposed backstory comes from a conspiracy theory magazine article that is implied in episode to facilitate an Unreliable Narrator.
  • The 4400, first season finale, when you find out who sent the 4400 back and why.
    • And the episode before: I am not Kyle Baldwin.
      • Season 2 premiere: the mysterious ray wakes up a comatose scientist, who's going to help the 4400.
        • Season 2 Finale: Richard finds his daughter, Isabelle, now a 20-something woman, and Jordan Collier, previously shot to death, is seen in disarray, walking on a beach.
  • Stargate Atlantis season five episode First Contact fits this trope nicely. In my opinion, Season 5 was plodding along clumsily, the series was not going to be renewed and it was like watching a sick sheep dog being taken to the barn to be shot. Then WHAM -- a favourite character from SG-1 (Daniel Jackson) arrives, a new species is introduced possessing technology that easily beats the Lantean/Ancients tech that was always the reliable fail-safe for our heroes, pretty much everything else gets a huge shake up. And then in the conclusion, it is revealed that the new enemies are, in fact, rogue Asgard. At the end of this two-parter, the show returns to the status quo, but given SG-1's track record of bringing back years old plots down the line, in all likelihood we would have seen them again if the show hadn't been canceled.
    • "The Daedalus Variations" as well; the starship Daedalus mysteriously and suddenly appears in orbit with no explanation, and the team goes aboard. They find it's jumping from universe to universe on a regular basis. A lot of the universes seemed like they were foreshadowing future events, including an enigmatic and implacable alien race that also manage to come aboard the ship and wipe the floor with the crew. There's no doubt these aliens would have shown up in the prime universe in a later season, but the show didn't last long enough.
  • Numb3rs season 4 finale: in the last 5 minutes, not only does Megan Reeves get a Fond Farewell lasting exactly 38 seconds (!), but Charlie loses his security clearance due to an act of protest against anti-terror policies...and yet the show promises it's To Be Continued.
  • The Office (US series) pulls off one of these almost every season, usually as part of the season finale.
    • In the Season 2 finale: Jim gets promoted to a new job away from Scranton! And before he leaves he confesses his feelings to Pam! Later, he kisses her!
    • In the Season 3 finale: Jan gets fired and shacks up with Michael! Jim ditches his girlfriend to ask out Pam! Ryan the temp gets promoted to Michael's Boss!
    • In the Season 4 finale: Jan is pregnant! Andy proposed to Angela -- and she accepted! Jim didn't propose to Pam! Angela and Dwight naked in a cubicle!
    • In the Season 5 finale: Pam is pregnant! Not as shocking as other seasons, but still pretty exciting!
  • The finale of Blackadder Goes Forth. The entire Blackadder series is a fairly light, humourous take on various historical periods, with Goes Forth taking place during WWI. The episode begins with orders coming that the crew are going to make a push across No Man's Land, and the tone of the episode gets progressively darker and gloomier as the characters begin to accept and realize the gravity of what awaits them. The final scene ends with a "Good luck" from Blackadder as they climb out of the trench and it is strongly implied that they don't make it very far.
    • Their fate is confirmed by the script, whose stage directions conclude with the words "They won't get far."
    • Actually three out of four seasons of Blackadder end with the death of the complete regular cast. But what makes the final scene of Goes Forth so heartbreaking to watch is its rather chilling realism that was absent before, playing the deaths for laughs rather.
  • The final scene of NCIS season four and the season five premiere reveal that not only is Tony's girlfriend the daughter of arms merchant La Grenouille, but his entire relationship with her was part of an undercover operation to take La Grenouille down. This pays off a year's worth of careful and subtle foreshadowing and casts an entirely different light on many of the events of the season, as well as on Tony's characterization.
    • Subtle? A large portion of the fandom was rooting for the plot to be resolved during February sweeps because being treated like idiots gets really old, really fast.
    • How could you forget the end of the 2nd season? Kate takes a bullet for Gibbs. Gibbs kills her shooter... Kate gets up, groaning from pain she still has despite a bullet-proof vest taking the hit. Tony comments on her heroism, Gibbs says that for once, Tony's right. Kate mentions how she thought she'd die before she ever heard Gibbs say th--BLAM!! R.I.P., Rosefern.
    • And then there's the season finale where Ziva decides to stay in Israel, only for us to then see her being brutally tortured, as well as finding out she was actually a mole at NCIS for her father and had been lying the whole time.
    • Also the season 5 finale, "Judgment Day," in which Jenny Shepherd is killed.
      • And that's just the end of part 1, part two adds the team being split up by the new director.
    • The season 9 finale "Till Death Do Us Part" takes this Up to Eleven: the fucking Navy Yard is blown up, with Gibbs, Abby, Tony, Ziva, and Tim caught in the blast, and Ducky has a heart attack at the news. Damn.
  • Carnivale, episode "New Canaan". Series finale. Four words: "This is your house."
  • The Sarah Connor Chronicles has a few, like the car bombing at the end of "What He Beheld."
    • "Hello, Mister Ellison. My name is John Henry."
    • John's "I knew the whole time and did nothing" speech to Jesse. He goes from emo!John to John Connor in one scene.
    • "On The Lighthouse." There's a second machine intelligence operating in the present of similar design to John Henry, based off Cyberdyne technology. And it wants both John Henry and the Connors dead.
    • Nothing compared to "Adam Raised a Cain." Our heroes find out about John Henry, and Weaver finds out about our heroes. Derek is dead. Sarah is captured by police. In one episode, everyone becomes exposed, and the team gets cut down to John and Cameron alone.
    • Piffle. Born To Run had far more Wham than any of those. John Henry has taken Cameron into the future with him, and John and Catherine Weaver follow after them. Now it's just John and Weaver in the future, where they shortly meet Derek Reese, who lets slip that in this universe - presumably due to John's teleportation into the future - John Connor never existed. And then Kyle Reese and Allison (from Palmdale) show up. Then the show was canceled.
  • Primeval. Episode 3, season 3. Helen is an alarmingly good shot.
  • The events of season 1 finale of WMAC Masters. What was once an Anvilicious Aesop-of-the-day show becomes a mystery thriller.
  • The West Wing Season 1 finale ends on a cliffhanger, the season 2 premiere "In the Shadow of Two Gunmen, Part I" is a wham episode. Who's been hit? The President, who's mostly fine, and Josh, who is very not.
    • And how could we forget "18th and Potomac", with the death of Mrs. Landingham.
    • The season 4 episode "Commencement" is the second-to-last episode written by Aaron Sorkin before he left the show: Amy Gardner asks Donna straight-out if she loves Josh, Toby proposes to Andy (and she says no!) before her water breaks and she goes into labor, and then Massive Attack's "Angel" starts playing, which leads to... "Bookbag is taken! We have an agent down! Go to Code Black!"
      • No one can say they weren't warned, as Bartlett explicitly foreshadows the "nightmare scenario" way back in the first season episode "Mr. Willis of Ohio."
    • The second episode of season 6 began with the immediate aftermath of Leo's heart-attack and ended with the big surprise of Bartlett asking C.J. to be the new Chief-of-Staff, both of which led to significant changes in the relationships among the senior staff, and indirectly to Josh Lyman's resignation at the midseason break. If he'd been the one promoted he wouldn't have left to work for a new presidential hopeful, which might have been part of Leo's plan all along when he recommended C.J. instead of Josh.
    • And how could we forget "He Shall, from Time to Time," which sets up much o seasons 2 and 3:

 Abbey: He has Multiple Sclerosis, Leo.

  • Season 3 of Desperate Housewives has "Bang". Bree snidely informs Laurie Metcalf that her husband had an affair, instigating her to take a supermarket hostage with Lynette, Edie, and Susan's daughter inside. This intense episode managed to tie all the housewives plotlines together as well as kill off an extremely annoying character in a surprisingly poignant way.
  • Fringe: "There's More Than One of Everything"(1x20). William Bell lives in an alternate universe where the Twin Towers never fell, Jones sees Bell as a father figure, and, oh yes, Peter died before he turned ten and the one we know was kidnapped by Walter from an alternate universe.
    • Season 2: William Bell causes himself to explode so the energy will send Olivia back to our universe. But it's the wrong Olivia, and Walternate has the right one trapped in a cell on the other side.
    • Season 3: Peter has served his purpose, so he doesn't even exist anymore.
  • The Series VI finale of Red Dwarf. The crew's evil future selves show up, one thing leads to another and the two Starbugs end up fighting. Most of the crew die in sequence. Rimmer runs through the ship to destroy the time machine, and it ends with Starbug being blown up.
  • Rescue Me's episode "Happy" saw a character death that forever altered the characters on this show, especially Tommy.
    • "Brains": Tommy and Johnny find out the truth about their long lost half brother. Probably the show's first real Wham moment.
    • "Twilight": Tommy's brother gets shot on a stakeout.
    • "Commitment": After being taken off active duty, the Chief makes peace with his gay son, and ties up all his other affairs, then gets dressed up, and commits suicide.
    • "Yaz": At the end, Tommy's father dies. What makes this unusually Wham-worthy is that, on a show full of people dying violently before their time, an old man dying peacefully at a baseball game is somehow that much more effective.
  • Stargate SG-1 has a few, but one that stands out for many fans is season 7's "Heroes". O'Neill gets shot in the gut, and Samantha Carter absolutely falls apart upon her return to Earth, which, seeing as how she's been explicitly in love with O'Neill for several years, leads viewers to think he's the one who died. Then a previously unintroduced member of the SGC is seriously wounded, a red herring to make the viewer think he'll be Killed Off for Real. But part of the way through his videotaped "final message" to his wife, the viewer realizes that the person that died was Dr. Janet Fraiser, Carter's best friend, a fact hammered home a few seconds later by her brutally sudden caught-on-camera death scene.
    • "Camelot:" The Ori have invaded the Milky Way... and they just curb stomped a combined Tau'ri/Jaffa/Asgard/Lucian Alliance armada.
    • "Meridian:" The one where Daniel dies. No, this wasn't the first time it happened, but he spent the entire episode dying this time, and he stayed that way for a whole season.
    • "Forever in a Day:" Since the pilot, rescuing Daniel's wife had been one of the main subplots. Teal'c kills her in this episode.
  • 24: Basically every single episode has at least one dose of wham in it, the whole series is practically built on it, and some episodes take it to almost absurd, shocking levels.
    • Of special note: Day 1 finale: Teri dies.
    • Day 3, episode 7: Jack makes a confession to the President that effectively negates everything that happened in the last six hours.
    • Late into Day 5: Charles Logan, the President of the United States, is aiding and abetting terrorists on American soil.
    • Season 8 has two back, episodes 16 and 17, both featuring a major character's death and setting up the final episodes of the series in a big way.
    • The Day 5 season premiere was also one especially notable WHAM moment when it not only killed off two long-running major characters that were both pretty much iconic to the series by that point, but did so before the first commercial break.
  • Flash Forward 2009, which had been pretty slow-moving plot-wise for a long time, had a huge wham episode in the form of "The Gift", in which Al Gough kills himself in order to save a woman he knows from his flash forward will die in an accident he causes (obviously, he's alive in his flash forward), proving that you can, indeed, fight fate.
    • Revelation Zero
  • Soap Operas generally try and do this every episode or, at the least, every few episodes, with varying success, so listing them all would be pointless. One of the most famous soap opera cliffhangers, however, was the 1986 Christmas episode of Eastenders, where 30.1 million viewers (of a population of 56 million) saw Den serving Angie divorce papers in the closing minutes. Only one broadcast has since got a higher number of viewers: Princess Di's funeral.
  • The Event, at the end of "For the Goood of the Country" Raymond after confirming the death of the Vice-President looks in a mirror and briefly morphs into a younger version of himself.
  • Robin of Sherwood in the finale of the 2nd season, kills off Robin Hood -- then has a 3rd season.
    • In the same vein, the BBC's Robin Hood killed off Maid Marian in the second season finale. Proof that Wham Episodes are not always good things, as this development definitely wasn't received the way the writers had hoped.
  • Even Reality TV isn't immune to a Wham! Episode. Just look at the "Grim Ripper" episode of Monster Garage. For the first time, the crew failed to complete the build.
  • The Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger episode "The Greatest Treasure In The Universe" has the team finally obtaining the treasure, only to learn everything is not hunky-dorey: It has the power to erase the Zangyack Empire from existence, but in return it would remove the 34 Super Sentai teams from existence as well.
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