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"I think it can be pretty interesting how a single line in a story, even one that's seven words, can dramatically alter the perception of everything that just happened."
Andrew Hussie, via his former Formspring

While a Wham! Episode is an episode that radically alters the Story Arc, a Wham! Line is a line of dialogue that radically alters a scene.

A scene is headed in one direction, then the line is uttered. Afterwards, the scene is going somewhere very, very different. For it to be effective the audience must not see it coming -- not just not knowing the exact information, but not expecting any kind of surprising even significant line there at all. If there was background music playing beforehand, expect it to abruptly come to a stop after the line is said.

This is strictly an audience trope. For a milder in-universe version, see Dropping the Bombshell. Often overlaps with Armor-Piercing Question, where the line causes a character to seriously rethink their position.

Tends to come in the form of a Reveal. Can fit into a Wham! Episode. Not to be confused with Wham!.

By the very nature of the trope, spoilers ahead. If we marked them all this page would be 60% white space.

Note: This is not just a line that happens during a Wham! Episode. The line itself has to radically change the plot in itself.


Examples of Wham! Line include:


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