|Quotes • Headscratchers • Playing With • Useful Notes • Analysis • Image Links • Haiku • Laconic|
- Any time this exchange takes place:
Person A: "Turn on the TV!"
Person B: "Sure, what channel?"
Person A: "Any channel!"
- For the NBA: "Derrick Rose tore the ACL in his knee. He will miss the rest of the playoffs."
- For those not watching television at the time: "A plane has just flown into the World Trade Center."
- "The second tower's been hit!"
- Also, once the Pentagon was hit. It was at that point that anywhere within the U.S. could be a potential target, not just NYC.
- Whatever was whispered into George W. Bush's ear when he was in that elementary school classroom.
- "The president's been shot!"
- More specifically, Walter Cronkite's report: "From Dallas, Texas, the flash apparently official: President Kennedy died at 1 p.m. Central Standard Time, 2:00 Eastern Standard Time, some 38 minutes ago."
- "I shall not seek, and I will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president."
- "Well, if the president does it, that means that it's not illegal."
- "You won't have Nixon to kick around anymore, because, gentlemen, this is my last press conference and it will be one in which I have welcomed the opportunity to test wits with you."
- During the Senate Judiciary Committee hearings:
- "Therefore, I shall resign the Presidency effective at noon tomorrow. Vice President Ford will be sworn in as President at that hour in this office."
- AIR RAID ** PEARL HARBOR ** THIS IS NOT A DRILL
- While not quite the lines most think they remember:
Swigert (CMP): "Okay, Houston, we've had a problem here."
CAPCOM Jack Lousma (CC): "This is Houston. Say again, please."
Lovell (CDR): "Uh, Houston, we've had a problem."
- "We have a report from the Flight Dynamics Officer that the vehicle has exploded. The flight director confirms that. We are looking at checking with the recovery forces to see what can be done at this point."
- From Kent Shocknek at KNBC:
Kent Shocknek: "This shuttle mission will launch-" (the shuttle blows up) "My God, there's been an explosion..."
- "My fellow Americans, this day has brought terrible news and great sadness to our country. At 9 o'clock this morning, Mission Control in Houston lost contact with the Space Shuttle Columbia. A short time later, debris was seen falling from the skies above Texas. The Columbia is lost, there are no survivors."
- During the pre-game show of Game 3 of the 1989 World Series:
Tim McCarver: "...and he fails to get Dave Parker at second base, so the A's take-"
Al Michaels: "I tell you what, we're having an earth-"
- "I wonder if I was ever or still was considered a suspect in her murder, because I think sometimes I should've been."
- "General Lee, I have no division."
- "We're gonna be in the Hudson."
- "The lights are going out all over Europe. They will not be seen again in our lifetime."
- For Augustus of Ancient Rome, whoever delivered the news that Varus and his three legions had been annihilated in the Teutoburg Forest.
- While on the subject of Ancient Rome, I believe "the die is cast" is probably the premier example of an ancient historical wham line. Julius Caesar uttered it as he violated Roman law, bringing his legion across the Rubicon and into Rome... and thus died the Roman Republic.
- When France was being invaded by Nazi Germany, Winston Churchill went to Paris and on a meeting with the commanders, asked the leading general, Gamelin "Where is the strategic reserve?". Gamelin answered "There is none". Churchill later described hearing this as the single most shocking moment in his life.
- The 1972 Olympic Games in Munich: "They've now said that there were eleven hostages. Two were killed in their rooms yesterday morning. Nine ...were killed at the airport tonight. They're all gone." What's so chilling is the way Jim McKay emphasizes and pauses after the word "nine". The world knew they were all dead a second before he actually said they were. If ever there was a Wham Word, it was Jim McKay's "nine".
- "I have to tell you now that no such action has been taken and, consequently, this country is now at war with Germany."
- "Today on June 22th 1941, without declaring war, Hitlerite Germany invaded the Soviet Union."
- Monday Night Football, December 8th, 1980. Howard Cosell drops a bombshell on the audience in the midst of an otherwise uneventful game between the New England Patriots and the Miami Dolphins:
"We have to say it. Remember, this is just a football game, no matter who wins or loses. An unspeakable tragedy, confirmed to us by ABC News in New York City. John Lennon, outside of his apartment building on the west side of New York City, the most famous perhaps of all of The Beatles. Shot twice in the back, rushed to Roosevelt Hospital. Dead. On. Arrival."
- "As of the 21st of this month, I signed Proclamation Number 1081 placing the entire Philippines under Martial Law" from Ferdinand Marcos.
- "Seit 5.45 wird zurückgeschossen!" ("Since 5.45, we have been shooting back!") Spoken by Adolf Hitler just as the invasion of Poland began.
- "Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!"
- "Gentlemen, the uh, camper and the car sitting over to the south of me is covered. It's gonna get me, too. I can't get out of here ..."
- Sports Reporter: "...what happened at Hillsborough, a tragedy, at least 53 people are feared to have been killed."
- "The chain reaction is self-sustaining", after the building of the first atomic reactor.
- "There is a general emergency at Metropolitan Edison Company's Three Mile Island Nuclear Power Plant."
- "There has been an accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. One of the nuclear reactors was damaged. The effects of the accident are being remedied. Assistance has been provided for any affected people. An investigative commission has been set up."
- From a chat log between Private Manning and the man who blew the whistle:
Bradass87: "Hypothetical question: if you had free reign over classified networks for long periods of time... say, 8-9 months... and you saw incredible things, awful things... things that belonged in the public domain, and not on some server stored in a dark room in Washington DC... what would you do?"
- "Snape kills Dumbledore!"
- "An earthquake of magnitude 8.9 has struck the north-east region of Japan this Friday..."
- On an interview for CNN, Falcon "Balloon Boy" Heene, when asked by his father why he didn't come when he called: "Because you guys said that, um, we did this for the show."
- Supposedly when Hitler announced his plan to conquer the rest of Europe, multiple people in the room had heart attacks. We don't know what exactly was said, but we know it was a whammy.
- "My fellow citizens, in the difficult circumstances our country is experiencing, President Muhammad Hosni Mubarak has decided to give up the office of the president of the republic and instructed the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces to manage the affairs of the country." - Egyptian Vice President Omar Suleiman announcing President Hosni Mubarak's resignation in response to massive pro-democracy protests.
- "Well, just watch me."
- "Tonight, I can report to the American people and to the world that the United States had conducted an operation that killed Osama Bin Laden, the leader of Al Qaeda."
- A positive one: "I'm back." Cue fans buying more Michael Jordan jerseys in a week than that of Shaquille O'Neal, Anthony Hardaway and Grant Hill in a month.
- A low-key example, but one which definitely a wham for logic and mathematics: "Does the set of all sets which do not contain themselves contain itself?" 
- And similarly, "Any effectively generated theory capable of expressing elementary arithmetic cannot be both consistent and complete. In particular, for any consistent, effectively generated formal theory that proves certain basic arithmetic truths, there is an arithmetical statement that is true, but not provable in the theory." 
- "Det är mord på Sveavägen!" ("There's been a murder on Sveavägen!") from the phone call after Swedish Prime Minister Olof Palme was shot after seeing a film with his wife.
- Later that night in the radio (in a time before news was sent during the night), "Sveriges statsminister Olof Palme är död" ("Sweden's Prime Minister Olof Palme is dead").
- On a more personal scale, being told that you have a life-threatening or terminal illness or that a close relative or friend has died.
- "Nature is over."
- You can hear the shocked reaction in this video (at 2:20) to Dianne Feinstein's announcement: "As President of the Board of Supervisors, it's my duty to make this announcement. Both Mayor Moscone and Supervisor Harvey Milk have been shot and killed. The suspect is Supervisor Dan White."
- A positive one: after asked when unrestricted travel between the DDR and the BRD would be allowed again: "Err, from this moment on, I think..."
- The greatest Perry Mason moment from a real trial:
"Mr. Menendez, did you know that Big 5 stopped carrying handguns in March of 1986?"
Joseph Welch: "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"
- Luke 2:11: "Fear not. For unto you, this day in the City of David, a Savior is born." 
- From the history of information technology:
- "What hath God wrought?" Telecommunication is born.
- "Mr. Watson, come here! I want to see you!" And voice telephony is born.
- "Hello World!" C is born, as well as a convention in computer programming.
- From seminal decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court:
- "...by the laws of the State, the plaintiff was a slave, and not a citizen"
- "We consider the underlying fallacy of the plaintiff's argument to consist in the assumption that the enforced separation of the two races stamps the colored race with a badge of inferiority."
- "Does segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race, even though the physical facilities and other 'tangible' factors may be equal, deprive the children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities? We believe that it does."
- The Declaration of Independence: "We, therefore, the Representatives of the United States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the World for the Rectitude of our Intentions, do, in the Name, and by the Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly Publish and Declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be, Free and Independent States; that they are absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political Connection between them and the State of Great-Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved."
- Tom Paine said it first: "Tis time to part."
- "German radio has just announced that Hitler is dead. I repeat that, German radio has just announced that Hitler is dead."
- On the opening night of 42nd Street, producer David Merrick came on stage to announce that the director had just died:
"No, no. This is tragic. You don’t understand. Gower Champion died this morning."
- "Ladies and gentlemen, we got him."
- The "Portillo Moment" in the 1997 UK general election: "Portillo, Michael Denzil Xavier, Conservative Party, 19,137... Twigg, Stephen, Labour Party, 20,570. I declare that Stephen Twigg is duly elected Member of Parliament for the constituency!"
- "My fellow South Africans. Our beloved Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, the founding president of our democratic nation, has departed. He passed on peacefully in the company of his family around 20:50 on the 5th of December 2013."
- "This is BBC Television from London: Diana, Princess of Wales, has died after a car crash in Paris. The French government announced her death just before 5 o'clock this morning. Buckingham Palace confirmed the news shortly afterwards."
- Reggie White delivers tragic news to the Philly Faithful at Veterans Stadium:
"Tonight, I'd planned on sharing my testimony, but it's kinda been altered. Today, I lost a great friend. Philadelphia lost a great player. Jerome Brown died today."
- Several of these occur at various points in one's personal life.
- "Marry me."
- "I'm pregnant."
- "We lost the baby."
- "I'm gay."
- "I want a divorce."
- ↑ Thompson already knew the answer would be in the affirmative, as Butterfield had told the committee staff that already. But the viewing public didn't know, and the question seemed out of left field
- ↑ While well-known, actually a more accessible paraphrase. The real line was more like "Let w be the predicate: to be a predicate that cannot be predicated of itself. Can w be predicated of itself? From each answer its opposite follows. Therefore we must conclude that w is not a predicate."
- ↑ Basically, it's an encoded form of "This statement is not provable in such-and-such theory". You can add that to the theory's axioms and create a new theory, but then there's an encoded form of "This statement is not provable in the new theory", and so on ad infinitum.
- ↑ East and West Germany, respectively
- ↑ The reader already knows this, but the shepherds didn't