->''"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."''
-->-- '''Creator/AndrewHussie''', via his former [[http://dl.dropbox.com/u/40585720/Combined_Formspring_Web_Aug-28-2011.htm#mspadventures154147870025488514 Formspring]]

Whereas a WhamEpisode is an episode that radically alters the StoryArc, 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, or even ''significant'', line there at all. If there was background music playing beforehand, [[RecordNeedleScratch 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 DroppingTheBombshell. Often overlaps with ArmorPiercingQuestion or ArmorPiercingResponse, where the line causes a character to seriously rethink their position. In a joke or comic story, a PunchLine functions very similarly.

When something seen by the viewer or reader of visual media radically alters a scene, it's a WhamShot.

Tends to come in the form of a {{Reveal}}. Can fit into a WhamEpisode.
By the very nature of the trope, '''spoilers ahead.''' If we marked them all, the subpages would be 60% white space.

'''Note''': ''This is not just a line that happens during a WhamEpisode. The line itself has to radically change the plot in itself. If the line is the result of events or conversations that are clearly shown on screen, or it's a ForegoneConclusion, then '''it is not a Wham Line'''. The line itself has to be '''completely unexpected'''.''
%% NOTE: This does ''not'' mean any line emblematic of a "wham" moment, but a line that is
%% ''itself'' one -- as in, up until that line, things are going in one direction, then after
%% it, they're going somewhere very, very different. This also bears repeating: The change in
%% direction has to be ''completely unexpected''. Please remember that before adding examples.

* WhamLine/AnimatedFilm
* WhamLine/AnimeAndManga
* WhamLine/ComicBooks
* WhamLine/FanWorks
* WhamLine/{{Film}}
* WhamLine/{{Literature}}
* WhamLine/LiveActionTV
* WhamLine/{{Music}}
* WhamLine/NewspaperComics
* WhamLine/{{Poetry}}
* WhamLine/ProfessionalWrestling
* WhamLine/{{Roleplay}}
* WhamLine/{{Theatre}}
* WhamLine/VideoGames
* WhamLine/WebAnimation
* WhamLine/{{Webcomics}}
* WhamLine/WebOriginal
** WhamLine/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses
** WhamLine/AtopTheFourthWall
* WhamLine/WesternAnimation


[[folder:Standup Comedy]]

* From Ellen Degeneres' "The Beginning", telling the audience an (admittedly fictional) story about how she met God. The crowd's reaction to this line says it all.
--> Ellen: A couple of minutes later, God walks into the room, carrying a tray... [[spoiler: I would say she was about 46, 47 years old... beautiful, beautiful black woman...]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* ''VisualNovel/SteinsGate'':
** A minor example from episode 3:
--> [[spoiler:"Human is dead: Mismatch"]]
*** Counts as something named the Jellyman report doesn't sound particularly serious, but causes Okabe to have a minor HeroicBSOD.
** Episode 12:
-->[[spoiler:'''Moeka:''' "Shiina Mayuri is not needed." *fires gun at Mayuri*]]
** Episode 14:
-->[[spoiler:'''Suzuha:''' "I am the time traveler John Titor."]]
** Episode 20:
-->[[spoiler:'''Yuugo:''' ''(to Moeka)'' "You sold us out, M4."]]
** Episode 22:
-->[[spoiler:'''Suzuha:''' "You must stop World War III."-*EPISODE ENDS*]]
* ''VisualNovel/FleuretBlanc'': During a sequence where you can investigate the whereabouts of former FOIL members, the members' statuses appear at the top of the screen as you discover them. When you investigate [[spoiler:Etzer]], the status update reads "[[spoiler:Etzer: Deceased]]", so you know that something major has happened even before you read the details. This also confirms some of the protagonists' worst suspicions about the villains, immediately heightening the tension of the story.
* From ''VisualNovel/SayaNoUta'', the following line, not so much the line itself, but [[spoiler:how it's heard and by who]]:
-->[[spoiler:"Welcome home!"]]
* The Final line of Block 5, the Pale Bride's story from ''VisualNovel/AnalogueAHateStory'':
-->He started to argue, but then he stopped. I think he was patronising me, as if I can't read simple Korean script! He just asked, in the smuggest voice, "Then what should I call you, child?"
-->I screamed. I'd already told him a thousand times before.
-->"[[spoiler:Hyun-ae]]! My name is [[spoiler:Hyun-ae]]!"
* VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo:
** In Emi's route
-->'''Hisao's Narration''': "Emi's there, yes. [[spoiler:But she's in a wheelchair]]"
** In Hanako's route, this exchange between Hisao and Lilly not only takes the scene into a completely different direction (especially in that it forces Hisao to re-evaluate how he sees Hanako), but takes it into a completely direction than the equivalent scene in Lilly's route.
-->'''Lilly''': There is another person, though, that has been a subject of worry for me as of late.
-->'''Hisao''': Oh?
-->'''Lilly:''' That person is you, Hisao.
** In Lilly's route.
-->'''Akira''': When our folks told me that when we were at their place, though, they also [[spoiler:gave Lilly a summons to rejoin them in Inverness]].
** In Shizune's route
-->'''Misha''': "[[spoiler:Comfort me, Hicchan, just for today.]]
** Later in Shizune's route
-->'''Misha''': "I know you like her, Hicchan. I mean that [[spoiler:I like Shicchan in the same way. I want her to be my girlfriend]]."