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

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

The point when the Exposition stops and the real plot begins. Typically falls on episode 7 - roughly halfway through the first 13 episode season, or 1/4 of the way through your 26 episode season if you get renewed. Sometimes it's only in the first season to establish tone for the series, or once per season to introduce new story arcs since it's one of the few acceptable times to change the Status Quo.

All examples that don't specify the episode number actually do land on episode 7 exactly as per the former Trope Name - aka Seventh Episode Twist, although this is not a hard and fast requirement for the trope.

Warning. Examples may count as spoilers, but since they're so early in the series, most are probably closer to Late-Arrival Spoiler.

Sub trope of Wham Episode, compare First Episode Spoiler when the plot kick-off twist is part of the original premise. Closely related to other exposition and pacing tropes as it usually indicates the end of Act 1, end of the Debut Queue, the crossing of the first Threshold etc.


Examples:

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     Anime And Manga 
  • Appleseed XIII: The pilot of the renegade Hecatonchires mech is revealed.
  • Chapter 9 of Attack on Titan reveals that Eren did not die in battle. Not only that, he also has the power to transform into a Titan.
    • Corresponding, the anime gives us an exact example in episode 7, when Mikasa is saved by the appearance of an Rogue Titan that kills another Titan. Then it goes even further in the following episode, which reveals the Titan is a transformed Eren.
  • Aquarion EVOL: In episode 13 (halfway through the series) Jin learns first hand the meaning of Redemption Equals Death and it falls like a bomb in the lives of his newfound friends (specially his love interest).
  • Bleach: The story takes a twist when the events of Chapter 1 finally catch up with Rukia. Turns out what she did was illegal and now she's going to be executed for the crime. Cue the story changing to a quest to save her life which is what triggers the true myth arc of the tale the fallout of the thousand year war between shinigami and quincies.
  • Black Cat: Episode 6 has Saya murdered and Train injured, leading to Sven rescuing the latter and pushing Train to his Heel-Face Turn.
  • Bomberman Jetters: White Bomber discovers his big brother Mighty has been dead all along. Shout's sad backstory is also explained and Max is revealed to be the one who killed Mighty. These are in 23, 24 and 25, but to be fair, it's a 50+ anime series.
  • Busou Renkin: Dr. Butterfly resurrects Papillon.
  • CLANNAD - People are starting to forget Fuko.
  • Code Geass
    • Season 1 - What's left of the JLF is destroyed by the Black Knights. Shirley discovers Zero is Lelouch.
    • Season 2 - Jeremiah does a Heel-Face Turn. Rolo murders Shirley.
  • The Daughter of Twenty Faces is very difficult to discuss without revealing what happens in the sixth episode.
  • Digimon Adventure: Hit's one episode later, Devimon the first Big Bad makes his first official appearance in episode 8
    • Digimon Adventure 02: Episode 8 again, Davis finds out that Ken is the Digimon Emperor, though the audience knew much earlier.
    • Digimon Tamers: Episode 7 is the first time the core trio works together as a team and when Yamaki uses the Juggernaut program for the first time, but Episode 8 is when Guilmon finally digivolves.
  • Episodes 7 and 8 of Dragon Ball revealed that Muten Roshi was a powerful martial arts master and that Goku's Grandpa Gohan was his pupil.
  • In Episode 8 of Elfen Lied, we begin to learn of Lucy's traumatic backstory, and as such some of her motivations.
  • In Fullmetal Alchemist, we have the demise of Maes Hughes.
    • A bit earlier, the series' first real Tear Jerker happens when Nina's father combines her with a dog to make a talking chimera so he could extend his State Alchemist license for another year.
  • Franchise/Gundam
    • G Gundam hits one episode earlier. Episode 6 is when you learn Domon and Kyoji's backstory and he activates supermode for the first time.
    • Gundam Wing: The five Gundam pilots come together for the first time and end up getting played by the series' quintessential Magnificent Bastard, whose superb Batman Gambit leads to the first of many major power shifts in the series.
    • Gundam SEED's first half is about the crew of a prototype ship trying to get to their main base, and shows the ennemy try to take it every week with a different tactic. And then, halfway through, the main character's childhood friend turned rival goes beserk after seeing his friend killed, and the two have a fight that ends with the main character apparently dead.
  • In Final Fantasy: Unlimited, the seventh episode introduces new character Lou Lupus and new threat Omega.
  • Gurren Lagann: Episodes 7 & 8 — The first ones that really start to kick the plot in gear, and Kamina dies.
  • Hell Girl adds the perspective of Hajime and Tsugumi to the episodic format in the eighth episode.
  • InuYasha: He claims the sword Tessaiga.
  • It's About Time: The astronauts repair the space ship and travel forward in time with two cave people stowing away on board.
  • Love Lab: The school finds out about Sayori's boyfriend and makes her quit the student council. For such a wacky and un-serious show, it's practically a Wham Episode.
  • Macross Frontier: The first major space battle (earlier engagements were just small skirmishes), with the first Vajra capital ship making an appearance...folding through a fold fault, which was supposed to be completely impossible. Then the Macross Quarter gets to show off why it deserves the first part of its name...basically, episode 7 seriously upped the ante in terms of action. And then, at the very end, Brera plays Aimo on his harmonica, hinting at his connection to Ranka for the first time.
  • Episode 4 of Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha introduces Fate and turns the Jewel Seed hunt into background noise.
  • Chapter 7 of Magical Record Lyrical Nanoha Force sees the resident Lady of War Signum utterly and messily fragged by a newcomer villainess, establishing a much more gory mood of this manga compared to the previous installments.
  • Mai Hi ME, episode 8. We learn what happens when a HiME is defeated.
  • MÄR doesn't exactly have a twist on Episode 7 per se, aside from the fact that Snow exists (something you could figure out by watching the OP) but it is where the plot actually starts.
  • Naruto: Episode 7 is when Zabuza is formally introduced, and the show jumps from being about a kid in ninja school to an A-rank protect against an evil assassin mission.
  • Negima!?: In the first anime, Evangeline isn't revealed to be a vampire until episode 6, and Chachamaru to be a robot until episode 7 (though at least she has some foreshadowing.) It happens even later in the manga, with the revelation not coming until after the 8th grade exams, which were episodes 12 and 13 in the anime.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion: Another Eva pilot gets a passing mention, manning another Evangelion in Germany, Unit 02. Episode 8 formally introduces her - Asuka Langley Soryu. The series goes into a temporary Monster of the Week format following her arrival, until episode 16... then hits Cerebus Syndrome.... hard.
  • Phantom of Inferno: (Anime) Episodes 7 and 8 reveal Zwei's true past and identity.
  • Pokémon: in the seventh episode, Misty is revealed to be a Gym Leader.
    • In the Black and White episode "Crisis from the Underground Up!", a reformed and heroic Meowth excuses himself to a telephone booth, where he converses nonchalantly with Jessie and James, with whom he has been working the entire time.
  • Prétear revealed in episode 7 that the previous Pretear fell under darkness and became the Big Bad.
  • Princess Tutu's 7th episode introduced the Dark Magical Girl, Princess Kraehe, and the 14th episode showed that the Happily Ever After isn't quite so happy.
  • Psycho-Pass had episode 11, in which the first Big Bad was revealed. He was the same person involved in an important case years before (the one that triggered Kogami's Start of Darkness) and was revealed to be immune to the Sibyl system, which left him free to murder Akane's friend right in front of her.
  • Despite being short lived, the twelve-episode long Puella Magi Madoka Magica had heavy whams on the 1/4, 1/2, 2/3, and 3/4 marks exactly.
    • Episode 3: Mami's death
    • Episode 6: The other girls find that upon making a contract, they cease to be human.
    • Episode 8: Sayaka becomes a Witch; Kyubey is killed by Homura, but reappears immediately; Homura reveals Kyubey's true name.
    • Episode 9: Sayaka and Kyoko are both killed.
  • Rosario + Vampire: The first seven chapters establish the series as a Monster of the Week ecchi and introduce the protagonists- by chapter eight, however, the hints of a larger plot start to show, with the return of the Absurdly Powerful Student Council.
  • The first two episodes of Rumbling Hearts seem like a sweet high school romance until the last two minutes when Haruka gets hit by a car and goes into a years-long coma. The show then jumps ahead three years, advancing most of the leads into their post-high-school years and giving them new character designs. Also, the reguilar title sequence doesn't appear until episode 3. Oh, and it gets a lot less sweet.
  • Rurouni Kenshin Episode 7 had Kenshin temporarily revert to being a manslayer for the first time in order to fight Jinei, the first Big Bad.
  • Samurai Flamenco: The series starts off as a light-hearted Affectionate Parody of the Tokusatsu genre, its more serious moments balanced out by comedy and bromance. The 7th episode seems more somber than the rest, with Masayoshi learning that his parents were murdered...and then, in the last five minutes before the credits, a giant chest-guillotine-wielding gorilla from nowhere bursts onto the scene and kills several cops. Nobody in the fanbase saw this coming.
  • Sailor Moon: In the first anime, we meet the first member of the team apart from Sailor Moon herself, Sailor Mercury, and leave behind the strictly Usagi antics in Episode 8.
  • Saint Seiya: The Lost Canvas episode 6: the death of Pisces Albafica, showing the series as Darker and Edgier and Anyone Can Die.
  • Saint Seiya Omega has several. Despite people's belief it was a lighthearted series, several were shocked with the revelation that the director from Palestra is revealed as one of Athena's strongest Saints but has betrayed her and is sacrificing several young soldiers. Another twist involves in mid first season when a main member from the cast, Aria. is Killed Off for Real despite the previous series' Not Quite Dead. Several fans refused to believe she was killed and expected the next episodes to reveal she was alive. They were wrong.
  • School Rumble (manga): Harima accidentally confesses his love for Tenma, to Eri.
  • Soukou no Strain looks like it's going to avert this with a fanservice filler episode, until Lavinia's antics accidentally land Emily in a garbage truck. Episode eight follows, with an almost-kiss, Sara meeting the other Emily, Carris having A Death in the Limelight, and Sara confronting Ralph only to be exposed to Lottie and the Libertad.
  • Soul Eater: Introduces the (or a) Big Bad into the series. Also, Soul is infected with the Black Blood, which pretty much initiates the plot.
  • Soul Eater NOT: Tsugumi and friends attend the lower level class and have minor adventures up until episode 7, where Eternal Feather-sempai is mind-controlled by a witch and then ordered to kill herself.
  • Trigun: Episode 5 is the first time Vash gets completely serious in a fight, and the villain of the episode is later revealed to be part of a mercenary family. Likewise, episode 9 introduced the Gung-Ho Guns and reveals Vash's many scars.
  • Wedding Peach: Switches from Jama-P controlling the Victim of the Week every episode to a more standard Monster of the Week format, in addition to having Jama-P join the team proper.
  • YuYu Hakusho episode 6 - Yusuke gets his first assignment as spirit detective.
  • Zatch Bell!: The first few episodes revolve around Zatch meeting Kiyo as well as understanding what the plot is, revealed in Episode 4. However, matters truly take a twist in the 8th episode, where Zatch and Kiyo meet the first truly kind mamodo. Furthermore, when she returns to the mamodo, this is where Zatch gets his reason and motivation. His goal is to become a kind king.

     Literature 
  • The Dresden Files book Changes is this. Though there were hints of it before, that book is where the plot's scope gets global (the Red Court's extinction) serious changes start to take place in the protagonist's mind (he finally makes a Deal with the Devil and must handle the repercussions) and the Apocalypse How scenario is revealed, or to be exact, certain developments in the plot take place that will eventually reveal it.
    Jim Butcher: For me personally, CHANGES – GHOST STORY – COLD DAYS is the big three-part special episode that comes in the middle of the season like they used to do in the old shows, like in the 70s and 80s. “This is the HUGE, EPIC episode!” and they’d occasionally pre-empt the whole evening to show it to you. That’s what those three books are to me.

     Live-Action TV 
  • 21 Jump Street: In the first season, the 7th episode revealed that Captain Jenko has died after being hit by a drunk driver and Captain Adam Fuller then takes over.
  • 24
    • Season 1 is a special case, because the show wasn't certain to get a full 24 episode, they dropped the twist in the finale of the 13th episode (when their original contract ended) - Jack saves his family. A second hitman arrives.
    • Season 2: Mason performs a Heroic Sacrifice to save Los Angeles. A recording of Syed Ali plotting with officials from 3 Middle Eastern countries is discovered.
    • Season 3: Amador kills Ramon Salazar.
    • Season 4: Driscoll is replaced by Michelle Dessler.
    • Season 5: Terrorists release nerve gas into CTU.
    • Season 6: Conspirators within the government kill Assad and put Pres. Wayne Palmer in a coma.
    • Season 7: Juma holds the White House hostage.
    • Season 8: Terrorists disable CTU's radiation detection system so they can smuggle a dirty bomb into New York.
  • Angel
    • Season 1 - Kate discovers Angel is a vampire.
    • Season 2 - Angel defeats Darla & Drusilla. His ex-crew decides to form their own agency. Lindsey & Lilah are promoted.
    • Season 3 - Cordelia becomes half-demon.
    • Season 4 - Angel becomes Angelus again.
    • Season 5 - Cordelia's final appearance. And through Retcon, we discover later that it was here that she showed Angel The Circle of the Black Thorn.
  • Arrow
    • Season 1 - Oliver is trounced by the Dark Archer, Malcolm Merlyn.
    • Season 2 - Malcolm is still alive, and Thea's biological father. Sebastian Blood announces his candidacy for mayor. His boss is Slade Wilson. Barry Allen gets into a Freak Lab Accident.
  • Trope Namer Babylon 5 had one in every season but its fourth - that season was wall to wall arc episodes and no one really stands out. The others were:
    • Season One's Signs and Portents
    • Season Two's The Coming of Shadows
    • Season Three's Severed Dreams
    • Season Five's Phoenix Rising
  • Band of Brothers - The Breaking Point: almost half of the main characters in Easy Company are dead or maimed by the end of the episode, and the company gets a new commander.
  • Banshee - The Rabbit finds out where Lucas is. Lucas and Carrie have sex.
  • Breaking Bad episode 5 - Walt turns down his friend's money and keeps cooking meth to pay for his chemo.
    • Season 5: Walter quits cooking, but soon after that Hank figures out he's Heisenberg.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Season 1: Angel is a vampire and a vampire with a soul.
    • Season 2: Angel reveals his connection to Drusilla 1/4 of the way through the season and Angel loses his soul halfway through the season.
    • Season 3: Faith loses he trust in people 1/4 through the season and Faith accidentally kills a man halfway through.
    • Season 4: Riley is revealed to be working for the Infinitive 1/4 of the way through and Buffy and Riley discover each other's secrets halfway through.
    • Season 5: It is revealed that "every slayer has a death wish" 1/4 of the way through and Glory is revealed as a god halfway through.
    • Season 6: Buffy and Spike kiss 1/4 of the way through and Buffy finally confronts The Trio halfway through.
    • Season 7: The First confronts the Scoobies and Spike has been feeding again is revealed 1/4 of the way through. Buffy kills the Turok-Han halfway through the season.
  • Burn Notice
    • Season 1: Michael learns of Agent Bly's name.
    • Season 2: Carla's operation she has spent the season forcing Michael to help her with goes to hell. He is almost killed by a bomb.
    • Season 3: Michael's CIA contact is killed for looking into Strickler.
    • Season 4: Simon's bible is stolen. Michael is left for dead.
    • Season 5: Fiona accidentally blows up the British consulate. The "client", Anson, blackmails Michael and crew into helping him rebuild the burned spies organization.
    • Season 6: Its revealed that Card killed Anson and accidentally killed Nate.
    • Season 7: Michael successfully infiltrates James' organization.
  • Charmed
    • Season 1: Piper and Phoebe vie for the attention of Leo
    • Season 2, episode 8: We find out how their mother died, as well as the introduction of Sam. They had an affair to produce Paige in Season 4.
    • Season 3, episode 8: Phoebe is forced to vanquish Cole after the sisters find out that he's a demon. She fakes it.
    • Season 4: Piper hallucinates that she is in a mental asylum and nearly gives up the sisters' powers. The following episode also qualifies as an "8th Episode Major Character Death" as Belthazor is vanquished.
    • Season 5: Barbas returns.
    • Season 6, episode 8: Wyatt is found to be heir of Excalibur.
    • Season 7: Leo becomes an Avatar.
    • Season 8: The aforementioned Sam returns.
  • Chuck
    • Season 1: Morgan and Anna hook up. Tommy's first appearance. Chuck and Sarah kiss. Bryce is alive.
    • Season 2: Chuck downloads a FULCRUM made Intersect.
    • Season 3: Chuck become a real spy.
    • Season 4: Volkoff is defeated. Ellie gives birth. Chuck proposes to Sarah.
    • Season 5: Last appearance of Shaw. And Sarah has a baby (sister)!
  • Community
    • Season 1 - Jeff & Prof. Slater become a couple.
    • Season 2 - Chang reveals Shirley's baby might be his.
    • Season 3 - Shirley's idea for a sandwich shop at the cafeteria is sold to Subway.
    • Season 4 - Chang is faking his "Changnesia".
    • Season 5 - Jeff's feelings for Britta reawaken.
  • Dexter
    • Season 1 - Miami Metro thinks they have the Ice Truck Killer, but Dexter finds out it's the wrong guy.
    • Season 2 - Lila, believed to be just eccentric, turns out to be positively insane as she burns down her apartment to keep Dexter from leaving her.
    • Season 3 - Dexter helps family friend Camilla kill herself as she is dying of cancer
    • Season 4 - Dexter accidentally kills an innocent man
    • Season 5 - Dexter and Lumen discover the identities of Lumen's captors/rapists
    • Season 6 - Dexter discovers Trinity's son is killing using his father's MO
    • Season 7 - Deb relents and asks Dexter to kill Hannah, who Dexter is presently sleeping with.
    • Season 8 - Dexter, Deb and Evelyn kill the fake season's Big Bad. Hannah returns to Miami.
  • Doctor Who
    • Episode eight of classic Season 23 ('The Trial Of A Time Lord') has the sudden death of the companion Peri, sending The Doctor into a Heroic BSOD.
    • Interestingly, despite always having 13-episode seasons in the revived series, Episode 7 is often the least impactful episode of the season, except...
    • Series 1 - The new companion, Adam, is rather quickly fired for stealing future-tech, and Satellite 5 (the stage for the finale) is introduced. Weirdly, the episode's title doesn't even get dropped until the finale.
    • Series 6 - River Song's identity as Amy and Rory's daughter is revealed.
      • Although thanks to British Brevity, the seventh episode (where this is revealed) is also the mid-season finale.
    • Series 7 is also split, and although it's not quite halfway through, the part one finale, "The Angels Take Manhatten", ens with Amy and Rory getting Stuck In The Past, with the Doctor having no way of getting to them. The Christmas Episode, "The Snowmen", that aired in between the two parts has Jenna-Louise Coleman showing up again as Clara, who then dies, just like Oswin. Then we find out that Clara's full name is Clara Oswin Oswald, and there is another Clara in present day.
  • Dollhouse - we find out that Caroline was investigating Rossum (the company that owns the Dollhouse) before she became Echo.
  • Downton Abbey: Episode 3 always kicks the seasons into gear.
    • 1: Mary is seduced by a Turkish diplomat who dies in her bed. Sybil's feminist leanings are shown. World War One is foreshadowed.
    • 2: Downton is turned into a convalescent home. Bates is found working in a pub. Sir Richard Carlisle's true character and what he is capable of is revealed.
    • 3: Edith is left at the altar.
    • 4: Anna is raped.
  • Friends
    • Season 1 - First appearance of Paolo.
    • Season 2 - Ross finds out about Rachel's feelings for him.
    • Season 3 - Janice is cheating on Chandler.
    • Season 4 - Episode 5-7 - Chandler falls for Joey's girlfriend.
    • Season 5 - Episode 6 - Ross and Emily's marriage ends.
    • Season 6 - Joey gets a new roommate.
    • Season 7 - Episode 8 - Rachel tells Tag how she feels about him.
    • Season 9 - Episode 9 - Rachel impulsively gives her phone number out to a guy who leaves a message which Ross overhears and deletes, planting seeds for a later episode where the two realize them living together isn't working out.
    • Season 10 - Episode 8 - Monica and Chandler are chosen to be adoptive parents.
  • On Fringe, episode 4 of any given season is a game-changer.
    • Season 1, "The Arrival": The first Observer-centric episode, and also the episode that marks Peter's transition from the Agent Scully to a full-on member of the team.
    • Season 2, "Momentum Deferred": The Charlie shapeshifter is outed, Olivia and the audience learn what William Bell's mission is, and the Big Bad of season 2 is introduced.
    • Season 3, "Do Shapeshifters Dream of Electric Sheep?": A US Senator is outed as a shapeshifter, the Big Bad of season 2 is killed, Walter figures out how the shapeshifters work, and Peter and Fauxlivia begin a relationship.
    • Season 4, "Subject 9": The first cortexiphan-centric episode in the new timeline, Walter finally leaves the lab, and Peter returns.
    • Season 5, "The Bullet That Saved the World": The team resolve to use previous Fringe events to fight the Observers, Broyles is revealed to be a resistance leader, and Etta is killed.
  • Game of Thrones
    • Season 1: Jon Arryn may have been poisoned. King Robert decides to have Daenerys killed. The Stark/Lannister feud worsens when Jaime and Ned get into a sword fight.
    • Season 2: A... creature kills Renly. Tyrion discovers Cersei has been stockpiling wildfire for the upcoming siege of King's Landing. Theon decides to attack Winterfell. Jaqen offers to kill 3 people for Arya. Dany is invited to the House of the Undying.
    • Season 3: Tywin forces Tyrion & Cersei to marry Sansa and Loras. Lord Karstark is executed. Robb decides to capture Casterly Rock with help from House Frey. Jaime reveals why he killed the Mad King. Jon & Ygritte have sex.
    • Season 4: Tommen is crowned king. Lysa and Littlefinger marry and its revealed Lysa killed her husband Jon Arryn. House Lannister is revealed to be bankrupt. Bran and his companions escape Craster's keep.
  • Head of the Class: the original premise had Charlie as a substitute teacher to a "gifted" class. Episode 6 featured the return of the original teacher and a permanent change in Charlie's status — specifically, since this wasn't the last episode, he becomes permanent. The show does act as though he will leave until the literal last minute of the episode.
  • Heroes second season. It takes until the 7th episode for all the plot threads to finally come together and make sense.
    • Claire's true parentage is revealed in the 14th episode of the (23-episode) first season. (It's a First Episode Spoiler that she's adopted, but not the fact that Nathan Petrelli is her biological father.)
  • Homeland Episode 7 was a game changer that not only brought Carrie's and (most of) Brody's secrets out into the open but revealed that Brody's fellow POW Tom Walker was alive and working for the terrorists.
  • House of Cards Episode 6 ends the education reform arc, episode 7 gets Russo's bid for governor into full swing.
  • How I Met Your Mother
    • Season 1: Ted meets Victoria and Robin's feelings for Ted are revealed (this occurs in the 13th episode of the season, but since the season was 22 episodes long, this is only just over halfway through).
    • Season 2: Marshall and Lily get back together.
    • Season 3: Marshall and Lily buy a new apartment.
    • Season 4: Marshall and Lily first consider having children.
    • Season 5: Barney and Robin break up.
    • Season 6: Zoey appears. Also, in episode 13 (around halfway through the season), Marshall's father dies.
    • Season 7: Robin finds out that she's infertile.
    • Season 8: Barney and Robin get engaged.
    • Season 9: Marshall (finally) arrives to Farhampton Inn. Ted unknowingly saves The Mother's band.
  • Kamen Rider Ryuki: Episode 6 ends with Sudoh/Scissors being devoured by his Contract Monster, making him the first casualty of the Rider War.
  • Jericho - Gray returns with news that the federal capitol has been destroyed. He also becomes suspicious of Robert Hawkins.
  • Leonardo Season 2: The Duke is killed at the very end of episode 6; episode 7 sees Florence move to a war footing, while Piero convinces Leo he needs to build weapons to protect the city.
  • Life
    • Season 1: Crews discovers a link between Dani's father and the Bank of LA shootout.
    • Season 2 : Jack Reese is working for a Bigger Bad.
  • The Mentalist: While the show usually introduces a Game Changer with a season finale, the murder of Todd Johnson in season three's ninth episode "Red Moon" kicks off a plot to uncover Red John's mole in the CBI that isn't resolved until the season finale. Season six ups the ante further by killing off the Big Bad in episode eight, "Red John."
  • Missing: The abduction of Rebecca's son Michael has something to do with her late husband Paul. She has an encounter with a hitman she may have known in the past.
  • Moonlight: marked the reappearance of Mick's supposedly dead wife, as a human.
  • New Girl: Nick and Schmidt get into a fight. This is the first time we see drama in the show.
    • Season 2: Nick and Jess kiss for the first time in "Cooler", also known as the series' biggest Wham Episode.
  • Nikita
    • Season 1: Nikita and Amanda's first time face to face. Alex becomes a full time Division agent by killing Thom.
    • Season 2: Alex returns to Nikita.
    • Season 3: Ari turns himself in.
  • Once Upon a Time:
    • Season 1 Episode 7: Regina remembers the Enchanted Forest, has somehow kept her collection of hearts from those she enslaved, and kills Graham.
    • Season 2 Episode 11: An outsider crashes literally into Storybrooke.
    • Season 3 Episode 11: Regina reverses the curse, thus elminating Storybrooke and everyone goes back to the Enchanted Forest... except for Emma and Henry, who stay and are given new memories. Rumple kills himself in order to kill Peter. And at the very end of the episode, Hook arrives at Emma's house announcing that something terrible has happened. She, of course, doesn't recognize him and shuts the door on his face.
  • Orphan Black: Helena makes contact with Sarah, the Neolution movement is revealed as the clone-makers, Paul is given the opportunity to sell out Sarah and chooses to remain loyal to her, Sarah leads Helena to Olivier, the cops restart their investigation from scratch and link Katja to Sarah and learn they resemble Beth.
  • Person of Interest
    • Season 1: Carter finally meets Reese & Finch.
    • Season 2: Stanton uploads something into the Machine. Reese and Finch first encounter with Decima.
    • Season 3: The head of Intelligence Support Activity reveals herself. There is a second Machine.
  • Pretty Little Liars does this on every mid-season finale:
    • Season 1: Hanna is ran over by a car and left for dead on the road. Emily, Spencer and Aria find her and all get a text from A: "she knew too much".
    • Season 2: The Liars are framed for murder by A and arrested by the police.
    • Season 3: Nathan is revealed to be Maya's killer, and tries to kill Emily and Paige. He shoots Caleb and is finally killed by Emily. Also, Toby is working for A.
      • Halloween special between season 3A and 3B: Garrett is killed. Byron is implied to be involved in Alison's murder.
    • Season 4: There are two Red Coats. Alison is alive. A is revealed to be Ezra.
  • Primeval: The seventh episode of series 4 (which like Doctor Who is the finale thanks to British Brevity) reveals that Matt Anderson is from a future Earth that is a sterile wasteland (except for a few lifeforms), and that he and his father came to the present to prevent the disaster that destroyed the Earth. Connor also finds out that the anomalies are growing more frequent.
  • Primeval: New World: The episode "Truth", while technically Episode 8, qualifies. It starts out reasonably normal with a Pachycephalosaurus coming through an anomaly. But then after that is quickly resolved, Evan starts having flashbacks of his wife's death, thanks to the contents of a sneeze from the Pachycephalosaurus. In the following chaos of him hunting down an Albertosaurus that isn't there, it is revealed that the frozen ARC soldier who saved Evan when his wife was killed is Mac from an alternate timeline. By the end of the episode, Ange has quit and it seems that Dylan is the only one left by Evans' side.
  • Revenge: Frank discovers the real Emily Thorne, whom Amanda Clarke switched identities with, and is stopped from revealing this to Victoria when "Amanda" kills him. In the wake of a disastrous silver anniversary party, Victoria kicks Conrad out of Grayson Manor.
  • Robin Hood
    • Series 1: Marian agrees to marry Gisborne.
    • Series 2: Marian's father Edward is killed and she joins Robin and the outlaws in the forest.
    • Series 3: Gisborne is outlawed after failing to carry out Prince John's orders.
  • Rome - Pompey is defeated. Brutus is pardoned. Servilia and Octavia go gay. We see a glimpse of the land of Egypt.
  • Sanctuary:
    • Season 1: Helen's history with John Druitt and the rest of the five is revealed; Henry is a werewolf.
    • Season 2: Big Bertha is mentioned for the first time.
    • Season 3: Introduces Adam Worth.
  • The Sarah Connor Chronicles season 2: Cromartie finds out where the Connors live./
  • Sleepy Hollow: Crane meets Moloch face to face.
  • Smallville: Season 8 has been building up Doomsday as a briefly glimpsed but always mysterious serial killer of the kryptonite-fuels freaks of the week. Then, at Jimmy and Chloe's wedding, we see Doomsday, in the flesh, tear a bloody path right through the wedding party, seemingly kill Jimmy, throw away Clark with one punch, and kidnap Chloe, taking her to a corrupted Fortress of Solitude to be possessed by Brainiac. This marked the shows transition from freaks of the week to the more comic-booky villains and more conventional superhero fair.
  • Supernatural:
    • Season 1: The boys' dad calls them.
    • Season 2: The brothers meet Ava and she disappears.
    • Season 3: It's revealed that demons were once human.
    • Season 4: Sam is addicted to demon blood.
    • Season 5: The boys face off against Lucifer. It ends badly.
    • Season 6: Castiel reveals that Sam came back without his soul. Eve is released from Purgatory.
    • Season 7: Dick Roman becomes the Big Bad. Sam's hallucinations get worse.
    • Season 8: Castiel returns (outside of flashbacks). Introduction of Naomi.
    • Season 9: Gadreel takes over Sam's body and kills Kevin.
  • "TwinPeaks" revealed the identity of Laura Palmer's killer (i.e. the entire premise of the show) rather haphazardly before even the halfway point of it's second season. Not exactly David Lynch n' Co.'s fault, though
  • Terriers
    • Season 1, episode 5: After spending the first part of the season trying to figure out the mystery about the Montague real estate development, Hank and Brit find a document that states there are toxic chemicals in the ground, only to end the episode with the discovery that the report is fake and the people bankrolling the development want people to think that the site is dangerous so the land can be marked uninhabitable.
  • The Vampire Diaries: Vicki's death in the first season.
    • Also, halfway through season 4, Silas is awaken from his eternal slumber by none other than Katherine, which kills Jeremy in the process.
    • And in the following episode, Elena switches off her humanity.
    • Season 5 "Death and the Maiden", Silas, Amara AND Qetsiyah are all killed and Bonnie is brought back to life, plus Katherine finds out that she's dying and can't be cured by vampire blood.
  • Xena: Warrior Princess
    • Season 1: Xena's relationship with Ares is revealed.
    • Season 2: Xena's past with Caesar is revealed.
    • Season 3: Gabrielle's daughter Hope kills Xena's son Solan.
    • Season 5: Xena gives birth to Eve. Hercules kills Zeus.
    • Season 6: We are first introduced to the Norse gods.

     Video Games 
  • Age of Empires III'
    • First game.
      • Blood: The Ottomans are defeated but a new threat arises in the form of the Circle of Ossus.
      • Ice: The Big Bad Governor Warwick makes his appearance.
      • Steel: Amelia heads for South America to stop the Circle from stealing the remaining water of the Fountain of Youth.
    • The War chiefs.
      • Fire: The Battle of Trenton.
      • Shadow: The peace settlement between the whites and Indians fall apart.
  • Command & Conquer: Tiberian Series
    • Tiberian Dawn: Kane makes his appearance.
    • Tiberian Sun: The game gets a sci-fi makeover when the Tacitus is introduced.
    • Firestorm: Nod kills the mutant leader Tratos, and Cabal rebels against Nod and attacks everyone.
    • Tiberium Wars: The deposit of Liquid T. beneath the Temple of Nod detonates, killing millions and attracting an Alien Invasion.
    • Kane's Revenge: The player is revealed to be a computer AI.
  • Command & Conquer: Red Alert Series
    • Part 1: The Allies and Soviets discover about each other's super weapons.
    • Part 2
      • Allies: The Allies begin liberating the US.
      • Soviets: We first see signs that Yuri is controlling the Premier.
    • Yuri's Revenge.
      • Allies: America is liberated again.
      • Soviets: The Allies surrender.
    • Part 3
      • The Empire is driven out of Russia. The Allies and Soviets sign a tenuous alliance.
      • The Empire conquers Russia, but is suddenly attacked by the Allies at Pearl Harbor.
  • Command & Conquer: Generals
    • First game.
      • China: America enters the war.
      • GLA: Jarmen Kell is introduced.
      • USA: US begin reconquest of Kazakhstan.
    • Zero Hour
      • USA: First time we hear of Dr. Thrax.
      • GLA: The GLA sinks a US aircraft carrier, forcing them to retreat from Europe.
      • China: China begins liberating Europe.
  • Dreamfall: The Longest Journey: Chapter 7 is the first one where we get to play as Kian and April, kicking the plot into gear. It also features April meeting the White Kin and the Guardian of the Balance, serving to integrate Dreamfall into the established mythology of The Longest Journey.
  • Final Fantasy XIII: Chapter 7 serves to introduce The Sixth Ranger Fang, who finally reveals her and Vanille's role in causing the Purge, as well as to end the long-running arc of Hope's pursuit of revenge upon Snow. All in all, it marks the turning point where the l'Cie stop working against each other and instead try cooperate henceforth.
  • Occurs in many Fire Emblem titles. Each game is divided up into 24~30 Chapters (excluding sidequests) that feel very much like a season of television or a ~26 episode series.
    • In Genealogy of the Holy War, Chapter 6 (which is technically the seventh map) reveals that following Sigurd's death, Arvis has taken over the known world. Fortunately, seventeen years down the line, Sigurd's son Seliph is all grown-up and ready to pick up where Dad left off.
    • In Binding Blade, Chapter 7 and 8 The Starscream in Hector's court make his move to overthrow Ostia and sell out Lycia to Bern. If you're lucky, defeating this rebellion will put you on the path to reclaiming the legendary sword Durandal - thus beginning the Divine Weapons sidequest required to get the True Ending.
    • In Blazing Sword, Chapter 7 is the first time we are introduced to the struggle between the Black Fang and Ninian and Nils, which is the major plot for most of the game. Eliwood and Hector, the game's other two protagonists make cameo appearances in the same chapter.
    • In The Sacred Stones Chapter 7 and 8 are essentially a two part chapter (the first to occur without going back to the main map) that ends Eirika's solo journey, reunites her with Ephraim, and gives the player the choice of who to follow for chapter 9 and onward. Chapter 7 also starts with a team rally, similar to the ones that usually start the final chapter in this series so you know its important.
    • Fire Emblem: Path of Radiance: Chapter 7 is when the split-up Greil Mercenaries regroup. Some hours after the battle ends, Greil fights and is killed by the Black Knight, forcing Ike to go from rookie mercenary to the company's commander at the beginning of Chapter 8.
      • In Radiant Dawn, Chapter 7 is when Tormod reunites with Sothe, and informs him that the evil doers in Begnion are led by a sect of Senators, not the Apostle Sanaki. The reveal of the rift in Begnion's leadership defines the politics of most of the game. Like the Blazing Sword example, this is really a teaser that becomes more important after the extended prologue.
    • Fire Emblem Awakening: Chapter 6 reveals that Marth is a woman who somehow knows of the future. Also introduced is Validar, the Big Bad from the Premonition Chapter, who afterwards proceeds to meet the Fell Dragon Grima in human form for the first time (who is obviously the Bigger Bad). Chapter 7 is when Emm gives Chrom the Fire Emblem to protect as she splits with the rest of the team to lead the war against Plegia.
  • Guild Wars 2 features the Living Story, periodic updates with new storylines outside of the original release. The first half of the first "season" had a number of seemingly disparate plot lines. In the very middle of the season Scarlet Briar was revealed the be behind many of the earlier plotlines and became the driving force behind subsequent events.
  • For the first six episodes of Halo 4's Spartan Ops The Infinity is using the Spartan 4s to try and learn more about Requiem, trying to keep a step ahead of the Covenant. Business as usual. But when episode seven rolled around, things on the Infinity get shaken up.
    • Prometheans Teleport aboard, and the Covies board her. To make things worse, the artifiact is telling requiem to tether Infinity through slipspace, so they can't get out of the range of the Promethean teleporters.
  • Mother3: The end of chapter 7 is when it is officially revealed that Porky Minch is the Pigmasks' "King" responsible for all of the evil that has befallen the island (though anyone familiar with Earthbound has had plenty of clues by that point).
  • The Secret World: Lilith is the Big Bad, resident Creepy Child Emma is the daughter of Gaia, and the local zombie virus has infested the World Tree.
  • Spec Ops: The Line: Chapter 8 (of 15) features the white phosphorous incident (the game's Signature Scene), which signals a massive shift in both genre and tone for the entire game.
  • Starcraft
    • First game.
      • Terrans: The player becomes a outlaw for accepting aid from the Sons of Korhal.
      • Zerg: The creature inside the chrysalis is Kerrigan.
      • Protoss: The player defects to the side of Tassadar.
    • Brood War
      • Protoss: A new Overmind is emerging.
      • Terrans: The UED begins their assault on Korhal.
      • Zerg: Kerrigan kills Duke And Fenix.
  • StarCraft II: Wings of Liberty: Zeratul appears to Raynor and tells him that he must save Kerrigan as she is their only hope in defeating the Dark Voice.
  • Starcraft II Heart Of The Swarm: Kerrigan finds out about the Primals.
  • Syphon Filter:
    • Part 1: Lian is (seemingly) killed.
    • Part 2: Gabe kills Archer and gets back the data discs.
    • Part 3: Gabe sinks the SS Lorelei.
  • Tenchu
    • Part 1: First appearance of Onikage.
    • Part 2: Rikimaru and Ayame discover that Tatsumaru has amnesia and is fighting for the Burning Dawn.
  • Thief
    • Part 1: Garrett gets hired to rob someone named Constantine.
    • Part 2: Garrett breaks into Karras' mansion, except he was expected.
  • Warcraft 3
    • Reign Of Chaos:
      • Alliance: The Cult of the Damned is defeated but Kel'Thuzad vows that its not over yet.
      • Undead: Arthas is commanded to invade the Elven land of Quel'thalas..
      • Horde: Thrall discovers the Alliance have also fled to Kalimdor.
      • Night Elves: Furion Stormrage is awakened.
    • The Frozen Throne
      • Night Elves: Illidan recovers the Eye of Sargeras.
      • Alliance: The Blood Elves are imprisoned for accepting aid from the Naga.
      • Undead: Sylvanas turns against the Dreadlords.
  • Roughly halfway through the first season of The Walking Dead (at the end of Episode 3), Lee discovers that Clementine's walkie-talkie ''isn't broken'', and she has been communicating with someone who claims to know where her family are.

    Web Originals 
  • In David Gonterman's American Kitsune, the seventh chapter reveals that Serena and David are long lost siblings.
  • Red vs. Blue - ends with a teaser stating a character would die in the next episode (which happens to be episode 7). Of course with the nature of this show, the character who dies comes back (as a ghost). His death pretty much sets off the plot of the rest of the series.
    • The rest of the seasons continue this trend, particularly after Cerebus Syndrome kicks in. Season 12 especially, when halfway through the season Felix is revealed to be Evil All Along.

     Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender :
    • Episode 7 and 8 are the two-part Winter Solstice episode that introduces the Spirit World, Aang's ability to talk to past Avatars, and the coming of Sozin's Comet. The series jumps from "Let's take Katara to learn Waterbending" to "kill Ozai in a year or the world gets destroyed".
    • The Legend of Korra: Episode 6 has Amon and his Equalists perform a terrorist attack, blowing up the pro-bending arena, right after Amon de-bends one of the pro-bending teams and announces the beginning of the war between him plus his followers and benders. At this point the sereis is less about the acclimating Korra and more about the conflicts and secrets with the upper echelon of Republic City, which is also why the pro-bending sub-plot ends there.
    • Korra Season 2 Episode 6 is the proper twist revealing that Varrick is not to be trusted and that Korra has lost her memories. Episode 7 is still significant as its the beginning of a two part special where Korra gets her memories back by reliving the story of the first Avatar.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes:
    • The team forms at the end of the seventh episode produced during season one.
    • In season two, episode 7 is when the Avengers first become aware of the Skrull infestation. It also marks the end of Iron Man as leader of the Avengers, with Skrull Captain America leading only Hawkeye, Hulk and Wasp due to Iron Man, Ms. Marvel and Black Panther spitting off out of mistrust for the rest of the team. Interestingly, the production order lists this as the eighth episode of season two, but Marvel has confirmed that the chronological order designates this as the seventh episode.
  • Beast Machines' mid-season three-parter, fittingly titled Revelations. The Maximals find out what happened to them upon returning to Cybertron and where the rest of their team is. Their objective turns from "run, hide and try to find out stuff" to "run, hide and save Cybertron."
  • Danny Phantom - first appearance of Vlad Plasmius.
  • Green Lantern: The Animated Series:
    • First Arc- "The Reckoning": Atrocitus learns that the heroes are still alive after apparently dying in the second episode; the existence of Atrocitus's invasion fleet is revealed, showing just how high the stakes really are and Razer learns that Atrocitus was behind all the strife on his home planet and the death of his wife in order to make him into a Red Lantern.
    • Second Arc- "Cold Fury": Aya disables her emotions, absorbs the power of the Interceptor's engines and uses it to defeat the Anti-Monitor, but in the process merges with the Anti-Monitor's remains, undergoes a Face-Heel Turn, and becomes the new Big Bad.
  • Lesson Zero of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic ends with Princess Celestia declaring that she wants friendship reports from all of Twilight Sparkle's friends, and only when they actually learn a lesson (As opposed to before when only Twilight sent them, and once a week). This allowed the writers to change the format up quite a bit and focus more on the rest of the cast, and even have episodes where Twilight never even appears.
  • South Park has "You're Getting Old", where Stan becomes extremely cynical so as to literally see everything as excrement, and he was moving out as his parents were divorcing. By the end of the episode, neither got resolved like the show would usually do, although the latter did with the parents getting together again in "Ass Burgers".
  • For a mostly stand alone cartoon, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) shook things up a bit in the 7th episode of its second season, "Enter the Fly." Baxter Stockman is permanently mutated into a fly creature, Bebop and Rocksteady returned as the Shredder's main henchmen after spending the entire first half of the season on the sidelines, and Shredder attempts to draw the Turtles out by actually trying to kill April by lethally poisoning her.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003):
    • Season 1: "The Way of Invisibility" has the Turtles fight the Foot-Tech ninjas for the first time.
    • Season 2: Episodes 6-8, "Secret Origins," have the Turtles reuinte with Master Splinter, discover the truth behind their creation and reveals that the Shredder is really a rogue Utrom.
    • Season 3: Episode 6, "Worlds Collide Part 3," in which the Turtles fight Bishop for the first time and the Fugitoid sacrifices himself to stop an alien invasion of Earth although he secretly backs his mind up.
    • Season 4: Episode 8, "Bad Day," reveals that Karai has begun a Roaring Rampage of Revenge against the Turtles for the defeat of her master.
  • In Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) April begins her training with Splinter and the Turtles acquire and actually manage to keep a live canister of Ooze.
  • In Teen Titans Season four, episode seven is when Raven reveals her true nature and destiny to the other Titans.
  • Episode seven of The Spectacular Spider-Man first introduces (in-costume) the Green Goblin, who will ultimately take over as Big Bad.
    • The following season's seventh episode ends with George Stacy all but flat-out admitting that he knows Peter is Spider-Man.
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series did this over the seasons:
    • "Enter the Punisher": Ends with Spider-Man succumbing to the full effects of his Neogenic Disease - transforming into Man-Spider.
    • "The Man Without Fear": Spider-Man learns Wilson Fisk is the Kingpin, The Man Behind the Man for many of his past battles.
    • "The Vampire Queen": The Black Cat leaves New York.
  • ThunderCats (2011): Episode 7, "Legacy" is a Wham Episode, where we learn the origin of the Thundercats, their relationship with Mumm-Ra, and the game changes for the characters. They don't just need the Sword and Book of Omens, now they need to unite the Animals and find three new mystical stones as well.
  • TRON: Uprising episode 7 has Beck getting his hands on a dangerous Upgrade Artifact and using it despite Tron's warnings. With Great Power Comes Great Insanity ensues, resulting in Beck nearly getting Able killed.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man has a notable twist that pulls a fast one on long time comic book fans: Harry Osborn is Venom!
  • For Young Justice,in season 2, we get one proper which reveals Kaldur is a Fake Defector, and that the original 3 and Artemis are on a private mission to figure out The Light's partner. Lagoon Boy also gets captured, and Artemis fakes death to get closer to The Light and taking them down. Furthermore, we get a reason proper for the breakup of Superboy and Miss Martian as M'gann's ruthless treatment of "bad guys" lead Superboy to break things up in disgust of what she was becoming. Additionally, it appears that M'gann tried to make Connor forget or repress his objections, by using her powers, which is doubly horrible, given Superboy's history of being mind controlled by villains and his origin as a mind-controlled tool of destruction.
  • X-Men has a couple:
    • Season 1: The X-men return home from a rescue mission only to find the mansion completely destroyed.
    • Season 2: Bishop returns to the past to prevent another disaster from destroying his future, in this case a plague that has been infecting humans, engineered by the Friends of Humanity to pin the blame on mutants and eventually infect them with as well. Cable, who's been researching the events, discovers that the plague was actually created by Apocalypse and that Bishop's actions are actually wiping out his own timeline.
    • Season 3: Jean Grey, now merged with the Phoenix, must sacrifice herself to seal the M'Kraan Crystal before it destroys all existence.
  • X-Men: Evolution
    • Season 1 - Rogue's Heel-Face Turn and the existence of Mystique to the team.
    • Season 2 - Introduces Angel as well as Magneto's first on screen appearance since his apparent death the previous season finale.
  • In season 4 of Winx Club, the Winx have successfully freed the Earth Fairies, and then they plan on taking revenge on the Wizards of the Black Circle, and the people of Earth for imprisoning them. Now they have to stop the Earth Fairies from attacking Earth.

Mask of SanityPlot TwistNested Story Reveal
Wham EpisodeSurprise TropesWhat Have I Become?
Wham EpisodeSeries Tropes    
Mandatory Twist EndingSpoilered RottenMoral Event Horizon
Innocuously Important EpisodeEpisodesNon-Indicative First Episode

alternative title(s): Mid Season Wham Episode; Seventh Episode Twist
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