->''"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 [[TheReveal 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. '''Please don't use spoiler markup when adding examples.'''

'''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.

%%
!!Examples
[[index]]
* WhamLine/AnimatedFilm
* WhamLine/AnimeAndManga
* WhamLine/ComicBooks
* WhamLine/FanWorks
* WhamLine/{{Film}}
* WhamLine/{{Literature}}
* WhamLine/LiveActionTV
** ''WhamEpisode/DoctorWho''
* WhamLine/{{Music}}
* WhamLine/NewspaperComics
* WhamLine/{{Poetry}}
* WhamLine/ProfessionalWrestling
* WhamLine/{{Roleplay}}
* WhamLine/{{Theatre}}
* WhamLine/VideoGames
* WhamLine/WebAnimation
* WhamLine/{{Webcomics}}
** ''Reactions/{{Homestuck}}''
* WhamLine/WebOriginal
** WhamLine/AtopTheFourthWall
** WhamLine/SCPFoundation
** WhamLine/ThatGuyWithTheGlasses
* WhamLine/WesternAnimation
[[/index]]

[[foldercontrol]]

[[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... I would say she was about 46, 47 years old... beautiful, beautiful black woman...
* Creator/GeorgeCarlin's "Euphemisms" routine focuses on one well-known psychiatric disorder when, in his words, "a fighting person's nervous system has been stressed to its absolute peak and can't take any more input. The nervous system has either snapped or is about to snap." He then proceeds to discuss what it has been called over the years from UsefulNotes/WorldWarOne to UsefulNotes/TheEighties, poking fun at the addition of syllables and lack of directness. The crowd enjoys it up until he gets to its current name...
-->'''Carlin''': Then, of course, came [[UsefulNotes/VietnamWar the War in Vietnam]], which has only been for about 16 or 17 years[[labelnote:*]][[TimeMarchesOn When he released this, of course.]][[/labelnote]], and thanks to the lies and deceits surrounding ''that'' war, I guess it's no surprise that the ''very same condition'' was called '''Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder'''.\\
[''Audience murmurs in surprise'']
** [[CrossesTheLineTwice This being Carlin]], he doesn't particularly treat it as such and in fact continues on, still poking fun at it.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/MageTheAscension.'' Through the revised [[VillainEpisode convention book]] for the Void Engineers, there's been continuous mention of a new enemy of the convention; known only as Threat Null, it's one of the main reasons why the Void Engineers have gone from starry-eyed space explorers to combat-hardened space marines. However, for reasons unknown, the existence of Threat Null have been kept secret from all the other conventions of the Technocratic Union. And then, halfway through the book, we find out why.
-->Threat Null doesn't call itself by that name. Threat Null calls itself [[EvilKnockoff the Technocratic Union]].
* ''TabletopGame/DemonTheFallen.'' The book ''Time of Judgement'' describes various versions of TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt for the various games in the TabletopGame/OldWorldOfDarkness that are not the main three games (TabletopGame/VampireTheMasquerade, TabletopGame/WerewolfTheApocalypse and TabletopGame/MageTheAscension). The book's prologue and epilogue are both told from the point of view of Lucifer Morningstar, the instigator of the events of The Fall. In the epilogue he talks about someone suggesting that God reacted to Lucifer's rebellion not out of wrath, but out of compassion: an intervention instead of a punishment... and then Lucifer drops the following bomb, upsetting everything we thought to know about the rebellion, Lucifer himself and even God:
-->'''Lucifer:''' In the end, I killed John. Just like I killed Woodrow. Was God wrong? I never told John - and certainly never Malakh -- that I asked the angels to rebel because the Most High ordered me to do it. What would they make of that?
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* The ''Franchise/AceAttorney'' series has several:
** From the first game, in the middle of a funny conversation between Maya and a parrot, owned by a crazy old man, we get this bombshell:
---> '''Maya:''' Polly! Polly! Have we forgotten something?
---> '''Polly:''' *Squawk* "Don't forget DL-6!" *squawk* [[labelnote:Explanation]]DL-6 is a murder case that remained unsolved for 15 years.[[/labelnote]]
** From the fifth case, "Rise from the Ashes". An in-universe example as it caused such an uproar that the trial had to be suspended for a day.
---> '''Lana:''' Drastic crimes require drastic measures...That's just the way it is. We did what we had to...in order for him to get the verdict he deserved. Even if it involved "forging" evidence.
** A minor example in the second case, which serves as the first indication we get that Phoenix and Edgeworth knew each other before that trial.
--->'''Phoenix:''' Edgeworth... you've changed.
** From ''Justice for All'', the final quote of case 3 is whammy because Edgeworth was supposed to be dead:
---> '''Gumshoe:''' (''On the phone'') I'll be waiting for you! Goodbye, Mr. Edgeworth.
** Also from ''Justice for All'': "...how do you do, Mister Lawyer? ''I'm Matt Engarde.''" [[labelnote:Explanation]] Up until now, Matt was simply a BrainlessBeauty who, like many of Phoenix's clients, seemed innocent of the crime he was accused of. With this line, he reveals exactly how twisted and evil he is, and that he's guilty as sin.[[/labelnote]]
** From ''Trials & Tribulations'':
---> '''Sister Bikini:''' So I guess you already know that Iris is Morgan Fey's daughter.
--->'''Phoenix:''' IRIS IS [[BigWhat WHAT?!?!?!]] [[labelnote:Explanation]]Phoenix knows Morgan Fey personally and thought that she only had one child, and Iris never revealed her past.[[/labelnote]]
** ''VisualNovel/ApolloJusticeAceAttorney'' manages to fit one into the ''first case'', with the Judge's reaction to your previously [[NoNameGiven unnamed client]] at the start of the trial:
-->'''Judge:''' It's been a long time, [[FallenHero Mr. Wright]].
** In the last case of the same game:
--->'''Brushel:''' "Thalassa Has Another Child Besides Trucy", end quote.
** From ''VisualNovel/AceAttorneyInvestigations'', we have a wham ''laugh'', when Shih-Nah laughs in the exact same highly-distinctive manner as Calisto Yew, sparking instant recognition from Edgeworth, Franziska and Kay.
** ''[[VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneyDualDestinies Dual Destinies]]'':
*** Case 4 ends with a major one, because a piece of evidence that proves your client is innocent incriminates someone else dear to you:
---->'''Simon Blackquill:''' "Upon thorough analysis, the fingerprints were found to belong to [[{{Sidekick}} Athena Cykes]]". So says the report.
*** Bobby Fulbright is a righteous detective who helps you throughout the game. Cue Case 5, where Edgeworth makes TheReveal:
---->'''Edgeworth:''' The man you see there before you... Bobby Fulbright............ [[DeadAllAlong is already long dead]].
*** When this line is repeated once you know that whoever used the escape ladder is a double murderer and international spy.
---->'''Aura Blackquill:''' So I lowered my emergency ladder like the detective leading the investigation told me to.
** In ''VisualNovel/PhoenixWrightAceAttorneySpiritOfJustice'':
*** [[EurekaMoment Revisualizations]] normally end with a big, dramatic line, but Case 3's is one of the few that completely turn everything you've assumed about the case on its head:
---->'''Revisualization Conclusion''': Tahrust's death was a suicide.
*** At the very end of the game, Apollo must decide whether to return to the Wright Anything Agency with his colleagues, or stay in Khura'in to clean up the legal system. Thought "LikeYouWouldReallyDoIt"? Think again.
---->'''Apollo:''' [[IChooseToStay I've decided to stay in Khura'in.]]
* ''VisualNovel/SteinsGate'':
** A minor example from episode 3 counts as something named the Jellyman report doesn't sound particularly serious, but causes Okabe to have a minor HeroicBSOD:
--->"Human is dead: Mismatch"
** Episode 12:
--->'''Moeka:''' Shiina Mayuri is not needed. ''[fires gun at Mayuri]''
** Episode 14:
--->'''Suzuha:''' I am the time traveler John Titor.
** Episode 20:
--->'''Yuugo:''' ''[To Moeka]'' You sold us out, M4.
** Episode 22:
--->'''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 Etzer, the status update reads "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.
* 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.
-->"Hyun-ae! My name is Hyun-ae!"
* ''VisualNovel/KatawaShoujo'':
** In Emi's route
--->'''Hisao's Narration:''' Emi's there, yes. 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 gave Lilly a summons to rejoin them in Inverness.
** In Shizune's route:
--->'''Misha:''' Comfort me, Hicchan, just for today.
** In Shizune's route:
--->'''Misha:''' I know you like her, Hicchan. I mean that I like Shicchan in the same way. I want her to be my girlfriend.
** In the [[WhatCouldHaveBeen beta version]] of Shizune's route, the "comfort" sequence does not occur. According to the data the line was ''meant'' to be included during the love confession scene itself, however in the leaked beta it is either unfinished or partially removed and thus wasn't implemented. The love confession itself is still a thing but happens much earlier (in Act 3) and is a huge WhamLine after Hisao confronts Misha about [[StepfordSmiler her unusually sad behavior]] lately.
--->'''Misha:''' Hicchan, I wish you and me could change places.
--->'''Hisao:''' What do you mean?
--->'''Misha:''' Shicchan... really loves you. You might be the first person she has ever loved in that way too. Do you notice the way she looks at you, Hicchan?
--->'''Misha:''' I wish she could look at me like that.
--->'''Hisao:''' What are you saying?
--->'''Misha:''' I love her.
--->'''Misha:''' I'm in love with Shicchan. I love her.
** From later in Act 3 of Shizune's beta arc:
--->'''Misha''': ''[internal monologue]'' To my right, I hear a loud noise, like a car horn. It's a bad noise. When you hear something like that... it's not something you're supposed to hear. It means something is wrong
--->'''Misha:''' I wonder where that car is going? Is it going to hit me?
--->'''Misha:''' I turn in the direction of it.
--->'''Misha:''' This must be fate, right? After all, I have lived so long, and I never know what to do next. It can all be over if I just... don't move.
* In ''VisualNovel/VA11HALLA'':
--> '''Jill:''' So, how's Lenore doing?
--> '''Gaby:''' She's dead.
* During the final case of ''VisualNovel/SuperDanganRonpa2'', [[BrainUploading Junko]] turns the discussion towards [[BrokenAce Izuru]] [[TranshumanTreachery Kamukura]], a former Hope's Peak student who was surgically altered to [[AllYourPowersCombined possess all the SHSL talents]], but who apparently went rogue and ended up inadvertently setting up the events of the entire series, and more directly orchestrated the events of this game. Despite Makoto's protestations, Junko reaffirms that Izuru is indeed still alive...and then promptly drops '''this''' bombshell.
-->[[TomatoInTheMirror Isn't that right...]]''[[AmnesiacHero Hajime]]''?
* ''VisualNovel/ZeroEscape'' Trilogy:
** ''VisualNovel/NineHoursNinePersonsNineDoors'':
*** "Unfortunately, you're wrong. Actually, I'm Santa." This was in one of the previews, no less, but not only does it not mean what it immediately it seems, it also doesn't mean what players might suspect it means.
*** In the Safe Ending, Zero finishes his speech about Junpei being unable to save June with: "No. You misunderstand. You haven't lost. ''I''...have lost."
*** A strange example occurs in the Cargo Room: if you haven't already followed the [[BadEnding Submarine Ending route]], Santa casually revealing that [[CoolOldGuy Ace]] is the CEO of Cradle Pharmaceuticals won't really mean anything to you. If you ''have'', however...
*** When Snake and Junpei discuss the kidnapings 9 years ago, Snake mentions two siblings who weren't mentioned in the news before dropping this bombshell: "Her name was... Her name was Akane. That was... the girl who [[DeadAllAlong died...]]"
*** The game is a rare case of a visual novel narrating in the third person instead of the first person. Except at the final chapter of the true ending where Junpei is trying to figure out why he knows things he logically couldn't and shouldn't know...
--> The answer to that is easy. He knew because ''[[NarratorAllAlong I]]'' knew.
** ''VisualNovel/VirtuesLastReward''
*** In some paths your opponent will vote differently depending on what you chose. The first time it happens Sigma will show that he knows more than he should with this line:
---> '''Sigma''':[[YouShouldntKnowThisAlready You picked "Betray" last time!]]
*** In Quark's route, the [[PosthumousCharacter old lady]] is found to have an ID card on her person. The name on the card is Kurashiki. This one is doubly effective since Akane Kurashiki is A) a major character from the first game, and B) now apparently far older than she has any right to be a year after the last game.
*** In Phi's ending K will reveal himself by referencing a line said earlier by another character:
--->'''"K"''': Didn't i tell you? "You won't be alone. I will be at your side watching over you."
*** Later in the ending when discussing an unconcious person who looks just like Sigma:
---> '''Quark''':So... who is he?
--->'''Akane''': You've never seen him before?
--->'''Quark''': No.
** This line from ''VisualNovel/ZeroTimeDilemma''. Keep in mind that throughout the promotional material it's always referred to [[TomatoSurprise the child]] as Q.
--> '''Q:''' Zero is... YOU, [[UnexpectedCharacter Delta]]!
--> '''Eric:''' Would you stop yapping, Sean? The old man's name is Q!


[[/folder]]
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