- On The 100, Bellamy has this reaction when he finds out that, because he kept the Ark from finding out Earth is survivable, they executed 300 people to reduce their excess population, rather than sending them to safety on Earth. When he does finally alert the Ark that they can survive on Earth, Kane (the man behind the mass execution) also has one of these, realizing that all the people he killed could have been saved if he'd only waited a few more days.
- Clarke has one when she sees the aftermath of a missile attack that she could have prevented, but chose to let happen anyway. Lexa might have had this reaction, too, but being The Stoic, it's hard to tell.
- Said verbatim in flashback by Becca when her AI creation Allie launches the nuclear war that wipes out humanity.
- 666 Park Avenue: Annie says this word for word when she realizes her way out of her deal with Gavin will lead to an innocent man's death.
- The Carpenter has one in the Syfy miniseries Alice, right after breaking through his memory block and remembering his past life as Alice's father, then realizing it's a problem that he's spent the last ten years of his life sucking emotion juice out of people. Redemption Equals Death
- Andromeda: In an alternate timeline Gaheris Rhade reacted this way when he realized his betrayal of the Commonwealth did not result in a better safer universe, but a lawless chaotic dystopia facing imminent doom.
- The Andy Griffith Show: Opie goes through this when he kills a bird. He ends up trying to make up for it by raising her babies until they're old enough to leave the nest.
- On the Angel end is Gunn's epic version of this after his part in Fred's death. He wanted to keep his super smarts and signed a paper saying that a delivery could be made to Wolfram and Hart. What he didn't know? The delivery was the tomb of Illyria, which was sent to infect Fred and brutally kill her so that her body could be used to host Illyria.
- Arrested Development uses a variation of this, "I've made a huge mistake". The phrase is used for comedic value, though. It was first said by GOB in "Key Decisions", and used by various characters afterwards, although it does remain primarily GOB's catchphrase, as he uses it at some point in most episodes.
- On The A-Team: Face's expression after he pushes Murdock to the ground during their fight in Family Reunion borders on this. It's kind of a combination "What did I just do?" and confusion over the fact that Murdock doesn't seem the least bit angry with him for doing it.
- Babylon 5:
- Londo has several moments of serious regret as his schemes to restore Centauri power and glory play out... though that doesn't prevent him from going through with them until matters reach the point where Centauri Prime itself is at risk of annihilation.
- The most heartbreaking instance may be when G'kar, his longtime nemesis, accepts an official apology from the Centauri Emperor for crimes committed against the Narns and approaches Londo in good spirits, extending a tentative hand of friendship. The problem: Londo made a deal with the Shadows only hours before that would result in another Narn-Centauri war. The look on Londo's face as he realizes his mistake is Tear Jerking.
- Londo gets a lot of these moments. In the same episode, when the Centauri Emperor is on his deathbed, Londo tells him how the Centauri have attacked a Narn colony, kicking off a terrible war to further the Centauri's expansionist ambitions. The dying Emperor whispers his last words to Londo. Londo tells the other Centauri present that the Emperor told him that he would want them to continue, and to "carry my people back to the stars". But what did he really say?
Londo: He said... That we are both damned.
- Another instance of this happening to Londo (Seeing a pattern?) made it into latter season's credits, with Londo watching the orbital bombardment of the Narn Homeworld with outlawed Mass Drivers See Here. (spoilers, obviously)
- Also in that show is Delenn upon watching Dukhat die after being attacked by Earth Alliance warships orders their immediate destruction. "NO MERCY!" When she calmed down she was horrified to learn that her actions had started a full-scale war.
- Lennier had been struggling with his Subordinate Excuse for five seasons and finally gets his chance when Sheridan is accidentally trapped in a room filling with poisonous gas. He walks away, only to realize what he's doing moments later and runs back to help Sheridan, only to find him rescued by others.
- In the second season finale, Captain Sheridan gets one after he orders the station's defense grid to open fire on a Centauri cruiser in self-defense, resulting in the cruiser's swift destruction. Definitely justified, in that every action he had taken had been with the intent of protecting lives, rather than taking them, only for him to be backed up against the wall and only left with the one option. He has a similar reaction midway through the third season when he does the same thing... to an Earth Alliance destroyer.
- In Battlestar Galactica, Gaeta, during the mutiny on Galactica in season 4. After Gaeta helps Zarek take over Galactica, Gaeta insists on giving Admiral Adama a court-martial for conspiring with the Rebel Cylons. But when Zarek has the Quorum of Twelve gunned down for refusing to recognize him as President over Laura Roslin, Gaeta has a bit of a revelation while looking over their dead bodies.
- Caprica Six realizes after her first resurrection that the Destruction of the Colonies was a huge mistake, and spends the rest of the series trying to make up for it.
- Sharon (Boomer) has a change of heart when she sees the experiments being done on Athena's daughter.
- Baltar learns that he gave the Cylons information that helped them to kill billions of people.
- The original My God, What Have I Done? moment, when Boomer finally 'regains consciousness' and sees the aftermath of her actions in the Season 1 finale. And the thematic continuation, the Season 4 premiere has Tigh experience a sort of 'waking nightmare' where he imagines the consequences of not owning up to the horrible truth of what he believes himself to be — killing Adama — and is horrified by the thought.
- Battlestar Galactica (1978) in its premiere episode has President Adar moaning at how his gullible stupidity falling for Baltar's manipulations has led to the destruction of Humanity, even as the Cylons are wiping out the fleet.
- On the third-season finale of The Big Bang Theory, Howard and Raj make an account for Sheldon on an online dating site. Sheldon gets matched with Amy Farrah Fowler, who is almost exactly like him. Howard's reaction when he sees the two together:
Howard: Good God, what have we done?
- In a Very Special Episode of Boy Meets World, Shawn has taken to drinking. His friends confront him and try to convince him to stop, citing his family history of alcoholism, but he rebuffs all their attempts until he shoves his girlfriend Angela into the door in anger. He is immediately appalled at this last action of his, even gasping "how did that just happen?" in horror afterwards, and it causes him to immediately stop drinking and seek help.
- Breaking Bad:
- Jesse becomes depressive after shooting Gale. He also blames himself for the heroin overdose of his girlfriend.
- After a deception allows Walter and Jesse to elude him, Hank is enraged to the point of severe Police Brutality against Jesse. After he calms down, he is visibly horrified at his actions.
- After nearly five whole seasons of rationalizations and selfish justifications, Walter finally goes through an absolutely gut-wrenching one after kidnapping his baby daughter when he runs away from his wife and son after they turn on him. While he's taking care of her in a restroom, she says "Mama" and realizes, in that moment, that his actions over the course of the series have led to the destruction of his entire family, either through death or ruined lives. He tearfully has a phone conversation with Skyler where he acts like an abusive husband who threatened her to cooperate, in order to exonerate her to the police as well as to break ties with his family and leaves Holly at a fire station to be returned to Skyler.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
- Faith does this twice. First when she accidentally kills Alan Finch, screaming repeatedly "I didn't know!", and when she remembers what she did to Wesley and Buffy.
- This is also plainly evident in Willow's expression in "Once More With Feeling" when Buffy lets the Scoobies know that when they brought her back to life they pulled her out of Heaven.
- Spike after the Attempted Rape in "Seeing Red". In a rather disturbing take on the trope, he seemed almost as distressed about his inability to go through with the act as he was by the fact he attempted it at all.
Spike: "What have I done? ... Why didn't I do it?"
- Spike, as a soulless vampire, isn't supposed to have a conscience and therefore feel bad about his actions. His existential crisis over not being good but no longer truly being evil, shown in his version of the trope, is what prompts him to go and win his soul from a demon in Africa.
- Anya utters this after her vengeance spell summons a spider which rips out the hearts of 12 frat boys.
- Angel after the gypsy curse personifies this trope. He now believes he has to atone for what he has done.
- Buffy has this twice, once in Season 6, when she learns that she didn't come back wrong and has been doing all sorts of horrible stuff of her own free will, and again in Season 8 when Giles is killed, magic is destroyed, and the Slayer line is ended, as a result of her space frak with Angel.
- Angel, after his soul was restored. His soulless, sadistic alter ego having tried to kill Buffy multiple times, murdered Giles' girlfriend, brutally tortured Giles, feeding off of and killing numerous people off screen, and ALMOST banished the entire population of Earth to hell, he was so wracked with guilt that it eventually caused the decision to leave Sunnydale forever, which in turn began his own spin-off series.
- Parodied on Chappelle's Show: after one of the "Moments in the Life of Little Jon", Chapelle goes off on a tangent about the rapper's song "Get Low", which contains the lyrics "Aw skeet skeet skeet skeet skeet skeet!" He said the following:
Chapelle: I'm like, you can't say skeet on the radio! You know what's so dope about skeet? White people don't know what it means yet. When they figure it out, they'll be like My God, what have we DONE?!
- In the Charmed episode "We're Off to See the Wizard", Phoebe utters this almost verbatim after using pyrokinesis — an upper-level demonic power — on Cole's new personal assistant.
- Cheers. Carla once asked Frasier: "When you and Lilith wake up in the morning, which one of you is the first to scream, 'My God, what have I done?!'"
- In another episode, this is essentially Fraiser's reaction upon fully realizing that he has successfully launched Woody Boyd's political career. (Cue visions of atomic fireballs.)
- In Season One, Diane goes through a non-verbal version of this, after Coach and the others convince her to throw a baseball down the hall into the pool room, where Coach is standing. It Makes Sense in Context — Coach is proving a point to her about his uncanny success at bunting... with his noggin. It's even worse for poor Diane when you consider that she fully expected to miss — but as Sam notes, that's part of the point.
- In The Closer, after several episodes of not feeling any remorse for facilitating a Vigilante Execution the previous season and not taking the victim's family's lawsuit against the department seriously, Brenda finally breaks down sobbing "What Have I Done?" at the end of season 7 episode 5, after everyone in her unit, plus Chief Pope, Commander Taylor, and her husband are all subpoenaed.
- Brass had one in the CSI episode "Genetic Disorder", after spending the entire ep assuming Doc's wife really had cheated on him.
- In another episode, a husband and wife kill their baby after he starts showing symptoms of a degenerative disease that killed their first son. They find out after it's too late that he was simply sick because of the pesticide his mother used in the garden, and if she had stopped using it, he would have been perfectly healthy.
- Delete: The AI reacts this way after uploading Daniel's mind, and seeing its actions through his conscience.
- Doctor Who:
- The Fifth Doctor had a few of these moments. Notably, check out "Warriors of the Deep".
"There should have been another way."
- The DVD booklet notes also use the phrase ironically to refer to the story's Special Effect Failure.
- The Ninth Doctor had one of these in "The Parting of the Ways", when he forcibly sends Rose back to her own time in the TARDIS to protect her from the Daleks, only for her to absorb the power of the Time Vortex itself to get back and save him. He is truly distraught as it threatens to burn up her mind: "The power's gonna kill you, and it's my fault!" He sacrifices his Ninth life to save hers.
- The Ninth Doctor also had one of these in the previous episode, "Bad Wolf", where he looks down on a ruined Earth, populated by people who do nothing but watch horrific game shows and realises that it all happened due to his actions earlier in the series.
- The Tenth Doctor had one in "The Waters of Mars". The Doctor saves people whose deaths will trigger the Golden Age of space exploration. He realises the impact of his interference when the key survivor realises what has happened and kills herself. The Doctor is subsequently horror-struck and has a massive Heel Realization.
- The full force of this seems to finally hit him in "The End of Time";
- The Eleventh Doctor had one in "The God Complex". A beast attacks his friends, and the Doctor thinks that it feeds on fear, so he tells them to focus on their faith. More people die much more rapidly after that, and Amy, his companion, is particularly affected. The Doctor realizes that the monster doesn't feed on fear, but on faith. Since Amy basically sees him as a God, it's her adoration for him that will kill her. He breaks her faith with a Zero-Approval Gambit and unceremoniously drops her off at her house, planning to never speak to her again.
- Amy herself has one at the end of "The Impossible Astronaut", when she shoots someone in a spacesuit who retracts its visor to reveal a little girl.
- The Twelfth Doctor has two in Series 9, both related to the season's Story Arc.
- First, he has a downplayed example in the denouement of "The Girl Who Died" as he ponders the possible consequences of his rash decision to save Ashildr's life in a way that might — and does — render her a functional immortal. As it turns out, this paves the way for her betraying him and capturing him for the Time Lords — which inadvertently leads to the death of Clara Oswald, his beloved companion in "Face the Raven" near the season's end, whereupon he's subjected to Cold-Blooded Torture, has a massive Sanity Slippage, and...
- In "Hell Bent", the Season Finale, he decides to risk the safety of the entire space-time continuum on a Tragic Dream: saving Clara from her fixed-point death. At first, it looks like nothing and no one can invoke a Heel Realization in him, but when Clara objects to his intent to mind wipe her, he finally, sadly asks "[W]hat am I doing?" and chooses to return to his best self, allowing Laser-Guided Karma to have its way with him because he knows he deserves it for becoming The Unfettered.
- In addition, Clara Oswald herself has two moments like this in "Hell Bent": First upon realizing her mistake on the trap street led not just to her death, but his insanity and much of his suffering, second when she watches him get mind wiped with a device she tampered with to save herself from that fate.
- Companion Bill Potts gets this in "The Lie of the Land". At the end of the previous episode, shemade a Deal with the Devil in order to save the Doctor's life, because she thought the Doctor would be able to save Earth from the villains: it didn't work, as he has been brainwashed by the villains, meaning saving the day is down to Bill. Even after it turns out the Doctor was faking it, she feels that she is the only one who can save the world, since she was the one who doomed it in the first place.
- The Fifth Doctor had a few of these moments. Notably, check out "Warriors of the Deep".
- In the 13th episode of Dollhouse the Neural Implanting technology has been weaponised and the United States has collapsed into anarchy after an attack from China. Topher, the scientist who helped develop the technology, is in his Room Full of Crazy and works out how it was done.
Topher: An entire army in a single instant; that's all it takes. That's brilliant! Why didn't I think of that? (sees Adele's expression) Did I think of that? Did I? Oh god... oh my god... oh my god...
- Miss O'Brien from Downton Abbey is usually an unrepentant Jerkass, but when she deliberately places a bar of soap so that Cora will slip on it, hoping that Cora will miscarry and be forced to keep employing her, she looks at her reflection in the mirror while waiting for Cora to get out of the bath and says "Sarah O'Brien, this is not who you are." After Cora is injured and miscarries, it's even worse.
- In one episode of the fifties run of Dragnet, the man who molested two four-year-old girls is horrified by what he's done.
- The Dukes of Hazzard: Comedically, in "The Late J.D. Hogg". It's the classic "two weeks to live" episode after Boss Hogg is told by his doctor he has a terminal illness. Boss does a good job repenting for a life of sin ... until he is told his diagnosis was in error and that he is healthy. He then sees all the good that he's done and all the mistakes he's made up for ... (gasp) "What have I done????!!!!????" (He then, needless to say, spends the rest of the episode trying to undo all the good that he's done.)
- Family Ties: In the second-season episode "Uncle Ned", after Ned (Tom Hanks) comes home drunk — even drunker than when he went to his job interview — he gets into a huge argument with the family over whether he has a problem. He eventually gets into a struggle with Alex and accidentally punches him ... setting the trope in motion and forcing Ned to finally realize he has a problem.
- A 'My God, what have YOU done' moment happens at the end of the Peacekeeper Wars in Farscape. For four years people have been chasing John Crichton, killing, raping and attacking him and his friends for his wormhole knowledge, and he finally gives in and builds the thing to protect his wife and newborn child, and it turns out that wormhole weapons he's been telling everyone are horrific, galaxy destroying weapons that no one should ever have under any circumstances are actually just as bad as he always said they were. When he turns it on, even those most desperate to have them realise just how bad it is.
(The wormhole weapon has been fired, and threatens to consume the entire universe.)
Crichton: Here's how it lays out. Are you listening Stahleek? Grayza? Wormhole weapons do not make peace. Wormhole weapons do not even make war. They make total destruction, annihilation, Armageddon. People make peace."
Chiana: Crichton, can you stop it?
Crichton: I don't know, Pip. Maybe it eats the whole galaxy, a monumental black hole, a giant whirling headstone marking the spot where we all used to live and play and slaughter the innocent.
Scorpius: (softly) This is insane, Crichton.
(John lets out a choked laugh.)
Crichton: God! Four years on and you're finally getting that!
- A far more literal example is when Crichton has been forced to kill Aeryn while possessed by the Neural Clone. In this case, Crichton really does say "My God, what have I done?"
- Forever Knight's Nick Knight has several of these over the course of the series, many in the flashbacks where he's struggling between needing to feed to survive and not wanting to kill.
- Will's reaction from the middle to the end of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air episode, "Just Say Yo...", especially after a tearful and utterly remorseful Will admits to the family that the drugs that nearly killed Carlton was his, but that he had been given them by someone else due to the stresses he had with his job, school and sports wiping him out and just put them in his locker.
- Also played for laughs in Friends: Chandler has his "nubbin" removed after a squicked-out date leaves him. He misses an obvious joke, then cites the nubbin as the source of his "powers." He then says "Oh dear God, what have I done?"
- And it's played for laughs in Full House during the episode "Three Men and Another Baby", when Stephanie reluctantly gives Mr. Bear to Michelle, she philosophically claims it was worth it to make the latter happy, but no sooner does she say that does she leave the room and exclaim, "What have I done?!"
- Game of Thrones:
- Theon Greyjoy silently has this reaction after looking back at everything he has done, taking Winterfell, killing two orphan boys, then passing off their burnt corpses as those of Bran and Rickon. All because he wanted his fathers approval, but for him he already died in Kings Landing.
- This is written all over Ser Loras Tyrell's' face as he sits near the corpse of King Renly Baratheon. He feels extremely guilty for convincing his lover to make a bid for the Iron Throne, as this path led to Renly becoming a target for assassination.
- Catelyn admits that she regrets having refused to love Jon Snow and treat him like a son, and believes that the misfortunes of her family are the gods' way of punishing her.
- Although she blames Joffrey and Cersei for it later, Arya is horrified when Cersei demands Sansa's direwolf Lady is killed in Nymeria's place.
- Bran has this reaction when he realized that he unintentionally destroyed Hodor's mind.
- Hodor's reaction upon realizing that Bran used him to kill somebody.
- As Joffrey rises to ever new heights of cruelty and perversion, Cersei finally acknowledges that having three inbred children with her twin brother wasn't such a great idea — considering what it did to the Targaryens — to say nothing of putting the most unstable of them on the Iron Throne itself. She breaks down in tears from the sheer knowledge that the son she loves (despite everything) is a psychopath. Nevertheless, in later episodes she undergoes a mild Selective Obliviousness.
- In the Get Some In! episode "Medical", Drill Sergeant Nasty Corporal Marsh tells the aircraftmen under his instruction that they could all be dismissed from their two years' National Service if one of them commits suicide. When AC2 Leckie comes in from being punished for making a few mistakes during drilling (having thus missed the earlier conversation), he says he would shoot himself if he had any ammunition for his rifle. The other airmen are intrigued by this and almost seem to egg him on. However, later that evening, they find Leckie and his rifle have vanished, and soon Marsh appears demanding to know why a round of live ammunition is missing from the armoury. The aircraftmen are left reflecting with horror on their inaction and even encouragement toward Leckie's suicidal thoughts... until he returns from a visit to the armoury where he learned how to avoid the mistakes for which Marsh punished him, and explains that the missing round of ammunition was just an arithmetic mistake.
- On Glee, when Sue goes into a deep depression, Will has a silent version of this, after a mild What the Hell, Hero? from Kurt.
- In the season 2 episode "Rumours", Artie is so frustrated and heartbroken by the possibility of Brittany, who he never thought would even consider being in a relationship with him, cheating on him with fellow cheerleader Santana, that he ends up accidentally calling her stupid, causing her to break up with him in tears. What follows is a musical version of this trope, as Artie lets his feelings pour out in a heartbreaking rendition of "Never Going Back Again".
- Good Luck Charlie: In The Movie, Amy didn't realize that accusing Teddy of ruining Christmas would hurt Teddy's feelings. Teddy breaks down crying and walks away from Amy.
- In Season 4 of Heroes, Samuel has this reaction after murdering his brother, Joseph. He may or may not quote this trope by name, as Robert Knepper's well-done emotional performance makes it unclear whether he's saying "What have I done", or if he's begging Joseph to "Hold on".
- Duncan on Highlander after he killed Richie in a demon-induced haze. His distress is so extreme that he immediately asks Methos to kill him.
- House didn't say it out loud, but his facial expression clearly said it after he punched Chase in the eye in one episode.
- House of Anubis: Fabian has a moment of this, repeating "What have I done... what have I done?", when accidentally checkmating Nina during the Senet game, and getting her sent down into, at the time, nobody knew where. Throughout the next episode, he got increasingly desperate and panicked over her disappearance until he eventually had an actual breakdown, one of the bigger Tear Jerker moments of the second season.
- iCarly: Freddie utters this line as a group (What have WE done?) when the gang realized that bringing back Marta made Lewbert's life even worse.
- Carly went into a breakdown of repentance in iChristmas when her wish turned her life into one she did not want.
- Freddie again evokes a variation of this trope in the extended version of iSaved Your Life. After his break-up with Carly, his face changes expression while in the elevator and asks himself in regret, "What did I do?" Cue a zoom out of the Bushwell building as Freddie yells "WHAT DID I DO?!"
- In Lost, Jack has this reaction after finally escaping from the island.
"We have to go back!"
- In M*A*S*H, Father Mulcahy once impulsively punched out an unruly patient who hit him first during triage, when any delays in the selection process can cost lives. While the rest of the staff agree he was entitled, Father Mulcahy was kicking himself for some time afterward.
- Hawkeye has this in the episode "Fallen Idol". He sends Radar to Seoul to "sow a few wild oats", and Radar subsequently gets wounded by enemy fire en route.
- In the episode "O.R.", Frank Burns complains out loud about the difficulty he's having removing a wounded GI's kidney. On a hunch, Trapper goes over to look at the patient's X-ray... and shows Frank that the guy only has one kidney. While Frank's borderline incompetence in surgery is usually Played for Laughs on the show, in this instance he's shown to be genuinely shaken at the realization that he could have killed the man through his carelessness.
- The air traffic controller in "Deadly Crossroads" has this reaction when he realizes he's just caused two planes to collide.
- After landing British Airways Flight 9, the crew pores over the flight records thinking they made a near-catastrophic mistake. Fortunately for them, they are not at fault.
- In the Merlin (1998) series, Arthur has this reaction after Merlin calls him out for sleeping with Lady Marie, who was actually his half-sister. In the novelizations, this was taken up to full-blown Heroic B.S.O.D. that lasted for years.
- In the Merlin (2008) series, Arthur goes into this trope after killing a captured rival king in "His Father's Son".
- Later in the series Guinevere is given an enchanted bracelet that rekindles her feelings for Lancelot and leads her to make-out with him on the eve of her wedding to Arthur. They're caught, and the trope is played out in a truly heart-rending manner. Since Gwen never discovers that she was enchanted, she honestly has no idea why she betrayed Arthur - she didn't want to, and she can't understand why she did. The question: "what have I done?" is taken quite literally.
- Curtis from sci-fi drama Misfits can sporadically turn back time and re-play certain events from his past whenever he has one of these moments. Of course, it doesn't always work out for the best.
- Juliette Barnes has this on Nashville the morning after she sleeps with jerkass ex-boss Jeff Fordham.
- NewsRadio: In the episode "Who's The Boss (Part 1)", there's a scene where Beth is trying to fix the coffee machine (due to Joe the Handyman being on strike) while Dave (who is known to be a coffee addict) nervously waits for it to be fixed so he can have his cup of coffee. Beth believes she finally found what's wrong, but she instead causes the machine to short circuit, making the problem even worse. In horror, Dave shouts to Beth "My GOD, woman, what have you DONE?!"
- Night and Day's Alex Wells during the final episodes, on discovering that he slept with his own daughter.
- Kat from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, when Rita's spell over her broke and she realized everything that she'd done to Kimberly.
- In the first season Tommy has one immediately after Rita's spell is broken. It is probably justified because he should be going into shock.
- Ransik says this in Power Rangers Time Force, when his obsession with revenge on all humans causes him to hurt his daughter, the only person in the world he loved. In fact, he loved her enough to end his quest for vengeance after harming her.
- Person of Interest:
- Root has this reaction in "/" when she realizes that the man she's been tasked with protecting is only in the position he's in after his life was ruined by the deaths of his best friends... deaths that were actually murders committed by Root.
Root: And the punchline, is that your Machine keeps telling me to save Cyrus. How badly did you have to break it to make it care about people so much?
- In "Karma", Finch's reaction when he realizes that the woman he's about to murder had nothing to do with what he's seeking revenge for.
- In what she thinks is another of the endless VR simulations by Smaritan, Shaw is shown a woman who will develop a virus that will kill thousands in the future. Tired of these "lessons", Shaw takes a gun and shoots the woman dead. In her captive bed, she sees news coverage of the scientist's murder and how her hand is still bleeding from a cut and realizes to her horror, it was no simulation, she really murdered an innocent woman.
- Root has this reaction in "/" when she realizes that the man she's been tasked with protecting is only in the position he's in after his life was ruined by the deaths of his best friends... deaths that were actually murders committed by Root.
- Michael from Prison Break wonders this for having (indirectly) lead to several deaths.
- Robin Hood: Guy of Gisborne has this when he kills Marian. This triggers his Heel–Face Turn.
- This is what separates the Chairman in RoboCop: The Series from the other heads of OCP/Omnicorp in the RoboCop franchise: the Old Man, the CEO, the Old Woman, Damian Lowe, Sara Cable, and Raymond Sellars don't care about other people and are only out for themselves. The Chairman, while greedy and willing to rush products without fully testing them, does have empathy, and is willing to recall products and make things right when he learns his actions and/or the actions of others at OCP have hurt people.
- Jerry Seinfeld, after he gets engaged to Jeanie Steinem, a woman exactly like him...
- I think I may have made a big mistake! All of a sudden I realized what the problem is! I can't be with someone like me! I hate myself!
- Another example occurs in "The Maid" when, after sleeping with Jerry, Cindy picks up her "maid" money and leaves, without actually having done any housecleaning. Jerry does a quick double-take and then asks Kramer, "What did I just pay for?" Kramer says, "Oh-oh. You're a john."
- The Shield:
- Shane Vendrell gets a major one after killing Curtis Lemansky.
- "Family Meeting", when ICE agent Olivia Murray learns the magnitude of Vic's crimes, only after she granted him complete immunity for busting The Cartel.
- Smallville loves this:
Chloe: Oh my god, I just knocked out Martha Kent.
- Clark is completely devastated when he realizes the explosion he caused inadvertently led to his mother having a miscarriage. To say he experiences a Heroic B.S.O.D. doesn't even cover it, and he proceeds to go on a "drug"-fueled rampage through Metropolis for three months in a desperate attempt to escape his guilt.
- It's Played for Laughs in "Hypnotic":
Lois: Hello, the woman is about to wallpaper her living room with my brain matter.
- More seriously in "Identity", Chloe Sullivan's horrified expression after under the influence of Brainiac, she renders the bad guy of the week catatonic by overloading his brain with information to protect Clark.
- "Stiletto", when Chloe dumps the body of the gangster Doomsday killed when he attacked her. She does this a lot...
- And in "Sacrifice", Zod's reaction when he killed Faora. Along with her unborn child.
- Stargate SG-1: Replicator!Carter seeks Carter's help to prevent a replicator army from invading Earth's galaxy, which has become immune to the Ancient disruptor. Carter trusts her because she believes no-one with her personality could ever work with Fifth. It's the only thing she's right about. Replicator!Carter's plan is to gain immunity to the disruptor, destroy Fifth, distribute her immunity to the replicator army she's now take control of and establish a foothold in Earth's galaxy. Carter's shocked reaction is 'What have I done?'.
- Star Trek had this:
- In "Amok Time", Spock, believing that he murdered Kirk, has this reaction so badly that he seemingly loses his will to live.
- Deep Space Nine episode "In the Pale Moonlight" is wholly dedicated to it. Sisko gives an account of his part in Starfleet's plan to deceive the Romulans into joining the war against the Dominion. Sisko damns every amoral action he takes to carry out the plan, which drags a neutral power into war and will cause the death of thousands or even millions who would have lived. Partially averted at the end where he declares that while he feels terrible for what he's done it had to be done and that he'd do it again.
- In an episode of Star Trek: Voyager, Torres utters this exact line when she realizes the race of robots she is helping were responsible for the extinction of their creators.
- Another from Voyager was the Doctor realizing that he had disregarded his medical training and chosen to save his friend instead of someone he barely knew in a crisis situation. Being a medical program with a vast amount of ethical programming, he enters an almost literal Heroic B.S.O.D. over the matter.
- To be clear: There was no difference between the two cases from a medical standpoint, but he could only save one and he had to make a snap decision; it wasn't that his ethical programming failed so much as that he had never been programmed in how to make a decision where there was no obvious logic to indicate a correct choice (or, in fact, an obvious correct and incorrect choice). He didn't actually do anything wrong, he had the reaction anyway because he couldn't figure out a medical way to justify his decision.
- In an episode of Strong Medicine, a boy comes into the hospital after having a police officer use a Taser on him (They later find out that the only reason he reacted so badly was because of mercury poisoning.) Lu then spends the entire episode going into an Ideological Screed against the female cop. Later on, another boy comes into the ER, with the same cop. She mentioned that she was chasing him and reached for her Taser, but hesitated. Lu began to praise her (and herself) for this, but then the cop mentioned that, because she hesitated, the boy ran out into traffic and got hit by a car. It was especially notable because Lu was a textbook Jerk Sue and Canon Sue, so seeing her beliefs backfire was unique.
- Each of the major character in Supernatural have this reaction at one point.
- Sam after he finds out that by killing Lilith, he actually released Lucifer, and that him drinking demon blood didn't actually increase his powers- it was simply a Magic Feather that Ruby used to control him.
- Dean after Alastair tells him that by breaking and accepting his offer in Hell, he opened the first seal that started the apocalypse.
- Castiel after deceiving his friends, teaming up with Crowley, breaking Sam's mind, absorbing all the souls in purgatory and going on one hell of a power binge.
- Timeless: When she returns to the present, Lucy is delighted to find her sick mother is now quite well. She's then horrified to realize that, because of her actions in the past, her sister Amy was never born.
- Even Jeremy Clarkson utters one of these in Top Gear. During the auction at which the trio bought their cars for the classic time-trial rally in Mallorca, he ends up overbidding for an Austin-Healey Sprite and only realises that he has to spend some of his own money on top of the initial budget after the auctioneer calls out his number and James tells him precisely how much he got the car for.
- In The Walking Dead, after Daryl punches Negan for taunting Rosita about Abraham's death, Negan responds by brutally murdering Glenn. The look on Daryl's face is one of pure horror, as he slowly realizes what his actions have caused.