Wham Line: Theatre
- In Glengarry Glen Ross, Williamson suddenly realizes, thanks to a very long "The Reason You Suck" Speech by Levene, who robbed the office: none other than Levene himself. Levene called Williamson out on a lie about cashing Lingk's check, which Levene only could have known if he'd robbed the office, since it was the one time in Williamson's career that he didn't take the checks down to the bank. Williamson later confronts the thief, and asks him a very simple question: "How did you know I made it all up?"
- In Ayn Rand's play Night of January 16th, Karen Andre, accused of murdering Bjorn Faulkner, is nearing the end of her testimony, when the Surprise Witness barges into the courtroom. Karen frantically tries to prevent him from saying anything, but he tells her, "Your sacrifice is useless: Bjorn Faulkner is dead." Karen faints from this revelation, and the curtain falls on the second act.
- The Book of Mormon: "I'd do anything for you, you're my best friend."
- There's another one in "Hasa Diga Eebowai". The first 15 or 20 minutes seem like a complete comedy that just glosses over any darker issues, but then, in the middle of all the hilarious blasphemy, the Ugandan villagers sing directly to the audience, "If you don't like what we say, try living here a couple days. Watch all your friends and family die—hasa diga Eebowai!" It's the first indication of the show's quite serious themes.
- From the same song: "Well, let's see... 'Eebowai' means 'God', and 'Hasa Diga' means 'fuck you', so I guess in English, it would be... 'Fuck you, God.'
- The first sign that 'Hasa Diga Eebowai' isn't exactly Hakuna Matata is "When the world is getting you down, there's nobody else to blame... Raise your middle finger to the sky and curse His rotten name!"
- The end of act I of David Mamet's Boston Marriage: "She asks why you are wearing her mother's necklace".
- Humble Boy: "Mother?...Mother, please tell me you can see him."
- Cabaret: "But if you could see her through my eyes...She wouldn't look Jewish at all."
- Hamlet: "...revenge his foul and most unnatural murder."
- LovesLaboursLost: "The king your father—" "Dead, for my life!" This comes at the end of a comedy.
- Godspell: "This is the beginning."...of the end. Jesus says this to tell the community that was built during Act 1 that he's going to leave them to see if they retained the lessons learned from his teachings. And it all goes downhill from there, ending in His Crucifixion.
- Also, the line right before "On the Willows": "And I tell you I shall never again drink from the fruit of the vine until I drink it again with you in the Kingdom of my Father." Jesus then says goodbye to the rest of the cast.
- "Then the man they called Judas Iscariot went to the chief priests, and said "What will you give me to betray Him to you?" They paid him thirty pieces of silver — and from that moment, he began to look out for an opportunity to betray Him." (Matthew 26:14-16, KJV) The line signifies the transition from John to Judas.
- The final line of the speech is accented with a percussive sound not unlike Dramatic Thunder.
- From Wicked: 'You have no real power,' as well as a WHAM moment when Glinda shows the Wizard Elphaba's keepsake, identifying him as her father, moments after having had her murdered.
- Another one takes place at the end, at the site where Elphaba made her last stand. The Scarecrow comes on stage, knocks on the floor, and says two words: "It worked!" Elphaba, alive and well, comes up through a trap door and reunites with her beloved Fiyero before they make plans to flee to Earth.
- From David Auburn's Proof: "I didn't find it. I wrote it." End Act 1.
- Next To Normal: "Whose birthday is it?" "My brother's." "I didn't know you had a brother." "I don't. He died before I was born."
- RENT: "AZT Break." How Mimi reveals to Roger she has AIDS.
- Sunset Boulevard actually has a Wham Song, specifically "New Ways To Dream (Reprise)," in which Max fills in all the remaining holes relating to Norma's past. The biggest Wham Line within the song is probably "Please, understand, she was my wife."
- Tosca! Finalmente mia...aaaaaaargh!
- Rigoletto: The reprise of "La dona e mobile", telling us and Rigoletto that the body in the sack isn't who he thinks...
- In Urinetown, Little Sally asks Officer Lockstock what Urinetown is like. In the interest of maintaining dramatic tension, Lockstock tries to avoid answering the question, telling her "Look, its power depends on mystery. I can't just blurt it out, like 'There is no Urinetown! We just kill people!'"
- tick, tick... BOOM!: Jon gets angry with his best friend Michael and screams, "What the hell do you know about fear? What do you know about anything?" Michael responds, "I know I'm sick, Jon, and I'm not going to get any better."
- Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street:
The Beggar Woman: Don't I know you, mister?
Sweeney (Theatre Version): Oh, God! "Don't I know you", she said... You knew she lived...! From the first moment that I walking into your shop you knew my Lucy lived!
- And late on in the story:
Sweeney (Film Version): "Don't I know you", she said... You knew she lived... You lied to me.
Sweeney: There's a hole in the world like a great black pit and it's filled with people who are filled with shit and the vermin of the world inhabit it... But not for long...!
- To a lesser extent, the line that marks the exact moment Sweeney turns from an Anti-Hero to a Villain Protagonist:
- Romeo and Juliet: "I could not send it, here it is again."
- Les Misérables: "You know nothing of Javert, I was born inside a jail! I was born with scum like you, I am from the gutter too!"
- Another gutting Javert line: "And does he know... that, granting me my life today "this man has killed me, even so?""
- All My Sons: "Your brother’s alive, darling, because if he’s dead, your father killed him."
- Miss Saigon: "I'm Chris' wife. My name is Ellen". The audience already knows this, but the line clearly has this effect on Kim.
- A Raisin in the Sun: "When a cat take off with your money, he don't leave you no road maps!"
Macduff: Despair thy charm, and let the angel whom thou still hast served tell thee, Macduff was from his mother’s womb untimely ripped.
- Almost Maine has quite a few, but one that stands out is one of the characters who can't feel pain:
- The Light in the Piazza: "When Clara was twelve, we rented a Shetland pony for her birthday party. She and her friends were leading the pony around... and the pony kicked her!"
- Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?: " Our son is dead, just like that! How does that make you feel?"
- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ends with a Wham Song, the Triumphant Reprise of "It Must Be Believed to Be Seen". The reprise reveals first that the tramp at the dump whom Charlie befriended was Willy Wonka in disguise — same actor and all — which means he rigged his own Golden Ticket contest and was secretly on the boy's side all along, and second that Mr. Wonka's retiring from running the factory so he can pursue new dreams...in the audience's world...which he can travel to — and does — simply by way of an Imagination-Based Superpower. While a few hints to the first revelation are there for sharp/Genre Savvy viewers (they at least make for some Rewatch Bonus), the second revelation is a definite surprise. (It helps that none of this is in the novel or either film adaptation of same.)
- Spring Awakening: Frau Bergman speaking to Wendla after taking her to the doctor, "You're going to have a child." Another example is when Melchior is waiting for Wendla in the church graveyard, "My God, all these little tombs... And here, a fresh one... Here Rests in God, Wendla Berg- No?! Born the.. Died- ?! Of anemia??"