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.
  • 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.
  • 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!'"
  • 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??"
  • Hamilton is practically a Wham Show, but a notable line is in "The World Was Wide Enough," said by Burr pre-duel:
    "I had only one thought before the slaughter: this man will not make an orphan of my daughter.
    • "Jefferson has my vote!" in "The Election of 1800," spoken by Jefferson's long-time enemy, Alexander Hamilton, over his friend Aaron Burr. This sets off the chain of letters to their Duel to the Death.note 
    • If you don't know the show going in, then Burr's line "And me? I'm the damn fool who shot him" at the end of the opening song certainly qualifies (the fact that the narrator is Aaron Burr isn't revealed until this point — it's something of a First Song Spoiler).
    • "I'm stepping down; I'm not running for President" from Washington. A Foregone Conclusion to the audience, but a major in-universe wham and the point where everything starts going wrong for Hamilton. It also counts as a wham for real-life politics; as King George points out in his next song, the idea of a leader voluntarily relinquishing power was unheard of in those days, especially when one knows that Washington was so popular at the time that he could've declared himself President for Life and almost nobody would've opposed him. There's a reason historians commonly rank this as among the most important political decisions ever made.
  • Ragtime: The end of the song "He Wanted To Say." Mother's Younger Brother wants to join with a Face-Heel Turned Coalhouse, and most of the song is the things the men want to say to each other (Mother's Younger Brother wants to fight for the same reasons Coalhouse does, Coalhouse knows Mother's Younger Brother has no idea of the animosity he has experienced because of his race). However:
    Emma Goldman: But all he said was...
    Mother's Younger Brother: I know how to blow things up!
  • Natasha, Pierre, and the Great Comet of 1812: At the end of Act 1, the moment when Natasha finally decides between her betrothed and the man she is having an affair with.
    • To a lesser extent, one of Dolokov's lines about Anatole right before the duel.