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The TV Show

Season 1

  • When Jamal makes his big coming out by performing at Lucious' annual white party and covering one of his father's songs...only to change the lyrics to make it a gay love song. Everyone (except Lucious) is ecstatic.
  • Jamal standing up to the the thugs who try to rob him at Ghetto Ass Records, while said thugs had a gun pulled on him.
    • And then the record studio owner returning with a shotgun and flushing them all out.
  • Even though it wasn't exactly in the best interest for Empire Records, Anika selling out to Barretti after Lucious cheats on her again with Cookie was pretty satisfying to do to a complete jerk like him.
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  • Jamal calling out Lucious for letting his homophobia cloud his judgement on making a deal with a famous and talented musician.
  • Malcolm shooting Reggie straight in the head to save Cookie.
  • "Sins of the Father" has Jamal, Rhonda, Cookie, and Camilla each giving their own "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Lucious. Rhonda bears particular mention since she finally laid into him for writing her off as some spoiled princess just because she's white, when in reality he knows nothing about her or her background: she got herself into Penn and built her own career as a fashion editor, knows enough about business to realize he cheated his sons out of their shares just to woo Cookie, and she has been Andre's wife for ten years and has been the only one to actually help him with his bipolar disorder rather than pretend it doesn't exist.
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  • Jamal delivering a musical "The Reason You Suck" Speech to Black Rambo after the musician made homophobic remarks. Ending with a musical "Bitch".
  • Cookie vs Anika. Extra point for the latter showing she's not as weak as the former thought.
    Anika: Who's Boo Boo Kitty now?!
  • Rhonda saving Andre from being attacked by Vernon. Yes, he did die, but still awesome on her account.
  • Hakeem, during an open press of his musical duet with Snoop, changes his lyrics to diss his father.

Season 2

  • How does Lucious manage to get Frank Gathers to not hurt Cookie? He couldn't convince Gathers himself, but he managed to buy off his bodyguards. Brutal? Yes. Manipulative. Yes. Awesome? Hell yeah.
  • Jamal promises Hakeem that his album will never see the light of day after Cookie's failed coup. Hakeem's solution? Get his friends to hack Empire's servers, steal the album and upload it for free online.
  • Lucious managing to put a single together while in prison, and having his lawyer leak it to the media.
    • Lucious getting out on bail. Not because his new lawyer managed to turn his case around, but because he found compromising pictures of the judge, with the silent threat that they would be leaked if Lucious didn't walk out of prison. It should be mentioned that all this was done in the courtroom itself, with the prosecutor standing literally ten feet away.
  • Cookie's act of spite when Lucious has dinner with his family as a Faux Affably Evil gesture before plotting to take down Cookie and Hakeem's competing record label. She eats half her meal, promises to keep fighting, then gets up to leave...pulling the tablecloth behind her and dragging the expensive dinner spread straight to the floor. The family's reactions are mixed: the boys quietly shake their heads, Rhonda is utterly shocked, and Lucious simply smirks.
  • Cookie, Hakeem and Lyon Dynasty making a big splash by hijacking Lucious' celebratory party and performing onstage with Timbaland.
    • Of course, Lucious gets his own back by buying up a controlling interest Apex Media, a company that owns nearly every major urban media outlet in the country. Meaning that any chance of an artist under Lyon Dynasty to get their music distributed just plummets to zero. And to add insult to injury, he steals Hakeem's lead singer from his girl group and signs her to Empire as a solo artist.
      • And then Cookie, of course, strikes back. DA Ford has her arrested on some minor charges with the intent of getting her to snitch on Lucious. Cookie seems like she's having a breakdown at the prospect of going back to prison, sheds tears and calls the DA back to the interrogation room. But instead of giving the DA any real information, she makes up some vague but believable story about Bunkie's murder being related to Lucious's desire to purchase Apex Media. The DA buys it, which gets Cookie both her freedom and the halt to Lucious's purchase of Apex that she needs to get her music back on the radio.
  • Cookie and her new promoter pulling guns on the thugs apparently hired by Lucious to rob Lyon Dynasty of their masters.
    Cookie: You packing?
    Promoter: I see you are, too.
  • In "True Love Never," Andre resisting the temptation to sleep with District Attorney Alvarez in order to help Empire, instead blackmailing her into helping him. The fact that he returns home and happily tells Rhonda what happened, leading to them kissing, tops it off.
  • Cookie going full Mama Bear on her boyfriend promoter in "My Bad Parts" when he shoved Hakeem.
    • Jamal mixing the musical styles of his parents that landed him the Pepsi commercial.
    • The Frida Gatz vs Hakeem Lyon rap battle ending in Hakeem winning and denouncing his last name.

Season 3

  • In "Light in Darkness" Tariq gives everyone at dinner a "The Reason You Suck" Speech, and for the most part each individual either gives their own comeback or takes it in silence. When he gets around to try this on Cookie, not only do Jamal and Andre immediately start speaking in her defence, but Cookie tells them to calm down and tells off Tariq without once losing her cool.
  • In "Slave to Memory," the Lyons crash a high-society ball, having infiltrated the orchestra to play a rap tune. They then proceed to expose everything Diana has done. While she denies it, the Lyons bring up evidence and more and Diana finds herself turned on by the crowd. When the police arrive, Diana waves toward Cookie...only to find they're there to arrest her.
    • Hakeem confronts Annika, saying he'll be taking their daughter. He maintains control by showing video of how Annika was working with Diana and takes his daughter.


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