Follow TV Tropes


Awesome / Quantum Leap

Go To

    open/close all folders 
    Season 1 
  • In "The Colour of Truth" the whites-only hospital was refusing to take Sam's granddaughter even though she was bleeding out. Ms. Melanie, who'd thus far stayed on the fence about the racism of her community, steps up and demands they take her. The hospital staff don't even blink before accepting her.

    Season 2 
  • In the season two premiere, "Honeymoon Express," Al has to defend the importance of Sam's leaping to a government committee, or their funding will be cut off and even if Sam keeps leaping, it'll be without Al's help. He's convinced their only chance is for Sam to create a change in history far bigger than the single lives he's helped, and at the time he's at now, the best chance is to stop the 1960 U2 Incident. Sam ultimately fails, but then corrects the leapee's love interest on a practice question for getting a law degree, and she realizes that one mistake would have affected so many answers that she would have failed the exam without his help. Suddenly, Al's hearing changes from the announcement that the project is being shut down, to the woman saying it'll be kept running.
  • At the end of "What Price, Gloria?" Sam wonders why he hasn't leaped. Al tells him that he wants to get revenge on Buddy for the sexual harassment he's been guilty of the entire episode. Sam pretends to seduce him, tells him that he's actually a man and punches him out.
  • In "Animal Frat," Sam has to stop Vietnam student protesters from blowing up a school building, which wasn't going to be as empty as they thought it would be. One is a particular Jerkass that harasses Sam over the war. When Sam lets it slip his brother Tom died in the war, the Jerkass says he deserved to for being over there. Keep that moment in mind for later on when Sam beats that little punk silly.
    • The scene where he thwarts the bombing is itself thrilling, with the normally peaceable Sam pinning the perpetrator to a table to guarantee that they'll all go down if the bomb goes off. But it's hard to fault him for taking this tack.
    "Are you ready to die tonight, Duck?"

    Season 3 
  • The Halloween Episode was mostly just Nightmare Fuel, but the climax is, when you think about it, pure awesome. Turns out that the "Al" we saw throughout the episode was actually the Devil, and he's decided that it's time to off The Hero, and sets to strangling Sam. Sam Beckett, however, decides that he's not going to have that, and chokes the devil into oblivion. Repeat, Sam strangles Satan.
  • In "Future Boy", Sam leaps into an actor who plays the co-star of a 1950s sci-fi TV show, and his mission is to prevent the star from dying or being committed to an asylum because of his belief in time travel. Near the end of the episode, the man straps himself into the machine and fires it up...and actually starts to leap, much to Al's shock. The only reason he failed is because he didn't have enough power.
  • In "Private Dancer", Sam letting his hair down and dancing with Debbie Allen's character. Considering how serious and focused he is most episodes, it was refreshing to see him have fun for a few minutes.

    Season 4 
  • In "The Leap Back" Al, having temporarily inherited a few of Sam's characteristics, manages to bust out Sam's classic spin kick.
  • In the episode "Raped", Sam leaps into a rape victim named Katie, who had previously fled town because she couldn't deal with the humiliation and fallout for failing to convince a jury that she had been raped by the town's football hero. Sam is anxious because he's... well, Sam, and he can't go on the stand to testify for the rape of someone else. So he hits on an idea - bring Katie, in the future, into the imaging chamber with Al, and (literally and symbolically) give her a voice, so Sam can repeat her testimony, word for word, to the jury, from two decades in the future. Despite the bizarre situation, Katie shows up with Al right on time, and the incredibly disturbing testimony she gives is a CMOA for a very brave Katie, and one of the biggest Tear Jerkers of the series. Al looks completely beside himself throughout, and understandably so.
    Sam: So things got a little out of control, huh?! So you [PUNCH] SLAPPED her! But that wasn't enough! So you had to [PUNCH] HIT her! And then you [PUNCH] HIT her again! [PUNCH] [PUNCH] You son of a [PUNCH] BITCH! [PUNCH] [PUNCH]
    • Sam's so utterly furious with this piece of human garbage that he lets out this primal growl while punching the guy. It is chilling to see do-gooder Nice Guy Sam Beckett that pissed off with someone.
    • And we get a Heartwarming Moment right afterwards, when the girl's family comes out and sees what happened. The father incredulously asks "You did all this?", to which Sam responds "Well, I am a McBain." note 

    Season 5 
  • "Lee Harvey Oswald" - leaping out of Oswald and into a Secret Service agent, thus saving the person he was meant to save - Jackie Kennedy.
  • In "Killin' Time," Sam leaps into Leon Styles, a serial murderer, who escapes from the Waiting Room (and the project as a whole). Eventually, he makes his way back to the project compound— and runs into Gushie, who's a rather timid, meek guy by nature. Styles demands that Gushie send him back to his own time, to which Gushie replies that it's not possible. Styles response is to point a gun at the base of Gushie's throat and tells him to send him back to his own time or he'll kill him. To which Gushie calmly replies, "Well, you're just gonna have to kill me then."
  • In "Revenge of the Evil Leaper," after Alia escapes, Zoe intends to kill Sam as a consolation prize. Sam responds with this threat by shooting her with a shotgun.
  • Sam getting up and walking to punch out an abusive orderly in the episode "Nowhere To Run," where he's leaped into a double amputee.
  • Sam beats the crap out of another rapist, while in the body of Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Utterly surreal to watch, but still great.
    • Do-gooder Sam is initially very skittish about offering sex advice to listeners. But then he stammers out a solution to a listener's question about breast implants, and Al later tells him that he wound up changing history and talking over four hundred women out of getting dangerous procedures.
    • While all that is going on, the real Dr. Ruth (As Herself, by the way) is in the waiting room, sorting out Al's terrible commitment issues. When Al finally has a breakthrough at the end, he leaves the room with a new lease on life, and Dr. Ruth leans against the table with a grin and just says "Next!"
  • "Memphis Melody" on a meta-level has Scott Bakula doing a great impression of Elvis Presley, singing a classic from Elvis' Sun Records days, "Baby Let's Play House." God bless Scott Bakula.
  • Sam sees what seemed to be just a crusty prospector help save his friends, then vanish in a blue light. Sam realizes that the old man was a Leaper, and the bartender (God) tells him that that's what guardian angels do.

  • The cast as a whole. Scott Bakula for being able to wear dresses with a straight face (the handful of times he leaped into women) and the remainder of the cast for being able to react to this 6-foot tall white guy as though he were a woman, a black man, even a chimpanzee, with nary an indication that they saw him as otherwise, not to mention act completely unaware of Al's presence, even as he snarks at them.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: