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Shocking Moments

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The standard reaction. note 
A moment within or regarding a work that shocks the audience with great Emotional Torque since they definitely didn't see it coming. These are the aspects of a work that crank the "Holy Shit!" Quotient so high that it practically is a division by zero.

Commonly caused by plot twists, naturally, including The Reveal, Wham Episodes (and their smaller-scale cousins, the Wham Lines and Wham Shots), Gut Punches, an adaptation deviating significantly from its source material, and/or a Twist Ending upstaging everything else the audience has been accustomed to until these points. It can also result from unexpected moments of awesome, which may result from Serial Escalation taking itself to its logical conclusion and beyond.

It can also be caused by an uninvited Jump Scare.

Often done by the creators to impress the audience or win it back. If a shocking moment is a single memorable scene, it could even become a work's Signature Scene.

It can overlap with an Ass Pull if done out of nowhere, but with subtle foreshadowing and logic, it doesn't have to. See also And the Fandom Rejoiced, a common reaction to a shocking reappearance or resurgence of a character or franchise. Compare Player Punch, a videogame equivalent.


However, No Real Life Examples, Please! In addition, as a Moments page involving moments that you don't see coming, all spoilers are unmarked. You Have Been Warned!

Works with their own subpages:

Anime and Manga

Fan Works

Live Action Films

Professional Wrestling

Video Games

Western Animation


Other examples:

    open/close all folders 

  • On January 22, 2020, a few days before Super Bowl LIV, peanut company Planters ran an ad where Wesley Snipes, Matt Walsh and Mr. Peanut take a road trip, only to end up in an accident that results in them dangling from a branch. In an unthinkable move, Mr. Peanut decides to sacrifice himself to save Matt and Wesley, leading to many fans of the product mourning the loss of the 104-year old mascot.

    Anime and Manga 
  • In the end of Volume 1 of Barefoot Gen, after growing to know and love the Nakaoka family, the Atom Bomb drops on their hometown of Hiroshima and Gen and his mom Kimie watch in horror as they are unable to save the rest of their family who are pinned down under the rubble of their burning house. After they are rescued Kimie gives birth to a baby girl and as Gen holds her up in the air he breaks down crying knowing his father and sibling will never know her.
  • The Eclipse in Berserk. The abridged series put it quite nicely when it said, "but it's like the only time in the history of anime that the demons win. Every other show ends with the Ancient Hero of Bullshit showing up at the last minute, wielding the legendary Sword of Deus ex Machina and slicing the hell out of us. Well not this time! This time, WE WIN! Griffith turns evil. Everyone gets raped or eaten or killed. Fuck you. THE END!"
  • Danganronpa 3 Future Arc:
    • A lot of watchers were completely distraught at the end of Episode 2, when Aoi Asahina, one of the survivors of the first game and having built up a sizeable fanbase beforehand, was out and out murdered. This was to the point a lot of watchers decided to quit, citing Too Bleak, Stopped Caring. Enough that in the next episode, it turns out that Aoi didn't die, she just got stabbed by a toy knife and the blood was made of tomato ketchup. As a result, the relief of her survival eclipsed what would've become the next Shocking Moment: the one who actually died was an Ensemble Dark Horse: Great Gozu.
    • Afterwards, the writers seems to kill off more fan favorite characters with as of Episode 5, Miaya being the robotic avatar of Monaca Towa, Tengan being murdered by Munakuta, and Seiko ended up becoming the third murder victim of the attacker.
  • In ''Giant Robo: The Animation'' after growing to love the Experts of Justice nearly all of them are killed by the end of the series. The absolute heartbreaker of the casualties is Ginrei whose death is absolutely one of the biggest Tearjerkers in the OVA.
  • In High School D×D, Issei loses Asia in Volume 6 when she gets teleported to the void, though Ise didn't know it at that time. He then ate Shalba with the use of his Juggernaut Drive and was howling in despair at the sky.
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Phantom Blood:
    • This is the point where the franchise begins embracing its own absurdity. Battle Tendency is a globe-trotting adventure in the spirit of Indiana Jones that involves cyborg Nazis, ancient Aztec vampires, and to top it all off the main villain tops Dio by becoming the Ultimate Lifeform.
    • Stardust Crusaders:
      • During Jotaro and DIO's fight, it escalates into near-DBZ tier when both of them start flying, but what tops the "Holy Shit" cake is when DIO drops a motherfucking STEAMROLLER onto Jotaro.
      • In Episode 47 of the anime, the intro changes to have DIO and The World interrupt near the end, stop time, and then going into a punching duel with Star Platinum, complete with their signature Kiai.
    • Diamond is Unbreakable:
      • Right after Rohan's introduction we're introduced to Reimi Sugimoto who is the ghost of a teenage girl killed by a serial killer 16 years prior to the story. While the beginning made Diamond is Unbreakable out to be another Stand of the Week-style narrative, here it becomes apparent that the part is an all-out game of cat and mouse between the protagonists and the enigmatic Yoshikage Kira.
      • The opening of Episode 36 of Diamond is Unbreakable has Kira using Bites the Dust to rewind the opening!
    • Even more apparent in Vento Aureo than others. Almost every Stand in this part takes about two pages to explain how it works, and are ridiculously overpowered. In the case of Epitaph we're not even given explanation of how it works other than.. it just does. Gets even crazier in the final battle where Polnareff awakening to Silver Chariot Requiem causes the protagonists to switch bodies and the world around them to crumble, and Giorno awakens to a Requiem Stand and by that point... good luck understanding the story.
    • Stone Ocean:
      • The entire sequence where Heavy Weather transforms people into Snails.
      • The ending where most of the protagonists are killed off, immediately before the entire universe resets.
    • In Stell Ball Run , during the fight against Civil War, none other than Jesus Christ himself shows up to give Johnny some pointers.
    • JoJolion:
      • Still manages to pull this off even though this part is more drama-focused than previous ones. Really kicks in when it's revealed that Josuke is a fusion of Josefumi and Kira.
      • After Chapter 93 and 94 seems to build up for Yasuho to get Killed Off for Real before ending with a two-month hiatus, Chapter 95 reveals that it's not Yasuho who gets killed off. It's Norisuke.
      • And then chapter 96 reveals that Norisuke is Not Quite Dead, only for chapter 97 to have the Head Doctor seemingly kill Jobin.
      • Chapter 99 brings out a revelation no one would have expected with the appearance of the Stone Mask AND the Stand Arrows, alongside Lucy Steel mentioning the Devil Palms and the Ground of Morioh, implying all hold similar power considering they are all related to stone or earth in some way.
  • Koihime†Musou has a cross-media version. It is a more lighthearted rendition from the original Visual Novel although it hints that these are events that occur before the outbreak of war following the fall of the Han Dynasty. Plenty of lines in the show can trigger a Player Punch in the people who played the games since they know what is coming. Kayuu keeps saying that she will live a long life? spoiler: Nope! She dies in every scenario. Shuyuu and Sonsaku's loving relationship? The latter will be murdered and the former will go mad, starting a civil war that almost undoes all that they have accomplished as lord and vassal.
  • Neon Genesis Evangelion:
    • Rei Ayanami's death. Made all the more horrible by the fact that she finally realized she cared about someone about three seconds before it happened.
    • The scene where Shinji is forced to kill Kaworu.
  • During the virtual reality filler arc in Yu-Gi-Oh!, the heroes are fighting their way through a horde of Duel Monsters when the Fairy Companion throws herself into the path of an oncoming attack on Yugi. He can only hold her and watch as she smiles weakly and dies, driving him to tears and a frustrated cry of "I've had enough!" before Yami steps in and starts getting dangerous.
  • Pokémon the Series: Diamond and Pearl has Dawn failing to even pass the first round of her Pokémon Contest appeals, twice in a row, and her getting very depressed over it. Similar to the Love Live! Sunshine!! example, this averted Plot Armor hard, even more so since her predecessor May had never lost the first round at any point.
  • Robotech had a massive one for the cartoon-watching youths of the '80s when Roy Fokker died of his wounds incurred in the episode "Goodbye, Big Brother" note . This was quite simply the first time in possibly two decades that an onscreen death of a living creature had been shown in televised animation aimed at children in the United States (remember this was in 1985, when Never Say "Die" was still in full effect)

    Comic Books 
  • Carnage Unleashed! opened with Carnage using his symbiote to murder someone through the Internet, and it just got more insane from there, culminating in everything exploding.
  • The Transformers: Issue 50 and issue 75, both of which involve absolutely massive battles, in which numerous cast members die. The latter more so, given that Primus himself dies. That's the equivalent of a biblical story ending with God getting shot in the face.
  • Young Justice (2019): Issue 5 shows that Tim had his memories of the pre-Flashpoint timeline restored, which raises several questions about the universe as it stands now.

    Fan Works 
  • All Assorted Animorphs AUs:
    • The final line of "What if Tom was infested by a member of the Yeerk Peace Movement?" — "This is Jake Berenson, on behalf of the human species, asking you all to go join the Sharing." — threw many commenters for a loop because it's something you'd never expect an Animorph to say of their own volition.
    • "What if Tom's yeerk got the morphing cube from David first?" is tense throughout, but the moment where Jake accidentally gives Tom the morphing power is when it really ramps up.
  • Eleutherophobia: The ending of Ghost in the Shell chapter 16, where the news reports that Jake has been shot dead, caught many readers by surprise.
  • Infinity Train: Blossomverse
    • Infinity Train: Blossoming Trail
      • Many readers were shocked over Trip confessing his love for Ash and then even more so when Trip kisses Ash on the lips in the following chapter with Ash reciprocating the feelings and deciding he wants to "get together" with Trip.
      • While Chapter 13 reveals Gladion and Mallow were previous passengers, to foreshadow what they went into in the prequel, Chapter 14's Wham Line reveals that Alain was a passenger and he once entered Silent Hill.
      • Chapter 16 ramps it up by revealing a third Pokémon Trainer, Paul, stuck in there after letting an Apex kid drown in the lake. And that he, Hop and later Chloe are part of some ritual to enact vengeance on The Apex.
      • After being hyped up since Chapter 12, the Unown are unleashed. However, it's not by Goh, but it's by Parker. And he uses them to hurt not just the bullies, but Ash and his friends as well.
      • And in that very same chapter, some more answer has been answered: Alain is also imprisoned in Silent Hill. And he's the component for Dreams.
      • Chapter 34 has Chloe and Tuba dead — Chloe is resurrected — and then Simon bites the dust by the Apex member he dismissed.
    • Infinity Train: Knight of the Orange Lily: The Intermission for Act 1 ends with White Gestalt in Silent Hill. Those who remember what happened in Blossoming Trail have reacted accordingly.
    • Infinity Train: Court of Cyclamen: Hunter J is alive in this fanfic and she's running the orphanage Bede is from alongside Ms. Turner from Blossoming Trail.
    • Infinity Train: Seeker of Crocus: The end of "The Skill Crane Car" has the death of Ogami, the Big Bad of Infinity Train: Voyage of Wisteria. And unlike the previous time he dies, this death also includes the death of his soul, meaning that there's no way he can come back.
    • Infinity Train: Voyage of Wisteria
      • The end of the Clay Car reveals that Mad Ben is in the Infinity Train. Comments from readers state that things will get ugly fast.
      • The end of the Comm-Switch Car does this with Warbler by revealing that her voice is that of Grace Monroe, revealing that Warbler is Grace reincarnated.
      • The Hazbin Car reveals what happened to Grace: she was stabbed in the stomach by Ogami while pleading for her life and how she wanted to be noticed.

    Films — Animation 
  • Frozen: Hans being the villain, which comes with no previous indication (and was even stated to be a bit of a cheat in repeat views).
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2:
    • Right on the heels of a happy reunion, on screen, and by the (forced) attack of his own son's dragon, Stoick is killed.
    • Toothless's 11th-Hour Superpower. Enough force to stagger a Kaiju, and earn the role as the Alpha dragon.
  • Phineas and Ferb the Movie: Across the 2nd Dimension: Phineas and Ferb discovering Perry is a secret agent.
  • Teen Titans Go! To the Movies: Seeing the 2003 Teen Titans attempt to make a comeback into the spotlight during The Stinger caused an explosive reaction of shock and joy from that show's fans.
  • Much like the Robotech example in Anime above, A generation of youngsters were shocked by the death of Optimus Prime in The Transformers: The Movie. It's hard to explain to younger animation viewers today just how shocking this was. At that time, killing off characters in animation aimed at children just wasn't done. This was a complete subversion of a contracturally-mandadted Like You Would Really Do It. And it threw a generation of 6-year-old boys through the loop.
    • And then, they almost did it again in G.I. Joe: The Movie, with the serious wounding of Duke, including actual blood (another thing that was heavily banned in kids' animation of the time). In fact, they would have killed Duke off, except that the strong reaction to Prime's death caused Hasbro suits to get cold feet at the very last second, forcing a voice-over line in the last scene establishing that Duke was merely in a coma.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Citizen Kane: The meaning of Charles Foster Kane's last words, "Rosebud." Although near the very end it is deemed by one character an enigma, a final Wham Shot reveals It Was His Sled.
  • Inglourious Basterds premise is a World War II commando team doing horrible things to Nazis and being presented with the opportunity to kill Adolf Hitler. Naturally, the audience expects them to fail but at least it'll be entertaining to watch them try, leading to a gloriously cathartic moment on seeing Hitler's bullet-riddled corpse being shot again and again. Only a few of the Basterds make it out alive, but it was worth it.
  • No Time to Die:
  • Once Upon a Time in Hollywood spends a lot of its buildup presenting Sharon Tate as Too Good for This Sinful Earth and the Charles Manson family as evil creeps. You'd think that this would end up with Tate being killed off as a Foregone Conclusion, as the real Sharon was. Then at the last second, the murderers sent to kill Sharon choose to go after Rick Dalton instead, and get their asses handed to them in increasingly Bloody Hilarious ways.
  • Run
    • Diane looking for Household Neurotoxins on Google, implying that she is not as well-intentioned as she seems.
    • Chloe learning that her mother was feeding her a dog medicine.
    • Chloe force feeding Ridocaine to her bed ridden kidnapper at the end of the film
  • Scream:
    • Casey getting gutted in the first 5 minutes of the film, with her corpse left hanging on a tree.
    • Tatum getting crushed by the garage door mechanism
    • In the sequel, Randy getting pulled into a van and getting stabbed to death
  • The Sixth Sense:
  • Us:
    • Adelaide's encounter with her "reflection", especially as said reflection doesn't turn around when she does.
    • The Tyler family being ambushed and killed by their Tethered counterparts.
    • Adelaide strangling Red is incredibly brutal, especially because it felt out of character (she did at least try to comfort Umbrae and Pluto before they died).
    • The reveal that the Adelaide we were following throughout the movie is a tethered, who swapped positions with Red after kidnapping and restraining her.
  • Terminator: Dark Fate: A T-800 shows up from out of nowhere and guns down child John Connor. Within the first ten minutes of the film.

  • In the final Harry Potter book, Deathly Hallows, Dobby's Heroic Sacrifice/ Taking the Bullet kicked many readers right in the stomach due to how unexpected it was. Hell, many, if not all, of the deaths were metaphorical punches or kicks.
    • Here Lies Dobby, A Free Elf
  • In Mockingjay, Prim's death most likely qualifies as the saddest moment in the series.
  • For readers who came to The Riftwar Cycle by Raymond E. Feist via Betrayal at Krondor, Locklear's senseless death can be this after spending so much time with the character in the video game.

    Live-Action TV 
  • A Christmas Carol (2019): The opening scene where Marley's grave is peed on. That alone should let you know just how dark this adaptation is. And that's not getting into Scrooge's sister wielding a gun against Scrooge's headmaster.
  • Crisis on Infinite Earths (2019) has the death of Oliver Queen, founding hero of the Arrowverse. Then he kinda-sorta comes back as the Spectre. And then he sacrifices himself again. Unlike so many others who fell prey to Death Is Cheap, he is absolutely, truly, and definitively Killed Off for Real.
  • Doctor Who:
    • "The Name of the Doctor": John Hurt unexpectedly appears in a place he shouldn't be, and then turns to face the camera as an on-screen credit informs us who he's playing: a previously unknown incarnation of the Doctor.
    • "Spyfall": The first part became legendary within a day of its premiere for its jaw-dropping cliffhanger featuring the utterly unexpected return of The Master. The second part followed suit by revealing the Master had destroyed Gallifrey due to an Awful Truth involving the "Timeless Child".
    • "Fugitive of the Judoon": Fan-favourite character Captain Jack Harkness unexpectedly returned over a decade after his last appearance on the show. And this was only the second-biggest surprise of the episode, the biggest being the jaw-dropping reveal of the fugitive's true identity (which shall not be listed here due to its spoiler-tastic nature).
  • In GARO: The One Who Shines in the Darkness, once the completely human Big Bad gives the command to murder his entire family, including young children, it feels like this.
  • Game of Thrones is infamous for doing this sort of thing (as is its source material, A Song of Ice and Fire). The most infamous example is probably the Red Wedding, in which Robb Stark, his pregnant wife Talisa, and his mother Catelyn were betrayed and murdered in cold blood, although killing off its Decoy Protagonist got the show quite a bit of attention too.
  • The Good Place has the reveal that the paradise our protagonists are living in is actually The Bad Place, completely flipping the show on its head in the process.
  • In the Direct to Video movie Kamen Rider W Returns: Kamen Rider Eternal, the main villain is a scientist who kidnapped multiple people and imprisoned them inside his special prison camp, called 'The Village', in order to create telekinetic super soldiers. Katsumi, the main character, spends the entire movie trying to free those prisoners, only for them to die after leaving the prison camp, due to having implants in their heads. After the villain starts to gloat about this, you just know it's time for ass kicking.
  • Kamen Rider Zero-One reveals a new, evil Kamen Rider that's horribly strong and wipes the floor with every other Rider present. No-one is sure who it is, until the transformation drops, revealing the person under the armour. That person's name? Aruto Hiden. The poor guy has gone totally off the deep end after Horobi murdered Is, and all it took was a little push to send the primary heroic Rider to the dark side.
  • Orphan Black gets into the action with the episode "The Scandal of Altruism", a major case of The Bad Guy Wins and Downer Ending. Kendall Malone, from whom both the Leda and Castor clones were cloned (due to Bizarre Human Biology), is shot and immolated, apparently destroying all traces of her genetic material. This leaves the clones, several of whom possess severe genetic illnesses, with a major recourse to unlocking the cause of these illnesses now closed to them. Additionally, Cosima's research on her illness and genetic code is seemingly destroyed, rendering her last several months' worth of work futile. As icing on the cake, we are told that Delphine is dead and learn that Beth Childs was blackmailed into committing suicide, as she was threatened that if she did not do so, the other clones would be killed. Of course, the faction responsible for this turns out to be the same faction responsible for Kendall's murder and the destruction of Cosima's research. The show has had Wham Episodes before, but nothing approaching how devastating this episode was. It's almost a Game of Thrones-level gut punch.
  • Psych: Henry getting shot by a corrupt colleague in the Season 6 finale. We don't even find out if he survives till the Season 7 premier, which aired 10 months later
  • Sesame Street:
    • One episode starts with Maria, Luis, Gabi, and Big Bird innocently playing charades but then Maria suddenly cries out in pain! It turns out she has a stomach virus.
    • One episode begins with Gabi and Luis goofing around together, but Luis suddenly cries out in pain and grabs his back. It turns out he's thrown his back out.
    • One episode starts with Maria, Luis, and Elmo celebrating Gabi's eighth birthday, but when Maria kisses Gabi on the forehead, she suddenly looks concerned and notes Gabi is warm. It turns out that she has the flu.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • In "Crossfire", Odo's been jealous because he has a crush on Kira, who has a boyfriend. Then, he throws things in his quarters around without warning, despite usually being an exaggerated Neat Freak.
    • In "Hard Time", O'Brien is having trouble after thinking he's been in prison for twenty years when it's really only been a few days. Then, there's a scene where he tries to commit suicide.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): A series this bizarre, disturbing, and chock-full of Twist Endings naturally had a ton of shocking moments.
  • The West Wing: After a relatively lackluster fifth season, the series ramped up the shock factor; among the moments that grabbed viewers' attention:
    • Leo's heart attack in "The Birnam Wood."
    • President Bartlet experiencing total paralysis in "In the Room."
    • The fight between Toby and Josh in "Drought Conditions."

    Professional Wrestling 
  • All Elite Wrestling:
    • At the Double or Nothing rally AEW held on January 8, 2019, the company showed the biggest indicator yet that they could potentially compete with WWE on near-even footing, with the shocking arrival of a surprise signing- Chris Jericho!
    • With Chris Jericho vs. Kenny Omega as the first main event of AEW, most fans were probably expecting Jericho to be the face and Omega the heel. Nope, it was the other way around.
    • And then at Double or Nothing itself, they somehow managed to top themselves with the surprise appearance of JON FUCKING MOXLEY!note 
    • A smaller but still amazing return is AWESOME KONG returning to the ring after a three-year absence.
    • AEW also stunned the Double or Nothing crowd and fans watching at home with the cameo of Bret Hart, who introduced the AEW World Championship belt.
    • Fyter Fest saw the return of Shawn Spears (the former Tye Dillinger), immediately introducing himself to AEW with a high-five. And by that we mean with a chair. To the back of Cody's head. This revived the debate about unprotected chair shots in wrestling (not helped by Cody being busted open hardway due to a botch with how the chair was gimmicked), but it can't be said that it didn't cause a reaction. Even the AEW crowd, who were probably primed to see something very not-WWE, had no idea what to make of it.

    Video Games 
  • Animal Restaurant: With the other troublesome customers (the thief and the skunk), you only need to tap on them until they go away, and the game in general is non-violent. So it can be quite shocking the first time you tap Mr. Roach to get rid of him and he ends up splatted.
  • Cytus II had one of its most shocking plot twists upon levelling Crystal PuNK to 25: Cherry had been wounded in a drone attack and is recovering in the Kyuu Hou Kai's intensive care unit. However, a second attack causes the power to fail, and her life support system shuts off, leading to her dying in front of her ex-boyfriend Xenon.
  • Dota 2: Icefrog is known for his bold approach to game balance: not afraid to make players cry They Changed It, Now It Sucks!, patches often massively shake up the foundation of the game, often leaving the player base in shock (whether it be positive or negative) as they read through the patch notes. But some patches have a bigger effect than others, leaving players feeling like they're looking at a whole new game:
    • Patch 7.00 blew away the playerbase with its massive changes. The UI was completely revamped, and the Talent system had huge repercussions on every single hero in the game. That's on top of many alterations to the map and the addition of the Monkey King as a new hero (the first to not be a port of a Defense of the Ancients hero).
    • Patch 7.23 elicited a similar reaction. The two new heroes, Void Spirit and Snapfire, weren't too shocking since they'd been announced months ago, but no one was prepared for the addition of 62 new and extremely powerful items which are dropped by neutral creeps. On top of that, the courier system also got completely changed, with each player having their own courier who levels up with them, gaining new abilities (such as being able to use items), the Level Cap got increased to 30 (granting heroes all of their talents at the same time at max level), new map objectives were added in the form of Outposts, and many heroes got their skills reworked.
  • Dragon Age: Inquisition: The Reveal that Solas, one of your companions throughout the whole game, is Fen'Harel, the infamous Trickster God of elven myth, is the one who created the Veil that separated the real world from the Fade, is the who gave Corypheus his orb and thus is responsible for the game's events, and has new plans to make sure The Magic Comes Back at the cost of causing The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War: So you managed to kill Duke Reptor of Friege, and Arvis has invited you to Belhalla- Wait, why did he and his army turn from green units to red units? Oh no...
  • Fire Emblem: Three Houses: The Reveal that the Flame Emperor, Part 1's Arc Villain, is in fact Edelgard, one of the game's three protagonists. Especially on the Blue Lions route, where it's done in a full animated cutscene, and also features Dimitri's memorably terrifying reaction.
  • God of War (PS4) is, at first glance, a Soft Reboot of the franchise: a new setting, a new Kratos wielding a new weapon, and a new storyline seemly disconnected from Kratos's misadventures in Greece. But then when Kratos's son Atreus falls deathly ill, and Kratos learns that the only cure is in a place his Leviathan Axe will be useless, Kratos returns home to retrieve something he had buried and hoped to forget about. The symbol of his dark past, of his slavery to the wicked War God Ares: his signature Blades of Chaos.
  • I=MGCM: At Chapter 4 Episode 5 in the main story "The End of The Daily Life", there’s an infamous Gut Punch/Wham Episode where Kaori, one of playable magical girl heroines, dies in an agonizing way after being ambushed by a demon, and then followed by a subsequent corruption into a demon in a horrifying CG-sequence of Transformation Horror and terrified reactions from the heroines, including the male player protagonist Tobio/Omnis. The next chapters (until Chapter 6-5) are also traumatizing. Even after the first "Groundhog Day" Loop, a number of heroines are still dying in the battle in a gruesome manner, and the last one is the worst: They merely die onscreen with opened eyes and pink blood bleeding out from their dead bodies, and Tobio screams in horror and suffers a Heroic BSoD. These scenes terrify many players since the story gets suddenly dark and clashes with the vivid colorful themes and cute artstyle, even the ones who have watched Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica and Steins;Gate are scared too.
  • Super Mario Maker 2: After the first game introducing Mystery Mushrooms and them being removed in the second, fans thought there was no way they could top that. Following the update 2.0 announcement, and not only does an alternate costume appear in the form of Link, he also is his own playable character with his own playstyle using his sword, bombs, and arrows.
  • Vanilla Level Design Contest 9 has a secret 7th submap, something that before this hack's release in 2016 was thought to be completely impossible for a ROM Hack of Super Mario World to have.
  • Super Mario Odyssey
    • A T-Rex being in the game, that was already well-advertising long before the game was out. It's pretty powerful... and sleeping in the Cascade Kingdom. You are not expecting one to suddenly roar at you and charge while wandering the dark forest far below the Wooded Kingdom; even with the in-game description warning about "giant creatures." And you definitely aren't expecting one to to wear goggles while it chases you through New Donk City.
    • One regarding an out-of-place character design: after you take off from the Luncheon Kingdom, Bowser appears riding atop an enormous, realistically detailed dragon that looks like it belongs in a serious fantasy game, not the goofy, cartoony world of Mario.
    • The Broodals try one last resort to keep Mario from interfering with the wedding. A giant robot as big as their ship, working nothing like their usual boss fights.
    • The final part of the game where you capture Bowser and use his sheer might to escape the moon's crumbling interior, especially the last area where "Break Free (Lead the Way)" plays.
  • Super Smash Bros.: In general, the reveal of any unexpected character, especially a third-party one, will elicit this reaction from fans.
    • Super Smash Bros. Brawl:
      • The reveal of Snake in the first trailer completely shook the series, which had up to this point been specifically about Nintendo characters. Having a third party character from a series very tonally different from usual Smash Bros. fare meant that nobody would know what to expect from the series from here on out.
      • Likewise, the announcement that Sonic would be in the game brought the hype to unprecedented levels; while Mario & Sonic at the Olympic Games came first, the fact that players would finally be able to have an Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny with Mario and other Nintendo icons drew more attention to Brawl.
      • The Reveal that the Ancient Minister is a R.O.B. the entire time.
      • The explosive clash between the Halberd, the fighters, and Ganondorf and Bowser's gunship.
    • Super Smash Bros. Ultimate:
      • The line "EVERYONE IS HERE!" from one of the first trailers was surprising since it confirmed that all fighters from previous games would be in this game, including characters nobody thought had a chance of returning - most reaction trailers show the hype ratcheting up from the moment the Ice Climbers, who were absent from the previous game, show up (and that's before the tagline appears on screen). The trailer specifically shows Pichu and Young Linknote , Moveset Clones who were thought to have been cut for being redundant, and Snake, whose absence from the fourth game was thought to be because of licensing issues.
      • The opening of the "World of Light" story mode features a doozy: every character in the base roster gathers to take on the new Big Bad, Galeem...who proceeds to wipe them all out in one fell swoop, save for Kirby.
      • Lampshaded in both the trailers for King K. Rool (with Dedede) and Banjo-Kazooie (with Duck Hunt). It's treated as a massive reveal for both... and then their first "introduction" is revealed to be another character in disguise, right before they show up for real.
      • A new mechanic called Special/Finish Zoom is introduced to facilitate shocking blows in a match when there are only two fighters on screen. When a certain move (like Captain Falcon's Falcon Punch) or an attack strong enough to likely KO an opponent connects, time slows down and the camera zooms in on the impact.
  • Undertale:
  • Watch Dogs: Legion's advertised ability for the player to play as every character in the game awed many a gamer.

    Visual Novels 

  • Captain SNES: The Game Masta: In a flashback to the 8-bit days, Mother Brain has taken almost all of Captain N's power, called Omega Energy, and used it to make a pit which can defy the inherent innocence of Videoland and kill someone permanently. She initially planned to drop Lana into it, but Captain N uses the last of his power to pause time and save her. He explains that his power can't be taken so simply, as it comes from his friendship with the other characters, including his best friend Duke (a dog)...
    Mother Brain: Omega energy is greater than your idiotic friendships! And I'll prove it!
    Captain N: Um, we already won, Mother Brain.
    Lana: Yeah, I think it's already been-
    [Mother Brain knocks Duke into the pit]

    Web Original 
  • In Life in a Game, it's bad enough that the various Jackals have been harassing and attacking Guy since he came to the Game, but when one of them murders Subplott, that's when he finally loses it.

    Web Video 
  • Dad: The entirety of "Dad Elucidated - Act II Finale" is a rapid-fire series of twists and reveals. From Andan officially "waking up", to Cheryl revealing her true relationship with the Neighbor, to even Ella and Emily being officially introduced after a lot of teasing and hinting. Everyone expected a big season finale, but nobody expected this, and the live-premier's chat was going wild.
  • Soap's elimination on Inanimate Insanity. Fans voted her off due to her jerkish behavior the previous episode or two, however in her final episode, she received some much-needed development and hints of a Heel–Face Turn, making her sendoff (and likely a few fans who voted for her) rather sad.
  • In Kickassia, when The Nostalgia Critic kills Santa Christ. Santa Christ, he who reads to sick orphans, fights monsters for fun, will mend your curtains for free, and makes really good fondue. And even though the Clap Your Hands If You Believe sequence is played for laughs, Critic's broken look as he realizes what he just did will stay with you for a while.
    • Suburban Knights does it again with the death of Ma-Ti. He was little more than a living Running Gag, appearing throughout multiple videos to shout "Heart!", got his butt kicked by everyone in the Brawl, and his first appearance established that he wasn't even the real Ma-Ti. But SK portrays him as The Woobie who just wants to be involved with the rest of the group, but is treated like dirt. His Heroic Sacrifice is genuinely tragic, and the Critic is crushed.
    • And then in To Boldly Flee Ma-Ti has become bitter and jaded, manipulating events so that the Critic will escape the Plot Hole and leave his friends. When he wakes up in his house, he finds out that he's just a character and meets up with Doug Walker, his creator. This is when things get bad.
  • The Shock Series (naturally). Filled with action that cranks Up to Eleven in the sudden, shocking bouts of Super Speed.

    Western Animation 
  • Adventure Time: Princess Bubblegum and Marceline kissing in the Grand Finale. On the lips. Onscreen and uncut. In spite of what Olivia Olson said in 2014.
  • Bojack Horseman:
    • Herb refusing to accept Bojack's apology in The Telescope. That was when people realized the show wouldn't be yet another adult animated sitcom where conflicts were resolved in 22 minutes.
    • Sarah Lynn dying of a drug overdose. Made even worse when it is revealed that Bojack waited 17 minutes before calling the hospital, meaning that Sarah could have very well been saved.
    • Eddie attempting a murder-suicide by lifting Bojack into the air and flying straight towards an airplane engine.
    • Bojack nearly killing Gina while in a drug induced rage. Even the normally clueless and cheerful Mr. Peanutbutter is perturbed.
  • Family Guy has Brian getting run over by a car and later succumbing to his wounds. Dampened by the fact that he is saved a few episodes later.
  • For those unfamiliar with the original source material, Omni-Man's brutal murder of the Guardian's of the Globe at the end the first episode of Invincible (2021), partially since the show did not skimp on the Gorn. Especially as the rest of episode leading to this point made Mark's story about being a typical Origins Episode.
  • Final Space:
    • Avocatos death in the sixth episode of Season 1, especially as he just reunited with his son
    • Earth (and Quinn) getting sucked into a black hole in the Season 1 Finale
  • Kitbull: Some animated features and works for children do touch on animal abuse, but they usually only depict neglect onscreen, with violence being only implied or strictly off-screen. So the moment when we see the Gentle Giant pit bull being shoved outside by his owners, limp and covered in visibly bloody injuries, is one hell of a Gut Punch.
  • The Loud House: The end of "Family Bonding"! Basically, Lincoln thinks his neighbours are spies but initially you don't think much of it, since he's prone to making wild assumptions, especially if they involve sci-fi type stuff. Yet, in this episode, it turns out to be true.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
    • "The Best Night Ever": The main characters expect to have the best night ever at a party, but it turns out to be the worst night ever. Fluttershy's bad luck comes from the animals not wanting to be her friend. This doesn't make her cry like you might expect, but makes her really angry to the point where her voice sounds gravelly and she shouts, "COME OUT!" (without so much as a 'please') and "YOU'RE GOING TO LOVE ME!".
    • "The Last Roundup": The very first line of the first airing of the episode: "Now careful, Derpy!", followed by a certain gray pegasus wrecking the town hall's roof. Having a Memetic Bystander be addressed by her Fan Nickname on the show caused the fandom to collectively lose its mind, to the point that it (and controversy over the name being censored from later airings) overshadowed everything else about the episode.
    • "Twilight's Kingdom": The Golden Oak Library is destroyed, and a supercharged Dragon Ball Z-esque fight ensues.
  • Rick and Morty:
    • Rick and Morty abandoning their original dimension and hijacking another one after inadvertently turning all the people into Cronenberg monsters.
    • Morty killing Fart after all the effort and destruction he went through to get him to safety.
    • Tammy revealing herself to be a Galactic Federation Agent and gunning down Birdperson on their wedding day
    • The reveal that Rick cloned Beth and sent one or the other to space.
    • Rickternal Friendshine of the Rickless Mort reveals that Rick's original Beth died, meaning that the "fabricated backstory" from the Season 3 premier actually happened.
    • The reveal that Birdperson and Tammy had a child together. Rick knew about this beforehand, but Birdperson did not, and now the child is in prison for being the daughter of a Galactic terrorist.
  • The Simpsons: Bart attempting suicide in The Boys of Bummer, after being harassed by the people of Springfield for failing to catch a ball.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars: The Mortis arc's high points of this include the first time Qui-Gon Jinn appears (played by Liam Neeson, no less!) in The Clone Wars, Ahsoka being corrupted to the Dark Side and fighting Anakin and Obi-Wan, and the sequence where the Son shows Anakin what he is destined to become. There are bonus points for the subtle notes of the Imperial March as a dark cloud in the shape of Darth Vader appears.


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