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Moral Event Horizon / Live-Action TV

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  • Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has a few:
    • An In-Universe example in "Girl in the Flower Dress": Skye decides Miles crossed the MEH by selling Chan Ho Yin out to Centipede for a million dollars. This on top of hacking S.H.I.E.L.D. against her orders. Chan Ho Yin may be a tool, but this revelation made Miles come across as a bigger tool and perhaps irreparably lowered Skye's opinion of Miles.
    • Edison Po when he insists on torturing Coulson's memories of his death out of him. Even Raina wasn't pleased that he would resort to potentially deadly torture.
    • Ian Quinn, either when he manipulates Seth and Donnie (resulting directly in Seth dying and Donnie becoming the anti-heroic Blizzard) or when he shoots Skye and then later gloats about it to Coulson (and even before that, we can see he has an extremely callous attitude toward Mike Peterson, viewing him as little more than a weapon).
    • Lorelei forces a husband to murder his own wife simply because she can and then later rapes Ward whilst he's under her control. However, she makes it clear she crossed it many centuries ago when she gloats to Sif about making her lover a "pet" and using him as a Sex Slave. She even forced to Sif to kill him in the end. It's made clear she's done all this and more countless times over her very long life.
    • Garrett is clearly over the MEH by the time he's revealed to be the Clairvoyant. Even his most visible crossing point, provoking Ward into shooting an actor he set up to pose as the Clairvoyant, happens before he's implied to have been the Clairvoyant all along. However, it is unknown when he definitively crossed the MEH, but it would appear he crossed it at least fifteen years before the series began, when he targeted Ward and made him think that he was going to protect him (Ward had burned down the house with his abusive brother inside and his parents wanted him tried as an adult), before dumping him in the woods for six months with very little except the clothes on his back and a dog called Buddy. He later ordered Ward to kill the dog because caring about anything is a weakness. And if even all that wasn't bad enough for you, his ultimate crossing point comes when he orders Ward to kill Fitz and Simmons.
    • It is unknown when Daniel Whitehall crosses it, but there are a few indicators that he's perhaps the vilest villain the MCU has ever seen:
      • His In-Universe crossing point is human experimentation with the Obelisk. When he's in her custody, Agent Carter makes it clear that that's a huge part of the reason why she's having him locked up for life, unlike other HYDRA scientists.
      • After his release, he vivisects a youthful-looking woman just to steal her youth from her and de-age himself. That woman, by the way, happens to be Skye's mother.
      • Even before the vivisection was revealed, he crossed it by brainwashing Kara Palamas, an act that led directly to her being stuck with May's face for much of the series, her loss of identity, and, ultimately, her death by friendly fire.
    • Agent Calderon, the Token Evil Teammate for "Real S.H.I.E.L.D.", crosses it in "One Door Closes" by going over Bobbi's head and trying to kill Skye rather than take her alive as Bobbi had insisted.
    • Towards the end of the second season, we start to see just how nasty Jiaying has become since Whitehall vivisected her. If killing Gonzales and attacking her own city with a stolen S.H.I.E.L.D. Quinjet to manipulate her people into starting a war wasn't enough, murdering Raina and executing helpless prisoners in cold blood, plus planning to effectively doing this to anybody who stands in her way (even if it's her own daughter), confirms without a doubt how far beyond redemption she is.
    • Any hope that Ward could be redeemed at some point in the series was crushed in "S.O.S." when not only does he brutally torture Bobbi Morse and plans on killing her, but then he changes that plan to instead setting a trap so that the person who comes to rescue her (most likely Hunter) will get shot to death instead, and Bobbi will have to helplessly watch it happen.
      • If that didn't do it, Ward either shooting and killing Rosalind Price to bait Coulson or personally torturing Simmons out of anger and desperation might have.
    • Even Simmons crosses it, believe it or not, when she attempts to frag Ward with a cheap shot and in doing so ends up disintegrating Bakshi; she even admits that she'd try to kill Ward again given the opportunity. Not only does Ward criticize it as something the Simmons he knew never would've even thought of doing, it marks a major change in her character foreshadowed by several dark moments involving her (up to and including death threats and even advocating genocide) earlier in the second season as she abandons the "totally nonviolent" characterization that had defined her up to that point.
    • Gideon Malick subjecting his own HYDRA men to the Terrigen fish oil pills without them knowing so either those who were Inhuman would have powers or those who didn't would die, at least in-series. But as awful as that is, nearly having the nuclear missile destroy New York in The Avengers while on the World Council puts his crossing long before he was even on the show.
  • Alias: Arvin Sloane was a permanent resident of the Heel–Face Revolving Door for four and a half seasons...until he murdered his own daughter, Nadia because she got in the way of his obsession with unlocking Milo Rambaldi's secrets. The show itself treats this act as the crossing of the moral Rubicon, and afterward, Sloane is never treated as anything other than the Big Bad again.
    • While the characters on the show would treat Nadia's death as Sloane crossing, the audience is fully aware, unlike them, that Nadia's death is not murder, but an unintentional accident that their unawareness of makes all the more tragic. It's not when he attacks Sydney later on either because he believes she is Anna disguised as Sydney and that she killed Sydney. Thus, he believes in that instance that he's seeking revenge for her death. If he does cross, it's at one of four points: ordering that Marshall and Rachel be killed when he no longer needs them (which could be more to prove a point), bombing APO (resulting in Thomas Grace's death), shooting under Sydney's feet so she's buried in the snow (which he likely didn't believe would kill her) or likely above all, when he shoots Jack in order to retrieve the Horizon from Sydney.
  • All in the Family: David Dukes guest stars as a young man who, while posing as a police detective, wins Edith's trust as he comes into the house and describes a rapist that is terrorizing the neighborhood ... and it turns out that person is none other than himself! The live audience can be heard groaning as he crosses the MEH.
    • In a later interview, Dukes said it was hard to get the tone right for a comedy show. He wanted people to understand how things can turn very quickly and it wasn't going to be a funny experience.
  • Arrested Development: The matriarch Lucille has gone back and forth on how much she really cares for her family. It was Michael's job to try and keep the family together and the company afloat, and a lot of it was done for his parents' approval. In the final episode, when Michael learned his son George Michael was missing he was prepared to leave an elitist party to go looking for him, and Lucille scolds him for considering it, saying it would be rude to the guests. Michael, realizing what kind of person she really is, said "I've made a huge mistake." and left the party anyway.
  • Arrow: Almost every main villain crosses the line at least once at some point.
    • In the first appearance of the series’s first truly evil character, The Count, injects a dealer with an overdose of Vertigo just because he failed to kill the Arrow. He makes it obvious that he enjoys the subsequent suffering his drug causes as he hands the dealer a gun, offering him the choice between his life and the Count’s. The pain is so great that he chooses to kill himself as the Count laughs.
    • Helena Bertenelli/The Huntress is given multiple chances to redeem herself, but in her final crossing moment, she yells that Oliver betrayed her and began fighting him. Any remaining doubt is squashed when she paralyzes Makenna Hall, forcing her to retire from the police force.
    • Malcolm Merlyn/The Dark Archer spends an entire season building up to a crossing. In his Merlyn persona, he kidnaps Walter, threatens Thea’s life, and mentions repeatedly that he killed Robert to force Moira to stay in line. The tension boils to the point that Moira turns to the Chinese Triad to assassinate him. As the Dark Archer (even if his dual identity is kept separate at first), he beats Oliver to near death in their first encounter, then initiates the Undertaking, a manmade earthquake that hit the Glades and killed 503 people, including his son Tommy. Later, after returning from faking his death, he forces his daughter Thea to murder Sara Lance while she’s drugged to force Oliver to confront Ra’s al Ghul and later allied with Damien Darhk.
    • Barton Mathis, having killed 8 girls in his prior killing spree with his excruciatingly painful methods and helping drive Quentin to alcoholism, began his killing spree anew with 3 girls, including Laurel Lance as revenge against Quentin for arresting him.
    • Slade Wilson/Deathstroke kidnapped Roy Harper, using his blood to create more Mirakuru soldiers. He sucked out enough blood that Roy was comatose for two weeks and when he awoke had more Mirakuru in his body than blood, driving him to a feral state that led to him murdering a cop and attempting to kill his girlfriend Thea. Not long after, he murders Moira Queen in front of her children. In the flashbacks, it’s revealed that he tortured Oliver with electricity and tattooed Shado’s tattoo on his back to force him to remember her.
    • Sebastian Blood helped Slade Wilson through his entire campaign to make Oliver Queen suffer, but he crosses the line when he kidnaps Thea, leaving her imprisoned with only Slade Wilson. In a rare moment for the Arrowverse, Sebastian managed to cross the line and actually redeem himself, giving Oliver the Mirakuru cure and allowing him to take back the city, with Oliver later referring to him as a friend.
    • Amanda Waller may have the best intentions, but her “ends justify the means” mindset means she’s willing to do horrible things for the good of the United States. Threatening to blow up Starling City, murdering millions of civilians in the process, to prevent Slade Wilson’s soldiers from escaping showcases this perfectly
    • Warner Zytle proves to be a worthy successor to the title of The Count, modifying the formula to cause the victim to hallucinate their greatest fear. The formula is so strong it causes the person he injects with it in his first appearance to die on the spot. Not fifteen minutes later, he blows up an entire restaurant just to kill Oliver.
    • Despite his actions being defendable at first due to his sense of honor, everything Ra’s al Ghul does after learning of Oliver’s survival from their duel is reprehensible, from murdering innocents every day until Oliver agrees to become his heir, including his sister Thea, indoctrinating him forcibly into the League of Assassins through a ritual that included forcing Oliver to believe he was killing his friend John Diggle, marrying him to Nyssa against both of their wishes, and finally deciding to destroy Starling City with a virus. Despite all of that, Oliver later refers to him as honorable to Talia.
    • General Shrieve of the Season 3 flashbacks is revealed to be behind the poisoning of Hong Kong through the Alpha-Omega virus simply to damage China’s economy and prevent it from calling on United States debt. If he had any hope of redemption, it was lost when it was revealed his actions killed Akio, an 11-year-old boy, and he laughed in Oliver’s face. Oliver and Maseo tortured Shrieve to death for his actions, driving Oliver away from home and Maseo to the League of Assassins.
    • Damien Darhk doesn’t so much cross over the Line as much as he pole vaults over it and gets gold from the judges he hasn’t murdered yet. In a rare moment, he establishes himself as truly evil before he even appears, as Ra’s tells Oliver that he was behind several of the potentially city-destroying threats Oliver stopped in his second year, including a second earthquake machine created by Malcolm Merlyn. In his first appearance, he drains the life force of one of his soldiers for failing him using dark magic, horrifying Team Arrow as that is mostly their first encounter with true magic. Later on, he attacks a community service project with a drone, nearly killing a little girl, kidnaps William and threatens him with death to get Oliver to drop out of the mayoral race, and murders Laurel Lance using Oliver’s own arrow out of revenge. This is all before he reveals his end game is to literally destroy the world using nuclear weapons. By the time Oliver kills him, he has established himself as one of the most, if not the most, evil villain to appear in the series. His subsequent actions on Legends of Tomorrow do not make him any better.
    • Andrew Diggle is given multiple chances to redeem himself. Instead, he gives Damien Darhk the final piece he needs to recreate the idol controlling his magic, leading to Laurel Lance’s death. He ends up torturing his brother John as well with no regrets. His final mistake was threatening to kill John’s daughter Sara, leading to John killing him.
    • Prometheus appeared to be nothing more than a serial killer at first, but he later revealed himself to be a monster hellbent on revenge against Oliver. The moment that showed how far he was gone? Adrian having his identity revealed to his wife, only to murder her immediately as she tried to talk him down.
    • Talia al Ghul has no direct crossing, but helping create Prometheus and joining his crusade against Oliver, a crusade that Oliver ironically notes her father would not have supported marks her as irredeemable.
    • Cayden James may have been manipulated by Ricardo Diaz into wanting to destroy Star City, but hacking the city and killing random innocents he did of his own accord. Despite that, upon realizing he’d been manipulated and seeing William, being reminded of his own son in the process, he felt remorse for his actions and couldn’t go through with the city’s destruction. As with Sebastian Blood, Oliver seemed to realize this, granting him his request to visit his son’s grave one more time.
    • From the beginning, Ricardo Diaz was an evil force. In addition to being revealed to have manipulated Cayden James into destroying the city before murdering Cayden to take control of his criminal cabal, he also had a large number of cops on his payroll and leaked the photo that originally created the investigation into Oliver and the Green Arrow. To establish his ruthlessness, he confronted his childhood bully, Jesse, after 30 years and burned him alive, an act so disturbing even Black Siren, a brutal killer who once blew up a man’s head without remorse, couldn’t look at it directly.
  • The Astronaut Wives Club: Donn Eisele crosses it by abandoning his wife and dying son, then deciding to marry his mistress after the son dies.

  • Bad Robots: Tez One became malevolent after witnessing humans mistreating their electrical appliances.
  • Battlestar Galactica (1978): Baltar goes out of his way to show what a monster he is by ordering the Cylon Centurions under his command during the genocide of his own people (whom he had sold out to the machines in exchange for being allowed to live and rule over his own colony like a king). He tells them to massacre all humans after a Centurian tells him that, up to that point, they had been making deals with prisoners for their lives.
    • Tory of Battlestar Galactica (2003) manages to talk Cally down from spacing herself and her son after learning that her husband is a Cylon... Only to take the baby, knock Cally unconscious and space her herself. When he learns what she did, he doesn't bother to ask questions, he just snaps her neck.
    • Tom Zarek is a morally ambiguous character who is difficult to label as an outright villain, right up until he orders marines to execute the Quorum of Twelve when they refuse to support his and Gaeta's mutiny.
    • Cavil was already pretty evil when he planned the genocide of humanity, but in The Plan he crosses the line when he stabs the young orphan boy who's been hanging around him because he realizes he's developing sympathy for the boy, which is undermining his hatred of humans. In other words, he crosses the horizon on purpose.
      • Cain. She always had a twisted sense of morality, but she completely went past the moral event horizon when she finds out her lovers a Cylon, all but telling her crew to gang rape her ex-lover.
      • Surely Cain's MEH was when she ordered the execution of the families of civilians who wouldn't leave their now stripped-and-defensely ships to join the Pegasus.
  • Being Human (US): It'd probably be easier to list characters who don't cross a Moral Event Horizon. Just the main characters:
    • Aiden: Likely crossed a long time ago. One of his most heinous acts onscreen is luring two girls into the house to feed his flayed vampire son. Because he sucks at compelling the girls wake up and he's forced to kill them. As we later find out the ghosts continue haunting and tormenting him afterward.
    • Sally: Shredding Nick, Stevie and a whole roomful of ghosts.
    • Josh: Killing Ray
    • Nora: Killing her ex-boyfriend
  • Beverly Hills, 90210: In the sequel series of this show Adrianna Tate-Duncan crosses the MEH when she tampers with her bipolar former friend Silver's medication as part of an escalating war over their mutual love interest Navid. Her previous actions, such as sending a naked picture of Silver to the entire school and poisoning her with tainted tap water, were bad enough, but once she's willing to endanger Silver's health and sanity over a boy, it's hard to see Adrianna as anything but a monster.
  • Big Time Rush: Crossed in the episode Big Time Sneakers, when Jett Stetson and Jo's publicist plan on faking a relationship between Jett and Jo, regardless of her relationship with Kendall. Jett and Jo's publicist flat out tell Jo and Kendall that since Jett and Jo are an In-Universe Fan-Preferred Couple, so them dating gives the In-Universe show New Town High good publicity, and Jo refusing to date Jett will be the end of her career. So yeah, they tried to strong-arm two teenagers into breaking off their relationship over tv publicity.
  • Black Mirror:
    • Black Mirror: White Bear: The protagonist crossed it long before the events of the episode when she murdered a little girl. Then her oppressors cross it with what they do with her, and the general public with their glee over her fate. Nobody comes off looking good in this story.
    • Black Mirror: Hated in the Nation: Garrett Scholes jets over this when he causes the deaths of 400,000 people for using a hashtag.
    • Black Mirror: USS Callister: Robert Daly has several candidates. The one that sticks out is the reveal that when he first introduced Walton to the Infinity mod he created a digital copy of Walton's son Tommy and flushed the boy out of the airlock, and vowed to bring Tommy back to kill him again over and over in much worse ways until Walton complied with his demands. He may have also crossed this earlier when he turned Gillian and Shania into monsters just to make a point to the other crewmates. Arguably, just the premise of engaging in endless Video Game Cruelty Potential against sentient digital copies of his work colleagues to relieve his frustrations from dealing with them at work might qualify.
  • Boardwalk Empire
    • Hans Schroeder from the pilot crosses it when he beats his heavily pregnant wife, Margaret, so badly that she miscarries. Even resident mobster, Nucky Thomspon, is so repulsed that he orders Schroeder's death to serve as a fall guy in a botched heist.
    • Manny Horvitz started off as an affable gangster who reacted surprisingly reasonably to Jimmy avoiding paying back a debt. Even his decision to kill Jimmy after Jimmy sent an assassin after him is understandable. However, Horvitz completely crosses the line when he brutally murders Jimmy's completely innocent wife, Angela even as she says she can make Jimmy pay more.
    • Gyp Rosetti is by far the most psychotic gangster in the series, as such, he has a few potential moments that can act as candidates for when he crossed the Moral Event Horizon.
      • Savagely beating a good Samaritan to death after the man had helped repair his car, just because Gyp saw the man as being condescending. This is also his to Establishing Character Moment.
      • Bombing Babette's Supper Club in a botched attempt to assassinate Nucky Thompson and Arnold Rothstein. While most gangsters can be ruthless and cold-blooded in the pursuit of profit and power, Gyp's bombing was on a completely different level, showing a disregard for civilian casualties never before seen on the show. Gyp calling Nucky the next day to mock him about Billie Kent being killed in the explosion was just icing on the cake.
      • Burying his right-hand man, Tonino's, cousin up to his head in sand and planning on leaving him to drown when the tide came in. Like his first victim, he did this only because he interpreted the man as being condescending. When Tonino begs for mercy since the man is family, Gyp obliges only to bash the man's skull in with a shovel then telling Tonino that he "owes him one."
    • While Warren Knox seems like a rabid Knight Templar FBI Agent, considering the people he's after, his actions can be seen as understandable. Then he detains, abuses and manipulates the relatively innocent Eddie Kessler so badly that the man commits suicide afterward, and you know he's scum.
    • Dunn Purnsley seemed like a classic case of Defeat Means Friendship when he reappeared as Chalky's Number Two. Then he betrays his boss, aligns himself with Dr. Valentin Narcisse, distributes heroin throughout the Northside community, and cheerfully knifes an innocent priest to death when he attempts to tell Chalky what's going on.
    • Flashbacks to season five reveal that the Commodore crossed the line even before he raped and impregnated the thirteen-year-old Gillian, having been a Serial Rapist of little girls for quite some time.
  • Breaking Bad: Just when Walter White crossed the line from Anti-Hero to Villain Protagonist is a matter of debate. Popular candidates include:
    • "Over", where he forces Walt Jr. to drink tequila until he vomits. While this is far less horrible than many of the others, it has the distinction of being the first time he did something terrible for no conceivable rational reason, but just because he could.
    • "Phoenix", where he stood by and watched Jane slowly choke to death during her sleep
    • "Full Measure", where he emotionally blackmails Jesse into murdering a defenseless man in cold blood, to save his own skin
    • "Face Off", when he poisoned a child (albeit non-lethally) as part of an elaborate scheme to get Jesse on his side against Gus.
    • "Say My Name", where he shoots Mike in a fit of rage after blackmailing proves unsuccessful.
    • "Gliding Over All", where he has nine men brutally murdered just to save himself some money—and on the off-chance that one of them might have eventually ratted him out.
    • "Confessions", just when you thought he couldn't get any lower, he makes a "confession tape" implicating his brother-in-law, Hank, as the mastermind behind everything.
    • "Ozymandias" begins with Walter giving up Jesse to the Nazis, then telling Jesse how he let Jane die, even though he could have saved her. Towards the end of the episode, he kidnaps his infant daughter, believing she didn't know enough to turn against him. He was wrong.
    • There are several candidates for Jesse as well:
      • Killing Gale in Season 3.
      • Selling meth to recovering addicts in Season 3 with Skinny Pete and Badger.
    • Gus' Moral Event Horizon came when he threatened to kill Walt's entire family, including an infant girl in "Crawl Space".
    • He may have given the order to kill Tomas, in which case he crossed it in "Half Measures".
    • Todd crosses this when he murders a child at the end of "Dead Freight".
    • Jack does it by, what else? Killing Hank, of course!
    • Leonel and Marco Salamanca (the Twins) cross it when they slaughter every passenger in a truck that's smuggling them across the border. It's also their Establishing Character Moment.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • Whenever a villain tortured a member of the Scooby Gang, they tended to be seen as having gone just plain too far. Such as when Angelus tortured Giles to get information, and when in Angel, Faith tortured Wesley, in an attempt to get Angel to murder her because she could no longer live with herself.
    • For the first half Season 6, The Trio is presented as little more than incapable comic relief, posing no real threat to The Scoobies or society. The murder of Katrina however, cements Warren as a full-blown misogynist with no care for anyone (including his lackeys) and no chance for redemption.
    • Word of God says that Angelus's murder of Jenny Calender in S2's "Passion" was important for the purpose of displaying how evil Angelus had become. Before that act, Angelus had murdered at least 4 people since being turned, but had not yet committed an offense so grievious to the audience (and the Scoobies) that it became a serious question as to whether or not it was even possible to redeem Angel, and if it was would anyone (besides Buffy) want to do it? As an added layer, Angelus was purposely in his vampire face during the murder so that Angel (Angelus with a soul) could still have some form of positive reputation following his return.
    • If it wasn't the Attempted Rape and murder of Xander, Faith trying to kill Angel is an In-Universe example, motivating Buffy to feed her to him or kill her trying to do so. When she recovers Faith also essentially rapes both Buffy and Riley (she uses Buffy's body to try and get Riley to sleep with her.) Buffy is so furious she is willing to go through Angel in her attempt to kill her, but Angel defied this trope by claiming that despite all this, Faith still wasn't too far gone.

  • Chuck:
    • Vivian Volkoff betraying her father Alexei Volkoff and leaving him to die, taking a bioweapon with her, which she fully intends to use. The significance of this stems from the fact that up to this point, the audience was led to believe that she was taking over the family business in order to get her father back, but this event and her dialogue during the act show that she's in it for the power and her hatred of Chuck for what is now essentially no reason.
    • Although "evil" is not part of the equation in either case, when Chuck witnesses Sarah cold-bloodedly execute a FULCRUM agent and later Sarah sees what she believes to be Chuck committing his first cold-blooded kill, albeit one he was ordered to commit, not knowing Casey actually pulled the trigger, both feel the other crossed the horizon and it negatively impacts their relationship for a while.

  • Dallas: Oh, Cliff, on account of practically murdering your own unborn grandchildren. By causing an explosion on a rig which your own daughter was and was pregnant with twins and still going on with it. For many, you would stop and say "no way". But he pauses and thinks about it. Yes, you've crossed it hands down.
  • Degrassi: This show is generally more concerned with redemption, though Rick even lampshades his own: "It's too late. I already shot someone."
  • Dexter: Not really applicable to the title character, but for Miguel, definitely the murder of Ellen. Total violation of The Code.
    • And how about Lila killing Doakes?
    • Though one could argue that Dexter himself crossed it by allowing the death of La Guerta to proceed, thus permanently corrupting his sister, all out of self-preservation.
    • Deb crossed it by killing Laguerta.
    • The skinner crossed it by skinning a young boy to death.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Word of God confirms that in "The Time Meddler", the Vikings did, in fact, rape Edith.
    • One could argue "Logopolis" for The Master when he was portrayed by Anthony Ainley. Yes before he had manipulated, threatened, and killed lots and lots of people, but compared to the number of people The Doctor had manipulated, threatened and killed, they were basically even, and before Delgado died he was even supposed to have a Death Equals Redemption plot. And then, when he gets a proper new body again, he destroys one-quarter of the universe, including the home planet of one of the Doctor's companions (though admittedly that was an accident he caused by going on a killing spree). And the new body he got is the corpse of said companion's father. After that, there was really no going back for that specific incarnation.
    • In "Dragonfire", Kane has the tourists, passers-through, and residents herded into a spacecraft and blows it to Kingdom Come.
    • In "The Curse of Fenric", Millington locks two men up in a cellar, leaving them to their Haemovorey death.
    • "The End of Time":
      • Why is Master insane? Because Rassilon put the signal of drumming into his head to save himself and Gallifrey!
      • And, of course, Rassilon's battle cry: "For victory! FOR GALLIFREY! FOR THE END! OF TIME! ITSELF!".
    • In "The Crimson Horror", when Mrs Gillyflower takes her own daughter hostage.
    • Invoked by Moffat in an interview, who is well aware of Missy's Draco in Leather Pants tendencies. In "Death in Heaven", he had her kill off fan-favorite Osgood to remind us that just because she's a woman now the Master isn't any less of a psycho she's always been.
    • "The Name of the Doctor" and its follow-up, "The Day of the Doctor" reveal that an incarnation of the Doctor was forced to cross the horizon in order to end the Time War. In doing so, he refused to accept the name Doctor, and his later incarnations effectively disowned him. Day of the Doctor, however, reveals that events played out differently than the Doctor remembered, and he never actually crossed the Moral Event Horizon at all.
    • In the opinion of the Eighth Doctor, the point where he decided he would be willing to destroy the Always Chaotic Evil Daleks is when the Dalek Time Controller engineered the second Dalek invasion of Earth, planning to turn it into a plague planet and pilot it around the Universe to wipe out all other life.
    • The Doctor nearly crossed this in "The Waters of Mars" when he decides to save Adelaide without respect to time laws and possible catastrophes. He does it very smugly, not at all caring about Adelaide's worries when she pulls What the Hell, Hero? on him. Only her suicide leads him to remorse and averts it. Keep in mind that it was a fixed point. The whole universe could have been destroyed.
    • Donna was absolutely right that Doctor needs a companion as a Morality Chain. What happens to the Doctor when a companion is killed thanks to a Senseless Sacrifice in "Face the Raven" and he is immediately imprisoned in a torture chamber, all alone save for the Monster of the Week, in "Heaven Sent"? He is ultimately Driven to Madness and his torment becomes a Self-Inflicted Hell before he manages to escape. Due to these mounting horrors and absolutely no one around him caring about or even realizing what he's endured, in "Hell Bent" the Doctor becomes The Unfettered Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds willing to risk the destruction of the universe just to save Clara from her death, again changing a fixed moment in time. The moment of truth comes when he intends to Mind Rape Clara to protect her from his enemies. Will he go through with it and lose all hope of redemption? As it turns out, no. Even after all his torment, none of it just, he not only repents for going too far but accepts losing her for good and being Mind Raped himself and thus losing his memories of her as just punishment on his way to returning to his best self.


  • Falling Skies: The Espheni pretty much start on the far side of the Horizon, what with killing the majority of humanity and all, but they prove themselves to be completely devoid of reasons for sympathy when we find out that the Skitters are Slave Mooks, and they plan to do the same to humans. That and changing their tactics to building Hitler Youth-type camps for children.
  • Fargo: Lester Nygaard starts off as a fairly sympathetic character, being a loser who is frequently henpecked by his wife, overshadowed by his more successful younger brother, and still harassed by his old high school bully. Even after he kills his wife in a rage he remains sympathetic. He only truly crosses the line into irredeemably evil either when he unashamedly frames his younger brother for his first wife's murder or when he uses his second, loving wife as a decoy, ensuring her death at the hands of Lorne Malvo.
  • Firefly: Viewers can usually tell when a villain is about to die horribly when they threaten Kaylee or River. Dobson threatened both of them in the pilot, and it did not end well for him.
    • In the final episode, Jubal Early subdues Kaylee by threatening to rape her.
    • Jayne comes very close to crossing it in "Ariel", when he tries to sell Simon and River to the Feds. He almost gets Thrown Out the Airlock by Mal, but that turned out to be a Secret Test of Character, which he just barely passed.
    • In "War Stories", Niska crosses the line when he kidnaps Mal and Wash and starts torturing them to death. This brings the wrath of the rest of the crew directly down on his head.
      • Made even worse when we realize Mal actually dies from it and he brings him back to life so he can continue torturing him.
  • The Flash (2014)
    • The Reverse-Flash passed this long ago. First, he traveled back in time to kill a young Barry Allen, but failed thanks to interference from the Flash. Instead, he settles on killing Barry's mother then leaves. However, he discovers that he's Trapped in the Past. He knows exactly what happens in history so he kills Wells' wife for no reason, takes the genetic code of the real Dr. Wells, and creates all the events of the series on purpose, with complete disregard for all the lives of others. All so he can get revenge on Barry and steal his speed for himself.
    • Lewis Snart put a bomb in his own daughter's head to make his son work for him.
    • Zoom's first appearance on Earth Two was to fake a call about the hostage situation and kill 14 out of 15 cops that came to rescue them. The last one was spared to tell the tale... and after he did, Zoom murdered him too.
    • In "Running to Stand Still," the Trickster and Weather Wizard pass out hundreds of bombs to children all across the city by disguising the Trickster as Santa Claus. When the Flash discovers this, the two gleefully laugh about how they will blow up multiple families if the Flash doesn't let them beat him to death slowly.
    • Deathstorm's casual admittance that he hasn't let Martin Stein out in years.
    • Zoom's father murdering his wife while making his young son watch.
    • Pictured above, Zoom impaling Barry's father right in front of Barry, just so he can prove to him that the two of them are Not So Different.
    • Although Savitar has doubtless committed multiple atrocities during his travels throughout time, he finally draws the complete ire of Team Flash by killing Iris in the future, driving Barry into an eight-year-long Heroic BSoD and splitting both the team and the West family apart in the process. It gets even worse with the reveal that Savitar is none other than Barry Allen himself via the Flash creating a time remnant in the future to stop Savitar. After his complete ostracization from Team Flash and a who-knows-how-long Mind Rape in the Speed Force, Savitar/Future Flash hates his former self and friends so much that he is willing to kill the love of his life and break his family apart out of pure spite. It really says something that his entire existence is a direct result of crossing the Moral Event Horizon.

  • General Hospital:
    • A couple of Inverse examples: Sonny, at first, believed Andrei Karpov crossed it by shooting his fiancé Kate Howard/Connie Falconeri on their wedding (it was actually faux cripple Anthony Zacchara who framed Karpov) and attempted a few times to pay him back for it. This drove Karpov to stab Sonny, have him chained to an anchor, then dropped in the harbor and left for dead. Believing he's about to die, Sonny asks Karpov to admit what he did and when he doesn't, that convinces Sonny that he did not do it. Sonny survives. However, even though he knows now that Karpov is innocent of Kate/Connie's shooting, Sonny believes Karpov's crossed by attempting to kill him in the first place and that it must now be answered for. It is indeed as Sonny shoots Karpov dead in revenge for the attempt on his life.
    • It's bad enough that Fluke, the alternate personality of Luke Spencer, seems to have imprisoned Luke in a mental institution while taking over his life (it's Harsher in Hindsight now that you realize he's actually imprisoned Luke in his own mind). On top of that though, he's demanded people who either got in the way of his plans for the mob and Port Charles or no longer served a purpose to him be killed, but on top of that, he threatened Emma Scorpio-Drake when Spencer Cassadine found out his plans to dethrone Sonny and threatened to tell (Spencer being Luke's grandson), attempted to kill his gunshot victim Lucas Jones (Luke's nephew), and several other things (as well as making everyone believe that Luke was rescued from captivity when it wasn't the case at all). However, the lowest of low is when Fluke sought to bomb the Haunted Star with 50+ people on it (including member's of Luke's own family). Not that's a SPECIAL kind of evil. Unless that did it for you, Fluke crossed the moment he took over Luke's body to do all these heinous things from the start and kept him from his family and life psychologically as that pretty much defines just how evil he is from the start.

  • The Haves And The Have Nots: Veronica Harrington has numerous MEH-worthy moments, but she definitely crosses it in Season 3 when she orders Quincy, a convicted murderer she freed from prison, to beat up her own son Jeffrey if he didn't tell her where Candace was. When she's later confronted by her husband David about this, she vehemently admits that she ordered Quincy to "beat the gayness" out of Jeffrey.
  • Heroes:
    • In volume 3, you're being subtly led to believe that you've been too quick to judge Sylar. When Peter Petrelli gains Sylar's ability for a while, he goes from saintly nurse to Ax-Crazy and nearly kills his own mother on sight out of the hunger for power before restraining himself, which makes you wonder, especially since to get that power Peter had to go to a future where Sylar is an upright family man and has undergone a total Heel–Face Turn. You also get to see that Sylar was so remorseful over murdering his first victim that he tried to commit suicide. He goes to Elle, whose father he killed, to plead for forgiveness and goes through what seems to be a Love Redeems subplot with her. Then he randomly decides he's had enough of being a nice person and kills her all because of random soap opera shenanigans that barely have anything to do with her. At this point, you concede the point the writers were trying to make - that is, that this man is not right in the head. You also want him to die.
    • Sylar blamed her for helping to make him a killer (although it was mostly Noah's doing.)
    • Emil Danko: If it wasn't for ordering his men to open fire on illegally-abducted captives after their plane crashed, or for arranging Tracy's escape and sacrificing one of his own men to justify the government's practice of warehousing "specials," it was for removing Daphne Millbrook from the medical facility, resulting in her death from complications (sepsis) from a gunshot wound she sustained on Danko's orders (see above).
    • Samuel Sullivan: Depending on whether or not you subscribe to A Million Is a Statistic, he either crossed it when he destroyed a town in a sinkhole or when, to regain the carnival's leadership after this depraved act, he pretended to surrender himself to Noah Bennet, then had Eli shoot up the carnival, killing Lydia (the only other carnie who knew he killed Joseph) and framed Noah for the whole thing. Samuel on other occasions had sinkholed a police station and a mansion but the people there were sufficiently "demonized" that those were Kick the Dog moments in contrast with the massacre of a town full of people.
  • Holocaust: In this miniseries, Erik Dorf crosses the Moral Event Horizon when he orders Karl Weiss tortured. He knows that Karl Weiss is the son of the man he once trusted as a friend, yet he still does it. Karl ultimately dies as a result of the torture. Before Dorf was sort of sympathetic, but after this, it became extremely hard to sympathise with him.
  • Homicide: Life on the Street: Detective Kellerman crosses it, not with the Vigilante Execution of Luther Mahoney, which was arguably justified, but a scene a few episodes later in which he makes light of a murdered drug dealer, even posing for a picture with the young man's corpse. From that point on, he stops being portrayed as a Cowboy Cop Anti-Hero and becomes just an unlikable, self-centered Jerkass whose eventual departure from the police force is mourned by no one.
    Ballard: We speak for the dead, remember?
    Kellerman: Screw the dead. What have their moldering asses ever done for me?
  • Horatio Hornblower: In this mini-series, Jack Simpson crosses the line by trying to murder the titular character and another midshipman during a raid. He was despicable before that, but shooting one of your shipmates in the head just after setting adrift the jollyboat that another one is lying unconscious in? That's just evil, even if they both survived. Especially as the latter case resulted in said shipmate being presumed dead by his friends, captured by the enemy, and imprisoned for what appears to be a couple of years.
  • House of Anubis:
    • For Rufus, it's when he traps the students in the school, threatening to kill them with an extremely painful death if the Society doesn't hand over the Cup Of Ankh and The Chosen One.
    • For Vera, it's kidnapping Trudy.
    • For Senkhara, it was cursing Nina's grandmother. She had also been revealed to had murdered King Tut while she was still living...
    • In the third season, Miss Denby does a lot of horrible things. Two contenders are-
      • Tricking Patricia into thinking Eddie cheated on her, for the purpose of hurting her enough to make her a sinner. Eddie's vision about the subject showed that the process involved a lot of dragging and forcing.
      • Drugging her own, kind of crazy adoptive sister, keeping her locked in the basement and stealing her title as "The Keeper", which caused Robert Frobisher-Smythe to wake up evil.
  • House of Cards (UK): In case his psychotic Machiavellian behaviour hadn't tipped you off, the TV version ends with the murder of Roger O'Neill and Mattie Storin by the Villain Protagonist Francis Urquhart MP, all in pursuit of the leadership of the Conservative Party and thus Prime Minister-ship. After this, the character is hard to see as anything other than sheer, concentrated evil. But stylish evil.
  • House of Cards (US): Underwood is evidently an unpleasant man right from the pilot but the murder of Peter Russo is a game-changer.
    • Doug Stamper was cast in a significantly more sympathetic light early on in the series (or at least more pitiable), but murdering Rachel cemented his evil status, pitiable or not.

  • iCarly: Nora and her family gleefully holding Spencer hostage to keep the iCarly gang imprisoned, torturing him if they do anything they don't like. What really pushes this over is Nora's implying that she can and will kill him if they make a wrong move.
    • She could've also crossed it when she tried to kill Gibby in iPsycho.
  • I, Claudius:
    • This is a series populated by devious conniving bastards who get away with some pretty horrible acts, but one of the worst dog-raping examples is provided by Praetorian Guard captain Macro when his predecessor Sejanus falls out of favor with the Emperor. Macro kicks off a bloody purge of everyone even remotely connected with Sejanus. Rome's streets run red, but the icing on the cake is when he orders the death of Sejanus's (very) young daughter. An officer reminds him that it's unlawful to execute a virgin. His response? "Then make sure she's not a virgin when you kill her, now GET ON WITH IT!"
    • Caligula wasn't a great guy to begin with. He had already killed a lot of people, including Germanicus, before becoming Emperor and deciding he was a god. But he didn't go fully off the deep end until he cut his wife open and ate their unborn child.
    • Messalina might have cheated on her husband and become the biggest whore in Rome. And yeah, wanting to sleep with her stepfather, and then accusing him of trying to rape her when he rejected her, sure was bad. But she didn't reach the Moral Event Horizon until she threatened her own mother!

  • Justified
    • Bo Crowder crosses it when, in revenge for his son, Boyd, destroying a shipment of drug supplies Bo was meant to receive, he massacres Boyd's loyal followers and strings up their bodies for Boyd to find, solely to rub salt in the wound.
    • Coover Bennett is a Dumb Muscle Manchild for the Bennett family, but he manages to cross the line when he tries to murder the fourteen-year-old Loretta McCready just because he was jealous of the attention she was receiving from Mags Bennett. First, however, he plans on showing her the shaft where he tossed her father's body down before throwing her down herself.
    • Dickie Bennett seems like a stupid but pitiable Big Bad Wannabe. Then he murders the relatively innocent Helen Givens and tries to arrange for his Dirty Cop brother to frame his remaining accomplice for the deed then murder him afterward to ensure his silence.
    • Fletcher "The Icepick" Nix seems like a perfect example of Evil Is Cool before quickly revealing his true colors as a sadistic Psycho for Hire. Robbing a man known for his skill in using a gun, Nix arranges a "duel" between the two of them, with the rules being that after counting down from ten, both contestants will try to grab a gun placed in the middle of a table. He even orders a pizza so he could abduct the deliveryman and force him to act as the referee for their duel. Once the countdown is done, however, Nix cheats by impaling his opponent's hand with an icepick, then shoots both him and the referee. He basically turns a harmless robbery into a double homicide solely For the Evulz.
    • Nicky Augustine, a high-ranking Detroit mobster, crosses it in his Establishing Character Moment. One instant he's casually joking around with a childhood friend, who had been using his position in the FBI to help Augustine through Augustine's life, and the next he shoots said friend dead for failing Theo Tonin. Granted the victim, Barkley, was a supreme asshole, but it's chilling the way Augustine offs him with barely a change from his constantly smiling expression.
    • Danny Crowe crosses it with his casual murder of Jean-Baptiste merely because the man stood up to him and told him to stop bullying Danny's own younger brother, Kendal.

  • In Kickin' It the Black Dragons, the main antagonists of the series, have committed multiple Moral Event Horizon-worthy deeds.
    • Sensei Ty has crossed it in the past, continuously blaming Rudy for causing him to fall even though it was the Grandmaster who tooted. In Kickin It on Our Own, he is brutal to the Wasabi Warriors, taking away Jack and Kim's black belts (he obviously had no right to do that), and forcing Eddie and Milton to drink heavy amounts of water to fight for their right to use the restroom. None of this grants Sensei Ty any points whatsoever.

  • The Leftovers:
    • The Guilty Remnant, who believe that everyone in the world should basically be like them (i.e. stop living their lives and spend their time being miserable in the wake of the Departure), spend most of the series annoying the townspeople of Mapleton and generally being obnoxious, but they don't really deserve to have one of their own be caught and stoned to death at the start of "Gladys". And they don't do anything to really cross the line until "The Prodigal Son Returns" when the meaning behind their actions throughout the season becomes clear; they basically rub it in the town's faces by setting up mummified corpses to stand in for the people who vanished, placing them in the last places they were before they left - not so much pressing a Berserk Button as jumping up and down on it. You can't blame the people for not taking it well at all.
    • Meg Abbott, who by season two is in charge of her chapter of the Guilty Remnant, pretty much crosses it herself in "Ten Thirteen" by not only trapping the children on a school bus with a grenade inside, even though it's a dud (the GR, for all their sins, never go after kids and don't attack people unprovoked) but also having a guy who wandered onto the compound outside Jarden stoned to death simply for being there, even though he didn't see anything and has no idea what her plan is. And in "I Live Here Now" she goes even further across it by having all the people hanging around Miracle break in and trash the town, for no apparent reason other than to punish them because she didn't get what she wanted from visiting.
  • Life on Mars (2006) and Ashes to Ashes (2008): Gene Hunt has probably crossed this line somewhere in his assaulting of suspects, liberal use of the Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique, and stitching up innocent people. Where and when, and indeed if he has is highly subjective depending on your view of criminals. Jim Keats, however, gets a pretty clear one in Season 3 when he appears to forcibly harvest Viv James' soul, obviously a horrific experience for the latter. It is later implied poor Viv did not go to a good place.
  • Lost:
    • We all knew Martin Keamy was bad news from the get-go, but he firmly crossed the line in "The Shape of Things to Come", where he coldheartedly murdered Ben's daughter, just for the sake of proving he wasn't fucking around. Needless to say, he is quite possibly the only Lost character to ever cause Ben Linus to lose his cool.
    • If you think Locke's father, Anthony Cooper, hasn't crossed this by Season 3, "The Man From Tallahassee" will obliterate that theory. He murders the son of one of his con victims for threatening to expose him, and when Locke confronts him about it, Cooper throws him out of an eight-story window, shattering his spine.
    • The producers purposely used this trope with the Man in Black, saying that they meant his causing Sun, Jin and Sayid's deaths to mark him as irredeemably evil. Then the show offered his Freudian Excuse Start of Darkness flashback.

  • Don Draper on Mad Men has a lot of moments that make him irredeemably horrible — but probably the biggest is when he is caught cheating on Megan with Sylvia by his daughter Sally. The crossing of the horizon doesn't fully occur though until he chooses to explain the situation away to Sally by saying he was "comforting Sylvia". Sally doesn't believe him. Big shocker.
  • In the Malcolm in the Middle episode "Malcolm Defends Reese", Malcolm's scheming principal, Lionel Herkabe, who kept dragging Malcolm into his schemes only for Malcolm to get wise to his actions before they can succeed, crosses it when he rigs Malcolm's grades by humiliating his brother Reese simply because Malcolm's GPA was about to exceed his. It's probably not a coincidence that after Herkabe got humiliated at the end of the episode, he made no further appearances on the series.
  • Merlin (2008):
    • Morgana spent from a year away from Camelot in the company of her half-sister and returned as The Mole, having performed a Face–Heel Turn in the interim. Over the course of the third season, her plots to bring down her father and half-brother have intensified in brutality, but it's not until Queen of Hearts that she crosses the line and ends up framing her servant and former best-friend Guinevere for witchcraft. Why? Because she had a dream that Gwen would one day become Queen of Camelot. Up until that point, fans were capable of some degree of sympathy for Morgana's Well-Intentioned Extremist views, but after seeing her smiling to herself as a terrified Gwen is hauled away to be burnt at the stake, the general consensus became: "the bitch must die!"
    • Uther from that same series passed the horizon before the series even started. He committed the "Great Purge" in which he hunted down and killed anyone with magical blood, even drowning children of magical parents in fear that they inherited magical blood.
  • The My Name Is Earl character Ralph Moreno was a borderline Ax-Crazy crook with a huge case of Chronic Back Stabbing Disorder from the start. But he hits a new low after an elderly widow takes him in, after he escapes prison with nothing but his underwear, only to later mistake him for her dead husband when she sees him in his old clothes. Ralph's first instinct is to take complete advantage of her, by asking for "their" ATM number, driving around in her dead husband's car, looting the medicine cabinet, and generally using her confusion to mooch off of her.

  • NCIS: Recurring antagonist Ari crossed the MEH when he murdered Caitlin Todd, not to further any mission objective, but purely to cause pain to Gibbs and the team.
    • Gibbs believes he crossed it earlier in his first appearance, when he shot Gerald in the shoulder, as it wasn't necessary to maintain his cover.
    • We later learn that Ari's father, Mossad Director Eli David, had crossed the event horizon decades ago when he deliberately raised his son to be such a monster. It turns out not to be the worst thing Eli has ever done, either.
  • Nikita: Percy most definitely crossed the MEH with the The Reveal that Kasim, the terrorist who killed Michael's family, was a Division agent who did so on Percy's orders in order to both infiltrate Al-Qaeda and make Michael so desperate for revenge that Percy was easily able to recruit him.
  • In one episode of NUMB3RS, Colby warns Don about this as Don prepares some Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique for their suspect.
    Colby: You sure this is what you want to do?
    Don: Do I look unsure?
    Colby: I'm just saying, I've seen what happens when you cross certain lines. It can be really hard to find your way back.
    • Don does ultimately avert this, as he's seen expressing concerns about having crossed the line and wondering when good sense comes back after an event with that level of emotional trigger.

  • One Tree Hill: Dan Scott murdering his brother Keith in cold blood, and then pinning it on Jimmy Edwards, who had taken a gun into Tree Hill High and ultimately killed himself. Much like the Spike example in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, this is notable as Dan feels the guilt of what he did & tries to atone for his actions.

  • Perfect Assassins: Greely crossed it in the backstory, when he started his Skinner box experiments on a young Ben Carroway, then framed Ben's mom when he's caught.

  • Revenge: In season three, Daniel Grayson confirms that he is indeed his father's son by shooting Emily in the stomach in a drunken rage not long after they get married and sending her over the deck of the yacht to drown. She survives, but now she can never have children. By the middle of the fourth and final season, he proves himself far better than Conrad and in the process, dies saving Emily's life from a terrorist's daughter.
  • Revolution:
    • Whatever Monroe did that turned Miles against him must have been really bad.
    • Major Tom Neville crosses this in episode 11, because he showed no qualms about systematically killing off all the rebels. Then when his son Jason raised reasonable human objections over this and refused to call in the air strike, Neville tried to bully him, then he beat the stuffing out of him, and disowned him.
    • In episode 17, Rachel reveals that she has no qualms about letting a boy die just so she can get her revenge against Monroe. She would even abandon Aaron to do that.

  • Scandal:
    • The episode "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" reveals via flashbacks that Hollis and Cyrus crossed this before the events of the show, because Hollis killed 7 people and framed someone for it without remorse to cover up "voting irregularities", and Cyrus just shrugged it off when he was told about what happened.
    • The episode "Blown Away" ends up having Becky, Huck's girlfriend, cross this. First, she has the President shot and Huck is set up as the fall guy. Now, some people, like Huck, might not see this as crossing a line. But the minute he tries to take her down, she retaliates by murdering the entire family that Huck keeps an eye on. They were as innocent as they came, which makes her irredeemably evil.
    • Olivia herself when she blows up Rashad and Yasmeen's plane at the end of "Adventures in Babysitting."
  • The Shadow Line: Gatehouse crosses this in the third episode. When he was introduced, it was as an ambiguous and slightly sinister character but definitely the lesser of two evils when compared to the obviously psychopathic Jay Wratten. But then he murders Andy Dixon, an innocent man set up as the Fall Guy for a murder he committed, and his mother and pregnant girlfriend just to ensure no witnesses remain, and it's clear that he's, in fact, a very ruthless and dangerous man. He becomes the main antagonist for the remainder of the series.
  • Shameless (US): Frank Gallagher is a morally reprehensible man who would rather pursue constant means of scamming people out of their money in order to feed his alcoholism than to take care of his six children who are left to fend for themselves. He's done a lot of horrible things, including sleeping with an underage girl and attempting to sell one of his children for money. In the context of the show, however, even these actions are presented as things that he might still come back from. However, when he cons a dying woman into agreeing to marry him in order to get her pension when she passes away, then conceals from her the fact that a heart transplant has become available for her, allowing her to die from her disease in order to get her money that is an offense that would make him irredeemable in the eyes of many viewers.
  • The Shield: Had always played fast and loose with the moral event horizon concept with Vic Mackey, what with him shooting a fellow cop in the pilot and all. But his decision in the penultimate episode to betray his only remaining friend, Ronnie Gardocki, by turning state's evidence against him and his cold proclamation that he would have no problem whatsoever LYING to Ronnie about his impending arrest, ultimately pushed Vic towards the point of no return for many fans. Even changing his mind finding out about Corrine's betrayal and his failed attempt to get Ronnie to go into hiding didn't change that the damage was done.
    • Shane Vendrell from the same series had his own Moral Event Horizon moment when he murdered his best friend Detective Curtis "Lem" Lemansky, to ensure he did not turn against the Strike Team after being busted by IAD. Though the writers later tried to backpedal on this point of no return, by way of having Shane defend his actions by having Shane successfully own Vic's ass by way of lampshading Vic's own murder of a fellow police officer, for many fans it cemented Shane as the show's main villain for its final two seasons.
  • Shining Inheritance: In this Korean Drama, Eun Sung's stepmother is first seen as a somewhat strict, money-worried woman, but not so bad. Then, in several episodes she has thrown both of her step-children out onto the streets, without giving them a penny of their newly-deceased father's life insurance, and using lack of money as an excuse while she had enough money to buy both her and her daughter a large apartment and left her mentally disabled step-son, who she had found when lost, at an orphanage halfway outside town because she didn't want trouble AND arranged things to her advantage, lying to Eun Sung and manipulating her and saying they should act like strangers for the sake of her reputation because if the boy her daughter liked found out she kicked Eun Sung out of the house, he might get a bad impression of her. Oh, did I mention this all happened in 6 or so episodes? And the woman is still proud to live?
    • Also, until episode 15, Seung Mi, though not liked by a number of fans, didn't have a mob after her. Then, she lied about Eun Sung's circumstances, making him think Eun Sung was a liar and con artist, even though Eun Sung had done so much for her — and her reason was simply to not let Hwan think badly of her — this started several hundred conspiracies for her quick and painful death.
  • Shōkōjo Seira: The two main tormentors of Seira in this Japanese drama, Director Mimura Chieko and the Alpha Bitch Maria. Seeing how they are counterparts for Miss Minchin and Lavina in A Little Princess, it was no surprise.
    • Having a huge inferior complex for Seira's deceased mother who she was classmates with, Mimura Chieko absolutely despises Seira for being too much like her mother and often slaps her when Seira stands up to her when no one else does. She is brutally cold when telling Seira about her beloved father's death and does nothing to lessen the pain, letting Seira know right off the start that she could kick her out of the school (leaving the poor girl without any shelter or food) and does so eventually.
    • Just as bad (or possibly worse), Maria is a Rich Bitch who likes the fact that she has control over all her classmates. But when Seira comes into the picture, she takes every effort to make her life miserable for easily stealing away her popularity. When Seira loses her fortune, she delights in making Seira grovel on the ground, donating huge amounts of money to the school and thus gaining enough power to make Seira her own personal slave maid. She would also purposely spill soup on Seira and throw tomatoes at her when Seira was already at the lowest point of her life. And in a heartwrenching Hope Spot for Seira, Maria makes her believe that there was the slimmest chance that Seira could be Juliet, something Seira has dreamed of for the longest time. Maria gets to be Juliet and forces Seira to work extra hours in the kitchen, not allowing her a chance to even be in the play.
  • Smallville:
    • Lex Luthor has several moments of varying severity. It depends on when and how you deem someone "irredeemably evil".
      • In "Subterranean", casually walking by a series of prison cells holding meteor freaks in his secret lab, codenamed 33.1.
      • In "Freak", has his people abducting Chloe to said secret lab then experiment on and painfully humiliate her. He then swears to Lana upon his unborn child's soul that he has nothing to do with it, before watching a video of Chloe stripped half-naked and strapped to the experiment table. As she struggles, he delivers this line with a hint of Psychotic Smirk:
      Lex: Regarding our most recent subject...keep a close eye on her.
      • This is especially notable for being directed by Michael Rosenbaum, Lex's actor, who has always wanted Lex to be evil.
      • The Reveal later in Season Six that he drugged Lana with synthetic hormones to fake the pregnancy and deceive her into marrying him because he wanted to take her away from Clark forever. In "Promise", on the day of that very wedding, he even murders the doctor who helped with the deception, due to the man getting sick of it and threatening to tell Lana.
      • Killing his "brother", Julian in "Persona".
      • Killing his father in the Season Seven episode appropriately named "Descent".
      • Forcing Clark and Lana into a heartbreaking Sadistic Choice that leaves them separated by a bomb's worth of Kryptonite in the Season Eight episode "Requiem".
    • Davis crosses this when he kills Jimmy in Doomsday.
    • Major Zod. Either choking Faora, along with his unborn child, to death when she refuses to join him in conquering Earth or burning Tess with heat vision. In the case of the former, even he sees this as the point where he can't go back and condemns himself to the slippery slope.
  • Sonny with a Chance: In a 2-part episode, Penelope crosses this by framing Sonny for stealing, accusing her of plagiarism, turning her friends against her, getting her booted off So Random, leaving Chad, Nico and Grady in a plane in a stormy sky without any parachutes, and for the icing on the cake, tries to kill Sonny with a bomb, all this because Sonny loved Chad.
  • Sons of Anarchy: Jax Teller's attempt to create a permanent break with girlfriend Tara by sleeping with porn starlet Ima served as a Moral Event Horizon for many. Regardless of his reasons or if he begs for forgiveness in the future, it's hard to believe Tara could ever forgive him. Too, while fans may be able to accept a Jax who kills people, runs guns and sometimes drugs and generally walks on the wrong side of the law, blatant infidelity is an irredeemable act.
  • Spooks: In series 9, we've been treated to watching Lucas' life falling to pieces as he tries to keep his shady past a secret in the face of ever-increasing blackmail from Vaughn, but he crossed the Moral Event Horizon fully in episode 6 when he hangs up a 999 call when Daniella lets slip she knows about Albany, sentencing her to bleed to death as he lies about the ambulances being on their way.
    • And if that's not enough, the next episode reveals he was knowingly responsible for both the bombing of a British embassy, killing 17 people, and the murder of a friend to steal their passport and identity. Not much chance of coming back from that...
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine:
    • The last episode has the Female Changeling deal with Cardassian saboteurs by nuking Lakarian City; the resulting death toll is two million. When the Cardassian fleet learns of this, they perform a Heel–Face Turn and begin firing on the Dominion and Breen ships. How does the Female Changeling react to this?
    Female Changeling - "I want the Cardassians exterminated."
    Weyoun - "Which ones?"
    Female Changeling - "All of them. The entire population."
    Weyoun - "That may... take some time."
    Female Changeling - "Then I suggest you begin at once."
    • The Dominion itself crossed the line during the Season 4 episode "The Quickening", when they infected an entire planet's population with a slow acting but ultimately lethal bioweapon, purely to discourage other worlds from resisting. This was after devastating the planet with conventional weapons.
    • Gul Dukat was a mad, genocidal, sexually-ravenous dictator to begin with... and then he allied with the Dominion just to get back into a position of power, effectively setting off the chain of events that got his own planet razed to the ground.
    • Admiral Leyton spends most of "Homefront / Paradise Lost" as a Well-Intentioned Extremist who truly believes he's doing a good thing with his conspiracy to take over Earth and put it under martial law. He even looks sorry when he frames his old protege, Ben Sisko, and has him put in a holding cell. Until three-quarters through the story, the station captures another conspirator and is bringing him to Earth on the Defiant to testify. Leyton tells his right-hand-woman that the ship was taken over by Changelings and needs to be destroyed.
    • Quark comes close when he agrees to help his cousin sell weapons after his investments fall through and his debt piles up. Everyone calls him out on it and he begins to fear it himself. He stops just short, betraying his partners after they try to sell weapons to a regent who plans on killing millions
    • Kodos the Executioner from "The Conscience of the King" had murdered half the population of a colony world, picking the survivor half with Social Darwinism having convinced himself it was the only way to alleviate a famine
  • Star Trek: Voyager: The aliens in "Scientific Method" come across as an entire civilization who crossed the Moral Event Horizon long ago and have just kept on going. They routinely do medical experiments on sentient creatures, mutilating, torturing them, and even killing them if they feel it will benefit their medical research to do so. They feel completely justified in their actions and not only do they feel no remorse or regret over their actions, they feel that what they do is noble and beneficial. Genetically deforming, maiming and killing the crew of Voyager is the Nightmare Fuel evidence of their crimes and that is only the tip of the iceberg. What is really terrifying is that their flimsy justifications allow them to murder entire societies with impunity and go on torturing and killing as many sentient creatures as they feel is necessary for their "research."
    • Captain Ransom in easily crossed this line when he started murdering aliens as a fuel source for his ship. I Did What I Had to Do is nowhere near a sufficient excuse, but he at least seems to realize this at some level and eventually undergoes a Heel–Face Turn and Heroic Sacrifice.
  • Stranger Things: Until this point merely a racist, homophobic jackass, Troy proves himself to be a complete psychopath when he gives Mike the Sadistic Choice of jumping into the lake or seeing him cut Dustin's teeth out. Keep in mind, this is a huge drop, and Soft Water has been explicitly discounted - had Eleven not intervened, Mike would have been dead, and Troy knew it. Seeing Eleven break the little shit's arm in anger after that is incredibly satisfying.
  • Supernatural: Zachariah used to be Jerkass-personified, even if they were (arguably)well-intentioned. And there could be some (flimsy) rationale behind their motives as presented in the Season 4 finale. But they showed that light is NOT good in the season 5 premiere, when they threatened to cripple Bobby for life, removed Sam's lungs, and gave Dean Stage 4 stomach cancer, all to give Dean incentive to work with him. For what it's worth, Dean tells them to fuck off, each and every time.
  • Super Sentai:
    • In Engine Sentai Go-onger, Big Bad Yogoshimacritein crosses the line when he shoots at the Rangers through his sympathetic subordinates Kitaneidas and Kegalesia, resulting in their deaths. He ended up shooting himself in the foot by doing this, however, as they hang on just long enough to destroy the source of his powers.
    • Samurai Sentai Shinkenger. Being a half-Gedoushuu who spends much of his time in his natural human form, Fuwa Juzo is subjected to many What Measure Is a Non-Human? topics, thinking he might make a Heel–Face Turn (he even likes Genta's sushi). His sword Uramasa is made from his family who wanted him to stop being a Blood Knight that lives in slicing people with it. Then, when Akumaro tried to use his human emotions to use Uramasa to create a Hell on Earth, Juzo instead slices him off and reveals that he prefers to be a full-blooded Gedoushuu and doesn't care one bit for his family's pleas, all he wants is to use Uramasa to give him the pleasure of killing people.
    • Juzo's successor in this role is Basco ta Jolokia from Kaizoku Sentai Gokaiger. Again the twist is that the expected twist of him really being not so bad never happens. Though presented as a traitor and villain who'll stab anyone in the back to get what he wants, he usually has a human face, and he's a lot of fun to watch, and he even has the same gimmick as Daiki Kaito, aka Kamen Rider Diend, who is a textbook Jerk with a Heart of Gold. Okay, so he's not the Sixth Ranger after all like we all assumed, but surely he'll show his former friends some mercy when about to strike the final blow, or realize that there are more meaningful things than serving his own greed, right? Right? Well, surprise: it turns out he's a traitor and villain who'll stab anyone in the back to get what he wants. Including putting a bomb on his cute monkey-beast sidekick Sally and pushing the button, killing him/her instantly, to try to get rid of the Gokaigers, which is the moment that really makes you hate the guy. With this, he's revealed as actually being the evilest bad guy in the series (Compare this to the actual Big Bads, where Oiles Gil just wants to prove he's competent, Damaras is a Noble Demon, Barizorg's brainwashed, etc. Would any of them pull something like that?)
    • Before that, there was Choujuu Sentai Liveman and its Big Bad Great Professor Bias. To explain his Moral Event Horizon, it is important to understand how he runs his group, Volt. As of Episode 22, his students are three geniuses from Earth and two aliens, all of whose experiments he urges on with the utmost confidence. The first of the five students to go is the alien Guildos. Right before his death, Guildos realizes that he is not an alien, but a robot. Bias then confirms that not just Guildos, but the other alien, Butchy, were robots created to make the Earth students work harder. Butchy breaks down at this point because he had memories of a happy life that he just learned were completely fake and that his whole life was a lie and, as Butchy starts undergoing a Heel-Face Turn, Bias makes him self destruct. If you don't consider this Bias's Moral Event Horizon, then there's his motive for everything in the series: He recruited four students from Earth- one of them had already made a Heel-Face Turn by Episode 22- so he can raise their "scores" to 1000 so he could extract their brains and extend his immortality. After all the care he seemed to show to his students before this was revealed, this is shocking.

  • Teen Wolf: Quite a few villains do pretty horrible things.
    • Kate Argent seduces an adolescent Derek Hale and burns down his home, killing most of his family.
    • Because of this the first season's Big Bad, Peter Hale, crosses it before the series started by killing his niece for her Alpha powers.
    • Season two's Big Bad, Gerard Argent crosses it like a daily bridge - he declares a werewolf genocide on Beacon Hills, threatens to kill Scott's mother unless he betrays Derek's trust, forces his son to help kill his wife for being bitten. He uses Allison's grief to turn her into an almost perfect copy of Kate. Even when he kills Matt, the Kanima master, we feel sorrier for Matt. In the season finale, he beats up Stiles in an effort to hurt Scott and uses the Kanima to hold his granddaughter hostage - all this was an elaborate plan to become a werewolf himself to cure his own cancer.
  • On The Thin Blue Line, Baz, a teenage boy is revealed to have crossed it when he forces his confused girlfriend Natalie to throw her baby in a rubbish bin. She is at least remorseful for it, but Baz remarks "So what, who cares? It probably weren't mine anyway." This nearly causes Fowler to hit him.
  • Two and a Half Men: Rose, in the eyes of the characters, is seen to have crossed when it's suggested she killed Charlie. Even though it ends up not to be true, faking his death and imprisoning him in her basement for four years, trying to prompt Walden's ex-wife Bridget to become a stalker like her and becoming obsessed and romantically involved with Walden (his home's new owner) while Charlie is actually in fact still alive and she knows it does not make it any better. If anything, only worse.
    • Zoe was never the fans' favorite character regardless, but her constant badgering of Walden to get Alan out of the house, showing no remorse when Alan has a heart attack (both of them actually, whether she knew the second was fake or not), threatening him for taking advantage of Walden's kindness and then exposing to everyone through a PI that Alan faked it, thus putting a rift between him and Walden which is there until the series ends. Even if doing all those things wasn't enough, cheating on Walden off-screen while they were still together just clinches it!
    • If you view the show after discovering Chuck Lorre is an In-Verse character, he crosses by not only continuing the show by writing out Charlie, but even worse by having a piano fall on Charlie as he returns home. Suffice it to say, the punishment fits the crime.

  • In the original V (1983), Daniel Bernstein steadily becomes worse as he joins the visitors, using his newfound power for petty acts of cruelty and to threaten other people to get what he wants. He eventually kills an old woman who was spying for the resistance in the Visitor Headquarters, despite her pleas to him to let her go and how she's known him since he was a kid. The moment is portrayed as the point of no return for him, and the resistance sets him up to be killed when they raid his house later on.
  • Veronica Mars: In the S2 finale, it is revealed Cassidy blew up the bus at the beginning of the season. This might have been forgiven given his Freudian Excuse, but then he blows up the plane where Papa Mars was supposed to be and just in case that wasn't evil enough, he is revealed to be Veronica's rapist from S1.

  • Walker, Texas Ranger: Most of the villains tend to Kick the Dog half a dozen times before the episodes are over, but some villains really show their cruelty and cross the line. Examples:
    • Lazarus, vicious and merciless killer for hire from 4-part Story Arc is already shown as a cruel and remorseless assassin, killing undercover cops in a lot of violent ways and showing no remorse for it, but he really crosses this line when he kills an innocent young boy off-screen and after that doesn't feel anything.
    • Johnny Blade from the episode "The Lost Boys" just kept crossing the line: first, he organizes the heist and kills a cop. Then he gives the gun to one of his accomplices and the same accomplice hides in his friend's house. After learning this Johnny threatens an innocent young teenager Jesse(the same friend who Johnny's accomplice hides the gun in his house and Carlos' nephew) to remain silent about his crimes and give him his gun back or else he will kill his mother. But he doesn't just stop there. Later Jesse is arrested and thought to have killed the cop and later Johnny kidnaps his mother and forces Jesse to take all the guilt for his crimes and falsely confess or else he will kill his mother. But after Jesse does so, Johnny orders his lawyer and his henchmen in prison to kill Jesse, even after he took all the guilt and attempted to make his mother commit suicide. This was so evil, that judging from the look on his henchmen's faces, they seemed disturbed by it. Luckily he is defeated and his accomplices are arrested.
    • Recurring villain Victor La Rue is pure evil, in "The Trial Of La Rue" he takes the courtroom hostage, kills the judge, and taunts Alex. In the end, Walker kills his ass, completely skipping the typical fisticuffs beat down, opting to just shoot the fucker dead. This alone showed that Walker has seriously had enough of the bastard's shit.
  • The Walking Dead: Ed Peletier was certain nobody's favorite character, constantly abusing Carol and Sophia just to show his dominance. Nobody was sad when he was the first of the group to be killed off when the camp was invaded by Walkers and he was off sulking in his tent because Shane had beaten the shit of out him earlier in the day. However, his Moral Event Horizon moment doesn't get revealed until the season two premier when Carol states that he was looking at his own daughter, suggesting he was ready to sexually abuse her as well.
    • Shane crosses a MEH when he shoots Otis in the leg, leaving him to be eaten alive by walkers. If not that, then he's definitely crossed it when he snaps Randall's neck in cold blood and attempts to frame the boy for attacking him, to justify it.
    • Lizzie crosses the MEH when she murders her sister in order to prove humanity within Walkers still exists, and then planned to do the same thing to Judith.
  • The Wire: Quite a few people cross the line.
    • Stringer Bell leads the pack by ordering the murder of D'Angelo Barksdale in prison, then negotiating a drug deal with Prop Joe behind Avon's back at D'Angelo's funeral.
    • Walker is shown to be an all-around bastard but crosses the Horizon when he breaks Donut's fingers rather than attempt to arrest him.
    • Valchek counts. He orders an investigation into Frank Sobotka over a personal feud which ultimately leads to Frank's death at the hands of The Greeks. Valchek doesn't seem particularly bothered when this happens, handwaving that "That's what happens when you lay down with gangsters."
    • Method Man's Cheese Wagstaff crosses it when he sells out his uncle, Proposition Joe, to Marlo Stanfield, leading to Joe's murder.
  • Wolf Hall portrays the execution of Anne Boleyn as one for Thomas Cromwell and Henry VIII.
    • Cromwell, who until now had been a sympathetic character, uses Henry's order to get rid of Anne as an excuse to exact vengeance on the five men who played demons in a masque that disgraced the memory of his master, Cardinal Wolsey. He convicts them of high treason using hearsay, tricks, and a Kangaroo Court, sending all five to the block. When it comes to Anne's death, however, Cromwell is clearly not happy with having engineered it. The last shot of the series is him staring blankly over Henry's shoulder in the realization that he's sold his soul in the service of a fickle monster.
    • Henry, unlike Cromwell, has no qualms whatsoever about declaring that Anne—a woman for whom he had upended the religious authority of England in order to marry—has somehow "bewitched" him because their only surviving child is a daughter and, of course, that would ruin England. When Cromwell arrives to tell him that yes, Anne is now dead, Henry beams like he's just won the lottery and embraces Cromwell like a brother.

  • Zoey 101: The Gym coaches had been major Jerkassesnote , but Coach Keller crosses it in "Wrestling" when he forces Zoey onto the wrestling team by basically yelling her into it against her will for, unbeknownst to her until the time comes, the sole purpose of using her to make boys forfeit against her in the state tournament to then get another student into the finals without tiring him out and claiming she was "injured". Needless to say, he got what he deserved when Zoey got his substitute out and was walloped big time by Chuck Javers.

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  • The 100:
    • Finn kills several Grounder prisoners. He's sort of regretful about it but still hates the Grounders. Eventually, he accepts his guilt and allows himself to be executed.
  • 24: Several characters cross it, even when they're not intending to. In fact, an alternate name for the show could be "Moral Event Horizon: The Series". It's a very long list:
    • Season 1 villains: Kevin Carroll crosses it by smothering Janet York to death. Andre Drazen leaps over the horizon by killing a hostage after Jack has already complied with his demands, and finally, if his father Victor didn't cross the horizon while he was a warlord, he most certainly crossed it by killing his friend's daughter without hesitation or remorse when Jack takes her hostage.
    • Season 3: Ramon Salzaar shooting his brother Hector for not going along with a deal.
    • Season 4: Dinah Araz coldly poisoning an innocent teenage girl. It's the smiling and talking over family photos while Debbie unknowingly drinks the poisoned tea that sends her over, and though she attempts a Heel–Face Turn afterward, she gets a Karmic Death instead. Her son Behrooz, the subject of a prominent What Happened to the Mouse? follows her right across the line by still following her orders despite clearing knowing she's crossed the MEH.
    • Season 5: Christopher Henderson likely already crossed the horizon before he even appeared on-screen by ordering the murder of David Palmer and Michelle Dessler. If not, then he seemed to do so via his implied murder of Evelyn Martin and her daughter.
    • Season 6: Abu Fayed detonating a nuke that kills many thousands of people, Graem Bauer either by his involvement in Day 5 or his confessed multiple attempts to murder Jack, Philip Bauer either by murdering Graem to cover his tracks or threatening to murder his grandson Josh, and Cheng Zi by torturing Audrey Heller for no other reason than to spite Jack and use her against him.
    • Season 8: Charles Logan by corrupting Allison Taylor to redeem his public image, and Yuri Suvarov, for orchestrating the day's events, particularly the murder of Omar Hassan and Renee Walker.
    • Up until the finale of the first season, Nina Myers seemed - at best - to be someone with muddled loyalties. Even when it was revealed in the previous episode that she was Victor Drazen's contact in CTU (and was thus responsible for tipping the assassin off to the safehouse where Teri and Kim were staying), she still wasn't overtly bad. That changes in the span of the finale, though, when it's revealed that she not only slit Jamey Farrell's wrists while the latter was handcuffed to a chair but goes on to shoot and kill Teri Bauer (who just revealed to her that she was pregnant), despite not having any real reason to. Even though the writers tried to humanize her in the next two seasons, it didn't work.
    • Sherry Palmer appeared to be a Lady Macbeth-esque figure who's constantly scheming behind-the-scenes to make sure her husband doesn't lose the Presidency. That pretense gets dropped when she lets Alan Milliken (who was trying to blackmail her husband) suffer a heart attack while railing at him, and then preventing Milliken's wife from administering the medicine he needs.
    • For some, Mike Novick never recovered from the season 2 incident where he pushed Presidential assistant Lynne Kresge down a flight of stairs (which crippled her), then comforted her as she was being wheeled to the ambulance.
      • Well, actually Mike didn't do that himself. He just locked Lynne in a room and assigned a guard to watch her. The guard is the one the pushed her down the stairs while she was trying to escape. On the one hand, Mike did a pretty bad thing by locking her in a room so she wouldn't interfere with the plan to impeach Palmer. On the other hand, he likely had no idea something like that was going to happen to her. But yeah, the "comforting" thing still made it a lot worse...
    • The show's writers had attempted to humanize Habib Marwan in Season 4, via deleted scenes that show him interacting with a wife and child who he is very caring towards. These scenes were apparently dropped when they realized that he crossed a clear line when he killed tens of thousands via a nuclear power plant meltdown, then followed it up by blowing Air Force One out of the sky and killing the majority of people aboard (including the President's son).
    • According to some, even Jack has crossed this line, via his execution of an unarmed (and surrendering) Dana Walsh. He does get called out on it by other characters, and it seems to be the moment where he's finally crossed the deep end.
      • What really makes it all the more of one for Jack was the fact that in spite of his methods he still had a bit of a personal moral code that was always above the attitude of Revenge Before Reason. Killing Dana was essentially the point where he went "Screw it."
    • Tony Almeida (depending on who you ask) in Season 7. Three words: "I'm sorry, Larry."
    • Additionally, many feel President Allison Taylor crossed it by willingly listening to Charles Logan, despite knowing all about his past crimes and the type of man he is, and outright threatening Dahlia Hassan with the military invasion of her country.


Example of: