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Oh Crap / Theatre

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Oh, Crap! moments in theatre.

  • In The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, this is Barfee's reaction when he discovers that the sticky floor won't allow him to use his "magic foot" to spell the word.
  • In 1776, Franklin and then Jefferson realize that they're in serious trouble when Edward Rutledge asks for clarification about the anti-slavery clause in the Declaration. Franklin mutters "look out" when Rutledge first speaks, and Jefferson abruptly stands up when Rutledge starts to read it.
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  • Angels in America: Roy Cohn is halfway through gloating over finally managing to get Ethel Rosenberg to sing, when his heartrate monitor flatlines. He has just enough time to mutter "oh fuck," before collapsing.
  • In The Book of Mormon, the two missionaries exiled to Uganda are painfully realising that evangelisation strategies tailored to affluent First World countries are not likely to work here. As Elder Cunningham is explaining Mormon theology to the local Ugandans, he comes to the foundation myth of how the Lamite people fell from sin and became accursed in the sight of God. As he tells a story which is perfectly acceptable in Utah and which was born in nineteenth century North America prior to the Civil War, it suddenly dawns on him. He is not evangelising to white people. The tale of how the first black people were born - given the mark of Cain because of their sinful state, and made lesser beings in all their generations - is not going to get him a round of applause and a handshake. Hastily, he rescues the situation by substituting Chinese for black, which his congregation whole-heartedly agrees with. note 
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  • In La Cage aux folles, Albin habitually takes off his "Zaza" wig after performing "The Best of Times", and, suddenly realizing he's unmasked himself to the Dindons, says: "Oh, merde!"
  • In John Willard's The Cat and The Canary, lawyer Roger Crosby has one of these moments as his last line.
    • As does Charlie, when he is unmasked by Annabelle.
  • If he's not being a literal Death Seeker, Rudolf from Elisabeth initially reacts like this when Death and his Angels shows up for the Mayerling Waltz.
  • Hamilton: "That was my wife you decided to-" "Fuuuuuu..."
  • The last scene of Hamlet has a couple of these. Hamlet has one when Laertes informs him that he's been poisoned by the foil and he's got less than a half hour to live (a lot less, as it turns out). Claudius gets the next one when it becomes clear that the jig is up, Hamlet is finally sufficiently motivated to kill him, and no one's about to prevent it.
  • Cinderella from Into the Woods has her Oh, Crap! moment when she realizes that the current trouble they're in is due to her throwing away the bean the Baker's Wife gave her.
  • In what might be a "Crowning Moment of Oh, Crap!", Macbeth has two of these when it dawns on him he might've taken the witch's truths a bit too literally...
    • Or, more accurately, not literally enough.
  • Margin for Error has Horst's panicked reaction as it dawns on him that the Consul wasn't joking about having him "rubbed out by a Jew" on his next mission:
    Horst (His uncritical belief in his heroic destiny is suffering a terrible strain): You're trying to murder me! I won't have it! If Berlin's so hard up for a martyr, let them send one over! And they'd better send someone to kill him—
    Consul: Is the American Fuehrer not prepared to die for his Nazi principles?
    Horst (Incoherent with fear): No!!! I mean—yes—I—I mean, I haven't finished my memoirs yet, I—
    Consul: The Fuehrer asks nobody to do what he wouldn't do himself.
  • Enjolras in Les Misérables gets one when he realizes that Les Amis are about to get obliterated by the French Army because no one has come to their aid.
    The people have not stirred
    We are abandoned by those who still live in fear
    Let us not waste lives
    Let all women and fathers of children go from here
  • The Phantom of the Opera pretty much boils down to the title character causing a series of these reactions in everyone else. Falling Chandelier of Doom, anyone?
  • Sir Ruthven Murgatroyd from Ruddigore has three: When Richard unmasks him (forcing the title and its Be A Punch-Clock Villain Or Die Horribly curse onto him), one when he realizes his misdemeanors won't cut it and he has to cross the Moral Event Horizon or die, and again when Dame Hannah, the maiden Gideon Crawle has kidnapped on his orders, appropriates a BFS and challenges Ruthven.
  • In The Taming of the Shrew, Lucentio has switched places with his servant Tranio for the purposes of a Zany Scheme. Eventually, Tranio is told to produce his father and gets a pedant to impersonate Lucentio's dad. Everything's going well until Lucentio's real father shows up, at which point Tranio, the pedant and Lucentio's other servant Biondello frantically deny knowing him and try to get him thrown in jail. Just when it looks as if this might actually work, Lucentio arrives on the scene:
    Biondello: O! we are spoiled and—yonder he is: deny him, forswear him, or else we are all undone.
    Lucentio: [Kneeling] Pardon, sweet father.
    Vincentio: Lives my sweet son?
    [Exeunt BIONDELLO, TRANIO, and Pedant, as fast as may be]

Alternative Title(s): Theater


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