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Wham Episode / Film

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  • Trilogies love doing this, usually at the end of the middle chapter. To the extent that there's an entire trope for it.
    • Back to the Future Part II ends with Doc Brown and the DeLorean being struck by lightning and being warped to who-knows-when. This leaves Marty stuck in the past, and the past Doc Brown is his only hope of finding the other Doc and getting back to the future. And then he gets a piece of mail...
    • The Dark Knight: Rachel is killed. Later Harvey goes off the deep end and becomes Two-Face, Batman ends up killing him, and takes the blame for all of his crimes to ensure that Harvey Dents reputation isn't destroyed and all the criminals he prosecuted stay in prison.
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    • The Matrix Reloaded ends with Neo's meeting with The Architect, sealing mankind's fate by choosing to save Trinity, and somehow demonstrating his powers in the real world. Oh and Smith is in the real world too. The entire second half of Revolutions contains much more wham however.
    • Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest ends with the death of Jack Sparrow, and the reappearance of Barbossa, who turns out to be Not Quite Dead.
    • In a case where the most shocking episode is the last (carried over by a Trilogy Creep) Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, shows that John Connor failed to prevent Judgment Day from happening, and that the Terminator sent to save him was the one who's going to kill him in the future.
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Superman crosses paths with Batman and Wonder Woman in a live-action movie, for the first time in any of those characters' histories. Everyone expected that, but they probably didn't expect Batman to find a detailed Metahuman research log in Lex Luthor's personal archives, containing video footage of The Flash, Aquaman and Cyborg. They probably also didn't expect Batman to have a vision of a possible future showing Superman leading the armies of Darkseid to conquer the world. And they definitely didn't expect Superman dying in battle with Doomsday, and Batman and Wonder Woman vowing to assemble the Justice League in the final scene to honor his memory.
  • How can you tell a Firefly fan hasn't seen Serenity? They smile at Wash's "I am a leaf on the wind" line from the trailer, not knowing what comes after his final, victorious statement.
    • The whole film goes from wham moment to wham moment... it even opens with a wham moment: Simon is the one who did the physical infiltration and rescue of the academy to get his sister out? Suddenly, everything we know about him from the series has been turned on its head (but it does give us a new insight into the episode "Ariel"). Then we learn the government made the Reavers. Then Book dies and the Operative kills anyone who's ever sheltered the crew just in case Mal decides to go into hiding with any of them. Then Mal turns Serenity to a Reaver ship, even putting several bodies of friends they'd once known onto the ship to add to the vision. Then the above mentioned wham moment kicks in.
  • Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom: The volcano on Isla Nublar erupts, killing off any dinosaurs left on the island. The dinosaurs not sold on the black market escape onto the mainland, putting them into direct conflict with humanity. It's also revealed that genetic engineering has progressed to the point where InGen can create perfect human clones, as is the case with Maisie.
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  • Kung Fu Panda 2. Unlike the first film, characters die and are actually confirmed dead, unlike any of the possible "deaths" of the first film. Not only that, the threat they face is greater, and we start to learn about a young Po's tragic past.
  • Marvel's The Avengers is this for the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe: The rest of the universe now knows that Earth is not as defenseless as they once assumed, with Thanos now wanting to "court Death" by challenging Earth's mightiest heroes somewhere down the line.
    • Captain America: The Winter Soldier was hyped as a game changer, and they weren't wrong. Aside from the spoiler everyone could see coming (that the Winter Soldier was Steve's best friend Bucky, for those who managed to avoid This Very Wiki and other places), we find out that SHIELD has been infiltrated and controlled by HYDRA from its very inception, and Cap, Black Widow and Falcon dissolve the organization with the help of Nick Fury, Maria Hill and Agent 13, while Fury fakes his death and goes underground to take down HYDRA. Meanwhile, Baron von Strucker has Scarlet Witch and Quicksilver captive, and is studying Loki's scepter...
    • All Hail the King reveals that contrary to what Iron Man 3 told us, there is a Mandarin, and he is not happy with what Slattery and Killian have done to his name.
    • Pretty much EVERY film in the MCU, especially Phase 2 and beyond, can be considered this in one way or another:
      • Thor: The Dark World: The Tesseract and the Aether are two of the six Infinity Stones. Also, Loki is impersonating Odin and has stolen the throne. Sayeth what?!.
      • Guardians of the Galaxy: The origin of the Infinity Stones is shown, and the Power Stone, a.k.a. The Orb, makes its debut.
      • Avengers: Age of Ultron: The true Mind Stone is removed from Loki's Scepter, and is used to create (indirectly) Ultron and (directly) Vision, even taking the place of his usual Solar Gem from the comics. Thor, and by extent the rest of the Avengers, learn about the existence of the Infinity Stones. Oh, and the original Avengers team breaks up, with a new team (consisting of Captain America, Black Widow, Falcon, Scarlet Witch, War Machine, and Vision) taking their place.
      • Captain America: Civil War: The majority of the Avengers are now fugitives from the law, Steve and Tony's friendship is irrevocably damaged, Bucky goes back into the ice until his brainwashing can be undone, Rhodey is possibly permanently paralyzed without an exosuit, and for the first time ever, the Big Bad achieves his goals (in this case, tearing the Avengers apart).
      • This movie was such a Wham Episode that the events of the film go on to directly shape the narrative of four following movies.
      • Thor: Ragnarok: Odin dies, Mjolnir is destroyed, Banner may be permanently transformed into the Hulk, Thor learns how to use his lightning power without his hammer, Loki appears to have a genuine Heel–Face Turn, and Asgard is destroyed, leaving Thor the king of a refugee race.
      • Avengers: Infinity War: This film is Wham Incarnate. The film starts out with Loki and Heimdall dying, Act 2 ends with Gamora dying, and the film ends with literally half of the universe, including main characters, disintegrating into ash. How's that for a wham movie?
      • Avengers: Endgame: If you thought Infinity War was crazy, then Endgame is just flat-out insane. The Avengers try to get the Infinity Stones back from Thanos, only to learn that he had destroyed them. After Thor kills Thanos in his rage, five years pass without a single glimmer of hope for bringing back everyone who got snapped. But then, Scott suddenly escapes the Quantum Realm, and the Avengers reunite to go back in time and reclaim all of the Infinity Stones. Black Widow dies to get the Soul Stone, but the Avengers do manage to use the Infinity Gauntlet to bring everyone back. However, when they accidentally bring 2014 Thanos through the time machine, Iron Man sacrifices himself by using the Infinity Gauntlet to snap Thanos and his entire army out of existence. Even the epilogue is pretty crazy, as half of all of civilization have basically missed five years of their lives, Captain America goes back in time to return the stones and stays there to be with Peggy, Thor leaves with the Guardians Of The Galaxy, Gamora from 2014 is stuck in present day and doesn't know anyone, and Sam Wilson takes Captain America's shield. WOW.
  • Each of the Saw movies ends with one, but Saw III definitely gets the prize for the death of Jigsaw.
  • Two in the film adaptation of Space Battleship Yamato:
    • First, when the Yamato warps to the other side of Iskandar, they realize it and Gamilon, the homeworld of their alien adversaries, are one and the same.
    • Then, after returning to Earth, a lone remaining Gamilon vessel appears and cripples the Yamato before preparing a final attack on Earth.
  • The 2009 Star Trek reboot movie. The Vulcan homeworld is utterly annihilated, along with all but about 10,000 inhabitants.
  • Being a prequel, the wham is kind of dulled since we all knew it was coming, but Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. Anakin turning to The Dark Side, The Republic giving way to The Empire, the Jedi Order all but wiped out and the few survivors forced into hiding, Padme dead... and basically, an all-around Downer Ending.
    • George Lucas is known for making his movies very family friendly, and both Episode I and II have serious moments but are relatively light. Episode III features Anakin slaughtering Jedi "younglings" heartlessly, which is so vicious that it probably caught everyone off guard.
    • The Empire Strikes Back is most famous for Luke, I Am Your Father and a potential Trope Codifier, but even still in this movie the only victory the heroes have was escaping by the skin of their teeth.
    • Following in the tradition of middle chapters of a three-part story being wham-tastic is The Last Jedi. Luke wants nothing to do with Rey, Kylo Ren turned to the dark side in part because Luke considered killing him, the First Order decimates the Resistance until only a few are left. Kylo kills Snoke (what we thought was the Big Bad of the trilogy) unceremoniously and becomes the Supreme Leader himself. Rey learns that her parents were junk traders who sold her for beer, and died in an unmarked grave. Luke uses the Force to project himself across the galaxy to face off against Kylo, but the effort is too much for him, and he dies saving the Resistance.
  • The concept is dramatized in the soap opera within the movie Tootsie, where the (female) character played by Dustin Hoffman reveals that she is a man, thus completely changing the continuity and forcing the fans to reevaluate earlier episodes.
  • Transformers: Dark of the Moon: Not only does Sentinel Prime betray the Autobots by striking a deal with the Decepticons, and Dylan Gould, Carly's boss, is revealed to be working with them, but also Cybertron is presumably annihilated by the end, making Earth their only remaining home.


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