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Wham Line / Survivor

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Happens about Once a Season, usually coinciding with a Shocking Elimination. Examples are:

  • Survivor Oz made a list of the Top 10 Scene-Changing Lines
  • Borneo: "The Merger" - this line at Tribal Council is considered by a few long-time fans as the line that changed the entire course of the series itself:
    Gretchen: "Oh my god... it's me."
  • The Australian Outback:
    • "The Killing Fields":
      Tina: "This was not my original intended vote. However, on the way here to Tribal Council, a new scheme was developed. In the spirit of the Olympics, let the games begin." Context 
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    • "Trial By Fire":
      Nick: "He's burned. He's burned real bad." Context 
  • From Africa: "The Twist"
    Jeff Probst: "Silas, Teresa, Frank, you guys are now members of Boran. Kelly, Lex, Tom, you guys are now members of Samburu." Context 
  • Marquesas: "Jury's Out" - With Boston Rob eliminated from the game, it looks like nothing can stop John Carroll and the Rotu 4 from cruising all the way to the end of the game. The next immunity challenge is the coconut chop challenge, and the Rotu 4 gang up and eliminate their main target, Sean Rector, first. It looks like Sean is doomed at the next tribal council. The Rotu 4 then proceed to eliminate Vecepia ... then Kathy ... then Neleh. Sean then observes aloud:
    Sean: "This is the order, how it's gonna go?"
    • With that, Kathy, Neleh and Paschal realize that Rotu is showing their planned order of voting, and that they are at the bottom of the former Rotu hierarchy. This is compounded by another Wham Line later on in the episode:
      Neleh: "I just had this feeling, especially after today's immunity challenge. I saw 'em hack down Paschal's coconuts so fast, and inside I'm just like...there's gotta be something changed here."
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    • They proceed to join forces with Sean and Vecepia, blindside the arrogant John at the next Tribal Council, and wipe out the rest of the Rotu 4 at the next 3 votes.
  • Thailand: "Assumptions":
    Jeff Probst: "You said 'merge.'... I certainly didn't say anything to give you that impression, did I?" Context 
  • The Amazon: "The Amazon Heats Up":
  • Pearl Islands:
    • "The Great Lie":
      Jonny Fairplay: "My grandma is sitting home watching Jerry Springer right now." Context 
    • "Mutiny" - Jonny Fairplay appears to have the game in hand - he and Burton are one Tribal Council away from the final four for both of them. To make sure that they're both a lock for the endgame, he approaches Sandra to make sure that she's going to vote along with him. She appears to agree, but just so Jon is sure that Sandra's going along with his plans, he makes her swear on her two kids, which she does. Satisfied, he walks away, and we cut to a Sandra confessional...
      Sandra: "And in my head, and mumbling under my breath, I was like 'I swear on my two kids that I'm gonna screw you [Jon] and Burton.'"
      • What follows is Jon and Burton's game completely collapsing on itself.
  • All-Stars: "Mad Scramble and Broken Hearts" :
    Rob M.: "You take care of her, I'll take care of you." Context 
    • Which leads perfectly into this line from the following episode, "Anger, Tears, and Chaos":
      Rob M.: "As soon as we merged, Lex comes running over to me... 'Rob, make me feel comfortable. Tell me that I'm safe. Tell me that I'm safe...' What, I'm making the deal — save Amber, and I'm gonna help you later on? You guys really didn't believe that, did you?"
    • In the finale, Big Tom tells Rob that there's nothing personal between them. When he goes for a hi-five, he fakes him out and shows Rob who's really in power.
      Tom: "Don't be stupid, stupid. I may have fell for it once. I fell for it twice! (much more sternly) Not this time."
  • Vanuatu: "Gender Wars...It's Getting Ugly":
  • Fiji: "It's a Turtle?!" - The Four Horsemen are one vote away from controlling the game, and all they need to do is play the idol for whomever the other five are voting for. They try to make it seem like either Mookie or Alex has the idol. However...:
    Stacy: "If they think we're voting between Mookie and Alex, why don't we vote off Edgardo?"
    Earl: "Why don't we vote off Edgardo? That'd come out of nowhere."
  • Micronesia: Fans vs. Favorites:
    • "If It Smells Like A Rat, Give It Cheese" - Erik is the last man standing in a Final Five of him and four women. The main reason he's still in the game is because he's the strongest challenge competitor and has had individual immunity for the past two Tribal Councils. The only thing that they can even think of to overcome this is...
      Cirie: "I wonder if he would give Nat his necklace...probably not, huh?"
  • Tocantins:
    • After being targeted from the very first day of the game, and with her back against the wall, It seems as though Sierra is finally about to be ousted from the game after narrowly losing immunity, to the glee of Coach and Tyson. But then, Erinn noticed something about the usual challenge monster, Tyson...
      Erinn: "...You know what we COULD do tonight?... Cause [Tyson] doesn't have immunity..."
  • Heroes vs. Villains:
    • "Banana Etiquette" - The Villains' majority alliance is planning to take out Russell or Parvati at Tribal Council that night, and decide to split their votes between the two. After the votes were cast, Russell plays his Hidden Immunity Idol for Parvati, and...:
      Jeff Probst: (revealing the third vote for Parvati) "Parvati, does not count. We're still at two votes Russell. (reveals next vote) Parvati, does not count. (reveals next vote) Tyson." Context 
    • "Anything can Happen" - Russell has just told Sandra that he wants her sitting in the finals with her. Once again, we cut to a Sandra confessional:
      Sandra: "Russell wants me sitting next to him because he knows I'm not gonna get a single vote. [beat] But I don't know about thaaaaaat..."
  • Redemption Island: "This Game Respects Big Moves" - The minority alliance is planning to weaken Rob and his majority alliance by convincing Matt (who had returned from the titular island after being blindsided) to go along with them and taking out Grant. Rob gets wind of this and immediately starts taking countermeasures by talking Matt back onto his side, secretly planning to have his alliance cut him loose immediately. The minority alliance anticipates the majority outvoting them, so at the tribal council, the immunity idol is played on Mike, the most obvious target. All of the votes from the minority come up Grant, and then...
    Jeff Probst: (pulls out the sixth vote) "Steve (Steve goes Oh, Crap!, Julie Face Palms, Matt nods smugly) That's five votes Grant, one vote Steve. (reveals next vote) Matt."
  • South Pacific:
    • "I Need Redemption"
      Brandon: The lady next to me, she goes, "Oh my god, I hope it's not Russell Hantz." I will never, ever tell them my last name. Context 
    • "Double Agent" - Ozzy's bold gambit to get himself voted to Redemption Island in order to take out Christine, betting that they were about to merge and his play would bring his tribe into the merge even with the other tribe, actually works when he defeats Christine in the challenge and they do in fact merge, bringing him back into the game. The second part of his plan involves Ozzy acting at the Redemption Island challenge like Cochran betrayed the whole tribe by playing the immunity idol. This would allow Cochran to infiltrate the other tribe as a double agent. Later, Cochran is playing up being on the outs with his tribe to Coach to try to get more information. It seems to be going well, until:
      Coach: "I’m gonna tell you right now, our tribe isn’t budging ... and I feel like you guys are trying to play us."
  • Philippines: "Million Dollar Question".
    Jeff: "Lisa, is there a reason you should take Malcolm to the end?"
    Malcolm: "...don't hesitate that long..."
  • Caramoan:
    Malcolm: (when Reynold gets up to play his idol) "Hold up, bro."
  • Game Changers:
    Jeff Varner: (to Zeke) "Why haven't you told anyone you're transgender?" Context 
  • In David vs. Goliath, the David tribe loses the first immunity challenge, and after leaving back for camp, the show cuts to commercial. The episode leads you to believe beforehand that Nick would be voted out. Then, after the commercials end, the first line is:
  • In Australian Survivor, Little awkward, overly emotional, flip-flopping Kristie, who had snuck into the final 5 by being so obviously a goat, and had seemingly only managed a place in the top 2 by sheer force of luck after some of the most gob-smackingly bad tribal council decisions in Survivor history, sits down at final tribal council and laughs: "You guys thought I was crazy!"

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