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Animated

  • In Toy Story 2, when Woody asks his Roundup friends to come back to Andy’s house with him and the other toys, he turns around Stinky Pete’s box to find him gone—and screwing shut the grate on the air vent. That’s when we find out that Pete is Evil All Along rather than a gentleman, going to any lengths to keep Woody with them en route to Japan, which he’d been trying to do since Woody told him, Jessie and Bullseye that he still belonged to Andy. It starts when Pete wakes up Al by turning up "Woody's Roundup" while Woody tries to retrieve his detached arm.
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  • In Up, such a shot reveals that Carl's house is now in the middle of a construction area.
  • In Wreck-It Ralph
    • When Ralph sees Vanellope's picture on the side of Sugar Rush's gaming console, meaning that she's not The Missingno. as he has been lead to believe, but a legitimate character who was unfairly cut out of the game.
    • In the climactic race, Vanellope (who's trying to win) is fighting with King Candy. She starts glitching out while she's grabbing on to his arm, which causes his appearance to destabilize and reveals him for who he really is: Turbo, one-time main character of an old racing game who got both his and another game disabled through being an Attention Whore.
  • The shot in ParaNorman that reveals that the witch is just a scared little girl, who looks uncannily like Norman.
  • In Monsters, Inc., we have this moment accompanying Waternoose's Wham Line.
    Mike: Um, sir...that's not her door.
    Waternoose: I know, I know...
    (Suddenly, Randall appears next to the door, opening it with a maniacal grin)
    Waternoose: It's yours.
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  • Monsters University has a shot that reveals the door that Mike found and opened to the human world doesn't have one child, but an entire summer camp.
  • In The Spongebob Squarepants Movie, SpongeBob and Patrick are drying out in a gift shop on the surface and they believe that they didn't reach Shell City and failed their mission...until Patrick notices a sign above them reading "Shell City: Marine Gifts and Sundries". Yep, they did make it.
  • Mulan's musical number "A Girl Worth Fighting For" abruptly ends mid-lyrics when the soldiers arrive at a village razed by the Huns. And then that gets one-upped when they see the battlefield where General Li's entire army was massacred.
  • Frozen: Hans stopping just inches away from Anna's lips to kiss her and revive her of her frozen heart, then giving a rather scary grin, which not only alerts Anna, but also the whole audience, that something is not right.
  • Frozen II:
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    • Agnarr and Iduna's shipwreck being found on the coast of the Northuldra's forest, and NOT the Southern Seas as Anna and Elsa had been led to believe for 6 years.
    • Elsa's hands starting to freeze once she reaches the deepest part of Ahtohallan. It isn't long before the rest of her body starts freezing.
  • Incredibles 2: At an event celebrating Elastigirl capturing the Screenslaver, Elastigirl looks at one of the screens showing her fight with the villain and sees a the action being played on a screen in the background. By realizing that the Screenslaver somehow accessed her suit's camera, Elastigirl has a Eureka Moment that gets her one step closer to finding the person responsible. This is then followed by Evelyn, who's been "helping" her the entire time, slapping a hypno-mask on her.
  • Moana has two back-to-back.
    • When Moana finally makes it to Te Fiti's resting place, she finds that the island itself has vanished entirely. This leads directly to the second Wham Shot.
    • Moana sees the symbol of Te Fiti on Te Ka's torso, revealing that Te Ka is Te Fiti.

Live-Action

  • Absolute Power: Alan Richmond being the President of the United States is revealed like this. Initially, the audience isn't aware who he is when Luther witnesses his affair with and murder of Christy Sullivan; the presence of his security staff hints that he's a high-placed person, but he's not formally introduced until a White House press conference when the camera pans up to reveal that the President is the same man who is responsibe for the death of a young woman that night.
  • The entirety of Citizen Kane deals with making sense of the eponymous Kane's life, including trying to find the meaning behind the last word he said- "Rosebud." At the very end, when everyone has given up, you see some of Kane's old possessions being burned, including a sled with the word "Rosebud" on it, which Kane had ridden as a young child.
  • In Vertigo when Judy flashes back to pretending to be Madeleine to help fake her suicide.
  • Planet of the Apes (1968): The shot of the buried Statue of Liberty, showing that the astronauts were on Earth All Along.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • In Iron Man, the black jeep drives into the terrorists' camp and Obadiah Stane gets out.
    • Iron Man 2 ended with Agent Coulson on looking at a crater caused by Thor's hammer, connecting the movie to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
    • The Stinger to The Avengers gives us the final shot of Thanos, the Mad Titan turning toward the camera...and smiling.
    • In Iron Man 3, as the movie nears its climax, the camera briefly cuts to Tony's wrecked home; a hidden underground room was shrouded in complete darkness, until more than a dozen arc reactors start lighting up the place.
    • Toward the end of Thor: The Dark World, as Thor leaves the throne room, Odin is revealed to be Loki in disguise.
    • In Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Steve gets into a fight with the titular antagonist and rips his mask off. Cue a shot of the unmasked Winter Soldier looking back at Steve revealing him to be Bucky Barnes.
    • In Avengers: Age of Ultron, the Avengers are debating whether Vision can be trusted, since he was created by Ultron. Then Vision casually picks up Mjolnir and hands it to Thor.
    • In Captain America: Civil War, the third and final time we return to the mission that formed the Action Prologue, we finally see that the people in the car were Howard and Maria Stark.
    • Earlier, the shot where Ant-Man turns to giant size at the airport (especially since there had been no foreshadowing that he could do this up to this point).
    • In Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, Nebula and Gamora suddenly realizing the cave they've fallen into is filled with thousands of skeletal remains.
    • In Spider-Man: Homecoming, Peter Parker rings the doorbell to his date's house on Homecoming night, and Adrian Toomes opens the door, revealing that Peter's crush is the daughter of the film's villain.
    • In Thor: Ragnarok, Thor throws Mjolnir at Hela in their initial confrontation. Then she not only blocks the hammer with one hand, she then destroys it.
    • In Avengers: Infinity War, Thanos snaps his fingers with the Gauntlet and one-by-one, heroes and others start turning into dust.
    • Earlier, when Thanos and Gamora search for the Soul Stone on another world, its hooded guardian steps forward to reveal himself as the Red Skull.
    • In The Stinger for Ant-Man and the Wasp, Scott is in the Quantum Realm on a mission and calls back to Hank, Janet and Hope but hears only static. Cut to the rooftop where all three are now nothing but ash, the camera focusing on the communicator as Scott's voice calls for help.
    • The final Once More, with Clarity! flashback in Captain Marvel is a Wham Scene, but two shots in particular are notable — first, Carol bleeds from her nose after her plane crashes, and her blood is red, proving she's human, not Kree. Second is when Mar-Vell's killer steps out of the fog, and it's not a Skrull; it's Carol's supposed friend, Yon-Rogg.
    • Quite a few in Avengers: Endgame:
      • The Avengers track down Thanos, swiftly overpower him, and cut off his arm to take the Infinity Gauntlet. To their horror, when Rocket reaches for it, the Infinity Stones are gone.
      • Frustrated and enraged, Thor abruptly kills Thanos just as he and Nebula are laying the groundwork for possibly reconciling as father and daughter.
      • Some In-Universe, personal ones for Scott, who has just escaped the Quantum Realm and has no idea what has happened to the outside world. He finds a memorial to the victims of the Decimation, which includes his own name. Then he realizes the true nature of the Quantum Realm when he returns home to find his daughter Cassie is now fifteen years old. Later, in a more comical example, it's from his perspective that the audience is introduced to Professor Hulk.
      • 2014!Thanos prepares to kill Thor with his own axe, only to be hit off-balance by Mjolnir. The enchanted hammer then to flies into the hand of its wielder - not Thor himself, but Captain America.
      • Just as hope is nearly lost and Thanos has Captain America, Thor, and Iron Man backed into a corner, Cap gets a call from Falcon, who tells him to look on his left. He turns to see a magic portal, from which Falcon, Black Panther, Princess Shuri, General Okoye, and the entire Wakandan army emerge. Soon more portals show up and nearly every living hero and ally in the franchise assemble to defeat Thanos and his army
      • Tony Stark snaps his own makeshift Infinity Gauntlet, destroying Thanos and his army at the cost of his own life.
      • At the end, Sam and Bruce panic when Steve doesn't immediately come back from returning the Infinity Stones. Bucky then points Sam to someone by the side of a lake...who is actually an old Steve.
    • In Spiderman Far From Home, the objects and some of the people in the bar that Peter just walked out of begin to disappear in flashes of blue light...as Mysterio, whom Peter just handed EDITH off to, cracks a sinister smile.
  • The end of Remember Me: after the main character waits in his father's office, a teacher writes the date on the board: September 11, 2001. Then - to show just how relevant that date is - it zooms out of the office, which is revealed to be in the Twin Towers.
  • From The Prestige, when we finally get to see that the mysterious Lord Caldlow is actually Angier, who appeared to die at the start of the film.
  • In Big Game, Moore and Oskari turning in surprise and the camera moving to reveal dead fish, dead bodies and finally, the tail of Air Force One, which turns out to be submerged in the lake the duo has fallen into.
  • Oblivion (2013): When Jack and Julia crash-land in a supposedly radioactive area, they spy a second plane land on the ground and watch as the pilot gets out from a distance. It's another Jack.
  • Final Destination 5: The ending has this for a wham shot. After they're convinced that they're off Death's list, Molly and Sam head off on an airplane to France, where everything is pretty normal...until Sam looks over and sees two people getting thrown off the plane. Didn't get that? Turns out the people getting thrown out were Alex Browning and Carter Horton, the duo who are some of the survivors to the Flight 180 Disaster, the very same disaster seen in the first movie. Yeah, this just became a prequel.
  • In the film version of Gone Girl we get the shot of Amy driving a car with a determined look on her face. That in it of itself might not seem like much, but the caption reveals that this takes place on the day of Amy's disappearance. And then it hits you: Amy staged her disappearance.
  • In We Need to Talk About Kevin, when Eva comes home after witnessing Kevin turn himself in, she opens the curtain covering the patio (just like in the film's opening scene) and discovers the true reason why Franklin wasn't answering her calls all evening: Franklin and Celia were both killed by Kevin's arrows BEFORE his massacre at the school.
  • The Dark Knight: Batman arrives at the address Joker gave him to save Rachel. He bursts through the door to find not Rachel, but Harvey.
  • After Tommy drops Jason into the tractor harrows in Friday the 13th Part V: A New Beginning, a closeup on the corpse reveals that the killer wasn't Jason after all, but someone else.
  • The ending of Basic Instinct: Catherine is seen reaching under the bed during the final scene with Nick, but when she brings up her hand, it's empty. The final shot pans down to show an icepick under the bed, implying Catherine is the real killer.
  • In X-Men: The Last Stand, Cyclops and Jean Grey reunite in one scene, resulting in a Big Damn Kiss shot, which starts to focus on Jean Grey as her expression becomes emotionless while her eyes turn black and her skin gets paler, giving the strong implication that she's not exactly herself and that Cyclops is dead meat.
  • During the big duel at the funhouse in The Man with the Golden Gun, Scaramanga goes near the statue of Bond where he finished off the last person out to get him. Then there's a shot from behind the statue, and its fingers that he shot off before have somehow come back....
  • During the climax of Who Framed Roger Rabbit, we see Judge Doom get run over by a steamroller...and survive, revealing himself to be a Toon.
  • Ghost Ship: The close-up of the mysterious instigator of the Antonia Graza massacre after he kills Francesca, revealing the demon to be the supposedly meek and heroic Ferriman, who originally led the protagonists to the ship.
  • The person who will help Will and Elizabeth retrieve Jack from Davy Jones' Locker in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest is the resurrected Barbossa.
  • In The Monster Squad, after bonding with Scary German Guy, one of the kids remarks upon leaving that he knows a lot about monsters. Scary German Guy agrees and shuts the door after them, revealing numbers tattooed onto his arm. Especially jarring considering this was a kid's film!
  • In 2001: A Space Odyssey, when the scene of Dave and Frank discussing HAL's possible unreliability shifts to closeups of their mouths intercut with HAL's fisheye lens, indicating that HAL is reading their lips.
  • In Kingsman: The Secret Service there's the closeup of Arthur's neck, revealing a scar across it that indicates he's had a chip implanted just like all the other politicians in the film. This reveals that Arthur has joined forces with Valentine and the Kingsmen have been compromised.
  • Vantage Point. Agent Taylor is seen on camera dressed as a cop.
  • Jurassic Park:
    • The Brachiosaurus, the very first dinosaur we see in all her glory in the park and the moment that drives home the fact that this film is about freaking dinosaurs being brought back to life.
    • Later, the escape of the Tyrannosaurus rex, which is where things finally get real.
    • And later still, when Ellie is ambushed by a raptor after turning the park's power back on, she's seemingly found by the chief engineer, Ray Arnold...only to discover that it's actually his severed arm, signalling that the raptors killed him.
    • And perhaps most famously of all, from the climax: The heroes are cornered by raptors and miles away from any help...a raptor prepares to lunge at them and finish them off, all seems lost...and then the freaking Tyrannosaurus rex comes back and kills the Big One and her minion.
  • The Lost World: Jurassic Park:
    • The little girl from the opening meeting a Compsognathus—the first sign that something here isn't right...
  • Jurassic Park III:
    • The Spinosaurus snapping a T. rex's neck—bear in mind, the T. rexes are the most infamously powerful dinosaurs in the franchise. The fact that the Spinosaurus can kill one with little effort shows that it's a truly formidable enemy.
    • Grant getting a better look at the interior of the seemingly abandoned animal enclosure the group sought refuge in—it's a giant aviary. Which can only mean that not only can whatever is in there fly, but it must be absolutely massive. This is quickly followed by another Wham Shot of a Pteranodon approaching Eric Kirby Slender Man-style from the fog in the Aviary, before snatching him up for lunch.
  • Jurassic World:
    • When Owen and his Raptor Squad finally catch up to the Indominus rex, she suddenly starts communicating with the raptors...leading all four of said raptors to give their former alpha a Death Glare.
    • After Claire convinces Lowery to help her open one of the paddocks at the climax, we get the ominous yet triumphant return of the original Tyrannosaurus rex.
  • In The Terminator: Sarah Connor is talking to her mother over the phone. As she's telling her the number for the place she's at, we cut to the other end of the line...and it's the Terminator, mimicking her mother's voice.
  • In Terminator Genisys: John Connor is shot dead by "Pops", who even bleeds...But then the blood turns to Nanomachines, revealing he's now a robot.
  • Terminator: Dark Fate: Right in the opening scene. During the flashback prologue set in 1998 Guatemala, Sarah Connor is seen sitting down, watching John order a drink in peace. Right behind her, another T-800 slowly walks up as a Dark Reprise of the previous one's Leitmotif from Terminator 2: Judgment Day playing... as he goes to point a gun at John.
  • In the trailer of The Jungle Book (2016), the first half is narrated by Scarlett Johansson, leaving many viewers confused, until...
    ScarJo: Let go of your fear now...
    (shot of Mowgli standing before a truly massive snake)
    Kaa: And trusssssst...in me.
  • In Tales from the Darkside: The Movie the segment "Cat From Hell", it's already clear the Professional Killer isn't going to take out the cat he's hired to kill. But just what this cat can do is made clear when there is a P.O.V. Cam lunging at the hitman's face, and the next shot shows the cat had leaped right into the hitman's mouth.
  • In Alien, Ripley is getting attacked by Ash. So, Parker hits him in the head using his makeshift flamethrower, and it tears off, revealing that Ash is actually an android.
  • In Creepshow 2, right after the Blob Monster eats Randy, the camera watches as it slowly moves back into the water. Then the camera pans over to a sign half-hidden by foliage. It reads: NO SWIMMING.
  • An In-Universe example in The Terminal. Viktor Navorski, then unable to grasp his situation due to not speaking any English, reacts strongly when he sees the political violence engulfing his country on TV.
  • An In-Universe example occurs in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan after the Reliant has launched a sneak attack that has crippled the Enterprise. Kirk is hailed by the commander of the Reliant to discuss surrender—and it's Kirk's former enemy, Khan Noonien Singh. Kirk is so shocked he can barely speak.
  • A positive example occurs at the end of Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. After saving the world, Kirk and his officers are shuttled to their new ship. It looks like it's going to be the new Excelsior, but they fly right past her—to a Constitution-class ship named Enterprise. NCC-1701-A.
    Kirk: My friends...we've come home.
  • In Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, the Enterprise is escorting Chancellor Gorkon's flagship to a Peace Conference on Earth. Half the bridge officers (including Kirk) are hung over from too much Romulan ale at dinner...and a photon torpedo suddenly hits Gorkon's battlecruiser.
    Kirk: What's happened?
    Spock: We have fired on the chancellor's ship!
  • In Star Trek Into Darkness, Kirk and Spock are interrogating the rogue Commander Harrison, whom they've just captured on Qo'noS, when Sulu reports a ship approaching at warp — and it's not Klingon. Within seconds, the downwarp reveals...a bigass Federation starship, looking like a bigger, meaner cousin of the Enterprise.
  • Star Trek Beyond:
    • The sight of the Enterprise's severed warp nacelles floating away from the ship, their glow dying as power fades. At this point, it is clear that our heroes are screwed.
    • After Scotty meets Jaylah on the planet Altamid, she takes him to her "house", which is actually a crashed ship. Scotty is then stunned when he sees the name of said ship: USS Franklin. It's a Starfleet ship.
  • At one point in The Invitation, Will witnesses David lighting and hanging a red lantern outside. At the end of the film, after The Invitation is revealed to be a death cult and everyone except Will, Kira and Tommy is dead, Will and Kira look out and see several other houses in the Hollywood Hills area hanging the same red lantern, as sirens and gunshots ring out in the Hills.
  • Apartment Zero is full of them.
    • When Adrian walks into the apartment and sees Claudia's body.
      • When you see the bloody remains of the man Jack killed for his passport.
      • Adrian is watching the footage of the militants. Then then the camera shifts and reveals Jack watching Adrian.
  • The ending of Sleepaway Camp reveals not only Angela is the killer, she is actually Peter. The real Angela was killed alongside their father years ago while Peter was raised as a girl by his mentally impaired aunt.
  • Barbarella: After the Excessive Machine scene, the camera focuses on Barbarella's Durand Durand-detector on the floor. The concierge accidentally steps on it, turning it on and it starts flashing and beeping, revealing that the concierge is Durand Durand.
  • The 1968 cowboy western Shalako opens a scene with a bunch of cowboys loudly and raucously whooping and making noises at a cougar to scare and drive it off, then cuts to, of all people, Brigitte Bardot!! dressed in fancy, European hunting clothes and a silk top-hat and wielding a rifle, which she fires and kills the cougar.
  • In the climax of Jigsaw, Logan and Halloran stand facing each other in a room with both of them wearing a laser collar trap around their necks. The collar will activate and cut them clean if they don't confess their sins, the order of who plays it being decided by a button for each person on a control panel in the middle of the two. Halloran tricks Logan into going first, and after he fails the test, Halloran is dragged back and forced to take it himself. As the lasers activate and burn the ceiling over him, he manages to confess and stop the lasers just in time. The Wham Shot comes in after he sits staring at the burned ceiling above him, before glancing at the ceiling above Logan's body and realising that there are no burn marks above him. Soon enough, Logan himself gets up, revealing his own game wasn't real, and that Halloran is helpless to do anything.
  • In Kahaani, a thriller, the terrorist Milan kicks the heavily pregnant protagonist Vidya in the stomach...and then she pulls her belly off, revealing it to be fake, and stabs him in the foot.
  • The end of Rogue One has a Hope Spot as the Rebels escape with the Death Star plans. Then the lights cut out, and moments later, the Vader Breath starts up and an ominous red light illumines the corridor. Cue Mook Horror Show.
  • At the end of The Wailing, shaman Il-gwang drops a box full of pictures of the victims, just like those the Japanese hermit had in his shack, meaning that the two worked together the whole time.
  • At the end of Solo, we get to see who Dryden Vos has been answering to and the true mastermind of the Crimson Dawn Syndicate, the former Sith Lord, Maul. It is even more shocking to those who didn't watch the TV series.
  • In Searching, the mystery plot has been seemingly wrapped up with a murder confession from the culprit and a grieving David uploads pics and videos to a memorial website in preparation for his daughter's funeral... and then notices that the redheaded girl in the "Thank You" stock image looks exactly the same as the profile pic of the "fish_n_chips" user who befriended his daughter on YouCast.
  • The trailer for Godzilla: King of the Monsters (2019) shows a brief scene depicting Burning Godzilla.
  • Layer Cake: At the end, it's revealed that the ecstacy pills stolen by the Duke and his gang was only a fraction of the output produced by the Serbian operation, as their warehouse houses a full-scale industrial production room behind another door.
  • The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug: Gandalf confronts the Necromancer at Dol Guldur. At first a mass of shadowy magic assaults Gandalf, but then the Necromancer appears to reveal his true identity: the shadow of an armored figure, surrounded by fire that forms the iconic image of a massive flaming eye. The Necromancer wasn't one of Sauron's pawns, as the audience might've expected, but Sauron himself.
  • It (2017) has a meta example for those who aren't familiar with the book, or with the exact nature of the adaptation: at the end of the film, the title "IT" appears on the dark background, the shot lingers for just a moment too long...and then the words "Chapter One" appear beneath it. Turns out Pennywise isn't quite as dead as the Losers might have hoped...
  • The Bourne Identity: The only evidence Jason has to who he is was a Swiss Bank Account number. So, at the Swiss Bank, Jason learns his true identity from his US passport in his safety deposit box. He thinks he's starting to figure out everything... until he takes the top layer off and discovers a pistol and passports from several foreign nations all featuring his photo and different aliases.
  • Jesus Christ, it's Henry Fonda!
  • Joker (2019):
    • The entire sequence where we flash back to Arthur and Sophie together, which reveals that she was never with him in the first place.
    • For people familiar with Batman lore, the Waynes come out of a theater showing Zorro, the Gay Blade. This ends up segueing into Bruce's tragic origin story.
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