T5F: Most ‘WTF?’ Episodes in Television History (Cont’d)

Note: I haven’t read Beal’s yet so there may be some repeats on this list or there might not be. I’m saving her list as my “you wrote your post, good job” treat.

Here we go. The most WTF episodes I’ve ever experienced.

5. Lost – “Do No Harm” (2005)

There were a number of genuine “WTF is happening” moments on Lost but this was the first, genuinely unsettling moment of, “Oh… anyone is fair game to die on this show.” Lost kicked off the TV trend of showrunners being fully willing to disregard the old golden rule – heroes don’t die and they definitely don’t die early.  Shows like Walking Dead and GoT would follow suit but Lost succeeds in generating the most shock, simply by getting there first. Lost was jarring from the get-go with its rambling cast of characters, jumpy narrative and burgeoning mythology but we all settled in, didn’t we? Didn’t we all, twenty episodes into the first season, start to feel comfortable with this island of misfit passengers and their roles on the show? Boone was fairly low on the totem pole but had been given plenty of screen time, especially with his stepsister Shannon, to count as a major character. They can’t really kill Boone right?

4. One Tree Hill – “Searching for a Former Clarity” (2009)

There are no words for how much I love this clip. It delivers to this day. Everything about this moment is perfect and warrants its own WTF (why is this dog in the waiting room of a hospital?) (what did that idiot trip on?) (SHIT IS THAT A HUMAN HEART) (WHAT AM I SEEING) (That nurse is non-plussed at best) (CMM also non-plussed at best) (Dan is fucked.) (Also where did the dog GO? Just scampered off?)

3. Dawson’s Creek – “The Long Goodbye” (2001)

I just realized almost all of my WTF moments are death related…  but this one is definitely a cherished memory if you can have a favorite TV-death memory. Because it’s so dumb. So so so so so dumb. Even a 19 year old in her dorm room (as dumb as it gets!) knew this was a dumb death. She knew it at the same moment every other girl on the second floor of Hughes yelled “WHAT?!” (in those days, we watched TV live! At the same time! LIKE AMERICANS.) at the moment Mitch Leery dropped his ice cream cone while driving, goes to pick his delicious treat off the gross floor and is hit by a fucking truck. She knew it even before her older sister called her, two minutes later, so they could process what they just witnessed. So, so, so dumb. A genuine WTF. Who dies by an ice cream cone? Dumb Dawson’s dumb dad, that’s who.

The only thing that could be better was the show attempts to wring melodrama out of the death over the next few episodes, starting with the funeral. It’s hard to get choked up when you imagine Gail telling every one how her husband bit it. “So, he was getting his treat…”

2. Roseanne – Series Fucking Finale  (1997)

As depressed as we all now feel

Now it’s serious. Because…

You don’t kill Dan Conner.

You don’t kill Dan Conner.

You don’t kill Dan Conner.

You don’t kill Dan Conner.


1. How I Met Your Mother – Series Fucking Finale (2014)

Look at these smug idiots! Wasting my time! So smug about wasting my time!

This one tops my list because, frankly, it’s been three years and I’m still really angry about it.  When the final episode faded to black, I remember sitting on the couch, seething. I may have actually uttered the words, “Are you fucking kidding me?” out loud, to myself.  Three years have passed and I haven’t softened; I still think the plot machinations to get to the series finale reveal (that Ted’s wife, the aforementioned mother, dies and the point of the whole, stupid show was to get him back together with Robin, a character they managed to completely ruin, by the way, in the span of 30 minutes) were manipulative and ill-conceived. I still can’t glimpse a rerun on syndication without immediately changing the channel. On a list about death, this show is literally dead to me.


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