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17 TV Moments We Were Obsessed With In 2016

Warning: this post contains spoilers.

1. "Hold the door" – Game of Thrones


Episode: "The Door", Season 6, Episode 5

In a season filled with massive moments and big reveals, "hold the door" stands out for a couple of reasons. Like other scenes, it was beautifully executed and revealed something fans had speculated about for years (in this case, the origins of Hodor and his name). But it also explored the absolutely devastating effects of Bran's powers and the tragedy of Hodor's life. It was gut-wrenching to see Hodor sacrifice himself - or rather, Bran sacrifice Hodor - but also somewhat gratifying to have a much-beloved minor character be given a significant backstory and heroic ending.

2. "What door?" – Westworld


Episode: "Trompe L'oeil", Season 1, Episode 7

It's been a big year for doors on TV. When Bernard said those two words it confirmed what fans had been theorising about for half the season: that he was secretly a host, programmed so he couldn't see things that would confuse/upset him. The twist made us question everything we'd previously seen on the show and played into the larger themes about the nature of reality and what it means to be a person - human or otherwise.

3. Rick and Michonne hooking up – The Walking Dead


Episode: "The New World", Season 6, Episode 10

Many fans have been waiting for Richonne to become canon for years - and this season we finally got there. In a show that is often unrelenting traumatic, this sweet, hot moment was a welcome and incredibly satisfying pay-off. We need more of this.

4. Eleven saving Mike – Stranger Things


Episode: "The Monster", Season 1, Episode 6

There were so many amazing scenes in the first season of Stranger Things, but the moment Eleven confronted the bullies and literally saved Mike's life after he jumped off a cliff was so magical and triumphant, it beat out the rest. Dustin's victorious "she's our friend and she's crazy" was an instantly quotable line that took it to the next level.

5. "Hallelujah" – Saturday Night Live


Episode: Season 42, Episode 6

SNL's first episode after the US election featured a surprise cold open - rather than skewering the results with humour, Kate McKinnon, in character as Hillary Clinton, performed a poignant rendition of "Hallelujah" by Leonard Cohen (who had died in the same week). It was a powerful moment of catharsis for many.

6. The coronation – The Crown


Episode: "Smoke and Mirrors", Season 1, Episode 5

In a show that could be very slow at times, there was a lot happening in this scene. Not only was it well-acted and absolutely beautiful to look at, it also represented a critical point in Elizabeth's struggle between her self and her duty, as the personal was quite literally subjugated by the crown in the form of Philip kneeling before her. The juxtaposition of the scene with David's snarky commentary as he watched the coronation on TV drove home the way Elizabeth-the-person had been hidden and replaced by a symbol. It revealed the truth about the crown: it's a glorious fiction that we're not quite ready to let go of.

7. Poussey's death – Orange is the New Black


Episode: "The Animals", Season 4, Episode 12

The way the prisoners' peaceful protest quickly escalated to complete chaos was absolutely horrific to watch, and the shocking death of one of the most beloved characters on the show was like a punch to the gut, made doubly emotional by the way it tied into real-world events. It was impossible not to cry as the scene unfolded, especially when it quieted to focus on Suzanne and Taystee's raw, unadulterated grief.

8. Claire leaving Jamie – Outlander


Episode: "Dragonfly in Amber", Season 2, Episode 13

It was what we'd been waiting for (and dreading) all season - Claire leaving Jamie to return to her own time, and Frank. Her final moments with Jamie were full of desperation and heartbreak, as the sounds of the beginning of the Battle of Culloden were heard in the distance. Jamie holding it together before letting one tear drop as Claire turned away was the sad icing on a cake of upset.

9. "Do I have a massive arsehole?" – Fleabag


Episode: Season 1, Episode 1

The cold open of Fleabag, with the main character breaking the fourth wall and narrating her sexual hijinks directly to the camera, grabbed us and made it impossible to look away. It was one of the most unique opening scenes on TV this year - or ever, really - and the punchline was hilariously perfect.

10. Lorelai and Emily's phone call – Gilmore Girls - A Year in the Life


Episode: "Fall", Season 1, Episode 4

So much of Gilmore Girls has centred around the fraught relationship between Lorelai and Emily, and it really came to the fore on A Year in the Life. After multiple hours of grieving, fighting, therapy and yet another estrangement, this emotional phone call between Lorelai and Emily was an unburdening both characters - and the audience - really needed.

11. The pilot twist – This Is Us


Episode: Season 1, Episode 1

This Is Us managed to contain a big plot twist in the very first episode, revealing that the characters we'd been watching were actually all much more connected than we first thought, with the show switching between timelines: Jack and Rebecca in the past, and their adult children in the present. We were immediately hooked.

12. The diner shooting – Mr Robot


Episode: "eps2.8_h1dden-pr0cess.axx", Season 2, Episode 10

The execution of this scene was so damn awful in the most perfect way. The static long shot, the focus on sound, the cross-walk countdown - everything combined to heighten the tension and sense of dread, and pave the way for hours of obsessive analysis and conspiracy theories from fans.

13. "I Know Where I've Been" – Hairspray Live


Jennifer Hudson completely stole the show as Motormouth Maybelle, and her rendition of "I Know Where I've Been" was instantly iconic. Powerful and emotional, it made pretty much everyone cry.

14. Jo leaving Luke – Lovesick


Episode: "Agata", Season 2, Episode 2

With its non-linear timeline, Season 2 of Lovesick focused primarily on deepening and adding layers to already existing plots and characters. While the revelations about Dylan and Evie's relationship were significant, it was Luke's ~origin story~ that truly stood out. The cringe-inducing breakup scene with Jo revealed a lot about his character, helping to further his journey from seemingly superficial comic relief to the complex and deeply troubled guy he turned out to be.

15. Koen flipping off Waruu – Cleverman


Episode: "First Contact", Season 1, Episode 1

The toxic relationship between half-brothers Koen and Waruu created some of the most powerful moments in the uneven but groundbreaking first season of Cleverman. After Waruu had Koen’s finger torn off, Koen showed up at their uncle Jimmy’s funeral, slowly removing his sunglasses and raising his middle finger as a “fuck you” to Waruu that meant so much more. The fact that his finger had healed, combined with his new eye colour, meant he was the Cleverman - a power and title Waruu had been coveting. What a way for him to find out.

16. Jane and Xo talking about sex – Jane the Virgin

The CW

Episode: "Chapter Forty-Seven", Season 3, Episode 3

After more than two seasons of build-up, Jane finally had intercourse for the first time. In typical JtV style, the moment was both surreal (the cartoon! the sex tape hijinks!) and yet utterly real. The sex wasn't great, and Jane found herself going through an identity crisis, since identifying as a virgin has been so intrinsic to her sense of self. Her conversation with her mother helped her process these feelings, but more importantly it enabled a really important comment on the kind of messed-up view Jane (and society) had about a woman's virginity and what it meant to "lose" it. Xo shifting the language to something that is gained, not lost, was a quiet but crucial revelation.

17. "Oh you have got to be kidding m-" – Bojack Horseman


Episode: "Fish Out of Water", Season 3, Episode 4

This whole episode – set entirely underwater and with barely any dialogue – was stunning. It shouldn’t have worked and yet it really, really did. It explored the ways we communicate and the incredible frustration and isolation of not being able to, as Bojack found himself unable to speak in the underwater world. The big twist at the end – that with the mere press of a button, Bojack could have spoken all along, was a surprising and perfect punchline to a powerful episode.

Did we miss your fave moment? Share it in the comments! For more Best of 2016 content, click here.

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