Between the annual jolt that is daylight saving time and the swift arrival of another holiday season, it feels like we’re experiencing a time jump of our own this month — and plenty of fictional TV characters can relate.
As demonstrated throughout the decades, the TV tradition of leaping forward in time can be a cure-all for stalled storylines, allowing the audience to bypass an otherwise unwatchable experience, or to shake things up and see how the characters navigate a familiar-yet-altered world.
Of course, we know that time jumps don’t solve every problem. If executed improperly, they can be jarring, not to mention they can reek of desperation. It’s a delicate balance, hence why shows tend to be hesitant about taking such a big risk.
With NBC’s The Blacklist and Fox’s The Resident both recently implementing time jumps this season, we thought we’d look back on some of TV’s most memorable takes on the twist — the ones that, for better or worse, we still think about to this day. It’s a list that ranges from classic surprises like Desperate Housewives‘ suburban shake-up to more recent favorites like The 100‘s insane 125-year leap.
NOTE: We thought this qualifier was obvious, but hey, maybe not: Shows that dabbled in time travel were not eligible.
Browse Team TVLine’s ranking of 23 pivotal time jumps below, then drop a comment with your thoughts. Which jumps gave you goosebumps? And which leaps would you add to our list?