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Quantum Leap

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Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_1'); })Quantum Leap (1989-1993) is a NBC Cult Classic series. It's about a scientist, Dr. Sam Beckett (Scott Bakula), caught in a malfunctioning Time Travel experiment that bounces him back and forth into the roles of different people in the past. The only way for him to move on from any time period he lands in is to change the lives of people there for the better. Reluctant at the role thrust upon him, Sam assumes the role of the Drifter.The show's explanation for the time travel was basically a Hand Wave; the experiment started Sam's leaps, but afterwards they were controlled by the Powers That Be. The show also established that leaping affected Sam's memory and his own past, allowing the writers to regularly Retcon his skills and personal history (referred to in show as "the Swiss Cheese Effect"). At least once a season, Sam would suddenly be revealed to have completely forgotten about his musical career/doctorate in the specialty needed for the leap, etc. In other words, he Suddenly Always Knew That.Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_2'); })The format allowed for an entirely new supporting cast and premise every week. If you didn't like one episode, chances are the next would be completely different. Also a cheap format, since it made extensive use of existing period wardrobes, locations, and sets, all but eliminating the need to build or make anything for the show, save for the very rare view of Project Quantum Leap itself. Many of the episodes recognizably played off the premises of popular movies, but went in a different direction.Though Sam would leap into a variety of different hosts, and he would appear to all other people (including Al, at first) as whoever his new host was, he would appear to the audience as Scott Bakula. At least Once per Episode, he would look into a mirror to give the audience an idea of whom he was portraying (and the actor mirroring what he was doing would usually not be any good at it).Advertisement:propertag.cmd.push(function() { proper_display('tvtropes_mobile_ad_3'); })Though it had a sci-fi premise, Quantum Leap never really considered itself a sci-fi show — it was one of the few shows to air on both the USA and Sci-Fi channels at the same time. The time travel element was just a device to tell a variety of different stories, and the majority of episodes contained no fantastic elements at all, save for Sam's leaping and Al and Ziggy's guidance. This was helped along by a rule (though broken a few times) that Sam could only time travel "within his own lifetime," so he couldn't be sent to prehistoric times or the future. This also helped keep costs down.In late summer 2010, Donald P. Bellisario announced that he was working on a feature-film adaptation of the series but it has yet to be produced.Now has a Recap page.
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"Mister Sandman" Sequence: Most episodes, Sam will get these at the beginning of his leaps, seeing pop cultural things that are relevant to the time and place he's visiting.
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Creator Cameo
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Creator Cameo: The horror author who Sam leaps into in "The Boogieman" is that episode's writer Chris Ruppenthal, while the parapsychologist who Sam leaps into in "A Portrait for Troian" is played by Donald P. Bellisario. Troian was played by series writer-producer and Donald's wife Deborah Pratt, and named after their daughter Troian Bellisario — who also appeared on the show (but not in this episode) and Bellisario's subsequent series Tequila and Bonetti, JAG, First Monday and NCIS, as well as his only big-screen movie Last Rites. Bizarrely, Donald P. Bellisario has a metafictional one in "Lee Harvey Oswald," where we see a portrayal of the younger version of Bellisario interacting with Oswald, as they did serve in the same military unit in real life. Additionally, in "Trilogy, Part 1," the man Sam leaps into for that episode is a sheriff played by James Whitmore, Jr, the director of that episode (among several in the series).
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Diabolus ex Nihilo
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Diabolus ex Nihilo: The kidnappers from "Another Mother." While they get a fair bit of setup throughout the episode, we never find out what the deal is or why they're after their victim. It is strongly implied that they're child molesters and murderers, and that anyone will do. The Evil Leapers. We have no idea why they're trying to change history for the worst, only that they do. Even Zoey's claim that they "clawed their way out of hell" for their jobs can mean a lot of things.
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Arbitrary Skepticism
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Arbitrary Skepticism: For a series where characters utilize time travel and believe God Himself is somehow involved in their doings, this trope crops up more often than not. Sam believes in God, but not the devil. In some cases, Sam does this to Al, such as when he refuses to believe in ghosts or vampires. In a reverse, Al doesn't believe Sam when he claims to have seen an alien ship.
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Heroic BSoD
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Heroic BSoD: Sam has one in "Black on White on Fire," set during the Watts Riots. The leapee's brother, Lonnie, takes the leapee's white girlfriend hostage in desperation. Sam manages to talk him down, ending the stand-off peacefully, but unfortunately Lonnie is then killed by police sniper-fire.
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The Mistress
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The Mistress: Sam has to save one from suicide in his first leap into a woman.
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Cool Old Guy
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Cool Old Guy: Al. Despite being older, he is a lot more knowledgeable of modern pop culture than Sam is. When Sam leaps into a glam heavy metal singer, it's Al who coaches him on how to act like a rock star on stage. Joseph, an Indian grandfather ("Kenu") into whose grandson Sam leaps, to try to help him Face Death with Dignity on his home reservation. He's more modernized than he lets on, and even reduces Al to laughter several times.
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Pro Wrestling Episode
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Pro Wrestling Episode: "Heart of a Champion," which guest stars Terry Funk as the promotion's top face — and main antagonist of the episode.
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All There in the Manual
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All There in the Manual: Apparently Sam's entire body leaps and he only takes on the appearance of whoever he is for that episode through the use of hammerspace or some other technobabble. This explains why he is able to perform physical feats that he should not be able to as a young kid, old man, old lady, chimpanzee, etc. This has led to other implications, such as the ability to conceive a child. Conversely, whoever Sam leaps into takes his place at the Project and takes on Sam's appearance, though since they are confined to the waiting room during Sam's leap, this seldom comes into play in the series. The episode "Honeymoon Express" acknowledges it during the Senate hearing to defund the project, where the senator in charge says that for all they know Sam lied about inventing time travel and uses this as a way of playing them off by claiming "Oh that's not really Dr. Beckett, it's the person he's leapt into inside his body."
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Dumb, but Diligent
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Dumb, but Diligent: One episode had Sam leap into a mentally handicapped man who worked in a warehouse. He was well liked by his family but had problems with a few co-workers who had prejudice against him. In particular, one had trouble reading all the barcodes and labels and was afraid of being grouped together with Sam's host.
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By the Eyes of the Blind
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By the Eyes of the Blind: Children, animals, and mentally disabled people can see Al. The psychic can see Sam and seems to sense Al's presence as well.
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Dead All Along
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Dead All Along: One of the interpretations. Stawpah in the finale. He leaps out after completing his mission and no one leaps back in. According to one of the locals, a Stawpah did exist, but died a couple decades earlier.
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The Movie
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The Movie: As of late 2010, under development by Donald P. Bellisario.
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Astronomic Zoom
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The familiar leaping effect isn't really used in the first season — there's a simple flash of light, and Sam is in the new leap. In fact, in the pilot, the first leaping effect isn't even seen: it goes from Gushie watching Sam standing in the accelerator and Al speeding back to PQL, to an Astronomic Zoom in on Tom Stratton's house as Tom's clock spins backwards, to Sam waking up as Stratton. When PQL attempts a retrieval later in the episode, the camera does a similar Flyaway Shot pulling away from the Stratton house, which then reverses as the retrieval fails.
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6 Is 9
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6 Is 9: In "The Boogieman", Sam leaps into the body of a horror writer whose street address is 966. Near the climax, the 9 flips upside down to reveal that the devil is amongst them.
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Breaking Bad News Gently
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Breaking Bad News Gently: The "you better sit down" line doesn't work that well when Sam is forced to be in dresses.
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Heterosexual Life-Partners
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Heterosexual Life-Partners: Sam and Al. As said in the last episode, there isn't anything they wouldn't do for each other. Discussed in "All Americans," where Chuey, the leapee's best friend, agrees to throw an important high school football game to clear his mother's debt with a slumlord, at the cost of his chance at being scouted for a sports scholarship which would be his only chance at going to college. He feigns injury to sit out, and Sam tries to figure out how to change things. Al tells him to just quit, too, because although Chuey is willing to sacrifice his own future, he would never under any circumstances put his friend's chances at risk.
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I Owe You My Life
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I Owe You My Life According to "The Leap Back", Al has saved Sam's life twenty-three times up to that point. It's because of that that Sam leaps to save him. From the preceding "Shock Theater":
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Back-to-Back Badasses
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Back-to-Back Badasses: By two priests (one of them Sam) who kick ass in a Bad-Guy Bar.
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Let Me Tell You a Story
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Let Me Tell You a Story: In "Jimmy," Sam leaps into a man with Down's Syndrome in the 1960s. Eventually he freaks out in frustration, since he's being treated like an idiot all day. Al interrupts him mid-rant: "There was this girl named Trudy..." Sam snaps at him that this is no time for another irrelevant, sleazy sex story — but this time, the girl in question was Al's younger sister, who was also disabled. And what was the story? Only one of the saddest moments of the series.
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Who Shot JFK?
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Who Shot JFK?: According to this show, Lee Harvey Oswald. All by himself. This is actually because Bellisario served with Oswald in the Marine Corps (and those segments of the episode feature a character based on him), and believed him to be fully capable of taking the shot on his own.
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Incredibly Inconvenient Deity
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Incredibly Inconvenient Deity: The ending showed this to be the case, as God himself, seen as a bartender, has been sending Sam on his jumps to fix mistakes in history rather than just let him go home. The final episode is kind of Him finally giving Sam a choice about whether to continue (considering the incredible amount of good he could do for the world) and offering him a chance at a personal do-over. Sam, being the kind of person he is, decides to keep going, and uses his favor to go back and help Al hang onto his first wife, the love of his life. It is in this moment that Sam graduates from the role of the Drifter to that of the Knight Errant.
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Punch-Clock Villain
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Punch-Clock Villain: In "Justice", Sam leaps into a man named Clyde who was pressured into joining The Klan, and while it's treated with all the ominousness it deserves, the next scene has them, out of costume, talking about their mundane lives and offering to help each other out with projects unrelated to their racism. Sam isn't suckered into it for a second, and all it does is underscore their insidious nature. Although it does help him appeal to his father-in-law's humanity when he tries to stop a lynching (and succeeds).
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Wrong Genre Savvy
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Wrong Genre Savvy: Due to arriving from a different time into an already in progress situation, Sam and/or Al sometimes misinterpret a situation. "The Color of Truth": Sam keeps forgetting that given the rampant racism prevalent in the Deep South during the late 1950's, a black man doing minor things like sitting at a diner counter and drinking from a fountain were Serious Business. "Last Dance Before An Execution": Sam leaps into a death row inmate and thinks he's supposed to prove him and his partner innocent. The attempt to prove it only confirms the guilt of the guy he leaped into. It's actually the guy's partner who's innocent and the one that needs to be saved, so Sam has to publicly confess. "Thou Shalt Not...": In the original history, the Basch family fell apart because the wife had an affair. Sam leaps into the husband's brother, so he and Al initially think he's the one she had an affair with. Actually, it's an author that had just arrived in town. "Runaway": A frustrated mother leaves the family and just disappears. Sam and Al come to believe Emma ran off with an old high school friend that the family keeps encountering during a road trip. Trying to keep them apart doesn't change history because Emma actually died in the original history and her body was never found. "Nuclear Family": During the Cuban Missile Crisis, Sam leaps into the brother of Mac Elroy, a fallout shelter salesman who went to jail for shooting a neighbor that tried to break into theirs. Sam struggles to prevent any possibility of him pulling the trigger, but the end reveals it was Mac's young son holding the gun and that Mac took the blame out of guilt.
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The Scottish Trope
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The Scottish Trope: The third season's Halloween Episode, in which Sam encounters the devil himself posing as Al, is believed to be cursed, causing equipment malfunctions (VCRs, TV stations, ...) and even mentioning the episode title is believed to cause trouble and hence frowned upon. Plus during two separate airings in California, two strong earthquakes occurred. The trope itself is invoked in "Future Boy," where Moe Stein chastises Sam for saying "MacBeth" as he considers it bad luck.
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Rubber-Band History
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Rubber-Band History: The episode where Sam saves Kennedy from being assassinated... Jackie Kennedy — or saves Marilyn Monroe from overdosing... just long enough to make The Misfits.
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Chekhov's Gun
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Chekhov's Gun: "Miss Deep South" contains a textbook example. Early in the episode, we see a conspicuously-placed poster advertising a Jerry Lee Lewis concert. Al even points it out to Sam. In the episode's final act, Sam is under pressure to maintain his leapee's original third-place finish in the pageant (since she used the money she won to go to school and become a doctor). Sam sees the poster again and decides to perform Lewis' signature song "Great Balls of Fire" for the talent competition. The performance delights the crowd and the judges (and Al, who dances to the beat), and Sam is named the winner of the pageant.
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Big Little Man
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Big Little Man: Sam leaps into a guy who works at a carnival. While he's checking out his new reflection in a funhouse mirror, one of the other carnies walks up and starts a conversation. At first we only see his reflection, which looks the same height as Sam, but when Sam turns to reply to him, he's revealed to be a dwarf.
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No-Holds-Barred Beatdown
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No-Holds-Barred Beatdown: The final scene from "Raped." Sam, in a female rape victim's host body, is lamenting that the rapist in question got off scot-free in a court case, because of the boy's reputation. All of a sudden, while Sam's talking to Al, the boy shows up again, knocks Sam to the ground and attempts to rape his victim again. However, this guy isn't messing with a terrified young girl anymore; he's dealing with a pissed-off Sam Beckett, who gets up and beats that son of a bitch to a bloody pulp.
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Failure Is the Only Option
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Failure Is the Only Option: "Lee Harvey Oswald." Are you really surprised Sam can't save JFK in the end?
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Dirty Old Man
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Dirty Old Man: Admiral Al Calavicci, contrasting the younger Chaste Hero, Samuel Beckett. Al brags about his past love life, ogles all of the young women Sam encounters (often advising him to have sex with them, too), and makes very suggestive comments designed to fly over the heads of younger viewers. When Sam finds out that dead bodies creep out Al, he quips, "Finally, something sexual you're not into." When the two switch places in one episode, Sam becomes the dirty pervert suggesting sex and getting distracted by attractive women.
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Multitasked Conversation
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Multitasked Conversation: Sam and Al need to have these occasionally.
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Offing the Offspring
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In the episode "So Help Me God," Sam leaps into a laywer in the deep south during the 1950's, defending a black woman accused of murdering a white man. She openly admits she killed him and Sam spends the entire episode trying to prove that it was just self-defense or an accidentnote Sam's reasoning being why else would he be there if it was just to make sure she was convicted? That was what had happened in the original timeline. Eventually, he is able to get the sole witness, the victim's mother (who is mentally... distant), to testify. She recounts the incident before saying "That's when I picked up the shotgun..."
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 Quantum Leap / int_27b94f39
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Serendipitous Survival
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Serendipitous Survival: In one episode, Sam takes the place of a lounge pianist. Shortly after he leaps in, an employee at the lounge asks to borrow his car to drive a drunken patron home and he readily hands over the keys, a move the employee says is out of character for him. Then Al shows up and explains that the pianist was supposed to die right around then from a car bomb. Just after he says that, there's an explosion in the parking lot.
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Fog Feet
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Fog Feet: Sam leaps into a Vietnam vet who's lost both his legs. There's a mean orderly in the episode, and at one point when there's nobody else about, Sam gets out of the wheelchair, walks over to the orderly, and slugs him. Since the orderly can only see Sam as the man he leaped into, it looks to him like Sam is floating on air.
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Incorruptible Pure Pureness
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Incorruptible Pure Pureness: Sam. Parodied in "The Leap Back," where the simo-leap exchanged some personality traits between Sam and Al. Al is suddenly far more chivalrous, which he can't stand.
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 Quantum Leap / int_28cd01ca
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Disappeared Dad
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Disappeared Dad: Al's own dad. After his mother split, Al's dad tried to provide for children, but work eventually took him overseas. Al was placed in an orphanage and Trudy in an institution until he could come back full-time. (He did apparently visit, though.) After some time, he came back for good and bought a house for them all to live in, but then he got sick and died.
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 Quantum Leap / int_29292e6d
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Walking the Earth
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Walking the Earth: But substitute "Timeline" for "Earth".
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Bilingual Bonus
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Bilingual Bonus: The scene where Dianna Quinna "yells" at Sam—her facial expressions and aggravated gestures make it very obvious that she's angry with him—is never translated, but understandable to anyone who knows ASL. The brief Japanese that he speaks to his Japanese wife isn't translated either, but obviously understandable to anyone who knows it.
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 Quantum Leap / int_295c0923
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Weirdness Search and Rescue
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Weirdness Search and Rescue: It was implied that some conscious force (possibly even God) was guiding Sam' jumps to ensure that he did the most good. This was a deconstruction since this mysterious guide was never actually seen or had a voice (although they met someone who might have been them). It only made itself known by directing events like an actual deity would and, of course, when it did more or less directly interact with the main character, it was a total Mind Screw.
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Halloween Episode
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The third season's Halloween Episode, in which Sam encounters the devil himself posing as Al, is believed to be cursed, causing equipment malfunctions (VCRs, TV stations, ...) and even mentioning the episode title is believed to cause trouble and hence frowned upon. Plus during two separate airings in California, two strong earthquakes occurred.
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Impossibly Tacky Clothes
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Impossibly Tacky Clothes: Al has a wardrobe that would make even The Sixth Doctor cringe. In-universe, it makes it easy for Sam to spot him - he KNOWS No One Else Dresses Like That. The producers gave Al that eccentricity specifically so the audience can spot him, and also repeatedly reference that few others can; kids, for instance. The Mad Magazine parody of Quantum Leap suggested that the blue lighted effect of Sam leaping was actually caused by the sun hitting one of Al's outfits.
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 Quantum Leap / int_2a195285
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Revolvers Are Just Better
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Revolvers Are Just Better: In "MIA," when Sam leaps in, he cowers in the middle of the gunfight he's caught up in. When it's revealed that he's a male cop in drag and not a woman, his partner asks him if his pistol jammed again. One of the other cops tells him "Get a revolver, Jake. You'll live longer."
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You Wouldn't Hit a Guy with Glasses?
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You Wouldn't Hit a Guy with Glasses?: In "The Cam-ikazi Kid", Sam leaps into a dorky teenager who is harassed by bullies. He protests, "You can't pants a guy with glasses!" The bully replies, "What glasses?", takes the glasses, and pantses him anyway.
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Fratbro
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Fratbro: Sam leaps into a Fratbro in an episode, and has trouble getting the Girl of the Week to listen to him because she knows him to be a jockish ass. His fratty mates keep appearing and trying to embroil him in wacky high jinks, including raiding the office of "Dean Stockwell".
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Unsettling Gender Reveal
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Unsettling Gender Reveal: Invoked in "What Price, Gloria?" Sam has lept into Samantha, a gorgeous blonde. One of the hassles he faces is Buddy Wright, a jerk of an executive with a penchant for sexual harassment. Before leaping out, Sam makes Buddy squirm by convincing him that he's lusting after a man. Sam then decks him for good measure.
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Expansion Pack Past
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Expansion Pack Past: The dramatic need for Sam or Al to have a personal stake in the plot each week meant that both leads pretty much define this trope. It's implied that Sam changes his own history after every leap, but retains all he's learned from each timeline; and it's explicitly shown to be the case in at least two instances.
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 Quantum Leap / int_2dcb1d2e
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Black Gal on White Guy Drama
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Black Gal on White Guy Drama: In "So Help Me God," Sam leaped into a lawyer trying to prove a black woman innocent of the murder of the son of a rich white man in the 1950's. It turned out that the woman, Delilah, had been in an abusive and initially non-consensual relationship with him (possibly referencing how white men would often rape their female slaves/servants). When she was about to leave him and stop being a servant in his father's house, he attacked her and his own mother shot him to stop it.
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Conspicuously Light Patch
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Conspicuously Light Patch: Happened a few times with objects Al would walk through.
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Yet Another Christmas Carol
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Yet Another Christmas Carol: Sam and Al stage a Christmas Carol-themed intervention for an obnoxious millionaire in "A Little Miracle", aided by the fact that the target's brain structure was coincidentally close enough to Sam's that he could see and hear Al's projected image, allowing him to pass himself off as a "ghost" of Christmas Future.
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Tomato in the Mirror
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Tomato in the Mirror: Turns out that in the Leap 'verse, vampires are apparently real. As well as ghosts, aliens, Bigfoot, curses (he nearly gets killed by a mummified pharaoh) and other supposedly mythical creatures. But Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone, and the weirdos who contributed to his mythology were just weirdos. A smaller one occurs in "The Boogieman": as it happens, Stevie is actually a young Stephen King.
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 Quantum Leap / int_2f9d1595
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You Can See Me?
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You Can See Me?: Originally, only Sam could see Al, but this was extended to young children, animals and the mentally disabled. In "Another Mother" and "A Tale of Two Sweeties," the youngest children of the leapees sees both Al and Sam. In "The Leap Home, Part 2", after being fatally wounded, Maggie looks up at Al before she dies. Al has this reaction. In "Shock Theater," Tibby (a young adult that's a patient) can see both Sam and Al, as well. Some of the other patients can at least see Al, also. In "A Little Miracle," Blake is able to see Al because his neurons and mesons are very close to Sam's. In "It's a Wonderful Leap", Angela can see and communicate with Al because she's an angel. In "The Color Of Truth", Al is able to save Melanie from the tracks by shouting at her loud enough, though she believes that he is her dead husband. In "Temptation Eyes", the psychic an see Sam and while she can't see Al outright, she seems to sense his presence.
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 Quantum Leap / int_2fc21a19
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Distaff Counterpart
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Distaff Counterpart: The Evil Leaper obviously, but moreso her Observer Zoey, who's a horndog like Al (though much snarkier and ruder).
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 Quantum Leap / int_30de7a51
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Chivalrous Pervert
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Chivalrous Pervert: Al has been married five times, eyes up everything in a skirt, everything out of a skirt, and even Sam when he's leapt into the body of a woman. But he genuinely likes women, has never been accused of cheating on any of his partners, doesn't do relationships just for sex- explicitly stating at least once that he loved every woman he's ever slept with "at the time [he] slept with them"- and he considers those who abuse women to be the lowest of scum.
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Hollywood Healing
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Hollywood Healing: Any injuries Sam takes (beatings, sprains and even minor gunshot wounds) are instantly healed when he leaps.
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Hollywood Old
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Hollywood Old: A mild example. Based on the info that we're given, Sam is 46 when he first steps into the chamber. Scott Bakula was 35 when the series first aired.note Granted, the "1999" setting for the present wasn't actually determined until late in the series, so this trope likely wasn't intentional when Bakula was first cast. It helps, though, that Bakula's always had a rather distinguished look, and looked pretty much exactly the same when he actually did turn 46.
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Fashion Model
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Fashion Model: In one episode Sam leaps into a fashion photographer and he has to rescue a model from overdosing on pills which her manager, a former fashion model herself, keeps feeding her in order to keep her working.
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Good-Guy Bar
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Good-Guy Bar: The bar Sam finds himself in during the final episode.
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YouWouldMakeAGreatModel
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You Would Make a Great Model: In "Miss Deep South", an unscrupulous photographer talks a beauty pageant contestant into a "tasteful" photo shoot by promising that he can get her modeling work. Then he gets her drunk and persuades her to take off more clothing, reassuring, "I won't shoot anything that will embarrass you." The photos show up in a nudie calendar a few months later, ruining the girl's career, unless Sam can stop it from happening. He does! You're Just Jealous: The girl's answer to Sam, when he was trying to stop her.
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"Die Hard" on an X: It's Heaven Can Wait with time travel. The episode "Thou Shalt Not.." is Ordinary People in a Jewish family.
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The Mirror Shows Your True Self
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The Mirror Shows Your True Self: Inverted. Sam (and the viewer) sees the image of the person he's "leaped into" in mirrors- otherwise he looks like himself.
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The '60s
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Sexism becomes one for him after he spends time as a woman in The '60s. And despite his womanizing ways, it's one for Al too.
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 Quantum Leap / int_36754cc7
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"Freaky Friday" Flip: While not dwelled upon very much on screen, this is a major aspect of the series: during the time that Sam's consciousness is inside the body of the person in the past, that person's consciousness takes over Sam's body in the "present".
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Split Personality
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Split Personality: Happens to Sam a few times, where his mind would merge with a leapee's. Sam would subsequently pick up their habits or knowledge, and sometimes act as they would without a second thought. "Shock Theater" really exploited this. After Sam is given electro-shock, he keeps shifting to different people he's leapt into — Samantha Stormer ("What Price, Gloria?"), Jesse Tyler ("The Color of Truth"), Herman "Magic" Williams ("The Leap Home, Part 2"), Tom Stratton ("Genesis"), Kid Cody ("The Right Hand of God"), and Jimmy LaMotta ("Jimmy"). In "Return of the Evil Leaper", Sam is influenced by Arnold Watkins, The Midnight Marauder, and suffers from bouts of Chronic Hero Syndrome. A particularly dark example in "Lee Harvey Oswald," where Sam leaps into the infamous assassin. Throughout the two-parter, Sam feels Oswald's influence and a Split-Personality Takeover slowly ensues. They just barely avoid Gollum Made Me Do It. This episode also shows the reverse, where Sam's personality briefly influences Oswald.
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Temporary Blindness
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Temporary Blindness: In "Blind Faith" Sam leaps into the body of a blind pianist. Although able to see for most of the episode, he is temporarily blinded by a camera flash at the climax of the episode just as he needs to save the girl. This works to his advantage near the end of the episode. The girl's mother thinks he is a fraud and suddenly lights a lighter in front of his eyes. He is still blind due to the camera flash, so he doesn't flinch.
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Real Award, Fictional Character
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Real Award, Fictional Character: In "The Wrong Stuff", Sam mentions winning the Nobel Prize for Physics.
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We Will Meet Again
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We Will Meet Again: In "Deliver Us From Evil," as Alia is being forcibly leaped out, Zoey vows they will find Sam again one day.
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Mr. Seahorse
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Mr. Seahorse: The episode "8 1/2 Months" had Sam leap into a pregnant woman... and later on, he began to gain the symptoms of pregnancy, despite not really being pregnant. When Sam ultimately leaps out, he's in the middle of giving birth!
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Actor Allusion
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The "Dean Stockwell" Actor Allusion [invoked] from "Animal Frat" is also a nod to Back to School (the dean having a Punny Name).
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Face Death with Dignity
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Joseph, an Indian grandfather ("Kenu") into whose grandson Sam leaps, to try to help him Face Death with Dignity on his home reservation. He's more modernized than he lets on, and even reduces Al to laughter several times.
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Conspiracy Theorist
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Conspiracy Theorist: Sam's the only one willing to believe that Lee Harvey Oswald was the sole gunman. Al eventually accepts it...the day of the shooting.
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Resigned to the Call
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Resigned to the Call: In "Catch a Falling Star," Sam encounters an old crush and the leap turns very personal. He even openly considers not "setting right what once went wrong" (in this case, saving a Jerkass actor) to avoid leaping anymore. Obviously, he gets over it and the following exchange echoes the trope (as well as further shouting out to Don Quixote): A very sad example in the finale. "Home. I'd like to go home, but I can't, can I? I've got a wrong to put right for Al."
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Ripple Effect Indicator
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Ripple Effect Indicator: While Al would usually just tell Sam what's changed, one episode featured Al being outright replaced because of Sam's actions during a Leap into Al in his younger days because in the new timeline, Al died in the gas chamber. During "Honeymoon Express," Al is at a Congressional oversight trial and funding for the Project is in danger. In the past, Sam is helping the leapee's new wife study for her legal exams. He corrects her on a key fact, which she said getting wrong could've caused her to fail and damaged her career. Back in the present, Al (and the audience) sees the official leading the charge to cut off the funding replaced by an older version of the woman, who grants the Project further funding.
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Foregone Conclusion
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Foregone Conclusion: You should already know at the start of "Lee Harvey Oswald" that Sam isn't going to save JFK. He saves Jackie instead.
 Quantum Leap / int_3bc88a7f
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British Rockstar
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British Rockstar: Sam leaps into one in "Glitter Rock." And while it has no real bearing on the plot, "Blind Faith" takes place during The British Invasion as a certain group arrives in town.
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Quantum Leap / int_3e8c80f5
 Quantum Leap / int_3ed17fe0
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Wide-Eyed Idealist
 Quantum Leap / int_3ed17fe0
comment
Wide-Eyed Idealist: Sam's idealistic disposition fits this category to the point where there are times where he'd follow his own heart and his emotions to try to change history on his own terms for idealistic/personal reasons while ignoring Al and/or the main leaping mission at hand. In many episodes, things do work out for him when he does this, such as when he changed history so that Donna married him after all or when he changed history so that his brother didn't have to die in the Vietnam War. However, being too idealistic and emotional also came back to bite him HARD in episodes like "Deliver Us From Evil" where Sam nearly got himself and Jimmy killed simply because he let his emotions rule his head and only saw what he wanted to see in the evil leaper Alia, instead of picking up on the rather obvious clues that she was, in fact, the reason for why the Lamotta family fell apart.
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Quantum Leap / int_3ed17fe0
 Quantum Leap / int_3fca462c
type
Deus ex Machina
 Quantum Leap / int_3fca462c
comment
Deus ex Machina: Frequently used to get Sam out of the pickles he finds himself at the very start of a leap (i.e. the cliffhanger of the previous episode). He's strapped to the electric chair... but the phone rings and he's given a stay of execution. He's about to have to go on stage and perform, without even knowing what show it is... but it turns out he's an understudy and the billed actor shows up at the last second. Al often serves as this trope, such as in "Double Identity", when he pops into the hairdresser's to provide Sam with an answer to a question that Sam didn't know about and Al couldn't have possibly heard. Somewhat justified in that it's heavily implied that God Himself is controlling the leaps, so wouldn't put Sam in a completely impossible position unless it was about to change. Might also apply literally in-universe to Sam himself, if you believe that it is in fact God leaping Sam around in time.
 Quantum Leap / int_3fca462c
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 Quantum Leap / int_3fca462c
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Quantum Leap / int_3fca462c
 Quantum Leap / int_40cc0c7e
type
Bittersweet Ending
 Quantum Leap / int_40cc0c7e
comment
Bittersweet Ending: "Mirror Image" and the series as a whole. Sam ensures that Beth never remarries, which leads to her and Al being happily married and having four daughters. On the other hand, the last scene was a simple line of text which read "Dr. Sam Beckett never returned home.".
 Quantum Leap / int_40cc0c7e
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Quantum Leap / int_40cc0c7e
 Quantum Leap / int_411a35bd
type
Body Surf
 Quantum Leap / int_411a35bd
comment
Body Surf: Sam is a benevolent surfer and stays in the body only long enough to complete his mission before involuntarily leaping into another host.
 Quantum Leap / int_411a35bd
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1.0
 Quantum Leap / int_411a35bd
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Quantum Leap / int_411a35bd
 Quantum Leap / int_41a894d2
type
Voodoo Shark
 Quantum Leap / int_41a894d2
comment
Voodoo Shark: That "physical aura" thing.
 Quantum Leap / int_41a894d2
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1.0
 Quantum Leap / int_41a894d2
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Quantum Leap / int_41a894d2
 Quantum Leap / int_42e97a94
type
You Have Got to Be Kidding Me!
 Quantum Leap / int_42e97a94
comment
You Have GOT To Be Kidding Me: Towards the end of "Running for Honor", despite managing to break up a group of homophobic cadets and saving the life the leapee's roommate, Phillip, Sam has yet to leap out. And according to Al, Ziggy says it's because he still has to compete in the track meet.
 Quantum Leap / int_42e97a94
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 Quantum Leap / int_42e97a94
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Quantum Leap / int_42e97a94
 Quantum Leap / int_42f8ae38
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Cue Card Pause
 Quantum Leap / int_42f8ae38
comment
Cue Card Pause: Al, while reading information off of the handlink, frequently pauses in the middle of a word.
 Quantum Leap / int_42f8ae38
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 Quantum Leap / int_42f8ae38
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Quantum Leap / int_42f8ae38
 Quantum Leap / int_43b785f9
type
Nothing but Hits
 Quantum Leap / int_43b785f9
comment
Nothing but Hits: Just about any tune that you hear playing on the radio or performed in front of an audience will be an instantly recognizable tune from the era contemporary to the date of the leap. The same goes for movies and television.
 Quantum Leap / int_43b785f9
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Quantum Leap / int_43b785f9
 Quantum Leap / int_43e36f2f
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Acrofatic
 Quantum Leap / int_43e36f2f
comment
Acrofatic: Some of the people Sam leaps into, such as the overweight priest or half-blind old man, are able to do amazing things when Sam is the one in their body.
 Quantum Leap / int_43e36f2f
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 Quantum Leap / int_43e36f2f
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Quantum Leap / int_43e36f2f
 Quantum Leap / int_44f5d199
type
Pretty in Mink
 Quantum Leap / int_44f5d199
comment
Pretty in Mink: In "Goodbye Norma Jean," Marilyn has a few furs shown: a white fox wrap, a white fox coat, and a white mink jacket.
 Quantum Leap / int_44f5d199
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 Quantum Leap / int_44f5d199
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Quantum Leap / int_44f5d199
 Quantum Leap / int_4548bae
type
Teen Pregnancy
 Quantum Leap / int_4548bae
comment
Teen Pregnancy: Sam once leaps into a pregnant girl — and barely makes it out before the birth.
 Quantum Leap / int_4548bae
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 Quantum Leap / int_4548bae
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Quantum Leap / int_4548bae
 Quantum Leap / int_47b152f9
type
Sexy Soaked Shirt
 Quantum Leap / int_47b152f9
comment
Sam frequently is shirtless, even in the opening credits. In one episode he falls into a pond and spends the rest of the episode shirtless/in a towel. In "The Wrong Stuff" he leaps into a chimpanzee and spends almost the entire episode running around wearing nothing but a diaper.
 Quantum Leap / int_47b152f9
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Quantum Leap / int_47b152f9
 Quantum Leap / int_47e9f862
type
My Grandma Can Do Better Than You
 Quantum Leap / int_47e9f862
comment
My Grandma Can Do Better Than You: In the episode "Running for Honor," Sam leaps into a track runner, and fails to live up to the guy's previous performance:
 Quantum Leap / int_47e9f862
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Quantum Leap / int_47e9f862
 Quantum Leap / int_4852f325
type
I Just Want to Be Normal
 Quantum Leap / int_4852f325
comment
I Just Want to Be Normal: Though his goal is to get home, Sam genuinely loves having the opportunity to help people. However, in several episodes (such as "Catch A Falling Star"), Sam laments not having any semblance of a life.
 Quantum Leap / int_4852f325
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Quantum Leap / int_4852f325
 Quantum Leap / int_48e8fe57
type
Happily Adopted
 Quantum Leap / int_48e8fe57
comment
Happily Adopted: According to "Pool Hall Blues," a ten-year-old Al ran away from the orphanage and was reduced to picking pockets. The one person he tried it on was Charlie "Black Magic" Walters, who sympathized with Al and took him in. The intent was to find Al a family as they traveled, but it turned out to be Walters himself. A few months later, Walters was arrested for playing in a "Whites Only" bar and Al was sent back to the orphanage. Regardless, Al considers that the time the bright spot of his childhood and Walters as the first good person he ever met out in the real world.
 Quantum Leap / int_48e8fe57
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Quantum Leap / int_48e8fe57
 Quantum Leap / int_4ad4b2b
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Guardian Angel
 Quantum Leap / int_4ad4b2b
comment
Guardian Angel: Angela from "It's a Wonderful Leap."
 Quantum Leap / int_4ad4b2b
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Quantum Leap / int_4ad4b2b
 Quantum Leap / int_4c8d7e0b
type
Forgotten Framing Device
 Quantum Leap / int_4c8d7e0b
comment
Forgotten Framing Device: The show spent its entire run utilizing a Narrating the Present framing device, as if we're seeing Sam Beckett's memoirs acted out. But in the final episode it's revealed that he "never returned home." So how did he narrate all that time?
 Quantum Leap / int_4c8d7e0b
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Quantum Leap / int_4c8d7e0b
 Quantum Leap / int_4e3b5209
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Beeping Computers
 Quantum Leap / int_4e3b5209
comment
Beeping Computers: Ziggy, Al's computer, has its own set of beeps, boops, and squeals, the latter of which usually indicates an error to be fixed via Percussive Maintenance.
 Quantum Leap / int_4e3b5209
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Quantum Leap / int_4e3b5209
 Quantum Leap / int_4e3d253b
type
Downer Ending
 Quantum Leap / int_4e3d253b
comment
The last line from "Lee Harvey Oswald" changes a Downer Ending into a bittersweet one. "Your Swiss cheesed mind probably doesn't remember, but the first time, Oswald killed Jackie, too."
 Quantum Leap / int_4e3d253b
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Quantum Leap / int_4e3d253b
 Quantum Leap / int_4e7c4536
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Wham Line
 Quantum Leap / int_4e7c4536
comment
Wham Line: In the episode "So Help Me God," Sam leaps into a laywer in the deep south during the 1950's, defending a black woman accused of murdering a white man. She openly admits she killed him and Sam spends the entire episode trying to prove that it was just self-defense or an accidentnote Sam's reasoning being why else would he be there if it was just to make sure she was convicted? That was what had happened in the original timeline. Eventually, he is able to get the sole witness, the victim's mother (who is mentally... distant), to testify. She recounts the incident before saying "That's when I picked up the shotgun..." Two examples from "The Leap Home, Part 2", neither of which really affect the plot as they come at the end: First, Sam sees the photographer's shot of the P.O.W.s that they failed to rescue and realizes one of them was actually Al ("It was you..."), who then reveals he didn't say anything because he didn't want Sam to split his focus from saving his own brother. The second is notable in how it affected the fandom's experience and what the possible implications mean. Tom celebrates surviving the day it was alleged he would die on, telling Sam, "And it's all thanks to you, little brother." The last line from "Lee Harvey Oswald" changes a Downer Ending into a bittersweet one. "Your Swiss cheesed mind probably doesn't remember, but the first time, Oswald killed Jackie, too."
 Quantum Leap / int_4e7c4536
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Quantum Leap / int_4e7c4536
 Quantum Leap / int_4e7f703c
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Wham Shot
 Quantum Leap / int_4e7f703c
comment
Wham Shot: Sam's lack-of-reflection at the end of "Blood Moon". The previous episode hinted it when after Dr. Ruth is transported back from the waiting room, the next person taking her place is a man, who snarls while baring fangs... The leap-in at the end of "Memphis Melody": Sam finds himself in a bar, and when he walks past the counter, he sees the mirror... showing his own face. Three-fold in "The Boogieman": Sam grabbing Mathers, who is supposed to be dead, and he turns into Al... despite the fact that Sam is still holding him, Al suddenly having red, glowing eyes, and the light from the Imaging Chamber suddenly appearing, followed by a different Al, apologizing for taking so long to get to Sam.
 Quantum Leap / int_4e7f703c
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Quantum Leap / int_4e7f703c
 Quantum Leap / int_4f3bf54e
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Working on the Chain Gang
 Quantum Leap / int_4f3bf54e
comment
Working on the Chain Gang: Sam leapt into a prisoner who was subject to this. He was there to establish another prisoner's innocence and expose the fact that the warden had been keeping them there for too long (Sam's character was only supposed to be serving a nine-month sentence but had been there for years).
 Quantum Leap / int_4f3bf54e
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Quantum Leap / int_4f3bf54e
 Quantum Leap / int_4f4372e9
type
Early Installment Weirdness
 Quantum Leap / int_4f4372e9
comment
Early Installment Weirdness: The familiar leaping effect isn't really used in the first season — there's a simple flash of light, and Sam is in the new leap. In fact, in the pilot, the first leaping effect isn't even seen: it goes from Gushie watching Sam standing in the accelerator and Al speeding back to PQL, to an Astronomic Zoom in on Tom Stratton's house as Tom's clock spins backwards, to Sam waking up as Stratton. When PQL attempts a retrieval later in the episode, the camera does a similar Flyaway Shot pulling away from the Stratton house, which then reverses as the retrieval fails. Also in the pilot, Al spends a couple of days mysteriously observing things before giving the amnesiac Sam any kind of explanation as to what's going on. Early episodes also focused more on PQL's efforts at using the retrieval program, and didn't always feature Al telling Sam about how everything worked out for the leapee.
 Quantum Leap / int_4f4372e9
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Quantum Leap / int_4f4372e9
 Quantum Leap / int_50b05d30
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Disproportionate Retribution
 Quantum Leap / int_50b05d30
comment
Sam becomes this in "Camikaze Kid", where the leapee's sister is in an abusive relationship. At the end of the episode, after the guy gets rough with her in public and punched down by Sam (not to mention trying to run Sam over after losing to him in a car race), his bully friends walk out on him.
 Quantum Leap / int_50b05d30
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Quantum Leap / int_50b05d30
 Quantum Leap / int_5313c266
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Book-Ends
 Quantum Leap / int_5313c266
comment
Book-Ends: Every episode opened with him leaping into a new situation, finding out some big complication and exclaiming "Oh boy!" When he finally resolved the problem, he would leap out, and a new situation would present itself where he would say the same thing. The leap at the end directly introduces the problem of the next episode, which is recapped at the start of that episode.
 Quantum Leap / int_5313c266
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Quantum Leap / int_5313c266
 Quantum Leap / int_53b84f6d
type
Proscenium Reveal
 Quantum Leap / int_53b84f6d
comment
Proscenium Reveal: On more than one occasion, Sam leaps into a strange situation, only to discover that he's an actor in a play/on a sound stage.
 Quantum Leap / int_53b84f6d
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Quantum Leap / int_53b84f6d
 Quantum Leap / int_53c3fa83
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Granola Girl
 Quantum Leap / int_53c3fa83
comment
Granola Guy: Al is shown to be ecologically-minded in several episodes, probably because so is Dean Stockwell.
 Quantum Leap / int_53c3fa83
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 Quantum Leap / int_53c3fa83
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Quantum Leap / int_53c3fa83
 Quantum Leap / int_54d6f53f
type
Ripple Effect-Proof Memory
 Quantum Leap / int_54d6f53f
comment
Ripple Effect-Proof Memory: There are times when Sam explicitly remembers how history originally played out even after he changed it. In "Rebel Without a Clue," he remembers that Tom originally died, but that he "got him back." In "Honeymoon Express," history actually changes around Al with only him noticing the difference. The end of "Deliver Us From Evil" resets everything to before Alia leaped in, which accounts for two days. Sam and Al remember everything that happened (and their counterparts would as well), but Frank and anyone else from that time period are none the wiser.
 Quantum Leap / int_54d6f53f
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Quantum Leap / int_54d6f53f
 Quantum Leap / int_56515a39
type
Artistic License – History
 Quantum Leap / int_56515a39
comment
Artistic License – History: A particularly bad example occurs during "Disco Inferno": part of the plot revolves around Sam doing stunt work during the filming of Earthquake. The problem? The movie came out in 1974. This episode takes place in 1976.
 Quantum Leap / int_56515a39
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Quantum Leap / int_56515a39
 Quantum Leap / int_56698261
type
Our Time Travel Is Different
 Quantum Leap / int_56698261
comment
Our Time Travel Is Different: According to Word of God, not merely Sam's mind/soul, but his actual body displaces that of the "leapee," while that person's "physical aura" stays the same. This is a matter of some consternation both in and out of the show, as Sam's hosts are not always the same size as him... most notably in "Nowhere To Run," where Sam leaps into an amputee and actually stands up despite having nothing below the knee. In one case his host wasn't even the same species — in "The Wrong Stuff" Sam leaps into a chimp. It becomes very important in "Trilogy", as in the second part Sam leaps into a man having sex with his fiancée, meaning that the daughter who appears in the third part is actually his.
 Quantum Leap / int_56698261
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Quantum Leap / int_56698261
 Quantum Leap / int_5679208c
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No Bisexuals
 Quantum Leap / int_5679208c
comment
No Bisexuals: In the episode "Running for Honor", Sam and Al wonder if the kid he leaps into is gay. Sam argues that he might not be because he has a girlfriend. Al counters that many gay men at that time dated women. Neither of them ever considers bisexuality an option.
 Quantum Leap / int_5679208c
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Quantum Leap / int_5679208c
 Quantum Leap / int_58a7abae
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God Was My Copilot
 Quantum Leap / int_58a7abae
comment
God Was My Copilot: Hinted at strongly.
 Quantum Leap / int_58a7abae
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Quantum Leap / int_58a7abae
 Quantum Leap / int_5a1819b7
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PantyShot
 Quantum Leap / int_5a1819b7
comment
Panty Shot: Teresa in "Double Identity."
 Quantum Leap / int_5a1819b7
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Quantum Leap / int_5a1819b7
 Quantum Leap / int_5c2a6db1
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More Than Meets the Eye
 Quantum Leap / int_5c2a6db1
comment
More Than Meets the Eye: Al's character, when turning from a vulgar pervert to a heroic woobie.
 Quantum Leap / int_5c2a6db1
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Quantum Leap / int_5c2a6db1
 Quantum Leap / int_5e2e55e4
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The Casanova
 Quantum Leap / int_5e2e55e4
comment
The Casanova: Al, as indicated by much of his dialogue.
 Quantum Leap / int_5e2e55e4
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Quantum Leap / int_5e2e55e4
 Quantum Leap / int_5f930b19
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Named After Somebody Famous
 Quantum Leap / int_5f930b19
comment
Named After Somebody Famous Sam Beckett? As in Samuel Beckett? There might be something meaningful in that, but the best we can come up with is that he wasn't always sure why he was where he was, and "Dr. Vladimir Estragon" was too ridiculous. Internal to the series, Sam's full name is given as Samuel John Beckett, son of John Samuel Beckett. It seems like the elder was not intentionally invoking anything. Whether or not Bellisario was invoking anything for a laugh is another matter. There was definitely some monkey business behind his mother Thelma Louise Beckett... It gets lampshaded in a couple of episodes; in "Honeymoon Express", someone asks Al if Sam is related to the playwright, and Al responds "Not to my knowledge." In "Liberation", when Sam prepares "griddle cakes a'la Beckett", the leapee's daughter assumes that's who he's talking about, but Sam quickly covers by saying he meant "Mom Beckett, the famous chef". "Beckett" could also refer to becket, a nautical term referring to a loop of rope used to secure oars and boats. Could be a link to Sam's theories about time travel...
 Quantum Leap / int_5f930b19
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Quantum Leap / int_5f930b19
 Quantum Leap / int_62066e8c
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Notable Original Music
 Quantum Leap / int_62066e8c
comment
Notable Original Music: "Somewhere in the Night" (not to be confused with the Barry Manilow son of the same name) from "Piano Man" which was written and performed by Scott Bakula and was a minor hit in the 80's.
 Quantum Leap / int_62066e8c
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Quantum Leap / int_62066e8c
 Quantum Leap / int_6220d661
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Loony Fan
 Quantum Leap / int_6220d661
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In "Glitter Rock," Sam mistakes a teenager named Phillip for a Loony Fan who might kill his leapee. It turns out that Phillip is actually the leapee's illegitimate son conceived during a fling in The '50s (as his late mother had told him), and proves it by showing that he has a unique finger webbing like the leapee has.
 Quantum Leap / int_6220d661
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Quantum Leap / int_6220d661
 Quantum Leap / int_6293c185
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Sequel Hook
 Quantum Leap / int_6293c185
comment
Sequel Hook: "Deliver Us From Evil."
 Quantum Leap / int_6293c185
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Quantum Leap / int_6293c185
 Quantum Leap / int_6328e274
type
Random Transportation
 Quantum Leap / int_6328e274
comment
Random Transportation: The series featured Sam Beckett leaping at various points in history to Set Right What Once Went Wrong. He never knows what time period or into which person he'll Leap into next. A hint of this is almost always The Stinger for a given episode. The leaps generally occurred within the U.S. and stayed within Sam's lifetime, though special circumstances have seen these rules broken at least once.
 Quantum Leap / int_6328e274
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Quantum Leap / int_6328e274
 Quantum Leap / int_63b34edb
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Thriller on the Express
 Quantum Leap / int_63b34edb
comment
Thriller on the Express: "Honeymoon Express."
 Quantum Leap / int_63b34edb
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Quantum Leap / int_63b34edb
 Quantum Leap / int_6439de78
type
Heroic Sacrifice
 Quantum Leap / int_6439de78
comment
Heroic Sacrifice: Of the non-dying variety, but still sacrifices. In "The Leap Home, Part 2: Vietnam," Al helps Sam save his brother's life, giving up the chance to prevent his last three years of imprisonment in the process. In "The Leap Back" and "Mirror Image," meanwhile, Sam sacrifices chances at being home to help Al — saving his life in the former and his marriage with Beth in the latter.
 Quantum Leap / int_6439de78
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Quantum Leap / int_6439de78
 Quantum Leap / int_6492f4ca
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Spirit Advisor
 Quantum Leap / int_6492f4ca
comment
Spirit Advisor: Al, in a sense; he's alive in the present, but appears as a hologram in the past.
 Quantum Leap / int_6492f4ca
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Quantum Leap / int_6492f4ca
 Quantum Leap / int_6849cc47
type
Where Da White Women At?
 Quantum Leap / int_6849cc47
comment
Where Da White Women At?: In "Black on White on Fire," Sam leapt into Ray, a black medical student in the 60's who was engaged to a white woman. Neither of their families approved (although Ray's mother was more concerned about Susan's safety — the episode took place during the Watts riots — than disapproval of her son dating a white woman.)
 Quantum Leap / int_6849cc47
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Quantum Leap / int_6849cc47
 Quantum Leap / int_686c9ad7
type
Only the Pure of Heart
 Quantum Leap / int_686c9ad7
comment
Only the Pure of Heart: Animals and children around the age of five and below see Sam as himself and can even see and hear Al. It's explained that they are in a sort of "Alpha State" that allows them to see through the "aura" Sam projects when he leaps into someone. In reality, it is a case of Real Life Writes the Plot, since you can't tell a five year old or an animal to pretend that Al isn't really there.
 Quantum Leap / int_686c9ad7
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Quantum Leap / int_686c9ad7
 Quantum Leap / int_68b69854
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Offstage Waiting Room
 Quantum Leap / int_68b69854
comment
Offstage Waiting Room: Literally. Averted in some later episodes (primarily from the fifth season), where viewers got to see Al interact with the leapees.
 Quantum Leap / int_68b69854
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Quantum Leap / int_68b69854
 Quantum Leap / int_69cce3dc
type
Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!
 Quantum Leap / int_69cce3dc
comment
Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: Sam winds up doing this to himself in "Disco Inferno": when venting to Al about his problems being the older brother in his current leap, he discusses how similar the situation must've been for his own brother, Tom, whom Sam remembered early on in the leap. But as he explains this, about how Tom putting him down was most likely just him looking out for his younger brother, Sam remarks that he only wound up realizing this after- The first act of "The Leap Back" sees Sam and Al slowly realize they are in a "swallowed key"-type situation: as Sam explains, in order for their current situation to have happenednote the two of them leaping together, Al going to 1945, Sam going into the Imaging Chamber, one of two things would need to happen: being struck by lightning, or being at ground zero of a nuclear explosion. Now, while the former is what happened, Sam goes on to explain that Ziggy would have potentially misread that as a critical component of the Imaging Chamber going nuclear, and as such sealing it to prevent the spread of radiationnote where it will remained sealed until the half-life of the radium used passes, in 1600 years. However, Sam quickly remembers the fail-safe he developed: the door can be reopened from the inside... with the handlink. Which is currently in Al's pocket in 1945.
 Quantum Leap / int_69cce3dc
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Quantum Leap / int_69cce3dc
 Quantum Leap / int_6b1013ef
type
Paranormal Episode
 Quantum Leap / int_6b1013ef
comment
Paranormal Episode: The episode "The Boogieman". The episode apparently has Sam going up against the Devil himself. However, it might have been All Just a Dream.
 Quantum Leap / int_6b1013ef
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Quantum Leap / int_6b1013ef
 Quantum Leap / int_6b35bdff
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Serious Business
 Quantum Leap / int_6b35bdff
comment
"The Color of Truth": Sam keeps forgetting that given the rampant racism prevalent in the Deep South during the late 1950's, a black man doing minor things like sitting at a diner counter and drinking from a fountain were Serious Business.
 Quantum Leap / int_6b35bdff
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Quantum Leap / int_6b35bdff
 Quantum Leap / int_6b723294
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Techno Babble
 Quantum Leap / int_6b723294
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Techno Babble: Sam’s “neurons and mesons”.
 Quantum Leap / int_6b723294
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Quantum Leap / int_6b723294
 Quantum Leap / int_6bda9a30
type
Meaningful Name
 Quantum Leap / int_6bda9a30
comment
Meaningful Name: In "Moments to Live," Sam gets kidnapped by a woman whose maiden name is Norma Bates.
 Quantum Leap / int_6bda9a30
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 Quantum Leap / int_6bda9a30
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Quantum Leap / int_6bda9a30
 Quantum Leap / int_6d332aea
type
Driven to Suicide
 Quantum Leap / int_6d332aea
comment
Happens again in "Nowhere to Run," where Sam leaps into a Marine captain that had lost his legs in a landmine explosion. Similarly to the above, Sam can walk with no problem, but he has to pretend otherwise for obvious reasons. (He stops pretending, though, to beat-up an abusive orderly and later to save a man from drowning himself.)
 Quantum Leap / int_6d332aea
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Quantum Leap / int_6d332aea
 Quantum Leap / int_6dc502d1
type
Big Brother Worship
 Quantum Leap / int_6dc502d1
comment
Big Brother Worship: Sam was said to view Tom this way. Apparently, Tom used this worship to help push Sam in the direction we all know he took.
 Quantum Leap / int_6dc502d1
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Quantum Leap / int_6dc502d1
 Quantum Leap / int_6ef9d3fe
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Christmas Episode
 Quantum Leap / int_6ef9d3fe
comment
Christmas Episode: Season 3's "A Little Miracle," where Sam and Al seek to change the Scrooge-like Blake for the better. As Sam says, "We Scrooge him." Season 5's "Promised Land" takes place during Christmas, complete with decorations and the themes of family being a focus. Sam also gets to wish a Merry Christmas to his father, John.
 Quantum Leap / int_6ef9d3fe
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Quantum Leap / int_6ef9d3fe
 Quantum Leap / int_70638525
type
Luke, You Are My Father
 Quantum Leap / int_70638525
comment
Luke, You Are My Father: In "Glitter Rock," Sam mistakes a teenager named Phillip for a Loony Fan who might kill his leapee. It turns out that Phillip is actually the leapee's illegitimate son conceived during a fling in The '50s (as his late mother had told him), and proves it by showing that he has a unique finger webbing like the leapee has. In the third episode of "Trilogy," Sam himself gets the news from Al that Sammie Jo Fuller is his accidental biological daughter.
 Quantum Leap / int_70638525
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Quantum Leap / int_70638525
 Quantum Leap / int_71e8a5c5
type
Trauma Conga Line
 Quantum Leap / int_71e8a5c5
comment
Made even more heartbreaking when you remember that Al's mother did a runner while he was young, his father went overseas so Al was sent to an orphanage, and Al's sister was committed to a mental institution due to having Down Syndrome. When his father returned and the family was reunited, he shortly afterwards discovered he had cancer and passed away, which meant Al and his sister were once again sent back to the orphanage and asylum. When Al finally was old enough to become the legal guardian of Trudy, it turns out that she'd contracted pneumonia and died two years previously and they never even bothered to tell him.
 Quantum Leap / int_71e8a5c5
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Quantum Leap / int_71e8a5c5
 Quantum Leap / int_7241785e
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You Can't Fight Fate
 Quantum Leap / int_7241785e
comment
You Can't Fight Fate: The painful lesson of "The Leap Home, Part 1," where Sam tries to prevent his father from dying early, his brother Tom being killed in Vietnam the next year and his sister Katie from marrying an abusive alcoholic. As Al tells Sam, he's not changing their futures; he's only making their present miserable. Partially subverted in the next episode, where Sam leaps into Vietnam and manages to save Tom's life.
 Quantum Leap / int_7241785e
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Quantum Leap / int_7241785e
 Quantum Leap / int_727a65e0
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Gaslighting
 Quantum Leap / int_727a65e0
comment
Gaslighting: In "A Portrait for Troian," Sam jumps into the body of a parapsychologist working with a young widow who insists the ghost of her late husband is haunting her. It turns out to be a plot by her brother to gaslight her.
 Quantum Leap / int_727a65e0
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Quantum Leap / int_727a65e0
 Quantum Leap / int_75d6bf40
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Belligerent Sexual Tension
 Quantum Leap / int_75d6bf40
comment
Belligerent Sexual Tension: "A Hunting We Will Go" is all about this trope. Sam leaps into a bounty hunter and has to deal with a female criminal who does everything she can to escape (including assaulting him, getting other people to assault him, and trying to Show Some Leg). They repeatedly comment on how much they hate one another, and yet still have a few passionate make-out scenes. For what it's worth, Al sees right through it because he had a similar relationship with one of his wives.
 Quantum Leap / int_75d6bf40
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Quantum Leap / int_75d6bf40
 Quantum Leap / int_76d233f9
type
Straw Feminist
 Quantum Leap / int_76d233f9
comment
Straw Feminist: An episode had Sam leap into a woman whose daughter was involved in the second wave. Most of the conflict came from the head of the feminist group, who gradually becomes more radical and violent as the episode progresses, outright rejecting Sam's attempts to get them to follow the examples of Gandhi and MLK. At the end of the episode she leads a pointless protestnote a sit-in at a men's club, with Sam pointing out that they jumped right to protesting without even trying normal methods first and tries to shoot the sheriff, who gets saved by Sam. Afterwards, Al reports that the feminist gets out of jail in five years and becomes a well-respected women's rights advocate (apparently having mellowed out and considered Sam's words in the meantime).
 Quantum Leap / int_76d233f9
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Quantum Leap / int_76d233f9
 Quantum Leap / int_777baed3
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Out-of-Character Alert
 Quantum Leap / int_777baed3
comment
Out-of-Character Alert: Most of the time, Sam's mannerisms will leak through, or a conversation with Al will be overheard, causing the people who know the leapee to do a double take. However, no one suspects anything, and Sam gets pretty good at playing it off. The episode "The Boogieman" has numerous in regards to Al: He's dressed in a conservative suit, his handlink never lights up nor does he ever really use it, he's never seen walking through any objects, and he never opens the Imaging Chamber door. It's finally revealed in the final act that he's been Satan in disguise. It does come back to bite Sam in "Return of the Evil Leaper," when Zoey notices "Arnold Watkins" talking to thin air, including an utterance of the name "Al." A quick scan by Lothos confirms that Sam is indeed there.
 Quantum Leap / int_777baed3
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Quantum Leap / int_777baed3
 Quantum Leap / int_786bf97f
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Real Life Writes the Plot
 Quantum Leap / int_786bf97f
comment
In reality, it is a case of Real Life Writes the Plot, since you can't tell a five year old or an animal to pretend that Al isn't really there.
 Quantum Leap / int_786bf97f
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Quantum Leap / int_786bf97f
 Quantum Leap / int_79a0e313
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Bolivian Army Ending
 Quantum Leap / int_79a0e313
comment
Bolivian Army Ending: The finale.
 Quantum Leap / int_79a0e313
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Quantum Leap / int_79a0e313
 Quantum Leap / int_79a60aec
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For Want of a Nail
 Quantum Leap / int_79a60aec
comment
For Want of a Nail: Usually played straight. Sam is constantly changing history in relatively small ways, all things considered. While the people he encounters are certainly affected, the future itself isn't radically changed. This was true even when he interacted with real-life people, largely thanks to Rubber-Band History. Invoked by the Bartender in the final episode. When Sam complains that he invented time travel to make the world better, the Bartender informs him that all the lives he improved affected all the lives they touched.
 Quantum Leap / int_79a60aec
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Quantum Leap / int_79a60aec
 Quantum Leap / int_7a614b0c
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San Dimas Time
 Quantum Leap / int_7a614b0c
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San Dimas Time: In effect from the moment Ziggy finds where and when Sam's leaped.
 Quantum Leap / int_7a614b0c
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Quantum Leap / int_7a614b0c
 Quantum Leap / int_7cc7ff15
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Mental Time Travel
 Quantum Leap / int_7cc7ff15
comment
Mental Time Travel: Or at least it originally was...
 Quantum Leap / int_7cc7ff15
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Quantum Leap / int_7cc7ff15
 Quantum Leap / int_7dff4b22
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Phoning The Phantom
 Quantum Leap / int_7dff4b22
comment
Phoning the Phantom: In season 2 episode 4, "What Price, Gloria?", While Sam is on a double-date, he uses a public phone near the restrooms to explain why he's talking to Al. He's interrupted partway through the conversation and pretends he was talking to his mother.
 Quantum Leap / int_7dff4b22
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Quantum Leap / int_7dff4b22
 Quantum Leap / int_7fbb2a3
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Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!
 Quantum Leap / int_7fbb2a3
comment
Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: In "A Leap for Lisa," Sam inadvertently alters history so that a young Al stands trial for a rape/murder case and faces the death penalty. Originally Al didn't go to trial because he had an alibi thanks to the young nurse he had been with, who told his lawyer, who tells the court after she dies in a car accident. When Sam leaps in, he asks Lisa not to talk to anyone, meaning she takes the alibi to her grave and he does stand trial. In a mild subversion Al is okay with this, because it means people won't be spreading rumors about Lisa over her grave (and presumably because he trusts Sam to fix things). And this ends up becoming completely subverted by the end due to Lisa not dying. In fact Everybody Lives. Sam's solution is to leap young Al back to before the murder and prevent it from happening by staying close to his drunk friend.
 Quantum Leap / int_7fbb2a3
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Quantum Leap / int_7fbb2a3
 Quantum Leap / int_7ff52319
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Blinding Camera Flash
 Quantum Leap / int_7ff52319
comment
Blinding Camera Flash: This happens to Sam in "Blind Faith" when a reporter's flashbulb explodes in his face, temporarily blinding him. Since the leapee is blind but Sam does not share his disability while leaped into him, this saves him from being exposed as a sighted impersonator.
 Quantum Leap / int_7ff52319
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Quantum Leap / int_7ff52319
 Quantum Leap / int_808cbaeb
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Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking
 Quantum Leap / int_808cbaeb
comment
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking:
 Quantum Leap / int_808cbaeb
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Quantum Leap / int_808cbaeb
 Quantum Leap / int_80a247a9
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Breather Episode
 Quantum Leap / int_80a247a9
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Breather Episode: After the rather heavy "Raped", we got the rather light "The Wrong Stuff".
 Quantum Leap / int_80a247a9
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Quantum Leap / int_80a247a9
 Quantum Leap / int_810c980e
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Serial Spouse
 Quantum Leap / int_810c980e
comment
Serial Spouse: Al. He had five wives, three of which are confirmed to have left him in a divorce (or divorce-like circumstances), and one is implied to. Only the first one really "worked": She only left him because she waited long enough after he was declared dead. The series finale gave Sam a chance to change all that by telling her Al was still alive and would come back to her. The epilogue explains that as a result they stayed together and had Babies Ever After instead.
 Quantum Leap / int_810c980e
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Quantum Leap / int_810c980e
 Quantum Leap / int_82a631b8
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Present-Day Past
 Quantum Leap / int_82a631b8
comment
Present-Day Past: Happens on occasion. Generally, Sam would end up in New York in a time before the World Trade Center was built, but in any establishing shots of the city, the twin towers would be there. In the pilot episode, he's supposed to be in The '50s, but a modern vehicle can be seen in the background. The episode "What Price Gloria?" was set in 1961 but filmed in 1989, and it shows. The women do look early-Sixties, but the boss' office and suit are MUCH closer to Wall Street than Mad Men. Zig-zagged in the 1991 episode "Glitter Rock," set in 1974. The fictional rock band King Thunder looks plausibly like a Glam Rock group from 1974 (and are clearly inspired by KISS), but they sound more like a Whitesnake knockoff from a full decade later.
 Quantum Leap / int_82a631b8
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Quantum Leap / int_82a631b8
 Quantum Leap / int_8391b1c7
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Artistic License – Law
 Quantum Leap / int_8391b1c7
comment
Artistic License – Law: In "Raped" after Sam accuses his rapist, the trial takes place the next day. And the prosecution calls the defendant as its primary witness.
 Quantum Leap / int_8391b1c7
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Quantum Leap / int_8391b1c7
 Quantum Leap / int_84b1a036
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Gay Aesop
 Quantum Leap / int_84b1a036
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Gay Aesop: Notably one of the first on television. One of Sam's leaps sees him try to stop a recently outed military academy student from killing himself in the face of bullying by his fellow students.
 Quantum Leap / int_84b1a036
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Quantum Leap / int_84b1a036
 Quantum Leap / int_856a425a
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The '50s
 Quantum Leap / int_856a425a
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In the pilot episode, he's supposed to be in The '50s, but a modern vehicle can be seen in the background.
 Quantum Leap / int_856a425a
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 Quantum Leap / int_863fa679
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What Happened to the Mouse?
 Quantum Leap / int_863fa679
comment
What Happened to the Mouse?: Sometimes, Sam leaps out before Al can tell him (or the audience) about the leapee's life post-episode. This is often given a Hand Wave with a line like "Everything turns out okay".
 Quantum Leap / int_863fa679
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Quantum Leap / int_863fa679
 Quantum Leap / int_8797239c
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Bait-and-Switch
 Quantum Leap / int_8797239c
comment
Bait-and-Switch: A horrifying one in "The Boogieman": Al didn't show up until the climax. That guy you thought was him? Satan.
 Quantum Leap / int_8797239c
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Quantum Leap / int_8797239c
 Quantum Leap / int_8947140b
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Significant Reference Date
 Quantum Leap / int_8947140b
comment
Significant Reference Date: In "The Leap Back," Al mentions that when he entered the imaging chamber it was Sept 18th, 1999. The episode originally aired on Sept 18th, 1991.
 Quantum Leap / int_8947140b
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Quantum Leap / int_8947140b
 Quantum Leap / int_8c16c5d
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Powers That Be
 Quantum Leap / int_8c16c5d
comment
Powers That Be: Sam thinks that they are controlling his time travel. Actually, Sam himself is doing it subconsciously. God tells him so in the last episode.
 Quantum Leap / int_8c16c5d
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 Quantum Leap / int_8d23f3a7
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Timey-Wimey Ball
 Quantum Leap / int_8d23f3a7
comment
Timey-Wimey Ball: Oh, boy. Quantum Leap is definitely not a Stable Time Loop, since the entire premise revolves around actively changing the past, and there are several Ripple Effect Indicators in the future that are observable by the audience (such as "Honeymoon Express", where Sam's changing of the past results in a different senator reviewing the Quantum Leap project in the future). OTOH, a repeated element is what the producers called "kisses with history"; incidents where Sam influences the past he initially Leapt from, such as teaching Dr. Henry Heimlich the Heimlich maneuver in "Thou Shalt Not..."(S2E7), or a young Michael Jackson the Moonwalk in "Camikazi Kid"(S1E8). One particularly timey-wimey case is "Future Boy"(S3E13), where Sam Leaps into the kid sidekick of 1957 radio actor/garage scientist Moe Stein, who has all but re-created a Quantum Leap Accelerator in his basement, right down to Sam's "loop of string" theory of time travel — though Sam adds his own contribution of "ball the loop." Given that it's fifties tech, it fizzles, but just before Sam Leaps out, he hears Moe dictating the completed theory on the radio in response to a letter sent by a four-year old Sam, implying that time travel itself is the result of a stable time loop; Sam creates time travel based on the work of an unrecognized genius in collusion with his future self.
 Quantum Leap / int_8d23f3a7
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 Quantum Leap / int_8dd4a996
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Identical Grandson
 Quantum Leap / int_8dd4a996
comment
Identical Grandson: In "The Leap Home" and "Promised Land", Bakula plays Sam's father John (under heavy makeup) in addition to playing Sam. A variation. While his great-grandfather Captain John Beckett doesn't look like Sam in the mirror, the genetic markers in his DNA are near-identical, which is theorised as being the reason why Sam could leap outside of his lifetime and end up in 1862.
 Quantum Leap / int_8dd4a996
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Quantum Leap / int_8dd4a996
 Quantum Leap / int_8e7467e
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The Psycho Rangers
 Quantum Leap / int_8e7467e
comment
The Psycho Rangers: The Evil Leaper project is this for the main characters. We have Alia for Samnote Leaper, Zoey for Al note Snarky horndog holographic observer, Lothos for Ziggynote Omniscient Database that runs the project, and Thames for Gushienote Behind-the-scenes guy who can be a backup observer.
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Quantum Leap / int_8e7467e
 Quantum Leap / int_90984c54
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Glamour Failure
 Quantum Leap / int_90984c54
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Glamour Failure: Sam's true form can be seen by little children, animals and psychics ("Temptation Eyes"). Likewise, they also can see Al as a hologram. When Sam leaps into the body of a Vietnam veteran who lost both his legs, he causes an orderly to freak out when he stands up and appears to be floating in mid-air. When he comes into physical contact with another leaper, such as Alia and later Zoe, this causes them to see each other's true forms.
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Split-Personality Takeover
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A particularly dark example in "Lee Harvey Oswald," where Sam leaps into the infamous assassin. Throughout the two-parter, Sam feels Oswald's influence and a Split-Personality Takeover slowly ensues. They just barely avoid Gollum Made Me Do It. This episode also shows the reverse, where Sam's personality briefly influences Oswald.
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Confessional
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Confessional: In Leap of Faith (season 3, episode 3).
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Sleeping with the Boss
 Quantum Leap / int_920b5728
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Sleeping with the Boss: When Sam leaps into a woman for the first time, his task of the episode is to keep a fellow secretary from committing suicide. The other secretary thinks that her boss is going to leave his wife for her; the wife informs the secretary in no uncertain terms that she's OK with her husband fooling around, but she will not under any circumstances allow a divorce. It's also implied that she is the boss's second wife, and he met her when she was his secretary. When the secretary learns this, she tries to jump off a building but Sam talks her down.
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 Quantum Leap / int_95a18ad7
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Devil in Disguise
 Quantum Leap / int_95a18ad7
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Devil in Disguise: In one episode, Sam discovers that the "Al" who has been advising him is a fake, and is actually the Devil.
 Quantum Leap / int_95a18ad7
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Nitro Boost
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Nitro Boost: In "Camikazi Kid", Sam rigs up a nitro boost to win a drag race.
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 Quantum Leap / int_96a33f11
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Riddle for the Ages
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Riddle for the Ages: Right at the end of "Running for Honor", despite everything getting resolved and Sam getting ready to run in the track meetnote Ziggy believes that, despite him saving Phillip's life, Sam is still there to make sure Tommy Kirk, the cadet he lept into, wins that race., Al admits he's hung up on one lingering question:
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 Quantum Leap / int_97c4763
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The Professor
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The Professor: Sam gets to be this in the second episode, except it's a college professor who's having an affair with one of his students.
 Quantum Leap / int_97c4763
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 Quantum Leap / int_980f0816
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Adventure Towns
 Quantum Leap / int_980f0816
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Adventure Towns: Sam has been to major cities, small towns, even flying a plane (three times - which he did not know how to do!)
 Quantum Leap / int_980f0816
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Speech Impediment
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Speech Impediment: "Trilogy, Part 2" has Sam adopting the stutter of the man that he leaped into for nearly the entire episode.
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 Quantum Leap / int_98f22e5f
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Wardens Are Evil
 Quantum Leap / int_98f22e5f
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Wardens Are Evil: The final episode of the "Evil Leaper" saga has Sam leap into an inmate at a women's prison. Having convinced the aforementioned evil leaper to make a Heel–Face Turn, both are pursued by a replacement evil leaper who leaps into the prison warden and thus effectively having her acting in this trope. Then, once she is killed and the original warden returned in her place, he is revealed as being responsible for a murder for which another inmate had been accused.
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Not So Different
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Not So Different: In "Deliver Us From Evil," Sam says as much while trying to talk Alia down from trying to shoot him.
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 Quantum Leap / int_99404851
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Ladykiller in Love
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Ladykiller in Love: Al remains hopelessly in love with his first wife Beth, even several decades after she got remarried, believing he'd been killed in action (he was actually a POW). It's heavily implied the reason he was married several times and why his relationships never lasted long was that he was trying to fill the void left by Beth.
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 Quantum Leap / int_9952b10b
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Re-Release Soundtrack
 Quantum Leap / int_9952b10b
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Re-Release Soundtrack: The second, third, and fourth seasons' Region 1 DVDs were stripped of all licensed music not explicitly mentioned in dialogue, even when it left characters dancing the Twist, shouting "TEQUILA!" in unison, and mouthing the words to "Louie Louie" for no apparent reason. The most notable omission was the Ray Charles cover of "Georgia On My Mind," used repeatedly in the show to underscore the bigger Tear Jerker moments. After a vociferous outcry, the final season set was spared from any music cuts. In 2017, Mill Creek Entertainment re-released the series with most of the original songs that had to be cut from previous seasons now cleared.
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Been There, Shaped History
 Quantum Leap / int_9a1d239e
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Been There, Shaped History: Occasionally, Sam runs into Young Future Famous People and inspires them by showing them one of the things that they're famous for without realising it until after. The cast and crew referred to these events as "Kisses With History."
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Evil Counterpart
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Evil Counterpart: Not quite the Evil Leaper, since Sam talks her into a Heel–Face Turn, but her hologram partner Zoey is definitely one for Al, being a snarky horndog but completely lacking any redeeming traits like his compassion or sense of honor.
 Quantum Leap / int_9b54d536
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Foreshadowing
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Foreshadowing: In "Sea Bride," Al casually mentions his one true love. The very next episode is "M.I.A.", which greatly expands on this.
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Time Travel
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Time Travel: This is what Sam does.
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Inspirationally Disadvantaged
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Inspirationally Disadvantaged: Deconstructed with Dianna Quinna of "Private Dancer." While an excellent dancer and able to speak normally, she refuses to admit that her deafness hinders her and that she needs help, leading her to get into increasingly worse situations—she can't keep a job, she's virtually homeless, and towards the end of the episode, she's so desperate for money that she's coming dangerously close to her original fate—a life of prostitution and an eventual death from AIDS.
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Fix Fic
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Fix Fic: The Comic Book story "Up Against a Stonewall" is one for the episode "Good Night, Dear Heart", setting up a Redemption Quest for that episode's murderer Stephanie Heywood.
 Quantum Leap / int_9de7a5d0
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Unusual Pets for Unusual People
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Unusual Pets for Unusual People: Al mentions having had a pet cockroach (named Kevin) as a child. Though he mentions is as part of a monologue about how much better Sam's childhood was than his own, Al does actually remember the roach fondly.
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Our Vampires Are Different
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Our Vampires Are Different: A group of...eccentric people in England call themselves vampires and make human sacrifices (and drink their blood) to the "Blood Moon" and wear false, vampire teeth. Turns out at least some real vampires may exist, as Sam cannot see a reflection in a shiny plate.
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My God, What Have I Done?
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My God, What Have I Done?: In "The Leap Home, Part 2", Sam saves Tom, but Maggie — who Sam insisted go on the mission and survived in the original history — is killed by a landmine.
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Calling Your Shots
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Calling Your Shots: Somewhat averted in the episode "Pool Hall Blues", where Sam leaps into a professional pool player. The game everyone plays is nine ball, and in nine ball the only ball you have to call before you sink is the 9.
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Angelic Transformation
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Angelic Transformation: In "It's a Wonderful Leap", a woman named Angela claims to be a deceased-human-now-guardian-angel for Sam.
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It Gets Easier
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It Gets Easier: Sam gets told this after killing a murderous character in self-defense.
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Glam Rock
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Zig-zagged in the 1991 episode "Glitter Rock," set in 1974. The fictional rock band King Thunder looks plausibly like a Glam Rock group from 1974 (and are clearly inspired by KISS), but they sound more like a Whitesnake knockoff from a full decade later.
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 Quantum Leap / int_a4c37cbe
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Mood Whiplash
 Quantum Leap / int_a4c37cbe
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Mood Whiplash: The moments after many of Sam's leaps, especially if leaping from a very dramatic episode into a comedic one (or vice versa). "Oh, Boy!" Indeed.
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Circus Episode
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Circus Episode: "Leaping in Without a Net", which has Sam leap into a trapeze artist. Unfortunately, Sam is afraid of heights...
 Quantum Leap / int_a4f81481
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Dream Intro
 Quantum Leap / int_a4ffefce
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Dream Intro: One episode opens with Sam on a beach making out with Terry Farrell - but then he wakes up, discovering that it was a dream and he's actually a Navy ensign accused of murder.
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Newspaper Dating
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Newspaper Dating: Once per Episode.
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Skepticism Failure
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Skepticism Failure: Somewhat mitigated by the fact that this series named another trope.
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Lab Pet
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Lab Pet: In "The Wrong Stuff," Sam leaps into a lab chimp in the space exploration lab, being prepared to go into space. His experimenter gets attached to him, and complains when he's transferred to helmet testing - which is basically "put a helmet on a chimp and bash its head with a giant hammer."
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Giving Radio to the Romans
 Quantum Leap / int_a8371e84
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Giving Radio to the Romans: Subverted in "The Leap Back." Ziggy's handlink accidentally travels back to 1945 with Al after the simo-leap, but it doesn't work because Ziggy doesn't exist yet. Indeed, when that episode's love interest is seen punching buttons on the dead handlink, Al comments that the device probably won't work again until 1999.
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Wife-Basher Basher
 Quantum Leap / int_a89efdf8
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Wife-Basher Basher: Sam becomes this in "Camikaze Kid", where the leapee's sister is in an abusive relationship. At the end of the episode, after the guy gets rough with her in public and punched down by Sam (not to mention trying to run Sam over after losing to him in a car race), his bully friends walk out on him. Sam also does this in "Southern Comforts," though it ultimately doesn't keep the wife-beater away. Sam ultimately resorts to blackmail and legal chicanery to get the guy to leave.
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Fashion Dissonance
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Fashion Dissonance: Al's choices in clothing were intentionally weird, when they weren't a navy uniform. Word of God states that this was done to differentiate the holographic Al from the people who were actually physically there. In-universe (particularly the novelizations), Al had a conscious preference for garish combinations. In a few episodes where Sam leaps to a time and/or place Al has a particular fondness for, he will sometimes make an attempt to dress in period clothing, only to put together colors and patterns that still manage to make him look appropriately terrible.
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Obfuscating Disability
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Obfuscating Disability: In "Blind Faith," Sam leaps into a blind concert pianist and has to keep up a pretense of blindness throughout the leap. The mother of the leapee's girlfriend catches him during a moment in which he's let the pretense drop, and assumes that the leapee is a fraud; when she tries to expose him publicly, however, Sam has recently been blinded by an inconvenient flashbulb and passes her impromptu "test." Happens again in "Nowhere to Run," where Sam leaps into a Marine captain that had lost his legs in a landmine explosion. Similarly to the above, Sam can walk with no problem, but he has to pretend otherwise for obvious reasons. (He stops pretending, though, to beat-up an abusive orderly and later to save a man from drowning himself.)
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Chronic Hero Syndrome
 Quantum Leap / int_ab68c5cc
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In "Return of the Evil Leaper", Sam is influenced by Arnold Watkins, The Midnight Marauder, and suffers from bouts of Chronic Hero Syndrome.
 Quantum Leap / int_ab68c5cc
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Oh, Crap!
 Quantum Leap / int_ad1db87c
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"Oh boy." Except for "Last Dance Before An Execution" (see Oh, Crap! above).
 Quantum Leap / int_ad1db87c
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Dead Air
 Quantum Leap / int_ad362cc1
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Dead Air: In the episode "Good Morning, Peoria", the air goes dead when an intimate conversation between the radio station owner and Sam (who has leapt into a DJ) extends past the end of the record. He picks it up well, though:
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Deadpan Snarker
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Deadpan Snarker: Al.
 Quantum Leap / int_ae3d6438
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Catchphrase
 Quantum Leap / int_b01abe4f
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Catchphrase: Sam would mutter "Oh boy..." upon arriving in a new "host" and assessing the situation. Al would say "Isn't this a kick in the butt?" at least once an episode in Season 1. Al would also often call out "Gooshie, center me on Sam!".
 Quantum Leap / int_b01abe4f
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Time-Shifted Actor
 Quantum Leap / int_b15ad926
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Time-Shifted Actor: Happens all over the place in the three-parter "Trilogy", where Sam helps out a woman named Abigail Fuller at ages 10, 21, and 35, and his leapees each appear in the preceding part. Following this trope more closely, Abigail is played by one actress at age 10 and another at ages 21 and 35, while the first actress is in the third episode as her daughter Sammy Jo.
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The Homeward Journey
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The Homeward Journey: The show has this Opening Narration:
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Historical Rap Sheet
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Historical Rap Sheet: In one of the show's Kisses with History, Sam causes the Northeast Blackout of 1965 during an attempt to leap home.
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Retroactive Precognition
 Quantum Leap / int_b3a2706
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Retroactive Precognition: The show invokes this trope on occasion. For example, once Sam made a bet that Gerald Ford would trip going down the stairs out of Air Force One, which of course then happens.
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Take That!
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Take That!: The "Lee Harvey Oswald" two-parter was this to Oliver Stone's JFK. Bellisario (who had actually known the real-life Oswald while in the U.S. Marines) considered the movie "crap" and did the two-parter to show another take on the real-life event. In "The Leap Back", after Sam has to deal with Ziggy, he grumbles "Why did I have to give him Barbara Streisand's ego?"
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My Beloved Smother
 Quantum Leap / int_b58c51d8
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In "Blind Faith," Sam leaps into a blind concert pianist and has to keep up a pretense of blindness throughout the leap. The mother of the leapee's girlfriend catches him during a moment in which he's let the pretense drop, and assumes that the leapee is a fraud; when she tries to expose him publicly, however, Sam has recently been blinded by an inconvenient flashbulb and passes her impromptu "test."
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 Quantum Leap / int_b5b4b077
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The Ace
 Quantum Leap / int_b5b4b077
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The Ace: Sam has six different doctorates, is a classically trained pianist, sings tenor, is skilled in a number of martial arts, and is fluent in several languages. However, his Swiss cheese memory means he only seems to remember them when it's relevant to the plot. Anything Sam isn't that good at, Al usually does have the relevant skill and is able to help. For example, he once leaped into the life of an Italian mobster, and when people spoke Italian to Sam, Al (who spoke Italian fluently) acted as an interpreter. Applies to a lesser extent to Scott Bakula himself, too. Anytime Sam had to do anything musical, Bakula always performed it himself, and unless a stunt was deadly dangerous, he usually did those himself too.
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 Quantum Leap / int_b5b507b0
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Fold the Page, Fold the Space
 Quantum Leap / int_b5b507b0
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Fold the Page, Fold the Space: Sam uses the term "string theory" to explain his leaping. Imagine your life as a piece of string, with birth as one end and death as the other. If you ball the string up, every day of your life touches every other day out of order, so you can jump from one to another, therefore time travelling within your own lifetime.
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 Quantum Leap / int_b72ae7
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Omnidisciplinary Scientist
 Quantum Leap / int_b72ae7
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Omnidisciplinary Scientist: Among other disciplines Music, Medicine, Physics, Archeology, Ancient Languages, Chemistry, and Astronomy. Not to mention hobbies like 7 modern languages. In the cases he doesn't know something, Al knows. Though it's implied he didn't know all that when he started..
 Quantum Leap / int_b72ae7
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 Quantum Leap / int_b77808f2
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 Quantum Leap / int_b77808f2
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"Where Are They Now?" Epilogue: The one that was infamously tacked on to the final episode. Also usually happens at the end of an episode, with Al telling Sam how the positive effects of the leap have helped the people in question (or, in at least one case, not).
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 Quantum Leap / int_b87ae3ba
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Crash Course Landing
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Crash Course Landing: Happened once or twice (including the pilot), with Al having to talk Sam through it.
 Quantum Leap / int_b87ae3ba
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 Quantum Leap / int_ba81efeb
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Captive Push
 Quantum Leap / int_ba81efeb
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Captive Push: Sam leaps into a Navy SEAL during the Viet Nam War. His platoon is on a mission to rescue three American POWs, and we see them being rushed along a path while an embedded photojournalist hides in the brush and takes photos. One of the POWs is Al as a younger man.
 Quantum Leap / int_ba81efeb
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 Quantum Leap / int_bb5126ec
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Prophecy Twist
 Quantum Leap / int_bb5126ec
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Prophecy Twist: In "Nowhere to Run," Sam's main mission is to prevent a disabled veteran from killing himself, but he also has to ensure another part of history plays out. According to Al, the amputee Sam leaped into had a son (who will save a lot of lives during a Gulf War battle), and Sam has to ensure he will be born. They initially think they have to repair the amputee's rocky marriage, but it turns out they didn't have to do anything. The mother turns out to be the nurse that Sam met at the start of the episode. Al acknowledges that he never bothered to check the mother's name.
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Clear My Name
 Quantum Leap / int_bc3cb7ff
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Clear My Name: In "Last Dance Before an Execution", Sam leaps into a death row inmate and must attempt to prove that he was actually railroaded by a district attorney more interested in a conviction record than actual justice. In a subversion, Sam ends up confirming that the leapee is guilty; it is his also-condemned accomplice who was railroaded by the DA.
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 Quantum Leap / int_bc74ef27
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Berserk Button
 Quantum Leap / int_bc74ef27
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Berserk Button: Sam hates all forms of racism or intolerance, it being one of the few things that makes him genuinely angry. Sam's hatred of racism causes him considerable problems in the episode "Justice" when he leaps into a young man who joined the Ku Klux Klan because of peer pressure. He's so disgusted that he yanks off the Klan robe as though it makes him physically ill to wear it—"This robe stands for everything my parents taught me to fight against, Al!"—initially flat-out refuses to do anything to help them, and visibly struggles to keep up the charade—watch him literally choke every time he has to say the "n-word". Sexism becomes one for him after he spends time as a woman in The '60s. And despite his womanizing ways, it's one for Al too.
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 Quantum Leap / int_bd842706
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Hologram
 Quantum Leap / int_bd842706
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Hologram: Al is one of these to Sam. He's in a room which projects an image of its contents back to Sam's brain, except the official explanation is a vaguer way of saying "Sam's brain" that also allows him to be seen by animals and small children, a common form of Glamour Failure. The room's door is one of the trademark moments of the show, where a bright backlit doorway would open and Al would come in and out. This also meant that the entire world around Sam is a hologram to Al, not limited to what Sam could see, thus allowing him to see behind him, around doors, or (as Al was wont to) into ladies' locker rooms and restrooms.
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 Quantum Leap / int_be94b160
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SmiteMeOhMightySmiter
 Quantum Leap / int_be94b160
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Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter: After three and a half seasons, God owes Sam at least one favor. In "A Single Drop of Rain," Sam demands that He pay up. He does.
 Quantum Leap / int_be94b160
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Mission Control
 Quantum Leap / int_bebf0356
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Mission Control: Al and the rest of the Project.
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Woobie of the Week
 Quantum Leap / int_bf4a5862
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Woobie of the Week: Along with Walking the Earth, the show's premise.
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Chaste Hero
 Quantum Leap / int_c209fc7
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Chaste Hero: Sam, conveniently enough, because it would be a bad idea anyway. The man even turns down Marilyn Monroe, causing Al to call him "a stronger man than I". Subverted in "Trilogy," where he falls in love with the woman he's supposed to be helping and accidentally gets her pregnant, causing their daughter to be a member of the Quantum Leap Project.
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Show Within a Show
 Quantum Leap / int_c2393191
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Show Within a Show: Several, actually, but arguably the most important was Time Patrol, from which a young Sam got his string theory of time travel.
 Quantum Leap / int_c2393191
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 Quantum Leap / int_c26e2b1
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New Powers as the Plot Demands
 Quantum Leap / int_c26e2b1
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Sam has six different doctorates, is a classically trained pianist, sings tenor, is skilled in a number of martial arts, and is fluent in several languages. However, his Swiss cheese memory means he only seems to remember them when it's relevant to the plot.
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 Quantum Leap / int_c280632d
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Dreaded Kids' Table
 Quantum Leap / int_c280632d
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Dreaded Kids' Table: In "Camikazi Kid", having leaped into a 16-year-old boy named Cameron Wilson, Sam is humiliated at having to sit at the kids' table during the rehearsal dinner for Cameron's sister Cheryl's wedding.
 Quantum Leap / int_c280632d
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 Quantum Leap / int_c32201f6
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Good Colors, Evil Colors
 Quantum Leap / int_c32201f6
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Good Colors, Evil Colors: Sam's leaps are blue. Leapers from the evil project leap in orange. After Alia's Heel–Face Turn during the third Evil Leaper episode, she escapes in a blue leap.
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 Quantum Leap / int_c3478f1d
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Badass Bookworm
 Quantum Leap / int_c3478f1d
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Badass Bookworm: Sam has six doctorates, but is also trained in martial arts, allowing him to kick ass as required.
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Moonwalk Dance
 Quantum Leap / int_c3e6e3c4
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Moonwalk Dance: In one episode, Sam teaches a five-year-old Michael Jackson to moonwalk.
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 Quantum Leap / int_c452da2f
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Southern Gothic
 Quantum Leap / int_c452da2f
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Southern Gothic: The "Trilogy" episodes taking place in Louisiana have this flavor.
 Quantum Leap / int_c452da2f
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 Quantum Leap / int_c48667d9
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Backseat Driver
 Quantum Leap / int_c48667d9
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Backseat Driver: Al. Justified in that he's the only one with the historical data that helps Sam solve whatever problem he needs to fix. The rest of the time, he tries to talk Sam into accepting any and all advances from the women he runs into.
 Quantum Leap / int_c48667d9
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 Quantum Leap / int_c4942576
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Cunning Linguist
 Quantum Leap / int_c4942576
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Cunning Linguist: Sam, apparently, though we rarely get to see him display this talent, save for one episode where he leaps into an archaeologist who can immediately read ancient Egyptian writing and another where he leaps into a man married to a Japanese woman and is able to converse fluently with her. At this point, Al reminds him that he speaks "7 modern languages and 5 dead ones".
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 Quantum Leap / int_c505d6ec
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Missing Reflection
 Quantum Leap / int_c505d6ec
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Missing Reflection: "Blood Moon" has Sam leap into an artist who believes himself to be a vampire. At the end of of the episode, he looks into a polished plate and realizes he's casting no reflection.
 Quantum Leap / int_c505d6ec
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Nice Guy
 Quantum Leap / int_c5249b29
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Nice Guy: Sam, he's not quite an All-Loving Hero but he's friendly, never takes advantage of women, and always wants to help people he's around even when they annoy him. Underneath his cynical lecherous exterior, Al is very much one as well. He gets just as emotionally involved in each timeline as Sam does.
 Quantum Leap / int_c5249b29
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Felony Misdemeanor
 Quantum Leap / int_c59cfa2e
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Felony Misdemeanor: In "Memphis Melody," Sam's actions accidentally cause Elvis not to get discovered. Al checks the changes to history and says that "Heartbreak Hotel" gets recorded by The Monkees and "Blue Suede Shoes" by Tony Orlando and Dawn, to which he responds by miming throwing up.
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Cringe Comedy
 Quantum Leap / int_c5ef2d50
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Cringe Comedy: Since he rarely leaps into someone while they're alone, Sam's cluelessness tends to lead to many awkward moments where he tries to figure out what's going on while at the same time trying to act normal to everyone around him. Not to mention when his hosts have skills that even Sam lacks, forcing him to stall for time while Al figures out how to help him.
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Famous, Famous, Fictional
 Quantum Leap / int_c6339c44
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Famous, Famous, Fictional: In "Glitter Rock," Sam and Al discuss high-profile assassination attempts by Loony Fans, including John Lennon, Ronald Reagan, and Tonic of King Thunder (Sam's current leapee).
 Quantum Leap / int_c6339c44
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 Quantum Leap / int_c660bc15
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Fan Disservice
 Quantum Leap / int_c660bc15
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Renée Coleman appears in a slip during "Deliver Us From Evil." It quickly becomes Fan Disservice when she claws herself.
 Quantum Leap / int_c660bc15
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 Quantum Leap / int_c6b8d37a
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Cliffhanger
 Quantum Leap / int_c6b8d37a
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Cliffhanger: Almost every episode ends with the start of Sam's next leap. Season 3 also ends with Sam and Al inadvertently switching roles and Season 4 with Sam leaping into Lee Harvey Oswald.
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 Quantum Leap / int_c75df49a
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Shout-Out
 Quantum Leap / int_c75df49a
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Shout-Out: In "Another Mother," the leapee's oldest daughter doesn't want to miss that night's episode of Magnum, P.I.. Unfortunately, this nixed plans for an episode where Sam leaped into Magnum (Don Bellisario had produced both shows). The "Dean Stockwell" Actor Allusion [invoked] from "Animal Frat" is also a nod to Back to School (the dean having a Punny Name). In one episode, Sam refers to the skintight suit worn inside the Quantum Leap Accelerator as a "Fermi Suit".
 Quantum Leap / int_c75df49a
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Luke, I Am Your Father
 Quantum Leap / int_c83a589c
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Luke, I Am Your Father: In the final part of "Trilogy", Sam and Al realize that Sam is the biological father of the focus character's daughter, conceived when he leaped into the woman's fiancé during sex. However, Al says that she doesn't know this, despite working for the Quantum Leap Project in the "fixed" timeline.
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Freudian Excuse
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Freudian Excuse: "Dr. Ruth" hints that part of Al's relationship difficulties stems from his growing up in an orphanage.
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Ontological Mystery
 Quantum Leap / int_c8f98eb5
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Ontological Mystery: Each time Sam leaps into a new leapee, he has to figure out whom he has replaced, where he is, when he is, and why he is there. How much Sam can figure out by himself, and how much Al or Ziggy is needed to fill in the gaps, differs from episode to episode. In the pilot episode, Sam also needs to figure out who he himself is, as the initial leap left memory gaps that the show describes as "Swiss cheese".
 Quantum Leap / int_c8f98eb5
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Trust Password
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Trust Password: Sam has leaped into an illiterate murderer on the run who is holding a woman and her daughter hostage. He decides to drop The Masquerade, telling her he's a doctor from the future in a Time Travel experiment. She doesn't believe him. Then he notices her medical textbook, and she reveals that she's in medical school. So he has her quiz him on medical stuff to prove that he's telling the truth.
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Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane
 Quantum Leap / int_cb70651c
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Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: Zoey reminds Alia that "We clawed our way out of hell" to get their evil leaping jobs. It's extremely vague on whether Zoey was using hyperbole or they were literally from Hell, but given the presence of other paranormal stuff in the series, the literal meaning is disturbingly plausible.
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Not That Kind of Doctor
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Not That Kind of Doctor: Averted. Sam is a medical doctor, just one of six doctorates he holds.
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Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?
 Quantum Leap / int_cc4d190a
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Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: During the Halloween Episode, Sam and Satan try to strangle each other. Sam wins.
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Pro Wrestling Is Real
 Quantum Leap / int_cde840c1
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Pro Wrestling Is Real: In one episode in which Sam leaps into the body of a wrestler playing an Evil Russian, it's confidently declared that wrestling actually is staged — except for the title matches, and Sam and his partner's refusal to take a dive in a tag-team title match is the main conflict of the episode.
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Cassandra Truth
 Quantum Leap / int_cf92fea8
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Cassandra Truth: In "Star Light, Star Bright," government agents inject Sam with a truth serum to question him about the UFO he saw. Instead, he goes on at length about himself, including Project: Quantum Leap. He is generally thought crazy, but he raises some eyebrows when he mentions a secret level of government clearance that the leapee couldn't possibly know about. A few other times, Sam does purposefully try to tell people who he really is. It usually works, but as in "Killin' Time" and "Revenge of the Evil Leaper," it takes a heck of a lot of convincing. With the psychic who can see him, it takes no convincing whatsoever—she's pretty much figured it out right away.
 Quantum Leap / int_cf92fea8
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Weather Saves the Day
 Quantum Leap / int_cfb3edb2
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Weather Saves the Day: In "A Single Drop of Rain" Sam leaps into a travelling conman who claims to be a Rainmaker. He needs to save the town he's at (which is also the leapee's hometown) from a drought. After trying what he can do, he goes out into a field and yells at God. It works.
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Vampire Episode
 Quantum Leap / int_cfb7ff32
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Vampire Episode: the above mentioned "Blood Moon".
 Quantum Leap / int_cfb7ff32
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Naked in Mink
 Quantum Leap / int_d001deb0
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Naked in Mink: In "Goodbye Norma Jean," Barbara tries on Marilyn's white fox coat, and a pair of her heels, and nothing else.
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Magnetic Hero
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Magnetic Hero: Sam.
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Everybody Lives
 Quantum Leap / int_d1b4f0ef
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In fact Everybody Lives. Sam's solution is to leap young Al back to before the murder and prevent it from happening by staying close to his drunk friend.
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Strawman Ball
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Strawman Ball: Al gets this in "Running for Honor" when one of the most tolerant and accepting characters on television suddenly displays a problem with homosexuals in the military just so he can learn he's wrong about it.
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Death by Childbirth
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Death by Childbirth: The wrong righted in the pilot.
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Hurting Hero
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Hurting Hero: Sam. Let's see, his father lost the family farm and then died relatively young, his brother was killed in Vietnam and his sister married an abusive alcoholic. And being the kind of person he is, he feels guilty about all of it - particularly the farm and his sister. The trope is particularly evidenced in "The Leap Home, Part 1," where Sam tries to change his family's future and finds that it's not so easy to do.
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Batman Grabs a Gun
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Batman Grabs a Gun: Sam is generally a Nice Guy who wants to genuinely do good, but when pushed in extreme circumstances or when the person in question truly deserves it, Sam will not hesitate to use physical force, even killing on occasion.
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Roundhouse Kick
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Roundhouse Kick: Sam's signature fighting move. As it is, Sam has no idea how he learned to do that, and sometimes has led to him having to concoct some story in various personas of why he is able to do an attack like that.
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Year Outside, Hour Inside
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Year Outside, Hour Inside: According to the pilot, whereas time in-between leaps is instantaneous for Sam, it can take days or weeks for him to arrive somewhere, plus some time for the Project to get a lock on him once he gets there, although that part appears to happen in real time. This wasn't touched on much in the rest of the series. This is possibly overlooked in the episode where the funding the threatened, as someone makes the claim there's no evidence that Sam is leaping, because Sam's body is still there as far as anyone can tell, and it's just as likely that he's simply gone insane and taking on random personalities. While that might explain his behavior when his body is there, it doesn't explain how that body vanishes for days at a time and reappears out of thin air once Sam gets somewhere and displaces a person. OTOH, this was probably just an excuse to make the project "prove it" and alter the past in the way the government wanted, and no one actually disbelieved it was happening.
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Equivalent Exchange
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Equivalent Exchange: The people Sam replaces take his place in the now-recent-past-that-didn't-happen.
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Unusual Euphemism
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Unusual Euphemism: "Nozzle" for anyone Al doesn't approve of.
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You Can't Go Home Again
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You Can't Go Home Again: Played painfully straight in "The Leap Home, Part 1." Sam is thrilled to be back in his hometown as his sixteen-year-old self, but his failing efforts to prevent the tragedies that befell his family terrify them and sends him into a Heroic BSoD.
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Hollywood Atheist
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Hollywood Atheist: Al is revealed to be one in "Leap of Faith." It's not played to any extremes, either. Al simply doesn't believe because of what happened to his father. According to Al, the last thing his dying father said was to pray for him and that everything would work out. It didn't. When Sam is nearly killed later on and lying there unconscious, Al doesn't hesitate to pray for his friend.
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Thanatos Gambit
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Thanatos Gambit: In the final part of "Trilogy", Abigail is accused of murdering the woman who's been harassing her for years (said woman having been convinced that Abby murdered her daughter and husband). Sam, as her lawyer, eventually realizes that the dead woman killed herself with the intent of framing Abigail and getting "revenge", having long since crossed the Despair Event Horizon.
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You're Just Jealous
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You're Just Jealous: The girl's answer to Sam, when he was trying to stop her.
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Musical Episode
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Musical Episode: "Catch a Falling Star" sort of. The setting is a theater performing Don Quixote and the musical numbers are done in the context of performances/rehearsals. The last act is mostly composed of the final performance.
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Fantasy Kitchen Sink
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Fantasy Kitchen Sink: Sam, a time traveler, encounters ghosts, a mummy, Bigfoot, a vampire, a guardian angel and a UFO.
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Peggy Sue
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Peggy Sue: "The Leap Home, Part 1" Al by proxy in "M.I.A.".
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I Just Want to Be You
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I Just Want to Be You: Usually played for laughs with Al to Sam. Often enough, Sam gets to be in the company of attractive women and Al complains that Sam wastes golden opportunities that he would gladly jump at. Played very seriously, though, in "The Leap Home, Part 1," where Sam laments being around his family but being unable to change their futures for the better. Made even more heartbreaking when you remember that Al's mother did a runner while he was young, his father went overseas so Al was sent to an orphanage, and Al's sister was committed to a mental institution due to having Down Syndrome. When his father returned and the family was reunited, he shortly afterwards discovered he had cancer and passed away, which meant Al and his sister were once again sent back to the orphanage and asylum. When Al finally was old enough to become the legal guardian of Trudy, it turns out that she'd contracted pneumonia and died two years previously and they never even bothered to tell him.
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Ambiguously Gay
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Ambiguously Gay: A major factor in "Running for Honor". Sam leaps into a military school student who is being harassed because he might be gay. It's never determined if he really was gay or not, but Sam says it doesn't make a difference either way.
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Disguised in Drag
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Disguised in Drag: At the start of "M.I.A.," Sam leaps into an undercover cop dressed as a woman for a case. (He initially thought he had again leapt into a woman and was rather annoyed.) What should have tipped him (and the audience) was the fake boobs. Whenever Sam leapt into a woman, he just wore the clothes naturally. In this case, the detective was dressed up "to enhance enticement."
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Two Roads Before You
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Two Roads Before You: In "Mirror Image," Sam is essentially told that he can either continue leaping (where he will face even tougher challenges) or go home. Sam chooses to leap so that he can save Al and Beth's marriage.
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Mandatory Twist Ending
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Mandatory Twist Ending: Only when the paranormal was involved, Or Was It?
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Percussive Maintenance
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Percussive Maintenance: Al often smacks Ziggy's portable terminal when trying to retrieve information.
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All Just a Dream
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All Just a Dream: A majority of "The Boogieman". Maybe. After all, Sam knew where to go to save Tully from falling off a ladder, something that he couldn't have known if it was all just a dream...
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Crossover
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Crossover: They attempted one with fellow Universal/Bellisario series Magnum, P.I., but for various reasons it didn't happen. But, over two decades after the end of the series, Sam had helped Shining Armor and Cadance get together, having leaped into Shining's friend Gaffer. (This was because Andy Price, the writer, had previously worked on the comic for this show.)
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Jerkass
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In "Catch a Falling Star," Sam encounters an old crush and the leap turns very personal. He even openly considers not "setting right what once went wrong" (in this case, saving a Jerkass actor) to avoid leaping anymore. Obviously, he gets over it and the following exchange echoes the trope (as well as further shouting out to Don Quixote):
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One Steve Limit
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One Steve Limit: The trope was purposefully invoked in the finale, where Sam — much to his surprise — encounters a bartender named Al, a man named Gushie, and a miner nicknamed Ziggy. This all plays into his discovery that there's something special about this leap. Also comes up in "Shock Theater," when Sam leaps into a man named Sam Bederman and Al points out that Sam can use his own name for once. Subverted in "What Price, Gloria?" where Sam hears his name called upon leaping in. He thinks he gets to use his name this time - only to realize that "Sam" is short for Samantha.
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Down L.A. Drain
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Down L.A. Drain: In the episode "Camikazi Kid" [sic] Sam leaps into a 16-year-old racing enthusiast in San Gabriel Valley, CA. He and the bad guy of the episode have their climactic race in the Los Angeles River / storm drains.
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Chained to a Bed
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Chained to a Bed: Sam in "Moments to Live."
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Once per Episode
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Once per Episode: A mirror-view of Sam's host except for "Blood Moon," when Sam — since he's leaped into a vampire — discovers he doesn't have a reflection. "Oh boy." Except for "Last Dance Before An Execution" (see Oh, Crap! above). Also, Al walking through something (with the exception of "The Leap Back," in which Al is the traveller and Sam is the hologram). Almost every episode ends with the start of Sam's next leap. There are exceptions, such as the premiere (when broken up into two parts), "M.I.A." (Al's final scene with Beth) or "Dr. Ruth" (Dr. Ruth leaping out of the waiting room and being replaced by that vampire mentioned above).
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Rare Guns
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Rare Guns: In "The Leap Home Part II: Vietnam", Sam wields a Stoner 63, a Swiss Army Gun that was issued to Navy SEALs for field evaluation. Even in fiction this weapon is rare. The only other fictional character to have ever wielded one is Big Boss.
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20 Minutes into the Future
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20 Minutes into the Future: The series was initially vague on when the present-day was (though it couldn't be that far ahead due to Sam leaping within his own lifetime). Eventually, the series set the year to 1999.
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Make Wrong What Once Went Right
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Make Wrong What Once Went Right: The Evil Leaper.
 Quantum Leap / int_f364de89
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Post-Rape Taunt
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Post-Rape Taunt: The 1991 episode "Raped," set in the early 1980s — even then, a time when rape was too often defined as being "the woman's fault" — saw Sam leap into the body of a rape victim. Her attacker, the town's all-American boy who has several college scholarships in hand, has been acquitted of all charges. The night after the trial ends, he goes to her house to taunt her and try to attack her once more ... only this time, Sam-as-the-girl gives him an attack he won't ever forget.
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Haunted House
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Haunted House: "A Portrait for Troian" is set at an estate where the former owners died horrible deaths and Troian (the current owner) believes her husband's ghost is trying to contact her. Sam thinks someone is just trying to drive Troian insane, but Al thinks the house really is haunted. Turns out they're both right. Troian's brother was trying to drive her crazy for her money, but housekeeper Priscilla is revealed to be a ghost.
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Series Fauxnale
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Series Fauxnale: "Mirror Image" was written and filmed as a season finale. When the series was cancelled afterwards, some last-minute editing was performed to ensure the series would have some kind of an ending. They didn't even manage to spell Sam's last name right, stating "Dr. Becket never returned home."
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RunningGag
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Running Gag: Sam says "Al", only for the person he's with to say "I'll what?" Al can never keep his various marriages straight. Some fans suspect that had the show continued, this would have changed to his being unable to keep his numerous daughters straight.
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Hood Hopping
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Hood Hopping: During the climax of one episode, Sam is trying to stop a woman from being murdered, and the taxi he's in gets caught in a traffic jam. Having no time to spare, he exits the cab and runs to the woman's apartment by leaping from car to car. To make things more awesome, at the time, Sam had leapt into Dr. Ruth Westheimer.
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Real After All
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Real After All: The episode The Curse of Ptah-Hotep is all about the villain faking the titular curse so he can have free rein to loot the tomb (basically a "Scooby-Doo" Hoax minus the mask). Then in the finale, after he's essentially succeeded, the mummy actually stands up and strangles the bastard. There's a bit of Fridge Brilliance as well, since he was on-screen in other areas when some of the effects took place. Sam leaps into an artist who thinks he's a vampire and brushes a lot of the act off as just a delusion. Just as he's about to leap, Sam realizes he hasn't seen what he actually looks like, so holds up a clear dish as a mirror...and sees he has no reflection. In "It's a Wonderful Leap," Sam leaps into Max, a cab driver who's to be murdered on Christmas Eve, 1958. He runs into Angelita, a woman claiming to be an angel. Naturally, Sam and Al think she's a nutcase, especially as she can see and hear Al (which crazy people can do). At the end, after Sam saves Max from his fate, Angelita says her job is done and once she's gone, everyone in this time will forget she was ever here. She surprises both men by calling "Max" Sam and "who do you think I was here to help?" As she walks off, Al presses Sam to go after her. "After who?" Sam asks, and Al is stunned to realize that Sam suddenly has no idea who Angelita is.
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Swallow the Key
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The first act of "The Leap Back" sees Sam and Al slowly realize they are in a "swallowed key"-type situation: as Sam explains, in order for their current situation to have happenednote the two of them leaping together, Al going to 1945, Sam going into the Imaging Chamber, one of two things would need to happen: being struck by lightning, or being at ground zero of a nuclear explosion. Now, while the former is what happened, Sam goes on to explain that Ziggy would have potentially misread that as a critical component of the Imaging Chamber going nuclear, and as such sealing it to prevent the spread of radiationnote where it will remained sealed until the half-life of the radium used passes, in 1600 years. However, Sam quickly remembers the fail-safe he developed: the door can be reopened from the inside... with the handlink. Which is currently in Al's pocket in 1945.
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Narrating the Present
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Narrating the Present: Sometimes Sam gives a past-tense narration in voiceover, although it's unclear when he would have found time to go back and write any of these events down. Especially given the ending of the series. There's one particularly odd moment in the episode "Play It Again, Seymour:" Sam catches himself using hard-boiled detective slang in the narration, and Sam-on-screen reacts to this, leading to the Fridge Logic conclusion that Sam just walks around mentally narrating his own life in the past tense.
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Young Future Famous People
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Young Future Famous People: Lampshaded as "kisses with history". In "It's a Wonderful Leap", Sam is driving around a man and his son, and tells them some vague bits of information about New York's future in real estate. At the end of the cab ride, Sam finds out the passenger was a young Donald Trump. There've also been episodes in which he meets a young Stephen King and Martin Luther King Jr's great-great-grandfather. In others, he shows young Michael Jackson moonwalking or gives young Sylvester Stallone boxing tips. In "How the Tess Was Won," the whole point of the leap turns out to be giving a young Buddy Holly the inspiration for the song "Peggy Sue." Sam leaps into a young Elvis Presley. In the same episode, we also see a young saxophone player going by the name of Billy C. At a Jewish wedding, Sam gets up to save a man from choking with the Heimlich maneuver. Immediately afterwards, a woman rushes up to lead him away, asking "Are you all right, Dr. Heimlich?" Sam has the most adorably bewildered expression on his face upon hearing that.
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Chromosome Casting
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Chromosome Casting: "Unchained" has an all-male cast.
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Real After All / int_6ce0d19c
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Regular Caller / int_6ce0d19c
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Satan / int_6ce0d19c
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Secret Other Family / int_6ce0d19c
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Show Some Leg / int_6ce0d19c
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Smite Me, O Mighty Smiter! / int_6ce0d19c
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Some of My Best Friends Are X / int_6ce0d19c
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Spirit Advisor / int_6ce0d19c
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Suddenly Always Knew That / int_6ce0d19c
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Tagalong Reporter / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Temporary Blindness / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
10-Minute Retirement / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Terminator Twosome / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Terminology Title / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Thanks for the Mammary / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
The Bermuda Triangle / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
The Cast Showoff / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
The Cretaceous Is Always Doomed / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
The Drifter / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
The Great Whodini / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
The Homeward Journey / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
The Klan / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
The Mind Is a Plaything of the Body / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
The Mirror Shows Your True Self / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
The Mistress / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
The Psycho Rangers / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
The Rock Star / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
The Scottish Trope / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
The Taxi / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
The Vietnam Vet / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
There's No Place Like Home / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Throwing the Fight / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Tie-In Novel / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Tim Taylor Technology / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Time and Relative Dimensions in Space / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Title Sequence Replacement / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Tomboyish Name / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Toon Transformation / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Trapped in Another World / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Trust Password / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Truth Serums / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
20 Minutes into the Future / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
20 Minutes into the Past / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Two-Timer Date / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Uncanny Family Resemblance / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Underground Railroad / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Universal Driver's License / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Unsettling Gender Reveal / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Unstuck in Time / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Unusual Pets for Unusual People / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Vampire Episode / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Virgin-Shaming / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Virtual Ghost / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Wacky Cravings / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Wacky Fratboy Hijinx / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Walking the Earth / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Wardens Are Evil / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Wayback Trip / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
We Were Rehearsing a Play / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Weather Saves the Day / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Wedgie / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Weirdness Search and Rescue / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
/ int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Which Me? / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Who Shot JFK? / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Write Back to the Future / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Yet Another Christmas Carol / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Yoko Oh No / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
You Already Changed the Past / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
You Can See Me? / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
You Can't Fight Fate / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
You Just Ruined the Shot / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
You Wouldn't Hit a Guy with Glasses? / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Young Future Famous People / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Your Princess Is in Another Castle! / int_6ce0d19c
 TheJersey
seeAlso
Quantum Leap
 BravestWarriors
seeAlso
Quantum Leap
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Children Are Special / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Flying Dutchman / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Hot Scientist / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Paranormal Episode / int_6ce0d19c
 Quantum Leap
hasFeature
Saw a Woman in Half / int_6ce0d19c