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Top 10 Shocking Desperate Housewives Moments

VO: Lisa Yang
Desperate Housewives never had a dull moment. For this list, we’re looking moments from the seven-season run of ABC’s “Desperate Housewives to find the moments that we found the most surprising, dramatic, effective, and downright shocking. Since we’ll naturally be looking at moments that caused major shakeups in the show, so don’t look ahead unless you’re desperate for spoilers.

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Top 10 Shocking Desperate Housewives Moments

It started out as an ordinary day on Wisteria Lane. Welcome to MsMojo and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Shocking Desperate Housewives Moments.

For this list, we’re looking at the most surprising, dramatic, effective, and downright shocking moments from this ABC series. Since we’ll naturally be looking at moments that caused major shakeups in the show, don’t look ahead unless you’re desperate for spoilers.

#10: Felicia’s Revenge

“No One Is Alone”

The first season’s mystery involved a mysterious, threatening letter, which led to the suicide of Mary Alice. After discovering that his neighbor Martha was responsible for his wife’s tragedy, Paul fatally took matters into his own hands. As if this web of revenge wasn’t enough, Martha’s sister, Felicia, cooked up a sinister plot to fake her own death and frame Paul for her murder. After sneaking into his house, she faked a grisly murder by spilling her blood all over the house and placing two of her severed fingers in his car. Paul would ultimately be arrested as Felicia went into hiding under her sister’s identity, not to resurface for another five seasons.

#9: The Tornado

“Something’s Coming”

As if the drama plaguing the residents of Wisteria Lane weren’t enough, our protagonists had to endure a tornado in the middle of the fourth season. Just as several storylines were coming to a climactic head, the disaster shook up everything. The tornado would cause the deaths of Victor and Sylvia while also rendering Carlos blind, destroying Bree’s house, and indirectly causing Katherine to learn of her husband’s affair. The episode’s ending left the fates of Lynette’s entire family and Ida up in the air, resulting in a torturous month-long cliffhanger. It’s episodes like these, where the show wears its soap opera influences on its sleeve, that allow us to eat up every dramatic moment.

#8: Bree Abandons Andrew

“I Know Things Now”

As much as Bree has always wanted the perfect domestic life, her misbehaving son Andrew was always a thorn in her side. Though on the exterior she seems like one of the sweetest housewives, her dark side really came out in this moment. After Andrew hooks up with the man she’s seeing, she decides to take him on a college road trip. Thing is, she stops at a gas station and abandons her son there. This brutal moment may be one of the series’ darkest, and Bree seeing Andrew disappear in her rear window is absolutely heartbreaking. Fortunately, they would later patch things up, but it would be a long road to forgiveness for Bree.

#7: Lynette’s Diagnosis

“What Would We Do Without You?”

Though Lynette and Tom have one of the show’s most consistently stable relationships, one of its most major tests came when Lynette began to have feelings for an employee, Rick. When this escalates into an explosive argument, the two visit the doctor, and just as they’re about to start a major fight, the doctor drops a bomb on them: Lynette likely has lymphoma. It’s a fleeting but beautiful moment as Tom decides to let go of their petty arguments and support his wife in her diagnosis. This also sets off one of Lynette’s most dynamic storylines as she examines the true value of life while fighting to keep her own.

#6: Carlos Kills Alejandro

“Come on Over for Dinner”

In the show’s seventh season, Gaby faced her most personal storyline yet. After revealing that her stepfather had been sexually abusive, the menacing figure returns to her life. Just as he approaches her at a vulnerable moment, Carlos sneaks up and gives him a good whack with a candlestick. Though he didn’t intend to kill the villain, he drops dead. As it turns out, he never actually had a gun, meaning Carlos killed an unarmed man. Along with the rest of the housewives, Gaby agrees to help Carlos cover up the killing, an event which sets in motion the main plot for the final season, sending each of these characters to a very dark place.

#5: The Shooting


After Carolyn Bigsby discovered that her husband was having an affair, she made a decision that rocked Wisteria Lane. Upon shooting her husband at his grocery store, she proceeds to hold the rest of the store, including Lynette, Edie, Nora, and Julie hostage. The terrifying situation occupies the second half of the episode and is highlighted by impeccable performances from Laurie Metcalf and Felicity Huffman. In the end, Nora and Carolyn end up dead, and each of the housewives are left with hefty baggage to grapple with in the wake of the harrowing encounter. As an all-too-real situation, the comedy takes a back seat, resulting in a disturbingly effective episode.

#4: Mike Dies

“You Take for Granted”

Mike had always been one of the show’s more complicated characters, struggling to smother some of his darker tendencies. This makes it fitting that his antiheroic qualities are what led to his ultimate demise. When it was teased that a major character would die in one of the series’ final episodes, there was a grave feeling that Mike could go down after violently confronting a loan shark. In the end, he shares one final, poignant moment with Susan before being shot in the chest and dying in her arms. After years of will they/won’t they, the end of their love ended up being even more tragic than we ever could have imagined.

#3: The Time Jump


Just as the show was hitting a narrative lull in its fourth season, the writers made the bold choice to jump five years into the future. This breathed new life into the storylines by putting the characters in unfamiliar territory while also resulting in the show’s best season finale cliffhanger. Gaby has two kids now? Porter and Preston are troublemaking teens? Bree is semi-famous? And where the hell is Mike? And we had to wait all summer to get these questions answered?! This moment was “Desperate Housewives” at its best, teasing us with future storylines and leaving us with burning questions.

#2: Edie Dies

“A Spark. To Pierce the Dark.”

This moment may not have been so shocking if you were following the series’ production drama, as Nicollette Sheridan didn’t have the greatest relationship with showrunner Marc Cherry. Still, killing off one of the main housewives remains one of the biggest TV deaths in recent memory. After discovering the truth about her new husband and frantically escaping the house, a perfect storm of events causes Edie to crash into a pole and electrocute herself as she steps into the puddle below her car. As the other residents look back on her life, they realize that as pesky as she could be, she had a lot of heart and made all of their lives richer.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honourable mentions:

Lynette & Tom Separate

“Come on Over for Dinner”

Rex Dies

“One Wonderful Day”

The Plane Crash

“Boom Crunch”

#1: Mary Alice Kills Herself


This was the moment that started it all. In the very first scene of the pilot episode, Mary Alice narrates her average day up until the moment that she picks up a gun and shoots herself in the head, seemingly for no reason. This kicked off the intriguing and dark mystery that carried the show through its first season and made it clear from the get-go that the perfect little street of Wisteria Lane was all a façade. It was soapy, dramatic, and everything we would come to expect from a show filled with crazy twists and turns.

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