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Top 10 WTF Emmerdale Moments

VO: Ashley Bowman WRITTEN BY: Marc Turner
Who said life in the country was peaceful? Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 WTF Emmerdale moments. For this list, we’re looking at the most shocking, memorable, and downright bonkers moments from ITV’s long-running soap. Special thanks to our user ashjbow for submitting the idea on our interactive suggestion tool: WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Top 10 WTF Emmerdale Moments


Who said life in the country was peaceful? Welcome to WatchMojo UK, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the top 10 WTF Emmerdale moments.

For this list, we’re looking at the most shocking, memorable, and downright bonkers moments from ITV’s long-running soap.

#10: The Punch-Up

Our first storyline comes from 2018. When Tom Tate wants to build a golf course on the site of Wishing Well Cottage, he lures the Dingles away, before sending in the bulldozers – even though Samson and Noah are still inside. Help arrives in the unlikely form of Joe’s associate, Graham Foster. He may once have been in the army, but it’s still hard to believe what happens next, as Graham turns into Jason Bourne to fight off the construction workers. We may have found our next Bond, folks!

#9: The Deranged Nurse

The Lachlan White serial-killer storyline had plenty of head-scratching elements, such as how he managed to avoid arrest despite seemingly wiping out half of Emmerdale. But for this pick we’ve gone for his aunt, the creepy nurse Mrs Sykes, who imprisons and sedates Rebecca. We say “imprisons”, but Rebecca is only ever tied up by one hand, so she could presumably use the other to escape at any time. There follows an endless series of death fake-outs, before Rebecca finally appears out of nowhere in a graveyard. Nice entrance.

#8: The Charity Fight

Charity and Moira have been the best of enemies since Debbie disowned Charity and claimed that Moira was more of a mother to her. When Charity goes to confront Moira, it isn’t long before the insults start flying. As Charity continues to taunt Moira, you know something is about to happen, but Moira’s response still catches you by surprise. That isn’t even the end of the confrontation, with Charity scoring a surprise blow of her own. These two need to hire out a boxing ring.

#7: The Lightning Strike

Everyone knows that soap settings can be dangerous places, and Emmerdale has suffered more than its fair share of disasters. Tricia Dingle learned this to her cost on New Year’s Day 2004, when a violent storm toppled a tree outside the Woolpack. And it seems lightning can indeed strike twice, with a second bolt then punching a hole through the pub’s roof and sending rubble showering down onto Tricia. She made it as far as the hospital, but was later pronounced brain dead. Happy New Year, Emmerdale . . .

#6: The Dart Gun

In this 2017 storyline, Charity impersonates Chrissie in an effort to withdraw £50,000 from her bank account. She takes with her a tranquilizer gun, intending to use it on the bank employee if she’s rumbled. But as is often the case in soap-land, things don’t quite go to plan. If you thought that was funny, though, wait until you see what happens when the drugs start taking effect. It’s comedy gold – although we’re still not sure why her friends bundled her into a car boot on a busy street.

#5: The Ghost

Do you believe in ghosts? We’re guessing the Emmerdale scriptwriters do, judging by the number of characters who have seemingly returned from beyond the grave. For this pick, we’ve gone for the emotional reappearance of one of the soap’s longest-serving characters, Jack Sugden. After the actor playing him died in 2008, the producers were forced to hurriedly write his character out of the show. But Jack made a final appearance on the day of his funeral – as a spirit, to say goodbye to his family.

#4: The Wrong Archie

Back in 2014, Jai Sharma was separated from his son Archie when Rachel Breckle disappeared with the boy. But then Jai meets a dodgy stranger, who offers to sell him Archie for a cool £40,000. We’re not sure what’s more implausible: the fact that Jai agreed to the deal, or that he failed to realise that the child wasn’t actually his son. Should have gone to Specsavers. In the end, it all proved to be a scam – to the surprise of no one except Jai.

#3: The Plane Crash

Faced with falling ratings in the early 90s, Emmerdale started running more dramatic storylines. This included a plane crash in 1993 that is widely viewed as a turning point in the show’s history, making it a rival to Eastenders and Coronation Street. More than 18m people tuned in to watch the devastation of the village and the deaths of four long-time characters. Controversially, the storyline coincided with the fifth anniversary of the Lockerbie disaster, prompting complaints that the soap had exploited the tragedy to boost ratings.

#2: The Helicopter Crash

Weddings are rarely a happy occasion in soap-land, and the marriage between Pete Barton and Debbie Dingle in 2015 was no different. A series of unlikely events including a car fire and some exploding gas canisters results in a helicopter crashing into the wedding venue. Well, at least it wasn’t a plane this time, right? The disaster also leads to one of the most gruesome soap deaths in history, as Val Pollard meets her end in a fairground mirror maze courtesy of a shattered piece of glass. Ouch.

#1: The Christmas Ghost

More spirits for our top pick, and here it’s the return of Val Pollard for the Christmas Day episode in 2017. The storyline mixed elements of “Groundhog Day” and “A Christmas Carol”, as Robert dreams Christmas day over and over while fighting for his life in intensive care. A series of increasingly surreal scenes ends with Rob attending his own funeral while Val plays the role of moral guardian. Even actor Ryan Hawley, who plays Rob, called the episode “odd and bizarre”, and who are we to argue with him?
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