Dec. 19, 2012 at 9:31 AM ET
They're the moments that you can't forget. The ones you end up watching over and over -- whether on your DVR, online or just in your head. They're the best, most memorable TV spots, and scripted TV had no shortage of those unforgettable scenes in 2012.
For prime-time viewers who want to relive the action again -- or for those who missed it the first time around -- check out our list of must-see moments of the year.
'Big Bang Theory'
Oh, how Sheldon and Amy's relationship has blossomed! The pair hit a significant milestone in the season five finale when anti-affection Sheldon sweetly held his lady's hand as they watched Howard blast off in to space. That first touching moment has led to a softer side of the theoretical physicist in season six, which has seen Sheldon apply the relationship agreement -- not for his own gain -- and actually cared for Amy when she was sick, instead of walking away and keeping her germs at bay. Go boldly, sweet genius, to where your selfish mind didn't think was necessary for human relations.
Bang bang! You're dead! TWICE! Shane's double death in season two's penultimate episode perfectly highlights why AMC's zombie drama is one of the best scripted shows on TV. It propelled the story forward (zombie bites not required for infection, sets up the Ricktatorship), packed a huge emotional punch (Rick kills his BFF, little man Carl kills his former stepdad figure while Rick watches) and was a massive jaw-dropper (THEY KILLED SHANE! Then ZOMBIE Shane!!!). Scripted TV doesn't get much better than that. But we also have to give an honorable mention to Daryl in episode five of season three, when he delivered one of the show's tenderest moments as he cooed to "little ass kicker" while feeding the baby girl.
'Saturday Night Live'
"SNL" often finds its best humor in politics, and there's nothing like an election year to really bring out the best of the best. The electoral laughs kicked off on the season premiere, when Bill Hader channeled his inner Clint Eastwood for a chair-centric bit that no doubt had viewers falling out of their seats. Then there was side-splitter where Jason Sudeikis' Mitt Romney tossed a reasonable facsimile of Karl Rove out of his life after the vote didn't go his way. But both of those sketches were topped when one not-so political Muppet stopped by the "Weekend Update" desk after being name-checked in one of the presidential debates. Big Bird didn't get his feathers ruffled over it, but he did get in one zinger: "You know who loves debates? De-fishes. Because fish eat bait!"
Pretty much every episode of season five was great television, but the entire hour of episode five was simply amazing. In "Dead Freight," Walt, Jesse, Mike and Todd pull off a heist of epic proportions: 1,000 gallons of hard-to-obtain meth ingredient methylamine. From a train that the gang stops in its tracks. And without anyone being any the wiser to the massive theft. Even more stunning, it was former loser/drug addict Jesse -- not Walt -- who came up with the brilliant idea of how to pull it off without killing any innocent folks. And the plan went off without a hitch ... until the final jaw-dropping moment.
After a season chock-full of death, mayhem and vampire fundamentalism (and not nearly enough Christopher Meloni), "True Blood" wrapped it up with an expectedly bloody finale -- in a completely unexpected way. Sure, somebody finally downed the last drops of Lilith's ancient, hallucinogenic blood, but who really thought it would be hardcore religious convert Bill Compton? If his eagerness to down all the precious liquid wasn't enough of a shocker, what happened next sure was. Fans of the Bon Temps drama were faced with what appeared to be (gasp!) Vampire Bill's true death, right before they were treated to his true resurrection. (Watch.) Long live Billith! Next summer can't come soon enough.
Who didn't need a few tissues in the season eight finale as Lexie lay dying while pinned under debris from the plane crash?! In one of the most bittersweet moments in recent TV memory, Mark and Lexie -- who had broken up in season seven -- confessed their love for each other during her last moments. "We can get married! You're going to be an amazing surgeon. We're going to have two or three kids! ... You and me, we're going to have the best life, Lexie. We're going to be so happy, so you can't die," Mark cried. "Because we're supposed to end up together. We're meant to be." She died a minute later, and he followed in episode two of season nine. (We're choking up again as we type.)
When the perennially single and never sentimental Liz Lemon decided to finally swap vows with her main man, it was no surprise that she opted for a quickie courthouse affair. "Getting married in a sweatshirt, no bra!" the snarky third-wave feminist declared. It was just what fans of the show expected of her. But before the big event, Liz caught white-wedding, perfect princess fever -- well, at least her version of it. And then, in just the sort of twist on a theme that "30 Rock" does so well, she showed up dressed in her well-worn Princess Leia gown, ready for groom Criss Chros to place a police-auction knuckle-ring on her finger. The groom got a golden grill. Aw. Now that's how a wedding episode should be done!
Which scripted moment was your favorite this year? Tell us on our Facebook page!
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