From the suicide that started it all to the death we didn't see coming (RIP Mike!), we look back at Wisteria Lane's most memorable marriages, deaths and other watercooler moments that defined America's craziest cul-de-sac.
Murdering a main character in the first episode is kind of a downer, but it perfectly establishes the tragicomic tone of Desperate Housewives. Discovering why Mary Alice resorted to suicide is the show's initial — and perhaps most successful — season-long mystery.
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Lynette jumps into the pool at Mary Alice's wake. (Season 1)
What happens when your three sons think your best friend's wake is a good time to practice their cannonballs in the pool? First of all, you have to make sure not to make a scene by jumping in after them. (Oops.)
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Susan locks herself out. (Season 1)
Susan's notorious pratfalls went from PG to NC-17 when she locked herself out of her house, completely naked, just as Plumber Mike, her crush, comes over to accept her dinner invitation. "Clothing is casual?" he asks. Uh, more like completely optional.
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Gaby mows the lawn. (Season 1)
When Carlos threatens to fire John the Gardener for neglecting his duties(he's pruning Gaby's hedges instead), Gaby sneaks away from a dinner party to cover for him — by mowing the lawn... in a beaded gown and 4-inch heels.
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Andrew hits Mama Solis with his car. (Season 1)
The first of many hit-and-runs on Wisteria Lane is actually the only accidental one. If only Fairview had kicked in some money for speed bumps...
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Susan catches Andrew and Justin kissing. (Season 1)
Who knew that ultra-conservative, not-exactly-tolerant Bree had a gay son? Her initial reaction to Susan's discovery was of the pearl-clutching variety, but fortunately acceptance came later.
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Bree changes Rex's tie at his funeral. (Season 2)
The always composed Bree draws gasps from the mourners when she lifts his lifeless upper half from the coffin to change his tie. It isn't until later at home, while she polishes the silver, that the expected meltdown comes.
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Betty Applewhite has someone chained in her basement! (Season 2)
The Alfre Woodard-anchored mystery started promisingly enough. Why would such a nice, if slightly mysterious lady keep someone in bondage? The answer — she was protecting her mentally challenged son from hurting himself and others — was sad, weird and ultimately kind of unsatisfying.
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Mike is Zach's biological father. (Season 2)
We can admit it now. We didn't really care who Zach's biological father was. Still, finding out that it was Mike, while it was a bit convenient, was a genuine shock.
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Lynette dances on the bar. (Season 2)
How do you get your very single and very flirtatious boss to stop dragging you to bars with her? If you're Lynette Scavo, you show some skin, take some shots and put on your boogie-woogie shoes to steal her precious mojo.
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Bree shoots at George. (Season 2)
When George parks outside Bree's house with a karaoke machine to serenade her, Bree pulls out her rifle and fires at him until he stops. Not exactly Cupid's arrow!
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Edie sets Susan's house on fire. (Season 2)
As the only single ladies on the Lane, Susan and Edie quickly became fierce rivals. After Susan accidentally set Edie's house ablaze in Season 1, Edie returns the favor after some now-long-forgotten offense.
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Bree passes out drunk in the dressing room. (Season 2)
Bree got fall-down drunk in a department store and woke up in the middle of the night in the dressing room wearing a green evening gown and realized she was locked inside. But instead of a carriage, she got a cop car to come, and instead of Prince Charming, she was rescued by her sex-addicted AA sponsor.
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Gaby suffers a miscarriage. (Season 2)
Heartbreakingly, it took a pregnant Gaby's tumble down the stairs, caused by mysterious intruder Caleb Applewhite, to make her realize she wanted a baby. Gaby soon learned that she had lost the baby and her and Carlos’ very twisted and dark road to parenthood began.
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Orson hits Mike with his car. (Season 2)
Marc Cherry loves two things: secrets and hit-and-runs. Combining both — particularly because Mike was on his way to propose to Susan — created a characteristic, bittersweet moment.
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Carolyn Bigsby takes the grocery store hostage. (Season 3)
It was the episode that spawned so many copycat disaster episodes — and with good reason. Most fans, and Lynette, thought that they'd be happy to see annoying Nora gone, but watching her bleed out at the hands of psychotic Carolyn Bigsby elicited tears from the coldest souls.
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Edie fakes suicide. (Season 4)
Suicide is a touchy subject on Wisteria Lane. (R.I.P, Mary Alice!) So when Edie staged her own offing in an attempt to keep Carlos, it was shocking, then hilarious, then loathsome.
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Bree pretends she is pregnant to protect Danielle. (Season 4)
Faking a pregnancy is easier said than done, as Bree learned in Season 4 when every one of her nosy neighbors began poking and prodding her belly to feel the baby kick.
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Victor Lang dies during the tornado when he is stabbed by a picket fence. (Season 4)
Gaby tried to push her manipulative second husband over the side of a boat when he found out about her affair with Carlos. But, wouldn’t you know, a piece of a white picket fence going through his stomach (conveniently right when he tried to shoot at Carlos) did the trick.
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The truth about Dylan Mayfair is revealed. (Season 4)
We loved having Dana Delany around for a while, but how disturbing was it to realize that when Katherine's biological daughter was accidentally killed in an accident, she adopted a replacement Dylan from a Romanian orphanage and went on as if nothing happened?
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The five-year flash-forward. (Season 4)
Lynette's kids are all grown-up (and Tom is not)! Bree is a successful cookbook author! Susan and Mike are divorced! But the best five-year jump goes to... Gaby who is revealed to be a chubby, frumpy mother of two.
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Edie reprises her "sexy car wash" routine. (Season 5)
Hey, guess what? Edie's back… and she hasn't changed much. What better way to reintroduce her to the Lane than to remind us of her devious sexual potency.
It is revealed that it's Dave wife and daughter whom Mike and Susan killed. (Season 5)
There was something fishy about Edie's new hubby right from the get-go, but few could have expected the Fairview husband of the year candidate would have such a disturbing connection to the Lane.
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Edie dies. (Season 5)
Even when you remove all the behind-the-scenesdrama, it sure looks like Marc Cherry had it out for Nicollette Sheridan. This is how he killed off Edie Britt: Her husband Dave strangled her. Then, battered and dizzy, she tried to drive away from him. Unfortunately, when she swerved to avoid another car, she hit an electric pole. As she got out of the car, she stepped into water, in which a power line had fallen and she was shocked to death. Ouch.
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Mike is revealed to have married Susan, not Katherine. (Season 6)
Ah yes, the beginning of the end of Katherine's sanity. As much as we love Susan — comedic gold no matter what insane situation Marc Cherry threw her in — we hated seeing Katherine lose out to her. Alas, Susan got to Mike first, and as such, Katherine was doomed to never be the woman for Mike. Instead, she went temporarily nuts, embarked on a lesbian relationship and left the show.
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Susan accidentally shoots Katherine. (season 6)
Clumsy Susan's got a gun! Which means someone is going to get hurt accidentally — this time the victim just happened to be Katherine, in the midst of her crazy downward spiral after she got dumped by Mike. Oops?
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Katherine stabs herself to frame Mike. (Season 6)
We weren't fans of Krazy Katherine, so when Mike left her to return to Susan, it was tough to watch her resort to such desperate tactics.
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Wisteria Lane plane crash kills Karl. (Season 6)
Call us crazy, but we liked seeing Bree let loose and really indulge in her naughty girl side. And schmucky though he was, Karl usually meant a good time. (Also by this point, Bree's marriage to Orson was pretty much dunzo.) So, even though the freak plane crash wasn't the first major calamity to hit Wisteria Lane, it left us feeling sorry for Mrs. Perpetually Wound Up when the disaster took out her lover.
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Lynette loses one of her twins. (Season 6)
She had already raised four kids (three of which were total nightmares), so no one could blame Lynette for being less than over-the-moon about her unexpected pregnancy. But that didn't make it any less devastating for her to lose one of her two twins after Lynette injured herself saving Celia.
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Katherine turns lesbian and sleeps with Robin. (Season 6)
Going crazy with heartbreak? Sure. Going crazy with heartbreak and suddenly switching teams? Say what, now? Even for a show as crazy and outlandish as Housewives, Katherine's very sudden left turn was the stuff of legend, and a lot of (unintentional) laughs.
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Angie blows up Patrick (Season 6)
Oh, Adrianna Drea de Matteo. You deserved so much better than the environmental activist/bombmaker-on-the-run storyline written for you. Either way, the Emmy winner got to enjoy the perks of living on the Lane when she was able to blow up her ex. Bada... bang!
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Renee and Gaby brawl at a caberet club. (Season 7)
Vanessa Williams showed she hadn't left her Ugly Betty character Wilhelmina Slater completely behind in the Big Apple when her character first blabbed about Gaby's nose job all over town and then ruined said job by punching her in the face. It’s just too bad Renee peaked so early.
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Gaby learns that Juanita was switched at birth. (Season 7)
Hadn't she and Carlos been through enough baby drama? Not quite yet, according to the writers, who seemed to pull this bombshell about Juanita out of thin air. And don't even get us started on that darn doll.
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Beth Young shoots herself. (Season 7)
In an eerie echo of Mary Alice's suicide, Paul Young's beleaguered wife, frustrated by her mother Felicia's plan for vengeance, takes her own life. In a bittersweet coda, she had pre-emptively donated her kidneys to the dialysis-strapped Susan.
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Lynette and Tom separate. (Season 7)
Fans didn't blink when Susan and Mike, or Gaby and Carlos, broke up and got back together over and over. But the Scavos were considered sacred territory. Oh, no you didn't, Marc Cherry!
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Carlos murders Alejandro. (Season 7)
When Gaby's abusive stepfather resurfaces, Carlos accidentally kills him defending his wife. Since it would be Carlos' third strike, the ladies of Wisteria Lane concoct a plan to dispose of the body, setting up the final season's central mystery. Will Bree take the fall and end up in jail? Only the series finale knows for sure.
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Bree learns that Orson sent her the letters. (Season 8)
First, Orson broke hearts when it was revealed that he had sent Bree the threatening letter about Alejandro. His reasoning — that he was so in love with Bree that he stalked her and wanted to protect her — shattered them into a million little pieces.
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Mike dies. (Season 8)
The writing may have been on the wall but that didn't make it any less crushing when, after eight years of breaking up and getting back together with Susan, Mike died trying to protect Renee and Ben from a dangerous loan shark. Is now the time to say we wouldn’t have missed Renee or Ben anyway? No? OK.