I’m not exactly sure where the Big NOOOOOOOOO originated, but I suspect Luke Skywalker popularized it, although my favorite may be Brad Pitt’s anguished NOOOO NOOOOOOOOOO in Se7en (with an OH GOD follow-up), while Kurtwood Smith’s in Dead Poet’s Society — after discovering the death of his son — may be the most heart-wrenching. Ash has a great one in Evil Dead 2, there’s a HUGE one in Lord of the Rings, and even Christopher Nolan isn’t above a good NOOOOOOOOO (see, e.g., Harvey Dent). Obviously, it’s a frequently repeated trope in movies, but it also creeps its way down into television, sometimes employed straight up for dramatic effect, and other times for comedic purposes.
Here are the ten best NOOOOOOOOOs in television, ranked.
10. The X-Files, in “Monday,” the Groundhog Day episode: Scully before a bank robber blows up the building
9. 24, Jack upon the suicide of Marwan
8. Scrubs, frequently but most notably by Dr. Cox in the first segment here
7. Game of Thrones — Maester Luwin upon seeing the charred corpses of Bran and Rickon Stark
6. Doctor Who, The 10th Doctor upon the death of The Master
Also, Amy and River upon the Astronaut shooting The 11th Doctor.
5. Chuck, Chuck after his father is killed
4. Breaking Bad, Jesse before Todd kills the kid
3. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air, Will, upon finding out his mother is sleeping with Lisa’s Dad (with bonus: Mama Noooo
2. Community — Troy, upon discovering this is the darkest timeline
Annie has a great one, too.
1. The Office — Michael, upon discovering Toby has returned from South America