Sons Of Anarchy is one of the most popular television series of all time. The show is centered around the titular motorcycle club, in particular, Jax Teller, whose father was one of the original members. Throughout the series, Jax tries to guide SAMCRO in a new direction.
With inner group politics (which are dealt with in a bloody fashion), gang rivalries, and the government trying to catch the Sons at every turn, many changes take place throughout the course of the seasons.
One of the ways in which the show was successful was due to how unpredictable it was; it wasn’t afraid to totally shake things up with new storylines or by killing off major characters, and within this article, we will take a look at the 10 most shocking moments in the history of the show.
10 Tig Shoots Donna
This is one of the show’s big early twists that people didn’t see coming. This was the moment when the Sons went against each other, despite the fact they are supposed to be such a tight-knit group.
Here, Clay orders Tig to kill fellow Son, Opie. Even though that is Tig’s role within the group, he struggles to commit due to his friendship with Opie. Because of that, he commits his shot from a distance. However, this plan backfires, as it is revealed to the audience that it’s Donna, Opie’s wife, who Tig shoots instead.
9 Gemma Kills Tara
Despite all the gun violence and macho bravado, Gemma killing Tara is probably the most brutal and violent act on the show, which provides heartbreak for Jax who had seemingly allowed Tara to finally leave town with the children.
As Jax hands himself in to the cops, everything seems like it is all going to play out as planned and that Tara would have a nice goodbye, but of course the show had one more big twist to stop that. Gemma, who believes Tara has become a rat, decides to turn up at the house to kill her.
Gemma uses anything she can get her hands on, from an iron to a barbecue fork, to get the job done, with the two women finally coming to a climactic war.
8 Juice’s Depression
With most viewers having a stereotypical view of outlaws, something that nobody saw coming was the writers putting in a major depression and suicidal storyline, especially not within the Sons Of Anarchy group itself.
However, that is exactly why this was such a big twist, and it really gave Juice a brilliant storyline, showing the impact that being seen as “weak” can have on even the supposedly toughest of people.
As soon as it becomes clear that Juice is feeling this way, tensions begin to start within the group, as people stop trusting him with even the most basic tasks.
7 Tattoo Removal
It is made crystal clear very early on just how much the Reaper symbol means to the MC. The badges and tattoos having a serious place of importance to the group, which audiences fully understand when Kyle returns to the group.
Here we learn that anyone who leaves or is kicked out has to get the tattoo removed or blacked out. This leaves Kyle two options — fire or knife. What starts as a friendly BBQ quickly turns into a man having his back burnt to a crisp to remove a tattoo, showing how serious things get.
6 Clay Hits Gemma
While Clay is never portrayed as a good guy, often doing things behind the backs of the rest of the group and being incredibly vicious to his enemies, he is always shown as a good husband who would do anything for Gemma.
The duo works well together and seems to know when to plot things and when to be honest with the rest of the group. No matter what they, both they seem to love each other, which is why the twist of Clay hitting Gemma was such a big moment.
As Gemma confronts him about his plans to take out Tara, Clay reacts by punching her in the face, a moment that shows the audience that there truly is nothing that he will not do.
5 The Clubhouse Explodes
No matter what ridiculous things the Sons get up to, the Teller-Morrow garage was a always a safe zone. For the first six seasons, that is very much the case — until it ends up being blown to pieces.
Thankfully, Jax manages to work out what is about to go down and gets everyone, including his young son, to safety. However that doesn’t mean the explosion was any less impactful, as it was at this point that the rivalry between the Sons and the Irish really heated up.
4 Tig Watches His Daughter Burn
This is a horrible scene to watch, but it has to be done that way in order to be as impactful as possible, with this being a moment that kickstarted Season 5 with a bang and showed a new side to Tig, as he was desperate to get revenge.
In this moment, Damon Pope got his own revenge against the MC by kidnapping Tig’s daughter and burning her alive in front of him.
3 Gemma’s Crazy Off-Roading
Throughout the vast majority of Sons Of Anarchy, Gemma Teller-Morrow is seen as a motherly figure, not just to Jax, but to the entire group, doing everything in her power to help them no matter what. When her grandson Abel is born, she plays a big part in his upbringing.
Despite her many flaws, something she is consistent with stating is how much she loves her grandchildren, but the only problem with that is she doesn’t back it up with her actions. This is proved when she drove with them in the car while drunk and stoned.
With the kids in the back seat, Gemma drove the car into a tree, causing huge damage, which began to create a huge shift between her and Jax, with the Sons leader becoming very hesitant to allow her to spend time with his kids.
2 *THAT* Gemma Scene
We are hesitant to go into too many details here about the scene in question, due to the nature of the topic and how much it has unfortunately affected people. However, Sons Of Anarchy wasn’t hesitant to go down that road and anyone who has seen the show is aware of which scene we are discussing, which is the brutal assault on Gemma.
This is a huge moment in the show that might have gone too far for some fans, but certainly showed just how serious SoA was going to be at times. Thankfully wasn’t something that Gemma just brushed off; it affected her deeply and altered her character traits, which changed the show in general.
1 Opie Is Killed
While the show does a good job of switching things up without just having to rely on death, the biggest twist of the entire series comes in Season 5 when Opie is brutally killed, taking one for the team and sacrificing himself in order for others to stay alive.
His death is a real turning point for Jax. After not getting out of the club when Donna wants him to, leading to her death, Opie is never the same. When Damon Pope demands blood from the gang in prison, Opie takes it for the group, being bludgeoned by a pipe.
This is a huge turning point for Jax, losing his best friend and moral compass, having to watch on from the next room as his friend is murdered, totally changing his outlook and making him far more vengeful.