?Collectively, we’ve seen about million different time travel stories. Some are awesome, some are flat-out awful. However, there is one time travel yarn that had something most don’t – heart. Quantum Leap was the story of time traveler Sam Beckett, who as part of a government experiment, “leapt” into everyday folks throughout history to right wrongs. According to Doc Brown, this should have torn the universe apart, but instead it just made us feel warm and mushy inside.
Jumping into that many lives throughout that much history was bound to have some side effects. There were plenty of times where Sam inadvertently tripped over some history, and influenced future events without meaning to. Here we have some of Sam’s most history changing encounters, and yes, they are very schlocky.
7) “It’s A Wonderful Leap”
What started off as a normal episode of the show ended up veering off into the ridiculous. Sam is taxi driver who is trying to help his down on his luck father, but then an angel shows up. Really. And she can see Sam’s invisible companion Al. And thinks he’s the devil. But the silliest part of the episode is when Sam regales to a young boy what New York City will look like in the future. Truly inspired, the hint is dropped that this kid is actually Donald Trump, which would lead us to believe that Sam helped create one of the biggest douchebags in history.
6) “How The Tess Was Won”
?Half of every episode of Quantum Leap is Sam and Al trying to figure out just what the hell he is supposed to do there. He is usually presented with a few different possibilities, and has to uncover the mystery before its too late. In this episode, Sam is in rural Texas and trying to figure out if he needs to win the heart of certain lady so that he can leap out. While bumbling through this, he inadvertently gives a young Buddy Holly the idea for “Peggy Sue,” and he immediately leaps out. There’s your answer, dude.
5) “Camikazi Kid”
?Keep in mind that Sam Beckett, although a scientist, was a reasonably cool dude in his fictional version of 1995 (and he knows karate, too). So he was up on his trends. Sam is in the body of kid who must save his sister from a shitty marriage, but finds time to help create one of the biggest moments in music history, albeit in a totally creepy manner. While in a public bathroom (!), a little kid approaches him (!!!). After some corny back and forth, Sam teaches the little kid a sweet dance move – the Moonwalk. Amazed, the kid emulates it, just as his older brother enters and says “Come on, Michael!”
4) “Leap of Faith”
As a priest in 1963 Philadelphia, Sam must save his brother from destroying himself. During the course of the episode, he takes some times to talk to some young boxers, hoping that his good nature might brush off on them. After slyly describing a scene from the movie Rocky to one young man, it’s revealed that the name on the kid’s locker is “S. Stallone.” Ughhhhhh …
3) “Thou Shalt Not …”
?As a wise rabbi, this episode finds Sam trying to prevent a kid from dying in a plane crash that will lead to a family being torn apart. Of course, you can’t have Jews without a Bar Mitzvah, so at the reception Sam sees a man starting to choke. Sam runs up behind him and applies the Heimlich Maneuver. After saving him, the man’s named was revealed to be Dr. Heimlich.
?Every once in a while, Sam takes things a little too personal and tries to change history for his own personal gain. In just the second episode of the first season, Sam leaps into a pervy college professor in 1972. His mission is to stop a sexy young student from marrying him. At the same time, his future lover attends the same college, and he tries to influence her to not dump him years later. His adventure brings him to the Watergate Hotel. After being bounced by security, he finds a side door that is taped open. This leads to a report of a break in, which eventually led to the fall of the President of the fucking United States!
1) “Lee Harvey Oswald”
The title says it all. In the Season 5 premiere, Sam embodied Lee Harvey Oswald in various points in the famous assassin’s life. Thinking that his mission was to dissuade Oswald from killing JFK, Sam found that his mind was merging with Oswald, and that if he didn’t snap out of it, it would be a young Sam Beckett who actually pulls the trigger on the President. Sam eventually realizes that Oswald is truly meant to kill JFK, and his final leap into a secret service agent revealed his true mission, which was to save Jackie Kennedy.