Oprah Winfrey Show Episodes: Bringing the Crazy, Shocking, and Controversial Truth

Tuesday, November 1 by E. Newman

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For 25 years, the "Oprah Winfrey Show" gave viewers a series of entertaining, shocking and enduring episodes. A prominent feature of daytime television, Oprah featured topics that ranged from racism to dieting and violence against women. The show's episodes also featured lighthearted topics, including celebrity romances and charitable acts.

Tom Cruise Jumps for Joy.

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In this unforgettable "Oprah Winfrey Show" episode, actor Tom Cruise professes his love for actress Katie Holmes by jumping on Oprah's couch. Appearing on the show to promote his latest film, the actor was questioned about his latest controversial romance with the much younger Katie. Rumors had been circulating that the romance wasn't real and Tom set out to disprove that theory by displaying his overzealous excitement.

Wagon of Fat.

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In a 1988 "Oprah Winfrey Show" episode, the talk show host wheeled out a wagon containing 67 pounds of fat. The fat represented the amount of weight that Oprah had recently lost in an attempt to fit into a pair of Calvin Klein jeans. The host's new appearance was stunning and a sharp contrast to what viewers had grown accustomed to. It is still considered to be one of the show's most shocking episodes.

Good News for Everyday America.

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In a November 1993 episode, Oprah Winfrey took it upon herself to document the reactions of everyday Americans as they received a bit of good news or a helping hand. As one of the Oprah Winfrey Show's top 25 episodes, it features a young boy getting a new puppy and a job applicant receiving an offer to work for the talk show host's production company. Couples struggling to make ends meet were also given days off work with pay. Episodes of this nature would become a regular feature on the show.

The Aftermath of the Rodney King Trial.

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The "Oprah Winfrey Show" went directly to Los Angeles to gage the opinions and feelings of its citizens following the acquittal of the police officers in the Rodney King trial. The trial accused the officers of police brutality for striking King 50 times during a routine stop after a high speed chase. King's case gathered national attention due to accusations of racism and the trial's not guilty verdict prompted the 1992 L.A. riots. 

Erica Kane's Husbands.

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In a nod to another popular daytime show, this 1991 Oprah Winfrey episode was devoted to the main character of "All My Children." Actress Susan Lucci appeared on the show to discuss her character's well-known appetite for marrying men. At the time Lucci's character, Erica Kane had already married at least eight different husbands. The panel also featured all the actors who had played Lucci's TV husbands, including Daytime Emmy winner David Canary. 

Helen Akers

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