12 Characters Who Took Big, Bold and Brave Leaps on TV (PHOTOS)

arrow - left
arrow - right
big leaps TV characters

Spring Forward

Leap year only comes around once every four years, but having that one extra Leap Day (Feb. 29) means getting another chance to make more bold choices, whether good, bad and ugly.

In honor of Leap Day, we looked at TV characters who made big leaps,, whether it was courageously stepping out of their comfort zones to pursue something worthwhile or making (over)confident decisions that didn't work out. Here are the 12 TV characters who have bravely seized the day, for better or worse.
Friday Night Lights
Virginia Sherwood/NBCU Photo Bank/GettyImages

Coach Eric Taylor and Tami Taylor, Friday Night Lights

Big Leap and Bold Move: Leaving Dillon, TX for Philadelphia, PA

After years of being saturated in all things Texan and southern, Coach (Kyle Chandler) decided to place his faith in the career path of his wife, Tammy (Connie Britton), who was offered a position in the admissions office of a prestigious college. By putting his wife's dreams first, the couple uprooted their lives to leave everything they've ever known to go the distance—and also prove their deep support of each other.
New Girl - Lamorne Morris as Winston Bishop and Damon Wayans Jr as Coach
Ray Mickshaw/FOX

Winston Bishop and Coach, New Girl

Big Leap and Bold Move: Taking a 180 degree approach to life

Despite having messy and sometimes aimless lives, Winston (Lamorne Morris) and Coach (Damon Wayans, Jr.) have managed to change their outlook on life. Out of all his friends, the wonderfully weird Winnie the Bish has made daunting career moves, first moving to Latvia to be a basketball player, then returning to America to become a (failed) radio host, then pursuing a police academy exam that he passed. As for Coach, after spending a few seasons as a womanizer, one lady finally made him think about settling down, which inspired him to move to New York City for her.

The Good Wife - Julianna Margulies
Michael Parmelee/CBS

Alicia Florrick, The Good Wife

Big Leap and Bold Move: Staying with her cheating husband

Some leaps may look like a safe choice instead of a crazy brave (and maybe even dangerous) one. After Alicia’s (Juliana Margulies) husband Peter (Chris Noth), the state attorney, was publically exposed in political and sex scandals, the cuckolded wife chose to stay with husband. But in staying faithful and trying to keep the marriage together, she found herself being defined by others. To rectify that, she then took another leap by redefining herself as a lawyer and showing her ability to endure anything.

John Krasinski as Jim Halpert answering the phone on The Office
Justin Lubin/NBCU Photo Bank/GettyImages)

Jim Halpert, The Office

Big Leap and Bold Move: Saying ‘I Love You’ to Pam

Jim (John Krasinski) took a courageous leap trying to break out of the friend zone to tell a soon-to-be-married Pam (Jenna Fischer) that he loved her. (What could go wrong?!) His declaration of love was an absolutely terrifying and thrilling moment, even though the initial leap landed with a thud. Despite Pam’s shock and distress, Jim persisted by following up with a sweet (and steamy) kiss—which was the catalyst for their long road toward happiness.

Cobie Smulders as Robin Scherbatsky in How I Met Your Mother
Cliff Lipson/CBS/GettyImages

Robin Scherbatsky, How I Met Your Mother

Big Leap and Bold Move: Jumping on a helicopter to pursue a news story

For Robin (Cobie Smulders), her leap was both literal and figurative: hopping into a helicopter to prove herself as a reporter after anchor boss Sandy (Alexis Denisof) bailed on a news story. When the pilot had a stroke, her determination and drive in the face of danger led to her landing the chopper, making her an instant hero. And this newfound confidence eventually helped her take the reins from a lazy and sexist cohort on a morning show.

Jesse Plemons as Ed Blumquist in Fargo - 'The Gift of the Magi'
Chris Large/FX

Ed Blumquist, Fargo

Big Leap and Bold Move: Becoming a repeat killer

Ed Blumquist (Jesse Plemons) may have started out as a mere butcher’s assistant in small-town Minnesota, but his experience with knives and cleavers comes in handy very quickly when killing bad guys. In trying to protect his wife Peggy (Kirsten Dunst) from being accused of a near-fatal hit and run, Ed’s sense of self-preservation and protection led him to fearlessly kill people to cover up their tracks. Ironically, his violent killing style eventually earned him the nickname, The Butcher, and he paid for his crimes in the end.

Grey's Anatomy - Sara Ramirez as Dr. Callie Torres
Tony Rivetti/ABC

Dr. Callie Torres, Grey’s Anatomy

Big Leap: Coming out as a lesbian

Despite having been married to George (T.R. Knight), Callie (Sara Ramirez) slowly realized she was bisexual and that she was interested in pursuing relationships with women. She bravely came out to her disapproving father, amidst all the rampant hetero sex shenanigans going on at Seattle Grace, and discovered a new identity. In being open and honest about herself, Callie also found her one true love, Dr. Arizona Robbins (Jessica Capshaw), along with a world of relatable friends who understood her fully.

Sex and The City
HBO/Everett Collection

Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City

Big Leap: Cheating on Aiden with Big

Not every leap is a moral one, and in Carrie’s (Sarah Jessica Parker) case, her daring decision to cheat on perfect Aiden (John Corbett) with Mr. Big (Chris Noth) shocked shippers. For a while, Carrie became unlikeable and unsympathetic. But, ultimately, sleeping with Big was true to character and showed the lengths (whether right or wrong) they were willing to take to be together meant they were destined for each other.
Dominic West as Noah in The Affair
Mark Schafer/Showtime

Noah Solloway, The Affair

Big Leap and Bold Move: Having an affair with Allison

Similar to Carrie, Noah (Dominic West) made the selfish decision to cheat on his wife with waitress Allison (Ruth Wilson). What started as a kiss between two married characters quickly spiraled out of control, eventually making Allison pregnant and having Noah leave his family (but continuing to cheat). Although they eventually reunited, being together while Noah struggled with commitment issues meant putting a lot of shaky faith in something that started out as unfaithful.

The Bachelorette
Craig Sjodin/ABC

Kaitlyn Bristowe, The Bachelor

Big Leap and Bold Move: Having sex with a potential bachelor too soon

As the Season 11 bachelorette, Kaitlyn made one of the more unconventional decisions in the show’s history: to sleep with one of the guys (Nick Viall) before getting the Fantasy Suite green light. Even though Nick didn't get her in the end, Kaitlyn's brazen display of sexuality caused some controversy with audiences and annoyed the other bachelors. Still, she might have set the tone for bachelorettes having fun in the same way the bachelors do.
1 of