We present the most extended and homogeneous study carried out so far of the main and early shocks in 1485 RR Lyrae stars in the Galactic bulge observed by the Optical Gravitational Lensing Experiment. We selected nonmodulated fundamental-mode RR Lyrae stars with good-quality photometry. Using a self-developed method, we determined the centers and strengths of main and early shock features in the phased light curves. We found that the positions of both humps and bumps are highly correlated with the pulsation properties of the studied variables. Pulsators with a pronounced main shock are concentrated in the low-amplitude regime of the period–amplitude diagram, while stars with a strong early shock have average and above-average pulsation amplitudes. A connection between the main and early shocks and the Fourier coefficients is also observed. In the color–magnitude diagram, we see a separation between stars with strong and weak shocks. Variables with a pronounced main shock cluster close to the fundamental red edge of the instability strip (IS), while stars with a strong early shock tend to clump in the center and near the fundamental blue edge of the IS. The appearance of shocks and their properties appear to be independent of the direction of evolution estimated from the period change rate of the studied stars. In addition, the differences in the period change rate between the two main Oosterhoff groups found in the Galactic bulge suggest that stars of Oosterhoff type I are located close to the zero-age horizontal branch while Oosterhoff type II variables are on their way toward the fundamental red edge of the instability strip, and have therefore already left the zero-age horizontal branch.

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