The Giants came into the finals as league leaders having won eight of their last nine games while the Warriors had lost seven of their previous nine.
There was no room for debate on the score of form; the Giants had to be heavy favourites playing in front of their home crowd at John Smiths Stadium.
However, in their previous nine finals matches theyd won only twice. Now it reads two out of 10 after they failed to handle the moment.
The contest was level 8-8 at halftime before Wigan produced 14 unanswered tries in the second spell.
Winger Josh Charnley crossed twice to become the first player to score 40 tries in a season since the competition switched to a summer season.
Huddersfield will have a second chance next week while Wigan advances to week three, just a win away from making the grand final at Old Trafford.
At John Smiths Stadium, Huddersfield
Huddersfield Giants 8 (Danny Brough try, 2 goals).
Wigan Warriors 22 (Josh Charnley 2, Blake Green tries; Pat Richards 4 goals; Matty Smith 2 field goals).