5 Storytelling Examples of Plot Twists

In this post, we briefly go over different types of plot twists and storytelling examples of plot twists.

What is a Plot Twist?

A plot twist is a sudden and unexpected plot change that manages to take the audience by surprise. These twists usually have great relevance in the story, unexpectedly changing the destiny of the characters.

When a plot twist occurs, the story undergoes a radical 180-degree turn, revealing a new point of view or a unexpected truth to the audience.

5 Types of Plot Twists

Flashback Plot Twists — in this particular plot twist, a primary or secondary character will have a flashback. During that flashback, a significant piece of information will be divulged that will cause the reader's perspective on the narrative to shift.

The Plot Flip — this type of unexpected development in the story occurs when the entire plot suddenly shifts, either in a positive or negative direction, in a relatively short amount of time.

The Narrator Plot Twist — for this plot twist to be effective, the narrator must either deceive the reader or conceal important information from them, leaving the reader with the impression that the narrator cannot be trusted.

The Detective Plot Twist — in this unexpected turn of events, the author reveals clues that lead the reader to believe they have solved the mystery, only for the reader to learn later that they were completely mistaken about the situation the whole time.

The False Protagonist — another common type of plot twist is one in which the protagonist is portrayed in a positive light throughout the entirety of the story. Still, in the end, the reader learns that the character was the villain the whole time.

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Storytelling Examples of Plot Twists in Movies

Avengers: Endgame (2019)

Avengers: Endgame was a box office hit and took everyone by surprise. This release ended the plot of the group of heroes that sought to solve the chaos created by Thanos (Josh Brolin), the great villain who wiped out half the universe's population.

Fans expected the good guys to be able to reverse the snapping effect in the previous film, but no one was ready for the plot twist that,  within the first few minutes of the film, the heroes would be able to kill Thanos.

On social media, you can find countless videos of the reaction of those who were at the movie sessions to see the premiere, and it can be said that this change in direction in the script had the desired result.

Get Out! (2017)

Get Out! was the horror thriller film that won Jordan Peele the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. The plot develops around Rose (Alisson Williams) and Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and the fact that the girl is taking her boyfriend to meet her parents. An important point of the story is that the protagonist is a black man and his girlfriend is a white woman.

The plot twist of this film is that Rose's family is involved with a conspiratorial group that kidnaps black people to use their bodies in surgeries that allow other characters to prolong their lives. Unfortunately, by the time the protagonist discovers his girlfriend's real intentions by taking him there, it's already too late, and from then on, we have to follow Chris' attempt to escape to save his own life.

After watching this work, many people reported that they expected other mysteries, but they never imagined that the story would turn out the way it did.

Fight Club (1999)

Fight Club is one of the greatest classics when we talk about what a plot twist is. This story tells about Edward Norton's meeting with Tyler Durden, played by Brad Pitt. Upon meeting, the protagonist ends up starting a club that allows the participants to fight each other as long as they can stand, which generates several controversies in the character's life.

The plot twist comes when the audience discovers that Tyler is just a projection of Edward's mind.  In other words, the man, the protagonist, blamed for all the events at the Club was himself. Tyler Durden was a personality created by Norton's head.

The Sixth Sense (1999)

In “The Sixth Sense,” we follow the case of Cole Sear (Haley Joel Osment), a child who sees spirits, and child psychologist Malcolm Crowe (Bruce Willis). The professional tries to help the little medium to understand the reason for these apparitions and to deal with this ability to see dead people.

At the end of the film, the big plot twist is revealed, and we discover that  Crowe is already dead because of an event at the beginning of the story, one of the spirits that Sear could see.

Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980)

Episode V of the Luke Skywalker (Mark Hamil) saga tells the story of how a young Jedi who seeks to defeat Darth Vader finally meets his adversary face to face, fighting an epic and memorable battle. However, at a certain point in the battle, the big plot twist of this movie is revealed. Luke thought his father had been killed by Vader, while the truth is that the villain is Skywalker's progenitor.

The phrase  “I am your father!” has never been forgotten by fans of the fiction genre. The sequels of this saga hold even more surprises, but you'll have to watch the movies to find out what they are.

Here are resources I recommend to get more in-depth knowledge

Storytelling 101 teaches you how to write compelling stories worthy of commercial success. This is best for screenwriters, novelists, filmmakers, videogame writers and storytellers.

Children’s Books 101 teaches you how to write stories that children will love. This is best for aspiring children’s book authors and storytellers.

Owl AI is the revolutionary AI-powered content production platform that helps storytellers, writers, and bloggers of all subject matter easily create highly-polished content.

Success, Money & Mindset Subliminal is a self-hypnosis recording that we recommend to new writers to help with focus, concentration, creativity, and motivation.

Shadow Work Journal: 240 Daily Prompts contains inner work exercises related to relationships, anger, anxiety, self-love, healing trauma, abandonment issues, depression, forgiveness, etc.

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