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17 Unexpected Plot Twist Ideas + Tips and More!

Looking for fun and unexpected plot twist ideas? You’ve come to the right place because we have ideas, examples, and a dash of the unexpected, too. You see, by relying on fun and unexpected plot twist ideas for inspiration…

Plot Twist Ideas for Writing

Students can begin to dive deeper into their writing and develop their very own one-of-a-kind stories.


Learning how to craft interesting and creative story twists is one of the best ways to get students to think outside of the box when it comes to creating plots for their own creative writing pieces.


Fun and unexpected plot twist ideas are also a sure-fire way to get students to love the writing process.

Alrighty. Let’s get to it.

Good Plot Twists Make for a Good Story

Regardless of a student’s age, grade, or writing ability, they are likely working on developing their writing skills and building upon the foundation that they have been creating since they started school.

Yeppers! Young writers of all ages quickly learn the basics when it comes to building a plot, including identifying characters, creating a setting, and implementing a conflict. However, there is one element to writing that some people mistakenly ignore — and that is the art of the plot twist.

A plot twist is an unexpected event that surprises the reader and drastically changes the course of the story.

Learning About Plot Twists is a Fun Way to Improve Writing Skills

Writing an effective plot twist takes time and effort – these twists must be planned in advance so that they work well within the confines of the story while still giving the reader an unexpected event to process.

Students will often read texts with plot twists while they are in school, but they are not always encouraged to use them within their own writing.

Yet, a plot twist can be a fun and inviting way for a student to deepen their writing skills and expand their creativity. Many children find that they enjoy creating their own plot twists and incorporating them into their stories — nothing delights them more than surprising their teachers and peers with these unsuspecting moments.

Learning by example is just one way to begin to understand plot twists and how they can be incorporated into any type of creative writing piece.

Another way is to write — as often as possible — and try to play around with different types of plot twists. Use these plot twist examples and plot twists ideas to help your students learn to love this innovative writing element.

Plot Twist Ideas: 3 Tips for Writing an Engaging, Good Twist

Before your students start diving into the specific unexpected plot twists ideas, they are going to need to know how to write a plot twist and intertwine it into their existing storyline.

Here are three plot twist tips will help students of all ages with writing an engaging and interesting plot twist:

  1. Write an important character out of the story. One of the most surprising things for a reader is finding out that the person or animal that they thought was the main character is not actually an important part of the story.

  2. About halfway through the piece, use a character who has only played a minor, insignificant role and make them do something that changes the course of the story. Many readers ignore the characters who seem to be part of the background — these types of plot twists will have them rereading your work to find out what they missed early on in the story.

  3. Startle your readers with an impromptu plot twist at the end. One of the best ways to do this is to finish your story with a cliffhanger. This will leave the readers feeling surprised, as they thought the story was going to wrap up with a tidy conclusion. This type of plot twist can pave the way for a sequel.

Now let’s explore…

5 Plot Twist Examples to Inspire You

Young writers also may find it easier to write their own plot twists when they are familiar with the most common plot twist examples. These include:

  1. Flashback Plot Twists — In this type of plot twist, a main or secondary character will have a flashback, and in that flashback, a crucial detail will be revealed which changes the reader’s outlook on the story.

  2. The Plot Flip — This common type of plot twist occurs when the entire plot changes — either for the good or the bad — in just a matter of moments.

  3. The Narrator Plot Twist — For this twist to work, the narrator has to lie or hide the truth from the reader, ultimately making the reader feel as if the narrator is untrustworthy.

    Plot Twist Examples and Tips for Writers

  4. The Detective Plot Twist — In this twist, the writer outlines clues that allow the reader to feel as if they have solved the mystery, only to find out that they had it wrong all along.

  5. The False Protagonist — This is another common type of plot twist, in which the protagonist is painted in a rosy light throughout the entire story, but the reader finds out that the character was actually the antagonist all along.

And now, for some unexpected plot twist ideas…

6 Unexpected Plot Twist Ideas for Students to Use

As you encourage your students to write their own plot twists, you may find that it helps to give them prompts and ideas. Here are some unexpected plot twists ideas for students of all ages:

  1. Have your students write a story in which an item from their main character’s past is strategically placed in the story and alters the course of the plot.

  2. Encourage your students to write a story in which the main character hides their feelings, only to reveal them in a surprising way later in the piece.

  3. Tell your students to incorporate a new character into the story who will change the way the existing characters interact with one another.

    Unexpected Plot Twist Ideas for Story Writing
  4. Have your students write a story in which the characters overcome the first conflict, only to have another challenge thrown their way that the reader does not expect.

  5. Tell your students to give one of their characters an unexpected superpower that changes their ability to control the story.

  6. Explain that sometimes the setting of the story can lend itself to a plot twist. For instance, encourage your students to write a story in which the weather has an impact on the overall plot.

I hope you enjoyed this list of unexpected plot twist ideas and examples.

Now, check out these…

11 Bonus Unexpected Plot Twist Ideas

Check out these great plot twist ideas for even more inspiration.

  1. The hero is actually an alien race in disguise.
  2. The magic in Harry Potter is real, and it’s being used to control the world.
  3. The usual suspects are not the real criminals.
  4. The best plot twists are the ones you don’t see coming.
  5. The sixth sense is real, and the hero can see dead people.
  6. The foreshadowing was there all along, but you didn’t notice it.
  7. The flood was caused by a secret experiment gone wrong.
  8. The gift was actually a curse.
  9. The fantasy world is real, and the hero is trapped there.
  10. The spoiler was actually a red herring.
  11. The star wars are actually a prophecy about the future.

And now let’s review…

9 Specific Examples of Unexpected Plot Twists Ideas from Movies (Spoiler Alert!)

  1. In the movie “The Usual Suspects,” the real criminal is revealed to be the protagonist, who has been manipulating the events of the story from the beginning.
  2. In the Harry Potter series, it is revealed that Harry’s parents were killed by the evil Lord Voldemort, and that Harry himself is a powerful wizard.
  3. In the movie “The Sixth Sense,” the protagonist, Malcolm Crowe, is a child psychologist who is haunted by the ghost of a young boy.
  4. Also in “The Sixth Sense,” the foreshadowing is in the form of small details that are revealed throughout the film, such as the protagonist’s recurring dream about a flooded hotel room.
  5. In the movie “The Day After Tomorrow,” the flood is caused by a sudden and catastrophic climate change.
  6. In the movie “The Gift,” the gift is actually a curse that causes the protagonist to see the future.
  7. In the movie “The NeverEnding Story,” the fantasy world is real, and the protagonist, Bastian, is transported there by reading a magical book.
  8. In the movie “Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope,” the spoiler is that Darth Vader is Luke Skywalker’s father.
  9. In the movie “The Matrix,” the star wars are actually a prophecy about the future, in which the machines will take over the world.

Ok, that’s all for today.

Whether writing about a superhero or an evil villain, an angel or a bad guy, creating a piece of fiction, sci-fi, horror, or any other genre of choice, when writers use plot twists they will up their reader’s engagement and interest. All of which makes for a better plot and story.


When students enjoy developing a plot and fleshing out the details, they are always going to want to keep on writing!

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creator and curator

Plot Twist Examples and Tips
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