42+ Short Story Ideas With a Twist

Everyone loves a good plot twist! The moment where everything changes unexpectedly in your story. But as writers, it’s not always easy coming up with remarkable plot twists that will amaze your readers. So to help you out, here are over 40 short story ideas with a twist that will shock your readers. You might also want to read our post on how to come up with good story ideas for further help and inspiration.

We also recommend viewing our weekly short story challenge. It’s free to enter, and can inspire you to write a great story.

Over 40 Short Story Ideas With a Twist

When you’re staring at a blank page or just need something to brighten up your current story or piece of flash fiction, just add in any of these fun and wacky plot twist ideas:

  1. An evil warlock who sets out to destroy the world, but ends up saving it.
  2. A superhero who catches the bad guy, but actually helps the “real” bad guy get away or escape.
  3. An everyday boy walks up from a coma to discover the world has been taken over by aliens – But is this all a dream?
  4. You wake up one day to realise that you can talk to dogs. But it turns out that you have been turned into an actual dog. More doggy prompts on our writing prompts about dogs post. 
  5. In a war between humans and aliens, you lose your best friend. However, he/she is really alive and working with the aliens.
  6. Life is good, life is perfect until you realise everything is a hologram and the real world is a dark and broken place.
  7. The hero of your story realises that they were the villain all along. It was their actions that made the villain the evil person they are today.
  8. After years of not believing, you find out that Santa Clause was actually real. More Santa prompts on our Christmas writing prompts advent calendar post.
  9. The hero of your story finds out that their best friend was the real bad guy all along.
  10. You realise that your whole life was a dream and you only just woke up now.
  11. A zombie who wants to become a vegetarian – Now that’s a strange combination!
  12. The hero of your story dies before the final battle scene and a new hero is revealed.
  13. It turns out dragons are real and all along they have been living deep underground. It turns out that they are the real cause of global warming and heat waves everywhere. Read our post on fantasy writing prompts for more magical stuff.
  14. To your surprise, the birthday wish you made actually comes true. 
  15. In a futuristic world, humans are fighting against robots to keep their race alive. However, it turns out that everyone is a robot anyway and the true human race died out years ago.
  16. A random natural disaster like an earthquake or a hurricane happens, giving your hero another extra thing to worry about.
  17. Your main character is a werewolf hunter, but it turns out that he himself is a werewolf (see our werewolf name generator for some cool name ideas).
  18. An evil conman (or any other type of villain) turns out to be your hero’s only saviour.
  19. Your main character is the good guy and the bad guy in your story, as they have a rare split personality disorder.
  20. All your life you knew your best friend. But one day you find out that your real best friend passed away years ago and was replaced by a robot.
  21. Things have been getting stolen around town and your main character has to solve the case. However, it turns out that your main character was the thief all along. They probably didn’t know it because they were sleepwalking.
  22. Your character has been keeping a secret, which is only unveiled at the very end of your story – Possibly ending your story with a cliffhanger!
  23. All your life you have been told not to leave your house, as you will turn to stone if you do. But the real truth is that the witch that cursed you, is the one who will turn to stone if you leave. You might want to read our post on fairytale ideas for more inspiration.
  24. Your parents have told you to avoid the deep forest at all costs, as a deadly monster lives there. But you actually find out that the monster is a made-up story told by the townspeople to keep you from leaving town.
  25. After reading a magical book, you gain some magical powers. However, it turns out that you always had these magical abilities inside of you. And the magical book is just an ordinary storybook with no magical abilities whatsoever.
  26. A teen girl in high school is being bullied only to realize that the bullying is really being done by a group of aliens and that she is the only human on the planet.
  27. The main character finds a journal hidden in their home. Inside the journal, they discover that their whole life has been planned from the very beginning, as written exactly in that journal.
  28. The main character wakes up one morning and everything’s backwards.
  29. The main character of one story is secretly in love with the main character of another story.
  30. A boy (or girl) wakes up after being in a coma and discovers that they are actually a famous actor and are being watched over by the secret service agents who put them in a coma.
  31. A family goes on a camping trip and something goes terribly wrong. In the woods, they encounter an old cabin that they find out has been vacant for a long time. They go inside and find out that the cabin is where they grew up and they find out that their parents have been hiding a very dangerous secret from them all along.
  32. A group of teens get lost on a camping trip and find out they are actually in a dimension where they are ghost hunters, and they have to hunt their other selves (who are the ghosts).
  33. The main character wakes up one morning to discover that their reality is a computer game and that they have been playing it for years.
  34. The main character finds out that their family is not their real family. They discover that they were adopted and that their real mother is a famous actress and singer.
  35. The main character wakes up one morning to discover that they have been asleep in a coma for years and that they have been dreaming about their life for years.
  36. A family moves back into their old family home which is now haunted by ghosts. it turns out those ghosts are the younger versions of the family.
  37. A famous actor who is now a ‘has been’ discovers that he was actually kidnapped, and forced to be a star. Otherwise, he was just an ordinary office worker.
  38. A teenager is part of a strange cult that believes in aliens living on Earth. It turns out the teenager is an alien herself and is actually brainwashing humans.
  39. The main character discovers that they are actually being controlled by aliens in outer space for a bigger master plan.
  40. The main character takes a vacation to a remote island. There, they discover a group of people who have been faking their own deaths for years.
  41. A man’s best friend, his dog turns out to be his real best friend who passed away years ago.
  42. An alien creature comes to Earth to escape his prison sentence on his home planet. Soon he discovers that he is actually doing his prison sentence on Earth.
  43. A teenage girl starts to read an encyclopedia in which she discovers that all of her childhood memories are actually written in this book.
  44. A shy teenager is kidnapped by aliens who promise to let her live in exchange for her writing scary stories. It turns out the whole story is actually told by an alien mother to her alien child.
  45. The main character is forced to perform in a play they know they will fail in. During the play, they discover that it is actually their job to stop an alien from taking over Earth.

Take a look at this guide on how to write one-shot stories or this in-depth guide on how to write a story for children for more inspiration.

What do you think of these short story ideas with a twist? Are they twisty enough for you? Let us know in the comments below.

short story ideas with a twist

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