With this week’s Top 5 podcast discussion of ‘The Twilight Zone‘, Stephen, Rodrigo and I spent a little time talking about the nature of twist endings, one of the hallmarks of Rod Serling’s work. Rod and his staff crafted strong, meaningful twists, and later writers have emulated their work to variable amounts of success (*coughM.Nightcough*), but it’s hard to top the revelations at the end of ‘To Serve Man’, ‘Eye Of The Beholder’, or even ‘The Obsolete Man,’ which leads to today’s shockingly unexpected query…

The MS-QOTD (pronounced, as always, “misquoted”) always leans towards the climactic reveal of ‘Planet Of The Apes’, itself retained from Rod Serling’s mostly scrapped script for the film, asking: What’s the best twist ending of all time?

The Author

Matthew Peterson

Matthew Peterson

Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture!

And a nice red uniform.

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5 Comments

  1. Karl G. Siewert
    July 2, 2015 at 11:29 am — Reply

    I have to go with “The Lottery” by Shirley Jackson, both because of the perfection of that story’s structure, and because it was probably my first introduction to the concept, back in middle school.

  2. July 2, 2015 at 12:45 pm — Reply

    Fight Club, that always comes my mind first when thinking about twist endings.

  3. Alisha
    July 2, 2015 at 1:13 pm — Reply

    Does the episode “Normal Again” from Buffy count? It was left ambiguous as to whether she was really The Slayer hallucinating that she was in a mental hospital or that she was really in a mental hospital hallucinating the whole setting.

  4. M. Walsh
    July 2, 2015 at 2:43 pm — Reply

    The Usual Suspects.

  5. July 2, 2015 at 6:36 pm — Reply

    idk how twisty it’s considered but I just watched Gone Girl and the way that played out was pretty crazy.

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