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Teachers Share The Best Plot Twists They've Ever Read In Their Students' Assignments

Kids are full of surprises.

From the moment they step into your room you really have no idea how they're going to behave. On any given day things are going to change.

If you're a teacher who reads their schoolwork, you also have no idea what to expect from their work.

u/StarCheck581 asked:

Teachers of Reddit, what is the best plot twist you didn't see coming in your student's writing?

Here were some of those plot twists.

Awww, Das Nice!

I had a student who was obsessed with Silverback Gorillas. I mean, EVERYTHING he wrote was about silverbacks. Even fir the most random question, for example, about Shakespeare's sonnets, and his answer would somehow quite logically twist around to his gorillas. After a while he added a character - the Queen of Sanzibar. She controlled this wild and often violent band of gorillas. At the end of that year, I ended up moving away and at my farewell lunch he gave me a card which says "there will never be another story about the Silverback Gorillas of Sanzibar because the Queen of Sanzibar is moving to Australia." Blew me away. I never thought his stories were analogies of our school/students or that I had made that much of an impact on his life. Humbling.


Misheard And Beloved

When my nephew was 6 or 7 or so they had to write a description of how to make a sandwich. My nephew proceeded to write a detailed account of how to make a " Sand Witch" which includes getting a mold of a witch and putting wet sand into it get the idea. The teacher said in all her years of teaching that no kid had ever done that. She asked to keep a copy because she thought it was so funny.


Something I Have Come To Know

I had a second language learner who wrote about the death of a close relative. He talked about feelings of extreme sadness, and then said, "I have come to know that this feeling is called grief." It was the most heartbreaking thing I've ever read.


Burn Burn Burrrrrrrrn

Teaching middle school, gave an "About Me" essay early in the year. One student wrote about how they had a rough home life, parents divorcing, etc. It was very well written and heartbreaking until the last paragraph where he talked about finding religion in the past year. "I've learned not to judge people who do wrong, because only God can judge... and they will burn."


Medea Vibes

One of my kids got a writing assignment to write a new ending to a story. It was a classic star-crossed lovers narrative so I figured they'd do a happily ever after.


The female protagonist ended up using the dude for his knight status to escape the thumb of her father, then killed him and went out on her own.


A Flooring Twist

A student once wrote a story under the assigned heading of All That Glitters is not Gold. It was a first person narration told as a comedy about a mother telling her daughter on her 21st birthday about the night she brought her home from the hospital. The twist was that the mother was talking to herself in what was due to be the child's bedroom, her child had actually died the night they brought her home. This. Floored. Me.


Redefining Zombie

I teach high school maths, so the opportunities for stories are more limited. I set an extended assignment on mathematically evaluating what would happen in a zombie outbreak - looking at what happens to the human population based on how fast zombies can turn them, if there's a cure, if zombies can raise the dead from graves, etc.

The last part of the assignment was to model a zombie situation of your choice, come up with some survival strategies, and show mathematically how they helped humans.

Most students picked a pop culture zombie style and used that as their inspiration. No problems. At the time, there was a big election going on, so one student decided that anyone under the sway of a particular political party must be a mindless zombie, and recreated the events of the entire election in his mathematical equations. It was a fantastic spin on it that made marking much more fun!


Write On, Dear Girl

I worked at a bookstore that had a spooky story contest for Halloween and I had to read a lot of stories by elementary students.

But there was this one.

On the first pass I guess I didn't like it, but when it came back from another reviewer I happened to read it again. The plot wasn't astounding. It was actually kind of a bad story as far as that goes. What was amazing was that the student changed her vernacular depending on whether the speech was spoken by a character or part of the narration. This is not elementary stuff. It was really incredible and such a small thing that I was so surprised that I even noticed it. It is literally a technique that was considered groundbreaking when Zora Neale Hurston did it and she's one of the greatest American writers ever. There's no way this little fourth grade girl knew about Hurston. She was just doing it naturally. I was blown away.

I tried my best to advocate for that story—even suggested a special prize. My boss would not give. I hope that little girl is still writing.


Reusing A Cliche

I know there's already a lot of "I'm actually a student" takes here but damnit I want to share mine.

We were assigned to write a full length poem in a creative writing class. Our instructor constantly reminded us to avoid clichè symbolism and metaphor, the example he kept bringing up was not to write about "wearing all black in a cemetery."

Now I'm terrible with symbolism and metaphor, every time I try to write symbolically it always reads back to me as forced or cliché. I wrote and threw out three poems and accepted my fate on the day it was due.

But that morning I took out another sheet of paper and titled it "Wearing All Black in a Cemetery." But it wasn't about death and sadness, rather the main character was dressed in all black because he was a grave robber. The poem had him getting caught and sentenced to life in prison. My instructor loved it.



Teaching 8th grade English: a student was writing about a supernatural investigator. About two thirds through the story the narrator is listing all the greatest horrors he had seen. The list ended: "I once saw an English teacher named Mr.[my name] slough off his skin and devour a classroom of students. . ." It was a great surprise (and story).


Well, That's...Dark

When I was a kid I wrote a story about a boy who made a fully functional plane out of LEGO. It took him several tries to get it to work, but he finally did and his parents watched him proudly as he flew around their seaside cottage. Then there was a gust of wind that blew him into a cliff and a wing broke off. He ejected and died because his parachute was a garbage bag that he held open above him.


Love Love Love

We have a national literacy and numeracy test called the NAPLAN in Australia. Instead of following the instructions for the writing task, one of my very traumatized students wrote this completely random letter to tell the recipient about how much he loves his teacher. I had a big sob when I read it. Sweet kid.


Oooh, A Chemistry One

I gave my research student a day to think of something to research with. More likely a plan to come up with. BTW, I'm a pharmacologist and the next day she came up saying, Professor, I read a newspaper and found one interesting thing that I want to try. I was like great! What is it? It talked about mixing vinyl with soda. I want to incorporate two receptor with one Enzyme to see the outcome. I'm not gonna lie, how vinyl and soda mix can bring such an idea was twisting.


Words Words Words

Not the teacher, but the student.

In 7th grade we had writing assignments with a handful of words we learned during class. There was, originally (take note of this) no word or page limit.

I was a particularly imaginative kid.

I, ah. I wrote 5+ pages of a full story, because while I managed most of the words on the front page... I had a plot going and the last word wouldn't seem right unless I cut the story too short.

I hand the papers in, grin on my face, even some illustrations in there because books with illustrations at important spots are my fucking jam, and the teacher looks like I just passed her a bomb.

Long story short, I think my teacher's plot twist was the fact I could write so much when I didn't speak a single word during class (other than a quiet "Here" during roll call), and probably the fact most of the goal words were on a single page while she had to read an entire short story for the last word.



I had a year 6 student write a multi-chapter love story with a thinly disguised version of herself as the protagonist who wins the love of her best (female) friend (who was also a thinly disguised version of the writer's bff).

It was so tender and wistful and sweet that it made me teary. I showed it (in confidence) to an older teacher who was mentoring me at the time. I felt as though the student was coming out to me, and I was unsure what to do (if anything). A few days later she came out to her family, who were very supportive.

I don't know how the situation went with the crush on the bff. They both went off to high school shortly after, so I don't know if anything eventuated.


And The Band Played On

While writing about The Magic Treehouse Tonight on the Titanic, one of my students was writing about the people once they got into the water and wrote "The people in the water looked up and saw an incredible sight." and I was expecting it to proceed with how the boat was sitting out of the water at a steep angle, or how the propellers were visible as the book describes -- nope. "The band was still playing!" was what followed.

I don't get many big twists since I teach little ones but that's the one I still like to think about sometimes because it would have been an incredible sight, for sure.


People Reveal The Worst Health-Related Advice They've Ever Received

Reddit user Ohyo_Ohyo_Ohyo_Ohyo asked: 'What is the worst health advice you've been given?'

Whenever we feel like something isn't right about our bodies or we're suffering from some kind of medical issues, we want them taken care of straight away.

The problem with that is, that depending on whom we're getting information from, we tend to believe in the initial diagnosis or remedy because we trust the professional sources and we want quick solutions.

But do doctors and health specialists always know what they're talking about?

Unfortunately, that is not always the case.

Strangers online shared their medical horror stories when Redditor Ohyo_Ohyo_Ohyo_Ohyo asked:

"What is the worst health advice you've been given?"

Not doing further research into something that raises eyebrows can be a fatal mistake.

Turns Out It Was Brain Cancer

"i went cross eyed and my primary said 'could be a sinus thing, get some mucinex.'”

"turns out it was glioblastoma."

– Guy_Faux

"Wow, that's an absurdly sh**ty doctor. The same thing happened to my mother and it was quickly determined that it was stage 4 lung cancer. She made it about 3 months after that. She was 48 and I was 18 so the idea that any doctor would ignore that is infuriating to me."

– Frisky_Picker

Second Opinion Saves Lives

"My primary doctor kept telling me that nothing was wrong with my thyroid, and I was a hypochondriac."

"I had been told at 12 years old that I had thyroid issues and she told me that doctor was wrong. I had to see a whole other doctor to get a referral to the endocrinologist because she literally refused to refer me to one."

"The endocrinologist said, I had scarring all over my thyroid, I had Hashimoto’s, and my levels were horrible, and she didn’t know what the doctor was talking about. She said she was glad I advocated for myself."

– littlemybb

Tiny Grandchild

"I was not the recipient of this 'advice' but I had a coworker proudly say how small her new grandchild was when they were born and that her daughter smoked her whole pregnancy to try and have a smaller baby. This was in like 2010, not the 1960s for reference."

"ETA: smoked cigarettes. clarified since that can mean more than one thing."

– Emkems

Unforeseen Ailment​

"Was sick for a year in my late teens. Saw multiple specialists to find the cause. Experimented with diet. Saw a naturopath that did some ‘electric pulse test’ thing that apparently gave indicators of organ health. After a few visits, and months of eating the weirdest sh*t, the test said things were improving (including my gallbladder). Months went on but I was still quite sick. I eventually ended up in hospital and one of my specialists decided to take my appendix out on a whim to see if it might help. Turns out I had something called a ‘grumbling appendix’ and it completely fixed me. Funny thing is, while they were in there, they discovered I was born without a gallbladder."

– Ok_Ear_8848

These are not appropriate remedies.

That's Not How That Works

"When I had an urinary tract infection someone told me to wash my vagina with vinegar..."

– _Puke_Bucket_

"And maybe add some diced onions and tomatoes to make a refreshing Mediterranean salad."

– Bos_lost_ton

Pushing Through

"Just push through whenever you're sick. If you can get to a doctor's office for a doctor's certificate you can get to school/college/work."

– BoyMonday

"My childhood pediatrician told my parents that 'A sick child never smiles.'”

"I tend to laugh/smile when I’m nervous or uncomfortable to self regulate."

– pinotproblems

"A doctor once told my parents that a child who isn’t crying can’t really be hurt. Because of that, it took me days to convince my parents to take me to the doctor after I fell on my arm because I wasn’t crying. It turns out it was broken."

– slowsunslumber

"Ignoring" The Problem Isn't A Solution

"A friend of mine was in horrible pain, and was repeatedly told (by multiple doctors) that she should stop complaining and just get used to it because periods are painful and that’s the way it is."

"After being blown off for years, she finally got a doctor to take her pain seriously- and it turned out she had severe endometriosis. The surgeon said it was the worst case he had ever seen in his career, and was horrified that it had gotten so advanced with no one listening to her."

– sapphireblossoms

Choking On Blood

"The school nurse telling me to tilt my head back for a bloody nose. That was an awful experience."

– hypo-osmotic

"I do like doing this because when I cough up the blood I can pretend I’m in a period drama and I have tuberculosis."

– OrangeTree81

These Redditors discovered that all pain is not necessarily "normal."

The C-Word

"Doctor said certain pain is normal as you get older. Turns out it was cancer."


"That's a fibrous strip of breast tissue, you're too young to have breast cancer."

"Delayed diagnosis by 6 months. I was 31."

– juniper_max

Thinking Twice About Back Pain

"I got from a doctor, 'everyone has back pain. There’s nothing wrong with you, just use a heating pad.' It was kidney stones."

– 5hrs4hrs3hrs2hrs1mor

"Yikes, I am so sorry."

"I had a kinda similar experience. I went to the doctor for a morning appointment to get some persistent, worsening back pain checked out. Doc asked me where my back pain was, looked me in the eyes and told me I was fine and must have just slept wrong. He shut me down when I tried to advocate for myself."

"That night, I was admitted to the ER due to the crippling pain I was in. Turns out I had a serious kidney infection that was turning septic."

"One of the ER staff who helped me told me if I had waited another 24 hours, my kidneys would have shut down and I very likely would have died from organ failure?!"

"I’ve been dismissed by doctors over and over again in my personal health journey, and it is so frustrating and scary, as they’ve dismissed me for 'being dramatic' when there’s actually something very serious going on with my body."

– Yarr0wFeather

Vitamin D Overdose

"If you have pale skin, get just a little sunburnt every day so that your skin will 'learn' to get a tan. That’s how everyone else does it."

"My Solar Keratosis skin cancers would beg to disagree."

– comfortablynumb15

As much as we want to believe our doctors when they give us a health assessment and assure us we're "fine," you should never ignore your inner voice telling you that something is not right.

Your conscience is there for a reason.

Even if a doctor tells you it's okay to ignore the problem, you should think twice about ignoring your gut feelings.

Woman speaking to an audience
Photo by Ben Moreland on Unsplash

When giving a speech and making an argument, the most effective way to reach other people or get your point across is to speak with conviction.

However, speaking with conviction doesn't always mean people are speaking the truth... or even coherently.

Redditor MonkeyGentleman420 was curious to hear more stories of ludicrous things people said with unwavering conviction, leading them to ask:

"What is the stupidest thing someone has told you with complete conviction?"

We Know How Often Birds Check Clocks...

'That we set the clocks forwards and backwards so the birds don’t get confused with their migration patterns."- alliecita410

Speaking From Experience?

"'Two people can breathe underwater forever if they have a hose'."

"The first person breathes in while the second breathes out, then the first person breathes out and the second person breathes in etc'."- PahoojyMan

Dream On...

"She said:'

"'If you are dream about falling and you hit the ground in your sleep you'll actually die'."

"'It's been proven'."

"I said 'If you die in your sleep, how can anyone know what you were dreaming?'"

"Ruined a favorite story of hers."

"Sorry."- FrankieMint

falling GIFGiphy

Because ALL Cops Ask For Your SSN Before Cuffing You...

"From a coworker: 'If you don't have a social security number then the government can't do anything to you'."

"I asked if that meant, if I didn't have an SSN then I could just go kill someone on the street and the government couldn't arrest me."

"'Yep', he said, 'if you don't have an SSN then they can't enforce any laws on you'."- AllAboutThePotatoes

Keep Them Away From Needles...

"A former coworker insisted that the body believes the ears are injuries, and we are all constantly trying to heal our own ears closed."

"The only thing keeping them open, you ask?"

"Ear wax."

"We worked in healthcare."- Reflection_Secure

Credit To the Visual Effects Designer

"A girl I worked with was convinced that every single mythological creature was real."

"I’ll never forget one of her claims."

“Think about it, every movie you done seen all those creatures and aliens and sh*t, all that’s real."

"Someone has to have actually seen it to come up with that!”

"Apparently there’s no such thing as the human imagination to her."

"So yes, transformers are real, Godzilla is real, Independence Day is real."

"This was a 20-year-old that said all of this."- Dragonborn83196

Unicorn GIF by MOODMANGiphy

In Theory... Still Wrong!

"That the speed of light wasn’t like an actual number, it was just a figure of speech."- sunbearimon·

Check The Date...

"Sunburn is not caused by the sun, it is actually caused by sunblock."

"If you don't use sunblock then you will never be burned."

"Sunburn was created by the sun cream industry to sell their products."

"Seems easily testable, why not lie on the beach all day in one position with no sun block and see what happens?"

"Make sure you fall asleep for maximum effect."

"You go bright red and then blister to the point that you get taken to hospital for a combination of sunstroke and the beginning of shock then spend the rest of the holiday indoors face down with regular application of creams and replacement paraffin patches on the burns."

"It puts a bit of a dampener on your 2 week break."

"Sunburn is mentioned in Livy's history of the second Punic war and others over 2000 years ago which is solid proof that the 'Big Sunscreen' claim is ridiculous."

"However it would be hand-waved away by a True Believer of big Sunscreen."- Magnus_40

Sonne Sunburn GIF by Mitteldeutscher RundfunkGiphy

Ignorance Is Not Always Bliss...

"A distant relative, recently retired, once told me that he was going to hire a gardener and a housekeeper because 'the government will give you a grant to pay for them now'."

"This was a few minutes after a lengthy rant about how the welfare state should be scrapped because only lazy people lose their jobs and need to claim benefits."

"The same relative, some years ago, also announced with absolute conviction that he was going to hire a neighbor as a cleaner because 'she won't have anything to do now her kids are grown up'."- Plantagenesta

The Price Of Never Looking Up!

"Pineapples aren't real."

"They're entirely manmade and do not exist in nature."- tricksterloki


"My dad was experiencing end stage renal failure (was on dialysis at the time and has since had a transplant)."

"My best friend's boyfriend at the time looked at me dead in the eye and said he could reverse his condition with a vegan diet and that the only important organ in the body was the skin, so as long as you take good care of your skin, your other organs will function properly."

"Mind you, by the time my dad got on dialysis his kidneys were functioning at 11% and his SKIN WAS JUST FINE."- lyingintheleaves

But What Causes Cavities?

"I'm a dental hygienist."

"We had a patient come in with terrible teeth."

"They thought toothpaste caused cancer."- dilapidatedfungus

If Only...

"That women don't burp or fart, because only men have (the ability to pass) gas."

"Spoiler alert: he was horrified when I burped in front of him."- sequoia_summers

Guilt Is Easier When You Know It's Coming.

"First girlfriend was religious, and apparently it was okay that we had sex 'as long as she feels bad about it after'."

"Pre-planning regret was her loophole to do what she wanted."- Lone_Buck

season 2 famalam GIF by BBC ThreeGiphy

When people do speak with conviction, more often than not they firmly believed what they say.

So much so, that they have trouble believing the person brave enough to correct them.

In spite of the concrete evidence thrown in front of them...

Picture of a pink heart tearing in two, hung off a red and white string, set against a black background
Kelly Sikkema/Unsplash

When you're in a relationship, it's important to stay alert.

Yes, you of course want to give in to love.

But when you start seeing red flags, be vigilant.

You're gut always knows more than you give it credit for.

Sometimes those flags are a sign that it's time to jump ship.

if you see them... run.

Redditor Shinfekta wanted to compare notes on why people would immediately end a relationship, so they asked:

"What red flag is an instant break up reason for you?"

The signs are always there, but I tend to put on blinders.

I need to do better.

A Big Deal

Illustration Text GIF by Jacqueline Jing LinGiphy

"Someone that casually says they've cheated. There's no way around that for me."


"Or worse when they treat cheating as somehow noble."


Hear Me!

"Wanting and demanding my attention but not reciprocating whatsoever."


"My ex. She would get pissed when she would talk to me about something while I was working and I wasn’t giving her my full attention. But every time I wanted to tell her something while she was doing nothing, she would get 'ADHD distracted' and completely ignore me or interrupt me to say something completely irrelevant."


"I had a friend like this! he literally completely ignored me for 6 months and then blew up at me for not responding to him within an hour. Very strange."



"Never admitting a mistake."


"I know a total hottie that is notoriously known for not being able to admit he’s wrong, sucks because he’s a gem outside of this. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a fair and responsible person in general… but he 100% can’t admit he was wrong in banter or a light argument even when he realizes he realizes he’s wrong hahaha lost confidence in him ASAP."


"This is a big one, even when these types of people apologize they still pass the blame. 'I'm sorry for my behavior but you made me really angry.'"


Never Again

"Unmanaged mental illness. Never again."


"I was with a girl that had that and I helped her through all of it and it was so hard to deal with it all but somehow I managed but when she felt better she just left me for her best friend’s ex and I was left with all that trauma because I loved her with all my heart and soul but she was just using me to feel better… and when she broke up with her best friend’s ex she came crawling back begging me to be with her again but it was too late.. the damage has already been done and I can’t do that again even though I still love her but I can’t tell her that... sorry for venting."



Sad Sponge Bob GIF by SpongeBob SquarePantsGiphy

"If someone makes you feel alone, that you don't matter, or if you are a second choice on most of the occasions, you need to leave."


Always know when to acknowledge your feelings.

And know when to depart.


Andre Leon Talley Manners GIF by GIPHY NewsGiphy

"How they treat animals, children, elderly, handicapped, and service workers."


"A wise man once said: judge a person not by how they treat their equals, but by how they treat their inferiors."


Just Kidding

"Being mean as their 'thing' or 'just a joke.'"


"'I'm just sassy!'" No, you're a bi*ch."


"I’m going to be honest, with certain friends I am absolutely ruthlessly mean, to the point that people are actually concerned it’s just bullying."

"However with strangers, I’m nothing like that. And the friends that I am meant to, they do the exact same thing back to me. We also know that if we need each other, then the meanness is dropped instantly, and it’s nothing but support and love."



"Zero accountability for anything. Everything they do is absolutely justifiable because, well, they mean well."


"Yeah, I was looking for this answer! And it’s true outside of romantic relationships also! I had to end a friendship over this exact behavior- it was never her fault, always the victim, and her hurtful behavior shouldn’t be addressed because she 'meant well…' but my feelings are still hurt so why don’t I matter?!"


"This. Can't stand people who always play the victim or blame everyone else and never take accountability for what they do."



"This one may take a while, but I would break up if I notice them creeping over personal boundaries, and not stopping when I tell them about it."

"People cross each others' boundaries all the time. I'm happy to give the benefit of the doubt until it becomes apparent that they have no intention to respect me."

"For example, if I don't like tickles or being startled, don't do that. It's not about the tickling, it's about them respecting me. And if there's no respect, there's no relationship."


Talk to Me

Sarah Jessica Parker Hbo GIF by DivorceGiphy

"If I'm hearing about a problem in our relationship from someone else rather than the partner. It shows huge trust issues."

"I've seen three divorces in my life, and they all were the result of the girl venting to her mother and her friends about issues she should have discussed with her husband."


Communication is key.

If you're not talking to you're partner, why are they you're partner?

Michael Jerrard on Unsplash

People accumulate facts throughout life on a wide variety of subjects.

Some are mundane while others are weird, wild or wonderful.

One subject a lot of people focus on is animals. Most people have a favorite animal that fascinates them that they want to know all about.

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