Image by Sammy-Williams from Pixabay

Good--and even bad--movies have a knack for pulling us in to a lulled state of mind.

Sure, our minds are nimbly following plot and empathizing with characters, but we're so locked in to one world that any sudden break in that focus an be totally jarring.


I'm sure you can remember a time when somebody rang the door bell during a movie and it scared you half to death.

But what if the movie itself is what jars you?

Some movies manage that feat: they lull you into one set of expectations or a certain tone, and then WHAM, a single moment pulls the rug out from characters, plot, and even you, the audience.

Some Redditors recalled the movie moments that stopped them in their tracks.

DankGamer135 asked, "What movie scene made you say 'what the f**k?' "

A lot of people were shocked by s common WTF mechanism: good old fashioned plot twists.

A good twist is difficult to pull off, and when it doesn't work, it really doesn't work. But sometimes a movie so expertly pulls your thinking in one direction that the bait and switch maneuver has a massive payoff.

THE WHOLE TIME?!

"When jigsaw gets up" -- safeword-is-harder

"I remember the audible 'gasp' the entire theater had when I saw this." -- Scooch100t

"My husband and I are horror movie fans, to the point that we got married on Halloween of that year. On our honeymoon, we went to see horror movies all day, and Saw was one of them. My husband was grumbling halfway through the movie about 'Zepp did it' and when it looks like he was right, he literally started gathering up his coat and being all grumpy."

"Then Jigsaw stood up."

"And my husband just went slack-jawed. '......what.' "

"It's still his favorite twist to this day. Not because it's legit the best, but because it affected him SO MUCH." -- CorgiKnits

The Twist They'll Never Experience 

"The end of The Mist" -- JonnyZero0

"That end killed me when I first saw it. If he waited just a bit longer..." -- EnderDracon

"That was CRAZY when I first saw it. All those years ago it felt like it was the craziest ending ever." -- MrNatels

"ugh i accidentally spoiled that ending for like 20 people at a bachelor party. i will never live it down." -- PMiscellaneous

An Early Edward Norton Classic 

"The ending of Primal Fear." -- Narcariel_YT

"Yeah, that was a fu**ing twist" -- AnxietySpren

"Yes! Primal Fear needs more recognition." -- Ravensocks

For others, it was a sudden act of on-screen violence that lurched them back in their chairs. We know it's not real, but even the rendering of such foul, painful acts is almost too much to bear.

Bite the Curb 

"The curbstomping scene from American History X" -- chessboxthisBRUH

"Yeah, that one was disturbing as fu**." -- MettaMorphosis

"You've just brought back a child hood memory and completely solved the mystery to where that scene was from that I saw many, many years ago. Thank you!" -- HolySmokesOk

It All Happened So Fast 

"The Departed. Elevator scene." -- 2leewhohot

"For sure. No build up or lingering shot after the fact. I liked that about it" -- CowabungHole10

"I just watched this movie for the first time tonight. I believe I finished it around when you posted this comment. I LITERALLY did say 'What the Fu**' at the elevator scene. So can confirm." -- MrNoahK

A Lack of Shattered Glass 

"Bottle to the face in Pan's Labyrinth" -- Power-of-Erised

"this is the first one that popped into my head. Up until that point there is really no indication it's going to take such a brutal turn. It was truly shocking." -- LewisEFurr

"And it was based on an experience where the director(?) witnessed a man pummeling another man with a bottle outside a bar. It stuck with the director because his thought at the time was 'why isn't the bottle breaking?' Hit after hit, and it never broke" -- MelGibsonIsKingAlpha

And finally, there are those scenes that are simply so absurd, bizarre, or off-putting that they don't fit into much of a category.

They just leave you with your jaw hanging.

Probing the Depths 

"That one scene in The Matrix where that weird robotic bug thing went into Neo's belly button." -- ShipInternational720

"I was watching it for the first time on a plane and had to stop at that point and watch something else because I thought I was gonna throw up" -- little_blue_dino

"It was like I was watching a robot horror movie at that moment." -- punchingbag34

A Whole Movie Full of WTF Moments 

"Swiss Army Man and the magic boner" -- Spork_of_Justice

"I watched Swiss Army Man in theater and more than a few people literally said WTF out loud at the end. It was fu**ing hilarious and great." -- Burn-O-Matic

"I picked that movie for date night once... I wasn't allowed to choose again for a while after that. 10/10 would do again." -- Golden_apple6492

A Role He Can Be Proud Of 

"The part in the Spongebob Movie when David Hasselhoff appeared." -- CantProfitOffofMe

"I was wondering there does that mean Spongebob is set in the baywatch universe?" -- tesh5low

"David actually kept the giant model of himself made for that movie."

"He has it in his house, pointed out his window so his neighbors see a giant version of his face every day." -- TimedRevolver

Fusing Humans 

"Colour out of space, Nicolas Cage's 2019 movie. It's one of them where I was unwell, even after the end."

"Movie scene in the film really WTF - Nicolas Cage's wife having 'absorbed' their kid."

-- khassius



The good news is, with new movies always coming out, both from Hollywood and from independent filmmakers, plenty more WTF moments are sure to come our way in the years to come.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

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