A lot of movies depend on their twists. In one short scene, everything the audience thought they knew about the story can change and things can take a whole new direction that hardly anyone saw coming. Some twists require character deaths, respawns, or major events. Some require only one sentence.
Whether that single sentence reveals something telling about a character, disproves something the audience took for granted, or reveals something entirely new about the setting, it can shake an audience. As a result, certain lines of dialogue change a movie irrevocably, with no turning back.
ten “You never told me his name, did you?” – Wanda Maximoff, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness
Lots of marketing for Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness revolved around the film’s inclusion of Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlet Witch. Although her morality was questioned by some, many assumed she would be on Strange’s side, helping to fight a multiversal threat.
Things seem that way in the movie, until Wanda suggests that Strange protect America on his farm, mentioning her by name. When Strange pauses, Wanda says the above line, revealing herself to both Strange and the audience as the villain of the piece almost immediately.
9 “I Miss You” – Anna Crowe, The Sixth Sense
The sixth sense is a film about a therapist, Malcolm Crowe, who helps young Cole Sear, who can see and talk to ghosts. Malcolm has his own problems at home following a violent attack from a former patient months before, his wife not even wanting to acknowledge his existence.
After Malcolm helps Cole solve his problems, Cole offers Malcolm some advice: talk to his wife, Anna, while she sleeps. Malcolm does, only for Anna to say she misses him. It’s the crucial clue, after a movie’s foreshadowing, that Malcolm has been dead all along.
8 “Get Down” – The T-800, Terminator 2: Judgment Day
A lot of movies are shocking when it comes to who the villain is, but Terminator 2: Judgment Day is unusual in that the identity of its hero is a major reveal. Throughout his first act, John Connor is secretly pursued by two time-traveling individuals, one of whom is identical to the Terminator who tried to kill his mother years ago.
The two hunters come face to face, with John caught in the middle of them. As they both draw, it’s the evil Terminator who tells John to take cover before opening fire on his attacker. This line shows the audience that the film reverses the first episode, with the Terminator now as one of the heroes.
seven “Your name is Arthur, isn’t it?” -Sophie Dumond, Prankster
Through Joker, Arthur Fleck is a complex and dark character who possesses many likable qualities despite his villainous actions. These qualities seem to endear him to his neighbor, Sophie, whom he pursues romantically throughout the first half of the film.
After some sort of friendly relationship develops between the two of them, Arthur enters Sophie’s apartment. Visibly frightened, she asks him the above question. This triggers the revelation that there was never any form of relationship between the two, with them interacting a grand total of once. All other interactions were an hallucination of Arthur, signaling his troubled mental state.
6 “I couldn’t resist, mate” – Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
For most first Pirates of the Caribbean film, Barbossa and his team seem invincible. They are cursed undead pirates who use this ability to good effect against the protagonists and the British Navy. Things go awry when Jack Sparrow confronts the visibly overwhelmed Barbossa.
Barbossa runs through Jack, and he moonlights back, revealing himself to be cursed as well. An explanation is given moments later, as he says the line above while playing with a cursed gold coin. This is the first time anyone has truly outdone Barbossa, signaling that the fortunes of the protagonists change from this point on.
5 “Houston, we have a problem” – Jim Lovell, Apollo 13
The events of Apollo 13 are based on a real incident, and so for many, the film’s twists are not at all surprising. For less-informed audiences, however, the film’s best-known line may present a shocking mood swing.
Throughout the film’s first act, his crew of astronauts prove themselves to be smart, capable, and nearly unfazed, dealing with a number of minor issues. However, when the fuel tanks rupture, all protagonist Jim Lovell can do is say they’re in trouble, with things taking a darker and much more tense turn.
4 “If only there was someone out there who loved you” – Prince Hans, Frozen
Initially, Hans and Anna seem to have a typical Disney relationship in Frozen, until deciding on the marriage in the day following their meeting. Hans seems like the typical Disney prince – brave, loyal, and handsome – until his betrayal of Anna.
After Elsa hits her with an Ice Blow to the heart, Anna learns that she needs True Love’s Kiss to reverse it. Hans prepares to deliver it, appearing to live up to the cliche, only to say the line above. This reveals him to be a cold-blooded villain rather than the ideal hero he claims to be and sets the film’s final act in motion.
3 “Mr. Glass” – David Dunn, Split
The simplest line of dialogue, spoken by the right person, can turn out to be a major plot twist. For much of its runtime, Divide appears to be a standalone M. Night Shyamalan thriller about a trio of girls who are threatened by a man who holds them captive. Even when things take a more supernatural turn, there’s nothing to suggest the film has any ties to any others.
In his final scene, however, people are seen discussing the situation in a cafe. They liken it to a situation from years ago, struggling to remember the criminal’s name, until David Dunn, last seen at Unbreakable, he said. This, at the very end of the movie, retroactively confirms it as a sequel to the superhero epic, setting the stage for Glass.
2 “No, I’m Your Father” – Darth Vader, The Empire Strikes Back
One of the most famous lines in movie history drops a plot of epic proportions. After the duel between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader in The Empire Strikes Back, Vader clearly has Luke beat up and offers to spare him if they join forces. Luke refuses, forcing Vader to mention Luke’s father. When Luke accuses Vader of killing him, Vader corrects him with the truth.
Although it was foreshadowed earlier in the film, it’s a massive reveal regarding Vader’s true identity and his connection to Luke. It shocked the public for many years, and the line had a huge effect on all star warsand fiction far beyond, ever since.
1 “I’m here to tell you about the Avenger Initiative.” -Nick Fury, Iron Man
Before the Marvel Cinematic Universe, crossover superhero movies were considered by many to be unachievable. The first sign of the paradigm shift comes at the end of Iron Man, in his post-credits scene between Nick Fury and Tony Stark. After a high-quality, but fairly conventional, origin story, Fury says the quote above.
The first sign of the upcoming crossover The Avengerswhich lays the foundation for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as it is known today, this line has no impact on the film itself, but it changes everything not only for the MCU but also for the future of the cinema, heralding the rise of several of the highest-grossing films. franchises of all time.