The 5 Comedies With Jaw-Dropping Twist Endings, Ranked

The 5 Comedies With Jaw-Dropping Twist Endings, Ranked
Image credit: Warner Bros., Paramount Pictures

Beware: spoilers ahead.

5. Ace Ventura: Pet Detective (1994)

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The Setup:

Pet Detective Ace Ventura is regularly mocked by his counterparts in the Miami Police Department. This includes department head Lieutenant Lois Einhorn.

Ventura's big break comes when he is hired to find the kidnapped mascot of the Miami Dolphins. Clues lead Ventura to believe that the culprit was disgraced former Dolphins placekicker Ray Finkle. As he investigates, Ventura starts to get close to Lieutenant Lois Einhorn, and they share a passionate kiss.

The Twist:

It turns out that Einhorn IS Finkle, who infiltrated the police department on a quest for revenge.

This twist is on the list because it took the audience by total surprise. However, it's downgraded to the last one on the list because Carrey's over-the-top reaction to having kissed a trans woman (the horror!) was trans- and homophobic even in the 90s. By today's standards, it threatens to ruin the movie.

4. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988)

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The Setup:

Con artist Lawrence Jamieson (Michael Caine) pretends to be a deposed Prince and swindles wealthy women out of their fortunes. Lawrence soon finds his turf disrupted by the arrival of fellow conman Freddy Benson (Steve Martin). The two come up with a deal: they will each target a wealthy heiress, Janet Colgate (Glenne Headly). The first one who can fool her into giving them $50,000 wins, and the other man has to leave.

The Twist:

It turns out Janet Colgate is actually a famous American con woman named 'The Jackal'. She steals from both Lawrence and Freddy before skipping town.

Today's viewers might see this twist coming a mile away, but that's only because it has been so often imitated since 1988.

3. Dumb and Dumber

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The Setup:

When best friends Lloyd (Jim Carrey ) and Harry (Jeff Daniels) see a woman leave a briefcase in the airport, they assume that she left it behind by accident before boarding her plane to Aspen. The friends head out on a cross-country road trip to return the briefcase.

Little do they know that the case actually contains ransom money for the woman's kidnapped husband, and the bad guys are now on their trail.

The Twist:

At one point in the movie, Harry has a quick and seemingly unimportant conversation with a woman at a bar. After a shootout leaves Harry seemingly dead, he pops up. It turns out that woman was an FBI agent, and Harry had been given a bulletproof vest and instructions to help save the kidnapped man.

While you expect a twist at the end of mysteries and con stories, nobody expected this dumb road trip movie to have a trick up its sleeve.

2. Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

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The Setup:

Neal (Steve Martin) is a sarcastic ad executive trying to get home to Chicago for Thanksgiving. Everything that can go wrong does: someone snakes his cab, his plane is delayed, and when he finally gets in the air he's rerouted to Kansas.

On his adventures, Neal finds himself stuck with the obnoxious Del (John Candy), a jovial salesman who winds up tagging along and leeching off of Neal all the way to Chicago. Hijinks, of course, ensue.

The Twist:

After they arrive in Chicago, Neal heads home alone on the train and thinks about his time with Del. That's when the pieces fall into place, and he realizes that Del tagged along with him because he had nowhere else to go.

The wife that Del talked about throughout the movie is actually dead, and Del is homeless. After Neal puts the pieces together, he heads back to the train station and invites Del home with him for Thanksgiving.

It's a twist that changes this movie from a slapstick romp to a heartfelt holiday flick.

2. Hot Fuzz (2007)

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The Setup:

Workaholic police officer Nicholas Angel is reluctantly assigned to a sleepy town in Gloucestershire, whose idyllic ways have won it 'Village of the Year' on a regular basis.

Angel is champing at the bit to fight some real crime, and the opportunity comes his way when a masked figure starts to murder citizens in the quiet town.

The Twist:

It turns out there isn't just one murderer – many senior members of the town are part of a vast conspiracy to crack down on anyone who threatens their 'Village of the Year' status. This reveal tips off one of the funniest and most violent shootouts in movie history.

Once again, we didn't actually expect a twist here – at least not one of this magnitude. Hats off to Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg for crafting this sleeper hit.