20 Music Videos With Surprise Endings That Made You Gasp

The best part about an artist releasing a new single are the killer visuals that accompany it. While some musicians opt to merely perform their song in front of a camera, other artists go above and beyond to drive home their lyrical message, like Michael Jackson who turned a 4-minute track like "Bad" into an 18-minute-long mini movie. This sort of commitment to the craft honestly grips fans. Artists can also captivate their followers when they plant an easter egg or two —I'm looking at you, Taylor Swift. And, fans are even more impressed when there's a good plot twist. Music videos with surprise endings are just so satisfying.

For example, the first music video ever made had its own plot twist. In 1981, The Buggles released their visual for "Video Killed The Radio Star" on MTV and it featured a young girl climbing a heap of radios as the band performed. Toward the end of the video, the pile of radios exploded on their own – fans definitely didn't see that coming. However, they found the video all the more interesting because of it. The element of surprise is still a popular trend amongst music video producers today, so let me show you just a few favorites below.

Ariana Grande / YouTube
Entertainment — 20 Music Videos With Surprise Endings That Made You Gasp

1. Michael Jackson's "Thriller"

The 1983 video follows Jackson and his date after they watched a scary flick at the movie theater. His date is seriously spooked, and as a result, thinks she sees Jackson as a member of a zombie flash mob and a yellow-eyed wolf. So, obviously, she runs away from him, but Jackson finds her hiding in an abandoned mansion (because those aren't creepy at all). At the very end, Jackson tells her everything is alright, but as the couple moves toward the door, Jackson turns back to the camera and flashes a devilish smile and yellow-eyes. Plot twist: Turns out he was the wolf all along.

Michael Jackson / YouTube

2. SZA's "Love Galore" Ft. Travis Scott

This music video features SZA imagining a very sexy evening with rapper Travis Scott. In the visual, she lovingly hugs Scott from behind while a ton of butterflies surrounded them. In a second scene, things get a bit hotter as SZA ties her lover to the bed. It looks like it's about to get real steamy, until SZA opens the door and a woman with an axe enters. As you may have guessed, Scott doesn't make it through the night.

SZA / YouTube

3. Ariana Grande's "break up with your girlfriend, i'm bored"

In this video, Ariana Grande spends an entire evening watching a couple (Charles Melton and an Ariana look alike) enjoy their time together. Based off of the name of the song and Grande's envious stares, it would seem as if she is interested in getting to know "the boyfriend." That is, until the very end, when "the girlfriend" grabs Grande's face and seemingly pulls her in for a kiss. The footage cuts after that, kids.

Ariana Grande / YouTube

4. Ed Sheeran's "Shape Of You"

This video is a strange one. In it, Ed Sheeran is trained as a boxer. While at the gym, he falls for a fellow athlete who goes MIA without any notice. Sheeran is hurt by her abrupt departure, but can't focus on it for too long since he has to prepare for a big fight against a sumo-wrestler (not a boxer). Like I said, bizarre. Anyway, the twist is at the very end, during Sheeran's fight. He's getting his you-know-what handed to him when his love returns just in time to help him defeat his opponent.

Ed Sheeran / YouTube

5. Justin Bieber's "What Do You Mean?"

This music video begins like a crime movies, with some sort of gang or mafia member in a sketchy neighborhood demanding their goods, like in The Kitchen. In this instance, it's John Leguizamo asking Justin Bieber, "You got what's mine?" Then, Bieber and his love spend the rest of the video trying to escape masked men before jumping off a roof into a killer (no pun intended) party.

Justin Bieber / YouTube

6. Eminem's "Stan" Ft. Dido

This song and video is where the viral term "stan" originated from. Don't believe me? Check the Oxford-dictionary. It is a combination of "stalker" and "fan," as well as the name of Eminem's overly obsessive admirer. In the video, Stan writes Eminem multiple letters without receiving any replies back. As a result, Stan becomes enraged and takes it out on his pregnant girlfriend, killing them both, but not before narrating his plans on cassette tape. At the end, Eminem is in the process of writing Stan back, but realizes as he responds to each of Stan's letters, that he's just heard of Stan's death on the news.

Eminem / YouTube

7. Ariana Grande's "Into You"

In this upbeat visual, Grande takes some alone time with her bae at a hotel in the desert before she attends a high-profile event in the city. In the end, fans realize Grande's bae isn't actually her boyfriend, but her bodyguard.

Ariana Grande / YouTube

8. Kanye West's "Fade"

This steamy music features Teyana Taylor, her bangin' body, and even more impressive dance skills. She showcases a variety of moves from waacking to hip-hop – all the while in leg warmers and a crop top giving viewers major Flashdance vibes. At the end, Taylor appears alongside her then-fiancé Iman Shumpert and baby, but her face is that of a lion. Make of that what you will.

Kanye West / YouTube

9. Taylor Swift "You Need To Calm Down"

Taylor Swift's bright-colored music video for "You Need To Calm Down" is a love letter to the LGBTQ community. In it, several celebrities appear, including Ellen DeGeneres, RuPaul, Hayley Kiyoko, Ryan Reynolds, and Laverne Cox. Though, one pop star in particular caused quite a stir with her cameo and that's because she and Swift were at odds for years. Katy Perry, dressed as a cheeseburger, closes out the music video by taking Swift, who is dressed as fries, into a huge hug, signifying the end of their feud.

Taylor Swift / YouTube

10. Brandy & Monica's "The Boy Is Mine"

This 1998 throwback is iconic. At this time, Brandy and Monica were both at the pinnacle of their singing careers and were often compared to one another. In this collaboration, the two ladies argue with one another over who "the boy," aka Mekhi Phifer, was actually dating. In the end, Phifer shows up to Brandy's house. She opens the door, but Monica was at her side, revealing the two women know about each other. Surprise. If you haven't seen this one, make sure to peep the amazing '90s fashion.

Atlantic Records / YouTube

11. Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe"

This incredibly infectious track was all the rage in 2012 and it's still getting played in 2019. Carly Rae Jepsen's accompanying visual was just as captivating. It featured Jepsen drooling over her hunky neighbor, who in the end, turned out to be gay.

Carly Rae Jepsen / YouTube

12. Rihanna's "B*tch Better Have My Money"

Whew, chile. This video was like a Quentin Tarantino film without the long monologues. The gruesome NSFW video began with a shot of a wooden chest and a pair of bloody legs sticking out of them. Eeek, not for those with a weak stomach. Anyway, the video then takes you on a wild ride as Rihanna and her girl gang torture her accountant's wife in an effort to get back the money that is owed to her. Finally, in the end, fans get a peak of what is inside the chest. It is neither the accountant nor his wife, but a very naked (and bloody) Rihanna counting her racks in it.

Rihanna / YouTube

13. Tyler, The Creator's "Yonkers"

For all of the Tyler, The Creator fans out there, this twisted 2011 throwback is for you. The video starts with Tyler eating a bug. As a result, he gets very sick, and ends up becoming a bug himself. In the end, Tyler isn't able to handle his new found form and it is implied that he takes his own life. Dark.


14. Britney Spear's "Toxic"

In this video, fans see Britney Spears as a sweet, yet flirty flight attendant who turns into a vigilante of sorts in futuristic Paris, France. She also joins the mile high club before breaking into a vault. However, it turns out Spears is on a whole other mission, as she locates her cheating boyfriend and proceeds to poison him.

Britney Spear / YouTube

15. Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance"

Mother Monster is the queen of twisted videos and 2009's "Bad Romance" had to make the cut. In the visual, Gaga is sold to human traffickers and reluctantly groomed to the bidders' liking. She also dances for them until she is bought. But in the end, fans learn that Gaga isn't going out like that. She sets the bed on fire with the man who bid on her in it.

Lady Gaga / YouTube

16. Amandla Stenberg 's "Let My Baby Stay"

The Hate U Give actor directed her own debut music video that begins with her dancing alone inside an animated room as we ll as at a party where other guests are more preoccupied with their cellphones. In the end, you learn the other party-goers are all watching a video of Stenberg being the only person having fun at the very same party. Ugh, when art reflects life.

Amandla Stenberg / YouTube

17. Lana Del Rey's "High By The Beach"

This dreamy video begins as many Lana Del Rey videos do, with the singer wearing a solemn, yet pretty expression. This time, she is by the beach trying to evade paparazzi. Things go south once Lana Del Rey is followed by a helicopter trying to take photos of her. She, in turn, grabs a guitar case that's actually hiding a bazooka and shoots the helicopter down.

Lana Del Rey / YouTube

18. Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi"

This video, inspired by the tragic death of Princess Diana, starts with Lady Gaga and her boyfriend getting frisky. Their photos are taken by paparazzi before Gaga is thrown off a balcony and crippled by her boyfriend. Though, at the very end, she gets her revenge by poisoning him.

Lady Gaga / YouTube

Halsey's "Colors"

In this 2016 throwback from Halsey, the singer attends Badlands Prep School with her classmate and possible crush played by Tyler Posey. Y'know, the teen wolf from Teen Wolf?! Anyway, a polaroid camera is glued to Halsey's hands the entire time and the twist is revealed when Posey finds out what Halsey's been taking photos of throughout the entire video. Not him, but his dad.

Halsey / YouTube

20. Taylor Swift's "Lover"

At the very beginning of the video, viewers see a little girl with a snow globe, before the footage moves into clips of Swift and her "lover" dancing together, doing cute couple things together, and even arguing after a holiday party. Viewers may have wondered what happened to the couple. Though, at the end, it is revealed that the little girl with the snow globe is Swift and her lover's daughter. Sweet!

Taylor Swift / YouTube