"Everything you know is wrong. Black is white, up is down and short is long."
"And everything you thought was just so important doesn't matter."The Mind Screw is something that relies so heavily on symbolism or surrealism/absurdism, or failed so extremely in an attempt at regular old coherency, that the immediate response afterwards is "What the heck was that?!?!" These works beg for fans to invent their own improbable theories about Epileptic Trees and such. There are several criteria for a Mind Screw, and a Mind Screw will usually fit a few of them:
— "Everything You Know Is Wrong", "Weird Al" Yankovic
- The work looks weird due to symbolism or just general surrealism.
- The symbolism is used heavily and never explained.
- Things happen, but the work never explains how they are connected.
- The Reveal is left out.
- Things happen without a cause, even in context. Especially in context.
- Several plot developments are obscured.
- The work is non-chronological.
- A few random scenes (such as vignettes or non-sequiturs) are added in, breaking up the narrative.
- The story has No Ending.
- The Reveal is vague, or contradicts the rest of the story.
- There are several surprises, and the story only makes sense when you have them all.
Examples are sorted in the following subpages:
- Anime and Manga
- Comic Books
- Fan Works
- Live-Action TV
- Video Games
- Visual Novels
- Web Comics
- Web Original
- Western Animation