Netflix is packed full of awesome TV series, but you need to comb through the rough to find the diamonds. From epic dramas to uplifting comedies and everything in between, there's a bit of everything.
But one thing Netflix seems to do particularly well—whether with their own shows or those co-produced with other networks—is craft addictive TV series with big mysteries and chilling plot twists.
That makes sense for a streaming platform, as their entire mission is to get you invested and keep paying that subscription fee. But when the plot twists are this good, you almost don't mind.
Here are the best Netflix TV series with plot twists and cliffhangers that'll keep you guessing from beginning to end.
17. Into the Night
A deadly global event wipes out the majority of Earth: the sun's radiation has become lethal, and any living organism exposed to the sun's rays is killed. A small group of passengers on a plane fly west in an effort to outpace daylight and survive.
Based on the sci-fi novelThe Old Axolotl by Jacek Dukaj, Into the Night is a thrilling Belgian-language post-apocalyptic series with plenty of twists involving the catastrophe, the passengers, and the world.
16. Behind Her Eyes
As a single mother begins an affair with her new boss, she also develops an unexpected friendship with his wife. But as events unfold, things take a dark turn and she finds herself caught in a cloud of mysteries and shocking revelations.
Based on the titular novel by Sarah Pinborough, Behind Her Eyes is a psychological thriller series with supernatural elements that really kick things up a notch. It does prioritize its twists over character development, but these twists are so crazy it almost doesn't matter.
15. The Stranger
What would you do if a stranger approached you at random and revealed a shocking secret about your partner? The Stranger takes that scenario and runs with it, with the plot expertly revealed over the course of the series.
The plot twists come thick and fast in this TV show based on a book by Harlan Coben, and most episodes end on a cliffhanger. It all builds to a glorious conclusion when the characters learn the real truth.
3% is a Brazilian sci-fi/thriller series that takes place in a post-apocalyptic, dystopian future where young adults from the impoverished "Inland" can compete to join the affluent "Offshore." But competition is fierce, and only three percent succeed.
While the premise of 3% isn't unique—reminiscent of many young adult dystopian stories like The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner—it's the production design and complex characters that set it apart. Oh, and the many plot twists you'll encounter in The Process.
13. American Vandal
Who knew a comedy series could be packed with as many plot twists and revelations as any mystery thriller? That's certainly the case for American Vandal, Netflix's satirical series that parodies true crime documentaries using a low-stakes "crime."
In typical documentary fashion, American Vandal is about a search for truth: Who vandalized the school parking lot? The twists and turns will keep you guessing, but the real charm of this series is the humor that undergirds the entire premise, making it an easy watch.
Vincenzo Cassano is a Korean-Italian mafia lawyer who returns to his motherland to recover a hidden stash of gold. But he's blocked by a massive corporation via illegal means, driving him to do everything he can to reclaim ownership with the help of another Korean attorney.
Vincenzo is a crime-thriller series with a heaping dose of comedy and romance, and mixed in with all of that are plot twists that'll have you scrambling to watch the next episode. K-dramas are known for being addictive, and this one is no exception.
You starts out as a soppy romantic drama centering on Joe Goldberg—the manager of a New York bookstore—falling in love with an aspiring writer named Guinevere Beck. But not everything is as it seems, and Joe isn't the nice guy he at first appears to be.
This is a psychological drama of the highest order, and you'll find your opinions on the characters changing as their personalities are revealed.
10. The Silent Sea
The Silent Sea is a mystery-laden, dystopian thriller mini-series about an elite team that's sent to the moon to investigate Balhae Lunar Research Station, which lost contact five years ago after an unknown incident killed everyone there.
What happened on the station five years ago? Why is it so important that this team risks their lives to retrieve a sample? What secrets are being kept from them? You're left guessing to the very end, with plot twists galore across every episode.
9. Alice in Borderland
A deadbeat young man is mysteriously transported to an abandoned Tokyo and forced to participate in dangerous games by an unseen entity. Completing these games grants a "visa extension." If the visa ever expires, he'll be executed by red lasers in the sky.
Based on a manga series, Alice in Borderland is a suspense-heavy thriller series that keeps the viewer as much in the dark as its characters. Every answer leads to more questions, and there are multiple plot twists that keep you guessing.
Maniac is a psychological mini-series loosely based on a Norwegian television series of the same name. It stars Emma Stone and Jonah Hill as two strangers who connect during a pharmaceutical trial.
Flashbacks and fantasy sequences ensure Maniac keeps you guessing from beginning to end. And if you're anything like me, you'll never feel like you quite know what's going on.
7. Money Heist
Do you find it unrealistic how heist movies wrap up in under 2 hours? Want to watch a bank heist that's far more complex and takes several episodes to be told? With a large cast of characters that are fully realized with complicated relationships and backstories?
Then Money Heist is the suspense-thriller series for you. And it's not just a straightforward heist gone wrong—there are several big plot twists that'll shock, confuse, and blow your mind. Note that it's a Spanish-language series, but don't let that turn you away.
6. The Last Kingdom
The Last Kingdom is almost like a lite version of Game of Thrones, with less magic and a smaller cast but a story that's just as epic and more satisfying thanks to its narrative arcs that actually lead somewhere.
Set in the late 800s and early 900s, Uhtred of Bebbanburg is a man born Saxon but raised by Danes. His life becomes increasingly complicated when the Vikings wage war on the Anglo-Saxons, causing in him a crisis of identity and loyalties.
The Last Kingdom is based on a series of historical fiction novels by Bernard Cornwell, and consists of several plot twists throughout each of its seasons as characters grow, change, and even die.
5. The Haunting of Hill House
The Haunting of Hill House isn't a show for the faint of heart. As its name suggests, this is a supernatural horror TV series that will leave you haunted and unable to fall asleep.
But this isn't a series built on empty jumpscares. The Haunting of Hill House has fully realized characters, dynamic relationships, and plenty of plot twists that play out across the past-and-present timelines.
Even if you don't normally like horror TV, you'll find a lot to like in this one. I usually stay away from scary media, but even I enjoyed this one!
4. Black Mirror
Black Mirror is a sci-fi/thriller anthology TV series where each episode exists as a standalone story with its own cast, characters, and story. Think of it like The Twilight Zone for the modern age, but with a slant toward exploring humanity's relationship with technology.
Most episodes of Black Mirror feature at least one major plot twist, which often causes the episode's story to take a turn for the worst. But the plot twists are founded on solid characters and smart writing, for the most part. The "White Christmas" episode is a must-watch!
3. Squid Game
You've probably heard of international sensation Squid Game already, but it went viral for a reason: the premise, the plot twists, and the shocking revelations are done so well and they'll mercilessly pull you through from beginning to end.
Sure, "death game" stories are becoming something of a cliché these days, but these stories are all in the execution—and Squid Game does it better than most. If you love plot twists but haven't seen this one yet, do yourself a favor and go watch it!
Don't pass over Arcane just because you have zero interest in the League of Legends video game. This is one of the greatest shows on Netflix, and I say that as someone who doesn't play League.
You don't need to play League to understand, appreciate, or love Arcane. The characters are fully realized, the narrative is fully self-contained, and no previous knowledge is needed. The story is told in three acts, with each act composed of three episodes.
Arcane also features the most gorgeous animation of any 3D animated series, unlike any other show you've ever seen.
Dark is a German-language Netflix series that's best described as a sci-fi thriller, but it's also way more than that.
The story begins with the disappearance of a child, the subsequent search for that child, and the unraveling of a time-travel conspiracy involving four families in the fictional town of Winden.
Dark is a smartly-written series with a dense story, intriguing mysteries, evolving characters, and plot twists galore. You'll be stuck to the edge of your seat as you wonder what's going to happen next. If you're into slow-burning time-travel thrillers, this is the one!
More Great Shows to Watch on Netflix
These Netflix series specialize in making you think you know what's going on, right before yanking the rug out from under you—and that's what makes them so fun to watch. The best plot twists are the ones you never see coming, but make total sense in hindsight.
But a TV series can be amazing even without any plot twists, especially when it's a show that's meant to be bright, positive, and uplifting. Netflix has plenty of those types of shows, too: