There are not enough people who give the anime series, Naruto credit for his plot twists. Throughout the series, there are several moments of great omen that have led to some of the biggest reveals even seen in anime.

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One type of plot twist common to the series was the characters who betrayed each other. It makes sense since Shinobi are known to infiltrate and hide their true intentions from their enemies. These betrayals often had a profound impact on the story and further attracted fans to the show.

10 Kabuto reveals to be affiliated with Orochimaru

The Kabuto team were spies during the Naruto Chunin exams.

Initially, Kabuto seemed like he was just another participant in the Chunin exams. During the exams, he was often friendly and even helps Team 7 achieve their scrolls in the second round. However, this was all a facade. In reality, Kabuto was working for Orochimaru to gather information on Sasuke. Later, when Orochimaru and the Sand Village attacked the Hidden Leaf Village, Kabuto used a genjutsu to put everyone to sleep. Kabuto would go on to be a recurring villain within the series, until he reformed at the end of Naruto: Shippuden.

9 Orochimaru betraying the people of the hidden leaves

Close-up of Orochimaru in Naruto

For a time, Orochimaru was a powerful shinobi within the Hidden Leaf. He was the favorite pupil of the Third Hokage, Hiruzen, and was one of the three legendary Sannin. But Orochimaru always had a sadistic side and would experiment with children and prisoners to further increase his power. Ultimately, Orochimaru was caught doing these experiments by Hiruzen and was forced to flee the village. Given that all of this happened before the events of the series, his betrayal wasn’t shocking, but it still made a huge impact within the show.

8 Orochimaru killing the fourth Kazekage

It was already strange that Sand Village decided to side with Orochimaru to betray Hidden Leaf Village, but the part that makes him even dumber is when Orochimaru then kills the fourth Kazekage, Rasa.

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Orochimaru’s reasoning for killing Rasa is unclear, but it allowed him to better manipulate the Sand Village during the invasion of the Hidden Leaf Village. The entire event left Sand Village regretting for affiliating with Orochimaru and would result in them working more closely with the Hidden Blade.

7 Sasuke turning on Orochimaru

During the first events of Shippuden, Sasuke was training with Orochimaru to get stronger. Orochimaru was always planning to one day take Sasuke’s body as his own, but before he could formulate a plan to do so, Sasuke killed him and absorbed his powers. At the time, it was quite shocking to see the main antagonist of the initial series easily disarmed by Sasuke and it was also one of the first demonstrations of Sasuke’s power within the continuation series.

6 Nagato killing Jiraiya

During the Second Shinobi War, Jiraiya spent some time teaching three orphans ninjutsu from Hidden Rain Village. One of these orphans was a boy named Nagato who possessed the legendary Rinnegan. Although Jiraiya taught the orphans to use their abilities for the sake of peace, the brutality of the Third Shinobi War and the death of one of his friends crushed Nagato’s beliefs in peace. Nagato then took a darker path believing that peace can only be achieved through pain. He then assumed leadership of Akatsuki and eventually reunited with Jiraiya when he infiltrated Hidden Rain Village. It was not a happy reunion, and Nagato ended up killing her former teacher.

5 Itachi killing the Uchihas

Due to the looming conflict between the Uchihas and the Hidden Leaf Village, Itachi was forced to choose between his clan and his village. In the end, he chose his village and killed all of his clan members with the exception of Sasuke. While Itachi was not to blame for his choices, it was still a shocking moment in the series and was the catalyst for many of Sasuke’s subsequent actions. Also, longtime fans believed that Itachi was a villain when in reality he was one of the most benevolent characters in the series.

4 Obito revealed to be Tobi

Close-up of Obito-Reveal in Naruto

For a time, one of the greatest mysteries of Naruto: Shippuden it was Tobi’s true identity. Akatsuki’s hidden leader went by the names Tobi and Madara throughout many arcs, until it was surprisingly revealed that he was Kakashi’s former teammate Obito. Initially, Obito was believed to be dead after a mission went awry, but he was saved by White Zetsu and brought to Madara.

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After recovering from his injuries, Obito went in search of Kakashi and his other teammate, Rin. However, when he found them, he witnessed Kakashi being forced to kill Rin. This changed Obito for the worse, and he joined Madara in his goal of using the Infinite Tsukuyomi to create an illusory world of peace.

3 Sasuke betraying Naruto

Everything was apparently fine when Naruto and Sasuke teamed up to fight the god Kaguya. However, as soon as they defeated her, Sasuke turned to Naruto. Because Sasuke wanted to become the “True Hokage” where he would be responsible for making all the decisions in the world, he felt the need to kill Naruto as he was the only person who could subvert his plans. This sudden betrayal would lead to Sasuke and Naruto having one last big fight.

two Black Zetsu spinning in Madara

During the final arcs, it seemed that Madara would be the final antagonist within the series. Everything seemed to be in place for this to be true, as Madara had unleashed the Infinite Tsukuyomi and had essentially become a god. However, while Madara brags of his triumph, Black Zetsu stabs him in the back. Black Zetsu then reveals that he was using Madara to revive Kaguya Ōtsutsuki. He then covers Madara’s entire body and transforms into Kaguya. Kaguya would then become the antagonist in the final battle.

1 Defective Sasuke from The Hidden Leaf Village

While Sasuke left the Hidden Leaf to join Orochimaru was not the most surprising event within the series, it is certainly one of the most emotional and dramatic within the series. Sasuke’s departure resulted in an all-out battle between Naruto and Sasuke, which would greatly affect both of them in the future. For Sasuke, leaving the village was a sign that there was no turning back in his quest for revenge; And for Naruto, it meant that he wasn’t strong enough to save those he cared about.

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