Naruto became a shonen icon for many reasons, including its outstanding combat system, delightful characters, and certainly its plot twists and best moments. Naruto‘s story is packed with hard-hitting plot twists that keep viewers guessing, and some of them are downright shocking and brutal. Naruto won’t hesitate to shake things up and throw viewers for a loop.
Some of Naruto‘s most shocking moments included some villainous betrayals, unexpected fight scenes, and surprising reveals that changed the game. Even in story arcs where Naruto felt a bit formulaic or even cliché as shonen, the story flexed its creative muscles and commanded fans’ attention with cool, horrifying, and bizarre moments from beginning to end.
10 Sasuke Stabbed Karin To Hit Danzo
Partway through Naruto Shippuden, it became clear that Sasuke Uchiha had become a brutal antihero who always put his own needs first. Even so, Sasuke was a surprisingly effective leader for the team he named Hebi, later Taka, which included Jugo, Karin, and Suigetsu. They weren’t exactly heroes, but they still fought well together.
When Sasuke fought against Danzo Shimura, Karin played a supporting role for Sasuke. He unfortunately betrayed her anyway. A desperate Danzo took Karin hostage to buy himself time, and Karin expected Sasuke to bail her out. Instead, the last light of goodness faded from Sasuke’s eyes as he gladly implanted Karin to hit Danzo and finish the fight.
9 Sasuke Turned On Naruto At The Hospital
Sasuke Uchiha, as a vicious and self-centered rogue ninja, was involved in several of Naruto’s most shocking moments, including various betrayals. An early example was when Sasuke was still recovering in the hospital. Sasuke had lost badly to Itachi, and he worried that Naruto had already surpassed him.
The enraged and insecure Sasuke didn’t just lash out verbally or feel sorry for himself, though. He actually turned on Naruto and challenged the latter to a serious fight on the hospital’s roof, a battle that escalated quickly until their mentor Kakashi arrived. Sasuke had always been a serious rival for Naruto Uzumaki, but this was something entirely different – and worse.
8 Hiruzen Sarutobi Destroyed Orochimaru’s Arms
During Operation Konoha Crush, the Leaf Village’s ninjas took on the invading Sand and Sound ninjas, with the Third Hokage personally fighting Orochimaru in a battle of mentor vs student. The two of them fought evenly at first, but Orochimaru eventually gained the upper hand, so Hiruzen resorted to a forbidden jutsu.
Hiruzen knew he wouldn’t survive that fight, so he decided to sacrifice his life rather than merely lose it. He gave up his very soul to use the Dead Demon Consuming Seal, and he tried to destroy Orochimaru’s own soul with it. In the end, Hiruzen only got Orochimaru’s arms, but it was a start.
7 Sasuke Betrayed & Absorbed Orochimaru
Sasuke Uchiha was prone to betraying people, but even so, Sasuke’s betrayals often came as a surprise based on their timing. For example, it wasn’t that surprising to see Sasuke abandon Team 7 to gain power with Orochimaru, but betraying Orochimaru as well was quite a shock.
Orochimaru was established as Sasuke’s best hope to get stronger, so surely, Sasuke wouldn’t betray his master. But when the opportunity presented itself, Sasuke turned on his Sannin master and absorbed him after a brief battle, suggesting that absolutely nothing and no one was sacred to the increasingly villainous Sasuke Uchiha.
6 Danzo Was Named the 6th Hokage
After Pain’s assault on the Hidden Leaf Village, Danzo Shimura made his case to the Land of Fire’s daimyo to become the next Hokage. Danzo argued that Tsunade had made the Leaf Village soft, so he would be a tough, war-oriented leader who could protect the village.
The daimyo and other leaders agreed, nominating Danzo as the potential 6th Hokage. It was shocking to see an unpopular hardliner like Danzo nearly become Hokage since he differed from the more idealistic, friendly Hokage before him such as Tsunade and Minato Namikaze.
5 Black Zetsu Betrayed Madara Uchiha
Even if Naruto Shippuden overdid the “villain behind the villain” concept, some of these betrayals still came as a shock to anime fans. It made sense that a mighty supervillain like Madara Uchiha would be behind the entire Akatsuki organization’s actions, and he seemed like the perfect endgame villain for all of Naruto‘s heroes.
For a time, Madara was indeed the anime’s big bad, but the betrayals weren’t over yet. Black Zetsu showed his true colors when he betrayed the seemingly invincible Madara Uchiha, all for the sake of his mistress, Kaguya Otsutsuki of the Otsutsuki clan. Madara was just a tool after all, a twist anime fans were not prepared for.
4 Obito Declared War & Announced the Infinite Tsukuyomi Plan
At the time, Obito Uchiha was known as “Tobi,” and he also passed himself off as Madara Uchiha, as per the real Madara’s plans. On Madara’s behalf, Obito confronted the united shinobi leaders and declared war, which itself was a shock considering how depleted the Akatsuki organization had become.
Obito also used that opportunity to announce his ultimate plan as well. He promised to cast the Infinite Tsukuyomi on the moon to force world peace, a bizarre endgame plan no one was prepared to hear. That moment was even more shocking when Obito mentioned the Ten-Tails, a creature no one had even heard of before.
3 Sasuke Witnessed His Clan’s Massacre
Even if Naruto hinted at the tragedy of Sasuke’s childhood, it was still a gruesome shock to watch that scene unfold in a tragic flashback sequence. It was clear early on that Sasuke intended to kill his brother for some reason, and then anime fans learned why: Itachi Uchiha had slain his entire clan.
Overnight, the Uchihas were wiped out, and a young Sasuke could only stare in horror. Itachi hadn’t even spared his parents Fugaku and Mikoto, who merely knelt and allowed their eldest son to finish them off. At the time, no one truly understood why Itachi did this, though the truth would come to light later.
2 Chiyo Resurrected Gaara
Gaara of the Sand was captured when the Akatsuki attacked the Hidden Sand Village, and tragically, Naruto’s team was too late to save his life. The Akatsuki extracted the One-Tailed Shukaku from Gaara’s body, which killed him. It felt like an empty victory to defeat Sasori to retrieve Gaara’s body. Thankfully, lady Chiyo had a way to save him.
Chiyo used a particular technique to give up her life for Gaara’s, and never before had Naruto even suggested that ninjas could cheat death like that. It was really just a convenient plot point in hindsight, since Gaara was a major character and Chiyo wasn’t, but it was still pretty shocking to behold – and a relief, too.
1 Pain Destroyed the Leaf Village
It was no surprise when the Six Paths of Pain arrived at the Hidden Leaf Village’s front gates to advance his villainous plan to its next phase. Every Naruto fan was ready to witness the carnage during that battle as the Leaf ninjas fought to defend their home, but no one was prepared for Pain’s best move.
Pain levitated over the sprawling Leaf Village, made his declaration, then used the Almighty Push. To everyone’s horror, Pain obliterated the entire village like a force of nature, leaving nothing but scattered debris in a massive crater. Even without a home to fight for, though, Naruto Uzumaki still fought Pain to avenge the loss and return peace to the land.