Top 37 Slang For Plot – Meaning & Usage

When it comes to gossip, drama, and juicy details, we all love a good plot. Whether you’re catching up with friends or scrolling through social media, staying in the loop with the latest slang is essential. Luckily, our team has curated a list of the trendiest and most intriguing slang for plot that will have you feeling like an insider in no time. Get ready to level up your conversational game and dive into the world of plot with us!

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1. Twist

A twist in a plot refers to a sudden and surprising change in the storyline that catches the audience off guard. It often adds excitement and intrigue to the narrative.

  • For example, “The movie had a major twist at the end that completely changed the meaning of the story.”
  • In a mystery novel, a reader might say, “I never saw that twist coming – it kept me guessing until the very end.”
  • A TV show with a twist-heavy plot might be described as, “Each episode of this series is full of twists and turns that keep you hooked.”

2. Cliffhanger

A cliffhanger in a plot refers to an unresolved or suspenseful ending that leaves the audience wanting more. It typically occurs at the end of a chapter, episode, or installment, creating anticipation for the next part.

  • For instance, “The season finale ended on a cliffhanger, leaving fans eager for the next season to find out what happens.”
  • A book with a cliffhanger ending might leave readers saying, “I can’t wait for the sequel – that cliffhanger was intense!”
  • A TV show that consistently ends with cliffhangers might be described as, “Each episode leaves you on a cliffhanger, making it impossible to stop watching.”

3. Rollercoaster

A rollercoaster plot refers to a story that takes the audience on a wild ride of emotions, with frequent ups and downs. It often includes intense moments of excitement, suspense, joy, sadness, and everything in between.

  • For example, “This movie had a rollercoaster plot – it made me laugh, cry, and hold my breath in suspense.”
  • A book with a rollercoaster plot might be described as, “The emotional journey of the characters was a rollercoaster ride – I felt like I was right there with them.”
  • A TV show known for its rollercoaster plot might be described as, “Every episode is an emotional rollercoaster – you never know what to expect.”

4. Slow burn

A slow burn plot refers to a story that unfolds gradually, building up tension and intrigue over time. It often involves a slow-paced narrative that gradually reveals important details and develops the storyline.

  • For instance, “The movie had a slow burn plot – it took its time to establish the characters and build up suspense.”
  • A book with a slow burn plot might be described as, “The story starts off slow, but it’s worth it for the slow burn of tension and mystery.”
  • A TV show that is known for its slow burn plot might be described as, “The show takes its time to develop the story, creating a slow burn of anticipation for each episode.”

5. Mind-bender

A mind-bender plot refers to a story that challenges the audience’s perception, often involving complex or mind-boggling concepts. It can leave the audience questioning reality, thinking deeply, and trying to unravel the plot’s mysteries.

  • For example, “The movie had a mind-bender plot that had me questioning what was real and what wasn’t.”
  • A book with a mind-bender plot might be described as, “It’s a mind-bender that keeps you guessing until the very end – you have to pay close attention to every detail.”
  • A TV show known for its mind-bender plot might be described as, “Each episode is a mind-bender that leaves you questioning everything you thought you knew.”

6. Whodunit

A “whodunit” is a type of mystery story where the main focus is on solving a crime or identifying the culprit. The term comes from the question “Who done it?” which is often asked in these types of stories.

  • For example, Agatha Christie is known for her whodunit novels, such as “Murder on the Orient Express”.
  • In a discussion about crime fiction, someone might say, “I love reading whodunits because I enjoy trying to solve the mystery along with the characters.”
  • A fan of detective shows might recommend, “If you like whodunits, you should check out ‘Sherlock’ on Netflix.”

7. Page-turner

A “page-turner” is a book that is so captivating and exciting that it keeps the reader hooked and eager to turn the pages to find out what happens next. The term is often used to describe a book that is difficult to put down.

  • For instance, “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn is often described as a page-turner because of its gripping plot and unexpected twists.
  • A reader might say, “I couldn’t stop reading ‘The Da Vinci Code’ because it was such a page-turner.”
  • In a book club discussion, someone might recommend, “If you’re looking for a page-turner, I highly recommend ‘The Girl on the Train’.”

8. Red herring

A “red herring” is a clue or piece of information that is intentionally misleading or distracting, leading the audience or characters in a different direction than the actual solution or truth. The term comes from the practice of using a strong-smelling fish to distract hunting dogs from the scent of their quarry.

  • For example, in a murder mystery, a red herring might be a suspicious character who is later revealed to be innocent.
  • A fan of crime dramas might say, “I love it when a show uses red herrings to keep me guessing until the end.”
  • In a discussion about plot twists, someone might mention, “The movie ‘The Sixth Sense’ has one of the most famous red herrings in film history.”

9. MacGuffin

A “MacGuffin” is a plot device or object that drives the story forward and motivates the characters, but its actual nature or importance to the plot is often unimportant or undefined. The term was popularized by filmmaker Alfred Hitchcock.

  • For instance, in the movie “Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade”, the Holy Grail is the MacGuffin that motivates the characters’ actions.
  • A film buff might say, “In many action movies, the MacGuffin is just an excuse to set up exciting chase scenes and fight scenes.”
  • In a discussion about storytelling, someone might ask, “What do you think is the best use of a MacGuffin in a movie?”

10. Character arc

A “character arc” refers to the transformation or growth that a character undergoes throughout the course of a story. It often involves a change in their beliefs, values, or behavior as a result of their experiences and the challenges they face.

  • For example, in the Harry Potter series, Harry’s character arc involves his journey from a lonely and misunderstood orphan to a brave and selfless hero.
  • A fan of a TV show might say, “I love how the characters in ‘Breaking Bad’ have such complex and compelling character arcs.”
  • In a writing workshop, someone might ask, “How can I create a satisfying character arc for my protagonist in my novel?”

11. Backstory

The backstory refers to the history or background information of a character or situation. It provides context and helps the audience understand the motivations and actions of the characters.

  • For example, in a mystery novel, the author might reveal the protagonist’s troubled childhood as part of their backstory.
  • In a movie, a character might share their backstory in a monologue, explaining why they made certain choices.
  • A TV show might use flashbacks to reveal the backstory of a character and explain their current behavior.
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12. Subplot

A subplot is a secondary storyline that runs parallel to the main plot of a story. It often involves supporting characters and adds depth and complexity to the overall narrative.

  • For instance, in a romantic comedy, the main plot might focus on the protagonist’s love life, while a subplot follows their best friend’s quest for career success.
  • In a TV show, a subplot might involve a group of characters working together to solve a mystery while the main plot focuses on their personal relationships.
  • A novel might have multiple subplots that intersect and influence each other, creating a richer and more layered story.

13. Climax

The climax is the highest point of tension or excitement in a story. It is the moment when the conflict reaches its peak and the outcome of the plot is determined.

  • For example, in a thriller movie, the climax might involve a high-speed chase or a life-or-death confrontation between the protagonist and the antagonist.
  • In a novel, the climax might occur when the main character finally confronts their fears and overcomes the obstacles standing in their way.
  • A TV show might build up to a season finale with a climactic event that leaves viewers on the edge of their seats.

14. Resolution

The resolution is the part of the story where the conflicts and loose ends are resolved. It provides closure and answers any remaining questions the audience may have.

  • For instance, in a mystery novel, the resolution reveals the identity of the killer and ties up any loose ends in the investigation.
  • In a movie, the resolution might show the main characters achieving their goals or learning important life lessons.
  • A TV show might have a season finale that wraps up the main storylines and sets up new ones for the next season.

15. Foreshadowing

Foreshadowing is a literary or cinematic technique where hints or clues are given about future events in the story. It creates anticipation and adds suspense to the narrative.

  • For example, in a horror movie, a character might have a recurring nightmare that foreshadows a future danger they will face.
  • In a novel, an author might include subtle hints about a character’s true identity or their ultimate fate.
  • A TV show might use foreshadowing to tease upcoming plot twists or to build anticipation for future episodes.

16. Deus ex machina

A plot device where an unexpected event or character is introduced to resolve a seemingly unsolvable problem. It often involves a sudden and unlikely solution that comes out of nowhere.

  • For example, “In the movie, the protagonist is about to be killed when a sudden storm appears out of nowhere and saves their life. It’s a classic deus ex machina.”
  • In a discussion about storytelling, someone might say, “A deus ex machina can be a lazy way to wrap up a plot.”
  • Another example would be, “The story was going well until the author used a deus ex machina to tie up loose ends.”

17. Plot twist

A sudden change or revelation in the plot that completely surprises the audience and challenges their assumptions or expectations. It adds excitement and intrigue to the story.

  • For instance, “The movie had a major plot twist when the seemingly innocent character turned out to be the villain.”
  • In a review of a book, one might say, “The plot twist at the end caught me completely off guard and made me rethink the entire story.”
  • A fan of a TV show might discuss the latest episode by saying, “The plot twist in last night’s episode was mind-blowing!”

18. Narrative arc

The overall shape or structure of a story, including its beginning, middle, and end. It refers to the progression and development of the plot, characters, and themes throughout the story.

  • For example, “The narrative arc of the novel follows the protagonist’s journey from a troubled past to redemption.”
  • In a writing workshop, someone might ask, “How can I improve the narrative arc of my story to make it more engaging?”
  • A film critic might analyze a movie by saying, “The narrative arc of the film was well-crafted, with a satisfying resolution.”

19. Catalyst

An event or character that sets the plot in motion or leads to a significant change in the story. It often serves as a starting point or a point of no return.

  • For instance, “The death of a loved one is the catalyst for the protagonist’s quest for revenge.”
  • In a discussion about character development, one might say, “The catalyst for the character’s transformation was a chance encounter with a wise mentor.”
  • A viewer might comment on a TV show by saying, “The introduction of a new character was the catalyst for the main characters’ conflict.”

20. Turning point

A critical moment in the plot where the story takes a significant turn or reaches a point of no return. It often leads to a change in direction or outcome for the characters or the overall plot.

  • For example, “The turning point in the movie was when the protagonist discovered the truth about their identity.”
  • In a discussion about literature, someone might say, “The turning point in the novel occurs when the main character makes a life-changing decision.”
  • A fan of a TV series might discuss the latest episode by saying, “The turning point at the end of the episode left me on the edge of my seat!”

21. Unraveling

The term “unraveling” refers to the process of revealing or uncovering the plot of a story. It usually involves the gradual disclosure of important information or the resolution of a mystery.

  • For example, in a murder mystery novel, the unraveling might occur when the detective finally solves the case and uncovers the identity of the killer.
  • In a TV series, the unraveling might happen in the final episodes, where all the loose ends are tied up and the plot twists are explained.
  • A movie reviewer might say, “The unraveling of the plot was unexpected and kept me on the edge of my seat.”

22. Suspense

Suspense refers to the feeling of intense anticipation or excitement that is created by an uncertain or dangerous situation in a plot. It is often used to keep the audience engaged and on the edge of their seats.

  • For instance, in a thriller movie, the suspense might build up as the protagonist is being chased by the villain.
  • In a suspenseful novel, the author might use cliffhangers at the end of each chapter to keep the readers hooked.
  • A TV show with a suspenseful plot might end each episode with a shocking twist to keep viewers eager for the next installment.
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23. Conflict

Conflict refers to the struggle or opposition between two or more forces in a plot. It is a key element that drives the story forward and creates tension or drama.

  • For example, in a romance novel, the conflict might arise from the love triangle between the main characters.
  • In an action movie, the conflict might be the battle between the hero and the villain.
  • A literary critic might analyze the conflict in a classic novel and discuss its significance in the overall plot.

24. Exposition

Exposition refers to the part of the plot where the background information about the characters, setting, and initial situation is provided. It helps to establish the context and introduces the audience to the story.

  • For instance, in a play, the exposition might be presented through dialogue or a monologue at the beginning.
  • In a film, the exposition might be conveyed through voice-over narration or flashbacks.
  • A literature professor might explain the importance of exposition in setting up the plot and engaging the readers.

25. Storyline

Storyline refers to the sequence of events or the narrative arc that makes up the plot of a story. It includes the main plot as well as any subplots or character arcs.

  • For example, in a TV series, each episode contributes to the overall storyline of the season.
  • In a novel, the storyline might follow multiple characters and their individual journeys.
  • A film critic might analyze the storyline of a movie and discuss its structure and pacing.

26. Narrative

The term “narrative” refers to the sequence of events or the overall story being told. It encompasses the plot, characters, and themes of a work of fiction or non-fiction.

  • For example, “The narrative of the novel follows a young girl’s journey through a post-apocalyptic world.”
  • In a movie review, one might say, “The narrative of the film was engaging and kept me hooked until the end.”
  • A literary analysis might discuss, “The narrative structure of the book allowed for multiple perspectives on the same events.”

27. Arc

In storytelling, an “arc” refers to the development and progression of a character, plot, or theme over the course of a narrative. It often involves a character undergoing a significant change or facing a series of challenges.

  • For instance, “The character’s redemption arc was the highlight of the movie.”
  • In a TV show, one might say, “The overarching arc of the season slowly revealed the truth behind the mystery.”
  • A writer might plan out the story arcs of their novel, saying, “I have a three-act structure with multiple character arcs.”

28. Scheme

In the context of plot, a “scheme” refers to a clever or devious plan made by a character to achieve a specific goal. It often involves manipulation, trickery, or elaborate strategies.

  • For example, “The villain’s scheme to steal the crown jewels was full of twists and turns.”
  • In a heist movie, one might say, “The main characters devised an intricate scheme to rob the bank.”
  • A reviewer might comment, “The plot was driven by the protagonist’s scheme to expose the corruption within the government.”

29. Outline

An “outline” in the context of plot refers to a structured plan or framework that outlines the main events and structure of a story. It provides a roadmap for the writer and helps organize the plot.

  • For instance, “Before writing the novel, the author created a detailed outline of the plot.”
  • In a writing workshop, one might say, “Start with a basic outline of your story’s plot before diving into the details.”
  • An aspiring screenwriter might ask, “How do you create an effective outline for a screenplay?”

30. Intrigue

When used in relation to plot, “intrigue” refers to the element of mystery, suspense, or fascination that captures the reader’s or viewer’s interest. It often involves twists, secrets, or unexpected developments.

  • For example, “The novel’s plot was filled with intrigue, keeping readers guessing until the end.”
  • In a TV series, one might say, “The show’s intricate plotlines and constant intrigue had me binge-watching all weekend.”
  • A reviewer might comment, “The film’s plot lacked intrigue, making it predictable and unengaging.”

31. Conspiracy

A conspiracy refers to a secret plan or plot by a group of people to do something harmful or illegal. It often involves the idea of a hidden agenda or covert actions.

  • For example, “The government was accused of covering up a conspiracy to manipulate the election.”
  • In a discussion about a controversial event, someone might claim, “It’s all part of a conspiracy to control the narrative.”
  • A person might say, “I don’t believe in conspiracy theories, but this one seems plausible.”

32. Agenda

In the context of plot, an agenda refers to a hidden motive or purpose behind someone’s actions. It often implies that someone has a specific goal or plan they are working towards.

  • For instance, “The villain’s agenda was to take over the world.”
  • In a political drama, a character might say, “I suspect there’s a hidden agenda behind this proposed policy.”
  • A person might ask, “What’s your agenda in getting involved in this situation?”

33. Blueprint

A blueprint refers to a detailed plan or strategy for achieving a specific outcome. In the context of plot, it can represent the overarching plan that guides the events and actions of the story.

  • For example, “The villain had a blueprint for overthrowing the government.”
  • In a heist movie, a character might say, “We need a blueprint of the building to pull off the job.”
  • A person discussing a complex plot might comment, “The author’s blueprint for the story is intricate and well-executed.”

34. Scenario

A scenario refers to a specific situation or sequence of events that make up a plotline. It can describe a particular set of circumstances or a hypothetical situation.

  • For instance, “In a worst-case scenario, the world is overrun by zombies.”
  • In a discussion about a movie, someone might say, “The scenario of the film was unique and kept me engaged.”
  • A person might ask, “What’s the best-case scenario for how this plot unfolds?”

35. Flashback

A flashback is a narrative technique that interrupts the chronological order of a story to present an event or scene from the past. It allows the audience to gain insight into a character’s history or motivations.

  • For example, “The protagonist had a flashback to their childhood that explained their fear of water.”
  • In a TV show, a character might say, “I keep having flashbacks to the accident.”
  • A person discussing a book might comment, “The author used flashbacks effectively to reveal the character’s backstory.”

36. McGuffin

A McGuffin is a term used to describe an object, person, or goal that drives the plot of a story. It is usually something that the characters are pursuing or trying to obtain, but its actual nature or importance may be irrelevant to the overall story.

  • For example, in the movie “Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark,” the Ark of the Covenant is the McGuffin that drives the story.
  • In a mystery novel, the stolen diamond necklace could be the McGuffin that the detective is trying to recover.
  • A character might say, “The briefcase that everyone is after is just a McGuffin. It doesn’t matter what’s inside, it’s the pursuit that matters.”

37. Rising Action

The rising action is the part of the plot structure where the tension and conflict increase, leading to the climax of the story. It is the series of events that build up to the main problem or conflict that the characters will face.

  • For instance, in a superhero movie, the rising action might involve the hero discovering their powers and training to become a hero.
  • In a romance novel, the rising action could include the characters falling in love and facing obstacles that threaten their relationship.
  • A reader might say, “The rising action of the story kept me on the edge of my seat, wondering what would happen next.”