Typically, most television shows and movies have plot twists (also known as reveals). What started out as a clever way to excite the reader has now become a popular trend in entertainment. Whether it be twist villains, new info about main characters, or added backstory: these are all popular reveals, but what makes the difference between a good reveal and a bad reveal? The Lance is here to help. What Do Bad Reveals Look Like?
With plot twists being as popular as they are, there exists an abundance of show
s/movies that use this trope poorly. This could include twists that are obvious, add nothing to the story, or come out of nowhere. One great example is Hans from Disney’s Frozen. While his motivation makes sense, and his twist isn’t too obvious, he was never a big part of the story to begin with. Hans is only there in the beginning and near the end of the movie, making him not integral to the main plot. Not to mention, Elsa is already the established protagonist throughout the majority of the movie. His reveal feels written and added at the last minute, and it flips the main plot point on its head. Another good example would include Professor Callahan from Big Hero 6. For the entire beginning of the movie, he is established as a loving professor who cares for his students. He is also the character that gives Hero (the main character) his big break by funding his project and allowing him to join his college. So this poses the question: WHY does he allow Tadashi to die? For his own personal greed? Most people find his sudden turn to bloodlust unusual and out of character. Good Reveals
Even though it’s very easy to mess up plot twists, there are some shows and movies that do this very well. One perfect example of this is Garnet from Steven Universe. This character, while never expanded on much early in the first season, is later revealed to be a fusion (the combination of two characters). To give you some quick context, each character has a gem on their body somewhere. Garnet has two gems: one on each of her hands. This subtle detail, along with small hints provided by the show, led to a wonderful reveal in the final episode of season one.
One of the best reveals is King Candy from Wreck it Ralph. While yes, he is already established as the villain early on, but his reveal about Penelope’s past is done extremely well. The movie leaves hints leading to a further story through Penelope’s glitching, the backstory of Turbo, and showing Penelope abandoned in the code. So why does this work? It works because the twist adds to the story. It helps establish King Candy’s motives and poses a realistic threat for the protagonists. This reveal is definitely a memorable one for sure. Has this trope been overdone? Yes. Will shows and movies continue to use this plot twist in the future? Absolutely. Let’s just hope that they’re done in an effective way.