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Reveal (narrative)

The reveal (also known as the big reveal) is a plot device in narrative structure, and is the exposure to the reader or audience of a previously hidden key element of plot or of the performance. This may result in a plot twist, and could be the key plot turn or unexpected coda in the story - in the mystery genre, for example. It may also be used as a device (particularly in the climax) in stage magic by an illusionist or escape artist.[1]

In a magician's act, "the reveal" may refer to

  • the normal culmination of a trick
  • the unexpected (to the audience) culmination of the trick
  • an explanation of the trick - which itself may be immediately eclipsed by a version of the trick that the first reveal can't explain

A reveal is different from Aristotle's anagnorisis, in which something is revealed to a character rather than to the audience.


  1. ^ Clark, James L. (2012). "Performing the corkscrew". Mind Magic and Mentalism For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Retrieved July 10, 2012. 

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