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