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->'''Quilt:''' I have deduced that your old girlfriend escaped death because she was pregnant with your love-child and this Oracle Hunter is none other than your ''long-lost daughter''!\\
'''Donovan Deegan:''' And how, praytell, did you deduce all that?\\
'''Quilt:''' Because it is ''very'' dramatic.
-->-- ''Webcomic/DominicDeegan''

''If the potential for conflict is visible, then [[ChekhovsGun it will never be passed over]].''

Without drama and {{conflict}}, [[StoryExistenceFailure There Is No Show]]. A show where everyone gets along and nothing unpleasant happens will bore everyone. This is the reason for the Rule of Drama.

Does everything look conflict-free? [[YourPrincessIsInAnotherCastle Not so fast]]. Something new and unpleasant must be introduced out of the blue. This is why happy couples tend not to last until [[HappilyEverAfter the very end of the story]], unless writers can find good conflict without breaking them up.

Creator/RaymondChandler once described [[ChandlersLaw this sub-rule]]:
-> "When in doubt, have a man come through the door with a gun in his hand."
-> '''ChandlersLaw'''

[[Series/DoctorWho The Third Doctor]] once said:
-> "The shortest distance between two points is a straight line. But it's not necessarily the most interesting."

In real life, to avoid headaches and hassles, one prefers to plan ahead (sometimes months in advance), organize, analyze, take your time, be conservative, play it safe, stick to what you know will work, keep it simple, think it out thoroughly, have a backup plan, have a backup to the backup plan, know your limits, practice, rehearse, and drill. This, of course, is all well and good for planning the perfect family vacation, but makes for a dull adventure story. In fiction, Rule of Drama means that things are going to be much more drawn out, messy, unpredictable, and complicated, even if you are a CrazyPrepared Chessmaster. Also, in fiction, even the [[TheSmartGuy ones known for their intelligence]] tend to make stupid mistakes, act impulsively or anything else just to get them embroiled in an adventure. Because there is no drama in being too smart or prepared to either avoid or prevent most nasty situations or having already intricately planned for every contingency. Essentially, the journey is widely considered more important than the destination, so everything can't run too smoothly, not even for the sake of the characters' peace of mind.

Essentially, when the writers run out of drama, they must invent ways to force drama into undramatic situations. When handled poorly, this leads to unusual, irrational, or highly improbable scenarios which only exist for the sake of prolonging the conflict.

To determine if a trope is a product of the Rule of Drama, ask yourself: If this trope weren't used, [[AnthropicPrinciple would this much crap even be happening?]]

The only place where the Rule of Drama does not apply is the {{Denouement}}; the show is supposed to end there. But even then, you can wind up with a SequelHook.

Often comes up in books and films on history, because if it is found that two people had a conflict, however minor it may have actually been, it will often be milked [[HistoricalVillainUpgrade at least a little]] - and [[PlotTumor sometimes too much]] by the writer. The reason is not necessarily because the writer is trying to lie or change history, but because [[TropesAreTools conflict is something the general audience can identify with]].

Compare AcceptableBreaksFromReality (video games following what makes them fun instead of realistic).

Related to both RuleOfFunny in comedy and RuleOfScary in horror. See also AnthropicPrinciple.

!!Tropes That Quickly Come To Mind For Their Roots In This Rule, But Honestly, 90% Of All {{Tropes}} Might Fit Here:
* AdaptationalAngstUpgrade
* AdoptionIsNotAnOption
* AllLoveIsUnrequited
* AnyoneCanDie is the platonic love affair between the Rule and Realism
* BelligerentSexualTension
* BigotVsBigot
* BreakUpMakeUpScenario
* CantGetAwayWithNuthin
* ChainedHeat
* ChandlersLaw
* ConflictBall
* DiabolusExMachina
* DisasterDominoes - Mishaps will cause enough collateral damage to enhance the plot, no more and no less.
* DisposableWoman / StuffedIntoTheFridge
* DownToTheLastPlay
* DramaBomb
* DramaticUnmask
* DysfunctionJunction
* EmergingFromTheShadows
* FalseInnocenceTrick
* FelonyMisdemeanor
* FinaglesLaw
* GoodIsBoring
* GunStruggle
* HandWave: how bad writers preserve the Rule of Drama in the face of potential conflict-quenching rationality when they don't want to resort to PoorCommunicationKills.
* HopeSpot: Because if things start going too well, and it isn't the end of the story, it has to be temporary.
* IdentityConcealmentDisposal
* IdiotBall
** IdiotPlot
* ItsPersonal
* JustEatGilligan: When there's a particularly simple solution that's always overlooked because of this rule.
* LawOfInverseFertility
* LawOfInversePaternity
* LockedInARoom
* {{Melodrama}}
* MillionToOneChance - If the unlikelihood of a random outcome is deemed too low to be of concern, the likelihood of its occurrence will instead be based on the dramatic potential of that outcome.
* MurderIsTheBestSolution
* OneBulletLeft
* OutOfCharacterMoment
* OutOfTheFryingPan
* PoorCommunicationKills (and all its varied {{Sub Trope}}s)
%% Seriously, check if something's listed under PoorCommunicationKills before putting it here.
* RememberedTooLate
* RisingConflict
* RoadsideSurgery
* SexChangesEverything
* ShockingSwerve: When writers feel they need a twist to keep interest in the show, even if the twist makes no sense or comes out of nowhere.
* SmartBall
* TemptingFate: Stating the unlikelihood of mishap causes its likelihood to approach 100%.
* ThingsAreMoreEffectiveInHollywood
* TooHappyToLive
* UnscientificScience
* WakingUpElsewhere
* WillTheyOrWontThey
* YouCantThwartStageOne