[[caption-width-right:325:Refer to the chart!]]

->''"Blahblahblahblah SOMETHING HAPPENS blahblah"''
-->-- '''Creator/NeilGaiman''' on storytelling.

One of the [[OlderThanFeudalism oldest storytelling devices]] in history, the climax is the point, usually in the [[ThreeActStructure third act]] (sometimes the second), in which the story reaches its very height, where the {{Conflict}}ing forces collide in a manner that resolves the conflict -- one way or another -- with the {{Denouement}} sweeping up the pieces. When the BigBad and TheHero duke it out over the MacGuffin. When the detective has his showdown with the murderer. Etc.

Climaxes are often associated with a [[FinalBattle big fight]] of some sort (which frequently occurs in the action genre), but more low-key stories can have climaxes via TheReveal or other devices. It depends on the nature of the conflict that the story has been running on since the IncitingIncident.

In an {{arc}}-based TV or radio show or comic book, it is common to have a minor climax in each episode, and build up to a major climax at the [[SeasonFinale end of the season or the series]]. Additionally, the final episode or two frequently make up a GrandFinale, a massive climax [[{{Denouement}} which wraps up all (or at least most)]] dangling plot threads.

In {{soap opera}}s, each story line tends to have a climax which brings together most of the characters involved, and is the dramatic high point of the arc. This climax often occurs in [[SoapWheel the middle of another arc]]; thus, when one climax is resolved, the show starts building up to another, separate one.

Often accompanied by ClimacticMusic.

The subversion of this trope is known as an {{Anticlimax}}.

[[IThoughtItMeant If you're looking for]] ''that'' kind of climax, we would like to direct you to SexTropes.