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The Plot Thickens
Stock Phrase often said after a turning point in the plot.

It usually refers to things becoming overly complex or mysterious. Today this term is often Played for Laughs. Coined in the 17th century, it originally described the plot of a play that was overly intricate, and by the late 1800s it was used for increasingly complex mysteries in detective stories.

The phrase is sometimes parodied as "The plot sickens". You may also hear "the plot thins" - usually uttered after a major Anti-Climax.


Examples

Film
  • In Face/Off, Castor Troy's response upon walking in on Jamie wearing just her underwear and a cropped t-shirt.
  • Shadowlands
    C.S. Lewis: He comes; he sleeps; he goes. So the plot thickens.

Literature

Live-Action TV
  • Hawaii Five-O (1968) pilot episode.
    Wo Fat: As we clever Chinese say, "The plot thickens..."
  • Knight Rider episode "Mouth of the Snake"
    Michael Knight: So, the plot thickens. I bet this guy David Dalton is not down in Mexico looking for the world's biggest burrito.
  • The League of Gentlemen
    Pauline: It's about Mickey. He's getting married.
    Ross: Oh-ho. The plot thickens.

Newspaper Comics

Poetry
  • Roald Dahl used this to customary darkly comic effect in his retelling of Cinderella
    Ah ha, you see, the plot grows thicker,
    And Cindy's luck starts looking sicker.

Video Games

Western Animation
  • Justice League - When Luthor's soon-to-be Injustice Gang sees who's gathered them, the Shade quips, "Lex Luthor? The plot thins."

That's What She SaidStock PhrasesThere Are No Coincidences

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