An anticlimax is a plot device that occurs in drama, comedy, and other scripted forms of entertainment when the audience’s expectation for a climactic scene does not arrive.

Anticlimaxes are often used to heighten the dramatic effect of a scene by slowing or even stopping the story’s momentum.

Anticlimaxes can be found throughout many different genres and formats, including TV shows, movies, plays and musicals.

They are most often used at the end of a story arc or episode to allow for some sort of resolution or closure.


What Is An Anticlimax

What Is An Anticlimax?

An anticlimax is a literary form that presents the reader with a climax, but then follows it with an anti-climax.

The word “anticlimax” is derived from the Greek words anti and klinos, which mean “against” and “joy”, respectively.

In literature, an anticlimax is a plot device that has been used to great effect in many different works of fiction over the years.

The term was first used by the French dramatist Jean Racine in his play Andromaque (1667), where he described the death of Hector as being “an anticlimax”.



The word “anticlimax” comes from Greek roots meaning “to fall downward.” In classic Greek theater an anticlimax was considered a happy ending that occurred after all the action had taken place.

In modern times this term has carried over into other areas of storytelling including film making as well as literature and television where it has become synonymous with any sudden slowdown in action or suspenseful buildup to something exciting happening in a later scene or act

Why Use An Anticlimax?

 The term anticlimax is derived from the Greek word “antiklinos” (meaning beyond the climax). In literature and drama, an anticlimax is a scene that comes after the climax of a play or story.

It’s usually used to relieve stress and tension because it’s considered to be less important than the preceding scenes.

The purpose of an anticlimax is to give readers a break from the action. It allows them to stop worrying about what will happen next and return to their everyday lives.

Anticlimaxes are not necessarily bad because they let us rest for a while; however, many writers use them as filler when there are too many events happening at once. As a result, readers may lose interest in the plot or forget about all of the details of previous events.

A writer can also use an anticlimax to enhance suspense by delaying something that would be too predictable if it occurred immediately after one event ended and before another began.


Anticlimax Examples In Movies

 There are many examples of anticlimax in movies and television. Here are some of the most common ones:

  1. The hero is at the top of his game, and then everything goes wrong, leaving him in a state of shock and anger. This happens when something unexpected happens that is too much for the hero to handle with his current skills or knowledge.
  2. A plot twist occurs just before or after the climax of a story. The plot twist may be an event that changes everything, or it may simply be something that happens soon after someone else has acted on their plan, giving them an unexpected advantage. For example, in Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Luke Skywalker is saved from being killed by Darth Vader by Obi-Wan Kenobi’s intervention; he then gets into a fight with Darth Vader over who will kill him next (and wins). In this case, the anticlimax comes after Luke’s victory over Vader rather than before it; if Obi-Wan hadn’t intervened, there would have been no overall change in events at all!
  3. If someone else has already acted on their plan but something unexpected happens to make them lose control of their actions, then this is an anticlimactic moment where

Monty Python And The Holy Grail (1975)

Monty Python’s “Monty Python and the Holy Grail” is a British comedy film, written and directed by Terry Jones, which was produced by Michael Gill. The film parodies French Arthurian legend and is based on the 1963 album of the same name by Monty Python, an ensemble-based comedy troupe.

The film’s story is about King Arthur’s quest for the Holy Grail and his coming into conflict with the French. It features Graham Chapman as King Arthur, John Cleese as Sir Bedevere, Eric Idle as Sir Lancelot, Terry Jones as Sir Galahad and Michael Palin as Sir Robin.

The film also includes Stephen Hawking (portrayed by Terry Gilliam) narrating most of the proceedings.

The Pythons were paid £200,000 to make the film, but only received £50,000 after legal wrangling with their London agent. The money dispute was settled out of court when Monty Python agreed to include a scene in which they argue with their agent over money; this was filmed on location at Battersea Power Station (the setting for all subsequent Pythonesque films).

A poster for “[[Monty Python And The Holy Grail (film)

Raiders Of The Lost Ark (1981)

 Raiders of the Lost Ark is a 1981 American adventure film directed by Steven Spielberg, and based on the novel by British author Ian Fleming. The film stars Harrison Ford as Indiana Smith, a professor who becomes involved in a quest to find the “Ark of the Covenant” while being chased by Nazis.

It also features Karen Allen, Paul Freeman, John Rhys-Davies, and John Hurt. The film grossed $543 million worldwide during its theatrical release.

The film was followed by Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) which was released three years later. A third film featuring Harrison Ford as Indiana Jones has been planned but it is not yet known if it will be made or if Spielberg will direct it again.

In August 2007, Paramount Home Media Distribution released all three films on DVD in Region 1 for the first time ever as part of their “Super Films Collection”. Raiders Of The Lost Ark is also available on Blu-ray Disc from Paramount Home Media Distribution

Zero Dark Thirty (2012)

The fact that Zero Dark Thirty has become a box office hit despite being an offensive and inaccurate film is proof that the mainstream American public has a very low tolerance for political correctness. This film’s depiction of torture is so extreme that it makes the torture scenes in Saving Private Ryan look like scenes from a Disney movie.

The use of torture in this film is presented as being necessary to get information about Osama Bin Laden’s whereabouts, despite the fact that we now know from declassified documents that there was no credible intelligence to suggest that he was in Pakistan.

What’s even more troubling is how little attention this film has received from the mainstream media, which seems determined not to call attention to any aspect of its depiction of torture or terrorism.

War Of The Worlds (2005)

 The War of the Worlds is a 2005 American science fiction film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on the 1898 novel The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells.

It stars Tom Cruise as protagonist Tom Wilson, with Dakota Fanning as his daughter, Dakota. The film follows Wilson’s attempts to save his family from an alien invasion during the Martian Civil War.

The film’s screenplay was written by Jon Spaihts and Lawrence Konner and it was produced by Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Steven Spielberg. A big-budget adaptation of the original novel, it was one of the first major Hollywood films to be filmed in 3D.

Released theatrically by DreamWorks Pictures, it had its world premiere at the Tokyo International Film Festival on October 26, 2005 and had its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 13, 2005.

The film received mixed reviews from critics; however it proved successful at the box office also earning more than $300 million worldwide against a $150 million budget for Paramount Pictures.[4] Despite this success, it was not nominated for any Academy Awards at the 75th Academy Awards ceremony but won several Hugo Awards for Best Dramatic Presentation (short form) in 2006 including Best Dramatic Presentation (Short

How To Use An Anticlimax?

 When we’re feeling down or having a bad day, it’s easy to slip into a negative spiral. But here are some ways you can use an anticlimax to your advantage.

  1. Use It To Your Advantage

If you know that something is going to happen and you brace yourself for it, then the event will be less upsetting for you than if you were caught off guard by it.

  1. Use It To Make A Point

If something bad happens and you don’t respond with anger or frustration, then the bad thing has less power over you than if you had responded with anger or frustration.

  1. Use It To Vent Your Anger Without Blowing Up At Someone Else

Sometimes we get really angry at people who can’t see how much they hurt us or make us feel bad about ourselves, but instead of yelling at them or hitting them when we’re angry, we can use an anticlimax to vent our feelings without hurting anyone else by getting all fired up and exploding in anger at them (which is actually more likely to make the situation worse).

The Importance Of The Anticlimax In Film

The anticlimax is a staple of the film genre. It’s an event that happens at the end of a film and it’s usually something of a letdown or even a joke. For example, in Casablanca, everyone arrives at Rick’s house to see him but no one knows who he is and they decide to pretend he’s not there.

In The Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader tells Luke Skywalker that his father will train him to be a Jedi but Luke tells him he’s not his father.

The anticlimax can be seen as the opposite of the climax; whereas in a climax we expect something exciting to happen, when an anticlimax occurs it can be just as exciting but in a different way because instead of excitement there is sadness or disappointment or whatever emotion was needed for it to work properly.

The anticlimax can also be used to resolve an issue in a story or show how things aren’t always what they seem like on the surface.

Anticlimaxes In Literature

 Anticlimaxes in literature are a common occurrence. They have been used since the beginning of time, and will continue to be used as long as there is a need for some sort of suspense.

Anticlimaxes are used for many different reasons, but the most common use is to create suspense and leave the reader hanging.

Anticlimaxes are also known as “logical conclusions” or “rising action”. They are used when a character has done something or has succeeded in achieving something, but then their success turns out to be irrelevant or insignificant. This can be due to a number of things such as:

The character has been unable to do anything because circumstances were too dire;

The character can’t achieve anything because they have been taken by surprise;

The situation is so dire that no one can achieve anything until it changes;

A new plot twist occurs which throws everything off track;

How To Write An Anticlimax

 It’s hard to describe the feeling of anticlimax, but you know it when you feel it. It’s a heavy, unpleasant feeling that you don’t want to be around.

Anticlimaxes can be caused by any number of things:

A character who has a sudden change of heart and decides not to do something that he or she had planned on doing (usually because the character was threatened or tricked or otherwise forced into making this decision).

An ending that doesn’t turn out as planned. This can happen for many reasons, including being unexpectedly interrupted by another character, being told that something else is going on that can’t be ignored, etc.

The end of an arc where things are left unresolved or unanswered (for example, if you have a villain whose plans were thwarted but he remains at large).

What Is An Anticlimax – Wrapping Up

 The term “anticipation” means that we know something’s coming and it feels good, even though the event itself might not be all that interesting. An anticlimax is when you know something’s coming, but it isn’t at all what you expected.

Anticlimaxes are common in movies and TV shows. You see a car chase or a shoot-out, so you’re expecting some kind of explosion or explosion-like thing to happen maybe even a horde of zombies  and then nothing happens.

Maybe the car chase ends with one person getting out of the car, getting shot in the back, falling over and dying on his own. That would be anticlimactic!

Anticlimaxes also happen in real life when someone you’ve been waiting for tells you they’re too busy to meet up with you after work like they said they would.

Or when plans fall through because someone can’t make it to your party/event/date because they’re sick or working late on another project or something else that is more important than hanging out with their friends/family/partner until late at night/early