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 unseen key character, or element of plot or performance.
A reveal is different from Aristotle's anagnorisis, in which something is revealed to a character rather than to the audience.
The reveal may result in a plot twist and could be the key plot turn or unexpected coda in the story; for example, in the mystery genre. It may have scenes in the future that reveal consequences of actions to provide a lead for what will occur in the plot or side plot. This may be the overarching plot line in a mystery or soap opera. 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
Reveal is also used for two distinct cinematographic techniques:
In the sense of first-time showing of a character, a reveal is similar to, but usually not the same as, the opening shot or Establishing shot that gives the location or context of a new scene.