Here are the movie plot archetypes with descriptions and examples:
- Hero’s Journey: A protagonist embarks on an adventurous quest, facing challenges, mentors, and ultimately transforming to achieve a goal.
Examples: Star Wars, The Matrix, Harry Potter series
- Coming of Age: Focuses on the growth and maturation of a young character as they transition from adolescence to adulthood.
Examples: Stand By Me, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Lady Bird
- Love Triangle: Involves three characters entangled in a complex romantic relationship.
Examples: Titanic, The Twilight Saga, The Amazing Spider-Man 2
- Revenge: A character seeks retribution against those who have wronged them or their loved ones.
Examples: Kill Bill, Gladiator, Oldboy
- Forbidden Love: Characters from opposing backgrounds or social classes fall in love, facing societal or familial opposition.
Examples: Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story, Titanic
- Rags to Riches: A character rises from poverty or obscurity to wealth, success, or recognition.
Examples: Rocky, The Pursuit of Happyness, Cinderella
- Underdog: A disadvantaged protagonist faces formidable challenges and overcomes them against all odds.
Examples: Rocky, Rudy, The Karate Kid
- Quest: Characters embark on a journey to retrieve a valuable object, attain knowledge, or fulfill a significant purpose.
Examples: Indiana Jones franchise, National Treasure, The Da Vinci Code
- Sacrifice: A character makes a selfless act for the greater good, often leading to personal growth or redemption.
Examples: Avengers: Infinity War, The Dark Knight Rises, Unbroken
- Mystery: Involves solving a puzzling and often crime-related enigma.
Examples: Se7en, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Knives Out
- Betrayal: A character experiences betrayal from someone they trust, leading to emotional turmoil and conflict.
Examples: The Empire Strikes Back, The Godfather Part II, No Country for Old Men
- Chosen One: The protagonist is destined to fulfill a particular role or destiny, often with extraordinary abilities.
Examples: The Matrix, Star Wars, Harry Potter series
- Fish Out of Water: A character finds themselves in an unfamiliar environment, leading to humorous or challenging situations.
Examples: The Lion King, Big, Black Panther
- Redemption: A character seeks to atone for past mistakes or bad actions.
Examples: Shindler’s List, Good Will Hunting, Transformers franchises
- The Mentor: An experienced figure guides and trains a less experienced protagonist.
Examples: The Lord of the Rings trilogy, Star Wars, Spider-Man franchises
- Overcoming the Monster: The protagonist confronts and defeats a powerful and threatening antagonist.
Examples: Alien, Jaws, The Dark Knight
- Escape: Characters strive to break free from confinement or oppressive circumstances.
Examples: Shawshank Redemption, The Great Escape, Jurassic Park
- Survival: The main focus is on characters’ efforts to stay alive in challenging situations.
Examples: Cast Away, 127 Hours, The Revenant
- War: The story revolves around the conflicts, struggles, and consequences of war.
Examples: Saving Private Ryan, Platoon, Dunkirk
- Discovery: Characters uncover hidden truths, lost civilizations, or valuable artifacts.
Examples: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Apollo 13, Hidden Figures
- Identity Crisis: A character grapples with their true identity or faces amnesia.
Examples: Fight Club, Memento, Face/Off
- Voyage and Return: Characters journey to a strange land, face trials, and then return transformed.
Examples: Back to the Future, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings
- Family Drama: Focuses on familial relationships, conflicts, and dynamics.
Examples: Everybody Knows, Birdman, August: Osage County
- Rebellion: Characters challenge authority or oppressive systems.
Examples: Star Wars, The Hunger Games, Braveheart
- Time Travel: Characters move backward or forward in time, impacting the past or future.
Examples: Back to the Future, Twelve Monkeys, Interstellar
- Power and Corruption: Characters deal with the abuse of power, political intrigue, and corruption.
Examples: Chinatown, The Godfather, Avengers: Civil War
- Redemption Quest: The protagonist seeks redemption for past sins or mistakes through a series of trials.
Examples: The Green Mile, Toy Story 3, Logan
- Tragedy: A story in which the protagonist faces downfall or failure, often due to their own flaws or circumstances.
Examples: Titanic, Schindler’s List, Moonlight
- Survival of the Fittest: Characters must compete or fight against each other to survive or achieve a specific goal.
Examples: The Hunger Games, Battle Royale, Mad Max: Fury Road
- Framing Device: The main story is presented within the context of another story, serving as a narrative framework.
Examples: Pulp Fiction, Magnolia, Inception
- Stranger in a Strange Land: A character from a different culture or background experiences life in an unfamiliar setting.
Examples: E.T., The Jungle Book, Black Panther
- Forbidden Knowledge: Characters pursue knowledge or power that is dangerous or forbidden.
Examples: Indiana Jones films, Prometheus, Ex Machina
- Society vs. Individual: Focuses on the conflict between societal norms and the individual’s desires or beliefs.
Examples: The Matrix, V for Vendetta, Whiplash
- Supernatural Encounter: Characters encounter supernatural beings, creatures, or events.
Examples: The Exorcist, It Follows, The Conjuring
- The Prophecy: The story revolves around a prophecy or prediction that shapes the characters’ actions and fate.
Examples: The Sixth Sense, Planet of the Apes, Star Wars
- Seeking Home: The protagonist embarks on a journey to find a place where they belong.
Examples: Homeward Bound, Me Before You, Brokeback Mountain
- Framed for a Crime: The protagonist is wrongly accused of a crime they didn’t commit, leading to a quest for justice.
Examples: The Fugitive, The Shawshank Redemption, North by Northwest
- Masquerade: Characters conceal their true identities or intentions behind masks or deception.
Examples: Eyes Wide Shut, Spider-Man: Homecoming, The Greatest Showman
- Love at First Sight: Characters fall deeply in love immediately upon meeting each other.
Examples: The Princess Bride, Serendipity, Safety Not Guaranteed vs. Nature: The story focuses on characters’ struggles against natural disasters, animals, or environmental challenges.
Examples: The Grey, Cast Away, The Revenant
- Heir to the Throne: A character must step up and take on a significant responsibility or leadership role.
Examples: Star Wars, The Lion King, Frozen
- Corrupting Influence: Characters are influenced or manipulated by a malevolent force or individual.
Examples: Saw, It, The Dark Knight
- The Big Game: The story centers around a high-stakes competition or tournament.
Examples: The Hunger Games, Battle Royale, Ready Player One
- Cursed Object: A cursed item or artifact brings misfortune or danger to those who possess it.
Examples: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Poltergeist, It
- Journey to the Center: Characters venture into the heart of a location or object to uncover its secrets.
Examples: Journey to the Center of the Earth, The Core, Tron
- Mistaken Identity: Characters are mistaken for someone else, leading to humorous or dramatic situations.
Examples: The Prince & Me, Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Freaky Friday
- Apocalypse Survival: Characters navigate and survive in a post-apocalyptic world.
Examples: Mad Max, 28 Days Later, The Road
- Immortality Quest: Characters seek immortality or eternal life, facing challenges and consequences.
Examples: Highlander, Interview with the Vampire, Twilight
- Sworn Enemies: Characters who are bitter enemies must join forces to face a common threat.
Examples: Batman vs Superman, Green Lantern vs Sinestro, Alien vs Predator
- Prophecy Fulfillment: The protagonist must fulfill a prophecy, often with significant consequences for their world or destiny.
Examples: Star Wars, Harry Potter, Planet of the Apes
- The Artifact: Characters quest to find or protect a powerful, magical, or ancient artifact.
Examples: Indiana Jones, National Treasure, Hellboy
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