The objective of a plot summary is to condense a large amount of information into a short, accessible format. It is not to reproduce the experience of reading or watching the story, nor to cover every detail. Rather, it should provide a general overview that fills in on the major points.
In Hollywood, good plot summaries entice potential viewers. They sell tickets. But on the Internet the rules are different.
Take the subreddit r/ExplainAFilmPlotBadly for example. There, people compete who can create the worst plot summary. The rules are simple—pen something that is factually legit but in a way that would also disguise the title of the production you're talking about. The longer the members of the subreddit are unable to guess what movie you have in mind, the better.
Here are some of the best worst submissions.
Rich Kid Leaves Home Due To Abusive Uncle, Gets Adopted By Nihilistic Gay Couple
"What makes this subreddit different than most other subs is that it's a game," the mods of r/ExplainAFilmPlotBadly told Bore Panda. "There's very little in the ways of discussion and until recently there were only some basic rules. So for much of the last 4+ years, the subreddit basically ran itself. Users subscribe but over time it seems that some people just come and go. They play the game, get their fill, sometimes phase-out and come back."
That didn't lead to a ton of growth. As of this article, r/ExplainAFilmPlotBadly has 46.8k members. But it is still active. In fact, you could say it sees more action every day than some subreddits that are twice as big. The most important thing, the mods believe, is the continued enjoyment it has provided.
A Teenage Girl Marries A Foot Fetishist To Escape Her Abusive Family
However, recently there's been somewhat of a shift. "The lead mod, /u/drmonix was teaching himself python and decided it would be fun to launch a bot that awarded points not only for correctly solving a clue (the posts in the sub are referred to as clues) but also having submitted a clue that got solved. This sparked some new interest and as a result, he needed to bring on another mod to help things along."
"After some discussion, we revamped the rules to keep the game fresh. Every few posts were about Star Wars or Endgame and the clues were long becoming stale. So we banned them."
Stylish Black Guy Shows Nerd How To Spend Less Time Online And Get A Girlfriend
A Cowboy And His Dog And 2 Teens Blow Up Their Asthmatic Father’s Office
Driver Wrecks Ford
The bold move paid off. Super popular subjects that come up too often are too easily recognized and removing them made the game a little spicier. "This change was widely lauded by the users thankfully."
The mods think the sub remains relevant because movies and shows simply go on forever. "They are a cultural glue that spans the world. So users from all walks of life and from any country with an Internet connection can participate and see if they can guess the answer to the latest unsolved clues."
Add the points system to that and you begin to build a longer-term community. Plus, since the game involves guessing and answering and very little discussion there's little to no friction between the members, the moderators said.
Everyone Tries The Ice Bucket Challenge
A Father Is Widowed When A Serial Killer Cannibalizes His Wife And Most Of His Children. Months Later, After Losing His Last, Disabled Son Due To A Boating Incident At Sea, A Mentally-Challenged Woman Is His Only Hope To Finding Him
The interaction between members of the subreddit is so miniature, that the moderators couldn't even describe their community if they tried. "Since the subreddit acts like a game with very little discussion there's actually not much of a personal community. There's a lot more camaraderie between users who recognize each other through the various clues."
"Regulars take notice when a new person comes in and posts 25 really good clues and answers accurately huge numbers of existing unsolved ones," the mods noted. "Regulars notice each other and congratulate each other with the solves: 'Oh, you beat me by 2 seconds' and 'I should have known not to post this when you were active, it would have lasted longer.'"
Take Your Son To Work Day Ends With The Dad Killing His Boss
Man Is Forced To Participate In The Rescue Of A Hostage By The Government, That Has Turned His Residence Into A Refugee Camp
A Creepy Old Man Finally Achieves His Goal Of Being Able To Touch A 14 Year Old Boy
These well-meaning comments only add to the pleasant experience that is playing the r/ExplainAFilmPlotBadly game. The mods said that the members mostly show their personality through the nature of the clues themselves and the movies that they do.
"There are folks who lean more heavily towards 80's films though you see them try and sprinkle in newer flicks to keep users off their scent. There are others who prefer to try and sneak in some truly classic films but you can only do so many of those. So who are these people in this community? No clue, but they love playing the game, don't take it too seriously, and enjoy the rules that make things a little more difficult."
Older Sister Ruins Younger Sister's Chances Of Appearing On Television
Child Gets Abused For The First 10 Years Of His Life Then Gets Kidnapped By A Big Bearded Man On His 11th Birthday
Rock Brings Rock To A Rock
The Town's Most Eligible Bachelor Gets Turned Down By A Girl Who's Into Furries, So He Tries To Kill Her New Boyfriend
The mods said that a truly great clue, one that gets everyone's attention, can come in multiple flavors but they mostly enjoy these two types: "First, the one that really makes you think and go 'I really should know this, what the heck is it?' and the second would be one that makes you laugh."
Two Naked Factory Workers Run From The Authorities After Kidnapping A Kid
Girl Gets Engaged To The First Guy She Meets But Then Falls For Another Guy She Meets Later That Day
Everyone Tries To Keep A Single Dad From Snapping
This 2001 Movie Can Be Summarized As “Put That Thing Back Where It Came From, Or So Help Me!”
"Our top post of all time is 'A son motorboats his mom while the sister rides her. Then there is a little family bondage. Finally, the whole thing culminates in the dad assisting with some big black penetration.' I mean, that sounds disgusting. But it's an accurate description of part of the plot of The Incredibles, rated PG."
Then there is another crass offering 'a senior citizen and an academic taste a German dish' which was the vilest way one could describe a key component of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
An Overweight Chef Slaughters A Snow Leopard Because His Turtle Died
An Overweight Loner With Poor Hygiene And Social Skills Goes On A Quest To Get Rid Of The Minorities Invading His Homeland
People Sleeping On An International Flight. Then They Get Off The Plane, Uneventfully
Of course, a great clue doesn't necessarily have to be innuendo. "If you can take another look at it, another slant as it were, you can get people to re-evaluate a movie," the mods said. "For instance, before it was banned in the sub, it was popular to talk about 'the kid who was radicalized by an exiled religious nut and killed thousands or millions in a terrorist act' which is a super common reframing of Star Wars: A New Hope."
Little Guy Works Overtime While Also Stealing Body Parts From His Dead Coworkers Before Ditching His Job To Go On A Cruise With His Unconscious Girlfriend
A Father Wants His Reluctant Son To Help In The Family Business. Eventually The Son Gives His Dad A Hand
The Hero Only Wins Because He Saved Before The Final Boss
A Kid Announces And Sings To The Whole World That He Can't Wait For His Father To Be Dead So He Can Replace Him As The Leader Of Their Community
A Gang Comes Together To Bully The Little Brother Of One Of Them
Boy Goes On A Trip To Meet His Family And Leaves Once He Ensures Two Of His Relatives Are Going To Have Sex
A Survival Of The Fittest Contest Inside A Sweatshop, Winner Gets The Sweatshop
Two Boys Build Stuff While Their Pet Bullies A Pharmacist
Extremely Rich People Didn't Expect The Spanish Inquisition
A Group Of Schoolteachers Take Their New Friend To Beat Up A Holocaust Survivor And His Buddies
12 Year Old Kid Breaks Into Kids Homes After The Parents Leave Then Proceeds To Give The Kids “Magic Dust” That Makes The Go High As A Kite, Then He Kidnaps Them And Brings Them To A Place Where They Will Never Grow Up Filled With Murders And Racist Furries
Note: this post originally had 98 images. It’s been shortened to the top 35 images based on user votes.