“Fuck it, it’s good for the plot” is a phrase often heard right before someone is about to irreversibly change the trajectory of their life, by doing something so contrary to rational thought that it must be narrative-ised to be acted upon.
Making decisions as if you’re a playable character in an Episode-esque game, helps people glorify the mundane, detach themselves from reality, and feel better about sleeping with their exes. The latter is statistically the most common ‘for the plot’ action, a discovery I uncovered after extensive polling (a singular Instagram story) and receiving numerous responses. It seems that most people who commit this egregious emotional crime were going to do so regardless, and now have a cool way to rationalise self-sabotaging sex. Sleeping with your ex is no longer a bad decision you (as a person) are making — it’s a necessary decision that you (as a character) absolutely must make. For the plot. Nobody wants to watch a movie about maturity and healing and ‘getting over them’. People want side characters and shenanigans and fan-favourite recurring villains. It’s not always cliche sex-related decisions though.
Sometimes the plot requires a simple change of scenery: multiple respondents genuinely justified uprooting their entire lives and moving interstate/overseas for this reason. Viewers (or more accurately in this case – their own internal monologue) were sick of a show set in Sydney, and it was high time for a set change. There were also a disproportionate amount of responses about events which took place overseas, or on holiday. Tales of spending hours in sketchy foreign bars, dangerously jumping off a bridge into the Danube, falling in love at lightning speed with handsome European men. It seems to be the case that a significant change in location and atmosphere (a new season of the show, if you will) warranted a proportional change in behaviour.
Maybe the Home version of you wouldn’t indulge in such recklessness, but the Holiday version has to sell a story of summer and chaos and adventure — or else you’re no good for the plot, and you just moved the regular show to another continent for no reason. Anyone who came back from Euro-summer with a tale that doesn’t encompass all three adjectives — scandalous, sacrilegious, and salacious — is writing their Euro-summer episode so unbelievably poorly.
Not every plot decision has to be season-defining though — every sitcom has trusty filler episodes and moments of character development. People who responded about doing simple but uncharacteristic things — attending events despite social anxiety, asserting themselves in uncertain situations, reaching out to old friends to reconnect — noted that these were the best things for the plot. Because this worldview helped them overcome limitations of an excessively introspective psyche — detaching your own decisions from yourself and prescribing them to the narrative of your life is a shockingly effective anxiety antidote. It reframes every decision. If something goes wrong, it’s not the end of the world. The worst case scenario is simply a very interesting chapter in an awfully long novel. So go ahead, skull a few too many shots, and text your ex.