(plural coups de théâtre)
- A sudden or unexpected event in a play, pulled off by the author, the director, or even an actor.
- A theatrical trick or gesture, something staged for dramatic effect.
- 1886 I had arranged to track her husband down, reason with him, work on his feelings, telegraph for his wife, and in an affecting interview throw them into each other's arms. Now, goodness knows what would happen. Certainly not my beautifully conceived coup de theatre. William John Locke, Simon the Jester, Chapter 11.