Deus Ex Machina

Deus Ex Machina is what you do when you have run out of ideas. It is also what you point out when you have no ideas.

I bet you this was Jesus' fraternity.

Just The Facts

  1. No matter who you are, Latin is going to make you sound dignified
  2. Deus Ex Machina is also called a Pull Out. Ha-ha!
  3. You know when Harry passes out after fighting Voldemort in most of the books, and he wakes up safely in the nurse's office or dumbledore's or something instead of being ripped off for all his cash and shoes and whatnot? That's sort of what Deus Ex Machina is.

The Plot Device

In case you're wondering what Deus Ex Machina actually is, here's a less awesome definition from the semi-awesome folks from Wikipedia:

A deus ex machina (pronounced /����¯�¿�½���¯���¿���½������¯������¿������½de����¯�¿�½���¯���¿���½����¯�¿�½������ª.����¯�¿�½���¯���¿���½������¯������¿������½s ����¯�¿�½���¯���¿���½������¯������¿������½ks ����¯�¿�½���¯���¿���½������¯������¿������½m����¯�¿�½���¯���¿���½������¯������¿������½����¯�¿�½���¯���¿���½������¯������¿������½ki����¯�¿�½���¯���¿���½������¯������¿������½n����¯�¿�½���¯���¿���½������¯������¿������½/ or /����¯�¿�½���¯���¿���½������¯������¿������½di����¯�¿�½���¯���¿���½������¯������¿������½.us ����¯�¿�½���¯���¿���½������¯������¿������½ks ����¯�¿�½���¯���¿���½������¯������¿������½m����¯�¿�½���¯���¿���½����¯�¿�½������¦k����¯�¿�½���¯���¿���½����¯�¿�½������¨na/,[1] DAY-����¯�¿�½���¯���¿���½������¯������¿������½s eks MAH-kee-n����¯�¿�½���¯���¿���½������¯������¿������½) (Latin for "god out of the machine"; plural: dei ex machina) is a plot device whereby a seemingly inextricable problem is suddenly and abruptly solved with the contrived and unexpected intervention of some new character, ability, or object.

Nice save, Marvin.

This is what Deus Ex Machina is in implementation:

[SCENE - INTERIOR. BAD GUY has GOOD GUY by the nutsack. It's not looking good for GOOD GUY]

BAD GUY: I've got you now, Good Guy!

GOOD GUY: Things aren't looking good for me (Good Guy)! I'd better think of something fast....wait, I've got it!


Like a motorcycle! Motorcycles are awesome! YEAH!

BAD GUY: What's that? Is that....oh, no!!!!

GOOD GUY: That's right, it's SOMETHING AWESOME. Taste my blade!




In other words, Deus Ex Machina is something that the writer pulls out of their ass in an effort to make the ending palatable and to tie off all those pesky loose ends, in the process creating plot holes the size of Staten Island.

"Hopefully no one will notice that Sandra has been in the bathroom for 100 pages."

Deus Ex Machina was first used by playwrights back in ancient Greece (the setting of 300, if you don't know what that is). The literal translation, "God from the machine" (or the 10000 variations thereof) reflected the use of a crane to drop a character playing a god down onto the stage so they could go:

"Happy endings for EVERYBODY!!!! Yayyyyyy!!!"

Euripides (a Greek guy, I assume) was the first person to regularly use Deus Ex Machina. Some say that he discovered or invented it (drunk and with a deadline in a few hours, I assume).

Euripides, shitting out the Anderson contract at 3 AM.

Deus Ex

Deus Ex is a video game featuring shooting.

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say awesome.

Funnily enough, the name of the game was intended to be a dive at the poor plotlines of video games, and how they frequently employ the Deus Ex Machina tool to make you want to buy the sequel.

Xbox version box art

DX3 Logo2.png

So did it work, or what?


The awesome show Lost had an episode entitled Deus Ex Machina. It had to do with John Locke's relationship with his father.

"Did anyone else notice how awesome Deus Ex Machina is?"

Wow, thanks John Locke!