I am wondering if there is a label or term for the particular style of movie that provides just enough plot upon which to hang some specialty focused features.

The three top examples would be:

  • Porn: Thin plot setting up detailed sex scenes.
  • Musicals: Thin-to-medium plot to set up elaborate song and dance numbers.
  • Kung Fu/Martial Arts: Basic plot to lead into extended combat ballets.
  • If something gets these all three, and combine them to have a good outcome, then it have all. one of the best movies to get high box office ratings :)
    – Vishwa
    Commented Aug 26, 2019 at 3:13

1 Answer 1


The term you may be looking for is "Excuse Plot". TV Tropes (obligatory warning: it's highly addictive!) describes the concept thusly:

An Excuse Plot is, in the simplest terms, a plot that is clearly there merely as a justification for the gameplay, or other form of flashy, show-offy-ness, to happen. [...] An Excuse Plot is not necessarily a poorly written, minimalistic, or stupid storyline, only one that has been written to obviously showcase something else.

The site mostly relates it to video games - "the princess has been kidnapped, go save her" - but I'd argue it works equally well for all the genres you've listed. There's even a specific sub-trope related to porn plots: Pizza Boy's Special Delivery.

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