Monsters University

Inciting Event: Dean Hardscrabble announces to the Scare majors that she will expel anyone who fails the end-of-semester exam. This introduces the overall conflict between Mike and Hardscrabble, over whether or not he has what it takes to scare. At the end of the same scene, Sully arrives, introducing the relationship that will follow.

First Plot Point: During the end-of-semester exam, Mike and Sully begin trying to outdo each other’s scary faces and accidentally destroy Hardscrabble’s prized scream canister. She kicks them both out of the Scare program. We’ve seen protagonist Mike’s goal from the very first scene: become a scarer and Monsters University. But only now do we enter upon the story’s main conflict: get back into the Scare program. This is the Key Event where Mike leaves his Normal World. The First Plot Point follows when he makes a bet with Hardscrabble that if he and his Oozma Kappa team of rejects win the Scare Games, she’ll let him back into the program.

First Pinch Point: In the first round of the Scare Games, Mike and Sully selfishly compete for individual scores. Their team as a whole comes in last, and they are saved from elimination only by the disqualification of another team. This emphasizes both the overall antagonistic force—the competition—but also the personal failings that are keeping them from being successful.

Midpoint: After being ridiculed by the other teams and being told they’re too “cute” to be scarers, Mike takes his team on a “field trip” to Monsters, Inc. They break in at night and are inspired by the scarers. Mike and Sully finally connect and recognize their mutual selfishness in a Moment of Truth.

Second Pinch Point: After coming in second in the penultimate round, Sully tries to make up with Hardscrabble. She makes him understand that their chances of winning are next to nothing because Mike simply “isn’t scary.” Sully realizes she’s right and begins to worry.

Third Plot Point: After the False Victory of winning the Scare Games and supposedly proving that he is scary, Mike discovers that Sully cheated—by jimmying the scare meter to give Mike a higher score. Determined to prove he is scary, Mike enters the human world, through a door that leads to a camp full of kids—none of whom are scared of him.

Climax: After Sully follows Mike into the human world, they work together, using Mike’s brains and Sully’s brawn, to scare the adults.

Climactic Moment: They generate enough scream to power the door from the human side and get back through to the monster world. They are expelled.

Resolution: Despite their expulsion, Dean Hardscrabble offers them some words of encouragement. They go to work in the mail room at Monsters, Inc.

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