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Chekhov's gun

A rule that states that any object introduced in a work of entertainment must serve a purpose - if it has no purpose, it should be removed as it only causes distractions. Using the object as an intentional distraction, such as part of a red herring, is valid. The name comes from a quote by Anton Chekhov, a Russian playwright, who said that if you put a gun on stage in Act I, you must fire it in Act III.

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