Meaning of coup de théâtre*

coup de thé•â•tre

Pronunciation: (kd tā-ä'tr), [key]
— pl. coups de thé•â•tre
  1. a surprising or unexpected turn of events in a play.
  2. a sensational and unexpected turn in the plot of a drama.
  3. any theatrical trick intended to have a sensational effect.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.