A keyword is a short phrase attached to a title (e.g. movie / series / episode) that describes it in some way. The main purpose of keywords is to allow entertainment fans to easily search and discover titles.
You can specify which category a keyword belongs to when contributing it. For example, the category "subgenre" can be selected for the "jungle-adventure" keyword on Jumanji (1995) to signify that it belongs to the jungle adventure subgenre. Likewise, the category "plot detail" can be selected for the keyword "stampede" on The Lion King (1994) to signify that a stampede occurs in the plot.
If your contribution is approved then you will see the keyword under a subheading corresponding to the category you selected. Besides making the keywords more digestible, these categories are also helping entertainment fans to discover and decide what to watch. For example, the subgenre and plot timeframe keywords are currently being used to power games in the IMDb What to Watch app on Amazon Fire TV devices.
It is possible to select different categories for the same keyword on different titles. For example, Chris Rock: Bring the Pain (1996) can have the "stand-up-comedy" keyword with the category "subgenre," while Seinfeld (1989-1998) can have the same "stand-up-comedy" keyword with the category "plot detail."
It is not yet possible to select different categories for the same keyword on the _same title_. For example, The Godfather (1972) cannot have two "organized-crime" keywords - one with the category "subgenre" and the other with the category "plot-detail." In these rare cases we prioritize the subgenre over the plot detail, so The Godfather (1972) should have only one "organized-crime" keyword, with the category "subgenre."
Please note that keyword categories are currently only displayed in the IMDb iOS and Android apps - they are not yet displayed on the IMDb website. It is also not yet possible to vote on keywords in the apps. However, we are aware that these are popular missing features.
The following keyword categories are currently supported:
Used to specify which subgenres apply to the title. For a subgenre to be valid, it should play a meaningful part in the overarching plot/setting/medium of the title. For example:
Expand the lists below to see suggested subgenre values. It is possible to contribute other values not listed below, however please only contribute another value if an equivalent suggested value does not exist. For example, please use the suggested keyword "dark-comedy" instead of "black-comedy," and use the keyword "disaster-action" instead of "disaster" for a disaster movie/series belonging to the action genre.
Used to specify what timeframe the title's plot is set in.
Expand the lists below to see suggested plot timeframe values. It is possible to contribute other values not listed below, however please follow the same format:
A plot detail is any notable object, concept, or action that takes place during a title. Plot details do not include other types of keywords that have their own dedicated categories, such as subgenres, moods and plot timeframes. Plot detail keywords are open-ended - they are not constrained to a specific list of words. However, please adhere to the following guidelines.
Invalid plot details
Please avoid the following:
Used to capture any keywords that do not fit into the above categories. IMDb may create dedicated categories for some of these keywords in future. Please note that the "Other" category is currently only displayed on the title keywords subpage and not the main title page.
The following keywords trigger specific display functions on the site:
|Used for a Documentary so that actors portraying scripted people are not listed as 'Self' if they have a character name.
|Used for a non-Documentary title, like a Talk-Show, to indicate that the people are portraying themselves.
|Affects the display of a title; it will say 'TV special' instead of 'TV movie' at the top of the page. Also acts like the non-fiction keyword.
|Affects the display of a title; it will say 'TV miniseries' instead of 'TV series' at the top of the page.
|hardcore | sex
|These two keywords, combined with the Adult genre, will restrict the display of a title to those people who have chosen to see adult titles
|Used to denote a character's appearance in a title. The formatting should be presented as the name of the character first, followed by "-character." So, for Star Wars, we'd list Han Solo as "Han-Solo-character." This can be used for both fictional characters, and fictional portrayals of real life people (including when someone is playing a fictionalized, scripted portrayal of themselves). Please note that if the character is recurring in a series the character keyword should only be added to the parent and not individual episodes.
The following keyword have specific meanings:
|Used for any title which is either directed by a woman and/or written by a woman.
|Used for any title which is directed by a woman, written by a woman and features significant women on screen in their own right.
|Used on an episode of a series to assign a genre where that particular episode is "out of the ordinary" and is unlike most others in the series i.e. "musical-episode" on Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Once More, with Feeling. Especially useful for anthology series.
A duplicate keyword is one which offers no additional or differentiating value to a keyword already listed. This could be the result of a spelling error or alternative spelling being used. To report a duplicate keyword please go to our contact form and let us know the details of the keywords you think should be combined.