What is the secret plot?
The “hidden plot” or “secret plot” refers to a bananarama time in the Phantom fandom. After the 2004 movie version of the Lloyd Webber musical came out and exploded as the most popular version of the story, a group of fans decided that CLEARLY this cinematic masterpiece actually contained a secret message, findable only by determined searchers who were willing to watch the movie millions of times and pick up on incredibly subtle clues, that made it clear that Christine and the Phantom were actually totes in love and ended up together.
What differentiated it from regular shipping and fanfic-writing was A) the extreme insistence that it was actually part of the movie and not invented by fans, and B) the willingness to create “evidence” out of the most ridiculous details, including the timing of random lens flares, what shoes everyone is wearing, how we should interpret hairstyles, and of course the memorable Stockinggate. Also, a lot of the explanations of the hidden plot sound a lot like “in this scene, Madame Giry is holding a CANE which is made of DARK WOOD which clearly symbolizes the BLACK FOREST OF GERMANY and since she also had it in a scene where the Phantom LOOKED SIGNIFICANTLY AT HER we know he probably GAVE IT TO HER AS A GIFT which tells us the Phantom is probably GERMAN and we already deduced that Raoul is also German from the STYLING OF HIS HAIRPIECe, we therefore can conclude that they are BROTHERS and this is all a SIBLING RIVALRY. Also, something about Christ imagery. TAKE THAT, SHERLOCK HOMES.”
Seriously. It sounded just like that, except it went on forever and had whole messageboards dedicated to it. It was zany.
Sadly, I never archived it back in the day, and the main site that hosted it has been gone for a while. Maybe some of the other Phantom oldies still have some of it lying around?