How to write great characters who work with the plot

Friday Night Dinner. Image shows from L to R: Jackie (Tamsin Greig), Adam (Simon Bird), Jonny (Tom Rosenthal), Martin (Paul Ritter)

All writers - those who do comedy, drama or advertisements for Gaviscon (don't knock it, it's a sweet gig) - suffer with one specific problem from time to time. You're midway through your brilliant script with loads of original jokes/twists/footage of indigestion sufferers going "ooh". You have a great set piece planned at the end of the episode, the kind of thing that will win you that BAFTA/Emmy/Best Indigestion Advertisement 2021 Award... and suddenly you realise that, in order to get there, the plot requires your main character to do something they absolutely would never do.

For example, your straight-laced...

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