This article asks what we might learn by attending to the form of Olaudah Equiano’s Interesting Narrative. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. first took seriously the structure and tropes of Equiano’s work, but Vincent Carretta’s famous questions about Equiano's birthplace have eclipsed other lines of inquiry. Suggesting that there is much we have missed in the Interesting Narrative in this turn away from form, I argue that a counterplot runs through the text, one shaped through textual clusters I refer to (using Equiano’s keyword) as “trifles.” In this counterplot Equiano expresses thoughts and emotions not containable within contemporary abolitionist discourse.