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Plot Holes are those annoying gaps in a story where things happen without a logical reason. When a Plot Hole involves something essential to a story's outcome, it can hurt the believability severely for those who are bothered by it. Hitting a Plot Hole at high speed can damage your Willing Suspension of Disbelief.
Plot holes can come in many forms:
- Characters suddenly having knowledge that was never passed to them, or vice versa; characters not knowing something they knew last week, or something that anyone in their position must know.
- Characters acting completely Out of Character.
- An event does not logically follow from what has gone before.
- Characters ignoring or avoiding obvious solutions to their problems, provided those solutions are obvious to the characters, and not just the viewers.
- An event occurring that, given other details present in the work, is not possible.
Plot holes occur for several reasons:
- The author really wants to write a certain scene, even if the scene makes no sense. Rather than toss the scene out, the author goes right ahead and writes it anyway.
- The author forgets what was written earlier, and unknowingly creates a scene that goes completely against something that happened earlier. Can happen rather easily with really long stories, or ones that take a long time to write.
- In a multi-author Continuity, one writer forgets (or ignores, or rejects) what another wrote.
- The scene that would have filled the plot hole was cut due to time constraints or other reasons.
- While adapting a story to a new medium, the adaption team made a wrong assumption about a future Plot Point, and added a detail which was later contradicted by the creator of the source material (Compare Overtook the Manga). Another one is removal of the explanation for a plot element without which the Plot element doesn't make sense.
- A change is made during the localization of a work without also changing other elements that rely on it.
- In comedies, the plot hole may be deliberately induced as the basis for a joke, usually consisting of Lampshade Hanging.
Even unrealistic, fantastical stories can suffer when plot holes arise, as audiences are willing to suspend disbelief as long as the story makes sense within its own rules and consistency.
Plot holes are sometimes plugged up or ignored with a Hand Wave, or occasionally dealt with by a Lampshade Hanging, and some writers think Plot Holes that only become apparent well after the story is over aren't worth sweating.
Note that a Plot Hole is inherently a contradiction. A Plot element that is merely left unexplained is not a Plot Hole unless its occurrence is impossible according to the setting's rules.
Can overlap with Retcon and Continuity Snarl. A Cliffhanger Copout can create a Plot Hole if a Hand Wave is handled poorly. An attempt to resolve or remove a Plot Hole, that introduces another Plot Hole is a Voodoo Shark. Contrast What Happened to the Mouse? for potential plots that get dropped...and picked up.
Also see Fridge Logic for cases where a Plot Hole isn't immediately obvious and only becomes visible in hindsight.
Anime and Manga
- Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water suffered from at least twelve episodes (the "Island/Africa" episodes, which were shoehorned into the series to cash in on the show's popularity) in which members of the cast go completely Out of Character with no explanation. The Lincoln Island and Africa episodes are especially guilty of this, particularly in the characterizations of Nadia, Grandis, Ayerton, Sanson, Marie, Sanson, and Hanson.
- When Transformers Cybertron was translated into English, it was changed from a standalone series to a Sequel to Energon (which was later referred to as such in Japanese materials); unfortunately, this meant that several characters who were Killed Off for Real in Energon were alive and well here. It was explained that the reappearance of these characters happened because the Unicron Singularity screwed up space and time; this led fans to jokingly refer to the Singularity as the biggest plot hole in the universe.
- The English version did fix a plot hole that was present in the original Japanese. In the English version, Cybertron spends the series hovering perilously close to the Singularity. In the Japanese version, it was sucked into the Singularity in the first episode; yet several subsequent episodes show the characters walking around on the surface.
- In Bleach, at one point in the manga Aizen states that the deaths of a few Arrancar don't bug him since they were only gillians originally. Cue a flashback a bunch of chapters later when it's revealed that the characters in question were almost all adjuchas, and that it would have been impossible for them to regress to gillians without also losing their individuality! OOPS! Could be handwaved by him calling them gillians as an insult but that's a bit of a stretch. Or Aizen just doesn't care.
- In the Viz translation of the manga, Uryu says that Grimmjow had "a mixed unit of gillians and adjuchas" (although Grimmjow could be the Adjuchas and everyone else could be Gillians). After his last fight with Ichigo, the origins of Grimmjow and his Fraccion are explored and only one of them was a Gillian, the rest were clearly Adjuchas.
- While in prison, Rukia comments that she's been a member of the Kuchiki family for 40 years. A flashback to Renji being made vice-captain also discusses Rukia being a member of the Kuchiki family for 40 years. Then Byakuya reveals why Rukia was adopted: his wife died 50 years ago, leaving him a request to find and adopt her sister as his own. A year after her death, he finds and immediately adopts Rukia. But an immediate adoption a year after Hisana's death would put the adoption at 49 years ago rather than 40 years ago.
- It has been revealed that Squad 1 Lieutenant, Chojiro Sasakibe is actually one of the toughest characters and has known Bankai for hundreds of years. This raises the question of, if this is true, how was Ichigo able to wipe the floor with him like he was nothing back in the Soul Society arc?
- Fist of the North Star has been guilty of making up the story as it went along, resulting quite a few contradictions as the series went on...
- One of the biggest being the revelation in the second series that the Land of Asura is the birthplace Kenshiro and his adoptive brothers Raoh and Toki. This wouldn't be such an obvious plot hole had it not been for the fact that the first series already showed the ruins of Raoh and Toki's childhood home, as well as the graves of their true parents. The series later reveals that the Big Bad Kaioh is actually Raoh and Toki's elder brother, despite the fact that the first series gave no hints that they had any other blood-related siblings besides each other.
- Running a close second would be the scene where Mamiya revealed that she was branded as a 'conquest' by Juda. This scar is instantly recognized. Even though Rei, the rival of said Juda, had seen Mamiya butt-naked twice before -- hell, he even personally shredded her clothes off once.
- In Naruto, the title character is the son of the Fourth Hokage but none of the kids in his class are able to figure that out. Considering the Fourth Hokage's face is sculpted onto a mountain, surely at least one kid would have made the obvious connection, considering that it was blatantly obvious from the start. It might be argued that a few had figured it out and kept it a secret, but then why wouldn't they treat Naruto with more respect?
- He is also said to have failed the final exams three times (and the exam at the start of the series is his fourth), but is in the same age group as others from his class (who are presumably taking it for the first time). This would mean he must have advanced through the earlier classes much faster than others (notably Sasuke and even Neji) and yet he is called a failure and a dropout.
- Further, if he did repeat the classes, he must have been in the same class as Neji, Tenten and Lee in the previous year, though they do not seem to know him much when they first meet.
- Now that it has been confirmed that Both of Naruto's parents died very shortly ater he was born (maybe hours later) this begs the question: From that day to where the story starts, who raised Naruto when he was too young to take care of himself? This is even made further confusing when it is mentioned several times that Naruto was treated like a pariah in his childhood and that people wouldn't even want to go near him.
- Naruto's nine-tailed demon fox beast must be 'exorcised' last, not down to a case of numerical order; as numbers 1 to 8 don't need to be harvested in any particular order - no explanation for this has been issued - all seems a case of simple convenience.
- For no particular reason, Naruto's beast is hailed the strongest of all; allegedly because it has the most tails, though the one tailed belonging to a fellow child that has since been written out the story (the beast that is) and six have hardly been present within the series, so where's our proof?
- The Four-Tails once pointed out the fox made the assumption it was the strongest, due to having the most tails.
- Furthermore, we are later informed that all tailed beasts merge to create one new entity; 9 beasts in unity create a 10 tailed beast - meaning all beast are actually equally significant, therefore; why don't they unite to create a 45 tailed beast?
- Gantz features a plot hole the size of a semi in one story arc where a gunman walks down a crowded Japanese thoroughfare, calmly gunning down literally hundreds of innocent bystanders. This scene was very important to the continuation of the Plot, but raises one significant question...WHERE THE HELL ARE THE POLICE!?
- Infinite Stratos has one Adaptation-Induced Plothole at episode 4 when Ichika suddenly knew that Cecilia was in firing range on the unmanned I.S. drone. The Light Novels explains this by Ichika secretly communicating with Cecilia to fire on his command after unleashing Yukihira Type-2 by taking advantage of the barrier nullifying ability of the Laser Blade. Cecilia being frustrated to not be able to help out, answers the call. To people who have never read the Light Novels, it just counts as an Ass Pull.
- In the very first episode of Voltron (the lion version), as the five young explorers see the Castle of Lions from their spaceship, Keith details Voltron's backstory and how the witch deceived the robot (or its pilot(s)) and split big V into five robo-lions. Two or three episodes later, when the boys finally make contact with Princess Allura and Koran, the explorers are completely surprised that Voltron cannot be summoned/activated/whatever-they-expected and have to be told everything that Keith explained back in the first episode.
- In the twelfth episode of Elfen Lied, Nana gets past the police barricade to reach Mariko's position. She simply arrives there - no explanation given, the barricade not seen in her travels. Kouta and Lucy-as-Nyu arrive to the barricade and find every soldier and policeman knocked out/dead--this is never made clear. Bando is nearby with Kurama, but does not arrive until well after this in the next episode, so Bando's not responsible. Lucy is still Nyu, and remains this again until well after the discovery that the barricade is down. Mariko is by definition at the far opposite end of this barricade, and pulling anything like that would get her blowed up real good. This leaves Nana as the knockout/killer. Except a huge plot point is that Nana does not kill, and with the exception of disabling the vectors (invisible arms) of other Diclonius, she has never shown talent for quietly knocking people out, in either anime or manga. Therefore, no one knocked out or killed the knocked-out/dead force at the barricade.
- The anime adaptation of Death Note usually averts the trope when adapting the manga, but probably the only notable example is that it does not reveal SPK member Ill Ratt to be a spy for Mello. As a result, the audience is left without explanation as to how Mello's crew obtained the SPK's true names and were thus able to kill them. The Rewrite 2 special cuts the mafia and has Mikami and Takada kill the SPK instead, but in cutting the mafia and thus fixing one plot hole, it creates another: Soichiro Yagami making the trade for Shinigami Eyes and his subsequent death are also omitted, leaving his absence and Light's knowledge of Mello's true name unexplained.
- In the Dragon Ball Z anime, Garlic Jr. shouldn't exist being that the movie he mentions his backstory in, Dead Zone, contradicts the first episode (No one knowing of Goku's son, Gohan).
- In Trigun, Vash possesses a special revolver that has a hidden function of grafting to his arm and mutating it into an energy weapon of mass destruction. When Vash tries to stop Knives at the city of July, Knives exerts some control over the gun that forces Vash to destroy the city against his will. The same thing happens decades later in another city, leaving Vash emotionally devastated and fearful of causing more harm. So...why doesn't he just destroy the gun?
- Joss Whedon's second Astonishing X-Men story arc, "Danger", is based on the idea that the X-Men's Danger Room is sentient and incredibly frustrated because it was designed to kill the X-Men, but would never actually be able to do so due to its safety protocols. Apparently neither Whedon or his editors have read the dozen-plus comics in which the Danger Room's safety protocols have been disabled, with characters explicitly noting that they are in real danger of being killed.
- In Marvel Zombies, Luke Cage remarks at one point that he ate Doctor Strange, but yet Doctor Strange appears later in the series unharmed.
- Similar Ms. Marvel gets killed twice. When questioned about this the writers claimed, tongue-in-cheek, that one was her identical twin sister.
- One Superman/Batman Plot involved Dr. Light pulling the mother of all What an Idiot! moments with his entire plan, but one part of it made no sense: Dr. Light builds a rather phallic magic wand using some kind of crap about Zatanna's magic being based around light. OK. So how the fuck did it get to the North Pole? (Of course, this is far from the only problem with that story, but what the hell).
- A revelation in Wolverine says that Logan's adamantium is actually toxic and his healing factor is constantly having to counteract blood poisoning. Not only should a non-reactive indestructible metal not work like that (there's a reason metals like titanium and stainless steel are used in surgical implants), but it creates a big fat plot hole in the perfectly healthy forms of Lady Deathstrike, Cyber, and Bullseye (all of whom have adamantium skeletons) and the formerly healthy Hammerhead (who had an adamantium skull). You could Hand Wave Deathstrike and Cyber (both being cyborgs who could presumably have systems that could deal with the toxicity). The otherwise normal human Bullseye and Hammerhead? Not so much.
- In JLA: Act of God there are numerous plot holes and discrepancies throughout the series, none of which are ever resolved or even realized. The black light event is specifically stated to have removed all superpowers while leaving all technology unaffected, but Green Lantern's ring is a completely technological device that is also rendered inoperable and nobody ever mentions the discrepancy. Additionally, on a more fundamental level of the Plot, many characters lose abilities that are not superpowers. J'onn J'onzz's many abilities (Shapeshifting, Flight, telepathy, Super Strength, intangibility, etc.) are all standard abilities of his natural Martian physiology; yes, they are far beyond any human ability, but a human's ability to see is far beyond that of many animals here on earth and nobody went blind, and no gorilla suddenly lost the ability to lift a large weight, even though their natural physiology is much larger than Homo Sapiens. Like the Martian Manhunter, the powers of the various Kryptonians (Superman, Supergirl), Aquaman and other figures are also natural abilities that are not "super" for their species in any way shape or form, yet they lost them as well. On a different level, it was also stated that the black light event removed all mystical and/or magical people from the world, implying that this is some sort of magical event that they could have dealt with, except Wonder Woman is still here. Wonder Woman's powers are mythological in nature, granted to her by the Greek Gods by way of the Amazons, she is herself a mystical being. The most basic part of the story, the black light event which de-powered the superheroes, is inconsistent, incongruous and illogical, and the characters never even realize it.
Films -- Animated
- In Tangled, how does Flynn Rider know that Rapunzel is in danger after being told she was taken by her mother? Rapunzel said she was overprotective, but nothing to the point where Flynn could figure out that Mother Gothel was about to get dangerous.
- The film version of Horton Hears a Who possibly follows this. Horton crosses a rickety wooden footbridge (the only way to get to Mt. Nool), but later in the film, the other characters somehow follow him, despite the bridge being gone.
- Rock-a-Doodle. The farm animals believe that the rooster Chanticleer causes the sun to rise when he crows. Except one day Chanticleer doesn't crow and the sun rises anyway, so the animals make fun of him until he leaves. Then while he's gone, the sun never rises on the farm because Chanticleer isn't there to crow. So why did the sun come up that one time?
- In the original Toy Story, why does Buzz act like a toy (i.e., go inert) around Andy and other humans before he knows he's a toy?
- Word of God says that that is an involuntary response to humans being present, and you have to try really hard to overcome it, which only happens once anyway.
- Besides, he might not admit he's a toy, but he could very well realise it, just be in denial about it. Nothing in the movie indicates otherwise.
Films -- Live-Action
- Not surprisingly, there is an entire website dedicated at finding all movie plot holes in Hollywood cinema.
- Numerous scenes in the 2004 remake of The Stepford Wives suggest that, as in the original, the wives have been replaced by robotic duplicates. However the ending reveals that they have all 'merely' had microchips planted in their brains, which completely contradicts the ATM wife earlier in the film. And the robotic boobs. The plot hole in this movie is a case of test audiences being idiots. Apparently the movie did originally use the robotic duplicate ending but the ultimate verdict was that it was unsatisfactory and was thus changed to be a happy win despite the fact that it completely changes and tramples the theme and message of the book.
- The movie Battlefield Earth is notorious for containing an alarming number of plot holes, which are quite ridiculous even inside the framework of the story. A few, for the record:
- An alien race concerned with nothing but mining the Earth for all its gold deposits has somehow overlooked Fort Knox the whole time they've been on the planet (that's almost 1,000 years, folks).
- The human resistance movement is able to defeat the alien overlords with the help of human technology and innovation that's over 1,000 years old, despite the fact that humans 1,000 years ago somehow failed to repel the dreadlocked menace and were supposedly defeated in only nine minutes.
- The defeat of the entire alien race depends on accepting a truly batshit and very false concept about radiation being explosive. Technically it's not the radiation that's explosive, it's some of the chemicals in the alien atmosphere that react explosively in the presence of the kind of radiation produced by uranium. Not much better and never explicitly stated in the movie though.
- In Ocean's Eleven, the duffel bags of hooker ads magically appear in the vault elevator. Matt Damon and George Clooney don't carry them in. The Chinese acrobat couldn't fit them into his small case (nor could they get them up to the elevator, which was stopped), and the security guys carry them out before the fake SWAT team gets there.
- Not to mention the small point that the amount of money they were stealing (assuming that each bill was $100, which wouldn't be likely) would weigh 3,520 lbs and couldn't be carried out by 8 men. Much less, fit into a few briefcases.
- In the movie, an EMP was used to black out Vegas temporarily. That's not how those machines work, and the electronics affected would be turned into useless metal (not just offline for a few moments, as in the movie). Planes would fall out of the sky, patients in hospitals would die, and the entire area would be left without electricity/working parts until everything affected was replaced. That means that the plan goes from a utilizing a prank-like power surge to a major terrorist attack costing potentially billions of dollars and hundreds of lives. As for the suggestion that hospitals have backup power, so does casino security. To defeat one you must defeat both.
- Rock N Rolla: How did Johnny Quid know that Lenny was the one who made a deal with the police in court? It has never been explained. Archie and the others couldn't figure it out for years as well as Mr. One-Two and Co. having to go though lots of effort to find that info. Which they did by bribing Stella's gay husband, who was a lawyer in criminal cases, a date promise from Handsome Bob. While Johnny somehow knew that secret all along. What is twice weird is that he didn't tell anyone about Lenny. He at least could've told Archie who was suppose to be his friend.
- In Terminator 2, the T-1000 is sent back in time despite the fact that it is all metal, which contradicts the previous film's assertion that only objects surrounded by living tissue can travel through time. The discrepancy is never addressed in the series.
- Possibly averted. In the first film, Kyle Reese admitted he didn't fully understand the physics. "I didn't build the fucking thing!"
- Terminator 3 The Skynet itself. At the end, John realizes that there's no server to destroy, that Skynet has become sentient by distributing itself among virtually every computer in the country. This contradicts the first two films' statements and implications that Skynet is an actual physical computer. The actual core itself is even shown in the Universal Studios attraction based on the Terminator films. (Granted, a theme park ride probably can't be considered canon, but still...)Also, the first film is a predestination paradox wherein the machines' attempts to kill John Connor is what causes him to be conceived in the first piece -- (also, though a cut scene was shot, not shown explicitly in the first movie; that sending the T800 back to kill Connor allowed Cyberdyne to create Skynet and the advanced machines in the first place) -- But the second movie created a paradox that should have wiped John Connor from the face of existence. T3 fixed the ending of T2 by allowing a way for the war and Skynet to still happen, and John's father can still go back and do what need to be done, but as result sending Terminators back in time to kill certain key players becomes an exercise in futility in itself and they cannot kill anyone before they're destined to die.
- Terminator 1 states that Kyle Reese comes from a possible future and the first two films state that the future can be changed. By averting the bad future all the Connors have done in respect to John's existence is create a parallel future which has interacted with theirs.
- In Terminator Salvation, Skynet somehow knows Kyle Reese is John Connor's dad. It has no way of knowing this, unless John was somehow dumb enough to spread the information around while fully aware his sworn enemy has access to time travelling robots.
- In Flight Plan, the crew finds out that Kyle Pratt's daughter supposedly died with her father. No one on the crew thought to point out the obvious: where is the other casket? If she was just acting out of grief and delusion, there should be two caskets in the plane, not just the one carrying her dead husband. Good thing Pratt's not an Idiot Ball. There is also a rare case of Lampshade Hanging making everything worse: Kyle does ask Carson where the other casket is and he claims that he doesn't care after the trouble she's caused everyone on board. While it's later revealed that he is the villain, this still only calls attention to the fact that Captain Rich and the other flight attendants don't care either. See: Voodoo Shark.
There's also the matter that for "The Twist" to work someone would have had to pick up the daughter and carry her to the hiding place. How did no one notice him doing this? For that matter, nobody in nearby seats, except for another child right at the end of the Film, ever mentioned seeing the child.
- The Butterfly Effect has several. Time-traveling inconsistencies throughout the story aside... When he's trying to convince someone he is altering the past, he use a trip back in time to give himself injuries sure to leave scars, and instead of the entire time between being rewritten so he always had those scars like every other time, they just magically appear in front of the person he's trying to convince. This also contradicts the idea present throughout (and in the title of) the film that minor changes would alter the protagonist's life forever - in all other cases, changing a minor detail leads to a completely different future scenario, here, it's exactly the same (ending up in the same prison with the same people and in the exact same situation?).
- In Army of Darkness has a few, given the loose and silly nature of the Film.
- Ash chains Bad Ash to a table in the windmill he's squatting in before hacking him to pieces with his chainsaw. The problem with this is that during the scene where Ash arrived at the windmill his horse, which may have been carrying the chainsaw, was scared off into the woods by the evil entity chasing him. Ash was left to run to the windmill on foot, where he was clearly not carrying the chainsaw.
- When Ash escapes from The Pit, as spiked walls close on it. Several minutes later, the monster from the pit climbs out, despite the walls still being closed, and Ash shoots it with his shotgun that he didn't have a few seconds earlier, causing it to fall back into the pit and land in the water below.
- After Ash takes the Necronomicon and wakes the eponymous army of the dead, he rides back to the castle from the graveyard in what seems like an hour or so. But later on when a scout reports on the army's position, he says that it will take a few days for them to arrive.
- In his review of Memento, Roger Ebert wonders, "If the last thing the main character remembers is his wife dying, then how does he remember that he has short-term memory loss?" In actuality, this was a subtle plot point, and Ebert missed the multiple possible explanations hinted at. Leonard has "Remember Sammy Jankis" tattooed somewhere he'll see regularly. Every time he reads it h remembers who Sammy Jankis was (he can still remember things that happened before his injury) and he's able to piece together what's happened to him, even if he forgets that he read it a few minutes later. It's also possible that Leonard is capable of remembering through repetition, just like Sammy does in his story. There's a popular, and plausible, theory that Leonard doesn't even have memory loss at all. He's just deluded himself into thinking he does. Surprisingly enough, people in Real Life with anterograde amnesia are aware of their disability, so this is a plot point that didn't need to be explained in the first place.
- A big plot hole occurs at the end of Alone in The Dark. The Xenos (the aliens that Carnby has been fighting for half of the movie) are supposed to be weak against light, but he and Cedrac are attacked by them in broad daylight after they emerge from underground.
- Die Hard 2: The terrorists hold the planes hostage in the air by shutting down the lights at Dulles Airport. Given the amount of time and fuel the planes are depicted as having, they could have easily made it to dozens of other civilian or military airports. Any of the three other airports in the DC area could have warned the airborne planes with their own non-crippled radio system and then the terrorist threat evaporates.
- In Mind Hunters, after repeatedly remarking that the simulation "doesn't feel real" without his gun, Vince pulls out and dramatically cocks a gun and he'd concealed in his wheelchair. All the other characters berate him for this, as they'd been specifically told not to bring weapons. However, just minutes earlier, Nic and LL Cool J's character can clearly be seen bearing handguns as they carry JD's corpse.
- In The Fugitive, Helen Kimble clearly tells the 911 operator that "There's someone in my house". As in, an intruder, not her husband. Yet the prosecution fails to notice this, and his defense lawyers fail too as well. At the very least, it would have provided the jury with reasonable doubt.
- The S Club 7 movie has a ton of them.
- First of all the band see supposedly live footage of themselves performing in Los Angeles (meant to be their clones). Except the footage being shown is from their Carnival Tour when Paul was still in the band, so none of them comments on why there is a seventh band member onstage or why Jo, Jon and Hannah have extremely different hairstyles from their clone counterparts when they seem them later. And the exact same performance is shown again at the end of the movie, still meant to be a live show.
- Second of all the trio that kidnap the clones - Jo, Bradley and Tina - are the ones that find out who Victor Gaughan is and that they were cloned. When the real Jon, Hannah and Rachel get kidnapped Jon says "Gaughan is going to clone us again" when he shouldn't have any idea who Gaughan is or that they've even been cloned in the first place. Later when the whole band meet Gaughan Rachel asks "are you the man who bought the knickers off the internet?" when again, she shouldn't know that. Though if you wanted to, you could suggest that the other three explained to them in the couple of minutes they left the cell to when they were captured again.
- To get the clones to revolt, the Bradley clone gives a passionate speech about how great the outside world is...when his only experience of it was the week or so he'd been on tour and kept in careful isolation. While it is shown that the clones get programmed to love what the real band members love, it's unlikely Alistair would give them programming to make them want to rebel. He also mentions boomerangs but the Rachel and Hannah clones had no idea what a boomerang was until they were kidnapped so why should Bradley know? Now if the Rachel, Hannah or Jon clones had given the speech then that would make sense.
- When the band kidnaps three of the clones, they do so while shooting a music video and we see the real Hannah and Jon having to improvise the dance routine since they haven't learned it yet. However we see Rachel following it perfectly when she shouldn't know it at all.
- Rachel switches with her clone by sitting down in front of a piece of glass, pretending it's a mirror and then copying what the clone does. How the hell did she pull that off? The clones are a bit dim but you'd think they know how a mirror works.
- Jo's clone does not appear in the shower scenes (in real life she had a back injury which required for her role to be less physical) but the other clones don't mention where she is, especially since they say Jon must be reported to Alistair for not showering with them.
- The band's travel manager Natalie arrives at the end of the film with the police at Eagle Peak. First of all, she was in Spain so how did she get to LA so quickly, or know to get the police? How does she know the band are at Eagle Peak? For her to get there in the space of time the band knew about Eagle Peak she must have teleported from Spain.
- Laura's entire escape plan in Sleeping with the Enemy. Safely swimming to shore in conditions that Michael Phelps would have drowned in--dark, bad weather, far from shore. And where she got the money for her escape, her mother's stay at the nursing home, and renting and maintaining the large house she settles into--no part-time library job is going to pay for that.
- The thing with the ring. Why be so incredibly stupid that you can't figure out that maybe the ring won't flush? Why be so completely irrational after planning something for so long? And why didn't she CHECK to see if it had washed away? Come to think of it why didn't she tell her swimming partners or teacher that she was planning to run away from her psychotic husband? She could have called them and said "Hey do not tell my batass crazy hubby I took swimming lessons m'kay?"
- In Batman Begins, the Big Bad's Plot is to disperse a fear drug by lacing the water supply with it and turning all of it to steam at once with a stolen remote microwave, due to it only becoming active when the water is vaporized. Notwithstanding the large amount of water present in every human body (which would boil everyone alive), how come nobody noticed this drug before when they took a hot shower or boiled water while cooking?
- In the remake of The Blob, the titular monster can only be harmed by cold. A vehicle that shows up a few times through the Film, a snow-maker, is eventually and quite logically the protagonists' best weapon. However, the vehicle also has a snow plow on the front. It projects new snow out in front of it, and then... plows through the snow. Trey Stokes, moderately known for the podcast Down In Front and puppeteer for the creature in the 1988 remake, admitted that the snow-maker exists in this snake-eating-its-own-tail manner specifically because the Protagonists will need it later.
- In Fantastic Voyage there's a major plot hole in that the submarine (or the individual molecules which make up the submarine) do not grow back to their original size and gruesomely kill the patient at the end. Neither does the crew member who was killed and left behind. When writing the book, Asimov managed to fix these and some of the other holes.
- Resident Evil Afterlife: Alice somehow manages to land her plane on the roof of the prison in downtown Los Angeles, but we see beforehand that it is almost completely out of fuel. She barely even makes it to the roof, and then crash lands on it. Despite seeing this, the characters immediately start demanding that she fly them out of there, and one of them later steals the plane. Where did the fuel come from?
- In Spider-Man 2, Harry tells Doc Ock that in order to find Spider-Man he must find Peter first. Doc Ock finds Peter with Mary Jane in the cafe and throws a car through the window straight at them. Any normal man would've been killed instantly, and Doc Ock doesn't know that Peter is Spider-Man. Given that Peter is his only lead on Spider-Man, it makes no sense that Doc Ock would effectively try to kill him. Near the film's climax, Spider-Man asks Harry to tell him the location of Doc Ock's hideout so he can save MJ and the city. Which Harry does. But how did Harry know where Doc Ock's hideout was in the first place? Doc Ock never tells him, and there's no evidence he's been keeping tabs on Ock.
- Spider-Man 3 has a huge gap of logic. Namely, how in the hell does Eddie Brock/Venom know anything at all about Sandman?! Much less, about how Spider-Man won't let him help his sick daughter?! Readers of the comic may know the symbiote bestows information about Peter to Eddie in his venom costume, giving a reasonable explanation about how he knows about Sandman. Not quote so much about the daughter, though. However, this is not outright stated in the film so newcomers may still be in the dark.
- In Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan, Khan immediately recognizes Chekov, even though the ensign wasn't yet apart of the crew when Khan tried to take over the ship in the original series. A common fan theory is that Chekov was part of the crew, but not on the bridge. Walter Koenig joked that he believes Chekov accidentally made Khan wait an uncomfortable amount of time to use the bathroom.
- The film series of Harry Potter did its best, with many of the earlier holes due to later books not being released, and to their credit the writers did attempt to mop errors up as best as they could. But there are some that have no real justification.
- In Prisoner of Azkaban Lupin berates Harry for being so careless as to wander the corridors at night with a map that could lead a murderer right to him. Except that it is never explained to either Harry or the audience a) How Lupin knows that the blank piece of parchment is a map b) How Sirius Black would know that it was a map c) Why Harry having the map makes it any more dangerous, as Sirius would have to get to him in order to get the map d) Why Lupin keeping the map makes it safer, as surely it would be an advantage if Harry saw that Sirius was anywhere in the castle grounds he could just run in the opposite direction.
- "Why Harry having the map makes it any more dangerous" can be explained without knowing the information left out from the book if you assume that Lupin was worried Harry would be careless with the map and leave it lying around where Sirius could find it.
- The lack of explanation about the Marauders leads over into all the successive films, as in Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix Harry refers to Sirius as Padfoot for no apparent reason. The significance of his patronus being a stag and Lily and Snape's being a doe is left unexplained, which also causes Harry's insistence that it was James who saved him and Sirius from the dementors in PoA to look incredibly stupid.
- Sirius never gives Harry the two-way mirrors, so in Deathly Hallows the mirror shard appears out of nowhere with no explanation. Sure this is mentioned later, when Aberforth explains that Mundungus stole it and sold it, but anyone who hadn't read the books would probably be hard pressed to remember who that was. Also, what sort of pedlar decides that a broken mirror will fetch a good price? Did he know it was magical? What's the point of a two-way mirror that can only be used when smashed? Why did Harry pick up a random piece of mirror from the Black house? Why does he obsess over it before he sees Aberforth?
- The scene explaining the taboo on Voldemort's name in DH is deleted, so it just looks like the trio either have incredibly bad luck, or the Death Eaters are fantastic trackers who don't tell Voldemort where to find Harry and inexplicably go after him themselves, and Xenophilius Lovegood is insane, but happens to have incredible timing.
- At the beginning of Deathly Hallows part 1 Tonks tells Harry that she and Lupin are married then says something to the effect of "Oh, and I'm-" before being interrupted by Moody. Fans of the books will realise she was about to say pregnant, but this subject is not broached again until the end of part two when Harry sees Ghost!Lupin right before he is about to die and says "I'm sorry you never got to know your son." Harry has absolutely no frigging way of knowing Lupin had a kid at all. This is a particularly frustrating one as it would have made a hell of a lot more sense if the scriptwriters had allowed Tonks to finish that sentence.
- The captor's plan in Nine Dead largely depends on him knowing information that he simply did not possess or had access to. Having presumably witnessed his son's trial and the insurance company's investigation, he should at least know the identities of Kelly, Chan, Eddie, and maybe Jackson (if he was the investigating officer). He could have found out the identity and whereabouts of Coogan based on information his son would have provided him and some additional research. However, he never knew anything about Christian and Sulley's deal, Leon selling the gun to Christian, Christian confessing to Father Francis that he was the real robber, or Kelley and Jackson committing legal fraud, nor could he have known without being omniscient.
- In Star Trek (2009) why do they need to drill to the center of a planet to create a black hole? Wouldn't dropping the red matter on the surface work just as well?
- Twilight is full of 'em. Example: The Cullens move away, and Bella finds their property to be empty. She doesn't hear from them again until she returns home and sees their distinct car in front of her house. Alice has come with grim visions of things to come, revealing that she took the first plane back when she thought Bella was going to kill herself. Taking all of this and the vampires' supernatural speed into account, apparently the car took the same plane as Alice.
- In the beginning of New Moon, Jasper goes absolutely apeshit over a papercut on Bella's hand. However, he goes to high school. How in the heck does he avoid smelling blood at school? Kids are bound to fall and scrape themselves/get papercuts/pick old scabs/get bloody noses/any number of ways the human body can bleed, but he never seems bothered by it.
- Also, Meyer's explanation for why menstrual blood doesn't attract vampires is totally implausible (she claims it's "dead blood"). It's just as much live blood as the blood running through the jugular vein. Oh, an even larger plot hole is Alice's powers, period. It is repeatedly stated that she can only see the future outcome of someone's decisions -- so if someone decides to shoot themselves, she can see it occur. However, she is apparently able to play the stock market with her powers, and in fact, her powers are pretty inconsistent throughout the entire series.
- And what about the mere existence of Renesmee Cullen? Meyer states repeatedly throughout the series that vampires are "frozen in time" at the time of their turning; she says female vampires can't get pregnant because their bodies cannot grow or change to accommodate new life, yet Edward can still get it up. Which is completely leaving aside the fact that he has been dead for a century, yet somehow his sperm survived, and he was able to ejaculate. Even if we accept the fact that he can get it up and impregnate Bella with his vamp sperm, how the heck was she not vamped during sex? She was bruised and had fractured bones from the sex, it's implausible that she (being a virgin, by the way) didn't have any vaginal tearing. And considering that Word of God says that the vampire venom replaces all fluids in a vampire's body, it should have been present in the seminal fluid, so Bella should've been vamped just from the sex. Which would still negate the existence of her demonspawn child.
- When Bella and Alice arrive in Italy near the end of New Moon, Alice runs off to steal a car and comes back with a bright yellow Porsche. Questions like "who leaves a Porsche sitting in an airport parking lot?" can be ignored in the face of a real big problem. How did a vampire manage to steal a car in broad daylight? This can't even be Handwaved away by saying it might still have been nighttime, since it's mentioned the that the sun was rising only a few paragraphs earlier.
- A possible one in Alexandre Dumas's famous novel The Three Musketeers, when Athos says a certain ring was inherited by his mother, then not a chapter later says it was given to her by his father. Because he is a lord, Athos clearly has no living father, so it's possible that his mother "inherited" the ring from her late husband, though this would be a strange way of saying it.
- A possible interpretation is that Athos was the bastard child of a lord. He gave his mistress (Athos's mom) a ring, which she eventually gave to Athos, the lord's illegitimate child and therefore not officially recognized as his "son".
- Marie Michon, the "seamstress" in Tours, signs her name as "Aglaé Michon" in one of her letters. Of course, this could be some kind of code, but it's never explained.
- Stephen King's The Shining has a minor hole. Near the beginning, Ullman recites some of the hotel's history to Jack Torrance at length, during which he mentions that the roque court was installed by Horace Derwent in the late 1940s. Much later, Jack finds a rule book for a roque tournament held at the Overlook in the 1920s.
- In the Discworld novel Feet of Clay, Pterry introduces golems to the reader by having Angua have to explain them to Cheery, who had never seen one before. However, the final piece of the mystery was solved when Cheery offhandedly mentions that golems were so ubiquitous in the city that no one notices them, even in the Alchemist's Guild where she used to work, where they tended to get coated with the chemicals they used to handle.
- In Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix, Harry and Hermione take seats in the back row of the Quidditch stadium. A moment later Hagrid approaches them coming through the rows behind them.
- In Harry Potter and The Chamber of Secrets, Hermione deduces that the Basilisk must be moving around in the pipes and that's why Harry can hear sounds from the walls. Fair Enough. So how does the Basilisk come out of the pipes to attack it's victims? Assuming it's in the drain pipes rather than in the water supply , there is no reason for a drain that big to be there in any bathroom, let alone any of the places where the attacks happened.
- The Marauders Map creates a huge plot hole. Somehow Fred and George Weasley fail to notice for two years that there is someone named Peter Pettigrew in their brother Ron's dorm every night...
- In the case of Dead Souls just because parts of the second half of the novel are literally missing, since Gogol originally wanted to destroy the whole text. Sadly, the complete story is now Lost Forever.
- In-universe example in The Kite Runner - as a child, Amir writes a story about a man who cries pearls. The man in the story isn't weepy by nature, and has to do increasingly horrific things to make himself cry. At the end of the story he's murdered his wife. The servant, Hassan, points out that the man could have just cut onions instead and Amir is shocked that even uneducated and illiterate servants can know about things like plot holes.
- The disbelief stems more from the idea that Hassan thought of something he didn't, meaning a servant had outsmarted him. Given that he's just a child, and has presumably been told that the class system is fair, it's only natural for him to be confused by this.
- In Death: Here's a big one...the story Glory In Death has Roarke killing off Morse to save Eve and Nadine's lives at the end. However, Immortal In Death, the book that comes after, has Eve and Nadine talking about Morse is going to be put on trial and that Morse was not insane. How do you put a dead person on trial?
- In Mass Effect Retribution Kahlee Sanders mentions never hearing of the Reapers before, despite a major plot point of the previous book involving her discussing the Reapers with the quarian Admiralty Board.
- In Eragon, when Brom dies he gives Eragon seven words that he should only use when he is in the greatest need of them, but throughout the last three books, there is no mention of the words. It was highly speculated that these words would come into play in Inheritance, but they were nowhere to be found. However, there is a possibility that Christopher Paolini is saving them for later books, as he intends to write more in the world of Alagaesia, but unless those books are actually about the character of Eragon, it is more likely that it is a plot hole.
- In Ender's Game: Clearly it's both possible and desirable for the Buggers to relocate a queen off the home world, since one is in the ship Mazer Rackham destroyed in the Second Invasion. So explain why all the queens are on the home world? Especially when they see the invasion coming enough to ship out an egg. How about a few queens instead?
- Considering that they knew the mind of the person who would be their executioner, they probably thought it futile. Ender Wiggin is scary when he's focused on something, and that doesn't change throughout the series, despite his taking three thousand years in order to atone for his "sin".
- As pointed out in a certain Warrior Cats Abridge series Yellowfang had no idea about the Dark Forests' plans to destroy the clans, despite her telling Jayfeather about it in the previous book.
- In Monty Python's Cycling Tour, the protagonist is hauled before a firing squad three times for execution. The first two times, the firing squad misses the target. The third time the squad charges at the protagonist and tries to skewer him with their bayonets. A grey screen with the words "Scene Missing" then appears. The next scene shows the protagonist free outside the prison saying "What an amazing escape!"
- In one episode of Stargate SG-1, a recruit spots a plot hole in a training exercise. A recruit is part of a bunch of recent Air Force graduates training for a role in the Stargate program. Part of a training exercise requires that they have no backup from SG-1 because SG-1 was caught in an ambush attack by a small number of Jaffa and called for backup; the recruit notes that SG-1 is too elite to be held down by a small number of Jaffa, and if it was an ambush attack, they wouldn't have had time to call in for backup. Later on, Sam remarks to Jack, "He's right, you know."
- In several episodes (all five seasons, actually) of Stargate Atlantis, a recurrent plot hole is the inability to use systems on Atlantis because of the lack of sufficient power because of thelack of ZP Ms. This makes little sense as 1. There are no backup power systems on Atlantis at all? and 2. Where are the facilities on Atlantis to make new ones? As fast as even new ZP Ms were depleted in use, there would have had to be a way to make them with relative ease, and 3. Given their access to the Ancient's database, after discovering that Atlantis had no primary, secondary, tertiary or quaternary power backups at all, unlike modern spacecraft that have multiple redundancies in every important system, McKay and Zelenka would have looked up fusion power generator designs in the database and starting building them using the incredibly advanced fabrication facilities on Atlantis and the ready supply of hydrogen from the ocean's water. While not as compact as a ZPM, fusion could have met the power needs of the city without difficulty.
- The last Star Trek television series (to date), Enterprise, has the crew of the eponymous ship encounter Borg drones 200 years before they were encountered by Captain Picard and the U.S.S. Enterprise-D. This comes as a direct result of what happened in the Film Star Trek: First Contact. The pieces of a crashed Borg cube are discovered in Antarctica. The crew see and fight Borgified crewmen on an alien freighter. The ship's doctor, Phlox, is infected with nanoprobes (but manages to cure himself, something Beverly Crusher wasn't able to do with Picard). They have sensor data on the Borg-augmented ship and their audio transmissions. Nevertheless, 200 years later, no one knows what the Borg look like, how they attack people, or what their technology does to starships and living beings. As the satirical website FirstTvDrama.com put it so eloquently:
"You can lay this side by side with Archer not bothering to ask the Ferengi for their name after they hijacked the ship. This time, they have tech, records, photos, scans, DNA samples, dead nano-bots, etc, and it only creates a bigger plot hole
. There's an entire massive debris field site in the North Pole. How do you cover up something like that. They either nuked it (which would surely get the attention of the Vulcans), left it (which means it's still there), or they cleaned it all up, which means they further learned stuff from it. Remember kids, there was NO cover up that took place. So how do you explain this plot hole?"}}
- Another Enterprise episode sent the ship to investigate the first human colony outside the solar system to find out why it had suddenly stopped communicating with Earth - roughly 80 years prior. Nobody had been sent to check this out earlier, because humans didn't have sufficiently fast ships. When T'Pol points out that the Vulcans had such ships eighty years ago, and could have investigated immediately, Captain Archer says only that asking favors from the Vulcans tended to carry a high price. There is no further elaboration of this point, even though they later discover that prompt Vulcan disaster-recovery assistance would have been extremely helpful to the colonists.
- Red Dwarf plays fast and loose with its own rules at the best of times, mostly because it's more concerned with being a sitcom. One notable example of many is a double-whammy: In "Backwards", how are Rimmer and Kryten able to keep in contact with Holly on Backwards Earth when the ship (and thus Holly's mainframe) is in a completely different part of space and time? And if Holly is in contact with them, why doesn't she just tell Lister and the Cat what happened to them, instead of leaving Lister and the Cat to trawl through space for three weeks before finding the time hole?
- In the Star Trek the Original Series episode "Who Mourns for Adonais?", the Enterprise encounters a Sufficiently Advanced Alien. Kirk leads a landing party down to the nearby planet, where the alien reveals that he is the Greek god Apollo. Later in the episode, Spock, who had been on the Enterprise the whole time, makes reference to Apollo. There is no way Spock could have known who the alien was as Apollo immediately jammed the landing party's communicators.
- In a really weird example, Kirk suddenly knows at the end of "And The Children Shall Lead" that the Sufficiently Advanced Alien of the week is called "the Gorgon". This was not only never mentioned in front of Kirk, it was not mentioned previously in the episode at all.
- The Charmed episode "Chris Crossed" brings a ton of them up. First of all Chris's hair is long in the flashbacks when it was short when he first appeared at the end of Season 5, as well as his clothes being different. Second of all, the flashback shows Chris going through a portal in the attic when he orbed into the attic in his first episode. And when he first appeared, he says he has come to stop the Titans as they rule the world in his future. Yet the flashbacks have no mention of the Titans.
- He also mentions that Paige was killed by the Titans yet in a later episode he says he goes to her for money in the future.
- He could have, you know, LIED about the Titans thing as an excuse on why he came back, since the real reason would be complicated and likely scare the crap out of them. A real Plot hole in the Chris plot is the whole Valhala thing. Why did he send Leo to Valhala in the first place? It's what caused Leo and Piper's temporary breakup which Nearly stops them from doing the dirty and concieving him. It's like he wanted to make his mission as dificult as possible.
- The Last season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer introduces a new form of Super-Vampire called the Turokhan. Turokhans have the same weaknesses as regular vampires. They die by a wooden stake in the heart, or decapitation, or sunlight. But their strengths are massively amplified, to the point that the highly experienced and strong Buffy Summers is unable to drive a stake deep enough through the Turokahn's super tough and thick skin to pierce its heart. A vicious, brutal, lopsided beatdown of curbstomp proportions ensues. Later Buffy is only able to kill this one Turokhan by luring him to a battlefield of her choosing where, after a lengthy battle she finally manages to decapitate him using razor wire. So, clearly the Turokhan are insanely tough right? This was the point. Cue the inverse law of Ninjas. In the final episodes Buffy and her squad of newly activated rookie slayers proceed to casually and effortlessly dust Turokhans left and right. Upstairs, the purely human (but fairly badass by human standards) Robin Wood is also effortlessly killing every Turokhan that comes near him with a simple metal knife to the chest. Nerdy little Andrew and clueless Anya (also both human, and considerably less combat-capable than Robin) are also effortlessly killing Turokhans. Anya kills one with a glancing blow from her sword to the hip. Word of God acknowledges the inconsistency, but says that the story of empowerment is more important than continuity here
- Towards the end of Season 1 of Sons of Anarchy, the Cowboy Cop ATF Agent Stahl attempts to fracture the charter by setting up Opie to look like he's gone into witness protection. She then cuts Opie loose because she doesn't have enough to hold him, but bugs his phone and car on the chance that he says something incriminating. SAMCRO has every reason to believe that Opie's the snitch and of course they do believe this, which is confirmed in their minds when they find the bugs. Now at this point, the Cops and ATF know that A) either SAMCRO or Opie himself discovered the bugs and destroyed them- in either case they are not going to produce any evidence, B) SAMCRO is extremely likely to murder Opie as a result of their little trick, and C) in 24 hours, the US Attorney will reveal his case, charging Opie and proving that he is not the snitch. Hale, the Fair Cop, is torn up about what to do - reasoning that if he tells SAMCRO that Opie is not the snitch, he is leaking classified information. But all he needs to do is keep him safe for one night, and the answer should be staring him in the face: arrest Opie on a trumped-up charge (which is hardly as bad as the crap they pulled to get to this point) and keep him off the streets for 24 hours. The truth comes out the very next day. But he dithers so long that Opie's wife is murdered in a botched hit because he was Acquitted Too Late, setting off the events of Season 2.
- A rather small one appears in Twenty Four season 4, episode 9. Dina agrees to tell CTU all she knows if they can guarantee her son's safety. The son then tells his father, who is attempting to kill him, that if he kills him his mother will tell CTU everything because she cares about his safety. Does not compute!
- In the Mad About You episode "The Caper", several different couples go into the Buckmans' neighbor's apartment to fetch food. Each couple, when they return, comments on the neighbor's gorgeous painting. When the painting goes missing, each couple in turn is accused of having stolen it while they were fetching the food — despite the fact that the later couples reported it was still there when they saw it.
- Naturally, as Heroes is filled with superheroes and time travel, it's fraught with too many plot holes to even attempt listing them all.
- As Claire's ability allows her to completely avoid the affects of alcohol and win in a drinking contest for money. Whereas later on in the series Claire's drugged when 'special' people are being rounded up, and it works on her. Also the Company puts both Sylar and Peter in medical comas at a point in time, while both of them have Claire's healing factor.
- While both Peter and Sylar were in those medical comas, there comes the issue that in season 1 the room Sylar was kept in seemed to dampen abilities (if the Haitian/Renee was there the whole time he would've stopped Eden), whereas in season 2 Peter needs to take pills to dampen abilities, and in season three there's early on the drug induced comas
- Also how when Sylar takes Elle's ability, he doesn't need to kill her. Presumably because he gains abilities through understanding how people work, and he understands Elle. Later he says that this was because he didn't need to cut people's heads open to take their powers anymore. Yet he still...acts like he does, can't take Matt's power like this, or what's his face with the puppet master ability in the fourth season finale. It is explained that he can obtain powers through empathy, like Peter could. It's just that as a psychopath, empathy is difficult for him, whereas it's second nature to Peter.
- In Rodgers and Hammerstein's backstage musical Me and Juliet, some of the theatergoers are humming tunes from the Show Within a Show during intermission: "Marriage Type Love", "No Other Love", "It's Me". The problem here is that "It's Me" was only sung backstage, not onstage, so the audience shouldn't have heard it. Hammerstein privately acknowledged this mistake.
- Shakespeare's Julius Caesar featured a pretty big one: just before Caesar was assassinated, a random person is shown writing a letter to Caesar about the treachery of his senate - who this man is, how he knows about the treachery, and why he knows every single person involved in the plot is never told - it turns out to be irrelevant, however, as he never delivers the letter anyway.
- In Metroid Prime, the eponymous creature is sealed inside the impact crater by a Chozo spell, which was placed to prevent the phazon from further infecting the planet. However, a scan in the game indicated that the Space Pirates had captured the creature for study and imprisoned it in their lab, where it proceeded to steal a lot of weaponry and escape back to the crater. This warrants the question: how did the pirates and/or Metroid Prime both bypass the Chozo seal, when you yourself couldn't get through it until you completed the late-game MacGuffin Fetch Quest to remove the seal? The EU version and the Trilogy version fixed this plot hole: In those, the Space Pirates merely detects a creature inside the crater and wastes a lot of time and effort trying to break the seal and failing. They never actually find Metroid Prime.
- Neverwinter Nights. Consider this situation: the city of Neverwinter has been struck by a plague that can only be cured with specific components from a variety of magical creatures. This is a fantasy world where a powerful mage can teleport stuff easily long-distance. Do they just send the reagents and produce a cure that afternoon? No, they send the creatures themselves; this may be a Justified Trope, because teleporting is expensive, but is Lord Nasher really going to complain about the fees when lives are in danger? This is just the beginning; It gets much, much worse. When the creatures escape from the least defensible region of the structure they're being held in, by teleporting, even if they don't actually have that ability, they disappear into the four main outlying areas of the city. Then, instead of the heroic paladin going out to look for them (using some flimsy excuse about a tracking spell), a weak and inexperienced adventurer is sent out to get them. Complete with a Hand Wave about the cockatrice being in a box because they didn't actually have a cockatrice monster model. This is all in the first act.
- No excuse is ever given for Neverwinter not simply requesting new creatures (or rather, the parts from said creatures) from various other cities and have them teleported there immediately. None of the creatures are unique specimens.
- Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal retcons the protagonist's childhood so that their mother was a priestess of Bhaal who belonged to a cult that was trying to sacrifice Bhaalspawn children to effect his resurrection. This ceases to make sense when you try to figure out the timeline: The game takes place in the year 1369 and the protagonist is twenty years old at the beginning of the first game a year earlier and was an infant when the cult was active. But Bhaal, who had sired his mortal children to be fuel for his eventual resurrection after his foreseen death, died in 1358. So in fact the evil cult was trying to sacrifice the children while he was still alive, which at the very least would mean they had misunderstood his plans very badly.
- More to the point, the flashback also reveals that the protagonist was apparently conceived during the Time of Troubles, which also happened in 1358. So the main character suddenly is ten years old?
- Gaia Online features many of them, which they often try to fill in later, with mixed results. Here's a small sampling of the ones that haven't been filled in yet.
- During the Halloween 2k5 Story Line, Ian finds a pill bottle that apparently reveals that his romantic rival Gino is hiding a terrible secret from Sasha. Meanwhile, the Mansion is inexplicably lit on fire. We never find out who started the fire, nor what was in those pill bottles.
- During every event held at the Von Helson mansion, there is a spire visitors are forbidden to go to. Upon sneaking in, you see signs of a struggle, though it's never explained as to what has happened there. (Even the revelation that the Von Helsons were vampires was a surprise)
- During the Rejected Olympics event, numerous fantasy races were added to the canon, including Orcs. A subplot involving potential enslavement of the Orcs for manual labor (in a city FULL OF ROBOTS) was set up, then promptly ignored.
- The entire "Robot Rebellion" story line that has been set up ever since Aekea was opened, yet has never materialized.
- In zOMG!, it is stated that all the towns are completely cut off from each other due to things coming to life and attacking people. It's implied that Aekea is fighting off its factory equipment, that all the boats to Isle De Gambino have been closed, and that people attempting to walk to Durem are disappearing. And yet in the Wapanese comic, all of the NPCs are able to travel from town to town without any issues.
- Mega Man 7 has two different plot holes depending on the version. In the original, it was stated that Mega Man couldn't kill Dr. Wily due to robotic laws preventing him from harming a human. Why would Wily have to beg for mercy in all previous games and let Mega Man arrest him in 6? In the American Kirby Is Hardcore version, Mega Man disregards those laws and tries to kill Wily. There is no explanation why he didn't try to kill Wily in all subsequent games.
- In Resident Evil 3 Nemesis, depending on the choices you make, Nicholai will sometimes appear at the gas station and be in the room when it explodes, destroying an entire city block. He survives this unscathed, and without any Plot Virus Hand Wave.
- In the first God of War the gods send Kratos to find Pandora's Box, open it, absorb the power to kill a god within, and kill Ares. This he does. In the last game Kratos is trying to find the box, open it, absorb the power to kill a god within, and kill Zeus. He accomplishes the first two steps, only to discover that duh, he already did step three. What, did everyone think it just didn't take the first time, especially given that he's been killing gods left and right ever since? Furthermore, Zeus makes it clear that the box, which contained both the evils of the Titan's war which corrupted the gods and the power to kill him, was never supposed to have been opened in the first place. So why did he ever help Kratos reach it?
- Perhaps minor, but in Dead Space 2, the main character finds an audio log saying that all the necromorph samples liquefied once the original marker was destroyed. This conflicts with the ending of the first game, which had a necromorph appear after the marker was destroyed, completely whole and in tact. This can be written off in several way, however. Notably, the main character is (in-universe) insane after the events of the first game and hallucinating. It is also possible that the researcher was simply wrong. (She wasn't THERE!) Or, perhaps, the liquification process doesn't happen immediately after the source marker is destroyed.
- In Tower of Heaven the The Book of laws states you shall not touch golden blocks, but when the book shatters and all laws are nullified, golden blocks still kill you. Retconned in the flash version which changes them to skull blocks.
- Super Smash Brothers Brawl has a few.
- In the subspace emissary, Pit (who has wings) tries and fails to attack the airborne Ancient Minister. This creates a Plot Hole because it is never explained in game that he (supposedly) can't actually fly. The fact that he does anyway when the player is controlling him just makes things more confusing. Furthermore, why he and Mario didn't try to use their projectile attacks on the Ancient Minister is never explained.
- In Fallout 3 once you retrieve the G.E.C.K. in Vault 87, you are ambushed and captured by Enclave troops before you get out. Problem is, the main door of Vault 87 is broken and surrounded by deadly radiation, so the only way in is the back door through Little Lamplight. But the residents of Little Lamplight wouldn't have let the Enclave troops in, and there's nothing to suggest the Enclave forced their way through.
- They could have used either way, really. The Enclave are shown to have access to a 'cure' for radiation. Coupled with their heavy armour, they could have simply strolled through. And with Little Lamplight, I doubt the kids will bother to even speak to the Power Armour clad Heavy Enclave Soldiers.
- There's one very glaring plot hole in Agarest Senki 2 that's found at the beginning of the game, however it won't be much a plot hole until you do a New Game+. At the beginning of the game, Aina heals Weiss from his injuries after getting blown off somewhere from where he and Fasti were at. Not much of a big deal right? Play through the game until The Reveal shows up and wonder if Weiss didn't kill Chaos and was stabbed by Fasti, to stab Chaos, then how come Weiss doesn't have a tear on his shirt back and front? Unless somehow Chaos hijacked Weiss' body and male shirts can magically heal, or that Chaos copied Weiss and his clothes while the real Weiss got disintegrated from the blast of the explosion, the world may never know.
- Too many to list in The 3rd Birthday to the point of Mind Screw. It just raises more questions than answers by the end of the game.
- In Gears of War, the Kryll are a swarm of flying piranhas that savagely attack anything that falls into darkness and consumes them in seconds. This is true of human and locust alike, only General RAAM can walk amongst Kryll without any damage and his means for doing this are never explained. In the DLC campaign "RAAM's Shadow" for 3 (chronologically earlier), normal Locust walk among Kryll just fine and indeed even RAAM's lieutenants are able to command the Kryll.
- In the Dragon Ball anime and manga, Goku punishes Monster Rabbit for turning Bulma into a carrot and his two decorated mooks by using his Power Pole to send them to the moon, where they must make treats for a year. Eight months later, it gets blown up by Master Roshi. However, the video games state Monster Rabbit and his cohorts got off the rock and back to Earth beforehand... which gives way to the plot hole: HOW?!?
- Life with Lamarr has Eli create the Free Children's Commune after the Black Mesa incident. However in Dr. Breen's backstory he was raised at the Free Children's Commune before becoming head of Black Mesa and causing the Black Mesa incident.
- Okashina Okashi uses plot holes as a Plot Device, they are portals to other realities, each with it's own dominant Anime Trope.
- In an episode of Family Guy, Peter accidentally sets fire to the pediatric wing of a hospital while trying to impress his boss in order to get a promotion. Later, his boss puts his name down for consideration for an executive position. Later still, after Peter has graduated from the third grade in order to qualify for the position, his boss points out that there is no way he's getting the job because he set fire to a hospital, killing 19 children. She doesn't explain why she considered him for the position in the first place. The problem with Family Guy is that sometimes it's hard to tell whether it's a plot hole or part of the joke.
- Gargoyles had one in the final episode of the third season. Broadway automatically knew that Angela and Bronx were in jail despite the fact that he had not yet been told about it, and otherwise had no way of knowing about it happening.
- In the 1980s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series, the Turtles and April meet the Neutrinos in the Season 1 episode "Hot Rodding Teenagers from Dimension X". In the follow-up Season 2 episode, "Teenagers from Dimension X", the Neutrinos are already acquainted with the Turtles, but are unfamiliar with April despite the fact that she was with the Turtles in the previous episode.
- A truly baffling one happens in the Vacation in Europe side season. In the first episode, Shredder and the Turtles run into each other in France, and fight on top of the Eifel Tower. In the next episode, the Turtles are still in France, and not only do they talk about going to see the Eifel Tower, Shredder is shocked when he learns they're in France. It almost seems like two season opening episodes were made seperately.
- In the Kim Possible episode "Mind Games", Dr. Drakken swaps bodies with an army official in order to steal a superweapon. Kim and Ron rescue the captured army official, but all three are later captured again - Kim and Ron are tied to a post while the army official is hauled away by Drakken's guards. Later, Drakken decides to kill Kim and Ron with his base's auto-destruct. Not only does Drakken not just shoot them, they are rescued by the army official, who was apparently left in the same room with Kim and Ron without being tied up or anything! Also, he isn't visible in an earlier wide-angle shot of the room.
- Winx Club: When we last see the Trix in Season 2, they are stuck in the Realix realm, yet at the beginning of Season 3 they have somehow been arrested and dropped off in the Omega dimension.
- Galtar and the Golden Lance: The eponymous weapon can only be used by Galtar (the show's continuity is pretty loose, but this has been the rule from Day 1), because he's the champion of all things Good...until someone breaks the rule. No, not one of the good guys. Rava, of all people.
- Danny Phantom: Danny always seems to forget his ghost ability to become intangible when he is being attacked.
- This frequent plot hole is actually lampshaded in the episode My Brother's Keeper.
- One episode of Ben 10 has the trio go to a Florida amusement park. The episode's plot kicks off when Ben and Max are splashed by a dunk tank, which causes them to become younger (the tank's water came from the Fountain of Youth). There is no explanation as to why the dunk tank operator (one of Ponce De Leon's crew members, who guards the fountain) brought said water to an amusement park.
- In the 200th episode of South Park, Stan says that he met Muhammad once, referencing the episode "Super Best Friends". In another episode "All About The Mormons", he does not know who Joseph Smith is despite the fact that he met him earlier in the same episode. Why would he remember Muhammad, but not Joseph Smith?
- Filmations Ghostbusters was well-known for structuring episodes based around an Aesop, but "The Girl Who Cried Vampire" is a case where the moral of the week results in a plot hole: in the story, a girl named Kita wants to have some fun, so she uses her ghost-like Scarecrow Balloons to attract the GB's attention. Here's the problem: the balloons trigger their Ghost Alarms even though they're not ghosts! And nobody thinks to question it!
- One of the many challenges of Xiaolin Showdown ended with Jack losing but not giving up the Wu he had bet, neither he nor Omi seem to notice this.
- Voltron Force- Larmina (a teenager) is stated to be Allura's niece. But in the original Voltron, Allura is an only child. Not only that, but not enough time has passed (only around 7 years at the very most) for Romelle (Allura's cousin) and Sven to have a teenage daughter. So who in the world are Larmina's parents?
- Being royalty and without heirs it is possible that Larmina is the daughter of a distant relative of Allura
- Redakai: Despite having had a rather heated argument over common sense, the heroes automatically assume that the Face Heel Turn of their comrade Maya is due to mind control (And not coercion, a clever plan of subterfuge, actual feelings of betrayal, or even just to teach them a lesson about how big jerks they are). Not only that, but they can tell who applied it and with what even though they did not witness the encounter nor have any recording of it.
- And just for fun, the attack (Named after the lead villain) infuses its target with evil, but apparently using it again cures the victim, rather than making the situation worse.
Anime and Manga
- Bleach: Anime Episode 134 has Yumichika, Rin and Hanatarou using a 12th division machine that manifests spirits as physical beings so even humans can see them to study the recent Arrancar attacks. This leads into the main plot of the episode, the ghost of a baker who wants his mother to taste one of his recipes before he can move on. Since he can't make a cake and he can't approach her about his desires because she can't see him, Yumichika, Rin and Hanatarou have to learn how to make the perfect cake and get his mother to taste it. The obvious issue here is that the machine they were using at the start of the episode meant they could have revealed the ghost to the mother right at the start, got her to make and taste the cake rendering the rest of the episode unnecessary. Lampshaded at the end of the episode during the next episode preview.
Yumichika: "So that soul-revealing device isn't just for you?"
- This may be justified considering that the only other time the machine is used is when Rin uses it to buy candy. While the store owner doesn't know Rin, the mother knows ahead of time that her son is dead and it would probably raise an eyebrow that he's showing up in front of her telling her about cake.
- This parody of the original Battlestar Galactica contains this exchange between Captain Alpo (cough) and Lieutennant Startrek (cough cough):
ALPO: Say, Carrion is hundreds of light-yarons [sic] away. How did you get back so quickly?
In the Sonic fanfiction Chao of the World, Unite!, plot holes are used so frequently they are a form of transportation.
Maria: Boy, it's a good thing that severe decompression from that hole isn't causing the ship to buckle and explode, or that the air that's whooshing out isn't knocking us into the sun, or something.
- In Kingdom of Loathing, a plot hole is an item that damages enemies by making them fall into it, and is needed to defeat the best-selling novelist.
- In the fanmade parody campaign "Deus Ex Machina" for Free Space, a plot hole is a physical entity that causes random impossible things to happen. The player gets caught in one early on, and the story just plain stops trying to make even a semblance of sense from there (not that it made a great deal of sense beforehand...)
- In the same fashion in the "Ridiculous" campaign of Free Space, a bunch of ships from different universes and time get caught in some plot hole dimension. Then it's a whole bunch of ridiculous (hence the name?) canon and non-canon stuff. Not to mention the This! Is! Sparta! part. Did I tell you about a ship measuring the "plot density" before entering the plot hole, and getting a negative result ?
- In the Billy and Mandy video game, Mandy asks Grim why he can touch the bad mojo balls and not go crazy, to which Grim replies, "I thought we agreed not to talk about the plot holes, Mandy."
- In Alan Wake, Plot Holes form the villain's primary advantage. The Lake brings to life anything that an artist creates while inside it, but if that artist leaves an unexplained hole, the Darkness fills it in in the worst possible way. The previous writer before Wake simply wrote his wife back to life without any explanation, but the Darkness was happy to provide one.
- Bob and George gleefully Lampshades its plot holes, at one point doing a literal Hand Wave. On at least one case it went back and filled a plot hole years after it was made. As an extension of the running joke "There are no plot holes", Bob and George's forums automatically replaced the words 'plot hole' with 'spoon', since There is no spoon.
- In the webcomic "Real Life", a Plot Hole appears as a sort of space-time anomaly which functions as a portal into a blank dimension in which the protagonist has to resolve the current hole in the plot of the Story Arc before they can escape back into "reality". Thus far, the mechanism has only been used once. Said plot hole was eventually tricked into manifesting in a different dimension entirely, with tragic consequences.
- This strip of Badly Drawn Kitties explains a plot hole rather succinctly. In fact, you could say it explains all plot holes rather succinctly.
- This strip of "The Wacky Adventures of Lunar and Kirk" is the first of a series involving a literal hole in the world caused by a plot hole, which will swallow and destroy anyone or anything that enters it.
- The ship in I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space veers dangerously near to a Plot Hole, before they are saved by a hasty (offpage) explanation.
- The Ciem Webcomic Series features a thread here seeking to explain what the author fears may become a serious Plot Hole in the form of Anachronism Stew.
- Acrobat has a villain called Plot Hole, Arch Enemy of Plot Twist. He keeps coming back, after getting killed multiple times, without any explanation and believes that Plot Twist created him
Plot Hole: That's what plot twist does! Creates plot holes!
- Gleefully parodied by Goblins: Life Through Their Eyes, in the Tempts Fate 9 bonus strip. Tempts fights an ancient dragon, the speaking of whose name will cause him to be sucked into a Plot Hole and vanish forever.
- An old David Herbert comic Golden Gamers used to frequently use plot holes as one of the abilities of the main characters.
- Plot holes appear in the quite literal sense in The Way of the Metagamer.
- Ansem Retort not only handwaved the "Yuffie got killed in Season 1" hole, but pointed out that recurring characters include Darth Maul and Jesus, so any minor plot hole pretty much means nothing.
- The Protectors of the Plot Continuum actually harness plot holes to make their technology work, such as portal devices or inter-universe communicators.
- A similar idea, except exclusively used with "Plothole Generators" in the Anti Cliche and Mary Sue Elimination Society. All other gadgets in the Society operate exclusively on Applied Phlebotinum.
- In the Tiny Toons Made for TV Movie How I Spent My Summer Vacation, Buster and Babs return to Acme Acres via a literal "plot hole", to which Babs remarks "I was wondering how those hack writers were going to wrap this up." Lampshaded again in a travel episode, where a set of luggage is devoured by Dizzy Devil, but reappears later. Babs pronounces it to be "A plot hole big enough to drive a Mack truck through!"
- Similarly in The Emperors New Groove, Kronk and Yzma get struck by lightning and fall into a gigantic pit during a chase scene and yet somehow beat the heroes to their destination. Both of them, when called on this, acknowledge that they have no way to explain how this happened, and Kronk even has a diagram of the enormous (plot) hole they fell into.
- In The Penguins of Madagascar episode "Otter Gone Wild", a feral Marlene is captured by a giant cage falling out of nowhere. King Julien asks where the cage came from. Kowalski replies that that's classified information.
- One episode of Ed, Edd 'n' Eddy has the three searching for a television to watch a monster movie marathon on after Sarah kicks them out of Ed's place. At one point, Edd asks why they don't just watch it at his or Eddy's house.
Eddy: What? And ruin the plot?
- In Frisky Dingo Phil says that the Annihilatrix is up and running, to which Killface is baffled because they made it clear that it was sold for scrap. But that fine because Ret-Con Construction bought all of the pieces back and rebuilt it.
- Another thing that was wierd is why Killface does not murder Phil, given that we routinely see Killface murder people who annoy him over petty thinks and here Phil is doing far worse. This was confusing, but accepted as some bizzare part of Killface's gentlemanly demeanor. This is broken in the last episode with Phil where Killface does try, and fails, to kill Phil.
- Another lampshading: Family Guy did an episode homaging Tootsie, where Stewie crossdresses to get a role on a childrens' show, falls for a female co-star, and reveals himself on a live broadcast. Afterwards, Brian asks why on Earth they would do a live broadcast of a kids' show, and Stewie tells him "You really don't want to pull the thread on this one".
- The Unicron Singularity, introduced in the Transformers Unicron Trilogy, is a massive continuity-damaging presence created by the world-destroying Unicron. It is also canonically stated to be the cause of every inconsistency and plot hole that was and will be created in the Transformers multiverse.
- It's simultaneously the cause of and solution to every plot hole ever in Transformers; past, present, or future. It's best not to think about how that works. It's probably a case of "Break it I did. Fix it I shall".
- By definition, a plot hole cannot be Justified, but if it is used by the author in this way, then it's not a case of bad writing.