30 Of The Most Infamous ‘Plot Holes’ That The Movies Actually Explained, But The Audience Didn’t Notice
Ah, plot holes—they’re gaping maws where the lack of logic meets bad writing to capsize a movie and make it sink just like Jack from ‘Titanic’ (sorry, was that too soon to make a joke about it? Rose might not like it!).
But… here’s the problem. Some major movie plot holes aren’t even plot holes! In fact, the films themselves explain everything away, whether openly or more subtly. To the perceptive viewer, everything makes sense because they see the producers gracefully covering their tracks through visual and verbal storytelling.
To the internet, however, these supposed ‘plot holes’ are a stain on the movies’ reputations. We’ve collected some of the best non-plot hole ‘plot holes’ for you to enjoy from the fun and enlightening thread by redditor Animeking1108 (you can tell that they’re a visual media fan already). Don’t forget to upvote the responses that made the most sense to you as you continue scrolling. Onward to cinematic glory!
How Could Monica Afford A 2 Bedroom Apartment In NYC??? In Friends. It’s So Unrealistic!
She specifically says, on the first episode, that the apartment is rent controlled, and if anyone asks, she’s an 80 year old lady.
Why Did Nasa Train Oil Drillers How To Be Astronauts When They Could've Just Trained Astronauts To Drill Oil In Armageddon (1998)?
Except that NASA and other space agencies do this all the time; they're called mission specialists and they have specialized training in some field the flight crew doesn't. They don't get taught how to fly the ship, just how not to die in space.
Also, for the record, drilling for oil — or any kind of deep core geological work — is extremely specialized, and most of the people in the positions the team of drillers in Armageddon were in have a lot of letters behind their names.
Animeking1108 asked their fellow redditors to share the infamous ‘plot holes’ that are basically misunderstandings caused by an impatient audience that doesn’t want to think for “more than ten seconds.”
Most of us are probably aware of quite a few of these. They’re so infamous, they’ve passed on into popular culture and have become enrooted like sleeping Ents and we no longer question them because we take the plot holes for granted.
Why Would Ariel Throw Her Whole Life Away For A Man She Just Met In The Little Mermaid (1989)?
Ariel had an entire song about how much she wanted to explore the human world long before she ever laid eyes on Eric. Even after seeing him for the first time and fawning all over him, she never thought about going to see Ursula to get some legs.
The reason she "threw her life away" was because she just watched as her father go into a rage and violently destroy her Human Trinkets collection, something that brought her more joy than anything else. She invested SO MUCH TIME and risked her life to get those things. All that time and effort was destroyed and invalidated by her father in less than a minute.
Sure, Ursula may have framed her whole pitch to Ariel around "you'll get your human man," but Ariel didn't even consider Ursula an option until Triton destroyed her life's work. She no longer felt she could be happy or safe in her father's ocean, so she might as well try to find a life where he can't reach her. Getting a chance to be with Eric was just a nice bonus.
Why Didn't They Just Fly The Eagles To Mordor In The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy?
Well, maybe that tower with the giant demonic eye could see them coming miles away and order an army of Orcs to shoot them down, just off the top of my head.
The major one is from 1997’s ‘Titanic’ where Leonardo DiCaprio’s Jack drowns at the end of the movie (can’t spoil a movie over a couple of decades old), even though there’s enough space on the door for him and Rose, portrayed by Kate Winslet. But do you remember that scene? The movie shows that the door couldn’t handle both of them. The Mythbusters found a way where they could both technically survive, but it seemed overly complex and impractical.
If Buzz Lightyear Doesn't Think He's A Toy, Why Does He Freeze Up When Humans Are Around In Toy Story (1995)?
Because he's on an alien planet and that's what everyone else does when these giants walk into the room. He needs to blend in.
It also might just be an instinct all toys have. You can't exactly have toys not holding still just because they don't consciously know any better.
Why Didn't Jack And Rose Just Share The Big Door In Titanic (1997) When They Could've Both Fit?
Jack and Rose could not have both gotten onto the door. They even showed Jack trying to climb up and the whole thing capsizing.
Insider points out that the odds of Jack surviving on the floating door were close to zero… unless the door was made out of pine. (Plus, in the script, it’s referred to as wooden debris and it’s technically the top of a door frame, but that’s being overly technical.)
If Cinderella’s Glass Slipper Fit Her Foot Perfectly, Then Why Did It Fall Off In The First Place In Cinderella (1950)?
Glass!!! Is not!!! Very malleable!!! It’s not a very flexible material so if course it can be expected to fall off!! This also applies to the original story, where iirc the slipper is made of gold.
Why Didn't They Use The Time Turner In Harry Potter To Just Kill Young Voldemort?
In Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban, everyone loves to point out that if you can time travel, you can just go back to the past and fix every problem, like by killing voldemort when he was a baby for example.
If you'd just pay attention, you'd see that you can't actually change the past, you travel to the past and effectively live the same exact situation from another perspective. Future Harry saved past Harry, and future Harry was always there to save past Harry, nothing was changed by going back in time.
There will always be paradoxes when time travel is involved, but the remark of 'fixing' the past is just not valid. However, I do have to admit, when they created 'the cursed child' it all went to shit. That play makes no sense whatsoever and I therefore wish to not count that in as canon
“Pine might have allowed the two to both survive long enough for rescue. However, due to the way the panel flipped when Jack tried to grab it after Rose was clinging on, the wood was most likely oak,” writes Insider. “Unfortunately, the size of the oak debris coupled with the weight of a sodden and hypothermic Rose on top could work, but not if you added Jack's additional weight to it."
How Was Kylo Ren (Who Had Trained For Years With A Lightsaber) So Easily Defeated By Rey (Who Only Held A Lightsaber For A Few Minutes) In Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)?
Kylo had, in the past 10 minutes, killed his father, been shot in the leg by a weapon that being shot by a normal person had previously been demonstrated to be the equivalent to being hit by a car, and had taken a lightsaber hit from Finn (who he had been merely toying with and ended the fight as soon as he took a hit). On top of all of this, he wasn’t even trying to kill Rey and was trying to recruit her. Yet even after all of those things being clearly demonstrated just moments before, fans still insist that either he’s weak or that Rey is overpowered for beating him.
If Harry Potter Was A Horcrux The Entire Time And Basilisk Venom Is Enough To Destroy A Horcrux, Why Wasn't The Horcrux Inside Of Harry Destroyed When The Basilisk Bit Him In Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets (2002)?
It would have been enough to kill him/destroy the horcrux if Fawkes hadn't been there. A horcrux has to be damaged beyond hope of magical repair. That means death if it's a living thing, or some powerful magical damage for nonliving objects. It's not like basilisk venom has any special 'anti-horcrux' properties. It's just a substance that can damage most objects behind the point of magical repair, and Fawkes cured Harry before it could kill him.
"Since the Maritime Museum confirmed that the original wood paneling was indeed oak, this solution makes the most sense.” Apologies, Jack, but no matter how much the internet loves you, there was just no way for you to get out of your gruesome and grim ending.
Why Did The Couple In A Quiet Place (2018) Selfishly Decide To Have Another Baby In The Middle Of What Is Essentially An Apocalypse?
The couple likely got pregnant regardless of their own wishes. There's basically zero infrastructure left and they've been reduced to raiding an abandoned pharmacy for whatever random medicine might be left. Sure, they could probably find a few packs of pills and condoms, but after that, what exactly are your birth control options? Give yourself a birth control implant? Perform your own vasectomy? Pull out and hope for the best?
Sure, they probably could have been more careful, but the number of people I saw criticizing this as if it's impossible to get pregnant without consciously choosing to do so was hilarious.
Why Don't Marty's Parents Realize They'd Met Their Own Son/Remember What He Looked Like In Back To The Future (1985)?
They knew him for a week over 20 years before he would look like that. And the only people he saw on a regular basis in that week were Doc, who knew, and Lorraine, who would be eager to forget a silly teenage crush she had just before meeting her soulmate.
Another major ‘plot hole’ (that is anything but) comes in the form of my favorite movie series of all time, ‘The Lord of the Rings’ trilogy. The keyword here is eagles. Eagles? Great Eagles! The alleged ‘slip’ in storytelling goes something like this: the Fellowship of the Ring could have asked the eagles for help and plopped the One Ring right into the fiery chasm of Mount Doom, defeating Sauron and saving Middle Earth. Hooray! Right..? Not so fast there, young hobbits.
Why Didn't Thanos Just Create More Resources Instead Of Killing Half Of Life On Every Planet In Avengers: Infinity War (2018)?
Is there not a scene explaining that he'd had the genocide idea for a long time, but was rejected and considered crazy by his people? I think the implication is that, deep down, Thanos wanted to kill half of all life so he could say "I told you so."
Why Kevin Didn't Call The Cops In Home Alone (1990)?
Phone line was cut from the falling trees.
Here’s the problem. That would never have worked. And there’s a host of reasons for it! Starting with the fundamentally practical (tons of orcish archers in Mordor, Sauron’s Eye always on the lookout, the Nazgul and their winged beasts ready for action) to the meta (the Ring might have enticed the eagles with its insidious promises of power, and let’s not forget that the eagles themselves are meant to “bear tidings not burdens”).
Why Did Voldemort Not Just Shoot Harry In Harry Potter?
He shoots zero people throughout the entire story. I doubt that he even knows what a gun is.
Why Didn't Vader Sense That Leia Was His Daughter In Star Wars: A New Hope (Episode Iv) 1977?
Vader didn't sense that Luke was his son either. He thought Padme had a miscarriage. He only knows Luke is his son when Palpatine flat out tells him.
What’s more, the Fellowship’s quest was a secret. Relying on the eagles without a distraction like Aragorn’s attack would have proven to be the downfall of Middle Earth as we know it. Besides, there are spies everywhere and the eagles would have been spotted at some point. Sauron would know in advance what to expect and, let’s not forget, that you can’t drop the Ring directly into Mount Doom from the air.
How Did Batman Get Back Into Gotham In The Dark Knight Rises (2008) When It Was Under Bane's Control?
Obviously, Bruce is a man of stealth who knows every way into, out of, and through Gotham; not just the roads that were seized by Bane. The real question is how he recovered from that spinal break and hokey prison surgery enough to make the trek and fight at all.
Thinking That Dumbledore's A Bastard For Knowingly Leaving Harry To Live With The Dursleys
Dumbledore did everything he could short of barging into the Dursley's house and cursing them to hell and high water because, with the blood ward Lily created and the massive chaos of Voldemort's first defeat, it was the safest option. Remember, shortly after Voldemort's defeat, a group of his supporters forced their way into the Longbottoms' house and drove them mad with torture. Harry had these maniacs gunning for him as well, and he was a baby!
The eagles themselves aren’t under Gandalf’s control, least of all anyone else’s: they are proud creatures who aren’t anyone’s aerial taxi service. When the eagles decide to help is entirely up to them. They directly serve the Valar and they have their own reasons for doing (or not doing) things. If this were Dungeons and Dragons, you could argue that they’re True Neutral or Lawful Neutral or that their understanding of what’s good is beyond the understanding of mortals or even wizards.
Why Was Daniel Allowed To Do The Crane Kick In The Karate Kid (1984) When It's Clearly Illegal?
Many traditional martial arts competitions ban punches to the head, but are perfectly okay with kicks to the head. Why that rule exists varies depending on who you ask, but kicks to the head are usually perfectly legal.
Yes, I know that the Cobra Kai youtube series jumped on the bandwagon with this one, but I still say it's bulls**t.
Why Does The Death Star Have Such A Stupid Weakness Of An Exhaust Port?
Cooling things in space is difficult as heat needs somewhere to go. An exhaust vent is a perfectly reasonable thing to have station is the size of a small moon that's obviously going to generate a lot of heat and other such things that needs to be vented. The movie also outright tells us that this is not the only exhaust vent the station has. In the briefing scene it mentions there are multiple exhaust vents, it wasn't a single vent.
The Rebel pilot also complain about the 2m wide port being too small to hit. Their first torpedoes are unsuccessful even with the targetting computers, it's only Luke using the force to time when to fire that works, so it is not some huge glaring uneccesary weakness. It's an integral part of a giant space station that even skilled pilots with computer-targeting couldn't hit, it wasn't some significant weakness in the first place.
As part of that, there's the "Rogue One explains the weakness!" thing. No, it doesn't explain the exhaust port - the weakness added by Galen Erso is that the reactor when hit will cause a chain reaction. That specific exhaust port is just identified as the most appropriate one to use.
What other ‘plot holes’ that aren’t really plot holes at all do you know about, dear Pandas, whether in movies or any other medium? Why do you think audiences have a hard time being patient and thinking about the scenario sometimes? Do you think good storytelling is possible even while leaving some gaps in the plot? Let us know what you think!
How Did Anyone Know Charles Foster Kane's Last Word In Citizen Kane (1941) When He Appeared To Die Alone?
Just because he’s the only one in the shot when he dies doesn’t mean none of his staff weren’t just out of shot.
Why Emo Toby Maguire In Spiderman 3 (2007) Is So Cringey?
He is SUPPOSED to be cringey. People in the scene even comment on his cringiness.
Katniss In Hunger Games (2012) Didn’t Let Prim Take Tesserae Because If Prim Got Picked, Katniss Could Volunteer For Her Anyway
The explanation is that if Prim takes tesserae, she will keep getting her name entered into the games more often every year, including after Katniss turns 18 and becomes ineligible to volunteer.
In Captain America: Civil War (21016), Tony Stark Just Figures Out That Peter Parker Is Spider-Man And We Are Never Told How
That doesn't break the rules of the universe, however, since we know that Tony Stark can probably easily access a lot of security footage (he even shows some to Peter) and we can imagine that he used that to track Peter down; or there may be a different explanation, dude's an Avenger after all. It would be different if, say, that teacher from the maths competition group in Homecoming just knew Peter's identity, without explanation, because one of the rules of the universe is that Peter keeps his secret identity pretty secret
How Does A Human-Made Virus Work On Alien-Made Technology In Independence Day (1996)?
Everyone jokes about the alien mothership not having anti-virus, but why would they? They're a hivemind species that communicates telepathically, and they seem to have an extremely high level of social cohesion. Computer viruses aren't like actual viruses. They're not naturally occurring; humans created them because humans are malicious towards each other. It's entirely possible an alien species that uses telepathy to communicate wouldn't even concieve of such a thing, and it doesn't seem likely that any of the species they've faced thus far have given them reason to consider it. Plus, even if they did have such defenses, at that point Jeff Goldblum has a direct hardline connection anyway.
Harry Potter. Why Didn't They Just Use The Time-Turner To Go Back In Time And Defeat Voldemort?
Because the one Hermione has is only meant to go back hours, not days or years. And going back years would cause major disruptions anyway.
That The Eagles Could Have Carried The Fellowship To Mordor And Circumvented The Whole Plot Of Lord Of The Rings
Sauron has flying things, too. And a bunch of giant eagles probably wouldn't go unnoticed and just gotten torn and/or shot out of the sky and the crash site thoroughly investigated.
(And yeah, if you've read the books, you know the eagles are sentient and probably would have refused. But I also get that's not obvious in the movies. So I try to confine myself to the films when talking with someone who's only seen the films.)
Gendry Calls Himself “Gendry Rivers” When Talking To Arya. People Think Since He Is Robert Baratheon’s Bastard And Was Born In King’s Landing, He Should Be Called “Gendry Waters”. Game Of Thrones
The problem is that only acknowledged highborn bastards have geographically- based surnames like “Snow”, “Sand” or “Waters”. Gendry didn’t even know who his father is until the very end, so he in fact never uses a surname. He might have know that he is a bastard but he didn’t know he is highborn. Small folks, bastards or not, don’t use surnames. This is evident since many black brothers who are lowborn don’t have surnames. Gendry lived his whole life calling himself simply “Gendry”, so he made a mistake when he wanted to emphasize that he is no longer a bastard, on the same day that he found out he was a bastard of Robert’s. Also it was established that Gendry is illiterate...
Nobody “Teleported” In Game Of Thrones
The passage of time can speed up or slow down based on the needs of the narrative.
Why Darth Vader Couldn't Sense That Lea Was His Daughter In Star Wars?
Vader couldn't sense Lea was his daughter because that's not something that's possible in the Star Wars universe. He didn't sense Luke, either. Palpatine literally told him.
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