40 (Mildly) Infuriating Movie Plot Holes You May Not Have Noticed Before
Whether you enjoy gripping psychological thrillers or action-packed sci-fi, there's nothing like watching a well-written movie with a surprising storyline and believable characters. However, some films have such bad mistakes in their scripts, they destroy our sense of disbelief and neither the score nor the actors' performances can save the moment.
From Gravity to Home Alone, Bored Panda put together a list of popular movies with plot holes you may not have noticed before, but beware: SPOILERS AHEAD.
After you're done scrolling, feel free to fire up our earlier article on the topic, too.
Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban (2004)
"The way the Marauders' Map works...wouldn't Fred and George have SEEN Peter Pettigrew sleeping in bed with Ron every night on the map?"
"I like to imagine there was a conversation behind the scenes like this: Ben Affleck: 'Wouldn't it be easier to train astronauts to be drillers than it would be to train oil drillers to be astronauts?' Michael Bay: 'Shut the [hell] up.'"
Hades (James Woods), king of the underworld, wants Hercules (Tate Donovan) dead. He puts his best henchmen, Pain and Panic (Bobcat Goldthwait and Matt Frewer), on the job. They tell him he’s dead. And Hades believes them, for quite some time!
But, as we know, they’re dead wrong.
Hercules may be super strong. But Hades is, without exaggeration, the king of the underworld. Why didn’t he double check that Hercules was actually dead? Just by, like, looking around? He lives and works in the place where dead people go. Wouldn’t Hercules have shown up?
"Mel Gibson and Joaquin Phoenix find out that water is toxic to the aliens...yet the aliens have been fine walking around with all the natural humidity in the air on a planet made up of MOSTLY water."
Every Single Christmas Movie
In literally every single Christmas movie, none of the parents believe in Santa, yet every year there are several unexpected presents under the tree and no one questions it.
In Tangled, everything revolved around Rapunzel seeing the lights on her birthday, but Mother Gothel could have just lied about which day she was born.
The Little Mermaid (1989)
She wants to be where the people are. So Ariel, The Little Mermaid herself, makes a deal to gain legs and lose her voice, just so she can go above the sea and fall in love with Prince Eric. Complications, often involving charades, ensue.
But why didn’t she write on a piece of paper to Eric about what was going on? After all, we see her write in English earlier when she signs her name for the deal.
Fans asked animators this question at an event. The animators just smiled and said, “Next question.”
Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)
The kind of plot hole that gives directors and scriptwriters nightmares can be found in Lara Croft: Tomb Raider – Angelina Jolie’s fun but flawed video game adaptation from 2001. The film focuses on Lara Croft’s mission to protect the world from the Illuminati, who are planning to use an artefact called the Triangle during a solar eclipse to inflict devastation on the world – a peak 00s plot if ever we’ve heard one. We learn that the Triangle is split into two parts, and after acquiring the first of them in Cambodia, Croft sets off on another perilous journey to retrieve the second in Siberia. The problem is, we already know the Triangle can’t work without both halves, so all Croft had to do was destroy the half she already had in her possession and the job would be done.
Independence Day (1996)
"Oh, this human-made computer virus magically works on their alien technology, too, because that's how computers work."
A Quiet Place (2018)
In A Quiet Place, instead of making shelter near the waterfall (i.e. the only place where the killer monsters couldn't hear them), they lived on a noisy farm.
Monsters University (2013)
In Monsters University, Mike and Sully didn't meet until their first year of college, but in Monster's, Inc. they claimed to be friends since elementary school.
Back To The Future (1985)
"How did Marty’s dad not recognize that his son grew up to be the person that helped him get the girl he wanted? Like, he didn't even think he looked remotely familiar later in life."
National Treasure (2004)
We know — most of the Nicolas Cage adventure flick is renowned for its calm, patient accuracy. But there’s something seriously off about the famous moment when Cage’s Benjamin Franklin Gates steals the Declaration of Independence.
Other than the sheer lunacy of those words put together in that order.
When Ben reads the Declaration later, we see it starts with “We the people”. But that’s the opening to the Constitution, not the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration begins with “When in the course of human events”. Either Ben made a serious miscalculation, or that’s a huge filmmaking error!
The MCU got a fun jolt of unorthodox humor with 2015’s Ant-Man, starring Paul Rudd. Rudd’s superhero can shrink down to the size of an ant and back. But there’s a rule that he’s told often: His mass doesn’t change. He weighs the same tiny as he did normal.
If taken seriously, this would render essential moments, like ants picking a tiny Ant-Man up, impossible. It would also mean he couldn’t sneak around vents — his weight would collapse them instantly. And in Captain America: Civil War, his growing bigger wouldn’t give him super strength.
Star Wars Series
In the Star Wars series, the lack of air and differences in gravitational pull should have affected everyone on each new planet, especially since they're different sizes and don't have the same atmospheric pressures.
Gremlins has three rules for dealing with the title creatures: Don’t put them in sunlight. Don’t put them in water. And don’t feed them after midnight. If you do any of these, you’ll risk turning the cuties into destructive, bloodthirsty creatures.
Simple enough, right? Let’s look closer…
“Don’t feed them after midnight.” Technically speaking, it’s… always after midnight. And, simultaneously, before midnight. 12:01am is both one minute after midnight and 23 hours and 59 minutes before the next midnight. Is midnight the only time you’re allowed to feed them?
Our brain hurts!
Toy Story (1995)
In Toy Story, if Buzz was so convinced he was a real space ranger, why did he adhere to all of the standard toy rules, like "playing dead" when a person was in the room?
X-Men III: Wolverine (2006)
In X-Men: The Last Stand’s finale, Phoenix Jean Grey is literally tearing reality apart and ripping people into nothingness. Wolverine battles his way to his unrequited love, skin ripping from his adamantium frame. His life is being destroyed. But,weirdly, not his pants. They seem to be made from something even stronger than adamantium. No peek of a Wolver-willy for us then.
Home Alone (1990)
In Home Alone, Kevin's mom wasn't able to call him from Paris because the phone lines were down, yet Kevin was somehow able to call and order himself a pizza.
Men In Black (1997)
In Men in Black, Earth was literally going to be blown up in an hour, but only two agents (one of whom was a newbie) were sent to save the world.
In Ant-Man and the Wasp, no one noticed Hank's giant lab that would mysteriously appear and then disappear at random parts of the city, even though he was trying to be discreet while hiding from the FBI.
In Gravity, Matt was floating away and ordered Ryan to let go of the tethered rope, but since there's no gravity in space all Ryan had to do was gently pull the rope toward her to bring Matt back.
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)
In The Dark Knight Rises, every single member of the Gotham police force was sent underground and got trapped, but then they magically emerged MONTHS later, all clean-shaven and well-dressed.
Beauty And The Beast (1991)
In Beauty and the Beast, the Beast was actually a prince, which meant he would have been highly educated, so why did Belle have to teach him how to read?
In Limitless, Bradley Cooper becomes the world’s smartest man thanks to a new wonder drug. It’s actually quite an enjoyable and entertaining film (until the silly ending). However, it’s let down by one of those plot contrivances that once read, destroys the film. If he’s so smart, why does he think it’s a good idea to borrow money from a mobster? I’m an idiot and I know not to do that.
Avengers: Endgame (2019)
In Avengers: Endgame, Captain America traveled back in time to return the Infinity Stones, which would have changed the current timeline, yet he somehow managed to reappear in the present to give Falcon his shield. Captain America reappearing in the same timeline he left goes against all of the time travel rules Bruce Banner originally laid out. Also, how the heck did Captain America return the Stones that were on different galaxies?!
Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)
In Spider-Man: Far From Home, EDITH was so advanced and even had facial recognition technology, but for some reason she couldn't identify Beck as an ex-Stark employee or that everything in the bar was an illusion.
Mean Girls (2004)
On Wednesdays, we poke plot holes in popular film comedies.
At one point in Mean Girls, everyone believes Cady (Lindsay Lohan) made the Burn Book that was actually made by Regina (Rachel McAdams) and the rest of the Plastics. She’s shunned from school as a result.
But if this theory is meant to be plausible, how would Cady have any pictures or information on anyone in the school, given the fact that she’s a brand new student? Would they assume that she’s the speediest investigative journalist that ever lived?
The iconic bike scene proves E.T. is basically magic and can levitate objects. So… why doesn’t he just levitate himself right at the beginning of the film and get back onto his spaceship? He’s really close to it! Poor E.T.
Despite letting go, they’re never letting go. The love story of Jack and Rose, played by Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, is doomed from the start of Titanic. We know this, based on the movie’s title alone. But it doesn’t stop us from becoming emotionally invested.
We do have one question. Why didn’t Rose just, like, move a couple inches to her left? If you look at that raft, and you look at how tiny 1997-Leo is, it is obvious that there’s enough room for him to fit and for them to live their dang lives!
The Purge (2013)
"You can just...leave the country beforehand. Also, why does no one ever try to do fraud during those hours? What a waste of potential."
Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker (2019)
"The line: 'Somehow, Palpatine has returned' about sums it all up."
Detective Pikachu (2019)
"When I saw this in theaters, the whole movie was ruined for me when his dad turned out to be Ryan Reynolds. You’re telling me this kid didn't AUTOMATICALLY recognize his dad’s voice the minute Pikachu started talking? Are you kidding me? I’m even willing to suspend my belief and say MAYBE he didn’t think about it immediately because of the shock of a talking Pikachu...but he doesn’t figure it out until the end of the movie."
The Matrix (1999)
There’s a lot of rules to remember in The Matrix. Here’s an important one: Everyone who jacks into the Matrix needs someone to plug them in, make sure they’re okay, and let them back into the real world.
Got it? Good. Now forget about it.
Cypher (Joe Pantoliano) visits the evil Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) in the Matrix to betray his crew. And he does all of this alone! Even though we just saw that you can’t do that alone! How? Some viewers insist he created his own code to get around this rule.
Beauty And The Beast (1991)
"When Belle is singing at the beginning to the sheep, we are given a clear view of the book she just took out of the library. We see an entire page that is covered in an illustration. Later, Gaston asks Belle, 'How can you read this? There's no pictures!' Yes, there are!"
The Karate Kid (1984)
Using the crane kick trained and perfected by Mr. Miyagi (Pat Morita), Daniel (Ralph Macchio) knocks out Johnny (William Zabka) and wins the tournament! Movie over, everyone cheers!
Except — was this move legal? Should Daniel have been disqualified? Was he the secret villain of The Karate Kid the entire time?
Earlier in the film, it’s said that “hits to the face” are not permitted, not specifying whether that includes kicks. Macchio himself called the crane kick a clear violation, and the later YouTube series Cobra Kai features its alleged legitimacy as a prominent plot point.
28 Weeks Later (2007)
"Really? No one was guarding the wife who had just been rescued from the infected zone? They were wary of her enough to strap her down, but not enough to order a guard to watch her even though they did so for the two kids? Right."
Return Of The Jedi (1983)
We all love Ewoks (we do), but even as a child I was a bit incredulous that the cute little bears could defeat an entire legion of the Emperor’s best troops. It wasn’t their ingenuity or fighting skills I doubted though, it was the fact that sticks and stones could apparently pierce armour. It must have been made of paper they way some of them go down. Obviously, the Empire is an expensive thing to run, especially when you’ve got a penchant for building moon-sized super-weapons with a limited shelf-life, but you’d hope that your best soldiers could get some decent blast armour…
The Martian (2015)
"Dust storms of destructive magnitudes physically cannot happen on Mars, but Matt Damon can still play one hell of a botanist."
Pandora is saved. Go back home to your dying planet you humans! I like to believe that yes, the defeated humans did reflect on what they had done, and maybe decided to value life and nature above commerce and needless industrialisation. After all, that was the subtle message James Cameron was trying to teach us. But even when watching the film for the first time, all I could think was, won’t the surviving military just go back to their ship in orbit and nuke the now clearly hostile and dangerous natives? Because that’s what I would do. Of course, they might not have had weapons aboard, and the plot of the sequel may well be the return of the angry earthlings. In which case, ignore this.
Note: this post originally had 64 images. It’s been shortened to the top 40 images based on user votes.