I was just having a conversation with some friends the other night about plot holes, and how much they matter or they don’t.
My thinking is: most stories fall apart somewhere if you think about them too hard. The trick is to not leave a gap so distracting that it keeps you from enjoying the human story beneath.
Then again, some things people find distracting really aren’t that hard to square away.
Let’s see what plot holes the people of Reddit might be able to undo for us.
The “why train oil field trash to astronaut when you can just train astronauts to drill” argument. Except that NASA and other space agencies do it 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.
For the record, drilling for oil–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.
“How could Monica afford a 2 bedroom apartment in NYC??? 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.
3. The Little Mermaid
Why would Ariel throw her whole life away for a man she spied on for like a few hours, tops?
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.
4. Star Wars
“Why didn’t Vader sense that Leia was his daughter in ANH?”
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.
Jack and Rose could not have both gotten onto the door.
They even showed Jack trying to climb up and the whole thing capsizing
6. Hunger Games
I don’t know if this is an “infamous” plot hole, but I’ve heard people complain that Katniss in Hunger Games didn’t let Prim take tesserae (have her name entered into the games more often, I’m exchange for more food) 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.
7. The Dark Knight Rises
How did Batman get back into Gotham in The Dark Knight Rises!?
Obviously, Bruce is a man of stealth who knows every way into, out of, and through Gotham; not just the roads that were siezed 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.
8. Citizen Kane
The last words of Citizen Kane.
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.
9. Toy Story
If Buzz doesn’t think he’s a toy, why does he freeze up when humans are around?
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.
10. Karate Kid
The crane kick in the original Karate Kid wasn’t an illegal move.
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 bullsh*t.
11. Back to the Future
“How come Marty’s parents don’t remember him” in Back to the Future?
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.
The whole thing with “if Cinderella’s glass slipper fit her foot perfectly then why did it fall off in the first place?”
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.
13. Raiders of the Lost Ark
Indiana Jones didn’t need to do anything in Raiders of the Lost Arc:
First off, Indy found most of the clues to get to the Arc of the Covenant.
Second, the reason the Nazis even opened the Arc in the first place was because that evil archeologist wanted to give Indy one final middle finger.
Third, even if they did find and open it without Indy, the Arc would be out in the middle of the dessert with nobody to take it somewhere safe.
Fourth, Steven Spielberg said that if the Arc was brought to Germany without opening it, Hitler knew opening it would be a bad idea.
14. Independence Day
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 conceive 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.
15. Lord of the Rings
“Why didn’t they fly the Eagles to Mordor” in Lord of the Rings?
The Eagles would have said “go f*ck yourself, we ain’t yo Uber”.
Not sure how much I agree with some of those, but for the most part, I’ll allow it.
What plot hole do you think is overblown?
Tell us in the comments.