Whenever a discussion about a movie or television plot hole pops up on the internet, you usually get a few different groups who respond to it. You get the apologists, who defend the film or television show’s choices, going to great lengths to show how it’s not a plot hole, often using vague or ambiguous plot points to fill in the blanks. You get the extremists, who suggest that the entire thing is now a bag of crap because this one plot hole has reared its ugly head. You get the purists, who say, that’s not even a plot hole people. Don’t you even know what a plot hole is? And, finally, there’s the group who come up with explanations to fill the hole. This group is by far the coolest. Rather than condemn or apologize, they provide a solution. We’re not talking about throwing out easy solutions, like “it was all a dream either.” We’re talking about explanations that have sufficient evidence and critical thinking behind them to justify why the plot hole could exist.
Most of the explanations in this list were not the creators’ intentions, but that doesn’t make them any less worthy of discussion. We’ve taken a look at some of the common plot holes, continuity errors, mistakes, and other errors from huge movies and TV shows that get discussed online and some of the most popular or best thought-out explanations that have been attached to them. Some of the plot holes in this list have existed for many years and have gotten a lot of airtime. The explanations that fill the holes, even if they’re correct, are not as well known. Some very astute viewers have spent a lot of time exploring all the cracks in these explanations and theories and they still seem somewhat solid. Let’s see if we can’t open up some minds today. Let’s get learning.
15. The Face Kick in The Karate Kid
This one is probably one of the only explanations on here that was intended by the writers. We felt it was necessary to address the supposed plot hole that’s been floating around The Karate Kid for ages. It’s all a big misunderstanding. It comes in the final fight between Daniel (Ralph Macchio) and Johnny (William Zabka). The referee states that there will be no blows to the face. So how does Daniel win when he kicks Johnny in the face? People claim this is a plot hole or a mistake. It isn’t. Quite simply, it was punches to the head that was deemed illegal, not kicks. Pay attention. Earlier in the tournament, Daniel fights Dutch and gets kicked in the face. Dutch gets the point. In the final fight between Johnny and Daniel, Johnny punches Daniel in the face, but he is not awarded a point. When Daniel kicks Johnny in the face to win the fight, he gets a point for landing a perfectly legal strike.
14. Melisandre’s True Form in Game of Thrones
Melisandre (Carice van Houten) gives the world the greatest gift and takes off her clothes in Game of Thrones in season six. We’ve seen this before so we get prepared. But this time, it’s different. This time it’s super gross. She takes off her necklace and she becomes a really old woman. Damn. But there’s a problem. Melisandre has taken a bath before and she didn’t have that necklace on. Back then, Selyse (Sarah Mackeever) even walked in and saw her and didn’t say anything. Why not? There are a couple of potential answers here and both make sense. In that early bath scene, we see Melisandre putting something in the water. We assumed that it was bubbles or scent, but it could have been potions, potions that make her appear beautiful. The other answer is that Selyse does see Melisandre in her true form at that moment. She just doesn’t say anything. Maybe since Selyse is a true believer, she always see’s Melisandre’s true form. That’s why Melisandre tells her, “You don’t need powders and potions, my queen. You don’t need lies.”
13. That ’70s Show’s Wonky Timeline
We said we wouldn’t entertain “dream” theories. We lied. This one is good. For the first few seasons, the timeline for That ’70s Show is somewhat straightforward. In the fourth season, however, things go all out of whack. We start to get numerous holiday episodes in a year, and seasons four through eight take place over only two actual years. Also, remember that Eric Forman (Topher Grace) isn’t around in season eight. He only appears in the final episode for a second and is uncredited. Why does the timeline get messed up? Is it just a mistake? Probably. But maybe Eric Forman is in a coma. The episode it happens in is season four’s, “Tornado Prom.” In the episode, all the friends are at prom except Donna, who’s at the radio station, and Eric, who drives to pick her up. There’s a Code Red called for the tornado, but Eric doesn’t know this. As he’s driving, we see the tornado close behind his car and then it cuts away. Later, we see him pick up Donna. But what if the tornado got him? What if him picking up Donna and everything that takes place after was just a coma dream? Seem crazy? Listen to the radio broadcast at the end. It says, “And updating our top story, a local teen is in critical condition…” What if every episode after that was all in Eric’s mind? Seems plausible.
12. Sand in Star Wars
This one is an oldie but a goodie. The logical leap comes from the original Star Wars trilogy and the explanation comes from the prequels. People have always took issue with the fact that Vader did not search Tatooine when he was scouring the universe for Luke. This was the planet that he grew up on, his relatives still live there and are even taking care of a boy named Luke. It seems like it would be the first place to check. However, in the prequel, Anakin tells us something that seems insignificant at first but isn’t. He hates sand. In fact, he finds it coarse and irritating. The thinking then is that the best place to hide Luke from Vader is on a planet covered in sand, a planet where Vader was kept a slave. It worked.
11. Damaged Hearing in The Walking Dead
AMC’s The Walking Dead has one major thing that almost every fan complains about. It has to do with some of the Walkers’ ridiculous ability to sneak up on people. Most of the time, Walkers are loud and stupid. They don’t sneak and they don’t surprise. Why is it then, that sometimes, they just appear as if from nowhere? The explanation suggests that over time, the survivors have been using firearms so frequently without any ear protection that they have damaged their ears. Compare the hearing of those who use firearms to Michonne and Daryl, who don’t use firearms very often. Their hearing is still top notch and they notice small sounds at great distances. It’s probably not the reason at all, but it’s food for thought at least.
10. Where Does Ben Go in Friends?
Fans of Friends know that after the halfway point in season eight, we never see Ross’ son, Ben, on screen again. Unrestricted by the magic of television, we could say that the actors, Dylan and Cole Sprouse, were child stars and there were scheduling or contractual conflicts, but, within the show, is there a possible explanation? Yes. Let’s examine his father, Ross. He was forced into a sabbatical from the museum for yelling at the director for eating his sandwich. He almost lost his job as a professor for sleeping with a student (it’s not crazy to suggest that Ben’s mother, Carol, would know about this). There were the marriages to Emily, which Ben didn’t even attend, and the marriage to Rachel, who taught Ben numerous swear words. Ross was clearly absent-minded whenever Ben was around as well. When Ross and Rachel’s daughter, Emma, is finally born, Ross’ parents say that she’s their first grandchild, forgetting about Ben. How did they forget him? The answer is that Ross hadn’t seen Ben in a while. He had lost custody to Carol and refused to speak about it to anyone.
9. The Eagles in Lord of the Rings
The damn eagles. Everyone always wonders about the eagles in Lord of the Rings. Why didn’t they just fly Frodo and Sam in the first place? Aside from the fact that the eagles could not just fly straight to Mount Doom with Sauron’s army standing on guard, there is a funny theory that explains what was actually going on. It suggests that Gandalf was planning to bring them to the eagles when they went through the mines of Moria. It was only because the Balrog attacked and Gandalf essentially died that it never happened. In fact, he even tried to tell them his plans right before he fell, yelling “fly you fools!”
8. Explaining Character Shift in Boy Meets World
Over the years, plenty of people have discussed some of plot holes and continuity errors in Boy Meets World. The biggest issues are probably the ones that deal with characters changing inexplicably or going missing entirely. Take Eric Matthews, for example. He starts off as the ultra-cool older brother, hard working, even thoughtful. In season five, Eric becomes a goofball. He’s there only for comic relief. Why? Well, the answer might be that what we see in the show is how Corey, the main character sees the world. What if he’s an unreliable narrator. As a young boy, Corey would see his brother adoringly. He’s grown-up and does grown-up things. He has a job and a world view. As Corey gets older, he begins to see his brother as the goofball that he probably always was. Similarly, Topanga shifts from the free-thinking individual to the always-there girlfriend. This might also explain why teachers and siblings vanish for large periods of time as well, all depending on the stage of life Corey’s in.
7. The Low Numbers of Students in Harry Potter
It’s been said that there are close to 1,000 students in Hogwarts. If we account for the seven different years of classes going on, we could assume that there should be about 150 students in each year. Since we don’t see a whole lot from the different age groups, this could be true, except we know it’s not for Harry’s age. How many are there? 20? 30? What’s up with that? A proposed theory would answer this by looking at the year. Before Harry was born, some wild stuff was going on in the wizarding world. Voldemort was running amok and people were on edge. It’s entirely reasonable to suggest that there would have been less babies in that age, just as there were less babies in the war years. The post-war years, however, saw a major boom. Post-Voldemort would have probably seen a similar boom.
6. Buzz’s Mentality in Toy Story
The supposed error in Toy Story points to Buzz Lightyear and how he acts when humans are around. Whenever a human comes near, all the other toys immediately go into “toy mode,” essentially playing dead, because they are aware that they are toys. The question is, why does Buzz do this if he is unaware that he’s a toy? He thinks he’s real. The answer could be biological or psychological. Buzz might do it out of sheer toy instinct. He is compelled by his body to shut down in the presence of humans. He rationalizes his existence constantly, showing that his manufactured self-image, however distorted, is solid and unwavering. It’s only when he loses his arm, when his body literally breaks down, that he alters this self-image.
5. When to Eat in Gremlins
The age-old question: if Mogwai can’t be fed after midnight, when can they eat? The plot hole has lingered around Gremlins since it came out. The answer, though, might not be that off the wall. We know that Mogwai are weakened from light. Direct sunlight being the worst. We know that when they eat after midnight, they transform. Maybe the midnight thing is because, after midnight, the Mogwai are at their strongest. They’re always trying to transform, which is why they’re called Mogwai, the Cantonese word for monster or devil. Even though they’re sheltered from direct light in the daytime, it’s still all around them. It’s constantly weakening them. Surrounded by a world of sunlight, Mogwai are docile. Food energizes them and keeps them alive, but the sun hinders their drive to transform. After midnight, however, the Mogwai’s batteries are fully charged and adding food into the mix triggers their mutation, turning them into the Gremlins they were meant to be.
4. Padme’s Love in Star Wars
When we think about the Star Wars prequels, there are so many issues that we could complain all day, but, one of the biggest supposed plot holes or character holes in the film, could have a very reasonable explanation. The hole is more of a leap that fans are unwilling to make. We see Anakin trying to schmooze Padme and he’s a creep. Padme wants nothing to do with him in most instances. Well, some scenes it seems like that at least, but then in others she’s understanding and interested. Anakin starts to get all killy and murdery and Padme, the pacifist, gentle and kind-hearted, accepts it as mere anger? Nope, not buying it. You know why she accepted Anakin? She was forced to. Either Anakin or Emperor Palpatine were manipulating her mind with the classic Jedi mind trick, forcing her to love Anakin. It’s the only way.
3. She Never Did Kill Bill
The plot hole in Kill Bill is much more of continuity or editing error, but people gripe nonetheless. There are a few different complaints are they’re all, possibly, related. One points out that Bill takes one too many steps after Beatrix lands the five-point palm fist of death on him. Another says that Beatrix hits him six times, not five. And the last is that Bill is the only one shown dead in the credits, whereas the others are shown alive. Some even say his feet move in the credits. OK, the theory here suggests that after Beatrix (Uma Thurman) is caught killing Vernita (Vivica A. Fox) by the daughter, Nikki, she never kills again. When she strikes Bill six times, it’s because she doesn’t know the proper technique. She simply uses a variation of the eye-pluck attack to signal to Bill that she wants him out of their life. When Bill asks if Pai-Mei taught her that, she responds “sure he did,” while shaking her head no. This makes Bill’s six steps represent him understanding the transaction. He then fakes his death, just as Beatrix, Bill, and their daughter had done in jest just moments before. This also explains why Bill is shown laying on the ground in the credits and why Bill’s name is the only one left uncrossed out on her list.
2. The Mysterious Phone Lines in Home Alone
The question has been around for a while now. In Home Alone, when the lightning struck, the tree fell and the phone lines went down. This is why Kevin’s parents are unable to call Kevin directly. That’s all straightforward. But, the plot hole asks the simple question: how does Kevin order a pizza if the phone lines are down? Here’s the explanation. The only phone lines that were damaged were for long distance calls. Local calls could have still worked fine. Apparently, this is possible too. In 90s’ phone systems, it was entirely possible for the main trunk line to be dismantled but local calls were still available. There you have it.
1. Aladdin’s Reneged Wish
Aladdin in Aladdin gets three wishes. We know wordplay is part of the game because Aladdin tricks the Genie into getting him out of the cave without burning a wish right off the bat. He then uses his first actual wish. He wishes, “make me a prince.” Genie then changes his clothes and brings in all the fanfare and we think to ourselves, ok, wish granted. But wait. How come, later on, Jafar is able to switch him back to being a peasant? That seems like a pretty terrible wish if the status can be revoked like that. Here’s the explanation. Aladdin never wished to “be a prince.” He asked Genie to “make him prince,” which suggests it’s a process. Throughout the film, Genie is pulling strings and helping Aladdin become a prince. It doesn’t fully happen until the end, when, by marrying Jasmine, he does become an official prince. It wasn’t the clothes or the fanfare, it was the entire thing. That’s what the movie is really about in the end.