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Headscratchers: Jumanji
  • If Alan's father was the guest of honor at an event at the time Alan was sucked into the board game, how could people think he was the killer? Surely that was a pretty good alibi.
    • It was all just twisted rumours and confusion about how a young boy could vanish so completely off the face of the earth, all shifting and changing over the years. Lots of people didn't think anything of the sort, like the old man living in the shoe factory. Doubtless there were dozens of explanations for Alan's disappearance. Alan's father didn't seem to lose his standing... he just lost interest in the company and only paid attention to finding his son, so it went out of business.
    • Beyond that, the chronology of events — that Alan disappeared during the banquet and not before or after, may not have been obvious to outsiders. In addition, we know, from the end, that Alan's father had to make a last-minute trip back home, as he had forgotten something. Since this probably did happen in the timeline in which Alan disappeared, an accuser could easily say that that was when he killed Alan.
    • That makes me think of something that may be Fridge Horror. Alan's father returns saying that he forgot something and then tells Alan that he doesn't have to go to military school if he didn't want to. Perhaps that was the real reason he came home? He was feeling bad about their fight, was thinking that maybe he shouldn't make Alan go to military school and it was bugging him so much that he decided to go home and tell Alan right away. Then he finds out that Alan has disappeared with no explanation!
    • Didn't he mutter something about leaving his hat or gloves just after he returned? He may have thought about Alan on the way, but at the moment his reason was that he left an casual item behind.
      • He forgot something far more important: His Speech Notes.
    • Mr. Parrish seems like the type of man to keep his emotions hidden. I think it would be very in character for him to come home to talk to Alan but make up some excuse of forgetting something instead of saying it straight out..
  • After beating the game, why didn't Alan and Sarah, to say nothing about the brothers in the beginning, think of destroying the game by, say, burning the damn thing to make sure nobody ever finds it? The game was sunken with rocks, and it gets discovered by some girls in France!
    • First of all, it's magical. Best assumption is that it can no more be destroyed than the Lament Configuration. Secondly, the game rewinds time back to the beginning of the game every time people win. It's probable people have tried to destroy it before, but ended up starting a new game. Or players might try burning it, only to find it won't burn.
    • Would you want to risk potentially unleashing everything contained within the game into the real world, but this time without any way of putting the genie back into the bottle at the end?
    • Why not try something a little safer? How about, for example, very carefully taking the four game pieces, putting them in separate containers and mailing them far, far away? It seems like it would be a lot harder for a new game to start if the board itself was in the movie's location of New Hampshire, but the pieces themselves were in New York, London, Sydney, and Cape Town. That was my first thought when I first watched the movie as a kid. When they threw the game in the water, I wondered why they didn't separate the components (board, dice, pieces) to prevent another accidental game.
      • The pieces were magically pulled to the board when the characters casually picked them up. Separating them might just causes the pieces to fly back to the board again.
      • Why would that be such a bad thing? If the pieces fly to the board, sure, technically a new game has started. But nothing bad has come out yet. In fact, getting the game stuck in this position would be the best ever. Let the game assume that 4 currently living people are the players. Then bury the game till these 4 people die of old age. Now the game can never continue and unleash more horrors.
      • As pointed out with Judy's near-death, it's not clear if the game freezes if one of the players dies or if it skips their turn. After those 4 people die, the game might just reset itself.
  • When Alan wins and everything is sucked back into the board, why is the bullet (and by extension, the rifle) sucked back into the game? I mean, van Pelt bought the rifle in the "real world"; why would a gun originally from our world by transported back to Jumanji? The whole "because van Pelt was holding it" thing seems like a pretty weak excuse...
    • It probably sucks him and all of his possessions back. So since he considers the rifle and bullet his, they go back with him.
    • Actually, the game resets 26 years of history. Everything that had happened in Bradford for 26 years, including the obvious economic collapse never occurred. The rifle was a part of that future, a future that was being annihilated and was taken along with everything else.
  • Did Van Pelt's elephant gun get sucked into the game, or just the one he was using at the end? Well, aside from being in the Reset Button time, of course.
    • The game seems to rewind everything that happened in the game. I expect his elephant gun was returned when time was rewound. As for the sniper rifle, it wouldn't have many supplies for bullets in 1900s Jumanji.
  • If a player was killed during gameplay, would the game just keep going forever, or would that one piece just be disqualified? I know in Zathura, which is written by the same guy, the board game got stuck after one of the players died. Does it work the same way in Jumanji?
    • Judy is killed during the game. The game goes on. Admittedly it never gets back to what would be her turn, but given its obvious lethality, if killing players off would make the game unplayable then it'd never have gotten to Alan in the first place.
      • Judy isn't shown to die - but she is shown delirious and close to death. The game ends just before she needs to roll, so we don't see if she's dead, or if she's needed should she be dead. Part of the point of Jumanji is that you MUST finish the game and you must work together. It's only about half a dozen turns, but every one of them is potentially deadly. After all, if you weren't needed to play, only one person would need to be alive at the end, since all else would rewind.
      • She 'is' shown to die - Peter lays her lifeless body down in her brief final shot.
      • As Kung Pow! Enter the Fist helpfully points out just because someone closes their eyes it doesn't mean they're dead. No one else is said to have died from their encounters with either the plants or the mosquitoes and the game ends before we can get hard confirmation that Judy died.
    • Maybe it would skip the turns of dead players. The game seems to know if a player is cheating the dice roll, perhaps the game is capable of mercy, unlikely as it may be.
    • Also Walter in Zathura wished that Danny had never been born, not that he was dead.
      • That seems most likely, since someone sucked into the game is skipped until someone else rolls a five or an eight (basically a permanent "Lose a Turn" scenario).
      • Alan didn't skip any turns, so we don't know what would have happened if it had gotten around to his turn. As a matter of fact, he was summoned at the very last possible moment: on Peter's turn, just before it was Alan's turn. And Peter didn't even roll him up on his first roll, but got doubles and was allowed to roll again!
  • Why didn't they load up on weapons before rolling the dice? They had all the time in the world at some points. Also, why not seek outside help? I could understand that trying to explain to the cops that the board game is evil would end badly, but why not walk onto a military base or police station, etc. and THEN roll the dice? You have to admit, having Van Pelt pop out of the game only to end up with several guns pointed at him (and subsequently being arrested) would be pretty hilarious.
    • Van Pelt had a sword impaled into him, and he just yanked it out and healed over. Most likely, he wouldn't yield to the guns pointed at him and either a) kill Alan, b) escape.
      • The sword was embedded in the column next to Van Pelt; if he was hit at all, it was only a graze.
    • They also didn't have all the time in the world; they wanted to finish the game before Aunt Nora came home and found out there was a lion in her bedroom (the same roll that freed Alan from the game).
    • The subjects of the rolls typically don't just materialize in the room the players are in. They sneak up on you. It adds to the tension of the game, not knowing where the creatures or whatever will appear. Van Pelt's first shot was from outside the room and Alan was noticeably on edge and preparing to flee the moment he realized what was coming. Furthermore, going to the police or military and playing could cause significant collateral damage that would make the situation worse, or risk the game being confiscated by police before completion.
    • Also, the kids could be Genre Savvy, realizing that no one would believe them if they did say anything, and that they probably wouldn't get the chance to offer proof.
      • Sarah actually tries this, but is not believed and ends up in chronic therapy.
    • Also, they couldn't 'just' walk into a military base or a police station and take whatever they like for what should be blindingly obvious reasons.
  • In the beginning, how did the game sit under the couch unnoticed by Alan's parents for several hours? There was at least say, 10 inches from the floor to the bottom of the couch!
    • They have a big house and it's very easy to overlook something you're not looking for, especially if you have other things on your mind or things to do. His dad was working and had the banquet on his mind when he returned.
      • A better question is; How did the game migrate from the downstairs to the attic? Especially without anyone jostling it accidentally? Did the game close itself up?
      • It's probable whoever found it thought nothing of it. Plus, Alan closed the game, the pieces don't move, and it seems the players have to actually intend to play, not simply jostle the game.
      • Not true. The pieces fell to their starting positions on their own when Alan picked them up. When Alan dropped the dice as he was startled by the clock, and when Alan tricked Sarah into rolling by tilting his hand when she wanted to give him the dice back, the game interpreted it as a roll both times despite them not intending to.
      • So basically the game chooses a person as a player when that person picks up a playing token.
  • Carl Bentley made a prototype sneaker, why did he only make one shoe? Surely it would've made a better impression with a pair of sneakers, and he wouldn't have been without his shoe to present.
    • Maybe he did make two, but only showed one to Alan. After he was fired, it could have been hard for him to pitch his idea to anyone.
    • And it wouldn't matter if he did have another prototype. He was fired because Mr. Parish thought he left a shoe on a conveyor belt and it got caught up in a machine. Not only is that a very dangerous accident, it sounded like it severely damaged the machine when it went through.
    • For the record, after briefly looking around in vain for the first shoe, he turns back toward the box he took it from, but is interrupted by the accident. Apparently, he was going to get out the second shoe.
  • If it was such a big deal that all Parish boys go to the same boarding school generation after generation, why did Alan's parents waited with telling him about that until few days before sending him there? Wouldn't it be a lot easier if he grew up knowing it from his earliest days, so going to this school would just seem perfectly natural to him?
    • A family tradition such as this is definitely something Alan knows about having probably heard stories about his father, grandfather, and (if he has any) uncles' youth. It's really a foregone conclusion that doesn't need much explanation.
  • This is probably the question we asked ourselves two hundred times, but why Van Pelt is so obsessed to catch Alan. Is he bound to the rules of the game to hunt the one who rolled the dice (it's also mentioned by him) or maybe there were some conflict between him and Alan when he was still in the jungle ?
    • Van Pelt actually states it outright that this is the case. "You didn't roll the dice, Alan did!"
  • So, what exactly was that huge freakin' rifle that Van Pelt upgrades to? I can't really tell the model, just that it appears to be loaded to the brim with Gun Accessories like a decidedly non-standard looking drum magazine and an over-sized scope.
    • According to the Internet Movie Firearms Database it's a Daewoo USAS-12 automatic shotgun (which come with drum magazines) and then given a scope and silencer to make it look like a sniper rifle. Similarly, his original gun is not actually an elephant gun but a Winchester 1901 with added scope, faked box magazine and barrel shroud to make it look like an elephant gun.
  • OK, the quicksand bit. When Alan is sinking into the floor, and Judy takes her next turn, it causes the quicksand to "harden," for lack of a better term. What would have happened had she waited a few seconds longer. Would he have simply fell to the floor below, or would he have disappeared all together? We see him hanging by his armpits in the ceiling.
    • I think that is a pretty clear indication that he would have fallen through. The ceiling was pretty high, though, so falling through isn't exactly no big deal.
      • You'd think he'd notice that. You'd think he'd not only feel the air on his legs, but also the fact that he can struggle around freely, and therefore get the idea to tell his friends to just push him through.
    • I'm going with "disappeared altogether". You don't hear the box crashing into the floor below. Either that, or if he did fall through, then the floor beneath would keep turning into quicksand, and he'd be sinking forever until the next person rolls.
  • When Alan makes the roll that summons Van Pelt he reacts with extreme fear and says Van Pelt's name before Pelt even shows up. Where and when did he meet Pelt, and why isn't this explained in the movie?
    • Every hazard the game brings forth comes from a jungle world "inside" the game itself. Alan was sucked into that world for decades after his first roll, so he already met monkeys, mosquitoes, venomous plants, spiders and Van Pelt himself.
    • How is this at all unclear? Van Pelt outright says that he's been hunting Alan for years in the game.
  • Why is Van Pelt the only hazard that focuses on the one who rolled it? The other hazards were just as dangerous to all four players, regardless of who rolled what.
    • He was also the only human. It's possible that his only hunting Allen was more of a personal code of honor than a rule that he has to follow.
    • How is it unclear? Van Pelt says "You didn't roll the dice. Alan did." Being the only hunter in the game (at least, that we know of...) - and being a hunter in general - he hunts whoever's roll summuned him. Plus, he and Alan have crossed paths before in the game's jungle.
    • He's a hunter. Thus he hunts him.
    • Possibly he's the only one intelligent enough to articulate that he's only hunting Alan. All the rest were also attacking the person who rolled the dice, it just so happened that they're always standing right by each other. The flowers attacking Judy and the spiders attacking everyone but Peter when he was getting the ax kind of undercut it, but he was probably the only one sophisticated enough to tell the difference.
    • Probably a case of different hazards with different effects and different targets. Either that or the game really hates Alan considering that each of his rolls have specifically targeted him.
  • Why do they insist on playing the game within the house, a confined space where it is already overgrown with dangerous plants and a lion locked in the bedroom, rather than in the open where they can escape from dangers much faster.
    • It's also a lot easier to lose the game, which is what happens halfway through.
    • If they play out in the open, people will see them summoning animals from the game, when they don't want anyone to find out. Remember, their initial goal was to finish the game as quickly as possible before their aunt finds out and sees the destroyed house.
  • Sarah was quick to believe Alan was back after 26 years. She could have easily believed that Alan was someone teasing him about her supposed "crazy-ness". But it's possible Sarah neglected to mentioned the part about hearing drum beats coming from the game. Which is why she was surprised he would know that before knowing he's Alan.
    • She presumably recognised his appearance. In the film they're played by different actors, but story-wise he'd have probably looked enough alike (even after 26 years) for her to realise it was him after he told her.
    • Note that Sarah was still doubting herself when she came round, because the first thing she did at the Parish house was call her doctor to state that she needs her medication dosage checked.

Johnny MnemonicHeadscratchers/FilmJuno

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