Adaptation Induced Plot Hole
So you're watching the movie version of your favorite book, and wait- wasn't Alice's sword broken two scenes ago? What happened to the scene where she went to go get it reforged? And why is Bob seemingly flirting with Charlotte? Doesn't he indicate in the third book that he never liked her and suspected her of being a traitor?
Almost no adaptation is perfectly accurate. Details often get left out of adaptations
, and sometimes this works, sometimes this doesn't (particularly to those unfamiliar with the original work
). Other times, details are added
that seem perfectly fine at the time, but end up directly contradicting canonical plot points - with a continuing work, this may even be a plot point the original writers hadn't actually written yet
. Sadly, authors are not psychic.
If added material results in a plot hole, it may require an additional scene to Hand Wave
it away. If removed material caused the problem, there may be a brief Info Dump
to fill everyone in on what they missed. Contrast with its inverse, the Plot Tumor
If this is caused by a work being translated into another language, it's a Dub Induced Plothole
If there is simply a lack of explanation as to why something happened, instead of a full-on Plot Hole
, it's Adaptation Explanation Extrication
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Anime & Manga
- In a One Piece mini-arc about Coby and Helmeppo, the two are said to have sailied over Reverse Mountain to Navy HQ with Garp. Later on, it is revealed that Marine ships can cross the Calm Belt with special Seastone equipment, and the newspaper photo is hand waved away as a deception for the press.
- The Warship Island Filler Arc makes two: first when Zoro easily cuts through steel chains, despite it being a plot-point in the canon Alabasta arc that he couldn't cut steel. Second is that all the Strawhats meet Ryuji, a dragon, which makes Zoro's comment to Ryuma in the Thriller Bark arc that he doesn't believe in dragons seem completely stupid.
- Later in the manga, the crew meets a dragon for the first time, with all of them expressing surprise as they have never seen one before. Whoops.
- At the end of the Warship Island Arc, Nami outright murders the Dragon-in-Chief by knocking him into the sea. Cut to the Dressrosa Arc where Nami considers the idea of tossing a fruit user into the ocean to be too cruel.
- Another one was when a filler episode had Chopper use two Rumble Balls a short time apart without consequence, when it was later shown taking more than one within six hours has dangerous consequences; taking two should have made him lose control of his transformation.
- In Sanji's flashback which shows why he personally owes Zeff so much, it's revealed that when he was much younger Zeff saved his life when they were marooned on a small piece of land by giving him all the food that had washed up on shore with them. Zeff survived by breaking off and eating one of his own legs, thus revealing why he has a peg leg. In the anime, this is changed so that Zeff loses his leg prior while saving Sanji from drowning, as it was caught in the middle of a sinking ship. As Zeff still gives Sanji all the food that washes up, this leaves one to wonder what the hell Zeff had to eat in order to survive while the two were stuck on land,
- Several in Naruto:
- Naruto claims to have only read 10 pages of Jiraiya's latest novel, Make Out Tactics, in the anime as an extra joke that he was lying when he distracted Kakashi by pretending to spoil the ending. However, later on when he's trying to decode a message Jiraiya left behind while dying, it's revealed that Jiraiya asked him to proofread his books, and he at least obliged to the degree he knows Jiraiya's handwriting well enough to notice that he disguised a "ta" katakana (タ) as a 9. Perhaps he lied about lying he'd read the book, just to annoy Kakashi.
- A filler episode expanded Suigetsu and Sasuke's trip to get Zabuza's sword from the Land of Wave, and it's mentioned that Inari and Tazuna would be working on a job in the Cloud Village for the next year. However, in the manga they actually ended up making guest reappearances in a job in the Leaf Village (helping rebuild after the Pain invasion) what was at most a couple months later.
- A smaller one is how the anime gives the Fireball Jutsu to various characters that aren't members of the Uchiha clan or officially unable to perform Fire techniques.
- During Itachi's fight against Naruto and Kakashi in Shippuden, it is stated that Itachi's Sharingan is not affected by the Hidden Mist technique. This contradicts what happened in the Land of Waves arc, where Kakashi's Sharingan was rendered useless against Zabuza's technique.
- Omake should probably not be considered canon in general, but an early Shippuden omake has a really noticeable one where Deidara casually asks Kisame what Itachi is like as if he's never met him, even though Deidara was (forcibly) recruited into Akatsuki by Itachi in the first place and Deidara had spent the last several years trying to find a way to kill Itachi.
- One Filler episode had Hinata learn a unique, powerful technique featuring a myriad pinpoint-precision chakra laser beams. Later in the manga, a major villain is able to curb stomp her using his powerful gravity blast attack- she spends the fight repeatedly charging at him while trying to land a physical hit, which is hopeless. The chakra lasers would have obviously been a much better bet.
- In the anime Obito is able to suck Fu into his Pocket Dimension without touching him, while in the manga it was not clear if he touched him or not and it was later explicitly stated to require physical contact, which was exactly why Minato was able to beat him.
- Death Note's anime adaptation omitted several scenes from the manga, which while usually not problematic, have led to plotholes. In the manga, it's explained that SPK member Ill Ratt is actually a spy for Mello, which is how the mafia learned the SPK's names and were able to kill them. This is not explained in the anime, but in the Relight 2 special, the mafia are cut, and Light blackmails the president to send their names to Kiyomi Takada. In this version, Light's meetings with her and Teru Mikami are moved to earlier than occurred in the anime, and they kill the SPK.
- However, while fixing one plothole, said special creates another: as the mafia are cut, Soichiro making the trade for Shinigami Eyes and subsequent death is ommitted in the process, leaving plotholes regarding Soichiro's absence as well as how Light was able to acquire Mello's true name.
- Also in Relight they have one scene where Light says to Ryuk that talking with him would be impossible Due to his room being bugged by L, but two scenes latter they are shown freely talking without any mention of said camera's being removed.
- During Episodes 8 and 9, a Shinigami comes to the world of the living in search of Rukia. In the process, he and Ichigo get into a short fight, and it later contradicts Ichigo's later claim that while his sealed zanpakuto looks large compared to Rukia's, he couldn't compare it to anyone else's.
- When the anime covers Chad's backstory, it bizarrely changes it from the canon into a completely different version. In the manga, Chad's grandfather lectured him against being a bully so Chad obeyed his grandfather and vowed to never fight for himself. Ichigo realised he could fight for others so the two vowed to fight to protect the other, and Chad's only ever fought to protect others ever since. The anime's version has Chad ignoring his grandfather until his grandfather is beaten almost to death by Chad's victims. Horrified, Chad vows never to fight again. Obviously, the anime has Chad fighting to protect others, just as the manga set him up to do, but it completely contradicts the anime version of the vow he made.
- The Unknown Zanpakuto Tales filler arc threw in a lot of points about Zanpakuto, in particular regarding Zangetsu and Ichigo's Inner Hollow, that have since been jossed by the 1000-Year Blood War arc.
- In the YuYu Hakusho manga, the group uses Yanagisawa's Copy power to copy Kaito and use his video game skills to win a round against the Game Master. In the anime, the group uses Yusuke (who is otherwise not very good at video games) to win a fighting game, which makes their desperation to win when Kurama comes up seem strange; in the manga, only Yusuke and the non-gamer Hiei were left, but in the anime, they could have utilized Yanagisawa's power.
- In the Fist of the North Star TV series, during an episode where Jagi terrorizes a village while pretending to be Kenshiro, one of the villagers remarks that Kenshiro was the one who defeated "Devil's Rebirth and the Fang Clan". However, not many people outside Jackal and his gang were even aware of Devil's existence. In the original manga, the villager simply said that Kenshiro defeated Jackal instead. This change was likely done due to the fact that Jackal was an independent villain in the manga, whereas in the TV series he was simply a lackey of Shin.
- Code Geass gets a couple in the manga adaptation of the series, mostly brought on by the fact that it lacks Humongous Mecha but attempts to tell the exact same story otherwise. One example comes from secondary character Viletta Nu: in both versions of the story she joins Britannia's equivalent of the CIA and becomes Ashford Academy's gym teacher to spy on Lelouch. In the anime she was promoted for learning that Lelouch is Zero, as a direct result of her Easy Amnesia and Amnesiac Dissonance romance storylines in the first season; in the manga, she's Demoted to Extra and thus none of this happens, resulting in her seemingly getting the rank just because it's what the anime did.
- In the final volume, the removal of some characters and plotlines led to several Out Of Character Moments. For example, Kaguya, who is Zero's biggest fangirl and a lot more cunning, not to mention absent during the meeting, is essentially the engineer behind the Black Knights' coup d'état against him and the one who smooths things over after he escapes; in effect, she takes up the roles of Diethard (who isn't in the manga) and Ohgi (whose motivation to betray Zero came from Viletta's excised storyline).
- The Inuyasha anime claims on a couple of occasions that the shikon shards were needed for Kagome and Inuyasha to travel through the well. This was never the case in the manga, and Kagome spends quite a while without any at all but still travels through the well, so it stops being a requirement in the anime without explanation.
- Also, many plot points center around Kagome and Kikyo looking alike (Kagome being Kikyo's reincarnation). In the anime their faces look different, so it doesn't make sense that people would confuse them.
- In the Dragon Ball anime, Goku meets Dr. Flappe, a professor who lives not far from Jingle Village and was pressured by the Red Ribbon Army into creating Android 8. Several years later in Dragon Ball Z, the creator of the Androids (including Eighter) is revealed to be Dr. Gero. Also in Dragon Ball Z, the ship Goku uses to get to Namek is a modified version of the ship he was sent to Earth in, which Piccolo destroyed in Filler. However the latter issue is no longer present in Dragon Ball Kai.
- Also in the Dragon Ball Z anime, the line from the Dragon Ball manga is cut where Zarbon tells Vegeta that Freeza can transform, leaving a bit of a headscratching moment when Vegeta references it later on. Kai does not fix this.
- Anime filler shows the character Dabura becoming good. Namek's Dragonballs are then used to wish back the people who are not evil. Dabura should have been revived, yet he doesn't appear later as this doesn't happen in the manga.
- The Garlic Jr. Saga is basically one big Adaptation Induced Plot Hole. It, nor any of the other movies occur in the manga obviously. It directly follows the movie The Dead Zone, which is supposed to take place before the start of Dragon Ball Z. If Dead Zone was canon, then there's no reason Krillin and the others don't know about Gohan in the first episode of Dragon Ball Z and are surprised when he unleashes his power on Radditz.
- Plot Holes seriously tarnish what is an otherwise excellent series in Flights of Fancy, the second season of the Ah! My Goddess TV series— Skuld is seen using her stamp power in one late episode, but there's no episode in which we see it developed, and Chihiro, and her shop, Whirl Wind, show up, but Chihiro is never formally introduced, and the fact that she wanted to start a shop is never even mentioned.
- Flights of Fancy also inverts this Trope: Keiichi and Belldandy are an Official Couple by Episode 24 of Ah! My Goddess; at the end of the Lord of Terror arc, they share a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming when they confess their love for each other. In the 24th (and last) episode of Flights of Fancy, Keiichi spends the entire episode trying to confess his love for Belldandy, but Cannot Spit It Out— even though Belldandy flat-out says she's ready for him to say it!
- Hellsing: In his fight with Alucard, Luke Valentine is shown to have a strong Healing Factor, surviving after getting shot in the head by Alucard's specialized gun. However he is unable to regenerate his legs. In the manga there was no headshot. He was instead shot in the stomach by the Casull, while his legs were shot off by Jackal. In the OVA, Jackal was the cause of all three wounds.
- This was rectified in the Blu-Ray rerelease, where Luke's initial injuries are now caused by the Casull.
- In the Ranma ½ manga, Ranma (as a girl) competes with Tsubasa (whose disguise had yet to be revealed) in who can sell more food to the boys at school, but since all of them knew that Ranma wasn't a real girl they didn't buy any from her until she started wearing a disguise. However, in the anime Ranma's curse wasn't revealed by this point, so the boys bought them only from the disguised Ranma for no apparent reason.
- Saint Seiya had one when they showed Scorpio Milo killing Shun's Master. Then the manga came out and it was Pisces Aphrodite. A number of Ass Pulls had to be done to fix the problem of Shun swearing revenge against someone who didn't apply the coup de grace against his teacher.
- Dr. Slump had a story where Akane dressed up as Miss Yamabuki to play some pranks on Senbei. This took advantage of their faces looking the same. The second anime made their faces more different (And gave them different hair colors), yet they adapted this story anyway. Even though it didn't make sense any more.
- Due to the absence of the Skull Knight (and a few other characters at that), there were a couple of these toward the end of the anime adaptation of Berserk. This partially contributed to the cliffhanger before the final credit roll.
- Elfen Lied has a few. The anime begins with a violent demonstration of Lucy's immunity to bullets, despite the fact that the guards are supposed to have special bullets designed to penetrate her vectors. In the manga, she grabs a Human Shield before any of the heavily armed guards can get a shot off.
- The anime also gave Lucy only four vectors, as opposed to the seemingly unlimited number she had in the original, while allowing her to do things she did in the manga that would be impossible with only four vectors, such as simultaneously holding a few hundred bullets in mid-air.
- Yu-Gi-Oh!: In the anime's Duelist Kingdom arc, it's not revealed why Bakura didn't get rid of the Ring, even though it made him evil, or even why he went to the island. The manga explains that he wants to learn the secrets of the Millennium Items and went to the island to talk to Pegasus, as well as cheer Yugi and Jonouchi on in their games. And following the Monster World arc of the manga, which takes place before the Duelist Kingdom arc and is the equivalent the anime's episode 13, Bakura no longer wore the Millennium Ring until a certain point, noting that it only possesses him if he wears it.
- And while we're on the subject, there was a filler arc in the anime that said that Duel Monsters come from an alternate world that Yugi even travels to at the arc's start. They were said to have existed since about 10,000 years ago and appeared in Atlantis. When the final arc based off the final arc of the manga comes around, it's stated that Duel Monsters a.k.a. Monster Spirit Ka are the ripped out souls of people trapped in stone by the Millennium Items. There's also the issue that the Egyptian events were 3000 to 5000 years ago, not 10,000. And don't even get me started on the origins of Dark Magician Girl... Never mind the fact that a handful of monsters were still created exclusively for the modern day game and a handful of Monsters Spirits didn't become Duel Monster cards, totally flipping story logic around for this anime-only alternate dimension.
- Most of the anime's changes and filler induced one or two plot holes to some degree, or at least, things that made absolutely no sense in context. Another example would be Sugoroku Mutou being hospitalized after playing a card game with Kaiba in the first episode. The first episode was a condensed, Lighter and Softer, and rather unfaithful version of several manga chapters, and naturally this would cause several problems. In the manga, Sugoroku was forced to suffer a virtual reality Penalty Game in Kaiba Corp's amusement park of death, which causes a heart attack (and understandably so◊). According to the anime, it was because Kaiba's holograms were so realistic that grandpa's body couldn't handle it (in the manga, instead of giant Duel Stadiums, they had Duel Boxes — which were booths that had tables that generated small projections of the monsters). This creates two plot holes within the anime. If these holograms were so realistic, why did Kaiba create the Duel Disk to make them even more "real", despite them being the exact same thing, only portable? Doesn't that mean Pegasus already had the technology to create a lifelike projection of his dead wife? Also, if grandpa's body couldn't handle these holograms, how could he have taken part in that filler tournament (Kaiba Grand Prix), which uses Duel Disks that are supposedly more intense than the Duel Stadiums? Does that mean they aren't?
- And speaking of the Duel Disks and Pegasus, a specific point is made of Kaiba wanting to use the Duel Disks to duel Pegasus who uses a mind controlled Mokuba as a hostage to force him to instead play on the normal Duel Boxes...for no reason, the Duel Disks don't change the game in the slightest way aside from becoming portable, it's like challenging someone to play on a table thinking it some how gives you an advantage over playing on the floor.
- The Duel Disk point is actually explained. Kaiba believes, based on the duel with Bandit Keith, that Pegasus needs to see his opponent to read their play (Though he's unaware that it's literal magic) and the Duel Disk's hologram (which projects huge cards around the players) would obscure him and thus stop Pegasus' trick. Also, both Pegasus and Kaiba note before the duel that destabilizing the opponent mentally is a good way to secure an early advantage and making Pegasus play with a device he's unfamiliar with would give Kaiba a minor advantage in morale, if not in actual gameplay.
- In the manga, Kaiba is aware of Pegasus's magic, but believes that it only works at a distance, hence the Duel Disks. Since they changed the Duel Boxes to Duel Rings, which require the gamers to be more or less the same distance as the Duel Disks, they had to change this plot point.
- Furthermore, Jonouchi discovering Mai's perfume-trick made less sense. In the manga, they were sitting relatively close to each other, so it would make more sense for Jonouchi to pick up the different scents (Fridge Logic aside that the scents wouldn't be all that discernible, not even to Mai.) In the anime, there's quite a distance between them, not to mention that they aren't in a closed room, so it should be impossible for Jonouchi to smell the perfume.
- The entire filler based around the secondary characters investigating Pegasus's castle. Through investigation they discover a hole in the upper wall of the duel room which points to a tower with a telescope in it pointed to the hole. The entire situation STRONGLY implies that Pegasus has been cheating by having someone spy on the other duelist's hand and pretending to be able to read minds...Which is wrong, he really can read minds, and he's demonstrated this ability many times. Which begs the question of why that hole set up is there in the first place.
- Another example of a flub in the anime: because they skipped the first seven volumes and refused to acknowledge any game that isn't Duel Monsters, they had to reintroduce Ryou Bakura in a game of Duel Monsters during the Duelist Kingdom arc instead of a tabletop role-playing game BEFORE the Duelist Kingdom arc. This altered story gives Yugi's Puzzle the power to put souls back into their original bodies, which saves Bakura from his evil alter ego. Why were they on the island to begin with? To beat Pegasus and return grandpa's soul. But if Yugi had these powers, then why...?
- The implication was that Grampa's soul was spirited all the way to Pegusus' collection in the physical world before the Pharoah could think to reverse it. And they leave Gramps' body behind when they go to Duelist Kingdom. Wheras when he switched Bakura and the Spirit of the Ring, all of the pieces were still together.
- And yet another problem created from anime adaptation the was the importance of the starchips. In the manga, when Kaiba first attempted to break inside Pegasus' castle, he discovered the only way in was by inserting the 10 collected starchips into the castle's front door. Thus when he was given the five in his duel with Yugi he needed to collect five more in order to enter. In the anime, Kaiba was able to break into the castle and nearly came close to rescuing Mokuba until Pegasus stole his soul, and then the starchip point comes up where he's given five to wager against Yugi so he can enter... in spite of the fact that he had just made it into the castle in the same episode.
- Obviously, this was because Pegasus was in complete control of the situation, and understandably did not consider Kaiba's presence legitimate. Thus, Pegasus refused to accept Kaiba's challenge until the younger man agreed to make a token attempt to play by the rules of the tournament.
- The anime adaptation of the video game Tales of the Abyss suffers from its Compressed Adaptation status. Sometimes it's only Adaptation Explanation Extrications, but other times are full blown plot holes. The most obvious example is Ion's death, which it's explained in the game, but in the anime comes practically out of nowhere and without any tangible reason.
- Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood has a pretty noticeable plothole. Roughly about 2/5ths through the manga, all hell breaks loose and sees Alphonse, Mustang's group, Barry the Chopper, and Ling and Lan Fan get caught up in a battle with the Homunculi. Ling and Lan Fan fight Gluttony and Ling manages to cut Gluttony in half. Gluttony immediately heals up from this, which causes Ling and Lan Fan to learn about the Homunculi's regenerative abilities. When Ed returns from Xerxes later on and reveals his plan to capture a Homunculus, Ling and Lan Fan want to get in on the action because of their knowledge of the Homunculi's regeneration since it relates to their own quest to find immortality. In Brotherhood, the two's fight with Gluttony is completely cut, but they still want to join on Ed and Al's plan to capture a Homunculus for the same reasons, making one wonder how they know about the Homunculi and their power to regenerate.
- In the first anime, Greed's plan to bind his soul to an inanimate object was a failure before it even began, since homunculi in the first series had no souls to begin with. He was aware he had no soul, too
- In the last season of Sailor Moon, many characters remark that Chibi Chibi looks exactly like Usagi. Not just like her little sister, more like her daughter. Well, in the manga, this did make sense as Chibi Chibi is actually Sailor Cosmos, a future form of Sailor Moon herself, and thus they are essentially the same person. In the anime, however, her origin is completely independent of Sailor Moon entirely and it's never explained why they look the same.
- The anime short film Ami's First Love is a straight up adaptation of one of the Exam Battle short stories in the manga, which is about Ami getting a love letter from a secret admirer and freaking out so much she breaks out into hives. The problem? In the anime's timeline, Ami has already had a brief relationship with a fellow student, Urawa Ryou (thus this isn't even her first love) and she was shown handling his shy affection for her with grace and maturity. The short film also has the problem of showing Ami using an attack that she only used in the manga without explanation of where she got it. The films already create so many continuity problems that they're generally considered non-canon anyway, but it's still jarring when a story from the manga is adapted straight into a timeline that proceeded so differently as to contradict it.
- The first episodes of Detective Conan anime removed several references to Dark Organization and its members that existed in the manga, causing two examples of this trope:
- In Shinkansen Bomb case (animated as episode 4), originally it was the Those Two Bad Guys who gave Shinichi that fateful Fountain of Youth that planted a bomb on the train, and during the case Conan (i.e. the alias Shinichi took after being shrunk) overheard their code names: Gin and Vodka. In the anime the criminals were no longer members members of Dark Organization but some random criminals, so this left a plot hole in the anime that was never adequately resolved— when these names were needed in the third season, Conan just mentioned that without any explanation on how he knew that in the first place.
- The Billion-yen Robbery Case involves the death of Akemi Miyano, a Dark Organization mook, in the hands of the same Gin and Vodka. In the anime (Episode 12), the Dark Organization aspects of this case were completely removed— the said mook did not die, and she wasn't injured by Gin and Vodka either. This caused a case of Schrödinger's Cast as the said mook's death under the hands of the Dark Organization is essential to the plot, and she became the focal point of many, many backstories. An anime original episode was thus made right before one of those important backstories unravel, where the said mook was killed by Gin.
- Little Busters: In the Visual Novel, Kud's reluctance to return to Tevua stemmed partially from her relationship with Riki and partially from her fear of the dangerous conditions there, and only lasted for a couple of scenes. The anime drew this out, instead using this plot point to show Kud's backstory and how she felt unable to become a cosmonaut like her mother and was ashamed of herself, and claiming that she came to Japan to 'escape' from this. Nicely dramatic...but then why does Kud speak fluent Japanese? In the visual novel, it's made clear that Kud was always meant to go to high school in Japan and so had been taught Japanese as her dual first language with Russian. But in the anime, her moving to Japan was treated as a sudden whim outside of her mother's knowledge.
- A few exist in Robotech:
- Why does Dana Sterling have green hair as a baby but is a blonde by the time she grows up (dye job? Or because she was originally two different characters?)
- Why, when they come across Zor Prime, do they act surprised when they analyze him and find out he's human? (Never mind shoehorning in "and not just a micronized Zentraedi" so as t point out their alleged familiarity with Human Aliens- surely the races are so similar as to be practically the same species, as they can interbreed?) Maybe the fact that the original Southern Cross character, actually was a (brainwashed) human, Seifriet Weisse.
- Why cities such as New York (complete with famous Real Life theatre) exist in The New Generation series when the Earth got nuked by the Zentraedi and they barely managed to rebuild before being invaded again by the Invid? (Maybe because there were no Zentraedi in Mospeada).
- In the manga adaptation of Puella Magi Madoka Magica, due to its nature, they had to cut out some scenes from the final stretch of the anime. One of those scenes was a Meaningful Funeral, which had its purpose be that Sayaka's body, which was left in the apartment by Kyouko, was found. Cutting out that scene just suggests that the corpse is still rotting in the apartment.
- Shinji’s reluctance to pilot the Eva in the Rebuild series makes far, far less sense than in the original, in which he made sure to ask what would happen if he were gone, and Misato assured him Rei would replace him. In 1.0, she egged him into leaving despite knowing full well the fate of humanity rests on his shoulders, and in 1.11, he realises only seconds before starting the final decisive battle of the film that other people’s lives depend on him, despite having seen what an Angel can do.
- The anime of Umineko no Naku Koro ni contain so many of these (either by misinterpreting a scene, going for Rule of Cool or because of Compressed Adaptation) that the mystery becomes impossible to solve:
- The first two are in episode 5 alone, where Battler shoots a bullet at the portrait even though the gun he picked up is supposed to be unloaded and sees gold butterflies (while in the VN Beatrice appears in person) which are supposed to indicate we are watching a fantasy scene. So the detective shouldn't see them, the only exception being the end of Episode 2, where Battler had surrendered.
- Another one is in episode 10, where Shannon's corpse is found with the stake in her forehead; while in the VN the fact that the stake is beside her corpse is an important clue that she committed suicide in Episode 2 and 4.
- Yet another is how in the anime, Shannon and Kanon would appear together in front of other people, such as the cousins, in scenes that weren't fantasy. In the visual novel, the fact that Shannon and Kanon never appear together in front of the other members of the family outside fantasy scenes is meant to be foreshadowing for how they're actually one and the same.
- And of course, the entire first half of the Episode 4 Tea Party is axed, along with several important bits of information.
- BlazBlue: Alter Memory has Ragna leave a nearly dead Hazama alive to go find Rachel and Noel. While the game establishes this by saying that Hazama has a lifelink active (which requires one to kill both members of the lifelink at the same time in order to have them die), the anime doesn't bother stating it and makes Ragna look like an idiot.
- The comic version of The Adventures of Tintin and the Lake of Sharks (the one made to look like a Film Comic) misses a plot-critical line of Prof. Calculus: In the animated film, Calculus said the miniature duplicator machine was "a very special version", meaning Tintin actually did try to outsmart Rastapopoulos. In the comic, without this line, it looks like an accident.
Films — Animated
Films — Live-Action
- The Wizard of Oz famously combined the roles of the two Good Witches (of the North and the South), creating the plot hole where Glinda doesn't tell Dorothy what the slippers do on their first meeting, which would have saved her a lot of trouble. Originally the Good Witch of the North (not Glinda) gave her the shoes, but only Glinda knew they could bring her home.
- Steel Magnolias. In the film version, Jackson and Drummond are watching over Shelby when the plug is pulled. However, the dialog is true to the play, and M'Lynn claims that they couldn't handle it and left. It's a key plot hole because M'Lynn states that men are supposed to be made of steel, but weren't.
- On Her Majestys Secret Service is one of the more faithful adaptations of a James Bond novel to film—which, ironically, leads to problems. In the previous novels, Bond had never met Ernst Stavro Blofeld directly, so naturally they did not recognize each other on sight in the OHMSS book. But in the previous Bond movie, Bond and Blofeld had met face-to-face. However, they still do not recognize each other in the OHMSS movie, because they didn't recognize each other in the book!
- In the book of Sleeping With The Enemy the heroine has to live on oatmeal and beans for months after escaping her abusive husband. The film instead has Laura inexplicably affording a large and spacious house, complete with luxuries like brand name goods. Despite having only a part-time library job before her escape and not working for ages after she does settle into town.
- The The Lord of the Rings film leaves numerous questions about Aragorn to people who haven't read the books. If everyone knows him to be the rightful heir of Isildur and King of Gondor, why isn't he already? Why is Aragorn a 'Ranger from the North' if his homeland is Gondor?
- Near the end of the second film, Frodo clearly displays to one of the Ringwraiths at Osgiliath that he has the Ring. So in the third film, why is Sauron using all his forces to attack Minas Tirith rather than looking for Frodo? In the books, the scene at Osgiliath never happens; Sauron is never totally certain of who exactly has the Ring, but his hunch is Aragorn. This also explains why Sauron's forces fight the Armies of Men outside the Black Gate, whereas in the film Sauron seems to be doing out of a need to defend his reputation rather than any material incentive.
- The Harry Potter movies:
- In Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the authors of the Marauder's Map - "Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs" - are never revealed to be Remus Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, Sirius Black and James Potter, respectively. This causes problems in the later movies when the nicknames are used with no explanation. Though attentive viewers could learn this with the fact that Pettigrew is referred as Wormtail contantly and Harry does make a vague reference to Sirius being Padfoot. Though this requires viewers to heavily put two and two together to figure that James is Prongs and Lupin Moony.
- Also, it leaves anyone who hasn't read the book scratching their heads as to how Lupin knew what the map was. In turn, his worry about Sirius using the map to find Harry makes no sense for the same reason.
- The markings on the map inexplicably got changed from dots to footprints, which causes the scene with Peter Pettrigrew to make no sense since he's in rat form and obviously wouldn't have human footprints.
- In the fourth book, Barty Crouch Jr. receiving the Dementor's kiss is what prevents him from giving evidence about Voldemort's return (it's implied that this is exactly why Fudge has it performed); Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire omits this, and simply has him sent back to Azkaban, but a) all of the fallout from the book version of events is still present in the fifth film and b) one wonders why he's not freed from Azkaban along with Bellatrix Lestrange if he's still there in movie continuity.
- The mirror in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix never makes an appearance, but a shard from it is still inexplicably a plot device in the Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows movies. It's said to have belonged to Sirius but it's still never stated when or where Harry got it or why there is only a shard instead of a full mirror.
- The Fidelius Charm, a magical means of protecting secrets, is used twice and prominently in the books. It never shows up in the movie, leading to a lot of baffling questions about Sirius Black and Number Twelve, Grimmauld Place.
- A minor one from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone is how the kids get caught out of bed. For some reason they decide to go to Hagrid's house at night despite finding out about the Philosopher's Stone during the day. They have no reason to sneak out, and why would Malfoy have any reason to follow them? Does he skulk around outside the Gryffindor common room waiting for them to make a move? It's just giving them one big Idiot Ball so they can be caught and have to do detention in the forest. In the book, they were out of bed at night because they were trying to smuggle Hagrid's dragon (who had hatched weeks earlier) out of the school. Malfoy knew about this because he'd overheard them discussing their plans.
- In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1, the kids steal Bellatrix's wand. In Deathly Hallows Part 2, Hermione heads to Gringotts while impersonating Bellatrix and is told she needs to hand them her wand as confirmation of her identity. This very nearly blows the entire plan. What's gone is the fact that, in the book, the goblins knew Lestrange's wand had been stolen and were hoping to trap Harry's friends. Movie-only viewers wonder why Hermione didn't just hand them the wand, seeing as she had it anyway.
- The scene explaining the taboo on Voldemort's name in DH is deleted, so it just looks like the trio either have incredibly bad luck, or the Death Eaters are fantastic trackers who don't tell Voldemort where to find Harry and inexplicably go after him themselves; and Xenophilius Lovegood is insane, but happens to have incredibly good timing. This also results in an incredibly out of character moment in part 2 where Harry refers to Voldemort as "You-Know-Who" despite spending the entire series insisting on using his name.
- The way the movie focuses on Xenophilius says "Voldemort" implies that his name can alert Death Eaters and Snatchers to an exact location, but the explanation is still gone.
- In Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets after Harry finds the diary, as soon as he realises it can talk back he immediately asks it about the Chamber, even though he would have no reason to suspect the diary is connected in any way to those events. A deleted scene shows (as in the novel) a conversation the boys have with Hermione regarding the diary.
- A much more baffling plot hole occurs immediately after, after Harry is shown the memory of Hagrid opening the Chamber the very next scene is where the diary is stolen back. Harry meets nor speaks to anyone this entire time and no explanation is given later when it is revealed that Ginny stole the diary back. In the novel, the Valentine's Day scene fills in this gap.
- The Thestrals can only be seen by people who have seen death. In both the books and the movies, it is Cedric's death that causes Harry to start seeing them. However, he actually witnesses two deaths in the films prior to Cedric's. The first was his mother -in the books, he was laying in his crib and only saw the flash of light from Voldemort's wand, but in the films Harry is sitting up and clearly sees the murder in the flashback in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2. The second is Professor Quirrell, who Harry incinerates with The Power of Love. In the books Harry passes out before Quirrell dies, however in the movie he kills Quirrell himself and only passes out when Voldemort attacks him afterward. Despite both of these, the Thestrals remain invisible to Harry until Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. JK Rowling herself had to address this considering the Thestrals didn't appear at the end of the fourth book. They don't appear visible until the person in question has processed the death and come to accept it.
- An inversion occurs from a plot hole in the books that the movies fixed. When Harry is trying out wands in the first book, nothing happens until he gets the right one. This seems extremely odd considering later books have characters using other people's wands (just the magic isn't as effective) without having to defeat them in combatnote . The film fixes this by having Harry perform erratic and destructive magic with the wrong wands before getting his own.
- In Infernal Affairs, only Superintendent Wong knows the identity of the undercover cop. When he's murdered, the cop has no one in the police department to turn to. In The Departed, both Captain Queenan and his assistant Sergeant Dignam know who the undercover cop is. When Queenan is murdered, the cop acts like he has no one to turn to, but Dignam is simply away on suspension. Why no one bothers to look him up is never explained. Dignam's sudden reappearance at the end is treated as a surprise, but fans of the original would be waiting for that dangling thread to resolve for half the film.
- In The Last Airbender, Earthbenders are kept on land, yet do no earthbending at all. In the original show the Fire Nation keeps Earthbenders it captures on a metal platform at sea, far away from the rock and ground they could use to help escape. Admittedly, both explain that the Earthbenders had their spirits broken and no longer wanted any trouble (even in the show when given access to their element the Earthbenders didn't want to fight the prison guards). It's only that the explanation for their broken spirits (no earth to bend) wasn't present.
- Even the "broken spirits" defense would not have worked in the context of the film. In the TV show, the earthbenders didn't have access to their element until they were on the boat for a very long time. There was plenty of time for their spirits to be broken. But in the film, the Earthbenders were on the land prison the whole time.
- Not to mention in this film the Fire Nation can only bend preexisting fire and only had one fire source in the middle of the camp. This is the equivalent of building a camp out of assault rifles and giving the guards only hand guns.
- The short story turned short film Paul's Case has an example of this, although it's not so much a plot hole as a moment of characterization kept in when it didn't fit with the other changes. In the original story, Paul is portrayed in a way that makes it easy to assume he has mental problems. In the film he's turned much more sympathetic, and is shown to be a victim of circumstances, yet the film keeps in a scene where Paul creepily fantasizes about his father shooting him when he crawls through his basement window.
- In the film of Voyage of the Dawn Treader, a search for seven swords is superimposed over the novel's search for seven missing Telmarine lords. The claim that at least one of these swords was given to Caspian's father by Aslan is an Adaptation Induced Plot Hole: Aslan hadn't been seen in Narnia for centuries prior to the events of Prince Caspian, and as a Telmarine, Caspian's dad would've been brought up to believe "Aslan" was either a myth or a monstrous lion-demon, not a benefactor.
- In Flowers in the Attic after the husband dies, Corrine has to go back to her rich family and hope for an inheritance or else her children will have no money. The book is set in the 1950s but the film takes place in the 80s (when it was made). Corrine not attempting to work or not having a pre-existing job already is odd since there were less housewives that stayed exclusively at home in the 80s than there were in the 50s.
- Another one relating to the Age Lift. Chris and Cathy are fourteen and twelve respectively in the book but the movie ages them up to at least sixteen or seventeen. One wonders why they didn't try to find jobs either. Also as they're older, them being afraid of their grandmother is a little less believable - Chris would easily be able to overpower her.
- Sin City:
- The movie moves Dwight's "Most people think Marv is crazy" monologue from A Dame to Kill For to The Hard Goodbye. This works fine in a standalone movie, but in the comics the chronology of that night is very well fleshed out. Its revealed that while Marv was drinking at Kadie's after Goldie's murder two cops were questioning Shellie about Dwight's whereabouts. At that point in the story Dwight is recovering from events in his own story, so he couldn't be anywhere near Kadie's that night. Furthermore, he underwent plastic surgery which gave Dwight his appearance in the movie but that only happened months after the events of The Hard Goodbye, at which point Marv was on Death Row. Since Sin City 2 is slated to use A Dame to Kill For as its lead story they'll have to break from their own continuity or alter the timeline and make the entirety of Dame to Kill For take place before Hard Goodbye.
- There's also The Salesman, the assassin from "The Customer is Always Right," who later becomes The Colonel, the Big Bad of Hell and Back. Since The Colonel is dead by Boom, Headshot (and quite deservedly so) at the end of Hell and Back and the events of The Big Fat Kill take place after that story, the Salesman doing to Becky what he did to his "customer" in the other story at the very end of the film adaptation can't exactly happen in Sin City canon unless someone else is the Colonel in the film adaptation of Hell and Back.
- In the The Hunger Games novels, the mockingjay is a symbol of defiance against the Capitol and a plot point multiple times, but what it is or what it stands for isn't properly explained in the fillm (due to the fact it's harder to make exposition natural in a visual medium).
- In the first book, it's explained that during the last rebellion the Capitol attempted to spy on the rebels by using genetically engineered birds: "jabberjays," which could perfectly mimic extended conversations. But the rebels quickly figured this out and started sending out fake intel to confuse the Capitol, making them useless. The project was scrapped, but the jabberjays already in the wild cross-bred with mockingbirds, creating mockingjays. They serve as a reminder that the Capitol did fail once, thus wearing one is a pretty bold move.
- In the 2002 film version of The Time Machine, there's a massive plothole that wasn't present in the book or the earlier film. The first act of the movie revolves around Alexander building a time machine to go back in time and save his girlfriend from dying, but every time he tries it she still dies. He realizes that saving her would take away his reason for building the machine, creating a time paradox, and time paradoxes are impossible to make. However, at the end of the film he goes far into the future, sees that the Earth gets conquered by Morlocks, and he goes back in time to kill them all....which creates the exact same paradox that the first third of the movie said couldn't be made. Although flimsy explanations have been offered, there's really no way around the fact that the writers just forgot the rules they made up.
- In the movie adaptation of The Lightning Thief, it's never explained how monsters like Medusa and the Hydra are still alive in modern times when they were killed in Greek mythology. The books explain that since monsters don't have souls, when they die, they are not bound to the underworld and can escape (some monsters do take longer to come back to live than others).
- The movie also never explains why the Greek gods and monsters inhabit present-day America instead of Greece, while the book explains that they always reside in the most powerful nation of the Western world.
- In the original Total Recall (1990), there was a perfectly legitimate explanation why Hauser had to have his memory erased and take on the Quaid persona, because Quato, the leader of the resistance was a mutant who could read minds, and could easily detect an undercover spy therefore. But in the remake, the leader is just some standard normal guy without any mind reading ability, thus eliminating the need to erase his memory, and making the whole premise of the film rather faulty.
- The Watchmen film gives a rather weak explanation as to why The Comedian was killed. In the comic it's laid out that it's because he discovered the secret island where Veight/Ozymandias was conducting genetic experiments allowing for the creation of the giant squid in the climax but since this part is removed from the film and the ending is changed it doesn't appear. Rather the reason given is simply that he discovered Veight/Ozymandias's plan, even though there's no explanation as to how or a plausible way in which how he could have.
- There is a very brief Hand Wave when The Comedian visits Moloch. He mentions that Ozymandias was on a government watchlist and they sent The Comedian to investigate, and that's all the explanation we get.
- While the original Battlefield Earth novel isn't exactly regarded as a masterpiece of plotting, the film still introduces various plot holes and problems of its own. Perhaps the most glaring is that the Psychlos somehow missed Fort Knox altogether in the film, whereas in the novel it was one of the first locations they hit.note
- In the 2012 adaptation of Les Miserables, there are several minor ones that crop up. In the "Who Am I" number, Valjean simply tells the judge who he is to clear the falsely-accused man's name, providing no more evidence than saying that Javert will recognize him (and given that Javert just spent the last scene saying he now believes that Valjean is not the convict he was looking for, it comes across as Javert having rather bad judgement). In the musical, the script specifies that Valjean proves his identity by showing the tattoo of "24601" branded on his chest. Another takes place when Thenardier and his gang try to rob Valjean's house. In the play, after Eponine gets rid of them, Cosette pretends she saw a mysterious shadow outside which caused her to scream, thus causing Valjean to think that the "shadow" was Javert lurking outside. In the movie, Cosette has already gone to bed and thus Valjean only hears Eponine screaming and... somehow comes to the conclusion that this means that Javert is nearby.
- The latter actually isn't as much of an example of this trope—instead of Cosette telling Valjean that she saw a shadow, Valjean hears Thénardier shouting "Police!" outside, which leads him to believe that said "police" is Javert.
- More of an edition change induced plothole, but in the Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 player's handbook, a priest of Pelor, the quintessentially good deity of Greyhawk, is seen using a Symbol of Pain spell, which good aligned gods cannot grant. What happened was that they reused some artwork from the 3.0 PHB of the priest using the pain aspect of the Symbol spell, which was originally an unaligned spell.
- This, along with other artwork of said cleric being a dick to his party, resulted in the creation of Pelor the Burning Hate.
- For that matter, did they ever explain how Drow society in Forgotten Realms - which was based off of infravision - functioned in 3.5 - which removed infravision? They kept time through a giant rock pillar that had a "heat" spell cast on it, for pete's sake.
- The original CD&D supplement for the Mystara setting's nation of Karameikos included a three-paragraph summary of the content of an epic poem, roughly equivalent to the real-world Iliad, that underpins much of the native Traladaran culture's history and religion. When Karameikos was re-packaged for an AD&D audience, the three-paragraph summary was presented as the actual saga, meaning it was no longer a poem, no longer exciting, and no longer appealing enough to justify the Traladarans' having revered it for hundreds of years.
- The Warriors video game, in lieu of changing the story of the film, opted to make most of the game a prequel depicting the Warrior's rise before the events of the main story. For the most part, it works. However, there is one scene where Masai demands to know who The Warriors are and none of the other Riffs can answer him. In the film this makes sense, since we have no reason to believe the Warriors ever did anything to stand out. In the game however, the missions involve fighting their way through several gangs (trashing dozens of members with only four, at most, of their own), beating up or killing several other gang leaders and overthrowing the rival gang of Coney Island who they split from. While the Riffs ARE the biggest gang in the city, and presumably don't follow everything that happens with the small-time gangs, it is strange to think that none of them would've heard about the Warriors given all the havoc they cause.
- For a more specific example, look at Sully. In the movie, he'd never heard of the Warriors, and is somewhat open (if reluctant) to them passing through his territory. In the game, there's an eariler mission in which Sully starts telling everyone that he and the Orphans wrecked the Warriors, leading the Warriors to invade Orphans territory to wreck them, and culminating in them trashing Sully's car. This would make Sully far less likely to let them go during the events of the final mission/movie, and far more likely to immediately start a fight. The only real difference between the two versions of the scene is that in the game, Mercy reminds Sully that they wrecked his car (like he'd forget).
- In Metroid Prime Trilogy, the help for the combat visor in the first game notes that the visors you possess are indicated in the lower left of the screen. This is not true for the trilogy version where they are in a separate menu accessed by holding - and selecting the visor from a menu, and only the current visor remains listed on the HUD.
- Another example, from the same game (also from the North American re-release of Metroid Prime). In the original release of Prime, Metroid Prime had been captured by the Space Pirates and studied for a while. Then, it broke out, merged with some Pirate gear, and escaped back to where it came from. The problem is that where it came from was supposed to be behind an impenetrable barrier that you spend most of the game getting the key to. So this was changed in the re-releases to fix the plot hole; it was never captured by Pirates and so forth. However, in so doing, they introduced another plot hole: if the Metroid Prime never was captured by the Space Pirates, where did it get all that fancy Pirate gear that it uses on you in the first battle? And why is it even called "Metroid Prime" since it was the Pirates who gave it that name?
- The second stage of Turtles in Time, "Alleycat Blues", takes place in a back alley in broad daylight. This isn't a problem for the '80s Turtles, who moved around freely during the daytime, but their Mirage comic and 2003 incarnations generally stick to nighttime activity - so when the game was remade as Turtles in Time Re-Shelled, using designs from the 2003 cartoon...
- A plot hole created between platforms of The Fancy Pants Adventure: World 3 appears in the Canopy Forest level. There is a squirrel on a balloon who gives a minigame challenge, and reward the player with "a squirrel-y prize". In the console versions of the game, that prize is an acorn-shaped hat, while in the online Flash version, it's a rather nebulously relative pair of green pants.
- The first world in Rayman involved fighting a tribe of "Moskitos", one of whom (Bzzit) became your ally after you beat him. In the GBA and PC versions, the lead Moskito, who was red in the PSX version, had the exact same colors as his underlings, leaving several players scratching their heads as to why the guy whose Heel-Face Turn they made such a big deal a few levels ago is suddenly out for your blood again.
- The Bourne Conspiracy video game follows the plot of the first Bourne movie pretty accurately except for some added flashback missions and a runup to the hit on Wombosi at the start. However this actually hurts the premise since it makes the Treadstone program look not so bad, and Bourne more like a coward than someone with principles. The game doesn't allow you to use lethal force against civilians or police, something the movie implied that Treadstone was quite lax about, it creates an odd moral issue when Bourne gets a burst of conscience and can't kill Wombosi, despite that he slaughtered dozens of his mooks to get to him and also killed Wombosi's Dragon, (a character that doesn't appear in the film), and depicts the flashback missions as quite noble and just despite the film implying that they often consisted of killing innocent people who happened to inconvenience the CIA, involving things like fighting off a terrorist assault on an airport and stopping a terrorist from obtaining a dirty bomb. Pre-amnesia Bourne and Conklin come across more like ruthless Anti-Heroes rather than the immoral killers as portrayed in the movie.
- In Shin Super Robot Wars, when the Devil Gundam returns as the True Final Boss, it becomes much stronger even though Ghostelo is its pilot. In its series proper, the Devil Gundam requires an unwilling female pilot in order to reach its full strength. There's no explanation as to how Ghostelo has made it stronger than before.
- In Divine Wars, the Animated Adaptation of Super Robot Wars Original Generation, Euzeth Gozzo somehow manages to make an appearance during the prologue and the final episode. For a long time, fans were stumped as to what he was even doing there in the first place, since he does not exist in the Original Generation games, but is Hand Waved since Divine Wars was a loose adaptation of the games. In the Second Original Generation, Euzeth makes his appearance as the True Final Boss, and goes on a lengthy explanation regarding why he can be in multiple games like Super Hero Sakusen and Super Robot Wars Alpha, INCLUDING Divine Wars. This is further discussed via the concept of "Maha-Kalpas", and the journey from one life cycle of the multiverse into the next.