"By the time you figure out what was wrong with that, it won't matter anymore!"Half an hour after the show is over, a random viewer is staring into his refrigerator, vaguely bemused by the fact that his six-pack of beer has somehow become a two-pack of beer. Rather than work out how this might have happened, it occurs to him to wonder how in the hell Sydney Bristow went from Hungary to Melbourne, Australia, then to LA, all within 24 hours. It didn't bother him during the show. It wasn't until he discovered he was running short of beer that it became an issue. Fridge Logic has been the writer's-room term for these little Internal Consistency issues for a good while, as in "Don't sweat the Fridge Logic, we've got bigger fish to fry. We've only got 20 minutes left to work in three costume changes, a foreign language, and a weird wig." It refers to some illogical or implausible plot point that the audience doesn't realize during the show, but only long afterwards. This naming is highly subjective, since not every person follows the same train of thought. Some people will never even realise there was a problem, while others will call it a Plot Hole, since they already noticed the problem during the show. The phrase was technically coined by Alfred Hitchcock. When asked about the scene in Vertigo when Madeleine mysteriously, and impossibly, disappears from the hotel that Scottie saw her in, he responded by calling it an "icebox" scene, that is, a scene that "hits you after you've gone home and start pulling cold chicken out of the icebox." It is also known under a variety of other names:
- In science fiction circles, this is also known as a "Jellybean Moment". This refers to a story by Harlan Ellison® titled "Repent, Harlequin!" Said the Ticktockman, where the climax of the story involves gumming up the works of the society with the application of jellybeans. It's only after the story has been read that the average reader thinks "Where the heck did he get the jellybeans?" This phrase is at the core of a famous story involving Ellison at a Worldcon. This is also Lampshaded in-story: "Where did he get jelly beans? Nobody has made jelly beans for more than a hundred years!"
- On the commentary track for the Hot Fuzz DVD, the filmmakers refer to this as "popcorn logic." It's five minutes after the movie ends, you're walking out of the theater, finishing off your popcorn, and—wait a tick!
- The writer David Gerrold refers to this as the "refrigerator door question" in his book on writing, Worlds of Wonder. He also gives an example: In the movie ET, if E.T. can make the bicycle fly at the end, why doesn't he use it in the beginning of the film to avoid pursuit?