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Plot Hole
aka: Plot Holes
Yakko, as Puck: And this weak and idle theme, no more yielding, but a dream!
Dot, translating into Layman's Terms: There is a hole in the plot you could drive a truck through.

Plot Holes are those gaps in a story where things happen without a logical reason. When a Plot Hole involves something essential to a story's outcome, it can hurt the believability, for those who are bothered by such things. Hitting a Plot Hole at high speed can damage your Willing Suspension of Disbelief.

Plot holes can come in many forms:
  • Characters suddenly having knowledge that was never passed to them, or vice versa; characters not knowing something they knew last week, or something that anyone in their position must know.
  • An event does not logically follow from what has gone before.
  • Characters ignoring or avoiding obvious solutions to their problems.
  • An event occurring that other events in the work simply do not allow.

Plot holes occur for several reasons:

Plot holes are thus contradictions in the fictional universe of a story. Even unrealistic, fantastical stories can suffer when plot holes arise, as audiences are willing to suspend disbelief as long as the story makes sense within its own rules and consistency.

Plot holes are sometimes plugged up or ignored with a Hand Wave, or occasionally dealt with by a Lampshade Hanging, and some writers think Plot Holes that only become apparent well after the story is over aren't worth sweating.

Remember that Tropes Are Not Bad. Some stories contain plot holes as part of their basic nature. This includes many ludicrously comical works, and everything involving a Timey-Wimey Ball. Even when it isn't being deliberately played for laughs, the storytelling and explanations necessary to close a plot hole might serve as a distraction from the main plot; especially for more minor or obscure plot holes, it often makes more sense for a writer or director to invoke the MST3K Mantra and focus on their main story rather than getting bogged down in explaining minutiae.

Can overlap with Retcon and Continuity Snarl. A Cliffhanger Copout can create a Plot Hole if a Hand Wave is handled poorly. An attempt to resolve or remove a Plot Hole that introduces another Plot Hole is a Voodoo Shark. Contrast What Happened to the Mouse? for potential plots that get dropped, then picked up.

Also see Fridge Logic for cases where a Plot Hole isn't immediately obvious and only becomes visible in hindsight.

This page explains a lot of plots at length, so beware of spoilers.

Examples

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    Anime and Manga 
  • Nadia: The Secret of Blue Water suffered from at least twelve episodes (the "Island/Africa" episodes, which were shoehorned into the series to cash in on the show's popularity) in which members of the cast go completely Out of Character with no explanation. The Lincoln Island and Africa episodes are especially guilty of this, particularly in the characterizations of Nadia, Grandis, Ayerton, Sanson, Marie, Sanson, and Hanson. Unsurprisingly, the creators consider it Canon Discontinuity.
  • Transformers Cybertron:
    • When translated into English, it was changed from a standalone series to a sequel to Energon (which was later referred to as such in Japanese materials); unfortunately, this meant that several characters who were Killed Off for Real in Energon were alive and well here. It was explained that the reappearance of these characters happened because the Unicron Singularity screwed up space and time; this led fans to jokingly refer to the Singularity as the biggest plot hole in the universe.
    • The English version did fix a plot hole that was present in the original Japanese. In the English version, Cybertron spends the series hovering perilously close to the Singularity. In the Japanese version, it was sucked into the Singularity in the first episode; yet several subsequent episodes show the characters walking around on the surface.
  • Bleach:
    • At one point in the manga Aizen states that the deaths of a few Arrancar don't bug him since they were only gillians originally. Cue a flashback a bunch of chapters later when it's revealed that the characters in question were almost all adjuchas, and that it would have been impossible for them to regress to gillians without also losing their individuality! OOPS! Could be handwaved by him calling them gillians as an insult but that's a bit of a stretch. Or Aizen just doesn't care. The Viz translation furthers this by having Uryuu observe Grimmjow's unit was a mix of gillians and adjuchas as well.
    • While in prison, Rukia comments that she's been a member of the Kuchiki family for 40 years. A flashback to Renji being made vice-captain also discusses Rukia being a member of the Kuchiki family for 40 years. Then Byakuya reveals why Rukia was adopted: his wife died 50 years ago, leaving him a request to find and adopt her sister as his own. A year after her death, he finds and immediately adopts Rukia. But an immediate adoption a year after Hisana's death would put the adoption at 49 years ago rather than 40 years ago.
    • During the Zanpakuto Rebellion Arc it is clearly stated that the destruction of a zanpakuto spirit by anyone except its master will permanently destroy the zanpakuto itself. Late in the arc the brainwashing is reversed and the spirits reunite with their masters, but so are at least two zanpakutos that were supposedly destroyed permanently. This is completely ignored. It's not even given a handwaved explanation.
  • Fist of the North Star has been guilty of making up the story as it went along, resulting quite a few contradictions as the series went on:
    • There are plot-important revelations about Raoh and Taki's family in season 2 that contradict revelations about their past — with physical evidence — in season 1.
    • The scene where Mamiya revealed that she was branded as a 'conquest' by Juda. This scar is instantly recognized. Even though Rei, the rival of said Juda, had seen Mamiya butt-naked twice before — hell, he even personally shredded her clothes off once.
  • Naruto:
    • The title character is the son of the Fourth Hokage but none of the kids in his class are able to figure that out. Considering the Fourth Hokage's face is sculpted onto a mountain, surely at least one kid would have made the obvious connection, considering that it was blatantly obvious from the start. It might be argued that a few had figured it out and kept it a secret, but then why wouldn't they treat Naruto with more respect?
    • He is also said to have failed the final exams three times (and the exam at the start of the series is his fourth), but is in the same age group as others from his class (who are presumably taking it for the first time). This would mean he must have advanced through the earlier classes much faster than others (notably Sasuke and even Neji) and yet he is called a failure and a dropout.
    • Further, if he did repeat the classes, he must have been in the same class as Neji, Tenten, and Lee in the previous year, though they do not seem to know him much when they first meet.
    • Now that it has been confirmed that both of Naruto's parents died very shortly after he was born (maybe hours later) this raises the question: From that day to where the story starts, who raised Naruto when he was too young to take care of himself? This is even made further confusing when it is mentioned several times that Naruto was treated like a pariah in his childhood and that people wouldn't even want to go near him.
      • The Third Hokage? It is not unlikely to think he'd care for the Jinchuriki of his village.
    • Naruto's nine-tailed demon fox beast must be 'exorcised' last, not down to a case of numerical order; as numbers 1 to 8 don't need to be harvested in any particular order - no explanation for this has been issued - all seems a case of simple convenience.
    • For the vast majority of the series it was assumed that if Naruto dies while the Nine-Tails is inside him, the Ninetails will die too. Eventually it's revealed that this is not the case, and the Nine-Tails would simply be revived, presumably without a host. And the Nine-Tails knew this. This raises a lot of questions as to why the Nine-Tails, who despised Naruto for a very long time, would make any attempt at saving his life by giving him his chakra so many times rather than just let him die. You can't assume that the Ninetails actually cared about Naruto either, because the Nine-Tails has made several attempts at taking over Naruto's body to be free.
    • Chapter 599. Pretty much all of it. In databooks written by Kishimoto, the author of Naruto, several ages are listed for characters - for example, Anko is currently 27, Kurenai is currently 31, etc. The databooks also list other relevant ages, such as when several people were promoted to Genin or Chuunin. Kakashi is stated to have become a Chuunin at age six. In chapter 599 we see the Chuunin exams where Kakashi passes, and he's competing alongside people like Anko, Asuma, Kurenai, Ibiki, Hayate, etc. several of whom had yet to even graduate from the academy, let alone qualify for the Chuunin exams.
    • During the fight with the Ten-Tails, and later Obito, a revived Minato reveals that he has somehow mastered the Nine-Tail's super powerful chakra cloak form. This took Naruto, his prodigious son who had been a Jinchuuriki for about 16 years, several days and the help of Killer B and a chakra ghost of his mother (both of whom were/are accomplished Jinchuuriki) to master. The problem is, after sealing one half of the nine-tails into himself, Minato promptly died, meaning he would've had no time at all to master it! And nobody in the series gives a damn!
    • The Shiki Fuijin (Dead Demon Consuming Seal) has been used twice in the series, but its effect is not the same in both cases. During the fourth ninja world war, Orochimaru summons the shinigami of the Shiki Fuijin. He first extracts the soul of his arms, which had been sealed by Sarutobi, and then extracts Sarutobi's soul, implying that his soul's arms had been sealed separately from Sarutobi's soul. A little later though, it is revealed the yin-half of Kyuubi sealed by Minato, got sealed within himself.
    • Chapter 658 has quite a significant plot hole. When Madara attacks the all nine of the tailed beasts, Shukaku traps him into a pyramid of sand but he breaks free using a Mangekyo Sharingan based technique Susano'o... without any eyes.
    • Why doesn't Tobi simply use his teleportation ability to "kidnap" the Tailed Beasts/Jinchuriki, and be done with his Moon's Eye Plan?
      • Because if that happened, there would be no plot at all.
      • He can teleport into his dimension and back, not everywhere he wants
    • Chapter 676 has a subtle but significant plot hole when examined. [[spoiler: Madara stabs Sakura, while she is in Strength of a Hundred Seal mode, which in a nutshell is self-healing and super strength mode, with one of his Yin-Yang rods, rods which also have the ability to negate any form ninjutsu. But when she retreats, she was able to heal herself. How in the hell was that even possible? It's even more jarring when you put into context that the exact same thing happened with Tsunade, although in that case, she was stabbed by Madara's Wooden Susano'o sword so it's justifiable that would not have been killed. But Sakura... no. She should have died, plain and simple.]
    • It is said Kaguya once used the Infinite Tsukuyomi to force mankind to stop fighting until Kaguya's sons, Hagoromo and Hamura, defeated and sealed the Ten Tails along with Kaguya herself and in the process creating the moon. Using the Infinite Tsukuyomi requires the moon, so how did Kaguya manage to use Infinite Tsukiyomi in the first place if there was no moon prior to Hagoromo and Hamura creating one?
      • This may be explained later.
  • Gantz
    • Features a plot hole the size of a semi in one story arc where a gunman walks down a crowded Japanese thoroughfare, calmly gunning down literally hundreds of innocent bystanders. This scene was very important to the continuation of the plot, but raises one significant question...WHERE THE HELL ARE THE POLICE!?
    • Especially in comparison to a similar scene later in the series where the bullied Nishi murders his entire class after they threw him out of the window. That got an immediate response from a heavily armed SWAT Team.
  • Infinite Stratos has one Adaptation Induced Plot Hole at episode 4 when Ichika suddenly knew that Cecilia was in firing range on the unmanned I.S. drone. The Light Novels explains this by Ichika secretly communicating with Cecilia to fire on his command after unleashing Yukihira Type-2 by taking advantage of the barrier nullifying ability of the Laser Blade. Cecilia being frustrated to not be able to help out, answers the call. To people who have never read the Light Novels, it just counts as an Ass Pull.
  • In the very first episode of Voltron (the lion version), as the five young explorers see the Castle of Lions from their spaceship, Keith details Voltron's backstory and how the witch deceived the robot (or its pilot(s)) and split big V into five robo-lions. Two or three episodes later, when the boys finally make contact with Princess Allura and Koran, the explorers are completely surprised that Voltron cannot be summoned/activated/whatever-they-expected and have to be told everything that Keith explained back in the first episode.
  • In the twelfth episode of Elfen Lied, Nana gets past the police barricade to reach Mariko's position. She simply arrives there - no explanation given, the barricade not seen in her travels. Kouta and Lucy-as-Nyu arrive to the barricade and find every soldier and policeman knocked out/dead—this is never made clear. Bando is nearby with Kurama, but does not arrive until well after this in the next episode, so Bando's not responsible. Lucy is still Nyu, and remains this again until well after the discovery that the barricade is down. Mariko is by definition at the far opposite end of this barricade, and pulling anything like that would get her blowed up real good. This leaves Nana as the knockout/killer. Except a huge plot point is that Nana does not kill, and with the exception of disabling the vectors (invisible arms) of other Diclonius, she has never shown talent for quietly knocking people out, in either anime or manga. Therefore, no one knocked out or killed the knocked-out/dead force at the barricade.
  • The anime adaptation of Death Note usually averts the trope when adapting the manga, but probably the only notable example is that it does not reveal SPK member Ill Ratt to be a spy for Mello. As a result, the audience is left without explanation as to how Mello's crew obtained the SPK's true names and were thus able to kill them. The Rewrite 2 special cuts the mafia and has Mikami and Takada kill the SPK instead, but in cutting the mafia and thus fixing one plot hole, it creates another: Soichiro Yagami making the trade for Shinigami Eyes and his subsequent death are also omitted, leaving his absence and Light's knowledge of Mello's true name unexplained.
  • In Trigun, Vash possesses a special revolver that has a hidden function of grafting to his arm and mutating it into an energy weapon of mass destruction. When Vash tries to stop Knives at the city of July, Knives exerts some control over the gun that forces Vash to destroy the city against his will. The same thing happens decades later in another city, leaving Vash emotionally devastated and fearful of causing more harm. So...why doesn't he just destroy the gun?
  • Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha has a couple. When the Wolkenritter drain Fate's linker core in A's, she is temporarily rendered incapable of using magic. However, her familiar Arf, who is dependent on Fate's magic for survival, suffers no ill effects. This plot hole was compounded by another one in Striker(s), as the excuse the writers came up with for sidelining Arf was that she didn't want to be a burden to Fate and so was always away from combat in her child form, which requires less mana to sustain. This makes very little sense, because by that time Fate was considerably more powerful than she had been as a child, and she was perfectly capable of supporting Arf then. This makes the plot hole in A's even worse, since when Fate was injured Arf remained in her adult form, despite the fact that it would be placing greater strain on Fate.
  • In Digimon Adventure 02, the three new characters, Daisuke, Iori, and Miyako, each get a new set of clothing whenever they appear in the Digital World. This never happened to the original eight from the previous series, and it does, in fact, confuse them. When they go to the Digital World, they're always shown keeping whatever they happened to be wearing that day... until the end of the Kaiser arc, where Takeru and Hikari get new outfits for summer, but the Digital World always magically puts them in their spring/fall outfits they wore at the beginning of the series. This happens to Ken, too, where he's always changed into his school uniform.
  • Dragon Ball
    • In the manga and the original Japanese dub, there is a plot hole with regards to how Cell was able to survive and regenerate after he blew him self up, killing Goku, King Kai and Bubbles and destroying King Kai's planet in the process. According to Cell, an organ inside his head allows him to regenerate, so long as that organ is not destroyed. Goku had previously destroyed Cell's entire upper body, head included, which should have prevented the evil Android from regenerating. This plot hole is averted in FUNimation's oringal English dub of the anime, where Cell states that "every cell in his body has a life of its own", and that one survived, which allowed him to regenerate.
  • Pokémon: The First Movie
    • Shows a huge inconsistency with Mewtwo's Pokeballs. When they go around capturing all the Pokemon, Ash's Bulbasaur and Squirtle are able to keep the balls at bay with their attacks, not to mention Pikachu is able to outrun them for ages. However the balls effortlessly capture a Gyarados, Pidgeot, Ninetails and Rapidash among the other Pokemon. In fact, Ash is the only one with first level Pokemon out and his are the ones that are able to fight the Pokeballs. If the balls are powerful enough to capture all those higher level Pokemon so easily, why are they unable to withstand simple attacks from first level Pokemon? The Gyarados could be excused since it was attacked by Mewtwo earlier - though if it's strong enough to ride through a storm, it should be able to put up a fight against Mewtwo's Pokeballs.
    • After a few years, thanks to the release of Pokémon Colosseum it might be averted since now there can be a plausibe theory for this: Mewtwo used a Snag Ball to capture Gyarados, Pidgeot, Ninetails and Rapidash and others, but used normal pokeballs against the first level pokemon. With the fact in mind that no pokeball (with the exception of the snag ball) can capture pokemon from other trainers. This however rises an issue in the fandom, the games and the anime are for one treated as separated canons.
  • The ending of Angel Beats!! reveals that Kanade received Otonashi's donated heart when he died...so how did she show up at the school long before he did?
  • In Ginga Densetsu Weed, at one point it's revealed that some dogs are not the dogs they claim they are, they just look identical to them. The plot hole in this is, why didn't the other dogs smell the difference in their sents or notice their different voices? There is no way they could mimic the sents and sounds of the dogs they were pretending to be.

    Comic Books 
  • Joss Whedon's second Astonishing X-Men story arc, "Danger", is based on the idea that the X-Men's Danger Room is sentient and incredibly frustrated because it was designed to kill the X-Men, but would never actually be able to do so due to its safety protocols. Apparently neither Whedon or his editors have read the dozen-plus comics in which the Danger Room's safety protocols have been disabled, with characters explicitly noting that they are in real danger of being killed.
  • In Marvel Zombies, Ms. Marvel gets killed twice. When questioned about this the writers claimed, tongue-in-cheek, that one was her identical twin sister.
  • A revelation in Wolverine says that Logan's adamantium is actually toxic and his healing factor is constantly having to counteract blood poisoning. Not only should a non-reactive indestructible metal not work like that (there's a reason metals like titanium and stainless steel are used in surgical implants), but it creates a big fat plot hole in the perfectly healthy forms of Lady Deathstrike, Cyber, and Bullseye (all of whom have adamantium skeletons) and the formerly healthy Hammerhead (who had an adamantium skull). You could handwave Deathstrike and Cyber (both being cyborgs who could presumably have systems that could deal with the toxicity). The otherwise normal human Bullseye and Hammerhead? Not so much.
  • In JLA: Act of God there are numerous plot holes and discrepancies throughout the series, none of which are ever resolved or even realized:
    • The black light event is specifically stated to have removed all superpowers while leaving all technology unaffected, but Green Lantern's ring is a completely technological device that is also rendered inoperable and nobody ever mentions the discrepancy.
    • On a more fundamental level of the plot, many characters lose abilities that are not superpowers. J'onn J'onzz's many abilities (Shapeshifting, flight, telepathy, Super Strength, intangibility, etc.) are all standard abilities of his natural Martian physiology; yes, they are far beyond any human ability, but a human's ability to see is far beyond that of many animals here on earth and nobody went blind, and no gorilla suddenly lost the ability to lift a large weight, even though their natural physiology is much larger than Homo Sapiens. Like the Martian Manhunter, the powers of the various Kryptonians (Superman, Supergirl), Aquaman and other figures are also natural abilities that are not "super" for their species in any way shape or form, yet they lost them as well.
    • On a different level, it was also stated that the black light event removed all mystical and/or magical people from the world, implying that this is some sort of magical event that they could have dealt with, except Wonder Woman is still here. Wonder Woman's powers are mythological in nature, granted to her by the Greek Gods by way of the Amazons, she is herself a mystical being. The most basic part of the story, the black light event which de-powered the superheroes, is inconsistent, incongruous and illogical, and the characters never even realize it.
  • The resolution of Transmetropolitan is balanced on a person who disintegrated themselves entirely immediately after performing an assassination being photographed several minutes after the assassination took place. With a camera that, depending on how you read the series's timeline, the photographer may not have owned yet.
  • Two infamous plot holes from Chuck Austen's run on Uncanny X-Men:
    • "Holy War": The entire plot centers around Nightcrawler becoming the Pope and faking the Rapture with explosive communion wafers... except that becoming the Pope isn't nearly that easy and Catholics don't believe in the Rapture.
    • "The Draco": Azazel needs to escape his dimension, so he does so by breeding teleporters to teleport him out... of the dimension he had to escape to breed them in the first place.
  • Captain Britain and MI13 #10: Doctor Doom and Dracula are having a meeting on The Moon (no, this Dracula doesn't have a moon base). Doom warns Dracula not to attack him because he has all sorts of defenses against him, including splinters of The True Cross embedded in his armor. It's been made explicit that religious artifacts are useless against vampire if the wielder lacks faith in what that artifact represents. A fight with the X-Men showed Dracula laughing off Wolverine's sign of the cross, but being repulsed with devout Catholic Nightcrawler did the same, so this is something Dracula knows about. It's equally explicit that Doom's only faith is in Doom, so it makes no sense to throw that detail in. Clearly, that was Actually a Doombot.

    Films — Animated 
  • The film version of Horton Hears a Who!, Horton crosses a rickety wooden footbridge (the only way to get to Mt. Nool), destroying it in the process. Later in the film, the other characters somehow follow him, despite the bridge being gone.
  • Rock-A-Doodle.
    • The farm animals believe that the rooster Chanticleer causes the sun to rise when he crows. Except one day Chanticleer doesn't crow and the sun rises anyway, so the animals make fun of him until he leaves. Then while he's gone, the sun never rises on the farm because Chanticleer isn't there to crow. So why did the sun come up that one time?
  • In Beauty and the Beast:
    • A fairy turns the prince into the Beast because, when she knocked at his castle door disguised as an old beggar woman, he turned her away. Given all those servants of his, why is he answering the door? She says that he will remain a Beast unless someone falls in love with him before his 21st birthday. Just exactly how long ago did the curse begin before Belle came into the Beast's life? Lumiere says, "Ten years we've been rusting," yet that would mean the prince was cursed at the age of eleven, which is a bit too young for the "falling in love" escape clause. He looks so much older than that in the painting he slashes after his transformation. But how old would that make Chip at the time of the curse? And doesn't Chip's mother, Mrs. Potts, look and sound a bit past her child-bearing years?
    • Beast was a prince, not a king. Where were his parents, the presumed rulers of the country? And if he actually was an eleven-year-old when he was cursed, what the heck was he doing on his own with only servants, given that he should have been learning how to rule? And why is the nearby town just chugging along, oblivious of the overgrown castle within a day's ride when only ten years ago - within Beauty's lifetime - it was the nearby palace?

    Films — Live-Action 
  • Not surprisingly, there is an entire website dedicated at finding all movie plot holes in Hollywood cinema.
  • There's an enormous one in The Matrix movies that pretty much renders the underlying premise dead in the water. It's stated that the reason The Matrix is keeping humans alive is as what amounts to space heaters. But you could do that far more efficiently by just taking the nutrients you're supplying to the humans to keep them alive, and burning them instead. Or, even more efficiently, burning whatever feedstock you're using to generate those nutrients. Thermodynamics: it's not just a good idea ... it's the law. There may be some reason for keeping humans around (as opposed to having lots of little bomb calorimeters, or using, say, bunnies, which would be a lot less likely to successfully Rise Up Against The Machine), but the stated one makes no sense at all.
    • This was actually an Executive Meddling induced - the humans are supposed to be the computer network, but executives felt Viewers Are Morons and would understand battery better. If you ignore the power and believe the computer network, the series does make more sense - but it's still not the in-movie-explanation.
  • Blood Over Water began shooting in mid-September of 2009. Following events closely, it could not have happened in more than a week. But the characters' clothing betrays rather quickly that it suddenly went from summer to winter in only a week. Essentially, given the background elements that betray the relative time period, any Farmer's Almanac for Big Rapids could call shenanigans on the time stretch caused by trying to represent the passing of a single week over the course of four months.
  • Numerous scenes in the 2004 remake of The Stepford Wives suggest that, as in the original, the wives have been replaced by robotic duplicates. However the ending reveals that they have all 'merely' had microchips planted in their brains, which completely contradicts the ATM wife earlier in the film. And the robotic boobs. The plot hole in this movie is a case of test audiences being idiots. Apparently the movie did originally use the robotic duplicate ending but the ultimate verdict was that it was unsatisfactory and was thus changed to be a happy win despite the fact that it completely changes and tramples the theme and message of the book.
  • Battlefield Earth is notorious for containing an alarming number of plot holes, which are quite ridiculous even inside the framework of the story. A few, for the record:
    • An alien race concerned with nothing but mining the Earth for all its gold deposits has somehow overlooked Fort Knox the whole time they've been on the planet (that's almost 1,000 years, folks).
    • The human resistance movement is able to defeat the alien overlords with the help of human technology and innovation that's over 1,000 years old, despite the fact that humans 1,000 years ago (who actually built the technology and had experience using it) somehow failed to repel the dreadlocked menace and were supposedly defeated in only nine minutes. Oh, and it turns out that jet fuel lasts thousands of years without evaporating or degrading.
    • The defeat of the entire alien race depends on accepting a truly batshit and very false concept about radiation being explosive. Technically it's not the radiation that's explosive, it's some of the chemicals in the alien atmosphere that react explosively in the presence of the kind of radiation produced by uranium. Not much better and never explicitly stated in the movie though.
  • Ocean's Eleven:
    • The duffel bags of hooker ads magically appear in the vault elevator. Matt Damon and George Clooney don't carry them in. The Chinese acrobat couldn't fit them into his small case (nor could they get them up to the elevator, which was stopped), and the security guys carry them out before the fake SWAT team gets there.
  • Rock N Rolla: How did Johnny Quid know that Lenny was the one who made a deal with the police in court? It has never been explained. Archie and the others couldn't figure it out for years as well as Mr. One-Two and Co. having to go though lots of effort to find that info. Which they did by bribing Stella's gay husband, who was a lawyer in criminal cases, a date promise from Handsome Bob. While Johnny somehow knew that secret all along. What is twice weird is that he didn't tell anyone about Lenny. He at least could've told Archie who was suppose to be his friend.
  • In Terminator Salvation, Skynet somehow knows Kyle Reese is John Connor's dad. It has no way of knowing this, unless John was somehow dumb enough to spread the information around while fully aware his sworn enemy has access to time traveling robots.
  • In Flightplan:
    • The crew finds out that Kyle Pratt's daughter supposedly died with her father. No one on the crew thought to point out the obvious: where is the other casket? If she was just acting out of grief and delusion, there should be two caskets in the plane, not just the one carrying her dead husband. Good thing Pratt's not an idiot. There is also a rare case of Lampshade Hanging making everything worse: Kyle does ask Carson where the other casket is and he claims that he doesn't care after the trouble she's caused everyone on board. While it's later revealed that he is the villain, this still only calls attention to the fact that Captain Rich and the other flight attendants don't care either. See: Voodoo Shark.
    • For "The Twist" to work someone would have had to pick up the daughter and carry her to the hiding place. How did no one notice him doing this? For that matter, nobody in nearby seats, except for another child right at the end of the film, ever mentioned seeing the child.
    • The conspiracy would only work if Kyle got on that specific flight, with Carson as the sky marshal assigned to that flight. Yet she just books tickets on the next available flight. (Just as an aside, the FBI would not be present when the plane lands at Goose Bay, Newfoundland; the RCMP would.)
  • The Butterfly Effect has several. Time-traveling inconsistencies throughout the story aside... When he's trying to convince someone he is altering the past, he use a trip back in time to give himself injuries sure to leave scars, and instead of the entire time between being rewritten so he always had those scars like every other time, they just magically appear in front of the person he's trying to convince. This also contradicts the idea present throughout (and in the title of) the film that minor changes would alter The Protagonist's life forever - in all other cases, changing a minor detail leads to a completely different future scenario, here, it's exactly the same (ending up in the same prison with the same people and in the exact same situation?).
  • In Army of Darkness has a few, given the loose and silly nature of the film.
    • Ash chains Bad Ash to a table in the windmill he's squatting in before hacking him to pieces with his chainsaw. The problem with this is that during the scene where Ash arrived at the windmill his horse, which may have been carrying the chainsaw, was scared off into the woods by the evil entity chasing him. Ash was left to run to the windmill on foot, where he was clearly not carrying the chainsaw.
    • When Ash escapes from The Pit, as spiked walls close on it. Several minutes later, the monster from the pit climbs out, despite the walls still being closed, and Ash shoots it with his shotgun that he didn't have a few seconds earlier, causing it to fall back into the pit and land in the water below.
  • In his review of Memento, Roger Ebert wonders, "If the last thing the main character remembers is his wife dying, then how does he remember that he has short-term memory loss?" In actuality, this was a subtle plot point, and Ebert missed the multiple possible explanations hinted at. Leonard has "Remember Sammy Jankis" tattooed somewhere he'll see regularly. Every time he reads it h remembers who Sammy Jankis was (he can still remember things that happened before his injury) and he's able to piece together what's happened to him, even if he forgets that he read it a few minutes later. It's also possible that Leonard is capable of remembering through repetition, just like Sammy does in his story. There's a popular, and plausible, theory that Leonard doesn't even have memory loss at all. He's just deluded himself into thinking he does. Surprisingly enough, people in Real Life with anterograde amnesia are aware of their disability, so this is a plot point that didn't need to be explained in the first place.
  • A big plot hole occurs at the end of Alone in the Dark (2005). The Xenos (the monsters that Carnby has been fighting for half of the movie) are supposed to be weak against light, but he and Cedrac are attacked by them in broad daylight after they emerge from underground.
  • Die Hard 2:
    • The terrorists hold the planes hostage in the air by shutting down the lights at Dulles Airport. Given the amount of time and fuel the planes are depicted as having, they could have easily made it to dozens of other civilian or military airports. Any of the three other airports in the DC area could have warned the airborne planes with their own non-crippled radio system and then the terrorist threat evaporates.
    • Colonel Stuart's men also have control over all tower operations and radio communications and some instrument readings in what may be a case of Hollywood Hacking. That's how they pancake the plane as proof of their threat. A piece of fridge logic does set in when the other planes don't land after the first crash. Debris on the field?
  • In Mind Hunters, after repeatedly remarking that the simulation "doesn't feel real" without his gun, Vince pulls out and dramatically cocks a gun and he'd concealed in his wheelchair. All the other characters berate him for this, as they'd been specifically told not to bring weapons. However, just minutes earlier, Nic and LL Cool J's character can clearly be seen bearing handguns as they carry JD's corpse.
  • In The Fugitive, Helen Kimble clearly tells the 911 operator that "There's someone in my house". As in, an intruder, not her husband. Yet the prosecution fails to notice this, and his defense lawyers fail too as well. At the very least, it would have provided the jury with reasonable doubt.
  • The S Club 7 movie has a ton of them.
    • First of all the band see supposedly live footage of themselves performing in Los Angeles (meant to be their clones). Except the footage being shown is from their Carnival Tour when Paul was still in the band, so none of them comments on why there is a seventh band member onstage or why Jo, Jon and Hannah have extremely different hairstyles from their clone counterparts when they seem them later. And the exact same performance is shown again at the end of the movie, still meant to be a live show.
    • Second of all the trio that kidnap the clones - Jo, Bradley and Tina - are the ones that find out who Victor Gaughan is and that they were cloned. When the real Jon, Hannah and Rachel get kidnapped Jon says "Gaughan is going to clone us again" when he shouldn't have any idea who Gaughan is or that they've even been cloned in the first place. Later when the whole band meet Gaughan Rachel asks "are you the man who bought the knickers off the internet?" when again, she shouldn't know that. Though if you wanted to, you could suggest that the other three explained to them in the couple of minutes they left the cell to when they were captured again.
    • To get the clones to revolt, the Bradley clone gives a passionate speech about how great the outside world is...when his only experience of it was the week or so he'd been on tour and kept in careful isolation. While it is shown that the clones get programmed to love what the real band members love, it's unlikely Alistair would give them programming to make them want to rebel. He also mentions boomerangs but the Rachel and Hannah clones had no idea what a boomerang was until they were kidnapped so why should Bradley know? Now if the Rachel, Hannah or Jon clones had given the speech then that would make sense.
    • When the band kidnaps three of the clones, they do so while shooting a music video and we see the real Hannah and Jon having to improvise the dance routine since they haven't learned it yet. However we see Rachel following it perfectly when she shouldn't know it at all.
    • Rachel switches with her clone by sitting down in front of a piece of glass, pretending it's a mirror and then copying what the clone does. How the hell did she pull that off? The clones are a bit dim but you'd think they know how a mirror works.
    • Jo's clone does not appear in the shower scenes (in real life she had a back injury which required for her role to be less physical) but the other clones don't mention where she is, especially since they say Jon must be reported to Alistair for not showering with them.
    • The band's travel manager Natalie arrives at the end of the film with the police at Eagle Peak. First of all, she was in Spain so how did she get to LA so quickly, or know to get the police? How does she know the band are at Eagle Peak? For her to get there in the space of time the band knew about Eagle Peak she must have teleported from Spain.
  • Sleeping With The Enemy:
    • Laura's entire escape plan. Safely swimming to shore in conditions that Michael Phelps would have drowned in—dark, bad weather, far from shore. And where she got the money for her escape, her mother's stay at the nursing home, and renting and maintaining the large house she settles into—no part-time library job is going to pay for that. (Hollywood magic money, dontcha know? Also known as the "dream hobby job.")
    • The thing with the ring. Why be so incredibly stupid that you can't figure out that maybe the ring won't flush? Why be so completely irrational after planning something for so long? And why didn't she CHECK to see if it had washed away? Come to think of it why didn't she tell her swimming partners or teacher that she was planning to run away from her psychotic husband? She could have called them and said "Hey do not tell my batass crazy hubby I took swimming lessons m'kay?" -She was the victim of long-term physical and psychological abuse, and probably believed her husband would kill her and/or her family if she told anyone. Her swim partners would be obligated to call the police, and see the previous sentence for the result if she told. Hence the reason most women don't report abuse.
  • In the remake of The Blob, the titular monster can only be harmed by cold. A vehicle that shows up a few times through the film, a snow-maker, is eventually and quite logically the protagonists' best weapon. However, the vehicle also has a snow plow on the front. It projects new snow out in front of it, and then... plows through the snow. Trey Stokes, moderately known for the podcast Down In Front and puppeteer for the creature in the 1988 remake, admitted that the snow-maker exists in this snake-eating-its-own-tail manner specifically because the protagonists will need it later.
  • In Fantastic Voyage there's a major plot hole in that the submarine (or the individual molecules which make up the submarine) do not grow back to their original size and gruesomely kill the patient at the end. Neither does the crew member who was killed and left behind. When writing the book, Asimov managed to fix these and some of the other holes. This particular Plot Hole is parodied in a Simpsons episode takeoff where the family has to save Mr. Burns At the end, Homer is left behind and does grow back to size living inside Mr. Burns's skin at his full size.
  • Resident Evil: Afterlife: Alice somehow manages to land her plane on the roof of the prison in downtown Los Angeles, but we see beforehand that it is almost completely out of fuel. She barely even makes it to the roof, and then crash lands on it. Despite seeing this, the characters immediately start demanding that she fly them out of there, and one of them later steals the plane. Where did the fuel come from?
  • In Resident Evil: Extinction: The opening narration claims that the T-Virus is destroying the world's water supply, complete with the Universal logo showing the oceans drying up. This plot point doesn't even last the length of the movie where it was introduced, the end shows Tokyo in the midst of a torrential rainstorm, and subsequent films in the series heavily involve a mysterious freighter on the Pacific Ocean.
  • Spider-Man Trilogy:
    • In Spider-Man 2, Harry tells Doc Ock that in order to find Spider-Man he must find Peter first. Doc Ock finds Peter with Mary Jane in the cafe and throws a car through the window straight at them. Any normal man would've been killed instantly, and Doc Ock doesn't know that Peter is Spider-Man. Given that Peter is his only lead on Spider-Man, it makes no sense that Doc Ock would effectively try to kill him. Near the film's climax, Spider-Man asks Harry to tell him the location of Doc Ock's hideout so he can save MJ and the city. Which Harry does. But how did Harry know where Doc Ock's hideout was in the first place? Doc Ock never tells him, and there's no evidence he's been keeping tabs on Ock.
    • Spider-Man 3 has a huge gap of logic. Namely, how in the hell does Eddie Brock/Venom know anything at all about Sandman?! Much less, about how Spider-Man won't let him help his sick daughter?! Readers of the comic may know the symbiote bestows information about Peter to Eddie in his venom costume, giving a reasonable explanation about how he knows about Sandman. Not quite so much about the daughter, though. However, this is not outright stated in the film so newcomers may still be in the dark.
  • Star Trek:
    • In Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Khan immediately recognizes Chekov, even though the ensign wasn't yet a part of the crew when Khan tried to take over the ship in the original series. A common fan theory is that Chekov was part of the crew, but not on the bridge. Walter Koenig joked that he believes Chekov accidentally made Khan wait an uncomfortable amount of time to use the bathroom.
    • In Star Trek Into Darkness, Kirk is put in a cryotube to preserve his brain function while they desperately try to recover Khan so his blood can cure Kirk. Plot hole: they first had to remove one of Khan's people from the cryotube. Why not use that person's blood?
  • The film series of Harry Potter did its best, with many of the earlier holes due to later books not being released, and to their credit the writers did attempt to mop errors up as best as they could. But there are some that have no real justification.
    • In Prisoner of Azkaban Lupin berates Harry for being so careless as to wander the corridors at night with a map that could lead a murderer right to him. Except that it is never explained to either Harry or the audience a) How Lupin knows that the blank piece of parchment is a map b) How Sirius Black would know that it was a map c) Why Harry having the map makes it any more dangerous, as Sirius would have to get to him in order to get the map d) Why Lupin keeping the map makes it safer, as surely it would be an advantage if Harry saw that Sirius was anywhere in the castle grounds he could just run in the opposite direction. In the film it's never revealed that the map's authors, "Moony, Wormtail, Padfoot and Prongs," were Lupin, Peter Pettigrew, Sirius and James Potter. That would at least have cleared up a couple of these inconsistencies.
    • The lack of explanation about the Marauders leads over into all the successive films, as in Goblet of Fire and Order of the Phoenix Harry refers to Sirius as Padfoot for no apparent reason. The significance of his patronus being a stag and Lily and Snape's being a doe is left unexplained, which also causes Harry's insistence that it was James who saved him and Sirius from the dementors in PoA to look incredibly stupid.
    • Sirius never gives Harry the two-way mirrors, so in Deathly Hallows the mirror shard appears out of nowhere with no explanation. (Actually he gives him a wrapped package in the fifth book and says "don't open it here.") Sure this is mentioned later, when Aberforth explains that Mundungus stole it and sold it, but anyone who hadn't read the books would probably be hard pressed to remember who that was. Also, what sort of pedlar decides that a broken mirror will fetch a good price? Did he know it was magical? What's the point of a two-way mirror that can only be used when smashed? Why did Harry pick up a random piece of mirror from the Black house? Why does he obsess over it before he sees Aberforth?
    • 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 incredible timing.
    • At the beginning of Deathly Hallows Part 1 Tonks tells Harry that she and Lupin are married then says "Everyone, Remus and I"- while touching her stomach, before being interrupted by Moody. Fans of the books will realize she was about to say she's pregnant, but this subject is not broached again until the end of part two when Harry sees Ghost!Lupin right before he is about to die and says "I'm sorry you never got to know your son." Harry has absolutely no frigging way of knowing Lupin had a kid at all. This is a particularly frustrating one as it would have made a hell of a lot more sense if the scriptwriters had allowed Tonks to finish that sentence.
    • Werewolves are shown to be bipedal wolf/man monstrosities. Why do the students read about how to tell the difference between a werewolf and a true wolf if the answer is "by opening your eyes"?
  • The captor's plan in Nine Dead largely depends on him knowing information that he simply did not possess or had access to. Having presumably witnessed his son's trial and the insurance company's investigation, he should at least know the identities of Kelly, Chan, Eddie, and maybe Jackson (if he was the investigating officer). He could have found out the identity and whereabouts of Coogan based on information his son would have provided him and some additional research. However, he never knew anything about Christian and Sully's deal, Leon selling the gun to Christian, Christian confessing to Father Francis that he was the real robber, or Kelley and Jackson committing legal fraud, nor could he have known without being omniscient. This is poorly handwaved by the captor explaining his scheme took two years of planning.
  • In The Princess Bride, when Count Rugen first uses The Machine on Westley, he moves the switch to "1", and we see a block of wood raise about an inch, and water trickle under it. If the block had been raised up all the way, the water would continue to trickle at the same rate, so setting it to 50, as the prince does later, would be no different. Though maybe the flow of water just turns the machine on and off and the "throttle" is controlled by some other unseen mechanism.
  • Freddy vs. Jason. Canonically, Springwood is a town in Ohio, and Camp Crystal Lake is in New Jersey. The protagonists drive from one to the other in about an hour.
  • Alien³. All the Aliens were destroyed in the previous film, and the Queen tore off her ovipositor when she went after Ripley. In this film however there is somehow an Alien egg on board the Sulaco. Actually two of them. Popular fan theories are that the Queen keeps an extra egg stored in some other part of her body for emergencies.
  • Hudson Hawk jumps off of a hi-rise building and lands in a recliner in his corrupt parole officer's living room. Either a scene was cut from the movie, or Eddie fell through a plot hole to make the scene change. His fellow jumper appears in the following scene, no worse for wear and with no explanation as to how they survived a fall of several stories without injury.
  • The film Draft Day hinges on the Cleveland Browns trading three first round draft picks to Seattle to move up from the #7 overall pick to the #1 overall pick. Cleveland then later trades three second round draft picks to acquire the #6 pick from Jacksonville. Then, for literally no reason at all, Seattle trades the same three first rounders back to Cleveland to move up from #7 to #6. For those keeping score, that means Seattle inexplicably traded back from #1 to #6 for nothing at all.
  • In My Cousin Vinny, a subplot involves Vinny lying to the presiding judge about his background as a lawyer. This culminates with Vinny giving the Judge the false name "Jerry Callo" as the name he legally practiced law under. However the judge tells him he is requesting information on his alias, and will have it by the end of the trial. The next time this is brought up, it revealed that Vinny's fiance had asked a friend in New York to fax the judge false information about the fictitious Callo's legal career. But Vinny had never told her that was the name he'd given the judge. Further more, if it had been easy enough to send the judge fake information about Callo, then it would have been just as easy to send fake information about Vinny in the first place.

    Literature 
  • Twilight is full of 'em.
    • The Cullens move away, and Bella finds their property to be empty. She doesn't hear from them again until she returns home and sees their distinct car in front of her house. Alice has come with grim visions of things to come, revealing that she took the first plane back when she thought Bella was going to kill herself. Taking all of this and the vampires' supernatural speed into account, apparently the car took the same plane as Alice.
    • In the beginning of New Moon, Jasper goes absolutely apeshit over a papercut on Bella's hand. However, he goes to high school. How in the heck does he avoid smelling blood at school? Kids are bound to fall and scrape themselves/get papercuts/pick old scabs/get bloody noses/any number of ways the human body can bleed, but he never seems bothered by it.
    • Also, Meyer's explanation for why menstrual blood doesn't attract vampires is totally implausible (she claims it's "dead blood"). It's just as much live blood as the blood running through the jugular vein. Oh, an even larger plot hole is Alice's powers, period. It is repeatedly stated that she can only see the future outcome of someone's decisions — so if someone decides to shoot themselves, she can see it occur. However, she is apparently able to play the stock market with her powers, and in fact, her powers are pretty inconsistent throughout the entire series.
    • And what about the mere existence of Renesmee Cullen? Meyer states repeatedly throughout the series that vampires are "frozen in time" at the time of their turning; she says female vampires can't get pregnant because their bodies cannot grow or change to accommodate new life, yet Edward can still get it up. Which is completely leaving aside the fact that he has been dead for a century, yet somehow his sperm survived, and he was able to ejaculate. Even if we accept the fact that he can get it up and impregnate Bella with his vamp sperm, how the heck was she not vamped during sex? She was bruised and had fractured bones from the sex, it's implausible that she (being a virgin, by the way) didn't have any vaginal tearing. And considering that Word of God says that the vampire venom replaces all fluids in a vampire's body, it should have been present in the seminal fluid, so Bella should've been vamped just from the sex. Which would still negate the existence of her demonspawn child.
    • And the resolution of the novel relies on a vampire running around and spawning half-vampire children on a regular basis!
    • When Bella and Alice arrive in Italy near the end of New Moon, Alice runs off to steal a car and comes back with a bright yellow Porsche. Questions like "who leaves a Porsche sitting in an airport parking lot?" can be ignored in the face of a real big problem. How did a vampire manage to steal a car in broad daylight? This can't even be Handwaved away by saying it might still have been nighttime, since it's mentioned the that the sun was rising only a few paragraphs earlier.
  • In And Then There Were None, Judge Wargrave successfully fakes his own death with the help of Dr. Armstrong. Armstrong waves everyone else to keep back as he examines the "corpse" and pronounces him dead. So far so good... but then several people carry Wargrave upstairs.
  • Marie Michon, the "seamstress" in Tours, signs her name as "Aglaé Michon" in one of her letters. Of course, this could be some kind of code, but it's never explained.
  • In the Discworld novel Feet of Clay, Pterry introduces golems to the reader by having Angua have to explain them to Cheery, who had never seen one before. However, the final piece of the mystery was solved when Cheery offhandedly mentions that golems were so ubiquitous in the city that no one notices them, even in the Alchemist's Guild where she used to work, where they tended to get coated with the chemicals they used to handle.
  • In Order of the Phoenix, Harry and Hermione take seats in the back row of the Quidditch stadium. A moment later Hagrid approaches them coming through the rows behind them, because how?
  • In the case of Dead Souls just because parts of the second half of the novel are literally missing, since Gogol originally wanted to destroy the whole text. Sadly, the complete story is now Lost Forever.
  • In Death: Here's a big one...the story Glory In Death has Roarke killing off Morse to save Eve and Nadine's lives at the end. However, Immortal In Death, the book that comes after, has Eve and Nadine talking about Morse is going to be put on trial and that Morse was not insane. How do you put a dead person on trial?
  • In Mass Effect: Retribution, Kahlee Sanders mentions never hearing of the Reapers before, despite a major plot point of the previous book involving her discussing the Reapers with the quarian Admiralty Board. Here's a list of every single plot hole in Mass Effect: Deception. If we listed every example on here it would break the page.
  • Ender’s Game:
    • Clearly it's both possible and desirable for the Buggers to relocate a queen off the home world, since one is in the ship Mazer Rackham destroyed in the Second Invasion. So explain why all the queens are on the home world? Especially when they see the invasion coming enough to ship out an egg. How about a few queens instead?
    • This hole is closed in one of the sequels, where it is revealed that the Buggers gathered their queens as a form of mass suicide, in a combination of knowing that the humans would never accept a peace with them and the hope of Redemption Equals Death that would allow them to make amends for the humans that they killed.
  • As pointed out in a certain Warrior Cats Abridge series Yellowfang had no idea about the Dark Forests' plans to destroy the clans, despite her telling Jayfeather about it in the previous book.
  • A minor one in The Fear Index but it turns out all of the events of the book were manipulated by a computer program. So how did the computer manage to stick a bookmark into the online ordered book it sent to Alex? It couldn't have been an instruction as we see the email and it makes no mention of it.
  • The Black Company:
    • After The Lady loses her powers, all her Taken immediatly die; however, after Dominator's soul gets sealed in a silver spike and it is acknowledged by characters that he can no longer project his will onto the world, the old Taken (created by Dominator) continue functioning perfectly;
    • Even though Lady knows True Names of Howler, Shapeshifter and Soulcatcher, she never uses them, even though doing so would solve literally every single Company's problem. This problem gets acknowledged once, when she is still De-Powered and Goblin says that she won't ever tell him or One-Eye True Names of their enemies. After she gets her powers back... Well, she still does nothing. And gets sealed under the glittering plain, along with the majority of the Company for her troubles.
  • In Upper Fourth at Malory Towers, Gwendoline tells Clarissa about how Ellen tried to cheat by finding the exam papers and reading the questions in Second Form; however, there is no way Gwendoline could have known about this because Ellen was caught by Darrell, and she and Miss Grayling decided that the rest of the class needn't know about what Ellen had tried to do. Unless Gwendoline was eavesdropping on the two of them back then, this makes no sense whatsoever.

    Live-Action TV 
  • Played for laughs in Monty Python's Cycling Tour, where the protagonist was hauled before a firing squad three times for execution. The first two times, the firing squad misses the target. The third time the squad charges at the protagonist and tries to skewer him with their bayonets. A grey screen with the words "Scene Missing" then appears. The next scene shows the protagonist free outside the prison saying "What an amazing escape!"
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • In one eppy, a recruit spots a plot hole in a training exercise. A recruit is part of a bunch of recent Air Force graduates training for a role in the Stargate program. Part of a training exercise requires that they have no backup from SG-1 because SG-1 was caught in an ambush attack by a small number of Jaffa and called for backup; the recruit notes that SG-1 is too elite to be held down by a small number of Jaffa, and if it was an ambush attack, they wouldn't have had time to call in for backup. This is waved off, but out of earshot Sam remarks to Jack, "He's right, you know."
    • A later episode, "48 Hours", had the SGC go through a variety of political wrangling with the Russians so they could borrow the DHD they'd used in their own abortive stargate program. The writers apparently forgot that the Americans already had the DHD found with the Beta Gate in Antarctica. The next season's episode "Frozen" patched the hole by explaining offhand that the Beta DHD ran out of power a few days after they got it back from the NID.
  • In several episodes (all five seasons, actually) of Stargate Atlantis, a recurrent plot hole is the inability to use systems on Atlantis because of the lack of sufficient power because of the lack of ZP Ms. This makes little sense as 1. There are no backup power systems on Atlantis at all? and 2. Where are the facilities on Atlantis to make new ones? As fast as even new ZP Ms were depleted in use, there would have had to be a way to make them with relative ease, and 3. Given their access to the Ancient's database, after discovering that Atlantis had no primary, secondary, tertiary or quaternary power backups at all, unlike modern spacecraft that have multiple redundancies in every important system, McKay and Zelenka would have looked up fusion power generator designs in the database and starting building them using the incredibly advanced fabrication facilities on Atlantis and the ready supply of hydrogen from the ocean's water. While not as compact as a ZPM, fusion could have met the power needs of the city without difficulty.
  • Enterprise:
    • The crew encounter Borg drones 200 years before they were encountered by Captain Picard and the U.S.S. Enterprise-D. This comes as a direct result of what happened in the film Star Trek: First Contact. The pieces of a crashed Borg sphere are discovered in Antarctica. The crew see and fight assimilated crewmen on an alien freighter. The ship's doctor, Phlox, is infected with nanoprobes (but manages to cure himself). They have sensor data on the Borg-augmented ship and their audio transmissions. Nevertheless, 200 years later, no one knows what the Borg look like, how they attack people, or what their technology does to starships and living beings. As the satirical website FirstTvDrama.com put it so eloquently:
    "You can lay this side by side with Archer not bothering to ask the Ferengi for their name after they hijacked the ship. This time, they have tech, records, photos, scans, DNA samples, dead nano-bots, etc, and it only creates a bigger plot hole. There's an entire massive debris field site in the North Pole. How do you cover up something like that. They either nuked it (which would surely get the attention of the Vulcans), left it (which means it's still there), or they cleaned it all up, which means they further learned stuff from it. Remember kids, there was NO cover up that took place. So how do you explain this plot hole?"
    • A Sequel Episode that would have presumably addressed some of these continuity issues was planned for the fifth season, but the show ended up being cancelled before it came to fruition.
    • In Voyager we learn that well before the Enterprise-D encountered the Borg, Starfleet sent a scout craft to investigate them in their home territory. This goes somewhat badly, as Seven Of Nine can attest, since that's how she got assimilated. This means Starfleet knew a fair bit about the Borg...and didn't tell the commander of their flagship (not even with an automated, Captain's-Eyes-Only warning upon detection of their technology on sensors, a function Voyager used as a plot device at one point), or have any plans on the go for dealing with them when they inevitably came calling.
    • In the first episode encountering the Borg, we learn that the Borg had destroyed the homeworld of Guinan's people, the El-Aurians. We see the surviving refugees arrive at Earth in transport ships during the opening of Star Trek: Generations. Again, it appears that the Federation never bothered to find out what they were running from, even though it was clear Guinan already knew their name, tactics, etc.
    • Another Enterprise episode sent the ship to investigate the first human colony outside the solar system to find out why it had suddenly stopped communicating with Earth - roughly 80 years prior. Nobody had been sent to check this out earlier, because humans didn't have sufficiently fast ships. When T'Pol points out that the Vulcans had such ships eighty years ago, and could have investigated immediately, Captain Archer says only that asking favors from the Vulcans tended to carry a high price. There is no further elaboration of this point, even though they later discover that prompt Vulcan disaster-recovery assistance would have been extremely helpful to the colonists.
    • Episode "Who Mourns for Adonais?", the Enterprise encounters a Sufficiently Advanced Alien. Kirk leads a landing party down to the nearby planet, where the alien reveals that he is the Greek god Apollo. Later in the episode, Spock, who had been on the Enterprise the whole time, makes reference to Apollo. There is no way Spock could have known who the alien was as Apollo immediately jammed the landing party's communicators.
    • In a really weird example, Kirk suddenly knows at the end of "And The Children Shall Lead" that the Sufficiently Advanced Alien of the week is called "the Gorgon". This was not only never mentioned in front of Kirk, it was not mentioned previously in the episode at all.
  • Red Dwarf: Plays fast and loose with its own rules at the best of times, mostly because it's more concerned with being a sitcom. One notable example of many is a double-whammy: In "Backwards", how are Rimmer and Kryten able to keep in contact with Holly on Backwards Earth when the ship (and thus Holly's mainframe) is in a completely different part of space and time? And if Holly is in contact with them, why doesn't she just tell Lister and the Cat what happened to them, instead of leaving Lister and the Cat to trawl through space for three weeks before finding the time hole?
  • Charmed:
    • Episode "Chris Crossed" brings a ton of them up. First of all Chris's hair is long in the flashbacks when it was short when he first appeared at the end of Season 5, as well as his clothes being different. Second of all, the flashback shows Chris going through a portal in the attic when he orbed into the attic in his first episode. And when he first appeared, he says he has come to stop the Titans as they rule the world in his future. Yet the flashbacks have no mention of the Titans.
    • He also mentions that Paige was killed by the Titans yet in a later episode he says he goes to her for money in the future.
    • A real Plot hole in the Chris plot is the whole Valhala thing. Why did he send Leo to Valhala in the first place? It's what caused Leo and Piper's temporary breakup which Nearly stops them from doing the dirty and concieving him. It's like he wanted to make his mission as dificult as possible.
    • A lot of stuff in later Charmed was like this, since they were often implied that they had always been there, and the Charmed Ones really should have seen them already, prompting fan reactions of "Where the hell were they before?!" Two examples:
      • The Cleaners: Magical entities that were supposed to erase incidents and people that exposed magic to the real world. They were severely disliked because there were multiple incidents of magic being exposed that they never acted during, such as the exposure that resulted in Prue dying.
      • Magic School: This one really bugged people since it would have greatly helped the Charmed Ones when they were still learning their abilities. It's designed for children, sure, but considering they were the Chosen Ones, they could all any help they could get.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer:
    • The last season introduces a new form of Super-Vampire called the Turokhan. Turokhans have the same weaknesses as regular vampires. They die by a wooden stake in the heart, or decapitation, or sunlight. But their strengths are massively amplified, to the point that the highly experienced and strong Buffy Summers is unable to drive a stake deep enough through the Turokahn's super tough and thick skin to pierce its heart. A vicious, brutal, lopsided beatdown of curbstomp proportions ensues. Later Buffy is only able to kill this one Turokhan by luring him to a battlefield of her choosing where, after a lengthy battle she finally manages to decapitate him using razor wire. So, clearly the Turokhan are insanely tough right? This was the point. Cue the inverse law of Ninjas. In the final episodes Buffy and her squad of newly activated rookie slayers proceed to casually and effortlessly dust Turokhans left and right. Upstairs, the purely human (but fairly badass by human standards) Robin Wood is also effortlessly killing every Turokhan that comes near him with a simple metal knife to the chest. Nerdy little Andrew and clueless Anya (also both human, and considerably less combat-capable than Robin) are also effortlessly killing Turokhans. Anya kills one with a glancing blow from her sword to the hip. Word of God acknowledges the inconsistency, but says that the story of empowerment is more important than continuity here
  • Towards the end of Season 1 of Sons of Anarchy, the Cowboy Cop ATF Agent Stahl attempts to fracture the charter by setting up Opie to look like he's gone into witness protection. She then cuts Opie loose because she doesn't have enough to hold him, but bugs his phone and car on the chance that he says something incriminating. SAMCRO has every reason to believe that Opie's the snitch and of course they do believe this, which is confirmed in their minds when they find the bugs. Now at this point, the Cops and ATF know that A) either SAMCRO or Opie himself discovered the bugs and destroyed them- in either case they are not going to produce any evidence, B) SAMCRO is extremely likely to murder Opie as a result of their little trick, and C) in 24 hours, the US Attorney will reveal his case, charging Opie and proving that he is not the snitch. Hale, the Fair Cop, is torn up about what to do - reasoning that if he tells SAMCRO that Opie is not the snitch, he is leaking classified information. But all he needs to do is keep him safe for one night, and the answer should be staring him in the face: arrest Opie on a trumped-up charge (which is hardly as bad as the crap they pulled to get to this point) and keep him off the streets for 24 hours. The truth comes out the very next day. But he dithers so long that Opie's wife is murdered in a botched hit because he was Acquitted Too Late, setting off the events of Season 2.
  • A rather small one appears in 24 season 4, episode 9. Dina agrees to tell CTU all she knows if they can guarantee her son's safety. The son then tells his father, who is attempting to kill him, that if he kills him his mother will tell CTU everything because she cares about his safety. Does not compute!
  • In the Mad About You episode "The Caper", several different couples go into the Buckmans' neighbor's apartment to fetch food. Each couple, when they return, comments on the neighbor's gorgeous painting. When the painting goes missing, each couple in turn is accused of having stolen it while they were fetching the food � despite the fact that the later couples reported it was still there when they saw it.
  • Heroes:
    • While both Peter and Sylar were in those medical comas, there comes the issue that in season 1 the room Sylar was kept in seemed to dampen abilities (if the Haitian/Renee was there the whole time he would've stopped Eden), whereas in season 2 Peter needs to take pills to dampen abilities, and in season three there's early on the drug induced comas
    • In Volume 2, it's revealed that Adam Monroe injecting his healing blood into Peter also 'cures' his Haitian-induced memory loss. However, Peter already has that ability, and used it to heal himself after being shot in Ireland. Why didn't this restore his memory?
    • Furthermore, in Volume 1 HRG sends the Haitian to wipe Claire's memory. He doesn't, but what we know about Adam would imply it would have been impossible anyway. This could be explained away by saying that HRG and or the Haitian didn't know this, but considering they've both been working for the Company for decades and have had Adam Monroe as a prisoner all that time, it seems unlikely that they'd never tried to erase his memory.
    • This one's a doozy: At the end of Season 2, Nathan is shot during a press conference before he can reveal his powers to the world. When Season 3 begins, we find out that Nathan is miraculously back to normal, which apparently is the result of Linderman, apparently a ghost, healing him with his Healing power. However, later on, we find out that Linderman wasn't real, and was instead a figment of Maury Parkman's imagination, projected using his Mind Control power. That's all fine and dandy, except... WHO THE HELL HEALED NATHAN? Unsurprisingly, this is never explained or even addressed.
  • In The North And The South, a few things don't make any sense:
    • At the end of Book II, Orry Main finds his wife, Madeline, whom he hasn't seen for more than two years. When he finally finds her, he sees his baby for the first time. Madeline had been pregnant with Orry's baby when she disappeared over two years ago, but when Orry meets his baby, the baby is only about six months old. This becomes more noticable when Charles Main, Orry's cousin, makes it back to Augusta's house for the first time in two months. When he gets there, Washington informs him that Augusta is dead, but that she had died giving birth to Charles' baby. When Charles had seen her two months prior to this, she wasn't showing the least bit of being pregnant. When Charles meets his baby, the baby looks to be two years old or older even though it couldn't have been more than two months old within the timeline.
    • The drummer boy who hangs out with Billy Hazard spends a few years with Billy's unit, but he doesn't age at all.
    • At one point, Billy Hazard leaves his unit so he can go check on Ashton. He reasons with himself that he'll be back before his unit will see combat again, then stays gone for eight months. When he returns, sure enough, his unit hasn't been called into combat in his absence.
  • A very large one in Battlestar Galactica (Reimagined): one of the largest plot twists in the series revolves around the song "All Along the Watchtower". The series finale reveals the series is set hundreds of thousands of years in our past. So how'd the song get there?
  • How I Met Your Mother has some discontinuity pertaining to Robin Sparkles. First it was a one hit wonder and her only song, then she had a second song which she said tanked, then her character was based off a TV show suddenly, then not only did she have a third song, she was one of the biggest celebrities in Canada and won many awards.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Due to the (unplanned) Anachronic Order, (planned) Sequel Escalation and They Just Didn't Care-quality Expanded Universe and "Dalekmania" merch, the Daleks in manage to hit full Continuity Snarl by their second story, meaning basically anything involving them from "The Dalek Invasion of Earth" and until the Dalek Reboot in "Genesis of the Daleks" makes absolutely no sense at all. For just one obvious example, the programme shows the Dalek technology steadily advancing (apart from the odd Character Check here and there) over the Doctor's timeline but going back and forth over the Daleks's - for instance, it's hard to imagine a race locked in centuries of stalemate against a bunch of pacifistic Noble Savages to have access to the intergalactic space travel required to invade Earth, and the Daleks's Kryptonite Factors (dependence on external power sources, an inability to survive in environments that aren't poisonously radioactive) only affect them depending on if anyone cares about it this week. All of this can be Hand Waved with Timey-Wimey Ball, since the Daleks invent time travel from their next serial.
    • A glaring example is the scene in "Power of the Daleks" where the Doctor pulls a bunch of random items out of a drawer in his TARDIS, including a cube of Dalekanium. When he gets out onto Vulcan he discovers that it's one of two keys for a downed Dalek ship - the other one in the possession of the scientist who discovered the ship in the first place. It's quite reasonable for a ship key to be in the vicinity of a ship, but how the heck did the Doctor get hold of his key? Some fans Fan Wank that the First Doctor had found it in an unseen Dalek encounter, but there is really no place to fit it into the continuity unless you take Broad Strokes.

     Professional Wrestling 
  • Edge and Christian being portrayed as brothers, then later as childhood friends.
  • Kane has has several plot holes. One of them is his involvement in the infamous "Katie Vick" storyline. Apparently, Kane was partying, drinking, and driving with his girlfriend, Katie Vick, despite that his character was supposed to have been secluded from society during that time. Speaking of Kane, his hair is a plot hole. Before his "official" unmasking, Kane has had his mask removed on a few occasions, albeit the hair grown from his head is covering his face. On the night of his "official" unmasking, Kane takes off his mask that has a wig attached, which is used to cover the little hair on his head that remained from the fire that burned him as a child. Another thing to note is that Evolution took off Kane's mask five months prior to his "official" unmasking, and yet Kane still had a full head of hair when he had his mask taken off.
  • For TNA's 2010 Victory Road PPV the Knockouts' title match had the stipulation where if either of champion Madison Rayne's teammates - Lacey Von Erich and Velvet Sky - interfered, the belt would go to Angelina Love. At the end of the match, a masked biker woman drove into the arena and attacked Angelina. The referee called for a disqualification...and awarded the title to Angelina Love, assuming it was either Velvet or Lacey under the mask. The woman refused to reveal her face and yet the referee still awarded the title to Angelina. It was actually Tara under the mask yet it made no sense for her to keep her face hidden for weeks when she could have taken off the mask to reveal who she was and thus let Madison keep the title. Furthermore why would Madison have her attacker wear a mask if it wasn't Velvet or Lacey? The stipulation only said Madison would lose if either of them interfered. It would only be a simple DQ if anyone else interfered. And when it was confirmed that it hadn't been Velvet or Lacey under the mask, the title switch to Angelina was still counted despite being a bad call by the referee.

    Theatre 
  • In Rodgers and Hammerstein's backstage musical Me and Juliet, some of the theatergoers are humming tunes from the Show Within a Show during intermission: "Marriage Type Love", "No Other Love", "It's Me". The problem here is that "It's Me" was only sung backstage, not onstage, so the audience shouldn't have heard it. Hammerstein privately acknowledged this mistake.
  • Shakespeare's Julius Caesar featured a pretty big one: just before Caesar was assassinated, a random person is shown writing a letter to Caesar about the treachery of his senate - who this man is, how he knows about the treachery, and why he knows every single person involved in the plot is never told - it turns out to be irrelevant, however, as he never delivers the letter anyway.

    Video Games 
  • In Metroid Prime, the eponymous creature is sealed inside the impact crater by a Chozo spell, which was placed to prevent the phazon from further infecting the planet. However, a scan in the game indicated that the Space Pirates had captured the creature for study and imprisoned it in their lab, where it proceeded to steal a lot of weaponry and escape back to the crater. This warrants the question: how did the pirates and/or Metroid Prime both bypass the Chozo seal, when you yourself couldn't get through it until you completed the late-game MacGuffin Fetch Quest to remove the seal? The EU version and the Trilogy version fixed this plot hole: In those, the Space Pirates merely detects a creature inside the crater and wastes a lot of time and effort trying to break the seal and failing. They never actually find Metroid Prime. Though now it has all those beam weapons/vulnerabilities just because. The problem pertaining to how a Metroid got into the crater before the seal was put in place still remains. The only explanation being the recently arrived pirates brought the Metroid and the seal was placed after that, meaning all those derelict Chozo ruins and angry ghosts are only a few weeks old.
  • Neverwinter Nights.
    • Consider this situation: the city of Neverwinter has been struck by a plague that can only be cured with specific components from a variety of magical creatures. This is a fantasy world where a powerful mage can teleport stuff easily long-distance. Do they just send the reagents and produce a cure that afternoon? No, they send the creatures themselves; this may be a Justified Trope, because teleporting is expensive, but is Lord Nasher really going to complain about the fees when lives are in danger? This is just the beginning; It gets much, much worse. When the creatures escape from the least defensible region of the structure they're being held in, by teleporting, even if they don't actually have that ability, they disappear into the four main outlying areas of the city. Then, instead of the heroic paladin going out to look for them (using some flimsy excuse about a tracking spell), a weak and inexperienced adventurer is sent out to get them. Complete with a Hand Wave about the cockatrice being in a box because they didn't actually have a cockatrice monster model. This is all in the first act.
    • No excuse is ever given for Neverwinter not simply requesting new creatures (or rather, the parts from said creatures) from various other cities and have them teleported there immediately. None of the creatures are unique specimens.
  • Baldur's Gate II: Throne of Bhaal:
    • Retcons the protagonist's childhood so that their mother was a priestess of Bhaal who belonged to a cult that was trying to sacrifice Bhaalspawn children to effect his resurrection. This ceases to make sense when you try to figure out the timeline: The game takes place in the year 1369 and the protagonist is twenty years old at the beginning of the first game a year earlier and was an infant when the cult was active. But Bhaal, who had sired his mortal children to be fuel for his eventual resurrection after his foreseen death, died in 1358. So in fact the evil cult was trying to sacrifice the children while he was still alive, which at the very least would mean they had misunderstood his plans very badly.
    • More to the point, the flashback also reveals that the protagonist was apparently conceived during the Time of Troubles, which also happened in 1358. So the main character suddenly is ten years old?
  • Gaia Online features many of them, which they often try to fill in later, with mixed results. Here's a small sampling of the ones that haven't been filled in yet.
    • During the Halloween 2k5 Story Line, Ian finds a pill bottle that apparently reveals that his romantic rival Gino is hiding a terrible secret from Sasha. Meanwhile, the Mansion is inexplicably lit on fire. We never find out who started the fire, nor what was in those pill bottles.
    • During every event held at the Von Helson mansion, there is a spire visitors are forbidden to go to. Upon sneaking in, you see signs of a struggle, though it's never explained as to what has happened there. (Even the revelation that the Von Helsons were vampires was a surprise)
    • During the Rejected Olympics event, numerous fantasy races were added to the canon, including Orcs. A subplot involving potential enslavement of the Orcs for manual labor (in a city FULL OF ROBOTS) was set up, then promptly ignored.
    • The entire "Robot Rebellion" story line that has been set up ever since Aekea was opened, yet has never materialized.
    • In zOMG!, it is stated that all the towns are completely cut off from each other due to things coming to life and attacking people. It's implied that Aekea is fighting off its factory equipment, that all the boats to Isle De Gambino have been closed, and that people attempting to walk to Durem are disappearing. And yet in the Wapanese comic, all of the NPCs are able to travel from town to town without any issues.
  • Mega Man 7 has two different plot holes depending on the version. In the original, it was stated that Mega Man couldn't kill Dr. Wily due to robotic laws preventing him from harming a human. Why would Wily have to beg for mercy in all previous games and let Mega Man arrest him in 6? In the American version, Mega Man disregards those laws and tries to kill Wily. There is no explanation why he didn't try to kill Wily in all subsequent games. Admittedly, Mega Man is a nice robot, and killing Wily would not have been his first choice when he would actually have been able to do it. It took him seven games to finally realize Wily is beyond redemption.
    • The Mega Man X series' titular protagonist is supposedly special since he is the first robot to have free will. Despite this, the classic series (to which the X series is a sequel to) has shown robots seemingly able to do what they like, even if they would logically not be programmed for it. Three big examples are Ballade from Mega Man IV, who despite being made by Wily as a Mega Man Killer purposefully saves Mega Man's life at the cost of his own, Sheep Man, who can get bored and has changed several jobs out of boredom, and Strike Man, who even before the Roboenza outbreak was deliberately harming other players he didn't like, the First Law of Robotics be damned.
  • In Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, depending on the choices you make, Nicholai will sometimes appear at the gas station and be in the room when it explodes, destroying an entire city block. He survives this unscathed, and without any Plot Virus Hand Wave.
  • In the first God of War the gods send Kratos to find Pandora's Box, open it, absorb the power to kill a god within, and kill Ares. This he does. In the last game Kratos is trying to find the box, open it, absorb the power to kill a god within, and kill Zeus. He accomplishes the first two steps, only to discover that duh, he already did step three. What, did everyone think it just didn't take the first time, especially given that he's been killing gods left and right ever since? Furthermore, Zeus makes it clear that the box, which contained both the evils of the Titan's war which corrupted the gods and the power to kill him, was never supposed to have been opened in the first place. So why did he ever help Kratos reach it?
    • On top of that, at some point between the two games, Zeus puts together an elaborate mechanism to keep Pandora's Box away from intruders (see: Kratos). Reaching the box now requires such things as manipulating the chain that keeps the planes together and stopping a fire that can burn even the Gods. As implied above, there is nothing in the box, and Zeus knows this! And even if the empty box had value there's still a perfectly good temple for storing it on the back of Cronos!
  • In Tower Of Heaven the The Book of laws states you shall not touch golden blocks, but when the book shatters and all laws are nullified, golden blocks still kill you. Retconned in the flash version which changes them to skull blocks.
  • Super Smash Brothers Brawl: In the subspace emissary, Pit (who has wings) tries and fails to attack the airborne Ancient Minister. This creates a Plot Hole because it is never explained in game that he (supposedly) can't actually fly. The fact that he does anyway when the player is controlling him just makes things more confusing. Furthermore, why he and Mario didn't try to use their projectile attacks on the Ancient Minister is never explained.
  • Fallout 3:
    • Once you retrieve the G.E.C.K. in Vault 87, you are ambushed and captured by Enclave troops before you get out. Problem is, the main door of Vault 87 is broken and surrounded by deadly radiation, so the only way in is the back door through Little Lamplight. But the residents of Little Lamplight wouldn't have let the Enclave troops in, and there's nothing to suggest the Enclave forced their way through.
    • The main door is still broken and sealed... come to think of it, how do the Super Mutants get out?
  • There's one very glaring plot hole in Agarest Senki 2 that's found at the beginning of the game, however it won't be much a plot hole until you do a New Game+. At the beginning of the game, Aina heals Weiss from his injuries after getting blown off somewhere from where he and Fasti were at. Not much of a big deal right? Play through the game until The Reveal shows up and wonder if Weiss didn't kill Chaos and was stabbed by Fasti, to stab Chaos, then how come Weiss doesn't have a tear on his shirt back and front? Unless somehow Chaos hijacked Weiss' body and male shirts can magically heal, or that Chaos copied Weiss and his clothes while the real Weiss got disintegrated from the blast of the explosion, the world may never know.
  • Too many to list in The 3rd Birthday to the point of Mind Screw. It just raises more questions than answers by the end of the game.
  • In Gears of War, the Kryll are a swarm of flying piranhas that savagely attack anything that falls into darkness and consumes them in seconds. This is true of human and locust alike, only General RAAM can walk amongst Kryll without any damage and his means for doing this are never explained. In the DLC campaign "RAAM's Shadow" for 3 (chronologically earlier), normal Locust walk among Kryll just fine and indeed even RAAM's lieutenants are able to command the Kryll.
  • In the Dragon Ball anime and manga, Goku punishes Monster Rabbit for turning Bulma into a carrot and his two decorated mooks by using his Power Pole to send them to the moon, where they must make treats for a year. Eight months later, it gets blown up by Master Roshi. However, the video games state Monster Rabbit and his cohorts got off the rock and back to Earth beforehand... which gives way to the plot hole: HOW?!?
  • There are many plot holes in the Jak and Daxter series, most of them induced by Sig. Being a friend of the titular heroes, working for Krew and being a spy for Damas should give him a hell of a lot of information about everything, but somehow he never puts two and two together. The most egregious example is about Jak's relation to Damas: Sig was sent to Haven to look for Damas's son Mar. The Kid carries the seal of Mar around his neck that indicates he might be the lost heir to the throne. Damas, of the House of Mar, was Haven's ruler before he was cast out. Logically, Sig should at least suspect that the Kid might be related to Damas, but doesn't. It gets worse when it turns out the Kid is Jak, who from that point on carries the Kid's seal with him, and people on occasion use it to remind him who he is.
  • Neverwinter Nights 2 takes some Artistic License with the rules of magic in the Forgotten Realms setting. No less than three divine spellcasters lack patron deities. Some D&D settings allow this, but FR is not among them. Zhjaeve can be handwaved as venerating the githzerai god-king Zerthimon, and Gannayev-of-Dreams puts his faith in the spirits of the land, but Bishop has no plausible excuse, especially since the one explanation that would allow itspecifically,  is invalidated by what becomes of his soul in Mask of the Betrayer.
  • Heavy Rain has notable problem: the nature of Ethan's blackouts are never explained, despite the blackouts being the sole reason why the police were after Ethan. Not only this, the blackouts contained knowledge about the Origami Killer Ethan couldn't possibly have, such as the faces of victims he's never met. In a deleted scenes montage, Word of God stated that the Origami Killer and Ethan developed a telepathic link at the start of the game when the killer witnessed Ethan risking his life for his son. After some consideration, they figured that the plot hole was better than that explanation.
  • In Persona 4 Arena, none of the characters from Persona 4 have upgraded personas. This is largely understandable as the characters gaining their ultimate personas is by maxing out their social links which, in the previous game, is optional. However, there is one exception, Teddie's social link progresses automatically with the story, which results in his persona transforming from Kintoki-Doji into Kamui. However, like the rest of the investigation team, he uses his original persona and his ultimate persona is never even mentioned.
  • Nino Kuni has several irritating plotholes.
    • One of them appears early in the game when Olliver goes back to our world. People from our world cannot see nor hear people from the other world, so when Olliver asks a lady for the information he needs and right in the middle of the conversation starts to talk with his friendly magical fairy, the lady doesn't even lift an eyebrow or gets surprised of the fact that a kid who just lost his mom a while ago is talking to himself all of a sudden. Even worse, she carries on with the conversation as if nothing happened. This rule of "nobody can see magic or people from the other world" gets violated every once in a while as the character do not even care about the consequences of using magic or talking to somebody that cannot be seen by others. Another example of this is when the characters use a spell to go from one world to another in the middle of the street and nobody wonders how or why that kid vanished into thin air.
    • There is more problems with the gateway spell than that. Apparently the first time you use it you are told that you need a large space in order to cast the gateway spell, the one that will allow you to travel through worlds, so the characters go to the town square, summon a Cool Gate, and use it to go the other magical world. Afterwards this rule of "can only be casted in large spaces" is just ignored, as you can cast it anywhere, and the gate is nowhere to be seen anymore. No explanation given, of course.
    • An even major example comes later in the game. The characters go back to Al Mamoon so they can ask for an audience with the Cowlipha to get a permit to use a ship. The Cowlipha is apparently brokenhearted and her heart lacks restraint, so the characters are told to go wander the city asking in every shop for somebody with a lot of restraint to spare. Now, the plothole comes because the locket, the object used to stock pieces of heart, glows when somebody having some quality to spare from his heart is near. The game decided to just break that rule in this particular moment and have you wander around town aimlessly looking for something as vague as "somebody with a lot of restraint" when the person that you were looking for was none other that the Cowlipha's servant, the person who asked you for help, accompanied you through all this miniquest, and was even present when you discovered that she was brokenhearted and needed restraint. During all this the locket didn't shine even once.
  • In The Walking Dead episode 5 Vernon and his small group of cancer survivors steal the boat on a trailer that the main characters had been preparing and disappear. However, the previous episode established that they were somewhat weak and several needed medication to live, a boat that size weighs tons and requires a truck to move, the villains of Crawford had stripped every single car in town for parts, and both Crawford and Savannah proper were overrun by a massive walker horde.
  • Star Trek Online had one you could fly the Enterprise through in its fourth anniversary featured episode whose simplest explanation invalidates the entire justification for the Dyson Battlezone launched two months earlier. During the plot, you have to trigger an Iconian space gate to stop the entire Solanae Dyson Sphere from jumping itself someplace else. It's powered by Omega molecules, and Tuvok says that allowing it to jump will consume enough molecules that it will wipe out warp travel throughout the galaxy. Then you find out that the Dyson sphere from TNG: "Relics" jumped itself when nobody was looking. Problem: What's good for the goose is good for the gander, Cryptic. Either there is now no warp travel anywhere in the galaxy (not true), or every physicist in the Alpha Quadrant has been talking out of his ass for two months and the Dyson spheres' Omega molecules are perfectly safe power sources. Or the Relics sphere uses something else than Omega molecules for power (entirely possible, since the Enterprise's sensors didn't pick up any in Relics), but in that case the Relics sphere becomes even more important than claimed, since it means everyone should be interested in what it used instead, which no-one seems to be.

    Webcomics 
  • Demolition Squad either is full of these, or the whole plot simply doesn't make any sense at all.. heavily lampshaded by Nadine
  • Dangerously Chloe hasn't been online very long, but it seems to specialise in these, not least that Teddy and his sister Abbie apparently don't recognise Chloe, despite having met her three years before
  • Life With Lamarr has Eli create the Free Children's Commune after the Black Mesa incident. However in Dr. Breen's backstory he was raised at the Free Children's Commune before becoming head of Black Mesa and causing the Black Mesa incident.
  • Okashina Okashi uses plot holes as a Plot Device, they are portals to other realities, each with it's own dominant Japanese Media Tropes.
  • APT Comic uses these in a very literal way, you can access them by defying currently-existing canon (like the other Plot Hole definition) and pull stuff out at the cost of "Plothole Fairy Points."

    Western Animation 
  • Family Guy:
    • Peter accidentally sets fire to the pediatric wing of a hospital while trying to impress his boss in order to get a promotion. Later, his boss puts his name down for consideration for an executive position. Later still, after Peter has graduated from the third grade in order to qualify for the position, his boss points out that there is no way he's getting the job because he set fire to a hospital, killing 19 children. She doesn't explain why she considered him for the position in the first place. The problem with Family Guy is that sometimes it's hard to tell whether it's a plot hole or part of the joke.
    • Speaking of Family Guy... it's generally best to assume that none of the cutaway gags ever happened. They all directly contradict the plot and each other, and make no effort to avoid this.
    • Another interesting one is that Brian Griffin remains an atheist despite having dinner with Jesus, who then proceeds to perform miracles at the table. In another episode, Peter becomes worshiped by a group of fanatics believing he has healing powers after a lie he told. This leads to God cursing the Griffins with plagues. When Peter says that there has to be an explanation for the events, Brian replies, "God is pissed".
  • Gargoyles had one in the final episode of the third season. Broadway automatically knew that Angela and Bronx were in jail despite the fact that he had not yet been told about it, and otherwise had no way of knowing about it happening.
  • In the 1980s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series:
    • The Turtles and April meet the Neutrinos in the Season 1 episode "Hot Rodding Teenagers from Dimension X". In the follow-up Season 2 episode, "Teenagers from Dimension X", the Neutrinos are already acquainted with the Turtles, but are unfamiliar with April despite the fact that she was with the Turtles in the previous episode.
    • A truly baffling one happens in the Vacation in Europe side season. In the first episode, Shredder and the Turtles run into each other in France, and fight on top of the Eifel Tower. In the next episode, the Turtles are still in France, and not only do they talk about going to see the Eifel Tower, Shredder is shocked when he learns they're in France. It almost seems like two season opening episodes were made seperately.
  • In the Kim Possible episode "Mind Games", Dr. Drakken swaps bodies with an army official in order to steal a superweapon. Kim and Ron rescue the captured army official, but all three are later captured again - Kim and Ron are tied to a post while the army official is hauled away by Drakken's guards. Later, Drakken decides to kill Kim and Ron with his base's auto-destruct. Not only does Drakken not just shoot them, they are rescued by the army official, who was apparently left in the same room with Kim and Ron without being tied up or anything! Also, he isn't visible in an earlier wide-angle shot of the room.
  • Winx Club: When we last see the Trix in Season 2, they are stuck in the Realix realm, yet at the beginning of Season 3 they have somehow been arrested and dropped off in the Omega dimension.
  • Galtar and the Golden Lance: The eponymous weapon can only be used by Galtar (the show's continuity is pretty loose, but this has been the rule from Day 1), because he's the champion of all things Good...until someone breaks the rule. No, not one of the good guys. Rava, of all people.
  • Danny Phantom:
    • Danny always seems to forget his ghost ability to become intangible when he is being attacked.
    • It is explained early on that Danny was inexperienced and would forget to go intangible. He even mocked himself once for forgetting. This frequent plot hole is actually lampshaded in the episode My Brother's Keeper.
    • In Bitter Reunions, Danny knows the name of Vlad's ghost persona despite the fact he wasn't previously told.
    • The season finale, Phantom Planet, leaves many of these due to being rather poorly written. When Danny reveals his true identity to the world at the end, Valerie just stands there and claps like everyone else. She just found out that the boy she has feelings for is actually someone she despises more than anything else. How does she see him? We'll never know. Vlad also acts completely out of character in this episode (and pretty much the entire third season, for that matter).
  • In the 200th episode of South Park, Stan says that he met Muhammad once, referencing the episode "Super Best Friends". In another episode "All About The Mormons", he does not know who Joseph Smith is despite the fact that he met him earlier in the same episode. Why would he remember Muhammad, but not Joseph Smith?
  • Filmations Ghostbusters was well-known for structuring episodes based around an Aesop, but "The Girl Who Cried Vampire" is a case where the moral of the week results in a plot hole: in the story, a girl named Kita wants to have some fun, so she uses her ghost-like Scarecrow Balloons to attract the GB's attention. Here's the problem: the balloons trigger their Ghost Alarms even though they're not ghosts! And nobody thinks to question it!
  • One of the many challenges of Xiaolin Showdown ended with Jack losing but not giving up the Wu he had bet, neither he nor Omi seem to notice this.
  • Voltron Force- Larmina (a teenager) is stated to be Allura's niece. But in the original Voltron, Allura is an only child. Not only that, but not enough time has passed (only around 7 years at the very most) for Romelle (Allura's cousin) and Sven to have a teenage daughter. So who in the world are Larmina's parents? Being royalty and without heirs it is possible that Larmina is the daughter of a distant relative of Allura
  • Redakai: Despite having had a rather heated argument over common sense, the heroes automatically assume that the Face-Heel Turn of their comrade Maya is due to mind control (And not coercion, a clever plan of subterfuge, actual feelings of betrayal, or even just to teach them a lesson about how big jerks they are). Not only that, but they can tell who applied it and with what even though they did not witness the encounter nor have any recording of it. And just for fun, the attack (Named after the lead villain) infuses its target with evil, but apparently using it again cures the victim, rather than making the situation worse.
  • Star Wars: The Clone Wars in the Season 3 episode "Assasin" Aurra Sing was arrested for attemping to murder Padmé, and it's quickly discovered, that it was Ziro the Hutt who hired her for the job, because he wanted to get even with Padmé, for putting him in jail. This created two huge plotholes. A) How did Ziro hire a wanted Bounty Hunter, while in prison? Made even weirder by one of Ahsoka's earlier visions, which showed Aurra personally talking with the Hutt. Uhmm..how did she get in the prison to talk to him? B) In the Season 1 finale "Hostage Crisis' Ziro was broken out of prison by a group of Bounty Hunters, Sing included. Since in "Assasin" Ziro was still in prison, it's obviously takes places prior to "Hostage Crisis". However Sing was arrested in "Assasin"...How did she get out by "Hostage Crisis"? This latter had been adressed by Word of God months after the episode aired, confirming rhe fan theory of Cad Bane breaking her out.
  • In It's A SpongeBob Christmas!, Plankton feeds everyone jerktonium and creates an evil SpongeBob robot (due to SpongeBob being immune to the jerktonium) so that he will seem the nicest in comparison. But if Santa really did see everything like he and SpongeBob said, shouldn't Santa have seen Plankton feed everybody jerktonium and build the evil SpongeBob robot?
  • In Young Justice the League is brainwashed by the Light and sent off to wreak some havoc. They later discover that they have no memory of what they did and spend five years trying to find out, completely overlooking the possibility that they could ask the GL Corps, or even the ring itself. Even if they turned up to be a dead end, it's still a better place to ask around about the whereabouts or activities of a certain green clad ringwearer than anywhere else, especially anywhere on Earth. Weissman completely dodged the question, making vague claims about the government of the attacked planet being corrupt, but it seems like one of their guys being Brainwashed and Crazy and in possession of the strongest weapon in the universe would be a big issue for the Guardians, regardless of whether the planet would tell them they were attacked.
    John Stewart: Hey ring/Salaak, what happened to me in the last X hours? Kthxbai."
  • Ned's Newt: In the pilot, Ned pays exactly $1.65 (all of the change in his piggy bank) for Newton; the pet store owner actually rips him off, because the price list said $1.49. However, in a later episode, Ned loses his "lucky penny", described as such because it was his change when he bought Newton, even though we were explicitly shown the original transaction.
  • X-Men: Jean Grey departed after the Phoenix Saga in Season Three, and is treated as though she actually dies. However, two episodes afterwards, the Dark Phoenix Saga begins and she is treated as though she returned off-screen. What happened actually is that there are three episodes in Season 5 that should have aired in Season 3, one hinting about Jean's return. And yet no episode of Jean actually returning came to air.

Lampshade Hanging

    Anime and Manga 
  • Bleach: Anime Episode 134 has Yumichika, Rin and Hanatarou using a 12th division machine that manifests spirits as physical beings so even humans can see them to study the recent Arrancar attacks. This leads into the main plot of the episode, the ghost of a baker who wants his mother to taste one of his recipes before he can move on. Since he can't make a cake and he can't approach her about his desires because she can't see him, Yumichika, Rin and Hanatarou have to learn how to make the perfect cake and get his mother to taste it. The obvious issue here is that the machine they were using at the start of the episode meant they could have revealed the ghost to the mother right at the start, got her to make and taste the cake rendering the rest of the episode unnecessary. Lampshaded at the end of the episode during the next episode preview.
    Yumichika: So that soul-revealing device isn't just for you?
    Rin: Yes, it can materialise any nearby soul.
    Yumichika: So, if we had used it on him in the beginning, we wouldn't have had to work so hard.
    Rin: I see! Yumichika-san, you're so smart!
    Yumichika: Unbelievable!

    Fan Fiction 
  • This parody of the original Battlestar Galactica contains this exchange between Captain Alpo (cough) and Lieutennant Startrek (cough cough):
    ALPO: Say, Carrion is hundreds of light-yarons [sic] away. How did you get back so quickly?
    STARTREK: The same way I got there. I went through a loophole in the plot!
  • In the Sonic fanfiction Chao of the World, Unite!, plot holes are used so frequently they are a form of transportation.
    Maria: Boy, it's a good thing that severe decompression from that hole isn't causing the ship to buckle and explode, or that the air that's whooshing out isn't knocking us into the sun, or something.
    Amy: Why isn't it?
    Zombie (an OC): Plot hole.
  • The Game Over series uses plothole portals as an Interdimensional Travel Device, encased in shells that break on contact (and sometimes release on a timer) and fired out of a bazooka. The original versions dumped you somewhere in the universe you wanted to go (and thankfully, most of those places had breathable air), but later versions had fully controlled destinations. There are also Cool Gates that gave a framework for the portal to always appear in. SC also always has one on him to exit stage left.
  • Pandora from the Pony POV Series is the Anthropomorphic Personification of imagination and has the ability to invoke plot holes as an attack. She does so to help Shining Armor against General-Admiral Makarov.
    Makarov: What did you do?!
    Pandora: Triggered a disaster for any story: Plot holes catching up!

    Video Games 
  • In Kingdom of Loathing, a plot hole is an item that damages enemies by making them fall into it, and is needed to defeat the best-selling novelist.
  • In the fanmade parody campaign "Deus Ex Machina" for FreeSpace, a plot hole is a physical entity that causes random impossible things to happen. The player gets caught in one early on, and the story just plain stops trying to make even a semblance of sense from there (not that it made a great deal of sense beforehand...)
  • In the same fashion in the "Ridiculous" campaign of FreeSpace, a bunch of ships from different universes and time get caught in some plot hole dimension. Then it's a whole bunch of ridiculous (hence the name?) canon and non-canon stuff. Not to mention the This! Is! Sparta! part. Did I tell you about a ship measuring the "plot density" before entering the plot hole, and getting a negative result ?
  • In the Billy and Mandy video game, Mandy asks Grim why he can touch the bad mojo balls and not go crazy, to which Grim replies, "I thought we agreed not to talk about the plot holes, Mandy."
  • In Alan Wake, Plot Holes form the villain's primary advantage. The Lake brings to life anything that an artist creates while inside it, but if that artist leaves an unexplained hole, the Darkness fills it in in the worst possible way. The previous writer before Wake simply wrote his wife back to life without any explanation, but the Darkness was happy to provide one.

    Webcomics 
  • Bob and George gleefully lampshades its plot holes, at one point doing a literal Hand Wave. On at least one case it went back and filled a plot hole years after it was made. As an extension of the running joke "There are no plot holes", Bob and George's forums automatically replaced the words 'plot hole' with 'spoon', since There is no spoon.
  • In the webcomic "Real Life", a Plot Hole appears as a sort of space-time anomaly which functions as a portal into a blank dimension in which the protagonist has to resolve the current hole in the plot of the Story Arc before they can escape back into "reality". Thus far, the mechanism has only been used once. Said plot hole was eventually tricked into manifesting in a different dimension entirely, with tragic consequences.
  • This strip of Badly Drawn Kitties explains a plot hole rather succinctly. In fact, you could say it explains all plot holes rather succinctly.
  • This strip of "The Wacky Adventures of Lunar and Kirk" is the first of a series involving a literal hole in the world caused by a plot hole, which will swallow and destroy anyone or anything that enters it.
  • The ship in I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space!!! veers dangerously near to a Plot Hole, before they are saved by a hasty (offpage) explanation.
  • Acrobat has a villain called Plot Hole, Arch-Enemy of Plot Twist. He keeps coming back, after getting killed multiple times, without any explanation and believes that Plot Twist created him
    Plot Hole: That's what plot twist does! Creates plot holes!
  • Gleefully parodied by Goblins: Life Through Their Eyes, in the Tempts Fate 9 bonus strip. Tempts fights an ancient dragon, the speaking of whose name will cause him to be sucked into a Plot Hole and vanish forever.
  • An old David Herbert comic Golden Gamers used to frequently use plot holes as one of the abilities of the main characters.
  • Plot holes appear in the quite literal sense in The Way of the Metagamer.
  • Ansem Retort not only handwaved the "Yuffie got killed in Season 1" hole, but pointed out that recurring characters include Darth Maul and Jesus, so any minor plot hole pretty much means nothing.
  • Homestuck lampshades this here.
  • In Knights Of Buena Vista, the author confesses that strip #11 started with a couple of lines just to fill in a plot hole.

    Web Original 
  • The Protectors of the Plot Continuum actually harness plot holes to make their technology work, such as portal devices or inter-universe communicators.
  • A similar idea, except exclusively used with "Plothole Generators" in the Anti-Cliché and Mary-Sue Elimination Society. All other gadgets in the Society operate exclusively on Applied Phlebotinum.
  • A literal plot hole is featured in To Boldly Flee, as explained by Dr. Insano. In the end, The Nostalgia Critic absorbs the Plot Hole and becomes one with the universe.
  • Ultra Fast Pony:
    • The second episode is titled "Fillin' Dem Plot Holes, Bro!" Twilight Sparkle spends the entire Previously On montage explaining crucial backstory information that should have been in the previous episode, but wasn't. Even then, she fails to explain the Elements of Harmony, so when it comes time to use them she simply declares, "Vaguely established magical friend powers, activate! ... It's a plot hole. Deal with it!"
    • "Purple Party Pooper":
    Applejack: Wow, Twilight, you're looking awfully nice. Especially after the last episode, Celestia supposedly cut your horn off.
    Twilight: Really? You're complaining? You, out of everyone here, is complaining about continuity?
    • "For Glorious Mother Equestria!":
    Narrator: But then the next day, the dragon was suddenly big!
    Twilight: Whoa, whoa, hang on there a second. I think we maybe missed a teeny tiny little bit of all of the backstory.
    Caption: Nothing new here...
  • In the Third Rate Gamer's Chip n' Dale review, Cool Spot shows up the way he usually did in TRG's review of said game, but Billy quickly calls him out on this since Cool Spot was supposed to be dead. TRG responds with "Who's going to notice?" This is a stab at the same plot hole with Kool-Aid Man in The Irate Gamer's review of Cool Spot.

    Western Animation 
  • In the Tiny Toons Made-for-TV Movie How I Spent My Summer Vacation, Buster and Babs return to Acme Acres via a literal "plot hole", to which Babs remarks "I was wondering how those hack writers were going to wrap this up." Lampshaded again in a travel episode, where a set of luggage is devoured by Dizzy Devil, but reappears later. Babs pronounces it to be "A plot hole big enough to drive a Mack truck through!"
  • Similarly in The Emperor's New Groove, Kronk and Yzma get struck by lightning and fall into a gigantic pit during a chase scene and yet somehow beat the heroes to their destination. Both of them, when called on this, acknowledge that they have no way to explain how this happened, and Kronk even has a diagram of the enormous (plot) hole they fell into.
  • In The Penguins of Madagascar episode "Otter Gone Wild", a feral Marlene is captured by a giant cage falling out of nowhere. King Julien asks where the cage came from. Kowalski replies that that's classified information.
  • One episode of Ed, Edd n Eddy has the three searching for a television to watch a monster movie marathon on after Sarah kicks them out of Ed's place. At one point, Edd asks why they don't just watch it at his or Eddy's house.
    Eddy: What? And ruin the plot?
  • In Frisky Dingo:
    • Phil says that the Annihilatrix is up and running, to which Killface is baffled because they made it clear that it was sold for scrap. But that fine because Ret-Con Construction bought all of the pieces back and rebuilt it.
    • Another thing that was weird is why Killface does not murder Phil, given that we routinely see Killface murder people who annoy him over petty thinks and here Phil is doing far worse. This was confusing, but accepted as some bizzare part of Killface's gentlemanly demeanor. This is broken in the last episode with Phil where Killface does try, and fails, to kill Phil.
  • Family Guy:
    • Stewie crossdresses to get a role on a childrens' show, falls for a female co-star, and reveals himself on a live broadcast. Afterwards, Brian asks why on Earth they would do a live broadcast of a kids' show, and Stewie tells him "You really don't want to pull the thread on this one".
    • In one episode Brian discovers he has a 13-year-old son. Stewie asks him how that's possible, considering he's only 7, causing Brian to attempt to handwave it aside by claiming that he's older in dog-years. Stewie rightly points out that it doesn't work like that, so Brian just tells him that if he doesn't like it, he can go and bitch about it on the internet!
  • Transformers:
    • The Unicron Singularity, introduced in the Unicron Trilogy, is a massive continuity-damaging presence created by the world-destroying Unicron. It is also canonically stated to be the cause of every inconsistency and plot hole that was and will be created in the Transformers multiverse.
    • It's simultaneously the cause of and solution to every plot hole ever in Transformers; past, present, or future. It's best not to think about how that works. It's probably a case of "Break it I did. Fix it I shall".
  • How Fry finally manages to defeat the Brainspawn (and fulfill the destiny the Niblonians arranged for him) in Futurama: He trapped the Master Brain in a book he wrote, "a crummy world of plot holes and spelling mistakes!"
  • In Night of the Living Doo, an Affectionate Parody of The New Scooby Doo Movies and its frequent guest stars, Gary Coleman complains at all of the inconsistencies that have occurred in the special, such as questioning why he's still a zombie even when they were proven fake, why Shifty, who was actually Mark Hamill, dressed up as a zombie when the culprit was someone completely different, and asks who the Mummy was.

Plot DeviceNarrative TropesPlot Point
Plot ArchaeologyContinuity TropesAdaptation Induced Plot Hole
Out-of-Character MomentConsistencyRetcon
HeadscratchersLogic TropesGiving Up On Logic
Out-of-Context EavesdroppingThis Index Is Highly ImprobableSeries Continuity Error
Only the Author Can Save Them NowBad Writing IndexRelationship Revolving Door
Plane SpottingJust for PunPony Tale
Plot DeviceWe Are Not Alone IndexPlot Twist

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