The writers catch a particularly bad Plot Hole, but they leave it in because it is still critical to the story. The Voodoo Shark is the attempt to Hand Wave it rather than disrupt the story — except the Hand Wave itself is a Plot Hole. Bonus Points if it makes the initial Plot Hole bigger.
Coined by Chuck Sonnenberg, the term refers to the novelization of Jaws The Revenge (a film not held in high regard). In the movie, the shark with the eponymous jaws seeks out and attacks the living relatives and friends of Martin Brody to take the equally-eponymous revenge, even tracking them when they travel to the Bahamas by airplane. In the novel, a voodoo curse is used to explain away the idea that a shark understands the concept of revenge, and that it can somehow figure out where and when to find these people. What makes it the trope namer is that the writer doesn't bother to answer the question of why the voodoo curse was made in the first place, or any of the other countless questions that come to mind.
Similar to Dork Age but specific to an episode's plot device. Compare to Author's Saving Throw in that not only is it on a plot device level, and that the creative staff is able to catch it before the final product ever leaves for production, but also in that it tends to fail miserably. Compare also to Justified Trope, except a Voodoo Shark moment requires the justification to fall flat, inadequately justify, or otherwise simply fail so that suspension of disbelief remains lost. Also compare to It Runs on Nonsensoleum, in which an explanation like this is played for laughs instead of presented straight. Dan Browned can be considered similar, in that specific knowledge about the subject at hand causes the hand wave or attempt to justify the trope to fall apart.
Not necessarily related to Jumping the Shark or Hollywood Voodoo, except for particularly bad cases such as the Trope Namer.
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Anime and Manga
Mai-Otome attempts to Hand Wave the Virgin Power of Otome by explaining that a chemical in sperm destroys the nanomachines that are injected into an Otome's body to give her her powers. This raises a couple problems:
Why does no one think to use this as a weapon against Otome? Aside from rape (which is an issue with any type of Virgin Power), this particular explanation makes it possible that someone could simply isolate this chemical, then poison the water supply, turn it into a spray, etc., and permanently depower the enemy's Otome.
What about prophylactics? Has no one in this universe ever heard of a condom? Especially since the series is implied to have occurred After the End, meaning that they somehow retained knowledge of advanced robotics, but not birth control? Even though condoms can break if used improperly, it's better than nothing!
The chemical can't possibly stick around in the body that long. Even if Otome are sworn to chastity while active, a lot of the stress caused by the premise could be solved if non-virgins were allowed to become Otome in the first place.
In Death Note's second rewrite special, the mafia are cut and Mikami and Takada kill the SPK in their place, with Light's meetings with them moved to earlier than occurred in the manga. This fixes a plothole present in the original anime, wherein SPK member Ill Ratt is never revealed as a spy for Mello (providing no explanation for Mello's crew knowing their names and thus able to kill them with the Death Note), but with the mafia plot's removal, another is created: 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 Digimon Adventure 02 , the out-of-story reason why the main characters of Digimon Adventure are no longer able to digivolve to ultimate or mega is that they can't upstage the new kids. This was weakly patched by the kids claiming halfway through the season that they'd gone back to the Digital World at some point and released their inner crest powers, claiming it was necessary to create a barrier or shield to maintain the world's balance. And the other problem is that the series had already introduced a 9th crest, still with full power, so they didn't even have the power of all the crests. And the other other problem is that the world was already reborn with restored balance at the end of the first season.
In the Bleach manga, during Hitsugaya's fight with Harribel, after she seemingly kills Hitsugaya, it's moments later revealed that what she killed, and had been bleeding, is an ice clone, with the real Hitsugaya alive and well. The anime omits the blood when adapting the scene, and while this clears up the issue of how an ice clone can be made to apparently bleed, the audience is then left without explanation for why Harribel was fooled by the decoy, considering her accomplished status.
In Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai Maria and her older sister Kate are both nuns, however Maria is only 10 year old and Kate is only 15! For those who are unaware, it takes years of training before a person is considered a nun. So it's highly unlikely for a person to become one at age 15, let alone 10. So what is the the explanation we get for this? Apparently becoming a nun is just a part of a long-standing tradition in Maria's family. Needless to say, this explanation just makes the idea even more difficult to believe.
Later on in the series they try to justify it whenMaria finds out in volume 8 of the novel that she is not officially a nun or a teacher at the school because it is impossible for a person to be a nun at age 10 so only Kate is, which does give a valid explanation about Mairia Improbable Age but raises more questions about her sister.
In Katanagatari, the magic swords that form the basis of the plot are eventually explained away as technology from the future, which a soothsayer imported using his (magical!) ability to see the future. A character explicitly says that this is the logical conclusion, because magic is impossible.
The reason all the magical girls in Puella Magi Madoka Magica are, well, girls is eventually explained to be that girls at the edge of puberty are more prone to despair than anyone else (and despair is best for generating energy. Beyond the fact that this is clearly at odds with objective reality, this should only result in young girls being the majority of contractees, not the entirety.
This actually makes a lot more sense than you'd think, this is basically what marketing is, to gain a profit you focus on the demographic that gives you the most return. Even if everyone won't buy into it you'd still gain a profit if the majority do.
Since then, the editorial staff seems to have realized its mistake, and has been at pains to re-retcon some of it. For example, lines from the Batman & Robin title, as well as the semi-canon animated version of Under The Red Hood, strongly suggest that Todd's body was actually rejuvenated in a Lazarus Pit, which makes for a far more palatable explanation.
The single comic book issue devoted to explaining this stated that Jason Todd's mind was rejuvenated by a Lazarus Pit... after Superboy-Prime punched him back to life. Of course everything has since been retconned due to Flashpoint.
The biggest Voodoo Sharks in the DCU might be some of the explanations of Clark Kenting. For a brief while in the Bronze Age, it was canon that Superman's nearly Paper-Thin Disguise worked despite all the close calls because he also had a "super-hypnosis" power that prevented anyone from noticing Clark Kent's resemblance to Superman. This depended on his glasses, which were made out of pieces of his Kryptonian spaceship; in one comic Lois Lane saw Clark Kent in a suit and no glasses and assumed it was Superman trying futilely to disguise himself as Clark. Fine, fair enough, Superman does lots of things superhumanly well due to his speed and intellect and they're all called separate superpowers. But this just raises more questions, like why does a wig work as a disguise for Supergirl? Or, why does this disguise work over television? Or, there are many stories where Batman disguises himself as Clark. Does Batman have Bat-hypnosis?
The current (and much more rational) explanation is that when he is Clark Kent, Superman acts completely differently; timid, slumped, and so completely unlike Superman no one would ever relate the two, which also makes Batman disguising himself as Clark easier to accept. Bruce Wayne is a master of disguise and he and Clark already look a lot alike. With a little makeup, Bruce could easily make himself look like Kent. There's also the later post-Crisis component of the explanation: Why does anyone assume that Superman has a secret identity?
Also, everyone has figured out that Superman and Clark Kent look alike, because (Thanks to shape-shifting friends, robotic duplicates, etc), they've seen them together a few times. This isn't treated as anything more than a joke that pathetic Clark Kent has almost the same face as Superman.
In All-Star Superman, Lex Luthor makes a few (surprisingly friendly and playful- he likes Clark Kent, ironically enough, even as he despises Superman) jabs at Clark's weight, suggesting he also makes his muscular barrel build look more like just plain fat.
In JLA 50#, Clark and Bruce both revealed their secret identities to the League as a sign of trust. Kyle's response:
"He doesn't... wear a mask. I never even... thought he had a... day job."
When talking about What Could Have Been with his run on the Sonic the Hedgehog comic, several of former writer Ken Penders' explanations for the events in "Mobius: 25 Years Later" come off as this. A few examples:
Locke's sickness and death was due to cancer he developed from a bad interaction with this self-experimentation (to create Knuckles) and the Master Emerald. (If that's so, why isn't Knuckles affected, even though he resulted from those same experiments?)
Rotor's Word of Gay reveal would not have impacted his modern-day depiction, because he would've only realized it five years prior to the events of "M:25YL", after he was married to a female. (Ignoring the fact that having him only be gay in the future means nothing to the readers, while it is possible for people to realize they're gay after they're in a heterosexual relationship, having him find out that late after what's implied to be a long and fulfilling marriage strains credibility.)
It's not unheard of for someone to develop such leanings later on in life, however unpopular the idea that it's not a "born that way" deal. But to put such a theme as that in a Sonic cartoon? Makes even less sense than the timing of it.
"M:25YL" is supposed to be the "true" future, and the one where NICOLE came from. (First of all, the story was built around time needing to be "fixed" to prevent The End of the World as We Know It, and Ken's run ended with Sonic going back in time to do just that. No way you can claim it to be the one true future, in that case. Second, unless Past!Nicole was destroyed before the story happened (which Word Of God claims is not the case), both Nicoles should exist at the same time, and thus they should have the info they need from Past!Nicole to figure out what happened and how to fix it, something the story claims they don't. Or maybe it's a case of Never The Selves Shall Meet, but still...)
The Spider-Man franchise has had its share of Voodoo Sharks, and the explanation given for Aunt May's return from the dead in late 1998's 'The Gathering of Five/The Final Chapter' storyline deserves a mention here. For easier reading, we'll list the sequence of events leading up to the Voodoo Shark moment in numbered order.
Aunt May was in a coma. She awoke, eventually, and shared many anecdotes and heartwarming moments with Peter and Mary Jane, and congratulated Mary Jane on her pregnancy. She even admitted that she had known that Peter was Spider-Man for some time, because Peter couldn't have lived under her roof for so long without her at least seeing the signs. She was in denial for quite a while.
In Amazing Spider-Man #400, Aunt May suffered a relapse, and passed away peacefully in bed. Peter held her hand as she passed away, reciting their favorite passage from Peter Pan. To many fans, this was an exceptionally well-done Tear Jerker moment.
All was well until Marvel Editor in Chief Bob Harras insisted that Aunt May be brought back from the dead. It didn't matter that Aunt May's death was handled (in the eyes of many) beautifully and realistically, it didn't matter how much of a Tear Jerker it was. And it didn't matter that there was a funeral, and the characters and the books had moved on. Harras was the boss, and his word was law.
So here we come to the Voodoo Shark moment. In 1998's 'The Final Chapter', Spider-Man enters Norman Osborn's house in search of his missing child, only to find Aunt May alive and well waiting for him. Norman Osborn explains that he switched Aunt May with an actress engineered to be identical to Aunt May, who spent a long time practicing her mannerisms until they were identical. And that it was THIS actress who died in ASM #400, meaning Peter (and the readers) cried over a complete stranger.
This leads to several questions. For one, how could this 'actress' be SO good as to fool Peter Parker? Aunt May was practically his mother. They lived under the same roof together, and Peter would have KNOWN something was wrong even if his spider-sense didn't give anything away. Secondly, just WHEN was this 'switch' made? How could this actress have practiced Aunt May's mannerisms, and become so good, when the real Aunt May was in a coma? Third, why in the world would this actress stay in character even on her deathbed! It makes absolutely no sense! The books, of course, never provided any answers for these and just moved on from there without addressing it any further, forcing any dissatisfied readers to pick up the slack themselves.
Similiarly, when Aunt May gets shot, the comic decides to fill the plot hole of Peter having doctor friends (and enemies who like making deals) that could heal Aunt May by having Doctor Strange give Peter the power to be in all places at once, allowing Peter to ask everyone for help, but is unable to get any assistance. This leads to an insane plot hole: how can NO ONE IN THE MARVEL UNIVERSE fix a bullet wound other than Mephisto when Doctor Strange can grant Peter omnipresence?!
Mention must also be made of the return of the clones to kick off the Clone Saga:
In 1992, during the Evolutionary War Crisis Crossover, The High Evolutionary kidnapped the Gwen Stacy clone, hoping to figure out how her creator, an otherwise ordinary college biology professor, could pull off a scientific miracle like making instant, viable, fully-grown clones.
He discovered that Prof. Warren didn't, in fact, clone Stacy or Spider-Man: He used a retro-virus on two innocents with similar phenotypes to Peter and Gwen and used it to overwrite their DNA and turn them into virtual clones. This is pretty much confirmed when one of the Young Gods (an obscure group of uplifted humans from different cultures and time periods Marvel attempted to resurrect) removed the virus from the Stacy clone, turning her back into the woman she used to be. No more Gwen Stacy. A later issue of Web of Spider Man explains that recurring villain Carrion was the result of a variant of the virus that went bad, becoming The Virus.
Along comes the Clone Saga, where all that gets tossed out the window. Not only are the clones back (including the presumed dead Spider-Clone), but the Gwen Stacy clone has reverted to being Stacy again, and complaining about how that Young God tried to turn her into someone else. How? The High Evolutionary lied about the retro-virus out of jealousy. Turns out he and Miles Warren (AKA The Jackal) were colleagues, once upon a time, and He couldn't stand the fact that Warren figured out the holy grail of biology when he, with all his other accomplishments, couldn't.
So... Why didn't he just admit defeat at first? He'd never shown that kind of Dr. Doom-like ego before. Or why didn't he study Gwen longer to try and crack the code? And why would the Young Gods go along with the lie? And how could she revert to the Stacy clone if there were no virus? Oh, and to muddy the waters further, the "Carrion as The Virus" retcon was kept, explaining that the retro-virus was real, just a side project of Warrens.
Captain America's shield is described as being made of Vibranium, a material that's said to absorb all kinetic energy from impacts. If that were the case, it raises a host of physics problems: bullets should stop dead rather than ricochet off it, it shouldn't be able to actually hurt people by bashing them with it, and most damningly, it shouldn't be able to be moved at all, since moving an object imparts kinetic energy to it. That's fine; they've retconned the shield to be a vibranium/adamantium alloy rather than pure vibranium (the alloy being created via an unrepeatable accident). But then, how was the shield crafted in the first place, if the alloy would absorb and/or deflect any energies directed towards it?
Both Vibranium and Adamantium have their phenomenal properties in their finalized, refined states; impure vibranium is only "resistant" to kinetic impacts, while unrefined adamantium is only nearly indestructible. What puts it into this trope is the fact that there's no plausible "accident" that could have caused the two to blend together and form a shield, or had them remain in a malleable state long enough for someone to go "OH MY GOD THIS WOULD BE THE ULTIMATE ARMOR" and craft it before it cooled and became a semi-impervious misshapen hunk of slag.
The Mickey Mouse comic "Topolino e il mostro di Micetown". Basically: near the end of the story, the villain has used his transformation machine to turn into a duplicate of Mickey. Due to the way the transformation process works, the villain will change back within a few seconds, at which point the original Mickey will be disintegrated. However, the transformation machine then simply explodes for no reason, which saves Mickey. He later tries to explain that the machine became "confused" because he and the villain looked exactly alike, which is an explanation that makes no sense in any way (for one, the machine's express purpose is to make two things look exactly alike, so why doesn't it explode with every use?).
My Immortal's author's notes often "explain" plot holes with bizarre nonsense. Particular amusing is Tara apparently being under the impression that Snape hating Harry is a deviation from canon and explaining it thus: "da reson snap dosent lik harry now is coz hes christian and vampire is a satanist". Of course, Snape does hate Harry in the actual series and there was already a canon (and completely reasonable) explanation.
In The Prayer Warriors, Jerry suddenly learns about the presence of a traitor in the Prayer Warriors during his first fight with Percy Jackson, but doesn't know who it is. It is later revealed that God told Jerry this in a parenthetical note, but not only is it said to have taken place before Percy's attack, God never mentioned the identity of the traitor.
Later on, Grover's multiple deaths and returns (he is killed three times in "The Evil Gods Part I" alone) are said to be because he is often being cloned. No such explanation is given for all the other characters who died and came back multiple times.
According to Word Of God, The Conversion Bureau was written not because of any misanthropy on the author's part, but merely to explain why there are no humans in Equestria. However, the first chapter explains that Equestria only appeared on Earth shortly before the story began, meaning that Equestria was originally located in a parallel universe, meaning that there is already a perfectly good explanation for the lack of humans, thus making the entire story pointless.
The Nuptialverse has a self-admitted example: In a flashback, Twilight explains to Spike that it's impossible for ponies to shape shift anything. This was meant to explain away why it never occurred to Twilight that the Cadence who didn't recognize her was an impostor and why the shape shifting was a uniquely changeling trait. However, it was pointed out that Twilight has shape shifted several things in the show proper. The author has since rewritten it to state that shape shifting one sapient being to another takes a load of magic, more than many can use, making it impractical for a pony to disguise herself as such.
Films — Live-Action
Groundhog Day: Averted. The second draft of the script gave an explicit reason for the time loop — a voodoo spell cast by a woman who worked at the television station and was involved with Phil before he rejected her - this explanation was dropped and no explanation for the time loop was ever given.
The prequels created one in the form of force ghosts. With the original trilogy, it was assumed that all Jedi (or at least sufficiently powerful ones) became "one with The Force" when they died. Then along comes Revenge of the Sith saying the Force Ghost thing was a technique Qui-Gon Jin discovered and taught to Yoda, who taught it to Obi-Wan. So then... How did Vader/Anakin learn it? (The obvious answer, that Obi-Wan taught it to him, runs into the problem that by the time he'd learned about it himself, Anakin was already his enemy.) And why didn't Qui-Gon or Yoda teach this technique to any other Master? For that matter why wouldn't Qui-Gon appear before his friend and Padawan, Obi-Wan? Various supplimental attempts at an Author's Saving Throw have been contradictory: A cut scene from Revenge of the Sith says it takes dying in a selfless act to reach the other side, but then how does that explain Yoda, who just plain died? Lucas himself said that Obi-Wan and Yoda helped Vader/Anakin to become a ghost and that becoming a force ghost was a lost art used by ancient Jedi. So where were the ancient force ghosts?
The EU had assumed Force Ghosts were pretty standard, so the when this revelation appeared, this caused a lot of confusion.
Qui-Gon didn't appear because the actor couldn't, the rest is still pretty confusing.
In the film serial Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe, the heroes befriend a tribe of rock creatures on the planet Mongo. Professor Zarkoff happens to know their language. How? Because the aliens colonized part of Earth, but died out there, while their counterparts who stayed on Mongo degenerated into superstitious primitives. But before the rock creatures died out on Earth, a tribe in Central America adopted their language. That tribe also died out, but Zarkoff happened to study their written records (we can only guess how the pronunciations are known, and how it could be translated at all). After the professor gives this explanation, no aspect of it is ever mentioned again.
So the visions in Final Destination, that mess with Death's plans, are caused by Death. So Death screws with his own plans and has to correct them, because of what he did. That's not You Can't Fight Fate. That's fate being an idiot, or a Jerkass that likes screwing with people for no reason. Either way, it makes the plot of the movies seem kind of pointless.
Except that the end of FD4 reveals that it was all part of the plan. And yes, probably with some For the Evulz thrown in for good measure.
The Room ends with a character "dramatically" shooting themselves. However, the film decides we need to know where the gun came from, so to explain this, an earlier scene is added where an armed dealer known as Chris-R confronts young orphan Denny about some sort of drug deal, and gets tackled by Johnny and Mark. The problem? Apart from this never being mentioned again, and the sheer convenience that the entire group decided to go to the roof at just the right time, Denny claims he needed the money. He has a millionaire banker paying for his every whim and still he needed to go to a petty thug for money? Then when asked about this man, Denny says "Calm down, he's going to jail!" So... the police arrested him but didn't take his gun for evidence?
Even better: Mark is the one who takes the gun. Even if we accept the not using the gun as evidence, are we supposed to believe that Mark simply gave the gun to Johnny?
And to make it even worse, the gun Johnny has at the end of the movie isn't even the same kind Mark took from Chris R.
Not to mention that the whole explanation is totally unnecessary. After all, couldn't there just have been a scene showing Johnny buying the gun or using the gun in some why, given Johnny's presumed legal right to own one?
In Highlander Endgame a group of Immortals live in voluntary stasis in the "Sanctuary," which is located in a large cathedral, but they are murdered by an immortal named Kell. In the original theatrical version, the Sanctuary is referred to as being holy ground, but this annoyed fans of the series since it had been established that Immortals are not allowed to kill one another on holy ground. This rule was even followed by every villain, no matter how evil. So the line was excised from the DVD version. But putting aside the fact that it's in a cathedral, the Sanctuary not being holy ground is just as nonsensical when you stop and wonder why a bunch of Immortals opted to be put into voluntary stasis in a place where they'd be vulnerable. Or why the renegade Watchers would establish the Sanctuary on a place that was not Holy Ground. Their goal was to prevent The Prize from being won, ergo they didn't want the immortals there losing their heads any more than the immortals themselves...
In Halloween Resurrection, we find out a man Laurie decapitated at the end of Halloween H 20 Twenty Years Later wasn't Michael, but a paramedic he switched clothes with. That doesn't explain why Michael would want to switch clothes in the first place or why "the paramedic" was clearly trying to attack Laurie.
The Transformers film series has its justification for still having a Masquerade in the second movie: military combat robots went rogue and trashed a major city. Why the government would think "Yes, we not only spent trillions of dollars building giant robots with sophisticated combat AI, concealing this information from taxpayers, but we are so staggeringly incompetent that they not only malfunctioned and started killing people, but when they did we had no way to stop them but to send in more giant robots to fight them" is somehow better than admitting it's aliens is anyone's guess.
In Spider-Man 3, Harry Osborn undergoes his Heel Face Turn and runs off to help Peter fight Sandman and Venom when his butler tells him that he examined Norman's corpse and noticed the wound came from his glider meaning he died by his own hand and thus Spider-Man didn't kill him. Of course, several fans have wondered why didn't the butler tell him this one or two movies ago instead of watching him go on his destructive vendetta against Spider-Man. Word Of God then claimed that the butler was actually an hallucination representing Harry's "good side" meaning Harry knew all along but couldn't face the facts. Kind of nonsensical, but Harry's under the effects of a Psycho Serum. But there's a scene earlier in the movie where Harry talks to the butler in Peter's presence, and Peter doesn't react as if his friend was talking to a wall. Which indicates the butler was real, but he wasn't there to tell Harry what his father did. Maybe you can fit it in by assuming that Harry's hallucination took the form of the pre-existing butler.
Matthew 16:28 reads, "Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." This confusing passage seems to imply that the Second Coming would happen decades after the Crucifixion rather than centuries. Post-Biblical folklore provides alternate explanations, the most persistent being the Wandering Jew. The story goes that a bystander who taunted Jesus was punished with long-lasting corporeal life and is still wandering the Earth waiting for Judgment Day. This raises a number of questions, such as why such a significant figure wasn't mentioned elsewhere in the Scripture.
Quite ironically, the bible itself already answers the passage in question, in a way which is much less awesome but also less Voodoo Shark than the Wandering Jew. The Apostle John doesn't die until after writing the book of Revelation, during which he sees Jesus gain his Kingdom in a prophetic vision. There's even a reference to the end of the Gospel of John, which has a similar claim, where John is quick to deny that this is a promise of immortality.
In Inanna's Descent to the Netherworld, Ereshkigal's first husband, Gugalana has been killed off by Gilgamesh and Enkidu in The Epic of Gilgamesh. Ereshkigal is mourning for him and gets to keep Inanna's husband Dumuzi for six months of the year, as Laser-Guided Karma for her trying to steal Gugalana and getting him killed in the first place. OK...but Ereshkigal is the goddess of death and the underworld; shouldn't Gugalana be down there with her?
Perhaps a metaphor: say you own a nice car, and you own a junkyard. Your nice car gets totaled by two other jerks, and it ends up in your junkyard. Would you be at all happy about the situation?
Often in these myths, the "God of the Dead" or "God of Death" is only a gatekeeper. Should they go too far into one of the domains of the Afterlife they are quickly replaced and hence become trapped. Would you kill yourself just because your spouse was killed? I didn't think so.
Twilight has quite a few, usually concerning Stephenie Meyer's explanations about how a vampire's body works. According to Meyer, when a human becomes a vampire all of their bodily fluids are replaced with a type of venom. To explain how a vampire can father a child, then, she says that the venom takes over "some of the functions" of the fluid it replaced.
In fact, this one is especially terrible because it contradicts major points in the previous books. After all, weren't some of Edward's siblings jealous of Bella's ability to have children? What prevented them from having their own children if their fluids were never hindered?
Apparently, vampires don't have enough blood in their body for the females to menstruate. This was why, early on, Meyer said that vampires couldn't have kids. When Bella got pregnant (admittedly before her change to a vampire), Meyer retconned this so that only female vampires couldn't have children because they couldn't menstruate — even though menstruation has nothing to do with getting pregnant.
The idea actually makes more sense before the Word of God- The books explain that a woman's fertility is based on it "constantly changing". In short, because Meyerpires are frozen in time, unless changed on the date of an ovulation, conception should be impossible.
In the first book Bella is immune to Edward's mystic vampire mind reading power, but Jasper is still able to use his emotion control to calm her down. It seems that it wasn't until the later books that Meyer decided to make Bella immune to all other vampire powers as well. It is explained that her immunity only protects her against mental powers and that Jasper was able to affect her because he was physically altering her body chemistry, but this just begs the question of why none of the other powers in the series seem to affect her at all, even those that would appear to have a physical effect like causing electric shocks.
In Animorphs,morphing heals you, since it's based on DNA—so why didn't Elfangor just morph and demorph to heal his injuries? In The Andalite Chronicles he claims he was "too weak to morph," but he had enough strength to Info Dump and give Visser Three a token fight before he died—the Animorphs have frequently managed to morph under more dire conditions.
This is chalked up to Early Installment Weirdness as K. A. Applegate freely admitted that she forgot about or changed aspects from the earlier books.
It is also explained that as matter cannot be created or destroyed morphing into something smaller causes the excess mass to be temporarily stored in a different universe. No explaination is given as to where the extra mass comes from when the characters morph into something larger and the universe the matter is stored in is stated to be otherwise pretty much empty.
In The Zombie Survival Guide, zombie infectees are explained by the claim that zombies stop attacking the infected, and that people often try to hide their infection instead of seeking medical treatment. Which begs the question of why, in World War Z, nobody offered incentives (such as protection for loved ones) for infected to come forward and go on Suicide Missions with some food and water, a gun or two and shedloads of ammo, killing as many zombies as possible at point-blank range before turning. Even an unskilled person could easily take out dozens. With real firearms skill, it could become hundreds of dead Zacks.
Not that this is the only plot hole between the two books. For example, the world governments apparently cover up zombie outbreaks with great effectiveness, but somehow didn't know how to deal with them in WWZ. Also, individuals and small groups are capable of easily defeating zombies, while the US military went completely pants-on-head and ran away, completely demoralized, after a single major defeat, which occurred because, apparently, they didn't know enough about zombies. Please note that both books are supposedly in the same continuity, and there was a major US coverup not twenty years before the latter book's setting.
This is the instance that caused SF Debris to bring up his idea of Voodoo Sharks in the first place.
The ship is stranded far from any safe port, and thus the crew rations power. This gets to the point where replicated food is rationed out and they must set up a functioning galley with a live cook. Except for the Holodeck, which is kept running as much as anyone wants. The writers explain this by saying that the Holodeck has its own power system that is incompatible with everything else on the ship. Why would a holodeck, or any system on the ship, be built to be incompatible with the rest of the ship it's installed on in the first place, while technology from alien races and factions can be integrated just fine?*
The issue with the Holodecks was actually first brought up in the second episode "Parallax", though it wasn't until "The Cloud" when they started running it as much as they wanted to.
The really stupid thing is that the Holodeck, regardless of whether or not the power can be hooked to the rest of the ship, can make food. The Holodeck is a system of forcefield projectors, holographic light projector, and replicators. Most of the handheld objects are replicated, and people eat and drink on the Holodeck all the time. This is why people can leave the Holodeck with replicated props or drenched in replicated water. (It's only computer-directed things that can't leave the Holodeck.) We even see them do it in Voyager! There is absolutely no justification for rationing food when people can just eat on the Holodeck.
It has been suggested that the ship's replicators also work backwards, turning matter into energy and that nothing is stopping Voyager from grabbing dirt from an uninhabited planet, unreplicating it to energy, and replicating it into food. However, the Next Generation Technical Manual (which is canon unless contradicted by something on-screen), makes clear that no energy conversion takes place - replicators rearrange inert matter into food, and rearrange waste back into inert matter, both operations requiring energy.
And even if we do stretch our logic such that a power incompatibility in the systems was there in the beginning just because of some technical reason and star fleet figured that the holodeck power would never be needed anywhere else (see Apollo 13's troubles in sharing parts across the lunar and command capsules for a RL example) why did no one ever make a work around to convert the power? Sure, you would lose some efficiency in the process, but it is still power to run, say, life support.
Near the beginning of Heroes' fourth volume: Fugitives, Noah says that Sylar survived being stabbed in the back of the head For Massive Damage (leaving him unable to use his powers) and Left for Dead in a burning building at the climax of Villains because the glass in the back of his head melted, allowing him to use his Healing Factor. However, there's one big problem with this: the melting point of brain is lower than the melting point of glass, meaning he would've died for real long before the glass melted. And even if it wasn't, he's still got glass in his brain. Only now, it's absurdly hot, and seeps into all the cracks and can't be gotten out.
However, we know the problem isn't that a shard of glass is sticking in his brain, but that it is sticking into the part of the brain that gives him the immortality. (He explained he learned how to move it when he got the Shapeshifter's powers.) The glass would just need to break from that part of his brain, not mattering that it destroys other parts. Seeing how immortal the immortals are in Heroes, that part of his brain probably can't be destroyed, not even by fire.
Fans of Smallville debate whether or not the explanation given for Lois Lane's employment at the Daily Planet is a Voodoo Shark. Because Lois was romantically involved with her supervisor (the guy who hired her) she briefly questions the reasons for her being hired. Her editor quells any fears she may have had by showing her the article she wrote for the Inquisitor the previous year. However, given that the editor is an accelerated-aged clone with implanted memories who didn't exist at the time of her writing the article, it raises the question of how true his claim could be. Further, when he offered her the job, he didn't know who she was (she had just walked in off the street to see her cousin) so his claim that it was on the basis of her work is even more doubtful since he couldn't have possibly made the connection.
Silent Hill 2 has a possible ending which was intended as a parody of this trope. Silent Hill 2 is a macabre Survival Horror title featuring a young man who receives a letter from his deceased wife, imploring him to meet her at "their special place", which turns out to be a weird ghost town where all his subconscious fears and guilt manifest. It's in general a Tear JerkerMind Screw of a game. This ending's explanation of it all: The Dog Was the Mastermind. Literally.
A rather complicated example occurs in World of Warcraft regarding the Big Bad Lich King from Wrath of the Lich King. Many fans complained about Arthas being stuck with the Villain Ball in the expansion after the Lich King (which he was now permanently half of) being played up as a Magnificent Bastard in the previous game. In what appears to be an attempt to justify it, Blizzard gave the explanation that Arthas's spirit was dominating over the spirit of Ner'zhul (the previously sole spirit of the Lich King, who most certainly qualified for Magnificent Bastard status, and Arthas supposedly not so much). However, that caused much more confusion considering previous interviews and scenes stating that Arthas and Ner'zhul were one being (flat out stating that neither persona existed anymore, only one Lich King), leading to many fans feeling annoyance.
The final boss patch tried to lessen all the Villain Ball moments where he just threatened you then left, or told some mook to kill you, then left, etc. by explaining they were all a part of a I Need You Stronger plot, to get the most powerful warriors in Azeroth to become as strong as possible then have them confront him directly, at which point he would slaughter them and raise them as Uber-Death Knights to be his new unbeatable warriors. This was a Voodoo Shark to some players, since his plan to get "the greatest fighting force the world has ever known" involved letting them kill all his other powerful minions. And while there's the obvious "if they killed them, these guys are obviously better" counter argument, the players did that by facing them one at a time while outnumbering them 10 or 25 to one. Throw 10 players in a room with Kel'Thuzad, Anub'arak, Marrowgar, Deathwhisper, Lana'thel, Rotface, Festergut, Putricide, Saurfang and Sindragosa all at once and see how long they last, because if the players are squished in seconds, it probably wasn't worth letting all the aforementioned people and more die to get them on your side.
It gets even more annoying; the Scourge is powerful enough to wipe out all life on Azeroth. The reason they don't? The Lich King is holding them back. You know, the same Lich King that is trying to kill the player characters and resurrect them as his strongest champions in order to wipe out all life on Azeroth.
Of course, as Anub'arak and Blood Princes show - he could bring them back too, so it still is a win-win situation for him.
This explanation actually makes sense if you know Arthas story, as this is pretty much the way he came to be, being played as a Unwitting Pawn when he was a human Knight Templar.
In Zombie Driver, The Mayor pops up early in the story to tell you that he'll pay you for killing the zombies that are destroying his city. The game neglects to mention who's giving you money when you destroy the city as well.
Vamp's immortality was ascribed to Nanomachines, although Naomi specifically mentions that they only work because he already has a supernatural and unexplainable regenerative ability, as if to annoy as many people as possible.
Which is surprising, as the games show at several times that magic exists with Psycho Mantis, Vulcan Raven, the ghost wolves, and The Sorrow all being examples where no technology is involved at all.
Actually, this is one of the many things people miss about Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots. Everything WAS explained. "Magic" exists. The nanomachines are just about trying to recreate or enhance that so that man can harness it. It is "warrior spirit" but with bee-based machine guns.
Metroid: Other M attempted to justify the lack of Samus' arsenal with the "authorization system"; to wit, she was permitted to aid the military investigation so long as she only used her weapons when authorized by the commander. So, she still had all her powerups from the previous games, and could activate them herself at any time, but would not until given the all clear.
The problem here is that while Adam, the commanding officer, had good reason to ban the use of the more powerful weapons, the entire "authorization" thing falls flat on its face when you are sent wading through lava in an area that hurts you from just being there... with a fully functional heat shield installed that you are not permitted to use. This goes for every non-dangerous upgrade. Grapple beam to swing across the gap and get an energy tank? Sorry, no. Gravity module for free movement underwater so those space piranha won't get you? Nope. Wave beam activated for just a second so I can hit this switch behind the glass? No, you must backtrack through half the station first instead.
Thus, the question is not so much (as some people have framed it) why Samus didn't activate her abilities when they'd first be useful — Adam made it painfully clear that he'd only play along with her tagging along as long as she followed orders, and the moment she refused she would be forced to leave — as why Adam was dragging his feet with regard to useful upgrades for no obvious reason.
Eventually, Samus says "screw it" and starts activating her suit's abilities without Adam's consent, complete with the Ironic Echo line "Any objections, Adam?" This is after Adam goes missing.
Another problem that the authorization system produces occurs with the Final Boss, after damaging it enough to induce you to swallow you whole in morph ball mode. The game at this point requires you to use the power bomb in order to survive and win the fight. If you've never played a Metroid game before, or have gotten used to requiring authorization to use weapons, you will end up dying at least once at this point.
Another Metroid example: in the first Metroid Prime, the titular monster is found by the Space Pirates in the Impact Crater, taken to their labs and experimented on, before it escapes back to the Impact Crater in time for the final boss showdown. This is all explained and built up in the scanable Pirate Logs in the Phazon Mines. But this seems to ignore that Metroid Prime was supposed to be sealed in the Impact Crater by the Chozo and their twelve Plot Coupons, and that the Pirates shouldn't have been able to actually reach it without them. The Chozo Lore does state that the seal may not hold for long, and that it was basically a stopgap until Samus came along, but then why does Samus need the Plot Coupons to get in if the seal's already broken?
Later on, in the EU and Trilogy re-releases of the game, the Pirate Logs are all retconned into things like "we've detected something huge at the center of the Impact Crater, but we can't get to it because of the seal". This seems to fill the plot hole, but in true Voodoo Shark fashion, Metroid Prime still has all the weapons and barriers it absorbed from the Pirates, now with no possible explanation because it was stuck in the Impact Crater. Its Enemy Scan even states that it has a host of natural and mechanical weapons, regardless of the version.
In Psychonauts, Raz's multiple lives in mental realms are justified with Raz having multiple layers of astral projection that weaken his link to the mental world, and if he runs out of lives, he gets ejected. Health drops are also explained as Raz collecting mental health from the realm. However, this raises a lot of questions when Raz has the same mechanics for mental health and extra lives in reality.
It makes more sense if viewed as Celia using a normal castle and just pandering to Dracula's sensibilities. "Let's see... this place needs a gallery, a science lab, a harem, an ironic chapel, an underground reservoir, a clock tower, a hallway that plays Vampire Killer, a long stairway to the keep backlit by the full moon..."
In Superman 64, the horrific draw distance is explained by "Kryptonite fog". However, this raises the question of how Superman is able to breathe, let alone fly.
Parodied in Transformers: Fall of Cybertron. Swindle at one point asks why the Autobot's transport didn't just fly from the start if it can fly faster than it can be driven. Onslaught meekly says that it probably takes a lot of energon to fly it. When Swindle starts pointing out the problems with this theory, Onlsaught basically tells him to shut up.
The Mass Effect 3Extended CutDLCdesperately attempted to rectify the plot hole of Shepard's "teleporting squadmates" (who show up unexpectedly on the Normandy, uninjured, after disappearing during the final run to the Conduit on Earth) via a new scene that shows the Normandy landing and picking up Shepard's squad, but this introduced more plot holes. Shepard calls for Normandy, who arrives - literally - 5 seconds after s/he asks for an evac. The Normandy lands in the center of the battlefield (as Harbinger is still shooting vehicles and solders around it with near-pinpoint precision), and waits for Shepard to deposit his/her teammates on the vehicle dock. The way the scene is presented, Harbinger just watches the Normandy as it lifts off in front of him and flies away without shooting or reacting in any way. *
Early in the game, EDI and Engineer Adams have ambient dialog revealing the Reaper IFF on the Normandy fools Reapers into believing the ship is friendly at an extremely high level, so Harbinger actually wouldn't be able to recognize it as hostile just from looking at it. The conversation is extremely easy to miss even through multiple playthroughs. Worse, while it fixes this problem, it still creates another; why can the Reapers detect the Normandy when its scanning for war assets if a visual isn't enough to flag it as hostile?
Master Chief's armor in Halo 4 looks very different from his armor in Halo 3, even though he has been stuck on a drifting starship for years. The canon explanation is that his AI Cortana repaired it with nanomachines, but despite completely altering its appearance the breastplate still has a gash received in Halo 3.
In the first cutscene, Spartans are shown fighting in Chief's upgraded armor, not the weaker variants they wore in that time. It's implied that Halsey is imagining that scene, but she's never even seen Master Chief's new armor and has shown distaste for personalized variants.
Although, knowing how she sees John and Cortana, it's unlikely she'd mind. Plus, her distaste was specifically battlefield modifications. Seeing as Cortana is Halsey, just as an AI, it's likely that the new armor was in fact based off of Halsey's vision for the future of the MJOLNIR armor.
Aliens Colonial Marines explains away Hick's survival as Weyland Yutani boarding the Sulaco, kidnapping him and putting a body double in his cryotube, then crashing the EEV on Forina 161. It's not explained why in particular they captured Hicks, rather than Ripley or Newt, or even Bishop, who as an android would probably be easier to get information from. Nor is it explained why they left Ripley, who had an xenomorph queen implanted in her ribcage, aboard the Sulaco. Or why they moved it back to orbit over LV-426. Or...
Mega Man X 6 establishes that Zero didn't die at the end of X5, he "Hid myselfto repair myself." Okay, the series uses a million Shōnen tropes so He's Just Hiding and X Never Found the Body. Waaaaaaait a sec, that didn't stop X back in X2 from finding and reviving Zero. And waaaaaaait a sec, X was mortally wounded from the same attack at the end of X5 and he recovered! Oh wait, X's creator, Big Good Dr. Light, was able to repair him. X6 also established that somehow, Dr. Light repaired Zero too. Wait, X and Zero are both Black Box es that are notoriously hard to analyze, let alone repair. And Zero is the Anti Anti Christ created by the Bigger Bad that Dr. Light should have no idea about. Wait, is Dr. Light a prerecorded message or some kind of Energy Being who learned how to analyze and repair Zero? Oh, my head hurts now.
In Luigis Mansion Dark Moon, Luigi uses E. Gadd's teleport system called The Pixelator to go from his bunker to each level, and regardless of where Luigi's at, he can always be pixelated back at the level's end. At some points, the game features Escort Missions where you need to rescue E. Gadd's Toad employees from paintings so they can be pixelated back as well. However, you still need to escort them to specific points so they can be pixelated out, a problem Luigi doesn't have to deal with. E. Gadd tries to justify it by saying he can't pixelate two characters at the same time, and you need to escort the Toad to his own Pixelator Screen before Luigi can get teleported out, and this is a Voodoo Shark in two ways. First, at no point is it explained why E. Gadd can't simply pixelate them one at a time. Second, the final escort mission has you rescuing two Toads, and they use their Pixelator Screen at the same time.
There's also a second Voodoo Shark with the Toads. To further justify Luigi escorting them along, the Toads are all given phobias for specific environment hazards. Most of them are simply a fear of water, though the Yellow Toad has a fear of clocks. The Voodoo Shark is that Yellow Toad works in a giant clocktower filled with clocks that sometimes have little clocks inside them. Why doesn't he simply work at one of the mansions that don't have any clocks? Similarly, why does the Red Toad (remember, he fears water) work at the Haunted Towers? It's a giant greenhouse with water reserves everywhere and even boasts its own hydroelectric dam.
Parodied in Dresden Codak: "I bet it's like when you find out Santa isn't real, and it was really just Bigfoot giving you presents."
Frequently parodied in Darths & Droids when the players point out some of the insane lapses in logic in the Star Wars universe, particularly the GM's explanations for how Coruscant can be a planet-wide city... jokes recycled from the same author's Irregular Webcomic!, where it was eventually lampshaded with a cutaway to a pirate captain:
In the NSFW Mega Man gender-bender comic Rock Gal, one of the villains explains to her lady friend (as they're torturing the title character) that if a female robot's breasts are smacked too hard, they lose energy in a manner similar to human lactation. All this does is raise the question of why the hell anyone would deliberately design a robot to lose energy. (In this case, "to prevent an overload" doesn't cut it)
Later handwaved a second time by implying that everyone who builds these robots are massive perverts (as if that weren't obvious enough).
This is meant to poke fun at an edit done by 4Kid's Macekred dub; in the original version, the "clown" is simply a master of disguise hired by Pegasus to eliminate players unfortunate enough to cross with him.
Ben 10 Alien Force. Gwen's magical powers are explained as alien powers inherited from her alien grandmother. The episode in which this revelation is made clear goes on to say that there is no such thing as magic. This despite on a previous episode Gwen clearly used divination to locate their enemies and in the former series Ben 10 there were spells read from incantations, a fountain of youth, and soul-swapping. Then Word Of God claims that both Hex and Charmcaster are in fact magic users.
They're back to calling it magic later on in Ben 10: Ultimate Alien; it's starting to feel like they don't know what to call it, either that, or Mana and Magic can be the same thing, and Ken's just a Flat Earth Atheist.
Ultimate Alien gives the impression at least that Gwen has both alien superpowers and magical abilities and simply doesn't know where to draw the line between them since they're similar.
More recently, it seems the explanation is that magic is powered by mana. Gwen is just so adapt at it because she's virtually made of mana.
People tends to forget the fact the ones saying there were nothing such as magic were Kevin and Gwen's father, both characters who had never been in contact with magic-users at this point. Verdonna (Gwen's grandmother who explains what mana is) made no mention of magic not existing.
Winx Club 4Kids dub, "Magical Reality Check": It's already bad enough that the would-be Author's Saving Throw (where Knut comes in and says that he couldn't find the herb ingredients that the Trix wanted for a potion) is placed in the middle of the episode (and not brought up again at the end where it would be relevant; this comparison includes the throw), but it also raises the question, "Why do the Trix perform their plan to steal Bloom's powers after they're told that they lack the necessary ingredients?" (as well as "Why don't they bring that up when the plan fails?")
The Simpsons episode "Don't Fear the Roofer", near the end. In the story, Homer gets his new friend Ray Magini to fix his roof. However, it is soon postulated that Ray doesn't actually exist, since all the people that were with Homer when he spoke to Ray claimed not have actually seen him. Thinking that Homer is delusional, his family takes him to the doctor, and after several treatments of painful therapy, Homer thinks he's back to sanity again. But then they find out that Ray was real all along, and that there were logical explanations as to why no one else saw him - except for one case where Bart couldn't see Ray even though he was in plain sight and he should have been able to. Guest star Stephen Hawking then shows up and delivers the trope - a miniature black hole had appeared between Bart and Ray that absorbed the light from Ray so Bart couldn't see him. There is no way to even start explaining all the problems with that theory.
Of course, the whole thing comes so far out of left field that the only reasonable explanation is that it's Played for Laughs.
Futurama makes fun with this trope as shown in the quotation above. The only thing more ridiculous than the explanations is the idea of trying to come up with them in the first place for a universe which seems to have given physics a drop kick to the crotch. It also does this in the episode "A Clone of My Own". Professor Farnsworth shows his clone Cubert all his various inventions. However, Cubert, the Only Sane Man who is being newly introduced to the Futurama world, derides the devices and the Professor's explanations as impossible.
Professor Farnsworth: These are the dark matter engines I invented. They allow my starship to travel between galaxies in mere hours
Cubert: That's impossible. You can't go faster than the speed of light.
Professor Farnsworth: Of course not. That's why scientists increased the speed of light in 2208.
Cubert: Also impossible.
Professor Farnsworth: And what makes my engines truly remarkable is the afterburner, which delivers 200% fuel efficiency!
Cubert: That's especially impossible.
Professor Farnsworth: Not at all. It's very simple.
Cubert: Then explain it.
Professor Farnsworth: Now that's impossible!
This is arguably solved later in perfectly plausible scientific fashion:
Cubert: The engines don't move the ship at all. The ship stays where it is, and the engines move the universe around it.
Fry: Is he (Guenther the talking genius monkey) genetically engineered?
Professor: Oh please, that's preposterous science fiction mumbo jumbo. Guenther's intelligence actually lies in his electronium hat, which harnesses the power of sunspots to produce cognitive radiation.
Fry often prefers this answer in situations where he doesn't want to think. Even when there's a perfectly logical explanation.
Fry: It's crazy! How could they even know about a show from a thousand years ago?
Farnsworth: Well, Omicron Persei 8 is about a thousand light years away. So the electromagnetic waves would just recently have gotten there. You see—
Word Of God of Ed Edd N Eddy says that Plank is just a hunk of wood. While most of the strange incidents concerning Plank could be justified as the insanity of Johnny, Plank's owner, a few things just can't be explained. For example, in "Rent-A-Ed", Plank told Johnny that Eddy had messed up the kitchen. While Johnny was trapped in a tree far away from the incident. He also managed to sprout a branch in "Scrambled Ed", and drives a bus in The Movie.
Stewie: Say, Brian, now that I think about it, how can you possibly have a thirteen-year-old son when you yourself are only seven? Brian: Well, those are dog years. Stewie: That doesn't make any sense. Brian: You know what, Stewie? If you don't like it, go on the Internet and complain.
Frequently used on American Dad, particularly in regards to the details of Roger's many disguises. For example, in one episode, Roger is pretending to be a wedding planner, and introduces Stan to his sons - two college-age men who act as if Roger is actually their mother:
Stan: How is that possible?
Roger: I know. I look too young to have kids in college.
Stan: No, that you have children when your persona is completely fabricated...
Which is then lampshaded, as the Red Guy demonstrates it to the audience by intentionally breathing in steam which causes him to lose his memory and suddenly think he's Amelia Earhart.
Word Of God's explanation for what ghosts are in Danny Phantom: they're not dead people; they're beings from another dimension who have taken on the memories and appearances of dead people. Fan reaction to this proclamation was uniformly negative, especially since it seems to contradict the show itself!
Most notably, Poindexter, a Black-and-White ghost stuck in The Fifties. Because that's when he attended Casper High when he was alive. Makes for fridge horror when you realize his entire afterlife has been being brutally bullied for fifty years (and given that he's a teenager, that was the likely cause of his death.)
Doofenschmirtz (talking for the wheel): I am a dry-cleaning wheel. Why do I exist?
In "Buford Confidential", Buford confesses to having learned French just to impress a girl, and states "It was easy, because a lot of words are very similar to their Latin roots." Baljeet eventually remarks "Wait, you speak Latin?"
Played for laughs in the South Park episode, "Korn's Groovy Pirate Mystery." At the very end, when Korn is going through the process of Doing in the Wizard to explain the presence of the pirate ghosts ala Scooby-Doo, the methods turn out to be complete nonsense. The ghosts were created using a flashlight and cotton swabs, and a Ghost Ship was made using a mirror, a candle, and two squirrels.
In Batman Beyond'sFully Absorbed Finale during Justice League Unlimited, it is revealed that Terry McGinnis is Bruce Wayne's biological son. Not by any trysts on Bruce's part, but because Amanda Waller had her minions take samples of Bruce's DNA and then secretly use it to overwrite the reproductive DNA of Warren McGinnis...then hope he'd one day sire children. Even if you don't concern yourself with how any of that was possible, the biggest question that comes to mind is why Waller didn't just have Bruce cloned and had the baby adopted. This story was created to answer the question of how two redheads (Terry's parents) managed to produce two black-haired children (Terry and his brother). Some fans even speculated that that's why Warren divorced Mary in the first place.
Regarding the how: in real life, scientists have already, with mice, found out how to overwrite the genetic code of a man's sperm to make them the sperm of another, even carrying the DNA of a female. All they do is inject stem cells from the person who you want to have them shooting into the man's testicles. However, voodoo shark still happens: how did they get him to let them stick a needle in his testicles? The official story is that he was told it was a flu shot, but, once again, that just raises further questions (such as, is there a flu that targets the testicles?)
This is honestly one of the LEAST voodoo of voodoo sharks, considering how advanced nanotech, genetic engineering and bio-modification was in the Beyond era. People could get impromptu genetic augmentation for cosmetic purposes to look like animals the way they get pedicures, for Christ's sake, figuring out a way to change someone's DNA is almost completely irrelevant at that point...the voodoo shark part comes in when you ask once again: with all of that technology, why not just clone Bruce and raise the kid as the next Batman? Their tech makes this not just easy but inconsequential—it's not that what they did was impossible, it's that it was completely unnecessary!
This is the standard operating procedure in science. If some phenomenon is found that cannot be explained by existing theories, a new theory is created that explains the mysterious phenomenon through some even more mysterious theorized stuff. Dark matter is a typical example.
And often eventually it will be simplified with a new discovery. For example, the geocentric model of the universe began to become increasingly convoluted as improving telescope technology and star charting lead to increasingly convoluted models of how the orbiting bodies must be moving. Moving to a heliocentric model simplified this considerably.
And sometimes the weird explanations stick. It would have been easier to believe that attempts to measure the speed of aether had simply failed due to flaws in the experiment. The conclusion that light itself has the same apparent speed no matter how fast you yourself are moving is weird.
One of the many reasons Conspiracy Theories are ridiculed is that their "explanations" of perceived inconsistencies only raises further (and much dumber) questions, one of the more common being "How would you keep something like that a secret?"
"Who could possibly benefit from this?" being another common one.
David Wong, in an attempt to disprove the 9/11 conspiracy theories, actually calculated the number of people they would have had to to pay off or eliminate to guarantee the success of the False Flag Operation. The resulting number was over 100,000. Of course, that has nothing on the Flat Earth Society, whose pet theory would include the cooperation of the entire Southern Hemisphere, over a billion people.
Noam Chomsky has pointed out several main flaws with 9/11 conspiracies - for instance, the (dubious) assumption that the US Government benefited from it doesn't logically mean they planned it. If the US government really was prepared to murder thousands of its own citizens for greed, why would it then allow people to expose it online, given that it has already demonstrated a total disregard for human rights?
The infamous theory that the moon landing was faked is another example. Considering the thousands of people involved and the cost of paying them all to lie for forty years, actually going to the moon would have been cheaper.
A branch of the "fake moon landing" conspiracy theorists maintain that the photos of Earth taken from the Moon are CGI. But wait, how could they manipulate images with 1969 computers? Simple: the money poured into the space program was actually used to develop computers decades ahead of their time.
Since a lot of the deniers' justifications rest on the idea that 60's-era computers were too primitive to navigate to and from the moonnote in reality, all you need for those calculations is a slide rule, the idea that NASA could arbitrarily make their computers better introduces a host of other problems.
Most Urban Legends also fall under this trope for the same reason as Conspiracy Theories. It doesn't take long for any critical observer to pick apart such stories, usually by pointing out that the city where they happen is never specified, or in the case of the story happening to "the friend of a friend" that the person telling the story is never able to give the name of that person.
One somewhat popular end to paranormal urban legends is that the witnesses are never seen or heard from again. This, of course, brings up the question of how anyone actually knows about this if everyone who sees it vanishes before they can report their findings. It also leaves the question of how someone just vanished one day and no one ever filed a missing person report. One explanation is that the subject is supernaturally removed from history, as if they never existed. But then how does anyone know "Smitty Werbenyagermanjensen" mysteriously vanished after doing something if he was Retgoned?
Often, Urban Legends also rely on people not knowing very much about the subject at hand or the region in which the Legend takes place in. If someone does know about these topics and begins pointing out these errors, the teller may begin scrambling to come up with an explanation on the fly, which often becomes more convoluted and confused than the original error which leads to Voodoo Shark after Voodoo Shark until the story teller gives up or invokes the MST3K Mantra.
For assorted drug and moral scares in urban legends, reference the above: "Who could possibly benefit from this?" Drug dealers are giving drugs away to young children? Walk us through the economic model there, and can you also explain what a "strawberry-flavored meth" could even mean?
Likewise, some creationists can come up with rationalisations of their beliefs that seem particularly strange. These explanations can make people even more confused about the issue than before, especially when differing moral values are involved. For instance, the idea that God created fossils as a way of testing our faith. Given how much time in the Bible God spends demanding that we have faith, it seems a little counter-productive for him to also be undermining it at the same time...
And since God is a God of truth, not lies, the idea of Him planting lies as a test of faith is a complete and utter contradiction of doctrine.
Also on topic of religion - this is what happens when you start picking apart stories meant to smear a particular religion (Judaism, Islam, Catholicism, Buddhism, whatever) or religion in general. All too often these stories are based on some inaccurate preconception about the discussed religion, usually completely out of context, and spread by people who have no solid knowledge of the subject.
Matzo is made from blood of Christian children? A nice and creepy story, but Jews are not allowed to consume blood of any kind.