Follow TV Tropes

Following

History Main / HandWave

Go To


Added DiffLines:

** Elder Scrolls lore also includes a plot device called a "Dragon Break," which is a cosmic event with no specific cause or explanation that can merge several timelines, erase historical events, or justify any other incontinuity. Although the series's in-universe history does include several purposeful, intentional, and plot-relevant "Dragon Breaks," the idea was originally conceived as a handwave to allow all the conflicting endings of Daggerfall to be canon simultaneously.


* ''Film/MatrixReloaded'': The Architect tells Neo that he must either reboot the Matrix or allow it to crash, killing all humans inside of it. When Neo asks why the machines would allow the Matrix to crash, since they rely on it for power, the Architect says only that there are levels of existence that the machines are willing to accept. No further details on how the machines can survive without the Matrix are provided.

to:

* ''Film/MatrixReloaded'': ''Film/TheMatrixReloaded'': The Architect tells Neo that he must either reboot the Matrix or allow it to crash, killing all humans inside of it. When Neo asks why the machines would allow the Matrix to crash, since they rely on it for power, the Architect says only that there are levels of existence that the machines are willing to accept. No further details on how the machines can survive without the Matrix are provided.

Added DiffLines:

* ''Film/MatrixReloaded'': The Architect tells Neo that he must either reboot the Matrix or allow it to crash, killing all humans inside of it. When Neo asks why the machines would allow the Matrix to crash, since they rely on it for power, the Architect says only that there are levels of existence that the machines are willing to accept. No further details on how the machines can survive without the Matrix are provided.


* In Jack Finney's short story "Behind the News", a newspaper man uses a melted-down meteor [[{{Unobtanium}} made of an unknown metal]] to make his news come true (kind of like ''Series/TheTwilightZone'' episode "Printer's Devil"), and when his secretary doesn't understand how it's happening, he gives the following explanation:

to:

* In Jack Finney's short story "Behind the News", a newspaper man uses a melted-down meteor [[{{Unobtanium}} made of an unknown metal]] to make his news come true (kind of like ''Series/TheTwilightZone'' ''Series/TheTwilightZone1959'' episode "Printer's Devil"), and when his secretary doesn't understand how it's happening, he gives the following explanation:


A handwave [[TropesAreTools may or may not]] be an example of bad writing, depending on how its done. Some examples may be clumsy attempts at plugging up plot holes, but others might elegantly avoid [[LawOfConservationOfDetail bogging down the narrative]] with trivial details that aren't necessary to achieve a WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief. They can also be [[NoodleIncident funny and intriguing]] in and of themselves.

to:

A handwave [[TropesAreTools may or may not]] be an example of bad writing, depending on how its it is done. Some examples may be clumsy attempts at plugging up plot holes, but others might elegantly avoid [[LawOfConservationOfDetail bogging down the narrative]] with trivial details that aren't necessary to achieve a WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief. They can also be [[NoodleIncident funny and intriguing]] in and of themselves.

Added DiffLines:

* Lampshaded and Played for Laughs in WebVideo/DeathNoteTheAbridgedSeriesKpts4tv where Matsuda questions how L got a camera in the Yotsuba Group's meeting room.
** It was also invoked as in the previous episode [[spoiler: Matsuda dies due to a miscommunication with L. He returns in the next episode and L doesn't even bother explaining how he came back.]]


* The lack of male-type humanoid robots in ''Manga/YokohamaKaidashiKikou'' is supposedly because of the male versions being "weaker" than the female ones, but how this difference comes about is never explained. And that's not the only thing in the manga that gets handwaved...
* Manga/{{Naruto}} makes friends with [[EnemyWithin the monster that's wanted to kill him for the entire series]], a monster infamous for destroying landscapes and attacked the main character's hometown. It turns out that [[spoiler: Madara and Obito Uchiha]] were the ones making the Demon Fox do bad things using their powers, and the Fox was an innocent, puppy-sized mutant animal until it grew up... literally, and garnered a reputation for being demonic.

to:

* The lack of male-type humanoid robots in ''Manga/YokohamaKaidashiKikou'' is supposedly because of the male versions being "weaker" than the female ones, but how this difference comes about is never explained. And that's not the only thing in the manga that gets handwaved...\n* Manga/{{Naruto}} makes friends with [[EnemyWithin the monster that's wanted to kill him for the entire series]], a monster infamous for destroying landscapes and attacked the main character's hometown. It turns out that [[spoiler: Madara and Obito Uchiha]] were the ones making the Demon Fox do bad things using their powers, and the Fox was an innocent, puppy-sized mutant animal until it grew up... literally, and garnered a reputation for being demonic.



* The Future Arc in ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn'' recently concluded with [[spoiler: the Acrobalenos performing a huge ResetButton so that Byakuran never gains the power of the Mare Rings]] when the inevitable TimeParadox is [[LampshadeHanging pointed out]] by Shoichi, [[spoiler: [[MadScientist Verde]]'s response was simply that the existence of the [[MacGuffin Trinnisette]] amounts to a miracle by itself and can't be explained by science or common sense]]
* ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya''. Haruhi damn it, Tanigawa Nagaru, he deliberately makes the Esper, Alien, and Time Traveller members say they don't really know how their upper structure works to justify their status, which sometimes gets rather ridiculous.

to:

* The Future Arc in ''Manga/KatekyoHitmanReborn'' recently concluded with [[spoiler: the Acrobalenos performing a huge ResetButton so that Byakuran never gains the power of the Mare Rings]] when the inevitable TimeParadox is [[LampshadeHanging pointed out]] by Shoichi, [[spoiler: [[MadScientist Verde]]'s response was simply that the existence of the [[MacGuffin Trinnisette]] amounts to a miracle by itself and can't be explained by science or common sense]]
* ''LightNovel/HaruhiSuzumiya''. Haruhi damn it, Tanigawa Nagaru, he deliberately makes the Esper, Alien, and Time Traveller members say they don't really know how their upper structure works to justify their status, which sometimes gets rather ridiculous.
sense]].



* In ''Anime/GirlsUndPanzer'', the various tanks the girls ride around in have some special coating on them that prevents their tanks from blowing up any time it gets hit. Aside from that, it coasts on RuleOfCool, so [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief shut up and enjoy the ride!]].
* In ''Manga/UsotsukiLily'', the mangaka's comments give all sorts of reasons as to why the main characters aren't in any school club (job, dates, kendo practice, prefer reading, "sweating is tiresome"...).
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' and Rebuild are both huge offenders. There is a MOUNTAIN of scientific theory and meticulous planning that would go into [[spoiler:creating a humanoid form out of a "Seed of Life," then putting it in a suit of armor]] and teaching a human to control it with his/her brain waves, but it is consistently averted as a topic of conversation in the show(/movie). Usually, the method of doing so isn't so much a dismissive remark--rather, viewers are hit with a split-second avalanche of faux-scientific terms and nonsensical graphs, in a manner of "pretend explanation." It doesn't ACTUALLY explain anything; it just makes it look like there's real science involved. Bonus points if a handful of religious references are thrown on top for good measure.

to:

* In ''Anime/GirlsUndPanzer'', the various tanks the girls ride around in have some special coating on them that prevents their tanks from blowing up any time it gets hit. Aside from that, it coasts on RuleOfCool, so [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief shut up and enjoy the ride!]].
ride!]]
* In ''Manga/UsotsukiLily'', the mangaka's comments give all sorts of reasons as to why the main characters aren't in any school club (job, dates, kendo practice, prefer reading, "sweating is tiresome"...).
* ''Anime/NeonGenesisEvangelion'' and Rebuild are both huge offenders. There is a MOUNTAIN of scientific theory and meticulous planning that would go into [[spoiler:creating a humanoid form out of a "Seed of Life," then putting it in a suit of armor]] and teaching a human to control it with his/her brain waves, but it is consistently averted as a topic of conversation in the show(/movie). Usually, the method of doing so isn't so much a dismissive remark--rather, viewers are hit with a split-second avalanche of faux-scientific terms and nonsensical graphs, in a manner of "pretend explanation." It doesn't ACTUALLY explain anything; it just makes it look like there's real science involved. Bonus points if a handful of religious references are thrown on top for good measure.
)


'''Bender:''' So THAT'S where I left my cigar. ''[retrieves the cigar, puffs on it]'' That explains everything.\\

to:

'''Bender:''' So THAT'S where I left my cigar. ''[retrieves the cigar, puffs on it]'' That explains everything.\\it]''\\



--->'''Bender''': No! It's just ... neither of us can get up when we get knocked on our back.\\

to:

--->'''Bender''': No! It's just ...just... neither of us can get up when we get knocked on our back.\\


* In ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' the go-to handwaver was Leo, whose encyclopedic knowledge of magic and the Elder's rules allowed him to consistently offer an offhand one-sentence explanation for blatant inconsistencies between episodes. A good example of this is his explanation of Piper's powers working by speeding and slowing molecules, which doesn't scientifically add up.

to:

* In ''Series/{{Charmed}}'' ''Series/{{Charmed|1998}}'' the go-to handwaver was Leo, whose encyclopedic knowledge of magic and the Elder's rules allowed him to consistently offer an offhand one-sentence explanation for blatant inconsistencies between episodes. A good example of this is his explanation of Piper's powers working by speeding and slowing molecules, which doesn't scientifically add up.

Added DiffLines:

* In ''Series/TheMentalist'' season 5 finale, [[BigBad Red John]] does a couple of things that are seemingly impossible: he comes up with Jane's list of Red John suspects months before Jane does, and he somehow accesses a childhood memory of Jane's that Jane had never shared. In the episode where [[spoiler:Jane finally catches Red John, he offers to explain, but Jane bluntly tells him he doesn't care before strangling him to death.]] It's never explained how either feat was accomplished.


-->-- ''Film/ThankYouForSmoking'', discussing ProductPlacement in a SciFi movie

to:

-->-- ''Film/ThankYouForSmoking'', discussing ''Film/ThankYouForSmoking'' (discussing ProductPlacement in a SciFi movie
movie)



[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]

to:

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]][[folder:Anime & Manga]]



-->'''Kotaro:''' Come on. Haven't you seen a zombie movie before?
-->'''Sakura:''' I have, for the record.
-->'''Kotaro:''' Well there you go, then.
-->(extended {{beat}})

to:

-->'''Kotaro:''' Come on. Haven't you seen a zombie movie before?
-->'''Sakura:'''
before?\\
'''Sakura:'''
I have, for the record.
-->'''Kotaro:'''
record.\\
'''Kotaro:'''
Well there you go, then.
-->(extended {{beat}})
then.\\
''[extended {{beat}}]''






[[folder:Fan Fiction]]

to:

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]Works]]



* Franchise/{{Tron}}. PatchworkFic authors integrating ''VideoGame/TronTwoPointOh'' and ''Film/TronLegacy'' canons explain Jet's absence in the film as him being in Washington DC visiting his mom, Jet and Sam having a nasty falling-out before the film's events, or some combination of the two.

to:

* Franchise/{{Tron}}.''Franchise/{{Tron}}''. PatchworkFic authors integrating ''VideoGame/TronTwoPointOh'' and ''Film/TronLegacy'' canons explain Jet's absence in the film as him being in Washington DC visiting his mom, Jet and Sam having a nasty falling-out before the film's events, or some combination of the two.



* ''Blog/TheSetupWizard'': People pointed out that with Hogwarts' anti-tech field, computers don't work on the grounds. Jonathan just says that's because they never had an IT guy before.



[[folder:Films -- Live Action]]

to:

[[folder:Films -- Live Action]]Live-Action]]



--> "Miss Gerraghty," Johnny said sternly, "[[GenreSavvy if you had ever read science fiction]], you'd know that the dullest part is always the explanation. It bores the reader and clutters up the story. Especially when the author flunked high-school physics and simply doesn't know how it works."

to:

--> "Miss Gerraghty," Johnny said sternly, "[[GenreSavvy -->'''Johnny:''' ''[sternly]'' Miss Gerraghty, [[GenreSavvy if you had ever read science fiction]], you'd know that the dullest part is always the explanation. It bores the reader and clutters up the story. Especially when the author flunked high-school physics and simply doesn't know how it works."



* There's never any danger of the [[WorldWarIII international intrigue]] in the ''Literature/EndersGame'' series erupting into a full-scale nuclear war because, as Peter Wiggin explains in a throwaway line in the first book, the invention of energy shields has made nuclear weapons obsolete.
** Although later in the ''Literature/EndersShadow'' subseries, it is further clarified that the International Fleet, while normally neutral toward Earthside conflicts, will severely punish any nation that uses nukes.

to:

* There's never any danger of the [[WorldWarIII international intrigue]] in the ''Literature/EndersGame'' series erupting into a full-scale nuclear war because, as Peter Wiggin explains in a throwaway line in the first book, the invention of energy shields has made nuclear weapons obsolete.
**
obsolete. Although later in the ''Literature/EndersShadow'' subseries, it is further clarified that the International Fleet, while normally neutral toward Earthside conflicts, will severely punish any nation that uses nukes.



* ''Literature/TheWizardTheWitchAndTwoGirlsFromJersey'' offers a few theories around the Land of Galma, setting of ''The Queen of Twilight'' by Fabiella Banks, which the titular girls from Jersey have magically appeared in and which is not entirely as the author described it:
--> Had Fabiella created it by writing it? Or had it existed on its own, before the writing? Had Fabiella visited it? Or were they, somehow, inside the imagination of Fabiella Banks? Oh, it was all too weird.
** Judging by her later thoughts, Veronica seems to run with the idea that she's in a real place Fabiella Banks visited. The narrative never discusses it again.

to:

* ''Literature/TheWizardTheWitchAndTwoGirlsFromJersey'' offers a few theories around the Land of Galma, setting of ''The Queen of Twilight'' by Fabiella Banks, which the titular girls from Jersey have magically appeared in and which is not entirely as the author described it:
--> Had
it: "Had Fabiella created it by writing it? Or had it existed on its own, before the writing? Had Fabiella visited it? Or were they, somehow, inside the imagination of Fabiella Banks? Oh, it was all too weird.
**
weird." Judging by her later thoughts, Veronica seems to run with the idea that she's in a real place Fabiella Banks visited. The narrative never discusses it again.



[[folder:Live Action TV]]

to:

[[folder:Live Action [[folder:Live-Action TV]]






[[folder:Roleplay]]
* In ''Roleplay/TheMassiveMultiFandomRPG'', as well as its SpiritualSuccessor ''Roleplay/CityOfLostCharacters'', it's common for players who can't post all the time to explain their characters' inactivity by stating that they got distracted by something or have been busy elsewhere in the meanwhile, usually potholing their explanation to this very trope.
[[/folder]]



* Typically every miniature in any one unit in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' will share a single body type. While the reason for this is clearly to simplify the design process and cut costs, this is sometimes given a hand-wave justification in the backstory. For example, Space Marines are all male because [[{{Phlebotinum}} gene-seed]] is [[{{TechnoBabble}} keyed to male hormones]].

to:

* Typically every miniature in any one unit in ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}}'' ''TabletopGame/Warhammer40000'' will share a single body type. While the reason for this is clearly to simplify the design process and cut costs, this is sometimes given a hand-wave justification in the backstory. For example, Space Marines are all male because [[{{Phlebotinum}} gene-seed]] is [[{{TechnoBabble}} keyed to male hormones]].



[[folder:Webcomics]]

to:

[[folder:Webcomics]][[folder:Web Animation]]
* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''[[http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/38215 Keegan's Truck 5]]'', when Commander Canada repeatedly dodges Keegan's questions on how the former is alive despite being killed years ago (repeatedly insisting that it is irrelevant), culminating with this exchange:
--> '''Keegan:''' What are you hiding? Why can't you tell me?\\
'''Commander Canada:''' I can't tell you why I'm still alive because the author is too lazy to come up with anything! ''Let it go!''\\
'''Keegan:''' Oh. Okay.\\
'''Commander Canada:''' Now, back to the damn story.
[[/folder]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]



* ''WebComic/EightBitTheater'' {{lampshades}} this with "[[AWizardDidIt the wizard who did it]]."

to:

* ''WebComic/EightBitTheater'' ''Webcomic/EightBitTheater'' {{lampshades}} this with "[[AWizardDidIt the wizard who did it]]."



* {{Lampshade|Hanging}}d in ''[[http://www.newgrounds.com/portal/view/38215 Keegan's Truck 5]]'', when Commander Canada repeatedly dodges Keegan's questions on how the former is alive despite being killed years ago (repeatedly insisting that it is irrelevant), culminating with this exchange:
--> '''Keegan:''' What are you hiding? Why can't you tell me?\\
'''Commander Canada:''' I can't tell you why I'm still alive because the author is too lazy to come up with anything! ''Let it go!''\\
'''Keegan:''' Oh. Okay.\\
'''Commander Canada:''' Now, back to the damn story.
* ''Film/ProjectMillion'': Spazz tries to figure out how The Wire escaped her TV. She throws several explanations at him such as she's not there and that he's in a dream within a dream, before claiming she "crawled through a river of shit and came out the other side clean."



* During the Geb arc in ''WebVideo/VaguelyRecallingJoJo'', [[VideoGame/MegaManClassic Dr. Light]] calls [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Greg/Zato-1]] and tells him that a special doctor helped Holly with her Stand problem, giving the Joestar group extra time in killing Dio once and for all.
* ''WebOriginal/TheSetupWizard'': People pointed out that with Hogwarts' anti-tech field, computers don't work on the grounds. Jonathan just says that's because they never had an IT guy before.
* In ''Roleplay/TheMassiveMultiFandomRPG'', as well as its SpiritualSuccessor ''Roleplay/CityOfLostCharacters'', it's common for players who can't post all the time to explain their characters' inactivity by stating that they got distracted by something or have been busy elsewhere in the meanwhile, usually potholing their explanation to this very trope.


Added DiffLines:

[[folder:Web Videos]]
* ''Film/ProjectMillion'': Spazz tries to figure out how The Wire escaped her TV. She throws several explanations at him such as she's not there and that he's in a dream within a dream, before claiming she "crawled through a river of shit and came out the other side clean."
* During the Geb arc in ''WebVideo/VaguelyRecallingJoJo'', [[VideoGame/MegaManClassic Dr. Light]] calls [[VideoGame/GuiltyGear Greg/Zato-1]] and tells him that a special doctor helped Holly with her Stand problem, giving the Joestar group extra time in killing Dio once and for all.
[[/folder]]


May take advantage of the MST3KMantra. Often related to an UnexplainedRecovery. Contrast VoodooShark, which is an attempted hand wave that makes less sense than just letting the FridgeLogic stand on its own. In narrative games, an ObviousRulePatch is often accompanied by an explanatory have wave. See also AWizardDidIt.

to:

May take advantage of the MST3KMantra. Often related to an UnexplainedRecovery. Contrast VoodooShark, which is an attempted hand wave that makes less sense than just letting the FridgeLogic stand on its own. In narrative games, an ObviousRulePatch is often accompanied by an explanatory have hand wave. See also AWizardDidIt.


* In ''Anime/GirlsUndPanzer'', the various tanks the girls ride around in have some special coating on them that prevents their tanks from blowing up anytime it gets hit. Aside from that, it coasts on RuleOfCool, so [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief shut up and enjoy the ride!]].

to:

* In ''Anime/GirlsUndPanzer'', the various tanks the girls ride around in have some special coating on them that prevents their tanks from blowing up anytime any time it gets hit. Aside from that, it coasts on RuleOfCool, so [[WillingSuspensionOfDisbelief shut up and enjoy the ride!]].

Added DiffLines:

* ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'': Unlike other spells that produce overtly unnatural effects, {{Healing|Hands}} isn't classified as Vulgar magic and therefore doesn't automatically threaten a MagicMisfire. One sourcebook attributes the inconsistency to the [[AscendToAHigherPlaneOfExistence Oracles]] tweaking the rules of magic to cut some slack for people who are already in a bad situation.

Added DiffLines:

* The film ''HeartbreakRidge'' focuses on the actions of US Marines in Grenada. The main character, and one of the supporting cast, are said to be veterans of the titular battle, which was fought by the ''US Army'' in the Korean War. One of the characters handwaves this by saying "we joined the Corps later." The real reason for this unlikely situation is that the filmmakers tried to get military support from the US Army but they rejected the request, unhappy with the script. When the Marines offered to help instead, the characters were hastily rewritten to be Marines, and the handwave thrown in.

Showing 15 edit(s) of 295

Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report