Follow TV Tropes


Headscratchers / Spider-Man Trilogy

Go To

Specific films:

The film series in general

  • Why does Peter, the only photographer known get photos of Spider-Man, only ever sell them to a newspaper that constantly lies about his alter-ego and pays him peanuts? Assuming that photos of Spidey are hot property, he's in New York City where there are likely plenty of rival newspapers that could potentially pay much more and might not be quite as unfavourable in their coverage of Spider-Man. Does it not occur to him that he could get multiple publications to compete to buy the photos off him or has the notion of free market capitalism, in a city widely regarded as the global epicentre of said economic model, completely passed him by?
  • Why does Peter keep taking his mask off in public places?
    • Raimi and Maguire both stated that they didn't want the audience to "forget about Peter Parker", so they keep looking for excuses for him to lose the mask. They just wanted Peter Parker the character to be as prominent as Spider Man the character, because both personas are important to the character as a whole. When leading up to the first film, Raimi even considered leaving the mask's eye pieces uncovered
      • More likely, it's because it's hard for an actor to emote with a full face mask on. I agree it's silly story-wise, but it makes sense for movies; at least comic books give you thought bubbles and artistic tricks to show emotions.
      • More likely still, Maguire is an actor who wants his face in every frame of the film, and Sony paid good money for that face and not for CGI or masked stunt guy. It was subtle in the first film, with pumpkin bombs blasting holes through his mask and such, but the sequels are just ridiculous.
    • In the official "The Making Of Spider-Man 3", Raimi stated that the reason he had Spider-Man's mask rip at the end of all three films, the Green Goblin's helmet smashed in I, Doc Ock's glasses broken in II, and Venom spend 90% of the final battle out-of-mask in III was so that the viewers could see the actors' emotions during the climactic scene.

  • In the films, they have Peter producing his webs biologically instead of with web-shooter devices, but nothing about the metabolic impact this would necessarily have on him. It takes a huge amount of raw material to produce and secrete organic matter. (This is why it's generally agreed that breast feeding is the best way for a mother to lose weight again after pregnancy.) With the amount of webs he's tossing around all over the place, he should be suddenly eating enough to feed an army just to maintain his current weight.
    • That would be one explanation for why he never has much money...
    • Just because we rarely see him eating, doesn't mean he isn't eating a fair amount in-between scenes. It's just that in importance stakes, "Spidey whales on the bad guy" is a lot higher than "Peter Parker eats waffles." They're action movies, not documentaries. It's "Spidey Vs. Villain X", not "A Day in the Life of Peter Parker". And his spider-powers have been shown to have effects like letting him hold his breath for longer, so a more efficient digestive system isn't too much of a stretch...I need to get out more.
    • I seem to recall him lamenting at one point in the comics (Ultimate Universe) that his metabolism is through the roof due to his powers, and in that universe he doesn't even had bio-webs. Just the boost in speed and strength, not to mention all the exercise he gets, contribute to it. I imagine his webbings would send it even higher. And yes, he points out that he never has any money because he spends so much on food.
    • The organic webs are a huge problem beyond metabolism and bio-matter needed to make them. Raimi justified it by "how does he know how to make such an adhesive and how does he obtain the chemicals?" of which the comics had already explained. But he didn't think things through beyond that. Their placement on his wrists makes no sense if you ignore it as a random mutation. We see light patches that look like burn scars but never any openings. To make webs large enough to use as ropes there would have to be very large glands in his arms between the bones and to even store enough web to use them, his arms would be HUGE. Real spiders can get by with tiny webs as they're light, a human though wouldn't be able to produce lines of proportional size and hang from them. And yes, their explanation for how he sticks to walls(fine hairs on his hands & feet) was also completely against science, let alone they were shown big enough to see them in closeup yet are never visible otherwise, nor would they hold his weight. A serious suspension of disbelief was needed for how the films handled his powers.

  • How did nobody suspect Peter Parker was Spider-Man? I mean, one day there's this fighting competition, and the guy who signed up called himself The Human Spider (or Spider-Man). He kicks the champions ass, and he even used webslinging. One could say nobody saw his face, but the guy who gave him the money obviously got a good look at Pete's face.
    • True, but he also saw Peter allow a robber to flee with his money. He probably assumed that the real Spider-Man would never allow that
      • Fridge Brilliance for the win! Similarly, the police officer also saw Peter let the robber get away; it wouldn't be surprising if Peter Parker had from that earned a bit of a reputation as someone who is not that inclined to stop criminals, deterring them from concluding he would do what Spider-Man does. And also, The Human Spider was the name he gave himself, he was CALLED Spider-Man in the fighting competition, and later just happened to adopt the name. However, to others in the city, it could have been just as likely that someone in the audience of that fighting competition adopted the name instead.
    • Because it matches the events in a comic book series that is coincidentally also named "Spider-Man" (sometimes with superlative adjectives in front), in which Peter's interactions with the promoters and the robber are all in costume.
    • This is New York City we're talking about. What the odds that Peter Parker will ever run into the one guy who knows his face purely by accident?

  • Why is that ONE nameless bank chain always getting robbed in the Spider-Man films?
    • Spider-Man: The infamous cut 'Twin Towers' scene begins with people robbing the bank
    • Spider-Man 2: Doc Ock robs the same bank
    • Spider-Man 3: Sandman robs a truck carrying bags from that same bank.
      • I mean, I realize in terms of filming it was probably just easier to reuse the logo-printed bags, but really!? Is there only one bank chain in Movieverse New York? And how do they keep getting clients when supervillains are constantly getting away with their money?!
    • I never noticed, but now that you mention it I assume it's something of a subtle joke that it's always the same bank. Kind of like in the Back to the Future movies, not only does Biff or the Biff relative always crash into a manure truck, but it's always the same family's manure as evidenced by the branding on the side of the manure trucks.

  • Am I the only one who was sure Bruce Campbell was going to end up playing Quentin Beck? Like Mysterio would have been all the cameos for the sole purpose of screwing with Spidey because he'd worked out who he was in the first movie?
    • That...would have been hysterical. And awesome.
    • Confirmed in the original script for Spiderman 4.

  • This applies to all three films: Why does Spider-Man not talk all that much when in costume, when in the comics one of his defining traits is his motor-mouth? That seems like a pretty odd change.
    • No, it seems like a perfectly reasonable change, seeing how one of the major Spider-Man HS is "how the hell can nobody recognize Spider-Man as Peter by his voice?" So, they finally rectified it. Good for them.
    • Because Talking is not a free action in real life.
      • There's a reason that, in sports, most signals and calls are monosyllabic shouts signaling previously-agreed-upon moves rather than lengthy, explicit instructions. You ever try talking while doing something legitimately strenuous (like running, weight lifting, flipping around like a madman while trying to avoid seven different varieties of painful death at once)? If you're doing that kind of acrobatics, you're breathing heavily, and unfortunately for reality, turns out you talk and breathe through the same system.
    • Except, they did keep some of his wit, just turned it down a little. I agree, it would've made the film better to have more jokes, but luckily that's making a comeback in The Amazing Spider-Man. As for the above explanation, Peter can effortlessly dodge bullets and flying cars. Who's to say he didn't develop stronger breathing patterns when he gained super strength? If his muscles have developed better, who's to say he didn't develop stronger lungs? Which would allow him to talk and swing around. And then, there's the fact he tends to stand still to quip, so that's not even an issue.
      • "Tt's you who's out, Gobby. Out of your mind!" Yyyyyeah. Judging from their material, I doubt that more jokes would've made the movies better instead of cringeworthy.
    • I believe it's been explained that his Spider Sense lets him think much faster than a normal person, and he turns on the jokes to keep from thinking of how frightening the situation is when he's not planning his next several moves.

  • Why isn't Spider-Man wanted by the police for the murder of Norman Osborn, or at least for interrogation on the circumstances of his death? Harry surely didn't make a secret out of his accusations, so what's the deal? Why isn't Bugle screaming about it?
    • I would imagine that Harry never explained it to any authorities or anybody outside of his family and circle of friends. It's not like he made it public that he believed Spider-Man killed his father.
      • Actually he did, at that party where he had a fight with Peter. He was quite loud about it. And even beside that, why wouldn't he inform authorities and how did he explain Norman's death to the police?
      • He probably already is wanted, considering in the first movie there was a standing order for the police to arrest him after the Bugle's slander, and Norman's murder is just another charge against him. He just pulled a Dark Knight essentially. Also, at the party, Harry was only audible after he slapped Peter that he got the crowds attention, and most of the time was whispering to Peter. I don't think Harry would want to alert the police considering in the end we realized he wanted to kill Spidey himself.
      • One of the newspapers about Spider-Man Harry is looking at in the second movie before Otto threatens him mentions Spider-Man being implicated in Osborn's death. It's possible that, assuming Harry didn't tell the police, the charges were eventually dropped due to lack of evidence.

  • At the end of the first film, Peter drops off Norman's body in front of Harry, which leads to Harry's vendetta that drives the next two films in the series. Sure, Norman asked him not to reveal that he was a supervillain, but... why couldn't Peter tell Harry that the Green Goblin killed his father? After all, he had already publicly killed Oscorp's entire board of directors — is it such a stretch that he would kill Osborn himself too?
    • At that first moment, Peter's mask was destroyed and he needed to leave immediately or else the very upset Harry would find out his secret identity. After that point, it seems the idea is supposed to be that there wasn't a good point where he could tell the truth without telling Harry what his dad really was, especially before Harry learned who Spider Man was.
    • This is within Spidey's character, actually. He's not a liar, and wouldn't make up a story like that to cover his own ass. After all, Goblin killing Norman was only true in the same sense as Vader killing Anakin. As to why Spidey didn't tell Harry the truth, well, it's a combination of not wanting to tarnish Norman's memory, and feeling guilty about sort-of causing his death.
      • The difference is that Anakin was still alive as Vader, so he was only "killed" in a metaphorical way, and Obi-Wan indeed lied. Saying that Goblin killed Norman is a much lesser stretch — technically he did, judging by Norman's last moments. Of course, if Spidey did say that, Harry would've probably demanded to know how it happened, and then Peter would have to lie.
    • The other thing I don't get about this is how does Harry just assume it was Spider-Man that killed his father? He just brought him back home and laid his body there. We never saw anything in the first movie that showed Harry being skeptical of the web slinger, and from anyone else's POV, if you saw someone as Spider-Man with part of his costume destroyed bring your dead father home, could you honestly believe there was ever a scuffle between the two and he was the one that killed him? Considering the fact that there's still (as far as you know) a guy on a glider roaming around somewhere in New York? I just don't understand how Harry can have a vendetta against Spider-Man when he really didn't have any evidence that it was he who killed him and not, oh I don't know, the Green Goblin?
      • Grief maybe? Harry had an assload of issues throughout the movie and was even worse off in the end when MJ left him for Peter. Imagine the scene after Spider-Man had left and Harry there by himself cradling his father's body. All that culminates into his obsession with the last man who saw him, who was pretty publicly known as a menace.

  • Speaking of which, if the butler in Spider-Man 3 was actually real, rather than a hallucination, how would he know what kind of wounds Norman's glider leaves? Even if we concur that he was somehow an expert forensic pathologist, when did he get the chance to inspect the glider? What, did Norman have him polish the thing ("Oh, and don't forget the forward blades! -Of course, sir")?
    • It's likely that his butler saw Norman's body before he was buried. It's not that he knew what the glider did to him, but rather that he probably got an explanation from someone at Oscorp about the glider's capabilities.
      • That is quite a stretch. Norman had a stab wound - that's it. How in the world would the butler connect that to the glider he didn't even have a reason to know about, other than, maybe, from the news report about the first Goblin/SM fight, when the blade wasn't used.
    • Maybe out of loyalty to the family and understanding that Norman was under the influence of something the family Butler aided Norman enough to keep him from getting himself killed while urging him to seek treatment. Not unlike what Alfred does for Batman only in this case unaware of how dangerously unhinged his employer/surrogate family member had become until it was too late. Then when Norman did actually kill himself in his grizzly work the Butler who had been about to leave or report him to the police did what he could to clean the body up give Norman a decent respectable appearance before the police showed up while keeping the full details hidden. Protecting the family name, keeping young Harry from losing what good memories he had of his father, and ensuring that his death would go unsolved or at least not blamed on Spiderman.
  • Speaking of which, if the glider was designed by the not-yet-psychotic Osborn or his colleagues, why would it have the blades at all? I can see it as a reconnaissance craft or a light weapon platform (it does have a machine gun), but a blade? And if Norman added it after he went cookoo, then none of his colleagues would know about it.
    • Destroying enemy remote recon equipment without wasting ammunition or alerting them. Assuming it wasn't spotted impaling anything with sensitive electronics would certainly be a silent way of getting red of that sort of thing. That or he was showing off to the military by designing an impractical but impressive looking piece of equipment.
  • Speaking of the butler, how is he alive? I don't see Norman (in goblin mode) allowing him to breathe after finding out his secret. Let's assume Norman wasn't aware that his secret was discovered by the butler, why would he be foolish enough to leave his goblin gear and weapons lying around in the mansion. You think Harry would have noticed too.
    • The Butler was unfailingly loyal to the Osborns, the Goblin tolerated him because Norman wouldn't let it kill the man and he needed the help to handle his gear safely as putting on the suit wasn't a one person job. Norman/The Goblin assumed that money and personal loyalty would buy his silence.
      • Wasn't all that gear hidden behind the mirror entryway? The Goblin persona probably manifested some Norman in him to tell the butler to go away while he stored his armory, which was discovered way after by the Butler as he was cleaning, but kept it from Harry. The blades were probably added by the goblin too.
  • Does Norman's evil personality think he is a mythological creature, or is he using the Goblin persona to strike fear in people? This troper read somewhere online that an alternate personality can be non-human.
  • In the first film, Peter Parker gets bitten by a completely unidentified spider, on a school trip to a lab that works with spiders, starts feeling unwell soon after, and...seeks no medical attention whatsoever? Isn't he supposed to be smart?
    • Ben and May almost certainly doesn't have the money to be spending on doctor's visits and Pete is the type of person to hide injuries to not worry or cause trouble for his family. His powers developed the next day, so it's very reasonable to assume he would try to sleep it off for at least one day. By the books smart doesn't mean lifestyle smart either.
  • Am I the only one to notice that Mary Jane's hair colour seems to change in each film? In the first one it's an unnaturally vivid red, in the second it's a more natural-looking ginger tone, and in the third it's a darker auburn.
    • I mean. Hair dye exists. Especially for someone whose entire chosen career revolves around her physical appearance, it is entirely plausible that she is subtly changing her hairstyle (including its color) to match the current trends while maintaining brand recognition as "red–headed actress".