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Loophole Abuse / Animated Films

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Loophole Abuse in animated movies.

  • Aladdin:
    • When stuck in the Cave of Wonders, Aladdin goads the Genie into blasting him and Abu out of there by saying that if the Genie "can't even bring people Back from the Dead," there's no way that he could get Aladdin and Abu out. When they stop at an oasis, Genie states Aladdin already used up a wish, but Aladdin counters that he didn't wish to be out of there; Genie did that all on his own in a show of power (in truth, Aladdin tricked Genie into helping them get out of the cave without making a wish). Genie is forced to concede.
      Genie: Well, I feel sheepish. (turns into a sheep) Alright, you ba-aaa-d boy, but no more freebies.
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    • When Aladdin is drowning, Genie is unable to help Aladdin because he can't help his master unless they wish for Genie to do so. Played more seriously because Genie wants to save Aladdin, but can't because he already said no more freebies:
      Genie: Al? (gasps) Al! Kid! Snap out of it! Oh, you can't cheat on this one! I can't help you unless you make a wish. You have to say, "Genie, I want you to save my life." Got it? Okay! [shakes Aladdin] C'MON, ALADDIN! (Aladdin's head droops) I'll take that as a yes. WOOGA! WOOGA! (turns into a submarine and pulls Aladdin out of the water)
  • Aladdin: The Return of Jafar:
    And if you really piss him off? He'll just break open the ground to reveal a lava pit. How can you prove the lava didn't just happen to be there, and you didn't just happen to fall into it?
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  • The laws of robotics in Astro Boy state that a robot cannot bring harm directly or otherwise to a human, and have been in effect for 50 years prior to the events of the film. Zog, who's twice as old as the laws, is beholden to no such limitations, and he would've crushed Hammegg through this loophole had Astro not intervened.
  • Attempted by Merida in Brave. The rules say that the firstborn of each clan have the right to compete in a contest of her choosing to determine her suitor. Since Merida is the firstborn of her clan, she declares an archery contest, puts herself forward as an entrant, and wins it decisively. Unusually for this trope, nobody accepts the result, the competing clans nearly go to war over the insult, and she still has to be betrothed in the name of peace. She eventually manages to resolve the situation by convincing the clans to postpone the betrothal, helped by the heirs of the other clans who aren't quite ready for marriage themselves.
  • In Cars 3, it's explicitly stated that a racer's number has to be out on the track, but not necessarily the car who actually has that number. This is exploited by Lightning to allow Cruz to fulfill her dream of being a racer.
    • Also, when Lightning is about to accept his fate that he has to retire immediately following his bet with Sterling, he is also considered a winner because he started the race before switching with Cruz, so he wins the bet and doesn’t have to retire after all.
  • Cinderella:
    • Lady Tremaine promises Cinderella permission to attend the ball if she finishes all the work and if she can find something suitable to wear.
      Drizella: Mother! Do you realize what you just said!?
      Lady Tremaine: Of course. I said "if".
    • After the ball, the Prince says he'll only marry the girl who fits the glass slipper. The King, desperate for grandkids, sends the Grand Duke out to find said girl; when the Duke protests that the slipper could fit any number of girls, the King simply says that the Prince only specified that the girl had to fit the slipper, nothing else. It doesn't matter if it's the wrong girl, as long as the Prince gets hitched. Twist in Time subverts this as the Prince, seeing Anastasia with the shoe and not knowing Lady Tremaine enlarged it, assumes Anastasia just happens to have the same foot size as the girl he's looking for and tries to send her away until Lady Tremaine puts a spell on her.
    • And in Cinderella III: A Twist in Time:
      Prince: Okay. (jumps out the window)
  • Invoked by Kuzco in The Emperor's New Groove, after he has been turned into a llama and goes back on a deal sealed with a handshake: "The funny thing about shaking hands.. you need hands!" (Cheerfully waves his hooves.)
  • Deconstructed in The Incredibles. After he gave up his career as a superhero, Mr. Incredible becomes a claims adjuster for Insuricare. While at Insuricare, he becomes completely and utterly miserable, but he also exploits loopholes in the company's red tape so his clients get their rightfully-deserved payouts. However, this also frustrates his manager to the point of verbally reprimanding him, who only cares about Insuricare's profitability and actively denies clients' insurance claims. When Mr. Incredible asks his boss if they should stop helping people, Mr. Huph comes as close to saying "yes" as possible by stating the law requires him to say "no".
  • In Lilo & Stitch, at the end of the film, Stitch has gone through some Character Development and is no longer the menace to society that he once was. The Grand Councilwoman knows this, but the fact of the matter is that Stitch was sentenced to exile on an desert asteroid, and that sentence still stands: even she doesn't have the authority to give a pardon. At Mr. Bubbles' suggestion, Lilo informs the GC that she paid for Stitch at the animal shelter, therefore if the GC takes Stitch away, she's guilty of theft. The GC uses this as an excuse to alter Stitch's sentence to be exiled to Earth, where he can live out his life with his newfound family.
  • Monsters University uses this in the second event of the scare games, wherein the teams had to catch a flag without being caught by the librarian. However, there is only one rule: Don't get caught. While every team moves as silently and out-of-sight as possible, Oozuma Kappa manages to win by dividing their team to intentionally cause as much noise as possible so that the librarian will not look at Sully who just sprinted towards the flag without regards for how much noise he was making or how the flag was actually captured during the ruckus. The announcers even admit that the only rule is "Don't get caught" and their win was legit, since they technically did not actually get caught until after they had won.
  • Disney's Peter Pan:
    • Tinker Bell gives Captain Hook the location of the Lost Boys' home if Hook agrees to take Wendy away, and adds that he not harm Peter, to which Hook confirms that he will not "lay a finger or a hook on Peter Pan." Later, after capturing the kids minus Peter, Hook lowers a timebomb into the lair.
    • Hook abuses another loophole in the sequel Return to Never Land. Since Wendy's daughter Jane is dissatisfied with her stay in Never Land, Hook gives her a whistle she can use to signal Hook and his men to set off a trap for Peter Pan at the opportune moment. Jane only agrees as long as Hook promises never to harm "a hair on Peter's head", only capturing him instead of harming. When the trap is set off (by one of the Lost Boys who finds her whistle and blows it, not knowing any better), Hook gleefully gloats over what he's going to do to Peter Pan. Jane angrily reminds him that he promised never to harm a hair on Peter's head. To keep his word, Hook plucks a single hair from Peter and gives it to Jane, saying this is the hair he said he wouldn't harm.
  • Disney's The Princess and the Frog has a plot filled with excessive Loophole Abuse.
    • First of all, there's Dr. Facilier who promises his clients something they want figuratively and then screws them over by giving it to them literally.
      • In the opening song, he gives a balding guy hair... all over his body.
      • With Naveen, he says that Naveen wants to "hop from place to place", but that it takes "green" to do that. Instead of giving Naveen money as the song implied, he turns him into a frog.
      • For Naveen's butler Lawrence, he says that he can make Lawrence "exactly the man [he] always wanted to be", and does so by giving Lawrence an amulet that transforms him into Naveen (although this didn't exactly screw Lawrence over; it was necessary for Facilier's plan).
    • Naveen can lift his curse by kissing a princess. He kisses the heroine Tiana, but since she's not a real princess, she changes into a frog as well. They are then presented a loophole way out; a kiss from Tiana's friend Charlotte will transform them both back, since Charlotte is daughter of the king of the Mardi Gras Parade and therefore temporarily a princess (as long as Mardi Gras lasts).
    • The most uplifting and beautiful example of this trope comes in the final scenes; as Charlotte's kiss fails to transform both back, as it was past midnight and her title of Princess had already lost its legitimacy, Naveen and Tiana decide to get married nevertheless - as frogs - and then find out why Mama Odie was shipping them so desperately; Naveen's still a prince, and when Tiana marries him, she becomes a princess. As he kisses her, he thus kisses a princess and both are transformed back to humans.
  • Subverted in Ratatouille: There's nothing saying a rat can't become a chef (in fact, the phrase "Anyone Can Cook" practically qualifies as Arc Words), but there is a rule that a rat can't be in a restaurant kitchen. Remy spends most of the film trying to be a chef without getting caught breaking the second rule.
  • Steven Universe: The Movie: After getting Identity Amnesia, Pearl (created as a member of a Servant Race) ends up bonding to Steven's father Greg as her new master, to his intense discomfort. Trying to jog her memories proves difficult as she's bound to serve Greg "as long as he exists". The solution Steven comes up with? Fuse with Greg, thus creating a whole new entity (Steg), and therefore meaning that Greg technically won't exist. It works, allowing them to get through to Pearl and bring her back to normal.
  • The Sword in the Stone:
    • Madam Mim immediately sets ground rules for her Shapeshifter Showdown with Merlin, among which is this: "No make-believe things", specifically, "Pink dragons and stuff." Being a foul cheat, she never had any intention of following them including at the climax when she becomes a purple dragon. When Merlin tries to call her out on this, she simply responds with, "Did I say 'No purple dragons?' Did I?!" The "and stuff..." part of her "rules" clearly implies she did, but she's beyond caring at this point.
    • Merlin one-ups her on this magnificently - while there's a rule that says "no turning into plants or minerals" he turns himself into a germ - which is neither - to infect her and win the duel.
    • Another rule she gives is "no disappearing", but when she signals for them to take their paces, she does just that. While it gives her an unfair advantage, the duel technically hadn't started yet. Merlin also one-ups her with this with his germ form; it's not invisible, just very tiny.
  • There is nothing in the rules that says a snail can't enter the Indy 500, at least not in the world of Turbo.
    Tito: Actually, I've been doing a lot of research, and there's nothing in the rules that says a snail can't enter the race.
    Angelo: Yeah, well, there's nothing that says this sponge can't enter the race either, but that doesn't mean it's ever gonna happen!
  • Zootopia:
    • Blended with Exact Words. After Judy witnesses Nick and Finnick delivering the used Popsicle sticks as lumber to a small rodent construction site and hears Nick say they are "redwood", she tries to arrest him for false advertising. But Nick points out he didn't say the lumber was "redwood" but "red wood", with a space in the middle. (It's even rendered in the DVD subtitles that way.)
    • When Judy doesn't have a warrant to enter the parking lot Otterton's limo is stored in, she tosses her pen recorder on the other side of the fence, tricking Nick into climbing the fence to retrieve it. Judy uses Nick's trespassing as "probable cause" to enter the parking lot.
    • When Chief Bogo shows up in Rainforest District after Manchas leaves savage and forces Judy to resign because she has still not yet found Mr. Otterton, Nick speaks in defense of her and reveals she still has ten of her 48 hours left to find him, and the two escape.

Alternative Title(s): Animated Film