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No Ontological Inertia / Film

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  • Disney's Aladdin
    • Jafar uses his magical staff to hypnotize the Sultan. When the staff is broken by Aladdin, the hypnotic effect is instantly neutralized.
    • Genie moves the palace to higher elevation per Jafar's orders. When Jafar is defeated, the palace instantly and magically moves back to its original position. The fact that defeating Jafar reversed Genie's actions makes this case particularly absurd, especially since the Genie could have voluntarily fixed all that once he was freed.
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    • The changes Jafar made using his power as a sorcerer were undone when he became a genie. The rug (which had been unraveled) was re-woven, Abu changed from a mechanical monkey back into a real one, and so on.
    • Also, based on the characters' comments Aladdin's prince wish apparently has to be recast by the end.
    • Aladdin: The Return of Jafar: After Jafar's death at the end, all the destruction he caused as a Genie is reversed, with the lava pit closing back up, the palace getting restored, and Carpet reintegrated after getting shattered.
  • In Home, Oh's invite will take roughly 40 hours to reach the Gorg, yet cancelling the invite immediately stops the signal even though it was mere seconds from reaching them.
  • Near the climax of the Disney version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Quasimodo pours ridiculous amounts of molten copper from a cauldron onto the soldiers in the square below. A little later, Frollo dies by falling into it. Then, when the protagonists come out of the cathedral at the end of the movie, the boiling metal is gone and the square is full of people.
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  • In The Lion King, Scar's death immediately brings rain back to the Pridelands and repairs a completely devastated ecosystem in what appears to be a few months. (This may be an instance of the Fisher King, where the beauty of a kingdom is tied to the health of its sovereign.)
  • The Little Mermaid. After Ursula was killed, all of the merpeople she had changed into pathetic little creatures returned to their true form. Justified, though, as it was heavily implied that each merperson was held in said state under contract to Ursula. Upon her death, all contracts were made null and void.
  • DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp. When the genie is made a real boy and thus de-powered, Dijon (who had been transformed into a pig from a wish by the Big Bad) is restored to normal.
  • Sleeping Beauty: Zigzagged with Maleficent. Her death causes the thorns she summoned earlier to disappear, but does not undo the curse put on Aurora. Phillip still has to kiss her for that to happen. Maybe justified in that conditional curses tend to have a self-sustaining equilibrium, while the thorns were an artificial contract that had to be maintained. Supported by the live-action Maleficent where Maleficent herself couldn't remove the curse when she had regrets.
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  • Frozen's self-awareness about Disney tropes leads this one to be Played for Drama. The villain believes that killing Elsa will undo the Endless Winter she created, and there's simply no way of knowing whether or not he's right.
  • The Swan Princess makes heavy use of this trope; in the original film, Rothbart curses Odette to transform into a swan every night the moon is out, before simply deciding to have her die when he sabotages Derek's vow of love to her. Derek eventually slays Rothbart in his Great Animal form, and Odette is not only revived but the curse is also lifted. The third film takes it even farther, when Zelda uses the power of the Forbidden Arts to kill Odette, which was only possible with the notes to the spells that Derek neglected to destroy. After killing Zelda, Derek finally destroys the notes, and Odette is magically revived once more.


  • In Magma: Volcanic Disaster, once the hero removes the underlying problem causing the eruptions (by setting off more eruptions underwater with nuclear weapons, despite nuclear weapon testing being the cause of the problem), all the volcanoes stop erupting, the lava recedes, and all fires are put out.
  • The virus pandemic in Outbreak. Once the protagonist has found and isolated the antibody from the monkey's blood serum, by the next scene there's enough antiserum for all infected (how?). Once injected into the dying people, it instantly cures them and everything shortly thereafter has returned to normal, with no lasting ill effects. This was a flesh-eating virus. So, once the antidote is delivered, all damage is instantly healed; including skin lesions and internal organ damage.
  • Ghoulies has an extreme example: after Malcom is killed, all the people killed by him and his ghoulies come back to life for no apparent reason.
  • A major plot point in Underworld: Evolution, As the first vampire, Markus managed to convince the other vampires that killing him would destroy all of them, and killing his brother William (the first lycan) would destroy all lycans—thus depriving them of their slaves. When Selene hears about this a thousand years or so later, she immediately sees it for the lie it is, but the one telling it to her notes that Victor believed it enough to not risk it.
  • A rare biological "science" form of this trope occurs in Van Helsing. When he removes Mr Hyde's arm, it shrivels back to the arm of Doctor Jekyll as soon as it hits the ground. In the same film, killing Dracula kills all of the baby vampire things he made as well. As shown in the opening scene, any supernatural creature that is killed returns to its previously mortal form upon death, including Dracula's wives.
  • The Mummy Returns: Subversion. It appears that the Scorpion King dying causes the Army of Anubis to turn to dust, but it's actually that they've been banished to the underworld by O'Connell, who gained control of them when he killed the Scorpion King.
  • The League Of Gentlemen Apocalypse is a meta-example of this trope. The League of Gentlemen characters invade the real world when their world starts to collapse as their creators have moved on to a new project.
  • In Dario Argento's Inferno, the central apartment building collapses after its designer is strangled. (In Suspiria, the building bursts into flame after Helena Markos is stabbed, but that's more of a Load-Bearing Boss.) The Nurse, aka the Mother of Darkness, is, like her sister, Helena Markos (aka the Mother of Sighs) a Load-Bearing Boss. In both cases, the house is an extension of the Mother who lives there. The same happened to the third and final sister, The Mother of Tears,hence there is an in-universe logic to it.
  • In Super Mario Bros., as soon as Koopa is defeated the King turns back into a humanoid without needing to be re-evolved.
  • Star Wars:
    • Episode IV: A New Hope, as a standalone, would have you believe that the Empire was utterly destroyed after the Death Star was. Return of the Jedi is even worse, as lampshaded in the second Robot Chicken special: "The Rebels are right there! Get them!" "We... can't." "Why not? We still have this fleet, and they're almost destroyed." "No, you see, we lost." "We what?" "Yes, afraid so. They blew up the Death Star and killed the Emperor. We lost."
    • As far as Star Wars the standalone film is concerned, that is somewhat justifiable. The Senate has been newly abolished, causing even the bad guys to wonder how the Emperor will retain control of the Galaxy. Tarkin's answer is fear of the Death Star...which is then blown up. Add then the bad guys worry about Rebel sympathy just from something small like holding Leia, and imagine what the destruction of Alderaan will have done to incite the population. So while it would take some more effort to complete things, the doom of the Empire is basically spelled in the first movie.
    • Somewhat retconned in the books, in that the Empire became much weaker after Endor, but held out for a couple years, and even afterwards held on to an "Imperial Remnant" for years. In fact, the current government of the galaxy, the Galactic Federation Triumvirate, is made up of the Rebel Alliance, the Jedi Order and...the Empire.
    • Hand-waved in the EU by Timothy Zahn with the invention of what became, in the games, Battle Meditation. The Emperor made the Imperial forces awesomer because of the Force. When he died, that awesomeness went away and, in the confusion that followed, the Rebels kicked major buttocks.
      • May be justified even without the hand wave. Many times in history a superior force has been totally routed by an inferior force after a suitably spectacular event saps their morale. With the dramatic destruction of the Death Star, the Executor, the Emperor, and several of his top officers (including The Dragon) the fleet admirals may well have ordered a general retreat in order to prevent any more dramatic losses and re-assess their position. At that point Chronic Backstabbing Disorder kicked in and the rest is the EU.
      • The Empire retreating is likely. Admiral Piett dies with the Executor, taking down their command ship, their commanding officer and one of the fleets ranking admirals. This would create enough confusion among the ships, plus be a big minus to morale. When the ships move in on the Death Star, this confirms that the ground force is defeated, another major morale loss. Then the Death Star blows up. There went their major installation, superweapon and base. And who were on that base? First their major leader, his second in command, a Grand Admiral, and Moff Jerjerrod, the leader of the area. Their objectives have failed, morale is probably down in the ground and not only major military, but their main leadership is dead. Retreat seems likely, plus the rebels shouldn't have too hard to get away, as being chased is highly unlikely. Again, after this, even remnants creates an issue, because of lack of major leadership.
    • In Return of the Jedi, the Rebel commander, at almost the last minute, orders "Move the fleet away from the Death Star". It's possible that in the confusion the Imperial fleet never got a similar order.
    • The post-Endor Expanded Universe storyline is now officially non-canon, but The Force Awakens goes in more or less the same direction that the books did and shows that the Empire was dealt a heavy blow at Endor but continued fighting for some time, and the last major battle (which we see the wreckage of) was on the planet Jakku. Since then The Remnant has persisted (except here it's called the First Order instead of the Imperial Remnant) and has been in a Space Cold War with the New Republic, and its military which is called the Resistance.
  • The climax of 1995's The Net would seem to indicate that since an evil computer program that has erased all of Sandra Bullock's identity records, deleting that program will automagically restore all her records. (This is comparable to deleting your copy of OpenOffice to restore all your documents to their original condition, or un-Photoshopping your pictures by removing Photoshop.)
  • In The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, once Saruman's magic hold on King Theoden is released, the King is instantly rejuvenated from his withered form. This not only includes his hair and beard spontaneously changing color, but actually growing shorter again. A Wizard Did It. Literally. The magic doesn't just end, Gandalf actively throws Saruman out, so one can assume he did some fixing in the process (or even completely negated the magic, as this is also when he reveals publicly that he is now a White Wizard like Saruman).
    • In "The Return of the King" the destruction of the Ring causes everything Sauron built to fall apart or explode.
  • Lampshaded/brought up as a plot-point in The Lost Boys. The head vampire is killed, but Michael specifically points out that he doesn't feel any different and that nothing has changed. Turns out to be played straight in the end, with the death of the real head vampire Max. As soon as he get killed, Michael immediately reverts back to human.
  • Vampirism works this way in Suck— killing a vampire turns everyone he sired and everyone they sired back into humans.
  • Disney's Bedknobs and Broomsticks. When Miss Price loses her concentration after an explosion, all of the animated suits of armor and uniforms collapse to the ground.
  • Fright Night (1985). When the vampire Dandrige is destroyed, his converted victim Amy is turned back to human.
  • In The Avengers, once Iron Man redirected a nuclear missile to the Chitauri base just on the other side of the inter-dimensional bridge from which the Chitauri invaders came to Earth, the alien invading army immediately shut down and were defeated since they were evidently controlled by the base.
    • Averted in the sequel, Avengers: Age of Ultron - every copy of Ultron must be individually destroyed, or he'll keep coming back.
    • Also averted in Avengers: Infinity War when Doctor Strange warns Ebony Maw that it's very difficult to reverse the spell of a dead wizard.
  • In Flash Gordon, the moon was only a few seconds away from crashing into the Earth when Ming was killed, instantly restoring everything to normal. Ontological inertia wasn't even necessary at this point - normal physical inertia, or even the Earth's gravity, should have allowed the moon to keep moving for at least a few more seconds. Not to mention that Ming was using a machine to move the moon, so even without ontological inertia someone must have turned it off before Ming even hit the ground. However, it's possible that the countdown was to the point where the moon was too far gone to stop, rather than the actual collision.
    • Word of God says the countdown was for the point of no return, where nothing would prevent the Moon from colliding.
  • Justified in The Faculty. After Zeke examines one of the parasites, he notices that it doesn't have all the necessary organs to sustain itself independently, and concludes (correctly) that there must be an alien queen with a telepathic link to all of its "offspring." Killing it would kill all the parasites, returning everyone to their normal selves.
  • Selectively applied (or so it would seem) at the end of Weird Science. When "Lisa" vanishes, everything that she has directly or indirectly altered in this level of reality returns to the way it was before - except for Wyatt's grandparents, who are never shown awakening from their suspended animation and so still must be lifeless statues in Wyatt's family's closet. Then again, Lisa does reappear at the end of the movie without explanation, so either this is a Zig-Zagging Trope.
  • Hocus Pocus: After the witches are disintegrated, the curses they had laid on various characters end.
  • Combined with No Fourth Wall in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, where the Black Beast of Arrrrrgh ceases to exist after the animator suffers a fatal heart attack.
  • Lord of Illusions. After Nix is destroyed for good, his late follower Philip Swann who died minutes before him is stripped to the bone as Nix was the source of Swann's magic, and the hole in the Earth he created also closes back up.
  • Toyed with in Transcendence. The changes Will's nanomachines did to people seem to revert at the end (i.e., the Hybrids appear to revert to their pre-treatment selves), but their efforts to clean up the environment (air and water cleaned to pre-industrial levels) are implied to have remained.
  • X-Men Film Series
    • In X-Men, when Wolverine's powers of healing are drained by Rogue, he ends up regaining every injury he's suffered over the course of the last two days.
    • In The Wolverine, despite Ichirō having absorbed enough of Logan's healing factor to return to his 20s, he reverts immediately upon his connection with Logan being broken.
  • In The Last Witch Hunter, the witches' curses stop working when their authors are killed.
    • After Belial's death, 36th Dolan's deathly stupor is lifted and he comes back to normal.
    • Witch Queen's defeat takes down the entire swarm of Plague Flies, and the disease they carry stops working.
  • In The Forsaken, vampirism as a virus transmitted by the titular eight master vampires, each with their own unique strain. The protagonists of the film were infected by the virus and are seeking to destroy one of the Forsaken, so they can be cured. At the end they succeed, but one of the heroes remains infected as it turns out that was not the original vampire who infected him, so his search still continues.
  • At the end of The Neverending Story, once Bastian has given the Childlike Empress a new name, Fantasia goes right back to its old state.
    Bastian: Falkor, it's like the Nothing never was.
  • Diana's reasoning in Wonder Woman (2017) assumes this trope to be in effect: Ares is responsible for corrupting humanity and making them go to war; therefore, once she kills Ares, the Great War will end and peace will return. She's heartbroken when she finally realizes that warfare is humanity's initiative, not Ares'. Ares does exist, but he merely inspires people, rather than controls them.
  • In Geostorm, when the weather machine is rebooted, all of the adverse weather it caused instantly subsides. Most comically, the flood in Dubai is portrayed as literally going down a giant drain.

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