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Mar 22nd 2021 at 9:03:55 AM •••

Linking to a past Trope Repair Shop thread that dealt with this page: Wait, something about sharks, and voodoo, what?, started by ThePope on Feb 12th 2011 at 8:14:07 PM

Mar 22nd 2021 at 3:40:21 AM •••

Linking to a past Trope Repair Shop thread that dealt with this page: Ambiguous Name, started by ThePope on Mar 29th 2012 at 10:59:26 PM

Dec 16th 2020 at 10:24:55 AM •••

I feel that the Deadlands example does not belong here. The "plot hole" is that the Treaty City of Deadwood remained a location that technology still worked in. The reason explained by the entry is "Totem Poles." This is what they state is the Voodoo Shark, i.e. why not just make more poles? Why, they would only be made by those who follow "the Old Ways" and forgo technology. Meaning that they would have no reason to want to make more. So why would the group that doesn't want technology to exist in their lands make the markers to allow technology in the first place. Because they don't break treaties and they agreed that Deadwood would remain open to outsiders and those of their tribe that did not wish to follow "the Old Ways". No Plot Holes there.

I've noticed that it is possible to "dumb out" entries but don't know how or I might have done so with this entry.

Edited by Shinigamitwo
Oct 2nd 2020 at 12:46:14 PM •••

Should this page include the phrase 'ignotum per ignotius' (explaining the unknown by means of the more unknown)?

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Oct 3rd 2020 at 7:13:33 AM •••

There are similarities, but there is a using the unknown to explain the real world is quite different from using the nonsensical (but well known to the reader) to explain fiction.

Sep 4th 2019 at 9:53:04 PM •••

So, this World War Z example doesn't really seem to fit entirely:

World War Z goes to extensive lengths to justify why humanity changes its tactics drastically to fight the zombies: Napoleonic Era tactics (and weaponry designed to fit) are used because modern military tactics and weapons are inefficient at killing zombies, and the Redeker Plan (leaving behind some survivors as bait for zombies, to keep the zombies distracted) is used because zombies are only attracted to humans. However, the zombies featured in the book should easily go down to a modern military, the only reason they don't is because the author doesn't understand how lethal modern weapons would be to zombies and has the humans use Hollywood Tactics. It's also shown that zombies are attracted to things other than humans, including non-human animals (though admittedly to a lesser extent than humans) and any loud noise, including gunshots and music. In fact, music is used to lure zombies into a vulnerable position at the Battle of Hope, yet nobody thinks of using the same tactic elsewhere.

The first part isn't saying anything, since it doesn't matter how lethal the weapons are against fictional beings. It's like saying weapons would be lethal against dragons despite their magical scales or whatever. Plus, the problem in the book wasn't Hollywood Tactics, but a refusal to accept that zombies actually existed (that might be a plothole in itself, but it's not mentioned in the example). The second part is a plothole, but it lacks the "nonsensical explanation" part - they use humans as live bait instead of music, but there's no backtracking attempt to explain why.

I say we remove the whole example.

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Oct 6th 2019 at 6:15:49 PM •••

While there's a lot of Hollywood Tactics in WWZ that goes above and beyond just refusing to accept that zombies exist (the military at Yonkers breaks nearly every rule of tactical doctrine), this does seem pretty valid. Removing unless someone can reword it more properly.

Mar 8th 2019 at 10:07:06 AM •••

The most oft-cited case of Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy In the Original Trilogy is the Death Star from A New Hope. The film has not one but two scenes that explains that the real reason was the villains let the heroes escape. However Pablo Hidago instead explains that Stormtroopers don't have the same level of training across the board so the Stormtroopers on the Death Star weren't as well trained as say the 501st Legion (Vader's personal unit that boards the Tantive IV at the beginning of the film.). Not only does it raise the question why is stormtrooper training inconsistent to begin with, (while most writers tend to forget it they are supposed to the Elite Mooks in the Galactic Empire) and why such poorly trained troops were given such a sensitive posting but there is also the fact the Stormtroopers on Cloud City were part of the 501st and they missed as often as the Stormtroopers on the Death Star.

Edited by Emberfist
Feb 28th 2019 at 12:02:55 PM •••

Is the Pocahontas entry really an example? The film is fantasy, and Pocahontas displays other powers in the story. She's told by Grandmother Willow to let the spirits of the earth guide her, and it's a fundamental theme of the film that the spirits all around are there to give guidance. It's made clear that the wind itself is magic - before Pocahontas speaks English, it circles around her and John's hands and Meeko and Flit looked shocked when she speaks.

Dec 17th 2018 at 10:28:46 AM •••

There are 3 Star Wars Examples I feel need to be added. The first is from Star Wars The Clone Wars with the retcon about the Death Star's superlaser is powered by giant Kyber Crystals (Which were first introduced in the Crystal Crysis on Utapau arc) the plots are as follows.

1. Where do the giant Kyber Crystals come from? are they found on planets where like Ilum where you can get regular Kyber Crystals? if so why are they seen as so mythical.

2. Why does Palpatine have the most important part of the Death Star rely on something that may not even exist. The storyline was the first time these things have been seen in ages and Palpatine had the Geonosisians work on the Death Star well before that storyline took place.

3. Even if Palpatine knew about them beforehand, why did he make it rely on these giant Kyber Crystals as he has no way of knowing there are enough left to use?

4. Why does the Crystal from the show act so differently from the Death Star's Superlaser? It is refracting and amplifying blaster bolts doing that on the Death Star would mean it would be destroyed during the first test firing.

5. Star Wars Complete Locations means that synthetic Kyber Crystals are Canon again. (We see one labeled as such in the Sith Med Center where Darth Vader gets rebuilt in Revenge of The Sith) so do they not just use those instead of strip mining for them on worlds like Ilum and Jedha?

6. Related to the above why are they stealing those crystals we see in Rogue One that way to small to be used for the superlaser (I know a handwave exist in the Rogue One Visual Guide but said handwave still raises more questions.)

The second is from the series Star Wars. Long story short to explain why Ezra had a green-bladed Lightsaber in season 3 after Darth Vader destroyed Ezra's original Lightsaber in the season 2 finale Word Of God said that Kyber Crystals are colorless and the blade is meant to reflect the users' personalities. there are a few a problems with this.

1. Several characters different personalities have the same colored blades. Ahsoka (Very brash and headstrong) uses green-bladed lightsabers like Yoda (The textbook example of a wise old mentor in fiction). Anakin and Obi-Wan similarly both blue-bladed Lightsabers despite a case of Red Oni, Blue Oni respectively.

2. Several times in the films and TV Series we characters using another characters' lightsaber yet the blade does not change color. examples include Obi-Wan using Qui-Gon's Lightsaber against Darth Maul in Episode One and it stays green. Anakin uses a temporary replacement for the Battle of Geonosis in Episode Two which is green despite the fact based on Word Of God it should be blue as that is color of his regular lightsaber.

3. When Anakin becomes Darth Vader in Episode Three why his Lightsaber blade not immediately turn to Red. For that matter why does it not do that any other time a fallen Jedi appears or when Ahsoka was Brainwashed and Crazy during the Mortis arc of the Clone Wars.

4. What do the individual blades colors mean. Ezra at the start of season 3 was very close to becoming completely Drunk on the Dark Side does that mean green is the color of someone on the Start of Darkness? if so should it be worrying to anyone that the Jedi Grand Master uses a green lightsaber? Also why does Ezra's lightsaber color stay green for the rest of the series when that plot point above was resolved early in season 3?

5. Related to the above what does it say when a person wields a lightsaber or lightsabers with more than one blade color like Ki-Adi-Mundi, Agen Kolar, Pong Krell General Grevious or Darth Maul?

6. Why did they not use a the more logical explanation? Depa Billaba (Kanan's master) had a green lightsaber blade in legends they don't they just say Kanan keep the Kyber Crystal from his master's lightsaber as a Tragic Keepsake and then gave ti to Ezra? It makes more sense and those above points would be moot.

The is the alleged reason for Astral Projection crap Luke pulled at the end of The Last Jedi. Rian Johnson posted on Twitter a force ability called Doppelganger from Legends the problem is the description claims that the Doppelganger is virtually indistinguishable from the real deal. So why does Luke look like he did in the flashbacks from the movie and use the Blue Lightsaber that was shattered earlier on? Even worse it still does not explain how Luke dies at the end of the movie.

Edited by Emberfist Hide/Show Replies
Feb 8th 2019 at 10:07:59 AM •••

Clipped the last one because the explanations are pretty obvious. A) Obviously, Luke could make the projection look how he wanted. In this case, the Luke Skywalker Kylo Ren expected to see. B) He died because he clearly overextended himself, using powers he hasn't used for decades, at a level that would've pushed his limits at his peak. Just because there isn't an explicit "This Is What Happened" explanation doesn't make it a Voodoo Shark.

Feb 22nd 2019 at 12:38:10 PM •••

You are kinda missing the point neither of those things are obvious at all and one of the things I brought up is the first point actually contradicts your counter-argument since it suggest the opposite.

Jan 24th 2018 at 6:31:40 AM •••

Restored The Lion Guard entry (again), but dummied out. Once again, the "He lied" handwave relies far too heavily on an Informed Ability (Scar being a Consummate Liar) to fly here. Not to mention it was clear from the original movie that Mufasa did not trust Scar. I find it highly improbable that Mufasa would buy any explanation as to what could've killed the rest of the Lion Guard and "merely" stripped his powers away.

Edited by Freezer Hide/Show Replies
Jan 27th 2018 at 9:33:52 PM •••

And I removed it because Voodoo Shark is about attempts to fill plot holes that create as bad or worse holes. As The Lion Guard entry didn't attempt to explain a prior hole (at least as written), it's just a regular Plot Hole, which is already listed there.

Jan 6th 2018 at 10:59:31 AM •••

Cut this from the Star Wars section.

  • The original trilogy left some fans wondering why Darth Vader and the Emperor are seemingly the only two Sith Lords in the galaxy, even though their lifelong enemies (the Jedi) are "all but extinct", presumably leaving no obstacle to them spreading. The prequels explained that this is an inherent quirk of how the Sith operate; they follow a doctrine known as "the Rule of Two", which stipulates that there can only ever be two Sith at a given time—a Master and his apprentice. note  That idea, however, raises plenty of questions of its own. First and foremost: why exactly are the Sith so widely feared if their numbers can never rise above a measly two? And why would anyone ever agree to join the Sith if they're all but guaranteed to be killed by their own apprentice if they ever become a Master?

  1. This explanation of the Rule of Two leaves out the reason why the rule was instituted: To the keep the Sith from wiping themselves out in a Darwinist Civil War (as had nearly happened before).
  2. They're The Dreaded to the Jedi because they know how much it took to put them down before. Do non-Jedi even know about the Sith proper? Not to mention just because there are only two true Sith at a time doesn't mean they don't have a crapton of affiliated Dark Side uses around (like Dooku and Ventress).
  3. "Why would anyone want to be a Sith" leaves off another important bit of context. If you're an apprentice, you think you'll be strong enough one day to take down your master. If you're a master, it's accepted that you will go down one day, but that day doesn't have to be any time soon. Who knows how many apprentices Palpatine went through before Maul? (They might have actually said in the EU, come to think). If you take down your challenging apprentice, he wasn't worthy to take your place. Period.

Edited by Freezer Hide/Show Replies
Jan 6th 2018 at 2:46:01 PM •••

I would disagree with that rationale.

  1. I know why the Rule of Two was instituted, but even that explanation (the Sith would wipe themselves out if there were more than two of them) reinforces the point that the Sith way of life makes them inherently ineffectual, and that explanation still doesn't explain why the Jedi consider them such a threat. If anything, it just makes that fact even more questionable. Why would you fear an organization who are so vulnerable to destroying themselves?
  2. Yes, I know that it took a lot to put them down before, but (so far as I know) it's never been explained why they were so hard to defeat when there were only two of them. That was my point: when there's a doctrine that prohibits the Sith's numbers from rising higher than two, it's natural to ask questions about why they're considered such a threat to the Jedi, who vastly outnumber them. I'm not exactly sure why it's relevant to bring up Dooku, since he was one of those two (being Sidious' apprentice); even Ventress was always just portrayed as Dooku's lone disciple, so far as I know.
  3. Point taken, I'd be okay with deleting that little remark about why anyone would want to be a Sith. But it still reinforces my point about how the Sith are a credible threat to the Jedi, when in-fighting is explicitly written into their official doctrine. Even if Palpatine did go through multiple apprentices before Maul, he still only ever had one apprentice at a time.

I know that this is the sort of thing that invites Fan Wank, but my point still stands: when an "explanation" involves the fact that the bad guys aren't allowed to have more than two members, it raises plenty of perfectly natural questions about how they're able to be a credible threat to the good guys, who have no such restrictions.

Edited by TheMightyHeptagon
Jan 7th 2018 at 11:44:27 AM •••

They're that much of a threat because Sith don't believe in self-restraint. They believe in "gain power, use power" As such, they are much more powerful, one on one, than most Jedi. They're going to carve up a bunch of knights and padawans until they hit a Master who can match them. In the prequels, in Clone Wars", in Rebels'' we've seen this. They are what happens when you give structure and purpose to The Dark Side.

Hell, one particularly patient and powerful Sith Lord took over the galaxy and all but wiped out the Jedi.

It's not a matter of numbers and never was. This isn't a matter of generating more questions than answers, this is countering every answer with "yeah, but..." That, as you said, is Fan Wank, not this trope.

Edited by Freezer
Oct 6th 2017 at 9:34:12 PM •••

Restored this:

  • The Lion Guard shows Scar's backstory and his Start of Darkness. He was the previous leader of the Lion Guard until the power went to his head, he killed the other members, and his powers were taken away. This leaves fans of The Lion King deeply confused why Mufasa let his murderous brother hang around.

Reason: How do we know that Mufasa knew about it. Scar could have lied. Rafiki and Simba could have come to the conculsion that he murdered his gaurd after the movie.

A weak rationalization at best. One that that relies on Scar being a Loki-level liar to explain away what happened to the other members AND his own powers.

Edited by Freezer
Apr 16th 2017 at 11:59:23 PM •••

Got this from Mai-Otome:

  • There are several openly lesbian Otome seen during the series and no one seems to care about their presence since several are openly flirtatious with other women and Situational Sexuality is considered perfectly normal among the trainee Otome. In fact, two of the heads of the school are obviously an item and make no attempt to hide it. This raises the question: Why not exclusively recruit gay or asexual women which would solve two of the above problems?
For the record i haven't seen series in question, but while other three points seem pretty legit this one seems like a stretch. First of all there aren't many (comparitively) lesbians and i'd imagine that not all of them would be willing to become Otome. Limiting to lesbians would probably create pretty big problem with personell limitations, not to mention this would've raised question:"If sexusal activity with men is a problem, why not recruit straight girls as long as they're willing to stay away from straight sex while active?"

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Oct 30th 2019 at 7:48:55 AM •••

The biggest problem seems to be the word "exclusively". "Actively" might fit better.

May 20th 2016 at 2:50:22 PM •••

I went through and removed a bunch of misused examples that, in-universe, are intentionally treated as nonsense; these are It Runs On Nonsensoleum rather than the Voodoo Shark, which I interpreted as being audience reaction to a poorly handled retcon or in-story explanation expected to be taken seriously. Is this appropriate, or is this trope capable of being played for laughs?

Dec 20th 2015 at 4:44:16 PM •••

Removed the midichlorians example. As has been stated previously, the addition of midichlorians neither answered any existing question nor did it generate additional ones - past "What was the point of this?" (Which is more a fandom thing than a plot thing).

Aug 5th 2015 at 9:58:54 AM •••

Can we rename the trope? It's too unclear for someone new.

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Aug 6th 2015 at 1:33:49 AM •••

Such a rename has been rejected many times in the past.

Apr 28th 2015 at 10:09:21 PM •••

Cut this line in the Twilight section, as the back-and-forth discussion of women's reproductive cycles was too much like Conversation In The Main Page.

  • Ummm, You do. The inability to Menstruate results from a lack of a uterine lining within the womb. This lining is what the impregnated eggs embed themselves into, in order to retrieve nutrients from the mother. When this lining is destroyed, this is the what the Menstruation is. While it is possible to get pregnant without a uterine lining, it is extremely difficult, and often results in a miscarriage. Therefore the ability to menstruate directly affects a person's ability to get pregnant.

Jan 2nd 2015 at 11:49:43 AM •••

Pulled this:

  • In Batman Beyond's Fully 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 and hope he'd one day sire children with then-wife Mary since they fit the psychological profiles of Thomas and Martha Wayne. Waller went so far as to actually hire an assassin—revealed to be an aged Phantasm—to kill Terry's parents in a recreation of the event that killed the original Waynes, only for the Phantasm to back out at the last minute. 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. As for the obvious question of why they didn't just clone Batman, Word Of God says this was intended to be what happened at one point, in a Shout-Out to The Boys from Brazil. It was changed perhaps because it was considered too dark.

Because the example as written only goes as far as the "Handwave that explains a plothole" but doesn't explain why it creates a new one.

Apr 5th 2014 at 2:32:21 PM •••

Removed the Legend of Korra bloodbending example. It was unstated, but obvious, that Amon did something to the victim's brain, via bloodbending, that cut off access to one's bending ability - a brute force version of Aang's energybending. How he learned how as equally unspoken and obvious: He practiced.

Mar 15th 2014 at 6:17:32 AM •••

I think the Star Wars The Clone Wars example should be removed, because it isn't really a Voodoo Shark if it is "patching up a Plot Hole that doesn't exist" as it claims.

Besides, the handwave in the Order 66 arc was made because Clones Are People, Too has become a running theme in the series, showing that they are not the mindlessly obedient drones Lama Su made them out to be (and the same arc claims that the Jedi are becoming a creative influence for them). The chips may have been the only the way to believably justify the clones turning on the Jedi so suddenly after being on really good terms with them and looking up to them. The episode guide also confirms that the brainwashing chips are the genetic modifications for making them more obedient; Lama Su was just deliberately withholding information from Obi-Wan.

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Dec 17th 2018 at 9:44:25 AM •••

Star Wars The Clone Wars did create a real example with the retcon about the Death Star's superlaser is powered by giant Kyber Crystals (Which were first introduced in the Crystal Crysis on Utapau arc) the plots are as follows.

1. Where do the giant Kyber Crystals come from? are they found on planets where like Ilum where you can get regular Kyber Crystals? if so why are they seen as so mythical.

2. Why does Palpatine have the most important part of the Death Star rely on something that may not even exist. The storyline was the first time these things have been seen in ages and Palpatine had the Geonosisians work on the Death Star well before that storyline took place.

3. Even if Palpatine knew about them beforehand, why did he make it rely on these giant Kyber Crystals as he has no way of knowing there are enough left to use?

4. Why does the Crystal from the show act so differently from the Death Star's Superlaser? It is refracting and amplifying blaster bolts doing that on the Death Star would mean it would be destroyed during the first test firing.

5. Star Wars Complete Locations means that synthetic Kyber Crystals are Canon again. (We see one labeled as such in the Sith Med Center where Darth Vader gets rebuilt in Revenge of The Sith) so do they not just use those instead of strip mining for them on worlds like Ilum and Jedha?

6. Related to the above why are they stealing those crystals we see in Rogue One that way to small to be used for the superlaser (I know a handwave exist in the Rogue One Visual Guide but said handwave still raises more questions.)

Jun 1st 2013 at 4:15:33 PM •••

Anybody who reads the IDW Transformers in here? I'm not sure why the Arcee example is here. Yeah, it's pretty unfortunate how the only female Cybertronian is Axe-Crazy, but regular Cybertronians are genderless robots. Reproduction isn't 'directly linked to the whole gender issue'—asexual reproduction is a thing that exists in real life. I don't understand how it raises Fridge Logic if the example never even points out what that fridge logic is.

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Jun 1st 2013 at 7:21:05 PM •••

The Fridge Logic is "why are there female transformers?" Apparently the IDW writers believed that you couldn't simply introduce female robots without an explanation.

EDIT: Upon further consideration, when you asked "What's the Fridge Logic" did you mean "what's the Fridge Logic in regards to the handwave?" In that case I'm with you. The handwave is kinda hackneyed and awkward, but not really a Plot Hole.

Edited by
Dec 7th 2012 at 9:06:13 AM •••

In the Ereshkigal example under Folklore, it's suggested that, being a Goddess of the dead, her husband would be there with her. However, Ereshkigal lives in a land of dreary mud, with nothing else in it, and the dead are always lonely and wailing out for their loved ones. In order to keep the dead company, she embodies Nightmare Fuel and *swallows them into herself!* That would include her dead husband. They're all effectively part of her, now, but that's no good for a warm bed, is it?

Aug 2nd 2012 at 5:00:30 AM •••

Surely the Played for Laughs examples here ought to be moved, as that's now its own trope (It Runs on Nonsensoleum)?

Feb 10th 2012 at 10:40:14 AM •••

Would Zelda's timeline count, now that its "explanation" has come out and it's ludicrously more complicated than anyone's fan wank?

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Apr 28th 2015 at 10:08:31 PM •••

I think so. The simple fact that it posits a third timeline split when even the wildest of guessing fans only restricted themselves to two alone quantifies it for being way left-field.

Mar 1st 2011 at 4:44:34 PM •••

Removed the following. The trope is when trying to fix a plot hole, one creates a new plot hole. The following are just single plotholes (without the explanation part) or fridge logic or whatever. Also removed a quasi example in the star wars section. The resulting fix is not so much a direct plot hole as _maybe_ a bad decision. It was Nattery.

    Huge Spiderman example. It's a retcon, not an attempt to fix a plot hole 
  • To list all the examples from comics, especially DC and Marvel, would probably quadruple the size of this page (for example, The Silver Age Of Comic Books: pretty much all of it), but 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, I'll list the sequence of events leading up to the Voodoo Shark moment in numbered order.
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.

     Other Non-Examples 
  • In the Public Enemies arc of Superman/Batman, Lady Shiva and Mongul show up in the horde of villains seeking the bounty on Superman and Batman. The explanation for these two A-list threats 1. going for a bounty that neither has any use for and 2. losing easily is that they're being mind-controlled by Gorilla Grodd. The most thing silly about it is the idea that Shiva would need to be mind controlled: She is a professional mercenary.

  • Dawn Granger/Dove II's death in DC's 1991 event Armageddon 2001 was arguably a cheap move on top of the Character Derailment that Hank Hall/Hawk had faced. But Geoff Johns' resurrection of the character in 2005 provided quite the bizarre explanation for just how Dawn cheated death: Her death was only an illusion by Mordru to drive Hank nuts, while Dawn had actually been put into a coma with a concealment spell. It was then explained that Hank Hall was possessed by Mordru to RAPE Dawn and impregnate her to create the perfect child of Order and Chaos. Then Mordru disguised her as Lyta Hall For the Evulz and then as a random anonymous woman. And the baby she was impregnated with? Was a reincarnated form of Lyta's husband, Hector. It becomes even more ridiculous with the knowledge that the woman in the coma was initially intended to actually be Lyta, but Executive Meddling with Vertigo postponed her return and Johns had to scramble to find a substitute character as the mother. Perhaps understandably, the specifics of Dawn's comeback haven't been detailed since.
    • This goes into Squick territory when you realize that it wasn't revealed to be Dove for quite some time, and Hector was busy trying to awaken "Lyta" from a coma so they could go back to being husband and wife... even though she was his mother, too.

    • The Expanded Universe rationale for lightsabers raises similar feelings in some fans. Lightsabers have been declared to not actually be blades or beams, but rather arcs. The energy flows from one point in the handle to the other, taking the long route and creating what one troper has called an "energy chainsaw".
      • Arguably, that's the best explanation of how the damn things are supposed to work. In the words of The History Channel documentary on the subject, "You can't have a beam of light yea big".
    • Episode III had a pretty significant one. In order to explain why C-3PO had no knowledge of most of the points in the film, despite being created by Darth Vader and witnessing just about every major event, George Lucas writes in a memory wipe... Ok, that's reasonable, it solves the continuity issues... wait.. why the hell would you erase the only dependable account of events? That's RETARDED!. No sane person would do that!
      • Is it that hard to imagine that they wouldn't want every detail of events known? For one thing, he doesn't seem nearly discrete enough to be trusted with the all-important secret of the kids' true identities. Even sans sensitive information, they might want to perpetuate the idea that Anakin Skywalker was killed, because if it were widely known that the greatest hero of the generation was corrupted, the will to resist might be sucked right out of the population. And there are any number of reasons that the Jedi/Republican diehards would want to do what they could to suppress the knowledge of the role of the Sith in the foundation of the Empire, even if the Sith might have the same goal.
      • R2 still has his databases. That's how he knew to go to Obi-Wan, as well as why he's described as eccentric/crazy.
    • The novelization of Revenge of the Sith actually fixed this really well, in that there's a scene taking place right before the scene where the order to wipe his memory is given, i.e., C-3PO happily going on about how he can't wait to tell Leia, when she's grown up, all about her parents. That would not be a good idea for a variety of reasons.

    • Or just an asshole that likes screwing with people.
    • One deeply insane fan-theory suggests that the Final Destination films all take place in Neil Gaiman's Sandman, although specifically NOT in the core DC universe (rather, I suppose, on an Earth Prime of some description?). The idea is that several of the Endless have some sort of sick (and astonishingly out of character) bet going: Dream provides visions of Destiny to certain characters, and then Death gets to try to kill them off any way in various wacky ways. That's some weird, homemade Voodoo Shark. Mmmm.
    • Possibly revealed by a flash of in-universe Fridge Brilliance at the end of "the Final Destination." All the visions, all the alterations, everything; those weren't screwing up the way the deaths should have happened. That was Death itself using an incredibly convoluted series of visions and events to get people where they "should" die in the first place. Why? Probably just cause Death is a complete Jerkass. Also, the guy gets this spark of revelation about 3 seconds before he and his two friends are completely destroyed by a run-away Mac truck... All seen in 3D, slow-motion X-ray

  • The movie Surrogates had this problem. Despite having robots which can be controlled by human brain waves a lot of potential issues with this went unaddressed, like why the Surrogates still needed human-like interfaces like keyboards. This is not the Voodoo Shark, though. The Voodoo Shark is when, near the end, Bruce Willis' character rips out a Surrogates' memory chip and scans it - using an almost completely hands-free interface - complete with Sci-Fi-like scanner - on an otherwise completely normal PC.

    • A story-related example from Mass Effect 2 has Shepard and his/her entire squad pile into the shuttle for a mission as EDI is testing the Reaper IFF. It turns out to be a trap that disables the ship and signals the Collectors, who attack and kidnap the crew (save Joker). There is no substantial explanation for why Shepard goes off on a mission, why s/he takes more than two people, and what would happen if you had no missions left to do. It's a contrivance of the worst kind, blatant and absolutely vital to the story.
      • Ironically, the idea of Shep himself(canonically) taking just himself and two crewmembers to handle any sort of threat instead of sending a platoon of marines is never explained either. There is an easy Fan Wank explanation, however; see Hollywood Tactics.

    • In addition to changing the ammo mechanic, the electronic hacking and lock bypassing system was changed as well. It's lampshaded in the Lair of the Shadowbroker DLC:
    Shepard: Remember the good old days when you could just slap omni-gel on anything?
    Liara: That security update made of a lot of people unhappy.

    • All the fun powers of the bosses are immediately ascribed to Nanomachines as well, completely destroying all mystery and tension. Screaming Mantis, for example, appears to be able to use dolls modelled after previous supernaturally-powered characters Psycho Mantis and The Sorrow to rip soldiers apart from the inside. Then you're told the dolls shoot out a pattern of light which hack your nanomachines or something, and the fact that they look like Psycho Mantis and The Sorrow is not at all explained. Believing they were magic would have been far more fun, so this comes across as Take That!.

Dec 27th 2010 at 12:15:28 PM •••

May I inquire as to whether we need such a bloated second paragraph? I'm hardly a Star Trek fan, but it seems to me that we go from discussing Jaws to discussing Star Trek for little-to-no-reason. Can't we just chop the Star Trek bits out and put them into their own example in the page?

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Feb 16th 2011 at 12:13:42 PM •••

That's the trope namer explanation. It's also a demonstration of the first two examples which one can use to extrapolate the trope.

Oct 2nd 2010 at 2:23:03 AM •••

I know I'm probably flagellating a deceased equine of truly antediluvian antiquity here, but it occurs to me that the holodeck/replicator issue is really not hard to reason logically. Holodecks just generate light and forcefields, while a replicator creates real matter, and thus needs an immense amount of energy for a tiny amount of matter (E=MC^2). So the holodeck (and everything else) probably just has negligible power requirements compared to the replicator.

Which doesn't change the fact that the "incompatible power system" answer was a stupid one. Kinda reminds me of ol' Bill Clinton perjuring himself rather than admitting he got a blowjob.

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Oct 9th 2011 at 7:35:21 AM •••

Kinda late to the party, but it's hard to reason because they've established that everything tactile in a holodeck is replicated (because, y'know, you can't touch light).

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