Sometimes films just don’t make total sense, and this can be for a variety of reasons but for the purpose of this article, we’re talking plot holes. These are those momentary or prolonged lapses in logic, when the storyline goes in a strange direction, something happens when it couldn’t possibly happen or something very far-fetched and “unbelievable” happens.
Oftentimes, you may not notice these plot holes until you have seen the film a few times or are paying extremely close attention while other times you catch them right away. Either way, here are 10 of the most major plot holes in movie history.
15. Whiplash’s Attack In Iron Man 2
In Iron Man 2, Mickey Rourke’s Ivan Vanko/Whiplash targets Tony Stark (Roberty Downey Jr.) during the Grand Prix de Monaco, disguising himself as a crewman before walking on the track and using his arc-powered whips to slice Tony’s car in two. As far as assassination plots go, it’s admittedly not great but it seems like Vanko at least put some thought and planning into it. The problem? Stark’s entrance into the race was a last minute decision and was never planned or announced beforehand, so Vanko would have had no way of knowing he’d even be in the race.
Either Vanko is incredibly lucky or a mind reader, or else there’s no way he could have been prepared to take Stark out in such a way so quickly. However, it’s not like it was a secret that Tony would be in attendance at the event, so the smarter play arguably would have been for Vanko to attack his target while he was grabbing drinks in the lounge prior to the race.
14. The Dynamite in Django Unchained
Close to the end of Quentin Tarantino’s revenge western Django Unchained, there’s a scene where Django (Jamie Foxx) is sold off to a mining operation and escorted by a group of Australian escorts (one of which is played by Tarantino himself). Django ends up gunning them all down after convincing them that he’s a bounty hunter and steals a big bag of dynamite in the process. The problem is that dynamite had not yet been invented in 1858, the year in which the film is set.
Dynamite was invented by Swedish chemist and engineer Alfred Nobel in Germany in the year 1864 and didn’t have it officially patented until 1867, nearly a decade after the events of Django Unchained. In other words, we have no idea what explosives Django used to blow up Candyland but it sure wasn’t dynamite!
13. Buzz Lightyear in Toy Story
Much of the central conflict in the original Toy Story revolves around the heated rivalry between Woody and the shiny new toy in the bedroom, Buzz Lightyear. Woody’s disdain for Buzz evolves largely out of the latter character’s delusion that he is a real space ranger and for the most part, Buzz acts like he’s the real deal. He believes that Andy’s bedroom is a hostile alien world and is overconfident in his own abilities, to the point where he actually thinks he can fire lasers and fly using his suit’s wings. However, we also see that whenever humans are around, the toys stop moving and talking and become inanimate objects … and Buzz follows suit.
If Buzz is so convinced that he’s not a toy, why would he start acting like one in the presence of a human? Would he not think that Andy or someone else would be able to help him get in touch with Star Command? Perhaps Buzz always knew he was a toy but just wanted to supplant Woody as leader of Andy’s other toys? Whatever the case, it’s hard not to think that Buzz’s actions are logically inconsistent but then, he is just a toy.
12. Magneto’s Helmet In X-Men
Magneto has made many appearances in the X-Men movie franchise over the years and he almost always has his iconic helmet close at hand. As we know, this helmet isn’t just a fashion accessory but is specifically designed to prevent Magneto’s archrival Charles Xavier from reading his mind. However, in 2000’s X-Men, Magneto makes a big deal of his helmet having the added bonus of preventing Xavier from discovering his location, which is pretty important since Magneto doesn’t want the X-Men to show up unannounced and ruin his plans.
The issue is that Magneto doesn’t work alone and yet, he doesn’t provide allies like Sabretooth, Toad, and Mystique with special helmets of their own. Xavier isn’t stupid and would almost surely know who Magneto is working with, so why doesn’t he just read one of his henchmen’s minds? Sabretooth and Toad, in particular, spend much of the movie in Magneto’s company, so if Xavier had figured out one of their locations, it would have lead the X-Men straight to Magneto.
11. The Prince in Beauty And The Beast
At one point in Disney’s animated classic, Beauty And The Beast, it’s clearly stated that the Beast’s curse will become permanent on his 21st Birthday, which is imminent by the time Gaston and the villagers start attacking the Beast’s castle near the end of the movie. However, Lumiere also mentions that all the castle’s residents have been cursed for 10 years, which means that the Prince was not even 11 years old when he was cursed by a witch who didn’t like his attitude. Had she never met a pre-teen before? Most of them are snotty little brats and we can only assume that a spoiled prince would be even more so. If he were old enough to know better, the witch may have had some justification for her actions but cursing a child (and everyone who lives with him) to a miserable existence just because that kid acted like … well, a kid, just seems overly harsh.
However, that isn’t even the actual plot hole! No, the big issue with the whole curse plot is that since we know the Prince was only a kid before he was transformed into the Beast, why in the world is there a painting of him as an adult hanging on the castle walls? How would this even be possible? Does the painting age as the Prince does, Dorian Gray-style? The film never gives an indication one way or the other, so we’re just going to have to go ahead and assume that this is all one giant plot hole.
10. Rosebud in Citizen Kane
Citizen Kane is largely considered by critics, fans, and filmmakers alike as one of, if not the best film of all time. The film examines the life and legacy of Charles Kane and his career in the publishing world. The film is narrated mainly through flashbacks, and the story is told through the research of a reporter who is trying to solve the mystery of the newspaper magnate’s dying word: “Rosebud.” The gaping plot hole here is that people overlook is the fact that when Charles Foster Kane says ”Rosebud” in his bed before dying, there is literally no one to hear him. A nurse enters the room a couple of seconds after his death and thus no one was there at the time of this utterance. Even if the plot hole could have been easily corrected by explaining it away, it does not change the fact that the movie’s premise does not work as it is presented. Watch for yourself:
9. Planes in Battlefield Earth
This is without a doubt one of the biggest dumpster fires of a movie of all time, so it is no surprise that it appears on this list. The film shows an Earth that has been under the rule of the aliens called Psychlos for 1,000 years and tells the story of the rebellion that develops when the Psychlos try to use humans as gold miners. The plot hole occurs when the humans find some Harrier jets that have sat dormant for 1,000 years and somehow are able to fly them around as they were miraculously still in perfect condition, despite zero maintenance in ten centuries. Jet fuel takes about 20 years to degrade if its left in a tank, so those Harrier planes should obviously have not been able to fly at all. Then again, almost nothing about this movie makes sense — like how it was ever made in the first place.
8. Virus in Independence Day
Independence Day is a fantastic movie that even won an Academy Award, but it also has a glaring plot hole. The plot hole in this film is one of the most famous in existence and makes no sense. In order to destroy the alien mothership, Jeff Goldblum gets the brilliant idea to hack the computer on the mothership by planting a virus on it. Now, somehow, he was able to transmit the virus onto the mothership with a mid-90s powerbook. First of all, it is very unlikely a futuristic alien invasion would use the same operating system as humans on board and how would a human virus even be able to destroy an alien computer. It became such a famous plot hole because it was never really explained at all, when an explanation could have been included in only a few seconds.
7. Feeding the Gremlins in Gremlins
Gremlins is a film based on, you guessed it, Gremlins. In the movie, a young man receives a strange creature as a pet, called a mogwai, which eventually spawns other creatures who transform into evil and small little monsters. In the film, it’s important to remember three important rules about the mogwai that must never be broken: 1. Do not expose the mogwai to bright lights or sunlight; 2. Don’t let it get wet; and 3. Never feed it after midnight. The plot hole in the film occurs in respect to the last of those three rules. The plot hole is that the rule is so general and they don’t explain it any further. For example: Isn’t it always “after midnight” from the day before? When is it safe to start feeding again? 5 am? 7am? Noon? What about time zones and daylight savings time? These are many of the questions brought up by fans who would love to hear an explanation.
6. Rooftop Drunk in The Hangover
The Hangover is one of the most popular and successful comedies in the last few years and was well received by critics and fans alike. However, despite all of its success, there is a glaring plot hole in the film that somehow slipped through the cracks and rarely gets brought up or addressed. As the friends are searching around Las Vegas for the soon-to-be groom Doug, it turns out he is actually on the roof of their hotel. The plot hole is that how in the world was Doug able to survive on that rooftop for two or three days in the blaring Nevada sun and not need serious medical attention? They had him appear sun burnt, which was good, but we feel he would have been in much worse shape without food and water for the better part of a long weekend.
5. Poster in The Shawshank Redemption
The Shawshank Redemption is a drama film that is constantly rated among the best movies of all time. The film tells the story of Andy Dufresne, a former banker who is sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his wife and her lover, despite his claims of innocence. The plot hole occurs when Dufresne successfully escapes through a hole he managed to dig in the wall of his cell over 17 years. He concealed his work for all of these years behind a poster. The plot hole itself is that viewers are left wondering how Dufresne was able to place the poster back up perfectly after escaping through the hole.
4. The Board in Titanic
Everybody and their mothers know about this film and that’s a testament to how famous it was and still is. The romance film focuses on a fictionalized account of the sinking of the RMS Titanic, which is probably the most famous ship crash in history. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as members of different social classes who fall in love on the ship. The plot hole occurs near the end of the film when Rose is floating on a board in the ocean after ship has sunk and Jack eventually drowns. The massive plot hole in the film is that the board was clearly big enough to also fit Jack on as well. If they really wanted to make it realistic, they should have made the board smaller.
3. Doc Ock finding Peter in Spider-Man 2
Spider-Man 2 is among the best superhero movies out there and was a treat to watch. However, there is one plot hole that rarely gets brought up, but is actually a fairly important point to make. In the movie, Harry tells Doctor Octopus that to find Spider-Man, he must find Peter Parker first. Doc Ock finds Peter with Mary Jane in a cafe and throws a car through the window at them, then later throws Peter up against a brick wall. The problem is, any normal man would’ve been killed instantly. At this point, Doc Ock doesn’t yet know that Peter is Spider-Man. We know that Peter is his only lead on locating Spider-Man, so it makes zero sense that Doc Ock would effectively try to kill him without first finding out about Spider-Man.
2. Water in Signs
Signs is a sci-fi film that was released in 2002 and was a commercial and critical success for the most part. The story of the film focuses on a former priest, played by Mel Gibson, who discovers a series of crop circles out in his cornfield. As the movie progresses, Gibson’s character slowly becomes convinced that the phenomena are a result of alien activity. As it turns out, he is correct and aliens make their appearance on earth. The plot hole appears when it turns out that aliens one weakness is water, as it reacts like acid on their skin. Don’t you think that an advanced alien lifeform whose one weakness was water would have done some research on the fact that the planet they were invading was two-third water, frequently has water fall down from the sky, and even includes moisture in our air?
1. The Pod in Star Wars
Star Wars was perhaps one of the most influential and advanced films of its time and was truly revolutionary in film. Despite the film, and the subsequent sequels and prequels, being some of the best of all time, there are a large amount of unexplained plot holes that appear throughout. However, the biggest plot hole is when the Star Destroyer commander let an escape pod go, during the middle of a heated battle to locate the blueprints that would, without a doubt, give the Rebel Alliance the upper hand in the battle. If George Lucas had let the pod sneak off undetected, it would have been fine. But he draws attention to the damn thing by having the officer scan it for “signs of life” — in a universe populated by droids and robots. The smart thing to do would have been to blow it up, just to be safe, like in this excellent changed version of the film: