Of all the things that people love to discuss about movies, especially online, there may be no topic more popular than the plot hole. If you dive deep enough into any movie you're likely to find things that don't make much sense. For some, plot holes are reasons to consider movies bad simply because they exist. For others, they're little more than interesting pieces of trivia. However, quite frequently, the items that are considered plot holes by many movie fans many not actually be issues at all.
Movies don't always explain every detail of a story, it's true, but that doesn't mean that every unexplained moment is a plot hole. Sometimes, a little simple logic is all that's needed to make sense of something. Other times, something that seems like a mistake may actually have an answer and it just gets missed. Here are some popular movie moments that are often seen as plot holes, but actually aren't.
Back to the Future
The "Plot Hole:" Why don't Marty's parents recognize their son as the man who got them together? They look identical, after all.
The Solution: Sure, mom and dad certainty haven't forgotten "Calvin Klein;" he was a pretty big part of their lives, but the idea that they remember exactly what he looked like -- three decades after the fact -- would be a bit of a stretch. As Back to the Future writer Bob Gale himself asked: How well do you actually remember people you only knew briefly in high school? Honestly, if George realized how much his son looked like Calvin, he probably would have gotten a paternity test.
The "Plot Hole:" Why didn't R2-D2 tell Luke Skywalker his dad was Darth Vader? R2 was around for the entire prequel trilogy, and, unlike C-3PO, his memory was never wiped, so he should have known everything.
The Solution: This one apparently even confused Mark Hamill, but there's a pretty simple explanation for it. R2-D2 didn't know anything. R2 isn't there when Anakin is given the name Darth Vader by Palpatine. The last R2 sees Anakin, he's being left behind on the ship on Mustafar. After that, Anakin is presumed dead following his battle with Obi-Wan Kenobi. Darth Vader doesn't start terrorizing the galaxy until some time later. Obi-Wan would certainly be able to connect the dots, but R2 would have no reason to assume that the Lord of the Sith is his old master.
The "Plot Hole:" Why doesn't Nebula warn anybody about the cost of obtaining the Soul Stone? She knows Gamora never came back.
The Solution: This is another case of the audience having more information about the plot than the characters do. As Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame co-writer Stephen McFeely explained, Nebula only knows that Thanos and Gamora went together to obtain the Soul Stone, and that only Thanos returned. There's no reason for Thanos to have told Nebula, somebody he doesn't trust, exactly what happened while they were away. There's a good chance Nebula assumed that Thanos just killed Gamora himself once he had the stone and he no longer needed her around.
The "Plot Hole:" How does John McClane know that Hans Gruber is one of the terrorists when he claims to have been one of the people at the party? John had never seen his face, and Hans is using a perfectly passable accent.
The Solution: This one is a bit hard to spot because the scene that was supposed to make it easier never made the final cut of the movie. However, if you pay attention to the wrists of all the terrorists, you might notice that all of them are wearing identical watches. John has killed a few of the terrorists by the time he meets the man he knows as "Bill Clay," and when he offers Hans a cigarette, you can see John notice his watch. Since "Bill" is wearing an identical model of timepiece, he's in on it.
The "Plot Hole:" How are the heroes able to upload a virus to an alien computer using a Mac? Surely, an advanced alien race capable of interstellar travel uses Linux, right?
The Solution: This one isn't specifically explained in Independence Day, but it can be easily derived from the information we are given. Humans have had an alien spacecraft in their possession for decades, and we're told that much of our advanced technology is actually derived from the ship. At the very least, using the ship, Jeff Goldblum's character is going to be able to adapt his laptop to interface properly with the alien computer. Either that, or the Mac OS was invented by aliens, which maybe isn't that crazy of an idea after all.
The "Plot Hole:" If you can't feed a mogwai after midnight, when can you feed them again? Isn't is really always after midnight?
The Solution: Sunrise. C'mon guys, I was six when this movie came out and that much made sense to me even then. Clearly, you can feed them during the day, we see that happen in the film itself, and so it stands to reason that the "no feeding" period is between midnight and sunrise in the location where the mogwai is located. How does the mogwai know it's past sunrise? Because it's a mystical creature that doesn't actually exist.
The "Plot Hole:" Why does Buzz Lightyear freeze when humans come into the room, like the rest of the toys, if he doesn't believe he's a toy?
The Solution: The simple fact is that we don't really know the answer to this, but that doesn't make it a plot hole. When we first meet Buzz Lightyear, Andy has already taken him out of the box and he's in "toy mode" before coming to life among the other toys. We don't see what happens to Buzz the first time Andy comes into the room, because the movie cuts from Buzz's first scene to a montage of Andy playing with his toys. Maybe he did try moving around, but Andy didn't notice him, and then Buzz decided to act like the other toys out of self defense.
Sometimes movies have to bend or break their own logic to tell a story. Sometimes that logic simply is never explained on screen. If a movie has to explain every detail of its world, then there would never be enough time to tell an entertaining story with compelling characters. However, just because a movie doesn't give you the answers, doesn't mean the answers aren't out there.
Most of the time, a plot hole shouldn't detract from one's enjoyment. If the story is good enough you won't notice any gaps, real or otherwise, in the story. If you're finding plot holes too easily, it's probably because the rest of the movie has even bigger problems.
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