Plot hole

In fiction, a plot hole, plothole or plot error is a gap or inconsistency in a storyline that goes against the flow of logic established by the story's plot.[1] Such inconsistencies include things as illogical, unlikely or impossible events,[2] and statements or events that contradict earlier events in the storyline.[3]

Plot holes are usually created unintentionally, often a result of editing or the writers simply forgetting that a new event would contradict the events and not checking. However, the term is also frequently incorrectly applied - for example, a character being intentionally written to take irrational action would not be a plot hole, nor would "loose ends" or unexplained aspects.


  • Agatha Christie's seminal mystery play The Mousetrap is known for its large number of plot holes.[4][5] One of them is that the detective, despite knowing the identity of the murderer, lets him proceed to kill further people, rather than arresting him on the spot. This is considered a plot hole because there is no reason for the audience to believe that the detective would want for more murders to take place.
  • At the end of the Star Wars episode Revenge of the Sith, it is considered imperative to hide Luke Skywalker from Darth Vader. But Obi-Wan Kenobi does so in plain sight on Vader's home planet even using Luke's real name. He himself only slightly alters his name and makes no secret of his Jedi heritage.[6][7] Though this is often considered a plot hole, the fact that his scheme worked (as revealed in the next film in the series) arguably indicates that it is not.
  • At the end of The Return of the King, after destroying the One Ring, Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee are rescued from Mordor and taken to safety by the giant eagles; many believe this to be a plot hole, as the eagles would have been capable of flying the Ring there in the start of the series, thereby preventing the need for Frodo to go. Others interpret this as a case of logical information that was not explained, but which can be inferred from the existing text - among many reasons, there is no guarantee that the eagles could have made it to Mordor with Sauron still in power, there is a chance that the Ring could corrupt them, and as they are sentient beings it is possible that they simply did not wish to do it.[8]

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  1. ^ "plot hole | Definition of plot hole in English by Oxford Dictionaries". Oxford Dictionaries | English. Retrieved 2017-09-07.
  2. ^ "15 Movies You Thought Had Huge Plot Holes - But Didn't". ScreenRant. 9 December 2016. Retrieved 26 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Do You Know the Five Different Types of Plot Holes?".
  4. ^ "A Talented Cast Can't Overcome Flaws in Agatha Christie's Mousetrap".
  5. ^ "The Mousetrap St Martin's Theatre 1952".
  6. ^ "A Comprehensive List of Star Wars Plot Holes".
  7. ^ "14 Star Wars Plot Holes Bigger Than The Death Star".
  8. ^ "Here's Why the Eagles Didn't Take the One Ring to Mordor".