Best drama TV plot holes of all time

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Jonathan Creek picture

The Sinner and the Sandman - S5-E2

Plot hole: Ian Avery-Cooper loses his lottery ticket which is immediately picked up and appropriated by Leonard Corbyn. However, Avery-Cooper immediately reports the loss to the shopkeeper who sold him the ticket. All lottery sales staff are trained in what to do under these circumstances, because it happens a lot - they cancel the lost ticket and issue a new one. Since Avery-Cooper used the same numbers every week this would not pose a problem, but even if he didn't the ticket would be recorded on the seller's computers and could be precisely reconstructed. This would be even easier since Avery-Cooper reports the loss within a minute of it happening and we see that he has the receipt for the sale in his hand. Corbyn's stolen ticket would be worthless and Avery-Cooper would be able to claim his rightful winnings. If nothing else Ian could have simply bought another ticket with the same numbers.

PEDAUNT

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Hustle picture

Getting Even - S4-E3

Plot hole: At the end of the episode, having conned Veronica Powell out of £600,000 - the purchase price of the house and contents they sold her - Danny taunts her by telling her that they did nothing wrong, implying that she has no legal recourse to recovering her money. He's wrong. One of the gang, Billy Bond, bids against her in the auction for the house, boosting her bid from £220,000 to her final offer of £600,000. Bond has no money and no access to any, and no assets that could be realised to cover the bids he made, something that would be easy for a lawyer to prove. It's called shill bidding and it is very illegal indeed. Since Bond and Ash Morgan (who gave Powell false information during the auction, spurring her on to bid against Bond) are both standing next to Danny when he makes his announcement I find it hard to believe that a shrewd, hard-hearted businesswoman like her would not realise that she had been conned and would not get her lawyers and the police on the case on the spot.

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Charmed picture

Be Careful What You Witch For - S2-E22

Plot hole: When teenage Prue has run away with the demon, and Phoebe and Piper find her in the park, teenage Prue is 'killed'. Her sisters drive her home to get Leo to heal her, but shouldn't they have just been able to call to Leo to orb to them when Prue was first hurt, and heal her in the park, and save driving back to the Manor and risk Prue dying?

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Suggested correction: I see orbing to the park but he didn't heal her, she was already dead and he can't heal the dead, that's why the genie brought her back - that's what Phoebe wished for.

But if they would have called for him right away - he would have been able to heal her before she died. However at this point in time I don't think they knew how to call for him.

Yes, they did know how to call him. At least Phoebe did, because when Piper got sick in the hospital from the disease she inherited from the illegal fruit, Prue and Phoebe screamed out Leo's name until he appeared in the attic.

They did, they first tried it in the episode when Piper was sick with an exotic disease and dying in the hospital.

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The Office picture

Christmas Special (2) - S99-E2

Plot hole: Lee and Dawn overstay their tourist visa in the US, then fly back to the UK for the Office Christmas party. They then get into a taxi to go out to the airport in order to return to the US. They're kidding themselves. As I know (to my cost) when you overstay a tourist visa, the US Immigration Service finds out when you check in at the airport on departure. They'll be refused reentry, and probably barred from entering the US for up to six years. (I got a three year ban.) Neither Lee nor Dawn could possibly be unaware of this nor think they could beat the system as they would have been arrested when they checked in in Florida on departure (as I was), and they would have remained in small holding cells until the paperwork banning their return had been processed and their passports stamped 'Invalid for U.S. Entry', as mine was. (All this takes about seventy two hours, so they'd have missed the Christmas party anyway.) The mistake is NOT that they were able to leave the USA - that is explained (it's still not possible, but in the context of the show and the suspension of disbelief we are meant to believe it) the mistake is that they are on the way back to the airport to return. That's absurd. They would have been under no illusions as to their banned status re reentry to the USA.

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Desperate Housewives picture

Show generally

Plot hole: When Zach Young's grandfather died, Zach was said to be the sole heir of the fortune. However, Noah Taylor (the grandfather) had a daughter that appeared several times while Mike Delfino was looking for Deirdre. Where was Kendra Taylor while Zachary Young was spending Noah's fortune on dresses for Gabrielle Solis? Why didn't she claim her share? She simply disappeared.

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Prison Break picture

Riots, Drills and the Devil (2) - S1-E7

Plot hole: Michael sees that Tancredi needs help in the sickroom/nurse room from a TV monitor. So he climbs up to the roof and looks down to see Tancredi screaming for help. So he goes down, under the field. And then he is in the space between the inner roof and inner ceiling, and he walks to save Tancredi. Why didn't they use this escape way when the first failed? And they didn't need that key from Tancredi. They could escape just by walking in the ceiling space.

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Monk picture

Mr. Monk Goes to Jail - S2-E16

Plot hole: It is unrealistic that a prison cook who did not punch out would not be missed or found until the next day, especially after a lock-down scenario as portrayed in this episode, where a meal has been poisoned - likely in that very kitchen.

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Columbo picture

The Conspirators - S7-E5

Plot hole: Columbo is in the Pauley's hotel room trying to figure out how the bottle landed upright next to his body after he was shot. Devlin - the murderer - turns up unannounced and uninvited. How did Devlin explain that he knew where the victim was staying when he was murdered? Media reports might have mentioned the name of the hotel but there is no way they would have included the room number.

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Limitless picture

Pilot - S1-E1

Plot hole: Brian calls Rebecca after he has been shot. She asks him "Where is the bullet? Is it in your leg still?" Brian never mentioned he was shot in the leg. (00:30:20)

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CSI: Crime Scene Investigation picture

Bad Words - S4-E19

Plot hole: A central plot device in this episode is that there is no six letter word made up of the letters EXVIN, so the murdered man cheats at the word game by playing a word he knew to be inadmissible - exvin, a wine connoisseur who no longer drinks. Since he is supposed to be a stone cold killer player at this word game, don't you think he would have thought of Vixen? Sara Sidle points that word out later - why wouldn't a world champion word game player have figured it out, using a safe, common word and avoiding a possible challenge?

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Suggested correction: If you watch the episode, it shows exactly why he didn't use vixen. There were 2 spaces between the x and the n.

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Fringe picture

And Those We Left Behind - S4-E6

Plot hole: The very ending scene where Peter (in this version died in the ice as a boy so Walter's wife never met him) takes off some of the dust covers then picks up a toy airplane. The toy airplane he got as a child from ... Walter's wife when she was trying to placate him in an earlier episode for trying to run "home". This toy airplane wouldn't have been his as a child in this version of the universe. (00:42:00)

juarlita

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Star Trek: Voyager picture

Elogium - S2-E4

Plot hole: In this episode Kes states that she has to decide now whether to have a child or not because Ocampa women can only get pregnant once and deliver one child. If that was the case they would have died out a long time ago, or never even evolved, as two people only getting one offspring would reduce the population to 50% of the original figure each generation.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: It's also possible that it's simply required of Ocampan women to give birth the first time they go through it, and can then experience it again.

Greg Dwyer

Nothing in the dialogue suggest Ocampa's can have additional children. While we can speculate about fictitious species, it's still a plot hole due to writing. Kes states she's going through the "elogium" which is a time of change where her body prepares for fertilization. She then explicit states the "elogium" only occurs once. While the doctor compares it to puberty, the elogium is both sexual maturity and "heat", that is, the time a female is ready for fertilization.

Bishop73

But it doesn't ever state the normalcy of birthing for Ocompans. Perhaps sextuplets is the norm?

Kes frequently used the word "child." If it was normal to give birth to more than one, she would know this and should say "children."

Bishop73

Do not forget that this is all done through the universal translator. For all you know the Ocompan word for child and children is the same so the translator cannot tell the difference.

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Coronation Street picture

Show generally

Plot hole: Live 50th anniversary episode, aired December 9th 2010 - When Sally is allowed into the rubble to comfort Molly as the firemen attempt to free her, one of them says they'll get Sally a hard hat. When we see her talking to Molly in the rubble, she has no hard hat on and instead one of the firemen is hilariously holding his hand above her head.

THGhost

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Doctor Who picture

Planet of the Spiders - S11-E5

Plot hole: At the climax of episode 2, the Doctor is about to catch Lupton when the latter simply teleports to safety. So why didn't he do that in the first place, before engaging in a 15-minute chase?

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Breaking Bad picture

Dead Freight - S5-E5

Plot hole: Preparing to steal methylamine from the train, Walt, Jesse and Mike measure off a predetermined distance from the railroad crossing, which happens to coincide with a handy arroyo, where they bury their tanks. Problem is that they couldn't have known that distance (calculated by knowing the position of the methylamine tanker car in the train) until Lydia told them. But she didn't call that info in until the night after they'd already buried the tanks.

Rattletrap

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: They were counting on the tankers being at the back of the train, far enough away and at a curved angle so that the conductors wouldn't see them, and the hoses they were using would have been long enough to reach the tankers on either side of the one they stole from. Their heist hinged on a lot of educated guesses and luck, especially because they would have had to abort if the tanker was at the front of the train, but being lucky doesn't make it a plot hole.

Phaneron Premium member

I'd have to respectfully disagree. When they paced off the distance to the trestle over the arroyo, they had a particular number in mind (814). It's not explained whether this number represented knowledge of how far back the tank car would be if the engine stopped at the crossing. But if it did, how could they have known that? Not even Lydia knew until much later. And why would they assume the tank car would be toward the back of the train? Lydia doesn't mention that. When she calls Walt, all she says is, "I've got it." And even if she were to tell him, at that point everything's in place for the heist to happen at the location where the tank are buried.

Rattletrap

The 814 feet was to ensure that the spot they chose would be far enough away from the conductors so as to not be seen. And they weren't assuming the tankers would be at the back, they were just hoping they would be. As I mentioned, if the tankers were at the front, they wouldn't have been able to move forward with the mission. Lydia told them they would only have 6 hours to prepare for the heist after she told them where the tanker would be. That wouldn't have been enough time for them to get an excavator out there and dig the holes for their own tanks to transfer the methylamine into, so they had to guess the best spot to do it ahead of time and hope that's where it would end up being.

Phaneron Premium member

IIRC the crew contacted an expert on hazardous materials shipping for advice on the scene. Rail guidelines require tankers containing hazardous materials are at a minimum "six-deep", that is, six cars away from the engine. Lydia probably told them in advance how long the train would be in terms of cars, so they had a rough guideline for which three or four tankers could possibly contain the methylamine. From there, it seems like their hoses were long enough to get to any of the other cars.

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Heroes picture

An Invisible Thread - S3-E25

Plot hole: If Noah could be brought back from the dead with Claire's blood why couldn't they bring back Nathan? Was turning Sylar into Nathan really the first thing they could think of?

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Buffy The Vampire Slayer picture

What's My Line? (1) - S2-E9

Plot hole: If Spike and his gang only take a few hours to break through the door to Ford's club in 'Lie To Me' (which we are told is six feet of solid steel), why can't Angel break through a thin wire door that visibly shakes every time he hits it, given the same amount of time? (00:38:05)

Shay

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