The Butterfly Effect

Plot hole: When Evan is in jail with the religious prisoner trying to get him to help him get his journals back he goes to the scene where he is drawing that homicidal picture in kindergarten, but he gets up and puts the spikes that holds documents through his hands, creating a stigmata-style scar. The religious guy in the cell with him is so amazed because of this he thinks Evan is a prophet and he decides to help him. If Evan had gone back in time and got those scars on his hands, he would have changed the original timeline and would have arrived in jail with those scars the whole time. Some people try to correct this using the "If I can create scars, then can I fix them?" statement Evan made to defend the mistake and suggest he can create instant scars but he was using the word "scars" to refer to the negative events; not literal scars on his body. The scar he got when he burned himself in the past didn’t magically appear on him the moment he returned from the past; it became part of a new, slightly altered timeline (just like the scars on his hands should have been) and it let him know he can change history.

Continuity mistake: When Evan and his mom go to the psychic for a reading, the position of the money in the glass bowl differs depending on camera angle. (Director's cut) (00:40:30)

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Continuity mistake: When Evan tries to get his journals back from the bullies in the jail, the object that the guy on the bed is reading alternates from a closed copy of Hustler, to a journal and back several times. (01:18:35 - 01:19:20)


Continuity mistake: When Ashton Kutcher convinces his jail bunkmate that he is personally in touch with Jesus, by using his journal to cause stigmata to appear on his hands, a stigmata mark can be seen in his right palm before he changes the past (just as he mumbles "tell me if you see anything weird"). (01:17:05)

Continuity mistake: In the final shot of the hypnosis scene we see Evan from above. The blood on his shirt that was visible in the last shot has vanished.

Continuity mistake: After little Kayleigh picks up the blockbuster, older Evan is now at Sunnyvale Institution. The blankets are not tucked under the mattress, then they are tucked when he gets out of bed, and in the shot from under the bed, as he searches for his journals, the blankets hang down to the floor, yet in the next shot they are not.

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Revealing mistake: In the scene where Evan wakes up and notices that he has no arms, right when you see the stubs you can see a faint shadow moving next to his head and moving on the headboard. This shadow is the shadow of his hand before it was digitally removed. (00:29:15)


Continuity mistake: At Sunnyvale, when Evan bursts into Dr. Redfield's office the Doctor stands up and in the wide shot Dr. Redfield starts to put his books down on the desk, but the way he holds the books differs in the next close-up.

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Continuity mistake: Now a resident at Sunnyvale, when Evan looks under his bed for his journals, in the shot from under the mattress the blood stains that appear on his white tee differ from the stain in the shots before and after.

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Continuity mistake: As the teacher and mom walk by the desk, one of the pink papers is not fully impaled on the spike, but a moment later it is. (00:03:45)


Continuity mistake: When Evan wakes up in a mental ward, after he killed Kaylee, the camera zooms around him in bed, which is in the middle of the room. When he gets up to get his journals, the bed is on the left side of the room against the wall.

Continuity mistake: When Evan and his mom are at the restaurant together the flowers, food, etc., change depending on camera angle. (00:38:45)

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The Butterfly Effect mistake picture

Continuity mistake: After Evan beats Tommy to death on the college campus, it shows him kneeling over the body, and there is no blood on his collar. The shot changes to Kayleigh screaming, then back to Evan, in the same position, but now with blood splatter on his collar. He had already finished assaulting Tommy, so there shouldn't have been anymore blood spray. (01:09:25)


Continuity mistake: When Evan shows up at Kayleigh's apartment, in the close-up she covers the plate with the newspaper. In the next shot from the doorway the newspaper, bottled water, etc., are positioned very differently. (01:29:35)

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Plot hole: When the frat boy bursts into Evan and Kayleigh's romantic dinner to tell him his car's been trashed, he says he's been looking all over for Evan. But he was sitting right there watching the whole time Even was giving the pledges their instructions for helping him set up the romantic dinner (which necessarily included the exact time and place), so shouldn't he have known where Evan would be?

Continuity mistake: When armless Evan goes back, the journal, cereal bowl and OJ are visible in a close-up and in the next shot young Evan rushes away from the table. The position of the journal is quite different in the two shots. (01:44:45)

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Revealing mistake: Although the film is supposedly set in New York, there is a Canadian speed limit sign in one of the first shots. Across the street which Evan lives on.

Continuity mistake: As Evan eats the burger at the Hilltop Cafe, the bit of burger left in his hand after his last bite differs in the next shot as he puts it down. (01:27:25)

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Continuity mistake: When older, armless Evan is sitting in his wheelchair reading the journal entry that says, "Today Mommy is taking me to play with Kayleigh and Tommy." the writing appears to be on the bottom of the journal page. Yet when he goes back to that time, the writing is at the top of the page just as it was in the original scene earlier in the movie. (00:05:30 - 01:44:35)

The Butterfly Effect mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Evan gets his first nosebleed, during the hypnosis session, the blood on his face changes quite a bit as shots change while the doctor is trying to wake him up. One shot shows two streams of blood, another shows only one, and yet another shows hardly any blood at all. (00:18:00)

Continuity mistake: In the scene right after Evan visits Lenny for the first time after 7 years, he is lying on his dorm bed, flipping through his old notebooks. The scene starts out with him biting the nails on his right hand, but in the next shot when the notebook starts shaking, both hands are visibly holding the notebook.

The Butterfly Effect mistake picture

Revealing mistake: In the first scene of the film, Evan is writing frantically in a journal and his last words that the camera zooms in on are "Save her". Look closely and you can see that those same words are already indented on the page as indicated by a visible letter "s" and "h" and a period that had already been written on the pad of paper. Obviously they had done some other takes. (00:01:35)

Lynette Carrington

Plot hole: In the scene where Evan is in Sunnyvale institute and demands his journals, the doctor says he has never had any. The very same doctor told him to start writing in journals when he was seven before he killed Kaylee, so when Evan went back in time to destroy the firework, he couldn't have erased journals that were written before that. Evan was only allowed to write 2 pages before the incident where he killed Kaylee. This event completely altered his history, allowing the courts to place him in the mental hospital afterwards. There was no continuation of writing the journals because in this timeline his blackouts were not the main issue.

Other mistake: When Evan finishes talking to the "prostitute Kayleigh" on the restaurant, he goes to his room, which finds his friend having sex with a girl. When Evan demands them to leave the room, he sits on the chair, and opens his diary, but you can see that when he opens it, the pages are empty. He doesn't turn to another page before he begins to read, so he appears to be reading from the blank page.

Audio problem: When Kayleigh, Tommy, Evan and Lenny are putting the block buster in the mailbox, Evan puts the cigarette on the block buster and says it should last Lenny 2 minutes, but his mouth says 10 minutes.

Continuity mistake: When Evan takes Kayleigh (who is now a drugged up hooker) to a diner, there is a plate with a piece of pie, a wallet and a red cigarette lighter on the table in front of Kayleigh. Each time the camera turns to Evan and then back to Kayleigh, the lighter is in a different location. This happens several times.

Continuity mistake: When Evan has a nosebleed after finding out that he has no hands, there is blood on his neck that disappears and reappears between shots.


Continuity mistake: Young Evan puts the cigarette on the fuse of the blockbuster, and as Lenny walks away the butt is shorter than when Lenny stands up near the mailbox, after tying his shoe lace. (00:12:25)

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Continuity mistake: When Evan goes back in time to when they are putting the blockbuster in the mail box, his cigarette falls out of his mouth and onto his shirt. He gets burnt, as is shown when he returns to modern times, but all the rest of the scenes with them in the forest just after it happens, there is no burn mark on his shirt.


Visible crew/equipment: In the last scene, when Evan is walking down a busy Manhattan street, talking on the cellphone, you can see the red camera truck's reflection in a window on the other side of the sidewalk.

Continuity mistake: After Kayleigh's suicide, Evan travels back to time to the part when he's in Mr. Miller's basement. When young Tommy appears on the steps, he leaves a small opening on the door, but when Mr. Miller argues with him about keeping the door shut, you can see that the door is wide open, which it wasn't in the shot before.

Continuity mistake: In the original junkyard scene Kaylee is wearing a completely different outfit than later on when Lenny kills Tommy. The first scene she is wearing two shirts and some high waisted, ill fitted jeans. Then when Lenny kills Tommy she's wearing a bright blue with white stripes spaghetti strap shirt and tight, well fitted jeans. Plus, a lot of the points of time travel change throughout the movie. In the original junkyard scene they have already made it to Tommy and Kaylee has been hit by the board before Evan has his blackout. When Lenny kills Tommy they're still walking through the junkyard. It could be argued that it has to do with where he started reading from the journal but the blackouts from his childhood are predicated on his future trips into the past. So he should have blacked out before he ever made it to Tommy.

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