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.

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New this week Suggested correction: This isn't necessarily a correction so much as a possible explanation. It's possible that the religious inmate (I think his name was Carlos) just simply didn't see the scars on Evan's hands when he first came to the prison in the timeline where he got the scars or Evan knew to hide them in the scar timeline (due to the fact that it was the sole purpose of him going back) and due to his fanaticism he didn't question him a second time.

Nope, after jamming those things in his hands Evan simply came into the prison with the scars already on his hands and would have never thought of showing the religious guy his powers using that particular moment in the past to convince him, or doing what he did a second time as he already had done it. It doesn't matter if the religious guy didn't see them before, they won't be the object of Evan convincing him. He would have had to try it some other way, each and ever time. That how this time travel works and its definitely a plot hole that it worked as it did, whilst it shouldn't have. Of course, it's a time travel movie and they never make sense.

lionhead

Additionally, the inmate was looking at Evan's palms when Evan traveled back, and when he returned to the present, the inmate remarked that the stigmata marks came out of nowhere.

Phaneron Premium member

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)

Super Grover Premium member

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)

SexyIrishLeprechaun
More mistakes in The Butterfly Effect

Trivia: An alternate ending to the film on the DVD Director's cut has Evan going back to when he was in the womb and killing himself by squeezing the umbilical cord to save his friends from events he may cause.

Nick N.

Trivia: The main character's full name is Evan Treborn. This is very close to "event reborn", which sums up the point of the movie.

Trivia: When Evan is a frat boy and sees his jacket on the ground before Tommy arrives,. the arms are folded exactly the way his arms are blown up later.

More trivia for The Butterfly Effect

Jason Treborn: You can't change who people are without destroying who they were.

Kayleigh: Hurry up, I want a quickie before school!

Dr. Redfield: Just think of your mind as a movie, you can pause, rewind or slow down any details you want.

More quotes from The Butterfly Effect

Question: I am confused about the second-to-last time travel of Evan where he ends up in the hospital/institution because he killed Kayleigh with the blockbuster. Since Kayleigh died after Evan began journaling (I remember Evan writing about being excited to meet Kayleigh's real dad), what happened to the journals that the doctor says Evan never had them? He must've had a journal with something written in it.

Answer: Yes Evan did write that single entry but this time he was at a disadvantage because in this new reality the younger him had already started the blame game of blaming himself and showing symptoms of being in trauma due to which he was institutionalized that same day the incident in the basement happened. Now about that single entry that he wrote before going to meet Kayleigh's dad, it is shown that in this particular reality as he did not maintain a proper journal after that, it got lost and everybody thought he never even started writing it before the basement incident happened leading to everyone believing there is no journal. This explanation is supported by an incident in the movie where the teenage Evan is making a journal at his attic right after his blackout with the blockbuster and Larry being admitted where he finds a box with his grandfather's death certificate and some weird photos in that attic. Later when he is institutionalized and asks for the journals from the doctor the doctor also tells him how his father kept asking for a photo album, suggesting his father also ended up in that institution by jumping realities and ending up in one where his photo got lost and he couldn't reach them anymore (the same photos Evan had found earlier in that attic). So his father got stuck in that institution and he didn't even have a of his birth like Evan did. Unlike his father, Evan got the video of his birth where he was able to stop himself from being born just like his two earlier brothers who reached the same conclusion and were shown in the movie as still births.

rupal

Answer: My assumption is that Evan didn't have black outs after that incident. In the first "future" he said "seven years with no blackouts." So in that alternate future, he must have stopped having blackouts much earlier (at 7 years old) and stopped the journals earlier too.

Question: This movie confused me. I know that when Evan blacked out was actually when he went back, but what I don't get is how he got back or why the hemoragging happened. I also don't get the whole scar thing. Wouldn't he have hemorrhaged from having the scars or is it only at major changes that he hemorrhages?

Chosen answer: He hemorrhaged because his brain had a hard time adjusting to all the memories of an entirely new lifetime. The doctor explained it when he showed how very little memory space Evan had left near the ending of the movie (the brain scans). The scars would've healed by the time he got to each new reality.

LuMaria 1

Question: Ok I'm guessing that Evan can travel back to "memories" an infinite amount of times as he has been to the junkyard and the basement memories at least twice, but what I don't get is why, after he saw the horrible repercussions of giving Lenny the shard which led to the psychotic brother's death, why didn't Evan just NOT give Lenny the shard, but still give the bro the moving motivational speech that made him rethink the burning of the dog? Then the dog would be safe and the bro wouldn't be killed traumatically, damaging Kaylee? Why didn't he keep that bit that seemed to work out, but not give Lenny the weapon?

Chosen answer: The point of the movie was that, no matter what he did and how he tried to change things, they always ended up bad. If he went back and did that, something unforseen would have happened to make things terrible. Evan realized that everything bad that happened to them was because of him. He then decided the only safe way to make things right is if he just took himself out of their lives all together. That's the logic the filmmakers went by, if you don't want to accept that, then you will just have to consider it a plot hole.

More questions and answers from The Butterfly Effect

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