Best 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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Red Dwarf picture

Skipper - S12-E6

Plot hole: Kryten explains that the quantum skipper must be recharged after every use, and the time this takes must be must be taken into account. This is an important plot device the first time Rimmer uses it, but it is conveniently forgotten for the rest of the episode.

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Hustle picture

Return of the Prodigal - S5-E1

Plot hole: Mickey Bricks returns to England by stealing the uniform of a Commander Cardwell, an officer in the Royal Navy, and taking his place on board an aircraft carrier that is sailing from Australia to the UK, leaving that day, a voyage that would take three to four weeks. During that time, Cardwell does not report his uniform stolen, nor does he report to the aircraft carrier to take up his duties, and since there was a car waiting to take him to the ship he is obviously supposed to be there. Theft of a military uniform is taken extremely seriously and once reported it would take no time at all to establish that "Cardwell" appears to be on board his ship! On top of that, during his entire time at sea nobody on board calls upon Mickey to perform any sort of military duties (of which he would have absolutely no knowledge), he doesn't run into anyone who knows Cardwell, and nobody asks to see his orders, military identification or travel warrant.

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Thunderbirds picture

Path of Destruction - S2-E2

Plot hole: In order to build up suspense, Virgil and Brains stand on the Crab Logger as its dangerous fuel is pumped out, despite the fact that it is hanging on the edge of a precipice. In fact they could have left as soon as they had plumbed in the pipes to empty the fuel tanks - the whole procedure is controlled by Scott in Thunderbird 1 and they make absolutely no contribution to the operation at all. They do not need to disconnect the pipes; they are left behind and dropped from Thunderbird 1 as planned. They just stand there chatting about how much danger they are in until jumping clear at the very last second. Silly buggers.

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2 Broke Girls picture

And the First Degree - S3-E24

Plot hole: Caroline helps Max get her degree, since Max didn't graduate high school. However, in episode 5 of season 1, Caroline and Max are raising money to pay off Max's student loans.

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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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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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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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Family Guy picture

Underage Peter - S14-E14

Plot hole: They're in the Clam complaining that they can't drink when they make the revelation that Brian can because he's technically 56. But Quagmire should be able to drink, as in a much earlier episode, he's revealed to be over 60.

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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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Married... with Children picture

Shoeway to Heaven - S9-E1

Plot hole: When Dominique is on TV, she says she got the shoes from Al's store. Then the Amish guy comes out to confirm she broke her leg from the shoe he made. Al says yes. She got the shoes way before Al knew he had no more shoes and before they even hired the Amish guy. How can she break her leg from his shoe if he wasn't hired and making them yet?

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

Suggested correction: Al was passing the blame.

MasterOfAll

The correction above is correct.

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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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Gilligan's Island picture

The Friendly Physician - S2-E29

Plot hole: The scientist yells for Igor to capture the escaping Castaways, to which Igor responds "capture them yourself" in Ginger's voice. The scientist appears surprised to find out Igor is not Igor, but how can this be? He had to be the one to pull the lever to switch everyone's personalities and bodies around, so he should have already known.

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The King of Queens picture

Two Thirty - S4-E24

Plot hole: In this episode Arthur scams Deacon and several other parents for phony piano lessons because he doesn't actually know how to play the piano. However, earlier in the series (Art House episode, S1 - E24) we learn that Arthur can play the piano when he temporarily moves out and after his house warming party Doug says to Carrie, "Who knew Arthur could play the piano like that?"

The Minister

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The Big Bang Theory picture

The Excelsior Acquisition - S3-E16

Plot hole: In Series 1, Episode 7, "The Dumpling Paradox, " Sheldon makes an oblique reference to his financial status: "Frankly, if I could afford the rent, I'd ask you [Leonard] to leave, " meaning he cannot pay the rent on his two bedroom apartment by himself - not that he doesn't want to, he can't. However, in "The Execlsior Acquisition, " we find that he does not even cash his pay cheques. He doesn't even deposit them into a bank account - he leaves them in a drawer in his desk. In Series 2 Episode 14 "The Financial Permeability", he lends Penny a large amount of money from a huge bankroll he just happens to have lying about - again, without cashing his pay cheques! He is obviously independently wealthy. Either he doesn't have enough money to afford the rent or he has enough to work without being paid while practically giving large amounts of cash away. Can't be both.

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

Suggested correction: Not being able to afford doesn't necessarily mean he doesn't have the money, especially a man like Sheldon. He works with a budget and he sticks to it. In his budget he has a certain amount set aside for rent, anything more than that and he can't afford it alone.

Nonsense. If he was sticking to a "rigid budget" he wouldn't have even thought of lending a hopeless credit risk like Penny a single cent. Instead he throws a huge bankroll at her without even discussing a repayment plan.

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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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Porridge picture

A Test of Character - S3-E5

Plot hole: Fletcher and Warren steal what they think is the History paper so Godber can study it before he sits the exam. They are adamant that he has a very short time to go through it as they have to put it back before anyone misses it. After Godber refuses to cheat by reading it Fletcher berates him, throws the paper on the cell floor and storms out. What happened to replacing the stolen exam paper?

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Sex and the City picture

To market, to market - S6-E1

Plot hole: In this episode Carrie runs into Aidan, who now has what looks to be about a 6 month old baby (Tate). This doesn't seem possible, as Carrie and Aidan would have only broken up about a year ago, and Miranda was around 6 months pregnant when they broke up. Brady is only about 5 months old at this point in the series, leaving Aidan only roughly 8 months to have this baby - but Aidan lay in bed for about a month and then dated Nina Katz for awhile. Timeline just doesn't seem to fit.

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