Few could have imagined that 11 years and 22 movies after the first Iron Man was released, we’d get a movie as sprawling and epic as Avengers: Endgame. It’s a perfect conclusion to the MCU's Infinity Saga and equal parts poignant and thrilling. Plenty of fans spent the opening weekend crying and cheering, proving they were more than moved enough to overlook the many Avengers: Endgame plot holes.
For all its strengths, Endgame is a time travel movie at its core. Avengers: Endgame plot holes crop up at nearly every turn because - spoiler alert - time travel isn’t really possible. Even if it was, it would be way more complex than could be conveyed in a single blockbuster. Even in a movie with a three-hour runtime, Avengers: Endgame inconsistencies still abound.
You probably missed a few gaps in logic while marveling at the massive action sequences, but we’ve got you covered. There will be spoilers ahead, but it’s only because we are so committed to doing “whatever it takes” to reveal these plot holes.
When Steve Rogers and Tony Stark travel back in time to grab the Space Stone, it's still in the form of the Tesseract. By the time it makes it to the present day, they've reduced it down to just the stone so it can fit on the new Infinity Gauntlet for Hulk.
But at the end of the movie, Rogers is supposed to return the Stones to the exact moment they were taken. That should be easy enough, except the Space Stone is still just a stone. How is he supposed to turn it back into a Tesseract? That seems like it'd make a pretty massive difference in the timelines if the Tesseract magically turned into a pure Space Stone for no apparent reason.
For Tony Stark’s sake, it makes sense to simply bring everybody that disappeared into the current, five-years-later reality. That way, he gets to keep his daughter, and everything is fine. Except that actually, no, everything is about to be horrible.
Bringing these people back five years after they left would create profound problems across the entire planet and the rest of the galaxy. How would governments that were still recovering from the effects of the Snap suddenly handle this huge influx of citizens? Do people immediately get to reacquire all the property and money and jobs they left behind, or does it stay with whoever had it in 2023? How would the world document who's returned? How would we go about reintroducing all these people back into society? What about people who were in airplanes when they were snapped? Did they reappear at 30,000 feet without parachutes? Ecologically, we know that the water is finally cleaner and whales are starting to enter the Hudson in 2023, but what's the effect of doubling the wildlife population in an instant?
The whole situation is going to become a profound mess and not one easily fixed by a bolt of lightning from Thor or a Hulk in glasses.
Tony Stark realizes that time travel is basically impossible without a “GPS” of sorts. Bruce Banner was able to get time to move, but it basically only moved through Scott Lang instead of him moving through time (hence why he became a baby and an old man rather than going back to 1950). Tony solves that problem by making some sort of device to help guide them through the Quantum Realm to where they need to go.
When Thanos captures future-Nebula in 2014, he learns about the Avengers’ time travel antics and sends past-Nebula back in time - presumably using future-Nebula’s time device. Then, past-Nebula basically spends five minutes on the time machine console - a technology that no one has ever used before - and somehow finds a way to bring in a spaceship the size of a small country and thousands and thousands of alien soldiers through a tiny portal from 2014 to 2023.
How in the world did she manage that? How did she improve the technology so significantly and so quickly that she was able to push through that much firepower without Pym Particles or time watches? Thanos's tech team must be absolute geniuses.
The biggest issue with Captain America deciding to travel back in time to get some quality time with his sweetheart in the 1940s is that he apparently never decided to help out with the world’s problems again.
Think about it: from 1940-something to 2023, Captain America apparently does nothing except putter around the house during moments of crisis like Vietnam, 9/11, and basically every bad thing that's happened since WWII. If he had intervened somehow, surely S.H.I.E.L.D. (who is actually HYDRA, remember) would know about it and would find a way to keep tabs on him. Instead, they still believe the "real" Captain America is frozen on ice or otherwise lost to time for decades.
Evidently, Steve Rogers manages to hang up the shield and “get a life” while watching the world go to hell around him.