Total Nerd

Classic ‘90s Movies That Got Away With Not Explaining Major Things  

Donn Saylor
2.6k votes 725 voters 50k views 12 items

List Rules Vote up the leaps in logic that are too big to ignore.

All movies require a bit of suspended disbelief, but some stories wrap up with a few too many unanswered questions. There are some major plot holes in '90s movies, for example, that fans have let slide for decades. These leaps in logic aren't limited to just bad or subpar films either; movies now recognized as modern classics are often affected as well.

From a suspense masterpiece whose central plot point is easily unraveled, to surprising head scratchers planted in several sci-fi epics, the things '90s movies didn't explain are more than a little mind-boggling upon closer inspection. How did so many people miss such a significant problem for so long? Were the filmmakers even aware of them? And does our willingness to overlook such glaring overreaches put into question the status of these now legendary films?

These are questions viewers have to answer for themselves. For now, let's look at plot holes fans have noticed in our favorite '90s movies.

Toy Story is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Classic ‘90s Movies That Got Away With Not Explaining Major Things
Photo:  Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

Toys in the Toy Story universe automatically freeze when humans are present. Buzz Lightyear is no exception. But Buzz doesn't see himself as a toy; he's convinced himself he is a human space ranger. Yet, still, he freezes when humans are around.

There are multiple theories as to why this plot hole exists: Buzz is being cautious; he's copying others as a way of being accepted; or it's a psychological reaction like a fight, flight, or freeze response. But fan theorist Ben Carlin posits that it's a way of showing that Buzz can't escape the fact he's a toy and not a human being.

According to Carlin: "No matter how hard you believe it, it doesn't stop the truth from being true."

Actors: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Don Rickles, Penn Jillette, Annie Potts, + more

Released: 1995

Directed by: John Lasseter

Does this ruin the movie?
Edward Scissorhands is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Classic ‘90s Movies That Got Away With Not Explaining Major Things
Photo:  20th Century Fox

Edward Scissorhands (Johnny Depp) skillfully sculpts ice on a suburban Southern California front lawn and in the attic of his mansion, but the huge blocks of ice seem to come out of nowhere. Because he has, well, scissors for hands, Edward can't hold things. There's no way he could have called someone to bring the ice, nor could he have moved it onto the lawn or into a freezer by himself. Being that the movie is set in a warmer climate, a freezer would be a necessity here.

One fan theorizes that perhaps the inventor has a temp-controlled storage room - since he makes large quantities of food - where Edward could keep the ice. And it isn't much of a stretch to then assume that the neighbors who enjoyed his hedge designs would have purchased and moved the ice blocks onto the lawn before turning against him. 

Actors: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Vincent Price, Anthony Michael Hall, Alan Arkin, + more

Released: 1990

Directed by: Tim Burton

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Terminator 2: Judgment D... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Classic ‘90s Movies That Got Away With Not Explaining Major Things
Photo:  TriStar Pictures

According to Terminator logic, living tissue is necessary for the time machine to work. T-1000 uses time travel technology without a problem, but he is made of metal and is not an animated being. How can he travel through time if he does not have any human tissue to activate the machine? 

The visual effects editor for Terminator 2, Van Ling, says that this concept is purposely ambiguous. His theory suggests that the android was covered with a "flesh cocoon" to make time travel possible. The T2 creators "thought it would be too confusing to show visually" and decided to leave the question to the fans. 

Actors: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Edward Furlong, Linda Hamilton, Nikki Cox, Danny Cooksey, + more

Released: 1991

Directed by: James Cameron

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Godzilla is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Classic ‘90s Movies That Got Away With Not Explaining Major Things
Photo:  TriStar Pictures

In Godzilla, biologist Dr. Niko Tatopoulos (Matthew Broderick) confronts "the dawning of a new species" when a monster 20+ stories tall wreaks havoc across the South Pacific Ocean. Although it's revealed Godzilla made its way from an atomic test site in French Polynesia, it's unclear just how the 500-ton beast managed to elude worldwide detection, considering the prevalence of satellites. Even if Godzilla burrowed into the ocean floor, the activity should have alerted oceanographers.

One possibility is that the French government attempted to cover-up the creature's existence - not just its part in Godzilla's creation. When Godzilla takes down the Japanese ships, the French feigns surprise. But where was Godzilla in the three decades after the testing and before its discovery? French secret service agent Philippe Roaché (Jean Reno) eventually discloses his country's plans to conceal the 1968 testing when the skyscraper-sized monstrosity rolls up in New York City, so it's likely his government was behind Godzilla's total MIA from all surveillance satellites. 

Actors: Matthew Broderick, Hank Azaria, Jean Reno, Harry Shearer, Lance Reddick, + more

Released: 1998

Directed by: Roland Emmerich

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