Total Nerd

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

Donn Saylor
Updated May 28, 2019 7.1k votes 1.9k voters 153.9k 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

Glaring plot hole?
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

Glaring plot hole?
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

Glaring plot hole?
Jurassic Park is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Classic ‘90s Movies That Got Away With Not Explaining Major Things
Photo:  Universal Pictures

During a climactic escape in Jurassic Park, the Jeeps are stuck as the T-Rex moseys up to the fence, snaps it open, and barrels out onto the road. But seconds later, in the same spot, there is a huge ravine that wasn't there when the T-Rex came plowing through. Dr. Grant (Sam Neill) has to repel down a concrete wall to get to the bottom.

One astute observer found the answer to this mystery in Michael Crichton's original novel. Crichton explained that moats were surrounding all the enclosures, so the T-Rex stepped over the moat (they were big 'saurs, yo) and waltzed off. But what was a tiny little step for a T-Rex was a deep ravine for humans.

Actors: Samuel L. Jackson, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Laura Dern, Sam Neill, + more

Released: 1993

Directed by: Steven Spielberg

Glaring plot hole?