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Gaping Plot Holes You Won't Be Able To Unsee In The Dark Knight

Updated June 14, 2019 25.7k votes 4.0k voters 286.8k views17 items

List RulesVote up the plot holes in The Dark Knight that are going to just ruin your next re-watch.

The Dark Knight is one of the best comic book films ever made, which is saying a lot, given that comic book adaptations make up approximately 115% of modern cinema. Director Christopher Nolan is a genius who, beyond the amazing Dark Knight trilogy, gave us Inception, The Prestige, Interstellar, and more. But that doesn’t mean his work is immune to criticism. In fact, given how brilliant most of his filmography is, Christopher Nolan plot holes are all the more head scratch inducing. Even allowing for the fact that comic book movies usually have a few inconsistencies, this movie transcends most comic book cinema. So, then, The Dark Knight plot holes are more glaring as well. Given his reputation as the world's greatest detective, there really shouldn't be any Batman plot holes. 

To be fair, most of The Dark Knight's logical inconsistencies are just that - not exactly what would traditionally be thought of as plot holes. For instance, what were those murdery kids doing alone in a creepy parking garage pretending to blow up cars? Batman probably should have apprehended them, as they’re clearly future serial killers. Maybe not a plot hole, per se, but certainly confusing. So, let’s condemn these Nolan logic fails! After all, who doesn’t love to tear down those smarter and more successful than themselves in virtually every way? 

Also, because this will be an in-depth analysis of plot elements from The Dark Knight, SPOILERS AHEAD

  • 5

    Cops Usually Hang Out IN Cells With Dangerous Detainees, Right?

    Cops Usually Hang Out IN Cells is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Gaping Plot Holes You Won't Be Able To Unsee In The Dark Knight
    Photo: Warner Bros.

    When Batman and Gordon take off to rescue Rachel and Harvey respectively, Officer Stephens stays in the cell with the Joker. Why? Could he have not stayed outside the locked door of the cell? It worked out for Joker because he was able to overpower Stephens and perpetrate his escape. It also worked out for the movie because that drove the plot forward.

    Still, in any reasonably realistic law enforcement scenario, that situation would have been childishly easy to avoid. 

    Inexcusable plot hole?
  • 6

    What A Respectful, Yet Wildly Unfamiliar Honor Guard

    What A Respectful, Yet Wildly  is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Gaping Plot Holes You Won't Be Able To Unsee In The Dark Knight
    Photo: Warner Bros.

    At the enormous funeral of Commissioner Loeb, there is an Honor Guard that does a rifle salute. The Joker and some of his henchman kidnapped a number of these officers and replaced them, putting them directly in front of the podium where the Mayor was giving the eulogy and giving them ready access to guns. What a great way to assassinate a public figure! 

    Oh, except that they were surrounded by hundreds of policemen, including some actual Honor Guard members. Apparently, those buffoons weren’t concerned that their new members were wholly unfamiliar and objectively creepy. Also, the Joker managed to slip away from that scene, literally surrounded by the entire city’s police force, unmolested. Probably the weirdest part, though, is that the Joker and his henchmen absolutely nail the choreography. When, exactly, did he have time to teach unstable mental patients an Honor Guard's funeral routine? That seems like it would take, what, two weeks? At least? 

    Inexcusable plot hole?
  • 7

    You Want To Bring A Gun In The Courtroom? Sure!

    You Want To Bring A Gun In The is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Gaping Plot Holes You Won't Be Able To Unsee In The Dark Knight
    Photo: Warner Bros.

    Early in the movie, Harvey Dent is prosecuting Salvatore Maroni. He’s questioning a witness who he’s expecting to give up Maroni as the leader of the mob. The witness, however, takes the fall, so Harvey asks the judge for permission to treat the witness as hostile. After this totally reasonable legal measure, the witness says, “I’ll show you hostile!” and pulls out a gun.

    There is no earthly way a witness could walk into a courtroom with a gun. There are metal detectors and layers on layers of security. Plus, it’s a super cheesy scene, which may even be a more egregious offense.

    Inexcusable plot hole?
  • 8

    The Joker's Nurse Outfit Wouldn't Fool A Gullible Seven Year Old

    The Joker's Nurse Outfit W is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Gaping Plot Holes You Won't Be Able To Unsee In The Dark Knight
    Photo: Warner Bros.

    The Joker infiltrated Harvey’s recovery room by dressing like a nurse and infiltrating the hospital while it was being evacuated for his bomb threat. As he started to address Harvey, Harvey honestly looked puzzled until Joker removed his surgical face mask, at which point Harvey recognized him.

    His first hint might have been, like, the rest of the Joker’s face, which was coated in white paint with a lot of black around the eyes. But this is the same universe where people don’t recognize Superman because he’s not wearing glasses. Maybe people in DC are just really, agressively dumb. Or they all suffer from a specific type of partially obscured face blindness. 

    Inexcusable plot hole?
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