Everyone hates plot holes, but most people have their own slightly or wildly different definitions of what a “plot hole” is.
Some consider genre conventions, such as action heroes being virtually untouchable by gunfire from nameless extras, no matter how plausible that may be in a given scene, to be plot holes – even though, depending on the fight choreography, it may simply be that the extras do not have the aimbot-like accuracy of said action heroes.
Some consider characters suddenly changing their viewpoints and attitudes to be plot holes – for the most recent high-profile example, see the fan reaction to Queen Alicent’s sudden change of heart and sudden surprise and upset at the fact that her father had already prepared a plan to put her son on the throne in House of the Dragon Episode 8.
But well, real people can be inconsistent, hypocritical, and just plain stupid. So let’s define a plot hole more narrowly – as a gap in a story where an event occurs either for no reason other than story convenience, or where the existing background of the story simply does not allow for that event to occur.
Ironically, one of the most discussed plot holes in the history of cinema was a literal hole.
One of the most shocking twists in said movie history is the revelation that Andy had been slowly digging a tunnel for 20 years to escape from the titular prison in The Shawshank Redemption.
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Throughout this time, his escape tunnel has been hidden behind a poster in his prison cell, as he slowly removes small pieces of rock that he can smuggle out undetected. A far-fetched escape plan, to be sure, but not physically impossible. However, fans have noted that once Andy climbed into the hole, it would have been impossible for him to put the poster back up.
The answer to that is simple.
All Andy had to do was attach the top of the poster to the wall, lift the poster up, climb into the tunnel, and let gravity do the rest!
The fact that at least some people managed to miss such an obvious idea proves that sometimes the hunt for plot holes in the media gets a bit overzealous.