->Zoidberg (underwater): My home, it burned down! [How did this happen!?]
->Hermes: That's a very good question!
->Bender (picking up his still-lit cigar from the underwater ruins): So that's where I left my cigar.
->Hermes: That just raises further questions!
-->-- WesternAnimation/Template:Futurama, "The Deep South"
The writers catch a particularly bad PlotHole, but they leave it in because it is still critical to the story. The Voodoo Shark is the attempt to HandWave it rather than disrupt the story — except the HandWave itself is a PlotHole. Bonus points if it makes the initial PlotHole bigger.
Coined by SFDebris Chuck Sonnenberg, the term refers to the novelization of JawsTheRevenge (a film not held in high regard). In the movie, the supposedly eponymous shark seeks out and attacks the living relatives and friends of Martin Brody. In the novel, a voodoo curse is used to explain away the idea that a shark understands the concept of revenge, and that it can somehow figure out where and when to find these people. What makes it the trope namer is that the writer doesn't bother to answer the question of why the voodoo curse was made in the first place, or any of the other countless questions that come to mind.
Similar to DorkAge but specific to an episode's plot device. Compare to AuthorsSavingThrow in that not only is it on a plot device level, and that the creative staff is able to catch it before the final product ever leaves for production, but also in that it tends to fail miserably. Compare also to JustifiedTrope, except a Voodoo Shark moment requires the justification to fall flat, inadequately justify, or otherwise simply fail so that suspension of disbelief remains lost. Also compare to ItRunsOnNonsensoleum, in which an explanation like this is played for laughs instead of presented straight. DanBrowned can be considered similar, in that specific knowledge about the subject at hand causes the hand wave or attempt to justify the trope to fall apart.
Not necessarily related to Template:Jumping the Shark or HollywoodVoodoo, except for particularly bad cases such as the TropeNamer.
folder:Anime and Manga
* Mai-Otome attempts to HandWave the VirginPower of Otome by explaining that a chemical in sperm destroys the nanomachines that are injected into an Otome's body to give her her powers. This raises a couple problems:
** Why does no one think to use this as a weapon against Otome? Aside from rape (which is an issue with any type of VirginPower), this particular explanation makes it possible that someone could simply isolate this chemical, then poison the water supply, turn it into a spray, etc., and permanently depower the enemy's Otome.
** What about prophylactics? Has no one in this universe ever heard of a condom? Especially since the series is implied to have occurred AfterTheEnd, meaning that they somehow retained knowledge of advanced robotics, but not birth control?
- In Death Note's second rewrite special, the mafia are cut and spoiler: Mikami and Takada kill the SPK in their place, with Light's meetings with them moved to earlier than occurred in the manga. This fixes a Template:Plothole present in the original anime, wherein SPK member Ill Ratt is never revealed as a spy for Mello (providing no explanation for Mello's crew spoiler: knowing their names and thus able to kill them with the Death Note), but with the mafia plot's removal, another is created: Soichiro Yagami spoiler: making the trade for Shinigami Eyes and his subsequent death are also omitted, leaving spoiler: his absence and spoiler: Light's knowledge of Mello's true name unexplained.
* In DigimonAdventure02 , the explanation why the main characters of DigimonAdventure are no longer able to digivolve to ultimate or mega, is that the power of the crests was neccesary to restore balance to the world. The problem is that these crests were not only already destroyed, the kids had already learned to evolve without them by drawing power from either themselves(english dub) or each other(original). And the other problem is that the series had already introduced a 9th crest, still with full power, so they didn't even have the power of all the crests. And the other other problem is that the world was already reborn with restored balance at the end of the first season.
* In the Bleach manga, during Hitsugaya's fight with Harribel, after she seemingly kills Hitsugaya, it's moments later revealed that what she killed, and had been bleeding, is an ice clone, with the real Hitsugaya alive and well. The anime [[Bowdlerise omits the blood]] when adapting the scene, and while this clears up the issue of how an ice clone can be made to apparently bleed, the audience is then left without explanation for why Harribel was fooled by the decoy, considering her accomplished status.
* In Template:Boku Wa Tomodachi Ga Sukunai Maria and her older sister Kate are both nuns, however Maria is only 10 year old and Kate is only 15! For those who are unware it takes years of training before a person is considered a nun.so it's highly unlikely for a person to become one at age 15 let alone 10. so what is the the explanation we get for this? DidNotDotheResearch Apparently becoming a nun is just a part of a long-standing tradition in Maria's family. Needless to say,this explanation doesn't really answer the question. In fact it just makes the idea even more difficult to believe.
* In GundamSEED, protagonist Kira is caught in the SelfDestructMechanism of another HumongousMecha Mobile Suit and appears to be dead for several episodes (though they NeverFoundTheBody). The spinoff manga GundamSEEDAstray explains that his Gundam had an automatic blast shutter that kept him from dying, at which point Astray[='s=] protagonist found him and got him medical attention. This would have been a good enough explanationhottip:*:though a bit AssPull-ish...had the anime not shown the Gundam's cockpit as a slagged ruin of molten metal, something that no human could have survived, blast shutter or not. Other than the HandWave of his DesignerBaby genes supposedly making him heat-resistant enough to survive a ReentryScare earlier, there's no explanation.
* The leadup to DC's InfiniteCrisis revealed that the DiedHappilyEverAfter 'pocket paradise' which Alexander Luthor had created for himself, Template:Superman-2 and Superboy-Prime at the end of CrisisOnInfiniteEarths CerebusRetcon was actually more of a PhantomZone, sealed off from the rest of reality by MagicalSecurityCam a crystal wall which showed all the DCU's events in real time. The crisis proper started when Superboy-Prime, disgusted by IdentityCrisis recent events, punched the wall in frustration, shattering it and freeing himself and the others to try and create a MergedReality, WellIntentionedExtremist whether it wanted remaking or not. This would have worked eminently well as an allegorical image, but WordOfGod stated that the wall was an actual physical representation of the DCU's timeline, and used the damage caused by Superboy's punch as a catch-all HandWave to explain away some of the event's less explainable facts, most notably BackFromTheDead "dead Robin" Jason Todd suddenly 'waking up' BuriedAlive in his grave and Maxwell Lord's completely-out-of-nowhere FaceHeelTurn. InternetBackdraft The fans were neither convinced nor amused, and MemeticMutation "SUPERBOY PUNCHED TIME!" became something of a rallying cry.
** Since then, the editorial staff seems to have realized its mistake, and has been at pains to re-retcon some of it. For example, lines from the Batman & Robin title, as well as the semi-canon animated version of UnderTheRedHood, strongly suggest that Todd's body was actually rejuvenated in a Lazarus Pit, which makes for a far more palatable explanation.
*** The single comic book issue devoted to explaining this stated that Jason Todd's mind was rejuvenated by a Lazarus Pit... after Superboy-Prime punched him back to life. Of course everything has since been retconned due to Flashpoint.
* The biggest Template:Voodoo Sharks in the DCU might be some of the explanations of ClarkKenting. For a brief while in the BronzeAge, it was Canon that Template:Superman's nearly PaperThinDisguise worked despite all the close calls because he also had a "super-hypnosis" power that prevented anyone from noticing Clark Kent's resemblance to Superman. This depended on his glasses, which were made out of pieces of his Kryptonian spaceship; in one comic Lois Lane saw Clark Kent in a suit and no glasses and assumed it was Superman trying futilely to disguise himself as Clark. Fine, fair enough, Superman does lots of things superhumanly well due to his speed and intellect and they're all called separate superpowers. But this just raises more questions, like why does a wig work as a disguise for Supergirl? Or, why does this disguise work over television? Or, there are many stories where Batman disguises himself as Clark. Does Batman have Bat-hypnosis?
** The current (and much more rational) explanation is that when he is Clark Kent, Superman acts completely differently; timid, slumped, and so completely unlike Superman no one would ever relate the two, which also makes Batman disguising himself as Clark easier to accept. Bruce Wayne is a master of disguise and he and Clark already look a lot alike. With a little makeup, Bruce could easily make himself look like Kent. There's also the later post-Crisis component of the explanation: Why does anyone assume that Superman has a secret identity?
* When talking about WhatCouldHaveBeen with his run on the Comicbook/SonicTheHedgehog comic, several of former writer Ken Penders' explanations for the events in "Mobius: 25 Years Later" come off as this. A few examples:
** Locke's sickness and death was due to cancer he developed from a bad interaction with this self-experimentation (to create Knuckles) and the Master Emerald. (If that's so, why isn't Knuckles affected, even though he resulted from those same experiments?)
** Rotor's WordOfGay reveal would not have impacted his modern-day depiction, because he would've only realized it five years prior to the events of "M:25YL", after he was married to a female. (Ignoring the fact that HaveIMentionedIAmGay having him only be gay in the future means nothing to the readers, while it is possible for people to realize they're gay after they're in a heterosexual relationship, having him find out that late after what's implied to be a long and fulfilling marriage strains credibility.)
** "M:25YL" is supposed to be the "true" future, and the one where NICOLE came from. (First of all, the story was built around time needing to be "fixed" to prevent TheEndOfTheWorldAsWeKnowIt, and Ken's run ended with Sonic going back in time to do just that. No way you can claim it to be the one true future, in that case. Second, unless Past!Nicole was destroyed before the story happened (which WordOfGod claims is not the case), MyFutureSelfAndMe both Nicoles should exist at the same time, and thus they should have the info they need from Past!Nicole to figure out what happened and how to fix it, something the story claims they don't. Or maybe it's a case of NeverTheSelvesShallMeet, but still...)
* The SpiderMan franchise has had its share of Voodoo Sharks, and the explanation given for Aunt May's BackFromTheDead return from the dead in late 1998's 'The Gathering of Five/The Final Chapter' storyline deserves a mention here. For easier reading, I'll list the sequence of events leading up to the Voodoo Shark moment in numbered order.
## Aunt May was in a coma. She awoke, eventually, and shared many anecdotes and heartwarming moments with Peter and Mary Jane, and congratulated Mary Jane on her pregnancy. She even admitted that she had known that Peter was Spider-Man for some time, because Peter couldn't have lived under her roof for so long without her at least seeing the signs. She was in denial for quite a while.
## In [Amazing Spider-Man #400], Aunt May suffered a relapse, and passed away peacefully in bed. Peter held her hand as she passed away, reciting their favorite passage from PeterPan. To many fans, this was an exceptionally well-done TearJerker moment.
## All was well until Marvel Editor in Chief Bob Harras ExecutiveMeddling insisted that StatusQuoIsGod Aunt May be brought back from the dead. It didn't matter that Aunt May's death was handled (in the eyes of many) beautifully and realistically, it didn't matter how much of a TearJerker it was. And it didn't matter that there was a funeral, and the characters and the books had moved on. Harras was the boss, and his word was law.
## So here we come to the VoodooShark moment. In 1998's '[The Final Chapter]', Spider-Man enters Norman Osborn's house in search of his missing child, only to find Aunt May alive and well waiting for him. Norman Osborn explains that he switched Aunt May with an actress engineered to be identical to Aunt May, who spent a long time practicing her mannerisms until they were identical. And that it was THIS actress who died in ASM #400, meaning Peter (and the readers) cried over a complete stranger.
## This leads to several questions. For one, how could this 'actress' be SO good as to fool Peter Parker? Aunt May was practically his mother. They lived under the same roof together, and Peter would have KNOWN something was wrong even if his spider-sense didn't give anything away. Secondly, just WHEN was this 'switch' made? How could this actress have practiced Aunt May's mannerisms, and become so good, when the real Aunt May was in a coma? Third, why in the world would this actress stay in character even on her deathbed! It makes absolutely no sense! The books, of course, never provided any answers for these and just moved on from there without addressing it any further, WildMassGuessing forcing any dissatisfied readers to pick up the slack themselves.
** Also in OneMomentInTime, [Quesada claims] that OneMoreDay was retconned out of continuity and Mephisto never made a deal with the Parkers - so he never saved Aunt May; she got better thanks to Peter's love and determination. Really, Joe? After everyone up to God himself told Pete that she's as good as MontyPythonsFlyingCircus passed on, no more, ceased to be, pining for the fjords...
* Vibranium. It was conceived as an explanation for why CaptainAmerica Captain America's shield is so strong; vibranium is supposed to absorb all kinetic energy from impacts. The thing is, that just makes the behavior of Cap's shield even LESS realistic. ShieldBash Hitting bad guys with it wouldn't do anything because the shield wouldn't impart any kinetic energy to them. It would stop bullets and such just fine, but not in the way depicted - rather than ricocheting off of the shield, bullets would fall straight to the ground as soon as they contacted it (they wouldn't even deform). And forget about all those "clang!" and "ting!" sounds; that energy would be absorbed by the shield rather than bled off in the form of sound waves. Any impacts on the shield would be completely silent. And of course there's the question of what is happening to all this energy the shield is absorbing. While the full explanation is that it's made of a Vibranium-super steel alloy (not pure Vibranium). That just raises further questions...
* Fanfic/MyImmortal[='s=] author's notes often "explain" plot holes with bizarre nonsense. Particular amusing is Tara apparently being under the impression that Snape hating Harry is a deviation from canon and explaining it thus: "da reson snap dosent lik harry now is coz hes christian and vampire is a satanist". Of course, Snape does hate Harry in the actual series and there was already a canon explanation.
folder:Films -- Live-Action
* StarWars: The explanation of Han Solo's famous statement about "making the Kessel Run UnitConfusion in less than 12 parsecs" left a bad taste in some fans' mouths. GeorgeLucas eventually WordOfGod announced that the Kessel Run involves navigating through The Maw, an area littered with black holes. The smart thing to do is zigzag around them, but the Millenium Falcon[='s=] superior navigational computer and engines allow her to fly a more direct route and thus arrive with less mileage on the odometer. Earlier drafts of the script indicated a much simpler explanation: Han was a blowhard trying to pull a fast one on a backwater yokel. (Note Obi-Wan's expression right after the line.)
** Given that Han was talking about how fast his ship was, it also seems odd that he would brag about how well it navigates...
** The prequels created one in the form of force ghosts. With the original trilogy, it was assumed that all Jedi (or at least sufficiently powerful ones) became "one with The Force" when they died. Then along comes RevengeOfTheSith saying the Force Ghost thing was a technique Qui-Gon Jin discovered and taught to Yoda, who taught it to Obi-Wan. So then... How did Vader/Anakin learn it? (The obvious answer, that Obi-Wan taught it to him, runs into the problem that by the time he'd learned about it himself, Anakin was already his enemy.) And why didn't Qui-Gon or Yoda teach this technique to any other Master? For that matter why wouldn't Qui-Gon appear before his friend and Padawan, Obi-Wan?
* In the film serial Film/FlashGordon Flash Gordon Conquers the Universe, the heroes befriend a tribe of rock creatures on the planet Mongo. Professor Zarkoff happens to know their language. How? Because the aliens colonized part of Earth, but died out there, while their counterparts who stayed on Mongo degenerated into superstitious primitives. But before the rock creatures died out on Earth, a tribe in Central America adopted their language. That tribe also died out, but Zarkoff happened to study their written records (we can only guess how the pronunciations are known, and how it could be translated at all). After the professor gives this explanation, no aspect of it is ever mentioned again.
* So the visions in FinalDestination, that mess with Death's plans, are caused by Death. So Death screws with his own plans and has to correct them, because of what he did. That's not YouCantFightFate. That's fate being an idiot, or a Template:Jerkass that likes screwing with people ForTheEvulz for no reason. Either way, it makes the plot of the movies seem kind of pointless.
** Except that the end of FD4 reveals that spoiler: it was all part of the plan. And yes, probably with some ForTheEvulz thrown in for good measure.
* TheGoodTheBadAndTheUgly's first couple of hours is an exercise in how even if you set up a DeusExMachina, it's still a DeusExMachina - the best example being the 'carriage of the spirits' that has plenty of set-up and plot dedicated to its presence, but still comes out of nowhere at a critical moment to save Blondie's life (The movie's entertaining enough not to suffer from it, though - if anything, it adds to the stylized atmosphere).
* TheRoom ends with a character "dramatically" shooting themselves. However, the film decides ChekhovsGun we need to know where the gun came from, so to explain this, an earlier scene is added where an armed dealer known as Chris-R confronts young orphan Denny about some sort of drug deal, and gets tackled by Johnny and Mark. The problem? Apart from this WhatHappenedToTheMouse never being mentioned again, and the sheer convenience that the entire group decided to go to the roof at just the right time, Denny claims he needed the money. He has a millionaire banker paying for his every whim and still he needed to go to a petty thug for money? Then when asked about this man, Denny says "Calm down, he's going to jail!" So... the police arrested him but didn't take his gun for evidence?
** Even better: Mark is the one who takes the gun. Even if we accept the not using the gun as evidence, are we supposed to believe that Mark simply gave the gun to Johnny?
* In HighlanderEndgame a group of Immortals live in voluntary stasis in the "Sanctuary," which is located in a large cathedral, but they are murdered by an immortal named Kell. In the original theatrical version, the Sanctuary is referred to as being holy ground, but this annoyed fans of the series since it had been established that Immortals are not allowed to kill one another on holy ground. This rule was even followed by every villain, no matter how evil. So the line was excised from the DVD version. But putting aside the fact that it's in a cathedral, the Sanctuary not being holy ground is just as nonsensical when you stop and wonder why a bunch of Immortals opted to be put into voluntary stasis in a place where they'd be vulnerable. Or why the renegade Watchers would establish the Sanctuary on a place that was not Holy Ground. Their goal was to prevent The Prize from being won, ergo they didn't want the immortals there losing their heads any more than the immortals themselves...
** Apparently, there was a line in the trailer that was excised from the movie, where Kell says "I don't care about the game". Why the makers didn't simply put that line back is a mystery.
* While this trope almost always creates a schism between creators and their fans, the famous ["watermelon scene"] from TheAdventuresOfBuckarooBanzaiAcrossTheEighthDimension is a rare case of it playing out in total good humor. The scene BigLippedAlligatorMoment is never mentioned again, and was actually only put in as a WriterRevolt against some of the restrictions placed on the production ExecutiveMeddling by its studio liaison, who vocally hated the project. When fans pressed for the promised explanation, WordOfGod said that the Banzai Institute was developing produce that could be airdropped fresh into African villages or other such impoverished, politically volatile areas. FridgeLogic It was soon pointed out that any fruit or vegetable that could survive impact would have to be so dense that it would be rendered inedible, WordOfGod responded (in mock exapseration), "Look, what do you want from me?!"
* In the Template:Mockbuster Snakes on a Train, snakes are released on a train because a woman was vomiting them up and eventually the woman transforms into a giant snake and swallows the train. This is all explained by her being put under some kind of voodoo curse.
* In Film/Halloween: Resurrection, we find out a man Laurie decapitated at the end of H20 wasn't Michael, but a paramedic he switched clothes with. That doesn't explain why Michael would want to switch clothes in the first place or why "the paramedic" was clearly trying to attack Laurie.
* In StarTrekFirstContact, Picard is stunned to find the Borg Queen is behind the assimilation of the Enterprise. Apparently, she was also on the Borg cube from the StarTrekTheNextGeneration TNG two-parter "The Best of Both Worlds", which was destroyed in the end, prompting Picard to ask how she could have survived. The Queen simply answers "You think in such three-dimensional terms.". Okay... Making this more complicated is the fact that RememberTheNewGuy none of the Borg's previous appearances had RememberTheNewGuy ever RememberTheNewGuy hinted at her existence. It was better done later when Voyager revealed that the queen is simply a drone that acts as a manifestation of the will of the Borg and can literally be in multiple places at once.
* The Film/Template:Transformers film series has its justification for still having a Masquerade in the second movie: military combat robots went rogue and trashed a major city. Why the government would think "Yes, we not only spent trillions of dollars building giant robots with sophisticated combat AI, concealing this information from taxpayers, but we are so staggeringly incompetent that they not only malfunctioned and started killing people, but when they did we had no way to stop them but to send in more giant robots to fight them" is somehow better than admitting it's aliens is anyone's guess.
* In Film/Template:Spider-Man 3, Harry Osborn undergoes his HeelFaceTurn and runs off to help Peter fight Sandman and Venom when his butler tells him that he examined Norman's corpse and noticed the wound came from his glider meaning he died by his own hand and thus Spider-Man didn't kill him. Of course, several fans have wondered why didn't the butler tell him this one or two movies ago instead of watching him go on his destructive vendetta against Spider-Man. WordOfGod then claimed that the butler was actually an hallucination representing Harry's "good side" meaning he knew it all along but couldn't face that facts. That would be nonsensical enough but what makes this a true VoodooShark is the fact that it directly contradicts an early scene where Harry talks to the butler in Peter's presence and Peter reacts completely normally despite the fact that if one were to take the hallucination theory at face value, he is watching his friend talking to an empty staircase.
** Harry could have just hallucinated something in the form of his actual butler.
* In TheNeverendingStory The Neverending Story 3, Bastion's supporting cast gets wished out of Fantasia into the real world in an attempt to justify why JustEatGilligan he can't just wish Fantasia back to normal. However, LampshadeHanging Bastion himself questions why he can't just wish the supporting cast back into Fantasia first, then wish Fantasia back to normal. HoldingBackThePhlebotinum He's never really given an answer.
* Literature/Template:Twilight has quite a few, usually concerning StephenieMeyer's WordOfGod explanations about how a vampire's body works. According to Meyer, when a human becomes a vampire all of their bodily fluids are replaced with a type of venom. To explain how a vampire can father a child, then, she says that the venom takes over "some of the functions" of the fluid it replaced.
** In fact, this one is especially terrible because it contradicts major points in the previous books. After all, weren't some of Edward's siblings jealous of Bella's ability to have children? What prevented them from having their own children if their fluids were never hindered?
*** Apparently, vampires don't have enough blood in their body for the females to menstruate. This was why, early on, Meyer said that vampires couldn't have kids. When Bella got pregnant (admittedly before her change to a vampire), Meyer [[Retcon retconned]] this so that only female vampires couldn't have children because they couldn't menstruate -- YouFailBiologyForever even though menstruation has nothing to do with getting pregnant.
** What is also unclear is how Renesmee is able to age, since Meyer stated that once a person becomes a vampire, they stop aging. Renesmee doesn't only age, but also RapidAging ages very quickly, and ImmortalityBeginsAtTwenty then will stop aging once she looks about 17 or 18.
* In Template:Animorphs, [[Animorphism morphing]] heals you, since it's based on DNA--so why didn't IAmDyingPleaseTakeMyMacguffin Elfangor just morph and demorph to heal his injuries? In The Andalte Chronicles he claims he was "too weak to morph," but he had enough strength to InfoDump and give BigBad Visser Three a token fight before he died--the Animorphs have frequently managed to morph under more dire conditions.
* In StarTrekVoyager Star Trek: Voyager's episode "The Cloud" one VS occurs. The ship is stranded far from any safe port, and thus the crew rations power. This gets to the point where replicated food is rationed out and they must set up a functioning galley with a live cook. Except for the Holodeck, which is kept running as much as anyone wants. The writers HandWave explain this by saying that the Holodeck has its own power system that is incompatible with everything else on the ship. Why would a holodeck, or any system on the ship, be built to be incompatible with the rest of the ship it's installed on in the first place, while technology from alien races and factions can be integrated just fine?hottip:* : The issue with the Holodecks was actually first brought up in the second episode "Parallax", though it wasn't until "The Cloud" when they started running it as much as they wanted to.
** And when the holodeck is first introduced in StarTrekTheNextGeneration TNG, it's explained as being nearly identical to existing energy-to-matter conversion technology - transporters and replicators. Wesley Crusher manages to leave the holodeck soaking wet in replicated water. It's only things that are manipulated force fields (like 'people') that can't leave the holodeck, because everything else, or at least all small stuff, is replicated! People eat and drink on it just fine, and the holodeck doesn't go yanking the partially digested stuff out of people when they leave (though because we see people bringing in clothes and other tools for their holodeck escapades, maybe the food the real people eat is similarly imported, and the holofood is being eaten by the holopeoplel). So even if the 'incompatible power systems' make sense, that just means they should be using the holodeck as a mess hall.
*** Of course, several episodes show supposedly-replicated holodeck matter disintegrating when thrown out the holodeck door. There is no consistent rule for the holodeck.
* Near the beginning of Series/Template:Heroes' fourth StoryArc volume: Fugitives, Noah says that [[spoiler:Sylar survived being stabbed in the back of the head ForMassiveDamage (leaving him unable to use his powers) and LeftForDead in a burning building at the climax of Villains because the glass in the back of his head melted, allowing him to use his HealingFactor.]] However, there's one big problem with this: [[spoiler:the melting point of brain is lower than the melting point of glass, meaning he would've died KilledOffForReal for real long before the glass melted]]. And even if it wasn't, spoiler: he's still got glass in his brain. Only now, it's absurdly hot, and seeps into all the cracks and can't be gotten out.
** However, we know the problem isn't that a shard of glass is sticking in his brain, but that it is sticking into the part of the brain that gives him the immortality. (He explained he learned how to move it when he got the Shapeshifter's powers.) The glass would just need to break from that part of his brain, not mattering that it destroys other parts. Seeing how immortal the immortals are in Heroes, that part of his brain probably can't be destroyed, not even by fire.
* Fans of Template:Smallville debate whether or not the explanation given for Lois Lane's employment at the Daily Planet is a Voodoo Shark. Because Lois was romantically involved with her supervisor (the guy who hired her) she briefly questions the reasons for her being hired. Her editor quells any fears she may have had by showing her the article she wrote for the Inquisitor the previous year. However, spoiler: given that the editor is an accelerated-aged clone with implanted memories who didn't exist at the time of her writing the article, it raises the question of how true his claim could be. Further, when he offered her the job, he didn't know who she was (she had just walked in off the street to see her cousin) so his claim that it was on the basis of her work is even more doubtful since he couldn't have possibly made the connection.
* SilentHill2 has a MultipleEndings possible ending which was intended as a parody of this trope. Silent Hill 2 is a macabre SurvivalHorror title featuring a young man who receives a letter from his deceased wife, imploring him to meet her at "their special place", which turns out to be a weird ghost town where all his subconscious fears and guilt manifest. It's in general a TearJerker MindScrew of a game. This ending's explanation of it all: spoiler:TheDogWasTheMastermind.
* A rather complicated example occurs in WorldOfWarcraft regarding the BigBad Lich King from Wrath of the Lich King. Many fans complained about Arthas being stuck with the VillainBall in the expansion after the Lich King (which he was now permanently half of) being played up as a MagnificentBastard in the previous game. In what appears to be an attempt to justify it, Blizzard gave the explanation that Arthas's spirit was dominating over the spirit of Ner'zhul (the previously sole spirit of the Lich King, who most certainly qualified for MagnificentBastard status, and Arthas supposedly not so much). However, that caused much more confusion considering previous interviews and scenes stating that Arthas and Ner'zhul were one being (flat out stating that neither persona existed anymore, only one Lich King), leading to many fans feeling annoyance.
** The final boss patch tried to lessen all the VillainBall moments where he just threatened you then left, or told some mook to kill you, then left, etc.. by explaining they were all a part of a INeedYouStronger plot, to get the most powerful warriors in Azeroth to become as strong as possible then have them confront him directly, at which point he would slaughter them and raise them as Uber-Death Knights to be his new unbeatable warriors. This was a VoodooShark to some players, since his plan to get "the greatest fighting force the world has ever known" involved letting them kill all his other powerful minions. And while there's the obvious "if they killed them, these guys are obviously better" counter argument, the players did that by facing them one at a time while outnumbering them 10 or 25 to one. Throw 10 players in a room with Kel'Thuzad, Anub'arak, Marrowgar, Deathwhisper, Lana'thel, Rotface, Festergut, Putridus, Saurfang and Sindragosa all at once and see how long they last, because if the players are squished in seconds, it probably wasn't worth letting all the aforementioned people and more die to get them on your side.
*** It gets even more annoying; the Scourge is powerful enough to wipe out all life on Azeroth. The reason they don't? The Lich King is holding them back. You know, the same Lich King that is trying to kill the player characters and resurrect them as his strongest champions in order to wipe out all life on Azeroth.
** Of course, as Anub'arak and Blood Princes show - he could bring them back too, so it still is a XanatosGambit win-win situation for him.
** This explanation actually makes sense if you know Arthas story, as this is pretty much the way he came to be, being played has a UnwittingPawn when he was a human KnightTemplar.
* In ZombieDriver, The Mayor pops up early in the story to tell you that he'll pay you for killing the zombies that are destroying his city. The game neglects to mention who's giving you money when you destroy the city as well.
* VideoGame/FireEmblemTellius Fire Emblem Path Of Radiance: In the FireEmblem series, when killing an enemy, you can only get some specifically tagged items. That's fine, since getting all the items in the game (and possibly selling them) would be a huge game breaker. But in Path of Radiance, it's justified, as moral principles from Greil's Mercenaries: it's morally unacceptable to loot dead people. Then, two questions arise: Why some items don't follow that rule, since you still grab some items upon killing some enemies? And, if I understand it well, looting a dead men is wrong, but pickpocketing a still alive (but not for long, since you will frag them after the theft, won't you?) soldier is right?
** In Radiant Dawn, the only rogue who hangs around with the Greil Mercenaries before the endgame would be Heather, unless you fail to recruit her or let her die in Crimea. spoiler:Heather is also questionable with her vows, as her ending would suggest. Since she never seems to be short on money despite the fact that she swore off thievery, it's fairly obvious
* Possibly TheyPlottedAPerfectlyGoodWaste intentional in MetalGearSolid4, which was partly a WriterRevolt against fan desire to explain MetalGearSolid2's deliberately inexplicable events:
** Vamp's immortality was ascribed to Nanomachines, although Naomi specifically mentions that they only work because he already has a supernatural and unexplainable regenerative ability, as if to annoy as many people as possible.
** Which is suprising, as the games show at several times that magic exist with Psycho Mantis, Vulcan Raven, the ghost wolves, and The Sorrow all being examples where no technology is involved at all.
* MetroidOtherM attempted to justify BagOfSpilling the lack of Samus' arsenal with the "authorization system"; to wit, she was permitted to aid the military investigation so long as she only used her weapons when authorized by the commander. So, she still had all her powerups from the previous games, and could activate them herself at any time, but would not until given the all clear.
** The problem here is that while Adam, the commanding officer, had good reason to ban the use of the more powerful weapons, the entire "authorization" thing falls flat on its face when you are sent wading through lava in an area that hurts you from just being there... with a fully functional heat shield installed that you are not permitted to use. This goes for every non-dangerous upgrade. Grapple beam to swing across the gap and get an energy tank? Sorry, no. Gravity module for free movement underwater so those space piranha won't get you? Nope. Wave beam activated for just a second so I can hit this switch behind the glass? No, you must backtrack through half the station first instead.
*** Thus, the question is not so much (as some people have framed it) why Samus didn't activate her abilities when they'd first be useful -- Adam made it painfully clear that he'd only play along with her tagging along as long as she followed orders, and the moment she refused she would be forced to leave -- as why Adam was dragging his feet with regard to useful upgrades for no obvious reason.
*** Eventually, Samus says screw it and starts activating her suit's abilities without Adam's consent, complete with the IronicEcho line "Any objections, Adam?" This is after spoiler: Adam goes missing.
* In VideoGame/Psychonauts, Raz's multiple lives in mental realms are justified with Raz having multiple layers of astral projection that weaken his link to the mental world, and if he runs out of lives, he gets ejected. Health drops are also explained as Raz collecting mental health from the realm. However, this raises a lot of questions when Raz has the same mechanics for mental health and extra lives in reality.
* Template:Castlevania 'DawnOfSorrow claims that the castle the game takes place in is an exact replica of the the TropeNamer for ChaosArchitecture for the purpose of avoiding an ArtifactTitle (the game doesn't take place in Dracula's Castle, AKA Castlevania), which would merely be trivia otherwise.
* Parodied in DresdenCodak: "I bet it's like when you find out Santa isn't real, and it was really just Bigfoot giving you presents."
* Frequently parodied in DarthsAndDroids when the players point out some of the insane lapses in logic in the StarWars universe, particularly the GM's explanations for how Coruscant can be a planet-wide city. ...jokes recycled from the same author's IrregularWebcomic, where it was eventually lampshaded with a cutaway to a pirate captain:
-->Captain: Arr! Take that, you scurvy equine!\\
First Mate: IncrediblyLamePun But captain, that horse be dead!
* In the NSFW VideoGame/MegaMan gender-bender comic Rock Gal, one of the villains explains to her lady friend (as they're torturing FauxActionGirl the title character) that if a female robot's breasts are smacked too hard, [[Template:Squick they lose energy in a manner similar to human lactation.]] All this does is raise the question of why the hell anyone would deliberately design a robot to lose energy. (In this case, "to prevent an overload" doesn't cut it)
** Later handwaved a second time by implying that everyone who builds these robots are massive perverts (as if that weren't obvious enough).
* Template:Lampshaded in YuGiOhTheAbridgedSeries, when the supposed ghost of Kaiba turns into a...VillainousHarlequin gay clown, MakesJustAsMuchSenseInContext or something:
-->Gay Clown: Actually, I'm not a clown. I'm TheRival Seto Kaiba's SuperpoweredEvilSide evil side brought back from the EldritchLocation Shadow Realm by BigBad Pegasus--
-->Yami: That's even less believable than the whole ghost story! You don't even know what you are, do you?
-->Gay Clown: No.
-->Yami: Didn't think so. KillEmAll MIND CRUSH!
** This is meant to poke fun at an edit done by 4Kid's Macekred dub; in the original version, the "clown" is simply a master of disguise hired by Pegasus to eliminate players unfortunate enough to cross with him.
* WesternAnimation/Ben10AlienForce. Gwen's magical powers are explained as alien powers inherited from her alien grandmother. The episode in which this revelation is made clear goes on to say that there is no such thing as magic. This despite on a previous episode Gwen clearly used divination to locate their enemies and in the former series WesternAnimation/Ben 10 there were spells read from incantations, a fountain of youth, and soul-swapping. Then WordOfGod claims that both Hex and Charmcaster are in fact magic users.
** They're back to calling it magic later on in Ben10UltimateAlien; it's starting to feel like they don't know what to call it, either that, or Mana and Magic can be the same thing, and Kevin's just a Template:Flat earth atheist.
*** Ultimate Alien gives the impression at least that Gwen has both alien superpowers and magical abilities and simply doesn't know where to draw the line between them since they're similar.
* WinxClub dub, "Magical Reality Check": It's already bad enough that the would-be AuthorsSavingThrow (where Knut comes in and says that he couldn't find the herb ingredients that the Trix wanted for a potion) is placed in the middle of the episode (and not brought up again at the end where it would be relevant; [this comparison] includes the throw), but it also raises the question, "Why do the Trix perform their plan to steal Bloom's powers after they're told that they lack the necessary ingredients?" (as well as "Why don't they bring that up when the plan fails?")
** And not only is the Throw placed mid-episode, it's buried so inconspicuously that [this summary] for the ep doesn't even mention it, because the summary writer apparently missed that detail.
* The Simpsons episode "Don't Fear the Roofer", near the end. In the story, Homer gets his new friend Ray Magini to fix his roof. However, it is soon postulated that Ray doesn't actually exist, since all the people that were with Homer when he spoke to Ray claimed not have actually seen him. Thinking that Homer is delusional, his family takes him to the doctor, and after several treatments of painful therapy, Homer thinks he's back to sanity again. But then they find out that Ray was real all along, and that there were logical explanations as to why no one else saw him - except for one case where Bart couldn't see Ray even though he was in plain sight and he should have been able to. Guest star StephenHawking then shows up and delivers the trope - a miniature black hole had appeared between Bart and Ray that absorbed the light from Ray so Bart couldn't see him. There is no way to even start explaining all the problems with that theory.
** Of course, the whole thing comes so far out of left field that the only reasonable explanation is that it's PlayedForLaughs.
** Also PlayedForLaughs in one of the ADayAtTheBizarro Template:Halloween Episodes:
-->Lisa: Wait a minute, Xena can't fly!
-->Template:Lucy Lawless: IAmNotSpock I told you, I'm not Xena--I'm Lucy Lawless.
* Template:Futurama is more or less made of this trope, as shown in the page quote. Made even funnier by the fact that the plot of the entire episode in question was held together by long bouts of TechnoBabble and multiple Handwaves, which even by Futurama logic barely made sense. For a start, shouldn't the Lost City of Atlanta's residents have, you know, drowned or got crushed by the high pressure of the sea bottom before procreating? Did the accelerated evolution with gills and fins start after just the second generation? Keep in mind, though, Futurama is a character-driven show that runs on RuleOfFunny, so MST3KMantra it's best not to worry too much about it.
** This is best exemplified in the episode "A Clone of My Own". Professor Farnsworth shows his clone Cubert all his various inventions. However, Cubert, the OnlySaneMan who is being newly introduced to the Futurama world, derides the devices and the Professor's explanations as impossible.
--->Professor Farnsworth: These are the dark matter engines I invented. They allow my starship to travel between galaxies in mere hours
--->Cubert: That's impossible. You can't go faster than the speed of light.
--->Professor Farnsworth: Of course not. That's why scientists increased the speed of light in 2208.
--->Cubert: Also impossible.
--->Professor Farnsworth: And what makes my engines truly remarkable is the afterburner, which delivers 200% fuel efficiency!
--->Cubert: That's especially impossible.
--->Professor Farnsworth: Not at all. It's very simple.
--->Cubert: Then explain it.
--->Professor Farnsworth: Now that's impossible!
*** This is arguably solved later in perfectly plausible scientific fashion:
---> Cubert: The engines don't move the ship at all. The ship stays where it is, and the engines move the universe around it.
** Lampshaded here:
-->Fry: "Is he (Guenther the talking genius monkey) genetically engineered?"
-->Professor: "Oh please, that's preposterous science fiction mumbo jumbo. Guenther's intelligence actually lies in his electronium hat, which harnesses the power of sunspots to produce cognitive radiation."
** Fry often prefers this answer in situations where he doesn't want to think. Even when there's a perfectly logical explanation.
-->Fry: It's crazy! How could they even know about a show from a thousand years ago?
-->Farnsworth: Well, Omicron Persei 8 is about a thousand light years away. So the electromagnetic waves would just recently have gotten there. You see--
-->Fry: Magic. Got it.
* AvertedTrope Averted in TransformersAnimated. WordOfGod The writers announced that they would not be revealing anything about the origins of the Allspark, because the explanation would run the risk of being so bizarre that it shattered the audience's Template:Willing suspension of disbelief. The StarWars Midichlorian example was specifically cited.
* WordOfGod of EdEddNEddy says that CompanionCube Plank is just a hunk of wood. While most of the strange incidents concerning Plank could be justified as the insanity of Johnny, Plank's owner, a few things just can't be explained. For example, in "Rent-A-Ed", Plank told Johnny that Eddy had messed up the kitchen. While Johnny was trapped in a tree far away from the incident. He also managed to sprout a branch in "Scrambled Ed", and drives a bus in TheMovie.
* Lampshaded in FamilyGuy:
-->Stewie: Say, Brian, now that I think about it, how can you possibly have a thirteen-year-old son when you yourself are only seven?\\
Brian: Well, those are dog years.\\
Stewie: That doesn't make any sense.\\
Brian: You know what, Stewie? If you don't like it, go on the Internet and complain.
** [[ComicallyMissingThePoint Well, if the son looks human but is aging at the speed of a dog, then he could be a little less than two years old chronologically while being as physically mature as a normal human 13-year-old, so people might describe him as 13 years old...]]
** Incidentally that just causes FridgeHorror since his son could possibly be a dog-hybrid and actually lives half as long as humans.
* SpongeBobSquarePants Played for laughs. When Patchy the Pirate invited SpongeBob and Patrick to a dry-land party, the invitations got destroyed for obvious reasons...
-->[=SpongeBob=]: Whoever sent this obviously has no idea about the physical limitations of life underwater! Well, might as well throw these in the fire.\\
** Another episode has the duo camping out, thinking they're on the lam...
-->Patrick: Hey, if we're underwater, how can we have a-- (The campfire goes out.) ...oh.
*** And then RuleOfFunny it reignites when Pat steps in it.
* Frequently used on WesternAnimation/AmericanDad, particularly in regards to the details of Roger's many disguises. For example, in one episode, Roger is pretending to be a wedding planner, and introduces Stan to his sons - two college-age men who act as if Roger is actually their mother:
-->Stan: How is that possible?
-->Roger: I know. I look too young to have kids in college.
-->Stan: No, that you have children when your persona is completely fabricated...
-->Roger: IceCreamKoan We are the music makers. Film/CharlieAndTheChocolateFactory We are the dreamers of dreams.
-->Stan: LampshadeHanging That is an unsatisfying answer.
** And then in a more recent episode:
-->Steve: You... you've been married to him (a prison warden) for thirty years? Where do you find the time?!
-->Roger: When you're in love, you make time.
* In an episode of WesternAnimation/CowAndChicken, ThoseTwoGuys Flem and Earl were seemingly stranded in the middle of an ocean, ClipShow reminiscing on memories that didn't actually happen. In the end, it turns out they were stuck in their bathtub the entire time, suffing from "RuleOfFunny Steam Induced Amensia"
* WordOfGod's explanation for what ghosts are in DannyPhantom: they're not dead people; they're beings from another dimension who have taken on the memories and appearances of dead people. Fan reaction to this proclamation was uniformly negative, especially since it seems to contradict the show itself!
* PlayedForLaughs in WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb, when MadScientist Dr. Doofenschmirtz ItMakesSenseInContext accidentally teleports a house full of people into his pants. Confused as to why his teleporter had that option, he realizes he mixed its wheel's setting up with his dry-cleaning wheel...which raises the question of why he has a dry-cleaning wheel.
--> Doofenschmirtz (talking for the wheel): I am a dry-cleaning wheel. Why do I exist?
* This is the standard operating procedure in science. If some phenomenon is found that cannot be explained by existing theories, a new theory is created that explains the mysterious phenomenon through some even more mysterious theoretized stuff. Dark matter is a typical example.
** And often eventually it will be simplified with a new discovery. For example, the geocentric model of the universe began to become increasingly convoluted as improving telescope technology and star charting lead to increasingly convoluted models of how the orbiting bodies must be moving. Moving to a heliocentric model simplified this considerably.
*** Even then, there were still problems with the model. For an example visible to the naked eye, at times Mars appears to double back on itself as it moves across the night sky. Scientists began working on theories that the planets all moved in orbits within orbits (essentially, that they wobbled about within their orbits like a top that's winding down). Then they discovered a far simpler explanation: planetary orbits are elliptical, not a perfect circle.
** And sometimes the weird explanations stick. It would have been easier to believe that attempts to measure the speed of aether had simply failed due to flaws in the experiment. The conclusion that light itself has the same apparent speed no matter how fast you yourself are moving is weird.
* One of the many reasons ConspiracyTheories are ridiculed is that their "explanations" of perceived inconsistencies only raises further (and much dumber) questions, one of the more common being "How would you keep something like that a secret?"
** "Who could possibly benefit from this?" being another common one.
** [David Wong], in an attempt to disprove the 9/11 conspiracy theories, actually calculated the number of people they would have had to to pay off or eliminate to guarantee the success of the FalseFlagOperation. The resulting number was over 100,000. Of course, that has nothing on the FlatEarthSociety, whose pet theory would include the cooperation of the entire Southern Hemisphere, over a billion people.
** Noam Chomsky has pointed out several main flaws with 9/11 conspiracies - for instance, the (dubious) assumption that the US Government benefited from it doesn't logically mean they planned it. If the US government really was prepared to murder thousands of its own citizens for greed, why would it then allow people to expose it online, given that it has already demonstrated a total disregard for human rights?
* Most UrbanLegends also fall under this trope for the same reason as ConspiracyTheories. It doesn't take long for any critical observer to pick apart such stories, usually by pointing out that the city where they happen is never specified, or in the case of the story happening to "the friend of a friend" that the person telling the story is never able to give the name of that person.
* Likewise, religious apologists can come up with very odd rationalisations of their beliefs. These explanations tend to only make things look worse, especially when morality is involved.
** YourMileageMayVary, and RuleOfCautiousEditingJudgement we'll leave it at that.