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Classic TV Shows With Mind-Boggling Plot Holes and Goofs

Steve Palace

These days, TV is a medium of multiple seasons and big story arcs. When plot holes and goofs happen, fans jump on each and every one.

However, in times past before social media and such, producers could get away with more. That said, they still left some big gaps in logic. And viewers noticed!

Tune in for some old-school plot holes and errors from some favorite small screen shows.

The Incredible Hulk (1977 – 82)

Bruce Banner is the Hulk. Or rather David Banner, if you’re watching the classic TV series. Bill Bixby played the human side, with Lou Ferringo turning green and angry as the title character.

Banner had to keep a low profile as he moved across the country. Which, as IMDB says, was quite a feat considering his tendency to Hulk out. Many people discovered his secret, making the whole secret identity thing a bit pointless.

This, plus his trousers staying on post-transformation, resulted in a hugely entertaining but somewhat head-scratching watch for plot lovers.

The Incredible Hulk publicity still
The Incredible Hulk publicity still (Photo Credit: Universal Television,
Marvel Comics, MovieStillsDB)

Knight Rider (1982 – 86)

Michael Knight (David Hasselhoff) and his crime-fighting car K.I.T.T (Knight Industries Two Thousand) struck fear into villains’ hearts, not to mention putting the smell of exhaust in their nostrils.

A cool feature of the show is when K.I.T.T drives into the mobile HQ used by F.L.A.G, or the Foundation for Law and Government. Basically a big black truck and trailer, it accommodated a cutting-edge lab and other facilities.

Which is interesting if you watch closely. K.I.T.T is lucky not to have his wing mirrors knocked off as “he” enters the surprisingly snug space. Cut to the interior and it suddenly becomes pretty spacious!

David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight
David Hasselhoff as Michael Knight (Photo Credit: Glen A. Larson Productions, Universal Television, MovieStillsDB)

Fraggle Rock (1983 – 87)

Talking of secrets, the Jim Henson creations kept their presence under wraps to humans living in the outside world. With one notable exception – Uncle Traveling Matt and his worldwide adventures.

The wandering Fraggle regularly interacts with humans in broad daylight. They in turn react to him like it’s no biggie. Shouldn’t they be screaming or calling the news or something?

It was probably just grown-ups who noticed this hole. Looper writes that elements of Traveling Matt’s story are only understandable to adults anyway.

Fraggle Rock characters
Fraggle Rock characters (Photo Credit: Henson Associates, MovieStillsDB)

Boy Meets World (1993 – 2000)

Viewers of this fondly-remembered sitcom got a not-so-funny surprise when a popular character was mysteriously written out. Mr. Turner, played by Anthony Tyler Quinn, was the teacher millions wished was in their classroom.

The victim of a motorcycle accident, Turner never returned to the series. Bustle recalls the potentially heart-breaking truth: “many people assumed that Mr. Turner had passed away and that the show just didn’t want to outwardly acknowledge it.”

This is the only plot hole on our rundown that was filled in. Trouble is, it happened years later via the small screen sequel Girl Meets World (2014 – 17). While that brought the character back and revealed that he’d simply moved away, it arguably didn’t make up for a major fan dangle.

Boy Meets World
Boy Meets World promo shot (Photo Credit: ABC, MovieStillsDB)

The actor himself joined Twitter in 2013 and offered this response to questions about Turner’s disappearance: “Sometimes they make changes, and can’t figure out how to explain them. :(” Loving the homework style frowny face at the end there!

Friends (1994 – 2004)

For millions of viewers, Friends captured a moment in their formative years. When it comes to the characters’ ages, however, things get a little cloudy.

Cosmopolitan writes about the youngest patron of Central Perk, which is Rachel (Jennifer Aniston). Or hold on, maybe it’s Joey (Matt LeBlanc). Both were identified as being the baby of the group at different points.

Meanwhile, Ross (David Schwimmer) managed to stay at age 29 over three consecutive years. The title sequence famously features them splashing about in water, so is this some mystical fountain of youth…?

Cast members of NBC's comedy series "Friends."
Cast members of NBC’s comedy series “Friends.” Pictured (l to r): David Schwimmer as Ross Geller, Courteney Cox as Monica Geller, Jennifer Aniston as Rachel Cook, Matthew Perry as Chandler Bing, Matt LeBlanc as Joey Tribbiani and Lisa Kudrow as Phoebe Buffay. Episode: “The One Where They All Turn Thirthy.” (Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Television)

That ’70s Show (1998 – 2006)

As a series made more during the 21st century, this is a little outside our remit. But we’ll give it a pass because That ’70s Show gave fans a blast of nostalgia with its vintage setting.

‘Tis the season to be jolly. And somewhat confused. Screen Rant points out how “even though the show’s universe takes place over the course of four years, they still somehow celebrate eight Christmases.”

There was also the strange decision to give Donna (Laura Prepon) a couple of sisters only to delete them from history afterward.

That '70s Show holiday episode
That ’70s Show holiday episode (Photo Credit: The Carsey-Werner Company, MovieStillsDB)

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (1997 – 2003)

Again, this is more of a late nineties/early noughties show but what the hey. Vampires are ancient and that’s good enough for us! Slaying vamps is hard work, so we can perhaps forgive the producers of Buffy for some details that don’t add up.

CBR notes the footage of vampires breathing and being reflected in mirrors – something the show states they can’t do. Oxygen and appearances aside, one attention-grabbing plot hole concerns the character of Spike (James Marsters).

The continuity of the follow-up show Angel (1999 – 2004) establishes that vampires can’t get drunk. “Angel laments that they are unable to feel the effects and Spike agrees,” writes CBR, “blaming vampire constitution as the reason.”

Fine. Except back in Buffy he was quite clearly on the sauce, for at least one episode. He could have been drinking the blood of an alcoholic beforehand of course. Or there might be some super-strength vampire tipple we’re as yet unaware of. Like Spike himself, the world of the undead is one place that doesn’t follow the rules.

The Golden Girls (1985 – 92)

It’s one of America’s most iconic sitcoms, though having well-drawn characters didn’t save The Golden Girls from plot holes.

CheatSheet notes the puzzling approach writers took to Blanche (Rue McClanahan) and late husband George’s offspring: “She mentions Matthew, Skippy, Biff, and Doug during different points.” So, four kids.

However: “Later, two daughters are added to the rotation.” Maybe Blanche didn’t like her daughters so didn’t mention them previously? Or the team wanted to shake things up? Whatever they thought, the result has thrown people to this day.

Add the strangely youthful appearance of Dorothy (Bea Arthur)’s eldest son Michael and the ladies’ wildly fluctuating income, and you have a catalog of errors.

The Golden Girls publicity still
The Golden Girls publicity still (Photo Credit: NBC, MovieStillsDB)

More from us: Movie Plot Holes That You Won’t Be Able To Unsee

While many can be overlooked, some of these goof ups have us scratching our heads as to how they were missed in the first place.