Let me start this by saying we’re all adults here, right? That or at least teenagers? But we all have something in common—we all grew up watching Disney. The classic animated films, like The Little Mermaid and Lilo and Stitch; the animated and live action TV shows, like Kim Possible and Wizards of Waverly Place; to the made for TV movies, like Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century; they all stand out in our minds, and hold a special place in our hearts. They helped to shape our childhoods, and often would inspire our dreams as we grew. For lack of a better word, Disney is, and was, positively magical.
Heck, maybe some of us still watch Disney every Friday night when we host a Disney Karaoke party, even if no one else can attend even when they said they would—yes, I am looking at you, Jacqi—and we sing wildly into the night. Ahem. Where was I? Ah, yes. However we choose to enjoy it, even now, we still love Disney. Why else would you be here? And yet, despite our love for the mega-conglomerate that is Disney, even our favorite shows let us down now and again. Because we are adults (or thereabouts), it becomes harder to overlook the glaring flaws. No, I’m not talking about production missteps like forgetting to color a character’s hand here and there, or even showing production crew briefly in their live action works. I’m talking holes that need filling. Without further ado, here are 25 of Disney’s worst plot holes!
25 Live Your Dream! Just Not That One
Let’s talk about one of Disney’s more recent cartoons (and yes, I do mean from the 2000’s; I’m old, okay?), Phineas and Ferb. The premise is these two step-brothers, Phineas and Ferb, spend summer break building interesting inventions while keeping their mother from finding out. Their sister, Candace, tries to act as their warden and get them caught. Oh, and they also have a secret-agent platypus pet who is bent on foiling the plans of (evil?) Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz. Anyway, at some point in the future, it’s suggested (okay, not explicitly stated, but still) that Ferb is president of the USA. However, Ferb was born in merrie old England. Even a naturalized citizen can’t run for president—take it from me; I know. My mom was born in Japan and is super bitter that she can’t run. Not that she wants to, but that’s beside the point, I guess?
24 The Invisible Laser
So, you remember how I said that Phineas and Ferb spend their days making really neat contraptions, intensely complicated inventions, and their sister tries to expose them to their mother? Right? Well, in season 1, episode 15, “I Scream, You Scream,” the two try to make an ice-cream machine for a friend who had her tonsils removed. Anyway, all that aside, at one point, there is a giant laser in their front yard. Huge. However, when their mom returns from the cooking class she is taking with the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz’s wife, she sees nothing out of place. Nothing. Nada. But there, just a few paltry moments before, was the giant laser in the yard that they did not attach to the laser-inator, and was left for all and sundry to see.
23 Too Much Time Travel
Whether you watched it when it aired, or have watched reruns, Kim Possible is a timeless cartoon. Kim’s an average kid, just going to school—only she’s not at all. She fights crime, and we see her origins in Kim Possible: A Sitch in Time. There’s a bunch of time-traveling shenanigans.
Kim and her sidekick, Ron, end up in Africa, fighting Drakken and his evil cohorts. Drakken uses his device, the “Tempus Simia,” to open a time-space portal and escape. All the bad guys follow suit. Except for Duff Killigan, who is not able to get through before it closes. At least, he is not shown slipping through with all the other baddies, even though he was very much present. However, when we next see said criminals, Duff is there with them. Somehow. Even though he was left in Africa.
22 Suspended Disbelief
Do you remember Even Stevens? It was one of my personal favorites, mostly because Shia was super relatable back in the day. The show revolves around the two Stevens siblings, Ren and Louis. Louis is pretty notorious for his mischief and his carefree nature. Ren is the classic counter, as an overachiever and incredibly successful overall.
In season 3, Louis gets suspended. It’s only for a week, but they take the time to clean out his locker, which is absurd and would only happen if he was leaving the school for good.
To make things worse and even more plot hole-y, he somehow shows up in class the very next day. He goes to class and participates in a wrestling match he was supposed to miss due to, you know, being expelled.
21 Time Stands Still
Recess was another one of my favorites as a kid. It focuses on a group of kids and their adventures, well, during recess. There is TJ Detweiler, Vince LaSalle, Ashley Spinelli, Mikey Blumberg, Gretchen Grundler, and Gus Griswald. So, in season 1, Mikey thinks he sees Spinelli beat up Randall with a rock. However, there is about a three-second gap in his view of the scene, in which he runs down to try and help Randall. Arguably, Randall doesn’t deserve the help. He’s a rotten little snitch, but I digress.
What actually happens is that Spinelli rescues Ms. Finster’s cat from a tree, and Randall hits himself with a rock. Spinelli then accepts her teacher’s thanks for returning the cat, all before Mikey reaches them to stop the “fight.” The only thing is…how could that take place in three seconds?
20 Spies Undercover
Let us keep on with Recess, shall we, dear reader? In season 4, during the episode titled “The Secret Life of Grotke,” the gang makes a brief foray into working as spies when they think Miss Grotke, their quirky and lovable teacher, is a spy herself. They make it their new mission to determine what is true. To do so, they set up an elaborate system to overhear the password to access a secretive building (one that, obviously, requires a password). Did I say elaborate system? I meant completely basic: cup and rope “telephones.”
Somehow, the cup telephones work. They overhear a conversation on the other end, allowing them to discern the password they need to get in. However, as they are busy talking themselves, somehow the men on the other end of the cup don’t hear their conversation.
19 Spy Kids 8: Recess Edition
This takes place in Recess: School’s Out, the movie. As with many cartoons, you need to suspend your disbelief for this one. So, TJ is the only one of the group to not be heading to camp over summer break. Because of this, however, he is able to see a green light inside the school cafeteria. After being chased off by a guard, he figures something is up. After no one believes him, he manages to get all his friends out of camp to come and help him investigate. Again, no one believes him until they see a tractor beam device pop up out of the top of the school, and fire a giant beam. What makes this a plot hole? Because this happens during the middle of the day, and no one, no one, but the kids, witnesses it. In an entire town.
18 That's Not How California Works
While I never watched Hannah Montana myself (just a touch after my time, if you’re trying to carbon date me), I have a question about something. The show takes place in California, Malibu to be specific. Now, as someone who grew up in southern California, I am very, very aware of how expensive it is. I had a single mom raising two kids alone. We barely made it and our idea of a hot-time was going to the beach (free) with homemade sandwiches.
California is pricey. I’m talking mortgage both your kidneys expensive.
Can you answer me this question then, dear reader? What job does Hannah Montana’s father have? He seems to be home all the time and yet they live on a beach house. In Malibu. How does no one question this?! I’m angry and demand answers.
17 Singing With The Stars Through Space And Time
While I’m riled up, let’s talk about another gaping plot hole in Hannah Montana. Someone named Amber and Hannah herself are meant to be preforming on a reality show based around singing, right? This is season 1, episode 24, called “The Idol in Me,” and the prize of winning the show, Singing with the Stars, is to sing with Hannah herself. Hannah makes sure that Amber gets on, just to humiliate her, but changes her mind at the last minute. That’s all fine and good, but the show takes place on a Saturday night. When Amber gets back to school, she tells her friends at lunch, “Last night, I was on Singing with the Stars,” which implies it had to be Sunday night, not Saturday.
16 Boy Meets World, Loses Teacher
How do you describe Boy Meets World? The show revolves around Cory Matthews, his friend Shawn and love interest, Topanga. The group grows up together and they learn many valuable life lessons, while having fun along the way. Okay. Let’s dive right in. In the first three seasons, the kids’ favorite teacher is Mr. Turner. He’s fun, charming, and is super cool.
So cool that he even goes so far as to become the legal guardian of Shawn. Then, at the end of the third season, he gets into a motorcycle accident. He recovers, but is never, ever seen again. Never heard from again. He’s just, poof!, gone. But he’s Shawn’s legal guardian! He can’t just disappear overnight! And yet, he does just that. Poor kid. Shawn’s been through enough abandonment.
15 Magically Disappearing Siblings
While we’re on the subject of Shawn, let’s discuss one of the worst aspects of the otherwise great show, Boy Meets World. Characters disappear. All. The. Time. You saw it with Mr. Turner, and we see it again over and over. Especially siblings. Shawn, as far as we know, has two siblings: a brother, whom we get to see, and a sister, whom we get to hear over a telephone call. Eddie is Shawn’s half-brother, and we see him one night in a trailer park. Shawn has a sister who helps Cory and her brother over the phone. Each get one episode. Then are gone forever, never to be seen or heard from again. Topanga, too, has a sibling—a sister, Nebula, who is seen once and never again. Come on, writers. I know it’s hard to keep track of stuff, but, like, siblings? How do you forget them?
14 Flagging Behind
Let’s jump back to Kim Possible, shall we? I miss our feisty red-headed spy kid. In season 1, episode 10, it’s established that Kim Possible and a character named Brick Flagg (who names these kids? Kim Possible? Ron Stoppable? Brick Flagg? This is Marvel-level silly. At least they’re not alliterative) are in the same grade. Brick is a football player, and, as the unfortunate stereotype goes, none too bright. It’s rumored he’s attended high school for seven years, if not longer. Suddenly, in the fourth season of the show, Brick goes from the same year as Kim to graduating and going to college a year before her. Yet, it’s established that he’s pretty, well, thick. How did he get ahead of Kim when she’s smart and resourceful?
13 All Too Animated
If you’re on the younger scale of Millennial, or even, dare I say, Gen Z, you may not have watched a good deal of Lizzie McGuire. It followed the life of Lizzie, who had an animated alter-ego of sorts, who would provide bursts of soliloquy to the audience. Anyway, during the first episode, her best friend Gordo makes a face as he avoids eating a heaping pile of broccoli during lunch. He says he hates it, but it is established pretty quickly that their cafeteria is self-serve. So, therefore, he served himself a giant pile of the green vegetable just so he could not eat it? Why, Gordo? Why? Why do this to yourself? Are you somehow showing off to Lizzie? What is the truth?
12 In The Birdhouse
I’m pretty sure that most of us are familiar with the actor twins, Cole and Dylan Sprouse. They were on Friends as Ross’ son and, as they aged, they went on to star in The Suite Life of Zack and Cody. The twins lived in a prominent hotel, sons of the hotel’s live-in lounge singer. In the episode “Smarter and Smarter,” Zack is failing all his classes, but Cody is getting an A in woodwork. Fast forward to season 2, episode 9, “Books and Birdhouses,” when Cody’s extracurricular class is canceled. Now, remember, Cody got an A in woodwork. This is established. He joins a woodworking class with Zack and Zack is the one who excels, while Cody struggles. Does this make sense? No, no it does not.
11 What's In A Name
Let’s bounce back to Boy Meets World because we have a lot to cover with that show. We have talked about how there are a good deal of inconsistencies with that show, notably characters disappearing. However, they also seem to forget basic details about their characters. That, you'd think, would be something a writer (or even several writers) would never forget—let alone a director, countless editors, and the actors themselves? Might it be an actual character’s name—a character who makes repeated appearances, especially one who is incredibly important to a main character? If you are just too curious to wait, I am referencing Topanga’s mother. Yes, her mother. Throughout her tenure on the show, she is called both Chloe and Rhiannon. The actress changes, but that’s understandable. Things happen. But a name? Come on, now.
10 A Rose By Any Other Name Would Just Be Confusing
Speaking of names in Boy Meets World, this show is in an odd place in the world of television. However many years after it finished, it experienced a reboot of sorts. Starting in 2014, a good 14 years after the original show ended, Disney gave us the gift of Girl Meets World. This show focuses on Cory and Topanga’s daughter, Beverly Glen.
Oh, wait, no, my bad—that’s not her name at all.
That’s the name their daughter has in Boy Meets World, during the flash-forward episode of Mr. Feeny’s retirement party. In Girl Meets World, their daughter is suddenly called Riley. It’s really like the writers didn’t even watch the original show. I mean, I get it. It was 14 years ago. But surely someone, somewhere along the line, thought to themselves, ‘Hmmm. Something’s off here.’ But apparently not.
9 Magical School Of Money
I’m going to bring us back to Lizzie McGuire, only this time, I’m talking about the movie. Oh, yes. There was a movie. A wonderful movie that has more holes than a golf course. The class, full of 13-14 year old middle schoolers mind you, is going on a school trip! For two weeks! To Europe! They go to a public school. There is no freaking way there was funding for this. I’m sorry. I cannot suspend my disbelief far enough. I can put aside the fact that, somehow, Lizzie looks identical to a famous European singer who is like four years older than her. I can. But the kids stay in what look to be 5-star hotels. I don’t mean average rooms, either. They stay in freaking suites people. Excuse me. I have to go be bitter about my lackluster childhood.
8 Common Sense Doesn't Exist When In Rome
Seeing as I’m so not over the Lizzie McGuire movie, let’s delve deeper, shall we? Remember how I mentioned how Lizzie somehow resembles a famous European pop idol? In a coincidental turn of events, this pop idol disappears, and Lizzie is recruited by her handsome singing partner, Paolo. Lizzie begins sneaking out and avoiding class activities by feigning to be ill constantly. Her teacher buys this, leaving Lizzie behind to “recuperate” in her hotel room repeatedly. However, it comes to light that someone is sneaking out and, rather than instantly putting two and two together, the chaperone believes Gordo (Lizzie’s bestie) when he confesses to being the one sneaking out to cover for her despite the fact that he has attended every single outing. Come on. No one’s that dumb.
7 That's Not How That Works
Every 90’s kid has to remember That’s So Raven. It followed the life of Raven, an extraordinary young girl who had psychic powers and was also a fashion designer—and had a brief stint as a singer. Raven’s family consists of her father, mother, and younger brother, Cory (who, incidentally, got his own show after That’s So Raven ended). Now, as most of us are aware, sometimes actors need to leave shows for various reasons. Sometimes the characters are written out in ways that allow them to return, and sometimes they’re completely eliminated, like Henry Blake in M*A*S*H. Raven’s mother abruptly leaves the show, which happens. However, the excuse they give is so full of holes. She moves to London. To study law. An American. Studying law. In another country. The show proceeds almost as if the mother never even existed.
6 Magic Only Gets You So Far
Wizards of Waverly Place is another one of those shows that I just missed. It revolves around the Russo family, whose father is a wizard and mother is a mortal. Once the children complete their training, they will compete to become the family wizard as only one can keep their magical powers. I’m still not entirely sure why they both can’t keep their magical abilities, but hey, like I said, I didn’t get to watch it growing up. Maybe it makes more sense if you see it.
Anyway, they have schooling in the human world of New York, but also in the wizarding world where they practice their magical arts. There, in their mortal school, Alex meets Mason, a fellow student. However, the second they start dating, Mason is never seen at school again. Where does he go? Why does he disappear? Such questions are never answered.
5 Rewriting History
On the subject of families-that-don’t-quite-make-sense, I want to discuss Boy Meets World again. We’ve talked about how characters outright disappear, how their names change inexplicably, but that’s just the beginning of the inconsistencies. The most egregious is probably concerning Cory’s mother. She starts out the show with an active career. At first, she has a booming business in real estate. Okay, great! But then, rather suddenly, she works at an art museum. Completely unrelated, but hey, at least she’s still working.
Later on, she is a stay-at-home Mom, which is plausible. Plenty of parents decide to stay home to help raise the kids. Usually when they’re younger, but hey, who are we to judge? Only it turns out she suddenly starts claiming she wants to take a writing course because she has never been anything other than a wife and mother. I give up, Boy Meets World. I give up.
4 Nightmare On Suite Street
In the second season of The Suite Life of Zack and Cody, there is an episode titled “A Midsummer’s Nightmare.” The show’s main plotline consists of romantic intrigue. Cody likes Gwen. Zack likes Vanessa. Vanessa likes Cody. Gwen starts liking Zack after she has to kiss him in a play—which Cody then rewrites out of jealousy.
That’s all fine, but then we have the subplot. London, the daughter of the owner of the hotel where the twins live, uses Feng Shui to bring good luck to the hotel. A character named Maddie finds what she thinks is a $100 bill, but turns out to be a fake. The FBI search for her, and when they find her, they should take her immediately into custody. She isn’t. Later, she is able to listen in as London gets a phone call.
3 Silence Speaks Louder Than Words
Let’s end with Lizzie McGuire, as it was one of Disney’s more popular shows when it aired. Lizzie isn’t an only child. She has a younger brother who, as little brothers in shows almost always do, gets in trouble left and right for playing pranks. He may always be scheming, but he and his sister seem to get along most of the time, despite bickering However, he’s not alone in his clever pranking.
Matt (the brother) has a best friend who is always around to help him. Lanny is a dynamic character, but never—not once—speaks on screen. Never. He never says a single word. Why? Well, that’s the funny part—oh wait, no, they never give a reason for it. Ever. Lanny’s silence is left as an enigma.
2 Can Childhood Be Too Magical?
If you’re unfamiliar with Sofia the First, it’s a show about a girl who lives in the magical real of some place called Enchancia. Her mother marries King Roland II and Sofia becomes a princess. King Roland has this magical amulet that allows the bearer to talk to animals, summon Disney princesses, and much more. He gives this amulet to Sofia as a sort of welcome-to-the-family present, which is a nice sentiment, I guess.
Except she’s a child and probably shouldn’t be thrust into the role of princess and magic-wielder in one day, but whatever. The amulet, called the Amulet of Avalor, is a pretty big deal and it doesn’t make a lick of sense that Roland gives it to Sofia when he has children of his own. I understand he wants to make his step-daughter feel welcome, but it alienates his own children, and directly makes them feel unloved.
1 This Amulet...I Do Not Think It Does What You Think It Does
While we’re on topic, let’s dive further into the lore behind this magical amulet, the Amulet of Avalor. You remember how I mentioned that it gives its wearer magical powers, and how she can talk to animals through it? That’s not all it does. Sofia learns that this magical purple bejeweled necklace is sort of conscious. It rewards good behavior and it punishes bad deeds. That’s all fine and dandy, except Sofia learns this information from the Royal Sorcerer, Cedric. What’s wrong with that, you ask? Well, he’s the main villain. He wants that amulet to take over the kingdom.
If the amulet punishes bad behavior, how can a villain expect to use it for such nefarious purposes?
So not only does this family heirloom not go to family, (Roland gives her the thing the first day!!) it can’t be used for evil, but the evil guy wants it for evil?