The best movies are the ones that after watching for the 100th time you still notice new plot points. Here are some of the best plot points most people miss on their first watch.
Many thanks to all the Redditors who responded. Check out more answers from the source at the end of this article!
1. Wanna know how I got these scars?
In the Dark Knight, Joker is portrayed to the audience the way that Batman is portrayed to criminals.
What do we ever find out about the Joker? Nearly nothing. He is a man with seemingly endless resources that arrived in Gotham, looked at the state of the city, decided that something must be done to change it, and so he offers his services to the criminals of the city. Not because he wants anything in return, but simply to “send a message”. We never know what his real name is, where he got those scars, where he goes or what he does when he’s not wearing the makeup.
This is almost exactly what Batman is to the underworld. A man who arrived out of nowhere with all these gadgets and vehicles, who decided that he could change the way that Gotham was by doing the work that the police wouldn’t do, and thus “sending a message”. And in the same way that the police turn on Batman, and have to condemn his actions, the criminals of Gotham eventually sell out the Joker.
The two are presented as two sides of the same coin. This is hammered home by the fact that two face is in the movie, a character who uses the same coin to make decisions about good and evil.
2. Bueller..? Bueller….?
In Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, FB’s constant complaint, and his justification for many of his shenanigans, is that his parents won’t buy him a car. Toward the end of the movie, when FB’s mom is driving his sister home from picking her up at the police station, there’s a quick throwaway line where mom complains that all this mess screwed up the deal she was working on, and that the money from that deal was going to be used to buy a Ferris a car.
Ferris Bueller screwed Ferris Bueller.
3. Holy smokes, never noticed that.
Fifth Element: Antagonist and Protagonist not only don’t meet each other during the entire duration, but do not even know of each other’s existence.
Only movie to do this.
4. Gotta take care of Newman.
In Jurassic Park, Hammond keeps saying, “I spared no expense.” Ironically, when his programmer, Newman Dennis Nedry, runs into financial trouble, he refuses to give Newman Nedry a raise. So the disgruntled employee tries stealing dinosaur embryos and sets the disaster into motion.
I didn’t pick this up as a kid, but it seems much more obvious now.
5. You’re never going to convince me that Agent Smith was a god guy…
In the Matrix, the machines weren’t the bad guys…
They were preserving themselves and the human race until the earth could support life after the damage we caused trying to wipe out the robots for economic reasons.
The Zionists were on a misguided campaign and were unwittingly trying to tear down the very construct that was preserving the human race.
6. Nice sword.
The sword Will Turner made in the beginning of the first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. He made it for the Commodore (I forget his earlier rank), who loses it for a while, but regains it as Lord Beckett gives it back when he is reinstated.
The Commodore is then killed by Davy Jones, who comments on the sword (“Hmm. Nice sword”) after he stabbed him with it.
At the end of the third movie, Will is stabbed by Davy Jones with the sword he made in the beginning.
Not sure if it’s that hidden, but not many of my friends noticed it.
7. Liquid courage.
In Back to the Future part 2, we see Biff spiking the punch at the dance. The same exact punch that we see Marty’s dad drinking just before he decks Biff in the face. So George Mcfly got the courage from booze.
In the opening credits of Watchmen the original Nite Owl is shown saving Thomas Wayne and Martha Wayne from getting murdered.
This means that in the Watchmen universe Nite Owl prevented Bruce Wayne from becoming Batman.
9. I just feel like there’s a lot more evidence to the contrary…
Star Wars – When they are in the Death Star, there is a reason that the Stormtroopers are awful shots. It’s on purpose. The central point leading to the third act is that Vader and Tarkin wanted to let them go in order for the Falcon to lead them to the hidden rebel base.
10. To infinity!
In Toy Story 2, Woody finds himself by discovering his identity, Buzz finds himself by losing his identity.
11. He’s playing the long game.
In the Avengers, Loki actually won….
Surely, it seems like he lost. But he wants rule of Asgard not Midgard. By getting recaptured, he has an easy one-way ticket back to his home, in attempt to rule it. In Thor 2, he gets out of prison, and can easily regain the throne. This is one of those times were the villain actually won.
Senator Stern (the guy who says “Hail Hydra” to Sitwell) from the Captain America: Winter Soldier was actually first seen on Iron Man 2. This means the reason why he wanted Stark to give up his tech was because he wanted to use it for Hydra’s purposes.
13. The dark trinity.
In the Star Wars prequels, the three main villains (Maul, Grevious, Dooku) where all elements of Darth Vader.
Maul was the powerful warrior.
Dooku was the fallen Jedi.
Grevious was “more machine than man”.
14. And I guess no one ever corrected her?
In Mean Girls, Regina George probably thinks Janice is a lesbian because she heard someone says she’s Lebanese and misinterpreted it.
In Lilo and Stitch, Lilo was late for dance class because she had to run to the store to get a peanut butter sandwich for Pudge the fish (who controls the weather).
Being late (and wet, due to delivering said sandwich to the fish), led to Lilo being in a fight with another girl and then ultimately a fight with her sister Nani.
Meanwhile, as punishment for his late sandwich, Pudge the weather-controlling fish then conjured rain just as Stitch crash lands on Earth, causing a truck to hit him as it skidded on the slippery wet road.
Stitch was then adopted by Nani and Lilo, thus completing Pudge’s revenge when all the extra terrestrials involved with Stitch were later responsible for Lilo being taken away by social services.
16. Bit sour, I must say…
Not exactly a plot point, but kinda funny. In Men in Black when they go to Edgar’s house to talk to his wife, Will Smith’s character asks for lemonade but spits it out back into the cup…
It’s because she wasted all of her sugar on Edgar’s sugar water.
17. You’re not supposed to cry over that…
In Home alone Kevin gets in a fight with his family when he spills some milk and that leads to his ticket getting thrown out and him being sent to his room.
So the movie all comes from an argument over spilt milk.
18. That rat… you-know-what!
The Sound of Music- The butler is actually a Nazi and rats out the family.
19. Oh daaaaaaaang.
Fight Club – Most people thought fight club was an anarchist/terrorist organization developed to take down the institutions that controlled society.
However, the point missed was as fight club grew and as franchises got established it became institutionalized itself – and not unlike the institutions it sought to take down.
20. Take care of your things and your things will take care of you.
One of the most important characters in the Back to the Future movies is the Delorean. Each time it fails to start it’s preventing a paradox. I personally think it was sentient.
Think about it for a second, it stalls and fails to restart right next to a sign. Convenient for hiding (since it was the 1950’s and driving it around downtown would’ve altered history) and also something that Marty needed to see to realize he was in the 1950’s.
Later it fails to start when Marty is waiting for the lightening bolt. Had he started driving any sooner he wouldn’t have made it to 88 mph right as the lightening hit.
There are a couple other times too. It blows the mind.
21. This one is my favorite.
Space Odyssey 2001. The Monolith is accompanied by a creepy male choir through most of the movie and is standing vertical. When the astronaut has his psychedelic journey he is staring at the Monolith as it slowly turns horizontal…
The Monolith is the same dimensions as the theater screen. The only other time we hear the creepy male chorus is during the intermission when we are staring at a black screen. We are staring at a Horizontal Monolith.
22. That sly puss!
In Entrapment, Sean Connery steals 5 microchips worth $4 million each but when he hands it over to the authorities he gives them 4 microchips and says they’re worth $5 million each.
23. Definitely still up in the air, but an interesting take!
Blood Diamond spoilers below.
Danny Archer has HIV/AIDS
When walking through town a prostitute propositions him with “I’m clean, no HIV” Danny scoffs and says “ya, I’ve heard that one before”.
When he’s bleeding out from his gunshot wound he freaks out when Solomon goes to compress the wound “don’t touch it! don’t touch the blood!”
There’s never sex with the journalist, they have feelings for one another but Danny keeps her at a distance and it’s obvious there is a reason why he says “another lifetime ey?”
Whenever the wife, settling down or child question comes up he retreats and says it’s not possible.
He’s had to leave the army at some stage, yet the reason doesn’t get mentioned. Once infected with HIV you’re discharged.
Danny has a need more than greed when he follows after the the Diamond. When he says to Solomon”I don’t give a —- about you!” is more of a moment of desperation, rather than heartless blind greed. He never really details what getting the Diamond will bring for him to anyone in the film.
24. Oh man, now I feel like such a jerk…
Inglorious Basterds – it’s not a hidden plot point so much as the overall allegory. The plot follows the propaganda machine led by Joseph Goebbels showing how movies were used to promote stereotypes of Jews and glorify the Nazi cause, when the other plot in the film is literally glorifying the brutal killing of Nazis.
Tarantino gets the audience to cheer on the savage acts of the Basterds, and by doing so proves how easily it is to manipulate the emotions of the people. It’s a really interesting way to show people how it’s understandable that nearly an entire nation can get essentially brainwashed into supporting a tyrannical war mongering dictator.
Anyway, I think most people who see it just think of it is a fun Nazi killing movie with artistic violence.
25. This is a good one.
In Pulp Fiction, Butch is the one who keyed Vincent’s car. After he says “what are you looking at, Punchy?”
In the bar, Butch walks outside and keys his car, which Vince later talks about to his dealer.
26. Very well done.
An interesting point that I’m not sure is entirely plot related, but I would say so.
In the film Secret Window, during the opening sequence panning around Johnny Depp’s character’s cabin, the camera pans to the mirror and we see Mort (Johnny Depp) laying on the bed asleep. The camera moves forward, seemingly going “through” the mirror. Then we hear “knock knock knock” and Mort wakes up to see Shooter (John Turturro) knocking at the door, telling Mort “you stole my story.”
The events of the film happen, etc etc.
During the scene Mort comes to the realization that he’s going/gone insane, and that he himself is Shooter, he hears a car pulling up to his cabin. It’s his wife. The camera pans back through the mirror hanging in his home; after the camera pans back through the mirror we see Mort as his alter-ego Shooter, and we stop seeing things from Morts perspective and more from an omnipresent view, like the beginning of the film before we went “into” the mirror… Or as I like to say, into Mort’s mind.
This is one of my favourite pieces of film that gets missed a lot because it isn’t a really popular film. David Koepp did an amazing job directing and he didn’t get enough credit.
27. C’mon Dad!
In the LEGO movie, every time the police has a fight with the main characters, it’s just the little boy in the real world fighting with his father.
In the bridge seen, the father accidentally breaks the bridge, forcing him to stay behind to fix it. His son then has enough time to run to another area of the house (Cloud CooCoo land), where he plays by himself.
His father then comes in and destroys his creation and confiscates some of his characters out of revenge.
28. That’s some straight hypocrisy right there….
In T2, Sarah Connor attempted to kill an innocent Miles Dyson based on actions he had not yet committed. This was much like what the original Terminator tried to achieve by killing Connor for the child she had not yet birthed. In effect, Sarah had become the monster she was trying to escape in the first film.
29. No no no no NO NO NO NO NO!
In Requiem for a Dream, the mom puts her application for that TV show in the mail without a stamp.
30. Are those the missing minutes?
X-men: Days of Future Past takes place during Nixon’s presidency, and in one scene, President Nixon holds a secret meeting in the Oval Office regarding mutants. Right before the meeting begins, he reaches across his desk and turns off his tape recorder.
31. Just cutting some onions over here… :'(
Jumanji. I didn’t realize this until years later, but the hunter from the game board is the same actor who plays his father. Mind blown.
32. Nearly a “good” psychopath.
In In Bruges, Harry was abused as a child by the priest that Ray murders. The priest is seen wearing a ring in the confession booth, and the same ring is seen in a deleted scene that shows Harry as a boy in Bruges on the hand of a man mostly off-screen. Harry later refers to this as “the last happy holiday I ever had”. This is the basis for Harry’s psychopathic drive to protect children at all cost, which is a motivation that triggers the entire film.*
There’s also a bit, while not a hidden plot, adds further to the child abuse thing. Ken reads a book at one point, and although the name and author is out of shot, the script says it’s written by K. K. Katurian.
K. K. Katurian is the name of the writer in McDonagh’s (amazing) play, The Pillowman. Katurian writes grisly fairytales, many of which involve child abuse and death. This (obviously) ties in with the child abuse theme that runs throughout. Pretty cool little connection.
*Harry would almost be a perfect psychopath had he not also murdered the stubborn tower guard. Even though he kills a lot of people without much remorse, it is always (with the exception of the tower guard) driven by a desire to protect or avenge a child. That’s a pretty good psychopath.
33. One way to view The Village.
I’ll start with a movie most people don’t like – The Village. The film is an allegory for the war in Iraq and the war on terror. The village was created by a small group of elders to protect their world against a false belief that society was taking a violent turn for the worse.
A traumatic event occurs in their lives that skews their outlook on the world. (Much like 9/11 in our world). To reinforce their beliefs upon the town’s citizens they create a monster that lives in the woods. (Similar to the national security level threat). This helps keep control over the citizens through fear.
The blind girl represents the American public as a whole, and even the American soldier. She’s sent out into the unsafe world to save another. But since she is blind, when she encounters the “monster,” who was still sent into the woods by the elders command to scare her mind you, her fears are validated. (Her physical blindness actually represents propaganda which of course hinders her sense of reality). She makes it over the wall, obtains medicine, but we’re not sure if her efforts save the young man’s life at all. (Does the war on terror make us safer). That’s my short version.