When re-watching Jurassic Park (1993), I felt a bit awkward at the security room scene. While Lexi was trying to reboot the system, Alan and Ellen were trying to keep the door closed due to a velociraptor trying to break in. They have a loaded shotgun, but it is a little too far for them to grab. Alan and Ellen are keeping the door closed, Lexi is trying to fix the security system, and Tim...is just hitting Lexi's chair? I had been very curious why didn't Tim just pick up the gun, he literally was doing nothing.

Note: When I mention picking it up, he did not have to use the gun, but at least hand or kick it over to one of the adults, so they can kill the velociraptor.

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    I could understand if one of the adults had shouted to Tim to pick up the shotgun. But 11 year olds aren't known for their situational awareness, especially in situations like that. There's also the possibility that he was unfamiliar/uncomfortable with guns. Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 8:10
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    I would also cut the lad a break due his happy moment on that electric fence. He's alive, and he's recovering well, but his synapses may still be flash-bulbing.
    – Blaze
    Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 19:12
  • @GeoffAtkins "11 year olds aren't know for their situational awareness" So how do they manage to live to be 11 years old without situational awareness? Commented Oct 5, 2022 at 4:37
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    @M.A.Golding From an anthropological standpoint? Nests. However, for the sake of brevity I was generalising, and it would be fairer to say, "11 year olds aren't known for their ability to conduct much rational thought while in highly stressful situations." Most children (heck, most adults) in that situation would have an overwhelming desire to run or hide while chased by velociraptors. It's not far fetched to think he wouldn't have even considered approaching where the danger was to get the gun to an adult. Commented Oct 5, 2022 at 5:28

2 Answers 2


I looked up the script for this scene:

and Ellie leaps out of the chair and races over to the door to help him. A raptor SNARLS and SNAPS, RAMMING itself against the door, trying to force its way into the control room. It's all Ellie and Grant can do to hold the door against the onslaught, but it bucks against them viciously.

  GRANT           (to Ellie)      Ellie - - get back and boot up the door locks!

  ELLIE       You can't hold it by yourself!

  GRANT       Ellie, get the gun!     (or)    Try to reach the gun!

  ELLIE       I can't get it!     (or)    I can't get it unless I move!


Lex slides quickly into the command chair at Nedry's terminal. She stares at the screen for a moment - -

  LEX         This is a Unix system.  I know this.  It's the files for the whole 
  park.  It's like a phone book - -it tells you everything.

and then her fingers start to fly over the keyboard. Tim watches, amazed, as the computer starts to respond to Lex's commands.

  LEX (cont'd)        I've got to find the right file.  Oh no, 
  this isn't right. This might be right, no this isn't it.

  TIM         C'mon, Lex!  C'mon, Lex!  Go, Lexie!

Reaching another menu, Lex spots a box on the screen that reads "DOOR INTEGRITY." She reaches out and touches it. The screen BEEPS -

  LEX         There it is, I got it! This is it, I did it.  Yes, yes!
    • and the door latch panel BUZZES. Grant and Ellie put everything they have into it and finally the door SNICKS shut, locking the raptor outside.

      GRANT What works?

      LEX Phone security systems, everything works. You ask for it, we got it!

It would appear that Tim's function is to watch Lex and cheer her on, and the adults' functions are to keep the Raptor out of the room.

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    While I think this is a good answer, I think it might also benefit with an explanation about functions in general - that films sometimes generate plot holes for the sake of other things (functions, dynamics, characterization/development, generate moods like suspense or comedy, etc) Commented Oct 3, 2022 at 20:37
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    Good answer. If it is "all Allen and Ellie can do" to keep the door shut, then distracting one of them with the gun might have let it in.
    – ruffdove
    Commented Oct 6, 2022 at 1:26

This scene has always bothered me too, but, if you really think about it, it makes sense.

Tim is just 11. As mature and thoughtful as he may be, he's still a child.

The adults are taking care of the "hard stuff", and he knows he cannot help them in those grown up things: he's just too small.

Then his big sister has a revelation, and this, as a boy, excites and distracts him. He believes that the adults are doing enough, so he focuses on what most attracts him: how the underestimated "nerd" capabilities of his sister may incredibly come to help all of a sudden. He normally publicly derides her, but he still has esteem for her older sibling.

What always bothered me about this scene is the "grown ups" behavior: Ellie is very close to the door hinge, having almost no momentum to keep it closed, and Alan is just there, cavalry ("manly"?) trying to do "his thing".

It wasn't really Tim's fault, he's just 11. As usual, it's the grown-ups' fault.

Ellie is too scared to realize that her efforts are almost useless: she just faced raptors minutes before, and she is still so terrified that she can't think straight. Alan has almost no consideration about young people: they are an annoyance, they have no capabilities, and he doesn't see anybody else in the room that may be able to help them.

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