I recently reviewed The Butterfly Effect and noticed what I think is a plot hole in the story. Maybe you can confirm it or dismantle.

In the scene in the jail, Evan encounters a religious guy and is decided to alter the past to manipulate him making him think he is some kind of messiah.

The problem here is that he alters the past in a way that he is supposed to make a pair of scars in his hands like Jesus. But isn't it supposed that he has those scars all his life and entered to prison with them already?

The other prisoner looks surprised and reacts like the scars appear from nowhere.

Is that a plot hole or does the reaction have an explanation?

  • 2
    I think they try to imply that, because he's there with him, he can see the change. But you're right that it doesn't really fit with the mechanism of the other changes in the movie.
    – Elijah
    Commented Sep 19, 2016 at 14:44

1 Answer 1


It's a plot hole; the scars would've been there all along.

In addition, the scene depends on his entire life happening in exactly the same way after he injures himself, so that he'd wind up in the same cell at the same time, with the same person.

This runs counter to the entire premise of the film, including its title. Typically, even a small change had large ramifications. But in this one instance, he blacks out as a child, then snaps out of it with his hands impaled on a note spindle.

It goes without saying that such an episode would cause his afternoon to play out slightly differently.

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