In Terminator 2: Judgment Day, a key part of the story is that the "original" T-800's arm and CPU as well as the "new" T-800 must be destroyed to keep them from being reverse engineered and to stop Judgment Day from happening.

But when the "new" T-800 is lowered into the molten steel at the end of the film, part of it is missing: its arm. The T-1000 had trapped the arm in some machinery, and the T-800 tore most of it off to go after the T-1000. The movie never shows John or Sarah Connor retrieving the severed arm and destroying it. After such emphasis was placed on destroying the "original" arm, shouldn't it have been equally important to destroy the "new" one?

Was the arm being left behind in the steel mill a plot hole/oversight? ( And was this ever addressed in any of the sequels?)

  • It sure looks like it. But you can also argue that this was done by Sarah and John off camera just to keep the plot moving (just saying). You can also argue that many parts of the very first Terminator, though crushed, can still yield reverse engineering opportunities. If the first terminator's head was not crushed to the point of making a highly sensitive integrated circuit board yield its secrets, then maybe other body parts (though partially crushed) could yield secrets as well. (Just an idea)
    – John
    Commented Feb 18, 2017 at 20:14
  • 1
    It might have been an oversight by Sarah and John, however maybe not quite as far as a plot hole - there's a difference between a steel mill and a factory or whatever the first terminator was left in. Whoever found it may well have thrown it away or kept it as a souvenir without any idea of its potential, given that they were probably a steel-worker rather than an engineer.
    – komodosp
    Commented Aug 1, 2017 at 13:57

2 Answers 2


This has been answered in Terminator 2: Judgment Day (Frakes novel).

From IMDb:

What about the T-800's lost arm in the steel mill?

From the official novel:

As the chromed skeleton was dissolved into the same primal stew as the T-1000, Sarah and John watched [the] Terminator sink into the lava, the metal hand going last... At the last second it formed into a fist with the thumb extended... a final thumbs-up. Then it was really gone. Mother and son watched the molten metal for a while. Then John remembered [the] Terminator's other arm back down the row of smelters, and ran to get it. It was a pile of useless, twisted metal, but the metal was from the future and this time they weren't leaving anything to chance. When John tossed the pieces in, one by one, he and Sarah felt a shudder deep within the bowels of the earth. As if a massive pivot was turning. Of course, later, John would think back and assume it was merely the huge machines pounding away in the mill. He would be wrong. History had been reborn. [page 236]

This has been discussed in reddit too.

Maybe they just forgot to mention it in film and used novelization to fill the plot-hole.


It was not mentioned in the sequels. The script also doesn't mention it. It is assumed John took it and threw it into the molten steel afterwards. This is also what is said in a throw away line in the novelization of the film.

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