Every Gaping Plot Hole In 'Sixteen Candles'

by Mary Grace Garis

Sixteen Candles is definitely my favorite of all the John Hughes films. This is so well known by my friends that after getting unceremoniously heartbroken a few weeks back they rounded up cake, booze, and yes, the best Molly Ringwald movie of all time for me. Needless to say, it brought me right back to my normal self. But I have to say... it’s through all my multiple rewatches — the yearly viewings for my own birthday, or the unearthed viewings because of heart wrenching tragedies — I’ve noticed that there are some pretty big plot holes in Sixteen Candles .

Well, “plot holes” may be a strong word here, but it’s not a film without puzzling moments. The thing is, its status as an ‘80s teen movie classic often makes me forget that there are some bizarre discrepancies among all the Oingo Boingo dance-offs and saccharine romance. You know, things that halfway through the movie and halfway through your bottle of Chardonnay you start saying to yourself, “Hey, wait a minute...” So fresh from my recent romp with the film (oh, and definitely the Chardonnay) I decided to collect all of them.

For your consideration, here are a few baffling things to consider when you rewatch Sixteen Candles.

1. Wouldn't Sam's Best Friend Know That Sam's Never "Seen It," "Touched It," Or "Done It"?

As a chronic teenage note-passer I know that looseleaf Q&As are just a fun thing to make time fly in Biology class. At the same time, I would assume that Randy, being Sam's only visible friend, would know damn well that Sam's as pure as the driven snow. So I don't really see the point of Sam confessing that on paper aside from peak boredom.

2. If Sam Is A Sophomore And Jake Is A Senior, How Exactly Do They Have Class Together?

The short answer to this is "they're in an extracurricular class together." The longer answer to this is, "Jake is a beautiful moron of Jordan Catalano proportions." It's definitely not an impossible concept, but I does give you pause.

3. More Pressing, How Is Jake In High School When He's Clearly 30-Years-Old?

Like, that much is concerning.

4. How Exactly Can Grandma And Grandpa Take In A Foreign Exchange Student If They Don't Really Have Anyone To, You Know, Exchange With?

I guess that each school's program is different and they could volunteer to take in a student for the hell of it, I just always assumed it's more of a switcheroo thing. And it just hurts because Long Duk Dong is one of those cringe-worthy racist stereotypes (in the mold of Mickey Rooney's Mr. Yunioshi from Breakfast At Tiffany's) that really ruins an otherwise perfect movie.

5. Who Is Building A Car In The High School?

Like, where exactly do Sam and Farmer Ted have their heart to heart, is it a garage or something? Every time I watch that scene I get so confused.

6. Did Like... Sam Ever Get Her Panties Back?

I know Ted says that he's only going to borrow it for 10 minutes, I just don't feel reassured because we don't see the exchange.

7. Why Are We Rooting For Jake When He's So Objectively Awful To His Girlfriend?

I mean, not that Caroline is without faults, but come on. He lets an unlicensed Farmer Ted (who was probably intoxicated himself) drive her home and he's pretty much like, "Yeah, if you take advantage of her it's whatever, lol." Dude.

8. There's No Way That Sam's Sister Is That Effed Up After Taking A Few Muscle Relaxants

I'm sorry, when I'm on my period I don't pop four pills from CVS and start flopping around like a Magikarp. That girl is on something seriously heavy.

9. By The Way, How Old Is She, Exactly?

This isn't really a plot hole so much as it just independently bugs me. Sam is the second oldest at 16 and then they have like, two younger siblings, right? It doesn't make sense that the Bakers would space out their children super drastically, so I peg Ginny as a young bride, maybe 21. But then like, why does her fiancé look like a middle aged used cars salesman? I'm not trying to question the Bakers' family planning or saying that Ginny can't marry someone who is/looks egregiously old, it just hurts my head trying to figure out the family dynamics.

10. Would Sam's Dad Really Let Her Go Off With This Unknown Adult Man?

I know that Sam's parents definitely owe her one, but I feel like she would've needed to provide a bit more explanation than simply mouthing "that's the boy" and peace-ing out.

11. Why Are They Sitting On A Table?

Iconic as it is, it doesn't really add up to me. Nor does it make sense that, romantic as things are, they would choose to mack it over sixteen tiny flames. Like, that is a safety hazard, guys.

12. But All This Aside, The Entire Foundation Of This Movie Is Incredulous

First of all, I'm not entirely sure why they would plan Ginny's wedding so close to Sam's birthday in the first place. But considering that they did, wouldn't everyone have mentally marked the wedding as, "the day before Sam's birthday"? No matter how much everyone is psyched up about Ginny's big day, it doesn't add up that no one would remember Sam's. But that said, it doesn't really make sense that Sam wouldn't just be a big girl remind them.

Ah... teenagers, amirite?

Images: Universal Pictures (1); Giphy (12)