- 9. They require that the personages of a tale shall confine themselves to possibilities and let miracles alone; or, if they venture a miracle, the author must so plausibly set it forth as to make it look possible and reasonable.
—Mark Twain, "Fenimore Cooper's Literary Offenses"
A plothole (also rendered plot hole) is created whenever something in a story doesn't make sense. This can either be through bad characterization, inconsistent plotting, or the existence of something contradicted in canon. Usually a plothole is a metaphorical hole, as in something missing from the narrative; in the PPC, plotholes appear as physical holes in the fabric of a story's reality. They are often found in badfic.
Because portals are essentially stabilized plotholes, it's possible for the portal generator to malfunction when it hits the plotholes naturally found in badfic. This can cause agents to miss their destinations in space or time and/or become separated from each other.
Plotholes occasionally appear in HQ, and can be used to travel. Makes-Things was known for having something of an affinity with plotholes and converting them to use for the PPC; most of HQ is built into a massive network of plotholes that a younger Makes-Things accidentally created in an event known as the Cascade, and a form of stabilized plothole technology is key to the operation of portals and the Remote Activator devices. There are plotholes scattered all over the multiverse, and appear to be rather common on World One; they are the reason the Flowers ended up on Origin, and the majority of agents from World One arrive in HQ by falling through a plothole.
They are related to Logic Loopholes.
Agents on a mission can, with practice, deliberately use plotholes to travel quickly across large distances (as Acacia did in TOS). Accidental encounters can have other, less predictable effects (such as rendering Jay and Acacia's invisible belongings visible).