Here I discuss the technical errors, big and small, that I1 have noticed in movies, television and games. Most of the technical errors are inconsistencies in the story-line, in editing or in reality. “Reality” is a tough one because these items and programs discussed are usually fictional and often fiction doesn’t follow the rules of reality, however we won’t let that discourage us.
In some cases what could be considered a technical error was intentionally done, usually for comedic purposes – Those scenarios are not going to be referenced here. For example in “You May Not Kiss the Bride” when Masha mixes the epoxy resin and dumps the bucket over the bad guy. That should have been a lethal action. The chemical burns would have been unbearable and his ability to breath or see would have been cut off. Instead he ended up wearing a hat/mask2 made of poured epoxy that happened to not cover his glasses and allow him to see and breath.
I don’t usually allow these errors to keep me from enjoying movies, it’s kind of fun to find them and analyze how they could’ve done it better.
Movies and Television
When Ned Gold is at the restaurant with Jane Masterson, during their conversation, when the camera view is from behind Jane towards Ned, Jane’s menu is up as if she is reading it. When the camera view is from behind Ned towards Jane, her menu is on the table with her hands folded or making other gestures. During the conversation the view changes multiple times where this error is seen.
At about 12 minutes into the movie, the scene changes to Harry driving golf balls off of the oil rig platform. At first a Srixon brand ball is shown with small dimples (like on practice balls) and no number. The camera view shifts to his view and then back to the ball. The ball now is a number ‘3’ Srixon with a larger dimple pattern. camera view is changed to show the swing and when returning to the ball for the club hit, the ball is still a number “3” of the larger dimple styling, but it is now turned into a different position.3 At least they kept the brand the same. The tee style and placement height changes between each shot, too.
During the psychiatric interviews of Harry’s men, when the camera view is from behind the interviewer towards the door, lights can be seen in the corners on either side of the door. In one of the shots of Rockhound during the ink blot review, the light in the left corner is missing, it is present in all others.
Placed in the movie for a comedy point, but lacks consistency is when Harry asks Colonel Sharp if their are any bullets left in the gun. There were no shots fired, so the gun should have all of the bullets to which it was loaded.
Whenever global footage was shown during the first meteor hits early in the movie and later, towards the end, the footage show the people in daylight. Only about half of the world is ever in daylight – some of that footage should have been night-time.
In the first installment of Austin Powers (International Man of Mystery), Dr. Evil killed number two closer to the end of the movie. In the second movie (The Spy Who Shagged Me) number two is alive again. It’s the same actor and the same number two when Dr. Evil goes back in time.
Back to the Future
In Back to the Future II, when Doc runs into himself at the “weather experiment”, 1955 Doc is tightening a bolt on a bracket for the wires, but he is turning the bolt the incorrect direction for tightening.
In a paradoxical example, Back to the Future III stated that Shonash Rivine was called Clayton Ravine in the future. Doc saved Clara Clayton from falling into the ravine, preventing the ravine from changing names. Not that big of a deal, Marty (Clint Eastwood) is memorialized later when the ravine is renamed Clinton Ravine. The paradox comes in the fact that Clara is mentioned as Doc’s beloved on his tombstone. The very tombstone is the reason Marty goes further back in time to help Doc. So Clara was alive and romantically involved with Doc, before Marty decides to go back in time. Doc only saved Clara because Marty was there and they were planning how to get back to the future. If Marty hadn’t gone back in time, Doc wouldn’t have been there to save Clara. Clara would have died by falling into the ravine, never meeting Doc.
This movie is filled with inaccuracies, in regards to fire and firefighting. For the sake of this movie, I won’t touch on these points, since I only served two decades as a volunteer firefighter.
During the Backdraft shown at 8.5 minutes into the movie, the aerial view of the explosion shows the debris being blown from the house straight to the front yard and road. The victim’s car is parked on the road across from the breezeway (space between houses), not closer to the front of the house as seen in the aerial view of the explosion. Despite the location change of the car, the aerial view of the explosion does not show anything but small debris hitting the car. Any large debris, including what could be a human body is seen hitting the road to the left of the car. When Brian gets on scene, the victim is shown as having passed through the vehicle’s windshield.
After Penguin dies, as we watch the penguins slide him into the water, we can see the rolling platform which Penguin’s body was lying on continue moving under water. The key point is that Penguin died on the ground, not conveniently on a rolling platform.
Beauty and the Beast (Live Action – 2017)
The introductory narration says that the enchantress saw there was “no love in his heart” and cursed the prince. The narration continued to mention that the memories of those he loved were wiped. If there is no love in the prince’s heart, then who’s memory was wiped?
Beverly Hills Cop II
During the A-crime (Adriano’s robbery), as the blonde is leaving the jewelry store she shoots down the chandelier. You hear four shots and the chandelier falls. She then turns around and there are two more shot sounds heard even though no one is firing their gun.
Axel is driving down the road, just before he “steals a house”, the movie shows cars parked on both sides of a two-lane (plus parking lanes) road with another car behind him. The view changes to an aerial shot of him turning around on a much narrower road – just two lanes with no room for side parking lanes. Plus the car that was behind him is gone.
The Big Bang Theory
Most of the technical errors found in The Big Bang Theory are story-line inconsistencies with a few other errors spattered about.
S03:E22 – During Leonard’s story to Penny about moving in with Sheldon, and the roommate agreement. In the flashback, Sheldon explains that one of Leonard’s responsibilities it to drive him place. Leonard asks him about driving and Sheldon responds he can, but chooses not to drive. Sheldon does not get his learner’s permit and driver’s license until later in the series, therefore he can’t (legally) drive and making that statement untrue.
S02:E05 – Sheldon gets learner’s permit
S03:E08 – Sheldon drives Penny to hospital (Learner’s permit)
S03:E16 – Sheldon goes to traffic court for an automated ticket for running a red light in S3:E08. He gets points on a driver’s license he doesn’t have.
S06:E09 – Raj says to Sheldon “You don’t have a car. You don’t even drive.” (Not having a license is implied)
S10:E16 – Sheldon admits to Amy that he has had his driver’s license for two years. (We’ll call that Season 8)
S04:E10 – Amy is dissecting a human brain wearing gloves to either protect herself from chemicals and bacteria on the brain and/or to prevent contaminating the brain. While describing her symptoms to Sheldon, Amy handles food that she is eating – still wearing the gloves – and then returns to working on the brain.
S09:E02 – When Leonard asks about how much marriage counseling costs, Howard provides actual pricing. Raj asks how he knows the cost. In S08:E09, Howard and Bernadette are telling what they love about each other when Raj interjects, “That’s just like when we were in couples counseling.”
I really enjoyed the earlier seasons of this show. I am not going to touch on the differences between real witchcraft and what is used unless it is particularly and extremely incorrect.
S01:E04 – When Piper and Mark are running away from Tony Wong, they get in her car, but there are two car doors closed – based on the sound. We don’t see Mark open and close the door, but we hear it. At the police station, Piper even opens and closes the car door for him. He is a ghost, he can’t move physical objects nor does he need to do so.
S02:E08 – When Leo can’t heal Pipers poison oak, he explains that the elders control what he can heal. In S03:E02 Leo cannot heal animals. Yet in S04:E05 he heals the P3 sign that was damaged when the nightclub was renamed “The Spot”.
S07:E06 – This episode references the occurrence of the phenomenon known as a Blue Moon. They said that it occurs only once every 50 years, however a Blue Moon occurs about every 33 months. A Blue Moon is when a second full moon occurs in the same calendar month. Additionally, in this episode the three witches turn into violent beasts when the Blue Moon rises each of three evenings. The full moon is only a one day4 occurrence in the moon phase cycle, not three days.
S06:E15 – In this episode, the demon used a genie to wish the Charmed Ones to be dead. Out of their bodies, floated the souls of Piper, Phoebe and Paige. When Piper calls to Leo, he moves his hand and heals her. Leo cannot heal the dead, besides there was no injury to heal.
S07:E07 – When Leo is healing the dead Piper and Phoebe near the end of this episode, he does not remove the blades in Piper’s belly, however when he is done healing them, the blades are gone.
When Doctor Eleanor Arroway gets to her hotel at about one hour into the movie, she is talking on the phone and she receives a fax during the telephone conversation. Since Ellie is a scientist and needs to be online for research, etcetera, it is likely she has a second phone line, however the fax comes out of the machine from the document feeder exit port, not the printer port.
The Cutting Edge
Although not taking away from the movie itself, the view editing tends to contain inconsistencies throughout the movie. For example, When Douglas is hanging from the lumber near the beginning, hammering nails, the position and existence of the nail changes multiple times through the sequence. Arm positions and body gestures tend to vary between shots, too.
Dances With Wolves
When John Dunbar is heading to the Indian village the first time, he finds Stands with Fists in the process of slitting her wrists. The close camera view, at front, of her shows her left hand and arm covered in wet blood. The camera changes to John’s view at a distance. She brushes her hair back with her left hand, but it is not bloody. Upon return to her front close view, it is shown bloody again.
When John Dunbar returns to the fort later in the movie, Two Socks comes to visit. John offers some meat to the wolf. Frequently during the entire event of Two Socks cautiously approaching John for the meat, the camera view alternates from behind John to behind the wolf and some from the side. The shape of the meat changes multiple times, including straightness, size and general shape. I am guessing there were several takes of the event, but they didn’t bother to manage consistency.
When Edward first goes into Kim’s room, he discovers the waterbed. He notices the fluid movement, how wavy it reacts. Edward then punctures the bed and gets sprayed with water. He put a stuffed animal over the hole. Later he is laying in the bed, still in tact and obviously not getting wet.
Ed is lying in Kim’s waterbed when she comes home early. She screams when she notices him; he panics and punctures the bed multiple times. Although water is shooting out of the bed, the surface of the bed is firm, not wavy like demonstrated earlier.
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Jeff Spicoli has pizza delivered to his history class. The delivery man asks, “Who ordered the double cheese and sausage?” But when Mr. Hand allows students to take slices, including himself, the pizza is clearly just cheese.
The Fifth Element
Before boarding the ship to Fhloston Paradise, David puts a multi-pass into the identification slot and the attendant verifies he is Mr. Dallas and congratulates him on winning the contest. When Korben Dallas appears a moment later and withdraws the multi-pass and says “I was so afraid I wasn’t going to make this flight, so I sent” then looks at then multi-pass and continues, “David here to pick up my boarding pass.”
It appears as though Korben shoves David off with the original multi-pass that David used, then uses his own multi-pass. If the original multi-pass was in fact David’s, then the attendant made a mistake of accepting incorrect identification. If the multi-pass that David was using was fraudulent and had Korben Dallas’ name on it, then how did Korben get David’s name off it?
Full Metal Jacket
During recruit training, the Drill Sergeant is hollering at the privates as they work through an obstacle in the PT course. He is yelling that they should be able to negotiate the obstacle “in no less than 10 seconds.” Based on the obstacle and his other yelled comments, he meant “in less than 10 seconds.”
As the Viet Cong soldiers are raiding the Marines’ Da Nang base at about 55 minutes into the movie, many of the Viet Cong soldiers are seen running and firing towards the ground instead of towards the American soldiers.
In the original Ghostbusters movie, when the eggs are popping out of the shells on to Dana’s kitchen counter, the fried eggs are in different positions for the close-up shots as compared to the panned out shots. When Dr. Venkman returns to her kitchen, the position of the eggs and other groceries is yet again different.
At a party, Tony Stark puts a tip in the glass as he orders a Martini. A woman comes up and starts talking to him. When the camera view changes to allow view of the tip glass, the money Tony put in is missing.
At the end of the movie, Jane comes out of her house in the pouring rain and meets up with Adam under the pop-up. The rain is continuing to pour, but many of the camera views show deep shadows cast by brightly lit plants – most of the footage was shot on a bright sunny day, though some of it was overcast or perhaps closer to twilight.
Karate Kid (2010 Remake)
Dre visits Mr. Han at his house, while Mr. Han is experiencing an emotional breakdown. Dre encourages Mr. Han to continue training with him, by using the poles with rope loops at the end. These are the ones used earlier in the movie. Mr. Han started with his hands out of the rope loops, but as the sequence progresses, he is shown with his hands through the loops sometimes, while other times not through the loops. I’m not talking about once or twice – I’m talking about changing back and forth multiple times throughout the sequence.
Karate Kid II
When arriving at the military base in a taxi, looking for Tomi Village. The soldier says he never heard of it, then asks a nearby Sargent who responds “You’re standing on it, get them out of here.” The soldiers then tells them to go down the road and turn right, miraculously knowing where to go.
Helping a villager bring his harvest to the trader (Chozen), Daniel puts the basket on the scale. In doing so, he toppled some of the weights from the scale. Daniel picks up one of the damaged weights and easily snaps in into pieces. The villagers get angry with Chozen for cheating them.
The weights were able to be broken, meaning they are likely lighter than the weights that would normally be used. Chozen would have to use more “weights” to measure the harvest, ultimately cheating himself instead of the villagers.
During the massive storm, a beam lands on Sato, pinning him to the ground. After Miyagi saves him, Chozen tells Sato “I thought you were dead.”
Daniel went to help the bell-ringing girl who was stuck at the top of the bell tower. Sato instructed Chozen to help Daniel, but Chozen let his pride get in the way and declined to help Daniel. As Daniel is struggling to bring the girl to the shelter, Sato went to his aide. Once back in the shelter, Sato tells Chozen, “Now I am dead to you.”
At the Bone Dance, Sato tells Chozen that hate is wrong and to not carry on his actions. Chozen responded, “I can not hear you, Uncle. I am dead to you. Remember?”
In the scene where Murtaugh and Riggs are at the shooting range, Murtaugh shoots a hole in the middle of the target’s head. Riggs then moves that target further down the range to shoot several holes, making a smiling face. There are two problems with the prop in the scene. First, when a bullet pierces a paper target, it doesn’t create a clean perfect circle, but instead pushes the paper to tear a hole, usually circle-like and indented. Second Murtaugh uses a larger caliber bullet than Riggs, but all of the holes in the paper are the same size perfect hole.
The Longest Yard
As Paul Crewe is leaving his girlfriend’s house, he has a six-pack of beer in his hand. He finishes one of them and throws it on the ground as he walks to her car. When he is pulled over by the police, he is drinking a beer and hands it to an officer. After backing his girlfriend’s car into the police cruiser, damaging both vehicles, Paul tells the cop to finish the beer, he has five more. Must have been a baker’s half-dozen.
Speaking of damaging the police cruiser and his girlfriend’s car – As Paul is being chased by the police, there is no damage on the back of the car.
During the scene where Mr. Richards and Felix, the security guard, are chasing Jonathan and Emmy, Emmy is shown (as a mannequin) flipping the bird with her right hand.5
I’ve seen reports that the car color for the previous mentioned chase changes from black to green. I thought I should point out that the paint on that car can easily reflect gray/black depending on the lighting conditions. At the beginning of the sequence, when the car appears black, look at the highlights on the roof edges – they’re showing a darker shade of the green that the car actually is. Sorry guys – it isn’t a technical error after all.
When Hollywood is fending off the security guards with a fire hose, he uses an occupant-use fire hose which do not offer the pressure or volume of water as shown in the movie. During this sequence, the security guards’ shirts change colors. At the beginning of the sequence, and at most points throughout, all of their shirts are dark blue, but in a couple frames, some of the guards are in light blue.
Men In Black
About two-thirds into MIB, the Morgue Attendant, played by David Cross, was killed by the alien bug. He is recast as Newton, in the video store, for MIIB.
At the end of the first Men in Black movie, J is seen wearing a more modern suit; buttoned tall mandarin style collar, no tie and stylish sunglasses. In MIIB (second movie) J is back to the original suit for MIB.
You’d think a show about technical details would be all about making no technical mistakes. They’ve had three different actresses play Monk’s dead wife Trudy – not including the “young” Trudy in one episode.
S2:E10 – In this episode, Monk’s neighbor Kevin wins the lottery – Forty-three million dollars. At the end, he is seen no longer wearing glasses, presumably having laser surgery, and acting differently do to his new money. Later this season, and for several episodes afterward, Kevin is wearing glasses again and just as geeky as before he won the lottery.
S4:E04 – Whenever Mr. Kemp’s office is shown from the first floor cafeteria, it is shown with full height windows (floor to ceiling). From the cafeteria, you can see most of the side of his desk, even the tops of his shins and bottom side when he is sitting. Whenever shot from within his office, the windows were at least 30 inches (standing hip height) from the floor. From the angle of the cafeteria downstairs, with 30 inches before the windows, looking into Mr. Kemps office one might see the top of Mr. Kemp’s head when he was sitting at his desk.
S6:E06 – Monk and Troy are buried in Troy’s car at a quarry. When the suspect turns off the bulldozer (after burying them), it is parked about ten feet from buried car. Next view of the scene is daylight and the bulldozer is at least 20 feet from the car. We return to inside the car. Monk is panicking and trying to open the car door. During his panic, the camera view is bouncing around like the car is shaking. The problem is, with all the gravel on top of the car, the shocks would have bottomed out and the vehicle wouldn’t move due to Monks movements.
My Best Friend’s Wedding
When Julianne is sitting in the hallway outside Michael’s hotel room door smoking a cigarette, she takes a drag of the cigarette while it is in her left hand. Just then he opens the door and she falls in. Now the cigarette is shown in her right hand.
When the Rolls Royce is running wild down the hill at the Cherryvale Parents’ Day, the camera view is frequently changing between an outside view and an inside view. During the outside views, we can see the stunt driver rapidly steering the car back and forth. All but one of the inside shots, Bubba has his back or side against the steering wheel.
About 50 minutes and 35 seconds into the movie, Charlie is following Raymond down an off-ramp from the highway. We see cars moving on the road they will be entering from the off-ramp. The car is on the wrong side of the road. The yellow line is to the right of the car, with the white line to the left. After Raymond gets into the car, Charlie enters the main road by driving on the shoulder.
Star Wars: A New Hope
When Ben Kenobi and Luke Skywalker are talking after Luke was attacked by the sand people, Ben says “I don’t seem to remember ever owning a droid.” But in the prequels (Episode I, II and III) Ben works with R2-D2 frequently. Even if he didn’t “own” R2-D2, he definitely should have remembered him, at least slightly.
Ben gives Luke his “father’s light saber” that his father wanted him to have, but Luke’s uncle wouldn’t allow. The light saber that Ben handed over looks more primitive than what was used in the prequels and that which he retrieved from the ground near Anakin in Episode III.
“These blast points; too accurate for sand people. Only Imperial Stormtroopers are so precise.” as stated by Ben – apparently he has never seen an actual Stormtrooper attack. They’re lucky to hit the side of a barn. Perhaps the sand people are such poor shots that they couldn’t hit the side of a mountain.
Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back
Luke uses his lightsaber to free himself from the ice cave, as he is leaving there is a sound-effect of the lightsaber powering down, but it was still extended through the sequence of him leaving the cave.
Ben Kenobi visits Luke, as he is struggling to survive the cold, to tell him to go to Dagobah for Master Yoda to train him in the Jedi Arts. Ben tells him that Yoda instructed him, but Qui-Gon is the Jedi Master that trained Ben.
When Luke leaves his Jedi training to save Han and Leia, Ben Kenobi states that Luke was their last hope. Yoda responds that there is another. Ben was there when Luke and Leia were born; he knows Leia exists. Later in the movie he and Luke have a conversation about Leia.
Star Wars: Return of the Jedi
When Luke asks Leia if she remembers her real mother, Leia responds, “A little bit. She died when I was very young.” Their mother died shortly after naming them in Episode III.
During revelry, a beautiful sunrise is shown with wispy clouds and blue sky, but a thunderstorm soundtrack is playing and when camera view changes to inside the barracks, the windows show very heavy rainfall.
When the men bunked the night before, Sargent Hulka tells them they will have a 10-mile run after locker box inspection in the morning. When he appears in the morning, he announces a 5-mile run which gets changed to 10-miles when John Winger annoys the Sargent.
The Thomas Crown Affair
When Thomas Crown steals a Monet painting from the museum, he puts the painting in a briefcase which forced the painting to be folded in two – snapping the canvas frame at the fold point. The canvas fabric would not be able to tolerate being stretched across the break points and would have torn at those edges.
In his home office, Mr. Crown opens the briefcase, takes out the Monet painting and puts it in a hiding spot behind a print of “The Son of Man.” The Monet painting is intact, with no tears in the canvas mid-length on the edges and no apparent damage to the canvas frame.
After Thomas Crown is shown admiring his stolen artwork, the movie goes back to the museum where police are investigating. Clearly, Thomas had no time to repair the canvas frame or canvas, ignoring the fact that we just watched him take it out of the briefcase in which the painting was folded. He definitely didn’t have time for a copy to be made.
Look at the screen captures6 shown above for referencing my comments about this technical error.
During dog-fight training exercises, the sweep angle of the F-14 wings changes between shots within the same sequence. This is seen when the view changes between Interior view and external view. Example captures7 shown from the dog-fighting sequence leading into the crash of Maverick and Goose. The external view shows the F-14 wings swept forward, quick change to Maverick’s (inside cockpit) view of Iceman’s plane, the wings are swept back. Upon return to external view, the wings are forward again.
In the same sequence as above, during the crash incident, Maverick and Goose’s F-14 is shown in a barrel roll (stunt control) and then shown in a flat spin. I question this chain of events, but not knowing enough about F-14 behaviors prevents me from calling this a technical error, however I suspect it is an error.
Two Lovers and a Bear
Lucy and Roman are in extreme cold environments, but sometimes during dialogue in the cold settings we cannot see their breath. For example, when they were in the hallway of the abandoned military installation.
Two Weeks Notice
In the scene where Lucy goes into the RV to use their toilet, two-way traffic is shown on the elevated highway that is jammed with traffic. The problem is that it was actually a one-way ramp. A solid white line is between the two (opposing direction) traffic lanes and the yellow line is on the right side of the RV.
Under the Skin
When the Female is picking up a man from the street at about 16 minutes into the movie, while she is talking to him we see her buckle her seat belt, including the audible click. Then as he agrees to a ride, we see her buckle her seat belt, including the audible click. She was not shown taking off the seat belt in between these two events.
What Dreams May Come
About twelve minutes into the movie, a car accident happens on the road entering the tunnel. Chris Nielsen witnesses the accident and runs in to aid the victims. As the camera moves in to follow his path, you can see a shadow of the camera lift on the left wall of the tunnel.
As Chris is running through the fields of the painting the plants are not moving around him, but instead through him. Along the same lines, when Albert Lewis is stomping around in the water there are splashes – he is clearly interacting with the water, but there are no ripples in the water caused by his presence and actions.
When Chris is underwater in the painting, nothing underwater is “painted” – it is all real life as filmed. Even the surface of the water above him is not painted.
Wild Wild West
This movie is filled with technical inaccuracies, however most of them are intentional are part of the fun in the movie – such as Artemis knitting a chain-mail “impermeable” vest.
While James and Artemis are bickering on the train, the first time, James flips a lever underneath the train that flips the chair in which Artemis is sitting upside-down under the train. Since Artemis was not strapped into the chair, he should have fallen off the chair as it flipped or even once it was upside-down.
While Artemis is carrying one of the magnetic collars that was removed from himself and James, he is suddenly dragged a hundred feet or so as the magnet is attracted to nearby railroad tracks. I know this is one of the fun technical inaccuracies built into the movie, however it is still very wrong that they weren’t attracted to the machine that throws the blades – or anything else for that matter. At least not until James’ magnet polarity was reversed – which isn’t possible simply by banging the apparatus which a magnet is firmly attached.
Candy Crush Jelly
In late 2016, King introduced a daily bonus program for free special items in Candy Crush Jelly. To get the bonus items, the player must visit the game daily and “Water” Elsa. Notice I put water in quotes – that’s because that is the word on the button. For day one though, Elsa asks for Soda. But this is the Jelly version of the game.
Technical Errors Disclaimer
Screen captures shown on this page, as part of demonstrating the technical errors, fall under the Fair Use guidelines provided by United States Copyright Law and Fair Dealing found in international Copyright jurisdictions.
This document “Technical Errors” was originally published by me on 9 March 2017. The “Published” date is changed to the current date each time the article is updated.
- This is not an accumulation of other person’s observations, just what I have seen. That means a number of things other people noticed were missed or ignored by me – or I simply chose not to repeat what was stated on other sites.
- You May Not Kiss the Bride. Copyright 2011 Hawaii Film Partners
- Armageddon. Copyright 1998 Touchstone Pictures.
- Technically, the moon is only full for about one minute of that day.
- Mannequin. Copyright 1986 20th Century Fox
- The Thomas Crown Affair. Copyright 1999 MGM UA.
- Top Gun. Copyright 1986 Paramount Pictures