Miranda St. Clair: I'm told you're germophobic, afraid of the dark, heights, crowds and... milk.
Sharona: We're working on the milk. He's making good progress on milk.
According to co-producer Tom Scharpling, the Mexican homicide cops are purposely written as parodies of Stottlemeyer and Disher, right down to their attitudes, their ranks, their suits, and Captain Alameda's mustache. Even the bumbling lieutenant's name is a little joke on Disher. Plato means "dish" in Spanish. See more...
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Continuity: When Monk is trying to join the two cops' conversation about football, in the shots from the side of the police car that they're standing near, the two cops are standing less than a foot apart. In the shots from the other side of the car, they're far apart enough for Monk, Natalie, and Captain Stottlemeyer to stand between them.
Factual error: When Monk is talking to Sherry about the painting in the art gallery where the painted woman was going to kill her husband, he says that she has a bruise on her left eye. But the bruise is actually on her right eye. While it is viewable that it is on Monk's left, he would not make that mistake.
Continuity: When Monk is doing the summation for the present-day case with Sherry's ex-husband sitting in the chair, at first you can see that the painting is directly behind him. However, shortly thereafter during the summation, the painting has somehow shifted to the viewer's left and is no longer directly behind him. While it's plausible that someone could have moved the painting, it's just not believable since less than a minute has passed. Besides, would Lt. Disher (he was closest) really take it upon himself to move evidence?
Plot hole: The title of the episode does not match the plot, since in the show the gifts are not given secretly. As the name suggests "secret Santa" is when the identity of the person giving the gift is secret. In the episode, the names are drawn out of a hat and are then handed by the person giving the gift to the recipient. The identity of the giver is not secret. More correct would be "randomly allocated Santa".
Continuity: When Cora goes upstairs, her cat is curled up asleep in a chair. In the next, close-up shot, the cat is awake and sitting at the edge of the chair cushion, looking up at Monk with its front feet hanging over the side. When the shot cuts to wide angle again, kitty is instantly back in his original position, snoozing far from the edge and curled up against the pillows.
Factual error: Debbie's pet bird is called a parakeet, but it's a much larger exotic bird. It's unlike Monk, whose other OCD eccentricities and obscure knowledge are in full force despite his amnesia, not to know the difference. Monk may not know every rare species by name, but parakeets (aka budgerigars) are household pets common enough that anyone would know Debbie's bird isn't one. Monk definitely would have known.