Best comedy TV factual errors of all time

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Red Dwarf picture

Back To Reality - S5-E6

Factual error: While it is true that lithium carbonate can be used to treat depression and other psychiatric disorders, it cannot be administered in gaseous form. It is a very stable salt and only starts to form vapour at 1,310 degress Celcius. Spraying it about as a 'mood stabliser' at that temperature, as Kryten does, is going to kill everyone on the spot.

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Grey's Anatomy picture

Throwing It All Away - S10-E15

Factual error: In the opening scenes, Arizona mistakenly says a child suffering from eminent liver failure is at risk for psoriasis, when the script called for the word cirrhosis. Psoriasis is a skin disease. Cirrhosis is the medical term for end stage liver disease.

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The Big Bang Theory picture

The Countdown Reflection - S5-E24

Factual error: There is not a snowball's chance of Howard becoming an astronaut. He suffers from cardiac arrhythmia, something about which he is completely open. "Transient" or not this is easily detectable by a simple electrocardiogram, which is a fundamental part of the many medical examinations a potential astronaut will have to pass. He wouldn't even be allowed to start basic training. Note also that during his basic training he shows signs of severe stress and trauma which would inevitably trigger a cardiac episode. Even if it didn't the fact that he was falling apart at the seams would have him removed from the programme for his own good.

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Porridge picture

Men Without Women - S1-E6

Factual error: Throughout the whole show Godber, 'Bunny' Warren, McLaren, the Prison Governor and many of the guards refer to Fletcher as a Cockney. He even identifies himself as a Cockney on a number of occasions. However, in several episodes he refers to his upbringing in Muswell Hill and in this episode he refers to his having been born there - and we see his old stamping ground in that episode when he gets a weekend's compassionate leave. Nobody from Muswell Hill would ever refer to himself as a Cockney - Muswell Hill isn't even in East London!

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Parks and Recreation picture

The Treaty - S4-E7

Factual error: At the UN conference, 'England' is shown as a member of the Security Council. England sits on both the UN and the Security Council as part of the 'United Kingdom' - not as a stand-alone country. UN nerds Leslie and Ben would have known this.

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The Goldbergs picture

The Other Smother - S1-E13

Factual error: The model UN uses the new South African flag, but this flag only came into use in 1994.

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Happy Days picture

The People vs. the Fonz - S11-E11

Factual error: When the Cunninghams are talking about Fonz's trial, Mr. Cunningham can be seen wearing a digital watch. Digital watches didn't exist in the 50's.

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M*A*S*H pictureM*A*S*H mistake picture

Depressing News - S9-E12

Factual error: When Klinger's walking with Captain Allen and the Stars and Stripes photographer, just before their introductions to "Ben" they pass an empty corrugated box with its flap open, and the recycling symbol can be seen on the flap. Recycling symbols were not in use until about 20 years later.

Super Grover Premium member
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Monk picture

Mr. Monk Goes to Jail - S2-E16

Factual error: When Monk visits the prison for the first time, he is searched, passed, and has a mini-panic attack because people have touched him. Sharona steps forward to comfort him, and she puts her arms around him. This is a very serious breach of procedure and it is not possible for the guards to miss it, because Sharona has not been searched. It's a common technique for trying to pass contraband called 'a touch through' - a person with an item to be smuggled into the prison (drugs, usually), passes them on to a person who has been searched and is therefore 'clean'. Monk would be taken back to the guard's station to be searched again. He would not be allowed leniency because the guards happen to know or to like him - visitor ingress and egress is always done under CCTV and the guard would know he was being watched - quite possibly by someone who doesn't know who Monk and Sharona are.

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Archer picture

Archer Vice: Southbound and Down - S5-E5

Factual error: When the bikers are chasing the bus, one of them crashes into the "Now Leaving Texarkana" sign. However, shortly before this, we see Cyril crashing into the sign reading "Austin. 105 miles." Texarkana is almost 350 miles from Austin.

Bishop73
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That '70s Show picture

Thanksgiving - S1-E9

Factual error: The scene where Kitty is making peanut butter celery for Thanksgiving appetizers; she is using Skippy brand peanut butter and the packaging is not from the 70's, it's the current packaging. (00:05:10 - 00:06:05)

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The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. picture

Riverboat - S1-E6

Factual error: A character in the episode has invented denim, but denim was invented in 1873 and was being used widely up to the time period of the series, which is set in 1893.

Scott215
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Suggested correction: The entire series was set in an alternate history of sorts, so most, if not all, historical "inaccuracies" cannot be regarded as mistakes.

zendaddy621
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Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. picture

PFC Gomer Pyle - S2-E1

Factual error: Sgt. Carter is wearing a plain belt buckle with his dress blues uniform. Since Sgt. Carter is Gunnery Sgt, he is a staff NCO so his buckle should have the USMC emblem on the buckle. (00:24:00)

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King of the Hill picture

It's Not Easy Being Green - S5-E16

Factual error: Boomhauer's car, Ms. Sally, has a Texas flag license plate on it. These plates were not issued until 1992, but Ms. Sally was driven into the quarry in the late 70's or early 80's.

Jason Sieberg
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Family Guy picture

Patriot Games - S4-E20

Factual error: The family stays briefly in a British apartment, however the plug sockets displayed are US standard, not UK.

mrSimon
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Friends picture

The One With The Hypnosis Tape - S3-E18

Factual error: When Pete takes Monica to Rome for the date this would have been impossible as Rome is 6 hours ahead of New York and at least 4/5 hours travel time, assuming they went by Concorde (double that otherwise). They would have had to have left New York early in the morning to make dinner for 8/9 pm in Rome.

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Pokemon picture

The Ninja Poke-Showdown - S1-E32

Factual error: When Venonat uses Stun Spore, Ash tells Bulbasaur to use Whirlwind. Bulbasaur just blows the powder away with his mouth, but he doesn't use the Whirlwind attack. He can't learn Whirlwind in any of the games, and what Whirlwind is supposed to do is to blow the opposing Pokemon away. Ash could have just as easily told Bulbasaur to blow it away, but he instead chose to tell him to use a move that he can't possibly learn. The only Pokemon that can learn Whirlwind are either Flying types or Bug types; i.e., Pokemon with wings (with the exception of Makuhita and Hariyama, which weren't introduced until generation III, and did not exist at the time this episode aired). In The School of Hard Knocks (Season 1, Episode 9), a character mentions information regarding a Pokemon's levels, attacks, and information which is taken straight out of the game, so it's very clear that Bulbasaur should not be able to use Whirlwind.

Knever
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The Inbetweeners pictureThe Inbetweeners mistake picture

Thorpe Park - S1-E3

Factual error: The same number plate can be seen on two different vehicles in this episode. The registration M483LTH can be seen on the hearse and then on Simon's car when parking. No two vehicles in the UK will ever share a number plate. (00:11:10 - 00:12:30)

Ssiscool Premium member
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South Park picture Video

Over Logging - S12-E6

Factual error: Kyle says he has to log on before school. The next shot shows "Monday 8 days later." 8 days before is a Sunday. (00:04:45)

Ssiscool Premium member
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Dad's Army picture

Don't Forget the Diver - S4-E2

Factual error: While Capt. Square is looking through his binoculars at what he thinks is Mainwaring's platoon marching with their rifles, a 1960's Bedford lorry drives past on the road behind them.

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