Best crime TV factual errors of all time

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The Blacklist picture

Anslo Garrick, Part 1 - S1-E9

Factual error: As Reddington sets up the blood transfer between himself and Ressler he inserts the intravenous line in Ressler's arm first and then in his own arm. This is a big NO NO! This way the remaining air inside the line gets into the recipient's body and could very well kill him. Judging the expert way he handles the set up he should know to first insert the IV in his own arm, let the line fill with blood and then insert the IV in Ressler's arm.

Lenore Scott
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CSI: Crime Scene Investigation picture

Show generally

Factual error: In a number of episodes people are shown eating and drinking in the laboratories. For instance, in "Miss Willows' Regrets" Nick and Greg are seen eating fried chicken in the lab, and in "Overload" Sara eats a sandwich while watching Grissom experiment with her deli pickle. There are other examples. No reputable laboratory (which this is supposed to be) would allow its staff to eat or drink while in the lab. It is basic scientific protocol to prevent contamination of samples or the person picking up toxins on their food.

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Columbo picture

The Most Crucial Game - S2-E3

Factual error: Probably an in joke - the wheels of the "airliner" shown landing at LA international airport are those of a B52 bomber. They are very distinctive and look nothing like those on any airliner ever made.

PEDAUNT
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South Park picture

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)

A Demon Premium member
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Bones picture

The X in the File - S5-E11

Factual error: The Roswell, New Mexico sheriff forces Bones to examine the body because it was found in his jurisdiction. But later in the episode, we learn that the body was found 2 kilometers from the border of Mexico. Roswell is not even in a county on the border of New Mexico much less one that borders Mexico. In fact the closest border to Roswell between the US and Mexico would be in Texas - hours drive away. The Roswell sheriff would have no jurisdiction.

Myridon
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Murdoch Mysteries picture

Murdoch.com - S2-E10

Factual error: Enid, the telegraph operator, exclaims that "He is sending an SOS." However, in the 19th century, distress calls did not include the letters "SOS," It was not until the early 20th Century that SOS was chosen as the international distress call.

goofyfoot
Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The show is set in the early 1900's, which is the early 20th century. By the time this event transpired, SOS would have been established as a universal distress signal.

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Foyle's War picture

Show generally

Factual error: Foyle is subordinate to an Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, but Hastings had its own force (merged with other Sussex forces 1943-47) and the Met had no jurisdiction outside London.

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine picture

Pontiac Bandit - S1-E12

Factual error: When Jake is given a burner phone by Doug Judy, he receives a text message from the 'Pontiac Bandit'. The phone is an old cellphone from the late 90s, but the text message makes an iPhone sound/tone from the late 2000s. He receives another text message again later with the same tone. (00:09:55 - 00:12:50)

Hani Hariprabowo
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Forever Knight picture

Forward into the Past - S2-E4

Factual error: Nick tells fellow vampire Aristotle, "You still owe me for that time at the Battle of Hastings." Nick was brought across in 1228, or so the intro told us every week. The Battle of Hastings, as any British school kid knows, was fought in 1066, over 100 years before Nick's mortal birth. (00:29:30)

Jean G
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JAG picture

Washington Holiday - S2-E9

Factual error: In the whole episode, Romania is depicted as a monarchy with the king in a position that allows him to make political decisions. However, Romania ceased to be a monarchy in 1947. By the time depicted in the episode (circa 1997), Romania was a republic and its head of state was the president. Members of the ex-royal family did not hold any positions in the Romanian government and were certainly not authorized to represent Romania in international events.

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Dexter picture

Let's Give the Boy a Hand - S1-E4

Factual error: When Dexter and Doakes are looking at the severed foot wearing a soccer cleat, Dexter states, "The foot was severed between the tarsus and the metatarsus." However, the foot was severed proximal to the tarsus, through the tibia and fibula. The cut was easily too high to be between the tarsus and metatarsus. (00:16:45)

Limemime
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Arrow picture

The Scientist - S2-E8

Factual error: There is no way Laurel Lance would have been allowed on the prosecution team for Moira Queen's murder trial. Due to the facts that she used to date the defendant's son, the defendant's daughter used to intern for her, and her boyfriend was one of the people killed in the Glades it would have taken all of two seconds for the court to have her removed if she didn't willingly recuse herself, since her presence would be a major conflict of interest. Laurel also was Oliver's lawyer when he was on trial in season 1, which also wouldn't be allowed.

AD
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Monk picture

Mr. Monk and Little Monk - S4-E8

Factual error: In the flashback where Monk is explaining how the money was stolen, the principal finds the 5 dollar bill he wrote "good luck" on and holds it up for everyone to see. The bill he holds is a 5 dollar bill which was released in 2000, with the enlarged Lincoln. The flashback takes place in 1972.

jennibee
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White Collar picture

Point Blank - S2-E9

Factual error: In the scene where Mozzy is using a synthesizer to try and figure out the musical code, he starts playing random chords in frustration. Since the synthesizer is a Minimoog (a monophonic instrument) this is impossible. (00:12:45)

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Houdini and Doyle picture

Show generally

Factual error: The show starts in 1901 with a woman constable working for the Metropolitan Police Service (Scotland Yard). However women didn't join the Metropolitan Police until 1919 (which is also when the first woman's police uniform was created). Prior to that, women volunteered in the Women's Police Service, but that wasn't formed until 1914.

Bishop73
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Better Call Saul picture

Sabrosito - S3-E4

Factual error: When Mike is watching the DEA raid the ice cream shop, a Ford Crown Victoria P71 for the Albuquerque Police Department is shown. These models were not in use until 2004, a few years after when the show is set. In 2002, APD was still using Chevrolet Caprices.

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Prison Break picture

VS. - S4-E18

Factual error: The Indian Embassy guard is wearing a Canadian Forces military hat when in fact he is suppose to wear the Indian Army hat. (00:16:00 - 00:20:00)

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The Twilight Zone picture

Elegy - S1-E20

Factual error: The astronauts land on an asteroid said to orbit a binary star 655 million miles from Earth. This is impossible, as that distance would place them well within our solar system. In fact, they'd be inside the orbit of Saturn, where of course there aren't (nor could there be) any extraneous suns. The nearest star to our system is, in fact, trillions (not millions) of miles away. (00:02:15 - 00:04:00)

Jean G
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Ashes to Ashes picture

Episode #1.8 - S1-E8

Factual error: When the bullion van leaves the yard a 1995 N reg Rover 600 is parked on the left hand side of the road, before Ray drives off in his Granada. In 1982 the Rover 600 was not even on the drawing board.

paulnjsmith
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Breaking Bad picture

Madrigal - S5-E2

Factual error: In the opening scene for the episode, a character commits suicide by electrocuting themselves with a defibrillator. The device used was an AED (automated external defibrillator) which analyses the electrical rhythm of the heart and only delivers a shock when the heart rhythm is ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation. In this case, the device would not have delivered a shock as the person did not have both ECG electrodes attached and therefore would not have detected a cardiac rhythm. The person would also have had a normal heart rhythm.

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