Best crime TV factual errors of all time

Please vote as you browse around to help the best rise to the top.

Hustle picture

New Recruits - S5-E2

Factual error: The contract Stone and his team force Carlton Wood and Harry Fielding to sign guaranteeing Fowler's widow the royalties from his invention for life is signed under duress and is therefore invalid. It is hard to believe that none of Stone's team don't know this, but it is impossible to believe that Carlton Wood wouldn't.

More Hustle factual errors
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
More Columbo factual errors
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.

More CSI: Crime Scene Investigation factual errors
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.

More Monk factual errors
Prison Break picture

Season 1 generally

Factual error: When Michael fills the tank with water (below the stock room), he then strips his clothes off, and slides down a pipe and into the water at the bottom of the tank. Since the water level was way above him, the pipe he slid down and the access to get there would have been flooded also. There was no water in the pipe he slid down, so for that area to be dry, it would have to be above the water line.

More Prison Break factual errors
The Blacklist picture

Pilot - S1-E1

Factual error: The bomb is supposed to go off at the "DC Zoo", but the scene takes place at the National Botanical Garden, on the complete opposite side of DC from where the Smithsonian National Zoo actually is.

More The Blacklist factual errors
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.

More Foyle's War factual errors
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
More Bones factual errors
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
More South Park factual errors
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
More Ashes to Ashes factual errors
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.

More JAG factual errors
Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries picture

Show generally

Factual error: The snub nosed revolver used by Miss Fisher, a J-Frame S&W, was not produced until 1950.

More Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries factual errors
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.

More Murdoch Mysteries factual errors
Better Call Saul picture

Five-O - S1-E6

Factual error: The intro scene for this episode shows Mike getting off the Rail Runner Express. This train didn't come into service until 2005. This scene is set in 2002.

lithium2001
More Better Call Saul factual errors
The Americans picture

The Clock - S1-E2

Factual error: When Phillip gives the clock back to Viola, you can catch a glimpse of a Hyundai Santa Fe. A car that wasn't released until 2000. (00:28:25)

niblick
More The Americans factual errors
CSI: Miami picture

Show generally

Factual error: Calleigh Duquesne frequently wears completely inappropriate clothing throughout the whole series. She often wears blouses that are so low cut that the neckline is below the lower curve of her breasts. No officer of the court in the US would be allowed to dress this way. There is no grey area here, and this is not a character mistake - first time a CSI turned up at work dressed like that, she'd be sent home to change. Second time, she'd be on suspension until she agreed to change her dress standards. Also (and this regularly happens in CSI:NY as well) she is regularly wearing high heels - also a certain no-no for as CSI.

More CSI: Miami factual errors
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
More Forever Knight factual errors
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
More Dexter factual errors
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
More Arrow factual errors
Unforgotten picture

Episode #1.1 - S1-E1

Factual error: All of the telephone numbers in the 1976 diary begin with 01. This code was not introduced until 1995.

More Unforgotten factual errors

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.