Best TV deliberate mistakes of all time

Fawlty Towers picture

The Builders - S1-E2

Deliberate mistake: When Basil is arguing with Polly and eventually decides to call O'Reilly, he trips over the gnome. However when we see Basil come out from behind the desk, he takes the gnome out of a side gap in the desk, perfectly out of reach of Basil tripping over it.

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Friends picture

Show generally

Deliberate mistake: The show is set in New York. Joey was a cast member on Days of Our Lives, which is filmed in Los Angeles, but is still always around.

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3

Lost (2004)

Lost picture

Tabula Rasa - S1-E3

Deliberate mistake: As Ray drives the pickup truck, an oncoming vehicle beeps and the marshal heads behind Ray's pickup. In the shot through the cab's rear window facing the bed, as the marshal pulls behind, the bed's side wall interior is seen (note the metal loop tie down on top) and the entire tailgate is gone; yet the tailgate is intact later, when the pickup flips over. The tailgate was removed for the shot to allow visibility of the marshal's vehicle.

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Super Grover
Here Come the Brides picture

Show generally

Deliberate mistake: Robert Brown wears a gold turtleneck sweater with his leather outfit throughout the series. Though it's more than 100 years beyond the show's 19th Century setting, he and the producers decided that he looked good in it, so allowed the anachronism to stand.

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Jean G
Doctor Who picture

Rose - S1-E1

Deliberate mistake: The final Auton attack in this episode is supposed to take place in a busy London street, but it is a pedestrianised area, and several shots reveal this. For example, there are no road markings visible, no apparent distinction between pavement and road, and a bus stop appears to sit in the middle of the 'road'.

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Star Trek: Voyager picture

Drone - S5-E2

Deliberate mistake: When the Doctor begins to "fade" in the transporter room his mobile emitter fades with him. Since it's made of solid matter and is not a hologram, this shouldn't be possible.

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Family Guy picture

Brian the Bachelor - S4-E7

Deliberate mistake: In season 4 episode 7, 'Brian the bachelor'. Cleveland is sitting in a chair in a waiting room and is getting really nervous. Peter tries to help him by tying him to a chair and when that doesn't work, he takes off all of their clothes. Peter ties Cleveland's hands to the arms of the chair and then takes Cleveland's clothes off. He couldn't have taken the shirt off while Cleveland's hands were tied to something without untying him or ripping the shirt, which he didn't do.

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Jack Kaltenbach
Sex and the City picture

Twenty-something girls vs. thirty-something women - S2-E17

Deliberate mistake: In the scene at the beach party, when Carrie brings everyone beers, Miranda says "There's so much foam, I could ski on the head," but the cups are tipped toward camera and you can see there's no foam at all.

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Star Trek picture

Show generally

Deliberate mistake: Special effects of the ship in space were very expensive in the 60s and couldn't be wasted. So when a larger model was built with slightly different nacelles, shots of both versions became common, even within the same episode. This is why the Enterprise sometimes had red needle-tipped nacelles and sometimes lighted "spinning" ones, and in aft views she had either round white spheres or perforated vents at the nacelles' ends.

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Jean G
Buffy The Vampire Slayer picture

Season 4 generally

Deliberate mistake: Every time the commandos are seen in the early episodes of this season (The Freshman and Fear, Itself) they wear ski masks to protect their identities. Starting in The Initiative, they stop doing this. The reason is that the audience needs to be able to identify the different commando characters, but it's still a discontinuity.

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Phoenix
The Fairly OddParents picture

Boys in the Band / Hex Games - S2-E2

Deliberate mistake: When AJ and Chester show Timmy "The Timmy Tuck", AJ says it has a 1400 degree turn. The diagram shows 140°.

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unkajes
Hannah Montana picture

Show generally

Deliberate mistake: Every time there is a scene on the beach, the background is so fake - the waves never move.

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I Love Lucy picture

The Anniversary Present - S2-E1

Deliberate mistake: In this episode Lucy is trying to get Ricky to notice that their anniversary is on Monday the 19th by showing him a large calendar with the 19th circled. However, when they are in California and they celebrate their anniversary and Ricky asks for information to be wired to him, the telegram tells him that their anniversary is on the seventh.

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Show generally

Deliberate mistake: 1-1 (Pilot): Coming back to Earth in 1998, Stone is amazed to see the Cincinnati Reds and the NY Yankees on TV in an interleague game. This wasn't yet possible in '98, as an American League East team could then play only a National League East team (and the Reds are NL Central). But the producers put it in anyway as their own little "fantasy baseball game," because these were their favorite teams.

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Jean G
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine picture

The Passenger - S1-E9

Deliberate mistake: The dying Vantika hides his consciousness away in a portion of Dr. Bashir's mind. At one point, "Bashir" (heavily cloaked in clothing and shadows) comes up behind Quark and makes sure his demands are clear. At this point, it should still be unclear just how Vantika is still "alive", and whose body he is using. However, when he shoves Quark away, for a fraction of a second, Bashir's face can be seen under his hood. They were true to plot in using the right actor (though he shouldn't have been seen), it is possible some might have spied the secret earlier than the show meant to reveal it.

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16

Monk (2002)

Monk picture

Mr. Monk and the Sleeping Suspect - S2-E7

Deliberate mistake: All the mail bombs are delivered in packages tied with knotted string. The USPO hasn't allowed string-tied packages since the mid-90s (they get caught in automated equipment), but since the knots were crucial to ID-ing the suspect in this episode, that fact had to be ignored.

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Jean G
Gilmore Girls picture

Kill Me Now - S1-E3

Deliberate mistake: Richard and Emily speak of his mother as if she were dead, but she comes to visit several times later in the series.

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The O.C. picture

The Dearly Beloved - S2-E24

Deliberate mistake: Lindsay is not at Caleb's funeral in the last episode of season 2, "The Dearly Beloved". It's unlikely that she would have missed it - she is still on good terms with him and he is her father, the only reason she left was to be with her mother, not because she didn't love Caleb.Obviously they didn't want to create another drama with having Lindsay there while they had to focus on the important story-lines - Caleb's death, Kirsten's drinking and Marissa shooting Trey.

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Drake and Josh picture

Show generally

Deliberate mistake: In 4-41, "The Wedding": In the scene where the tow truck guy crashes the car window, notice the glass goes in the car. Later the glass is there, but Josh sits in the car without being cut by it.

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Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers picture

Season 1 generally

Deliberate mistake: In fight scenes, the Yellow Ranger's stature matches that of a male (and not Trini). This is because in the Japanese version of the show, the Yellow Ranger was played by a man.

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CSI: Crime Scene Investigation picture

Show generally

Deliberate mistake: Every time the investigators deal with IP-addresses, the addresses on display are impossible. Each of the four parts of an IP-address has to be between 0 and 255. As they do have to use IP-addresses some time, they could use addresses starting with 10. Those would be real addresses although not used as an official IP-address. This isn't the same as phone numbers using 555 - any IP address over 255 just wouldn't work. It would be like mentioning a phone number which uses the symbol for pi.

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Christoph Galuschka
Red Dwarf picture

Show generally

Deliberate mistake: In the first few series, it is suggested Lister and Kochanski barely know each other. In 'Balance of Power' Holly says that Lister has only ever spoken 173 words to her. However, by series 4 Kochanski is referred to as Lister's ex-girlfriend with whom he shared a relationship. In the series 4 documentary, Doug Naylor explains that Lister's attitude towards Kochanski was imature in the first series which is why they changed his back story from wanting to be with Kochanski to actually having been with her by series 4.

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Battlestar Galactica picture

Saga of a Star World (1) - S1-E1

Deliberate mistake: When the large formation of Cylons attack, the graphic that Athena is looking at shows the approaching Cylon ships as triangles, as usual. But it also shows two asterisks leading that formation, and the asterisk is the symbol for Vipers. There are NO Vipers leading the Cylons in this sequence. This graphic is a reuse of the one from the big battle at the start of the episode when Apollo and Zac were being pursued by an earlier large formation of Cylons.

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johnrosa
Smallville picture

Pilot - S1-E1

Deliberate mistake: Clark's CPR form is terrible. When he performs emergency breaths on Lex, Lex's chest doesn't rise and fall, indicating that he's not actually breathing much air in. He doesn't bother to measure for the proper location for chest compressions, a very important step that is the difference between proper CPR and simply cracking ribs. As he performs compressions, he is not chanting the rhythm (one-and-two-and-three) and his elbows are bent. All of these were altered for dramatic reasons or the purpose of safety, but the sloppy technique probably would have killed Lex.

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Phoenix
Sliders picture

Greatfellas - S2-E10

Deliberate mistake: When Quinn comes back to the hotel room with a large stack of money he'd won at the casino, he waves it, and you can see a 1-dollar bill in the middle. He was supposed to have over $100,000, but since the crew couldn't get that much money for a brief scene, they used a stack of dollar bills.

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Grigory the Wanderer
The Simpsons picture

The Trouble With Trillions - S9-E20

Deliberate mistake: When Homer is being interrogated by the IRS, his package is briefly replaced by a ball of string when the IRS agent sits down in the chair and spins around.

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Dandude
Bewitched picture

Open the Door Witchcraft - S1-E28

Deliberate mistake: Sam and Darrin are "trapped" in the garage; however, you can see a side door.

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The X-Files picture

One Breath - S2-E8

Deliberate mistake: When Scully is shown on her hospital bed, it's obvious she's wearing a bra under her hospital gown. It's doubtful that a patient in a coma would be wearing a bra as it could restrict her circulation.

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Grumpy Scot
King of the Hill picture

Mutual of Omabwah - S9-E8

Deliberate mistake: Why wouldn't Hank just use a credit card to cover the outstanding payment he owes on his insurace? It was established in the episode Rich Hank, Poor Hank that Hank has an emergency credit card and could easily use that and would be covered immediately. His panic over not having insurance would outweigh any problems he might have with using his credit card and the fact that he is dealing with an insurance company there is no conceivable way they wouldn't accept a credit card or ask if he has a credit card to cover the payment. The mistake seems to be deliberate as it sets the story up for Hank going somewhat over the edge with protecting the house.

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Lummie
Futurama picture

Space Pilot 3000 - S1-E1

Deliberate mistake: When the world is counting down to the new year, we see people in various countries, Egypt, the USA etc all counting down together. Because of time zone differences this isn't possible. [It is a little joke.]

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David Mercier

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