Best drama TV factual errors of all time

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Emergency! picture

The Indirect Method - S5-E6

Factual error: When Roy is electrocuted and falls from the roof, after Karen uses the defibrillator paddles on Roy, she lifts both paddles, looks at the EKG monitor and says "He's converted." How exactly could Karen have known that he's converted? It's impossible for the EKG monitor to show anything at all. Either the defib paddles have be in contact with Roy's body for the “quick-look” to get a reading, which they weren't, or the ECG electrode discs have to be on Roy's chest connecting him to the EKG monitor, and they weren't. As an aside, just watching Marco having problems attaching the air mask, and quickly glancing up towards the camera frustrated, then giving up is priceless.

Super Grover Premium member
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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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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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Hustle picture

The Hustlers News of the Day - S3-E5

Factual error: The laboratory technician uses a bog standard light microscope to match the two DNA samples, one from Albert and one allegedly from the Queen Mother. That's absurd. DNA samples are compared using a procedure known as SDS-PAGE, otherwise known as gel electrophoresis. This produces the familiar chart we know as DNA "fingerprints" - bands of light and dark showing the composition of a DNA sample which has been broken up by enzymes. You cannot examine DNA with a light microscope - you couldn't even do it with a scanning electron microscope.

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Jonathan Creek picture

The Wrestler's Tomb - S1-E1

Factual error: During the examination of the crime scene at the beginning of the episode, not one of the Crime Scene Officers or any of the police on site wear latex gloves. The supervising police officer picks up a vital piece of evidence - a small bag of jewellery - with bare hands! They have hopelessly contaminated the scene.

PEDAUNT
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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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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 Gets Lotto Fever - S7-E3

Factual error: Since Stottlemeyer is accused of being involved in the lotto fraud he would not be allowed to take this case himself.

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Stranger Things picture

Chapter Two: The Weirdo on Maple Street - S1-E2

Factual error: When Chief Hopper and his fellow patrolman are standing over the lake, Hopper has a radio on his belt. The radio is a modern Motorola walkie talkie and at least a decade newer than it should be.

Matdan97
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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.

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Buffy The Vampire Slayer picture

I Only Have Eyes For You - S2-E19

Factual error: In the episode 'I Only Have Eyes For You', during the flashbacks to 1955 James and Grace dance, and James later shoots himself, to the song 'I Only Have Eyes For You', which wasn't released until 1959. (00:18:20 - 00:26:50)

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Orange Is the New Black picture

Friends in Low Places - S4-E8

Factual error: Tiffany asks a guard where he would go if he could travel back in time. He says he would return to 1999 to attend a Judas Priest concert he missed. He says he wasn't able to get close to Rob Halford. The problem is Rob Halford was not the lead singer of Judas Priest in 1999. Tim 'Ripper' Owens was.

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House, M.D. pictureHouse, M.D. mistake picture

Kids - S1-E19

Factual error: When House is looking over his whiteboard of symptoms for the swimming patient, the symptom "Intercranial Hemorrhage" is shown on the board. However, this is an error. The correct term is "Intracranial Hemorrhage." Anything inside the head is referred to as "intra" not "inter." This is a common mistake for laypeople, however the highly trained and knowledgeable Dr. House should not have made that error. (00:31:25)

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The Rat Patrol picture

Show generally

Factual error: The tanks, half-tracks and self-propelled guns are modern American vehicles painted in a a bright yellow color rather than a muted desert sand color. The only vehicles which actually did see action in North Africa in WW2 would have been the M-7 Priest Gun Motor Carriage and the M3 half-tracks being used by the Germans in "The Rat Patrol."

Scott215
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Limitless picture

Page 44 - S1-E4

Factual error: When discussing a recent search of a suspect's home, Hill Harper says "we got his hard drives", but pulls a computer power supply out of a bag. Hard drives are significantly smaller and don't have a bundle of wires coming out the back of them.

Jon Sandys Premium member
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Eastenders picture

Show generally

Factual error: When Cindy wanted a hitman to kill Ian she looks in the yellow pages to find one. Surely the police and the makers of the yellow pages would have been alerted if a hitman agency wants to advertise itself in the yellow pages?

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Doctor Who picture

The Doctor Dances (2) - S1-E10

Factual error: Magnetic tape recorders weren't available outside of Germany during World War II. True the tape recorder could have been captured from the Germans, but, as it was "cutting edge" technology for 1941, it would hardly be likely to have ended up in a hospital office.

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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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Downton Abbey picture

Episode #4.5 - S4-E5

Factual error: When Lady Edith visits a Harley Street doctor his nameplate is shown outside his surgery. His name is prefixed with "Dr." However, one of his post-nominal qualifications is "FRCS." As a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, his name should be prefixed with "Mr.", as with all qualified surgeons in the British Isles.

Necrothesp
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Days of Our Lives picture

Show generally

Factual error: When Shawn is talking to Belle over the phone, the Eiffel Tower can be seen outside her window, yet, she's supposed to be in Milan, Italy.

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