Best TV factual errors of all time

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

Red Dwarf picture

Meltdown - S4-E6

Factual error: Kryten tells everyone that the matter paddle transmits matter in digital form from one place to another at the speed of light - he is very clear on this point. He then locates Waxworld, which is 200,000 light years away. Okay - so when they use the matter paddle to transmit themselves to Waxworld, why doesn't it take them 200,000 years to get there?

More Red Dwarf factual errors
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
More Emergency! factual errors
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.

More Hustle factual errors
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.

More Parks and Recreation 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
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
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.

More Grey's Anatomy factual errors
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
More Jonathan Creek factual errors
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!

More Porridge factual errors
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.

More Happy Days factual errors
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
More M*A*S*H factual errors
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.

More Monk factual errors
The Big Bang Theory picture

The Bad Fish Paradigm - S2-E1

Factual error: Raj and Sheldon are watching TV in Raj's apartment and we hear music playing. Sheldon asks if the woman on TV was Aishwarya Rai to which Raj says yes and then they argue about her and Madhuri Dixit. The song playing was from the Bollywood movie Kaho Na Pyar Hai, but neither of them are in the movie - the lead actress was Ameesha Patel. (00:14:50)

Aditi Gupta
More The Big Bang Theory factual errors
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
More Stranger Things factual errors
Bates Motel picture

Visiting Hours - S5-E9

Factual error: In Oregon and New Jersey, state law requires that a gas station attendant pump the gas. Romero pulls into an Oregon gas station and encounters a nosey person. They are both pumping their own gas.

More Bates Motel factual errors
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.

More The Goldbergs factual errors
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
More The Inbetweeners factual errors
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
Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

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
More The Adventures of Brisco County Jr. factual errors
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)

More That '70s Show factual errors
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
More King of the Hill 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.