Best TV factual errors of all time

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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.

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Red Dwarf picture

Back To Reality - S5-E6

Factual error: While it is true that lithium carbonate can be used to treat depression and other psychiatric disorders, it cannot be administered in gaseous form. It is a very stable salt and only starts to form vapour at 1,310 degress Celcius. Spraying it about as a 'mood stabliser' at that temperature, as Kryten does, is going to kill everyone on the spot.

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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 to 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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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!

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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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The Big Bang Theory picture

The Countdown Reflection - S5-E24

Factual error: There is not a snowball's chance of Howard becoming an astronaut. He suffers from cardiac arrhythmia, something about which he is completely open. "Transient" or not this is easily detectable by a simple electrocardiogram, which is a fundamental part of the many medical examinations a potential astronaut will have to pass. He wouldn't even be allowed to start basic training. Note also that during his basic training he shows signs of severe stress and trauma which would inevitably trigger a cardiac episode. Even if it didn't the fact that he was falling apart at the seams would have him removed from the programme for his own good.

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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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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.

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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.

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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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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.

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

Suggested correction: Sharona was searched first by the female guard.

In fact Sharona breaks away from the female guard to go to Monk. She has NOT been searched.

The correction is correct. The female guard already finished patting Sharona down before the male guard even had a chance to start his pat down of Monk.

Bishop73

Yeah, the correction is correct. I went back six times through that clip: Sharona and Monk both get searched, and then Sharona touches Monk.

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The West Wing picture

Pilot - S1-E1

Factual error: The Lockheed 1011 was only produced until 1984. There's no way that in 1999 Toby would be flying on one that "just came off the line 20 months ago."

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House, M.D. picture House, 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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Gomer Pyle, U.S.M.C. picture

PFC Gomer Pyle - S2-E1

Factual error: Sgt. Carter is wearing a plain belt buckle with his dress blues uniform. Since Sgt. Carter is Gunnery Sgt, he is a staff NCO so his buckle should have the USMC emblem on the buckle. (00:24:00)

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