Best 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 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.

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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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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

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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

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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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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.

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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.

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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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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 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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The Blacklist picture

The Major (No. 75) - S2-E15

Factual error: Tom Keen watches an arms deal. The supposedly German plates of the BMW read "DD17-36F9." This, however, is not a possible combination in Germany, as there would not be numbers in the first half, nor a letter after a number in the second part. [exceptions from the first being the most important officials' cars like the federal president's, but even then the latter applies]. Furthermore, no more than 4 numbers can be used, except for in police and military vehicles (which also never have a letter after a number, and start "Y" for military, or "DD-Q" for Dresden police). "DD-F1736" would have been a correct plate for the town of Dresden, for example. (00:23:15)

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