Best mystery 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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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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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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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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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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The Blacklist picture

Pilot - S1-E1

Factual error: The bomb is supposed to go off at the "DC Zoo", but the scene takes place at the National Botanical Garden, on the complete opposite side of DC from where the Smithsonian National Zoo actually is.

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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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Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries picture

Show generally

Factual error: The snub nosed revolver used by Miss Fisher, a J-Frame S&W, was not produced until 1950.

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Foyle's War picture

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Factual error: Foyle is subordinate to an Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, but Hastings had its own force (merged with other Sussex forces 1943-47) and the Met had no jurisdiction outside London.

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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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South Park picture Video

Over Logging - S12-E6

Factual error: Kyle says he has to log on before school. The next shot shows "Monday 8 days later." 8 days before is a Sunday. (00:04:45)

Ssiscool Premium member
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JAG picture

Washington Holiday - S2-E9

Factual error: In the whole episode, Romania is depicted as a monarchy with the king in a position that allows him to make political decisions. However, Romania ceased to be a monarchy in 1947. By the time depicted in the episode (circa 1997), Romania was a republic and its head of state was the president. Members of the ex-royal family did not hold any positions in the Romanian government and were certainly not authorized to represent Romania in international events.

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Murdoch Mysteries picture

Murdoch.com - S2-E10

Factual error: Enid, the telegraph operator, exclaims that "He is sending an SOS." However, in the 19th century, distress calls did not include the letters "SOS," It was not until the early 20th Century that SOS was chosen as the international distress call.

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

Suggested correction: The show is set in the early 1900's, which is the early 20th century. By the time this event transpired, SOS would have been established as a universal distress signal.

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The Americans picture

The Clock - S1-E2

Factual error: When Phillip gives The Clock back to Viola, you can catch a glimpse of a Hyundai Santa Fe. A car that wasn't released until 2000. (00:28:25)

niblick
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Homeland picture

Redux - S4-E7

Factual error: The Pakistan Air Force officer in the airport is listed in the credits as 'PAF Lieutenant' and is wearing the two pips of an army lieutenant. In fact, the PAF still uses RAF-style ranks, so he should be a Flying Officer, and the PAF also uses distinctive eight-pointed stars instead of pips.

Necrothesp
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CSI: Miami picture

Show generally

Factual error: Calleigh Duquesne frequently wears completely inappropriate clothing throughout the whole series. She often wears blouses that are so low cut that the neckline is below the lower curve of her breasts. No officer of the court in the US would be allowed to dress this way. There is no grey area here, and this is not a character mistake - first time a CSI turned up at work dressed like that, she'd be sent home to change. Second time, she'd be on suspension until she agreed to change her dress standards. Also (and this regularly happens in CSI:NY as well) she is regularly wearing high heels - also a certain no-no for as CSI.

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Forever Knight picture

Forward into the Past - S2-E4

Factual error: Nick tells fellow vampire Aristotle, "You still owe me for that time at the Battle of Hastings." Nick was brought across in 1228, or so the intro told us every week. The Battle of Hastings, as any British school kid knows, was fought in 1066, over 100 years before Nick's mortal birth. (00:29:30)

Jean G
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Alias picture

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Factual error: In the episode where Sydney is supposed to be in Helsinki, there are visible skyscrapers in the background. There are no skyscrapers in Helsinki.

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