Best mystery TV factual errors of all time

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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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Hustle picture

The Henderson Challenge - S3-E2

Factual error: Mickey and Danny walk to their local shop to buy ice. We see that the shop is Robis, which is at 106 Brick Lane, in E1. They even show the street name sign just so we can be certain. Mickey and Danny deliver the ice to their flat and then the whole crew meet on the roof of the building to discuss the Henderson challenge. We see that their building overlooks the north side of the river, close to Tower Bridge. We get a clear view of the Greater London Authority building which is on the opposite, south bank. They are several kilometers from Brick Lane! First, such a walk would take at least an hour, there and back, not the few minutes it takes here. Second, why bother? There are plenty of shops local to their residence that would sell them ice. Third, they state several times that it is the middle of summer. Carrying a bag of ice that distance in summer in London would leave you with a bag of mush.

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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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Foyle's War picture

Show generally

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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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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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

Show generally

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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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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Dexter picture

Let's Give the Boy a Hand - S1-E4

Factual error: When Dexter and Doakes are looking at the severed foot wearing a soccer cleat, Dexter states, "The foot was severed between the tarsus and the metatarsus." However, the foot was severed proximal to the tarsus, through the tibia and fibula. The cut was easily too high to be between the tarsus and metatarsus. (00:16:45)

Limemime
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Arrow picture

The Scientist - S2-E8

Factual error: There is no way Laurel Lance would have been allowed on the prosecution team for Moira Queen's murder trial. Due to the facts that she used to date the defendant's son, the defendant's daughter used to intern for her, and her boyfriend was one of the people killed in the Glades it would have taken all of two seconds for the court to have her removed if she didn't willingly recuse herself, since her presence would be a major conflict of interest. Laurel also was Oliver's lawyer when he was on trial in season 1, which also wouldn't be allowed.

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Lost picture

Some Like It Hoth - S5-E14

Factual error: In the classroom where Jack argues with Roger next to the chalkboard we can see a poster of the periodic table of the elements. We can see some elements that wouldn't be there in 1977 since they weren't discovered until 1999.

EvilFreD
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Quantum Leap picture

The Leap Home (1) - November 25, 1969 - S3-E1

Factual error: The Post Raisin Bran cereal box sitting on the Beckett family breakfast table in 1969 has a 1990s box design. (00:18:00)

Jean G
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