Common movie and TV mistakes

This is a list of mistakes, things done wrong, etc. that happen so frequently onscreen we barely notice any more. 'Movie logic', stupid behaviours, and everything related.

New today Other mistake: A TV will be turned on exactly at the moment an important plot point is being explained or shown. Typically it will be a news story that a news anchor will tell from the beginning. Never is the TV turned on with a commercial playing or some other news being read.

Kgprophet72

New this week Revealing mistake: Often times in movies when people are watching footage recorded that was supposed to be from the perspective of someone else, ie. from their eyes or recording glasses, or from a camera, it is not shown correctly. Rather than actually showing the images from the first person perspective, it shows camera footage of that person or previous footage from the movie the people are in.

Quantom X Premium member

New this month Stupidity: Highly trained military/police officers/similar in cover during a gunfight who stand up or run out into the middle of the street to shoot at their targets.

Jon Sandys Premium member

New this month Factual error: Unless it's a high powered shotgun, bullets don't throw people back when they get shot.

Quantom X Premium member

New this month Deliberate mistake: In fight scenes, it's often one person against a small army. Despite having the person greatly outnumbered, the enemies proceed to attack them one at a time, allowing each to be easily dispatched. The whole point of having so many is to overwhelm your enemy... not take turns getting punched out.

Quantom X Premium member

New this month Factual error: People are often watching or staring at the explosion of a nuclear bomb as it goes off, and witness the mushroom cloud form. In reality, the flash from this explosion would be so bright that it would cause instant, and usually permanent blindness. True Lies is a notable exception to this rule where Arnie specifically protects their eyes as the bomb goes off.

Quantom X Premium member

New this month Deliberate mistake: In almost every movie with shootouts, highly trained soldiers, or experienced mercenaries or thugs suddenly get "Storm Trooper Aim" when shooting at the heroes. Even cops do this where they have clear shots of people running away from them, often times multiple of them with fully automatic weapons firing rapidly at a semi close target and somehow just hit all around them and even the ground.

Quantom X Premium member

New this month Factual error: In movies, TV shows, cartoons, and videogames people are often depicted as standing right next to molten lava or magma. Frequently walking or fighting next to it, getting inches away or only a few feet above it. In reality the heat coming off it alone would cause people's clothes and skin to catch fire and burn their lungs just from being within like 20 feet of lava.

Quantom X Premium member

New this month Factual error: True gun silencers do not exist in real life. There do exist what are called "suppressors," but they don't quiet the sound of a gunshot anywhere near what you see in movies and television shows.

Phaneron Premium member

New this month Factual error: Protagonists who have been able to clear their name after being framed, but only in the process of committing several other crimes, for which they receive no punishments. The law is still the law and crimes are all separate from each other committed in that time period.

New this month Factual error: Whenever police officers are involved in some kind of shooting while on duty, they are always kept on the case. They're never suspended or investigated by internal affairs. In real life, there's a full on investigation that takes months to make certain the officer in question was justified in the shooting, not to mention the intense media scrutiny surrounding the incident.

mikelynch

New this month Stupidity: When someone has duct tape put over their mouth and they're unable to scream for help, or warn someone coming in about a trap. Duct tape over the mouth easily comes off if you open up your mouth because it can't hold your jaw shut. And if you need a little help getting it off your lips because you can't open your mouth wide enough, just stick out your very wet tongue.

Bishop73

New this month Deliberate mistake: Characters who are being pursued on foot frequently hide in plain sight of their pursuers. You see characters (typically the "good guys") duck around the corner of a building, or a tree, or some other obstacle, where they freeze and glance over their shoulders to watch their oblivious pursuers (typically the "bad guys") wander past just a few feet in the background. Nevermind the fact that the good guy's body is only partially concealed by said obstacle, or not concealed at all. This is an old film-making trick intended to heighten audience tension, even though it is totally illogical.

Charles Austin Miller

New this month Factual error: When the police are on the phone with a suspect and they try to keep them on the line long enough to trace the number and location. If the film takes place after the advent of Caller ID, then this information would be available instantly.

Phaneron Premium member

New this month Factual error: People often jump from great heights into bodies of water and avoid fall damage. But the surface tension of water is great enough it would be no different than hitting concrete if you're high enough up.

Quantom X Premium member
Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

New this month Suggested correction: If you jump in feet first you can survive a jump into water from a very great height without injuries.

lionhead

About the max distance you can fall into water without injury is 65 feet, even at feet first. Professional high divers even struggle to control themselves from that height without doing actions they can control like flips. An untrained individual leaping from a bridge down into water would most certainly kill them in real life.

Quantom X Premium member

New this month Factual error: In almost every sci-fi feature, things like explosions, laser blasts, ships colliding, asteroids hitting, and planets exploding, can all be heard. However in reality sound can not travel though empty space. So almost all of that would really be completely silent.

Quantom X Premium member

New this month Factual error: When someone dies with their eyes open and another character can close the dead person's eyes by gently running their hand over their face. The eyes of a dead body won't stay shut that way.

Bishop73

New this month Other mistake: There is always a parking space available right in front of the building where the hero/cops/protagonist needs to go.

wizard_of_gore Premium member

New this month Deliberate mistake: Where as its not as common in modern movies, the 80's and 90's movies were really bad about vehicles exploding into huge balls of fire over the littlest things. Cars would hit each other and explode. One would flip over and explode. They would hit walls and boom. Or hilarious ones like Escape from LA, a motorcycle runs into a metal barrel and explodes instantly. Like the cars were filled with nitroglycerin or something.

Quantom X Premium member

New this month Other mistake: Primitive people or people cut off from civilization that still have brilliantly white and perfectly straight teeth.

Bishop73

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