Common movie and TV mistakes - page 9

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.

Deliberate mistake: To avoid the risk of implicating real, unsuspecting people in all sorts of unsolicited calls, movies can use specific phone numbers owned by the studios, but generally they use specific area codes and/or number ranges that are unassigned. Therefore, many movies feature phone numbers that are 'impossible' by design. It's a fact so well known that it is part of pop-culture, in particular for 555-numbers, which to modern audiences nowadays look as credible as ACME items.

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Factual error: Shooting a gas tank with a handgun and causing an explosion. The only way to ignite a gas tank by shooting it is with tracer ammunition, as demonstrated by the Mythbusters.

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Other mistake: Whenever a character travel to a town or village in another country, no matter how remote, they always find someone who speaks English.

Mike Lynch

Deliberate mistake: If a main character is injured, say in a car accident, any visible signs of injury always include bruises or scars on the character's face. It doesn't matter how the character got injured, the moviemakers deliberately will give him wounds on the face so the audience is given a visual reminder.

Other mistake: In video games that have a night and day cycle, often times quests and especially side quests seem to be unaffected by the passing of time what so ever. Like a pressing matter of a guy running off with a valuable item, and your quest is to track him down and stop him before he leaves the city. But you can take your sweet time and have several days and longer pass in game time before you finally go to the place where you're supposed to carry out of the mission.

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Other mistake: Someone coming into a room, or situation, and delivering a line in response to what was just said, even though there was no way they were able to hear what was just said (or even knowing what the conversation was about).


Deliberate mistake: In TV shows and movies that depict civilization in a state of collapse, such as The Road, The Postman or The Stand, people walk when they need to go from one place to another. The implication being that powered vehicles no longer work. The question is, what happened to all the bicycles? They would get you where you want to go much faster than walking, yet, they don't seem to exist in the future.

Mike Lynch

Deliberate mistake: Someone drives a car they've never driven before and they drive off without adjusting the driver's seat or mirror.

eric 64

Factual error: Characters referring to another star system as a "Solar System." Solar System is a proper name, it refers specifically to the system that contains Earth. Our sun is called "Sol", hence "Solar System." Any time an alien from another planet uses the term Solar System to refer to an alien star system it indicates the writer or actor is making a common error.


Factual error: Films depicting criminal trials in American courtrooms frequently show the defendant receiving their sentence right after their guilty verdict is rendered. In real life, people found guilty will have a separate hearing to receive their sentence several weeks later.

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Other mistake: In 99% of movies cars have their windows rolled down to avoid the filming crew from being reflected This is even more weird when cars are parked or it's raining.

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Factual error: Vehicles used in films and programmes set in past decades that have age related number plates, classic car enthusiasts spot these straight away.

eric 64

Factual error: A character in hospital removes various medical monitors from their body (or someone else's) but alarms don't sound on the equipment in the room.

Factual error: Whenever there's an officer involved shooting in television or movies, the officer in question always goes about their work as though nothing has happened. In real life, this is a big deal. It's blasted all over the news and the officer is always placed on administrative leave pending an investigation to make sure the shooting was justified.

Mike Lynch

Character mistake: When someone tries to call another person's cell phone in an emergency situation and it goes to voicemail, but they just keep calling over and over (with or without leaving a message). They never try sending a text message or similar, they just repeat the same pattern despite knowing the other person isn't answering.


Factual error: Characters who have lost an enormous amount of blood who are not only still alive near the end, but sometimes they don't even display signs of shock from blood loss. In reality, these characters would have died very fast.

Factual error: Mostly in horror films, people going through prolonged periods of physical pain or torture never fall unconscious. In reality, they would pass out much quicker under so much pain.


Deliberate mistake: When someone gets into a car and drives away the doors are unlocked with the keys already in the ignition.

eric 64

Factual error: In recent years, blood tends to be represented with a certain degree of realism, but in past eras especially before the 80s, the industry standard for fake blood appeared to be a much brighter red that often looks odd to a contemporary eye, and distinctly fake. In general, every movie sorta has its own 'blood' not necessarily factually accurate.

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Factual error: In numerous sci-fi films and TV series, planets, moons, and other similar celestial objects always appear to have gravity equal to that of Earth regardless of the object's size or mass. For example, a moon the same size as a small planet (such as Yavin 4 or Endor's forest moon from the Star Wars films) has the same apparent gravity as larger bodies, while in reality, the smaller objects would have noticeably less gravity than larger ones.


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