Continuity mistake: In the scene in the restaurant where Tom Cruise and Dustin Hoffman are trying to order breakfast, Hoffman's character fixes the salt and pepper shaker a certain way. In the next shot they are opposite the way he fixed them. Then in the next shot they are back to the way he had fixed them. (00:37:15)
Charlie: He's not crazy, he's not retarded but he's here.
Dr. Bruner: He's an autistic savant. People like him used to be called idiot savants. There's certain deficiencies, certain abilities that impairs him.
Charlie: So he's retarded.
Dr. Bruner: Autistic. There's certain routines, rituals that he follows.
Charlie: Rituals, I like that.
Dr. Bruner: The way he eats, sleeps, walks, talks, uses the bathroom. It's all he has to protect himself. Any break from this routine leaves him terrified.
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