The Terminator

The Terminator (1984)

78 corrected entries

(17 votes)

Corrected entry: Kyle Reese says Skynet only knew that Sarah Connor lived in Los Angeles. Nothing to suggest Skynet had photos. So the Terminator should not have been able to recognize Sarah in the Tech Noir club.

Correction: Did you not watch the film? He kills Sarah's roommate, then hears Sarah leave a message so knows he got the wrong person. He searches the apartment and finds Sarah's photo ID so he knows exactly where she is and what she looks like.

Corrected entry: Sarah gives the Terminator (thinking it's her mother) a 408 area code for the Tiki Motel. At the time of the film's setting, the 408 serviced Monterey Bay all the way up to San Jose, meaning Sarah and Kyle would have been hundreds of miles away from the Terminator.

Correction: This isn't a mistake. They hitchhike to the hotel in the morning. Kyle leaves the hotel to get supplies and its daylight outside. Sarah then calls (she thinks) her mom. Kyle returns and he and Sarah make the plastique, then are shown in the hotel at night. It took the Terminator at least 8 hours to get there.

Grumpy Scot

Corrected entry: The Terminator arrives through time at about 1am and only gets to a phone book to search for Sarah Connor at around midday. What has he been doing for the past 10 - 11 hours?

Correction: Reconnoitering the area, learning the layout of Los Angeles, and preparing for his assault, one can assume. Do you think that just because we don't see every move he makes, he must be twiddling his thumbs off in a corner somewhere?

Phil C.

Correction: Cameron provided a breakdown of the Terminator's actions before he begins his search: He located the dingy room we see him using as a safe house. He obtained a car. He sourced the necessary maintenance tools and bandages used to repair himself, as well as the change of clothes. He visited the gun shop and obtained his arsenal of weapons. Finally, back in the room, he converted his guns to full auto (they can't be sold to consumers with that function enabled).

Corrected entry: When the semi truck hits the parked blue AMC Gremlin car, the force of the crash switches the lights off, but when the truck is then blown up, the lights are back on again. (01:28:50)

Correction: The lights are not on, they are just illuminated on the outside by the explosion. The truck's front bumper and radiator grille are also illuminated by the explosion.

Corrected entry: After Reese rams the Terminator with the pick-up truck, the truck starts to back up out of the motel. The Terminator gets up and runs after it. Just before the shot changes, you can see that the truck still hasn't left yet. But when we cut to the Terminator getting on his motorcycle, the truck has disappeared. Considering that Sarah and Reese are in a huge pick-up truck, it is highly unlikely that they could have traveled that far in a short period of time. (01:23:55)

Correction: Trucks are perfectly capable of going very fast - their speed should not be judged by their size. Also, in the shot of the Terminator picking up his rifle and running after the truck, the truck has left - the light that you see is the glow of its headlights.

Corrected entry: When the Terminator is killing Sarah Connor's roommate and boyfriend, the sound of the phone being knocked around, enough to be off the hook, is heard. Shortly after the killings, a call (from Sarah herself) comes in and the phone rings until the machine picks up. (00:31:40)

Correction: It is not the phone you hear being knocked off, it is the portable cassette tape player she is wearing that's hitting the floor when she falls down.

Corrected entry: When Sarah is hiding under the desk at the police station she has NO idea that its not Reese doing all the shooting with the police. As far as she knows he is crazy and out to get her like Dr. Soberman and the police just described. When he smashes the glass and calls out to her she runs into his arms. Talk about a trusting lady/foolish lady.


Correction: Reese has told Sarah that the Terminator is after her and that he's there to protect her. When the police station comes under attack, Sarah is probably pretty sure it's not Reese since he was in restraints the last she saw. Plus she knows the abuse the Terminator can take and dish out. When Reese escapes the handcuffs and finds Sarah, it is at this point that Sarah realizes that he is not crazy and that what he's told her it true.

Damian Torres

Corrected entry: When Kyle first arrives in 1984 in the alley, the police immediately show up. Who called the police and why? To report a naked guy in a dark alley? And how did the cops get there so fast?

Correction: I always had the impression that the police just happen to pull up there while he's putting on the bum's pants.

Correction: The second film provides a possible answer: assuming the police were in the general vicinity when Reese arrived from the future, they could've seen the lightning storm that occurs during time travel and pulled up to investigate.

Corrected entry: At the end of the film just before the tanker truck explodes you can clearly see the tow rope pulling the tanker forward. (01:29:00)

Correction: I thought it was some tow-rope too at first, but it appears just to be a piece of metal stuck into the bumper. You can see the piece of metal sticking out of the truck right after it crashed into the blue car. In that shot, you see just the piece sticking out and it's not attached to anything. Plus, in the next shot of the piece of metal, you can see it's not attached to any part of the truck that would allow it to be towed from.


Corrected entry: Early on in the film Kyle cuts the wooden handle of the shotgun with a saw, but then later on when they are in the car park hiding from the cops you can clearly see that the handle is back to its original size. (00:14:40 - 00:46:00)

Correction: That's not true at all. It's the sawed version in both pictures. Look at the distance between the end and the trigger.

Corrected entry: After the Terminator is destroyed, Sarah Connor is loaded into the ambulance feet-first. In real ambulances, the patient's head is closest to the front, not the back. (01:40:00)

Correction: While it may be preferred, many EMS ambulance cot operation procedure manuals use the phrase "head or foot end first".


Corrected entry: When the terminator is walking out of the burning truck, only its arms and back are burning. But once it hits the ground, all of it is on fire. (01:28:50)

Gavin Jackson

Correction: As the Terminator jumps out of the truck cab, we can see flames on his back and arms; it's difficult to see as he jumps to the ground, but there also appear to be flames on his legs. Regardless; he is jumping into a pool of burning fuel, so it is natural to assume some splashes up on his legs, and lights them up.


Corrected entry: When Sarah calls Ginger and gets the machine (as Ginger is being killed), he machine starts playing the message immediately after the first ring - before the phone bell even stops ringing. Since the machine is mechanical (before digital technology), it is unlikely that the machine could have reacted that fast. These types of machines would typically ring 2-3 times, then answer and take a message, then the next call would be picked up after just one ring - but not as fast as this one does. (00:26:30 - 00:32:40)


Correction: Digital, mechanical, it's all activated by an electrical signal from the phone receiving a call. Only the medium on which the message is recorded has really changed in any significant way over the years. There's a switch on the side of most old answering machines that let's you choose from 1-4 rings before it picks up.

Phixius Premium member

Corrected entry: When the Terminator murders Ginger, it is supposed to be night time, but sunlight is reflecting off the apartment walls. (00:31:45)

Correction: It's not sunlight; it's the street lamps outside. Many apartment buildings have strong lights outside for security and are designed so the bedrooms don't get much light but other rooms do.


Corrected entry: Obviously James Cameron didn't have the budget to realize his full vision for this movie as he did in T2. The appearance of the time travelers is generally consistent with T2, except we don't see the actual bubble. With Reese, we see a hole in the lightning pattern, but no actual bubble. So we know Cameron was after an effect similar to T2. In T2, the time displacement dissolves surrounding matter, and causes a dimple in the ground. Same in T3. But when Arnold first appears in the first film, the ground remains completely flat. And it's pretty clear from the body position he materialized on the ground and didn't fall from the sky, as Reese did.

Correction: Reese says that after he was sent back, the machine was destroyed, so that no one else could come - 'just him and me'. Obviously another time-travel machine was built later, but it could have had subtle differences / improvements so that the method of arrival was altered slightly.

STP Premium member

Corrected entry: During the final car chase the Terminator shoots at Sarah and Reese with a nickel S&W Model 15. We never see him obtain this revolver, the only weaponry we see him acquire is the AR-15, .45 longslide, SPAS 12, and Uzi 9mm but he never asked for the nickel S&W at the gun shop.


Correction: He could have obtained this weapon by other means at any time while he was off screen. Not only that, but he did kill the gun shop owner. He could have just taken whatever he wanted from there after that.

Quantom X Premium member

Correction: In the scene at the gun shop, the revolver is on the counter next to the other weapons. Here is a link. Http://

Correction: The gun shop scene begins with the terminator already purchasing weapons. Its more likely he has already asked for this one before the scene begins.

Corrected entry: At the end of the film, how does Sarah know which button (she skips the first two, by feel no less) will crush the terminator? She works at a restaurant, not the automated factory. Not to mention knowing that the controls for the machine are located behind her.

Correction: When Sarah and Kyle are running from the terminator minutes earlier, they climb through the press, and Sarah accidentally activates it. So when the terminator needs crushing, Sarah knows just what to press.

Corrected entry: Instead of killing Sarah and Kyle in the street the T-800 runs away. He could easily fight the handful of police officers and finish his mission.


Correction: He's been damaged by the gunshots from Kyle, from being thrown off the moving car as they escaped, and from crashing the police car at high speed straight into a wall. He was also unarmed having lost both his weapons in the nightclub. The T-800 (at least in this film) is not totally indestructible. He obviously considered the risk of getting taken down by armed police officers in his current vulnerable state was too high. He knows the police will take her to the Station for her own safety. The best move for the T-800 was to retreat, repair and rearm himself then try again, which is exactly what he did.

Correction: Absolutely wrong, at the end of the movie the machine was cut in a half and even like this he never stops on his mission.


For most of its mission the terminator needs to operate in human society to locate and track Sarah before trying to kill her. If its human form is compromised it will have much more trouble completing that mission as stronger forces are brought in to fight it. Remember its intelligence on 1980s LA is incomplete: it thought it could obtain a plasma weapon. However, as you point out, when it has acquired its target, even damaged, *then* it can afford to be relentless.

Corrected entry: After Reese blows the Terminator in half in the factory near the end, we see Sarah in a heap on the ground and chunks of endoskeleton (what looks like part of a leg) laying between her and the camera. The shot changes as she looks around. When the shot changes back to her (as she tries to move and discovers her leg injury) most of the endoskeleton chunks are gone - particularly the large one that was between her and the camera. (01:35:45)

Correction: Sarah kicks the chunk of metal between the two moments cited in the post above, and this appears in the movie.

Corrected entry: You can see a stage light resting in the background when Reese is crouching in the alley after arriving from the future. (00:07:05)

Correction: There isn't anything to suggest it's a piece of filming equipment. More likely, it is a light belonging to one of the buildings in the alley.

Audio problem: When the Terminator breaks into the police station, he has an auto-shotgun in his left hand, and a machine gun in his right. Before he kills the power in the building, he comes to the end of a hall, points his shotgun through a doorway, and shoots. A machine gun sound is used for the blast, instead of a shotgun sound. (01:00:28)

More mistakes in The Terminator

Kyle Reese: Listen! And understand. That Terminator is out there! It can't be bargained with, can't be reasoned with! It doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear, and it absolutely will not stop. EVER! Until you are dead!

More quotes from The Terminator

Trivia: At the beginning of the film, Sarah listens to an answering machine recording of her boyfriend cancelling a date. The voice on the answering machine belongs to James Cameron.

Deidra Goins

More trivia for The Terminator

Question: How exactly do both the Terminator and Kyle find addresses? We are led to believe that is the reason for the phone books, but none of the addresses in the phone books match up to the addresses where either the first Sarah is killed, nor the apartment of our Sarah.

Answer: My two cents: The T-800 Terminator does indeed, rip out the page of a phonebook for the address, but remember, he was looking for any and all Sarah Connors, not a specific address. He did not know which Sarah would give birth to John Connor, so by process of elimination he began terminating any woman with the name Sarah Connor. He did plug the first Sarah Connor (a housewife), then went to kill the other Sarah Connors in the phone book.


Answer: Kyle we are shown uses a police computer to find the addresses. The T800 just uses the phonebook as you mentioned. He rips the page out and takes it with him.

Ssiscool Premium member

Except 2 of the addresses in the phone book don't match. So how does the Terminator find them using the phonebook?


The Terminator is just blindly killing everyone in the phone book whose name is Sarah Connor (apparently a common name). Process of elimination. So, the day he arrives, unrelated women named Sarah Connor start dropping like flies, and the police believe it's the work of a serial killer. Our heroine Sarah Connor barely escapes this sweeping extermination by sheer luck and Kyle's intervention.

Charles Austin Miller

You just described the plot. Were you trying to answer the question? Because the question still stands. (As it is, it's either a mistake or plot hole in the film).


Perhaps I'm not getting the question. What is meant by "none of the addresses in the phone books match up"? Match up to what, the murder scene addresses? I wasn't aware that the murder scene addresses were prominently displayed.

Charles Austin Miller

Exactly. The addresses seen don't match. Specifically the first Sarah Connor's house number is "14239", but in the phonebook it is listed as "1823." And the real Sarah Connor lives in an apartment but the phonebook doesn't list an apartment number.


Perhaps though this all doesn't matter because phone books can quickly become outdated, the phone book he found could be over a year old. Someone moves but can still be listed in the phone book with their old address. He could have gone to the addresses but found someone else living there and then asked where the previous owner might be, and he was told (or he forced them). This might be how he found all the Sarah Connors.


Are any of the Sarah's listed as living at 1823? I've not got access to the film right now to check.

Ssiscool Premium member

The first is listed as "1823." The second is "2816." The 3rd is "309." Although after reviewing the scene and thinking about it, for "309" (which is supposedly our Sarah J Connor), the full address isn't actually seen and the apartment number could have been listed.


More questions & answers from The Terminator

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.