The Thing

The Thing (1982)

59 mistakes - chronological order

(9 votes)

Continuity mistake: Back at the research station, the researchers are looking at some debris from the spacecraft that is placed on a cloth on a snooker table. There is a guy with a grey sweater with his hands in the debris and a guy in a brown jumper also holding the debris. In the next shot, neither of their hands are located on the debris or cloth. (00:40:50)

Casual Person

Continuity mistake: When Windows breaks the glass to the gun cabinet, he takes out one of the shotguns and picks up some ammo. At the left hand side of the cabinet, there is some remaining glass in the cabinet along the side. The glass along the left side vanishes when Windows places the shotgun on the floor. (00:59:15)

Casual Person

Continuity mistake: When MacReady says they are going to find out who's who, he tells Doc, Garry and Clark to move away from the others and one of them steps forward in MacReady's direction. MacReady then raises his flamethrower around the top half of his abdominal region. The shot then changes where the camera is in front of MacReady and the top half of his abdominal region is shown, but the flamethrower is nowhere in sight. The camera cuts to an angle behind MacReady and the flamethrower is back. (01:02:10)

Casual Person

Continuity mistake: When MacReady is recording the stuff he knows about the thing, a glass of alcohol is on top of the tape recorder, located near the front of it. The camera then changes to a close-up of the recorder and the glass is now near the back of it. (01:04:00)

Casual Person

Continuity mistake: Just after MacReady leaves Fuchs to do his work, there are several items on his desk, such as a lamp, conical flask and books. In the first shot shown after MacReady leaves, the lamp is about a foot away from the conical flask and the conical flask is a foot away from the books. Next shot, the lamp, conical flask and books are more closer to each other. (01:05:10)

Casual Person

Continuity mistake: MacReady leaves the room so Fuchs can continue to do his work. The shot changes to an angle from behind Fuchs where he is shown writing on his paper. There is a conical flask visible at the back of the desk with some blue liquid in it. In the next shot, the liquid in the conical flask is suddenly just clear liquid. (01:05:10)

Casual Person

Continuity mistake: When the remaining men find Macready holding a flare to a bundle of sticks of dynamite, the sticks go from being loosely and haphazardly bundled together to tightly tied together and then back again in a matter of seconds. (01:12:45)

Continuity mistake: When Childs takes an ax to the supply room door where MacReady has broken into, there is a shot of him hitting the door high up. Then there is the shot of MacReady almost frozen. When the shot cuts back to Childs, the ax marks in the door are not consistent with the shot from a few seconds before. (01:12:50)

Other mistake: When Doc's arms are being ripped off by Norris' chest, his left arm is cut by the teeth but his right arm is pulled off above the wound like rubber. (01:13:00)

Continuity mistake: When Doc is trying to revive Norris and his arms fall into Norris' chest, he is wearing long sleeves down to the wrist. In the closeup of Doc's arms being ripped off, the sleeves are pushed up to the elbows and the forearms are bare. (01:15:15)

Continuity mistake: When Doc is defibrillating Norris, in the shot before he defibrillates him and we see it is actually the thing, Norris' eyes are definitely closed. In the next shot, just as Doc bursts through Norris and the Thing's intestines are revealed, Norris' eyes are suddenly open. (01:15:20)

Casual Person

Visible crew/equipment: When the "Thing" monster bursts out of Norris' chest it rises up to the ceiling and grabs onto an oblong-shaped ventilation shaft. MacCready steps forward with his back to the camera (getting ready to burn it) and in this shot if you look at the adjacent pipe on the ceiling you can see the hand of a crew member. It looks like the crew member is there to steady or grab the monster puppet if it falls. (01:15:45)

Jack Vaughan

Continuity mistake: When the thing is on the lab table, and the severed head starts walking away, Mack torches it with a flamethrower. At one angle, you can clearly see that fire is not coming out of the hose. It is just a fire going off in the doorway. (01:17:20)

Character mistake: When MacReady is giving the blood test, the scalpel they are using is not properly sterilized after each person cuts themselves (shown when Nauls cuts himself, then when Windows goes next: all he does is wipe the scalpel on his pants). Using the same scalpel seems like an extremely stupid thing to do as Fuchs told MacReady that even a small particle of the Thing could take over a person. (01:19:55)

The Thing mistake picture

Factual error: When the infected Palmer starts his transformation into the Thing, he has a series of fits and the creature 'falls', or leaps upward onto the ceiling. Watch closely...you can see a piece of paneling also 'fall' upward, when it should have fallen down. (01:23:20)

Continuity mistake: When Palmer is revealed to be a thing, he shoots up to the ceiling. Windows is ready to use the flamethrower on him. He has the flamethrower pointed up to the ceiling, yet when Palmer falls to the floor, in that split second, Windows changes into a completely different position with the flamethrower. (01:23:35)

Continuity mistake: When Palmer, as the thing, picks up Windows by the head his wardrobe is different as soon as he picks him up. The sleeveless motorcycle jacket he is wearing is missing and he is just wearing the green short sleeve shirt and the white sweatshirt. Then in the next shot he has the sleeveless jacket on again. (01:23:40)

Visible crew/equipment: When the "Palmer Thing" attacks Windows it lifts him up in the air. As it does this you can easily tell the monster is played by a member of the stunt team by the dark green T-shirt it's wearing. Palmer's clothing is different before and after this shot. (01:23:46)

Jack Vaughan

Continuity mistake: When MacReady tests Naul's blood sample, in the close-up shot, the items on the cardboard box change by comparison to the wider shot before. The revolver moves and the bloody scalpel appears from nowhere. (01:25:21)

Jack Vaughan

Visible crew/equipment: After MacReady says, "The generator room," toward the end of the film, he, Garry and Nauls walk down a flight of stairs. Then Garry and Nauls walk down a set of three steps whilst Mac is holding a flare. As they walk the shadow of a guy holding a boom mic is clearly visible on the floor. (01:30:05)

Clark: I dunno what the hell's in there, but it's weird and pissed off, whatever it is.

More quotes from The Thing

Trivia: The TV edit of the film differs widely from the theatrical release - lots of footage was purposely edited out, such as when the dead Norwegian on the table blinks, and there is also a narration. Director John Carpenter has publicly stated that he finds the TV edit embarrassing and a disgrace to his movie.

More trivia for The Thing

Question: Was any member of the team aware that they were infected by the creature, or did they not know they were until they began changing?

Answer: The death of Fuchs is probably the best answer to this question, as it appeared that Fuchs burned himself alive before the Thing could assimilate him. It's also possible that Norris suspected he was infected before he transformed. There is a scene in which we see Norris, who is alone, suddenly wince in pain, surprised, and grab at his chest, but he continues functioning normally thereafter. Following the altercation with Mac, Norris collapses and becomes unresponsive, until his chest cracks wide open and bites off Copper's arms. Also, in the blood test scene, Palmer's facial expressions appear to betray his secret, but he was already fully transformed at that point.

Charles Austin Miller

More questions & answers from The Thing

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.