The Thing

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: 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 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

Continuity mistake: Just after MacReady overhears the dogs barking, he runs over to the fire alarm, breaks the glass with his beer can and pulls the fire alarm. After he breaks the glass, there is a piece of broken glass located next to the alarm. But in the next shot, as he removes his hand, the piece of glass has vanished. (00:30:10)

Casual Person

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)

Continuity mistake: When MacReady and the two other researches first discover the the spacecraft, there is a shot where the camera is in front of the three looking downwards into the hole. All three of them have their hands by their sides. In the next shot, the researcher on the left suddenly has his arms raised with binoculars suddenly in his hands. (00:38:20)

Casual Person

Continuity mistake: After the Norwiegans' helicopter has chased the dog-Thing to the American research station, the chopper flies around the station before landing on the ground. Before landing, MacReady is shown exiting the watch tower with a bottle of alcohol in hand. When he exits, the bottle is around his hip area. Then from an angle of MacReady low down, the bottle is suddenly raised slightly up to his chest area. (00:06:35)

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: When the helicopter is circling the research station, the co-pilot picks up a hand grenade to throw on the ground. He picks up the grenade on the bottom row in the middle column. There is no grenade in the middle column from the second row of grenades and no grenade in the left hand column of the top row of grenades. Around 45 seconds later, in the shot after the dog leaps onto one of the researchers, the exact same shot of the man taking the grenade out of the box has been repeated a second time. He takes out the exact same grenade from the exact same row. (00:07:15 - 00:08:05)

Casual Person

Continuity mistake: In the opening scene, a Norwegian helicopter is flying across the Arctic. The co-pilot is half outside it. From the exterior angle, the co-pilot has a pair of binoculars and is looking directly downwards with the binoculars also positioned directly downwards. In the next shot, from a side angle, the binoculars are suddenly elevated and he is looking directly forward. (00:02:55)

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: When MacReady and Doc are examining the abandoned shack, MacReady comes across a portable video unit and MacReady then wipes off the snow and dust off the unit. From the first shot of the unit, we can see part of the unit is wiped so far, we are able to notice the unit itself. The visible part of the unit is located in the middle of the unit at first, but after Doc states the papers are in Norwegian and the shot cuts back to MacReady, it is now the edge of the unit that has the top of the unit visible. (00:20:00)

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 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

Continuity mistake: When in the helicopter, the Norwegian men are both wearing different types of goggles, but when they're out of the helicopter, they both have the same type of goggles.

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 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)

More mistakes in The Thing

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 ruins of the American and Norwegian camps are actually the same set. Carpenter saved $750,000 by only filming the one set with different lighting rather than building a second one.

More trivia for The Thing

Question: Was the huge monster McReady encounters, and subsequently blows up, the actual "default" form of the Thing? After all, the correspondent DVD chapter is titled "The Real Thing". Yes, they do say that the Thing could've imitated millions of different lifeforms, but it must've had a form to begin with.

Answer: At the end, the large creature presented itself as an amalgam of beings it had absorbed-part Blair, part dog, and various other beings with tentacles, insect-like legs, and a worm-like body. I don't believe that we really ever see what its true form is, if it has one.

Erik M.

Answer: In the book, it was vaguely humanoid with blue rubbery skin, a head of writhing tentacles, and 3 glowing red eyes. There is a picture of it in Barlowe's Guide to Extraterrestrials by Wayne Barlowe.

Grumpy Scot

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.