The Thing

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: Each man only dribbles a few drops of blood into the petri dishes as their blood samples. But when the test is administered, there is a lot more blood in each dish, enough to cover the entire bottom.

Twotall

Visible crew/equipment: Just after Nauls is told by Bennings to turn down the music the film cuts to a tracking shot going towards the rec hall. At the very beginning of this tracking shot keep an eye on the lower half of the medical cabinet, and you can easily see the dolly that the camera is being pushed on. If you look just above the dolly you can make out the blue sweater sleeve of the crewmember pushing it as well. (00:14:55)

Jack Vaughan

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)

Character mistake: The spaceship is much deeper in the ice than frozen thing, indicating it was buried a hundred thousand years after the spaceship landed. Norris' calculation of the age of the spaceship wouldn't apply to the thing, which was hardly buried at all, by comparison.

Plot hole: Palmer is the second to be infected (if you count Bennings' being licked by dog thing), when the dog creeps up behind Palmer's shadow. And yet Palmer later says things that are inconsistent with a thing: "You gotta be f-ing kidding me," when seeing a new form of a thing as a spider. Even if this were an act in order to fit it with the humans, a thing wouldn't call everyone's attention to a thing trying to escape.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: The Thing imitates humans perfectly, in order to blend in. It doesn't care about other versions of itself, especially small ones. Not drawing attention to the spider thing would only draw more attention to itself. It has much better survival chances when impersonating a human so it will do everything that human does. This includes their way of talking.

lionhead

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 water. (01:05:10)

Casual Person

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 Norwegians exit the helicopter, one of them goes to throw a grenade but accidentally lets go of it, and it explodes. In the shot where the man takes cover during the explosion, the fire clears out and there is soot around the helicopter on the snow, about six feet. A couple of shots later, as the Norwegian stands up, the amount of soot around on the snow has notably increased. (00:08:20)

Casual Person

Continuity mistake: After the dog has followed the helicopter to the 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

Visible crew/equipment: When Windows is in the radio room, he is trying to communicate with McMurdo. Doctor Blair then enters the radio room and approaches him, tapping his shoulder. Windows then pulls his headphones down from his ears and has them placed around his neck and he then says to Doctor Blair, "Nobody." Just as he says this, there are two white screens visible in his glasses. (00:11:00)

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

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

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