The Thing

Character mistake: The last time Doc tries the defibrillator on Norris, he uses it on the abdomen instead of on the chest.

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MaZtR HaXoR
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.

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Visible crew/equipment: When Norris and MacReady are climbing down into the crater that has the spaceship in it, you can see in the right corner of the screen a crewmember climb up, then look startled and drop back down behind the ship. Only visible in the widescreen version.

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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.

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The Thing mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Mac is locked out of the complex by the rest of the team, who think he may be a 'Thing', Childs uses an axe to try and chop open one of the doors, leaving a HUGE hole in the middle of it. Later Childs returns to that same door and the hole is significantly smaller and at a completely different location on the door.

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The Thing mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When the crew is outside and they're going to lock Blair in the tool shed, you can see someone nailing wood across the window on the front of the shed. The pieces of wood are horizontal. In the next shot (inside the shed), if you look at the window in the background, the strips of wood are vertical. When Mac goes back outside, the wood is horizontal again.

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Mark Bernhard

Visible crew/equipment: At the end of the film, where MacReady is about to fight 'the thing' you can see the shadow of a guy holding a boom mic, on the ground just behind him.

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Continuity mistake: Just a couple of minutes into the movie, Gary shoots dead the crazed Norwegian and the camera returns to MacReady. Now watch closely: When he gets up to help injured Bennings, he and his Jim Beam bottle are covered up to the hilt with loads of snow. But on the next shot, a split second later, his clothes are miraculously clean and the whiskey bottle as dry as you can possibly get it.

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Factual error: In the kennel scene, MacReady fires at least 7 shots from a pump shotgun. That particular shotgun can only hold 5.

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Grumpy Scot

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.

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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.

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Plot hole: As the gun-toting Norseman approaches the buildings, Garry smashes the single-pane window with his handgun. It is inconceivable that the glazing in a structure near the South Pole would be single-pane glass, that could be broken so easily.

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Continuity mistake: When the Doc and Kurt Russel enter the burnt Norweigan building the door closes itself behind the Doc. It closes and opens several times over the course of the scene.

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Fireball

Continuity mistake: When the three men are shown finding the UFO from the front, their hoods are down. In the next scene, from behind, their hoods are over their heads.

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Fireball

Other mistake: The brief chess game (four moves) shown in the beginning of the movie makes absolutely no sense. For instance: There are no white bishops on the board, but after the human player taps a few buttons, the computer says that he just moved one. Within the two moves described first, the positions of the pieces change completely. In addition, some pieces are now gone and there are new pieces on the board. It's like an entirely different game. The final move is said to have been made with a black rook, which is impossible. In the shot shown before this move, there is not a single position available to that chess piece that would result in an instant checkmate. Nothing in the editing indicates that these few short shots are supposed to be viewed as separate games.

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Revealing mistake: When MacReady burns the one "Thing" with the split head, in one shot it walks by MacReady in the foreground, and you can tell in that shot that it is just a still dummy burning, as it isn't moving at all. It just sort of floats past with its arms at its sides, while in the previous and next shots it is wildly moving around, arms flailing.

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Visible crew/equipment: When Nauls is in the kitchen cooking and the camera moves towards the room next door, the shadow of the camera is visible on the right wall.

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Mortug

Continuity mistake: When the stray dog is placed in the cage with the other dogs and starts to mutate into The Thing, one of the other dogs start biting a hole in the fence. We get a clear view of the hole in one close-up, and in the next shot as The Thing sprays liquid on the dog, and the hole in the fence is much bigger.

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Mortug

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.

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Continuity mistake: When they are all outside and MacReady has separated the three most likely suspects and orders that they be tied down and tested, he comments at that time that they are to be hit by a storm in six hours. Cut to the scene where Mac is dictating into his recorder and he comments that the storm has been hitting them hard for 48 hours. However it is the same night and at best, maybe only an hour has passed.

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Mercury

Continuity mistake: When Kurt Russsell first goes to the crazy guys' shack, he puts a bottle down with the label facing forward. When he leaves it is facing the other way.

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Fireball

Continuity mistake: When the dog, aka the The Thing, is led into the dog pen for the first time we see the floor is covered in a thick layer of straw for the dogs to sleep on. This is seen every time except when Childs uses the flame thrower. We get a wide shot of the pen as it's lit up in flame and the floor is now completely bare of any straw. There are also none of the recently deceased dogs that were lining the floor, being converted into Things.

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Mercury

Factual error: When going to the Norwegian camp, MacReady finds several cans marked "kerosin", and thus can easily deduce that they contained kerosene. However, there is no such word in Norwegian. The cans would have been marked with the proper Norwegian word "parafin".

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

Suggested correction: "kerosin" is the German word for Kerosine. There's no reason to think all of the camps only used supplies from their own country of origin.

Jason Hoffman

Continuity mistake: When Kurt Russell first looks at the chess game, amount of ice in his glass changes between shots.

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Fireball

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.

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Deliberate mistake: When the Norwegian starts shooting at the dog, Childs jumps into the snow and you can see the shape before he jumps in where he's had to do this before on different takes.

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Jack Vaughan

Visible crew/equipment: When we see the huge dog alien, right before Childs burns it, a crewemember controlling the puppet is seen on the center of the monster's head.

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Fireball

Factual error: At the beginning, MacReady dumps a tumbler of ice and scotch into his computer, which spews a shower of sparks as it shorts out. No electronic device, not even an old 1980s personal computer, sparks when shorted out. It simply goes dead.

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Charles Austin Miller

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.

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Casual Person

Continuity mistake: MacReady and Doc return to the research station from the abandoned shack in the helicopter. The scene then cuts to the dog watching the two exit the helicopter in the window. In the shot where the helicopter is visible in the window, the dog is looking out of the window from the right hand side. In the next shot, it is suddenly looking out of the left hand side. This mistake has nothing to do with the angle of the camera.

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Casual Person

Continuity mistake: After MacReady and Doc have discovered the spacecraft, the scene cuts to a wide angle of them approaching one of the researchers looking into a dug up hole. Just as the wide shot ends, MacReady and Doc are standing right next to the man. The shot then cuts to a closer angle of the three and MacReady and Doc are now several feet away from him.

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Casual Person

Continuity mistake: After the scene where the Norwegian helicopter chasing the dog through the snow ends, the scene cuts to the research station. The first shot from the research station shows a sign: UNITED STATES NATIONAL SCIENCE INSTITUTE STATION 4. This close-up shows scratching and rotting all over. A few minutes later, as the helicopter arrives at the station, the scratching and rotting over the "4" is no longer there.

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Casual Person

Continuity mistake: When the Norwegian helicopter is on its way to the research station, it comes across a dog running in the snow. The dog turns around to notice the helicopter, causing some of the snow around him to push upwards a few inches. The shot cuts to the helicopter, but when the shot cuts back, the snow is suddenly almost level with the rest.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Casual Person

Visible crew/equipment: Bennings tells Nauls to turn down the Superstitious song and Nauls skates over to the radio, but then doesn't turn the radio down at all. The shot then cuts to a shot of the medicine room which then continues as a panning shot and pans into the next room. Just as the camera stops panning and the shot remains still, there are a few stage lights visible reflected in one of the cabinets on the right hand side of shot. Those certainly aren't lights because all of the lights in the room are switched off.

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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.

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Other mistake: When Blair goes crazy with an axe, they put him in the tool shed and Doc injects him with something to calm him down. The problem is: Doc injects him in the inner elbow, but wipes the upper arm as if that's where the injection went. Plus you only inject in the inner elbow when you want something IV, but there was no tourniquet, no searching for a vein. It should have been given IM, into a muscle, like the upper arm.

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kh1616

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Quotes

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

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Trivia

The TV edit of this film includes lots of footage that was purposely left on the cutting room floor, such as when the dead Norwegian on the table blinks, and so on. The TV edit also has narration. This version is edited so much that director John Carpenter has publicly stated that he finds the TV edit embarrassing and a disgrace to his movie.

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