A Christmas Story

A Christmas Story (1983)

56 corrected entries

(9 votes)

Corrected entry: As Ralphie gets the first two letters in the code we are told the first word is "be." Since there is no distinction from when one word ends and the next word begins, it is too early at this point to determine the first word. (00:50:00)


Correction: Ralphie is excited and grasping to learn the code so since "B" and "E" make a word, that's his first assumption, which turns out to be right.


Corrected entry: In the breakfast scene, after Ralphie's father hopes for a new furnace for Christmas, you see Ralphie and Randy laughing at this notion. Notice Randy's milk glass has fallen over; in the next shot it is upright, and there seems to be more milk in it.

Correction: The glass in question spends a lot of time off camera. His mom who is off camera but at the table is rearranging things as she prepares her toast, fixes the glass or Randy does it himself. There is milk in the bottom of the glass because it didn't completely fall over it was resting on the saucer keeping some milk in the glass.


Corrected entry: When Ralphie receives and decodes the Little Orphan Annie secret message, the last numbers don't match. On the radio, the announcer said the last number is 25. But in close-up shots of the paper Ralphie wrote on, you can see he has written 11 as the last number.

Correction: The announcer never says the last number is 25. It's just the last number we hear as the camera cuts to the radio. The rest of the numbers are edited out, we don't need to hear all the numbers.


Corrected entry: In the scene after they buy a Christmas tree, and are singing Jingle Bells, the tire pops and the father says, "Dadgummit blowout," but his lips don't move.

Correction: His mouth does move as he says the line.


Corrected entry: When Ralphie gives the huge fruit basket to his teacher, she has to move it aside to see who is behind it. Their height in relation to the basket varies from one shot to the next - a few shots show both of them taller than the basket, which would have allowed the teacher and Ralph to see each other the whole time.

Correction: The difference is in the camera angle of the shots. As Ralphie is carrying the basket, he is holding it up, blocking his face and as he lowers it to the desk, along with a grunt, he lowers his body and head, of course, as he brings the basket down to place it in front of the teacher. In the next shot, the camera angle is looking from about the teachers armpit, not from her head and line of sight. It would appear that she would be able to see just a portion of Ralphie's face, above the yellow bow, which is why she moved it aside.

Corrected entry: When Ralphie receives his theme with the "C" grade, a map is visible behind the teacher, which stops at the northern border of California. In the next shot, the map now continues north of California.

Correction: There are two reasons why this may not be a mistake. First, the teacher has walked over and is standing right in front of the map as she is saying that she is disappointed with the margins. The camera pans and the scene continues for another ten seconds or more as Ralphie is looking at his C+ paper. It is not uncommon for teachers to straighten things in their classroom as they walk around and that was plenty of time to do so, as she was right there. Second,the shot showing the witch in front of the map is in Ralphie's imagination, where the map may look as however he may conjure it to look.

Corrected entry: When Ralphie goes to see Santa at Higbee's. They are on the street level when they are watching the parade. Then they go up an escalator to the very same street level where they once were. Also later in the scene Santa was telling one of the elves "if Mr.Higbee was thinking that was going to work any later than 9" Now Edwin Converse Higbee (The founder of Higbee's) died in 1906,over 24 years before the Higbee's store that they were at was finished (1931).


Correction: This should be submitted as two separate mistakes. Also, there is a cut between the end of the parade and when we see them come up the escalator. We have no idea what they did in between.

Corrected entry: After Ralphie swears, his mother goes to the wall telephone in the hall to call Mrs. Schwartz. The film is set in Indiana, USA, but the telephone is a 1940s Northern Electric "Uniphone", made for small-town, local Canadian telephone companies, certainly not for the huge Bell System in the U.S. Back then, telephones were leased, not purchased, and you couldn't bring a phone from a different country and connect it to the line without getting in serious trouble with your service provider (they could test your line and see if any unauthorized phones were connected).

Correction: The telephone is a North Electric No.1 Uniphone, not a Northern Electric (Canadian)telephone and is the correct telephone for the time period.

Corrected entry: When Ralphie and Randy go to see Santa, we see Santa deal with a boy who he calls a "wet one" and we see him tell the elves to get him off because he's wet. There's no wet spot visible on the boy.

Correction: There is a small wet spot in the very middle of the boys pants.

Corrected entry: Ming the Merciless and Flash Gordon are included in the end credits but are NOT in the film. As explained on the DVD audio commentary, Peter Billingsly says it was a cut scene. Obviously the credits were not cut to reflect that change.

Correction: Credit's are not always cut to reflect editing changes. Since they still initially filmed the scene, included or not, they can choose to still "credit" said charcters since they did film them.


Corrected entry: Ever notice all the children in line to see Santa all scream the same way when going down the slide? Plus, that same scream is used quite often during the whole film.


Correction: Although some screams are repeated, they are not all exactly the same.

Corrected entry: The Red Ryder BB gun was manufactured by Daisy in Plymouth Michigan in 1940 through late 1941 (temporarily discontinued due to the War) with the brand, horse and rider located on the left side of the wooden stock. In the movie the Red Ryder brand with horse and rider was located on the right side of the Carbine (Manufactured in Rogers, Arkansas sometime after 1958 when Daisy moved there.) This is not to mention that the Red Ryder Carbine did not come with a compass in the stock.

Correction: The Red Ryder was introduced in Dec. 1938 not 1940. The logo was never on the right side. The red Ryder was discontinued when Daisy moved to Arkansas, not to be produced until the 1970's.

Corrected entry: When Ralphie is sitting on Santa's lap, he is wearing a different shirt (maybe green?) than when he is sliding down the slide (white striped shirt and tie).

Correction: Ralphie always has the same shirt on. It has very thin green stripes, so in the close-ups on Santa's lap they're more visible than in the wide shots, where they blend in with the white on the shirt.


Corrected entry: Randie is in the cupboard crying because he thinks his Dad is going to kill Ralphie. When the Mom gives Randie a glass of milk, there is a can of "Kleaner" by Ran die's leg. When she opens the cupboard door again to take his empty milk glass, the can is no longer there.

Correction: Considering that he drank the entire glass of milk, there is plenty of time for Randy to move the can.


Corrected entry: In the scene where Ralphie says the F word, he starts to walk back to get into the car. He passes in front of the car upset and inside the car, it's VERY dark. In fact you cant see anything in the car. Then, the camera changes to view inside the car and it seems like there's a light on inside. You can see them perfectly fine. (00:41:20)

Correction: This is a common movie-making convention. We need to be able to see the action in side of the car. The same way there always seems to be a light in other dark places, such as caves.


Corrected entry: Scott Farkas, the bully, wears braces. Problem is, the stick-on braces he's wearing didn't become available until the 1970's.

Correction: According to my parents who grew up in the 1940's, braces like that were used back then. Considering the writer of the book grew up in Indiana in the 1940's I doubt he would make something up like that or they would have found an actor to play the kid that didn't have braces.

Correction: Braces prior to mid -970's always wrapped around the tooth, the stick on braces were new when I got them in about 1975. I was the first patient my ortho used them on.

Other mistake: When Ralphie and Flick are walking to school for the first time, they meet up with Schwartz, coming down the steps of his house which appears to be two houses down from Ralphie's. Later, when Ralphie is lying in bed after the soap in the mouth scene, the narrator (older Ralphie), states how "Three blocks away, Schwartz was getting his."

Rob Meears

More mistakes in A Christmas Story
More quotes from A Christmas Story
More trivia for A Christmas Story

Question: Why doesn't Ralphie's father realise he's the one who unintentionally taught his son how to cuss, much less buy his lame excuse?


Answer: Because it's a funny look at real life. It's common for parents to cuss around their children, then be shocked when the kids start using the language themselves.

Exactly right. My parents cussed quite a bit when I was a child, but the first time I ever swore in front of my mother, she thought I learned it from watching The Real World with my sister.

immortal eskimo

True. I'd forgotten I learned how to cuss from my folks.


Answer: I think he did know. When he tells Ralphie to get in the car after saying the bad word, he kinda laughs to himself. It's only after Mom razzes him about taking too long to change the tire that he decides to share that Ralphie swore.

More questions & answers from A Christmas Story

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.