Continuity mistake: In the shot of the alien's tail wrapping around the back of Lambert's legs right before it kills her, the floor is different to what it was before, there is water suddenly falling from the ceiling when there wasn't before and her trousers have changed from white to blue. This is because that shot was originally intended to be used when Brett was killed.THGhost
Continuity mistake: When Ash has gone crazy and is attacking Ripley, his white android juice/sweat/fluid is flowing from his forehead. After he throws Ripley into the room with the nude pictures on the wall, there is a new shot. In it, Ash is walking into the room, but there is no android fluid on his forehead. (01:21:35)
Continuity mistake: In regards to the self destruct mechanisim of the Nostromo, It is said that the time from the setting to detonation will be 10 minutes. This is also confirmed by the voice of "Mother" who says, right after Ripley initiates the sequence, that the detonation will take place in "T-Minus 10 minutes" However, in the next shot you see one of the monitors which shows a countdown with 10 minutes and an extra 30+ seconds on it. (01:35:55)
Continuity mistake: When Lambert deactivates Ash by using a cattleprod, you will notice that she is wearing brown cowboy boots. Minutes later as the Alien goes to wrap its tail round the back of her legs, she is now wearing a sneaker - though you only see the toe cap it is clearly not a brown cowboy boot. (01:23:55 - 01:33:40)
Continuity mistake: When Dallas, Lambert and Kane first discover the Space Jockey, the room is so well illuminated you can see the Jockey, its cannon thing and the floor around it perfectly. In all close shots, it's suddenly pitch black and all we can see is the small areas lit by the crew's helmet lamps.
Continuity mistake: When Dallas, Kane and Lambert are exploring the alien spacecraft, you can see that there are wipe marks inside of their helmets that change between shots, most notably on Kane. This is because the helmets were built with out sufficient exhaust systems for the actors. Of course, the characters wouldn't be able to wipe the inside of their helmets with them on.
Continuity mistake: Before Lambert is killed, the alien twists its tendrils around her leg, and we see that she has sneakers on. However, when Ripley notices Lambert's dead body (hanging?) she is barefoot. [The rest of the scene was cut. According to the novelization, Lambert was actually intended to be shown completely naked and sexually ravaged. Director Ridley Scott had toyed with the idea of creating the illusion of the Alien having raped her before her death. He thought better of it and cut the scene. Still a mistake, but there's why.] (01:33:40 - 01:34:25)
Continuity mistake: In the escape pod Ripley presses buttons to release gases onto the alien. Watch her helmet between the cuts. During the first two gas releases the inside of her helmet is foggy and streaked; cut to the alien reacting to the third gas and when the camera returns to Ripley the inside of her helmet is clear.
Continuity mistake: When Ash calls Dallas to the infirmary, Dallas appears in a white shirt that has a blue patch or tag above his left/front pocket. Then he and Ripley leave the infirmary and have an argument in a corridor. Suddenly, Dallas' shirt has a gold patch where the blue one was moments earlier.