Continuity mistake: While Elliott and ET are saying goodbye, in the original 1982 version in the shot facing Elliott, ET lifts his right hand to point his finger at Elliott's forehead and ET's finger glows (note the weird angle of ET's raised right hand), but in the next shot facing ET when he says the iconic words, "I'll be right here," it's actually ET's left hand up by Elliott's face. This was digitally corrected in the 2002 version, so that in the first shot ET lifts up his left hand.Super Grover
Continuity mistake: In the exterior front shots of Elliott's house there are some significant changes to the landscape in different shots. For instance, the two lampposts at the bottom of the driveway change to an entirely different style in some shots, and the huge garden boulders repeatedly vanish and reappear. Also, note when Michael takes off on Elliott's bike to go search for ET, the in-ground lamppost that should be beside the mailbox has vanished, but it reappears when all the government agents are setting things up outside the house.Super Grover
Continuity mistake: When the boys are riding their bikes trying to escape with ET, all the bikes have single brake levers on the right side of their handlebars, but after Elliott shouts that they should follow him to the forest, there's a shot from the POV of one of the bike riders (we know it's not Greg or Elliott) and he has two brake levers on his handlebar.Super Grover
Continuity mistake: When Elliott's on the phone with his mother telling her even though he's sick he doesn't need a doctor, Elliott's holding the telephone receiver up to his ear with his left hand and the telephone base with his right hand, but in the next shot the two have suddenly switched hands.Super Grover
Continuity mistake: After ET weighs himself on the scale there's nothing draped over the side of the bathtub, but in the next shot we see in the reflection that there's a burgundy tub mat hanging over the side of the bathtub, behind ET and Elliott. Then that tub mat vanishes again when Elliott rushes to answer the telephone.Super Grover
Continuity mistake: While Mary is reading Peter Pan to Gertie, when Elliott shows ET the box with everything he collected from the garage, the front of the Kromedge blade faces Elliott, note the writing and the direction of the blade's teeth pointing to Elliott's right, but in the next closeup the blade faces the opposite way.Super Grover
Continuity mistake: When the boys are trying to get away from the government agents on their bicycles, riding and maneuvering through their neighborhood, the stunt double for Elliot (extremely identifiable due to the red hooded sweatshirt) visibly wipes out. The next shot, meant to be continuous, shows Elliot upright and riding with the other boys. The mistake occurs in a long shot, when the boys start riding behind the first house under construction, and are followed closely by the blue station wagon. (01:41:15)
Continuity mistake: When Elliott gets food for himself and ET he takes the milk container from the top shelf of the fridge, and we see an empty space beside the Skippy peanut butter where the milk had been, but after Elliott drops everything onto the floor, in his next two closeups note the milk container (it has a distinctive curved design) is back on the shelf in the same spot beside the Skippy jar.Super Grover
Continuity mistake: While ET is lying on the bathroom floor there's a pink and burgundy striped bath rug beside him, and in some shots the burgundy edge is beside him, but in other shots the rug is turned around and positioned the opposite way with the pink edge beside ET. Additionally, the proximity of the rug to ET keeps changing during the scene. (This rug can also be seen during an earlier scene with Elliott and ET in the bathroom).Super Grover
Continuity mistake: When ET is trying to tell Elliott and Gertie that he wants to phone home there's a chip bag on the table in front of the turntable, but it disappears when Michael comes home and ET points out the window and says, "ET phone home," then the chip bag reappears when ET pulls off the wig.Super Grover
Continuity mistake: After Elliott finds ET in the wig and hears him speak, when ET gives Elliott the newspaper comic section there's nothing on the yellow chair behind him, but in the next closeup a shirt suddenly hangs over the back. Additionally, the globe on the desk has turned so the continents change position.Super Grover
Continuity mistake: After Elliott explains to ET how the water comes out of the bathtub faucet, when Elliott's on his knees moving closer to ET (while he's squeezing toothpaste), note there are two solid color floor mats (one white and one brownish) which disappear when Elliott rushes to answer the telephone.Super Grover
Continuity mistake: In the first shot of the boys playing Dungeons and Dragons, Greg is holding the phone with the stretched out cord pulled under his left armpit, then a couple of shots later (not a continuity issue yet) the cord is pulled over Greg's right shoulder, but in the next shot it's back under his left armpit.Super Grover
Continuity mistake: While Elliot and E.T. are saying goodbye to each other at the spaceship, you see Elliot's mom sink to her knees. Then, you see a close-up shot of Elliot and E.T. looking at each other and you can see her white shirt in the background as she gets back up, but then there is a close up of her face as she gets up again.
Continuity mistake: When Elliot's mother is retrieving a heavy blanket to put over him because he is faking an illness, she tears open the closet doors and the leading edges of both doors come free from their tracks. A moment later when the shot angle changes, and you see her from inside of the closet, both doors are open, but both are back on their tracks.
Continuity mistake: In the final scene of E.T., where E.T. is saying goodbye to Elliot, E.T. rubs Elliot's shoulders, then removes his hands from Elliot's shoulders. The shot then changes angles from behind Elliot to behind E.T. Upon changing the angle, E.T.'s hands can be seen back on Elliot's shoulder. When the shot alternates between the two angles (for about ten seconds) so does E.T.'s hands alternate being on or off of Elliot's shoulders. (01:51:20)
Continuity mistake: The street the boys turn onto during the chase, when the boy says "we made it," isn't the same street as they had turned into. There should have been houses, but instead there were just trees and cars.