Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)

18 corrected entries

(6 votes)

Corrected entry: When Neal and Del are waiting for Owen, they discuss which credit cards they have. Neal says he has a Visa, gasoline card, and a Neiman Marcus card, whereas Del only has a card for a Big n' Tall shop. Neither of them mentions their respective Diner's Club cards, which they each just used the night before to pay for the motel.

Correction: Del's card was not a Diner's Club card. It was an Overnighter's Discount card.

The question still stands. Why didn't Del or Neil mention that they had those cards?


Correction: Typically, the Diners Club card could only be used at restaurants and hotels. Not for gasoline, retail goods or services. So, the DC card could not be used to 'charge our way home'.

Corrected entry: It's from a few of the scenes in Lambert Airport. Steve Martin walks into the terminal, his tie and shirt are soaked from the snow. His hair is a mess. He takes the tie off. After exchanging "F-Bombs" with the Car Rental clerk, he walks outside to catch a cab. Check out his clothes. He has on a fresh-new tie, new clean shirt and his hair looks brand-new.

Correction: There's nothing to indicate that time didn't pass between Edie McClurg's last on-screen line and when he walks out of the terminal to try for a cab. He could've gone to the washroom to freshen up and try to re-gain some dignity after the long walk from the car rental lot. Plus, Neal later says he was told by the agency they were sold out of cars, further evidence that more time passed between the shots.

Corrected entry: When Neal is waiting for the elevator at the beginning of the movie, there is only one call button for the elevator, indicating they are on the top floor that particular elevator can reach. However when the doors open there are multiple people already in the elevator. Nobody gets off, so these people would've had to go for an elevator ride to the top before heading down, which doesn't make sense.

Correction: Some elevators will stop at each floor where someone presses a button no matter which way they want to go. Others will pick up people at each floor that is going the same way (i.e. everyone is going down) if they are stopping there anyway or just to save time. Or perhaps the elevator had stopped to let other people off who were going up and the people had got on expecting it to go down. Just because it is unusual doesn't make it a mistake.


Corrected entry: When Del gets back on the interstate in the wrong direction and the car beside him is yelling at him and honking their horn. Del blows the horn back and about a minute later blows it again yet it's a different tone.

Correction: It wasn't uncommon in 1980s cars for their horns to vary in tone by a note or two, especially when used frequently (as Del did when honking back at the other motorist). In most older American cars I've driven the horn rarely sounds the same twice.

Corrected entry: Automobile fires don't go out by themselves. Since the fire department doesn't come to the scene, the car would have burnt to a bare hulk. If the fire department had come to the rescue, they would not have allowed Del and Neal to drive away in what was left.

Correction: It's likely that a passing trucker helped them, especially since later on Del says "we got it in the nick of time" to the state trooper. A trucker would be carrying an onboard fire extinguisher and would not have been in a position to impound the car, allowing Neal and Del to continue on.

Yes but what are truly the odds of a trucker coming by? In the age of Hollywood, - it would have literally be in the script to convey the idea that one did stop. To me, it's more of a sarcastic comment by Neal that "we got it in nick of time" given their string of bad luck, that he was saying it - knowing the car was burnt to a crisp.


Corrected entry: Right before Dell looks over the damage to the rental car, there is a car seen approaching in the distance. After he examines the car, when he and Neal go to retrieve their things, the car is no longer there and it never passed them.

Correction: We never see the car, just the glare of the lights in the distance. It could've exited the highway before passing Neal and Del.

Corrected entry: Not necessarily a mistake, just a nice irony. After Del steals Neil's cab, his briefcase is run over - by a vacant cab.

Correction: The cab was off-duty so it wouldn't have mattered.

Corrected entry: In one scene where John Candy and Steve Martin are in the car, John Candy is adjusting the seat electrically, but later when he is driving he gets his coat caught on knobs. Why does the passenger side adjust electronically and the driver's side is manual?

Correction: The driver's side is also power-adjustable. The rotary knob controls the lumbar adjustment, and the metal hook-like tab that Del's coat gets caught on is a "quick-release" for rear seat passengers, so the seat-back tilts forward to allow entry and exit rather than having to using the power controls every time.

Phixius Premium member

Corrected entry: In the bus when Del suggests everyone sing the theme to "The Flintstones" the audio sounds as if everyone (or at least many of the people) in the bus sings along. But immediately thereafter, a brief shot of the people in the bus (actually, just the people behind Del and Neal) shows everyone sitting quietly, not singing, and not even looking towards Del who is singing.

Correction: True, but that does not change the fact that there remains seventeen passengers sitting in front of them (I counted them from the previous shot when they all turned and looked as Neil started to sing "Three Coins in a Fountain") who all could have been singing, thus making the audio of the scene correct after all.


Corrected entry: Throughout the film, Dell 'loses' his big trunk. This usually happens after they argue, or Dell has to shoot off to barter with shower curtain hooks.

Correction: Neil was probably watching Dell's trunk when he is off selling/bartering the shower curtain rings. Also, Neil and Dell are shown in numerous scenes (i.e. - after the train breaks down, on the highway after the car crash, at the subway station) lugging the trunk around. While Neil probably wished Dell lost the trunk, it appears throughout the film.

Corrected entry: When Neil finally gets home, he and Dell ring the doorbell and Neil's daughter answers the door. In the background Neil's father-in-law can be seen holding Neil's youngest son. But when he introduces Dell to everyone the baby is gone. Neil even says "...and somewhere around here is my baby boy."

Correction: If you watch carefully, the father-in-law puts the little boy down and the little boy runs off while Neil is hugging the other family memebers. So it is acurate when he says his baby boy is somewhere around here.

Corrected entry: In the final scene when Neal introduces Del to his wife, she says, "Hello Mr. Griffith", yet Neal never once told her his name.

Correction: Neal's wife could hear everybody talking at the front entry from upstairs. After someone shouts "Neal's home!" to her Neal introduces Del by name to his relatives. She would have heard his name then.

Correction: It's also a possibility that just after leaving the train station (though not on-screen), Neil called his wife to say he's finally on his way home and is bringing someone home (mentioning his full name).

Corrected entry: Near the end when they are pulled over for speeding the markings on the Troopers squad are for the Wisconsin State Patrol. Driving from St Louis to Chicago would have kept them entirely in the state of Illinios and not north up into Wisconsin.


Correction: Unless some of the highways between St Louis and Chicago were closed due to the storm, and traffic was detoured around southern metro Chicago. I've driven semi truck for 15 years in the past, and this kind of thing has happened.


Corrected entry: Why does it take two days to drive from St. Louis to Chicago? It's an easy 5 hour drive: less than 300 miles. They take turns driving in the afternoon / night before. Then, they're going 74 mph the next day. And they apparently still aren't even in the Chicago area.

Correction: There's no indication what the timespan was for the events. Don't forget that Dell went the wrong way at one point (and we don't know for how long). Also, they could have checked into the motel relatively early in the evening after the trauma of the crash and subsequent fire. The next day, they probably left the motel fairly early to avoid the day manager. Finally, you can see that Neal and Dell are not travelling on the interstate the next day, so it's possible they weren't taking the most direct route (part of Dell's ineptness).

Corrected entry: Just after Neal and Dell settle into the hotel room, we see Neal in the shower. He opens the shower curtain and see clothes and towels and the dirty sink, etc. Now wouldn't he have seen all that stuff before getting into the shower?


Correction: No, Del made that mess while Neal was in the shower. They were both in the bathroom at the same time.


Corrected entry: When John Candy and Steve Martin share the same bed in the first motel scene they argue about exploding beer cans on the vibrating bed. You can see the bed is dry when John Candy gets into it after their argument.

Correction: If you listened carefully you would have heard that Dell actually offers to switch sleeping sides, indicating that the beer exploded on Neal's side and not Dell's, so why would we see the bed wet on his side?

Correction: He may have lost the keys.

Corrected entry: Neal's wife is shown in bed watching a movie on television. You cannot see the screen but you can hear the movie. It's "She's Having a Baby", also directed by John Hughes. The catch is that "Planes..." was released in theatres 4 months BEFORE "She's Having a Baby", so how could she be watching it on television?

Correction: There is a full explanation of this in the trivia section.

Continuity mistake: When Del comes out of the passenger side of the dairy truck, he is seen with a black eye, for no reason. The next scene, it is not there. It is there again when he admits to being homeless.


More mistakes in Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Bus Lover: Why don't you take a picture? It'll last longer.

More quotes from Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Trivia: Just after Dell sells his shower curtain rings as earrings, he and Neal are eating lunch. Look between the two men and slightly out of focus, is a woman wearing Dell's curtain rings as earrings.

William Bergquist

More trivia for Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Question: Why is Del even homeless? I know he's a widower but that alone couldn't explain why he's homeless unless it's supposed to be some sort of cryptic answer like he couldn't live in his house without his wife.


Answer: He's not homeless, he has a house or an apartment somewhere, or lives out of hotels. He just no longer has a 'home', ie, a place where he's happy and someone loves him.

Brian Katcher

More questions & answers from Planes, Trains & Automobiles

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