The West Wing

The U.S. Poet Laureate - S3-E17

New this month Character mistake: Jed Bartlett is talking to Leo and Hoynes. He says 'Calvary' instead of 'Cavalry' in the line "Tell Josh that General Pulaski was a Polish Brigadier General who vanquished the Russian and Prussian military then came to the colonies and commanded our cavalry during the American revolution."

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dxhutch

Pilot - S1-E1

Character mistake: During the face-off about religion/politics, they get into a shouting match about commandments, both groups being equally convinced that "honour your father and mother" is the 1st or 3rd commandment, respectively. In actual fact it's the 4th or 5th, depending on which version (Catholic or Protestant) of the 10 commandments you go by. See http://www.positiveatheism.org/crt/whichcom.htm.

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Jon Sandys

Six Meetings Before Lunch - S1-E18

Character mistake: In this episode, the character Jeff Breckenridge meets with Josh to plan his Senate confirmation. When explaining what led him to be a civil rights lawyer, he tells how his great grandfather was captured into slavery, and "taken to New Guinea to be shipped to America". The character probably means Guinea, or Guinea Bisseau, or Equatorial Guinea, three places in the Western coast of Africa from which black slaves were sent to America. New Guinea, on the other hand, is half-the-world away, near Australia.

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trejosa

Bad Moon Rising - S2-E19

Character mistake: When Josh is giving his WWII example to Donna, he talks about "France, Austria and England being pounded by the Germans." Except Austria was incorporated into the Third Reich after the Anschluss of 1938; it was essentially part of Germany for all intents and purposes. It therefore was not being attacked by the Germans at all. One would have thought Josh, who shows a firm grasp of WWII information in other episodes, would have known this.

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Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail - S2-E16

Character mistake: In this episode the Organisation of Cartographers for Social Equality claims the cartographer Mercator is German. He is in fact Belgian. He was born Rupelmonde Belgium, March 5, 1512 and died at Duisburg Germany, December 2nd, 1594.

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College Kids - S4-E3

Character mistake: At the Rock the Vote rally at the Cambridge MA House of Blues, CJ Craig claims that 18-24 year olds are 33% of the population but only 7% of the votes. This is false: per the 2000 Census, which tracks population based on 5-year age cohorts, all persons 15-24 totals only 14% of the population. From that we could estimate the 18-24 population in 2000 as no more than 10%. See http://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t9/tables/tab01.pdf It is possible they meant all persons 24 and under, who make up approximately 35% of the population.

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Red Haven's on Fire - S4-E17

Character mistake: Will's tax demonstration to his volunteer staffers is incorrect. He applies the various tax rates to the entirety of each salary range. The person who makes $150K and is in the 36% rate...in his example he has them paying 36% on their entire salary, not just the portion of it that puts them ahead of the next lower tax rate. If the tax rate jumped to 70% at income of $1M, and a person earned $1,050,000, they wouldn't be paying the 70% rate on all $1,050,000 of their income, only the last $50,000 of it. Will's example makes it look like they would be.

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marathon69

The Supremes - S5-E17

Character mistake: Toby says that Judge Ashland is 82, but in 5-7 'Separation of Powers' he said he was 84.

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Lord John Marbury - S1-E11

Character mistake: Both in the title and throughout the episode, people refer to 'Lord John Marbury'. However, the first names of peers are not used when also using their titles; so Marbury should be called either Lord Marbury (more accurately Earl Marbury), or just John Marbury. A minor error in the real world, but the White House is supposed to be aware of diplomatic eccentricities like this.

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Lord John Marbury - S1-E11

Character mistake: CJ says that Marbury was ambassador to either India or Pakistan while briefing someone on the phone. Britain doesn't have ambassadors to those countries - being part of the Commonwealth they have High Commissioners instead. A minor error, but one the White House - versed in diplomatic protocol - would be aware of.

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Pilot - S1-E1

Character mistake: Sam makes a joke about Laurie being "free of cataracts" because she smokes so much pot. She laughs and says "I get that. That's funny." Except there's nothing to 'get', because Sam is wrong. Cannabis has been used as pain relief for people suffering from glaucoma; it does nothing whatsoever for cataracts. It's surprising that neither Sam nor Laurie would have known this.

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Posse Comitatus - S3-E22

Character mistake: The President refers to Beowulf, saying that it was written in Middle English. He's mistaken; it was written in Old English, or Anglo-Saxon.

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Quotes

Laurie: Tell your friend POTUS he's got a funny name, and he should learn how to ride a bicycle.
Sam Seaborn: I would, but he's not my friend, he's my boss. And it's not his name, it's his title.
Laurie: POTUS?
Sam Seaborn: President of the United States.

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Mistakes

In Season 1, Episodes 5&6, it's mentioned several times that Zoey is already 19 a few weeks before she starts college. Yet in this episode, Charlie points out to Leo and the President later tells Oliver Babbish that Zoey was 17 when she was filling out her enrollment forms for college, therefore a parent had to sign them. These are enrollment forms, not application forms - it's extremely unlikely that they were filled out over a year before she started school.

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Trivia

The theme tune heard for the show "Capital Beat" is actually the theme music for the UK's "News at Ten" on ITV.

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