The West Wing

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Corrected entry: There are occasional references throughout the show to the Bartlet family owning a farm in Manchester, NH. Manchester is the largest city in that state, and not in a rural area: saying they "have a farm in Manchester" would be like saying they "have a farm in Baltimore" (or Glasgow, for the UK readers among us). No one with roots in New Hampshire as deep as the fictional Pres. Bartlet's are supposed to be would ever be so inaccurate as to refer to the agricultural parts of the state as being Manchester.

Correction: Many people that live in the outskirts or suburbs of a large city say that they live in the actual city so that people not from that area know where they live. They may have meant the outskirts, or just outside of Manchester, rather than directly in the middle of it.

Correction: Hardly a mistake though. You never see the 'Matthew Perry' that Donna leaves to speak to, it might be a different person. Even if it is the same person, Joe Quincy just happens to look a bit like Matthew Perry.


Take Out the Trash Day - S1-E13

Corrected entry: In this episode, presumably set in early 2000, Leo claims that he hasn't had a drink in six and a half years - which would suggest late 1993 - but this is contradicted twice in later episodes. In the Season 3 episode Bartlet for America, we see a flashback to the early stages of the Bartlet presidential campaign (which would be at the latest 1997) in which Leo is seen being in a drunken state. Later, in the Season 6 episode "Ninety Miles Away", there is a flashback to 1995 in Cuba where Leo is again seen in an inebriated state, where he was assisted by Kate Harper.


Correction: Leo explains, in the episode "Bartlet for America" that, only Josh and the President know about his relapse during the campaign, saying "I went to rehab and my friends embraced me when I got out. You relapse, it's not like that - 'get away from me' - that's what it's like." This is most likely the reason he told Karen Larson he hadn't had a drink since coming out of rehab.

The Midterms - S2-E3

Corrected entry: In the scene at the end of the episode where the White House staff is sitting on Josh's front steps drinking beer and waiting for the results of the midterm elections, Sam reports that in the final 12 contested races, all 12 incumbents lost and the Democrat/Republican house balance in those races stayed the same - 7 to 5. If there were 7 incumbents of one party and 5 of the other - and they all lost - wouldn't the margin now be 5 to 7 the other way? I could see the "hold" if it was 6-6, but 7-5?

Correction: They were only referencing 12 races. This 7-5 split were the final elections to yield results. And resulted in the House staying the same. The other 423 districts also had results contributing to the final tally. The staffers on Josh's stoop are smart enough to do the math based on their knowledge of the 423 races plus the now revealed final 12.

Correction: While it may traditionally be done, it's not a rule and not a mistake. In the past, some members of the First Family have had names starting with different letters (Rose Kennedy for example), and some presidents and First Wives have been given two code names with different letters (Barbara Bush was Snowbank and Tranquility).


Twenty Five - S4-E23

Corrected entry: There are two errors toward the end of the episode. First, the way the 25th Amendment is handled is incorrect. It only covers the manner in which the President may either temporarily turn over powers of the office, or, as spelled out by law, he may be declared unable to continue in that office. In the case of the 25th Amendment, the Vice President becomes Acting President. As to the Speaker of the House taking over, that's not from the 25th, but rather from the 1947 Presidential Succession Act. The second problem concerns the oath that the Speaker took. While it's a little hazy as to whether he has to take the oath of President, as he is NOT, but rather just Acting President (and under 25 the Vice President would not take an oath as he assumes the duties immediately upon proper declaration), if it did happen he would not have put his right hand on the bible and raised his left hand. The tradition and standard is to put the left hand on the bible and raise the right hand toward God.

Correction: As a lawyer who had was fortunate to befriend his former Dean, the primary author of the 25th Amendment, I am very privy to its details. The Amendment has four sections, not just the one implied by the original author. Section 3 deals with how the President (Bartlet) can remove himself and does not need any cabinet vote. The fourth section, by far the most important, deals with how the majority of the Cabinet, along with the VP, can remove the president from office due to incapacity. Section 1 clarifies some ambiguity in the Constitution over when the VP takes over the Presidency, that he becomes the President, not the "acting President," the label John Tyler was saddled with. And just as the VP would be President, so does the Speaker, or anyone next in line. And Section 3 requires the President to name a successor whenever there is a vacancy in the VP's office. Interestingly, Walken signs a letter of resignation from Congress, saying, "It's illegal to work for two branches of government at the same time." The VP of the Executive Branch is the President of the Senate, the Legislative Branch, and occasionally casts a tie-breaking vote. How is that not working for two branches simultaneously?

Michael Prete

An Khe - S5-E14

Corrected entry: Early in the episode a four-star US army general notifies President Bartlett that a US Navy E2 "Hawkeye" was shot down over the Sea of Japan. The footage shows the operators of said aircraft sitting in single file. E2 operators sit side by side. The pilot is controlling the aircraft with a control stick. E2's have a steering yoke. The footage shows the operators ejecting. E2's don't have ejection seats. Finally, the sound of the plane is that of a turbojet. E2's are turboprop powered aircraft, and are, in fact, known for the distinctive humming sound that they make. (00:01:40 - 00:04:40)

Correction: The opening sequence is that of Leo and his friend in Vietnam in a Thunderchief - no footage of the Hawkeye is shown. Leo being shot down in Vietnam provides the backstory for the episode and helps to explain his limp.

In Excelsis Deo - S1-E10

Corrected entry: The title card tells us it's 12/23 sometime in the morning. Sam mentions he's going to Bermuda in 27 hours (so noonish on 12/24?). Later that day CJ asks if Sam and Josh are doing anything, "tonight?" Sam acts guilty and CJ offers to cook them dinner. Sam says he's leaving for Bermuda that night, which is not in the 27-hour time period previously mentioned. The next day, marked 12/24, Sam is in full black suit hanging around the White House. Granted, the flight could be leaving around noon and it may be only 9am. But no further mention is made of Bermuda.


Correction: The title card indicates 7:30am. Time passes without being marked, but the President meets with a large group of small school children (which we can assume isn't at 7:30am, but perhaps as early as 9am). Still later, Sam mentions to his assistant that he's going to be in Bermuda in 27 hours. Assuming that is around 10am, 27 hours is 1PM on 12/24. Later, Sam tells CJ he's leaving for Bermuda "tonight" but he's lying (poorly) to cover his visit with Josh to Laurie. The next morning (and we've established he's there 7:30am the previous day), Sam is in the office while CJ is heard telling reporters that today is a "half day". The episode ends still early that morning. Thus, Sam is putting in a couple of hours work on the 24th, then leaving for the airport in time for a less-than-two-hour flight that arrives in Bermuda in the early afternoon. No mistake.


The Wake Up Call - S6-E14

Corrected entry: CJ is awakened at 03:45 Eastern time by Kate telling her about the British plane being shot down. This would have been 08:45 GMT and 12:15 Tehran time, so the Iranian Air Force must be pretty stupid shooting down a commercial airline in the middle of the day thinking it was a US spy plane. Plus when the radio transmissions come through to the President and Marbury we get told the Iranians can shoot the plane down at 02:33 GMT which would be 21:33 Eastern. So all the times between the US, the UK and Iran are pretty screwed, or Bartlett's administration isn't on the ball.

Correction: Regarding the suggestion that the Iranians would be 'stupid' to mistake a commercial jet for a spy plane (and thus it's a "movie mistake"), I submit that the US Navy shot down an Iranian passenger jet, thinking it was an F-14 Tomcat, in 1988 at about 10:35am local time (nearly the middle of the day)- proof that 'stupid' things can and do happen. See:


Dead Irish Writers - S3-E16

Corrected entry: President Bartlett prides himself on his elocution and knowledge of trivia. However, as he escorts Abbey toward the party, he goes on about a vintage from the Willa-mette Valley. One would think he would know that Willamette is pronounced "Will-a-mette", with the emphasis on the second vowel.

Correction: The President has been shown to make mistakes, even when 'showing off' intellectually. This isn't the first time, and a minor gaffe in a private conversation. If this type of thing happened in a diplomatic situation and went un-noticed, it would be a 'mistake', but as is, it's merely a human trait.


Correction: Not if he is copying, pasting and then doing a minor edit.


Access - S5-E18

Corrected entry: At the end of this episode the narrator of the documentary claims that C.J. Cregg is the only woman in history to serve two full terms as White House Press Secretary. In later episodes C.J. is promoted to Chief of Staff; not serving a full eight years as Press Secretary.

Correction: The narrator only says "two terms", never "two full terms". Her first term was served in full, her second term partially served (perhaps 2/3 of it).


In Excelsis Deo - S1-E10

Corrected entry: During the funeral they only show 4 people. There should be at least one more. The Arlington Ladies are a group of volunteers dedicated to insuring that no soldier is buried alone. Each branch of the military has its own group that represents them. You can find more on them at

Correction: As Toby, Mrs. Landingham and the deceased's brother are all in attendance, this veteran is not 'alone'. A "Ladies" volunteer still may offer to attend such a service, but family and friends can opt to not accept the offer.


In the Shadow of Two Gunmen: Part I - S2-E1

Corrected entry: Josh is rushed to GW hospital with a collapsed lung and ruptured pulmonary artery. However, when Toby finds him at the shooting scene, Josh is holding his left abdomen, and the bullet, being fired from the building across the street, would have ranged downward, far from the pulmonary artery.

Correction: Bullets travel, deflect and even splinter. Example: The bullet can have struck the sidewalk, bounced upward, hitting him in the abdomen and traveling up under the ribcage, piercing his lung and cutting the artery.


Show generally

Corrected entry: Political consultant Mandy Hampton disappeared completely with absolutely no explanation between the first and second seasons. She was in the last episode of the first season and not in the first episode of the second (which took place only a few minutes later) and no one ever explained where she went.

Correction: Her departure is not explicitly explained to the viewer, but the fact that the show's characters are not similarly confused suggests they are aware of when and why she left, and have moved on. The actress' departure as well as the choice to not specifically explain it 'in-show' were both intentional, and are not mistakes. (Humorously, the writers could easily have killed her with the season-ending shooting, nice and smooth)


Five Votes Down - S1-E4

Corrected entry: In this episode the President says he has been married to Abby for 32 years. But later in the first season he says that she was dating someone else 30 years ago.

Correction: It is a natural (and not necessarily consistent) human trait to simply 'round off' numbers in conversation. I tell people I'm with my wife 25 years, even tho it's actually 22.5 now. My hour drive to work is really between 50 and 55 minutes. Merely a character choice.


Show generally

Corrected entry: In the first season, every employee in the west wing (except the president) is wearing an ID badge. Since then, only a few people are seen wearing them, but surely the policy of the White House hasn't changed since then?

Correction: After a while, the guards and Secret Service would come to recognize the "big players" - Leo, Josh, Toby. They wouldn't be required to wear their badges, although others might be.

Posse Comitatus - S3-E22

Corrected entry: In this episode, Charlie says that he was hired by Debbie Fiderer, and that she was fired for it. However, in season one, we see that Josh is the one that hires Charlie.

Correction: In the scene where Josh first interviews Charlie (who had applied for a messenger job), Josh says that "Mrs. DeLaGuardia in personnel" had sent Charlie to Josh because she thought Charlie would be a good candidate for the "body man" position. Mrs. DeLaGuardia was later fired for this, since the son of a supporter of President Bartlet's was supposed to get the job that ultimately went to Charlie. This is why Charlie fought so hard for Debbie Fiderer (who is actually Mrs. DeLaGuardia, now divorced and going by her maiden name) to get Mrs. Landingham's old job - he felt responsible for her being fired in the first place.

The Indians in the Lobby - S3-E8

Corrected entry: When at Thanksgiving Josh is trying to get to his mother's house in South Florida, Donna tells him she got him on standby to a direct flight to Boca. The tiny Boca Raton airport is actually only for private planes; commercial flight go into West Palm Beach or Ft. Lauderdale airports. (00:32:20)

Correction: Commercial flights are often redirected to alternate, smaller airports during busy travel times like Thanksgiving. I live in a city with an international airport and a civil airport across town, and the civil airport is equipped to land a commercial flight if needed.

Captain Defenestrator

Correction: Wristwatch batteries go dead and people forget to wind watches, too.


Election Day (Part 1) - S7-E16

Continuity mistake: When Bruno and Bob are poring over exit polls, they mention that Santos seems to be leading in North Dakota, and comment that it is a state that hasn't gone Democratic in forty years. While that is true in the real world, in the fictional West Wing world, it is stated in Season 4 that Bartlet won the Dakotas in his landslide reelection.


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The Dogs of War - S5-E2

Question: How did they find Zoe and who kidnapped her? At first they said that the Bahii were taking responsibility for it, then Leo tells Will that they never found the Bahii sleepers. Also, the man on the helicopter tells the President and the First Lady that Zoe was dropped off on the side of a road and she called 911 on her cell phone, then, later, on the ground, another man tells the Bartletts that they found her tied up in a closet. What really happened?

Answer: One of the kidnappers was having an argument with his girlfriend and dumped her. She called 911 about Zoe.

No, some woman had an argument with her boyfriend, and he kicked her out of the car in the rain. She tried to take shelter in an abandoned farmhouse and noticed the kidnappers holed up in there, and called 911.

Brian Katcher

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