Some of our favorite TV shows from the past and present have the ability to keep us on the edge of our seats and make us laugh out loud. And every great program has an equally talented set of actors, producers, directors, and camera crew who work diligently to make sure each scene is executed flawlessly. But even the best shows are prone to making mistakes from time to time. From Friends to The Big Bang Theory and Sons of Anarchy, here are 15 biggest mistakes in popular TV shows.
In 2004, TV viewers were introduced to Lost – a dramatic series about a fictional plane crash on a tropical island. Viewers tuned in faithfully to enjoy all the twist, turns, and escalating conflict between the characters. However, when the show ended in 2010, the program was transformed into a cult classic, and its fanbase had no other choice but to binge watch each episode over and over again. The sharp eyes of some viewers were able to point out a mistake from the pilot episode, and as we look back on that scene, we don’t know how we missed the error when it first aired.
As Oceanic flight 815 crashes, releasing a cloud of smoke into the air, the character Gary Troup was one of the first to meet an untimely death when he got sucked into one of the plane’s engines. In that same scene, a black object can be seen darting over the plane and into the sky. Was it a bird? Was it a plane? Or perhaps it was a ghost? Conspiracy theorist had a field day with this, but come to find out, it was nothing more than an error with the computer-generated effect.
The fantasy horror series Supernatural has continued to entertain its legion of fans since it premiered in 2005. The CW series stars a bunch of amazing actors, including Katie Cassidy and Mark A. Sheppard. But the two stars of the series, Jared Padalecki (Sam Winchester) and Jensen Ackles (Dean Winchester) were at the center of an epic mistake that we can’t believe made it on air.
In the first season, Ackles’ character calls Padalecki by his real first name instead of calling him Sam. Another blunder occurred when the two characters chased a demon onto a flight. Padalecki’s character can be heard saying, “If she’s possessed, she’ll flinch at the name of God. In Latin it’s Christo.” It’s just too bad “Christo” is the actual name for Christ, not God. On top of that, it’s a Greek word, not Latin.
3. ‘Breaking Bad’
AMC’s breakout hit Breaking Bad had viewers enthralled with the story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston) – a chemistry teacher-turned-drug lord who was battling lung cancer. There are a bunch of timeline inconsistencies with the show, but fanatics have concluded the series took place between the years of 2008 – 2010. This short window of time meant writers were only able to use certain pop culture and historical references in order to maintain the integrity of the PR, and they still managed to make one huge mistake in the episode “Gliding Over All” in season 5.
The episode, which was supposed to take place in 2010, had one character reference the death of al-Qaeda leader, Osama bin Laden. The only issue was, bin Laden was killed by American forces in May 2011.
Another hilarious mistake happened when Walt breaks into the home belonging to Jesse Pinkman (Aaron Paul) to steal his stash, and a crew member can be spotted in plain view hiding behind one of the doors.
The Western drama Firefly only lasted for 1 season, and it still managed to make a huge mistake in its pilot episode. When the crew on the ship ‘Serenity’ is attempting to get away from the cannibalistic Reavers, actor Alan Tudyk (Hoban “Wash” Washburne) is steering the ship, but the steering wheel is completely missing in action! Another epic mistake showed some of the ship’s motorized vehicles being pulled by the hands of show’s crew members.
5. ‘Big Bang Theory’
Fans know they’re always going to get a good laugh every time they tune into The Big Bang Theory. The show centers around the characters Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki) and Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons) – two geeky college physicists who share an apartment. Due to the informational nature of the show, scriptwriters have called in the big guns: professional fact-check David Saltzberg. But even Saltzberg couldn’t catch these blatant mistakes.
In one episode, Sheldon misquoted the rules of Gremlins. In another scene, Amy Farrah Fowler, (Mayim Bialik) made us all scratch our heads when she insisted that the Viennese danish was invented in Denmark.
But that’s not all. The writers seem to forget certain storylines and running gags. Leonard supposedly can’t drink wine, but this character trait has been tossed, and Leonard has been seen enjoying a glass.
6. ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’
‘80s babies were in love with Sarah Michelle Gellar as the butt-kicking Buffy Summers, and her love interest, the super hunky yet cursed vampire Angel (played by David Boreanaz). Despite the popularity of the show, perhaps they should’ve called in an extra set of eyes to avoid a major mistake that the show will never be able to live down.
Buffy and Faith (Eliza Dushku), Buffy’s nemesis and fellow Slayer, got into a vicious smackdown in season 4. As the camera filmed the two actresses viciously fighting each other and tumbling down a flight of stairs, viewers could clearly see a cameraman directly in the shot. After the embarrassing incident, the show went through a lengthy editing process to remove the cameraman from the scene in reruns of the episode.
Supergirl made its television debut in 2015, and it has already been the victim of an oversight. In season 2, the character James Olsen (Mechad Brooks) is whispering to Winslow “Winn” Schott, Jr. (Jeremy Jordan) about Kara Zor-El (Melissa Benoist). But their hushed voices aren’t even necessary because it’s already well-known that one of Kara’s superpowers is the ability to have superhuman hearing. It’s a relatively minor mistake, so we’ll let it slide…for now.
8. ‘Modern Family’
Sticking to accurate timelines seems to be one area where most shows struggle. Even the award-winning comedy Modern Family proved to be a novice in terms of fact-checking their own sequence of events in season 3. The character Phil Dunphy (Ty Burrell) was learning how to walk on a tightrope even though two seasons prior, he revealed he was an “expert” tightrope walker after attending trapeze camp. So what’s the truth? We may never know.
There aren’t too many complaints about Friends. It’s now considered an iconic show that will go down in history as one of the best and most-watched sitcoms of the ‘90s and early-2000s. But that doesn’t mean it wasn’t exempt from making some major snafus.
In one episode, Chandler (Matthew Perry) and Monica (Courtney Cox) were waiting for a table at a restaurant, and she suggested that he slip the host some money in the palm of his hand so they could be seated faster. Chandler dropped the ball and put the money in the wrong hand during the handoff, but he suspected the money trick was no issue for Monica’s ex-boyfriend, Richard (played by Tom Selleck).
We guess the writers of this show didn’t realize that fans have the ability to remember each minute detail, so it didn’t take viewers long to jog their memory and recall that it was Richard who had initially shown Chandler and Joey (Matt LeBlanc) the money trick five seasons prior. We’re unsure why the writers felt the need to tell this same joke twice and years apart from each other, but we love this show so much, we’ll have to give them a pass for this mistake.
10. ‘Mad Men’
Period pieces are quite difficult to pull off. Writers and show creators are forced to create content that takes place during a specific time, and this usually means the errors are never-ending.
Mad Men is set in the 1960s, and fans of the show have noticed many factual errors that have muddled the series. In one instance, the character Joan Holloway (Christina Hendricks) mentioned obtaining a reservation at the New York restaurant, Le Cirque. However, it’s widely known that this upscale, high-end establishment didn’t even open until 1974.
11. ‘Orange Is the New Black’
The uber-successful Netflix series has had a few glaring inaccuracies. The most notable is the placement of character Alex Vause’s (Laura Prepon) salt shaker tattoo. It appears to shift and move location depending on the time of day.
12. ‘Grey’s Anatomy’
In a medical drama, writers need to make sure they’re 100% accurate when discussing medical jargon and practices, and Grey’s Anatomy definitely dropped the ball in one episode. When neurosurgeon Derek “McDreamy” Shepherd (Patrick Dempsey) performed CPR on Dr. Meredith Grey (Ellen Pompeo), viewers called him out for giving one breath and five compressions instead of two breaths and thirty compressions. Tsk tsk. Looks like someone wasn’t paying attention in medical school!
13. ‘Battlestar Galactica’
Filming a show without including a cameraman in the shot appears to be tougher than we thought. The 2004 sci-fi series Battlestar Galactica also committed this gaffe. When Karl “Helo” Agathon (Tahmoh Penikett) and The Chief (Aaron Douglas) got into a brawl, a camera operator can be seen directly in the frame. Another glaring mistake occurred when President Laura Roslin (Mary McDonnell) got re-elected. There was another wayward cameraman hanging out in the background of that shot.
14. ‘Sons of Anarchy’
Sons of Anarchy may have nailed the inner workings of an outlaw motorcycle club, but there were still some factual mistakes that plagued the series. For example, officers in the San Joaquin Sheriff’s Office were referred to as “Sheriffs,” but they really should’ve been called “Deputies.” It’s a harmless mistake, but another blunder that really caught viewers by surprise was when Opie Winston (Ryan Hurst) was attempting to break into a car using a slim jim, but viewers could visibly see that the vehicle was already unlocked. Some extra time to glance over the car before filming could’ve corrected this issue right away, but even critically acclaimed shows are prone to making huge mistakes.
15. ‘Stranger Things’
Stranger Things, the smash hit that can be watched on Netflix, takes place in the disco era of the ‘80s. The show includes various props that give a nostalgic effect for viewers who grew up during that decade. But depicting an accurate portrayal from that time period has proven to be difficult for the show. In season 1 episode 2, Chief Jim Hopper (David Harbour) is shown using a Motorola walkie-talkie. However, that specific product wasn’t even invented until almost a decade later.
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