Top continuity errors in TV

Top continuity errors in TV

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Wednesday, 29th May 2019
The Simpsons (Credit: 20th Century Fox/Sky)
The Simpsons (Credit: 20th Century Fox/Sky)

Given the intense pressure of working in high-end TV, there’s the chance for slip-ups to occur on-screen.

Here’s our line-up of some of the most hilarious continuity errors and mishaps in TV.

Coffee cup instead of goblet

Game of Thrones, Sky Atlantic/HBO

A paper coffee cup on-screen next to Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) (Credit: Sky Atlantic/HBO)

From giant zombies to fire-breathing dragons, Game of Thrones is known for its distance from reality, but during the final series, eagle-eyed fans spotted a paper coffee cup located next to Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) during the celebrations after the Battle of Winterfell.

Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff
and Daniel Brett (Credit: HBO Sky Atlantic)

It was revealed the coffee cup was left between takes and went unnoticed.

The cup has since been digitally removed from the scene and is unable to be found on HBO streaming-services.

The continuity error even overshadowed the cameos from series showrunners David Benioff and Daniel Brett Weiss as a pair of wildlings.


David the dog and teleporter

Coronation Street, ITV

Max Turner (Harry McDermott) leaving the holiday inn with David the dog (Credit: ITV)

A recent continuity error in Coronation Street follows the Platt family taking a break from the cobbles, as Audrey Roberts (Sue Nicholls) grows closer to learning the identity of the thieves who have stolen her inheritance money.

At the holiday park, Audrey asks Bethany Platt (Lucy Fallon), to take Max Turner (Harry McDermott) and Lily Platt (Brooke Malonie) outdoors, so she can confide with the rest of the family.

David the dog with 
Sarah-Louise Platt (Tina O'Brien) (Credit: ITV)

On his way out, Max leads David the dog out with him as they exit the room.

Moments later, David miraculously appears on Sarah-Louise Platt’s (Tina O'Brien) lap after he just left with Max and Lily.


The wrong time on Big Ben

Doctor Who, BBC One

Doctor Who is renowned for time-travel and manipulating the laws of time, but the editors might have taken this too far during the sci-fi show’s revival in 2005.

A mistake transpired in post-production that resulted in Big Ben showing an inverted clock.

Big Ben with an inverted clock face (Credit: BBC)

Following Christopher Eccleston as the Ninth Doctor, the scene opens with The Doctor and Rose Tyler (Billie Piper) on a rooftop in London as they discuss whether Rose will continue to travel with the time lord.

The pair are interrupted when an alien ship soars over the duo and crashes into Big Ben.

Just before the collision, viewers can see the clock has been inverted with the Roman numerals on the opposite side.


Framed picture of baby Maggie before she was born

The Simpsons, Sky One/HBO

A framed picture of Maggie (Yeardley Smith) appears in the background before her birth (Credit: Sky One/HBO)

One of TV’s most famous families, The Simpsons, has been on screens since 1989 and with over 32 seasons there’s an abundance of opportunities for errors.

In the sixth series, Homer Simpson (Dan Castellaneta) recalls the birth of his daughter Maggie, following a flashback to a younger version of himself and a pregnant Marge (Julie Kavner).

In the flashback, a framed picture of Maggie (Yeardley Smith) in a baby grow can be spotted before she had been born.

Last Autumn, executive producer of The Simpsons, Matt Selman spotted the error 20 years after the episode aired.


Wrong way to get on the plane

Cold Feet, ITV1

Angela Zubayr (Karen David) trying to get on a flight via the arrivals lounge (Credit: ITV)

A production mistake that literally went over people’s heads, husband and wife Adam Williams (James Nesbitt) and Angela Zubayr (Karen David) share a tearful goodbye as Angela leaves for Singapore.

However, the farewell was disrupted when viewers noticed that rather than Angela heading to the departures gate, she instead attempted to board her plane through the arrivals gate with signs signalling no entry.


Rachel forgot she met Chandler four times

Friends, Comedy Central/NBC

Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) meets Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) for the fifth time in the pilot (Credit: Comedy Central/NBC)

Back to 1994 at the beginning of cult comedy Friends, Monica Geller (Courteney Cox) introduces runaway bride, Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston), to the gang including Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry).

However, through the show’s flashback episodes, it is revealed this is not their first encounter and the two have met four times before.

Thanksgiving at the Geller’s household in the 1987 (Credit: Comedy Central/NBC)

Rachel had first met Chandler in 1987 at the Geller’s household for thanksgiving.

Monica Geller (Courteney Cox), Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) and Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) (Credit: Comedy Central/NBC)

Later in the same year, Chandler and Rachel met again during a college party and even shared a forgettable drunk kiss.

Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry), Ross Geller (David Schwimmer) and Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) (Credit: Comedy Central/NBC)

A year later, Rachel and Chandler reunited for another thanksgiving dinner at the Geller’s, which ended traumatically with Chandler losing half his toe.

Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) and Rachel Green (Jennifer Aniston) three years before the pilot (Credit: Comedy Central/NBC)

Finally, Chandler and Rachel met three years before the setting of the pilot during which Chandler made an attempt at seducing Rachel.


Characters share the same phone number

EastEnders, BBC One

Tony Palmer and Honey Mitchell (Emma Barton) have the same phone number (Credit: BBC)

Even long-running soap EastEnders is not without continuity errors.

In 2017 during Phil Mitchell’s (Steve McFadden) battle with liver cirrhosis, the east-end gangster had been matched with an organ donor for his liver transplant.

Bedbound, Phil contemplates contacting his ailing friend Tony Palmer.

Unfortunately, Phil may have the wrong number as in the same episode Billy Mitchell (Perry Fenwick) receives a phone call from Honey Mitchell (Emma Barton) displaying the same number as Tony's.


Breaking the rules of narrative

A Touch of Cloth, Sky 1

DCI Jack Cloth (John Hannah) has a quick shave between cuts (Credit: Sky One)

Intentional continuity errors are frequent in Charlie Brooker’s parody series, A Touch of Cloth.

Most notably in the second series when DCI Jack Cloth (John Hannah) returns to duty to infiltrate an organised crime ring.

To have credibility undercover, a bearded Cloth plans to smuggle heroin on his person but during preparations with DI Anne Oldman (Suranne Jones), DC Asap Qureshi (Navin Chowdhry) and DC Des Hairihan (Adrian Bower), Qureshi acknowledges that Cloth couldn’t have known about the drugs, as the detective wasn’t operating in the police force as the drugs were revealed contradicting the rules of “established narrative” and continuity.

Cloth responds to the continuity error stating to protect the law it must be broken, simultaneously the camera then cuts to a cleanly shaved Cloth.

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Given the intense pressure of working in high-end TV, there’s the chance for slip-ups to occur on-screen.

Here’s our line-up of some of the most hilarious continuity errors and mishaps in TV.