The Most Infamous Mistakes Made on TV Shows

By Michael Kasian
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Photo Courtesy: Weiner Bros./Silvercup Studios/Lionsgate Television/IMDB

When you’re making a hit TV show, there are endless details to manage to make sure everything runs smoothly. The slightest set adjustment, line change, or camera shift can have unfortunate consequences.

One mistake can launch discussion boards and memes of epic proportions as viewers binge and over analyze their favorite TV shows. That's why these flubs from some of your favorite shows stand out as the most infamous mistakes of all time.

True Blood’s DVDs From the Future

Fangtasia, the vampire bar in the supernatural drama True Blood, wasn't always the bloody watering hole we saw in the show. In the 1980s, Fangtasia was a boring, geeky video rental shop. During a flashback, brooding vampires Eric and Pamela traded in their black leather and loud music for popcorn and Twizzlers.

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Photo Courtesy: Your Face Goes Here Entertainment/IMDB

The store goes through a series of updates over several flashbacks, but things get real confusing in 1996. Throughout the shop, ads were up announcing new DVDs for rent. But DVDs weren't available for mass distribution until March, 1997. Sure, the show had vampires, werewolves, witches and fairies, but DVDs in '96?! That's unbelievable.

The One Where Everyone’s Apartments Are Numbered Differently

Friends was the first show of its kind to portray members of Generation X in all their ‘90s glory. The plot was simple: Six people in NYC drink coffee, stay indoors and rip each other's life choices to shreds. Sadly, their slacker mentality may have been shared by the show's production staff, as Friends made some major blunders throughout their 10 seasons.

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Photo Courtesy: Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions/Warner Bros. Television/IMDB

Take their apartments, for instance. In the first season, Joey and Chandler lived in apartment #4 while Monica and Rachel lived in #5. Later in the season, the producers realized their apartments weren't at ground level and upgraded their flat numbers to #19 and #20. Could they be any worse? Yes, in fact. 

There are several other Friends mistakes still to come on this list. 

The Wonky Deer in The Walking Dead

A low-budget and poor design decisions led to The Walking Dead's most memeable moment. The odds were always stacked against the show, as devoted fans craved big-budget visuals reserved for major network productions. But out of all the cheesy explosions and campy zombie carnage, nothing compares to the janky deer from Season 7.

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Photo Courtesy: @digitalspy/Twitter

An unintentional overnight sensation, the deer became a star for all the wrong reasons. The filmmakers used an actual deer in emotional shots moments before immediately switching it out for the CGI abomination. The intensity of the visual switch in the show mixed with the embarrassing special effects left fans, for better or for worse, in stitches.

Seinfeld’s Dysfunctional Car

Not every blooper is cause for outrage from die-hard fans. Sometimes, a blooper can even help a show be funnier than intended. On Seinfeld's The Parking Garage episode, the foursome is on the hunt for their missing car. After a series of freakouts and poor choices, the gang finally finds the car.

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Photo Courtesy: @Splitsider/Twitter

When they try to start it, the car stalls out, but that wasn't in the script. The kicker here is that everyone on set agreed it was a better ending for the car to stall after all that effort. You can even spot the foursome laughing in the car as Kramer continues to rev the engine. 

Cheddar the Corgi’s Changing Coat

Producing a show with a large cast of secondary characters can be difficult. When you're trying to bring a character back into an episode, you have to make sure the actor is available. Otherwise, it'd be pretty obvious if a different actor was cast for someone else's role.

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Photo Courtesy: @kalyconnolly/Twitter

Unfortunately for the makers of Brooklyn Nine Nine, this rule also applies to animals. Especially if they're as cute and cuddly as Captain Holt's dog, Cheddar. Viewers spotted the different Pembroke Welsh Corgis cast as Cheddar because some Cheddars had orange spots while other Cheddars had brown spots. Why did they keep switching out the dogs? The case remains unsolved.

Strange Future Technology in Stranger Things

It seems that the lovable group of misfit boys on Stranger Things who can't seem to escape supernatural terrors may have also managed to time travel. If they haven't, then what’s the explanation for the walkie-talkies they use throughout the first season?

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Photo Courtesy: 21 Laps Entertainment/Monkey Massacre/IMDB

During Season 1, the boys use TRC-214 walkie-talkies to check in from bedroom to bedroom, or bedroom to Upside Down hellscape. But those very expensive walkie-talkies weren't available to buy until 1985, and the first season takes place in 1983. Let's assume the Upside Down had a futuristic Radio Shack, just down the street from the giant spider monster. 

Seven Years of High School on That '70s Show

On That ‘70s Show, fans relived their most awkward teenage moments through the cast's hilarious storylines. Forman, Jackie, Kelso, Hyde, Donna and Fez laughed, cried and smoked their way throughout high school in Wisconsin. But exactly how long were they in high school for, anyway?

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Photo Courtesy: The Carsey-Werner Company/IMDB

The show lasted for eight years, from '98 to '06, but the cast stayed in high school throughout its entire run. It's especially strange since the teenagers were sophomores and juniors in the first season. So does that mean they were in high school well into their 20s? Fans never got an explanation for the wonky timeline, and the cast's facial hair and crow's feet inexplicably paired with graduation caps and gowns. 

Will Rapidly Ages on Will & Grace

Speaking of questionable timelines, in Season 7 of Will & Grace, Will battles an identity crisis ahead of his 37th birthday. We know, Will going through an identity crisis is as routine as Karen entering a room and immediately insulting Grace's wardrobe.

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This particular problem raised eyebrows because the entirety of Season 8 sees Will complaining about being 41. How did four years pass with little to no change in the characters' lives? Was this an oversight in the writer's room, or did Jack convince Will he was older than he actually was?

The One Where Joey Isn’t the Youngest Friend Anymore

Another Friend-ly blunder occurs during Rachel's 30th birthday episode. The gang gathers by the cake to usher Rachel into her third decade, only she gets cold feet over aging. Join the club, amirite? To calm their grieving Friend, Phoebe, Ross, Monica, Chandler and Joey all share their 30th birthday stories.

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Photo Courtesy: Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions/Warner Bros. Television/IMDB

But Joey shouldn't be sharing his 30th birthday story. In the first season of the show, Joey says that he is 25, while Rachel and Monica are 26. Rachel later reveals to a cop in season 7 that she's an Aquarius, but her birthday is in May. Sounds like Rachel should take a Friend-ly glance at her birth certificate for clarity's sake. 

If you thought this was bad, wait till you see the next blooper Friends makes.

Daenerys, Mother of Herbal Tea

After the glorious (and gory) Battle of Winterfell in the last season of Game of Thrones, the surviving characters celebrated their triumphant victory. From the looks of it, the kitchen crew in Winterfell provided plenty of meat, wine, and ...Starbucks?

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Photo Courtesy: @thronesfacts/Twitter

That's right. Fans instantly spotted the mother of dragons' very modern coffee cup among the more timely tableware. The internet's uproar was so loud HBO had to own up to their error and digitally remove the footage. In their apology, they confessed to fans that Daenerys did have a coffee cup, but she was drinking a more Westeros-appropriate herbal tea. 

Maggie Simpson’s Picture from the Future

In a classic episode from The Simpsons' 6th season, Homer explains to Bart and Lisa why there weren't any photos of Maggie in the family album. A few flashbacks later, Homer reveals he took her photos to his office to create an adorable motivational collage.

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Photo Courtesy: @mattselman/Twitter

The current team running the show must have looked at the clip for inspiration, because Executive Producer Matt Selman noticed something wrong. During one of the flashbacks, a pregnant Marge is voicing her concerns to Homer. But behind her on the wall was a picture of Maggie, already out of Marge and on full display. Selman's observation on Twitter went viral, and the future Maggie meme was born. 

How I Met Your Mother in Los Angeles

One day at MacLaren's, the pub where the characters of How I Met Your Mother can be found regularly, Marshall discovers Woody Allen is at a restaurant downtown. What follows is an ego-driven race to see who knows the fastest route to the restaurant. The episode revolves around the question of which character knows their way around New York City the best, which makes the blooper even better.

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Photo Courtesy: @LuciTable/Twitter

When Ted opens his laptop to get directions, his screen displays Los Angeles as the current location, rather than New York City. New York City may be a central character in How I Met Your Mother, but his laptop likely read 'Los Angeles' because the show was actually filmed in an L.A. lot. It's a blunder Barney would likely call, 'Legen-Wait-For-It-Dary'.

Melisandre’s Missing Magical Necklace

On Game of Thrones, the mysterious Red Priestess Melisandre wielded powerful magical abilities. One of her more striking powers was her claim to have lived for centuries while somehow maintaining her youthful appearance. Viewers even caught a glimpse of her true form in Season 6, when she briefly removed the magic necklace that kept her young.

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The fandom raised red flags when Melisandre removed her necklace and fell to her death after aiding Winterfell in The Long Night. Back in Season 4, Melisandre bathed in her room completely naked, looking as alive and as youthful as ever. What gives? More magic, or more foolish oversights from mere mortals? 

Is Quagmire Really That Old?

Character age continuity issues aren’t only problematic on TV shows with living actors. On Family Guy, a similar continuity error counters an episode's entire plot. In Underage Peter, Griffin and his friends go out on a typical late night booze bender, only this time the town suffers major damage.

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Photo Courtesy: Fuzzy Door Productions/20th Century Fox Television/IMDB

In retaliation, Mayor Adam West raises the town's drinking age to 50, prohibiting almost all of Griffin's friends from buying booze. The gang realizes Brian the dog is able to buy booze in dog years, but what about Quagmire? The running gag throughout the series is Quagmire is 60 and looks good for his age, but this fact is completely ignored in their time of need. 

Jamie Lannister’s Magically Repaired Hand

Fans are hungry for bloopers on their favorite shows wherever they can find them. Even in promo photos. Take Game of Thrones, for instance. The internet called foul play when an image of Jamie Lannister hugging his sister with both hands appeared.

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Photo Courtesy: @GameOfT57476878/Twitter

While the image does appear to show his right hand, this clip was not featured in the show. It was only a promo photo used by HBO that slipped through the editing cracks. So while this does constitute a blooper, it's one that viewers won't spot on the show. 

The One Where Time Zones Don’t Exist on Friends

This mistake on Friends is out of this world. Seriously. When the show completely dismisses the existence of time zones, it must take place in an alternate universe. Back in Season 3, Monica gets a very generous tip from a wealthy customer, who later asks her on a dinner date.

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Photo Courtesy: Bright/Kauffman/Crane Productions/Warner Bros. Television/IMDB

Assuming their first date will be somewhere in the Manhattan area, Monica leaves with her purse and a smile. The show immediately cuts to Rome, where they are in the same clothes and enjoying dinner at a restaurant. But Rome is six hours ahead of NYC! Dinnertime would have long since passed. Also, did her date ask her to bring along her passport on their casual date? 

Believe it or not, Friends still has other embarrassing mistakes on this list. 

The Broken Timeline in Big Bang Theory’s Broken Elevator

On The Big Bang Theory, one of the longest running gags was their building's broken elevator. There were even attempts, courtesy of an acquired time machine, to fix the clunky lift. With each attempt to fix the elevator, the timeline gets more convoluted.

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Photo Courtesy: @YahooTV/Twitter

In Season 1, Leonard says the elevator broke two years ago. Later, in Season 3, Leonard's failed attempt to fix it happened seven years ago. Even later in the show, Howard makes an attempt to fix it on his own but gives up. But if he was present when Leonard blew it up all those indecipherable years ago, why was he trying to use basic tools to fix it? The science doesn't add up. 

Carrie’s Bizarre Bus Passengers

During the opening credits of Sex and the City, a colorful Carrie Bradshaw makes her way down a busy NYC block. As she struts down the street in her tutu, a crowded bus with an ad for her sex column drives through a puddle, soaking Carrie.

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Photo Courtesy: @miss_maddie/Twitter

Things get confusing after the bus soaks Carrie and she gasps in disgust at her bad luck. Right behind her, as the bus drives away, we see a completely empty bus. Fans couldn't help but wonder: Did everyone on the bus find their stop and immediately jump out? Were they all appalled at her outfit and disintegrated in disgust? We'll sadly never know the truth. 

The One Where Monica’s Body Double Makes an Appearance

The storyline isn't the only thing that can cause mistakes on the show. Sometimes a camera angle can catch more than the viewers expected. Take this casual Friends scene in Central Perk with Phoebe and Monica. In an instant, the camera cuts from Phoebe and Monica to Phoebe and Monica's stand-in.

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Photo Courtesy: @RachelRamsey44/Twitter

TV shows often use stand-ins while cameras focus on actors within the shot, but zooming out too much can spell disaster. Several shots throughout the series reveal boom mics, exterior lights and other set pieces that wouldn't fit in a Greenwich Village apartment. 

McDreamy’s Nightmarish CPR

Do they have medical experts on call over at Grey's Anatomy? There are so many medical inaccuracies on this program it's hard to believe it's a show about doctors. One major blunder happens when Meredith nearly drowns while helping a patient and gets knocked into a body of water by accident.

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Photo Courtesy: Shondaland Productions/IMDB

Derek miraculously saves Meredith by performing the worst CPR ever done by a fake doctor on television. Derek gives her one breath and five slow compressions, but he should have given her two breaths and thirty compressions at a faster pace. My diagnosis? Bad television. 

Mulder’s Mysterious Wedding Ring

On The X-Files, Fox Mulder was a brooding F.B.I. detective who investigated paranormal phenomena. All that brooding and crime solving left little time for him to date, let alone marry, making him a chronically mysterious and single detective.

Yet, in a flashback episode, we see him in his apartment wearing a wedding ring with no explanation. Was there a secret wedding the show's producers forgot to mention? Was his bachelor pad ever occupied by someone else? It turns out David Duchovny had recently married and wanted to keep his ring on during the filming. Mystery solved, but fans were not pleased with the plot hole. 

Two Guys, One Actor on Sex And The City

On Sex and The City, Carrie Bradshaw wore a lot of shoes and dated a lot of men in New York City. The shoes were always expensive, unique and rarely worn twice, but some of the men were quite similar to each other. So similar, in fact, that they were sometimes the same exact person.

In Season 1, Bradshaw dates Jared, an up-and-coming writer played by Justin Theroux. In Season 2, Bradshaw dates another writer, Vaughn, also played by Justin Theroux. Theroux wore glasses, shaved his head and dealt with different intimacy issues on screen as Vaughn. Neither suitor survived more than one episode, but their confusing legacy continues to perplex diehard fans.

A John Hancock Gone Wrong on The Office

A celebration was in order when Dunder Mifflin launched their very own website. Of course, because this is The Office, a simple office party turned into a series of competitive hijinks to determine who could plan the best party. Spoiler alert: It wasn't Michael, who failed to order a decent pizza, kidnapped the delivery boy and had a series of emotional outbursts.

But the biggest blunder of the episode doesn't come out of Michael's mouth. It actually comes from Jim's pen. When signing Meredith's cast, Jim signs his name 'John Krasinski,' which is the actor's real name. Production needed two full episodes to complete the main story, but Krasinski's blunder remains the most memorable part of the party. 

Redecorating in Bikini Bottom

In Bikini Bottom, your house isn't only where you go to sleep at night: It's a statement piece. Spongebob lives in a pineapple, Patrick lives under a rock and Squidward lives between them in a moai from Easter Island. All three of these homes are perfect representations of each character.

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Photo Courtesy: @AFS86Friar/Twitter

That is, of course, unless their house goes missing without explanation. Take the InSPONGEiac episode, where Spongebob can't get enough sleep. When he goes to Patrick's house for help, Squidward's house is completely missing. Gone. This same mistake happens in a few other episodes throughout the series. This kind of a squid erasure is something the citizens of Bikini Bottom shouldn't stand (or swim) for. 

Mad Men Dines at a Restaurant From the Future

One of Mad Men’s greatest achievements was astute attention to detail throughout the series. Historical authenticity was a major concern to the showrunners, so characters, sets and plots had to expertly represent life in the 1960s.

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Photo Courtesy: Weiner Bros./Silvercup Studios/Lionsgate Television/IMDB

Unfortunately for Christina Hendricks, sometimes history can get a tad complicated. When Hendricks' character, Joan Harris, makes a reservation at the legendary NYC restaurant Le Cirque, she's a bit ahead of her time. The restaurant didn't open until 1974, but the show was set in 1968. I'm sure there were some mad men on set once the gaffe went public.

Dexter’s Incomplete Execution

On Dexter, forensic technician and vigilante serial killer Dexter entertained millions of loyal viewers. By day, Dexter analyzed blood splatter patterns from crime scenes. By night, he served his appetite for bloodlust by killing criminals that slipped through the justice system.

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Photo Courtesy: John Goldwyn Productions/The Colleton Company/Clyde Phillips Productions/801 Productions/Devilina Productions/Showtime Networks/IMDB

In the Season 1 finale, Dexter discovers that Rudy is the Ice Truck Killer and his long lost brother, Brian. Family revelations aside, the guy is a monster, and Dexter kills his brother with a slice to the throat. Sort of. It's very noticeable post-murder that the actor playing Rudy is still breathing, as evidenced by his breathing chest and pumping neck vein. 

Waylon Smithers’ Changing Appearance

Most characters on The Simpsons experience drastic life changes throughout the show. Apu gets married and has eight children. Milhouse's parents get divorced. Ned Flanders loses his wife in a tragic accident and raises his children solo. And then there's Waylon Smithers.

Smithers started out as an obedient lackey of Mr. Burns and later became a more nuanced character. I should mention that he was also black in the original episodes and later given his current yellow hue. The Simpsons showrunners gave various explanations over the years, but none of them justify this bizarre blooper. 

Breaking Bad’s Rambunctious Roof Pizza

On Breaking Bad, pizza is a topic that can raise a lot of eyebrows. Yes, the show is actually about a chemistry teacher that produces meth to make some extra cash. But Walter White's legend status wasn't cemented in his extracurricular activities. It came as soon as he perfectly launched an entire pizza onto his roof in a fit of rage.

In one brilliant take, actor Bryan Cranston was able to launch the pizza onto White's roof. But fans noticed the pizza parlor forgot to cut the pizza into slices, leaving the pie in its original form. Later in the episode, the mysterious pizza moves around the roof from scene to scene and somehow develops pepperoni toppings. There’s no chemical equation to make sense of any of it.

Your Name Is Really Jerry, Jerry

Early in Parks and Recreation, we meet Jerry, the clumsy yet lovable oaf in the Pawnee office. He confesses that his name is actually Gary, but hasn’t corrected anyone ever since a senior staffer called him 'Jerry'. This is a perfect representation of Jerry; a forgettable character that doesn't want to ruffle feathers around the office.

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Photo Courtesy: Open 4 Business Productions/Deedle-Dee Productions/Fremulon/3 Arts Entertainment/Universal Television/IMDB

Later in the show, it’s revealed his name is actually Gerald, which can go by 'Jerry' for short. Lovable oaf? Sure. Lovable liar?! No way, Jerry. Gary was never his real name, so either the writers got his name wrong or Jerry doesn't remember his own name. Either situation is believable in this case. 

Lost’s Mysterious Gray Blob

J. J. Abrams' work on Lost ushered in a wave of conspiracy-driven shows watched by die-hard fans. Online discussion boards filled with fan theories about the show were everywhere. It became a sport to see what clues you could learn from re-watching each episode.

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Photo Courtesy: Bad Robot Productions/Touchstone Television/IMDB

One clue that caught everyone's attention came from the pilot episode when a giant puff of black smoke rushed past the screen as an engine exploded. Was it the smoke monster? A mysterious creature yet to reveal itself? The grim reaper on a rocket? Fan theories got so intense producers had to confess it was a simple computer error whizzing past the screen.