Best crime TV factual errors of all time

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Hustle picture

New Recruits - S5-E2

Factual error: The contract Stone and his team force Carlton Wood and Harry Fielding to sign guaranteeing Fowler's widow the royalties from his invention for life is signed under duress and is therefore invalid. It is hard to believe that none of Stone's team don't know this, but it is impossible to believe that Carlton Wood wouldn't.

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Columbo picture

The Most Crucial Game - S2-E3

Factual error: Probably an in joke - the wheels of the "airliner" shown landing at LA international airport are those of a B52 bomber. They are very distinctive and look nothing like those on any airliner ever made.

PEDAUNT

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CSI: Crime Scene Investigation picture

Show generally

Factual error: In a number of episodes people are shown eating and drinking in the laboratories. For instance, in "Miss Willows' Regrets" Nick and Greg are seen eating fried chicken in the lab, and in "Overload" Sara eats a sandwich while watching Grissom experiment with her deli pickle. There are other examples. No reputable laboratory (which this is supposed to be) would allow its staff to eat or drink while in the lab. It is basic scientific protocol to prevent contamination of samples or the person picking up toxins on their food.

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Monk picture

Mr. Monk Goes to Jail - S2-E16

Factual error: When Monk visits the prison for the first time, he is searched, passed, and has a mini-panic attack because people have touched him. Sharona steps forward to comfort him, and she puts her arms around him. This is a very serious breach of procedure and it is not possible for the guards to miss it, because Sharona has not been searched. It's a common technique for trying to pass contraband called 'a touch through' - a person with an item to be smuggled into the prison (drugs, usually), passes them on to a person who has been searched and is therefore 'clean'. Monk would be taken back to the guard's station to be searched again. He would not be allowed leniency because the guards happen to know or to like him - visitor ingress and egress is always done under CCTV and the guard would know he was being watched - quite possibly by someone who doesn't know who Monk and Sharona are.

Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Sharona was searched first by the female guard.

In fact Sharona breaks away from the female guard to go to Monk. She has NOT been searched.

The correction is correct. The female guard already finished patting Sharona down before the male guard even had a chance to start his pat down of Monk.

Bishop73

Yeah, the correction is correct. I went back six times through that clip: Sharona and Monk both get searched, and then Sharona touches Monk.

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Law & Order picture

Second Opinion - S5-E1

Factual error: Ryan, the laboratory technician, eats his lunch of burger and fries while discussing a murder case with Assistant D.A. Claire Kincaid. Trouble is, they are in his laboratory. No lab technician ever, ever eats or drinks in a laboratory - it is the most basic lab protocol imaginable. He could contaminate his samples in any one of a hundred ways, he inevitably contaminates his gloves or fingers with residue from his meal and he risks poisoning himself with accidental transfer. This is not a character error - lab security is hammered into science students starting with the first day of first year and number one on the list is never, ever eat or drink in your lab.

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Prison Break picture

Season 1 generally

Factual error: When Michael fills the tank with water (below the stock room), he then strips his clothes off, and slides down a pipe and into the water at the bottom of the tank. Since the water level was way above him, the pipe he slid down and the access to get there would have been flooded also. There was no water in the pipe he slid down, so for that area to be dry, it would have to be above the water line.

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Foyle's War picture

Casualties of War - S5-E2

Factual error: The naval captain in this episode has a military mustache as prescribed by army regulations. The Royal Navy regulations, however, prohibited separate mustaches and beards - if facial hair was worn, a "full set" of beard and mustache with the beard joined to the mustache was mandatory, and that to be grown to the commanding officer's satisfaction within six weeks.

Macxlii

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The Blacklist picture

Pilot - S1-E1

Factual error: The bomb is supposed to go off at the "DC Zoo", but the scene takes place at the National Botanical Garden, on the complete opposite side of DC from where the Smithsonian National Zoo actually is.

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Ashes to Ashes picture

Episode #1.8 - S1-E8

Factual error: When the bullion van leaves the yard a 1995 N reg Rover 600 is parked on the left hand side of the road, before Ray drives off in his Granada. In 1982 the Rover 600 was not even on the drawing board.

paulnjsmith

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CSI: Miami picture

Show generally

Factual error: Calleigh Duquesne frequently wears completely inappropriate clothing throughout the whole series. She often wears blouses that are so low cut that the neckline is below the lower curve of her breasts. No officer of the court in the US would be allowed to dress this way. There is no grey area here, and this is not a character mistake - first time a CSI turned up at work dressed like that, she'd be sent home to change. Second time, she'd be on suspension until she agreed to change her dress standards. Also (and this regularly happens in CSI: NY as well) she is regularly wearing high heels - also a certain no-no for as CSI. Incidentally, male CSIs have equally strict dress standards.

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Wild Bill picture

Show generally

Factual error: Bill wears four medal ribbons, in order: Diamond Jubilee Medal (awarded to all people with five years' service in a British uniformed service in 2012), Golden Jubilee Medal (the same in 2002), Queen's Police Medal (a very prestigious award, a handful of which are awarded every year to long-serving police officers for exceptional service) and Police Long Service and Good Conduct Medal (awarded for 20 years' unblemished service in the British police). Not only are these in the wrong order (it should be QPM, Golden Jubilee, Diamond Jubilee, LS&GCM), but he's not entitled to any of them! He's an American who hasn't previously served in the British police. A chief constable's uniform doesn't just come with medal ribbons for the look of it; only those that have been earned may be worn.

Necrothesp

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Breaking Bad picture

Gliding Over All - S5-E8

Factual error: When going over the logistics of the plan to kill the ten men in prison, Jack tells Walt that killing Osama Bin Laden was less complicated. Breaking Bad takes place over a period of two years, beginning with Walt's birthday in 2008, and ending on his birthday in 2010. Bin Laden wasn't killed until May of 2011. (00:15:23)

Phaneron Premium member

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JAG (1995)

JAG picture

Washington Holiday - S2-E9

Factual error: In the whole episode, Romania is depicted as a monarchy with the king in a position that allows him to make political decisions. However, Romania ceased to be a monarchy in 1947. By the time depicted in the episode (circa 1997), Romania was a republic and its head of state was the president. Members of the ex-royal family did not hold any positions in the Romanian government and were certainly not authorized to represent Romania in international events.

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Batwoman picture

The Rabbit Hole - S1-E2

Factual error: Alice and Kate's little reunion underwater is disrupted by policemen that fire at them, and one of the shots reaches the transport truck, ignites it and makes it explode. The scene is baffling; forgetting the complete disregard for fellow policemen in the vehicle, how would bullets have enough strength to penetrate into an armored truck deep underwater, reach a critical weak point from that angle (the truck is upright, they should be barely get to shoot the roof of it) and still underwater cause inside the completely immersed vehicle a spark that would ignite fuel and make the whole truck explode? (00:31:45)

Sammo Premium member

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Better Call Saul picture

Fall - S3-E9

Factual error: In the mall where Jimmy meets Irene there is the Pandora logo in the background when Jimmy is going up the escalator. Pandora didn't open its first store in New Mexico until 2013. (00:27:00 - 00:28:00)

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