Best TV factual errors of 2004

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Hustle picture

The Hustlers News of the Day - S3-E5

Factual error: The laboratory technician uses a bog standard light microscope to match the two DNA samples, one from Albert and one allegedly from the Queen Mother. That's absurd. DNA samples are compared using a procedure known as SDS-PAGE, otherwise known as gel electrophoresis. This produces the familiar chart we know as DNA "fingerprints" - bands of light and dark showing the composition of a DNA sample which has been broken up by enzymes. You cannot examine DNA with a light microscope - you couldn't even do it with a scanning electron microscope.

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House, M.D. pictureHouse, M.D. mistake picture

Kids - S1-E19

Factual error: When House is looking over his whiteboard of symptoms for the swimming patient, the symptom "Intercranial Hemorrhage" is shown on the board. However, this is an error. The correct term is "Intracranial Hemorrhage." Anything inside the head is referred to as "intra" not "inter." This is a common mistake for laypeople, however the highly trained and knowledgeable Dr. House should not have made that error. (00:31:25)

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Lost picture

Some Like It Hoth - S5-E14

Factual error: In the classroom where Jack argues with Roger next to the chalkboard we can see a poster of the periodic table of the elements. We can see some elements that wouldn't be there in 1977 since they weren't discovered until 1999.

EvilFreD
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CSI: NY picture

Not What It Looks Like - S3-E2

Factual error: Season 3, episode 49 (Not What It Looks Like). Breaking glass with sound is possible, but would not work as depicted in the episode. First, in order to break the glass, you have to force the glass to vibrate at its natural frequency - that is, the frequency at which it would vibrate if it were tapped. Each piece of glass has its own natural frequency, depending on a range of factors including size, chemical makeup, shape, hardness, and manufacturing methods. No single frequency would shatter all the glass in the store at the same time. Finally, in order to break the glass the piece has to be closed-ended. You can't shatter a plate of glass with sound (nowhere for the sound waves to resonate). Please see http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/feb98/887203231.Ph.r.html

Kevin Hall
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Stargate: Atlantis picture

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Factual error: Anytime a character fires a missile at an airborne target, it's invariably from an M136 antitank launcher. The M136 is designed to hit relatively slow moving ground vehicles and is useless against fast moving airborne targets. (This is because used M136 tubes can't be reloaded and are very cheap to use as props).

Grumpy Scot
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Desperate Housewives picture

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Factual error: Season 2, episode 20: Gabrielle visits Dale, her adopted child's natural father, at his high school and interrupts a pep rally for the football team's upcoming game. Dale, the team's Quarterback, even says that in the last game, he threw for 260 yards. The problem is that it is spring. Dale has just returned from a week in Florida for Spring Break. Football season is over. Basketball season should be over or ending soon. There couldn't have been a pep rally if the season is over.

Rlvlk
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The 4400 picture

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Factual error: In episode 17 there are some scenes showing sick 4400s all around the world. One of them is being carried into an ambulance car in Frankfurt, Germany. The ambulance car's number plate begins with the letters FM meaning Frankfurt am Main. The correct abbreviation for Frankfurt am Main on German number plates is F - not FM.

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The L Word picture

LGB Tease - S5-E1

Factual error: The show takes place in L.A, and in this episode (SPOILER ALERT) Tim and Jenny rush off to hastily and ill-advisedly get married. Los Angeles is three-four hours away from Vegas, where most quickie weddings are done, but a road sign shows them heading to Lake Tahoe/Reno, which is another four hours further away than that. It's just not plausible that they would skip Vegas, where everyone in Los Angeles goes for this purpose, to drive hours further along when they're in such a hurry. It does, however, make sense if you're either ignorant of California/Nevada geography, or if your show is filmed in woodsy British Columbia, where no location can be easily found that looks like the approach to Vegas. Also, the road sign reads, "Tahoe" - an obvious fake. Actual road signs read "Lake Tahoe" and they always show how many miles away it is.

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Show generally

Factual error: Despite the several episodes containing serious offences like murder, you never see two barristers on any side. It is usual with serious offences for each party to have one Queen's Counsel and a junior, and although there are exceptions, we never ever see this very common practice in any episode.

David Mercier
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The Brief picture

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Factual error: At one point the barristers are seen going into the old arch entrance of the Old Bailey. However, you cannot actually go in that way, it's blocked off, you have to go in the more modern entrance and through a series of security checks.

David Mercier
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Summerland picture

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Factual error: In episode 2-11: "Safe House," Bradin's PSAT score report is shown. He has a 726 verbal and a 746 math, for a total of 1472. However, the PSAT has three sections - verbal, math, and writing skills - and each is scored on a scale of 80 points, not 800. So PSATs run on a scale of 240, not the familiar 1600 that the SAT used until earlier in 2005.

DavidK93
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Veronica Mars picture

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Factual error: In Season 2, Epsiode 3 Cheatty Cheatty Bang Bang, they are watching the BBC mini series of Pride and Prejudice and you can hear ending music, but that music is not played at all in the mini series.

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Medical Investigation picture

Coming Home - S1-E3

Factual error: At the convalescent home, Dr. Conner asks if a lector has been to the home to give communion. Later, he describes a lector as a person who gives communion at church or to the homebound. A Eucharistic Minister or Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion gives communion in the Catholic Church.

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New Tricks picture

The Fourth Man - S7-E10

Factual error: At the car auction the Jaguar that the UCOS team are buying is described by the auctioneer as a 1967 model, but it is a C reg, which dates it to 1965.

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Drake and Josh picture

Football - S2-E4

Factual error: In the scene after they won the football game, the football players and cheerleaders all come running into the locker room. At no time would girls be allowed in a boy's locker room.

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Drawn Together picture

A Tale of Two Cows - S2-E10

Factual error: When Princess Clara gives Wooldoor the shotgun, telling him that he has to shoot Live Action Cow, she racks the action, thus chambering a shell. Just before he 'shoots' the cow, Wooldoor racks the action again. This would eject the shell, but no such thing happens.

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Samurai Champloo picture

Stranger Searching - S1-E6

Factual error: In the scene where the large dutch guy tells his story about his life in Holland, there are a several windmills. However, the blades are placed on the wrong side, that way it's not possible for a windmill to turn clockwise, which it does. If the blades were placed correctly, they would still turn to the wrong side, because wooden windmills in Holland are always turning counter-clockwise.

Serber
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King Solomon's Mines picture

Episode #1.1 - S1-E1

Factual error: There is a view of the night sky in southern Africa. However, both the Big and Little Dippers (along with Polaris) are visible. In general, these constellations are not visible in the southern hemisphere, and where they are (North of 1° South latitude) they are very close to the horizon. The Big Dipper (Ursa Major) is to the left of the screen and Polaris (part of the Little Dipper = Ursa Minor) in near the top-center. This occurs shortly after the lion cub scene. (00:44:00)

Noman Premium member
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