The Terminator
The Terminator mistake picture

Revealing mistake: When the Terminator takes out his "fake" human eye, he looks into the mirror. It is very obvious it's a dummy: 1) He has unnatural movements. 2) His skin is a lot paler, and not shiny. 3) His hair style has changed. It's easier to tell in the following shot, as he looks closer to the mirror that he's changed back to "real." (00:59:55)

Revealing mistake: In the shot of the Terminator skidding down the street after being rammed by the pick-up, it is a dummy. It's even missing a hand.

Continuity mistake: When the Terminator arrives at the first Sarah Connor's house, the address number is "14239", even though in the phonebook it is listed as "1823" (or "2816" or "309").


Character mistake: In the final scene at the Mexican gas station there's a sign that says "cigaros" instead of "cigarros," which means "cigars" in Spanish.

Continuity mistake: When Arnie says "I'll be back" and leaves the police station he throws both the doors open as he leaves one of them falls back into place but the other one stays open. When he drives his car through the window both doors are closed.

Other mistake: Why does the Terminator have a HUD (Head-up-Display) or a GUI (Graphical User Interface)? This is a stupid mistake in many movies with cyborgs or androids. A machine itself does not need a HUD. A HUD is an interface for humans to help us interact with machines. A machine does not need a graphical interface to interact with itself. A machine can interpret the reality around internally using machine code within its CPU using zeros and ones. There is no need to project a HUD in the eyes of the terminator. (of course it looks cool and the viewer gets the information that the Terminator is a machine, but in reality it would be - let's say - a stupid redundancy to build in a monitor into a camera).


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

Suggested correction: The terminators are AI, since AI doesn't exist for real yet (not on that level) you don't know what it needs or how its supposed to function. Since these terminators are supposed to look and act like humans as they are infiltration units Skynet has build them to operate like humans as well. To help with thinking and acting like a human Skynet has build in a HUD in the optics so it will keep its focus on the visuals and not switch to internal sensors and computing when acting out it role as a human, that would look unnatural. With your logic its stupid for the terminator to put on sunglasses too, but it does anyway because it thinks like a human.


Gotta disagree - the sunglasses are it trying to fit in/cover damage, not "think like a human." All "thinking" can be done internally. It's like saying modern smartphones need stats displayed on the inside of the screen which we can't see - there's zero need for them, because in order to display that information, the information has to exist in the machine already. And if it already exists, the machine already has access to it, without then displaying it on something else.

Jon Sandys Premium member

But it's not a smartphone. It's an AI, an AI built to be as human as possible. Whatever is operating its brain has external sensors and possibly an external computer telling it new data (like for example date, target location, primary objectives) which isn't directly part of its own brain. You can see that in the third movie when the Terminatrix gets confirmation about identifying its primary target, and it gets excited from it. The data it receives is coming from somewhere else and the terminator is reading from it, receiving it through an interface in the eyes. Probably in the future they have a direct link to Skynet telling them what to do and when they go to the past that link with Skynet is turned into a computer database with an interface for the terminator to communicate with.


And how does this Skynet-upload to the terminators make the terminators more human if these information are displayed in a HUD? I am human too and never received any information into my eye as a projection (not without computers or Google glass or something like that). You are talking about simple data transfer, no need for a HUD and especially not to make the terminator more human (cause we humans do not have natural born HUDs in our eyes or brains). You are mixing up two things which really don't belong together. I was talking about recognition of environmental data in the first place and data processing of these. Still I don't see any need to HUD these information. We humans do not have HUD and are 100% humans. Your logic "HUD to become human" doesn't make any sense with or without a skynet data link.


It's not a simple little robot that uses sensors and act on them with a simple binary CPU, its an AI. It has optics, like I said it receives information and its displayed in the optics so it would not be distracted from acting human, turning inside itself to process it. You can give bad examples about us not having HUDs all you want but we get all outside information from our sense, 4 of them located in the head. We turn our attention to those senses when new information arrives. The Terminators get information input the same way, through the optics. They are build like a human. It can hear sound through its ears and smell from its nose. It sees with its optics, new information displayed upon them. What's so hard about that?


Because we don't have HUDs to display all that info, and we work just fine as human. All the information is dumped directly into our brains. The Terminators would work likewise - there's literally no need to have a visual interface - it's a pointless middleman between the sensors and the processor which only exists because it looks good on film.

Jon Sandys Premium member

I see where youre going with this and I would theoretically agree if (and that's the big if) the HUD-Display would be an extra device which the Terminator puts on his head. I agree if the human-emulation-part would be mostly human and the HUD part would be a standalone extra. Problem is they put both into one machine. Which means the whole construction is not a human emulation device with the aim "developing by mimicry humans." If so then the terminator-race isn't doing well by puting non-human things into their human-emulation-machines.


It's just way the machine is put together. There could be many reasons for the machine to have a HUD, like power efficiency or even they were forced to do it this way since the CPU it needs was too large to fit in the skull. Instead of directly interfaced it reads external inputs through the HUD in its optics. Not because it wants to, but because it has to. Might not seem all that logical and efficient, but I'm saying there can be a reason for it. Even information concerning itself is done this way because it can't connect with itself directly. Programs, software tell it what is going on. If my computer would have optics and the ability to read its quite handy when it needs to read off other machines and programs, ones that are not necessarily connected to it. It would seem the terminator brain, the CPU, the AI, is separated from the robotic body. The only thing connecting it with the rest of the body is the optics, giving it information.


Power efficiency? Putting information which came from "the eye" in the CPU and then back again into the CPU would cost double power and CPU size, cause you are doing anything two times. You are jumping now from "HUD for being human" to other translucent arguments. And your computer could have optics and read off other machines yes but it could do that without HUD. You only need a webcam and OCR. Reading data directly from inside other machines yes we call that bluetooth. However in none of these there is an extra machine outside the machine for the machine. It is always integrated into the machine and processing is internal.


Its all assumptions versus assumptions. I never said the HUD was there for the machine to "be more human", I said it was there because the terminator needs to keep its focus through the eyes to prevent it going internal whenever there is outside information. This all assuming the CPU in the brain isn't connected directly to the rest of the body, because of capacity and power issues. Again, all assumptions but what do you expect from sci-fi? Is it a mistake in the movie? Hardly.


Suggested Idea: Firstly, I agree that if the terminator type CPU operates as a binary machine (such as a laptop or smartphone) all internal communication would be in 1's and 0's. Even our current computers, which may output hex code to dump files is for the benefit and 'readability' of humans. However, a theory: I believe the HUD on the Terminator may be some kind of 'diagnostic' feature which was built in to the original machines which were first developed by humans. I may be over thinking this (it is just a movie) however if you look at some remote operated drones and such, information is provided on a HUD for the benefit of human operators (in an areal drone, this may be altitude, heading, speed etc). My theory would be that perhaps this 'diagnostic' is an integral part of the CPU and Skynet did not want to 'risk' disrupting processes by restructuring the processor architecture (these must be built in very sophisticated factories, assumed to have remained from before the war due to the complexity of them). If I were a super efficient AI - personally I would see a huge advantage in removing it (think Windows - how much processing power and effort goes into 'pointless' graphics for the benefit of the user, such as the animations when you copy a file). Your modern computer has processor cycles to spare, but in the terminators I would guess these would be less so - hence the assumptions that it is less risk rather than just Skynet just 'never got around to it'.

This can be one of the reasons why the terminator has a HUD. One of the most plausible I'd say. Skynet build these terminators fast, not sophisticated, eventually they are all based off a human used robot as displayed in T3. All they did was improve its combat capabilities and human mimicking.


Continuity mistake: When Sarah is sitting in the bar after talking with the police, there is a drink in a glass on the table in front of her. The scene cuts away and when it cuts back, it is a small bottle, not a drink glass. (00:33:45)

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

Suggested correction: When she sits down, there's two empty mugs and two bottles, but she doesn't have her own drink. The scene cuts to the Terminator coming in, and then we see her with her drink (a bottle and the glass). But enough time for someone to bring it to her.


Continuity mistake: When Arnie gets shot in the club after he gets up again there's no bullet holes in his chest or blood on his shirt. (00:35:50)

Continuity mistake: Throughout the car chase shots where the Terminator is in the stolen police car, the car's rear view mirror is round. After the car crashes into the wall in the tunnel, the rear view mirror is square. (00:49:35 - 00:50:20)

The Terminator mistake picture

Continuity mistake: Just before Kyle exits the car park, he rams the police car driven by the Terminator into a parked car, and you can see the front left corner of the police car is damaged. In the next shot when you see the police car exit the car park, the damage has gone. (00:48:30)

Audio problem: When the Terminator first arrives in 1984, the whole time displacement sequence (or whatever you want to call it) is witnessed by a garbage truck driver who mutters 'What the hell?'. His mouth however is obviously saying something else which has been dubbed over. (00:04:00)

Audio problem: When the terminator smashes the car window, the crash sound occurs before his fist actually makes contact. (00:12:35)

The Terminator mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When The Terminator is searching through Sarah's address book in his apartment he has flies on him. There is one on his forehead, but when the janitor knocks on the door, the Terminator turns his head towards the door and cusses at him but there is no fly on the forehead. When he turns back and continues reading the fly is again on his forehead at the same exact place on the forehead. (01:14:05)

The Terminator mistake picture

Continuity mistake: Early in the movie, prior to heading out to the bar where she first sees the Terminator, Sarah Connor is holding her iguana at her apartment while talking to her roommate. In the first shot, she is holding it with her left hand under the lizard's chest. The film cuts to a different angle, and now the lizard is resting against her shoulder, with Sarah's left hand on its upper back. It cuts back to the original angle and again her hand is supporting the chest. (00:23:25)

Factual error: When Kyle is hot wiring the car he touches 2 wires together and you can hear the starter trying to start the engine. This indicates the wire is controlling the starter. Then he takes the starter wire and twists it onto the other wire, keeping them together. If you really did this the starter would be permanently turned on and grinding on the flywheel. In reality, you would hold the 2 wires together until the engine starts, then disconnect them.

Continuity mistake: In the tunnel scene we see Sarah drive past the 2 lorries. They then meet, making it impossible for the Terminator to get past. Angle changes and the lorries still haven't met yet. (01:21:00)

Ssiscool Premium member

Continuity mistake: When The Terminator's stolen police car is shown up close in the parking structure, look at the police logo. After the car crashes, you can see the logo has flipped. (00:45:50 - 00:50:20)


Revealing mistake: Just after the Terminator breaks into the police station, he is firing his gun, when he fires it repeatedly he makes a policeman jump who is lying dead on the floor, look closely.

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

Suggested correction: Just because someone is shot by a gun doesn't necessarily mean they die instantly. The cop is likely still alive, albeit severely wounded.

Continuity mistake: In the scene where Arnold is turning off the power in the police station he gets shot by a cop and jerks forward. But every other time he is shot he does not even twitch. (01:00:55)

Kyle Reese: Listen! And understand. That Terminator is out there! It can't be bargained with, can't be reasoned with! It doesn't feel pity or remorse or fear, and it absolutely will not stop. EVER! Until you are dead!

More quotes from The Terminator

Trivia: Arnie only has 16 lines.

More trivia for The Terminator

Question: I know it's not important because the movie would be very short and boring, but there's something I've always wondered. What would have happened to the Terminator had he actually managed to kill Sarah Conner?


Chosen answer: Since terminators cannot self-terminate, only one very likely possibility comes to mind: it would have hidden itself away somewhere known to have remained undisturbed in the years between the termination of Sarah Connor and the start of the war, at which point it would rejoin the war effort.

Phixius Premium member

Answer: Skynet knew nothing about Sarah Connor besides what city she was in in 1984 and that she had a pre war leg injury which they could use as a form of identification. However this injury only occurred in the factory at the end of the movie which would mean the terminator would have no way of identifying the real sarah connor before that time. The terminator therefore could've never completed its mission with 100% certainty because it had no idea what she actually looked like, therefore it may have just carried on hunting out Sarah Connors to increase the chances of getting the right one if it was still in good enough condition to move around unnoticed.

Answer: According to the official novelization, the Terminator looked for a specific injury that the Sarah Connor in question had, in order to insure that she was indeed the Sarah Connor that would give birth to John Connor. If any of the Sarah Connors that he killed didn't have that injury, then he knew that none of them were the Sarah Connor that he was looking for, and would move on to the next one. At the end of the novelization, it is revealed that Sarah Connor got the injury during her final battle with the Terminator, meaning that previous time travel loops had already happened that we didn't see or read about (alternatively the events in the first Terminator film are a causal loop that always happened). Since the Terminator wasn't aware that Sarah didn't have the injury at this point in time, this would mean that he would continue to search the world for other Sarah Connors after killing her. It's a piece of horror that unfortunately was cut from the film.

More questions & answers from The Terminator

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.