The West Wing

Red Haven's on Fire - S4-E17

Character mistake: Will's tax demonstration to his volunteer staffers is incorrect. He applies the various tax rates to the entirety of each salary range. The person who makes $150K and is in the 36% rate...in his example he has them paying 36% on their entire salary, not just the portion of it that puts them ahead of the next lower tax rate. If the tax rate jumped to 70% at income of $1M, and a person earned $1,050,000, they wouldn't be paying the 70% rate on all $1,050,000 of their income, only the last $50,000 of it. Will's example makes it look like they would be.

marathon69

Pilot - S1-E1

Character mistake: During the face-off about religion/politics, they get into a shouting match about commandments, both groups being equally convinced that "honour your father and mother" is the 1st or 3rd commandment, respectively. In actual fact it's the 4th or 5th, depending on which version (Catholic or Protestant) of the 10 commandments you go by. See http://www.positiveatheism.org/crt/whichcom.htm.

Jon Sandys Premium member

Six Meetings Before Lunch - S1-E18

Character mistake: In this episode, the character Jeff Breckenridge meets with Josh to plan his Senate confirmation. When explaining what led him to be a civil rights lawyer, he tells how his great grandfather was captured into slavery, and "taken to New Guinea to be shipped to America". The character probably means Guinea, or Guinea Bisseau, or Equatorial Guinea, three places in the Western coast of Africa from which black slaves were sent to America. New Guinea, on the other hand, is half-the-world away, near Australia.

trejosa

Bad Moon Rising - S2-E19

Character mistake: When Josh is giving his WWII example to Donna, he talks about "France, Austria and England being pounded by the Germans." Except Austria was incorporated into the Third Reich after the Anschluss of 1938; it was essentially part of Germany for all intents and purposes. It therefore was not being attacked by the Germans at all. One would have thought Josh, who shows a firm grasp of WWII information in other episodes, would have known this. (00:31:20)

Pilot - S1-E1

Character mistake: Sam makes a joke about Laurie being "free of cataracts" because she smokes so much pot. She laughs and says "I get that. That's funny." Except there's nothing to 'get', because Sam is wrong. Cannabis has been used as pain relief for people suffering from glaucoma; it does nothing whatsoever for cataracts. It's surprising that neither Sam nor Laurie would have known this. (00:03:10)

Lord John Marbury - S1-E11

Character mistake: CJ says that Marbury was ambassador to either India or Pakistan while briefing someone on the phone. Britain doesn't have ambassadors to those countries - being part of the Commonwealth they have High Commissioners instead. A minor error, but one the White House - versed in diplomatic protocol - would be aware of. (00:31:45)

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

Suggested correction: CJ is the press secretary, not an expert of diplomatic protocol. Throughout the show, she is characterized as someone who occasionally makes small errors like this.

The U.S. Poet Laureate - S3-E17

Character mistake: Jed Bartlett is talking to Leo and Hoynes. He says 'Calvary' instead of 'Cavalry' in the line "Tell Josh that General Pulaski was a Polish Brigadier General who vanquished the Russian and Prussian military then came to the colonies and commanded our cavalry during the American revolution."

dxhutch

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

Suggested correction: Although Mercator was born in Rupelmonde, it was during a visit his parents were making to the town. His family was ethnically German, as they came from Gangelt in the Holy Roman Empire. This is also where Mercator spent much of his adult life (specifically in the German city of Duisburg). Calling him German is technically correct.

College Kids - S4-E3

Character mistake: At the Rock the Vote rally at the Cambridge MA House of Blues, CJ Craig claims that 18-24 year olds are 33% of the population but only 7% of the votes. This is false: per the 2000 Census, which tracks population based on 5-year age cohorts, all persons 15-24 totals only 14% of the population. From that we could estimate the 18-24 population in 2000 as no more than 10%. See http://www.census.gov/population/www/cen2000/briefs/phc-t9/tables/tab01.pdf It is possible they meant all persons 24 and under, who make up approximately 35% of the population.

18th and Potomac - S2-E21

Character mistake: While in the Situation Room Leo says twice "we need the calvary." According to Webster, calvary is a proper noun that refers to the hillside on which Jesus was crucified. Cavalry is a group of highly mobile army troops. Leo meant to say "cavalry" but mispronounced it. The subtitle is correct with the spelling "cavalry." Leo would definitely know better. (00:19:00)

Dr. Thomas

Lord John Marbury - S1-E11

Character mistake: Both in the title and throughout the episode, people refer to 'Lord John Marbury'. However, the first names of peers are not used when also using their titles; so Marbury should be called either Lord Marbury (more accurately Earl Marbury), or just John Marbury. A minor error in the real world, but the White House is supposed to be aware of diplomatic eccentricities like this.

Pilot - S1-E1

Factual error: The Lockheed 1011 was only produced until 1984. There's no way that in 1999 Toby would be flying on one that "just came off the line 20 months ago."

More mistakes in The West Wing

Pilot - S1-E1

Laurie: Tell your friend POTUS he's got a funny name, and he should learn how to ride a bicycle.
Sam Seaborn: I would, but he's not my friend, he's my boss. And it's not his name, it's his title.
Laurie: POTUS?
Sam Seaborn: President of the United States.

More quotes from The West Wing
More trivia for The West Wing

The Dogs of War - S5-E2

Question: How did they find Zoe and who kidnapped her? At first they said that the Bahii were taking responsibility for it, then Leo tells Will that they never found the Bahii sleepers. Also, the man on the helicopter tells the President and the First Lady that Zoe was dropped off on the side of a road and she called 911 on her cell phone, then, later, on the ground, another man tells the Bartletts that they found her tied up in a closet. What really happened?

Answer: One of the kidnappers was having an argument with his girlfriend and dumped her. She called 911 about Zoe.

No, some woman had an argument with her boyfriend, and he kicked her out of the car in the rain. She tried to take shelter in an abandoned farmhouse and noticed the kidnappers holed up in there, and called 911.

Brian Katcher

More questions & answers from The West Wing

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.