The West Wing

Isaac and Ishmael - S3-E1

Factual error: A secret service agent goes to Leo McGarry and tells him Sharif has crossed the border from Canada into the US - he says "from Ontario into Vermont". It is about 50 miles from Ontario to the Vermont border - the only province that borders on Vermont is Quebec. At this high level of intelligence, this could not be a character error - just the West Wing writers not checking a map.

Dead Irish Writers - S3-E16

Factual error: When the British Ambassador, Lord Marbury, greets Abbey at her party, he tenders best wishes from "Her Royal Majesty", his Monarch. However, as Her official representative, Lord John should have been cognizant that the reigning British monarch is referred to strictly as "His/Her Majesty".

Gone Quiet - S3-E7

Factual error: Hal Holbrook's character is called in to assist in solving an incident where a US sub has gone missing in hostile waters. Despite being elderly, he is considered an expert in such matters, and is advising the President in that capacity. Yet while relating similar historical submarine incidents, he makes two significant errors. First, he describes the "Glomar Explorer" and the K-129 Russian sub as "two subs", but the Glomar was a surface ship, not a sub (See http://www.espionageinfo.com/images/eeis_02_img0482.jpg). Then he states the USS Gudgeon was trapped by Russian ships for four days, but the entire incident took 30 hours. He is never challenged on these facts, and his advice is unquestioned. Rather than character mistakes, as the character's meant to be an expert, this is more likely bad research and embellishment by the writers. (00:28:00)

johnrosa

The Women of Qumar - S3-E9

Factual error: When Sam is telling Leo about the couple who crashed their car after the fundraiser where the President talked about seat belts, he states, "Now she's suing him for contributory negligence!" Contributory Negligence is not something you can sue for, it is a defense to a lawsuit and is based on the plaintiff's own negligent conduct - the woman would be suing the president for just "negligence." Sam repeats the phrase at 7:45, when he claims "Contributory negligence in wrongful death is the tort equivalent of murder." This makes no sense from a legal perspective. As an attorney, Sam would know the difference - this a writing mistake. (00:01:52)

tinsmith

H. Con-172 - S3-E11

Factual error: When Leo is talking with Jordan about why he doesn't want the President to be censured, he states that this would be the first time a President was censured. This is untrue. Both Andrew Jackson and James Buchanan were censured by Congress (although Jackson's censure was later expunged). (00:11:25)

tinsmith

Dead Irish Writers - S3-E16

Factual error: Lord John Marbury says he is "the Earl of Croy, Marquess of Needham and Dolby and Baronet of Brycey." His title according to the British peerage rules would be "The Earl of Croy" and he would be called Lord Croy in conversation. Lord John Marbury would be what one of his younger sons also named John would be called.

Season 5 generally

Continuity mistake: When the plan to kill the Qumari defense minister is being contemplated, several times in the last episodes of Season 3, and at least once in season 4, he 's referred to the Sultan's brother. In season 5, he is referred to as both his cousin and his brother.

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.