Mad Men

The Suitcase - S4-E7

Factual error: At the beginning of the episode, the male employees are all discussing James Bond. It is mentioned that 'James Bond goes underwater, he met a girl underwater'. This refers to the plot of the movie 'Thunderball' (it does not occur in the Thunderball novel, nor any novel or film prior to this). The main plot of this episode centres around the Sonny Liston VS Cassius Clay fight in May 1965, and 'Thunderball' was not released until December of that year.

Marriage of Figaro - S1-E3

Factual error: When Draper is visiting the department store and they're walking up the stairs, a modern-day gray car (Mercedes Benz or SmartCar) is seen whizzing by in the background. (00:16:20)

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes - S1-E1

Factual error: When the new secretary is being shown around the office, the cover is slipped off an IBM Selectric typewriter. She is told not to be afraid of the new technology, it was made easy enough for a woman to use. The episode takes place in March 1960 (a calendar is shown) and the IBM Selectric wasn't introduced until 1961.


Smoke Gets in Your Eyes - S1-E1

Factual error: The ad team is trying to come up with a new campaign for Lucky Strike cigarettes, since all health claims must be removed. With a stroke of genius, the slogan "It's toasted" is created and approved. "It's toasted" was the ad campaign that debuted in 1917. In the early 60s, it was "Lucky Strike separates the men from the boys, but not from the girls".


Marriage of Figaro - S1-E3

Factual error: At the party in the second half of the episode Don Draper is seen filming indoors with a movie camera without floodlamps. The movie film of that era would have required much more light. And the camera would have made significant noise and require periodic winding, which did not happen.


New Amsterdam - S1-E4

Factual error: At various stages of the discussion between Peter Campbell and his wife regarding the purchase of their co-op apartment, they discuss down payments and mortgages. Although it may be possible to finance a co-op today, in 1960 the buyer would have been expected to pay the total amount up front.

Ladies Room - S1-E2

Factual error: During the scene where Don Draper is having an "intimate moment" with Ms. Goldberg on the roof of the Menkens store, crickets are audibly present. Crickets are not present in appreciable numbers on a Manhattan rooftop to produce a sound loud enough to drown out traffic and other ambient noise on 5th Ave. Furthermore, the sound of the crickets is inconsistent with that produced by the native snowy tree cricket. "Crickets chirp at different rates depending on their species and the temperature of their environment. Most species chirp at higher rates the higher the temperature is (approximately 62 chirps a minute at 13°C in one common species; each species has its own rate). The relationship between temperature and the rate of chirping is known as Dolbear's Law. Using this law it is possible to calculate the temperature in Fahrenheit by adding 40 to the number of chirps produced in 14 seconds by the snowy tree cricket common in the United States." ( (00:42:15)


Marriage of Figaro - S1-E3

Factual error: Don brings home Sally a new dog for her birthday at the end of the episode. Clearly an oversight considering the girth of the wide muzzle and "blockier" forehead of the dog. This presumably leads the informed viewer to surmise that the dog is a British Golden Retriever, a far fetched tale considering the lack of communication between European and American dog breeders during the cold war era. Taking this assumption one step further, the cream colour of the coat is also an indication of a later time period, as the cream colour was only introduced in the past twenty (20) years for British sub-genus.


New Amsterdam - S1-E4

Factual error: Pete Campbell looks out of his window at the end, facing downtown. His apartment is on 83 and Park, but the street is one way, headed uptown, whereas park is notoriously 4 lane, two way, with a meridian. While it may be that the apartment was at the back of the building, closer to Lex, Lexington traffic moves south.

Seven Twenty Three - S3-E7

Factual error: At one point Henry mentions that he is from "Mount Salem" in Westchester County. There is no Mt. Salem. There's a North Salem and a Mt Kisco, but no Mt. Salem.

Mad Men mistake picture

New Business - S7-E9

Continuity mistake: Pima Ryan is standing behind her Hasselblad camera, directing models on set. When the camera view changes her waist-level viewfinder goes from an upright position to being flattened down, without anyone touching it. (00:15:50)

More mistakes in Mad Men
More quotes from Mad Men

To Have and to Hold - S6-E4

Trivia: The character Ted Chaough is briefly heard ordering an "Old Spanish" at a bar during the episode. This is a very quick and subtle reference to the popular cult-comedy series "30 Rock." In "30 Rock", the "Old Spanish" is a fake drink that character Cooter Burger is jokingly convinced is real as a prank by co-workers at the White House. The drink was rather nauseatingly comprised of red wine, tonic water and olives. "Mad Men" star Jon Hamm had previously co-starred on "30 Rock" and is friendly with its creator Tina Fey, thus the reference.

More trivia for Mad Men

The Good News - S4-E3

Question: Did no one get surprised at the price of the Call Girl at the end of the episode? For spending a whole evening and night at Draper's house, the call girl charges $25, about $190 in modern money. Isn't that weirdly low?


Chosen answer: At that time, call girls did not command the same amount of money as they do today. By that standard, the $25 would be considered a high rate. Today's upper-level prostitutes can demand far more for their services.

raywest Premium member

More questions & answers from Mad Men

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.