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32 Major Movie Mistakes We're Still Thinking About Years Later

 Harrison Ford in Empire Strikes Back.
Harrison Ford in Empire Strikes Back.

Mistakes happen. We're all human, including the most talented people in Hollywood, and we all make them. Given how huge some productions are, and the coordination it takes to make a big Hollywood movie, it's actually amazing more mistakes don't happen. When they do sneak through into a final product, you can be sure people will talk about them, so here are some of the errors we're still thinking about, even years later.

Julia Roberts eating food in a robe in Pretty Woman.
Julia Roberts eating food in a robe in Pretty Woman.

Pretty Woman's Ever Changing Breakfast

One of the most famous continuity errors in Hollywood history has to be the now-infamous breakfast scene in Pretty Woman. When Vivian (Julia Roberts) sits down for breakfast, she picks up a croissant and starts to eat it. A couple of seconds later, the scene cuts back to her and she takes a bite of a...pancake. Then after another cut, she takes the same bit of a clearly different pancake.

Harrison Ford in Empire Strikes Back
Harrison Ford in Empire Strikes Back

Han's Hands In The Empire Strikes Back

Han Solo (Harrison Ford) being frozen in carbonite is one of the most iconic scenes in film history, and yet, there is something that just doesn't make sense. When Han is led to the machine and lowered into it, his hands are tied at the wrist in front of him and his arms are tied to his side. When his frozen body emerges, his hands are separated at his side.

Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer with flags behind him
Cillian Murphy in Oppenheimer with flags behind him

Oppenheimer Flags With Too Many Stars

Even Best Picture winners can have mistakes, but this one, as some fan theories pose, may have been intentional. In one scene, Robert Oppenheimer (Cillian Murphy). In one scene in the movie, Oppenheimer is being cheered on by people waving American flags that have 50 stars on them, but in 1945, when the scene takes place, there were only 48 stars on the flag. Some have argued that this was intentional on director Christopher Nolan's part, as the story is being told by Oppenheimer in the future.

Ke Huy Quan in The Goonies
Ke Huy Quan in The Goonies

The Octopus In The Goonies

The Goonies is a classic, and one line has confounded viewers for decades. At the end of the movie as the kids are recounting their adventures to the reporters, Data (Ke Huy Quan) tells them that "the octopus was really scary." What octopus you might ask? Well, in a deleted scene the Goonies do encounter an octopus, but it was cut from the final version.

Bradley Cooper in American Sniper
Bradley Cooper in American Sniper

The Fake Baby In American Sniper

Practical effects can make things look more realistic, or, as in the case of a swaddled baby in American Sniper, very fake. In one scene Bradley Cooper holds his character's "baby" in his arms, clearly using a level to move the prop and make it look real.

A screenshot of Dorothy's black shoes in the Wizard of Oz
A screenshot of Dorothy's black shoes in the Wizard of Oz

Dorothy's Black Shoes In The Wizard Of Oz

Everyone would agree that Dorothy's ruby slippers in The Wizard Of Oz are among the most iconic movie props in history, they are even in the Smithsonian. Yet, in the scene where she is picking apples, she's wearing ordinary black shoes.

A scene from The Holdovers
A scene from The Holdovers

The Holdovers Has Modern Cars

The Holdovers was one of the best movies of 2023, though it was set in 1970 and 1971. Whenever a movie is filming exterior shots for period pieces, there is a risk of missing something in the background, and in The Holdovers, it was modern cars parked on the side of the road in Boston.

Screenshot of the car in Braveheart
Screenshot of the car in Braveheart

Braveheart Car

Braveheart doesn't have the best reputation for accuracy among historians, but even the most stringent critic can forgive the fact that for a brief moment, really no more than a single frame, there is clearly a car behind the Scottish soldiers.

Taylor Lautner in two photos from the Twilight series
Taylor Lautner in two photos from the Twilight series

Jacob's Moving Tattoo In Twilight

This one seems pretty easy to mess up, and it's fairly minor, but still. In the Twilight series, Jacob (Taylor Lautner) has a tattoo that migrates up and down his arm. The tat, obviously a temp for the movie, starts high on his shoulder but later is closer to his bicep. This is a little pedantic, sure, but you can also be sure that people who watch the movie over and over notice it every time.

A newspaper in The Dark Knight Rises
A newspaper in The Dark Knight Rises

The Dark Rises...And Misspells Things

I before E, except after C and in sounding like...heist. We'll be the first to admit that the English language has some strange rules that don't always apply, which is why it's easy enough to excuse the crew on The Dark Knight Rises for misspelling the word "HEIST" in a newspaper headline, spelling it "HIEST."

A scene from Star Wars: A New Hope
A scene from Star Wars: A New Hope

The Klutzy Storm Trooper In Star Wars

One of the most infamous movie mistakes comes from one of the biggest movies of all time. The case of the klutzy stormtrooper in the original Star Wars is one of the most inadvertently funny moments in Hollywood history. It's so funny that later versions of the movie added in a sound effect to draw attention to the mistake.

A scene from Ben-Hur
A scene from Ben-Hur

The Ben-Hur Wrist Watch

1959's Ben-Hur is one of the great epics from Hollywood's golden age. The huge set pieces and hundreds of extras make for an amazing watch. With all that going on, especially in the film's famous chariot race scene, it's understandable that the crew would miss that one of the actors driving a chariot was wearing his wristwatch.

A scene from Avengers: Endgame
A scene from Avengers: Endgame

Van Ant-Man And Giant Ant-Man

Even blockbusters with huge budgets sometimes overlook stuff. Case in point: Avengers: Endgame. The end of Endgame is one of the greatest moments in the history of the MCU, it's an epic battle that includes every Avenger battling Thanos and his army. It's so big, that there are even two Ant-Mans. One Ant-Man is busy trying to hotwire his van, but when it cuts to the wide shot of the battle, there is giant Ant-Man battling it out with his Avenger buddies in the background. Oops.

A scene from Casino
A scene from Casino

De Niro To Dummy In Casino

Martin Scorsese's Casino is an amazing movie, but there is one thing that eagle-eyed viewers catch every time they watch it. In the scene when Robert De Niro's character's car is blown up in an attempt to kill him, there is a cut just moments before the explosion where the actor has clearly been replaced by a dummy. At least no De Niros were hurt in the making of the film.

A scene from Three Men and a Baby
A scene from Three Men and a Baby

Cardboard Cut-Out In Three Men And A Baby

This one goes back decades. For years, there were even rumors of a ghost on the set of Three Men and A Baby when a cardboard cut-out prop was left in the wrong place on set. The prop, seen behind a curtain in a scene with Ted Danson was clearly not supposed to be there, and in the days before we all had the ability to freeze-frame everything, the rumor spread like wildfire.

John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction
John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson in Pulp Fiction

Bullet Holes In Pulp Fiction

While Pulp Fiction certainly plays with time and reality in some ways, one way Quentin Tarantino probably didn't mean to is with the bullet holes in the wall of the apartment at the beginning after Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) shoots Brett (Frank Whaley) but before he gets shot at. If you look closely, you can see there are suddenly holes in the wall behind Jules, holes that wouldn't be there until Brett's friend shoots at Jules.

side by side photos from Clueless
side by side photos from Clueless

Clueless Car Crash

Cher (Alicia Silverstone) and her friends are not very good drivers in Clueless. While taking her driver's exam in her brand new Jeep, Cher attempts to change lanes and sideswipes a parked car, taking off her side mirror. Literally moments later, she pulls the Jeep over and the mirror is miraculously back where it belongs. It's a Beverly Hills miracle.

A scene from Gladiator
A scene from Gladiator

An Explosive Gas Canister In Gladiator

Period pieces, especially those set in ancient times, are susceptible to missing more modern objects in the frame. Take one of the best ever, Gladiator for example, when a chariot crashes at the Coliseum and a gas canister is exposed, hidden underneath, presumable to help propel the prop.

A scene from LOTR: The Fellowship Of The Ring
A scene from LOTR: The Fellowship Of The Ring

A Car In The Shire In LOTR: Fellowship Of The Ring

J.R.R. Tolkien probably didn't intend for there to be cars in the Shire in Lord of the Rings, yet, there is one. In a wide shot, as Sam and Frodo are just starting out on their journey in Fellowship Of The Ring, in the top right of the screen, there is a clearly visible car driving down a dirt road in the background. If they had hitched a ride, it would've made for a much shorter trilogy. The car has since been edited out of later versions.

The Wizard of Oz cast
The Wizard of Oz cast

Dorothy's Hair

Hairstyles can be especially tricky sometimes, and this is very evident in The Wizard of Oz as the length of Dorothy's pigtails changes a number of times throughout the movie.

Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark
Harrison Ford in Raiders of the Lost Ark

Keeping Them Separated In Raiders

Sometimes, the mistakes we focus on aren't really mistakes, but they aren't perfect filmmaking, either. In Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) famously hates snakes. When he falls into the pit of snakes in the Egyptian desert, a cobra rises up to strike. Luckily for Indy, there is clearly (ahem, pun intended) a piece of plexiglass between him and the snake. It was edited out of later versions.

A scene from The Fast and the Furious
A scene from The Fast and the Furious

Tran's Shirt In The Fast And The Furious

No one has ever called the Fast franchise high art, that's not the point. Like many films that are high art, however, there are mistakes. Like in the original The Fast And The Furious, when Tran is in his car ready to drag race. First, he's wearing a black t-shirt, then, right before the race starts, he's suddenly wearing a black tank top. It got really hot, really quickly.

Side by side photos from Forrest Gump
Side by side photos from Forrest Gump

JFK's Clothes In Forrest Gump

Even in black and white, audiences know when the color of a costume changes. Or, in this case, two different videos of John F. Kennedy were used when Forrest Gump "met" the former president. His suit and tie are clearly two different colors, one darker than the other, in the clips.

A scene from Gone With The Wind
A scene from Gone With The Wind

Let There Be Light In Gone With The Wind

During the Civil War, it was reasonable to expect to see gas lamps on the streets of Atlanta. What you wouldn't expect, or even know about, are electric lamps like the ones mistakenly used in the movie. Thomas Edison was only about 17 years old at the time.

A scene from the Last Samuri
A scene from the Last Samuri

Horse Kick In The Last Samurai

Sometimes what is funny to us, was probably no laughing matter on the set. In a calvary scene in The Last Samurai, there is clearly a moment when an extra gets kicked by a horse as Tom Cruise's character rides in. Ouch. But funny.

A scene from Quantum Of Solace
A scene from Quantum Of Solace

The Sweeper In Quantum Of Solace

Finding good extras is never easy. Take, for example, the case of the phantom sweeper in the James Bond movie Quantum of Solace. In a scene with Bond on a pier, there is an extra in the background meant to be a worker on the docks. He's sweeping with a big broom, but that's not enough to keep his job, as he's just sweeping air.

A scene from Batman Begins
A scene from Batman Begins

The Cop In Two Places Batman Begins

In Batman Begins, either every cop looks exactly the same, or one actor was used to play two different cops, or in Christopher Nolan's Gotham City, one person can be in two places as once. Come to think of it, with Nolan involved, maybe this was on purpose?

A scene from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl
A scene from Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

The Cowboy Pirate Of The Caribbean

If you saw a cowboy and a pirate together at a Halloween party, you wouldn't think twice about it. When you see a pirate amongst the pirates in Pirates Of The Caribbean, you know it's a mistake, but that's what happened in Curse of the Black Pearl when it appears a crew member was in the wrong place, at the wrong time.

Harrison Ford in Star Wars
Harrison Ford in Star Wars

A Parsec Is Not A Measure Of Time, Han!

One of the all-time classic nerd-out moments comes in the original Star Wars when Han Solo famously tells Obi-Wan Kenobi (Alec Guinness) that he did the Kessel Run in  "less than 12 parsecs!" Unfortunately for Han, parsecs are a measure of distance, so it tells Obi-Wan nothing about how fast the Millennium Falcon is.

Will Ferrell in Elf
Will Ferrell in Elf

Buddy The Elf Isn't The Worst Dresser in Elf

Sure, Buddy's suit in Elf stands out among the throngs on the streets of New York, but in one scene, there is an extra with a way a worse sense of fashion, as he has buttoned his suit jacket to his overcoat. We've all had mornings like that though.

Tom Cruise in Top Gun
Tom Cruise in Top Gun

Maverick's Sunglass In Top Gun

Tom Cruise made Ray Ban Aviators the hottest glasses of the 1980s by wearing them in the original Top Gun. Maverick's glasses, however, are magical, as one of the last scenes of movie, when he Iceman (Val Kilmer) confronts him to tell him he can be his wingman anytime, Maverick takes off the glasses. Then they hug, and Slider (Rossovich) picks Maverick up and, like magic, the glasses are back on.

A scene from The Graduate
A scene from The Graduate

Where Is Ben Going In The Graduate?

Sometimes movies have to do things that automatically make the mistakes to be more cinematic. Like in The Graduate when Ben (Dustin Hoffman) is supposed to driving to Berkeley on the Bay Bridge, but he's clearly on the top deck, which only heads the other direction, towards San Francisco. Obviously, it makes for the better shot than with a deck above him in his awesome Alfa Romeo, but it's still the wrong way.