6 Glaringly Obvious Mistakes Spotted in Classic TV Shows
Huge errors made it into these beloved series and will be preserved forever.
Game of Thrones is one of the most expensive, lavishly produced television series ever, with a per-episode budget in the tens of millions. And if a prestige show producing a mere six to 10 episodes a season can make a blunder as silly as the famed Winterfell Starbucks cup, it's no wonder that older shows, which cranked out 22 episodes a season or more, ended up airing errors just as egregious. Read on for six classic TV mistakes no one noticed, from continuity blunders to visual snafus.
The Brady Bunch house defies reality.
The house from The Brady Bunch is one of the most iconic dwellings in TV history—so much so that the Studio City dwelling is currently under contract with a $5.5 million asking price, with the interior redone to match how it looked on the show—or as close as is physically possible, anyway.
The inside of the house as shown in the '70s series in no way matches the outside. (While patriarch Mike Brady is an architect and is said to have designed the family home, the show does not suggest he has magical powers.) Most obviously, the exterior is a "raised ranch" style, while the interior includes a full second floor with multiple bedrooms, and even an attic, which oldest siblings Greg and Marcia memorably battled over in the Season 4 episode "A Room at the Top."
Why are the exterior and the interior of the Brady homestead so dramatically different? The simple answer is that the show was actually shot on a Paramount soundstage, and that no one bothered to match the sets up with the structure of the house. For a tour of the home's many architectural paradoxes, check out this detailed virtual model built by a fan.
Who was Lt. Col. Henry Blake married to on M*A*S*H?
There's an enormous amount of pressure involved in being in a combat situation. Still, you'd think a guy could remember the name of the woman he's married to. And yet at various points in the Korean War dramedy M*A*S*H, Lt. Col. Henry Blake (McLean Stevenson) refers to his wife back in the States as both "Mildred" and "Lorraine." According to an interview with series creator Larry Gelbart in the TV's M*A*S*H: The Ultimate Guide Book, there's no conspiracy—the writers simply weren't paying that close attention. Far from thinking he'd still be answering these kinds of questions from dedicated fans, Gelbart quipped,"I thought I'd be dead 30 years later."
The Golden Girls can't remember how many kids Blanche has.
The iconic '80s sitcom The Golden Girls showed us that there was life after (gasp!) age 50 for a quartet of widows (and one divorcee) who decided to reclaim their youth and sexual independence living together in Florida. But even though the characters have moved on to an exciting new chapter in their lives, you'd think they'd be able to remember the important parts of their pasts. Like, say, how many children they'd given birth to.
And yet that seems to be a problem for Blanche (Rue McClanahan), who at various points in the series claims to have had four sons but also two daughters. It's so confusing, fans aren't quite sure if she had six kids, or only five. (Four boys are named, but one of the monikers said onscreen—"Skippy"— might be a nickname.)
The Simpsons includes time-traveling family portraits.
Across more than 30 seasons, The Simpsons has developed something of an elastic relationship with reality—a must, given the decades have continued to pass even as the characters all stay the same age. But even in the town of Springfield, it would be weird to exist before you were born. And yet that's exactly what seems to have happened to baby Maggie Simpson, at least according to the Season 6 episode "And Maggie Makes Three," which originally aired back in 1995.
The episode purports to tell the story of the youngest Simpson's birth, but in the scene in which Marge tells Homer she's about to go into labor with their third child, a picture of Maggie is clearly visible on the wall behind her. It seems like an obvious error, but apparently the writers didn't notice it for years. (The same episode includes a similar continuity error, with a picture of Lisa visible on the wall shortly after Homer learns Marge is pregnant with Lisa's older brother Bart.)
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How Twin Peaks found its killer by mistake.
In this case, a small on-set mistake went on to profoundly influence the show. During the filming of the pilot episode of David Lynch and Mark Frost's bizarre horror saga Twin Peaks, set dresser Frank Silva's reflection was captured in a mirror during the filming of a key sequence. This mistake made it into the final version of the episode, and eventually provided the origin story for the mysterious BOB, the human form of the malevolent supernatural force that has infested the town of Twin Peaks and killed Laura Palmer. According to DigitalSpy, Lynch had already been taken with Silva's look and filmed some throwaway footage of him lurking in Laura's bedroom. After later noticing the mistaken reflection, he couldn't get the two images out of his head—and the idea for BOB was born.
How old are all the Friends?
Like any long-running series, the beloved '90s sitcom Friends suffered its own spate of minor continuity errors across its 10 seasons, but you think they'd at least be able to get the characters' ages right. Not so much. According to a thorough accounting of the show's chronological missteps in Cosmopolitan, the writers couldn't decide which friend was the youngest, Rachel or Joey (and Rachel can't even remember what month she was born in, unless an Aquarius can be born in May in the Friends universe), and kept Ross stuck at age 29 for three seasons running. Could figuring out how old the characters actually are be any more confusing?