From white vans and gas canisters, to plastic bottles and albums that didn’t even exist, these are just a handful of bloopers that have surprisingly made it on to our screens – big and small – over the years. We’ve pulled together a list of humdingers that will leave you scratching your head.
Downton Abbey and the plastic bottle: What’s wrong with this picture? That’s what millions of Downton Abbey fans were left thinking recently when a publicity shot to promote the upcoming season of the hit show featured a plastic bottle proudly displayed on a mantelpiece. The problem is, plastic bottles weren’t available until the 1960s and the next Downton Abbey season is set in 1924!
Braveheart and the white van: Why did William Wallace (played my Mel Gibson) bother riding a horse to his Scottish battlefield in 1995’s Braveheart when he could have just jumped in a van? That’s what moviegoers must have thought when they saw a white van mysteriously appear in several scenes of the 13th century biopic.
Django Unchained and sunglasses: “The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades.” Remember those lyrics? Clearly they apply to Jamie Foxx who wore sunglasses in the 2012 period-drama Django Unchained. His character was sporting them in the 19th century although they weren’t widely worn, as we know them today, until the early 20th century.
Gladiator and the gas canister: The Romans were innovators and exceled at many things. Making gas canisters wasn’t one of them. But curiously this was seen on the back of a tipped over chariot in one of the scenes of the 2000 flick Gladiator.
Apollo 13 and The Beatles’ album: Who doesn’t love The Beatles? One character in the 1995 film Apollo 13 – Tom Hanks’ onscreen daughter – loved the band so much she was seen clutching their “Let It Be” album in a scene set in April 1970. But in reality the record wasn’t released for another four months.
The White Queen and zips: Note to the BBC’s costume department; Zippers weren’t around in the 15th century, because they hadn’t been invented and weren’t available for another 400 years. A few eagle-eyed fans of the period drama The White Queen were quick to point out that fact when the show aired in the U.K.
Indiana Jones and the modern map: The borders of many nations shifted drastically throughout the 20th century. So the makers of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark could be forgiven for showing a 1980s world map rather than the 1930s version – which is the period when the film was set. Maybe they should have scratched out the word “Thailand” and changed it to “Siam” and scribbled “Trans” next to “Jordan,” making the Middle East nation “Transjordan,” which was its official name until the 1940s.
Titanic and Lake Wissota: “I remember when I was a kid. Me and my father, we went ice fishing on Lake Wissota.” What a touching quote from Leonardo DiCaprio whose character Jack died in April 1912 in the film Titanic. Back in the real world, Lake Wissota wasn’t created – by the construction of a dam in Chippewa County, Wisconsin – until 1917.
Pulp Fiction and the mysterious bullet holes: It’s the little things – missed by most people – that send movie geeks into a tizzy. Bullet holes mysteriously appearing on the wall and door of an apartment in a Pulp Fiction scene before Jules and Vincent exchange a single shot with their intended victim just grates on some people.
Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines and the changing airplane numbers: Now you see them. Now you don’t…and then you do again. The characters John and Catherine board a plane in this 2003 movie with the tail number N3035C, which strangely becomes N3973F mid-air and changes back again when they land.
Spider-Man and the amazing lamp: As Spider-Man Toby Maguire may have had impressive powers but could he really make a smashed lamp pristine again in an instant? In the 2002 film Spider-Man’s alias Peter Parker grabs a lamp in his bedroom with his web, it falls and breaks. Fast-forward to the next scene when his aunt comes into the room and the lamp is in perfect condition right back on his dresser.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith and the Los Angeles welcome: Maybe moviegoers were too distracted by Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie’s on-screen (and off-screen) romance to notice. But, while the film was set in New York, during an action scene featuring three BMWs a wide shot of the street shows a sign that says, “Welcome to Los Angeles.”
American Pie and the changing cup: Do you remember that scene in American Pie when the character Steve Stifler is chatting up a girl at a party? At first she is drinking out of a blue cup but – all of a sudden when they’re shot from another angle – the cup becomes clear.