Author Topic: Examples of TV shows addressing their own errors/goofs/continuity errors  (Read 2241 times)

Magnum Valentino

  • Formerly magval
Context: in a season 4 episode of Breaking Bad there's a weird scene where a character explains the pizzas which have just arrived aren't sliced by the place that makes them in order to pass the saving onto the customer. It's played for laughs between a couple of comic foil characters but the reason that it stuck out to me was because it just went on a little to long for the show's already-established template for 'idiot banter'.

Then it struck me - there's a shot in an earlier episode where the main character throws, with immense frustration and very satisfyingly, an entire pizza onto the roof of his house. At this moment, watching the later scene, it ocurred to me that the dialogue was written in to explain to persnickety fans why the pizza Walter threw onto the roof wasn't sliced[1]

Obviously, the real world reason is that a sliced pizza would have just flown off in all directions. It was done in the name of filmmaking, and indeed, I didn't even notice that the pizza was unsliced, or 'wrong', or unbelievable. I just bought into the visual and appreciate the joke the director wanted me to appreciate.

Apparently, enough people must have pointed this out that someone in the show decided to explain it, hence the later scene clarifying that Albequerque does indeed have at least one pizza place that delivers pizzas unsliced.

I was quite pleased to discover that for once I wasn't overthinking things as Vince Gilligan confirmed that was exactly what happened, and why the later scene exists.

What's NOW doing my head in is that I'm sure I've encountered another example (or more than one) where a show has, through either major means or a throwaway line, 'explained' away an inconsistency from an earlier episode.

Like when Paul Heyman said Brock Lesnar only lost his first UFC fight because he had diverticulitis, but in scripted drama or comedy.

Any examples?
 1. A wizard did it.

In an episode of Cheers, Frasier mentions his parents are both dead. Obviously, in Frasier the show we see his dad is very much alive - which was brought up/explained in the episode Sam appeared in. Something about the pair of them having had a big fall out at the time.

Norton Canes

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In the 1972 Doctor Who story The Sea Devils, Doctor Who Jon Pertwee tells his companion Jo Grant that the reptilian Earth species the Silurians from the 1970 Doctor Who story The Silurians should have more accurately been called Eocenes because reptiles hadn't evolved in the Silurian period

Probably we should just take it as read that sci-fi shows have loads of these

Magnum Valentino

  • Formerly magval
In an episode of Cheers, Frasier mentions his parents are both dead. Obviously, in Frasier the show we see his dad is very much alive - which was brought up/explained in the episode Sam appeared in. Something about the pair of them having had a big fall out at the time.

Aye that's exactly what I mean, actually addressing something that fans could otherwise go "but how come?" over.

GoblinAhFuckScary

  • still freaks my nut to this day

Blue Jam

  • Last of the great avuncular magicians
Quite a few in Breaking Bad as I recall. The most obvious one is probably that bit near the very end where Walt takes off the expensive watch Jesse bought him as a birthday present and leaves it somewhere. I believe that wasn't symbolic of anything and was done purely because wardrobe forgot to put the watch on Bryan Cranston one morning and no-one realised until they'd already filmed quite a few later scenes without it, so when they filmed a scene that was supposed to come before those they had to lose the watch.

There's also Saul telling Walt "I caught my stepdad screwing my second wife", just a throwaway line but one that caused Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould a lot of angst when writing Better Called Saul as it made Kim Wexler the third Mrs McGill (at least). They eventually addressed it with Kim and Jimmy's courthouse wedding and the clerk asking Jimmy if he had the certificates for his "previous two dissolutions".

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
In Lost after they've broken into the hatch someone passes comment on most of the stuff in there being from the 80's but the washing machines were new.

icehaven

  • WORLD'S BIGGEST RIP OFF: $100 PER PERSON
Not quite the same thing but in the first episode of series 2 of Game On with the new Matthew, they did a bit at the end where one of them complained about not liking it when they get a new actor to play an existing character, and Mandy and Martin both pointedly look at Matthew.

Magnum Valentino

  • Formerly magval
Not quite the same thing but in the first episode of series 2 of Game On with the new Matthew, they did a bit at the end where one of them complained about not liking it when they get a new actor to play an existing character, and Mandy and Martin both pointedly look at Matthew.

Fresh Prince as well, with both New Aunt Viv and Bigger Baby Nicky.

Sebastian Cobb

  • bad opinion haver
Fresh Prince as well, with both New Aunt Viv and Bigger Baby Nicky.

Most cringeworthy bit in the Fresh Prince is when Uncle Phil says "Vivian, you are so naive. You would believe Will if he told you that he were some big rap star, whose album just went platinum.".

Fresh Prince as well, with both New Aunt Viv and Bigger Baby Nicky.
Roseanne too with Roseanne and Jackie and new Becky discussing how they like new and old versions of things.

Lisa Jesusandmarychain

  • I just want to tell you I've got scabs on my head.
^ specifically, the replacement hubby on " Bewitched".

Aye that's exactly what I mean, actually addressing something that fans could otherwise go "but how come?" over.
Here's the clips in queston: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lVFC1IVMyR8

mothman

  • I don't know why
There was a whole two-part episode of Star Trek: Enterprise to explain why the Klingons in the Original Series didn’t look like the ones in the assorted movies and follow-on TV shows. Made even more bizarre by it having been lampshaded in a time-travel ep of DS9.

Blue Jam

  • Last of the great avuncular magicians
There must be a TV Trope for this but I'm struggling to find one. Is Retcon close enough?

Bronzy

  • This Guy's a Real Jerk!
There must be a TV Trope for this but I'm struggling to find one. Is Retcon close enough?

Lampshade Hanging.

A similar idea is used on the Sopranos, when Chris and Paulie are telling the story of the Russian in the woods, and when asked what happened to him, reply: ‘Who gives a fuck?’

That was a pretty direct response to the fans who had been badgering the writers with that very same question.

And another one: When Tony’s cousin, who he’s supposedly got a brotherly bond with, shows up in season five, one of the kids says ‘How come we’ve never heard of you before?’

Magnum Valentino

  • Formerly magval
I knew it was the Sopranos I was thinking of, cheers!

Something about the way TV Tropes is written really outs me off but I'll have a good pore through that later.

In the 1972 Doctor Who story The Sea Devils, Doctor Who Jon Pertwee tells his companion Jo Grant that the reptilian Earth species the Silurians from the 1970 Doctor Who story The Silurians should have more accurately been called Eocenes because reptiles hadn't evolved in the Silurian period

Probably we should just take it as read that sci-fi shows have loads of these

There's an entire book written to explain a single Peter Davison line about negotiating with the Silurians.

In the last episode of Twin Peaks, there's an alternate reality version of a minor character who had a different surname in the original series and movie.

This new version of her says she has one surname, but bought her house from someone with the other surname.

pigamus

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In the 1972 Doctor Who story The Sea Devils, Doctor Who Jon Pertwee tells his companion Jo Grant that the reptilian Earth species the Silurians from the 1970 Doctor Who story The Silurians should have more accurately been called Eocenes because reptiles hadn't evolved in the Silurian period

Probably we should just take it as read that sci-fi shows have loads of these

There’s a neat one in The Curse of Fenric, where the weather was causing havoc with the continuity from shot to shot, so they just wrote it into the script that Fenric was causing it.

Blue Jam

  • Last of the great avuncular magicians
Lampshade Hanging.

Oh FFS, I am dozy. Only The Trope Of Tropes! Cheers!

...and look, the BrBa Rooftop Pizza Incident even has an entry:

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/LampshadeHanging/LiveActionTV

Magnum Valentino

  • Formerly magval
In the last episode of Twin Peaks, there's an alternate reality version of a minor character who had a different surname in the original series and movie.

This new version of her says she has one surname, but bought her house from someone with the other surname.

That reminds me of probably the exact one I was thinking of when I started the thread - Jerry explains why he called Kramer Kessler in the Seinfeld pilot years later, like waaaay down the line.

Bad Ambassador

  • Sit down, Mario!
There’s a neat one in The Curse of Fenric, where the weather was causing havoc with the continuity from shot to shot, so they just wrote it into the script that Fenric was causing it.

Same as in The Claws of Axos, to explain why a thick blanket of snow suddenly appears between scenes.

In the first episode of the recent reboot of Worzel Gummidge, Mackenzie Crook warns the children that "You'll find a lot of things don't make sense around here."

When Crazy Ex-Girlfriend recast Greg, they made it about how Rebecca now saw him differently.

icehaven

  • WORLD'S BIGGEST RIP OFF: $100 PER PERSON
When Crazy Ex-Girlfriend recast Greg, they made it about how Rebecca now saw him differently.

Oh yeah, forgot that one! IIRC don't they have her not recognising him at all although everyone else does, so she doesn't understand at first why no one else has noticed he looks completely different?

Mister Six

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Yeah, if only the replacement Greg wasn't shit and uncharismatic. :(

Due South did a similar(ish) thing with "Ray" being played by a new actor and only Fraser recognising the difference - although it was eventually revealed that old Ray was undercover and this new guy was filling his spot to throw people off the scent or something. I can't remember why nobody told Fraser. Because he's a Mountie, not a US cop?

Bobby Ewing in the shower.

mothman

  • I don't know why
Bobby Ewing in the shower.

We seem to be getting off the subject. That’s not lampshading a previous inconsistency or goof, that’s just retconning a stupid plot twist (I suppose you could call it an error, but more of judgement than a mistake in production).

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