12 hilarious sci-fi TV and movie goofs that will have you baffled

Contributed by
Dec 14, 2012

A lot of people criticize sci-fi shows for making small errors, like when shadows are different between two shots, and we try to give those a pass. But then there are the errors so blatant we HAVE to sit up and take notice. We have absolutely no explanation for why nobody caught these hilarious goofs in classic sci-fi films and TV programs.

Firefly's Invisible Controls


The Crazy Ivan was a cool evasion maneuver used in Serenity. Apparently it is so cool it makes the controls go invisible, because afterward Wash isn't grabbing on to anything at all. Check out this clip at 8:35.

Try as we might to pretend that Superman's biological dad has some cool device strapped to his wrist, we just can't see it as anything but a Rolex 10 seconds into this classic clip.

This classic, PG-rated blockbuster contains a surprise only eagle-eyed fans were able to glimpse in theaters. When Sigourney Weaver sees the really-scary-demon-that-she-should-probably-run-from-but-doesn't, hands come up from behind the sofa, grabbing her. For a brief instant, her sweater comes down and a huge goof slipped into movie history.

What's even more interesting is that the hand pulling down the sweater actually appears to be Sigourney's, as evidenced by this clip (skip forward 44 seconds):

Acting can be hard, but do you know what's not hard? Being a hand stunt double for a cable TV show. We're going to assume Alyssa Milano studied enough to actually learn her character's name, and that the mistake five minutes and fifteen seconds into this clip was the result of a hurried pickup shot with someone standing in for Alyssa's hands.

Okay, you're a space villain and you're getting ready for battle. Not just any battle, but one with the guy who was once your mentor. What's the most important thing you do to prepare? "Making sure you don't put your clothes on upside down," that's right. A backward helmet can only hurt you in battle.

That being said, Darth Vader's chest plate flips in mid-fight during the famous duel scene with Obi-Wan Kenobi. The wardrobe confusion starts at 3:03.

While we're on SW, we should cover the most celebrated Star Wars goof of all time: the stormtrooper doinking his head on the low doorway. He cracks it pretty hard, so we're wondering why they didn't just cut the shot a little sooner? Watch the hilarious clip.

Ah, extras. They work for peanuts in the shadows of the main actors, hoping to someday get their big break. But the truth is, most extras are so bad that they can barely act naturally. This guy, from the climactic finish in Teen Wolf, can't even stand up without his pants flying open, Bozo-the-Clown style. Not only that, but he apparently didn't feel like telling anyone about it, either, so they could reshoot this scene.

One of the most memorable scenes in this spectacular film finds ophidiophobe Indiana Jones face-to-face with a terrifying snake. For those of us lucky enough to see this in theaters, the frightening effect was ruined by the fact that we could see the cobra's reflection in the safety glass between it and Indy.

It's hard to do an epic requiring lots of sweeping countryside shots and not accidentally include some weird thing. Rumor has it that sharp eyes can spot moving traffic in The Omega Man, which goes against the "humanity has been obliterated" theme. Here's the LotR clip—the car can be seen at 1:47.

The Fifth Element was a blockbuster and made Milla Jovovich into the cerebral, highbrow film actress she is today. But it was made in 1997, so some of the special effects look pretty cheesy by modern standards. Remember, this was still a time when we thought this Space Jam web page was kinda neat (it's on the Internet 2!). But there's nothing digital about making a glass panel break when you punch it.

Which is why it's so out of place that when Leeloo cocks her fist 25 seconds into this clip, the glass is obviously pre-broken.

Much of the world has become beautifully intermixed with different cultures. Because of this, there are often many different ways to pronounce words. Sometimes these words sound like other, sillier words. Like the time we poured our heart out to a woman only to find out she had just been asking us for some "olive juice."

That said, nobody laughs at these silly homonyms except in the schoolyard. Here's a unique clip from the classic, soon-to-be-a-movie series Dark Shadows. Fifteen seconds into it, the main actor pronounces the word "ancestors," as "incestors."

In a movie that was known for having, at the time, unbelievable special effects, it's amazing that they would mess up so badly on what amounts to a simple parlor trick.

One of the most epic scenes in movie history features Arnold Schwarzenegger as the Terminator fighting the hard-to-kill T-1000. In one of the most memorable moments (which unfortunately can't be embedded, but can be seen here), the Terminator rips off his own arm. We've all seen this trick—a fake arm is removed while the real arm is tucked away. However, for Arnold Schwarzenegger, "tucking away your arm" is like hiding an oak tree. The fabric containing him is stretched so taut we can clearly see the outline of his wristwatch. Wristwatch? Why does the terminator need a wristwatch? Argh, it's Jor-El all over again!

As you can see, there have been major goofs in sci-fi films and TV shows. Note that only a few of these could have been avoided by the actor removing his watch. Not only do these mistakes make rewatching these sci-fi classics a treat, they make us realize how truly difficult these eye-popping scenes are to make. Fortunately, a hundred years from now every movie will be 100 percent computer-rendered, which will eliminate any goofs:

Oh, wait, no it won't.