Water Bottles, Coffee Cups and Other Crazy Pop Culture Gaffes

From stumbling Stormtroopers to friendly doppelgängers.

Large-scale production behind movies and TV shows has so many moving parts and intricate mechanisms that it’s only natural things fall through the cracks occasionally.

We didn’t often catch these mistakes in the past, but since the advent of DVRs, and now with most everything available to stream online, viewers are noticing a ton of gaffes that our eyes didn’t used to spot during the first pass of a project. This phenomenon has been quite visible recently thanks to Game of Thrones, where a Starbucks coffee cup was left on a table during a Winterfell feast a few weeks back and, now, in the series finale a water bottle could be spotted just behind Samwell Tarly’s leg during a momentous moment in Westeros history.

But like we said, this is nothing new. From puzzling background players to vehicles that appear in eras when there were no…um…vehicles, we’ve rounded up some of the most prominent on-screen screw-ups that made it into the final product. These aren’t continuity errors or slices of wonky editing, but rather objects, props, or extras that defy logic. Much like the cup of dark roast that Daenerys’ seemed to be nursing while sneering at Sansa and Jon. From Jurassic Park to Raiders to Friends, read on to see some of Hollywood’s biggest boo-boos…

THE NIGHT IS DARK AND FULL OF ERRORS

game-of-thrones-cup

It’s gone now, digitally removed from all online versions of the episode, but there seemed to be no better way to celebrate the Night King’s defeat than with a piping hot cup of Starbucks. Funny thing is…the name on the cup was “No One.” We’re onto you Jaqen H’ghar!

And then there’s that bottle of water from the series finale of GoT. Stay hydrated, Sam!

CUSTODIAN OF SOLACE

Sometimes a background mistake has nothing to do with an errant anachronism or prop, but with an extra who just doesn’t quite have a full grasp on what they’re supposed to be doing. As seen in Quantum of Solace when Bond is leaving the scene on a motorcycle and the guy behind him with a push broom isn’t touching the ground with it at all. As if he’s miming but…with an actual broom.

Exit Theatre Mode

DASANI ABBEY

Now, this mistake never made it to actual TV, but in a promotional photo for Downton Abbey, posted to Instagram, a modern-era water bottle was left on the mantle. See GoT, Downton did it first! This is the closest thing to the recent Thornes gaffes when it comes to on-set mistakes. Just a cast or crew members’ refreshing drink left in the shot. Reminding everyone that drinks are better nowadays.

GONE WITH THE WIRE 

Obviously period pieces are some of the biggest culprits here when it comes to accidentally leaving in “things that should not be,” so it’s not a huge shock that Gone with the Wind features a character grabbing an oil lamp, revealing the plug connecting it to the wall.

WRANGLERS OF THE LOST ARK

In Raiders of the Lost Ark, during the scene where Indy is mourning Marion, who he thinks just died in front of his eyes, there’s some dude casually walking in the background sporting a t-shirt and jeans. Just not caring about Marion at all. What an a-hole. Show some damn respect.

PIRATES OF THE COW-RIBBEAN

Captain Jack Sparrow’s crew consisted of a motley bunch of cut-throats, thieves, and schemers. Also his best friend, Cowboy Jeff. As seen here on the far left, just moseying around the deck, awaiting adventures unknown.

ID4’s ART BIN

In the third act of Independence Day, Jeff Goldblum’s scientist character, David, wrecks some s*** out of frustration. Because of all the aliens and stuff. And his inability to figure out how to beat them. One of the trash cans he knocks over reads “ART DEPT” on the bottom. Fortunately, it gives him the idea to beat the hostile invaders with ceramics.

VAN WILDLINGS

During a pivotal battle scene in Braveheart, you can spot a white van in the background. Well, only if you’re an eagle-eyed viewer looking for random vans in action scenes. Of which, there are many. Just out there trying to spot vans. The real question is: What’s in the van? That’s easy. Potatoes.

LENDING A TALON

One of the most suspenseful scenes in Jurassic Park happens when the raptors escape confinement and stalk John Hammond’s grandkids through the kitchen. These dinos have taught themselves to open doors, sure, but they still need a little push when it comes to entering the room afterward. A gentle shove from a puppeteer’s human fingers on the other side of the doorway.

“Clever hand.”

A NEW DOPE

This famous Star Wars Episode IV “clunk,” featuring a Stormtrooper hitting his helmet on a door, became a legendary goof over the years not just because it nicely embodied the basic ineptitude of all Stormtroopers but also because George Lucas eventually added a sound effect to it (and even had Jango Fett bonk his helmet on a door in Attack of the Clones).

Exit Theatre Mode

COOKING WITH GAS

During a calamitous chariot crash in Gladiator, you can see a gas canister in the back of it. Like Braveheart, this film won the Oscar for Best Picture so obviously minutiae like this doesn’t matter unless you’re making an internet list about minutiae that doesn’t matter.

CHILD’S PLAY

American Sniper got swept up into the internet whirlwind thanks to a cringingly awful fake baby, held prominently by Bradley Cooper’s character in full view of everyone and everything. Just out there. Being all creepy and fake. Cooper even moves his thumb up and down at one point to simulate the baby moving its arm. Baby Groot was an easier tot to deal with.

THE ONE WITH THE CHANGELING

Now that Friends has become a streaming sensation on Netflix, experiencing a revival of sorts with a new generation of fans, keen viewers are spotting the quick moments on the show when stars Courteney Cox and Jenifer Aniston were swapped out with body doubles. Here’s Phoebe talking to some multiverse version of Monica that’s arrived from worlds beyond to steal her life and soul.

For more on the series finale of Game of Thrones, check out all the lords and ladies who are ruling the great houses of Westeros, our review of “The Iron Throne,” how the fans reacted to THAT Jon Snow moment, and all the callbacks and Easter Eggs in this final episode.

Matt Fowler is a writer for IGN and a member of the Television Critics Association. Follow him on Twitter at @TheMattFowler and Facebook at Facebook.com/MattBFowler.

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