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Continuity Errors: Starts With the House Layout and Just Gets Worse

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In the episode where Blanche had to bring her house up to code, when Dorothy found the box that Sophia didn't want her looking into, she took it back from Dorothy and hid it in Rose's room under her bed. Why would Sophia hide a box in Rose's room? Wouldn't she think that Rose would not notice a box that she's never seen before all of a sudden in her room? Since Rose said she was just under her bed playing, how did Sophia hide it under Rose's bed without Rose noticing it because Rose found it a couple of seconds after Sophia went off to go hide it.

 

Also in that same episode Blanche was having a hot tub installed, yet for the rest of the episodes after never heard about the hot tub again or ever seen it when the girls were out on the lanai.

 

Maybe not an error but I wondered why Dorothy sent Rose to go and drop off her ad in the paper about doing anything for $8 an hour. Since Dorothy basically called Rose an idiot after Rose said an idiot could do it, Dorothy looked like the even bigger idiot for sending someone who she always whacks over the head with a newspaper and TV guide book.

 

Wasn't it odd that since Rose & Charlie were from St. Olaf and most of the people in St. Olaf talk with accents and are all around "dumb" neither of Rose's children acted like they were from St. Olaf or anyone in Rose's family for that matter except Cousin Sven. Alma, Kirsten, Charlie Jr., Holly, nor Bridget acted like they were from St. Olaf.

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Dorothy said Stan was sixty five when he cheated on her with the flight attendant. I thought he was around the same age she was when she got knocked up. No mention of Rose's addiction to pain pills when she went in for heart surgery. And Rose could not deal with the cold weather in Florida when she was from Minnesota.

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Rose could not deal with the cold weather in Florida when she was from Minnesota.

THAT I can believe. My mother is from Maryland, currently lives in south Texas and profusely complains of the cold when the temperature drops below 75.

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I fanwanked that he sent her the prescriptions by mail. After all, Rose was going to send water to St. Olaf during the drought but the city letter warned her not to since they'd found envelopes leak.

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Also in that same episode Blanche was having a hot tub installed, yet for the rest of the episodes after never heard about the hot tub again or ever seen it when the girls were out on the lanai.

 

It seems common in sitcoms for a big moment or event or new addition that occurs in one episode to never be mentioned again.

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ShadowSixx, while much of what your wrote is interesting, I don't think half of them count as continuity errors...just regular mistakes and nitpicking. Maybe we should make a separate discussion for those types of mistakes?

Edited by AndySmith
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What really struck me odd was in the episode where Rose thought that Bob Hope was her father and she said that Gunter and Alma Nylund are her adoptive parents. Nylund is her husband Charlie's last name and according to Rose in St. Olaf you can trace everyone back to the same family tree. Wouldn't that make Charlie and Rose a little related. Ewww. Writers really fumbled the ball on that episode, cause Rose has mentioned Alma as Mrs. Lindstrom and Gunter as Uncle Gunter before.

...Remember everyone in St. Olaf could be traced back to the same pair of cousins anyways...

 

Not really an error more my nitpicking, but I really didn't care for the re-use of names for characters.

Edited by CyberJawa1986

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it makes no sense for Sophia's mother to have been 94 when Dorothy was 6, considering that Sophia was only 25 years older than Dorothy at the very most.

Oh my god, for me this is the gold standard of continuity errors, because it happens not only in the same episode, but in the same darn story! Dorothy is talking about her amazingly active grandmother and in one moment says that she was 94 when Dorothy was 6, when literally moments before she said that in 1955 her grandmother went into politics. Ok, so either her grandmother lived to be well over 100 (since Dorothy would've been close to 30 in 1955), or the writers are incredibly bad at math. I can't believe no one caught that!

 

I tend to like the continuity errors regarding the house furnishings, because they are so obvious and silly. For instance, the few times the coffee table in the living room is missing, you know Dreyfus is going to run in or there's going to be some other bit of physical comedy. Also, the only time we've ever seen a drinks cart was during the Dr. Elliott episode. But my favourite was the use of a peephole in the front door only for the purpose of the "mysterious figure in a fedora" joke. Why didn't they just keep the peephole? It's perfectly logical that they got one installed at some point, but it cracks me up that it's only there for a single episode, to serve a single joke. So silly.

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There are lots of little continuities that I picked up, most of which I doubt were intentional.

 

But hee! Dorothy and Sophia both used the same gay wedding planner.

 

"You're about to fly right out of here, aren't you?"

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There was one flashback episode (I think the one where they're remembering all the family members that came to visit) where they had flashbacks of both Angela and Angelo in the same episode. That always bothered me because a big deal was made of Angela being the only sibling Sophia had left and then, when Nancy Walker couldn't reprise the role for health reasons, suddenly Sophia had a brother named Angelo and no further mention was made of Angela. Sometimes I'm really not sure if the writers understood the concept of continuity at all.

 

Also, just to be a nitpicky jerk, "Sophia" should be spelled "Sofia" if she's really Italian.

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Also, just to be a nitpicky jerk, "Sophia" should be spelled "Sofia" if she's really Italian.

 

Maybe the same Ellis Island workers who messed up her age also misspelled her name when she came to America.

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It's possible.  Sophia Loren went through something similar when she first started her Hollywood career.  Her agent insisted on Americanizing the spelling of her first name (it actually is "Sofia") because American audiences would otherwise think it was a misspelling.  She went along with it, but because the "f" sound is not spelled "ph" in Italian, she always thought that people back home would wonder why she had changed her name to "Sopia" (which is how "Sophia" would actually be pronounced in Italian).

Edited by legaleagle53

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Why did it take me so long to find this thread?

 

What has always bugged me is the table with THREE chairs in the kitchen.  The four of them cannot sit together and chat over coffee; someone (usually Sophia) always had to sit at the counter behind them.  I know you couldn't show anyone sitting with their back to the camera, but still . . .

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One of the gazillion things I loved about Roseanne is they put DJ - and sometimes another kid if Jackie was joining them - on the other side of the table, back to the camera be damned, because that's how people sit around a table.

 

What made GG so annoying was they didn't even have a fourth chair.  It's one thing to have a chair on the "bad" side of the table and come up with reasons for characters to sit elsewhere, but they just skipped it altogether.

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When the actresses performed in London for the Queen Mother, they had poor Estelle standing next to the circular table for the entire sketch, except for when she was on the other side of the stage putting food on her plate. It was so awkward.

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That was probably so she could read her lines off hidden cue cards, since she started having problem remembering them somewhat early on.  They could have worked around that on the regular set in a less awkward way, especially in the beginning.

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That was probably so she could read her lines off hidden cue cards, since she started having problem remembering them somewhat early on.  They could have worked around that on the regular set in a less awkward way, especially in the beginning.

 

There wasn't much of a set beyond the table, the tablecloth, and the three chairs. It's possible they had cue cards (or a script) taped to the tablecloth. But Estelle wouldn't have to be standing to be able to read off the tablecloth. Sitting at the table would probably make it easier.

 

I wouldn't be surprised if they used the small, circular table just because it's what they used on the show.

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Yes! The age timelines are completely messed up across the board. Specifically with Dorothy and Sophia's family.

Angelo, Sophia's brother (the brother invented for convenience) says that he promised their mother on her death bed that he'd become a priest. S03E17 That was 1914. If Dorothy was 6 when her grandmother was 94, and we see Dorothy pushing her in a wheelchair when Dorothy is in her early 20s, that means she was around 100 years old in that wheelchair scene. Sophia's obsession with endless aging, she would have remarked about her mother living to be that old unless the writers didn't know just how old she was.

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In the episode where Dorothy is with Stan's brother Ted and she finds out he wants her to be a babysitter for the stewardess he met. Why would Ted be planning a hookup with a stewardess knowing full well he's impotent?

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In the episode where Dorothy is with Stan's brother Ted and she finds out he wants her to be a babysitter for the stewardess he met. Why would Ted be planning a hookup with a stewardess knowing full well he's impotent?

 

What makes you think he'd ever admit that to anyone?

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Yeah, I can't say it makes much sense for a man who knows he's impotent to schedule a rendezvous with a stewardess - unless he thought she could "cure" his problem. (Perhaps by talking about how sex is just two clunky old bodies thrashing against each other like animals!)

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Why would Ted be planning a hookup with a stewardess knowing full well he's impotent?

 

It's a discontinuity for someone who's impotent to date?

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Do we know that he was actually impotent, or did Dorothy just say that to embarrass him?  I can't remember the scene exactly.

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I meant the part where she told him she wouldn't share his secret and they were still at the table.  He looked embarrassed and said thank you.  I wasn't talking about after.  So since he still thought it was private I thought it was telling.  So, before the public announcement.

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It's a discontinuity for someone who's impotent to date?

 

There was nothing to suggest that he was interested in any kind of a relationship with her - like Ernest was with Rose. The implication was that he was planning a hot and heavy weekend for a hookup with someone he'd just met..

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It seems to me that much of these mistakes in continuity are just general nitpicking and mistakes. I mean, is the missing chair in the kitchen really a continuity mistake?

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Not exactly a continuity error, but I just watched the "Vacation" episode in season 2 when the girls were sitting in the bar area of their fleabag hotel and recognized it as Sophia and Sal's Brooklyn apartment set with a different paint job and accessories. Same staircase, doorways and everything.

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This isn't a continuity error but I've often wondered why, no matter what else, the length of Dorothy and Stan's marriage was always 38 years each and every single time the length was brought up. I mean, the show fluctuated re the numbers and ages of children, siblings, fates of parents,etc. but they never once changed a  reference to Dorothy and Stan's marriage having lasted that long. I wonder why THAT factoid alone was the only one that they had an elephant's memory for while they were squirrely about virtually everything else.

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This isn't a continuity error but I've often wondered why, no matter what else, the length of Dorothy and Stan's marriage was always 38 years each and every single time the length was brought up. I mean, the show fluctuated re the numbers and ages of children, siblings, fates of parents,etc. but they never once changed a  reference to Dorothy and Stan's marriage having lasted that long. I wonder why THAT factoid alone was the only one that they had an elephant's memory for while they were squirrely about virtually everything else.

Yeah, I remember how Dorothy's son, Michael, was around 30ish the first time he was introduced on the show. Then he suddenly became one of the world's oldest-looking 22-year-olds in the episode where he married his pregnant, 44-year-old bandmate, Lorraine, who, by the way, also appeared quite a bit older. And that never made sense because I thought Michael was supposed to be Dorothy's oldest child and the reason for her and Stan getting married ("You had a blowgun wedding?!!!") If that was the case, then he should have been closer to 40ish when his character was first introduced.

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The 'kids' were never properly handled.  Blanche was described as the youngest of the 'girls', had several children.  At the age she was supposed to be at the beginning, at least one of the kids should have been living with her, or at least home from college in the summers.  She was only married for 25 years, and her husband had not been dead very long when the show started. The same for Rose - the 'kid' that slept with Michael was described as 28, and that was several years into the show.  Rose supposedly moved from St. Olaf because she was getting older, but she turned 55 several years into the show. Who would have moved halfway across the country at 50 with children in college?  No one but Sophia was retired, but they all spent hours and hours each week at the senior center, participated in all the special dances, banquets, etc.

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I noticed a new one last night.  In the show where they tell how they all came to live together, they mention answering an ad Blanche placed in the newspaper.  In other shows they say they answered a notice she put on the bulletin board at the grocery store.

 

BTW, I have seen the show a dozen times, but still laugh when Rose tells her herring circus story.  Watching Bea and Rue crack up is hilarious.

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In that same episode I can see why both Dorothy and Rose wanted that room that ended up being Rose's. It looked like it was the biggest room in the house and the nicest looking room. Wonder why Blanche didn't take it for herself instead of that fugly room she has. 

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The 'kids' were never properly handled.  Blanche was described as the youngest of the 'girls', had several children.  At the age she was supposed to be at the beginning, at least one of the kids should have been living with her, or at least home from college in the summers.  She was only married for 25 years, and her husband had not been dead very long when the show started. The same for Rose - the 'kid' that slept with Michael was described as 28, and that was several years into the show.  Rose supposedly moved from St. Olaf because she was getting older, but she turned 55 several years into the show. Who would have moved halfway across the country at 50 with children in college?  No one but Sophia was retired, but they all spent hours and hours each week at the senior center, participated in all the special dances, banquets, etc.

 

If you think about Blanche's backstory too long, your head will explode.

 

We know from the flashback with her mother that she was 17 on Christmas, 1949. So she must have been 52 or 53 when the series began. And she propositioned Ham Lushbaugh during her senior year of college, so she was probably at least 22 when she married George. Yet in the first season, she had a 15-year-old grandson, which means one of her kids must have gotten knocked up extremely young - even for a Deveraux.

 

And then there were all of Blanche's kids who were mentioned over the years.  And George being sent off to Korea while they were married, even though the Korean War ended in 1953...none of it makes sense.

 

As for Rose, they said in the first season that she was 55. I don't think they ever suggested that she was younger than that. There was a reference at one point to Charlie having died 15 years ago, which means he died super-young (assuming they were around the same age, and it sounded like they were).

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I think at first (in the episode where she was looking for a job and couldn't find one) it was mentioned Charlie had died only five years ago. Then later it was upped to 15. Five years makes much more sense since she supposedly move to Miami shortly after his death and then met Blanche soon after. The 15 years doesn't fit with that or with the ages of her younger daughters who probably would have been teenagers 15 years earlier.

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Yes in that episode where Rose is looking for work, she mentions she was married for 32 years so assuming she was married at about 18, she'd be 50 when Charlie died. So adding in the 5 yrs since his death, she'd be 55 at the start of the show.

Yet in the episode where she goes on the cruise with Arnie in season 1 (Arnie was played by the same actor that played Miles later on) she says it's been 15 years since she's been with a man. So that would've made her 65 using the above timeline. Go figure. Someone in the continuity dept was asleep at the wheel.

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And here's another thing that doesn't make sense to me. In the episode with George Clooney, Blanche mentions her son Matthew is a CPA. Later on in the series there's an episode where she's audited by the IRS and has to pay up. Wouldn't it make sense to have her son do her taxes for her every year? Anyone could be audited but chances of owing money would be greatly reduced if a professional tax preparer did your taxes.

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I think when it came to all 4 of the girl's backstories (with regards to age, number of kids and siblings, age of kids and siblings, etc), the Continuity Fairy just wasn't paying attention.

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I think when it came to all 4 of the girl's backstories (with regards to age, number of kids and siblings, age of kids and siblings, etc), the Continuity Fairy just wasn't paying attention.

 

Nope, she couldn't because the Plot Fairy spoke with a very loud voice and overruled her all the time.

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I'm watching the episode where Sophia walks a marathon and the ladies are watching children, including an infant named Emily who is not picked up. Her father shows the next day saying his wife just had triplets. Obviously the man had two wives since the woman who had just given birth to triplets could not have had Emily. Are we supposed to think Emily was adopted or that she just came out earlier than the others?

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In that episode where Dorothy dates Ken the lawyer/clown, when Rose is upset about the dolphins and Blanche says they'll have no more tuna fish, Rose tells Blanche that Blanche hates tuna fish. Yet when Blanche goes on a diet to fit into her wedding dress one of her sensible meals is eating a tuna quiche that Rose ate. Also when Rose was Blanche's "servant" for losing Blanche's earrings and finds out that Blanche left her earrings at a man's house, Rose yells at Blanche that she's tired of making her tuna sandwiches with the crust cut off. So don't know if Blanche likes tuna fish or not.

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