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11 Movie Mistakes Only Smug Nerds Would Ever Notice

The discoveries of self-confessed, self-celebrating pedants.

shawshank redemption
Columbia Pictures

The art and craft of finding Movie Mistakes requires a certain degree of pedantry: the hunter enjoys the adulation of picking apart someone else's diligent work in a single instance, by pointing out flaws that can range from catastrophically plot-holing to entirely incidental and inconsequential to the general audience's enjoyment of a movie. All such mistakes are greeted with the same self-congratulatory trumpeting, regardless of their actual weight or impact.

These people do actually do a valuable service to Hollywood: their nit-picking at historical and scientific inaccuracies has resulted in the employment of historical and scientific consultants and fact-checkers who work with continuity editors and still conspire to make glaring errors like imaging that the Signs aliens, who are defeated by water, would want to invade a planet made up of 70% water. So, there's still work to be done. But sometimes, the fact-hounds and mistake magpies go further than a normally committed fan who picks up on glaring errors, and they find the kind of mistakes that probably wouldn't keep anyone else awake at night.

They are the discoveries of self-confessed, self-celebrating pedants, and we're here to celebrate their level of commitment to finding things that very few people would ever notice, let alone care about. Their approach to viewing is a pretty good way to ruin any film you ever watch: overly scrutinising, without the affection that comes from multiple viewings is a quick road to sucking all of the enjoyment out of any movie, and picking away at the smallest details is bound to turn you into a pompous cynic eventually. This much we know all too well.

Honourable Mention

Harry Potter & The Philosopher's Stone

harry potter dragon
Warner Bros.

Not content with getting the colour of the creature completely wrong, the design team behind Hagrid's pet dragon Norbert (who would later be renamed Norberta in the books, but not the films on the discovering of its lady parts) fudged their one job by making him/her not an actual dragon. Because the beast has only two legs, it is technically a wyvern, and not a traditional four-legged dragon, as the more insufferable Game Of Thrones fanatics might insist, and calling Norbert a dragon isn't actually wholly accurate.

But, let's be honest, a wyvern is a type of dragon, according to its earliest etymology, so even this one has to be counted as pedantry gone too far.

11. That's Not Web That Spider-Man Slings...

Spider-Man Homecoming WebShooters
Marvel Studios

It may come as shocking, but the Spider-Man movies are not actually historical documents: they do not track the real-life exploits of an over-powered mutant teenager simultaneously wrestling with the wayward influences of puberty and hormones, as well as with the considerable weight of responsibility that comes with choosing to be a hero.

So on those grounds, it might be expected that the science behind the film might be given something of a pass. But not by everyone, as one excellent, and eye-opening blog post confirms: clearly not happy with the fact that Spider-Man's anatomy is all wrong, and that the bold claim in his theme tune that he "does whatever a spider can" is in fact entirely erroneous, the poster illuminated what Spider-Man's make-up would accurately have meant to the film.

Showing a commitment to bug physiology that is rarely seen in traditional comic book movie circles, the information can make stark reading. Because, the grim truth is that real spiders shoot their webbing out of their backsides - or more accurately, their perineums - and the appendages on the front of their bodies are nothing to do with actual web-slinging, and are rather dedicated to sexy activities.

Which puts a whole new spin on the puberty allegory that is already pretty insistent, and makes the white emissions an altogether different prospect.

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Contributor

WhatCulture's former COO, veteran writer and editor.