Given how much time goes into planning, writing, and shooting a TV show, you might think that everything we see on screen is completely intentional. And when the series in question are playing to millions and millions of people, the creators would no doubt prefer that to be the case too.
However, while for the most part TV shows, much like movies, run to script, there have been some great instances when things didn’t quite go as planned. No one catches a mistake and it slips through, or there isn’t the time or budget to fix things. We’ve seen crew members appearing in TV shows because of aspect ratio changes, messy CGI, and extras doing all kinds of weird sh*t, but generally these are only discovered when the end product makes it to air.
Somtimes, though, a show goes off-script and it IS noticed ahead of time, but is left in intentionally. Other times, what might look like a mistake was very much deliberate all along. It could be that it’s a stroke of genius on the part of the actor, or perhaps just a stroke of dumb luck that what happened worked so well it could be used, but all of these ‘mistakes’ were very much left in by design.
10. The Car Door – Breaking Bad
The eighth episode of Breaking Bad’s second season, Better Call Saul, is mostly remembered for introducing the character who gave it that title. But while the first appearance of Bob Odenkirk’s Saul Goodman is brilliant, there was a moment during filming that wasn’t all good, man.
When Jesse and Walt are trying to make a quick getaway from the cops, the car door jams when Jesse is trying to open it. Despite how detail orientated the show was and the often meticulous vision of Vince Gilligan, this was purely accidental and the door actually had jammed shut, rather than something they’d ever tried to do. It worked so well, however, and added to the drama so brilliantly, that Gilligan decided to leave it in.
9. The Diner – Twin Peaks: The Return
Twin Peaks: The Return was many things; a brilliant, bizarre, and baffling sequel to one of TV’s most influential shows. One thing it wasn’t, though, is accidental. David Lynch had complete control, directing all 18 episodes, and there isn’t a shot in there that he didn’t design in that marvellous mind of his.
In Part 7, then, there’s a strange moment in the Double R diner at the very end. We’re presented with one scene in the diner, before someone runs in and yells, and the scene completely changes with customers replaced.
Many wondered at the time if this was a continuity error, which is what it appears like, but you can also notice Norma briefly look up, as though realising something is amiss. Given what happens later in the season with the different dimensions, we can safely assume that Lynch was seeding the idea here.
8. Flasier – Frasier
A flub from Frasier that results in a brilliant scene between him and Niles, this scene sees the two brothers talking about how picky Frasier is with women, at which point he calls himself: “Fault-finding, flaw-fleeing Flasier.”
Without missing a beat Niles calls him out on the error, which Frasier then denies and leads into a classic bit of squabbling between the two. Kelsey Grammar completely messed up his original line – he was indeed supposed to say Frasier – before David Hyde Pierce quickly ad-libbed the response, and the result was so good that they had to keep it in.
7. Iain Glen’s Dothraki – Game Of Thrones
Iain Glen is an excellent actor, with his performance one of the more understatedly great on Game of Thrones, but what he’s not is a native Dothraki speaker.
While the made-up language has 3,000 in its dictionary, courtesy of creator David Peterson, it was still a little short in Season 2 when they needed something to fit the line “take all the gold and jewels.”
They sent for an emergency translation from Peterson, but it didn’t arrive in time, meaning Glen ended up having to ad-lib the line, which in turn had to be retroactively worked into the Dothraki language. Glen’s line, “Mas ovray movekkhi moskay”, now means “the loose valuables are for loading”, with Peterson getting around the fact that it doesn’t make complete sense thanks to the fact Jorah wasn’t a native Dothraki speaker.
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