13 minor goofs you never noticed from The Twilight Zone
Here are the parts of The Twilight Zone that really are just a bit... off.
We all know there's supposed to always be something a little off any time we tune into an episode of The Twilight Zone. But here, we're looking past the mystifying twists that had us so captivated to see if we can catch minor blips in Rod Serling's perfectly weird worlds.
Some of the tiny errors we found made us laugh, like the driver from "The Hitch-Hiker" getting turned around for an unexpected reason, while others, even in famous episodes like "Eye of the Beholder," could've seriously stepped on the show's special magic. Keep scrolling to see how many times you blinked and missed these small slips.
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1. A reflection reveals the man is not totally alone in "Where Is Everybody?"
In the very first episode of The Twilight Zone, we meet Mike Ferris and we quickly learn he is all alone on Earth. Just one small problem. If you look closely during the phonebooth scene, you can see the reflection of a second man who we're pretty sure isn't supposed to be there.
2. The chair passes right through the projected TV screen.
In "A Thing About Machines," a man's gadgets drive him mad, including this TV set which we watch him throw a chair through. But once it's time to shatter the set, it becomes obvious that the picture on its screen is being projected when the chair magically passes right through the screen image before the TV explodes.
3. The nurses don't always wear costume makeup in the shadows.
"The Eye of the Beholder" has one of The Twilight Zone's best-known twists when it reveals a heavily bandaged patient has a normal face and all her surgeons and nurses have sunken eyes and almost pig-like snout-faces. However, it seems not everybody was in full makeup all the time, because if you watch in the shadows, you can see cases where the nurses have normal features. We brightened up one example so you can see more clearly in the image here.
4. The car changes briefly in "The Hitch-Hiker."
In "The Hitch-Hiker," we watch Nan Adams drive for what feels like forever for everybody involved, and her car is a light-colored Mercury. But in a pivotal scene where Nan snaps at the titulat hitch-hiker, she swerves that car and for just a moment, her car is changed out for a much darker car that is clearly a different model if you compare the tail fins and headlights.
5. Nan walks the wrong way to get to the gas station.
"The Hitch-Hiker" also included this great blip in logic where Nan runs out of gas and starts walking. After a bit, she walks past a sign and turns around to read that it says "Gas & Eats Just Ahead." Since she had to turn around to read the sign, it would make sense for her to walk in the opposite direction to go "just ahead," but instead she turns back to her original course and makes it to a gas station anyway. Is it too insensitive to Nan's fate to say all's well that ends well?
6. Erich is clearly the one turning on and off the blowtorch.
"The Living Doll" is one of those creepy episodes that can change the way you look at the toys your kid or grandkid constantly clutches. But in the scene where Erich goes to destroy the doll once and for all, he struggles at first to melt Talky Tina with a blowtorch that magically goes out whenever it comes close to the doll's skin. The only trouble is that the magic sort of evaporates when you notice that Telly Savalas is simply clicking the blowtorch off and on.
7. You can see the leather soles of the furry creature's "feet."
The furry creature on the wing of the plane in "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet" is convincingly fuzzed up head to toe, but there's one moment when the actor slips and accidentally shows it's a suit. Watch when he's attempting to rip out the engine and you'll see the leather soles under his furry "feet."
8. There's a jarring use of a photo in "Elegy."
For the episode "Elegy," the premise is that three astronauts land in a world that appears to be frozen in time. Everybody they encounter is frozen. So you could understand why The Twilight Zone would be tempted to mix in a still photo in this particular episode. But rather than using a still photo to depict the frozen population, the photo they jarringly inserted into video footage is inexplicably of two of the astronauts on a bridge. It's still a mystery why this shot was so necessary?
9. Also, the frozen people in "Elegy" blink. A lot.
Part of the reason why the previous goof made us scratch our heads so much was because of this other goof we spotted in "Elegy." In pretty much any scene where there's a crowd of frozen people, you can catch frozen folks blinking. If they had to insert a photo anywhere, we'd have recommended doing so to cut out Blinky McBlinksalot and his female companion shown here just behind the center astronaut.
10. He's freaked out because he has no reflection. But you can see his reflection.
At the end of "And When the Sky Was Opened," Lieutenant Colonel Clegg Forbes is distraught to discover he's disappearing, as evidenced by the fact that he has no reflection. But if you look at the edge of the mirror, you can see his arms and even his fingers in the mirror.
11. Is the professor wearing glasses or not?
Near the end of "The Changing of the Guard," Professor Fowler leans out his window to hear carolers sing. From behind, you can see he's wearing glasses, but when they show his face from outside the window, they're always off. Then when he turns away from the window to head back into the room, they're on again. Maybe they should consider renaming this episode "The Changing of the Glasses"?
12. Art Carney accidentally calls this actor by his real name.
Art Carney as a sloppy Santa made for a memorable episode in "The Night of the Meek." But he must've gotten just a little too into the part, because toward the end of the episode when he drops into a senior center to drop off gifts, he enthusiastically gives the first one to this man pictured here, saying, "Here ya go, Burt!" Not only would Carney's character not have known the man's name, but in the credits, that character is called simply "Old Man," played by actor Burt Mustin. It seems Carney mistakenly called him by his real name.
13. The smoke is funneling back into the cigarette.
If you look closely in the episode "What You Need," you can catch The Twilight Zone using a fancy camera trick to run some frames backwards. Your clue? The cigarette smoke. It's funneling back into the cigarette, instead of wafting out.
See also: The titanic Twilight Zone quiz
Let's see how well you remember the original series (and a little bit of the reboots). If you can get more than 20 correct, you are truly in the Zone! Take quiz.