With the debut of Arrow in 2012, DC Comics and The CW introduced us to a whole new world of superheroes that seemed invitingly familiar. It was comic book television done right, and it gave a whole new generation of fans something to get attached to. Over the years, this universe has grown to fit The Flash, Legends of Tomorrow and Supergirl. Then there are the incredible endeavors in animation that Vixen and Freedom Fighters: The Ray have shown us. The “Arrowverse” has become a powerful empire of comic book properties, but it isn’t perfect.
The CW has done an amazing job making this universe feel like a big budget cinematic endeavor on a television network budget. Whether it’s Green Arrow’s archery skills, the Flash’s speed, Firestorm’s flames, or Supergirl’s endless supply of abilities, the production value of each show is always superb. That doesn’t mean they have always been perfect, though. Unfortunately, as hard as these shows try (and usually succeed) to push the limits of television, sometimes there are goofs. The special effects don’t always work the way they want it, and there can be mistakes in the scripts. Here are 15 shocking mistakes you never noticed in the Arrowverse.
15. THE GAME OF LIFE DIDN’T EXIST YET
In the ninth episode of Legends of Tomorrow called “Left Behind,” Ray, Sara and Kendra become stuck in 1958 when the Waverider leaves them behind. The show states that 10 weeks have passed before we see that they have settled down to live in the era they were stranded in. Sara and Kendra are seen playing the board game, The Game of Life, but there’s only one problem —the game didn’t exist yet.
In 1958, people were still playing The Checkered Game of Life, the original board game invented by Milton Bradley in 1860 as his first successful game. It became a popular parlour game through the ages until it was updated in 1960. This new version more closely resembles the modern game, and the version they were seen playing in the ‘50s.
14. YOU CAN SEE ARROW’S SAFETY ROPE
When Arrow was just getting started, the cast and crew made plenty of mistakes. Safety is an incredibly important part of any television show or movie that performs extensive stunt work. That doesn’t mean you have to go showing it off to anyone who happens to be watching, though.
If you go all the way back to the pilot episode from 2012, you’ll be able to see Oliver Queen’s safety rope at the bottom of the shot when he jumps out of Adam Hunt’s window. It’s actually pretty difficult to see since broken glass is falling and it’s a quick shot, but there’s a second of stillness where it’s made perfectly visible from the windowsill. Considering how difficult it is to see, it’s certainly not the most heinous goof on this list.
13. THIS IS THE WORST D.A. EVER
As the assistant district attorney in Starling City, it would be Laurel Lance’s job to help prosecute Moira Queen during her trial, if only she didn’t have a massive conflict of interest in the case. In the Season 2 episode of Arrow called “State vs. Queen,” there’s all this drama about Laurel helping to prosecute Oliver’s mother, despite their history, but it shouldn’t have even been a subject for debate.
If the city even had a halfway decent district attorney, or legal system for that matter, Laurel wouldn’t have been allowed anywhere near the case. Not only is she the ex-girlfriend of the defendant’s son, but the defendant’s daughter also interned for her, and her own boyfriend was killed in the Undertaking. The courts should have removed her instantaneously.
12. HOW MANY COMBINATIONS ARE THERE?
In “Attack on Central City” from Season 3 of The Flash, Gorilla Grodd returns to Earth and leads an invasion of Gorillas against Central City. As part of his plan, he uses his mind control powers to make a general activate nuclear missiles to be fired on the city, but only the Flash can disarm the bombs.
On the scene, Barry needs to input a five-digit nuclear code on a keypad in order to shut down the missiles. While he’s trying all the possible combinations at super speed, the team wonders how many there actually are. Harry Wells, ever the lovable genius, yells at his Earth-19 counterpart H.R. and tells everyone that there are 9,000 total combinations. In reality, there are 100,000, but good try Harry.
11. THE CUPS DON’T LIE
CC Jitters is the coffee shop where everyone likes to hang out in The Flash. It’s almost like there are no other restaurants or cafes in Central City. In the Season 3 episode of Arrow called “The Magician,” the writers decide that Oliver and Thea need their own coffee place to hang out and talk in.
Instead of putting them in another CC Jitters in Star City, because obviously they are a chain, Arrow basically used the same set but changed the store’s name to The Grind and Jolt Cafe. That’s all fine and good, except for the fact that the cups actually say CC Jitters on them. Either this coffee shop went through an identity crisis, or the showrunners tried to just reuse the same cups.
10. YOU CAN’T GET DNA LIKE THAT
In the Season 4 episode of Arrow called “Restoration,” the team is after Damien Darhk and comes into conflict with some of his men. After defeating them, Diggle takes one of their teeth to Felicity for analysis. According to her extremely scientific study of this tooth, it lacks “half of the genetic markers” of a normal human.
Not only does that statement make absolutely no sense, but she also discovered this by viewing the tooth under a microscope. In real-world science, you can’t view DNA markers by simply looking at it under a microscope, at least not in enough detail to see anything specific. Considering that Felicity is a hacker and not a biologist, her inability to figure this one out obviously all adds up.
9. INACCURATE MILITARY HISTORY
In the Legends of Tomorrow episode “White Knights,” Captain Cold is seen stealing a keycard from a female soldier in 1986. It’s hard to spot, but the soldier is wearing the U.S. Army’s Combat Infantryman Badge, which is awarded to infantry soldiers who have seen combat. It has been given out since 1941. The only problem is that a woman wouldn’t have been awarded this badge in the 1980s.
At the point that this scene took place in, women were allowed to enlist in the military, but were not given direct combat roles. Women were actually banned from serving in combat during the 1990s, and it is only recently that this ban has been lifted. So while women did serve in the Army in the ‘80s, they would not have seen any combat to make that badge accurate.
8. HOW OLD IS OLIVER’S DAD?
Arrow has no idea how old Robert Queen was when he died, and it’s a super easy revelation to miss. In the pilot episode, a news report on the return of Oliver Queen confirms that his father is, in fact, deceased. The graphic that is put up on the screen states that Robert Queen was born in 1948 and died in 2007, making him 59 when the Queen’s Gambit sank.
However, this age directly conflicts with Robert’s age in the very next episode “Honor Thy Father.” Thea shows her brother the tombstones the family had installed on the family property after they had gone missing. Upon closer inspection, Robert Queen’s headstone reads 1958-2007. This would make him 49 years old at his death. So which is it, guys?
7. JIM HARPER ISN’T REALLY A MARINE
OK, so in the comic books, Jim Harper isn’t actually a Marine, but that’s not the point here. We see him throughout the Season 1 episode “Manhunter” wearing a blue uniform with all his service ribbons and medals on display during his investigation of the DEO. It makes him look like a highly-decorated military man that you don’t want to mess with, but it’s all wrong.
While the uniform might look cool, Eddie McClintock’s character isn’t actually wearing what a Colonel in the Marines would wear to go about his daily job. The blue uniform he he wears is actually the Marine Officer’s Dress Blues, which is worn for ceremonial occasions only. Really the only time a Marine might wear this uniform out in public is if they were a recruiter, so wardrobe really messed up here.
6. NO CONSISTENT ORIGIN STORY
Many people have picked up on this one, but it’s worth going over again. The Season 2 episode of Arrow called “Three Ghosts” serves as a backdoor pilot for The Flash by introducing Barry Allen and how he came to gain his powers. The only problem with this was when it was time to make the show’s actual pilot, the events of The Flash didn’t match up to the events already established on Arrow.
When we first meet Barry, he spends his day in Starling City returning to Central City too late to enter S.T.A.R. Labs. In “City of Heroes,” it is established that he is in town all day and attends the viewing of the particle accelerator alongside Iris. It’s a small thing, but the same people run both shows, so you would think they could get this right.
5. FELICITY MIXES MEASUREMENTS
Felicity Smoak is Team Arrow’s resident tech genius and expert hacker, so it’s bizarre to hear her say something totally inaccurate while performing her duties. In “Darkness on the Edge of Town” from Season 1 of Arrow, Felicity is asked to look through a bunch of data. Surprised by the vast amount of information, she says “there’s at least a teraflop of data to go through,” but that’s wrong.
Believe it or not, a teraflop is an actual unit of measurement. A flop is short for floating point operations per second, but instead of measuring data storage, it actually measures processing power. What she should probably have said was terabyte, which actually refers to data size. Felicity should know better, but apparently even geniuses have their blind spots.
4. SPECIAL EFFECTS GONE WRONG
The CW has done a better job with its special effects than any television network has any business doing. Still, though, there are missteps here and there, and there were a few to be seen in “The Odyssey” from Season 1 of Arrow. In this episode, Oliver and Slade take on Eddie Fyers and his men in their camp.
Much of the gunfire during this scene is actually created through CGI, and it’s pretty obvious if you pay attention. No gunfire is more obviously fake than Fyers’ own. Immediately following Slade’s fight with Billy Wintergreen, Fyers shoots slade in the back. He then lets off a few more shots, but they are clearly fake. You can tell because there is no smoke, the blast is small, and there is no light reflected off the car nearby.
3. STEIN DOESN’T KNOW SCIENCE
Professor Martin Stein is a nuclear physicist and one of the smartest characters in the Arrowverse. However, that still doesn’t stop him from making a mistake when it comes to using units of measurement that should be basic knowledge for him. In The Flash episode “Fast Enough,” Stein tells Barry “that event has an energy level of at least 6.7 tera electron volts. It cannot be stopped.”
It sounds super scary and sciencey, until you realize that tera electron volts is actually a very small amount of energy — basically that of a house fly. It is, in fact, not a world-ending event, like the show wants you to think it is supposed to be. The writers clearly flunked basic physics in high school, because a gifted scientist like Stein would know better.
2. RAY IS A BAD BOY SCOUT
In the Legends of Tomorrow episode “White Knights,” Ray Palmer makes reference to his career as a Boy Scout, and eventually Eagle Scout. However, when he recites the Scout’s Motto, he tells Snart something completely different. In the episode, he says “be helpful to others, scout’s motto.” Of course, if Ray was really a former Scout, he would know that the real motto is “be prepared.”
What Ray is actually referring to, and what the writers likely mixed up, was that “be helpful to others” is part of the Scout’s Oath. It’s a pretty bad mistake, especially coming from a character who claims to have been an Eagle Scout. The line certainly makes sense in the context of the scene, but it’s still factually wrong.
1. RAT POISON DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY
In Season 2 of Arrow, Oliver is poisoned by an unknown toxin and is going to die unless his friends can figure out a way to save him. In “Three Ghosts,” Barry Allen uses rat poison to act as an anticoagulant to counteract the coagulant poison in his blood. While this seems like a cool science moment for the show, it’s pretty scientifically inaccurate.
Rat poison does contain warfarin, which can act as an anticoagulant, but there’s no way it would have worked so quickly. Warfarin would have taken a day or more to be effective against this toxin, and it could have even caused excess coagulation instead. In any event, Warfarin would have not instantly saved Oliver’s life. What would have worked was the medication heparin, which is used to treat heart attacks.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments if you’ve seen any other mistakes in the Arrowverse.
- Ad Free Browsing
- Over 10,000 Videos!
- All in 1 Access
- Join For Free!