Archived Discussion

This is discussion archived from a time before the current discussion method was installed.

Is it just me, or is this page a total mess? There are loads of references that would require the knowledge of a geek (not derogatory, I am one myself) to figure out. As it says at the top, "If you have to explain why something is an error, then it is not a Critical Research Failure." So I'm going through and doing a little selective pruning. It's hardly a complete overhaul, but I hope it's the start of something.

  • Mission to Mars: Troper bases his entire argument on what is actually depicted in the 3D image. Most people would not realize that this was anything more than a "picture of DNA", and thus the troper's reasoning would not occur to them.
  • The Entry for "Left Behind" is, itself, an example of Did Not Do The Research. Though the UN is, today, little more than a debate house, there continues to be a fear, in some communities, that it may assume the powers of a world government (and various resolutions floated to give the UN taxation powers don't help in that perception). While this may be little more than a paranoid delusion, such paranoid delusions are often the entire basis of works set twenty minutes into the future.
  • Terminator 3: Anybody who has been alive and breathing for the past twenty years also knows that the difference between a regular computer and a supercomputer is *size*, regardless of what era it was built in. Certainly modern laptops are more powerful than archaic supercomputers by orders of magnitude, but that doesn't stop modern supercomputers from being physically large.
  • Dan Brown: Not deleted, since I haven't read the works cited (I've only ever read The Da Vinci Code), but doesn't this guy have a whole trope to himself? An otherwise believable, internally consistent schema that can only be seen through by people who have some knowledge of the field (such as pagan symbology) is Dan Browned, not Critical Research Failure.
  • Star Trek book entry: On top of the vagueness of this citation (troper doesn't even know the name of the book), outside science geeks, who knows what a Kelvin is? (However, I preserved the "centigrade" argument, since, outside the US, most folks would know what counts as a pleasant temperature in degrees centigrade.)
  • Battlestations: Midway: I'm not even sure what this troper is talking about. WW2 geek complaint? If my comment looks like a case of "did not do the research", that's because it is. For a Critical Research Failure, I shouldn't have to.
  • Team Fortress 2: A character being given silly lines is not the same as a Critical Research Failure.
  • STNG Relics episode: The reply had it right: Neutronium isn't something most folks know about, except as the usual word for what we call "Unobtenium" in certain genres. However, the proper response should have been a deletion with a comment on the talk page, not a forum post entry.
  • The Adventures of Superman: I don't recall what it's called, but there is another category for cases when the technobabble of a previous generation looks absolutely ridiculous. It isn't a Critical Research Failure.
  • Disney's Hercules: I'm not sure any Disney film counts as a Critical Research Failure. It isn't that they don't know any better, it's that they just don't care. The entire premise of Disney's fairy tale and mythology line isn't accuracy, it's the idea that they can do it "better."
  • Simpsons, in reference to The Flyer (the Wright Brother's first successful airplane): It's a shame to delete such a well written, well researched argument. Unfortunately, research would be necessary for the vast majority of humankind. Not a Critical Research Failure.
  • Futurama: Not a Critical Research failure, due to the fact that the humor is based on both the writers and the viewers knowing full well the line doesn't work. My understanding of a Critical Research Failure is that the writer *doesn't* know... but really should.
  • Thomas Edison, Ben Franklin, and Time Travel: American Mythology shouldn't be confused with actual history, and the whole entry overall is too forum-posty.
  • Teen Titans, Powerpuff Girls, Recess: More examples of "silly lines". Critical Research Failure is *author* error.
  • Phineas and Ferb: Clearly, if the writers were able to lampshade the ahistorical premise of the episde, the writers were aware of what they were doing.
  • Narnia Real Life Examples: Tropers really should stop weighing in on internecine theological arguments before they hurt themselves.
  • Neo-Nazism and Christianity: Where to begin. First off, the is an entire Christian sub-doctrine that posits that Christians are the "New Israelits", and the Jews are cut off from the source completely. Secondly, Nazism owes an intellectual debt to Niche, who didn't approve of Christianity any more than he did of Judaism (not that this stops Neo-Nazis from not realizing this).
  • On Friends: Critical Research Failure has -nothing- to do with having the same name as an actor. If the name of the character was David Schwimmer, that might be one thing, but that is the name of the actor. The character's name is Ross Geller. This is simply a Real Life case of Name's The Same.

Working Title: Homer's Handwriting: From YKTTW

Oh wait, I figured out where the mistake at the begining was that italicized it, and managed to fix it.

Iluvtvtropes: Wow, why is the whole article italicized?

Narvi: How is this different from Dan Browned?
  • Narvi: Somebody please tell me how this is different from Dan Browned.
    • Pisthy: Well, it seems we better clean up the examples over here and over there - it seems the difference is that Dan Browned refers to works that are hart to apply Willing Suspension of Disbelief if you are familiar with the reality they are presenting, while this one means visible research mistakes to those of us who are not familiar with the work - That one is this one, Only More So - actually, only applied to the entire piece, instead of just a scene. Should we lump?

Blork: I'd be in favour of lumping. The difference between mistakes you can spot if you have a passing familiarity with the subject (this trope) and mistakes you can spot if you are knowledgeable about the subject (Dan Browned) is fairly small and subjective. Even if we keep both, there are a bunch of examples that need to be moved between the two.

Geese: The Same, but More in some aspects. I'm not against keeping it as a separate entry, though, as there's actually a rather substantial difference between "a research failure you might have to hire an expert to avoid, and thus will mostly just annoy experts" and "subatomic bacteria."

Sijo: I agree this page should be kept, as there were plenty of historical and scientific errors in fiction that I spotted even when I was a child (usually because I was studying them at the time!). On the other hand, several of the examples currently on the page would not be obvious to the general populace -remember, Reality Is Unrealistic- so they need to be moved to Did Not Do The Research.

Nameless Troper: I think we should get rid of the trope, but either way, something should be done. The examples are all over the place. Personally, i find the line between this and Dan Browned too vague: both myself (with physics degree) and a friend (with arts degree) find Angels and Demons to have absurd physics. Does this go in Critical Research Failure or Dan Browned? I can't speak for both me and my friend, but i know that Disney's Hercules movie is inaccurate, but as a kid, i didn't think it was completely detached from Greek Mythology. Is this Critical Research Failure?

JurassicMosquito: We should definitely keep this trope. As per the Laconical List of Subtle Trope Distinctions, Dan Browned is when an expert in the field notices. Critical Research Failure is when everybody notices. Dan Browned is not this Only More So. This is Did Not Do The Research turned Up to Eleven. To the point where nobody can ignore how wrong the media is and one starts to wonder just what the writers were smoking when they mixed up which state was Mississippi and which was Alabama (not kidding, I've seen this one). Dan Browned is a failure in expert knowledge. Critical Research Failure is a failure in general knowledge. Granted, people abuse this sometimes, but given how long this page could be versus how long it actually is, I think most folks do genuinely try not to go overboard with the examples they list here.


  • The Star Trek: Enterprise episode Dear Doctor gets evolution completely wrong. Supposedly, a species of sentient people have evolved a genetic defect that is killing them off to make room for an upcoming sentient species. I thought evolution was about adaptation to situational and environmental changes, not clearing species out. That's a failure to adapt, not adapting a failure.

...The episode worded that badly, but the idea is still sound. Given we have this real word thing called "cancer" (among others), the idea of a very nasty genetic defect showing up isn't too out there.

Lord TNK: It's not sound. We have cancer, but that's when cells don't function properly, and go out of control. What Plox was describing was a deliberate move by evolutionary genetics to clear a species out, which is not how evolution works at all.

  • An episode of the Mega Man Battle Network anime features Gravity Man (who, as his name implies, has powers over gravity) being defeated by a giant stone block too heavy for his gravity powers to shield him from. In other words, it was affected by gravity so much that gravity did not affect it.

...No, brain failure. Gravity Man wouldn't be trying to affect something too heavy by making it heavier, he'd be trying to make it lighter, by reducing gravity, not increasing it. But the block was so heavy that he couldn't reduce the local gravity fast enough.

Joeyjojo: Removed

Star Trek in general butchers scientific concepts in general.

No Just No.

  • Evil_Tim: Actually, yes. To quote on the subject:

  • In Star Trek, it is possible to use sound waves as a weapon against a starship in the vacuum of space, cool something below absolute zero, live on an inhabitable planet which is only ten light-seconds from its star, find a crack in a mathematically defined radius, measure power in units of joules and energy in units of watts, shrink a shuttlecraft to the size of a thimble, make gravity propagate at superluminal speed, intercept photons without changing their energy or direction, see non-incident non-radiating particles, come to a meaningless "full stop" in outer space, expand the scale at which quantum effects are significant to encompass the entire universe, live without being born, fly a ship that was never built, dig up miraculously naturally-occuring alloys, vapourize something without producing any vapour, subject metals to high-energy plasma bombardment without damage, find magical "omega particles" that have greater energy density than matter/antimatter annihilation, and take a drug that protects you from radiation.

  • Star Trek might have science advisors, but according to them, they're only asked to suggest terminology. Otherwaise, the writers just ignore them.

  • Joeyjojo: Please. Stardestroyer is about biased as they come. If you have any see specific examples feel free to add them. However to simply say "Star Trek in general" is little better than saying "Star Trek sucks".

  • Evil_Tim: I just gave you a list of examples. You seem to be one of those people under the illusion that being biased is the same as being wrong. Trek science is largely horrible, consisting almost entirely of confusing and incorrect or inappropriate technobabble. Saying 'the science in Trek is bad in general' is more or less an observation of fact: entire books like 'The physics of Star Trek' have focused on the subject that almost every major piece of technology in Trek wouldn't work or would work only under conditions unlikely to ever exist in the real world.

    • joeyjojo: I would greatly appreciate it if you refrain from saying stuff like “You seem to be one of those people…” Evil_Tim. There is a no denying that Star Trek's standard of scientific accuracy is very low, the sub-absolute-zero planet speaks for it’s self. However ‘the science in Trek is bad in general' is not a example of this trope. It’s simply to vague a phase to have any meaning. Like I said if you have seen anything on the show you think is specific example of Critical Research Failure: add it to the main page. You wouldn’t have to worry about offending this Troper. I’m a Doctor Who fan anyway :D

      • Evil_Tim: You seem to be one of those people who brackets actual replies with strange, useless side-points; it's the conversational equivalent of playing a Final Fantasy game, where the debate sneaks off to go fight random things for half an hour to return powerful enough to face the boss argument. Trek science, more or less as a whole, is junk science; moreover, the series is a perfect example of a critical research failure since they hired sciece advisors and then ignored them, only asking them to suggest terms for this week's nonsensium carbonite alloy.

The Star Trek The Next Generation episode "A Matter of Honor" mentions... subatomic bacteria. Seriously.

Now your free to disagree with me, but this seem to be just expanding on the fringe science idea of nano-bacteria. a case Weird Science if anything.

  • Narvi: You don't know what subatomic means, do you? Subatomic means smaller than an atom. Subatomic bacteria would have to be made of quarks and things.

  • Joeyjojo: no, really? :-P. that's the impression i got of what they were suggesting.

  • Narvi: Way to miss the point. It's like saying there's bacteria made from rocks. That's why it's not plausible.

  • Evil_Tim: Bacteria are defined as 'unicellular microorganisms.' If a 'bacterium' were smaller than one atom, it couldn't possibly qualify as a cell; hell, it couldn't even qualify as a protein at that size. The result would be so completely dissimilar that calling it a bacterium would be like calling a virus an elephant. Nanobacteria are similar in size to viruses, and are nothing like subatomic; Nanobes are at least a hundred times larger than even the biggest atoms.

  • joeyjojo: Did I said it was plausible? I said it was a Weird Science expansion on Nano-Bacteria. That’s all. Now bacteria made from rocks? that’s just Crazy ;-)

  • Evil_Tim: You responded to a post saying how stupid it was by defending it. So yes, the implication was you did consider it plausible. It's not an expansion, it's an absurd leap in logic.
—- Man Called True: Seen It a Million Times, so I'm yanking this before the bullets start flying...

  • Richard Dawkins by all accounts is a damn fine biologist.However, his forays into history, sociology, philosophy, and theology can be described as freshmen at best; cringe inducing at worst. And it really doesn't help his case that not only does he admit to not having done the research, but he's proud of it.
    • The Dawkins example likely doesn't apply in this case; his argument is that the entire field of research he sweepingly ignores is based on an absurd premise, much like the in-depth study of the existence of leprechauns would be.
      • Actually it does as it is a recognized field of study with thousands of years of history and development that has profoundly shaped our present society to what it is today as theological influences can be felt in everything; from our laws to our scientific outlook (yes, you heard that right). Its even worth noting that the university Dawkins works at, Oxford, wouldn't even exist if not for theology as Oxford was built with Church money and originally staffed by clergy. For Dawkins to equate that field of study with leapchrunology would be the equivalent of saying World War II was of no historical importance. If that isn't Critical Research Failure, then I don't know what is.
      • Appeal to Popularity does not excuse theology from being based on an unproven premise.
      • How is that Appeal to Popularity? Appeal to Popularity is a logical fallacy that things are true because most people believe them, what the other guy was talking about in theology was simply pointing out that it is a field of study of what people believe and how those thoughts affect society and our history in general and it overlaps heavily with sociology, history, and philosophy both of which deal heavily with 'unproven' premises as do most soft sciences which includes Dawkins own Memetics Theory. Hell, even Dawkins belief that God does not exist is an unproven premise as the debate is by no means finished. Even a large number of hard scientific theories and ideas are unproven premises especially when you start going into quantum mechanics and what current premises we think to be true can easily turn out to be false, we have an article illustrating this in Science Marches On. The fact of the matter is that we base a lot of our knowledge and actions on 'Unproven Premises.'For Dawkins to single theology out for this smacks of a double standard especially since there is evidence and sound logical arguments for the existence of God; you might disagree with them but they do exist and that gives theology the same claim to legitimacy as any other intellectual discipline . Now, take into the fact that Dawkins marketed the book as putting theological doctrines to the same kind of scrutiny that any scientific theory must withstand and if he was actually doing that he would have researched it in full before writing his book so he could debate the merits and flaws of theology like scientists debate the merits and flaws of the Klein–Gordon equation for example. The fact his he didn't, and after promising us an in-depth overview and critique and exposure of the flaws of theology he didn't and instead filled the entire book with straw-man arguments and then used the leapchrunology argument, which sounds suspiciously like a Appeal to Ridicule logical fallacy to cover-up the fact he did commit critical research failure. Sorry for the text wall, but this is not an easy subject to explain.

Etherjammer: The "according to dubious tradition" bit in the first example - which I added and Ninja Crat removed - is, sadly, accurate, and frankly I consider the unalloyed assertion to be a bit of a research failure. Other than claims by later writers, there is no evidence that Homer ever existed, much less that he was blind. However, I accept that "dubious tradition" was perhaps not the best way to put it. I'm re-inserting as "according to later writers", which is - barring startling new evidence - strictly correct.

Lord Seth: Remember: For it to be listed here, it has to be an extremely obvious goof, even to those not familiar with the material. If it takes a bit of knowledge in the particular material to spot the mistakes, then it should not be listed here. I did a bit of cleanup to fix this.

  • This troper used to subscribe to Boys' Life when he was a Boy Scout. I recall one issue where the theme of the comics section was being a good citizen, and saw Webelos Woody going around instructing rocks not to float away and birds to keep flapping. Jake Parrot happens by and tells Woody he can calm down-there's no danger of anyone breaking the law of gravity.

Nezumi: Well, technically speaking, gravity is a theory. The idea of it as a law comes from confusion of the theoretical construct of gravity, versus Newton's Law of Universal Gravitation, a mathematical equation used for measurements of the practical application of this theory.

Nobodymuch Cut:

  • Real Life Newscasting : A July 4th, 2008 report by CNN "revealed" that "55% of gun owners use them in suicide attempts." That'd be more than thirty million attempted suicides, or ten percent of the population.
    • The movie's down. Are you sure they didn't mean 55% of gun owners who attempt suicide use their gun to do so, though?

Because bad grammar is not bad research.

Gattsuru : No, they said 55% of gun owners try to kill themselves with firearms. The closest number to that, which they corrected to later, was that 55% of deaths involving firearms are suicides. That's not merely bad grammar, that's being widely incorrect.

Haven: "Into the mountains of Iowa"...that's a surprising amount of lol for the money.
Dave Empey: Why is the "bags of sand" line from 40-Year Old Virgin an example of this trope?
Eric DVH: I realize people like to argue a point, some very stubbornly. But when you see it's about to reach topics like this, please remember to stop for a moment and shut your pie hole. Removed the following:
  • Of course the handwave doesn't even work, even given that all life on earth shares the same DNA. Humans and chimpanzees share some 98% of their DNA, but attempting to mate with a chimp will not meet with success. But there's porn of it...
  • Actually, it's not clear that humans and chimps couldn't prove a viable combination. Lions and tigers are less similar genetically than humans and chimps, but can produce fertile offspring. It's not clear that anyone has actually, uh, done the experiment. However, this still doesn't excuse Star Trek. After all, humans and vulcans should be less similar than humans and daffodils, but the prospect of mating with a daffodil and producing a half-breed is simply ludicrous.

Mouser: "The movie Amadeus features, besides the well-known Historical Villain Upgrade of Salieri, a scene in which Mozart dictates to Salieri the orchestration of the "Confutatis" of his unfinished Requiem, part by part. Most of these parts were not filled in until after Mozart's death by Süssmayr."

Isn't that Dan Browned? At least, I didn't know that.
Gregory Hayes: A lot of the examples here belong in Dan Browned. As a general rule, if you have to explain why it's not a Critical Research Failure.

Erpegis I've deleted Event Horizon example:
  • Worst line from Event Horizon: "Did you think you could break the Laws of Physics and get away with it?" Yeah, let's call the Physics Police on you, 'cause you're going straight to Science Jail.
    • This troper used to subscribe to Boys' Life when he was a Boy Scout. I recall one issue where the theme of the comics section was being a good citizen, and saw Webelos Woody going around instructing rocks not to float away and birds to keep flapping. Jake Parrot happens by and tells Woody he can calm down-there's no danger of anyone breaking the law of gravity.
    • Ah, the Physics Police. They'll pull you up for doing 1.2 c in a 1 c universe...
    • Well, to be fair, the speaker was going slightly mad with fear at the time, but that's pretty cold comfort when you take into account he was also meant to be the ship's pilot. Oh dear.
    • Maybe that line was metaphorical. Yes, they didn't get away with it because they managed to bring a piece of hell back.

The movie is about a spaceship going into hell and about a penalty for too much research.
Wellington: Moving this to a more appropriate section; this is closer to Dan Browned, given that the popular legend of the Mummy's Curse has all sorts of nonsensical garbage attached to to
  • In one episode of the second TV series of Lupin III, Lupin steals King Tutankamen's burial mask and is possessed by the pharaoh's spirit. During the episode, Fujiko reads about how Lord Carnavon (who sponsored the expedition that found Tutankamen's tomb) died mysteriously shortly after the tomb was opened, at which point the audience is shown a picture of a man falling out of a window. She goes on to say Howard Carter (head of the expedition) died not long after, gasping about how "It's found me". First of all, though Lord Carnavon did die under strange circumstances, he died of a mysterious illness. As for Howard Carter… He died of natural causes at age 68, twenty years after the expedition.
    • This is the same show where a Skycrane flies off with the Christ the Redeemer statue. That would be a feat for seventy Skycranes.
Grev Moved the "sexy anime going mainstream" example to its rightful place at Cowboy Bebop's computer.
Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: Someone put this on the Cut List for being The Same, but More for Did Not Do The Research. I think it should stay. The Canonical List of Subtle Trope Distinctions explains the difference between this and Dan Browned; and since this is less subjective than other amplification tropes, it ought to be less of a problem. This is specifically for the kind of mishap that belongs to people living under rocks, as far as the subject they're writing about without research goes.
  • John Wayne's The Green Berets is typically derided for two things: its jingoistic tone encouraging further involvement in the Vietnam War, and a scene where the sun sets over the ocean. With the film set in Vietnam, this means the sun is setting in the east.
    • A quick glance at a world map shows that Vietnam does have west facing beachfront property.
      • Uh... wait, what ? how could the sun set in the east ? looks like even the critics did not do sufficient research...

Ophicius: The reply isn't saying that it's possible for the sun to set in the east, it's saying that it's possible for the sun to set over the ocean. And can people please put discussion in the discussion page?
d20 Modern and Dungeons & Dragons are not the only game systems in the world. A critical failure resulting from a roll of 3 makes perfect sense if the game being played is one where skill checks are rolled with percentile dice, rather than a 20-sided die.

Regiment: Cut (from Star Trek)

  • Heck, the entire franchise utterly fails in this regard. Humans cross-breeding with other humanoid aliens (which is laughable in itself) and producing fertile hybrid offspring? (Given a Hand Wave in TNG by way of humanoid Precursors who deliberately embed programming into DNA throughout the galaxy which sways “evolution” to create humanoids, but still.)
    • Look, miladdo, we don't complain about the shonky physics, so the shonky biology should be equally accepted!

(Regarding a "carbon neutronium" Dyson sphere)
  • Not to mention that it would far outmass the sun it surrounds…
    • That depends on how thick it is. And actually, neutronium is a giant, liquid atom held together solely by gravity, not a very good building material.

(Regarding water boiling at 100K)
  • It's quite obvious it was supposed to be Celsius. A mistake, yes, but not really a Critical Research Failure.
  • Surprisingly, there actually is one in there, when you consider that water boils at 100 degrees Celsius only in conditions of normal atmospheric pressure, and most certainly not "always". If it was anyone else, we might let it slip, but this is the methodical Data we're talking about.

The second two chunks are just Natter, for the most part; the first chunk is a weird sort of Take That!. Since it has been stated that all humanoid species are distantly related, we sort of need to apply the MST3K Mantra to that.

And what the heck is "shonky"?


  • Franz Kafka in Amerika describes the Statue of Liberty as holding aloft a sword, seems to think that "Senator" is a title like Duke or Baron, that castles dot the nation's landscape, and so on.
    • It can be forgiven, given the fact that Kafka's fictions cross the line between expressionism and hermetic symbolism. His America is more a symbolic oppressor, maybe mixed with some leftist European libel, than a faithful depiction of anything...
    • Furthermore, Kafka really did do a lot of research before writing Amerika, attending dozens of lectures and reading countless books on the nation- all of which he then disregarded when he wrote his novel.

come on! we're talking about Kafka here. It's like telling Salvator Dali that stuff doesn't really look the way he painted it.
Madrugada: Did some trimming, will discuss restoring if you want to offer reasons:

  • Dragon Ball Z Example: cut the part about the planet not being able to have high gravity because of its size. It's mass that matters, not size. The gravity on Mars and on Mercury is nearly the same, even though the diameter of Mercury is only about three-quarters of that of Mars.

  • Not that his explanations up until then had been miracles of believability, but there does come a moment in SF B-Movie classic The Amazing Colossal Man in which the Dr Exposition character claims that "The heart is made up of essentially a single cell..." Appropriately mocked during the misting: "OK, you're not a real doctor, are you?"
    • The heart is essentially made up of a single cell. To be more exact, the mammalian heart is a syncytium, in which a bunch of cardiac muscle cells lose their individuality and become one. See The Other Wiki.
      • Calling a wad of muscle tissue a "cell" is roughly equivalent to calling a pile of logs a "box". At best, it might be somewhat better suited to call it a super-cell or cell-like.
      • In fact all muscles are like this.

Either way, it isn't an elementary mistake.

  • Burn Up!: He should have explained that snow only forms between certain temperatures.
    • In fact, the idea that it only snows above freezing is a Critical Research Failure not from California Los Angeles.
      • I don't know if it's a Critical Research Failure, although it might be a minor Dan Browning. The scientist had a point about snow only falling above certain temperatures, but from what I can tell, it still only falls below freezing. At temperatures far below freezing, however, snow crystals don't aggregate into snowflakes and thus the pieces of snow that fall are very "small." At even colder temperatures, individual water droplets freeze and then don't form into snow crystals. These frozen droplets are generally too light to escape updrafts inside the clouds.
      • And ironically, the idea above is a Critical Research Failure to anyone not from the Northern Hemisphere. Explanation: the southern hemisphere hasn't warmed by any amount, and the only study that has found Antarctic warming was effectively made-up data. "Global Warming" only has happened in the Northern hemisphere.
      • Uh, right, go tell that to all the Australian farmers who would like their rain back.
      • Global warming is a small part of climate change; not every shift in weather patterns is directly caused by it.

Natter. Besides, snow can fall when it's above freezing at ground level. I've seen it many times. The relevant temperature is the one in the atmosphere where the snow forms.
Burai: Removed ...
*For the most part, a perfect example of CRF in the real world would critics. Critics of almost any kind, really. Specifically the deeply entrenched ones like Ebert. This Troper can't tell you how many times he's read a review of a movie he's either just seen or has seen many times, and the review was almost—if not completely—incorrect. It's really almost to the point where one questions if they actually saw the movie in question. The problem being that, at heart, they really are more like Jay Sherman than the writers of The Critic would have believed.

I know we're not the Other Wiki, but this is a case where "citation needed" applies, because left in the thoroughly generic, fact-free form it was written here, it could just as easily be mere venting about disagreements of opinion now recolored as mistakes.

Twin Bird: Now hold on here. That "READ THE ABOVE NOTE" seems to have been put here rather unilaterally, and by the formatting, by a relative newbie. Especially since, looking at the YKTTW, the OP didn't seem to realize that the mistake this was originally to be named after was as elementary as it was, only that it was absolutely egregious to anyone who knew better. At the very least, the relatively well-known fact that the Mona Lisa is on wood should qualify. If we're going to use "I don't know it, so it shouldn't be here" as a standard, we'll be taking down this whole page.

Granted, highly specialized knowledge, if relatively minor, should certainly go under Dan Browned, but there's a difference between screwing up esoteric details in a given field and making a mistake that shows you didn't even bother to take the first step - for instance, using "logarithmic growth" to mean "extremely fast growth" (never seen this, just an example of something that might be a bit obscure but still "critical") would probably be an example in the mouth of someone who should know better. Or if the detectives on SVU enforced an 18 age of consent (they don't, although the frequency of executions might qualify), it would be a Critical Research Failure due to the premise of the show, whereas it might not be on NYPD Blue. Especially since we're not doing examples under Did Not Do The Research anymore.
Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: Is blowing up the moon (as in Dragon Ball Z) this or Dan Browned?
slb: Removed the following entry:

  • In Eclipse, the third book in the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, Rosalie explains that she was raised in Rochester during the Great Depression, but was middle-class, not poor. Her father earned enough money to support his family because he had a stable job at a bank. Anybody who has ever brushed over the Depression in class or researched it for a minute knows that during this time, banks failed. Even if Rosalie's father managed to have a job in one, it wouldn't earn him that much, and this occupation would hardly be stable.
    • This is highly inaccurate. Yes, many banks failed, but the idea that no banks survived, or that nobody had a stable job at one, is patently incorrect.

because if a claim is erroneous, it may as well be removed (at least to the discussion page, if not permanently) instead of remaining as a "disagreement" on the main page.


Psyclone: Removed:

  • In Evolution: "After 2 weeks the human race will be officially extinct" - indicates a map on which North America is covered in red... but nowhere else.
    • This most likely intentional. What with it being Evolution and all.
    • Or it may be the fact that if you pay attention, Julianne Moore's character is explaining the projected growth of t

IIRC what Julianne Moore's character said was "In 2 weeks the United States will officially belong to them. And we will be extinct." She couldn't necessarily be referring to the human race in general.

—- reinoe: I'm re-adding the examples of John Mc Cain's constant referencing of the "Iraq-Pakistan" border violence.
Anonymous Mc Cartneyfan: Removed the Short Circuit II example because of jumper cables and jump-starting kits. There may be a difference between how a jump-starter works and how a defibrillator works, but why a defibrillator won't work like a jump-starter on a robot running off a car battery is not that obvious.

R Taco: I think this might have been a joke that whoever posted the example didn't get:

G: I think that whoever posted it did get the joke about the energy source being Sun and was being sarcastic. Unless of course, you are referring to some other joke that flew over both mine and that troper's heads.
Nasrudith: Mass purging en mass the recent political examples both for blatant violations of Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement and the fact they're all just republican bashing that doesn't even fit the trope. If there are any real examples put them back.

  • The Tea Protest put out by many Americans had several signs and people saying "Teabag Obama". For those that don't know Tea Bag is the act of putting your balls in another man's mouth. Strangely there are still sites with Teabag Obama online. What would be somewhat ludicrous of comparing the current United States with Britain's actions became one of the funniest things ever with a bunch of people proclaiming they want to put their balls in Obama's mouth.
    • Teabagging is a sign of gross disrespect as opposed to explicitly sexual, So Yeah. . .
    • In any case, the real case of Did Not Do The Research, was that the original Tea Party was a protest against the reduction of taxes on British Tea, that put American Tea Smugglers out of business. Well... reduction of taxes and the granting of a monopoly to the mismanaged, practically bankrupt East India Company whose stock just happened to be mostly held by various bits of the British government, which is what ticked off the common colonists (and again, those smugglers). Still it's a faulty historical linkage, as the colonists big beef was, ya know, 'no taxation with out representation,' not 'we don't like being taxed, even if you did win an election.'
      • Despite the fact that the colonists wanted "no taxation without representation," Washington D.C. employs this very method, and even has this slogan on the "official" D.C. license plates.
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  • An obligatory Obama example: This article alleges that he either hasn't been informed about what many Eastern Europeans thought of life under Soviet Russia, or simply doesn't care.
    • This troper, posting from one of those Eastern European countries thinking of Soviet Russia exactly in the manner the article says, sees "alleges" as the critical word here, and does not see an article written by Liz Cheney as a neutral source here, especially one so blatantly twisting friendly words about Russian athletes and physicists into support of Russian policies. There are plenty of examples of Obama not doing the research (57 states, anyone?), but this isn't one of them.
    • Yeah, that article's pretty twist-happy...heck, even the 57 states incident was just a tired misspeak. It's considerably doubtful anyone believes there are really 57 states.
    • Him suggesting that he could declare the past dead like Gerald Ford did about Nixon should be one to anyone who remembers who the previous president's Veep was, unless it counts as an instance of Artistic License - History.
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rsm109: They do fit the trope - patently false information used to make a political point is still patently false information - but may not be Rule of Cautious Editing Judgement-compliant.

The Hawking example definitely does fit the definition, and I think is ROCEJ compliant. The "Bush inheriting 9/11" is too - I mean, listing that isn't flamebait. The Birther movement in some way does too, if not the fake Kenyan birth ceritifcate, definitely the "they want to see his penis" bit.

Honore DB: Deleted "The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins says that Jesus never claimed to be the son of God despite the fact that at least three gospels depict him saying he is." It's close to a recursive trope moment, actually, since anybody's who has read the book, or studied the subject outside of Sunday school, will understand that Dawkins is talking about the historical figure, not the Bible character, and that historians don't generally treat the Gospels as exactly what they say on the tin.

In the article, someone asked how an Alternate Universe modification of Caesar results in India developing different rules for Chess. Changing Caesar would likely change the military history of the Roman Empire, which could very plausibly have far-reaching consequences. Consider that chess has had a military metaphor for basically its entire known history, and it makes perfect sense that changing something major at point A could have at least minor effects at point B.

Cynthia Wakefield: Cut:
  • Radio ads for Netflix have a game show contestant answer nonsense questions correctly then show off their knowledge of Netflix. One question asked in a version of the ad is what the opposite of purple is. Anyone who has played around with the "invert colors" function on an image editor can tell you that 1. Colors do have opposites, and 2. The given answer is wrong.

... yes, but I somehow doubt that the average person on the street has played around with an image editor or is aware that colors have opposites. I did know it, but it's certainly very far from common knowledge. Most people would consider the question itself nonsense. Did Not Do The Research, sure, but it's no Critical Research Failure.


  • In Van Helsing during the chase scene through the forest in a horse-drawn carriage, you have to wonder what was going through the minds of everybody on set when the wooden, completely non-mechanical carriage falls down a chasm and promptly bursts into flames.
    • Possibly they were thinking: "It's already on fire and that fall will smash the large glass jars of kerosene that fuel the lanterns"
      • "I wonder what's for lunch." "I wonder what it would take to get into Kate Beckinsale's pants?" "Damn my arms are tired from holding up this boom mike." "Oh man this is the best movie ever I'm the greatest director to ever li- SHINY".
      • (Unmarked spoiler alert) Was this the one that one of the brides went to investigate on the way down and found packed full of stakes (And doesn't make it out of the way in time when the boom does happen)? Doesn't seem like much of a stretch that there was some sort of explosive agent packed in there as well (the monk's already got enough tech savy to make a flash bomb powerful enough to clear an entire BUILDING of vampires, coming up with a little nitroglycerin should be a cake walk).
      • The stakes were, indeed, strapped to a bomb. We see the bomb. What this troper wants to know is, what were the writers on when they decided to show a horse-drawn carriage jumping a chasm? Or, at least, what were the horses supposed to be on, in-character, to make them uncomplainingly attempt such a stunt? Real horses often shy away from crossing puddles that reflect the sky, they're so wary of heights.

Because if something's NOT an example, don't just point that out and then ramble on for a few paragraphs, CUT IT YOU FUCKERS. *deep breaths* Sorry, but that just irritates me.
  • Similar to the Resident Evil movie mentioned below, Fist of the North Star is set After the End when a nuclear war not only destroyed the world, but made it a desert except for one small sea (in Fist of the North Star II). This was inspired by Mad Max, but Mad Max was set in a location which was already a desert. A nuclear war could certainly lead to a loss of drinkable water, but the water itself would still exist; vaporized water would not stay vaporized and would eventually condense as rain.

If someone doesn't do the research because they don't care, big hot desert planets are awesome, that's not a CRF.
When & where was the page image taken?
Shrikesnest: Removed:

  • An internet ad claims Bill Gates is nervous of Japan's technology going to obsolete Microsoft's own, and there is a report you can see that will show what company will profit from the "Death of Microsoft"... Bill Gates has retired.

Because almost the entirety of Bill Gates's fortune is in Microsoft stock

  • An episode of Voyagers! had the main characters having to stop von Braun's group of rocket scientists from surrendering to the Russians, "Or man will never walk on the moon". Uh, wouldn't they just work with Korolev's group? Or do cosmonauts not count as human? Even if von Braun hadn't been intrumental in landing a man on the moon, even if such landing hadn't taken place in 1969, and even if the USA hadn't been the ones to make such a launch, saying it would never happen is patently ridiculous. The laws of physics are there for anyone to pick up and play with, and since it is possible, it would have been done at some point. Also to be noted the Russians were reasonably close to accomplishing it sans von Braun: they had landed unmanned probes, and had a good chance at launching a manned mission until N-1 blew up on the pad.
I haven't seen the episode, but maybe the idea was that if Russia had space superiority over the US, they might have become confident enough to start WW 3 and man would've been wiped out? Not that that's much better; I'm just sayin'. —Document N

Chad M: Removed:

  • Splitting 8s against the 10 is a sucker play. You're turning one losing hand into two.

No, no it's not. Check or any book written by someone who's actually done the math, the correct play in almost all situations is to split the 8's. A dealer 10 is far from an automatic loss, and an 8 and a random card is better than a guaranteed 16, and it's better enough that it's worth paying the extra bet for two of them especially when compared to the alternative of hitting. And yes, hitting, not standing, is the second best play in this situation if surrender is not allowed.

Central Avenue: Cut this bit about {{2012}}:
  • A little detail, but nonetheless... Why is the kid in the car playing a PSP? A currently undersold console, living off a new model each year? Why isn't he even playing a PSP Go in bloody 2012?
    • Cuz in a shocking moment of almost prophetic knowledge, the writers were aware of its massive SUCK!
    • Uhm, he could just have been playing on his old model. This Troper has stiil his old 8-bit nintendo.

...because the movie was filmed August 2008-January 2009 and the PSP Go was not even announced until June 2009, meaning it couldn't have been including in the film (and, as mentioned, it's quite possible he was playing an older model).

Honore DB: I haven't read Digital Fortress but the concept described on this page seems sensible to me, on reflection. Since a one-time pad is usually impractical, it would be useful to come up with an alternative that can't be brute-forced. To do that, you'd need a sort of A.I. that can analyze the message and determine a set of plausible alternate messages, and a non-deterministic encryption scheme that lets it ensure that at least one wrong key exists that would cause the message to decrypt to one of those fake meanings. For example, if the message was "Go east at dawn" and the key was "01", the program could send "If the first bit of the key is 1, go west. If 0, go east. If the second bit is 1, go at dawn. If 0, go at noon." Completely unbreakable. Making a generalized form of that that wouldn't tend to bloat the message size too badly sounds like a difficult but feasible task.

...does the NSA whack me now?
Morgan Wick: This is a last-ditch effort (or at least the start of one) to rescue the article, though honestly I wonder if we shouldn't just bolt it or at least render it free of examples. Experts are probably putting stuff on here that seems obvious to them but might not be for the average person, and I suspect this page is being used as an example page for Did Not Do The Research, since that page is linked to so much people expect it to be a trope instead of an index. Maybe a rename will make it look less like Did Not Do The Research But More So.

And can we Cut List the snarky Jack Chick Take That! redirect, which also furthers the notion that this is a DNDTR example page or DNDTR But More So?

Takes an Inca expert or historian to catch:
  • One Tintin book has the heroes captured by a remnant of the Inca civilization (don't ask - it's never explained). After finding out that their planned sacrifice to the Sun God happens on the day of a total solar eclipse, Tintin manages to get the nasty savages to release him and his friend by pretending to control the Sun. Except that astronomy (and astrology) was at the heart and center of the Real Life Inca civilization - not only did they know about eclipses and could predict them accurately, they were fully incorporated in the religion. Oops.

Maybe this is a legit example, but the given example of the example is a bad one, since Hollywood violates the Square/Cube Law all the time:
  • Animal Planet once did a special about everything the B-movies Attack of the Killer Shrews and The Giant Gila Monster did wrong, scientifically speaking. Most of these were obvious, like the square cube law.

Takes a meterologist to catch (re: The Day After Tomorrow):
  • Early on, a map shows the gulf stream. It's flowing the wrong way. No wonder the climate went to hell.

Any example of the form "Anyone who has done X", unless X is something literally everyone does, isn't an example, and lighting a fire won't necessarily tell you this:
  • The filmmakers also clearly had never made a fire before, or were too caught up with symbolism to realize that books burn out in a couple of minutes max, while the library was full of more suitable fuel in the form of wooden furniture and bookshelves. You would only need a handful of dry pages to light the fire up.

Not everyone will know this (re: Transformers):
  • In the second one they enter a museum in DC and then open a huge hangar door that apparently leads to ARIZONA.
    • It is probably meant to be the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy facility, which is indeed part of the National Air and Space Museum, and does indeed consist of a bunch of historical aircraft in hangars. But the facility is a separate building quite a few miles away from the main facility on the National Mall.

Geeky Bonus or Genius Bonus or whatever (re: Stargate):
  • Daniel Jackson, the archeologist, lectures on Sumeric mythology, and describes the goddess Tiamat as a "multi-headed chromatic dragon". So someone confused their D&D Monster Manual with a textbook of Babylonian myths.
    • That had to be intentional.
    • Considering this scene was meant as an incomprehensible (and nearly inaudible) "jargon jargon chatter Techno Babble strange words white noise" lecture to establish the character as an established scientist, this is not so much a research failure but a stroke of genius of whoever slipped that in under the radar.

Well, no, I guess they weren't practicing Catholics, as aren't a lot of people (some of whom might not have otherwise heard of Lent):
  • The filmmakers of 40 Days And 40 Nights must not have been practicing Catholics. The "40 days" of Lent don't count Sundays. In reality, the protagonist would either abstain for 46 days and 46 nights (admittedly not as catchy a title) or, like so many Catholics, indulge himself once a week (admittedly not as catchy a premise). This is not really an example of Christianity Is Catholic.

Mayan scholar and physicist respectively. Actually, so far as I can tell it's more akin to the end of a 10,000 year period or something, so it bears some interesting similarities to Y2K, the last time we got uptight about the world ending (re: 2012):

That's just it: you've lived in North Texas for 30 years:

I didn't know this. If this article teaches you something, it's a bad example:
  • The movie Sum Of All Fears starts with an Israeli attack jet crashing in the Golan Heights with a bomb on it. In real life, the Golan Heights are lush and green mountains, yet in the movie its depicted as a parched and sandy desert. Furthermore, even the real deserts in Israel hardly have any sand in them, mostly just rocks.

Yeah, but what about people who have never rode the DC Metro?:
  • In The Lost Symbol, Brown refers to the 'hard plastic seats' of the Washington, DC Metro (subway) system. This Troper read that phrase while seated on the padded, vinyl seats of the Washington, DC Metro.

This is a perfect example of this article being used as an example page for Did Not Do The Research (re: Atlantis Found):
  • The same novel has vehicles used in Antarctica being specially modified to work in the thin air, since the air gets so much thinner at the poles due to Earth's rotation. Uh, no. While the air above the poles is slightly thinner because of the cold and Earth's rotation, the air at the South Pole is mostly thinner because it's at 10,000 feet above sea level.

And for those for whom it did, or for people like me who didn't know what a pushmi-pullyu was?:
  • Margaret Mahy's Miranda's Big Mistake. A character is described as tripping over her costume's tail while playing one end of the pushmi-pullyu. The pushmi-pullyu has a head at both ends, as anyone whose knowledge of Dr. Dolittle didn't come from Eddie Murphy movies would know.

I don't even understand this:
  • Anthony Horowitz' Return to Groosham Grange had a student write an essay about how Thanatomancy is hatred magic that works on an entire village. When it comes time to see how the student managed to bomb a test... They were actually praised for getting it so incredibly right, and the only thing keeping the student from a perfect score was sabotage. The way it was written makes it incredibly unlikely that it was Getting Crap Past the Radar code for "get everyone to kill each other so you can use their corpses in spoooooky rituals".
    • The troper was presumably saying that anything called "Thanatomancy" has to be about death, due to its etymology. Definitely doesn't belong on the page because 1. It requires knowledge of an obscure field. 2. Words don't always fit their etymology. 3. Necromancy already means that, so thanatomancy should be expected to mean something else.

Takes a biologist (re: Star Trek: The Next Generation):
  • In "Genesis", Mr. Exposition mentioned how antibodies were forcing mutations in someone's DNA. Antibodies are protein markers that attach to the surface of foreign objects in the body and direct T-cells to annihilate the intruder — they have neither the means to enter a cellular nucleus, nor the ability to cause alterations in DNA.

None of these are obvious to anyone except 1) Egyptian scholars; 2) Egyptian mythology experts; and 3) people who would know what an "Egyptian name" is:
  • An episode of McMillan & Wife had Sally kidnapped by a rogue group of Satanists due to her resemblance to the Egyptian goddess Serena. The Satanists' leader's identity is exposed because he makes a comment about ancient Egypt. There are so many things wrong with this, but here are some of the big ones: 1) There is no connection between any form of Satan worship and Egypt. 2) There was no Egyptian goddess named "Serena" (Closest possible match is the Greek Goddess Selene). 3) "Serena" isn't an even remotely Egyptian name.

All of these require knowledge of Pokemon:

"5 seconds on Google" =/= Critical Research Failure, which takes zero seconds on Google (another problem contributing to the page's Trope Decay):
  • TheF2PMaster makes a lot of mistakes of the "5 seconds on Google could've fixed that" variety. The most notorious example was claiming that Nexuiz runs on the Cube 2 engine. It runs on Darkplaces. (To be fair, at least he acknowledged this one in an annotation.

NO ONE knows what glagolitic is:
  • An otherwise pretty good Supernatural fanfic mentions a document written in "glagolitic" and specifies that the columns are hard to decypher because the symbols can have several meanings. Unfortunately, glagolitic isn't a language, it's a 9th century alphabet. It doesn't have symbols but letters and most of them don't mean anything at all, because they mainly represent sounds. Also, it's written from left to right. So Yeah.

Seems to think this is Did Not Do The Research But More So:
  • Battlestations: Midway: The final mission of the campaign is the Battle of Midway. They get every single fact about that battle wrong.. Most egregious is the fact that there are no Devastator torpedo bombers!

Could someone Please Elaborate on the 24 example.
  • 24. Jack Bauer makes a successful cell phone call from inside the hold of a flying aircraft. Shouts of, 'It's a Faraday cage!!' were heard...
  • I don't watch 24, so I don't know the details of the situation, but this doesn't sound like an error. It is possible to make a cell phone call in a moving plane, depending on how close a cell tower is. The quality will be lousy, though. More importantly, just because something is a Faraday cage doesn't mean it will block cell phone signals. Cars are Faraday cages and cell phones work just fine in them. It depends on the construction of the Faraday cage.

Masami Phoenix: Removed the following. First of all, the word singularity itself should be a full stop, as most people don't even know what a singularity is, more or less how it works. The fact that he had to put 'for reference' is a massive full stop as well.
  • Star Trek: Voyager had its share of Did Not Do The Research but one incident that finds its way into critical research failure is in the very second episode. The characters find themselves trapped in a singularity. How do they get out? By finding a crack in the event horizon. For reference the event horizon is a mathematically defined sphere around the center of a black hole (Or any other sufficiently dense Negative Space Wedgie), determined as the point at which light can no longer escape. There is nothing to crack.