That's not Tim Allen, that's Martin Lawrence! That's not Martin Lawrence, that's Tim Allen!
You are looking at a film poster. There's the lineup
of the movie's cast, or their floating heads
, or their mirrored profiles
. You look up at the names of the actors, and much to the annoyance of your inner neat freak
, the names listed don't match up with the actors!
Why does this happen? Well, there could be a number of reasons. Maybe the text was laid out at a different time than the graphic. Maybe the actor's contracts stipulate whose name goes in which order (and the actor whose name comes first also has to be prominently in the middle of the poster). Maybe it was meant as some sort of joke. Or maybe They Just Didn't Care
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Films — Live-Action
- The poster◊ for When in Rome swaps Kristen Bell and Josh Duhamel (who are admittedly unlikely to be confused with each other).
- Morning Glory's poster◊ puts Harrison Ford's name over Rachel McAdams' face and vice versa. It gets Diane Keaton right, though.
- Wild Hogs: The poster◊ swaps Tim Allen and Martin Lawrence (while correctly labeling John Travolta and William Macy).
- Bad Boys II: Will Smith and Martin Lawrence◊ get swapped.
- Smart People: Four names◊, none in the correct position (or even labeling an actor of the right gender).
- The Flight of the Phoenix (1965): The DVD cover◊ appears to label James Stewart as Richard Attenborough and vice versa.
- Bon Cop, Bad Cop manages to switch the names of Colm Feore and Patrick Huard, even though they're the only two people on the poster: ◊
- The Blind Side (the HBO made-for-tv movie starring Ron Silver, not the Sandra Bullock film) has this◊ DVD cover, in which Silver and Rebecca de Mornay get swapped.
- Sherlock Holmes: This poster◊ confuses Robert Downey, Jr. with Jude Law.
- Steel Magnolias: ◊. Six names, none of which are over the person to which they belong.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl◊. Starring Johnny Depp as Elizabeth Swann, Geoffrey Rush as Will Turner, Orlando Bloom as Jack Sparrow, and Keira Knightley as Captain Barbossa.
- Cowboys and Aliens: Three people rotated.◊
- Saved!: Not only misplaced names but only lists four of the five actors shown. ◊
- Men In Black III's French poster put's Will Smith's name over Josh Brolin, Tommy Lee Jones' name over Will Smith, and Josh Brolin's name over Tommy Lee Jones.
- The poster for Gigli had Ben Affleck and Jennifer Lopez's names reversed.
- Con Air, starring◊ Nicolas Cage as John Malkovich, John Malkovich as John Cusack and John Cusack as Nic Cage.
- Undercover Brother. Eddie Griffin had a sex change, Chris Kattan woke up as a black man with a huge Afro, and Denise Richards applied some Blackface.
- The DVD cover◊ of Edison features Morgan Freeman as Justin Timberlake, LL Cool J as Morgan Freeman, Justin Timberlake as LL Cool J, and Kevin Spacey badly photoshopped in.
- The poster/DVD cover of Gangs of New York features Cameron Diaz as Bill the Butcher.
- A quite serious offender is the main poster for Batman Returns, which switches the places of Michelle Pfeiffer and Danny De Vito. Not like you're not going to distinguish them, but still...◊ well, Danny DeVito got quite attractive all of a sudden, while Michelle Pfeiffer really let herself go.
- The cover◊ for the special edition DVD of Goodfellas has this. The posters, thankfully, got it right.
- The poster◊ for Locked Down. Apparently, Vinnie Jones has turned into a large, Scary Black Man. So has Bai Ling.
- According to The Rock's poster, Nicolas Cage Is About To Shoot You.
- Played with in the poster◊ for Dr. Jekyll & Ms. Hyde. The color of the stars' names should tip you off.
- Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston on the poster for Just Go With It.
- The page image for Rat Race takes this Up to Eleven: eight actors, none of which have the correct name beneath them.
- This poster◊ for The Lucky One, starring Zac Efron and Taylor Schilling.
- The poster◊ for The Avengers as seen on it's page. The only correct one is Scarlett Johansson. But Mark Ruffalo and Tom Hiddleston are nowhere to be found, at least in the flesh!
- Olympus Has Fallen: I though Freeman was the black one◊.
- The first Charlie's Angels film did this too.
- Joyful Noise: Keke Palmer is not Queen Latifah.◊.
- Played With in the poster for Seven Psychopaths. The actors playing each psychopath are listed at the top, and are depicted standing in a different order — but each name is conveniently numbered. Maybe all posters should do this!
- The UK posters for Red 2, as analysed by Dave Gorman here.
- Double Take◊, starring Eddie Griffin and Orlando Jones. There is at least one review of Undercover Brother that referred to Eddie Griffin as Orlando Jones likely due to this trope.
- The French poster for The World's End has Nick Frost and Simon Pegg listed as Simon Pegg and Nick frost.
- The Grease poster shows John Travolta's name above Olivia Newton-John, and Olivia Newton-John's name above John Travolta.
- Freaky Friday (2003) has a poster that shows Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan below each other's names, in reference to their characters spending most of the movie trapped in each other's bodies.
- The movie poster for Galaxy Quest does it.
- The movie poster for House Of Games has the names of the two leads swapped around.
- Some dvd and bluray releases of Death Race 2000 have Frankenstein's (Carradine) and Machine gun joe's (stallone) heads on the cover(in that order), while the text above reads "Stallone vs. Carradine".
- The poster for 2014's Ride Along has Ice Cube's name above Kevin Hart's body and vice-versa.
- Averted with Face/Off, where the poster juxtaposes John Travolta's and Nicolas Cage's faces and the correct name is shown above each actor's respective half. It wouldn't hurt if the names were mismatched, given that while the movie starts with Travolta as Sean Archer and Cage as Castor Troy, the actors switch roles about 50 minutes in and remain that way until the end of the movie.
- Based on the poster for American Hustle, the five stars have (except for Christian Bale) had sex changes in addition to extremely drastic plastic surgery.
- A particular ridiculous example is this X-Men: Days of Future Past poster where Hugh Jackman is the only one credited yet isn't even on the poster.
- Some Like It Hot has a few home video covers that give Marilyn Monroe top billing, and place her in the front and center. However, since Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon are also Billed Above The Title, these covers end up having Marilyn pose underneath Tony Curtis' name, with him underneath hers. (Jack Lemmon ended up in the proper spot, though.)
- A slight variation occurred in one poster promoting Tropic Thunder: Ben Stiller, Jack Black, and Robert Downey, Jr. all had their names prominently listed on the top of the poster, but only Ben Stiller and Robert Downey, Jr were in the actual image. This actually lead to some controversy: The film was already becoming a bit controversial for Downey, Jr. spending most of his screen-time in black face; The placement of the names and the fact that the actors were listed by surname also made it look as though he was being billed as "Black Downey Jr".
- Look at the poster of The Muppets: apparently Amy Adams is playing Walter (the little Muppet) and Chris Cooper is playing a chick.
- Not technically a poster, but check out this gem from an early trailer of The Expendables 3.
- The 2011 American The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo film does this◊.
- In Left 4 Dead 2, loading screens for joining a server show a movie poster with the four player characters standing side-to-side, with a list of each player below the poster, their names listed in the same order as their characters. However, most creators of custom campaigns forget to set the order correctly for their campaign's poster, leading to, for example, Nick being on the right-hand side of the poster while the person playing him is listed second. The first Left 4 Dead averted this by having the names listed right above their characters' heads, but also made it much more apparent (not to mention funny) when a campaign's creator got lazy about it.