There's a tyop... typo, and it's right there on the cover of the movie or book or what have you. Like a zit. Not that we don't all make typos. There are probably a copule on this page... but not all of us have proofreaders on retainer. This trope often serves to embarrass distributors of official materials, as pretty much the only thing their supposed to do in regards the distribution is make sure that everything is correctly spelled.
Can be your first clue that They Just Didn't Care.
If the misspelling is done on purpose, then it's Inherited Illiteracy Title.
See Also: Grammar Nazi, Rouge Angles of Satin.
open/close all folders
According to this commercial, Reese's Minis are "popable." In this case, the O here would be pronounced like "pope" since the constanant following the vowel is not doubled, and the constanant is followed by another vowel, according to my grade school English textbook and any dictionary. You can add "able" to a word that ends in E, and drop the E. Therefore, Reese's Minis are able to Pope. View here.
Cerebus has its origins in this trope. "Cerberus" was the intended name of a fanzine. As Dave Sim recounted: "'Not to worry,' I said, somewhat less than eager to reletter the logo and figure out how to squeeze in an extra letter and transpose two others, 'We’ll just say that Cerebus is the name of the cartoon aardvark mascot.'"
Rumble Dumble by Ebony Brown has its cover with the author's name misspelled as Ebomy.
Jack Squad: — It says "ban together" instead of "band together" on the back cover.
Make a Wish: — It says "braniac" instead of "brainiac" on the back. The character in question is not a maniac for bran.
Mexican Werewolf in Texas: They capitalized the T in "the" on the cover where it says, "Terror has just crossed the border." That would be forgivable if it wasn't for the back cover, which reads, "It's hunger knows no bounds." It is hunger knows no bounds?
On the Run: Ally Farson II: A crappy, VERY low budget movie with various spelling errors and punctuation problems on the back.
Another episode was the movie "The Brain That Wouldn't Die", while the end credits identified it as (the more accurate) "The Head That Wouldn't Die"
On one public-domain DVD of the Sherlock Holmes movie ''Dressed to Kill', the spine spells the hero's name as "Sherlok Holmes."
In the Robert Downey Jr Sherlock Holmes, the opening credits feature a newspaper headline proclaiming "Sherlock Holmes Aides Police."
This one on the DVD of the documentary Dust to Glory. "From the creator's of..."
One cheap DVD of Death Rides a Horse has a double example on the front cover: "The Lenghts One Man Will Go to Take His Rewenge".
Extremely common on bootleg copies, for obvious reasons. The Crappy Bootleg DVD Covers pool on Flickr is a treasure trove of these.
Ray Dennis Steckler started making a straight crime movie, but when it wasn't working out, had two principals become low-budget superheroes Rat Pfink and Boo Boo - which would have been the movie's title, but the title artist read it as Rat Pfink A Boo Boo. Possibly this was interpreted as a pun on the mid-60s expression "a go go".
Lynne Truss wrote that her impetus to write Eats, Shoots & Leaves, a book about punctuation and the misuse thereof, was seeing a poster for the film Two Weeks Notice and noticing, to her horror, that there was no apostrophe after the word "weeks".
As pointed out by Obscurus Lupa in her review of it, the back of the cover for the film Blood Red Moon has 'Behind the Sceens' on it.
The blurb on the back of the Collector's Edition of Psycho says "the ill-fated traveler whose journey and in the notorious shower scene," instead of "ends."
The '70s camp classic thriller Night of a 1,000 Cats.
Elijah Wood is credited as Elijah Woods on the cover of Ash Wednesday.
A rather nitpicky example happened in the fourth Harry Potter movie, where fans threw a fit after the teaser posters lacked a comma on its tagline (Difficult times lie ahead (,) Harry). The studio actually listened to the protests and redid the poster with the correct quote.
A DVD of Tim Burton's Planet of the Apes was full of typos, including lots of things that don't even look like any real word. Also listed, among the DVD extras, "Scorning the Film" (instead of "scoring").
One version of the Atlas Shrugged film was labeled "Atlas Schrugged" on the cover (no, that's not German).
One very cheap DVD release of The Monster Maker refers to the film as The Monter Maker.
As old as print: an early anecdote goes that one of the first printed books, Codex Diplomaticus, was going to be printed without any errors whatsoever. On a bet, the contestor spent days poring over the text of the book, but didn't notice the massive typo on the cover - Podex Diplomaticus. The fact that Podex means 'butt' only makes it worse.
The British paperback edition of Jack Vance's Marune: Alastor 933 misquoted the title as Marune: Alastor 993.
One paperback printing of E. E. “Doc” Smith's Second Stage Lensmen (plural) gave the title as Second Stage Lensman (singular). It's not hard to see how they were caught out, though, because it's singular on all the other books in the series.
Rouge Queen by L. Spraque De Camp. Had an error in both the title and the author's name. (rogue, sprague)
One paperback edition of Leslie Charteris' The Saint and Mr. Teal was printed on both the front cover and the spine as The Saint and Mrs. Teal.
Not on the cover, but the front inside flap of the Unseen Academicals jacket refers to "Lord Ventinari." The character's name is, of course, Vetinari, with only one N.
Book club members in the UK were able to buy exclusive leather-bound Discworld books; two have had typos on the cover. Witches Abroad was subtitled "The twelth Discworld novel", and Maskerade was originally printed Maskarade. The latter was corrected and reprinted.
Inverted in the blurb for the American edition of Interesting Times which describes Rincewind's hat as being embroidered with the word "Wizard", when in fact it's a plot point that it's misspelled as "Wizzard". Poor copy-editor. Some days you can't win for losing.
Discworld also has some in-universe examples of Typoes on the Cover. In fact, in The Truth, the newspaper is called Ankh-Morpork Times because William was going to call it Ankh-Morpork Items but a typesetter got the letters out of order. That book also has "The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret."
Pink Floyd: Bricks in the Wall by Karl Dallas: the back cover says "part history" when obviously "past history" is what is meant. This error (and numerous others, but this was the only obvious one on the cover) went uncorrected when the American publisher reprinted it without Dallas' permission almost a decade after the original printing.
And even if they did change it to "past history", that would seem a little redundant.
Also, the "I before E except after C" rule had not been codified at that point.
The back cover of a paperback edition of Catch-22 contains the quote "he is trapped by the Great Loyalty Oath Crusade, the hilariously sinister bureaucratic rule from which the book takes it's title".
The book jacket of Alan Dean Foster's Mid-Flinx spells the author's name as Lan Dean Foster.
One edition of Mark Billingham's Scaredy Cat spells the author's surname as "Billngham" on the spine. The author's surname is also "Billngham" on the spine of Sleepyhead, the first book in the series.
On the back cover of the fantasy novel On Fire's Wings, the main character is referred to several times as 'Kelva'. Throughout the entirety of the book itself, she is consistently called 'Kevla'.
There is a book by Sharon Eliza Nichols called I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar that features various newspapers, company signs, billboards, and other very public writings that feature errors, and many examples are shown on the front cover of the book. On a special note, the back cover features a shocking lack of commas, and a dangling participle.
The Doctor Whonovelisation of "Delta and the Bannermen" has a typo on the spine, where there is only one Bannerman. (This is nothing to the typo that occurs within, at a point where one of the characters is supposed to be peering over a shelf.)
Eric Ambler's name is misspelled on the spine of one edition of his novel A Kind of Anger, omitting the 'L'.
The first printing of James L. Grant's first novel, Pedestrian Wolves, misspells the author's name as Jales.
One edition of The Innkeeper's Song wrote the title on the spine as The Inkeeper's Song.
An early printing of the uncut version of the The Stand misspells the title of Book II as "On the Boarder" instead of "On the Border" as it should be. It's excusable that there are typos here and there in the text of a 1200 page book, but a mistake that visible is pretty incredible.
The back of The Rithmatist has an excerpt of the book where the character Lilly's name is spelled "Lily". note This is just the back. The excerpt is spliced together from the prologue, and the actual story has "she" where "Lily" is.
The poem "Little Orphant Annie" was, at one point, called "Little Orphant Allie" until a typesettting error.
Life Action TV
On one Doctor Who VHS release, the name of the Doctor's companion Peri is misspelled "Perry."
The American release of My Generation, the first LP from The Who, misspelled the surnames of Pete Townshend and John Entwistle — dropping the silent H from the former's name, and apparently inserting it into the latter's.
On some printings of Starflyer 59's self-titled first album, the text on the disc itself reads "Starflier 59".
Jethro Tull's first single "Sunshine Day" had the band's name spelled "Jethro Toe" on the label.
Jimi Hendrix successfully sued his British record label for a mistake in the first pressing of Electric Ladyland LPs that had them issued as Electric Landlady.
The original CD issue of London Calling by The Clash credited "The Guns of Brixton" to Paul Simon instead of Paul Simonon, as well as listing the title track as being five minutes long instead of three.
"Train In Vain" was technically a secret track on the original London Calling LP, but wasn't intended to be; the band decided to include the track after the artwork was completed. The original CDs have it listed as the final track, while the 1999 and 2004 reissues use the original artwork and therefore make no mention of it.
The tracklist on the back of the original CD issue of R.E.M.'s Life's Rich Pageant interprets the track sequence loosely.
The original CD and vinyl issues of Green have a faintly visible "4" sharing space with the "R" in "R.E.M." and an "R" where the "4" should be for the fourth track; the former was a mistake that the band decided to keep, and the latter an intentional move inspired by the former.
Pink Floyd's Soundtrack from the Film More credits David Gilmour as David Gilmore. Though given the name of the film, it's been speculated that it could have been a deliberate pun.
The back cover of the compilation Gimme Indie Rock Vol. 1 mistakenly lists Dinosaur Jr.'s "Little Fury Things" as "Little Furry Things".
The back of the "Supercharged" compilation lists Sum 41's "Fat Lip" as "Fat Up".
The lyric sheet on The Bellamy Brothers' Rip Off the Knob album contains several typos, including "When the DJ says, 'callin' to win some cash'" instead of "call in to win some cash" in the title track. It also includes a re-recording of "Stayin' in Love" with Freddy Fender singing some of the verses in Spanish, but you'd never know that from the lyric book — on top of that, the verses that are included are out of order.
Country Music session guitarist/record producer Dann Huff likely has the most-misspelled name in Nashville, as far too many albums leave off the second N.
Nirvana's Bleach credits both "Kurdt Kobain" (intentional example) and "Chris Novoselic" (only by In Utero he would use his birth name Krist, in the Croatian spelling).
The Zombies' Odessey and Oracle, which they initially tried to pass off as a pun combining "odyssey" and "odes".
Emilie Autumn's Fight Like A Girl has an odd example: the inner sleeve shows a piece of note paper headed "How I Sread the Plague today". It's handwritten, so it's not a typo as such, but there's no obvious stylistic reason for spelling it that way.
According to the back cover and the physical disc itself, track #7 of Versailles' Anthologie is called "MASQAURADE".
Some copies of Helmet's Strap It On erroneously list the song "Bad Mood" as "Bad Moon" - maybe someone thought of "Bad Moon Rising" and got confused.
Yahoo News posted this◊ article on their homepage for all to see, about Sentator Kerry.
TheValley News once misspelled its name as "Valley Newss"
The Guardian used to be infamous for its typos and once - the legend goes - misprinted its own name. It's still known as The Grauniad, and if you type grauniad.co.uk into your address bar you'll be redirected to the main site.
Slate blogger Matt Yglesias is notorious for his typos.
The Daily Mail often contains many typos, mispellings and missing words.
The front page (so far that's all there is) for the United Wrestling Network includes the line, "NEW SANCTIONING BODY FOR PRO WRESLING ESTABLISHED."
One sourcebook for the pen-and-paper RPG Exalted was accidentally titled the Roll of Glorious Divininty.
The initial print of Colossal Kaiju Combat card game's "Combat Deck" starter monsters featured "Invader X-05: Planet Kller" (sic).
One mid-90's wave of X-Men figures from Toy Biz was described on the packaging as having "muntant" armor. Much of this line was made up of unused figures from a cancelled wave of Iron Man figures, adding to the They Just Didn't Care feeling.
There exists an Edward Cullen doll whose packaging describes him as having "ming-reading" powers.
The French version of Halo 3: ODST tells you to use your skills to attain vcitory.
There was an interactive DVD game released to be an Unofficial Official tie-in with the BBC TV spelling bee Hard Spell (well, it was a spelling game, and it had Eamonn Holmes, but it wasn't Hard Spell). The original cover was hastily withdrawn after the producers sent a batch to host Eamonn Holmes to autograph - and he pointed out they'd spelled his name wrong.
The subtitle of Mad Stalker: Full Metal Force was spelled Full Metal Forth in the FM Towns and Sharp X68000 versions; the console ports corrected this.
Inverted in Wild Guns, where the end credits list the people responsible for "planing".
The side of the game case for the American version of Naruto: Powerful Shippuden calls the famous ninja in orange as "Nartuo".
The Japan-only Virtual Boy game Virtual Lab was apparently licensed by Nintendo, but somebody apparently lost count of the N's: "Nintenndo" is credited on the back of the box, and "Ninntenndo" on the cartridge label.
Episode 9 of Ambition is titled "The Marriage Counsellor".
Some copies of Dynamite Slugger for the Neo Geo Pocket Color have "Dynamite Sluggaer" printed on the spine.
According to the title screen, the NES version of Lifeforce was apparently licensed by "Nintend of America".
In Rave Master, Gale Glory accidentally misspells the name of his and Gale Raregroove's news business as "Demon Card" instead of "Demon Guard". He said he was up all night getting it ready, so a lack of sleep may have been a factor.
Idiocracy features several things spelled incorrectly on covers, signs, people's clothing, etcetera. Justified due to the average IQ of the world's population dropping to about room temperature in Celsius.
Something Old - Short film about a bride-to-be who has just discovered a typo on her wedding invitations... which causes chaos.
In The Dark Tower V: Wolves of the Calla, there is a minor plot point about a first-edition printing of the novel The Hogan... which has the misspelled title The Dogan.
Rainbows End by Vernor Vinge: "Rainbows End" is the name of a retirement home. One of the characters wonders if the missing apostrophe was left out deliberately.
Spinal Tap's Nigel Tufnel INTENDED to call his solo album Calm Caravan, but the 'a' and 'l' got transposed, and it ended up being Clam Caravan. This extends to the title track, which was included on the group's second real world album Break Like the Wind.
Mad About You - Along with some other mistakes in the planning of a wedding, the invitations go out with a misspelling.
Michael: Tuesdays & Thursdays - The 9th episode of the 1st season is called Ridicule, and centers around how the stress of his book's typos and the strain of modern publicity cause David to break out in a nasty rash.
Seinfeld - Episode The Bubble Boy, where George and Susan visit the bubble boy, which later results in a fight due to a misprint in Trivial Pursuit.
Friends example: Rachel sends out cover letters with her resumes touting her excellent compuper skills.
Torg: I'm done! Riff: You finished brainstorming the concept for the greatest comic book of all time? Torg: No, I finished the whole comic book! It's a cowboy-western-psychological-horror-action-romance-thriller! Riff: You did this in, what? Three hours? Torg: When you have clarity of vision and a good printer things move pretty quickly. And as long as you don't overwork it, then end result is perfection! Riff: You misspelled 'Western'. Torg: Only on the cover.