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In General

  • British Childrens' TV of the 70s - blimey were they trying to get crap past the radar or not? Drug references in The Magic Roundabout, all those double entendre names such as Roger the Cabin Boy, Seaman Staines and Master Bates in Captain Pugwash (the title itself taken from an Australian term for oral sex) and that infamous episode of Rainbow which features comments about "playing with twangers" and references to female host Jane's "maracas". Basically just a non-stop stream of filth aimed at innocent children, right? Wrong. The clip seen on YouTube of Rainbow containing the double entendres was never a broadcast episode but just filmed as a private joke for an end of shoot party, only intended to be shown to the production staff. The names in Captain Pugwash are all totally made up (the cabin boy is called Tom, there is a Master Mates, no character with the surname "Staines" appears on the show and there is no evidence that Pugwash was ever a slang term for oral sex) and creator John Ryan successfully sued people who said so. Master Bates is a character from Gulliver's Travels. Finally, the reason for the surreal nature of The Magic Roundabout is that it was originally a French series but when the British bought it, the deal didn't include the soundtrack or scripts, only the visuals, so writer and actor Eric Thompson treated it as a Gag Dub, and all his family have confirmed that the strongest drug Eric Thompson ever took was aspirin.
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Creators

  • There's a theory that Dan Schneider was responsible for the former Nickelodeon studio logo because it resembled a foot, and Schneider is infamous for foot-related humor in his shows. That logo is specifically for the animation studio, which Schneider had no part in until 2018, long after the studio's redesign; all of Schneider's live-action fare was filmed at Nickelodeon At Sunset, which never had the foot logo. The foot logo was likely just chosen for Rule of Funny.
  • The Monty Python team were all public schoolboys from well-off families, right? Well... while none of them were from families that were exactly destitute and all went to good schools, it certainly wasn't the case that they were all born into luxury. Only three of the team, John Cleese, Eric Idle, and Michael Palin, went to public schools, and while Eric Idle went to a boarding school, this was on a charitable basis as his mother was widowed just after the war.
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  • It was widely believed that Soupy Sales did a lot of edgy jokes in his live-action show. While he denies making any risqué sexual jokes, there is proof of one incident - Soupy asking his young viewers to "check their mommies' purses and find all the funny-looking pieces of green paper" to send him by mail. It's Common Knowledge that Soupy was being naively greedy, and that it cost him his job. The truth of the matter is, the whole affair was always intended, and understood by all but the nuttiest Moral Guardians to be a joke, albeit in bad taste for the time. He was winking and playing the whole time, and the often-forgotten punchline "I'll send you a postcard from Puerto Rico!" makes it clear that the audience was in on the joke. And he continued hosting the show for two years afterwards, his only reprimand was a slap on the wrist.
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Series

  • The idea that The Addams Family contains BDSM is only partially true. While the Addamses do enjoy things that a normal person would consider torture, such as racks and beds of nails, and Gomez and Morticia do use such things when they're being romantic, it's clearly not usually meant to be sexual. Among other things, characters do such activities with their relations, and the children also do them.
  • Many people believe that Barney & Friends has never had episodes dealing with negative emotions and that the characters were always happy. This isn't the truth, as several episodes, as well as some songs on the show, have dealt with negative feelings.
  • Everybody knows that Tobias Fünke of Arrested Development is a closeted gay man who's hilariously in denial about his sexuality, and he's in a loveless relationship with a straight woman because he's not ready to come out. Except he's not. Mitchell Hurwitz has pretty consistently stated that Tobias is actually straight, and that he's just oblivious to the fact that he often says things that lead people to assume that he's gay. While Tobias and Lindsay do have a deeply unhealthy and loveless marriage, their marital issues have nothing to do with Tobias' sexuality. Season 4 makes this somewhat more explicit: Tobias ends up dating a woman named Debrie Bardeaux after he and Lindsay finally get a divorce, and they have a pretty obvious mutual attraction.
  • Everybody knows that Batman (1966) didn't include Two-Face as a villain since he was conisdered too grotesque for the light-hearted nature of the show. This actually isn't true since during the time the TV show was airing, Two-Face was a C-List villain at best who had only appeared five times in the comics in the 20 years since his introduction. The character only became popular after Denny O'Neil brought him back in the 70s. It is true that Harlan Ellison wrote a script which featured Two-Face, but he had a habit of reading every comic book put out by the major publisher every month since he was a kid, so he remembered the character; and the episode was probably never made due to conflicts between Ellison and the producers, not because the use of Two-Face was banned.
  • In the lead-up to the short-lived Birds of Prey (2002)'s debut, it was reported that Bruce Thomas would reprise his role from the Batman OnStar Commercials as Batman for the pilot. Thomas himself however rebuked this, saying that it wasn't him.
  • Everyone "knows" that Walter White of Breaking Bad started cooking meth because he was uninsured, and needed money to pay for his cancer treatments; many people like to point this out as a way of taking potshots at the American healthcare system, especially since the Affordable Care Act was first being discussed around the time that the show began. Actually, the show never said that Walt was uninsured, and he started his meth business so that he could leave money for his family after his death. He didn't get treatment (at first) because his doctors told him that his cancer was inoperable, and he didn't want to suffer through chemotherapy. When he did start his treatments, he did it because his family insisted, not because he finally had the money.
    • Furthermore, his insurance would have covered some treatment, just not very good treatment. The treatment that he opts for is not covered, and although he has already started cooking by this point, some old friends offer him a job with insurance that would cover the more expensive treatment. He rejects this offer (which would have solved both his medical bill issues as well as vastly improving his financial situation) in favor of cooking meth, because, as the show goes on to repeatedly prove, his Fatal Flaw is his pride. It is true that the plot of the series would likely never have happened had Walt been given adequate coverage from the get-go, but it's also a major part of Walt's character that he isn't cooking meth because he has to, he's doing it because he chooses to. His situation just meant that it was a choice at all.
  • Everyone knows that Dateline cancelled their "To Catch a Predator" investigations as a result of the controversy generated by the suicide of Rockwall County, TX, D.A. Louis Conradt during the program’s Murphy, TX investigation. Except... not. After 12 investigations (three of them done after Conradt’s suicide) spanning three years, the staff of Dateline, including Chris Hansen, felt the story had run its course, and it was time to move on to other stories. While it is true that Conradt’s suicide generated considerable controversy for the program, it was not the reason Dateline stopped running "To Catch a Predator".
  • Dawson's Creek is so well known for having adults well into their 20s playing teenagers that it's the Trope Namer for Dawson Casting. However, the show itself actually averts this trope, with the core cast, anyway. James Van Der Beek, Michelle Williams, Katie Holmes, and Joshua Jackson were all actual teenagers playing 15-year-olds when the show began. The trope didn't come into play with the show itself until the later seasons when you had actors well beyond their teens playing high school students, such as nearly 30 year old Meredith Monroe playing a high school student.
    • Beverly Hills, 90210 plays with this trope, however. While a lot of the actors were well beyond their teens, there were some actual teen actors such as Jennie Garth (who was 18 when the show began) playing high school students.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Everyone "knows" that the main character's name is not, in fact, Doctor Who. It's just "the Doctor". Well, that's debatable:
      First, he was credited as "Dr Who", "Dr. Who", or "Doctor Who" in many early episodes, as well as Series 1 of the revived series, and contemporary Expanded Universe material unambiguously refers to him by that name, including the first ever original Doctor Who novel, "Doctor Who and the Invasion from Space" (first published 1966). Later EU works that operated around Genre Throwback would sometimes use the name as well, and that’s not even getting into the many, many non-TV works that used the "Doctor Who" name in the title, of which the aforementioned "Doctor Who and the Invasion from Space" is only one, and not even the first one (that would be 1964’s "Doctor Who in an Exciting Adventure with the Daleks", a Novelization of the first Dalek serial).
      Even if you don't count the meta-stuff and only consider what happens in the show, the Doctor seems to have an affinity for the word "who", using it on their car's licence plates, and occasionally using a non-English translation as a pseudonym. Some characters have actually called the Doctor "Doctor Who", such as WOTAN (as well as his Brainwashed and Crazy human servants) and Missy, with the latter claiming it's his original pseudonym but he shortened it to "Doctor" because "Doctor Who" was too egotistical.
      Thus, while the main character goes by "the Doctor" more often, "Doctor Who" is a valid alias both in and out of universe, albeit not their real name, which is still unknown.
    • The TARDIS has the shape of a Police Box, not a phone booth (though it does have a non-working phone on the outside, and the Ninth and Eleventh Doctors have been shown operating a working phone attached to the TARDIS console).
    • Non-fans know the Daleks are "The evil robots from Doctor Who," unaware that they're actually mutated aliens with robotic exoskeletons, and thus cyborgs, not full robots. This includes the writers of the Oxford English Dictionary. note  This is likely due to the general public not knowing the difference between a robot, a cyborg, and an android. "Destiny of the Daleks", does refer to the Dalek/Movellan War as "two races of robots engaged in a stalemated war", however the episode was written by Terry Nation, creator of the Daleks, and it shows the Doctor finding a Dalek mutant and has Romana say the Daleks were once humanoid, so the episode is at most implying that these particular Daleks have become robotic and is not claiming that this is a general characteristic of Daleks.
    • There are a couple of ones involving Gallifrey Mean Time. Although it is never stated, it's more or less assumed that whenever the Doctor visits Gallifrey, the year is the year of the Doctor's birth plus the Doctor's age. This is never contradicted, since the writers like to refer to previous Gallifrey stories in the current one. However during the interregnum in the 1990s, it almost became fanon that Gallifrey Mean Time is in the Earth's distant past when there's really no evidence to support this. In fact, in show there's probably more in the original series to indicate that it's "present day". Both Omega stories, "The Three Doctors" and "Arc of Infinity", have events affecting Gallifrey and Earth at the "same time".
    • Much of the things which people think came in with the New Series in 2005 are actually Older Than They Think. For example, it is thought the Doctor never showed romantic feelings to anyone before Rose. The First Doctor had romantic feelings towards Cameca, an elderly Aztec woman in "The Aztecs", the 6th story. His proposal to her is accidental, but he does appear genuinely sad at leaving her and keeps the brooch she gives him. And, of course, his first-ever companion was his granddaughter, hinting at a romantic/sexual past for the character (although the Expanded Universe is vaguer on that particular matter - it’s a long story).
    • There is a perception that the revival was more popular and had higher ratings than the original. While the former is hard to quantify, the latter is not the case. While the Davies era's best ratings came close, both the second season of Hartnell's era and the Holmes/Hinchliffe era had better consistent ratings (and the difference widens when you consider percentage of sets tuned in and audience appreciation figures). This is of course throwing out the outlier ratings at the beginning of Season 17 which were due to a strike at ITV which got the highest ratings in the series history, but which plummeted once it was over.note 
    • The idea that companions are A.) All female, B.) The Doctor's lovers, and C.) Incompetent damsels in distress. Actually, while most of them are women there have been a few male companions such as Rory Williams, and most of them have been able to kick butt and save their own lives. While the Doctor has had romance with Clara, and both Rose and Martha had crushes on him, most of the companions are platonic friends with the Doctor.
  • It's "well-known" that Father Ted ended due to the sudden death of lead actor Dermot Morgan. But in reality, the show was already over by the time he died, and it was just a coincidence. Nor was it the reason the last episode's ending omitted Ted committing suicide. Truth is, it was changed because the writers didn't think it was funny enough.
  • There's a rather common misconception that Carlton's dancing on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air is endearingly bad. While Carlton's dancing is certainly dorky — at least for the most part — that doesn't make it bad. To the contrary, it's actually very good. Doing "the Carlton" both properly and in time takes quite a bit of skill and coordination — whenever Will tries doing it, he looks even more ridiculous than his cousin.
  • A common misconception from Friends is that Chandler was originally going to be gay. Granted, Chandler has had his share of moments where he's Mistaken for Gay, but he has never shown any hints of being gay himself.
  • Game of Thrones:
    • The show can hardly be mentioned in an article or review without someone mentioning the insane amounts of sex and nudity on the show. Clearly it has more than any other series on television, right? Its reputation is that it's basically The Lord of the Rings but with boobs in every scene. There is nudity, and yes, it can be fairly pervasive at times, but the show actually has far less nudity and sex than many other premium cable series like Rome, True Blood, The Tudors and Spartacus. It's just that most people don't expect sexuality from fantasy, since it's usually perceived as a kid-friendly genre. Some of this reputation is also the result of the show "spicing up" scenes of exposition with sex or nudity in its early episodes - even that is somewhat overplayed, though.
    • The primary setting of the show is not "The Kingdom of Westeros", it's "The Seven Kingdoms" — a confederation of seven previously independent kingdoms that lie on the continent of Westeros. The continent Westeros also encompasses the uncivilized lands beyond the Wall. Westeros also isn't just a stand-in for Medieval Britain; while it does include several realms that are analogous to regions of Britainnote , several of its realms are also analogous to parts of continental Europe.note  It's just that the British elements are generally the most central to the plot.
    • It's starting to become common knowledge that poor Robb Stark is murdered at his own wedding, along with his bride and unborn child, in an event known as the Red Wedding. The murdering part is true (unfortunately, for all three, at least in the series), but it is emphatically not Robb's own wedding that becomes the infamous Red Wedding. He and his wife Talisa (Jeyne in the novels) had already gotten married in a small, private ceremony, an act which broke Robb's vow to Walder Frey that he would marry one of his daughters. In fact, the reason they're murdered in Frey's hall is due to this broken vow, so it would make no sense that Robb himself would be married at House Frey. It's Robb's uncle, Edmure Tully, who is getting married that night, to make amends for Robb's breach of contract. Chris Martin of Coldplay got this one wrong by writing a song about the Red Wedding which calls it "the wedding of Robby Stark", and even sang it surrounded by Game of Thrones cast members and no one caught it!
  • Get Smart:
    • Siegfried is the leader of KAOS; this has been mentioned in numerous TV show books, referenced by Ted Lange when he & Bernie Kopell guest starred on Boy Meets World and was the case in the movie. However, several episodes, specifically "Cutbacks at CONTROL" and "How to Succeed in the Spy Business Without Really Trying" explicitly mention him having superiors. note  In fact, unlike CONTROL and their Chief, KAOS didn't have a regular leader, instead having several over the course of the series, beginning with Mr. Big note  in the pilot.
    • Some TV trivia books give Agent 99's real name as "Susan Hilton", actually that was an alias she used in her work as a spy.
  • Not every Gilligan's Island episode involves the castaways trying to escape the island, only about a third of them. Many episodes deal with them trying to avoid being killed by tropical storms or some other threat, while a surprisingly large number are about things like having a costume party or a beauty pageant.
    • Also, everyone knows that all potential rescues/escapes fail because of Gilligan's screw-ups, and the castaways should have just eaten Gilligan, right? Actually, in the 37 episodes that involve some chance of getting off the island, Gilligan is only legitimately "at fault" for the failure 17 times. Screwing up 17 rescues probably would make you unpopular, granted, but there are also a large number of episodes where Gilligan saves the castaways from disaster, or headhunters, or some other deadly peril. There are also several instances where the escape plan is fatally flawed, but the flaw isn't noticed until Gilligan "screws it up," inadvertently saving their lives. Also several rescue attempts are only possible because of Gilligan.
    • There's also the common joke "How come the Professor could build a nuclear reactor out of coconuts, but he couldn't fix the hole in the boat?" In the first place, the Professor never built a nuclear reactor, and in the second place, the boat was completely destroyed in episode 8.
      • Others who are aware the boat is destroyed want to know why he can't, in the words of "Weird Al" Yankovic, "build a lousy raft." In fact, he does so in at least one episode... and Gilligan sank it.
  • Parodies or depictions of the infamous Happy Days scene featuring the Fonz Jumping the Shark frequently depict the shark jumping at whoever is performing the stunt. In the actual scene, the shark stays in the water the entire time, making the scene less exciting than you were led to believe.
  • Hogan's Heroes: A bit less than it used to be, but still every so often you'll hear people who insist that the show is set in a Nazi concentration camp, instead of a POW camp. It's easily debunked when you give some thought to the fact that Robert Clary note  was a victim of the concentration camp system, and would likely have flat-out refused to be in a show that proposed to make light of that aspect of Nazi atrocities.
  • Opening a children’s book reading with “Are you sitting comfortably? Then I'll begin.” does not come from Jackanory but from an earlier series entitled Listen With Mother which was broadcast on the radio, not television.
  • Judge Judy: Judge Judy has never used a gavel in over 5000 episodes. Despite this, numerous people claim to remember her using a gavel frequently. However,not a single clip of her doing show has ever been found. In fact, the only "evidence" appears to be single picture in Google Image Search which shows her with a gavel, but it is likely from an ad or promo and not a still from a real episode.
  • The Land of the Lost is not Earth in the distant past.
  • In 588 episodes of Lassie, Timmy never actually fell down a well. To be fair, a quick visit to that trope's page indicates that he did manage to get himself into pretty much every other dangerous situation a small child conceivably could.
  • Jokes about Lost often ask why "the fat guy," Hurley, never loses any weight on the island despite having a meager food supply. In actuality, the survivors of the plane crash had a variety of food to choose from, including boar and fish, and a research station full of consumer food was discovered in season 2. A Loose Change parody documentary on the fourth season DVD makes fun of this idea by asking how Hurley and the others retained their weight despite allegedly being stranded on a deserted island with little food.
    • At least one episode shows that Hurley has a horrible food problem; he's eating junk food from the mysterious sources (they got an airdrop once!) left and right. It even gets lampshaded in one episode; Hurley finds a box of crackers and starts wolfing them down, even after Ben tries to stop him by pointing out that they're over 30 years old.
    • And before the group finds the junk food, Hurley specifically (and indignantly) tells Charlie that he has, in fact, shed quite a few pounds while on the island - it's just harder to notice such changes when they're such a small proportion of his total body weight than it would be if he were thinner.
    • Also, the show takes place over a much shorter time than it was aired. Seasons 1-4 takes place over 108 days (this is specifically mentioned as how many days after Oceanic Flight 815's crash the Oceanic Six were rescued.)
    • It's common knowledge the show spends its six seasons introducing "mysteries", and then fails to solve any of them. Actually, even in the beginning, the mysterious happenings often spark heated arguments between the characters about whether a non-denominational higher power is sending them signs and portents, or whether they're just seeing things that aren't there because of the emotional scars they suffered in the flashbacks. In the end, both arguments are right: two higher powers cause the mysteries, in order to play on the characters' emotional baggage and make them pawns in a cosmic con and/or game. While it's arguable if a show about trying to grapple with God's ineffable design can escape from A Wizard Did It territory, in any case, the mysteries are still definitively solved.
    • It's also common knowledge the show never explained why Walt is special. Except they did. He's special because he was born with special powers. They don't reveal the science behind it, but in later seasons it's shown to be something that just happens to some people, like Miles Straume, and also in the numerous works of fiction the show alludes to, like Carrie or Force-sensitives from Star Wars. Numerous people throughout all six seasons are told they're "special" and that they belong on the Island; Walt was simply one more.
    • Some people think the final season features the smoke monster taking over Locke's body. His body is never corrupted in any way. The smoke monster merely takes on his appearance.
  • M*A*S*H:
    • Hawkeye Pierce from got the Kirk treatment, as so many shows who reference him (when they're not complaining about his liberalism) treat him as a cool snarky womanizer, when his mental health being terrible was a big factor in all eleven seasons. Also a bit of a Popularity Polynomial, as he and Alan Alda were hated in the eighties for being "wimpy", but millennials can relate to an anti-war histrionic mess who flirts with everyone and makes references to classic queer figures.
    • One of the most iconic aspects of the show is Hawkeye and Trapper John coming into The Swamp after a marathon session of surgery and pouring themselves a martini. Except that never happened, what they get from the still is pure gin. (This is in itself a case of Artistic License, since the setup they have couldn't produce gin, but that's a story for another trope page.) This is Lampshaded in an early episode where Hawkeye says he wants a martini, and he mentions that he invented the most dry martini imaginable: he drinks gin while looking at a picture of Antonio Carpano, the man who invented vermouth.
    • Radar O'Reilly's real name is Walter, a name many believe was derived from the novel M*A*S*H: A Novel About Three Army Doctors, but which was, in fact, invented for the series. It was invented for the character after actor Gary Burghoff, who played Radar, asked why his character doesn't seem to have an actual first name.
    • It's common to recall that M*A*S*H had a number of original actors leave, replacing them with very similar characters every time. This is not expressly true. While they did state explicitly that BJ Hunnicutt was Trapper's replacement, and obviously Col. Potter and Major Winchester were the new camp commander and second in command, the idea that they were similar characters bears examination. Henry Blake was a conscript who hated being in the Army as much as Hawkeye and Trapper did, and was fairly lax in his command duties, essentially becoming "one of the guys", liked by them but not exactly respected. Sherman Potter was "regular Army", but this translated into his being A Father to His Men, with the others coming to revere him as a commander and approve of him as a person. Trapper John showed a willingness to be dishonest on many occasions, including cheating on his wife with a series of nurses and skirting rules even when it came to medical procedures. BJ, on the other hand, was scrupulously honest, never cheated on his wife (well, once, and he was racked with guilt over it, in an episodes most fans would prefer to pretend never happened) and nearly came to blows with Hawkeye when the latter wanted to prescribe an appendectomy on a war-happy colonel who didn't actually need it in order to prevent him from sacrificing his men. While Trapper routinely went along with such ideas, BJ's professionalism as a doctor prevented him from even considering it. Finally, while Charles Winchester was nearly as arrogant as Frank Burns, he was also a brilliant surgeon, an honest and fundamentally decent man, and developed a grudging respect for Hawkeye, which was returned note . Burns, meanwhile, was an utter quack, a hypocritical coward, and saw Hawkeye as nothing but a menace, with Hawkeye seeing Burns as beneath contempt.
    • Final note to the idea of replacements; Radar's replacement when he left was an existing character; rather than invent a new camp clerk, Potter gave the job to Klinger, who had been there since the first season, and was clearly not just "another Radar".
  • The Muppet Show
    • The show does not have guest hosts, it has guest stars. Kermit is the permanent host. Not helped by the fact that in the 2011 film, the Muppets do need a celebrity host for the telethon, but though they do get Jack Black as the host (against his will), he serves more as a guest star while Kermit does his usual hosting duty. Then again, this is justified, as Black was only there against his will.
    • Additionally, Rowlf was not a member of Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem. He was part of the orchestra which included most of the Electric Mayhem, and has occasionally played piano alongside other members, but has rarely performed with all five original members. In part because Rowlf and Dr. Teeth were both performed by Jim Henson, and their instruments are similar (Rowlf plays piano; Dr. Teeth plays keyboard, and has sometimes played piano).
    • The episodes with Vincent Price and Alice Cooper are often referred to as Halloween episodes, yet while the episodes are both horror-themed, neither are Halloween episodes. The holiday isn't even mentioned in those episodes. The Alice Cooper episode did go out the week before Halloween, but the Vincent Price episode was first broadcast in January. The confusion probably stems from the two episodes being released on a 1994 VHS that was explicitly Halloween-themed.
    • The Muppets' own mad scientist, Dr. Bunsen Honeydew was based on the show's backer, Lord Lew Grade. Except, no; Henson himself said in an interview in 1982 that this wasn't the case.
    • On a meta level, it's well known that the word "Muppet" is a combination of "marionette" & "puppet"; actually, Henson just liked the word, and made up the "combination of marionette/puppet" thing because he figured people would understand that better. More info here.
  • People who are only casually aware of Once Upon a Time sometimes claim that the series features Elsa from Frozen making a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo. In fact, the character in the show actually is Elsa. While she's a slightly different version of the character from the film, they're very explicitly the same character—and Anna, Kristoff, and Hans are in the series too. Once Upon a Time is produced and distributed by ABC, which is a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, so the showrunners have full rights to use licensed Disney characters.
  • Pee-wee's Playhouse is often said to have been cancelled due to Paul Reubens being arrested for masturbating in an adult theater in 1991. But in reality, it was Reubens who made the decision to end the show, due to a combination of not wanting it to get stale from being on the air too long and desiring to branch out into other things. The two events were purely coincidental.
  • The Power Rangers' favorite hangout in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers is not called "Ernie's Juice Bar". It's the Angel Grove Youth Center, which happens to include a juice bar run by a man named Ernie. Ernie doesn't own the juice bar, as it isn't a private business; it's one of several amenities offered by the local Youth Center, which is (by all appearances) a public recreational facility run by the city of Angel Grove. In fact, in Turbo and In Space, other people are running it. This confusion likely arises because of "Ernest's Juice Saloon" in a season two time travel episode.
    • Also in Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, Zedd's putties have a weak point in their chest, which leads people to think they're a downgrade. But the Z has to be struck multiple times with very powerful blows, like flying kicks, or two people delivering a hard punch to the Z. Well, at least until villain decay sets in.
    • "Why don't they just call their zords and finish the monster when it's small?" One of Zordon's rules is to never escalate a battle unless Rita forces you to. There's a practical reason for that, too; monsters often appear in the city, and calling the Megazord to take it out quickly would do more damage. Also, Zordon makes a few exceptions when the Rangers are on the ropes, like when he tells them to use their zords to crush Samurai Fan Man while he's still small. Regardless, they wait until he grows large to call their zords, and every zord combination except the Ultrazord gets its ass handed to it.
  • Mark Goodson and Bill Todman did not create The Price Is Right. Bob Stewart developed it in 1954 while overseeing a local New York City show called The Sky's The Limit. He saw an auction house barker conduct a contest where people made bids on items of merchandise. Whoever was closest to the item's price without going over got to buy the item at its winning bid price. Stewart shopped the show around (under the name Auction-Aire) with no success until Monty Hall brokered a meeting for him with Goodson-Todman in 1956.
    • Contrary to what many people seem to think and what the Encyclopedia of TV Game Shows says, the final segment of the CBS show is not the "Showcase Showdown". Since 1972, it has simply been called the "Showcase". In 1975, the "Showcase Showdown" was introduced when the show expanded to an hour to determine who goes to the Showcase via spinning the Big Wheel.
  • The 1995 BBC miniseries adaptation of Pride and Prejudice is famous for a scene where Mr. Darcy comes out of the lake in his Sexy Soaked Shirt, so much so that a (rather frightening) statue was made of it years later. Problem being, the scene of him walking out of the lake? Never happened. We see him dive into the lake, swim underwater, and then the next time we see him, he's already out of the water and his shirt is nearly dry.
  • Parodies and homages of The Prisoner will often show the title character wearing a big button on his jacket with simply the number 6 on it. In the actual show, the button he is given has the numeral but also the Village's penny-farthing bicycle logo on it, and he almost immediately discards the button anyway, rejecting his numerical classification.
    • The Prisoner is also often considered by many to be a Sequel Series to Danger Man, as both star Patrick McGoohan as a spy. McGoohan himself was always insistent that they be considered different characters, although this may have simply been because he didn't have the IP rights to the Danger Man character. While The Prisoner certainly could be considered a Spiritual Sequel or unofficial sequel, it has no official connection to Danger Man.
  • The panel show QI has debunking things considered "Common Knowledge", then explaining the facts, as its central concept. There is even a segment of the show called "General Ignorance," which deals explicitly with this kind of thing. They still mess up on occasion, and at one point retroactively awarded points that contestants should have received in earlier shows (Alan Davies got something like 500 points).
  • One of the biggest controversies surrounding Robot Wars was the treament of the Seventh Wars' runner-up Storm 2, whom the show's producers apparently tried to sabotage at every turn because they hated its Boring, but Practical design. This included introducing a new rule that all contestants must have an "active weapon" specifically to prevent Team Storm from competing unless they rebuilt their robot, tried to have them disqualified for not using said weapon enough when that didn't work, and worst of all, colluded with Team Typhoon, their opponents in the grand final, to lie about how much damage their robot Typhoon 2 had taken so the judges would grant them the win instead. Even, and especially, on this wiki, you'll find people furiously arguing that Storm 2 was robbed and that Typhoon 2 was an undeserving champion. However, in the wake of the series' brief revival in 2016, this story was put under much greater scrutiny. For one thing, this narrative originated with Team Storm's captain Ed Hoppitt, who was far from an unbiased source and clearly held a grudge, especially considering reports that he attempted to sabotage former Team Typhoon member Gary Cairns over a decade later in the aforementioned revival by trying to buy up a part Cairns desperately needed to repair his new robot PP3D. In terms of the Executive Meddling, it seems unlikely that the producers had it out for Storm 2 as they were not only willing to overlook an actual rule violation committed in the Seventh Wars,note  but also used Manipulative Editing to its favour in the Third World Championships,note  suggesting that Hoppitt's allegations against them were heavily exaggerated, if not fabricated entirely.
  • Steve Martin was never a regular cast member on Saturday Night Live; between his first appearance on the show in 1976 to today, he only appeared in 24 episodes. Then again, it's an easy mistake. He hosted the show 2-3 times per season between 1976 and 1980, except for the 1978-1979 season in which he hosted one episode that year. Not to mention, "The Festrunk Brothers" is one of the show's most iconic sketches.
  • Seinfeld:
    • Everyone knows that George Costanza is an only child. Except he isn't; he mentions having a brother at least twice. The writer of one of the episodes (The Parking Space) was Larry David, so it can be assumed it isn't a continuity error, and this is never contradicted in any future episode.
    • George is frequently described by fans as a portly, balding loser who can't get women, and yet has more sex partners than the average man. In truth, George rarely complained about not being able to attract women, he just complained about how quickly his relationships seemed to go sour, or in some cases how he seemed unable to get away from a woman who wanted him, but in whom he was not/no longer interested. This was in contrast to Jerry, who would always find some token flaw in his dates and use it as an excuse to stop seeing them.
  • Sesame Street:
    • The idea that Cookie Monster learned to eat fewer cookies, or even got renamed the Veggie Monster, with some people even saying he was recoloured green. Nope, he's still Cookie Monster, he's still blue, and he doesn't eat fewer cookies. Hoots the owl once told him to (in song), but unsuccessfully, and Cookie Monster has encouraged the viewers to eat traditionally-healthy food... as well as cookies.
    • Many people claim that the nightmare Cookie Monster had while staying over at Ernie's was caused by eating too many cookies. Except it wasn't— he had the nightmare because he was nervous due to mistaking Ernie's blanket for a creature.
    • The idea that Ernie and Bert were meant to be a gay couple. They weren't designed with any sexuality in mind, and were put in the show both for comedy and to show that people with different personalities can still be (platonic) friends. One puppeteer was gay, and came up with some of their interactions based on interactions he had with his husband, but he didn't see the characters as a married couple.
  • On Starsky & Hutch, the heroes' chief informant Huggy Bear has a lot of different jobs over the course of the show, but pimp is not one of them.
  • Common Knowledge from Star Trek:
    • The only thing everyone knows about Vulcans from Star Trek (apart from the pointy ears) is that they have no emotions. They in fact have very strong emotions—often described as more powerful than that of humans, to the point that, when combined with their strength and technology, it led to anarchy that nearly destroyed them. This is why their culture now encourages all Vulcans to suppress emotion and act on logic. Their stoic nature is cultural, not genetic. To see what Vulcans would be like without this cultural aspect, just look to the Romulans, an offshoot of the Vulcans directed their aggression outward and became interstellar conquerors. Some Vulcans do purge their emotions through the discipline of Kohlinar, but this is very rare. In fact, both Spock and Tuvok embarked on this path, and both failed.
      • Another widely-known thing about Vulcans among fans is that they're noble Space Elves who are above such things as prejudice and acting immorally. This interpretation became such a widespread belief that the Vulcans as seen on Star Trek: Enterprise were derided as being "wrong" because they do things like manipulate, be prejudiced against other species, and otherwise act in a manner quite different from being paragons of virtue. The reality is that they had never been portrayed as being morally superior to humans at all; the one time the Enterprise visits Vulcan in the original series, Vulcans are shown demonstrating resentment, planning betrayal, plotting manslaughter, and jealousy, all wrapped up in a veneer of being "logical" and that behavior isn't seen as anomalous by the other Vulcans present. Spock even congratulates T'Pring on her conniving.
      • Many also know that Vulcans don't speak in contractions. Except that they do. This likely comes from people misattributing this fact that is actually about Data from The Next Generation, who was shown to not be able to use contractions, outside of some Early Installment Weirdness and OOC Is Serious Business moments.
      • It was a deeply-cherished bit of Fanon for decades that Spock had been the first Vulcan in Starfleet, despite this never being stated onscreen, so that when T'Pol was announced for Star Trek: Enterprise fans were irate (despite T'Pol not even being a Starfleet officer at first). In fact, even within the canon of TOS, there had been a whole ship crewed entirely by Vulcans (the USS Intrepid), which presumably would have included a Captain who was senior to Spock and had probably been in Starfleet for longer than he. In "Journey to Babel" though Sarek is annoyed that Spock chose Starfleet over the Vulcan Science Academy, there's nothing to indicate that he was the first to do so, or that it was scandalous to Vulcan society - just to Sarek specifically. Indeed, "Amok Time" seems to indicate that many Vulcans are impressed by Spock's exploits on the Enterprise. Likewise, Spock was often held as the first Human-Vulcan hybrid and when T'Pol and Trip Tucker bore a (short-lived) child in Enterprise they were furious. But Spock was never said to be the first - only that the other Vulcan children teased him mercilessly for his heritage, and unfortunately children can be very cruel to the peers in pretty much any circumstances. Star Trek: Discovery even has Spock say that hybrid Vulcans are uncommon, but there are others like him.
      • Similar to the "Vulcans are space elves" misconception is the idea that Vulcans never lie. Vulcans have lied on several occasions; they just prefer not to do so unless it's necessary. They also tend to excuse themselves with euphemisms like "I exaggerated" or "I implied".
    • Not only does no character in Star Trek ever actually say the specific line "Beam Me Up, Scotty!", people often forget that chief engineer Montgomery Scott isn't the one who usually has the job of beaming crewmen up. That's a guy named Mr. Kyle that no one remembers. That said, Scotty does do the job on occasion, and Kirk even gives the order “Scotty, beam us up” in at least two episodes.
    • Beam down to a planet wearing a red shirt and you die, right? Unless you're Scotty or Uhura, of course. Well, even staying on the ship isn't a guarantee of survival for those poor hapless extras, and death does not care about the color of your uniform top. Plenty of "redshirts" are actually wearing command gold and science blue, and not all of them die. In fact, a shocking number of them not only survive but live to appear again. Check for names like Leslie, Riley, Kelowitz, DeSalle, Farrell, et al.
      • This video argues persuasively that red is actually the safest color to wear if you're an extra in a landing party. While it's true more redshirts died than others wearing other colors, the percentage of deaths among them is much lower, because most landing parties had multiple security guards (wearing red) and only a handful of command or science personnel. Episodes like "The Devil in the Dark" featured whole security teams who survived the entire episode. The reason it seems like redshirts are always doomed to die is that we only focus on the ones who died and forget about the ones who lived. We also tend to lump gold and blueshirt deaths in with the "redshirts". In fact, percentage-wise, goldshirts have a much worse track record, with almost half the non-regulars in goldshirts in landing parties not making it back, while nearly two thirds of the redshirts who beamed down to planets made it back in one piece.
    • Kirk is a hot space cowboy who plays by his own rules and seduces gorgeous alien babes, right? What, he doesn't? Well, not as much as people like to remember. In fact, while women do seem to fall for him a good bit, he rarely falls for them and even more rarely does he seduce them. Actually, most of the times when Kirk seduces a woman, it's due to them being the Villain of the Week, and him trying to protect his ship and crew by playing the part of a male Femme Fatale. The times where he genuinely falls for a woman, he never treats it as a random tryst either, but takes the relationship very seriously, though said relationship will inevitably end with Kirk regretfully having to move on because of his devotion to his duty. Also, he's kind of a hardass about breaking the rules, and comes down pretty hard on his crew when they do break them. Of course, in the films he does commit nine violations of Federation law, but this is all in the course of trying to save Spock's life, and he fully expected to be booted from Starfleet as a result. Kirk is emphatically not a space cowboy who plays by his own rules, but by all means a professional officer who is Married to the Job and takes the regulations and responsibilities of his station very seriously, and at most slants somewhat towards the "Good" option whenever he's placed in a situation where he had to choose between To Be Lawful or Good. Some of this misconception is likely due to, or at least reinforced by, the characterization of Kirk in the reboot universe films, as that Kirk does have these qualities.
    • Present in almost every Star Trek game is the concept that phasers and other beam weapons work best against enemy shields and torpedoes work best against the enemy's hull. This idea doesn't appear in any episode or film. In fact, "Tears of the Prophets" had a planet's defense grid open an attack on the combined Alpha Quadrant force with torpedoes and finish off ships with beam weapons, which wouldn't make much sense unless the opposite is true.
    • Bring up the name "Wesley Crusher" in a room full of Star Trek fans and you are certain to be met with groans and eye-rolls, along with accusations that he's "always" the one to save the ship or solve the problem. This actually only happens six times during the course of the series (though to some, the fact that he's so young makes even just six incidents excessive); there are actually more instances of Wesley screwing up, lacking confidence or even being the problem than being the one to save everybody. Part of the reason this became infamous is that the show packed several of these episodes fairly close together and early on in the series, giving the impression that it happens a lot more often than it did.
    • There is also no such thing as a "Vulcan death grip". The phrase itself is used by Spock to intimidate someone by claiming that such a thing exists, but he is explicitly lying about it (which also contradicts another thing "everybody knows" about Vulcans; namely that they never lie). The confusion probably stems from the fact that there is a neck pinch that's used several times throughout the franchise by the Vulcans, but this only renders someone unconscious.
    • In the wake of Star Trek: Discovery producers announcing that they would be "doing away" with the old "Roddenberry Rule" about conflict, Trekkies everywhere began to cry that the series was ruining Roddenberry's vision. Unfortunately, much about that rule is this trope. Gene Roddenberry did indeed have a rule that petty personal conflict between humans (or, as some interpreted it, Starfleet officers) was not to happen; that we would have "risen above" such concerns. However, this only applied to series set in the 24th Century, as he specifically came up with this rule during the creation of ''Star Trek: The Next Generation". He never thought it would, or should, apply to the original series. Not to mention this "rule" was frequently ignored, or written around, even while Roddenberry was alive, as it sucks potential drama out of almost every situation. Another element of common knowledge surrounding this trope is that it was elevated to mean humans never had any conflict of any sort, which clearly was never the case, but some fans still insist that was a thing at some point.
    • It's been a long-held fan belief that the shapes of the uniform badges on the original series represented the crew members' respective starships, with the Enterprise being the only one to have the well-known delta symbol that would later be used throughout Starfleet. It turns out, however, that this wasn't supposed to be the case. All starships (with the exception of the Exeter, which was an error that was left in) used the delta symbol- the non-delta badges represent other assignments like merchant marine ships, starbases, or deep-space outposts.
    • The stereotypical Star Trek fan is a fat, obnoxious, basement-dwelling male nerd who speaks Klingon and can breathlessly recite the placement of Deep Space 9's crew quarters. While such people undoubtedly exist, it can be a surprise to learn that the fanbase for far longer was stereotyped as being female-dominated and consumed by shippers (similar to the modern Supernatural fandom, for instance), with most fan efforts up until the TNG era being led by women. Even after male fans became a more dominant force, the female side of the Star Trek community remained a major player; the term "slash" originates from Star Trek fandom, for instance. More generally, the idea of Star Trek as a niche nerd franchise is mostly the result of its cult status in the mid sixties and most of the eighties. From then on the Star Trek was pretty mainstream; The Next Generation averaged over 10 million viewers per episode at the height of its popularity, with Deep Space 9 not that far behind, and both were primarily marketed as family shows. In addition both the Original Series and The Next Generation were nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Drama Series. As for the movies, all but one of the 13 movies topped the domestic box office their opening weekend.
    • Everyone knows Deanna Troi's a useless, whiny individual who crashes the ship and states the obvious all the time, right? Wrong. Deanna Troi doesn't get as many episodes focusing on her as the others, but she's shown to be very competent when she is seen doing her job and in some episodes, such as "Night Terrors", she's been crucial. She is more expressive than the other characters, but she's hardly "whiny", in fact she's nearly as big of an optimist as Geordi. As for crashing the ship in the movie, it was actually the saucer section (the stardrive section had just exploded) which happened to be heavily damaged (because of a recent battle) and out of control (because of a shockwave caused by the aforementioned explosion), meaning that a crash-landing was the best possible outcome. And that was the first time she crashed the Enterprise; the second time (with the next Enterprise) was a ramming attack ordered by Captain Picard against a nearly-unstoppable juggernaut of an enemy starship. "Stating the obvious" is usually due to Viewer Myopia— what she says is obvious to the viewers, but not the characters.
    • Keiko O'Brien is another character who's mistakenly thought of as being too negative/whiny. In actuality, while she has a bit of a smart mouth, she's seen being affectionate to Miles all the time, and even joking with him.
    • Some people think Ferengi were based off Jews. In reality, they were based off capitalists.
    • Some people think that Uhura's habit of sitting sideways on her chair is played purely for titillation due to her legs. While Uhura's actress was partially chosen due to her conventional beauty, sitting sideways on the chair wasn't pure Fanservice. She mainly did it to look at the viewscreen while remaining at her station, and the only way to do so besides sitting in that pose was to sit on her knees, which would be impractical in a swivel chair.
    • The idea that phasers have only two settings: "stun" and "kill". This is only true of the early phasers, which are shown in Enterprise. All series set after Enterprise have phasers with multiple settings, including "low stun", "maximum stun", "kill", and "vaporise".
    • Some Trekkies think that Nurse Ogawa had a miscarriage in "All Good Things", and it certainly doesn't help that the phrase "lost the baby" was said. What actually happened was that an anomaly was causing things to heal or change back to a past state (Geordi grew new eyes, etc). Since the other changes reverted back to normal once the anomaly was dealt with, it's probable that Ogawa's baby grew back too.
  • Some viewers, mainly those who despise said series, claim that Teletubbies was purely made for entertainment purposes and has no educational value. This is false, as several episodes have covered educational topics like numbers and colors, and some Tummy Tales segments teach about traditions in other cultures.
  • Supernatural has the reputation of disproportionally killing off female characters. A close examination of the bodycount shows that there actually are twice more male victims and women are more likely to survive. While the show certainly deserves criticism for the many deaths of love interests and the use of problematic tropes, recuring male characters don't really fare better. Some love interests like Lisa and Amelia were also allowed to be written off without being killed. The perception is possibly not helped by the Breakout Characters of Bobby, Castiel and Crowley who all had significantly longer tenure than any female characters.
  • Everybody who's seen Tiger King remembers the infamous moment from the second episode where Saff got his arm ripped off by a tiger. He actually didn't, though: he got his arm mauled by a tiger, then opted to have it amputated rather than going through reconstructive surgery. The confusion is understandable, since even Joe apparently thought (initially) that Saff lost his arm that day; in footage of the incident, he can be heard saying "The arm is completely gone!", and later tells a group of zoo guests "A tiger tore her [sic] arm off" when notifying them about what happened.
  • The Twilight Zone (1959): Everyone knows that the episode He's Alive was never rerun or shown in syndication because of its controversial subject matter. While it is true that a lot of people who grew up on the reruns probably never saw it, it's not because it was banned, but because it was part of the fourth season which had hour-long episodes, so couldn't be shown in the usual half-hour timeslot. Despite this, the fourth season (He's Alive included) was included in the syndication and cable packages, but was usually shown in a different timeslot (usually late at night) or burned off all at once in a marathon.
  • The Ultra Series suffers very badly from this due to its extreme Mainstream Obscurity.
    • Many people will say that Ultraman is a single long-running series featuring multiple incarnations of the eponymous character...Yeah, except Ultraman only ran for 39 episodes from 1966-1967 and all his "incarnations" are completely different individuals from completely different series that are sometimes not even related at all to the original Ultraman.
    • Many will also tell you Ultraman is made on a painfully low budget. In reality, the series was one of the most expensive TV shows of all time when it debuted (although Japanese shows are made on lower budgets compared to US shows), as it used the exact same kinds of special effects tactics used in movies of the period (also a strong case of "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny as many of these were groundbreaking for their time).
    • The Colour Timer was created to protect the budget from going overboard, right? Wrong! The Colour Timer was a last-minute addition made because the series' writers realized Ultraman had no weaknesses, so the Colour Timer was created for the sake of drama. The budget control is completely nonsensical as some episodes feature multiple fights and special effects scenes that go well over three minutes.
    • The Ultras always battle a giant rampaging Monster of the Week at the end of every episode and kill them with a beam to the face, correct? Not quite. While kaiju certainly make up the majority of the foes and the Behemoth Battles are certainly a major attraction, the Ultra heroes have met plenty of non-kaiju as well (mainly aliens; although many of them are able to turn giant-sized or get turned that way). Additionally, some Ultras have fought human-sized foes, thanks to their Sizeshifter abilities; not to mention some of the Monsters of the Week are spared or even protected if they're peaceful or non-malicious. The only Once per Episode of the franchise is that the main character needs to become the series' title hero; fights are only semi-obligatory. And to top it off, some Monsters of the Week are recurring foes of the Ultra heroes every bit as iconic in Japan as the heroes are, not one-shot characters (although many start off that way).
    • Every defense team is a hopeless Failure Hero that constantly needs an Ultraman to save the day, correct? Not really. The Hero Secret Service of every series does often need an Ultra hero's help to defeat the Monster of the Week, but at the same time, the Ultras wouldn't be able to win in the first place without them, as they can kill lesser monsters, whittle the main threat down, and even save the Ultra. Additionally, the defense teams have been able to defeat monsters without help from an Ultra (it just takes longer), and the Ultras utterly emphasize that they don't want humans to become dependent on them, thus will only appear to save the day once human effort has been totally exhausted and nothing else can be done. The defense teams are not there to pad time, but to support the heroes and fight alongside them.
  • In VR Troopers the Skugs can only be defeated by touching each other, so one Skug would be invincible, right? Wrong! On multiple occasions, JB and Kaitlin have dispatched individual Skugs with their blasters and JB has even used his laser lance to take out a whole platoon of Skugs at once whenever he felt like There's No Kill Like Overkill. Despite this, there have been parodies of VR Troopers where Grimlord sends down a single Skug and it's either damn near indestructible or at least gives them a lot of trouble. In the actual show, a simple blast from a VR laser pistol would have done the job.
  • Detectives Jimmy McNulty and William "Bunk" Moreland of The Wire are a classic pair of wise-cracking buddy cops who work the BPD's Homicide Unit, right? Well, sort of. Though Bunk and McNulty are very close friends, they're only partners in the first season, and only Bunk consistently works as a homicide detective for the entirety of the show. note  Even in Season 1, the two men spend surprisingly little time investigating crimes together, since McNulty spends the majority of Season 1 heading up the special Barksdale task force.
  • The X-Files:
    • The idea that Mulder is a slob. Actually, his apartment is cluttered and he leaves his dishes to drip-dry, but he's otherwise pretty tidy.
    • Some people believe that Mulder is a bumbling doof, at least compared to Scully, and that he has bad aim, is sickly, and is weaker than Scully. In reality, he doesn't have more hospital visits than Scully, has great aim (the "bad aim" myth might've come from him putting his gun on the floor and firing blind, but that's not the same as having bad aim) and is likely a little bit stronger than Scully due to being taller.
    • Mulder's habit of sleeping on the couch has led some people believe he has nightmares or is an insomniac. He's had a few prophetic dreams but not many run-of-the-mill nightmares, and he generally sleeps well despite being on the couch. Likewise, he doesn't phone Scully in the middle of the night as much as people seem to believe.
    • Some people berate Mulder for "ditching" Scully and not getting on with the local law enforcement. He's usually fine with the local law enforcement if a bit impatient, and while he does ditch Scully sometimes, more often Scully walks off of her own accord.
    • The very existence of the Agent Mulder and Agent Scully tropes are steeped in the idea of Mulder as the ultimate believer and Scully as the ultimate skeptic. It's true that they are a believer and a skeptic, but Mulder doesn't believe everything, nor does Scully believe nothing. In fact, one major difference between the two is that they actually took the opposite track with regards to religion; Mulder doesn't believe in God and is instantly skeptical if someone credits strange happenings to their religious beliefs, while Scully is fairly devout and is likely to actually ponder if something implausible is real when spirituality gets involved.
  • Zoey 101 ended because Jamie Lynn Spears unexpectedly got pregnant, right? Actually, the decision had already been made to wrap up the show by the time her pregnancy became public knowledge. To be fair, her pregnancy did spark debate about whether it was appropriate to air the (already complete) final season.

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