After Palmer's blood leaps from the dish after being scorched by Mac's flamethrower, we see Palmer(Glenn Clennon) morphing into a Thing-monster. Several men tied to a couch are now screaming in terror for their lives. We hear Nauls's(T.K. Carter) screaming loudly but when the camera catches some shots of Nauls, he's just sitting their placidly when the soundtrack simultaneously reveals him to be screaming.
When Macready and the doctor go off to check the Norwegian base, it is said they should only take about an hour to get there, and it is light when they leave. However, there is a night-time scene set at the American base in-between the time it takes for Mac to arrive at the Norwegian base, even though it is daylight when he arrives there.
When Mac is in the tool shed talking with Blair, the bottle of vodka from which he drinks mysteriously spins 180 degrees. He sets it down with the label facing the camera but in the following shots the label now suddenly faces away.
As Mac comes out of the supply room with the flare and dynamite, the TNT sticks he is holding are almost falling apart and he is holding them by one stick. In the following shots of Mac the TNT sticks are suddenly wrapped tightly with black tape again and he holds all the sticks.
Between the time Fuchs talks to Mac about Blair's notes, calling the snowcat 'the Thiokol' (another brand of snowcat) the logo and model changes from a Skidozer 301, with its model name between the headlights, to a 302, with the Bombardier lettering between the headlights and the model name lower down to the left side (screen right). When they take Blair out to be locked up, the snowcat is again a 301 (you can see the blue model-plate between the headlights, not the black-on-yellow of the 302's Bombardier lettering).
When the helicopter explodes there are almost no parts near it. Later while it is getting extinguished, there are many small parts burned near it. Also the whole main propeller is missing. It was on the helicopter just after the explosion.
In the scene where the men are gathered around the dead Norwegian, Fuchs is seen standing among the group and Palmer is also there offering Copper a ride. In the very next scene, Copper is walking towards the helicopter wreck telling Mac to get his things on and Fuchs and Palmer are already standing by the wreck dressed in their snow parkas.
When MacReady visits Fuchs in his room, and Fuchs mentions preparing their own food, et cetera, there is a beaker of dark brown liquid on his desk. When the lamp flickers we get a close-up of the beaker and it now contains clear liquid.
When MacReady plays Chess Wizard and spills his drink into the circuit board, we see one big ice cube. The problem is he had taken three small ice cubes for his drink, which had also almost fully thawed right before he spilled it.
When MacReady is administering the blood test with the hot wire, we see the characters cut their thumbs and let some drops of blood into the dishes. However, when he glances down at them a lot more blood has appeared in some of the dishes.
All exterior shots of the tool shed where Blair is imprisoned show the window next to the door has been boarded up with the boards horizontal. However, all interior shots of the shed show that same window with the boards attached vertically.
When the Doctor goes to hit Norris with the defibrillator the second time, his hands change position as the camera cuts from one angle to another. As he starts the move the paddles are coming down side-by-side on the man's chest, just like the previous time. The camera cuts to a close up, an effects shot where the chest cavity opens up as a sort of mouth and swallows Dr. Copper's arms. This time the paddles are coming down laterally aligned with Norris' sternum, rather than side by side, as they started.
When the "Head Bug" is shown trying escape the facial features still retained by creature are facing away from the group as it crawls toward the door. However in the very next shot just before Mac torches it the creature has suddenly stopped running and facing into the room.
At the beginning of the movie, a posted sign reads: "United States National Science Institute Station 4". But when MacReady is dictating into the audio cassette recorder, he finishes by saying: "R.J. MacReady. Helicopter Pilot. U.S. Outpost Number 31."
When Norris and Mac climb down into the crater and are walking towards the open hatch in the center, look on the far right hand side of the screen and you will see the head and arm of somebody come into shot and then disappear again.
Right after Bennings yells on the intercom to turn the music down and we see his request ignored by Nauls in the kitchen, the following scene that slowly dollies from right to left in the empty medical room, the moving wheels of the dolly and a man in a light blue shirt pushing the dolly are clearly seen in the reflection of bottom and top pane of glass of the stainless steel and glass medical cabinet. Especially visible on the Blu-ray version.
As the men come down the stairs into the generator room, Nauls and Garry head down a second flight of stairs as Mac holds up a flare. The shadow of a crew member is clearly visible on the floor holding a boom mic. The shadow even moves as the men walk away from the camera.
During the many interior scenes where the flamethrowers was used, resulting in large fires being started and then extinguished by the characters, the rooms the fires were in would be left with thick choking & blinding smoke, yet you see the rooms are always smoke free after the fires are put out.
The chess game McReady plays vs what appears to be a dedicated chess-playing computer (ie a computer built specifically to play chess, period) is totally bogus. There is no "check" much less checkmate possible in the position we see immediately before McReady is "checkmated" there is no "Rook to Knight 6" with check possible and even that's inaccurate - correct is "Rook to King or Queen) Knight Six" although even using English Notation was dubious - chess programs use Algebraic Notation.
In the original release of the film, Nauls plays Stevie Wonder's "Superstition" on his cassette player. For early DVD releases, the song was replaced with instrumental stock music because Universal had not secured the rights to use the song; nonetheless, English subtitles still displayed Wonder's lyrics.
The camp's tractor was supposedly sabotaged along with the chopper by Blair to prevent The Thing from reaching civilization. However near the end of the film when they are preparing to set the camp on fire Nauls is shown driving said tractor into one of the buildings on the compound.
When the Norwegian is firing on the American scientists at the beginning of the movie, we clearly see that Childs has already jumped into the snow in previews tries of the scene. We can see a shape on the snow.
In the opening scene, when the alien ship enters the Earth's atmosphere, it just suddenly disappears, instead of continuing downwards. We also hear the roar of its engines (?),though sound doesn't propagate in outer space.
When one of the characters is slammed into the ceiling, a piece of the ceiling breaks off, but instead of falling to the ground, it "falls" upwards into the ceiling, revealing the scene was shot upside-down.