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Stand by Me (1986) Poster

(1986)

Goofs

Anachronisms 

In the scene when Gordie and Chris are discussing the stolen milk money Chris uses the term "douchebag." The movie takes place in 1959, however the slang version of this term did not originate until the 1960's, with its more prominent usage beginning around 1967.
When Gordie visits the delicatessen for ham, the grocer pulls waxed paper from a box with a 1980s Crown Zellerbach logo on it.
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In the junkyard when Vern is talking about the "goocher" he mentions Weed Hill in Durham. This is a reference to Durham, Maine as Durham, Oregon was not incorporated until 1966, seven years after the timeline of the movie.
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The water pump shown at the end of the movie is a Waterous. The style was not available until the 1980s.
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Aluminum cans in the general store.
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The Topps baseball card in Gordie's brother's room was not available until after the film was set.
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In the scene where the guys are cutting "cobra" into their arms, a VW Beetle can seen among the old cars. The style of tail lights on the car show it to be anywhere from a '62 to '66 model year, while the movie takes place in 1959.
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When Gordie is in the delicatessen there is a bottle of Soft Soap in the background that was not available in 1959.
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1980s cars visible in the background of the junkyard.
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Audio/visual unsynchronised 

When Vern is first coming into the tree house and is coming through the trap door he is clearly heard saying "You guys are never gonna believe this...", but his mouth is saying the previous lines "Oh, man, oh, man".

Boom mic visible 

When Gordie goes into the store and the clerk talks to him, you can cleary see the boom mic bobbing into view and then being taken away.
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When Ace is playing pool with Billy, the boom mic bobs into view, near the light.
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On the full screen version. immediately before the boys start to cross the bridge, in the most famous scene.
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Immediately before the boys start to cross the bridge.
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Character error 

When they're in the clubhouse at the beginning, Gordie looks straight at the camera while singing "I Ran All The Way Home".
Chris says his pistol is a .45 but when he first pulls it out of his pack the barrel is clearly much smaller revealing it to probably be a prop gun.
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Continuity 

When Gordie and the others get back to town and are saying good-bye, the positions of Gordie and Chris change.
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When the boys are seen walking into the leech pond, they all fall in. We see Vern and Teddy go into the water, and when they come back up to surface, we can see Chris and Gordie on the surface already on the right side of the screen. However, in the very next shot, Gordie and Chris come to surface again.
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When the boys are at the leech pond Chris is seeing how deep the water is with a stick. The stick changes in size.
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Teddy's hair changes in every shot after being dunked in the swamp. The strap to his bag disappears and reappears as well.
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During the train chase, the sky goes back and forth from cloudy to clear.
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In the swamp, Teddy's glasses go from being on his face, to being folded in his hand, to being back onto his face, and then we see him actually removing the glasses and folding them into his hand.
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Teddy's left ear (which his father almost burned off) in the treehouse scene is very clearly burned. Throughout the movie, however, it varies in how it looks, in the train tracks scene it looks perfectly normal.
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When the boys are crossing the bridge, and Gordie is trying to help Vern to his feet there is a very brief cutaway showing that the oncoming train is only the engine and one car. The previous shot, and the later one once it passes, all show it to have several cars.
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When confronted by Ace's gang, Gordie shoots the pistol into the air, and then points it at Ace and pulls back the hammer. The pistol is a Colt 1911 and is an automatic, which means the hammer would have already been cocked after the first shot.
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When Gordie shoots the garbage cans and runs off, he's still running when they get around the corner and he's not holding the gun anymore. He wouldn't have dropped it because it's in later scenes, and he didn't have enough time to put it in his backpack or give it to Chris because they were trying to get far away from the back of the diner.
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All four guys are in the junk-yard and they are all about to toss their coins to see who goes to get the food. When Teddy throws his coin in the air he is wearing no dog tag necklace but when he catches the coin he is suddenly wearing the dog tag necklace.
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Gordie's hair constantly changes throughout the film from floppy to gelled, i.e. in the scene on the trestle over the water he yells, "Train!" and his hair appears to be quite dry, without a parting. In the next short scene around the campfire, it looks perfectly combed and gelled. He can not have borrowed Vern's comb, since Vern lost it on the train bridge.
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In the swamp, the four boys get completely wet, then they strip down to their underwear to remove all the leeches, and Gordie faints after a leech is found on his nuts. The next scene when the boys are putting their clothes back on, they and their clothes and sleeping bags are completely dry.
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When Ace and the others are playing chicken, the position of the logs off the truck change.
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When Ace is racing against his friends in the car, it clearly shows that he has blond hair, but when it shows the back view of his head, he has brown hair.
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In the clubhouse at the beginning of the movie, Chris has a pack of cigarettes tucked into his sleeve. It disappears and reappears throughout the scene.
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When Eyeball is getting the gang name and snake cut into his upper left arm, from the back angle he isn't wearing a shirt. From the side angle he is.
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Amount of blueberries and sauce on Lardass Davey Hogan's face before he vomits.
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When the boys are sitting by the fire cooking marshmallows and Vern's falls off his stick, it clearly falls apart. When he picks it back up with his stick, it is in one piece.
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When Gordie is running from Chopper through the junkyard he runs past the same truck and trailer twice.
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The gun should still be smoking immediately after Gordie fires the warning shot.
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When the boys get dunked in the swamp, Teddy takes his glasses off, but then while they're thrashing around in the water, both hands are clearly empty. Then, when they get out, he has his glasses in his hand again.
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When Chris comforts Teddy after Milo Presman insults him, Chris takes his hand off Teddy's shoulder in one shot, it then reappears on his shoulder in the next shot.
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When Gordie and Chris discuss Gordie's size, their positions change.
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When Lardass is confronted, and is half laying on the table, the man's hands change position.
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At the beginning of the film from the wide shot you can see it isn't Richard Dreyfus sitting in the truck but another actor.
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Crew or equipment visible 

In the first train dodge scene, after Teddy and Chris make up, as Verne walks off back onto the train track you can see his wireless mike drop down his left leg and flop near his ankle.
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During the "barf-o-rama" scene, the two twin brothers barf on each other. As the second brother barfs, the other brother turns his head and you can see the white tubing of the barf mechanism on or around his left ear.
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After Ace takes Gordie's cap, the reflection of half of a member of the crew can clearly be seen waving their arm in one of the store windows behind Chris and Gordie.
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The camera tripod can be seen in Teddy's glasses when Teddy and Chris are arguing on the railroad tracks.
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Errors in geography 

Like many of Stephen King's stories, the original story takes place in Maine. Although relocated to Oregon, the movie has several holdovers to the original location, such as the reference to picking wild blueberries. Also, the junk man teases Teddy by telling him is father will be "sent to Togus" (which he mispronounces as Tau-gas instead of Tow-gus). Togus, Maine has a large veteran's hospital, which would be the logical place (in Maine), for Teddy's dad to get treatment.
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Like the reference to "Togus" the Royal River is in Maine, not Oregon. Stephen King refers to the Royal in other stories as he sets many of his stories in Maine, where King grew up.
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Miscellaneous 

In the first scene on the railroad tracks, there is a turn-out switch with no closure rails beyond the points. It is clearly not an abandoned spur, and any train using these tracks would be derailed at this point every time.
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Leeches appear on Chris' back between shots when the boys are covered in them.
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Incorrectly regarded as goofs 

Ben E. King's "Stand By Me", which the film derives its title from and uses as its theme song, was not recorded until 1961. However, it is non-diegetic (not heard by the characters), and it is also first heard when Gordie is an adult in the film's opening scene, which would be well past 1961.
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The narrator does not save his work before appearing to shut off his word processor, but that's okay, because in fact he only switches off the monitor, leaving the machine running and his work intact. Also, the shot of the narrator writing has him seated at his desk; when he turns off the word processor, he is standing, studying his work. It is reasonable to presume that a brief moment went by between the shots, and he could easily have saved the work then.
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Gordie is not looking for his hat in his brother's room, he only reminisces about it there. It wasn't in that room, so it's not an error for him to be wearing it later without taking it from the room.
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In the scene where Gordie goes into Denny's room looking for his canteen, a Michigan State pennant is displayed on the wall. Although the school was officially named "Michigan State University" until 1964, in 1954 the name was changed from Michigan State College of Agriculture and Applied Science (MSC) to Michigan State University of Agriculture and Applied Science (MSU) in 1954. All that happened in 1964 is that " Agriculture and Applied Science" was dropped from the official name. Thus, the pennant would be correct for the time period, in the late 50's, when the school was referred to as MSU/Michigan State University.
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Plot holes 

The body of Ray Brower (when found by the boys) is not decomposed at all for the amount of time it was suppose to be lying in the woods before it is found.
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Revealing mistakes 

When Gordie looks at the newspaper article at the beginning, the first paragraph of the article is about the stabbing, but the second column is clearly from another story.
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In the "barforama" scene, the jets of vomit do not quite seem to come from out of the mouths of the actors.
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When Lardass Hogan swallows the egg it instead falls down the side of his face and can be heard hitting the ground.
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In the car race, a log truck is rapidly approaching Ace in the oncoming lane. Four shots of the log truck are shown as it gets closer. The first three shots show the road with no visible roads or driveways connecting. Then on the forth shot, a road/driveway (that was never there) suddenly appears, allowing the log truck to veer off the road at the last second.
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At the beginning, in the wide shot of Gordon Lachance's car, the man behind the wheel is an obvious stunt driver. So is the man driving Ace's car during the game of chicken in wide shots.
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When the boys find the Brower boy's body, the train tracks are fake ones laid out on a trail close to the river. The trees are too close to the tracks, either from the sides or the canopy, for a real train to pass by recently and hit the boy to kill him.
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In the train scene, River Phoenix's voice has suddenly changed and he looks older. This scene was obviously shot last, and he has started going through puberty. But in terms of movie time, he has gone through puberty in two days.
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See also

Trivia | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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