Movie Goof (continuity error): After the Soviet ICBM salvo is underway, a Soviet sub-launch detection is reported. The camera shows the screen, on which 14 subs (7 in the Pacific, 7 in the Atlantic) had launched their SLBMs simultaneously. In the scene before the impact of the Soviet warheads, however, the screen shows only 7 SLBM launches (5 in the Pacific, 2 in the Atlantic), and based on their distances from the target, they were launched at different times.
Movie Goof (continuity error): When Joshua begins running through the war scenarios, the first one shown was "U. S. First Strike" and "U.S.S.R. First Strike" was next. On the screen showing the scenarios it had run, "U.S.S.R. First Strike" was listed first and "U.S. First Strike" came second.
Movie Goof (continuity error): Before David switches the Galaga game over to Howie in the beginning of the movie, there is an obvious jump in their positions.
Movie Goof (audio/visual unsynchronized): When David begins to play Globalthermonuclear War, you hear the computer voice say the words as they appear on the computer screen, however, when it asks him to list primary targets, the screen also says "by city and/or county" yet the voice cuts out without saying that.
Movie Goof (factual errors): When WOPR is searching for the launch code, it is shown to be able to lock onto each digit individually. In which case, it would only take 360 tries (one for each letter and digit), to definitely find the entire code.
Movie Goof (revealing mistake): When he is being arrested outside the 7/11 by the FBI, his Big Gulp is only a 1/3 full with no top.
Movie Goof (continuity error): When David is communicating with WOPR, the words appear on the screen before he types them.
Movie Goof (factual errors): When it is stated that "22 Typhoon class" submarines are departing. Only 6 Soviet Nuclear Ballistic Missile Submarines of this class were made. ("Typhoon class" were officially called "Project 941) were ever built. In 1983, the number would've been even fewer, as these six were built over an 8 years period (1981 - 1989). All of the Typhoon Class were based at Zapadnaya Litsa (Nerpichya Base) about 45 miles from the Norwegian border.
Movie Goof (continuity error): A completely different computer monitor model is used in the shot immediately following David's line "Protovision, I have you now!".
Movie Goof (factual errors): There are many computer-based oddities (such as NORAD coincidentally using the same voice synthesizer as David, the speed with which the audio-coupler modem is able to make the calls (and even manages to hang up the phone), the speed with which the computer breaks the password by brute force, etc) which passed much of the 1983 audience by, but which seem increasingly fanciful as time passes.
Movie Goof (continuity error): When Mr. Lightman opens the front door to let Jennifer in, he has a pipe in his mouth. But in the very next shot when they're both inside, Mr. Lightman is holding the pipe in his left hand.
Movie Goof (audio/visual unsynchronized): When David is playing Galaga he is firing with his right hand. He stops firing to look at his watch with his right hand, but the sound effects being played are still the firing noises.
Movie Goof (incorrectly regarded as a mistake): As the WOPR is obtaining the launch codes, the missiles are shown to have the engines spinning up with the sound of a turbine engine. In the case of a Titan missile, this could be correct, because a Titan has two fuel components: Hydrazine and Nitrogen Tetroxide, which are pumped together by a turbine pump that is in fact powered by small amounts of these propellants. When the turbo-pump is on, it forces large amounts of the fuels together which spontaneously burn. When the pump stops, so does the engine.
Movie Goof (continuity error): As Joshua asks David to choose a country to play, you see a two (representing the Soviet Union) already typed in. When they do a close up of the screen, David is typing in the two that was already there.
Movie Goof (audio/visual unsynchronized): When Jennifer tells David to "Hop on" the moped her lips do not move.
Movie Goof (continuity error): When David is playing Galaga as Jennifer is talking to him, he has three "lives" left. However, after he is killed, the game over screen appears. He should have had two more lives.
Movie Goof (miscellaneous): At the beginning of the movie when the computer is counting down at the silo the computer says the countdown sequence off beat several times, especially in the last 10 seconds.
Movie Goof (plot holes): When David was asked why he had called back, he states that Joshua called him. They should be able to see via the trace that the call had indeed originated from Joshua.
Movie Goof (errors made by characters, possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When David requests the number for Protovision from the operator, he's given a number with a 555 prefix. He also requests other prefixes for the area and is given four more, but when he sets up his autodialer, he only uses the four additional prefixes and neglects to include the 555 prefix in his scans.
Movie Goof (audio/visual unsynchronized): When David and Jennifer are coming up to David's house for the first time, there is a shot of David's dog, Beau, barking. However, he is just running and his mouth isn't moving.
Movie Goof (factual errors): They Call the "43rd" Bomb Wing at Loring AFB near the end of the movie, But the 42 Bomb Wing was stationed at Loring. The 43rd was stationed in Guam.
Movie Goof (continuity error): When Joshua begins searching for the launch codes on the big screen at NORAD, Falken approaches the screen alone and sees the countdown has already started. But, when David and Jennifer join up with Falken at the screen, the countdown numbers are not reflected on the three of them. Halfway through the scene, the numbers on the giant screen reflect on them showing that the countdown started twice.
Movie Goof (continuity error): The code to launch the missiles is "CPE1704TKS" when displayed on the big screen and on most of the launch consoles, but it is shown as "JPE1704TKS" on one console shown in closeup in the sequence where the WOPR is attempting to determine the launch codes itself.
Movie Goof (continuity error): Jennifer is already in the classroom before David arrives without her test while the rest of the class already has their test in front of them. This was obviously done deliberately by the director to show the audience she received an F.
Movie Goof (factual errors): When Joshua is running through nuclear war scenarios at NORAD, a few of the scenarios are listed as "Palistinian" examples, which is incorrect spelling. The correct spelling is "Palestinian".
Movie Goof (continuity error): When Professor Falken is flying the remote controlled pterodactyl, he lands it is some relatively tall (about knee high) grass. When he walks over to retrieve it, the grass the pterodactyl is sitting on is very thin and low-cut.
Movie Goof (audio/visual unsynchronized): When playing Galaga the second time (when Jennifer asks David to change her grade) the audio of a Galaga sending down its tractor beam is heard, but that is not happening on the screen.
Movie Goof (incorrectly regarded as a mistake): When David is being arrested by the FBI, he is brought to NORAD. While NORAD is a military installation and not affiliated with the FBI, given that he is immediately brought to McKittrick and the others, clearly McKittrick asked to meet in person the teenager who'd hacked into NORAD.
Movie Goof (factual errors): While WOPR is running through its nuclear war strategies at the end of the movie, two of the strategies it displays on screen are misspelled: "Angentina Escalation" and "Palistinian Local."
Movie Goof (continuity error): In the first dialog between David and Joshua - when David is typing the line "People sometimes make mistakes." - we see the last word typed correctly. Later we see the whole screen with that same word typed "mistak".
Movie Goof (incorrectly regarded as a mistake): When the relief crew arrives at the silo it appears they are in a snowstorm, as they are wearing heavy winter parkas. In the opening NORAD scene the guards are all in shirts - no jackets. This is unsurprising; US missiles are in many states. It's entirely possible, even likely, for North Dakota's weather to be different from NORAD's in Colorado.
Movie Goof (continuity error): When David and Jennifer are running to catch the ferry, they are shown running down the boat launch ramp, rather than the ferry dock. In the next scene, they're on the ferry dock and jumping on board.
Movie Goof (errors in geography): Juse before the junior crewman "enables" the missiles a list of geographic coordinates (target locations?) appears on the video feed of the missile in the silo. The coordinates are all for locations in the Pacific Ocean. Since targeting data is preselected, this couldn't be the location of Soviet submarines.
Movie Goof (factual errors): In the beginning of the movie when the missile silo crew arrive at the Security Police post to sign in, there is a USAF Security Police Chief Master Sgt that is behind the desk and has them sign in on the roster sheet on the clipboard. A Chief Master Sgt is the highest enlisted rank in the USAF (8 stripes)and not only would a person of this rank not lower himself to perform a task as petty as to sign in personnel onto their post (a function normally handled by an Airman 1st Class, a 2 striper), but he would not even be at the silo, to begin with. The highest ranking supervisor to be there would be a Staff Sgt (4 stripes)
Movie Goof (continuity error): David's "Galaga" high score changed when the game was "over".
Movie Goof (factual errors): In the 1980s it was not permitted for any Department of Defense computer with classified information on it to be connected to external communication equipment. It would therefore be impossible to dial in as shown.
Movie Goof (continuity error): When David and Jennifer are on the ferry, the sky changes from a late afternoon blue sky, to sunset, then back to blue sky after they get off the ferry.
Movie Goof (continuity error): When David is asking about the list of games that he printed out earlier, he asks Jim why the list has games such as checkers and backgammon. However when David was printing the list of games, backgammon was not one of the listed games.
Movie Goof (audio/visual unsynchronized): When the Horizon Air aircraft is landing, its clearly a turboprop aircraft. When the engines are reversing as it lands, the engines are of a jet engine.
Movie Goof (continuity error): General Beringer orders his staff to 'scramble two F-16s out of Galena.' The aircraft later shown are F-15 Eagles. (This may be due to the script originally calling for F-15s, which were the front-line fighter in Alaska at the time.)
Movie Goof (factual errors): The amount of time stated it would take Joshua to Brute Force the password is nowhere near the actual time it would take to do such a task. At a rate of around 100 billion passwords per second, it would take over 10 hours to compute all of the possibilities.
Movie Goof (continuity error): When David's father butters up his bread at the table and starts rolling the corn cob on it David gets up to leave. In the close-up when David walks behind him his father has the pepper shaker in his hand. In the next shot we see him put down the slice of bread and pick up the pepper shaker.
Movie Goof (plot holes): When David makes the reservation for Paris, he does so using Jennifer's name. Later, McKittrick asks who he is going to Paris with, but if he had found the reservation, he would have already known about Jennifer as well.
Movie Goof (continuity error): Throughout the Infirmary scenes, the guard's gloves disappear and reappear on his hands, most notably when David asks to use the restroom.
Movie Goof (incorrectly regarded as a mistake): Despite the DVD commentary and popular belief, Defense Conditions (DEFCONs) actually do go from 5 to 1 as the situation worsens. DEFCON 1 represents imminent or ongoing attack on the US by a foreign power, while DEFCON 5 represents normal peacetime operations.
Movie Goof (continuity error): When David tries some of the numbers his autodialer has found, there are numbers with the 936 prefix listed. His autodialer hadn't dialed any 936-prefix numbers yet as it hadn't even finished dialing all the numbers in the 767 prefix.
Movie Goof (factual errors): After David is arrested, the next scene is at NORAD where a tour group is being escorted. The escort asks a woman with a camera around her neck to sit in the command chair. A visitor would not be allowed to bring a camera into NORAD.
Movie Goof (continuity error): In the second scene, as the teacher is reviewing the test answers, he reads question number two and question number four. Question number two had just been answered but not confirmed, while Question number three had been omitted or glanced over entirely without any explanation.
Movie Goof (factual errors): During the final sequence when Joshua/WOPR is trying the figure out the launch code, the sequence is shown in real time. When the statement is made "1 minute to impact", it is approximately 1 minute and 40 seconds later when impact finally occurs.
Movie Goof (factual errors): When receiving and sending text from his home computer, the modem RD and SD lights do not flash. On a 300-1200 baud modem, the flashes would be very visible.