Just One More Thing

Columbo Goofs part 3

More Name Changes!

Sometimes a character’s name suddenly changes in the middle of an episode. When Columbo calls someone by the wrong name, we are never sure whether it’s Peter Falk’s mistake, or Columbo’s own characteristic fumbling.

Some examples:

Columbo And The Murder Of A Rock Star”

In the scene where Columbo brings a bag of evidence to Creighton’s office, Columbo refers to the victim’s boyfriend as “Neddie Hammond” (which is also the name in official studio credits). However, for most of the episode, the character is identified as “Neddie Malcolm”. In another verbal flub, Columbo describes how Marcy was strangled, mentioning the fingerprints on “HIS neck”. (Thanks to Ed Barczak)

“It’s All In The Game”

The victim’s name is Nick Franco. But in the scene at the hairdresser’s, Columbo refers to him as “Mr. French”. (Thanks to Jim Portland)

“Double Shock”

When Columbo meets Norman Paris at the bank where he works, at one point while they’re walking and talking, Columbo clearly calls him “Mr. Parks”. (Thanks to Alden Birman.)

Double Exposure”

During Columbo’s initial investigation in the theatre lobby, he sees Dr. Kepple’s tape recorder, and asks who it belongs to. Another cop tells him, “Dr. KIBBLES”. (Thanks to Bruce Citren.)

Day and Night

In “Fade In To Murder”, the murder clearly happens at night, so the baseball game that Fowler watches with Mark is a night game. The television announcer even remarks what a fine “night” it is.

However, at least one shot of the game on television shows a bright blue daytime sky. (Thanks to Jim Wessel for spotting this Goof.)

…Night and Day

Near the end of “Columbo Goes To The Guillotine”, the scene where Columbo recreates the killer’s mind-reading trick is supposed to take place at night. We see that it is night in the prior scene at the airport, and then, when the drivers leave to take the photographs, we see their car headlights on.

However, when the photos are faxed back from the cars and shown on the television screens, at least two of the pictures were obviously taken in broad daylight. (Thanks to Kevin Stokker, for spotting this Goof and also for his great imitation of Columbo!)

Phone Phun


Near the beginning of  “Murder In Malibu”, Wayne Jennings gets a phone call in Palm Springs where he is setting up his alibi. We see the telephone, which is a “Princess” model with the distinctive crescent-shaped handset.


However, in the middle of the phone conversation, the handset suddenly changes to a standard dumbbell-shaped receiver. The phone changes back to a Princess as he hangs up. (Thanks to Stephen Gordon for spotting this Goof.)

The Vanishing Chili


In “Ransom For A Dead Man”, when Columbo is in Barney’s Beanery eating chili, and Margaret Williams comes to meet him, they move from the counter to a booth. When they leave the counter, Columbo has stirred his chili but we can see that he has not eaten any.

However, when they get to the booth moments later, Columbo’s chili is about half-eaten. Also, Columbo picks up a large portfolio and tucks it under his arm as he leaves the counter, and he seems to have lost it when he gets to the booth. (Thanks to Laura Northrop for spotting this Goof.)


Shifting Champagne


When Creighton plants the champagne bottle spiked with knockout juice, the refrigerator already has nine bottles of champagne – five on the bottom row, and four in the second row. Creighton plants the tenth bottle on top of them – of the three top row spots where he could have placed it, Creighton puts it farthest to the left.


However, when Neddie pulls out the drugged bottle, we see that it has moved over toward the right – it is now in the center of the top row.

The whole plan strikes us as risky, since there was no way Creighton could know that the victims would not pull their bottle from either side, from the second row or even from the bottom row. In any event, the lateral movement of the spiked bottle is a mystery.

Thanks to Ben Schorr  of Hawaii, also to Rob Thornsby, Steve Leibel, Anne McGowan, Steve Carvin, and to all the fans who have written to us about this Goof. 

Garbage Bag In Shades Of Grey


In “Fade In To Murder”, when Ward Fowler sneaks into the wardrobe room and steals his “armed robber” disguise, he stuffs it into a black or very dark green garbage bag.


But when he leaves, his garbage bag has dramatically changed to a light grey. (Thanks to Drummond Cargill for spotting this Goof.)

Lefties and Laces

In “An Exercise In Fatality”, Columbo offers proof that the victim’s exercise shoes were put on him by the murderer -- based on the way that (as Columbo puts it) “most right-handed people” tie their own shoes.

There is one problem with this – the victim was left-handed!


Early in the episode, we see Gene Stafford holding a pencil at his desk, with his left hand.

Fortunately for Columbo, he still has a clue because Stafford’s street-shoes were still tied, for comparison with the reversed loops on his sneakers. But Columbo’s theory about “right-handed” people has a big hole in it. (Thanks to Jim Wessel for spotting this Goof.)

Moving Mercedes

In the first minute of “Murder By The Book”, an overhead view reveals that Ken Franklin parks his Mercedes Benz in a space with the number 62 on it. 


However, about five minutes later, Ken and Jim walk out to the car, and we can clearly see that it is parked in space number 59. (Thanks to Tarik Noriega for spotting this Goof.)

Borrowing with Interest


In “Murder By The Book”, Ken lends Columbo a stack of Mrs Melville mysteries (“That ought to keep you busy”). There are 10 books, 2 of which appear to be the same book.


When Columbo returns the books, they have significantly multiplied – to increase the humor of Columbo’s book-juggling, there are now about 15 of them. (Thanks to Debbie Allen for spotting this Goof.)

Phantom of the Hotel Room

This is a remarkable technical blunder, capturing a wayward, unidentified person on camera in an “empty” room.


When Emmet Clayton sneaks into Dudek’s hotel suite to tamper with Dudek’s medications, he walks past an open doorway on his way to Dudek’s bathroom. Look quickly, and you will see someone sitting in that room behind the doorway!


Clayton’s scheme is bold enough at best, leaving much to chance (he couldn’t have done it at all, if the meds hadn’t been left behind accidentally). It would be sheer insanity to try it with someone in the room. So, we have to conclude that the Mystery Man is someone from the crew, accidentally caught on camera.

(Thanks to Ray Watts for spotting this Goof, and also for the pictures!)

Columbo Goofs & Goofs 2

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