Famous examples of on-set TV disasters that were well hidden

They all say in the TV and movie industry that if you can keep a mistake hidden, you’ve done well. Some absolutely outstanding mistakes have been kept alive in media over the years, with a skilled director and camera crew making the most of a tight situation. If you ever think that working in TV is all laughs and perfect takes, then think again.

In fact, here are some of the perfect examples of when things that can pop up when you are in the middle of making a TV show.


90s TV show Friends was one of the most influential on culture, on language, and even on fashion. One hairstyle in particular that had ladies queuing up around the block was the style that Rachel, played by Jennifer Aniston, had throughout much of the early series. But the thing is – she hated it!

Claiming it was the “ugliest haircut I’ve ever seen” in an Allure interview, Aniston made clear that she was no fan. Despite many women going out of their way to try and match up to the hairstyle, it was one that the originator of said hairstyle detested!

The O.C.

When you go back and watch The O.C. you’ll probably notice just how glamorised everyone is. The show essentially follows a bunch of glamorous rich kids and their families who are very much too rich to worry about real-life problems. So instead they get into a lot of convoluted and self-absorbed dramas. Anyway, we digress.

What is really impressive about the show is that for all of the glamour on-show, very little of it is real. The team behind the costumes on-set actually used all manner of fake designer gear when the budget was low. Once the show became a major hit, though, the wardrobe budget was deepened to allow the ‘real thing’!


The 2019 HBO series Chernobyl has drawn critique and praise in equal measure since it was released, but it’s a great watch all-round. It also couldn’t have been better timed in terms of release, because of all the protective gear and equipment being used on-screen.

As the 2020 COVID-19 crisis kicked into full gear, Spanish costume suppliers Peris Costumes were able to help cover a shortage of masks and protective equipment by using the very items that were part of the set!

This just goes to show that when we need innovation, our most creative people can often find an interesting way to step up.

Indiana Jones

A famous example of directors making smart moves comes from the original Indiana Jones movie. There is a scene in the central part of the city where the villains are all sitting in a jeep, surrounded by the public. Instead of villain Rene Belloq being in the car, though, he was not present for shooting that day. Focus closely on the scene, and you can see (albeit well hidden) that the ‘Belloq’ in the car is no more than a series of props wearing his hat and coat!

It’s an excellent alternative that, so many years after release, many regular watchers of the movie will simply have never noticed.