12 minor goofs you never noticed on 'Hogan's Heroes'

Calling attention to tiny mistakes from palm trees to parachutes.

Set in the 1940s, but told from the perspective of the 1960s, Hogan's Heroes had to constantly decide what was more important: being historically accurate or going for laughs with references everbody understood.

The show has been criticized for references that characters simply wouldn't make in the middle of World War II, whether it's claiming to work for the Pentagon before it was built or calling someone "Speedy Gonzales" before the cartoon raced onto screens.

Because the writers seemed to favor humor over history, there are a handful of minor mistakes you can point to throughout the series. Here, we've found a dozen tiny errors that are easy to track as you revisit the Emmy-winning, boundary-pushing series.

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1. Hogan didn't work for the Pentagon in 1942, because it didn't exist yet.


Unless Colonel Hogan meant he was working on construction of The Pentagon in 1942, every time he claimed to have been stationed there, it couldn't have been true. The Pentagon didn't officially finish construction until January 1943.

2. Germans likely wouldn't mark confidential documents by writing "Top Secret" in English.


In the third season episode "How to Win Friends and Influence Nazis," General Burkhalter presents Col. Klink with documents marked "Top Secret." While surely the general could have been traveling with confidential documents, it's unlikely he'd have stamped those words in English, since that would likely attract their American prisoners' attention more than it would in Burkhalter's native German.

3. Sergeant Schultz's serial number changes.


In the episode "The Flame Grows Higher," Schultz states his serial number is 23789. Then later in "Bombsight," he says it's 34789. Get it straight, Schultz!

4. LeBeau's hat changes in a single frame.


Here's a little wardrobe malfunction from season 2. In the episode "Colonel Klink's Secret Weapon," LeBeau's got a green hat on one minute, but the next second, he's in his signature red hat. Blink and you probably would miss it!

5. It's set in the 1940s, but all the women look like they're from the 1960s.


Hogan's Heroes ran from 1965 to 1971, and it seems early on, they made the styling decision that the ladies who appeared on the show would do so sporting the trends of that time. The only trouble is the series is set in the 1940s in the middle of WWII, so it seems accuracy was less important than fashion in this one instance.

6. Whenever the courier dropped a package, it was clearly a guy jumping from the plane.


In many episodes, the prisoners receive a package dropped from a courier plane. During these scenes, Hogan would often peer through binoculars and we'd see a mysterious object drop from the plane with a parachute. The original frame nearly always showed the legs of the man who was doing the jumping, but later we'd always see the boys gathered around a box, with no delivery man in sight.

7. They accidentally showed LaBeau in sneakers.


For the fifth season episode "Standing Room Only," there a shot where LaBeau climbs a ladder, and unlike all the other guys who are wearing their military-issued boots, LaBeau's wearing high-top sneakers.

8. They reference Speedy Gonzales more than 10 years before he was created.


"The Fastest Mouse in Mexico" first appeared in the Merry Melodies cartoon Cat-Tails for Two in 1953. So that makes it a little bit of a snag when Hogan opens an envelope without anybody noticing in the episode "Axis Annie" and Newkirk calls him "Speedy Gonzales." Again, since the show was set in 1942, that reference comes more than a decade too soon.

Image: senscritique.com

9. You could spot L.A. palm trees in the background in many shots.


All the outdoors scenes in Hogan's Heroes were mostly shot in Culver City, California, where palm trees are everywhere. They had to do their best to shoot around them, since Germany has only a few scarcely seen species of palm tree, due to the country's cooler climate. Next time you're watching, keep your eye on the treeline!

10. Carter's jacket appeared to be new in one scene only.


In pretty much every scene where we see Carter, his jacket is intentionally dirtied up to look thoroughly worn in. The only exception was a single scene early on in the sixth season episode "Kommandant Schultz." Shot only from the side, you can see the white collar is clean and bright, where normally it's made to look soiled.

11. Close-ups reveal that Major Zolle's wearing no lenses in his glasses.


In the first season episode "Hello, Zolle," any time there's a close-up of Major Zolle, you can tell his glasses are totally fake. There's no lenses in them! The same thing happened later on in the sixth season for the episode "The Dropouts," only this time it was Professor Bauer whose glasses were missing the most important element.

12. The tiger tank was actually an American M7 tank.


The historical accuracy of Hogan's Heroes may be imperfect—it's been noted everything from the ranks of the soldiers to the medals they wear are often wrong—but the funniest historical flaw perhaps came in the second episode of season one. For the episode "Hold the Tiger," the whole plot was about a tiger tank, so you'd think they'd have secured the real deal. Instead, they settled for an American M7 tank, which was likely a lot easier to come by in Los Angeles.

Image: Wikimedia



Let's see how well you remember characters from both the Allies and the Axis in this classic 1960s sitcom. Take the quiz now.

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kraftwerk 23 months ago
I’ve loved Hogan’s Heroes since I was a kid, but even as a kid, I noticed that the show is filled with mistakes. There are way too many to mention, but here three big ones.

1. Talking to a submerged submarine by radio. It can’t be done. Submarines must surface and drag a long wire antenna behind them to communicate by radio.

2. Whenever Hogan is eavesdropping on conversations that Klink is having with other Germans in his office, they always speak English instead of German.

3. Whenever Hogan is impersonating a German officer, he speaks English. I guess since he uses a fake German accent, the German officers don’t notice.

TBattl3ofK1601updara 29 months ago
In "The Empty Parachute" (S5 E11): The Nazi counterfeit $10.00 bill's were Federal Reserve Note's, dated 1963 ... Of course, this went undetected at the time of broadcast, because of the smaller TV screens and the lack of our "pause" features. :-)
stkelley123 33 months ago
You left another mistake in another episode of the series. It was S1 or S2. It was where Shultz was passing Counterfeit money and lunch was examining a ten dollar bill and lunch told Hogan there was an error where it said Federal Reserve Note. If I'm mistaken the money back then was Silver Certificates and not Federal Reserve Notes.
WandaBaker 33 months ago
I can deal with most of the other things but it really does bother me that they made zero attempts to dress the women in 1940s clothes or makeup or style their hair correctly.
DerekBird 33 months ago
Thank you for ruining a show that I've loved for 45 years. I can never watch HH again thanks to you. My Grandfather must be screaming from the other side "NNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!" because HH was his favorite show. Thankfully because he died in 1980 he never got to see the tripe that's on TV today called "Reality Shows"..
CoreyChartier 47 months ago
In the one I watched the other night, where they kidnapped the German general in his own plane and then bombed a refinery with it, they started in a b17, which then turned into a B29 on engine start, magically turned into a Lancaster, then, finally, became a Fw-200 Condor.

Loucav 47 months ago
At end of Episode 2 Carter (Lieutenant/SGT) was in truck exiting (escaping) from Stalag. He was back on episode 3. What happened???
bradharris911 48 months ago
If Shultz’s serial number is only five digits, that means the Germans would have less than 100,000 men in its military. During WWII, Germany had well over 2 million men.
efrain54 52 months ago
Sargent Schultz goes from being married to being single than back again depending on the episode
efrain54 52 months ago
In the first episode when Carter joined them he was a Lieutenant and more serious. Later he was a corporal and very goofy
bradharris911 efrain54 48 months ago
Carter was a Tech Sergeant. He was ranked lieutenant in the first episode (the pilot) only, and I’m not even sure that he was named Andrew Carter in that episode. He was not originally to a part of the regular cast. A Russian character was originally to be the fifth person on Hogan’s team.
JonCarp efrain54 39 months ago
Also, when Crittenden first turns up in S1E5, he’s called colonel. Actually he only has two rings on his sleeve which makes him a Flight Lieutenant - equivalent of an army Captain. When he later turns up with the correct four rings, he’s then a Group Captain. That’s the equivalent of a Colonel but the incorrect rank to call him.
Russ 54 months ago
#4 In the top picture, that's a completely different actor than Clary. I can't remember his name but he was a bit actor in numerous sitcoms
JohnFinnJr Russ 54 months ago
Perhaps Jeff Goldblum of M*A*S*H. He was in some Hogan's Heroes episodes as an extra.
bradharris911 Russ 48 months ago
It’s a whole different scene. Hogan has his jacket on in one picture and is in totally different clothing in the other. Kinch and Newkirk are also in totally different places.
LarryAJacobsen 54 months ago
Sgt. Schultz's rifle was a Krag-Jorgenson. A Norwegian designed American rifle.

Sgtpops 58 months ago
More than just the M-7 tank, there are also an M-37B1 3/4 ton truck and an M-35 deuce and a half truck. Along with other vehicle discrepancies such as "German" vehicles with the steering wheel on the right side?
Jltitus89 64 months ago
In the first season of The Adventures of Superman, George Reeves' glasses had no lenses in them but in later seasons, he has lenses.
Dario 64 months ago
I think MeTV is stretching the point about inaccuracies found in Hogan's Heroes episodes; for people who never been in military service, it matters not one wit.
x60hz11 Dario 45 months ago
One wit!! Haven't heard that since Fawlty Towers
idkwut2use Dario 33 months ago
And it can still be interesting to learn something. ;]
ShawnMatheny 68 months ago
In one of last nights 2 episodes, season 4, ep 14 or 15...10/15/2018, a scene with Klink in bed, starts out he was reading a magazine with a female on the cover, several seconds later, it is the book Mein Kampf. I will let you know where to send my check...lol
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