Movie Goof (continuity error): When Chief Brody and Hooper tie the ropes to the stern cleats, Quint shoots a harpoon under the shark's mouth. When Hooper is in the shark cage, look at the shark's mouth when it passes by. There is no harpoon there.
Movie Goof (factual errors): During the barrel scene, the shark pulls three barrels underwater. Mythbusters discovered that the shark would have had to exert 1200 pounds of pressure, which it would be incapable of doing.
Movie Goof (continuity error): When the engine of the Orca is blown, you see Hooper jumping into over a foot of water, and the entire engine compartment is flooded. In the next shot, you see Quint reaching for, and using a fire extinguisher to put out the fire in a dry engine compartment.
Movie Goof (continuity error): Just before the Kintner boy is attacked, when Chief Brody is sitting on the beach watching the water, he speaks with the old man called Harry. In the close-up shot of Harry the chin strap of his rubber cap hangs down loose at his chest, but in the side shots the chin strap is tucked up at his ear.
Movie Goof (factual errors): When Brody is left on the boat by himself the 3000 psi scuba tank floats beside him. A full scuba tank would sink. Only an empty tank would float because it does not include the weight of the compressed air inside. For the tank to explode however, it would have to be full and pressurized.
Movie Goof (continuity error): Hooper wears glasses (old fashioned rimless) throughout the film, but the temples (the part that goes from the glasses themselves to the ears) change from time to time, even within the same scene. Sometimes they are connected to the glass part of the frame at the top, and sometimes in the middle.
Movie Goof (continuity error): The chunk of dock that floats in the water, as the shark pulls it, differs from the piece of dock that broke off in the previous shots.
Movie Goof (crew or equipment visible): When Quint shoots the second barrel onto the shark (after the first barrel has been removed) the shadow of the cameraman can be seen on the shark when it is shown being hit by the harpoon.
Movie Goof (continuity error): The sea frequently goes from choppy to calm, and the skies from sunny to hazy, as we cut back and forth between characters on the Orca.
Movie Goof (continuity error): The word ORCA on the back of the boat continually changes from shot to shot varying from very rusty letters to shiny letters.
Movie Goof (continuity error): While Brody is sitting on the beach watching the lady in the water, several items next to him on the left of screen, and the bottom of a blowup raft which can be seen under the door of the changeroom behind him, disappear between shots, while a blue esky suddenly appears next to Brody.
Movie Goof (crew or equipment visible): On the TV/video version of Chrissie's death scene, a fine wire can be seen connected to the buoy as she is being shaken about by the shark. This was probably used to stop it drifting out of shot. The wire has been removed on the DVD version.
Movie Goof (continuity error): At the Town Hall meeting, just as everybody starts moving from the corridor into the council chambers, the blackboard at the back of the room is clean. It remains clean in some shots later during the meeting, but when Quint scratches it before his first tirade, there is a large shark, water and all, drawn on it in white chalk. No one was seen drawing it, nor was there time for anyone to draw it during the few seconds between the last shot when the blackboard was seen clean and the shot of Quint's nails scratching it.
Movie Goof (audio/visual unsynchronized): After Chrissy Watkins' remains were pulled out of the cabinet in that little pan, Richard Dreyfuss went on to record his findings of the remains. There is no way all of the remains he described into his tape recorder would fit into that little, shallow pan.
Movie Goof (boom mic visible): After the boat's engine has died and Hooper tells Brody and Quint that he will go into the shark cage, you can see a reflection of the boom mic in the window behind him, moving from left-to-right.
Movie Goof (factual errors): Sheriff Brody learns from his deputy that the boy scouts are doing their "Mile Swim" in the bay for their merit badge. While the Boy Scouts of America do offer a "Mile Swim" patch for those scouts able to swim, non-stop for that distance, there is no merit badge that requires swimming a mile. (An Eagle Scout like Steven Spielberg have known that.)
Movie Goof (continuity error): The dried bloody stains around the tiger shark's mouth, as it hangs on the dock, change and/or disappear, depending on the shot.
Movie Goof (continuity error): After Quint scratches the blackboard at the town meeting, as the camera begins to zoom in on Quint, Brody can be seen kneeling down to stay out of shot on the lower right of screen. Then ten seconds later his shadow is seen on the blackboard as he stands up.
Movie Goof (continuity error): Young Sean Brody is shown wearing light green swim trunks in the 4th of July sequence. He is seen sitting on the beach when the shark attacks the boat in the pond and his brother Michael is nearly killed. After Michael is dragged out of the water, there is a cut to Sean sitting on the beach crying, but he is wearing dark blue trunks. The shot was actually taken from the earlier beach scene where Alex is killed on his raft.
Movie Goof (continuity error): Prior to Hooper going into the shark cage, Quint asks "You can get this little needle through his skin?" In the next scene, the needle grows from about 2 millimeters to several centimeters, then Hooper injects the sedative into a "Shark Dart" harpoon with a long and thick needle/injector which would penetrate *any* animal's skin.
Movie Goof (continuity error): When Hooper causes Ben Gardner's head to drop into the hole in the boat, it falls halfway out of the hole. After a quick cut away to Hooper's reaction, the head next appears further back inside the boat.
Movie Goof (continuity error): The cleats that the shark pulls off the boat reappear.
Movie Goof (factual errors): Mythbusters discovered that the shark was incapable of pulling the boat backwards by the cleats. To do so the shark would have had to pull twice its own body weight.
Movie Goof (continuity error): At the beginning of the second day at sea, when they're trying to fix the boat, Brody tells Quint he can't move the steering wheel left, but a few moments later, when they're chasing the shark, they're easily making left turns.
Movie Goof (miscellaneous): When Crissy's remains are found on the beach. The initial shot of the remains show crabs crawling on them, and then another crab is dropped on the remains from above, right before Sheriff Brody approaches.
Movie Goof (crew or equipment visible): When Quint is in the shark's mouth, you can see a soft white mat, under Quint, to protect him, and to make sure he is comfortable. This same white mat can also be seen under his shirt, acting as his "skin" as he's bitten.
Movie Goof (continuity error): In one of the first scenes scene when Quint stands at the bow of the boat to shoot the shark with a harpoon, he takes aim at eye level with the camera behind him. But when the camera cuts in front of him he is shooting from hip level
Movie Goof (continuity error): When Hooper finds the shark tooth in the hull of Ben Gardner's boat, the point is sticking up, with the root end of the tooth embedded in the wood. If the shark had lost the tooth while biting into the hull, Hooper should have found the point stuck in the wood, with the root end exposed.
Movie Goof (continuity error): When Chief Brody is talking to Hooper and picking at the B & G wine foil cap, it is peeled off/intact between shots.
Movie Goof (continuity error): When Quint throws a large black duffel bag to Hooper, the latter catches it with the open end down. However, in the next shot he is holding the open end up.
Movie Goof (continuity error): On the Orca near the end of the film, there is a shot of Quint aiming the harpoon gun. In this shot the harpoon gun is high, but in next shot he is shooting from the hip.
Movie Goof (continuity error): When Chief Brody is in the hardware store getting supplies to make "Beach Closed" signs, there are two buildings across the street (visible through the shop window), painted dark gray/blue, with large windows trimmed in white. When the chief exits the building and stands on the curb right out front loading the supplies into the deputy's car, the building across the street is a large brick building with small windows.
Movie Goof (revealing mistake): During the scene at the hospital after the shark attack in the pond, as Michael and his bed are being wheeled out of the room and down the hall by a female nurse and a male doctor the actor playing the male doctor looks directly into the camera.
Movie Goof (continuity error): When Quint yells "untie this, he'll pull out the transom" a shot from inside the boat shows the next barrel (which has been shot onto the shark) move from the front of the boat and you can see that there is just one barrel remaining. But a few seconds later when the shark begins pulling the boat backwards, there are now two barrels remaining.
Movie Goof (incorrectly regarded as a mistake): When Quint stabs the machete into the Orca's gunwale, the wood has already been marked up with gashes from the machete, probably from previous takes. However, it is conceivable that this was not the first time Quint has done this, and the marks in the wood were not a mistake.
Movie Goof (continuity error): When Hooper is in the shark cage he removes the cork from his spear that holds poison, then when the shark hits the cage he loses his spear and as it floats through the water the cork reappears, then the next time you see the spear hit the ocean floor the cork is gone again.
Movie Goof (continuity error): When Brody boards the ferry and tells them to take him out to the Boy Scouts in the water, Larry Vaughn also boards the ferry. Although the ferry driver has not been given new instructions, he takes them all over to the other side to the ferry terminal, ignoring Brody's initial request.
Movie Goof (revealing mistake): While Hooper is first in the cage Brody goes and hands him the spear. But when we next see Hooper he's using both hands to clean his mask. Where did the spear go? If he put it down in the cage it would have gone through the bars.
Movie Goof (factual errors): Quint was in the Navy, but yet he wears an Army issued field jacket with his name on it.
Movie Goof (continuity error): Alex Kintner was killed sometime on Sunday, June 29th (according to the notice on the board at the town meeting). On the evening of the next day (Monday) Ellen Brody says that her son probably wouldn't go in the water again "after what happened yesterday." The next day (Tuesday) Hooper arrives and the tiger shark is caught. Hooper proposes to cut it open to see if it is responsible for the deaths. He specifically states, "The digestive system of this animal is very, very slow. Let's cut it open. Whatever it's eaten in the last twenty-four hours is bound to still be in there and then we'll know." However, more than twenty-four hours have elapsed since the last known victim, Alex Kintner, was killed.
Movie Goof (crew or equipment visible): When the shark starts to pull the Orca backwards, a towline is clearly visible running from the stern of the Orca (to the tow/camera vessel), in spite of the attempted use of the rope lines from the yellow floats to cover it.
Movie Goof (continuity error): In the shot where the shark is blown up, one second before the explosion, the shark is obviously not moving.
Movie Goof (continuity error): At the town meeting, there are two shots of the reward sign posted by Mrs Kintner. The sign in the second shot is not the same as the sign in the previous shot, the handwriting is different.
Movie Goof (continuity error): When Hooper's in the shark cage before he's lowered underwater, his watch is strapped to his left hand on top of his blue wetsuit. After he is submerged, the watch is tucked underneath the wetsuit.
Movie Goof (continuity error): The "NO SWIMMING" sign placed on the beach has divots on its top from hammering before the hammer first hits; presumably this is from a previous take.
Movie Goof (continuity error): When the Chief and Hooper are trying to convince the Mayor to shut down the beaches, Chief Brody says there have already been two deaths. But, in fact, as of that time in the movie, the girl on the beach, the Kintner boy and Ben the fisherman are all dead. (However, this continuity mistake is somewhat understandable since the scene with Ben's head rolling into view of his destroyed boat was actually filmed after the movie wrapped - having been filmed in the film editor's swimming pool. So, when Chief Brody made that statement to the Mayor, there may have actually been no real proof of the death of Ben since it was actually filmed much later.)
Movie Goof (factual errors): When Hooper is examining Chrissie Watkin's corpse, he attributes the attacking squalus (shark) as Longimanus or Isurus Glaucus. Carcharhinis Longimanus is the pelagic White Tip Shark, and wouldn't be come close to shore. Its bite would never be mistaken for a great whites. Isurus Glaucus is a Short Fin Mako, and is only found in the Pacific Ocean, not the Atlantic, as the Isurus Oxyrinchus would be.
Movie Goof (crew or equipment visible): When we get the first underwater shot of Hooper in the cage there are air bubbles floating to the surface in the top right of the screen. One could assume they are from the safety divers below the cage.
Movie Goof (errors made by characters, possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): When Brody is in his office typing a coroner's report, he misspells "coroner" - he types "corner".
Movie Goof (incorrectly regarded as a mistake): Real great white sharks do not behave in the manner depicted in this film. In fact, unprovoked shark attacks are very rare, with only a handful of them being fatal and two out of three people survive a great white shark attack. However, this is a thriller/horror movie and many things are intentionally exaggerated to fit the genre.