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In filmmaking
Filmmaking is the process of making a film, from an initial story, idea, or commission, through scriptwriting, casting, shooting, directing, editing, and screening the finished product before an audience that may result in a theatrical release or television program...

, a goof is a mistake made during film production that finds its way into the final released picture. Depending upon the film and the actual scene, the goof may have different effects: a loss in realism
Realism (dramatic arts)
Realism was a general movement in 19th-century theatre that developed a set of dramatic and theatrical conventions with the aim of bringing a greater fidelity of real life to texts and performances....

, an annoyance, or it could just be funny. It is often a type of continuity
Continuity (fiction)
In fiction, continuity is consistency of the characteristics of persons, plot, objects, places and events seen by the reader or viewer over some period of time...

 error. Goofs are also known as "blooper
A blooper, also known as an outtake or boner is a short sequence of a film or video production, usually a deleted scene, containing a mistake made by a member of the cast or crew. It also refers to an error made during a live radio or TV broadcast or news report, usually in terms of misspoken words...

s" or "mistakes".

There are several types of goofs, for example:
  • Somebody or something from the film crew is in the picture that wasn't planned (e.g., camera
    A camera is a device that records and stores images. These images may be still photographs or moving images such as videos or movies. The term camera comes from the camera obscura , an early mechanism for projecting images...

     and cameraman is reflected in a mirror, or the microphone
    A microphone is an acoustic-to-electric transducer or sensor that converts sound into an electrical signal. In 1877, Emile Berliner invented the first microphone used as a telephone voice transmitter...

     is visible, a rope pushing a character over is visible, a hook pulling a character up in the air is visible).)
  • Chronological
    Chronology is the science of arranging events in their order of occurrence in time, such as the use of a timeline or sequence of events. It is also "the determination of the actual temporal sequence of past events".Chronology is part of periodization...

     or conditional errors (e.g. a cigarette
    A cigarette is a small roll of finely cut tobacco leaves wrapped in a cylinder of thin paper for smoking. The cigarette is ignited at one end and allowed to smoulder; its smoke is inhaled from the other end, which is held in or to the mouth and in some cases a cigarette holder may be used as well...

     getting longer with the next scene, a cup or glass gaining in volume in the next scene, damage to a building that disappears, or moved props)
  • Historical inaccuracies and anachronisms (e.g., an HDTV
    High-definition television
    High-definition television is video that has resolution substantially higher than that of traditional television systems . HDTV has one or two million pixels per frame, roughly five times that of SD...

     set in a film set in the 1970s, radio tower in cowboy movie).
  • Geographic: an object or landmark reveals the scene was filmed in a different city than the city it is set. This is very common in Hollywood films that are shot in Canada
    Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

  • Problems in audio or soundtrack (e.g. a dog
    The domestic dog is a domesticated form of the gray wolf, a member of the Canidae family of the order Carnivora. The term is used for both feral and pet varieties. The dog may have been the first animal to be domesticated, and has been the most widely kept working, hunting, and companion animal in...

     barking before its mouth moves, a person's lips carry on moving after they have finished speaking).
  • Intertitles displaying wrong words (e.g. a character called "John" may have his name mis-spelled Jhon in the subtitles by accident).

Goofs can be found in a large number of films, even in very expensive productions. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, originally released as Star Wars, is a 1977 American epic space opera film, written and directed by George Lucas. It is the first of six films released in the Star Wars saga: two subsequent films complete the original trilogy, while a prequel trilogy completes the...

 for example has been counted to have 200 goofs in it, ranging from disappearing props, to a storm trooper hitting his head on an opening door.


The actual origin of the word is unknown, but several origins have been conjectured.
According to Merriam-Webster, "goof" is likely a variation of "goff" in an English dialect, meaning simpleton. Some say the word may come from an identically pronounced Hebrew word meaning "body". Others believe that it was inspired by the Disney character, Goofy
Goofy is a cartoon character created in 1932 at Walt Disney Productions. Goofy is a tall, anthropomorphic dog, and typically wears a turtle neck and vest, with pants, shoes, white gloves, and a tall hat originally designed as a rumpled fedora. Goofy is a close friend of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck...

 (though it is more likely that the character got his name from the word, not the word from the character).

There is a Spanish word, "gofio," which refers to the balls of toasted flour and salt eaten by the original inhabitants of the Canary Islands
Canary Islands
The Canary Islands , also known as the Canaries , is a Spanish archipelago located just off the northwest coast of mainland Africa, 100 km west of the border between Morocco and the Western Sahara. The Canaries are a Spanish autonomous community and an outermost region of the European Union...

. In Latin America (esp. Cuba) the word "comegofio" (lit. "gofio-eater") came to refer to anyone from the Canaries, stereotyped as primitive or stupid.

Other uses

In broader usage, a goof is a mistake, or a foolish person. In the context of foolishness, the word was a favorite of Dennis Farina
Dennis Farina
Dennis Farina is an American actor of film and television and former Chicago police officer. He is a character actor, often typecast as a mobster or police officer. His most known film roles are those of mobster Jimmy Serrano in the comedy Midnight Run and Ray "Bones" Barboni in Get Shorty...

 on the TV series Crime Story
Crime Story (TV series)
Crime Story is an NBC TV drama created by Gustave Reininger and Chuck Adamson. The executive producer was Michael Mann, who had left Miami Vice to oversee Crime Story and direct the film Manhunter. The show premiered with a two hour pilot — a movie which had been exhibited theatrically —...


It can also be a synonym for funny, awesome, silly, dumb, or hysterical, and is often used to express someone who is particularly silly and takes the silliness to another level; such as the Disney character Goofy.

"Goof" can also be extended into "goofball", a term which describes one who is goofy, foolish, silly or ludicrous.

In Canada, "Goof" gained a new meaning in the prison system, mainly associated with child abusers and later used to describe sexual offenders of any sort. It also is used as a general derogatory