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Internet Pranksters (and Yahoo Tech) Seize on ‘Downton Abbey’ Promo Photo Fail

Daniel Bean
Editorial Assistant
Yahoo Tech
August 15, 2014

Internet Pranksters (and Yahoo Tech) Seize on ‘Downton Abbey’ Promo Photo Fail

Daniel Bean
Editorial Assistant
Yahoo Tech
August 15, 2014
Downton Abbey promotional photo with water bottle in background
Downton Abbey promotional photo with water bottle in background

Oh, rubbish!

If you make a public “boo-boo” on the Internet, be aware that it will be pointed out to you in cleverly mean ways by bloggers, forum dwellers, and trolls. This is a truism that the marketing team for the PBS drama Downton Abbey just learned the hard way.

A promotional pic for the show (above), which is set in the early 20th century, looks harmless at first glance. But take a closer look and you’ll spot a water bottle, circa 2014, behind Lady Edith’s left shoulder. That poppycock move was, of course, pointed out by several on Twitter and is funny in itself.

But the fun really started to pick up when the folk at UK-based site The Media Blog and others on Twitter decided to take the photo’s error to its logical end, adding other non-1920s things into the picture. Because why stop at just a historically inaccurate plastic bottle? Here are our favorites:

Downton Abbey promotional photo with boom box and happy birthday banner
Downton Abbey promotional photo with boom box and happy birthday banner

Party like it’s 1919 … with accessories from 1999. (@TheMediaTweets/Twitter)

Downton Abbey promotional photo with underwear band showing
Downton Abbey promotional photo with underwear band showing

Ellen DeGeneres tweeted: “I saw the water bottle in the ‘Downton Abbey’ photo, but I’m surprised no one noticed the underwear.” (@TheEllenShow/Twitter)

Downton Abbey promotional photo with miniature Tara Reid on the mantel
Downton Abbey promotional photo with miniature Tara Reid on the mantel

Oops. A tiny 2014 Tara Reid wearing a bead bikini wandered into the picture. (@brandonRohwer/Twitter)

Downton Abbey promotional photo with Google Glass and iPhone
Downton Abbey promotional photo with Google Glass and iPhone

Lady Edith looks to be holding an iPhone 4 here, which is TOTALLY an outdated model. (@TheMediaTweets/Twitter)

Of course, we at Yahoo Tech like to have a little fun ourselves. So here are some suggestions from our staff:

Downton Abbey promotional photo with Macklemore
Downton Abbey promotional photo with Macklemore

This actually makes perfect sense. We always knew 2013 Macklemore had a thing for Edith. Also, what water bottle?

Downton Abbey promotional photo with drone
Downton Abbey promotional photo with drone

Confirmed: The celeb-drone infatuation has been a thing for a while.

Downton Abbey promotional photo with Oculus Rift headsets
Downton Abbey promotional photo with Oculus Rift headsets

Playing VR cricket, no doubt.

Downton Abbey promotional photo with David Pogue
Downton Abbey promotional photo with David Pogue

And, hey! Isn’t that Yahoo Tech’s own David Pogue kneeling in for a share of the frame? Seems legit!

Have questions, comments, or just want to tell me something funny? Email me at danbean@yahoo-inc.com.