The movie Dodgeball does not take place in current times (of 2004 when it came out). It's subtle enough that most people don't even notice, but a commercial in the beginning of the film sets the movie 6 years after 1987. But the year is never mentioned or indicated again, has no bearing on the plot, and no real world events of 1993 take place in the film. So why was the film made a period piece for seemingly no reason?

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    In 2017 there was a Dodgeball mini-reunion for charity and in the video Ben Stiller, aka White Goodman, says: "... for the last 13 years...", which lines up with 2004.
    – Oliver_C
    Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 20:36
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    From the channel that broadcasts the tournament: "It's the Las Vegas International Dodgeball Open here on ESPN-8, The Ochco, bringing you the finest in seldom seen sports from around the globe since 1999. If it's almost a sport, we got it here ..."
    – Oliver_C
    Commented Jul 1, 2018 at 10:11

2 Answers 2


I started digging into this since if the movie where to take place in 1993 there would be some serious continuity errors, especially with the Lance Armstrong scene: Lance talks about being a 5 time Tour de France winner, and not quitting due to cancer. Lance was not diagnosed with cancer until 1996, and had just won his 5th tour de France in 2004.

There are two possible explanations I've found in the context of the movie:

  1. It's an old commercial, and the movie does not take place in 1993.
  2. White Goodman is such an idiot he cannot count properly, thus is unable to accurately recall the amount of time that has passed since his physical change.

Outside of the movie Vince Vaughn pointed out the discrepancy to the director, who acknowledged that he didn't notice the inconsistencies in dates, and really didn't care, or kept it as a joke.

Vaughn points out that the photo of White Goodman was taken in 1987, but the character says that was him 6 years ago. Vaughn questions if the movie takes place in 1993. “Yeah,” says Thurber. “That’s not clear?” The writer/director says he liked the way the character says he lost 600 pounds in 6 years. He also guesses this makes the film a period piece. Dodgeball, more complex than Primer.

-Film School Rejects

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    Sounds like he basically confirms it's a period piece, aka takes place in '93. Btw, wouldn't those references be anachronisms, not continuity errors? Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 19:14
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    @WakeDemons3 Why can't they be both?
    – Steve-O
    Commented Jun 28, 2018 at 20:37
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    @Steve-O Because "continuity error" tends to refer to something happening that contradicts an earlier occurrence (someone changing shirts between shots, the order of people entering a room being different in a flashback etc). It would be a continuity error if the movie started out as taking place in 1993 and then switched to taking place in 2004, whereas if the movie stayed in 1993 and some things took place that would only make sense if they took place later it'd be an anachronism.
    – Cubic
    Commented Jun 29, 2018 at 10:55
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    Seems like another possibility is that the "6 years" in the ad weren't all the years. In other words, the guy was saying he lost 600 pounds in 6 years, then spent the remaining years maintaining that new weight.
    – T.E.D.
    Commented Jun 29, 2018 at 14:30
  • @Cubic It's opinion-based, I know, but if the movie supposedly took place in 1993 and yet made reference to IRL events that didn't happen until 2004 (ie: Armstrong's 5th win), I'd consider that BOTH an anachronism and a continuity error. Agree to disagree, I suppose.
    – Steve-O
    Commented Jun 29, 2018 at 15:49

When Vince Vaughn’s character checks his phone messages in the beginning (about a minute after the Globo Gym commercial), a video store claims a few “DVDs” are overdue, one of those mentioned is Mona Lisa Smile.

If it was meant to be a period piece, these facts, being in the very beginning, are serious discrepancies.

  • This answer would make more sense if you pointed out that Mona Lisa Smile was released in 2003.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jun 24 at 16:16

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