This article covers all the known goofs in the 1996 film Independence Day.
- When David is looking for ice, the fridge door shelves are full of food. When Connie puts the bottle into the fridge, the door shelves are virtually empty.
- In the opening scene, the plaques from the Apollo 11 landing is shown sitting in the lunar soil. In reality the plaques were mounted to the descent stage of Lunar Module. Furthermore, the United States flag placed on the moon by Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin is no longer standing as it was knocked over by Armstrong's and Aldrin's take off in the Lunar Module. Even more so, the flag and other flags left on the Moon would not retain their color and are bleached white due to UV rays and massively direct sunlight.
- The farmer Lucas complains to Miguel that his crop is failing because Russell has not dusted his crop. He has a handful of wilted vegetation to prove his case. Dusting is typically for pests, wilting vegetation is typically from lack of water.
- General Grey refers to a single AWACS as an "AWAC". The "s" does not make it plural, the "s" stands for System (Airborne Warning And Control System).
- The map of Russia shown in "Sky News" (in Russian), erroneously shows the city of St. Petersburg as Petrograd, a name used only from 1914 until 1924 (it was called St. Petersburg 1703-1914, Leningrad 1924-1991, and St. Petersburg again ever since.) Other misspellings: Novosibirsk spelled "Novosyoyrsk" (and erroneously described as mountainous), "Fenomen" (phenomenon) spelled "Fznamenon". Inexplicably, the news station is called "Soviet Central News," even though the movie takes place in 1996, five years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union. George Putnam also erroneously refer to Russia as the "Russian Republic" rather than the Russian Federation.
- The address on the letter Steve receives from NASA reads "El Toro, CA 50055". The 50055 ZIP code is actually for Collins, Iowa. The appropriate ZIP Code for El Toro (prior to its closing in 1999) is 92609.
- When Marines Steve and Jimmy are getting ready to take their flight against the City Destroyer that destroyed Los Angeles, Steve calls out Jimmy as "soldier". Marines are not supposed to be called "soldier," as soldiers refer to the U.S. Army.
- Steve's F/A-18 is shown to have a drogue parachute, which he deploys to block the pursuing alien attacker pilot's view. In reality, the F/A-18, being designed for carrier operation, does not actually possess such a parachute, instead relying on an arrestor hook for carrier landings and a dorsal airbrake when landing on a runway.
- U.S. Air Force personnel do not refer to "Area 51" by that name but rather its official military designation. The code name Area 51 was assigned by the CIA in now declassified documents and used mainly by civilians and in fiction.
- Several characters throughout the film describe the crash of the alien vessel that crashed near Roswell, New Mexico and stored at Area 51 as having taken place in the 1950s. The Roswell incident actually took place in 1947 and not in the "50s".
- When Julius is praying in a group, he is sitting on the floor and reciting a benediction from the daily Jewish prayer, the Amidah (the standing prayer). Julius would have been reciting it while standing, but this can be exempted due to the very chaotic situation at Area 51 during the counteroffensive.
- The shot of Imperial Valley at night with edges of the Los Angeles City Destroyer hovering over the mountains is incongruent to the actual distance between Imperial Valley and L.A., which is 200 miles apart from each other. The destroyer would be obscured by the mountains and from 200 miles it would appear much smaller.
- El Toro base is shown being at the end of a long desert road as Jasmine and the refugees arrives there. El Toro is in the middle of completely developed cities in Orange County. The desert is about 50 miles away over a few mountain ranges.
- In the Middle East scene, one of the RAF pilots says they may have reinforcements hiding in the "Golan Strait." The Golan Heights is a set of hills between Israel and Lebanon, and there are no water bodies anywhere nearby. This mistake is corrected in the novelization in which Reginald Cummins corrected his colleague.