An Honest Mistake

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"An Honest Mistake"
Single by The Bravery
from the album The Bravery
Released 28 February 2005
Format 7", CD, DVD
Recorded 2004
Genre Post-punk revival, dance-punk, electronica
Length 3:39
Label Polydor
Writer(s) Sam Endicott
Producer(s) Sam Endicott
The Bravery singles chronology
"An Honest Mistake" "Fearless"

"An Honest Mistake" is the debut single by American alternative rock band The Bravery. The song is the lead track on the band's self-titled debut album, The Bravery. It was released in the United Kingdom on February 28, 2005 and charted as high as number 7 on the UK Singles Chart.

"An Honest Mistake" was also featured on the soundtrack of the video games Burnout Revenge (as a remix) and MVP Baseball 2005; in MVP, the song is listed as "Honest Mistake". The song is also featured in the video game True Crime: New York City, in The O.C. season 2 finale "The Dearly Beloved" and in the CSI: NY season 2 episode "Youngblood". The song is playable on the UK version of the game SingStar Rocks!. It was also played in the Heroes episode "Orientation" in Season 4 and was featured in the 2011 film Detention.

Music video[edit]

The video for "An Honest Mistake" was directed by Michael "Mike" Palmieri (Foo Fighters, The Strokes) and features the band performing the song in the middle of a Rube Goldberg machine. The chain start with several strings of dominoes and includes many other objects, such as light bulbs, eggs, and an aquarium. Different parts of the action are shown from multiple views, often showing it one way, switching to another angle, then switching back to the original view. Eventually a flaming arrow shoots toward a target, but the arrow misses to the right.[1]

Throughout the video, the only colors seen are red and yellow. While filming, the cameramen got in the way several times, causing dominoes to knock over when they shouldn't have and forcing them to redo the set all over again.

The Rube Goldberg machine follows a complex sequence of actions from the domino falling to the arrow shooting:

  1. The band's tapping and bass causes a domino to fall
  2. The domino causes a long line of dominos to fall
  3. The line causes an intricate pattern of domino lines
  4. The pattern of dominos causes a rectangle of dominos to fall, revealing an arrow pattern
  5. The dominos merge into one line, which topples the lower line of dominos
  6. The lower line activates a wheel and counterweight
  7. A washer to slides up and knock down 6 higher rows of dominos
  8. The second floor's domino starts a staircase of dominos
  9. The staircase hits a stick on a pivot, starting another line of dominos toppling
  10. The domino line hits another stick, hitting another line, and so forth until the top line
  11. The top line of dominos hits a domino on a zip line
  12. The zip line domino hits over two blocks of metal
  13. The blocks fall onto the exposed wires of a Polaroid camera, completing the circuit
  14. The camera takes a picture
  15. The Polaroid rolls out of the camera, starting another line of dominos
  16. The domino splits into a double helix, then re-converges into one line again
  17. The last of a line of dominos falls off the table, into the center of a star of dominos
  18. One of the spokes of the star leads to another line of dominos, which splits into three parallel lines
  19. Two of the lines end, while one continues on
  20. A line of dominos trips a mousetrap with a razor on it
  21. The razor cuts a piece of twine
  22. The cut twine releases a dangling anvil
  23. The anvil hits a billow
  24. The billow blows feathers off a scale
  25. The other end of the scale tips, flipping a switch
  26. The switch turns on a fan
  27. The fan blows away a kite attached to a string
  28. The string pulls on a hammer, releasing a wheel
  29. The wheel goes down a trough, hitting a tire
  30. The tire rolls down a ladder, then up a lever with a string attached to the end
  31. The string releases a torpedo on a zip line
  32. The torpedo stops suddenly just above the ground, releasing numerous ball bearings
  33. One of the bearings rolls to a piece of wood where two wires come close, and completes the circuit
  34. The circuit activates a Jacob's ladder
  35. The Jacob's ladder lights a piece of tissue paper on fire
  36. The tissue paper lights a fuse
  37. The fuse lights a cannon
  38. The cannon fires a ball
  39. The ball hits a metal block on the edge of a fish tank (with fish in it)
  40. The block knocks down a line of blocks
  41. The last block in line falls on a lever connected to a pole
  42. The pole pushes a lever on top of the fish tank
  43. A weight slides off the lever
  44. The weight pulls a rope through pulleys, which pull a miter saw down
  45. The miter saw cuts into a rod, causing sparks
  46. The sparks light a pile of gunpowder
  47. The gunpowder lights a fuse
  48. The fuse lights a rocket
  49. The rocket pushes a dummy in a wheelchair through swinging doors and to a guillotine
  50. The wheelchair falls over, pushing the dummy’s neck into the neck rest and activating the guillotine
  51. The blade comes down, chopping off the dummy’s head
  52. The head falls into a whicker basket on top of a lever
  53. The lever lifts up a panel restricting a toy car’s movement
  54. The RC electric motor toy car with a lit candle on it begins to drive
  55. The car drives to a fuse running down a pole
  56. The fuse lights a liquid on the pole on fire
  57. The fire lights a ball and releases it
  58. The ball unwinds and spins around
  59. The lead singer sees the ball on fire out of the corner of his eye and moves out of the way
  60. The ball hits a pile of gunpowder
  61. The explosion severs a string
  62. The string releases a lever with a boxing glove on one end and a counterweight on the other
  63. The boxing glove hits a bowling ball
  64. The bowling ball rolls down a smooth ramp, then a ramp of light bulbs
  65. The bowling ball rolls across the floor, smashing a light bulb with a string tied to it
  66. The smashed light bulb releases a spring with a razor on the end
  67. The razor cuts a collection of ropes, causing skylights to crash to the ground
  68. The bowling ball continues to a stack of milk bottles, knocking the lowest one
  69. The topmost bottle tips into a trough
  70. Milk pushes an egg out of a socket
  71. The egg starts a line of dominos
  72. The domino line climbs stairs and pushes the topmost domino, attached to a string
  73. The domino swings down, hitting another line of dominos
  74. The last domino falls onto a lever
  75. The lever swings up, hitting a cam
  76. The cam swings around, starting another line
  77. The last in line pushes a weight, which falls into a bucket attached to a string
  78. The bucket falls, pulling another bucket up
  79. The bucket stops suddenly at the top, causing a line of dominos to fall over
  80. The last in line falls off the edge into a bear trap
  81. The trap closes, severing a rope
  82. The rope releases a TV attached to another rope, which falls, crushing a toy dog
  83. The TV lifts a box, activating a toy robot with string tied to its arm
  84. The robot takes a few steps forward, then spins
  85. The string tightens, activating the trigger of a crossbow
  86. The crossbow fires
  87. The arrow exits the crossbow, but misses right of the target

Track listings[edit]

  • 7" 9880264
  1. "An Honest Mistake"
  2. "Hot Pursuit"
  • CD 9880300
  1. "An Honest Mistake"
  2. "Hey Sunshiney Day"
  • CD (AUS) 9881709
  1. "An Honest Mistake"
  2. "Hey Sunshiney Day"
  3. "An Honest Mistake"
  • DVD 9880301
  1. "An Honest Mistake" (video)
  2. "Unconditional" (video)
  3. "Unconditional" (making of)


Chart (2005) Peak
UK Singles (Official Charts Company)[2] 7