When Stargage: Atlantis was launched, my wife and I started watching it, but we got tired of it fairly quickly and went back to just watching SG-1. From what we saw of Stargate: SG-1 in season 8, it seemed that the SGC was out of contact with the personnel who had moved to Atlantis. So we were rather surprised when, in the season finale, the members of SG-1 referred to the gate ship that they commandeered as a "puddle jumper." So far as we knew, that was terminology coined by the Atlantis people after they had lost contact with Earth.

So, was this phrasing a continuity error? Or was there a in-continuity reason for the SGC to know of the name that had been coined for the gate ship?


4 Answers 4


Since there is no communication between the SGC and Atlantis throughout most of season 8/season 1, there are no real reference points between their continuities.

However, it is plausible that the events in Moebius take place after Letters From Pegasus - wherein the Atlantis team were able to transmit all the data and reports they'd accumulated since arriving in the Pegasus galaxy.

Upon finding out the puddle jumper discovered in It's Good to Be King (and used in Moebius) is not entirely unique, and that the Atlantis mission had adopted the moniker "puddle jumper", the SGC probably decided to apply the name to the one (currently non--flying) ship they had in the Milky Way.

(It may still have been unintentional on behalf of the writers, but it's probably not continuity breaking)

  • 1
    Totally this. I thought it was obvious that if the two groups were using the same name, and there had been a wealth of information sent from one to the other in the episode that aired the previous week, we were ought to just apply common sense and accept that Moebius came after Letters in the timeline and the terminology originated from the Atlantis logs. I think you have to go out of your way to try not to accept that logic. (Particularly as Moebius in turn leads directly into Atlantis's next episode, with the recovered ZPM used to power the Daealus) Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 16:03
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    @LightnessRacesinOrbit To be fair to the OP, they did say they stopped watching Atlantis pretty quickly, so they probably didn't see Letters at all, and so didn't make this connection.
    – Steve-O
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 20:20
  • @Steve-O Indeed, that absolutely makes sense. I'm referring more to the alternative answers ;) Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 22:26

Not a continuity error; it's a much older term.

"Puddle jumper" is an American colloquial term dating to the 1930s. It refers to a class of small aircraft used on short, minor air routes — ie, for jumping puddles — and similarly to small automobiles suitable for undemanding land routes.

— Source: enacademic.com list of internet dictionaries

Although the term may be unfamiliar to the general population, it's reasonable to expect it to be more well-known by members and civilian employees of the United States Air Force, the organization that runs Stargate Command, to whom the resemblance of an active stargate's event horizon to a puddle of water would have made the term irresistible.

If the SGC and Atlantis groups settled on the same term without consulting each other, they at least had a common basis for their choice.

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    Reasonable to assume a common source, but the Moebius ship was unique in the Milky Way as far as SGC knew beforehand
    – HorusKol
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 9:23
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    I've never heard puddle jumper used in reference to automobiles, only aircraft
    – Kevin
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 14:44
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    Though this is logical, it's far more likely that the term was inherited from the Atlantis data sent in an episode that aired the previous week. Do we have absolute proof that said episode is ordered before Moebius? No, but I think this counts as the best proof. It's common sense. Notice how the SGC did not use this term earlier in the season. Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 16:06

Answer to: "Puddle Jumper" term...

Yes and no. In SGA season 1 episode: "Letters From Pegasus", McKay sends a data burst to the SGC containing mission reports etc., so it could be there. However the 2 episodes called "Moebius" at the end of SG1 season 8, the team enables a new time line before restoring the current time line (which is the theme of the episodes and your question lol) so maybe not. As well, they refer to the term of Gateship 1 in both series as a silly name so the truth is I am not sure. I thought I could answer this but as I was writing my answer I realized I cannot, lol...


This is a nod back to Dr McKay and his naming of the 'Gate Ship'/'Puddle Jumper' joke that is also used in the first episodes of Atlantis.

In both versions, McKay wants to call it one name and the commander of the 1st missions using the ships (SG-1/Atlantis) decide to go with the alternate name, much to the annoyance of McKay.

  • This is a nice answer but could be improved by editing in the quotes are YouTube links to the scenes.
    – TheLethalCarrot
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 14:10
  • @TheLethalCarrot I'd love to add some clips (& quotes) to this but I can't find any online at the moment (joys of work), happy to add any that people can find though
    – Stephen
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 14:15
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    Looking at the transcript from the Fandom wiki, "jumper" is used in conversation after SG1 realizes that they're stranded in Ancient Egypt, which is before the new timeline is shown.
    – jaxad0127
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 14:32
  • The scene in the alternate timeline was clearly a callback, but this question is about the generalised usage of the term by this point in the original timeline. Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 16:07
  • In which case, wasn't it called/referenced as a puddle jumper in the episode where they first discovered it (It's Good to Be King) if that's instead what this question is asking
    – Stephen
    Commented Dec 19, 2018 at 17:06

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