Nelson Mandela’s funeral
This was the event that coined the phenomena’s name, so it seems fitting to start here. The former South African president and activist sadly passed away in 2013, but a great number of people commented that they remember him dying while in prison in the 1980s. Cue the next decade revealing that either we frequently hop dimensions, or just suck at remembering things.
The Berenstain Bears
This cartoon has one of the most popular examples of the effect, while also uncovering possible causes. The Berenstain Bears were an animated, family-friendly bundle of ursine fun. About now you’re probably wondering if it’s spelled correctly because, apparently, nobody remembers how it should look. Many recall the logo reading ‘Berenstein’, which makes sense as it’s written in cursive and sounds more likely.
They were doing WHAT in the city?
Even die-hard fans still refer to the show as Sex IN The City. While it fits – they were in a city and often having sex, after all – the actual title is Sex AND The City. It’s easy to see the confusion but, since the entire show is named after protagonist Carrie Bradshaw’s column of the same name, it is simply incorrect. Not as catchy, though.
The Monopoly man’s monocle
What filthy capitalist stereotype is complete without a monocle? Well, the Monopoly guy, apparently. Initially adapted from ‘The Landlord Game’, a feminist-rooted critique of the housing market, Monopoly’s entire legacy is drenched in irony. Combine this with the confusion caused when you realize he never even had a monacle, and the game’s a complete revision of history. You were probably confusing him with Mr Peanut.
That’s not what Darth Vader said
Typically, the Mandela effect is either tied to media or a product, something that millions of people will have had passing experience with. These false memories get validated over time, with even TV shows misquoting Darth Vader’s infamous line “Luke… I am your father”. He actually says: “No, I am your Father”. Show some respect.
When was Mother Theresa canonized?
Many swear they remember seeing Mother Theresa be granted sainthood towards the end of her life in the 90s. This is, in fact, impossible. Whilst she was canonized, it was long after she died, taking place in 2016. It is often confused for her beatification, a recognition from the Catholic Church that she had ascended to heaven, which took place in 2003.
Beam me up, Scotty
The original 60s Star Trek was a seminal piece of TV, creating almost every sci-fi trope seen today. Despite its profound influence and legacy, one of its most quoted lines, ‘Beam me up, Scotty”, is a complete fabrication. It never appeared once across the entire three-season and six-movie span of the original cast.
As far as examples of the Mandela Effect go, this one is maybe the hardest to explain. There seems to be a collective memory of a 90s film called Shazaam, starring the comedian Sinbad as a genie. This film has never existed, and Sinbad has never even played a genie. It could perhaps have been confused for Kazam, which saw Shaquille O’Neil take the role instead.
Meet the Flintstones
This one is weird because of just how much effort is required to get it wrong. Many viewers remain adamant that the stone-age family were always the ‘Flinstones’, missing the first ‘t’. This is strange, as the opening theme goes out of its way to emphasize the pun by putting a half-second rest between the two words! Sing it now and see for yourself.
Tom Cruise’s classic slide-in dance scene was so powerful it opened a rift in time and space. It threw us into a terrifying world, where everything is more or less the same but nobody can agree if he wore sunglasses or not. He did not, but how often does anybody dress up as him without?
Jif or Jiffy?
The peanut butter is called Jiffy. Right? Right?! No? Okay, whatever it’s called, it still tastes delicious. Perhaps the mixup in name comes from the competitor peanut butter brand, Skippy. That seems slightly more likely than a collective change of global memory or consciousness.
The cartoons were… singing?
The show’s called Looney Tunes – not Looney Toons. This is an example of where the parallel-timeline version is far more superior. Toons – as in, cartoons – would make a lot more sense than the actual title Looney Tunes, as Bugs Buggy rarely broke out into song.
Curious George gets curiouser
Nope, Curious George doesn’t have a tail. Many people claim they remember the cute cartoon with a tail, hanging upside down from a tree. Alas, no such event ever occurred. A timeline-bending monkey, or your brain filling in an unusual gap? The jury’s still out.
Febreze only has three ‘e’s, not four. Despite many people on the internet claiming otherwise, the air freshener has always been spelled this way – there was no hidden change by the manufacturer. Unless we somehow slipped into a parallel timeline, where the only change that occurred was a singular disappearing letter?
This one actually makes a huge deal of sense. People across the internet claim that the beloved sneaker chain is, and always have been, spelled Sketchers – with a ‘t’, not Skechers. Honestly, the longer you look at the actual brand name, the stranger it seems.
Pikachu’s tail is yellow
You wouldn’t be alone if you thought that Pikachu had a solid black bolt at the end of his tail. Shockingly, that’s not the case. The cute little creature has always had a solid yellow tail – in every video game, movie, and episode of anime.
KitKat or Kit-Kat?
Thousands of people recall seeing a hyphen in the name KitKat. Yet, a hyphen has never appeared in the beloved chocolate’s 90-year history. Why, then, do we all seem to share the same false memory? A universal shift? Or perhaps we were too busy getting to that sweet, sweet wafer to properly pay attention to the packaging.
C-3PO had a silver leg?
Despite tons of hardcore Star Wars fans arguing the contrary, C-3PO has always had one silver leg in the original sci-fi trilogy. If you remembered him as being solid gold, it may be because not every piece of Star Wars memorabilia featured his discolored leg, leading to thousands of confused fans around the world.
Cinderella’s castle keeps on moving
Disney fans across the globe claim that Cinderella’s castle sat at the entrance of the park, forcing you to walk through its enchanting gates as you entered Disney World. This isn’t the case. The captivating castle sits at the end of Main Street, just as it always has done.
“You’re gonna need a bigger boat”
Speilberg’s classic suspense thriller features one of the most misquoted lines in film history. Movie buffs everywhere use the line: “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” The correct quote is actually: “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” A small difference, but a massive cultural misquote.
Life isn’t like a box of chocolates
Despite what you may think, Forrest Gump never stated that his mama said: “Life is like a box of chocolates”. The correct quotation is: “Life was like a box of chocolates.” To muddle matters even further, the line in the original novel is: “Life is a box of chocolates.”
“Mirror, mirror on the wall”
Mirror, mirror on the wall – which memory is the truest one of all? Despite what your childhood memories may tell you, the Evil Queen in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs never repeats the word ‘mirror’. She actually asks: “Magic mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?”
They couldn’t fly to Mordor
As Gandalf tumbles into the abyss, locked in an endless battle with the demonic Balrog, many Lord of the Rings fans swear he tells his fellowship: “Run, you fools.” The correct quote is: “Fly, you fools” – adding a flair of the dramatic in classic Gandalf fashion.
The champions of the Mandela world
Queen’s iconic song We Are The Champions is a go-to staple for karaoke lovers everywhere. You might want to brush up on the lyrics before you hit the stage, however, as things may not be as they seem. The song never finished with the well-remembered line “of the world”. However, Queen did include the iconic lyric in almost every live performance.
There are how many states?
There are obviously 50 states in America. However, many people have a different figure in their head. Some claim they remember being taught that there were 52 states, others swear they were told there were 53. An odd one, to be sure, as 50 is surely a round-enough number to easily remember.
“You like me!”
Those who have been going around quoting: “You like me, you really like me!” may have descended from a different reality altogether. Sally Field actually said: “I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me” when she took to the stand.
Neil Armstrong’s death
He may be remembered as being the first man to walk on the moon, but many people fail to remember Neil Armstrong’s death. The astronaut passed away in 2012, despite many people thinking that he’s still alive and well. Perhaps the news simply passed them by.
“I saw him standin’ there”
Joan Jett’s rock classic I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll is a fist-pumping anthem enjoyed across generations. Many remember the lyrics as: “I saw him standin’ there by the record machine”. Give the track a re-listen, the correct line is actually: “I saw him dancin’ there by the record machine”.
Leonardo DiCaprio only has one Oscar
Yup, Leonardo DiCaprio only has one Oscar under his belt – winning the accolade back in 2016. Some movie fans swear he won the sought-after award years ago, winning Best Actor for his performance in James Cameron’s Titanic. It goes to show just how good his acting skills are.
Mickey Mouse has a tail, he’s just shy
Believe it or not, Mickey Mouse has a tail. Many folk claim that the Disney icon only recently had his tail introduced, but it can be traced back to his original appearance in Steamboat Willie. The official stance is – if you can’t see his tail, it’s tucked into his pants.
“We’re not in the Kansas timeline anymore, Toto”
The Wizard of Oz is an iconic piece of cinema, full of lines we still use to this day. One such line is: “I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore, Toto”. In this reality, the actual quote is: “Toto, I’ve a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.” What do you remember?
Green or pink?
What color does the word chartreuse bring to mind? If you answered tones of hot pink, you wouldn’t be the only one. Thousands remember it being a shade of magenta, but its actual coloring is a yellowish-green. The color is actually named after a liqueur, also sheathed in shades of green.
Henry VIII holding a turkey leg
The most famous painting of Henry VIII is by Hans Holbein the Younger, showing the King standing tall and regal. Many people remember the King holding a turkey leg in his right hand – a vivid imprint shared by thousands. No such painting exists. Stranger still, there are many parodies portraying such a phenomenon.
Space shuttle explosion
When the Challenger space shuttle exploded shortly after takeoff, it rocked the entire globe. Strangely, the date of the tragedy is widely contested. Some people remember the event happening in 1984, while others swear it was 1985. In reality, the shuttle exploded in January, 1986.
Stripe or Spike?
While Gremlins may be a cult classic we all treasure in our memories, some of those memories are false. The name of the iconic villain is Stripe, though many moviegoers have vague recollections of his name being Spike. There are licensed t-shirts on Amazon calling him Spike, however, so perhaps we have slipped through the cracks in reality after all…
The devil’s in the details
Dog-murderer Cruella is perhaps one of the most iconic villains of all time. How is it possible, then, that so many of us have been spelling her name wrong? Disney fans everywhere believe her surname was ‘DeVille’. In fact, it’s simply ‘DeVil’, and always has been.
The Silence of the Lambs
“Hello, Clarice.” The line is iconic, sending shivers up our spines. However, Anthony Hopkins never utters these words, not once. In the scene, his character simply says “Good morning” – a far cry from the creepy words we have embedded in our minds. Perhaps the misattribution comes from Jim Carrey, who performed a misquoted skit in 1996.
We can all agree that former President John F. Kennedy was murdered back in 1963. Where some people disagree, however, is when discussing how many people were in the car at the time. Many people remember seeing only four passengers, when there were, in fact, six.
Why so glum, Mona Lisa?
The painting of the Mona Lisa has been subject to countless conspiracy theories over the years. One that may suggest that we’ve descended from a parallel reality is the figure’s smile. Many people claim that they remember her with a bigger smile, as opposed to the slight smirk she has painted across her lips.
A shift in quantum realities or a simple case of lacking human memory? The Ford logo is a hot topic of debate for those who believe in the Mandela effect – namely the strange little spiral in the ‘F’. Has it really been there this whole time? Quite simply, yes. The Ford logo has encountered minimal changes over the years.