The Mandela Effect is a curious phenomenon in which lots of people share the same false memories of past events. Some people believe that the phenomenon is the result of parallel universes spilling into our own universe. Some people are supposedly better at retaining their memories from past realities. Those more skeptical believe that the phenomenon is simply the failure of collective memory.
The phenomenon was named the Mandela Effect in 2010 by the blogger Fiona Broome. At the time Broome was at a Dragon Con convention where she discovered that a lot of people there shared a false memory about the death of Nelson Mandela. Nelson Mandela died in 2013 from a respiratory tract infection. However, many people at the convention were certain that Mandela died in the 1980’s during his imprisonment in Robben Island prison. Broome said – “See, I thought Nelson Mandela died in prison. I thought I remembered it clearly, complete with news clips of his funeral, the mourning in South Africa, some rioting in cities, and the heartfelt speech by his widow. Then I found out he was still alive.”
Broome then set up a website called MandelaEffect.com dedicated to recording various examples of the strange phenomenon. Over the years, a great number of such examples were recorded, not only on Broome’s website but on other internet platforms as well.
15 The Berenstein Bears Or The Berenstain Bears?
The Berenstain Bears is probably the most famous example of the Mandela Effect. The Berenstain Bears is a children’s book series and animated TV show. The Berenstain Bears were created by Stan and Jan Berenstain in 1962.
However, many people who grew up with The Berenstain Bears remember the title ending in “ein” and not “ain”. They claim the title used to be The Berenstein Bears and not The Berenstain Bears. A large number of people on the internet give “testimonials” on the supposedly correct spelling – “Didn’t it used to be The Berenstein Bears? Now, suddenly it’s The Berenstain Bears? Is this some sort of anti-semitic cover-up? Or have those who grew up in the 1980s been misinformed, misread, and mispronounced?”
14 The Flintstones Or The Flinstones?
Another popular example of the Mandela Effect is the spelling of the famous animated sitcom The Flintstones. However, unlike other examples of the Mandela Effect, the spelling of The Flintstones seems to change over and over again.
For example, eight months ago someone started a thread on reddit saying “I came across one that said the famous show The Flintstones was always spelled flinstones and there was visual proof to go with it... I always remembered flintstones. Fast forward to right now, I saw a thread talking about the flinstones and decided to google it. To my surprise all the pictures said flinstones. I am clueless as to how that could happen. I check my history and found the “flinstone” spelling I saw earlier.”
However, if you google The Flinstones now you will see that the letter “t” has reappeared and it is once again The Flintstones.
13 "Luke, I am Your Father" Is Actually "No, I Am Your Father"
You know the famous line “Luke, I am your father” that Darth Vader says in Star Wars? Well, it turns out that the famous line was never said in the Stars Wars movie. Or any movie for that matter. The actual line is in fact “No, I am your father”.
That’s bizarre isn’t it? Look it up if you don’t believe us, there are plenty of videos that prove that we have been misquoting the famous line for years. But don’t worry, you’re not the only one – countless of people on the internet can’t get over this strange fact. One reddit user even says – “I was obsessed watching the Original Trilogy growing up. That was always my favourite scene in Empire is the duel between Vader and Luke, and at the end I definitely remember him referring to him by name.”
12 McDonald's Or MacDonald's?
The very first McDonald’s restaurant was opened in the 1940s and quickly went on to become an integral part of consumers’ life. The restaurant has always been called “McDonald's” but some people claim that they can remember it being called “MacDonald's”. If one does a little research it becomes obvious that the restaurant was never called “Mac” and so some say that people are getting confused with “Big Mac”.
However, those who claim it used to be called “MacDonald's” are unconvinced. One Reddit user recounts an interesting occurrence in France – “I had an interesting thing happen the other day when I was at a McDonald’s in Paris, France. The word was spelled “MacDonald’s” on the receipt, even though it was spelled “McDonald’s” everywhere else (signs, menus, packaging, etc.)”
11 Does Queen’s 'We Are The Champions' End With "...Of The World"?
Many remember Queen’s song "We are the Champions” ending with “No time for losers, ‘cause we are the champions... of the world!” However, it turns out that there is no “of the world” in the final lyrics of the song. Many people are perturbed by this revelation as they are sure that the song used to end with the lines “of the world”.
One Reddit user even says – “I’ve listened to it so many times, that I would bet my life it ends with the line 'of the world'. So when I went to my Mom’s this past Friday, November the 4th, my Mom got the CD out and played it. Sure enough, the song ended as I had always remembered it had. The freaky part was though, when my friend came and picked me up the following day, November the 5th, I excitedly played the same CD, and the track ended WITHOUT MY BELOVED ENDING!!!” Creepy, isn’t it?
10 Mona Lisa’s Face Used To Be Emotionless
According to some people, the Mona Lisa used to have an emotionless face in the past. To quote one Reddit user – “I came across a post from another subreddit where someone swears they come from a universe where the Mona Lisa wasn’t smiling. I thought that was silly – The Mona Lisa never smiled. It was a very serious painting. I looked it up. Same general painting, but with a cute little smile. Her face structure seems a lot more “girlish” and cheeky, as well.... “
A lot of people tend to agree and claim that the Mona Lisa did in fact have an emotionless face and that the smile appeared only recently. Others however argue and say that this is why the Mona Lisa is famous in the first place – her subtle and mysterious smile that changes depending on the angle you look at her from.
9 Gold C-3PO With A Silver Leg
People claim that another example of the Mandela Effect is the silver leg of the C-3PO from Star Wars. Apparently, C-3PO’s lower right leg used to be all gold but then recently was changed to silver.
One reddit user says – “Many people seem to remember C-3PO being all gold, including myself. I remember rewatching the original trilogy a year or so ago and thinking to myself how out of place the silver calf area now looks.” While many agree and affirm that C-3PO was indeed all gold in the past, others say that C-3PO’s leg was always silver, it’s just that people failed to notice it. They then quote examples of people who noticed the silver leg back in the 1990s.
8 Pikachu's Tail Used To Have A Black Tip
Many people remember the very tip of Pikachu’s tail being black. But if you look at a picture of Pikachu now you will see that his tail is completely yellow and that there is no black tip on it.
Reddit users seem to disagree with each other on this one. Some claim that the tip of Pikachu’s tail was always black – “I’m up to date on Pikachu (I honestly thought that they took the tip away, as an odd change to the character). Before the purely yellow tail, there was a plain thick black line at the end of the tip.” Others however claim that his tail has not changed at all. However, curiously it has been found that 57% of over 1,000 people surveyed remember Pikachu’s tail with a black tip.
7 9/11 - Zero People Killed In The Pentagon
Another example of the Mandela Effect concerns the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Most people remember it being said that zero people were killed inside the Pentagon and that only the plane passengers and the pilot died. Apparently, this was because the building was under renovation at the time and thus was practically empty. However, now it is said that around 125 people were killed inside the Pentagon during the 9/11 attack.
In addition, a survey was recently carried out among Republicans and it turns out that over one third of them have a false memory of Muslims cheering in the streets as the Twin Towers were crumbling on 9/11. Donald Trump is among those who believe this even though there is no evidence to support this.
6 Sex In The City Or Sex And The City?
Many people also claim that the TV show Sex and the City used to be called Sex in the City. One Reddit user even says – “Nearly identical realities frequently merge. A 'Sex in the City' reality merged with a 'Sex and the City' reality.”
However, some people claim that the TV show was always called 'Sex and the City' and that people were just pronouncing it wrong from the very beginning. According to one Reddit user, “I remember when the show first came out, everyone was calling it Sex in the City. The thing was I knew at the time that it was called Sex and the City because I’m really into those kind of HBO shows. I didn’t even watch it but I remembered thinking people are calling it the wrong name and even looking it up to confirm.” Still, people are convinced that the show was at one point called Sex in the City.
5 Oscar Mayer Or Oscar Meyer?
Another popular example of the Mandela Effect is the spelling of the famous hot dogs and lunch meats brand, Oscar Mayer. The actual spelling of the brand is Oscar Mayer but some people remember it being spelled as Oscar Meyer, with an “e” instead of an “a”.
For example, one reddit user says “It’s Oscar MEyer and I remember it perfectly since I buy a lot of hotdogs and Bologna.” However, others point out the jingle from Oscar Mayer commercials that went like this – “My Bologna has a first name, it’s O-S-C-A-R / My Bologna has a second name it’s M-A-Y-E-R!” Still other people are not convinced and insist that they can remember it being spelled out as Meyer.
4 Sinbad Genie Movie From The 90s That Doesn't Exist
People who grew up in the 90s vividly remember the film Kazaam. It was a kid’s comedy that told the tale of a cool genie (played by the actor Shaquille O’Neal) that helped his master to reconnect with his estranged father.
However, most people also remember a second genie film being released in the 90s. The film was supposedly called Shazaam and starred the comedian Sinbad. However, while many people claim to have seen the film or at least heard of it, no evidence of such a film ever being released exists. The actor Sinbad also says that he has never played a genie and seems to think that people are just confusing him with Shaquille.
3 JFK Assassination - Were There Four Or Six People In The Car?
John F. Kennedy’s assassination was a memorable event. Those who witnessed it could never forget it and those who didn’t have learned about the incident from history books and other sources. Interestingly, it turns out that different people have completely different memories of the incident. For example, some people claim that there were only four people in the car when JFK was assassinated. Others remember six people in the car.
There also seems to be confusion over whether there was a bullet glass partition between the driver and the passengers. The exact date of the assassination and the exact color of the car is also confusing some people. Historical sources say that the assassination took place on the 22nd of November whereas some people remember it taking place on the 23rd of November. Plus, a lot of people remember the car being lighter than the car we see in photos and video footage.
2 Bologna Clock That Many Believe Stopped Working During The 1980s Massacre
Another example of the Mandela Effect is the Bologna clock at the Bologna Centrale railway station. The clock was damaged in 1980 during the Bologna massacre but was later repaired.
However, when a study on the Bologna clock was carried out it was found that 92% of people remembered the clock being stopped by the bombing. Most people interviewed did not remember the clock being repaired after the massacre- they thought the Bologna clock had been broken since 1980. But the clock was actually not damaged beyond repair and continued to operate. In fact, the clock was only stopped 16 years later, in 1996, as a symbol of commemoration.
1 Did Houdini Die From A Blow To His Stomach Or By Drowning While Performing One Of His Stunts?
Harry Houdini was a famous Hungarian-American illusionist and stunt performer. He never failed to shock his audiences with his incredible escape acts. Houdini died in 1926 – he was doing a strength test when he was hit in the stomach. This caused peritonitis, an inflammation of the abdomen’s lining that is very often fatal and Houdini died a couple of days later.
However, many people claim they remember that Houdini actually died differently. According to them, Houdini drowned during one of his performances. One reddit user says – “I could’ve sworn that Houdini died during a magic trick involving being trapped in a box with a lock and chain underwater” and many others agree.
Skeptics say that confusion over Houdini’s death arises from the 1953 film starring Tony Curtis in which Houdini’s death is dramatized and in which he almost drowns in a water tank.