Top 20 Mind-Blowing Examples of the Mandela Effect



Top 20 Mind-Blowing Examples of the Mandela Effect

VOICE OVER: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Garrett Alden
What is REAL?! For this list, we'll be looking into the strangest instances of collective false memories, otherwise known as “the Mandela effect.” Our countdown includes The Monopoly Man's Monocle, “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall”, Pikachu's Tail Color, Nelson Mandela's Death, “Luke, I Am Your Father”, and more!
Script Written by Garrett Alden

Top 20 Craziest Examples of the Mandela Effect

What is REAL?! Welcome to WatchMojo and today we’ll be counting down our picks for The Top 20 Craziest Examples of the Mandela Effect.

For this list, we’ll be looking into the strangest instances of collective false memories, otherwise known as “the Mandela effect.” And no, this list isn’t one itself – we DID do a version of this already, we’re just adding more entries.

#20: “It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood”

Your childhood might not look the same after this! As we all know good and well, “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” always began with its titular host singing its theme song. This much is true, but that well known opening line “It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood”? Not so much. Although it doesn't scan quite as well, it's actually “a beautiful day in this neighborhood”. But, how did we all miss that when we've heard the song so, so many times in our youth? It could be worse, we suppose. It’s not like he was wearing leather jackets instead of cardigan sweaters this whole time.

#19: Fruit of the Loom’s Logo

“Fruit of the Loom” is a clothing company renowned the world over. Its logo is similarly famous, showing fruit spilling out of a cornucopia. Or at least, that’s what many of us remember it as being. In fact, the logo doesn’t contain a cornucopia at all. Okay, so maybe an old logo has it right? Nope! Versions of the logo dating back over 100 years lack the cornucopia too. So why do so many people associate a cornucopia with Fruit of the Loom? Even parodies and references to the Fruit of the Loom logo contain cornucopias, but not the genuine article.

#18: The Monopoly Man’s Monocle

The board game “Monopoly” features a memorable mascot, named Rich Uncle Pennybags - also known as the Monopoly Man or Mr. Monopoly. He’s famous for his suit, top hat, and large mustache. However, people are divided on whether or not he wears a monocle. Reality seems to favor that he doesn’t, but our memories of this childhood game can’t be false, right? Heck, even Ace Ventura made the mistake, and he seems like he’s got a good head on his shoulders. Could it be as simple as conflating the Monopoly Man with other rich, fat cat mascots, like Mr. Peanut? Or has someone bought up all our memories?

#17: Sex in the City

This much-loved HBO show, and subsequent movies, follows a group of four women and their love lives in New York City. However, strangely, there is some disagreement on what its title is. Although some would swear up and down that it’s called “Sex in the City,” its actual title is “Sex and the City.” Now, the easy explanation is that people tend to slur the word “and” a lot, so that “Sex and the City” becomes “Sex N’ the City.” However, there also seems to be plenty of merch AND newspaper headlines bearing the word “in” instead of “and”. So what gives? Did reality go out for too many drinks with the girls?

#16: Lucy Has Some ‘Splainin’ to Do

“I Love Lucy” is a classic sitcom and among the most influential TV shows of all time. Lucy’s husband on the show, Ricky Ricardo, played by real life husband Desi Arnaz, had a particularly memorable catchphrase: “Lucy, you’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do!” Or did he? While Ricky frequently said the word, “’splain” in various contexts, he never says this exact quote, despite the supposed line being cited all over pop culture. It could just be a summation of Ricky’s frustration with Lucy’s antics distilled into a catchphrase that never was.

#15: Oscar Meyer vs. Oscar Mayer

An American meat company, Oscar Mayer has remained a fixture of pop culture, thanks to its recognizable logo, famous Wienermobile, and several catchy jingles. But its name is a source of some consternation, as a lot of people remember “Mayer” being spelled with an “e” instead of an “a.” Old news clippings can even be seen spelling it “M E Y E R”. So is it just a case of the alternate spelling being more common, leading to misspellings? You’d think with one of its jingles having lyrics literally spelling out the company’s name, it’d be impossible to get it wrong. But there are those who swear that the lyrics of that have changed since they were younger.

#14: “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall”

In this seminal Disney animated film, the villainously vain queen famously possesses a magic mirror. To call on it, she says “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?” Except…that’s not the line in the Disney movie. In “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” the queen says “magic mirror on the wall.” This is a strange case, because the original fairy tale has her say “mirror mirror,” it’s just the Disney version that’s different. This could simply be a case where people are conflating the fairy tale and the Disney film. Even so, it’s odd that something as popular and well known as “Snow White” wouldn’t be better remembered.

#13: Curious George’s Tail

Curious George is a monkey and the star of many children’s books and television series. Given how long the character has been around, many are surprised to realize that he doesn’t have a tail. After all – George is a monkey, and most monkeys have tails. Apes generally don’t, by the way, and Curious George is repeatedly referred to as a monkey. Could the common confusion between the two sets of primates be the root of this Mandela Effect, or has reality changed the features of George’s posterior? Whatever the case, we’re certainly curious to find out!

#12: Mona Lisa’s Smile

The Mona Lisa is arguably the most famous painting in the world and has been discussed and dissected for half a millennium - from the strange phenomenon of her eyes appearing to follow you, to her enigmatic smile. However, for some, the latter is especially mysterious, since there are many who claim that she didn’t used to be smiling at all! Granted, it might just be that those exposed to the painting at an early age got better at reading her expression. Still, that so many people could be confused about one of the most studied pieces of art ever made seems odd.

#11: “Hello, Clarice”

When Dr. Hannibal Lecter greets Agent Clarice Starling from his cell, a lot of us remember him saying “Hello, Clarice” in that chilling tone. After all, that’s the quote that everyone references in pop culture. Yet in reality, Dr. Lecter never says this quote in “The Silence of the Lambs,” even if he approximates it in the sequel. He says “Good morning” to her and even “Good evening, Clarice,” but never that infamous quote. So, are people simply misquoting the film because “Hello” works at all hours of the day? Or is there a more sinister explanation at work?

#10: Pikachu’s Tail Color

The adorable yellow, red-cheeked Pikachu acts as the mascot to the massive multimedia “Pokémon” franchise. With its image plastered on practically everything “Pokémon,” you’d think that its features would be burned into the brains of generations of adults and kids alike. But there are those who are convinced that Pikachu’s tail, like its ears, used to have black on the end. Because of the misconception, there are plenty of images available that feature Pikachu with a black tail, so that could be to blame. Or maybe people are remembering something they were into as kids and are surprised when they revisit it as adults.

#9: Looney Toons

We’re getting to some deep cuts now! “Looney Tunes” is a franchise of Warner Bros. cartoons dating back to the early days of animation. Its characters are iconic to the medium and are practically as well known as those by rivals like Disney. But as famous as “Looney Tunes” is, there are some who believe its name’s spelling is no longer the same. Some people remember its name as being “toons,” as in “cartoons,” while the current spelling appears to be “tunes,” as in a synonym for music. The fact that its sister series is called “Merrie Melodies” lends some weight to the musical spelling, and the fact that the words are homophones does mean confusion would be easy. Still, stranger things, right?

#8: Tinker Bell Writing the Disney Logo

Considering how big Disney is, they sure have a lot of us misremembering its properties. During a lot of Disney animated features, the introduction usually features the Disney logo, with its iconic castle and the name in distinctive, loopy handwriting. However, many fans seem to recall the character Tinker Bell from “Peter Pan” appearing in these intros. Although Tinker Bell has appeared in several variants of this sequence, a lot of us remember her using her wand to write out the word “Disney” before dotting the “i” with sparks. Despite many similar versions, none of them quite get it the way it’s described. Chalk this one up to magic?

#7: “Play It Again, Sam”

As one of the titans of cinema, “Casablanca” has a host of memorable lines, from “Here’s looking at you kid,” to “We’ll always have Paris.” Yet one of its most quoted is never actually spoken in the movie. The line “Play it again, Sam,” a directive to the piano player to play “As Time Goes By”, is often associated with Humphrey Bogart’s character, Rick, yet he never says the words. A few lines come close, but the exact phrase isn’t in the movie. It could be that in the pre-home video days people just misremembered the line, but still, you’d think a film buff like Woody Allen would know it, and he named a movie after a misquote!

#6: “Beam Me Up, Scotty!”

This line is as synonymous with “Star Trek” as “Live long and prosper.” It’s just a little weird that no one in the show or films ever actually says it. Most often attributed to Captain Kirk, this exact phrase is not spoken by anyone in the franchise - although, in fairness, similar wordings such as “The Voyage Home”'s “Scotty, beam me up” were used from time to time. But why does this mis-attribution have the omnipresence of Q? Do people just like the sound of it? Did someone tamper with our timeline or did a transporter accident send some of us into a mirror universe?

#5: Nelson Mandela’s Death

This is the “memory” that gives the Mandela Effect its name. South African president Nelson Mandela spent 27 years in prison before being released in 1990…or was he? A great number of people seem to remember Mandela dying in prison, and reading about this “fact” in text books or seeing it on the news. Even Mandela’s death in 2013 from a respiratory infection did little to quell the uneasy feeling in people’s minds that something about the world, or their minds, had been altered. As strange as that is though, it’s only the tip of the iceberg.

#4: “Life is like a box of chocolates"

While sitting on a park bench and offering candy to strangers, Forrest Gump famously says that his mama always felt “life was like a box of chocolates.” It's an iconic phrase, but one we're likely all guilty of mis-remembering. In fact, his mama, and thus our simple hero, said that “life is a box of chocolates”. It’s perfectly plausible that people have merely altered the quote to be more general, and thus give it more currency, but it’s still strange that we all get the most memorable line in the movie wrong. Mama doesn’t say the quote like that in flashbacks!

#3: “Luke, I Am Your Father”

The immortal line is more mortal than you’d think. Everyone who’s ever heard of “Star Wars” knows this quote, yet in the actual film, Darth Vader says to Luke, “No, I am your father.” Countless pop culture references and legions of dedicated “Star Wars” fans still manage to somehow get this quote wrong. So what’s the deal? Have we all just misquoted it because “Luke” provides more context? Or have some of us come to this reality from far far away? This isn’t the only “Star Wars” example of the Mandela Effect either: just check out C3PO’s leg some time.

#2: Starring Sinbad: “Shazaam”

Quick question: who starred in the ‘90s movie about a genie? Some of us correctly recall it being NBA star Shaquille O’Neal, who had a sporadic movie career throughout the '90s. However, others believe that the star of the film in question was the comedian and actor Sinbad, who starred in a number of children’s films during that same time period. Others also believe this nonexistent said film starring Sinbad was called “Shazaam,” rather than “Kazaam,” which they claim is something else entirely. Are people conflating multiple movies in their minds? If only we had a genie to magically solve this mystery.

#1: The Berenstein Bears

You know that series of slightly saccharine children’s books about a family of bears, and the cartoons based off them? What are they called? “The Berenstein Bears” is remembered by many as a part of their childhoods. However, they aren’t “The Berenstain Bears” at all – they’re “The BerenSTAIN Bears!” The easy explanation is that names that end in “-stein” are far more common than those that end in “-stain” and a lot of us were exposed to the stories as kids, and misread or misheard the titles…multiple…times…yeah…While some of us can shake it off, for others, this is a “stain” on reality.