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There’s an unexplained phenomenon that you’ve probably experienced without knowing what it’s called, and it’s garnering more and more attention lately. “The Mandela effect” is what the internet is calling those curious instances in which many of us are certain we remember something a particular way, but it turns out we’re incorrect.
The name of the theory comes from many people feeling certain they could remember Nelson Mandela dying while he was still in prison back in the ’80s. Contrary to what many thought, Mandela’s actual death was on Dec. 5, 2013, despite some people claiming to remember seeing clips of his funeral on TV.
These false memories have some people thinking their memory sucks, but some wonder if they’ve gone to a parallel universe, or if time travelers have gone to the past and slightly affected our present, or if they’re simply losing their freakin’ minds. Whichever it is, what’s most interesting about the Mandela effect is that so many individuals share the same false memories.
1. “Oscar Meyer” isn’t spelled that way.
In actuality, the famous brand of hot dogs and lunch meats is Oscar Mayer, but people have grown frustrated because they remember it as Meyer, with an “e.” A lot of people recall the jingle from the commercials and insist the lyrics were “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, somehow, it’s actually Mayer, though many people think that’s the real bologna here.
2. The show isn’t called Sex in the City.
kkaaaryyy / HBO / Via Twitter: @kkaaaryyy
It’s Sex and the City, but many people insist they remember it being “in the” at some point. Some people have even posted pictures of old memorabilia they have that supports their false memory.
3. “We Are the Champions” by Queen ends differently than many recall.
Many of those familiar with the song remember the final lyrics being “No time for losers, ’cause we are the champions…of the world!” Guess what? There is no “of the world!” The song just ends, and it’s driving people crazy because they feel 100% sure that they’ve heard otherwise in the past.
4. People think the Monopoly man, Rich Uncle Pennybags, has a monocle, but he doesn’t.
Perhaps they’re just confusing him with Mr. Peanut, the Planters peanut mascot, who also wears a top hat and carries around a cane, but there are a number of people who can’t seem to grasp how the Monopoly man is monocle-less, when they’ve distinctly known him to have one.
5. The tip of Pikachu’s tail isn’t black.
People remember there being a black mark on Pikachu’s tail, but if you take a look at Pikachu now, you’ll see nothing there. How so many people can remember an aspect of this character’s appearance that doesn’t actually exist, the world may never know.
6. “The Berenstein Bears” are actually called “the Berenstain Bears.”
The Berenstain Bears
This is one of the more popular Mandela effect debates, in which some people seem to recall the book series/cartoon about a family of bears being known as The Berenstein Bears. However, if you look now, they’re actually called The Berenstain Bears. Many folks insist they remember it being spelled with an “e,” and one Redditor even found an old VHS tape of the cartoon, and the label shows “Berenstein.”
7. Curious George never had a tail.
NBCUniversal Television Distribution
A lot of people even claim to remember seeing him use his tail to swing from the trees. If you look up pictures of Curious George right now, you’ll see that he doesn’t have a tail, meaning either your memory made the whole thing up or you’ve, like, drifted into a parallel universe.
8. Chick-fil-A is not spelled Chic-fil-A, or Chik-fil-A.
There are a lot of people who insist they remember the popular fast-food chicken restaurant being known as Chic-fil-A, and there are even some who think it was Chik-fil-A. However, neither of those are correct, because the company has allegedly, supposedly, reputedly always been Chick-fil-A.
9. Darth Vader doesn’t say, “Luke, I am your father.”
“Luke, I am your father” is one of the most famous phrases from film, but many are discovering that it’s not what Darth Vader said. He actually says, “No, I am your father.” So, is this just a misremembered movie line or did some otherworldly shenanigans take place? This isn’t the only Star Wars–related Mandela effect instance…
10. C-3PO isn’t all gold.
20th Century Fox
Many Star Wars fanatics recall C-3PO being completely gold and were greatly thrown off upon discovering that he’s supposedly had a silver leg the entire time. A lot of memorabilia doesn’t even feature the silver leg. Needless to say it was a surprise to fans who have seen the films so many times, yet never noticed the distinct feature on a popular character.
11. Mister Rogers’ theme song opening line is different than people remember.
During the Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood intro, he’d sing a little jingle that many people remember beginning with the line, “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood.” That’s not what it was, though — instead, he clearly states, “It’s a beautiful day in thisneighborhood,” which just doesn’t sound right to those who feel like they know the correct wording without a shadow of a doubt.
12. People think the Mona Lisa is smiling now, but she used to be emotionless.
Fabrice Coffrini / AFP / Getty Images
A lot of folks passionately insist that the Mona Lisa has changed, because they remember her having a straight face, but now they feel it seems as if she’s got a smirk.
13. Kit Kat doesn’t have a dash.
Some people seem to remember there being a dash in Kit Kat, making it “Kit-Kat,” but there isn’t one, and that frustrates them because they’re sure that once upon a time, there was one.
14. People remember a Sinbad genie movie from the ’90s, but there isn’t one.
Diane Freed / Getty Images
Many claim to recall a genie movie from the ’90s that starred Sinbad; the only problem is, there never was one. Those same people insist they aren’t confusing it with the 1996 flick Kazaam, which starred Shaq as a genie. They don’t know the title, or what happened to the movie’s existence, but they’re all very certain that once upon a time, it was a thing.
15. Life isn’t like a box of chocolates.
It seems that the majority of people confidently remember Forrest Gump stating that his mama always said, “Life is like a box of chocolates.” Well, it turns out that he actually said, “Life was like a box of chocolates,” despite what you may’ve felt you distinctly remembered.
16. Hannibal Lecter never said “Hello, Clarice.”
If you’ve seen The Silence of the Lambs, you know the most famous line is “Hello, Clarice.” The only problem is, that never happened — and when Clarice first meets Hannibal Lecter, he simply says, “Good morning.” That’s it. How is a film’s most well-known line nonexistent? Nobody knows, and it’s eating away at people.
17. Interview With the Vampire isn’t called Interview With a Vampire.
Warner Bros. Pictures
It’s actually Interview With the Vampire, despite the fact that entering “Interview With” into Google shows Interview With a Vampire as the top search, because most people remember that being the title.
18. The Queen in Snow White never said, “Mirror, mirror on the wall.”
While the famous Snow White quote you’ve probably heard others say and repeated yourself is “Mirror, mirror on the wall,” it turns out the correct line is “Magic mirror on the wall.” Some people also remember the second part of that quote being “Who is the fairest of them all?” but apparently it’s “Who is the fairest one of all?”
19. Jiffy peanut butter doesn’t exist.
It’s called Jif, even though people remember the popular brand of peanut butter being called “Jiffy” and having a campaign that told mothers they could fix their kids a snack “in a jiffy.” Jiffy has certainly been embedded in the minds of many, and it was even spotted in American Dad, during an episode in which the character is uncovering a conspiracy.
20. Fruit Loops is actually spelled “Froot Loops.”
Some say it was originally “Fruit Loops” and then changed to “Froot Loops,” while others believe it went from “Froot Loops” to “Fruit Loops.” Many people claim this change happened during their childhood, while others say they just noticed it in recent months. Whatever you believe, if you google the cereal or find a box in real life, you’ll see “Froot Loops” printed across the front. Unless, of course, you’re reading this from some other dimension.