13 real world Examples that Prove the Mandela Effect is real
Updated: Mar 23
Have you ever learned that something you and all of your friends swore was true never actually happened? If you answered yes to this question you’re not alone and you may have experienced the Mandela Effect. The Mandela Effect refers to a situation where a large number of people share the same false memory.
The term Mandela Effect was coined in 2009 by paranormal researcher Fiona Broome. While at a paranormal conference, Fiona recounted her memory of Nelson Mandela’s tragic death in prison in the 1980’s. The only thing is Nelson Mandela did not die in jail, in fact he survived prison and was elected President of South Africa before his death in 2013. While it might seem like Fiona simply misremembered details of Nelson Mandela’s death, she was shocked to learn that millions of people around the world also remember him dying in prison in the 80’s. Some believers claim this is evidence of the mixing of timelines or parallel universes while experts believe its a byproduct of mass false memory.
Regardless of what you believe, the Mandela Effect is a fascinating phenomena. In this blog, I will break down some explanations for the Mandela Effect and then leave you with a bunch of examples. If you want to hear more about the Mandela Effect, check out our latest episode of the Misfits and Mysteries Podcast.
Parallel Universes and Alternate Timelines?
A lot of people who are true believers in the Mandela Effect claim that it’s indisputable proof that the Multiverse theory is true. According to these “believers,” the reason so many of them remember seeing Nelson Mandela's death broadcast on the news was that he did die in jail just in a different reality. They claim that in 2008 the Large Hadron Collider caused a rip in space time and destroyed one of the timelines and the memory of Nelson Mandela’s death is simply “residue” of a timeline that has since been erased. I don’t really buy any of this because I think the psychological explanations are far more convincing, however, parallel universes and alternate timelines are really cool. Perhaps a rip in space time can account for why Simpsons predicts the future so well.
The far more likely explanation for this is that these people are all suffering from mass false memory. “When memories are recalled rather than remembered perfectly, they are influenced to the point that they can eventually become incorrect In this way memory is unreliable and not infallible.” This means that each time you recall a memory or retell a story it changes as your brain adds in new details or tries to fill in the gaps to make sense of it. There are three ways in which faulty memories are created. The first is confabulation, or when your brain fills in the gaps in your memory to make sense of them. Confabulation occurs more often the older you get and the further removed you are from a memory, the more you remember details that never happened. The second factor that contributes to false memory is post-event information, or when information you learn after the fact changes your memory of the event. This is exactly why eyewitness testimony is so unreliable. The third factor that creates false memories is priming (suggestibility), outside influences that influence what we think we remember.
When you combine all three of these factors you see how easy it is for people to think they remembered Nelson Mandela dying in the 1980s, when he was still alive. False memory and the Mandela Effect in particular, are also a byproduct of the internet, which has an often overlooked influence over our memories. According to a study of 100,000 news stories shared across Twitter over a ten year period, articles promoting hoaxes and rumors beat out true stories 70% of the time. This is particularly true of online communities that build their identity around misconceptions and false narratives, such as Q. The speed at which misinformation is spread on the internet can easily explain the Mandela Effect, as each new individual chimes in with their own stories or memories of an event, those false memories can infect other people's memory. As a result, we get a bunch of people who think they watched Nelson Mandela’s funeral in the 1980’s when he didn’t die until 2013.
Notable Examples of the Mandela Effect
1. Star Wars
The famous Star Wars quote “Luke I am your father” is actually “No I am your father.” This one really surprises me because I always thought it was “Luke I am your father” and it’s one of the most misquoted lines in movie history. My theory is this is not a case of the Mandela Effect, rather I think one person misquoted it in popular media and everyone copied it and it spiraled out of control from there. Listen for yourself.
2. Snow White
In the movie Snow White, the Wicked Witch actually says “Magic Mirror on the wall …” not “Mirror, Mirror, on the wall ...” This one also surprised me because I could have sworn the line was “Mirror Mirror on the Wall,” however, in the movie Shrek they do say “Mirror Mirror on the Wall” so it’s totally possible that confused a generation of moviegoers. Listen below.
3. Berenstain Bears
They are the Berenstain Bears are not the Berenstein Bears. This one blew my mind because this is one I knew for a fact was the Berenstein Bears and my mind was blown when I looked at the cover of a book and saw it was actually Berenstain. I could have sworn that was current and didn’t believe that they didn’t just change the name for a new generation.
4. Silence of the Lambs
In Silence of the Lambs, Hannibel Lecter never said the line “Hello, Clarice” he actually just said “Good Morning.” This one makes no sense to me because “Hello, Clarice” and “Good Morning” sound nothing alike, how did someone screw this up so badly? I have no answer for this, either someone royally screwed up, or maybe the Mandela Effect is real.
5. Alexander Hamilton
Alexander Hamilton was never President of the United States, despite what thousands of people swear he was. While he was a very influential founding father, he never actually was our president. I thought Hamilton was huge. Why do people not know this stuff? I chalk this one up to a major failure of our education system. In all seriousness, people likely make this mistake because he was so influential in our country's founding that it's easy to forget he was never a president.
6. Oscar Mayer Wiener
So turns out some people think it’s Oscar Meyer not Oscar Mayer Weiner. Well I have no explanation for this one I had no idea so many people had no idea how to spell. There is literally an Oscar Mayer song “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.” Check out the video below.
There is no such thing as a Pikachu, it’s merely a figment of your imagination. Just kidding, Pikachu is very real but if you thought it’s tail had a black tip you're in for a shock. Pikachu has a yellow tail. You’re probably confusing Pikachu with it’s baby form Pichu, who has a black tail.
8. Curious George
Despite what a lot of people think, Curious George does not in fact have a tail. I was surprised by this one because to me a tail looks so wrong on him.
9 Jiffy Peanut Butter isn’t real
There is no such thing as Jiffy Peanut Butter. This one came as a shock to me because I could have sworn Jiffy was a brand of peanut butter. In reality there is a Jif and a Skippy and most likely people combined the two names.
10. Looney Toons doesn’t exist
Turns out it’s Looney Tunes not Looney Toons. I could have sworn it was Loony Toons because the two double o’s look right and I figured it was “toons” for cartoons. I was also in elementary school last time I watched it so it’s easy to make this mistake.
11. There aren’t 52 States
So some people swear they learned that there were 52 states in the U.S. This is just wrong there are only 50 and I think if you believe this you are probably a failure of public education.
12. Lord of the Rings
In Lord of the Rings, Gandalf actually says “Fly you fools” not “run you fools.” This one is a bit wild, how did someone mess that one up so badly. They literally fly away on those eagles the next scene, flying makes more sense.
13. The Monopoly Man doesn't have a monocle
Mr. Money Bags does not in fact have a monocle. While he looks like he could rock a monocle with his old tiny getup, that's actually Mr. Peanut.
If you enjoyed this blog please tell a friend and share it and check out our latest episode of the Misfits and Mysteries Podcast to hear our full discussion and learn about some more examples of the Mandela Effect. As always, Stay Spooky Misfits!