The Mandela Effect is defined as pretty much any event that a person thinks they remembered correctly, but didn’t. In other words, it’s a false memory that in many cases seems like a reality to a lot of people. This collective group of people will convince themselves that a particular experience or event occurred one way, but their minds have actually fabricated a memory that’s totally or partially fake.
The term was invented after political leader Nelson Mandela died in 2013, who many people mistakenly assumed died in the 1980s. In fact, some folks will swear up and down that they saw the man’s funeral on TV. But this isn't the only time when the Mandela effect played tricks on our minds. So, here are 50 other shocking examples that might leave you baffled.
Cheez-It vs. Cheez-Itz
Cheez-It is a brand of cheese cracker made by the Kellogg Company. These rectangular treats with the tiny hole in the middle are made with skim milk, spices, salt, and of course, cheese. But even though there isn't a "z" at the end of the name, people pronounce it and spell it as Cheez-Itz. How this Mandela effect came to be is anyone’s guess, but it has become one of the most popular misconceptions.
C3PO’s Golden Controversy
“Star Wars” fans are some of the most dedicated and fun-loving fans in the world, but they do get things wrong sometimes, like when it comes to C3PO’s color. The adorable droid who seems to always be on the verge of a robot’s equivalent of a nervous breakdown is remembered as being gold colored. But next time you watch “Star Wars” you’ll be surprised to find that C3PO’s right leg is silver from the knee down.
That Scene From "Risky Business"
In the 1983 film, Tom Cruise plays an upper-class teen who turns his family home into a brothel while his parents are away on holiday. And one of the most epic scenes is when Cruise slides into the living room in a button-down shirt, a pair of underwear, and a pair of sunglasses and lip syncs to the song “Old Time Rock and Roll.” But Cruise never actually wore sunglasses in that scene. He was, however, shown with sunglasses on the movie poster, which might have led to this Mandela Effect.
The 1991 thriller “The Silence of the Lambs” dealt with FBI agent Clarice Starling asking for help from serial killer and former psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter so she could capture another serial killer. And some fans are certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that when Lecter, played by actor Anthony Hopkins, greets her, he says “Hello, Clarice." But all he actually said was “Good morning.”
Mister Roger’s Neighborhood
Fred Rogers hosted the children’s show “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood” for 31 seasons, and yet fans still can’t get the theme song right. They claim that Mister Rogers sang “it’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood,” but he actually sang “it’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood.” It’s easy to miss the discrepancy since the mistake is the fact that everyone assumed he said “the” instead of “this.”
The Color Controversy of Chartreuse
The color Chartreuse falls somewhere between yellow and green. It earned its name because it resembled the green color of the French liqueurs called green chartreuse. But despite all the evidence that suggests that the color is greenish yellow, some people thought that its color was pinkish magenta. And despite the inaccuracy, it remains the truth to a lot of people and they’re sticking to it.
KitKat vs. Kit-kat
A lot of people assume that the delicious candy that comes in the form of four bars that break apart is spelled Kit-Kat. And from their perspective it makes a lot of sense because they think that these are two separate words. But the actual name doesn’t use a hyphen at all. It’s actually spelled KitKat. Perhaps what confuses people is the second K which is capitalized, so it fools them into thinking the Kit needs to be separated from the Kat.
50 States vs. 52 States
The general consensus is that there are 50 states in the United States, but not everyone remembers their lessons of American history from when they were in school. Some people believe that there are 51 or even 52 states. But that’s completely understandable given that the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico are U.S. territories. However, they are not considered states, at least not yet.
Smokey Bear vs. Smokey the Bear
Kids from the ‘80s and ‘90s will remember the commercials that featured a bear in a park ranger uniform talking to them about how humans were the only ones who could prevent forest fires. Most people refer to him as Smokey the Bear, but he is actually just called Smokey Bear. It’s not a huge discrepancy, but it’s still interesting how such a large number of people manage to get it wrong.
Flintstones vs. Flinstones
“The Flintstones” is a timeless classic that premiered in 1960 and starred the fictional character Fred Flintstone, a stone-age man, and his family and friends. Think of it as a prehistoric version of “The Simpsons.” But a lot of fans assume that the animated family’s last name is spelled “Flinstones,” but it’s actually “Flintstones.” For some reason, their minds can’t process that there’s a ‘t’ between the n and s.
Double Stuf Oreo vs. Double Stuff Oreo
Oreo cookie enthusiasts swear that the packaging always said Double Stuf Oreo. Not only is this grammatically incorrect, but it never happened. It’s a Mandela Effect which many people remember wrong. The packaging has always read Double Stuff Oreo with two “fs.” But regardless of how it’s spelled, there’s one thing everyone can agree on and that is that these are some of the most delicious sweet snacks around.
Cruella’s Last Name
Fans of the 1961 animated film, “101 Dalmatians,” are quite familiar with Cruella, the Disney villain everyone loves to hate. But there’s a misconception that her last name is spelled DeVille because she rides a Seville. Cruella's last name is actually spelled De Vil, which is derived from devil. And anyone who has seen the animated and live action 1996 version starring Glenn Close would say that her last name is well deserved.
The ‘I Love Lucy’ Catchphrase
Fans of "I Love Lucy" may recall hearing Lucy’s husband, Ricky Ricardo, played by actor Desi Arnaz, say “Lucy, you have some ‘splaining to do” whenever Lucy got herself into trouble. But what Ricky actually said was “Splain that if you can” and “Lucy, ‘splain.” But “Lucy, you have some ‘splaining to do” has been referenced in a lot of TV shows and has become part of pop culture despite being imprecise.
John F. Kennedy, best known as JFK, the 35th president of the United States, was serving his third year in office when he was shot and killed by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Texas, in 1963. Now most people believe that there were four passengers in the car he was riding in when he was shot, but there were actually six. There was the driver, two secret service agents, Texas Governor John Connally and his wife, Nellie, and JFK and his wife Jackie.
Radar’s Send-Off on “M.A.S.H.”
One of the most beloved characters on the 1972 sitcom “M.A.S.H.,” which was about a team of doctors stationed at an army hospital in South Korea, was Colonel Walter Radar O’ Reilly played by Gary Burghoff. Now a lot of fans claim that he was killed off early in the series. But the actor stayed on the show until season 7. He decided not to return because he was burnt out. However, he did agree to return for a two-part special called “Goodbye Radar,” which sees his character leave the 4077th to return home.
Life Isn’t a Box of Chocolates
Tom Hanks played Forrest, a man with a low IQ, who recounts key moments of his life to strangers while waiting at a bus stop in the 1994 drama “Forrest Gump.” In one of the scenes, fans believe he uttered the line “Life is like a box of chocolates.” But it turns out that he actually said “Life was like a box of chocolates.” He claimed it was his mama who gave him this sage piece of advice.
There Was No Genie Movie With Sinbad
The 1996 fantasy family film “Kazaam” starred Shaquille O’Neal as a rapping genie named Kazaam who gets freed from a magical boom box by a boy named Max. As a result, the genie grants the boy three wishes. But for some odd reason, no one seems to remember that it was Shaquille that starred in the film. In fact, they swear that it was stand-up comedian Sinbad, who did in fact star in films like 1995’s “Houseguest” and 1996’s “Jingle All the Way.”
Darth Vader’s Famous Line
Most “Star Wars” fans remember the villainous Darth Vader uttering the famous line “Luke, I am your father.” Those words were reportedly used during a break between an epic light saber battle between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. But the actual line was “No. I am your father.” Vader clarified this to his son after Luke accused him of murdering his father. But fans continue to believe that Vader said “Luke” instead of “No.”
Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar
In 2016, Leonardo DiCaprio won his first Oscar for the role of Hugh Glass, a legendary frontiersman, in the 2015 film “The Revenant.” But a lot of fans remember him for his other roles like Arnie Grape in the 1993 film “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape,” and as Jack Dawson in the 1997 film “Titanic.” And they would even bet their lives that he had won an Oscar for these earlier roles.
What started out as a role-playing game eventually turned into a series of video games and TV series known as Pokémon. Pikachu is a fictional species of Pokémon that’s essentially nothing more than a yellow mouse-type creature with electrical powers.
He became quite popular in the 1990s and continues to be popular today as a new generation of kids have been introduced to the franchise. ‘90s kids claim that the adorable creature had black detailing on its tail, but Pikachu always had a yellow tail.
"We Are the Champions" is Confusing
The British rock band Queen formed in 1970 and included music legends like John Deacon, Roger Taylor, Brian May, and of course, the late Freddie Mercury. During that time, Queen released some unforgettable songs like “We Will Rock You” and “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
But it’s the song “We Are the Champions” that not everyone sees eye to eye with. Some folks claim Mercury sang the lyrics “of the world” at the end of the song, but he actually just sang “No time for losers, ‘cause we are the champions" before the song ended.
It’s Not "Sex in the City"
For 6 seasons, Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and Charlotte, four incredible New York City women, made audiences laugh and cry. But despite the show’s popularity, which led to two movies and a revival series called “And Just Like That,” some fans can’t seem to get the name of the show right. They insist that it’s called “Sex in the City” but it’s actually called “Sex and the City.”
Oscar Meyer vs. Oscar Mayer
Folks from the ‘80s and ‘90s are probably familiar with the 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.” But despite the fact that it’s spelled out and there are a bunch of these commercials available to watch on YouTube, people still believe that the second part of this jingle goes “M-E-Y-E-R" with an “E” and not “M-A-Y-E-R" with an “A.”
Jif vs. Jiffy
For years, people have sworn that the popular peanut butter brand Jiffy is real, and they’re wrong. The actual name of the brand is Jif. But some say that the reason behind this Mandela Effect is the result of people confusing Jif with its competitor brand, Skippy. Somehow, their memories combined the two brands and created Jiffy. But who knows? Perhaps there is a brand called Jiffy in some parallel dimension out there.
The Monopoly Man Doesn’t Wear a Monocle
The Monopoly Man’s monocle is another example of how people combined elements from two separate brands to create their own reality. To clear things up, he doesn’t wear a monocle, despite the fact that people swear they’ve seen him with one. The character who does have a monocle is Mr. Peanut, the mascot for Planter nuts. But both guys do carry canes and wear a top hat, so it’s possible people simply confused the two mascots.
Froot Loops vs. Fruit Loops
There aren’t a lot of people who can say they’ve grown up without having tried a bowl of those delicious multi-colored ring-shaped Froot Loops cereal. But wait! Isn’t it spelled Fruit Loops? That’s the controversy that has left some people puzzled. While there are those that believe that the correct spelling is Fruit Loops, the cereal is actually spelled Froot Loops and it has always been spelled this way.
Fruit of the Loom
Fruit of the Loom is an American company that manufactures casual clothes, particularly underwear. A lot of people have it in their minds that the logo stitched on the back of the underwear contain a cornucopia with a bunch of fruit spilling from it. But the actual logo is nothing more than a bunch of fruit that includes grapes and an apple. However, there was never a cornucopia in the image.
Mona Lisa’s Smile
Leonardo da Vinci was an Italian polymath of the High Renaissance who was not only an architect, a sculptor, a scientist and an engineer, but also a painter. In fact, some of his paintings include The Last Supper and the Mona Lisa. Now even history buffs know that the Mona Lisa is depicted as showing a hint of a smile, but others are convinced that the beauty in the painting once had a much bigger smile than she really did.
The Location of Cinderella’s Castle
Although Cinderella’s castle only exists in the pages of a fairy tale, there’s a very convincing recreation on the grounds of Disney’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida. But some park guests believe that the castle is by the entrance when it’s actually beyond Main Street. But given that Disney is a realm of magic, everyone can assume that it’s possible that the castle magically relocates from time to time.
Gandalf Said Fly, Not Run
In the first “The Lord of the Rings,” Gandalf was heard saying “Run, you fools!” This happened shortly after the bridge the Fellowship was running through collapsed and the wizard found himself hanging from the edge. In reality, he did say run in the theatrical release, but in the DVD release, Gandalf’s voice was dubbed to say “fly” which was the more accurate to the dialogue in the book.
Wite-Out vs. White Out
The Mandela Effect strikes again! Wite-Out is a brand of correction fluid, usually white, that allows a person to cover a typo with a type of paint using the built-in brush on top of the cap. But there is also a dispenser that allows a person to glide the Wite-Out over the mistake. But since the fluid is white, most people assume that it’s called White Out, which makes a lot of sense. But the registered trademark for the brand is Wite-Out.
Febreze vs. Febreeze
Febreze is a brand of household odor eliminators founded in North America by the company Procter & Gamble that is sold in various parts of the world and it’s a total lifesaver. Just ask anyone who has guests pop in unexpectedly. So, with just a few sprays, the product releases a scent that eliminates odors from clothes, couches and even the air. But everyone seems to think that the name of the odor eliminator is spelled Febreeze. But it’s actually spelled Febreze.
The Truth About Skechers
Skechers is an American footwear company for men, women and kids that was founded in 1992. Today, it’s considered the third largest athletic footwear brand in the country with 4,057 locations as of July 2021. But as famous as the brand is, people can’t seem to spell its name right. They’re convinced that it’s spelled Sketchers with a t between the first e and the c. But it’s just called Skechers.
The Death of Billy Graham
Reverend Billy Graham was a famous evangelist who was an ordained Southern Baptist minister. He was also pretty famous for rubbing elbows with various United States presidents and was dubbed one of the most influential Christian leaders of the 20th century. Unfortunately, he died on February 21, 2018. But a lot of people claim that they read headlines of his passing decades before he actually passed of natural causes at his home in Montreat, North Carolina, at the age of 99.
The Tiananmen Square Tank Man
People who were around in the late 1980s may recall what happened at the Tiananmen Square protests in China back in 1989. It turns out that a man stood right in front of a tank as it approached, but his brave efforts failed and he was run over by the tank. At least, that’s what everyone remembers. But the truth is that the man was removed from the deadly path of the tank before tragedy struck and he was never injured or killed.
Mirror, Mirror on the Wall
Anyone who has seen the 1937 Disney animated classic “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” recalls how the Evil Queen gazed into the magical mirror in the castle and uttered the words “Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?” But that’s not exactly correct either. The actual line is “Magic mirror on the wall...” Where people got the phrase “mirror, mirror” from is anyone’s guess, but it’s not what the Evil Queen said in the film.
Looney Tunes vs. Looney Toons
The first thing that comes to people’s minds when they hear “Looney Tunes” is the show full of hilarious characters like Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, and Road Runner. The series started out as a bunch of shorts, some of which were in black and white in the 1930s. Eventually, the show underwent a colorized makeover and continued to entertain kids of all ages.
Everyone seems to be on the fence on whether the cartoons are called “Looney Tunes” or Looney Toons,” but Warner Bros.' stance on the matter is quite clear. The name of the show is “Looney Tunes.”
Where is New Zealand Located?
New Zealand is famous for a lot of things like being the first country to allow women to vote in 1893. It was also where “The Lord of the Rings” saga was filmed. And although it has three official languages that include English, sign language and Māori, Elven is not one of them. And its sheep population is bigger than its human population. But a lot of people believe that the country is located Northeast of Australia when it’s actually located Southeast of Australia.
The Gremlins Controversy
In the 1984 horror film “Gremlins,” Billy’s dad gets him a pet from China with a list of instructions on how to care for it. One of the most interesting on the list is to not let them near water or give them water to drink. But of course, Billy breaks the rule and the pet starts spawning all sorts of creatures. Many movie fans recall the villainous Gremlin Spike, but the actual name of the creature was Stripe, not Spike.
The Berenstain Bears vs. The Berenstein Bears
The Berenstain Bears is a book series about a family of bears that live in a treehouse in Bear Country. The family includes Papa Bear, who is a carpenter, Mama Bear, who’s a perfectionist, and their kids, Brother Bear, Sister Bear and Honey Bear. But most people don’t remember that this adorable family is the Berenstain Bears. They claim that they were called "The Berenstein Bears." But the fact of the matter is that in both the books and the cartoon, they have and will always be The Berenstain Bears.
Ed McMahon and the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes
Most people are certain that Ed McMahon was shown in commercials walking up to someone’s doorstep to surprise them with a huge check from the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes. But their memories are false. McMahon never worked for the Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes. He did however endorse American Family Publishers, which was a rival sweepstake, but he never did any television promotions for them.
Neil Armstrong’s Death Date
Neil Armstrong was an American astronaut and the first person to walk on the moon. He was also a test pilot, a naval aviator and a university professor. But despite his prestige, no one seems to remember that he died on August 25, 2012, of coronary artery disease at the age of 82. Perhaps it’s the fact that he had undergone bypass surgery on August 7, 2012 and was reportedly recovering nicely that has people confused. But in reality, he developed complications a few days later and sadly passed away.
Who Canonized Mother Teresa?
Mother Teresa was a saint... literally. The Albanian-Indian Roman Catholic nun was a missionary who founded the Order of the Missionaries of Charity, an organization dedicated to helping the poor. The charity opened up various centers that helped the elderly and the disabled. So naturally, religious people assumed that it was Pope John Paul II who canonized her in the 1990s. But she died in 1997 and was not actually canonized until 2016 by Pope Francis.
The Lindbergh Baby Mystery
In 1932, the 20-month-old child of aviator Charles Lindbergh was kidnapped. And because he was so famous, the media was all over the story. But despite the media coverage, a child matching the description of Lindbergh’s son was found dead two months later and the man responsible was convicted and executed. But despite the evidence, there are a lot of people who believe that the case remains unresolved to this day. And after over a century, it’s unlikely anyone will ever know what really happened.
The Challenger Explosion
On January 28, 1986, the Challenger space shuttle exploded a mere 73 seconds after lift off. All seven crew members died that day, including a teacher named Christa McAuliffe, who had joined the expedition to teach from space.
While there’s no doubt that the shuttle disaster happened, there are a couple of people who seem to remember the accident happening in 1984 or 1985. Perhaps in some parallel universe the explosion did happen in those years. But in this reality, the year of the explosion was 1986.
Curious George’s Tail
Curious George is an African monkey who is insanely curious about everything. This often gets him into some serious trouble. But most of the time, his human friend, “The Man in the Yellow Hat,” manages to come to his rescue before any major harm can come to him. But most kids remember Curious George as having a tail. The only trouble is that the adorable monkey never had one in either the books or the show.
Patrick Swayze’s Pancreatic Cancer
Actor Patrick Swayze is best known for his roles in films like “Dirty Dancing,” “Ghost,” and “To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar.” And given his impressive resume, he would have gone on to appear in more memorable roles. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died in 2009.
And yet, there are several people who recall reading or hearing about Swayze beating his terminal condition and fully recovering. But perhaps that’s the result of wishful thinking from fans who adored him.
King Henry VIII’s Turkey Leg
For years, King Henry VIII has been shown in films and television shows as holding a turkey leg in his hand. Even historians got this historical tidbit all wrong, but they swear that there is a portrait of the English king holding a turkey leg. But the truth of the matter is that there is no such portrait. However, this doesn’t negate the possibility that old Henry spent a lot of time eating turkey legs. He just never posed with one for a painting.
Sally Field’s Oscar Acceptance Speech
One of the most adorable lines ever uttered by Sally Field during an Oscar awards show was “You like me, you really like me!” The only problem is that she never said it. What Field actually said was “I can’t deny the fact that you like me, right now, you like me!” But everyone else heard something different for some reason. And the erroneous line has been referenced several times in pop culture. But even though she didn’t say it, her fans definitely liked her. They really liked her.
Abe Vigoda’s Reported Passing
American actor Abe Vigoda was famous for playing Salvatore Tessio in “The Godfather” and Phil Fish in “Barney Miller” and “Fish.” Sadly, he died of natural causes at his daughter’s home in Woodland Park, New Jersey, on January 26, 2016, just one month shy of his 95th birthday. But ironically, people had assumed that he passed away several times long before his actual death date. In 1982, People magazine claimed he died at the age of 60. A similar mistake was made by a reporter for WWOR Channel 9 in 1987.