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Sean Cate
Sean Cate
June 16, 2024 ·  3 min read

12 Times The Mandela Effect Totally Got Us

The Mandela Effect is a fascinating phenomenon where a large group of people remembers an event or detail differently than it actually happened. Named after Nelson Mandela, this effect has sparked numerous debates and theories. Here are twelve notable instances where the Mandela Effect has left us scratching our heads.

1. Nelson Mandela’s Death

statue of Mandela
Credit: Pexels

The Mandela Effect is named after Nelson Mandela, who many people mistakenly believe died in the 1980s. In reality, Mandela was released from prison in 1990 and passed away in 2013. This false memory was widespread enough to inspire the term “Mandela Effect” itself.1

2. Henry VIII’s Turkey Leg

GREAT BRITAIN - CIRCA 1997: A used postage stamp from the UK, depicting a portrait of King Henry VIII, circa 1997.
Source: Shutterstock

Many people vividly remember a portrait of Henry VIII holding a turkey leg. However, no such painting exists. The source of the misconception is likely cartoons and parodies that depicted him with a turkey leg, emphasizing his notorious appetite.

Read More: 11 natural phenomenon caught on camera that you won’t believe aren’t photoshopped

3. “Luke, I Am Your Father”

Darth Vader force choking
Credit: Pexels

A famous misquote from “Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back” is often remembered as “Luke, I am your father.” The actual line is “No, I am your father.” This slight difference has been ingrained in pop culture, leading many to misremember the iconic line.

4. “Mirror, Mirror on the Wall”

Ornate mirror on the wall
Source: Shutterstock

In Disney’s “Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs,” the line is often remembered as “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” The actual line is “Magic mirror on the wall.” The misquote is so prevalent that it even influenced the title of the 2012 movie “Mirror Mirror” starring Julia Roberts.

5. Oscar Mayer vs. Oscar Meyer

Four hot dogs in a row
Credit: Pexels

The famous hot dog brand Oscar Mayer is frequently misremembered as “Oscar Meyer.” This confusion arises because “Meyer” is a more common spelling, while “Mayer” aligns with the brand’s correct pronunciation.

6. The Location of New Zealand

Airplane on blackboard map
Credit: Pexels

Many people remember New Zealand being located northeast of Australia. In reality, it is actually southeast of Australia. This geographical mix-up has puzzled many and stands as a classic example of the Mandela Effect.

Read More: Once-in-a-lifetime Event: Star ‘Explosion’ Will Light Up The Sky, and It Can Happen at Any Time

7. The Berenstain Bears

Seattle, WA, USA
August 1, 2023
Ready Get Set Go by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Source: Shutterstock

A beloved children’s book series, “The Berenstain Bears,” is often remembered as “The Berenstein Bears.” The difference is just one letter, but it’s significant enough to have caused widespread confusion and debate.

8. Shazaam, Starring Sinbad

New York, NY - June 18, 2019: Carnival Cruise Line and Carnival's Chief Fun Officer Shaquille O'Neal host a deck party to celebrate Mardi Gras, Carnival's newest ship at Chelsea Piers Current
Source: Shutterstock

One of the most popular examples is the non-existent 1990s movie “Shazaam” starring Sinbad as a genie. Many people remember this movie vividly, but it never existed. The actual movie that people might be confusing it with is “Kazaam,” which starred Shaquille O’Neal.

9. Pikachu’s Black-Tipped Tail

AI-generated Pikachu
Credit: Pixabay

Fans of Pokémon often remember Pikachu having a black tip on its tail. However, Pikachu’s tail is completely yellow. This false memory might be influenced by Pikachu’s ears, which do have black tips.

10. Taco Bell Coin Boxes

Lisbon, Portugal. 11 December 2023. Taco Bell logo sign at the restaurant. Taco Bell is an American fast food chain.
Source: Shutterstock

A recent example involves Taco Bell coin boxes. Many customers remember these coin donation boxes containing water, causing coins to swirl down to the bottom. Some people are adamant about this memory, while others recall the boxes without water, leading to heated discussions online.2

11. Curious George’s Tail

Sumida, Tokyo, Japan - May 11 2022: Curious George Kitchen inside Solamachi retail complex in Tokyo Skytree.
Source: Shutterstock

Curious George, the mischievous monkey, is often remembered with a tail. However, Curious George has never had a tail. This detail confuses many because most monkeys have tails, leading to a widespread but incorrect memory.

12. Fruit of the Loom Cornucopia

London, England - March 25, 2019: Fruit of the Loom Logo inside an item of clothing, Fruit of the Loom is an American  clothing manufacturer founded in 1851.
Source: Shutterstock

Many people remember the Fruit of the Loom logo featuring a cornucopia behind the fruits. However, the logo has never included a cornucopia. This memory persists, possibly due to the logo’s imagery and the association with harvest and abundance.

Conclusion

Man shocked looking at computer
Credit: Pexels

The Mandela Effect serves a purpose; to glimpse into the quirks and gaps human memory. From misremembered movie quotes to incorrect brand names, these examples show how collective false memories can form and persist. Whether its our memory creating fallacies, social influences, or something more speculative like parallel universes, the Mandela Effect continues to intrigue and baffle people around the world.

Read More: Death Doesn’t Exist And May Just Be An Illusion, According To Quantum Physics

Sources

  1. Mandela Effect Examples, Origins, and Explanations.” Very Well Mind. Arlin Cuncic, MA. January 03, 2024.
  2. People are losing their minds over Mandela Effect at Taco Bell that everyone swears was 100% real.” Unilad. Gerrard Kaonga. May 28, 2024.