Mandela effect list

54 Mandela Effect Examples That Will Make Question Everything

Reality: “No, I am your father”

50 mind-blowing Mandela effect examples to test your memory

Mandela effect list

The Mandela effect refers to a collection of widely held, completely false memories — and it all started with a conversation about Nelson Mandela.

In 2009, paranormal researcher Fiona Broome attended a conference, she recalled on her YouTube channel, and began speaking about people who falsely remembered the death of the former president of South Africa in the 80s, when in reality, he died in 2013.

“I have no idea which one of us first used the phrase ‘Mandela effect,’ but it was certainly easier than saying, ‘People who remember Nelson Mandela dying years ago,” she said in the video.

Following this conversation, Broome began a website around the topic of collective false memories. She amassed other unexplained memories and theories.

Some seemed subtle. Logos had taken different shapes and childhood characters had lost defining features. Others were not so subtle. Turns out, brand names and movie lines that rolled off the tongue actually never existed.

“It turned out the Nelson Mandela theory was the tip of the iceberg,” Broome said.

Essentially, the phenomenon is an assortment of misremembered recollections that are held widely. People will swear something existed in a certain way even though all evidence from recorded history point to it being different. Weird, right?

While Broome’s website is defunct, the r/MandelaEffect subreddit has amassed over 270,000 rallying members who riff off one false memory after another, or distorted perceptions.

At the very least, the Mandela effect serves as a reminder that memories can be spotty. Try testing yours out by unraveling these 50 notable examples of popular beliefs that just so happen to be fiction.

Pikachu’s tail

Two images of Pikachu, in the left image his tail has a brown tip.

Popular belief: Pikachu has black tips on his tail

Reality: Pikachu’s tail is yellow, through and through

The iconic Pokemon character’s tail has nothing more to it — it’s simply yellow.

“Risky Business” costume

Popular belief: Tom Cruise danced in sunglasses

Reality: Cruise was wearing a different outfit

Every Halloween, someone inevitably gets fitted in a white oversized button-down shirt and throws on sunglasses and crew socks to portray Cruise’s character, Joel Goodsen, from the 1983 film. And yet, Halloweekend after Halloweekend, people still get the costume wrong. In the famous dance scene, Goodsen wasn’t rocking shades, and he was actually donning a pink shirt.

Captain Crunch or Cap’n Crunch

Popular belief: Captain Crunch

Reality: Cap’n Crunch

Cap’n or captain, the crunch is real — maybe a little too real, as the roofs of our mouths can attest. Also, the cereal’s mascot is named Horatio Magellan Crunch — and get this, he’s not even a captain. He’s a commander, but that’s a whole different story.

Sandy Cheeks’ backpack

Popular belief: Sandy Cheeks carried a backpack

Reality: Sandy Cheeks wore nothing on her back

The sharp squirrel from “SpongeBob SquarePants” is usually dressed in a diving suit. While some fans of the franchise recall Sandy lugging around a white, rectangular backpack that acted as an air tank, she never had one.

Fruit of the Loom logo

Popular belief: Fruit of the Loom logo features a cornucopia

Reality: Fruit of the Loom logo doesn’t have a cornucopia

If you picture the Fruit of the Loom logo, there’s a red apple, of course. There are also grapes, leaves and berries. Now, what’s behind all of this? Nothing. But some people recall seeing a cornucopia sitting in the backdrop of the brand’s logo.

Kit Kat or Kit-Kat

Two Kit Kat bars, one with a hyphen in the logo and one without.

Popular belief: Kit-Kat

Reality: Kit Kat

Yes, it’s true: A hyphen doesn’t separate the “kit” from “kat.” The brand even addressed the Mandela effect in a tweet from 2016, saying “the Kit Kat name has never been hyphenated on either the U.K. or U.S. wrappers.”

“Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back” quote

Popular belief: “Luke, I am your father”

Reality: “No, I am your father”

In a galaxy far, far away, Darth Vader dropped one of the biggest plot twists and most-misquoted lines ever.


Popular belief: C-3PO is golden from head to toe

Reality: C-3PO has a silver leg

C-3PO is the face of another Mandela effect within the “Star Wars” franchise. While many remember the robot being golden all over, the character’s right leg is silver below the knee.

Skechers or Sketchers

Popular belief: Sketchers

Reality: Skechers

Hold the “T” — the footwear brand is spelled without one.

“The Matrix” quote

Popular belief: “What if I told you …”

Reality: The line doesn’t exist

Fans of the franchise remember Laurence Fishburne, who played Morpheus, explaining the Matrix to Keanu Reeves’ character Neo by starting his monologue off with “What if I told you.” The line picked up so much traction it became a viral meme. But, as it turns out, the quote was never spoken. Talk about a glitch in the Matrix.

Curious George’s tail

Popular belief: Curious George has a tail

Reality: Curious George doesn’t have a tail

Sure, monkeys have tails. Curious George just isn’t one of them.

“Shazaam” movie

Popular belief: Comedian Sinbad starred in “Shazaam”

Reality: “Shazaam” doesn’t exist

There’s major confusion surrounding this one. People say they remember Sinbad acting as a genie in a film called “Shazaam” even though it never happened. You know who really did play a genie in a movie? Shaquille O’Neal in “Kazaam.”

Febreze or Febreeze

Popular belief: Febreeze

Reality: Febreze

The air freshener chose to stray from word play with “breeze,” landing on a spelling with one “e” in the middle.

“Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs” quote

False belief: “Mirror, mirror on the wall …”

Reality: “Magic mirror on the wall …”

And to think, you were probably reciting the Evil Queen’s famous line incorrectly all these years.

Oscar Mayer or Oscar Meyer

Two images of the Oscar Mayer Wienermobile, the left image has the logo spelled as

Popular belief: Oscar Meyer

Reality: Oscar Mayer

The brand is known for its hot dogs and cold cuts. It’s even the mastermind behind hot dog-flavored ice pops and bologna-inspired face masks. But did you know Mayer is spelled with an “a,” not an “e”?

The Monopoly Man

Two images of the man from the Monopoly game, one with a monocle and one without.

Popular belief: The Monopoly Man wears a monocle

Reality: The Monopoly Man doesn’t wear a monocle

Rich Uncle Pennybags — yes, that’s his name — has 20/20 vision, apparently. Maybe we’re the ones that need to have our eyes checked.

Cheez-It or Cheez-Itz

Popular belief: Cheez-Itz

Reality: Cheez-It

The cheesy snack makes do without the extra “z.”

JCPenny or JCPenney

Popular belief: JCPenny

Reality: JCPenney

Some people vividly remember the department store being spelled without the “e,” but the brand has always existed as JCPenney.

Totino’s or Tostino’s

Popular belief: Tostino’s

Reality: Totino’s

Maybe you’re among the population who mispronounces the company known for its decadent pizza rolls by adding an extra “s” to its name. Know this: You are not alone.

“The Berenstein Bears” or “The Berenstain Bears”

Popular belief: “The Berenstein Bears”

Reality: “The Berenstain Bears”

A family of bears found themselves at the center of a hot debate when people recalled the children’s series being spelled with an “e” over an “a.”

Jif or Jiffy

Popular belief: Jiffy Peanut Butter

Reality: Jif Peanut Butter

The peanut butter brand could be getting confused with its competitor, Skippy.

Chick-fil-A or Chic-fil-A

Popular belief: Chic-fil-A

Reality: Chick-fil-A

The chain is spelled Chick-fil-A, a nod to its specialty chicken sandwiches.

“Jaws” quote

Popular belief: “We’re gonna need a bigger boat”

Reality: “You’re gonna need a bigger boat”

The change is slight, but it makes all the difference.

“Sex in the City” or “Sex and in the City”

Popular belief: “Sex in the City”

Reality: “Sex and the City”

Both the book and HBO series centered around Carrie Bradshaw’s quest for love in New York City are dubbed “Sex and the City.”

Shaggy’s Adam’s apple

Two images of Shaggy from Scooby Doo. On the left, he has a large protruding Adam's apple.

Popular belief: Shaggy has a protruding Adam’s apple

Reality: Shaggy doesn’t have a visible Adam’s apple

It looks like we found ourselves a mystery with this one. “Scooby-Doo!” viewers recall Shaggy having an absurdly massive Adam’s apple, but the character appears to lack such a feature.

“Forrest Gump” quote

Popular belief: “Life is like a box of chocolates”

Reality: “Life was like a box of chocolates”

Regardless of the verb tense, Tom Hanks’ Forrest Gump offered up some wise words on that park bench.

Pixie Sticks, Pixy Sticks, Pixy Stix or Pixie Stix

Popular belief: Pixie Sticks, Pixy Sticks, or Pixie Stix

Reality: Pixy Stix

Of all the iterations floating around, only one remains true: Pixy Stix.

Froot Loops or Fruit Loops

Popular belief: Fruit Loops

Reality: Froot Loops

Let’s be real. We were all thrown in for a loop with this one.

“I love Lucy” quote

Popular belief: “Lucy, you’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do”

Reality: The quote was never said

You remember Ricky Ricardo’s catchphrase, right? He would cross his arms and say, “Lucy, you’ve got some ‘splainin’ to do.” Well, trick question. That line wasn’t uttered once in the sitcom’s six seasons.

“Barbie Girl” lyrics

Popular belief: “I’m a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world”

Reality: “I’m a Barbie girl, in the Barbie world”

The lyrics to Aqua’s catchy song implies there’s only one Barbie world — “the” Barbie world, not “a” Barbie world.

“Silence of the Lambs” quote

Popular belief: “Hello, Clarice”

Reality: “Good morning”

When Hannibal Lecter first meets Clarice Starling, he says “good morning,” but a great deal of people recall the line being “hello, Clarice.”

Mike and Ike or Mike n’ Ike

Popular belief: Mike n’ Ike

Reality: Mike and Ike

The candy has always been Mike and Ike.

Uncle Sam’s hat

Popular belief: Uncle Sam’s hat is white with red stripes

Reality: Uncle Sam’s hat is white

Uncle Sam’s hat is lined with stars near the brim, but there aren’t any red stripes on there.

Clif Bar or Cliff Bar

Popular belief: Cliff Bar

Reality: Clif Bar

While a cliff adorns the energy bar’s wrapper, the snack is called Clif Bar. According to the company’s website, “Clif” is short for Clifford, the founder’s father.

Mickey Mouse’s suspenders

Popular belief: Mickey Mouse wears suspenders

Reality: Mickey Mouse doesn’t wear suspenders

Nothing’s holding up Mickey’s red shorts.

Mickey Mouse’s tail

Popular belief: Mickey Mouse doesn’t have a tail

Reality: Mickey Mouse has a tail

After all, he is a mouse.

“Field of Dreams” quote

Popular belief: “If you build it, he will come”

Reality: “If you build it, they will come”

Still can’t believe we’ve been saying this line wrong for so long.


Popular belief: Chartreuse⁠ is a shade of red

Reality: Chartreuse⁠ is a shade of green

Chartreuse — like the liqueur — has always been a shade of green.

“Casablanca” quote

Popular belief: “Play it again, Sam”

Reality: “Play it once, Sam”

Ingrid Bergman’s character Ilsa Lund just wanted to listen to “As Time Goes By.”

White Out or Wite-Out

Popular belief: White Out

Reality: Wite-Out

The correct spelling of the branded correction fluid includes a hyphen and leaves out an “h.”

“Star Trek” quote

Popular belief: “Beam me up, Scotty”

Reality: The line doesn’t exist

In his portrayal of James T. Kirk, William Shatner never recites the line “Beam me up, Scotty” in the original “Star Trek” series. Though, he does come close with quotes like “beam us up” and “Scotty, beam me up.”

Side mirror safety warning

Popular belief: Objects in mirror may be closer than they appear

Reality: Objects in mirror are closer than they appear

This one’s a doozy.

Leonardo DiCaprio’s Oscar wins

Popular belief: DiCaprio won an Oscar for his role in “Titanic”

Reality: DiCaprio didn’t win his first Oscar until 2016

While DiCaprio has racked up a running list of Academy Award nominations, he clinched his first award in 2016 for best actor for his performance in “The Revenant.”

“The Flintstones” or “The Flinstones”

Popular belief: “The Flinstones”

Reality: “The Flintstones”

Meet the Flintstones, a modern Stone Age family, and pay special attention to the “T” in their name.

Funyuns or Funions

Popular belief: Funions

Reality: Funyuns

Contrary to popular belief, the onion flavored rings are spelled “Funyuns.” Consider it a Funyuns fun fact.

“Lord of the Rings” quote

Popular belief: “Run, you fools”

Reality: “Fly, you fools”

Don’t be fooled by the Mandela effect. Gandalf says “fly” instead of “run” in his commonly misquoted line.

Mona Lisa

Popular belief: Mona Lisa’s expression has changed

Reality: Mona Lisa’s expression has stayed the same

Leonardo da Vinci’s famous painting has stirred quite a buzz, especially around the subject’s enigmatic expression. Some admirers remember Mona Lisa frowning, and others insist she was always smiling.

Smokey the Bear or Smokey Bear

Popular belief: Smokey the Bear

Reality: Smokey Bear

He campaigns about campfire safety. He gives tips about wildfire prevention. He’s … Smokey Bear.

King Henry VIII’s portrait

Popular belief: Henry VIII holds a turkey leg in a portrait

Reality: The portrait doesn’t feature a turkey leg

If you look through portraits of the monarch, there won’t be a turkey leg in sight. Not one in his hands, at least.

“Looney Toons” or “Looney Tunes”

Popular belief: “Looney Toons”

Reality: “Looney Tunes”

Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Tweety and co. all starred in “Looney Tunes,” not the “Looney Toons.” That’s all, folks!

Keep testing your mind

54 Mandela Effect Examples That Will Make Question Everything

Including ones about your favorite childhood movies, TV shows and treats.

preview for 8 Examples of the Mandela Effect

If you remember Dorothy’s famous line in The Wizard of Oz as, “Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore,” you would, in fact, be wrong. And as shocking as this discovery may feel in this very moment, you are actually not alone. This eerie phenomenon where people collectively misremember events, historical facts and other famous pop culture moments is called the Mandela Effect. And it was named by paranormal researcher Fiona Broome, who wrongly recalled that late South African president, Nelson Mandela, had died in the 1980s after his imprisonment, when in fact, he passed in 2013.

Apparently, misremembering events and facts isn’t just exclusive to Broome. Other people related to her in remembering things not exactly in the way that they happened, from spellings of your favorite snack brands all the way to important events that happened the year they were born. Needless to say, no one is exempt from being stumped by the strange occurrences, and some even go so far as believe them as some sort of proof of alternate realities.

That may just be the stuff of science fiction, but scroll on to find out if any of these mind-blowing Mandela effect examples got you too.

Nelson Mandela’s Death

mandela effect

Gideon Mendel

Let’s start with the reason we’re all here. Nelson Mandela, who this theory is named after, died in 2013. However, countless people distinctly remember him dying in prison in the 1980s. But his death isn’t the only example of a Mandela Effect. We have been wrong about so many dates, details, and more. Keep going for more commonly misremembered moments in history

Oops. I Did It Again Headset

britney spear oops i did it again music video


One of the latest Mandel Effect has to do with Britney Spears’ famous music video. Many can distinctly remember Britney wearing a microphone headset in the video (her doll was even sold with one), however, after re-watching it, it’s clear she never wore it in the video. So, how do we all have a clear image of this? According to one YouTuber, it’s likely because Britney is famous for performing live with a microphone headset, and the two are merging in our heads.

Jif, Not “Jiffy”

mandela effect


People swear there was a “Jiffy” peanut butter back in the day, but we speculate they’re combining Jif with its competitor, Skippy.