Chalk it up to past lives, multiple universes, or an Illuminati conspiracy, but the Mandela Effect has got us in its grip. A phenomenon that took the internet by storm in the 2010s, the Mandela Effect exposes just how easily tampered our memories are. Every so often, the public swears they remember something to be true when the facts show their memories couldn't be more wrong. Take a deep breath and dive into these often misremembered facts of life.
Nelson Mandela's Death Started It All
It was Nelson Mandela's 2013 death that sparked the conversation surrounding these society-wide mistaken memories. Many people thought the former President had died during his prison sentence decades earlier. Yet, when news outlets broke his millennial death, they balked at what they were sure had already happened. So, these misremembered facts (or glitches in the matrix?) fall into the umbrella term Mandela Effect.
Berenstain vs. Berenstein Bears
If you grew up in the 2000s, then you remember supplementing your colorful reading pages with an episode or two of the tie-in tv show about the cute family of bears. Now, this item on the Mandela Effect list is the one that comes to most people's minds right away because each of the two camps is extremely passionate about which one they think is right. Technically, the Berenstain Bears is spelled with an 'a' rather than an 'e,' but a ton of people swear it was Berenstein all along.
Fruit of the Loom's Missing Cornucopia
Fruit of the Loom is a trusted brand that makes consistent, basic underwear and undergarments. And while everyone can agree on the fruity arrangement that makes up their logo, not everyone recognizes this cornucopia-less logo today. Some people swear behind the iconic basket design, but for now, they remain a loose collection of fruits.
Curious George's Missing Tail
You'd think that a monkey character would include a tail, given they're a pretty vital part of monkey behavior. It's probably why so many of us remember Curious George swinging from trees and leaping onto The Man in the Yellow Hat's shoulders using a delicate curved tail. But actually, Curious George has never had a tail, neither in the books or the animated shows and movies.
The Monopoly Man's Missing Monocle
The Monopoly Man is the famous game's mascot, decked out in the top hat and spats typical for his aristocratic milieu. If you were asked to describe the character's look, you'd probably include a monocle in it. Most people remember his monocle about as well as game pieces like the thimble and iron.
But this dashing robber baron actually never wore a monocle. Though perhaps Mr. Peanut's monocled Monopoly Man-esque design could account for some of the confusion.
Star Wars' Iconic Line Was Never Said
You can't talk about the Mandela Effect without mentioning one of pop culture's most famous misremembered lines of all time. In Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader makes the most shocking cinema reveal of the 20th century, that he's Luke Skywalker's father. Though most people remember the line as "Luke, I am your father," it actually went "No, I am your father."
The Infamous And vs. In
HBO is known for doling out hit after hit, and one of their biggest money makers from the late-90s and early 2000s was Sex and the City. But, the phonetics of saying the show's name out loud has created its own Mandela Effect. Many think it's called Sex in the City (which, now that we mention it, seems much more à propos for the characters' escapades) instead of Sex and the City.
That Pesky Magic Mirror
When you linger on your reflection in a mirror, two ideas probably pop into your head: Bloody Mary or Snow White's Mirror, Mirror. The little chant we all know so well "Mirror, Mirror on the wall, who's the fairest of them all?" isn't ever said in the 1937 film. The Evil Queen actually stares into the mirror and asks, "Magic Mirror on the wall - who's the fairest one of all?"
Benny's Missing Nose Ring
Dora the Explorer's cast of animal characters is so nostalgic for 2000s kids. From Boots with his bright red boots to Swiper and his bandana-covered eyes, these characters helped bring Dora's adventures to life. Another of the animated cast is the blue cow called Benny. Benny's white spotted bandana is the only accessory he wears, though some people swear he had a nose ring all along.
Ricky Ricardo's Iconic Line Was Never Said
Real-life couple Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball transformed the sitcom with their charisma and comedic talents on I Love Lucy. Although Arnaz's Ricky's accented English was a source for many gags, there's one line that never made in into the show. "Lucy, you've got some 'splainin to do" never made its way on the airwaves.
Field of Dreams' Misheard Line
90s kids remember the sage advice, "if you build it, they will come." But if that's how you remember the line going, then you're slightly off. The line that gripped Kevin Costner's character in Field of Dreams was really, "if you build it, he will come." He being the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson, and later Costner's character's father.
Aqua's Famous Line Doesn't Go Quite Like That
With Greta Gerwig's Barbie movie bringing Barbie back into the spotlight, it's fitting to look back at her unintentional theme song. Barbie Girl by Aqua has transcended pop music status into something of a cult all on its own. But, if you've been singing the line, "I'm a Barbie girl, in a Barbie world," you've been hit by the Mandela Effect. It's really been "I'm a Barbie girl, in the Barbie world" all along.
Chick-Fil-A's Spelling Isn't as Funky as You Thought
Since the 1940s, Chick-Fil-A has been selling some of the best chicken sandwiches in the south. Yet, the swirling letters in their multi-hyphenated logo lent to a lot of people remembering the name spelled differently. For some, they simplified it to Chic-Fil-A, to others they got creative with a k (Chik-Fil-A) instead. But, the fast-food chain isn't as funky as you thought, spelling out chick in proper English.
It's Just Carpenters, Folks
Karen and Richard Carpenter were a musical duo that topped the charts in the 1970s. If you attended a wedding in 70s or 80s, there was a 50/50 chance that you'd watch the couple dance to "We've Only Just Begun." While they're cemented in music history, the name isn't quite so fixed. Most people refer to them as The Carpenters and swear their albums bore the two worded moniker. But the band's actually just called Carpenters.
Nothing Breaks Trust Like the Mandela Effect
Although we don't really know why we have these shared fake memories, and what they all mean, far too many people experience the same confusion to ignore the phenomenon entirely. All we've got is our memory to go on, and now we know just how little we can probably rely on that, too. Thank goodness for videos and voice notes to keep us honest.