What is a Mandela Effect?
The Mandela Effect earned its name from an incredible amount of people holding clear memories of Nelson Mandela passing away whilst incarcerated, to the point many can vividly recall a televised funeral. Why is this odd? Nelson Mandela was released from prison 11th February 1990; he died 5th December 2013. Therefore why do SO many people share memories of his death and funeral twenty three years prior? Every year more and more shared memories of events that never happened, or things that never existed, are being discovered. They call these Mandela Effects.
There are many theories behind the cause of Mandela Effects, with many believing it is the result of a parallel universe or government cover-ups. Regardless of the cause, Mandela Effects can be truly fascinating. Therefore, I am going to be discussing my top 10 mind blowing Mandela Effects. Enjoy♡
10. Looney Toons
90’s babies. If I was to tell you “Looney Toons” was actually spelt “Looney Tunes” would you believe me? I, along with many other people, certainly would not; however it turns out it has always been “Looney Tunes”. Not only do most people have clear memories of “Looney Toons”, but that spelling would make a lot more sense; toons = cartoons. Did we all remember the wrong spelling, or was there actually a change in reality?
9. Forrest Gump
You don’t need to have seen Forrest Gump to know the iconic line “life is like a box of chocolates - you never know what you’re gonna get”. However, it turns out none of us really know the line as the script actually says “life was like a box of chocolates”. Honestly, this line doesn’t even make sense to me; and with so many people reciting it so clearly as “is”, is it really possible that we all misheard it?
8. Barbie Girl - Aqua
Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” is the song of many people’s childhoods; I am sure we have all heard it countless of times growing up so we would all know the words - “I’m a barbie girl in a barbie world” right? Wrong. The actual lyrics are “I’m a barbie girl in THE barbie world”. I have an insane memory for lyrics, yet never in my life have I sung, or heard anybody else sing, “THE barbie world” - yet if you listen to the original song you will realise that is the way it’s always been. What in “the’ world?
7. Monopoly Man
I am sure almost everyone has fond (or perhaps not so fond) memories of playing Monopoly. Whilst the game itself truly divides families, the biggest divider is the debate about whether the Monopoly man had a monocle - which he did not. I would say there is no evidence to suggest he ever did, however the sheer amount of people who dressed up as the Monopoly man with a monocle blows my mind and says otherwise. What do you remember?
6. Mirror Mirror on the Wall
This Mandela Effect will always blow my mind as Snow White is one of my all time favourite movies in the world. There is a famous scene in Snow White where the Evil Queen looks into the mirror on the wall and asks “Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?” Except, she doesn’t say this at all. Instead, the Evil Queen has always said “Magic mirror on the wall”. I have honestly loved this film since I was about three years old and no matter how often I say the “new’ line out loud it just does not sound right to me in the slightest. Watch it here and let me know what you think.
5. Bare Necessities
Again, as a huge Disney lover, I really struggle to accept this Mandela Effect. I want you to fill in the missing lyric from the Jungle Book’s “Bare Necessities” - “wherever I wander, wherever I roam, I couldn’t be ____ of my big home”. Did you say “fonder?” Probably, as does every lyric website or video I can find. However, when you listen back to the song it’s actually just “found”. I think this sounds SO odd and so very incomplete, yet after checking Youtube versions, Spotify versions, the lyric has always been “found”.
4. We are the Champions - Queen
On the topic of “misremembered” lyrics, let’s discuss Queen’s “We are the Champions”. What do we all belt in the final chorus - “No time for losers cause we are the champions, of the world” right? Wrong! The song has never ended with “of the world”. You can listen to original versions, live versions and you will find they have NEVER ended the song with those lyrics. Yet so many of us sing them. In fact, I think it sounds so odd hearing the song without that ending, it ends so...abruptly. I must mention that Queen do in fact sing the words “of the world”, however it is in the middle and not at all where we all seem to sing it. Listen to it again and wait for the ending...it just feels wrong, right?
3. Sex in the City
This is one of the most common mistakes people make, to the point google automatically redirects people searching for the wrong title. The show has never been called “Sex in the City” but in fact has always been “Sex and the City”. This particular Mandela Effect has a lot of “evidence” to suggest we all knew it as Sex in the City before; from merchandise to sitcom references, from award ceremonies to social media posts. I would really recommend watching these two videos as the amount of “Sex in the City” references is insane.
2. “Luke, I am your father”
Even those who aren’t big fans of Star Wars know the iconic line where Darth Vader tells Luke Skywalker that he is his father. “Luke, I am your father” right? An astonishing amount of people recite the line that exact way, however if you watch back the clip here you will realise that line is never, and has never been, said. The actual line is “No, I am your father.” This line is nowhere near as catchy and it does not register right in a lot of people’s minds - including James Earl Jones, the actual actor who played Darth Vader himself!
1. “Woaaah, Mona Lisa”.
(Can anybody else not read the words “Mona Lisa” without bursting into song?).
And finally, The Mona Lisa. This painting by Leonardo da Vinci has been described as "the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world". An amazing amount of people recall Mona Lisa to be somewhat emotionless; a very very slight smile in the corner of the mouth and nothing more than that. So what if I told you that Mona Lisa is actually smiling in every photo you will ever find of the painting now? The reason this Mandela Effect stands out to me so much is because the Mona Lisa was studied for DECADES for her “enigmatic smile” - the mystery of whether she is smiling or not. However looking at the painting as we see it now there is no doubt that she has a smile. If the Mona Lisa has always been smiling as much as she is in the photos we see today, why would this have been studied so profusely by professionals? Did the Mona Lisa really change right before our eyes?
And that concludes my top 10 favourite Mandela Effects. I really hope you enjoyed this post. Whether these are Mandela Effects or simply mistaken memories, I think we can all agree it is fascinating how many of us share these vivid accounts of things that never really existed.
Thank you so much for reading! I would love to hear your thoughts on Mandela Effects, and if there are any that particularly interest you please feel free to discuss them on the comments.
21 year old Psychology student, running a blog to satisfy my love for writing and debating.