What is the Mandela Effect, and why is it boggling my mind?


For those of you who haven’t yet heard of the Mandela Effect, I’m now going to take the role of Morpheus from The Matrix and offer you the choice between the red pill and the blue pill, and like he did, I’ll say, “This is your last chance. After this there is no turning back. You take the blue pill – the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill – you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit-hole goes.”

Read on if you choose the red pill.

What is the Mandela Effect?

The Mandela Effect is this crazy phenomenon in which hundreds of thousands of people remember something being some certain way, but now the records state that it has always been some other way.

The phrase was coined around 2010 by Fiona Broome after learning that Nelson Mandela was still alive even though she remembered his death in jail in the 80s. It wouldn’t have been anything to speak of if Broome hadn’t discovered that thousands of other people remembered Nelson Mandela’s death  in vivid detail as well, and they remembered the speech given by his wife, the riots in the streets, the funeral. Strange.

It didn’t take long for Broome and thousands of people to identify other occurrences in which masses of people share in these “false memories.” The Mandela Effect extends to hundreds of examples including historical events like Mandela’s death, logos, company names, actors’ names, famous lines in movies, verses from the Bible, and movie and television show titles. They have all changed, and there is almost no record of it ever being the way so many people remember.

People who have discovered that the Mandela Effect is real refer to residuals or residue, which are left over pieces of evidence which seem to offer proof that things happened in a way that aligns with their memories. There is plenty of evidence remaining that seems to prove that these events really did take place the way that they are remembered by so many, and that these past occurrences have since changed. Old toys and novelty items, recordings of people talking in awards shows and interviews, newspaper advertisements, Google searches, Amazon descriptions, descriptions on old VHS boxes, and things that were handwritten seem largely unchanged and align with the memories of the masses.

Examples of the Mandela Effect

Maybe none of these examples of the Mandela Effect will resonate with you, or maybe they will a little but your memories of them won’t be strong enough and it will be easy to deny them. Unless your memory of one of these is so super strong that you would be willing to bet your life on it, it is easy to deny that these changes have been occurring. There are hundreds of Mandela Effects. Below is just a sample.

Book, movie, and television show titles

  • Sex in the City is now Sex AND the City. The video below presents residual evidence that it was Sex IN the City at some point including lots of footage of the actors being presented with awards. Although people might argue that it’s only a slight difference in pronunciation, our recordings of so many people announcing state, “Sex in the City,” not Sex and the City.

  • The classic, The Portrait of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde has become The Picture of Dorian Gray. This is an interesting video which contains residue from The Portrait of Dorian Gray having existed in Marilyn Monroe’s movie, The Seven Year Itch.

  • Interview with a Vampire (book by Anne Rice and movie) is now Interview with THE Vampire.


  • Rum Diaries with Johnny Depp is now The Rum Diary.

The Rum Diary Poster.jpg

Famous scenes in movies

  • Star Wars. “Luke, I am your father,” is no more. Now it’s, “No, I am your father,” and it supposedly always has been. Here is some compelling residual evidence that Darth Vader did in fact say, “Luke, I am your father.” There are also old talking Darth Vader toys that still say it this way. Also, now C-3PO supposedly has always had a silver leg. I definitely only remember him being all gold.

Here’s a guy who’s upset over the C-3PO changes in his Star Wars movie:

  • Forrest Gump. “Life is like a box of chocolates,” right? Not anymore. Now, supposedly it always has been, “Life was like a box of chocolates.” This video contains residual proof that it used to be, “is.” Hanks is shown saying it this way in a documentary about the making of the movie, and it pictures the back of an old VHS tape featuring the famous quote.

  • Tom Cruise in the famous dance scene in Risky Business now is wearing a striped, pink shirt without sunglasses. I remember him dancing with his Ray-Bans and white oxford shirt, underwear, and socks, and I can tell that’s what so many other people remember by the parodies that have been done on shows such as Scrubs, The Simpsons, and The Nanny, and the thousands of pictures of Halloween costumes posted online.

And this is what the scene looks like now (supposedly what it has always looked like):

  • You know the famous quote in Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?”Now, it’s “Magic mirror on the wall, who now is the fairest one of all?” and has been forever and always.

Except not.

  • Here is where Sally Fields (who has since mysteriously changed to Sally Field) used to famously say, “You like me! You really like me!” Now she has supposedly always said, “… you like me, right now, you like me!”

Here she is “misquoting” herself the way we remember it.


  • Mister Rogers? “It’s a beautiful day in THE neighborhood,” right? Not anymore. Now it has always been “a beautiful day in this neighborhood.” Nope, it really hasn’t.

  • Also, Queen’s song, “We Are the Champions,” no longer ends with “… of the world.”

Historical events

  • Nelson Mandela’s death. So many people remember Mandela dying in jail in the 80s or early 90s. They remember the riots that broke out subsequently, the speech his wife gave, the funeral, and yet now it seems that he didn’t die until 2013.

  • Hitler’s eye color. Tons of people remember how ironic it was that Hitler favored blonde haired, blue eyed people considering he himself had dark hair and brown eyes. Not anymore. Scary.

Image result for hitler's eye color

  • Now Tank Man at the Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing in 1989 did not get run over and killed by the tank. So many people have vivid, emotionally charged memories of seeing the video and learning about how Tank Man getting run over marked the start of the massacre because so much anger was incited. They remember how sickening the scene was and how there was blood all over the road. That is not what happened anymore.

  • The assassination of JFK. People remember there being only four people in the car, but now, it appears there were six.

JFK limousine.png

  • The Mona Lisa. I, like many others, believe that Leonardo da Vinci’s masterpiece looks different now. To me, her face looks rounder, and her eyes look brighter, like she’s smiling with her eyes where before she wasn’t. A lot of people say it looks like she’s smirking now.

See adjacent text.

  • New Zealand. Maybe this is more a geographical event than a historical event. People swear that New Zealand has moved on all of our maps and globes.

Company and product names

  • Home Depot is now The Home Depot, and it has supposedly never been Home Depot.


  • Berenstein Bears books are now BerenstAin Bears which changes the pronunciation as well. Being a fervent lover of Berenstein Bear books, I’m impressed that this change seems to be one of the first effects that started to bother a large group of people, but I’m sad that my Berenstein Bears are no more.
  • “My bologna has a first name. It’s O-S-C-A-R. My bologna has a second name. It’s M-E-Y-E-R.” Oh wait. Now it’s MAYER.

Oscar Mayer logo.svg

  • Johnny Walker scotch is now Johnnie Walker.

JWalker 2015 logo.png

  • Little Tykes or Lil Tykes is now Little Tikes.

Little Tykes logo.jpg

  • Chic-fil-A is now Chick-fil-A.

Chick-fil-A Logo.svg

  • Cup o’ Noodles is now Cup Noodles.

  • Fruit Loops are now Froot Loops.


  • Looney Toons is now Looney Tunes.

Looney tunes careta.png


  • Ford. Most people don’t remember the Ford logo having that curl in the ‘f’.

Ford Motor Company Logo.svg

  • Volvo. They also don’t remember the Volvo logo having that arrow.

Volvo Iron Logo.png

Names of famous people

This is not to say that names of non-famous people haven’t changed too, who knows, but maybe there just aren’t enough hundreds of thousands of people to remember their names the original way.

  • Rod Sterling. You know, the guy from The Twilight Zone? Yeah, you thought you knew. Except that it’s Rod Serling now.
  • Steven Segal. Now it’s Steven Seagal.
  • Sally Fields. Now she has supposedly always been Sally Field.

Flip-flopping effects

Also important to note is that sometimes people notice an effect change back to its original state. For example, most people remember Hillary Clinton being spelled with two Ls, but then people noticed that it had changed to Hilary, with only one L, and it really bothered a lot of people as a clear Mandela Effect that they couldn’t ignore. Then it really boggled people’s minds when they noticed that it changed back to include two Ls again.

Some other examples:

  • Supposedly The FlinTstones changed to The Flinstones and has now changed back to The Flintstones.

The Flintstones.jpg

  • Bud Light seemed to change to Bud Lite (with no record of it ever having been Bud Light), and now it’s back to Bud Light again.
  • Rice Krispies changed to Rice Crispy and now is Rice Krispies again.

  • People were shocked when they learned that in the movie Apollo 13, there was no record that Tom Hanks had ever said, “Houston, we have a problem.” Now the quote was, “Houston, we had a problem.” This was a clear Mandela Effect for many people who were sure it was always, “have.” Now it’s even more bizarre that the quote has changed back to, “Houston, we have a problem.”

Possible explanations for the Mandela Effect

Some sort of conspiracy theory would be an easier pill to swallow because we can explain it in what we consider to be a logical way which doesn’t turn upside down everything we thought we knew about time, ourselves, and the world around us. Unfortunately, if any of these Mandela memories resonate with you, there is no simple, comfortable conspiracy theory or cover-up explanation. The only place to go is straight to Crazy Town. The simplest explanation is usually the right one? This time, there is no simple explanation.

The possibilities are about as infinite as the number of parallel universes that may exist. Below are some of the more prevailing theories thus far.

Fallibility of memory

Skeptics like to live comfortably in their denial where everything can be explained in a relatively comfortable way. They cite studies on the fallibility of memory, how easy it is to implant false memories, and social psychology in that if everyone says they remember it a certain way, you’re likely to start believing that’s the way you remember it too.

Parallel universes

Physics supports the multiverse model in which our universe is only one of an infinite number of universes. Below, CERN scientist Geordie Rose discusses quantum computing, and how we were already very, very close to utilizing these other universes (where things are so similar and maybe only one little thing is different from ours) for their resources. After listening to some of this type of information, it is easy to conclude that CERN or someone else could have been messing around with D-Wave computers and Large Hadron Collider technology and screwed with our universe. Universes may have collided or leaked over into each other. We may have combined with other universes’ versions of ourselves. Who knows, maybe the information we were sending out via our quantum computing was utilized by another universe.

One thing I’m fairly certain of at this point, is that even if CERN isn’t responsible for all of this, they almost certainly know what is going on.

Some people think that the Nazis may have garnered some of this type of technology and might be slowly changing the past in order to make it so that they actually won World World II. When I first heard this theory, it seemed a little outlandish to me, however, a few things I’ve noticed since then have given me pause.

  • Berenstein Bears was changed to Berenstain Bears, the German form of the name.
  • Supposedly, the Nazis were in a rush to obtain big technology. There are people who have come forward alleging that Nazis were responsible for Nikola Tesla’s death in order to steal his work from his room, in particular plans for his Death Ray, but coming across plans that enable time travel or traveling across universes would probably have appealed as well.
  • Hitler’s eye color has changed to blue.

A problem I have with the parallel universes converging theory is that some of these changes flat out don’t make sense. In what universe would they come up with Looney Tunes? This wasn’t a musical show where “tunes” would even be a word that would make sense to use. Why would anyone anywhere in any universe ever come up with that as the title? Looney Cartoons maybe, but not Looney Tunes. Sex and the City doesn’t make so much sense as Sex in the City. Interview with THE Vampire? This doesn’t make sense either because the showcased vampire in the book/movie was Lestat, so “the vampire” would probably be referring to Lestat, however, the vampire actually being interviewed was not Lestat. How does The Picture of Dorian Gray make any sense for the time period in which it was written? It wasn’t a picture of Dorian Gray! It was an oil-painted portrait. Wite-out? Come on, in what universe? Froot Loops? I have trouble believing that these ideas would have been arrived at in any universe.

I admit, my mind may just not be grasping the whole idea of infinte universes as infinity is a mind boggling concept. Does this mean that in an infinite amount of universes I am something terrible like a serial killer and you all are too? Am I currently making potato soup for dinner right now in an infinite number of universes and currently making enchiladas in another infinite number of universes? Is everything possible in infinity or can some things never happen in any universe (like I could never be a serial killer in any universe)? And in an infinite number of universes, I’m already dead, and the infinite combination of people that could have ever existed are all making potato soup in another infinite amount of universes. Are there any limits? Yikes, I think I need CERN’s Geordie Rose to explain a few things to me.

Time traveler

Proponents of this theory maintain that at some point in our timeline, people start being able to travel through time. If someone travels back into the past, the actions they take may change the course of events, and the changes we are seeing may be the effects.

A glitch in the matrix

Some believe that the Mandela Effect is like, “a glitch in the Matrix.” Perhaps our whole world including us are all part of a simulation or at least all made up of code.

Why does residual evidence remain of these effects? Why are the residuals so inconsistent? Regardless of the medium, residual effects remain. All of the Berenstein Bear books which exist in print have been changed to say BerenstAin, and yet other evidences that are in print like newspaper advertisements remain unchanged. All of the copies of Forrest Gump now feature Tom Hanks saying, “Life was like a box of chocolates,” but some VHS copies of the movie quote it as, “Life is like a box of chocolates.” It’s not just that residual evidence only exists in print and everything online has been changed. Residual evidence also exists on the internet. Internet searches for a lot of these effects still yield the most popular search results as being the way the Mandela Effect affected remember it, like “Interview with a Vampire,” and descriptions on Amazon of things for sale like Sex in the City remain unchanged. Toys, rare novelty items, and personal handwriting all remains unchanged. Words spoken in movies have changed, but other words spoken like those in awards shows, interviews, or your home videos remain unchanged.

It seems like the biggest, mass produced items are the ones that are changed, and that the more complicated, rarer items retain the Mandela Effect memories. It seems to me that this and that residuals don’t seem to be dependent on a specific medium seem to lend credence to the matrix explanation because it makes it seem like some force is manually changing code and goes after the easiest changes. All the copies of Star Wars, all the Berenstein Bear books, all of the Sex in the City shows, all of the Ford logos. Things seem to get sticky the less obvious they get: Burger King limited edition novelty cups, every variation of talking Darth Vader toy that ever existed, every newspaper advertisement the Berenstein Bears were featured in, every individual conversation that was ever broadcast on television about an effect topic, every book report various individuals wrote for school on, Interview with A Vampire by Anne Rice?

Also, let’s say New Zealand has actually moved from a previous location that many remember. It’s not a huge jump to say then that our reality may exist in some kind of changeable code. Otherwise, it seems like it would be pretty difficult to move a large landmass or even for New Zealand to be in a different place because parallel universes collided.

Test subjects in social or memory experiments

Are we simply test subjects? Playthings of the gods? Of our creators whomever they may be? Of a more advanced alien or human civilization? How much evidence do humans need that they thought their reality was something that it’s not before they start to lose their minds? How much influence can other people have on an individual’s mind to cause them to either ignore the evidence or to face it? For how long can they jam and force incoming information into their current schemas before they finally have to adjust what they think they know? Will they lose their minds or will they adapt to their new surroundings? You have to admit, there are a lot of interesting angles for this one.

Do we come from different pasts/realities/universes?

There are many baffling questions that arise when attempting to ponder the Mandela Effect. Beyond questions including, “What things might I be remembering wrong? Can I count on anything to stay the same? Why does some residual evidence regarding the effects remain? What is causing this?” there are two issues that I have a particular problem with.

  1. It seems like some people have different memories than others. It’s hard for me to believe that there is a group of people that remember Tom Cruise wearing a pink striped shirt and no sunglasses in the famous dance scene in Risky Business or that anyone remembers the Evil Queen in Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs saying, “Magic Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest one of all?” I think it’s because I don’t want to believe it because it implies that we are from different places, timelines, realities, or universes. Very disconcerting.
  2. The people involved in the effects themselves like Sinbad, Tom Cruise, everyone who worked on Sex in the City, the Berenstein family and the Berenstein Bear book publishers, thousands of people who have worked for companies whose names and logos have changed, the designers of the logos, the actors who delivered the famous lines that have changed in movies, and the people whose names have changed do not have any memory of the way it was before.

It seems possible that our memories of the past haven’t changed even while the past events that surround us have changed, so I have to believe that the people who remember things differently from me also are remembering correctly. So again, this is the problem of, “Do we not all come from the same place/timeline/reality?”

The Berenstain family doesn’t remember their name ever being Berenstein. Sarah Jessica Parker doesn’t seem to remember ever having starred in Sex in the City. Sinbad clearly doesn’t remember starring in the 90s genie movie, Shazaam (not Kazaam), that so many people remember vividly but has since ceased to exist.

How deep does this rabbit-hole go? Is anything real at all? Personally, I think I need to join a sufferers of the Mandela Effect support group.


If the Mandela Effect is new to you, does your head now feel like it’s going to explode? What do you think, are all of these things really changing before our very eyes? What do you think is the likely explanation for the Mandela Effect?

See also:

Evidence that the Mandela Effect is changing everything: Risky Business dance scene

How to cope once you’ve realized the Mandela Effect is real

2 Replies to “What is the Mandela Effect, and why is it boggling my mind?”

  1. Good article, i really enjoyed reading it, although it didn’t mention the FlipFlops that go along with the ME. Interestingly the FlipFlops are almost never talked about in any articles, although they really are an eye opener to affected people.

    I have no explaination either, but the FlipFlops i experience leave absolutely no doubt, that things keep changing in a mysterious way.

    For anyone who wants to look deeper into the Mandela Effect, here’s a ME research & discussion forum for affected people.


    1. Thank you for your insight. You have a really good point about the flip-flopping of the effects being important. Being relatively new to this, I haven’t knowingly experienced a flip-flop firsthand yet, but I’m sure that when I do, my mind will be blown all over again. I updated the article to include a section on flip-flopping effects. Thanks again.

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