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Mandela Effect

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Left: How Pikachu is falsely remembered.
Right: How Pikachu actually looks.

"No changes affect me because there are not any changes. The Mandela effect is nothing more than people misremembering facts about things."

Did you know Curious George never had a tail? Or that Pikachu's tail never had a black tip? Or that it's spelled Berenstain with an A and not Berenstein with an E? The Mandela Effect is when a large number of people share a false memory.

When it comes to fiction, this can be anything ranging from misremembering a visual detail to remembering a scene that never existed.

The Trope Namer comes from Fiona Broome, who coined the phrase when she claimed to have falsely remembered that Nelson Mandela died in prison in the 1980s, when he actually lived to be released from prison in 1990, helped bring about the end of apartheid and subsequently received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993, served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999, and remained a prominent activist on the world stage until his death in 2013 following a prolonged respiratory infection.note  She and around a thousand other people have falsely remembered this event, which led to her creating a website documenting this strange phenomenon. Many fans of the concept also claim it's not Fake Memories, but glimpses into alternate universes, but that's another thing entirely.

Compare Common Knowledge, Pop-Culture Urban Legends, Viewer Name Confusion. Contrast with Revealing Continuity Lapse, which can unintentionally cause an in-universe Mandela Effect.

Sub-Tropes are:

  • Beam Me Up, Scotty!: An iconic line was either never actually said or was a misquoted variant of what was actually said.
  • God Never Said That: Fans either assume the creator said something or misinterpret what the creator said to claim that so-and-so is canon, when the creator never claimed such a thing.
  • Viewer Name Confusion: Audience members have a mistaken impression of what someone's name is.


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  • Cheez-It crackers have never been pluralized as "Cheez-Itz", or even "Cheez-Its". According to the company, "Cheez-It crackers" is the preferred plural form.
  • Chick-fil-A is often misremembered as Chik-fil-A or Chic-fil-A. Part of this may be because the odd font of the logo makes it easy to miss a letter if you don't read it closely. It's also possible some people are conflating the name of the restaurant with one of its ad campaigns, featuring a cow urging people to "Eat mor chikin".
  • Some people claim the Coca-Cola logo originally had a squiggly dash between the two words, akin to a tilde (i.e ~); it's always had a short hyphen-like dash. In addition, some remember Coca-Cola Zero (now Coca-Cola Zero Sugar) as simply being called "Coke Zero" on the can or bottle.
  • Many argue that the household odor eliminator Febreze is actually spelled "Febreeze". In 2017, the official Facebook and Twitter pages of Febreze turned this into an Ascended Meme, as they added the extra "e" to the logo as an April Fools' Day joke.
  • Some remember Frank's RedHot sauce as having a separate "d" and "h", instead of the two being combined into one word.
  • There's a lot of people who claim that the Fruit of the Loom clothing brand's logo once had a cornucopia on it. Some people swear that this is where they learned what one even was. Even employees have stated remembering one. Fruit of the Loom would eventually joke about the cornucopia on their Twitter page and update their main page with the cornucopia logo as an April Fools' Day joke in 2022. The confusion is probably because there are a few real logos out there featuring fruit spilling from a cornucopia (like so) and the imagery is very common in autumnal/harvest-themed artwork. As a result, it's quite easy for many people to think "large pile of fruit" and mentally associate it with the classic Horn of Plenty by default. There was also an older (now-defunct) version of the logo with brown leaves instead of green, which could possibly be mistake for a cornucopia on a very small print version (such as an underwear tag)
  • Froot Loops cereal was never at any point spelled "Fruit Loops". They legally can't spell it that way, because contrary to popular belief, it actually doesn't contain any fruit.
  • Jif peanut butter is often misremembered as Jiffy peanut butter. This is likely due to some people confusing it with another peanut butter brand, Skippy, as well as the Jiffy Pop popcorn brand.
  • Kit Kat bars have never had the hyphenated name "Kit-Kat". The logo itself just says "KitKat", with neither a hyphen nor a space.
  • The Etch A Sketch has always been named with three different words, and not hyphenated as "Etch-A-Sketch".
  • Many people remember the logo for Lyft having the "f" and "t" as separate. Instead, they are combined, so it almost looks like it says "LYA".
  • Some people thought that "Popsicle" released Pokémon ice cream bars of Pikachu, Gengar, Bulbasaur, Charmander, Squirtle, and Meowth when it really was just the former two mentioned species. People also remember there being bar of Boots the Monkey along with Dora when it was only Dora.
  • The Pillsbury Dough Boy has always had a white scarf/neckerchief. Some people remember him with a blue scarf instead, no doubt because Pillsbury's logo is blue. Some parodies of the mascot (such as on The Simpsons) even depict him with a blue scarf. Even stranger, a common explanation (that they made him look different to avoid copyright infringement) is incorrect: under fair use, a parody of a copyrighted character can look identical to the real deal.
  • Some believe that Oscar Mayer meats were actually once branded "Oscar Meyer".
  • A lot of people remember the sun mascot on the Raisin Bran logo wearing sunglasses. He never has, but some parodies of him depict him this way.
  • Skechers shoes have never been called "Sketchers" even if some think they were at one point.
  • Another shoe brand, Doc Martens boots, have never been known as "Doc Martins".
  • Smokey the Bear's name is actually just "Smokey Bear", although in his theme song, licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, he is referred to as "Smokey the Bear".
  • Some people remember the U and N in the Sunkist logo clearly being separate letters. Instead, they are conjoined, so it almost looks like it says "Sinkist" instead.
  • A lot of people claim Vlasic pickles used to be spelled "Vlassic", presumably because it rhymes with "classic". The brand is named after founder Frank Vlasic (and the surname is of Serbo-Croatian origin).
  • The 'V' and 'W' in the Volkswagen logo have always been separated, contrary to many people's memories of them being connected. Perhaps the oddest thing is many people remember running their fingers along the V/W and not feeling a gap, and tactile memory tends to be a lot better than visual.
  • Believe it or not, it's spelled Wite-Out, not White Out.
  • La-Z-Boy recliners have never had an extra "Y" in the name (i.e Lay-Z-Boy).
  • Stouffer's never made Stovetop Stuffing. Stovetop Stuffing is and always has been a Kraft brand. Presumably the name "Stouffer's" and word "stuffing" are just a little too easy to mentally associate with one another.
  • The Volvo logo is a circle with a line through it (with the nameplate on the line) and an upwards diagonal arrow, similar to the "male symbol", although it's actually based on the ancient alchemical symbol for iron. A lot of people claim it was originally just a circle with a line, and don't remember there being an arrow. Part of this may be because the Volvo company uses a different logo on the company buildings (which is just the word "Volvo" in big letters).

    Anime and Manga 
  • JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
    • Many fans remember Jonathan telling Dio "If I die, my ghost is going to haunt you" during their final battle in Phantom Blood, leading to a popular theory that his spirit was eventually reborn as Star Platinum and defeated Dio for good. In truth, Jonathan never says this line at any point in either the anime or manga.
    • Early in Stardust Crusaders, there is a scene where Avdol has Jotaro draw a tarot card from a deck to name his Stand. Many fans online have claimed that Jotaro initially draws the World, only for Avdol to have him redo it because someone else had already taken the name (this is particularly significant because it's often said to be foreshadowing to the later revelation that Jotaro's Stand has the ability to stop time, just like The World). However, the scene does not play out this way: Jotaro simply draws the Star right off the bat, inspiring the name of his Star Platinum. A video by Hamon Beat traces the misconception to a joke edit of the scene that matches the misremembered details.
  • Many people in Italy claim that they remember the "jelly donut" line scene from Pokémon: The Series being translated verbatim from the English version in the Italian dub. This is actually false: as back in 2000 donuts were virtually unknown in Italy, the dub further edited the dialogue in that episode to refer to the riceballs Ash and his friends were eating as generic "sweets", with a throwaway line claiming they're covered in coconut flakes to explain the white exterior. Also, since 2014 the first season of the show got a new dub where they actually referred to the riceballs as such, with the infamous "jelly donut" line being replaced with "salmon-filled riceball".
  • Many people in the United States swear that they remember watching Trigun on Toonami. It never aired on Toonami in the states and probably would have been very difficult given how death and gunplay are vital to the plot and would be impossible to edit for an after school timeslot. Trigun actually aired on [adult swim], not Toonami. However, for the Toonami comeback April Fool's joke in 2012, Toonami did show an episode of Trigun, and the movie did air on the revived block in 2013. The funny thing is that Trigun was aired on Toonami... in Latin America (since Adult Swim only aired Western shows in that region), it's possible the confusion stems from there.
  • Sonic X: Many fans think the English dub censored Maria's death to her being captured, despite it being an integral part of Shadow's backstory. In reality, while the show never uses words explicitly relating to death, it does all but outright say she was killed. This is likely a result of people exaggerating 4Kids Entertainment's notoriety for censoring their dubs, as well as confusion with Molly, who really did have her death censored.
  • Kaguya-sama: Love Is War: Iino's name is commonly misremembered as "Lino" due to people mistaking the first I for a lowercase L. That said, it's mostly confined to those who watched it subbed or read the fan translations of the manga, since the VIZ manga translation spells it as "Ino".

  • In the American Gothic painting, a lot of people remember both the man and woman looking straight ahead. In reality, the woman is looking at the man with an ambiguously angry look on her face. Some people also remember them both being elderly, but in fact the man looks much older (the painting depicts a father and daughter, not a husband and wife).
  • People often "remember" a picture of Henry VIII that shows him eating a turkey leg, with there being quite a few parodies of this (nonexistent) portrait. Most likely, people are really remembering this portrait, which shows him holding brown leather gloves which, from a distance, could easily be mistaken for a turkey leg (especially given his reputation as a Big Eater.)
  • A lot of people remember the statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial having both of his hands resting on the armrests of his throne. He actually has his left hand clenched in a fist.
  • Some people claim to have gone up to the torch in the Statue of Liberty. This is impossible, as the torch was damaged by a 1916 terrorist attack, and has been closed to tourists since then. The most likely explanation, is they really went up to the crown and mistook it for the inside of the torch, as such people usually describe climbing up a really long spiral staircase to get there, which is indeed how you get to the crown. The torch, however, is only accessible through a ladder in a very narrow passage in the arm.
  • Quite a few people claim to remember having learned somewhere (usually at school) that the identity of the subject of The Mona Lisa was unknown, with some people even remembering learning that there was a theory that she was actually a Gender-Inverted version of Da Vinci himself. In reality, historians have long known that she is Lisa del Giocondo, the wife of Francesco del Giocondo (a famous silk merchant who was a good friend of Da Vinci).
  • A lot of people remember Mount Rushmore as just being the four Presidents' heads. In reality, George Washington at least has a partial torso. Apparently, the plan was originally to give all the Presidents full torsos, but this proved too expensive/impractical.
  • A lot of people remember King Tut's burial mask as having only a snake on the forehead part. It's always had a snake and a vulture, yet a lot of people swear they don't remember the vulture, and say it just "doesn't look right" that way. This may be due to confusion with the burial mask of Psusennes 1, whose mask really does just have a snake on it (and no vulture).

    Comic Books 
  • Immortal Hulk: This was discussed and invoked in-universe after Xemnu uses his psychic powers to rewrite everyone's memories and replace Bruce Banner as the Hulk. People start saying they remember Xemnu from a TV show called "The Magic Planet," only when they're pressed on it they're forced to realize they don't actually remember ever watching such a show. "Mirror Mirror" and "that movie with the genie" are both brought up.
  • Spider-Man is often misremembered as "Spiderman" or "SpiderMan" without the hyphen, something which the comic has even joked about at times.
  • Tintin is often thought to have orange-red hair. Throughout the original comic, he is actually a blonde, though sometimes strawberry blonde and sometimes even brown-haired. Animated screen adaptations usually make him a full-on redhead.

    Comic Strips 
  • Calvin and Hobbes: Susie Derkins' name is commonly misremembered as "Suzie" with a Z.
  • Peanuts:
    • Some people remember Snoopy's tail being a thin black line rather than a white tail with a little black dot on it. They may be conflating him with Odie from Garfield, or Pluto from Mickey Mouse, who do have black tails.
    • There was never a Peanuts character who always had a cloud over his head; that was Joe Btfsplk from Li'l Abner. Likely people conflated him with Pig-pen, who was always surrounded by clouds of dust.

    Films — Animation 
  • 101 Dalmatians: Some people remember Cruella De Vil's name being spelled as "Cruella De Ville" or something similar. While the name is obviously a pun for "cruel devil", a lot of people remember it as being more creative than just putting a space in the word "devil".
  • Aladdin: Some people have stated that they remembered the Genie being voiced by Tim Allen rather than Robin Williams.
  • There are many who claim that you can see Bambi's mother being shot. Although it was considered to be shown early on in development, the final movie never actually shows her moment of death. The film does have a scene later on that shows adult Bambi getting shot in midair, which may be responsible for the confusion.
  • Barbie as the Princess and the Pauper: No, the title is not Barbie in the Princess and the Pauper, as Barbie plays both Anneliese and Erika. However, some people believe that it is the actual title, likely because of many other Barbie films beginning with Barbie in. Even this very wiki made this mistake at one point.
  • Belle from Beauty and the Beast has hazel eyes, but is often remembered as having brown eyes. This might be due to people not being able to tell the difference, an association with her hair being brown, or official material showing her with what appears to be brown eyes, such as her design in Ralph Breaks the Internet, or some promotional material for her Disney Princess incarnation.
  • Some people who saw Bolt on the big screen remember Mittens' Balloon Belly being larger and think it was shrunk for home media. No such change was ever made.
  • Dragon Ball Z: Broly – Second Coming: A weird one has cropped up in that people have reported remembering there being a fourth character present in the family Kame-Hame-Ha. Why this seems to be the case is mostly unknown, as the only other Son family member at the time would be Chi-Chi, who doesn't even know the technique, much less fight in the series proper. Some have stated there being a third child of Goku being present, even though that's impossible. (Goku's only kids are Gohan and Goten.)
  • A lot of people remember Incredibles 2 coming out long before it did, sometimes as far back as the '00s, with some people even saying they watched it. It's possible they are confusing it with The Incredibles: Rise of the Underminer, which only came out a year after the first movie, and is a Sequel in Another Medium to the original (but was later made non-canon). It's also possible people just assumed it must have already come out because of the fourteen-year gap between the two movies.
  • The Jungle Book (1967): Many (perhaps most) viewers remember Baloo clearly singing in "Bare Necessities" the line "Wherever I'd wander, wherever I'd roam, I couldn't be fonder of my big home." Now, it sounds like he's singing "Wherever I'd wander, wherever I'd roam, I couldn't be found(?) of my big home". While the sing-a-long confirms the word is supposed to be "fonder", it's still odd he would pronounce it that way (especially if it's meant to rhyme with "wander"), and there are a lot of people who say they've watched the movie tons of times as a kid and remember him saying it the normal way. In The Jungle Book (2016), Baloo does say it the normal way, probably causing the confusion.
    • A number of people also recall Baloo wearing a coconut-shell bra during his song and dance with King Louie. In fact, he does wear coconut shells over his snout (presumably to make him look more like a primate), but never wore a bra.
  • Lilo & Stitch:
    • A lot of Fan Art shows that many fans of Stitch misremember his ear notches being near the tip of his left ear and near the base of his right ear. It's actually the other way around. Even Disney themselves make this mistake in some promotional material and merchandise, usually by flipping his image. This error has even extended to some of their own produced or licensed works such as Disney Sorcerer's Arena.
    • Depending on the Artist, Stitch has been depicted with the ear notches in other spots (or sometimes without them at all), with round notches instead of his actual triangular ones, without the dark blue markings on the back of his ear tips, with a differently shaped or even colored back marking, with his aqua countershading missing between his lower lip and chin, with light blue pawpads instead of their proper dark blue ones, with only three toes on each foot instead of four, and so on.
    • Some fans falsely remember Stitch calling his Love Interest Angel (Experiment 624) as his "boochiboo"; he actually pronounces it as "boojiboo". Lilo was the one who mispronounced it as "boochiboo" in The Series episode "Angel" (due to her not being a native speaker of Tantalog, the experiments' language).
  • Several fans of The Lion King (1994) firmly believe that when they first saw the film in 1994, Simba and Nala had twin cubs at the end, not just one. Most likely they're thinking of the similar Babies Ever After ending of Bambi, which does feature twin fawns, or they could've mixed it up with The Lion Guard, where Simba and Nala had Kion when Kiara herself was a cub.
  • Shrek: Many people remember the titular ogre saying "Change is good, Donkey". This line is never uttered at any point in any of the Shrek movies by any character. People may be confusing King Harold's line "Yes, he is a bit different, but people do change for the ones they love" in Shrek 2 with Shrek's line "That'll do, Donkey" from the first movie.
  • The Evil Queen never says "Mirror, mirror, on the wall" in Disney's version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. Unlike in the original tale, she says "Magic mirror on the wall". The Italian dub changed the phrase but suffers the same fate: the queen says "Specchio, servo delle mie brame" ("Mirror, servant of my desires") and everyone remembers "Specchio, specchio delle mie brame" ("Mirror, mirror of my desires").
  • The Transformers: The Movie: Many fans misremembered Optimus Prime as crumbling to dust after he fades to gray upon death, possibly mixing it up with Starscream's death, since the latter does disintegrate after turning gray. This has led to rumors of a more violent alternate cut, which has never been proven to exist.
  • The title of Tiny Toon Adventures: How I Spent My Vacation is frequently misremembered as "How I Spent My Summer Vacation". While that was its Working Title until it was changed later in production, people still tend to think that's the final title.
  • Wreck-It Ralph includes multiple entirely fictional video games and characters created for the film, including the titular Wreck-it Ralph and Fix-it Felix Jr. However, many viewers remember seeing an actual video game with Wreck-it Ralph and Fix-it Felix, either in an arcade or as an advertisement.

    Films — General 
  • Some people remember the 20th Century Fox logo having the "t" in "20th" with a curved bottom and allege it was changed to a cross-like shape at a later date. However, it's always been the latter shape, as a trip to AVID (formerly CLG Wiki) can tell you.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • 2001: A Space Odyssey: A lot of people remember the famous line "My God! It's full of stars!" being uttered in the movie, when it's really only said in the book. There is an audiobook where it is also said, and the opening crawl of sequel 2010: The Year We Make Contact ends with a recording of that line, which may be why some people claim to so clearly "hear" someone saying it in their memories.
  • Many people swear that the pre-credits "To Be Continued" message was present in the original theatrical run of Back to the Future, when in fact it was only added in the home VHS release in 1986, after the possibility of sequels was a Foregone Conclusion thanks to the movie's success at the box office. A basic understanding of the studio system is enough to debunk this, since practically no unproven concept ever gets a sequel greenlit before box office returns come in to justify it (Part II does have "To Be Concluded" before the credit roll in all versions, but at that point the third movie was a given, having been made concurrently and scheduled for release by the time the second hit theaters) and the filmmakers have repeatedly stated that no one expected the first film to be such a massive hit. When the film was later released on DVD and streaming, the "To Be Continued" was taken back out, with Steven Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis doing so specifically because they wanted to preserve the original theatrical presentation.
  • Batman (1989): A good number of people remember that before the Joker starts killing people with the poisonous Laughing Gas at his parade, it's revealed that the money he threw at the people of Gotham is false, with his face on the bills. While the money is clearly fake, it just has a picture of a random guy on it (here is a picture of the 100 dollar bill prop used in the movie.) This is due to Joker's earlier line to Vicki when she asks him what he wants: "My face on the one dollar bill!" making everyone assume it's Foreshadowing and expecting a payoff to that setup at the parade, and when there wasn't, many filled the blank in their heads. To their credit, in the script the free money bills do turn out to have Joker's face, and the Comic-Book Adaptation also kept that reveal, thus further giving some fans the false memory that the film did it too.
  • Everyone knows the famous hairstyle of the Bride of Frankenstein: a black frizzy beehive 'do with a white wavy streak symmetrically placed at each temple. Except, initially, contemporary advertising for the film depicted the Bride with red hair (something referenced by a costume of Magenta's in The Rocky Horror Picture Show) before pop culture at large and Universal themselves decided it was black. Much more subtle is the fact that on the wig Elsa Lanchester wore when originating the iconic look, the white streaks were asymmetrical, with the streak on her right being above her eyebrow, while the one on her left was below the brow above her ear, a detail most imitations and even official licensed merchandise of the Bride don't catch, with most seeming to assume the streaks were symmetrical all along due to that making more visual sensenote .
  • The Exorcist: During the famous Vomit Indiscretion Shot scene Regan has some kind of feeding tube attached to her nose. Quite a few people say they never remember it being there before, and claim they would have remembered something like that. Curiously, in the Scary Movie 2 parody of the scene she doesn't have any feeding tube.
  • Forrest Gump
    • There was the famous line "Life is like a box of chocolates." Or so it seems by most people. The line is actually "Life was like a box of chocolates," as he is quoting what his Mama used to say (and when Mama says it later in the film, she leaves off the "like"). However, it is hard to tell because of Forrest's thick accent, which is probably the cause of the misconception.
    • At one point Gump is at a Black Panther Party rally and says "Sorry I had a fight in the middle of your Black Panther Party". A lot of people remember him instead saying "Sorry I ruined your Black Panther Party", which would likely be funnier (the joke is that he thinks the Black Panther Party is like a birthday party or dance party, rather than a political party.)
  • Ghost (1990): Willy Lopez's name is often misremembered as Willie Lopez. This may be because the end credits and subtitles spell his name that way, and because his name is only shown once in the movie.
  • Gremlins: Stripe's name is often misremembered as "Spike".
  • Halloween Kills: In the scene where Karen steals Michael Myers' mask, several viewers claim they heard Michael whisper, "Give it back!"
  • Home Alone:
    • "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy" from "The Nutcracker" is heavily associated with the first two films, despite not actually playing in either film. It is possible that the song playing in the Super Nintendo adaptation may have something to do with this. It does play in the 2021 sequel Home Sweet Home Alone, though.
    • Similiarly, a lot of people think the first movie prominently features a threatening rendition of "Carol of the Bells", a song that is never played in the film. There is, however, an original piece of music (played when Kevin is on his way home from church, just before the climax) that sounds an awful lot like "Carol of the Bells", hence the confusion.
    • A lot of people remember the film as being made by New Line Cinema. It was actually made by 20th Century Fox but the confusion may stem from the title card looking similar to the most well-known New Line Cinema production logo.
  • The Hunger Games: Some people remember a player falling out of their pod during the countdown scene before the timer reaches zero and instantly exploding in a ball of fire. No such thing happens in the movie, nor it is mentioned in the book. The most likely theory is that some are people confusing it with The Starving Games, a parody movie of The Hunger Games, where in a similar scene it is specified that the field is booby trapped with explosives, and LMFAO jump out of their pods during the countdown scene, exploding in the process.
  • When Will Smith punches out the alien in Independence Day, many people remember him saying "Welcome to Erf" with a stereotypical African-American accent. When watching the film, Smith quite clearly says "Earth" without such an accent.
  • Many people incorrectly recall Dolly of the James Bond movie Moonraker as having braces, likely because she's a love interest to Jaws.
  • Jurassic Park (1993): There's a longstanding rumor that one version of the film includes a shot of the T. rex's head crashing through the wall of the visitor's center during the climax. There's no evidence this ever existed, and in the comments for this video Steve Williams (who designed the T.rex animatronic) says no such shot was ever filmed. This is possibly conflating the T. rex coming out of nowhere in the visitor center and a previous scene of Rexy crashing through the car roof, or the fans in question having played the Sega Genesis video game adaptation where such a scene does happen, which might cause them to misremember it as being a setpiece recreated from the film.
  • The Karate Kid (1984): A lot of people remember Daniel's headband being white with a red sun and rays, similar to the flag of Imperial Japan. It's actually white with a blue flower pattern, which almost looks black in some shots.
  • The Chokey from Matilda is often remembered as an Iron Maiden, but is actually just a closet with spikes.
  • The Matrix: A lot of people remember Morpheus saying "What if I told you", usually during the pill scene. He never says it. There is a very common meme showing a screencap of Morpheus with the words "what if I told you (fill in the blank)", which may be where the misconception comes from, although that raises the obvious question of where the person who thought of the meme got the line in the first place.
  • Mrs. Doubtfire: There's a scene where Doubtfire throws a lime at the back of Stu's head. When he turns around, she says it was a "run-by fruiting". A lot of people say the line used to be "drive-by fruiting", even though the former makes more sense; presumably because it's a clear play on "drive-by shooting". There was even a band called "Mr.Doubtfire" that had an album named "drive-by fruiting", complete with a picture of a lime.
  • Eddie Deezen was congratulated repeatedly on the streets by fans for his iconic role in Revenge of the Nerds, where he defined the nerd on screen for generations to come. The problem is: Deezen never was in Revenge of the Nerds. He was considered, but he was never cast. The character they're most likely thinking of, Skolnick, was played by Robert Carradine.
    • Many others believe the role was played by Canadian actor Patrick McKenna, primarily because there is a resemblance between the character of Skolnick and McKenna's character Harold on The Red Green Show.
  • Everyone knows about the iconic scene in Risky Business where Joel dances around the house in a shirt, socks and sunglasses. Except he wasn't actually wearing sunglasses in the scene. He's also wearing a pink shirt in the scene, while parodies almost always have the person wearing a white shirt.
  • Robocop: Murphy dies 26 minutes into the movie, but many people remember him dying much earlier.
  • Scary Movie: In one scene Shorty states "I see dead people" after getting high, a reference to the horror movie The Sixth Sense, released the previous year. However, many clearly remember him saying "I see white people" instead, which would be a racial joke. They may have been confusing with other instances of that very joke in popular culture:
    • At the 2000 Academy Awards (which aired a few months before the release of Scary Movie), where The Sixth Sense had several nominations, host Billy Crystal said “I see white people” in the course of a routine where he tried to guess what various audience members were thinking, and he was looking at African American nominee (for his role in The Green Mile) Michael Clarke Duncan.
    • In the 2002 film Undercover Brother (released two years after Scary Movie), the black title character says "I see white people" in reference to The Sixth Sense.
  • Many people seem to remember a genie movie named Shazaam starring Sinbad. There is no evidence of it ever existing in the first place. There is even a fanmade VHS photoshop and a CollegeHumor sketch starring the man himself. The most likely theory for this is that people are misremembering Kazaam with Shaquille O'Neal. The false memory is likely also influenced by First Kid, a 1996 family film that came out around the same time as Kazaam, and actually does star Sinbad. Furthermore, the First Kid VHS features a Kazaam trailer. The fact that genies and guys named Sinbad are both likely to turn up in "Arabian Nights" Days stories may also be a factor.
  • The famous line "Hello, Clarice" from Silence of the Lambs was never said. Hannibal does say "Good evening, Clarice" at one point, which may be responsible for the confusion. He finally does end up saying it in the sequel, Hannibal.
    • There's also a common myth out there that Hannibal never blinks at any point in the film, presumably to make him seem scarier. He does, plenty of times.
  • Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan: Many people erroneously remember Kirk yelling "KHAAAAAAAAAN!" as a Skyward Scream with a spinning overhead shot (even the creator of the Skyward Scream page did, as it was initially named "The Khan"), when the scene itself is just a straightforward close-up. The misconception may be thanks to the Seinfeld episode "The Dealership", during which George screams "TWIIIIIIIIIX!", parodying that scene while using such a shot.
  • Star Wars:
    • Many viewers misremember C-3PO being made entirely out of gold metal in the original trilogy. In reality, one of his legs has a silver piece. This might be due to some toys and the like depicting him as fully gold (possibly due to not wanting to spend money on something most people wouldn't notice), and may also be due to the poorer image quality of a lot of T Vs and VHS cassettes during the '80s and '90s. Anthony Daniels even said in an interview that the stills photographer (i.e, the person who was taking pictures of him every day) one day suddenly asked him "why are you wearing a silver leg today?" Meaning even he somehow didn't notice it!
    • The famous line "Luke, I am your father" from The Empire Strikes Back was actually "No, I am your father." It's important to remember it's not an unprompted statement, he says it in response to Luke's "[Obi-Wan] told me you killed him".
    • A lot of people misremember Leia either wearing sandals or going barefoot when in her slave outfit from Return of the Jedi. She actually wore ankle-length boots, which can be clearly seen in promotional pictures. Some concept art had her barefoot or in sandals, and Carrie Fisher's 1983 Rolling Stone photoshoot had pictures of her barefoot.
    • Some people remember the opening words at the beginning of the movies being "Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away", rather than the more prosaic correct version, which is "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away." Another common mistake is thinking that it's two "long"s and one "far".
  • Rose's line "I'll never let go" in Titanic is sometimes misremembered as "I'm so sorry, Jack." She does say a similar line earlier on ("Jack, I'm sorry! I'm sorry, I'm so sorry!"), for having believed him guilty of stealing the diamond.
  • There's this famous exchange: "So, what does it do?" "That's the beauty of it! It doesn't do anything!". Many people claim to have heard it in some movie or TV show, but there's no evidence of the phrase being in anything at all. Below are some of the most commonly purported sources.
    • "The Hudsucker Proxy" had an inventor present an idea for an invention which is just a circle, and the only explanation given is "It's for kids" (it turns out to be the hula hoop).
    • The famous condescending Wonka meme from Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory is a shot of him reacting to this question, and although this answer would have been very in-character, he actually says "Would you like to see?" before starting the machine. After it's done, he's asked the question again, and this time says "Can't you see? It makes everlasting gobstoppers".
    • The Simpsons: In "Much Apu About Nothing", Homer reasons that "there's not a bear in sight. The Bear Patrol is sure doing its job". Lisa tries to demonstrate the absurdity of this logic by picking up a random rock and claiming it must be the reason there are no tigers around. Homer doesn't get the point and asks how the rock works, and Lisa exasperatedly replies "It doesn't work!". However, this setup is rather different than the imagined context of the mystery quote (a Mad Scientist-type character describing some invention). The only parallel is that the thing's lack of functionality is precisely the point of it, but that's not the same as saying that's the beauty of it, especially since Lisa immediately follows this up by saying "It's just a stupid rock!".
    • In one of the Known Space books, a character is asked "what does it do" about a machine, and is told "It's beautiful! Why does it have to do anything?" It's possible people are mangling this into the mystery quote.
    • The only known work which actually contains dialogue to this effect is Burke's Law episode "Who Killed 711". A detective interrogates a murder suspect about a bizarre contraption he's built:
      Tim: What is it?
      Harold: Well, it's my therapy. I'm still perfecting it.
      Tim: What does it do?
      Harold: Do?
      Tim: Ye— What's it for?
      Harold: Well, nothing — nothing. I mean, that's the beauty of it. Every machine in the world does something, but not mine.
    This might be the original source of the quote, but it's relatively obscure and is rather more long-winded than how it's usually quoted — though it might be that people originally quoting it were condensing the actual dialogue into a convenient soundbite.
  • The Wizard of Oz:
    • Some fans are convinced that when they first saw the film, at the very end the camera panned down to show the Ruby Slippers under Dorothy's bed, revealing that her adventures in Oz were Real After All. The movie has never ended this way; the All Just a Dream ending was specifically written because 1930s viewers were thought to be "too sophisticated" to accept a straightforward live-action fantasy.
    • In the scene where the gang first enters the Haunted Forest, the Scarecrow is suddenly and inexplicably holding a gun. (This was because he was supposed to have it as a weapon for the Jitterbug Deleted Scene, which was why the Lion also had a bug-catching net and pump sprayer.) Most people don't seem to have noticed this, and seemed shocked when it's pointed out, saying they would have noticed something so odd and out of place.
    • A lot of people remember the Wicked Witch Of The West giving her flying monkeys the order "fly, my pretties, fly." Instead, she just says "fly fly fly" over and over again. There are a lot of parodies (such as The Simpsons and The Hunchback of Notre Dame (Disney)) of the scene that do say the line as "fly, my pretties, fly", presumably to make it clear what character they're parodying, since calling people "my pretty" is something the witch does a lot throughout the film - just not in this scene.
  • This gave rise to an Urban Legend that the film X: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes originally ended with a final, horrifying Wham Line after the protagonist gouges out his own eyes to end the torment of his affliction: "I CAN STILL SEE!", but the line was allegedly cut from all subsequent versions of the movie. No version of the film ever did include such a line, but the origin of the misconception comes from Stephen King, of all people, who misremembered it as being spoken during the movie's final shot and mentioned it in one of his nonfiction books. Being a horror writer, King presumably filled in the line himself in his recollection just because it does seem like such a perfectly chilling note to end the story on (for instance, Roger Corman has since said that he wishes he had actually thought of it).

  • Many fans of the American Girl Samantha series—due to misremembering books read as children—think that Samantha's impassioned speech about the dangers of child labor in factories from her second book Samantha Learns a Lesson was done in front of the factory owners themselves. It wasn't. It was part of a town wide essay contest and just presented in front of local townsfolk. There's no factories in Mt. Bedford either—the factory Nellie worked in is stated to be back in New York City, and the image of her working there is a flashback while she's telling Samantha about them. The movie has Samantha actually see the factory dangers when she comes to find Nellie (since her younger sister Bridget is ill), but her speech still isn't in front of any of the owners.
  • The Berenstain Bears: One of the most famous examples would have to be the debate over whether the title is spelled as Berenstain or Berenstein. While it's officially Berenstain, there is a large number of people who claim it's Berenstein, to the point where even some official merchandise uses that spelling. This has led to a (mostly tongue-in-cheek) conspiracy theory that the people who remember the latter spelling were transported from an alternate universe. Some people who remember the latter spelling even remember mispronouncing it as "Berensteen" or even "Barenstine". Surnames ending with "-stein" are a lot more common than those ending with "-stain", so what probably happened is that people just subconsciously changed it to the more familiar suffix in their heads.
  • Curious George: Although George has never had a tail, people tend to misremember him with a tail. This likely stems from George consistently being referred to as a monkey, when his lack of a tail would make him an ape.
  • Some people remember The Picture of Dorian Gray as being "The Portrait Of Dorian Gray". Some Spanish translations even render the title as El Retrato De Dorian Gray ("Retrato" means "portrait". "Picture" would be "imagen."), as do all French and Russian translations.
  • Similarly to the above, not a single edition of To Kill a Mockingbird ever had the word "how" in the title, as in "How To Kill a Mockingbird." This is because the actual title comes from the phrase used in the book that serves as the story's central theme and as a reflection of its moral framework. The full phrase is "shoot all the bluejays you want, if you can hit 'em, but remember it's a sin to kill a mockingbird." Despite this, many people still remember the title starting with the word "how," to the point that many old and well-known jokes make fun of the non-existent title, such as the following:
    Son: Dad, will I really learn it from this book?
    Dad: Learn what, son?
    Son: How to kill a mockingbird!
  • Warrior Cats:
    • There are a few scenes where fans commonly remember or picture the setting incorrectly, to the point that even the official art later gets it wrong. For instance, despite common belief, it wasn't actually snowing when Bluestar journeyed through the forest with her kits to bring them to Oakheart in Bluestar's Prophecy, and even though The Darkest Hour takes place during the winter, the BloodClan battle is often depicted as leafy and green (including in flashbacks in the official manga).
    • Many fans remember Firestar's final death in The Last Hope being due to lightning striking a tree, and said tree falling on him. He actually died due to his wounds, while at the same time a tree already fallen over was struck by lightning. This is likely due to fans either getting it mixed up with Mudclaw's death (which was due to being crushed by a lightning-struck tree) or one of Firestar's earlier lives (in which a tree fell on him, but no lightning was involved).
  • The title of Interview with the Vampire is often misremembered as Interview With a Vampire. This may be because the two sound nearly identical when spoken quickly, and because "The Vampire" seems to imply there's only one vampire in the world.
  • Contrary to its film adaptation, The Wizard of Oz never even hints that Dorothy is just dreaming; she returns to Ozz many times and eventually settles there for good. Vast numbers of people believe that Oz is canonically a dream world, mostly thanks to many more people seeing the movie compared to reading the book.
  • The Monster at the End of This Book: Some people remember the book ending with a piece of reflective tape which acts like a mirror, meaning that the reader is the monster. It actually ends with Grover himself being the monster, even though he's the one who has been warning you about the monster throughout the whole book.

    Live-Action TV 
  • In the Barney & Friends episode "Playing it Safe", many adults remember Derek (controversially) saying "A stranger is just a friend you haven't met yet". In reality, when Baby Bop asked why you shouldn't talk to strangers, Derek replies with "They might be bad people" — quite the opposite of his misremembered line.
  • Some people recall the titular host of Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern being Andrew Zimmerman.
  • Doctor Who
    • Many fans who watched "Spearhead from Space" on its original broadcast are convinced that they saw the Autons smash the glass of the shop window after coming to life in Episode Four. In reality, the show did not have the budget to do this, so the camera cuts away as they are about to break it, before inserting a sound effect of breaking glass, and doesn't cut back to the Autons until they have broken out. The audience finally got to see the Autons break out 35 years later with the first episode of the series revival.
    • Mand viewers misremembered the Sixth Doctor killing two henchmen in "Vengeance On Varos. In reality, though he does give a Bond One-Liner, viewings of the episode show that one of them fell into the acid bath by accident, and then pulled the second guy in trying to escape.
  • I Love Lucy has some viewers who conflated Ricky's tendency to mispronounce "explain" into him scolding, "Lucy, you've got some splainin' to do!" Once an Episode.
  • Lassie: Some people remember Timmy falling down a well and having to be rescued by Lassie, enough that there is a trope named after it. In all of the show's nearly 600 episodes, this never happens. There is an episode where Lassie falls in a well and has to be rescued, which is likely where this misconception comes from.
  • The opening theme from Mister Rogers' Neighborhood had the lyrics "It's a beautiful day in this neighborhood", which many people including the developer of the Tom Hanks biopic remember falsely as "It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood".
  • Actress Sally Field has two Mandela Effects:
    • Some people remember her surname being plural.
    • In her famous televised speech, she says "You like me, right now, you like me!" rather than "You like me, you really like me!" which is what is usually quoted instead.
  • Many people believe that Sex and the City was called "Sex in the City".
  • Many people remember seeing Marlin Perkins being bitten by a rattlesnake on an episode of Zoo Parade. He was actually bitten during a rehearsal for an episode, which was never shown on television.
  • When Ron and Chris had a cooking competition on Parks and Recreation, Ron made a simple "beef in a bun" burger that handily beat Chris' gourmet and handcrafted... veggie burger, right? No, it was a turkey burger. Understandable due to the prevalence of the Disgusting Vegetarian Food trope, as well as turkey burgers not being that common and recognizable as a "healthy alternative" to beef.
  • Since 1972, the final contest on The Price Is Right has been the Showcase. Since 1975 when the show expanded to an hour, the playoff with the big wheel to determine who goes there has been the Showcase Showdown. Yet through the mists of time, some think the final contest is the Showcase Showdown while they think the playoff is called the Big Wheel.
  • Star Trek:
    • Dr. McCoy's catchphrase in Star Trek: The Original Series is commonly remembered as "Dammit, Jim, I'm a doctor, not a (fill in other occupation)". At no time did he ever say the words "dammit", which would not have been allowed by 1960s broadcast television standards. He did frequently state that he was a doctor, not a whatever. He did say "dammit" a few times in the movies, but never in conjunction with his catchphrase from the show.
    • There are still people who think there was a character named "Doctor Spock" and that he was famous for his "Vulcan Death Grip", both of which are thanks mainly to Common Knowledge and confusion and the real life Dr. Benjamin Spock. There are actual fans who have watched numerous episodes who will insist there was such a thing as the "death grip", likely confusing it with the Nerve Pinch, which did not kill.
    • "Reverse the polarity" is a phrase associated with Doctor Who, but you will see many people, mocking Trek's tendency to engage in technobabble suggest it was a common thing heard on this series. It was not.
    • A number of fans seem to remember a surprisingly frank (for the time) implication of sex between Kirk and Deela in the episode "Wink of an Eye". And there was, but it wasn't nearly as clear-cut as some fans will tell you. It's commonly remembered that there was a scene where a shirtless Kirk stands up from his bed, pulling his pants back on, or at least re-fastening them. Sex was strongly implied, but the closest it came was a scene of them kissing, cutting away from the scene, then cutting back to a fully-dressed Kirk sitting on his bed and putting his boots back on.
    • In Star Trek: The Next Generation, there was no nudity or simulated sex in the scene where Tasha Yar, infected by a virus that makes one behave as if drunk, seduces Data. They kiss briefly before the scene cuts away. There also seem to be some who believe Data and Yar were boning on the regular, but there's not even a hint that outside of this one instance that they ever saw each other as more than friends.
    • Not many remember that Sisko was a Commander for the first three seasons of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Not only would he frequently be referred to as "Captain Sisko" during that time but people refer back to those episodes using the title as well. In the first three seasons, it was also common to refer to him as the "first black captain", sometimes with no qualifier at all. He was not at all the first black captain in general, even when he became a captain. He was the first black lead, but many black captains, such as the captain of the Saratoga in Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home and Captain Tryla Scott, existed well before Sisko. It also tends to be forgotten that while the Saratoga's captain was the first time we saw a black character in the concurrent role of captain of a starship, the fact is that during the Original Series, we met Commodore Stone, played by black actor Percy Rodriguez. Commodore outranks Captain, and this means that at some point, Stone likely was a Captain himself.

  • The very last lyric of "We Are The Champions" by Queen is sometimes remembered as "We are the champions / of the world" — Every other chorus ends that way, but the final time it stops at just "we are the champions".
  • Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" has the chorus being remembered as "You've been hit by, you've been struck by, a Smooth Criminal!", leading into the song's iconic bass. While these are the lyrics to the second chorus, the very first time it's heard it goes "You've been hit by, you've been hit by, a Smooth Criminal!", and the "correct" version leads into a different instrumental part. This first version is usually omitted from covers and MJ also performed it the more remembered way in concerts, contributing to the misconception.
  • OutKast: Some people remember the lyrics to "Ms. Jackson" saying "I'm sorry Ms. Jackson, I am for real. Never meant to make your daughter cry. I apologize a thousand times." Instead, it's "a trillion times", which, even as hyperbole, seems kind of excessive.
  • Cold Chisel wrote "Star Hotel" about a riot that happened in response to the closure of the titular hotel in Newcastle, Australia in 1979. In the years since, many people have claimed to have seen the band perform there on the night of the riot - in fact, they never played at that venue at all, let alone that very night.

    Myth and Religion 
  • The Bible: Many people remember a Bible verse saying that the "lion shall lie down with the lamb". This phrase doesn't appear in any translation of the Bible. The closest equivalent is Isaiah 11:6, which starts with "and the wolf shall dwell with the lamb". As the rest of the verse says "and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them". It's possible people are just getting the different animals mentioned in the verse mixed up, or confusing it with unrelated sayings like "lions led by lambs."

    Professional Wrestling 
  • While Bob Holly did win the Intercontinental Championship from Jeff Jarrett, as many fans in attendance remembered, the win was planned in advance for the storyline to set up a controversial rematch at the following pay-per-view show. This is why that one IC title win is never acknowledged in WWE canon, even if fans remember Holly winning it.
  • Marty Jannetty wasn't kicked through the barbershop's window by Shawn Michaels, like many fans remembered, but instead thrown through the window after the superkick.note 
  • Kane's debut involved the play by play announcer saying That's gotta be KANE!, but contrary to popular belief, it was Vince McMahon, not Jim Ross who made the call. Notably, Ross himself has made this mistake!

    Tabletop Games 

    Theme Parks 
  • Cinderella's castle has never been the entrance to the Magic Kingdom, despite what a lot of people claim.

    Video Games 
  • Many people remember there being two playable female characters in the game Diddy Kong Racing, with one of them being a tiger named Tilly and the other being a mouse named Pipsqueak, both of whom wore bows to denote their gender. In reality, the mouse is the only female character in the whole game, the only one to wear a bow, and her name is actually Pipsy. The game's sole tiger character, meanwhile, is a baseball-cap-wearing boy named Timber.note 
  • Some people remember completing the Wind Temple before the Earth Temple in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker. This is impossible in all versions of the game, as Makar will not appear until the Earth Temple is complete. It's possible some of them may be getting it confused with the randomizer Game Mod, as that does allow the dungeons to be completed in any order.
  • FromSoftware games often have multiple recurring trademarks in most of their games, the most frequently recurring being the Moonlight Greatsword, which first appeared in King's Field... Except, the weapon is actually called the "Moonlight Sword," in that game, was almost always referred to as the Moonlight Sword in almost every game it appeared in, and despite how many people assume, the Sword was never referred to as the "Moonlight Greatsword" until it appeared in the original Dark Souls, whereas Demon's Souls and Bloodborne refer to it as the "Large Sword of Moonlight" and "Holy Moonlight Sword" respectively. Essentially, the "Moonlight Sword" is the recurring weapon in FromSoftware games, not the "Moonlight Greatsword" despite how Dark Souls popularized the name.
  • There has never an iteration of the MechWarrior series on PC where you could get out of your 'Mech. This error is usually caused by one of five common misunderstandings:
    • Mistaking the external camera in MechWarrior 2 for exiting your 'Mech (the camera just rotates around your Mech, including an approximately ground level view).
    • Mistaking the Xbox game MechAssault for a PC release, which did feature the option to move around in battle on the infantry scale.
    • Mistaking MechWarrior: Living Legends for an official release (it is actually a fan-made Game Mod of Crysis Warhead).
    • Mistaking obscure PC Mech-Sim G-Nome for a MechWarrior title, which did feature the option to steal enemy mechs as a tactic.
    • Mistaking Shogo: Mobile Armor Division for a MechWarrior title. Shogo is not a proper Mech-Sim, and is more of a first-person shooter that just happens to alternate levels where you're on foot and in a mech.
  • It was long widely agreed among Monster Hunter fans that Deviljho, a Big Eater monster debuting in the third generation, is so ravenous that it would even eat its own severed tail. However, a random tweet in late 2022 pointed out that nobody has ever actually recorded this behavior, leading the fanbase to scramble for proof... and it turned out there was none. It had never been part of the monster's behavior in any game.
  • Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney: Many people misremember Yanni Yogi, the prime suspect of the DL-6 Incident, was found guilty but released after an insanity plea, rather than being judged illegible for trial.
  • Pokémon:
    • Pikachu is often remembered with a black stripe at the end of its tail. This is likely because its ear tips are actually colored black, so people extend that to its tail. Muddying things even further is the Cosplay Pikachu introduced in Omega Ruby and Alpha Sapphire, which actually does have a black tip on its tail.
    • Many players who started with Gen 1 (especially Yellow Version) misremember rock types as being immune to electric type attacks. Electric moves actually deal normal damage to rock types. The confusion is likely because most of the rock types encountered in Gen 1 were also ground type, which is immune to electric. One episode of the show also has Ash called out for not knowing that electrical attacks don't work on rock Pokemon (an error by the writers), which likely cemented the idea in fans' minds.
    • Slugma and Magcargo made their debut in Pokémon Gold and Silver, but since they were a rare post game encounter in their debut generation but a relatively common early game Pokemon in Gen 3, many players mistakenly remember them as debuting in Pokémon Ruby and Sapphire. It doesn't help that the line's debut episode in the English dub of the anime aired a mere four days before Ruby and Sapphire came out in America. Due to being a rare encounter in its debut game and not appearing in the English dub of the anime until after Ruby and Sapphire came out, Misdreavus is also sometimes mistaken for a gen 3 Pokemon, and occasionally even mistaken for generation 4, due to its evolution Mismagius being introduced in those games.
  • Undertale has several fan ideas that many people seem to forget aren’t true in the actual game:
    • So little is known about W. D. Gaster that the in-game sprite most fans believe to be his may not actually be his. In fact, there are at least two possible sprites for Gaster, but the second often goes ignored due to the popularity of the first. Gaster also isn’t shown to have floating hands with holes at any point, yet most fan works depict him this way. Additionally, Gaster is at no point even implied to have been a skeleton, but he is usually depicted as such in fan works.
    • Papyrus is usually portrayed as hating puns, since he yells at his brother Sans when he makes them coupled with excuses to get out of actually doing any work. However, he actually makes the second-most puns in the game (second only to the narrator), one even being found during an exchange with Sans. It's even implied that he does find at least some of Sans's puns legitimately funny.
    • Regarding SOULs:
      • While there is evidence in the game pointing toward different SOUL colors representing different traits (orange, yellow, green, cyan, blue, and purple being Bravery, Justice, Kindness, Patience, Integrity, and Perseverance respectively), the red soul trait is never hinted at in-game. Many use the fact that the protagonist’s SOUL has more Determination than anyone else’s in the game to argue that it is the red SOUL trait, but little evidence to back up such a claim exists.
      • Things such as Magic or Love have been used as the white SOUL trait that the monsters have, but this isn’t alluded to either.
      • Hate is not canon, nor has it ever been mentioned. The idea of Chara’s SOUL trait being replaced by Hate (or corrupted by it) is entirely fanon.
  • Fire Emblem Fates is split into three stories: Birthright, Conquest, and Revelation, which is often called Revelations.
  • Game Boy has always been two words. It has never officially been rendered as "Gameboy", except on Captain N: The Game Master, a promotional cartoon with rampant game-accuracy problems. There's also no such thing as a Gameboy Advanced, it's Game Boy Advance.
  • Sonic & All-Stars Racing Transformed, the sequel to Sonic & Sega All-Stars Racing, will still often have the "Sega" in the title when people talk about it. Some of the new characters added to the sequel are completely unrelated to Sega.
  • Maria from Sonic Adventure 2 is sometimes remembered as a Wheelchair Woobie. She never used a wheelchair at any point. It's possible it's due to confusing her with Helen from Sonic X.
  • Conversed In-Universe in AI: The Somnium Files, where one scene has the characters talk about various common examples of the Mandela Effect, including trademark-friendly versions of Pikachu's tail and the Berenstain/Berenstein Bears. Its sequel, AI: The Somnium Files - nirvanA Initiative, has a similar scene where Amame and Gen argue about the name of the island on which the Statue of Liberty is located, with Amame insisting that it's on Ellis Island while Gen believes it's on Liberty Island. Interestingly, the game then tries to invoke this on the player by not only presenting Ellis Island as the correct answer, but also claiming that Liberty Island doesn't exist at all.
  • Super Mario Bros.:
    • Mario Kart:
      • In general, it's common to misremember characters being on one of the newer installment's rosters that have never actually been featured in the game, especially with the very character-heavy Tour and the crossover-happy Arcade GP. Amongst the most frequently falsely remembered are King K. Rool, Luma, and Baby Wario.
      • Mario Kart Wii: People that played the battle mode in this game remember one of the courses being "Chain Chomp Wheel," an indoor circular track in which you had to avoid being crushed by a giant Chain Chomp spinning around the map. Except, the actual name of the track is "Chain Chomp Roulette," something a lot of people forget because Mario Kart isn't a franchise that one would expect to have a reference to gambling, and "wheel" is an easier word to associate with the racing-themed video game, especially amongst its target demographic of young children and tweens. It's a common enough misconception that Schaffrillas Productions referred to it as such in his ranking of battle tracks from the game (in which it placed 7th out of 10).
    • Mario Party: In the first two games, people remember there being a minigame where you had to jump across hovering platforms of various types in an Auto-Scrolling Level and be the first one to make it to the end, and that it was called "Platform Panic." While the minigame itself is indeed quite real, the name of the game in question is actually "Platform Peril." The misremembering is most likely due to a number of reasons, including the existence of an actual Platform Game called Platform Panic, as well as the fact that the words "peril" and "panic" have nearly interchangeable connotations and share the same first letter. In addition, "panic" is a more commonly known word, especially amongst children (the games' target demographic), than the word "peril," and is therefore the one that will more likely stick in the average player's head.

  • Batman: Wayne Family Adventures: Due to a mistake with the Twitter account misprinting the bios, many remember Damian's introductory box reading "still working on their people skills" rather than "his people skills", leading to a significant amount of the fandom thinking he is nonbinary.
  • Square Root of Minus Garfield: Referenced in "Mandela Effect Garfield", which replaces the misremembered "mirror, mirror" line with its proper "magic mirror" version. The comic's description also describes various instances of the Mandela effect.
  • Tails Gets Trolled: It's a common mistake to refer to the title as Tails GOT trolled, or other variants when discussion takes place. Some will swear up and down that title is correct, as the inciting incident of the story is the titular trolling.

    Web Original 
  • Clippit, the default assistant in the English version of The Office Assistant, a discontinued intelligent user interface for Microsoft Office, is a paperclip who is often remembered as dancing, but in reality, he didn't do anything besides the occasional blink. His name is also usually misremembered as "Clippy."
  • Spoofed in one of the April Fools 2019 articles on ToughPigs, which states that the entirety of Season 13 of Sesame Street is in fact a Mandela effect fabrication.

    Web Video 
  • Referenced by The Angry Video Game Nerd in his "Berenstain Bears" episode, where he insists he remembers that the Berenstain Bears were called the Berenstein Bears in his childhood. Then he encounters another version of himself stating in his universe, the Berenstain Bears are called the Berenstein Bears, leading to the revelation that the Nerd has been unknowingly jumping into different universes, unable to return to the one where the shitty games of his childhood were actually good. Additionally, James had the title of the video changed at random moments to evoke this effect on the viewers, who would go on to comment whether it was Berenstein or Berenstain.
  • Bedtime Stories has an entire episode dedicated to this phenomenon, starting with explaining where the trope's name originated, and later, mentioning several of the other examples listed here, such as the Berenstain Bears example listed above.
  • Internet Comment Etiquette Invoked this by making two videos on the Mandela Effect with virtually all the same jokes and minor alterations to the script three years apart. Occasionally, he will private one video and unprivate the other to give the impression that he only made one. In a 2021 video, he said he always wanted to make a video on the Mandela effect, and then privated both videos.
  • Captain Disillusion has an episode based entirely around discussing the effect (or rather, "The Mandaellah Effekt"), which simultaneously depicts the Captain giving his usual spiel, and an Alternate Timeline where Holly is in his position giving the same discussion. While the Captain (both versions of them) do think of it as a fun quirk of collective memory, they also heavily criticize its proliferation as a sign of "proof" for insane conspiracy theories, and discourage taking it so seriously as it encourages sloppy, uncritical thinking.
  • Chuggaaconroy has not done a Let's Play of The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time or The Legend of Zelda: Twilight Princess, but several people remembered him doing them, as mentioned in this post.
  • When The Nostalgia Critic finally reviewed Baby's Day Out, he mentioned that a lot of people remembered him having already reviewed it and even claiming it was their favorite episode.
  • SciManDan discusses a video on the Mandela effect here, dismissing it as "nothing more than people misremembering facts about things" and dismantling the original video's attempts to use articles that misspell Gordon Ramsay's name to prove that he was originally called Gordon Ramsey.

    Western Animation 
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender: In regards to "The Southern Air Temple", an episode centered around flashbacks to Zuko and Aang's backstories, several fans misremember the reason Fire Lord Ozai challenged Prince Zuko, his son, to an Agni Kai, and then burned him and banished him when he refuses to fight back, as being because Zuko dared to criticize a Fire Navy officer's plan to sacrifice his men as a decoy. In reality, Ozai's opinion on the plan was never actually stated, and the Agni Kai happened because Zuko spoke out of turn. This is like the result of people confusing it with Zuko's Heel–Face Turn in Book 3, which was sparked by an actual disagreement between the two.
  • Caillou:
    • The episode "Caillou is Getting Older", which has Caillou and his dad find a dead bird, is often misremembered as having the dad lie that the bird died of old age when Gilbert the cat had killed it. In the actual episode, the bird's dead with no explanation.
    • Someone remembers a lost version of the series where the titular character was named “Charlie”. There is no evidence of this version having ever been produced.
  • Dora the Explorer: Benny the Bull is falsely remembered as having a nose ring.
  • The Flintstones has never been spelled "The Flinstones". The confusion has come from how it is often pronounced, the first t being either silent or not clearly voiced.
  • Goof Troop: People frequently believe that Max's unseen mother was officially dead due to Goofy saying something along the lines of "She's up there amongst the stars" in regards to her. No such line was ever uttered in the series, and Max's mother is just non-existent, with her never being mentioned at all.
  • Inspector Gadget: Some people swear they remember seeing an episode where they finally show Dr.Claw's face. While there was an action figure made of him, which obviously had a face, it was never shown in the cartoon itself. This may be due to confusion with the SNES game, where you can briefly see his face, although the low resolution and crude graphics make it hard to make out.
  • Some people think that the very first broadcast of It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown did include a scene where the Great Pumpkin does appear and that the scene in question has never aired since nor been on any home video release of the special. This misremembering appears to go beyond people who watched the original broadcast in 1966, as people will recall this even if they watched the special on reruns or home video. In reality, the Great Pumpkin character never appears in the special, just as he is a figment of Linus' imagination and has never been seen in any Peanuts media. This can potentially be chalked up to viewers, in their youth, misremembering the sequence where Linus mistakes Snoopy for the Great Pumpkin.
  • King of the Hill: According to urban legend, in the original airing of "Pigmalion", you could briefly see Trip's bloody mutilated corpse hanging off a hook in the background while Peggy and Luanne rejoice over their little "victory". However, it never happened and is likely a result of false memories.
  • Looney Tunes:
    • The title is often misremembered by many people as "Looney Toons" (as in, "cartoons") rather than musical "tunes" (in keeping with the theme set by Silly Symphonies and Merrie Melodies). The confusion is likely because of the symmetry with "Looney", because "tunes" and "toons" are homophonic in most dialects of American English, and because Tiny Toon Adventures (abbreviated as Tiny Toons) does spell it as "toons". Not helping is that younger audiences in subsequent decades weren't as much aware of Silly Symphonies or Merrie Melodies, so Looney Tunes sounded like a non-sequitur.
    • Many people seem to think at at the end of every cartoon, Porky says "That's all, folks!" while in the concentric circles, and indeed this is how many parodies (such as on The Fairly OddParents!) depict it. This never happened in the original shorts; in 1937 to 1946, Porky says the line while popping out of a drum (and only in shorts labelled as Looney Tunes, as opposed to Merrie Melodies). After that, the ending sequence was simply just a shot of the words "That's all, folks!" being written in cursive over the concentric circles. Likely, people were mixing the two up.
  • Several people remember classic Mickey Mouse having suspenders on his red shorts. Mickey only ever wore suspenders on red long-legged pants in the animated short Clock Cleaners. Some Mickey plushies do have him with suspenders on his red shorts, but they are the exception and not the rule.
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer (1964): Many claim there is a version of the special where the Bumble had a toothache that Hermey fixed, leading to his Heel–Face Turn, instead of Hermey simply ripping out the Bumble's teeth like in the popular version. While the special has been edited a bunch over the years, there is no evidence of this particular version existing.
  • Rugrats (1991) has been falsely remembered by some people as being titled The Rugrats. In reality, it's just Rugrats.
  • Many fans remember Shaggy from Scooby-Doo, Where Are You! as having a prominent Adam's apple drawn on his throat. He doesn't.
  • According to the DVD commentary for The Simpsons episode "Sideshow Bob Roberts", the talking The Flintstones phone that Bart plays with in kindergarten apparently came about because one of the writers swears that he's seen one in real life, only for one of the other commentators to insist that no such toy exists.
  • Jordan Minor of invented a whole bunch of "missing episodes" for Street Sharks and posted them on TVTome for a lark, and it wasn't long before people circulated (and quite truly believed, including saying that they saw them) the urban legend that those episodes existed. Even people who worked on the show misremembered Adam West and Henry Winkler voicing characters, even though they were never actually involved with the show, only claimed to be in those fake missing episodes.
  • SpongeBob SquarePants:
    • In "I Was a Teenage Gary", people often misremember that there was a scene where Squidward transforms into a snail, and there was even a rumor that it was deleted after the first airing. There's no evidence of the scene ever existing, it wasn't shown in the initial airing, and the transformation itself has always been offscreen. This is likely the result of the wipe used after Squidward is injected with the snail plasma, which led to many assuming it was an edit to hide a removed scene.
    • At the end of "The Secret Box" Spongebob finally convinces Patrick to let him look in the box and finds there's just a string inside. After he leaves, Patrick pulls the string and reveals that there's a secret compartment containing "an embarrassing snapshot of Spongebob at the Christmas Party", in what's a sort of Brick Joke, since there's a scene earlier where Spongebob is worrying outloud about what could be in the box and mentions that as a possibility. We don't actually see the photo, and instead just hear Patrick proclaim that's what it is. Some people clearly remember, however, that the episode originally ended with a POV shot of the photo, and claim they changed the ending at some point.
  • Superman: The Animated Series: Superman is often remembered as having red trunks, but his trunks are actually black, reflecting only a shimmer of red light. His cape and boots are red, so people are probably extending that to his trunks. note  In Justice League Unlimited, he actually does have red trunks.

  • The Fortean Times devotes a lot of space to discussing this phenomenon. Is it mistaken identity, bad memory, evidence for crossing between alternate dimensions? Its discussion forums have a whole section devoted to discussing the Mandela Effect.
  • Many people remember there being a Blatant Burglar Emoji, but no such emoji ever existed. They may be remembering the ninja emoji.

    Real Life 
  • A study was conducted to research the strange occurrences of false memories that many individuals believe. During the study, participants were divided into two groups — those with above-average memory and those with normal memory function. To test the two groups, participants were told about the terrorist attacks on 9/11. During that time, the person conducting the study casually mentioned the footage that caught the plane crash of Flight 93note , even though such footage has never existed. In the above average and average memory groups, about 1 in 5 individuals said they remembered the footage of Flight 93's crash. Not only did they claim they remembered it, but they explained the emotions they felt while watching the video.
    • In Brazil, it's said that the broadcasting of the 9/11 attacks interrupted one the most important episodes of Dragon Ball Z (when Goku transforms into Super Sayajin 3 against Majin Boo). However, in that day, this anime was never broadcast because of the tragedy, and even if it was, the aired episode would have been different.
  • On August 2, 1980, a neo-fascist terrorist group detonated a bomb at the Bologna Centrale railway station in Bologna, Italy, killing 85 people. For years afterwards, residents of Bologna remembered the station's clock having stopped at 10:25AM, the time of the attack. In fact, the clock was repaired shortly after the bombing, and was only permanently set at 10:25 in commemoration of the event 16 years later.
  • Many thousands of Spaniards remember very clearly where they were and what they were doing when the fascist coup attempt known now as "The 23-F", because it happened on 23 February 1981, was broadcast live on TV. They will describe in detail the fear and uncertainty they felt while watching armed policemen assaulting the Congress, shooting their weapons and threatening the President and the Vice President after they ordered the assailants to surrender immediately. But the video was not broadcast live: it was only recorded in a tape the TV general director hid in his office until the coup was defeated and finally broadcast on the 24th.