History of the Mandela Effect phenomenon


Guin Rogers, Special Editor

Almost everybody has played monopoly, or at least heard of it. Think of the monopoly man, the one running with a bag of money. Do you remember him with a monocle? Go look up a picture of him, and you will find that he does not have a monocle. Crazy, right? If you remembered the monocle, you are one of the many victims of a phenomenon called the Mandela Effect. It is defined “when a large number of people share a false memory” (
The Mandela Effect originally started with Nelson Mandela (hence the name): Many people across the world remember him dying in prison in the 1980’s, and some even distinctly remember Oprah talking about his death, news coverage, and even being taught about it in school. They were all shocked when learning in 1994 that Nelson Mandela had been elected as President of South Africa. After that, people started questioning the other things they remembered wrong.
Some famous examples of the Mandela Effect include:
Cheez-itz: it doesn’t have a Z at the end of it (Cheez-itz don’t exist, it’s just Cheez-it) This one personally had me questioning my reality. It’s small, but I always remember referring to them as Cheez-itz.
In the movie Snow White, the Evil Queen doesn’t say “Mirror Mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all.” She actually says “Magic mirror on the wall, who is the fairest “one of all.” Did you remember that wrong?
Think of the most famous quote from Star Wars. Did you think of “Luke, I am your father,” said by Darth Vader? You’re wrong there too. What was actually said was, “I am your father.”
Do you know that Peanut Butter brand with red, blue, and green stripes on it? Jiffy Peanut Butter? Turns out that doesn’t exist. It’s actually just “Jif.” Another one similar to this is the Berenstain Bears. I always thought it was Berenstein, with an “ein,” but apparently it’s “ain.”
You might be a little too young to remember this, but ask your parents if they remember a 1990’s movie with Sinbad playing a genie, called “Shazaam.” This is one of the more heatedly debated Mandela Effects, with people insisting they saw it. Many speculators think that they are mixing up the Shaquille O’Neal movie “Kazaam,” but many specifically recall thinking that Kazaam was a knock-off of Shazaam, and not going to see it because of this.
Though many researchers blame the Mandela Effect simply on hazy memories or memories blurring together, others say it’s evidence of a “parallel universe,” where different versions of ourselves and our universe exist. Some also blame it on time travelers changing things. Will we ever know the truth about these false memories? Are they just memories blurred together and misremembered because of time, or is it something larger? We’ll probably never know in our lifetime, but it’s fun to think about in the meantime.