The Top 5 Mandela Effect Examples Explained

It’s time to shed some light on why some of our fondest childhood memories are actually falacies.

There is a well-known phenomenon called the Mandela Effect that has recently taken the internet by storm. The premise of the effect is simple — in thinking back to a certain subject or circumstance, our brains tell us one thing to be true; in fact, what we perceieve as truth is in fact completely false, and our brains are just more incapabale of generating authentic thoughts than we thought.

The Mandela Effect is named after none other than Nelson Mandela, a popular African-American civil rights leader in the United States. It was a univeral belief for years that Nelson Mandela died during his 27-year prison tenure spanning back to 1962. In fact, Mandela died from a respiratory infection in 2013. The phenomenon of believing one thing, when in fact, it was false the entire time is thus aptly named the Mandela Effect.

There are a plethora of examples of this effect online, any many of them are just unbelievable. But, we’ve compiled the top ten proven examples of the Mandela Effect, supported by vlips of the original truths, with evidence suggesting why our brains may have been lying to us this whole time.

Luke, I Am Your Father

Perhaps one of the most commonly misquoted movie lines of all time is that from Star Wars. In the iconic scene, Luke Skywalker is just learning about his lineage, and that in fact, Darth Vader is his father. But, we as fans remember the quote much differently than what actually occurred, and for many of us, the evidence still isn’t enough to

How We Remember it:

“Luke, I am your father.”

The Harsh Reality:


Darth Vader in fact, aptly states “No, I am your father.”

Why We Thought it Was Different:

Perhaps the easiest component to blame this memory mishap on is the fact that Darth Vader is in fact speaking to Luke Skywalker, thus rendering us to believe that he addressed him directly before the icnonc statement.

Even more, in 1995 The Simpsons aired the episode “Jazzman” in which Lisa’s idol, Bleeding Gums Murphy, passes away. When ‘Bleeding Gums’ manifests himself into the clouds in the sky, he does so with other iconic characters who have died as well — including non-other than Darth Vader stating the line as we all remember it, perhaps reinforcing our understanding of what we once thought to be true:


The Monopoly Man Wears a Monocle

Since our childhood, we have loved the classic board game that tests our fiscal abilities and our patience, seeing that the average game can last up to four hours. But, in all of those hours playing the game and simultenaously hating our siblings (for either taking all of our money, or forcing us to be the goddamn thimble for the n-th time) we have come to believe that the Monopoly Man, whose real name is Rich Uncle Pennybags, wears a monocle.

How We Remember It:

(Hasbro / Parker Brothers)

The Harsh Reality:

From it’s conception in 1983, the classic board game featured a mustachio’d banker who, in fact, did not have a monocle, and never has. Having our minds blown in this way makes the Monopoly Guy put the “douche” in “fiduciary.”


Why We Thought it Was Different:

Interestingly, research proves that the Rich Uncle Pennybags never wore a monocle. Not even in his earliest form when first released in 1936 did he wear one, or any glasses of any kind for that matter. So, why did we think he did?

Chances are, our subconscious combined the dapper dress of Mr. Peanut with that of Mr. Pennybags, borrowing the monocle to better fit our stereotype of wealth and prestige.

(Mr. Peanut)

And, yet again, cinematic portrayals of the Monopoly Man have reinforced the fallacy that we’ve come to believe as actually being true:


“We Are The Champions” Ends with “Of the World!”

Perhaps one of the most cherished songs of Queen’s tenure, “We Are The Champions” has made its way into countless movies and tv shows, and even more hearts. But, how we remember the song to end when we were singing it in a drunken stuper back in college (or last weekend, who knows), is not how the song ends at all.

How We Remember it:

“We Are The Champions, Of The World!”

The Harsh Reality:


The song does not end with a harmonized group vocal singing “of the world,” and in fact, drops off althogether with on melodic guitar note ringing out.

Why We Thought it Was Different:

This one is quite a simple explanation really, given that the line we all know and love exists earlier in the song itself as the first chorus. Even still, listening to the song end in such a drop-off is painful to the memory I once had of the iconic melody.

(Queen: We Are the Champions)

Pikachu’s Tale Has a Black Tip

Whether you’re a diehard fan of the classic card game and television series, or you think the entire premise of such a thing is too farfetched and childish, you probably have an idea of who Pickahu is as a character.

How We Remember It:

(Kabushiki — Pokemon)

And, when you think back to the color scheme of the lovable and electric animal, you may imagine him being predominately yellow, with a black-tipped tail. You would, however, be wrong.

The Harsh Reality:


Why We Thought it Was Different:

Pikachu does not have black on his tail, and never has. So why do we recall the “creature of current” having one? Perhaps the best explanation is the fact that the tips of his ears are black, and we assumed the same of his tail.

But, many fans on Reddit recall at some juncture in their childhood, a prominant black tail to be real:

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

We all remember the scene — the evil queen summons the spirit of a talking mirror, inquiring who is the “fairest of them all.” But, it’s the preceding line that puts this example of the Mandela effect towards the top.

How We Remember It:

“Mirror Mirror on the Wall.”

The Harsh Reality:


“Magic Mirror on the Wall.”

Why We Thought it Was Different:

There are numerous reasons why we remember the classic line as “mirror mirror.” One of the most significant is the fact that Disney’s version of the tale is not an original, given that the story was written well before Disney’s portrayl of it by The Brother’s Grimm:

(The Brothers Grimm / Grimm’s Fairy Tales)

And, it’s in the original story that we see the iconic line as it was intended:

(The Brothers Grimm / Grimm’s Fairy Tales)

So, Disney’s version is in fact just a mere representation of a story that has been circulating for centuries. Their portrayal of “magic mirror” is simply their own spin on the line, where “mirror mirror” has been making the rounds long before the animated version.

Regardless of the evidence that exists explaining away these life-altering phenomenon, I have a very important message for my brain after such epiphanies…


The Top 5 Mandela Effect Examples Explained was originally published in Vlipsy on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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