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The Mandela Effect gets its name from the misremembering of the death of the former president of South Africa, Nelson Mandela. A Healthline article describes the occurrence of people remembering Mandela dying in the 1980s when he actually died in 2013. The occurrence of this is broken down to collective false memories and confabulation. An event occurs and is misinterpreted by a number of people, then is cemented as fact in their minds.
Examples of the Mandela Effect include the peanut butter company Jif. Many people remember the company as Jiffy. Another example is The Berenstain Bears. A number of people remember picture books from their childhood as The Berenstein Bears. There is a subreddit with just under 200k members discussing the occurrences of the Mandela Effect.
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The whole concept, in general, is baffling and can cause some head-scratching if it happens to you. And one of the interesting areas for occurrences of the Mandela Effect is in film. That is what this article focuses on. Below is a list that details some of these occurrences in Cinema. It is interesting to see which version of the story rings true for you.
List of occurrences of the Mandela Effect in film:
“My momma always said life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re gonna get.”
This is a famous line from the film that often gets misquoted. The actual delivery of the line in the movie is, “My momma always said life was like a box of chocolates.” It’s a small change from is to was but one that can throw you off if you’ve always quoted it the wrong way. Regardless, the movie about an Alabama man with an IQ of 75 participating in significant historical events of the latter half of the 20th century is a heartfelt tale well worth watching.
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Sex and the City
If you’ve made this far on this one, you’re in the clear. The occurrence of the Mandela Effect with the hit HBO show is in the title. The eight-time Golden Globe awarded and seven-time Emmy winning show about four friends navigating life as women in 1990s New York City and gossiping about their sex lives is remembered by some as ‘Sex in the City’. The popular show has two feature films in its canon, so it makes this list.
This is another one that, if you’ve made it this far, all is well. ‘The Flintstones’ has one too many t’s for some people, though. They remember the show as ‘The Flinstones’. However, the actual title makes the most sense, with both flint and stone being related to rocks. The classic show about two families in a modern-day Stone Age was a popular show in the 1960s and went on to have many reruns and a few movies added to its lifespan.
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The Silence of the Lambs
‘The Silence of the Lambs’ is the third film in movie history to win the “Big Five” at the Academy Awards. Two of the Big Five awards are for Best Actress and Best Actor in a Leading Role. Jodie Foster won for her portrayal of FBI agent Clarice Starling, and Anthony Hopkins won for his portrayal of the serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter. The misremembering of their first encounter is why this film makes the list. The actual first words from the doctor to the FBI agent in that first encounter are “Good morning,” not “Hello, Clarice.”
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
One of the first feature-length animated films with color and sound was the Disney film ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs’. The tale of the princess exiled to a dangerous forest by her evil stepmother is a classic in film and a standout in Disney’s rich history. This beloved tale is fondly remembered by many, but one line is often misquoted. In the famous scene where the evil Queen asks her enchanted mirror who is the fairest of them all, the line is remembered by some as “Mirror Mirror on the wall,” not the actual “Magic Mirror on the wall.”
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In the original ‘Star Wars’ trilogy, episodes IV, V, and VI, the first two characters seen are C-3PO and R2-D2. They are iconic characters in Cinema and crucial to the plot of the original trilogy. You would think it would be hard to forget the appearance of these two characters. One is a short and squat astromech droid, while the other is a golden paneled humanoid droid. What often is misremembered is that C3-PO has one silver-plated leg from the knee down.
Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back
Another example from ‘Star Wars’ is an often misquoted line. *Spoilers ahead*. The climax of the movie is an iconic scene between Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. Luke travels back to save his friends from the villain and ends up confronting the man he believed killed his father. Luke confronts Darth Vader but is unable to defeat him. When Darth Vader has Luke cornered, he tries to turn Luke to the dark side of the force. He tells Luke that Obi-Wan never told him what happened to his father. When Luke says Obi-Wan told him Vader killed his father, Darth Vader’s response is, “No, I am your father.” Many remember it as, “Luke, I am your father.”
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Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood
This classic show broadcast by National Education Television (later Public Broadcasting Service—PBS) was a staple of American television. The show depicted Fred Rogers as he explored various topics for young viewers with presentations and music, both in his world and in the Neighborhood of Make-Believe. Tom Hanks recently portrayed Fred Rodgers in the film ‘A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood’. The film gets the phrase wrong in its title and the rendition of the song. In the show, the lyrics are, “It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood,” not “the.”
Now some of these examples can cause people to question their memory of these movies. The research for this article often prompted double-takes when certain examples came to light. In the end, it proved to be a fun exercise in testing how people recalled different moments in film.
It can be easy to misremember something and paint that as the truth in your mind. This should be kept in consideration the next time you argue with a friend about what happened years ago. Still, it is quite baffling when you check out the source material of things you were sure you remembered correctly.
In film, there are some interesting examples where some people remember one thing, while others remember another. This article captures a few of those examples.
Is there one example above that prompted you to question if what you were reading was true?
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Drew Alexander Ross writes for Hollywood Insider with the aim of bringing the reader an uplifting and insightful experience. He combines his degree in film and business to show a unique point of view on cinema and his beliefs coincide with Hollywood Insider‘s values of promoting positive and meaningful content. Drew enjoys reading at the pace of one to two books a week and loves movies of all genres. He has placed in several screenwriting competitions and has short stories featured in several different publications.