The Fascinating Case of Mandela Effects

Have you ever experienced this?

Since I enjoy researching material that pertains to the mind and thoughts, Mandela Effects are an obvious topic to address.

What is a Mandela Effect?

In the most simplest terms and from the original website of Fiona Broome, who helped coined the term along with a small group of “thinkers”:

The Mandela Effect is when people clearly recall an event in history – something very specific – but historical records show that something else happened.” – What is the Mandela Effect?

The idea arose when the topic of Nelson Mandela’s remembered death in the 80’s was brought up, with some claiming that they had even seen the funeral procession on t.v./on the news. (and we all know how reliable the news is…)
But according to current history, Nelson Mandela didn’t die until 2013, at age 95.

Why do so many people “remember” this wrong?

Thus, the fascinating subject was born, with many more incidences of “false memories” or inclinations that things were different than what we are now led to believe. From innocuous different spellings, changes in company logos/brands, to different events recorded in history, and so on.

There are of course MANY theories as to what’s happening when someone experiences this. Anything from false memories, to misreading word(s), even projecting our own assumptions on to what we were seeing or thought we were seeing at the time – to the more mysterious and hard to explain theories, like: alternate timelines, different universes, shift in consciousness, etc.

Listed below are just a small few of the Mandela Effects that people have experienced, but you can check out this pretty comprehensive list for more examples:

Mandela Effect: The top 500 list

What a lot of people remember:

Berenstein Bears
Moonraker: Dolly has braces
Scary Movie: “I see white people.”
Stouffer’s: Stove Top Stuffing
Apollo 13: “Houston, we have a problem.”
Star Wars: C-3PO is all gold
Monopoly: Monopoly man has a monocle
The Matrix: Morpheus says, “What if I told you”

What it actually is:

– Berenstain Bears
– Dolly doesn’t have braces
“I see dead people.”
– Stouffer’s doesn’t make stuffing
– flipflops? to “Houston, we’ve had a problem.” and back to the original quote
– C-3PO has part of a silver leg
– Monopoly man does not have a monocle
– Morpheus never says, “What if I told you”

I am going to address three of these with my own experience and opinions. With how strange and mysterious the universe (and our mind) is, who knows what the REAL truth is. But it is interesting to speculate as to how these things happen.

First, the Berenstein/Berenstain phenomena.

Now, I am going to be as humble as I can be and offer up a theory that maybe, perhaps, could be, possibly, that I was just reading the word wrong the whole entire time. BUT! I am an avid reader. Even when I was a young child. I was a dyed-in-the-wool bookworm. I was known for reading books while walking down the hallway in school. I was known for bringing books with me to the beach to just chill and read. I was known for bringing a freaking library with me whenever we went on family trips. That’s how into books I was.

And I know, for a fact, that the spelling of the Berenstein bears books threw me, because I had to ask my Mom how to pronounce the word. Was it “Berensteen“? Or “Berenstine“? If the word was spelled “Berenstain” the whole time, I never would’ve asked my Mom about the proper pronunciation. And I find it unlikely that throughout my whole reading childhood (yes, even though I was young), I still read those books NUMEROUS times and NOT ONCE catch that it was spelled with an “ai” instead of “ei”. That is more unlikely to me than the universe shifting dimensions/timelines, mass hypnosis, CERN interference, or whatever else crazy theory there is out there.

Could I be overestimated my reading skills when I was younger? …Eh, maybe. But considering this is coming from the child who would routinely correct a teacher’s misspellings or help my friends with their proof-reading skills, I’d say the chances of that are small – not to toot my own horn.

And it’s somewhat validating when you see people with the same exact experiences as you:

Do you remember this book/television series? If so, do you remember it being spelled with an “ai”, or “ei”? Or do you even “remember” it at all?


I can’t give a personal experience with this one, since I have never seen the movie (to my recollection), but I can offer my two cents.

What a lot of people remember is that Dolly has braces, and this is what really cements Jaw’s attraction to her. However, this Mandela Effect, in reality, Dolly never had braces.

Now while I can’t speak on personal experience with this, after a lot of research onto this subject, have come to my own opinion that yes, Dolly did indeed have braces and for some inexplicable reason, this was edited out of the films.

There is so much controversy surrounding this conclusion, however, that it’d be easy to dismiss everything as just a fluke, and I’d have to concede that she never had them. Some allege that even the actress who played Dolly claims that she never wore braces for the film. But on top of all of the “residual” evidence, have come to this final answer.

Reading a lot of people’s accounts of their recollection of watching this movie time and time again, AND knowing, for sure, that Dolly had braces, because this is what intrigued Jaws to begin with, it MAKES SENSE. In the above video we can see their attraction to each other slowly building until it culminates fully after Dolly reveals her full-fledged, toothy smile. Which, if I am surmising correctly and if all of these people’s remembrances is right, that it was indeed full of metal.

(and, actually, it is Dolly’s reaction to Jaws’ shiny metal mouth FIRST that starts the initial attraction. After seeing the metal, Dolly is taken aback – as if it is love at first sight, and this is what gets Jaws to smile broadly, after seeing Dolly’s enamored reaction. Then she smiles, allegedly showing her mouth full of metal as well.)

This would be the perfect cinematic move to match Jaws – a huge, towering giant with a mouth full of shiny metal, to a petite, tiny “doll” of a girl, with pig-tails, glasses, AND shiny metal braces. The context just fits and, like my and countless of other’s remembrance of Berenstein Bears to Berenstain Bears, they are SURE of their memory. The whole scene would not make sense otherwise.

There are also some residual evidence that points to Dolly having braces in the film:

Some believe that because Dolly doesn’t seem to have braces in other parts of the movie, this lends itself to a “film continuity error”, and so to remove this confusion, the editors of the film decided to edit out her braces entirely. Is this whole Mandela Effect nothing more than an over-blown film edit trying to correct the continuous scene errors? Or is there something more intriguing going on in the background that we’re not aware of? After all, some claim that the VHS movie that they’ve had in their family for decades definitely had Dolly with braces, but after re-watching the same VHS she no longer has them. It would be hard to explain this situation away other than perhaps they caught the movie several times on television – which DID have Dolly with braces, but the VHS they’ve had in their family had already been edited while the television version did not.

This could be just one explanation, but I am certainly not taking away their belief that even their very own version of the VHS seems to have been tampered with somehow. Could there be some kind of technological advancement that would be able to do something like this? And if so, why spend the time and effort on something so irrelevant?

The Matrix (1999)

I think most of us are familiar with this movie trilogy, and even if you’re not, you may be familiar with this line, “What if I told you…”

But what if I told you, that Morpheus never says, “What if I told you?” As a matter of fact, the line was never said at all in the whole movie.

This boggles my mind because I could’ve sworn I heard Morpheus say this. As a matter of fact, PLENTY of people remember this happening. So how are WE ALL WRONG? How are WE ALL remembering it the same way? Could it simply be due to the amount of memes and references that came out in conjunction with this movie that just kind of created a life of its own?

At the revelation of this “imaginary quote”, I had to check it out for myself. I watched the entire movie (although I have already seen it at least 20 times already) from top to bottom, making sure to not get distracted. The quote was not in there AT ALL. I was so sure it was. I informed my friend to let him know as well since I knew that he was a big fan of The Matrix, and he was shocked and astounded to learn it wasn’t there as well. He was the one who first introduced me to the Mandela Effect to begin with, and to this day the Berenstein Bears still resonates with me the most.

Some theories that people have proposed for this one, besides the misconstrued quote being referenced by many, is that perhaps we really did hear this quote in a theatrical version, perhaps, the television version, even in the trailers – yet the VHS/DVD release had it altered or edited out for some reason or another. If this was the case, why have no editors/directors/producers/actors, etc. come forth and set the record straight? Is it because they enjoy having the suspicious circumstance surrounding it to give it more publicity?

I would certainly not put it past them.

And something with the subject matter like The Matrix, which is all about questioning our reality and the truth, it would be a perfect strategy that would keep it topical.

Now what could all these, relatively frivolous, Mandela Effects mean? Does it mean people are simply misremembering their past? Could it be some grand scale shift in timelines with parallel dimensions or the like? Are some people attributing a nefarious agenda to something that’s actually easily explainable and relatively innocent? Or, could it be something more on par to Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth”?

“the Ministry of Truth is where lies are manufactured. Winston works here, rewriting old news articles to reflect the Party’s latest version of reality and throwing the old articles down a “memory hole” where they are incinerated. The Ministry of Truth reflects the Party’s belief that power is the only truth and that those with the power can make the “truth” into whatever they choose.”


“For, an uninformed or misinformed populace can be confused, deceived, and directed easily by controlling powers. Keeping the people confused about who is at war with whom and what is the reality of things causes them to become involved in nothing and, therefore, no threat to the power structure.

Orwell‘s creation of this Ministry of Truth that alters history is reflective of the actions of Napoleon, who, upon his conquest of a country, immediately had the newspapers controlled by his governing powers, and it is also much like the government of Communist Russia which virtually rewrote history. During Stalin’s reign, for instance, photographs were altered, many things in print were censored, and enemies of the state were murdered.”


“The primary function of the Ministry of Truth is to construct lies that fit with the government’s current interpretation of reality.

By rewriting history to fit with their current claims, the Ministry helps to construct the notion that Big Brother is an infallible, godlike leader. They also attempt to squash dissent by making it difficult for anyone to talk about the past.”


“The primary role of the Ministry of Truth is to lie and keep the people ignorant of what is going on behind the scenes.”


I can’t pretend to know or understand anything/everything about the universe, and the infinite possibilities that it could contain. But what I DO KNOW is that you can’t trust certain organizations. One of them being a group starting with G and ending in T. With one possible definition of this word meaning “to govern the mind”, if one is to look at the origin/root of the word… 

Is the Ministry of Truth too far-fetched? Is it just based on pure fiction and is an utterly ridiculous concept? Are we more willing to believe dimensions are changing and shifting based on random quantum physics and/or time travel escapades? Could most Mandela Effects be nothing more than video editing/changing names/brands and the companies are just trying to keep it on the downlow and the population is just caught up in the middle of it? Are our own minds to blame for being so out of tune with what we initially perceived to be reality? Is CERN and all of their experimentation with portals and extra-dimensional beings causing a rift and disrupting our physical reality? Is our collective consciousness conflicting with current vibrations and frequencies and messing with the time-line?

Or could there be some “Truth” to the “Ministry of Truth”?

Fact checking is extremely important. I want to reiterate not to take everything at face value; no matter what you read, where you read it from, or who you hear it from. And to be clear, do not rely on “fact checking” websites to give you accurate information either. These are just as likely, (if not even more likely…), to feed false information and false debunking accounts to manipulate the reader. Please take everything into consideration before adhering to a certain narrative – and always keep your mind open to other possibilities.

Fair use disclaimer: Some of the links from this article are provided from different sources/sites to give the reader extra information and cite the sources, but does not necessarily mean that I endorse the contents of the site itself. Additionally, I have tried to provide links to the contents that I used from other sites as an educational and/or entertainment means only; if you feel that any information deserves further citation or request to be clarified, please let me know through the contact page.

Featured image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

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