The 5 Most Widely Experienced Mandela Effect Moments

Memory is a funny thing. Everyone can attest to remembering some fragment of a moment from one event on one day like 15 years ago, but having no clue what they had for lunch yesterday. This often-cited, conversational anecdote ought to be enough to prove how faulty human memory is. The University of Georgia explains how folks are decent at remembering the "gist" of something, but not details. A recent study on published on Plos One indicates that memory becomes faulty after a couple seconds, particularly in the case of "pseudo-to-real letter memories," aka, the written word. The Conversation discusses how memories change, evolve, mutate, drop out, sub in, etc., again and again over a lifetime. Basically, our brains have trapped us in a bubbled, illusory realm that only kinda-sorta resembles physical reality.

So why is it that people insist that something is true, or believe that their own highly faulty and malleable memory encoding and retrieval process is ironclad, rather than admit that they're wrong? Further to this point: We can talk about cognitive dissonance all day — the discomfort felt at encountering information that contradicts perception — and the myriad logical fallacies that leave humans intellectually stricken. But if we do, some folks will still not capitulate and admit, "I was wrong," or, "I remembered incorrectly."

Enter the Mandela Effect: a highly meme-ified phenomenon whereby everyone swears that something happened one way when it didn't. Examples abound, many of them textual, and some of them almost universally shared.

Jiffy, Meyer, Kit-Kat, and more

We're going to include a few examples in our first entry because they all illustrate the exact same point: People word things no good remember. This ought to make sense because, honestly: Did our ancestors evolve to scrutinize text, or did they evolve to spot a texture on the forest floor that doesn't quite fit and is a snake that will kill you if you step on it? For those who guessed the latter: Congratulations. You've accepted your own inescapable atavism.

For everyone else convinced that they ate Jiffy Peanut Butter growing up: No, you're just another sad victim of your own delusional brain. As Parade says, there was no such thing as smooth or chunky Jiffy Peanut Butter. You're thinking of Jiffy Lube, or Skippy Peanut Butter, or being back in a jiffy ... or is it a jif? In the case of the peanut butter, it's most definitely Jif.

As for that semi-edible, rubbery lunchmeat that your mom force fed you? Go ahead and sing along: "My balogny — balogna? baloney? — has a first name, it's O-S-C-A-R. My bologna has a second name, it's" ... what? If you said M-A-Y-E-R — like the singer — you're correct. Although, some folks swear it's M-E-Y-E-R.

For the last entry on this list we turn to a stick-like, wafery snack: Kit-Kat. Or was it Kit Kat? KitKat? Is was actually the last choice, with no hyphen and no space. Sorry, brain: You lose again.

We Are the Champions

For our next entry we turn to that most glorious of fantastic rock front men: Freddie Mercury. He strode across stage with his absolutely enormous mouth, fist raised to the air, singing of further things biting dust, wanting to ride his bicycle, rocking you, not stopping now, mama ooooooo, and we being the champions. The champions of what? Of the world, of course! You remember the lyrics, right? They're pretty simple: "We are the champions / We are the champions / No time for losers / 'Cause we are the champions / Of the world." Done. And the song ends with one final chorus and one final, "of the world!" Except it doesn't.

Queen's legendary "We Are the Champions" from 1977's "News of the World" illustrates one of the more prominent Mandela Effect moments, as Happy Media and many other sites explain. Tons of people swear that the song ends with one final, "of the world." It does not, as the official lyrics illustrate. Don't believe those? Go ahead and listen to the song wherever you like and wait for the final line. The final line is one last, "We are the champions," and then the song fades out.

In all likelihood, folks remember "of the world" from earlier in the song, because every chorus up until the last one does indeed end with "of the world" — but the final chorus doesn't. So, the confusion is understandable. But sorry again, brain. That's strike two.

Braces girl from Moonraker

"Moonraker:" When James Bond went all sci-fi. Yes, 1979's "Moonraker" — non-coincidentally released two years after the original "Star Wars" — is certainly one of the oddest of Ian Fleming's 007 novel adaptations. James Bond gets jazzy in New Orleans, wrestles a giant anaconda, fights everyone's favorite recurring henchman Jaws on a set of cable cars, and goes to space to meet a supervillain named Drax (no relation to the Marvel character) intent on annihilating humanity with an orbital nerve gas strike. Also, there's laser guns. And, we've got Jaws and his giant metal teeth finding love in a blond gal with pigtails who finally smiles at the end of the movie to reveal her own, big, shining braces. The end.

But what, she didn't have braces?! Nope. We've got the footage to prove it, along with discussions about this Mandela Effect on YouTube. Judging by the comments section in a VFX-altered version that reintroduces braces into the scene (also on YouTube), lots of people find this particular Mandela Effect legitimately disturbing. After all, wasn't the whole point of the scene that the girl, like Jaws, had metallic teeth? Kindred dental souls and whatnot? 

Feel free to run to your or your dad's ancient VHS collection, blow the dust of your VCR, and find somewhere to plug in your av cables and check. No braces. Did we shift to an alternate timeline? Did the code in our simulation get rewritten? No. Your brain is dumb. 

Monopoly Man's monocle

Now it's time to talk about everyone's favorite financier's propaganda vehicle — er, we mean, the time-honored and strategic board game that happens to be about besting opponents through the power of property purchases. Fun. But Monopoly has those cool-like silver game pieces and that funny little top-hatted late-19th-century industrialist mascot guy, Mr. Monopoly, aka Rich Uncle Pennybags, aka non-aviary Scrooge McDuck. He's even got that little monocle that he wears whilst whisking away sacks of cash from the unawares who must be lucky enough to get out of jail free. Also: monopolies are illegal because they violate anti-trust laws (per the U.S. Department of Justice). Just saying.

Well, guess what? Mr. Monopoly *does not* have a monocle, and never has — not since his very inception in 1936. As Monopolyland explains, you might be thinking of Mr. Planters, the mascot for Planters Peanut Butter (great, another one about peanut butter). Or, a monocle just might fit Mr. Monopoly's dapper ensemble. Or, you might be thinking of the Pringles guy on the top of plastic Pringles lids, who looks like Mr. Monopoly but doesn't have a monocle, either. And to make matters more complex, Mr. Monopoly *did* appear with a monocle in a 2016 Monopoly advertisement, as Facebook shows, perhaps created in response to the Mandela Effect. But does it really matter? Mr. Monopoly doesn't have a monocle and never has. You and your brain are wrong. Deal with it.

Oops! ... I forgot it again

There are loads and loads of other Mandela Effect examples, enough to fill numerous articles like this one. As Parade outlines, we've got "Life was like a box of chocolates" from 1994's Forrest Gump, not "Life is like a box of chocolates" in the present tense. We've got the tip of Pikachu's tail being yellow and not black. We've got a keen lack of Sinbad the genie from a non-existent '90s movie. We've got the Fruit of the Loom logo being just a pile of fruit, not a cornucopia spilling forth fruit. And perhaps most notably, we've got Britney Spears most definitely not wearing a headset during the official video for 2000's "Oops! ... I Did It Again." Don't believe us? Watch the video yourself — just be prepared for an unreasonable amount of lip gloss. 

So what's going on with this one? As HITC explains, folks might be thinking of Britney on stage during live performances vs. Britney in the video in red latex on Mars (an understandable distinction to lose track of). It was apparently common for Britney to wear a headset on stage while touring, and so it seems folks just transposed that image onto the "Oops! ... I Did It Again" video. And yet, Twitter, TikTok, and more are abuzz with folks swearing that she wore a headset in the video. Are those people wrong? As Brit herself so poetically puts it in her song: "Yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah."