A tip of the hat to fellow blogger, Dumbest Blog Ever (DBE), for the idea for this post.
DBE left a comment on one of my blogs earlier this week: Music Monday: Making Things Right, Nearly Fifty Years Later, which noted how I had been singing the wrong lyrics to my favorite Bruce Springsteen song for over 40 years.
DBE suggested it may be an example of the Mandela Effect, something I had never heard of before. So of course I had to look it up, and here is what I found in Wikipedia:
False memories can sometimes be shared by multiple people. In 2010, this shared false memory phenomenon was dubbed “the Mandela effect” by self-described “paranormal consultant” Fiona Broome, in reference to her false memory of the death of South African anti-Apartheid leader Nelson Mandela in prison in the 1980s (he actually died in 2013, after having served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999), which she claimed was shared by “perhaps thousands” of other people.
A further search of the Internet uncovered other examples of this effect, and so I thought I’d share a few of them:
- Rich Uncle Pennybags (or Mr. Monopoly) has been the de facto mascot for Monopoly, the Parker Brothers (now Hasbro) game that somehow made real estate exciting. Some insist Pennybags completes his top hat and business attire ensemble with a monocle, but that’s not true. He’s never worn one. People appear to be conflating his depiction with that of Mr. Peanut, the Planters mascot who sports a single corrective lens.
- While both Jif and Skippy brands have lined store shelves, there’s never been a “Jiffy” brand.
- “Hello, Clarice” has become a default line reading for people looking to emulate Anthony Hopkins’s creepy Lecter from the Silence of the Lambs movie. But the killer never says the line in the movie. Instead, he says “Good morning” when meeting Starling for the first time. This is a line I have used many times; I guess I need to stop.
- Remember Tom Cruise dancing in his underwear, a dress shirt, and Ray-Bans while home alone in 1983’s Risky Business? Your brain got most of it right. If you watch that now-iconic scene again, you may be surprised to see Cruise isn’t wearing sunglasses.
- Curious George has never had a tail, but many people believe he does.
- Froot Loops is the way it is spelled on the box of cereal; I would have guessed it was Fruit Loops if someone asked me.
- “Mirror, mirror on the wall” is actually “Magic mirror on the wall” from Snow White.. Another one I had wrong…
- The line “Play It Again, Sam” in the Movie “Casablanca” is actually, “Play It, Sam”. Who hasn’t uttered this line incorrectly?
So looking back on my post, it does seem that my thinking the line from Thunder Road was “Mary’s dress waves” qualifies as an example of the Mandela Effect, since many people apparently thought the same thing, even though the real line is “Mary’s dress sways.”
And for one final example, some people may have thought they once actually read something interesting on Borden’s Blather. Trust me, that has never happened…