The Mandela effect is a strange phenomenon primarily used to explain the collective alteration of memory among certain groups of people. The phenomenon has been observed many times and is becoming widespread due to the use of certain technologies like deepfakes.

The Mandela effect is essentially a false memory of an event from the past that many people remember happening when it never did. It can happen due to the spread of misinformation, which can alter people’s memory. ExpressVPN revealed that deepfakes on the internet cause the spread of misinformation in a similar way the Mandela effect occurs.

What Is The Mandela Effect And How It Came To Be?

The Mandela effect has existed for a long time. It can result from altering historical texts or simply spreading false stories that the masses find believable. However, the phenomenon is named after Nelson Mandela because many people believed that Nelson Mandela, a South African revolutionary, died in prison. Despite the fact being completely false, a vast number of people believe in it. 

Mandela was released from prison in 1990 and became the president soon after his release. So what happened? Well, there is no clear explanation of how this happened, but there are many similar instances where popular movie shows and brand names are completely altered in people’s memory. Surprisingly, this phenomenon happens to huge masses, sometimes without ever coming in contact with each other. Let’s explore some of the most popular Mandela effect phenomena.

Popular Mandela Effects

Despite various interesting theories about why the Mandela effect occurs and how it can be simply a glitch in the matrix, there are far more believable reasons for it to exist. Some experts believe that the effect is merely a result of gossip and how certain people perceive information differently. Let’s say a fake video starts going viral on social media, with many views; chances are that every person who watched this will find it believable without proper research and finding out the truth themselves.

Other than the incident with Nelson Mandela, which eventually resulted in the phenomenon’s naming, there are many other popular incidents. Most Mandela effect stories include the name of certain cartoon and movie characters or the existence of brand names that never existed.

For example, many 90s kids believe that there once happened to be a movie featuring a popular comedian playing a genie. The movie is supposedly titled Shazaam and features popular comedian Sinbad as the genie. However, the movie does not exist, and anything similar to that is a movie titled Kazaam, which did have a genie character but was not portrayed by Sinbad. What is more surprising is that the people who remember this supposed movie claim to know the plot and even the movie poster in detail.

So, here are some of the most well-known Mandela Effect phenomena that are quite popular across various groups of people:

  1. The Jiffy Peanut Butter – The popular Jif peanut butter in the 90s is remembered as Jiffy by multiple people. Some theories state that people remember it to be Jiffy, but in reality, it was a mixture of two brand names, Jif and Skippy.
  2. Toons Or Tunes – Apparently, the popular cartoon TV shows show Looney Toons is actually spelled as Looney Tunes. However, most, if not all, viewers of the show remember it as being Looney Toons, even though the creators state that it has always been Looney Tunes.
  3. Tail Or No Tail – Another popular example of a cartoon being misremembered is the famous cartoon named Curious George. The show’s main character was a monkey named George, with no tail. However, most viewers of the show state that it is simply not true as Curious George had a tail, but the show’s makers seem to disagree with this.
  4. Sketchy Skechers – The popular shoe brand Skechers supposedly doesn’t have a T in its spelling. However, many people seem to remember that the brand was spelled as Sketchers. The brand states that they have never had a T in their brand name, which is surprising to a lot of people.
  5. Pikachu – The all-popular Pokemon Pikachu has major design confusion among fans. Based on fans’ memory, Pikachu is supposed to have a black detail at the end of his tail. However, the actual design of the Pokemon never has such detail, and his tail is completely yellow.
  6. Silver C3PO Leg – Yes, that is right, the famous Star Wars character C3PO has half a silver leg which viewers do not remember. Even fans of the Star Wars series agree that the robot was completely gold in color. However, in reality, the robot has a silver half-leg.

Not much is known about the origin of these phenomena and how they came to be. However, some of the Mandela effect examples happen to be popular on a global scale. This simply points to the fact that the human brain is wired in a way that alters people’s memories or creates memory gaps if they believe in something that simply never occurred.


The Mandela effect essentially defines the false perception of an event or incident among a group of people. It is also important to know that the most popular Mandela effect phenomena happen independently among people.

Over the years, the effect has also started some interesting conversations about alternate universes and timelines. But the fact remains that human memory can be easily altered. Be it a missing 90s movie that simply doesn’t exist, or the name of the brand that people remember wrong, the Mandela effect is still quite confusing.

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Last Update: June 1, 2023