There’s an unexplained phenomenon out there that you’ve probably experienced before, without even knowing it had a name. The Mandela Effect is a popular conspiracy theory, and it has been known to seriously play tricks on your brain.

The Mandela Effect is the term used to describe the phenomenon when thousands of people, often strangers, share a very specific memory of something that never existed or happened differently. The very name was inspired by the collective misremembering of the death of Nelson Mandela. Mandela died in 2013, but people all over the world incorrectly  remember the human rights activist dying in prison in the 1980s.

It’s not simply a case of mistaken memory, because a large number of people share in the same false memory.

So what is going on here?

There are a lot of different explanations for why the Mandela Effect happens. Psychologists believe it’s a result of confabulation, or memory defects, although, the fact that it can similarly affect tens of thousands of people who have never met still stumps even the most educated scientists and psychologists. However, the human memory is certainly not perfect, so this, of course, is the most widely-accepted explanation.

Still, many conspiracy theorists claim the effect is the result of someone who time travelled and changed small things in the middle of our lifetime, possibly as part of an experiment. Then there are others who think it’s the result shifting from a parallel universe.

Whatever the reason, it’s sure to make you think that you’re losing your mind. With how many Kit Kats Bars you’ve eaten you’d swear you knew how to spell it. Here’s a few other food-related instances of this spine-tingling Mandela Effect.


A Portrait of King Henry VIII eating a turkey leg

While he’s remembered most nowadays for marrying six different wives, some people also remember seeing a formal portrait of King Henry VIII (June 28, 1491 – Jan. 28, 1547) holding a giant turkey leg. The portrait in question was created by Hans Holbein the Younger in 1540, yet there wasn’t a dead bird included in the original artwork, nor has there ever been one added.  King Henry was a very large man, and is said to be the first King to ever eat a turkey, so there’s a small tie-in there. The only other explanation is that there have been portrayals of the King voraciously eating big turkey legs in film and cartoon portrayals, so there’s a possibility that people have their memories and associations of these separate depictions crossed.

Forrest Gump’s famous quote

“Life is like a box of chocolate…” Or was it “life was like a box of chocolates”? When the Blockbuster movie hit theaters in 1994, this line quickly became one of the most memorable quotes. But it’s true that we got this famous food-related quote all wrong. While Forrest’s thick southern accent could have something to do with this misquote, millions of fans will be shocked that what they remember is incorrect.

IT’s Chick-fil-a, nothing else.

Chick-fil-A has an undeniably loyal following. But ask them to spell the name of their favorite fast food restaurant, and they fall victim to the Mandela Effect. People insist that they remember the name being known as Chic-fil-A. Some even think it was Chik-fil-A. Neither of those are correct. It’s possible that the cursive font has lead to brain games when read quickly, but the name has always been Chick-fil-A.

FRUIT LOOPS OR FROOT LOOPS?

Froot Loops fans have also fallen prey to the Mandela Effect. The sugary cereal first hit shelves in 1963, with packaging that substituted two of the brightly-colored circular cereal pieces as Os, in place of the “ui” in the word fruit. People insist, to this day, that “fruit” was spelled out as it should be, when that’s clearly not the case.

Jiffy peanut butter is not real.

Millions of Americans remember a time when Jiffy peanut butter was on the shelves. They even remember commercials as a kid, telling mothers to whip up a sandwich “in a Jiffy.” However, an inquiry to the J.M Smucker Company regarding the peanut butter product in question returned results saying JIF has been the only name ever used since the product’s creation in the 1950s.

OScar who?

The famous processed meat manufacturer is actually named Oscar Mayer, but people insist that the name has an “e,” as in Meyer. This one is almost excusable since the way the company’s name is pronounced sounds a lot more like “Meyer” than “Mayer” — as in Join Mayer. Still, it’s spelled Oscar Mayer, and it even had a jingle to help people remember. “My bologna has a first name. It’s O-S-C-A-R. My bologna has a second name. It’s M-A-Y-E-R.” But people even remember the jingle incorrectly.

cheap lunch.

Guess what? That dehydrated cup of noodles with carrot bits doesn’t have the word “of” in there name. A substantial number of people think they remember the name as “Cup of Noodles” or even “Cup ‘o Noodles,” but neither of these are correct.

CONTROVERSIAL KIT KATS BARS.

Some people seem to remember Kit Kat having a dash, making it “Kit-Kat,” but there isn’t one and never has been. Yet, many consumers all over the world insist that they have, in fact, seen a dash in Kit Kat during their lifetime.


Also see, 17 strange phobias you won’t even believe exist.


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Meghan is a full-time writer exploring the fun facts behind food. She lives a healthy lifestyle but lives for breakfast, dessert and anything with marinara. She’s thrown away just as many meals as she’s proud of.