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These Mandela Effect Reddit Theories Make Us Wonder If We're Living In A Splinter Universe

Updated February 25, 2020 11.0k votes 2.4k voters 161.1k views20 items

List RulesVote up the most convincing Mandela Effect theories.

Time is a tricky thing, and space is a tricky place. Sometimes when you try to condense all of world history, with all of its twists and turns, into one coherent plot, some details may fall through the cracks. Many may chalk up these lost or seemingly altered details to people’s faulty memories, but others believe the universe has some explaining to do.

The term “Mandela Effect” was coined in 2010 following the passing of South African leader Nelson Mandela - when some people heard the news, they were baffled, because they specifically remembered Mandela passing years prior. Soon, similar alleged discrepancies in the space-time continuum began appearing, and before long, people used the Mandela Effect to explain any apparent inconsistencies in reality as we know it.

The people of Reddit congregated to share their Mandela Effect theories, and their proposals - while sometimes outlandish - may just make you think. 

  • 9

    They Scolded Their Dog With A Movie Line That Never Happened

    From a Redditor:

    I named my dog Gilbert, and no, not after the movie What’s Eating Gilbert Grape. I’d seen the movie [countless] times, and when my pup would do something he shouldn’t have, I'd mock/quote the mom [saying,] “Why’d you do THAT Gilbert?” and she said it in a certain way.

    My bestie asked about it, and we decided to get high and watch it. COULDN'T FIND IT. I googled the script, felt silly. I could [have sworn] it was after Gilbert beat up Arnie or left him in the bath...

    Do you believe them?
  • 10

    They Listened To A Song Before The Band Even Formed

    From Redditor /u/terriblyunlucky:

    So I remember in about 2002, I used to go to and download free MP3s from their discovery section, [and] I found Secondhand [Serenade's] "Fall for You." I remember listening to it in my car before I could drive. I had it burned on a CD.

    I eventually forgot about the song, rediscovered it about a year ago, and it said 2008. I was so confused. There's no possible way I heard [it] in 2008, so I checked the band - they didn't even form until 2004. So I have no idea. I'm just super confused about the whole thing.

    Do you believe them?
  • 11

    They Remember Entering A Contest That Never Happened

    From Redditor /u/Cat_Security:

    A year ago, the mall I now work at had a contest to name the new food court they were developing. The contest involved writing your name, address, and telephone number on the slip before inserting it into the box.

    I saw this with my friend and promptly put something dumb like "Foodtopia," or something like that, before walking away.

    A year later, my friend and I were walking past the spot they held the contest... and suddenly, I remembered about the contest. So we checked the mall's map, and to our surprise, it was simply called "food-court." Confused by this, we decided to ask the man at the help desk, and he promptly said, "We never had a contest like that."

    Did we slip into another dimension? Was it just a scam to get our home address? Did the contest ever exist? We may never know.

    Do you believe them?
  • 12

    They Think The Entire Universe Is Fake

    From Redditor /u/bro-asking-questions:

    Argument 1. I live in a massive metropolis. I was out driving from 12 am to around 3 am, and the entire time there were very few cars on the road. At 2:40 am, there were no cars, and I was driving for miles and miles seeing no cars. I started thinking to myself, “this is wrong,” and a minute later, I started seeing a car every 10 seconds or so. I feel like most people who live here are [non-player characters], and to create a reality that seems real, you only usually need them out during the day.

    Argument [2]. My experiences look programmed.


    An 18-wheeler slides by on my left at the same time on the same highway every single weekday on the same trip.

    Whenever I go to Razzoo’s to pick up food, there is a cop inside who walks outside after I come in. He will always watch me go to my car, but it doesn’t have to be the same one each time.

    When a certain person calls me, I have to plug my phone in to a wall outlet because of the super low battery.

    I watched a show with a greeting I had never heard before. Less than a week later, this dude gave me that exact greeting when I asked how he was doing, and my first automatic thought was that the response is programmed. Now that I know that is a possible response, I will start hearing it from people...

    Do you believe them?