Everything You Loved Is a Lie.
When you think of Sinbad, who do you think of?
You may think of the mythical sailor/thief, or you might think of the actor/comedian. If you picked the latter, what do you see him wearing?
And finally, what movie do you associate him with?
If you picture the actor Sinbad, facial hair and all, decked out in genie pants like someone out of Aladdin, perhaps even in a movie where he plays a genie, and perhaps that movie is even called Shazaam, you’re not alone. It’s a popular childhood memory and favorite of many.
There’s just one problem…
That movie never existed. And Sinbad never played such a character.
As it turns out, this isn’t the only fake mass memory that many people collectively share, and now that they’re all getting unveiled, people are starting to lose their minds.
There is no such movie as Shazaam, and the actor Sinbad never played a genie.
Of course, there was the 1996 classic Kazaam starring Shaq, but if you’re confusing the two actors you’re better off not mentioning that out loud.
And still, despite the fact they lack any evidence but memory, people refuse to believe that Shazaam never existed; even video store workers from the ’90s recall seeing it on their shelves.
One possible explanation as to why so many people specifically remember Sinbad playing a character in (“traditional”) Middle Eastern garb could be from when he cameoed in the “Ishboo” skit from the hit ’90s Nickelodeon show All That.
Still, others including myself recall a different outfit, with MC Hammer-esque pants, so the mystery persists. People who remain certain that the movie in question exists—or existed—are calling themselves Shazaam truthers.
And yet as we tear our hair out and question our sanity and reality, other people pointed out that it isn’t just Shazaam so many of us seem to remember wrong…
The Berenst_in Bears
Perhaps the most famous example of a misremembered childhood favorite is The Berenstain Bears.
Yes, you read that right: It’s “Berenstain” with an “a,” not “Berenstein” with an “e,” despite what countless people swear they remember.
Don’t believe me? Just ask the Berenstain family: The lovable bears were created and named for Stan and Jan Berenstain and their son Mike. We doubt they’d get their own name wrong, so that means the memory of any bear clans named “Berenstein” bears is simply a mistake.
Of course, with hundreds, thousands, even millions of people suffering from these fake memories, experts have studied this type of social confabulation—or memory disturbance—and it has a name: The Mandela effect. Keep reading!