The Mandela Effect is something that’s often referenced, and the regularity with which it occurs has increased massively since the rise of the internet. The Mandela Effect is an observed phenomenon in which a large number of people misremember an event or share a large collective memory of something which never occurred. The term stems from an incident in 2010 in which a paranormal researcher discovered that many other people at a conference shared her memory of Nelson Mandela dying in prison in the 1980s – when in fact, Mandela survived to be released from prison in the 1990s, and was actually alive at the time of the conference.
The idea that a large number of people can vividly remember something that simply didn’t happen is interesting enough in and of itself, but when applied to the world of film, it takes on a slightly different shape. There are a number of movie Mandela Effects that have wormed their way to relevance, and of course, the more people believe them, the more powerful the effect becomes. Therein lies the power of the internet in the modern age, where one person imagining or misremembering a scene or a quote can spread across the globe in a matter of seconds, implanting the same idea in the imagined memory of countless others.
The most common example of the Mandela Effect in film often comes through misremembered quotes. Some of these began life as misquotes, but over time, people have begun to have memories of hearing the line differently. There are also visual details that are missed and then misremembered, leading to false memories of some of cinema’s most iconic scenes.
7. “Hello, Clarice.”
The career of Sir Anthony Hopkins has been long and deeply impressive. However, there’s perhaps no more iconic role in his filmography than that of Hannibal Lecter in 1991’s The Silence of the Lambs. Despite only gracing the screen for 24 minutes of the film’s 118-minute runtime, Hopkins as Lecter is perhaps the most iconic and well-remembered part of the acclaimed thriller.
The Silence of the Lambs gives Lecter a number of memorable lines, and many of these are often quoted by fans in their best impressions of Hopkins’ unforgettably creepy delivery. One of the most pervasive of these quotes is the greeting, “Hello, Clarice.” However, it’s not actually a line that Lecter says at any point in the film.
When greeting Special Agent Clarice Sterling, Lecter actually simply says “good morning“. There’s no solid explanation for exactly how this particular misquote began but it has resulted in countless people having memories of hearing the exact words spoken by Lecter in the film. Trying to convince those same people that Hopkins never uttered those words in that voice is practically impossible, although on a closer rewatch of The Silence of the Lambs, you’ll see that it’s just another example of the Mandela Effect at work.