You’ve all heard of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, right?
The orphan-turned-scullery maid because of her wicked stepmother… The pale beauty who threatens the evil Queen as “the fairest in all of the land” in the first animated feature film produced in the US. You know the one.
Well, as a welcome break from all the online bashing concerning the race-swapped remake which has been pushed back to 2025 because of the backlash and the fact that the House of Mouse is not doing so well right now, it may seem like audiences have been getting the 1937 classic all wrong.
What’s the scene you remember the most?
No, not the apple bit. The part when the Queen talks to her mirror, asking the reflective surface if she’s still the hottest, and she gets the reply: “Thou, O Queen, art the fairest in the land” – which later turns to “Snow White, O Queen, is the fairest of them all.”
Incidentally, are we sure the whole talking mirror bit wasn’t the envious matriarch having a full-blown mental breakdown and that the object wasn’t just inanimately minding its own business, thereby revealing that Queenie needed a hefty dose of therapy? Food for thought… But back to the scene.
What does the Queen say?
If you automatically went to: “Mirror mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?’, you’re not alone.
The iconic line is enshrined in pop and cinematic culture. Right? Right???
A TikTok has shocked many online after the user, creator @wordwaster333, realised that it was never “Mirror mirror”, but rather “Magic mirror.”
Cue: startlement, confusion, and the reigniting of the ever-present fear that we’re all living in a Matrix -style simulation and we’re experiencing another glitch.
The video tallied more than 10 million views, with the general consensus being that it’s another example of the Mandela Effect.
If you’re not familiar with the term, the Mandela Effect is a rather fascinating phenomenon that refers to people sharing a collective, inaccurate memory (an event, an image, a phrase) that never happened.
It got its name in 2009 from Fiona Broome (a self-described paranormal researcher), who referred to the false memory thousands of people held when they claimed to remember news coverage of Nelson Mandela dying in prison in the 1980s, despite the fact he died in 2013.
Notable examples of these false memories include people Mr. Monopoly donning a monocle (he doesn’t); Mickey Mouse wearing suspenders (nope); Star Wars’ C-3P0 being entirely golden (he has a silver leg); there’s no hyphen in between “Kit” and “Kat”; it’s a beautiful day in this neighbourhood (not “in the neighbourhood”); it’s Sex And The City, not “In”); it’s never been Looney Toones but Looney Tunes; and many people are still convinced that New Zealand is located northeast of Australia, when it’s in fact southeast of the country.
That last one is less about the Mandela Effect and not enough time spent nose-deep in an Atlas… But we’ll give it a pass.
Confabulation, misleading information spread on social media and the role of Internet could all be explanations. After all, the effect has grown in the digital age, and with the frantic pace information is consumed nowadays, false memories aren’t exactly surprising.
We’re still banking on alternate realities though.
If you’re interested, one of our favourite X Files episodes, Season 11 Episode 4’s The Lost Art of the Forehead Sweat, deals with and satirizes the phenomenon – with Trump and his MAGA bunch getting bashed in the process. Check it out.
Over the years, the collective misremembering has sparked discussions about reality, the trustworthiness of memories, the possibility that the multiverse exists, and that there is a shadowy cabal altering beloved pop culture mainstays in order to induce collective psychosis.
Now, it would seem that a fresh bunch awoken to the fact they’ve fallen prey to the Mandela Effect with the misquoting of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, as the line in the film actually starts with “Magic mirror on the wall.”
To be fair, few recall the line accurately, and it probably doesn’t help that Julia Roberts and Lily Collins starred in a 2012 live-action film based on Snow White called Mirror Mirror…
However, to soothe you and your paranoia, dear reader, there’s a possibility that some are not real victims of the Mandela Effect here.
You see, the original Brothers Grimm tale uses “Mirror mirror”; it’s only the Disney animation that refers to it as “Magic mirror”.
So technically, you’re not wrong either way with the Queen’s famous line. Unless you bite the bullet and admit to yourself and others that you’ve never read the original Grimm (by name, grim by nature) tale, and therefore can’t use this particular loophole. In which case, you’ve been Mandela-ed!
Oh, and incidentally, Darth Vader says “No, I am your father”, not “Luke, I am your father” in The Empire Strikes Back.
Keep the film nerds in your life happy.