Note: The question I was referring to below has been deleted after I made this post, and its OP's account was also deleted, but my post should still stand in case similar questions are posted in the future.

I reviewed this question in the Close votes review queue — Major Mandela effect in "King Ralph" (1991). Someone initiated a close vote that it is an off-topic identification question. When I reviewed it, I thought the core of the question, and the OP's intent, was to look for alternate versions of the film. So I edited the question in the review queue (also acting as a "Leave open" vote) to ask whether there are any alternate versions (see revision history).

However, OP has reverted my edit (and also all other edits by other users at the time of writing). When I asked OP to clarify their intent, OP responded but did not clarify, claiming that their question was "perfectly clear" (it wasn't and still isn't), that I was "100% wrong," and that I "had no business editing [OP's] question in the first place." This indicates to me that OP's actual intent is to determine/identify whether their "Mandela effect" memory of the scene is correct or if the scene existed.

I don't believe it's acceptable or on-topic to allow identifying movie scenes, that may or may not have existed, from memory on this site. (Just like identifying movies and TV shows from memory is off-topic here.) The initial close voter was correct — the question is an identification question, and I should not have voted to leave the question open in the review queue. Memory is a fickle and unreliable thing, which is one of the reasons why neither this site nor Arqade allow identifying works from memory.

Example question based on the above-mentioned question (I just changed the movie and the "Mandela effect" memory of the scene):

I'm having a major Mandela effect with "Toy Story." I saw it on the internet recently, and a scene that I remembered seeing when I saw it in theaters in 1995 wasn't there. Does anyone else remember a scene in the movie where Woody shouts "What are you doing in my swamp‽" to Buzz? It wasn't in the internet version that I saw yesterday. Does anyone else remember seeing this scene in theaters?

Is the above example question on-topic? Is it on-topic to ask "Mandela effect" questions, in which the OP asks if their memory of a movie scene is correct or if the scene actually existed?

1 Answer 1


The purpose of a Stack Exchange site is to build a high-quality repository of Questions and Answers, so that others can find the answers to their questions in future, without having to repeat that work every single time.

What is the expected quality of such a question, and how often would they be good enough to be considered "high-quality"? Very low and very rarely. These are questions that by their very definition, rely on being vague or ambiguous, probably contradictory to themselves and possibly incoherent, in order to be asked in the first place. Anything that would make them worthwhile would make them unnecessary because the question would contain its own answer.

What is the benefit of such a question for others in the future? None. The likelihood that someone else would have the same, most likely inaccurate, recollection of a specific scene from a specific piece of media, is vanishingly small.

Is this a type of question that belongs on Stack Exchange? No. This is just not what the site exists for. Idle pondering and trying to fix one's memory belong on a discussion forum or in a rental store. If it really matters enough to check whether the scene exists, go and watch it again. If it's not worth viewing the film, even for its own sake in entertainment, it's not a question worth having here.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .