I recently reviewed a question in the close votes review queue titled Major Mandela effect in "King Ralph" (1991) (screenshot). The question stated:

I saw it on the internet recently, and a scene that I remembered seeing when I saw it in theaters in 1991 wasn't there.

Does anyone else remember seeing this scene in theaters?

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).

Unfortunately, the OP reverted my edit, along with edits from other users. 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.

Note: The question I was referring to above has been deleted after I made this post, and the account of the OP was also deleted.

As further examples, consider these questions:

I don't believe it's acceptable or on-topic to allow identifying movie / TV show 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.)

Memory is a fickle and unreliable thing, which is a key reason why neither this site nor most other Stack Exchange communities (like Arqade) allow identification based solely on memory.

To illustrate, I modified the first example question slightly:

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?

Given the above examples, I pose the following question:

Is it on-topic to ask "Mandela effect" questions about the accuracy of one’s recollection of movie / TV show scenes or their existence?

2 Answers 2


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.


I don't think they should be allowed if identify movie/show questions are disallowed. It's kind of the same sort of thing. The major difference being that they would be much less frequently asked (and so be less problematic in that regard).

Anyway, I think keeping those questions would be a gateway for more frustration with the regular ID questions. People might think this is allowed, so why not ID questions?

I'm tempted to make exceptions for mendela-effects that society at large already knows about (which may have impacted film society), but exceptions there would make it easier for people to complain about the less notable instances not being allowed. So, I wouldn't suggest making that exception.

Anyway, I would think if we allowed madela-effect questions, we would need to allow ID questions, too. But, we're not doing that, evidently; so, I don't think we should allow any of these sorts of things, if we want that decision to stand.

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