As you may or may not know, I actually have another blog I work on called My Geek Wisdom. It’s a site where I take quotes from various movies, television shows, comics, cartoons and what-not and attempt to extract a little “wisdom” from them. I’ve been doing that site for super long now but, once in a while, I will think up of a quote and, while doing the necessary research, I find out that the super popular phrase I’ve been using all my life… well, I’ve been saying it wrong the whole time. It’s basically some kind of Mandela Effect where everyone collectively remembers an event incorrectly because, for one reason or another, it just makes sense.
It happens more often than you think. Things like people misremembering the spelling of the Berenstain Bears wrong or recalling a movie wherein the comedian Simbad played the role of a genie. Whatever the reason for this phenomenon, there are some popular quotes that have invaded the geek consciousness. Some have been only altered slightly or simply made up. Here are just five of these popular “quotes” to look at.
“You fool! This isn’t even my final form!” -Frieza (Dragon Ball Z)
Let’s start with the “quote” that started off this list.
Probably one of the most beloved story arcs from Dragon Ball Z is the Frieza Saga. This had our heroes travelling to the planet Namek to use the planet’s Dragon Balls to revive their friends. This leads to them having to fight off Frieza, a diabolical conqueror of worlds who has the ability to increase his fighting ability and, in the process, change his form. Even as he powers up, we all remember him taunting the heroes that he still hasn’t reached his final form yet, right?
The thing is, he never says it.
It does make sense why we all think Frieza said it because, well, he keeps on transforming into one form to another. So, logically, he would say something like the quote. I’m guessing it’s because of meme culture as to why we all collectively vividly remember Frieza saying this while in his third form.
“Luke, I am your father.” -Darth Vader (The Empire Strikes Back)
Should I put out the SPOILER WARNING for this very old movie that everyone seems to quote?
It’s one of the biggest plot twists of the geek world. Well, it’s not so big now but when The Empire Strikes Back first opened, this blew everyone’s mind. We all know the scene. Darth Vader is trying to recruit Luke Skywalker to join the Dark Side and he does this by maiming him and beating him to an inch of his life. Because that always makes sense, right? Anyway, the villain corners Luke and he asks him if Obi-Wan ever revealed what happened to his father. Luke says he was told Darth Vader killed his father. Darth Vader then reveals the truth with this iconic line… which most people remember slightly differently.
Most people incorrectly remember Darth Vader calling Luke by name in the misremembered quote. In reality, he simply says “no” to correct him that what he was told was a lie before revealing the truth. It’s just different just a smidge but it’s still wrong. The incorrect quote probably entered out minds because it can stand alone. The original quote doesn’t. Simply adding Luke’s name to the quote makes you automatically know it’s from Star Wars, cutting the need to explain where it comes from.
“run, you fools!” -Gandalf (Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring)
Here’s another slightly misremembered quote from another beloved geeky trilogy. Go figure.
As someone who never read the books, my first experience with the Lord of the Rings was with the movies. I knew that some characters may die and may come back but I never really knew who might not. Even so, when Gandalf decided to draw the Balrog away from the party so they could escape, I have an inkling he would be coming back later. Still, his sacrifice was super dramatic, as it did look like he was going to make it out, only to be drawn into the pit with the Balrog. So Gandalf imploring the rest of the party to save themselves and not try to rescue him was a big deal for me.
I still don’t really know why I remembered it wrong for all these years, though.
To be fair, this is a quote that’s easy to incorrectly hear in the first place. Gandalf says the first word of the quote under his breath so you might not really hear it clearly. But, understanding the context of what’s happening on the screen and, well, the rest of the characters do start running, we might just be filling in the blanks of the word we didn’t understand using context clues. I will say “fly” is definitely more dramatic, don’t you think?
“Mirror, mirror on the wall… who is the fairest of them all?” -Evil Queen (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves)
Apparently, there was no room for nuance in Disney movies before as she’s officially credited as “Evil Queen.” Like she had a choice in the matter.
This might be the first known instance of the Mandela Effect acting on the people’s collective consciousness. Even if you didn’t watch Disney’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, we all know the line of the Evil Queen when she says the magic words for the mirror to answer if she’s still the most beautiful woman in all the land. She even makes sure and calls on the mirror twice.
Except she doesn’t really and uses the magic mirror’s full title instead.
Once again, this is a minor alteration to the actual quote but, considering how old the Disney animated classic is, you would think there would be nerdy smart alecks remarking, “Actually, she doesn’t say ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall.” She actually says ‘Magic mirror on the wall.’ You really should know your Disney history like me!” Then again, I kind of saying that now. So I guess that makes me the nerdy smart aleck I’m talking about?
“Beam me up, Scotty.” -Captain James T. Kirk (Star Trek)
Since I had a misremembered Star Wars quote here, it’s only fair to put a misremembered Star Trek quote up as well.
You would think that, after all the times Captain Kirk has order the crew of the Enterprise to transport them back to the ship, he would’ve have uttered this familiar line. You might even have a false memory of him uttering the exact quote. But, then again, it is a false memory as there was never a time when Captain Kirk or any of the crew of the Original Series of Star Trek asked Scotty to beam them up in that exact phrasing. The closest they actually got was “Scotty, beam me up.” The animated series got even closer with “Beam us up, Scotty.” Close but no cigar.
And it’s not like I didn’t try. I scoured the Internet for any time the misquoted quote was said and I couldn’t find any clip of it. From what I’ve researched, the quote actually came from a gag bumper sticker, adding the phrase, “There is no intelligent life on this planet.” I can’t confirm this as I couldn’t find a picture of the aforementioned bumper sticker. But it is a plausible explanation on how this popular catchphrase that was never uttered came to be.
Know of any other popular misremembered quotes we all use? Let me know what they are in the comments section below!