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mandela effect

90s kids still refuse to believe 'Shazaam' isn't real

By now most everyone has heard of the Mandela effect where collectively a large group of people believe something that wasn't true. Some of the most famous ones are the Berenstein Bears actually being the Berenstain Bears and Jiffy peanut butter really being Jif peanut butter.

The reason it's called the Mandela effect is due to the widespread collective "memory" of the famous South African activist Nelson Mandela dying in prison in the 1980s. He never died in prison, he was released and continued his activism until his death in 2013 but that's not how people remember it.

Over the past few years the Mandela effect of "Shazaam," a movie starring the comedian Sinbad that actually never existed. Sinbad exists but not the movie that many 90s kids fully remember watching never did. There is no evidence of the existence of this movie and even the star of the movie denies he starred in the non-existent film.


But people who grew up in the 90s insist it did, some even believing Sinbad's denial to be a joke or a conspiracy that includes the government stripping the globe of the VHS tapes. Other people accept that the movie didn't exist but don't fully believe it because of the distinct memories they have of watching it as a child. So how is it possible that hundreds of thousands of people between the ages of 35 and 45 remember details of this movie?

There are some theories that make sense but the best one comes from Sinbad himself when he too was trying to figure out why people so firmly believe they saw him in "Shazaam." Sinbad's best guess is that he hosted an all night movie marathon wearing a turban dressed like Sinbad, the sailor. This was during the same time frame as the movie "Kazaam" starring basketball legend Shaquille O'neal, who played a genie. So the theory is that our brains mushed the two together, which would explain why people are spelling Shazaam with two As.

Another theory proposed by a Reddit user is that people are remembering Sinbad playing in a movie called "Aliens for Breakfast" which has a very similar storyline as "Kazaam." Both movies came out around the same time so if you piece those two movies together and throw in that Sinbad was in fact wearing a turban around the same time frame, it's the perfect recipe for a false collective memory.

It also doesn't help that in 2017, Sinbad collaborated with College Humor to pull the ultimate April Fool's prank–creating a scene from "Shazaam." People briefly felt vindicated before the joke was revealed but due to the internet being forever, the fake scene is still available, which has people using it as proof the movie existed, disregarding that no other evidence supports the claim.

The argument of the existence of this false memory just won't go away and recently popped back up sending the internet back into a meltdown.

"I watched the movie!! I know it happened I can even remember certain scenes lol," one person writes.

"I don't care what anyone says I KNOW HE WAS THE FIRST SHAZAAM #Sinbad. I can vividly remember watching him play SHAZAAM," a commenter declares.

"The thing that doesn't make sense to me is how do we all have the same false memory. It can't be explained," someone inquires.

By the way, there is no movie from the 90s called Shazaam but there is a movie by the same name minus an "a" that was released in 2019 with a different actor and different premise. But that won't stop people being fully committed to believing Sinbad once played a genie and is simply playing a long running prank on a whole demographic of people.