When you conjure up a mental image of Mr. Monopoly, what exactly is he wearing on his face?
If you imagine him with a top hat, a mustache, and a monocle, you aren’t alone.
In fact, Rich Uncle Pennybags (Mr. Monopoly) – doesn’t wear a monocle. If you believe he does, you have first-hand experience of something called the Mandela Effect.
Read on to understand what the Mandela Effect is, why it happens, and what the implications are.
Does the Monopoly Man have a monocle?
Many people have debated the existence of Mr. Monopoly’s monocle. They’ve searched online, looking closely at images, and emptied board game boxes on the floors of their homes. Yet, the proof is in the picture…
The Monopoly Man does not have a monocle. Since his first appearance in 1936, Mr. monopoly has never been pictured on a Monopoly box or board with a monocle.
Even when you’re told that the Monopoly guy hasn’t ever used a monocle, it can be hard to believe it. The image in your mind might be so clear that it’s hard to simply wipe it away.
You’re not the first person to ask ‘Does the Monopoly Man have a monocle or not?’ and you certainly won’t be the last.
Did the Monopoly guy ever have an eyeglass?
Pictures of the Monopoly Man wearing a monocle do exist, although most of these have been altered to demonstrate the Mandela Effect, or are unofficial drawings.
The logo of this website is one such place where you’ll find an unofficial image of the Monopoly guy with an eyeglass. Sorry about that.
After a lot of digging on the internet, I did find one image of the real Rich Uncle Pennybags wearing a monocle This appeared on the official Monopoly Facebook page on 18th May 2016.
So it seems that while the Monopoly Man doesn’t generally wear a monocle, he does at least own one. Or he did in 2016.
What does the Monopoly Man wear on his face?
The Monopoly Man, Rich Uncle Pennybags, wears a thick, white handlebar mustache on his face. He also wears his top hat.
Some people believe that we imagine a monocle because most pictures of men with a mustache and a top hat do also include this accessory. Our brain expects a monocle, so we’re convinced that we’ve seen one.
The Monopoly man’s monocle is an example of the Mandela Effect
The Mandela Effect is the best explanation for an imagined monocle.
Named after Nelson Mandela, this phenomenon occurs when many people share the same false memory. When Mandela passed away in 2013, many people admitted that they were convinced that he’d died in prison decades earlier. They could even remember seeing televised clips of his funeral.
There are many other examples of popular shared memories that have turned out to be false. You can read about some famous examples further on in this post.
What causes the Mandela Effect?
The Mandela Effect usually happens when our brains make their own assumptions. These assumptions are based on past experience, which means that many people have similar events to base their assumptions on.
We expect a top hat to be paired with a monocle, so we invent one in our minds.
It’s believed that the Planters mascot, Mr. Peanut, might influence perceptions of the Monopoly man. This peanut character does have a monocle, a top hat, and a cane, so he’s very similar to Rich Uncle Pennybags, but comes with the additional accessory.
Wait, does the peanut guy have a monocle or not?
Unlike Mr. Monopoly, the Planters Peanuts mascot, Mr. Peanut, really does use a monocle.
Other examples of the Mandela Effect
Our brains are easily fooled. Based on previous experience, we can make assumptions and we might believe them to be true.
Many people believe that Mr. Monopoly has worn a monocle, but this isn’t the only example of the Mandela Effect you might experience.
One such example is the famous line from ‘Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back’. People recall the line to be “Luke, I am your father”, whereas the actual line is “No, I am your father.”
The animated TV series ‘The Berenstain Bears’ is another example of this phenomenon. That’s always been the spelling, though you might argue that it used to be ‘The Berenstein Bears’. Likewise, the ‘Looney Tunes’ have never been the ‘Looney Toons’.
Implications of the Mandela Effect
The Mandela Effect shows how unreliable the human memory can be. From a scientific point of view, it’s a very interesting phenomenon. Large groups of people can be convinced of something that didn’t even happen.
The human mind can be easily influenced by the power of suggestion, which means that ideas can be planted in our minds and false memories can be created.
The implications of the Mandela Effect go beyond fun discussions on the internet – false memories can influence witness statements, and can lead people to become victims of manipulation.
A 1974 study found that people who had viewed a video recording of a car accident remembered different details depending on the verb that had been used to describe it. Where the cars were described as having ‘smashed into’ one another, more people remembered broken glass that hadn’t existed, when compared to the verbs ‘hit’ or ‘bumped into’.
An alternate universe
Some conspiracy theorists believe that the Mandela Effect is proof of an alternate universe, where the things we believe to be true are genuine reality.
Others believe that this phenomenon is evidence of time travel, where history has been changed and we’re remembering the way things used to be.
It’s easy to find images when searching online, of the Monopoly Man wearing a monocle. That’s because people have created them to show what they believe they’ve seen.
Looking at these images, you might feel even more convinced that the memory you have is genuine.
Yet, if you looked at all official Monopoly imagery, you would discover that there’s never been an image of Rich Uncle Pennybags wearing a monocle. Look around for old Monopoly boards and see the proof for yourself.
Isn’t it amazing what the human brain can do?