Berenstein or Berenstain Bears?

berenstainberensteinbearsMany people who visit the Mandela Effect website have fond memories of the Berenstein Bears books. They read them as children, or family members read them aloud. It’s a cherished childhood memory.

However, the books in this timestream are Berenstain Bears. A, not E, in last syllable.

That’s not what most visitors seem to remember. The following are among the many memories people have shared, sometimes as part of longer comments.  The vast majority recall the books as Berenstein Bears.

In March 2014, JM said:

I too clearly remember it as ‘Berenstein’ even though I never read the books. Why would anyone change that? Seems irrelevant.

Jennifer Shepherd said:

I had overlooked the material here about people remembering the popular children’s books as being Berenstein Bears, not Berenstain Bears; I just saw that today and it blew my mind! I was a meticulous spelling nerd as a child and have ZERO doubt that the books the kids were reading were about the Berenstein Bears. I tried to research Library of Congress and trademark info today, to see if maybe there had at some point been a changeover due to multiple parties using variations of the name. Nope, the official records state that the series was always Berenstain, after the very real last names of the authors (Berenstain.)

In April 2014, Tee said:

I notice changes everyday. For one I saw the Berenstein/Berenstain Bears thing mentioned and I always knew them is Berenstein.

Nat replied:

Berenstain Bears?! I could’ve sworn it was spelt Berenstein too. Wow, how peculiar…

In May 2014, Heathyr said:

…We both remember berestein bears rather than berenstain,

In June 2014, Louis asked:

Does anyone remember the Berenstein Bears? I do. Although somewhere along the line the name has changed to the Berenstain Bears. No record of “stein” which is definitely how it was when i was younger. No question about it.

Matt said:

I specifically remember Berenstein Bears, not Berenstain Bears. My wife didn’t remember, but I did, I liked them a lot.

Mary Garcia said:

…it was always Berenstein and now it is Berenstain. My 20 year old daughter, who had ever Bear book was just as creeped out when I showed her this, she said “no Mom it was always Berenstein”. I joked that at least we came from the same reality together, so I took great comfort in that.

Sandi said:

It was always Berenstein bears for me. I was a voracious reader as a child and pronounced it as either “stine” or “steen” I eventually settled with “steen”. Now if it had been spelled “stain” there would have been no question of my pronunciation of that. I noticed this difference about 5 years ago and chalked it up to new editions being re-labelled. Now it seems it was NEVER called that to begin with.

Stephen Comer said:

I would like to say that I VERY CLEARLY remember “Berenstain Bears” being Berenstein Bears. I very specifically remember it being pronounced “STEIN” on the show.

aldooze said:

Another one worth mentioning is the children s books about the ‘Berenstain Bears’ . Every single person I have talked to swears it was spelled ‘Berenstein Bears” .

LadyJEM5 said:

While my children were small my mother & I purchased the entire Berenstein Bears library collection. At no time have I ever known them to be anything other than that, however I will confirm this for my own peace of mind by digging them out of storage.

John said:

Absolutely 100%. Berenstein/stain had me spooked

KingKen6669 said:

I, too, remember pronouncing Berenstain – “Burn-steen” my entire life. The books were a big part of my childhood; my grandmother read them to me until I was much too old, and i enjoyed every second of it. I was quite surprised when I saw the thread and the claim – it’s a difficult thing to swallow.

My first thought was “I’m misremembering,” but that wasn’t enough, I tried to make some sense of it in my post here.

When did this Berenstein vs Berenstain debate begin? I can remember an event less than 5 years ago – I was referencing them in a text message to a friend, and do remember looking up the correct spelling on my phone – I remember it clearly being STEIN. However, part of me feels that i’m buying into the “crazy”, and the other part of me trusts that i’m not mis-remembering.

Mina said:

I also KNOW without a shadow of a doubt, that the childrens books were the “Berenstein” Bears, not the “Berenstain” Bears. I am a readaholic, and have been since I was 4 years old. I read every single word, just as I have done with these comments! ALL the time, I was reading BERENSTEIN, and our next-door neighbor was Mr. Steinman (pronounced “STINE”) so I asked my grandmother if it was pronounced Beren-STINE or Beren-STEEN. She said it was pronounced “Bern-Steen” Bears, different than Mr. Steinman’s name… I would never have asked her how to pronounce it, if it had been spelled “Berenstain”!

Brian said:

Other things I remember are Berenstein…

However, like most of these memories, readers aren’t in lockstep, universal agreement.

In March 2014, Steph said:

I very vividly remember The Berenstein Bears being called The Berenstain Bears.

In June 2014, DG said:

As clearly as my memory’s of Billy Graham’s death are, I still remember them as the BerenSTAIN Bears.

So, what do you remember, Berenstein or Berenstain?


Author: Fiona Broome

Author and paranormal researcher, best known for starting Mandela Effect research (2009 - present), and her studies of ghostly phenomena.

411 thoughts on “Berenstein or Berenstain Bears?”

  1. I only found out two nights ago, by accident, that I’ve been wrong all these years… I can clearly remember ”Berenstein Bears” and have always referred to them as such. Just the other night, I was looking up old children’s books and discovered that the spelling had changed to Berenstain….. I googled this, I I assumed that the spelling was a missprint on the book I was looking at, and found that it was always ”Berenstain” but that loads of people out there remember the same as me… Weird…..


  2. I have always known it as “Berenstein”. My 20year old daughter remembers it that way as well. She found a picture of the books spelled the way we remember. I don’t know how to get a picture on here though.


    1. Terri, we’ve seen a few photos and, personally, I think they were altered with Photoshop or GIMP, or similar software. It’s a masterful work of digital manipulation. I’ve studied one of the photos in detail. However, I don’t think it’s real.


  3. We still have our extensive collection of original BerestEin Bears books from when we were kids. I can get them from my parents house and post pics of them to put an end to this nonsense. It’s most definitely BerenstEin…


  4. I was born in 1998, specifically remembering berenSTEIN bears. Pronounced (bearnsteen). Same with sex in the city. Apparently it’s Sex and the city. I have asked a few friends about their opinions on this only for them to laugh and call me stupid. I wish people were more open minded.

    Maybe this is just some practical joke being played on us by some more advanced parallel universe traveler. Jokes over I want my old dimension.

    Or maybe there’s a large percentage of us that have some mental illness? Who knows.


    1. I have to say why do we want our old universe back. ok it wasnt the worst, but then again it wasnt the best. why not look at it as a roller coaster, scary yes.. but exciting at the same time.. Whats next, will it be something wonderful.. I know its hard its very hard your entire life is wobbling, but i would say at least it wont be boring if the changes happen more and more.

      Your comment about mental illness.. see imagine i come up to you and say reality has changed, you would think i was nuts.. how many other people who potentially are labelled they have a mental illness are actually seeing a deeper layer of reality..


      1. Martin Williams, I agree wholeheartedly. Most of my life, I’ve said regularly, “Well, at least it’s not boring!” So far, every change/reality has been fascinating. Not perfect, and not without some complaints, but fascinating anyway.


  5. I remember the lady on the TV show pronouncing it Berenstain Bears, and I also remember questioning her intelligence, because it was clearly spelled Berenstein, and it annoyed the hell out of me that she was always pronouncing it weird. As for the live action movie, I remember seeing trailers, and I remember them being dressed just like The Berenstein (I’m so sure that it was spelled with an ‘E’ that I refuse to spell it differently) Bears, so I’m not remembering Country Bears.


  6. This scared me so much, I had a panic attack, I nearly fainted! I am 15 years of age and I DESTINCTLY remember berenstEin Bears!!!! Ergo, this must have happened somewhat recently


  7. I stumbled upon the mandela effect from a youtuber, who was talking about the bearenstein/bearenstain effect, and im not even joking ive read it bearenstein … in bearenstein bears, i thought it was funny because their names had bear in it….ive read through loads of the pages and then this morning i come back to the website and its changed from bearenstein/bearenstain effect to just berenstain. I am so confused right now. Is it just me ?


  8. There is someone who did research into the berenstein bears they searched through a LOT archives and find a lot of the same spelling until 2008 when there was only 1 E variation mentioned in the papers. so that gives a time line 1964- 2008 then it changed.. thought this was a important clue


  9. It was always Berenstein. I remember the books and show vividly.

    I remember my teacher correcting me because I use to always call them the “bernstein” bears. Infront of the whole class in second grade she stood up and told my its “berenstein” not bernstein. Never do i recall “stain”.


  10. doing my usual wander of the web i found something Odd. its probably a coincidence but it was so unusual that i just have to put does mention berenstAIN, but it was replaced by a peanuts. and since there were two Peanuts and berenstein mandela effects thought this was.. ODD to say the least..

    Berenstain Bear Country
    Opened: June 29, 1985
    Expanded: 1992
    Closed: Following 1998 season

    Berenstain Bear Country was an indoor/outdoor children’s attraction located on the former site of Earthquake. Today, the building houses Snoopy Boutique, a PEANUTS-themed gift shop. In 1992, Berenstain Bear Country was expanded to include a 5-acre outdoor play area.

    The Berenstain Bears left Cedar Point following the 1998 season. The area was transformed into Peanuts Playground in 1999.


    1. Three out of those four years I have listed before. 1985, 1998-99. I also listed 1993, not 1992. But that’s when I noticed. Mike H.


  11. Another oddity Both Berenstein AND Schultz in the same paragraph from 2001 plus a schulz heres another interesting from Wednesday, January 3, 2001 5:42 PM
    My vote is for snoopy!!!!
    Even though the great Charles Schultz(MHRIP) Has has passed away the Peanuts gang are deffinately alot more identifiable than the Berenstein Bears.
    Especially with the generation wich is growing up now. I mean when is the last time a bears special has been on TV its been awhile. And i am pretty sure we see the great pumpkin on every year.


    1. I’d also note that this snippet includes an alternate spelling of the word “definitely”…interesting.


  12. I had majority of the collection of BERENSTEIN Bears books when I was a kid. I specifically remember the spelling, and I agree with the person about the pronunciation of “steen” over “stain.” However I just asked my mother what the books were called and she said Berenstain! I asked here about the alternate spelling and she remained with -stain. Then she looked it up to make sure and confirmed -stain. I asked her based on her own memory and she confirmed -stain. I’ll die believing -stein.


  13. I VERY clearly remember the Bernstein Bears. As a kid I thought “stein” perhaps made them German bears or something like that I thought. There is no doubt at all in my mind that this was how their name was spelt. My sister reacted in the exact same way (we are both in our 40’s now). She said, “yeah….the German bears” too just like myself…..


  14. I am a library shelver. I discovered the Mandela Effect website this morning while I was fact checking something on Scopes. I thought it was just a pretty interesting little internet rabit hole to fall into while I was eating breakfast. I dismissed it as having to do with quirks of how our brains process information. But after work reading a little further, this Berenstein Bears thing really spooks me! I had passed over the articles on it because — oh, how boring, some people can’t read cursive, of course it’s BERENSTEIN. I not only grew up with those books and watched the TV cartoon with my little sister, I shelve a few of them every day! I swear I left work this afternoon in the BerenstEIn Bears universe and came home to the BerenstAIn Bears universe.


  15. Funny because I recall calling it Beren-stAIn bears and my mom would laugh and correct me. She’d say no, it’s Beren-stEIn… Then it was a joke we would call them Berenstain, because it obviously wasn’t. Funny.


    1. Helen and Emm, welcome to the mandela world, nice to meet others from other universes Nice to meet you. A few people have said that they said it “right” the Stain, but they were corrected to its Stein, we all know those kind of corrections. and how it makes us feel.. Emm It would be interesting to work out when you crossed to this place, is it a ongoing event, or did it happen to everyone at the same time..


  16. Hi I just saw this and i dont know if it’s photoshopped but it’s the 1985 tv guide with BerenstEin bears on it ( as well as Looney Tunes) I just keep seeing this and wanted to let everyone else see it too. 🙂


    1. Three possibilities:

      1) The writer/typesetter had some real spelling issues.
      2) It’s Photoshopped.
      3) It’s more evidence, but only secondary, at best.

      Of the three, I hate to say it, but I think numbers 1 & 2 are the most likely.


    1. meaghan, thanks! And wow… though I rarely go there (and only when one of my children points it out to me), I’m steadily impressed by the growing numbers (and dedication) of people at that Reddit group. When I started this website, it was just to collect data for a book I thought I’d write. Now… it’s turned into something I never expected. Wow. LOL


  17. I do remember the Berenstein bears because it had two different ways of pronouncing it. Steen or Stine. The thing is I remember vaguely that the show changed its name during my childhood and I asked my mom “hey didn’t the show change their name?” But my mom said no, although she never watched kid shows. Plus I am first generation and a very high level reader. So my mom never payed attention to its spelling. I never thought of it back then but now I’m starting to think I’m not crazy after all. I was born in 1994 if that helps.


  18. I’m 20 years old and have loved to read for as long as I’ve been able to. I had a college reading level in the third grade and have also always been an excellent speller. With that being said, I’m 100% positive the spelling has always been BerenstEIN, I grew up reading the books AND watching the tv show on PBS, so did my brothers and my mom also grew up reading the books and agrees with me on the spelling. I always pronounced it as “Berenst ee n”, if it were spelled Berenstain why pronounce it any way other than STAIN. The narrator on the tv show pronounced it the same way. The last time I saw the show was probably around 12 or 13 years old and I’m sure I would’ve noticed the difference back then, so my question is when did it change and WHY? There’s got to be some other explanation for this other than the publishing company changing it because the books were named after the authors, and now their names seem to be spelled wrong too??


  19. Berenstein! berenstein! BEAR-EN-STEEN. I’m going insane because of this. I need answers, my brain will NOT accept Berenstain, its not real, i am not crazy. Who is Mr. Stain? And does that have anything to do with Berenstain?


  20. It was the Berenstein Bears. My sister remembers it the same way. She went and pulled out her old copy of the book. It said Berenstain. It was really freaky. I think we have quantum-shifted to an alternate universe. It’s the only way the past could be changed.


  21. I felt like having a bit of fun today so I razzed the girl at the desk about The Berenst#in Books. She looked it up and I’m glad I didn’t bet her money … I’m sure someone has come across this, she got it from a site called biblio and I believe it is a site to sell books so infact this is other people also remembering it spelled STEIN.


    1. Anthony, many retailers take advantage of typos when listing products. They expect to rank better at Google’s search engine than they would if they used the real (in this timestream) spelling, where there’s more competition.

      But… I’m not sure of your point. All of the book covers at those links show the books as “Berenstain.”

      The issue isn’t whether people remember them as Berenstein, but the fact that so many do… despite the name being “Berenstain” in this reality.


  22. I was born in 1994 and distinctly remember Berenstein Bears. I have a good memory for spelling and when I saw this article out of the side of my eye on Tumblr, I gave it a second look because I thought that “Berenstain” was spelled wrong. I specifically remember trying to decide if it should be pronounced ‘Ber-en-stine’ (to rhyme with ‘sign’) or ‘Ber-en-steen’. I asked my mother, who works with children, what they were called, just sending her a picture, and she said “The Berenstein Bears. Or maybe Berenstien or Berenstain.” Same test with my younger brother (born 2001) and he was convinced of Berenstein, but my father (who’s in his late 50s and works with books) was positive about Berenstain.

    I mention my parents’ professions because it’s possible that, although they are obviously older than my brother and I, they’ve come into contact with the ‘changed’ version of the name in their line of work, and made the adjustment. I don’t think I’ve seen the Berenstein Bears books since my brother was young.

    I cannot accept the ‘Berenstain’ spelling. Everything about it looks wrong))


  23. Heeeey wait there…. I’m pretty sure it was Berenstein…
    And it’s not a mistake of generalization. When I was younger, I had several books from the series and they were about the only few books I’d read in English- at least for a long time. I remember reading them to my little brother and it was Berene -steen when I pronounced it, not Berenstain.


  24. My 13 year old daughter was obsessed with these books when she was younger, and she swears that it was Berenstein. I was never the one to read them to her, but i asked her grandmother and she clearly recalls it as Berenstein as well. I actually found an old photograph of my daughter holding the book a few months ago, before i knew about it’s spelling as ai, and although it’s very blurry, i’m sure that it said ie.


  25. When my sister told me about this site and the controversy over the proper spelling of Berenst*in, I replied with something to the effect of “Of course it’s Berenstain – Stan and Jan Berenstain!” She was sort of shocked – “No, it’s Berenstein. What are you talking about?!” – which surprised me at first, although I rather self-righteously assumed that I was correct and she was just misremembering.

    We had several of the Berenst*in books as kids and I can recall watching reruns of the 80s show in the early and mid 90s. Like so many other commenters on this thread, I was an avid and careful reader from an early age. I always wanted to know the correct pronunciation of every word, and greatly disliked the embarrassment of mispronouncing something.

    As I read through this article and the comments, I found it fascinating that so many people remember it as BerenstEin. But I felt sure that I’d always known it to be BerenstAin. I hadn’t thought of the Berenst*in books in years – probably a decade – but as I kept reading, I started trying to remember the actual experience of reading the books. Then I recalled something quite unsettling; I clearly remember being unsure of how to pronounce the name. Specifically, I wasn’t sure if it was “-stEEn” or “stEYEn” … which, of course, I wouldn’t have asked if it was spelled “-stain” because I knew perfectly well how to pronounce that ending.

    And now I’m not sure anymore.


  26. I’m glad to have found some sites like this. I clearly remember it being Berenstein as a child. I even remember sitting in my room studying the name on the front cover and wondering if it should be pronounced “stine” or “steen”. This was also in the early to mid 1970s when the name was printed instead of in cursive. (I’m not sure if that was always the case, but it was frequently. I googled the book covers just to make sure that I was remembering correctly. Everything was as I remembered except for that one vowel.) I point this out merely because I’ve seen the cursive writing being listed as a cause for the confusion. I don’t see how a printed name under that close scrutiny would lead me to ponder the pronunciation. If it had read “stain”, I would never have had that problem.

    One day a few years ago, I had gone into a Border’s and was browsing the children’s books. I was in a nostalgic mood and decided to stop and read some of my old favorites. I was floored when I started browsing the Berenstein Bear books and saw that “a” in there! Like many others, I assumed that it had been changed for some reason, but could find no record of it. This was at least 5 or 6 years ago and the issue hadn’t become a “thing” yet so I was feeling it was just me. I’m glad to see that I’m not alone!


  27. Hi, I just want to comment on my Berenstein Bears experience. Just some witness testimony to it changing. When I was a kid, I loved books and our school library. My mother would take me to book fairs and the local bookmobile when it came to town. I can say with certainty in my own mind that from my experiences I wouldn’t misread the title.
    Anyways, every other week, we’d go to the library instead of recess. Either to do paperwork, like quizzes or mostly to watch educational tv shows.

    Across from my table was an easel with an advertisement/reading encouragement poster on it, and I remember asking my teacher, “is it berensteen or berenstein” and she said it’s pronounced “stain” and I literally said, “that doesn’t make sense, I’ve never seen stein pronounced ‘stain’.” This conversation took many minutes and I reread it over and over while talking about it.

    In November of 1996 I was working at a calendar store at the mall. It was a seasonal second store opened by Waldenbooks. They hired 10 kids, and every one of them quit, so I was the only employee basically.
    oh… wow…
    Well, what I was going to say; I remember unpacking the calendar (they came in a pack of 10 or so)
    And I remember having the same conversation with about 20 friends who would visit me at work.
    I can remember just about every single calendar from that year that we sold… it wasn’t a massive number, under 100 titles. The Berenstein one stuck out like a sore thumb because it was bright and wasn’t a photo cover like the others and it was right in front of the counter.

    I just went to Google it, to quiz myself on the color of it. I was thinking “If it’s yellow with a red words” then I know my memory is perfect. Remember this IS when it said Stein… It is nowhere to be found on Google. No calendars for that year. That is truly strange. That was my single only contact with a Berenstein “thing” in my adult life.

    Okay, now I’m freaking out… sorry, but hopefully this gives some more ideas…

    When I was in college in 95, our TV had a bad antenna. We could only get Fox (barely) NBC (barely) and PBS. So during the day I would study and have PBS on. I remember Carmen Sandiego and Wishbone. By the time I returned home, those kinds of shows were replaced by a new Berenstein Bears series of which I found utterly annoying.

    A new one. Around 1995. It had a slicker animation look of a nicer PBS show of the time, and got away from the hand-drawn look of the books. According to IMDB, the Bear franchise was basically inactive from 83 to 2002. But there is that game that came out in 1995… maybe during the resurgence that isn’t listed on imdb?
    But it does not look like the newer style artwork.

    That calendar came out during the time of the new show. It was part of the same marketing. I remember it being bright yellow with the boy on the cover with a light blue sweatshirt, and the title in red letters.


  28. I was just playing around and decided to do a Kindle search of Berenstein instead of the usual internet search. The only book that popped up that was spelled that way was The Berenstein Bears and The Big Spelling Bee by Jan and Stan Berenstein. Everything else was spelled Berenstain. Except for the #1 listed book which was BerenstEin (a conspiracy book selling for $0.99 about a sci-fi story based on the Berenst#in Bears Effect). I went to search it after we went to church like over an hour later to show my mom and it has now disappeared! Creepy…


    1. After seeing that disappear I decided to take the bait and go down that rabbit hole and see if there was any symbolism in the book. So I found a Youtube video of the book and it has a very weird choice of words for a children’s book. The first word that pops up is “treachery” an act of betrayal, the next is “destitute” with what looks like a starving bear, then “paramount” with a king bear, then “prehistoric” with a caveman bear. Then there’s a page where there are words inside of fireworks that say (spelled correctly are:) “disaster”, “tragedy”, “impossible”, “ridiculous”, and “ludicrous”. The winning word at the end was “vicarious”. I decided to look up the root words of vicarious just for the fun of it. The Latin root is “vircarius” which mean substitute. Which is exactly what the Mandela effect is, substituting certain words, phrases, objects, people, ect for something else. That and along with the fact that Berenstein adds to 666 in common English gematria. I know this is far from coincidence because “witchcraft, New York, New Mexico, Gray Aliens, dark matter, teleport, vaccination, computer, Monsanto, Ebola Vaccines, Santa Claus, Dollar Sign, Sanskrit, Illusion” all those phrases add up to 666 in common English gematria. They all have anl encompassing theme so I personally think it is unlikely to be coincidental. That and the fact that 666 is a triangular number sort of points a big fat finger clue at what’s up.


      1. Adam Boyle, that’s fascinating information, but much of it would take us far off the current focus of this website. Nevertheless, for those who’d like to pursue that direction — but not at this site — I’ve approved this.


  29. I was too old to read these books as a child, but I clearly remember them as part of general popular culture because they were so widely enjoyed. I definitely remember them as Bernstein Bears. The spelling Berenstain seems completely wrong to me.


    1. Sorry, I meant “Berenstein” bears as what I remember. My “helpful” spell checker automatically “corrected” the spelling of “Berenstein” to “Bernstein”. Has anyone else noticed this using Safari on a MacBook?


  30. Hi Fiona-
    I just wanted to begin with that I am only twenty years old so I grew up with these books. I watched the videos until they wore themselves out. I remember it vividly, I KNOW it’s Berenstein Bears. I have spoken to my mother, my boyfriend, and my best friend from high school and they have all confirmed this belief. They all too remember it as Berenstein. In fact everyone I have asked so far remembers it that same way. I think in order for this many people to have a collective memory of this, it had to be true.


  31. I remember Berenstein. I am from Australia and stein was not commonly heard at all, especially where I grew up, so the idea of replacing stain with stein doesn’t gel, as stein would have been more foreign to me. I am floored by this. I also remember Interview with A Vampire not THE.


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