James Kirk’s iconic line, “Beam me up, Scotty” was never once used in Star Trek.
It’s referred to as the Mandela Effect, taken from societal phenomena that seemingly started in earnest when everyone assumed that famed politician and human rights advocate Nelson Mandela died in prison during the 1980s. He didn’t, he died in 2013, several decades after being freed. It has morphed into a piece of the mainstream zeitgeist and is explained by the New York Times as “a recent refinement of false memory that typically refers to pop culture or current event references.” This may be why the famously quoted, but never actually stated Star Trek line “Beam me up, Scotty” may have come from.
People remember James T. Kirk, clad in his gold shirt and marvelous hair, uttering the simple line of “Beam me up, Scotty”, constantly. The only problem? It was never stated. Not once. Not ever. The Original Series never saw Kirk ever actually say that line. Sure, he said variations, but he never said that line.
Perhaps it’s the Mandela Effect, or simply the old game of Telephone. Where one person tells another person a phrase, only for it to be passed down from person to person and all the way back to the original. Usually, the message gets augmented so much that it no longer holds the same meaning it originally once did. Since The Original Series aired in a time before Tivo, DVDs, VHS, or even the idea of reruns, it’s possible that it just took on a life of its own as friends recounted the events of the previous night’s episode to one another. Since there was no immediate way to go back and check, it’s possible it was just misquoted and misremembered and the idea of it was built on from there.
Other examples of the Mandela Effect in media
More from Star Trek: The Original Series
- Rod Roddenberry is trying to obtain the missing Enterprise model
- Star Trek: The Original Series: Balok didn’t like Tranya after all
- Walter Koenig isn’t feeling the malice that George Takei does
- The 7th Rule Podcast goes old school with their next Star Trek project
- Will we ever see Nyota Uhura promoted to captain?
Some other notable Mandela Effect’s in pop culture includes the spelling of Looney Tunes, and not “Looney Toons”, plus the spelling and pronunciation of the classic children’s book, the Berenstain Bears and not the Berenstein Bears.
Another example of this comes from the world of pro wrestling, where a lot of people actually thought there were two men who portrayed the Ultimate Warrior. There wasn’t. Just one.
Another is the idea that many thought the Monopoly Man had a monocle. He did not. Though a man dressed like in Ace Ventura 2 did have a monocle, perhaps helping add to the legend.
Maybe the most famous in science fiction, maybe even more famous than “Beam me up, Scotty.” was from Star Wars V: The Empire Strikes Back, when Darth Vader said his beyond famous line of “Luke, I am your father!”
Which, actually, isn’t what he said. Despite that being the most quoted line in the history of the franchise, it isn’t actually a line from the franchise. When Vader reveals his parentage to Luke, Vader actually says “No, I am your father.”