Berenstein or Berenstain Bears?

Berenstein Bears or Berenstain Bears?Many 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:

Berenstain Bears - not Berenstein?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:
Berenst#in T-shirt

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 hard thing to swallow. My first thought, naturally, was “i’m misremembering” – 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?


411 thoughts on “Berenstein or Berenstain Bears?”

  1. I remember it as Berenstein. They were my favourite kids book.
    When I first saw the change in spelling I was really surprised. I have a photographic memory especially for spelling and I am adamant that it was always Berenstein. I have ALWAYS called them the ‘Bear-in-stynes’ not ‘staynes’
    Why this was changed is beyond me – perhaps an inadvertent consequence of another change in the past. Who knows.
    I find it very interesting that most people remember it as Berenstein. wouldn’t expect so many people to have made the same reading mistake. What about other reading mistakes? This appears to be the only mass reading error out there.
    What is really puzzling me though, is why do some people remember the change and others don’t? Is it mostly children that remember the stein spelling? And if the change resulted in newspapers, physical and digital copies of the books, photos etc being changed, why wasn’t everyone’s memories changed as well? Its sort of like this was meant to happen so that we could start thinking in a new way about the universe.
    Its like we’ve been given a shortcut in our evolution, because we’re so obsessed with pathetic stuff like fashion and egos that we needed some hints to be dropped to speed our evolution up. Its like aliens were like, ‘these retards over here in the Milky Way are soooo slow. Can’t they get past the oil wars already. We need to them to hurry up and become enlightened so that they can start contributing and stop ruining that amazing planet that we created. Right, lets drop them some hints. What is the most unthreatening hint that we can give them. I know, the Berensteins. Brilliant!’

    1. dan, I expected to find a spammy FB group at that URL, leaping on what’s become a trending topic. Instead, I’m approving this comment because I see some legitimate research among the posts. (I’d want to double-check the census info at, to be sure no Photoshop was involved, but the concept of using genealogy for clues is clever… and common sense, now that I think about it.)

  2. I’m definitely of the “E” believers. I’m 37 years old. Ive thought hard about this and I’ve come up with 3 possible scenarios, I’m hoping some of you have others.
    1. We are all wrong and it was always E and we all suffer from some kind of mass delusion or lapse in memory collectively.
    2. Parallel universe theory is at work in some form or another.
    3. Someone went back in time and changed the spelling and this is all some kind of butterfly effect type thing.
    4. ????
    I’d love to hear of other type of plausibilities.

  3. When I first read about the controversy of the E vs. A, I thought it was some dumb people not realizing that Jan and Stan changed the name over a new publisher or author, lol…I was way wrong!!!!

    I distinctly remember the Berenstein Bears and pronouncing it STEEN, even though that didn’t make sense. I was reading on an 11th grade level in first grade and names are still soooo important to me. I had all the books as a child in the 80’s, I read my old books to my children ages 18, 17 and 10. After finally reading one of the threads on another website, I woke up the kids at 10:00 last night to ask them how they remember the spelling. Separately, they all spelled it with the ‘E.’ My ten year old and I dug out the old books (they were mine, no doubt about it) and of course, they are all spelled with an A. What?????

    Mandella died in prison in the 80’s.
    Ultimate Warrior has now died twice.
    Rowdy Piper has died twice.
    Interview with A Vampire
    Sex IN the City
    Castro died when I was a teenager.

    It all seems so strange and I’m a little freaked out. I do remember the change to Berenstain Bears from Berenstein Bears, and I think it may have been shortly after my now 10 year old outgrew them.

    Maybe we all do come from an alternate timeline or universe, but at different times. Those that only know A have been here all along, but since there is such an age difference in the ones who remember the E, maybe we got here at different times? By the way, I’m 40.

  4. My brain hurts, and my reality is broken. This is some messed up sh**. The Berenstein vs Berenstain Bears thing really has my head spinning even the librarian and teachers who used to read it to me and my classmates when we were young said Berenstein, every single one of them. How could it be Berenstain when even multiple trained professionals read it as Berenstein. I need to stop now before I give myself an aneurysm.

  5. I remember vividly growing up and my mom reading me the BerstEin bears; However there was a news article recently that stated the author of Berstain bears had passed away; I was shocked that they had this incorrect because i vividly remember BerstEin bears; It is even pronounced different. When I googled it it showed up as the Berstain bears; However google also showed I was not the only person who felt it was the Berstein bears; I ran down to my basement dug up my old books and my world came crushing down; the books; my physical hard copy that has been in my basement for over 20 years says berstAin bears. In my memory I refuse to believe it is Berstain bears and I also noticed that the Font on the cover of the books is not as I remember and the theme song does not ring any bells in my mind the one I remember was different. My mom and dad swear it has always been the Bernstein bears however me and both of my sisters remember it as the Berstein bears. My sister (English Major) pointed out that if it was BerstAin why did my mom or teachers never correct her for pronouncing it wrong.

    Here is a link to another very interesting article I read while trying to find the Berstein bears.

  6. I remember things being spelled as BerenstEin because at one point in my childhood, my mother would correct me by telling me the “stein” was pronounced “steen” and not “stain” (this in itself is already weird enough now that I look back on it because I was a pretty good reader as a kid. I even taught myself to read so why would I pronounce the “stein” as “stain”?) .

    I also remember an instance from my childhood where I remember thinking how the Berenstein bears seemed to have changed slightly in terms of their personality and appearance. I only thought that the slight change was due to the shows and books being remade but looking back, it also looks very weird now.
    I was a very avid reader when I was younger and would often push my mother to take me to the library to read books about the Berenstein bears and I would also watch the childrens show but after noticing this slight change, I completely stopped being interested in the Berenstein bears.

  7. It is my guess this all started in 2000/2001. John Titor supposedly came back in time to fix the Y2K problem and it does seem that around then is when things began to change. I’m with the majority here in I remember it Berenstein Bears and every single person I have ask to spell it for me that had no idea about this alternate timeline stuff spelled it “EI”. I would tend to be skeptical of the whole thing except for the fact that it seems almost everyone agrees that it was not Stain…how can so many intelligent people remember it wrong? Just statistically speaking it doesn’t seem likely. Either way it sure is fun to see the look on my friends faces when I blow their mind with this question.

  8. Leaving this comment is the last thing I’ll do before I let this thing go for my own sanity. I too remember the Berenstein bears. I don’t just remember the spelling, but also a whole suite of associated memories like arguing with classmates about the pronunciation (“steen” or “styne”) and wondering if the bears were Jewish.

    I went on a tear tonight after seeing one of the book covers with the “stain” spelling not he internet. At first I just figured that there had been a rebranding or something, and so I looked it up and began my descent down the rabbit hole.

    I found a comment that is purportedly from Mike Berenstain, explaining the history of his family name and offering it as an explanation for the confusion. However, in my mind, his explanation not only offers support to the parallel universe theory, it offers us an exact moment for the split between our actual timeline and the one many of us recall.

    According to Mr. Berenstain’s comment, the Berenstain name spelling came about in the late 1800s when an immigration officer strained to understand the accents of his great-something grandparent upon their arrival in the US from Ukraine. The difference between Berenstein and Berenstain, the titles of countless books and the cartoon show is all therefore the result of a language barrier between a government employee and an immigrant family. A single change in the intonation of a single syllable in a single conversation at a busy immigration port in the late 1800s might have swung everything that happened after one way or the other. So, if you are looking for a place where the timelines split, my money would be right there.

    1. Right! I had stumbled upon this comment, too…

      What if – in the specific case of the Berenst#in Bears – it’s as “simple” as a time-traveler walking across the street in front of the immigration officer’s horse and buggy on the day the Berenst#in family arrived?

      This simple hold up of mere moments could have been enough to keep said immigration officer from arriving at work in time to process the family, and in his absence/tardiness, someone else with less patience or hard of hearing had processed BerenstEin as BerenstAin.

  9. I just asked my mother, and she remembers having read these books to me, looking at the title, and wondering if it was beren-STEEN or beren-STINE. [edited]

  10. Okay, I’m with you on the totally freaked out feeling here. I read these books to my kids. I have just wasted two days of my life reading about this! I asked my husband last night if he remembered them and he remembered it as stain and pronounced it “stain.” I know it was stein! Even looking at the titles as Berenstain look truly weird.

    Also, chartreuse was a pink/red color, although I know today that it is a yellow/green. I have no idea when or how that changed. I thought NZ was further north and much closer to Australia. I don’t have any clear memories regarding Mandela other than at some point thinking “oh, I thought he had died in prison years ago. ” And the Taps TV series sounds vaguely familiar. I’d think that maybe I’d become incredibly subject to suggestion if I didn’t KNOW that the books were Berenstein.

    The theories about slippage, parallel universes, and time travel don’t seem to explain this. Mostly because it’s just speculation without any empirical evidence but also why? And wouldn’t there be much greater evidences? Wouldn’t we all of the E universe have greater divergences from the A universe than just the spelling of a stupid set of children’s books ( I may remember these so well because when I was reading them to my kids I thought they were stupid!) and the names of colors, etc.?

    Oh, I forgot, I also thought dilemma had an n instead of two mm’s: dilemna. Neither one of them look right to me now 🙂

    This is like a super joke for internet entertainment but obviously it’s not. Yuck!

  11. Just a quick note about this one–when I do those “Spot the Differences” puzzles, and I’m stuck, I will cross my eyes so that the two pictures merge into one. When I do that, the parts of the photo that are the same look perfectly normal, but the differences stand out. There’s a sort of “shimmer” and it actually physically hurts my eyes or makes me nauseous to look directly at it.

    When I see the new “Berenstain” book covers, I get the exact same effect when seeing that “a”. It’s too big, it shimmers and it hurts. It definitely stands out as WRONG. The rest of the title looks fine; it’s just the “a”. Oddly enough, I don’t get that effect when it’s typed out, on a forum like this, for instance. Only when seeing it in the traditional font that’s used on the books.

  12. I’m 52,and I know damn well it was The Berenstein Bears. Something is rotten in Denmark! I don’t
    remember the Mandella 80’s death or most of the other strange stuff,but I seem to recall New Zealand
    being north of Australia. Perhaps us E universeites have split up into variations of an A universe.
    VERY scary,indeed. I will start looking for real Berenstein books (wish me God’s speed!)

  13. I find it curious that the people who remember it always being spelled BerenstAin Bears have so much low-key anger toward those who remember it as BerenstEin Bears. Why?

    Ask yourself this: If one day when you woke up the colored cube puzzle game you knew and loved as Rubik’s Cube was no longer spelled Rubik’s, but Rubic’s Cube, could you convince yourself that it was, in fact, always spelled Rubic’s Cube? What about if it was now spelled Rabik’s Cube, would that work for you?

    The thing is, stain and stein aren’t even phonetically similar. Like at all. So, using my example above, if Rubik’s Cube was suddenly and without evidence or explanation spelled Rabik’s Cube, could you accept that thousands of people have just been wrong, including yourself, even though the two words aren’t phonetically the same?

    Something is definitely off about the A/E issue and I can’t convince myself, at this point, that it’s simply the result of thousands and thousands of completely unrelated people misreading the word for years. Not mispronouncing, but misREADING.

  14. I don’t remember how the word Berenstain or Bernstein was written, perhaps because I was so young when I was seeing the books, but I Do remember people around me definitely not pronouncing them as Berenstain, but rather with the “stein” on the end. I work at a library tho with many older women who are very familiar with these books pretty much from the beginning and none of them I have talked to remember anything different about the spelling…

  15. PS I too was a voracious reader who read beyond my level. I can see the word Berenstein in my mind when I see my books that I eventually did read like crazy, but they all say Bernstain now. Very confusing to say the least.. I also knew a man whose last name was Steinberg and I remember proud that I noticed that Stein part was the same in Steinberg as it was in Berenstein…

  16. I always remember it quite clearly being spelled Berenstein, but pronounced BerenstAIN, for example like a beer mug STEIN (sounds like stain). I remember either a teacher or my mother teaching me how to read it properly this way. I have always been excellent with spelling and have a very good memory so I could never have forgotten this. When my little brother was first learning to read he would pronounce it like STEEN and then i would correct him and explain to him how to pronounce it correctly. I would say it looks like steen but you pronounce it like stain. I can still hear that conversation in my mind between my brother and I in the early 90s. If it has always been Berenstain then the conversation between my brother and I could have never taken place because even a child learning to read would not pronounce the syllable “STAIN” to sound like “STEEN”, However they would think that “STEIN” would be pronounced like “STEEN” . So to me this is evident that something is going on here, much more so than being simple power of suggestion or just remembering incorrectly.

    Now if you are really into some tinfoil hat stuff, I usually research into a lot of government conspiracy and whistle-blower stories that sound extremely crazy to most people. That being said, There are stories that the American government has had some crazy technologies that they have been experimenting with, for a lot longer than you would think would be possible. It has been reported that they have had the ability to time travel for decades. They have been experimenting with these things and attempting to change certain things from the past or simply just being able to go back and view certain events like a fly on the wall. Lets pretend for a second this is true. This could definitely have ripple effects or create parallel universes that could noticeably change things in the present. Now it was reported by the son of the late “Berenstains” when asked about the controversy (national post article) that when his Polish/Jewish grandparents immigrated to the U.S. the Immigration officer gave them the name Berenstain because that was his interpretation on how they pronounced it to him with their accents. So if for any reason this officer were not in that day or perhaps there was a different order of the people in line at the immigration office, which would result in them meeting with a different officer, then maybe his interpretation would sound something more like “Berenstein”. Any small change in the past could possibly have some sort of effect or maybe it is really just as simple as we all woke up one day in a different parallel world.

  17. 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…..

  18. 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.

  19. 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…

  20. 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.

  21. 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.

  22. 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

  23. 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 ?

  24. 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

  25. 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”.

  26. 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.

  27. 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.

  28. 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.

  29. 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…..

  30. 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.

  31. 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..

  32. 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

  33. 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.

  34. 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??

  35. 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?

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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))

  39. 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.

  40. 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.

  41. 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.

  42. 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!

  43. 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.

  44. 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.

  45. 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?

  46. 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.

  47. 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.

Comments are closed.