Scenes/passages you misremembered

I saw a lot of cheesy sf/horror flicks on the local late-night movie as a kid. Apparently my memory and/or plot comprehension wasn’t the greatest, because now decades later whenever I catch these flicks, I’m astonished at the discrepencies between what I thought was in the movie and what I see now. Any good examples you’d like to share?

I would, but I’m afraid I can’t remember any of them right now. I wish I were joking! But I do know what you mean – I have extremely clear memories of certain passages that I have read, and then when I go back to look for them (usually because I am trying to prove that I am correct about something I was saying about the book), it turns out that I’ve apparently invented something very different.

Usually, I think what happens is that something catches my imagination, and then I elaborate on it in my mind, so when I read it again, I’m very surprised by how sparse the description is.

I thought sure there were two scenes in Lugosi’s DRACULA- one in which Van Helsing & the men are shown going to Lucy’s tomb to stake her (they are just shown outside, and later tell Mina when she asks), and another in which Mina tells VH & Jonathan that Dracula made her drink his blood also. The first apparently is a misremembering from another outdoor scene (tho they do tell Mina about staking Lucy), and I’m too lazy at the moment to look up the other.

I read Niven and Pournelle’s Footfall back when it was first published. Yes, it was just *Lucifer’s Hammer * with aliens but I enjoyed it a lot.

I reread it two years ago or so and found that some of my favourite scenes must have been edited out. The launch of the Orion had many fewer points-of-view than I remember, and the exciting space battle (which included the Human’s ship actually *spearing * the bulky alien ship and specially-trained space Marines swarming through the outworlder’s corridors) never really existed at all.

A shame really, that was my favourite part. I often wonder where I did read that scene.

Peter Scolari’s “Michael” character on Newhart was fond of alliteration. There was one scene I remembered fondly when he and his vain wife, Stephanie, were charging people for the privilege of meeting their newborn daughter (presents of low value meant you could get a glimpse through the window, higher values meant you could get closer). Larry and the Darryls presented a frozen goose.

Michael: I guess a goose is good for a gander.

Now, this cracked me up for years afterward and when I happened to catch a rerun, I waited eagerly. The line actually is:

Michael: If you’re good for a goose, we’re good for a gander.
I was crushed. I still like my misremembered version better.

Most of my favorite parts of *War and Peace * turned out to be in Anna Karenina.

I’m not even making this up.

In the famous SNL Cowbell skit, I recall the line being, “I got a fever! And the only cure… is more cowbell!

Turns out the words are “prescription”, not “cure”


For the longest time, I remembered a scene in Star Wars where some alien tries to take Luke’s jacket, and Luke refuses and kicks the alien in the knee, which turns out was where the alien’s private parts were. But then I watched all three movies again (this was long before Ep. I), and the scene wasn’t there. So I figured I must’ve been thinking about The Last Starfighter. I was positive the hero was some plucky kid in a new and alien environment. Some time later, I catch that movie on TV, and the part still wasn’t there. So then I had no idea where I saw it, until just a year ago when I saw Star Trek II (III? V? I don’t remember now), and it turns out it was Captain Kirk all along. Not quite a plucky little kid.

Yes, yes I do feel quite stupid, thanks.

Star Trek VI, actually. Kirk and McCoy have been senteced to a tough Klingon prison and Kirk has to prove he’s nobody’s bitch.
Well, except Priceline’s.

I saw both The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly and For a Few Dollars More back to back in 1985. For the longest time, I got the title sequences switched in my head, and it wasn’t until I got both on DVD when I straightened them both out. I cringed all the way through TGTBATU wondering what else they had messed with. I felt pretty stupid when I started FAFDM and realized that I had spent 3 hours worrying for nothing.