The Berenstein Bears Controversy

Everyone remembers the Berenstein Bears, right?

Well, hold onto your hats, because this gets seriously creepy. See, The Berenstein Bears never existed. Nope, never. But you remember them, right?

Turns out all evidence available today points to them having been The Berenstain Bears. Yet many people remember -stein very clearly. How could this possibly be?

Available evidence suggests parallel universe problems.

Scary stuff. Since reading about this I haven’t been able to sleep. It’s been 2 days now. Blood is trickling out of my ears. Must alert others.

You must have missed this thread/poll from last year.

In my universe, it was always -stain, and in my house, pronounced like a stain on your shirt, but when I went out into the world at large, people all pronounced it stein, like a beer stein. I couldn’t understand how so many people could be morons, and I struggle with that question to this day.

I searched. Hard.

Goldberg, Iceberg… what’s the difference?..

They have always been the Berenstain Bears in my world.

As a kid I always pronounced it “Bern-steen”. I also completely butchered “Hermione”, though, so I guess my parallel universe is a particularly exotic one.

We always pronounced it Beren-steen Bears, like mangosteen.

But I had no recollection of how it was actually spelled, so when I learned recently that others pronounce it BerenSTAIN and I looked at one of the books to see it’s spelled that way I decided to retrain my pronunciation. The retraining has been rocky.

I remember being a child, annoyed at other kids who pronounced it “Beren-STINE”. Couldn’t they see it wasn’t spelled that way?

Yep, I don’t recall not noticing the spelling - always “-stain.”

Human perception - sensory and neurological - is fascinating stuff.

Stains and Steins. Sounds like Octoberfest…

I opened the thread to tell you that you misspelled ‘Berenstain’, so I think you can guess where I come down on this one.

I grew up in the -stein universe, pronounced “Bear-en-steen,” so I’m also flummoxed by this shift. I guess when I moved from Michigan to Arizona, or when I moved back to Michigan, I missed a turn at Albuquerque and went through a wormhole.

This is why I only give my kid Little Critter books. All the same moral lessons taught by anthropomorphic animals named Mother, Brother, Sister, etc but none of the name confusion.

Is the Berenstein universe the same one that has the alternate ending to Big?

Exactly, and it was adults too! People see what they expect to see instead of actually looking at stuff.


And it’s worth noting that the authors of the books have the last name Berenstain, so it’s reasonable to think that this is what they named their characters.

There is a similar situation discussed regarding Nelson Mandela. There are people who swear he died in prison. He did not. Not in this time stream/reality.

:smiley: There’s like, six people in the world that know that joke. I’ve only met two and one was the guy that told it to me.

I knew it was Berenstain before there were any bears; my parents had Marital Blitz in their bookcase.

Before they created the bears,* they wrote a series of humorous guides to marriage and relationships a la Dave Barry.

*Which I had never heard of in him childhood. When I first I heard of them, I though, "Oh, those are the people who did Marital Blitz