The BerenWHAT Bears?!

I had a really great weekend and I’m definitely going to blog about it, but in the meantime…

On Sunday evening I was browsing Reddit on my phone before bed, and I was going through /r/glitch_in_the_matrix, when I found a post about the Berenstein Bears. You know, everyone’s favourite bear family. The post was about how The Berenstein Bears is and has always been spelled the Berenstain Bears. BerenSTAIN.


Wait, what?

How is this possible? I had pretty much the entire collection of these books, I had the TV series on videocassette… I read them to my baby brother over and over again, and we watched the series over and over. In The Dark is like one of my favourite books of all time!


And I have always read it as BerenSTEIN. How can it be BerenSTAIN and I never noticed this? It looks so odd now. I can’t stop staring at that name.

Mind = blown.


I feel like my whole childhood was a lie. It’s crazy that I have just always read it wrong. And I’m not alone. In my googling I discovered that EVERYONE seems to have read the name wrong. This guy has a very detailed explanation of how reality was altered and some time after 1992 we switched over to a parallel universe where Berenstein is spelled Berenstain.

These books play such a huge role in the collective memories of so many people, all of whom clearly and distinctly remember “BerenstEin”, that I am not the first to propose the notion that somehow, at some time in the last 10 years or so, reality has been tampered with and history has been retroactively changed.  The bears really were called the “BerenstEin Bears” when we were growing up, but now reality has been altered such that the name of the bears has been changed post hoc.

Quote is from this blog post. I’m not saying that I believe that, but I did think it was interesting. And it may have made me laugh.

So how do you guys remember it being spelled? Berenstein or Berenstain? And if you know it is Berenstain, did you always know it was spelled that way or did you discover it after you were an adult?


24 responses to “The BerenWHAT Bears?!

  1. ABSOLUTELY STEIN!! Thank you for clearing this up in case I see it in the future I now know that “reality has been altered such that the name of the bears has been changed post hoc.” Agreed mind blown.


  3. I’ve always said BerenSTAIN — but I just sort of mumble it because I’ve noticed that everyone else says BerenSTEIN. I have this vague memory of being a child and actually purposefully looking at the spelling on the book so I would get it right.
    (I would eventually grow up to be a copy editor.)

  4. I actually had this same mindblowing experience a number of years ago when I realized it was spelled with an “a” not an “e”. Prior to that I had always thought it was Berenstein too!

  5. I never read them but I always thought it was the Bernstein – so there’s even and extra “en” in there that I didn’t know about.

  6. Absolutely it was BerenSTEIN when I read the books. I actually think I said it more like “Behrn-steen.” Also my husband saw this over my shoulder when I was reading and freaked out as well.

  7. I would have bet my bank balance (although it’s not a lot) that it was BerenSTAIN. I feel the need to go to amazon and check on all of these. Maybe only the books I had said Berenstein??

  8. Oops, I meant I would have bet that it was BerenSTEIN.

  9. Huh? It’s -stain! I distinctly remember questioning the phonetics of the name as a child, and my mother telling me it was probably a perversion of a German name. Maybe everyone thinks it’s Berenstein because that’s a much more common name ending and out minds just complete the word?

  10. Laurie @ Whisking & Writing

    I saw that on reddit, as well, and I felt just like you. Mind totally blown.

  11. Whoa, I always said Beren-steen bears. where did the stain come from? it must be some sort of hoax

  12. Ya, you definitely just blew my mind.

  13. No way! I don’t remember that at all! I used to love reading those books. I wonder what happened to my collection…

  14. Hardly matters whether it was stein or stain and for that matter even the various celebrities who got resurrected after dying don’t matter to anybody.The world will go on its sweet way no matter what happens,what with stuffed dummies being elected heads of state,illuminati like institutions pulling the strings of course.Even if all the heads of state of all countries die simultaneously no ripple will be created,dummies don’t make big splashes.

  15. This is so disturbing. Aliens must be behind this.

  16. I know the ‘1992’ theory is wrong, or at least it didn’t happen then. I have a sister born in 1993 that remembers it clearly as berenstEin.

  17. In 2001 everyone seemed to spell it Berenstein, and there did not seem to be a discussion about it. Check this link out, they were thinking about naming a theme park “The Berenstein Bears”. Even though is is spelled “Berenstain” and apparently always has been. I cannot post links here, so google “Berenstein Bear Land or Snoopy Land” Some of the spellings are a little off from “Berenstein”, but not one single person spells it “Berenstain” on this website in 2001, not even the website. If it was spelled Berenstain like it apparently always has been, why is it never spelled that way then??

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