You ask anyone to do an impression of Hannibal Lecter from The Silence of the Lambs and they’ll do one of these three things: Make the creepy sucking sound he does, talk about eating someone’s liver with “some fava beans and a nice Chianti,” or say “Hello Clarice” in that classic Hannibal drawl. Here’s the thing…one of those three things is a false memory. A classic Hannibal Lecter quote is actually a misquote, an example of the Mandela Effect. Are you guilty of remembering The Silence of the Lambs all wrong?
In this common Mandela Effect, fans of The Silence of the Lambs remember Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) visiting Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) for the first time in his glass-walled prison. As she enters, Hannibal is standing in the middle of his cell. He looks into her eyes and says, “Hello Clarice.” Let’s pause for a moment to let your shivers subside.
I hate to break it to you, but that’s not what Hannibal says. At no point in The Silence of the Lambs does Anthony Hopkins ever mutter those words. Instead, in the scene where they first meet, he just says “good morning.” Of course, that hasn’t stopped people from attributing that phrase to him for decades. Here’s a clip for proof:
So why do so many people think Hannibal said “Hello, Clarice?”
It’s difficult to trace back, but most impressions of the cannibalistic character have included the line since the very beginning. The Silence of the Lambs came out in 1991, and in 1996 we all got a clip of Jim Carrey imitating him with the misquote. In The Cable Guy, his character dons meat on his face at a Medieval Times restaurant and says “Hello, Clarice:”
Maybe we can take up our mass Mandela Effect up with Jim Carrey? Luckily, the quote became canon later with a follow-up movie to The Silence of the Lambs.
After so many years of people misquoting the movie, Hannibal solved everything. The 2001 sequel to the original movie, starring Julianne Moore as Clarice Starling with Anthony Hopkins reprising his epic role, included the quote. Catch it in the trailer below:
Sure, it took a full decade to make this iconic line a reality, but better late than never.
If you’re still not believing that your memory of The Silence of the Lambs is wrong, you can always watch it again all the way through. Watch it on Prime Video or free with ads on the Roku Channel and Tubi.