Created By: Earnest on December 10, 2012 Last Edited By: Earnest on April 24, 2013

Memory Jar

Memories kept in an object for safekeeping and viewing.

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Trope
This trope is when an object becomes imbued with the memories of a character, allowing others to gain these memories in a Pensieve Flashback or Exposition Beam. The "Jar" may be single use or reusable, and while it is often made intentionally either as an awesome form of journaling or diary keeping, it's entirely possible for it to be made unintentionally. In those cases, it's probably a psychic or wizard using a form of touch based Psychometry to find out the history of an item.

In some cases, the Memory Jar can potentially be a complete record of a character's memories, becoming both a biography and potentially a "restore point" if their memories are damaged or a clone has to imprinted.

Anime & Manga
  • In the episode "Glass Labyrinth" of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex, Motoko seemingly gets hacked and finds her way to a curio shop where the store owner holds onto items full of memories from the customers who left them in her care. The psychic imprints that each object gives off allows her to tell the full story behind it. Motoko is soon reminded about the story of her and Kuze's past, and the tragic plane crash that brought them together when they were both just six years old.

Film - Live Action
  • In TheNeverendingStoryII Bastian is slowly losing his memories which are being kept in what appear to be glass orbs by Xayide.

Film - Western Animation
  • Rise of the Guardians has baby teeth work this way, storing childhood memories that the toothfairy returns to children when they might forget their youthful dreams or self.

Literature

Community Feedback Replies: 12
  • December 11, 2012
    Arivne
    Note: a psychic finding out the history of an item by touching it is called Psychometry.
  • December 11, 2012
    DRCEQ
    • In the episode "Glass Labyrinth" of Ghost In The Shell Stand Alone Complex, Motoko seemingly gets hacked and finds her way to a curio shop where the store owner holds onto items full of memories from the customers who left them in her care. The psychic imprints that each object gives off allows her to tell the full story behind it. Motoko is soon reminded about the story of her and Kuze's past, and the tragic plane crash that brought them together when they were both just six years old.
  • December 15, 2012
    Tallens
    It's been years since I've seen this, so forgive me if the details are not quite right.

    • In TheNeverendingStoryII Bastian is slowly losing his memories which are being kept in what appear to be glass orbs by Xayide.
  • December 24, 2012
    Tallens
    • The Babylon Five episode "Deathwalker" had Talia Winters meeting with Kosh and a strange cybernetic man who apparently was recording her thoughts and saving them on a data crystal. Word Of God is that it would be used to restore her personality after she was taken over by the Psi Corps personality, but Andrea Thompson left the show, so that never came to fruition
  • December 24, 2012
    TheMutant
    • A couple examples in Mass Effect-
      • 'Grayboxes', a piece of technology introduced in Kasumi's missions, serve this function, and her loyalty mission in the second game revolves around recovering one.
      • Javik, your potential Prothean DLC squadmate in Mass Effect 3 possesses an artifact he calls an Echo Shard that contains the memories that each Prothean that had it before him placed into it. The player character can advise him on whether to experience the memories contained or not- which, depending on the choice, may end up with him wondering what peace will be like, or alternatively, becoming a Death Seeker, and he may pass it on to Shepard in London.
  • December 25, 2012
    Chabal2
    • A particularly horrible example in Hellblazer: John encounters a sweet, grandmotherly old woman who sends her son to kill prostitutes and hack off chunks of their flesh with a razor which she then keeps floating in jars. She can then relive the victim's happiest memories, which John compares to a drug high.
    • In The Sandman, Odin keeps his thoughts and his memories in his two crows, Huggin and Munnin. When he sends them off to gather information, he becomes completely catatonic, being capable of neither until they return.
  • December 25, 2012
    Tallens
    • In Starcraft II, Raynor is given a crystal that contains Zeratul's memories of what he learned about the Zerg and the Fallen One.
  • December 27, 2012
    justanid
    EDIT:

  • December 28, 2012
    Tallens
    ^And they have memories in them?
  • December 28, 2012
    MrRuano
    The film The Final Cut centers around a special implant babies can get that will record their entire lives so that loved ones can see them after the individual's death. The main character's job is to cut and edit these memories into a film so that only the best memories are seen.
  • January 9, 2013
    Tallens
    • On Once Upon A Time Mr. Gold can apparently use a dreamcatcher to capture and hold memories.
  • April 24, 2013
    Tallens
    Bump.
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