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Eat Brain For Memories
Tropeworthy? Better Name Needs Examples Up For Grabs

(permanent link) added: 2012-11-15 04:51:00 sponsor: MarqFJA edited by: Arivne (last reply: 2013-02-19 09:00:53)

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Gaining someone's memories by devouring their brain, somehow absorbing the memories recorded in the brain cells even though they should be lost with the cells that have been physically mangled in the process.

Sub-Trope of Cannibalism Superpower and Brain Food. Sister Trope of Genetic Memory, where the memories are instead recorded in the genes.


Comic Books
  • There's at least one version of the DC Comics supervillain Grodd who did this.

  • The Thing (1982). A Thing can do this when it consumes a human being and converts it into a Thing. The new Thing has all of the memories of the original person.
  • The Brain Bug in Starship Troopers was believed to do this. (We know it ate brains, but the reason was only theorized.)

  • Dean Koontz's Phantoms. A gigantic protoplasmic monster consumes human beings and absorbs their memories from their brains.
  • Piers Anthony's Firefly. A small protoplasmic monster dissolves and absorbs the interior of people's bodies. It gains their memories and personality from their brains.

Tabletop Games
  • Dungeons & Dragons has the Illithids (aka Mind Flayers) who do this. They gain memories, skills, and even class levels by doing so.
  • Warhammer 40,000:
    • Some Space Marines can do this, depending on canon.
    • Tyranids, most infamously lictors ( Tyranid Stealthy Colossus scouts) but anything with feeder tendrils might show this ability. This is pretty much their only way of gathering intel, as they never talk with their food.
  • Werewolf: The Apocalypse has the Eaters of the Dead, a small cult of Silent Strider werewolves who've discovered a magic rite that lets them absorb memories and skills from other supernaturals by eating their brains. Habitual use of this rite has turned them into paraniod, blood-crazed serial killers, and quite wrecked their sanity. Their original goals were to use the rite temporarily until they found a better way to permanently regain all that their tribe had lost. But at this point they just wander around looking for other supernatural creatures to murder -- the older, the better.

Video Games
  • In Kingdom of Loathing, the Zombie Master Special Challenge Path uses "Hunter brains" to level up their Skill Trees. The use message for "Good brain" is "Oh, man is that Gravitys Raibow? Oh, just, like, the first third. Still, though!" Decent brains give the urge to go watch TV (but not reality TV, so it's OK), and Crappy brains "...smell of illiteracy and superstition."
  • Prototype has Mercer and Heller do eat entire people, including their brains, in order to assimilate their memories in order to understand a Web Of Intrigue about a grand conspiracy behind Gentek.

Western Animation
  • The Simpsons, The Spy Who Learned Me(S23 E20)
    Burns: Oh pish, when I was in Africa I had my skull cracked open by cannibals and I'm still kicking.
    Smithers: Sir, that was your partner, you betrayed him to the cannibals.
    Burns: Oh right, I have his memories because I ate his brain.
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