Forgetting Favor


(permanent link) added: 2012-02-11 15:21:45 sponsor: Goldfritha (last reply: 2012-03-24 11:56:36)

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Dr. Bellfriar: And just who are you?
Blake: Well, according to the Federation, I'm a political criminal. You may have heard of me. My name is Blake.
Dr. Bellfriar: Yes, but then were absentminded scientists, you see. In fact, we've forgotten your name already. Haven't we, Gambrill?
Gambrill: Whose name, sir?
--Blake's 7

A character asks another to forget something -- what he just did, that he was there, what his name is. The other asks what he is talking about -- did what? who was here? what name?

Or a character may tell another Could Say It But, and reject thanks by wondering what it was for.

This, of course, is always feigned, but the odds of this character ever telling are very low indeed.

When the character really is ignorant, see Cloud Cuckoo Lander, or Left Fielder when it's the request that inspires it. Compare Let Us Never Speak of This Again, I'll Pretend I Didn't Hear That.

Examples

Film
  • The Sting. The con artists are setting up their operation. One of them, Kid Twist, has just paid the landlord to rent several rooms.
    Kid Twist: This is the last time I expect to see you down here.
    Owner: Never heard of the place.

Literature

Live-Action TV
  • In Blake's 7, scientists profess to have forgotten Blake's name moments after he told them.
  • On Friends, Phoebe realizes someone lied about having a girlfriend so as to get close to Monica. She agrees not to mention it, though, as she's rooting for the guy.
    Pete: Thanks.
    Phoebe: For what?
    Pete: [laughing]
    Phoebe: No, seriously, I'm intuitive but my memory sucks.
  • The episode "Born Under A Bad Sign" of Supernatural has the following exchange later in the episode after a demon that had possessed Sam had killed a fellow hunter:
    Bobby: You boys ever hear of a hunter named Steve Wandell?
    Dean (seeing something leading about Bobby's expression): Why do you ask?
    Bobby: Just heard from a friend. Wandell's dead. Murdered in his own house. You wouldn't know anything about that?
    Dean: No, Sir, never heard of the guy.
    Sam: Dean...
    Bobby: Good. Keep it that way.

Web Comics
  • This Crimson Dark strip.
    Alison: [I trust some random free-trader] better than I trust you...which is still better than I trust Admiral Felton. Don't discuss this mission with anyone, especially him.
    Larissa: What mission?
    Alison: Well done.
  • Eastwood and Virus from Exterminatus Now forget the location of a mercenary base here.
    Steve: I hope I can count of you Inquisitors to conveniently forget the Cesspool's location. Maybe this massive case of alcohol will help?
    Eastwood: What's a cesspool?
  • From The Order of the Stick prequel Start of Darkness:
Xykon: You should probably forget that last part, though.
Mit D: What last part?
Xykon: Very good.
Mit D: What's very good?
Xykon: Perfect.
Mit D: Huh?
  • Crimson Flag has a variant, when a mage summons a (theologically illegal) spirit.
    Bryce: Spirits are deceitful beings. In the beginning, the Lady warred with them. To take a spirit guardian is not only to reject the Lady, but to side against her. [polishes glasses] Shame...my glasses were dirty, and I didn't see where that blue spirit came from.
  • Moloch von Zinzer in Girl Genius adapts to the situation very quickly.
    Gil: And of course my father always says it's best if we're the only ones that find out.
    Moloch: Aaaah -- find out what?
    Gil: Good man.

Western Animation
  • In "Missionary Impossible" from The Simpsons, Homer was shipped off by Reverand Lovejoy to be a missionary in the South Pacific (to escape from a mob of PBS characters). When Homer arrives at Microatia, he meets two real missionaries named Craig and Amy, who leave him to deal with the natives:
    Homer: You're leaving? Wait! What do I do here? Amy: First of all, forget everything you learned in missionary school. (beat) Homer: Done.
    • Double subverted in the end of the episode "Skinner's Sense of Snow", where Principal Skinner asks Bart to pretend an embarrassing series of events never happened. Bart responds this way, and Principal Skinner says, "Exactly." But then Bart says "No, really, I wasn't listening," and Principal Skinner irritably begins to repeat himself, until Bart admits he was just joking.

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