The wedding anniversary is very important to married couples - it signifies that they acknowledge how long they've been together and how far they've made it. It's like a marriage's birthday.

Woe befall the one who ''forgets'' the anniversary.

If one member of a couple forgets an anniversary it's considered a ''very'' big problem for the relationship (at least in fiction). Someone who forgets his/her wedding anniversary is either considered insensitive enough to not value the importance of a long-lasting marriage or unromantic in regards to not putting the marriage over his/her bad memory.

There are many variations on this theme:
* One of them forgets. The other sees it as pathetic, but nothing major happens, even though the other may be bitter or prone to teasing the one who forgot for a while.
* One of them forgets, and is embarrassed in front of an old friend who was considerate enough to remember.
* One of them forgets and gets ExiledToTheCouch for being so inconsiderate.
* One of them forgets the anniversary and the other is so mad that he/she storms out of the house to go [[DrowningMySorrows drink off the sorrows]]/storms out of the house to go back to mom/mope about it in frustration. This continues until the one who's forgotten it improvises a gift or improvises something.
* One of them seemingly forgets the anniversary and the other gets mad - but as it turns out, he/she hasn't forgotten! It's supposed to be a surprise gift or party, but now the one who's "forgotten" must deal with the ire of the other person...
* One of them forgets and is forced to do stuff by the other's whim in order to "make up for it".
* They both forget and later realize how pathetic they both are.

Oddly enough, in the one-person-actually-forgets scenario, it's usually the guy who forgets. Make of that what you will.

Usually (but not always) played for comedy. Nearly all TV sitcoms involving a married couple will fall back on this at least once in the run of a show. And it is by far more common for the husband to be one who either forgets or is pretending to forget.

May lead to some ConvenienceStoreGiftShopping. For a non-marriage example, see OnePersonBirthdayParty.



* A credit card commercial where a man at work is asked by his wife if he made any plans for their anniversary. Naturally he must scramble for an AssPull: "Uh, yeah...we're... " *glances at Chinese takeoutbox* "taking the Orient Express to..." *glances at stained tie* "a spot in...Thailand!" *glances out window, where a bird lands* "We're going birdwatching!" At the end of the commercial, on the trip that his credit card company was able to drum up on short notice, his wife remarks that "this is such a surprise", and he wholeheartedly agrees.
* Another commercial had a guy's wife cook a fancy dinner, dress up, and light candles. Her husband then comes in, takes it all in with a wow, and asks "What's the occasion?" [[CrossesTheLineTwice His wife then takes the steak back into the kitchen, probably to throw it away.]]
* Another commercial (This one for the latest [=iPhone=]) has the guy at work reminded of their plans by his wife, and making a dinner reservation while he's talking to her.

[[folder:{{Anime}} and {{Manga}}]]
* In an episode of ''Manga/WeddingPeach'' this is the central problem; Hinagiku's mother attempts to leave the house because her father forgot, but as it turned out, the father was too busy with work and had hidden his anniversary gift so he couldn't present it to her the whole day. The girls try to get him to reiterate what he ''wanted'' to say in front of her, but then demons intervene and stuff tries to get in the way. They work it out.

* In the UDON ''ComicBook/StreetFighter'' comic books, one issue showed Guile falling victim to the results of this--he forgot his and Jane's wedding anniversary because he and Charlie were sparring in a match that lasted ''days''. At the end of the spar, on [[OhCrap realizing he'd forgotten the anniversary]], Guile tried to make it up to Jane, but...
--> ''(Guile shows up at home with a bouquet, but Jane's extremely pissed)''\\
'''Guile:''' Happy anniver--\\
'''Jane:''' Couch.\\
'''Guile:''' I brought you flowers--\\
'''Jane:''' Couch. ''(walks off, leaving a defeated Guile with his head hanging low)''

* In the movie ''Film/TheFamilyMan'', when the main character forgets his anniversary, he forgets it because he hasn't technically been married to his wife yet, but she doesn't know that...
* One scene in ''Film/TheSixthSense'' looks like this, with Bruce Willis showing up late to an anniversary dinner with his wife at a fancy restaurant; she barely acknowledges him before leaving. [[spoiler: Subverted, though, because he's actually a ghost and she can't even see or hear him.]]
* In the 1949 Milton Berle film ''Film/AlwaysLeaveThemLaughing,'' a guy buys a watch for his wife, and she has no idea what the occasion is. He lampshades the usual nature of the trope by saying something to the effect of, "Folks, you're witnessing a historical event. Usually, it's the ''man'' who forgets the first anniversary." His wife feels bad about it for a moment, but then gives him a kiss for always being so good to her.
* ''Film/CarryOnCabby'' from the ''Film/CarryOn'' film series bases its premise around this. The workaholic taxi driver Charlie Hawkins forgets his wedding anniversary, so his wife creates a rival taxi business to get back at him.

* In ''Literature/AtlasShrugged'', the fact that James Taggart can't remember his wedding anniversary contributes to his VillainousBreakdown.

* In an episode of ''Series/FawltyTowers'', Fawlty plans a surprise party for his wife for their wedding anniversary. Sybil storms out of the house because she thinks he has forgotten it, and for the rest of the episode he tries to pretend to the party guests that nothing is wrong and that his wife is merely ill.
* In ''Series/ILoveLucy'', Lucy thinks Ricky gave her a [[PrettyInMink mink coat]], and says she thinks it's an anniversary gift. At the end, this is subverted when it turns out she lies about that, to the point of forgetting their real anniversary date, in order to get things from him.
** Another episode reveals that Ricky [[CrazyPrepared keeps emergency gifts in the closet for just such an occasion.]] This also includes birthdays.
* Leo [=McGarry=] does this very early in ''Series/TheWestWing''. The forgotten anniversary is used to [[EstablishingCharacterMoment establish]] that he's MarriedToTheJob with an intensity that clearly leads one to believe that he's [[AddictionDisplacement using work as a substitute]] for [[TheAlcoholic booze]]; it leads to his divorce.
* Played with in one of the first season episodes of ''Series/SportsNight'': Dan is pissed off at Casey for forgetting their "anniversary" (the date of their first show together).
-->'''Dan:''' I remember what you were wearing. Do you remember what I was wearing?\\
'''Casey:''' I remember not thinking at the time that you were a woman.
* ''Series/WhiteCollar'': In the pilot, Peter has an embarrassed moment when Neal remembers his anniversary before he does. He then spends the rest of the episode desperately trying to think of a gift for his wife that will make up for having forgotten last year.
* Invoked the ''Series/StudioC'' sketch, "[[ Celebirthsary]]" where the wife has deliberately decorated as ambiguously as possible so that her husband has to figure out what was special about the day. [[spoiler: In actuality, there was nothing to celebrate, since it was a test to see if the husband really did remember everything.]]
* ''Series/{{Leverage}}'' has Nate get in trouble with Sophie when he claims they met eight years earlier, while she insists it was ten. It later turns out that they first ''saw'' each other ten years earlier, when she was stealing art and he was chasing her, but he considers the first time they ''met'' to be two years later when they first spoke. Unfortunately, he also screws up the location of an event, which means she's still got something to hold over his head.

* The subject of the "Anniversary Song" by Music/DaYoopers. The wife asks her husband if he remembers what day it is, and he guesses "trout season?" and later her uncle Ernie's funeral, where she got sick. In the second verse, she fills in the details a bit, but the only thing he remembers is someone in the congregation passing gas.
* In one children's song, the singer's mother gets back at her husband for forgetting their anniversary by giving the children a bowl of ripened fruit. The father sits at the low end of a table on a slope, and HilarityEnsues when the fruit rolls onto him.
* Mentioned in the ''Straight No Chaser'' Christmas medley "Nutcracker": "I'm watching the game but something's wrong/Staring is my wife, her face looks long/I know that look, it must be me/It's not our anniversary/I shrug, no clue/What did I do?/She stares in disbelief"

* Variation in ''The Male Animal'': Tommy fails to recall that it's his wife's birthday, even when she meaningfully asks him what day it is, until her OldFlame shows up and mentions the fact in Tommy's presence.

* In a rare non-marriage example, the ''Ride/DespicableMeMinionMayhem'' ride at Ride/UniversalStudios has Margo, Edith, and Agnes briefly believing that Gru had forgotten their first anniversary together as a family; though it turns out that Gru was only preparing his ultimate gift to the girls for the occasion.

* Rose's NeverLiveItDown moment in ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid2SonsOfLiberty'' is her continual "Do you remember what day this is?" nagging. Apparently remembering anniversaries is SeriousBusiness [[SkewedPriorities compared to saving the President of the United States from execution by terrorists]].

* Spoofed in the webcomic ''Webcomic/PvP''. The author admitted (via Twitter) that he'd completely forgotten about characters Jade and Brent's first anniversary, so didn't do a strip for it. The next day, he started a storyline about how Brent and Jade had ''themselves'' both forgotten the anniversary.

* ''On The Lot'' had a short film called [[ "Sweet"]] where the man makes an epic effort in getting last-minute plans together for his anniversary. HilarityEnsues.
* ''Podcast/RandomAssault'': The secret ending sound of episode 042 is a very un-enthusiastic message from Alex reminding listeners of the show's one-year anniversary.

* In the ''WesternAnimation/PhineasAndFerb'' episode "Dude, We're Getting The Band Back Together," Lawrence Fletcher forgets his wedding anniversary, and his wife is angry with him. Phineas and Ferb help their dad make up for it by duplicating the rock concert at which the couple had their first kiss.
* Mung Daal from ''WesternAnimation/{{Chowder}}'' does this.
* Cosmo tries to leave the fishbowl in an episode of ''WesternAnimation/TheFairlyOddParents'' when he believes Wanda is angry at him for no reason and has forgotten their anniversary. Turns out, it was the False Anger Anniversary (once every someodd years) and Wanda had remembered, but it's too late - he's gone home to his mom. They work it out anyway, only for Cosmo to forget it was their anniversary at the end of the episode.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons '', Homer Simpson does this several times.
-->'''Marge:''' "He forgets [all] holidays, both religious and secular..."
* There was an incident regarding this in ''WesternAnimation/DannyPhantom'' - Danny had lost the gift and he had to go retrieve it in a ghost world. It's revealed that Jack has forgotten his and Maddie's anniversary ''eighteen years in a row'' because he's so obsessed with ghost hunting.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheFlintstones'', Fred often had difficulty remembering his and Wilma's...except whenever it fell on Trash Day.
* The ''WesternAnimation/AmericanDad'' episode "Francine's Flashback" has Stan forget his and Francine's anniversary. Roger reminds her about when he forgot last year, in which Francine gave Stan a NoHoldsBarredBeatdown so bad that it became an episode of ''{{Series/Cops}}''.
-->'''Francine:''' I am sure he is just waiting for the perfect time to surprise me. After all our anniversary isn't till midnight.\\
'''Stan:''' [[AnswerCut This midnight fishing]] is great.\\
'''Bullock:''' Sounds to me like someone doesn't want to go home.\\
'''Stan:''' Yeah, I'm, uh, laying low. Today is the anniversary of [[{{Understatement}} a huge fight me]] and Francine got into last year.\\
'''Jackson:''' Yeah? What about?\\
'''Stan:''' Oh, I forgot our anniversary. Huh! I'm never gonna do that again.\\
'''Jackson:''' I eh?\\
'''Bullock:''' ''(signals Jackson to not say anything)''\\
''(Stan takes a sip of his beer, casts his line, pauses a few seconds)''\\
'''Stan:''' [[OhCrap AAAAAAGH!]]\\
'''Bullock:''' [[DelayedReaction There it is]].
* In ''WesternAnimation/FatherOfThePride'', one year prior, Larry had promised to never forget the wedding anniversary ever again. Guess what happens. Though getting married on Jimi Hendrix's birthday may have had something to do with it.
* In ''WesternAnimation/DanVs'' "The Fancy Restaurant", Chris and Elise both assume the other is trying to remind him/her of their wedding anniversary. Eventually they both come clean and realize that neither of them actually remembers the date of their anniversary. [[SugarWiki/HeartwarmingMoments Chris declares he doesn't care because he doesn't need to wait for a certain day to show Elise how much he loves her.]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/BobsBurgers'' first episode, Bob forgets his and Linda's anniversary, and when Linda gets angry Bob protests that he's just not good with dates. A montage of flashbacks reveals he's also forgotten Linda's birthday (while at her party), his own birthday (while at his own party), and Linda's due date (''while holding their newborn''.)
* On ''WesternAnimation/{{Daria}},'' it's [[LovableAlphaBitch Quinn]] who points out that [[TheSnarkKnight Daria]] and [[TallDarkAndSnarky Tom]]'s six-month dating anniversary is coming up, and Daria begins to get annoyed that Tom doesn't realize it. Of course, she's also forced to admit that a) she didn't remember it either, and b) neither of them really like traditionally romantic stuff anyway. Mostly she's just projecting her insecurities about their relationship onto an unimportant issue.
** [[TakeAThirdOption Helen tells Daria that she shouldn't expect a fuss over an anniversary or else she'd be disappointed and that it matters more about how much the guy loves her, but if he does forget, "show no mercy"]].
* A platonic(ish) variant is teased in one episode of the ''WesternAnimation/{{Beetlejuice}}'' cartoon. Every year, Beetlejuice and Lydia celebrate the annivesary of the day they met, but one year Lydia is convinced BJ forgot. He pretends he has no idea what she's talking about...and then pulls out his gift, assuring her that he was only pulling her leg.
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheAmazingWorldOfGumball'' episode "The Fuss", Richard forgets his and Nicole's wedding anniversary and he and their kids can't tell because she's being completely ambiguous about it. [[InvertedTrope Then it turns out that today wasn't their anniversary after all because the calendar was upside-down.]]
* ''Many'' people will testify. (Although at the same time there are many instances where ''both'' parties forget...)