[[quoteright:204:[[Webcomic/SchlockMercenary http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Schlockmemories-sm_8496.png]]]]

A scheme involving allowing your own memories to be [[LaserGuidedAmnesia erased]] or [[FakeMemories altered]] in order to fool others or yourself, with a trigger set up to [[EasyAmnesia restore them]]. This can be used to trick the enemy into believing you're on their side, because [[ManchurianAgent even YOU think you are]]. It's also an effective technique against overconfident mind-readers. If a MagnificentBastard or [[TheChessmaster Chessmaster]] has the power to manipulate memories, he will certainly attempt one of these. This can very easily turn into a GambitRoulette because ThePlan is supposed to work without the chief planner conscious that there's a plan at all, let alone [[XanatosSpeedChess adapt it to account for unanticipated circumstances]] (see NeuroVault).

If you aren't careful, this can result in AmnesiacDissonance and become far more complicated. Merely having a backup plan for if your memories are erased is NoteToSelf. A person who has an evil idea may not want to keep his memories at all. If they're gone forever, he doesn't have to worry about [[YouJustToldMe giving it up accidentally]], but more importantly, he doesn't need to suffer through MyGodWhatHaveIDone {{angst}} over having deliberately performed an evil act.

Compare FakingAmnesia, when a character only pretends to lose their memories in order to throw off others.

See also KansasCityShuffle. May be paired with a PsychicBlockDefense. TransferableMemory may be used to this end. Can be used by a ChessMaster to ensure that a [[AmnesiacLiar lie told before the Memory Gambit is more convincing]]. May lead to a TomatoInTheMirror. Compare DoubleThink which can be used the same way.



[[folder:Anime & Manga]]
* In ''Anime/YuGiOh'' this is Yugi's strategy when he goes against Pegasus. Pegasus can read minds, but Yugi is possessed by the spirit of the Pharaoh, giving them two minds to work with. They come up with a "mind-shuffle" strategy, whereby any time one of them draws or plays a card they immediately switch minds. The other mind doesn't know what card the other one saw, so whenever Pegasus tries to read their mind all he gets is blank cards.
* In ''Manga/{{Devilman}}'', it turns out that [[spoiler: Ryo Asuka]] is in fact the avatar of [[spoiler: Satan]], who had his memories suppressed and turned into a human in order to infiltrate mankind and learn their weaknesses. This goes to plan, except that [[spoiler: Ryo/Satan]] falls in love with [[spoiler: Akira/Devilman]], who until then were allies against the demons.
* Light Yagami in ''Manga/DeathNote'' allays suspicion by exploiting the rule that anyone who relinquishes the ownership of a Death Note also loses all memory of owning it unless that person later touches the same Death Note, [[BatmanGambit even counting on his amnesiac self to genuinely join the side of good]] in tracking down the new owner of the Death Note. This leads to [[MemeticMutation the popular phrase]] "JustAsPlanned," '''eight episodes''' after putting his plan in motion.
* The MagnificentBastard Lelouch Lamperouge in ''Anime/CodeGeass'' uses his mind-controlling power on himself to forget his real plan in order to [[spoiler:save his kidnapped sister Nunnally from the [[PsychicPowers mind-reading]] Mao]]. He goes as far as allowing himself and the audience to think [[spoiler:his sister is dead]] (mainly to satisfy his [[ChewingTheScenery scenery-chewing]] impulses) before his forgotten plan springs into action.
* In ''Manga/{{Naruto}}'', it turns out that [[spoiler:TheDragon Kabuto was originally a servant of the late Akatsuki member Sasori, and had a memory block placed on him in order to spy on his former partner Orochimaru]]. Subverted in that it was found out earlier, and the block was removed, and [[spoiler:Kabuto decided to switch loyalties to Orochimaru]].
** Subverted even further. [[spoiler: He was infiltrating Sasori for Orochimaru to begin with.]]
* In ''Manga/MahouSenseiNegima'', [[spoiler: Shiori's Artifact certainly has some degree of MemoryGambit in it, while it's certainly possible that Asuna suffers from one which Ala Rubla installed]].
* Law enforcement in ''Anime/{{Kaiba}}'' realize this trope ''can'' be used, though it never actually is. An officer is suspicious of Vanilla because he's stopped [[TanksForTheMemories backing up his memories]], noting that people have a tendency of doing this after they've experienced a life event that may cause them to seriously consider committing crimes.
* Takizawa Akira from the anime ''Anime/EdenOfTheEast'' does this twice in the beginning of the anime and in the end (which is continued with the movie, in which the memory loss is one of the principal topics).
* In ''Manga/FutureDiary'', something similar is done, but with the future instead of the past.[[spoiler: Yukiteru and Yuno are trying to break into a vault, but don't know the code to unlock it, and there isn't much time left. Yukiteru goes to apprehend someone who knows the code. He looks ahead an hour or so in his diary to find what the code is within seconds and without ever leaving the vault]].
* In ''Manga/{{Bleach}}'', [[spoiler: Ginjo]] does this so he can manipulate Ichigo into doing his bidding without any risk of letting Ichigo know his true motives, and lead him into a trap with incredible ease.
* In ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagica'', there seems to be one of these, possibly accidental, going on when Kyubey [[spoiler:makes a contract with Homura]]. Madoka's insane power level comes from [[spoiler:Homura repeatedly traveling through time to save her]]. Kyubey doesn't remember making the contract, but he realizes why Madoka is so powerful immediately after he learns that [[spoiler:Homura can time-travel]] [[YourApprovalFillsMeWithShame and congratulates her]], suggesting that he contracted with her because he hoped she would do this. His [[BlueAndOrangeMorality bizarre morals]] forbid outright lying, but since he genuinely doesn't know why Madoka is so powerful, he doesn't tell anyone, and [[spoiler:Homura's time-warping]] continues unwittingly making the situation worse for Madoka and better for Kyubey.
* In ''Anime/PuellaMagiMadokaMagicaTheMovieRebellion'' [[spoiler: Madoka]] pulls one - she voluntarily gives her memories to [[spoiler: Sayaka and Bebe]], which allows them to operate, while she serves as a distraction.
* In ''Manga/ACertainScientificRailgun'', Misaki defeats Gensei in this manner. Gensei has gained control of Exterior, a clone of Misaki's brain that lets him use the same telepathic abilities as her. For his plan, he needs a code to release Exterior's limiters so that he can use its full potential. Misaki [[spoiler:swaps her memories of the limiter release code and the self-destruct code, and erases her memories of doing so. As a result, when Gensei reads her mind and inputs (what he thinks is) the limiter release code, he instead destroys Exterior and knocks himself out]].
* ''Franchise/KagerouProject'': One is set up between [[spoiler:Shintaro and Queen!Mary]] at the end of an [[GroundhogDayLoop unspecified route]], wherein [[spoiler:Mary gives Shintaro the "Retaining Eyes" snake (to hide it from the [[BigBad Wide-Open Eyes Snake]]), so he can [[PhotographicMemory literally record events unfolding]] unknowingly while her time reset wipes his (and her) memories. His [[PastLifeMemories excess memories]] are then triggered by something (usually something to do with Ayano), and he, combined with Ayano's power, can give the memories back to Mary, so she, through knowledge of all of their previous defeats, knows how to defeat the Snake]].
* The Dark Continent Expedition arc in ''Manga/HunterXHunter'' involves a hunt for a spy suspected to be pulling one of these.
* In part 8 of ''Manga/JojosBizarreAdventure'', Josuke's second encounter with an enemy Stand is with Daiya Higashikata and her Stand, California King Bed. Its ability is to steal the memories of anyone who violates a rule Daiya sets, returning them only if Daiya steps in the victim's shadow. Despite Daiya being blind this is much harder than it sounds. Josuke, knowing he might be affected by Daiya's Stand before he can defeat it, sets a trap that counts on not knowing why he would do something like [[spoiler:hide Daiya's phone in the refrigerator, which ultimately lures Daiya into stepping onto Josuke's shadow, cast by the fridge light]].
* In ''Manga/FairyTail'' it was revealed that [[spoiler:Doranbolt]] was actually a member of the titular guild who erased his own memories so that he can infiltrate the [[spoiler:Magic Council]].

[[folder:Comic Books]]
* During the Silver Age, {{Superman}} pulled one of these, using mind-altering and shape-shifting technology to infiltrate a planet filled with his most dangerous enemies, who had banded together into the ultimate LegionOfDoom, The Superman Revenge Squad. Their security, of course, included mind-reading machines. The Man of Steel ended up with a nasty case of AmnesiacDissonance courtesy of the Squad for his trouble, and was only just barely saved by ThePowerOfLove. Awww...
** ComicBook/LexLuthor also tries to pull one of these in the Bronze Age. It backfires horribly, as his erasing of his memories of the scheme causes him to actually fall in love with a woman whose life was going to be sacrificed by the scheme. When she gets irretrievably dimension dumped in a futile attempt to get rid of Superman, Lex completely breaks down.
* In the ComicBook/XMen, a diary of future events was hidden, and the location then wiped from the memory of the person who hid it so that enemy telepaths would be unable to pry its location from an unsuspecting mind. Of course, a needlessly elaborate double-blind keyword system was established to restore the memories when required.
* In the first ''ComicBook/TheSentry'' miniseries from Creator/MarvelComics, the eponymous hero has suffered amnesia for years, AND nobody remembers he existed either. He sets out to find out who did this. It turned out it was [[spoiler:himself, since, for some reason, knowledge of his existence allowed a dark force known as The Void to exist. He ends up erasing his memories away again at the end]].
** This was then retconned in the character's later appearances, to the point of becoming a ContinuitySnarl.
* In the ComicBook/{{Lucifer}} series, it seems that when Fenris has nothing else to destroy he must turn on himself. [[spoiler:So he fed his memories and potency to a number of other gods, and comes back to collect them after Creation starts falling apart.]]
* [[ComicBook/GreenLantern Hal Jordan]] repeatedly used this trick against the Old Timer. He used his power ring to send SOS messages to Guy Gardner and then later to the other Guardians and then used the ring to erase his memories so that the Old Timer wouldn't know what he did.
* ''ComicBook/{{Batman}}'' examples:
** During the [[JusticeLeagueOfAmerica Justice League]] storyline "Tower of Babel", it is revealed that Batman has his computer set to speak mnemomic trigger words to him at preset times. Though he doesn't know why he set it at first, hearing the word unblocks the subconscious memories of his secret project to develop counter-measures to [[spoiler: the rest of the Justice League members]]. When he is finished working, or if certain mind readers come within a hundred miles, another trigger is used to suppress the memories untill the next session, so that said mind readers would never be able to accidentally glean this information from him. Typical [[CrazyPrepared Batman]].
** When Hugo Strange re-emerges in the ''Transference'' storyline following the events of ''Prey'' in which he learned Batman's SecretIdentity, Batman enacts a plan to activate ''a whole alternate personality'' as the buffoonish Bruce Wayne to throw him off the trail, and is only restored to his usual self when Nightwing recites [[MythologyGag the pledge which Batman swore with him on his first night as Robin]] as a TriggerPhrase.
** Batman does this ''again'' during the events of ''ComicBook/BatmanRIP'' when Dr. Hurt attempts to convince Batman that he's insane with a ''nested'' alternate persona, revealing the method in the madness of the "Batman of Zurr-En-Arrh" personality; this persona was intended as a backup for ''Batman'' should he be mind-wiped, still permitting him to act in something resembling his usual persona.
* In ''ComicBook/LockeAndKey'', Tyler suggests to the BigBad that he has hidden the Omega Key and removed his memory of the hiding place using the Head Key. How he intends to find it again himself has yet to be revealed...
* In ''ComicBook/JourneyIntoMystery'', this is TheReveal. Loki devised the whole Kid!Loki thing to set himself up with a new life free of the baggage of his past and arranged events so that his child self would have no choice but to restore Loki's original memories. Kid!Loki does so, [[TheReasonYouSuckSpeech but he mocks Loki's desire to turn over a new life:]] by enacting such a scheme in the first place, [[ChronicVillainy Loki had already proven that he could never change.]]
* In ''ComicBook/TheInvisibles'', deep-cover Invisibles sometimes erase their own memories to make them truly convincing moles, only recovering them when reaching their target situation acts as a trigger. Notably, this included at least one member of Division X. One arc suggests that Boy may be an Archon agent who tried the same thing, but it turns out to be a FalseCrucible test.

[[folder:Fan Fiction]]
* [[spoiler:Haruhi]] pulls this off on themselves in ''Fanfic/KyonBigDamnHero''. [[spoiler: She also altered her thought processes slightly, changed how her powers work and still left room to give herself [[MindOverMatter some power to play freely]].]]
* In ''Fanfic/HarryPotterAndTheMethodsOfRationality'' obliviation is commonly and effectively used against [[TruthSerums Veritaserum]].
* Littlepip uses one against the Goddess in [[Fanfic/FalloutEquestria Fallout Equestria]]
** Hilariously enough, she eventually can't resist activating the device to uncover what the plan is.... only to find a recording of her past self berating her for nearly ruining the entire plan.
* In ''FanFic/{{Empire}}'' Snape obliviated everyone who learned of Harry's abuse on Dumbledore's orders but added an additional enchantment so that those obliviated will regain those memories if a TriggerPhrase is uttered.
* In ''Fanfic/MassEffectHumanRevolution'' VK Scanners are very good at lie detection, so one really has to be BelievingTheirOwnLies in order to fool them. Or one could just do this, as at least two characters on Noveria, [[spoiler:Ken Ruger and Corto Riviera]], prove.
* ''Fanfic/DeathNoteEquestria'', being ''Manga/DeathNote'' with [[WesternAnimation/MyLittlePonyFriendshipIsMagic ponies]], naturally has [[VillainProtagonist Twilight]] eventually carry one out against [[HeroAntagonist L]]. Due to the GambitPileup in this story being even [[UpToEleven more]] complicated than in canon, the Memory Gambit is similarly more complicated than the canon one. [[spoiler: It still results in L's death and Twilight's victory.]]
* In ''Fanfic/BackwardWithPurpose'', a Harry Potter PeggySue fic, the characters become aware of ''another'' time-traveller, nick-named "Merlin", who seems to be orchestrating one of these on the entire cast, though they have no idea how or why. [[spoiler: Its Harry's son.]]
* The BigBad of ''Fanfic/{{Pokeumans}}'' is running a global one of these: every time someone witnesses a transforming Pokeuman or anything relating to their secret war, a Psychic type is sent to delete the memories of any witnesses.
* In "Game of Doctors" Chapter 16: [[{{Egopolis}} Master]][[https://www.fanfiction.net/s/9868669/16/Game-of-Doctors -World]] [[spoiler:the 9th Doctor erases his memory as part of a plan to download information on the Master's Cyberman planet into a memory stick in his head.]]
* ''Fanfic/TheSwarmOfWar'' has [[spoiler:Alena pulling it off with a fake personality and a bit of shapeshifting]]
* In ''Fanfic/ExtraLife'', [[spoiler:Izuru organizes one of these with Chiaki. Since his plan to enter the Neo World Program runs the risk of him emerging with DemonicPossession, he chooses to temporarily repress his memories of her to protect her in case that happens, then gives her a TriggerPhrase to undo the memory loss if it doesn't.]]

* In the original ''Film/TotalRecall1990'', Quaid finds out that he is actually the villain's henchman and had intentionally subjected himself to memory alteration to fool the telepathic leader of LaResistance. Of course, it [[BecomingTheMask didn't exactly go as planned]]. Not only that, but the plan nearly fell apart right at the beginning with Quaid going to Rekall and accidentally activating his memories too early.
* ''Film/TotalRecall2012'' has the same, except Hauser actually did make a HeelFaceTurn before being captured and mind-wiped. However, Cohaagen was willing to replace Quaid's personality with an old recording of Hauser's prior to the HeelFaceTurn.
* ''Film/{{Paycheck}}'' is an example of the NoteToSelf variant: the protagonist knew his memory would be wiped at the end of his current job, and built a plan to lead himself to the needed information after the wipe. With the added help of a machine [[spoiler: that can see the future]].
* ''Film/MenInBlackII:'' Kay can't remember where he stashed away the MacGuffin, and reasons that he must have neuralized himself to avoid disclosing its location, after placing clues that would lead him (and only him) to it.
* An unwilling example is Leonard Shelby in the film ''Film/{{Memento}}'', who suffers from anterograde amnesia after a burglar attack, preventing him from forming new memories after the attack. Through conditioning and a system of messages, he guides himself along a path of revenge to kill the man he believes killed his wife in the attack. He also occasionally manipulates himself in other ways, such as hiring a prostitute to help relive the night of his wife's murder.
* This is a major plot point in the film ''Film/{{Cypher}}''. The hero is a corporate middle-manager who volunteers to become a corporate espionage spy and finds himself undergoing suspiciously brainwashing-esque "training". It becomes clear that a notorious DiabolicalMastermind called Sebastian Rooks is somehow involved. The final revelation is that the hero actually is Sebastian Rooks, who erased his own memory as part of a complex scheme to rob the company.
* [[spoiler:Johnny Favorite]] pulled this one to beat [[spoiler:the Devil]] in ''Film/AngelHeart''. [[spoiler:It didn't work]].
* In ''Film/{{Push}}'', the only way to evade Watchers is to get your memory wiped, since they track you by your intentions. Kira evaded them this way in the beginning. In the climax Nick plans another one by writing on letters, giving them to the secondary characters, and tells them not to open the letters until a certain time. He them gets his memories of those letters erased, so that way nobody really knows what they're doing.
* The Arnold Schwarzenegger film ''Film/The6thDay '' has an interesting variation on this. The villains have the ability to scan the memory of a living or recently-deceased person, and thereby see what that person has seen. In order to get around this problem, [[spoiler: Adam and his clone (both played by Schwarzenegger) concoct a plot together in which real-Adam carefully ''avoids'' falling into the field of vision of clone-Adam. That way, clone-Adam can run into the evil laboratory as a distraction, disarming the security cameras along the way, but when he falls into the clutches of the villains, their scan of his recent memory does not reveal that real-Adam is waiting just outside, planning to enter unseen while the security cameras are still disabled.]] The villains eventually ''do'' figure out what is going on, but it buys the hero enough time to accomplish his main objectives. It's all a little tough to follow in writing, but it is fairly cleverly done in the film.

* [[spoiler:A subversion]] in ''Literature/ShamanOfTheUndead''. Karev has his memories partially erased after his wife's and child's death and everybody thinks this is because he killed them and don't want memory-readers to prove it. [[spoiler:Not really. Child died of sickness and wife committed suicide and [[ItMakesSenseInContext turned into a tree]], so Karev, suffering a massive depression, asked a friend to erase his memories of them. Only it had GoneHorriblyWrong and as he started to remember tree-wife, he also stated to sacrifice her lookalikes to feed her... long story.]]
* A minor but still valid example in ''Literature/HarryPotterAndTheOrderOfThePhoenix'' is Snape bottling key memories in the pensieve to keep Harry from seeing them during Occlumency lessons, though this backfires. And though Dumbledore claims to use the pensieve to organize his thoughts and free up space in his head, he may have been misdirecting, with hiding dangerous memories being a greater motivation.
* Literature/ArtemisFowl trades his memories about the Fairies' existence for their help in ''The Eternity Code'', but leaves himself plenty of triggers to bring them back. All but one of them are dummies, however, which he actually ''intends'' for Faeries to discover, because [[IKnowYouKnowIKnow he knows they know]] he'd try to leave himself triggers. So after they find over a dozen of dummies, they are lulled to believe that that is it, and Artemis happily regains his memories in the next book, ''The Opal Deception'', using the only real trigger.
* In ''Literature/ChildrenOfDune'', Ghanima Atreides hypnotizes herself to believe that her brother had been successfully assassinated.
* Zaphod Beeblebrox of ''Franchise/TheHitchhikersGuideToTheGalaxy'' purposely fiddled with his own brain in order to keep [[spoiler:his involvement in a conspiracy to find and possibly replace the Ruler of the Universe]] from being telepathically uncovered. He never actually regains full awareness of his prior self, and is trying to get as far away as possible from his past plans; he keeps fulfilling them anyway due to subconscious commands and blind chance (which, thanks to the improbability drive on his ship, isn't really blind at all).
-->"It's not what you've done they're worried about," said Roosta, "it's what you're going to do."
-->"Well don't I get a say in that?"
-->"You did, years ago. You'd better hold on, we're in for a fast and bumpy journey."
-->"If I ever meet myself," said Zaphod, "I'll hit myself so hard I won't know what's hit me."
* ''[[Literature/{{Accelerando}} Glasshouse]]'' by Creator/CharlesStross begins with the protagonist waking up after having wiped his own memory, [[spoiler: so that he would be allowed to infiltrate the eponymous experiment]].
* ''[[Literature/TheCulture Look to Windward]]'' by [[Creator/IainBanks Iain M. Banks]] is built around a MemoryGambit. The character Quilan's memory returns to him in stages during a [[spoiler:genocidal and suicidal]] undercover mission, alternate chapters take the reader through the past events he has forgotten, slowly revealing both what the mission is and what kind of a man would agree to do it.
* The [[spoiler:second]] book of the ''Literature/TheStarsAreColdToys'' SpaceOpera duology by Sergei Lukyanenko [[spoiler:seemingly opens with a new protagonist, until about half-way through the reader learns that it is actually the protagonist from the first book who has been brainwashed to think he is a alien pilot and [[TheInfiltration infiltrate the enemy planet. His memories return when triggered by TheSymbiote hiding within his body]]. And the story is narrated from first person perspective.]]
* In ''[[Literature/RevelationSpaceSeries Chasm City]]'' by Creator/AlastairReynolds, the main character believes he is bounty hunter Tanner Mirabel, when in fact he's not. He suffers from severe AmnesiacDissonance.
* In ''Literature/SecondFoundation'' by Isaac Asimov, the telepathic villain known as the Mule is hunting the Second Foundation. As several of his mentally dominated servants have lost their minds the Mule chooses Bail Channis, someone he knows is a Second Foundation spy, to help him find them. He doesn't dominate Channis because he's afraid Channis will lose his mind. Channis is tricked into leading the Mule to the Second Foundation, and everything falls apart. This is one of the most complicated memory gambits ever. Indeed - the climactic scene consists of repeated "but I ''[[GambitPileup planned]]'' that" banter.
* In Literature/ForgottenRealms novel ''[[Literature/{{War of the Spider Queen}} Extinction]]'' one funny creature thought constantly reading the mind of [[spoiler:[[MagnificentBastard Gromph Baenre]], the Archmage of Menzoberranzan]], menacing him with a weapon and its own powers and keeping him ''slowed'' is enough to keep him under control, but it was dead wrong--and then just dead. He knew many critters and mages can read thoughts, so he keeps one more dirty trick up his sleeve just for this case, and even himself doesn't know which trick and which sleeve. High-status drow as well as high-level wizards tend to be both ProperlyParanoid and CrazyPrepared.
* Used in E.E. Smith's ''[[Literature/{{Lensman}} Gray Lensman]]''. Kimball Kinnison has his friend Worsel impose false memories when Kinnison infiltrates Boskone headquarters Jarnevon toward the end of the story. It becomes crucial to remove a thought screen to let Worsel restore Kinnison to himself (Neuro Vault).
* Used again in homage in Creator/RandallGarrett's ''Literature/LordDarcy'' stories, in the form of The King's Messengers, who receive their messages orally, then have the memory of the message locked away by magic so that even they themselves are not aware of what the message is. Only the proper triggering situation restores the memory. Trying to extract the message in any other way results in the messenger's immediate death.
* ''Literature/PandorasStar'' has a character who wipes his memory in an attempt to get away with murder. It doesn't work.
* One of these is key in ''Literature/DownAndOutInTheMagicKingdom''. [[spoiler:Debra takes advantage of the short-term memory wipes caused by re-uploading to concoct a scheme to get Jules out of the way just long enough so she can conquer the Hall of President. When she returns based off of earlier [[TanksForTheMemories memories]], she has no idea what she's done. And she would have gotten away with it, too, if Dan hadn't decided to spill the beans]].
** Note that in this setting every human being can easily pull off a MemoryGambit and most people consider it an obvious step to take after committing a crime.
* In ''Literature/TheDresdenFiles: Literature/GhostStory'', [[spoiler:it is revealed that Harry's murder in the end of the previous book was this mixed with ThanatosGambit: before accepting a FaustianBargain with the Winter Queen Mab, he contacted Kincaid to kill him a few hours later, then persuaded Molly to erase his memories of the arrangement to fool Mab.]]
* In the Literature/DoctorWhoNewAdventures novel ''Set Piece'', the Doctor wipes his mind of his plan to stop the BigBad, so that the BigBad can't work it out. Unfortunately, he also has to wipe his mind of the trigger to restore his memory.
-->'''Ace''': You've finally done it. You've even bamboozled yourself.
** In the Franchise/BerniceSummerfield novel ''The Mary-Sue Extrusion'', [[spoiler: Benny]] does this to themselves as part of a MemoryGambit to rescue [[spoiler: her cat]] from a planet of [[MindRape mind-controllers]].
* In Creator/JohnCWright's ''Forgotten Causes'', [[MeaningfulName Marshall Lamech]] finds he's done this to himself in order to judge a situation without prior prejudices. He then spends the rest of the story bumbling from one frying pan to another, and cussing himself out for being too clever by half.
* In ''[[Literature/InheritanceCycle Inheritance]]'', all who visit the Vault of Souls have their memories wiped to protect what's in it. There is a spell in place to restore all of the memories when (and if) [[spoiler:Galbatorix is defeated]].
* Inverted in ''[[Literature/XWingSeries Solo Command]]''. [[IHaveManyNames Kirney Slane]] is about to [[ReverseMole infiltrate a hated enemy, pretending to work for them]]. She brings along her astromech droid Tonin, but she knows the droid's memory will be scanned when she arrives at her destination. To get around this, she makes a side trip to an abandoned hideout, backs up the memory and personality of Tonin in an isolated memory core, then wipes the droid's primary memory. At the first opportunity, she activates Tonin's backup memory with a TriggerPhrase. She immediately apologizes for the treatment; Tonin doesn't seem to mind too much.
* The ''Franchise/EmilyTheStrange'' novel "The Lost Days" features Emily waking up to find herself in the middle of one of these: She's in a strange town called Blackrock, she has no idea how she got there, and she doesn't remember anything about herself. [[spoiler: Near the end of the novel, it's revealed she received a posthumous letter from her great-aunt Emma, asking her to come to Blackrock to collect her inheritance. The letter also warned her about a young psychic in the employ of Attikol, her rival for the inheritance. In order to keep the psychic from learning what she knew, she temporarily erased all of her memories, but not before making sure that she'd have backup in place in the form of an android named Raven.]] She later has to repeat the process when her accomplice in the plan uses a TriggerPhrase to restore her memories before the right time. Finally, she does a variant of this by erasing the memories of the ''accomplice'' (with her permission) and causing her to assume the identity of "Earwig" (Emily's amnesiac persona) for a short time because she was about to make a bet that would result in her having to join her enemy's traveling show, but she couldn't actually go herself.
* The Kleptomancer in Creator/FrancesHardinge's ''Literature/AFaceLikeGlass'' does this, regaining various memories at different stages of his elaborate plan to control Caverna.
* The Nightmare Academy books have this (in a roundabout way). The Hags are monsters who eat memories like candy. Of course, since the Hags are [[VainSorceress Vain Sorceresses]], emphasis on the vain, the heroes can flatter them until they give the memories back.
* An elaborate one is pulled off in the Franchise/MarvelCinematicUniverse Tie-In ''Literature/BlackWidow'' by [[spoiler: the eponymous spy herself. In order to protect her younger brother Alexei from [[SpySchool the Red Room]], Alexei was given FakeMemories of being an OrdinaryHighSchoolStudent while Natasha had her own memories of her brother erased so that [[Characters/AgentsofShieldTeamCoulson Agent Coulson]] was the only person who knew her brother's location.]]

[[folder:Live Action TV]]
* An involuntary one in ''Series/AgentsOfSHIELD'': One of Coulson's current drives was to find out who supervised Project T.A.H.I.T.I., since, after TheReveal that S.H.I.E.L.D. was infiltrated by [=HYDRA=], Coulson suspected that [=HYDRA=] might have had a hand in resurrecting him and possibly using him as an asset. But then, May manages to get Coulson the file that reveals who supervised the project... and it was ''Coulson himself'', under Nick Fury's orders. T.A.H.I.T.I. was a project designed to resurrect a fallen [[Film/TheAvengers2012 Avenger]] if worst came to worst, but Coulson not only recommended cancellation of the project, he even handed in his resignation because of it. Coulson revealed that the only apparent way to be able to survive Project T.A.H.I.T.I. sane was through FakeMemories, since the process was so traumatic it'd drive the subject insane. And that's exactly what they did.
* ''Series/{{Blindspot}}'' is built on this trope.
* ''Series/{{Dollhouse}}'', Dollhouse, Doll-freakin'-house! The entire show is built on this premise.
* ''Series/StargateSG1'':
** A genocidal evil scientist accidentally erased her memory, along with the memories of everyone on the planet. Upon learning who she was, she willingly has her memory erased again so that the memories won't turn her evil again.
** In one episode, Vala's memories are altered so that she can get close to Adria in order to make her drop her guard.
* ''Series/DoctorWho'':
** The Master, known in the old series for his frequent use of the PaperThinDisguise (even when disguising himself wasn't necessary), [[spoiler:makes a grand departure from his past habits and proves to have been hiding as a human, with his memories and Time-Lord nature stored in a device looking like a pocket watch. Far from having a plan to restore his memories at just the right moment, he is an ''old'' man when in ''[[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E11Utopia Utopia]]'', these characters (not knowing who he is) accidentally make him curious enough about this watch to open it]]. What's worse than your old foe returning? Your old foe returning- and having gotten rather more cunning since last time around.
** The Doctor himself pulled the ''same'' memory gambit earlier in Season Three in ''[[Recap/DoctorWhoS29E8HumanNature Human Nature]]''.
** In ''[[Recap/DoctorWhoS34E5TimeHeist Time Heist]]'', the Doctor, Clara, Psi and Saibra have their memories voluntarily removed with memory worms in order to get into a bank protected by a telepathic creature.
* In the ''Series/RedDwarf'' episode "Back To Reality" parodies this when it is revealed that Rimmer was actually a hand-picked special agent for the Space Corps who had his memory erased and was programmed to behave like a complete twonk so [[ObfuscatingStupidity no one would suspect]] he was on a mission to destroy Red Dwarf in order to guide Lister to his destiny as the creator of the second universe, but had never noticed the trigger. Except that [[spoiler:this was all part of a group hallucination]].
* In ''Series/{{Heroes}}'' Mr Bennet forces the Haitian to wipe his memories of sending Claire away for her safety so that, no matter what the Company does to torture him, he'll never be able to reveal her whereabouts.
* The first half of season 3 of ''Series/{{Alias}}'' centers around the show's main character, Sydney Bristow, having lost two years' worth of memory (the season 2 cliffhanger had her wake up in Hong Kong two years after the events shown prior to that, with no memory to what had happened in the intervening time). Turns out she [[spoiler:had her own memory erased after engaging in some super-complicated undercover operation to make sure the bad guys don't find out where she hid some important artifact. Too bad the bad guys find the artifact anyway, and eventually she is informed about the events of those two years, just so she knows what the bad guys are actually up to.]]
* In "The Spy", one of the weaker episodes of ''Series/MissionImpossible'', Jim Phelps has himself hypnotised to forget his actions immediately after he's done them until a specific cue is given, allowing himself to be captured by the enemy without risk of divulging the I.M. Force's plan.
* An episode of ''Series/{{Buck Rogers|InTheTwentyFifthCentury}}'' had Buck put on trial for causing WorldWarIII. In fact, he had allowed himself to be brainwashed in order to infiltrate a conspiracy in an unsuccessful attempt to ''prevent'' World War III.
* A variant occurs in an episode of ''Series/StarTrekTheNextGeneration'' titled "Clues". The crew discover that their memories have been altered and that Data, whose memories are intact, has been lying to them. [[spoiler: They eventually discover that they ''consented'' to the memory erasure, because the inhabitants of a newly explored planet don't want anyone to know of their existence. They weren't supposed to have figured it out, but they do anyway; at the end of the episode, they decide to try again, and it works.]]
* An episode of ''Series/LegendOfTheSeeker'' had a spy of the Big Bad kills a bunch of rebels and uses a magical orb to plant false memories of the murders into the minds of others, including Richard. This was mostly done to fool the suspects into falsely admitting their guilt during Confession. One ended up being hanged for a murder.
* Helen Magnus of ''Series/{{Sanctuary}}'' pulls one off. Even when it's revealed the solution seems very {{Applied Phlebotinum}}ish.
%%* Rumplestiltskin in ''Series/OnceUponATime''.
* In ''Series/TokusouExceedraft'', Hayato is told that he is a spy for an evil syndicate who has his memories erased, and actually "regains" his memory with the help of a sinister machine. Subverted in that the memory is [[FakeMemories fake]].

[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/DungeonsAndDragons''
** One of the main uses for [[TransferableMemory Thought Bottle]] item, including at least once in a novel (see above).
** In 3.5, pulling this off is entirely possible using the Autohypnosis skill.
* Very possible in ''TabletopGame/{{Shadowrun}}''. There's specialized equipment to program individuals through simsense, and some of the fiction in the 20th anniversary book even goes into a Shadowrunner using this as a way to gather information inside a nightclub by impersonating one of the staff right down to their personality. You can even take an advantage that makes you already programmed before the game starts, and as such you [[ManchurianAgent can switch into and out of your "deep cover" persona with a code word]] - handy if your character's been captured.
* The callidus assassins in TabletopGame/{{Warhammer 40000}} have been known to use this trick to sneak up on psykers.
* In ''{{TabletopGame/Exalted}}'' there is a Sidereal of the Maiden of Secrets known as The Green Lady. In various guises, genders and names she serves Heaven, both Sidereal factions and 4 Deathlords. The reason she has not been found out is because she has hidden her true allegiance from even herself. For the curious, her true allegiance is to [[spoiler: Heaven, according to the Underworld book. Her ultimate goal is to learn some singular weakness that will lead to the defeat of the Deathlords once and for all. Making any attempt to pull this off intentionally, though, is going to tip somebody off who will in turn tip everyone else off and completely screw the plan. Making herself mostly crazy and hoping to stumble onto it more or less by accident is the best she can do. However, there's a chance she may unintentionally help the Deathlords destroy Creation before she succeeds.]]
* In ''TabletopGame/MageTheAwakening'' there is a rote which allows you to set up one of these by literally removing the memory from your mind until a later time. There is a Legacy which can grant this same benefit as a magical ability with the addition that when it expires, you can use it again to suppress the same memory without actually remembering the memory you want to hide.
* In ''TabletopGame/TranshumanSpace'', this is easily accomplished for AIs or people who have uploaded themselves into computer code. Memories can be erased, copied, stored, moved, sold, or simply invented wholesale.

[[folder:Video Games]]
* ''VideoGame/AmnesiaTheDarkDescent'': With ''Amnesia'' right in the title, you should've seen this coming. [[spoiler: [[PlayerCharacter Daniel]] drank the Amnesia Drink himself to forget the horrible things he has done, in order to give himself the strength to confront and kill Alexander.]]
* ''VideoGame/MetalGearSolid4GunsOfThePatriots'':
** It was [[spoiler: Liquid Snake's soul possessing Ocelot through his arm... Hang on, it's just Ocelot and ''really'' good hypnotherapy.]] Hey, it fooled the Patriots [[spoiler: And a nanomachine cocktail!]] [[spoiler: The MGS Database reveals it WAS Liquid in 2, But Ocelot got the arm removed so he could continue acting like Liquid so he could enact his plan without risk of Liquid taking over again.]]
** The player even has to pull this in order to fight an enemy in the first game.
* ''VideoGame/PsiOpsTheMindgateConspiracy''. At the very beginning you're taken captive by a mini army headed by various types of psychics, and another prisoner reveals to you that you've gone through the same training, and then had your memory wiped so that you could sneak in.
* In ''[[VideoGame/PokemonMysteryDungeonRescueTeam Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red/Blue Rescue Team]]'', [[spoiler:the main character agreed to both become a Pokémon and have his memory erased so that he can find out if he is worthy to save the world.]]
* The entire population of Lostime in ''ChocobosDungeon'' has their memories sealed [[spoiler: to prevent the BigBad from returning]].
* This is the plot of ''VideoGame/{{Flashback}}: The Quest for Identity''. Until it's resolved immediately after the first level to make way for the actual plot -- Conrad had a good reason to do it, after all.
* In ''[[KnightsOfTheOldRepublic Star Wars: Knights Of The Old Republic]]'' one mission features your party to be caught and your ship confiscated and searched. One escape plan (there are several options, one for each party member except Carth, Bastila and the main PC) features [[DoAnythingRobot T3M4]] getting a backup chip, so after the regular memory wipe, it can restore its memory and rescue the party. In the sequel, it is suggested that [[spoiler: Revan might have been running one of these [[GuileHero all]] [[MagnificentBastard along]], with the Jedi Council unwittingly playing directly into the plan.]]
** The novel ''Revan'' reveals that this is not the case and that Revan and Malak really were forced into the Dark Side by TheEmperor after failing to kill him, although Revan still can't recall those memories until he gets his mask back.
* ''VideoGame/WingCommander III'' revealed that [[spoiler: Hobbes' defection to the Confederation]] was a MemoryGambit. (The hologram explaining that was removed from the PC version, but remained in a console version and the novelization.)
* The protagonist loses his memory often in ''VideoGame/PlanescapeTorment''. Because he has to ''die'' in order to do so (and the present incarnation is immune to it), neither he or any of his previous lives appear to have done so intentionally. One character does tell this story, though:
** A man suddenly finds himself sitting on a bench with no idea where he is or how he got there - in fact, he has no memory at all. There is an old crone sitting next to him. She says, "Well?" The man looks confused, and the old woman explains, "I gave you three wishes. Your second wish was to undo your first wish, and you still have one more. What will it be?" The man says, "I wish I knew who I was!" The crone laughs and says, "That's funny! That was your ''first'' wish!"
** Though the memory loss wasn't intentional, some personalities devised gambits for others to recover memories; journals and recordings, personal contacts, body parts which when absorbed by Nameless would grant some memory and aptitude, and the tattoos created by a magical artist.
* [[spoiler: Nene]] pulls a rather complex one in ''VideoGame/BlueDragon Plus''. He creates a MoralityPet for himself, with memories of him dating years back, then gives himself memories of her, then erases his memories of fabricating her or the memories, all to ingratiate himself with the heroes. He also set things so that the memories would return at a certain location, effectively turning himself into a ManchurianAgent.
* In ''VideoGame/RuneFactory'', the protagonist has his memory wiped as one of these to [[spoiler:awaken Terrable - a powerful dragon]].
* [[spoiler: Emil]] from ''VideoGame/TalesOfSymphoniaDawnOfTheNewWorld'' could fall under this category, albeit in an 'unintentional-but-we'll-roll-with-it sort of way. Really, he [[spoiler:Created a fake version of his dormant state, merged it to the first person he came across, the proceeded to take on the identity of another random person who had just been killed, and the appearance of the best friend of the reason he was in this mess, ''who he killed himself'', all for his own protection until his powers could recover.]]
** Then again, since [[spoiler: Tenebrae]] was fully aware of this the whole time, and took every opportunity to make fun of [[spoiler:Emil (i.e. Ratatosk)]] while he had the chance, it could conceivably be classed as his gambit.
* A key part of TheReveal in ''VideoGame/CastlevaniaLordsOfShadow2'' is that [[spoiler: Dracula allowed himself to be nearly killed,]] and the resulting memory fragmentation allowed him to conceal ThePlan from his enemies long enough for the BatmanGambit it was part of to succeed.
* ''VideoGame/BatmanArkhamKnight'': This one is more like "Personality Gambit", but works similarly. [[spoiler:Throughout the game, Batman is under the constant threat of the Joker's personality taking over his body, due to being injected with Joker's infected blood back in ''Arkham City''. Each time Batman receives a dose of Scarecrow's fear toxin, the Joker personality gets stronger, since Batman's greatest fear is that he's NotSoDifferent from his enemies. At the end of the game, when Batman is at Scarecrow's mercy, he manages to beat him by ''letting'' the Joker personality take over. Joker, of course, can't resist taunting Scarecrow, who responds by injecting "Batman" with more toxin, only this time, since Joker's in charge, he's the one who if affected by it, which allows Batman to have a BattleInTheCenterOfTheMind with him and seal him away forever.]]

[[folder:Visual Novels]]
* In ''VisualNovel/VirtuesLastReward'', this trope is curiously combined with MentalTimeTravel. [[spoiler:Zero Sr., the mastermind of the third Nonary Game, had his ''entire consciousness'' transferred decades back in time so the participants of the game wouldn't discover that he was Sigma, the player, all along. When another consciousness of his arrived from the past at the start of the game, he didn't remember anything of ThePlan because, well, he hadn't planned it yet. Sigma's realization that he was Zero without his memories comes as TheReveal.]]
* Likely a factor in [[spoiler: Izuru Kamukura's plan]] in ''VideoGame/SuperDanganRonpa2''. [[spoiler: He willingly put the [[{{BrainUploading}} virus containing the consciousness]] of his sworn enemy into a program that would temporarily erase his memories. In the end, he got his old personality back and implicitly kept part of his superior talent in hopes of bringing back all of his comatose classmates.]]

[[folder:Web Comics]]
* The titular [[BlobMonster amorph]] of ''Webcomic/SchlockMercenary'' does this using his BizarreAlienBiology when the protagonists have to submit to having their memories wiped to avoid being killed by the bad guys, storing a bit of himself (amorphs evolved from an artificial biological memory storage system) with the relevant information, hidden in an eyeball.
* In ''Webcomic/{{Zap}}'', [[spoiler: Zap himself]] pulls off such a gambit by way of potent [[{{Seers}} precognitive]] abilities - thus avoiding the GambitRoulette aspect of the trope. He essentially searched the possible paths of the future for the desirable outcome, and then reached for it - even though it meant abandoning his memories and personality on the way...
* In ''WebComic/CaptainSNES'', [[VideoGame/MegaMan Proto Man]] set one of these up, and (being a robot) he is aware of it: there is a segment of his memory that he cannot access until a Gamemaster who has been deemed both willing and capable of defeating the [[BigBad Sovereign of Sorrow]] appears. And, to the frustration of all involved, he ''still'' cannot access it, because he doesn't deem Alex capable enough.

[[folder:Western Animation]]
* In ''WesternAnimation/TheSimpsons'' episode [[Recap/TheSimpsonsS19E9EternalMoonshineOfTheSimpsonMind Eternal Moonshine of the Simpson Mind]], Homer, of all people, executes an intentionally [[GambitRoulette impossibly convoluted plan]] [[spoiler:to make his own spoiled surprise party a surprise again by taking a drink called a "Forget Me Shot". It involves such things as planning exactly what he would do, when and what he would remember, how he was going to interpret it, and that he was going to commit suicide from it (so he told them to get a Moon Bounce and move the boat under the exact place on the bridge he went off)]].
* An entire episode of the ''WesternAnimation/LegionOfSuperHeroes'' uses this, with people pretending to be people when they don't know they're that person.
* In ''WesternAnimation/CodeMonkeys'' Dave uses this in [[spoiler: The Drunken Office Party episode he uses the fact that Jerry doesn't remember the night before to get him to take the blame for several things that Dave actually did himself and gets Jerry to give him the ticket to Hawaii he won because Dave promised to help him fix everything also Jerry feels bad for breaking Dave's arm, something else he didn't really do.]]
* This is the work of The Rooters in ''WesternAnimation/{{Ben 10 Omniverse}}''. They used Manny Helen Pierce Alan Pierce and Kevin as an army of mutant children called Amalgam Kids to hunt down Ben. And when Ben removed the Omnitrix, they erased the children's memories about their past experience with The Rooters and implanted false memories in their heads to make them believe they have alien blood. They also tricked Max into watching over them by implanting a false backstory about Kevin's father being Max's old partner.
* In ''WesternAnimation/AdventureTime'' episode "The Real You", Finn did it in using some magical glasses that make him smarter. He makes a bulleted list of what will happen for the rest of the episode, and the last few things happen after Princess Bubblegum takes off the glasses (which he also predicted).