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Remembered Too Late
Hopefully they'll let her just look pretty while holding the cigarette like that.

Characters often recall things when it would be just too late to actually use that information.

It could be an important code to use on a spy mission, or what not to say to a king when on a diplomatic mission, or what a guy is allergic to when making him dinner.

And those things can all be either Played for Laughs or Played for Drama. Also, the audience might be let in on this bit of information, or we might not. The former helps create suspense, while the latter comes as a form of The Reveal.

Heck, even a Crazy-Prepared person or The Chessmaster isn't immune to this. A Cloud Cuckoolander is very prone to this.

This can overlap with Now You Tell Me if someone forgot information they need to tell someone else.

This kind of thing isn't that implausible in Real Life, as anyone who tried to recall memories or information, and couldn't remember it until minutes or hours later, can attest.

Remember that this is forgetting something, not being given information one didn't know before.

A Sub-Trope of Irony.

A Super Trope to Forgot I Couldn't Swim.

Compare Spanner in the Works, Something We Forgot, You Are Too Late, Repressed Memories, Remembered I Could Fly.

Contrast Just in Time, Photographic Memory.

Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime and Manga 
  • According to the first Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha Compilation Movie, this is the Tragic Flaw of the Big Bad Evil Matriarch Precia Testarossa (this bit of her characterization differs from the original anime). As she plummets to her death, she suddenly remembers that her beloved late daughter Alicia wished for a little sister—in other words, she wished for Fate, whom Precia treated like crap and rejected earlier. She then muses to herself on how she never notices things until it is too late.
  • Played for Laughs in the third episode of Servant × Service, where Hasebe trying to, but keeps on forgetting to ask Yamagami for her email address— he gave several favours to Yamagami which would be opportunities to do that, but he only remembered that after Yamagami left.

    Comic Books 
  • A few gags on Millie the Model involve this. One was her getting ready to model for a huge cigarette campaign, and then remembers that she doesn't smoke.

     Fan Works  
  • The second arms dealer in Diamonds Cut forgets to turn up to the final meeting. Apparently, he only survives because of that.
  • Chit Sang in The Stalking Zuko Series forgot to tell Zuko about cooler fever until Zuko already got extremely sick to Katara's annoyance.

    Literature 
  • In Under the Dome by Stephen King: As police chief Randolph and a detachment of officers are heading towards a meth lab in order to assault it and take the valuable propane stored there, Randolph realizes that they had forgot to grab body armor (i.e. bullet proof vests) before driving to the lab. He doesn't worry too much about it, since he figures the assault will be easy; he assumes the two men there will be too stoned out of their minds to fight back. How wrong he turns out to be.
  • In The Princess Bride Miracle Max promised that the miracle pill he made for Westley would last for a full hour. It's only after our heroes have left that he realizes that he messed up the proportions of ingredients and if it lasts for forty minutes it'll be a miracle. This is what causes Westley to collapse during the confrontation with Humperdinck. This was altered in the movie because to do it the grandfather would have to give timestamps.
  • Early in Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix, Sirius gives Harry a Christmas gift, telling him it can be used to contact him in an emergency (or if Snape gives him a hard time in Occlumency lessons). Harry, knowing Sirius is going stir-crazy and not wanting him to charge off, hides it away. He then forgets about it until well after misinformation from Voldemort gets Sirius killed, something which could have been easily prevented with the use of that gift.

    Theatre 

    Video Games 
  • In Sonic Adventure 2, Shadow's driving motivation is his promise to avenge the death of his friend Maria by destroying humanity. When the ARK's been activated and is on a collusion course for the planet, Amy tries to convince Shadow to help them stop it. It's then that Shadow remembers that what Maria had actually asked of him was to do what he could to make the people of the world happy. Kind of an important distinction there, Shad.
    • It is justified since Shadow's creator implanted him with False Memories. What happened in that case is less "forgot until now" and more "was overwritten by something else until now".
  • In Fire Emblem Awakening, Emmeryn loses most of her ability to speak and forgets almost everything of her life as Exalt due to suffering brain damage after her attempted Heroic Suicide. If she dies in Classic Mode, these are her Famous Last Words.
    "I...I finally remember...But alas...I am too late... Lissa...Chrom...forgive me..."
  • Dm C Devil May Cry has this little gem during the raid on Mundus' HQ:
    Dante: So, I think she said… 105th floor… yeah, that's it.
    Kat (flash back): Go to the 106th floor. No matter what, don't stop on the 105th, it's filled with enemies.
    Dante: Shit.
  • After /Ultima IV Smith the horse became a running gag for this for the rest of the series. Due to a bug, he failed to deliver a critical clue in IV, and every later appearance he would remember something important he had to tell the Avatar: information that would've shortened the previous game had he relayed it then.

    Webcomics 

    Western Animation 
  • In Adventures of the Gummi Bears, Cavin takes some Gummi Berry Juice to fight some trolls, and when nothing happens, Gruffi just remembers that the juice only works for humans once a day.
  • Say it with me now: "Wait a minute... I just lit a rocket... ROCKETS EXPLODE!"
  • Displayed directly in the final episode of Futurama when Fry intentionally drops from the roof of a building in response to Leela's supposed rejection of his marriage proposal; however, as he falls, he notices Leela entering the building to meet him. Fry laments over this for a few moments before remembering that he has a button that allows him to travel backwards in time by 10 seconds. Unfortunately, the time that Fry spent lamenting his decision after noticing Leela extended his fall past 10 seconds and the button allows him only to loop a sequence of falling, as the button requires 10 seconds to recharge.
  • In The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy Christmas Special, Mrs. Claus sends Grim, Mandy and a vampire into the lair of a vampirized Santa Claus. This exchange follows.
    Baron Ghoulash: I just remembered. Mrs. Claus is the Head Vampire!
    Mandy: That information would have been useful five seconds ago!

Rebuilt PedestalDrama TropesRewind, Replay, Repeat
Poor Communication KillsRule of DramaRising Conflict
Quest for IdentityMemory TropesRemembered I Could Fly

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