"Hang on a minute, girls. You have a busy day ahead of you. You need to keep track of your time and your things."So the adventure's over, the team beat the enemy or found the treasure and got out alive, and it's finally time to relax, say their goodbyes, and head home. And someone says, "I've got this nagging feeling that there's Something We Forgot." Cut to a major MacGuffin that got left in the dungeon. Or an ally who got trapped is still waiting for them to get back. Etc. Related to Brick Joke. Often deployed as The Stinger. Contrast What Happened to the Mouse?, in which a dropped plot element does not get another mention, and Offscreen Inertia, when the audience is left to assume that whatever was forgotten will stay in that state permanently.
— Mrs. Mouseling, Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps
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Anime & Manga
- In Ah! My Goddess Keiichi comes home and finds Peorth splayed out on his bed wearing lingerie with a bottle of wine in an attempt to seduce him, but he manages to slip away before she notices his presence. After the rest of the plot happens we cut back to Peorth, having finished off all the wine while waiting, drunkenly wondering when he's going to go to sleep.
- Cromartie High School:
- After a hijacked plane trip, the students of Cromartie wonder what they could have forgotten. They deduce that their money from the trip hasn't come back yet, but completely forget about Takenouchi; an impostor fills his place in the school while he is gone. When the impostor is asked if he has any idea of what's missing, he claims that everything's fine.
- The page image comes from a chapter where some students from Bass High kidnap Akira. Takenouchi and the others head off to rescue him in a taxi, but the driver ends up getting hopelessly lost. After hours of this, it cuts back to Bass High, where all of the kidnappers have already gone home and left Akira tied up.
- The Dragon Ball Z movie Fusion Reborn ends with an annoyed Shenlong asking if anyone was going to make a wish. He was summoned near the beginning of the film, but when it wasn't within his power to fix things, he was forgotten about.
- In One Piece, Kizaru teams up with a Pacifista to fight Urouge, X Drake and Hawkins. After the Pacifista hurts Urouge, X Drake attacks it. It is a gripping fight between these two, a T-Rex vs a Robot! After they both let out their brutal attacks, neither side seems to be winning. Oh yeah, did you forget that KIZARU is still here? Urouge lets out an 'Oh Crap' face before getting sent flying into three buildings.
- Kaitou Joker:
- A the very beginning of one chapter, Joker drugs a Hong Kong movie star named Jackie Lee so that he can impersonate the actor as part of a jewel heist. At the very end, there's a brief cutaway showing that Jackie is still tied up in the ambulance Kaitou left him in.
- In another, it's revealed that Joker has been posing as Inspector Oniyama for the entire chapter. The rest of the cops are shown going home, apparently not realizing the real Inspector is still Bound and Gagged in a bathroom stall.
- In one episode of Pokémon, Ash and Dawn send Gliscor out to fetch Brock who was in town due to Pachirisu coming down with an illness. Of course, with Gliscor being unable to fly without the aid of wind pushing it in the right direction, Brock leaves Gliscor there in order to get back on time and everyone forgets about it until the end of the episode where Ash freaks out.
- The same thing happens in an XY episode, where the gang has to "trade" Clemont to a spoiled princess in exchange for the PokéFlute, promising to go back for him. After thwarting Team Rocket and waking up Snorlax (the reason why they were looking for the flute), the festival begins, but then they immediately remember poor Clemont...just as he arrives, in his undies (he used his clothes to disguise a decoy to get away from the princess).
- During a race in the Sun and Moon series, the normally athletic Kiawe falls behind the rest of the pack because part of the race involves pulling a wagon (with their Pokémon as passengers) uphill, and his partner is the very large turtle-dragon Turtonator. When the heroes celebrate the end of the race Ash scans the crowd of racers and finally caught on that Kiawe was missing: he never got past that leg of the race.
- In the Tenchi Universe episode, "No Need for Runaways!", after the gang got back Kiyone's stolen spaceship and successfully escaped from the Galaxy Police, Tenchi realized that they forgot to pick up Ayeka and Sasami, who were left at the diner, washing dishes to pay for their dinner.
- During the final battle of Bleach Fade To Black, Kon gets knocked into some spiritual goo which hardens over him. After the threat has passed and Ichigo and Rukia are set to head back to the living world. Ichigo feels they forgot something. Cut to Kon still stuck in the goo, crying (though he manages to get out on his own).
- Right at the end of episode 3 of Saber Marionette J. After the episode's ordeal, Otaru asks Lime and Cherry "Haven't we forgotten something?" but they finally decide it doesn't matter and leave. Cue Hanagata tied to a water mill, being tortured by Baiko and Tamasaburo.
- In the first volume of Yawara! A Fashionable Judo Girl, Jigoro mugs a member of the high school Judo club so that Yawara will be forced to take the boy's place in an upcoming match. When Yawara later asks how he managed to trick her into participating in the match, he suddenly remembers that the poor boy is still Bound and Gagged inside the P.E. storeroom.
- In Sonic Universe, after a hectic (and hilarious) arc, Amy, Cream, and Vanilla are talking over tea...when Amy suddenly remembers she dropped Nicole two episodes ago.
- An issue of Groo the Wanderer focuses on a very large spider that he and Chakaal have to defeat. At some point, he sees something that's unrevealed to the audience that he means to tell Chakkal about later. At the very end, he remembers that there was something he had to tell her but can't recall what. "Oh well," he thinks, "I'm sure it was nothing important." In the same panel, an underground lair filled with giant baby spiders is shown.
- In the Cherry Comics story "Cherry Meets Rambone", Rambone and Captain Guts wander off and leave Cherry staked out naked on the ground. She even calls after them to no avail.
- In Demon Knights #16, Exoristos, the Horsewoman and Sir Ystin are thrown in a dungeon. Exoristos and Sir Ystin are chained together on either side of a wall to prevent them trying to escape. A guard comes and fetches Exoristos and the Horsewoman, leaving Sir Ystin on the other side of the wall wondering where everyone has gone.
- The Transformers: More Than Meets the Eye and The Transformers: Robots in Disguise: The dead universe faction get's split up. Galvatron seems to be dead, Cyclonus stays with the Autobots in the former, and Jhiaxus goes against Orion Pax in the latter. Scourge, however, is unaccounted for, and his absence is brought up, with Cyclonus trying to find him to say good-bye and Sky-Byte seeing a Sweep and commenting on it looking like a friend he knew (implicitly Scourge because the Sweeps are clones of him, and his name is a Mythology Gag for Sky-Byte).
- Eventually, Scourge was confirmed as having died somewhere during the Chaos mini-event. In an author's note. For a completely separate out-of-continuity series.
- In an issue of Cable & Deadpool where Deadpool and Weasel break into HYDRA headquarters to rescue Agent X, Deadpool forgets about Weasel until he's already being flown out. He has a brief "oops" reaction, then decides not to worry about it.
- Ultra Fast Pony:
- In "The Penny and Clyde Show", Reality Warper Discord appears and wreaks havoc across Equestria, but Princess Celestia only cares about the fact that Discord stole her teacups, and she specifically orders Twilight Sparkle to get those teacups back. By the end of the next episode, Twilight has cleaned up the chaos and imprisoned Discord... then realizes too late that she never found those teacups.
- In "Derp and Destruction", the cast flees from Derpy. Just when they think they've escaped, they notice that Rainbow Dash isn't with them. The scene cuts to Dash, imprisoned by Derpy, and forced to reenact scenes from The Silence of the Lambs.
Films — Animation
- Strange Magic: Marianne is so focused on lecturing her sister Dawn after she was attacked by a lizard that Marianne forgets that Sunny was knocked into the forbidden Dark Forest by said lizard. Thankfully, she remembers just in time to save him from being attacked by goblins.
- Double subverted in Toy Story 3. When Woody, Buzz and the gang are taken to the dump in the garbage truck, Barbie gets left behind. The characters are then tossed into the trash compactor and nearly roasted alive in the furnace before being rescued by the Martians (in what amounts to a Brick Joke 15 years in the making, believe it or not). After surviving, Woody and the rest of the toys return home and are donated by Andy to a neighbor's young daughter as he is leaving for college. Throughout all this time, none of the toys notice that Barbie is no longer with them. But then, as the end credits are rolling, the toys receive a postcard from Barbie telling them what is happening at the day-care center, where she decided to stay.
- At the end of The Rescuers Down Under, Bernard, Bianca, Cody, Jake, and Marahute fly triumphantly into the sunset. The movie then cuts to Wilbur the albatross, who was left to guard Marahute's eggs, realizing that he was left behind and starts wondering what's taking everyone so long. And then the eggs start to hatch.
Wilbur: HELP!!! Anybody!! Bernard!! Bianca!! Where are you?!? Okay, that's it! I'm outta here, this is ridiculous! You can't leave me here alone! [laughs] I'm gone! I am GONE! [the eggs start hatching] Aww no! Stay in those eggs! That's a direct order! Awww..... hey... you're kind of a cute little feller, coochy coochy... YOW!!! WHOA!!! [groans]
- Abis Mal in The Stinger of Aladdin: The Return of Jafar.
Abis Mal: [still dangling from a tree branch] Does this mean I don't get my third wish?
- In Big Hero 6, Hiro has a major falling-out with his teammates on the secret island and takes off on Baymax, leaving them behind. Later, his friends somehow arrive back at his house, and Hiro realizes his mistake; it turns out Fred had his butler Heathcliff pick them up in his family's helicopter.
Films — Live-Action
- Minor example in Wizards of Waverly Place: The Movie. Max turns a woman into a dog to discourage Jerry from hitting on her. They chat for a while and then walk away with Max feeling like he forgot something. He forgot to turn the dog back into a human.
- The Gamers: Dorkness Rising ends with one of these. After the new party finds their first party's treasure carrying minion. He is left to wait for them again, only to be forgotten about. The Stinger shows him still waiting in the dungeon he was left in.
- Home Alone. The rest of the family forgot Kevin, thus setting him up to be the most famous security system ever unintended.
- Done for laughs during the credits to the Hellboy movie.
- The Cherry Orchard ends with all the family leaving the estate and locking up their house; forgetting that their extremely elderly manservant Firs is still inside.
- Although none of the characters actually realize they've missed something, this gets played for horror in the conclusion of Roger Corman's loose adaptation of The Pit and the Pendulum: Towards the end of the film, Francis hears Catherine screaming and runs down to the dungeon to save her from Nicholas. Before he can find her, a now-insane Nicholas knocks him out and straps him to the titular device. Nicholas is disposed of, Francis is rescued at the last second, and he and his rescuers leave the dungeon and promise to have it sealed off and never speak of it again... Cut to Catherine locked in an iron maiden, presumably about to be sealed in the dungeon forever.
- Airplane!: In The Stinger, remember that guy Ted left waiting in his taxi? With the meter running? "Well, I'm gonna give him a few more minutes... but that's it!"
- Essentially the whole plot of Jumanji is this trope, in that virtually everything that happens in the present would've been resolved decades ago if young Sarah hadn't forgotten (or been persuaded to forget) that Alan was still trapped in the game.
- In Bill, Philip forgets that he has Sir Richard Hawkins in his dungeons till Elizabeth reminds him. The credits show that he is still there at the end of the movie.
- Subverted in Go: While being chased through a rave by the drug dealer they ripped off, the heroine's stoned friend is stashed behind a pile of trash while she gets the car. Through a series of wacky circumstances, he gets left behind while the heroine winds up in the hospital. It's not until the next day - at end of the movie - that she remembers he's still there and goes back for him.
- In Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo a plane takes off from an aircraft carrier and almost drops into the sea. When they are back up the pilot give the order to raise flaps. The co-pilot looks and tells him they were never down. The pilot says "Great. What else did we forget?"
- After the Russian space station "Mir" was scuttled, a joke immediately arose: the head of mission control commenting on the event: "At this moment the station is entering the dense atmosphere. The remains will sink into the Pacific Ocean. Tomorrow our brave astronauts are going to... to... oh hell! - the astronauts!"
- Happens in the Discworld novel Wyrd Sisters, to a trio of actors in witch costumes who were mistaken for Granny, Nanny, and Magrat and thrown in the dungeons.
- At the end of the Thursday Next novel The Well of Lost Plots, after Thursday was finally cleared of everything, the question is suddenly raised as to something that is mostly unconnected to the main plot: Who killed Godot, who it was earlier revealed had been murdered?
- Subverted in the Dale Brown novel Act of War. When making their escape from Brazil, the team notices that Manuel Pereira has disappeared, but ultimately his fate is not resolved.
- At the beginning of the Robert A. Heinlein novel The Number of the Beast, the main characters discover that their abstract mathematical research actually holds the key to traveling between different universes - and there are some strange creatures masquerading as humans (which the characters decide to call Beasts) that are out to kill them because of it. So, to protect themselves, they use that research and start traveling to parallel universes, at which point the Beasts that seemed to have been driving the plot are never mentioned again. Until the epilogue, in which all the main characters from lots of different Heinlein novels have all met up for a party and a Beast appears for no apparent reason, and someone remarks, "Quick - get his Number!"
- A subplot example in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, where the Power Trio, having finally smuggled Hagrid's pet dragon Norbert out of Hogwarts, triumphantly race back to the Gryffindor common room only to realize they'd forgotten Harry's Invisibility Cloak at the top of the Astronomy Tower. And they lose 150 points for Gryffindor when they're caught.
- Again in Philosopher's Stone, Harry and Ron triumphantly lock the mountain troll in the girls' bathroom. After about thirty seconds of self-congratulations, they remember Hermione is in said girls' bathroom.
- Stuck by Oliver Jeffers is a picture book about a boy who gets his kite stuck in a tree. In order to get it loose, he throws various other things after it. At the end of the book, the kite falls down and he plays happily with it. As he goes to sleep that night, he ponders that there's something he's forgotten... The final picture shows that everything else is still up in the tree.
- Used in the first season finale of Babylon 5. Since this is Babylon 5's first Wham Episode, it's not a signal that the good ending isn't as good as it seems, it's a signal that the bad ending is about to get worse.
- A Saturday Night Live sketch where a white, ghetto-speaking pizzeria waiter named Mark Payne (played by feature player Bobby Moynihan) has a part where just as a couple leave their table, Mark realizes that he left his kid on a bus and runs out (but not before yelling at the couple who just left about not leaving a tip). It doesn't help that the next time Mark appears, the kid was never mentioned.
- One contestant on Legends of the Hidden Temple reached the episode's Artifact forgot he didn't have to complete each room's challenge to move on. While he was smashing pots to open a door that was already open, he dropped the artifact and made it all the way to the temple gates, empty-handed.
- In an episode of the new Doctor Who, the Doctor is celebrating how everybody lived that episode, until Rose reminds him that Jack was still trapped on a spaceship that was about to explode. They saved him, though.
- Two and a Half Men: In "People Who Love Peepholes", Alan moves out of the house and leaves Jake behind.
- In an episode of iCarly, Sam is left inside a luggage bag and ends up in Malaysia.
- In "iStill Psycho", while the gang are trapped by Nora and her family, Gibby attempts to escape through the chimney, but he gets stuck. After Mrs. Benson and T-Bo rescue them and they're safe at home, Carly realizes they forgot Gibby, who is still stuck.
- A plot point in an episode of Jericho: After Eric and Jake escape the hospital in Rouge's River and get back to Jericho, Eric realizes that he left his wallet there with his I.D., which leads the Blackwater mercenaries to Jericho.
- During filming of an episode of Get Smart Don Adams got the rest of the crew to "accidentally" leave guest-star Don Rickles chained up while everyone went for lunch.
- The finale of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air has everyone say their goodbye before they go their separate ways from the former Banks household. Will takes one last look at the living room, shuts off the lights and prepares to leave when Carlton comes running down the stairs with his pants down. Turns out he had headed to bathroom and everyone forget he was up there.
- Used as a Sequel Hook at the end of the Endeavour episode "Trove". Morse is sure he's forgotten something. We're then shown a shot of what it was: A notebook was stolen from the crime scene after the police arrived, implying that the criminals can pull strings within the police force.
- On The Big Bang Theory, when Howard is showing Bernadette his old magic items, he come across one he "hasn't seen in years." When he tries to produce a "live dove,"
Howard:(gagging slightly) Don't look in there.
- On an episode of NewsRadio Bill tells a story of a prank from his college days, in which he and his frat brothers locked a pledge in the trunk of a car in a junkyard. When Only Sane Man Dave asks how he got out, Bill suddenly looks alarmed and says, "I've gotta make a phone call!"
- "Have you forgotten something" was a phrase used in the ending of Wizardry IV, to indicate that the ending you got really wasn't the best ending. If you got the real ending it said it followed by "You laugh, for you know that you have not."
- In Banjo-Kazooie, Banjo, Kazooie, Mumbo and Bottles are enjoying a BBQ having escaped from Gruntilda's lair and rescued Tooty. Then Tooty turns up and points out that they didn't actually defeat Gruntilda, who is still at large, and Banjo has to sprint back to the top of the lair for the Final Boss fight.
- Guybrush's crew gets left behind on Monkey Island in one of the endings to The Secret of Monkey Island. This is the ending they went with in the fourth game, where they show up again and complain to Guybrush that it was really difficult to Escape from Monkey Island™.
- In Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis, Indy will say that his victory rings hollow if you let his female sidekick die. It should be noted that freeing her is very difficult, since she's located in an easy-to-miss part of the map, stuck in a cell that requires a very obtuse puzzle to get her out of, and will be Mind Controlled by an evil artifact that you must destroy to free her.
- In Fallout 2, there is an optional quest where you go treasure hunting in Broken Hills. When you finally find where it is, and enlist the aid of a midget to get it out of there, you learn that it's really a bag of bottle caps - which would have been a fortune in the first game, but in the second, it's worthless. When the player character goes on a monologue about how frustrated they feel, they totally forget about the midget who's still stuck down where the treasure was and eventually wander off without getting him out.
- Douglas Adams's Starship Titanic has a bomb that you can arm by pressing the "Press to Disarm Bomb" button. It won't go off while you're on board, so you can forget to disarm it while you finish the game. Of course by the time you are reminded of it later, it's too late and if you haven't disarmed it, the ship explodes.
- In Special Operations 2, an Expansion Pack for Wing Commander II, at the very end of the closing cinematics, after Blair has defeated Jazz and returns for praise from everyone, there's a scene of Maniac's fighter, stranded by a broken jump drive that kept him from assisting in the final fight, drifting in the void while calling for help.
- In the VGA remake of Space Quest I, if you forget to set the Self-Destruct Mechanism on the superweapon before escaping ("You can't ignore, however, a nagging feeling that you've forgotten something important. Now what could that be?"), the bad guys use it to blow up your home planet. And then terrorize the rest of the universe. Oops.
- Likewise, in the same game you can leave the Star Generator data cartridge in a reader on planet Kerona. The ending victory ceremony will then tell you that while it's good that the bad guys didn't get it, it sucks that the planet is now spinning around a rapidly cooling star... Oh well, you're just a Janitor.
- Pikmin 2: Olimar collects enough money, starts his ship, heads for Hocotate... and realizes that he left behind Louie on the Pikmin Planet. Cue second part of the game having the secondary goal to find and rescue him.
- Cave Story gives the optional task of bringing "Mr. Little" (a miniscule man) from the Mimiga graveyard back to his home in the outer wall. Once you've picked him up, he appears as an inventory item and it's possible to forget about him. But if you do, and beat the game without bringing him home, he will appear before the credits roll to ask "aren't you forgetting something?" He will do this even if your actions have caused the island to fall to earth, presumably killing his family and everything else within.
- In the ending of Conker's Bad Fur Day, Conker realizes he forgot to bring Berri back to life, but he can't do it now that the programmers aren't there to give him a second Deus ex Machina.
- At the start of Sam & Max Hit the Road, the duo catch the Mad Scientist, but forget to untie his hostage and disarm the bomb.
- FTL: Faster Than Light curbs this with regards to having your crew aboard the enemy ship. If you attempt to jump away while you have crew on the enemy ship, the game prompts you if you really want to leave before getting your crew back together on your own ship. It's still possible to forget to beam your crew off the enemy ship before blowing it up, though.
- In LittleBigPlanet 2, at the end of the Toy Story DLC, the Toy Story gang and Sackboy capture the Evil Dr. Porkchop in a cage. They then walk off, congratulating Sackboy and talking about the epic battle, and the screen fades to black... and then cuts back on, centered on Hamm (no longer the Evil Dr.), still in the cage.
Hamm: Alright, I think it's time to let your old pal Hamm out of the cage...
- The trope is lampooned in an episode of Bonus Stage. It was along the lines of:
Joel: Oh no! We forgot Jessica!
[Jessica appears behind him]
Joel: Oh. Man, we missed out on a hilarious cut away sequence.
[back on the planet]
Mr. Malice: Guys?
- A comedic rather than dramatic example, in the end of the early arc of Flaky Pastry the girls triumphantly leave the dungeon they beat, while the neighbour finally returns with the scrolls of town portal. Well, at least he isn't stuck there since he has those scrolls.
- In this strip of The Order of the Stick, Elan mutters this as they all leave Durkon behind paralyzed on the ground.
- The last panel of this edition of The Wotch, with the owner of a local magical bookstore who was wounded in a previous strip and left behind.
- Annie silencing Reynardine in Gunnerkrigg Court. While it had some disastrous consequences, it was played for laughs a few chapters later.
- This strip◊ in the Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha R'r Fan Web Comic by Entropy Max, which lampshades the tendency of Zafira getting ignored by both the writers and the fandom.
- From DM of the Rings: "Uh. Guys?"
- Catena Manor has a beach-visit storyline. It ends with one character harmlessly but solidly trapped under exercise equipment... and completely forgotten by the others.
- Another example of someone being forgotten: Seth, a gamer who gets sucked into hell during one storyline and at the end of the arc is trying and failing to find someone who'll get him out. Much later, he shows up again in asskicking fashion, having put his gaming skills to good use and fought his way out.
- There is also the part when Dave was brought back to life as a zombie. Helen and Mell left his head on a city bus, and forgot all about it. It wound up in the Lost and Found, and got claimed by Madblood (who needed a spare brain for an experiment).
- In Rhapsodies this happens to Kevin once or twice.
- One arc of Nodwick has the title character captured by an evil priest hoping to use him as a sacrifice. After thwarting the villain, the party forgets to release Nodwick, who mentions that he'll probably need to find a way to break the top off the altar he's shackled to and roll the coin-shaped top back home.
- In Rusty and Co., Mimic forgot all about Stabs, leaving her to face an army of monsters. Cut to Stabs Atop a Mountain of Corpses.
- In Bob and George, speaking of April 15th makes Megaman think this.
- In TaleSpin, Rebecca and Baloo both forget about Wildcat at the end of an episode in which Baloo is revealed to be the inheritor of a huge estate. After dealing with a murderous butler and handmaid, the heroes go back home, leaving Wildcat wandering around the huge mansion, still looking for the bathroom.
- Used in an episode of The Venture Bros. - they forgot to free a bunch of supporting characters from a dungeon.
- Happens in "Escape to the House of Mummies Part 2" as well. Dr. Venture is the only one small enough to escape and get help, but he gets caught up in a contest with Orpheus and completely forgets about his family who escape on their own and have an offscreen adventure of which were only given glimpses into.
- The Simpsons:
- Subverted in the "Treehouse of Horror V" short "The Shinning".
[screen shows "Tuesday"]
Homer: Well, it's been a long trip, but we're almost there.
Marge: Homer, Did you remember to lock the front door of the house?
[screen shows "Wednesday"]
Homer: Well, it's been two long trips, but we're finally almost there again.
Marge: When you locked the front door, did you remember to lock the back door?
Homer: D'oh! D'oh!
[screen shows "Thursday"]
[the family sits in complete apathetic silence]
Lisa: Oh no, we left Grandpa back at the gas station!
[more silence, Homer keeps driving]
Lisa: ...what about Grandpa?
- Later, when Homer recreates the "Here's Johnny!" scene, he discovers Grandpa somehow made it to the hotel.
- This is something of a Running Gag for Milhouse — the first time was in "The Otto Show" when Homer and Bart left him buried under a pile of chairs after a Spinal Tap concert.
- And again in "Waverly Hills 9-0-2-1-D'oh", when Bart and Lisa attend the school in Waverly Hills for a short period of time. Bart suddenly remembers at the end that he has to go back because he was playing hide and seek with Milhouse. Cut to a view of the garbage can next to the Kwik-E-Mart with Milhouse's voice saying, "Two weeks! This has gotta be a record!'
- It happened again with Grandpa in "Fear of Flying": when the family returns home after Marge's panic attack on the plane, Bart mentions "You know, I have this feeling that we forgot something...". Cut to Grandpa still on the plane screaming Home Alone style. We cut back to Homer who says "Eh, I'm sure it's nothing."
- Another Grandpa example was in "Cape Feare", when the Simpsons go into Witness Protection, leaving him locked out of the house. "Hello? Hellooo? ...I'm cold, and there are wolves after me!" [wolf howls]
- Also shows up in "The PTA Disbands", where the teachers go on strike. Everyone rushes out of the school so fast a little girl is left stranded on the rings in the gymnasium. "Hello? Mrs. Pommelhorst? I'd like to get down now..."
- As well as "Whacking Day", where Principal Skinner locks Bart, Jimbo, Kearney, Dolph and Nelson in the school's basement. Bart manages to escape, which sets the rest of the plot into motion. At the end of the episode, Skinner finally remembers that the others are still locked in the basement.
- In the episode "E-I-E-I-(Annoyed Grunt)", Homer is inspired by a Zorro movie to go around getting whatever he wants from people by slapping people with a glove and challenging them to duels. Much to his surprise, a Southern colonel accepts and he and his wife move into to the Simpsons' doorstep with his RV. He and the rest of the family flee the city and move into Grandpa's old farm, setting the plot into motion. After the climax of the episode, they move back to their house, with Homer saying "I don't even remember why we left." Of course, the colonel is still there waiting for him. The duel takes place, the colonel shoots Homer in the arm (which doesn't cause any significant damage), and the episode ends.
- Subverted in the "Treehouse of Horror V" short "The Shinning".
- South Park: "Mr. Hanky the Christmas Poo" has Cartman, Stan, and Kyle at the end of the episode commenting that they can't help but feel there was something they forgot. The "something" happens to be the fact that Kenny is still alive by the end of the episode.
- Played with example: In the episode "Cow Days", Officer Barbrady forgets to release the falsely imprisoned couple, who starves to death and rots in jail. The Mayor encourages him to forget the whole thing ever happened.
- The Fairly OddParents!:
- Leaving Tootie locked in the closet (boarded up, no less).
- The time they leave Vicky in the stocks.
- In the episode Shelf Life, Wanda forgot to return Sherlock Holmes back to his book.
- Danny Phantom, with Mr. Lancer being locked in the janitor's room for the entire weekend, with the janitor opening up to get supplies and then shutting the door.
- This is a Running Gag in The Replacements: Dick Daring will say this, and the scene cuts to the Daring family's pet mule Prince Cinnamon Boots, fruitlessly waiting somewhere for help/praise/support. Eventually, in one of the last episodes, he gets sick of it and locks the Darings out of their house till they realize how much they've neglected him.
- The Kid In The Lid episode of Animaniacs: Yakko traps a pet woodchuck in a toilet, who, at the end of the episode, can be heard saying "Hello? Hello? Anyone? Anybody? Can anyone hear me? I'm still in the potty!"
- One episode of Adventures in Care-a-Lot looks like it's going to play this trope straight, with Oopsy, tied to a bunch of pillows (to prevent him from getting hurt), left behind while the others go off to have fun. He even starts calling out for someone ("Hello?"), but Funshine comes back and sets him free.
- The Grim Adventures of Billy & Mandy:
- In one episode, Grim sends Billy and Irwin to a Dungeon Crawling game world, and then he and Mandy have to go in to retrieve them. After much adventuring, Billy, Mandy and Grim finally return home safe and sound, but Grim can't shake the feeling that they're forgetting something. Cue a final shot of Irwin, still hanging precariously onto a branch where Billy had left him several scenes before and complaining that he's starting to get hungry.
- Another one has Billy trapped in a box in the back of the closet, whimpering "Hellooooo? Hellooooo?" "...and we never saw Billy again. But then, we didn't look very hard."
- In an episode of Back at the Barnyard, Duke is left in the cage of a dog catcher.
- In an episode of Ben 10: Alien Force, after the resolution of the events of the episode, Gwen forgot that Kevin was in the old factory yet previously beaten by a possessed Cash, despite that she promised to come back for him.
- Twice on Jimmy Two-Shoes in the same episode: Lucius gets Buried Alive, who then calls Molotov to arrest the ones responsible. He does so and leaves... without digging his boss up.
- A Garfield and Friends episode had Garfield trap the mailman by using a snare trap. Just when Jon and Garfield are going somewhere, Garfield lampshades it by stating that he forgot something. Cue the mailman still hanging in the snare. In the end of the episode, Garfield is then openly upset that the mail has not come yet and demands to know why it's taking forever, having completely forgotten about the mailman still in the snare trap.
- Used in Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps episode, "Angelina's Lost Ice Skates where Angelina and her best friend, Alice, are excited of going to the ice skating show that they become absent-minded of their things. First, when they left the former's house, they almost forgot their lunches and ice skates if it wasn't for Polly and Mrs. Mouseling retrieving it at the time they left. Next, they left the park without their lunches, resulting in the birds gobbling it with their mouths full. They almost forgot their skates again if it wasn't for the two getting it. When they left Mrs. Thimble's shop for smoothies, Angelina ended up forgetting her ice skates there. Luckily, she gets it, but when she comes back in the rink, she missed her opening solo. Nevertheless, she could still perform with Alice.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- The episode "The Last Roundup" ends with Applejack finally coming back to Ponyville with her friends, with everyone celebrating her return. We then cut to Rarity and Pinkie Pie trying to make their way back to Ponyville via handcar, having been forgotten about by everyone else after they had fallen off the cart they were using during an earlier Chase Scene.
- In "Rarity Takes Manehattan", Rarity realizes she lost track of time and is going to be late for her dress rehearsal for a fashion show. The group manage to get her a taxi, but then realize they forgot to send her dresses along with her.
- Princess Celestia becomes a victim of this in "No Second Prances", waiting for Twilight to get back to the dinner.
- Family Guy:
Stewie: I guess neither of us is really cut out for love, and we should OHMYGOD Jeremy's still in the trunk! Oh god, how long has it been?! Let's see, two... two weeks. Yeah, he's dead. Definitely dead.
- In an episode, Stewie beats up his babysitter's boyfriend and locks him in the trunk of a car so he can make a move on her himself. After failing to win her over, we see him sitting on the couch with Meg during the credits:
- And again when the family head for an outing but Lois realizes they forgot Meg.
- Another Meg related one happens when she calls to be picked up from the skating rink. Peter and his friends head to do so. But decides to stay awhile and skate. Eventually they head off..but forget to bring Meg with them.
- And yet another Meg one done in a parody of Raiders of the Lost Ark where the family escape by a bi-plane but somehow Meg get left behind. When Brian points this out, we see her fall over into the water with poison needles in her back.
- Zig-zagged when they were chased out of their house by angry poltergeists. After initially forgetting Meg as they bundled everyone else into the car, Meg gets in at the last second and chews them out over it.
- In the Avatar: The Last Airbender episode "The Deserter", Aang and friends are introduced to a gang of Fire Nation deserters by a man named Chey, who doesn't seem very popular amongst the gang. At the end of the episode, after the gang abandon their hideout to escape from Zhao, Chey returns from the forest wondering where everybody's gone.
- An episode of Ozzy and Drix involves a female villain and her crew mugging and replacing a group of sailors in order to lead the heroes into a trap. After the villains are arrested, Drix wonders if he might be forgetting something, but quickly moves on. The episode then ends by cutting to a locked room where the real sailors are still Bound and Gagged in their underwear.
- Daria: Jake is in the bathroom, doing... that thing. There's a problem: there's no more toilet paper in the house, so he send Daria to get something. Just go to the store, buy and return, thing of minutes, right? No! When she leaves the store, there is a parade in the street, Tom is looking for Jane, Jane is waiting for Tom, a kid gets lost and ask her for help, a Lion mascot harasses Daria, and so on, and so on... and, at the end of the episode, Jake is still in the bathroom, still waiting for the toilet paper. Does he have to read the Cristina Aguilera article for the 12º time?
- The Day My Butt Went Psycho: In "Basic In Stink", Deuce gets stuck at the top of the detector. As Zack and Elanor are carried away on the shoulders of the jubilant crowd, he keeps waiting for them to come back for him. They don't.
- In the Action League Now episode, "Stink or Swim", the league is sent to rescue a pair of drowning victims. Stinky attempts to rescue them, but chickens out, thus leaving the rest of the league to do so for him. On their way back to their headquarters, The Flesh wonders if they forgot something, and sure enough, they forgot to rescue the drowning victims.
- At the end of the Tiny Toon Adventures episode, "Who Bopped Bugs Bunny?", after saving Bugs from a revenge-driven Sappy Stanley, Buster wonders if he forgot something on his way back to Acme Acres. It turns out that he forgot to release Daffy, Plucky, and Hamton from jail (the former for a crime he did not commit, and the latter two for trying to break the former out).
- Averted in "Buster's Directorial Debut" where Sandy Witch feeds Babs a spiked carrot, turning her into a normal rabbit. Buster managed to fight off Sandy and escape with transformed Babs in tow. The episode ends with the typical closing camera iris, then transformed Babs hops in. Buster also comes in and uses Sandy's magic powder to revert her back to normal.
- SheZow: At the end of "Coldfinger", Kelly shows up dripping wet and extremely angry because Guy and Maz had forgotten about her and left her frozen in a block of ice at the convention centre.
- Gravity Falls:
- Star vs. the Forces of Evil:
- Played for Laughs in "School Spirit": At the end, while the school is cheering Star and Marco, Star gets the weird feeling that she's forgetting something. Then a flying monster that wasn't defeated swoops down and snatches Marco away.
Star: That was it...
- Played for Drama in the episode "Storm the Castle", when the episode ends on an ominous shot of the other half of the star-shaped gem from Star's wand after it was destroyed and reformed.
- Played for Laughs in "School Spirit": At the end, while the school is cheering Star and Marco, Star gets the weird feeling that she's forgetting something. Then a flying monster that wasn't defeated swoops down and snatches Marco away.
- Kaeloo: At the end of Episode 61, Kaeloo, Stumpy, Quack Quack and Eugly are looking at pictures. When they find a picture of Pretty chasing Mr. Cat, Stumpy starts to wonder where they are, and the scene cuts to Pretty and Mr. Cat still stranded on the island.
- At the end of Episode 67, after a ballet performance where Stumpy is suspended from the air using ropes, everyone goes home but forgets to untie him.
- POWs that continue to be held long after a conflict ends — for example, Americans who continued to be held in Vietnam, or even North Korea — are a grim real-life example. One could also say the same of the children of local women impregnated by soldiers of occupying armies during wartime.
- Real-life example: When Julius Caesar marched on Rome on his return from the Gallic wars, Pompey's government fled into exile — leaving the entire contents of the national treasury behind them. D'oh!
- David Bowie once gave a live stage performance, at the end of which, during his final number, he was picked up, in his chair, by a "cherry Picker" and swung out over the audience; at the end of the number, the lights went out, with Bowie still in mid-air, as the audience got up and went home; the theatre crew locked up and went out to a bar; it was only after several drinks that they realised that Bowie was still in the theatre, in his chair, at the end of the cherry picker arm, fifty-plus feet above the floor of the auditorium; "Were you going to leave me up here all night, you bastards?" was his first question as they frantically returned to the theatre.