: A character makes a reference to an event that happened before or outside of the plot.
- Straight: "I'm not sure we should go through with this plan. Remember what happened last time?"
- The incident in question was extremely complex and lasted for several years, causing it to be referenced quite often.
- Alternatively: "Remember the fifty-eight other times we tried that?"
- Downplayed: It's easy enough to guess what the incident is that it's not much of a mystery. "There's no way you can make a souffle! Remember the toffee incident?" "Well, I cleaned it up, didn't I?"
- A curse has been placed upon Bob that renders him incapable of telling the full story.
- Bob and/or Alice do not wish to delve into the details of the incident in question - referencing it is enough for his point to be made.
- There isn't enough time to tell the whole story due to imminent danger or something else coming up.
- The story is so risque, embarrassing, or ridiculous that it can only be told in pieces.
- Bob really cannot remember most of the event, so we're stuck with what he does know.
- Neither Bob nor Alice can tell the full details of the event, as each only knows a small part of what happened. Both can however explain the effects of the event.
- Inverted: In the aftermath of a plan gone hilariously awry, Bob and Charlie agree not to tell Alice about it.note
- Subverted: Bob asks Alice about a certain time they shared together. In reality, there was no time spent together - Bob is testing to see if Alice is an impostor.
- Double Subverted: It actually was the real Alice, she had mistaken Bob's contrived event for a real one that they actually spent together.
- Parodied: "Remember that thing with the banana peels and the magic wand and the greased pigs? Man, that was awesome."
- Zig Zagged: (continued from Double Subverted) ...No, wait! It was the impostor Alice after all. She just said all that to get herself off the hook.
- Bob is lying; the event never actually happened.
- The incident is told in full detail; nothing spared.
- Enforced: A scene is too violent/dirty/controversial/boring to be shown in full detail, so the writers are told to only make reference to it.
- Lampshaded: "Why don't you ever elaborate on these stories, anyway?"
- Invoked: A prophet tells Bob to come back in ten years. (The story takes place ten years later, with fleeting references to why Bob is venturing to see the prophet.)
- Exploited: A villian does something terrible to Bob, knowing that Bob will remember it forever and tell all his friends how evil he really is.
- Defied: "No, Bob. Just no. We're all a team here, so if you have some experience with this you'd better tell us all of it."
- Discussed: "Look, Bob and I have been through a lot together. We often reference things that happened before you showed up - we understand if that makes you feel a bit left out."
- Conversed: "Are we ever going to find out what Bob is talking about? The suspense is killing me!"
- Deconstructed: Something happened a long time ago that everyone seems to know about but Bob; Bob gets frustrated because nobody will tell him the full story.
- Played For Laughs: The specific incident is very trivial, and not of much consequence. Charlie, asking Bob and Alice about the event, thought it much larger than it was for how much effort it took to get them to tell him about it.
- Played For Drama: Bob did something unspeakably terrible before the start of the story. It comes back to bite him, one way or another.
You remember that page
, don't you? Ha ha ha ha ha! Good times, good times indeed...