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But For Me It Was Tuesday / Literature

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  • In Battle Royale Kazuo Kiriyama has the same expression while slaughtering his classmates and to him playing an instrument and killing classmates are basically the same. This makes him very creepy indeed.
  • The Dune Encyclopedia names House Washington (AKA the US) as the first user of atomics in a "provincial war."
  • In Interesting Times, near the end of the book, Twoflower is quite aware that Lord Hong has no idea he was the cause of his wife's death, but he insists on fighting him anyway. Twoflower says that the fact that Hong didn't know makes it worse.
  • Redwall's Lord Brocktree: Bucko Bigbones confronts Karangool, the fox who killed his family and left him for dead, and Karangool has no idea who he is. Bucko corners him and explains before taking his revenge. And then he does remember.
    "Well, let me tell ye a story, aboot a puir young hare who was left fer dead by a wicked ole fox who beat 'im wi' a swordblade..."
    • Usually almost all villains never bother to remember who their slaves/prisoners/murder victims are are unless they either "Stand out by how strong they are" or "The slave/prisoner escapes, and the villain leader immediately goes berserk to get said slave/prisoner back" (not because s/he is personally worth anything to the villain, but simply because s/he defied the leader)
  • In the second book of The Baroque Cycle, Jack Shaftoe confronts the man who sold Eliza into slavery before killing him, tells him that he is taking revenge for a woman who he enslaved. Since the guy has done this countless times, he is genuinely puzzled for the last few seconds of his life.
  • In Life, the Universe and Everything, Agrajag is convinced that Arthur Dent has this attitude towards him, since Arthur is always the one who kills him in his various reincarnations; he even has a citadel dedicated to his hatred for Arthur, centered on a statue depicting him as a multi-limbed ogre killing innocent creatures (all former lives of Agrajag) carelessly. For his part, Arthur just thinks the universe is playing silly buggers with them. Which it probably is.
  • Used in James Swallow's Warhammer 40,000 novel Faith & Fire.
    Vaun: Tell me what I have done to earn such enmity.
    Verity: You...You don't even know? Does killing mean so little to you that you dismiss it from your mind with every murder?
    Vaun: For the most part, yes. Let me see if I can guess. A father? Or a brother, perhaps?
    • He does remember eventually, after some jogging of his memory.
      Verity: My sister, Lethe Catena [...] You ended her like some common animal!
      Vaun: Ah. Of course. There's a bit of family resemblance between you, isn't there?
  • Older Than Television: In the short story "The Procurator of Judea" (published in 1902) by Anatole France, the last line is spoken by a retired Pontius Pilate:
    "Jesus?" he murmured, "Jesus — of Nazareth? I cannot call him to mind.".
  • Inverted (somewhat) in Soon I Will Be Invincible in which the Hero Antagonist doesn't remember the Villain Protagonist or his reasons for seeking vengeance.
    • And then Zig-Zagged when it turns out that in the villain's obsession with the hero he himself has completely forgotten about Lily AKA Erica
  • In the Stephen King short story "Dolan's Cadillac", the wife of the protagonist/narrator (Robinson) is killed by a crime lord she was going to testify against (Dolan). For a few years or so, Robinson follows Dolan to learn his habits and routine, all while plotting his revenge. During one harrowing incident, however, Dolan's car breaks down on the road, and Robinson is forced to pass him. He's angered when Dolan doesn't even recognize the man who's wife he had ordered blown to smithereens in her car. This is then subverted when, after Robinson says the first few words of his Best Served Cold speech, Dolan immediately identifies him.
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  • The original title of All Quiet on the Western Front is Im Westen nichts Neues ("Nothing New in the West"). It ends with the last surviving character getting shot by an unseen sniper followed by a Title Drop. For him it was the day he was killed; for the war, it was just an ordinary day with nothing to report.
  • In the Iain M. Banks novel Inversions, the Lady Perrund becomes courtesan to the King after a rival warlord's soldiers killed her family and raped her. It is only at the end of the book after she has murdered the King that we discover it was actually him and his men that committed the atrocity. The King had never recognised her and had most likely forgotten the incident, allowing her to get her revenge.
  • Non-villainous example in Tamora Pierce's Protector of the Small Quartet. Kel has a fear of heights due to her brother dangling her over the edge of a tall tower when they were kids. When speaking about it, she says that the worst part was when she spoke to him about it: he didn't remember.
  • The protagonist of Howl's Moving Castle assumes this trope will apply to the witch who cursed her, and therefore that she'll be able to pretend she has no connection to the witch. Unfortunately, she underestimated how much the witch hated her.
  • Realm of the Elderlings takes place in a fantasy kingdom composed of six duchies- four coastal, two inland. The royal family is based in a coastal duchy. In one throwaway conversation in the first book, Chade grumbles to Fitz that the people blame the king for everything from "bad weather to fires". In the third book, Fitz travels inland and discovers that, years ago, huge swaths of vital farmland were ravaged by fire and have never recovered, causing widespread hardship and economic depression. Fitz then realises just how out of touch the coast and inland are with each other- for the coast the fire was a minor annoyance, but to the people living there, "it must have seemed like the end of the world"
  • Star Wars:
    • Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire: Prince Xizor is attacked by a young man named Hoff, who yells "You Killed My Father" to him, to which Xizor replies, "I'm sorry. Have we met?". It's averted, however, since Xizor remembers the father once Hoff tells him the father's name.
      • Amusingly, Xizor hates Vader because he blames him for the death of his family. Vader is utterly oblivious until one of his spies informs him. Vader likewise remembers when told about it, he simply had no idea that Xizor was related to any of the people he killed that day, and thought Xizor merely coveted his place as the Emperor's right hand man rather than being somebody out for vengeance. Xizor did seek to usurp Vader, but that would've simply been part of the revenge.
    • In one short story a bounty hunter named Gurion Silizzar corners Dr. Evazan and asks him if his family name sounds familiar. The doctor says he may have had a patient or two, to which Silizzar angrily tells him that seven of his family were killed in his experiments.
  • In The Kite Runner, Assef, the main antagonist, recounts the abuse he took at the hands of the Soviet occupiers of Afghanistan. Later, he encounters the Soviet officer who beat him in prison and kills him. The officer does not remember Assef, but Assef informs him that "I do not forget a face." Something of a borderline example in that Assef is very evil and depraved but in that particular case just another victim of the war and its cruelties.
  • In Stormbreaker, the death of Alex's uncle and last living relative sets in motion the events that lead MI6 to recruit him as a secret agent. When Alex meets Yassen Gregorovich, the assassin who carried out the murder, Gregorovich merely shrugs and says 'I kill a lot of people.' However, he probably wasn't denying it so much as invoking A Million Is a Statistic, and knew exactly who Alex was talking about, both because it happened fairly recently and because in later books, its established he knew Alex's father personally and considered him a friend, and recognized Alex on sight. It's unlikely he didn't know who Alex's uncle was.
  • Sisterhood Series by Fern Michaels: Played with rather oddly in the book Sweet Revenge. Reporter Ted Robinson, who is not quite a hero at that point, asks Rosemary Hershey a question about two people. Rosemary says in a genuinely puzzled tone "Who?" Her soon-to-be ex-husband, Bobby Harcourt, pokes his head into the room and states that those are the two people she killed, along with their young daughter. She killed three people and she is the only one who apparently did not even bother to remember them. However, she ends up remembering the name of the young daughter - Diana. She actually blocked that out and presumably other details of her killing them. Once she remembers, however, she is unable to stop thinking about it!
  • Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix: Harry momentarily forgets that several books ago, Ginny was possessed by Lord Voldemort for an entire year. For Harry, this was just one bit of yet another adventure. For Ginny, it may well be the most significant event of her entire life. He says he forgot about it, and her reply is a cool "lucky you". Harry feels sincerely sorry and apologizes.
    • In Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry is woken up in his dorm by a surprise visit from Dobby and screams. His roommates slowly wake up and Seamus just casually asks Harry if he's being attacked again.
    • Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone starts off like this. Vernon goes throughout most of his routine day completely unaware that one of the most dangerous dark wizards in history was killed the night before, and his own infant nephew is now renowned for it. Of course, he'd learn all of this before next sunrise, and then spend the next decade trying to repress it.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire:
    • During Oberyn Martell and Ser Gregor Clegane's fight, Oberyn reminds Gregor that he raped and murdered Elia Martell, Oberyn's sister, and killed her children. Gregor replies with "Who?" Thanks to Oberyn's constant, incessant reminders, Gregor eventually does remember, and before he kills Oberyn he acknowledges that he murdered Elia's chldren, then raped her, and then killed her. He wants Oberyn to know the order it happened. It's possible that Gregor just pretended not to remember to taunt Oberyn, given that this wasn't just some random atrocity out of the many he's committed, but the wife of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and kind of important. Even Dumb Muscle like Gregor would probably remember something like that.
    • Tyrion used to have a wife, Tysha who truly loved him. Tywin convinced Tyrion that she was a paid whore only to break his spirit. Not only that, but he made his entire garrison violently gang-rape the poor 13-year old girl before Tyrion's eyes. And then forced Tyrion to participate as well. When Tyrion finds out the truth, he attacks Tywin, and holding him at crossbow-point, asks him about Tysha. Tywin doesn't remember the name, and when Tyrion tells him who Tysha was, Tywin can't recall what happened to her after the gang rape.
  • Subverted in The Reckoners Trilogy: David remembers every single detail of the day that Steelheart murdered his father. He's shocked to discover that so does Steelheart. After all, the reason he killed David's father was because the man managed to injure him, the first time that had ever happened. The event was just as important to him as it was to David.
  • Monster Hunter International
    • In Alpha, Earl tells his old Soviet enemy and rival werewolf Nikolai to be more specific about the person Nikolai claims he's here to kill him in revenge for, replying that "he's killed a mess of folks." When Nikolai reveals it's his wife, Lila, Earl can only get a surprised "I'm drawing a blank" out, which prompts Nikolai to go full-on werewolf mode on him. That's because Earl didn't kill her, the Big Bad did it and planted evidence that suggested it, prompting Nikolai to hunt Earl down while simultaneously sending Earl on the chase after him for his own plans.
    • In Nemesis, this is Franks's reaction when Earl accuses him of killing his Love Interest. Like the above, also subverted; the woman in question was the only one Franks spared during the fight.
    Franks: Who? Narrow it down for me.
  • The Martian: An example without an antagonist. By the time astronaut Mark Watney re-establishes contact with Earth, he's inured to having to deal single-handed with life-threatening problems.
    Mark: To [NASA], equipment failure is terrifying. To me, it's "Tuesday."
  • Tuesday at the Office has this as a theme; The Professor has to wring more details about the Baron Vogelsang's murder out of Minette because he does that sort of thing a lot and she's being less than generous in explaining the situation.
    The Professor: “Imagine if I walked into your home and started smashing up the furniture while demanding to know why you killed my dog. Even if you did kill the dog, how would you know what dog I was talking about?”
  • The Wheel of Time had the Aiel War. When King Laman of Cairhien Cut down the Avendoraldera, the tree that the mysterious desertdwelling Aiel-people had given his people as an sign of friendship hundreds of year earlier in order to carve himself a throne, four of the twelve Aiel Clans crossed the Dragonwall and invaded the "Wetlands", as the Aiel called it. For the Wetlands it was the greatest war they had seen in centuries, uniting almost every country under one banner, but it was still unable to stop the Aiel horde. To the Aiel it was simply the execution of the Oathbreaker King Laman, and once they succeeded in that they turned around, returning to their desert without giving any of the lands they had conquered a second glance.
  • In Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo, protagonist Kaz's entire life has been shaped by the con gang boss Pekka Rollins pulled on him and his brother that resulted in his brother dying. A flashback reveals that less than a month after it happened, Rollins didn't even recognize Kaz when he tried to confront him.
  • This is briefly brought up in the Miss Marple mystery The Mirror Crack'd from Side to Side. Jason uses this explanation when asked about the "previous relationship" between Marina and Heather. He explains that Heather was a fan of his wife's, and as a result, it was a big deal for her to get Marina's autograph. However, Marina has done hundreds of receptions with fans and signed thousands of autographs, so she simply has no memory of the event Heather described of one more autograph seeker among thousands. Subverted, in that Jason is well aware that while Marina didn't remember Heather specifically, the earlier meeting was even more significant to her than it was to Heather.
  • Codex Alera: A heroic version. In the backstory, the late Princeps Septimus, sole heir to throne, was not only a powerful mage comparable to the reigning First Lord, his father, but a genuinely good man. He could not stand by and watch as abuses happened in the lands he would one day rule, from the abuse of the magically-stronger Citizens over the weaker commoners, to slavery, to the idea of marriage for simple political and genetic gains. He fought for the downtrodden, sought to end slavery, and rejects the arraigned marriage his father set up with a magically-strong and smart noblewoman in favor of wedding a commoner he has fallen for. The people he helps, and those who oppose him angered, are many, so he can't remember them all. They, however, do remember and enter into a cabal to kill him. It includes not only his spurned fiance, but two powerful High Lords, second in rank and status to the First Lord. They succeed.
  • S: A Novel About The Balkans by Slavenka Drakulic. The protagonist has a recurring nightmare where she sees one of the men who raped her in a Bosnian prison camp. She stabs him, and as he dies she sees the look of incomprehension in his face and realises her revenge is meaningless because he has no idea why she's killed him.
  • Carrie Fisher discusses this in her final title, the 2016 The Princess Diarist, in relation to signing autographs and otherwise providing a celebrity encounter for fans at comic conventions, a practice she refers to as "lap dancing." For the fan, the experience is something they'll quite possibly remember for the rest of their life. For her, it's Tuesday, or another day on the job working to make some extra money to support herself.
  • The Stormlight Archive: Sometimes Adolin has trouble keeping track of what he did to offend any particular female.
    Melali gave Adolin a pointed glare. What had he done to annoy her, again? It had been forever since they'd courted.
    Adolin: How's your sister?
    Melali: Off limits.
    Oh, right. That was what he'd done. Honest mistake.
  • Chakona Space: During the rewritten Tales of the Folly Part 2, Captain Foster pulls an unusual heroic variant of this. Then again, trouble seems to follow him around, and the locals are very aware of this fact.
    Brajet shook her head. “Not even lunchtime and you’ve already got some of the local cops mad at you. Why do I have the bad feeling that this will be one of your more interesting visits?”
    Neal grinned. “I have no idea what you’re talking about; it’s just another day in the life for me.”
    Looking at his young ‘crew’, Brajet muttered, “That’s what I’m afraid of.”
  • In The Bartimaeus Trilogy, Nathaniel doesn't forget his dangerous encounter in the alley with Kitty Jones and the Stanley and Fred of the Resistance in The Amulet of Samarkand and expects Kitty to remember it too in The Golem's Eye when he brings it up to her. Kitty, however, notes that she's had many encounters in alleys and only with some prompting finally faintly remembers the event, only to disagree with Nathaniel's characterization that she had "left him for dead" — Fred and Stanley had wanted her to slit his throat, but she decided to spare him.
  • During the climax of The Narrows. Subverted in that Backus actually didn’t kill McCaleb, McCaleb committed suicide when he found out that his transplanted heart was failing and he would die without another surgery, which he could not afford.
    Bosch: You killed my friend...
    Backus: I’m sorry, but I’ve been kind of busy. Who might your friend be?